Israeli defence minister Moshe Yaalon on Sunday approved the return of Jewish settlers to a contested house in the West Bank city of Hebron, a statement from his office said.
Saudi Liberal Website Closed By Jeddah Court: Report
Mursi’s Daughter Claims Man in Prison Is Not Her Father
Iraq in new Ramadi offensive against ISIL killed "dozens"
Suicide bomber kills seven police in Iraq
Syria Opposition Leader Urges Coalition with Zionist Entity
Kuwait opposition calls for full multi-party democracy
Kingdom ‘mindful of global recovery push’
Prosecution refers 220 Morsi supporters to criminal court
Syrian parties have shown no respect for human life
Saudi Arabia's complex rules of succession
Hefazat e Islam: Ban Qadyanis, Ahle Hadith Followers
7 militants killed, 18 others detained in Afghan military operations
Abdullah leads Ghani in first partial results of Afghan vote
Separate Incidents Leaves 18 Dead or Injured In Wardak Province, Afghanistan
Jamaat-Shibir active to make Hefazat conference a success in Chittagong
Maldives HM calls on coalition to downsize democracy using “super majority”
'Hundreds' Killed by Boko Haram Islamists in Nigeria
Morocco dismantles Syria jihadists’ cell
Tunisia court orders release of former Ben Ali officials
Two dead in Algeria ethnic clashes
Teen holds up a mirror to Danish Liberals, Muslims
European committee of ministers backs circumcision
Viral French film on sexism accused of ‘Islamophobia’
Ukraine tries to clear pro-Russian rebels, reports dead on both sides
Swiss to free $40m in Tunisia assets
Patrick Seale is dead, but his ‘polished image’ of Assad lives on
At least five suspected militants killed in Darra Adam Khel
Gunmen kill 2 members of Hazara community in Quetta
Deadly infighting: Warring Taliban factions cease fire
Release of 12 Taliban prisoners likely
Legislators defaming army can be disqualified, says Shujaat
Security forces conduct searches in FATA to recover people abducted from hashish Mela
Faith trial: Counsel for blasphemy suspect threatened in court
Gunmen kidnap 100 Pakistani villagers in northwest
Khyber Agency: militants release 34 tribesmen
US senators file bill to take Kurdish groups off terrorist organizations list
Brandeis flap marks another win for Islamist intimidation
Obama rating rising in Bangladesh, says Gallup poll
Muslim, gay, and making no apologies
Israel allows settlers back into disputed land
Israel police, Palestinians clash at Jerusalem's Al-Aqusa
Turkish PM Erdoğan again lashes out at all his 'foes'
Turkey not fit for EU for now, Germany’s Turkish origin minister says
Iran calls off plan to send warships to Atlantic
Government committed to help Indian community, Malaysian PM says
Pursue Muslim convert for assault if not for abduction, says Wanita MIC
Show cause notice to Abu Azmi over remarks on rape victim
2 policemen, 2 militants killed in attack on National Conference leader in Kashmir
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Reuters Apr 13, 2014
DUBAI: A Saudi court has ordered a liberal internet forum to permanently close for publishing what it described as anti-Islamic material, Saudi media reported on Sunday.
The decision by the general court in Jeddah came less than nine months after the editor of the "Free Saudi Liberals" website, Raif Badawi, was sentenced to seven years in jail and 600 lashes for setting up a forum that violated Islamic values.
"By order of the court, this network has been closed permanently," said an administrative message on Badawi's website www.humanf.org.
International human rights groups and activists inside Saudi Arabia say the kingdom's authorities are seeking to curb political, religious and social dissent in the birthplace of Islam. The government denies there is a crackdown.
Saudi news websites www.akhbar24.com and wwww.sabq.org said that the Jeddah court's ruling was due to "the subjects and comments that had been published in the past in violation of the teachings of the religion (Islam) and which had stirred controversy."
A justice ministry spokesman said he was checking the report.
Saudi media last July reported that a court found Badawi, who was arrested in June 2012, guilty of setting up an internet forum that violated Islamic values and propagated liberal thought. It also convicted him of disobeying his father — a crime in the conservative kingdom.
Badawi's website had included articles that were critical of senior religious figures such as the grand mufti, according to Human Rights Watch.
The world's top oil exporter follows the strict Wahhabi school of Islam and applies Islamic law, or Sharia.
Judges base their decisions on their own interpretation of religious law rather than on a written legal code or on precedent.
King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia's ruler, has pushed for reforms to the legal system, including improved training for judges and the introduction of precedent to standardize verdicts and make courts more transparent.
However, Saudi lawyers say that conservatives in the Justice Ministry and the judiciary have resisted implementing many of the changes announced in 2007.
13 April 2014
The daughter of President Mohammad Mursi said on Friday she is “certain” that the televised footage showing the ousted leader in prison is not of her father.
Alshymaa shared two pictures of Mursi on her Facebook page, one while he was president and the other of him during his trial. She claimed in a comment that the one in prison does not resemble her father.
Egypt’s state television regularly airs footage of the former Islamist leader during his trails inside a cage in a makeshift courtroom in Cairo.
“The one who is on the right side of the picture is my father, the one on the left is not him I’m certain. Check out well, it’s not him,” her Facebook post said.
Alshymaa said the pictures she chose show similar face expressions of Mursi but those who have an eye for details will be able to tell the imprisoned one is “not the president.”
Mursi and other members of his Muslim Brotherhood have been under trial since the army overthrew the Islamist leader in July.
They are being tried over charges that include the murder of protesters, espionage and organizing jailbreaks.
World Bulletin/News Desk
April 13, 2014
The Iraqi army has killed "dozens" of militants in a new offensive in the restive city of Ramadi, the capital of the western Anbar province, according to a top official.
"The Iraqi armed forces, with the help of local police and tribesmen, have unleashed a major operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the southern and central districts of the city," Rashid Falih, the top commander of Anbar's operations, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
"The operation has left dozens of the terrorist group's members killed," he said.
The commander said the operation will continue until the areas are "purged of all these terrorist elements."
Since last December, the Iraqi army has been mounting a major offensive in the Sunni-majority Anbar province with the stated aim of flushing militants – who Baghdad claims are linked to Al-Qaeda – out of the key cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.
Hundreds have been killed and injured in the two cities since, according to government officials.
Many local Sunni tribes have continued to voice anger over the operation's increasing civilian death toll.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a checkpoint in northern Iraq on Sunday, killing seven police, and gunmen shot dead three people, officials said.
The latest violence comes amid a protracted surge in nationwide bloodshed that has claimed more than 2,550 lives so far this year and sparked fears of Iraq slipping back into the all-out sectarian killing of 2006 and 2007.
The unrest has been driven principally by widespread anger among the Sunni Arab minority over claims of mistreatment at the hands of the Shiite-led government and security forces, as well as by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.
The suicide bombing at the police checkpoint northwest of the city of Kirkuk also wounded 11 police officers.
Anti-government militants frequently target the security forces, some of whom are poorly trained and lacking in discipline.
In a village in the Sulaiman Bek area, also north of Baghdad, gunmen attacked a police officer's house, killing his father and brother and wounding two more people.
The gunmen also shot dead a Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda militiaman nearby.
Sulaiman Bek has been repeatedly attacked by militants, who have seized part or all of the area on several occasions.
Iraq's first general election since American troops left at the end of 2011 will be held on April 30, in a major test for the security forces.
While they were able to keep violence to a minimum during last year's provincial polls, the security forces have failed to halt a subsequent year-long surge in unrest.
More than 315 people have been killed since the beginning of this month, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.
A leader within the foreign-backed Syrian opposition demanded a coalition with the Israeli enemy, saying it is the only way to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
Kamal al-Labwani, of the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC), said the overthrow of Assad is among Israel’s main interests in Syria, al-Alam TV reported.Kamal al-Labwani
He also claimed strengthening of opposition groups in Syria could defuse the power of Al-Qaeda-linked militant groups in the war-torn country.
The opposition leader spent 10 years behind bars in Syria before being released two years ago at President Assad’s order.
Full report at:
Kuwait's opposition called Saturday for broad democratic reforms including a Western-style party system to limit the powers of the emirate's ruling family.
The call came in a "national political reform programme," launched by the Opposition Coalition in the Gulf state where political parties are banned.
The coalition groups almost all opposition political groups, including Islamists, liberals and nationalists as well as trade and student unions, youth activists and civil society groups.
The programme proposes fundamental political, constitutional and legislative reforms to achieve a multi-party system and prevent members of the Al-Sabah family, in power for over 250 years, from leading the government.
All governments since 1962, when Kuwait's constitution was issued, have been led by a senior figure from the Al-Sabah family, whose members have also always occupied the key ministries of interior, defence and foreign affairs.
Saudi Arabia plays a pivotal role in the IMF through its historic presence and works with its multiple partners, when needed, to promote global financial stability, said a senior Riyadh-based economist as Group of 20 Nations reiterated their commitment to boost global growth by 2 percent.
John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at MASIC, a Riyadh-based investment firm, made these remarks as the G20 delegates pressed the US to ratify crucial IMF reforms, suggesting they would find an alternative if Washington does not deliver by year’s end.
The reforms, which include a funding increase and expansion of emerging economies’ roles in the International Monetary Fund, were originally strongly backed by the US, the fund’s largest shareholder.
Cairo prosecution authorities have referred to criminal court 220 Mohamed Morsi supporters arrested during clashes on the January 25 Revolution anniversary earlier this year.
The General Prosecution accused the 220 pro-Morsi demonstrators of resisting authorities, assaulting security forces, illegal possession of firearms and Molotov cocktails, destroying public and private properties, attempted murder, unlawful assembly and blocking public roads.
Speaking out strongly against yesterdays deadly car bomb attacks on a busy shopping street in the Syrian city of Homs, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator said such brutality serves to remind us again of the contempt the parties to this conflict show for human life.
Brutal violence and indiscriminate attacks on ordinary people have been taking place for more than three years in Syria and no longer have the power to shock. But attacks on civilians are war crimes and may also amount to crimes against humanity, said Valerie Amos, who is also Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.
Saudi Arabia's complex rules of succession
More than three quarters of a century after the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, when founding father king Abdel-Aziz Bin Saud set the law of succession such that it went horizontally from brother to brother, the laws of biology have intervened.
The first generation of heirs is now nearing its end, necessitating a first in the kingdom's history with the appointment, amidst great fanfare, of prince Muqrin Bin Abdel Aziz as deputy crown prince.
The appointment has been made as a precautionary measure in view of the delicate health of both the reigning monarch, king Abdullah (90), and his brother, crown prince Salman (77). Although there is a full 13 years difference between the two, their health narrows that gap.
Should he inherit the throne, prince Muqrin would be the last surviving brother of the 35 sons of Saudi Arabia's founder, five of whom have inherited the throne during the six decades since his death in 1953.
Hefazat E Islam: Ban Qadyanis, Ahle Hadith Followers
Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Junaid Babunagari made the comment yesterday evening in an Islamic conference at the Laldighi ground in Chittagong city
The government should ban Qadyanis and the followers of Ahle Hadith because they are not Muslims, Hefazat Secretary General Junaid Babunagari has said, claiming that those who believe in Allah cannot live in Bangladesh.
He made the comment yesterday evening in an Islamic conference at the Laldighi ground in Chittagong city.
He also asked the government to “withdraw Gonojagoron Moncho” labelling its activists as “Shahbagi atheists.”
Junaid also demanded immediate release and withdrawal of “false” cases against all Hefazat leaders and Islami scholars including Mufti Wakkas and Harun Izahar, who had been behind bars.
“Our battle is against the atheists, Qadyanis and Ahle Hadith followers and their associates because they give derogatory speeches against Prophet Muhammad,” he said.
He also said Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and the followers of other religions could live in the country but the atheist could not.
The Hefazat leader alleged that the followers of Ahle Hadith had connections with the JMB and other militant groups and the Qadyanis were not followers of Islam at all. “So, the government should ban them and they would have to live in the country like the minority communities,” he declared.
Apr 13 2014
At least seven Taliban militants were killed and eighteen others were detained during military operations by Afghan national security forces.
Defense ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi said at least 7 anti-government armed militants were killed during operations by Afghan national army soldiers in the past 24 hours.
Azimi further added that five militants including a rebel commander were arrested during the operations.
In the meantime, interior ministry following a statement said at least thirteen Taliban militants were arrested during joint military operations in the past 24 hours.
Interior ministry further added that the militants were arrested during operations in Kabul, Kandahar and Logar provinces of Afghanistan.
Afghan national security forces also confiscated various types of weapons and explosives during the operations.
Interior ministry also added that the Afghan national police forces discovered and seized eleven improvised explosive device (IEDs) during operations in Laghman, Baghlan, Takhar, Sar-e-Pul, Kandahar, Logar and Paktika provinces.
Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah is leading his closest rival Ashraf Ghani in the Afghan presidential election, the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) said Sunday.
“Today we announce the partial results of 26 provinces with 10 percent of votes counted, these include (provinces) in the north, south, east, west and Kabul,” said Yousuf Nuristani, the IEC chief.
“With 500,000 votes from 26 provinces Dr Abdullah is leading with 41.9 percent; Dr. Ashraf Ghani has 37.6 percent and is in second; and Zalmai Rassoul has 9.8 percent in third position.”
A run-off election between the two leading candidates will be triggered if no single candidate gains more than 50 percent of the vote when the final results are announced in late May.
Of the eight provinces for which results have not been announced, two are in the north (Badakhshan and Baghlan), two in the east (Nuristan and Paktika), central Daykundi, southern Ghazni and Wardak and western Ghor.
Abdullah, who was born to an ethnic Pashtun father and a Tajik mother, is more associated with the northern Tajiks.
More than seven million people defied bad weather and Taliban threats of violence to vote in the April 5 first round of the election, earning praise from world leaders.
Ahead of the vote there were fears that a repeat of the massive fraud which blighted Karzai’s re-election in 2009 would undermine the winner’s legitimacy at a testing time for the war-torn country.
Apr 13 2014,
At least 18 people including Afghan security forces were killed or injured in separate incidents in central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan.
Provincial governor spokesman, Ataullah Khogyani said at least four Taliban militants were killed or injured during clashes in Syedabad district on Saturday.
Mr. Khogyani further added that a group of the Taliban militants attacked a supply convoy which left one Taliban militant dead and three others injured.
He said the driver of one of the vehicles was also injured and his companion was killed during the clashes.
According to Khogyani, an Afghan policeman was also killed during the clashes while five others were injured after their vehicle overturned.
In the meantime, Khogyani said at least four Taliban militants including their local commander were killed and two others were injured following military operations in Nerkh and Syedabad districts.
He said Afghan security forces and local residents did not suffer any casualties during the operations.
Wardak is among the relatively volatile provinces in central Afghanistan where Taliban militants are actively operating in a number of districts and frequently carry out insurgency activities.
More than 100 trucks and buses laden with leaders and activists of Jamaat-Shibir reached the Resalat Conference of Hefazat at Laldhighi Maidan
The leaders and activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Chhatra Shibir were found active in making the two-day Islamic conference of radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, which started in Chittagong city on Friday, a success for the past two days.
More than 100 trucks and buses laden with leaders and activists of Jamaat-Shibir reached the Resalat Conference of Hefazat at Laldhighi Maidan in the city from Satkania, Lohagara, Banskhali and Sitakund upazila known as the stronghold of Jamaat in the region.
While visiting the 3rd Karnaphuli Bridge, the entry point of the city from southern part of the port city, trucks and buses carrying the leaders and activists of Jamaat were found entering the city although there was no party programme in the area.
By Ahmed Rilwan | April 13th, 2014
Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer has said the democracy imported from the west with the 2008 constitution is too big for the Maldives and and needs to be to fit the country by laws and the constitution.
Speaking at an event held at Thajuddin School last night to celebrate the Jumhooree Party’s (JP) parliamentary election success, Umar called on all MPs-elect from ruling coalition to assist in bringing this change using the parliamentary “super majority”.
“The result of having huge democracy coat is, you step on it when you are walking. And it’s sleeves are too long. So we need to re-size and fit this coat,” he said.
“Those who got elected [to the parliament] from Jumhooree Party, PPM [Progressive Party of Maldives] and MDA [Maldives Development Alliance], I request [you] to resize this coat so it would fit better. Some minor adjustments to laws are required to achieve that.”
Umar said the laws and regulations have “surrounded and tied up” the judicial system and that this makes it difficult for the state to move.
April 13, 2014
A series of attacks in north-east Nigeria by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram have left at least 210 civilians dead since Wednesday, according to Borno's state senator Ahmed Zannah.
Zannah claims Boko Haram - the name translates as "western education is sinful" - attacked a Dikwa teacher training college, killing five, kidnapping women and burning down the library before escaping. He claims they then attacked two villages close to Cameroon's border. In Kala Balge they killed around 60; then in other nearby villages he says another 150 were killed:
"It is a must for me to speak since people's lives are involved and they are my people. All these are happening in my constituency and it will be wrong to keep quiet. I feel so much pained and would have not love to speak (sic) but definitely my conscience will not let me do that."
Some reports claim that many of those killed were students travelling from Maiduguri to take part in a Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Biu. These claims have yet to be independently verified.
Morocco dismantles Syria jihadists cell
Morocco said Saturday it dismantled a “terrorist cell” recruiting jihadists to Syria to support rebels on ground, who are battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
Authorities described the cell as “coordinating with other al-Qaeda affiliated organizations.”
While the statement did not disclose the number of people in the cell, the group allegedly trained fighters in Morocco before sending them to Syria.
The fighters were volunteers backed by money collected through fundraising.
In another episode of Syrian conflict-spillover, Egypt has arrested a veteran of the Syrian civil war on suspicion of planning terrorist acts on Egyptian soil, Reuters reported the state news agency as saying on Sunday.
The Egyptian prosecutor’s office in Suez City ordered the arrest of Wael Ahmed Abdel Fattah for 15 days, MENA reported, adding that he was suspected of working with Islamist militant groups.
A Tunisian military court has ordered the release of ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali's former interior minister and security chief, who were jailed after the country's 2011 revolution, the government and lawyers said.
The release of security chief Ali Seriati and former interior minister Rafik Bel Haj Kalem, accused of repressing protesters during the uprising, may fuel tensions in a country just in the final stages of democratic transition.
Tunisia has mostly overcome the political instability that followed its revolt, adopting a new constitution and installing a consensus caretaker government that is administrating the country until elections later this year.
A man was killed Saturday in the southern Algerian town of Ghardaia, the second fatality in less than 24 hours of ethnic violence between Berbers and Arabs in the region, local sources said.
A Berber in his forties was stabbed early Saturday morning, Hamou Mesbah, a senior member of the opposition Socialist Forces Front, told AFP.
And Abdallah Zekri, spokesman for the Collective of Mozabites (Berbers) in Europe, said the man had been taken "by a gang, tortured, stabbed" and his corpse "thrown in front of a mosque."
New York Times | April 13, 2014
BY: ALISON SMALE
Like many teenagers, Yahya Hassan does not lack for bravado. But his way of expressing it stands in stark contrast to that of most of his peers: At just 18, the Danish-Palestinian Hassan has emblazoned himself on Denmark’s consciousness with a poetry collection that appeared with a first print run of 800 last fall and has since sold more than 100,000 copies.
The collection, which criticises the Danish welfare state, his family and Danish Muslims at large for hypocrisy, cheating and failure to adapt, has won him death threats as well as a dubious embrace by right-wing politicians. But his commercial success is reaching far beyond Denmark.
Many eyes were turned to Hassan last month when a German translation of his Danish-language verse collection, Yahya Hassan, appeared in time for the Leipzig Book Fair. The translation sold 9,000 copies in the first week, and the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine published a German version of the fierce poem Hassan wrote on the Ukraine revolt against then president Victor F Yanukovych.
The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on March 19 repudiated an anti-circumcision resolution adopted last October by the body’s Parliamentary Committee (PACE), eliciting praise from European Jews on Thursday night, when they were informed of the decision.
The PACE resolution termed circumcision a “violation of the physical integrity of children” and suggested that member states ban the practice until children are “old enough to be consulted.” PACE further urged member states to “initiate a public debate, including intercultural and interreligious dialogue, aimed at reaching a large consensus on the rights of children to protection against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards.”
Ever since the French short film “Oppressed Majority” was republished on YouTube this year with English subtitles, it’s had more than 9 million views and continues to be an international talking point.
Not only has the film, by French director Éléonore Pourriat, inspired a recent trend of gender-flip audio-visual media provoking a conversation about everyday sexism around the world, but it’s continued coverage in international media has shed an unintended light on the political and social context of France and it’s growing culture of racism towards its Muslim and ethnic minority communities.
Since going viral, online audiences have applauded the short film for its hard hitting portrayal of sexism in French society. The 10-minute film depicts a reversed reality showing men and women having swapped stereotypical gender roles and experiences. In several media interviews, Pourriat reinforces that her film illustrates an unrelenting level of sexual harassment, sexism and victim shaming and blaming in order to not be “‘so realistic but frightening.”‘
Ukrainian security forces launched an operation on Sunday to clear pro-Russian separatists from a police headquarters in the eastern city of Slaviansk, with Kiev reporting dead on both sides as it combats what it calls an act of aggression by Moscow.
Ukraine faces a rash of rebellions in the east which it says are inspired and directed by the Kremlin. But action to dislodge the armed militants risks tipping the stand-off into a new, dangerous phase as Moscow has warned it will protect the region's Russian-speakers if they come under attack.
One Ukrainian state security officer was killed and five wounded on the government side in what interior minister Arsen Avakov called Sunday's "anti-terrorist" operation.
"There were dead and wounded on both sides," Avakov said on his Facebook page, adding that there had been an "unidentifiable number" of casualties among the separatists, who were being supported by about 1,000 people.
World Bulletin / News Desk
Switzerland has decided to release US$40 million in Tunisian funds being held in Swiss banks.
Federal Prosecutor Michael Lauber told Swiss public radio SRF on Friday that the decision a result of good collaboration with Tunisian officials.
These are the first assets to be freed by Swiss authorities after they blocked around US$68.5 million from Tunisia following the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.
The probe for the remaining US$28.5 million continues.
Ben Ali was forced to flee following a month of popular protests. His fall was the first among several in the Middle East, triggered by a revolutionary wave of uprisings dubbed the Arab Spring.
Patrick Seale, a British journalist and controversial Middle East historian, died on Friday in London at the age of 83, ten months after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
Born in Belfast, Seale spent the first decade and a half of his life in Syria, where his father was a Christian missionary. A student of Albert Hourani, the renowned Middle East historian, Seale graduated from Oxford University, publishing the much praised “Struggle For Syria” at an early age.
In the Arab World, he was most known for his 1988 Hafez Assad biography, “Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East,” as he gained unprecedented access to the Syrian president. His seemingly positive portrayal of the Syrian dictator, whose legacy includes the notorious 1982 Hama massacre and brutal repression, is at the heart of his controversial legacy in today’s polarized Middle East with observers disagreeing over the level of its objectivity.
Hassan Abbas, a Syrian writer and dissident, says Seale went to great lengths to offer the late Syrian dictator “a polished image.”
PESHAWAR: At least five suspected militants, including a key commander, belonging to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Darra Adam Khel area on Sunday.
Intelligence sources said that five militant were killed in Darra Adam Khels border area with Frontier Region of Peshawar adding that further details regarding the incident were not available.
The Taliban commander killed was identified as Jangraiz, according to intelligence sources.
Police sources were yet to confirm the incident and claimed to be unaware of any operations conducted in the area. after initial media reports had claimed that the five suspected militants were killed in an operation conducted by security forces.
QUETTA: Gunmen in Quetta shot dead two Shia Muslims who had emigrated from neighbouring Afghanistan almost a decade ago to escape violence there, police said Sunday.
Two men opened fire Saturday night on the family, from Afghanistan’s Hazara community, who were at a bus station in Quetta preparing to travel to Karachi.
“A man of about 65 years of age and his 18-year-old grandson were killed in the firing at the bus terminal at Sariyab road,” Imran Qureshi, a senior police official, told AFP.
Two other men and two women family members managed to run away and take shelter. The gunmen escaped on a motorbike.
Qureshi said the family had migrated from Afghanistan almost a decade ago to escape war in their homeland.
April 13, 2014
ISLAMABAD / SHABQADAR: Infighting in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has claimed dozens of lives over the week, has come to an end, Taliban intermediary Maulana Yousaf Shah said on Saturday.
Bloody clashes erupted between Waliur Rahman Group, led by Khan Said alias Sajna, and Hakimullah Group, led by Shehryar Mehsud, on Monday in South Waziristan Agency and quickly escalated to neighbouring North Waziristan and Tank district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. According to independent sources, 43 fighters from both sides have been killed so far.
“A jirga has brokered peace between the two groups. The two sides have settled their differences and ended hostilities,” Maulana Yousaf Shah, the coordinator of the TTP intermediary committee, told reporters in Shabqadar.
PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved release of 12 people from detention as part of the so-called confidence-building measures to resume peace talks with the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), credible sources told Dawn.
They said the 12 “low profile suspected militants” held by security agencies could be released in next couple of days to meet a key demand of the Taliban.
The TTP leadership had handed over a list of combatants to the government negotiating team.
“None of those to be released are important,” the sources said.
They said the talks could resume soon after the prime minister’s return from China. Fawad Hassan, additional secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, who is accompanying the premier during his visit to China, is part of the government’s team holding dialogue with the Taliban.
The government, however, has not agreed to the TTP’s demand of declaring a peace zone in South Waziristan to facilitate their movement.
LAHORE: PML-Q chief Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Husain has said that those clamouring about Article 6 of the Constitution should also read Article 63(g), which states that any parliamentarian who tries to defame the armed forces or the judiciary will be disqualified.
Referring to some PML-N ministers’ statements, Chaudhry Shujaat said there was resentment in the army over an alleged campaign against it.
“The first requirement of law and justice is that all should be seen as equal without any prejudice,” he said in a speech at a lawyers’ convention on Saturday. Article 63(g) was applicable to ministers who were “maligning the army”, he said and asked the government why it was not taking any action against those ministers.
Chaudhry Shujaat also said: “We will not allow the Protection of Pakistan Bill to be passed in this form in the Senate.”
Security forces conduct searches in FATA to recover people abducted from hashish mela
KHYBER AGENCY / PESHAWAR: Security forces on Sunday carried out search operations in Orakzai, Kurram and Khyber agencies to recover the people kidnapped from a hashish mela held in the Orakzai Agency, Express News reported on Sunday.
The search operations are still underway.
Unidentified gunmen had stormed the mela on Saturday and kidnapped around 100 men, government officials said.
Three local government officials told Reuters that the gunmen had initially taken around 100 villagers from the gathering, but had later released many of them.
The officials all asked to remain anonymous because negotiations for the men’s release were ongoing.
MULTAN: A lawyer defending a blasphemy suspect has said he received threats during court proceedings as well as afterwards.
Rashid Rehman, counsel for Junaid Hafeez, told The Express Tribune that he had been threatened by five people over 48 hours, telling him to drop the case.
Rehman said Zulfiqar Sindhu and Sajjad Ahmed, who were representing the prosecution, had threatened him and told him not to come to the court again.
He said that three unidentified men had also told him, during the hearing of the case on Friday, that he would not be able to come to court to defend the suspect. One of them was later identified as Ayub Mughal.
Gunmen stormed a village gathering in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday and kidnapped around 100 men, Pakistani government officials said.
Officials said they suspected that the gunmen are Taliban who attacked because the villagers supported the government.
Three local government officials told Reuters that the gunmen had initially taken around 100 villagers from a gathering in the remote region on the border of Orakzai and Khyber tribal areas, both of which border Afghanistan, but had later released around 40 of them.
The officials all asked to remain anonymous because negotiations for the men's release were ongoing.
KHYBER AGENCY: Militants released thirty-four tribesmen on Sunday who were kidnapped from Tirah valley in Khyber Agency, DawnNews reported.
Sources said that 40 tribesmen were kidnapped from the opium and hashish selling “grand fair” Saturday from the Haider Kando area of Tirah Valley.
The militants also took away hundreds of kilograms of cannabis and hashish from the area, said the sources.
They added that Sheikmal Khel sub tribesmen of the Qamberkhel tribe were segregated from the others and were taken away by the militants.
At least six tribesmen are still held captive by militants.
According to unofficial sources, the number of kidnapped tribesmen is close to 100 and they had been picked up for their involvement in the drug trade.
Two prominent U.S. senators have introduced legislation that would remove Iraqi Kurdish organizations the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) from a terrorist blacklist.
The Obama administration supports the move, which officials have said requires legislative action rather than an executive order from the White House.
Washington designated both the KDP and the PUK as terrorist groups in 2001, in part for their insurgent activity during the 1990s Kurdish civil war.
In introducing their bill, Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator John McCain argued that the two groups took up arms against Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein and have since helped stabilize the region.
"It is time we stop treating the KDP and PUK as terrorists," McCain said in a statement.
Their designation in the Patriot Act as Tier III terrorist organizations "betrays our Kurdish friends and allies who have served as a stabilizing force in the region and displayed consistent loyalty to the United States throughout the years."
After the decision this week by Brandeis University to nix its plans to bestow an honorary degree on Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Islamist winning streak of bullying others into silence is likely to continue.
We're only 10 days into April, but 2014 already is shaping up to be a banner year for those who consider any criticism of Islam, radical or otherwise, to be something unfit for public consideration.
The decision by Brandeis University to withdraw its plans to bestow an honorary degree on Ayaan Hirsi Ali came after one day of protests from groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Students Association. Both groups have documented roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks global Islamic dominance, a reality neither is willing to acknowledge.
A poll by Gallup World has found that the rating for US leadership – which, for most of the world, likely means its president, Barack Obama – jumped to 47% in Bangladesh last year.
It was 37% in 2012 and as low as 19% in 2007, the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency.
The US Global Leadership Report, a joint effort of Meridian International Centre and Gallup, was prepared to provide a comprehensive assessment of how the world residents view US leadership.
In Bangladesh, the survey was conducted from April to May last year and 47% of the respondents approved the US leadership while 24% disapproved and 30% said “don’t know” or “refused” to make comment.
Aida Alami, NYT News Service | Apr 13, 2014
He was born inside the public library of Rabat in Morocco where his dad worked as a janitor and where his family lived until he was 2. For most of his childhood, he hid his sexuality as best he could, but his effeminate demeanor brought mockery and abuse, even as it would later become a source of artistic inspiration.
About eight years ago, the author Abdellah Taia, now 40, came out to the Moroccan public in his books and in the news media, appearing on the cover of a magazine under the headline "Homosexual against All Odds."
It was an act that made him one of the few to publicly declare his sexual orientation in Morocco, where homosexuality is a crime. The hardest part, he recalls, was facing his family. They probably always knew, he said, they just never talked about it. Still, it took years to overcome the rifts.
AFP | Apr 13, 2014
JERUSALEM: Israeli defence minister Moshe Yaalon on Sunday approved the return of Jewish settlers to a contested house in the West Bank city of Hebron, a statement from his office said.
Israel's Supreme Court ruled last month that settlers were the lawful owners of the building in the heart of the occupied city, ending a legal dispute lasting nearly seven years.
"Following the court decision... Moshe Yaalon today (Sunday) approved habitation of the house," the statement said, adding that the area military instructor had been told to allow "a limited number of families to the house".
The Palestinian Rajabi family has for years said its four-storey building had been taken over fraudulently by Israeli settlers.
Israel police, Palestinians clash at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa
Palestinians and Israeli police clashed at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday but there were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that violence erupted when police opened one of the walled compound's gates to non-Muslim visitors, according to the regular visiting hours.
"Stones and a number of Molotov cocktails were thrown at police," he told AFP.
"Police responded by using stun grenades and entered the Temple Mount area," he added, using the Jewish term for the site where tradition says the biblical Jewish temples once stood.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan maintained his angry criticism of the Constitutional Court, the Gezi Park protesters, Twitter and the Gülen movement in a speech at the inauguration ceremony for the Advanced Biological Treatment Plant in Istanbul's Ambarlı neighborhood on April 12.
Saying the government had started work to finalize its "global projects," Erdoğan said the plant was a "vital investment" and demonstrated his government's green credentials.
"This is a great example of environmentalism. Who is the environmentalist now? The people of Gezi? All they can do is shatter windows and throw molotov cocktails around. Our job is to build," he said.
He continued to criticize the Gülen movement as "the parallel structure" and claimed that "Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have become tools in their operation." He also labelled Twitter as a "tax evader," while vowing to crack down on the San Francisco-based company to make them pay their taxes in Turkey.
Turkey belongs to the European Union in the long term but not for now, according to Aydan Özoğuz, Germany’s federal commissioner for migration, refugees and integration and the first-ever German minister of Turkish origin.
Speaking to German daily Die Welt, Özoğuz said the recent block of Twitter was an “unthinkable situation” and that recent developments in Turkey were “very unfortunate.” She criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his overbearing manner and for “moving away” from Europe. Özoğuz is set to accompany German President Joachim Gauck on his visit to Turkey later this month.
Iran's semi-official Fars news agency is reporting that the country has temporarily called off a plan to dispatch warships to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Sunday report quoted Iran's navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayyari as saying such changes of naval plans are routine, "considering the situation in the region."
Sayyari did not say why Iran changed the plan but said that "when piracy increases in the Gulf of Aden some changes will be applied in the assignments."
He said another fleet would be sent to the Atlantic Ocean in the future, but did not elaborate.
APRIL 13, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today reiterated the government’s commitment to continue focusing on uplifting the Indian community based on an inclusive approach towards ensuring a better quality of life for the current and coming generations.
The prime minister said the government and the Indian community’s journey together based on ‘nambikei’ or trust had borne positive results.
“It has brought about real changes towards improving their quality of life,” he said in his message posted on his Facebook account in conjunction with the Indian New Year and Vaisakhi 2014.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — Police must investigate a Muslim convert for the alleged assault on his ex-wife when he forcibly took their son even if they will not act on abduction, Wanita MIC said today.
Ignoring the offence of physical violence when there were laws dealing with assault would suggest to other men that police condoned the act, Wanita MIC chief Mohana Muniandy said in a statement today.
“The incident of hitting a woman is deemed a crime even if she is your wife ... by law serious action must be taken against Izwan (Abdullah), MIC Wanita urges the IGP to do so,” she said in reference to the Muslim convert.
Apr 13, 2014
The Maharashtra State Commission for Women has issued a suo moto show cause notice to Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi after his remarks that the rape victim too should be punished.
He has been directed to issue an explanation and remain present before the commission on April 25.
"We had received a representation of protest from the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan on Friday. We also issued a suo moto notice to him seeking an explanation about his remarks. We are going to hold a hearing at 11 am on the April 25. If he doesn't remain present on that date, a unilateral order will be passed," an official of the MSCW said.
The notice has been sent by senior counsellor of the commission, Arjun Dangat. It was issued on Friday afternoon.
Mr Azmi had said in an interview to a tabloid that any woman who goes out with a man, with or without her consent, should be punished too.
His statement had caused an uproar among many people, and the women activists had condemned it.
AHMED ALI FAYYAZ
Two constables of the Jammu and Kashmir Police got killed in Kashmir valley's first militant strike on a mainstream political leader since the Lok Sabha elections were announced on March 5, even as the National Conference activist Yawar Masoodi survived the attempt on his life at Khrew, in Pampore area of Pulwama district, and both the assailants were later killed in a gunfight.
Deputy Inspector General of Police in South Kashmir Vijay Kumar told The Hindu that two unidentified militants launched the broad daylight attack at 32-year-old Mr. Masoodi's protected residence at Khrew, 20 km from Srinagar, at 2.20 p.m.
Mr Masoodi, who was inside the premises, remained unharmed but his police guards Vinod Kumar and Abdul Hamid were killed. The militants snatched away their service weapons — one AK-47 rifle and one pistol — and escaped.