Turkey schools flout hijab ban
French woman on trial for “burqa assault”
NATO loses 16 soldiers in three days of Afghan war
Pakistan arrests 7 militants, foil plot to kill PM
Digvijay says he agrees with RSS chief's statement on Ayodhya
Germany's 1st Hitler expo recalls dark past
Canada seeks use of Pakistan’s military bases
Five workers of MQM, one of ANP killed in Karachi
French Muslims break stereotype and show up integration sceptics
67 Pakistani Politicians Hold Fake Degrees
US military says 77,000 Iraqis killed over 5 years
Live missile sent from Afghanistan to UK by post
Dutch prosecutors read out lawmaker's anti-Islam statements before sentencing recommendations
Taliban release video of kidnapped VC
Operation in North Waziristan: Sooner the better, says Gates
Four Nato soldiers perish in Afghanistan
Police chief gunned down in south Yemen town
Let’s focus on hope, not failure: Abbas
Taliban ready to talk: Af peace council chief
Omar briefs governor about steps taken to restore normalcy
Israel approves new east Jerusalem homes
At Lebanon border, Ahmadinejad predicts Israel's demise
Abbas upbeat on US efforts to resolve talks impasse
Iran says nuclear talks offer is ‘good news’
Hezbollah’s gift for Ahmadinejad: An Israeli rifle
Valley thumbs-down to new interlocutors
Embassy blasts: Tears flow at Gitmo detainee trial
Court rejects plea seeking Musharraf's trial on treason charge
Two detained in Jama Masjid attack
US says helping Taliban attend talks
Afghans claim abuse at US black jail: Report
Briton’s death: US soldier may face action
Iran to take over Opec’s presidency
Israel comes face to face with the man who would wipe it off the map
Afghan peace talks reports help Nato fight
‘Qureshi to seek N-deal at Pak-US strategic dialogue’
Taliban talks part of US strategy on Afghanistan: US
‘New Iraqi govt will improve ties with Syria’
Abu Dhabi Film Festival brings marvels of world
South Lebanese say Ahmadinejad visit is a victory
Indian woman kidnapped in Nigeria
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Shahi Imam 'assaults' scribe at meet
Oct 15, 2010
LUCKNOW: A local journalist has lodged an FIR against Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, for assaulting him during a press conference on Thursday. Mohammed Wahid Chishti, editor of 'Dastan-e-Awadh', has accused Bukhari and his entourage of beating him up and threatening him of dire consequences when he asked some uncomfortable questions during the press conference.
The maulana, who has been highly critical of the Allahabad high court's judgment on Ayodhya title suit, lost his cool when Chishti reminded him about his earlier stand that Muslims must respect the verdict. Appearing to be in a particularly dark mood, he brusquely ordered Chishti to be quiet and take his seat.
When Chishti didn't stop, Bukhari ordered the man to hold his tongue or his neck would be broken. "Traitors like you have killed all the aspirations of Muslims in India," he said amidst torrents of threats. The press conference broke up soon after and Chishti was surrounded by TV crews. This enraged Bukhari further and he charged towards the journalist who had to be rescued by other journalists who were present.
By Nichole Sobecki
October 15, 2010
ISTANBUL, Turkey — For years Zeynep Nur Incekara, a young medical student at Istanbul University, attended classes in a hat, or sometimes a wig — substitutes for the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, that is forbidden in public buildings in Turkey.
After being barred from class twice last year for opposing the school’s dress code, Incekara took action. Writing to the Prime Ministry Human Rights Directorate, she complained that her right to education was being restricted and demanded that something be done, bringing her, albeit reluctantly, into the center of the political maelstrom.
Incekara’s letter was turned over to Turkey’s Higher Education Board, or YOK, which ruled that she could not be kicked out of classes for “acting against the disciplinary regime.”
“Let alone a hat, we are against anybody being sent out of the classroom for any way of dressing,” said Yusuf Ozcan, president of YOK, in comments to Turkey’s NTV television channel, adding that they would notify any universities that failed to comply with the directive.
YOK’s ruling is just the latest installment in the ongoing battle between Turkey’s rising Islamic middle class and a militantly secular establishment that is not used to compromising their ideals.
For most women living in a Muslim-majority country, the decision to cover ones head would be a non-issue, in a few it is a requirement. But in Turkey — a predominantly Muslim country whose identity is built on secularism — the choice to cover one’s head is politically charged.
Over time the headscarf has come to represent a fear held by some of the more secular divisions of Turkish society that any weakening of the state’s founding principles, laid down by its founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, could leave them exposed to Islamization.
“The headscarf as an object is perceived differently by different policy actors,” said Ozge Genc, head of the Religion, State and Society project at Tesev, an Istanbul-based think tank. “Some of them perceive it as a political symbol, some of them as a symbol of piety, some of them perceive it as a human right.”
The headscarf issue has been simmering here since the 1960s, when a student wearing a headscarf was first prevented from entering a university, finally reaching a full boil in 1997 when the coalition government headed by the Islamic Welfare Party was forced from power and the ban that had existed in theory became more strictly enforced.
Two years ago, when the governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, which has roots in political Islam, tried to lift the ban, Turkey’s top court struck down the proposed law as a threat to the country’s secularism — and soon after came within one vote of banning the AKP itself.
YOK’s directive, rather than being a turning point in and of itself, is in some ways simply recognition of a trend that has been quietly evolving outside the headlines for some time. At an increasing number of Turkish universities women are being given, to varying degrees, the right to wear headscarves.
Turkish daily newspaper Radikal published a list of eight universities that don’t enforce the no-headscarf rule, 31 where headscarves are allowed on campus but not in the classrooms and 29 that strictly enforce the rule. Where and when the ban is applied, however, remains a gaping unknown, frowned upon by some segments of society, fought for by others, and ultimately applied indiscriminately.
15 October 2010
French prosecution demands a two-month suspended prison sentence for a French woman accused of ripping off the full face veil of an Emirati tourist.
A French woman accused of ripping off the full face veil of an Emirati tourist and biting and scratching her when she put it back on faced prosecution demands for a two-month suspended prison sentence on Thursday.
“Co-habiting implies that we have to tolerate others whatever they are wearing,” prosecutor Anne Fontette told a Paris court.
The case comes just days after the highest constitutional authority approved a bill outlawing the garment with offenders potentially fined 150 euros ($189) or required to take part in a citizenship class. The bill is due to take effect after a six-month period aimed at informing veiled women about the law.
The retired English teacher, known only as Marlene, had told police she asked the woman from the United Arab Emirates in English to remove the veil. When the woman refused, she ripped it off. When the woman put it back on again, she punched, scratched and bit her, according to the police report.
“I knew I was going to crack one day,” 63-year-old Marlene said, according to police. “This burqa story was beginning to annoy me.”
The incident, for which she also faces a 750 euro ($1,000) fine, occurred in a luxury Paris boutique last February.
Marlene, who did not appear in court and had no legal representation, has defended her position in the media. Speaking to Le Parisien newspaper, she said it was unacceptable women wore the veil in what she called the birthplace of human rights. “I taught languages in Morocco and Saudi Arabia,” she told the newspaper. “I have seen how in those countries women are treated ... walking three metres behind their husbands.”
She denied any acts of violence in the newspaper.
France’s five million-strong Muslim community is Western Europe’s largest, but fewer than 2,000 women are believed to wear a full face veil. Many Muslim leaders have said they support neither the veil nor the law banning it.
The verdict is due on Nov. 4.
NATO loses 16 soldiers in three days of Afghan war
KABUL - A foreign soldier fighting the Afghan insurgency was killed by a Taliban-style bomb Friday, NATO said as it announced that another soldier died from injuries sustained in a similar attack a day earlier.
The deaths bring to 16 the number of foreign soldiers — at least six of them Americans — to have died in the war since Wednesday, according to an AFP tally.
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said a “service member died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today”. It did not give further details.
There are more than 150,000 international troops deployed in Afghanistan trying to defeat a Taliban-led insurgency aimed at toppling the country’s Western-backed democracy.
The rebels have stepped up attacks every year since the Taliban regime was toppled in a US-led invasion in late 2001.
To root out the rebels, Washington deployed an extra 30,000 reinforcements this year as the basis of a surge strategy aimed at speeding an end to the war. About 10,000 more NATO troops were also deployed.
This year, the deadliest yet for foreign forces, 590 NATO-led soldiers have been killed, according to a toll based on that kept by the independent icasualties.org website, compared to 521 killed last year.
Oct 14, 2010
MULTAN (Pakistan): Pakistani police arrested a group of Islamist militants who were plotting to kill the Prime Minister and other top government officials, a top officer said Thursday.
The conspiracy against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was "almost complete," said Abid Qadri, a regional police chief. He said the militants were planning to attack Gilani when he traveled to his hometown of Multan, but gave no more details.
Militants in Pakistan have frequently attacked government officials, security officers and political leaders as part of a campaign to destabilize the US-allied government and take over the state. Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun-and-bomb attack near Islamabad in 2007.
Like other top officials, Gilani does not publicize his movements ahead of time and travels with extensive security.
Qadri did not offer any evidence to back up his allegations.
He said authorities learned about the plot during an initial interrogation of the seven militants, who were arrested late Wednesday after a shootout near a village in central Pakistan.
The militants opened fire when police tried to pull their car over for a routine check, Qadri said. Nobody was wounded in the shooting, but two men managed to escape, he said.
The men are members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned Sunni Muslim militant group linked to both the Taliban and al-Qaida, Qadri said. The group has been blamed for attacking minority Shiite worship places as well as assaults on security forces and other targets.
Some of the suspects are believed to have taken part in an attack last year on the offices of Pakistan's main spy agency in Multan, which is in Punjab province in central Pakistan, Qadri said.
The men were also conspiring to kill foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, also a Multan native, and the minister for religious affairs, who last year survived an assassination attempt in Islamabad, Qadri said. He said the suspects also had plans to attack a dam, a bridge and military installations.
BHOPAL: Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Thursday said he agreed with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's statement that High Court verdict on Ayodhya issue did not amount to a victory for anyone and asked the Sangh to advise BJP leaders to exercise restraint.
"I agree with the statement that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat after the Ayodhya verdict," he told reporters.
"I think Bhagwat should advise both (L K) Advani and (Ravi Shanker) Prasad not to make statements that could fan communal passions," the Congress general secretary said.
He said the country had moved far ahead of the days of the masjid-temple dispute and added that people wanted peace above all.
Singh said that leaders like SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had issued statements on the Ayodhya verdict hoping to please the Muslims but "this has not happened".
BERLIN: Adolf Hitler seems to be back in town, with an extremely nervous Germany now preparing to stage the first exhibition dedicated to the Nazi leader from Friday at Berlin's German Historical Museum with the intention to break taboos that have been in practice since the Fuhrer killed himself in his Berlin bunker in 1945.
According to News.com.au, since World War II, a number of museums have displayed works on Nazi crimes, the Holocaust , slave labour, the murdering doctors, cruel judges and massacring soldiers, all of which faced protests.
Hitler has always been out of bounds, in Berlin most of all, lest neo-Nazis start to swarm to the museum and pay tribute to the dictator of the Third Reich. Two years back, a wax model was put on display in the Berlin branch of Madame Tussauds but a visitor pushed past security guards and ripped Hitler's head off, the report said.
The knuckle-dusters , truncheons and jackboots in the first case of the exhibition - titled 'Hitler and the Germans' - sets the tone for a stark look at how German society embraced the Nazi regime in all its brutality.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Germanys-1st-Hitler-expo-recalls-dark-past/articleshow/6751713.cms#ixzz12OkZSduv
Canada has requested Pakistan to allow it to use its military bases in Karachi after the UAE abruptly terminated an agreement that had enabled the Canadian military to access a base in Dubai to supply its troops in Afghanistan.
“They want to use our military infrastructure to remove their troops and supplies from Afghanistan,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) quoted as a source in Pakistan’s foreign ministry as saying. Canada wants to use Pakistani military bases as Canadian mission will lose its central supply line into Afghanistan next month after its eviction from Dubai.
That has complicated the military’s plans to return troops and equipment now in Kandahar back to Canada in July 2011, when the combat mission ends.
Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/289761/Canada-seeks-use-of-Pakistan%E2%80%99s-military-bases.html
15 Oct, 2010
KARACHI: Five workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and one of the Awami National Party were gunned down here on Wednesday and Thursday.
The bodies of three MQM activists were found in a car in Malir Halt on Thursday morning.
Waseem Aftab, a member of the MQM Coordination Committee, accused the Sindh home minister of supporting elements of the Lyari gang warfare which, according to him, were involved in the killings.
Meanwhile, an eight-year-old boy was killed after being hit by a police APC in Lyari on Thursday night. Asim Anwar was taken to the Civil Hospital but he died.
The APC driver, Mohammad Rafiq, has been detained.
Amir Wasim adds from Islamabad: The MQM, a coalition partner in the PPP-led government at the centre and in Sindh, has alleged that “elements within the provincial government” are involved in the target killing of its workers in Karachi and said some 200 party activists have lost their lives since January last year.
“According to our information, criminals and terrorists belonging to the Lyari gang war group having the patronage of some important Sindh government officials are behind the killing of our five workers in Karachi over the past two days,” deputy convener of the MQM and federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar said at a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
He claimed that the Citizens Police Liaison Committee had complete data about the people involved in Lyari gang war who were also wanted in cases of bank robbery and kidnapping for ransom. He criticised police, agencies and the provincial home ministry for not taking action against “these criminals who have made the people of Karachi hostage”.
“We appeal to President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other people at the helm of affairs to immediately arrest those behind the killing of MQM workers and also take action against those who are providing patronage to them,” Dr Sattar said.
However, he refrained from giving any threat to the PPP about quitting the government despite a number of questions by journalists.
Later talking to Dawn, Dr Sattar complained implicitly that his party was not being consulted by the PPP in decision-making at the provincial level. The MQM would not accept responsibility for the deteriorating situation in Karachi, he added.
Much has been made recently of anti-Islam movements across Europe, but in France, where Islam is now the second-largest religion, there are many stories of successful integration.
Muslims from former French colonies in North Africa immigrated to France throughout the second half of the last century, and now their children and grandchildren are growing up French.
While Muslims still face discrimination, many have successfully integrated and are a part of French society, which now has Western Europe's largest Muslim population.
Amira Beshallah is one such example of a successfully integrated second-generation French Muslim. After a day of classes at the Sorbonne University in Paris, she comes home to an apartment near the Seine River, where she lives with her parents.
The 19-year-old is earning an undergraduate degree in literature and communications and wants to become a television journalist. Amira's parents immigrated to France from the North African country of Tunisia, but she says she identifies more with France than with the country of her parents' birth.
Full report at: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6114212,00.html
Oct 14th, 2010
Some 67 MPs and provincial assemblies in Pakistan hold fake educational degrees, a media report said on Thursday.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is yet to receive the matriculate and intermediate certificates from 428 MPs and assemblies to enable it verify their degrees.
It has now asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to obtain the certificates so it can verify them, the News International reported. In a letter to ECP, the HEC said it will examine the degrees. The letter was delivered to ECP a day before the departure of HEC chairman Farooq Leghari to London on Thursday.
Sources said 13 members have already been de-seated on account of their fake educational degrees and by-elections have been held in the constituencies. They are among the 67 members who hold fake degrees.
BAGHDAD: A new US military tally puts the death toll of Iraqi civilians and security forces in the bloodiest years of the war thousands below Iraqi government figures.
The little-noticed body count is the most extensive data on Iraqi war casualties ever released by the American military. It tallied deaths of almost 77,000 Iraqis between January 2004 and August 2008 the darkest chapter of Iraq's sectarian warfare and the US troop surge to quell it.
But the tally falls short of the estimated 85,694 deaths of civilians and security officials between January 2004 to October 31, 2008, as counted last year by the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry.
Casualty figures in the US-led war in Iraq have been hotly disputed because of the high political stakes in a conflict opposed by many countries and a large portion of the American public.
Critics on each side of the divide accuse the other of manipulating the death toll to sway opinion.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/US-military-says-77000-Iraqis-killed-over-5-years/articleshow/6752228.cms#ixzz12QZ1E5LZ
LONDON: Believe it or not, a missile was sent to Britain by military engineers in Afghanistan through an ordinary parcel.
The 70 mm Flechette rocket travelled 3,500 miles from Afghanistan to a Royal Air Force base inside an ordinary package, triggering a full-scale alert, The Sun reported. The missile, used by Apache helicopter crews, is said to be one of the most powerful rockets in the world.
When it was opened at Wattisham Airfield, in Suffolk , more than 70 defence workers had to evacuate as bomb disposal experts rushed to the scene.
Britain's ministry of defence documents show engineers servicing a gunship chopper at Camp Bastion declared its missile launcher broken. But they did not notice it had a missile in it.
Staff meant to inspect the launcher after it had been removed from the helicopter also failed to check it. As a result, the weapon was packaged up to be sent back to the UK as a "non dangerous" item, the newspaper said. An inquiry launched by base chiefs found it was a "wholly avoidable " incident, it has been revealed after a Freedom of Information request. PTI
AMSTERDAM — Dutch prosecutors are reading out to a court public statements made by anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, who is on trial for inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims.
The prosecutors are expected to complete their case on Friday and tell the court what sentence they think is appropriate for Wilders, or whether charges should be dropped. They have already dropped one charge.
Wilders will present his defence next week and a verdict is expected early next month.
A right-wing government that depends on Wilders' support for its threadbare majority took office Thursday, making him one of the nation's most powerful politicians.
Copyright © 2010 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
PESHAWAR: The Taliban in Pakistan on Thursday released a video of a kidnapped professor in which he appeals to the government to accept the terrorist’s demands to secure his release.
Professor Ajmal Khan, a locally renowned academic and a close ally of the ruling Awami National Party in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, had been kidnapped on September 7.
“I am a heart patient and cannot live here any longer. The government should do something for me and should negotiate with the Taliban,” Khan said in the recording.
“The government should solve their problems (with the Taliban), if they have any,” he added. afp
By Anwar Iqbal
WASHINGTON, Oct 14: US President Barack Obama’s military advisers are urging Pakistan to launch a major military offensive in North Waziristan, with the secretary of defence and the military chief saying that Islamabad has already promised to do so.
In less than 14 hours, four key officials responsible for the US-led war in Afghanistan stressed the importance of such an offensive, insisting that the war could not be won until terrorists based in North Waziristan were dislodged.
The statements come days before the third round of the US-Pakistan ‘strategic dialogue’ in Washington during which the Obama administration is expected to urge Islamabad to send its troops into North Waziristan and uproot the Haqqani network which, the Americans claim, is based there.
“Well, they’ve talked about taking action in North Waziristan and our hopes are that they will,” US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said when asked if he wanted Pakistan to take more forceful action in the area.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/operation-in-north-waziristan-sooner-the-better,-says-gates-500
KABUL: Four Nato soldiers were killed in two separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan on Thursday, the alliance announced, bringing to 585 the total number of personnel killed so far this year.
The US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said three soldiers died in a single attack in western Afghanistan while the fourth trooper died in a bomb blast in the country’s east.
The force released no further details and does not disclose the nationalities of soldiers killed as a matter of policy. There are American, Spanish, Italian and Lithuanian troops based in Nato contingents in the west.
Thursday’s deaths brought to 585 the number of foreign soldiers killed this year, eclipsing the previous record of 521 in 2009. The AFP tally is based on a count by the independent website icasualties.org.
Bombs known as IEDs — improvised explosive devices — are the weapons of choice for the Taliban and others fighting the 152,000 foreign troops under US and Nato command now deployed in the country.
SANAA: Two attacks by suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen on Thursday killed a security chief of a southern town and injured two of a regional governor’s bodyguards, security officials said.
The attacks follow a similar shooting the day before and are part of what Yemeni officials say is an increase in Al-Qaeda’s attempts to assassinate security officials.
Al-Baham, security chief of the town of Mudiyah in Abyan province, was shot dead on Thursday during a protest marking the 47th anniversary of the launch of its uprising against British colonial rule, a security official said.
Mudiyah is located to the north of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, which has been a focus of separatist sentiment in the south.
The security official blamed the shooting on supporters of the Southern Movement, a coalition of autonomist and pro-independence groups.
But Southern Movement official Abbas Al-Assal denied its supporters were involved in the shooting, saying it was committed by a masked man "who belongs to Al-Qaeda."
Assal accused security forces of "firing on peaceful protesters," adding: "We are peaceful and reject violence."
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article161169.ece
RAMALLAH: The Palestinian president said on Thursday he expected the United States to convince Israel to halt settlement building on occupied Palestinian land so direct peace talks can resume.
President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel was “still putting obstacles” in the path of peace talks, singling out its construction of Jewish settlements on land where the Palestinians aim to found a state.
But expressing a hope that this would change, he said: “Let's focus on hope and not failure.”
The Palestinians called off direct peace talks with Israel just a few weeks after they began last month when a 10-month Israeli freeze on new home building in the settlements expired.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of a government dominated by parties that support the settlers, has so far resisted pressure from the United States to extend the freeze. He said this week the Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state to secure such a gesture.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article161160.ece
Aformer Afghan president who heads a new peace council said Thursday he's convinced the Taliban are ready to negotiate peace after nine years of war in Afghanistan. "They have some conditions to start the negotiations process. It gives us hope that they want to talk and negotiate," Burhanuddin Rabbani said. AP
SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday called on the Governor N N Vohra here and briefed him about the measures being taken to restore normalcy in the Valley.
The meeting between the two at Raj Bhavan lasted an hour and issues relating to conduct of elections to panchayats and urban local bodies were also discussed, an official spokesman said.
The state government is planning to hold panchayat polls in the month of December with mainstream political parties activating their cadres and hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani urging the people to boycott the elections.
The spokesman said Omar briefed the Governor about the situation in the state and the measures being taken to restore normalcy in the Valley.
Various other issues pertaining to governance, particularly the implementation of the related state laws for establishing full fledged functioning of statutory bodies responsible for enhancing accountability, promoting efficiency and curbing corruption in the administrative system were also discussed, the spokesman said.
He said the governor reiterated his concern about the prevailing situation affecting educational institutions and called for measures on an urgent basis to restore full functioning of the schools, colleges and universities in the Valley.
Asking people to boycott the panchayat elections, Geelani in a statement here said, "Though elections won't hamper our ongoing movement, it creates doubts about our cause at the diplomatic level. It has been the Hurriyat's standing policy to boycott the elections and we hope the people will respect the sacrifices and stay away from the process."
JERUSALEM: Israel's government ended an unofficial freeze on new building in east Jerusalem, approving the construction of 238 homes in Jewish neighborhoods as peace talks remained stuck Friday over the fate of a broader construction slowdown throughout the West Bank.
The Israeli Housing Ministry's announcement that developers would be allowed to bid for contracts to build new homes in the neighborhoods of Ramot and Pisgat Zeev drew swift condemnation from Palestinian negotiators.
Peace talks that began in early September are currently deadlocked over a Palestinian demand that Israel extend a slowdown on settlement construction that expired last month. The Palestinians are threatening to quit the negotiations unless Israel reinstates the building restrictions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to do so.
Both sides have indicated compromise is possible, but attempts by U.S. mediators to break the impasse have failed so far. Israel's new construction announcement further soured the atmosphere.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Israel-approves-new-east-Jerusalem-homes/articleshow/6753929.cms#ixzz12QZAWYx7
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has predicted the demise of arch-foe Israel from inside a Hezbollah stronghold in south Lebanon, just miles from the border of the Jewish state.
BINT JBEIL, LEBANON: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted the demise of arch-foe Israel on Thursday from inside a Hezbollah stronghold in south Lebanon, just miles from the border of the Jewish state.
"The whole world knows that the Zionists are going to disappear," he said to thunderous applause before a frenzied crowd in Hezbollah's bastion of Bint Jbeil, some four kilometres (two miles) from the Israeli border.
"The occupying Zionists today have no choice but to accept reality and go back to their countries of origin," he added.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/At-Lebanon-border-Ahmadinejad-predicts-Israels-demise/articleshow/6751328.cms#ixzz12QZIrqx4
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas expressed optimism on Thursday that Washington would convince Israel to renew a settlement building ban and end a peace talks deadlock.
“Why not hope that the US administration will convince Israel to stop settlement activities,” he told reporters at a joint news conference with visiting Finnish President Tarja Halonen in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Israel and the Palestinians began face-to-face negotiations six weeks ago, but the talks look set to collapse following the end of an Israeli ban on settlement building which expired on September 26.
Israel has refused to reimpose the moratorium, while the Palestinians say they will not talk while settlers build on occupied Palestinian land, prompting a flurry of US diplomatic efforts to resolve the deadlock.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/October/middleeast_October204.xml§ion=middleeast
Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Friday said that a new offer to resume nuclear talks with world powers was “good news.”
The European Union’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, who represents world powers in nuclear talks with Iran, on Thursday proposed a new round of meetings in Vienna next month.
“From our point of view, October or November is a good time to re-establish negotiations between Iran and the 5+1,” said Mottaki, referring to Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany.
Mottaki, who flew in to Brussels for a conference on Pakistan, said the proposal to restart the stalemated talks was “good news”.
Dialogue between Iran and the six powers has been stalled since October 2009, when the two groups met in Geneva.
The negotiations aim to address international suspicions that Iran is seeking to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge Tehran vehemently denies.
BEIRUT - Hezbollah says its leader has given Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an Israeli rifle captured during the militant group’s 2006 war with the Jewish state as a gift to cap off his two-day visit to Lebanon.
Hezbollah says in a statement that Sheik Hassan Nasrallah presented the weapon to Ahmadinejad during a meeting at the Iranian embassy in Beirut late Thursday shortly before the Iranian leader wrapped up his trip.
The 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah broke out after the Shiite militant group captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid. Some 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis were killed in the 34-day war.
Iran is Hezbollah’s top financial backer and is believed to supply it the group with weapons.
SRINAGAR: Both hawks and moderate Kashmiri separatists on Wednesday rejected the nomination of "non-political" interlocutors to restart the dialogue with different shades of opinion in J&K.
Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called it a "non-serious effort". He said that the separatists have earlier held talks with two PMs and saw no point in talking to "non-political interlocutors who don't understand the sensitivities of the people of Kashmir and their leadership".
The Mirwaiz said the Centre should have formed two committees, comprising Indian and Pakistani parliamentarians, to have the dialogue with Kashmiris.
Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani predictably rejected the nomination. "The Centre should have accepted my 5-point charter of demands to pave way for the further course of action," he said.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Valley-thumbs-down-to-new-interlocutors/articleshow/6744779.cms#ixzz12OkP0Q4G
NEW YORK: Grown men wept and a US marines sergeant recalled being blown off his feet as they testified on Wednesday in New York about the bombing of two US embassies at the center of a high-profile terrorism trial.
A day of dramatic of testimony recreated for the jury of 12 New Yorkers the terrifying moment at 10:30 am on Friday, August 7, 1998, when truck bombs slammed almost simultaneously into the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, killing 224 people and wounding thousands.
"I remember saying a short prayer. I said 'God, please help me,'" locally hired Nairobi embassy worker George Mimba told the court, as he recounted the minutes after the bomb. "I knew my time was up."
Accused in the al-Qaida plot to destroy the embassies in eastern Africa is Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a slightlybuilt Tanzanian in his mid-30 s, who faces 286 criminal counts including murder and conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.
The defendant, described by lawyers as an innocent man merely acquainted with the plotters, showed no reaction to the horrific testimony, which included pictures of bloodied bodies and devastated buildings.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Embassy-blasts-Tears-flow-at-Gitmo-detainee-trial/articleshow/6751745.cms#ixzz12OkVTjW9
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Sindh High Court on Thursday dismissed a Constitutional petition seeking the trial of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on treason charges for imposing emergency in 2007 and asked the petitioner to approach the apex court which is looking into the same case.
The petition filed by Maulvi Iqbal Haider in the Sindh High Court had sought the trail of Musharraf along with his two aides -- noted lawyer Sharifuddin Pirzada and former Attorney General Malik Muhammed Qayyum.
The court had earlier reserved its ruling two weeks ago after it completed the hearing of the case.
While dismissing the plea, the High Court said the same matter has come up for hearing in the Supreme Court and hence any High Court ruling in this regard is uncalled for.
Haider's petition claimed that Musharraf had imposed martial law in the name of emergency in 2007 by resorting to extra-constitutional measures and illegally put over 60 members of the superior judiciary under house arrest.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Court-rejects-plea-seeking-Musharrafs-trial-on-treason-charge/articleshow/6747781.cms#ixzz12OklSoJh
Israel's prime minister brushed off the hardliner's comments.
"The best response to the hateful verbal aggression from across the border was given here 62 years ago," Benjamin Netanyahu said in Tel Aviv, referring to Israel's creation in 1948.
In Bint Jbeil, thousands of men, women and children crammed into an outdoor stadium and onto rooftops waving Iranian, Lebanese and Hezbollah flags and cheering the hardliner whose two-day official visit has been denounced by the United States and Israel as a threat to regional stability.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/At-Lebanon-border-Ahmadinejad-predicts-Israels-demise/articleshow/6751328.cms#ixzz12OkuwfB1
Oct 15 2010
New Delhi : A Special cell of the Delhi Police detained two men on Thursday morning, and the weapons recovered from them have allegedly been linked to the Jama Masjid attack of September 19, senior police officers said Thursday.
The two have been identified as Zahid and Abid, local criminals residing in the Sundernagri area of north-east Delhi.
Acting on a tip-off, the police rushed to the spot where two country-made pistols were recovered from a local meat shop, a makeshift arrangement near Sundernagri. The two were then detained for questioning.
Allegedly, the two were involved in a gang war over a property dispute.
The Police suspect that the weapons may have been deliberately planted by the gang and are yet to officially comment on whether the weapons recovered have any link to the Jama Masjid attack.
On September 19, two Taiwanese tourists were attacked by alleged terrorists outside Gate No 3 of the masjid. The two were part of a group of tourists visiting the capital.
The two detained persons have criminal backgrounds and are currently being questioned by the Special Cell. IB agencies are investigating the case on the basis of forensic clues recovered from the site.
Brussels : The US is helping senior Taliban leaders attend initial peace talks with the Afghan government in Kabul because military officials and diplomats want to take advantage of any possibility of political reconciliation, Obama administration and NATO officials said Thursday.
Even as top US officials cautioned that they are not yet ready to formally join the peace effort with their Taliban foes, they acknowledged that the reconciliation effort is a key part of the American-led war in Afghanistan.
“Whenever opportunity arise that are worth exploring, we ought to take advantage of that,” said Defence Secretary Robert Gates, appearing alongside Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a NATO conference. “Whether this leads into something concrete,” Gates said he couldn’t say.
While Clinton was even more cautious about the pace of the peace talks, she acknowledged during an interview on Thursday that while Americans may be squeamish about the idea of peace talks with the people who harboured Osama Bin Laden, the US public may have to swallow the idea of reconciliation with the Taliban.
“You don’t make peace with your friends,” Clinton told ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday. She said that she thinks “it’s highly unlikely the leadership of the Taliban that refused to turn over Bin Laden in 2001 will ever reconcile.” But, she added, “stranger things have happened in the history of war.”
On Thursday, Afghanistan’s new peace council head, Burhanuddin Rabbani, confirmed in Kabul that contacts with members of the Taliban had been made through mediators and that the international support for direct talks added new momentum to the effort.
KABUL: A report issued Thursday by a US foundation details allegations of detainee abuse — some this year — from Afghans who say they were held at a secret detention centre in the main US base in Afghanistan.
The US has never confirmed the existence of the ‘Black Jail’, rumoured to be inside the Bagram base.
The report by Open Society Foundations lists a host of accusations of mistreatment. Former detainees said they were exposed to excessive cold and light, not given enough food or blankets, deprived of sleep, stripped naked for medical exams and kept from practicing their religion, among other complaints.
A US navy Seal may face disciplinary action for accidentally killing a British aid worker being held hostage in Afghanistan. The US Special forces soldier, the Guardian reported had failed to inform his commanding officer that he had hurled a grenade at the captors, until long after the event.
The paper said the soldier from the elite Seal Team Six Special forces failed to see the girl Linda Norgrove and tossed his fragmentation grenade which exploded next to her.
Guardian said the US forces had monitored the kidnapper using a network of informers and drones and carried out the rescue mission as they intercepted conversation indicating that Norgrove could be executed or shipped to Pakistan.
British officers working with US were kept informed of the rescue mission, Guardian said.
During the assault on the hideout of the kidnappers, the 36-year old British girl managed to break away from her captors and lay in a foetal position. Norgrove’s death was initially attributed to a militant detonating his suicide vest.
Meanwhile, US Gen David Petraeus pledged to make the probe into the death of Norgrove a personal priority. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron raised the case of slain British during a meeting to discuss the ongoing Afghan war on Thursday.
VIENNA, Oct 14: Iran will assume the presidency of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries next year for the first time in 36 years, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Nuaimi said on Thursday.
The minister confirmed to reporters that the Islamic republic had been elected Opec’s 2011 president by the oil cartel’s of 12 member countries at a one-day meeting here.
By Robert Fisk
Friday, 15 Oct, 2010
HE LOOKS like a shepherd, but he might have been the Shah. And there he was last night, the President of Iran, one of the triple pillars of the “Axis of evil”, scarcely two miles from the border of that holy of holies which every American president must support – the State of Israel, or the “Jewish State of Israel”, as its government claims it to be. The Shia crowds loved Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They adored him. For weeks, they had been told he was coming. Shah-like was his welcome.
For it was in Bint Jbeil – his last stop last night – that the Hezbollah destroyed at least 10 of Israel’s tanks in the 2006 war, and the message was perfectly clear. The West might think it was putting Ahmadinejad back in the box, sanctioning Iran for its mysterious nuclear projects, cursed by Israel for its threats. But here was the little man himself – even the Hezbollah leader, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, had grovelled to him on Wednesday night – taunting the Israelis within visible distance of their border. It was a state with no future, illegitimate; it should cease to exist. He had been saying this for 48 hours.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/israel-comes-face-to-face-with-the-man-who-would-wipe-it-off-the-map-500
By Sayed Salahuddin
KABUL: Media reports of high-level talks between the Taliban and Afghan government may serve Western military aims by sowing confusion and undermining trust among insurgents, analysts and diplomats say.
A flurry of reports of negotiations, preparations for negotiations and even clandestine meetings in the Afghan capital may reflect a growing willingness by both sides in recent months to contemplate some kind of dialogue.
But coming as Nato-led forces make a push on the Taliban’s spiritual heartland, the stories may – intentionally or unintentionally – further military aims.
“I had email contact with a Taliban on the other side (of the border) and he rejected the contact or talks, but at the same time spoke about the confusion,” said Waheed Mozhdah, an analyst and former Taliban official who is still in touch with members of the movement.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/afghan-peace-talks-reports-help-nato-fight-500
‘Qureshi to seek N-deal at Pak-US strategic dialogue’
LAHORE - Pakistan's renewed its push to clinch a civilian nuclear deal with Washington, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ quoted Pakistani officials as saying that they will again raise their demand for a deal -- similar to the one the US concluded with India -- during a meeting on Oct 22 in Washington headed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The WSJ report claimed that Islamabad views a civilian nuclear deal with the US as a key compromise to show Pakistan is on a level with its rival India in the eyes of the US.
The US views next week's "strategic dialogue" as key to getting Pakistan to move against militancy, the report said. Help with civilian nuclear power, a role China currently fulfills, could help improve ties, it added.
It will be the third such meeting since March, underscoring the pivotal role relations with Pakistan plays in US foreign policy.A US official said the issue wasn't on the official agenda for the meeting but could easily be raised.
Full report at: http://dailymailnews.com/1010/15/FrontPage/index.php?id=14
WASHINGTON: The United States said Thursday it cannot see Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar meeting criteria for peace talks with the Afghan government and playing a constructive role in Afghanistan's future.
US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said Taliban foot-soldiers and leaders could participate in Afghanistan's future if they renounce violence, cut ties with Al-Qaeda and support the Afghan constitution.
But he doubted the opportunity would be seized by Mullah Omar, the Taliban's one-eyed leader who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan and who, the Washington Post said last week, backs secret high-level peace talks with Kabul.
"From our view, Mullah Omar has been attached at the hip to bin Laden for some time. So, based on everything that we know about him today, in fact he will not meet the criteria that we have laid out," Crowley told reporters.
"He had many opportunities during the '90s and even after 9/11 to disassociate himself from Osama bin Laden. He chose not to," Crowley said.
Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/latest-news/3003.htm
‘New Iraqi govt will improve ties with Syria’
DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told visiting Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday that better ties between the two nations would be strengthened by the formation of a new Iraqi government.
Assad said he was happy that improving ties between Baghdad and Damascus “will be strengthened and completed with the formation of the Iraqi government soon,” according to a statement from Maliki’s office.
“Our attitude about the formation of the government is clear: the solution must be Iraqi,” Assad was quoted as saying.
“Iraq has a great history, no one can order” it what to do, the Syrian leader said. “Iraqis own that decision,” he added.
The statement was issued after Maliki arrived in Damascus and held talks with Assad, following a year-long row over massive truck bombings in Baghdad that Iraq blamed on Syria.
Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/15-10-2010/World/10160.htm
The capital is all set to showcase cinema from all corners of the world for the fourth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
Randal Wallace’s acclaimed story of a racehorse, Secretariat, heralded the 10-day Festival at the city’s iconic Emirates Palace.
Film fans will be able to see 172 movies from 43 countries pan on the screen, painting not just the joy and exhilaration, but also the pain and pathos around the globe.
Thursday evening was one of elation, a saga of speed and sensation that the horse named Secretariat created. Its owner, Penny Chenery, is delirious when the horse goes on to win the Triple Crown, the first in 25 years.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/October/theuae_October366.xml§ion=theuae
Lebanon - Thousands of Shi’ite Hezbollah supporters greeted the president of Iran in Lebanon’s “capital of the resistance” on Thursday, saying his visit was a victory for the guerrilla group over Israel.
For long a front line in conflicts with Israel, most recently in 2006, Bint Jbeil was an ideal place for Hezbollah to host its main Shi’ite ally, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a sworn enemy of Israel who has called for the state to be wiped off the map.
Families of “martyrs” who fought Israel, Shi’ites from throughout Lebanon and even abroad, said they turned out in force and defiance to show Israel, a mere 4 km (3 miles) away, that they would never be cowed by its military superiority.
The Hezbollah stronghold of Bint Jbeil bore the brunt of Israeli air raids during Israel’s war with the guerrilla group four years ago. About 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 158 Israelis, mostly soldiers, were killed in the war.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/October/middleeast_October205.xml§ion=middleeast
Abuja: An Indian principal of a school in Nigeria's restive southern delta region has been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen who sped off with her after killing her driver and a police escort.
Lakshmi Tombush, principal of Mobil Pegasus Schools in Akwa Ibom State, was kidnapped on Wednesday morning but the kidnappers are yet to establish contact with her family or demand ransom, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The school she works for, sponsored by the oil firm ExxonMobil, is in a poverty-stricken region where militants are running a campaign against foreign companies demanding a better distribution of oil revenue.
Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/10/15/stories/2010101560371100.htm