Sunday, September 16, 2012
SANA.COM Syria's state media said the Syrian troops have fully "purged" the Midan district in the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday from armed militias. SANA news agency said the army eliminated all the insurgents in Midan, adding that scores of other armed men were killed in a qualitative operation by the army at the Fardous district. Also in Aleppo, the army troops have killed many "terrorists" and confiscated satellite phones while raiding a hideout of armed insurgents at al-Arqoub district in the crucial northern city. Meanwhile, SANA said the government troops have tracked down armed groups at al-Joura, Asali and al-Qadam neighborhoods in the capital Damascus, killing and injuring scores of them, while pro- government Sham FM that more than 100 armed insurgents were killed in those areas. The state agency also said many armed men had been killed in similar army operations at al-Rastan in the countryside of Homs province in central Syria. Separately, eight civilians were killed Sunday and 25 others injured when an explosive device struck a street in Syria's southern Daraa province, SANA said. The blast damaged nine cars and two buses, said SANA, adding that the injured were rushed to the hospitals. The blast is the latest in a series of other explosions that have become increasingly common in Syria's 18 months crisis. On the opposition side, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other activists' groups said clashes between government troops and armed rebels took place in a number of areas nationwide, most notably in the Damascus suburbs and Aleppo province. It said the rebellious Damascus' suburbs of Mu'adamiya, Yabrud, Zabadani and Douma were bombarded by regime forces, adding that regime forces went on a series of raids and perpetrated random detentions at the town of Hfeir near Damascus. The Observatory also said that more than 10 civilians were killed by the regime's bombardment on the village of Kafru'eid in the northwestern province of Idlib. It said a total of 60 people have been killed so far Sunday, 50 of whom were unarmed civilians. The activists' account couldn't be checked independently. The recent incidents came as the new UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi left Syria on Sunday afternoon after a three-day visit, during which he met with Syrian President among other Syrian officials and opposition parties and figures. Brahimi has recently said that he will craft a plan after meeting with all concerned parties and countries. He said he is hopeful that he will help the Syrian people " however difficult" to get out of the prolonged, intractable crisis.
Katrina Darling, a distant cousin of Kate Middleton, performs her burlesque show at a New York City nightclub
By Fouad AjamiModernity requires the willingness to be offended. And as anti-American violence across the Middle East and beyond shows, that willingness is something the Arab world, the heartland of Islam, still lacks. Time and again in recent years, as the outside world has battered the walls of Muslim lands and as Muslims have left their places of birth in search of greater opportunities in the Western world, modernity — with its sometimes distasteful but ultimately benign criticism of Islam — has sparked fatal protests. To understand why violence keeps erupting and to seek to prevent it, we must discern what fuels this sense of grievance. There is an Arab pain and a volatility in the face of judgment by outsiders that stem from a deep and enduring sense of humiliation. A vast chasm separates the poor standing of Arabs in the world today from their history of greatness. In this context, their injured pride is easy to understand. In the narrative of history transmitted to schoolchildren throughout the Arab world and reinforced by the media, religious scholars and laymen alike, Arabs were favored by divine providence. They had come out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century, carrying Islam from Morocco to faraway Indonesia. In the process, they overran the Byzantine and Persian empires, then crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Iberia, and there they fashioned a brilliant civilization that stood as a rebuke to the intolerance of the European states to the north. Cordoba and Granada were adorned and exalted in the Arab imagination. Andalusia brought together all that the Arabs favored — poetry, glamorous courts, philosophers who debated the great issues of the day. If Islam’s rise was spectacular, its fall was swift and unsparing. This is the world that the great historian Bernard Lewis explored in his 2002 book “What Went Wrong?” The blessing of God, seen at work in the ascent of the Muslims, now appeared to desert them. The ruling caliphate, with its base in Baghdad, was torn asunder by a Mongol invasion in the 13th century. Soldiers of fortune from the Turkic Steppes sacked cities and left a legacy of military seizures of power that is still the bane of the Arabs. Little remained of their philosophy and literature, and after the Ottoman Turks overran Arab countries to their south in the 16th century, the Arabs seemed to exit history; they were now subjects of others. The coming of the West to their world brought superior military, administrative and intellectual achievement into their midst — and the outsiders were unsparing in their judgments. They belittled the military prowess of the Arabs, and they were scandalized by the traditional treatment of women and the separation of the sexes that crippled Arab society. Even as Arabs insist that their defects were inflicted on them by outsiders, they know their weaknesses. Younger Arabs today can be brittle and proud about their culture, yet deeply ashamed of what they see around them. They know that more than 300 million Arabs have fallen to economic stagnation and cultural decline. They know that the standing of Arab states along the measures that matter — political freedom, status of women, economic growth — is low. In the privacy of their own language, in daily chatter on the street, on blogs and in the media, and in works of art and fiction, they probe endlessly what befell them. But woe to the outsider who ventures onto that explosive terrain. The assumption is that Westerners bear Arabs malice, that Western judgments are always slanted and cruel. In the past half-century, Arabs, as well as Muslims in non-Arab lands, have felt the threat of an encircling civilization they can neither master nor reject. Migrants have left the burning grounds of Karachi, Cairo and Casablanca but have taken the fire of their faith with them. “Dish cities” have sprouted in the Muslim diasporas of Western Europe and North America. You can live in Stockholm and be sustained by a diet of al-Jazeera television. We know the celebrated cases when modernity has agitated the pious. A little more than two decades ago, it was a writer of Muslim and Indian birth, Salman Rushdie, whose irreverent work of fiction, “The Satanic Verses,” offended believers with its portrayal of Islam. That crisis began with book-burnings in Britain, later saw protests in Pakistan and culminated in Iran’s ruling cleric, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issuing a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death in 1989. The protesters were not necessarily critics of fiction; all it took to offend was that Islam, the prophet Muhammad and his wives had become a writer’s material. The confrontation laid bare the unease of Islam in the modern world. The floodgates had opened. The clashes that followed defined the new terms of encounters between a politicized version of Islam — awakened to both power and vulnerability — and the West’s culture of protecting and nurturing free speech. In 2004, a Moroccan Dutchman in his mid-20s, Mohammed Bouyeri, murdered filmmaker Theo van Goghon a busy Amsterdam street after van Gogh and a Somali-born politician made a short film about the abuse of women in Islamic culture. Shortly afterward, trouble came to Denmark when a newspaper there published a dozencartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad; in one he wears a bomb-shaped turban, and another shows him as an assassin. The newspaper’s culture editor had thought the exercise would merely draw attention to the restrictions on cultural freedom in Europe — but perhaps that was naive. After all, Muslim activists are on the lookout for such material. And Arab governments are eager to defend Islam. The Egyptian ambassador to Denmark encouraged a radical preacher of Palestinian birth living in Denmark and a young Lebanese agitator to fan the flames of the controversy. But it was Syria that made the most of this opportunity. The regime asked the highest clerics to preach against the Danish government. The Danish embassies in Damascus and Beirut were sacked; there was a call to boycott Danish products. Denmark had been on the outer margins of Europe’s Muslim diaspora. Now its peace and relative seclusion were punctured. The storm that erupted this past week at the gates of American diplomatic outposts across the Muslim world is a piece of this history. As usual, it was easily ignited. The offending work, a 14-minute film trailer posted on YouTube in July, is offensive indeed. Billed as a trailer for “The Innocence of Muslims,” a longer movie to come, it is at once vulgar and laughable. Its primitiveness should have consigned it to oblivion. It was hard to track down the identities of those who made it. A Sam Bacile claimed authorship, said that he was an Israeli American and added that 100Jewish businessmen had backed the venture. This alone made it rankle even more — offending Muslims and implicating Jews at the same time. (In the meantime, no records could be found of Bacile, and the precise origins of the video remain murky.) It is never hard to assemble a crowd of young protesters in the teeming cities of the Muslim world. American embassies and consulates are magnets for the disgruntled. It is inside those fortresses, the gullible believe, that rulers are made and unmade. Yet these same diplomatic outposts dispense coveted visas and a way out to the possibilities of the Western world. The young men who turned up at the U.S. Embassies this week came out of this deadly mix of attraction to American power and resentment of it. The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that took the lives of four American diplomats, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, appeared to be premeditated and unconnected to the film protests. The ambivalence toward modernity that torments Muslims is unlikely to abate. The temptations of the West have alienated a younger generation from its elders. Men and women insist that they revere the faith as they seek to break out of its restrictions. Freedom of speech, granting license and protection to the irreverent, is cherished, protected and canonical in the Western tradition. Now Muslims who quarrel with offensive art are using their newfound freedoms to lash out against it. These cultural contradictions do not lend themselves to the touch of outsiders. President George W. Bush believed that America’s proximity to Arab dictatorships had begotten us the jihadists’ enmity. His military campaign in Iraq became an attempt to reform that country and beyond. But Arabs rejected his interventionism and dismissed his “freedom agenda” as a cover for an unpopular war and for domination. President Obama has taken a different approach. He was sure that his biography — the years he spent in Indonesia and his sympathy for the aspirations of Muslim lands — would help repair relations between America and the Islamic world. But he’s been caught in the middle, conciliating the rulers while making grand promises to ordinary people. The revolt of the Iranian opposition in the summer of 2009 exposed the flaws of his approach. Then the Arab Spring played havoc with American policy. Since then, the Obama administration has not been able to decide whether it defends the status quo or the young people hell-bent on toppling the old order. Cultural freedom is never absolute, of course, and the Western tradition itself, from the Athenians to the present, struggles mightily with the line between freedom and order. In the Muslim world, that struggle is more fierce and lasting, and it will show itself in far more than burnt flags and overrun embassies.
SOURCE...TMZ/YOUTUBE/http://www.barstoolu.comFrench magazine Closer just published some photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless while "staying at the French chateau of the Queen's nephew, Lord Linley — making it now two royal nudie picture scandals in three weeks.
There was another scandal of so called royal family of Brits,when Prince Harry exposed himself naked.
By acting as a willing accomplice in global Saudi Salafi Jihadist project, Turkey is digging its own grave. Turkey in 2012 is playing the same role against Assad regime in Syria as Pakistan played in 1980s against Communist regime in Afghanistan. Not unlike the so called Afghan Jihad, USA and Saudi Arabia are jointly sponsoring a radical Takfiri Salafist Jihad to install an Islamist regime in Damascus. Not unlike Pakistan, Turkey too has a bleak future ahead. The days are not far when Takfiri Salafists will start spreading hatred and perpetrating violence against moderate Sunni Muslims, Sufis, Shiites and other minority groups. In particular, Shia Alavites of Trukey (25% of Turkey’s population) will face the same fate which Twelver Shiite are currently facing in Pakistan, i.e., a gradual genocide. It is high time that the people of Turkey should hold their elected government responsible for sponsoring a Takfiri Salafist Jihad project in Syria which involves war crimes and violence against innocent civilians and government employees. Pakistan government, Pakistan Army in particular, must act urgently to stop the export of Takfiri Salafists and Takfiri Deobandis to Syria via Turkey.
Associated PressAfghan officials say a NATO airstrike killed eight women and girls who were out gathering firewood before dawn Sunday in a remote region on the east of the country. The coalition says it believes only insurgents were hit. Villagers from Laghman province's Alingar district brought the bodies to the governor's office in the provincial capital, said Sarhadi Zewak, a spokesman for the provincial government. "They were shouting 'Death to America!' They were condemning the attack," Zewak said. Seven injured females were brought to area hospitals for treatment, some of them as young as 10 years old, said provincial health director Latif Qayumi. NATO forces at first said that about 45 insurgents and no civilians were killed in the attack but spokesman Jamie Graybeal stressed later that they took the charge of civilian deaths seriously and were investigating the allegations. He said, however, that initial reports showed only insurgents were killed in the airstrike. Airstrikes have been a particularly sensitive issue between the Afghan people — who say civilians often end up killed along with or instead of insurgents — and NATO forces who maintain that they are a key tactic for going after insurgent leaders.
Associated PressAn Afghan police officer turned his gun on NATO troops at a remote checkpoint in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday, killing four American service members, according to Afghan and international officials. It was the third attack by Afghan forces or insurgents disguised in military uniforms against international forces in as many days, killing eight troops in all. Recent months have seen a string of such insider attacks by Afghan forces against their international counterparts. The killings have imperiled the military partnership between Kabul and NATO, a working relationship that is key to the handover of security responsibilities to Afghan forces as international troops draw down. Meanwhile, according to Afghan officials, airstrikes by NATO planes killed eight women and girls in a remote part of the country, fueling a long-standing grievance against a tactic used by international forces that Afghans say causes excessive civilian casualties. Villagers from a remote part of Laghman province's Alingar district drove the bodies to the provincial capital, claiming they were killed by NATO aircraft while they were out gathering firewood before dawn. "They were shouting 'Death to America!' They were condemning the attack," said Laghman provincial government spokesman Sarhadi Zewak. Seven injured females were also brought to area hospitals for treatment, some of them as young as 10 years old, said provincial health director Latif Qayumi. NATO forces at first said that about 45 insurgents and no civilians were killed in the attack but spokesman Jamie Graybeal stressed later that they took the charge of civilian deaths seriously and were investigating the allegations. "Protecting Afghan lives is the cornerstone of our mission and it saddens us when we learn that our action might have unintentionally harmed civilians," Graybeal said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the airstrike and said a government investigation had been opened. The recent violence also comes amid an international uproar about an Internet video mocking the Prophet Muhammad that many fear could further aggravate Afghan-U.S. relations. The video has sparked protests throughout the Muslim world and the Afghan government blocked the YouTube site that hosts the video and its parent company, Google Inc., over the weekend in a move to prevent violent protests. So far, protests in Afghanistan have remained peaceful. Details of Sunday's attack were slow to come out because it took place in a remote area, said Graybeal, the NATO forces spokesman. "The attack took place in the vicinity of an outpost in southern Afghanistan. It is my understanding that it was a checkpoint," Graybeal said. International forces often work with Afghan police to man checkpoints as part of the effort to train and mentor the Afghan forces so that they can eventually operate on their own. The goal is to turn over all security responsibility for the country to the Afghans by the end of 2014, though numbers of NATO forces have already been reduced in many areas. Graybeal said one police officer was killed in the clash with NATO troops but that the other officers at the site fled and it was unclear if they were involved in the attack or not. Two international troops were wounded and were receiving treatment, Graybeal said. He did not say how serious the injuries were. Afghan officials said the checkpoint in Zabul province's Mizan district came under attack first from insurgents sometime around midnight. American forces came to help the Afghan police respond to the attack, said Ghulam Gilani, the deputy police chief of the province. It was not clear if some of the Afghan police turned on their American helpers in the middle of the battle with the insurgents, or afterward, or were somehow forced into attacking the American troops by the insurgents, Gilani said. "The checkpoint was attacked last night. Then the police started fighting with the Americans. Whether they attacked the Americans willingly we don't know," Gilani said. He said all four of the dead were American. A U.S. official speaking on anonymity because the information had not been officially released confirmed that the four killed were American. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the police who attacked were not affiliated with the Taliban insurgency. "But they are Afghans and they know that Americans are our enemy," Ahmadi told The Associated Press. In an emailed statement, he said the police who fled have joined up with the insurgency. The coalition said in a statement that they were investigating what happened. So far this year, 51 international service members have died at the hands of Afghan soldiers or policemen or insurgents wearing their uniforms. At least 12 such attacks came in August alone, leaving 15 dead. On Saturday, a gunman in the uniform of a government-backed militia force shot dead two British soldiers in Helmand district in the southwest. Britain's defense minister said the two soldiers, from 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, were killed at a checkpoint shooting in Nahri Sarraj district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban have their strongest roots. NATO said earlier that the gunman was wearing a uniform used by the Afghan Local Police, a village-level fighting force overseen by the central government. That strike came a day after insurgents wearing U.S. Army uniforms attacked a military base, killing two American Marines, wounding nine other people and destroying six Harrier fighter jets, military officials said. Fourteen insurgents were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack and said that it was revenge for the video insulting Prophet Muhammad. In the capital on Sunday, several hundred university students chanted "Death to America!" and "Long life to Islam!" over several hours to protest the video. Riot police cordoned off the area and the protest ended without incident in the early afternoon. A smaller protest went forward in the western city of Herat.
DUYNA TVPPP has rebutted Dr A Q Khan’s assertion that he transferred nuclear technology on BB’s orders. Spokesperson PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar has strongly rebutted Dr A.Q Khan’s assertion that he transferred nuclear materials and technology to two countries on the orders of former Prime Minister Shaheed Mohtamra Benazir Bhutto. The assertion of A Q Khan is a belated and desperate attempt to wash the guilt of proliferating nuclear weapons by associating the name of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to lend a semblance of respectability to a crime that brought huge embarrassment and inflicted incalculable damage on Pakistan, Senator Farhatullah Babar said in a statement. Farhatullah Babar said that public memory was not so short as to forget the public apology tendered by A.Q Khan on national television in February 2004 in which acknowledging nuclear proliferation and also admitted his guilt thus, “I have much to answer for it”. Dr. Khan would do well to re-read his February 2004 public statement on national television and remember that the words and sentences he uttered on that fateful day can never be recalled. Senator Farhatullah Babar said that Dr Khan now owed another public apology; this time to the soul of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and to her innumerable followers and admirers for hurling baseless and unfounded allegations against her.
http://www.thebalochhal.comFlooding in the province of Balochistan has left at least half a million people marooned, besides destroying over 2,000 house, Chief Secretary of Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh said on Saturday. Torrential rains and flash floods in Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts have caused damage, destroyed standing crops on thousands of acres completely washed away road network. “Dera Allah Yar, Dera Murad Jamali, Sohbat pur, Manjopur, Manjoshori areas are still under two to six feet of water, increasing the plight of the thousands of families living in these areas,” he said while talking to reporters at the Provincial Disaster Management Auhtority’s office in Quetta. Yaqoob said that he had contacted his counterpart in Sindh and asked him not to divert water from Jacobabad towards Balochistan as it would worsen the situation in the country’s largest province. “We are in contact with the Sindh government to avoid more losses in Balochistan,” he said. The provincial official said that losses caused by the flash floods and hill torrents in northern and southern Balochistan were so huge that the provincial government alone could not cope with the calamity. “International humanitarian organisations, federal government and philanthropists should come forward and assist us in the relief and rehabilitation process,” Babar said. Expressing concern over the spread of water-borne diseases and scarcity of food and potable water, he said that provincial government was fighting the challenge by utilising all its available resources. He said that PDMA, provincial government, Army and FC were engaged in the rescue and relief operation as six Army helicopters and 18 boats were shifting the flood-affected families to relief camps set up in the Naseerabad and Jaffarabd districts.
THE FRONTIER POSTSindh Minister for Commerce and Industries Abdur Rauf Siddiqui tendered his resignation on Friday accepting the responsibility of the inferno at the garments factory at Karachi's Hub River Road that claimed 259 lives in what has been termed as the worst industrial tragedy in the country's history. His resignation, obviously dictated by his parent party in the coalition government, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, followed when investigators combed through closed circuit television footage from inside the ill-fated factory.Mr Siddiqui sent his resignation to the governor, who also happens to from the same party, instead of a normal legal procedure of sending them to the chief minister who is the province's chief executive. However, the resignation is a rare gesture of conceding obligation on the minister's part, yet this is not enough because this would hardly make the difference on the prevent apathy of the provincial officialdom which failed in discharging the legal duty of periodic inspection that used to be the hallmark of regulating the industrial wheel in the past. And what the minister remarked in his parting talk with media is enough to understand that political bosses of Pakistan are not free to act as they are within the discipline of age-old and hackneyed laws and consequently the officialdom. For example, he has no powers to proceed against a defaulting industry except to cancel the allotment of the land on which the factory was established. Revealing that the garments factory had no fire fighting system, which is a responsibility of civil defence which comes under the control of the home department. Besides, the labour department is to implement the Factory Act 1934, forcing employers to adopt precautionary measures to deal with any emergency. But the department failed to inspect the lacking facilities inside the ill-fated factory. What is necessary to avoid future such catastrophes is that all the departments concerned should discharge their duty within their legal framework. For example, the labour department should make sure that its inspectors visit industrial units within the prescribed law to ensure that all units are observing measures set for them in addition to the safety of industrial workers. But what is anomalous in that provincial labour departments have been working under the 1934 enactment although Pakistan should have followed the example of other countries of South Asia which inherited the same colonial law and legislated anew under their objective conditions. Another anomaly, rather illegality, is that the system of periodic labour inspection stands abandoned and labour inspectors are getting their palms greased by factory owners instead of really carrying out the inspection of the facilities and safety equipment provided to the workforce and if the factory's other installations are properly fitted and working. Provinces also need to enact new laws for the proper working of industrial units. At least the 1934 Factory Act needs to be replaced by a law that holds labour inspectors under the obligation of filing periodic safety reports of all industries in the province.