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7.14.09 Transplant shows how heart can heal itself
LONDON (AP) - Girl Had Donor Heart Implanted Inside Her Own; Now Plays Sports With Repaired, Natural Heart. British doctors designed a radical solution to save a girl with major heart problems in 1995: they implanted a donor heart directly onto her own failing heart. After 10 years with two blood pumping organs, Hannah Clark's faulty one did what many experts had thought impossible: it healed itself enough so that doctors could remove the donated heart. But she also had a price to pay: the drugs Clark took to prevent her body from rejecting the donated heart led to malignant cancer that required chemotherapy.
7.14.09 Goldman Sachs posts $3.44 billion profit
July 14 - Bank Received $10 Billion in Stimulus Money, But Has Since Paid It Back. Goldman Sachs this morning announced huge profits during its second-quarter: a whopping $3.44 billion, vastly surpassing analyst predictions of a $2 billion profit. The stock market was poised for a sharply higher open today, thanks to the surprisingly higher profits from Goldman. The firm's stock was trading around 150 points today, up more than triple from a low of 52 points a share in November. In this troubled economy, just how did Goldman do it? "They've taken bets. They put their money behind those bets, and they've made a tremendous amount of profit," said Seamus McMahon, president of McMahon Advisory LLC. [More>>abcnews.go.com]
7.14.09 Pakistan militia 'battles Taliban'
July 14 - Members of a pro-government tribal militia have killed at least 23 Taliban fighters in clashes in Pakistan's northwest, local government officials have said. The fighting began late Monday in the village of Anbar in Pakistan's Mohmand region along the border with Afghanistan. Syed Ahmad Jan, a senior regional administrator, said local villagers demanded Taliban fighters leave the area, but the Taliban refused and opened fire, sparking a gun battle that continued into Tuesday morning. At least four tribal militiamen were reported to have been wounded in the fighting. Mohammad Rasul Khan, a local official, said three villagers were missing after the clashes between the 150-strong village force and Taliban fighters. Pakistan's government has been encouraging villagers in the country's northwestern tribal regions to form local militias, known as lashkars, to help push Taliban fighters out of their areas. [More>>aljazeera.net; See also indianexpress.com, July 14, "Fighting kills 32 Taliban militants in Pakistan tribal belt."]
7.14.09 Five killed in Iraq, including three police
BAGHDAD (AFP) July 14 - Five people including three police officers were killed in attacks across Iraq on Tuesday, security and police officials said. In Baghdad, two policemen were shot dead by gunmen as they patrolled in the centre of the capital, an interior ministry official said. One gunmen was also killed in the attack. In the restive northern city of Mosul, meanwhile, an officer was killed and three others injured by a roadside bomb targeting their patrol in the centre of the city, said a police official who declined to be identified. Also in Mosul in a separate incident, a civilian was killed by armed men, the official added. In a town east of Baquba, north of Baghdad, a police officer's nephew was kidnapped and murdered, a security official said. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
7.14.09 2 marines killed in opium-rich Afghan area
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) July 14 - Two US Marines were killed in a "hostile incident" in southern Afghanistan, where a transport helicopter also crashed killing seven civilians, officials said Tuesday. The Marines were killed in the southern Helmand province on Monday, US military spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias said. She did not have other details. Some 4,000 Marines are pushing through Helmand province in the biggest US military operation in Afghanistan since the ouster of the Taliban from power in 2001. The region is the world's largest opium poppy producing area and the Taliban's heartland. [More>>msnbc.msn.com]
7.14.09 Public Debt reaches $11.5 trillion
The US Public Debt reached $11,524 trillion on July 10, 2009. Interest expense on the Public Debt FY 2009 (October 2008 -June 2009) was $320.6 billion. Various news reports have pointed out that the deficit topped $1 trillion for the first time (See foxnews.com (AP) July 13, 2009).
7.13.09 Turkey, EU nations sign Nabucco gas pipeline deal
ANKARA (RIA Novosti) July 13 - Five of the six parties to the Nabucco gas pipeline project signed on Monday an intergovernmental agreement on the transit of Caspian gas to Europe, skirting Russia. The document was signed by Turkey, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. The sixth participant, Germany, did not sign the deal, since it is not a transit country. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and officials from about 20 countries attended the signing ceremony. A spokesman for the European Commission's energy policy earlier said the agreement was based on the principles "of mutual solidarity, mutual equality and interdependence."
7.13.09 'Healthy' girl died of Swine Flu within hours
LONDON, July 13 - A "perfectly healthy" six-year-old girl died of swine flu within hours of being taken to hospital after complaining of a sore throat, it has emerged. Chloe Buckley, from north west London, died on Thursday a day after her GP wrongly diagnosed her illness. Sky reporter Victoria Gatenby said: "Chloe's parents took her to their GP on Wednesday with a sore throat. The GP diagnosed her with tonsillitis, sending her home without Tamiflu, which is the drug that combats swine flu."
7.13.09 CIA planned al-Qaeda assassinations in friendly countries, officials say
July 13 - Dick Cheney, the former vice president, ordered a highly classified CIA operation hidden from Congress because it pushed the limits of legality by planning to assassinate of al-Qaeda operatives in friendly countries without the knowledge of their governments, according to former intelligence officials. Former counter-terrorism officials who retain close links to the intelligence community say that the hidden operation involved plans by the CIA and the military to launch operations, similar to those by Israel's Mossad intelligence service, to hunt down and kill al-Qaeda activists abroad without informing the governments concerned, even though some were regarded as friendly if unreliable.
7.13.09 Seventh Christian church bombed in Iraq
BAGHDAD (UPI) July 13 - A Christian church in Iraq was bombed Monday, injuring three children in the latest violent act against a Christian house of worship, Iraqi officials said. An Iraqi Interior Ministry official said Monday's bombing — the seventh in recent days — occurred when a car bomb exploded and damaged the church in Mosul, CNN reported. Six churches in the Baghdad area were bombed during the weekend, killing four people and wounding 32 others, officials said. [More>>upi.org]
7.13.09 16 killed in blast in Pakistan madrassa used as bomb-making factory
ISLAMABAD, July 13 - At least 16 people, including several children, were killed and 120 others injured when a powerful explosion in a small village in Pakistan's Punjab province flattened a madrassa, which was being used to make bombs, officials said. The blast, which occurred shortly before 10 am local time in the village near Mian Channu in southern Punjab, was caused by explosives stored in the home of madrassa teacher Riaz Ali, local residents said. Ali was a member of a banned religious group, officials said. Police and rescue service officials told reporters that 16 people, including several children, were killed in the blast, which also destroyed dozens of houses.
7.13.09 Iran to publicly hang 14 Jundallah rebels
TEHRAN, July 13 - Fourteen Sunni rebels from the shadowy group Jundallah are to be hanged in public early on Tuesday in the restive city of Zahedan in southeast Iran, the official news agency said on Monday. The condemned rebels include Abdolhamid Rigi, a brother of Jundallah (Soldiers of God) leader Abdolmalik Rigi. The local judiciary of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan, has invited residents of the city to attend the executions due to be carried out at 6:30 am (0200 GMT), it added. Iran accuses Jundallah of launching regular attacks in Sistan-Baluchestan province, which is home to a sizeable Baluch minority of Sunni Muslims. The group strongly opposes the government of predominantly Shiite Iran. [>thenews.com.pk]
7.12.09 Pakistani jets pound militant hide-outs, kill 8
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) July 12 - Fighter jets pounded suspected militant hide-outs in the South Waziristan tribal region on Sunday as part of ongoing operations against Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud. At least eight militants were killed, intelligence officials said. Meanwhile, gunmen ambushed five police officers and a forestry official responding to reports of a dead body in northwestern Pakistan, killing all six, police said. The fighter jets hit several locations in South Waziristan on Sunday, killing eight militants in one spot, two intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to media, told The Associated Press.
7.12.09 Taliban saved us from terrorizing police: Afghans
PANKELA, Pakistan (Reuters) July 12 - Afghans say they prefer Taliban to police that rape and steal. As British troops moved into the village newly freed from Taliban control, they heard one message from the anxious locals: for God's sake do not bring back the Afghan police. American and British troops have launched a campaign to seize control of Helmand province, about half of which was in Taliban hands, and restore Afghan government institutions. As the troops advance, they are learning uncomfortable facts about their local allies: villagers say the government's police force was so brutal and corrupt that they welcomed the Taliban as liberators.
7.12.09 In Bosnia, each funeral never ends
TUZLA, Bosnia, July 12 - Bone by bone, victims of the Srebrenica massacre are being identified, pieced together and, finally, laid to rest. How many times can you bury your child without going mad? It's a question that has haunted hundreds of Bosnian mothers facing an agonising dilemma: as researchers identify remains scattered around mass graves from the Srebrenica massacre, do they bury the first few bones or wait potentially years for a skeleton to come together?
7.12.09 India's leading alcohol tycoon criticizes 'political hypocrites'
DELHI, India, July 12 - India's leading alcohol tycoon has criticized the "political hypocrites" who control the country's only dry state after more than 130 people died from drinking tainted home-made liquor. In a broadside against Narendra Modi and his senior officials in the western state of Gujarat, Vijay Mallya said it was an open secret that alcohol was available in the state but at increased prices. Poor people were risking their lives as a result.
7.12.09 €400bn energy plan to harness African sun
BERLIN, July 12 - It's decision day on a chain of solar generators across the desert that could supply a quarter of Europe's power. The world's most ambitious green energy project is about to take shape. It is a plan for a chain of mammoth sun-powered energy plants in the deserts of North Africa to supply power to Europe's homes and factories by the end of the next decade. In a few days' time a consortium of 20 German firms will meet in Munich to hammer out plans for funding the giant €400bn (£343bn) project, named Desertec. The scheme is being backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government and several German industry household names including Siemens, Deutsche Bank, and the energy companies RWE and E.ON. The Munich meeting will also involve Italian and Spanish energy concerns, as well as representatives from the Arab League and the Club of Rome think-tank.
7.12.09 Al-Qaeda releases Swiss hostage
July 12 - A Swiss man held hostage for six months by members of al-Qaeda in Mali has been freed, Swiss and Malian officials say. Werner Greiner — seized in Niger — is the last of six Western hostages held by a group calling itself al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb. In May, the group announced on a website that it had killed British hostage Edwin Dyer. The group had been demanding the release of radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada from a UK prison. "The Swiss Foreign Ministry learnt with joy that the efforts towards the liberation of the last Swiss hostage in Mali have been successful," the ministry said in a statement. [More>>bbc.co.uk]
7.11.09 China raises Xinjiang death toll, adds ethnic detail
URUMQI, China (Reuters) July 11 - China raised the death toll from ethnic rioting in Xinjiang, giving for the first time the ethnicity of the dead, and a big security presence in the city at the centre of the strife prevented protests on Saturday. The official Xinhua news agency said 184 people had died in the July 5 riots in Urumqi, the Xinjiang regional capital, and 137 of those killed were Han Chinese, who form the majority of China's 1.3 billion population. The previous death toll was 156. The latest figure included 46 Uighurs, the largely Muslim people of Xinjiang who share cultural bonds with Central Asian peoples. All but one were men. Uighurs, once a sizeable majority in Xinjiang, now make up 46 percent of its 21.3 million people, according to government statistics. [More>>thestar.com.my]
7.11.09 Zoo may close, euthanize animals
BOSTON, July 11 - The Franklin Park Zoo, the only Boston institution of its kind, may be forced to close and euthanize some of its animals, zoo officials said Friday. Without more state funding, zoo officials said that they will run out of money within months and have to close both Franklin Park and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham. The zoos would be forced to lay off most of their 165 employees and attempt to find new homes for more than 1,000 animals. Zoo officials estimated 20 percent of the animals would not find homes and could be euthanized. [More>>thebostonchannel.com via cnn.com]
7.11.09 In Ghana, Obama preaches tough love
ACCRA, Ghana, July 11 - President Obama traveled in his father's often-troubled home continent on Saturday as a potent symbol of a new political era but also as a messenger with a tough-love theme: American aid must be matched by Africa's responsibility for its own problems. "We must start from the simple premise that Africa's future is up to Africans," Mr. Obama said in an address to Parliament that was televised across the continent. "I say this knowing full well the tragic past that has sometimes haunted this part of the world. After all, I have the blood of Africa within me, and my own family's story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story."
7.11.09 Spam-proof your cell phone, inbox too
July 11 - (By Kim Komando) Is There Any Way to End That Junk E-Mail? Some Handy Hints. Spam is the bane of computer users everywhere, accounting for more than 90 percent of e-mail. And, now, cell phones are getting spam. There is no foolproof solution to spam, but you can banish most of it. You'll find links to software and sites mentioned on my site at www.komando.com/news.
Use a Good E-Mail Filter
Your first line of defense is a spam filter. Filters screen incoming messages; spam is killed before it hits your inbox. Good spam filters don't rely on sender information. Rather, they use Bayesian filters. These filters improve as you use them. I recommend a free filter like MailWasher, POPFile, Spamato, or SpamBayes. Webmail providers usually have built-in spam filters. Make sure yours is activated. Tag spam that reaches your inbox to improve accuracy. [More>>abcnews.go.com]
7.11.09 Bush surveillance program was massive, report says
WASHINGTON, July 11 - The Bush administration built an unprecedented surveillance operation to pull in mountains of information far beyond the warrantless wiretapping previously acknowledged, a team of federal inspectors general reported Friday, questioning the legal basis for the effort but shielding almost all details on grounds they’re still too secret to reveal. The report, compiled by five inspectors general, refers to “unprecedented collection activities” by US intelligence agencies under an executive order signed by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Just what those activities involved remains classified, but the IGs pointedly say that any continued use of the secret programs must be "carefully monitored." [More>>japantoday.com]
7.11.09 This bloody war: Eight British soldiers killed in 24 hours
July 11 - Five British soldiers were killed yesterday in a devastating roadside bombing, the largest number to die in one single attack, bringing to eight the number killed in the most deadly 24 hours of the Afghan campaign. With it another bleak and poignant milestone was reached and passed: the lethal toll in forces' lives lost in the conflict is now more than that in the whole of the Iraq war. The sombre unfolding statistics reflect the rising ferocity of this defining war between the West and fundamentalist Islam. Fifteen British soldiers died this week alone as UK and US forces launched a massive operation against the Taliban in Helmand. The latest deaths took the number killed in Afghanistan to 184, five more than Iraq. [More>>independent.co.uk]
7.11.09 Deadly car bomb blast hits Mosul
July 11 - At least five people have been killed after a car laden with explosives blew up in a market in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Nearly 40 people were also killed in the bombing on Saturday in an eastern area of the northern city, predominantly inhabited by the Shia Muslim minority Shabak ethnic group. There are frequent attacks in Mosul and the surrounding Nineveh province, which remains a stronghold of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Two suicide bombings in Tal Afar, not far from Mosul, killed 34 people and wounded around 60 on Thursday. [More>>ajazeera.net]
7.10.09 Japan wholesale prices take record plunge; deflation returning?
TOKYO (AP) July 10 - Japan's central bank said Friday that wholesale prices fell 6.6 percent in June from a year earlier, the biggest fall on record and the latest sign that deflation is returning to the country. The Bank of Japan's corporate good price index, which tracks the cost of a wide range of products sold domestically, declined for the sixth straight month. On a monthly basis, prices slipped 0.3 percent from May. The yearly fall was the largest since the central bank began keeping comparable data in 1960. Deflation can hurt economic growth because it cuts into company profits as prices fall. [More>>thestar.com.my; See related stories,
7.10.09 AIG bonuses: $235 milllion to go
NEW YORK, July 10 - Troubled insurer AIG has asked the government's 'pay czar' to review hundreds of millions more in bonus payments to employees of its most crippled division. Bailed-out insurer AIG again found itself in the crosshairs of bonus rage on Friday over its plans to pay $2.4 million in executive bonuses next week. But the larger issue is how AIG will deal with its obligation to pay roughly $235 million still owed to employees of its crippled financial products division. The contentious issue of the bonuses resurfaced late Thursday after The Washington Post reported that AIG was seeking the government's consent to make a scheduled performance bonus payment of $2.4 million to 43 of its top-ranking executives.
7.10.09 Kasab trained by Pakistan marines: Report
NEW DELHI, July 10 - Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone captured terrorist for the audacious Mumbai terror attack, was trained by Pakistan marines, an elite unit of the Pakistan Navy. In its latest issue, The Week quoting Kasab's interrogation report by an intelligence agency said he and nine others who struck Mumbai last November were taught combat techniques by the Pakistan marines after being extensively trained by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) at its various camps.
7.10.09 Police deaths in Pakistan fighting
July 10 - At least four policemen have been killed in Pakistan's tribal belt after about dozen suspected Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint, officials say. The officials said on Friday that 20 to 25 fighters targeted the post manned by local tribal police overnight near Khar, the main town in the semi-autonomous region of Bajaur. Taliban fighters have a significant presence in the area, the officials said. "The armed militants attacked the post killing all [four] policemen inside," Adialat Khan, a local government official, told the AFP news agency. He said the post, set up to conduct security checks on the main road heading into Khar, was destroyed. [More>>aljazeera.net; See related story,
7.10.09 Iranian police chief defends arrests,opposition remains defiant
CAIRO (AP) July 10 - Tehran's police chief would not say how many people were arrested during opposition protests that erupted a day earlier in the Iranian capital — in the latest attempt to revive street demonstrations over the country's disputed election.
The lack of an overwhelming crackdown — despite authorities' vows to "smash" anyone who joined the marches — could suggest the country's leadership is hoping Thursday's protests would be a one-time event and will subsequently weaken. Click for photos from Iran. Several thousands demonstrators marched down Tehran's main avenues in Thursday's protests, chanting "down with the dictator" and slogans in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the pro-reform candidate who contends he was defrauded of victory in June 12 presidential elections. [More>>foxnews.com; See Arab points of view of Iran's election expressed through cartoons in Arab media at memri.org;
"This suggests that the actual outcome should have been pretty close," says Mebane, who described his analysis on a paper posted on his website June 15 and updated June 29. The official results showed Ahmadinejad getting almost twice as many votes as his closest rival. "His data is highly, highly, highly suggestive that something odd was going on," says political scientist Henry Brady of the University of California, Berkeley. "Someone who really knows the geopolitical makeup of Iran might be able to take this analysis further. I hope the CIA has someone doing that."
7.10.09 New al-Qaeda book on 'Muslim spies' released on internet
DUBAI, July 10 - A new book published by al-Qaeda shows that the terrorist group is under intense pressure and in "deathly fear" of US counterterrorism efforts in Pakistan, terror experts say. The 150-page book, titled "Guide to the Laws Regarding Muslim Spies," was recently posted on jihadist Web sites. It was written by a senior al-Qaeda commander, Abu Yahya Al-Libi, and features an introduction by Ayman Al-Zawahri, the No. 2 man in al-Qaeda. The book accuses some in al-Qaeda's ranks of being spies who provide intelligence, including information about al-Qaeda camps and safe houses, to US forces. According to the book, these "Muslim spies" have allowed the US to use its Predator drone campaign to paralyze al-Qaeda leadership.
7.10.09 Egypt seizes explosives linked to terror suspects
ISMAILIA, Egypt, July 10 - 700 Kg found with terror suspects: Egyptian state security. Egypt has seized a cache of explosives in a mountainous area near its border with Israel, a security source said on Friday, one day after 26 people were arrested on suspicion of targeting the Suez Canal. In the latest of crackdowns on terror cells, an unnamed Egyptian security source said 700 kg (1,540 lb) of explosives were [seized] on Thursday evening in a mountainous area south of el-Arish and was likely to be smuggled to Gaza. The source added that residents had alerted security forces to the cache, which was buried two meters (6.6 feet) below the ground. No one was arrested, but there was evidence the cache had been used recently, the source said. On Thursday, Egypt's interior ministry said it had arrested 26 people suspected of plotting to target oil pipelines and foreign ships in the Suez Canal, which separates the Sinai Peninsula from the rest of Egypt. [More>>alarabiya.net]
7.10.09 Russian police seize 16 tons of drugs in first half of 2009
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) July 10 - Drug police in Russia have seized 16 tons of various drugs since the beginning of the year, the head of Federal Drug Control Service said on Friday. "Law enforcement bodies have seized 16 tons of various drugs in the past six months," Viktor Ivanov said at a roundtable on Afghan drug production, adding that this was less than the figure for the same period of 2008. He highlighted the increase in the smuggling of Afghan heroin.
"From 30 % to 50% of the heroin produced in Afghanistan is smuggled into Russia," Ivanov said. "Ninety percent of drug addicts in Russia use heroin from Afghanistan, the trafficking of which is continuously increasing." Ivanov also said that during President Barak Obama's visit to Moscow, the US and Russia decided to establish a bilateral working group to tackle the trade in drugs from Afghanistan. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will head the group. [>en.rian.ru]
7.10.09 South Korea says attackers used IP address in 5 nations
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) July 10 - South Korea said Friday it had identified and blocked five IP addresses used to distribute computer viruses that caused a wave of Web site outages in the US and South Korea. South Korean and American officials have said they believe North Korea was behind the attacks, but none of the blocked Internet Protocol addresses — the Web equivalent of a street address or phone number — were for computers in North Korea. The addresses point to the computers that distributed the virus that triggered so-called denial of service attacks in which floods of computers try to connect to a single site at the same time, overwhelming the server. They were in Austria, Georgia, Germany, South Korea and the US, an official from the state-run Korea Communications Commission said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media on the record.
7.10.09 Somali Islamist hardliners behead 7 'Christians'
MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 10 - Victims executed for being 'Christian followers' and 'spies.' Somalia's hard-line Islamist rebels beheaded seven people on Friday for being "Christians" and "spies" in the latest implementation of strict Sharia law by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab movement, witnesses said. Though al-Shabaab has carried out such punishments before in regions it controlled, the beheadings on Friday were thought to be their largest number of executions at one time, Somalis said. "Al-Shabaab told us that they were beheaded for reasons they described as being Christian followers and spies," said one relative, who gave his name only as Aden, after the executions in the south-central town of Baidoa. The group beheaded three people in the region last month. [More>>alarabiya.net]
7.09.09 Hundreds protest in Iran, defying crackdown vow
TEHRAN (AP) July 9 - Hundreds of young men and women chanted "death to the dictator," confronting police wielding batons and firing tear gas in the capital Thursday as opposition activists sought to revive street protests despite authorities' vows to "smash" any new marches. For days, supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi have been calling for new protests in Tehran and other cities on Thursday, their first significant attempt to get back on the streets since security forces crushed massive demonstrations nearly two weeks ago in Iran's postelection turmoil. Tehran governor Morteza Tamaddon warned that any new march Thursday would meet the same fate. [More>>thejakartapost.com; See also nytimes.com, July 9, "Latest updates on Iran election protests." (with video clips from blogs).
7.09.09 China says Urumqi rioters have al-Qaeda links
BEIJING, July 9 - China said Thursday that those involved in Sunday's killing and mayhem in the northwestern city of Urumqi were members of terrorists groups with links with al-Qaeda. It was seeking the cooperation of foreign governments to track down links and people involved in supporting the rioters from overseas locations. The matter came up for discussion on Thursday at an urgently convened meeting of the nine-member Politburo of the Communist Party of China betraying the party's fear of a possible reoccurrence of violence or its spread to other parts of the country.
thejakartapost.com, July 9, "Chinese-Indonesians call on Muslim nations to help Uighur" : The Indonesian Chinese Muslim Association (PITI) has criticized China's brutality against the Uighur Muslim minority, and regretted the silence of Muslim nations regarding the group's decades of suffering discrimination and persecution. "The Chinese Muslims are on the periphery [of the Muslim world]. They have long been persecuted, but they are neglected," PITI spokesman Steven Indra Wijaya told The Jakarta Post. "We are calling on all Muslims to cast aside their [ethnic] identities and help the Uighurs."
7.09.09 Egypt nabs Palestinian-led terror cell 'plotting Suez attacks'
(Jerusalem Post/AP) July 9 - Egyptian authorities have arrested 25 al-Qaeda-linked terrorists on suspicion of plotting attacks on oil pipelines and ships crossing the Suez Canal. The Egyptian Interior Ministry said the new cell was led by a Palestinian and included 24 Egyptians, mostly engineers and technicians. They planned to use mobile phones to detonate explosives against ships crossing the Canal, the statement said. The group learned how to make car bombs through communicating with al-Qaeda terrorists on jihadi Web sites, according to an Interior Ministry statement. The detainees confessed to funding their activities through contributions from Islamic charities abroad and in one case robbed a jewelry store and murdered its Coptic Christian owner. [>jpost.com; See more details,
Editorial note: "Confusion on the Koran." Wikipedia.org says of "takfiri" : A Takfiri (from the Arabic word تكفيري) is a Muslim who practices Takfir, which is to accuse other Muslims of apostasy. The term Takfir derives from the word kafir (impiety) and is described as when "...one who is, or claims to be, a Muslim is declared impure." Those to whom Takfir is applied are considered excommunicated in the eyes of the Muslim community. According to Islamic or Sharia law, they can no longer benefit from the protection of the law, and as such are condemned to death. The severe implications of such punishment has resulted in a rigorous set of rules being formulated under orthodox Islam to determine whether an accused party is guilty of apostasy or not. In principle the only group authorised to declare a Muslim a kafir are the ulema, and this only once all the prescribed legal precautions have been taken. However a growing number of splinter Salafist groups — labelled by some scholars as Salafi-Takfiris — have split from the orthodox method of establishing takfir through the processes of the law, and have reserved the right to declare apostasy themselves...
Part of the problem involving Islamic jihadism might be attributed to the failure of Arab organizations to define "terrorism." The "Arab convention for the Suppression of terrorism, 1998" (and subsequent meetings) addressed the issue in an oblique way, endorsing UN conventions and agreements while at the same time declaring that freedom fighters have a right to exercise violence to preserve an Arab country:
Al-Qaeda and other jihadist organizations claim that they are fighting for the restoration of the Arab caliphate or the world dominion of Islam (in the context of the jihadists' views and sharia law). Individual Moslem states have adjudicated against certain jihadists, such as the recent trial of 300 al-Qaeda-linked prisoners in Saudi Arabia, recorded in Maravot News 7.08.09 article 7.08.09 Tribunals convict 330 of al-Qaeda links. While distinctions may have been made in individual cases against terrorism Arab nations seem to be mute whether a Palestinian suicide bomber et al., as in Afghanistan or Pakistan, constitutes terrorism. It may be that to resolve the conflict Moslems have in addressing the issue of terrorism Moslems will need to address the words "takfiri" and "kafir"and whether any person or government can murder others on behalf of allah, God, or any other god.
7.09.09 American jihadist attacks Obama in extremist audio tape
July 9 - An American jihadist tied to al-Qaeda has released an extremist audiotape attacking President Obama, calling for American Muslims to leave the US and join the armed Islamic struggle around the world. Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, an apparent American citizen, is a member of the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al-Shabaab and speaks in English with a flat American accent addressing American Muslims. Titled "A Response to Barack Obama: The Beginning of the End," the tape is a belated reply to Obama's speech in Egypt addressed to the Muslim world. In it, Abu Mansoor praises Osama bin Laden and refutes various points Obama made during his speech from Cairo. [More>>abcnews.go.com]
7.09.09 Militancy-infested Pakistan, Afghan top priority for G-8 leaders
July 9 - Describing terrorism as one of the greatest challenges to global peace and security, leaders of the elite G-8 club today denounced the scourge in all its forms and manifestations regardless of motivation and said that militancy-infested Pakistan and Afghanistan remained a top priority for them. The G-8 Declaration on Counter-Terrorism, adopted after a summit of leaders, including US President Barack Obama, in this mountain town, said terrorism continued to represent one of the greatest challenges to international peace, stability and security.
7.09.09 Obama, world leaders announce climate change agreements
July 9 - President Obama and other world leaders at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate today announced international commitments to reducing polluting emissions worldwide -- but also acknowledged there is a long way to go in addressing the problem of global warming. "We've made a good start, but I'm the first one to acknowledge progress on this issue will not be easy," Mr. Obama said from L’Aquila, Italy. "It is no small task for 17 leaders to bridge their differences on climate change." The countries represented at the forum agreed to recognize the scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels should not exceed two degrees Celsius. [More>>cbsnews.com]
7.09.09 Boldness of Qaeda affiliate in Africa raises fears in West
WASHINGTON, July 9 - Al-Qaeda's affiliate in North Africa has carried out a string of slayings, bombings and other lethal attacks against Westerners and African security forces in recent weeks that have raised fears the terrorist group may be turning a more deadly corner. American and European security counterterrorism officials say that the attacks may signal the return of foreign fighters from the battlefields of Iraq, where they honed their bomb-making skills. The attacks also reflect al-Qaeda's growing tentacles in the northern tier of Africa, outside the group's main sanctuary in Pakistan's tribal areas, the officials say.
7.09.09 US criticized over Babylon damage
July 9 - American troops and contractors caused substantial damage to the archaeological site at Babylon in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, a new UN report says. The report says key structures were harmed and the site was subjected to "digging, cutting and levelling." But UN cultural officials stress the damage did not begin when the Americans arrived, or end when they left. The US says looting while Babylon was under their control would have been worse had they not been there at all. The new report was issued on Thursday in Paris by the UN's cultural agency, UNESCO. It comes after five years of investigations by Iraqi and international academics, some of whom have previously been critical of damage caused when US troops were based at Babylon in 2003 and 2004. The 4,000-year-old city south of Baghdad was once home to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
7.09.09 Forces kill 7 extremists in Orakzai Agency
PESHAWAR, July 9 - At least seven extremists were killed and several others injured in the security forces’ action in Lower Orakzai Agency on Thursday. According to sources, the military gunship helicopters, later fighter jets, pounded the suspected hideouts of militants in Lower Orakzai Agency areas of Chapri Feozkhel, Bahram Garh, Girajona and Astarsam. According to preliminary reports, seven extremists were killed and various are injured. [>thenews.com.pk]
7.09.09 Afghan truck blast claims children's lives: Police
KABUL, Afghanistan, July 9 - Truck explosion comes amid increase of western troops. An overturned truck rigged with explosives blew up near Kabul on Thursday, killing 25 people including many school students in one of the deadliest blasts this year in war-torn Afghanistan, police said. Loaded with firewood, the truck overturned overnight about 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of the capital in Logar province and exploded as authorities were trying to remove the vehicle in the early morning, they said. The attack comes as Western militaries boost their troop deployments to Afghanistan ahead of key presidential and provincial council elections scheduled for August 20. "In the explosion today 21 civilians and four policemen have been martyred," provincial police chief Ghulam Mustafa Mohsini told AFP. At least 13 of those killed were children from a nearby school, said Kamaluddin Zadran, a provincial official [More>>alarabiya.net]
7.09.09 Scores killed in Iraqi bombings
July 9 - More than 40 people have been killed in Iraq in what is being described as the bloodiest day in the country since US troops pulled back from cities and towns. Two suicide bombers struck the northern town of Tal Afar, killing at least 34 people, while in Baghdad, the capital, at least seven people died when two bombs hidden in market rubbish went off. The number of people wounded in Thursday's attacks exceeds 90. Khaled Omar, a police colonel in Tal Afar, said the attacks took place near a building used to interrogate suspects in "terrorist attacks."
7.09.09 Secret to a longer life lies on Easter Island
July 9 - Scientists have found an anti-ageing drug that works on mice – and could do the same for humans. A drug originating on Easter Island, the mysterious South Pacific home of a lost statue-building people, may become the first substance to slow down human ageing, new research indicates. Rapamycin, a pharmacological product used to prevent rejection in organ transplants, has been found to extend the lifespan of mice by up to 38 per cent, raising the possibility that it may delay ageing in people. Hitherto a matter for science fiction, the idea of an anti-ageing drug which would allow people to prolong their natural lifespan and also to avoid age-related diseases is now being seriously considered for the first time as a result of the findings by American researchers.
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