Visa denial saved Delhi from major LeT strike
Hamburg moves to officially recognize Islam
Pakistani president to discuss violence-hit Karachi
Saudi courts limit women’s rights: Rights group
Dalit youth executed 'Taliban-style' in Kerala
Gay Saudi prince convicted of murdering servant at London hotel
ISI chiefs aided Mumbai terror attacks: Headley
Delhi was target after ISI-aided Mumbai attack, says Headley
26/11 hearing: Kasab refuses to appear via video link
Three soldiers killed in S. Waziristan
Two Nato oil tankers torched in Kalat
UN Iraq envoy escapes assassination attempt
Bangladesh: BDR mutiny trial begins in Sylhet
‘Pak Is Ready To Engage With India On All Issues’
No red lines for J&K interlocutors: Chidambaram
60% of Iraq refugees 'regret' returning home
With sops, Obama may press for fresh ops
Obama to hold meeting in White House on Afghan, Pakistan
Afghanistan rules 1.3m parliamentary votes are invalid
Bomber who killed seven at CIA base 'was not vetted'
Rao blames Pak `overreach' for derailing talks
Cross-border terrorism as substantive an issue as J&K: Rao
Want to go to US, Kasab tells judge
Pakistan Taliban gave US$ 43K to Shahzad for Times Square bombing
US to give $2 bn military aid to Pakistan; but no nuke deal
Hackers Can Force Jet Crash
‘Hang them’, says Uganda paper with list of gays
Panel on Kashmir sets ambitious goal
US soldier in custody after death of Taliban prisoner
Wanted Saudi militant turns himself in
Balochistan lawyers boycott courts
Iran welcomes Chavez as partner against Western 'bullies'
Pak PM says ISI working under his office
Zardari orders action against culprits
Karachi left at the mercy of terrorists: Altaf
Iran doesn't need nukes; should talk to US: Qureshi
Seventh terrorist surrenders: Al-Shihri, on the list of 85, returned from Pakistan
Mobily launches new BlackBerry in the Kingdom
Turkey says Germany must help Turks integrate
Young entrepreneurs showcase products at Jeddah expo
Health facilities on Haj pilgrim routes to operate round the clock
Canada arrest second suspect in Mabhouh killing
Al Daradji Middle East Filmmaker of the Year
‘UAE active player in fight against human trafficking’
Iran’s top leader seeks to end rifts with clerics
British aid group worker freed in Somalia
‘Nothing cooking’ in Netanyahu-Abbas talks
Hariri murder investigators carry out test explosion
Iran says jets refused fuel in Europe
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Karachi city reels after 51 killed
Oct 20, 2010
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's largest city reeled on Wednesday after gunmen opened fire in a commercial market, killing 11 people in the latest spasm of violence to underscore the poor state of law and order in this US-allied nation.
At least 51 people, including several political activists, have been killed and dozens more wounded since Saturday in Karachi, a sprawling port city of more than 16 million residents that is prone to political, ethnic and religious strife. Many killings in Karachi have been linked to gangs allegedly controlled by political parties.
The attack on the market occurred late Tuesday and its victims included eight Pakistanis of Baluch descent, said Sharmila Farooqi, a provincial government spokeswoman. The wave of violence in the city has coincided with Sunday's election to replace a provincial lawmaker killed in August.
Because of its status as the country's main economic hub, keeping Karachi calm is of prime importance to Pakistani leaders who have already seen criminal activity soar alongside Taliban-led Islamist militant violence.
A major chunk of supplies for US and NATO troops is shipped to the city before traveling overland in Pakistan and into neighboring Afghanistan.
Farooqi said police had detained 55 suspects in connection with the latest violence, and that some were linked to local political parties. Security forces were patrolling the city to prevent fresh violence on Wednesday, she said.
The two parties most linked to violence in Karachi - the Muttahida Quami Movement and the Awami National Party - have their electoral bases in different ethnic groups that make up a large share of the city's population.
The MQM claims to represent the Urdu-speaking descendants of those people who came to Karachi from India soon after the birth of Pakistan in 1947. It is secular and likes to speak out against the so-called Talibanization of the city, a jab at the Awami National Party, which represents the ethnic Pashtuns from the Taliban heartland in the northwest.
Raza Haider, the member of the provincial assembly who was gunned down in August, was a senior member of the MQM.
Both parties were competing for Haider's vacant seat, but the ANP announced Saturday evening that it would boycott the election, saying the MQM would rig the vote. The MQM won the seat.
MQM lawmaker Haider Abbas Rizvi said the party had handed authorities a list of 150 alleged criminals it suspects in the attacks but that nothing had come of it. He not only blamed the ANP, but also faulted the Pakistan People's Party, which control's the provincial government.
ANP spokesman Amin Khattak said the MQM was to blame, noting that the killings began shortly after his party said it would boycott the election.
Also Wednesday, a police constable was wounded when someone threw a grenade at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Pakistan's main northwestern city, Peshawar, said Liaquat Ali, a senior police official. Peshawar is right on the edge of Pakistan's tribal belt, a lawless stretch of territory along the Afghan border where many militants shelter.
NEW DELHI: The national Capital could escape a major terror attack last year when one of LeT's terrorists from Rawalpindi in Pakistan, who tried to come in through the legal channel, was denied an Indian visa.
The terrorist was supposed to be in Delhi to carry out an attack on the National Defence College (NDC) at Tees January Marg -- a target recommended by US-born Lashkar terrorist David Coleman Headley to his bosses on the basis that a strike on the institution would have killed more Indian Army officers than those who died in all Indo-Pak wars put together.
That the Capital was perilously close to being attacked by Lashkar, figures in the disclosures Headley made to the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) interrogators, who questioned him in Chicago in June.
In his statement to the NIA, Headley essentially repeated what he had earlier told the US's Federal Bureau of Investigation.
As already known, Headley had recceed several targets in the Capital -- the Sena Bhawan, Raksha Bhawan, vice-president's residence, Israeli embassy and Chabad House in Paharganj area.
Headley also told his interrogators that he filmed the outer boundary of the Prime Minister's residence (7 Race Course Road) while videographing different routes leading to Raksha Bhawan near India Gate during his last trip to Delhi in March 2009. His claim was, however, disputed by the official sources here.
Besides, the American terrorist had also disclosed in detail how the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI had been behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, and made plans for other terror strikes in Delhi, Pune, Goa and Pushkar in due course. Headley told the NIA that when on mission, "he used to record images of potential targets on two memory sticks - one for Lashkar and the other for ISI".
"Abdur Rehman (Lashkar operative) told me that a man from Rawalpindi was ready to carry out the attack (in Delhi) but he had trouble to get visa for India," the NIA interrogation report quoted Headley as saying about the LeT's Delhi mission.
Referring to Rehman, Headley explained that the Rawalpindi man's visa application was turned down because "he had a long beard". "Abdur Rehman told him to shave his beard and he had reapplied for visa," the report said quoting Headley.
During his interrogation, Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani, also disclosed Rehman's network in Nepal, which was activated to help the Rawalpindi man once he would reach Delhi for his mission.
It appears from the interrogation report that the LeT operatives were more interested in attacking the NDC than other targets in Delhi.
"I gave him (Abdur Rehman) the reconnaissance videos and we discussed each and every target in detail. I told Rehman that we could kill more Indian military officers in an attack on NDC than had been killed in all the wars between India and Pakistan," Headley told his interrogators, adding Rehman seemed to be more interested in attacking NDC.
According to other details of his interrogation report -- published in British daily, The Guardian -- Headley, who travelled to Mumbai and stayed there for his surveillance mission, claimed that "at least two his missions were partly paid for by the ISI and that he regularly reported to the spy agency".
He had described in details "dozens of meetings between officers of the main Pakistani military intelligence service, the ISI, and senior militants from the Lashker-e-Toiba group, who were responsible for the Mumbai attacks".
Quoting from his interrogation report, The Guardian reported that Headley had described meeting once a "Colonel Kamran" from the military intelligence service and having a series of meetings with "Major Iqbal" and "Major Sameer Ali". "A fellow conspirator was handled by a Colonel Shah," claimed Headley.
Though India has already asked Pakistan to take action against Major Iqbal -- an Army officer who had a number of meetings with Headley before 26/11 -- and Major Sameer Ali, the role of Colonel Kamran has so far not figured in Indian investigation.
The Mumbai attacks could be successfully carried out only on the third attempt. The Guardian report says: "On the first attempt, the boat carrying the attackers to Mumbai foundered. On the second, it was nearly discovered by Indian coast guards. On the third, the attackers reached Mumbai, guided by the GPS coordinates Headley had provided".
The British newspaper also reported how Headley and other militants when heard the news of attack on Benazir Bhutto, while they were in one of the meetings, expressed "their fervent desire that the former PM might die of her wounds".
By TOM HENEGHAN
HAMBURG: Hamburg may soon become the first German state officially to recognize Islam as a religious community and give Muslims the same legal rights as Christians and Jews in dealing with the local administration.
Four years of quiet negotiations about building mosques, opening Muslim cemeteries and teaching Islam in public schools are nearing an end just when Germany is embroiled in a noisy debate about Islam and the integration of Muslim immigrants.
The deal seems set to go through, but the national debate on Islam and local political changes could make its approval more difficult than expected, politicians and Muslim leaders said.
“It’s important for us that this agreement makes clear that we are part of this society,” said Zekeriya Altug, chairman of the Hamburg branch of DITIB, a Turkish-German mosque network that is one of Germany’s largest Muslim organizations.
“We’re close to wrapping this up,” said Norbert Mueller, a German convert who is a board member of Schura, the largest mosque association in this north Germany port city.
Germany has about 4 million Muslims, mostly of Turkish origin, in its 82 million population. Long treated as migrant workers due eventually to return to their countries of origin, they are now an established minority that wants equal rights.
The agreement in Germany’s second-largest metropolis, a city-state in the country’s federal system, would set out their rights and also their duties, such as consulting neighborhood residents before building mosques or erecting minarets.
Altug said many rights were already allowed under various German laws, or granted as local exceptions. “This agreement should bring all this together in a single text,” he said.
Equal status with Christians and Jews could be more controversial when the agreement comes up for discussion in the local assembly for Hamburg, a traditionally Lutheran city where Muslims make up about 5 percent of the 1.7 million population.
President Christian Wulff set off a heated debate by saying in his Oct. 3 German Unity Day address that the country had Christian and Jewish roots but the presence of a large Muslim minority meant that Islam too now “belongs to Germany.”
Conservative leaders argued Germany had a “Judeo-Christian heritage” that Islam did not share and demanded Muslims do more to integrate into German society.
The Hamburg agreement would integrate Muslims in several practical ways. For example, city schools would have to hire Muslims to teach Islam in religion classes all pupils attend. These are now run by teachers from the local Lutheran church.
It would ensure burial rights in municipal cemeteries, so Muslims can be interred in shrouds rather than coffins and have no other religious symbols nearby. Many immigrants prefer to be buried in their original countries to ensure a Muslim burial.
Muslim pupils would be free to skip school on 2 or 3 Islamic holidays and Muslim preachers could be posted in prisons.
Two other states, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, are also considering recognizing Islam. Since recognition of religions is a state issue under German law, some other states may not follow Hamburg’s example.
20 October 2010
Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has summoned two senior ministers to Islamabad to discuss continuing violence in the city of Karachi.
Mr Zardari's meeting with Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza comes a day after 25 people were killed by gunmen.
A day of mourning is being observed and funerals of the dead are being held.
Businesses are closed and public transport is off the roads. More than 50 people have died since Saturday.
Violence broke out over the weekend during a by-election for a provincial assembly seat that was held by local Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) politician Raza Haider, who was murdered in August.
His death triggered riots that killed at least 100 in a city with a history of ethnic and sectarian tensions.
Hundreds of people have died in politically motivated attacks and militant bombings since January.
On Tuesday 12 people were killed in an attack on a car spare parts market. The rest died in a series of attacks elsewhere. All the dead are civilians.
The market is located in the south of Karachi, within walking distance of the city's main dockyard.
Most shopkeepers in the area belong to the Urdu-speaking community that traditionally supports the MQM, which is part of the governing coalition in Sindh province.
The violence has pitted the MQM on one side and the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) - backed by the Pashtun and Balochi communities - on the other.
The MQM held onto Mr Haider's seat. The ANP boycotted the by-election.
CAIRO — A leading human rights watchdog said courts in Saudi Arabia empower men to abuse their positions as guardians of female relatives — sometimes jailing adult women for “disobedience” when they seek control of their personal lives.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report that Saudi court rulings have enabled male family members to prevent, end or force the marriages of adult women and seize custody of their children.
“Saudi judges have elevated a father’s authority to a pillar of law,” Human Rights Watch spokesman Christoph Wilcke said in the report. “The result of unquestioned fatherly authority far too often has been family strife and unwarranted suffering for the adult children.”
The report was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Saudi state law is based on Islamic sharia law, which governs many personal status issues like marriage, child custody and inheritance in the context of the wider family structure.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/October/middleeast_October296.xml§ion=middleeast
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Six months after the mysterious death of a Dalit youth in Kannur district of Kerala, police have confirmed that he was in fact brutally tortured for hours.
The death evoked widespread criticism with some terming it "Taliban-style execution by Islamic fundamentalists" and seeking a NIA probe. Eight of the 13 accused have been arrested and charged with "attempt to commit culpable homicide and abetment of suicide". Investigating officer P Sadanandan said, "The accused are Popular Front of India activists, a Muslim radicals group."
But PFI's Kerala president Naseeruddin Elamaram said he was not aware of the case. He said it had become a practice to associate any Muslim, who was arrested, with the outfit and added it was part of a conspiracy.
The body of Vineesh, a casual labourer, was found hanging from the terrace of a lodge in Poythumkadavu in Kannur on April 17 this year. There were 22 brutal injury marks on the body.
The veins had been punctured both in his hands and legs and a lot of blood had oozed out revealing, what Dalit activists claim, was chillingly high level of planning and precision by the assailants.
Oct 19, 2010
A Saudi prince was found guilty of murdering his aide after subjecting him to a 'sadistic' campaign of violence and sexual abuse.
LONDON: A gay Saudi prince was found guilty by a British court on Tuesday of murdering his servant after subjecting him to a "sadistic" campaign of violence and sexual abuse.
Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir al Saud, 34, a grandson of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah through his mother, was accused of killing Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in a luxury London hotel on February 15.
He was convicted at London's Old Bailey, also known as the Central Criminal Court, after the jury deliberated for only an hour and a half.
He faces a life sentence and will be sentenced on Wednesday.
The trial heard the prince was fuelled by champagne and cocktails when he beat and strangled the 32-year-old to death after the pair had returned from a Valentine's Day night out.
The victim was left with severe injuries including bite marks on both cheeks which prosecutors said showed a clear "sexual element" to the killing.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6775855.cms#ixzz12s3OhpSK
Pakistan's powerful intelligence services were heavily involved in preparations for the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008, according to classified Indian government documents obtained by The Guardian.
A 109-page report into the interrogation of key suspect David Headley, a Pakistani-American militant arrested last year and detained in the United States, makes detailed claims of ISI support for the bombings.
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.
He claims 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.
Headley, who undertook surveillance of the targets in Mumbai for the operation, claims that at least two of his missions were partly paid for by the ISI and that he regularly reported to it. However, the documents suggest that supervision of the militants by the ISI was often chaotic and that the most senior officers of the agency may have been unaware at least of the scale and ambition of the operation before it was launched.
European and American security services now fear that the LeT, which has thousands of militants, runs dozens of training camps and has extensive logistic networks overseas, is moving from what has been a largely regional agenda — focussed on Kashmir — to a global agenda involving strikes against the west or western interests. The documents suggest the fierce internal argument within the organisation over its strategic direction is being won by hardliners.
Headley, interviewed over 34 hours by Indian investigators in America in June, described how “a debate had begun among the terrorist outfits” and “a clash of ideology” leading to “splits.”
Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/10/20/stories/2010102060360100.htm
October 20, 2010
Pakistani-American terror suspect David Headley has told Indian investigators that he had scouted Delhi for potential strike targets, including the prime minister's residence and key defence complexes, four months after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had a major role to play.
Headley, who has confessed his role in plotting the Mumbai attack with the Lashkar-e-Taiba and was arrested last year in the US, told a team of Indian interrogators in a Chicago prison that he was in New Delhi in March 2009, said sources familiar with the case but who spoke only on condition they were not identified.
The revelations came as Britain's Guardian Tuesday quoting secret Indian government documents reported that ISI played a major role in helping prepare the Mumbai attack.
During his Delhi trip, Headley videographed 7 Race Course Road, the prime minister's official residence, and defence complexes - Raksha Bhavan, and the National Defence College (NDC) in the heart of the capital, the sources disclosed.
Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/290673/Delhi-was-target-after-ISI-aided-Mumbai-attack-says-Headley.html
MUMBAI: A day after demanding that he may be allowed to be physically produced in the court, Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab on Wednesday refused to appear via video link before the Bombay High Court, which is hearing arguments on confirmation of death sentence awarded to him in 26/11 case.
Soon after the proceedings began at 11am, a jail authority told a division bench of justices Ranjana Desai and R V More that Kasab refused to attend the court.
Kasab, awarded death penalty by a trial court on May 6 for killing 166 people in the the Mumbai terror attacks, is lodged at the high-security Arthur Road prison in central Mumbai.
The convicted terrorist, who has been attending the high court proceeding via video conference, on Tuesday demanded that he may be allowed to be physically produced in the court and walked away in a huff after spitting at the webcam.
Meanwhile, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam continued with his arguments on the confirmation of Kasab's death sentence for the third day in a row.
Enumerating the terror unleashed by Kasab and his slain terrorist partner Abu Ismael at Cama hospital, Nikam submitted before the court statements of police officials including additional commissioner of police Sadanand Date who were engaged in a cross fire with the duo.
Full report at:
By Sailab Mehsud
20 Oct, 2010
LADDAH, Oct 19: Three soldiers were killed and four others injured in attacks in South Waziristan on Tuesday.
Military sources said a bomb planted by militants on a road went off in Pash Ziarat area of Sararogha, destroying a vehicle of security forces. Two soldiers were injured in the incident.
Later, another attack on security forces in Qalandar Kalley killed three soldiers and injured two others.
Those killed in the attack were identified as Naib Subedar Fazal, Lance Naek Pervez and Sepoy Attique and the injured as Sadiq, Noor, Farman and Hawaldar Farman.
Security forces carried out a major ground and air offensive in South Waziristan last year to evict the Tehrik-i-Taliban insurgents from tribal region which served as their headquarters.
The militants have accelerated acts of violence in the Mehsud-dominated area despite security forces’ claim that the area has been cleared.
By Saleem Shahid
QUETTA, Oct 19: Armed men on Tuesday torched two tankers carrying fuel supplies for Nato forces in Afghanistan, near Kalat area, some 170km from here.
Levies sources said that two Kandahar-bound oil takers coming from Karachi were intercepted by armed men after firing when they were passing through the area of Dashat-i-Bado near Kalat.
After intercepting the tankers, the men on motorbikes torched the tankers and escaped from the scene.
“Nato oil tankers completely gutted,” an official of Levies Force said, adding that driver and cleaner remained unhurt in the firing.
In all five oil tankers and trailers were burned in Quetta, Kalat and Khuzdar on Monday and Tuesday. Around 60 vehicles carrying Nato supplies have been burned in Balochistan over the past two weeks.
NAJAF: The United Nations' envoy to Iraq, Ad Melkert, escaped unhurt in a bomb attack on Tuesday that targeted a convoy of vehicles south of Baghdad, UN and police officials said.
"Mr Melkert is okay," UN spokeswoman Randa Jamal told AFP.
The Dutch diplomat had been meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest-ranking Shiite cleric in Iraq, and "was going to the airport when the bomb exploded," Jamal said. Jamal and the envoy himself said he was in the convoy escorting him to the airport in the holy Shiite city of Najaf when a roadside bomb exploded at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT). There were conflicting reports, however, on whether the UN special representative was in one of the vehicles in the convoy at the time of the attack.
Speaking in a telephone interview with Dutch broadcaster NOS shortly after the attack, Melkert said he had been traveling in the UN convoy after a visit to Najaf, south of Baghdad.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UN-Iraq-envoy-escapes-assassination-attempt/articleshow/6777128.cms#ixzz12s4NMz9r
Trail of 105 soldiers of the 21 and 38 BDR Rifles Battalions facing charges of trying to incite rebellion in Sylhet on February 26, 2009, began at the Special Court No. 14 at the BDR Sylhet sector headquarter on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Rifles Comilla sector commander SM Farhad presided over the 3-member judges’ panel of the special court that started the trail proceedings at 9am.
Other two members in the panel are lieutenant colonel Akhtaruzzaman and major Md Maksudhul Haque.
Deputy attorney general Farhad Ahmad was present at the special court as a representative of the attorney general. The 21 Rifles battalion’s commandant officer lieutenant colonel Khayrul Kadir and 38 Rifles Battalion’s acting commandant officer major Md Aman Ullah Khan were also present as prosecutors.
Forty four soldiers of the 21 Rifles Battalion and 61 soldiers of 38 Rifles Battalion were charged for their alleged involvement with the effort to incite rebellion in Sylhet on February 26.
Full report at: New Age Daily Dhaka
Oct 20th, 2010
Boston, Oct. 19: Pakistan on Tuesday said it is ready to engage with India to find an “amicable” solution to outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, and asked the US “to do everything in its power” to resolve this dispute. “Pakistan is willing to engage India in a comprehensive dialogue to normalise relations between the two countries by finding amicable solutions to all outstanding issues including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir,” foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said during a lecture at the Harvard Kennedy School.
He said that the countries have to “realistically understand” that improved relations between the two nuclear armed powers of South Asia — Pakistan and India — “is the missing key to regional peace.” “We urge the US, a friend of both India and Pakistan, to do everything in its power to resolve this conflict and remove one more source of Muslim discontent and anger, taking oxygen out of the terrorist’s fire,” he told a gathering of over 700 students and professors at the school here. He said “unfortunately” India and Pakistan have some “outstanding issues” and the “US has to realise” that those issues have to be addressed. “We can’t wish them (outstanding issues) away. They keep haunting us. We have to address them, the sooner we address them, the better it is for the entire region.”
He said while there is large constituency for peace on both sides of the border, there is also a “vociferous minority... Jingoistic voices” on both sides.
NEW DELHI: Home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said the three interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir have been tasked with a job to chart a course towards finding a political solution and there were no "red lines" to the panel.
"There are no red lines. Their main brief is to chart a course towards a political solution. All the rest is in aid of a political solution," he told reporters here.
Eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, noted academician Radha Kumar and Central Information Commissioner M M Ansari, who were appointed as interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir on October 13 had a meeting with Chidambaram on Tuesday.
"There is a political problem and we have to find a political solution," Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram said the brief of the interlocutors was to hold widest consultations in the state, meet a very large number of people belonging to different sections of the society, especially political parties, political leaders, political groups, university teachers, students and NGOs.
"They will gather every shade of opinion on how to find a political solution to the issue of J&K. There are no red lines," the home minister said.
Chidambaram kept the option of appointment of a fourth interlocutor open. "We may, I stand by may," he said when asked about the possibility of inducting one more interlocutor to the present three-member team.
GENEVA: A UN survey showed that 61 per cent of former Iraqi refugees who have returned home regret their decision in the face of insecurity and poor administration.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, whose survey covered 2,353 Iraqis returning to Baghdad from overseas in 2007 and 2008, said in a statement yesterday that "physical insecurity, economic hardship and lack of basic public services has led the majority to regret their decision to return to Iraq."
The survey, which was conducted between April and September, also showed that 34 per cent of the respondents were considering seeking asylum once again "if conditions did not improve."
Many of the respondents said they had returned to Iraq because they could no longer afford living in the asylum state.
The results echo a similar survey held between July and August at a border crossing between Syria and Iraq, which showed that "most" of the 2,000 Iraqis polled were reluctant to go home on a permanent basis.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/60-of-Iraq-refugees-regret-returning-home/articleshow/6779779.cms#ixzz12tPz5ae2
Omer Farooq Khan
ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan renewed its list of demands from Washington on the eve of a three-day strategic dialogue between the two countries on Wednesday, the US is expected to press Islamabad for a military operation in North Waziristan tribal region along the Afghan border.
The US would seek the offensive on the pattern of a similar campaign in Swat and South Waziristan with noticeable success against the Taliban last year. North Waziristan is believed to be a safe haven for al-Qaida, Pakistani Taliban and Sirajuudin Haqqani-led network of insurgents and dozens of other militant group. The failed Times Square car-bombing in May refocused international attention on the region.
The US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen recently said his Pakistani counterpart, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, had assured him on the offensive. "He's committed to me to go into North Waziristan and root out these terrorists as well," Mullen said.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/With-sops-Obama-may-press-for-fresh-ops/articleshow/6778178.cms#ixzz12s41dQvH
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has convened a monthly Situation Room meeting with his top national security aides at the White House wherein peace talks with the Taliban and Pakistan's actions in the war against terrorism are expected to be discussed.
"I anticipate, as in the past, that will be a big topic tomorrow," the White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at his daily news conference.
"Reconciliation, led by the Afghans, has been a topic of many of the past meetings. I expect that we'll get an update from General David Petraeus (Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan), (US) Ambassador (to Afghanistan, Karl) Eikenberry, and others on where they see the progress on those talks and their hopes for seeing that progress continue," Gibbs said.
The meeting is likely to be attended by secretary of state Hillary Clinton, National Security Advisor Gen (retd) James Jones and defence secretary Robert Gates.
Vice-president Joe Biden and special US representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke would participate in the meeting through video conference.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-to-hold-meeting-in-White-House-on-Afghan-Pakistan/articleshow/6778412.cms#ixzz12s484YWQ
Afghanistan's election authorities have cancelled 1.3m votes in last month's Parliamentary election because of fraud or other irregularities.
The number of void votes amounts to almost a quarter of the nearly 5.6m ballots cast in the 18 September poll. Turnout was around 40% in the election for the lower house of parliament.
It will take some weeks before final results are released because more than 200 candidates are being investigated for fraud. And the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission is investigating more than 4,000 formal complaints. "Turnout is around 5,600,000, the valid vote is 4,265,347, and the invalid vote is around 1,300,000," Fazil Ahmad Manawi, head of the IEC, said on Wednesday.
The BBC's Paul Wood in Kabul says despite all this, there will probably be no rush to condemnation by the international community. Ultimately, these elections' measure of success will be how they affect the stability of the country.
There was widespread intimidation during the election, with Taliban insurgents threatening voters not to take part.
President Karzai's position is not threatened by the results.
It is an outcome that Nato and the international community can live with and so these elections will no doubt be judged a success, concludes our correspondent.
A suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents at a meeting at a remote base in eastern Afghanistan in January had not been properly vetted, the CIA has said.
Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian al-Qaeda sympathiser, blew himself up after promising to give crucial intelligence on top US targets.
In a letter to employees, CIA director Leon Panetta cited a range of failures that gave him proximity to the agents.
These included a CIA officer failing to pass on warnings about the bomber.
The attack was the worst against US intelligence officials since 1983.
Mr Panetta said a classified internal inquiry into the incident had found al-Balawi had already provided intelligence that had been independently corroborated, and CIA officers believed he had more to offer.
"He had confirmed access within extremist circles, making a covert relationship with him - if he was acting in good faith - potentially very productive," Mr Panetta wrote. "But he had not rejected his terrorist roots."
Full report at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11580571
NEW DELHI: Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao on Tuesday said India's efforts to bridge the trust deficit and pave the way for a serious and comprehensive dialogue were thwarted by a "level of overreach" by Pakistan that complicated the resumption of a sustained dialogue process.
Rao, however, was quick to add that India doesn't view this as a setback in its quest for peace as both sides appear to be committed to ensuring that "the spirit of Thimphu is not lost"'.
She also stated that terrorism arising out of Pakistan, and aimed at India was as substantive an issue as J&K or Siachen.
"The foreign minister of Pakistan has accepted our invitation to visit India, dates for which will be decided through diplomatic channels. We will continue to strive for a resolution of all outstanding issues through dialogue," said Rao while delivering the keynote address at the Pakistan Studies Programme in Jamia Milia Islamia.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Rao-blames-Pak-overreach-for-derailing-talks/articleshow/6775832.cms#ixzz12s52HJ8p
India on Tuesday said terrorism arising out of the sub-conventional conflict directed by Pakistan against it for over two decades cannot be ignored and was as substantive an issue as Jammu and Kashmir.
Outlining India's approach to ties with Pakistan, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said advocacy of an incremental, graduated and forward-looking approach to address the trust deficit was by no means an attempt to avoid tackling the substantive differences that trouble the bilateral relations.
"While there can be no guarantees for success, such an approach seeks to build first on what is achievable and simultaneously to also address the more intractable issues in a sustained manner.
Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/290691/Cross-border-terrorism-as-substantive-an-issue-as-JK-Rao.html
TN RAGHUNATHA | Mumbai
The rogue in Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was at it again. This time around, the convicted Pakistani terrorist spat on a web camera, abused policemen around him and, at one stage, angrily walked out of the ongoing Bombay High Court’s hearing on confirmation of his death sentence.
Known long for his boorish behaviour, Kasab on Tuesday created a scene as he appeared for a hearing before a division bench of the high court comprising Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Ranjit V More, through video-conferencing facility from the Arthur Road Prison, where he is currently lodged.
At one stage, when Justice Desai told Kasab that the hearing was in session and he should listen and hear peacefully, without creating trouble, an agitated Kasab told the judges: “Are you not aware of the situation outside? …send me to America....On what charges have you kept me here?”
Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/290874/Want-to-go-to-US-Kasab-tells-judge.html
Pakistan’s banned Tehrik-e-Taliban militant outfit had provided US$43,000 in financial support to Pakistani-American terrorist Faisal Shahzad for plotting the botched car bombing in New York’s Times Square.
This was mentioned in a report on the arrest of Shahzad’s alleged associates that was submitted by police on Monday to a Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court.
In the report on the arrest of Hunbal Akhtar, Mohammad Shoaib Mughal and Mohammad Shahid Hussain, police said it had been established that the trio had links with Shahzad.
The investigators said the accused, who used to visit Pakistani Taliban chief Hakeemullah Mehsud, confessed in their statement made under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code before a judicial magistrate that they provided US$43,000 to Shahzad for the attacks.
Shahzad, son of a retired Pakistan Air Vice-Marshal, was sentenced to life in prison by a US court last month. Pakistan police said they had obtained the data of conversations between the accused and Faisal.
Ignoring India's concerns, the United States appears all set to offer Pakistan a $2 billion new military assistance package to fight extremists, but an India-type civil nuclear deal is not on the cards. "We're not in any discussions with the Pakistanis on civil nuclear cooperation," Frank Ruggiero,
deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told reporters on Tuesday ahead of a three-day Strategic Dialogue with Pakistan.
The dialogue led by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi culminates on Friday. Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will also take part and hold talks at the Pentagon.
The Pentagon and the Pakistani military have been talking about a framework for security assistance, he said. "We specifically worked with the Pakistanis over the summer to identify what would be the types of military equipment and so on,"
"That will be a topic of discussion at the strategic dialogue," Ruggiero said declining to spell out details of the proposed aid package. But CNN said the package totals as much as $2 billion over five years.
Full report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/US-to-give-2-bn-military-aid-to-Pakistan-but-no-nuke-deal/H1-Article1-615263.aspx
London: A new breed of cyber terrorists has the capability of breaking into a plane’s sophisticated on-board computer systems and forcing it to crash, a security document released on Monday warned.
“These hackers can be engaged by terror cells and foreign states to cause maximum damage,” the British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron’s, long-awaited National Security Strategy report said.
The cyber threat makes it possible for a potential hijacker to carry out his attack without boarding the plane.
Officials confirmed that these computer-generated assaults, which involve individuals creating software viruses or rogue computer programmes and emails, could bring down passenger planes.
“We don’t want to wait until planes are falling out of the skies before we address the issue,” an official said.
Attacks in cyberspace can have a devastating effect, the document said, adding that military, industrial and economic targets could feasibly be disrupted by a capable adversary.
Oct 20 2010
Kampala (Uganda): The front-page newspaper story featured a list of Uganda’s 100 “top” homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: “Hang Them.” Alongside their photos were the men’s names and addresses.
In the days since it was published, at least four gay Ugandans on the list have been attacked and many others are in hiding, according to rights activist Julian Onziema. One person named had stones thrown at his house.
A lawmaker in this African country introduced a Bill a year ago that would have imposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts. The Bill was shelved after global uproar.
The October 9 article in a Ugandan newspaper called Rolling Stone — not the US magazine — came out five days before the one-year anniversary of the legislation. The article claimed that an unknown but deadly disease was attacking homosexuals in Uganda, and said gays were recruiting 1 million children by raiding schools, a common smear used in Uganda.
The government Media Council has ordered the newspaper cease publishing — not because of the content, but because the newspaper had not registered with the government.
The paper’s managing editor, Giles Muhame, said the article was “in the public interest.” “We felt there was need for society to know that such characters exist amongst them. Some of them recruit young children into homosexuality, which is bad and need to be exposed,” he said.
By Aman Sharma in New Delhi
THE THREE non- political interlocutors appointed by the Centre to look into Jammu and Kashmir have claimed that they would achieve a political solution to what they termed “ the Kashmir dispute” within one year.
After a meeting with home minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday, panel member Dileep Padgaonkar said they had received a mandate of one year from the Union government.
The panel, which also includes professor Radha Kumar and professor M. M. Ansari, plans to speak to all sections in the strife- torn state to arrive at a political consensus.
This includes mainstream parties, separatists and civil society groups.
“We will speak to people in jails, to students and even to stone- pelters. We will also reach out to Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani,” said Padgaonkar, a veteran journalist.
On whether a politician would be included as a fourth member, he claimed to have no knowledge. “I don’t know whether that person is a politician or a non- politician… that matter did not come up in today’s discussions,” Padgaonkar said.
Full report at: Mail Today
KABUL: A US soldier is in custody following the death of a Taliban prisoner from apparent gunshot wounds, the US military said Wednesday.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai Tuesday ordered an investigation into the death, saying the man may have been “killed by coalition troops”.
The US army has launched a criminal investigation into the death and has pledged to keep the Afghan government informed of its findings.
The insurgent was being held temporarily at an Afghan government centre under US guard in Arghandab district, in southern Kandahar province, when his body was discovered on Sunday.
The detainee, captured on Saturday during an operation in Arghandab district, and was known to be a senior leader of the local Taliban network. He was awaiting transfer to full Nato custody, the US military statement said.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/04-us-soldier-custody-prisoner-death-qs-01
RIYADH: A Saudi militant on an Interpol wanted list turned himself in to security authorities after asking to be repatriated from Pakistan, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.
Bader Mohammed Nasser Al-Shehri, one of the 85 men on a Saudi list of alleged militants sent to Interpol in 2009, contacted the authorities from Pakistan via his family, asking to return home, the ministry said in a statement quoted by the official SPA news agency.
The ministry statement did not say what Shehri, 32, was doing in Pakistan.
Ministry spokesman Gen Mansour Al-Turki said he was suspected of working with Al Qaeda. “He contacted his family asking for help to return,” he said. “We will find out now where he was and what he was doing.”
Shehri’s return reduced the number of outstanding wanted men on the list to 71, according to Gen Turki. Six have turned themselves in, six have been killed, and two were arrested.
It was the second announcement in a week of one of the wanted men giving themselves up. On Friday the interior ministry said Jaber Jabran Al-Faifi, a former Guantanamo detainee who rejoined Al Qaeda after graduating from rehabilitation programme, turned himself in through Yemen’s authorities.—AFP
By Amanullah Kasi
QUETTA, Oct 19: Lawyers boycotted court proceedings here on Tuesday on the call of Baloch Bar Association in protest against the alleged military operation in Mashkay, the government’s failure to trace Advocate Munir Mirwani and other missing persons and target killing of political workers, including Nooruddin Mengal of Balochistan National Party-Mengal.
According to the BBA’s chief organiser, Sadiq Raisani, lawyers did not appear in courts in Nushki, Chagai, Mastung, Kalat, Khuzdar, Hub, Panjgur, Kharan, Gwadar, Pasni, Turbat, Mach and Sibi as well.
He alleged that during a search operation in Mashkay security personnel misbehaved with people, including women. He said struggle against “oppressors” would continue.
Meanwhile, the information secretary of Baloch Students Organisation-Azad, Salam Sabir Baloch, said in a statement that distribution of all newspapers except two local dailies, the Intikhab and Tawar, had been stopped in the Baloch-dominated areas of the province. He said the action had been taken because of the newspapers’ policy of not giving sufficient coverage to the points of view of Baloch political groups.
TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received his close Latin American ally Hugo Chavez on Tuesday and welcomed the Venezuelan president’s support against the Islamic Republic’s western “bullies.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warmly greeted Chavez at the presidential palace hours after the Venezuelan leader arrived for a two-day visit, Iranian state TV reported.
Both men are eyed with great suspicion by the United States which has led tougher international sanctions against Iran over the nuclear program Washington fears would lead to a bomb.
Chavez, who is on his ninth visit to Iran as president, praised Caracas’ ties with its close Mideast ally, saying they “are solid and very, very deep.”
The leaders of the two major oil exporters inspected a guard of honor before heading into talks which Iranian media said were aimed at boosting cooperation in the oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article164693.ece
ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that the country’s “well-organised intelligence agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)” is working under civil control, adding that the decision to place the ISI under civil control was delayed somewhat because some clarifications were needed early on. “The decision to place the ISI under civil control was not reverted as I have never taken a U-turn on any decision,” said the PM in an exclusive interview with a tv channel.
Gilani said that under the constitution, the premier spy agency is bound to work under the PM office.To a question, the prime minister said he has always respected the judiciary more than the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ever did. “The constitution should be respected by all,” he said.The Prime Minister assured of support to the judiciary in dispensation of justice to the people and said the government and courts complement each others’ efforts. He said he has no objection to a system of checks and balances affecting the government. “Even before taking oath, my first order was to release judges in the cause of justice”, he added.
Full report at: http://dailymailnews.com/1010/20/FrontPage/index.php?id=3
ISLAMABAD – Following threats to the coalition government in Sindh, President Asif Ali Zardari had a high-level meeting with all his top aides on Tuesday night. During meeting with senior leadership of the PPP, including Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, the President said that action would be taken against people involved in Karachi target killings without any discrimination, adding the PPP is a party of the masses and would not disappoint them.
The PPP top brass discussed the overall political scenario and law and order situation in the country, particularly the ongoing riots in city of Karachi. Federal ministers including Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Syed Khursheed Shah, Naveed Qamar, Rehman Malik, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Secretary General Jahangir Badar, Faisal Raza Abidi, Mehreen Anwar Raja, Fauzia Wahab and other key leaders also attended the meeting.Sources said that the President directed Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik to submit a detailed report of the Karachi situation and take stern action without any discrimination.
Full report at: http://dailymailnews.com/1010/20/FrontPage/index.php?id=8
LONDON: Deploring strongly the carnage occurred in Karachi’s scrap market ‘Sher Shah’ where unidentified gunmen opened indiscriminate spree of firing, which resulted in deaths of 12 people and scores others injured, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Quaid Altaf Hussain has said the Karachiites have been left at the mercy of barbaric terrorists where there is no sign of writ of government, Geo News reported.
Also on the occasion, Altaf Hussain has announced observance of ‘Mourning Day’ today (Wednesday) in memory of killing of innocent people at Sher Shah scrap market.
In a statement from London, he said it seems as though there were no writ of government in the economic hub city of Pakistan.
“The innocent citizens in Karachi have been left at the hands of terrorists who slay people whenever, wherever and however they wish”, Altaf observed, calling upon provincial government for ensuring the protection of life and property of people.
“Sindh government has completely failed in safeguarding life and property of people in Karachi”, he regretted.
Later, Altaf Hussain expressed condolence with the bereaved families and offered prays for early recovery of wounded people.
WASHINGTON: The foreign minister of Pakistan said on Monday that Iran had no justification to pursue nuclear weapons and urged the neighbouring country to embrace overtures from the United States.
In some of Pakistan's strongest statements on Iran's controversial nuclear program, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he wanted to avoid "another major crisis in the region."
"In my view, I don't think they have a justification to go nuclear," Qureshi said at Harvard University. "Who's threatening Iran? I don't see any immediate threat to Iran," he said, while adding that Pakistan accepted Iran's "right to civilian use of technology."
Qureshi said that he had shared his views with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and told him to seize on US President Barack Obama's stated willingness to engage in dialogue to mend decades of fraught US-Iranian ties. "This administration has been extending the olive branch - make use of it. Engage the world," Qureshi said.
Qureshi said that Pakistan faces a threat from India, making its case different than Iran's. Pakistan became the Islamic world's only nuclear weapons state in 1998, days after its historic rival carried out similar atomic tests.
Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/20-10-2010/Top-Story/1424.htm
By MD HUMAIDAN
JEDDAH: One of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted terrorists has given himself up to security forces, the Ministry of Interior has said.
Badr Muhammad Nasser Al-Shihri, who features on a list of 85 most wanted criminals, turned himself in after flying back to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan, ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki announced on Tuesday.
The official added that Al-Shihri told his family that he wanted to come back to the Kingdom and asked them to facilitate his return. Al-Turki said Al-Shihri returned after the ministry liaised with security forces in Pakistan. He met with his family and performed Umrah with them after his return.
“The Interior Ministry asks all Saudi terrorists living outside to return to their country and turn themselves in, especially after it has become clear that they were misled by others,” he told the Saudi Press Agency.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article165047.ece
RIYADH: Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) further enriched the lives of its customers by launching a new BlackBerry handset, the Torch 9800, which helps users communicate and manage their businesses more smoothly.
Research in Motion’s latest device takes the Canadian company’s user experience to a whole new level, with a feature set and user interface that are set to revolutionize the Smartphone industry. The 9800 easily integrates with social networking websites while offering powerful business tools with a classy, elegant appearance.
Along with the new handset, Mobily offers its buyers a three-month free subscription to the unlimited BlackBerry internet package. Subscribers only need to send the word “BIS3” to 1100.
The handset supports 3.5G globally, which means that the 9800 offers Mobily’s subscribers unhindered connectivity around the world, as well as fully exploiting Mobily’s 3.75G home network, the biggest in the Middle East.
Last month, Mobily scrapped the 2-gigabyte cap on its BB service, making it unlimited while keeping the SAR 99 monthly fee unchanged.
By SUZAN FRASER
ANKARA: Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Tuesday urged politicians in Germany not to exploit the issue of immigration for political gain and said they should instead help Turks better integrate.
Gul was speaking at a joint news conference with German President Christian Wulff who is paying a five-day visit to Turkey as his country’s increasingly debates the integration of millions of foreigners.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said over the weekend her country’s attempts to build a multicultural society had “utterly failed.”
While immigrants were welcome in Germany, they must learn the language and accept the country’s cultural norms, she said, voicing a belief heard increasingly across Europe as it battles an economic slump and worries about terrorism.
“Instead of using the issue of integration politically, everyone must help reach a solution,” Gul said.
Gul said Turks living in Germany should learn to speak German “for their own sakes, for the sake of their families, and so that they may be of use for their environment and society.”
The Turkish president said however, both Germany and Turkey had failed to provide sufficient guidance to Turkish immigrants, many of whom went to Germany as “guest workers” in the 1960s to provide manpower for Germany industry as it was rebuilding after World War II.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article164694.ece
By DIANA AL-JASSEM
JEDDAH: “All roads lead to success” is the slogan that flowed from the tongues of many Saudi businesswomen during the third edition of the Young Business Expo that was inaugurated by Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed on Monday at the International Exhibition Center here.
Over 300 Saudi entrepreneurs have chosen to take their first step into the world of business from the expo. Some are participating to improve their talent, while others want to fight unemployment. All are adamant on achieving success.
Rabab Mahmoud, a Saudi graduate in administration from King Abdulaziz University, is participating at the expo to promote her handmade wedding decorations, and garden and home designs that she makes using natural flowers.
“We want to promote our project by providing models of the items that we produce. I work with a number of Saudi male and female designers and engineers to create beautiful gardens. I use both natural and artificial flowers. We import the materials and flowers from France,” she said.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article164909.ece
By MD AL-SULAMI
JEDDAH: Taif’s health plan for this year's Haj, aimed at providing exemplary health services to the guests of God on their way to and from Makkah, has been approved by the local director of health affairs.
Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Karkaman signed off on the plan, which will be implemented from Dul Hijjah 14 (Nov. 20).
The plan, according to Taif health affairs spokesman Saeed Al-Zahrani, is aimed at increasing the accessibility of 10 health centers on pilgrim routes by operating them around the clock.
He said four facilities, including the Zulam, Radwan, Al-Ateef and airport centers, as well as Al-Muwaih General Hospital, would be working along the Riyadh-Taif road.
Al-Zahrani said the Qiya, Shaqsan and Alsir centers would operate along the South Road, Al-Sail Road would have two health facilities and Al-Hada Road would be facilitated by the Al-Miqat center.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article164927.ece
Canada arrest second suspect in Mabhouh killing Amira Agarib
Dubai police chief Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim confirmed on Tuesday that Canadian authorities had arrested one of the suspects who was involved in the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh.
Khalfan did not name the suspect, but said he was part of the recce group which came to the UAE before the murder in January. The police chief was speaking at the Dubai Police Academy. He said the Canadian suspect communicated with another suspect who was with Al Mabhouh while he was getting into the lift before going to his room in the hotel, as revealed by surveillance cameras.
Dhahi said the Canadian Ambassador in the UAE had told him informally that his country had arrested the suspect. This was confirmed today by Canadian newspapers, he said. He did not reveal the next course of the investigation. The suspect arrested in Canada was among those included in the Red notice issued by the Interpol for 27 suspects. ‘‘We have no doubts and are 100 per cent sure that Mossad is behind the assassination,’’ the police chief said.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/October/theuae_October497.xml§ion=theuae
Al Daradji Middle East Filmmaker of the Year Silvia Radan
Iraqi film director Mohamed Al Daradji was chosen for Variety’s coveted Middle East Filmmaker of the Year Award, at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) on Tuesday evening.
“We wanted to honour Mohamed Al Daradji this year, not because he is a great Middle Eastern filmmaker, but because he is simply a great filmmaker, who happens to be from this region,” said Tim Gray, the editor ?of Variety.
The filmmaker, a hit with both the audience and film critics at the festival last year, missed this year’s ADFF competition as his movie was not quite completed in time, but In My Mother’s Arms is still being screened in the festival, as a work in progress, in honour of his work.
Back on the streets of Baghdad, Mohammed and his brother Atia Al Daradji filmed what promises to be another heartbreaking cinematic gem from the war-torn cradle ?of civilisation.
In My Mother’s Arms follows several children who live and study in the same room in a small rented house.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/October/theuae_October496.xml§ion=theuae
ABU DHABI — Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Chairman of the UAE National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT), said that the UAE had joined the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking, a coalition of 20 countries, out of its firm and active commitment as a responsible member of the international community to combating all forms of crimes related to human trafficking.
He said the UAE is also making strenuous efforts to counter spread of these crimes because of their political, social and cultural bearings.
“Partnerships between countries and broadening the scope of joint cooperation will enhance their collective coordination at all fronts and upgrade and unify laws and legislations so as to empower government competent bodies to enforce adequate measures to provide protection and assistance to victims of human trafficking and help eradicate the international phenomenon,” Dr Garagsh said on the occasion of the UAE participation in the Group’s first ministerial meeting which was held recently in New York to step up efforts against modern-day slavery.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/October/theuae_October491.xml§ion=theuae
United Arab Emirates — Iran’s top leader quickly set the tone Tuesday for his long visit among some of the country’s most influential clerics — demanding loyalty to the Islamic state and an end to defiance that has blurred once-clear lines of power since last year’s disputed elections.
The planned 10 days of speeches and meetings by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the seminary city of Qom underscore the concerns among Iran’s theocrats that their control is under threat by dissent from clerics and the rising influence of security forces after the worst unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, supported President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after his disputed election victory in June 2009 and dismissed claims of widespread vote fraud. But many senior clerics in Qom didn’t side with Ahmadinejad and have increasingly adopted a critical language against the government.
There also could be an element of legacy building at play. Some experts on Iranian affairs believe the 71-year-old Khamenei may be trying to pave the way for his hard-line son, Mojtaba, to one day take over at the pinnacle of Iran’s ruling system.
Such a succession would further alienate Iran’s moderate voices. The younger Khamenei is considered a guiding force for the vast paramilitary network, known as the Basij, used to crush opposition demonstrations and bully reformist leaders.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/October/middleeast_October298.xml§ion=middleeast
MOGADISHU - A British contractor kidnapped in Somalia last week whilst working for Save the Children was “on his way to a place of safety”, the charity said on Wednesday.
Regional officials in central Somalia said Frans Barnard was freed late on Tuesday night some 250 km from the town of Adado where he was abducted.
“We continue to be concerned for him but at this point we are cautiously optimistic,” Anna Ford, Save the Children’s spokesperson in Nairobi said.
Mohamed Mohamud, an official with the Himan and Heb regional administration said Barnard was now in the hands of the local administration and would later be handed over to the aid group.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2010/October/international_October894.xml§ion=international
JERUSALEM — Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have made no progress despite the direct involvement of their leaders, a Palestinian official said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a conference in east Jerusalem, senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said face-to-face talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas had not been fruitful.
“I assure you nothing is being cooked between Netanyahu and Abu Mazen, absolutely nothing, not even a raw salad,” Shaath said, using the nickname of the Palestinian leader.
“The two are talking languages that are 180 degrees apart,” Shaath said, responding to an earlier speaker who expressed hope the two “were cooking something.”
Israel and the Palestinian leadership started new US-brokered direct talks on September 2, including rounds in the United States, Egypt and in Jerusalem.
But they have not met since September 15 and Palestinian leaders have said they will not negotiate because Israel refuses to extend a 10-month old moratorium on settlement building in the occupied West Bank.
On October 9, the Arab League gave the United States a month to try to bridge differences over Jewish settlements, one of the thorniest obstacles to peace in the Middle East.
UN officials investigating Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri's 2005 assassination have carried out a controlled explosion, but they deny it was a reconstruction of the killing.
The UN tribunal, based near The Hague, carried out the explosion at a military base in south-west France.
Officials said the test was watched by experts who will now examine data yielded by the experiment.
Hariri was killed in a huge truck bombing in Beirut.
That blast killed 22 other people and injured around 230 others.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was set up in 2007 to investigate the killing of Rafik Hariri, but has not yet named any suspects.
Full report at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11580539
19 October 2010
Iran says that some Western companies are refusing to refuel its planes in Europe, an act it says is illegal under international law.
Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast warned that Tehran would "confront" such measures. The UN imposed fresh sanctions on Iran in June for failing to halt its nuclear enrichment programme.
These were followed by punitive measures from some individual countries, including the US. The US sanctions target Iran's energy sector, including products such as petrol and jet fuel. Mr Mehmanparast, speaking at a news conference, was asked to comment on reports that flights by the state carrier Iran Air were being refused fuel at London Heathrow airport.
"Unfortunately, some Western companies have adopted inappropriate measures," Mr Mehmanparast said. "We advise their governments that first of all this act is beyond the relevant regulations, even beyond those of the illegal UN Security Council's resolution, and under international law it is an unlawful act."
Full report at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11578254