New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 12 May 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Tortured Afghan Bride Defies The Odds, Embarks On New Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan

Impressive show of strength by PPP

Musharraf be prosecuted for May 12 carnage: Sindh CJ

False alarm? Two more ‘terrorists’ found working in Lahore

Pakistan Terrorism Accountability bill introduced in Congress

Convicted but defiant: Gilani vows to go down fighting

Pakistan, ISAF discuss border operations, supply routes

PML-N inks electoral accord with PML-LM

LHC moved to restrict PM from issuing budget

Mumtaz Bhutto reinvents himself, acts to strengthen anti-PPP front

Atta Manika quits PML-LM in protest

One killed as police vans bombed in Peshawar

Al-Zawahiri not in Pakistan: Gilani

US mulls Pak ‘accountability’ bill

‘Declare Haqqani network a terror group’

Gilani free to act as PM: Pakistan court

Seven injured in Peshawar blast

PPP threatens March on Lahore

Interfaith League chief joins PTI

Pakistan: Govt stays change of guards at FIA

Easy to escape from, deportees stay only if they feel like it

 

Mideast Asia

 

Iran wins release of Turkish journalists in Syria

Militant group claims deadly Syrian blasts

UN mission grows in Syria

Clashes rage in Syria, opposition meets abroad

Senior Hamas official says Islamists are holding secret talks with 5 EU countries

Turkey’s artistic freedoms under pressure from Islamist government seeking to uphold values

More UN observers in Syria amid violence

Iran, IAEA talks under scrutiny ahead of Baghdad

Syria Troops Seize Sunni Village, Kill Seven: Activists

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood is gaining influence over anti-Assad revolt

8 killed in Syria violence

 

Arab World

 

US drone strikes kill 16 suspected militants in Yemen

Sharjah Ruler inaugurates phase1 of Kalba Eco-tourism Project

Border guard officers get Ph.D.s in Saudi Kingdom, while on Job

First Underwater Mosque: Deep Sea Islamisation in Saudi Arabia

Hezbollah says able to strike anywhere in Israel

 

North Africa

 

Algeria Islamists Miss Arab Spring Revival

 

South Asia

4 NATO troops die in Afghanistan; 4 police killed

UN condemns attacks on Afghan schools

Afghan-US strategic deal: Hekmatyar’s group calls off talks with govt

Four Afghan policemen killed in roadside bomb

Four coalition troops killed in Afghanistan

Tortured Afghan Bride Defies The Odds, Embarks On New Life

 

Southeast Asia

 

Islamic Party Vows Hudud for Malaysia

Bangladesh: Ashulia turns into battle ground

Bangladesh Awami League leader, 2 journos among 15 killed

 

Europe

 

2 UK men arrested for terrorism, homes evacuated

Charting the Afghan course: Chicago invite to take NATO supply route

Two held, homes evacuated in UK over ‘terror plan’

British WW II fighter plane found in Egypt desert

Pakistan not invited for meet on Afghanistan?

Afghan peace council member shot dead

 

Africa

 

Islamic extremists desecrate Muslim saint's Timbuktu tomb

S. Sudan pulls out from Abyei, US welcomes move

Pirates hijack Liberian vessel; eleven Indians trapped aboard

Two killed in sectarian clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon

Yemeni troops attack Zinjibar

 

North America

 

US legislators want Haqqani network to be deemed 'terrorist' group

US Muslims question ‘no fly’ list in court

More ‘Anti-Islam’ Courses at US Military, AlJazeera Reveals

US commander holds talks with Pak army chief

U.S. Senator Urges Pakistan To Do More Against Terrorists

Protection of refugees an Islamic duty, says UNHCR

U.S. May Scrap Costly Efforts to Train Iraqi Police

Oxford Islamic Center Gains Royal Charter

New Muslims and Family Problems

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Tortured Afghan Bride Defies The Odds, Embarks On New Life

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/tortured-afghan-bride-defies-the-odds,-embarks-on-new-life/d/7315

 

Pakistan

 

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Impressive show of strength by PPP

Rehan Siddiqui

13 May 2012

KARACHI - The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Saturday showed its muscle for the first time in its stronghold Sindh when it held an impressive rally on the border of Sindh and Punjab.

It was a clear signal to main opposition parties like the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf. The PPP leaders threatened to launch a long march on Lahore and beyond.

To make the occasion a success all government machinery was used and top party leaders from interior Sindh and Karachi brought hundreds of thousands of people to attend the rally.

Addressing the rally which was held at Kamo Shaeed, Ubaro, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah lashed out at Nawaz Sharif for talking about broken promises made to the people of Pakistan.

He also hinted at the possibility of the general elections being held in November and was confident that once the elections come around, the people would once again vote the PPP into power since the party had served the masses.

The chief minister, while praising the sacrifices made by the party, declared that martyrs’ blood (of the Bhutto family) will not be allowed to go waste.

news@khaleejtimes.com

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=/data/international/2012/May/international_May422.xml&section=international

 

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Musharraf be prosecuted for May 12 carnage: Sindh CJ

13 May 2012

KARACHI - Sindh Hight Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam on Saturday urged the authorities to initiate a case to prosecute the former military dictator Gen. (retd) Pervez Musharraf ‘for his involvement in May 12 carnage in Karachi.’

Speaking at a seminar here on May 12 tragedy that left many dead and injured, Justice Mushir Alam recalled “who could forget the bloodshed on that day. We were making preparations to receive Chief Justice and who knew what bloody tale was going to happen?” he said.

“We all are witnesses that containers were placed everywhere to block city roads. Our collegues and lawyers managed to reach the high court after facing difficulties,” he added.

The SHC chief justice lamented that what the courts could do if the government machinery turned dissident and said that the then president Pervez Musharraf was involved in the mayhem for which he should stand trial.

Musharraf, currently living in self-exile in the United Kingdom and Dubai, was given a guard of honour by the present government which has vowed to bring him back to Pakistan umpteenth time but without making any real effort.

news@khaleejtimes.com

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=/data/international/2012/May/international_May421.xml&section=international

 

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False alarm? Two more ‘terrorists’ found working in Lahore

By Asad Kharal

Published: May 12, 2012

LAHORE:

The two remaining Pakistani suspects among five declared terrorists by Indian authorities were tracked down by The Express Tribune and Express News on Friday.

After disclosing “facts” on three of the suspects, Indian agencies released pictures of the remaining two men, claiming they too are terrorists. In fact, both the men were identified as employees of Hafeez Centre and are currently in Lahore.

Amjad Ali Khan is an employee of a mobile shop at the famed electronics market while Nadeem Malik is running a business selling old mobile phones. Both have been working in Hafeez Centre for over four years, the President of Traders of Hafeez Centre, Fayyaz Butt said while speaking to The Express Tribune.

Khan added that an Indian number had repeatedly called both individuals and inquired about their links with possible terrorist organisations.

Leading Indian newspapers quoted the story published in The Express Tribune on Thursday, following the release of photographs of three alleged “terrorists”.  Mumbai police claimed the men belonged to banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and had entered Mumbai.

After this information was unearthed, Indian authorities released two more pictures of other alleged terrorists to cover their negligence but The Express Tribune and Express News traced the remaining two alleged” terrorists, ”and they too were in Lahore.

The Intelligence Bureau had stated that five LeT operatives, in the age group of 25-30 ,armed with fake identity cards, had  slipped into the country to carry out attacks on several sensitive installations in Maharashtra as well as Gujarat.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/377704/false-alarm-two-more-terrorists-found-working-in-lahore/?print=true

 

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Pakistan Terrorism Accountability bill introduced in Congress

By Huma Imtiaz

Published: May 12, 2012

WASHINGTON: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said he was introducing the Pakistan Terrorism Accountability Act 2012 in Congress, which asks the US Government to provide $50 million each to any American citizen killed “as a result of actions of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) or support provided by the ISI to other organizations or individuals, including the Haqqani Network”.

The bill says that the $50 million per victim be withheld from US assistance to Pakistan.

The draft bill also asks for the Secretary of Defense to certify every month how many US citizens have been killed as a result of support by the ISI to the Haqqani Network and other organizations.

The Republican congressman, who is also the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and has previously introduced legislation asking for the Baloch people to be given the right of self-determination, says, “For too long America has funded the Pakistani government, giving  it free money, while elements of the ISI and Pakistan’s military operate radical Islamic groups that are actively murdering Americans. Americans will not accept this.”

In a press release, Rep Rohrabacher said, “Pakistan has for decades leveraged radical terrorist groups to carry out attacks in India and Afghanistan, Pakistan helped to create the Taliban and Pakistan’s intelligence service hid Osama bin Laden from the US for years.”

“Today, one of the most dangerous and sophisticated groups killing American troops in Afghanistan is the Haqqani Network, which is closely operated by the Pakistani government.”

The bill has been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/377792/pakistan-terrorism-accountability-bill-introduced-in-congress/?print=true

 

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Convicted but defiant: Gilani vows to go down fighting

By APP

Published: May 13, 2012

LONDON:

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani gave the impression on Saturday that he would go down fighting, but would not forgo his right to appeal at any cost.

“Come what may, I will protect the Constitution of Pakistan. I will go to the last limit and exhaust all my options and exercise my right to appeal,” Gilani told a large gathering of leaders and workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party in London.

“I am not one of those who will stab the party in the back and I believe that under Article 248 of the Constitution, the president of Pakistan has complete immunity and is not required to write any letter,” he said.

Expressing what he dubbed was his resolve to protect the country, the premier said: “We will reject any unconstitutional step in Pakistan.”

Gilani said the opposition wants him to resign on moral grounds, while it too has “hundreds of cases pending in the courts.”

He said there were a number of cases against the Sharifs involving the National Accountability Bureau and Mehran Bank, which had been pending for the past 20 years.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/378125/convicted-but-defiant-gilani-vows-to-go-down-fighting/?print=true

 

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Pakistan, ISAF discuss border operations, supply routes

May 13, 2012

By I Hussain

ISLAMABAD: ISAF Commander General John Allen called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani on Saturday and discussed border operations and restoration of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

Senior security officials said that General Allen was soliciting for restoration of the supply route that was suspended following a NATO attack on a checkpost in Mohmand in November last year.

The NATO/ISAF attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers had strained ties between Pakistan and the US as well as resulted in suspending supplies to the NATO in Afghanistan.

After the attack, improved coordination among the forces of Pakistan and NATO in the bordering areas was stressed.

An ISAF delegation, led by General Allen, arrived in Rawalpindi on Saturday to attend a Tripartite Commission meeting.

Security sources, however, said that the COAS reiterated that parliament and the Defence Committee of Cabinet would decide on the issue of NATO supply route.

Pakistan and ISAF agreed to enhance coordination system so that any untoward incident along the bordering areas could be avoided in future, a statement from the ISPR said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\05\13\story_13-5-2012_pg1_2

 

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PML-N inks electoral accord with PML-LM

May 13, 2012

Staff Report

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded (PML-LM) on Saturday inked an electoral alliance and a seat adjustment formula for upcoming elections.

A 20-member PML-LM delegation met PML-N President Nawaz Sharif at Raiwind. PML-LM General Secretary Humayun Akhtar and PML-N Secretary-General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra signed the agreement.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\05\13\story_13-5-2012_pg1_4

 

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LHC moved to restrict PM from issuing budget

May 13, 2012

LAHORE: A lawyer, Shahnsha Shamil Pracha, on Saturday moved a petition in the Lahore High Court requesting to restrain Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani from exercising his powers for issuance of the Federal Budget 2012-13 and conducting foreign tours, as he has been convicted by the Supreme Court.

He stated that that PM could not approve the budget after conviction on April 26, in the contempt of court case. He also stated that under the constitution, a convicted member of parliament could not approve budget of the county.

He said that all the expenses incurred after the PM’s conviction should be recovered from his personal account and his ministers as the respondent could not remain a prime minister in view of Article 91 of the constitution, and his cabinet had lost its legal status.

He also sought directions for the PM to explain under which authority of law he and his cabinet were still holding the offices. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\05\13\story_13-5-2012_pg13_3

 

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Mumtaz Bhutto reinvents himself, acts to strengthen anti-PPP front

Javed Soomro

May,13 2012   

KARACHI: When former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s government was dismissed in 1996 on charges of corruption and bad governance by her erstwhile party loyalist, the late president Farooq Leghari, the establishment chose Mumtaz Ali Bhutto as caretaker chief minister of Sindh. The establishment’s plan was to manipulate the general election in a manner that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) remained out of power.

The plan was executed successfully and the PPP lost the elections. Nawaz Sharif came to power at the centre and Mumtaz Bhutto grudgingly gave way to Liaquat Ali Jatoi to form the government in Sindh.

The situation, however, is different now. Mumtaz Bhutto’s decision to merge his Sindh National Front (SNF) with the Pakistan Muslim League-N might actually propel him into the power corridors.

Had the ruling PPP’s performance not been so pathetic and downright contrary to the wishes of its voters in the province, Mumtaz Bhutto’s merger with the PML-N wouldn’t have had any major impact on the political scenario in Sindh.

But after four years of the so-called policy of reconciliation, rampant corruption, unprecedented bad governance, combined with the absence of the dynamic leadership of Benazir Bhutto, many analysts believe that this is the best chance for the Sharifs to make an impact on Sindh’s political landscape, and for Mumtaz Bhutto to make a comeback.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/05/11/mumtaz-bhutto-reinvents-himself-acts-to-strengthen-anti-ppp-front/

 

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Atta Manika quits PML-LM in protest

May 13, 2012

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded (PML-LM) Punjab President Atta Muhammad Maneka, annoyed over being ignored by his party leadership in negotiating an electoral alliance with the PML-N, resigned on Saturday. Talking to reporters, Maneka said that the party had held meetings on its own, adding that neither was he invited to any meeting, nor consulted on any issue. He said this compelled him to take drastic decision to step down as the PML-LM Punjab president. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\05\13\story_13-5-2012_pg1_5

 

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One killed as police vans bombed in Peshawar

May 13, 2012

PESHAWAR: A person was killed and 20 others, including six cops and a woman, were killed when two vans carrying prisoners to Mardan were attacked in the city on Saturday, hospital and police officials said.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that it was “reaction” to Dr Aafia Siddiqi’s imprisonment in the United States. “It was a remote-controlled blast that targeted two police vehicles carrying prisoners,” police officer Javed told reporters at the site of the attack, outside Gulbahar Police Station on GT Road.

The officer said that all the prisoners were in police custody and they had been moved to “safer places” after the blast.

A spokesman for the Lady Reading Hospital where the injured were taken for treatment said in a press statement that condition of six of the wounded persons was “critical”.

It was the second attempt on part of the militants to free their jailed prisoners following last month’s jailbreak in Bannu.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\05\13\story_13-5-2012_pg7_4

 

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Al-Zawahiri not in Pakistan: Gilani

May 13, 2012

Ayman al-Zawahiri is not in Pakistan, said Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, challenging US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remark that the Al Qaeda chief was there. Zawahiri, an Egyptian cleric, became the new Al Qaeda chief after the killing of Osama bin Laden in

Abbottabad town May 2 last year.

"Why should I think he (Zawahiri) is in Pakistan?" he asked the Daily Telegraph.

"You have claimed that somebody has said that he is in Pakistan: if there is any information, please share with us," he was quoted as saying.

"We don't think so," said Gilani in London when he was asked for his own view on whether the Al Qaeda chief was in Pakistan.

On May 7, during her three-day trip to India, Hillary Clinton had categorically said that Zawahiri was in Pakistan.

Clinton had said in Kolkata: "We want to disable Al Qaeda. We believe Zawahiri is in Pakistan."

"You have to go over those who are trying to kill you. You have to be focused on that."

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Pakistan/Al-Zawahiri-not-in-Pakistan-Gilani/Article1-855019.aspx

 

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US mulls Pak ‘accountability’ bill

May 13 2012,

Lalit K Jha

A far-reaching legislation has been introduced in the US Congress, that would deduct $50 million from the aid to Islamabad for every American killed by terrorists operating from the safe havens in Pakistan with the “support” of ISI.

“Pakistan has for decades leveraged radical terrorist groups to carry out attacks in India and Afghanistan,” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said, introducing the ‘Pakistan Terrorism Accountability Act of 2012’.

The legislation would require the Department of Defence to list all Americans killed by terrorist groups operating inside Pakistan and Afghanistan and supported by the Pakistan government.

For each person killed, $50 million would be subtracted from US foreign assistance to Pakistan — a requested $2.2 billion — and given to the victim’s family. “For too long, US has funded the Pakistan government, giving it free money, while elements of the ISI and Pakistan’s military operate radical Islamic groups that are actively murdering Americans. Americans will not accept this,” Rohrabacher, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-mulls-pak-accountability-bill/948658/

 

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‘Declare Haqqani network a terror group’

12 MAY 2012       

Four top lawmakers belonging to both the Democratic and Republican parties have urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to designate the Haqqani network a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

Noting that the group continues to launch “sensational and indiscriminate attacks against US interests”, the lawmakers spoke of a running threat to innocent men, women and children in the region.

In their letter to Clinton, the lawmakers heading the intelligence committees of the two houses said the Haqqani network meets all the criteria for FTO designation specified in Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Just back from a visit to Afghanistan, the four lawmakers - Senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss and Congressmen Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppesberger - said they have returned to Washington with concerns substantiated by intelligence and their own oversight work.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/64886-declare-haqqani-network-a-terror-group.html

 

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Gilani free to act as PM: Pakistan court

12 MAY 2012 23:41       

PTI | ISLAMABAD

Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani cannot be stopped from performing his duties as the Supreme Court did not disqualify him when it convicted him for contempt, the High Court here has observed.

There is no mention of Gilani’s disqualification in the Supreme Court’s detailed judgement regarding his conviction for contempt for failing to reopen graft cases in Switzerland against President Asif Ali Zardari, the Islamabad High Court noted.

It further observed that the apex court had referred the issue of disqualification to other constitutional forums.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the High Court made the observations yesterday while hearing a petition filed by lawyer G M Chaudhry, who had asked the court to stop Gilani from working as the Premier after his conviction.

Siddiqui said restraining the Premier from performing his duties would have an impact on the country.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/64884-gilani-free-to-act-as-pm-pakistan-court.html

 

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Seven injured in Peshawar blast

13 May,2012

By: Agencies

At least seven people were injured when a remote-controlled bomb hit a police checkpost in Peshawar on Sunday morning, said police.

Three of the injured people were in critical condition, said hospital sources.

Superintendent Police Rural in Peshawar Shafiq Ullah told media that the blast took place at about 10:15 a.m. local time near a checkpost outside a cattle market at the Ring Road of the city.

The bomb was hidden inside a pressure cooker which was planted near the checkpost, said the police officer, adding that an estimated five kilograms of explosives were used in the bomb.

The blast destroyed four vehicles nearby apart from wounding seven people and killing several animals, he said.

A media report said that seven to eight police were posted in the checkpost when the blast went off and the injured people also included several policemen.

Police believed that the recent repeated attacks on police in Peshawar could be retaliation by militants for a search operation being launched in the Bara area of Khyber Agency, a tribal area which borders on Peshawar.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/13-May-2012/seven-injured-in-peshawar-blast

 

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PPP threatens march on Lahore

May 13, 2012

By: Agencies        

GHOTKI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Saturday said that PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif has no future in politics. “The PML-N during its two tenures did nothing for the people of Sindh province and the masses across the country are with PPP Patron-in-Chief ZA Bhutto and late Benazir Bhutto,” he said while addressing a public meeting at Kamo-Shaheed.

The public meeting was also addressed by Federal Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah, Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Khuhro and other PPP leaders.

Qaim said the PPP was not afraid of intrigues and threats, and vowed the PPP-led government would complete its constitutional tenure. “Why is Nawaz Sharif in a hurry? The months of November and December are not far away,” he added. He said the PPP would continue to pursue its policy of national reconciliation and work for the betterment of the poor and down-trodden people, farmers, youth and labourers. The people were with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the PPP, he declared.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/13-May-2012/ppp-threatens-march-on-lahore

 

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Interfaith League chief joins PTI

May 13, 2012       

ISLAMABAD - Chairman Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL), Sajjad Ishaq, joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in a ceremony held here on Saturday, which was presided over by Chairman PTI.

The ceremony was participated by religious leaders from Christian community including bishops, pastors and moderators from 55 churches, Hindu and Sikh communities, besides the political activists, ex-councillors, former nazims and representatives of the civil society.

Sajid Ishaq, a renowned social worker and prominent leader of Pakistan Interfaith community leader, said that PIL had 377,000 registered members in three provinces of the country.

He announced that Christian religious clerics, executive body members and general body of PIL were happy to join the PTI and has full trust and confidence in the leadership of Imran Khan.

Sajid Ishaq said that people of Pakistan have seen the rise and decline of many governments and endured their untruths and false promises, however the religious minorities had always faced the brunt by being exploited, maltreated and subjugated to injustices.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/13-May-2012/interfaith-league-chief-joins-pti

 

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Pakistan: Govt stays change of guards at FIA

By Our Correspondent

Published: May 13, 2012

LAHORE:

In a surprising move, the government temporarily suspended on Saturday its earlier orders to swap the bosses of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Ministry of Narcotics Control, The Express Tribune has learnt.

This came a day after Narcotics Ministry Secretary Zafar Abbas Lak was transferred and made director general of the FIA in place of Javed Iqbal, who was directed to take over Lak’s former assignment.

The swap was made on the verbal orders of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who is currently touring the United Kingdom, sources told The Express Tribune.

However, at the request of a powerful real-estate tycoon, President Asif Ali Zardari intervened in the matter and asked the prime minister to temporarily suspend the orders, sources said.

Swiftly after the president’s intervention, the deputy secretary of the Establishment Division and other concerned officials were rushed to their offices around midnight on Friday. And by 1:20am on Saturday, they issued a fresh notification staying the transfers.

The transfer orders of the FIA DG Javed Iqbal, BPS-22 officer in the Police Service of Pakistan, as Ministry of Narcotics Control secretary, and the transfer orders of Ministry of Narcotics Control Secretary Zafar Abbas Lak as FIA DG have been held in abeyance till further orders, reads the notification.

This notification has been issued with the approval of the competent authority and will be implemented with immediate effect, it further reads.

The notification was undersigned by Shahzad Qaiser, the deputy secretary at the Establishment Division (interior), and carries his seal.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/378123/govt-stays-change-of-guards-at-fia/?print=true

 

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Easy to escape from, deportees stay only if they feel like it

By Mudassir Raja

Published: May 13, 2012

RAWALPINDI:

Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) cannot handle a large number of deportees, as illustrated by the failed escape attempt of 57 deportees on Thursday.

While the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) succeeded in arresting the 57 people deported from Greece with the help of the Airport Security Force (ASF) and area police, the incident indicates that faulty measures and disregard for standard operating procedures (SOP) could lead to a bigger fiasco in future.

Immigration officials and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) staff revealed that FIA is often given no prior information about the arrival of deportees, even from Greece and Turkey, where over 10,000 people await deportation to Pakistan.

Besides the ‘surprise’ arrivals of special flights and the arrival of a few deportees on normal passenger flights, other problems include the non-implementation of SOPs by different airlines, a shortage of FIA staff to manage the deportees, absence of a detention centre and interview cabins at BBIA, and resources to relocate deportees to FIA offices closer to their permanent residences in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

An FIA official told The Express Tribune that there were agreements between Pakistan and various European Union (EU) member states to give prior information about the arrival of deportees. All countries relay this information except Greece and Turkey, he said.

The official feared that problems during the arrival of deportees would continue in future as thousands of Pakistanis await deportation from the UK, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Turkey.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/378012/easy-to-escape-from-at-bbia-deportees-stay-only-if-they-feel-like-it/?print=true

 

Mideast Asia

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Iran wins release of Turkish journalists in Syria

May 12, 2012

ANKARA: Two Turkish journalists who went missing while reporting on the uprising in Syria two months ago were released on Saturday with Iran’s help, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.

The release of the pair demonstrated Iran’s influence with its ally Syria, which lost Turkey’s friendship when it cracked down on pro-democracy protests that erupted last year. Iran and Syria, both isolated by the West, have stuck by each other.

The two journalists were flown to Tehran, where they told Turkey’s Anatolian news agency they were in good health and looking forward to being reunited with their families.

In remarks on his Twitter account, Davutoglu said the Turkish government was sending a plane to bring them home. His Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi had told him earlier that the journalists had been freed, he added.

“I have good news: our longstanding efforts have finally paid off. I just spoke to Iran’s Foreign Minister Mr. Salehi. Hamit Coskun and Adem Ozkose, who haven’t been heard of since they went to Syria, are on their way to Tehran at the moment,” Davutoglu said.

Ozkose, 34, a reporter with Milat, a small Islamic-leaning startup newspaper, and freelance cameraman Coskun, 21, went missing in early March after sneaking across the border into Idlib, a northwestern province that has been the focus of an offensive by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Speaking to Anatolian from Tehran, Ozkose thanked fellow journalists for keeping their plight in the public eye.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article632911.ece?service=print

 

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Militant group claims deadly Syrian blasts

May 12, 2012

BEIRUT: A little-known militant group claimed responsibility in a video posted online on Saturday for the twin bombing in Syria’s capital that killed at least 55 people earlier in the week.

The video was narrated by a man whose voice was garbled to disguise his identity. There was no decisive proof in the video to show suspected Islamist group Al-Nusra Front had a hand in the operations, which the government said were suicide bombings.

The video showed no images of militants making or setting up the bomb and did not claim the attack as suicide bombings.

A video clip of black smoke rising over Damascus from the day of the blast was shown at the end of the statement, labelled as coming from the “Camera of the Mujahideen (holy warriors).”

Activists and the rebel Free Syrian Army say they had nothing to do with the bombings and say the blasts were orchestrated by state forces to hurt the opposition’s image.

The online video said the blasts were in response to security force strikes on rebellious towns that have shared in the 14-month-old revolt against President Bashar Assad.

“Al-Nusra Front, God strengthen it, undertook a military operation in Damascus against the dens of the regime to target the Palestine and Dawriyat (security) branches. This is due to the regime’s continued strikes on residential neighborhoods in the Damascus suburbs, Idlib, Hama, Daraa and other areas,” said a man’s voice on the video, reading from text shown on screen.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article632840.ece?service=print

 

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UN mission grows in Syria

By AGENCIES

May 12, 2012

DAMASCUS/BEIRUT/ROME: Violence in Syria killed four civilians yesterday, one of them a woman, a rights watchdog said, even as a UN mission charged with overseeing a battered truce neared half its planned strength.

In Idlib province, a stronghold of rebels fighting President Bahar Assad's regime, security force gunfire killed a man and a woman during a series of raids, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A third civilian was killed during pre-dawn shelling of the village of Mork in central Hama province, the Britain-based watchdog said, while a fourth was killed by sniper fire in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor.

Troops clashed with rebel fighters in Idlib, in the flashpoint central province of Homs, in southern Daraa province, and in several areas of Damascus province, the Observatory said, without any immediate word of casualties.

The persistent violence came as the UN mission in Syria said it now had 145 military observers on the ground, just shy of half the force of 300 authorized by the Security Council. They are backed by 56 civilian staff. The observers are tasked with shoring up a promised ceasefire brokered by UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan that was supposed to take effect on April 12 but which has been broken daily.

On Thursday, twin suicide bombings in the capital killed at least 55 people and wounded 372 - the deadliest attacks since the uprising against Assad's regime erupted in March last year. Al-Nusra Front, a group unknown before the Syrian revolt, released a video yesterday claiming responsibility for the twin bombings in Damascus.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article632803.ece?service=print

 

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Clashes rage in Syria, opposition meets abroad

By ERIKA SOLOMON

May 12, 2012

BEIRUT: Rebels fought the army in northern Syria on Saturday, activists said, and Syrian dissidents abroad gathered to try to unify and project themselves as a credible alternative to President Bashar Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported fighting in Idlib province, on Syria’s northern border with Turkey and a hotspot of the 14-month-old revolt against Assad’s rule.

“Violent clashes are raging between Syrian regime forces and armed military defectors ... The sounds of strong explosions were heard followed by security forces using heavy and medium machine gun fire,” the British-based Observatory said.

Violence has rumbled on despite a cease-fire declared a month ago by international envoy Kofi Annan and the presence of a UN monitoring mission now with about 150 observers on the ground.

Opposition leaders abroad flew to Rome to try to strengthen their fractured Syrian National Council (SNC), which is seeking international help in the struggle against Assad.

Political jockeying within the SNC has prevented it from gaining full international endorsement. Executive members told Reuters they may choose a new president or restructure the council in a bid to garner broader support.

In Damascus, crowds gathered for prayers to commemorate 55 people killed in twin suicide bombings in the capital on Wednesday, the deadliest there since the uprising began.

The carnage in Syria, once confined to provincial cities and the countryside, has crept closer to central Damascus and the northern commercial hub of Aleppo, which had seen few challenges to Assad’s power until bomb explosions in recent weeks.

The latest Damascus attacks were claimed by the little known Al-Nusra Front on Saturday in a YouTube video statement. But the video offered no decisive evidence to prove the group’s role. Al-Nusra did not show footage of the bombings or of the estimated one ton of explosives used in each.

Assad’s government has pointed to the rising number of explosions in city centers as proof that it is facing foreign-backed militant groups and not a home-grown uprising.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article632832.ece?service=print

 

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Senior Hamas official says Islamists are holding secret talks with 5 EU countries

By Associated Press,

BEIRUT — Hamas has been holding secret political talks with five European Union member states in recent months, a senior official in the Islamic militant group told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

If confirmed, such talks would be a sign that the isolation of the Gaza-based Palestinian movement is easing in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings that have brought Islamists to power in parts of the Middle East.

The EU and the U.S consider Hamas a terror group and refuse to deal with it unless it renounces violence and recognizes Israel.

However, the West is reassessing its Mideast policy following the uprisings of the past year that toppled several pro-Western regimes in the region and gave rise to the Hamas parent movement, the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood.

It appeared possible that some EU member states are now softening their approach toward Hamas.

In an interview Wednesday, Beirut-based Hamas official Osama Hamdan said his group has been talking to government officials from five major EU member states in recent months. He would not list the countries.

“I can say it’s an important level (of officials), without defining whether it’s junior or senior, and the channels are working,” said Hamdan, who handles the group’s foreign relations and spoke at a Hamas office in Beirut’s southern Dahiya neighborhood. “It’s not just a contact. It’s channels of talking.”

Hamas won Palestinian parliament elections in 2006 and seized control of the Gaza Strip by force a year later. Since then, the West has demanded that the group recognize Israel and renounce violence, in exchange for international acceptance. The Islamists, whose top leaders live outside the Palestinian territories, have largely observed an unofficial truce with Israel in recent years but balk at recognizing Israel.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/senior-hamas-official-says-islamists-are-holding-secret-talks-with-5-eu-countries/2012/05/02/gIQAvpphwT_story.html

 

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Turkey’s artistic freedoms under pressure from Islamist government seeking to uphold values

By Associated Press, Published: May 2

ANKARA, Turkey — In a recent play in Turkey, two actors wore trench coats in their role as assassins posing as perverts planning to flash girls near a school.

The scene and its themes of nudity and sexual depravity are at the center of a debate over freedom of expression in Turkish arts, where the Islamic-rooted ruling party has become increasingly critical of plays and television shows deemed to violate moral or religious values.

Turkey, a candidate for European Union membership, is less strict than many other nations in the Muslim world. But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday backed a move by Istanbul’s Islamist mayor to take over decision-making at Istanbul City Theaters, a theater troupe which is funded by the city and staged the play that outraged conservative critics.

Erdogan also threatened to privatize state-run theaters — essentially cutting their funding — in response to resignations and protests by secular-minded artists against alleged political interference.

That stoked fears that the government, which has a strong electoral mandate, might be seeking to put an Islamic stamp on daily life in this predominantly Muslim country that has long been proud of its secular political system.

Erdogan for his part accuses artists of arrogance.

“They have started to humiliate and look down on us and all conservatives,” Erdogan said.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/turkeys-artistic-freedoms-under-pressure-from-islamist-government-seeking-to-uphold-values/2012/05/02/gIQAl72UwT_story.html

 

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More UN observers in Syria amid violence

May 13, 2012

Afp, Damascus

Violence in Syria cost at least eight lives yesterday even as a UN force to oversee a truce neared half its planned strength, monitors said, while an Islamist group claimed deadly blasts in Damascus.

In Idlib province, a stronghold near the Turkish border of rebels fighting President Bahar al-Assad's regime, security force gunfire killed a man and a woman during a series of raids, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A third civilian was killed in pre-dawn shelling of the village of Mork in central Hama province, the Britain-based watchdog said, while a fourth was killed by sniper fire in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor.

And four soldiers were killed in clashes between armed rebel groups and regime forces in Hantuten village of Idlib province, northwest Syria, according to the Observatory.

Turkey's Anatolia news agency reported that two Turkish journalists who were held in Syria for two months before being freed thanks to Iranian mediation arrived in Tehran on Saturday.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=233920

 

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Iran, IAEA talks under scrutiny ahead of Baghdad

May 12 2012

World powers will on Monday be closely following Iran's first talks with the UN nuclear agency in three months, for clues on whether Tehran means business at an upcoming crunch meeting in Baghdad.

The last time that Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, and chief inspector Hermann Nackaerts met officially was in early February on the second of two fruitless IAEA visits to Tehran.

Soltanieh said the resumption of the talks "proves Iran's determination to cooperate with the agency, confirms that claims against Iran are baseless, and shows that all of the Islamic republic's nuclear activities are peaceful."

The two days of discussions behind closed doors in Vienna "will be a good test of Iran's intentions in the whole (nuclear) issue," Bruno Tertrais, senior research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris, told AFP.

"The world powers will be watching closely to see if there are any signs of Iran shifting its position and becoming more accommodating," agreed Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iran-iaea-talks-under-scrutiny-ahead-of-baghdad/948555/

 

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Syria Troops Seize Sunni Village, Kill Seven: Activists

May 13,2012

By REUTERS

AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian troops backed by armored vehicles on Sunday shot dead seven civilians when they overran a rebellious Sunni Muslim village west of the city of Hama, burning houses and arresting dozens of people, an activists' organization said.

Four women were among those killed in the village of Tamanaa in al-Ghab, a lush plain in the rural epicenter of the 14-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, said the Syrian Network for Human Rights, an opposition activists' group monitoring the crackdown.

"The village was subjected to collective punishment. Over half of its houses were burnt. Several people were executed when they were arrested. The rest were killed from bombardment," a statement from the organization said.

Opposition activists said the Sunni Muslim village, one of dozens that have been torched since Assad's forces seized control of the cities of Homs and Hama, had been a flashpoint for regular demonstrations against Assad.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/05/13/world/middleeast/13reuters-syria-killings.html?ref=global-home&gwh=592D939B0E3EDF6E38771BC260C9100F&pagewanted=print

 

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Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood is gaining influence over anti-Assad revolt

By Liz Sly

May 13,2012

ISTANBUL — After three decades of persecution that virtually eradicated its presence, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has resurrected itself to become the dominant group in the fragmented opposition movement pursuing a 14-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Exiled Brotherhood members and their supporters hold the biggest number of seats in the Syrian National Council, the main opposition umbrella group. They control its relief committee, which distributes aid and money to Syrians participating in the revolt. The Brotherhood is also moving on its own to send funding and weapons to the rebels, who continued to skirmish Saturday with Syrian troops despite a month-old U.N.-brokered cease-fire.

Two suicide blasts ripped through the Syrian capital Thursday, killing 55 people and leaving scenes of carnage in the streets in the deadliest bombing since the country's uprising began 14 months ago, the Interior Ministry said.

Gallery

The Free Syrian Army:Defected soldiers and civilians make up Syria’s main opposition army group.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/syrias-muslim-brotherhood-is-gaining-influence-over-anti-assad-revolt/2012/05/12/gIQAtIoJLU_story.html

 

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8 killed in Syria violence

May 13, 2012

By: Agencies

DAMASCUS/BEIRUT  - Violence in Syria cost at least eight lives on Saturday even as a UN force to oversee a truce neared half its planned strength, monitors said, while an Islamist group claimed deadly blasts in Damascus.

In Idlib province, a stronghold near the Turkish border of rebels fighting President Bahar al-Assad’s regime, security force gunfire killed a man and a woman during a series of raids, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A third civilian was killed in pre-dawn shelling of the village of Mork in central Hama province, the Britain-based watchdog said, while a fourth was killed by sniper fire in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor. And four soldiers were killed in clashes between armed rebel groups and regime forces in Hantuten village of Idlib province, northwest Syria, according to the Observatory.

Turkey’s Anatolia news agency reported that two Turkish journalists who were held in Syria for two months before being freed thanks to Iranian mediation arrived in Tehran on Saturday.

Reporter Adem Ozkose and cameraman Hamit Coskun were flown to Tehran from Damascus, and the two men told Anatolia they were in good health.

A military court, meanwhile, has released eight activists, including blogger Razan Ghazzawi, until their May 29 trial on charges of “possession of banned publications,” human rights lawyer Anwar Bunni said on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Syrian troops also clashed with rebel fighters in the flashpoint central province of Homs, in southern Daraa province, and in several areas of Damascus province.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/13-May-2012/8-killed-in-syria-violence

 

Arab World

 

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US drone strikes kill 16 suspected militants in Yemen

May,13 2012   

ADEN: Two apparent US drone attacks killed at least 16 suspected al Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen on Saturday, while Yemeni government forces killed 15 others in a new offensive against insurgents, local and military officials said.

US officials said this week they had thwarted a plot by the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to arm a suicide bomber with a non-metallic device, an upgraded version of the “underwear bomb” carried onto an airliner on Christmas Day 2009.

AQAP, a regional branch of the militant network, has plotted overseas attacks that have been prevented but raised major concern for Washington, which is trying to wipe out suspected AQAP operatives with drone and missile strikes.

An air strike believed to have been carried out by a US drone set two vehicles on fire, killing seven suspected insurgents in the southeastern province of Shabwa, a local official told Reuters. One of the dead was an Egyptian, he said.

Another local security official said six militants were killed.

Hours later, the Defence Ministry said in a text message to reporters that 10 al Qaeda militants had been killed in another air strike in the eastern oil-producing province of Maarib.

Yemen and Washington do not acknowledge US drone attacks.

It was the latest in a series of reported drone attacks on militants in the south of the impoverished Arab country who exploited mass protests last year against then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh to seize large swathes of territory, including Zinjibar, the capital of restive Abyan province.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/05/13/us-drone-strikes-kill-16-suspected-militants-in-yemen/

 

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Sharjah Ruler inaugurates phase1 of Kalba Eco-tourism Project

12 May 2012

His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah on Friday released 18 gazelles of the endangered species known as “Damani” in the Al Hafiya natural reserve in Kalba.

The gazelles release marks the inauguration of the first phase of the “Kalba Eco-tourism Project” undertaken by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in collaboration with the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) in Sharjah and the International Conservation Services. .

Shaikh Sultan also attended the release of a number of predatory birds in Al Ghail Fort, affiliated to the Kalba Eco-tourism Project, during which 21 falcon species were released. The falcon species included Al-Hur, Shaheen, Al Wakri, Hawk falcon, and Eagle owl, one of the largest of its kind in the world inhabiting deserts and wooded areas.

The launch ceremony was attended by CEO of Shurooq Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Director General of the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, hairman of Kalba Municipal Council Abdullah Saif Al Yamahi and others.

Al Sarkal praised H.H Dr. Shaikh Sultan’s efforts to preserve the environment. H.H She-aikh Sultan gives this issue great deal attention in order to achieve a balance between environmental protection and the requirements of comprehensive development, which eventually aim to ensure a better life for those generations to come.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/nationgeneral/2012/May/nationgeneral_May183.xml&section=nationgeneral

 

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Border guard officers get Ph.D.s in Saudi Kingdom, while on Job

MD AL-SULAMI

May 13, 2012

Prince Muhammad bin Naif, assistant minister of interior for security affairs, has congratulated eight border guard officers for obtaining doctoral degrees while continuing in their jobs.

The minister met the officers during a graduation ceremony at the Institute of Marine Border Guards recently and was briefed about their research projects.

Brig. Muhammad Al-Sharari received his Ph.D. in "Quality management to ensure better performance of border guards," while Brig. Fahd Al-Qahtani presented a dissertation on "Saudi Arabia's strategy to protect its borders and its impact on national security" to obtain his doctoral degree.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article632890.ece?service=print

 

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First Underwater Mosque: Deep Sea Islamisation in Saudi Arabia

Posted on 12 May 2012 by Garibaldi

The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad is said to have remarked that, “the whole world has been made a mosque, so when the time for prayer is due pray wherever you are,” certainly the first mosque within the Red Sea gives his statement a whole new meaning!

If they haven’t come up with it already, here’s another one for the loony conspiracy theorists; Saudi Arabians have erected the first underwater mosque, likely the first salvo in the upcoming deep sea jihad adventures that are sure to come about with the impending rise in sea levels. (Right-wingers might not be prepared for such a scenario considering they dispute global warming!)

The underwater mosque is not much to look at, just a bunch of pipes filled with sand:

First underwater mosque

But I notice that it has a mihrab, or niche from which an Imam leads the congregation, and therefore retains some of the traditional aspects of normal mosque architecture.

http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/05/first-underwater-mosque-deep-sea-islamization/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+loonwatch+%28loonwatch.com%29&utm_content=FeedBurner+user+view

 

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Hezbollah says able to strike anywhere in Israel

May 13, 2012

BEIRUT: The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah said his militant group was capable of striking any target in neighboring Israel, saying “the days when we fled and they did not are over.”

“Today we are not only able to hit Tel Aviv as a city but, God willing, we are able to hit specific targets in Tel Aviv and anywhere in occupied Palestine,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address.

“For every building destroyed in Dahiya, a building will be destroyed in Tel Aviv,” he said, referring to Hezbollah’s stronghold in a suburb of southern Beirut.

Nasrallah’s comments were some of his harshest words against Israel in several months, and came amid rising tensions between Israel and Hezbollah’s main backer, Iran.

Israel argues Iran’s nuclear enrichment project is being used to make an atomic bomb and has warned it could launch a strike to stop Tehran. Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.

Hezbollah has long been seen as a proxy for Iran and Syria and many analysts believe that in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, Hezbollah could return fire.

“The days when we were forced from our homes and they were not forced from theirs are over,” Nasrallah said, to cheers from a crowd of supporters watching his speech.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article632966.ece?service=print

 

North Africa

 

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Algeria Islamists Miss Arab Spring Revival

12 May 2012 00:00

Analysts referred to concerns of the international community which appeared keen to preserve Algeria's stability, which provides a fifth of Europe gas

ALGIERS – Resisting the Arab Spring's tide of change, Algeria's ruling party secured a huge victory in legislative polls on Saturday, May 12, as Islamists reeled from an unexpected stinging setback.

“In fact the Arab Spring did have an impact on the election... but maybe not in the way the world was expecting,” political analyst Nourredine Hakiki told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“In Egypt, in Libya, there was change but then there was regression and disorder... In Algeria, voters were looking for security, stability,” he said.

Algerian Islamists Hope for "Arab Spring" Revival

Maintaining the status quo, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's National Liberation Front (FLN) won 220 out of 462 seats up for grabs in Thursday's legislative elections, improving on its share in the outgoing national assembly.

The seven Islamist parties contesting the polls only got 59 seats, a major setback after their predictions of victory during the campaign.

The National Rally for Democracy (RND) of Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, a nationalist party close to the military and loyal to Bouteflika, came second with 68 seats, compared to 62 in the outgoing house.

Algeria's outgoing governing coalition included the FLN, the RND and the largest of the legal Islamist parties, the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP), the Algerian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood which swept to electoral triumphs in Egypt and Tunisia.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/africa/457042-algeria-islamists-miss-arab-spring-revival.html

 

South Asia

 

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4 NATO troops die in Afghanistan; 4 police killed

May 13, 2012

KABUL: Insurgent attacks killed three NATO troops in Afghanistan on Saturday while a fourth died of non-battle related injuries, the international coalition said. A roadside bomb in the northwest killed four Afghan policemen.

All four members of the US-led military coalition died in southern Afghanistan, where much of the fighting in the more than 10-year conflict has been concentrated, the alliance said in a statement.

NATO provided no other details about the deaths, including the nationalities of the troops. The coalition normally waits for member nations to disclose those details.

So far this month, 18 NATO service members have been killed in Afghanistan.

In the northwestern province of Badghis, a roadside bomb struck a police vehicle traveling through Qadis district, killing four officers, said the provincial governor’s spokesman, Sharafudin Majedi.

http://arabnews.com/world/article632829.ece?service=print

 

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UN condemns attacks on Afghan schools

12 May 2012

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan on Saturday condemned a wave of insurgent attacks on schools, calling for more protection of the right to an education — especially for girls.

In the past week a girls’ secondary school was set on fire in eastern Nangahar province and an attack on education officials travelling in neighbouring Paktika province left five dead and seven wounded, the UN said.

“Over the last year UNAMA has monitored unacceptable levels of violence by anti-government elements directed against schools, education institutions, their staff and/or students,” the UN mission said in a statement.

The hardline Islamist Taliban, who were ousted by a US-led invasion in 2001, banned girls from attending school and have regularly targeted pupils and their schools in an increasingly bloody insurgency.

Dozens of schools were recently closed in the central province of Ghazni after Taliban threats, but reopened last week after tribal elders interceded.

“These attacks and acts of intimidation demonstrate a disregard for the protection of civilians, especially children, and of civilian institutions,” UNAMA said.

“They are a serious violation of international humanitarian law and of the right to education including for girls.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/international/2012/May/international_May414.xml&section=international

 

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Afghan-US strategic deal: Hekmatyar’s group calls off talks with govt

By Tahir Khan

Published: May 12, 2012

ISLAMABAD:

A major militant group, led by former Afghan prime minister Gulbudin Hekmatyar, has called off talks with the Karzai administration to protest the signing of a ‘controversial’ deal between Kabul and Washington.

The Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) has held a series of meetings with Afghan officials and senior US diplomats and military commanders in recent months. The last of such meetings took place as recently as last month.

“We have suspended talks indefinitely to protest against the US-Afghan strategic partnership agreement,” HIA’s top political wizard Dr Ghairat Baheer told The Express Tribune.

US President Barack Obama, during his surprise visit to Kabul on May 2, had signed the strategic partnership agreement with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai.

“We have serious concerns over the agreement which, we believe, will pave the way for permanent US military presence in Afghanistan,” Dr Baheer said.

The Taliban have already rejected the deal as an “attempt by puppet Karzai to sell out the country”.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/377677/afghan-us-strategic-deal-hekmatyars-group-calls-off-talks-with-govt/?print=true

 

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Four Afghan policemen killed in roadside bomb

May,13 2012   

An Afghan policeman stands at the site of a roadside bomb attack. – File photo by AP

HERAT: A roadside bomb killed four Afghan policemen when it ripped through their patrol vehicle in western Afghanistan on Saturday, a provincial government official said.

“A police pick-up truck hit a roadside bomb planted by insurgents in Qaraghul area in Qadis district of western Badghis province,” a provincial governor spokesman, Salahuddin Majeedi said.

“Unfortunately, all four policemen onboard were killed.”

Meanwhile, Nato said a bomb killed one of its service members in southern Afghanistan, while another has died of non-battle related injuries. It provided no other details about the deaths, including the nationalities of the troops.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but roadside bombs are regularly planted by Taliban.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/05/12/four-afghan-policemen-killed-in-roadside-bomb/

 

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Four coalition troops killed in Afghanistan

May 13, 2012

Afp, Kabul

Four coalition soldiers were killed in three separate incidents in Afghanistan yesterday, Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

Afghan sources said at least one British soldier died and another was wounded when two Afghan policemen turned their weapons on their allies in a joint base in southern Helmand province.

ISAF said it could not confirm this, but was investigating the reports.

In terse statements, ISAF said two soldiers died following an insurgent attack, one was killed in a bomb blast and another died as a result of a "non-battle related injury" -- all in southern Afghanistan.

The statements gave no further details and did not identify the soldiers' nationalities.

Helmand province police spokesman Farid Ahmad Farhang told AFP that "two Afghan policemen opened fire on British soldiers inside a joint military base in Nahre Saraj district, killing one British soldier and wounding another".

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=233918

 

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Tortured Afghan Bride Defies The Odds, Embarks On New Life

May 13, 2012

By Frud Bezhan, Fareba Wahidi

KABUL -- Sahar Gul, the young Afghan bride whose harrowing ordeal at the hands of her in-laws attracted international media attention, has received some solace after authorities handed down lengthy prison sentences against her tormentors.

The Kabul Sessions Court on May 1 delivered 10-year sentences against Gul's father-in-law, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law, who had been accused of imprisoning and brutally abusing the 15-year-old newlywed. Police are still looking for Gul's husband and brother, both of whom are suspects in the case.

When police in northern Baghlan Province followed a tip and rescued Gul in December, she was lying unconscious on the floor of a dark basement. Her fingers were broken, some of her nails had been torn out, patches of hair were missing, and her frail body was covered with bruises and scars.

She was so feeble and traumatized that for weeks she could barely speak.

"I wanted them to be punished," Gul said after hearing the verdicts from the court. "I want them to have their nails ripped off and for them to receive burns like they gave me. I wanted to get my divorce."

Doctors are still closely monitoring her fragile psychological condition as the teenager battles acute trauma and depression. But after enduring months of hell after being sold into marriage to a man twice her age, most of Gul's physical scars have healed and she now looks forward to achieving the big goals she has set for herself.

Full report at:

http://www.rferl.org/content/afghanistan_child_bride_torture/24567560.html

 

Southeast Asia

 

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Islamic Party Vows Hudud for Malaysia

12 May 2012

"If we have enough majority (of seats), if Pas is stronger than our allies, we will implement hudud," Harun said.

CAIRO - Seeking to lure more voters in next year’s election, Malaysia's main Islamic party has pledged to amend the constitution to allow the application of hudud in the Asian Muslim-majority country.

"We will implement hudud and amend the Constitution even if (it is) not with the current partners we have in Pakatan...may be there will be other pacts (Pakatan) that will lend us their support,” Harun Taib, chief of PAS Ulema Council, was quoted as saying by the New Straight Times on Saturday, May 12.

"If we have enough majority (of seats), if PAS is stronger than our allies, we will implement (hudud and the amendment to the Constitution)."

Hudud (Penalties) in Contemporary Legal Discourse

The issue was first raised when the Islamic party’s president Abdul Hadi Awang said that PAS had never backtracked on their intention to put hudud (Islamic penalties) to law and that it will seek to implement it if it takes federal power.

But the staetments drew fire from Karpal Singh, the national chairman of the secular Democratic Action Party (DAP).

Harun reiterated the party support for Hadi on the issue of hudud, saying that the party views Karpal’s criticism as a “personal opinion as a lawyer.”

"I think whether it is against the Constitution or not is just his (Karpal's) personal opinion and comment as a lawyer,” Harun said.

"As a PAS member, I am fully behind Hadi."

With an estimated 800,000 members, PAS is the main rival of Prime Minister Najib Razak's United Malays National Organization.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/457041-malaysias-pas-vows-hudud-if-elections-won.html

 

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Bangladesh: Ashulia turns into battle ground

May 13, 2012

At least 40 people were injured as several thousand workers of Ha-Meem Group continue to fight pitched battle with police for the second straight day on Sunday.

Production of nearly 30 garment factories situated beside the Dhaka-Tangail highway stretching from Jamgorah to Narasinghapur were suspended fearing vandalism, said Mostafa Kamal, officer-in-charge (investigation) of Ashulia Police Station.

The marauding workers also vandalised around 25 vehicles as soon as they took to the highway around 9:00am.

Traffic movement on the highway remains suspended since then, triggering a severe gridlock on the highway.

Ashulia industrial belt area turned to a battleground as the workers are continuing the clash with police around 12noon when this report was filed.

The workers are demonstrating to know the whereabouts of Salman, a storekeeper of the group's Artistic Design Ltd, and the death of a garment worker in a road accident during Saturday clash.

Today's clash ensued around 10:00 in the morning when the law enforcers rushed to Narasinghapur, the scene of the violence, to bring the situation under control, said Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Meer Fasiur Rahman, also the assistant director of Ashulia Industrial Police.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=37672

 

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Bangladesh Awami League leader, 2 journos among 15 killed

May 13, 2012

Iftekhar Hossain Shamim, Bibhas Chandra Saha and Shahiduzzaman Titu

Fifteen people including Awami League's Sylhet district unit senior vice-president Iftekhar Hossain Shamim and two journalists were killed in road accidents in Sylhet, Dhaka and Gaibandha yesterday.

Eight people, including Iftekhar Hossain Shamim, were killed and 30 others injured when a truck collided head on with an intercity bus on Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Teromile of Osmaninagar, some 22km away from Sylhet city, yesterday morning.

Shamim's wife and daughter were also injured.

Al-Amin, officer-in-charge of Osmaninagar Police Station, told The Daily Star that the accident occurred around 5:30am when the stone-laden truck collided with the bus heading for Sylhet from Dhaka, reports our staff correspondent in Sylhet.

All the deceased were in the bus.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/print_news.php?nid=233787

 

Europe

 

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2 UK men arrested for terrorism, homes evacuated

May 12, 2012

LONDON: British police say more than 100 homes have been evacuated after two men were arrested under suspicion of terror offenses.

Officers raided a home and a garage in southwest England’s Cheltenham on Friday and arrested the men, aged 52 and 31, after they found items “requiring further investigation.”

Police said Saturday the two were initially arrested for allegedly possessing explosives. They are also suspected of the commission, instigation or preparation of a terrorism act.

Residents in the area are told not to return to their homes during the investigation. The men remain in custody for police questioning.

http://arabnews.com/world/article632947.ece?service=print

 

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Charting the Afghan course: Chicago invite to take NATO supply route

By Kamran Yousaf

Published: May 12, 2012

ISLAMABAD:

Even as the Nato secretary general on Friday hinted that Pakistan may not attend the Chicago summit later this month, Islamabad still expects to participate in the historic gathering to discuss the Afghan endgame.

Pakistan’s optimism stems from the fact that its ongoing negotiations with the United States appear to have made progress.

A senior Pakistani official disclosed that an agreement on the resumption of vital land routes for the Nato forces was expected to be concluded before the Chicago summit.

The final decision is likely to be taken by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, which is scheduled to meet on Monday.

Islamabad’s participation in the key gathering being attended by over 60 world leaders hinges on its decision to reopen supply lines for the western forces stationed in Afghanistan.

Invite linked to Nato supplies

Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also tacitly linked Pakistan’s invitation to the Nato Chicago summit 2012 to the reopening of the supply routes through the country.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/377700/charting-the-afghan-course-chicago-invite-to-take-nato-supply-route/?print=true

 

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Two held, homes evacuated in UK over ‘terror plan’

By AFP

Published: May 12, 2012

LONDON: Two men have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism and explosives offences and more than 100 homes evacuated in the town that is home to Britain’s electronic surveillance centre, police said Saturday.

The local men, aged 52 and 31, were arrested in two raids in Cheltenham, a spa town in southwest England, on Friday, with the older man initially arrested over explosives offences.

Both were then arrested on suspicion of preparing or instigating a terrorist act, and are in police custody.

“This relates to examination of the items found in a garage,” police said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/377841/two-held-homes-evacuated-in-uk-over-terror-plan/?print=true

 

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British WW II fighter plane found in Egypt desert

By AFP

Published: May 12, 2012

CAIRO: A World War II airplane that crash landed in Egypt’s western desert has been found frozen in the sands of time almost 70 years later, the British embassy in Cairo told AFP on Saturday.

The Kittyhawk P-40 was discovered “almost intact” some weeks ago during a mining exploration in Egypt’s western desert, the British embassy’s Defence Attache Captain Paul Collins told AFP.

The plane’s pilot, presumed to be Flight Sergeant Denis Copping, made a “fairly flawless emergency landing” in June 1942, Collins said.

The conditions in the desert, with no liquid and regular winds blowing, means the plane was left “almost intact, in an amazing piece of preservation,” he said.

Britain is now in talks with the Egyptian army over whether the plane, which lies in a military zone, can be moved.

The pilot, Copping, is believed to have gotten lost, taken the radio out and walked away, but no trace of the bound has been found.

“His family probably exists somewhere, we need to solve that problem. We need to record it properly,” said Collins.

Egypt’s western desert was the scene of several key battles during World War II.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/377830/british-ww-ii-fighter-plane-found-in-egypt-desert/?print=true

 

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Pakistan not invited for meet on Afghanistan?

ANITA JOSHUA

May 13, 2012 

Even as Pakistan faced the possibility of being left out of the coming Chicago meeting on Afghanistan, Islamabad and Washington made military-level contact here on Saturday with the commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) John Allen meeting Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations office, the meeting was in connection with the forthcoming meeting of the tripartite commission that includes Afghanistan. Though scheduled, this meeting took place in the backdrop of the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) toughening their position vis-à-vis Pakistan; particularly because of its refusal to re-open supply lines for transit of goods to ISAF troops in Afghanistan.

On Friday, while briefing mediapersons in Brussels about the upcoming NATO conference in Chicago, Secretary-General Anders Fog Rasmussen's comment that many countries which had been invited for the meeting were called because they were providing supply routes to NATO has been inferred as a possibility that Pakistan might be left out.

Pakistan had shut down NATO supply lines through the country in December after ISAF helicopters attacked Pakistan Army outposts in Salala along the border with Afghanistan; killing 24 soldiers.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3412729.ece

 

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Afghan peace council member shot dead

May 13, 2012

Authorities said a gunman has shot and killed a top member of the Afghan peace council in Kabul.

It is another blow to efforts to negotiate a political resolution to the decade-long war.

Mohammad Zahir, who is head of the Kabul police department’s criminal investigation division, said former Taliban official-turned-Afghan peace negotiator Arsala Rahmani was killed on Sunday in the western part of the city.

Mr. Zahir said an unknown attacker in a vehicle fatally shot Mr. Rahmani, who was travelling in another vehicle on his way to work.

Keywords: Taliban, Afghan peace council

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3414920.ece

 

Africa

 

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Islamic extremists desecrate Muslim saint's Timbuktu tomb

6 May 2012

"Members of AQIM, supported by (the armed Islamist group) Ansar Dine, have destroyed the tomb of Saint Sidi (Mahmoud Ben) Amar. They set fire to the tomb," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that they had pledged to destroy others too.

Timbuktu, a UNESCO World Heritage site and cradle of Islamic learning, has been under the control of AQIM and Ansar Dine since the groups took advantage of a March 22 coup to take control of northern Mali.

"They promised to destroy other tombs, Timbuktu is in shock. Now they want to take and control other tombs and manuscripts," the official said.

A local journalist confirmed the tomb was destroyed.

"This is very serious," he said.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/5/35/40950/Arts--Culture/Stage--Street/Islamic-extremists-desecrate-Muslim-saints-Timbukt.aspx

 

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S. Sudan pulls out from Abyei, US welcomes move

May 12, 2012

UNITED NATIONS: South Sudan has withdrawn its police from the disputed Abyei region on its border with Sudan, the United Nations said, after the UN Security Council threatened the African neighbors with sanctions to try and stop an escalating conflict.

Sudan and South Sudan both claim Abyei, a border region containing fertile grazing land, which Khartoum took in May last year — triggering the exodus of tens of thousands of civilians — after a southern attack on an army convoy.

Recent border clashes between Sudan and South Sudan, which culminated with South Sudan seizing a disputed oil field, prompted the Security Council to pass a resolution last week threatening sanctions if the two sides did not follow an African Union roadmap stipulating a cease-fire and a return to talks.

“The UN Interim Security Force for Abyei reports that yesterday South Sudan’s inspector general officially ordered the withdrawal of the South Sudan police service from the Abyei area,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article632804.ece?service=print

 

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Pirates hijack Liberian vessel; eleven Indians trapped aboard

12 MAY 2012 23:40       

AGENCIES | NEW DELHI/LONDON

Striking yet again, Somali pirates have seized a Liberian oil tanker off the coast of Oman with 11 Indians and 15 others on board.

The vessel MT Smyrni, bearing Liberian flag, was hijacked at 4.30 IST two days back in the Arabian Sea, around 600 miles east of Somalia.

"The vessel, managed by one Dynacom Tankers has 26 crew including 11 Indians, 14 Filipinos and one Romanian," a Shipping Ministry official told PTI in New Delhi.

The official said the pirates were in the process of taking the ship carrying 135,000 tonnes of oil to Somalia.

"The Liberian government is in the know of the matter and we are closely watching the developments," he said. The tanker was reported to be heading for Somalia. This was only the second voyage for the tanker, which first set to sea in 2011. The tanker's capture comes after a recent fall in the number of hijackings in the region.

It has not been reported, however, whether the Smyrni had such guards on board. EU naval ships are currently on patrol off the Horn of Africa in an effort to protect vessels.

According to the International Maritime Organisation, 17 ships and close to 300 crew are currently held by Somali pirates.

ttp://www.dailypioneer.com/world/64882-pirates-hijack-liberian-vessel-eleven-indians-trapped-aboard.html

 

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Two killed in sectarian clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon

13 May 2012

The violence began overnight as armed groups from an Alawite enclave clashed with Sunni fighters.

Tensions in the northern port city have mounted since the uprising in neighbouring Syria began last March.

Similar recent clashes have highlighted how tensions can spill over to Lebanon. Syria's president is an Alawite.

In February at least two people were killed in Tripoli as supporters and opponents of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad clashed.

But the city's Alawite minority has fought with its Sunni neighbours on several occasions since the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war.

In the latest incident two rocket-propelled grenades fell on Tripoli's Bab Tabbaneh neighbourhood and reports say explosions were heard across the city.

Despite the deployment of Lebanese Army units between the rival neighbourhoods, exchanges of gunfire continued well into the morning.

Tripoli is dominated by Sunni Muslims, who support the anti-Assad uprising in Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18049511

 

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Yemeni troops attack Zinjibar

May 13, 2012       

ADEN  - Yemeni troops launched an all-out offensive on Saturday to retake the southern city of Zinjibar, held for a year by Al-Qaeda gunmen, in fighting that killed 12 people, military and local sources said. The “wide offensive” began from three sides and is supported by the air force and the navy,” said a military official, adding that Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed is supervising the operation from nearby. “The defence minister is supervising a military plan to regain control of the city of Zinjibar and (the neighbouring town of) Jaar from Al-Qaeda gunmen,” the official said.

Two soldiers, including a colonel, were killed in the fighting, while 12 others were wounded, he said.

Six fighters of the Al-Qaeda-linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), were also killed in the attack, said a tribal source in Jaar, to where the gunmen evacuate their casualties.

The militants took control of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, last May. They also control Jaar and other parts of the province.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/13-May-2012/yemeni-troops-attack-zinjibar

 

North America

 

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US legislators want Haqqani network to be deemed 'terrorist' group

By Reuters

Published: May 12, 2012

WASHINGTON: The leaders of congressional intelligence committees, who recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan, have urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to immediately designate the militant Haqqani network as a “terrorist” group.

US officials blame the al Qaeda-linked network for attacks in Afghanistan including assaults on embassies and the parliament in Kabul. The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, had called the Haqqani group a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s intelligence service.

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees, in a letter to Clinton, on Friday, said their trip to Afghanistan last week reaffirmed concerns about the network.

“It was clear that the Haqqani network continues to launch sensational and indiscriminate attacks against US interests in Afghanistan and the group poses a continuing threat to innocent men, women, and children in the region,” the letter said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/377657/us-legislators-want-haqqani-network-to-be-deemed-terrorist-group/?print=true

 

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US Muslims question ‘no fly’ list in court

By REUTERS

May 12, 2012

PORTLAND, Oregon: A panel of federal judges grilled Justice Department lawyers on Friday over the US government’s “no-fly” list, questioning whether those barred from commercial air travel for suspected terrorism ties are given any realistic avenue for appeal.

Government attorneys were asked to defend the process as lawyers for 15 Muslims in the United States who have been placed on the no-fly list sought to reinstate their constitutional challenge of the airline security measure.

The plaintiffs, who are US citizens or permanent legal residents, said they learned of their “no-fly” status when they were blocked from boarding a commercial flight without prior notice, and were later denied any effective means of petitioning the government to be removed from the list.

“They have been deprived of their rights without redress,” Nusrat Choudhury, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, said in court, adding that her clients “want the opportunity to be heard before a decision-maker.”

A US district court judge in Portland, Oregon, dismissed the original lawsuit, filed in June 2010, ruling the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter.

The ACLU then asked the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the case and decide the proper legal venue for it. Oral arguments on that request were heard on Friday.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article632838.ece?service=print

 

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More ‘Anti-Islam’ Courses at US Military, AlJazeera Reveals

12 May 2012

AlJazeera uncovered another “anti-Islam” class in the US military. The class seems to have been lifted directly from the talking points of extremists such as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer:

US Military Under Fire for ‘Anti-Islam Class’

(AlJazeera)

The United States military has called for a review of all its training classes after receiving criticism for a course taught to senior officers that allegedly encouraged war against Islam.

The controversial class presented slides that accused dozens of Islamic groups, many widely recognised as mainstream advocacy groups, of infiltrating the US media, education system, government and military.

One slide titled “The Muslim Brotherhood and Violence” showed a photo of an al-Qaeda beheading, erroneously conflating the two groups.

Through the slides and other presentations, the course created a picture of a US government co-opted by subversive Muslim elements.

Al Jazeera’s Josh Rushing reports from Washington.

http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/05/us-military-under-fire-for-anti-islam-class/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+loonwatch+%28loonwatch.com%29&utm_content=FeedBurner+user+view

 

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US commander holds talks with Pak army chief

May 13, 2012

AP, Islamabad

The Pakistani military says the top American commander in Afghanistan has flown to Pakistan to speak with the army chief on operations in border areas.

The military said in a statement that a delegation led by Gen John Allen arrived at Pakistani army headquarters in the northern city of Rawalpindi on Saturday and met with Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

The visit comes amid American efforts to rebuild ties after US airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border in November. In response, Islamabad blocked US and Nato supply lines running through its territory.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=37668

 

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U.S. Senator Urges Pakistan To Do More Against Terrorists

May 13, 2012

Influential U.S. Senator John Kerry has called on Pakistan to do more to wipe out terrorist bases on its soil, Pakistan's "Daily Times" and other media reported.

Washington has long accused Islamabad of doing little against insurgents operating on its territory and who frequently launch raids into neighboring Afghanistan.

Speaking to a congressional hearing, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts said it was "unacceptable to have a zone of immunity for acts of war" against international forces inside Afghanistan.

Kerry said Pakistan needed to be "more assertive and more cooperative" and suggested other measures should be considered if Islamabad doesn't do more.

http://www.rferl.org/content/us_senator_kerry_urges_pakistan_to_do_more_against_terrorists/24579086.html

 

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Protection of refugees an Islamic duty, says UNHCR

By RIYADH: WALAA HAWARI,

May 13, 2012

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) ended a two-day international ministerial conference on refugees in the Muslim world in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, yesterday.

The conference focused on the refugee situation in the Muslim world. The OIC’s 57 member states, non-member states, NGOs and international organizations participated in the event and shed light on the hospitality and assistance extended by OIC member states to refugees and asylum-seekers.

In 2011 OIC states hosted more than 17 million people, comprising refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, internally displaced people and the stateless, which represent 50 percent of those of concern to the UN refugee agency.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres encouraged further actions to address the root causes of displacement. He also stressed the need to enhance refugee protection in OIC member states. This included multilateral cooperation to share the burden and responsibility, to protect and assist refugees and voluntary repatriation.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article632918.ece?service=print

 

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U.S. May Scrap Costly Efforts to Train Iraqi Police

By TIM ARANGO

May 13,2012

BAGHDAD — In the face of spiraling costs and Iraqi officials who say they never wanted it in the first place, the State Department has slashed — and may jettison entirely by the end of the year — a multibillion-dollar police training program that was to have been the centerpiece of a hugely expanded civilian mission here.

What was originally envisioned as a training cadre of about 350 American law enforcement officers was quickly scaled back to 190 and then to 100. The latest restructuring calls for 50 advisers, but most experts and even some State Department officials say even they may be withdrawn by the end of this year.

The training effort, which began in October and has already cost $500 million, was conceived of as the largest component of a mission billed as the most ambitious American aid effort since the Marshall Plan. Instead, it has emerged as the latest high-profile example of the waning American influence here following the military withdrawal, and it reflects a costly miscalculation on the part of American officials, who did not count on the Iraqi government to assert its sovereignty so aggressively.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/world/middleeast/us-may-scrap-costly-effort-to-train-iraqi-police.html?_r=1&ref=global-home&gwh=A66AFB890D52A444A2C580A2C55E224E&pagewanted=print

 

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Oxford Islamic Center Gains Royal Charter

12 May 2012

Founded in 1985, the OCIS is a recognized independent center at the University of Oxford.

CAIRO – An Islamic center in Oxford has been granted a royal charter in appreciation of the role it plays in the public interest through its international outreach and links with academic institutions worldwide.

“This is an important moment,” Dr Farhan Nizami, director of Oxford Center for Islamic Studies (OCIS), said in a statement cited by the Saudi Gazette on Saturday, May 12.

“We are grateful to those who encouraged and assisted the centre’s development over more than 25 years."

Founded in 1985, the OCIS is a recognized independent center at the University of Oxford.

The center promotes multi-disciplinary teaching, research and publication at Oxford related to Muslim culture and civilization.

Its fellows teach in a range of faculties across the University of Oxford.

Through its international outreach, and links with academic institutions worldwide, the center provides a meeting place for scholars studying all aspects of contemporary Muslim societies.

“As well as contributing strongly to the intellectual and academic life of Oxford, by focusing on the study of Muslim culture and civilization, the center has developed active global links with leading academic institutions internationally,” Nizami said.

Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.5 million.

Royal Charters, granted by the sovereign on the advice of the Privy Council, have a history dating back to the 13th century.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/457044-oxford-islamic-center-gains-royal-charter.html

 

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New Muslims and Family Problems

12 May 2012

Islam places great emphasis on behaving kindly with parents and keeping family ties

With all the scaremongering and misinformation about Islam that is flooding the media these days, when someone chooses to embrace Islam it often comes as a great shock to their family.

The family members might think the new Muslim has ‘changed’; is no longer the same person they used to know and love.

Imeges form in the mind, urging them to take drastic measures to make the new Muslim leave off this new and strange way of life and return to their old ways; something familiar and easily understood.

New Muslims Face the Challenges

- You Are Still My Parents

- Reverts Journey After Shahadah (Folder)

- How Do I Tell My Parents & Family I'm A Muslim?

- I’m Muslim, I’m English, and I’m a Westerner

- UK Sisters Face the Challenges of Conversion

Why Islam?

But the new Muslim is heeding an ancient call that transcends the concerns of the day. The call is from a mortal man, thirteen centuries ago, who declared that the Creator of the universe had bidden him to carry His Message so that humans might live in harmony with the plan of their creation.

The Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, was ordered to remind mankind of the existence and omnipotence of Allah and to lay before humankind a blueprint of conduct. It was a simple call: ‘if you accept this reminder and this code of life, then follow me’! That is exactly what the new Muslim has responded to; the call of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

The way of life propounded by the Prophet is simplicity itself, which can only emerge from true grandeur. Through heeding this message, the new Muslim is equipped with the means to decipher good from evil and as he steps further and further into the Islamic way of life and strives for spiritual stature, he is supported, encouraged and protected.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/growing-in-faith/456993-new-muslims-and-family-problems.html


URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/tortured-afghan-bride-defies-the-odds,-embarks-on-new-life/d/7315

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