Showing posts from November 18, 2012

Reporters Without Borders Launches Anti-Censorship Website

Reporters Without Borders said Friday it will launch November 27 a website called WeFightCensorship (WeFC) on which it will post content that has been censored or banned or has given rise to reprisals against its creator. The website’s aim is to make censorship obsolete. “It is an unprecedented initiative that will enable Reporters Without Borders to complement all of its other activities in defense of freedom of information, which include advocacy, lobbying and assistance,” said the organization. Content submitted by journalists or netizens who have been the victims of censorship – articles, videos, sound files, photos and so on – will be considered for publication on the WeFightCensorship site. The content selected by the WeFC editorial committee will be accompanied by a description of the context and creator. It may also be accompanied by copies of documents relating to the proceedings under which it was banned or other documents that might help the public to understand its

Daghestan Denies Floating Initiative To Rename Russia's 'Ethnic' Republics

Daghestan's presidential press service rejected on November 16 as untrue an article published earlier that day by "Izvestia" claiming that the republic of Daghestan leadership was preparing recommendations to the federal leadership to rename Russia's national republics. If implemented, that proposal could have resulted in Chechnya being renamed the Mountain or the North Caucasus gubernia, thus facilitating the merger of one or more neighboring federation subjects into a mega-Chechnya and formalizing the expansion beyond Chechnya's borders of Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov's personal power. "Izvestia" claimed to have been informed about the planned initiative by an unnamed source close to Daghestan's government. The paper quoted Abdul-Nasir Dibirov, rector of Daghestan's Institute of Economics and Politics, as arguing that since all the republics are multiethnic, it was wrong to refer to them by the name of just one of the ethnic gr

Bomb kills three, wounds five in Russia's North Caucasus

By REUTERS11/21/2012 MAKHACHKALA - An improvised bomb killed two policemen and one civilian in Russia's volatile North Caucasus on Wednesday and wounded five others, police said. The bomb went off in Dagestan, an internal mostly Muslim republic, which has been beset by violence blamed on insurgents seeking to create an Islamic state in the North Caucasus, more than a decade after Russian troops ousted a separatist government in neighboring Chechnya. The deadly explosion took place when police entered an empty former bank building in the town of Shamilkala to inspect an area near the site of an earlier bomb blast that had caused no casualties, the regional Interior Ministry said. Source

119 journalists killed in 2012: Report

Vienna: A total of 119 journalists have been killed while on assignment so far this year, the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) said. This is the highest toll since 1997 when the IPI started keeping track. In Syria alone, 36 journalists were killed this year, Xinhua reported. The press watchdog said it had observed an "alarming trend" of journalists increasingly being targeted, often in order to "prevent information disclosure". After Syria, Somalia is also dangerous for journalists, the IPI said, with 16 deaths in 2012, followed by Mexico, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Source

‘Netra’ to help police track Maoists in Saranda jungle

Rourkela (Odisha): With Maoist ultras regrouping in the Saranda forest area as they used to do every winter, the security personnel this time are taking help of an unmanned aerial vehicle "Netra" to track their movements. "Netra" would fly above the trees and take picture of the camps of ultras on the ground. The remote controlled device operated through satellite can also take accurate picture of arms being used by the the rebels, said a police officer engaged in anti-Maoist operation in the region. Saranda forest, the second largest Sal coverage in Asia, bordering Jharkhand, was considered as the safe haven of Maoists. The ultras during every winter hold meetings and prepare strategy for their next operations, the officer said. The CRPF personnel, special operation group (SOG) and district police are engaged in the anti-Maoist operation which coincides with the 'Martyrs Week' celebration of the Maoists. Every year, Maoists observe 'martyrs wee

Pakistan blocks mobile services; TTP says isn't impacted after gilgit, KP blasts

Apprehensive of Wednesday’s attacks on ImamBargahs in Rawalpindi and Karachi being a prelude to more blasts over the weekend on the 9th and 10th days of Muharram, Pakistan on Friday decided to block mobile services in nearly 50 cities of the country for three days. While mobile services were blocked in Karachi, Quetta and a sector of Islamabad all of Friday afternoon, the ban will be longer and more widespread on Saturday and Sunday. According to Interior Minister Rehman Malik, cellular services would be blocked in 49 cities from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on both days. Also, pillion riding has been banned across the country. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan — which claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks in Karachi and Rawalpindi — told that the decision to block cellular services would have no impact on their plans to attack Shias during Muharram. TTP spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan was quoted as stating that the organisation does not use mobile phones as detonators as claimed

Chhattisgarh police on high alert even as Orissa steps up hunt for Panda

Police closely monitoring situation on the border The Chhattisgarh police have been put in ‘alert mode’ even as a massive operation has been under way in neighbouring Orissa to nab the expelled Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda. “The situation inside Orissa and on the Chhattisgarh-Orissa border is being closely monitored by the police,” a senior police official told The Hindu. The joint operation, launched by the Orissa police and the Central Reserve Police Force last week, has witnessed the death of five tribals, by official accounts, so far. Chhattisgarh Director-General of Police (Naxal Operation) Ram Niwas confirmed that the forces were put on high alert, albeit for a different reason, pointing to the observance of a ‘martyr’s week’, to mark the death of Maoist leader Kishenji, from November 24. CRPF sources said several paramilitary companies of the elite force were pressed into action in central, western and eastern Orissa to capture Panda, who now has launched an outfit pa

Maoists’ loss is PLFI gain in badlands of Jharkhand

FRIDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2012 An increasingly tight grip of security forces over activities of the outlawed CPI-Maoist in Jharkhand has seen its splinter group, the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), slipping through like sand. Mainly involved in criminal activities and extortion, PLFI cadre have killed scores of innocent villagers in Khunti, Gumla, Simdega and adjacent districts. They now pose a greater challenge than ever for the forces to maintain law and order. State Director General of Police GS Rath had directed SPs of several districts to expedite operations against the PLFI rampant in the area. The ongoing action by the police against the PLFI seems to be inadequate. “It cannot be said that the PLFI is a bigger challenge than the Maoists, but they are definitely a cause for concern as they are working at a local level, killing each other in order to create terror among the people,” said Khunti SP M Tamil Vanan. The PLFI, which has shown strong presence in Khunt

Civilian killed, cop hurt in rebel attack in Aurora

Friday, November 23, 2012 MANILA -- A civilian was killed while a policeman was wounded in an attack staged by New People's Army rebels who earlier burned two heavy equipment of a construction firm engaged in a government project in Aurora province Friday morning. Lieutenant Tala Servidad, spokesperson of the Army's 7th Infantry Division, said the rebels swooped down at Sitio Dimani in Villa village in Ma. Aurora town around 9 a.m. and burned a backhoe and a dump truck estimated to be worth P9 million. Servidad said the burned heavy duty vehicles are owned by Palacious Constructions, which is concreting a road that connects Metro Manila and Aurora. She said the construction is part of the National Road Project. "The New People's Army were reportedly extorting money from the company," said Servidad. The rebels attacks or harasses firms that refuse to pay revolutionary tax, a euphemism for extortion. After the incident, Servidad said soldiers from the Arm

Ankara strongly rejects Maliki's warning of ‘civil war' in Turkey

Ankara has strongly rejected Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's warning that ethnic and sectarian conflict could engulf Turkey and that its neighbor should focus on its internal problems instead of issuing warnings against Iraq Today`s Zaman reported. A statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday strongly criticized Maliki's remarks on Turkey, in which he responded to the Turkish prime minister's Wednesday remarks on the looming danger of ethnic conflict in Iraq. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey is concerned about sectarian clashes in war-torn Iraq amidst escalating tensions between the central Iraqi government and the Kurdish regional administration. "We always had concerns that, God forbid, this [conflict] may turn into a sectarian clash. Now our fears are slowly becoming real. This gives us reason to be concerned," Erdoğan said during a press conference in Ankara before his departure for Pakistan for

The Changing Face of European Terrorism

Last week the Polish government announced the thwarting of a terrorism plot that is worrisome in its audacity and in who was behind it. In a country with minimal experience of terrorism, the discovery of a sophisticated homegrown bomber seeking to decapitate the government by blowing up the parliament and the president has caused shockwaves and introspection. The would-be bomber, Dr. Brunon Kwiecień, a forty-five year old research scientist at Krakow’s Agricultural University, fits few currently fashionable profiles. Neither a jihadist nor marginally employed or socially bereft, Kwiecień is married with two children, has a respectable income, and is reported to have been exceptionally interested in explosives since his youth. A skilled chemist popular with his students and considered unremarkable by his university colleagues, he came up with a truly audacious plot to blow up the Sejm, the Polish parliament in Warsaw, during a joint session where both houses, the president and the ful

Turkish man detained over plane bomb threat

Turkish police say they have arrested a man who claimed to be carrying a bomb on-board a flight from the southwestern city of Antalya to Istanbul. An Istanbul Police Special Operations unit took proper measures at Ataturk International Airport on Thursday, and detained the man after the plane belonging to Onur Air landed, Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported. Police officers searched the man but found no explosives. A bomb disposal team also performed a detailed search inside the passenger aircraft, finding no explosive material. An investigation has been launched into the incident to determine the man's motive. "This passenger appears to have some mental problems; he has previously undergone treatment," Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said. According to Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu, the man has said he had no intention of hijacking the plane. Source

Why Are Few Terrorists Executed in India?

India has faced terrorism for more than the last five decades, practically since the country was created. The northeast states, central and east India, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir have been particularly affected, but almost no state has been free from terror incidents in that time. At least 90,000 people have lost their lives in India in terrorism-related incidents. Still, the number of convictions for terrorism is low, and executions of people found guilty of terrorism even rarer. Before Wednesday’s hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the last executions for terrorism were the hangings of Sukhdev Singh Sukha and Harjinder Singh Jinda in 1992 and Maqbool Bhatt in 1984. Some security experts also include the 1989 hangings of Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, who were convicted for their roles in the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. India Ink spoke to several security experts and former law enforcement officials about the situation, and why even people given death sentences are not o

Nigeria riot over 'blasphemy' against Islam's prophet

22 November 2012 Last updated at 20:20 GMT Christian and Muslim leaders are encouraging inter-faith dialogue in Nigeria A rumour that a Christian man blasphemed against Islam has sparked a riot in the northern Nigeria town of Bichi, police have said. Residents said four people were killed and shops were looted. The riot came on the day the incoming head of the Anglican Church, the Rt Rev Justin Welby, launched an initiative to promote religious tolerance in Nigeria. Religious clashes have claimed thousands of lives in Nigeria since military rule ended in 1999. The militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, has also been waging an insurgency since 2009 to impose strict Sharia across Nigeria, which is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and a Christian and animist south. 'Learning about religions' Nigeria's Kano state police chief Ibrahim Idris said "misinformation" had triggered the riot, AFP news agency reports. "Rumours went round that so

French citizen kidnapped in Mali

21 November 2012 Last updated at 15:07 GMT A French citizen has been kidnapped in south-west Mali, French President Francois Hollande has said. Armed men reportedly took the 61-year-old man hostage on Tuesday evening near the border with Mauritania. The area is outside the northern part of Mali which Islamists took control of earlier this year. Seven French citizens are now being held in the region. The other six are all believed to be captives of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. "We will do everything we can to find our citizen," Mr Hollande said. Three other European hostages and a number of Africans are also being held. There were conflicting reports about where the latest kidnapping took place. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said it took place in Nioro, but Malian officials said it took place in Diema, closer to Bamako. Mauritanian state media said it happened near the town of Kayes. A Malian police official told the Associated Press news agenc

Profiles: Colombia's armed groups

Colombia's civil conflict has lasted more than five decades, drawing in left-wing rebels and right-wing paramilitaries. The rebels have been weakened and the paramilitary forces officially demobilised. However, recent years have seen the emergence of criminal gangs who have moved in to take over drug-trafficking operations previously run by the paramilitaries. The Colombian government says these criminal bands, which it calls "Bacrims", are now a major threat. Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) The Farc is the oldest and largest group among Colombia's left-wing rebels and is one of the world's richest guerrilla armies. Alfonso Cano, the Farc's main leader since 2008, was killed in November 2011 The group was founded in 1964, when it declared its intention to overthrow the government and install a Marxist regime. But tactics changed in the 1990s, as right-wing paramilitary forces attacked the rebels, and the Farc became increasingly inv

Colombia's Farc release Chinese hostages

22 November 2012 Last updated at 23:39 GMT Officials said the four men were in good health Colombia's Farc rebel group have freed four Chinese hostages who had been held captive for 17 months. The oil-company workers were released days after the start of peace talks between the leftist rebels and the Colombian government in Cuba. Earlier this year, the Farc said they would no longer resort to kidnapping or holding prisoners. The four Chinese nationals are thought to have been the only foreign hostages held by the group. Earlier this week Farc leaders declared a two-month ceasefire. The Marxist group has been fighting against the government for five decades, in a conflict in which some 600,000 people have died. Colombian President Juan Manual Santos said he had spoken to Chinese embassy officials and wanted to celebrate the release of the hostages. "Kidnapping is something that should never happen again," he wrote on his Twitter feed. The workers were tu

Afghanistan bomb: 'Two die' in Wardak suicide blast

A suicide car bomber has killed at least two people and injured 40 others in Afghanistan's Wardak province, officials say. Police said the bomb was detonated near a security centre in the provincial capital, Maidan Shar. The victims of the attack are said to include women and children. The Taliban said they carried out the attack, with a spokesman saying it was to avenge the execution earlier this week of four Taliban detainees. It said that the four were among 14 prisoners hanged in recent days. At the time of the hangings officials told the BBC that most of those hanged were criminals, but they included several insurgents who had organised deadly suicide attacks in the capital, the BBC's Bilal Sarwary reports. The blast in Wardak comes just two days after two Afghan security guards were killed and three wounded in a suicide attack in a heavily-fortified area of Kabul. Nato troops are due to hand over security responsibility to local forces in 2014, as coalition

Blast probe focuses on abduction convicts | Police investigating a bomb blast that caused serious damage on Thursday to the home of appeals court judge Paraskevi Kalaitzi in Halandri, northeastern Athens, are believed to be focusing on convicted members of a crime ring who abducted shipping magnate Pericles Panagopoulos in 2009. Police sources said it was likely that the perpetrators behind Thursday's blast may have wanted to intimidate the judge who is to hear the appeals by the convicted members of the ring against their prison terms. In March, 18 people were handed down jail terms, with two convicts receiving double life terms, for the high-profile kidnapping. Kalaitzi is said to have received threatening telephone calls in recent weeks and had been accompanied by a police escort on her outings. She was not hurt in the attack on her home which caused serious damage and blew out the windows of adjacent buildings. Source

Swabi bomb blast injures two: Police

DawnNews | 6 hours ago MARDAN: At least two people were injured when a remote controlled bomb exploded on Mardan road in the area of Swabi, DawnNews reported. The bomb was planted in a cycle near a plaza which was detonated using a remote control, police sources said. The police sources added that two pedestrians, who were injured in the explosion, have been shifted to a hospital. The building was also partially damaged by the blast. Police cordoned off the area and initiated a search operation. Source

Security personnel injured in bomb blast

Two bombs were detonated by unidentified militants at the same time this morning at Salang Sabal Leikai in Imphal West district injuring a security personnel. Police said the two bombs had been planted at the road side and a jawan of 18th Sikh regiment who was foot patrolling the area was injured. The blasts took place at around 6:45 AM and the injured jawan was rushed to Regional Institute of Medical Science Hospital for treatment. Source

At least 40 injured in Afghan suicide bomb blast

KABUL, Afghanistan A suicide attacker detonated a car laden with explosives Friday in eastern Afghanistan, injuring at least 40 people, officials said. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying in a statement that the attack was in response to the recent execution of four Taliban detainees at the Afghan government's mai The men were convicted and sentenced to death in Afghan courts for a variety of crimes, including murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery and cruelty against children. The Taliban condemned the hangings, saying the detainees were prisoners of war who were unjustly jailed. Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for Wardak province, said the blast went off shortly before 7:30 a.m. on a street where international and Afghan security forces have a coordination office. He said at least 40 people were wounded, some with possibly life-threatening injuries. According to the provincial governor spokesman, the explosives laden truck detona

Catalonia and Scotland: how they compare to EU nations and Europe's other separatists – interactive

Scotland is to hold an independence referendum and Catalan leaders are campaigning for an electoral mandate to do the same. But how would they fare as independent nations? See how Scotland and Catalonia compare with existing EU member states – and where else could seek to redraw the map of Europe Scotland The Scottish National Party won an overall majority in 2011 elections to the Scottish parliament and announced plans for a 2014 referendum on independence. Under the terms of an 2012 deal with the United Kingdom government, which legislated to allow the vote, it will be a single Yes/No question on Scotland leaving the UK. Flanders The wealthy Dutch-speaking region has been pushing to reduce ties with poorer, and French-speaking, Wallonia – moves which could lead to the end of Belgium. Flemish separatist party N-VA, headed by Bart De Wever, saw support surge in October's local elections and took control of Antwerp. De Wever's stunts have included sending fake €50 notes on

Hague court issues arrest warrant for Ivory Coast's Simone Gbagbo

The international criminal court has issued an arrest warrant for Ivory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo, accusing her of committing crimes against humanity during the country's post-election conflict last year. The warrant, which was issued on 29 February but remained sealed until Thursday, alleges she was "criminally responsible for murder, rape, other forms of sexual violence, other inhumane acts, and persecution". Human rights groups said the move risked deepening the widespread perception of "winner's justice", as no forces loyal to the current government had been arrested, despite evidence of crimes being committed on both sides. Reconciliation efforts have stalled as a result. Laurent Gbagbo, the former president whose refusal to accept defeat in an election in late 2010 triggered the brief war, is in The Hague already awaiting trial on similar charges. More than 3,000 people died in the conflict after violent street protests escalate

Syria refugee camp blast kills four

A bomb blast in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus killed four people and seriously wounded a member of a faction that has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country's bitter civil war, activists said today. The explosion in the Yarmouk camp targeted the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. Four people died and a PFLP-GC activist was seriously wounded when the bomb planted under his car went off, the group said. It blamed the rebel Free Syrian Army for the attack. Yarmouk was drawn into Syria's fighting earlier this month when clashes in and around the camp killed and wounded dozens. The refugee camp is also close to two southern neighbourhoods of the capital - Tadamon and Hajar Aswad - that have seen weeks-long clashes between rebels and government troops. Regime forces shelled the two neighbourhoods today and also raided the central Damascus neighbourhood of Bab Sreijeh, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Righ

Sudan arrests senior military leaders over plot to undermine president

Salah Gosh, former head of Sudan's intelligence and security agency, who was arrested with 12 others on suspicion of inciting chaos. Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images Sudan arrested its former spy chief and other senior military and security officers on Thursday after foiling what officials said was a plot to incite chaos and target leaders in the oil-producing African state. Witnesses told Reuters they saw army tanks and armoured vehicles moving down a main street in the centre of Khartoum around midnight, but life in the city was normal during the day with shops in the centre bustling with customers. Sudan's president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has kept up a 23-year hold on power, even as a series of uprisings troubled the country's poor border areas, including the conflict-torn region of Darfur. But Sudan has been stuck in economic crisis since the south - the source of most of its known oil-reserves - declared independence last year under the terms of a pe

Italian journalists to strike over defamation laws

Italian journalists plan to strike next week in protest against a law that would send them to jail for defamation but would let editors off with a fine, the journalists' union said on Thursday. The senate earlier passed an amendment to a bill that would set a maximum sentence of a year in jail for anyone convicted of defamation, while editors-in-chief and managing editors face a maximum fine of 50,000 euros ($64,400) or 20,000 euros respectively. The measure must be approved by the Chamber of Deputies to become law. Italy has more than 20,000 full-time reporters, according to the Journalists' Guild. Franco Siddi, secretary general of the union, said in a statement that there must be "an immediate and strong reaction by all of Italian journalism against the dark page written today at the senate". Debate over Italy's already severe defamation penalties was ignited in September when Alessandro Sallusti, editor-in-chief of the newspaper owned by the brother o

Catalan separatists face poll setback

A survey has revealed that Artur Mas's party can expect to pick up 57 to 59 seats in Catalonia’s 135-member parliament. Photograph: Jaume Sellart/EPA The Catalan president leading the region's fiercest challenge for independence in decades will be weakened after Sunday's elections, according to a survey for the Guardian. Artur Mas's party will fall short of the overall majority he is seeking at the polls to back a referendum on whether the region should stay as part of Spain, according to the survey by the Sigma Dos polling group. In fact, it predicts the party will actually win fewer seats than in the last election two years ago. Spanish law forbids publication of opinion polls inside Spain in the week before elections, but the Sigma Dos survey revealed Mas's Convergència i Unió (CiU) can expect to pick up 57 to 59 seats in Catalonia's 135-member parliament, down from 62 at present and below the 68it needs to govern without reaching deals with other parti

Gunmen kill seven in attack on Guatemala health clinic

Associated Press | Updated: November 23, 2012 10:26 IST Guatemala City: Authorities in Guatemala say gunmen burst into a medical clinic in the capital and shot seven people to death. Guatemala City fire department spokesman Raul Hernandez says the attackers shot four people on the ground floor, one on the stairs and two more on the second floor before fleeing on Thursday. He says six victims died at the scene and the seventh one at a hospital. Hernandez says authorities don't know the motive for the attack. Guatemala is one of the most violent countries in the world with a homicide rate of 39 per 100,000 people. Source

Thailand braces for large anti-government rally

AP foreign, Friday November 23 2012 BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand will deploy 17,000 police officers and has invoked a special security law for what authorities expect will be the largest anti-government protest since Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra took office in 2011. Authorities expect tens of thousands of protesters for Saturday's rally, which is being organized by a royalist group calling itself "Pitak Siam," or "Protect Thailand." The group accuses Yingluck's government of corruption, allowing defamation of the revered monarchy and being a puppet of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is Yingluck's brother and was ousted by a 2006 coup. The government invoked the Internal Security Act on Thursday in three Bangkok districts, citing the possibility of violence. The act allows authorities to close roads, impose curfews and ban the use of electronic devices in designated areas. Source

Attack on Spurs fans in Rome: questions asked over role of police

Tottenham fans attacked by Ultras in Rome Link to this video Questions were being asked on Thursday night about how Italian police failed to prevent a bloody and unprovoked attack on Tottenham Hotspur football fans in one of Rome's most heavily frequented – and policed – squares. A British embassy spokesman said "nine or 10" Britons were taken to hospital after being set upon in a bar late on Wednesday night by a much larger band of Italians wielding iron bars, paving stones, spanners, knives and other weapons. Some of the assailants were masked or wore motorcycle crash helmets that covered their features, witnesses said. At least two of the injured were being kept in hospital overnight, one of them with serious head wounds. Several local residents told Italian media they heard screams of "Jews" during the attacks. Tottenham Hotspur FC, with its roots in north Londo

Mali under pressure to give separatists autonomy in fight against al-Qaida

The tea ceremony is an important ritual in Tuareg culture. Autonomy from Mali is ‘not off the cards’, according to officials. Photograph: Yannick Tylle/Corbis West African officials are pushing the Mali government to offer Tuareg separatists in the north of the country autonomy in exchange for joining the fight against hardline al-Qaida-linked terrorists, the Guardian has learned. The regional bloc of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) also hopes to boost their efforts to flush out militants from northern Mali by persuading moderate members of one of the powerful Islamist groups controlling the region to join forces with Tuaregs. Granting the Tuaregs any kind of autonomy in exchange for their support would reverse the policies many Tuaregs have fought to overturn since Mali's independence 52 years ago, and could embolden dozens of separatist movements across West Africa. Malian officials said four government representatives have this week been appointed

Military emails reveal details of bin Laden burial

WASHINGTONInternal emails among U.S. military officers indicate that no sailors watched Osama bin Laden's burial at sea from the USS Carl Vinson and traditional Islamic procedures were followed during the ceremony. The emails, obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, are heavily blacked out, but are the first public disclosure of government information about the al-Qaida leader's death. The emails were released Wednesday by the Defense Department. Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011, by a Navy SEAL team that assaulted his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. One email stamped secret and sent on May 2 by a senior Navy officer briefly describes how bin Laden's body was washed, wrapped in a white sheet, and then placed in a weighted bag. According to another message from the Vinson's public affairs officer, only a small group of the ship's leadership was informed of the burial. "Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was f

No Action Against Clattenburg Over Racism Claim

The FA has said it will not take disciplinary action against referee Mark Clattenburg after an alleged racist comment. Chelsea midfielder, Ramires Santos do Nascimento, said he heard Clattenburg tell teammate John Obi Mikel "shut up you monkey" during the October 28 match against Manchester United. The Football Association said it has "concluded its investigation into alleged misconduct by Mark Clattenburg ... No disciplinary action will follow against Mr Clattenburg." The FA statement added that it believed the complaint by Ramires had been made in good faith. It said: "It is entirely possible for a witness to be genuinely mistaken and convincing in his belief." But the FA did charge Mikel for an alleged use of abusive language around the match officials' changing room following the match. Following the FA decision, Clattenburg said: "I'm looking forward to putting this behind me ... To know you were innocent of something but tha