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Islamic World News ( 8 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Taliban blow up car bomb near ISI office, kill 25

Gaddafi forces intensify attacks against rebels

Mullah politics: Maulana Ajmal now in Maulana Mahmoud Madani’s camp

Christians and Muslims clash in Cairo

One dies in Copt-Muslim clash in Cairo

All eyes on Saudi role in resolving Davis row

Kaddafi warns West against meddling in Libya crisis

Libya no-fly zone a UN decision, says Hillary Clinton

Yemen protests hit Saleh fiefdom, military in Sanaa

Qaddafi forces barrage rebels in east and west

Gaddafi forces step up fight back

Arab media says Gaddafi looking for exit deal

Gaddafi’s warplanes bomb Ras Lanuf

Gaddafi ready to quit?

US to Pak: Can get back to work after Davis freed

US expresses concern over human rights violations in China

Robert Gates sees 'acid test' ahead in Afghanistan war

Muslim intellectuals oppose Jamiat's condom diktat

Fatal shooting prompts outcry among Sikhs, Muslims in USAP

Govt determined to empower women: Gilani

UAE stable despite regional turmoil

UAE efforts result in detection of more cases Olivia Olarte

Guatemala first lady Sandra Torres stands for president

Mosque portals for eight Sabah mosques

US missile strike kills five in S Waziristan

Pakistan, Tajikistan ink bilateral pacts to strengthen ties

Egypt court rejects Mubarak appeal of fund seizure

Black market for illegal African women thriving

Parliamentary Committee and nomination of judges

Oil price jump not due to shortage: Al-Naimi

Daraan family disowns dissident

EU adds Libya sovereign fund to sanctions list

Schools interpreting fee freeze order differently

Ivory Coast: Anti-Gbagbo protesters killed in Abidjan

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/taliban-blow-up-car-bomb-near-isi-office,-kill-25/d/4257 

 

 

 

 

 

Taliban blow up car bomb near ISI office, kill 25

Omer Farooq Khan

ISLAMABAD: A car heavily laden with explosives went off near the office of Inter-Services

Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's spy agency, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than 120 in Faisalabad on Tuesday.

Pakistani Taliban took the responsibility of the attack. Taliban insurgents have frequently

attacked civilian and military targets across the country as Pakistan battles extremism. The blast took place at a CNG (compressed natural gas) filling station where the car with explosives was parked.

The blast left a nine-foot deep crater and gutted the filling station, damaging several vehicles and nearby buildings including offices of ISI and Pakistan International Airlines ( PIA). The gas station was close to a regional office of the ISI directorate in Faisalabad. Officials say the ISI offices might have been the target.

Although ISI offices and Pakistan's military bases have been frequently targeted by militants

elsewhere in Pakistan, this is the first attack on a security establishment in Faisalabad, 260km from Islamabad, and known as "textile city''. Last week, thousands of Christians, apart from diplomats and top officials gathered in Faisalabad, hometown of Pakistan's slain minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti, gunned down in Islamabad.

The injured were taken to hospitals and a city-wide emergency was declared.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-blow-up-car-bomb-near-ISI-office-kill-

25/articleshow/7659564.cms

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Gaddafi forces intensify attacks against rebels

9 March 2011,

TRIPOLI/RAS LANUF: Libyan government forces attacked rebels with rockets, tanks and warplanes on western and eastern fronts, intensifying their offensive to crush the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi.

Rising casualties and the threats of hunger and a refugee crisis increased pressure on foreign governments to act, but they struggled to agree on a strategy for dealing with the turmoil, many fearful of moving from sanctions alone to military action.

In besieged Zawiyah, the closest rebel-held city to Tripoli, trapped residents cowered from the onslaught on Tuesday.

“Fighting is still going on now. Gaddafi’s forces are using tanks. There are also sporadic air strikes ... they could not reach the centre of the town which is still in the control of the revolutionaries,” a resident called Ibrahim said by phone.

“Many buildings have been destroyed including mosques. About 40 to 50 tanks are taking part in the bombardment.”

In the east, much of which is under rebel control, warplanes bombed rebel positions around the oil port of Ras Lanuf and air strikes hit at rebels behind the no-man’s land between Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad, 550 kilometres east of Tripoli.

Rebel euphoria seemed to have dimmed. “People are dying out there. Gaddafi’s forces have rockets and tanks,” Abdel Salem Mohamed, 21, told Reuters near Ras Lanuf. “You see this? This is no good,” he said of his light machinegun.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\09\story_9-3-2011_pg7_1

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Mullah politics: Maulana Ajmal now in Maulana Mahmoud Madani’s camp

By New Age Islam News Bureau

Maulana Badruddin Ajmal has given the proof of his being a stout politician by taking full advantage of Jamiat Ulema e Hind’s internal feud. Once considered to be close to Maulana Arshad Madni, he is now targeting him through a strong pillar of the organization, Maulana Syed Mahmoud Madni.

Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, President, AIUDF, Assam and a Member of Partiament, said to be a staunch supporter of Modi and Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Vastanvi has got a God sent opportunity of attacking Jamiat Ulema e Hind.

The sad part of the story is that Jamiat Ulame e Hind will be the sufferer whosoever is targeted. Madani family will be at the receiving end and the people who take pride in being Madanis will remain a silent spectator. Worst part of the whole episode is that Maulana Ajmal is fully free to go against the constitution of the Jamiat as he has been doing in the past.

It may be mentioned here that Assembly elections in Assam are to be held from 14th of April, 11. Maulana Ajmal was using Jamiat platform for success in the elections. Jamiat is a religious organization and should not be used for political gains. The General Assembly of Jamiat Ulema e Hind unanimously had dismissed Maulan Ajmal as its President of Assam Chapter. Maulana Ajmal got another jolt when his religious leader Maulana Vastanvi supposedly supported Modi, alleged to be the killer of Muslims. This affected his Assam Muslim vote bank as well. This is the reason that he took advantage of the changing situation in the Jamialt and somehow succeeded in making Maulana Mahmoud Madani accept and alliance with him. As a result from now on it will be Maulana Manhood Madani’s flag everywhere in Assam.

A big section of Jamialt understands Maulana Ajamal’s politics. Maulana Mahmoud Madni’s baiter could not have been his follower for any other reason.

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Christians and Muslims clash in Cairo

HADEEL AL-SHALCHI

Mar 9, 2011

CAIRO: Clashes between Christians and Muslims escalated on Tuesday with thousands of people burning tires, smashing parked cars and cutting off a main road despite military moves to control a day of violent protests in Egypt’s capital.

Tensions have been simmering between Egypt’s minorities Christian community and its Muslim majority after a Muslim mob burned a church in a Cairo suburb. Egypt’s military rulers have since pledged to rebuild the church and Prime Minister Essam Sharaf met Monday with the protesters outside the state-television building.

On Tuesday, thousands of Christians demonstrated in locations around the city, saying they were being persecuted. But several of the gatherings descended into violence when the two sides confronted each other in the streets.

About 2,000 people cut off a main road running on the eastern side of the city and pelted motorists with rocks. A crowd of garbage collectors known as the zabaleen — who are predominantly Christians — also demonstrated on a main street near their neighbourhood demanding equal rights and better quality of life.

Tensions remain high in Egypt nearly a month after mass protests ousted President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power. The upheaval has plunged many parts of the country into turmoil, with virtually incessant protests, strikes and a higher rate of violent crime.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article308450.ece

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All eyes on Saudi role in resolving Davis row

Mariana Baabar

March 09, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Will Saudi Arabia once again come to the rescue of two of its staunchest allies, the United States and Pakistan, with a face saving formula for all parties that cannot be challenged, as it is based on Islamic injunctions? By delivering, Jeddah will be doing what it has done several times in the past - bailing the US and Pakistan out of difficult situations.

The question pertains to Raymond Davis, President Obama's "our diplomat" the likes of which Pakistan hopes to deny 'diplomatic passports' in future. Taking advantage of his visit to Jeddah on March 3, the special US representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman raised the issue of Raymond Davis during his presentation at the International Contact Group (ICG) meeting, which was also attended by Minister of State Ms Hina Rabbani Khar. The meeting was essentially to focus on Afghanistan.

Later, diplomatic sources confide Grossman raised the issue of Qisas and Diyat with the Saudi authorities on the sidelines of the ICG meeting. Spokesman at the US embassy not totally denying this says, "We are working with Pakistan to find a solution and resolve this matter but I could not tell you about (Grossman-Saudi meeting on Davis) and it would be inappropriate for me to comment". Before this, at the end of February, President Asif Ali Zardari had met with Saudi Prince Naif on the sidelines of the Kuwaiti celebrations and the Davis issue came up for discussion, confide diplomatic sources.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12292

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Kaddafi warns West against meddling in Libya crisis

March 09, 2011

TRIPOLI: Libyan strongman Moamer Kaddafi on Tuesday warned of dire consequences for North Africa and Europe if there was any Western interference in his country's affairs, in a telephone conversation with the Greek prime minister.        

"Greece is a friend of Libya and can pass on this piece of advice to the European Union," Jana news agency quoted Kaddafi as telling Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Kaddafi, who took the initiative for the call, warned that "any violation of Libya's security or stability would necessarily have dire consequences for the security in north Africa, the Mediterranean rim and Europe", said Jana.

His warning came as NATO and the European Union are to meet on the upheaval in the North African country and how to deal with Kaddafi on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

NATO chief Anders Fog Rasmussen has said that the North Atlantic alliance was considering all options but that NATO would not act without a UN mandate.

"There is a consensus as to the need for NATO to intervene" with a no-fly zone, a top diplomat from the 28-nation alliance said earlier. He underlined this could not involve ground troops.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12289

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Libya no-fly zone a UN decision, says Hillary Clinton

9 March 2011

Any decision to impose a no-fly zone over Libya should be made by the UN and not by Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

Mrs Clinton said it was important such a move came from the Libyan people, rather than being a US-led effort.

Calls for military intervention are growing as pro-Gaddafi forces bombard areas held by Libyan rebels.

Meanwhile, Col Gaddafi has made a defiant speech on Libyan TV, labelling rebels and opposition leaders traitors.

Addressing a room full of cheering supporters he again claimed that the rebels had been brainwashed by al-Qaeda.

The rebel forces are fighting to end Col Gaddafi's 41 years in power, and more than 1,000 people are believed to have died. Some 200,000 others have been displaced by the fighting.

Mrs Clinton reiterated her government's call for Col Gaddafi to step down peacefully, but warned that the crisis in Libya could be protracted.

"I think it's very important that this not be a US-led effort, because this comes from the people of Libya themselves," Mrs Clinton told Sky News.

"We are going to support the efforts that are being made, because we think that the people of Libya themselves have to be supported, and we know how difficult this struggle is."

'Full spectrum'

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12683952

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Yemen protests hit Saleh fiefdom, military in Sanaa

9 March 2011,

Yemeni protests demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32-year rule spread to a tribal area considered his political stronghold on Tuesday, and military vehicles deployed in the capital.

Around 10,000 protesters marched in the city of Dhamar, 60 km (40 miles) south of Sanaa, residents said by telephone. Dhamar is known for ties to Saleh and is the hometown of Yemen’s prime minister, interior minister and head judge.

“Leave! Leave!” the protesters shouted in Dhamar, just two days after Saleh loyalists there held a similar-sized rally. Protesters also pelted a municipal official with rocks.

Burgeoning protests fuelled by anger over poverty and corruption, and a series of defections from Saleh’s political and tribal allies, have added pressure on him to step aside this year even as he pledges to stay on until his term ends in 2013.

“Across the board, what you’re seeing is that more and more people are really starting to crystallise around this single call for the president to step down,” Princeton University Yemen scholar Gregory Johnson said.

In the capital Sanaa, where thousands of protesters have camped out for weeks, military vehicles with armed soldiers spread across streets in what appeared to be a response to calls by youth activists for a march to the presidential palace.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/March/middleeast_March162.xml&section=middleeast

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Qaddafi forces barrage rebels in east and west

MAGGIE MICHAEL AND PAUL SCHEMM

Mar 9, 2011 02:15

TRIPOLI: After dramatic successes over the past weeks, Libya’s rebel movement appears to have hit a wall of overwhelming power from loyalists of Muammar Qaddafi. Pro-regime forces halted their drive on Tripoli with a heavy barrage of rockets in the east and threatened Tuesday to recapture the closest rebel-held city to the capital in the west.

If Zawiya, on Tripoli’s doorstep, is ultimately retaken, the contours of a stalemate would emerge — with Libya divided between a largely loyalist west and a rebel east as the world wrestles with the thorny question of how deeply to intervene.

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to plan for the “full spectrum of possible responses” on Libya, including imposing a no-fly zone to prevent Qaddafi’s warplanes from striking rebels. According to a White House statement, the two leaders spoke Tuesday and agreed that the objective must be an end to violence and the departure of Qaddafi “as quickly as possible.”

Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu earlier Tuesday called on the United Nations to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. “We join our voice to the voices asking for a no-fly zone in Libya, and we call on the Security Council to do its duty in this regard,” Ihsanoglu said at the start of an emergency meeting of the 57-member body in Jeddah.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article308417.ece

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Gaddafi forces step up fight back

9 March 2011,

 Libyan tanks and war planes intensified their offensive against rebels on Tuesday, as the United States stressed that any no-fly zone to hobble Muammar Gaddafi’s forces had to have global backing.

Rising casualties and threats of hunger and a refugee crisis have increased pressure on foreign governments to act, but many are fearful of moving from sanctions alone to military action.

“We want to see the international community support it (a no-fly zone),” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Sky News on Tuesday. “I think it’s very important that this not be a US-led effort.”

She said the United Nations should make the decision on Libya, not the United States.

US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed the “common objective” was an end to violence and the departure of Gaddafi, the White House said.

In a phone call the two leaders “agreed to press forward with planning, including at NATO, on the full spectrum of possible responses, including surveillance, humanitarian assistance, enforcement of the arms embargo, and a no-fly zone”.

Britain and France are seeking a UN resolution to authorise such a zone to ground Gaddafi’s aircraft and prevent him moving troops by air. Russia and China, who have veto power in the UN Security Council, are cool towards the idea.

Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the rebel National Libyan Council, told a news conference in the rebel base of Benghazi: “We will complete our victory when we are afforded a no-fly zone. If there was also action to stop him (Gaddafi) from recruiting mercenaries, his end would come within hours.”

Siege

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March446.xml&section=international

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Arab media says Gaddafi looking for exit deal

Mar 9, 2011

Libyan leader wants guarantee of personal safety for his family and a pledge that they won't be tried, said Arab media.

CAIRO: Two Arab newspapers and al Jazeera television said on Monday Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was looking for an agreement allowing him to step down, but there was no official confirmation of the reports.

Al Jazeera said Gaddafi had proposed to Libyan rebels to hold a meeting of parliament to pave the way for him to step down with certain guarantees.

It said Gaddafi made the proposal to the interim council, which speaks for mostly eastern areas controlled by his opponents. It quoted sources in the council as saying Gaddafi wanted guarantees of personal safety for him and his family and a pledge that they not be put on trial.

Al Jazeera said sources from the council told its correspondent in Benghazi that the offer was rejected because it would have amounted to an "honourable" exit for Gaddafi and would offend his victims.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/worldarticlelist/articleshow/7654840.cms

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Gaddafi’s warplanes bomb Ras Lanuf

March 09, 2011

Pro-Gaddafi forces on Tuesday launched fresh air raids on Libya’s rebel-held eastern oil port of Ras Lanuf in a bid to prevent his opponents from advancing towards the capital Tripoli, amid mounting global calls for enforcing a no-fly zone over the country.68-year-old Muammar Gaddafi’s warplanes dropped missiles near rebel positions in the desert east of Ras Lanuf, reports said, adding there were no casualties or damage.

The Libyan ruler’s supporters moved eastward in an effort to push the rebels back and recapture fallen towns, with reports emerging that they have taken the central town of Bin Jawad, according to Al Jazeera.

There has also been fierce fighting in the eastern city of Misurata, located between the capital Tripoli and Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.

As the uprising against Gaddafi’s 41-year rule entered 22nd day, there were reports that the embattled leader had sent a representative to make a proposal to the Opposition’s so-called “National Council” based in Benghazi. It is said he wanted guarantees for his and his family’s safety and immunity from prosecution.

But, Libyan State television denied the reports that Gaddafi tried to strike a deal with the rebels that would have seen him step down.

In Washington, US President Barack Obama tried to raise pressure on Gaddafi further by talking about “a range” of possible options, “including potential military options” against the embattled Libyan leader, even as Britain and France were drafting a UN resolution that would establish a no-fly zone.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323044/Gaddafi%E2%80%99s-warplanes-bomb-Ras-Lanuf.html

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Gaddafi ready to quit?

March 09, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi has hinted that he is ready to quit Libya after 41 years in power, only if rebel interim council gives him a pile of cash and assures him immunity from criminal prosecution, a media report said.

The dictator is said to have proposed a meeting of the Libyan Parliament to agree a transition period to pave the way for him to step down; his terms include immunity from criminal prosecution and a pile of cash, Britain’s Daily Mail quoted Arabic TV network Al Jazeera.

However, the rebel interim council, based in eastern city of Benghazi, reportedly rejected the offer because such an “honourable” exit would offend Gaddafi’s victims. Gaddafi allegedly sent Jadallah Azzouz Talhi, a former Prime Minister, to meet the rebels to work out the fine print of a deal. The offer proposed the dictator would hand over power to a committee formed by General People’s Congress.

A source close to the rebel council said he had heard that “one formula being proposed by the other side would see Gaddafi hand power to the head of Parliament and leave the country with a certain guaranteed sum of money”.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323043/Gaddafi-ready-to-quit.html

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US to Pak: Can get back to work after Davis freed

Mar 9, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The US has made it clear that it can "get back to business" with Pakistan after the release of suspected CIA contractor Raymond Davis, whose arrest in Lahore on murder charges for gunning down two men has become a major irritant in bilateral ties.

During meetings with Pakistan's top leadership, US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman said Washington wanted the immediate release of Davis and that there would be no business as usual until the matter is resolved.

"I'm confident that we can resolve this (Davis) problem and once we do we can get back to business...we can build the relationship between the US and Pakistan," Grossman said during an interaction with a group of journalists.

Pakistan's leadership, facing pressure from religious groups, has rebuffed US demands to free Davis and said that his case will be settled by the courts.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-to-Pak-Can-get-back-to-work-after-Davis-freed/articleshow/7659579.cms

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US expresses concern over human rights violations in China

Mar 9, 2011

WASHINGTON: Concerned over the continuing human rights violations in China, US has asked authorities in Beijing to stop the "extralegal" detention and "enforced disappearance" of leading lawyers and rights activists.

"The United States is increasingly concerned by the apparent extralegal detention and enforced disappearance of some of China's most well-known lawyers and activists, many of whom have been missing since mid-February," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said.

Crowley said a number of well-known Chinese personalities like Teng Biao, Tang Jitian Jiang Tianyong and Gu Chuan had all disappeared between February 16-19.

"We have expressed our concern to the Chinese Government over the use of extralegal punishments against these and other human rights activists," he said.

The United States continues to urge China to uphold its internationally recognised obligations of universal human rights, including the freedoms of expression, association, and assembly, he said.

Crowley said US remains concerned about the treatment of journalists in China as well as elsewhere around the world.

"This has been a subject of longstanding concern and longstanding discussion with China."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-expresses-concern-over-human-rights-violations-in-China/articleshow/7660535.cms

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Robert Gates sees 'acid test' ahead in Afghanistan war

Mar 9, 2011

SANGIN: US defense secretary Robert Gates touted progress on a visit to southern Afghanistan Tuesday but said NATO forces will soon face an "acid test" as Taliban insurgents move to seize back ground.

In a tour of volatile battlegrounds, Gates said he came away encouraged that coalition and Afghan forces were rolling back the Taliban from longstanding strongholds in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

But he said results of the NATO-led campaign would not be clear for a few more months, when the Taliban is expected to exploit warmer weather to strike back.

Gates's visit comes before foreign troops are due to start limited withdrawals from July, handing control of security to Afghan forces in some areas ahead of a full transition across Afghanistan due by 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai meanwhile warned the year ahead was "critical" and would hold "crises and difficulties."

Gates predicted fighting in the spring and summer would "be very tough."

"We expect the Taliban to try and take back much of what they've lost," he told reporters at a US outpost in the Arghandab district, west of Kandahar city.

"And that will really in many respects be the acid test about how effective the progress that we've made is."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Robert-Gates-sees-acid-test-ahead-in-Afghanistan-war/articleshow/7659461.cms

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Muslim intellectuals oppose Jamiat's condom diktat

Mar 9, 2011

NEW DELHI: Muslim intellectuals have slammed a resolution of Jamiat-ulama-i-Hind's managing committee, which urged youth to shun TV and cinema and also hinted that condoms are root cause for sexual anarchy.

Jamiat has prescribed that reform panels should be set up in towns and villages to persuade youth to strictly practice religious rituals, and also steer clear of cinema, TV and other "morally corrupt influences". The blanket ban has evoked protests as many reason that channels like Peace TV and Win TV, which propagate the Muslim way of life, come under purview of the stricture. Mohammed Manzoor Alam, chairman of Institute of Objective Studies, concedes that TV has a lot of positive impact in disseminating information. "The challenge is to take the positive out of both TV and cinema," he says.

The "solution (condom) being propagated to prevent AIDS is itself the root cause of sexual anarchy", the resolution says. Many feel that the right sentiment got mixed up, thanks to wrong choice of words.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslim-intellectuals-oppose-Jamiats-condom-diktat/articleshow/7655700.cms

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Fatal shooting prompts outcry among Sikhs, Muslims in USAP

March 06, 2011

WEST SACRAMENTO: The daily stroll had become routine for two elderly Sikh men in a Sacramento suburb, as well as for neighbours and friends accustomed to seeing the men walk by with their long beards and turbans.

But the traditional headwear might have singled them out late last week when they were gunned down, one fatally, in what police are investigating as a suspected hate crime. On Monday, local religious leaders pleaded for the community to come forward with leads but also said they will not be deterred by violence.

‘‘Our community will continue to wear our turbans proudly,’’ said Navi Kaur, the granddaughter of Surinder Singh, 65, who died from his wounds.

His friend, 78-year-old Gurmej Atwal, remains in critical condition.

They were walking through their neighbourhood in Elk Grove, just south of the California state capital Sacramento, Friday afternoon when someone in what witnesses described as a pickup truck opened fire. Police said they have no suspects nor any indication the shooting was a hate crime, but said the turbans could have made the elderly men a target of extremists.

During a news conference Monday at a Sikh temple, a spokesman said the recent violence has scared some temple-goers into concealing any indicators of their religion.

Sikhs often are mistaken for Muslims and have been the subject of occasional violence across the country since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

‘‘The enemies of the United States don’t wear turbans in the United States,’’ said Amar Shergill, a Sikh leader and attorney. ‘‘They don’t want to be singled out. The result is that Sikh Americans since 9-11 have borne the brunt of violent hate crimes.’’

Sikhs draw particular attention because of their traditional beards and turbans, which are mistakenly associated with Islamic terrorists.

Shergill said Monday also marked the start of a trial involving a confirmed hate crime against a Sikh.

He is the attorney for a Sikh cab driver beaten four months ago by passengers who shouted anti-Islamic slurs at him in West Sacramento, which sits across the Sacramento River from the state capital. The two defendants pleaded no contest Monday to felony assault.

As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches, several people at Monday’s news conference drew links between the Sacramento-area crimes and national and international developments. From unrest in North Africa to congressional hearings on radicalization of Muslims in the US, speakers warned of an increasingly hostile climate.

‘‘It is getting ugly,’’ said Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. ‘‘And like I said, who suffers the most is the Sikh community because of unfortunately people’s ignorance.’’

The Elk Grove police department said last week’s shooting would be the first targeting Sikhs in the city if it turns out to be a hate crime. Police also said they would meet with FBI officials, a routine move when a hate crime is suspected.

On Monday, police said they are looking for a tan or beige Ford F150 pickup truck made between 1999 and 2003. Meanwhile, a dozen groups have collected nearly $30,000 in reward money for information about the shootings.

Singh, a truck driver, had worked in India and Libya before moving to the United States about five years ago, The Sacramento Bee reported. Atwal, the other victim, is a retired civil servant who worked in the revenue department of northwest India’s Punjab state before moving to the US in 2001.

The two were neighbours who became friends when Singh moved to Elk Grove three years ago. They would have tea in the morning, set out for a walk, return for lunch, and then go out again. They knew just enough English to say, ‘‘Hi,’’ to passersby and met other retired Sikhs at a nearby park.

‘They were total gentlemen,’’ said Lakhvinder Singh, a family friend

The Dawn

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Govt determined to empower women: Gilani

March 09, 2011

* PM highlights BISP, Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act amongst other initiatives taken by government

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the government is determined to implement Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s vision regarding women empowerment.

Speaking on the occasion of the100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (Tuesday), Gilani said the present democratic government is fully cognisant of the existing issues and problems being faced by women, ranging from problems in their domestic to national lives.

He said the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day of “access to education, training, science & technology” is in accordance with the march of time.

He appreciated women around the world who are working tirelessly to end violence, prejudice and biases against the gender.

The PM said the government is determined to highlight women’s issues through the policies of the government.

The National Policy for Development and Empowerment of Women, 2002, and the National Plan of Action is being reviewed in the light of the current requirements and the vision of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

He also said the government is addressing the subject of economic empowerment of women through various initiatives. “Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the largest ever programme to provide financial support directly to the women belonging to poor households is the bedrock of these initiatives.” Among others, it provides skills and technical training, health insurance and loans of up to Rs 300,000, he said. He congratulated the National Assembly (NA) Speaker, Dr Fehmida Mirza, who took the initiative to launch the women caucus of 90 women parliamentarians.

Gilani expressed his government’s commitment to a strong legislative cover to address women issues, which according to him is evident through the measures taken so far.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2009, has been enacted along with the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act passed by parliament last year, he said.

“Gender inequality remains a big challenge to socio-economic development in Pakistan,” he said, adding, “Female participation rate in labour is only 21 percent compared to males, which is at 69 percent.”

Gilani vowed to “change the plight of women in the country”.

He said establishment of working women hostels, provision of transport facilities to female employees and establishment of daycares centres are part of the government’s initiative to resolve the problems of working women.

“On my directives, the CDA has allotted two plots in sector G-6/2 and G-7/3 of Islamabad for the construction of working women’s hostels,” he said, adding, “Necessary funds have been allocated during this financial year for their construction”.

Gilani said a draft, namely Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, is also in the process of enactment. Discriminatory laws are being amended with the collaboration of the National Commission on the Status of Women, different NGOs and members of civil society, he said.

Gilani said economic empowerment projects are part of the government’s efforts to create income-generating activities for marginalised women.

“The Office of the Ombudsperson has been established, which is a significant and historical step towards taking cognisance of women issues,” he said, adding, “Ms Mussarat Hilali has been appointed as the first ombudsperson and her work will herald a new chapter in addressing women’s problems quickly and effectively.” “Establishment Division has also been monitoring 10 percent quota reserved for women in the federal government employment as well as the provinces. This will increase women’s role in policy and decision-making in the public sector. My government has also removed the First Women Bank from the privatisation list,” Gilani said.

Gilani also said the National Commission on the Status of Women is being granted administrative and financial autonomy for efficient working.

Necessary legislation in this respect has been prepared after consultation with the stakeholders, which will be placed before the cabinet in its next meeting for approval before it is sent to parliament for enactment, he said. National Assembly Speaker, Dr Fehmida Mirza, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, and BISP Chairperson, Farzana Raja, also attended the event. app

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\09\story_9-3-2011_pg1_7

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UAE stable despite regional turmoil

Mar 8, 2011

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates is stable despite a wave of Arab protests that has reached other Gulf Arab countries, and is not considering new initiatives to reinforce security, Dubai’s police chief said on Tuesday.

“The situation in the UAE is stable. There is no fear with regard to security,” Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai’s police chief and a member of the emirate’s Executive Council, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference.

Gulf Arab countries, whose oil wealth has provided a high standard of living compared to the rest of the Arab world, were once thought immune from spreading Arab protests that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and triggered revolt in Libya.

But anti-government protests have now spread to several Gulf countries including Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia although there have been no signs so far of protest in the UAE, which includes business hub Dubai and oil-exporting Abu Dhabi.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article307861.ece

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UAE efforts result in detection of more cases Olivia Olarte

9 March 2011,

Sexual exploitation of women topped the most common type of trafficking in the UAE. The others include forced labour, selling of children and human organ trafficking.

DUBAI - Forty-six cases of human trafficking were registered across the country in 2010, Brigadier Ahmed Al Muharami, director of the Human Rights Department at the MoI (Ministry of Interior) and head of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking.

Since 2006, when the UAE first enacted the human trafficking legislation, cases in this regard have been increasing, from 10 in 2007 to 20 in 2008 and to 43 in 2009. Of them, 35 cases resulted in conviction in 2009, six in 2008 and five in 2007. Jail terms ranged from one to ten years in 2007-2008 and two years to life in 2008-2009.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the First Gulf Forum for Combating Human Trafficking Crimes, Brig Al Muharami attributed the increase to the intensified detection process, policing efforts and the collaboration of the local, regional and international authorities.

According to Brig Al Muharami, sexual exploitation of women topped the most common type of trafficking in the UAE. The others include forced labour, selling of children and human organ trafficking. 

The National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking noted that women and children are the weakest and the easiest prey of these malpractices, which are driven by poverty and lack of family cohesion.

Women subjected to mental and physical abuse are handicapped for life by these experiences, but in children, the impact is greater as “deep wounds” tend not to heal and this affects their personality.

Human trafficking is ranked third worldwide among the criminal practice, after drugs and firearms.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/March/theuae_March243.xml&section=theuae

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Guatemala first lady Sandra Torres stands for president

8 March 2011

Guatemala's first lady, Sandra Torres de Colom, says she'll be a candidate to succeed her husband

Alvaro Colom in presidential elections in September.

Ms Torres announced her candidacy for the governing party despite a constitutional ban on relatives of

the president standing to succeed him.

Her lawyers argue that the ban infringes the right of all Guatemalans to stand for election.

Ms Torres said she responding to "popular clamour" for her to stand.

She announced her candidacy at a rally in Mixco, a poor suburb of Guatemala City.

Ms Torres, who as first lady has been supervising poverty relief programmes, said her aim was to build a

Guatemala with "social peace and hope".

Opposition groups say her candidacy is prohibited by Guatemala's constitution, which prohibits close

relatives of a president from standing to replace him or her.

"It is an unconstitutional candidacy, but we will have to go through all the processes that the law requires,"

said former Gen Otto Perez Molina, candidate for the right wing opposition Patriot Party.

The decision on whether Ms Torres can stand for president in September will rest with Guatemala's

constitutional court.

If elected, she would be Guatemala's first woman president.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12682855

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Arab media says Gaddafi looking for exit deal

Mar 9, 2011

Libyan leader wants guarantee of personal safety for his family and a pledge that they won't be tried, said Arab media.

CAIRO: Two Arab newspapers and al Jazeera television said on Monday Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was looking for an agreement allowing him to step down, but there was no official confirmation of the reports.

Al Jazeera said Gaddafi had proposed to Libyan rebels to hold a meeting of parliament to pave the way for him to step down with certain guarantees.

It said Gaddafi made the proposal to the interim council, which speaks for mostly eastern areas controlled by his opponents. It quoted sources in the council as saying Gaddafi wanted guarantees of personal safety for him and his family and a pledge that they not be put on trial.

Al Jazeera said sources from the council told its correspondent in Benghazi that the offer was rejected because it would have amounted to an "honourable" exit for Gaddafi and would offend his victims.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/worldarticlelist/articleshow/7654840.cms

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US to Pak: Can get back to work after Davis freed

Mar 9, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The US has made it clear that it can "get back to business" with Pakistan after the release of suspected CIA contractor Raymond Davis, whose arrest in Lahore on murder charges for gunning down two men has become a major irritant in bilateral ties.

During meetings with Pakistan's top leadership, US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman said Washington wanted the immediate release of Davis and that there would be no business as usual until the matter is resolved.

"I'm confident that we can resolve this (Davis) problem and once we do we can get back to business...we can build the relationship between the US and Pakistan," Grossman said during an interaction with a group of journalists.

Pakistan's leadership, facing pressure from religious groups, has rebuffed US demands to free Davis and said that his case will be settled by the courts.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-to-Pak-Can-get-back-to-work-after-Davis-freed/articleshow/7659579.cms

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US expresses concern over human rights violations in China

Mar 9, 2011

WASHINGTON: Concerned over the continuing human rights violations in China, US has asked authorities in Beijing to stop the "extralegal" detention and "enforced disappearance" of leading lawyers and rights activists.

"The United States is increasingly concerned by the apparent extralegal detention and enforced disappearance of some of China's most well-known lawyers and activists, many of whom have been missing since mid-February," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said.

Crowley said a number of well-known Chinese personalities like Teng Biao, Tang Jitian Jiang Tianyong and Gu Chuan had all disappeared between February 16-19.

"We have expressed our concern to the Chinese Government over the use of extralegal punishments against these and other human rights activists," he said.

The United States continues to urge China to uphold its internationally recognised obligations of universal human rights, including the freedoms of expression, association, and assembly, he said.

Crowley said US remains concerned about the treatment of journalists in China as well as elsewhere around the world.

"This has been a subject of longstanding concern and longstanding discussion with China."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-expresses-concern-over-human-rights-violations-in-China/articleshow/7660535.cms

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Robert Gates sees 'acid test' ahead in Afghanistan war

Mar 9, 2011

SANGIN: US defense secretary Robert Gates touted progress on a visit to southern Afghanistan Tuesday but said NATO forces will soon face an "acid test" as Taliban insurgents move to seize back ground.

In a tour of volatile battlegrounds, Gates said he came away encouraged that coalition and Afghan forces were rolling back the Taliban from longstanding strongholds in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

But he said results of the NATO-led campaign would not be clear for a few more months, when the Taliban is expected to exploit warmer weather to strike back.

Gates's visit comes before foreign troops are due to start limited withdrawals from July, handing control of security to Afghan forces in some areas ahead of a full transition across Afghanistan due by 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai meanwhile warned the year ahead was "critical" and would hold "crises and difficulties."

Gates predicted fighting in the spring and summer would "be very tough."

"We expect the Taliban to try and take back much of what they've lost," he told reporters at a US outpost in the Arghandab district, west of Kandahar city.

"And that will really in many respects be the acid test about how effective the progress that we've made is."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Robert-Gates-sees-acid-test-ahead-in-Afghanistan-war/articleshow/7659461.cms

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Muslim intellectuals oppose Jamiat's condom diktat

Mar 9, 2011

NEW DELHI: Muslim intellectuals have slammed a resolution of Jamiat-ulama-i-Hind's managing committee, which urged youth to shun TV and cinema and also hinted that condoms are root cause for sexual anarchy.

Jamiat has prescribed that reform panels should be set up in towns and villages to persuade youth to strictly practice religious rituals, and also steer clear of cinema, TV and other "morally corrupt influences". The blanket ban has evoked protests as many reason that channels like Peace TV and Win TV, which propagate the Muslim way of life, come under purview of the stricture. Mohammed Manzoor Alam, chairman of Institute of Objective Studies, concedes that TV has a lot of positive impact in disseminating information. "The challenge is to take the positive out of both TV and cinema," he says.

The "solution (condom) being propagated to prevent AIDS is itself the root cause of sexual anarchy", the resolution says. Many feel that the right sentiment got mixed up, thanks to wrong choice of words.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslim-intellectuals-oppose-Jamiats-condom-diktat/articleshow/7655700.cms

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Gaddafi’s warplanes bomb Ras Lanuf

March 09, 2011

Pro-Gaddafi forces on Tuesday launched fresh air raids on Libya’s rebel-held eastern oil port of Ras Lanuf in a bid to prevent his opponents from advancing towards the capital Tripoli, amid mounting global calls for enforcing a no-fly zone over the country.68-year-old Muammar Gaddafi’s warplanes dropped missiles near rebel positions in the desert east of Ras Lanuf, reports said, adding there were no casualties or damage.

The Libyan ruler’s supporters moved eastward in an effort to push the rebels back and recapture fallen towns, with reports emerging that they have taken the central town of Bin Jawad, according to Al Jazeera.

There has also been fierce fighting in the eastern city of Misurata, located between the capital Tripoli and Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.

As the uprising against Gaddafi’s 41-year rule entered 22nd day, there were reports that the embattled leader had sent a representative to make a proposal to the Opposition’s so-called “National Council” based in Benghazi. It is said he wanted guarantees for his and his family’s safety and immunity from prosecution.

But, Libyan State television denied the reports that Gaddafi tried to strike a deal with the rebels that would have seen him step down.

In Washington, US President Barack Obama tried to raise pressure on Gaddafi further by talking about “a range” of possible options, “including potential military options” against the embattled Libyan leader, even as Britain and France were drafting a UN resolution that would establish a no-fly zone.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323044/Gaddafi%E2%80%99s-warplanes-bomb-Ras-Lanuf.html

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Gaddafi ready to quit?

March 09, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi has hinted that he is ready to quit Libya after 41 years in power, only if rebel interim council gives him a pile of cash and assures him immunity from criminal prosecution, a media report said.

The dictator is said to have proposed a meeting of the Libyan Parliament to agree a transition period to pave the way for him to step down; his terms include immunity from criminal prosecution and a pile of cash, Britain’s Daily Mail quoted Arabic TV network Al Jazeera.

However, the rebel interim council, based in eastern city of Benghazi, reportedly rejected the offer because such an “honourable” exit would offend Gaddafi’s victims. Gaddafi allegedly sent Jadallah Azzouz Talhi, a former Prime Minister, to meet the rebels to work out the fine print of a deal. The offer proposed the dictator would hand over power to a committee formed by General People’s Congress.

A source close to the rebel council said he had heard that “one formula being proposed by the other side would see Gaddafi hand power to the head of Parliament and leave the country with a certain guaranteed sum of money”.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323043/Gaddafi-ready-to-quit.html

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Mosque portals for eight Sabah mosques

March 06, 2011

Putatan: Sabah will have K-Mosque (Komuniti Masjid) portals in eight mosques at selected parliamentary constituencies to educate and expose local communities to ICT.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahiya Hussein said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) has allocated RM4.02 million out of RM5.6 million for the K-Mosque project nationwide.

He said the remaining funds would be spent on other ICT development projects like K-Wheels and K-Schools.

"K-Mosque is the first project ever launched in Sabah, which is funded by Memos Berhad, an agency under Mosti. Out of 40 parliamentary seats that applied, only 30 have been approved and out of the 30, eight parliamentary seats or eight mosques in Sabah have been selected for the project.

Full report at: The Dawn

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US missile strike kills five in S Waziristan

9 March 2011,

WANA: Five persons were killed in a US drone attack that targeted a suspected compound of militant’s hours after a grand Jirga of Ahmedzai Wazirs demanded an end to the campaign against the local and foreign militants on Tuesday.

“We like an immediate end to the drone strikes which have made our children and women psychologically ill,” tribal elder, Malik Ajmal, told the Jirga attended by a senior government official and military commanders. Around two dozen elders applauded Ajmal when he made the request. The drone strike, which was the second since February 20, targeted a house in Landidog, 20km west of Wana. “The house of Fazal Karim was the target and eyewitnesses say one person was killed as others were out at the time of the attack,” a tribal source told Daily Times.

However, officials put the number of persons killed in the attack at five. “We have had an exemplary peace in the areas inhabited by Ahmedzai Wazirs for which all the tribes, the political administration and army strived together. But I want to request the government through the media that it should make efforts to stop these drone strikes,” Ajmal said in the shadows of Wana Assistant Political Agent, Muhammad Shoaib and military commanders.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\09\story_9-3-2011_pg7_4

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Pakistan, Tajikistan ink bilateral pacts to strengthen ties

Mar 9, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Tajikistan on Tuesday signed bilateral agreements to enhance cooperation in the areas of food, agriculture, health and sports.

The decision was reached during wide-ranging, one-on-one, as well as delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon at the PM’s House.

The two sides, while expressing a determination to enhance friendship and partnership between the countries to “new heights” through increased cooperation in diverse fields, including trade and economy, infrastructure, communication, energy, agriculture, health and sports, inked a comprehensive joint declaration in this regard.

Later at a joint press conference, the two leaders termed the talks and the agreements as extremely “productive and future oriented” and “a step forward” to further strengthening their ties.

Gilani expressed satisfaction over the talks during which the two sides also held in-depth review of the regional and international situation. “Our two countries enjoy similarity of views on all important issues. We are determined to enhance our friendship and partnership to new heights,” he reiterated.

He said the comprehensive joint declaration inked between the two countries provided a broad ranging framework for the future direction of bilateral relations, adding, “This declaration covers all key areas of bilateral cooperation”.

The PM said that Pakistan attached high importance to advancing its brotherly relations and partnership with Tajikistan, adding, “Tajikistan is our neighbour…the two countries enjoy deep rooted bonds of history, culture, literature and traditions.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\09\story_9-3-2011_pg7_11

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Egypt court rejects Mubarak appeal of fund seizure

HAMZA HENDAWI

Mar 9, 2011

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his family against a top prosecutor’s move to seize funds that could total in the billions of dollars.

The decision clears the way for a criminal investigation and a possible trial of Egypt’s ousted leader.

Mubarak stepped down Feb. 11 at the end of 18 days of massive protests demanding his ouster after nearly 30 years in power. He, his wife, two sons and their wives have also been banned from travel abroad.

Judicial officials described the decision in closed court to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

There are no official figures on the funds held by Mubarak and his family but many believe they run into the billions, with much of it held overseas.

The officials said presiding Judge Makram Awed rejected a defence request for more time to prepare the defence and decided instead to reject the appeal. The opposition that ousted Mubarak has pushed for a criminal investigation and a possible trial for members or all of the family.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article308446.ece

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Black market for illegal African women thriving

Mar 9, 2011

RIYADH: The suspension of recruiting manpower from Indonesia has led to a thriving black market for illegal African women workers in various parts of the Kingdom.

The ban on recruiting Indonesian workers has forced several Saudi families to turn to the black market.

Several African women have publicly offered their services for a higher salary and specific requirements at workplaces, according to a report in Al-Riyadh daily.

In Riyadh, Ommu Al-Hamam district is the haven for such domestic servants.

Rackets of illegal house workers based in this district are engaged in supplying housemaids to families.

Runaway maids already dominate the local housemaid sector. Several rackets are engaged in finding work for these women, mainly of Asian origin.

Some of them work on a daily wage basis. The agents who run the market provide them with shelter, in addition to finding jobs for them.

Minister of Labour Adel Faqeeh recently announced plans to launch a national company for recruiting house workers.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article308321.ece

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Parliamentary Committee and nomination of judges

Usman Manzoor

March 09, 2011

ISLAMABAD: While some specific voices are criticizing the recent judgment of the Supreme Court in which the decision of parliamentary committee on judges' appointment has been annulled by the apex court, the legal fraternity holds that it is a judgment which is well within the parameters of the Constitution.

The prime minister after meeting with the president Supreme Court Bar Association also gave a coded message that only the parliament can amend the Constitution whereas apart from a few lawyers, legal minds are of the considered opinion that the SC judgment did not conflict with any of the amendments of the Constitution.

The parliamentary committee had turned down the names of six judges of high courts who were recommended by the judicial commission. The SC has annulled the decision of the parliamentary committee. Justice (R) Wajhiuddin Ahmad while talking to The News said that the most senior judges of the superior judiciary were engaged in the appointment of judges, therefore their recommendation could only be turned down by giving valid reasons.

He said what the Supreme Court has done is known as the power of judicial review which is not equal to an amendment in the Constitution as being portrayed by a few politicians and leaders of legal fraternity.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12294

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Oil price jump not due to shortage: Al-Naimi

KHALIL HANWARE

Mar 8, 2011 23:35

JEDDAH: World oil prices slid Tuesday as Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi said the amount of crude available on the world market was “very adequate” amid fears the Libya crisis could cause a supply shortage.

Al-Naimi reiterated Saudi commitment to meet excess demand in the world oil market but refuted suggestions that the present surge in oil prices reflected a shortage of crude in the market.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has long been committed to promoting market stability in the interest of both producers and consumers, and in support of global economic growth and development,” Al-Naimi told the Saudi Press Agency.

He said the world oil markets have been sufficiently supplied. “Saudi Arabia has an excess capacity of 3.5 million barrels a day which could help compensate any shortages. The Kingdom has access to a large number of oil storage facilities around the world,” he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article308365.ece

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Daraan family disowns dissident

Mar 8, 2011

RIYADH: The Daraan family on Tuesday disowned Muhammad bin Maeed bin Badah Al-Dossari, a Saudi dissident living abroad, and vowed its support for the Kingdom’s ruling family.

“We hereby announce that the deviant Muhammad bin Maeed is from the Daraan family, which has sacrificed their lives to unify the Kingdom under the leadership of King Abdul Aziz,” said Nasser bin Turki bin Daraan during a reception given by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah at his palace.

“Our family participated in a number of battles along with King Abdul Aziz and this renegade who has deviated from the right path is not from our family,” Daraan said, while denouncing Al-Dossari for going against the Kingdom’s rulers.

Daraan reiterated his tribe’s total support to the government and said it would fight against those who try to undermine the Kingdom’s security and stability.

Mansour Al-Salman spoke on behalf of the people of Qatif and reaffirmed their support to the king. He praised King Abdullah’s efforts to strengthen the Kingdom’s security and promote the welfare of its citizens.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed Saudi ambassadors to Egypt and Norway, Ahmed Kattan and Khaled Al-Nafeesi, took their oath of office in front of the king.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article308224.ece

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EU adds Libya sovereign fund to sanctions list

9 March 2011,

The European Union agreed on Tuesday to add the Libyan Investment Authority and several other financial organisations to its sanctions list, with the restrictions expected to come into force on Friday.

Diplomats said the EU’s 27 countries had agreed to impose sanctions on the $70 billion Libyan Investment Authority, the central bank, three other financial organisations and one individual, a former Libyan finance official. The list already covers 26 Libyans including Muammar Gaddafi and his family.

The details of the restrictions are expected to be published in the EU Official Journal — the record of all EU legislation — on Friday, when they legally come into force, diplomats said.

“The entities include the LIA and related financial institutions,” one EU diplomat said, adding the list would be finalised on Wednesday and would be “authorised” if no member state raised objections by Thursday at 1100 GMT.

The LIA was set up in 2006 with about $40 billion from Libya’s vast oil and gas income. It has expanded rapidly over the past five years with a range of investments in high-profile European assets, including banks and a defence company.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March451.xml&section=international

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Schools interpreting fee freeze order differently

9 March 2011,

Despite the recent decision by the Dubai Executive Council to freeze school fees in Dubai for the academic year 2011-12, schools which obtained approval last year are going ahead with the fee increase.

GEMS Education announced a fee increase for some of its Asian schools earlier this year, after receiving approval from the Ministry of Education, at the federal level.

“The approval for a fee increase was provided by the Ministry of Education last year (academic year?2010-11) for three years to help restructure five older Asian schools in the GEMS network. The announcement by the Executive Council not to approve fee increases is for the academic year 2011-12 and relates to schools which applied for increases this year. We are happy for any parent to contact the ministry or the KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) in order to confirm this,”  said a spokesperson from GEMS Education.

GEMS clarified that the fee increase regulations by the Dubai Executive Council were only for schools that had applied for an increase this year.

“GEMS is committed to providing quality education in the UAE. In order for all our students to reach the levels of academic success that our parents and GEMS expect, schools must be self-sustaining. A restructuring of our older Indian school fees was imperative to meet these objectives,” he said.

“These are schools which have served the community for many decades. And there are now new Indian schools which charge far more than these older schools. So, a restructuring was necessary to continue to improve the quality of education for our students, parents and faculty,” the spokesperson added.

Other schools in Dubai are supporting the decision by the executive council to keep a check on the school fees, considering the increasing cost of living.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/March/theuae_March244.xml&section=theuae

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Ivory Coast: Anti-Gbagbo protesters killed in Abidjan

8 March 2011

Four people have been shot dead in Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, after a march to protest about the killing of seven female demonstrators last week.

Journalists have seen the bodies of three men and a woman in clinic.

The shooting has been blamed on rogue army officers supporting disputed President Laurent Gbagbo.

He refuses to cede power although his rival Alassane Ouattara is internationally recognised as the winner of last year's poll.

News of the latest trouble came as the US said Mr Gbagbo's order for the government to take control of all cocoa purchases and exports "amounts to theft".

The protesters wanted to mark International Women's Day

"It is another desperate act in his campaign to cling to power," US state department spokesman PJ Crowley told journalists.

Ivory Coast is the world's biggest cocoa producer - the cocoa sector accounts for 40% of global supplies and is currently dominated by multinational companies.

Last month, Mr Ouattara called for a temporary ban on exports to try to force Mr Gbagbo from power.

The UN-backed electoral commission says Mr Ouattara won presidential elections in November, but the Constitutional Council overruled it, citing rigging in the north.

'Bullets'

The protest march in Abidjan's central Treichville district had passed off peacefully before shots were heard, journalists say.

In January, Ivory Coast was moving steadily towards the brink of civil war.

Today, it is already plunging headlong into the abyss.

A rash of menacing roadblocks has erupted across the city, set up by a confusing array of militias and soldiers who are steadily carving front lines into every neighbourhood.

Parts of this once-elegant city still seem calm, but there is a twitchy and deepening sense of insecurity everywhere.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12682492

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/taliban-blow-up-car-bomb-near-isi-office,-kill-25/d/4257


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