Saturday, September 26, 2015

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Bill Clinton: Controversy surrounding Hillary 'always going to happen'

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton likened the controversy over his wife Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email account while secretary of state to the same Republican and media tactics to stir controversy during his presidency, according to an interview made public on Saturday.
Hillary Clinton, who was the Democratic frontrunner when she announced her bid for the White House in April, has faced increasing scrutiny over her email use, including a personal computer server set up at her home in New York, and faces several inquiries in the Republican-controlled Congress.
"It always happens. We're seeing history repeat itself," her husband, who served two terms from 1992 to 2000, told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" program.
"The other party doesn't want to run against her. And if they do, they'd like her as mangled up as possible," Bill Clinton said in excerpts of the interview. The full exchange is scheduled to air on Sunday.
"I have never seen so much expended on so little," he added.
Hillary Clinton has apologized over the email issue and has said she had turned over all her work emails from her time as the nation's top diplomat for the State Department to review and make public, which it is doing in batches.
In the latest twist, on Friday, the State Department said Defense Department officials found emails that she did not give to the State Department.
Although Hillary Clinton held a substantial lead in early public opinion polls, her rivals, including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, have gained on her in recent weeks.
While first lady, her husband faced several political scandals, including efforts by U.S. lawmakers to impeach him and the real estate controversy known as Whitewater.
Now, Bill Clinton said she was handling the latest political fire well.
"I actually am amazed that she's borne up under it as well as she has," he told CNN.
He added: "She went out and did her interviews, said she was sorry that her personal email caused all this confusion. And she'd like to give the election back to the American people. And I trust the people. I think it will be all right."

Still, he said: "I'd rather it happen now than later."

Deaths in Mecca; these are serial killings


There is only one way to prevent the hajj tragedies.

Let me say at the beginning what I should say as a conclusion: 

“The hajj is for all Muslims. Therefore, isn’t it a big mistake to leave it to Saudi Arabia, which is inefficiently managing such a huge organization and is not even being accountable?”

There is only one thing to do:

The organization of the hajj should be saved from the inaptitude of Saudi Arabia and left to a professional management system determined by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

They were responsible only a few months ago of the deaths dozens of people at the construction site. They are causing the deaths of hundreds of Muslims each year.


Actually, there are several reasons but I can only name a few of them.

1- They do not know what a democratic civilization is; there is a structure that obeys unconditionally the instructions coming from above. 

2- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia doesn’t let women to work. Had there been female engineers, there would have been a totally different level of scrutiny. 

3- The contractors that get a project are forced to employ unqualified workers.

And that way the disaster is waiting on the doorstep.

Lack of interest, lack of attention and ignorance
No one can hold the king accountable for these tragedies.

A Japanese engineer committed suicide when a worker lost his life on a bridge connecting İzmit and Yalova on the edge of the Marmara Sea. 

Ask if one person from the royal family or the Saudi Arabian administration has taken responsibility after so many catastrophes have taken place.

Has there been a public trial? No.

That’s why I say that if the hajj’s organization is not taken out of the hands of Saudi Arabia’s administration we will see more deaths.

That’s why I am saying the name of this is murder. The Organization for Islamic Cooperation should gather and give it to the Red Crescent or to the joint management of Muslim countries so that these tragedies and pains stop.

At least it must be accountable. 

If the issue is the income from the hajj… one should ask how much of that income was used by the Saudi family for the good of humanity, or for instance for Syrian refugees.

Now you would say, Fatih, are you dreaming?

Yes I am dreaming.

Otherwise I know very well that this arrogant Saudi administration will not let such a thing happen. 

I know that these are the ones who once fled the Kaaba. 

It was left to the Ottomans to protect it.

And I also know that…

It is impossible to expect such a civilized attitude from a mentality that does not even give a permit to women to drive cars.

Mecca belongs to all Muslims, and Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be allowed to run it

Haroon Moghul

Petroleum and the pilgrimage. The two combined give Saudi Arabia the chance to punch well above its weight, affording one of the world’s most regressive regimes the chance to exercise an outrageous influence on Islam. It’s time to think of alternative arrangements.

It might seem obvious to you why Saudi Arabia is bad for Islam. Because the House of Saud controls Mecca, the direction of Muslim prayer and location of the hajj pilgrimage, and Medina, where the Prophet Mohammed built the first Muslim society, died and is buried, the Kingdom is linked to Islam. And vice versa. Though there is only one Muslim-majority country in the world where women can’t drive, because it is the country that rules over Islam’s holy land, it is assumed that Islam does not want women to drive. Because it is one of the few Muslim-majority countries that suffers an absolute monarchy, it is presumed Islam prefers unaccountable government too.

In so many ways, Saudi Arabia stains the reputation of Islam. But Saudi Arabia has another kind of influence on Islam. Every year, millions of pilgrims descend on Mecca to circumambulate the Ka’ba, the cubical shrine we believe was built by Abraham to honor God, and restored by Mohammed to His worship. Many are from poor countries, and are visibly bedazzled by Saudi conspicuous consumption, the magnificence of the wealth on display, the awesomeness and indescribable hugeness of the great mosques that have been constructed to accommodate their numbers.
I know how many feel. God has given the Saudis money beyond measure, and power over His holy land; this must mean God approves of their Islam.

And what an Islam it is. The official Saudi interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism, was born in violent revolt not only against Shi’a Islam, and the strong traditions of spirituality embedded in Shi’a and Sunni Islam, but even against the Sunni Ottoman caliph. Far from being the world’s leading Sunni power, Saudi Arabia has usurped the mantle of Sunni Islam, helped in its power projection by its small population, great wealth, and the collapse of its erstwhile rivals. (The Ottomans, after all, are long gone.) Saudi Arabia uses oil money to push its Wahhabism onto the Muslim world, and to change Mecca and Medina too.

In recent decades, the Saudis have rebuilt much of Mecca and Medina. Some of this has been necessary. Some of this has been very good. But some of it has come at a great cost to Islam’s dearest relics, monuments and oldest mosques, which have been bulldozed without the least concern.

To be fair, some of the criticism levelled at Saudi Arabia for these urban transformations is unreasonable. Think about it this way: Thanks to modern technology, and rising standards of living, millions of people not only want to go to Mecca, but can afford to. It’s no longer a journey of months, but of days, even hours. They speak different languages, represent different customs, and all want to not only worship in the same mosque, but get to the Ka’ba at the center of it. While it is nice to imagine Mecca and Medina could retain the features and architecture of old cities, it is also fanciful. When you are dealing with traffic flow in the hundreds of thousands, slippery stones and narrow alleys aren’t just problematic.
They can be deadly.

Too, skyscrapers might ruin the alleged vibe of an ancient city, but as every modern urbanist knows, building up is often the only realistic option. So it’s not surprising, or terrible, that Saudi Arabia has built the world’s third-tallest skyscraper right outside the Great Mosque of Mecca. But the bigger question is: Why is it the first-ugliest building in the world? In an age of cell phones and, God help us, a religion that features a regular call to prayer, what is the purpose of attaching a gaudy clock to the top? The biggest question: These high towers are part of the progressive income stratification of a city dedicated to a leveling religion. We’re all equal on the pilgrimage, wearing the same robes, praying side-by-side, but then when we get to our hotels, the stratification resumes. There’s far too much money in Mecca, squeezing out the average pilgrim, and even worse, this money has been introduced even while sacred history is wiped away. So while, yes, the needs of modern religious life might mean old mosques, shrines and historical sites are in the way, that doesn’t demand destroying them.

Flush with ample funds, the Saudis could have easily rebuilt Islam’s sacred heritage elsewhere.

They haven’t even tried. They appear to be going to war with Islamic history, probably so that nothing is left that might challenge the idea that Wahhabism is an intrusion into Islamic history, and not faithful to it.
If you think the Islamic State’s war on antiquities is horrifying, you are right. But it is not exceptional. It has its roots in a perverse and excessive iconoclasm, which has seen Saudi Wahhabist mandates literally crush, demolish, smash, erase, and break down the very sites and landscapes that Muslims worldwide know so well. If you think I am exaggerating, don’t. Several years ago, I helped lead a small group of American Muslims on a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. We had a Saudi guide with us who, during our bus tour around Mecca and Medina, refused to let our driver stop at mosques of historical significance, because he thought we might cross the line and worship in a manner unbecoming of an austere and hardheaded Wahhabist. He treated us like children.

Which, of course, none of us were: Wahhabists, or children. (In revenge, I spent the ride back happily pointing out sites of Ottoman significance, while describing the House of Saud’s unseemly alliance with non-Muslim powers against their fellow Muslims.) My fellow pilgrims were incensed. They had paid, scrounged up and saved, and here they were, in their holy city, and they weren’t allowed to stop at, for example, the mosque where Mohammed was commanded by God to turn away from the first direction of prayer, Jerusalem, to the current direction of prayer, Mecca. (It matters if you’re Muslim.) They felt outraged. They felt they were denied the chance to experience their Islam because someone else had decided their interpretation of Islam mattered more.

And that is precisely the point. Mecca and Medina are ruled by Saudi Arabia, but they belong to the Muslim world. They are our collective sacredness. They shouldn’t be an individual possession. Islam is a very egalitarian religion. (As some Muslims joke, people who dislike organized religion should join Islam, because we’ve mastered disorganization.) Islam has few hierarchies, and those that exist are not widely shared. Why then does a regime which represents a sliver of Muslims, exports and enforces an ideology that is historically antithetical to Islam’s rich traditions of pluralism, spirituality and cosmopolitanism, allowed to control our holy cities? Why don’t everyday Muslims get a say?
This is, for the moment, a matter of conjecture. The European Union includes some of the world’s wealthiest, most progressive and secure societies. Yet before the refugee crisis, they are hopelessly divided, and their cooperation pushed backwards. If Europe now can’t do it, how can the present Muslim world manage to come to any kind of alternative arrangement, some more inclusive shared administration of its common properties? The Muslim world is deeply and badly divided; it is hard to imagine how any kind of cooperative agreement could ever be reached, and also, depressingly, not difficult to conceive of other Muslim-majority governments who would make a different kind of mess out of Mecca and Medina.

As it is, Saudi Arabia has the wealth to pour into subsidizing the pilgrimage, and Muslim piety in the Holy Land, in a way few other countries can.

But for how long? Years back, pilgrimage was the preserve of the lucky few. It was too far, too risky, too expensive. My own great-great-grandfather began a travelogue describing his own journey from northern India to Mecca, but he died on the return trip. Today, we have Snapchat hajj channels. Aircraft make the world much smaller. News travels fast. Muslims live all over the world. What I mean to say is, in the past, the idea that Mecca and Medina belonged to all of us was deeply felt, but at best an abstraction. In the years to come, it will be harder for Saudi Arabia to deny the desire of the world’s Muslims to see their holy cities reflect their pieties, and to cease the imposition of a view of Islam which is not only deeply alienating to the rest of the world, but deeply unpopular within the Muslim world.

How that happens is anyone’s guess. But it will happen. I’d say hell or high water, but in the case of a sacred desert, neither seems quite right. But not as wrong as what is happening to the center of my sacred universe.

The Human Carnage of Saudi Arabia’s War in Yemen


    Off the grid and away from the eyes of the international press, U.S.-made bombs are killing hundreds of innocent civilians.
    Five-year-old Rahma lies unconscious in the intensive care unit of the 22 May Hospital in Yemen’s southern city of Aden. Her face is covered in burns; bandages swathe multiple head wounds; and her eyes are closed shut under swollen eyelids. When she regains consciousness — or if she does, as doctors could not be sure she will make it — she will discover that she’ll never see her mother again.
    Her mother, Naama, was among 10 members of a family, including five women and four children, who were killed in a July 9 airstrike that destroyed the Musaab bin Omar school in the village of Tahrur, north of Aden. The school had been housing families displaced by the conflict between a Saudi-led military coalition and Houthi armed groups and their allies, which took control of the capital Sanaa and large swaths of the country late last year. Ten other relatives, mostly children, were injured in the attack.
    Rahma’s aunt Salama, who lost three daughters in the bombardment — one of them a baby of 20 months — kept asking, “Why did they bomb us?” I had no answer for her. In the weeks I spent in Yemen, from north to south, between mid-June and mid-July, I met families every day whose relatives, often children, were killed and injured in such strikes.
    The Houthis and their allies are the declared targets of the coalition’s 5-month-old air campaign. In reality, however, it is civilians like little Rahma and her family who all too often pay the price of this war. Hundreds have been killed in such strikes while asleep in their homes, when going about their daily activities, or in the very places where they had sought refuge from the conflict. The United States, meanwhile, has provided the weapons that have made many of these killings possible.
    The conflict has worsened an already dire humanitarian situation in the Middle East’s poorest country. Prior to the conflict, more than half of Yemen’s population was in need of some humanitarian assistance. That number has now increased to more than 80 percent, while a coalition-imposed blockade on commercial imports remains in place in much of the country and the ability of international aid agencies to deliver desperately needed supplies continues to be hindered by the conflict. The damage inflicted by a coalition airstrike last week on the port of the northwestern city of Hudaydah, the only point of entry for humanitarian aid to the north of the country, is only the latest example. The situation is poised to deteriorate further: The U.N. World Food Program warned last week of the possibility of famine in Yemen for millions, mostly women and children.
    Bombs dropped by the Saudi-led air campaign have all too often landed on civilians, contributing to this humanitarian disaster. In the ruins of the Musaab bin Omar school, the meager possessions of the families who were sheltering there included a few children’s clothes, blankets, and cooking pots. I found no sign of any military activity that could have made the site a military target. But I did see the remains of the weapon used in the attack — a fin from a U.S.-designed MK80 general-purpose bomb, similar to those found at many other locations of coalition strikes.
    This was far from the only instance where U.S. weapons killed Yemeni civilians. In the nearby village of Waht, another coalition airstrike killed 11 worshipers in a mosque two days earlier. There, too, bewildered survivors and families of the victims asked why they had been targeted. One of the two bombs dropped on the mosque failed to explode and was still mostly intact when I visited the site. It was a U.S.-manufactured MK82 general-purpose bomb, fitted with a fusing system also of U.S. manufacture. The 500-pound bomb was stamped “explosive bomb” and “tritonal” — the latter a designation indicating the type of explosive it contains.
    Mistakes in the identification of targets and in the execution of attacks can and do happen in wars. In such cases, it is incumbent on the responsible parties to promptly take the necessary corrective action to avoid the recurrence of the same mistakes. But there is no sign that this is occurring in Yemen: Five months since the onset of the coalition airstrike campaign, innocent civilians continue to be killed and maimed every day, raising serious concerns about an apparent disregard for civilian life and for fundamental principles of international humanitarian law. Strikes that are carried out in the knowledge that they will cause civilian casualties are disproportionate or indiscriminate and constitute war crimes.
    While the United States is not formally part of the Saudi-led coalition, it is assisting the coalition air campaign by providing intelligence and aerial refueling facilities to coalition bomber jets. The sum total of its assistance to the coalition makes the United States partly responsible for civilian casualties resulting from unlawful attacks. Washington has also long been a key supplier of military equipment to Saudi Arabia and other members of the coalition, providing them with the weapons that they are now unleashing in Yemen. Regardless of when the weapons used by coalition forces in Yemen were acquired — whether before or since the start of the air campaign — the countries that supplied the weapons have a responsibility to ensure that they are not used to commit violations of international law.
    The poisonous legacy of these U.S.-made weapons will plague Yemen for years to come. In Inshur, a village near the northern city of Saada, I found a field full of U.S.-made BLU-97 cluster submunitions — small bombs the size of a soda can that are contained in cluster bombs. Many lie in the field, still unexploded and posing a high risk for unsuspecting local residents, farmers, and animal herders who may step on them or pick them up, unaware of the danger. In one of the city’s hospitals, I met a 13-year-old boy who stepped on one of the unexploded cluster bombs in Inshur, causing it to explode. It smashed several bones in his foot.
    Cluster bombs were banned by an international convention in 2008. But in the 1990s, the United States sold the type of cluster bombs now littering the fields of Inshur to Saudi Arabia. Each of these cluster bombs contains up to 200 small bombs, which are dispersed by the bomb’s explosion over a large area. However, many of these smaller bombs often do not explode on impact, leaving a lethal legacy for years to come.
    Coalition airstrikes have been particularly intense in the north of the country, notably in and around Saada, a Houthi stronghold that is home to some 50,000 people. When I visited the city in July, I was shocked by the extent of the destruction: Saada now lies in ruin, with most of the population displaced and private homes, shops, markets, and public buildings reduced to rubble in relentless and often indiscriminate air bombardments. A coalition spokesman said in May that the entire city of Saada was considered a military target, in breach of international humanitarian law, which demands that belligerents distinguish between civilians and military targets at all times.
    International law is clearly being violated in Saada and the surrounding villages. A series of coalition strikes on a village in Sabr, near Saada, killed at least 50 civilians, most of them children, and injured nine others in the afternoon of June 3. Half of the village was completely destroyed. Surviving villagers showed me the piles of rubble which used to be their homes. Ghalib Dhaifallah, a father of four, who lost his 11-year-old son Moaz and 27 other relatives in the attack, told me the boy had been playing with his cousins in the center of the village, at the precise point of impact of one of the airstrikes. “We dug for days looking for the bodies; we recognized some body parts from the clothing only,” he told me.
    While the relentless coalition airstrikes are the biggest killer of civilians so far, civilians also find themselves increasingly trapped in the crossfire between Houthi and anti-Houthi armed groups, with each side supported by some units of the now-divided armed forces. The fighting has intensified since troops from the United Arab Emirates joined the ground operation alongside anti-Houthi fighters, recapturing the southern city of Aden, Yemen’s second-largest city and its main port. As Houthi armed groups have been forced to retreat from Aden and other areas they controlled until recently, they have laid mines that have already claimed dozens of civilian lives. Many civilians previously displaced by the conflict in the Aden area are now unable to return home, for fear of this lethal legacy from the war.
    A negotiated solution to this destructive war remains elusive, as all the parties involved in the conflict have persistently disregarded their obligations under international law. Such impunity has undoubtedly fueled even more crimes. This must change. A United Nations commission of inquiry to investigate alleged war crimes and other violations of the laws of war by all parties in Yemen could be an important deterrent. Whatever the means, the international community must send a strong message to the belligerents that further abuses will not be tolerated and that they will be held accountable — so as to 

    Yemeni forces kill 13 Saudi troops, down chopper

    Yemeni forces have killed 13 Saudi soldiers and shot down a Saudi Apache helicopter in the kingdom’s southwest.
    The developments took place in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan province near the border with Yemen on Saturday as the Yemeni forces were returning Riyadh’s attacks on its impoverished southern neighbor.
    Meanwhile, the Yemeni forces took control of buildings behind the Hathirah military camp in the region.
    Yemen’s al-Masirah TV also reported on Friday that a senior Saudi commander and two other military staff had been killed in a mine blast in Jizan during clashes with Ansarullah fighters, backed by army units.
    Saudi Arabia has, meanwhile, kept bombing Yemen, killing three children in the city of Ta’izz in southwestern Yemen. Fighting on the ground on the outskirts of the city also left 10 people dead.
    Smoke billows from buildings after reported airstrikes north of the Yemeni capital Sana’a on September 26, 2015. (© AFP)

    Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a United Nations mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to the fugitive former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
    According to reports over 6,200 Yemenis have so far lost their lives in the Saudi airstrikes, and a total of nearly 14,000 people have been injured.

    Stop Deluding Yourself, 'Assad Must Go' Will Remain Unchanged US Policy

    The world should stop deluding itself into thinking that the Obama administration will one day lend a sympathetic ear to Russia's offer to settle the Syrian crisis, US author Stephen Lendman noted, adding that Washington wants to carry out regime change in Damascus by any means possible.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry's pledge to engage with Russia and Bashar al-Assad on the Syrian crisis is just a "smoke screen deception," US author and syndicated columnist Stephen Lendman stresses.

    "Washington doesn't negotiate. It demands. John Kerry saying he's willing to engage with Russia and Assad on Syria is smoke screen deception. Claiming the need for a political solution belies America's rage for war. Washington undermined the Geneva I and II talks despite Russia's best efforts. Longstanding US plans call for regime change," Lendman emphasized in his article for Global Research.
    Citing retired US Army General Wesley Clark's book "Winning Modern Wars," the author pointed to the fact that Washington has long harbored plans on regime change in Syria.
    Soon after the 9/11 tragedy Clark was told that the Pentagon was considering to oust the governments of seven countries, namely Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
    "As a brigadier general in 1991, Clark met with then Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz after Operation Desert Storm. He was told America planned multiple premeditated wars — intending to destabilize and redraw the Middle East, changing its configuration under US-controlled puppet regimes," Lendman narrated.

    Wolfowitz's ultimate goal was to "clean out those old Soviet client regimes" changing the face of the Middle East forever. According to the then Under Secretary of Defense, Washington had only five to ten years to accomplish this plan.

    "Did Congress debate it, he asked? Did presidents explain it? Did America's media report it?…  Absolutely not, and there still isn't," the US author remarked.
    Lendman emphasized that according to Julian Assange's book "The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire," Washington worked out a detailed plan on how it would topple Bashar al-Assad, just before the Arab Spring of 2011.
    Assange quoted US diplomatic cables which proposed, in particular: "to use a number of different factors to create paranoia within the Syrian government; to push it to overreact, to make it fear there's a coup."
    Furthermore it urged to "foster tensions between Shiites and Sunnis. In particular, to take rumors that are known to be false…or exaggerations and promote them.
    Lendman warned that "nothing American officials say is credible."
    "Longstanding US plans call for toppling all independent governments. Assad must go remains unchanged US policy," the US author highlighted. 

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    State dinner for Xi Jinping draws VIPs from business leaders to Ne-Yo

    Dinner is supposed to be a chance to unwind after a tough day at the office, but the extravagant dinner that Barack Obama put on in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping on Friday served up plenty of opportunities to keep the business talk going well into the night.
    The head table where Obama and Xi sat was studded with top brass from many of America’s leading corporations, including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Disney, DreamWorks and others, all eager to chat up the leader of the world’s most populous country.
    The 200-plus guest list for the soiree in the East Room of the White Houseincluded big names from Hollywood, the diplomatic world and corporate chieftains, seasoned with the addition of ballerina Misty Copeland and Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.
    Asked as he arrived whether the evening would be about business or pleasure, DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said: “Fun. I hope.”
    For more than a few guests, a night at the White House was a chance to score points with a parent or other family member brought along as the “plus one”.
    Empire creator Lee Daniels and R&B singer Ne-Yo, who entertained the guests after dinner, brought their mothers. Clara Daniels, glowing in a coral gown, declared her date “my No 1 son” – but didn’t specify if that was because he’s the oldest of her two sons or because he came up with the dinner invitation.
    “I am the most proud mom,” enthused Harriett Loraine Burts, mother to Ne-Yo. Then she looked for a way to escape the cameras, confessing: “I’m not good at this red carpet thing.”
    As for how he landed Friday’s gig, Ne-Yo theorized it was because of the “Chinese in my heritage somewhere”.
    While a few female guests, including Copeland, seemed stumped when asked who designed their outfit, there were no unanswered questions about Michelle Obama’s fashion statement. She wore a black, off-the-shoulder mermaid gown by ChineseAmerican designer Vera Wang.
    Xi’s wife, Peng Liyuan, another fashion-savvy first lady, went with an embellished silk gown in rich aquamarine with beading on the bodice and skirt.
    The decor in the East Room featured roses superimposed on the ceiling and included a 16ft silk scroll depicting two roses that the White House said was meant to symbolize “a complete meeting of the minds”.
    That may have been somewhat aspirational, given the sharp differences between the US and China on a range of issues. But all of that was largely glossed over in the dinner toasts. Obama said that while some differences were inevitable, he wished that the American and Chinese people may “work together like fingers on the same hand in friendship and in peace”.
    Xi described his visit as an “unforgettable journey” and praised the good will he felt during his travels from West Coast to East. He called for a “new, historic chapter in US-China relations”.
    Asian influences permeated the dinner plan, right down to the Meyer lemons in the lemon curd lychee sorbet. (The citrus fruit is thought to have originated in China.)
    Guest chef Anita Lo, owner of Annisa in New York’s Greenwich Village and a past Top Chef competitor, is a first-generation Chinese American from Birmingham, Michigan, who helped create dishes that highlighted “American cuisine with nuances of Chinese flavor”, according to the White House.
    Guests dined on wild mushroom soup, poached Maine lobster, grilled cannon of Colorado lamb and poppyseed bread and butter pudding.
    The dinner marked the midpoint of a daunting trifecta for a White House team led by new social secretary Deesha Dyer. They played host to Pope Francis earlier in the week. Now comes events the Obamas will host next week in New York, where the president will attend the UN General Assembly. 

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    Pashto Music - Sardar Ali Takkar دَ ډاکټر نجیب الله په تلین د افراسیاب خټک صیب نظم د رنړا خوب

    Pakistan allocates Sanitary Workers jobs only for Non-Muslims

    A job vacancies advertisement of a hospital which runs by Ministry of Health of Government of Punjab Province spreads anger among millions of Christians in this province of Pakistan which invites application for “Sweepers” only from non-Muslims while other job opportunities in this advertisement are left open for general public.

    As term non-Muslim is being used for Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and other religious minorities in 18th Amendment in Constitution of Pakistan.

    In Punjab province of Pakistan, the Christians are second biggest population after Muslims counted in millions while Hindus, Sikhs and other religious minorities are only up to hundreds only. It is generally points towards Christians when called non-Muslims in Punjab province of Pakistan. 

    A Christian nominated from ruling Pakistan Muslim League PML (N) in Punjab Assembly as Member of Provincial Assembly is Minister for Health and he not launches any enquiry on this controversial job advertisement.

    Last year the PTI government in KPK province also publically announced that for Christians the jobs of Sanitary Workers will be allocated only which received condemnation from all schools of thought in Pakistan but in Punjab province it happens where a Christian leads Ministry of Health.

    The “Sanitary Workers” are called as “Churras” (a hate words) in all over Pakistan when majority of Christians are forced to perform duties of sanitary workers, the Muslims call Christians who are even educated with hate word “Churra” in their absence.

    The sources close to parliamentarians told Pakistan Christian Post that Muslim Members of National Assembly and of Provincial Assemblies enjoy drinking parties in Assemblies Hostels but not take dinners with non-Muslim members and call them “Churra or Bangi” when they are not present in their private gatherings.

    Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have strongly condemned health department advertisement of job opportunities allocating sanitary workers jobs for non-Muslims. 

    PCC Chief have demanded resignation of Punjab Health Minister and an open apology from Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab and keep 5% quota for jobs for non-Muslims from grade 4 to grade 17 Pay Scale jobs. 

    Meanwhile, an advocacy group LEAD in a press release have said “According to details, an advertisement was publicized by the Institute of Cardiology in Lahore explaining that only non-Muslims will be eligible to apply for the job of male and female sweeper. The advertisement has been deemed as a humiliation of the non-Muslims; generally the word non-Muslim here is assumed to be for Christians. These advertisements were widely circulated throughout the country and have sparked great anger among the Pakistani Christians. It has been assumed that low-ranking jobs have been specifically assigned to the Christians.

    Sardar Mushtaq Gill, Human Rights Defender who heads LEAD, an organization working for minorities’ rights, has taken strongly condemned this advertisement and decided to challenge it in High Courts.

    “It seems that Government authorities deliberately misleading to cover 5% quota by pointing only Christians on these menial jobs and systematically humiliate Christians in the eyes of the society that they have been limited to specific types of work" told Mr. Gill.

    This is not first incident of such religious discriminatory advertisement for jobs vacancies, this has been pointed out that earlier too when two other hospitals namely Lady Wellington Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, also had publicized advertisements for job vacancies for janitor calling in for a non-Muslim or Christian, as requirements for the vacancy.

    "The government has very sharp mind about minority 5% job quota, they cover it by pointing Christian on janitor jobs and filled all other jobs by Muslims and if someone try to challenge it through 5% quota system in courts then authority takes plea that reserved 5% jobs for minorities had already filled with janitor jobs" added Mr. Gill. - See more at: