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Islamic World News ( 11 Jul 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Taliban claim assassination of Afghan President's brother Ahmed Wali Karzai

Judge nixes suit over mosque plan near ground zero

Young in Malaysia, Indonesia oppose polygamy

Multiple drone attacks kill 31 in Waziristan

30 dead in Yemen clashes

7 killed in Karachi violence

Israel passes law banning calls for boycott

Thailand could gain once rules on Islamic fInancIng are finalised

Chinese nurse plunges to her death in Jeddah

PM of Italy: NATO Split over Libya

Two soldiers, one police killed in Iraq attacks

Cross-border mortars kill two Pakistani women

Violence in Balochistan: Two people killed in NATO container attack

Plan for gender divide at Iran’s universities spills into political clashes

France denies direct negotiations with Libya

Libya’s wealthy use cash to take fight to Qaddafi

Egypt orders 14 Libyan TV channels off satellite

Kingdom welcomes Bahrain dialogue, formation of South Sudan

South Sudan to get new currency

India welcomes US aid suspension to Pakistan

Salman Khursheed new Law minister of India

KASHMIR: 12 yrs on, Kargil battlefield turns into polo ground

US, French embassies attacked by Syrian mob

A day after Syria starts dialogue, troops raid opposition homes

Lebanon accuses Israel of 'aggression' in its proposed sea boundary

Hindu couple ties knot outside Pak press club

Karachi violence: Collusion growing between Taliban, local criminals

No aid till Pak goes full throttle against terror: US

Muslim states need to boost cooperation, says Pak diplomat

Violence on the rise in Pakistan after Osama’s death: ICRC

Pakistan could “pull troops from Afghan border” if US cuts aid

Capable of operations sans US aid, says Pak Army

US ran fake vaccine project in hunt for bin Laden: report

Gunmen blow up Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel

Hillary Clinton says Syria's Assad has lost legitimacy

Military aid to Pakistan not feasible when trainers are being asked to leave: US

Pak must take certain steps to ensure military aid: Clinton

Attacks down, but tough fighting in Afghanistan on cards, says Petraeus

Egypt activists face Old Guard again

US forces attack Iraq Shia insurgents: Panetta

Hundreds of Afghans protest Pakistan cross-border attacks

King, Al-Arabi discuss key issues facing Arab world

Saudi housing sector growth 'fastest in Middle East'

Madinah does not require a new identity, says governor

US raises Iran rhetoric

No agreement on Israeli - Palestinian peace talks

Israel passes law banning calls for boycott

Thailand could gain once rules on IslamIc fInancIng are finalised

Dubai Police get tough on beggars

Jordan’s accession to GCC to enhance trade

Egypt protesters reject PM offer of cabinet reshuffle

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/taliban-claim-assassination-of-afghan-president-s-brother-ahmed-wali-karzai/d/5006

 

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Taliban claim assassination of Afghan President's brother Ahmed Wali Karzai

Jul 12, 2011

KABUL: The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assassination of President Hamid Karzai's younger brother on Tuesday, calling it "one of our biggest achievements" in nearly a decade of war.

Taliban spokesman Usuf Ahmadi told AFP by telephone that the group had recently assigned a gunman to kill Ahmed Wali Karzai, a hugely powerful and controversial figure in the Afghan south.

Initial details were sketchy, but a family friend, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Wali Karzai had been killed by a bodyguard while entertaining guests at home.

"We can confirm he has been martyred," Kandahar provincial government spokesman Zalmay Ayubi said, providing no further details.

A health official, also speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said Wali Karzai had been shot dead.

The assassination came as Afghan President Hamid Karzai was to hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, on a surprise visit to Afghanistan where he announced that Paris would recall 1,000 soldiers by the end of next year.

Wali Karzai, head of Kandahar's provincial council, was long a deeply controversial figure in Afghanistan, dogged by allegations of unsavoury links to Afghanistan's lucrative opium trade and private security firms.

American documents leaked by Internet whistleblower WikiLeaks late last year also painted him as a corrupt drugs baron, but Western officials always kept quiet in public on the president's younger half brother's tainted record.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Taliban-claim-assassination-of-Afghan-Presidents-brother-Wali-Karzai/articleshow/9196531.cms

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Judge nixes suit over mosque plan near ground zero

Jul 12 2011

New York: A judge has tossed out a lawsuit aimed at stopping a proposed mosque about two blocks from ground zero.

The American Center for Law and Justice said Monday it plans to appeal the ruling. The conservative legal group filed the lawsuit on behalf of former firefighter Timothy Brown.

The suit challenged the city Landmarks Preservation Commission's decision to let a building be torn down to make way for the mosque. A judge ruled Friday that Brown didn't meet legal criteria to sue over such decisions.

City lawyers say they appreciate Brown's heroism in responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center , but that wasn't a basis for him to sue.

“The mosque is still in planning stages”, said the developer's lawyer, hailing the court decision as “a victory for America.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/816353/

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Poll: Young in Malaysia, Indonesia oppose polygamy

Sean Yoong

07/12/2011

The vast majority of young Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia appear to disapprove of the traditional acceptance of polygamy but remain reluctant to openly support interfaith marriages or premarital sex, a new survey shows.

In the survey coordinated by two German-based cultural organizations, 86.5 percent of 1,496 Indonesians interviewed and 72.7 percent of 1,060 Malaysians said they were against polygamy. More females opposed polygamy compared to males, who are permitted four wives under Islamic law.

The findings indicate that opinions among the young in both Muslim-majority nations "have shifted from the traditional viewpoint that sees polygamy as an Islamic precept," according to a survey summary released Monday by the Goeth-Institut and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

The all-Muslim respondents who participated in face-to-face interviews last October and November were from 15 to 25 years old.

Indonesia and Malaysia have Southeast Asia's largest Muslim populations, and polygamy has become widely debated in both countries in recent years. Women's groups say many men who enter polygamous marriages neglect their existing wives and children financially and emotionally.

Activists estimate polygamous unions in Malaysia account for about 5 percent of new marriages. The practice is thought to be more widespread in Indonesia, but many marriages are performed secretly at mosques and are not recorded by the state.

Supporters of polygamy have recently set up clubs in both Malaysia and Indonesia, encouraging women to be totally obedient to their husbands and insisting the practice can solve social problems such as prostitution.

The rejection of polygamy among respondents in the survey was "remarkable considering otherwise overwhelmingly favorable attitudes toward social and religious conservatism," the summary's authors wrote.

Ninety-two percent of the Indonesian respondents and 62 percent of the Malaysians said they were unwilling to wed someone from a different religion, the summary said.

"Even if they are willing to marry a spouse of a different faith, they wish for them to convert to Islam," it said.

Only 1.4 percent of the Indonesians and 1.6 percent of the Malaysians polled said premarital sex was acceptable.

Researchers from Malaysia's Merdeka Center for Opinion Research and Indonesia's Lembaga Survei asked respondents about wide-ranging issues such as politics, their lifestyles and ambitions.

The Malaysian poll had a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, while the Indonesian error margin was 2.6 percentage points, Kuala Lumpur-based researcher Ibrahim Suffian said Tuesday.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/07/12/poll-young-malaysia-indonesia-oppose-polygamy.html

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Multiple drone attacks kill 31 in Waziristan

Jul 12, 2011

WANA: Thirty-one persons were killed when US drones fired multiple missiles in North and South Waziristan Tuesday, Geo News reported. The attacks killed 31 persons while injured fifteen others in the past eleven hours. Among injured, ten are in critical condition.

According to tribal sources, a US drone fired two missiles at a van in Dattakhel tehsil of North Waziristan Agency while eight missiles on a house that killed twenty-five people and injured ten on Monday. All the injured are in critical condition, sources said.

Sources said five persons, whose identity could not be ascertained, were heading towards the Pak-Afghan border in the Borvaika area in Dattakhel tehsil around 9:pm when the CIA-operated drone fired missiles at their vehicle. All five were killed on the spot.

Several media organisations reported that 10 people were killed in the drone attack while reports from the area said only the five people seated in the vehicle were killed in the strike. Government officials confirmed the incident but expressed ignorance about the identity of the slain persons.

The other attack took place in the border area of Barmal in South Waziristan where a US drone fired two missiles on a vehicle, killing six persons and injuring five others. However, the toll is expected to rise.

Subsequent reports suggested US drones continued to fly in the area after attacking the vehicle. This delayed rescue efforts after the strike and created fear among people in the area.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=18564&title=Multiple-drone-attacks-kill-31-in-Waziristan

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30 dead in Yemen clashes

By SAEED AL-BATATI

Jul 12, 2011

SANAA: More than thirty people have been killed in four days of fighting between Al-Huthi rebels and opposition tribes in Al-Jawaf province, northern Yemen. The fighting has left hundreds injured and thousands of people displaced, a local tribal leader told Arab News on Monday.

Ali Saleh Bin Shateah, who is also a former MP, said that Al-Huthi rebels tried to exploit the security lapses in the country to take control of the province. Ali accused the government of supporting the rebels.

"By backing Al-Huthi rebels, the regime wants to humiliate the tribes that supported the revolution."

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470223.ece

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7 killed in Karachi violence

By Atif Raza

KARACHI: Around seven people were killed, many others were injured and 10 were abducted from different areas of the provincial capital on Monday, as unrest stemming from lawlessness continued unabated. Residents of Lyari, belonging to the Kachi community, clashed with rival Lyari gangsters in various areas of the city.

Gunfight left three people dead and scores of others wounded, while the office of Kachi Rabita Council (KRC) and MQM were ransacked and set on fire.

Areas in Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Old Sabzi Mandi also remained tense. Old areas in the city, including Kharadar, Mithadar, Rancho Line, Agra Taj, Ranchore Line, Eidgah and various other localities remained tense, as intense firing between members of the Kachi community and Lyari gangsters suspended routine life, while police and Rangers were unable have an access to the affected areas. Police spotted a bullet-riddled dead body near the KMC. The deceased was identified as Abdul Sattar, resident of Sango Lane Kalakot.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\12\story_12-7-2011_pg1_5

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Israel passes law banning calls for boycott

July 12, 2011

The Israeli parliament has passed a controversial law that will punish any Israeli individual or organisation boycotting West Bank settlements.

Israeli left wing activists hold signs as they demonstrate against the suggested "boycott law", in front of the Justice ministry in east Jerusalem. afp PHOTO

The Knesset passed Monday a law penalizing persons or organizations that boycott Israel or the settlements, by a vote of 47 to 38.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not present during the vote. According to Haaretz, MK Zeev Elkin (Likud), who proposed the law, said the law is not meant to silence people, but "to protect the citizens of Israel."

According to the law, a person or an organization calling for the boycott of Israel, including the settlements, can be sued by the boycott's targets without having to prove that they sustained damage. The court will then decide how much compensation is to be paid. The second part of the law says a person or a company that declare a boycott of Israel or the settlements will not be able to bid in government tenders.

MK Nitzan Horowitz from Meretz blasted the law, calling it outrageous and shameful. "We are dealing with a legislation that is an embarrassment to Israeli democracy and makes people around the world wonder if there is actually a democracy here," he said. Ilan Gilon, another Meretz MK, said the law would further delegitimize Israel.

Kadima opposition party spokesman said the Netanyahu government is damaging Israel. "Netanyahu has crossed a red line of political foolishness today and national irresponsibility, knowing the meaning of the law and it's severity, while giving in to the extreme right that is taking over the Likkud."

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=israel-passes-law-banning-calls-for-boycott-2011-07-12

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Thailand could gain once rules on Islamic financing are finalised

By SEETALAVAJIT SABAYJAI

July 11, 2011

Thailand could be increasingly driven by cross-border trade and investment through Islamic financing while its corporations could opt for Shariah-compliant bonds, or sukuk, for fund-raising in the international market once all laws and regulations are ready, according to Standard Chartered Bank.

"If the governing rules and regulations for Islamic financing like sukuk are put in place [in Thailand], then investors from the Middle East or Malaysia who want to invest according to Islamic principles may come and look at Thailand as a potential investment opportunity," Ahsan Ali, Dubai-based global head of Islamic origination, said last week.

The Securities and Exchange Commission agreed to amend a law allowing for the sale of and trade in Islamic bonds. The draft bill is being prepared by the Council of State for forwarding to the incoming Cabinet for approval.

Investors mainly from the Middle East have expressed greater interest in Asia, which has witnessed growing trade and investment with the Arab world.

"This opens up an opportunity for Thailand and creates flows from other countries and investors searching for Shariah-compliant products," Ali said.

Islamic financing is growing even in non-Muslim countries, ensuring that they do not lose out on this opportunity to get access to the credit, prices and yields of sukuk.

Global sales of sukuk, which pay asset returns to comply with Islam's ban on interest, totalled US$13.2 billion this year compared with $6.6 billion a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg as of July 5.

Full report at:

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/Thailand-could-gain-once-rules-on-IslamIc-fInancIn-30159946.html

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Chinese nurse plunges to her death in Jeddah

By SULTAN AL-TAMIMI

Jul 12, 2011

JEDDAH: A 25-year-old Chinese nurse working at a local private hospital in Jeddah committed suicide by jumping from a seven-floor housing complex in Sharafiyah district, police said on Monday. Preliminary investigations ruled the death as suicide.

“No signs of violence or resistance were revealed in the autopsy report conducted on the woman’s body,” First Lt. Nawaf Al-Bouq, spokesman for Jeddah police, told Arab News.

“Jeddah police, the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Jeddah Health Bureau along with the Investigation and Prosecution Department are looking for more clues to uncover the reasons that could have led to her death.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article470299.ece

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PM of Italy: NATO Split Over Libya

July 12, 2011

TRIPOLI (mathaba) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday he was against NATO intervention in Libya but had to go along with it, an admission that he had been pressured because of closet skeletons regarding corruption and sexual improprieties, exposing the fragility of the alliance trying to murder Muammar Qaddafi.

Muammar Qaddafi, leader of the International Green March of the Worldwide Revolutionary Committees Movement, who holds no government decision-making position within Libya, resigned from government after handing power to the people on March 2nd, 1977 after less than 8 years in power, having seized it from a corrupt Italian-installed king on 1st September 1969.

In recent years, Muammar, whose supporters say he can never be killed as he resides within the hearts of countless millions of downtrodden in the world, was also crowned King of Kings of Africa by hundreds of traditional leaders, because of his service to Africa where he successfully campaigned for the creation of a Great African Union as a step toward the United States of Africa.

The current war in Libya was hatched by an outside conspiracy hatched between England and France, in a decision taken to murder the revolutionary leader due to his speech given at the United Nations in New York on 23rd September 2009, in which he called for the UN to be democratized and moved to another location, as well as for the so-called Security Council to be abolished.

Full report at:

http://mathaba.net/news/?x=627496

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Two soldiers, one police killed in Iraq attacks

12 July 2011

BAGHDAD — Assailants armed with bombs and firearms killed two soldiers and one policeman in northern Iraq on Monday, police said.

In the city of Mosul, unknown gunmen shot and killed two soldiers at a checkpoint, they said.

In Baiji, north of Baghdad, police Lieutenant-Colonel Salam Juma was killed by a magnetic “sticky bomb” that attaches to vehicles.

Meanwhile, in Tuz Khurmatu 12 people were wounded, among them policemen, according to city mayor Shalal Abed Wali.

The violence comes after June was the deadliest month so far this year for the number of Iraqis killed, and the bloodiest in three years for US forces, who lost 14 soldiers in attacks.

Last month, 271 Iraqis died in attacks, among them 155 civilians, 77 policemen and 39 soldiers, according to a government count.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July262.xml&section=middleeast

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Cross-border mortars kill two Pakistani women

Jul 12, 2011

KHAR: Two mortar shells fired from across the border in Afghanistan slammed into a Pakistani house on Tuesday, killing at least two women and wounding 12 other people, officials said.

It was the latest in a series of deadly cross-border incidents that have raised tensions between the neighbouring countries, but it was not immediately clear who fired the shells.

The mortar rounds exploded in Gabri village, 60 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Khar, the main town of restive Bajaur tribal district.

“Two women were killed and 12 other people were wounded when mortar shells fired from across the border fell into a house,” local administration official Syed Nasim Shah told AFP.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/12/cross-border-mortars-kill-two-pakistani-women.html

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Violence in Balochistan: Two people killed in NATO container attack

By Shehzad Baloch

July 12, 2011

QUETTA: Gunmen killed two drivers of a Nato container carrying military hardware in a suburb of Quetta on Monday. The vehicle was en route to Afghanistan to deliver the hardware to Nato forces.

The six assailants who were on a motorbike opened indiscriminate fire on the container, said a station officer at the new Saryab police station. They then set it on fire and fled.

Police and other law enforcement agencies rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area.

The bodies of the drivers who had bullet wounds as well as burn injuries were taken to a nearby hospital.

Attacks on Nato suppliers in and around Quetta have increased in recent days, during which six Nato container and oil tankers have been torched.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/207791/violence-in-balochistan-two-people-killed-in-nato-container-attack/

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Plan for gender divide at Iran’s universities spills into political clashes

July 12, 2011

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s political power struggles have brought no shortage of cutthroat intrigue with careers ruined, government officials arrested and even accusations of black magic. And now this — firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the voice of liberal dissent.

That’s the latest twist in the showdown between Ahmadinejad and Iran’s ruling clerics. Ahmadinejad — reviled by the opposition as a figurehead of hard-line rule — is now temporarily in the reformists’ corner by opposing plans to segregate male and female students at Iranian universities.

“It is necessary to swiftly prevent these backward, shallow-minded actions,” Ahmadinejad wrote in an order earlier this week addressed to members of his Cabinet.

It also nudged the political dramas further into territory that’s surprising even by Iran’s roughneck standards, where potshots and bitter quarrels are common fare in parliament and elsewhere. This time, the battle is Ahmadinejad versus the theocracy that once backed him.

For months, the ruling Islamic system has increasingly chipped away at Ahmadinejad’s power base. His perceived offense: Trying to expand the powers of the presidency to set policies and pick key government posts.

Dozens of the president’s allies have been detained since April, including four senior government officials last month. Some critics also accuse Ahmadinejad’s chief aide, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, of leading a “deviant current” that seeks to undermine Islamic rule and even conjuring up magic spells to cloud the president’s mind.

Last week, Ahmadinejad lashed back, calling the arrests a “politically motivated” attack on his government.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/plan-for-gender-divide-at-irans-universities-spills-into-irans-political-clashes/2011/07/10/gIQADnoH7H_story.html

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France denies direct negotiations with Libya

July 11, 2011

France has made indirect contact with Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi’s regime

In this file photo, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, speaks to the media at a press conference in a hotel in Tripoli, Libya.

France has made indirect contact with Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, the foreign ministry said Monday, denying reports that Paris has begun direct negotiations with Tripoli.

Paris is a leading member of the NATO-led international coalition bombing Gadhafi’s forces and a cheerleader for the rebel National Transitional Council, or NTC battling to overthrow his rule. “France has always said it wants a political solution. There are no direct negotiations between France and Gadhafi’s regime, but we pass it messages in liaison with the NTC and our allies,” spokesman Bernard Valero said. “These messages are simple and without ambiguity: any political solution must begin with Gadhafi’s withdrawal from power and abandonment of any political role,” he added.

France was reacting after Gadhafi’s son Seif Al-Islam was quoted in Algerian daily El-Khabar boasting that the regime is negotiating a way out of the Libyan crisis with France not with its rebel foes, He said Tripoli had received a “clear message” from Paris through a special envoy who met with the French president.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=france-denies-direct-negotiations-with-libya-2011-07-11

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Libya’s wealthy use cash to take fight to Qaddafi

By NICK CAREY

Jul 12, 2011

MISRATA: When the battle for Misrata began in late February, Mahmoud Mohammed Askutri started out with a Kalashnikov rifle and four bullets.

Standing alongside his former schoolteacher, who was armed with a sharpened piece of metal, Askutri spotted and shot a soldier loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

He took the dead soldier’s Kalashnikov and bullets, thereby adding much-needed firepower at a time when most Libyans participating in the uprising against Qaddafi were fighting with knives, petrol bombs and hunting rifles.

In the subsequent months, Askutri, a local businessman who owns a construction company, has formed the rebel 1st battalion of the Al Marsa regiment, which he funds and supplies with weapons and ammunition bought on the black market.

While Libya’s third-largest city was under siege, he raised money, including a donation of a kilogram and a half of gold his mother had been saving up since 1998 to build a mosque, to help bring a first shipment of weapons to ammunition here.

Misrata has traditionally been one of Libya’s biggest centers of commerce and industry, and businessmen like Askutri are now using their wealth — once invested in palatial homes and business empires — to finance the fight to end Qaddafi’s 41-year rule.

“The young men on the front line are not fighting for money or power,” said Askutri, speaking at his former summer house, which now serves as the 1st battalion’s command center. “They are doing this for dignity and freedom.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470216.ece

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Egypt orders 14 Libyan TV channels off satellite

Jul 12, 2011

CAIRO: Egypt's state news agency says a court has ordered the state-owned satellite operator Nilesat to take 14 Libyan TV stations off the air.

The court decision Monday follows a lawsuit by Libyan citizens and Egyptian lawyers who said the stations owned by the regime of Moammar Gadhafi incite against the rebels fighting to topple the leader, in power for 42 years. The stations are off the air until they can find another satellite to beam them.

Libya's rebels have launched their homegrown satellite TV station in May to counter the regime's powerful media machine, which depicts the opposition as terrorists and drums up patriotic fervor by beaming images of burning buildings hit by NATO airstrikes.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470219.ece

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Kingdom welcomes Bahrain dialogue, formation of South Sudan

Jul 12, 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Monday welcomed the founding of the new Republic of South Sudan and commended efforts of the Bahraini leadership to start a national dialogue in the Gulf country.

“This will contribute to the stability and security in that region besides realizing the aspirations of the Sudanese people,” the Council of Ministers said in a weekly meeting chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.

“Expressing relief at the return of security and stability to Bahrain, the council welcomed the national dialogue initiative in Bahrain and King Hamad’s decision to form a committee to conduct independent investigations into recent incidents there,” Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency after the meeting.

While commending the steps taken to introduce reforms in Bahrain, the council reiterated its rejection of any external intervention that would harm the interests of Bahrain, attempts to tamper with the security of Gulf countries and to stir up trouble there, Khoja said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article470296.ece

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South Sudan to get new currency

12 July 2011

JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan has formed a caretaker government for the new nation, and announced it will use a new currency that features the image of the deceased founder of the nation’s liberation struggle.

South Sudan became an independent country Saturday, breaking away from Sudan after more than 50 years of on-and-off war.

The country’s finance minister, David Deng Athorbie, said Monday the new currency would be called the South Sudan pound and will replace the Sudan pound currently in use. It is scheduled to arrive by cargo plane beginning Wednesday and will go into circulation next Monday. It will have a one-to-one value with the Sudan pound.

The image of Dr. John Garang, the deceased rebel leader, will adorn one side of the bills. The other sides would show images of South Sudan’s culture and wealth, Athorbie said. The bills will have watermarks and other security measures.

‘I must warn those people who usually print fake currency, if they attempt it they will almost certainly be caught,’ Athorbie said.

Impromptu street parties broke out early Saturday when the oil-rich country became independent. World leaders flocked to Juba to join tens of thousands of southerners at a 10-hour ceremony held in blistering heat. On Sunday, churches were packed as southerners listened to sermons about promoting peace and unity among the country’s diverse tribes.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July578.xml&section=international&col=

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India welcomes US aid suspension to Pakistan

Jul 12, 2011

NEW DELHI: The news about US suspending military aid worth $800 million to Pakistan was greeted with understandable excitement in India with foreign minister S M Krishna saying that New Delhi welcomed this development. Krishna suggested that arming Pakistan further could only disturb the "equilibrium" in the region.

"With reference to the special circumstances between India and Pakistan and how India has consistently taken the view that it is not desirable that this region had to be heavily armed by the US which will upset the equilibrium in the region itself. To that extent India welcomes this step," Krishna said.

Krishna was quick to add though that the US should also take note of the fact that India was doing all it could to normalize relations with Pakistan. "Simultaneously, the US must take note of the fact that we are working in a very committed manner to normalise our relations with Pakistan to reduce trust deficit, and efforts are on," he added.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Krishna-welcomes-US-aid-suspension-to-Pakistan/articleshow/9191429.cms

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Salman Khursheed new Law minister of India

By Neha Chauhan

12 July 2011

Khursheed: Law in safe hands?Salman Khursheed has replaced Veerappa Moily as the new law minister with Moily taking on the corporate affairs portfolio in the second cabinet reshuffle just announced by prime minister Manmohan Singh-led UPA government this year.

Khursheed told NDTV that the appointment was a great honour although it was a “very very tough job” he had been given which he was very determined about. He added that the cabinet had to work very hard for two years to get re-elected with a bright leadership.

The oath of office and secrecy shall be administered by the President of India at 5pm today to Khursheed and others with the four most important ministries finance, defence, home and external affairs remaining unchanged, according to a press release from the PIB.

Full report at:

http://www.legallyindia.com/201107122205/News/breaking-salman-kursheed-wins-law-ministry-from-moily

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KASHMIR: 12 yrs on, Kargil battlefield turns into polo ground

Jul 12, 2011

AZHAR QADRI DRASS (KASHMIR): From being a war zone 12 years ago, the sparsely populated town of Drass in Kargil district has recovered from the battle scars.

The road to Drass goes through god's forgotten lands — there is silence and wilderness for miles and an unending number of peaks. In 1999, an Indian war machine was mobilized and crawled through these mountainous roads to reach Drass, a seven-hour journey from Srinagar. It was then, a battle to take control of Tiger Hill and Tololing Hill where Pakistani forces had barricaded themselves and were shelling NH-1D in an attempt to cut off the Ladakh region.

The Army celebrates the 12th anniversary of its victory on July 26 and Drass is no longer a ghost town as the battlefields are now hosting polo matches. Crowds, which have come from all across Drass, cheer with energy as horses gallop in a dusty field and players on horsebacks hit the ball.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/12-yrs-on-Kargil-battlefield-turns-into-polo-ground/articleshow/9192675.cms

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US, French embassies attacked by Syrian mob

Jul 12 2011

Beirut: Syrian government supporters smashed windows at the US embassy in Damascus on Monday, raised a Syrian flag and scrawled graffiti calling the US ambassador a “dog” in anger over the envoy’s visit to an opposition stronghold, witnesses said.

French embassy guards in the Syrian capital fired in the air to hold back loyalists of President Bashar Assad’s regime who also attacked that compound to protest the French ambassador’s visit last week to the same restive city, Hama, in central Syria. Protesters smashed embassy windows and shattered the windshield of a diplomatic SUV outside the compound. The French Foreign Ministry said three embassy workers were injured.

“The people want to kick out the dog,” read graffiti written on the wall of the US embassy, along with another line cursing America. Assad’s regime called the French and American ambassadors’ visits to Hama last week interference in the country’s internal affairs and accused the envoys of undermining Syria’s stability.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/816063/

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A day after Syria starts dialogue, troops raid opposition homes

By KHALED YACOUB OWEIS

Jul 12, 2011

AMMAN: Syrian forces killed at least one civilian and injured 20 in Homs on Monday during the heaviest raids on the city since troops deployed there two months ago to crush dissent against President Bashar Al-Assad, residents said.

AMMAN, July 11 : Syrian forces killed at least one civilian and injured 20 in Homs on Monday during the heaviest raids on the city since troops deployed there two months ago to crush dissent against President Bashar Al-Assad, residents said.

The armor and tank-backed assaults on Homs, Syria’s third largest city and hometown of Assad’s wife Asma, came a day after the authorities held a “national dialogue” meeting boycotted by the opposition, who described it as lacking credibility.

“Military raids and house to house arrests have become routine after protests, but this time they did not stop shooting all night in the main neighborhoods,” said a resident of the Bab Sbaa district, a lecturer who gave his name as Iyad.

Among hundreds of people arrested in Homs last week was Jalal Al-Najjar, a prominent neurosurgeon, he added.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470039.ece

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Lebanon accuses Israel of 'aggression' in its proposed sea boundary

Jul 12, 2011

BEIRUT: Lebanon responded angrily Monday to Israel's proposed maritime boundary, calling it an act of "aggression," as a dispute builds over huge natural gas and oil reserves beneath the sea.

Lebanon has submitted its own sea boundary proposal to the UN, and Israel's Cabinet on Sunday approved a conflicting proposal that it is to send to the world body.

The two enemy countries are staking claims for a demarcation line in the Mediterranean Sea, where significant energy reserves have been found in recent years. Israel recently discovered two gas fields off its coast, and energy companies believe other reserves could be found there.

Israeli officials said the government felt compelled to set a proposed boundary after Lebanon submitted its own proposal to the UN Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that Lebanon's proposal would place the border "significantly south" of Israel's line.

President Michel Suleiman warned Monday against unilateral decisions, saying Lebanon is ready and has the right to defend its borders and resources using every "available and legal" means.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470199.ece

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Hindu couple ties knot outside Pak press club

Jul 11 2011

Islamabad: A Hindu couple tied knot without any pomp and ceremony outside a press club in southern Pakistan to protest the lack of law for registering the marriages of the minority community.

Mukhesh and Padma walked around a ceremonial fire seven times outside the press club in Hyderabad, the second largest city in Sindh province.

The ceremony was devoid of the "pomp and splendour which is the essence of traditional Hindu weddings" as the couple wanted to highlight the minority community's demand for laws that register their marriages, 'The Express Tribune' reported.

"Since 1947, Hindu couples have not been legally accepted as husband and wife," said Guru Sukh Dev, who solemnised the wedding.

"Consequently, many domestic, social and psychological problems arise for Hindu families, especially for the women," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/815896/

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Karachi violence: Collusion growing between Taliban, local criminals

By Zia Khan

July 12, 2011

ISLAMABAD: A counter-terrorism official on Monday sounded the alarm on the growing level of coordination among two dozen or so extremist groups, including the Taliban and local criminal elements in Karachi, which has seen an upsurge in political violence.

 “They [Taliban groups] are becoming well-coordinated amongst themselves and amongst local criminals. Sometimes we fear their connectivity is as effective as it is in the tribal areas. It is a very grim situation,” said the official, who deals with the anti-extremism wing of the secret police.

The revelation on Monday came amid a renewed wave of violence in Karachi which has so far claimed several dozen lives in less than a week.

However, the official from the Crime Investigation Department (CID) added that there was no evidence of the Taliban’s involvement in the upsurge in targeted killings, saying it was more for political reasons than anything else.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/207849/karachi-violence-collusion-growing-between-taliban-local-criminals/

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No aid till Pak goes full throttle against terror: US

Jul 12 2011

Washington: The US would continue to hold back its military aid to Pakistan till the time Islamabad goes full throttle in the war against terror, the Pentagon said.

"(The delay is) directly tied to those decisions by the Pakistani military to curtail training and to not grant visas for some of the US personnel that we need to get in. If those things change, then this aid will change as well," Pentagon spokesperson Col Dave Lapan said, a day after the US decided to suspend its $800-million military aid.

Lapan said the delay of the military aid to Pakistan was a combination of equipment and reimbursement for Pakistani military operations under the US Coalition Support Funds program.

The aid amount is about one-third of the total US military aid to Pakistan this year.

While the full list of delayed aid items was being classified, he said "it includes explosive ordnance disposal support and apparatus, small arms, ammunition, helicopter spare parts, radios and equipment to counter explosive devices."

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/816345/

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Muslim states need to boost cooperation, says Pak diplomat

Jul 12, 2011

JEDDAH: Pakistan’s Consul General Abdul Salik Khan stressed the need for more cooperation among Muslim countries for the economic prosperity of the Ummah.

He said this during a meeting with Secretary-General of the Muslim World League Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki in Jeddah on Monday.

The consul general said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed close fraternal relations that have stood the test of time. He said the two countries were strategic partners who shared a common vision.

“Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are a source of strength for each other,” he added.

He said Saudi Arabia has always helped Pakistan during difficult times and expressed appreciation for the country’s leadership and its people.

He commended the role of the Muslim World League for promoting unity among the Ummah and supporting Pakistan at international forums.

Al-Turki said Pakistan was an important country for the Muslim Ummah and expressed hope that the challenges the nation was facing would be resolved soon.

He also underlined the need for more unity amongst Muslim countries.

The secretary-general also prayed for the stability and prosperity of Pakistan.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article470305.ece

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Violence on the rise in Pakistan after Osama’s death: ICRC

July 12, 2011

GENEVA: Casualties from violence across Pakistan since the US killing of Osama bin Laden in May have soared, with many more maimed and injured people going to humanitarian clinics, the ICRC said on Monday.

Pascal Cuttat, outgoing head of operations in the country for the Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross, told reporters another effect of bin Laden’s death was an increased suspicion of foreigners, including aid workers.

“Violence has increased considerably since bin Laden was killed, and has spread into urban areas,” said Cuttat. “We are seeing increasing numbers coming into our medical and orthopaedic centres, more than we have seen for many years.

The al Qaeda leader was shot in May by US Navy Seals who landed by helicopter at his secret compound in Abbotabad, north of Karachi.

Pakistan has complained that the operation was a violation of its sovereignty and relations between the two long-time allies have nose-dived. The United States has suspended a third of its military aid to Islamabad. Cuttat, who spent three years overseeing ICRC operations in Pakistan, where the humanitarian body has been present for more than half a century, said he did not see much change in the current climate in the foreseeable future. reuters

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\12\story_12-7-2011_pg1_6

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Pakistan could “pull troops from Afghan border” if US cuts aid

Jul 12, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan could pull back troops fighting militants near the Afghan border if the United States cuts off aid, the defence minister said on Tuesday in an interview with Pakistani media.

The United States on Monday said it would hold back $800 million — a third of nearly $2 billion in security aid to Pakistan — in a show of displeasure over Pakistan’s removal of US military trainers, limits on visas for US personnel and other bilateral irritants.

“If at all things become difficult, we will just get all our forces back,” Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said in an interview with a local news channel to be aired later on Tuesday.

The television aired excerpts of the interview on Tuesday.

“If Americans refuse to give us money, then okay,” he said. “I think the next step is that the government or the armed forces will be moving from the border areas. We cannot afford to keep military out in the mountains for such a long period.”

In Pakistan, the defense minister is relatively powerless.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/12/pakistan-could-%E2%80%9Cpull-troops-from-afghan-border%E2%80%9D-if-us-cuts-aid.html

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Capable of operations sans US aid, says Pak Army

July 12, 2011

Putting up a brave front after the US withdrew $800 million dollar military aid to it, Pakistan army on Monday claimed it would continue to conduct operations without American assistance.

“We have no comments” on the move, said a spokesman for the Pakistani military in response to the reports, claiming, that US had suspended aid to Pak military. “We have not received any official intimation or correspondence on the matter.”

The Pakistan Army, “in the past as well as at present, has conducted successful military operations using its own resources without any external support whatsoever,” the spokesman said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/352401/Capable-of-operations-sans-US-aid-says-Pak-Army.html

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US ran fake vaccine project in hunt for bin Laden: report

Jul 12 2011

LONDON: US intelligence launched a fake vaccination drive in the Pakistan town where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an effort to gather DNA from members of his family, the Guardian reported Tuesday.

CIA officials recruited a senior local doctor to organise the campaign after it tracked down a bin Laden courier to what turned out to be the Al-Qaeda fugitive's compound in the town of Abbottabad, the British newspaper said.

Before launching the high-risk operation against bin Laden, US officials wanted to test DNA samples from people living at the compound with a sample that they had from his sister.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=18562&title=US-ran-fake-vaccine-project-in-hunt-for-bin-Laden:-report

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Gunmen blow up Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel

Jul 12, 2011

EL-ARISH: Masked gunmen blew up a terminal of the Egyptian natural gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan in a predawn attack on Tuesday, security officials said.

The officials said the attack was carried out by at least four assailants. The terminal is located in the city of El-Arish in the northern part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of the Israeli border.

The attackers ordered the guards on duty to leave and then blew up the terminal, starting a huge fire that sent flames shooting into the air that lit up the night sky, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

There were no casualties, they said.

It was the second attack on the pipeline in as many weeks and the fourth since an 18-day uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak's regime on Feb. 11.

No one claimed responsibility for Tuesday's explosion but disgruntled Bedouin tribesmen in the area have been blamed for attacking the pipeline in the past. Islamists opposed to Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel have also been suspected.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gunmen-blow-up-Egyptian-gas-pipeline-to-Israel/articleshow/9193569.cms

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Hillary Clinton says Syria's Assad has lost legitimacy

Jul 12, 2011

WASHINGTON: Secretary of state Hillary Clinton hit back on Monday after Syrian "thugs" besieged the US embassy in Damascus, saying President Bashar Al-Assad was "not indispensable" and had "lost legitimacy."

Syria's charge d'affaires was summoned to the foreign ministry in Washington to explain the Assad regime's "outrageous" failure to meet its international obligations to protect foreign embassies.

"President Assad is not indispensable and we have absolutely nothing invested in him... remaining in power," Clinton said. "From our perspective, he has lost legitimacy. Our goal is to see that the will of the Syrian people for a democratic transformation occurs."

Angry mobs besieged the US and French embassies on Monday in apparent retaliation for alleged interference in Syrian affairs by the countries' ambassadors, who last week traveled to the flashpoint protest city of Hama.

Tensions have been escalating sharply between Damascus and Washington over the Syrian government's fierce response to pro-democracy protests. Activists say 1,300 civilians have been killed and 12,000 arrested since mid-March.

US officials have accused Assad's regime of orchestrating protests at foreign embassies for propaganda purposes and to punish the French and American ambassadors for visiting Hama.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Hillary-Clinton-says-Syrias-Assad-has-lost-legitimacy/articleshow/9192334.cms

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Military aid to Pakistan not feasible when trainers are being asked to leave: US

Jul 12, 2011

WASHINGTON: The US on Monday said it could not have continued with certain categories of military aid to Pakistan at a time when American trainers, who deliver on the assistance, were being asked to leave the country, justifying its decision to discontinue USD 800 million in aid.

The Obama administration, however, asserted that there was no change in its civilian aid to Pakistan.

"With regard to US military assistance to Pakistan, in certain categories, those categories where we need our trainers to be in-country in order to deliver and train on the assistance, we obviously can't do that in an environment where Pakistan has asked our trainers to go," State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Military-aid-to-Pakistan-not-feasible-when-trainers-are-being-asked-to-leave-US/articleshow/9191740.cms

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Pak must take certain steps to ensure military aid: Clinton

Jul 12, 2011

AP European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton listens (left) as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaks to the media at the State Department in Washington, on Monday.

Pakistan must take certain steps which the U.S. has often “outlined” to ensure the delivery of American military assistance to Islamabad, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

“The government of Pakistan must take certain steps, and we have outlined those steps on more than one occasion, to ensure that we can deliver all the military assistance that the United States has discussed with Pakistan,” Ms. Clinton told reporters at a joint press conference with the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2220636.ece

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Attacks down, but tough fighting in Afghanistan on cards, says Petraeus

July 12, 2011

S Rajagopalan

The US’s top commander Gen David Petraeus, who leaves Afghanistan shortly to take over as CIA director, says the insurgency attacks are clearly down this summer, but predicts tough fighting over the next 15 months by which time 33,000 American troops are scheduled to be withdrawn.

“It’s very hard, but it’s doable,” Petraeus said in an interview to the New York Times. Reflecting on the drop in attacks from May onwards in comparison to the same period last year, he felt the trend showed that the capacity of the militants has been “degraded somewhat”.

But he made it clear that the US forces would still need to consolidate their gains in southern Afghanistan even while pushing into Taliban strongholds in northern Helmand Province, projected as one of the deadliest battlegrounds and the main source of opium crop.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/352398/Attacks-down-but-tough-fighting-in-Afghanistan-on-cards-says-Petraeus.html

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Egypt activists face Old Guard again

Jul 11 2011

Cairo: After the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, a group of young activists quickly moved to bring the can-do spirit of Egypt's revolution to the level of their neighborhoods.

They began installing electricity poles in Mit Oqba's dim streets. They got gas pipes extended to the area. They did what local officials had long promised but never done, with the aim of showing 300,000 low-income residents the benefits of an uprising meant to end the corruption and stagnation under Mubarak.

Then the activists' parents received warnings: Your children are going to get beaten up by thugs.

An official who helped them get papers signed for extending the gas pipes was suddenly transferred to another post.

The activists have run into a collision course with powerful local members of the former ruling party. It was a lesson about the new Egypt: The old regime is still in place and fighting change.

“The regime is not just Mubarak and his ministers. There are thousands still benefiting,'' said Mohammed Magdy, one of the activists in Mit Oqba.

Mubarak was removed five months ago, along with top figures from his nearly 30-year regime, spawning euphoria among those who brought him down. Now, however, the military generals in control have been slow in, or have outright resisted, dismantling the grip that members of his former ruling party hold on every level of the state, from senior government positions down to local administrations. Meanwhile, public anger that real change has not come, is growing explosive.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/815938/

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US forces attack Iraq Shia insurgents: Panetta

July 12, 2011

BAGHDAD: American forces in Iraq are going after Iran-backed Shia insurgents, who have killed 17 US soldiers in five weeks, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said in Baghdad on Monday.

“We have to unilaterally be able to go after those threats. We’re doing that,” Panetta told reporters, nearly a year after the US military declared an end to combat missions in Iraq.

“We are very concerned about Iran and weapons they’re providing to extremists here in Iraq,” he said.

“We lost a heck of a lot of Americans as a result. We can’t allow this to continue,” he said in a meeting with about 150 US troops at the Camp Victory base near Baghdad airport.

General Lloyd Austin, commander of US military forces in Iraq, told reporters that unilateral action “could include a lot of things.”

“If there’s no way to do that with the Iraqi security forces, then I’ll patrol around my perimeter and do what needs to be done to ensure that my troops are protected,” he said.

Panetta, who took over on July 1 from Robert Gates, said he would take all steps needed for the safety of the 46,000 US troops remaining in Iraq, down from a high of 170,000 since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Three US soldiers have been killed in Iraq so far this month, the last on Sunday when Panetta arrived in Baghdad from a visit to Afghanistan. June was the deadliest month for US forces in Iraq since 2008, with 14 soldiers killed.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/11/us-forces-attack-iraq-shia-insurgents-panetta.html

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Hundreds of Afghans protest Pakistan cross-border attacks

 

LASHKAR GAH: Hundreds of protesters marched in Afghanistan’s east and south on Monday, demanding a military response to weeks of shelling from Pakistan, as a senior US commander said NATO-led forces were talking with Pakistan to try to end the bombardment. Relations between the two neighbours have been strained by weeks of mortar shelling that Kabul says has killed at least 42 civilians and wounded scores more. Over 800 rockets have crossed the border since early June, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said Afghanistan will not respond with military force, over-ruling his defence and interior ministers who had sought permission to return fire. Protesters called on the government to retaliate if the cross-border shelling does not stop. The issue has infuriated Afghans from ordinary villagers to the top echelons of power. “The government must respond with heavy artillery onto Pakistan’s soil,” protestor Ahmad Janan said in Lashkar Gah. US Lieutenant General David Rodriguez said on Monday that foreign forces were concerned about the persistent shelling and were meeting with Pakistani counterparts to “prevent senseless shooting from occurring in the future.” Pakistan has repeatedly rejected Afghan allegations of large scale cross-border shelling, saying that only “a few accidental rounds” may have crossed the border when it pursued militants who had attacked its security forces. reuters

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\12\story_12-7-2011_pg1_7

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King, Al-Arabi discuss key issues facing Arab world

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Jul 12, 2011

RIYADH: Key issues across the Arab world that are fast transforming the political landscape of the region topped the agenda of the talks between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and the Arab League’s new Secretary-General Nabil Al-Arabi in Jeddah on Monday.

The talks also focused on Arab efforts to seek recognition for a Palestinian state and to forge a strong Arab unity and solidarity.

“King Abdullah discussed with Al-Arabi the situations in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Sudan,” said an Arab diplomat in Riyadh on Monday. He said Al-Arabi, who arrived in Jeddah on Monday on his first visit to the Kingdom since he took office, had “extensive consultations” with the king on a range of issues affecting the Arab world, especially Arab solidarity.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article470336.ece

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Saudi housing sector growth 'fastest in Middle East'

By KHALIL HANWARE

Jul 12, 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia continues to attract massive investments and remains the favored destination for real estate developers around the world despite a shaky global economic recovery. The Saudi housing industry saw remarkable growth opportunities and became the fastest growing housing industry in the Middle East region. Last year’s real estate investments were expected to reach around SR1.5 trillion ($400 billion), according to a market research report.

Recovering oil prices, continued government stimulus packages and gradual relaxation of bank lending are some of the important factors attributed to the growth of the residential real-estate market in the Kingdom, said the report titled "Saudi Arabia Housing Sector Outlook" prepared by RNCOS, specializing in industry intelligence and creative solutions for contemporary business segments.

Although the Kingdom is witnessing huge developments in the housing construction, the housing market still suffers from a large demand-supply gap due to the rapid expansion of the expatriate community along with the domestic community and rapidly declining household sizes, the report added.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article470318.ece

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Madinah does not require a new identity, says governor

By MD HUMAIDAN

Jul 12, 2011

MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majed has said the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah do not require any identity other than their religious status.

“Since Makkah and Madinah are indelibly marked with principles of monotheism and Islamic faith, the two cities do not need to look for another identity as many other cities in the world do,” Prince Abdul Aziz said on Monday while addressing a press conference at his palace after Madinah was declared the Islamic cultural capital of 2013.

Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja was also present.

“The cultural, historical, social and economic features of Madinah qualify the ancient city for becoming the cultural capital of Islam besides making it a symbol of the unity of Muslims around the world,” the prince added.

Madinah has remained a symbol of Islamic culture for centuries as it was the center from where the religion of Islam spread to all corners of the world. Millions of Muslims flock to the city to pay respects to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the prince said.

“It was a great honor to the Kingdom that both cities have been designated as cultural capitals of Islam over a period of 10 years. Makkah was named as the cultural capital of 2003 and the turn of Madinah comes in 2013,” the prince added.

The prince said the Kingdom would continue carrying the true message of Islam and would never cease to fight extremism.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article470290.ece

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US raises Iran rhetoric

By PHIL STEWART

Jul 12, 2011

BAGHDAD: The United States will take unilateral action when needed to deal with the threat to American troops in Iraq from militias armed by Iran, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said on Monday.

US forces officially ended combat operations in Iraq last August but have come under increasing fire in recent weeks. Fourteen US service members were killed in hostile incidents in June, the highest monthly toll in three years.

US officials blame militias armed by Iraq’s neighbor Iran for most of the recent attacks.

At least three US service members have been killed this month, including one on Sunday, the day Panetta arrived in Baghdad on his first trip to Iraq as defense secretary.

Washington still has about 46,000 troops in Iraq more than eight years after the 2003 invasion overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein but is scheduled to withdraw its forces by year-end under a security pact between the two countries.

“We are very concerned about Iran and the weapons they are providing to extremists here in Iraq,” Panetta said in an address to US troops in Baghdad. “In June we lost a hell of a lot of Americans as a result of those attacks. And we cannot just simply stand back and allow this to continue to happen...”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470217.ece

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No agreement on Israeli - Palestinian peace talks

12 July 2011

WASHINGTON — The United States and its partners in the international diplomatic ‘quartet’ on the Middle East failed on Monday to reach agreement on how to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, dealing a blow to urgent efforts to avert a looming confrontation at the United Nations over recognizing Palestine as an independent nation.

A senior US official said a Monday night meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was unable to produce a unified statement on how to proceed. Such a statement had been a modest goal of the meeting.

The official said that significant gaps are still impeding progress among both the mediators and the parties themselves and that ‘much more work’ needs to be done before the quartet can issue a call to re-launch negotiations that stalled last September. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private working dinner among the quartet principals at the State Department.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July264.xml&section=middleeast

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Dubai Police get tough on beggars

12 July 2011

The Dubai Police are taking stringent measures to curb begging activities in the emirate and the whole country in view of the holy month of Ramadan.

The police are coordinating with other countries where beggars come from to the UAE and have intensified inspection campaign in Dubai, a top official said.

Col Jamal Al Jalaf, Deputy Director of Investigation and Search Department for Monitoring and Control Affairs, said the number of beggars have been reduced due to the stringent measures taken by the police. The police arrested 295 beggars during the first six months of the current year while it was 716 during the same period last year. All the arrested are from other countries. However, the reduction in numbers show that this is no more a phenomena,  but just illegal activity. Among the 295 arrested this year,74 are women and the rest are men and children.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/July/theuae_July307.xml&section=theuae

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Jordan’s accession to GCC to enhance trade

12 July 2011

Jordan’s bid to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will not only enhance trade and investment opportunities within the kingdom, but it will also reinforce historical ties between Arab countries.

This is according the latest study by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

‘Existing bilateral trade links and strong investment in Jordan by Gulf countries will continue to benefit Jordan’s economy, while increased tourism and the free-flow of Jordan’s skilled and educated workforce will boost GCC economies.

The GCC is one of Jordan’s major trading partners. During the last decade, bilateral trade between the GCC and Jordan has increased immensely, the study finds.

Last year, bilateral trade between Jordan and the six oil-rich Gulf countries exceeded the US$5 billion mark. According to the Jordan Department of Statistics, the GCC accounted for 24.2% of Jordan’s imports in 2010, while 18.4% of Jordan’s exports were destined for Gulf states. according to the study.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/July/theuae_July308.xml&section=theuae

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Egypt protesters reject PM offer of cabinet reshuffle

12 July 2011

Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said he would reshuffle his cabinet within a week, but crowds protesting at slow reforms and foot-dragging in prosecuting the ex-president said they were not satisfied.

Protesters rejected Sharaf’s statement on state television, in which he also said he had asked Interior Minister Mansour el-Essawy to speed up measures to restore security and order in Egypt, and threatened to continue their demonstration.

Four days of protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square have brought traffic in the heart of the capital to a standstill.

Separate protests by hundreds of people were also under way in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the city of Suez. Many Egyptians say remnants of the ex-president Hosni Mubarak’s regime in the police and judiciary are trying to delay trials of those accused of crimes before the Jan. 25 uprising.

Sharaf said he had decided to ‘conduct a cabinet reshuffle within a week to achieve the objectives of the revolution.’ Some cabinet members, mainly technocrats, were appointed in the last days of Mubarak’s rule.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July265.xml&section=middleeast

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/taliban-claim-assassination-of-afghan-president-s-brother-ahmed-wali-karzai/d/5006


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