Kashmir mosque siege on as militant refuses to give up
UAE court says okay to wife-beating
Afghan gunmen kill 9 guards protecting NATO convoy
Now Shiv Sena demands ban on burqa
Osama Bin Laden living in a house in Pakistan: US
Pakistan rejects report about Osama’s presence
Mob attacks Kuwait TV station
Madinah court rejects woman's plea to marry colleague
Appeals court outside holy city mooted to benefit non-Muslims
Bloggers call for boycott of Campbell's halal soups
ISI assisted 26/11 plotters: Guardian
Demand for Balochistan Pakhtun province
Hearing of charges against BDR mutineers begins
Business permits: Owned by Saudi women, but used by expats
Israel says Hamas has anti-aircraft missiles
Report shows drones strikes based on scant evidence
Yemeni militant sentenced to death
Screams from a dark room... boy in chains
Father rejects claim daughter ended her life
US missile strike kills 7 in North Waziristan
“Muslim bodies ready to fight Ayodhya verdict”
Muslim law board split on moving SC
141 MPs suspended for hiding details of assets
Pakistan spy agency 'had role in planning Mumbai attacks'
US must respect Pakistan’s sovereignty: FM Qureshi
J&K: Hurriyat hawk Alam arrested
Hearing in 26/11 case begins in Bombay High Court
'Mossad agent' wanted station in India to keep tab on Pak
Curfew clamped in four districts of Kashmir Valley
Kasab shows no signs of remorse
Pentagon sets up team as massive Wiki leak nears
Suspected IED recovered outside police control room in Srinagar
Iran support for Maliki
Iran joins high-level Afghan talks
Al-Qaeda plotter sent Headley to Britain for weapons: Report
Army probes fake bombs for rewards
Why US tip on Headley was vague
Turkish court begins trial of 150 Kurds
Terror, cyber attacks ‘biggest security threats’ in UK
US has ‘no objection’ to Iran role in Afghan talks
Govt vows non partisan action in Karachi
Overnight firing kills 7 in Karachi
Pakistan helped US arrest Taliban leaders: Haqqani
Expo showcases youth potential
Kingdom bans smoking at airports
OPEC always seeks to strike a balance: Al-Naimi
Saudi business executives turn upbeat on economy
Businessman proposes SR5,000 minimum wage
Jeddah floods: 43 people staked false claims for compensation
Con man escapes with SR1.5 million
Israeli officer handed 5 months for looting Turkish vessel
Court upholds death sentence in rape-murder
Cracks emerge in Australian unity on Afghan war
Egypt unearths 4,500-year-old tomb
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Attack on Chechen parliament in Grozny leaves six dea
19 October 2010
Six people were killed and 10 others injured when at least three militants stormed parliament in the restive Russian republic of Chechnya. Shouting Islamist slogans, they launched a bomb and gun attack as deputies arrived for work, and two guards and an official were killed. All of the attackers were killed, according to Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's Kremlin-backed president. Deputies inside the building managed to escape by moving to an upper floor.Correspondents say the incident in the capital Grozny is a reminder that the region is far from stable. Last year Moscow declared victory against Chechen separatists and there has been a relative lull in the violence under Mr Kadyrov. But the whole North Caucasus is seeing an insurgency led by Islamist rebels, correspondents say.
Militants struck at about 0845 (0445 GMT), attacking policemen guarding the parliament building, Mr Kadyrov told Russian news agency Interfax. At least one attacker appears to have set off a suicide bomb just outside the building before the others rushed inside, exchanging fire with security guards. They could be heard shouting "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is great" - as they ran inside, according to Chechen security sources. A spokesman for the Chechen parliament, Zelim Yakhikhanov, said deputies had feared they would be taken hostage when they heard shooting outside the building. "We managed to take refuge on the third floor where we stayed until the end of the operation," he told AFP news agency. President Kadyrov said the operation to suppress the attack took between 15 and 20 minutes. It is unclear how such a small group of armed men could have penetrated the government building, which is usually heavily guarded. The pro-rebel news website Kavkaz-Tsentr quoted its own unnamed sources in Grozny as saying they had heard a "powerful" explosion, followed by heavy gunfire for more than 30 minutes. The city has been sealed off and armoured vehicles were patrolling the streets, it added. There has been no confirmation of the identity of the attackers.
History of violence
Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev is visiting Chechnya and held an emergency meeting with Mr Kadyrov.
He commended the Chechen security forces' response to the attack, saying they had acted "professionally and competently", and describing the attack as "untypical".
Mr Kadyrov is also reported to have briefed Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the phone.
The BBC's Tom Esselmont in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, says this attack is highly reminiscent of those which peaked in the 1990s and then again some five or six years ago.
Some of the violence appears to have been displaced into neighbouring territories of North Ossetia and Ingushetia.
This attack shows the battle is far from over and Chechnya is far from being in the secure situation the Russian government would like to see, our correspondent says.
Oct 18, 2010
SRINAGAR: The standoff between an injured guerrilla hiding in a mosque in Kashmir's Bandipora district and the security forces continued Monday evening as a village cleric and elders failed to persuade the militant to surrender.
"The injured militant lobbed a grenade at the surrounding security men who did not retaliate in deference to the mosque inside which the militant is hiding," a senior police officer said here.
The injured militant took shelter in the mosque in Dabban village after a gun battle early Monday morning when a group of militants moving around in the forest area near Dabban village was surrounded by personnel of the counter-insurgency force, the Rahstriya Rifles and state police.
The militants were challenged to surrender but instead opened fire on the security forces.
"One terrorist was killed and another injured in a gunfight with the security forces in forest foothill village of Dabban in Bandipora district early today (Monday). The injured terrorist entered the mosque in the village," Army's 15 Corps spokesman Lt. Col. J.S. Brar said.
"The local imam and village elders had tried earlier to persuade the holed up guerrilla to surrender, but failed," Brar added.
Senior police and army officers have rushed to the spot to ensure that the situation is defused without causing any damage to the mosque.
Security forces, meanwhile, tightened the cordon around the mosque and put up flashlights to ensure the guerrilla does not escape in the cover of darkness.
Oct 19, 2010
ABU DHABI (UAE): A man can beat his wife and young children, as long as he leaves no marks on the body, UAE's highest court has ruled. Ruling in a case where a man beat up his wife and adult daughter, the court took exception to the cuts and bruises he caused.
The decision by the Federal Supreme Court shows the strong influence of Islamic law in the Emirates, which, in fact, is less conservative than some Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, where women are forbidden from driving and travelling without male company.
It said the man was guilty of harming the women but noted that Islamic codes allow for ``discipline'' if no marks are left. It added that children who have reached ``adulthood'' -- approximately puberty -- cannot be struck.
``Although the (law) permits the husband to use his right (to discipline), he has to abide by the limits of this right," an Abu Dhabi daily quoted chief justice Falah al-Hajeri as saying in the ruling released on Sunday. The man's daughter was 23, hence too old to be disciplined in this fashion, it noted.
Oct 18 2010
Kabul : Gunmen killed nine Afghan workers who were guarding a NATO supply convoy in the south of the country, police said Monday.
The attack in Gereshk district happened on Sunday night, said the deputy police chief for Helmand province, Kamaluddin Khan. Military supply convoys are regularly attacked in Afghanistan, where they are seen as an easier target for insurgents than NATO bases.
The shootings come about a week after trucks bearing NATO supplies for troops began flowing again through the important Khyber Pass crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan. Pakistan had closed the Torkham crossing in protest at a NATO helicopter strike that killed two Pakistani border guards.
During the 11-day blockade, about 150 trucks were destroyed and some drivers and police were injured in near-daily attacks in Pakistan. NATO, however, said its supplies were not interrupted as it simply sent supplies through other routes - such as crossings in the west or further south.
Separately, an airstrike by international coalition forces killed four suspected Taliban fighters who were planting a bomb, said Abdul Jabar Pardeli, the police chief in neighboring Nimroz province. A Taliban commander was among those killed by Sunday night’s strike, he said.
Violence has risen in the south of the country as NATO and Afghan forces have for months attempted to push insurgents from their strongholds in the Taliban heartland of Kandahar.
Checkpoints have been set up around Kandahar city in an attempt to keep insurgents from entering and carrying out attacks.
Control of Kandahar is seen as key to reversing Taliban momentum in the war. The nearly 150,000 international troops and 220,000 Afghan security forces are still struggling to gain the upper hand against an estimated 30,000 insurgents.
The nine-year war has inflicted a mounting toll on Afghan civilians who are caught in the crossfire. In western Afghanistan, a roadside bomb killed three civilians Monday morning in Herat city, police said. Police spokesman Noor Nikzad said the bomb was hidden in a sack in an irrigation ditch. When officers went to inspect the object, it exploded. The three victims had been walking nearby.
Nikzad said one police officer was wounded.
Meanwhile, NATO forces say that a detainee captured in an operation in the south was found dead in his holding cell Sunday.
NATO says the man was being held in Kandahar province after being detained Saturday, and the alliance is investigating the circumstances of his death. The international military coalition gave no further information.
MUMBAI: Shiv Sena, which is facing flak over pushing Mumbai University to withdraw Rohinton Mistry's Booker prize-nominated book, today opened a new front by calling for a ban on burqa (veil) worn by Muslim women.
"If the burqa is used to steal children, then we demand that it be banned as per law," an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamna' said.
A two-month-old baby boy was kidnapped on October 15 allegedly by an unidentified burqa-clad woman from a civic-run hospital in suburban Santa Cruz.
Lauding the French government on its decision to ban 'burqas' and other full-body robes worn by some Muslim women, the editorial said the French President had taken a 'revolutionary step' to ban the burqa.
"When burqa was banned in Turkey by Kemal Pasha, Islam did not come in between. Why only is it so in India?" it said.
Sena is under fire for forcing the University of Mumbai to drop the Booker nominated novel by Rohinton Mistry, 'Such a Long Journey', from its BA syllabus, alleging that the book 'poorly represented' the saffron party.
19 Oct, 2010
KABUL: Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is living comfortably in a house in north- west Pakistan close to his deputy Ayman Al Zawahiri, CNN on Monday quoted a Nato official as saying.
Bin Laden is being protected by local people and “some members of the Pakistani intelligence services,” the television network said.
It also said that the Al Qaeda number two, the Egyptian-born Zawahiri, was living close to him.“Nobody in Al Qaeda is living in a cave,” the unnamed senior Nato official is quoted as saying.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/pakistan-rejects-report-about-osamas-presence-900
Mob attacks Kuwait TV station
A crowd angry about a programme they deemed insulting to some members of Kuwait’s ruling family stormed a Kuwaiti private television station on Sunday, ransacking its offices, station officials said.
‘Some of them were armed with pistols and knives. They attacked the studio and damaged it and beat up the workers. About 10 were injured,’ Mohammed Talal al-Saeed, executive manager of Scope TV, said.
Fajr al-Saeed, owner of the station, said she had received threats to her life after the talk show ‘Zain wa Shain’ (‘Good and Bad’) was aired on Saturday.
Kuwaiti newspapers have said the information ministry has accused Fajr al-Saeed of attempting to overthrow the government with Scope’s satirical comedy show ‘Sawtak Wasal’ (‘Your Voice Has Been Heard’).
Fajr al-Saeed said the presenter of Saturday’s talk show had appeared to accuse a member of the ruling family who is a senior information ministry official of being behind the accusation.
Full report at: http://www.newagebd.com/2010/oct/19/front.html
MADINAH: A court in Madinah has rejected for the second time a Saudi doctor's suit to be allowed to marry a colleague against the wishes of her family, Al-Watan newspaper reported on Monday.
The court on Sunday refused to reverse its ruling in July against the 42-year-old woman after an appeals court sent the verdict back to it for review, the paper said.
The woman sought the court's help to marry a doctor in the hospital where she worked, saying her father and brothers were against the union because of tribal incompatibility.
But the judge in the case again denied her petition. In his original judgment he accused her of being disobedient to her father.
The judge ordered that the woman return to live at her father's house.
She has been living in a women's shelter for two years, and says she faces abuse from her father if she goes back to his home.
"I have been prevented from marrying for 10 years now, and my case has been in the Medina court for five years," the woman told Al-Watan.
"I will turn 43 in a few months. I don't have many years left to build a family and have children."
Her lawyer, Ahmad Al-Sudairy, said the judge had blinded himself to the woman's plight and wishes while he cited passages from the Qur'an to back his own judgment, the paper said.
By MD HUMAIDAN
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Justice has started making plans to establish an appeals court outside the boundaries of Makkah to allow non-Muslims to attend, according to ministry sources on Monday.
They said a number of non-Muslims complained to the ministry that they were not able to appear before the Court of Appeals in Makkah as they were not allowed to enter the holy city.
The sources said ministry officials have not yet decided a location for the court, but it is highly likely that Jeddah will be their choice. The Court of Appeals represents the second level of litigation after the general, summary and commercial courts.
When people are unhappy with the rulings of these preliminary courts, they can go to the Court of Appeals.
Meanwhile, the ministry has established a special administration called the Department of International Cooperation, which will be responsible for judicial agreements, memorandums of understanding, judicial training and scientific exchanges.
The new department will receive invitations for the ministry to participate in regional and international conferences and symposiums, suggest participants and nominate judges for foreign visits.
By BARBARA FERGUSON
WASHINGTON: Here something to stew over: Campbell’s Canadian-made tomato soup has become radicalized and is linked to terrorists, or at least, that’s what some whacky US conservative bloggers would like you to believe.
Campbell’s soup, a staple of pantries for over 100 years, has released a “Halal-certified” line of soups hat allow Muslims to consume the products according to Islamic dietary laws.
Islamophobes are now frantically calling it a “Muslim takeover.”
Pamela Geller, who has gained notoriety through her widely read anti-Muslim site called Atlas Shrugs, is calling for a boycott of some 15 soups made by the Canadian subsidiary of New Jersey-based Campbell Soup Co.
These soups, sold strictly in Canada, are certified by the Islamic Society of North America ISNA, which has been certifying halal foods since 1988.
But Geller, who gained fame by whipping up opposition to an Islamic community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan, is adept at keeping herself in the news. She claims ISNA has ties to terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
A number of extremist conservative groups, including JihadWatch.org, have joined Geller’s call for the soup boycott.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article163996.ece
October 19, 2010
The ISI was heavily involved in preparations for the Mumbai terror attacks, according to classified Indian government documents obtained by 'The Guardian'.
The newspaper said that a 109-page report into the interrogation of key suspect David Headley, a Pakistani-American terrorist arrested last year and detained in the US, makes detailed claims of ISI support for the attacks.
"Under questioning, Headley described dozens of meetings between officers of the main Pakistani military intelligence service, the ISI, and senior militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group responsible for the Mumbai attacks", the report said.
Headley reportedly claimed that a key motivation for the ISI in aiding the attacks was to bolster militant organisations with strong links to the Pakistani state and security establishment who were being marginalised by more extreme radical groups.
QUETTA, Oct 18: Dr Mir Haji Tareen, chairman of the Balochistan Pakhtun Movement, has called for a separate province for the Pashto-speaking people of the province.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, he said that Pakhtuns living in areas outside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were without an identity.
Dr Tareen, a former federal minister, said that areas inhabited by Pakhtuns in Balochistan were rich in resources and would be able to meet the financial needs of the new province.
APPEAL: The relatives of Ali Asghar Bungulzai, who went missing in 2001, have appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to order the authorities to trace him.
Talking to reporters, sons and daughters of Mr Bungulzai said that nine years had passed but they had not heard about the whereabouts of their father.
They accused intelligence agencies of taking Mr Bungulzai into custody on June 1, 2000. They said he was released after sometime but was picked up again on Oct 18, 2001 along with Mohammad Iqbal Baloch.
Hearing of charges against BDR mutineers begins
The hearing of the charges framed against 623 suspected mutineers of the 13 Rifles Battalion, allegedly involved in the carnage on February 25-26, 2009, began on Monday in a special court in the Bangladesh Rifles’ headquarters in Dhaka amidst tight security.
The BDR’s deputy director-general, Brigadier General Obaidul Haque, presided over the four-member Special Court-8, that started the trial proceedings at about 10:44am in the headquarters’ auditorium, Durbar Hall, from where the mutiny started with the sudden attack of Sepoy Mohammad Mainuddin of 13 Rifles Battalion on the then director-general, Major General Shakil Ahmed, who was delivering a speech.
A total of 622 accused of the Rifles Battalion were produced before the court on the day as one accused, Havildar Shafiqul Islam, reportedly died of cancer in Kasimpur Jail-2 on 5 August, 2010.
The BDR’s prosecutor, Lieutenant Colonel Akhtar Hamid Khan, described the crime committed by the accused, of whom 621 were present on the dock while another one, Abul Hossain, was kept in an ambulance due to illness.
Akhtar Hamid, also the commanding officer of the battalion, read out the allegations against the accused and said they had committed punishable offences under the Bangladesh Rifles Order, 1972, Section 10A (1).
By DIANA AL-JASSEM
JEDDAH: Although the Jeddah municipality issues Saudi women permits to start their own businesses, some women give the permits to expatriate women to run the businesses on their behalf in exchange for a share in profits.
The women, who do this, do so because of cultural reasons, family pressure or to simply earn money without doing anything.
“Our inspectors periodically visit these women-run businesses to ensure they are following rules, but more than often we find that these establishments are either closed or abandoned,” said a source at the Jeddah municipality who preferred anonymity. The municipality is also trying to expand opportunities for women. “We’ve currently issued licenses for hair salons, tailor shops, and shops selling clothes, lingerie and accessories,” said the source, adding that women would soon be issued permits to open jewelry stores, perfume stores, stores selling wedding accessories, coffeehouses, restaurants, computer and mobile maintenance stores, shoe shops and bag shops.
However, in spite of these opportunities, many women are unable to benefit due to their families being unhappy with their daughters working in shops. “After graduation from high school, I decided to develop my talent as a wedding dress designer. I started from home where I would design dresses,” said Sundus Bahamdain.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article164128.ece
JERUSALEM: Gaza's Hamas rulers have obtained anti-aircraft missiles, Israel's prime minister said Monday, in a potentially game-changing development that could threaten the Israeli air force's ability to strike at the militant group.
Israeli aircraft have long dominated the skies over Gaza, striking suspected Hamas military installations and assassinating dozens of wanted militants. The Israeli air force played a key role in a fierce three-week offensive in Gaza early last year, which began with airstrikes that killed hundreds of Hamas fighters. The air raids also destroyed vast amounts of infrastructure and killed hundreds of civilians.
Speaking to his Likud Party, Netanyahu disclosed that Israel's aerial freedom has been compromised by the new weaponry, presumably smuggled into Gaza through tunnels connected to neighboring Egypt. He said any future peace agreement would have to include security arrangements to deal with the threat.
Israel believes that despite its military offensive and Egypt's stated goal of halting arms smuggling, Hamas has managed to restock its arsenal with longer-range missiles that can strike the heart of Israel.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article164114.ece
By GARETH PORTER
New information on the Central Intelligence Agency's campaign of drone strikes in northwest Pakistan directly contradicts the image the Barack Obama administration and the CIA have sought to establish in the news media of a program based on highly accurate targeting that is effective in disrupting Al-Qaeda's terrorist plots against the United States.
A new report on civilian casualties in the war in Pakistan has revealed direct evidence that a house was targeted for a drone attack merely because it had been visited by a group of Taleban soldiers.
The report came shortly after publication of the results of a survey of opinion within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan showing overwhelming popular opposition to the drone strikes and majority support for suicide attacks on US forces under some circumstances.
Meanwhile, data on targeting of the drone strikes in Pakistan indicate that they have now become primarily an adjunct of the US war in Afghanistan, targeting almost entirely militant groups involved in the Afghan insurgency rather than Al-Qaeda officials involved in plotting global terrorism.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article164119.ece
SANAA: A court in Yemen sentenced an Al-Qaeda militant to death on Monday after convicting him of involvement in terror attacks and manufacturing explosives.
The militant, Saleh Al-Shawish, shouted in court after the verdict that Al-Qaeda would have its revenge. "Your destruction will be by our hands, God willing," he shouted, "starting in Abyan" — a reference to a southern province where attacks by the terror network against security forces have increased in recent months.
Yemen has stepped up the fight against Al-Qaeda's affiliate in the country, which is believed to have several hundred fighters entrenched in remote, mountainous areas of the country. The group, called Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, announced last week in an online audio message the formation of the "Abyan-Aden Army," aimed at toppling the Yemeni government.
Al-Shawish was arrested in February and later charged with involvement in seven attacks on security facilities, training would-be suicide bombers and bomb making.
Al-Shawish, also known as Salem Al-Hadrami, confessed to blowing up security checkpoints starting in 2007, according to transcripts of his interrogations. He told the state prosecutor's office that he, along with others, attacked oil facilities in the eastern province of Hadramaut using Katyusha rockets.
He rejected a court's offer to assign a defense lawyer. He also turned down a request to appeal the verdict.
Screams from a dark room... boy in chains Amira Agarib
19 October 2010,
SHARJAH — In a bizarre incident, an eight-year-old boy was bound in chains and dumped in a dark room to rue his alleged bad behaviour.
The boy’s father and alleged tormentor, was arrested and will be referred to the Sharjah Public Prosecution; the victim was sent to a social care centre.
A Sharjah Police official told Khaleej Times that neighbours of the family in Ibn Khaldoon area in Al Sajaa informed them about the father’s extreme measure after they heard the child screaming in agony on Monday.
Officers from the Heira police station rushed to the house and found the boy’s hands and feet bound in chains. He was struggling to move, they said. When questioned, the father, a Pakistani national, said he resorted to this extreme step because the boy was behaving badly and needed to be disciplined.
Police said both the child and his mother were stateless citizens. ‘‘We do not have full information on the case and we are still gathering information,’’ a senior official said. There were no torture marks on the boy’s body, but he looked pale, thin and frightened, according to the police.
Meanwhile, the father was detained for a few hours and released on bail. He will appear before the prosecution on Tuesday.
Dubai-based legal consultant Sayed Atia said the UAE laws give fathers the right to correct their children and inculcate good values to them under Article 53 of Federal Penal Code 3 of the year 1987. ‘‘But if the punishment exceeds limits, or if the father harshly beats up the child or injure, or kills him, it is considered a crime, and child abuse charges can be slapped as per the federal penal code.’’
He said Islam urged people to correct their children. ‘‘If a father chains his child with the intention of correcting him, he will be pardoned by the court, otherwise he faces imprisonment of two years for endangering the child’s life.’’
DAMMAM: Police in Dammam are investigating the death of a 21-year-old Saudi woman who died at her husband’s home over two months ago, Al-Yaum newspaper reported.
The woman’s mother accuses her son-in-law of being responsible for her death and rejects claims that she committed suicide, adding that her daughter’s marriage was going through a rough patch.
The woman was given first aid by her husband after her alleged suicide before he took her to a hospital where she stayed in a coma for five days before dying. Why she committed suicide is still unknown. The woman’s body is currently at a morgue while investigations continue.
Her father told Al-Yaum that the nurse who treated his daughter told him she had marks and bruises all over her body and that his daughter did not commit suicide. He added that his daughter also had a bite mark to her cheek.
“They were constantly fighting and her husband is the reason why she died. They were arguing ever since they got married,” said the woman’s mother. “They separated for a while before reuniting again just one week before she died,” she added.
She also doubted her son-in-law’s claims that her daughter jumped from a third floor and called for an investigation into the matter. Dammam police refused to comment on the case, saying an investigation is still ongoing.
She said her daughter decided to go back to her husband because of their child and that she was surprised to receive a telephone call from hospital telling her that her daughter had been admitted there.
MIR ALI: Pakistan Intelligence officials say American missiles have killed seven people in a militant stronghold near the Afghan border. Monday’s attack struck the Dattakhel region of North Waziristan. The officials provided no further details of the strike, and did not give their names. The United States has stepped up missile attacks on al-Qaeda and taliban targets inside northwest Pakistan over the last two months. There have been 17 strikes this month, according to an Associated Press count. Washington does not acknowledge the attacks, Critics say innocent people are often killed in the attacks, hurting Pakistan’s efforts to win over tribesmen in its campaign against militants. ap
“Muslim bodies ready to fight Ayodhya verdict”
Ayodhya: All national Muslim organisations are ready to go to the Supreme Court along with the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) against the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya title suits, AIMPLB member Syed Shahabuddin said on Monday.
Piyush Srivastava/ Lucknow
THE All India Muslim Personal Law Board ( AIMPLB) appears to be divided over the issue of moving the Supreme Court against the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Babri Masjid- Ramjanmabhoomi title suit. Board vice- president Maulana Kalbe Sadiq has been quoted as saying that he was not allowed to speak at the October 16 AIMPLB meeting.
It was reported the board had unanimously decided to move the SC against the Ayodhya judgment.
Sadiq, who always insisted he had two formulas to settle the issue out of court, had said a few days before the AIMPLB meet that he would present a solution for the dispute at the meeting.
Maulana Yasub Abbas, spokesman for the Shia board, affirmed on Monday that the members did not allow Sadiq to speak at the meet. “ He wanted to table the compromise formula. But the members were more interested in passing a resolution to move the SC,” Abbas said. “ Sadiq is disappointed at the board’s rigid posture. He is not against moving the SC but believes an amicable solution will be better,” he added.
Khalid Rashid Firangimehli, Sunni cleric and board member, denied Sadiq was not given time to speak.
By Shakeel Ahmed
ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has suspended membership of 141 parliamentarians for not submitting asset declarations on Monday.
The suspended members included Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Engineer Amir Maqam, Attaur Rehman, Noor Aalam, Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali, Syed Khursheed Shah, Kashmala Tariq, Muahammad Jam Mangrio, Susham Bukhari and others.34 members of the National Assembly have been suspended, 69 of Punjab Assembly, 16 of Sindh Assembly, 10 of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and 12 of the Balochistan Assembly. Four members of the Senate are also mentioned in the suspended MPs’ list released by the ECP. The Election Commission of Pakistan has been reminding the public representatives to submit their annual statements of assets and liabilities to fulfill legal requirements.Asset declarations of spouses and dependents of the members of parliament and four provincial assemblies also submitted under the rules.
Although there is no system of verification of the statements filed by public representatives, it is a mandatory requirement under Section 42A of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 and Section 25A of the Senate (Election) Act, 1975.The ECP can suspend a member and bar him/her from attending the proceedings of the respective house or its committees.
An ECP spokesperson said that more than 1000 parliamentarians had submitted annul declaration of assets in the commission. Those who have filed declarations include Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Khurshid Shah, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Farzana Raja and Parvez Elahi.
One MP appears in fake degrees case
ISLAMABAD - In the fake degrees case, only one member of parliament appeared before the Election Commission Monday, while six MPs sent their representatives.
LONDON: Pakistan's main spy agency played a major role in helping prepare the 2008 Mumbai attacks, one of the planners of the bloodbath has told Indian interrogators, a report said on Tuesday.
David Headley, who confessed to surveying targets for the attacks that left 166 people dead in November 2008, made detailed claims about support from the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, said Britain's Guardian newspaper.
Headley described dozens of meetings between officers of the ISI and senior militants from Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT), said the paper, citing a 109-page Indian government report into his interrogation.
India blames LeT -- a banned, Pakistan-based Islamist group -- for masterminding the Mumbai attacks.
The Guardian said Headley claimed the ISI was attempting to strengthen militant organisations with links to the Pakistani state which were being marginalised by more extreme groups.
Headley, the son of a former Pakistani diplomat and a white American woman, claimed that at least two of his missions were partly paid for by the ISI and that he regularly reported to the spy agency, said the British daily.
"The ISI... had no ambiguity in understanding the necessity to strike India," Headley is cited as telling the Indian investigators, who reportedly interviewed him over 34 hours in the US in June.
The documents suggest however that the ISI's supervision of the militants was often chaotic and that most senior officers in the agency may have been unaware of the scale of the attacks before they were launched, added the paper.
An ISI spokesman told the Guardian that accusations of the agency's involvement in the Mumbai attacks were "baseless."
In the attacks, 10 heavily-armed gunmen launched a three-day assault on prime targets in India's financial capital.
Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani, confessed to his role in plotting the attacks after being arrested in the US.
In exchange for pleading guilty to the attacks, US prosecutors agreed he would not face extradition to India or the death penalty.
WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistan will try this week to get their crisis-prone relationship back on track after the latest US drive to win over hearts and minds faced quick setbacks.
Senior officials from the two nations will on Wednesday open a “strategic dialogue,” an initiative launched by the United States earlier this year to show that it cares about more than just Pakistan’s help in Afghanistan.
But that core cooperation was thrown into doubt last month when Pakistan closed the main land route for Afghan war supplies through the Khyber Pass, incensed after a Nato helicopter killed at least two Pakistani soldiers.
Pakistan reopened the crossing after 11 days once the United States formally apologized for the killings, which officials of the Nato alliance said was an accident caused by the border’s ambiguity.
The chopper incident came just after the United States, conscious of widespread anti-Americanism in Pakistan, mobilized a major humanitarian drive to help victims of the country’s worst-ever floods.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who will represent Pakistan in the talks, praised the aid but said the relationship also suffered “two steps back” with the helicopter attack and relentless US drone strikes aimed at militants.
“We are an ally, not a satellite,” Qureshi said Monday at Harvard University. “We have to protect our borders — you have to respect our sovereignty.”
“You have to realize the political price you pay in Pakistan and that my government pays as your friend from the almost daily drone assaults on our territory,” he said.
“If unmanned drone attacks were not difficult enough for our people to absorb, the recent acts of Nato helicopters in Pakistan, killing Pakistani soldiers, are nothing short of infuriating,” he said.
The three-day talks will culminate Friday in talks between Qureshi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Qureshi said the United States can improve relations by taking up issues on which it has long been hesitant — such as pursuing a free trade deal, discussing civil nuclear cooperation along the lines of a US pact with Pakistan’s rival India, or pressuring India over the disputed Kashmir region.
Most analysts consider such items on Pakistan’s wish-list to be long shots at a time when the public mood in the United States has also soured on Islamabad.
US lawmakers have repeatedly criticized Pakistan, accusing it of playing a double-game by maintaining ties with Afghanistan’s Taliban and of showing ingratitude over US assistance in a time of austerity.
The US Congress last year approved a five-year, 7.5 billion-dollar package to build schools, infrastructure and democratic institutions in Pakistan, deciding that development was the best bulwark against Islamic extremism.
A survey by the Pew Research Center conducted in July found that a mere 17 percent of Pakistanis held a favorable view of the United States.
But despite the headlines, Dan Feldman, the deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said he has seen a “very significant change” in Pakistani media portrayals of the United States since the floods.
Feldman voiced hope that the United States can sustain the momentum.
“I think that we can showcase that we are not only there during this crisis, but there for the long-haul, and hopefully that that will change perceptions in Pakistan,” Feldman said.
However, the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, a US-based group which works on behalf of war victims, warned not to underestimate the impact of drone strikes.
Christopher Rogers, who spent a year interviewing survivors in Pakistan, said the number of civilian victims was almost certainly more than officials admitted — and that survivors received little to no help.
“The perceived legitimacy of the Pakistani state in conflict areas is key to lasting stability and security,” Rogers said. “Civilian casualties, especially when left unaddressed, do serious harm to these efforts.” —AFP
SRINAGAR: Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Masrat Alam, seen as the spearhead of street protests and stone-pelting in Kashmir Valley for the past four months, was arrested here on Monday night.
Underground since June this year, Alam, Muslim League chief, was apprehended in Tailbal locality on the outskirts of the city, officials said.
He was whisked to an undisclosed destination for questioning, they said.
Alam, considered to be close to pro-Pak Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had dodged police for the past four months.
He would be booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA), official sources said.
They said curfew was likely to be imposed tomorrow in the city and some parts of the Valley as a precautionary measure.
Muslim League is a constituent of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat, headed by Geelani.
Ajmal Kasab showed no signs of remorse as the state opened arguments in the Bombay HC on confirmation of his death sentence.
MUMBAI: Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist involved in the 26/11 attacks, smiled, yawned and scratched his head showing no signs of remorse as the state opened arguments in the Bombay High Court on Monday on confirmation of his death sentence.
Government counsel Ujjwal Nikam, while giving details about the barbaric acts of Kasab and nine others who came from Pakistan to strike terror in Mumbai, said "the 26/11 attack was an act of state-sponsored terrorism and was executed by Lashkar-e-Taiba with the aid of security apparatus of that country".
The arguments began in court 49 before Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More through video conference to enable Kasab hear the proceedings from the Central Jail where he is imprisoned in the high security bomb and bullet proof cell.
23-year-old Kasab, who appeared on a big screen sharp at 11am, seemed to be uninterested in the proceedings as most of the time he was seen smiling and yawning. At times, he scratched his head, played with the button of his prison uniform and stretched his arms.
During the first half of the hearing, Kasab sought permission to go to the washroom. He gestured at jail staff who informed the court which allowed him.
This is for the first time that arguments on confirmation of death sentence are being heard through video conference in the Bombay High Court, legal sources said.
The entire high court building was converted into a fortress with deployment of armed policemen at all the four entrances. Lawyers, media persons and Court staff were issued special passes to enter Court 49 to hear the 26/11 case.
Although Kasab was not brought to the court, security was tight in view of the sensitive nature of the case.
On May 6, the trial court had awarded death sentence to Kasab. In accordance with law, death penalty was referred to the high court for confirmation.
Nikam said a heinous conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan by LeT to destabilise India, wage war against the country and cause financial losses by organising terror attacks in Mumbai in November, 2008, in which 166 persons from India, UK, USA, Israel and other countries were killed.
He said the ten terrorists were trained in Pakistan and left Karachi for Mumbai by boat Al-husseini. Midway, they hijacked M V Kuber and killed captain Amarsinh Solanki. They landed at Badhwar Park in South Mumbai and went to different places in separate batches to execute the terror attacks.
Kasab and Abu Ismael took a taxi and planted a bomb before getting down at CST where they fired indiscriminately at people, killing several. The taxi bomb exploded at Vile Parle in which the driver and a lawyer were killed.
The duo then entered nearby Cama Hospital and killed a police officer and a constable while injuring few others. Outside the hospital, they shot dead top police officers, Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamate and Vijay Salaskar.
NEW YORK: An American national, who fled to Israel after killing his parents, has claimed that he worked for Israeli spy agency Mossad and wanted to set up a "station" in India to keep a tab on Pakistan.
Eric Bellucci, who killed his parents and then fled to Israel only to be extradited back to the US, was apprehended yesterday by the New York Police Department (NYPD).
Bellucci, who was brought back to New York from the Tel Aviv airport to face murder charges, told a friend that he had previously worked with the CIA and Mossad.
He told the friend that he planned "to set up a station in India so I can look at Pakistan," The New York Post reported.
Bellucci was fearful of living in NYC because he feared another Times Square attack.
Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, a LeT operative, tried to blow up an explosive-laden vehicle in Times Square on May 1 but failed and was later arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment after his conviction in the case.
Full report at:
SRINAGAR: Curfew was today imposed in four districts of Kashmir Valley as authorities apprehended breach of peace in the wake of the arrest of hardline Hurriyat leader Masrat Alam.
A police spokesman said curfew has been imposed in Srinagar city, Ganderbal district town and Kangan town.
In north Kashmir, Baramulla town, Pattan, Palhalan, Kunzar, Tangmarg, Kupwara town, Trehgam, Kralpora, Handwara town, Kulangam and Chotipora have been placed under curfew.
However, curfew was relaxed in Kupwara from 10 am onwards while in Handwara the restrictions have been eased from 10 am to 2 pm, he said.
The restrictions were imposed as authorities apprehended that separatists might try to disturb peace by instigating violent protests in response to the arrest of Alam, a close confidante of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, last night.
The spokesman said the situation in the Valley is peaceful so far.
Mumbai: Twenty-three-year-old Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist involved in the 26/11 attacks, smiled, yawned and scratched his head, showing no signs of remorse, as the state opened arguments on Monday via video conference in the Bombay High Court on confirmation of his death sentence.
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said it had a 120-member team prepared to review a massive leak of as many as 500,000 Iraq war documents, which are expected to be released by the WikiLeaks website sometime this month.
Pentagon spokesman colonel Dave Lapan said the timing of the leak remained unclear but the defense department was ready for a document dump as early as Monday or Tuesday, a possibility raised in previous WikiLeaks statements.
However, an Icelandic spokesman for WikiLeaks said the website would not publish the reports on the Iraq war on Monday, but would make new documents public "very soon."
"There are rumours that have been floating around for some time, there is nothing you can do about it, they're obviously not correct. I can confirm that there's nothing coming out today," Kristinn Hrafnsson said.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pentagon-sets-up-team-as-massive-Wiki-leak-nears/articleshow/6772188.cms#ixzz12mB0j03j
SRINAGAR: Minutes before a crucial security meeting in Srinagar, police on Monday detected a suspected Improvised Explosive Device (IED) outside the Police Control Room.
A plastic can containing a nine-volt battery, a programmed Timer Device (PTD) and some black powdery substance, was found by a police patrol just outside the PCR complex near Batamaloo in Srinagar, officials said.
A bomb disposal squad has been rushed to the spot to defuse the explosive material which is estimated to weigh 1.5 kilogramme, they said.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir S M Sahai said the matter is being investigated and it is not yet clear if the suspected object was an IED.
The recovery comes minutes ahead of crucial security meeting to finalise the arrangements for the bi-annual durbar move under which the capital of Jammu and Kashmir shifts from Srinagar to Jammu for six months of winter.
Senior police and other security officials were to attend the meeting, which was scheduled to begin at 11.00 am.
DUBAI: Iran on Monday signalled its strong support for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Mailiki, who is seeking a second term in office, by unrolling the red carpet for him during his visit to Tehran.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki received Mr. Maliki, who is visiting the region to garner support for a stable coalition government in Baghdad. He has already visited Jordan, and later plans to visit Turkey and Egypt.
Iran's state-run Press TV reported that Mr. Maliki is engaged in building a coalition government, and is now “short of handful of seats”.
Mr. Maliki's chances for a second term improved substantially when Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr recently pledged him his support. Mr. Sadr, whose Mehdi Army militia had once fought pitched battles with the American forces, is presently in Iran to pursue higher theological studies. Mr. Maliki is visiting Qom, Iran's spiritual capital, amid speculation of his possible meeting there with Mr. Sadr.
Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/10/19/stories/2010101954310900.htm
Iran took part in a high-level meeting on Afghanistan on Monday after the United States said it has no problem with its participation.The international ‘contact group’ met in Rome amid a renewed push to end the nine-year-old war in Afghanistan, including bringing Taliban into peace talks. The group gathers the Afghan Government, NATO, the EU, UN and other key players — including Iran this time — to assess progress in Afghanistan.
Representatives attending the talks said Iran was invited as part of efforts to have a
comprehensive approach and include regional players in the discussions over the future of Afghanistan. Richard Holbrooke, US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said Washington was asked about possible Iranian involvement and responded it had no problem with it. He and other representatives stressed the talks are limited to Afghanistan and do not touch on the contentious issue of Tehran’s nuclear dossier. “This is a meeting on Afghanistan and it is restricted to Afghanistan,” Holbrooke told reporters. “What we are discussing here is not affected by, nor will it affect, the bilateral issues that are discussed elsewhere regarding Iran.”
Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/290568/Iran-joins-high-level-Afghan-talks.html
Oct 19 2010
London : An al-Qaeda commander, who triggered the recent terrorism alert over Mumbai-style attacks on London and cities in Europe, sent 26/11 mastermind David Headley to Britain last year to seek money, weapons and manpower, the media reported today.
One-eyed Ilyas Kashmiri sent Pakistani-American Headley to meet two men from Derby in August last year, The Daily Telegraph reported today quoting security sources.
The British contacts were supposed to assist Kashmiri’s associate with plans for a truck bomb attack on a Danish newspaper behind cartoons of Mohammed.
According to the report, it is feared the network has now been given the task of supporting Kashmiri’s plans for Mumbai-style attacks in Europe.
Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/699172/
By Arjun Sharma in Jammu
DAYS after a former armyman dropped the bombshell that “ explosives” were planted near the MLA hostel in Jammu at the behest of some Military Intelligence ( MI) personnel, the army is set to initiate an internal inquiry.
According to intelligence sources, the army has sought a detailed report of the incident in which a special police officer — in connivance with some MI personnel — planted “ the suspicious material” at the high- security site on October 8.
Investigations have revealed that the material concealed in nine boxes that were placed inside an apple crate was neither RDX nor sand.
“ It was actually 30 kg of urea, detonators and gelatine sticks attached with wires,” a source said.
Accused SPO Mehboob Dar, who was arrested by the police a few days ago, has also confessed that he provided 72 improvised explosive devices ( IEDs) with the same ingredients to the army officials in different areas of Jammu during the past three years.
Dar was posted in the Doda district.
Full report at: Mail Today
By Aman Sharma in New Delhi
Indian experts suspect that Headley was working as a CIA agent & turned rogue after coming in touch with LeT
AHEAD of US President Barack Obama’s maiden visit to India, the Union government has chosen to maintain a studied silence over the revelation that American security agencies were tipped off about David Coleman Headley’s Lashkar-e- Tayyeba (LeT) links as early as 2005.
“These revelations (pertaining to Headley’s wives informing the US authorities about his terror links) may come as a surprise to the public, but not to the Union government. It is known now that the US knew more than they told us (India),” veteran diplomat K.C. Singh says.
But will this be an issue during Obama’s trip? “I don’t think so…we will have to wait and watch over the next two or three days. The government is keeping quiet and hoping that the story dies,” Singh adds.
Full report at: Mail Today
Tuesday, 19 Oct, 2010
DIYARBAKIR (Turkey): A Turkish court began the trial on Monday of 151 Kurds, among them popular politicians, accused of being the urban wing of separatist Kurdish rebels, in a case seen as a democracy test for Ankara.
The trial coincides with cautious steps by the Turkish government to grant wider rights to its sizeable Kurdish community with the hope of ending a deadly 26-year Kurdish insurgency.
Heavy security was in place outside the courthouse in Diyarbakir, the regional capital of the mainly Kurdish southeast, for the trial which is also being followed by intellectuals and rights activists from Europe.
The 7,500-page indictment accuses the suspects of involvement in the Kurdistan Associations Union (KCK), which prosecutors describe as a terrorist group that acts as the urban extension of the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
It calls for jail terms ranging from five years to life in jail on various charges including “leadership and membership of a terrorist organisation”, “undermining the state’s unity”, “spreading terrorist propaganda” and “aiding an abetting a terrorist organisation”.—AFP
LONDON, Oct 18: International terrorism and cyber attacks pose the biggest threats to British security, a new government strategy said on Monday, just before deep cuts to the defence budget are unveiled.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition identified these as “tier one” threats in a new national security strategy alongside natural hazards such as
flu pandemics or floods, and foreign military crises that may involve Britain.
The strategy was unveiled before Cameron announces details of a defence review on Tuesday, which is set to outline cuts of around eight percent in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) budget.
Those cuts are part of Wednesday’s comprehensive spending review which could see government-wide savings of up to 25 per cent as the coalition, which took office in May, battles to pay off Britain’s huge deficit.
In a foreword to the security strategy, Cameron warned that Britain was entering an “age of uncertainty” where threats to its national interests were constantly changing.
“All of this calls for a radical transformation in the way we think about national security and organise ourselves to protect it,” he wrote.
By Anwar Iqbal
WASHINGTON, Oct 18: In a major diplomatic move to settle the Afghan dispute, the United States has withdrawn its objection to Iran’s participation in high-level discussions on Afghanistan, which enabled an Iranian official to attend the talks held in Rome on Monday.
Officials in Washington confirmed that an Iranian representative joined the international “contact group” — which brings together the Afghan government, Nato, the EU, UN and countries neighbouring Afghanistan.
A senior US official told reporters in Washington that Iran had “a role to play” in tackling the problems.
US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke told a news briefing in Rome: “We recognise that Iran, with its long, almost completely open border with Afghanistan and with a huge drug problem... has a role to play in the peaceful settlement of this situation in Afghanistan.”
Adding that “the United States, so far, has no problem with their presence”, he said US concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme will have no impact on its role in settling the Afghan dispute.
KARACHI - Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Monday foresaw plots to create differences among coalition partners, saying anti-state elements will continue hatching conspiracies to create rifts between coalition partners and the PPP-MQM friendship a long time.
Talking to media at MQM headquarters, Malik Rehman assured that action would be taken against the culprits of target killings irrespective of party affiliation.He reached Nine Zero where MQM party activists received him. Malik said that all MQM workers were equal to Dr Farooq Sattar.
The meeting between Rehman Malik and MQM leaders included Dr Farooq Sattar, Babar Ghauri and Raza Haroon and continued for 10-15 minutes. Expressing condolences with the relatives of people who lost their lives during last three-day violence, Malik said that all culprits would be traced. He said that law enforcement agencies had held several suspects of target killings.
“We will expose them before the media and the nation. The government will take stern action against the people who are behind such heinous acts,” he pledged.Malik said he talked to MQM chief Altaf Husain.
KARACHI: At least seven more people have been targeted killed here in metropolis amid incidents of violence within last 12 hours, taking the three-day death tally to 48, Geo News reported.
Meanwhile, police and rangers have claimed arresting more than 80 suspected miscreants who were allegedly involved in target killings, rampaging, torching vehicles, and triggering riots in city.
At least 12 people have been killed within last 12 hours while today’s latest killings came to notice in Landhi and Orangi Towns where 2 people have been gunned down.
Two dead bodies of youths, who were kidnapped earlier and later shot dead, were found from Eid Gah locality on Monday night, police said.
Another dead body, having marks of brutal torture, was found near Moti Mahal in Gulshan-e-Iqbal locality.
Two more persons, including a security guard, were gunned down in Liaquatabad town. Four unidentified men were shot and killed in Site Area, Baldia Town, Methadar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal areas.
Heavy police and rangers contingents are in positioned in the affected areas.
Meanwhile, those arrested under various charges have been moved to unidentified locations for investigation, police sources said.
WASHINGTON: Pakistani ambassador to US, Hussain Haqqani, has said US has been successful in arresting key Taliban leaders due to help Pakistan extended to its intelligence agencies and forces, Geo News reported.
In a televised interview with a US television channel, Haqqani said: “Pakistan’s help led to arrests of major Taliban leaders wanted in war on terrorism.”
“US should share intelligence with Pakistani government if she has intelligence about Osama’s whereabouts in Pakistan”, he urged adding that our government will be much pleased to take action over it.
US has failed to share with Pakistan even a little amount of intelligence on war on terrorism since last 18 months, he revealed.
It is worth mentioning that US has alleged Osama Bin Ladin has been living in a comfort house in north-west Pakistan but has not released any supporting information in this regard.
JEDDAH: Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed on Monday commended the efforts of young Saudi entrepreneurs and called on them to keep pace with the challenges of the modern economic and business world.
Inaugurating the third edition of Jeddah Young Business Expo at the Jeddah International Exhibition Center, Prince Mishaal said he is proud of young Saudis who are determined to prove themselves. “This expo is the proof of the potential of our youth,” he said.
Some 300 young business entrepreneurs are taking part in the four-day expo that is being held with the active support of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and sponsored by major Saudi companies.
By FATIMA SIDIYA
JEDDAH: A ban on smoking inside all Saudi airports and a SR200 fine for violators were approved Monday by Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation and chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
Abdullah Al-Rahimi, president of GACA, said the new rule has been prepared by GACA in cooperation with other relevant bodies, and that the aim is to create a healthy, clean and smoke-free environment at airports across the Kingdom.
Al-Rahimi said airports have been asked to implement the ban starting Dul Hijjah 1 (Nov. 7). He also called on airport staff and passengers to stop smoking inside airports and to cooperate with airport security in respecting the ban.
RIYADH: Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi said OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) makes decisions that heed the status and growth of the world economy, especially that of developing countries, and that the oil organization always seeks to strike a balance between immediate interests and future interests and needs.
The minister made this statement while inaugurating a two-day symposium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of OPEC’s establishment at the King Faisal Hall here on Monday.
He added that OPEC's decisions — whether they involve production, prices or other issues — are based on precise scientific data developed by the organization's secretariat general along with experts from other member states.
By JOHN SFAKIANAKIS
Oct 19, 2010
Strong and steady oil prices in the third quarter and an upturn in domestic consumer demand led to a renewal in positive sentiment among Saudi Arabia's business leaders who, while they remain wary, are taking more risks with investments and expecting higher revenues to come.
Most of the 881 respondents to Banque Saudi Fransi's fourth-quarter (Q4) business confidence survey expect the economy will move further toward recovery over the next two quarters. Company executives have mainly set aside concerns over the euro zone debt crisis that had hurt sentiment in the Q3 survey. They plan to increase production capacity, build inventories and hire new staff, survey results showed.
Evidence that bank credit momentum is building helped lift the overall BSF business confidence index to 100.2 points in Q4 from 99.8 points in Q3. The base value of 100 represents the third quarter of 2009. The survey, conducted quarterly, draws on the perspectives of top managers in finance, real estate and construction, information technology, petrochemicals, tourism, advertising and legal affairs. Respondents to the Q4 survey, conducted Sept. 25 to Oct. 9, brought to light the following themes:
Steady or higher oil price outlooks among businesses underpin confidence that revenues will improve in the next two quarters. A firm 66.2 percent of respondents expect their company's revenues will rise during the period, up from 53.8 percent in the third quarter. This is still vastly below the 88.6 percent who responded the same in Q2, highlighting a continued sense of hesitation. Some 28.6 percent of respondents are still anticipating that sales volumes will hold steady in the next six months, down from 35.8 percent in Q3 and 3.5 percent in Q2.
By SARAH ABDULLAH
JEDDAH: A Saudi businessman has called on the Ministry of Labor to set a minimum wage as part of efforts to tackle unemployment.
Dr. Abdullah Bin-Mahfouz says Saudis working in the private sector should earn no less than SR5,000 a month.
He called on all private sector companies to accept the proposal in order to combat increasing unemployment among Saudi nationals.
Bin-Mahfouz made the proposal following a statement by Minister of Labor Adel Fakieh at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) on Saturday, where he called on Saudi businessmen to work toward finding a solution to bring down the Kingdom’s unemployment rate.
Speaking to some 170 businessmen from different parts of the country at RCCI on Saturday, Fakieh said the number of unemployed Saudis represented just 10 percent of the expatriate work force in the country.
Bin-Mahfouz said the benefits of setting a minimum wage would be three-fold, in terms of ending low wages among nationals, increasing local productivity and by assisting Saudis to afford the rising cost of living.
By ARAB NEWS
JEDDAH: The Prosecution and Investigation Commission has confirmed 43 cases of false claims for compensation from families professing to have relatives who drowned in last November’s Jeddah floods.
“Most of the claimants are Saudis apart from a few Yemenis, Pakistanis and Afghans. They have confessed that they made false statements when confronted with strong evidence disproving their claims. They were tempted by the SR1 million compensation ordered by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for relatives of flood victims,” an official source said on Saturday.
The swindlers submitted their applications for compensation to the Civil Defense directorate in Jeddah.
They attached forged documents in their applications to prove their claims. A committee scrutinized and verified the documents, including DNA reports, and investigated whether the claims were true or not.
The scrutinizing committee determined that 43 of the applicants were attempting to cheat the government and recommended legal action against them, Al-Madinah newspaper reported on Monday.
JEDDAH: A Saudi con man accused of collecting over SR1.5 million in various scams was arrested by Jeddah police recently, Al-Madinah newspaper reported.
Police launched an investigation into the man after receiving a complaint from a Palestinian resident who said the man promised to get him Saudi nationality in exchange for SR250,000 and an expensive car. The man, however, disappeared after receiving the cash and car.
The man had claimed he was close to some high-profile individuals and had a senior government post. Police later found the man hiding in a furnished apartment.
It was also found that the man was responsible for a series of serious scams and had taken SR250,000 from another man in rent for a plot of land that he did not own. The man was, however, caught when the real owner turned up and showed documents proving ownership.
“The man is in police custody and has a series of violations against him. His lawyer tried to get him out on bail, but because of the sheer number of cases against him, this request has been rejected,” said Lt. Nawaf Al-Bouq, spokesman for Jeddah police.
“He was also in the process of shipping the car to a neighboring country. The car was, however, retrieved before it could leave the Kingdom,” he said.
By MOHAMMED MAR'I
RAMALLAH: An Israeli military court on Monday sentenced an officer who admitted to stealing electronic equipment from the Turkish vessel that was raided by Israeli commandos in May to a five-month prison term.
The officer, who holds the rank of first lieutenant and was a squad commander at the time of the raid on the Marmara, will be demoted to the rank of private. He has also been slapped with a fine of 700 Israeli shekels ($200).
In their verdict, the Israeli military judges said that the case constitutes a grave and ugly mishap by a commander, and that his actions had wide-ranging implications, beyond the image of Israel and the Israeli army.
According to the indictment, the soldier boarded the Marmara after it docked at the southern Israeli Ashdod Port following the lethal Israeli Navy raid on the Gaza-bound vessel on May 31.
By NADA AL-MADDAH
JEDDAH: The High Court in Makkah on Monday sentenced a man who murdered and raped a 38-year-old Saudi academic in Makkah to death and his wife to 400 lashes and imprisonment for her involvement in the crime.
The verdict was announced by Suleiman Al-Dakhil, the chief judge at the court.
A three-member bench at the General Court in Makkah had earlier sentenced the killer to death by beheading and for his body to be put on public display. The public display aspect of the punishment was, however, withdrawn after the defendant raised an objection.
The man is likely to appeal the new verdict. Sources, however, said the Court of Appeals is likely to endorse the High Court verdict. The court may also ask for the man’s body to be put on public display considering the enormity of his crime.
The man killed the woman, a widow, on March 13, 2009, after Maghreb prayer. The woman, a lecturer at Umm Al-Qura University, had left home to buy books for her daughter and an airline ticket for herself to travel to Riyadh to attend a conference.
When she did not return, her family tried to contact her on her mobile phone and continued sending text messages until the next day. The mobile phone was, however, switched off.
Cracks emerge in Australian unity on Afghan war
CANBERRA, Australia - Australia was opening its first parliamentary debate Tuesday on its nine-year military deployment in Afghanistan, after fractures appeared in the national commitment to the war, its strategy and objectives.
The three-day debate was unlikely to lead to any major policy change, because the major political parties have expressed their determination to stay the distance with the United States, Australia’s most important military ally.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard succumbed to pressure from the anti-war Greens party by agreeing to the parliamentary debate on Australia’s commitment of 1,550 troops to the conflict. Gillard relies on support from the Greens to rule since August elections gave no party a parliamentary majority.
A 4,500-year-old tomb of a priest was discovered close to Egypt's Giza Pyramids, Xinhua reported on Monday. The tomb dates back to Egypt's fifth dynasty (2,513 B.C. to 2,374 B.C.) and belongs to cleric Rudj-ka, who headed the mortuary cult of King Chephren. The tomb's walls are covered
with inscriptions and carvings showing Rudj-ka, his wife and a table laden with offerings like slaughtered bulls, poultry and bread.
The inscriptions also show activities like milking, cattle grazing, fishing, dancing and journeys on the Nile river.
"The discovery could indicate the existence of other tombs for people belonging to higher classes other than that of the pyramid builders," Zahi Hawwas, chief of the country's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in a statement.
"Now Shiv Sena demands ban on burqa."
Let us forget the Shiv Sena and the French Government. Let us normalize our dress and appearance in accordance with the norms of the country we live in. We do not need either the burqa, the beard or the white caps in order to be good Muslims. And if both Muslims and Hindus reduce the noise decibel levels in religious activities, we shall have quieter and more tranquil neighborhoods in which students can study and the elderly and the sick can sleep peacefully. We do not need the Shiv Sena goons to teach us anything.