NIA found no evidence against the nine Muslims arrested in the Malegaon blasts case. (Reuters)
K-P might not be part of Pakistan if PTI continues to rule: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl
Pakistan urged to ratify treaty on enforced disappearance
One child killed as toy bomb explodes in Quetta
Gunmen kill police officer in Quetta
India must respond to positive gestures: Pakistan
Prison escapee evolves into al Qaeda-backed jailbreak artist
Pakistan assures Afghans of help in reconciliation process
Pakistan LGBTs test taboos on website
Violence case: DG Rangers says weapons coming back to Karachi from tribal areas
Govt will withdraw report on Muhajir Republican Army: Nisar
Bar Zardari from leaving Pakistan: Government issued SC notice
FO briefing: Pakistan opposes military action in Syria
NIA Moves For Discharge of Nine Muslims, No Evidence Found In Malegaon Blast Case
Imam of a Mosque arrested for abducting 11-year-old girl
Zakat Foundation helps Muslims crack civil services exam
Fatwa against Narendra Modi's Muslim aide
Five Hizbul Mujahideen militants killed in encounter with security forces
Music can’t be held hostage to politics, say Kashmir art promoters
Days of India-Bangladesh passport numbered
Muslims in US 'no-fly' list have constitutional liberty of international air travel: District Court
US gives new proof of chemical arms use in Syria
Church in Farmington leads classes on Islam and Christianity
Obama set for limited strike on Syria as British vote no
Friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect indicted for misleading probe
Chomsky accuses Turkish daily of fabricating parts of interview
Artist J Anu: "I is for Idiot" meant for ex-US President Bush, no intention to insult Islam
Aceh Residents to Sue Shariah Police for Defamation
Beware “enemies of Islam”, Jakim warns in Friday sermon
60 Indian families get notice to vacate homes
Malaysian man faces jail term for allegedly insulting Indonesian flag
Egypt arrests Muslim Brotherhood official and warns protesters
Syrians feel Western action could be too little, too late
15 sentenced in Riyadh terror trial
Al Qaeda claims responsibility for Iraq bombings
Christians restrain anger after Egypt church attacks
New UAE website aims at cultural guidance for expats and immigrants
Syrian army moves Scud missiles to avoid strike
All Umrah pilgrims leave Kingdom on time: Hajjar
Egypt’s draft charter allows Mubarak era figures back into politics
Saudi Anti-Abuse Law law a strong deterrent for abusers
Suicide attack kills 8 in northern Afghanistan
Khaleda urges Hindus to come under her party’s flag
57 militants killed in Afghan raids in operation launched on Thursday
China and Pakistan will hold joint airforce drill in September near PoK border
China warns against US air strikes on Syria
China fears both world and domestic troubles if US attacks Syria
Australian military probing Afghan 'misconduct' report
Bangladesh cannot entertain any more Myanmar refugees: FM
Palestinian refugees who fled to Maldives granted asylum in Sweden
Head of the Islamic Movement Urges Palestinians to Protect Aqsa Mosque
Israel deploys Iron Dome defence system
Thousands of Israelis jostle for gas masks
Profiling Iran's LGBT refugees: Resisting forced sex changes
Drone kills Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen: Tribal source
Child abuse cases on the rise in Turkey, records show
Turkish PM holds Syria summit with top officials
UNESCO urges Syrian belligerents to spare heritage
US, UK should show Syria chemical weapons intel to Russia - ex-British Navy chief
NATO air forces unable to do Syria real harm
France backs action on Syria as US seeks coalition, UK rejects move
Bosnia's lesson in how to get it wrong today in Syria
Iran-bound S-300 anti-aircraft systems ‘dismantled’ – Russia
Russia destroys missiles destined for Iran following Western pressure
Merkel refuses German assistance for airstrikes against Syria
BBC under scrutiny over Twitter mistake on Arab Israeli conflict
Embattled Islamists struggle to retain power in Morocco
DR Congo unrest: M23 rebels announce withdrawal
Opposition sets deadline for Tunisia crisis talks
Mali coup leader removed as head of military reform
US transfers two Gitmo detainees to Algeria
Pivotal in Libya, Italy takes back seat on Syria
At least 23 dead in floods in Mali capital: Govt
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
August 30, 2013
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on Friday that Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government is a game for another month or two, Express News reported.
He further stated that if Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) continued to rule K-P for another month or two, the province might not be a part of Pakistan after that.
The JUI-F chief added that the government and the establishment had joined hands to conduct dialogue with Taliban and the party is ready to lend any support for the purpose.
Chances are that the negotiation process might start in one month, Maulana Fazl said.
A day ago, during a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Fazlur Rehman had said that he is willing to facilitate talks between the government and Taliban.
The JUI-F chief had earlier welcomed the offer of Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) to talk to the government and had called it a step in the right direction.
TTP in their offer for talks with the government had recommended Rehman and Jamaat-Islami chief Munawar Hasan as intermediaries.
Fazlur Rehman had said he wanted to help since no substantial developments were made on the matter since the TTP’s offer.
August 30, 2013
LAHORE: The Pakistani government should affirm its commitment to ending enforced disappearances by ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.
The call comes ahead of the third annual United Nations International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, which falls today (August 30).
“Ratifying the convention against disappearances is a key test for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s new government,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at the Human Rights Watch.
“The government would send a clear political message that it’s serious about ending ‘disappearances’. And it would show its commitment to ensuring justice for serious human rights violations.”
Pakistan’s participation in the United States-led war on terror since 2001 has resulted in hundreds and perhaps thousands of individuals being ‘disappeared’. In addition to those arbitrarily detained in counterterrorism operations, journalists, human rights activists, and alleged members of separatist and nationalist groups, particularly in Balochistan province, have been and continue to be forcibly disappeared, according to a joint statement issued by the ICJ and the HRW.
Despite repeated denials by Pakistan’s security agencies, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has acknowledged and human rights groups have documented evidence of the involvement of intelligence and security agencies in enforced disappearances.
In July, Pakistan’s attorney general admitted that more than 500 “disappeared” persons are in security agency custody.
“Pakistan’s failure to hold even a single perpetrator of enforced disappearances to account perpetuates the culture of impunity in Pakistan,” said Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific regional director of the ICJ.
“The prevalence of gross violations of human rights in the country today is partly a legacy of this impunity.”
Under the international law, a state commits an enforced disappearance when its agents take a person into custody and then deny holding the person, or conceal or fail to disclose the person’s whereabouts. Family members and legal representatives are not informed of the person’s whereabouts, wellbeing, or legal status. “Disappeared” people are often at high risk of torture, a risk even greater when they are detained outside of formal detention facilities such as prisons and police stations, the statement read.
An enforced disappearance removes an individual from the protection of the law. It violates many of the rights guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Pakistan ratified in 2010. The UN General Assembly has repeatedly described enforced disappearance as “an offence to human dignity” and “a grave and flagrant violation” of international human rights law.
“In Balochistan and beyond, Pakistani security forces have forcibly disappeared, tortured, and unlawfully killed people in the name of counterterrorism,” Hasan said. “Pakistan has a responsibility to arrest and prosecute militants acting outside the law, but abuses against suspects cannot be explained away as a way to end terrorism.”
The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in its 2012 report on Pakistan found that the country’s counterterrorism laws, in particular the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, and the FATA/PATA Action (in aid of civil powers) Regulations 2011, allowed arbitrary deprivation of liberty, which has enabled enforced disappearances.
The ICJ and the Human Rights Watch called on the Pakistani government to carry out a full review of security-related legislation and ensure that all laws conform to Pakistan’s international law obligations to prevent such violations.
“All disappeared persons must be released or, if charged with recognisable crimes, brought without further delay before a court to see if their continuing detention is legal,” Zarifi said. “The government should also fully investigate and prosecute those who are responsible for ordering, participating, or carrying out enforced disappearances.”
QUETTA: One child was killed and another injured when a toy bomb exploded in Quetta on Friday, DawnNews reported.
According to the preliminary details, children found a toy-like bomb near a shop in the provincial capital’s Akhtarabad area, which exploded killing one on the spot and severely injuring another.
The injured child was immediately shifted to the Bolan Medical Complex.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility, but rebels have been carrying out bombings in Balochistan since an insurgency pushing for political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's oil, gas and mineral resources began in 2004 in Balochistan, of which Quetta is the capital.
The province, which is one of the most deprived areas of Pakistan, is also a flashpoint for surging sectarian violence between the country's majority Sunni Muslims and Shias, who account for around a fifth of the 180 million people.
In a separate incident in Quetta’s Turbat region Friday, miscreants launched an attack on security forces’ personnel. During a clash between the two sides, one of the attackers was killed.
SYED ALI SHAH
QUETTA: Armed militants on Thursday night killed a former police officer nominated in the killing of Chechen nationals in Quetta.
Muhammad Aslam, a police official told Dawn.com that two armed militants riding on a motorcycle opened fire at the vehicle of Raza Khan, a former police assistant sub inspector in Kharotabad area of Quetta.
He said Raza Khan died on the spot and that the attackers drove off after the attack. Police and other law enforcers were quick at the scene after which, the dead body was shifted to civil hospital Quetta.
ASI Raza Khan was nominated in the murder of five Chechen nationals, including two women, in Kharotabad area of Quetta.
Khan was sacked from his job after an investigation conducted by the police department.
Security forces and police killed Chechen nationals on May 17, 2011 for allegedly possessing suicide jackets and other arms and ammunition.
After media reports, an inquiry was conducted by government of Balochistan and nothing was found with the dead Chechen nationals.
Aggressive media reporting forced former Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani to order the formation of a judicial commission to probe into the incident.
The judicial commission headed by Justice Hashim Kakar of the Balochistan High Court had also declared that the forces acted in haste and that they committed negligence in the incident.
Subsequently, Raza Khan and other responsible police officers were sacked from their jobs.
Sachin Parashar, TNN | Aug 30, 2013
NEW DELHI: India's unresponsiveness to Islamabad's "goodwill gestures" like the recent release of 337 Indian fishermen is not going down well with the people of the neighbouring country, Pakistan has said, hinting it may be looking at hardening its position on dialogue in the absence of any positive feelers from New Delhi. The indications were made even as the two countries turned to back-channel diplomacy with special envoys — S K Lambah and Shahryar Khan — meeting in Dubai on Thursday.
Full report at:
August 30, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The young fighter pounds a boxing bag, removes a pistol from its holster and fires in slow motion across gently sunlit fields.
“After eight years in a death cell, he came out – by the grace of Allah – and now he is back on the battlefield,” intones the YouTube video voiceover.
Adnan Rasheed, the long-haired, laughing star of the video, escaped that death cell and went on to set up a group specialising in jailbreaks, masterminding a raid that freed 250 prisoners, including Taliban members.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday termed the recent visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai as successful and said that it had assured Kabul of continuing help and assistance for success of the reconciliation and peace process.
Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, in his weekly press briefing said, “Pakistan has taken a principled stance of fully supporting the Afghan peace and reconciliation process and these sentiments were shared with President Karzai by the Pakistani leadership during his recent visit to Pakistan.”
Islamabad - For decades, homosexuals in Pakistan have been hiding behind curtains of secrecy to avoid stigma in a conservative Muslim society.
Many who revealed their sexuality have been abandoned by families, deserted by friends and looked down on by society as a whole.
The theocratic Pakistani state was out to punish homosexuals for what was regarded a sin in the Islamic republic.
August 30, 2013
KARACHI: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry summoned Director General Rangers (Sindh) over the arms and ammunition smuggled from the port in Karachi to different parts of Pakistan, Express News reported on Friday.
In response to the enquiry, DG Rangers explained that ammunitions are first sent to the tribal areas from Karachi and are then transferred back to the city. All entry routes in the city are entrenched with check-posts in the absence of forces. He further said that in the presence of all these problems police and rangers usually have to respond quickly to the circumstances.
ISLAMABAD: The attorney general’s report which blames shadowy group “Muhajir Republican Army” for violence in Karachi will be withdrawn, said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday, Express News reported.
The interior minister made this announcement during a session of the National Assembly.
He told the house that the said report was submitted without his approval.
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a notice to the federal government in relation to a request that called for barring President Asif Ali Zardari from leaving the country, Express News reported on Friday.
The notice was issued in relation to the Abbottabad operation by the United States (US) which killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.
ISLAMABAD: With the threat of possible military action looming large over Syria, Pakistan on Thursday urged western powers to avoid the use of force to settle the conflict in the volatile middle-eastern state.
Expressing deep concern over the ongoing violence in Syria at his weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected.
MUMBAI: The NIA on Thursday told a Mumbai court it has found no evidence to link nine Muslims arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case to the terror attack, a move that could see them walk free.
The National Investigation Agency did not object to the discharge applications filed by the arrested accused, saying evidence collected by it were "not in consonance" with those obtained earlier by Maharashtra Anti-terrorism Squad and CBI, which had recommended their prosecution.
"It is submitted that evidence collected by NIA in further investigation is not in consonance with evidence collected by ATS and CBI. The court may kindly pass appropriate orders in the matter," the anti-terror agency told a special NIA court in response to discharge applications filed by the nine accused.
PTI | Aug 30, 2013
MUZAFFARNAGAR: A Muslim cleric has been arrested for allegedly abducting an 11-year-old girl in Budhana town of the district.
Abdul Rahim, the imam of a Mosque, was arrested yesterday after the girl, who was missing since August 21 was found in Budhana when police questioned Abdul.
The child's family had filed a missing complaint and during investigation police had nabbed the cleric.
The cleric was today produced before the court of chief judicial magistrate K P Singh who sent him to 14-day judicial custody.
Rakhi Chakrabarty, TNN | Aug 30, 2013
NEW DELHI: Waseem Akram is the first among Turk Muslims to crack the civil services examination and make it to the Indian Police Service. He is also the first from Takhtpurallah, a remote village in UP's Moradabad district, and several villages around to clear the tough test.
Akram belongs to a family of farmers and his parents never went to school. He is very happy to make it to the IPS at the third attempt, but his parents are nonchalant. "They think it's just another job. It's difficult to explain to them what it means to clear the UPSC," he said.
GANDHINAGAR: Several Muslim religious organizations have issued fatwas against Gujarat BJP's minority cell president Sufi Mehboob Ali Chishti (Bava) calling for his social boycott. Chishti had shot into limelight during chief minister Narendra Modi's Sadbhavna Mission fast in 2011 as he had made many of the arrangements.
Sources said that 19 maulanas from Surat and Bharuch districts have issued fatwas against Chishti on charges of trying to divide the community through his book 'Tajine Sajda Jayaz Hai'. The maulanas have alleged that he is using his clout to settle property and business dealings.
Chishti however has dismissed the allegations against him as political conspiracy. He says that the Election Commission has even censured Congress leaders in the past for making inflammatory speeches against him.
SRINAGAR: Five Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed on Friday in an encounter with security forces in Ganderbal district in Kashmir.
"Five militants belonging to the Qadri Asadullah group of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a counter-insurgency operation in Preng area of Ganderbal in the wee hours today," a defence spokesman said.
AHMED ALI FAYYAZ
Kashmir’s top notch music composers and singers have lent their unqualified support to Indian-American western classical music maestro Zubin Mehta’s concert Ehsaas-e-Kashmir, which is being organised by the German embassy at Shalimar Bagh on September 7.
In sharp contrast to hostile reactions in the Valley’s separatist camp, some of the most credible and representative voices in art and culture told The Hindu on Thursday that no kind of politics should hold the music hostage — more so in an embattled conflict zone.
The days of the India Bangladesh passport seems to be numbered.
The passport is issued by the state government on behalf of the central government.
According to an official of the state home department, the number of such passports being issued is going down day by day.
The passport is availed of mainly by businessmen and individuals who have family members and relatives in Bangladesh.
Aug 30 2013
Portland (US) : Thirteen Muslim Americans challenging the US government's secretive 'no-fly' list won a partial victory in federal court when a judge found they "have a constitutionally protected liberty interest" in traveling internationally by air.
But US District Judge Anna Brown has yet to decide whether the government violated their constitutional rights to due process under a policy that excludes individuals from commercial air travel if they are suspected of having ties to terrorism.
In her ruling late on Wednesday in Portland, the judge also asked both the plaintiffs and the Department of Justice for more information before deciding key parts of the case.
The 13 plaintiffs, all US citizens who deny any links to terrorism, say they were placed on the government's no-fly list without notice or any realistic avenue of appeal.
The Obama administration on Friday gave American lawmakers what it called fresh evidence that Syria's government was behind a chemical weapons attack, but faced strong resistance to military action from both US political parties and a stinging rejection from Britain, a key
During a conference call at the end of a difficult day for the White House, US officials told members of Congress there was "no doubt" that chemical weapons were used in Syria last week.
Obama aides cited intercepted communications of Syrian officials and evidence of movements by Syria's military around Damascus before the attack that killed more than 300 people, said US representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
By Hannah Grover The Daily Times
FARMINGTON — With turmoil in the Middle East appearing in the news on an almost daily basis, the Rev. Glenn Perica of Farmington's First Presbyterian Church believes now is the time to educate people about Islam and how it compares to Christianity.
"Ever since 9/11, we who did not understand very much about the Muslim faith certainly have been exposed to it," Perica said.
Mark Landler, David E Sanger & Thom Shanker, New York Times
Aug 30, 2013
WASHINGTON: President Obama is prepared to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria, administration officials said on Thursday, despite a stinging rejection of such action by America's stalwart ally Britain and mounting questions from Congress.
The negative vote in Britain's Parliament was a heavy blow to Prime Minister David Cameron, who had pledged his support to Obama and called on lawmakers to endorse Britain's involvement in a brief operation to punish the government of President Bashar al-Assad for apparently launching a deadly chemical weapons attack last week that killed hundreds.
AP | Aug 30, 2013
BOSTON: A friend of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect was indicted on Thursday for allegedly making false statements to authorities.
Prosecutors said Robel Phillipos faces up to 16 years in prison in connection with two federal criminal counts. But attorneys for the 19-year-old say he will continue to fight the allegations against him.
"In time, it will be clear that this prosecution should not have been brought in the first place," lawyers Derege Demissie and Susan Church said in a statement.
August 30th, 2013
American linguist, philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky has accused Turkish daily Yeni Şafak of publishing an interview with himself containing fabricated remarks that he did not state about recent incidents in Egypt.
To back up his claims, Chomsky published the original version of the questions and answers of the email interview with the reporter, Burcu Bulut. Yeni Şafak’s published interview and the philosopher’s website version are quite different in content.
BY ISABELLE LAI
PETALING JAYA: Confiscated artwork "I is for Idiot" was a reference to former American President George W. Bush in relation to the Iraq war and definitely not aimed at insulting Islam, said artist Anurendra Jegadeva.
Anurendra, popularly known as J. Anu, said he had created the artwork in 2010 at "the height of the conflict in Iraq", while taking into account other world events.
"The word Idiot refers to Bush, the leader of the free world who was famously silly and sometimes idiotic.
"He is depicted here in the famous 'mission accomplished' moment when he landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003," he said in a statement.
Police confiscated the artwork Thursday afternoon at Publika Kuala Lumpur where Anurendra's body of work, "Alphabet for the Middle Aged Middle Classes", was on exhibition as part of the M50 Selamat Hari Malaysia nationwide art festival until Sept 17.
Banda Aceh. Residents of the Karang Anyar village in Langsa denied reports that a drunken mob had beaten Shariah police as they tried to disperse a live music performance on Sunday evening.
“Most of the audience, there were around 100 of them, were drunk. I and members of the WH [Wilayatul Hisbah — Shariah Police] climbed the stage and asked them to disperse,” Ibrahim Latif, head of Langsa Islamic Shariah Agency, told reporters earlier this week.
But locals contested that narrative, and officials in the East Aceh village have filed a defamation suit against the Langsa Islamic Shariah Agency.
AUGUST 30, 2013
The country's top Islamic authority warned Malaysian Muslims against the "enemies of the faith" who are using new innovations such as the mass media, Internet, Facebook, emails and text messages to spread lies and poison their faith.
"The insults towards Muslims are continuous, like mocking the exclusive right of the community over the use of the word 'Allah'," said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) in its Friday sermon today.
MORE than 60 Indian families staying in Batu Kawan estate in Penang have been issued with notices to vacate their homes before Sept 9, Malaysia Nanban reported.
Each family will receive RM4,200 as compensation from the state-owned Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and the company has given them an ultimatum that if they refuse to move out, water and electricity supply to their homes will be cut off.
JAKARTA: A Malaysian is facing a possible jail sentence for allegedly insulting the Indonesian flag.
According to Indonesian police spokesman, Agus Rianto, the man, a general manager of a plantation company, was alleged to have made crude joke about the Indonesian flag.
On Aug 16, the eve of Indonesia's 68th National Day, the man was reported to have said the flag could be replaced with his red underwear if one could not be found.
Reuters | Aug 30, 2013
CAIRO: Egyptian police captured a senior Muslim Brotherhood official on Thursday and threatened to use live rounds at planned anti-government rallies, pressing ahead with a campaign that has thrown Egypt's oldest Islamist organisation into disarray.
Mohamed Beltagi, a leader of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, had urged Egyptians to join rallies against the military on Friday, in a recorded statement aired by the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera television news network this week.
He was arrested along with two fellow Brotherhood officials and transferred to Tora jail on the outskirts of Cairo, where the upper echelon of the organisation is already incarcerated.
Egypt is enduring the worst internal strife in its modern history, triggered by the army's July 3 overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member.
JEDDAH: KHADIJA HABIB
30 August 2013
Citizens, activists and analysts believe that an attack by Western powers on Syria could be “an exercise in futility if civilians are the casualties.”
Ahmad As Subai’i, chief of the Syrian community in Saudi Arabia, told Arab News in an interview by telephone: “As Syrians, we actually wanted this international support and escalation much earlier without having to wait until the Syrian regime mounted its worst attack. Still, we believe, this military action is meant to ‘discipline’ the regime and not bring it down.”
August 30, 2013
RIYADH – The Special Penal Court in Riyadh on Thursday convicted 15 members of the Group of 47 terrorist cell on various charges and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from nine years to four months.
The defendants were also banned from traveling outside the Kingdom for similar periods after serving their prison sentences.
Both the prosecution and defense objected to the verdicts and were given 30 days to appeal the sentences.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An al Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility for a series of bombings in Baghdad and other areas of Iraq in retaliation for the execution of Sunni Muslim prisoners, according to an Internet statement on Friday.
Hundreds of people have been killed in attacks across Iraq in recent weeks in the worst wave of sectarian bloodshed in the country for at least five years. Just last week, car bombs, roadside bombs and shootings have killed at least 100 people.
Coptic Christians in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya are managing to restrain their anger despite a wave of devastating attacks on their churches and institutions by enraged Islamists.
Tensions are still running high more than two weeks after the attacks in the city some 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of Cairo but there have been no calls for vengeance, nor any fiery rhetoric.
"I say to the Islamists who attacked us that we are not afraid of their violence and their desire to exterminate the Copts," said Botros Fahim Awad Hanna, the archbishop of Minya.
"If we are not hitting back, it is not because we are afraid, but because we are sensible," he said.
For Westerners taking up jobs in the United Arab Emirates, one of the most difficult issues is an understanding of Islamic culture and acceptable social behaviour.
In an attempt to ease the transition period, an Emirati professional has launched a website giving explanations and clear instructions on how to avoid cultural gaffes in the Muslim emirates. The website, inspired by his daughter’s questions when she saw a Western couple kissing in public, aims to inform about the UAE’s traditional cultural norms.
AMMAN: President Bashar al-Assad's forces have removed several Scud missiles and dozens of launchers from a base north of Damascus, possibly to protect the weapons from a Western attack, opposition sources said on Thursday.
The move from the position in the foothills of the Qalamoun mountains, one of Syria's most heavily militarised districts, appears part of a precautionary but limited redeployment of armaments in areas of central Syria still held by Assad's forces, diplomats based in the Middle East told Reuters.
JEDDAH — All Umrah pilgrims have left the Kingdom on time, said Minister of Haj Dr. Bandar Hajjar.
Over 5 million people from all over the globe performed Umrah this season with great ease and comfort thanks to the projects that have been implemented and are being carried out by the government specifically for this purpose, the minister told Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Thursday.
Egypt’s newly drafted constitution allows for the return of former Hosni Mubarak era figures into the political scene and bans the formation of political parties based on religion.
A 10-member panel appointed by Interim President Adly Mansour scraped 37 Articles from the 2012 constitution that was passed under ousted President Mohammad Mursi, including Article 37 for the "political isolation" of former members of the Mubarak's regime.
JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR
30 August 2013
The new Anti-Abuse Law passed by the Cabinet last Monday fulfills most international standards and requirements, said Omar Al-Kouli, a law professor at King Abdulaziz University.
“This is a significant law that would make people think several times before committing acts of abuse against others, especially their family members,” he pointed out.
Abusers will be sentenced to not less than a month and not more than a year in prison and fined a minimum of SR 5,000 and a maximum of SR 50,000, according to Article 13 of the law.
A court can impose either a financial penalty or both punishment or both, the law states, adding that punishment could be doubled if a person repeats the crime. The court will also have the right to issue alternative punishment.
KABUL: A suicide bomber attacked people leaving a memorial service at a mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing a district chief, his apparent target, and seven others, police said.
At least 11 people were wounded in the strike, whose victims included several civilians.
The apparent assassination was the latest attack in a particularly bloody week in Afghanistan, further underscoring the tenuous security situation here.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, but suspicion fell on the Afghan Taliban. The militant group has escalated its actions in recent months to take advantage of the drawdown of US-led foreign troops, who handed over security for the country to Afghan forces two months ago.
Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
Opposition leader and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday night urged Hindus to come under her party’s flag, saying then they would realise how kind the BNP was.
She said the Awami League had always blamed her party for militancy and minority repression, but actually it was the present ruling party that had always used the Hindus.
“They have used the Hindus since the country’s independence but the community has got nothing from the Awami League, which thinks Hindus have no other choice but to cast votes for it.
At least 57 militants were killed in operations launched by the Afghan police, army and the NATO-led coalition forces since Thursday, the country’s interior ministry said on Friday.
“During joint cleanup operations conducted by Afghan police, army and the coalition troops, 57 Taliban insurgents were killed, 10 wounded and four detained over the past 24 hours,” Xinhua reported citing a ministry statement.
Beijing : The Chinese and Pakistani airforces will hold a joint exercise next week in a region bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The joint drill will be held during September 2-22 in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Chinese Defence Ministry said on Thursday.
The exercise, code-named Shaheen (Eagle)-2, is another cooperative project between the two air forces after the Shaheen-1 drill in Pakistan in March 2011, Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a briefing for the local media.
Saibal Dasgupta, TNN | Aug 30, 2013
BEIJING: China has warned the United States against air strikes on Syria and hinted that it would veto any such move at the Security Council.
"External military intervention contravenes the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms of international relations, and will add to the turmoil in the Middle East," said foreign minister Wang Yi on Thursday.
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, August 30, 2013
An attack by US on strife-torn Syria could potentially ignite the volatile region of West Asia with the Syrian army and its allies launching an attack on Israel and Tel Aviv retaliating with force, China warned on Thursday. Besides igniting the West Asian region, ripple effect of the
attacks would hit hard on world economy's fragile recovery, a commentary on state-run Xinhua news agency said.
SYDNEY — The Australian Defence Force said Friday it was investigating an incident of "potential misconduct" by troops in Afghanistan following a report that a dead insurgent's hands were cut off.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said elite special forces were under investigation for mutilating the corpse of at least one person following a fierce battle in Zabul province in April in which four enemy fighters were killed.
Full report at: Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on Thursday said Bangladesh did not have the capacity to take in any more Myanmar refugees or illegal entrances.
She made the remark at a meeting with the newly-appointed Country Representative of UNHCR Stina E Ljungdell in her office.
She also thanked the UNHCR for its continued financial and institutional support for the maintenance of two refugee camps at Kutupalong and Noyapara.
By JJ Robinson | August 30th, 2013
Four Palestinian refugees who arrived in the Maldives on 9 July 2013 have left the Maldives after being granted asylum by Sweden.
In a statement the Maldives Foreign Ministry said it had made a decision not to repatriate the family following an appeal from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), which facilitated the family’s application for refugee status.
The family initially fled Palestine to Syria, but were compelled to leave due to escalating conflict in the country.
“The [Maldivian] government took care of the welfare of the family, including providing them accommodation at Hulhulé Island,” stated the Foreign Ministry.
Palestine News Network
The head of the Islamic Movement in the 1948 occupied lands, Sheikh Ra'ed Salah has called on Palestinians living in Jerusalem and inside the Green Line to defend the Aqsa Mosque next Wednesday against the possibility of Jewish extremists desecrating the Mosque.
AFP | Aug 30, 2013
TEL AVIV: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defence system to bolster its security as the West weighed military strikes on neighbouring Syria.
But he echoed President Shimon Peres in insisting that Israel is not involved in Syria's civil war but will respond with all its might if attacked.
"We have decided to deploy Iron Dome and other interceptors," Netanyahu said, in a statement released by his office, ahead of holding security talks at the defence ministry.
"We are not involved in the war in Syria. But I repeat: if anyone tries to harm Israeli citizens, Tsahal (the Israeli army) will respond with force," Netanyahu said in other remarks broadcast by Israeli television.
Jerusalem: Israeli police say thousands of Israelis are crowding gas-mask distribution facilities, readying for a potential conflict with Syria. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officers were deployed to maintain order in the northern city of Haifa, where more than 5,000 people jostled in line as they waited for their protective kits on Thursday. A sports arena there was being used as a distribution centre to accommodate the crowds. The rising tension and long lines have led to some chaos. Israel’s postal service, which oversees the distribution, said an angry mob forcibly took gas masks from a distribution centre in Jerusalem on Wednesday, leading to the site’s indefinite closure.
KAYSERI, Turkey — It is sizdah bedar, the thirteenth day of the Persian New Year, in March. Shervin is speaking by telephone while on a bus returning to Kayseri, the industrial Turkish city where he is temporarily living. He and 30 other LGBT refugees have spent the last day of the Norooz celebrations picnicking in the city’s suburbs and tossing sabzeh — newly sprouted grasses and legumes — into flowing water.
August 30, 2013
A drone strike Friday killed an Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen, a tribal source said, the latest in a string of attacks on what is considered the extremist group's most dangerous network.
The source told AFP the early morning strike on a vehicle travelling in Manasseh village in the southern province of Bayda killed Qaeed al-Dhahab and two other men.
Witnesses confirmed the death of Dhahab, a military chief of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who had previously fought with the group in Iraq.
He was the brother of Tarek al-Dhahab, an AQAP leader who in January 2012 with other militants briefly overran the town of Radah in Bayda province before being killed.
Sexual abuse toward children in Turkey increased steadily between 2008 and 2012, based on criminal records.
Statistics from the General Directorate of Criminal Records and Statistics between 2008 and 2012 show that cases of child abuse and sexual harassment were on a steady rise over the period.
Turkish PM holds Syria summit with top officials, including chief of staff, intelligence chief and FM
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a closed-doors meeting focusing on Syria with top officials on Aug. 29.
Chief of General Staff Necdet Özel, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Interior Minister Muammer Güler, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and Intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan were among those present at the meeting, which lasted three hours, Anadolu Agency reported.
The United Nations’ cultural organization on Thursday urged Syria’s regime and rebels to spare multi-millennial heritage that is being ravaged by shelling, theft and illegal digs.
“I urge all parties to take the necessary measures to prevent further damage to this heritage, which is among the most precious in the Islamic world,” UNESCO chief Irina Bokova said.
“The protection of heritage is not a political issue,” she told reporters after a meeting of experts held in Paris and attended by U.N. special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.
The meeting took place as Western powers were mulling military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over alleged chemical weapons use in deadly attacks last week.
The UK and US need to produce the evidence they claim to have that proves the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, a former head of Britain's Royal Navy, Baron West, told RT.
As the Western powers call for a military strike, Baron Alan West of Spithead, a former First Sea Lord and senior security adviser to the British government, warned that the conflict could spiral out of control and play into the hands of Al-Qaeda-linked rebel groups operating in Syria.
NATO hasn’t enough airplanes and cruise missiles near Syria to inflict decisive damage on the country’s military, senior Russian military expert Konstantin Sivkov said. US-led forces entering Syria would mean total war in the Middle East, he told RT.
During the Syrian civil war there has been little harm caused to the the country’s air defense systems, which continue to function quite effectively, said Sivkov, who is first vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems and a former officer of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.
DAMASCUS: French President Francois Hollande gave a boost Friday to US hopes of forging an international coalition for possible strikes against Syria after British lawmakers rejected any involvement in military action.
The White House had signalled on Thursday that US President Barack Obama, guided by the "best interests" of the United States, was ready to go it alone on Syria after deadly chemical weapons attacks last week.
If there’s one thing worse than not learning the lessons of history, it’s learning the wrong ones. And when it comes to Syria, that’s just what ministers seem to be doing ... taking lessons from the conflict in Bosnia and applying them to the Middle East. It’s the peel-and-stick approach to foreign policy. And the moral that David Cameron takes from Bosnia is that Britain must not stand by while governments carry out atrocities against their own citizens.
The S-300 anti-aircraft systems that Moscow planned to deliver to Iran under agreements from 2007 are now completely dismantled and recycled, the head of the company producing the S-300 systems said.
“The equipment, which was intended for Iran, is no more,” Vladislav Menshikov, CEO of air-defense systems manufacturer Almaz-Antei, told RIA Novosti news agency. “We’ve dismantled it completely. The individual elements, which could’ve been used, were partially used. Partially, the utilization was performed.”
MOSCOW: A top Russian weapons maker said on Thursday that the S-300 air defence missile systems made for Iran had been dismantled and disposed of following Western pressure to shelf the contract.
"The hardware that was destined for Iran no longer exists," general director of Russian weapons manufacturer Almaz-Antey Vladislav Menshchikov told reporters.
"We have dismantled it completely. Separate elements, what could be used have been used," he said, adding that some other parts have been destroyed. "This is absolutely reliable information," he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
Germany will not take part in any military action against Syria, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.
Berlin was urging Russia to join in U.N. Security Council condemnation of Syria’s government for using chemical weapons, she said through her spokesman.
“We are not considering a military strike,” said Steffen Seibert, the spokesman.
Germany had avoided saying this week whether or not it would support possible US airstrikes. The silence ended when Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told a newspaper, the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung, that military involvement was not on the table.
The BBC has come under scrutiny over its Twitter guidance policy after the BBC Trust upheld a complaint against correspondent Wyre Davies who was reporting on an incident in Gaza, according to media reports on Friday.
The trust concluded that a tweet sent by Davies breached the corporation’s accuracy guidelines after it was later established that his tweet was misleading.
Davies had tweeted: “In this ‘limited operation’ at least 13 Palestinians and 3 Israelis have been killed - nearly all civilians. #Gaza,” however it later emerged that four of the casualties were civilians. The remainder was described as “militants.”
August 30, 2013
RABAT — Less than two years after sweeping to power, Morocco’s ruling Islamists look increasingly isolated, abandoned by their main coalition ally, criticized by the king and with similar movements challenged.
The Party of Justice and Development shot to power for the first time after triumphing in 2011 parliamentary polls that followed the Arab Spring protests sweeping the country, bringing hopes of change.
But the party’s leader, Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, has struggled to end a political crisis triggered by the nationalist Istiqlal Party’s withdrawal from the coalition last month.
“There are many indications that the fall of the government is only a question of time,” said the Arabic daily Akhbar Al-Youm.
he M23 rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has said it will stop fighting and pull back from the frontline following days of clashes with UN-backed forces.
M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa said this was to allow an independent investigation into recent shelling.
Some of the shells fell onto Rwandan territory, sparking an angry response.
Rwanda accused the Congolese army of firing the shells - allegations it vehemently denied.
As tension escalated on Thursday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Rwanda's president for restraint.
TUNIS — Tunisia’s pposition parties and leading civil society groups said Thursday the Islamist-led government must respond by this weekend to a trade union offer to mediate in the country’s political standoff.
Rached Ghannouchi, chairman of the governing Islamist Ennahda party, has declared himself ready to join the mediation, meant to lead to new elections, but leaders in his party and its two secular coalition partners have expressed reservations.
BAMAKO — Mali’s interim government has removed General Amadou Sanogo, who led a coup last year, as head of a military committee tasked with reforming the West African country’s armed forces, a government statement said.
The removal gives a clean slate to president-elect Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, elected by a landslide in an Aug. 11 runoff. Sanogo had remained influential behind the scenes after the March 2012 coup which plunged Mali into crisis.
August 30, 2013
WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday said it had transferred two men from the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the government of Algeria as part of its ongoing effort to close the controversial prison.
The Pentagon announced the transfer of Nabil Said Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab, leaving 164 detainees still at the prison, including 84 others cleared for release years ago.
The Obama administration first announced plans to repatriate the two inmates to Algeria last month, resuming the transfer of detainees for the first time in nearly a year.
ROME — The launch pad for the bombing of Libya, Italy is now marking itself out from key allies with a stand against participation in military action in Syria.
Foreign Minister Emma Bonino has ruled out taking part without a UN Security Council mandate and says it would not be “automatic” even with such approval.
Government sources quoted in local media say Italy would also likely bar the use by third countries of air bases that played a pivotal role in Libya.
At least 23 people have been killed in flash floods caused by torrential rain in the Malian capital Bamako, a government official said on Thursday.
"There have been 23 people killed," said Alassane Bocoum, the national director of social development, adding that all had been identified.
He said thousands of people had been made homeless after around 100 houses were destroyed.