New Age Islam
Sat Oct 24 2020, 07:43 AM

Islamic World News ( 1 Sept 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Turkey Expels Israeli Ambassador Over Gaza Flotilla Row

Xinjiang's growing PoK links cloud China's stance on Kashmir

21 Dead in Religious Rioting in Central Nigeria

Pakistan: 12 killed in Lakki Marwat suicide bombing, ambush

Anti-US Jihadi is Libyans rebel military chief

Will J&K see TN-like move on Afzal Guru

Reached back-channel Kashmir deal with Musharraf, PM said

Slain Pandya’s sisters to appeal to PM for justice

ISI funded terrorists in Valley, US knew in 1997

US was keen on preserving Indo-Pak truce: Wikileaks

NGO's plea on Babri Masjid title suit dismissed

Taliban kidnap 40 Pakistani boys in Afghanistan

Indonesia’s SCTV blasted for pulling film on religious tolerance

Human Rights Watch slams Turkey, Iran attacks in north Iraq

J-K MLA moves House resolution for mercy to Afzal Guru

Three US Islamic charity leaders convicted again for Jihadi activities

72 prisoners executed: Syrian official spills the beans in resignation video

One Militant killed, 2 Army soldiers injured in Kashmir

Two dead as Syrian security forces make new swoops

Two terrorists killed in bomb blast in Karachi

Four killed in central Kurram ambush

24 killed in Pakistan due to heavy rains

Syrian Official in Hama Resigns to Protest Bloodshed

Amid Triumph in Libya, War Lingers for Britain in Afghanistan

Artist Jehangir Sabavala passes away

Three Australian commandos cleared of six Afghan deaths

Spanish Town Becoming "New Mecca of the Most Radical Islamism"

Six Kashmiri youth apprehended by troops Rajouri district

Blue Nile: Sudan forces battle former SPLM rebels

Anti-Israel protests disrupt Zubin-led concert in UK

Cancer risk higher for 9/11 firefighters

Police clash with Kurdish youths in Istanbul

Peshawar: Militants attack tribal leader’s residence and Kidnapped three

How US firms profited from torture flights

Zardari dreams of free borders between China and Pakistan

World leaders free Libya funds

EU steps up Syria sanctions with ban on oil imports

Libya rebels get USD 15bn boost as Gaddafi voices defiance

SC reserves order on Hindu Malegaon blast accused bail plea

Turkey set to host NATO early warning radar

Eye care: A casualty of Afghanistan’s tortured history

Many Afghan refugees may opt to stay on in Pakistan

Syria's attorney general: Resignation or kidnapping?

Mentally ill sisters freed from chains in West Bank

Iraq toll still high a year after US combat halt

Al-Qaeda in Nigeria: Has the Group Found a New African Foothold?

Sudan still waging war in Nuba amid accusations of crimes against humanity

Allen West Hosts “Islamophobic” Anti-Ground Zero Mosque Event

Boko Haram’s Terrorist Escalation 

Vandals Deface Polish Monument to Massacre of Jews

Unity of the Iranian people is their strength: Former Chief of Intelligence Bureau

SC issues notice to 26/11 accused

Syria faces calls for tougher sanctions

Suspended Gujarat IPS Officer moves High Court challenging Guj.govt. decision

26/11: SC likely to take up Kasab's letter challenging death penalty

China unlikely to replace US role in Pakistan: Analysts

Nanny tells of brutal abuse in Gaddafi family home

UN inquiry says Israel flotilla raid 'excessive': NYT

World must force Assad out: Clinton

Lawyers fight for Pakistanis in Afghan ‘Guantanamo’

Afghans anxious about exit of foreign troops

For Muslim family, faith complicates grief for loved one lost on 9/11

Mother of 9/11 '20th hijacker': I was blind to son's extremism

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/turkey-expels-israeli-ambassador-over-gaza-flotilla-row-/d/5381

 

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Turkey expels Israeli ambassador over Gaza flotilla row

Sep 2, 2011

Turkey has expelled Israel's ambassador and suspended all military agreements over its refusal to apologise for last year's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

This came as the UN published a report saying that Israeli commandos used excessive force when they boarded an aid ship. Nine Turkish activists died.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said it was "time Israel pays a price for its illegal actions".

Israel has refused to apologise and said its troops acted in self-defence.

"Israel, like any other country, has a legitimate right to protect its citizens and soldiers," an Israeli government official told the BBC.

The report was leaked to the New York Times on Thursday, the day before it was delivered to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's office.

"The secretary general's idea was to help bring these two countries back together again. He deeply regrets the fact that this has not been possible through this report," said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey.

"I imagine he will want time to read the report, to discuss it with his officials and then take a decision as to future steps."

US state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington hoped Turkey and Israel "will continue to look for opportunities to improve their longstanding relationship, and we will encourage both to work towards that end", according to the AFP news agency.

'Null and void'

The nine pro-Palestinian activists who died were on board the Turkish-flagged ship, Mavi Marmara, when it was intercepted by the Israeli navy in international waters as sailed towards Gaza's coast on 31 May 2010.

At the time, the Israeli military said its commandos fired live rounds only after being attacked with clubs, knives and guns. But activists on board said the commandos started shooting as soon as they hit the deck.

The UN inquiry chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer found the Israeli troops faced "significant, organised and violent resistance from a group of passengers" and were therefore required to use force for their own protection.

But it said Israel's decision to board the vessels "with such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable".

The report noted "forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range".

The inquiry also found Israel's naval blockade "was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law".

The report was completed months ago, but its publication was delayed several times as Turkey and Israel attempted to repair their diplomatic relations, which have been frozen since the flotilla incident.

But on Friday, hours before the report was released by the UN, Turkey' announced that diplomatic relations had been reduced to the level of second secretary and all military agreements had been suspended.

"The time has come for Israel to pay for its stance that sees it above international laws and disregards human conscience," Mr Davutoglu said. "The first and foremost result is that Israel is going to be devoid of Turkey's friendship."

"As long as the Israeli government does not take the necessary steps, there will be no turning back," he warned.

Mr Davutoglu said the report "displayed the violence committed by the Israeli soldiers", but added that some of its findings were questionable.

"Turkey does not recognise Israel's blockade of Gaza. It will secure the study of this blockade at the International Court of Justice."

He added that Turkey would take all necessary measures to protect its shipping in the eastern Mediterranean.

Asked to comment on the UN panel's decision not to recommend that Israel apologise, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said: "To be frank, the report is null and void for us."

Turkey's embassy in Washington later said in a statement that it was "determined to defend the rights of its citizens and will take legal actions against all those responsible for the crimes committed".

Hamas, whose decision to seize control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 led to Israel imposing the blockade, applauded the Turkish move.

"This is a natural response to the Israeli crime against the flotilla," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told the BBC.

The Israeli official said the government accepted with "reservations" the UN report, which it considered "professional, profound and serious".

"During the events of the Mavi Marmara flotilla, Israeli soldiers boarded the boat with non-lethal means. They had no intention to hurt anyone," the official said.

"Once the Israeli soldiers were viciously attacked by dozens of violent IHH activists, armed with batons, knives and steel pipes, the soldiers had to defend themselves," the official added, referring to the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, which Israel has banned for supporting Hamas.

"As recommended in the report, Israel again expresses regret about the loss of life but will not apologise for acts of self-defence by its soldiers."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14762475

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Xinjiang's growing PoK links cloud China's stance on Kashmir

ANANTH KRISHNAN

Sep 2, 2011

At sunset, the Pakistan Café on Seman Road here bursts into life. Here, Pakistani traders from across this dusty trading town gather for tea, sharing stories of their day's work, all united by a common ambition of grabbing a slice of this region's growth.

“We have great belief in what China is doing here,” says one trader who has driven to Kashgar from Gilgit, in disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The ongoing transformation of this old Silk Road town has left their spirits high. China is planning to build its first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the west in Kashgar, hoping to boost development in southern Xinjiang which has lagged behind the rest of the region and has been the source of recent ethnic unrest.

Kashgar, a town largely inhabited by Uighurs, the ethnic Turkic group native to Xinjiang, is far removed from cities like Urumqi, the centre of Chinese development in the far west. There are no skyscrapers here -- a livestock market on the city's outskirts is where most business gets done.

That will soon change, say local officials, with plans for an SEZ that will transform the city into a regional trading port and export hub.

The city's future, Chinese officials and Pakistani businessmen say, is now closely tied with that of its neighbour -- Kashgar lies a few hours away from China's border with PoK.

China has stepped up its investments in roads and infrastructure projects in neighbouring PoK, while officials here say feasibility studies are under way into a railway line from Kashgar through PoK. The plans have concerned India, which has reminded China of the region's disputed status. Chinese officials, however, say their plans are “without prejudice” to the dispute, which is “for India and Pakistan to solve”.

Contrasting with the trouble Indians resident in Jammu & Kashmir face in travelling to China, which has issued stapled visas to them because of the region's “disputed status”, Pakistanis from Gilgit-Baltistan and other areas in PoK say they are “welcomed” to travel and invest in Kashgar and face “no troubles”.

Kashgar even houses a Pakistan China Business and Investment Promotion Council, mainly represented by businessmen from Gilgit. Following recent violence in the city, the local government here blamed terrorists trained in Pakistan for carrying out the attacks.

There, however, appear to be no new restrictions on travel, traders said, adding they faced little suspicion from local authorities. A community of several hundred Pakistanis has made Kashgar their home, with some traders marrying local Uighur women and settling down here.

Others spend half a year in Kashgar, and move back home during the winter when travel becomes difficult.

Stapled visas may be no obstacle, but the forces of nature are – travel along the Karakoram Highway from Gilgit to the border town of Tashkurgan is frequently disrupted by flooding and mudslides. This week, too, the road from Kashgar was closed as a result of landslides.

“The Chinese have done a fantastic job in widening the highway up to the border, but on our side the road is poor,” said one trader from Karachi. The Karakoram Highway currently remains closed for six months every year, but is being upgraded to withstand adverse weather conditions.

This Wednesday in Urumqi, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari told Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang “it was important to re-establish the strategic road link of Karakoram Highway (KKH),” with Pakistan accepting a proposal from the China Reconstruction Bridge Corporation (CRBC) for the construction of 13 km of new road, as well as rehabilitating 22 km of the highway. He said “the widening and upgradation of Karakoram Highway would further facilitate and enhance the trade and people-to-people contacts,” reported the Associated Press of Pakistan.

The new plans mean Chinese officials here tend to overlook the region's disputed status. A report in the official Xinhua news agency this week described Kashgar as being “near Pakistan's northeastern border”.

Accompanying Mr. Zardari during his talks with Mr. Li were Syed Mehdi Shah, the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan who is on his second visit to China, and Chaudhary Abdul Majeed, who Pakistan calls the “Prime Minister of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.”

Farhatullah Babar, Mr. Zardari's spokesperson, told reporters Mr. Li had “appreciated President Zardari's gesture of bringing with him the Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan”.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/article2419820.ece

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21 Dead in Religious Rioting in Central Nigeria

Sep 2, 2011

JOS, Nigeria (AP) — Religious rioting in the troubled central Nigeria city of Jos has killed at least 21 people in recent days, as authorities seem to be unable to curb the rising violence.

An Associated Press journalist counted 21 bodies awaiting burial at the city's central mosque Friday. At the Jos University Teaching Hospital, doctors collected at least 12 bodies bearing gunshot and machete wounds, while another 82 were wounded in fighting in the city, said Dr. Stephen Yohanna, the hospital's chief medical director.

Families had begun collecting the dead Friday, so it was unclear if the 12 dead at the hospital were included among the dead collected at the city's central mosque. The Stefanos Foundation, a local Christian group which tallies the dead and wounded in conflicts in Jos, had yet to finish a count of the community's dead Friday, said foundation coordinator Mark Lipdo.

The violence began Monday in Jos, a city on the volatile dividing line between Nigeria's largely Christian south and Muslim north. A group of rioters on Monday attacked Muslims praying over the end of Ramadan in a primarily Christian neighborhood, using knives, machetes and bows and arrows, Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency said. At least four people died Monday, as witnesses said more than 50 vehicles and 100 motorcycles were set ablaze during the fighting.

Though army and police units moved into the affected neighborhood late Monday, the violence spilled into other neighborhoods as the unrest continued throughout the week. Officials with the police and military declined to comment Friday on the violence.

Most of the dead at the hospital bore gunshot wounds, Yohanna said, typically a sign that security forces killed them.

Jos sits in Nigeria's "middle belt," where dozens of ethnic groups vie for control of fertile lands and political and economic power. While cutting across religious and ethnic lines, much of the violence finds its root in economic and political issues.

The government of Plateau state, where Jos is the capital, is controlled by Christian politicians who have blocked Muslims from being legally recognized as citizens. That has locked many out of prized government jobs in a region where the tourism industry and tin mining have collapsed in the last decades.

Human Rights Watch says at least 1,000 people were killed around Jos in 2010 and another 200 died at the turn of the year.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/02/world/africa/AP-AF-Nigeria-Violence.html?ref=africa

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Pakistan: 12 killed in Lakki Marwat suicide bombing, ambush

September 3, 2011

LAKKI MARWAT: A total of 12 people were killed in a suicide car bombing and a separate ambush on a vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, police and officials said.

The explosion happened after officers signalled a suspect vehicle to stop at a checkpost in the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, local police chief Gul Wali Khan told AFP.

The driver ignored the instruction so police opened fire and the bomber detonated his device, he said.

About 40 shops and 10 houses were damaged in the blast.

“We have recovered five bodies so far from the debris,” he said. “The bomber detonated his car. It was a suicide car bomb attack.

The fatalities were all civilians killed when the buildings collapsed, the police chief said, adding that another 35 people were wounded, 10 of them police officials.

The two attacks took place as Pakistan celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Lakki Marwat district borders South Waziristan, part of Pakistan’s militant-infested semi-autonomous tribal belt near Afghanistan, which Washington calls the “most dangerous” place on Earth and a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.

Earlier Thursday gunmen killed seven people, four from the same family, in an ambush on a vehicle in Kurram tribal district in a possible sectarian attack, officials said.

The vehicle, with eight people on board, all from the minority Shiite community, was attacked in the Makhizai area of lower Kurram, local administration chief Javedullah Khan told AFP.

“Gunmen hiding behind the bushes along the road opened fire,” killing seven of those on board, he said, adding that the eighth person was injured.

A local security official confirmed the attack, but no-one immediately claimed responsibility and Khan said authorities had not ruled out the motive being a family vendetta.

Last week 11 people were killed when a remote-controlled bicycle bomb exploded at a busy hotel in Nowshera, northeast of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Kurram has a history of clashes between majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shiites and a similar incident there in July left seven Shiites dead.

The northwest suffers from chronic insecurity largely connected to the tribal belt and two weeks ago, 51 people were killed by a suicide bomber in a crowded mosque in Khyber tribal district, Pakistan’s deadliest attack for three months.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/243438/suicide-bomber-attacks-checkpost-in-lakki-marwat/

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Anti-US jihadi is Libyas rebel military chief

September 3, 2011

Tripoli: The rebels Tripoli military commander,a former leader of an Islamic militant group that sent fighters to Iraq and Afghanistan,insisted on Friday that the new Libya will shun extremism and wont become a breeding ground for terrorism.

The commander,Abdel Hakim Belhaj,said he was detained in 2004 in Malaysia and sent to a secret prison in Thailand where he claimed he was tortured by CIA agents.Then he was sent to Libya and jailed for seven years by Muammar Gaddafis regime.But Belhaj,45,played down his Islamist past,seeking to allay concerns about his emergence as a prominent figure in the Western-backed Libyan opposition movement.

He insisted he holds no grudges against the West because of the shared goal of ousting Gaddafi.

Belhaj was a leader in the now dissolved Libyan Islamic Fighting Group,deemed a terror group by the US.But he said he had refused to join al-Qaida because he disagreed with its ideology of global jihad,or holy war,and wanted to focus on ridding Libya of Gaddafi.

Times of India

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Will J&K see TN-like move on Afzal Guru

M Saleem Pandit

September 3, 2011

Srinagar: An independent legislator has sought Jammu & Kashmir assembly speaker Mohammad Akbar Lones permission for tabling a resolution seeking pardon for Parliament-attack convict Afzal Guru.

Abdul Rashid Sheikh told TOI that he sent a copy of the resolution to the speakers secretary late last month.Criminals need reformation and correction and I want the state assembly to pass the resolution for Guru with this spirit, he said.It is merely a human problem and should be dealt with humanely.

Let the house resolve that Afzal Gooru (sic) be granted amnesty on humanitarian grounds against the death sentence granted to him by the Supreme Court of India, said Sheikh in his resolution.Sheikh said he was hopeful that the speaker would allow the resolution to be tabled and offer relief to Guru.

A 10-day assembly session would begin later in September.

CM Omar Abdullah had stirred a hornets nest with his tweet that a J&K assembly resolution seeking clemency for Guru on the lines of Tamil Nadu legislatures mercy plea for Rajiv Gandhis assassins would have created an uproar.Omars comment on twitter came a day after the TN assembly passed a resolution urging President to reconsider the mercy plea of Rajivs killers facing death sentence.

Times of India

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Reached back-channel Kashmir deal with Musharraf, PM said

Sep 03 2011

New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a senior visiting American delegation that India and Pakistan had reached a “non-territorial solution” on Kashmir, a leaked US diplomatic cable has revealed.

While several Pakistani politicians and diplomats have said that an agreement had been within reach before Pervez Musharraf’s ouster in 2007, the leaked cable provides rare insight and comment from the Indian government on the peace formula.

Speaking with a US delegation led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman in April 2008, the PM said great progress had been made prior to February 2007 when Musharraf was in power.

“We had reached an understanding in back channels,” he said, “in which Musharraf had agreed to a non-territorial solution to Kashmir that included freedom of movement and trade”, according to the cable. The cable continued: “The Prime Minister added that India wants a strong, stable, peaceful, democratic Pakistan and makes no claim on ‘even an inch’ of Pakistani territory.”

While India has refrained from officially commenting on the ‘Kashmir deal’, there were several indications at the time that things were on track after Musharraf announced a four-point formula and Singh made a statement about making borders irrelevant.

These statements, and the plea to make Siachen a mountain of peace, were part of the deal that included a self-governing structure with free trade across Kashmir.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/reached-backchannel-kashmir-deal-with-musharraf-pm-said/840982/

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Slain Pandya’s sisters to appeal to PM for justice

Sep 03 2011

MURDERED BJP leader Haren Pandya’s sisters will now knock at the doors of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for justice.

Pandya’s sisters Chhaya Pandya and Bharati Pancholi made their displeasure over the CBI probe known on Friday, talking to mediapersons at Ahmedabad. Chhaya said they will soon meet the PM seeking justice as the CBI works directly under him.

Talking to reporters, Chhaya said that indirectly or directly, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is involved in their brother’s murder.

Lawyer of Pandya’s father Vitthalbhai Pandya Magan Barot pointed out that the central agency didn’t even take the testimony of the family members.

Vitthalbhai had demanded that Modi be questioned in this case.

Barot further said in case the family or any organisation wants to take up this case and pursue it further, he would extend total legal support to the cause.

Full report at: Mail Today

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ISI funded terrorists in Valley, US knew in 1997

Sep 03 2011

New Delhi : US Intelligence agencies knew as early as 1997 that terror groups conducting attacks in Kashmir as well as the rest of India were being run and funded by the Pakistani spy agency ISI, latest cables released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks reveal.

There are several instances of information on terror operations on Indian soil being funded and supported by Pakistan in the plethora of cables that have been released but one cable as early as July 1997 strikes out with the sheer detail of information that was available to the US much before the 9/11 attacks of 2001.

A secret cable sent in July 1997 details the role of the Pakistani establishment in funding and running Kashmir terror groups that conducted a series of attacks in India. The cable discusses the role of the Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF) that it says was controlled by the ISI and formed by Sajjad Ahmed Kenu in 1995.

“Since its inception, the JKIF has been under considerable pressure from its Pakistan-based leadership to carry out bomb blasts outside J&K, particularly in Delhi,” the cable reads. It details a high density bomb attack in Srinagar in November 1995 and attacks in New Delhi that it says was carried out with the help of two Sikh terrorists.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/isi-funded-terrorists-in-valley-us-knew-in-1997/841004/

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US was keen on preserving Indo-Pak truce: Wikileaks

September 3, 2011

New Delhi : Terming the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir as an important achievement, classified US documents released by Wikileaks revealed that Washington was keen on ‘preserving’ the truce by denouncing the violations carried out by Pakistani troops.

In a 2005 cable to US State Department under the heading ‘preserving the LoC ceasefire’, then Ambassador to India David C Mulford urged the Bush Administration to issue a statement to support the truce announced by New Delhi and Islamabad on November 24, 2003.

“We urge the Department to issue a firm statement supporting the ceasefire; reiterating our unequivocal opposition to cross-border terrorist infiltration; condemning the recent shelling and reaffirming our support for the Composite Dialogue process,” Mulford said in the cable sent in January 2005.

The cable is one of the 138,887 released by Wikileaks on August 30.

“The LoC ceasefire is one of the most important achievements in the slow but steady Indo-Pak rapproachement process that began in mid-2003 with former PM Vajpayee’s ‘Hand of Friendship’ speech, but without US engagement that accomplishment could soon founder,” Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-was-keen-on-preserving-indopak-truce-wikileaks/840747/

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NGO's plea on Babri Masjid title suit dismissed

September 3, 2011

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea of an NGO to intervene in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.

Dismissing the petition of Popular Front of India, a Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R.M. Lodha, however, agreed to hear the plea of another petitioner, Mohammad Hasim, who was one of the parties before the Allahabad High Court.

The Bench tagged the petition with a bunch of other petitions filed by different parties against the September 30, 2010 verdict of the High Court which ordered a three-way division of the disputed site in Ayodhya. On May 9, the Supreme Court termed “strange” the High Court's verdict of three—way division of Ram Janmabhoomi—Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya and stayed its operation, saying none of the parties had demanded the partition of the land. “A new dimension was given by the High Court as the decree of partition was not sought by the parties. It was not prayed by anyone. It has to be stayed. It's a strange order,” it had said. It expressed surprise at the High Court having passed such an order when it was not prayed by anyone.

Ordering status quo on the site — prayers at the Ram Lalla's makeshift temple would go on as usual — the court had banned any religious activity on the adjacent 67 acres which the Centre had taken over.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2419073.ece

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Taliban kidnap 40 Pakistani boys in Afghanistan

2 September 2011

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Suspected Taliban militants in Afghanistan have kidnapped as many as 40 Pakistani boys after they inadvertently strayed across the border, Pakistani officials said Friday.

The boys, from the town of Mamoun in the Pashtun tribal region of Bajaur, were trekking when they ended up in Afghanistan Wednesday, the officials said.

"Now, they are being held by militants across the border," Pakistan government official Muhammad Haseeb Khan told Reuters.

It was not possible to verify the claim. Afghanistan's Interior Ministry considers the claim a "rumour," a spokesman in Kabul said.

Security officials said they learned of the kidnappings when the parents of the children, members of a tribe that inhabits the frontier area, informed them of the abductions on Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/09/02/world/asia/international-us-pakistan-afghanistan-kidnap.html?ref=asia

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Indonesia’s SCTV blasted for pulling film on religious tolerance

2 September 2011

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission criticised a major television station Friday for giving into Islamists’ demands that a film on religious tolerance be pulled.

The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) had threatened to storm SCTV headquarters if it broadcast a movie titled “?”, scheduled for the last night of the Ramadan holy fasting month this week.

“We regret SCTV’s decision to not air the movie. The movie has passed the censorship requirements and it doesn’t violate any regulations,” broadcasting commission official Ezki Suyanto told AFP.

“It seems the station is just afraid of the FPI. SCTV should not have given in to them. This is a bad precedent for other groups to do the same to TV stations.” The movie was directed by Muslim filmmaker Hanung Bramantyo, who has made several feature films on Islam, such as the box-office hit “Ayat-Ayat Cinta” (Verses of Love).

FPI secretary-general Sobri Lubis said the movie tried to incite hatred toward Islam and disgraced the religion by suggesting Muslims could live together harmoniously with people of other faiths in one country.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/02/indonesia%E2%80%99s-sctv-blasted-for-pulling-film-on-religious-tolerance.html

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Human Rights Watch slams Turkey, Iran attacks in north Iraq

2 September 2011

BAGHDAD: Turkey and Iran have not done enough to protect civilians while carrying out strikes against Kurdish separatists in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

“The evidence suggests that Turkey and Iran are not doing what they need to do to make sure their attacks have a minimum impact on civilians, and in the case of Iran, it is at least quite possibly deliberately targeting civilians,” Joe Stork, HRW’s deputy Middle East director, said in a statement on Friday.

“Year after year, civilians in northern Iraq have suffered from these cross-border attacks, but the situation right now is dire,” Stork said.

“Iran and Turkey should do all they can to protect civilians and their property from harm, no matter what the reason for their attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan.” HRW also said that when it visited northern and eastern border areas in Iraqi Kurdistan in August, “Iraqi residents and officials said that many of the targeted areas are purely civilian and are not being used by the armed groups.” The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of Turkey carries out periodic deadly attacks in Turkey, while the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) does the same in Iran.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/02/human-rights-watch-slams-turkey-iran-attacks-in-north-iraq.html

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J-K MLA moves House resolution for mercy to Afzal Guru

Sep 02 2011

Srinagar : An independent legislator from Jammu and Kashmir has submitted a resolution in the state Assembly seeking amnesty to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Sheikh Abdul Rasheed, MLA from Langate constituency in Kupwara district, said he has sought clemency for Guru on humanitarian grounds.

“Let the House resolve that Afzal Guru be granted amnesty, on humanitarian grounds, against the death sentence granted to him by the Honb'le Supreme Court for his alleged involvement in the 13th December, 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament,” the resolution submitted by Rasheed read.

The independent MLA said executing Guru can have “serious consequences” on the situation in Kashmir, adding that he expects the resolution to be taken up in the Assembly during its forthcoming session scheduled to begin from September 26.

The move comes in the backdrop of Tamil Nadu Assembly passing a resolution seeking clemency for the killers of Rajiv Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking a review of the death penalty handed out to Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar in the attack on All India Youth Congress office in Delhi.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/post-omar-tweet-jk-mla-moves-house-resolution-for-mercy-to-afzal-guru/840657/

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Three US Islamic charity leaders convicted again for Jihadi activities

Sep 02 2011

Boston: A federal appeals court has reinstated the conviction of a Libyan man and two associates accused of conspiring to dupe the US into granting tax-exempt status to a defunct Muslim charity by hiding its pro-jihad activities.

The court yesterday reinstated the jury's guilty verdictagainst Libya's Emadeddin Muntasser, Samir Al-Monla and Muhammed Mubayyid. They led the defunct Boston-based Care International Inc.

A jury convicted them in January 2008. But a US District Court judge overturned the tax conspiracy conviction, saying the evidence didn't support the verdict.

The district court will sentence Al-Monla and re-sentence Muntasser and Lebanese national Mubayyid.

Mubayyid's attorney says his client was deported after serving his original sentence. The others' attorneys didn't immediately return calls for comment.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/three-us-islamic-charity-leaders-convicted-again-for-jihadi-activities/840624/

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72 prisoners executed: Syrian official spills the beans in resignation video

2 September 2011

AMMAN: Security forces killed at least two people as they moved into central and northwest Syria on Thursday, activists said, urging fresh anti-regime protests under the banner of “death rather than humiliation.”

Hours before, Hama’s attorney general declared on YouTube he had resigned in protest against bloody repression of street demonstrations.

Residents of Hama said security police and state militiamen, known as shabbiha, raided houses overnight in the Al-Sabouniya and Al-Marabet districts, after troops backed by tanks arrested dozens in two other neighborhoods of the city the night before.

 “The inhabitants are responding by shouting ‘God is greatest’ from windows and rooftops. Tonight there are more random raids as opposed to what the army did yesterday, which is go into specific houses looking for suspected activists on a list,” Haidar, a local activist, told journalists by phone. The attorney general of Hama said he had resigned because security forces killed 72 jailed protesters and activists at Hama’s central jail on the eve of the military assault on the city on July 31. He said at least another 420 people were killed in the operation and were buried in mass graves in public parks.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article496529.ece

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One Militant killed, 2 Army soldiers injured in Kashmir

2 September 2011

A militant was killed and two Army soldiers were injured in an encounter in Kupwara district of Kashmir on Friday.

The gun battle broke out between militants and security forces in Wuder Bala area of Handwara, 95 km from here, in the wee hours after Army launched a search operation in the area, Defence Spokesman Lt Colonel J.S. Brar said.

“An unidentified militant has been killed,” the spokesman said.

He said two soldiers sustained minor injuries during the operation, which was still in progress.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2417610.ece

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Two dead as Syrian security forces make new swoops

2 September 2011

Two civilians were killed on Friday as Syrian security forces moved into a district of the central city of Homs and a village in the northwest, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based rights group said one death occurred in the Homs district of Al-Nazihin, while shots were heard in Bab Sbaa and other areas of the volatile city. The observatory also reported “one dead and five wounded in an assault by the army and security forces on the village of Al-Rama” in Idlib region. It added that a girl of 10 had died of wounds received late Wednesday during shooting near police headquarters at Deir Ezzor in the east as she was travelling in a taxi with her family.

It said the security forces acted after mass demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime late Wednesday in numerous districts on Homs, including Bayyada, Al-Hamra, Bab Dreib and Bab Sbaa.

The United Nations says that more than 2,200 people have been killed since the beginning of near-daily popular protests against Assad’s regime in mid-March. At Zabadani, 45 kilometres northwest of Damascus, six people were arrested by security forces who carried out searches, the Observatory added.

http://dailypioneer.com/world/2904-two-dead-as-syrian-security-forces-make-new-swoops.html

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Two terrorists killed in bomb blast in Karachi

By Atif Raza

2 September 2011

KARACHI: Two alleged terrorists were killed in a mysterious blast in Gulshan-e-Iqbal within the remits of Mobina Town police station.

According details, two unidentified men were on their way somewhere when their motorcycle skidded off the road and the explosive devise they were carrying exploded. As a result, both the men were killed on the spot and their bodies perished due to high intensity of the blast. Following the blast, the personnel of different law enforcement agencies and the Bomb Disposal Squad reached the spot.

SP Waqar Mallan said that the culprits saw snap checking by the police and took an emergency turn which caused the motorcycle to overturn and the device, which was placed on the fuel tank of the bike, exploded with a big bang.

Police officials have started raiding the places of suspected terrorists while the arrested suspects were being questioned in this regard, Mullan said, adding that the police have also found some important clues and were also trying to trace the owner of motorcycle.

Inspector Abid Farooq of the Bomb Disposal Squad said that the device carried some four kilogrammes of high explosive material.

He said that it was a complete device without detonating wire but accident caused the blast. Another bomb was found from Lyari which was also fixed to a motorcycle.

The incident has proved the existence of terrorist outfits in the city, who were planning to carry out terrorist activity on Eidul Fitar.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\31\story_31-8-2011_pg7_2

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Four killed in central Kurram ambush

2 September 2011

PESHAWAR: Four people were killed and several others injured in an ambush in a restive area of central Kurram tribal region on Friday morning, DawnNews reported.

Official sources said that a vehicle carrying passengers was on its way to Satta from Baggan when unknown armed men sprayed it with bullets in the area of Kakrai.

Four passengers died on the spot while several others suffered bullet wounds.

Locals rushed the injured to the agency headquarter hospital and shifted the bodies to Parachinar.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/02/four-killed-in-central-kurram-ambush.html

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24 killed in Pakistan due to heavy rains

Sep 2, 2011

KARACHI: Heavy rains and thunderstorms have killed at least 20 people in Pakistan's Sindh and Baluchistan provinces even as four more such deaths were reported from different parts of the country.

Police and rescue officials said around 40 people had also been injured in the heavy rains and storms that have lashed the Sindh province and some parts of Baluchistan since the last 48 hours.

Compounding the misery of the people living in the rural areas, the Met Department forecast said the rain spell coupled with thunderbolt will continue till Wednesday in Sindh.

The rain spell intermittently continued for four days in Hyderabad, Badin, Shikarpur among others in the southern province.

The low-lying areas in various districts were flooded after heavy rains.

Rainwater entered houses in over two dozens of villages, causing rooftops of several houses to collapse.

Power supply to different areas have been suspended. Rescue officials said the rains had also damaged crops of onion and cotton in the interior of the province and that many people, whose mud houses were swept away by the rains, were still marooned in some areas.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/24-killed-in-Pakistan-due-to-heavy-rains/articleshow/9836317.cms

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Syrian Official in Hama Resigns to Protest Bloodshed

By NADA BAKRI

September 3, 2011

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The attorney general of the central Syrian province of Hama has announced his resignation to protest the killings and arrests of demonstrators and the accusations of torture against President Bashar al-Assad’s government. The attorney general, Mohammed Adnan al-Bakkour, is the highest-level official to quit over the brutal crackdown during the five months of protests.

In a video released late Wednesday night, Mr. Bakkour listed a number of reasons for his decision, saying, among other things, that hundreds of demonstrators had been killed while in jail and buried in mass graves and that the army had leveled houses while people were still inside.

He announced his resignation as Syrian security forces continued to carry out house-to-house raids in Hama on Thursday in search of people involved in the uprising against Mr. Assad, according to activists and residents. Dozens of people were arrested in similar raids on Wednesday, residents said.

The Local Coordination Committees, a group of activists who help to organize and document the uprising, said that four people were killed Thursday when security forces opened fire on demonstrations. One person was killed in the central city of Homs, one in the northern province of Idlib and two, including a child, in the eastern city of Deir al-Zour, the group said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/02/world/middleeast/02syria.html?ref=world

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Amid Triumph in Libya, War Lingers for Britain in Afghanistan

By ALAN COWELL

September 3, 2011

LONDON — Offsetting the euphoria of the victorious rebels in Tripoli and the hoopla among their Western sponsors, another image intruded in the past week, recalling a different war that will most likely outlast the sound bites and headlines of triumphalism in Libya.

In the southwest of England, as a brass band played, Britain’s union flag was furled, blessed and laid on a church altar to mark the end of a remarkable four-year remembrance, during which hearses carrying the bodies of 345 fallen British service personnel have passed through the village of Wootton Bassett on their way to burial from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those tearful moments started out as impromptu memorials when the airplanes ferrying the coffins began landing at the nearby — and soon-to-be-closed — Royal Air Force base at Lyneham, in Wiltshire. In the future, the airplanes will land at a more distant base in Oxfordshire, and a potent emblem of the cost of Britain’s involvement in Afghanistan will be lost, though other reminders will certainly endure, like the family snapshot published in the past week by the Defense Ministry of Sgt. Barry Weston, 40, with his three daughters, Jasmine, Poppy and Rose — the 380th British soldier to die in Afghanistan since 2001.

And there will be other considerations and comparisons. The war in Afghanistan began almost a decade ago in direct response to the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. It drove the Taliban from formal power. It lost focus as George W. Bush and Tony Blair shifted their attention to the ouster of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/world/europe/03iht-letter03.html?ref=world

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Artist Jehangir Sabavala passes away

Sep 2, 2011

MUMBAI: Renowned artist Jehangir Sabavala died Friday morning of respiratory failure. He had been suffering from lung cancer. Sabavala is survived by his wife Shirin and daughter Aafreed.

Sabavala painted in a style that was influenced by cubism and impressionism. His subjects were usually landscapes, figures and seascapes in pastels and muted colours.

Born in Mumbai in 1922, Sabavala graduated from the JJ School of Art in 1944. He then went on to study at Heatherley School of Art in London and the Academie Andre Lhote, the Academie Julian and the Academic de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. His first exhibition was held in a room at the Taj Mahal hotel in Bombay. in 2005, a retrospective of his works was organised by the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai and Sakshi Gallery.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Artist-Jehangir-Sabavala-passes-away/articleshow/9836871.cms

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Three Australian commandos cleared of six Afghan deaths

2 September 2011

CANBERRA: All charges have been dropped against three commandos who faced Australian courts-martial over the deaths of five children and an adult during a night raid on a home in Afghanistan in 2009, officials said. The trio, whose names have not been made public, were the first Australian soldiers to ever be charged with manslaughter over civilian deaths in battle. The deaths came when the commandos stormed the home in Uruzgan province with gunfire and a grenade after coming under fire from the compound. The military decision to prosecute provoked a public backlash, with more than 20,000 Australians signing a petition for the charges to be dropped. Defence Minister Stephen Smith said, on Tuesday, he would ask Military Prosecutions Director Brigadier Lyn McDade for a report on why she decided to lay the charges and why the cases had failed. “This has been the first occasion where three of our soldiers have been charged effectively with manslaughter during actual combat,” Smith told Sky television and adding, “I just want now, while the dust is settled, for us to have the opportunity for a comprehensive assessment.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\31\story_31-8-2011_pg7_7

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Spanish Town Becoming "New Mecca of the Most Radical Islamism"

Soeren Kern

2 September 2011

The municipality of Salt, a town near Barcelona where Muslim immigrants now make up 40% of the population, has approved a one-year ban on the construction of new mosques. It is the first ban of its kind in Spain.

The moratorium follows public outrage over plans to build a massive Salafi mosque that is being financed by Saudi Arabia. Salafism is a branch of revivalist Islam that calls for restoring past Muslim glory by forcibly re-establishing an Islamic empire (Caliphate) across the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe such as Spain, which Salafists view as a Muslim state that must be reconquered for Islam.

Much of Spain was ruled by Muslim conquerors from 711 and 1492; Salafists believe that the territories the Muslims lost during the Spanish Reconquista still belong to them, and that they have a right to return and establish their rule there – a belief based on the Islamic precept that territories once occupied by Muslims must forever remain under Muslim domination.

Full report at: Hudson New York

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Six Kashmiri youth apprehended by troops Rajouri district

Sep 03 2011

Jammu : Six Kashmiri youth, who were on way to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) for arms training, were apprehended by troops in border Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pointing out that all the youth with poor rural background hailed from Shopian, sources said that they were traveling in a Tata Sumo vehicle at that time. he identified them as Ashiq Hussain, Masood Ahmed, Abdul Hamid, Muddasar Ahmed, Mohammad Yunus and Raqab Ahmed Parrey – all residents of Shopian.

Motivated by a close relation of one of the arrested youth, they had traveled from Shopian via under construction Mughal road, sources added. The person motivator had told them that a guide will contact them enroute to Rajouri and he will take them across the LoC for arms training. They were promised a decent life across the border, sources said.

However, troops got a tip off about them and had laid a mobile naka at a bridge in Kalakote area. As the Tata Sumo carrying these youth came, the troops intercepted the vehicle and took all of them into custody after preliminary questioning.

Pointing out that senior army officials have asked their counter part in Valley for apprehension of the person who motivated them, sources said that apprehended youth appear to be innocent and misguided by their motivator who took advantage of their poor economic condition and illiteracy.

Significantly, these apprehensions have come at a time when the Union Home Ministry have already warned of stepped up infiltration bids by militants sitting across the LoC.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/six-kashmiri-youth-apprehended-by-troops-rajouri-district/840751/

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Blue Nile: Sudan forces battle former SPLM rebels

September 3, 2011

Fighting has broken out in Sudan's Blue Nile state - the third border area to see clashes since South Sudan's independence in July.

The party of Blue Nile Governor Malik Agar said soldiers had attacked his official residence. The army blamed the fighting on Mr Agar's forces.

He heads the opposition SPLM-North party and is an ex-commander of the rebels who now govern South Sudan.

Some 200,000 have fled their homes in neighbouring South Kordofan.

The government has denied charges its forces have carried out ethnic cleansing in the area against groups seen as being pro-south.

On Tuesday, Sudan's government lodged a complaint with the UN Security Council, accusing South Sudan governing party of backing rebels in South Kordofan, which the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) denies.

There has also been fighting in Abyei, which is claimed by both sides.

The BBC's James Copnall in Juba says this is the first major outbreak of fighting in Blue Nile since the north-south conflict ended in 2005.

But he says the region was always a high risk state because it borders South Sudan and is split between supporters of President Omar al-Bashir's government and the SPLM.

'Tanks and militia'

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14760824

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Anti-Israel protests disrupt Zubin-led concert in UK

September 3, 2011

London: Pro-Palentine protesters disrupted a concert of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO),conducted by the Mumbai-born Zubin Mehta,on Thursday night at Londons iconic Royal Albert Hall.

Several demonstrators in the auditorium began to shout as Mehta started to conduct Bruchs violin concerto that was part of the BBC Proms an annual music festival broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.Rivals in the audience booed in response.

The live broadcast of the rendition was interrupted twice and the BBC said it was as a result of sustained audience disturbance. Mehta was unavailable for comment.

The BBC website cited Chris Keating,an eyewitness,as saying that there were six or seven disturbances during the performance.About a dozen protesters in the choir seats stood up with a banner saying Free Palestine and started chanting and singing to the tune of Beethovens Ode to Joy, he said.

Earlier,an organization known as Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) had called on people to boycott the concert and urged the BBC to cancel it.

The PSC alleged on its website that the IPO had showed complicity in whitewashing Israels persistent violations of international law and human rights. About 30 people were removed by security but there were no arrests and no violence,the BBC said.

Times of India

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Cancer risk higher for 9/11 firefighters

Kounteya Sinha

Sep 3, 2011

NEW DELHI: Saving lives of those trapped in the World Trade Center (WTC), soon after the audacious 9/11 attack came with a price for New York's daring fire fighters.

A study published in this week's 9/11 Special Issue of the British Medical Journal "Lancet" shows that a higher proportion of WTC-exposed New York City fire fighters have been diagnosed with cancer compared to their non-exposed colleagues. According to the study, firefighters are 19% more likely to develop cancer.

The findings have been reported by Dr David Prezant , chief medical officer, fire department of the NYC and colleagues from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center , Bronx.

The authors say that attacks on the WTC created the potential for occupational exposure to known and suspected carcinogens.

They examined cancer incidence and its potential association with exposure in the first seven years after 9/ 11 in firefighters with health information before 9/11 and minimal loss to follow-up .

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Cancer-risk-higher-for-9/11-firefighters/articleshow/9844219.cms

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Police clash with Kurdish youths in Istanbul

2 September 2011

ANKARA, Turkey: Police have clashed with dozens of stone-throwing Kurdish protesters at a peace rally that turned violent in Istanbul.

HaberTurk television video footage showed clashes erupting Thursday when a group of Kurdish youths, their faces covered with scarves, refused to be searched at the entrance to the grounds of the rally and some pelted police with sticks and stones.

Police fired several rounds of tear gas to disperse the crowd. Firebombs could be seen burning on the street.

A loud explosion on the site also caused panic but no one was injured.

The Kurds are protesting a series of Turkish military air strikes on suspected Kurdish rebel position in northern Iraq last month. The military says up to 160 suspected rebels died in those strikes.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article496410.ece

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Peshawar: Militants attack tribal leader’s residence and Kidnapped three

2 September 2011

PESHAWAR: Militants in Mohmand Agency attacked a tribal leader’s residence on Friday, kidnapping three people in the process, government sources told Dawn News.

The attack, that took place in tehsil Safi area of Mohmand Agency, also resulted in the injuring of two people including a woman. Both were later taken to Agency Headquarter Hospital.

Moreover, sources told DawnNews that security forces had launched an operation in search of the assailants following the attack.

According to reports, militants had also attacked security check-posts in Kareer and Qayyumabad villages the previous night, but no news of injuries or loss of life have as yet been received.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/02/militants-attack-tribal-leaders-residence-in-mohmand.html

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How US firms profited from torture flights

Sep 2, 2011

Court documents illustrate how US contracted out secret rendition transportation to a network of private companies

The scale of the CIA's rendition programme has been laid bare in court documents that illustrate in minute detail how the US contracted out the secret transportation of suspects to a network of private American companies.

The manner in which American firms flew terrorism suspects to locations around the world, where they were often tortured, has emerged after one of the companies sued another in a dispute over fees. As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the mass of invoices, receipts, contracts and email correspondence – submitted as evidence to a court in upstate New York – provides a unique glimpse into a world in which the "war on terror" became just another charter opportunity for American businesses.

As a result of the case, the identities of some of the corporations involved in the rendition programme have been disclosed for the first time, along with the names of some of the executives who knew the purpose of the flights.

Full report at: Gaurdian.co.uk

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Zardari dreams of free borders between China and Pakistan

Sep 02 2011

Beijing : Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said he wanted to take China-Pak friendship to the "next level" by opening the borders for citizens of both the countries to travel without passports.

"I have a great dream that Chinese can travel to Pakistan and Pakistanis to China without passports in the near future.

"The future of China and Pakistan is intertwined and history is looking forward for that time," Zardari said in a interview to Chinese state-run TV channel CCTV.

Zardari, who concluded his three day visit to the troubled Chinese Xinjiang Province that shares border with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK), said the region played a strategic role in firming up the relationship between China and Pakistan.

Zardari had attended the first Eurasia Expo organised by China at Xinjiang's provincial capital Urumqi.

His visit came againts the backdrop of recent allegations by China that militants of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, (ETIM) creating unrest in Muslim Uygur majority of Xinjiang were trained in Pakistan based terror camps.

"The recent incidents of terrorism in Xinjiang dismayed us," Zardari told 'China Daily.'

Zardari applauded China's efforts to fight religious extremism, which has pitted "neighbours against neighbours and friends against friends" and vowed closer cooperation with China in counter-terrorism efforts.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/zardari-dreams-of-free-borders-between-china-and-pakistan/840696/

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World leaders free Libya funds

2 September 2011

TRIPOLI - Muammar Gaddafi urged his supporters to fight on as world leaders freed up billions of dollars to help Libya’s new rulers rebuild a nation torn by 42 years of one-man rule and six months of civil war.

“Let it be a long battle. We will fight from place to place, from town to town, from valley to valley, from mountain to mountain,” Gaddafi said in a message relayed by satellite TV on the anniversary of the coup that brought him to power in 1969.

“If Libya goes up in flames, who will be able to govern it? Let it burn,” he said, speaking from hiding.

In further comments broadcast later, he vowed to prevent oil exports, in the kind of threat that stirs fears of an Iraq-style insurgency: “You will not be able to pump oil for the sake of your own people. We will not allow this to happen,” Gaddafi said. “Be ready for a war of gangs and urban warfare.”

Amid conflicting reports of where the 69-year-old fugitive might be, a commander in the forces of the new ruling council said he had fled to a desert town south of the capital, one of several tribal bastions still holding out.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/September/international_September75.xml&section=international

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EU steps up Syria sanctions with ban on oil imports

Sep 2, 2011

The EU has stepped up sanctions on Syria by banning imports of its oil, as protests again broke out against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Oil accounts for about 25% of Syria's income and the EU takes about 95% of its oil exports.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had earlier urged the world community to target Syrian oil and gas exports.

In Syria, activists called people on to the streets under the slogan "death rather than humiliation".

The United Nations says more than 2,200 people have been killed in six months of protests.

'Appalling'

The UK Foreign Office said the European Union had agreed at official level to ban imports of Syrian oil into the EU to increase pressure on the Syrian regime over its crackdown against anti-government protest.

A spokesperson said it was hoped the agreement would be signed off by EU foreign ministers meeting in Poland on Friday and Saturday.

"President Assad is carrying out massacres in his own country," Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14759416

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Libya rebels get USD 15bn boost as Gaddafi voices defiance

Sep 02 2011

Paris : World leaders unblocked USD 15 billion in funds to help Libya's victorious rebels rebuild their shattered country as fugitive strongman Muammar Gaddafi called for guerrilla warfare.

42 years to the day since Gaddafi stormed to power in a coup, senior envoys from over 60 countries met the leaders of the revolution that overthrew him to endorse the fledgling regime and offer practical support.

But in a meeting in Paris they also put the leaders of the rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC) on notice to pursue a path of reconciliation, even as Gaddafi issued a message of defiance from his desert hiding place.

“Prepare yourselves for a gang and guerrilla war, for urban warfare and popular resistance in every town ... to defeat the enemy everywhere,” he said in an audio tape aired on Arab satellite television.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/libya-rebels-get-usd-15bn-boost-as-gaddafi-voices-defiance/840626/

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SC reserves order on Hindu Malegaon blast accused bail plea

2 September 2011

The Hindu Malegaon blast accused, Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur is taken to court in Mumbai on January 20, 2009. Photo: Vivek Bendre

The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict on the bail plea of Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur who is facing charges under MCOCA for her alleged involvement in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.

A bench of judges J M Panchal and H L Gokhale reserved the order after hearing all the parties, including Maharashtra government which opposed the bail plea.

Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Pragnya Singh Thakur, pleaded with the court to grant her bail as she had been subjected to harassment, physical torture and verbal abuses by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) squad during her "illegal" custody from October 10, 2008 onwards.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2417468.ece

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Turkey set to host NATO early warning radar

2 September 2011

ISTANBUL - Turkey is set to host a NATO early-warning radar system as part of the defences of the Western military alliance, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

Turkey, with NATO’s second biggest military, has a geo-strategic importance to the alliance dating back to its role as a front-line state in the Cold War era. But its value to NATO has risen as Middle East states with anti-Western policies, like Iran, have developed their missile capabilities.

Last November, NATO leaders approved a new mission statement for the Western military alliance, committing among other things to missile defence.

NATO’s Strategic Concept for the coming decade, approved at a summit in Lisbon, confirmed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s core task of defending its territory and its commitment to collective defence of its 28 members.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=&section=international&xfile=data/international/2011/September/international_September79.xml

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Eye care: A casualty of Afghanistan’s tortured history

2 September 2011

KABUL: Had they treated Nasaratullah sooner, the doctors might have been able to save the Afghan baby’s eye, which was riddled with cancer.

Instead, the doctors at Noor Eye Hospital, a rundown facility in the Afghan capital overrun with 400 patients a day, had to remove it.

“Unfortunately, people come to us very late,” Dr. Najib Osmani said looking up from the operating table where his tiny six-month-old patient, still anesthetized, rested in purple pajamas. “In early stages, this is curable. You can save the eyes, the sight – everything. Not in Afghanistan.”

Eye care is a casualty of Afghanistan’s tortured history. Eye clinics exist in only a few major Afghan cities. There are only six ophthalmologists for every 1 million Afghans. The country’s lack of roads, mountainous terrain, extreme poverty and three decades of civil unrest are immense roadblocks to getting care – and giving it.

Roughly 1.5 million Afghans are visually impaired, according to the Ministry of Public Health. Every year, around 25,000 Afghans lose vision in one of their eyes.

Nasaratullah, a round-faced boy from eastern Afghanistan, has retinoblastoma, a rare cancerous tumor in his retina. After removing it, Osmani embedded a whitish glass ball, which later can be replaced with an artificial eye.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/31/eye-care-a-casualty-of-afghanistans-tortured-history.html

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Many Afghan refugees may opt to stay on in Pakistan

2 September 2011

PESHAWAR: Abdullah Jan, 28, has lived as a refugee in Nowshera, a town in Pakistan‘s Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Province (KP), close to its capital Peshawar, since he was two, but now feels it is time to return home to Afghanistan.

“I still associate myself with our home region of Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan,” he told IRIN, then UN Information Unit. “My father and I have recently visited our village there, and we intend to return before winter. I want my children to grow up as Afghans, not as persons with an indistinct identity.”

Jan and his extended family of nine will be going back over the next month or so under an ongoing repatriation programme that was halted during the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan.

Under a tripartite agreement between the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Afghan refugees in Pakistan have a deadline of 31 December 2012 to voluntarily register for repatriation. Those who return are supported by UNHCR.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/01/many-afghan-refugees-may-opt-to-stay-on.html

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Syria's attorney general: Resignation or kidnapping?

By Ivan Watson and Hamdi Alkhshali

September 2, 2011

(CNN) -- What happened to the attorney general of Hama?

The mystery surrounding judge Adnan Bakkour deepened Thursday as Syrian state media and the attorney general himself offered conflicting narratives of his whereabouts.

Syria's state news agency first highlighted Bakkour's case Tuesday, when it reported that he had been kidnapped by "seven gunmen with rifles and machine guns" near the village of Karnaz.

The next day, however, a video emerged on YouTube where a gray-haired man in a gray suit and tie introduced himself to the camera as Bakkour.

"I announce my resignation from my position with the Assad regime and his gangs," the judge said.

Bakkour calmly read from a piece of paper, while seated at a desk, with a glass of water by his left hand and a Toshiba laptop by his right.

Syrian official quits, claims atrocities Report details 'hell on earth' in Syria Syrian government caught in a lie No break in Syrian crackdown

He went on to list reasons for his resignation.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/09/01/syria.unrest/index.html

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Mentally ill sisters freed from chains in West Bank

By Kevin Flower

Sep 02 2011

(CNN) -- We first met Mohedeye and Nedaa Dawabsha sitting quietly on the floor of a small room in their family's modest house in the dusty West Bank village of Duma. Neither of the sisters were able to leave the room.

Connected to harnesses around their waists was a meter-and-a-half of chain links, binding them to a heavy metal locker in the corner of the room.

According to their family Nedaa, 21, had been confined like this for the past 10 years and her sister Mohedeye, 25, for the past two.

Mohedeye and Nedaa suffer from severe mental disability, their older sister Intesar Dawabsha told us, and are incapable of functioning without constant care. Mental illness ran in the family, Intesar explained, but her sister's condition was particularly severe.

"They need someone to take care of them 24 hours, to give them food because they cannot eat properly, they cannot do their basic needs, they cannot change their clothing, they cannot clean themselves, they need someone 24 hours," Intesar told CNN.

The sister's parents, Uthamn and Houda Dawabsha, are both battling illness and are not up to the task of caring for Nedaa and Mohedeye, according to Intesar.

Houda is laid up in bed most of the time and Uthman, who works as an itinerant farmer, says jobs are few and far between and that he's lucky if he makes over fifteen dollars a day.

The Dawabsha family members say the lack of resources mean they were not able to provide the girls with the necessary care -- and it was when the two girls began leaving the home in the middle of the night and entering neighbors' houses that the family resorted to tying them up.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/08/31/west.bank.mental.illness/index.html

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Iraq toll still high a year after US combat halt

2 September 2011

BAGHDAD: At least 2,600 civilians, police and soldiers, along with 35 US military personnel, have been killed in violence in Iraq since Washington formally ended combat operations a year ago, US and Iraqi statistics show.

As US troops prepare to leave Iraq by the end of the year, the figures show a Sunni insurgency and attacks by Shi’ite militias are taking a serious toll despite violence falling sharply since a peak after the 2003 US-led invasion.

President Barack Obama declared an end to combat in Iraq on Aug. 31, 2010 and said “extremists will continue to set off bombs, attack Iraqi civilians and try to spark sectarian strife.

But ultimately these terrorists will fail to achieve their goals”.

Iraqi Health Ministry statistics indicate 1,604 civilians were killed in violence in the last year.

The toll for August reached 155. Attacks last month included an Aug. 28 suicide bombing at an important Sunni mosque that killed 32 and a series of coordinated assaults on Aug. 15 when at least 60 people died.

The 12-month period saw 588 Iraqi police and 418 soldiers killed, including 45 police and 39 soldiers in August alone, according to figures from the interior and defence ministries.

Pentagon statistics show 56 US military deaths since the start of Operation New Dawn on Sept. 1, 35 in hostile incidents.

Full report at:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=30857&clcid=0x409

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Al-Qaeda in Nigeria: Has the Group Found a New African Foothold?

By Daniel Tovrov

2 September 2011

Nigerians gathered to mourn at the grave sites of the 23 people who died in the bombing of a United Nations building in Abuja last week.

So far, the State Security Service has arrested two home-grown militants for the attack and detained a third man, Mamman Nur. According to authorities, Nur has ties to al-Qaeda and is thought to have been training with al-Shabaab in Somalia before masterminding the attack in the Nigerian capital last Friday.

While discussions in the United States indicate that al-Qaeda is nearing its end, the suspected presence of the group in Nigeria is worrying analysts. Al-Qaida already backs al-Shabaab, the paramilitary Islamic group that has de facto control of Somalia's southern states. A link to Nigeria, which is not only an oil producing nation, but also Africa's most populated country, could invigorate and perhaps shift al-Qaeda's power.

Nigeria is currently suffering from an unprecedented wave of violence. The group responsible for the UN bombing has unleashed a number of attacks on government installations, as well as civilians, since President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn into office on April 18, 2011, immediately after which 800 people were killed.

Full report at: International Business Times

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Sudan still waging war in Nuba amid accusations of crimes against humanity

By ALAN BOSWELL

2 September 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya-Nearly three months after it started, a bloody conflict in the isolated hills of remote Sudan continues, largely unremarked on by either the news media or international diplomats.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, two leading human rights groups, accused the Sudanese government of indiscriminately bombing civilians and blocking humanitarian aid to the Nuba Mountains, warning of an impending crisis as food stocks are depleted.

"The bombing is terrorizing the civilian population, driving many into caves and onto mountaintops. It is totally disrupting their lives and cultivation of food," said Jehanne Henry, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who visited the area recently.

Earlier this month, the United Nations found that Sudanese government actions in the Nuba Mountains could amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The reports correspond with what McClatchy Newspapers found during a visit to the war zone in late June and early July. Eyewitnesses told McClatchy Newspapers that government helicopters had strafed fleeing civilians, government aircraft had bombed villages from the sky and that suspected opposition sympathizers had been executed in government-controlled areas.

Full report at: The NewsTribune.com

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Allen West Hosts “Islamophobic” Anti-Ground Zero Mosque Event

By Ryan Mauro

September 2, 2011

Rep. Allen West isn’t being deterred by accusations of “Islamophobia,” and will be hosting a screening of the Christian Action Network’s film, “Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mosque” in Congress on September 7. The event kicks off a screening tour in New York City public parks around the tenth anniversary of 9/11 that is sure to rile up the deniers of the Islamist threat.

The event is being held on the morning of September 7 from 11:30 am to 1:00 PM in Room B-339 of the Rayburn Congressional Office Building, thanks to Rep. Allen West. It is generating significant media coverage and controversy, as is the Christian Action Network’s tour in New York City against the Ground Zero Mosque that begins later that night. West and some of the other participants have been labeled as “Islamophobes” in the Center for American Progress’s “Fear Inc.” report, which specifically mentions this event as evidence of the alleged growing anti-Muslim bigotry in the country.

Full report at: Front Page Magazine

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Boko Haram’s Terrorist Escalation

By Frank Crimi

September 2, 2011

The bombing of a UN building by the Nigerian Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram is the second suicide attack launched by the organization in two months. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s government seems more intent on finding accommodation with the al-Qaeda-linked terror group than in fighting it.

The latest suicide bombing delivered by Boko Haram occurred last week when a car stuffed with explosives was driven into the UN headquarters in the Nigerian capital of Abjua, killing 23 people and wounding 81. That bombing followed a similar deadly strike in June when a Boko Haram car bomb exploded at Nigeria’s national police headquarters in Abjua, killing six people.

Until the last two suicide bombings, Boko Haram’s campaign of bombings, murder and assassination against the Nigerian government and its security forces had been waged in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim northern states, in particular the Nigerian state of Borno.

In fact, only a week before the UN bombing in Abjua, police said they shot and killed a man attempting to drive a car “loaded with several cylinders of gunpowder and gasoline” into police headquarters in Borno’s capital city of Maiduguri. That foiled plot had been preceded in June by a deadly attack in Maiduguri in which Boko Haram members riding motorcycles threw bombs into an outdoor beer garden, killing 25 people.

Full report at: Front Page Magazine

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Vandals Deface Polish Monument to Massacre of Jews

2 September 2011

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Vandals desecrated a monument marking the spot in Poland where hundreds of Jews were burned alive during World War II, scrawling "they were flammable" and a swastika on the memorial.

The message of hate was strongly condemned by Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, who said Thursday that there is no place in Polish society for extremists who commit such acts.

The monument in the town of Jedwabne honors the victims of July 10, 1941, when about 40 Poles hunted down Jews, closed them in a barn and set it alight. Between 300 and 400 Jews were killed in a notorious case of local people collaborating with the Nazis in killing Jews during the Nazis' wartime occupation of much of Eastern Europe.

The vandals used green paint to spray the symbols of a swastika and "SS" — the name of an elite Nazi force — on the monument, as well as the phrases "I don't apologize for Jedwabne" and "they were flammable."

Sikorski expressed "unequivocal condemnation" of the act of vandalism and expressed solidarity with anyone affected by it. He said he was convinced the perpetrators would be caught and face justice.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/01/world/europe/AP-EU-Poland-Anti-Semitism.html?ref=global-home

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Unity of the Iranian people is their strength: Former chief of Intelligence Bureau

2 September 2011

Former chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and incharge Internal Security ISI, Brig (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed said that the success of Iran lies in the support of the people that the Iranian government enjoys, IRNA reported on Thursday.

“Because of strong leadership Iran is progressing in every field especially in science and technology”, said the analyst.

Brig (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed added Iranian leadership and people have decided to face difficulties but refused to yield before western pressure. “Unity of the Iranian people is their strength”, he opined.

He said Iran because of its struggle has become a key power in the region and Islamic world. “Being a neighbor development of Iran is very important for Pakistan”, believed the analyst.

”I salute the Iranian nation for becoming an excellent example for other countries of the world,” he said. Mr. Ahmed said Iran has become self-sufficient in all fields.

He was of the view that the Iranian government is following an independent foreign policy keeping in front their national interests. He added Iran has been progressing in social, economic and military sector.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/01-Sep-2011/Unity-of-the-Iranian-people-is-their-strength-Imtiaz

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SC issues notice to 26/11 accused

Sep 2, 2011

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to Fahim Harshad Mohammad Yusuf and Sababuddin Shaikh, acquitted by a trial court of involvement in the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R M Lodha issued notice on a petition by the Maharashtra government.

Yusuf and Shaikh were accused of providing logistic support for the attack. They were acquitted by a trial court and the verdict was later upheld by the Bombay high court. The two were acquitted for want of corroborative evidence.

But senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, on behalf of the Maharashtra government, challenged the high court verdict.

Meanwhile, the court has permitted the Maharashtra government to complete filing of papers in connection with the case of Ajmal Amir Kasab, awarded the death sentence last year in the 26/11 case.

Kasab had written a letter to the apex court registry challenging his sentence.

The court agreed that Kasab's letter will be heard along with the government's petition in the case of Yusuf and Shaikh.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/SC-issues-notice-to-26/11-accused/articleshow/9834104.cms

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Syria faces calls for tougher sanctions

Sep 2, 2011

BEIRUT: Syria is facing international calls for tougher sanctions as anti-government protesters vow they will choose death over humiliation at the hands of the regime.

The US and Britain called for a tougher stance over Syria's bloody crackdown on protesters on Thursday, demanding tough new international sanctions on President Bashar Assad and his regime.

The 5-month-old uprising in Syria shows no sign of slowing down despite a brutal government crackdown that the UN estimates has killed some 2,200 people.

Friday has emerged as the main day of protests in the Arab world. Syrians planned to march Friday under the banner ``Death Rather Than Humiliation.''

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Syria-faces-calls-for-tougher-sanctions/articleshow/9834399.cms

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Suspended Gujarat IPS Officer moves High Court challenging Guj.govt. decision

2 September 2011

Suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who has taken on Gujarat’s BJP government on handling of post-Godhra riots, challenged before the High Court the State government’s decision to withdraw its petition seeking revision of a Jamnagar court’s order initiating criminal proceedings against him in a two-decade-old case.

A person died allegedly due to police beating during a communal flare-up in Jamkhambhliya taluka of Jamnagar in 1990 when Mr. Bhatt was posted there as Dy SP. A local court later initiated criminal proceedings against him and six others.

In the petition, which is likely to come up for hearing on Friday, Mr. Bhatt has alleged the State government was acting with a bias against him because he had accused Chief Minister Narendra Modi of misusing the state machinery during post-Godhra riots in his affidavit before the Supreme Court.

He has sought a direction from the High Court to the government that the revision application be restored.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article2417518.ece

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26/11: SC likely to take up Kasab's letter challenging death penalty

Sep 02 2011

New Delhi : The Supreme Court is likely to take up on Friday Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s letter challenging the death penalty awarded to him in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of the Mumbai terror attacks, had moved the Supreme Court challenging his conviction and death sentence in the 26/11 attacks.

The high court had upheld the death sentence of Kasab for the "brutal and diabolical" 26/11 Mumbai attacks aimed at "destabilising" the government.

Kasab's death penalty was upheld on charges of criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation, IPC section related to murder and under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

A Mumbai Special Court on May 6, 2010, sentenced Kasab to death on four counts.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/26-11-sc-to-hear-petition-challenging-acquittal-of-faheem-sabauddin/840599/

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China unlikely to replace US role in Pakistan: Analysts

Sep 02 2011

Washington : While China is of growing importance to Pakistan, it is unlikely to replace the United States’ role as a dominant influence there, according to regional analysts.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari made a three-day visit to China this week at a time when relations between Islamabad and Beijing appear to be growing stronger.

Zardari has visited China twice since the US raid on Osama bin Laden''s compound in Abbottabad, and a total of seven times since becoming president, the Voice of America reports.

Ties have long been strong between Pakistan and China -- a country Islamabad endearingly calls its "all-weather friend," however, some regional analysts say that the recent deterioration of US-Pakistan relations has pushed Islamabad into Beijing's arms.

The analysts argue the combination of repeated US drone strikes in Pakistani territory, the unilateral American raid on bin Laden's lair, and suspension of 800 million dollar in military aid to Pakistan has brought Beijing and Islamabad closer together, the report said.

But regional analyst Tarique Niazi, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, says that Zardari's most recent visit to China is part of an ongoing effort by Pakistan to seek help to address its urgent needs and boost trade, and not necessarily a sign of shifting alliances.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/china-unlikely-to-replace-us-role-in-pakistan-analysts/840609/

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Nanny tells of brutal abuse in Gaddafi family home

Sep 02 2011

Tripoli : A disfigured Ethiopian nanny today recounted being beaten and severely burnt while working for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Hannibal and his wife.

Lying prone in her bed at Tripoli's only burns unit, Shweyga Mullah, 30, said wife Aline Skaf, a Lebanese lingerie model previously accused of abuse, twice poured scalding water on her, causing third degree burns which doctors said would take years to treat.

"There was some problem how to arrange the clothes of the children and for that reason she is suffering all of this," said Dr Salah Errmih by her bedside in a blacked-out basement room.

Still suffering from badly infected burns covering 40 per cent of her body, most visibly to her scalp, face and torso, Mullah told of her long suffering and regular beatings at the hands of Skaf.

"I could not escape, there were a lot of guards," she said, nodding as a doctor recounted her journey from being offered the job by the Libyan embassy in Addis Ababa to suffering at a stylish beach resort near Tripoli.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/nanny-tells-of-brutal-abuse-in-gaddafi-family-home/840585/

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UN inquiry says Israel flotilla raid 'excessive': NYT

Sep 02 2011

United Nations : A UN-mandated inquiry into a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish-led aid flotilla to Gaza in 2010 said that Israel's action was "excessive," according to excerpts published today by the New York Times.

The report, which has not yet been officially published amid a dispute between Israel and Turkey, said however that Israel's blockade of Gaza is legal. Nine people died in the Israeli raid on May 31, 2010.

Turkey's foreign minister has set UN report on Israel's raid as a deadline for Israel to apologise for the deadly attack, two Turkish newspapers reported on Thursday.

The May 2010 raid by Israeli commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian activists and severely strained Israeli-Turkish relations. Turkey has warned ties could deteriorate further if Israel does not apologize, but Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ruled out the idea.

Turkish newspaper reports have said Turkey also is considering downgrading diplomatic ties, cutting off economic ties and military cooperation, and giving Turkey's full backing to the Palestinian quest for state recognition.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/un-inquiry-says-israel-flotilla-raid-excessive-nyt/840605/

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World must force Assad out: Clinton

2 September 2011

PARIS — The world community should escalate pressure on President Bashar al-Assad by targeting Syria’s oil and gas exports to force him from office, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

“The violence must stop and he needs to step aside,” Clinton told reporters in Paris after a meeting on the similar crisis in Libya, where local strongman Moamer Kadhafi has already been forced from office.

“Syria must be allowed to move forward,” she said. “Those who have joined us in this call must now translate our rhetoric into concrete action to escalate the pressure on Assad and those around him.”

This pressure must include “strong new sanctions targeting Syria’s energy sector to deny the regime the revenues that fund its campaign of violence.”

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/September/middleeast_September13.xml&section=middleeast

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Lawyers fight for Pakistanis in Afghan ‘Guantanamo’

2 September 2011

LAHORE: Three years ago teenager Hameedullah Khan was on a family visit to Pakistan’s Taliban tribal zone when he vanished, surfacing a year later behind bars in a US military prison in Afghanistan.

Khan was 14 at the time. His relatives have no idea how he ended up in the US-run detention centre near Bagram airbase, why he is being held, or when they can see him again.

“When we eat, drink or do anything, we remember him. If he had died, perhaps we would forget, but when somebody goes missing, you can’t forget him,”said Hameedullah’s father, Wakeel Khan.

“His mother has hardly eaten anything for the past three years and she now also suffers from diabetes. His grandmother died from the grief.”Human rights activists say the Bagram jail is the “forgotten Guantanamo Bay”, evoking the US naval facility in Cuba that became the holding pen for “war on terror” detainees after the September 11 attacks 10 years ago.

Suspected terrorists are held at Bagram for indefinite periods of time without charge, and with no access to outside legal counsel, in conditions that activists say are inhumane.

But the US military defends the Afghan jail as essential for sequestering hardened militants, and says secret military tribunals called “Detainee Review Boards” provide adequate legal recourse for inmates.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/02/lawyers-fight-for-pakistanis-in-afghan-guantanamo.html

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Afghans anxious about exit of foreign troops

2 September 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan: It’s been a tough summer in Afghanistan: Foreign troops started leaving. The Afghan president’s half brother was assassinated. Suicide bombers keep killing government officials. The Taleban shot down a helicopter, killing 30 Americans. Civilian casualties are up and many Afghans fear their nation will plunge into civil war once the foreign forces go home.

Every chance they get, US officials try to reassure the Afghan people that America is not abandoning Afghanistan. “There will be no rush for the exits,” America’s new ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, said when he arrived in Kabul just weeks ago.

Yet President Barack Obama’s decision to pull out 10,000 troops before December and another 23,000 next year has stoked fear among Afghans convinced that the international community’s commitment is coming to a close. Afghans don’t share the US-led coalition’s confidence that Afghan police and soldiers are ready to secure the nation by 2014, and others worry the Afghan economy will collapse if foreign troops go home and donors get stingy with aid.

Those fears exist despite widespread public fatigue with the war and with the thousands of international troops forces, whose presence offends the Afghans’ sense of pride and nationalism.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article496471.ece

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For Muslim family, faith complicates grief for loved one lost on 9/11

By Jessica Ravitz

Sep 02 2011

Edmond, Oklahoma (CNN) -- His smiling image has been cut out of a snapshot and carefully added to a photo of his father, so it looks as if the boy is standing beside the man. It smacks of a bad Photoshop job, but it gives the two a shared moment, even though they never met.

The boy's sister, Fahina, created the montage. She is 15 and clings to scant memories and aging photographs. But Farqad, almost 10, has nothing.

She remembers sitting beside their father on amusement park rides, his words -- "Look at my daughter; she's so brave" -- soothing her nerves; she still thinks of him whenever she's on a rollercoaster. She leaned on his legs when he watched basketball on TV and imagined him cheering her on when she played the sport after he was gone. She recalls being driven to see Harvard University, before she even started elementary school, and dreams of attending an Ivy League school to make him proud.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, she woke up extra early on her own. After her father and mother finished saying morning prayers, the young girl took his face in her small hands and enlisted the promise of a Chuck E. Cheese visit. Father and daughter then kissed and said goodbye.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/08/29/911.muslim.widow/index.html

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Mother of 9/11 '20th hijacker': I was blind to son's extremism

By Peter Wilkinson

September 2, 2011

Dublin, Republic of Ireland (CNN) -- In hindsight, Aicha el-Wafi can see that the warning signs about her son Zacarias Moussaoui were present as he was growing up in southern France.

"If I had known he would end up with this group of wrongdoers, I would have attracted his attention ... but I did not see it coming," said el-Wafi. Her son remains the only man convicted in the U.S. over the 9/11 plot. "I think that when a child comes home, shrugs his shoulders and does not listen to the parents ... and says ... you are not good Muslims, there is a danger."

El-Wafi, who was born in Morocco, believes Moussaoui was victimized because of the color of his skin. "He loved a girl he was forbidden from seeing... well the Islamists and the extremists found a grievance in the heart of my son. My son was born in France, my son loves France ... but he was not accepted. He was rejected by French society.

"My son suffered a lot from daily racism," she said. In the city of Narbonne he was called a "dirty Arab and dirty negro" and told to go home. "These are words that kill a child when he is 16, 18, 19 years of age."

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/09/01/september.11.moussaoui.mother/index.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/turkey-expels-israeli-ambassador-over-gaza-flotilla-row-/d/5381


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