New Age Islam
Fri Dec 04 2020, 09:10 PM

Islamic World News ( 18 Sept 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Yemen protesters storm elite military base, 50 dead

Indonesian Women in 'My body is not Porn, it's your Dirty Mind Protest

Island President’ wins People’s Choice award at Toronto International Film Festival

Libya: Street-to-street fighting in Sirte

Fear sells: Islamophobia in America

Maulana Vastanvi does U-turn on Modi stand

Libya: Frustration, zeal mix in siege of bastion

Blair visited Gaddafi twice before Lockerbie bomber's release

Senior Qadhafi general captured in south: official

Libyan fighters capture new town in their march to Sirte

British Council program opens new avenues for Saudi women

British Police Announce Terrorism Arrests

4 killed, 30 injured in Peshawar bomb explosion

Pro-Regime Snipers Kill 21 More Protesters in Yemen

KARACHI: ‘150,811 arm licences issued in past three years’

Batla House Encounter: Wounded & unfairly tarnished after Batla

Activists claim police and Hindutva hand in Bharatpur riot killings

Islamic Party Protests Turn Violent Across Bangladesh

2 NATO Service Members Killed in Afghanistan

Family of seven shot dead in Beirut home

Activists Say Security Forces Kill 5 in Syria

Three killed in attack on passenger bus in lower Kurram

Fire at Prison in Iraqi Capital Kills 8 Inmates

Kishtwar students in NIA custody for 3 more days

Pak's delay in 26/11 trial irks India

Pakistan wants China rail link through PoK

Pak President Asif Ali Zardari an impotent puppet, says Imran Khan

Taliban Claims Attack on Pakistani Police Official

Gujarat: Modi- fied mantra

Gujarat CM can’t mask his ‘ real’ face

Gujarat: Modi’s power play upsets friends& foes

Fact or fiction Rushdie tweets cause a storm

Gujarat: Modi says no to skull cap from Maulana

Night raids in Afghanistan 'provoke backlash'

Outraged Palestinians say ‘Blair sounds like Israeli diplomat’

Diplomats scramble ahead of Palestinian UN bid

US should tell Pak to dismantle LeT infrastructure: think-tank

A Nervous Hamas Voices Its Issues with a Palestinian Bid for U.N. Membership

Police Seek 8 Weeks of Custody for Norway Killer

Obama heads to UN touting Libya, backing Israel

Gaddafi Spokesman: 17, Including French and British, Captured

ATS arrests suspected ISI agent in Kanpur

President Pratibha Patil visits Ajmer Dargah

NATO takes positive view of India’s abstention

Teesta water deal to be signed soon: PM Sheikh Hasina

Centre looking at reservation for Muslims

US religious envoys urge Iran to free 2 Americans

Clinton presses Pakistan for action on Haqqani network

US money is destroying Pakistan: Imran Khan

US plans direct military hotline with Iran: report

Revealed: Tel Aviv liquidated Imad Moughniyeh through spy in Syria

Somalia bans foreign aid workers from rebel areas

Syrian Students want regime to quit

Iran arrests 5 people for working for BBC

UN launches $357 million appeal for flood-hit Pakistan

Protests against Ahmadinejad's arrival in New York

Nigeria sect 'denies killing ex-leader's relative'

Kashmir: A ‘long ago’ tragedy in Valley of protests

Gunmen Kill at Least 36 in Burundi Bar Attack

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/yemen-protesters-storm-elite-military-base,-50-dead/d/5508

 

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Yemen protesters storm elite military base, 50 dead

Sep 20, 2011

SANAA: Thousands of protesters backed by military defectors seized a base of the elite Republican Guards on Monday, weakening the control of Yemen's embattled president over this poor, fractured Arab nation. His forces fired on unarmed demonstrators elsewhere in the capital, killing scores, wounding hundreds and sparking international condemnation.

The protesters, joined by soldiers from the renegade 1st Armored Division, stormed the base without firing a single shot, according to witnesses and security officials. Some carried sticks and rocks. They used sandbags to erect barricades to protect their comrades from the possibility of weapons fire from inside the base, but none came and the Republican Guards eventually fled, leaving their weapons behind.

Although the base was not particularly large - the Republican Guards have bigger ones in the capital and elsewhere in Yemen - its capture buoyed the protesters' spirits and signaled what could be the start of the collapse of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year-old regime.

"It was unbelievable," said protester Ameen Ali Saleh of storming the base on the west side of the major al-Zubairy road, which runs through the heart of Sanaa. "We acted like it was us who had the weapons, not the soldiers."

"Now the remainder of the regime will finally crumble," said another demonstrator, Mohammed al-Wasaby. "Our will is more effective than weapons. The soldiers loyal to Saleh just ran away."

Saleh went to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment after a June attack on his Sanaa compound and has not returned to Yemen, but has resisted calls to resign.

A final showdown may well pit the Republican Guards, led by Saleh's son and heir apparent Ahmed, against the soldiers of the 1st Armored Division, another elite outfit that has fought in all of Yemen's wars over the past two decades, and their tribal allies in the capital.

The Republican Guards and the Special Forces, also led by the president's son, have long been thought to be the regime's last line of defense against the seven-month-old uprising.

The storming of the base capped two days of clashes in the capital that have left at least 50 people dead and nearly 1,000 injured, mostly demonstrators.

Government forces used snipers stationed on rooftops, anti-aircraft guns, rocket propelled grenades and mortars against the unarmed protesters. Witnesses and security officials described scenes of mutilated bodies, some torn apart. An infant girl, a 14-year-old boy and three rebel soldiers were among the at least 23 people killed on Monday.

"It is over," concluded protest leader Abdul-Hadi al-Azzai. "The Ali Abdullah Saleh regime is finished. How can you negotiate while massacres are ongoing? The world is silent."

The head of doctors' syndicate, Abdel-Qawi al-Shemmari, said that two medics were shot to death while trying to rescue the injured. A news cameraman, Hassan Wadah, was in a coma after he was shot in the face, according to witnesses.

The Yemeni interior ministry said in a statement that two members of security forces and three citizens were killed, without referring to protesters.

The violence led authorities to close Sanaa's airport and order four flights to go instead to the southern port city of Aden, according to an airport official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

But even Aden did not escape bloodshed. Three protesters were wounded in clashes with government forces, witnesses there said.

In the southern city of Taiz, at least four protesters were killed and 40 others were wounded Monday in clashes between anti-regime demonstrators and security forces, according to witnesses.

The latest violence was born partly out of frustration after Saleh shattered hopes raised by the US last week that he was about to relinquish power. The United States once saw Saleh as a key ally in the battle against al-Qaida, but withdrew its support for him as the protests gained strength.

Much is at stake in Yemen for the United States, its Gulf Arab allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, and the West.

Yemen is close to the major oil fields of the Gulf region and overlooks key shipping lanes in the Red and Arabian seas. It is home to one of the world's most dangerous al-Qaida branches, whose militants have staged or inspired a series of attacks on US territory. Already, the chaos in Yemen has allowed al-Qaida militants to capture and hold a string of towns in the nearly lawless south of the country.

Monday's events could significantly help the protesters' cause against the regime, but it is also likely to push Yemen toward civil war or to break up along tribal or regional lines.

The clashes coincided with a flurry of diplomatic activity designed to resolve the crisis.

U.N. envoy Gamal bin Omar and Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, secretary-general of a regional alliance that groups Yemen's six Gulf Arab neighbors, were in Yemen on Monday. Saleh and King Abdullah, the Saudi monarch, met in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

"The situation is tense. It can't continue like this. This is a sign of deep crisis," bin Omar told The Associated Press.

Opposition figures refused to meet the envoys.

"We can't talk after all the bloodshed, the torn limbs and the killing of our people. Any talks would be a collaboration in the crimes committed by the regime," said Mohammed al-Sabri, an opposition spokesman.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned "the excessive use of force by government security forces against unarmed protesters" and called on all sides "to exercise utmost restraint and desist from provocative actions," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

The US Embassy said it regretted the bloodshed and called on all parties to "refrain from actions that provoke further violence."

Yemen's foreign minister, Abubakr al-Qirbi, said the government was committed to political reforms, but rejected claims of excessive force by police and pro-government militia, accusing some opposition groups of terrorist activity.

Troops from the Republican Guards and the 1st Armored Division were engaged in skirmishes for most of Monday.

"I have been hearing heavy explosions and gunshots since morning," said Atiaf Alwazir, a 31-year-old blogger from Sanaa. Soldiers from the 1st Armored Division soldiers, she said, returned fire, giving pro-regime forces "an excuse to shoot at peaceful protesters."

The 1st Armored Division, along with its commander, mutinied and joined the protesters about six months ago. Its mutiny was followed by a series of high-profile defections that left the president largely isolated but did not weaken his resolve to stay in office.

Last Thursday, the US state department raised expectations by predicting Saleh would relinquish power within a week under a Gulf-mediated, US-backed deal that would grant him immunity from prosecution in return for stepping down. But violence flared anew after Saleh said he had asked Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to negotiate further.

Saleh has already backed away three times from signing the deal, and many believe this move is the latest of many delaying tactics.

His departure for Saudi Arabia in June left the country without an effective political leadership. Hadi took over the reins of power but his authority appeared to pale in comparison to that of the president's son, two powerful nephews as well as the tribal leaders who took the side of the protesters.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Yemen-protesters-storm-elite-military-base-50-dead/articleshow/10047625.cms

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Indonesian women in 'My body is not Porn, it's your Dirty Mind’ protest

Sep 19 2011

Jakarta : Scores of women and children wearing colourful miniskirts and tight leggings gathered in central Jakarta on Sunday, outraged by a public official's comments that provocatively dressed women are to blame for sexual assaults.

The protest was in response to remarks by the Indonesian capital city's governor Fauzi Bowo, who said on Friday that women must not wear revealing clothes to avoid being raped or victimised.

He quickly apologised, but his comments were publicised widely via local media and Twitter.

The rally called on police and the Indonesian government to do more to protect women and help the victims of sexual assault.

Women carried placards saying 'Don't tell us how to dress, tell them not to rape', and 'My body is not porn, instead it's your dirty mind'.

Public officials should remain silent rather than making discriminatory statements against women. They are supposed to be sensitive and it is their job to find real solution to violence against women, said Tunggal Prawestu, a spokeswoman for the event organisers.

Earlier this month a woman was gang-raped in a minivan, a widely used type of public transport, late at night. According to data from Indonesia's National Commission for Women's Affairs, there have been more than 100,000 cases of violence against women so far this year, of which almost 4 percent were rape cases.

This year, cities around the world have seen 'SlutWalk' rallies, mainly-female protests against sexual violence.

While most Indonesians practice a moderate form of Islam, fundamentalists have been pushing hard to impose stricter Islamic laws. In 2008, an anti-pornography law was passed to ban public displays of nudity and behaviour that could incite lust.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/indonesian-women-in-my-body-is-not-porn-its-your-dirty-mind-protest/848704/

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‘Island President’ wins People’s Choice award at Toronto International Film Festival

By Eleanor Johnstone

September 19th, 2011

 “The Island President” was awarded the Cadillac People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the world’s five most prestigious films festivals.

The award was delivered in a uniquely democratic fashion, voted not by critics but by festival audience members who attended the screening. The film was one of 25 submissions in the documentary category.

Director Jon Shenk has previously won awards for his documentary films, notably “Lost Boys of Sudan” and “Smile Pinki”; the latter received an Oscar in 2009.

A government official who met Shenk during his time in the Maldives in 2009 said the government knew he was a successful director, and hoped for a positive response.

The official noted that the Maldives is known internationally for tourism and climate change, but hopes that this award will bring more awareness to areas such as North America.

State Minister for Tourism Mohamed Thoyyib called the documentary a “big achievement for the Maldives”, promoting the destination to audiences in North America who were previously unaware of the country’s “pristine, clear waters, white beaches, and beautiful fish.”

Thoyyib added that in spite of its title the documentary was not about President Mohamed Nasheed but rather about the issues facing the Maldivian people. The film raised awareness of global warming, portrayed and promoted “the unique ” Maldivian culture and language, and illustrated government transparency, said Thoyyib.

“No scene was created or scripted, some reviewers even noted that the film’s most unique aspect was that it shot real events on a level that had never before been achieved in the Maldives, or within other governments,” Thoyyib said.

Thoyyib noted that the Maldivian government had benefited a great deal from the film, but had not spent money on its production.

“There is a lot to be achieved directly and indirectly when something positive happens,” he said, adding that tourism revenue was likely to increase. “But this doesn’t solve the issue. The President will keep on raising his voice on global warming.”

Funding for the documentary was provided by the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, ITVS, Impact Partners, Sundance Documentary Fund, and Atlantic Philanthropies.

Minister of Tourism Dr Mariyam Zulfa said that the President had gained the attention and support of the international community before the film was produced. “The under water cabinet meeting that the President hosted in 2009 generated a lot of interest in the Maldives as an eco-destination,” she said.

Zulfa expects the film to have a positive impact on both tourism and eco-awareness. “Generating interest in the Maldives is always a good thing. We are adopting green standards and reducing waste, and are always open to new ideas from the international community,” she said.

The documentary was also screened at the exclusive Telluride Film Festival in Colorado earlier this month. Hollywood Reporter named “The Island President” one of the festival’s “Top 12 films to know”.

In the coming months, “The Island President” will be soliciting distributors for viewing in cinemas and on public television. The film already has a contract with the US’ Public Broadcasting Service, which had helped fund the project, and will be aired on US television next year.

A screening of the documentary is scheduled for the Maldives later this year.

http://minivannews.com/society/island-president-wins-peoples-choice-award-at-toronto-international-film-festival-25766

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Libya: Street-to-street fighting in Sirte

September 19th, 2011

SIRTE, Libya: Muammar Qaddafi's spokesman told Reuters that NATO airstrikes on the ousted leader's home city of Sirte overnight had hit a residential building and a hotel, killing 354 people.

Fighters loyal to the interim government were fighting street to street, slowly advancing into the city, but have been unable to dislodge Qaddafi loyalists defending it, Reuters journalists embedded with the interim government force said.

The city echoed with the sound of heavy shelling and gunfire. National Transitional Council interim government fighters said they had seen NATO warplanes above the city on Friday but did not know if they had bombed neighborhoods.

"NATO attacked the city of Sirte last night with more than 30 rockets directed at the city's main hotel and the Tamin building, which consists of more than 90 residential flats," Qaddafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said in a call from a satellite phone to the Reuters office in Tunis.

"The result is more than 354 dead and 89 still missing and almost 700 injured in one night," he added. The Tamin building is a landmark building in the center of Sirte, named after the Tamin insurance company.

Reuters was unable to verify Ibrahim's account of the incident. Qaddafi-held areas have been cut off from communication since the fall of Tripoli.

NATO spokesman Col. Roland Levoie said: "We are aware of these allegations. It is not the first time such allegations have been made. Most often, they are revealed to be unfounded or inconclusive."

Ibrahim said Qaddafi was personally directing loyalist fighters who are fending off provisional government forces at his remaining strongholds. Those include Sirte on the coast, Bani Walid southeast of Tripoli and Sabha in the deep Sahara.

Ibrahim said pro-Qaddafi forces had been stockpiling weapons and planning for a drawn-out war.

Fighters closing in on Sirte from the east captured a nearby town on Saturday only to have their advance stopped in its tracks by fierce resistance from loyalist forces.

NTC fighters seized Herawa, a small town 60 km from Sirte. They danced in the streets singing "Qaddafi, we will burn you" and ripped down his posters, stamping on his face in the dirt.

But difficulties came as troops started setting up base in a mosque on the edge of the town. Pro-Qaddafi forces in Sirte fired rockets at the domed white building and heavy shelling scattered the fighters.

"Answer me! Answer me!" an NTC fighter sobbed as he cradled the body of his friend, killed by shrapnel wounds to his head. The fighters scrapped a plan to advance further into Sirte, to reinforce other interim government forces who have entered Sirte from the opposite direction.

Herawa's civilian population, in the low thousands, was nowhere to be seen as NATO jets roared overhead.

In Bani Walid, fighting resumed Saturday after diehard loyalists dug in there shelled a key checkpoint controlled by NTC forces on its northern outskirts.

A Reuters correspondent outside Bani Walid watched a column of NTC pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft machine guns and fresh ammunition rushing back into the interior desert town as dusk fell.

The day before, NTC fighters beat an embarrassing retreat from Bani Walid under withering heavy weapons fire from loyalists.

"There is heavy fighting. We are fighting back with mortars. The Qaddafi militiamen provoked us (by shelling the checkpoint). And we went into the city to fight them," said NTC fighter Younis Mohamed.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article503056.ece

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Fear sells: Islamophobia in America

By BARBARA FERGUSON

September 19th, 2011

WASHINGTON: Fear sells, and making people fearful of Islam is a lucrative business for some in the US where institutions, movements, and careers have been built by amplifying such fear.

This is the view of a new report, entitled:  Fear, Inc. — The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, published by the Washington-based Center for American Progress.

CAP investigates how a small, well-funded group has effectively misinformed millions of Americans about Islam. The report documents how a handful of individuals have worked to fuel American fears on Islam, and tracks who has provided the funding, and how the anti-Islam message has proliferated.

One cannot read the report without being alarmed.  It cites, for example, the manifesto of Anders Brevik, the Norwegian responsible for the killing of 76 people, which cites more than 200 references to the anti-Muslim rhetoric by American bloggers and misinformation experts.

This prompted news agencies to question the source of this distorted world view.  But the effectiveness of their anti-Islamic rhetoric has had an effect here: Twenty-three states have some kind of legislation or law to ban the nonexistent threat of Shariah law being used in their courtrooms. A 2010 Washington Post-ABC news poll showed nearly half of Americans held an unfavorable view of Islam and a 2010 Time magazine poll found 28 percent of voters do not think Muslims should sit on the US Supreme Court, while almost one-third of the country thinks that followers of Islam should be barred from running for president.

According to former CIA officer and terrorism consultant Marc Sageman, just as religious extremism “is the infrastructure from which Al-Qaeda emerged,” the writings of these anti-Muslim misinformation experts are “the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.”

Sageman adds that their rhetoric “is not cost-free.”

CAP cites the pundits and bloggers and certain think tanks, such as the Center for Security Policy, the Middle East Forum and the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which it says:  “Together, this core group of deeply intertwined individuals and organizations manufacture and exaggerate threats of ‘creeping Shariah,’ Islamic domination of the West, and purported obligatory calls to violence against all non-Muslims by the Qur’an.

“This network of hate is not a new presence in the United States. Indeed, its ability to organize, coordinate, and disseminate its ideology through grassroots organizations increased dramatically over the past 10 years. Furthermore, its ability to influence politicians’ talking points and wedge issues for the upcoming 2012 elections has mainstreamed what was once considered fringe, extremist rhetoric,” write the authors of CAP’s report.

CAP lists the top contributors to those promoting Islamophobia in the US, saying that seven charitable groups provided $42.6 million to Islamophobia think tanks between 2001 and 2009 — funding that supports the scholars and experts that espouse fear of Islam.

“Shariah, or Muslim religious code, includes practices such as charitable giving, prayer, and honoring one’s parents—precepts virtually identical to those of Christianity and Judaism,” note the authors of the CAP report.  But certain “conservatives promote alarmist notions about a nearly 1,500-year-old religion for a variety of sinister political, financial, and ideological motives.”

CAP fingers the Center for Security Policy, as the central hub of the anti-Muslim network and an active promoter of anti-Shariah messaging and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“Operating under the leadership of Frank Gaffney, the organization is funded by a small number of foundations and donors with a deep understanding of how to influence US politics by promoting highly alarming threats to our national security,” writes the CAP report, adding many of the “leaders of these organizations (cited by CAP) are well-schooled in the art of getting attention in the press, particularly Fox News, The Wall Street Journal editorial pages, The Washington Times, and a variety of right-wing websites and radio outlets.”

Yet such deliberate distortions of peoples are not unique to Islam.  The current efforts recall some of the darkest episodes in American history, notes the CAP report “in which religious, ethnic, and racial minorities were discriminated against and persecuted. From Catholics, Mormons, Japanese Americans, European immigrants, Jews, and African Americans, the story of America is one of struggle to achieve in practice our founding ideals. Unfortunately, American Muslims and Islam are the latest chapter in a long American struggle against scapegoating based on religion, race, or creed.”

Efforts by our leaders to make clear that Islam and Muslims are not the enemy have proved ineffective to date.  The report quote former President George W. Bush telling a roundtable of Arab and Muslim American leaders at the Afghanistan embassy in 2002: “All Americans must recognize that the face of terror is not the true face of Islam. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. It’s a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race. It’s a faith based upon love, not hate.”

Unfortunately, notes the CAP report: “President Bush’s words were soon eclipsed by an organized escalation of hateful statements about Muslims and Islam from the members of the Islamophobia network profiled in this report.”

The crux of the report focuses on the dangers of Islamophobia.  “It is enormously important to understand that alienating the Muslim American community not only threatens our fundamental promise of religious freedom, it also hurts our efforts to combat terrorism. Since 9/11, the Muslim American community has helped security and law enforcement officials prevent more than 40 percent of Al-Qaeda terrorist plots threatening America. The largest single source of initial information to authorities about the few Muslim American plots has come from the Muslim American community.”

But an effort to correct these distortions on Islam does not look imminent. 

The CAP report calls the Center for Security Policy “a key source for right-wing politicians, pundits, and grassroots organizations, providing them with a steady stream of reports mischaracterizing Islam and warnings about the dangers of Islam and American Muslims.”

Directed by Frank Gaffney, the report says CSP has proved successful in influencing US politics by promoting highly alarming threats to our national security.

Gaffney, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy, is also an unofficial advisor to presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who developed a marriage vow pledge which contained a provision to oppose Shariah law.

http://arabnews.com/world/article503439.ece

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Maulana Vastanvi does U-turn on Modi stand

Abantika Ghosh

Sep 20, 2011

New Delhi: Lambasting Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modis three-day fast for peace and communal harmony,former vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom in Deoband,Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi,said his earlier comment about praising Modis governance was misplaced.

Vastanvi,who is widely believed to have lost the top job at one of the worlds leading Islamic seminaries for his comments lauding the Modi administrations development agenda in Gujarat,has now retracted his earlier statement.

In January,when I had said that there is good development work in Gujarat,I genuinely believed it.But since then many people have told me about the rampant discrimination that Muslims are facing in government jobs,education and other spheres of life in Gujarat.I did not know about it when I made the statement,but now there is no question of reiterating that because my understanding of the situation in Gujarat has completely changed, Vastanvi told TOI.

This is the first time Vastanvi,a Gujarati who runs several Deobandi madrassas in Gujarat and Maharashtra,has publicly said he has moved on from his pro-Modi stance.His pro-Modi statement had been attributed by some to his business interests in Gujarat.Muslims have not forgotten the riots and just the word sa d h b h av n a in the fast will not make them do so, he said.There is no doubt that Modis fast for amity is nothing more than a prepoll political gimmick.There is a saying in Urdu that a cat wants to go to the Haj after killing hundreds of mice it is akin to that, he added.

Full report at: Times of India

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Libya: Frustration, zeal mix in siege of bastion

Sep 20, 2011

Wadi Dinar : The rockets and mortars rained down on the position where the revolutionaries had retreated on the outskirts of the mountainous stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi's loyalists. So, in a fury, the fighters charged wild and unorganized on Sunday back into the city for yet another day of fighting.

Fighters for Libya's new rulers have been throwing themselves into the battle to take Bani Walid for days with no progress against the old regime loyalists, strongly fortified and bristling with heavy weaponry. The frustration is showing among the amateur revolutionary fighters.

"We expected this kind of resistance from Gaddafi forces, but I thought we could take them on,'' said Mohannad Bendalla, a doctor treating wounded fighters at a field hospital set up outside of the city.

The official, trained military of the National Transitional Council, Libya's interim government, has pulled away from Bani Walid to regroup and reinforce for a new assault after they were heavily beaten in the city Friday. That has left ragtag, undisciplined volunteers at the front line. Most are youths from the most die-hard revolutionary neighbourhoods of Tripoli, like Souq al-Jomaa or Tajoura, strong on zeal to kill some Gaddafi supporters and weak on training on how to do so.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/libya-frustration-zeal-mix-in-siege-of-bastion/848597/

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Blair visited Gaddafi twice before Lockerbie bomber's release

Sep 19 2011

London : Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair made two secret visits to Libya and met Colonel Muammar Gaddafi just before Lockerbie bomber's release from a Scottish prison, letters and emails uncovered in Tripoli reveal.

After stepping down as British PM, Blair was twice flown to Libya on a Gaddafi private jet -- he visited the dictator in June 2008 and April 2009, when Libya was threatening to cut all business ties with Britain if Abdelbaset al-Megrahi stayed in a Scottish jail, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

The emails and letters, in which the Colonel is referred to as 'The Leader', show that in 2008 and 2009, Blair had negotiated to fly to the Libyan capital from Sierra Leone, where he was promoting tourism, in a jet provided by Gaddafi.

One letter was written on June 2, 2008, by Gavin Mackay, from Blair's office, to Libya's ambassador to the UK.

It said: "Let me begin my (sic) saying that Mr Blair is delighted that The Leader is likely to be able to see him during the afternoon of June 10, and he is most grateful that the Libyan authorities have kindly offered an aircraft to take him from Freetown to Tripoli and back to London."

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/blair-visited-gaddafi-twice-before-lockerbie-bombers-release/848701/

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Senior Qadhafi general captured in south: official

Sep 20, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya: A senior general loyal to Moamer Qadhafi has been captured in the southern Libya, an official from the country’s new regime told AFP Tuesday.

“General Belgacem Al-Abaaj, Qadhafi’s intelligence chief in the Al Khofra region, was captured” on Monday some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from southern Libyan town of Sebha, said Mohamed Wardugu, spokesman for the “Desert Shield Brigade” in Benghazi.

Wardugu had been sought by the forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC), was seized with members of his family who were traveling in five four-wheel drive vehicles, he added.

Wardugu said that the NTC forces had entered Sabha, taken control of the airport there but that fighting was continuing in some quarters.

Total control of the town “will be achieved in some hours” he added.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/20/senior-qadhafi-general-captured-in-south-official.html

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Libyan fighters capture new town in their march to Sirte

Sep 20, 2011

SULTANA ( LIBYA): Dozens of new Libyan regime fighters have stormed the town of Sultana, braving rocket and artillery attacks from retreating forces of Moamer Gaddafi, marking another victory in their march towards Sirte.

Shouting the war cry "Allahu Akbar!", "Allah is greater" -and "Hold your heads high, you are Libyans!" the fighters drove into the town -- site of steady fighting over the past two days -- pushing Gaddafi's diehards back towards Sirte, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) to the west yesterday.

"They want a war, they are getting one. We will kick their butts," says one of the fighters, Saleh Drisi, as he jumped from his pick-up truck and barged into a house, searching for Gaddafi loyalists.

The two-storey house is deserted as he moves from one room to another.

Over the past two days the fighters of Libya's interim ruling body, the National Transitional Council (NTC), have steadily moved towards Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown, from the east.

The fighters are from the eastern city of Benghazi, the initial epicentre of the rebellion which toppled the now fugitive Gaddafi.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libyan-fighters-capture-new-town-in-their-march-to-Sirte/articleshow/10048680.cms

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British Council program opens new avenues for Saudi women

Sep 19 2011

JEDDAH: A partnership agreement has been signed between the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) and British Council to implement the latter’s Springboard Women's Development Program to develop the capabilities of women workers at Kingdom’s chambers of commerce and industry.

“We started this program at Taif Chamber of Commerce and Industry. According to Muna Al-Zahrani, director of the women’s department, it was a big success,” a British Council official said, adding that the program would be conducted in Riyadh from Sept. 22 to Oct. 13.

The Springboard project provides personal development opportunities for women in the Middle East by facilitating the development of sustainable organizational links between the UK and countries of the Middle East. It also challenges public perceptions of the role and contribution of women to Middle East and UK societies.

Haifa bint Abdul Aziz Al-Husseini, director of the women’s department at the CSC, said the program would open new professional and investment opportunities for women. “The program is designed to meet the requirements of women administrators and businesswomen,” she said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article503513.ece

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British Police Announce Terrorism Arrests

By RAVI SOMAIYA and ALAN COWELL

Sep 19 2011

LONDON — The British police said Monday that officers arrested six men and a woman overnight on terrorism-related charges in the central city of Birmingham. The arrests followed a “large, intelligence-led counter-terrorism operation,” the police said.

The men were aged between 25 and 32 and the woman, accused of failing to disclose information, was 22, the West Midlands Police said in a statement.

The men were arrested by unarmed officers in raids in five neighborhoods between 11:0 p.m. Sunday and 1 a.m. Monday, while the woman was detained at 6:30 a.m. Monday. The BBC said the investigation, believed to have drawn in Britain’s MI5 domestic security service, had uncovered links to Islamic militancy.

The men were arrested “on suspicion of preparing or instigating an act of terror,” the statement said, and police were searching their homes and seven other locations in Birmingham, Britain’s second-largest city which has an ethnically mixed population. The arrests took place in a range of areas from impoverished inner city neighborhoods to comfortable suburbs.

Marcus Beale, the West Midlands assistant chief constable, declined to elaborate on the nature of the suspected attack. “The operation is in its early stages so we are unable to go into detail at this time about the nature of the suspected offenses,” he said in a statement. “However, I believe it was necessary to take action at this time in order to ensure public safety.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/world/europe/british-police-announce-terrorism-arrests.html?ref=world

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4 killed, 30 injured in Peshawar bomb explosion

Sep 20 2011

Islamabad : A powerful explosion ripped through a market in Peshawar city in northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing at least four persons hours after a suicide car bombing by the Taliban in Karachi killed eight persons.

The explosion targeted a shop selling CDs in Nishatarbad area of Peshawar, officials said. A woman was among the dead.

More than 30 people were injured by the blast, which triggered a massive fire that engulfed several buildings, shops and cars.

The bomb was hidden in a motorcycle, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister Bashir Bilour told the media.

The blast was heard from several kilometres away.

Rescue efforts were hampered by a power outage in the area.

The injured were taken to a nearby hospital.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/4-killed-30-injured-in-peshawar-bomb-explosion/848882/

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Pro-Regime Snipers Kill 21 More Protesters in Yemen

Sep 19 2011

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Medical officials in Yemen say 21 more protesters have been killed by pro-regime snipers firing from rooftops in the capital, Sanaa.

Monday's killings take to nearly 30 the number of protesters killed by government forces since Sunday night. It was the bloodiest assault in months on demonstrators calling for the president's ouster.

The officials say the three were shot dead by snipers on Sanaa's central Hayel street. They say three other protesters were wounded Monday by sniper fire near Sanaa University. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share the information.

Tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated in Sanaa Sunday to press demands for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 33 years in power.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/18/world/middleeast/AP-ML-Yemen.html?ref=middleeast

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KARACHI: ‘150,811 arm licences issued in past three years’

Sep 20, 2011

KARACHI: Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Hussain Wasan said on Thursday that over the past 10 years a total of 188,155 arm licences had been issued while since the creation of Pakistan till August 2011, a total of 899,386 licences had been issued.

Mr Wasan stated this while talking to a group of journalists in his office in the Sindh Secretariat when his attention was drawn towards the claim made by his predecessor Dr Zulfikar Mirza that during his period of over three years he had issued 300,000 arm licences to the people in the province after verification of their character by the police.

Mr Wasan told Dawn that under government rules there was no restriction on the number of firearm licences issued to people in a month.

The minister enjoyed the similar powers as the chief minister, who had the discretion of issuing unlimited arm licences, he added. However, he pointed out, it was the home secretary who could not issue more than 200 licences in a month.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/16/150811-arm-licences-issued-in-past-three-years.html

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Batla House Encounter: Wounded & unfairly tarnished after Batla

By Hakeem Irfan

Sep 20, 2011

Muslims stage protest in Capital on third anniversary of ‘shootout’

“ I’M from AZAMGARH, Please KILL me!!,” read the slogan on one T- shirt, a dig at the stigma attached with the place that any Muslim from the Uttar Pradesh town is a terrorist.

The graffiti on another teased ( the Delhi Police perhaps): “ We are MUSLIM, We are TERRORIST, Please SHOOT us!!” Yet another screamed: “ I’m a MUSLIM and I’m an ENGINEER, Please ARREST me!!”, protesting against the ‘ discrimination’ educated Muslims face in the country.

Wearing these T- shirts, the protesters arrived on foot at Jantar Mantar. Over the next few hours, they kept coming, slowly filling up the place till their ranks swelled to several hundreds.

After making the long train journey to the nation’s capital from various towns and villages of Uttar Pradesh followed by the march to Jantar Mantar, the protesters, all Muslims, had finally come together — to try to redeem the community’s reputation they say has been unfairly tarnished by a series of blasts that the authorities blame on members of the community, to express their disgust with political parties and to tell why they feel like the stepsons and stepdaughters in a country that boasts of a 1.5million- strong Muslim population.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Activists claim police and Hindutva hand in Bharatpur riot killings

Sudhanshu Mishra

Sep 20, 2011

THE PEOPLE’S Union for Civil Liberties ( PUCL) has alleged the local police of colluding with a section of the Gujjar community and some Hindutva activists in the killings of eight Muslims during Wednesday’s clash in Gopalgarh town of Bharatpur.

PUCL national general secretary Kavita Shrivastava, who was part of a fact- finding team, claimed that armed police, accompanied by a section of Gujjars, opened fire inside a mosque and burnt people alive.

“ It was like the Jallianwala massacre,” Shrivastava said, while releasing the preliminary report on the findings on Monday.

“ There was collusion between the police, an aggressive section of the Gujjar community and some local RSS, Bajrang Dal and VHP leaders,” the report said. It also demanded that the case files be handed over to the CBI within the week.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Islamic party protests turn violent across Bangladesh

09/19/2011

DHAKA - Street marches by members of Bangladesh's biggest Islamic party seeking the release of its leaders from jail turned violent across the country on Monday, with at least 70 people wounded in clashes, witnesses said.

Activists belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islami party, many carrying sticks and throwing rocks, fought running battles with steel-helmeted riot police in Dhaka and set at least 30 vehicles on fire.

Twenty people were wounded and police detained nearly 25, the witnesses said.

"The violence has spread through a large part of the city, with smoke from the burning vehicles filling the sky," a witness said.

http://www.jpost.com/Headlin

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2 NATO Service Members Killed in Afghanistan

Sep 19 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bomb and a separate insurgent attack killed two NATO service members in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said on Monday.

It said one service member died Monday as a result of an attack and another was killed in a bombing on Sunday. NATO did not provide any details or nationalities.

The deaths raised the number of international troops killed in September to 26. A total of 431 members of the international military coalition have died so far this year.

Also Monday, President Hamid Karzai departed for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. His office said he will discuss developments in the war and seek more cooperation from the international community to bring peace to the country, which has been struggling with a decade-long insurgency. He is expected to meet with President Barack Obama and other world leaders during his visit.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/19/world/asia/AP-AS-Afghanistan.html?ref=asia

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Family of seven shot dead in Beirut home

19 September 2011

BEIRUT — The bodies of a Lebanese woman and her six children have been found shot dead in their Beirut apartment, a police spokesman said on Monday.

“A 55-year-old woman and her six children were found shot dead late Sunday night in their apartment in Basta,” an impoverished neighbourhood in the Lebanese capital, the spokesman told AFP.

“The investigation is ongoing and we have nothing final yet on this horrific massacre.”

Preliminary information indicated that the eldest son, aged 25, could have shot his mother and five siblings dead before heading to another room and turning the gun on himself, he added.

The bodies of the mother and five children had been found inside one bedroom, while the eldest son was found in another with a gunshot wound to his head and a hunting rifle at his side.

The father of the family, who runs a small bakery in the neighbourhood, returned home to the scene on Sunday night after spending the weekend in his native village in southern Lebanon, added the spokesman.

He declined to confirm if the man was a suspect in the case.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/September/middleeast_September335.xml&section=middleeast

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Activists say security forces kill 5 in Syria

19 September 2011

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian forces killed five people Monday in raids on anti-government protesters determined to bring down the autocratic regime, according to a rights group.

Syria's 6-month-old uprising has descended into a bloody stalemate pitting government forces against angry crowds of protesters. The U.N. estimates the death toll has topped 2,200 people.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said military forces conducted deadly raids Monday in Houla, an area consisting of several villages in central Homs province, killing five people.

The observatory quoted one of its activists in the area as saying there was intense shooting, and tanks have cut roads in the area.

President Bashar Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for more than four decades, insists the unrest is being driven by a foreign conspiracy to destroy the country and says security forces are the real victims.

On Monday, the state-run media said a "terrorist group" ambushed two buses in the central province of Hama, killing four police officers.

Syria has banned independent media coverage, making it difficult to verify the reports.

The Syrian uprising began in mid-March, part of the wave of protests in the Arab world that have toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press.

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Three killed in attack on passenger bus in lower Kurram

Sep 19 2011

PESHAWAR: Three people were killed when unidentified armed assailants opened fire on a passenger bus in the Haider Khan area of lower Kurram Agency, DawnNews reported.

According to sources, the three men were traveling from Parachinar to Alizai when the armed attackers opened fire on their vehicle. Moreover, it was reported that all three of them were members of the Tori tribe belonging to the blockaded Parachinar region.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/18/three-killed-in-attack-on-passenger-bus-in-lower-kurram-agency.html

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Fire at Prison in Iraqi Capital Kills 8 Inmates

Sep 19 2011

BAGHDAD (AP) — Police say an early morning fire at a prison in Iraq's capital has killed eight inmates.

Two police officers say at least 26 other inmates have been treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries from Monday's blaze.

Medics at Kindi and Ibin Nafees hospitals confirmed the casualties. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire at an Interior Ministry prison in Baladiyat, a mostly Shiite neighborhood in eastern Baghdad.

It took firefighters about an hour to extinguish the blaze.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/18/world/middleeast/AP-ML-Iraq.html?ref=global-home&gwh=0E3574052D19CFCA871BA664F6B2DA3C

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Kishtwar students in NIA custody for 3 more days

Arun Sharma

Sep 20 2011

Jammu : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Jammu and Kashmir Police on Monday got three more days extension for the remand of two school students, Abid Hussain and Shariq Ahmed, for their custodial interrogation in connection with the bomb blast outside the Delhi High Court.

Abid and Shariq, both Class XI students at Islamia Faridia Higher Secondary School, were arrested by the police for allegedly sending an email to the media claiming HuJI's responsibility for the blast that killed 15 and injured 80 on September 7.

Monday's extension came as the police, after the expiry of the seven-day remand, produced the duo before Principal District and Sessions Judge, Kishtwar, M L Manhas, and sought seven more days for their custodial interrogation. The judge, however, extended the police remand by only three days.

According to the police, the boys had sent the terror e-mail from Kishtwar's Global Internet cyber café to media houses in Delhi soon after the blast. The mail was reportedly provided to them by Aamir Abbas, an undergraduate student at the Moulana Azad University.

The boys had reportedly skipped school on that day in order to send the email soon after the blast. It was on their disclosure that the police had arrested Aamir.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kishtwar-students-in-nia-custody-for-3-more-days/848971/

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Pak's delay in 26/11 trial irks India

Sep 20, 2011

NEW DELHI: With reports from Pakistan suggesting that the judge handling 26/11 trial has been transferred yet again, government sources said that the delay in bringing the guilty to book was increasingly becoming a matter of concern. Speaking on condition of anonymity, officials said that there was no progress in the trial had become "as clear as daylight".

Pakistan is conducting the trial of seven men, including Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who have been charged with planning and facilitating the terror strike. Judge Shahid Rafique, who had earlier allowed formation of a panel that will visit India to record statements of important witnesses, was transferred on Saturday.

"We have said in the past that the trial is moving at a glacial pace. It is now clear as daylight that there is no progress at all and this is of very serious concern. We want to reiterate that the trial be expedited," said a government source on condition of anonymity.

According to reports from Pakistan, Rafique is the fifth judge to have been transferred since the trial began. What is interesting is that barely over a week ago, Lakhvi's lawyers had filed a petition in the Lahore High Court seeking removal of Rafique from the trial, saying he was acting at the behest of the Pakistan interior ministry and the Indian government.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Paks-delay-in-26/11-trial-irks-India/articleshow/10046659.cms

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Pakistan wants China rail link through PoK

Sep 19 2011

Beijing : Pakistan wants China to construct a rail link through the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and a network of oil and gas pipelines which will help cut costs for Beijing's burgeoning energy needs and ensure mutual benefit.

Pakistan has also offered to be part of a Chinese plan to build a new Silk Road to connect oil-rich Xinjiang region with Euro-Asian countries, including Russia.

While President Asif Ali Zardari referred to some these proposals during his recent visit to Xinjiang province, Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khan today elaborated on them in an article in the state-run daily 'Global Times'.

"Pakistan and China both aspire to enhance connectivity between them. They will achieve this objective by upgrading the Karakoram Highway, building a 411-mile-long railroad from Pakistani town of Havelian to Khunjerab Pass, located on the Sino-Pakistani border, install a fiber optic link across the border, and plan the laying of oil and gas pipelines that can originate from the Gulf and end up in China's western region," he said.

Much of Khan's article dwelt on China's new plan to develop its western region, including Xinjiang bordering PoK, under which billion of dollars of investment is expected to be poured by creating new SEZ and industries can benefit Pakistan and China.

China sees Xinjiang's development as revival of new silk road connecting it to Euro-Asian countries as well as Russia.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakistan-wants-china-rail-link-through-pok/848757/

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Pak President Asif Ali Zardari an impotent puppet, says Imran Khan

Sameer Arshad

Sep 20, 2011

New Delhi: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has denounced Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari as an impotent puppet who has not delivered anything to the Americans,and said the US was going to have to kill a lot of people to make any impact in the war on terror.

The 58-year-old Oxford alumnus has used anti-Americanism to perfection in a country where most people see politicians as US puppets who facilitate the deadly drone attacks.Not surprisingly,for his tough talk against the US,Khans popularity is on the rise.The latest surveys rank him as the most popular Pakistani politician and the likely prime minister after the 2014 polls.

Khan described the war in Afghanistan as most insane and immoral and asked the government to pull out of it in an interview with The Guardian on Monday.He said the war was unwinnable because it involves more killings and,consequently,more radicalization.The Soviets killed more than a million people in Afghanistan.They were fighting more at the end than the beginning.Clearly,a population of 15 million could take a million dead and still keep fighting.

Full report at: Times of India

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Taliban Claims Attack on Pakistani Police Official

By SALMAN MASOOD

Sep 19 2011

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing on Monday that targeted a senior police investigator in the southern port city of Karachi. At least eight people were killed in the attack, officials said.

The attack targeted Chaudhry Aslam,  a senior police superintendent in Karachi. Mr. Aslam and his family were not injured but six police guards outside his house were killed. A woman and a child were also killed.

Mr. Aslam has been at the forefront of several successful operations against Taliban insurgents and other criminals in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, which has a history of sectarian and political violence.

The suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into the main gate of the residence of Mr. Aslam at 7:25 a.m in the Defense Housing Authority, an upscale neighborhood of the city.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/world/asia/taliban-claims-attack-on-pakistani-police-official.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

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Gujarat: Modi- fied mantra

By D. P. Bhattacharya

Sep 20, 2011

Gujarat CM ends makeover fast; claims he is a model politician

NARENDRA Modi’s mission to project himself as a leader of the masses and absolve himself of the 2002 Godhra riots ended on Monday without achieving much success.

The Gujarat chief minister’s naked attempt to woo Muslims ran into rough weather with Modi refusing to wear a skull cap offered by a cleric. Simultaneously, it annoyed the NDA allies, most prominently the JDU, and party workers alike.

There were only a few takers for a modified Modi, who laid bare his national ambitions by trying to strike a conciliatory note during the three- day fast at the Gujarat University convention centre. This infuriated his fundamentalist friends who were apprehensive of losing their core Hindutva constituency — a frightening prospect in view of next year’s assembly elections in the state.

The CM broke his fast by accepting a glass of lemon juice from the hands of religious leaders, who came by the dozen to attend the event. The final day of the fast saw leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj sharing stage with Modi. Swaraj was conspicuous in her absence from the event so far. She rose to heap praises on “ Narendrabhai”, calling him an icon of good governance.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Gujarat: CM can’t mask his ‘ real’ face

By D. P. Bhattacharya

Sep 20, 2011

NARENDRA Modi wants the world to believe that his heart bleeds for all the six crore Gujaratis, whether they are Hindus or Muslims.

As the Gujarat CM sought to re- position himself as a secular icon, a bearded skull cap- wearing man, with his wife and child, proclaimed feeling safety in the state from a hoarding outside the fast venue. A steady stream of skull caps and hijabs kept pouring into the fast venue.

This is the same Modi who had in 2002 thrown at the Muslims the taunt of “ hum paanch, humare pachchis ”, alluding to men from the community marrying four women and procreating profusely. He had also described the relief camps for riot victims as baby producing factories? Skeptics have ridiculed his image makeover bid saying a leopard could not change its skin. And Modi provided them an opportunity to prove themselves right. Caught in his own dichotomy of being the ‘ Hindu hriday samrat ’ while aspiring to become a neo liberal PM candidate, he denied lensmen an international photo opportunity as he declined to put on a skull cap, even as he flaunted headgears offered by other people.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Gujarat: MODI’S POWER PLAY UPSETS FRIENDS& FOES

By D. P. Bhattacharya

Sep 20, 2011

Hindutva forces, peers and Muslims slam Gujarat CM

THE OFFICIAL change of heart of the ‘ Hindu Hriday Samrat’ ( ruler of Hindu hearts) — Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi — has rattled Hindutva elements in the laboratory of Hindutva, Gujarat.

“ Allahu Akbar: Modi begins his fast,” screamed the headline in Sandesh , a leading Gujarati daily known for its hardline pro- Hindutva and pro- Modi stance, the day Modi launched his threeday fast for “ peace and harmony”. In fact, the second lead of the paper went on to ask the one question which is uppermost on the minds of both his supporters and detractors. The paper asked: “ Whose Modi? Hindus’? Or Muslims’?” As Modi’s three- day show ended with a choreographed speech clearly aimed at the national audience, he made it clear where he intended to go with his makeover mission.

“ My fast may have ended but my mission has not. My sadbhavana mission has united all of India,” Modi thundered.

The audience was left in no doubt that Modi has set his eyes on the Capital, and the top job in any future BJP government. “ India and Indians should dream of bigger things.

Nothing is impossible,” Modi declared.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Fact or fiction Rushdie tweets cause a storm

Sep 20, 2011

Islamabad: Days after author Salman Rushdie took to Twitter,he was accosted by users of the micro-blogging website in Pakistan keen on finding out whether he was the real deal or just someone operating a spoof account.

Using the handle @SalmanRushdie 1,the controversial novelist put out his first tweet on Thursday but was unable to get his account verified by administrators of the website.

As word spread of his arrival on Twitter and he began tweeting more frequently,users in Pakistan on Sunday began questioning whether the account was genuine.

Omar Waraich,a British journalist based in Islamabad,decided to ask Rushdie about a matter that would likely have eluded all but the shrewdest of impostors.

In a tweet,Waraich asked Rushdie where acclaimed Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz had sought refuge from a mob in 1947.

Rushdie promptly replied: Under my aunt Begum Majeed Maliks carpet,in her cellar in Karachi.

Full report at: Times of India

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Gujarat: Modi says no to skull cap from Maulana

Sep 20, 2011

Ahmedabad: During his three-day fast for social harmony,Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi sported a rangeof headgear gifted by supporters,but categorically refused the Muslim skull cap offered by a maulana on Sunday.

The refusal to accept the cap is not an insult to me but an insult to Islam, Maulana Hazrat Sufi Iman Sahi Sayeed Mehendi Husain said on Monday.I wanted to felicitate Modi after hearing about the Sadbhavna Mission fast.I offered him the cap,but he said hewould notwear it.Ithinkhe feared wearing a skull cap may dent his image.

Times of India

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Night raids in Afghanistan 'provoke backlash'

By David Loyn

Sep 19 2011

International forces in Afghanistan say night raids are a valuable tool in the fight against the Taliban insurgency.

The number of night raids on civilian homes by international forces in Afghanistan has increased substantially, according to a study.

The Open Society Foundation found that although US forces had improved their practices, the five-fold increase in raids had caused a storm of protest.

The biggest grievance of the Afghan government against foreign forces is the civilian casualties they cause.

The foreign forces say the raids are a valuable weapon against the insurgents.

Despite the political pressure from Kabul, the number of people questioned in their homes in night raids has risen rapidly in the last two years, up five-fold between 2009 and 10 and increasing still further this year.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14967254

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Outraged Palestinians say ‘Blair sounds like Israeli diplomat’

Sep 19 2011

Jerusalem : Palestinian leaders have expressed outrage over former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for allegedly 'sounding like an Israeli diplomat' while attempting to derail their bid for statehood at the UN.

The Obama administration had asked Blair, in his capacity as Middle East envoy, to lead an initiative to persuade the Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel instead of going to the UN to seek membership of the world body, a move bitterly opposed by Israel.

Officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah said the proposal that Blair presented, drafted with the assistance of senior US officials, failed to recognise Palestinian grievances.

His initiative allegedly dropped previous US calls for Israel to halt settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land, while demanding that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian negotiator, said Blair's efforts had convinced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he had no choice but to go ahead with his UN bid and abandon all thoughts of a compromise.

“I gulped. This was the statement that was supposed to persuade President Abbas not to go? Blair doesn't sound like a neutral interlocutor. He sounds like an Israeli diplomat sometimes,” Shaath, said.

Palestinian officials claimed that Blair had abandoned all pretence of neutrality in the hope of persuading the Obama administration to give him more authority in his role as special envoy for the Quartet on Middle East peace, which comprises the US, the UN, the EU and Russia.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/outraged-palestinians-say-blair-sounds-like-israeli-diplomat/848720/

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Diplomats scramble ahead of Palestinian UN bid

Sep 19 2011

New York : With a tense week ahead for the future of the Middle East, the United States and Europe scrambled for a strategy that would help avoid a jarring showdown over whether to admit an independent Palestine as a new United Nations member. Instead, they sought to guide Israel and the Palestinians back into the tough bargaining on a long-sought peace agreement.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton discussed the current trajectory in New York, in which the Palestinian plan to gain statehood and membership at the UN would run headfirst into an American veto in the Security Council, and possible Israeli recriminations.

Yet there was no apparent and immediate solution to the many problems that have hindered Mideast peace efforts for months. Diplomats were working feverishly as part of an increasingly desperate effort to guide the two parties back into direct negotiations, but were tight-lipped on whether the slim chances for a breakthrough were improving.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/diplomats-scramble-ahead-of-palestinian-un-bid/848724/

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US should tell Pak to dismantle LeT infrastructure: think-tank

Sep 19 2011s

Washington : Describing Lashkar-e-Toiba as one of the greatest threats to American and Indian interests in South Asia today, an influential think-tank here has asked the Obama administration to tell Pakistan to dismantle infrastructure of this terrorist group inside the country.

"Washington needs to consider LeT with the same importance as Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban," Sahibzada Amer Latif, a visiting Fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told US lawmakers at a Congressional hearing on India last week.

"To that end, Washington must apply continual pressure on the Pakistani military establishment to dismantle LeT infrastructure and refrain from using LeT as an asymmetric capability against India," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-should-tell-pak-to-dismantle-let-infrastructure-thinktank/848700/

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A Nervous Hamas Voices Its Issues With a Palestinian Bid for U.N. Membership

By FARES AKRAM and ETHAN BRONNER

Sep 19 2011

GAZA — As West Bank Palestinian leaders head to the United Nations to seek membership for a state of Palestine, their rivals in Gaza, the Hamas faction, are watching nervously, complaining of not having been consulted and warning against any recognition of Israel or yielding of a refugee right of return.

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas prime minister, said Sunday that his movement would not stand in the way of President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah party. “We support establishing a Palestinian state on any part of Palestinian land without giving up an inch of Palestine or recognizing Israel,” he told the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council here.

On Saturday, the branch of Hamas based in the Syrian capital, Damascus, issued a statement objecting to the United Nations move, expected later this week, because it was “unilateral,” meaning that Hamas had not been included in the decision.

The application, it said, was an extension of Fatah’s “path of compromise and insisting on dialogue while distancing itself from resistance and holding strong cards. We affirm our deep conviction that resistance is the main path that must be pursued together with political and public struggle.”

The Damascus group, led by Khaled Meshal, said that it favored a Palestinian state on the territorial lines as they stood before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, with East Jerusalem as its capital and on the condition that all refugees be permitted to return to their homes in what is today Israel, all settlements be dismantled and no recognition be granted to “the Zionist entity.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/world/middleeast/hamas-voices-issues-with-

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Police Seek 8 Weeks of Custody for Norway Killer

Sep 19 2011

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Norwegian police say they will ask a court to extend the pretrial detention of confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik by eight weeks, four of them in isolation.

The 32-year-old right-wing extremist will go before the Oslo District Court in a closed hearing Monday, his third court appearance since the bombing in downtown Oslo and shooting massacre at a youth camp on Utoya island. Seventy-seven people died in the attacks.

Police spokesman Roar Hansen told AP police will seek another eight weeks of pretrial detention as they prepare formal charges against Breivik.

The district court initially ordered an open hearing, but a higher court overruled that decision after police appealed it.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/19/world/europe/AP-EU-Norway-

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Obama heads to UN touting Libya, backing Israel

Sep 19 2011

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama embarks on a diplomatic marathon this week at the United Nations, touting his approach to Libya, but hoping to contain Palestinian ambitions for statehood.

Leaving behind for 48 hours domestic battles with Republican opponents and an uphill battle to see his jobs plan move through Congress, Obama will huddle with a host of world leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and speak before the chamber early Wednesday.

Obama will “have a chance to address the dramatic change that’s taken place in the course of last year,” including the emerging nation of South Sudan, transfer of power in the Ivory Coast and a wave of unrest and transformation with the Arab Spring, said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

On the Israel-Palestinian issue, the US leader will also “express our support for a negotiated, two-state solution between the parties,” Rhodes told reporters on Friday. His agenda will likely hinge on that crisis burning in the Middle East, as the Palestinians make a landmark bid for statehood, despite the promise of a US veto at the Security Council as Washington solidifies its staunch backing of Israel. If the Security Council effort fails, however, the Palestinian leadership is set to take the effort to the more sympathetic General Assembly. “The United States finds itself in an impossible position,” said Jon Alterman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The Obama administration “will end up once again on the wrong end of a lopsided vote in the General Assembly, surely leading to all sorts of complaints the administration has no credibility in the international stage,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\09\19\story_19-9-2011_pg4_1

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Gaddafi Spokesman: 17, Including French and British, Captured

Sep 19 2011

CAIRO (Reuters) - A spokesman for Muammar Gaddafi said that 17 "mercenaries," including what he called French and British "technical experts" had been captured in the Gaddafi bastion of Bani Walid in Libya.

"A group was captured in Bani Walid consisting of 17 mercenaries. They are technical experts and they include consultative officers," Moussa Ibrahim told Syrian-based Arrai TV.

"Most of them are French, one of them is from an Asian country that has not been identified, two English people and one Qatari," he added.

He said the 17 would be shown on television at a later time, but did not give more details.

It was not immediately possible to verify Ibrahim's claims. The French foreign ministry said it had no information regarding the report.

NATO, French and British officials had on Saturday denied a report by Arrai TV that some NATO troops had been captured by Gaddafi loyalists.

Western special forces are known to have been in Libya and to have liaised with anti-Gaddafi officials during the conflict. Private security firms have also been helping anti-Gaddafi forces, according to Western media reports.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/09/18/world/africa/news-us-libya-spokesman-capture.html?ref=global-home

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ATS arrests suspected ISI agent in Kanpur

Sep 19 2011

Lucknow : The Anti-Terror Squad of UP Police arrested one Faizal Rahman from Kanpur on Sunday for working for Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI.

Rahman, a native of Jharkhand’s Ranchi district, was arrested from an ATM in Rail Bazar police circle. ATS said Rahman works as a lecturer in a Karachi college and frequently visited Pakistan.

In 2002, he came in touch with an ISI official who persuaded him to work for the agency in India. Since 2004, he had been working for ISI which had trained him in collection of information about Indian Army and sending it to Pakistan, a statement released by the ATS stated.

The ATS said it was collecting information about other Indian youths Rahman had sent to Pakistan to get training from ISI. Rehman told his interrogators that he had also visited Russia for pursuing an engineering course with the help of an agent.

He stayed in Russia between 1993 to 1996 and learned Russian language. Since the agent did not deposit his fee, he could not complete the engineering course, the statement said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ats-arrests-suspected-isi-agent-in-kanpur/848577/

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President Pratibha Patil visits Ajmer dargah

September 19, 2011

President Pratibha Patil on Monday visited the 'dargah' of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi here and prayed for peace and brotherhood in the country. Patil, who is on a three-day visit to Rajasthan, spent about 30 minutes at the shrine and offered a 'chaddar' as well as some

money.

A 'Sapasnama' or welcome address was read out in the honour of Patil who was accompanied by Governor Shivraj Patil and Ajmer MP Sachin Pilot.

"I prayed for brotherhood, harmony and unity in the country and wished for peace and progress," Patil said in her brief address.

The President was given a red carpet welcome at the shrine and was welcomed with the sound of cymbals upon arrival.

She took keen interest in understanding the history and various important facets of the shrine which she was briefed about.

Patil was also presented with a memento at the 'dargah'.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/President-visits-Ajmer-dargah/Article1-747533.aspx

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NATO takes positive view of India’s abstention

Sep 19 2011

The US-led NATO has taken a positive view of India’s abstention on the UN Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya, saying it showed the world was united in opposing the actions of Muammar Gaddafi.

India had supported the United Nations Resolution for recognising the former rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) and for handing over Libya’s UN seat to it.

Giving an unexpected positive spin to India’s abstention, a NATO official said, “India voted with knowledge that its abstention would lead to the passage of the resolution.”

“Every country has to decide for itself. India’s decision was to abstain and not to vote. That decision contributed to the fact that the resolution was through,” the NATO official said, adding that “What happened subsequently was clearly indicative at the time the people were voting, which is one of the reasons that certain countries had abstained.

He said, “I think India’s vote to abstain reflected an agreement on that fundamental reality as indeed was already clear by 1973 previous UN Security Council Resolution provision when India voted in favour.”

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/7297-nato-takes-positive-view-of-indias-

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Teesta water deal to be signed soon: PM Sheikh Hasina

Sep 19 2011

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said India and Bangladesh will soon ink a pact on Teesta water sharing, but refused to specify any timeline for the landmark deal.

“I will not mention any specific timeline for it. Rather, I will say that it is a matter of time. The two countries will ink the Teesta deal through discussion,” Ms. Hasina told top leaders of the ruling Awami League in the capital.

Amid disappointment in Bangladesh over the government’s failure to ink the deal with India during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s September 6-7 visit to Dhaka, she asked the people not to get frustrated.

Addressing a joint meeting of Awami League Central Working Committee and party advisory council in the capital on Friday, Ms. Hasina gave an assurance that the treaty will be signed with India soon, according to Star online, the website of The Daily Star.

She blamed non-Awami League government for failing to take initiative to establish Bangladesh’s right to equal share of water of common rivers including the Teesta.

The failure to sign the deal on Teesta water sharing cast a shadow over the two-day visit of the Indian premier earlier this month.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2465077.ece

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Centre looking at reservation for Muslims

Sep 19 2011

The government is likely to consider reservation for Muslims in government jobs and education, law and minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid has said.

"We may have to make some changes in the law regarding giving reservation to Muslims in government jobs and educational

institutions," the minister told reporters in Hyderabad on Sunday.

The Centre would follow the Andhra Pradesh model for the affirmative action, he said. The southern state has provided 4% reservation for socially and economically backward Muslims in jobs and education.

The Supreme Court while allowing the quota has referred the matter to a constitutional bench. Indian Constitution doesn't allow for reservation along religious lines.

"The Commission for Other Backward Classes will have some role... to determine the percentage of reservation," Khurshid said.

The minister indicated that the process would take some time as different aspects had to be looked into.

"There will be separate reservations… It is not necessary to have another bill. It may be done through government notification," he said.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Centre-looking-at-reservation-for-Muslims/H1-Article1-

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US religious envoys urge Iran to free 2 Americans

Sep 19, 2011

TEHRAN, Iran: A group of US Christian and Muslim envoys was returning from Tehran Monday after holding talks with Iran’s president over the possible release of a pair of Americans jailed as spies for more than two years.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who appeared to be trying to get them released in time for his arrival at the UN General Assembly, also left Monday for New York empty-handed. Complicating the $1 million bail-for-freedom proposal is a deepening internal rift between the president and the country’s ruling clerics, who control the courts.

Ahmadinejad’s rivals in Iran might be seeking to hold up the deal in part to deprive him of the chance to claim credit on the world stage for the release of the Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, who were arrested in July 2009 along the Iraq-Iran border.

A statement by the interfaith delegation from the US said they urged Ahmadinejad and other officials to release the two men, both of them 29 years old, on humanitarian grounds during their weeklong visit, which they said came at Ahmadinejad’s invitation.

Iran’s courts have considered a deal to set aside the men’s eight-year prison sentences and release them on $500,000 bail each. But the hard-line judiciary has not given any timetable for a possible release.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article503692.ece

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Clinton presses Pakistan for action on Haqqani network

Sep 19 2011

NEW YORK: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Pakistan on Sunday to take action against Haqqani militants the United States blames for an attack on the US embassy in Kabul, officials said.

Clinton met in New York with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar for 3.5 hours of “very substantial” and “very candid” talks that began and ended with counter-terrorism, Clinton spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

A senior State Department official also told reporters on condition of anonymity that the talks began and ended with concerns about the Haqqani network Washington suspects receives Pakistani government support.

The September 13 attack on the US embassy in Kabul, which left 15 dead, “changed the nature” of the previously planned gathering, which lasted longer than expected, according to the official.

Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Khar made clear to Clinton that Pakistan “couldn’t condemn more” the attack, adding “that this kind of terrorism was a threat to Pakistan” as well, the official said.

“We were specific about the need for Pakistan to take action on the Haqqani network.” The Pakistanis “understand the threat the Haqqanis pose to them,” and that “it is time” for them to take action, he said when asked about the Pakistani reaction,” according to the senior US official.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/19/clinton-presses-pakistan-for-action-on-haqqani-network.html

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US money is destroying Pakistan: Imran Khan

Sep 19 2011

London : Insisting that Pakistan should move away from the United States in the 'war on terror', Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan believes that aid from the US was allegedly destroying his country.

“The aid to our puppet government from the US is destroying our country. We're basically using our army to kill our own people with American money. We have to separate from the US,” Khan told The Guardian in an interview in London.

Speaking on several issues, Khan said that Pakistan had two main problems: corruption and tax evasion.

“We have the lowest tax-GDP ratio in the world: 9 per cent. If we get it to 18 per cent, which is India, we're solvent,” he said.

Khan bristled with anger on the charge that Pakistan was allegedly complicit in harbouring Osama bin Laden.

The whole of Pakistan, according to him, was furious when US President Barack Obama announced in May that bin Laden had been killed.

Khan said: “The whole of Pakistan felt this way. Wherever I went, I felt this humiliation and anger in people. It was humiliating because an American president announces it, not our president. And because it was the American military, not our military, which this country has given great sacrifices to nurture, that killed him.”

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-money-is-destroying-pakistan-imran-khan/848718/

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US plans direct military hotline with Iran: report

Sep 19 2011

Washington : Fearing that a misunderstanding could lead to a large-scale conflict, the US is planning to set up a direct military hotline with Iran after a series of “near-miss” encounters between American and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf in recent months.

Quoting unnamed US officials, a media report said the US is especially worried about a fleet of speedboats controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Tehran's elite military force.

“The high-performance boats, which can be equipped with missiles, regularly challenge US and allied warships that transit through the Persian Gulf,” the report said.

In recent months, a British destroyer fired warning shots at one of these boats as it appeared to be preparing to ram the larger ship, it said, adding Iranian aircraft have also challenged US ships in recent months.

“Iran seems to be aggressively defensive,” it quoted a US official, who studies Tehran's military tactics, as saying.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-plans-direct-military-hotline-with-iran-report/848725/

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Revealed: Tel Aviv liquidated Imad Moughniyeh through spy in Syria

Sep 19 2011

BEIRUT: Syria broadcast on Saturday what it said was the confession of a Jordanian-Palestinian man who gave Israel information leading to the assassination of Hezbollah military commander Imad Moughniyeh in Damascus three years ago.

The man, who identified himself as 35-year-old Eyad Youssef Enaim, said he was recruited by Israel in 2006 after a visit to the West Bank town of Hebron. He said he was sent to Damascus by his Israeli handlers in February 2008 and gave them details of Moughniyeh’s car hours before it was blown up on Feb. 12.

“I gave them the number of the car,” Enaim said in an interview broadcast by state television.

The channel said Enaim’s comments showed the extent of foreign plots against Syria, facing six months of protests against President Bashar Assad which authorities say have also been backed by outside powers.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article503487.ece

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Somalia bans foreign aid workers from rebel areas

Sep 19 2011

MOGADISHU: Somalia has banned foreign aid workers and journalists from entering areas controlled by al Shabaab insurgents after members of a Turkish charity took food to famine victims in an area under the Islamist group.

Nearly all aid agencies have already barred their expatriate workers from operating in Somalia as famine grips the country, due to the risk of kidnapping as the hard-line militants linked to Al-Qaeda control most of the southern part of the country after retreating from the capital.

However, Somali security forces briefly detained two Turks on Tuesday who went to an al Shabaab area to deliver food to famine victims, and prevented others along with a group of journalists from doing so later in the week.

“We want the starving Somalis in al Shabaab areas to be fed but we do not want the foreign workers to meet al Shabaab,” Mogadishu’s mayor and governor Mohamud Ahmed Nur told Reuters.

“Let the foreign aid workers hand over the relief food to the local NGOs, which can deliver to the drought victims in al Shabaab areas. The government is responsible for the security of foreign aid workers. We do not want them to be harmed. Why risk their lives?” he said late on Friday.

A large part of Somalia is experiencing famine, which the United Nations says has put 750,000 people at risk of starvation, with hundreds of Somalis dying each day.

Al Shabaab, which is hostile to any Western intervention, itself banned food aid last year in the areas it controls in southern Somalia and kicked many groups out, saying aid creates dependency.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article502857.ece

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Syrian Students want regime to quit

Sep 19 2011

BEIRUT: Activists say dozens of students have demonstrated near the capital Damascus calling for the downfall of President Bashar Assad’s regime on the first day of school in Syria.

The Local Coordination Committees network says elementary students in the Damascus suburb of Kisweh chanted: “There will be no classes until the president is brought down.” The activist network also says that security forces fired into the air on Sunday, forcing students of another school in the area to disperse. LCC did not report any casualties.

Meanwhile, Assad on Sunday praised Moscow’s “balanced” position on Syria, in talks with a Russian delegation on a mission to help end the government crackdown on anti-regime protests.

Assad welcomed the “balanced and constructive Russian position toward the security and stability of Syria,” the state-run SANA news agency reported.

It said Bashar denounced “attempts to destabilize Syria through armed terrorist operations, both civilian and military,” and warned against “any foreign intervention that threatens to divide states in the region.”

Assad’s government blamed the protests that began on March 15 on “armed terrorist gangs.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article503488.ece

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Iran arrests 5 people for working for BBC

19 September 2011

TEHRAN — Iranian state television is reporting that authorities have arrested five people for working for the BBC’s Farsi-language service.

Monday’s report on the channel’s website says the group provided the British Broadcasting Corp. with video and negative news reports on Iran. The report did not identify them by their full names.

Iran has blocked the channel and accused it, alongside the British government, of fomenting the mass protests that broke out after Iran’s disputed presidential election in 2009. Both deny the accusation.

The BBC’s Farsi service has no office in Tehran.

Iran has detained many journalists and bloggers in recent years.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/September/middleeast_September333.xml&section=middleeast

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UN launches $357 million appeal for flood-hit Pakistan

Sep 19 2011

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations and Pakistani government appealed for $357 million in foreign donations Sunday to urgently help more than seven million people swamped by a second year of catastrophic floods.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani also visited relief camps of the flood survivors at Nabi Sar area in Sindh on Sunday

Addressing on the occasion, he said the government would provide emergency assistance of Rs20000 to each affected family.

He said the government would also help in reconstruction of damaged houses for the victims.

Gilani accepted that the damages from the rains and floods in Sindh were colossal but reassured that the government would try its best to assist the affected people.

He further said that a proper drainage system would be installed in the areas to save the areas from flooding next year.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/7432-un-launches-357-million-appeal-for-flood-hit-pakistan.html

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Protests against Ahmadinejad's arrival in New York

September 19, 2011

Protests against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad preceded his arrival in New York for the annual UN general assembly meet with an advocacy group demanding Columbia University cancel a scheduled dinner with him and condemning the hotel where the leader will be staying.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on Columbia University President Lee Bollinger to cancel the "dinner with Ahmadinejad" saying it is "highly inappropriate for the leader of a prestigious US University to meet with the head of a regime that is defying the international community by pursuing nuclear weapons, ruthlessly violating the human rights of its people and sponsoring al-Qaeda and other terrorists."

In a statement, UANI President Mark Wallace said that Bollinger had hosted Ahmadinejad four years ago under the guise of "dialogue," and Columbia was widely criticised for that "irresponsible decision."

"To repeat the same mistake this year would be a serious affront to New York City and America. Providing Ahmadinejad with a forum to spread his vile and conspiratorial views regarding the 9/11 and Holocaust, among others matters, gives him the very platform and legitimacy he seeks, and will once again significantly harm Columbia University's reputation."

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/americas/Protests-against-Ahmadinejad-s-

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Nigeria sect 'denies killing ex-leader's relative'

September 19, 2011

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — A purported spokesman for Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram has denied the group was behind the murder of a relative of its slain ex-leader who held peace talks with a former president.

In a conference call with journalists in the northeastern city of Maiduguri late Sunday, a man who identified himself as a spokesman for the sect described the killing of Babakura Fugu as "painful and unfortunate."

Fugu, assassinated on Saturday, was the brother-in-law of Mohammed Yusuf, who was captured during a military assault to put down a 2009 uprising by Boko Haram and later killed. Police said at the time that he had tried to escape.

Fugu had been involved in peace talks on Thursday with former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo. The talks occurred in the wake of the August 26 bomb attack on UN headquarters in Nigeria claimed by Boko Haram.

"We received with shock the death of a family member of our leader Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf," the spokesman who identified himself as Abu Qaqa said.

"The killing of Babakura Fugu was painful and unfortunate and we hereby deny responsibility for this act as portrayed in the media.

"But with dismay we later heard ... that we said we were responsible based on a text message to the media. This is unacceptable."

Full report at: Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Kashmir: A ‘long ago’ tragedy in Valley of protests

By Naseer Ganai

Sep 20, 2011

THE deathly silence which descends after the passing of a bloody storm is an alltoo- familiar occurrence for residents of the Kashmir Valley. Last summer, teenagers in the Valley picked up stones to express their rage and resentment against police atrocities.

This summer, a few of them held a camera in their hand to express their discontent.

Four college- going youngsters in Srinagar, including two girls, have made the first- ever documentary on last year’s protests in the Valley which resulted in 109 deaths.

The documentary, titled Long Ago I died , tries to uncover the mystery surrounding the death of Sameer Rah, an eight- year- old boy who succumbed on August 2, 2010, after being beaten by the CRPF men in the Batmaloo area of Srinagar. The 20- minute documentary was screened on Sunday at Hotel Grand Mumtaz here.

The four youngsters who made the documentary — Shah Ifat Gazia, Marayam Shamas, Burhan Kinu and Rizwan — belong to upper middle class families. They met on social networking site Facebook in 2010, when massive protests erupted in the Valley.

“ I was deep in stress and was very perturbed by the way teenagers and children were being shot at and killed. I felt suffocated by the mindless violence,” Gazia, who is a final- year student of biochemistry at Srinagar’s Women College, said. While Gazia was left numbed by the violence, Marayam Shamas — an engineering student who lives in posh Raj Bagh area of Srinagar — was trying to know more about Sameer’s death.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Gunmen Kill at Least 36 in Burundi Bar Attack

Sep 19 2011

BUJUMBURA (Reuters) - Gunmen in Burundi killed at least 36 people when they stormed a bar outside the capital, Bujumbura, late on Sunday, in the deadliest attack in the central African country this year.

Burundi has enjoyed relative peace since the former Hutu hardline rebel Forces for National Liberation (FNL) laid down their weapons and joined the government in 2009 after two decades of insurgency.

But attacks against civilians and soldiers have escalated in recent months and there are growing fears of a new rebellion in the coffee-producing nation of 8 million people. Authorities blame bandits for the attacks.

Local resident Sake Matthieu said that in the latest attack a group of armed men burst into the drinking den and sprayed bullets at a crowd of revelers who were drinking and dancing.

"I myself counted 21 people who died on the spot," said Matthieu, who also heads a human rights body.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/09/19/world/africa/international-us-burundi-

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/yemen-protesters-storm-elite-military-base,-50-dead/d/5508


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