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Monday, April 30, 2012

Three blasts rock Mumbai; 21 dead, 141 wounded, Islamic World News, NewAgeIslam.com



Three blasts rock Mumbai; 21 dead, 141 wounded

Al-Qaida plotting internet jihad
Lingerie shops in Riyadh fear fresh Haia raids
NATO airstrike kills 12 civilians in Afghanistan
Four drone attacks claim 52 lives in 24 hours in North Waziristan
Bomber kills five French troops in Kapisa, Afghanistan
Pak won’t get blank cheque from US till it curbs terror
Pak threatens to pull back troops from Afghan border
Karzai brother: Drug baron, CIA man or Afghan hero?
Brother's murder huge setback to Karzai
Taliban commander arrested in connection with Karachi violence
Yemen security: 5 militants killed in airstrike
Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian in West Bank Refugee Camp
Plot uncovered to kill Afghan interior minister: Afghanistan Spy Agency
Rights group accuses Libyan rebels of abuse
French lower house votes to extend Libya mission
NATO to bomb Libya in Ramadan if Qaddafi poses threat
France: Libya emissaries say Qaddafi ready to go
Berber language and culture reborn in Libya
NATO oil tanker torched near Hassanabdal
Wife of missing doctor not ready to believe her spouse as CIA agent
JEDDAH: Terror suspects want more time to defend themselves
JEDDAH: 46 terror suspects freed after rehab
Saudi Arabia may recruit more Bangladeshis
Sudan president promises freer, more inclusive government
Govt, US plotting against army, ISI: Altaf
Syria unrest: Blast hits gas pipeline in Deir al-Zour
Afghan president's brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, buried
Pakistan’s ISI chief leaves for U.S. to revive ties
Indian Minister: Not swayed by community rhetoric
Post-9/11, Sikhs say they are mistaken targets
Two IM cadre held for Ahmedabad serial blasts
Pawar, Uddhav in war of words over Indo-Pak Test matches
Security breach: Hackers steal 90,000 US military email IDs
Thousands rally for Egypt military chief's ouster
Egypt PM announces cabinet reshuffle
US breaks with Assad, France seeks UN action
Osama was in on 2005, 2006 London bombing plots
Syria says Clinton comments are 'provocation'
US woman denies aiding Pakistan nuclear project
Israel bombs Gaza after rocket fire
Assad has missed chance for reform: Obama
3 Mubarak-era ministers jailed for corruption
Syria beefs up security at embassies after attacks
US envoy fails to break political impasse in Yemen
US mulling new sanctions on Syrian leaders
Hariri slams Hezbollah over UN court
Thousands rally for Egypt military chief’s ouster
Yemen factional fighting reach Saudi doorstep
Woman, son and relative kidnapped in south Philippines
Egypt abandons plan to ferry pilgrims by ship
Saudi Finance Ministry OKs deals worth SR89bn
Riyadh more expensive than Doha for expats: Survey
Egypt to allow TV camera into corruption trials
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Photo: Blast in Mumbai
Islamic World News
13 Jul 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com
Three blasts rock Mumbai; 21 dead, 141 wounded

Al-Qaida plotting internet jihad
Lingerie shops in Riyadh fear fresh Haia raids
NATO airstrike kills 12 civilians in Afghanistan
Four drone attacks claim 52 lives in 24 hours in North Waziristan
Bomber kills five French troops in Kapisa, Afghanistan
Pak won’t get blank cheque from US till it curbs terror
Pak threatens to pull back troops from Afghan border
Karzai brother: Drug baron, CIA man or Afghan hero?
Brother's murder huge setback to Karzai
Taliban commander arrested in connection with Karachi violence
Yemen security: 5 militants killed in airstrike
Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian in West Bank Refugee Camp
Plot uncovered to kill Afghan interior minister: Afghanistan Spy Agency
Rights group accuses Libyan rebels of abuse
French lower house votes to extend Libya mission
NATO to bomb Libya in Ramadan if Qaddafi poses threat
France: Libya emissaries say Qaddafi ready to go
Berber language and culture reborn in Libya
NATO oil tanker torched near Hassanabdal
Wife of missing doctor not ready to believe her spouse as CIA agent
JEDDAH: Terror suspects want more time to defend themselves
JEDDAH: 46 terror suspects freed after rehab
Saudi Arabia may recruit more Bangladeshis
Sudan president promises freer, more inclusive government
Govt, US plotting against army, ISI: Altaf
Syria unrest: Blast hits gas pipeline in Deir al-Zour
Afghan president's brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, buried
Pakistan’s ISI chief leaves for U.S. to revive ties
Indian Minister: Not swayed by community rhetoric
Post-9/11, Sikhs say they are mistaken targets
Two IM cadre held for Ahmedabad serial blasts
Pawar, Uddhav in war of words over Indo-Pak Test matches
Security breach: Hackers steal 90,000 US military email IDs
Thousands rally for Egypt military chief's ouster
Egypt PM announces cabinet reshuffle
US breaks with Assad, France seeks UN action
Osama was in on 2005, 2006 London bombing plots
Syria says Clinton comments are 'provocation'
US woman denies aiding Pakistan nuclear project
Israel bombs Gaza after rocket fire
Assad has missed chance for reform: Obama
3 Mubarak-era ministers jailed for corruption
Syria beefs up security at embassies after attacks
US envoy fails to break political impasse in Yemen
US mulling new sanctions on Syrian leaders
Hariri slams Hezbollah over UN court
Thousands rally for Egypt military chief’s ouster
Yemen factional fighting reach Saudi doorstep
Woman, son and relative kidnapped in south Philippines
Egypt abandons plan to ferry pilgrims by ship
Saudi Finance Ministry OKs deals worth SR89bn
Riyadh more expensive than Doha for expats: Survey
Egypt to allow TV camera into corruption trials
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
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Police confirm three blasts in Mumbai 21 Dead, 141 injured
Jul 13, 2011
MUMBAI: Three near-simultaneous explosions rocked Mumbai at rush-hour on Wednesday, killing at least 21 people and injuring 141 in what the government said appeared to be another terrorist strike in the city hit by a major attack nearly three years ago.

Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said the latest attack killed 20 people, and home minister P Chidambaram said the toll was likely to rise.

Television footage showed dozens of police officials, several of them armed, at the sites of the explosion and at least one car with its windows shattered. A photograph showed victims of a blast at the Zaveri Bazaar crowding into the back of a cargo truck to be taken to a hospital.

Because of the close timing of the string of explosions, ``we infer that this was a coordinated attack by terrorists,'' home minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said.

One blast hit the crowded neighborhood of Dadar in central Mumbai. The others were at the Zaveri Bazaar, which is a famed jewelry market, and the busy business district of Opera House, both in southern Mumbai and several miles (kilometers) apart, police said.

All three blasts happened from 6:50pm. to 7pm., when all the neighborhoods would have been packed with office workers and commuters.

The 2008 attack killed 166 people and was blamed on Pakistan-based militant groups. Tensions escalated between the countries and peace talks were suspended. The talks recently resumed.

Soon after Wednesday's blasts were reported, Pakistan's government expressed distress on the loss of lives and injuries.

The blasts would mark the first major attack on Mumbai since the November 2008 violence, when 10 terrorists laid siege to the city for 60 hours, targeting two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station. There was no immediate indication that Wednesday's blasts were part of a prolonged siege.

Mumbai has been on edge since then. In December, authorities deployed extra police on city streets after receiving intelligence that a Pakistan-based militant group was planning an attack over New Year's weekend. Police conducted house-to-house searches in some neighborhoods for four men who authorities believe entered the city to carry out a terrorist attack, and computer-aided photographs of the four suspects were released.

In March 2010, Mumbai police said they prevented a major terrorist strike after they arrested two Indian men, who, police said, were preparing to hit several
targets in the city. Then in September, police issued a terror alert for the city during a popular Hindu festival.
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Al-Qaida plotting internet jihad
Jul 13, 2011
LONDON: Al-Qaida is plotting a jihad on the internet against Britain and the West, and has launched teams to target key computer systems, officials said.
Terrorists have even tried to invade Facebook in their "campaign of electronic warfare", The Sun reported.
The Google Earth and Street View applications are being used by the terrorists to plan out atrocities, it said.
Security officials in Britain say cyber terrorism will become an ever growing threat.
A 123-page counter-terror report said a special unit - called the Tariq bin Ziyad Brigades for Electronic Jihad - attacked computers last year.
"Since the death of Osama bin Laden, alQaida has called not only for acts of lone or individual terrorism but also for cyber jihad," it said.
Experts now say there are thousands of terrorist-related websites, and a "few dozen are highly influential" and frequented by terrorists.
"Use of social network sites and video sharing is now commonplace. There have been a number of attempts by terrorist and extremist groups to invade Facebook," it said.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Al-Qaida-plotting-internet-jihad/articleshow/9211539.cms
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Lingerie shops in Riyadh fear fresh Haia raids
By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN
Jul 13, 2011
RIYADH: Several owners and operators of lingerie shops in Riyadh have expressed concern that the Kingdom's plans to replace male clerks with women employees at shops catering to women, most notably lingerie shops, may fall in the doldrums following reports of raids of such shops by religious police over the past few months.
The Ministry of Labor has vowed to implement a plan to replace male clerks at various types of shops, preferably with Saudi women, as well as to offer job opportunities at grocery checkout lanes. But it is unclear if the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) would stand idle when it comes to women working in any commercial service that isn't explicitly for women only.
The ministry has targeted lingerie and cosmetic shops in particular, but many of these businesses allow both men and women inside, especially husbands with their wives. The Haia is opposed to women sales clerks interacting with male customers, as it is considered illegal mingling of women with unrelated men.
The ministry has issued a 12-month deadline for expelling male sales clerks at lingerie and cosmetics shops, viewing it as the obvious first step toward offering more job opportunities for women.
Women themselves have said they feel uncomfortable discussing intimate apparel and beauty products with unrelated men. Virtually all of these clerks are foreign workers.
“But, the fears of shop owners are also genuine because the Ministry of Labor has issued no official permit or instruction to the shops, which may face fresh crackdowns by the religious police,” said Al-Sharif, a Saudi businessman who did not want his business's name or his full name published out of concern for undue attention. “Some hypermarkets and stores in Riyadh have segregated certain areas for lingerie sales, but it will be practically difficult to ban entry of families or men with their wives to visit the restricted areas.”
The move to employ Saudi women in lingerie shops is not new. The Ministry of Labor asked lingerie shops to recruit women starting in 2005.
“But the commission members, who can set policy separately from the government, have resisted the move,” said Al-Sharif. “Now, it is the need of the hour. Our women walk around covered from head to toe and yet they have to discuss the size and material of their undergarments with unrelated men, mostly expatriates.”
The regional director of a major hypermarket chain said they implemented a policy “a few months back” to hire women to work as sales clerks, but then the religious police ordered them to relieve the women of their duties.
To hire women in accordance with the demands of the Haia, areas of stores that employ women must be sectioned off with dividers.
And some shop owners are confused over the rules and are wondering whether they will need to convert their business into a women-only commercial establishment with blinders to prevent passers by from peering inside.
Another problem faced by owners is financial in nature. A women-only retail space, especially in hypermarkets, require renovations and security staff manning entrances of these sections of the stores.
Asked about any formal communication sent by the government agencies in this regard, another store owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that they have not received any circular from any agency.
“But we have taken immediate steps to replace all salesmen with Saudi women, and we have made necessary preparations,” he added.
The decision, which has been approved by the Council of Ministers, followed a campaign by local women early this year demanding male sales clerks be removed from all lingerie shops in the Kingdom, and to boycott shops that do not comply.
The campaign, which was launched in the local media and Facebook, was dubbed “Enough Embarrassment” received wide support from women and Islamic scholars.
http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article470845.ece
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NATO airstrike kills 12 civilians in Afghanistan
Jul 13, 2011
KABUL: A NATO air strike left up to 12 civilians dead in eastern Afghanistan, local officials said on Tuesday, but the US-led foreign military said they had killed insurgents.
Troops targeted Taliban insurgents overnight in the Azra district of Logar province, south of the capital Kabul, officials said.
NATO called in air strikes on two houses where suspected insurgents had gathered for a meeting, district police chief Bakhtiar Gul said. “Twelve civilians, including women and children, were killed last night when NATO planes targeted two houses,” he said, adding that the bodies of four Taliban insurgents had been recovered from the rubble.
But provincial spokesman Din Mohammad Darwish said only that an “unknown” number of civilians were killed, along with seven Taliban.
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said they had killed “numerous” insurgents in the strike.
ISAF spokesman Justin Brockho said troops were hunting a Taliban commander in the district when they came under fire and called in an air strike.
“Last night combined Afghan and coalition forces killed numerous insurgents during an operation in the Azra district of Logar province,” he said.
“We do not have any operational report that indicates civilians being harmed.”
The incident comes after Afghan officials said last week that up to 13 civilians were killed by a NATO air strike in eastern Khost province. NATO said the dead were family members of a militant Haqqani commander who were “unintentionally “ killed in the bombing. afp
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\13\story_13-7-2011_pg7_4
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Four drone attacks claim 52 lives in 24 hours
By Pazir Gul
Jul 13, 2011
MIRAMSHAH: A barrage of drone attacks killed at least 52 suspected militants, including some foreigners, in North Waziristan since Monday evening.
Thirty-seven people died in three drone attacks on suspected militant positions on Tuesday and 15 on Monday.
Taking place soon after the US announcement that it was withholding $800 million of military assistance, the attacks could exacerbate tension between the two uneasy allies in the war against militants.
The drone blitz sparked panic among people in the area.
The reported death toll in the four attacks could not be verified through independent sources because local media has no access to the area.
Meanwhile, bodies of 50 militants who were killed in a Nato air attack near the border with Afghanistan on Monday evening were brought to Miramshah on Tuesday and sent to unspecified areas for burial.
Full report at:
http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/13/four-drone-attacks-claim-52-lives-in-24-hours.html
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Bomber kills five French troops in Kapisa, Afghanistan
13 July 2011
At least five French soldiers and one civilian have been killed in a suicide bomb attack in the north-eastern Afghan province of Kapisa, officials say.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed the soldiers had been killed while on duty in the Tagab valley. A number of others were wounded.
The troops were guarding local tribal leaders when the bomber struck.
Mr Sarkozy visited Afghanistan on Tuesday and announced 1,000 French troops would leave by the end of 2012.
The bomber walked up to the French troops who were standing by their armoured vehicles before detonating his explosives, Reuters news agency quotes a local official as saying.
"A terrorist set off a bomb close to the soldiers wounding four other French soldiers seriously and three Afghan civilians," President Sarkozy's office said in a statement.
It is thought to be the heaviest loss of life France has suffered in Afghanistan since 10 of its soldiers were killed in a Taleban ambush in the Sarobi area east of Kabul in August 2008. Another 21 were wounded.
Fighting has intensified across Afghanistan in recent months.
Last month a suicide bomber killed eight people at a police academy in Kapisa.
The Taliban said they carried out that attack, which happened shortly before the French ambassador was due to visit the area.
French soldiers have been part of the Nato-led operation in Afghanistan since 2001.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14137367
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Pak won’t get blank cheque from US till it curbs terror
Jul 13 2011
THE US won’t give a “blank cheque” to Pakistan until it goes full throttle against terror targets.
“We have to show that this is a two- way street, not just a one- way street. They have some obligations,” defence secretary Leon Panetta said.
His tough statement came a day after announcing suspension of US $ 800- million military aid — a third of nearly US $ 2billion in security aid to Pakistan. “ They’ve got to help us be able to go after some of the targets we’ve assigned them; they’ve got to be able to give us their cooperation,” he said.
“ And they’ve got to know that we’re not going to give out a blank cheque until they show that this is a two- way relationship,” Panetta told NBC News on Monday when asked about suspension of military aid to Pakistan.
He said Pakistan is a country where al- Qaeda has found a safe haven. “ We’re fighting al- Qaeda in their country. Strategically, they’re an important country, particularly because they have nuclear arms. So for all those reasons, we’ve got to maintain the relationship,” he said.
Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, on her part, said Pakistan must take certain steps which the US has often outlined to ensure the delivery of American military assistance to Islamabad.
Full report at: Mail Today
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Pak threatens to pull back troops from Afghan border
July 12, 2011
Rezaul H Laskar
Pakistan on Tuesday threatened to pull back its troops from the border with Afghanistan, as Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar said his country could not afford to keep forces deployed there following the suspension of US military assistance.
Reacting to the Obama Administration’s decision to suspend $800 million aid to Pakistan, Mukhtar said this would force the country to pull back troops from nearly 1,100 check posts set up along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The check posts were set up as part of understanding with Washington to beef up security in the restive tribal belt. The minister disclosed that $300 million of the suspended aid was specifically meant for troops serving in this troubled region.
Claiming that the proposed US move would sabotage efforts against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the region, he said “his money (US military aid) is not for fighting the war, but is money that we have spent already”.
Mukhtar told ‘Express 24/7’ news channel that Pakistan could not afford to keep its military out in the mountains or in border areas for a long period of time. “The next step would be that the Government or the armed forces will pull back the forces from the border areas,” he said.
http://www.dailypioneer.com/352661/Pak-threatens-to-pull-back-troops-from-Afghan-border.html
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Karzai brother: Drug baron, CIA man or Afghan hero?
Jul 13, 2011
KABUL: Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Afghan president's assassinated younger brother, was either a drugs baron, a CIA agent or a fierce defender of the Afghan people, depending on who you listen to.
What is beyond dispute is that he was a controversial figure and a warlord who commanded tremendous power over Kandahar, one of the most restive provinces of the war-torn country and the spiritual home of the Taliban.
The son of a well-to-do political family from an influential Pashtun tribe, the Popalzai, he headed the provincial council in Kandahar for seven years, where he was widely considered to control all commercial and political dealings. His powerful role necessitated regular talks with American forces waging a counterinsurgency in the key Taliban battleground.
But leaked cables released last year revealed true US feelings about the president's half-brother, who was long dogged by claims of unsavoury links with the lucrative opium trade and private security firms.
After one meeting with US envoy Frank Ruggiero in September 2009, the American diplomat said of Karzai, known by the acronym "AWK": "While we must deal with AWK as the head of the provincial council, he is widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker."
He always flamboyantly denied the mass of allegations against him, including that he ran private militias and claimed he escaped an assassination attempt in 2009. He wasn't to be so lucky on Tuesday, when he was killed in his own home.
After the WikiLeaks debacle he told Tolo television: "Dear brother! First of all, I've no security company... If one is able to show one single contract under my name, I'll take all responsibility for all against myself." Kandahar is a make-or-break southern battleground in the fight to defeat insurgency, and US has thousands of troops in the area trying to wrest initiative from the Taliban and bolster the Afghan government.
The New York Times reported in 2009 that the younger Karzai had been on the CIA payroll for most of the previous eight years for services that included fielding recruits for an Afghan paramilitary operating under CIA direction.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Karzai-brother-Drug-baron-CIA-man-or-Afghan-hero/articleshow/9203610.cms
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Brother's murder huge setback to Karzai
Jul 13, 2011
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan: Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s younger half-brother, one of the most powerful and controversial men in southern Afghanistan, was shot dead at his home on Tuesday by a senior and highly trusted bodyguard.
Ahmad Wali Karzai may have been an embarrassment to the Americans and his brother Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but he was the dealmaker on whom they counted to stand against the Taleban in its spiritual home.
Analysts said his assassination represents a political as well as personal setback for the president and could threaten gains made in southern Afghanistan by tens of thousands of US troops.
Ahmad Wali Karzai was accused of corruption and ties to the opium trade, but always denied any wrongdoing and was strongly supported by his brother whose influence he shored up in the south. President Karzai may find his reach there is now limited as a power struggle plays out among the possible successors to Ahmad Wali’s unofficial crown.
Full report at:
http://arabnews.com/world/article470861.ece
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Taliban commander arrested in connection with Karachi violence
Jul 13, 2011
KARACHI: Pakistani police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a key Taliban commander in connection with the violence in this city that has been hit by gang warfare since the last two years.
In what is being seen as an interesting development, the Karachi police said they had arrested a key commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan who was involved in instigating violence in Lyari area of the city.
The Central Investigation Department (CID) police said that commander Ali Imran was arrested in a raid.
"He was linked to attacks on security forces in Wana, Waziristan and was also involved in instigating violence in Lyari, and had also been involved in several robberies," senior police official, Aslam Khan said.
A heavy cache of weapons was also recovered during the raid, he said.
Lyari was yet again the hotbed of violence yesterday when around six people were killed in firing between rival gangs.
Interior minister Rehman Malik on a recent visit to Karachi hinted that they were signs of Taliban elements being involved in the violence in Orangi Town and Qasba colony which were the worst hit areas. The recent spate of violence in Karachi has claimed around 108 lives.
Security officials are also investigating possible links between local criminal gangs and religious outfits in Karachi with Taliban groups.
"There are definite signs of some connectivity in Karachi between local criminal gangs and some religious extremist groups with Taliban who are well organised and this could be the reason for the upsurge in violence in the city," an official said.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-commander-arrested-in-connection-with-Karachi-violence/articleshow/9204019.cms
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Yemen security: 5 militants killed in airstrike
Jul 12, 2011
SANAA, Yemen: A Yemeni security official says a government airstrike has killed five militants in an area overrun by Islamist radicals.
The strike hit a checkpoint run by militants between the southern towns of Zinjibar and Jaar late Monday. Militants believed to be close to Al-Qaeda have seized control of both towns in recent months.
Security across Yemen has broken down amid a five-month uprising seeking to oust longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The United States worries that Al-Qaeda could exploit chaos in Yemen to increase operations there.
The security official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470760.ece
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Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian in West Bank Refugee Camp
Jul 13 2011
NABLUS: Israeli soldiers Wednesday killed a young Palestinian man while looking for an activist of the Islamic Jihad Movement at a refugee camp in the West Bank's north, Palestinian security sources said.
Ibrahim Sarhan, 21, was shot dead while emerging from a mosque, they said, during the Israeli search operation in the Al Farah refugee camp near Nablus. Sarhan did not belong to any Palestinian political group, they said.
Israeli soldiers arrested five people during the raid in the camp. Israeli fighter jets meanwhile bombed two arms factories in Gaza overnight, the army said in a statement. Both facilities were destroyed.
http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=18630&title=Israeli-army-kill-Palestinian-in-W.-Bank
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Plot uncovered to kill Afghan interior minister: Afghanistan Spy Agency
July 13, 2011
KABUL: Within hours of Tuesday’s assassination of President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s spy agency said it had foiled a plot by three policemen to kill the interior minister during a planned visit to a police academy in Paktia province.
The policemen and five insurgents were detained ahead of a visit by Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi to the academy in eastern Paktia province, said Lutfullah Mashal, spokesman for the National Directorate of Security.
The arrests come as a spate of shootings by “rogue” Afghan police officers or soldiers raises fears that more insurgents will be able to infiltrate the security forces, which are rapidly recruiting ahead of taking full responsibility for the country’s security from foreign forces at the end of 2014.
“The enemies managed to infiltrate inside the police force in Paktia and planned to assassinate the interior minister,” Mashal told a news conference in Kabul. “Suicide vests, explosives and weapons were prepared for the mission.”
Full report at:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/208466/plot-uncovered-to-kill-afghan-interior-minister/
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Rights group accuses Libyan rebels of abuse
13 July 2011
Libyan rebel forces have been responsible for looting, arson and the abuse of civilians in their push toward Tripoli, Human Rights Watch alleged on Wednesday.
The group said it ‘witnessed some of these acts, interviewed witnesses to others, and spoke with a rebel commander about the abuses.’
The abuses were said to have taken place in June and July — as recently as last week — as rebel forces pushed through the Nafusa Mountains to the south of Tripoli.
‘In four towns captured by rebels in the Nafusa Mountains over the past month, rebel fighters and supporters have damaged property, burned some homes, looted from hospitals, homes, and shops, and beaten some individuals alleged to have supported government forces,’ said HRW.
The allegations threaten to undermine the rebels’ carefully guarded image as the champions of human rights in a country that has been run by Muammar Gaddafi with an iron fist for nearly 42 years.
Full report at:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July626.xml&section=international
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French lower house votes to extend Libya mission
By REUTERS
Jul 12, 2011
PARIS: France’s lower house of parliament voted on Tuesday to extend military operations in Libya, keeping French forces in a wider NATO effort to protect civilians and support a rebellion against Muammar Qaddafi.
The National Assembly voted overwhelmingly to grant further funding for the military operation nearly four months after French planes started bombing troops loyal to Qaddafi in eastern Libya, with 482 deputies voting in favor and 27 against.
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470777.ece
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NATO to bomb Libya in Ramadan if Qaddafi poses threat
Jul 12, 2011
BRUSSELS: NATO said on Tuesday it would keep bombing Libya even in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan if Muammar Qaddafi’s forces continued to threaten civilians, but it wanted a pragmatic solution to the war as soon as possible.
“We need to wait and see whether the Qaddafi forces continue to shell and inflict harm on the people of Libya,” NATO military spokesman Wing Commander Mike Bracken said, when asked if the campaign would continue during Ramadan, which falls in August this year.
“If they do and we believe that there is risk to the lives of the Libyan people ... NATO would use the mandate it has to protect those lives.”
NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the alliance hoped Qaddafi’s forces would end their attacks, not just in Ramadan, but immediately, and wanted to see progress at a meeting of the Contact Group on Libya on Friday in Istanbul.
Full report at:
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470748.ece
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France: Libya emissaries say Qaddafi ready to go
By LAMINE CHIKHI
Jul 13, 2011
TRIPOLI: France said Muammar Qaddafi was ready to leave power, according to emissaries, the latest sign contacts were underway between the Libyan leader and NATO members to find a way out of the crisis.
“Emissaries are telling us Qaddafi is ready to go, let’s talk about it,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said, without
revealing who the emissaries were. “The question is no longer about whether Qaddafi goes but when and how,” Juppe said.
NATO powers have until now been focused firmly on air strikes and backing the rebels trying to overthrow Qaddafi, but five months into the insurrection and with no sign of a breakthrough, attention is switching to a political solution.
“Everybody is in contact with everybody. The Libyan regime is sending messengers everywhere, to Turkey, New York, Paris,” Juppe said on France Info state radio. “There are contacts but it’s not a negotiation proper at this stage.”
How reliable the information from the emissaries is remains unclear and many observers warn of the need to be cautious about taking everything emanating from the Libyan government at face value. In April officials said they were preparing a new constitution and wider political reforms, but the details were vague with no reference to the role Qaddafi would play.
Full report at:
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470728.ece
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Berber language and culture reborn in Libya
By PETER GRAFF
Jul 12, 2011
JADU, Libya: In a packed classroom on a cool evening near the front line in Libya’s civil war, 15-year-old Mira is teaching children to spell out the names of animals in the ancient Berber script, an act that once could have landed her in one of Muammar Qaddafi’s jails.
The indigenous people of north Africa, known to others as Berbers and among themselves as Amazigh, were brutally suppressed under Qaddafi, who considered the teaching of their language and culture to be a form of imperialism in his Arab country.
They have become crucial supporters of the rebellion seeking to topple Qaddafi, with their stronghold in the Nafusa Mountains southwest of Tripoli emerging as one of the main fronts.
Berber was the main language of North Africa before Arabic arrived with the Muslim conquest in the 7th century. It is still spoken in the Sahara and in mountainous parts of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia as well as Libya.
Activists say most of the Arabs of North Africa are in fact descended from Amazigh peoples who were there before the arrival of Islam.
Today, the rebel-held town of Jadu, normally home to about 20,000 people but now swollen with refugees from areas within shelling range of Qaddafi’s troops, has become the center for the rebirth of Amazigh culture and language. Shops have painted Amazigh signs above their doors.
Full report at:
http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/offbeat/article470803.ece
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NATO oil tanker torched near Hassanabdal
Jul 13 2011
WAH CANTT: An oil tanker, carrying fuel supply for NATO forces in Afghanistan, was set on fire by unidentified people in the early hours of Tuesday on GT Road in the limits of the Hassanabdal Police Station. According to police sources, unidentified terrorists torched the oil tanker. After receiving information about the incident, police and rescue teams rushed to the spot. Fire brigade was called in to put out the fire. Both the driver and conductor fled from the scene. Hassanabdal police has registered a case against the unidentified terrorists. app
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\13\story_13-7-2011_pg7_7
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Wife of missing doctor not ready to believe her spouse as CIA agent
By Iqbal Khattak
PESHAWAR: The “distressed” family of Dr Shakil Afridi is in disbelief that he had work for the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to help track down Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad before May 2 operation without informing civil and military leadership in Islamabad.
“He is not that sort of person. I am surprised how he could do this, if it is true,” the wife of Khyber Agency surgeon Dr Afridi, shaken by a British newspaper’s report, told Daily Times on Tuesday. Guardian newspaper said the American CIA “recruited” Dr Shakil Afridi, resident of Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency where he was the top health official also, to run “fake vaccination drive” in Abbottabad to try to get DNA samples from the family members of Osama bin Laden.
Full report at:
Source: The News Pakistan
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JEDDAH: Terror suspects want more time to defend themselves
By MUHAMMAD AL-SULAMI
Jul 13, 2011
JEDDAH: A special summary court in Jeddah began its 25th session on Tuesday in an ongoing trial against 16 defendants accused of illegally collecting donations, smuggling money out of the country to be delivered to suspicious parties, attempts to sow discord in the Kingdom and promoting enmity to the state.
The court heard the replies of the defendants, identified as Nos. 3, 6 and 8, to the accusations filed against them by prosecutors who claim the charges are based on the close observation of two groups. The first group faces the charges of collecting money and giving them to suspicious groups outside the Kingdom and the second group faces the charges of attempting to sow internal strife in Saudi Arabia. One of the 16 defendants is also accused of issuing a fatwa calling for young Saudis to wage jihad in troubled areas abroad.
Full report at:
http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article470862.ece
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JEDDAH: 46 terror suspects freed after rehab
By MD AL-SULAMI
Jul 13, 2011
JEDDAH: Another group of prisoners were released from the Prince Muhammad bin Naif Center for Counseling and Care after their successful completion of rehabilitation programs to help them abandon their extremist ideologies last Wednesday.
The 22nd batch of 46 detainees was received by their relatives after they had completed the three-month program. Each one of them has also been granted subsidies of SR10,000, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday, quoting an official statement.
The program stressed the right understanding of Islamic teachings. They were instructed on different aspects of extremism and factors that breed terrorist ideologies from social, psychological and historical angles.
They were also lectured on social issues, law, psychology, self-improvement methods and management of small projects.
Full report at:
http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article470852.ece
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Saudi Arabia may recruit more Bangladeshis
13 July 2011
Saudi Arabia will consider taking more workers in farm and other sectors from Bangladesh, the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, told the Bangladesh foreign minister, Dipu Moni, in Jeddah on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia will also ease restrictions on allowing changes in iqama (work permit) of Bangladeshi workers, he said.
The Saudi minister said this at a meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart at the foreign ministry in Jeddah. Dipu Moni was in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on a four-day official visit.
Saudi Arabia will require more workers in different sectors, including farm, Dipu Moni quoted the Saudi minister as saying at a meeting in Jeddah.
A good number of them can be taken from Bangladesh, he said.
Prince Faisal also appreciated Bangladeshi workers’ playing a role in the economy and development of his country. ‘We are happy with them,’ he said.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia now takes new workers from Bangladesh on a ‘limited’ scale. At least, two million Bangladeshis are
Know working in Saudi Arabia.
Full report at:
http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/26033.html
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Sudan president promises freer, more inclusive government
By Christopher Goffard and Alsanosi Ahmed
July 12, 2011
Reporting from Nairobi, Kenya, and Khartoum, Sudan— Facing increased scrutiny at home and a war crimes indictment abroad, Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir stood before his National Assembly on Tuesday and promised a freer, more inclusive government.
Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court in connection with massacres in Darfur, spoke just days after attending ceremonies marking South Sudan's independence from his own Khartoum-based government. Sudan is entering a "second republic" comprising mainly Muslim Arabs, and people will be able to vote on a new constitution crafted with widespread participation, he said.
Independent South Sudan is jubilant, wobbly a day later
"The government will include everyone, from the opposition parties to ordinary citizens, in drafting the permanent constitution. I urge all religious leaders and university professors to take part," Bashir said, along with "everyone who is concerned with the future of the north."
Full report at:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-sudan-bashir-20110713,0,4088627.story
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Syria unrest: Blast hits gas pipeline in Deir al-Zour
13 July 2011
An explosion has hit a gas pipeline in north-eastern Syria, although production has not been affected, residents and officials said.
The cause of the overnight blast, which took place in Deir al-Zour province, close to the Iraq border, is not known.
If confirmed as an attack, it would be the first targeting infrastructure since protests erupted in March.
Large protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad have taken place in the province.
"The explosion hit the gas pipeline last night in al-Tayyaneh, north-east of the town of Mayadin," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Full report at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14137680
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Afghan president's brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, buried
13 July 2011
Thousands have joined Afghan President Hamid Karzai to mourn at the funeral of his half-brother near Kandahar.
Ahmad Wali Karzai, a controversial but key figure in Nato's battle against the Taliban, was gunned down at home by his bodyguard on Tuesday.
The weeping president climbed into the grave to kiss his brother's forehead before appealing to Taliban militants to stop their violent uprising.
Reports suggest an explosion hit an official car after the funeral.
AP news agency reported two of Helmand provincial governor Gulab Mangal's entourage were injured when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb outside Kandahar.
Security was tight, with helicopters overhead and many troops deployed.
Karzai was shot twice by his family friend and long-time head of security, Sardar Mohammed, who was himself killed almost immediately, in an attack claimed by the Taliban as one of their top achievements in 10 years of war.
Corrupt warlord?
Full report at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14133518
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Post-9/11, Sikhs say they are mistaken targets
Jul 13 2011
Elk Grove (California): Kamaljit Atwal's neighbourhood seems like an unlikely place for a hate crime. His street in this Sacramento suburb seems a model of diversity.
Atwal and his family are one of two Sikh families on the block from India. On Atwal's street alone, there's a Vietnamese family, a Mexican family, a black woman and a white man.
But in March, Atwal's 78-year-old father Gurmej Atwal and his 67-year-old friend Surinder Singh were shot and killed while taking an afternoon stroll in the neighbourhood.
Atwal and his fellow Sikhs in the area wonder if the same ugliness that has brought violence to other Sikhs is the reason why.
Full report at:
http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/816853/
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Two IM cadre held for Ahmedabad serial blasts
July 13, 2011
Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) sleuths have arrested two suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives for their alleged role in the July 28, 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts, in which 56 people were killed and over 200 others injured.
Identifying the two arrested IM operatives as Mohammed Mobin Abdul Shakoor Khan alias Irfan (32) and Ayub Raja Amin Shaikh (28), Additional Director General of Police Rakesh Maria said here on Tuesday that they were picked from near a municipal school located in the vicinity of Mankhurd Railway station in north-central Mumbai on Monday night.
The two IM operatives, from whom the ATS officials have recovered a 7.65 mm pistol and .32 revolver along with live bullets, have been booked under the Arms Act. They were on Tuesday afternoon produced before a city court, which remanded them to police custody till July 16.
Talking to media persons here, Maria said that Mobin and Amin, both of whom are cousins, would be handed over to the Gujarat police on July 16.
Apart from the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts, Mobin and Amin are also wanted for an attempted blast at Surat on July 10, 2008, in which two dozen explosives were recovered before they went off.
Full report at:
http://www.dailypioneer.com/352691/Two-IM-cadre-held-for-Ahmedabad-serial-blasts.html
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Indian Minister: Not swayed by community rhetoric
Jul 13, 2011
NEW DELHI: Salman Khurshid kept losing from Farrukhabad, despite rebellion in BJP in his constituency with saffronites once even raising the slogan, "Lal quile par kamal nishaan, abki jeetega salman", to defeat local party candidate while hoping for Vajpayee-as-PM. But when he finally won, the timing was just perfect – 2009, with Congress returning to power with an authoritative majority.
The minority face, with legal skills and articulation, was best placed to realize ministerial ambitions. He became minority affairs minister with independent charge, then got elevated to cabinet rank though with a 'light' portfolio. Tuesday's reshuffle has given the lawyer the heft he thinks he deserves, after serving as deputy minister for external affairs in the Narasimha Rao government.
The articulate Khurshid speaks his mind but has endeared himself to the leadership by taking a middle path as minority affairs minister instead of being swayed by the community rhetoric.
The 57-year-old has a good equation with heir apparent Rahul Gandhi. Congress would want to use his status as law minister to help win over the minorities in Uttar Pradesh in 2012 assembly polls. It would again put him in confrontation with bête noires Mulayam Singh Yadav and chief minister Mayawati.
With the community well disposed towards Congress, he may be playing a winning battle.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Salman-Khurshid-Not-swayed-by-community-rhetoric/articleshow/9204464.cms
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Pawar, Uddhav in war of words over Indo-Pak Test matches
Ambarish Mishra
Jul 13, 2011
MUMBAI: The war of words between Union agriculture minister and ICC chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena CEO Uddhav Thackeray has set the tone for the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) elections.
Addressing a meeting at Kandivli in the run-up to the MCA elections, Pawar wondered if Dilip Vengsarkar, the Sena-backed candidate for the MCA presidentship, will organize an India-Pak Test match in Mumbai as MCA chief.
Pawar's remarks were a ploy to remind the MCA voters that the Sena is opposed to India-Pak cricket matches in the city. Whether Pawar's verbal trick will work in favour of Vilasrao Deshmukh, who enjoys the Maratha strongman's backing for the polls, will be known on July 15. But, Uddhav was quick to hit back at the ICC chief.
"For the 10-12 years that Pawar has been heading the MCA, he couldn't organize an India-Pak Test match in Mumbai. He has been a senior minister in the Union Cabinet. The party which he heads, the NCP, is in office in Maharashtra. What had stopped Pawar from bringing in Pakistani cricketers to Mumbai for a Test series?" asked Uddhav.
"Pawar seems more concerned about holding India-Pak Test matches in Mumbai. He probably thinks that polls are being held for the Pak Cricket Association and not the MCA," Uddhav told reporters on Monday.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Pawar-Uddhav-in-war-of-words-over-Indo-Pak-Test-matches/articleshow/9205645.cms
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Security breach: Hackers steal 90,000 US military email IDs
Jul 13, 2011
WASHINGTON: Hackers claim to have stolen over 90,000 email addresses and passwords in a cyber attack on a major US military contractor, a media report said. An arm of the online collective Anonymous has said that it broke into the computer systems of Booz Allen Hamilton and then posted the details on Internet, 'The Daily Telegraph' online reported.
They apparently were able to get encrypted versions of the email passwords only, 53,000 of which carried the military ".mil" domains, the report said.
The hackers also wiped out four gigabytes of Booz Allen source code in an attack they called "Military Meltdown Monday". The group said: "We infiltrated a server on their network that basically had no security measures in place."
Booz Allen provides technological services including cyber-security consulting to the American military and other US government agencies. Its staff includes Michael McConnell, former director of the National Security Agency.
A US defence department spokesman said: "We are aware of the incident and coordinating with our federal partners." A spokesman for Booz Allen said its security policy meant "we generally do not comment on specific threats taken against our systems". The hacking group responded: "You have a security policy? We never noticed."
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Security-breach-Hackers-steal-90000-US-military-email-IDs/articleshow/9203691.cms
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Thousands rally for Egypt military chief's ouster
Jul 13, 2011
CAIRO: Thousands of Egyptians rallied on Tuesday for the downfall of Egypt's military leader, as anger mounts over the army's handling of a transition from the country's former autocratic regime.
Five months after a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak, activists fear their revolution is in jeopardy and accuse the ruling military council of keeping an absolute grip on power that blocks the path to democracy.
Protesters have been camping out in Cairo's Tahrir Square, in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and in the canal city of Suez since mass nationwide rallies on Friday to demand political change.
"The people want the fall of the Field Marshall," chanted demonstrators in Cairo, in reference to Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak's longtime defence minister who now heads the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
Full report at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Thousands-rally-for-Egypt-military-chiefs-ouster/articleshow/9205104.cms
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Pakistan’s ISI chief leaves for U.S. to revive ties
Jul 13, 2011
ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha on Wednesday left for the U.S. in a bid to revive security ties affected by recent events, including the suspension of $800 million of military aid to Pakistan.
“Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence, has proceeded to USA for a day-long visit to coordinate intelligence matters,” said a brief statement from the military. It did not give details.
Gen. Pasha embarked on the visit a day after the U.S. Army’s Central Command chief, Gen James Mattis, arrived in Pakistan in an apparent move to defuse tensions between the two countries over a series of incidents, including the suspension of military aid.
Full report at:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2223574.ece
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Egypt PM announces cabinet reshuffle
July 12, 2011
Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has announced a Government reshuffle within one week, as he faces mounting pressure from protesters over the slow pace of reform.
“I have ordered a cabinet reshuffle within a week to meet the demands of the revolution and reflect the real will of the people,” Sharaf said in an address on State TV.
He also set a deadline of July 15 for the dismissal of police officers accused of killing protesters during the uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February.
The Prime Minister called on the judiciary to proceed with “open trials for all former regime officials and those accused of killing protesters so that the trials are swift in order to reassure the people.”
Sharaf, whose appointment was widely celebrated in March, has come under increased criticism for being too weak in the face of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces which took power when Mubarak was ousted. A military source said that Sharaf’s speech had been delayed until the military council approved its final wording.
http://www.dailypioneer.com/352650/Egypt-PM-announces-cabinet-reshuffle.html
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US breaks with Assad, France seeks UN action
July 13, 2011
The United States said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has “lost legitimacy” four months into a deadly revolt against his rule, after the French and US embassies were targeted in angry pro-regime demonstrations.
Mobs besieged the US and French embassies on Monday after the ambassadors of the two Western countries last week travelled to the flashpoint protest city of Hama, north of the capital. “President Assad is not indispensable and we have absolutely nothing invested in him,” Clinton said in the toughest US stand since the mid-March outbreak of a revolt against his rule. “From our perspective, he has lost legitimacy. Our goal is to see that the will of the Syrian people for a democratic transformation occurs,” she said.
Paris on Tuesday renewed its demand that the United Nations Security Council take a stance on the crisis in Syria.
“France and other European countries have submitted a proposed resolution to the UN Security Council, which has been blocked by Russia and China,” Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in a radio interview. “This is no longer acceptable,” he said, branding the attack “extremely violent” on his Government’s Damascus embassy, in which three French personnel were hurt.
http://www.dailypioneer.com/352647/US-breaks-with-Assad-France-seeks-UN-action.html
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Osama was in on 2005, 2006 London bombing plots
Jul 13 2011
Washington: Osama bin Laden was aware of the plot in which al Qaeda militants bombed London transport facilities on July 7, 2005, but it was the last successful operation he played a role in, US government experts have concluded.
Circumstantial evidence, including information gathered from the Abbotabad, Pakistan, hide-out where US Navy SEALs killed bin Laden on May 2, also suggests that bin Laden had advance knowledge of an unsuccessful London-based 2006 plot to simultaneously bomb US-bound transatlantic flights, several U.S. national security officials said.
“Bin Laden was absolutely a detail guy. We have every reason to believe that he was aware of al Qaeda's major plots during the planning phase, including the airline plot in 2006 and the London '7-7' attacks”, said one of the US officials. This official and others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss counter-terrorism matters.
Some of the confidence US officials expressed about bin Laden's involvement in the London attacks is based on analytical judgment rather than ironclad proof. Two of the officials said that there was no smoking gun evidence proving that he orchestrated the plots.
Full report at:
http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/816885/
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Syria says Clinton comments are 'provocation'
Jul 13 2011
Beirut: Syria accused Washington of provocation today after the US said President Bashar Assad had lost legitimacy and the American administration had nothing invested in him remaining in power.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued her strongest condemnation yet of Assad yesterday after mobs of hundreds of regime supporters attacked the American and French embassies in Damascus, smashing windows and spray-painting obscenities on the walls. Three French Embassy employees were injured.
The attacks also prompted withering criticism from France, which called for the UN Security Council to condemn Syria.
Germany added to the pressure, as well, saying international law obliges Syria to protect diplomatic missions.
Full report at:
http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/816860/
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US woman denies aiding Pakistan nuclear project
Jul 13 2011
WASHINGTON: A wealthy San Francisco-area suburbanite on Tuesday rebutted charges that she was the ringleader of a scheme to illegally export special paint used in the construction of a Pakistani nuclear plant, a project some Western experts fear will produce plutonium for the country’s expanding nuclear arsenal.
Xu Wang, 51, was arrested at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport last month, court records show, as she and her family were headed to Italy to celebrate her oldest daughter’s graduation from prep school before starting Princeton in the fall. Wang has been in custody ever since.
At a detention hearing in federal court here, Wang’s lawyers argued that charges against her were “technical,” that she was at worst peripherally involved in the scheme and that any connection between the case against her and the global spread of nuclear weapons was purely speculative.
“This case is about paint,” said attorney Bruce Baird, as his client sat at the defendant’s table in short-sleeve prison garb. “…One thing we know for sure, it’s not a case representing a threat to America or a threat of nuclear proliferation.”
Full report at:
http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/13/us-woman-denies-aiding-pakistan-nuclear-project.html
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Israel bombs Gaza after rocket fire
Jul 13 2011
JERUSALEM: Israeli jets bombed two sites in Gaza early on Wednesday, wounding one woman, after Palestinians fired three rockets into southern Israel, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.
The Israeli military said its aircraft "targeted two weapons manufacturing sites in the northern Gaza Strip." "Direct hits were confirmed and secondary explosions were identified," the military said in a statement.
Palestinian medical sources said one woman was slightly hurt in an Israeli air strike east of Gaza City and was taken to the nearby Shifa hospital.
The Israeli military said on Tuesday night that three rockets were fired into southern Israel from Gaza. None of them caused any casualties but one caused minor damage to a home.
http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=18632&title=Israel-bombs-Gaza-after-rocket-fire
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Assad has missed chance for reform: Obama
Jul 13 2011
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had ‘lost legitimacy’ for failing to lead a democratic transition, but stopped short of explicitly calling on him to step down.
It was the strongest language Obama has used against the Syrian ruler over his harsh crackdown on protests and echoed comments by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a day earlier.
"I think that increasingly you're seeing President Assad lose legitimacy in the eyes of his people," Obama told in an interview. "He has missed opportunity after opportunity to present a genuine reform agenda."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Assad "is not indispensable" and urged him to lead a transition to democracy.
The sharpened rhetoric follows an assault by Assad loyalists on the U.S. and French embassies in Damascus, which drew strong condemnation by the United Nations Security Council.
Full report at:
http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=18618&title=%E2%80%98Assad-has-missed-chance-for-reform%E2%80%99
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3 Mubarak-era ministers jailed for corruption
Jul 13, 2011
CAIRO: Three Egyptian ex-ministers were sentenced Tuesday to up to 10 years in jail for profiteering in a case involving the purchase of car number plates, a judicial official said.
Former Interior Minister Habib El-Adly was sentenced to five years, while former Finance Minister Yussef Boutros Ghali got 10 years in absentia and ex-Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif was given a one-year suspended sentence.
The three were charged with misusing public funds and unlawful gains valued at 92 million Egyptian pounds ($15 million), the official said.
Several years ago, Egypt changed the format of its vehicle number plates. The ministers, along with a German businessman, were accused of profiteering from a deal to import the new number plates, which they bought directly without a public tender as laid down by the law.
They also bought the number plates for higher than their market price.
El-Adly has already been sentenced to 12 years, then five years on corruption charges, and Ghali was sentenced to 30 years in a separate case.
The trials are part of a broad probe into corruption by the country's new military rulers who took power after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising in February.
Full report at:
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470863.ece
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Syria beefs up security at embassies after attacks
Jul 12, 2011
BEIRUT: Police have beefed up their presence outside the US and French embassies in the Syrian capital a day after pro-government supporters attacked the compounds.
Mobs broke windows at both embassies Monday to protest a visit last week by the American and French ambassadors to the opposition stronghold of Hama in central Syria. The French Foreign Ministry said three embassy workers were injured.
Police were deployed heavily around the embassies Tuesday.
Syrian authorities said the visits to Hama were interference in the country’s internal affairs.
The US and France both accused Syrian forces of being too slow to respond to the attacks and demanded the government abide by its international obligations to protect diplomatic missions.
UN urged to speak out on Syria
France, meanwhile, urged the United Nations Security Council to speak out on recent events in Syria.
“We want the Security Council to speak out on what has happened,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told a news briefing.
Paris has led efforts to pass a UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria’s violent repression of pro-reform protests.
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470641.ece
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US envoy fails to break political impasse in Yemen
By SAEED AL-BATATI
Jul 13, 2011
SANAA: US President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, who finished his trip to Yemen on Tuesday, didn't succeed in his mission to reach an agreement between the Yemeni opposition and Saleh's party that could end the current political crisis embroiling the poverty-stricken country, an opposition leader said on Tuesday.
Brennan met on Tuesday with Yemen's main opposition, the Joint Meeting Parties, in a bid to revive the GCC-brokered initiative.
Following the meeting, an opposition leader told Arab News that the meeting was fruitless since the Americans didn't present new ideas.
"We had a lunch and talked with each other, and got out of the meeting empty-handed. We insisted on our view on the transfer of power," the opposition leader said. He refused to give more details about the meeting.
Full report at:
ttp://arabnews.com/middleeast/article470859.ece
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US mulling new sanctions on Syrian leaders
13 July 2011
WASHINGTON — Washington is mulling further sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and his inner circle amid reports that hundreds have been killed in a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, a top US diplomat said Tuesday.
‘We’ve done quite a bit already and we’re exploring other sanctions,’ Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Michael Posner told US lawmakers at a hearing on Capitol Hill.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order in May, imposing targeted sanctions on Assad and several high-ranking Syrian government officials for their bloody crackdown on the country’s pro-democracy demonstrators, Posner said.
Syrian activists have said that some 1,300 civilians have been killed and 12,000 arrested since mid-March, when the popular uprising began.
On Tuesday, they called for Assad to be referred to the International Criminal Court over the killings and arrests, and for the international community to bring more pressure on Damascus to allow reforms.
Full report at:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July298.xml&section=middleeast
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