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Islamic World News ( 26 March 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Woman Who Fled Iraq Suffers Brutal End in US



Iraqi-born Islamist cleric sentenced to 5 years in Norwegian prison for death threats

Pakistan Acid attack: Man burns wife’s face ‘to make her stay home’

China sentences Xinjiang attack ringleader to death

Tunisia’s ruling Ennahda to oppose Sharia in constitution

‘F1’: the nameless spy who put Indian businessman in jail

Relationship between ISI, terror groups not surprising: Top US General

Israel ends contact with UN Human Rights Council

Sarkozy Asks TV Channels Not to Show Killings Film

Saudi student discovers two new genes related to breast cancer

J&K CM terms Geelani's hecklers as "bloody idiots"

Mansoor Ijaz abused Kashmiri Muslims: JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik

Sarkozy to Bar Some Imams from Entering France

Tribal clashes in south Libya kill 20

Egypt's Brotherhood Considering Presidential Run

Tunisia constitution will not be based on Islamic law: party

Indian President withholds assent to Gujarat anti-terror Bill

Nuclear terrorism still remains potent challenge: Obama

LeT, Hizb plan to target J&K leaders

Anti-terror law of UK was repressive: watchdog

In Pakistan, Hindus Say Woman’s Conversion to Islam Was Coerced

Osama's widows, family to be charged with illegal Pakistan stay

Obama says Pakistan review must respect security needs

Indian Union Home Minister launches website for J&K youth

UN rapporteur to examine J&K killings

Arab leaders’ summit in Baghdad will offer plans for resolving Syria’s crisis, Iraqi FM says

French gunman visited occupied West Bank in 2010

Two killed in Somali rebels’ mortar attack on palace

Soldier stabbed, 3 Palestinians shot in West Bank

At least eight killed in Syria violence

Karachi violence updates: 5 killed 

Balochistan violence: Two killed in Quetta target shooting

Afghan arrests after authorities foil 'suicide attack'

Manmohan, Gilani greet each other at Nuclear Security Summit

1034 former militants from PoK apply for rehabilitation: Omar Abdullah

India: Tripura CM leaves for Dhaka to receive award

India: Minority Affairs Minister says Karnataka govt. will have to take a call on Wakf scam

Support in U.S. for Afghan War Drops Sharply, Poll Finds

Justices Decline to Say if Jerusalem-Born Americans Can Claim Israeli Birthplace

Kofi Annan in Beijing for talks on ending Syria crisis

Turkey shuts embassy in Syria to isolate Assad

Troops shell Syrian town; Brotherhood wants democracy

Israel needs to learn from Osirak ‘mistake’ Attack may accelerate Iran’s nuclear endeavours

Journalist fired for criticising Israel on Facebook

Pakistan: School blown up in Mohmand

Ahmadinejad tirade on Afghanistan prompts US walkout

Haqqani given last chance to appear before commission

First Bangladeshi woman Wasfia Nazreen attempts climbing Mt Everest

Pakistan, Islam and the West: “Why do they hate us?”

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Islamist cleric Mullah Krekar who was sentenced to five years in prison Monday for making death threats against Norwegian officials and three Kurdish men

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/woman-who-fled-iraq-suffers-brutal-end-in-us/d/6930

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 Woman Who Fled Iraq Suffers Brutal End in US

27, Mar 2012

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — Shaima Alawadi and her family fled Iraq nearly two decades ago as Saddam Hussein crushed a Shiite uprising, settling in the U.S. so they would no longer face persecution, a family friend said.

Alawadi, 32, grew up in the country's largest Iraqi enclaves, wore the Muslim headscarf and volunteered at the mosque.

Now, after her body was found severely beaten in her suburban San Diego home, police, the FBI and members of the Iraqi community are wondering whether her death was a hate crime or something else.

Among the evidence that police have collected is a threatening note that was near Alawadi's body. Her daughter told a television station that it said: "Go back to your country, you terrorist."

El Cajon Police Chief James Redman declined to discuss the contents of the note Monday, though he said that it has led police to regard the killing as a possible hate crime. He said he was confident the case would be solved.

"I want to stress there is other evidence in this case that we are looking at and the possibility this is a hate crime is just one aspect," Redman said.

"We don't have tunnel vision on this case," he said. "We're looking at the big picture."

Redman said he was confident it was an isolated incident but would not say why.

The death rippled across the world, with Alawadi's name being mentioned on Twitter and the case being discussed in Iraqi communities in the San Diego and Detroit suburbs. Lawmakers in Baghdad called for a full investigation.

Her slaying was being compared to that of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teen shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer, said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"Trayvon was black wearing a hoodie. Shaima was wearing a hijab," Walid said, referring to the Muslim headscarf. "It's the same racist principle at play that killed both of these individuals."

Others were more guarded, saying they wanted to wait for the investigation to unfold.

"It is absolutely devastating for the family and the community, so we need move on very, very cautiously. Emotions are high, but we need to make sure we let the professionals do what they need to do," said Hanif Mohebi, executive director of CAIR's San Diego chapter.

The chief said Alawadi died of severe head trauma. She was taken off life support Saturday, three days after her teenage daughter found her unconscious in the dining room of the family's El Cajon home, east of San Diego.

The victim's daughter, Fatima Al Himidi, told KUSI-TV in San Diego that her mother had been beaten on the head repeatedly with a tire iron, and the threatening note was next to her. Police would not confirm the type of weapon used in the attack.

Police said the family found another threatening note within the last month but did not report it to authorities. Mohebi said family members told him they dismissed the initial note as a prank.

The victim and her family fled Iraq in the early 1990s after a failed Shiite uprising, living in Saudi Arabian refugee camps before coming to the U.S., said Imam Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Dearborn, Mich.

Saddam's troops hanged Alawadi's uncle.

"She lost her uncle by Saddam," he said, "and when they came here to seek freedom, she got killed."

The family arrived in the Detroit area in 1993 and later moved to San Diego. Shaima Alawadi was a religious Shiite Muslim who wore a hijab and volunteered at a mosque, Al-Husainy said.

Alawadi's father, Sayed Nabeel Alawadi, is a cleric in Iraq, said Al-Husainy, who described himself as a close family friend.

Hayder Al-Zayadi, a family friend, told the Detroit Free Press that Alawadi's brothers worked for the U.S. Army, serving as cultural advisers to train soldiers who were going to be deployed to the Middle East.

Another family friend told U-T San Diego that Alawadi's husband had a similar job. Redman said Alawadi's husband was currently on disability and didn't know his previous employment.

Flowers were set on the doorstep of the home Monday. One of the glass panels on a sliding back patio door was boarded up with wood. The backyard overlooks a middle school.

Alvin Luckenbach, who lives next door, exchanged pleasantries with Alawadi and her husband. He said she recently apologized for her kids making noise playing basketball on Alawadi's back patio.

"They were always nice," Luckenbach said.

The Iraqi foreign minister said Monday that Alawadi's body will be flown to Iraq.

The FBI, which is assisting El Cajon police in the investigation, defines a hate crime as an offense motivated by a bias against race, religion, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. There were 1,409 hate crimes nationwide based on religion during 2010, including 186 targeting Muslims. There were 1,040 based on ethnicity or national origin, including 359 targeting groups other than Hispanics.

Karoub reported from Detroit. Associated Press writer Lara Jakes, Sameer N. Yacoub and Sinan Salaheddin in Baghdad contributed to this report.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/03/27/us/ap-us-iraqi-woman-beaten.html?ref=global-home&gwh=4A778DD22A1B0A78BEADAF90E13F1A5A

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Iraqi-born Islamist cleric sentenced to 5 years in Norwegian prison for death threats

27 March 2012

OSLO, Norway — An Iraqi-born Islamist cleric was sentenced to five years in prison Monday for making death threats against Norwegian officials and three Kurdish men.

The Oslo district court convicted Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, of making online death threats against the three other Kurdish immigrants he said had insulted Islam. The 55-year-old cleric, who came to Norway as a refugee in 1991, was also convicted of threatening Norwegian government officials in an attempt to force a reversal of a 2005 order to deport him to Iraq.

Krekar is the founder of Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish group listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and other nations.

Krekar immediately appealed the ruling and his defense lawyer, Brynjar Meling, said he was “surprised” at the judgment.

Like other Scandinavian countries, Norway places emphasis on the freedom of speech, but the court said Krekar’s statements were so strong that they could incite violence.

The court said he had posted death threats on the Internet against the three Kurdish men, two of whom had burned parts of the Quran in a political protest in 2010 that also condemned the repression of women.

The third man had in 2005 published a book containing an academic analysis of the Quran’s references to women and sex, which Krekar found was offensive to Islam.

According to the ruling, Krekar said that all three could be killed under Islamic law for having insulted the Quran, statements that judge Per Fleisje said could inspire his followers or sympathizers to commit murder. Krekar claims he was simply explaining what Islamic law says, not making death threats.

Scholars of Islamic law have long had varying interpretations of how Muslims should respond to insults to Islam or its holy book.

The judge said Krekar also crossed the line with comments to reporters at a news conference in 2010 that Norwegian officials would pay with their lives if he were deported to Iraq and killed.

In 2005, a Norwegian court declared Krekar a national security threat and ordered him deported, but later postponed the move because of concerns he could face execution or torture in Iraq.

Prosecutor Marit Bakkevig told The Associated Press that “the judgment shows that the moment your speech creates danger, you can’t claim freedom of speech. Threats are punishable.”

She expected Krekar’s appeal to go to the Appeals Court within two months, and that the case would be taken up for a new trial at that court in the fall.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/iraqi-born-islamist-cleric-sentenced-to-5-years-in-norwegian-prison-for-death-threats/2012/03/26/gIQAYXo0bS_story.html

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Pakistan Acid attack: Man burns wife’s face ‘to make her stay home’

 Mar 27, 2012

MULTAN: A woman in Multan was hospitalised on Monday with burns she suffered in an acid attack allegedly by her husband to stop her from continuing a job. 

Doctors who treated the victim at Nishter Hospital said 60 per cent of her face was damaged. They said she also had suffered burns to her neck and arms. Deputy medical superintendent Noor Jauta told The Tribune that surgery would be required to fix the woman’s wounds. He said the reports of a medical examination to be carried out on Monday night would determine the kind of operation. The DMS described the victim’s condition as ‘out of danger’.

Talking to The Tribune at the hospital, the victim said the attack on Sunday night had followed an argument over her job at an advertising agency. “He wanted me to quit the job and stay home. He said he would send our son to work to ensure that the family income was not affected,” she said. She said she wanted everyone of her four children, all under eight years old, to finish their schooling before they started working.

The victim said the suspect had accused her of continuing the job so that she could maintain ‘relationships’ with other men. “I had taken up the job to help him feed the family. His income as a personal assistant to a lawyer was not enough to run a family of six people,” she said.

She said the suspect fled the scene following the attack.

Gulgasht police have registered an FIR against Muneer Ahmed*, husband of the victim, under Section 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

SHO Amir Khan said the complaint filed by the victims’ sister did not require the inclusion of Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (needed to be added in acid attack cases in accordance with a recent legislation making the offence non-bailable) in the FIR. He said the police might reconsider the decision about the section as the case progressed.

The complainant told The Tribune that she had rushed to her sister’s house on receiving a phone call from the suspect at around 3am on Monday. “He said someone had attacked one of their children with acid and asked me to go to his house to help her take the child to hospital,” she said. The suspect told her that he was away from home and could not return anytime soon, she added. The complainant said on reaching the scene she found out that her sister had been attacked with acid.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/355661/acid-attack-man-burns-wifes-face-to-make-her-stay-home/

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 China sentences Xinjiang attack ringleader to death

 Mar 27, 2012

BEIJING: A man accused of plotting a deadly knife and hatchet attack last month in China’s restive Xinjiang region has been sentenced to death, judicial authorities said.

The man’s name – Abudukeremu Mamuti in Chinese – suggested he was from the mainly Muslim Uighur minority that populates the northwestern region and has long complained of political and religious oppression under Chinese rule.

A court in Kashgar sentenced him to death on Monday for leading a “terrorist” group to a market in a remote town in Xinjiang on February 28, and hacking to death 15 people.

According to a statement posted on an official Xinjiang judicial website, the defendant started preaching “religious extremism” last year and recruited people to form a “terrorist group”.

Then on February 28, he gathered all members at his home, armed them with knives and hatchets and took them to the market in Yecheng town – which belongs to the wider Kashgar prefecture – the statement said late Monday.

There, they killed 13 people on the spot and injured 16 others – two of whom later died of their injuries. Mamuti was detained on the scene and seven other attackers were shot dead. One other suspect also later died.

A local police officer told AFP at the time of the attack that most of the victims were people from China’s dominant Han ethnic group.

Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to around nine million Uighurs.

The number of Han living in Xinjiang has increased dramatically over the past decade, which government critics say results from a policy of migration to dilute any Uighur nationalist tendencies and has bred resentment in the region.

Xinjiang has been under heavy security since July 2009, when Uighurs launched attacks on Han people in the regional capital Urumqi.

The government says nearly 200 people were killed and 1,700 injured in the violence, which shattered the authoritarian Communist Party’s claims of harmony and unity among the country’s dozens of ethnic groups.

Many Uighurs remain angry at the harsh crackdown that followed the violence.

The government blames much of the violence in the resource-rich region on what it calls the three “evil forces” of extremism, separatism and terrorism.

But some experts doubt terror cells operate in Xinjiang, where the Turkic-speaking Uighurs practice a moderate form of Islam.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/355776/china-sentences-xinjiang-attack-ringleader-to-death/

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Tunisia’s ruling Ennahda to oppose sharia in constitution

 Mar 27, 2012

TUNIS: The moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which leads Tunisia’s government, said on Monday it would oppose naming Islamic law, or sharia, in the new constitution, an issue that has threatened to derail the country’s transition to democracy.

A constituent assembly, elected in October, is hashing out a new constitution after popular protests ousted Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali last year, sparking the Arab Spring uprisings.

Religious conservatives, including the third largest party in the constituent assembly, have called in recent weeks for the constitution to include sharia as the key source of legislation.

Secularists oppose the move, which they say will open the way for the religious right to impose its values on what had been one of the Arab world’s most secular countries.

The debate has polarised Tunisian society and prompted people to demonstrate in the streets.

Rachid Al-Ghannouchi, Ennahda’s co-founder and leader, said the group would instead be satisfied with retaining the existing first clause of the constitution, which identifies Islam as the religion of state but makes no mention of the role of sharia.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article597472.ece

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‘F1’: the nameless spy who put Indian businessman in jail

PRAVEEN SWAMI

VINAYA DESHPANDE

Mar 27, 2012

Evidence presented in the trial of alleged Barcelona suicide bomber leaves key questions unanswered

F1's phone call to his handlers at the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST), France's counter-terrorism intelligence service, arrived late in the afternoon of January 17, 2008. His last call, F1 said, was to his wife—the last, he had been told, he would ever make to her. In a few hours, F1 went on, he would walk into the Barcelona metro and blow himself up.

Minutes after midnight, Spanish authorities raided a cluster of homes and prayer halls around Maçanet street, the base from which F1— guaranteed anonymity by witness-protection laws — said the suicide bombings he was tasked with were to begin. Fourteen men would be held, 11 of whom were identified by F1 as members of the plot.

Mumbai businessman Roshan Jamal Khan has been in prison since that evening, sentenced to eight-and-half years on four terrorism counts. Mr. Khan's family, which is preparing to move the European Court of Human Rights to seek his exoneration, has long insisted he is innocent — and documents obtained by The Hindu show there is little but F1's story to suggest that is untrue.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3248236.ece

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Relationship between ISI, terror groups not surprising: Top US General

Mar 27 2012

Washington: The relationship between Pakistan's ISI and terror groups is not surprising, says a top US General based in Afghanistan, who has also recommended that the dreaded Haqqani network of Taliban be slapped with sanctions.

"I don't think we should be surprised that they (ISI) have a relationship with them (terrorist organisations). That relationship between the ISI and a number of these organisations goes back a very long time," Gen John Allen, Commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said yesterday.

His comments came in response to a question at the Brookings Institute, an eminent Washington-based think-tank.

"So we shouldn't be surprised they have a relationship with them, but I would not speculate on what specific operational support they have or whether they're an action arm. I would just say that the relationship potentially is unhelpful in that regard," Allen said.

The top US General said that he has also recommended that the Haqqani network be slapped with sanctions.

However, he said there are opportunities for the US to work with Pakistan to increase the bilateral cooperation.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/928988/

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Israel ends contact with UN Human Rights Council

Mar 27, 2012

Israel has cut working relations with the UN Human Rights Council, officials say, after it decided to investigate Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The foreign ministry has reportedly told its envoy in Geneva not to co-operate with the council or with UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.

It will also prevent a UN team entering Israel to assess the effects of settlements on Palestinian rights.

Last week, Israel said the decision to establish the probe was "surrealistic".

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on a two-state solution stalled in late 2010 after a dispute over settlement construction.

About 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

'Superfluous and extravagant'

Full report at:

the fact-finding mission set up by the council following the conflict in Gaza in 2009.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17510668

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Sarkozy Asks TV Channels Not to Show Killings Film

Mar 27, 2012

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy begged television networks on Tuesday not to broadcast video footage filmed by an al Qaeda-inspired gunman of his spate of deadly shootings in southern France this month.

France is still reeling at Mohamed Merah's close-range shootings, a month before a presidential election, of three Jewish children, a rabbi and three soldiers in the southern city of Toulouse.

Qatar-based network Al Jazeera said it was considering whether or not to air the images received at its Paris bureau on a memory stick late on Monday that were filmed by Merah with a camera attached to his body.

The clips had been edited into a montage with Islamic chants and readings from the Koran, the network said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/03/27/world/middleeast/27reuters-france-sarkozy-shootings.html?gwh=388901AC84E85D109CB121CD265C7CAF&ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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Saudi student discovers two new genes related to breast cancer

 Mar 27, 2012

A Saudi scholarship student has achieved a new scientific landmark after he discovered two new genes that have close links with breast cancer.

Hani Chaudhry, a Ph.D. student sent by King Abdulaziz University to Oxford University, has been conducting his study for two years using next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques to decode and identify the genetics of cancer cells.

Saudi students reportedly studied the activity of genes in more than 120 cases of breast cancer at Oxford University Hospital.

Based on these studies, he discovered more than 72 genes that were not known before. Two were subject to exhaustive tests that will hopefully play a leading role in stopping the growth of cancer cells. The activity of the two genes was proven in more than 260 cases of breast cancer patients. This can be used as indicators for the early diagnosis of breast cancer.

Chaudhry is currently registering his scientific achievement at the Human Genome Organization (HUGO), whose reference will be made under the name of King Abdulaziz University (KAU).

HUGO is the international organization of scientists involved in human genetics.

It has increased its membership base to over 1,200 members, and played an essential role behind the scenes in the human genome project.

Meanwhile, senior researchers at Oxford University have appreciated Chaudhry’s achievement of this scientific landmark.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article597601.ece

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J&K CM terms Geelani's hecklers as "bloody idiots"

Mar 27, 2012

NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today condemned the heckling of separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani here during a seminar and said such attacks were of no help in solving the Kashmir issue.

Reacting to the news of attack on 81-year-old Geelani, the Chief Minister said "these Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena (BSKS) and ABVP goons are bloody idiots."

"Anyone can assault an old man. As if attacking SASG (Geelani) will make the Kashmir issue just disappear," the Chief Minister remarked on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

Geelani was heckled at a seminar in North Delhi today by activits of BSKS and ABVP but timely intervention by Delhi Police prevented the situation from worsening.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Omar-Abdullah-terms-Geelanis-hecklers-as-bloody-idiots/articleshow/12417174.cms

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Mansoor Ijaz abused Kashmiri Muslims: JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik

Mar 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik has alleged that Mansoor Ijaz abused Kashmir Muslims at a conference in India.

Yasin Malik is appearing before the judicial commission tasked with probing the memo scandal.

Malik claimed that Ijaz was appearing at the conference as a guest of former US President Bill Clinton.

In his statement to the memo commission, Malik called Ijaz a mad person and said that when Ijaz crossed his limits during the conference, he threw a shoe at him and snatched the microphone.

Malik had requested the Supreme Court to allow him to become a party before the commission after Mansoor Ijaz had alleged that he had arranged a meeting between Malik and then-chief of Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) at the behest of US government.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-41640-Ijaz-abused-Kashmiri-Muslims:-Malik

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Sarkozy to Bar Some Imams From Entering France

Mar 27, 2012

PARIS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday he would bar some Muslim preachers from entering France to participate in an Islamic conference next month as part of a crackdown after shootings by an al Qaeda-inspired gunman.

Sarkozy, who is campaigning for re-election, has also announced plans to punish people viewing Islamist websites and going abroad for indoctrination since the killings.

"I have clearly indicated that there are certain people who have been invited to this congress who are not welcome on French soil," Sarkozy told France Info radio.

He cited Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric based in Qatar who is one of the most prominent Sunni Muslim clerics in the Arab world and a household name in the Middle East due to regular appearances on the Al Jazeera news channel.

A former member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Qaradawi is independent of the group but remains close to it. Sarkozy said the situation was complicated because the imam holds a diplomatic passport and does not require a visa to enter France.

"I indicated to the Emir of Qatar himself that this person was not welcome on the territory of the French republic," Sarkozy said. "He will not come."

Ahmed Jaballah, the president of the Union of French Islamic Organisations (UOIF) which is organizing the conference, told Reuters he regretted Sarkozy's decision, saying Qaradawi had already visited France various times.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/03/26/world/middleeast/26reuters-france-election.html?ref=global-home

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Tribal clashes in south Libya kill 20

 Mar 27, 2012

TRIPOLI: Clashes between rival militias in southern Libya killed 20 people on Monday, a doctor at a regional hospital said, highlighting the challenge the government faces in imposing its authority months after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

Local council member Ahmed Abdelkadir said clashes first broke out on Sunday between former rebel fighters from Sabha, Libya's fourth largest city, and gunmen from the Tibu tribe after a Sabha man was killed in a dispute over a car.

He said the militias opened fire at each other on the outskirts of Sabha. A local doctor, Ibrahim Misbah, said 20 fighters died of gunshot wounds and more than 40 people were wounded.

"The numbers are from the Sabha side only. The Tibu wounded are being taken to a different hospital," he said by phone.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-41711-Tribal-clashes-in-south-Libya-kill-20

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Egypt's Brotherhood Considering Presidential Run

27, Mar 2012

CAIRO (AP) — The leadership of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is meeting to decide whether to field a candidate from its ranks for the country's upcoming presidential election.

The outcome of Tuesday's meeting will send a signal as to whether the fundamentalist group intends to escalate or defuse rising tensions with the rest of Egypt's political players.

Liberal parties have expressed alarm with the growing control over Egypt's political levers by the Brotherhood and other Islamists, including their taking a majority of seats on a panel tasked with writing a new constitution.

The Brotherhood had pledged not to contest the presidential vote in a bid to assure liberals and Egypt's western allies that it doesn't intend to govern alone. But Brotherhood officials have recently suggested they could field a candidate.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/03/27/world/middleeast/ap-ml-egypt.html?ref=global-home&gwh=B01861CD6A2266A2FC05EB84E883A076

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Tunisia constitution will not be based on Islamic law: party

27, Mar 2012

TUNIS: Tunisia’s governing religious party said it will not enshrine Islamic law in the new constitution and will maintain the secular nature of the north African state, putting it sharply at odds with hardliners.

Ennahda, which emerged as the biggest party after Tunisia’s first democratic elections last year, said on Monday that it would keep the first article of the 1956 constitution in the new basic law now being drafted.

“We are not going to use the law to impose religion,” Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the moderate religious party, told a press conference.

The first article of the previous constitution stipulates that “Tunisia is a free, independent and sovereign state, its religion is Islam, its language is Arabic and it is a republic.”

The Ennahda decision “aims to strengthen the national consensus and promote the country’s successful democratic transition by uniting the majority of political forces to confront the challenges facing the country,” added another leading figure in the party, Zied Doulatli.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/27/tunisia-constitution-will-not-be-based-on-islamic-law-party.html

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Indian President withholds assent to Gujarat anti-terror Bill

March 27, 2012

President Pratibha Patil has withheld her assent to the controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill, 2003 (GUJCOC) following state government's refusal to make amendments to it.

"The President has withheld her assent from the Bill on January 22, 2012 as the

state government had not made any amendments in clauses 16 and 20 in the said Bill as per the directives contained in Presidential message to the earlier bill.

"The same has been conveyed to the Secretary to the Governor, Gujarat on February 2, 2012," minister of state for home Mullappally Ramachandran told Lok Sabha today.

The Minister said the Gujarat government has re-submitted the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill, 2003, as passed by the State Legislature and reserved by the Gujarat Governor for consideration of the President, which was received in the Home Ministry on November 11, 2009.

The controversial anti-terror Bill GUJCOCA has been vigorously pursued by Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The proposed law was earlier rejected by the Centre on the ground that it was not in line with its new legislation dealing with terrorism like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Prez-withholds-assent-to-Gujarat-anti-terror-Bill/Article1-831497.aspx

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Nuclear terrorism still remains potent challenge: Obama

Mar 27 2012

Seoul : US President Barack Obama on Tuesday warned that the threat of nuclear weapons remains a challenge as there are still “too many bad actors in search of these dangerous materials”, asserting that the world's security depends on the actions that the global community takes.

“There are still too many bad actors in search of these dangerous materials, and these dangerous materials are still vulnerable in too many places,” Obama said at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.

“It would not take much -- just a handful or so of these materials -- to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people. And that's not an exaggeration; that's the reality that we face,” he said.

Even as the international community has taken a series of steps in the past two years to secure the world's nuclear material, he said the threat of nuclear terrorism still remains a potent challenge.

“The security of the world depends on the actions that we take,” the US President said.

Two years ago at the first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, the world leaders, Obama said, had agreed that atomic terrorism is one of the most urgent and serious threats to global security.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/929027/

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LeT, Hizb plan to target J&K leaders

Mar 27, 2012

Following specific wireless intercepts of top commanders of terror outfits Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Hizbul Mujahideen over the last few days the intelligence agencies have cautioned the Srinagar-based Unified Command that these militant groups will target important individuals, including political leaders in the Kashmir Valley, during the summer season.

A recent alert issued by the Intelligence Bureau goes on to state, “there is a great sense of desperation among terror groups operating in the Valley, particularly the Hizbul and Lashkar and they will go on to attack specific targets and individuals in the days to come.”

Highly-placed intelligence sources said the militant outfits are out to prove a point this time as the summer of 2011 was one of the most lean seasons as far as militancy in the Valley is concerned. Even from tourism point of view 2011 was considered one of the best seasons ever since militancy broke out in the state in 1989.

Thus, the militant outfits have already started preparing a blueprint to hit back with a vengeance this time around.

And the first glimpse of this came on last Thursday when a car carrying large quantity of explosive material exploded in Anantnag.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/let-hizb-plan-target-jk-leaders-473

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Anti-terror law of UK was repressive: watchdog

 By David Stringer

 27th March, 2012

LONDON: A British system under which suspected terrorists not charged with any crime were forced to live under partial house arrest was among the most repressive tools used in the West, the country’s anti-terrorism watchdog said on Monday.

David Anderson, a lawyer responsible for reviewing Britain’s legal efforts to combat terrorism on behalf of the government, disclosed in an annual report that a total of 52 people had been held under the control order between 2005 — when the

measures were introduced — and the end of 2011, when the system was replaced.

The system allowed authorities to impose a curfew of up to 16 hours per day, required a suspect to wear an electronic anklet, restricted their contact with others and could ban an individual from using the Internet or travelling overseas.

Anderson said that a total of 23 people also had been forced to move away from their home to a different part of Britain under the system. The tactic — dubbed internal exile by its critics — was intended to help disrupt suspected terrorist cells in specific cities.

He called the controversial program the “more repressive end of the spectrum of measures operated by comparable Western democracies.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/27/anti-terror-law-of-uk-was-repressive-watchdog.html

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In Pakistan, Hindus Say Woman’s Conversion to Islam Was Coerced

By DECLAN WALSH

Mar 27, 2012

GHOTKI, Pakistan — Banditry is an old scourge in this impoverished district of southern Pakistan, on the plains between the mighty river Indus and a sprawling desert, where roving gangs rob and kidnap with abandon. Lately, though, local passions have stirred with allegations of an unusual theft: that of a young woman’s heart.

In the predawn darkness on Feb. 24, Rinkel Kumari, a 19-year-old student from a Hindu family, disappeared from her home in Mirpur Mathelo, a small village off a busy highway in Sindh Province. Hours later, she resurfaced 12 miles away, at the home of a prominent Muslim cleric who phoned her parents with news that distressed them: Their daughter wished to convert to Islam, he said.

Their protests were futile. By sunset, Ms. Kumari had become a Muslim, married a young Muslim man, and changed her name to Faryal Bibi.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/world/asia/pakistani-hindus-say-womans-conversion-to-islam-was-coerced.html?ref=world

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Osama's widows, family to be charged with illegal Pakistan stay

Mar 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani court will formally charge slain al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden's widows and other family members with illegally entering and living in the country next week, a defence lawyer said on Monday.

The court is expected to frame charges against three widows and two of Bin Laden's grown up daughters on April 2, lawyer Muhammad Aamir told the media.

The Federal Investigation Agency had filed a case against Bin Laden's family members earlier this month under the Foreigners Act and Pakistan Penal Code for illegally entering and living in the country.

The family members are currently being held in a house in Islamabad that has been declared a sub-jail.

The court provided the five women copies of the charges and evidence against them today.

If the women are convicted, they could be deported or imprisoned.

Under Pakistani law, the maximum sentence for such offences is five years, Aamir said.

The family members were detained by Pakistani security agencies after US special forces killed Bin Laden at a compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2 last year.

Bin Laden's two Saudi Arabian and one Yemeni wives were living with him along with eight of their children and three employees.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Osamas-widows-family-to-be-charged-with-illegal-Pakistan-stay/articleshow/12419356.cms

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Obama says Pakistan review must respect security needs

Mar 27, 2012

SEOUL:US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday he hoped a Pakistan parliamentary review of ties with Washington would be balanced and respect US security needs.

The two men met on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in South Korea, with the crucial anti-terror alliance still rocked by a row sparked when US air strikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

Their meeting comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Pakistan following a series of incidents that have marred trust.

The relationship breaking point in November when US forces returned fire they believed came from a Pakistani border post, killing 24 Pakistani troops.

Both leaders spoke of their mutual interest in a stable Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s parliament has been drawing up recommendations on how to proceed on ties with Washington.

“I welcome the fact that the parliament in Pakistan is reviewing, after some extensive study, the nature of this relationship,” Obama said at the start of the meeting on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit. “I think that it’s important for us to get it right.”

“There have been times — I think we should be frank — in the last several months where those relations have experienced strains,” Obama said.

Pakistan shut off ground supply lines to the US-led Nato mission in land-locked Afghanistan in the wake of the Salala attack.

Obama said he hoped the parliamentary review would take a “balanced approach that respects Pakistan’s sovereignty, but also respects our concerns with respect to our national security and our needs to battle terrorists who have targeted us in the past”

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/27/obama-says-pakistan-review-must-respect-security-needs.html

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Indian Union Home Minister launches website for J&K youth

  Mar 27, 2012

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday launched an interactive website aimed to facilitate job prospects for 40,000 youths from Jammu and Kashmir over a period of five years.

The website - www.nsdcindia.org/udaan - will be run by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). It will act as a platform to bring the unemployed youth of Jammu and Kashmir in touch with corporates seeking talented workforce.

Eight corporate houses, including HCL, Wipro BPO and Future Group, also signed an agreement with the NSDC in the presence of Mr. Chidambaram, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan who headed the expert group to formulate a job plan in this regard.

"We are facilitating a unique programme that will be run by NSDC and the corporate sector. There are four firms (under the MoU) from the software sector, a couple (firms) in retail and others in services sector. This is a good beginning," Mr. Chidambaram said as he unveiled the website.

The youth of Jammu and Kashmir should be encouraged to take jobs in other states. The success of this initiative lies in the hands of NSDC, corporates and the youth, he said.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was an important step in increasing more employment opportunities for the youth of the State. "The youth in my state are devoid of skill sets...hence a scheme like Udaan assumes importance. This is a tentative start from today which will grow further," he said while lauding the corporates for showing interest in the initiative.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article3247666.ece

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UN rapporteur to examine J&K killings

Mar 27, 2012

YUSUF JAMEEL

United Nations special rapporteur Christof Heyns said on Monday that his current visit to India is aimed at examining all killings that are in violation of international human rights or humanitarian law. The focus of the visit, however, is “prevent such incidents and ensure justice is meted out to the victims,” he said.

Mr Heyns, who began his 12-day India visit on March 19 arrived in Srinagar on Monday and has, so far, held open and close-door sessions with senior police officials, human rights activists, academicians, prominent lawyers, relatives of victims and sections of the society.

He will also examine the legislative framework applied in India vis-à-vis the issues encompassed by his mandate. He will submit a provisional report by Friday followed by a full report to the United Nations General Assembly for a review during the forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2013.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/un-rapporteur-examine-jk-killings-437

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Arab leaders’ summit in Baghdad will offer plans for resolving Syria’s crisis, Iraqi FM says

Mar 27, 2012

BAGHDAD — Arab leaders will offer plans this week to break the political “stalemate” that has engulfed Syria but they won’t demand the resignation of President Bashar Assad, Iraq’s top diplomat says.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says opposition forces to Assad’s regime need to agree on a single strategy for ending the yearlong crisis in Syria. The issue will be at the top of the agenda of the three-day Arab League summit that begins Tuesday in Baghdad.

A meeting of the League’s 21 invited nations will open the event Tuesday. It will end Thursday with a summit of the nation’s rulers and heads of government. There are 22 nations that make up the Arab League, but Syria has not been invited to the annual event, held in Iraq this year for the first time in a generation.

“There is a mounting crisis in Syria,” Zebari told reporters in Baghdad on Monday. “There is daily killing, there is daily bloodshed, there is a stalemate in the political solution. What should be done? This is a responsibility on all the attendees at the conference.”

He said leaders will likely agree on a “doable” solution to end the violence but “it’s up to the Syrian people to determine their own future.”

“It’s not up to other countries to dictate to the Syrians what kind of leaders they have or don’t have,” he said. “I don’t think there will be a call on Bashar to step aside.”

The new plan will be similar to earlier League proposals for Assad to peacefully transfer power to his vice president until new, open elections can be held, Zebari said. The League also has called for an immediate cease-fire from both sides and humanitarian assistance to be allowed into the combat zones.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/arab-leaders-summit-in-baghdad-will-offer-plans-for-resolving-syrias-crisis-iraqi-fm-says/2012/03/27/gIQABTDadS_story.html

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French gunman visited occupied West Bank in 2010

 Mar 27, 2012

JERUSALEM: The French gunman who went on a killing spree in a Jewish school in France last week traveled from Jordan to the Israel-occupied West Bank in 2010, an Israeli security official said.

The official did not say why Mohamed Merah had made the trip or whether he had also visited Israel, which is next to the West Bank.

“He crossed the Allenby bridge and passed a security screening. He stayed for three days before leaving through Allenby again,” the official told Reuters on Monday.

The Allenby bridge links Jordan and the West Bank, and most visitors holding foreign passports can easily travel on to Israel, a short drive away.

Israeli media reports said Merah, a French citizen of Algerian origin, told Israeli border authorities at the bridge that he planned to go sightseeing.

Merah, 23, was killed by a police sniper on Thursday as he jumped from the balcony of his lodgings, firing a pistol, after a standoff of more than 30 hours and a gunbattle inside his apartment in Toulouse.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article597373.ece

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Two killed in Somali rebels’ mortar attack on palace

Mar 27, 2012

MOGADISHU: At least two people were killed and 8 others wounded after mortar rounds fired by Somali rebel group Al-Shabab toward the presidential palace landed on a nearby camp for the internally displaced, witnesses and officials said on Monday.

Under pressure from African Union and Somali government troops, the Al-Qaeda-linked militants withdrew from Mogadishu in August prompting a return to relative calm in the capital, although they still manage to launch sporadic attacks.

Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for the African Union force known as AMISOM, said some mortars hit a camp for Somalis displaced by war and famine about 300 meters from the presidential palace.

Ismail Nur, a resident of the camp, said one mortar killed two members of a single family.

“A mortar landed on our camp - a father and his son died. Eight others including three women were injured,” Nur, who is a nephew to the dead father, told Reuters.

Al Shabab said they fired mortars at the heavily protected presidential compound, their third attempt to strike at the heart of the government in a fortnight.

The group also lost control of a strategic town in central Somalia to Ahlu Sunna, a pro-government militia and Ethiopian troops.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article597291.ece

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Soldier stabbed, 3 Palestinians shot in West Bank

27 March 2012

 RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — An Israeli soldier was stabbed and three Palestinians were shot during a confrontation near the West Bank town of Ramallah overnight, sources on both sides said.

The soldier was lightly wounded in the incident but the condition of the three Palestinians was not immediately clear, the Israeli army said.

Palestinian witnesses and security sources said the three men, Rashad Deeb and his brothers Akram and Anwar, were injured during an incident in Rammun village, 10 kilometres (six miles) northeast of Ramallah.

They said the men had heard someone moving around during the night and had gone out to confront a group they believed were thieves.

But the ‘thieves’ turned out to be Israeli soldiers working undercover, who were dressed to look like Palestinians and opened fire after one of the Palestinians attacked them with a knife, they said.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/March/middleeast_March591.xml&section=middleeast

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At least eight killed in Syria violence

Mar 27, 2012

BEIRUT: At least eight people, including four civilians, were killed early Tuesday across Syria in clashes between regime forces and rebel troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based group said one woman was killed by a stray bullet in the Damascus suburb of Douma and two other women died in Maaret al-Numan, in the northwest province of Idlib.

One civilian was killed by sniper fire in Deblan, a neighbourhood of the flashpoint central city of Homs which has been under attack for weeks by regime forces trying to root out rebels.

Four soldiers also died in the clashes with rebel troops in Maaret al-Numan, the Observatory said.

Activists reported violence in several other towns in the province of Homs or Hama.

The Observatory said more than 70 per cent of the population of Saraqeb in northwest Idlib province has fled in recent days in the face of a government assault that began on Saturday.

It said at least 18 civilians have been killed there and more than 63 homes torched.

The uprising in Syria began as a popular revolt in March of last year but has transformed into an insurgency that many fear will lead to a full-blown civil war.

Monitors say more than 9,100 people have died in the revolt against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/27/at-least-eight-killed-in-syria-violence.html

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Karachi violence updates: 5 killed 

Mar 27, 2012

KARACHI: Tension gripped the city after an MQM activist was shot dead in PIB Colony area early on Tuesday morning, Geo News reported. Dozens of vehicles including a police mobile were burnt in different areas.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-41721-Karachi-violence-updates:-5-killed-

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Balochistan violence: Two killed in Quetta target shooting

 Mar 27, 2012

QUETTA: In a fresh spurt of target shootings on Monday, two men belonging to the Hazara community were killed when unidentified men opened fire on them on Quetta’s Sabzal Road before fleeing the scene.

As a result, Ejaz died on the spot while Asghar received critical wounds. The body and injured were shifted to Bolan Medical Complex. “The injured is in a very critical condition and was referred to the Combined Military Hospital,” doctors said.

A local police official said that it might be a case of sectarian attack. However, he hastened to add that investigations were ongoing to determine this aspect. Despite presence of paramilitary forces, target killings continue to increase in the restive province. Earlier, a young scholar was shot dead by unknown assailants in Quetta.

Police and counter-terrorism officials say that outlawed militant groups such as Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi were actively involved in fomenting sectarian hatred in the province. However, no group has claimed responsibility for the killings.

FC personnel killed

Meanwhile, a Frontier Corps official identified as Gul Zaman was killed in a landmine explosion in Dera Bugti.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/355735/balochistan-violence-two-killed-in-quetta-target-shooting-2/

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Afghan arrests after authorities foil 'suicide attack'

Mar 27, 2012

Sixteen people have been arrested in the Afghan capital, Kabul, after plans for an apparent mass suicide attack were foiled.

Intelligence officials have told the BBC that 11 suicide jackets were seized in the ministry of defence.

They say the attacks would have caused significant loss of life if they had gone ahead.

Some of those arrested are reported to be soldiers in the Afghan National Army.

The jackets were seized on Monday afternoon from three separate rooms around a ministry car park, less than a kilometre from the presidential palace.

Six soldiers were arrested at the time - initial reports suggested they were armed and prepared to attack.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17520430

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Manmohan, Gilani greet each other at Nuclear Security Summit

Mar 27, 2012

SEOUL: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday exchanged pleasantries, their second informal chat in two days at the Nuclear Security Summit here.

Singh and Gilani shook hands as they greeted each other during the photo-op for the top world leaders attending the summit in the South Korean capital.

Singh was later seen having a longish chat with Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is set to visit India for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in New Delhi this week. Last night, the Prime Minister and his Pakistani counterpart Gilani had a "meet and greet" encounter prior to a dinner hosted for dignitaries attending the summit here.

"Prime Minister said hello to Mr Gilani," Indian sources had said. Singh and US President Barack Obama also exchanged pleasantries and hugged each other when they came face-to-face at the summit yesterday.

Obama told Singh, "Nice to see you here Mr Prime Minister."

The last Singh-Obama meeting had taken place on November 17, 2011 on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Bali, Indonesia.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Manmohan-Gilani-greet-each-other-at-Nuclear-Security-Summit/articleshow/12425537.cms

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1034 former militants from PoK apply for rehabilitation: Omar Abdullah

Mar 27, 2012

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir government today said 1034 applications have been received from former militants in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), for their return under rehabilitation policy.

"So far 1034 applications have been received on behalf of persons presently in POK who intent to return under rehabilitation policy", chief minister Omar Abdullah said, in reply to a cut motion by CPI(M) member M Y Tarigami in J&K Assembly today.

Omar Abdullah, whose home department's grants are being debated, said, "out of these applications, 67 cases have been recommended, the decision on which is awaited".

He further said, rest of the applications are being scrutinised and verified.

Giving further details, he said working group on "Confidence Building Measures across the segment of people in the state" had recommended a definite policy and package for the return and rehabilitation of state's subjects from across the border.

Acting on working group's recommendations, the state government had notified the policy and procedure on November 23, 2010, for the return of ex-militants, he said.

Replying to another question of JKNPP MLA Yashpal Kundal, he said, those who have gone to POK and Pakistan between 1-1-1989 and December 31, 2009 and their dependents will be eligible for consideration under the policy.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/1034-former-militants-from-PoK-apply-for-rehabilitation-Omar-Abdullah/articleshow/12426959.cms

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India: Tripura CM leaves for Dhaka to receive award

March 27, 2012 

After putting into rest the controversy over his Bangladesh honour for contributions to the liberation war, the chief minister Manik Sarkar left for Dhaka on Monday.

Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman will confer the honour to 129 foreign friends of Bangladesh, including 47 Indians, on Tuesday in a special programme at Dhaka as part of the 40th anniversary of their independence.

Inclusion of Mr Sarkar’s name in the honour list raised a controversy here as the Opposition Congress and many civil society organisations said that he had no significant contribution during the liberation war of Bangladesh. The issue was raised in the state assembly too when Mr Sarkar clarified that he consider it as an honour for the people of Tripura.

Meanwhile, the Bangla-desh foreign minister Dipu Moni, who is also the chairperson of the national committee for selection of persons to be honoured, in a press conference said they have selected Mr Sarkar after considering all pros and corn. Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma, who was only 11-years-old at the time of the liberation war of Bangladesh, also said I am going to receive the honour on behalf of the people of my state.

Sachindra Lal Singha, the first chief minister of Tripura, who was instrumental in facilitating Shekh Muzibur Rahaman to cross over to Tripura in 1963 that culminated to the infamous Agartala conspiracy case in 1967, figured in the top of the long list of dignitaries. This secret visit of Shekh Mujibur long before he became Bangabandhu believed to have sewed the seed of freedom struggle for Bangladesh.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/others/manik-leaves-dhaka-receive-award-005

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India: Minority Affairs Minister says Karnataka govt. will have to take a call on Wakf scam

Mar 27, 2012

NEW DELHI: With a Karnataka government-appointed panel unearthing an alleged scam with regard to wakf land, minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said it is a state level issue and they would have to take a decision on it.

However, if the state government wanted, it could refer the matter to the Union government, he said.

Khurshid said, "This ( wakf scam) is actually a state level issue, state level entitlement, so they will have to look at it," he told reporters outside Parliament.

"State government will have to decide what they want to do, if they refer something to us, it is another matter," he said.

Karnataka minorities commission chairman Anwar Manipaddy had on Monday submitted a report on alleged scam of over Rs 2 lakh crore, involving Wakf Board land, to chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda.

Khurshid said that "nothing had come" to him till present regarding the Karnataka government's findings.

Noting that a council for Waqf Boards existed at the central level, he said the minority affairs also has overall monitoring capacity and responsibility.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Khurshid-says-Karnataka-govt-will-have-to-take-a-call-on-Wakf-scam/articleshow/12426281.cms

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Support in U.S. for Afghan War Drops Sharply, Poll Finds

By ELISABETH BUMILLER and ALLISON KOPICKI

Mar 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — After a series of violent episodes and setbacks, support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped sharply among both Republicans and Democrats, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The survey found that more than two-thirds of those polled — 69 percent — thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. Just four months ago, 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, more than a decade old.

The increased disillusionment was even more pronounced when respondents were asked their impressions of how the war was going. The poll found that 68 percent thought the fighting was going “somewhat badly” or “very badly,” compared with 42 percent who had those impressions in November.

The latest poll was conducted by telephone from March 21 to 25 with 986 adults nationwide. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The Times/CBS News poll was consistent with other surveys this month that showed a drop in support for the war. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll, 60 percent of respondents said the war in Afghanistan had not been worth the fighting, while 57 percent in a Pew Research Center poll said that the United States should bring home American troops as soon as possible. In a Gallup/USA Today poll, 50 percent of respondents said the United States should speed up the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/world/asia/support-for-afghan-war-falls-in-us-poll-finds.html?_r=1&ref=global-home&gwh=2C486AA9F106697EE787A61574C89C81

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Justices Decline to Say if Jerusalem-Born Americans Can Claim Israeli Birthplace

By JOHN H. CUSHMAN Jr.

Mar 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a lower court to decide whether Congress has the authority to allow Americans born in Jerusalem to claim Israel as their birthplace on their passports.

The decision postpones resolution of a long-running dispute between Congress and the executive branch over the power to set foreign policy, in this case the highly fraught issue of whether to formally recognize Israel’s claim that Jerusalem is its capital.

At issue is whether Congress overstepped its authority when it passed a law in 2002 requiring that Americans born in Jerusalem be allowed to name Israel as their birthplace in passports and other official documents.

The State Department has refused to enforce the law, saying that it interferes with a matter of foreign policy that is the president’s to decide.

For more than half a century, the United States has not recognized any state as having sovereignty over Jerusalem, a central issue in the intractable diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The court, without settling the case on its merits, ruled that the balance of power between Congress and the president in foreign policy was not inherently beyond the reach of judicial review.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/us/justices-return-jerusalem-status-case-to-lower-court.html?ref=global-home&gwh=875AC954C0E7A99AD76A1A2B90252E29

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Troops shell Syrian town; Brotherhood wants democracy

27th March, 2012

BEIRUT, March 26: Syrian forces fired shells at a central city that has come to symbolise the anti-government uprising on Monday, activists said, while the country’s Muslim Brotherhood branch said it would work for a democratic state if President Bashar Assad falls.

The announcement by the exiled Syrian Muslim Brotherhood was an appeal by the Muslim group to minorities who fear for their place in a post-Assad Syria.

Since the uprising started last March with protests calling for political reform, it has stoked tensions among Syria’s varied religious and ethnic groups.

Many in the opposition are from the country’s Sunni majority. Religious minorities — Christians, Shias and Alawites, who include Assad — have largely stuck by the regime, fearing new rulers could threaten their communities.

Speaking to reporters in Turkey, Brotherhood official Ali Bayanouni said the group would not monopolize power.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/27/troops-shell-syrian-town-brotherhood-wants-democracy.html

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Israel needs to learn from Osirak ‘mistake’ Attack may accelerate Iran’s nuclear endeavours

 By Mehdi Hasan

27th March, 2012

LONDON: On June 7, 1981, a phalanx of Israeli F-16 fighter-bombers entered Iraqi airspace on the orders of the then Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin. Their mission, codenamed Operation Babylon, was to destroy Saddam Hussein`s nascent nuclear programme. In less than two minutes the eight F-16s dropped 16 1,000-kg bombs on the unfinished Osirak nuclear reactor, situated 10 miles south of Baghdad. It was an audacious attack: the world`s first air strike on a nuclear facility.

Begin claimed to have averted “another Holocaust” by denying Saddam “three, four, five” nuclear bombs. American politicians — from Dick Cheney to Bill Clinton — would later agree with him.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/27/israel-needs-to-learn-from-osirak-mistake-attack-may-accelerate-iran-s-nuclear-endeavours.html

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Journalist fired for criticising Israel on Facebook

27th March, 2012

NEW YORK: An American-Muslim journalist working for a public radio in Baltimore has been dismissed for referring to Israel`s occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories as “brutal”, according to news reports here.

Sunni Khalid, managing news editor at “WYPR-FM”, was fired by the station last week after more than nine years on the job, The Baltimore Sun reported over the weekend.He had been on probation following criticism of comments he made on Facebook about Israel`s continued illegal occupation of Palestine.

“I, for one, have had enough of this pandering before the Israeli regime,” he wrote. “The war-mongering towards Iran has, once again, distracted the world from Israel`s brutal military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.”

Khalid, who previously worked for National Public Radio, has also written for Time Magazine, The Washington Times and USA Today.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/27/journalist-fired-for-criticising-israel-on-facebook.html

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Pakistan: School blown up in Mohmand

27th March, 2012

GHALANAI, March 26: Miscreants blew up a government boys primary school, telephone exchange and a community health centre in Atta area of Khewazai tehsil on Monday, officials said.

They said miscreants had planted explosive devices in the buildings of school, CHC and telephone exchange, which went off with a big bang. Residents said they heard ten blasts, which were so powerful that the windowpanes of several houses were shattered.

No loss of life was reported in the incidents. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts.

It is to be recalled that 91 schools, dozens of health centres and telephone exchanges have been blown up so far in Mohmand Agency. As a result more than 20,000 children have been deprived of education facility. While due to destruction of health centres in the far flung areas of the tribal region people lack proper healthcare.

Political tehsildar of Khewezai Fazl-i-Karim Khan confirmed the incident. He said as the area was remote and the blasts took place during night, they were yet to assess how much damage was done.

ROAD ACCIDENT: Seven people were injured as a vehicle carrying wedding guests turned upside down near Dahand Karapa area of Pandiali tehsil on Monday.

Political administration officials said the vehicle (No.C-9132) coming from Ghandahab to Shabqadar Ocha Wala area overturned at Dahand area. As a result seven passengers suffered injuries. All the injured were shifted to Peshawar hospital. Names of the injured were not ascertained.

Meanwhile, a marble-loaded truck plunged into a deep ravine in Darawo area of Ambar tehsil, injuring the cleaner. The injured was taken to a local hospital.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/27/school-phone-exchange-blown-up-in-mohmand-2.html

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Ahmadinejad tirade on Afghanistan prompts US walkout

Mar 27, 2012

DUSHANBE: A US delegation walked out of a conference in Tajikistan on Monday during a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lambasting US policy on Afghanistan as the source of all the nation’s troubles. Ahmadinejad launched his new tirade against Washington at the meeting in the Tajik capital Dushanbe attended by leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbours as well as a US delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake. “The cause of all the ills in Afghanistan is the presence on Afghan soil of NATO forces and above all those of the US,” the Iranian president told the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA). As the firebrand Iranian president was giving his speech, Blake pointedly led the US delegation out of the conference hall. Once his address was over, the delegation returned to listen to other speakers. Karzai said that Afghanistan had worked out a national development strategy and had opened up its markets but complained that previous conferences had been long on words and short on actions.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\03\27\story_27-3-2012_pg7_2

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Haqqani given last chance to appear before commission

Mar 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The memo investigation commission, while rejecting the former ambassador to United States Husain Haqqani’s plea to permit him to record his statement via video link from the Pakistan High Commission in Landon, has given him the last chance to appear before the commission.

The commission also decided to approach Supreme Court, seeking further time for completing its finding regarding the memo fiasco. It is to be noted that the duration of commission is being ended on March 31. The commission directed Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan Tariq Mahmood Jhangeri for submission of Haqqani’s employment contract, Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ annual report 2011 regarding US, descript version of telegrams sent by Haqqani to Pakistan office, ambassador code of conduct and special briefings held in year 2011. The commission also summoned former foreign secretary Salman Bashir and Director General US division, Dr Sohail Khan on next hearing, which has not been fixed.

Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa chairs the judicial commission while other two members are Sindh High Court Chief Justice Musheer Alam and Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman. The commission allowed the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Yasin Malik to record his statement over the allegations levelled against him by Mansoor Ijaz.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\03\27\story_27-3-2012_pg7_3

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First Bangladeshi woman Wasfia Nazreen attempts climbing Mt Everest

Mar 27, 2012

A leading Bangladeshi social activist-turned-mountaineer today became the first woman from the country to attempt scaling Mt Everest, the world's highest peak.

Wasfia Nazreen's expedition coincided with Bangladesh's 41st Independence Day.

Commenting on her mission, the Nepal Tourism Board said she was undertaking the attempt to "celebrate the resilience and diversity of the peoples of Bangladesh."

As the country turned 40 in 2011, Nazreen started climbing the seven highest mountains on each of the seven continents to celebrate freedom as part of the 'Bangladesh on Seven Summits' campaign.

"I am fully determined to reach the top of all seven continents and have invested everything I knew in my life on this mission," Nazreen was quoted by the campaign's website as saying.

After successfully scaling the Kilimanjaro summit in Africa on October 2nd and South America's Aconcagua on 16th December last year, she will now attempt to conquer the 8,848 meters high Mt Everest.

http://www.dailypostindia.com/news/16030-first-bangladeshi-woman-attempts-climbing-mt-everest.html

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Pakistan, Islam and the West: “Why do they hate us?”

 Mar 27, 2012

KARACHI: In a post-9/11 world a question about Muslims that is often asked by Americans or people in the west is, “Why do they hate us?”

The answer to this question, and whether it is hate or something deeper and more nuanced, is what Irfan Husain seeks out in his book Fatal Faultlines: Pakistan, Islam and the West.

Ultra-nationalists and conspiracy theorists may not like what the veteran columnist and ex-civil servant has to say. “We need to be more objective and critical of our own people,” said Husain and took a jab at politicians and the public who blame Pakistan’s problems on foreign forces. “It’s much easier to be in a state of denial than to accept reality.”

The author spoke with Zohra Yusuf, who is the chairperson of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, at the launch of his book at the Beach Luxury Hotel on Monday. The event was well attended by writers, intellectuals and journalists.

Yusuf pointed out that Husain has been writing for decades, sometimes under pseudonyms to avoid persecution, especially during General Zia’s rule. She said many people had wondered when Husain would finally publish.

Husain said he always found the idea of an unlimited blank canvas, as opposed to the restrictions of newspaper columns, to be daunting but he always had a book in the back of his mind.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/355777/pakistan-islam-and-the-west-get-mad-says-irfan-husain-but-at-the-atrocities-at-home-first/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/woman-who-fled-iraq-suffers-brutal-end-in-us/d/6930


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