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Islamic World News ( 14 Feb 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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US Nuclear Warship Bears down on Defiant Iran

Iran Loads ''First Domestically-Made Nuclear Fuel''

Vandalism at Maldives Museum Stirs Fears of Extremism

Finally, India to give nod to investments from Pakistan

Ousted Maldives president warns India it would lose influence to China

Afghan Government Asks Female TV Personalities to Wear Headscarves

Libya militias threatening stability, says Amnesty

Bangladesh teens commit suicide on Valentine's Day

India: Chauhan planted bombs on Sumjhauta Express: NIA

Malaysia: Don't be confused with what constitutes cultural and religious beliefs

New Delhi blast: IB, Mossad probe Hezbollah links

Pakistan allows NATO to fly food into Afghanistan

'Community kitchen' gives Bohra women freedom from cooking

Kasab does not deserve death penalty: Amicus

US captive charged with trying to kill Musharraf

Muslims pass on faith at higher rates than Christians says Cardiff University study

Veena Malik denied spying charges, Delhi Police tell court

Jakarta: Islamic hardliners run out of town by activists

Egypt state media accuses US of spreading anarchy

Uzbekistan snubs 'alien' Valentine's Day

Geelani’s meets reflect a positive change

Pak recovers stolen Indian necklace

Pak Air Force 'modifies' plans for India's Cold Start doctrine

Sindh Law Dept flouting apex court orders to protect its law officers

Abbottabad Commission briefed on houses in capital rented to foreigners

India, Israel working in tandem to probe Monday’s blast

S Arabia assures India to meet oil import shortfall

Delhi cops find ‘sticky bomb’ in game?

It was a terror attack, says Chidambaram

Decade later, Godhra survivor sets date with Sabarmati Express

Uncertainty looms over Indian Army chief’s Israel trip

Watch on Afghan and Iran citizens

Police yet to confirm link between Bangkok, Delhi blasts

U.S. to wait for probe results on anti-Israel attacks

India: 2002 riots, Court's verdict on access to SIT report today

Bangladesh group hacks BSF website to ‘avenge border killings’

Failed bomb attack in Thailand, two Iranian suspects charged

Kuwait forms new cabinet with change in oil, defence

Bangladesh delegation in Juba

A Muslim Love Story – Bridging Differences to Make a Marriage

Soldiers Find, Detonate Car Bomb in North Nigeria

Deported Saudi blogger faces blasphemy charge: report

Joint team to prepare road map for Saudi-India defense cooperation

China withdraws support to Assad

Police: Iranian blows off legs in Bangkok blast

Health conference opens in Jeddah

Makkah meet calls for panel to unify lunar calendar

Riyadh: Need for halal standards for food additives underlined

Bahrain police disperse protests on uprising anniversary

Israel OKs tourist center in tense Arab area

Attack on Iran likely by summer: Russia

Malaysian police on high alert for Bangkok bomber

Iran to unveil new uranium centrifuges, state TV says

Gujarat riots: Court asks SIT to submit documents in a month

'Mini Israel' comes under scanner after Delhi blast

Kasab was never tortured, given fair trial: Maharashtra govt to SC

Shahryar's death, a loss to the world of Urdu literature

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Vandalism at Maldives Museum Stirs Fears of Extremism

URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/vandalism-at-maldives-museum-stirs-fears-of-extremism/d/6643

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US Nuclear Warship Bears down on Defiant Iran

Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN

WASHINGTON: Feb 16, 2012, A defiant Iran and a prickly US-Israel alliance moved further down the slippery slope to a shooting match on Wednesday as Washington sent a second aircraft carrier into the Strait of Hormuz even as Tehran announced key nuclear technology advances and threatened cuts in oil supplies to six EU nations.

In acts of mutual provocation, the nuclear-powered USS Abraham Lincoln sailed within sniffing distance of Iran, going through the Straits of Hormuz,that is only 21 nautical miles wide at its narrowest point, inviting an Iranian patrol boat to tail it within two miles.

Iran also responded by upping the nuclear ante, defiantly showcasing advances in nuclear technology in the face of US-Israel led sanctions regime aimed at curtailing its possible development of nuclear weapons.

Iran had earlier threatened to shut down the Straits of Hormuz, through which 20% of the world's oil supply passes (not to speak of US supplies to the Af-Pak theatre), if it was attacked.

Teheran was reported to have cut oil supplies to six European nations, including the PIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) which are in an economic crisis, in an effort to get ahead of European sanctions that is expected to kick in soon.

All these moves followed violent and mostly covert confrontation between the US-Israel alliance and Iran. There have been mysterious assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists which Teheran thinks is the handiwork of the US-Israel alliance.

Now, Israeli diplomats and assets have been attacked in three capitals across the world, including New Delhi, which Israel believes is the handiwork of Iranian agents.

New Delhi is stuck between Iran, vital to India's energy security, and a hard place (US and Israel) that is key to its military and technological well-being. The duo is putting tremendous pressure on New Delhi to forsake Iranian oil.

But like China, India remains unmoved, causing much handwringing in Washington.

In fact, even loyal US allies like Japan and South Korea are reluctant to follow the US-Israel diktat, causing some pundits to pronounce the sanctions a failure. Each of the four countries imports about 10% of their oil supplies from Iran.

In US, polls show there is little appetite for another war even though a section of the neoconservative establishment is itching for a shootout to punish Iran.

Having shut down US military operations in Iraq, president Obama is also winding down from Afghanistan ahead of the November elections, and some pundits seen the Iranians pushing the envelope knowing the US president's political constraints.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-nuclear-warship-bears-down-on-defiant-Iran/articleshow/11905824.cms

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Iran Loads 'First Domestically-Made Nuclear Fuel'

15 February 2012

Iran has staged an elaborate ceremony to unveil new developments in its nuclear programme.

Tehran says it has used domestically-made nuclear fuel in a reactor for the first time, and also unveiled more efficient enrichment centrifuges.

State television showed President Ahmadinejad inspecting the rods as they were loaded into a reactor.

Western countries fear Iran wants to make nuclear weapons; Tehran says it only wants to produce its own energy.

The government unveiled the "new generation" of faster, more efficient uranium enrichment centrifuges at its Natanz facility in the centre of the country.

The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, said they were three times more efficient than their existing capacity.

President Ahmadinejad was wearing a white coat at the research reactor in Tehran, and was also shown attending the ceremony to mark what he has called the great achievements in the nuclear sphere.

He said last week that his country would never halt its programme to enrich uranium.

Home-grown industry

In January the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran had started the production of uranium enriched up to 20% at its Qom plant.

A deal to provide fuel for the reactor from abroad collapsed two years ago - at which point Iran decided to make the fuel itself.

One central point links these developments, says the BBC's Iran correspondent James Reynolds: Iran is determined to show that it can master nuclear technology on its own, and that international sanctions against its nuclear programme will make no difference.

The US and the European Union have recently imposed new sanctions targeting Iranian oil sales as part of a drive to increase international pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme.

Talks between Iran and six world powers - the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China - on the nuclear programme collapsed a year ago and show little sign of resuming.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17041135

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Vandalism at Maldives Museum Stirs Fears of Extremism

By VIKAS BAJAJ

15 February 2012

MALE, Maldives — The broken glass from an attack by vandals on the National Museum here has been swept away, and the remnants of the Buddhist statues they destroyed — nearly 30 of them, some dating to the sixth century — have been locked away. But officials say the loss to this island nation’s archaeological legacy can never be recouped.

In the midst of the political turmoil racking this tiny Indian Ocean nation of 1,200 islands, a half-dozen men stormed into the museum last Tuesday and ransacked a collection of coral and lime figures, including a six-faced coral statue and a 1 1/2-foot-wide representation of the Buddha’s head. Officials said the men attacked the figures because they believed they were idols and therefore illegal under Islamic and national laws.

The vandalism was reminiscent of the Taliban’s demolition of the great carved Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in early 2001, and it has raised fears here that extremists are gaining ground in the Maldives, a Sunni Muslim country that historians say converted from Buddhism to Islam in the 12th century. The country has incorporated elements of Islamic law into its jurisprudence for years. Idols cannot be brought into the country, for example, and alcohol and pork products are allowed only at resorts that cater to foreigners.

The statues were destroyed on the same day that Mohamed Nasheed, who won the presidency in 2008 in the country’s first democratic election, resigned his office. Mr. Nasheed said he was forced to do so in what amounted to a coup; his opponents say he went voluntarily. For nearly a month leading up to his resignation, Islamic and other opposition political parties staged protests. Some of them criticized Mr. Nasheed for not cracking down on brothels that masquerade as massage parlors and for proposing that hotels be allowed to serve alcohol on islands where Maldivians live; under current law, alcohol can be served only at the airport or on resort islands with no native population.

Ali Waheed, the director of the National Museum, which was built by China as a gift to the country, said on Monday that officials might be able to restore two or three of the damaged statues, but that the rest were beyond repair. “The collection was totally, totally smashed,” Mr. Waheed said. “The whole pre-Islamic history is gone.”

There were conflicting reports on Monday about whether suspects had been arrested in the case. Mr. Waheed said five men were caught at the museum, but a spokesman for the police, Ahmed Shiyam, said on Monday that investigators were still collecting evidence and had not made arrests.

Naseema Mohamed, a historian who retired from the museum last year, said the loss was particularly devastating because many of the country’s ancient artifacts, dispersed across the archipelago, had been lost or destroyed over the years by local people and rulers. “There was very little left,” she said.

Mr. Waheed said that typically, two or three artifacts of the country’s Buddhist heritage are discovered a year, generally during construction of homes and other buildings.

Both Ms. Mohamed and Mr. Waheed said that in recent years, some conservative Muslims had suggested removing the statues from the museum, but that there had never been any threats made over the statues. Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari, who was minister of Islamic affairs for the Maldives until last week, said that the country’s laws specifically exempt ancient figures from the regulations governing idols. “This is our heritage, and it has to be protected for future generations,” he said.

Officials of Adhaalath, an Islamist political party that took part in protests against the Nasheed administration, condemned the vandalism of the statues. Though the party has criticized what it called Mr. Nasheed’s anti-Islamic policies, it said it had never objected to the presence of the statues in the museum.

“We are very concerned about it,” Mohamed Iaad Hameed, president of the party’s trade and economic development committee, said in an interview on Monday. “And we as a party are fully against extremism.”

Mr. Waheed, the museum director, said scholars and museums in a number of countries had already offered help in restoring the damaged statues.

Sruthi Gottipati contributed reporting from New Delhi.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/world/asia/political-turmoil-threatens-archaeological-treasures-in-maldives.html

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Finally, India to give nod to investments from Pakistan

Sidhartha

Feb 15, 2012

NEW DELHI: Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma may announce the government's "in-principle" decision to lift the ban on investments from Pakistan in return for concessions from across the border.

Sources said with the home ministry approving a plan to treat foreign direct investment from Pakistan at par with those from Bangladesh, it was only a matter of time before the government notified the new norms. In the next stage, the finance ministry has to clear the proposal making it possible for the Reserve Bank of India to amend Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema). Over the years, the government has pruned the negative list and Pakistan remains one of the last few countries on the negative list for investment.

Allowing investment from Pakistan is one of the elements of the trade and investment related measures to improve business links between neighbours. Even during the commerce secretary-level talks in November, the issue was discussed but a commitment was not given.

Since then, a go-ahead has been received from the home ministry but it may be a while before the rules are actually notified. Besides, officials said, it will depend on what India gets in return. Getting most-favoured nation (MFN) status is a key demand for India, which has been pending with Islamabad since 1996 and even now there are few signs of Pakistan actually moving ahead with the decision. The rules would stipulate the modalities such as security clearance and approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

Also, analysts said that given the history of political relations, it was unlikely that investors from across the border or even Indian companies would set up units. "Even if relations were to normalize, it will initially be limited to trade," said a trade economist.

The concerns are visible in the banking space where the two governments had proposed to allow opening of branches on a reciprocal basis. Although State Bank of India and Bank of India had sought permission to open branches in Pakistan, both are having second thoughts. On its part, SBI, the largest lender in the region, has cited high capital requirement in Pakistan while putting its plan on hold.

Bank of India is more upfront and has said that there are worries over the safety of its employees and safety of the assets that it would acquire once permitted to run branches in Pakistan. Even State Bank of Pakistan, which had approached RBI nearly six months ago, is going slow.

Businessmen say a lack of banking facility between the two countries is one of the major impediments in improving trade relations.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Finally-India-to-give-nod-to-investments-from-Pakistan/articleshow/11891516.cms

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Ousted Maldives president warns India it would lose influence to China

PTI | Feb 14, 2012

MALE: Dejected by the cold shoulder given by India, ousted Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed said today that New Delhi has taken his party "for granted" and may lose "leverage" to China under the new regime.

Calling himself a great lover of India, Nasheed said unlike the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) of former dictator Abdul Gayoom, his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) was pro-India by ideology.

"My question to Indian establishment is that if they think we did not perform, do they think this is a better option?" asked the 44-year-old who was the first democratically elected President of Maldives, who ascended to power in 2008 after a democratic revolution overthrew Gayoom's 30-year-rule.

"Unlike PPM, we are a group of people who strongly believe in India, their role and functions in Indian Ocean and the relationship that we want with India," he said speaking to PTI at his residence.

This is not the first time Nasheed has expressed unhappiness with India's response to the political crisis that saw him being deposed last week in what he termed was a coup.

Last week, Nasheed made it plain that he was disappointed that India responded to the crisis without understanding the ground situation in his country.

Nasheed said while India and the US both had failed to gauge the ground reality, it was the smaller European nations that are trying to find out what the situation is and what will be best way forward.

He said India must understand the situation in Maldives and it was "very strange" if it has not.

"The thing is India takes us for granted unlike the PPM. I think this is the biggest reason, a more logical reason. They know we will be with them. It is an ideological thing for us," said the former president.

Nasheed said China will now start playing a more active role in the country and hinted that Maldives National Defence Force is keen to renew a defence agreement with Beijing.

"They (China) will certainly play an active role now. They will play much-much more active role," Nasheed said.

He said when his party came into the government in 2008, there was a defence agreement with China.

And this was supposed to have been renewed in 2009 and "I didn't".

"I had this paper on my desk even two weeks back. The MNDF had sent me the letter again saying I have to sign it. And this time they said I have to sign it," he said.

As unrest continues on Maldivian streets, Nasheed's successor Mohamed Waheed Hassan, is working to put into effect an effective national unity government.

On Sunday, Hassan inducted seven new members from different parties into his cabinet, including two prominent members from the PPM.

Nasheed, whose demand for a snap election has not received support from India, said if Indian government needs to serve its interests, "it must serve the interest of the Maldivians".

"Did we disturb Indian sensitivities? You can't find a bigger Indian lover than me. Even if they say a thing against India, that is like saying it against me," Nasheed said.

"We never articulated anything anti-Indian and my party has also not done that".

India had accepted the new government of Hassan soon after he was sworn in as the new President, a move that has upset both Nasheed and his Maldivian Democratic Party.

Told that even the US and United Nations had not offered the kind of support that he had hoped for, the former President said, "Once India says something then it does not matter what the UN or anyone says".

Nasheed said he would visit India once the current situation becomes normal and will talk to his "friends".

Nasheed today also vowed to take his fight to the country's Parliament, which is scheduled to start its session on February 23, and even threatened a civil disobedience movement as a last resort.

Meanwhile, the Maldivian Police sought a statement from him in connection with its probe into the controversial order issued by him to arrest a top judge.

Asked if India's move was a setback to its long-term interests, he said, "I think it a very-very bad setback in longer terms".

"We are their friends and we are the people with whom they can talk. I have always said that," he said.

He said Maldives has very strong pro-India sentiments but it is "losing its leverage in Maldives".

Asked if he ready to forget everything if he comes back to power, Nasheed said, "I certainly am".

Nasheed, whose supporters have continued to take to the streets and have also alleged a violent crackdown, said he was never going to sign the defence agreement with Beijing.

"They will probably sign it but there is no point of this agreement with China. Why do we need that... the more tear gas they can have, the more they are going to fire at our people. We are fine. We don't need all these things," Nasheed said.

According to sources, China has been active in Maldives through its economic diplomacy.

The Foreign Ministry office here along with the National Museum were built by the Chinese.

In Hulumale island, Chinese firms had undertaken the largest housing project in the country building 1000 houses.

Incidentally, Ambassador of China accredited to the Maldives, Yu Hongyao had met President Hassan yesterday.

Highlighting the long existing diplomatic relations between the two countries, Ambassador Hongyao assured that the Chinese government was ready to work closely with the new government of the Maldives, a statement issued by the President's office had said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Ousted-Maldives-president-warns-India-it-would-lose-influence-to-China/articleshow/11888460.cms

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Afghan Government Asks Female TV Personalities to Wear Headscarves

02/15/2012

By Amie Ferris-Rotman

KABUL (Reuters) - An Afghan government request that female television presenters don headscarves and avoid heavy make-up angered journalists on Tuesday, who said the move was proof authorities expected the Taliban to regain a share of power.

Afghan and U.S. officials have been seeking peace negotiations with the Islamist group ousted over a decade ago as a means to ensure stability after foreign combat troops leave, though the talks are in a very fragile state.

In a letter distributed to media, the Ministry of Culture and Information said it had received complaints from members of parliament and families that female news presenters were not observing Islamic and cultural ethics.

"All female news presenters must avoid heavy make-up and wear a headscarf," Minister Sayed Makhdoom Rahin told Reuters by telephone, adding this applied to state and private TV stations.

The ministry's plea came as a surprise to some Afghan media. Journalists all female anchors appear with their heads covered, sparking suggestions the directive was designed to impress the Taliban by pandering to their ultra-conservative views.

"Since we are at the beginning of serious peace and reconciliation talks, the government wants to show they are like the Taliban," said Zarghoona Roshan, a radio journalist for 10 years before she joined media development group Nai.

"The request itself is useless," Roshan added, adjusting her two-toned black and grey headscarf. Nai, which also tracks media infringements, estimates there are around 120 female TV presenters across the country.

Nai's executive director Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar said the government had been piling pressure over the past year to restrict content and "keep the public away from the facts they need.

"We have concerns, fears, that this pressure is the beginning of media limitation and this is because of the Taliban. They are paving the way for them," he said.

Khalvatgar cited numerous examples of pressure on the press over the last year, including throwing acid on a veteran Afghan journalist and preventing a Turkish soap opera from being aired.

While Afghan women have gained back basic rights in education, voting and work since the Taliban was toppled in 2001, their plight remains severe and future uncertain as Afghan and U.S. officials seek to negotiate with the hardline group.

As the 2014 deadline looms for foreign combat troops to return home, some activists in and outside Afghanistan fear that women's rights may be sacrificed in the scramble to ensure the West leaves behind a relatively stable and peaceful state.

U.S. officials said last week they wanted to accelerate the talks so peace negotiations can be announced at a NATO summit in May. The Taliban's announcement last month that it was opening a political office in Qatar was seen as a prelude to peace talks.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/afghan-government-asks-for-headscarves_n_1276969.html

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Libya militias threatening stability, says Amnesty

16 February, 2012

Armed militias are threatening the security and stability of Libya, Amnesty International has warned.

The human rights group says at least 12 detainees held by militias have died after being tortured since September.

The report is being released to coincide with the one-year anniversary on Friday of the revolt that toppled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Last month, the UN said about 8,000 pro-Gaddafi supporters were being held by militia groups.

The interim government has said it is trying to reassert authority, but correspondents say it has largely failed to rein in the groups.

In the past month, the BBC has seen corroborating evidence of torture in Misrata, Libya's third city, as well as the town of Gharyan, south of the capital Tripoli.

In January, the BBC saw the corpse of a man whose body bore the marks of torture, including beating and electric shocks.

On Friday, there will be celebrations across the country to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of the revolution that - it was hoped - would usher in a new era.

There is now a real fear that some of the very men who - with the support of Nato - fought the battle to topple the old regime, are now jeopardising the country's future.

According to Amnesty, some groups of former rebels are committing human rights violations with impunity, unchecked by the interim government.

The report cites detainees who said they been suspended in contorted positions, beaten for hours with whips, cables, plastic hoses, metal chains and bars, and given electric shocks with live wires and taser-like electroshock weapons.

"Nobody is holding these militias responsible," Donatella Rovera, senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International, told AP news agency.

In one detention centre, in Tripoli, investigators found severely tortured detainees who interrogators tried to conceal, Amnesty said. The report is based on research conducted in Libya in January and February.

The group noted that African migrants and refugees - who were accused during the conflict of being "mercenaries" for Muammar Gaddafi - were among those being abused.

Militias have also been responsible for fatal clashes in Tripoli and fighting in other towns in recent months.

On Tuesday, thousands of fighters from across western Libya held a parade in the capital, displaying heavy machine guns and rocket launchers, and firing rifles in the air.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17053836

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Bangladesh teens commit suicide on Valentine's Day

15 February 2012

DHAKA — A 16-year-old girl and her 17-year-old lover committed suicide in southern Bangladesh on Valentine's Day after the girl was forced to marry another man, police said Tuesday.

The bodies of Mitu Molla and Soud Sheikh were found with "each of their hands tied together with a scarf" after they jumped from a mobile phone tower in Gopalganj district, police inspector Sarojit Biswas said.

Full Report At:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h0v4_NnoMn4vbm1Sjdqa6BarlUCg?docId=CNG.b779101791d85a0652720d98fc7b42a1.51

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India: Chauhan planted bombs on Sumjhauta Express: NIA

February 14, 2012

Kamal Chauhan, a disgruntled Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker arrested by the National Investigation Agency, had planted bombs on board Samjhauta Express in 2007 after undergoing training in arms and explosives in Haryana and Madhya Pradesh [ Images ], the agency claimed on Tuesday.

Chauhan was taken to Panchkula court which on Tuesday granted NIA his custody till February 24 for questioning him on his alleged role in the blast in the Delhi-Lahore train that left 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, dead.

sked about the allegations against him, Chauhan, who was being taken by the police after the court proceeding, told reporters, "Yes, I have done it on my will" even as his family claimed that he had no role in the case.

Investigations reveal that Chauhan, who is Indore-based, along with Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji and Lokesh Sharma, also charged in the case, planted the explosives in the train at Old Delhi [ Images ], from where the train originates, NIA's Special Prosecutor R K Handa said outside the court after the in-camera hearing in the case.

Chauhan, believed to be a close aide of Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, key accused in the Samjhauta case, was arrested in Noida on Delhi's outskirts on Sunday and was brought to Panchkula in Haryana today. The NIA had sought his remand for a fortnight.

"We have to unearth his complete involvement and association. During investigations, it has come to light that Chauhan underwent extensive training in handling of weapons and explosives. He took training at Karni Singh shooting range in Faridabad (Haryana) and a register seized by CBI on August 10, 2011 has the entries of his name in that shooting range. He also took explosives and arms training at Bagli in Dewas (Madhya Pradesh)," Handa said.

"To unearth more information about execution of the plan, preparations that were made, a thorough investigation is required, for which we have sought the remand," he said.

Chauhan, born in Mhow, was an activist of RSS. Sources claimed that during  interrogation, Chauhan had spoken about his association with the RSS and his fall out as he did not subscribe to the "new ideologies".

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Malaysia: Don't be confused with what constitutes cultural and religious beliefs

15 February 2012

PUTRAJAYA: Efforts to promote understanding and awareness through discussion, dialogue and education are important so that the public understands clearly the differences and similarities between the various races in the country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the people should not be confused with what constituted cultural and religious beliefs.

Najib cited as an example, his attendance at the Thaipusam celebration in Batu Caves recently, which according to him, has been questioned by some quarters because he wore the "kurta", a traditional Indian attire for men.

"But they are not aware that in India, millions of Indians who are Muslims wear the kurta daily. Are they then not Muslims," he said.

He said this when addressing a gathering of religious leaders in conjunction with "World Interfaith Harmony Week 2012" at at his official residence Seri Perdana here Wednesday.

Najib then gave the example of the attire usually worn by Malaysian Chinese Muslims Association (MACMA) president Datuk Mustapha Ma, which according to him, had Chinese cultural elements and should not be linked to the question of faith.

"He is a seventh-generation Muslim. This is a question of culture and not faith. Thus, issues like this, if we don't understand, it could lead to suspicion and hatred among the races.

"As such, it is incumbent upon the committee tasked with interfaith understanding to clarify such matters," he said.

Najib also said with the rapid advancements in information technology, whatever was said by anyone could spread like wildfire, causing the world we are in today to face a more challenging environment and requiring more efforts to promote understanding and awareneness on a continuous basis.

He said Malaysia appreciated the harmony and prosperity enjoyed all this while, which was possible because of its moderate policies that were very much in line with Islamic teachings.

"Although before this, we have not used the word 'Wasatiyyah' (moderation in Arabic), actually our policies have been based on the wasatiyah concept as called for by Islam. It (wasatiyyah) also touches on the aspect of respecting those of other faiths," he added.

According to him, the teachings of other faiths in principle also promoted moderation, through conduct and words said.

Najib said "World Interfaith Harmony Week" sought to raise awareness and understanding between religions, for universal peace and drive the world to be more progressive and prosperous.

He said coincidentally, the first week of February was rather unique with three events taking place that were very meaningful to Malaysia, which were Prophet Muhammad's birthday celebration and the Chap Goh Mei and Thaipusam celebrations.

"As such, if there is a country which wants to showcase itself as a model of multi-racial unity, I don't think there is a country better than Malaysia," he said.

The "World Interfaith Harmony Week" is the brainchild of King Abdullah II of Jodan and his son Ghazi Muhammad who was the personal representative and advisor to King Abdullah II at the 65th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in 2010. The idea was adopted as a resolution by UNGA and is celebrated the first week of February by the member nations. - Bernama

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/2/15/nation/20120215183404&sec=nation

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New Delhi blast: IB, Mossad probe Hezbollah links

February 15, 2012

By Rajnish Sharma DC New Delhi

Tags: blast, Hezbollah, Intelligence bureau, Israel, Mossad, New Delhi, terror

Forensics experts investigate the scene after an explosion tore through a car belonging to the Israel Embassy - AP

Monday’s blast targeting an Israeli diplomatic vehicle is the first instance of collaboration between militants here and an external group that could well be Hezbollah.

Full Report At:

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/north/new-delhi-blast-ib-mossad-probe-hezbollah-links-293

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Pakistan allows NATO to fly food into Afghanistan

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad publicly admitted on Tuesday that it had allowed NATO to use Pakistani airspace to fly supplies into Afghanistan, despite a more than two-month blockade on the border crossings.

“Pakistan has allowed the US and NATO to use its airspace for supplies to their forces in Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds. The permission has been given for food items,” a defence ministry official quoted Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar as saying at a function in Islamabad. “Since the food items were perishable, we have allowed them to transport them by air to Afghanistan. We have told them to take the supplies out by air and don’t bring more for the time being,” the official quoted him as saying. To a question regarding extension in service of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Chief Rao Qamar Suleman, he said the decision to grant extension to the air chief was not his prerogative, adding that he had moved a summary for the purpose.

Full Report At:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\02\15\story_15-2-2012_pg7_2

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'Community kitchen' gives Bohra women freedom from cooking

Vijaysinh Parmar

Feb 15, 2012

RAJKOT: After inhaling kitchen smoke for over four decades, Shirin Kapasi, 62, can now breathe easy. Over the past four months, she has stopped cooking for the family. Instead, she has started making imitation jewellery at home and added to the earnings of her husband, an autorickshaw driver.

Kapasi and hundreds of women like her from the Dawoodi Bohra community have been unshackled from the hearth thanks to the 'community kitchen', a concept floated by their religious head Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin about four years ago in Mumbai. The community high priest promoted this idea so that women could devote time for religious activities, focus on children's education or even start small businesses.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/Community-kitchen-gives-Bohra-women-freedom-from-cooking/articleshow/11893123.cms

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Kasab does not deserve death penalty: Amicus

Feb 15, 2012, 02

NEW DELHI: Ajmal Kasab does not deserve death penalty in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, argued senior advocate and amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran and listed five grounds before the Supreme Court while requesting imposition of life term on the lone surviving gunman involved in the 2008 attack.

Before completing his arguments on behalf of Kasab before a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, the amicus curiae stressed that the accused did not get a fair trial. Ramachandran also said Kasab did not get proper legal assistance during the trial leading to violation of fundamental right guaranteed under Article 22.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kasab-does-not-deserve-death-penalty-Amicus/articleshow/11892422.cms

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US captive charged with trying to kill Musharraf

15 February 2012

MIAMI - U.S. prosecutors in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals filed charges on Tuesday against a Pakistani man who grew up outside Baltimore, alleging he plotted with al Qaeda to attack U.S. targets and assassinate former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

The charges against defendant Majid Khan allege that in 2002, he donned an explosives vest and sat in a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, where Musharraf was expected. He planned to blow himself up and kill Musharraf, but the plot was foiled when the president failed to show up, the charges said.

Full Report At:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/02/us-captive-charged-with-trying-to-kill-musharraf/

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Muslims pass on faith at higher rates than Christians says Cardiff University study

14 February 2012

The majority of Muslim children surveyed said they had the religion their parents were brought up in

Muslims in Wales and England practise and pass on their faith at much higher rates than any other religion, a Cardiff University study says.

Researchers found 77% of adult Muslims actively practise the faith they were brought up in, compared with 29% of Christians and 65% of other religions.

They also found 98% of Muslim children surveyed said they had the religion their parents were brought up in.

Full Report At:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17023858

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Veena Malik denied spying charges, Delhi Police tell court

PTI | Feb 14, 2012

NEW DELHI: Controversial Pakistani actress Veena Malik has denied allegation of spying for the ISI, Delhi Police on Tuesday told a court here which had asked it to look into a complaint seeking lodging of an FIR against her after her alleged nude photographs appeared in an Indian magazine.

This was stated by the Delhi Police in its action taken report (ATR) filed by it in compliance with the court order after Malik's purported photograph was published on a magazine cover with an 'ISI' tattoo on her arm.

The complaint had said that the tattoo indicated that she was spying for the Pakistani intelligence agency which should be probed.

Malik had denied that she posed naked for the magazine, claiming the cover photo was doctored.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Veena-Malik-denied-spying-charges-Delhi-Police-tell-court/articleshow/11886908.cms

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Jakarta: Islamic hardliners run out of town by activists

BY: PETER ALFORD,

JAKARTA , February 15, 2012, ISLAMIC Defenders Front (FPI) bullying is so rarely confronted that the spectacle of its officials being almost literally run out of town in Central Kalimantan last weekend grabbed national attention.

Civil society activists in the national capital, where the hard-liners wield their strongest influence, have tried to seize upon FPI's momentary discomfiture to galvanise a "movement for an FPI-free Indonesia".

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/islamic-hardliners-run-out-of-town-by-activists/story-e6frg6so-1226271169703

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Egypt state media accuses US of spreading anarchy

Feb 15, 2012

CAIRO: State-run newspapers splashed accusations of a US plan to spread “anarchy” in Egypt, escalating a dispute that Washington said on Tuesday must be resolved to ensure their continued military cooperation.

Based on remarks by a government minister, the headlines marked another low in the crisis between Washington and Cairo triggered by the investigation into US-based non-governmental organizations that has resulted in criminal charges against Americans who have been banned from leaving the country.

“America is behind the anarchy,” declared the front page of Al Gomhuria newspaper. “American funding aims to spread anarchy in Egypt,” read the front page of Al Ahram newspaper. The papers are two of Egypt’s most widely distributed dailies.

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article575832.ece

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Uzbekistan snubs 'alien' Valentine's Day

AFP | Feb 14, 2012

Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan Tuesday encouraged people to skip Valentine's Day in favour of marking the birthday of a national poet, with officials describing the February 14 lovers day as an "alien" Western import.

Rather than sending cards and exchanging red hearts, Uzbeks instead were holding readings and poetic festivals to mark the birthday of the medieval emperor and poet Bobur.

There was no official decree or law to ban Valentine's Day, but there was a verbal instruction not to mark or mention it in mass media as a holiday, according to an official.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Uzbekistan-snubs-alien-Valentines-Day/articleshow/11887873.cms

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Geelani’s meets reflect a positive change

Feb 15, 2012

YUSUF JAMEEL

claimed — has been lately engaged in such pastime that reflects a major change in his outlook. Many Kashmir watchers have described it as a “from-inflexibility-to-malleability” kind of tale which has, by and large, gone unnoticed in the national media though.

Full Report At:

http://www.asianage.com/india/geelani-s-meets-reflect-positive-change-635

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Pak recovers stolen Indian necklace

PTI | Feb 15, 2012

LAHORE: A diamond necklace worth 10 lakh, which was stolen from an Indian trader at an India Show here, was recovered by Pakistan police on Tuesday and two men allegedly involved in the crime were arrested.

"We arrested two men named Mohammad Shakil and Mohammad Salim and recovered the necklace," superintendent of police Liaquat Malik said.

The crime was solved in less than 48 hours. The timely action by police had saved Pakistan from embarrassment, the police chief said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-recovers-stolen-Indian-necklace/articleshow/11893682.cms

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Pak Air Force 'modifies' plans for India's Cold Start doctrine

PTI | Feb 14, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Air Force has modified its plans to effectively counter India's purported 'Cold Start' war doctrine, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman has said.

The PAF's plans were modified within its existing infrastructure in view of India's new doctrine, Suleman was quoted as saying by the media today.

The Indian Air Force had been given a "very crucial and critical" role in the Cold Start doctrine, he contended.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-Air-Force-modifies-plans-for-Indias-Cold-Start-doctrine/articleshow/11887176.cms

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Sindh Law Dept flouting apex court orders to protect its law officers

IMDAD SOOMRO

Tuesday, 14 Feb 2012

KARACHI - Despite clear orders by the Supreme Court, the Sindh Law Department is reluctant to fire grade 18 contract law officers, who were appointed on political grounds and the quota of ruling political parties’ representatives.

A Supreme Court’s special bench, which was proceeding with the suo moto case on Karachi’s targeted killings and the law and order situation, had ordered the Sindh government on October 29 to immediately fire law officers appointed on contract basis. The orders were passed in the presence of Sindh Law Secretary Ghulam Nabi Shah, Advocate General Fatah Malak and Prosecutor General Shahadat Awan.

On the second day of the orders, the law secretary submitted a notification in the court that was issued by him regarding the termination of only 37 special public prosecutors of anti-terrorism courts of the province, but he deliberately neither terminated the 176 law officers (deputy district attorneys) appointed by him, nor did he bring this fact into the knowledge of the bench.

Full Report At:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/02/sindh-law-dept-flouting-apex-court-orders-to-protect-its-law-officers/

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Abbottabad Commission briefed on houses in capital rented to foreigners

15 February 2012

ISLAMABAD - On suspicion of presence of family members of former al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden in Islamabad, the Abbottabad Commission was on Tuesday given a detailed presentation by the capital city’s top officials on renting of houses in the federal capital by foreign nationals.

Full Report At:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/02/abbottabad-commission-briefed-on-houses-in-capital-rented-to-foreigners/

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India, Israel working in tandem to probe Monday’s blast

Feb 15, 2012

NEW DELHI: On a day when bomb blasts by an Iranian man in Bangkok threatened to expand the theatre of the Israel-Iran conflict, official sources said India was working closely with Israel "at all levels" to get to the bottom of Monday's explosion. However, India is yet to openly name Iran as the perpetrator of the attack.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Israel-working-in-tandem-to-probe-Mondays-blast/articleshow/11892439.cms

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S Arabia assures India to meet oil import shortfall

Feb 15, 2012

NEW DELHI: With India under pressure from the US and other nations to cut its oil imports from Iran, which is being targeted with sanctions to prevent it from weaponizing its nuclear programme, Saudi Arabia has stepped forward to meet the shortfall.

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud told defence minister A K Antony, during his visit to Riyadh, that Saudi Arabia is ready to "offer all assistance, including additional supply of crude oil, should India require it''.

This is significant because India is caught in a bind since it cannot afford to suddenly cut back energy imports from Iran, which as its second largest supplier (after Saudi Arabia) meets 12% of its total oil requirements.

Tightening Western sanctions have made it hard for India to pay for the oil its sources from Iran, especially since Washington has declared it will ban from the American market all financial institutions that transact petroleum business with Tehran's Central Bank from March 1.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/S-Arabia-assures-India-to-meet-oil-import-shortfall/articleshow/11891962.cms

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Delhi cops find ‘sticky bomb’ in game?

Feb 15, 2012

NEW DELHI: On Tuesday, police commissioner B K Gupta told reporters he had spent hours researching sticky bombs. Officers then distributed printouts which ostensibly explained what a sticky bomb is.

The printout stated, "Sticky bombs are a type of explosives crafted from one Bomb and 5 Gel. At point blank range, it can cause a total of 100 damage to mobs and 200 to the player". It also listed 'Statistics' as: Damage 100, Max Stack 50, Shoot Speed 5, Use Time 24, Sell 1.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Delhi-cops-find-sticky-bomb-in-game/articleshow/11894009.cms

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It was a terror attack, says Chidambaram

Himanshi Dhawan

Feb 15, 2012

NEW DELHI: Investigators believe that Monday's attack on an Israeli diplomat could not have been executed without "local help''. The attack was carried out by a lone assailant on a motorcycle who displayed a familiarity with Delhi's roads, placement of close-circuit cameras and security apparatus in the highly secure zone, sources said, fueling suspicion that the attacker had field intelligence.

"We suspect that it may be difficult to carry out the strike without someone who knows Delhi roads given the quick escape,'' a source said.

Official sources said there was no prior intelligence input about the terror strike and the device used to carry out the blast was very sophisticated and had been used in India for the first time.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/It-was-a-terror-attack-says-Chidambaram/articleshow/11893757.cms

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Decade later, Godhra survivor sets date with Sabarmati Express

Sachin Sharma

Feb 15, 2012

VADODARA: One would have expected Satishkumar Mishra to vow never to board the Sabarmati Express again. He was in the S-6 coach of this train on February 27, 2002 when it was set on fire at Godhra, resulting in the killing of 59 Ram Sevaks and triggering Gujarat's deadliest communal riots. Mishra and his daughter Archana had barely survived, while is wife is still missing.

And yet, exactly a decade later, he has reserved a ticket on the same Sabarmati Express and will travel on February 27, 2012, to attend Archana's wedding at CSM Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Decade-later-Godhra-survivor-sets-date-with-Sabarmati-Express/articleshow/11893007.cms

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Uncertainty looms over Indian Army chief’s Israel trip

TNN | Feb 15, 201

NEW DELHI: With General V K Singh leaving everyone guessing over his next move after losing his age battle in the Supreme Court, a question mark hangs over the Army chief's proposed visit to Israel in March.

Gen Singh is scheduled to visit Israel from March 16 to 18 as part of the continuing high-level visits between the two countries that are undertaking several joint R&D projects in the military arena ranging from surface-to-air missiles to UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) or spy drones.

Israel is the second largest defence supplier to India, notching up military business over $10 billion since the 1999 Kargil conflict, next only to Russia, as reported by TOI earlier.

The Army chief, who will return to India on Saturday from his ongoing visit to UK, has sharpened the civil-military divide in the Indian defence establishment by becoming the first military chief to drag the government to court.

Both military and civilian quarters in South Block feel that if Gen Singh decides to continue in office, he will be reduced to ``a lame-duck chief'' due to the ``huge trust deficit'' between him and defence minister A K Antony.

But while there has been intense speculation that Gen Singh may opt to resign before his tenure ends on May 31, but he himself has kept quiet on the issue so far. The government has kept the succession plan ready, with Eastern Army commander Lt-Gen Bikram Singh tipped to become the next chief of the 1.13-million-strong force.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Uncertainty-looms-over-Army-chiefs-Israel-trip/articleshow/11892528.cms

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Watch on Afghan and Iran citizens

Feb 15, 2012

JEHANGIR ALI

Amid fear of Israelis in the city coming under attack from alleged sympathisers of Iran, the Delhi police has beefed up security at all the Israeli installations, including its mission and Chabad houses and extra security personnel have been deployed at sensitive locations here.

After the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Monday that the attack on an Israeli embassy car in the city in which four people, including the wife of an Israeli diplomat, were injured was carried out by Iran, the home ministry has asked the Delhi police to beef up security at the Israeli installations including places of worship in the city.

Full Report At:

http://www.asianage.com/india/watch-afghan-and-iran-citizens-668

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Police yet to confirm link between Bangkok, Delhi blasts

AP A Thai bomb disposal squad official examines a backpack that was left on the bomb site by a suspected bomber in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Two Iranian suspects arrested in Bangkok after three explosions hit the city were likely planning to attack individuals but did not have the capacity to target large crowds or buildings, Thai police said on Wednesday.

A day after the blasts in a residential Bangkok neighbourhood, Thai authorities admitted to being caught by surprise and said they had little information about who the alleged attackers were and their possible targets.

Full Report At:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2895623.ece

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U.S. to wait for probe results on anti-Israel attacks

February 13, 2012

The United States on Tuesday said that it would wait for the results of the investigations into the bombing on an Israeli diplomatic vehicle in New Delhi before determining any possible Iranian role in it.

Full Report At:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2895377.ece

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India: 2002 riots, Court's verdict on access to SIT report today

February 15, 2012

The court of Metropolitan Magistrate MS Bhatt in Ahmedabad on Wednesday will decide if the SIT's final report on the probe into allegations of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's involvement in 2002 riots should be made public.

The court will also hear the petitions filed by

social activists Teesta Setalvad and Mukul Sinha seeking copies of the report filed in a sealed cover before it on Wednesday.

The SIT on Monday opposed sharing with activists its final report on the probe into allegations of CM Narendra Modi's involvement in 2002 riots, as a court had reserved till Feb 15 its order on their plea seeking access to the crucial document.

During the hearing in the court, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) opposed the applications by Teesta Setalvad and other activists, saying some of them had no locus standi to be given a copy of the report.

SIT had submitted the report to the court in a sealed cover last week amid speculation that Modi may have got relief in the probe on Zakia Jafri's complaint against the chief minister and others on the 2002 post-Godhra riots. Zakia's husband Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP, was among the 69 people killed in post-Godhra Gulberg Housing society riots.

SIT lawyer RS Jambuar said only after the court decides to close the complaint holding that there is no evidence, the copies could be given to the "original complainant" (Zakia), as per the Supreme Court's order.

The SIT team also submitted an application seeking one month's time to submit the statements, evidence and documents related to the probe. The application said since this material was voluminous and compiled in a haphazard way it needed time to serialise the papers before submitting to the court.

Jambuar said the documents were crucial and must be kept under tight security.

He admitted that SIT had obtained the report of the amicus curie Raju Ramchandran (appointed by the Supreme Court), and had considered it before submitting its own final report.

The amicus curie's report had been dealt with in the SIT's final report, Jambuar added.

On behalf of the applicants, Zakia's lawyer SM Vora said her client, being the original complainant, should get a copy, as per the apex court's order.

After hearing both the sides, the judge had reserved the order till February 15.

"We appreciate the court's decision to give its order in only two days time," Setalvad said.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Ahmedabad/2002-riots-Court-s-verdict-on-access-to-SIT-report-today/Article1-811626.aspx

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Bangladesh group hacks BSF website to ‘avenge border killings’

Manas Pal

Feb 15, 2012

AGARTALA: A group of Bangladeshi hackers have breached thousands of Indian websites, including that of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Trinamool Congress. The attack came within hours of a Bangladeshi newspaper reporting that some Indian hackers had destroyed at least five of their government sites.

Simultaneously, Pakistan hackers gained access to about 2,000 Indian sites, claiming their object was "to hit Indian cyber fence and to defend Bangladeshi hackers in this ongoing cyber war". Another hacker consortium hacked into more than 700 Indian websites.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Bangladesh-group-hacks-BSF-website-to-avenge-border-killings/articleshow/11892684.cms

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Failed bomb attack in Thailand, two Iranian suspects charged

15 February 2012

BANGKOK: Thailand has charged two Iranian bomb suspects in connection with a failed plot in Bangkok, a Thai government minister said on Wednesday.

“They are charged with causing an illegal explosion in a public area and attempting to kill police officers and members of the public,” Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul told reporters.

Iranian suspects behind a failed attack in Bangkok aimed to assassinate Israeli diplomats, a Thai official said on Wednesday, in the third bomb plot to shake world capitals this week.

The explosions in Bangkok on Tuesday came a day after bombers targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia, with a female diplomat seriously wounded in New Delhi, in attacks for which Israel accuses Iran.

Full Report At:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/15/failed-bomb-attack-in-thailand-two-iranian-suspects-charged.html

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Kuwait forms new cabinet with change in oil, defence

15 February 2012

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah named a new cabinet on Tuesday with 10 new faces, including the oil and defence ministers, and no women, despite objections from the opposition.

Hani Hussein, a former chief executive officer of the national oil conglomerate Kuwait Petroleum Corp, was appointed oil minister, replacing Mohammad al-Baseeri.

Sheikh Ahmad Khaled Al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family and former chief of staff, was appointed defence minister.

Mustafa al-Shamali, the long-serving finance minister, kept his job.

The new cabinet does not include a single Islamist, the largest opposition bloc that scored an impressive victory in the February 2 general elections when they won 23 seats in the 50-member parliament.

Full Report At:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-35362-Kuwait-forms-new-cabinet

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Bangladesh delegation in Juba

Wednesday, February 15, 2012Metropolitan

A seven-member delegation from Bangladesh led by Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Gwoher Rizvi reached Juba in South Sudan to hold talks with its government on strengthening bilateral relations with the new state.

South Sudanese Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Prof Elias Nyamlell Wakoson received the delegation at Juba International Airport on Monday.

Official sources in Dhaka said Bangladesh is planning to open its mission in Sudan and the visit is part of that plan.

Full Report At:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=222418

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Soldiers Find, Detonate Car Bomb in North Nigeria

By YINKA IBUKUN

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria February 14, 2012

Authorities say soldiers have found and safely detonated a car bomb in a northeast Nigeria city that's the spiritual home to a radical Islamist sect.

Military spokesman Col. Victor Ebhaleme told journalists Wednesday that soldiers discovered the car that morning in the city of Maiduguri in a neighborhood that has seen attacks by the sect known as Boko Haram.

Full Report At:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/police-killed-blast-central-nigeria-city-15585086#.TzuQz8Vl-Cc

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Deported Saudi blogger faces blasphemy charge: report

By Assad Abboud

Mon, Feb 13, 2012

A Saudi internet surfer checks his Twitter account at a coffee shop in Riyadh on …

A Saudi journalist wanted in the kingdom for comments deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed was arrested after Malaysia deported him and will face charges of blasphemy, a report said on Monday amid calls for his execution.

Hamza Kashgari "was taken into custody as he arrived in Riyadh on Sunday night," reported the English-language daily Arab News, citing "informed sources."

"The sources said Kashgari was accompanied by Saudi officials on his flight to King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh," it reported.

Full Report At:

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIStory_766412.html

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Joint team to prepare road map for Saudi-India defense cooperation

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Feb 15, 2012

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and India agreed on Tuesday to set up a joint panel that will be entrusted with the task of preparing a road map for defense cooperation and to work out details of a proposed defense pact to be signed later in Riyadh.

This joint committee will also prepare a draft agreement to be endorsed by Riyadh and New Delhi in the field of hydrography, said A.K. Antony, Indian defense minister, after holding wide-ranging talks with Minister of Defense Prince Salman.

Antony said: "Prince Salman and myself agreed to establish a joint committee to work out the details of our future defense cooperation, including the details of an agreement in the defense sector."

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article575809.ece

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China withdraws support to Assad

Feb 14, 2012

BEIJING/BEIRUT/BERLIN: China will not protect the regime of Syria's President Bashar Assad, Premier Wen Jiabao said, after Beijing drew international ire for vetoing a UN resolution on the country.

Wen's comments, during an EU-China summit on Tuesday, came after the United Nations' top human rights representative said the world body's inaction had "emboldened" the Syrian government to use overwhelming force against its own civilians. "China will absolutely not protect any party, including the government in Syria," Wen said in Beijing.

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article575733.ece

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Police: Iranian blows off legs in Bangkok blast

By THANYARAT DOKSONE

Feb 14, 2012

BANGKOK: An Iranian man carrying explosives blew off his own legs and wounded four other people in two blasts Tuesday in Bangkok, Thai authorities said.

Security forces found more explosives in the assailant’s rented house in the capital, but it was not known what targets they might have been meant for, Police Gen. Pansiri Prapawat said.

A day earlier, an Israeli diplomatic car was bombed in New Delhi, and Israel blamed Iran for that attack. Authorities did not immediately say if a link was suspected, but Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in Jerusalem, “we can’t rule out any possibility.”

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/world/article575623.ece

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Health conference opens in Jeddah

By FOUZIA KHAN

Feb 15, 2012

JEDDAH: The two-day Preventive Medicine and Public Health Care Conference started on Feb. 14 at the Intercontinental Hotel Jeddah with a view to improve the quality of public health through prevention and treatment of diseases and other physical and mental conditions.

The conference is organized by the National Guard Health Affairs and King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in collaboration with the Community and Preventive Medicine western region.

It was inaugurated by Dr. Mansour bin Ahmed Al-Jundi, the executive director of the National Guard Health Affairs in the western region.

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article575814.ece

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Makkah meet calls for panel to unify lunar calendar

Feb 15, 2012

JEDDAH: A conference of experts in Makkah has called for the formation of a committee of astronomers and Islamic scholars that would try to unify the beginning of lunar months in Muslim countries.

“The committee would consider Makkah as the center for astronomical observation and issue a unified Hijri calendar,” said the final communiqué issued by the three-day conference on Tuesday.

The committee, to be based at the Muslim World League (MWL) in Makkah, will study all the research work so far conducted on the issue.

Organized by the Islamic Fiqh Academy, an affiliate of the MWL, the conference emphasized the importance of sighting the moon to determine the beginning of lunar months of Ramadan and Dul Hijjah.

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article575812.ece

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Riyadh: Need for halal standards for food additives underlined

By MD RASOOLDEEN

Feb 15, 2012

RIYADH: Participants of the first international conference on halal food under way in Riyadh on Monday stressed the dire need for legal standards to determine the lawfulness food additives.

Riyadh Gov. Prince Sattam inaugurated the conference and a related exhibition in the Saudi capital on Sunday.

The first ever such event, which is being held under the support of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, was organized by the Riyadh-based Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA).

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article575811.ece

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Bahrain police disperse protests on uprising anniversary

Feb 15, 2012

MANAMA: Armored vehicles patrolled the city on Tuesday in a security clampdown to deter protesters after overnight clashes outside Manama on the first anniversary of an uprising.

Youths flung petrol bombs at police cars during skirmishes before dawn, prompting authorities to flood Shiite villages around Manama with police reinforcements backed by helicopters.

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article575868.ece

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Israel OKs tourist center in tense Arab area

By DIAA HADID

Feb 14, 2012

JERUSALEM: The Israeli government has given a hard-line Jewish group permission to build a new archaeological center in a tense Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem, officials said Tuesday.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Efrat Orbach said Tuesday that a Jerusalem planning committee approved the project this week. The public has 60 days to appeal.

Any Israeli-backed project in east Jerusalem runs the risk of sparking protests that can escalate into violence, as conflicting claims to the area are at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article575830.ece

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Attack on Iran likely by summer: Russia

By STEVE GUTTERMAN

Feb 15, 2012

MOSCOW: Russia’s top general said on Tuesday that he expects Iran’s enemies to decide in the next few months how to deal with a nuclear program that the United States and Israel have said they might attack.

In remarks that come as Russia has been voicing its differences with the West on various issues in the Middle East, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the chief-of-staff, was quoted by RIA news agency as saying: “Iran, of course, is a sore spot.” “There has to be some kind of decision about it now. It will be made, probably, closer to summer,” he said.

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article575735.ece

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Malaysian police on high alert for Bangkok bomber

15 February 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Federal police are on high alert for an Iranian linked to a failed attempt in Bangkok to assassinate Israeli diplomats, and who is believed to have slipped into Malaysia.

Bukit Aman public relations officer ACP Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said police, in collaboration with Interpol, were monitoring the case after a series of explosions occurred in Bangkok Tuesday evening.

Full Report At:

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/2/15/nation/20120215173358&sec=nation

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Iran to unveil new uranium centrifuges, state TV says

15 February 2012

President Ahmadinejad has said that Iran would never halt its programme to enrich uranium

Iran is to unveil a "new generation" of faster, more efficient uranium enrichment centrifuges, state television says.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to make an announcement on Iran's nuclear programme later.

Western countries fear that Iran is working towards making its own nuclear weapons.

Full Report At:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17041135

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Gujarat riots: Court asks SIT to submit documents in a month

Saeed Khan

Feb 15, 2012

AHMEDABAD: A local court on Wednesday asked the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to submit all the documents in the 2002 Gujarat riots case within a month.

As a result, a decision on Zakia Jafri'a plea that she should be given a copy of the special investigation team (SIT) report on the 2002 Gujarat riots case, gets deferred.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Gujarat-riots-Court-asks-SIT-to-submit-documents-in-a-month/articleshow/11899406.cms

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'Mini Israel' comes under scanner after Delhi blast

Feb 15, 2012

DHARAMSHALA: The devastating blast in the Israeli embassy car that rocked the country on Monday has brought the idyllic Dharamkot village near Mcleodganj under the police scanner. The reason: Dharamkot, popularly known as mini-Israel, is a top destination for Israeli tourists.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Mini-Israel-comes-under-scanner-after-Delhi-blast/articleshow/11897998.cms

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Kasab was never tortured, given fair trial: Maharashtra govt to SC

PTI | Feb 15, 2012

NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday refuted the allegation of the sole convict in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, that he was not given fair trial and said death sentence awarded to him was a permissible means of punishment.

Former solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the state government, contended that Kasab was never tortured or maltreated and there has been no violation of his constitutional rights.

"At no point of time he was tortured or maltreated by the authorities and there has been no failure of constitutional rights given to him," he submitted before a bench comprising justices Aftam Alam and C K Prasad.

Subramaniam also submitted that death sentence, which has been awarded to Kasab, is a permissible means of punishment.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kasab-was-never-tortured-given-fair-trial-Maharashtra-govt-to-SC/articleshow/11897892.cms

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Shahryar's dealth, a loss to the world of Urdu literature

TNN | Feb 14, 2012

The series of sudden, shocking blows to the world of Indian art and culture does not ebb. Well-known poet Shahryar, who wrote the memorable lyrics for films like Umrao Jaan, Gaman, Anjuman and Faasle passed away in Aligarh Monday night after battling lung cancer. His last rites will be performed in that town.

Born Akhlaq Mohammed Khan, Shahryar had received the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary award, in the year 2008. The 75-year-old poet was equally respected in his role as writer and academician, and wrote the lyrics for all of Muzaffar Ali's films. From Yeh kya jagah hai doston in Umrao Jaan to Seene mein jalan and Ajeeb saneha mujh par guzar gaya in Gaman, as well as Gulab jism ka which Shabana Azmi sang for Anjuman, all hold instant recall value to this day.

His son Faredoon who lives in Mumbai said, ``He passed away around 8.30 pm Monday. My elder brother was with him when he breathed his last.'' Shahryar had visited Mumbai for treatment last year and met Yash Chopra at the time. ``He had written the songs of Yashji's `Faasle'. My father worked extensively with Muzaffar Ali, having written for Zooni which got shelved and another three ghazals for his forthcoming film,'' Faredoon said. He recalled the family's happiness at seeing their ailing father walk up to receive the Jnanpith award.

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/music/news-and-interviews/Shahryars-dealth-a-loss-to-the-world-of-Urdu-literature/articleshow/11886927.cms

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/vandalism-at-maldives-museum-stirs-fears-of-extremism/d/6643

 

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