Thursday, November 1, 2012
New Jersey is Ground Zero of superstorm Sandy, where the low-lying coastline is still in a critical state as residents slowly come to terms with the devastation.Duration
In New Jersey, superstorm Sandy destroyed several blocks of Atlantic City's world-famous boardwalk and wrecked several other boardwalks up and down the coast. A Seaside Heights roller coaster was left partially submerged in the ocean.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/President Obama is back on the campaign trail for the first time since Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast on Monday; Obama has campaign appearances Thursday in Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado. President Obama began his post-Sandy re-election campaign Thursday by striking a bipartisan tone before resuming attacks on Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programsThe Federal Emergency Management Agency says federal funding is being made available to storm-affected residents and business owners in New York City, parts of New Jersey and on Long Island. Assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs.
http://www.rttnews.comThe United States has expressed concerns over the recent ban on all protest gatherings in Bahrain, and urged the government in the Gulf Kingdom to allow freedom of peaceful assembly in line with its international commitments. "The United States is deeply concerned by the Bahraini Government's decision to ban all public gatherings," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said at a press briefing in Washington on Wednesday, noting that "freedoms of assembly, association, and expression are universal human rights." Toner also urged the Bahraini government to uphold its international commitments and ensure that its citizens are able to exercise - are able to assemble peacefully and to express their views without fear of arrest or detention. "We urge the Government of Bahrain to work with responsible protest leaders to find a way for peaceful and orderly demonstrations to take place. The decision to curb these rights is contrary to Bahrain's professed commitment to reform, and it will not help advance the national reconciliation nor build trust among all parties," he said. The spokesman also urged the Bahraini Opposition to refrain from provocations and violence, stressing that violence undermines efforts to reduce tensions, rebuild trust, and pursue meaningful reconciliation in the Middle East nation. "Recent violent attacks, including fatal attacks, on security force personnel are a deeply troubling development. So we urge the Government of Bahrain to take steps to build confidence across Bahraini society and to begin a meaningful national dialogue with the political Opposition," he added. Toner's response came a day after Bahrain banned all protest gatherings and threatened legal action against groups encouraging demonstrations and clashes. The move is believed to be aimed at crushing the oil-rich Kingdom's anti-government uprising spearheaded by the majority Shia population, who have been complaining about discrimination by the ruling Sunni royal family. While announcing the ban apparently targeting Al-Wefaq, the country's largest Shia political bloc, the Interior Ministry warned that any "illegal rally or gathering would be tackled through legal actions against those calling for and participating in it." Notably, the Al-Wefaq had previously organized several Opposition marches that ended in clashes with security forces. Separately, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid al-Khalifa said on Wednesday that "repeated abuse" of the rights to freedom of speech and expression could no longer be tolerated. He added that protests of any kind would be permitted only after sufficient levels of security and stability required to maintain national unity were achieved. It is estimated that at least 60 people have been killed since pro-democracy protests broke out in Bahrain in February 2011 as a fallout of the 'Arab Spring' that saw the toppling of entrenched rulers in North Africa and the Middle East. The Bahraini government had suppressed last year's unrest with the help of troops from other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) States. Nevertheless, the country continues to witness frequent protests staged by the Opposition and Bahrain's Shia majority, who have long been complaining about discrimination in housing and government jobs. They have been demanding greater political rights and want the Sunni monarchy to hand over most of its powers to the elected Parliament. Political turmoil in Bahrain has been of particular concern to the United States since the strategically located island in the Persian Gulf is home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. The U.S. also fears that the Gulf Kingdom with its Shia-majority population could come under Iranian influence.
http://gulfnews.comA Human rights organisation on Wednesday called for the immediate release of a man holding dual US and Saudi citizenship and detained by Saudi authorities for writing comments on twitter about the Quran. Human Rights Watch said Mohammad Salama has been held since April without charge after he was arrested for posting tweets criticising interpretations of the sayings of the Muslim Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), also known as the hadiths, on his twitter account. It said that in March Salama wrote that the “the Prophet [PBUH] himself questioned the Quran” and that “thoughts of suicide are normal, because the Prophet himself contemplated it.” He also posted a video on YouTube criticising a cleric for his political views after which unidentified online commentators called for his arrest and execution.HRW said that neither Salama or his family have been informed of accusations against him. “Salama’s case is a sad example of the way that Saudi authorities hold detainees for extended periods of time without charge and in violation of major human rights standards,” Joe Stork, HRW’s deputy Middle East director, said in a statement. “Authorities have shown no evidence that he did anything more than express his opinion peacefully. He should be released immediately.” HRW said another Saudi, Hamza Kashgari, has also been in custody since February 12 for his tweets discussing religion. Saudi authorities arrested and detained Kashgari immediately after Malaysia extradited him, despite pleas by human rights organisations not to send him back to Saudi Arabia. Kashgari had posted messages on his twitter account that top Saudi clerics said committed apostasy, HRW said.
Thursday 1 November 2012
Strike at Balochistan hospitals entered 16th day to protest against kidnapping of doctor. Doctors in Balochistan are on the verge of resigning en-masse as they continued strike on the sixteenth day (Thursday) demanding recovery of their abducted colleague, Dunya News reported. The provincial government has failed in making any headway in recovering Dr Saeed Ahmed Khan, an eye specialist and head of LRBT Hospital, who was kidnapped on October 16 from Saryab Road in the provincial capital. Due to strike, the outdoor patient departments (OPDs) and operation theatres remained closed, causing immense difficulties to the patients.
Pakistan TodayPakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has decided to suspend the primary membership of the Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Khan Raisani for the next three months. Talking to Private Channel, PPP Kalat Division President Rafique Sajjad said that Raisani’s membership of the party has been suspended for deviating from party’s policies. “He (Raisani) is also damaging party’s reputation,” he said, adding earlier a notice was issued to the Balochistan chief minister but he did not mend his ways. Sajjad said that neither were the issues of the PPP workers were being addressed, nor was Raisani spending sufficient time in Quetta. He said that Raisani had been voted into power by PPP workers but the chief minister was not taking steps to solve their problems. Sajjad added that the PPP had weakened in Balochistan due to the actions and policies of Chief Minister Raisani. Sajjad said that Raisani’s membership has been suspended after taking into confidence PPP provincial chief Mir Sadiq Umrani.