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Islamic World News ( 2 Apr 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Zardari just a step away from losing powers

Iraq gunmen kill at least 25 in attack on village

6 Afghan Troops Die in Friendly Fire

17-yr-old 'baby-faced' widow bombed Moscow Metro

Muslims try to pray in cathedral

My blood froze when Zardari became president: Fatima Bhutto

Gays still face dismissal for coming out: US army

Church asks forgiveness

‘India can’t have same stake as Pak’

Pak attorney general resigns

Enforced disappearances, a common sight in Balochistan

Pakistani cabbie indicted on terror-related charges in US

Resign or else...Militant group sends letters to 30 US governors

Police defuse 'powerful' bomb in Russian Caucasus: reports

Special tribunal issues notices to SIMI, its chief

Hamas 'working to curb Gaza rocket attacks'

Ex-Jihadist Defies Yemen’s Leader, and Easy Labels

Gaza: Hamas Presses for Calm

Pak seeks Interpol Red Corner Notice against Kasab, Ansari

Kandahar, a Battlefield Even Before U.S. Offensive

Row over Shoaib Malik's 'first marriage' turns ugly

West slams Karzai for vote fraud attack on ‘foreigners’

Left-Islamist activists demonising Modi: RSS

US to begin profiling air passengers: Media

Yusuf is most valuable player in IPL 3 so far

First terror attack on J&K rail track

Israeli unveils tank-defence system of future

Anglican Church: Reach out to people

Somali pirates release Indian vessel with 15 sailors onboard

World pressure only makes Iran more determined: President Ahmadinejad

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/zardari-just-a-step-away-from-losing-powers/d/2653

 

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Zardari just a step away from losing powers

Omer Farooq Khan

Apr 3, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government on Friday tabled a slew of constitutional reforms in parliament which will strip the president's office of key powers. The move is expected to strengthen parliamentary democracy in the country. Its draft was presented by chairman of the parliamentary committee on constitutional reforms, senator Mian Raza Rabbani, amid desk-thumping.

Constitutional amendments in Pakistan require a two-thirds majority both in the Senate and National Assembly. But, since all the major political parties have signed the draft of the 18th amendment, it's expected to secure a two-thirds majority in parliament. The 18th amendment will nullify the controversial 8th amendment introduced by Gen Zia-ul Haq in 1985.

Under the reforms, the president would no longer have the power to dismiss the PM, dissolve parliament or appoint the head of the country's armed forces. Prime ministers and chief ministers would no longer be barred from office after two terms, which will allow, for instance, PML(N) boss Nawaz Sharif, toppled by General Pervez Musharraf in 1999, to become PM again.

The package will be debated by legislators and Zardari will address a joint session of parliament on Monday. It would be third such address by Zardari in the last one-and-a-half year. In his first annual address to parliament, Zardari had said that he wanted a package of constitutional reforms designed to restore the 1973 constitution to its original form.

''I congratulate the nation on this 18th amendment,'' said Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the National Assembly. "Today's historic. Some people may think that the prime minister will be stronger. But in fact these amendments will strengthen institutions."

The reforms also transfer greater autonomy to the provinces and will rename NWFP as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa — meaning ''Khyber side of the land of Pakhtuns''. NWFP was a name given to the Pashtun-dominated areas by the British in 1901. The renaming of the province has been a long-standing demand of the ethnic Pashtuns.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Zardari-just-a-step-away-from-losing-powers/articleshow/5756010.cms

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Iraq gunmen kill at least 25 in attack on village

April 3, 2010

Iraqi gunmen have killed 25 people believed to be linked to Sunni militias opposing al-Qaeda, police say.

Five women were among those killed, as the gunmen in army uniforms pulled the victims out of their houses in a village south of Baghdad on Saturday.

The victims were reported to have been tied up before being shot in the head.

Sunni militias turned against al-Qaeda and its militant allies two years ago in what was a key turning point in the campaign to quell the Iraqi insurgency.

According to some accounts there were seven survivors who were left handcuffed at the scene of Saturday's attack, and there were reports of arrests being made in the area.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8601421.stm

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6 Afghan Troops Die in Friendly Fire

By ALISSA J. RUBIN and SANGAR RAHIMI

April 3, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan — In a bloody day in Kunduz province, friendly fire by German troops killed six Afghan soldiers. The incident occurred shortly after three German soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack that lasted several hours.

The German military asserted that the Afghan soldiers were in civilian cars, but the Afghan Ministry of Defense and the Kunduz governor said the soldiers were riding in military vehicles and that they were on their way to give logistical support to their Afghan comrades who had been fighting with the Germans. A NATO spokesman said they were receiving conflicting reports and the matter was under investigation.

The friendly fire incident occurred at 6:30 in the evening.as it was getting dark. The Afghan soldiers were approaching a German base outside the city of Kunduz. The German military said they signaled to the vehicles to stop, but when they continued, the Germans opened fire, killing five soldiers, according to German news reports.

The Afghan defense ministry and the Kunduz governor,Mohammed Omar, said six Afghan National Army soldiers were killed.

“Initially, German troops were hit by an IED attack followed by gunshots in an engagement with the insurgents in Essa Khel village of Chardara, a volatile district,” said Mr. Kunduz, the governor.

Full report at: Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

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17-yr-old 'baby-faced' widow bombed Moscow Metro

Clifford J Levy

Apr 3, 2010

MOSCOW: Investigators believe that one of two women suicide bombers in the subway attacks that killed 39 people in Moscow this week was a baby-faced 17-year-old girl from a Muslim region who was the widow of an insurgent leader killed by Russian forces, officials said on Friday.

The teenager, Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova, had been married to Umalat Magomedov, slain in Dagestan in December last year. The Kommersant newspaper showed a photo of the two, both holding weapons, her head covered in the traditional dress of a religious Muslim woman from the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia.

Abdurakhmanova, whose last name has also been reported as Abdullayeva, is believed to have carried out the first suicide blast on Monday during the morning rush hour at the Lubyanka subway station, which is near the headquarters of the Russian security services, reports said.

She was from Dagestan, a Muslim region near Chechnya, and supposedly first established contact with the insurgents on the Internet, Kommersant reported. It said Magomedov was killed in a security operation on December 31, 2009.

The woman who carried out the other attack, at the Park Kultury station, has not yet been identified, officials said.

On Thursday, President Dmitri Medvedev, trying to demonstrate the government's resolve after a series of terrorist bombings, called for harsher tactics to combat the insurgency. Making a surprise visit, he convened a meeting of regional leaders and senior security advisers in Dagestan, which has faced sustained violence in recent years, including a double suicide bombing on Wednesday that killed 12 people.

The troubles in the Caucasus have taken on a new urgency with the suicide bombings in the Moscow subway on Monday, which set off alarms that extremists wanted to revive efforts to strike Russia's major cities.

Medvedev's visit to Dagestan came after Doku Umarov, a former Chechen separatist who is now a proponent of global jihad, claimed responsibility for the Moscow bombings in a video message. The authorities did not immediately verify his assertion.

Medvedev has been an advocate of addressing what he has termed the root causes of terrorism in the Caucasus, including poverty and corruption, in contrast to the tougher tone of his mentor, PM Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin has long struggled with how to handle the insurgency, which has gone on since the Soviet fall in 1991. Since the subway bombings, some analysts have suggested that a major crackdown could stir resentment that might give rise to more violence.

But on Thursday, while asserting that the government needed to improve living conditions in the Caucasus, Medvedev also sounded a little more like Putin. ``Recently, we have had some successes in the fight against terrorism,'' he said. “We were able to take the heads off the most notorious gangsters. But apparently it was not enough. In any case, in due time, we will find and punish them all. Just like their predecessors.''

He later added: “The methods themselves must be both more effective and more rigorous, one might even say harsher. The point is to pre-empt these incidents, to prevent terrorist acts and to punish terrorists.''

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/17-yr-old-baby-faced-widow-bombed-Moscow-Metro/articleshow/5755751.cms

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Muslims try to pray in cathedral

April 3, 2010

Madrid, April 2:  A group of Muslims tried to pray inside a Roman Catholic cathedral that was originally a mosque and then scuffled with the security guards and the police who tried to stop them, a Spanish official said on Friday.

Two of the tourists were arrested after the incident on Wednesday night in the southern city of Cordoba and a police officer and a cathedral security guard were slightly injured, National Police spokeswoman Rosa Ortiz said on Friday.

The Great Mosque of Cordoba was built after the Moorish invasion of Spain in the 8th century. Cordoba is known as the City of Three Cultures because Muslims, Jews and Christians lived there in harmony during medieval times.

The mosque was transformed into a cathedral in 1236 when King Ferdinand III captured the city from the Moors. Since then, except for rare exceptions, Muslim prayer rites have been forbidden inside.

The building still retains exquisite red and white arches and gleaming marble columns from the original mosque.

It was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1984.  http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7606:muslims-try-to-pray-in-cathedral&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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My blood froze when Zardari became president: Fatima Bhutto

Apr 3, 2010

NEW DELHI: Fatima Bhutto, niece of slain former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, says her "blood froze" on the day Asif Ali Zardari became the country's president and prompted her to send away her younger brother from the country fearing for his safety.

Zardari was accused of plotting the murder of Fatima's father Murtaza Bhutto but had been acquitted of the charge.

"On 20 September, 2008, on the 12th anniversary of Papa's death, Asif Zardari took his oath as president of Pakistan. The ceremony had been scheduled for the day before, the 19th, but had been moved on the orders of the new president, who rescheduled his big day for Saturday, Papa's barsi," Fatima writes in her just-released memoir "Songs of Blood and Sword".

"As he stood in front of parliament, which had voted him into the post almost unanimously (in the same highly democratic way that General Musharraf was 'elected' president), he paused in his speech and asked for a moment of silence to mark the occasion of his brother-in-law's death. My blood froze. It was as if he was taunting us.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/My-blood-froze-when-Zardari-became-president-Fatima-Bhutto/articleshow/5756517.cms

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Gays still face dismissal for coming out: US army

Apr 3, 2010

WASHINGTON: Reversing course, US army secretary John McHugh warned soldiers that they still can be discharged for acknowledging they are gay, saying he misspoke earlier this week when he suggested the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy had been temporarily suspended.

The public stumble by a senior service official is an indication of the issue's legal complexity. The Pentagon has said it wants to hear from gay troops as it conducts a broad study on how it could lift the ban, as President Barack Obama wants.

But to do that, gay service members would have to break the law, which prohibits them from discussing their sexual orientation.

Defense Department officials say they plan to hire an outside contractor to survey the troops, and that gay troops won't be punished for sharing their views with that third party. "Until Congress repeals 'don't ask, don't tell', it remains the law of the land and the department of the army and I will fulfill our obligation to uphold it," McHugh said in a statement on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, when pressed by reporters, McHugh said he wouldn't try to discharge service members who in private conversations with him acknowledged being gay. He also said he believed defense secretary Robert Gates had placed a moratorium on dismissals while the Pentagon surveyed troops on their opinions.

On Thursday, McHugh said he misspoke. "There is no moratorium of the law and neither (Gates) nor I would support one," McHugh said. With regard to three soldiers who told McHugh they were gay, McHugh said he won't pursue administrative action against them.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Gays-still-face-dismissal-for-coming-out-US-army/articleshow/5756006.cms

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Church asks forgiveness

Riazat Butt

April 3, 2010

Senior Catholic officials have apologised and asked for forgiveness as they sought to repair the damage caused by the sex abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church.

In Austria and Switzerland archbishops and bishops marked the start of Easter by appealing to parishioners to come forward with their allegations, and admitting to past mistakes when dealing with claims.

A spokesman for Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged the international scandal over sex abuse by priests is a “test for him and the church”, but the papal response mingled contrition with forthright defiance. Vatican officials have become increasingly outspoken in their defence of the Pope and the Catholic hierarchy's behaviour towards victims and offenders.

On Thursday, a Vatican spokesman took aim at the New York Times, which has published a series of explosive stories on what the Pope may or may not have known about a cover-up involving a paedophile priest. Cardinal William Levada, who succeeded the Pope as head of the doctrinal department, accused the newspaper of going into “attack mode” in its coverage of the Pope and said it should “give the world a more balanced view of a leader it can and should count on”.

The Archbishop of Vienna, who caused a storm last month by suggesting that priestly celibacy may be to blame for paedophilia in the church, led a service at St Stephen's cathedral in Vienna on Wednesday night, where people vented their fury at the church.

At a mass held for victims, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn listened to accounts of sexual abuse or physical punishment in Catholic institutions.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/03/stories/2010040357451700.htm

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‘India can’t have same stake as Pak’

02 APRIL 2010

Islamabad , April 2: Pakistan has conveyed its concerns to the US over India’s growing presence in Afghanistan, and made it clear that New Delhi cannot have the same stakes in the war-ravaged country as Islamabad, foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said.

Mr Qureshi made the remarks while briefing the Senate or Upper House of Parliament on Thursday night on the recent strategic dialogue between the US and Pakistan. The US has recognised Pakistan’s legitimate concerns about its interests in Afghanistan, which need to be addressed, he said. He said India’s relations with Afghanistan are long-standing and both countries have a right to have relations. “But there is a qualified difference. India cannot match Pakistan in its relations with Afghanistan, because India does not share a border with Afghanistan and its role during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is clear to everybody,” he said.

“The price which Pakistan has paid due to instability in Afghanistan, India did not even suffer a fraction of it,” he said. If India tries to affect Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, it is a cause of concern, Mr Qureshi said.

“We have also conveyed these concerns to the US. Our apprehensions are legitimate and we informed them that these legitimate concerns need to be addressed,” he said.

The US has shown seriousness in cooperating with Pakistan and realised that Islamabad’s grievances regarding the Indian presence in Afghanistan “should be addressed,” he added. The US also realised that if it did not meet Pakistan’s security and economic needs, its own agenda for achieving stability in Afghanistan will be affected, he said.

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7601:india-cant-have-same-stake-as-pak&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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Pak attorney general resigns

April 3, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Attorney General Anwar Mansoor resigned on Friday citing "lack of cooperation" from the Law Minister, a day after he accused him of obstructing efforts to implement the Supreme Court's order to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland.

Khan, who sent his resignation to the President, told the media he was quitting due to "lack of cooperation" from the Law Minister Babar Awan and his ministry.

He said the minister and the ministry were creating obstructions in his work.

Khan yesterday told an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry that he was facing "obstacles" in reopening the cases in Switzerland and that he was not being allowed to work properly.

Khan said he had not been provided many documents he required by the law ministry.

On being asked by the judges who was creating the obstructions, Khan named the law ministry, Law Secretary Aqil Mirza and Law Minister Awan, a close aide of Zardari.

Law Secretary Mirza subsequently appeared in the court and denied Khan's allegations.

Sources said Khan and the Law Minister had been engaged in a confrontation for some time.

Khan had told aides that the minister was interfering in the working of the Attorney General's office and that he had brought this to the notice of the Prime Minister, the sources said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-attorney-general-resigns/articleshow/5755001.cms

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Enforced disappearances, a common sight in Balochistan

April 3, 2010

Political activists, youth, students or women – no one in Balochistan has the right to raise their voice against atrocities committed by Pakistan. And, those who dare, are forcibly detained by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. The issue of enforced disappearances has been a major source of unrest among the Balochs ever since the Musharraf regime launched a military operation in Balochistan in 2004. Baloch nationalist parties claim that around 4,000 Balochs are missing from across the province.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/audio-news-video/Enforced-disappearances-a-common-sight-in-Balochistan/Article2-524740.aspx

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Pakistani cabbie indicted on terror-related charges in US

April 3, 2010

CHICAGO: A Pakistani-American taxi driver in Chicago has been indicted on two counts of providing material support to al-Qaida by attempting to send funds to a terrorist leader in Pakistan linked with Pakistani-American terror suspect David Headley.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, a naturalized US citizen from Pakistan, was arrested last week on charges of attempting to transfer funds to Ilyas Kashmiri, an alleged terrorist leader who tried to help organize an attack against Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, according to US officials.

Justice department spokesman Randall Samborn said the indictment cancels a scheduled April 7 hearing before a US magistrate, and a formal arraignment will be scheduled shortly before a US district court judge.

Kashmiri is an alleged leader of Harakat-ul Jihad Islami, a group the US justice department said has "trained terrorists [and] executed attacks in the state of Jammu and Kashmir under Indian control."

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pakistani-cabbie-indicted-on-terror-related-charges-in-US/articleshow/5753940.cms

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Resign or else...Militant group sends letters to 30 US governors

April 3, 2010

CARSON CITY: New security measures are being installed in state capitals in the United States after a domestic extremist group sent letters to more than 30 governors demanding they resign, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI said in an intelligence note.

Deputy chief of staff Lynn Hettrick says the FBI told administration officials a few days ago that several governors have received letters from what he described as a sovereign citizens group. The letter reportedly tells governors to resign and take a new oath to a new order.

Hettrick on Wednesday said there was no specific threat of violence, but extra security was installed as a precaution. A metal detector and X-ray machines was placed at the building's main entrance, and other entrances have been closed, CNN reported.

The note, dated Monday, said the letters told the governors to vacate their posts within three days.

While DHS has no information that the removal refers to a specific plan for violence, "law enforcement should be aware that this could be interpreted as a justification for violence or other criminal actions," the note said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Resign-or-elseMilitant-group-sends-letters-to-30-US-governors/articleshow/5756000.cms

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Police defuse 'powerful' bomb in Russian Caucasus: reports

April 3, 2010

Police defused a large bomb in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan on the same day that suicide bombers killed 12 people in the region, Russian news agencies reported today, citing security forces.

Police found the "powerful bomb" on Wednesday evening in a cemetery in the Kizlyar district of Dagestan, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, adding that the bomb hidden inside a metal bucket was packed with metal nuts and bolts.

In a deadly blast earlier Wednesday in Kizlyar, a car driven by a suicide bomber blew up when police tried to stop it for a regular check.

Minutes later, a suicide bomber in police uniform approached police working at the scene and triggered a second explosion.

The two blasts killed 12 people including nine police, one of whom was a local police chief.

The Dagestan blasts came two days after Monday's double suicide bombings in the Moscow metro killed 39 people.

Underlining the instability, two people were killed in the Khasavurtsky district of Dagestan overnight Wednesday to Thursday when their car packed with explosives blew up.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev flew to Dagestan yesterday for a surprise visit in which he met regional officials and police and urged tough anti-terror measures.

Russia has for years battled Islamist insurgents in the North Caucasus Muslim regions of Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia but Monday's attacks were the first time in six years that such violence has spread to the capital.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Police-defuse-powerful-bomb-in-Russian-Caucasus-reports/Article1-526171.aspx

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Special tribunal issues notices to SIMI, its chief

April 3, 2010

A special tribunal has issued notices to Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), its chief Safdar Nagori and two other functionaries of the banned outfit, asking them to reply why the organisation and its activities should not be declared "unlawful".

The move comes two months after the government extended the ban on SIMI by another two years on February five under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

A single-member tribunal headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna of the Delhi High Court has asked SIMI, its President Safdar Nagori, finance secretary Imran Ansari and President of outfit's Madhya Pradesh zone Kamaruddin Nagori to reply to the notice by April 16.

"...notice is hereby given to you under sub-section(2) of Section 4 of the act (UAPA) to show cause in writing within 30 days.... as to why your association should not be declared unlawful and as to why order should not be made confirming the declaration made in the above-mentioned notification (Home Ministry notification declaring SIMI as Unlawful Association)," the notice said.

The objection or reply or written statement may be filed or delivered within the statutory period of 30 days..., the notification, sent to SIMI units in different states and Union Territories and the three functionaries in Madhya Pradesh, said.

The tribunal has also asked the respondent or their authorised counsel to be present before it on April 16. During the course of inquiry, the tribunal can summon witnesses and demand production of documents.

Under section 5(1) of the UAPA, a tribunal, under a Judge of the High Court, is constituted to adjudicate if there is sufficient cause for declaring an organisation unlawful or not.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newdelhi/Special-tribunal-issues-notices-to-SIMI-its-chief/Article1-526243.aspx

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Hamas 'working to curb Gaza rocket attacks'

April 3, 2010

Leaders of the Hamas militant movement which controls the Gaza Strip have said they are working to curb rocket attacks against Israel by smaller factions.

Spokesman Ayman Taha said the Hamas government was trying to maintain calm in Gaza for "the national interest".

He spoke hours after Israeli planes carried out bombing raids on what it said were weapons factories in Gaza.

Hamas PM Ismail Haniya also urged the international community to intervene to avoid an escalation in violence.

"We are contacting the other Palestinian factions in order to reach an internal consensus as to the measures we may take in order to protect our people and strengthen our unity," Mr Haniya said.

Four of the strikes took place near the town of Khan Younis, where two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian fighters were killed in clashes last week. Three children were reportedly injured in the Israeli strikes.

The latest violence is the most serious since the end of Israel's assault on Gaza in January 2009.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8601171.stm

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Ex-Jihadist Defies Yemen’s Leader, and Easy Labels

By ROBERT F. WORTH

IT is not often that you see an old comrade in arms of Osama bin Laden hoisting the American flag outside his home.

Yet there on the videotape was Tareq al-Fadhli, the hero of jihadist campaigns in Afghanistan and South Yemen, raising Old Glory in the courtyard of his house, not far from here, earlier this month. As the tape continues, Mr. Fadhli can be seen standing solemnly at attention, dressed in a khaki shirt and a cloth headdress, as “The Star-Spangled Banner” blasts from a sound system nearby.

The videotape, disseminated on the Internet, has helped to redefine the public persona of a man who, as a onetime Islamist guerrilla, loyalist politician and now would-be American ally in South Yemen, has been at the center of this country’s turbulent recent history. It has also profoundly irritated the Yemeni government, which labels Mr. Fadhli one the country’s most dangerous terrorists.

Reminded of the accusation, Mr. Fadhli chuckled dryly. No one ever accused him of terrorism until last year, he said, when he joined a rising southern Yemen independence movement and became an opponent of the country’s longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“I was in the ruling party of this country for 15 years,” he said. “I was in the highest authority — I walked into the Republican Palace without an appointment — and nobody ever accused me of such a thing. But now that I have joined the Southern Movement, they say it. And it is not true.”

Full report at: Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

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Gaza: Hamas Presses for Calm

April 2, 2010

Leaders of Hamas, the dominant political and military force in Gaza, indicated Friday that they were trying to keep attacks on Israel in check, in what appeared to be an effort to keep recent acts of violence from spiraling into open conflict. Hamas made this known just hours after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza in response to the latest rocket attack on southern Israel. Three Palestinian children were wounded in one of the airstrikes, said a Gaza health official, Dr. Moaiya Hassanain. A statement released by the Hamas government after the aerial attacks accused Israel of an “escalation” against Gaza. Hamas has never explicitly criticized attacks against Israel, though its top officials have said that such attacks do not serve Palestinian interests right now.

Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

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Pak seeks Interpol Red Corner Notice against Kasab, Ansari

Apr 3, 2010

ISLAMABAD: In a new twist in the Mumbai terror attack case, Pakistan on Saturday approached the Interpol seeking Red Corner Notice for arresting Ajmal Kasab and Fahim Ansari, currently undergoing trial in India.

This was stated by Special Public Prosecutor Malik Rab Nawaz Moon as an anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of the seven 26/11 attack accused, including LeT operations chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, adjourned the hearing in the case till April 17.

The proceedings at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where judge Malik Mohd Akram Awan is hearing the case for security reasons, were adjourned after the prosecution sought "maximum" time to challenge a Lahore High Court order that said the trial of the seven suspects could not be separated from that of Kasab and Ansari, who are currently in the custody of Indian authorities.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-seeks-Interpol-Red-Corner-Notice-against-Kasab-Ansari/articleshow/5757672.cms

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Kandahar, a Battlefield Even Before U.S. Offensive

By CARLOTTA GALL

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — American forces have begun operations to push back Taliban insurgents in this most important southern province, the birthplace and spiritual home of the Taliban, and a full-scale offensive is expected in coming weeks.

But the Taliban have already turned this city into a battlefield as they prepare for the operation, which American officials hope will be decisive in breaking the insurgency’s grip on southern Afghanistan.

When American forces all arrive, they will encounter challenges larger than any other in Afghanistan. Taliban suicide bombings and assassinations have left this city virtually paralyzed by fear. The insurgents boldly walk the streets, visit shops and even press people into keeping guns and other supplies in their houses for them in preparation for urban warfare, residents say.

The government, corrupt and ineffective, lacks almost any popular support. Anyone connected to the government lives in fear of assassination. Its few officials sit barricaded behind high blast walls. Services are scant. Security, people say, is at its worst since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001.

Full report at: Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

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Row over Shoaib Malik's 'first marriage' turns ugly

April 3, 2010

HYDERABAD: The buzz around the wedding of tennis star Sania Mirza with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik was pushed to the background as the drama over the prospective groom's earlier "marriage" to a Hyderabadi girl took a Bollywood-style twist on Friday.

Ayesha alias Maha Siddiqui, who has been claiming that Shoaib had married her, produced a nikah-nama (marriage certificate) as proof of her wedding which was promptly dubbed by the Malik family as invalid.

Ayesha told TOI that all she wants now is an "official divorce". "I am not begging for sympathy," she claimed and added that they were well-off financially and therefore, not doing this for money.

In response, the Maliks are now threatening to expose Ayesha. Shoaib's brother-in law Imran Zafar, who was shopping in Lahore on Friday for the wedding slated to take place in Hyderabad on April 15, said the Malik family is unfazed by Ayesha's claims.

"Shoaib was duped and shown pictures of another girl as Ayesha. We have pictures of the girl who posed as Ayesha which were sent from Ayesha's email ID," he said.

Imran said Shoaib had fallen madly in love with a girl whose pictures were sent to him. "But that girl wasn't Ayesha. Shoaib was trapped. Ayesha would tutor him online and have him parrot the line at some select interviews that they were married," the brother-in-law said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/events-tournaments/sania-shoaib-wedding/Row-over-Shoaib-Maliks-first-marriage-turns-ugly/articleshow/5755752.cms

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West slams Karzai for vote fraud attack on ‘foreigners’

April 3, 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai came in for stinging criticism after accusing foreign powers of orchestrating enormous fraud in elections that returned him to power last year. Karzai’s outburst on Thursday, just days after a fence-mending trip to Kabul by US President Barack Obama, met with disapproval in Washington while a former UN envoy said he was divorced from reality.

“There was fraud in presidential and provincial council elections — no doubt that there was a very widespread fraud, very widespread,” Karzai told Afghan election commission workers in Kabul. “But Afghans did not do this fraud. The foreigners did this fraud,” he said.

Karzai’s once-close relationship with the US and other allies, whose troops are helping his Government contain a raging Taliban insurgency, has soured over his controversial re-election.

The US brushed aside the accusations and insisted the Afghan leader first had to get his own house in order, after Obama on Sunday called personally on Karzai to get a grip on widespread corruption.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/246445/West-slams-Karzai-for-vote-fraud-attack-on-%E2%80%98foreigners%E2%80%99.html

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Left-Islamist activists demonising Modi: RSS

April 3, 2010

The RSS has strongly come out in defence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, recently questioned by the SIT in the 2002 riot case, and accused a section of the media and ‘Left-Islamist activists’ of casting him as a villain for their ‘vested interests’.

“Demonising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is a favourite pastime of a section of the media and pro-Islamist activist groups. It is a hugely profitable business. They are flooded with awards, rewards and funds from within the country and across the globe. This has invariably promoted the flourish of anti-Modi campaign,” an editorial in the recent issue of the Sangh mouthpiece Organiser said.

It claimed that a section of the media and the ‘Left-Islamist activists’ wanted to deny Modi “his legitimate place in politics and history” despite the fact that Gujarat was the top investor destination and the only State which had ensured that health services, water and electricity reached every village.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/246513/Left-Islamist-activists-demonising-Modi-RSS.html

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US to begin profiling air passengers: Media

Apr 3, 2010

WASHINGTON: The United States will announce Friday it plans to begin profiling US-bound passengers in a major shake up of air travel security measures, US media said.

Under the new measures to begin this month, and which will apply to US citizens as well, the level of screening of travellers will depend on how closely their personal characteristics match against intelligence on potential terrorists.

The measures will replace mandatory enhanced screening of all passengers travelling to the United States from 14 mostly-Muslim nations, put into place following a failed Al-Qaeda attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day.

"It's much more tailored to what intelligence is telling us and what the threat is telling us, as opposed to stopping all individuals from a particular nationality," said an unnamed US official quoted by The Washington Post.

The announcement to be made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comes after a three-month review of security protocols, said the Post, citing a senior administration official.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-to-begin-profiling-air-passengers-Media-/articleshow/5754299.cms

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Yusuf is most valuable player in IPL 3 so far

Apr 3, 2010

Who's been the most valuable player of IPL 3 so far? With a little over half the league matches played (till the Knight Riders-Deccan Chargers match on Thursday night), our vote goes to Yusuf Pathan followed by Jacques Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar.

You might not find this particularly surprising, but wait till you hear the rest of the top 10 - Andrew Symonds, Dinesh Karthik, David Warner, Adam Gilchrist, Chaminda Vaas, Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh, in that order.

You might baulk at some of these names, but read on to find out how we came up with this list.

Before you do, here's something to chew on. For all the talk about T20 being entirely a batsman's game, notice that there are only two pure batsmen among these 10 - Sachin and Warner - while Vaas is here purely as a bowler and Harbhajan too is on this list largely on the strength of his bowling performance.

For the most part though, it is allrounders - those contributing with bat and ball, or bat and keeping gloves - who provide the best value to their teams.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/iplarticleshow/5755985.cms

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First terror attack on J&K rail track

M Saleem Pandit

Apr 3, 2010

SRINAGAR: Terror targeted railway tracks in the Valley for the first time as suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives blew up a portion of the line near Avantipora station late on Thursday night, disrupting train services between north and south Kashmir for nearly 12 hours. There was no casualty.

The terrorists detonated an improvised explosive device at Gulbugh village, 44km from Srinagar, between Anantnag and Pulwama around 10.30pm. ``They had planted IED under the track and triggered the blast, blowing up two feet of the section. At the time, a Baramulla-bound train was 10km away at Anantnag, in the Qazigund-Baramulla section,'' said IGP, railways, Gopal Reddy, on Friday. It was the first attack on railway property in the Valley, a Northern Railway spokesman said in New Delhi, indicating the ``desperation'' of the extremists.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/First-terror-attack-on-JK-rail-track/articleshow/5756021.cms

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Israeli unveils tank-defence system of future

02 APRIL 2010

Haifa (Israel), April 2: On a dusty, wind-swept field overlooking the Mediterranean, a small team of researchers is putting the final touches on what Israel says is a major game changer in tank defence: a miniature anti-missile system that detects incoming projectiles and shoots them down before they reach the armoured vehicles.

If successful, the “Trophy” system could radically alter the balance of power if the country goes to war again against Hezbollah militants in neighbouring Lebanon or Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Its performance could also have much wider implications as American troops and their Western allies battle insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I think people will be watching the Israelis roll this thing out and see if they can get the hang of it,” said John Pike, director of the military information website GlobalSecurity.org in Alexandria, Virginia.

“The future of the United States Army is riding on the proposition that something like this can work.” The Trophy is believed to be the first of a series of so-called “active defence” systems to become operational. Such systems aim to neutralise threats before they strike the tank. 

Full report at:

asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7599:israeli-unveils-tank-defence-system-of-future&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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Anglican Church: Reach out to people

02 APRIL 2010

LONDON ,April 2: The Church of England must reach out to people to help modernise the Church, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said on Friday.

Dr Sentamu said that the Church should not just try and attract people to churches, but reach out to people.

“We’ve got now in the Church of England... where instead of simply advising people to come to our buildings and our churches, people are doing it in a new way and going to many places. I’ve actually gone and had endless debates when I was in Birmingham in pubs with a lot of people and they used to draw quite a lot of people. I think we’ve got to find a way of getting our message across,” he said in an interview to GMTV on Friday morning.

A study of 1,000 six to 10-year-olds revealed that 53 per cent of British children were

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7592:-anglican-church-reach-out-to-people&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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World pressure only makes Iran more determined: President Ahmadinejad

Apr 3, 2010

TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that world pressure on Iran, including talk of new sanctions, makes the Islamic republic more determined than ever to pursue its nuclear programmers.

His defiance came after US President Barack Obama vowed to ratchet up global pressure on Tehran to abandon its controversial atomic programme which he said indicated Iran was aiming for a weapons capability.

Iran's atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi, meanwhile, said that plans to build one or two new uranium enrichment plants had been submitted to Ahmadinejad.

"You (world powers) can cut your own throat, jump up or down, issue statements and declarations and pass resolutions... but don't think you can stop the progress and building of the Iranian nation," Ahmadinejad said.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/World-pressure-only-makes-Iran-more-determined-President-Ahmadinejad/articleshow/5757713.c

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/zardari-just-a-step-away-from-losing-powers/d/2653


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