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Islamic World News ( 23 Sept 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Yemen unrest: 'At least 40 dead' in Sanaa attack

Several countries in touch with Haqqanis: Parvez Kayani

Maldives one of seven most important countries on UNHRC

ICC membership expected to reform Maldivian judicial system

Israel PM: Peace impossible through UN resolutions

US Muslim students get probation in speech case

At least 10 militants killed in Orakzai raids

Security forces kill top TTP commander in Nowshera: Police

Seven civilians killed by Afghan bomb

Four People killed in North Waziristan drone attack

Three Shias killed in Quetta attack

Syrian forces kill 11, protesters plead for help

Mastung attack: Journey to save child’s life cut horribly short

Two Iraqis get life term for kidnapping Romanians

US, India have differences on Libya, Syria: Blake

India says no change in its stand on Palestine

Indian PM Manmohan Singh to visit Iran

Gujarat High Court: Defer framing of charges against IPS Bhatt by 2 days

Gaddafi's daughter Aisha Gaddafi says father is well, fighting

Accused of Fighting for Qaddafi, a Libyan Town’s Residents Face Reprisals

30 NTC fighters killed in battle for Bani Walid

SAARC countries need to bridge gaps and enhance trust: FM Hina Rabbani Khar

U.S. asks Pak to break links with Haqqani network

Respect Pakistan’s sovereignty, China tells US

Obama Govt wrestling with Pakistanis, Palestinians

Abbas's bid for UN membership 'has no substance': Hamas

Palestinian statehood bid wins Abbas respect

Turkish warplanes bomb PKK in north Iraq: rebels

Syrian agents targeting activists, families

Bahrain recognizes need for reforms: King Hamad

Pope Benedict XVI tells German Muslims all must be bound by law

Morocco says thwarts 'assassination cell'

IIROSA continues providing aid to Somali famine victims

Deadly clashes after Abdullah Saleh promises peace

After Defecting to Turkey, a Top Syrian Army Officer Mysteriously Reappears

South Sudan prez asks world support for new nation

Muslims convicted of disrupting Israeli envoy's speech

Egypt’s military ruler testifies in Mubarak trial

US fights a war of perceptions in Afghanistan

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/yemen-unrest---at-least-40-dead--in-sanaa-attack/d/5547

 

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Yemen unrest: 'At least 40 dead' in Sanaa attack

Sep 24, 2011

SANAA: Troops loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh killed at least 40 anti-government protesters in an assault early Saturday in the capital Sanaa, witnesses and a medic told AFP.

Soldiers launched the attack a little after midnight Friday, opening fire with guns and shelling Change Square, the focus of anti-government activity since it was first occupied in January.

Snipers also targetted the people in the square from buildings around the square, witnesses said.

An hour after the start of the attack, forces loyal to the president tried to storm the square, which by then was coming under fire from all sides, they added.

Tents in the southern part of the square caught fire during the attack.

"At least five protesters were killed," said a medic at a field hospital set up in the square.

These latest deaths brought the number of those killed to 25 since Friday -- and to 120 since a fresh wave of violence hit the capital on Sunday.

Change Square, which lies on the edge of Sanaa University in the north of capital, has been under the protection of dissident troops loyal to rebel General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

They have been guarding anti-Saleh protesters since March.

The attack came after the surprise return of the president Friday from Saudi Arabia, where he had spent three months being treated injuries sustained during an attack on his palace on June 3.

He received an enthusiastic reception from tens of thousands of his supporters at a rally in the capital.

The official Saba news agency reported Saleh as saying: "I have returned home carrying the dove of peace and an olive branch, not holding any grudges or hatred towards anyone."

He called on all Yemenis to "overcome their pain and wounds for the sake of the nation and its dignity," the agency reported.

But Washington called on the veteran president to step down after eight months of bloody protests. The White House said Friday he should begin a "full transfer of power".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15044857

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Several countries in touch with Haqqanis: Parvez Kayani

Sep 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Reacting to US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen’s outburst, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has not only rejected his allegations of using the Haqqani network for waging a proxy war in Afghanistan but also pointed out that several countries were engaged with the militant group.

A rejoinder issued by the ISPR on Friday quoted Gen Kayani as having said that Admiral Mullen’s statement was “very unfortunate and not based on facts”.

But significantly embedded within the brief rejoinder was an unspoken acknowledgment that Haqqanis were crucial for reconciliation in Afghanistan and, therefore, a number of countries, including Pakistan, maintained contact with them.

“Admiral Mullen knows fully well which countries are in contact with the Haqqanis. Singling out Pakistan is neither fair nor productive,” the army chief said.

A military official disclosed in a background conversation that the United States and a number of European countries had been talking to the Haqqanis for reconciliation. During some recent contacts, he said, Pakistan had made it clear to the US that its engagement with the Haqqani network should not be misconstrued as one meant to undermine American interests in Afghanistan.

“We worked with them for positive objectives which could have been useful for all stakeholders in the Afghan end-game,” he stressed.

Gen Kayani, the ISPR handout said, found Admiral Mullen’s diatribe disturbing because his prolonged meeting with the latter in Spain last week was “rather constructive”.

The military official said there was nothing of this sort (finger pointing) in their meeting held on the sidelines of a Nato conference, rather they had deliberated on the way forward in their soured ties, constraints in relationship, withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan and the role of various stakeholders.

Contrary to his assertion, a US official, speaking to Dawn from Washington, claimed that what was now being publicly said had been conveyed personally to Gen Kayani in Seville (Spain).

The US has been accusing Pakistan for long of supporting the Haqqani network and been exerting pressure on the government and army to act against the group.

But Admiral Mullen’s latest rant was the most serious criticism of Pakistan, its army and ISI ever since Islamabad and Washington allied in the war on terror in 2001, accusing them of being complicit with the militant group in attacks on US installations in Afghanistan.

The military official said the deteriorating ties hit a low point because of lack of clarity about the roadmap for political process in Afghanistan and the roles envisaged for various stakeholders. “We kept asking them about the role for various stakeholders, but nothing was said.”

And as the ISPR said that Gen Kayani had expressed the hope that “the blame game will give way to a constructive and meaningful engagement for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, an objective to which Pakistan is fully committed”, the official said it was absurd and illogical to think that Pakistan was averse to peace in Afghanistan.

A source close to the army chief divulged that Gen Kayani was particularly troubled by the allegations because these came from a person (Mullen) who was thought to be a friend of Pakistan and someone who still cherished his relationship with his Pakistani interlocutors.

Admiral Mullen, who visited Pakistan 27 times over the past four years, said at a public event in Washington on Sept 21 that he had developed “a very close relationship” with Gen Kayani, which helped move Pakistan beyond its distrust of the US.

The source used a Shakespearean quote “the (most) unkindest cut of all” to express the feelings of admiral’s Pakistani friends after his farewell tirade.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/24/several-countries-in-touch-with-haqqanis-kayani.html

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Maldives one of seven most important countries on UNHRC

By JJ Robinson

September 24th, 2011

The Maldives has been identified as one of the seven most important countries on the UN Human Rights Council, in a report by the Human Rights Watch organisation.

The Maldives, together with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, the United States and Zambia were identified has making “a critical difference” during the period of the report, “working both collectively and in parallel to ensure that the Council’s mandate to address and prevent situations of violations was fulfilled more rigorously, recognising the Council’s inaction of the past”.

Negative influences identified on the Council included China, Cuba and Russia, the report noted, which “systematically voted to reject any action of the Council that they deemed too critical of a state, or that was not supported by the state in question. They argued that the Council should be a forum where states meet to discuss human rights issues cooperatively without what they considered to be interfering in the domestic affairs of others.”

In particular, the Maldives was praised for its energetic engagement with the council and its solid voting record.

“Despite having a small delegation, [the Maldives] commitment to human rights and democracy has motivated it to be a part of, or to take leadership on, a significant number of initiatives over the last year. The Maldives was among the first group of signatories calling for the special sessions on Côte d’Ivoire and Libya. The Maldives also cosponsored the resolutions on Iran, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, and Kyrgyzstan,” the report said.

However it identified as “regrettable” the Maldives position on whether to launch an international investigation into war crimes in the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war, “particularly on the question of accountability.”

“The Maldives has been uncharacteristically reluctant to endorse the calls of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General’s panel for the creation of an independent international mechanism to investigate the final months of the conflict. Its close bilateral relationship with Sri Lanka, rather than the credible allegations coming from the ground, has prompted this position,” the report noted.

“The Maldives should revisit its approach on Sri Lanka in order to bring it in line with its otherwise principled approach to human rights at the Council.”

The report also noted that despite its strong record of positive engagement on many issues at the Council, “the Maldives supported the resolution on traditional values and voted with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) against the resolution on human rights, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”

Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem meanwhile said the Maldives was proud that the country was now “internationally-respected for its commitment to human rights and for its influence on the global stage”

“At the time, many people doubted the Government’s decision to put forward the Maldives’ candidature for the UN Human Rights Council, saying we are too small to make a difference. Human Rights Watch’s new report shows unequivocally that such doubts were misplaced. Not only has the Maldives played a central role at the Council, we have also helped make the Council far more effective as the pre-eminent global body responsible for protecting human rights,” Naseem said.

http://minivannews.com/society/maldives-one-of-seven-most-important-countries-on-un-

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ICC membership expected to reform Maldivian judicial system

By Eleanor Johnstone

September 24th, 2011

The Maldives has become the 118th country to adopt the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s first and only permanent international court with jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression, genocide and war crimes.

The Maldives is the third state in South Asia to become an ICC member, following Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is the ninth in the south asian region alongside Cambodia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste; plans to ratify the statute are advancing in Malaysia and Nepal.

Asia has been slower than other regions in adopting the ICC regulations, allegedly because they maintain the death penalty which is prohibited by the ICC. William R. Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, said the Maldives’ decision to accede to the Rome Statue was a significant step for the region.

“It is vital that the momentum towards increasing respect for the rule of law and accountability for those responsible for the most serious crimes is seized by other states in the Asia-Pacific region, many of whom are close to joining the ICC,” Pace said in a press release. “Joining the Court represents a strong deterrent effect that will contribute toward the prevention of gross human rights violations in the Asia-Pacific region and to the global fight against impunity.”

Acceding to ICC regulations as defined by the Rome Statute has been a long process for the Maldivian government. In 2003, the Maldives took steps to reject its judicial authority.

Wikileaks cables published on 1 September 2011 cite the Maldivian government’s intent to “never turn over a US national to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Maldivian government would not sign the ICC treaty and would not respect its claim to universal jurisdiction.” Other cables indicate that then president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was seeking approval for a visit with then US President George W. Bush, allegedly to improve his chances of re-election.

Speaking to Minivan News today, the President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said ratification of the ICC statute highlighted the different values of the current administration.

“For us, it’s transparency that is at the top of our priorities. So right now, our highest priority is to improve the judicial system of this country.”

The ICC covers major crimes which are widespread, systemic and of concern to the international community. The ICC does not deal with small cases, even if the victims may be in the hundreds.

Among the criteria for the ICC to take on a case in the Maldives is doubtful willingness and capacity of the country’s own judiciary to handle the case in question.

Zuhair said it was important for Maldivians to have access to an international judicial system. “Individuals who feel they have a complaint, even against a leader, could refer the complaint to the Maldivian judicial system or to the ICC. This is a big step for a country whose previous leaders have been accused of human rights violations. I believe their cases would be fairly addressed in the ICC,” he said.

Evelyn Balais-Serrano, Asia-Pacific Coordinator for the ICC’s advocacy NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) told Minivan News that ratification would support domestic legal reform, and that heads of state would face new levels of accountability.

“The ICC only deals with the big fish. In the past only the small fish may have been sacrificed to show a semblance of justice – but the ICC targets the highest level of responsibility: the head of state, generals, kings,” she said previously.

The Debate

In October 2010, the debate to join the ICC created sparks in Parliament.

MDP MPs condemned the “unlawful and authoritarian” practices of the previous government. Group Leader “Reeko” Moosa Manik referred to 2009 legislation protecting former presidents who he considered “the worst torturers in the country’s history,” and said the purpose of the international criminal court was to “arrest torturers like Maumoon [Abdul Gayoom], people like Ilyas Ibrahim [brother-in-law of the former president] who stole state property and funds, and Attorney Generals like Hassan Saeed who tried to hide it.”

MPs from opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party-People’s Alliance (DRP-PA) said MDP MPs were overlooking the fact that Gayoom had never been reprimanded in a court of law, and accused the current administration of disregarding rules of law. MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom accused the MDP government of formulating policies only to “benefit certain people”, which he argued could be “considered a crime in international courts.”

The question of religion was also inflammatory. DRP MP Dr Afrashim Ali said convention should not be signed if it could lead to “the construction of temples here under the name of religious freedom.” Other MPs pointed out that several Muslim countries had not joined the ICC, and the MPs were concerned that ratification would “shatter Islamic principles” and encourage gay rights.

Shari’a experts in ICC signatories and Muslim countries Afghanistan, Jordan and Malaysia have not found conflict between the Rome Statute and Sharia.

On 14 June this year, Parliament voted almost unanimously to sign the Rome Statute of the ICC.

The Effects

Speaking to Minivan News today, Balais-Serrano pointed out that ratification of the Rome Statute was well-timed.

“As a chair of the SAARC summit, Maldives will have quite an influence on south asian countries attending this year’s event,” she said. “It will certainly be constructive in reviewing human rights, a key point we plan to address at the summit.”

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit is scheduled for Addu City in mid-November this year.

Balais-Serrano also pointed out that by ratifying the Rome Statute, governments are committing to adapt current domestic legislation to meet international standards. She said ICC members could receive “training of local judges and prosecutors and other officials responsible for lawmaking and implementation”, and hoped the Maldives would forward with judicial reform.

“The judicial system in Maldives can benefit from the rules and procedures by which the ICC operates, for example, in the nomination and election of judges, in the protection of witnesses and victims and in ensuring due process,” said Balais-Serrano.

She said that ICC membership would expand Maldivian court procedures. “One of the motivations of joining the ICC is to let go of a commitment to include the domestic judicial system alone. Now, Maldivians can also refer to the ICC provisions and regulations. This is a timely event for the Maldives to review domestic law while making the ICC a reference point.”

As an ICC member, the Maldives will be able to send judges and lawyers abroad for internships and exchange programs in member countries. Balais-Serrano said that all member countries are obliged to send employees to the ICC to learn and assist with proceedings.

International liability

ICC membership could affect international relations. The Maldives recently made news headlines by supporting the Sri Lankan government, which is facing war crimes allegations by international human rights groups. A report from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has raised the likelihood of an investigation by the Human Rights Commission.

A Relationship Agreement between the ICC and the United Nations calls the UN “potentially the most important partner of the ICC on various levels,” and suggests that investigations by the UN are based on the same human rights standards put forth by the ICC.

“The Maldives cannot do anything if the ICC decides to investigate and put into trial the perpetrators of crimes in Sri Lanka,” said Balais-Serrano. “If suspected criminals from Sri Lanka seek refuge in the territory of the Maldives, as a state party to the ICC, the government is obliged to cooperate to the Court by arresting  the criminals.”

http://minivannews.com/politics/icc-membership-expected-to-reform-maldivian-judicial-

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Israel PM: Peace impossible through UN resolutions

Sep 24 2011

New York : Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly on Friday that he was reaching out to the Palestinian people but cautioned that peace could not be won with a UN resolution.

"I extend my hand to the Palestinian people," he told the 193-nation assembly, shortly after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submitted an application for full UN membership to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon despite Israeli and US objections.

"The truth is that Israel wants peace, the truth is that I want peace," he said, adding that "we cannot achieve peace through UN resolutions."

"The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel and then get their state," he said.

Netanyahu added that if there was such a peace, "Israel will not be the last state to welcome a Palestinian state into the United Nations. We will be the first."

It was also time for the Palestinians to acknowledge that "Israel is the Jewish state," he told the assembly.

He also made an appeal to Abbas for direct peace talks with the Palestinians to begin without delay in New York.

"Let's meet here today in the United Nations," Netanyahu said.

Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed a year ago. The Palestinians pulled out after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on new Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/israel-pm-peace-impossible-through-un-

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US Muslim students get probation in speech case

Sep 24 2011

Santa Ana : Ten Muslim college students from Southern California were convicted on Friday of unlawfully disrupting a speech by Israel's ambassador to the United States last year and placed on probation.

The students, whose so-called Irvine 11 case touched off a furor over free speech rights at the University of California at Irvine, were also ordered to perform 56 hours of community service.

An Orange County Superior Court jury of six men and six women convicted them of one count each of conspiracy and disturbing an assembly -- a verdict that was greeted by wails from spectators in a packed Santa Ana courtroom.

The students were to remain on probation for three years but could have that reduced to a year once they complete the community service. Charges have been tentatively dismissed against an 11th defendant.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-muslim-students-get-probation-in-speech-

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At least 10 militants killed in Orakzai raids

Sep 24, 2011

PESHAWAR: Pakistani warplanes killed 10 militants and destroyed three hideouts in raids in the northwestern Orakzai tribal region, local government officials said.

There is no independent verification of the attacks and casualties, and militants often dispute official accounts.

Orakzai is one of the most lawless areas in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region, which is made up of seven districts near the Afghan border.

Pakistan launched a major operation in Orakzai in March last year after militants fled a sweeping offensive in the nearby tribal district of South Waziristan.

Late last year military officials said lower Orakzai had been cleared, but the militant threat persisted in some pockets of the upper part of the area.

Saturday’s attack came as Pakistan is under renewed pressure from the United States to go after the Haqqani network, which it says operates from sanctuaries in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/24/at-least-10-militants-killed-in-orakzai-raids.html

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Security forces kill top TTP commander in Nowshera: Police

By Iftikhar Firdous

September 24, 2011

NOWSHERA: A top commander of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was killed in a police encounter in Nowshera on Saturday.

The commander Qari Basit was killed in the Tarkhel area of Nowshera district during a clash between the militants and the security forces, the police officials confirmed.

District Police Officer (DPO) Nowshera Muhammad Hussain Khan, while briefing the media, said that the police acted against the terrorists on intelligence received by the militants who were apprehended earlier.

The clashes had been going on since Friday night and the security forces managed to arrest two other wanted militants during the operation. The Nowshera police had apprehended Saghir alias Abu Saeed and Zamar Gul alias Abu Musa from the Jaloba area in Pabbi.

The DPO informed that the terrorists opened fire at the police as soon as they were confronted. However, in the counter-attack by the police, Basit was killed while his accomplices managed to escape.

“He was wanted in several cases of murder, robbery and terrorism including killing of security persons,” he said.

Basit escaped from Kohat jail in 2007 after he was convicted and imprisoned for 25 years. He then rose to the higher ranks amongst the TTP and targeted a number of police personnel to release the militants in custody, confirmed the DPO.

Sources said that Basit belongs to Kohat and was responsible for the logistic and transfer of funds to the militants.

A kalashnikov and two grenades were recovered from Basit. The DPO said that Basit was also known as Commander Jamaluddin and Janat Gul.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/259394/security-forces-kill-top-ttp-commander-in-nowshera-

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Seven civilians killed by Afghan bomb

Sep 24, 2011

KANDAHAR: Seven Afghan civilians were killed and four others were wounded by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, police said. They were travelling in a minivan in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province, when the blast occurred at around 3:00pm, Kandahar Police Chief Abdul Raziq said. “Two men, three children and two women were killed and two women and two men were wounded in the explosion,” Raziq said, adding that all were civilians. Roadside bombs are one of the biggest killers in Afghanistan’s 10-year Taliban-led insurgency, and civilians are frequently killed by them. The number of civilians killed by the war rose 15 percent to 1,462 in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, the UN has said. The UN said insurgents were responsible for 80 percent of the killings and that the rise in casualties was mainly down to the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\09\24\story_24-9-2011_pg7_7

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Four People killed in North Waziristan drone attack

Sep 24, 2011

MIRANSHAH: Two missiles fired by a US drone on Friday killed four people in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, officials said.

A suspected US drone fired two missiles at a house, killing four militants, a local intelligence official said.

The area is not associated with the Haqqani network, the most brutal faction of the Afghan insurgency, and which has emerged as a major source of tension between Pakistan and the United States.

Two missiles hit a house in the Khalsoor area of Mir Ali, one of the main towns in North Waziristan, said the official. The identities of the people killed in the strike could not be ascertained.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\09\24\story_24-9-2011_pg1_8

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Three Shias killed in Quetta attack

Sep 24, 2011

QUETTA: Three people hailing from the Hazara community were killed and three others, including a child, sustained injuries when a passenger van was attacked by armed assailants on Sibi Road in Sayrab area of the provincial capital.

According to New Saryab Police, a passenger van was on its way to Mach, a coalmine field, from Quetta when it was stopped by assailants armed with Kalashnikovs. They forced the passengers out of the van and shot dead three Shias.

The attackers escaped in a car and on motorbikes. The Saryab police and rescue workers reached the spot soon after the incident and shifted the dead bodies and injured to the Sandeman Hospital and Bolan Medical Complex. The victims were coalmine workers and residents of Hazara Town.

The deceased were identified as Mohammad Ali, Ali Khan and Mohammed Ali, while the injured are six-year-old Sheraz, Pirzada Khan and Talib Hussain. “Armed men stopped the van and made all passengers disembark and separated the Hazara people before opening fire. Bullets also hit the van,” said Pirzada Khan, one of the injured admitted to Sandeman Hospital. Talbin Hussain was referred to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) because of his critical condition. The child was stated to have received a bullet in his abdomen.

The bodies were handed over to their relatives after autopsy for burial and a case has been registered against the unidentified persons.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\09\24\story_24-9-2011_pg1_6

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Syrian forces kill 11, protesters plead for help

24 September 2011

AMMAN - Syrian forces shot dead 11 protesters when they fired live ammunition to disperse pro-democracy demonstrations after Friday prayers, activists said.

Across Syria, crowds of protesters shouted slogans and carried placards pleading for the world to help them against a bloody crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

“Help Syria. It is bleeding,” read placards carried by protesters in the southern Damascus suburb of Hajar al-Aswad, home to tens of thousands of refugees from the Israeli-occupied Golan heights, about 30 km (20 miles) away.

The slogans and placards were on video footage aired by Syrian residents on the Internet. Syrian authorities expelled most independent media when the uprising began in March.

Faced with expanding street protests demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family rule, Assad has sent troops and tanks into cities and towns across the country of 20 million at the heart of the Arab Middle East.

Citing reports from the street, activists said nine of the killings occurred in the province of Homs, scene of some of the largest demonstrations demanding Assad’s ouster. Two other protesters were shot dead in suburbs of Damascus.

“We have seen more of an all-out effort to crush Homs. But the city is big and its countryside has also risen,” said activist Hassan, who gave only his first name.

Protesters also came under attack in the tribal region of Deir al-Zor on the border with Iraq and the city of Hama, activists said.

Full report at:

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

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Mastung attack: Journey to save child’s life cut horribly short

By Muhammad Sadaqat

September 24, 2011

ABBOTABAD: Yusuf Ali was going to collect money for his son’s bone marrow transplant when he was shot dead.

Ali, 46, was among the 26 victims of the attack on a passenger bus in Mastung that was carrying mostly Shia pilgrims to Iran. He was not one of the pilgrims, but employed in an Iranian company where his colleagues had promised to give him financial assistance for his son’s surgery.

Ali’s youngest son, seven-year-old Hassan, has been a Thalassemia patient for two years and doctors had recently suggested a bone marrow transplant for the boy costing Rs3 million.

“Yusuf Ali was a mechanic who was working in a Dubai- based company in Iran for the past three years,” said one of his relatives Muhammad Muneer.

The victim was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in a village near Mansehra on Thursday. Ali’s immediate family was not available for comment because they had not returned to Abbottabad after the burial.

“Ali was happy when he left for Tehran and told his wife that he would return soon after arranging the money, promising that their child would soon lead a normal life,” his neighbour Riaz Ahmed told The Express Tribune.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/259081/mastung-attack-journey-to-save-childs-life-cut-

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Two Iraqis get life term for kidnapping Romanians

24 September 2011

BAGHDAD — An Iraqi court has sentenced two men to life in prison in connection with the kidnap of three Romanian journalists in 2005, a court statement said on Saturday.

The pair convicted by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq were identified only as A.A. and A.Y.

‘The court found convincing reasons from the confessions, evidence and the plan, to issue its ruling,’ a court statement said. It was not immediately clear what role the two men played in the kidnap.

Marie Jeanne Ion, Sorin Dumitru Miscoci and Ovidiu Ohanesian from Prima TV were kidnapped in March 2005 and released two months later.

Omar Hayssam, a Romanian-Syrian businessman, was sentenced to 20 years in jail by a Romanian court for having ordered the kidnap of the trio. He was arrested and imprisoned in Romania in May 2005.

Released on health grounds a year later, he fled the country in unclear circumstances.

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad said in November 2010 that Hayssam was serving time in a Syrian prison. Romania and Syria signed an extradition treaty that same month.

The Romanian embassy in Baghdad did not immediately respond to requests from AFP for comment.

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

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US, India have differences on Libya, Syria: Blake

Sep 24 2011

Washington : Acknowledging that there are differences between India and the US on issues like Libya and Syria, a top Obama administration official has said the two countries need to "redouble" their efforts to work together to reduce any misunderstanding between them.

"I think there has been an evolution in India's voting record in the UN Security Council. We have had some differences (with India)," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, told reporters here.

"You pointed to Libya, I agree with that, I would also say that we got differences on Syria. That underlines the need for us to redouble our efforts to work together to reduce any misunderstanding," Blake said in response to a question.

The United States clearly explained what it is trying to achieve, he said.

"I think we all are trying to achieve ultimately same objectives in the Middle East. And sometimes it is the question of tactics, but this just reinforces the importance of dialogue," he observed.

Noting that the US and India have worked through issues much more complicated than those in the past, Blake hoped that the two countries would be able to manage them as well.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/851190/

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India says no change in its stand on Palestine

Sep 24 2011

New York : India on Saturday made it clear that there is no change in its “well-established” position on the Palestinian statehood which it recognised way back in 1988, amid the US threat to veto any resolution seeking full UN membership for Palestinians.

“Our position on Palestine issue is well-established and well-known. As far back as 1988 we recognised Palestine state and there is no change in it,” Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said.

Replying to a question, he said it should not come as a surprise if there is a reference to the issue in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's speech to the UN General Assembly.

His comments came as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon forwarded the Palestinian application for recognition of a statehood to the President of the Security Council, where the US has threatened to veto any such resolution.

For the Palestinians, full membership depends on nine approved votes in the 15-member Security Council as well as concurrence of the five permanent members.

Palestinians Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met Ban just before he addressed the 66th session of the General Assembly on Friday and submitted his application for Palestine to be admitted as a full member of the world body on the basis of June 4, 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-says-no-change-in-its-stand-on-

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Indian PM Manmohan Singh to visit Iran

Sep 24, 2011

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Iran on a date to be decided mutually after consultations.

Dr. Singh accepted in principle the invitation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to visit Iran when the two leaders met on Saturday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session currently on here.

The dates for the visit will be decided by the two sides after diplomatic consultations. This was the first meeting between the two leaders after a long time and they reviewed bilateral relations, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters while briefing them about the meeting.

If Dr. Singh visits Iran, it will be the first Prime Ministerial visit after 10 years when Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a trip to Tehran in 2001. There have been visits at other levels over the years between the two countries. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar will also be visiting Iran shortly.

The meeting also decided the Joint Economic Commission between the two sides will be meeting soon to be co-chaired by the Foreign Minister of Iran.

The two leaders reviewed situation in Afghanistan and discussed developments in West Asia and North Africa. They also agreed to review the Non-Aligned Movement which will be chaired next by Tehran.

Replying to a question whether the meeting between Dr. Singh and Mr. Ahmedinejad will have any impact on the Indo-U.S. relations against the backdrop of American officials walking out during a speech by the Iranian President earlier in the week, Mr. Mathai said the focus of the two leaders was on bilateral issues.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2481715.ece

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Gujarat High Court: Defer framing of charges against IPS Bhatt by 2 days

September 24th, 2011

The Gujarat High Court on Friday ordered the Jamnagar Sessions Court not to frame charges against suspended and chargesheeted IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for two days from its scheduled date.

Bhatt, who was chargesheeted last Sunday for indiscipline, unauthorised absence from duty and misuse of official vehicle and orderlies, had approached the High Court last month seeking quashing of a warrant issued against him by the Jamnagar court in a case of custodial death way back in 1990.

The warrant to Bhatt was issued by the Sessions Court in Jamnagar in connection with a custodial death of one person arrested by him in 1990 during the communal disturbances following the stoppage of BJP stalwart LK Advani’s rath yatra on Bihar border.

As the newly posted Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Bhatt had arrested one Prabhudas Vaishnavi during the riots that started in Khambaliya in October 1990. Vaishnavi had died in police custody later.

Justice RH Shukla passed the order asking the local court to defer framing of charges by two days after hearing Bhatt’s advocate IH Syed who said that the IPS officer is being harassed by the Gujarat Government as he has alleged the Chief Minister’s ‘complicity’ in the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/8599-hc-defer-framing-of-charges-against-ips-bhatt-

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Gaddafi's daughter Aisha Gaddafi says father is well, fighting

Sep 24, 2011

TRIPOLI, LIBYA: Moammar Gaddafi's firebrand daughter has said in an audio recording that her father is in high spirits and fighting alongside his supporters against the revolutionary forces who swept his regime from power.

In her first public remarks since the fall of Tripoli a month ago, Aisha Gaddafi accused the country's new leaders of being traitors, noting that some of them were members of Gaddafi's regime before defecting in the civil war.

``Those who have betrayed the pledge they offered (to Gaddafi), how come they won't betray you?'' she said in a warning to Libyans.

The prerecorded four-minute message was broadcast Friday on the Syrian-based Al-Rai TV, which has become Gaddafi's main mouthpiece. The elder Gaddafi, his chief spokesman and his son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, have also released statements through the channel since the takeover of Tripoli.

Aisha, her mother and two brothers fled to Algeria in late August as rebels swept into Libya's capital. Her father's whereabouts are unknown.

``I assure you, he is fine, a believer in God, in good spirits, is carrying his gun and is fighting side by side with the warriors,'' she said.

Echoing remarks her father has made to the same station, she called on the ``lions'' of Tripoli and other cities to rise up and fight the country's new rulers.

Aisha Gaddafi is a lawyer in her mid-30s who helped in the defense of Iraq's Saddam Hussein in the trial that led to his hanging.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gaddafis-daughter-says-father-is-

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Accused of Fighting for Qaddafi, a Libyan Town’s Residents Face Reprisals

By KAREEM FAHIM

September 24th, 2011

SURT, Libya — On the edge of this city where Libya’s war goes on, several men from the town of Tawerga sat on the patio of a mosque, having fled their homes and traded one war zone for another. Rockets fell nearby, but that was just one of their problems. Men with guns, their former neighbors from the city of Misurata, stood above them, accusing them of grave betrayals.

Tawerga was used to stage Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s bloody assault on Misurata, when more than 1,000 people were killed. The Misurata fighters who resisted the siege have become legends in Libya, a status that has made them comfortable asserting their authority in the new order. They say the men of Tawerga did far more than host an army. They fought alongside the Qaddafi forces, the fighters and Misurata residents say, committing atrocities including rape.

More than a month ago, as Qaddafi forces retreated from their town, virtually all of Tawerga’s estimated 30,000 residents, fearing their neighbors’ wrath, fled the city, leaving their clothes, their passports and their family albums behind. Since then, some Misuratans have made a mission of revenge, burning or looting the emptied shops and homes. As the Tawergans have sought safety in other cities, including Surt and Tripoli, they say Misurata’s fighters are stalking them and rounding up their men.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/24/world/africa/accused-of-fighting-for-qaddafi-tawerga-

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30 NTC fighters killed in battle for Bani Walid

24 Sep 2011

Libya’s National Transitional Council says 30 government fighters were killed and 50 others injured in the campaign to capture the city of Bani Walid southeast of the Tripoli

Fighting has claimed the lives of 30 interim government fighters in the campaign to capture the Gaddafi bastion of Bani Walid southeast of the Libyan capital, Dr Mabruk Kernaf said on Saturday.

The National Transitional Council's northern front commander said another 50 had been wounded.

This was the first overall toll given on NTC casualties since the start of fighting.

Meanwhile, an AFP reporter reported rockets being fired by troops loyal to former Liban leader Moamer Gaddafi at an NTC position some five kilometres (three miles) outside the desert city, 180 kilometres southeast of Tripoli

NTC fighters launched a widespread assault on the city on September 10, but withdrew the same night after encountering fierce resistance.

There has been intermittent fighting since then, but NTC forces are holding back on attempting a new assault.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/22338/World/Region/-NTC-fighters-killed-in-

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SAARC countries need to bridge gaps and enhance trust: FM Hina Rabbani Khar

September 24, 2011

NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has strongly supported the need for bridging gaps and enhancing trust among South Asian countries, Express 24/7 reported Saturday.

Khar said it while speaking at an informal gathering on the sidelines of United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

(Read: Hitting back: Kayani scoffs, Khar cautions, Gilani muses)

The gathering was attended by South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers including that of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and senior officials from other SAARC countries.

Khar underlined the need for rapid progress towards consolidation of agreements and decisions taken during past SAARC summits.

She reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the charters and ideals of the SAARC.

Khar also met her Indian counterpart SM Krishna during the meeting, where both had a brief exchange if courtesies.

Earlier, the foreign minister told a news channel in New York while addressing to US that “you will lose an ally”.

She said this after White House asked Pakistan to cut ties with the Haqqani network.

The foreign minister further said to US that “you cannot afford to alienate Pakistan, you cannot afford to alienate the people of Pakistan”.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/259393/saarc-countries-need-to-bridge-gaps-and-enhance-

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U.S. asks Pak to break links with Haqqani network

September 24th, 2011

Piling up pressure on Pakistan, the U.S. has asked its authorities, particularly ISI, to sever ties with the Haqqani network of Taliban and demanded “strong and immediate action” against the outfit, even as it insisted there is no permanent breach in bilateral relations and lines of communication are open.

“It is critical that the government of Pakistan break any links they have, and take strong and immediate action against this network so that they are no longer a threat to the United States or to the people of Pakistan — because this network is a threat to both,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters last evening.

Mr. Carney said the Obama administration believes and knows that the Haqqani network was responsible for the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Kabul and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters, and a number of other recent attacks that caused death and injury not only to Afghans but to American soldiers.

“We know that the Haqqani network operates from safe havens in Pakistan and that the government of Pakistan has not taken action against these safe havens,” he said, adding that top US officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, would continue to have conversations with the Pakistani leadership on this issue.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2481804.ece

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Respect Pakistan’s sovereignty, China tells US

September 24th, 2011

With the US and Pakistan engaged in a war of words, China on Friday sprung to the defence of its ‘all weather ally’, asking Washington to respect Islamabad’s sovereignty and territorial integrity while fighting its war on terror.

Asked about US military Chief Admiral Mike Mullen’s accusations that ISI was supporting the Haqqani network to wage a proxy war in Afghanistan, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry defended Pakistan, saying it has been “in the forefront of international efforts against terrorism”. “Pakistan has made important sacrifices in global fight against terrorism,” he said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/8622-respect-pakistans-sovereignty-china-tells-us.html

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Obama Govt wrestling with Pakistanis, Palestinians

September 24th, 2011

The Obama administration is wrestling with the Pakistan Government and Palestinian leadership amid mounting pressure from the US Congress, which has set the terms for American aid to both. In the face of assertions by the Pentagon leadership that last week’s militant attack on the American embassy in Kabul had been conducted with ISI help, the US Senate Appropriations Committee has made the $1 billion aid to Pakistan conditional upon its action against the Haqqani network and other terror outfits.

In the case of Palestinians, who get $400 million in US aid, the lawmakers have threatened to block the aid and close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Washington office if they went ahead with their unilateral push for an independent State of Palestine at the United Nations.

Following US military chief Mike Mullen’s testimony blaming the ISI for aiding the rocket attack on the US missioin in Kabul, lawmakers have urged the Obama administration to immediately blacklist the Pakistan-based Haqqani network.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, went so far in his testimony before a Senate panel that there was a “proxy connection” between the ISI and the Haqqani network, operating from Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region. The overall counter-insurgency aid for Pakistan was to have been $1.1 billion as proposed by the Obama administration, but the Senate Appropriations Committee has cut it by $100 million.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/8623-obama-govt-wrestling-with-pakistanis-

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Abbas's bid for UN membership 'has no substance': Hamas

Sep 24, 2011

GAZA CITY: Gaza's Hamas rulers dismissed an attempt by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to secure UN membership for a Palestinian state as a step with "no substance."

"Abbas's speech to the United Nations was an emotional speech which succeeded in presenting Palestinian suffering, but he failed to discuss ways of confronting the occupation while linking his UN bid to negotiation with the occupation, making it a step with no substance," Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Islamist movement, told AFP yesterday.

His remarks were made shortly after the Palestinian leader addressed the UN General Assembly, making an impassioned case for the world body to accept a Palestinian state as the 194th member of the United Nations.

Hamas government spokesman Taher al-Nunu also denounced Abbas's speech for seeking a return to some form of negotiation with Israel.

"There is a contradiction in Abu Mazen's speech between the reality and the solutions he presented," Hamas government spokesman Taher al-Nunu told AFP, using Abbas's nom-de-guerre.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Abbass-bid-for-UN-membership-has-no-

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Palestinian statehood bid wins Abbas respect

Sep 24 2011

United Nations : Mahmoud Abbas' bold bid for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood is doomed to fail but has won him admiration at home and re-energised international efforts to seek a negotiated settlement.

Thousands of jubilant, flag-waving Palestinians watching on outdoor screens across the West Bank, cheered on their president Friday as he submitted his historic request for a UN nod. In Nablus, the crowd roared ecstatically when Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, told the UN General Assembly that he had submitted the request for full UN membership.

In New York, Abbas' speech was interrupted repeatedly by thunderous applause as he told the largely sympathetic gathering of world leaders that the Palestinians had had enough of negotiations that have foundered for nearly two decades and yielded few tangible results for the millions who live under Israeli occupation.

The new Palestine he envisioned would be in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in 1967.

''It is a moment of truth and my people are waiting to hear the answer of the world,'' Abbas said. "At a time when the Arab peoples affirm their quest for democracy – the Arab Spring – the time is now for the Palestinian Spring, the time for independence.''

UN chief Ban Ki-moon referred the statehood request to the Security Council, where US opposition is expected to shoot it down. The US – which maintains longterm peace can only be reached through negotiations – and Israel have also been pressuring council members to either vote against the plan or abstain when it comes up for a vote. The vote would require the support of nine of the council's 15 members to pass, but even if the Palestinians could line up that backing, a US veto is assured.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/palestinian-statehood-bid-wins-abbas-

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Turkish warplanes bomb PKK in north Iraq: rebels

Sep 24, 2011

ARBIL: Turkish warplanes have bombed suspected rear bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, rebel officials said on Friday. The bombings began on Thursday evening and continued past midnight and come after Ankara threatened earlier this month to launch a ground incursion into Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region where the PKK maintains bases. They said there were no casualties as a result of the bombings, which targeted locations in the Qandil mountains, near Iraq’s border with Turkey. “There have been no casualties from the attacks, which continued until 1:00 am (2200 GMT Thursday),” said Dozdar Hammo, a PKK spokesman. “There were attacks against the Qandil mountains area.” A PKK source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attacks began at 11:30 pm Thursday evening, and targeted the Kriskan village in the Qandil mountains area. On Thursday, a radical Kurdish group that Turkey says is a PKK front claimed responsibility for a bomb attack two days earlier that killed three people in the centre of Ankara. The PKK says the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons is a splinter group outside its control. Kurdish rebels fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey have recently escalated their attacks on Turkish targets.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\09\24\story_24-9-2011_pg4_5

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Syrian agents targeting activists, families

Sep 24, 2011

BEIRUT: A young woman was found beheaded and mutilated, apparently by Syrian security agents, underscoring what witnesses and the UN human rights office said was a fearsome new tactic of retaliating against protesters’ families to snuff out the 6-month-old uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad.

The slain 18-year-old, Zainab Al-Hosni, is believed to be the first woman to die in Syrian custody since the uprising began in mid-March. Amnesty International said Friday she had reportedly been detained by security agents to pressure her activist brother to turn himself in.

The violence serves as a grim reminder of how the Assad family has kept an iron grip on power in Syria for more than 40 years by brutally crushing every sign of dissent. The idea that the regime has eyes and ears everywhere resonates in a nation of 22 million where decades of autocratic rule have nurtured a culture of deep fear and paranoia.

Witnesses and activists say retaliation against families of those involved in the uprising has ranged from threatening phone calls to beatings and even killings, as in the case of Al-Hosni.

The UN human rights office said Friday that the harassment was even extending beyond Syria’s borders.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article506046.ece

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Bahrain recognizes need for reforms: King Hamad

Sep 24, 2011

WASHINGTON: Bahrain is holding key by-elections on Saturday to fill 18 parliamentary seats left vacant when deputies from the main opposition Wefaq party MPs walked out of the 40-member Parliament in February protesting a government crackdown on protesters.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa addressed the issue at the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, saying that more than a decade ago, Bahrain had “recognized the need to proceed toward greater reform and improvement, keeping in mind the supreme interests of the people.”

He spoke about the need for reforms “aimed to provide decent living conditions, security and tranquility in a society of peaceful coexistence.”

In Washington, a high-ranking Bahraini official, speaking on background Friday in Washington, said he hoped that as a result of the Arab Spring, “we will all come out of this more democratic.”

But he said, “America should be patient with us. We cannot build a Jeffersonian society in one or five years.”

Recalling recent events in the region, he said:  “What happened in Tunisia and Egypt is very important.  If Egypt can establish a real democracy in the Arab world it will be pivotal for the region,” but he admitted, “Democracy is a beautiful term, but difficult to practice and implement.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article505952.ece

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Pope Benedict XVI tells German Muslims all must be bound by law

Sep 24, 2011

BERLIN: Pope Benedict told German Muslims in Berlin on Friday they can expect cooperation and support from Roman Catholics as long as they respect Germany’s constitution and the limits it sets on pluralism.

Meeting representatives of the country’s four million Muslims, he said the constitution drawn up in post-war West Germany was solid enough to adapt to a pluralistic society in a globalized world and make room for new religions as well.

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Muslims last year that Islamic law, sharia, had no place in Germany. She and other conservative politicians have recently been stressing Germany’s Christian roots.

Benedict told Muslim leaders that societies needed to agree on fundamental principles: “This common frame of reference is articulated by the constitution, whose juridical content is binding on every citizen, whether he belongs to a faith community or not.”

After the meeting, the pope left for the eastern German city of Erfurt, where he was due to meet Protestant leaders in the monastery where the 16th century reformer Martin Luther once lived.

He has said the meeting, which he asked to be longer than originally planned, would be a high point of his four-day visit. Protestant leaders are hoping he will signal some flexibility on their requests for more ecumenical cooperation.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article505648.ece

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Morocco says thwarts 'assassination cell'

Sep 24, 2011

RABAT: Moroccan security has arrested three people, including an active blogger on jihadist websites, who had planned to receive training at an Al-Qaeda camp abroad in order to carry out attacks in Morocco, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

The suspects, who were to be trained in camps of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), had “planned to assassinate members of the security services in order to seize their weapons and use them in planned sabotage acts,” the state news agency MAP said, citing a statement from the Interior Ministry.

MAP said the cell was led by “one of the most active individuals on jihadist websites with links to Al-Qaeda and who managed to forge close relations with leaders of terrorist organizations in Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and elsewhere.”

The three were “in constant contact with AQIM leaders to supply them with weapons that will help them execute their criminal plan in the kingdom (Morocco) and also to align their operations with the objectives of this terrorist organization in Morocco,” the ministry said.

Without identifying the suspects, the ministry said they wanted to “undergo military training and commit criminal acts against security sites and western interests once they return to Morocco.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article505779.ece

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IIROSA continues providing aid to Somali famine victims

Sep 24, 2011

JEDDAH: The International Islamic Relief Organization-Saudi Arabia (IIROSA) has distributed more than 8 million kg of food in addition to clothes and medicine in famine-ravaged Somalia.

The tragic situation caused by the famine is being further aggravated by the little help coming from outside, said the organization.

Secretary-General Adnan bin Khalil Basha reiterated that IIROSA would continue its humanitarian and relief efforts in the country, where famine is threatening about 4 million people.

Basha warned against the spreading of the famine to other parts of the country and urged the rest of the world as well as humanitarian, relief and charity organizations to quickly provide help to the Somali people.

“The world should move quickly to help the people of Somalia before the disaster snowballs, becomes difficult to contain and spreads to neighboring countries including Kenya, where more than 400,000 Somali immigrants have sought refuge looking for food and water as well as Ethiopia and Djibouti,” he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article505868.ece

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Deadly clashes after Abdullah Saleh promises peace

September 24, 2011

Troops loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh killed at least five anti-government protesters early on Saturday, hours after their leader called for peace following his surprise to the country.

Saleh returned on Friday after a three-month absence in Saudi Arabia

recovering from injuries sustained during an attack on his palace on June 3 "carrying the dove of peace and an olive branch".

Hours later however, members of the elite Republican Guard led by his eldest son Ahmed were fighting dissident troops protecting anti-government protesters in the north of the capital Sanaa.

Saleh arrived in the city on Friday during a sixth straight day of deadly clashes between troops loyal to him and heavily armed opponents.

But even as 69-year-old Saleh called for a ceasefire and talks, Washington urged the veteran president to step down.

In the latest violence, troops to loyal Saleh killed at least five anti-government protesters early Saturday in an attack on Change Square, the epicentre of anti-government protests, witnesses told AFP.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Deadly-clashes-after-Saleh-

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After Defecting to Turkey, a Top Syrian Army Officer Mysteriously Reappears

By NADA BAKRI

September 24th, 2011

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Some say he went shopping and never returned. Others say he was a bargaining chip in a clandestine prisoner swap between Syria and Turkey. Still others insist that he was betrayed.

One way or another, there he was last week, Lt. Col. Hussein Harmoush, on Syrian state television, the highest-ranking military defector to date, now firmly back in the government’s hands and recanting every critical remark he had made only a few months earlier.

Syria’s popular uprising has burned since March, with more than 2,600 dead — including at least three killed on Friday — and many thousands arrested. After four decades in power, Assad family rule has been shaken and even the government’s closest allies have begun to call for a change.

But throughout it all, the protests and the crackdown, Syria has tried to conceal the events, sealing its borders to the foreign media. It has refused to allow most international reporters inside, making it hard to know precisely what is happening. Internally it has remained disciplined on its narrative of events, insisting that gangs of thugs and foreigners are responsible for the unrest.

Colonel Harmoush’s case offers a microcosm of the opacity that obscures events in Syria as its leaders press a lethal crackdown.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/24/world/middleeast/syrian-officer-harmoush-reappears-

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South Sudan prez asks world support for new nation

24 September 2011

UNITED NATIONS — As his nation makes its United Nations debut, the president of newly independent South Sudan is urging the government of its northern neighbor to seek a peaceful solution to remaining border disputes.

Salva Kiir also appealed to world leaders Friday at the General Assembly for their support in building the new nation, one he said “never had anything worth rebuilding” even before its independence.

Kiir said while his country has no intention of interfering in Sudan’s internal affairs, he hoped the Khartoum government to seek a peaceful resolution to conflicts, such as in the South Kordofan state.

Sudan says that region, which borders South Sudan, is home to armed rebels backed by its southern neighbour.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/September/

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Muslims convicted of disrupting Israeli envoy's speech

September 24th, 2011

Ten Muslim students have been convicted of unlawfully disrupting a speech last year by Israel's ambassador to the US.

They shouted prepared statements at Michael Oren in February 2010, defying calls for order from officials at the University of California, Irvine.

The students' lawyers say they had a right to protest, but prosecutors said it curbed Mr Oren's right to be heard.

The 10 could face up to six months in jail, in a case that has sparked a heated debate about free speech.

The students stood up one by one, shouting slogans such as: "It's a shame this university has sponsored a mass murderer like yourself."

Their supporters say the case has unfairly criminalised student protest.

About 150 people attended Friday's hearing at Orange County Superior Court.

Some of them were visibly upset when the verdict was delivered, reports the Associated Press news agency.

Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the law school at the university, believed the conviction was heavy-handed.

Shakeel Syed, of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, said it was "yet another reaffirmation that Islamophobia is intensely and extensively alive and thriving in Orange County".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15043957

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Egypt’s military ruler testifies in Mubarak trial

24 September 2011

CAIRO — Egypt’s military ruler and Hosni Mubarak’s former confidant is testifying in the trial of the ousted president charged with complicity in the killings of protesters during the crackdown on Egypt’s uprising.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi arrived under military escort on Saturday morning at the heavily guarded courtroom in Cairo for the nearly hour-long testimony, which is under a complete media blackout. Mubarak was present in the courtroom during Tantawi’s testimony, lying on a gurney inside the defendants’ cage.

Tantawi, who was defense minister for two decades, could provide critical insight into Mubarak’s alleged role in the deaths of nearly 840 protesters as well as insider revelations about the former regime’s final days.

Also on trial with Mubarak and facing the same charges are his former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly and six senior former security officials. Separately, Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, also face corruption charges.

The trial is also seen as a test between Egypt’s traditional power structure and the impatience for clear breaks with the past, seven months after Mubarak was toppled in February and power shifted to a military council headed by Tantawi.

As Tantawi testified, dozens of activists and families of slain protesters rallied outside the court, chanting, “Tantawi, tell the truth, is Mubarak a killer or not,” as they waved pictures of those killed in the uprising.

Full report at:

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

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US fights a war of perceptions in Afghanistan

Sep 24, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon insists high-profile assaults by Afghan insurgents are a sign of a weakened enemy but former officials and analysts say Taliban tactics could undercut the effects of a US-led military campaign.

After a series of dramatic attacks, including a firefight outside the US embassy and the killing Tuesday of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the insurgents were resorting to headline-grabbing violence because they had been defeated on the battlefield.

Panetta told senators Thursday the tactics were the “result of a shift in momentum in our favor and a sign of weakness in the insurgency.”

But former officials and experts are less upbeat about the course of the war, and say the insurgency has always employed assassination as a weapon to undermine the Afghan government’s authority.

“Assassination is not a new tactic, but has been a key component of the Taliban’s repertoire since they were formed in 1994,” said Seth Jones, a former defense official who worked with commanders in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/24/us-fights-a-war-of-perceptions-in-afghanistan.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/yemen-unrest---at-least-40-dead--in-sanaa-attack/d/5547


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  • 4 .

    Vivek, Hindus and Muslims do not create riots and massacres. Hindutvadis and Islamists do. When major massacres such as the ones in Gujarat in 2002 and in Delhi in 1984 occur, evidence of tacit consent of the larger community is not hard to find. Poor Ashis Nandy was dragged to court just for suggesting it:

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2008-01-08/edit-page/27753123_1_middle-class-gujarat-elections-politics

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin 28/09/2011 17:31:09
  • 3 .

    Ghulam, It is very easy to blame Hindu, BJP, RSS etc. just to do communal divide for vote bank politics of Congress. And, people like you also join to do so.

    Parsi community is just seventy thousand in India but they do not live as a minority. They do not require any MODI or DIGVIJAY SINGH. They are prosperous and vibrant. Cant Muslim also learn from them?.

    In Pakistan, since 2008, 35,000 people have been killed in the name of Islamic Jihad. Can you blame Hindu, BJP and RSS etc? I hope you will do introspection.

    By vivek 28/09/2011 07:28:36
  • 2 .

    Ghulam, Off course when there are riots it is only community and not any party.  This is the truth whether it is Delhi or Gujarat or Mumbai.  

    I was in Mumbai in 1993 on the ground. Violence started in Masjid where Muslim attacked Hindus and shops where they are in strong hold.  Last straw was the rumour that people were shot with machine guns and the remaining is known to all.    You can see the similar practice of Sharia court in Belgium against the law of the land.  So what is expected of majority community?

    What is worth introspecting is why Hindus are becoming insecure in their own countries that a riot of Gujarat with the intensity has not moved their heart away from Modi?

    It is not only for the majority community but the equal responsibility is with minority also.

    http://www.tehelka.com/story_main.asp?filename=ts013004shashi.asp

    By satwa gunam 26/09/2011 13:24:30
  • 1 .
    Large scale acts of organised violence, like those in Gujarat against Muslims or in Delhi against Sikhs, cannot happen without the larger community's tacit or overt consent. Such consent is often subtle and lets a climate of hatred and scapegoating to build up over the years to a point where mass slaughter is looked on with indifference by the general populace and actively abetted by the administration. By the time the conflagration occurs the voice of conscience gets muted with the heartless “they deserved it.” When people look at Modi, they must see something of themselves there.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin 25/09/2011 14:31:44