New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 24 Aug 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

U.N. Releases $1.5 Billion in Frozen Qaddafi Assets to Aid Rebuilding of Libya

Street fighting rages in Tripoli as Gaddafi loyalists fight rearguard action

Rebels battle to root out Gaddafi diehards

NATO Joins Hunt for Qaddafi

Libyan foreign minister says Gaddafi's reign is over: Report

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Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/un-releases-$15-billion-in-frozen-qaddafi-assets-to-aid-rebuilding-of-libya/d/5318

 

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U.N. Releases $1.5 Billion in Frozen Qaddafi Assets to Aid Rebuilding of Libya

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and DAN BILEFSKY

26 August 2011

WASHINGTON — Even with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi still on the run, the nations that aided Libya’s rebellion moved swiftly Thursday to release billions of dollars of cash needed for the difficult — and, for some foreign companies, potentially lucrative — task of rebuilding the country after six months of fighting.

The United Nations Security Council approved an immediate infusion of $1.5 billion that the United States seized last spring. Officials said the money was urgently needed to provide basic services, especially electricity, and, perhaps as important, to build political support for Libya’s rebel leaders, known as the Transitional National Council, as they try to consolidate control of the country after 41 years of Colonel Qaddafi’s government.

“Qaddafi hasn’t paid salaries in months,” Jeffrey D. Feltman, an assistant secretary of state, said in a telephone interview from Istanbul, where diplomats from 28 nations and 7 international organizations met on Thursday to discuss preparations for a post-Qaddafi Libya. “It would be a real boost for the T.N.C. to be able to do that.”

The Security Council’s action came after leading countries made new pledges of financial and diplomatic support, laying the foundation for new relations with a nation presumably more amenable to interaction and alliance with the West than it was under Colonel Qaddafi. With so much uncertainty over the governance of Libya, though, none of the money will be given directly to the rebels, but instead will be dispersed on their behalf by the United States or international agencies to ensure it goes directly to humanitarian needs.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, meeting with one of the Libyan rebel officials, joined other leaders in offering to aid the nascent government, promising to unfreeze roughly $500 million. The Security Council’s action on Thursday so far affects only the $1.5 billion in American jurisdiction.

Eni S.p.A., Italy’s largest oil company and the biggest oil producer in Libya, also pledged to supply gasoline and diesel fuel on an emergency basis and on credit, to be paid later in crude oil when production resumes.

The head of the Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, explicitly promised to reward those nations that backed Libya’s revolt with contracts in the state’s postwar reconstruction. “We promise to favor the countries which helped us, especially in the development of Libya,” he said in the rebels’ eastern stronghold, Benghazi. “We will deal with them according to the support which they gave us.”

The Libyan council has asked the United Nations to release as much as $5 billion of an estimated $160 billion in Libyan assets frozen abroad after the Security Council imposed sanctions on Colonel Qaddafi’s government shortly after the popular uprising began in February.

Much of those assets are property, investments or other fixed assets that cannot easily be cashed in without the authority of a recognized Libyan government, which legally remains very much up in the air. Of the nearly $38 billion in assets frozen by the United States, for example, only about $3 billion is in cash, according to the State Department.

The United States had asked the committee that oversees United Nations sanctions — made up of the same 15 members of the Security Council itself — for a special exception to return $1.5 billion. But it encountered strong opposition, particularly from South Africa, whose leaders long had close relations with Colonel Qaddafi. The sanctions committee requires unanimous consent, which South Africa blocked, even as events in Libya rapidly unfolded.

American and British officials took the usual diplomatic step of publicly identifying South Africa’s opposition and vowed to force a vote on a new resolution on Thursday afternoon, which South Africa alone would have been unable to block.

South Africa objected to releasing the frozen money in part “because it implied recognition” of the rebels, one American official said, but ultimately relented after the sanction committee’s decision deleted explicit reference to the rebel council.

The $1.5 billion in assets is divided into three roughly equal parts of $500 million — none of which will go directly into the coffers of the rebels. One-third will pay international organizations like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for past and future humanitarian assistance, while another will go from American accounts directly to companies that have been providing fuel for electricity in civilian areas under rebel control.

The third $500 million will go to a special fund in Qatar, controlled by a committee of nations, that disperses money for basic services like health care, education and food. Many countries, including Turkey most recently, have pledged money through the fund.

The transitional council, already recognized by the United States and many other countries as the recognized authority in Libya, is scrambling on the diplomatic and political front to catch up to its surprisingly rapid military advances this week. And it appeared to be succeeding, with the Arab League inviting the council to represent Libya at its next meeting later this month.

The diplomats meeting in Istanbul — including representatives of the United Nations and the Arab League — promised in a statement to provide the council with “the legal, political and financial means necessary to form an interim government of Libya.”

They also called on the Security Council to free all the assets “in an expedited manner” and said that the United Nations would oversee “international efforts” to rebuild Libya, a demand that Russia and China emphasized on Thursday.

The nations in Istanbul, meantime, pledged $2.5 billion in aid in all, according to Fathi Baja, a member of the rebel council. “We need more,” he said, “but this will be a very useful chunk to take care of the immediate needs.”

Mr. Abdel-Jalil said that “the biggest destabilizing element” would be a failure of the rebel administration to deliver services and pay the salaries of officials who had not been paid for months.

With fighting still under way, it is too early to estimate the scope of the reconstruction needed in Libya, though officials acknowledged that the effort would be immense. At the same time, officials said, much of it can be paid for by Libya itself from the Qaddafi-era assets and a resumption of the country’s oil industry, the infrastructure of which is not believed to have been badly damaged in the fighting.

“The overwhelming bulk of Libya’s needs,” Mr. Feltman said, “are going to be paid for by the Libyans themselves.”

Steven Erlanger contributed reporting from Paris, and Sebnem Arsu from Istanbul.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/world/africa/26assets.html

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Street fighting rages in Tripoli as Gaddafi loyalists fight rearguard action

25 August 2011

Street battles are continuing to rage in parts of Tripoli after Muammar Gaddafi vowed to fight to the death and his supporters fought a rearguard campaign using snipers, mortars and rockets in a last attempt to stop rebel forces consolidating their grip on the Libyan capital.

A day after the rebels had celebrated their capture of the regime's stronghold at Bab al-Aziziya, the compound came under heavy fire from the pro-Gaddafi area of Abu Salim and the woods around the city zoo, which rebels said were "infested" with snipers. Green flags, the symbol of the ousted regime, and pro-Gaddafi gunmen could still be seen in front of a large building on the edge of the woods once used by Saif al-Islam, one of Gaddafi's sons, to receive guests.

Gaddafi loyalists, who the rebels said were mostly Arab mercenaries, also fired on the road leading to Tripoli airport.

Rebels said 400 people had been killed and 2,000 injured in the battle for Tripoli so far.

Beyond the capital, rebel columns closed in on the coastal city of Sirte, Gaddafi's birthplace, where loyalist troops fired Scud missiles at the rebel-held town of Misrata.

It was unclear whether the fighting was a desperate last stand or the start of a guerrilla campaign by a "stay-behind" force, modelled on the tactics Saddam Hussein and his top lieutenants used in Iraq in 2003.

A pro-Gaddafi radio station broadcast statements by the deposed leader claiming he had "discreetly" toured the capital and "did not feel that Tripoli was in danger". He reportedly said the retreat from his citadel at Bab al-Aziziya had been a tactical move and vowed to fight to the death, calling on his supporters to "cleanse" Tripoli of "devils and traitors".

But in a fresh blow to Gaddafi, the deputy director of foreign security in the Libyan intelligence service, General Khalifah Mohammed Ali, and health minister Mohammed Hijazi, declared their allegiance to rebel forces in interviews aired on al-Arabiya TV. They are among a growing number of Libyan officials who have switched sides since rebels gained the upper hand.

"I put myself in the service of the nation and call on generals and soldiers who are the sons of Libya to join the 17th February revolution," Ali said in the interview with the Dubai-based satellite channel.

In London, the foreign secretary, William Hague, repeated his assertion that the fighting represented "the death throes" of the regime. "I think it is time now for Colonel Gaddafi to stop issuing delusional statements and to recognise what has happened, that control of the country is not going to return, he said in a statement." "He should be telling his dwindling and remaining forces now to stand down."

Rebel fighters continued to hunt for the fugitive despot, reportedly searching the tunnel network beneath Bab al-Aziziya. Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC), announced a reward for Gaddafi's capture of 2m Libyan dinars (£1m), funded by a businessman in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, and an amnesty for past crimes for anyone in his entourage who killed or detained him.

Rebel fighters tried to move into the Abu Salim area, but were kept at bay by heavy sniper and mortar fire from the woods and from high buildings in the district.

Around 35 journalists and diplomats have been freed from the Rixos hotel on the edge of Abu Salim, where they had been held for five days by pro-Gaddafi gunmen. Their release was negotiated by the International Committee of the Red Cross, who ferried the journalists to another hotel elsewhere in the city.

More details emerged of the operation to take control the city, codenamed Mermaid Dawn. According to a rebel military spokesman quoted by AP, men from Tripoli who supported the revolution slipped out of the capital three months ago for training in Benghazi. They then infiltrated the city either by sea, posing as fishermen, or through the western mountains.

"They went back to Tripoli and waited; they became sleeper cells," said military spokesman Fadlallah Haroun, who helped organise the operation. He said that when the signal was given, on 21 August, about 150 men rose up inside Tripoli.

The commander of the battalion charged with defending the entrance to the city, Muhammad Eshkal, was said by another NTC official to have agreed not to put up resistance because Gaddafi had ordered his cousin's death 20 years ago.

A US official was quoted as confirming reports that Qatari special forces had helped spearhead the rebel storming of Bab al-Aziziya, and that British, French and Italian advisers had played a role.

In Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy promised the NTC prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, that French troops would support the rebels as long as pro-Gaddafi forces resisted. An international conference in the French capital on 1 September, co-ordinated by the British and French governments, would meanwhile mark the transition from military to civilian support for the Libyan revolution.

NTC leaders had been expected to arrive in Tripoli to help bolster the council's legitimacy as an interim government, but it was not clear whether they had put off their trip because of security concerns.

Some NTC officials were involved in talks in Doha with diplomats from a contact group of major powers, aimed at arranging short-term finance for the government. At the UN, US, British and French diplomats were drafting a resolution ordering the unblocking of $1.5bn (£900m) in frozen Libyan funds at the beginning of the war.

Worldwide, Libyan embassies that had not hitherto changed sides, including Tokyo and Addis Ababa, replaced Gaddafi's green flag with the tricolour used by the NTC. In London, NTC officials, who already had control of the embassy, laid a doormat bearing Gaddafi's image so visitors would trample on his likeness.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/24/fighting-tripoli-gaddafi-libya

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Rebels battle to root out Gaddafi diehards

Aug 25 2011

Tripoli : Rebel forces began to purge Tripoli's streets of diehard gunmen still loyal to fugitive Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday in the final phase of the battle for the Libyan capital.

As a volley of shell fire broke the morning calm in Tripoli, rebels said they were confident they could mop up soldiers clinging to a leader now on the run and presumed to be in hiding in the country he ruled for four decades.

The end will only come when he's captured, dead or alive, said Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), who offered amnesty to any of Gaddafi's entourage who killed him and announced a reward worth more than $1 million for his capture.

After rebel forces overran Gaddafi's fortified Tripoli compound and trashed symbols of his 42-year rule, scattered loyalist fighters and snipers fought last-ditch battles in pockets across the city. Rebels also reported fighting deep in the desert and a standoff around Gaddafi's home town.

There are still many snipers in eastern Tripoli, said one rebel fighter. We'll finish them off, but it'll take time.

In a clearing by the seafront in Tripoli, at least 100 rebel trucks mounted with machineguns were parked, their crews checking their weapons in preparation for an assault on Gaddafi hold-outs in the leader's huge Tripoli stronghold overrun by rebels at the weekend.

Gaddafi is finished, said one fighter, who had driven into Tripoli from the rebel city of Misrata.

There was no clear indication of Gaddafi's whereabouts, though his opponents surmised he was still in or around Tripoli after what Gaddafi himself described as a tactical withdrawal from his Bab al-Aziziya compound before it fell on Tuesday.

French magazine Paris Match quoted an intelligence source saying Libyan commandos found evidence that he had stayed at a safe house which they raided on Wednesday. NATO was helping the rebels with intelligence and reconnaissance, Britain said, and its jets kept up their bombing campaign overnight.

There are areas of resistance by the regime which has had considerable levels of military expertise, still has stockpiles of weapons and still has the ability for command and control, British Defence Minister Liam Fox told Sky News.

They may take some time to completely eliminate and it is likely there will be some frustrating days ahead before the Libyan people are completely free of the Gaddafi legacy.

HOSPITALS FILLED WITH WOUNDED

Aymen, a rebel at the Mitiga airbase in Tripoli, said rebels were trying to fight their way into the Abu Slim area, not far from Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya complex.

They are surrounding it but Gaddafi loyalists are putting up a fight, firing from inside. We continue to comb for supporters of the fallen regime, he said by phone.

Nouri Echtiwi, a rebel spokesman in Tripoli, said rebels had released several hundred detainees from a prison in Abu Slim. The figure not be immediately verified.

Gaddafi's home town of Sirte, on the coast between Tripoli and Benghazi, was still not in the hands of the new leadership who have despatched forces there.

Talks have been ongoing for two days now between NTC and tribal leaders from Sirte to liberate the city and ensure its inhabitants lay down arms and allow access to administrative buildings, Echtiwi said.

Rebels also reported fighting in the southern city of Sabha.

But medical supplies, never especially plentiful, were reaching critical levels in many places where some of the hundreds of casualties from the fighting were being treated. Shooting in the street also kept medics away from work.

The hospitals that I've been to have been full of wounded - gunshot wounded, said Jonathan Whittall, head of the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) mission to Libya.

In one health facility that I visited, they had converted some houses next to the clinic into an inpatient department ... But because of the shortage of staff, there was no nursing staff and the patients were essentially caring for themselves.

A British medical worker said one Tripoli hospital had received 17 bodies which appeared to be of civilians executed in recent days by government forces in Gaddafi's compound.

Meanwhile Libya's new masters are keen to forge ahead and secure the funds they need to bring relief to war-battered towns and rebuild the oil sector on which the economy depends. NTC diplomats meet their Western backers in Turkey on Thursday.

Western leaders and the rebel government-in-waiting have lost no time readying a handover of Libya's substantial foreign assets.

After talks with Arab and Western allies in Qatar on Wednesday, a senior rebel leader said the NTC would seek to have $5 billion in frozen assets released to jump-start the economy and provide vital relief to its citizens. The amount is double the previously given estimate of $2.5 billion.

The United States has also submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council to unfreeze $1.5 billion in Libyan assets. No vote was held on the draft on Wednesday, but diplomats said a vote could come on Thursday or Friday.

While Libya is rich in oil, four decades of rule by personality cult has left it with few normal institutions.

DIRTY BOMB

After meeting rebel government chief Mahmoud Jibril in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who took a lead in pushing for NATO military intervention, said Paris would host a Friends of Libya summit on Sept. 1.

It would include Russia and China, both critics of the Western bombing campaign, who have been concerned at now losing out on business deals with the rebels. Rebels want to bring back workers to restart oil export facilities soon.

The rebels, many of whom were once supporters of Gaddafi, have stressed the wish to work with former loyalists and officials and to avoid the purges of the ousted ruling elite which marked Iraq's descent into sectarian anarchy after 2003.

Their gains are however no guarantee of security or progress with Gaddafi and his entourage at large. Abdel Salam Jalloud, a close ally who switched sides last week, said Gaddafi planned to slip away and launch a guerrilla war:

He is sick with power, he said. He believes he can gather his supporters and carry out attacks ... He is delusional. He thinks he can return to power.

There were signs of more supporters giving up on him, following a stream of defections during the six months of the uprising.

The second in command of Libya's intelligence services and the health minister declared their allegiance to rebel forces.

After by far the bloodiest of the Arab Spring revolts that are transforming the Middle East and North Africa, there were clear indications of new threats of disorder. Four Italian journalists have been kidnapped near Zawiya, between Tripoli and the Tunisian border.

Western officials also fear anti-aircraft missiles and nuclear material capable of making a dirty bomb, could be taken from Gaddafi's stocks and reach hostile groups.

Imposing order and preventing rivalries breaking out across tribal, ethnic and ideological lines among the disparate rebel factions are major concerns of both the new leaders and of their Western backers, who are working to avoid the anarchy and bloodshed that followed the overthrow of Iraq's Saddam Hussein.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/rebels-battle-to-root-out-gaddafi-diehards/837167/

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NATO Joins Hunt for Qaddafi

By KAREEM FAHIM, RICK GLADSTONE AND ALAN COWELL

25 Aug, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — NATO was reported on Thursday to be providing significant support in the hunt for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi as rebels sought to cement their control, offering a nearly $2 million bounty for his capture and closing in on one of his last bastions of support, his birthplace in Surt.

The rebels claimed breakthroughs on other fronts, saying their fighters had started battling for Sabha, another of the colonel’s stronghold in the south, and in Zuwarah in the west, where they said they had captured a military base.

Unusually, Britain’s Defense Secretary, Liam Fox, said publicly on Thursday that NATO was trying to help the rebels locate the elusive and still defiant Colonel Qaddafi, apparently breaking from the frequent Western assertion that the alliance’s role is limited under its United Nations mandate to protecting civilians.

“I can confirm that NATO is providing intelligence and reconnaissance assets” to the insurgents “to help them track down Colonel Qaddafi and other remnants of the regime,” Mr. Fox told Sky News.

But he withheld comment on a report in The Daily Telegraph that British special forces on the ground were involved in the hunt for Colonel Qaddafi. He also said there were “absolutely no plans” to commit British ground forces to Libya in the future.

In diplomatic and financial terms, the rebel cause seemed to be facing a setback after South Africa refused to endorse a United States effort at the United Nations Security Council to unblock frozen Libyan funds worth $1.5 billion for the rebels. The impasse provoked sharp exchanges with the rebels’ Western allies.

In London, Mr. Fox himself castigated South Africa on Thursday for failing to show the same solidarity as the world showed to opponents of apartheid.

“I think there will be huge moral pressure on South Africa. They wanted the world at one point to stand with them against apartheid. They now need to stand with the Libyan people,” Mr. Fox said on the BBC.

Efforts to unblocking Libyan government funds, frozen initially to bring pressure on Colonel Qaddafi, seemed to be gathering pace on Thursday as Mahmoud Jibril, the de facto rebel prime minister, planned a European tour to seek the release of billions of dollars of assets. According to news reports, Mr. Jibril was set to meet in Milan with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, which has long had close economic ties with Libya, a former colony.

The quest for an injection of cash coincides with reports of ever-increasing shortages of essential supplies in Libya.

South Africa’s United Nations ambassador, Baso Sangqu, told reporters that his government was very concerned about the humanitarian situation there but, before agreeing to the release of frozen assets, wanted to await the outcome of an African Union meeting Thursday to discuss recognition of the fledgling rebel administration, The Associated Press reported.

Many African nations, long the recipients of Colonel Qaddafi’s largesse, have not so far recognized the rebels. South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, has been at the forefront of African efforts to broker a ceasefire on terms favorable to Colonel Qaddafi, but those efforts have produced no visible results, beyond souring relations with the West.

According to South African news reports on Thursday, Kgalema Motlanthe, the deputy president, has gone so far as to suggest that NATO commanders should be investigated for war crimes in the Libyan conflict. “We know they are attempting to create the impression that the rebels are acting on their own in their attacks in Tripoli,” he was quoted as telling Parliament on Wednesday, “but there are clear links and co-ordination.”

“The question is whether the International Criminal Court would have the wherewithal to unearth that information and bring those who are responsible to book, including the NATO members or commanders on the ground,” Mr. Motlanthe said.

Sporadic firefights continued in Tripoli on Wednesday, a sign that control of the city could not be claimed by either side. In a show of strength, the rebels flooded the city’s thoroughfares with the mud-splattered trucks of their fighting brigades. In another sign of the power shifts under way, Colonel Qaddafi’s loyalists abruptly released more than 30 foreign journalists they had held captive in the Rixos Hotel here. Over the weekend, they were taken captive at gunpoint as the rebels advanced on the capital and left in the Rixos.

“Rixos crisis ends. All journalists are out!” Matthew Chance, a CNN correspondent, posted on Twitter as he and the others were allowed to leave the hotel with the aid of Red Cross workers who took them away.

Later in the day, the elation was tempered with word that four Italian journalists were abducted and their driver killed outside of Tripoli, in territory nominally under rebel control. Italian consular officials said the journalists, abducted by unknown gunmen, were being held by Qaddafi loyalists in an apartment near Bab al-Aziziya, Colonel Qaddafi’s captured compound and residence.

Colonel Qaddafi was not at home when rebels stormed the fortress. He said in an address broadcast early Wednesday on a local Tripoli radio station that his retreat from the compound was a tactical maneuver. He blamed months of NATO airstrikes for bringing down his government and vowed “martyrdom” or victory in his battle against the alliance. Urging Libyan tribes across the land to march on the capital, he said, “I call on all Tripoli residents, with all its young, old and armed brigades, to defend the city, to cleanse it, to put an end to the traitors and kick them out of our city.”

“These gangs seek to destroy Tripoli,” he said, referring to the rebels. “They are evil incarnate. We should fight them.”

In the eastern city of Benghazi, the base of the rebel uprising, the head of the rebel Transitional National Council told a news conference on Wednesday that Libyan businessmen had contributed two million dinars, about $1.7 million, for the capture of Colonel Qaddafi dead or alive.

“We fear a catastrophe because of his behavior,” the rebel leader, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, told reporters there. The rebel leaders in Benghazi also called on loyalists in Surt, more than 200 miles east of Tripoli, to join them, and said they had directed rebel fighting units to close in on Surt from Misurata in the west and the port city of Ras Lanuf in the east.

The rebel military units from Misurata, which have emerged as the opposition’s most able fighters, have encountered little resistance. But there were reports on Wednesday that rebel brigades approaching from the east were stalled in Bin Jawwad, a hamlet that has tripped up the rebels during previous attempts to advance on Surt.

Elsewhere, though, there were signs of loyalist disarray. Al Arabiya television reported that the rebels had taken control of an army base in Zuwarah, a coastal city about halfway between Tripoli and the Tunisian border. There was no immediate confirmation of the report about the base, Mazraq al-Shams, which had been heavily contested for days. But there were news reports on Tuesday night that the Tunisian authorities had closed the main border crossing with Libya because of fighting in the Zuwarah area.

NATO warplanes were heard over the skies in Tripoli in the morning and later in the evening, striking unspecified targets in a bid to strike a fatal blow to Colonel Qaddafi’s lingering loyalists. Many citizens stayed at home as rebels blasted the skies with volleys of celebratory gunfire, though more shops could be seen opening and more cars seemed to be on the road. In a sign of the changed atmosphere, hundreds of journalists on Wednesday moved into high-rise hotels that a day or two before would have been easy targets for snipers. Farther south, though, the two sides continued to fight over several neighborhoods, including Abu Salim and Bab al-Aziziya, the former Qaddafi compound that was still not completely under rebel control.

As diplomacy accelerated in the new dynamics surrounding the conflict, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France met with Mahmoud Jibril, the Libyan rebel organization’s prime minister, in Paris. Mr. Sarkozy told journalists afterward that he had offered medical assistance and said, “We are prepared to continue military operations as long as our Libyan friends need them.” France was the first country to recognize the Benghazi-based rebels and played a central role in the NATO air campaign along with the United States and Britain.

President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia, whose country has opposed the NATO effort, raised the possibility that Moscow might recognize the rebel administration but called for negotiations to end the fighting. “Despite the successes of the rebels, Qaddafi and his supporters still have a certain influence and military potential,” he told journalists after meeting in Siberia with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il. “In essence, there are two powers in the country.”

The rebels must consolidate their control of the country for Russia to consider recognizing their government, he said. “If the rebels have enough strength and opportunities to unite the country for a new democratic start, then naturally, we will consider establishing relations with them,” Mr. Medvedev said.

In a further maneuver, China on Wednesday urged a “stable transition of power” in Libya and said it was in contact with the Transitional National Council, Reuters reported, suggesting that Beijing’s allegiance had shifted. China had maintained close economic ties with the Qaddafi government and withdrew tens of thousands of its workers at the start of the conflict.

Continuing a trend that has grown in recent days, two high-ranking officials of the Qaddafi government declared their allegiance to the new leadership. The deputy director of foreign security in the Libyan intelligence service, Gen. Khalifah Mohammed Ali, and the health minister, Mohammed Hijazi, announced their decisions in interviews with Al Arabiya, Reuters reported.

It remained unclear on Wednesday when the leaders of the rebel council would transfer their operations from Benghazi to Tripoli, as they have said they plan to. One of their leaders, Ali el-Essawi, Mr. Jibril’s acting deputy, who was based in Benghazi, took a room in a guest house earlier in the week in Zawiyah, 50 miles from Tripoli.

Kareem Fahim reported from Tripoli, Rick Gladstone from New York and Alan Cowell from Paris. Reporting was contributed by David D. Kirkpatrick from Tripoli, Steven Erlanger from Paris, Seth Mydans from Moscow, Elisabetta Povoledo from Rome, and Dan Bilefsky from the United Nations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/world/africa/nato-joins-hunt-for-qaddafi-gadhafi-gaddafi.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print

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Libyan foreign minister says Gaddafi's reign is over: Report

25 Aug, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi's foreign minister in Tripoli says the Libyan leader's grip on power is over, British broadcaster Channel 4 reported on Wednesday. Speaking from a home in the Libyan capital, foreign minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi said it now appears that Gaddafi has exhausted all his

options and his rule "was over."

Gaddafi's sprawling government compound in Tripoli was stormed by thousands of rebels on Wednesday.

Although it was once considered possible that Gaddafi would have safe passage out of Libya, al-Obeidi said it was now unlikely.

"Now I'm not in touch with anybody, so it looks like things have passed this kind of solution," he said.

It was not clear exactly when the audio report from al-Obeidi was recorded, but Channel 4 said it came after Gaddafi's speech on Tuesday night.

The 72-year-old foreign minister said he had no fears for his safety. "I think (the rebels) have a good idea about me, they know me," he said. "I do not think they will harm me or my family."

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/europe/Libyan-foreign-minister-says-Gaddafi-s-reign-is-over-Report/Article1-737156.aspx

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Tripoli hospital receives 17 executed bodies

Aug 25, 2011

TRIPOLI Aug 25 (Reuters) - A Tripoli hospital has received the bodies of 17 civilians believed to have been executed in recent days by government forces in Muammar Gaddafi's compound in the capital, a British medical worker said on Thursday.

"Yesterday a truck arrived at the hospital with 17 dead bodies," Kirsty Campbell of the International Medical Corps told Reuters.

"These guys were rounded up 10 days ago. They were found in Bab al-Aziziya when the guys (rebel fighters) went in. These guys were shot in an execution there," she said.

The wounds were not battlefield injuries, she said.

Rebel fighters overran the fortified Bab al-Aziziya complex, the centre of Gaddafi's power, on Tuesday.

She said there had been reports of more bodies, but added: "I myself counted 17 last night."

New York Times

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Syrian forces beat up political cartoonist Ali Ferzat

Nour Ali

25 August 2011

Ferzat, who had become increasingly critical of Bashar al-Assad's regime, found bleeding at side of Damascus road

Syrian security forces have beaten up a prominent Syrian political cartoonist and left him bleeding on the side of a road, in the latest episode of a campaign to quash dissent against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Ali Ferzat, 60, is one of Syria's most famous cultural figures, and his drawings and cartoons have pushed at the boundaries of freedom of expression in Syria.

Working from a gallery in central Damascus, Ferzat has long criticised the bureaucracy and corruption of the regime and since March has turned to depicting the uprising.

In the early hours of Thursday, masked men seized Ferzat on a Damascus street and beat him up before dumping him, bleeding, on the capital's Airport Road where he was found by passersby, activists said.

Ferzat had become increasingly critical of the regime and its brutal crackdown. He regularly appeared on al-Arabiya television and his drawings were avidly followed by Syrians looking for some light relief.

In a recent cartoon he critiqued the regime's offers of reforms, with a picture of an official with rosebuds in his speech bubble – and a coiled turd in his head.

Another cartoon showed Assad hurriedly painting railway tracks to escape from a fast-approaching train.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/25/syria-cartoonist-ali-ferzat-beaten

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In a first, Lashkar probes Valley killing, blames ‘one among us’

Aug 26 2011

Srinagar : For the first time in the last two decades, the Lashkar-e-Toiba has carried out an internal investigation into a high profile assassination in the Valley and concluded that the killer was “one among us”.

The Lashkar probe has identified the entire network of people who planned and carried out the assassination of prominent cleric Moulana Showkat Ahmad Shah, and said that “it is possible that this order, this message (to kill Shah) may have come from Pakistan”.

“Initially, we thought that Indian army and institutions had martyred Moulana Showkat sahib to weaken the movement and create misunderstanding within us,” says the report, which was released by an All-Party Probe Committee comprising both factions of the Hurriyat Conference, Jamat-e-Islami, Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front, Jamiat-e-Ahlihadees and other leading religious organisations. “We had no idea that the assassin would be one among us.”

The militants held responsible by the Lashkar — Javaid Munshi alias Billi Pappa and his accomplice Nisar Ahmad — have already been arrested by the J&K Police, who have charged them with the murder.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/in-a-first-lashkar-probes-valley-killin.../837479/

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India: Muslim Community’s Stand on the Lokpal Issue

By RIZWAN KHATIK

26 August 2011

The Meeting decided that the Muslim community as a weaker section must fully support any movement to reduce and eliminate corruption in the country. It supports the idea that the proposed Lokpal should cover the political executive, including the Prime Minister and the higher Bureaucracy and the Legislators should also be brought under the purview of a strong and effective Lokpal. However, the community has reservations about the methodology adopted by Anna agitation which seeks to impose its draft of Jan Lokpal Bill on the country. The same method may be used tomorrow to pressurize the Government and the Parliament to concede unreasonable, even unconstitutional demands. Democracy demands Parliamentary supremacy in the field of legislation which should be based on national consensus emerging out of discussion and dialogue. No Committee or group or party can claim to have absolute wisdom or script the last word.

New Delhi, 23 August 2011: A broad-based consultation among Muslim organisations was held today at the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM) Central Office to discuss and formulate the Muslim community’s stand on the Lokpal issue. The meeting, chaired by AIMMM President Syed Shahabuddin, was attended by representatives of Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees, All India Milli Council, Welfare Party of India, Muslim Political Council, Students Islamic Organisation and Lok Janshakti Party. A representative of the CPIM also took part as a special invitee.

Full report at:

http://www.milligazette.com/news/2135-indians-muslim-community-stand-on-the-lokpal-issue-india-muslims-news

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Indian Minister: ‘India will grow, when I see Allah in Modi’s eyes, and he sees Bhagwan in mine’

Aug 26 2011

Ahmedabad : “The day I see Allah in Modi’s eyes and Modi sees Bhagwan in my eyes, India will grow.” This was Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah speaking, looking straight at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, seated a few metres from him while they shared the panel in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Abdullah was addressing an audience at the IIM-A when he spoke of how renewable energy sources such as the sun, the wind, water and the earth were once worshipped as gods and how we have forgotten them for fossil fuels.

The minister then veered into how, for him, a “Musalman”, the present month is “the month of Ramadan, when we received the holy book, the Quran, from Ram”.

“This Ram I mean is Viwakaram. This Ram is Modi’s Ram, and this Ram is my Ram,” he said.

He then went on to say that India needs communal harmony to progress and that he and Modi need to look into each other’s eyes and see their gods in them.

When the Union minister concluded his speech and headed back to his seat, most of the other dignitaries on the panel stood up.

Modi, however, kept seating but turned slightly in his chair and held out his hand. The two shook hands.

Later, Modi too addressed the audience but stayed clear of the subject of communal harmony, just saying that Abdullah’s ministry was always setting targets for the country and Gujarat kept on meeting these.

Abdullah, who could be seen listening intently to the chief minister, later took out his iPhone to click take a picture of Modi from his seat.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-will-grow-when-i-see-allah-in-modis-eyes-.../837450/

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Egypt’s Brotherhood Declares War on the Bikini

By RIZWAN KHATIK

26 August 2011

Egypt’s tourism industry has suffered a severe blow since the outburst of anti-regime demonstrations in January. But that did not stop the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, from demanding stricter regulations over what tourists can do and wear while visiting the country. The party is urging officials to ban skimpy swimwear and the consumption of alcohol on Egyptian streets.

More zealous Muslims demand cover-up of pharaonic monuments, too Sunbathing in Alexandria may soon be a thing of the past, at least if some Egyptian Islamist politicians have their way.

“Beach tourism must take the values and norms of our society into account,” Muhammad Saad Al-Katatny, secretary-general of Freedom and Justice, told Egyptian tourism officials on Monday. “We must place regulations on tourists wishing to visit Egypt, which we will announce in advance.”

The call for new strictures on tourists comes as Egypt debates the role of Islam in the post-Mubarak era. Freedom and Justice is competing in elections scheduled for this autumn for parliament and opinion polls show a majority of Egyptians favor a greater use of Islamic law and mores. But a vocal minority worries that Egypt risks becoming an Islamic republic.

“This is how things began in Iran,” Hani Henry, a psychology professor at the American University in Cairo, told The Media Line. “The moderate youth wanted to implement changes, but the Mullah’s hijacked the revolution. The same thing is now happening here in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood. It makes me sick to my stomach.”

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/90058045?Egypt%26%23146%3Bs%20Brotherhood%20declares%20war%20on%20the%20bikini

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Muslim coalition calls for investigation of alleged NYPD surveillance

26 August 2011

New York (CNN) -- New York-area Muslims and civil liberties advocates called Wednesday for investigations and hearings after a report said that in the years since the 9-11 attacks, city police have carried out covert surveillance on Muslims with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency.

"We need the (New York) City Council to hold hearings and to investigate these revelations," said Ramzi Kassem, an associate professor of law at the City University of New York. He supervises CUNY's Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility project, which aims to meet the legal needs of New York City Muslims affected by counterterrorism policies.

"We need the comptroller's office to audit the NYPD and figure out how much of New Yorkers' taxpayer dollars are going towards this rogue program, and we need the federal government to look into what are quite possibly very grave breaches of federal law," Kassem said.

Kassem was one of several speakers at a news conference at the Manhattan office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held in response to the published report.

The report, by The Associated Press, alleged that the NYPD Intelligence Division dispatched CIA-trained undercover officers into minority neighborhoods to gather intelligence on daily life in mosques, cafes, bars and bookstores. It said the police have used informers to monitor sermons during religious services and that police officials keep tabs on clerics and gather intelligence on taxi cab drivers and food-cart vendors, who are often Muslim, in New York.

Full report at:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/08/24/new.york.muslims.nypd/

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Khar challenges Chinese experts' view about Pak role in Xinjiang bloodbath

Saibal Dasgupta

25 Aug, 2011

BEIJING: Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar indicated on Wednesday that she was seeking China's understanding about the country's difficulties in dealing with terrorist groups. This was apparently her reply to Chinese anxiety over the export of terror from Pakistan to its border region of Xinjiang. "Pakistan just seeks the world's understanding for the current challenges that Pakistan is going through....we are the ones and our people are the ones that are paying the price who are experiencing the brunt of it," Khar told newsmen after meeting Chinese leaders.

She also challenged remarks by experts in a Chinese government think-tank, who blamed terror camps in Pakistan for the recent surge in violence in Xinjiang, the hotbed of a bloody separatist movement.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/Khar-challenges-Chinese-experts-view-about-Pak-role-in-Xinjiang-bloodbath/articleshow/9723348.cms

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Five killed in Gaza as rockets hit Israel despite truce

25 Aug, 2011

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: A series of Israeli air strikes on Gaza over the past 24 hours have killed five Palestinians and injured 30, a spokesman for the emergency services told AFP on Thursday.

Adham Abu Selmiya, a spokesman for Gaza’s emergency services had initially put the toll at six dead in raids which began early on Wednesday, but later revised down the toll, citing confusion over a body which reached the morgue in several pieces.

Of the five dead, two were Islamic Jihad militants.

The first attack on Wednesday hit a car in the southern city of Rafah, killing 34-year old Jihad militant Ismail al-Ismar.

Later, medics found the body of Ismail Amum, a 65-year-old civilian who was killed during an earlier raid near Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

During the evening, the air force struck a target in Gaza City, killing another Jihad militant, 20-year-old Atiya Muqat; another strike on Rafah killed Hisham Abu Har, a civilian working inside the cross-border smuggling tunnels.

Early Thursday morning, an air strike on a sports hall in the northern town of Beit Lahiya killed civilian Salam al-Masri, and injured another 20, one critically.

“We initially reported two dead in Beit Lahiya because the body arrived in two halves,” Abu Selmiya told AFP, saying they later realised it was the same person.

Over the same 24 hour period, Gaza militants fired 19 rockets and mortars into southern Israel, lightly injuring an infant, the military said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-14662695

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Palestinian militants agree new ceasefire: Islamic Jihad

Aug 26, 2011

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip have agreed on a new ceasefire after days of deadly clashes with Israel, a senior official of the radical Islamic Jihad movement said Friday.

Nasiz Assam told AFP the truce would come into effect at midnight (2200 GMT) on Friday.

"Egyptian officials have made great efforts to restore the ceasefire" brokered by Cairo at the weekend following earlier clashes in the wake of an ambush in southern Israel, he said.

A spokesman for the Islamist Hamas government in Gaza confirmed the ceasefire accord, saying it followed contacts with the Egyptians and in the United Nations.

"The Hamas government calls on all factions of the Palestinian resistance to give the Israeli occupier a last chance to stop its aggression," Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil said in a statement.

He also said they should "prepare to choose the right moment to give the enemy a lesson."

The announcement of a new truce came after 11 Palestinians were killed in seven Israeli air strikes in less than 48 hours.

The spike in violence was kicked off by an air strike on the southern city of Rafah early Wednesday that killed Islamic Jihad militant Ismail al-Ismar, and provoked a flurry of retaliatory rocket attacks and counter-strikes.

The victims included two other Islamic Jihad activists.

Islamic Jihad said it would call off its rocket attacks if Israel first halted its air raids.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor said the Jewish state was ready to respect the tacit ceasefire as long as there was calm along the border with Gaza.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Palestinian-militants-agree-new-ceasefire-Islamic-Jihad/articleshow/9740734.cms

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Syria: 14 Citizens Kidnapped, Killed, Mutilated by Armed Terrorist Groups

25 August 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Damascus says criminal armed groups have abducted and brutally killed at least 14 Syrian civilians in the crisis-hit central city of Homs in Syria.

A Syrian military official said the 14 bodies were admitted to the National Hospital of Homs, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on Wednesday.

Some of the dead were “shot in the head and the chest and others were burned, stabbed with cleavers and then mutilated,” according to the official.

"My father left home for Homs… but after a long absence, we went to the National Hospital and heard that our father was martyred at al-Hashish Souq at the hands of terrorists," the agency quoted the son of a victim as saying.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations held both against and in support of the country's President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Hundreds of people, including security forces, have been killed during clashes in Syria since the beginning of the unrest in the country.

The Syrian opposition accuses security forces of being behind the killings, but the government blames the deadly violence on foreign-backed armed gangs.

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=261728

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Pakistan: Nine killed in Risalpur hotel blast

26 August 2011

At least nine people have been killed and 12 injured in a bomb blast at a hotel in the north-western Pakistani city of Risalpur, police say.

The bomb exploded in the evening as people were gathering to eat after spending the day fasting for the Muslim festival of Ramadan.

No group has yet said it was behind the attack but Taliban and al-Qaeda militants are active in the area.

There has been a sharp rise in militant attacks in Pakistan since May.

Police told the AP news agency that the attack occurred in the main bazaar in Risalpur - in the Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

They say that it went off as shoppers were buying goods for a forthcoming Muslim holiday.

The explosion destroyed a small hotel in the bazaar, according to police.

Earlier this month 51 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded mosque in the north-western Khyber district, the country's deadliest attack for three months.

In June at least 18 people were killed and 30 wounded in a bomb explosion at a bakery in Nowshera, about 50km (30 miles) east of Peshawar.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14667231

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Pak-origin in US to undergo trial for supporting Taliban

Aug 26 2011

New York : A Florida-based imam of Pakistani origin and his two sons are scheduled to undergo trial in April next year after being charged with providing financial and material support to the Pakistani Taliban.

Judge Adalberto Jordan of the US District Court of the Southern District of Florida has set a trial date of April 23 for cleric Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, and his sons Irfan Khan (37) and Izhar Khan (24)).

Hafiz and Izhar were imams at a mosque in Miami.

They were arrested in May this year along with three other individuals in Pakistan, and charged with conspiring to provide material support to a conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap persons overseas, as well as conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, specifically, the Pakistani Taliban.

Hafiz and his sons have pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges that each carry a 15-year prison term.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakorigin-in-us-to-undergo-trial-for-supporting-taliban/837560/

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33 die in Pakistan flash flood

25 August 2011

At least 33 people were killed on Thursday morning when flash floods swept through a valley in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a media report said.

Dozens of houses were destroyed by the flood which was triggered by heavy rains overnight in Kohistan district, Xinhua reported citing a TV channel.

Rescue helicopters were pressed into service.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/August/international_August1180.xml&section=international

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Fifty soldiers, militants killed in south Yemen

25 Aug, 2011

ADEN: Eleven Yemeni soldiers and 39 suspected millitants were killed in some of the worst violence to grip the volatile south since mass protests began in January against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, residents and officials said. A security official said, on Wednesday, the clashes broke out late on Tuesday when terrorists attacked troops stationed near Zinjibar, the capital of the volatile Abyan province, where militants, emboldened by months of upheaval, have seized at least three towns since March. Warplanes targeting the attackers bombed the area and residents of the town of Jaar, some 15 km away, said the sky was lit up by the raid. Meanwhile, one army unit managed to force gunmen from a stronghold in the Maysameer district west of Zinjibar, a security official told Reuters. “The militants withdrew, leaving behind weapons and materials they had previously looted from the army,” he said. While Saleh recovers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from a June assassination attempt, the death toll in Abyan has been rising fast, with terrorists regularly attacking soldiers, security officials and tribesmen who are fighting to regain control over parts of Yemen’s south. A resident of Jaar said, he had helped terrorists bury the bodies of the dead in a mass grave in the small hours of Wednesday morning and saw them crying and reciting the Quran. The US and Saudi Arabia fear upheaval in impoverished Yemen is giving the militants, who the government said belong to al Qaeda, more room to launch attacks on the region and beyond. Opponents of Saleh accused him of exaggerating the threat of al Qaeda and even of encouraging militants in order to pressure Riyadh and Washington into backing him.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\25\story_25-8-2011_pg7_9

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Eight Syrian soldiers killed in attacks

25 August 2011

 Eight Syrian soldiers, including an army officer, have been killed in separate attacks in the country’s central province of Homs, the official SANA news agency reported.

“In an ambush Wednesday afternoon at (the town of) Talbisa, terrorists fired on a military bus killing one officer and two soldiers and wounding seven others,” said a military official quoted by the agency.

At Al-Rastan further north, “a terrorist group fired on a military vehicle killing five soldiers,” the official told SANA.

The Syrian government has never said how many members of its security forces have been killed in the regime’s crackdown on protests that began in March, but activists and human rights groups say about 400 have died.

More than 2,200 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the beginning of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the United Nations says.

Activists said on Wednesday that Syrian security forces had killed seven people, including a woman who died under torture, and arrested more than 150 others over a 24-hour period in a Damascus suburb.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August579.xml&section=middleeast

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Maldives pledges support to Libyan rebels

2011-08-25

MALE, August 25 (HNS) – President Nasheed has pledged the Maldives’ support to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) and their efforts to establish a free and democratic Libya.

The President’s Office said that the President, in a letter sent yesterday to rebel chief Mustafa Abdul Jalil, commended the NTC for their “professionalism and determination [in] replacing tyranny with a free and democratic Libya”.

The President said that the Maldives supports the NTC’s efforts to build a successful, modern Muslim democracy in Libya.

The President further noted that the Maldives was among the first three countries to recognize the council as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

Highlighting that Libya was entering a new era, President Nasheed conveyed his hopes for Libya to “emerge a free and democratic country, in which fundamental human rights can be enjoyed by all”.

The President’s letter follows significant military gains by rebel troops in Tripoli and other parts of Libya during the past few days.

http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/37884

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Rebel council to take Libya's seat at Arab League

Aug 25, 2011

CAIRO Aug 25 (Reuters) - The Arab League gave its full backing to Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people on Thursday and said it was time for Libya to take back its permanent seat on the League's council.

"We agreed that it is time for Libya to take back its legitimate seat and place at the Arab League. The NTC will be the legitimate representative of the Libyan state," the League's Secretary General Nabil Elaraby told reporters in Cairo.

The NTC's representative at the League, Abdelmoneim el-Houni, said Libya would resume its League membership at a meeting of Arab ministers on Saturday.

New York Times

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Rebels, looters target Gaddafi family homes

Aug 25 2011

Tripoli : Muammar Gaddafi's son al-Saadi liked fast cars, yachts and soccer, and his beachfront villa was stocked with his expensive toys. His sister Aisha lived in a two-story mansion with an indoor pool and sauna.

As rebels took control of the Libyan capital over the weekend, the luxurious homes – symbols of the Gaddafi family's excesses – were among their first targets. After driving out the guards, rebels trashed and looted the villas and neighbours wandered through the wreckage Wednesday expressing their anger at the Gaddafi family's wealth and ostentatious tastes.

"I can't even believe what I am seeing,'' said Muftah Shubri, a resident of Tripoli's western Nofleen neighbourhood, as he walked across Aisha's lawn to the large covered pool where a ball and a small rubber boat still floated in the water.

Gaddafi's 42-year rule over Libya had increasingly become a family business, with the dictator divvying up key spheres of interest, from oil to security, among his six sons.

In recent years, the Gaddafi offspring had been involved in a series of scandals: Hannibal got arrested in 2008 in Switzerland for mistreating his servants in a Geneva luxury hotel and Muatassim reportedly paid $1 million for a private New Year's concert by Beyonce.

Al-Saadi, a 38-year-old soccer aficionado, was described in a 2009 WikiLeaks cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli as having a troubled past, including run-ins with police in Europe, drug and alcohol abuse and excessive partying.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/rebels-looters-target-gaddafi-family-homes/836886/

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Britain's SAS joins manhunt for Gaddafi

Aug 25 2011

London : Britain's crack SAS (Special Air Service) troops have joined the manhunt for Libya's toppled strongman Muammar Gaddafi, as the country's National Transitional Council (NTC) put up a 'dead or alive' notice for the elusive dictator, who is untraceable since the fall of Tripoli.

Camouflaged in Arab attire and carrying weapons similar to rebels, the SAS have been ordered to switch their focus on the search for Gaddafi, on the run since his fortified headquarters was captured on Tuesday, Telegraph reported quoting British Defence officials.

The officials confirmed for the first time that the SAS had been in Libya for several weeks and had played a key role in coordinating the fall of Tripoli.

NATO officials still have no idea where the despot is holed up, even after Wednesday, when Gaddafi taunted his opponents by claiming that he had toured Tripoli in incognito as fighting raged around his headquarters.

The reports of SAS troops joining the manhunt came as Britain's Defence Secretary Liam Fox confirmed that NATO was contributing intelligence and reconnaissance equipment to the search.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/britains-sas-joins-manhunt-for-gaddafi/837057/

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Qaddafi Leaves Behind Little to Guide Libya in His Absence

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR

25 Aug, 2011

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s stranglehold on Libya appears to have ended after 42 years, even if his whereabouts remain elusive. But through countless erratic decrees and iron-handed purges, he carved deep scars into every facet of Libyan life. The mystery and speculation swirling about him marked a fitting close to a quixotic reign.

Colonel Qaddafi, who was a 27-year-old junior officer when his coup deposed King Idris in September 1969, viewed himself as a desert philosopher, and he declared that his political system of “permanent revolution” would replace both capitalism and socialism.

But over the years, that revolution also swept away nearly every institution that could challenge him — or guide the country when he was gone. By the time he was done, Libya had no parliament, no unified military command, no political parties, no unions, no civil society and no nongovernmental organizations. His ministries were hollow, with the notable exception of the state oil company.

“This is my country!” he roared in a televised speech when the revolt first erupted in late February, shaking his fist and pounding the dais. “Muammar is not a president to quit his post! Muammar is the leader of the revolution until the end of time!”

By Wednesday, rebels tried to tighten their control over the country, putting a nearly $2 million bounty on his head and sending fighters toward one of his last strongholds, Surt.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/world/africa/25assess.html

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Libyan Embassy in Pakistan raises rebel flag

25 August 2011

ISLAMABAD: The Libyan Embassy in Pakistan has raised the rebel flag above its compound in Islamabad following the fall of Moammar Qadhafi’s 42-year autocratic regime.

The red, black and green flag emblazoned with a white crescent and star fluttered in the breeze Thursday under overcast skies. The flag used under Qadhafi was solid green.

Libyan officials could not be reached for comment on the change.

Libyan diplomats abroad have been pledging allegiance to the rebels gradually after the rebellion erupted nearly six months ago, but defections surged this week as rebels entered Tripoli in a stunning breakthrough.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/25/libyan-embassy-in-pakistan-raises-rebel-flag.html

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Kabul: Turf war jeopardised British Council workers penned in by suicide bombers, rescue

Jon Boone in Kabul

25 Aug, 2011

A turf war between Kabul's police and SAS-trained Afghan commandos caused a potentially life-threatening delay to the operation to rescue two British Council workers penned in by suicide bombers, according to the rescue team.

The standoff last Friday between the city's police and the Crisis Response Unit (CRU), which lasted for more than four hours, gave the attackers time not just to overwhelm the fortress-like compound, but also to launch a terrifying assault on the reinforced door of the cramped safe room where the two employees of the British Council had taken refuge.

According to Ghulam Daoud, leader of the commando team, the insurgents used several hand grenades in their unsuccessful attempts to blast open the door, located in a narrow area under a flight of stairs, where the two teachers had taken refugee with a security guard from the private British company G4S.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/24/afghan-police-turf-war-commandos

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Probe sought on CIA role in Muslim 'spying'

25 Aug 2011

A US Muslim civil liberties group has called for a federal investigation and Senate hearings into a report alleging that the CIA helped the New York Police Department (NYPD) in spying on minority communities.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it suspects the joint CIA-police intelligence gathering described in an Associated Press (AP) report violates the US Constitution, and the US Privacy Act of 1974, which bans the intelligence agency from spying on Americans.

"The government was using fear tactics to erode our civil liberties, we are organising this very strongly to stop it," Cyrus McGoldrick, a civil rights manager for CAIR, told Al Jazeera on Thursday.

CAIR is preparing a formal request for Senate hearings into the allegations in the report, as well as a Justice Department probe. The Justice Department said on Wednesday night that it would review the request.

The AP report alleges undercover NYPD officers known as "rakers" were sent into minority neighbourhoods to monitor bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs, and police used informants known as "mosque crawlers" to monitor sermons.

Full report at:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2011/08/20118253421243659.html

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India justifies move to abstain from UN rights vote on Syria

25 Aug, 2011

NEW DELHI: India justified it decision to abstain from a vote on a UN human rights resolution on Syria, saying engaging the country in a constructive dialogue was a more pragmatic option. The government said in a statement that India does not regard ``spotlighting and finger -pointing'' at a country for human right violations as helpful.

``We believe that engaging the country concerned in collaborative and constructive dialogue and partnership is a more pragmatic and productive way forward. This is what India along with its partners in IBSA, Brazil and South Africa has done,'' it said.

India regretted that the country-specific resolution had been proposed without evolving any consensus. ``However, since some members of this Council have found it necessary to propose a country-specific resolution, it would have been desirable had this been done by consensus, without resorting to a vote, to reflect the shared perspective and unanimous views of the Council. This has regrettably not happened,'' it said.

``We hope that our position on the vote is not misconstrued as condoning violations of human rights in any country, including Syria. On the contrary, we believe that it is imperative for every society to have the means of addressing human rights violations through robust mechanisms within themselves. International scrutiny should be resorted to only when such mechanisms are non-existent or have consistently failed,'' it added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-justifies-move-to-abstain-from-UN-rights-vote-on-Syria/articleshow/9724570.cms

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Ditched during Syria vote, US still backs Indias UNSC bid

Chidanand Rajghatta

25 Aug, 2011

Washington: Questions about whether India will turn out to be an American lackey in its quest for a permanent UN Security Council seat and a global player status has been answered for now with New Delhi going up against Washington in the American effort to impose sanctions on Syria.

The Obama administration and its western allies in the UNSC have run into a BRICS wall in their bid to power through a sanctions resolution to punish Syria for its crackdown on pro-democracy activists.

India,which is the current president of the UNSC on a two-year rotation,has lined up with Brazil,Russia,China and South Africa to oppose the US move.

In a preview of things to come,the UN Human Rights Council approved a resolution that called for an investigation into possible rights violations committed by Syrian security forces.But four nations including Russia and China voted against it,while India and eight other countries abstained.

New Delhi has pushed beyond its traditional reserve in such matters by marshaling a statement unanimously condemning Syria for widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians, soon after it took over the UNSC chair on August 3.

Although Washington has in the past complained about Indias long record of voting against US at the UN,the Obama administration on Tuesday held its fire,underplaying the Indian abstention,and asserting the US continued to support New Delhis bid for a permanent UNSC Seat.It remains our position that we support a UNSC seat for India, state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

Times of India

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Pakistani-American scholar urges mutual tolerance for peaceful coexistence

25 August 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug 25 (APP): Mutual tolerance is essential for conflict prevention and resolution and religious leaders can make a key contribution to the common cause of creative and peaceful co-existence in societies around the globe as well as internationally between states, a Pakistani-American scholar said. Dr. Zulfiqar A. Kazmi, Executive Director of The Commongrounds USA - an organization devoted to fostering inter-faith harmony, noted that all major religions are committed to working for justice and peace,  and have long-standing and well-established structures or processes for doing so.

“Inter-faith dialogue between conflicted groups can mobilize these  and other religious elements in the service of increasing mutual tolerance  a process that begins with the ability to interact without fear or aggression, and progresses, through empathy and understanding, to mutual respect,” Kazmi said at a conference hosted by his organization in Chicago.

“Promoting true dialogue among religions is most important instrument  that we can use to build bridges of peace and hope --- together  no matter what our religious affiliations are - we can work towards our common goals with love, compassion and vision and bring about real change,” he added.

Full report at:

http://ftpapp.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=150121&Itemid=39

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Ahmadinejad: Ideals of Qods and resistance inseparable elements of IRI foreign policy

25 August 2011

Tehran, Aug 25, IRNA – IRI President said in an interview with Lebanon’s Al-Minar TV Wednesday evening that ideals of liberation of Holy Qods and supporting regional resistance movements are inseparable past of Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy for good.

The president called one the regional governments and nations asking them to reaming fully alert and conscious against the tricks of the oppressor powers, emphasizing the need for focusing the entire mottoes of the regional nations against the Zionist regime and the hegemony seeking of the United States, warning, “Beware! No one should move in line with the enemy.”

According to the IRNA Wednesday Night News Team, the information website of the Presidential Office further quoted President Ahmadinejad as saying in the interview, “Everyone must assist and contribute what they can so that the problems with which the regional countries are entangled would be solved, and this a both an Islamic and an humanitarian duty.”

In response to a question on priority of the Iranian foreign policy regarding the liberation of the Holy Qods, the resistance movements, and the regional and international developments, he reiterated, “The Qods issue is not merely a major concern for the Islamic Republic of Iran, or for the Arab and the Islamic countries, but a major issue for the entire world nations.”

Full report at:

http://www.irna.ir/ENNewsShow.aspx?NID=30534176

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Nigerian Muslims urged to treasure Holy Qur’an

25 August 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - A call has gone to Nigerians to treasure and revere the Holy Qur’an as it remains the invaluable asset capable of guaranteeing fear of God, peace and progress in the world.

The call was made in Lagos at the weekend by the coordinator of Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), Mallam Abdullahi Shuaib, at the Qur’an Memorisation Competition organised by the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State.

According to him, sincere adherence to the injunctions of Qur’an will guarantee peace, prosperity and success to Nigeria and to all nations in general. He also maintained that Qur’an is a potent medication for body and soul. He particularly urged Muslims to make their companion.

Mallam Shuaib, the guest speaker at the occasion, maintained that “the only medication that clears all kinds of ailment, be it body or soul, is the Qur’an, and it works by making the Qur’an your companion.”

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=261759

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Ayatollah Shahroudi: Turkey seeking to promote 'liberal Islam'

25 August 2011

TEHRAN, Aug. 24 (MNA) - Former Judiciary chief Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi said on Wednesday that Turkey is using developments in the region in its own favor by promoting liberal Islam.

He stated that the arrogant Western powers are afraid of regional countries’ relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and are making efforts to introduce innovative models of Islam, such as liberal Islam in Turkey, and are seeking to replace the true Islam with them.

He also said, “The Egyptian people have anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli sentiments, but Turkey, which has relations with Israel and is an ally of the United States, claimes to be the guardian of the resistance movement (against the Zionist regime) and is introducing initiatives and solutions on our behaves.”

But Iranians, who have truly supported “the oppressed people of Palestine and the resistance front and have foiled the plots of the global arrogance (forces of imperialism), are on the margins,” Shahroudi stated.

http://www.mehrnews.com/en/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1391511

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Indonesian journalists support Islamic fundamentalism: Survey

25 August 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - More than 50 percent of Indonesian journalists agreed that the religious sect Ahmadiyah and Playboy magazine should be banned, while sharia and anti-pornography laws should be enacted, a survey has revealed.

The Pantau Foundation, a Jakarta-based journalism research and training organization, conducted a survey in late 2009 about the influence of Islam, the nation’s principal religion, upon 600 journalists from mainstream newspapers, radio and television.

Using the multi-random sampling method, Muslims accounted for 85 percent of the survey’s respondents, while 7 percent were Protestants, 4 percent Catholics and 3 percent Hindus and others.

Full report at:

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=261742

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1 million Iraqi women subsidize families

25 August 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The head of the Red Cross organization in Iraq disclosed today that there are one million Iraqi women who subsidize their families, calling on the Iraqi government to assist them with the social security formations.

In a press conference, Magny Barh said that "Iraqi women are the most affected by the armed conflicts because they have to subsidize their families after their husbands were killed."

The Red Cross conducted a study on 119 women, in which results shown that 70 percent spend more than they earn and 40 percent of the families send their children to work.

"These women need governmental support through the social security programs, who cannot get due to complicated registration procedures," he  added.

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=261737

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US Muslim leader in 'megamosque' row at Ground Zero to speak at peace festival

25 August 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - A MUSLIM leader who spearheaded plans for a controversial Islamic community centre near the site of the World Trade Centre in New York is coming to Scotland.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has recently departed from a project to build the community centre, dubbed a "megamosque" by critics, two blocks from Ground Zero.

He will hold a discussion on Islam in the United States since 9/11 at the Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and Peace on Saturday, two weeks before the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

The community centre, known as Plan51, sparked a heated debate about the relationship between the Islamic faith and the West since 9/11.

Professor Hugh Goddard, director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World, said: "Given the furore in the United States last year following the threat by Pastor Terry Jones to burn a copy of the Koran in public, it will be excellent for audiences in Scotland and the wider UK to hear the American Muslim leader against whom this threat was directed speak about being a Muslim in the USA today, and the wider relationship between the world of Islam and the West."

The Rev Donald Reid, director of the Festival of Peace and Spirituality, said: "Imam Feisal is an eloquent exponent of how the highest aspirations of Islam and US democracy concur - I can think of no better speaker, therefore, for a festival dedicated to peace in a post 9/11 world."

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=261729

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Islamic Awakening movements, beginning to end Zionist entity

25 August 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Islamic Awakening movements and revolutions in the region are a beginning to end the Zionist entity, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement was issued to mark the international Qods Day.

The IRGC said that Islamic Awakening movements of Muslim Ummah and their unity against world arrogance and international Zionism have been the ideals of founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

“After the recent developments in North Africa and Middle East which resulted in the downfall of Tel Aviv regional supporters and in the meantime, the weakness of its advocates, the occupiers of Palestine are doomed to get vanished from the map in the near future, “it said.

The Qods Day is an annual event on the last Friday of Ramadan, to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and opposing the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and Zionist regime's control of the holy Qods Beitul Moqaddas.

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=261725

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Qods Key to Muslim Unity

25 August 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan is marked worldwide as the International Qods Day.

Every year, Muslims from across the world commemorate this day and stage rallies in support of Palestinians, calling for the liberation of Beit-ul-Moqaddas from the yoke of the Zionist regime.

Imam Khomeini, the architect of Islamic Revolution, raised the idea of observing the International Qods Day one year after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Ever since, on this day, Muslims and even non-Muslims rally in defense of the rights of Palestinians.

Since the early years of the occupation of Beit-ul-Moqaddas, Palestinians, other Muslims and the freedom-seeking people have joined the drive for confronting Israel and supporting Palestine.

 Inception

With the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Muslim Iranian nation, especially after Imam Khomeini’s historical message about marking the International Qods Day, prioritized the issue of liberating Palestine from Zionist occupiers.

Full report at:

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=261718

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Indian Film Star Aamir’s brain behind picketing MPs

Himanshi Dhawan & Bharati Dubey

25 Aug, 2011

New Delhi/Mumbai: Politicians hated it,but the public loved it.Team Annas move to picket residences of Cabinet ministers and MPs was inspired from a suggestion given by none other than Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.

A Team Anna member said,It was Aamirs suggestion that we should get individual MPs to take a stand.We have only made a call.It is the people who are taking this forward by voluntarily raising the issue with their MPs across the country.

Aamir was the first Bollywood personality to extend his support to Anna Hazare by writing to him and sending a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to pay heed to the appeal.Aamir,who had openly shown support to Anna,has been keeping a low profile,but it is learnt that he is in constant touch with the Gandhian leaders core team.The actor was not available for comment.However,in his answers to a questionnaire sent to him by India against Corruption (IAC),he is of the opinion that the PM should come under the purview of the Lokpal.

Sources said that psephologist Yogendra Yadav gave Team Anna valuable advice on the referendum though he did not assist them in conducting the survey.The move to conduct a referendum in Amethi (Rahul Gandhis constituency ) and Chandni Chowk (Kapil Sibals constituency ) was seen as controversial.The Congress government had raised questions on the credibility of the referendum,describing it more as a survey.Sibal had ironically remarked that he was surprised that the result was not 100% in favour of the Jan Lokpal Bill when the referendum showed it as 85%-90 %.

The other idea that proved to be a big hit was Annas CD that relayed his message hours after he courted arrest on August 16.The CD spoke about the second freedom struggle,and was the brainwave of Mayank Gandhi,an IAC aide based in Mumbai.

Times of India

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Islamist Group With Possible Qaeda Links Upends Nigeria

25 Aug, 2011

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — A shadowy Islamist insurgency that has haunted northern Nigeria — surviving repeated, bloody efforts to eliminate it — appears to be branching out and collaborating with Al Qaeda’s affiliates, alarming Western officials and analysts who had previously viewed the militants here as a largely isolated, if deadly, menace.

Just two years ago, the Islamist group stalking police officers in this bustling city seemed on the verge of extinction. In a heavy-handed assault, Nigerian soldiers shelled its headquarters and killed its leader, leaving a grisly tableau of charred ruins, hundreds dead and outmatched members of the group, known as Boko Haram, struggling to fight back, sometimes with little more than bows and arrows.

Full report at:

http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f18/islamist-group-possible-qaeda-links-upends-nigeria-50203/

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4 Italian journalists kidnapped in Libya freed

By FRANCES D'EMILIO

25 Aug, 2011

MILAN — Four Italian journalists taken at gunpoint in Libya were freed Thursday in a raid on the house where they were being held, an official said.

Details of the raid, first reported on Corriere della Sera's website, and who conducted it were not immediately available. The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the four were freed, but had no further details.

The four were taken at gunpoint Wednesday by forces loyal to the regime of fugitive Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi. Their Libyan driver was killed.

"They shot the driver dead in front of us. We are fine, but our thoughts are with the driver who died. We have become close friends with him," Claudio Monici of Avvenire, the daily of the Italian bishops conference, told reporters in Tripoli after their release.

The others released include two correspondents from the Milan daily Corriere della Sera and one from Turin's La Stampa.

An Italian diplomat said no demands had been made.

"I am alive and well, and free," said Domenico Quirco, who was quoted by his newspaper, La Stampa. "Now I am fine, but an hour ago I though I was going to die."

News of the release came just minutes before Premier Silvio Berlusconi went into a meeting with the head of Libya's rebel Cabinet, who is on a European diplomatic tour aimed at securing the release of billions of dollars in frozen Libyan assets.

Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa told Sky News 24 that the release was "a relief." He said details of the raid were still being confirmed.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/4-italian-journalists-kidnapped-1137660.html

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Egypt takes firm stand on border incident

By HASSAN TAHSIN

Aug 25, 2011

The emergency meeting of the Egyptian ministerial committee for crisis management that lasted for four and a half hours to discuss the repercussions of the recent bloody incident on the Egyptian-Israeli border came up with seven decisions:

First, the Egyptian government denounces the Israeli attack that killed a number of Egyptian citizens and injured several others and demands an official apology from the Israeli government. It also emphasized that Egypt would not show any leniency in the matter of protecting the lives and rights of its people.

Second, the meeting conveyed its condolences to the families of the soldiers who died while performing their duty of protecting the country's border.

Third, the meeting reaffirmed Egypt's ability to protect its border as well as the land of Sinai, adding that protecting the border is the responsibility of both countries, not Egypt?s alone.

Fourth, it authorized the foreign minister to recall the Israeli ambassador in Cairo and inform him the government's protest and demand a joint investigation into the incident in order to determine the responsibility as well as to take legal measures to protect the rights of Egyptian victims.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article493377.ece

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King Abdullah performs funeral prayer for Prince Muhammad

Aug 25, 2011

MAKKAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah performed funeral prayer for Prince Muhammad Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, who died on Sunday. A number of princes including Prince Muhammad's close relatives and Islamic scholars prayed with the king.

Earlier King Abdullah received Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Prince Bandar Al-Faisal, Prince Turki Al-Faisal and other members of Al-Faisal family and conveyed his condolences on Prince Muhammad's death. The princes thanked the king for the gesture.

Prince Muhammad, 68, died while under treatment in the United States. A former president of the Al-Ahli Club and an honorary member, the late prince had been a pillar of strength for the premier Jeddah club throughout his life. He served as president of several companies including the Al-Faisaliah Group Holding Company.

The prince was keen on sports development in the Kingdom, and was a keen exponent of developing all facets of sports and in every discipline. The prince was also a leading poet with a penchant for lyricism. He was also a poet of great merit and many Arab singers put the lyrics written by the prince to tune and melody.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article493330.ece

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Jeddah: Distraught mother talks to daughter in prison on Skype

Aug 25, 2011

JEDDAH: The committee that looks after the affairs of prisoners, ex-convicts and their families (Tarahum) has enabled an elderly woman from Uhud Al-Masarha district to talk to her daughter for the first time in seven years. The mother was able to talk to her daughter, who is in a Jazan prison, using the Skype technology.

The daughter has been suspected of murder and has been detained in prison for seven years. Her old and sick mother had not seen or spoken to her ever since.

Chairperson of the committee's women section Aisha bint Shakir Al-Zikri said the elderly woman was very happy to talk and actually see her imprisoned daughter after these long years.

She said members of the committee and a number of social personalities in Jazan would visit the women prisoners to congratulate them on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr and to distribute gifts among them on this occasion.

She explained that gifts would consist of dresses and accessories for women and toys for their children.

Aisha said through the help of a philanthropist, the committee had begun to refurnish a house of a Saudi prisoner in Dhiba area. She added that the committee would pay financial assistance to 11 poor families whose breadwinners had been in prisons for many years.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article493321.ece

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American Muslims on guard after 9/11

25 Aug, 2011

Muslims in Sterling, Virginia have marked every anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 with a solemn prayer service for the victims and heightened vigilance against potential hate crimes.

A high degree of integration has not shielded American Muslims from being tarred with the same brush as the al-Qaeda radicals who carried out the attacks.

Ten years after the attacks, Islamophobia remains a potent force in American political discourse, and threatens innocent citizens with discrimination and sometimes violence.

“At least at the 10th anniversary, we as all Americans can be at least comforted that (Al-Qaeda leader) Osama bin Laden is gone,” said Rizwan Jaka, a director of the Adams Center, one of the largest mosques and Muslim community centers in the Washington area.

The American Muslim community “welcomed” bin Laden’s death and was “relieved justice was served for the victims,” Jaka said.

“It was an attack against all Americans, American Muslims were killed in the attacks, all the communities were attacked that day,” he told AFP.

Yet even as the Muslim community reaffirms its commitment to fight and condemn terrorism, it must also seek heightened police protection. “We have to be careful,” Jaka explained.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\25\story_25-8-2011_pg4_9

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Islamic Jihad says it does not seek escalation in Gaza

25 August 2011

Islamic Jihad Deputy Secretary General Ziad a-Nahala said that his organization was not interested in an escalation in Gaza, the London-based daily al-Hayat reported on Thursday.

According to a-Nahala, the group has updated the Egyptians that it was in a defensive rather than offensive position. However, he added that "we won't agree to a cease-fire in which only one side holds its fire nor will we be committed to a calm as we are attacked."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4113756,00.html

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After 9/11, curiosity over Islam leads to conversion

By Omar Sacirbey

25 August 2011

BOSTON (RNS) It seems counterintuitive that Americans would consider joining Islam, a religion that many after 9/11 associated with terrorism and violence. But in more than a few cases, the curious have become the converted.

http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/rnspremiumtext/after_911_curiosity_over_islam_leads_to_conversion/

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Better understanding of Islamist experience needed

By CLIFFORD D. MAY

25 August 2011

Nearly ten years after the 9/11 attacks, many politicians, diplomats, journalists and academics remain reluctant even to name America's enemies. To take but one example: John Brennan, head of the White House homeland security office, has argued that America is only "at war with al Qaeda" and its closest affiliates.

I understand the impulse to frame the conflict as narrowly as possible. Brennan and others do not want to reinforce al-Qaeda's message that Muslims from Afghanistan to Iraq to Israel to Paris to Detroit must choose between the umma, the global Islamic community, and the West -- to fight for one and against the other.

Full report at:

http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/63721

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Pakistani police safely find kidnapped US development expert

Aug 25, 2011

LAHORE, Pakistan: Police say they have safely recovered a US development expert who was kidnapped almost two weeks ago from the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

Lahore police chief Malik Ahmed Raza says authorities found 70-year-old Warren Weinstein during an early morning operation Thursday in Khushab city.

Raza says authorities tracked Weinstein after obtaining leads from three arrested suspects and also by tracking mobile phone calls.

Weinstein is the country director in Pakistan for JE Austin Associates, a US-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors.

Khushab is also located in Punjab province, where Lahore is the capital.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistani-police-safely-find-kidnapped-US-development-expert/articleshow/9731981.cms

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The man who made Gaddafi popular

Sam Jones

25 Aug, 2011

Maker of viral spoof video showing Gaddafi rapping says: 'I never thought it would get this response'

For all the economic, sociological and philosophical pearls of wisdom he cast before the world in The Green Book, Muammar Gaddafi has always been remarkably tight-lipped about the revolutionary applications of a phat beat and some lyrical rhyming. But then, the colonel has really had very little to do with the spoof music video that has swept the internet.

The Zenga Zenga song, as it has been dubbed, is the brainchild of Noy Alooshe, a 32-year-old satirist, musician and journalist from Tel Aviv.

In February, Alooshe was watching a clip of Gaddafi vowing to crush the Libyan protesters when he found himself entranced by the colonel's cadences, idiosyncratic attire and enthusiastic fist-pumping.

So he ripped off the rather frightening audio – in which Gaddafi promises "House to house, room to room, alley to alley, person to person, we will disinfect the whole country from filth" – and laid it over the track Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor) by Pitbull and T-Pain.

The resulting video, which quickly became an online phenomenon, came to be known as the Zenga Zenga song in an apparent corruption of the Arabic word zanqa, meaning alleyway.

"I didn't think it would get this kind of response," Alooshe told the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "It was supposed to be for fun."

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/24/gaddafi-music-video

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Gaddafi spells trouble for Google

25 Aug, 2011

Any tips on how to search for Muammar Gaddafi? It's no easier on Google, says the Independent. While most of the British media is searching for "Gaddafi", the New York Times is looking for "Qaddafi", the Wall Street Journal "Gadhafi" and the LA Times "Kadafi". The UK government appears to be using "Qadhafi", a spokesman dismissing the popular media's spelling by saying: "I suppose the media spells it 'Gaddafi' so people can read it easier." Even the discovery of the despot's own passport yesterday didn't help – he'd been spelling it "Gathafi". Can't the boffins at Google suggest something?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mediamonkeyblog/2011/aug/25/gaddafi-spells-trouble-for-media

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Pak residents still approach MC for birth certificates

Aug 25, 2011

JALANDHAR: Even after 64 years of partition, residents of Pakistan Punjab continue to approach Jalandhar municipal corporation office for birth certificates.

On an average every month the MC, which has preserved records dating back to 19th century, receives a request from across the border for providing birth certificate.

"Dating back to 1893, the records are in Urdu. We have even older records but they are in Persian and we can't decipher these," said Dr Varinder Kalia, assistant health officer of MC.

"Most of the requests we receive pertain to birth certificates of first half of the 20th century," he said. According to MC officials most of these requests come from the families who had immigrated from Pakistan to some other countries.

The local residents may be complaining of lethargy or tardiness regarding the issuing of certificates, but requests from Pakistan are treated with extra care. Special requests are made to Urdu knowing persons for helping prepare the certificates. "Sometimes the applicants don't provide all the required details. In such a case we write back and when they furnish these, we try to send the certificate at the earliest," Kalia said.

Recently, they received an email from one Dr Omar Salim who has requested birth certificate of his mother Munawar Akhtar, who was born in Jalandhar on March 1, 1935, and migrated to Lyallpur/Faislabad during partition in 1947. Dr Kalia has written back to him for providing the place of birth, her father's and grandfather's names.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-residents-still-approach-MC-for-birth-certificates/articleshow/9727005.cms

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Indian emerald from Tipu Sultan's treasury to go on auction

25 Aug, 2011

A rare gem-set gold pendant from the treasury of legendary Indian ruler Tipu Sultan, one of the very few pieces to have survived from his collections, will be auctioned off here next month.

The pendant, estimated at between 80,000 and 120,000 pounds, is among the star lots in the sale of the contents of the peer and traveller Lord Glenconner's St Lucian home at Bonhams in London on September 28.

The gold pendant is set with a 38 carat emerald surrounded by nine precious stones including topaz, blue sapphire, ruby, diamond and pearl.

It is one of the very few pieces of jewellery from the fabulous treasury of the 'Tiger of Mysore' to have survived in its original setting.

Tipu Sultan, who ruled Mysore in the late 18th century, is known for his stoic and ferocious opposition to the extension of British rule.

"I would rather live a day as a tiger than a lifetime as a sheep," he is once known to have said.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/185990/indian-emerald-tipu-sultans-treasury.html

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India: Lalu Prasad leads dalits, backwards and minorities charge against Lokpal

Subodh Ghildiyal

Aug 26, 2011NEW

DELHI: Doubts that Anna Hazare's campaign had failed to enthuse dalits, backwards and minorities amplified further when their representatives at the all-party meeting slammed the Lokpal campaign as exclusivist, with Lalu Prasad obliquely suggesting a BJP-RSS hand behind it.

With Hazare using Ramlila Maidan mobilization to push Jan Lokpal bill in Parliament, key dalit, backward and Muslim leaders warned that any precedent of bowing to such tactics would make interest groups use crowds to push dangerous demands.

Lalu said BJP patriarch L K Advani and leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj should be asked to go and urge Hazare to break his fast. The comment, coming at the end of his vehement opposition to the Lokpal agitation, was seen as showing that Hazare was propped up by the saffron family, a charge that Congress repeatedly made in the run-up to the confrontation.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Lalu-Prasad-leads-OBC-charge-against-Lokpal/articleshow/9740584.cms

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/un-releases-$15-billion-in-frozen-qaddafi-assets-to-aid-rebuilding-of-libya/d/5318


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