Showing posts from July 3, 2011

'Half a million' protest on streets of Hama

Source: Al Jazeera Reports of biggest crowd in Syria so far in city at heart of opposition, as activists say 13 dead across country. More than 500,000 Syrians flooded through the city of Hama on Friday, according to activists, in what they claim was the single biggest protest yet against the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad. The opposition reported 13 protesters killed, including five deaths in the central city of Homs, two in the capital's commercial neighbourhood Midan and six in the Dumair area, east of Damascus. Syrian state-run TV said the deaths in Damascus and Homs were caused by snipers from "armed gangs". An activist told Al Jazeera that Hama, where marchers were seen carrying olive branches, had become a "tangible example of resistance to injustice" in Syria. Hundreds of thousands also protested last Friday in Hama, prompting

Afghan, NATO forces fire rockets into Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, July 8 ( Xinhua ) -- Afghan and Nato-led troops fired rockets into Pakistan's northwest tribal region of North Waziristan on Friday, causing no injuries, local TV channel reported. Residents were quoted as saying that around 18 mortar shells landed near a Pakistani checkpost at Ghulam Khan border area, adding Pakistani force returned fire. The incident took place a day after Pakistani, Afghan and Nato military officials met in the Pakistani northwestern city of Peshawar to discuss preventing repeat of cross border firing. The Afghan president's office said in Kabul that Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had agreed in telephone conversation with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the establishment of a joint military commission to address problems emerged on the Afghan and Pakistani border. Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson blamed militants for the current cross border attacks, saying there is a common concern on this issue. Pakistan said that 55

CPI observes solidarity day with Sri Lankan Tamils

Source: The Hindu The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Friday observed an “all-India solidarity day with the Sri Lankan Tamils” and held countrywide demonstrations, highlighting the Tamils' cause and pressed for upholding their legitimate rights and finding a speedy political solution. In New Delhi, where the city unit of the AIADMK too joined the stir held at Jantar Mantar, senior CPI leaders – general secretary A.B. Bardhan, national secretary D. Raja and deputy general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy and Tenkasi MP T. Lingam — participated and sought justice for the Tamils. Mr. Bardhan wondered why the Government of India was silent on the issue of “massacre” of thousands of Tamils by the Sri Lankan army during the civil war and pointed out that even the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom and France, and the United Nations Secretary-General had expressed solidarity with the affected population. The party would take up the issue in the coming monsoon session of Parliament a

Georgian photographers 'aided spy network'

By Matthew Collin ( AFP ) – TBILISI — Georgia on Friday rejected growing concern over the arrest of four top news photographers, saying they are suspected of spying for a foreign country and their detention has no link to journalism. In the presidency's first comment on the arrests that shocked the media community, President Mikheil Saakashvili's spokeswoman said the four photographers were suspected of committing a serious security breach. "I should make very clear: this case is about a serious infiltration of our institutions, not about journalism or media activities," spokeswoman Manana Manjgaladze said in a statement. The photojournalists, including Saakashvili's own personal photographer, were detained in overnight raids on Thursday and are accused of spying for a foreign country. Officials did not name the country involved but Georgia's pro-Western administration has repeatedly accused arch foe Russia of running espionage operations on its territory, bo

Gaddafi forces 'intercept arms from Qatar'

Source: Al jazeera Government spokesman says two boats carrying weapons for rebels seized from west of Tripoli. The 'seized' weapons included about 100 Belgian-made rifles as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition [EPA] Libyan officials are claiming to have intercepted two boats carrying a cache of weapons from Qatar, reportedly intended for rebels fighting forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. On Monday, Moussa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, said 11 rebels were captured from the boats close to shore near the town of Janzour, just west of Tripoli. "In the early hours of this morning around 4 o'clock our security forces intercepted the submission of many weapons from a ship that raises the Tunisian flag to two small Libyan boats with some Libyan rebels on board the boats," he said. "I was told that this was the load of one major container, so this would be something like one out of ten or something like that," Ibrahim added. Foreign reporters were

Israel largely fends off pro-Palestinian 'fly-in' activists

More than 200 activists, mostly European, were kept off Israel-bound flights after Israel circulated a list of names to airline officials and asked that carriers refuse them seats, officials said. A pro-Palestinian activist flashes the peace sign as he's arrested by Israeli policemen after protesting at Ben Gurion airport outside Tel Aviv. ( Oliver Weiken, EPA / July 9 , 2011 )

Egypt’s Tahrir Square Again Echoes With Cries for Justice

AIRO — One woman called for a new revolution. A man called for former President Hosni Mubarak to be executed. An angry crowd in an auditorium here on Thursday night listened to stories of protesters injured or killed during Egypt’s revolution and in demonstrations since, and stood and applauded when a mother spoke of loss. Enlarge This Image Moises Saman for The New York Times Many of the demonstrators on Friday in Cairo were protesting the failure to prosecute public officials for corruption and police officers for the killings of protesters during the February uprising. One of her sons was killed by a policeman’s bullet in January, and another son sits in a military prison, after he was beaten and arrested in a protest last week. “I’ve grown tired,” the mother, Amal Zine al Abadeen, told dozens who had gathered as a prelude to a rally of tens of thousands on Friday in Tahrir Square, where the uprising began. “This revolution has done nothing for us,

BOOK REVIEW: 'Demonic': When It Comes to Revolutions, Ann Coulter Says Liberals Adore the Bloodiest Ones

What does the French Revolution -- soon to be commemorated by the July 14 Bastille Day celebration -- have in common with todays liberals and so-called "progressives"? In her new book "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America" (Crown Forum, 368 pages, notes, index, $28.99, www.crownpublishing. com ) Ann Coulter says liberals and ultra bloody regime changes like the French Revolution and its Terror -- the origin of the word "terror" -- have much in common. There's much about the French Revolution in this book, published not by a fringe group but by a unit of mainstream publisher Random House, an uprising that cost at least 600,000 lives from 1789, when the Bastille was stormed, for the next half dozen or so years. It's like a 9/11 every day for seven years, Coulter says. Imagine 600,000 or more people being slaughtered in Texas, which today has about the same population as France had back then. One estimate I found placed France's pop

Phone hacking probe: Murdoch expected in UK amid crisis

Source: BBC NEWS Mr Coulson and Goodman were released on police bail on Friday Rupert Murdoch is expected to arrive in London later to take charge of dealing with the phone-hacking crisis that has engulfed his News International group. This comes as staff at the News of the World prepare the final edition of the paper, axed after new hacking claims. Labour is writing to No 10 to urge the immediate appointment of the judge to lead an inquiry into the scandal. Late on Friday, an unnamed 63-year-old became the third man arrested during the day as part of the police probe. He was arrested at an address in Surrey on suspicion of corruption. Police carried out a search of the property. Meanwhile, former News of the World (NoW) editor Andy Coulson and former royal editor Clive Goodman were released on police bail after being arrested earlier on Friday. Mr Coulson, 43, had attended Lewisham police station in south London by

Southern Sudanese prepare for nationhood

The southern capital, Juba, is bustling with jubilant citizens and dignitaries as well as maintenance crews preparing for the independence day ceremony Saturday. 'Our long suffering is ending and we're becoming a nation,' says a former 'Lost Boy.' By Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times July 9, 2011 Reporting from Juba, Sudan— Men and women dance and sing at a gathering of different clans of the Bari tribe to celebrate the coming independence day. ( Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times / July 8 , 2011 ) Garang Yai was 7 when government soldiers burned down his village, forcing him to flee to Ethiopia, a three-month walk that many of his fellow refugees didn't survive. One of the famous "Lost Boys," Yai eventually found refuge

Death threats to disarmed tribals

JAGDALPUR: Three days after the Supreme Court directed that tribal SPOs be disarmed and withdrawn from anti-Maoist operations, pamphlets surfaced in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, naming a dozen SPOs as "enemies" of the people, and threatening that People's Liberation Guerilla Army of CPI (Maoist) will get them. The SPOs have been at the forefront of the battle against the insurgents with their inputs about the terrain, as well as other information, helping security forces in tracking the rebels' and their movements. The pamphlets in broken Hindi, scribbled in blue and red ink, were found three km from Dornapal, an area where the Maoists are known to be active. The writing had smudged in the rain, and some lines were illegible. Concerns have been aired about the safety and security of SPOs, who can no longer carry weapons. Although they have abided by the court's order, a section of SPOs, especially their leaders, have protested against the dis

Karachi: 95 dead, shoot-at-sight orders issued

Source: REdiff Pakistani authorities on Friday issued shoot-at-sight orders and ordered deployment of 1,000 additional paramilitary troops in Karachi as vicious violence continued to paralyse the country's financial capital, leaving nearly 95 people dead in last four days. Interior minister Rehman Malik said that security forces had been given orders to shoot gunmen on sight to meet the challenge. The violence has rocked the country's financial hub and continued on Friday although a total shutdown was observed in the city on the call for a day of mourning by the Muttahida Quami Movement for the people killed in the violence. Rockets were fired and grenades lobbed as violence wracked the city with thousands of people stranded in their home in fear of flying bullets. The violence also escalated after President Asif Zardari issued orders to restore the commissioner's system in the city. Police and rescue officials said that in four days 95 people had been killed with s

Rs 30 cr security planned for Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple shrine

Source: ET THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The expert-committee making an inventory of the assets of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple met here and dispersed without detailed deliberations in view of the Supreme Court's decision to defer opening of the secret vault A till further orders. Emerging from the meeting, retired high court judge Justice M N Krishnan who heads the committee, said the order of the Supreme Court's order regarding the temple will be complied with in its letter and spirit. Meanwhile, the state government is planning a Rs 30-crore security plan for the shrine, the first installment of which was earmarked in the state budget presented in the assembly on Friday. The new measures would replace the temporary arrangements which have been put in place for now. Currently, about 200 personnel from the local police, over a dozen cops from the Quick Reaction Team and 48 police commandoes are guarding the

SC’s Salwa Judum judgment reverberates in Jammu and Kashmir

Source: DNAINDIA Pressure is mounting on the Omar Abdullah government to disband the huge army of special police officials in Jammu and Kashmir in consonance with the Supreme Court judgment asking the Chhattisgarh government to disband the people’s militia, Salwa Judum. J&K Coalition of Civil Society, a human rights watchdog, has decided to knock at high court seeking the implementation of Supreme Court judgment in the state as well. “If the state fails to implement the arbiter dicta of the judgment, JKCCS will file the writ application in the court for the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Parvez Imroz, president of JKCCS. Around 23,783 Special Police Officials including 1375 ex-servicemen are working in the Jammu and Kashmir State. Jammu zone has the highest number of SPOs at 15,366, which include 1092 ex-service men. Kashmir Zone has the 8417 SPOs including 283 were ex-servicemen. The Supreme Court, in its landmark judgment, asked the Chh

Lord Padmanabha waits for new security system

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The priceless and historical treasure trove unearthed at the Sri Padmnabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram has become a security nightmare for the temple trust and the state. The Kerala police will submit a report on a permanent security system of the temple to the Chief Minister, which then will be forwarded to the Supreme Court. CNN-IBN learns from top police sources that the recommendations are to declare the 500-metre radius around the temple as a 'temple zone'. Such a system is in place at the Sabarimala shrine and the Sri Balaji temple at Tirupati. No shops will be allowed in this space. The recommendation has also been made to put in place Hi-tech security system worth Rs 5 crore including bomb proof vaults, x-ray scanning systems, sound alarms on doors and windows and CCTVs connected to a central video surveillance room. A recommendation has also been made to put barbed wires surrounding the temple with high voltage lighting.

The feisty Indian kings and their temple treasure

Precious stones, gold and silver are among valuables said to have been found at Sree Padmanabhaswamy What do we know about the Indian kings who presided over the Kerala temple where an extraordinary treasure trove has reportedly been found? The royal family of India's erstwhile southern kingdom of Travancore has a long history of resistance. A year before independence in 1947, the kingdom - one of more than 500 princely states - raised the banner of revolt and demanded freedom for itself. "Travancore will become an independent country," a feisty representative said in 1946. "There was no particular reason why we should be in a worse position than Denmark, Switzerland and Siam." It was no empty talk from a proud dynasty. They downed a Dutch fleet in 1741, a rare example of an Asian state inflicting a naval defeat on a European power. But finally, under immense pressure, the kingdom relented and joined India. On

Israel set for Gaza aid 'flytilla' as boats blocked

Israel has stepped up security at Tel Aviv airport, ahead of the arrival of 500 pro-Palestinian activists, most of them French nationals, on Friday. The so-called "flytilla" comes as the Greek authorities have blocked the sailing of an aid flotilla trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The moves come on the first anniversary of the 2010 Freedom Flotilla. Nine Turkish activists were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the lead ship, causing an international outcry. As a result, Israel eased its blockade on the impoverished Palestinian territory, allowing in more food and humanitarian goods. Israel says the restrictions are necessary to stop weapons smuggling and to put pressure on Hamas, the militant Islamist group that has governed Gaza alone since 2007. The UN has characterised the measures as the collective punishment of Gaza's population of 1.6 million people. 'Undesirable' Th

Juan Carlos: Basque arrested over Spain 'murder plot'

Source: BBC NEWS   Mr Arronategui is thought to have fled Spain in 1997   A Spanish man has been arrested in the UK in connection with the attempted assassination of the king of Spain. Eneko Gogeaskoetxea Arronategui - believed to be a member of the Basque separatist group Eta - was captured by police in Cambridge. The 44-year-old was later remanded in custody following an extradition hearing held before City of Westminster magistrates. Spain believes he fled after trying to kill King Juan Carlos in October 1997. 'Addresses searched' Mr Arronategui was arrested under a European arrest warrant in a raid at about 0900 local time (0800 GMT) on Thursday. British police said searches were conducted at a residential address and two business addresses in Cambridge. Neighbour Alexander Stewart said: "I see him nearly every morning and he's very polite - he keeps very much to himself most of the time."