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09.24.10 Obama slams 'hateful' Ahmadinejad 9/11 remarks
NEW YORK (AFP) September 24 - US President Barack Obama on Friday slammed ‘hateful,’ "inexcusable" and "offensive" remarks by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about the September 11 attacks in 2001. Ahmadinejad sparked outrage in the United States on Thursday and a partial walkout in the UN General Assembly chamber when he said in a speech that most people believe the US government staged the attacks. "It was offensive, it was hateful," Obama said in a television interview with the BBC Persia service, according to an excerpt released by the White House. Obama said it was particularly offensive for Ahmadinejad to make such a statement in Manhattan, just north of the Ground Zero site of the felled twin towers of the World Trade Center. The president described the site as a place "where families lost their loved ones, people of all faiths, all ethnicities who see this as the seminal tragedy of this generation — for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable." [More>>khaleejtimes.com; See related story,
09.24.10 Sweden joins Europe-wide backlash against immigration
September 24 - In a country that elevated social democracy into the natural form of government for decades, Maria has been a loyal stalwart. The 66-year-old retired canteen worker has always voted for Sweden's Social Democratic party, like the vast majority in her working-class suburb of Malmo. Until last Sunday, that is. That morning Maria broke the habit of a lifetime and in doing so helped redraw the map of Swedish politics. She voted for an extreme-right movement accused of being Islamophobic that broke into parliament in Stockholm for the first time, probably condemning the country to a fragile minority government. She was not alone...Maria pointed across the dual carriageway to the neighboring housing scheme of Rosengård, known locally as "the ghetto." It is home to almost 20,000 immigrants, overwhelmingly Muslim, almost half of them jobless. "It's become crazy around here. You can't go out in the evening," said Maria, who like other locals, did not want her surname revealed. "I've got nothing against foreigners. I've been married to a Bulgarian for 40 years. But these people don't share our values. If you don't like the color of our flag, I say, I'll help you pack your bags." [Full story>>guardian.co.uk]
09.24.10 Olmert urges 'international trusteeship' for Holy Basin
September 24 - In 'Post' op-ed former PM sets out terms Israel should present to ‘transform’ talks - relinquishing sovereignty over Western Wall, Temple Mt. Israel should agree to an international trusteeship in Jerusalem's Holy Basin, should allow non-Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem to serve as the capital of a Palestinian state, and should offer to solve the Palestinian refugee problem within the framework of the Arab peace initiative, former prime minister Ehud Olmert urges in an op-ed article in today's Jerusalem Post... A source close to Olmert told the Post that the positions he sets out in the article reflect the terms he offered to PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of their two years of negotiations — "terms which Abbas now regrets not responding to," the source said. The source confirmed that Olmert's reference to an international trusteeship in the Holy Basin, which "will not be a sovereign part of either the State of Israel or the state of Palestine," would involve Israel relinquishing sovereignty at the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.
09.24.10 UN atomic body rebuffs resolution against Israel
VIENNA, September 24 - After Arab states' push for Israel to join anti-proliferation. The UN atomic watchdog threw out on Friday an Arab-backed resolution urging Israel to accede to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The International Atomic Energy Agency, on the last day of its annual general conference, voted against the resolution, with 51 votes against, 46 votes for and 23 abstentions. Israel warned the UN nuclear watchdog on Friday that an Arab-led push to target the Jewish state in a resolution could deal a "fatal blow" to future cooperation on boosting Middle East security...Arab representatives said Israel's presumed nuclear arsenal threatens regional peace and stability. The Jewish state is the region's only country outside the NPT...The United States has urged Arab states to withdraw the non-binding resolution, saying it could derail broader efforts to ban such arms in the Middle East and also send a negative signal to the relaunched Israeli-Palestinian peace process. "It is...unfortunate that this resolution is being pursued at a time when peace talks in the Middle East are being restarted after a long delay," US Ambassador Glyn Davies said. [Full story>>alarabiya.net]
09.24.10 LeT planning to use women ultras to trigger violence: report
JAMMU, September 24 - Militant outfit Lasker-e-Toiba (LeT) plans to trigger blasts using trained women terrorists who will intermingle with protesters to carry out attacks as part of a strategy to intensify violence in Kashmir Valley, according to intelligence intercepts. "It has come to the notice of the intelligence agencies through various inputs received that terrorists belonging to LeT are likely to intermingle with the protesters," a brief report of the Army said today. According to inputs received, LeT operatives have sought permission from their handlers across the border to lob grenades or explode IEDs during demonstrations to trigger large scale casualties and incite protesters to resort to violence, it said. [More>>indianexpress.com]
09.24.10 Pakistan erupts over jailing of scientist Aafia Siddiqui
(AFP) September 25 - Pakistani police used tear gas to disperse protesters who shouted "Death to America" in outrage after a US court jailed a woman scientist for 86 years for attempting to murder US officers. In a case that has been condemned across the nuclear-armed Muslim nation of 167 million, the government said it would petition Washington to secure the mother of three's repatriation on humanitarian grounds. A New York court found Aafia Siddiqui, the once brilliant scientist dubbed "Lady Qaeda" by the US tabloids, guilty of the attempted murder of US military officers in Afghanistan in 2008 — five years after she disappeared. In Karachi, Siddiqui's home town and Pakistan's largest city, police fired tear gas shells to prevent scores of people from marching on the US consulate at the behest of the youth wing of Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). The protesters shouted "Death to America," "Allahu akbar" (God is greater), "Free Aafia Siddiqui" and "Down with the US system of justice." [More>>news.com.au]
09.24.10 FBI serves terror warrants in Minn., Chicago
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) September 24 - The FBI said it searched eight homes in Minneapolis and Chicago as part of a terrorism investigation on Friday, and two subjects said the agency is targeting leaders of the anti-war movement. FBI spokesman Steve Warfield told The Associated Press agents served six warrants in Minneapolis and two in Chicago. "These were search warrants only," Warfield said. "We're not anticipating any arrests at this time. They're seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism." The home of Minneapolis anti-war activists Mick Kelly and Jess Sundin were among those searched, they told the AP. "The FBI is harassing anti-war organizers and leaders, folks who opposed US intervention in the Middle East and Latin America," Kelly said before agents confiscated his cell phone. Sundin called the suggestion they were connected with terrorism "pretty hilarious and ridiculous." [More>>msnbc.msn.com]
09.24.10 Mexican mayor slain in drug-plagued northern state, 4th in more than a month
MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) September 24 - Gunmen killed a town mayor near the drug-plagued industrial city of Monterrey, authorities said Friday, the fourth mayor in northern Mexico to be murdered in little more than a month. Prisciliano Rodriguez Salinas was gunned down late Thursday along with one of his personal employees in the town of Doctor Gonzalez, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Monterrey, the Nuevo Leon state Attorney General's Office said. Eliseo Lopez Riojas was killed as he was picking up equipment from the mayor's house, and a white car waiting outside started firing. Investigators found 19 shells from two different weapons at the scene. More>>foxnews.com]
09.24.10 One ex-Marine's combat with Israeli commandos aboard the Mavi Marmara
BELFAST, September 24 - On May 31, former US Marine Kenneth O'Keefe was aboard the Mavi Marmara in the Free Gaza flotilla. He witnessed the passengers' preparations for a clash and the confused takeover by Israel troops that resulted in nine dead. "I don't remember exactly how long we were at sea. Maybe three-four days. There were all kinds of delays, but the atmosphere was good and our spirits were high. I was certain we would succeed in entering Gaza. I brought my expensive possessions — a computer, cameras. People came to me two-three hours before [the takeover of the ship] and told me, 'There will be an attack.' I replied, 'No, that can't be.' I really didn't believe it. In the 2008 flotilla I was the captain of one of the ships and there, too, Israel said they would stop us by force, but in the end let us through. I was convinced that it would be the same this time."
09.23.10 UN probe finds 'clear evidence' of 'wilful killing'
(AP) September 23 - A UN probe said on Wednesday there was "clear evidence to support prosecutions" against Israel for "wilful killing" and torture committed when its troops stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May. A report by three UN-appointed human rights experts has found that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla killing nine activists earlier this year. The UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded, in a report published Wednesday, that Israel's naval blockade of the Palestinian territory was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and described the military raid on the flotilla as brutal and disproportionate. The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded late Wednesday by saying the Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report, had a "biased, politicized and extremist approach." The Islamic militant group Hamas that controls Gaza, meanwhile, praised the report and called for those involved in the raid to be punished. The 56-page document lists a series of alleged crimes committed by Israeli forces during and after the raid, including willful killing and torture, and claims there is "clear evidence to support prosecutions." [More>>france24.com; See also, haaretz.com, September 23, "Turkey: We expect formal apology, compensation from Israel." ; For background on flotilla see:
09.23.10 Six arrested for 'burning Korans' in UK
(AFP) September 23 - British police have arrested six people on suspicion of inciting racial hatred over a YouTube video apparently showing them setting fire to copies of the Koran. Police in northeastern England said that they had detained two men on September 15 and four more on Wednesday, adding that all of them had been bailed pending further inquiries. "The arrests followed the burning of what are believed to have been two Korans in Gateshead on September 11," a spokesman for Northumbria Police said. "The incident was recorded and a video placed on the internet." The YouTube video shows a group of masked men shouting "September 11, International Burn a Koran Day" and "This is for the boys in Afghanistan" before pouring petrol on what they claim are two copies of Islam's holy book. They then cheer and chant slogans as the books burst into flames, before kicking them. The police force and the local authority issued a joint statement saying that the "kind of behaviour displayed in this video is not at all representative of our community as a whole..." [More>>news.com.au]
09.23.10 The burqa mural: should it be painted over?
September 23 - This mural ["Say no to Burqas,"] has appeared in the trendy Sydney suburb of Newtown. It was painted by the owner of the property, shop owner Sergio Redegalli who also, apparently, has a ban-the-burqa bumper sticker. Locals have complained and council officials have visited the owner to talk to him about removing but have said in a statement that legally their hands are tied. There's a pretty simple freedom of speech issue at play here: should it be painted over? Redegalli told the local newspaper, The Inner West Courier: "This mural has come from frustration that political correctness has gone so far you can't say anything about Muslims without getting in trouble," he said. "This is a stance on rights for ourselves, we can say something peacefully without having violence." [More>>thepunch.com.au]
09.23.10 Hizbut Tahrir denounces HKBP, demands Islamic state
JAKARTA, Indonesia, September 23 - Say it with posters: Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) members unfurl banners and posters during a rally at Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Thursday. The Islamic group demanded that the government enforce a ministerial decree on houses of worship. – JP/ J. Adiguna. Hundreds of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia members rallied at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Thursday to support a regulation on houses of worship and implementation of sharia. The hard-line Islamic group activists unfurled posters to denounce followers of Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) for failing to comply with a joint ministerial decree on development of places of worship, which requires a congregation to seek approval from local people’s consent if they wish to build a house of worship.
09.23.10 Kuwait asks Interpol to arrest Shiite cleric
DUBAI, September 23 - After remarks on prophet's wife and companions. The Kuwait government asked Interpol to arrest and hand over an exiled Shiite man after it had stripped him of citizenship after remarks he made about prominent Islamic figures, Kuwait's Al-Anba newspaper reported. Kuwait resorted to the Interpol one day after issuing a resolution to withdraw the Kuwaiti citizenship from Yasser Habib, who made derogatory statements about Aisha, Prophet Mohamed's wife and several of the prophet's companions, the rding to the newspaper reported on Tuesday.
09.23.10 Texas Board of ED: Textbooks are anti-Christian
September 23 - Conservative activist school board declares history books pro-Islam, "Very, very, very, very biased" ; vote Friday. Texas' State Board of Education - following a long history of throwing itself into "culture war" issues — is set to vote Friday on a resolution calling on textbook publishers to limit what they print about Islam in world history books. The resolution cites world history books no longer used in Texas schools that it says devoted more lines of text to Islamic beliefs and practices than Christian beliefs and practices. "Diverse reviewers have repeatedly documented gross pro-Islamic, anti-Christian distortions in social studies texts," reads a draft of the resolution, which would not be binding on future boards that will choose the state's next generation of social studies texts. The measure was first suggested to the board this summer by Odessa businessman Randy Rives, who lost his Republican primary bid for a seat on the panel earlier this year.
09.23.10 India bans bulk text messages before mosque verdict
NEW DELHI (Reuters) September 23 - India has banned bulk mobile text messaging for three days to prevent the spreading of rumors and religious extremism as authorities prepare for a potentially explosive court verdict between Muslims and Hindus. A high court will rule on Friday whether Hindus or Muslims own land around a demolished mosque in northern India, a judgment haunted by memories of 1992 riots, when some 2000 were killed. It was one of the worst outbreaks communal violence since the partition in 1947. The government statement gave no reasons for the order, but a senior security official with knowledge of the order cited security reasons before the court verdict. The case over the 16th century Babri mosque in Uttar Pradesh state is one of the biggest security challenges in India this year, along with a Maoist insurgency and a Kashmiri separatist rebellion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said. Hindu mobs demolished the mosque in the town of Ayodhya in 1992, claiming it was built on the birthplace of their god-king Rama. The demolition triggered religious riots. [>arabtimesonline.com]
09.23.10 Obama sees new era of US-UN cooperation
UNITED NATIONS, September 23 - President Obama on Thursday told world leaders gathered in New York that he has followed through on his vow one year ago to embrace the international body, and argued his policy of engagement has allowed the United States to make progress on nuclear non-proliferation and other key issues. Mr. Obama also used his second address to the UN General Assembly as president to prod Iran, saying the latest round of UN sanctions against Tehran are a result of Iran's defiance of international weapons inspection treaties. He did so while reiterating that cooperation is still possible if Iranian leaders agree to cooperate.
09.23.10 UK opens world's biggest offshore windfarm
September 23 - Today's unveiling of the 100-turbine Thanet windfarm was unspectacular, but it marks an important milestone for the UK. It is a very rare thing for the UK to claim pre-eminence in the much-touted global green economy, so the assembled local dignitaries, industry folk and one cabinet minister were not letting the dismal maritime backdrop put a downer on proceedings. The official opening of the Thanet windfarm off the coast of Kent — the biggest offshore project in the world — means that Britain generates more power from offshore wind than the rest of the world put together. Launching the project on P&O's Pride of Burgandy ferry, the energy and climate change minister Lib Dem Chris Huhne promised that Britain would shed its traditional "dunce" status on renewable energy.
09.23.10 25 militants killed in attack on Afghan-NATO camp
KABUL, Afghanistan, September 23 - Insurgents attacked a NATO and Afghan army outpost in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border and at least 25 of the militants were killed in the resulting skirmish, officials said Wednesday. Troops at the combat outpost in Spera district of Khost province returned fire with mortars late Tuesday, killing 25 to 30 insurgents, NATO said in a statement. Initial reports found there were no civilian casualties, it said. Gen. Raz Mohmmad Horya Khil, a senior commander of the Afghan National Army in the province, said 29 insurgents were killed. There were no casualties among NATO or Afghan troops, he said. Horya Khil said the attack, coming from the Pakistan side of the border, was directed at the Mir Safar joint-NATO and Afghan army camp and lasted for more than two hours. Helicopters were called in to provide support. [More>>japantoday.com]
09.23.10 Top rebel leader killed in Colombia
September 23 - A top leader of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) has been killed in an air raid, the Colombian military says. Jorge Briceno Suarez, also known as Mono Jojoy, headed Farc's military operations in the Macarena region in eastern Colombia. His death would the biggest setback to the Farc since mid-2008, when its foreign minister was killed and soldiers rescued 15 hostages including Ingrid Betancourt, the former Colombian presidential candidate. [More>>aljazeera.net]
09.23.10 CIA runs 3,000-strong covert army to hunt down al-Qaeda in Pakistan
NEW YORK, September 23 - America's CIA is running a 3,000-strong covert army to hunt down key leaders of Taliban and al-Qaeda in not only Afghanistan but across the border in Pakistan. This heavily-armed irregular force manned entirely by Afghan personnel operates in small units called Counter- terrorism Pursuit Teams, the New York Times reported today quoting extracts from a new book 'Obama's wars' by journalist Bob Woodward. The stunning disclosures in the book which is making waves for laying bare the policy divisions and the personality clashes among the Obama advisors on the Afghan policy may complicate relations between Washington and Islamabad, the paper said.
09.23.10 End illegal occupation in parts of J-K: India tells Pakistan
NEW YORK, September 23 - Stating that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter of India, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has asked Pakistan to end its illegal occupation of some parts of the state before advising New Delhi. "Kashmir is an internal matter of India," said Krishna, who is here on a 10-day visit to attend the annual UN General Assembly meeting. Pointing out that Pakistan is in "illegal occupation of some parts of Jammu and Kashmir," Krishna said, "it is desirable that they vacate that and then start advising India as to how to go about doing things in Kashmir." [More>>indianexpress.com]
09.22.10 Violent riots erupt in Jerusalem's Temple Mount
September 22 - 1,000 join funeral procession of Palestinian killed by Israeli security guard in Silwan; ten people, 3 police officers injured; buses, police cars, other vehicles destroyed, set ablaze; police dispersing rioters. Large riots erupted in east Jerusalem on Wednesday as approximately 1,000 people joined a funeral procession for a Palestinian man killed by an Israeli security guard in Silwan on Wednesday morning. Ten people were injured, including a 35-year-old Israeli in moderate condition who was stabbed in the back near Mount of Olives, and three police officers. Police reported that attendees threw stones at officers, vehicles and buses causing injuries and damage, and that a police vehicle and several other vehicles were set alight near Jerusalem's Old City. Three buses were destroyed.
09.22.10 Officials: homegrown extremism new terror front
September 22 - Threats tied to domestic radicalization becoming more pronounced as al-Qaeda inspires array of terrorist groups. Efforts by terrorists abroad to radicalize and recruit US residents are an evolving problem, three top Obama administration officials told Congress on Wednesday. The threat posed by homegrown extremists shows that the battle against terrorism has become more complex in the past year, underscoring the challenges of pinpointing and blocking terrorist plots, said Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center. "Groups affiliated with al-Qaeda are now actively targeting the United States and looking to use Americans or Westerners who are able to remain undetected by heightened security measures," FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It appears domestic radicalization and homegrown extremism is becoming more pronounced," Mueller said. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said al-Qaeda has inspired an array of terrorist groups. "We are all seeing more diverse activity" by a more diverse collection of groups, Napolitano said. [More>>cbsnews.com]
09.22.10 3 journalists arrested in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, September 22 - Two Afghan journalists were arrested during raids on their homes in the early hours of Monday and Wednesday on suspicion of collaborating with the Taliban, according to the United States military. The arrests of the journalists came about because "coalition and Afghan forces have a responsibility to interdict the activities of these insurgent propaganda networks," a spokeswoman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, Maj. Sunset Belinsky, said in an e-mailed statement.
09.22.10 10 militants killed in FR Peshawar raids
PESHAWAR, Pakistan September 22 - Pastwana area of FR Peshawar has been cleared through a search operation during which 10 militants were killed, Geo News reported Wednesday. According to sources of security forces, raids against terrorists continue in different areas of FR Peshawar while Pastwana area has been declared clear. The security forces recovered 25 toy bombs, mortars and explosives prepared for use in suicide attacks during the operation. They said 10 militants were taken out during the search operation while 3 security men were martyred and 4 more sustained injuries. The security forces are presently in the process of clearing Pakhai area in FR Peshawar. [>geo.tv]
09.22.10 Yemen government says 28 militants captured in anti-al-Qaeda siege
September 22 - The fighting between al-Qaeda militants and the Yemeni military appears to be intensifying after the Yemeni army destroyed five homes suspected of hiding al-Qaeda militants in the southwest of the country Tuesday. The director of security for Shabwa province in Yemen told Fox News that 28 militants had been captured Wednesday by authorities, as a siege of the southern village entered its third day. Medical sources there also said four Yemeni soldiers have been killed. However, officials denied earlier reports that US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was among those surrounded, but he is believed to be hiding out in a town 60 miles from the fighting. Government forces moved into the village of Hawta with tanks and armored vehicles and thousands of people have fled the area to escape the fighting, which officials say is targeting a 120-man militant cell. Militants holed up in the town are reportedly using civilians as human shields. [More>>foxnews.com]
09.22.10 Medvedev bans sale of S-300 missiles, other weapons to Iran
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) September 22 - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree banning the delivery of S-300 missile systems, armored vehicles, warplanes, helicopters and ships to Iran, the Kremlin said Wednesday. The decree is part of measures Russia is taking to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1929 of June 9, 2010. [>en.rian.ru]
09.22.10 Italy seizes 7 tones of Iranian explosives in port
REGGIO DI CALABRIA, Italy (Reuters) September 22 - Italian authorities have seized 7 tones of powerful RDX explosive being shipped from Iran to Syria, police said on Wednesday. Anti-mafia police found the cargo in a shipping container on a Liberian-registered ship that docked in the Calabrian port of Gioia Tauro in southern Italy last month and said it would have been enough to destroy the port. The cargo, hidden among packs of powdered milk, was seized on August 27 but police, who were tipped off by intelligence services, did not make an announcement until this week. Carmelo Casabona, the local police chief, said the cargo arrived in Italy "with the involvement of international criminal organizations." But the Ndrangheta, the powerful Calabrian mafia, did not appear to be involved, he said. Authorities were originally considering whether some of the explosives may have been intended to be unloaded in Italy for local use but they said this did not now appear to be the case. RDX, sometimes known as T4, is a high explosive designed for military and industrial use. [>khaleejtimes.com]
09.22.10 Ten killed as bomb targets Iran military parade
TEHRAN, September 22 - While marking 30th anniversary of Iran-Iraq war. A bomb tore through a military parade in Iran Wednesday killing ten people, mostly women and children, as the country marked the 30th anniversary of the start of the bloody Iran-Iraq war, reports said. Dozens of people were wounded in the blast, which occurred during an annual military parade in the northwestern Kurdish town of Mahabad, Arabic-language television channel al-Alam said. "The explosion happened in the morning as people were watching the military parade and it left nine dead and dozens wounded, mostly women and children. The explosives were in a bag," al-Alam said. The attack took place as Iran marked the 30th anniversary of the start of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, during which army parades are traditionally staged across the country.
09.22.10 Three French nationals kidnapped off Nigerian coast
(AFP) September 22 - Three French workers have been kidnapped after an attack on their ship off the coast of Nigeria, a spokesman for marine services company Bourbon has confirmed. Pirates boarded an oil industry supply vessel off Nigeria on Wednesday and seized three French seamen, in the second hostage drama for French energy workers in West Africa in less than a week. The men's employer, French maritime services firm Bourbon, and the French foreign ministry said they had contacted the kidnapped workers' families and were working with Nigerian authorities to secure their release. A spokesman for the Nigerian military taskforce deployed to protect the west African giants's oil industry confirmed the attack, but said that in total four hostages were taken. Wednesday's drama came just six days after five French nationals working in neighboring Niger's uranium fields were kidnapped by al-Qaeda militants, in an unrelated attack that has already stretched French assets in the region. [More>>france24.com]
09.21.10 France at 'imminent' risk of terrorist attack, intelligence indicates
(AFP) September 20 - France may be facing an "imminent" terrorist attack — with public transport one possible target — and police are looking into reports that a female suicide bomber may be planning a strike in Paris, interior ministry sources said on Monday. France is at immediate risk of a major terror attack by Islamist radicals and has further reinforced already urgent security measures since last week, officials said Monday. Asked about reports that an attack might be imminent, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said: "The threat is real, we have stepped up our vigilance." Separately, a source close to the ministry confirmed that police are probing reports that a female suicide bomber may be preparing a strike in Paris, but added: "That's not necessarily the most worrying thing." Instead, he explained, Paris is concerned with intelligence received from an allied foreign spy agency that al-Qaeda's North African branch, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was planning an "imminent" attack in France. [More>>france24.com]
09.21.10 France steps up military efforts to find hostages
(AFP) September 20 - France dispatched dozens of specialised military personnel to Niger as it stepped up efforts to locate seven hostages held by suspected al-Qaeda militants, diplomatic and military sources said Monday. The 80-strong technical group has set up a base in the capital Niamey and are working in five teams, using a long-range reconnaissance plane to scour the desert and a specially modified Mirage jet with detection equipment. "The goal is to detect radio broadcasts and electromagnetic emissions in a bid to locate the hostage takers," a government source in Paris told AFP. The defence ministry refused to confirm or deny the information.
09.21.10 Thousands of Yemenis flee battle with al-Qaeda
SANAA, September 21 - Qaeda militants using human shields in Yemen town: official. Thousands of Yemenis have fled a village in the south where security forces are laying siege to al-Qaeda militants, a security official said, signaling an escalation in the government's US-backed campaign to uproot the terror network's local offshoot. Government forces have moved into the village of Hawta with tanks and armored vehicles and 90 percent of its residents have fled, Abdullah Baouda, police chief for the surrounding district, said on Monday. One family fleeing Hawta said forces have shelled the village and another nearby trouble spot, the city of Lawder for the past two days to flush out the militants, killing two civilians and wounding three others, according local government and medical officials. Hawta is in Yemen's mountainous Shabwa province, one of the areas where al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has taken root over the past year and a half, beyond the reach of a weak central government that has little control outside the capital. [More>>alarabiya.net]
09.21.10 New global lineup lists India 3rd most powerful nation
WASHINGTON, September 21 - Recognizing India's growing clout in the world, an official US report on global governance has declared the country the third most powerful nation after the United States and China. The new global power lineup for 2010 compiling the world's most powerful countries or regions recognized India as the third-most powerful country behind the US and China, and predicted that its clout as well as that of China and Brazil would further rise by 2025. "Global Governance 2025" — a follow-on to the NIC's 2008 report — was jointly issued by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) of the powerful Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the European Union's Institute for Security Studies (EUISS). In 2010, the US tops the list of powerful countries/regions, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of the global power. The US is followed by China (more than 12 per cent), European Union (more than 16 per cent), India (nearly eight per cent), and less than five per cent each for Japan, Russia and Brazil. [More>>indianexpress.com]
09.21.10 Netanyahu to US Jews: Israeli troops should guard border with future Palestinian state
September 21 - Palestinians reject the idea and have proposed deploying international force along the border between the West Bank and Jordan, as part of a peace settlement, but PM says that won't be enough to ensure Israel's security. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel would want to keep its troops on the eastern border of a future Palestinian state, telling American Jewish leaders that an international force alone could not ensure Israel's security. Palestinians reject the idea and have proposed deploying international force along the border between the West Bank and Jordan, as part of a peace settlement. Netanyahu told US Jewish leaders in a conference call on Monday that the only force that can be relied on to defend the Jewish people is the Israel Defense Forces. "I don't believe that under these circumstances international troops will do the job," Netanyahu said, according to the transcript posted on his office's Web site.
09.21.10 'We can't say Iran is pursuing nukes without evidence'
UNITED NATIONS (AP) September 21 - Turkish president speaks of wanting ME free of atomic weapons, relations with Israel after flotilla raid, canceled meeting with Peres in NY. Turkish President Abdullah Gul will call for a Middle East totally free of nuclear weapons when he addresses the UN General Assembly later this week, he told the Associated Press in an interview on Monday. "We would like to see our region free of nuclear weapons," Gul said in the interview. "The region should not be under such a threat." Gul has called in the past for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, but his latest comments come amid deteriorating relations with Israel following the May 31 IDF interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla in which nine Turks were killed. Israel is generally assumed to have assembled a sizable arsenal of nuclear warheads since the 1960s, but declines to discuss its status as a nuclear power.
09.21.10 Europe votes in law to send back illegal Afghans, Pakistanis
STRASBOURG (AFP) September 21 - Europe voted today a controversial deal to send back thousands of illegal Afghan and Pakistani immigrants. The "re-admission agreement" passed by the European parliament after years of negotiations with Islamabad is intended to ensure such returns meet international rules on human rights protections. About 13,000 Pakistani nationals were picked up in Europe in 2008 without correct paperwork, according to the Strasbourg-based parliament. It did not have figures for Afghan immigrants in a similar situation, who invariably pass through Pakistan. The European Union, which has brokered 11 such deals with other countries, sees this agreement as a means to undermine people smuggling networks. [More>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
09.21.10 Anti-immigration sentiment grows in Sweden
STOCKHOLM, September 21 - A far-right group's election breakthrough has shattered Sweden's reputation as a bastion of tolerance after years of being seemingly inoculated against the backlash on immigration seen elsewhere in Europe. Sunday's election showed that the country's welcome to refugees is not universally accepted: Nearly 6% of the population voted for a nationalist group that accuses immigrants — especially Muslims — of eroding Sweden's national identity and its cherished welfare state. It's a bitter pill for a nation that frowned upon Denmark's vitriol toward Muslim immigrants, Swiss attempts to ban minarets and France's crackdown on Gypsy camps. "The banner of tolerance has been hauled down and the forces of darkness have finally taken the Swedish democracy hostage, too," the Expressen tabloid wrote in a post-election editorial. [More>>japantoday.com]
09.19.10 Report: Egypt warns of immediate terror threat from Sinai
September 19 - Hamas militants reportedly smuggled Grad rockets from Gaza to Egypt, with intention of firing them at Israel and Jordan. Egyptian security forces have raised their security alert across the Sinai Peninsula after receiving detailed warning that Palestinian militants were planning to fire rockets from within the territory at Israel and Jordan, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported on Sunday. The security forces believe that a militant cell comprising mostly Hamas members infiltrated the peninsula through tunnels dug along the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt, smuggling with them long-range Grad rockets. The militants were planning to launch their attacks in the near future, according to the news agency. Five Grad-type Katyusha rockets were fired last month from Sinai at Eilat and the neighboring Jordanian port city of Aqaba. [More>>haaretz.com]
09.19.10 Gunmen torch Gaza beach club shuttered by Hamas
(AFP) September 19 - Masked gunmen on Sunday set fire to a Gaza beach club that had earlier been ordered closed by the territory's Hamas rulers, an owner said. Alaa al-Araj, one of the owners of the "Crazy Water" club and a former Hamas minister, said about 40 gunmen had tied up and blindfolded a nightwatchman before setting fire to an administrative building and restaurant overnight. "The fire engulfed different parts of the club, including an administrative building, and then spread to the main restaurant and cafeteria, which is three storeys high," he said. He said the club had been ordered to close for three days last month by the Hamas-run government because it had hosted parties in which men and women mingled. [More>>france24.com]
09.19.10 Indonesia church defies authorities
September 19 - Christians hold prayers in closed church near Jakarta, citing equal rights to worship as their Muslim brethren. Dozens of Christians have defied police and threats of attack from Muslim groups to hold prayers inside their boarded-up church near the Indonesian capital. The group held their Sunday service surrounded by hundreds of police and security guards, saying they had as much right as any Indonesian to worship in the Muslim-majority country. Local officials used bullhorns to remind members of the Batak Christian Protestant Church that they were banned from the site following an attack last week by suspected Muslim activists on two church leaders. "We just want to carry out our obligations as Christians, but authorities are treating us like terrorists," Advent Tambunan, a member of the congregation in the industrial city of Bekasi, said. "There's no justice for us in this country."
09.19.10 Armenians celebrate rare mass in Turkey
AKDAMAR ISLAND, Turkey (AFP) September 19 - Ankara opens historic church as goodwill gesture. Hundreds of Armenians gathered Sunday for their first mass in nearly a century at a historic church in eastern Turkey after Ankara opened it for prayers as a good will gesture. Boats ferried worshippers to the rocky Akdamar Island — Akhtamar in Armenian — in Lake Van, where the 10th-century Church of the Holy Cross stands as a rare reminder of a community that fell victim to mass killings by Ottoman Turks during World War I. Turkey gave permission for the mass — the first here in 95 years — hoping it will help reconciliation with Armenia, but its failure to install a cross on the church dome has sparked controversy. The two-meter-tall (six-foot) cross stood on a wooden pedestal at the church entrance, to be hoisted to the dome later. Officials blamed the delay on red tape restricting any work on the listed historical monument, which is officially a museum. [More>>alarabiya.net]
09.19.10 China halts top-level ties with Japan over boat dispute
September 19 - China has suspended top-level exchanges with Japan in a row over the detention of a Chinese ship captain following a collision near disputed islands. Chinese state media said ministerial and provincial-level contacts had been suspended, including talks on aviation and coal. Earlier, a Japanese court extended the detention of the captain, held after the collision in the East China Sea. The disputed islands are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. China had warned it would be taking "strong measures" against Japan after a court in Okinawa, southern Japan, said the sailor could be held for a further 10 days. A foreign ministry statement read out on Chinese state television said the decision had "seriously damaged Sino-Japan bilateral exchanges." It read: "[Foreign ministry spokesman] Ma Zhaoxu said China has repeated many times that any judicial measures Japan has taken against the Chinese captain are illegal and invalid. We demand Japan return the Chinese captain unconditionally and immediately. Japan continues to take the wrong course, China will take strong counter-measures and Japan will have to take all the consequences." [More>>bbc.co.uk]
09.19.10 Curfew clamped in all major Kashmir Valley towns, toll hits 102
SRINAGAR, India, September 19 - Barring Baramulla, curfew was re-imposed in all major towns of the Kashmir Valley on Sunday notwithstanding the separatists' decision to exempt the day from protests and strikes. Meanwhile, three persons injured during alleged firing by security forces over the last three days succumbed to their wounds, taking the death toll in the ongoing unrest to 102, official sources said here. [More>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
09.19.10 Twin Baghdad car bombs kill 31, wound dozens
BAGHDAD (AP) September 19 - Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad on Sunday killing at least 31 people, breaking what has been a period of relative calm since the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The biggest blasts in the Iraqi capital in a month occurred as commuters were starting their work week, underlining the challenges facing Iraqi security officials in stabilizing Baghdad as the US forces end combat operations and Iraq's police and military assume responsibility for protecting the capital. At least 10 people were killed when a car bomb exploded in western Baghdad's affluent Mansura neighbourhood, said General. All Feudal, who is responsible for the western half of the city. He said another 10 were wounded in the attack, and security officials are investigating whether it was the work of a suicide car bomb targeting a crowded commercial area near an AsiaCell store, one of Iraq's biggest mobile phone providers. [More>>indianexpress.com]
09.19.10 Eight die as the Taliban disrupt Afghan elections
September 19 - Some voters too scared to cast ballots, but officials claim 92 per cent of polling stations remain open. Afghans braved Taliban rockets and polling site bombings yesterday to vote for a new parliament in elections seen as a measure of the government's competence and commitment to democratic rule. It was the first nationwide balloting since a fraud-marred presidential election last year undermined international support for President Hamid Karzai. Security has worsened since then, and the Taliban made good on threats to disrupt yesterday's polling. At least three civilians and five militiamen were killed, and the governor of Kandahar province survived a bomb attack. Observers had expected the vote to be far from perfect, but hoped it would accepted by the Afghan people as legitimate. About 2,500 candidates were vying for 249 seats in the parliament. [More>>independent.co.uk]
09.19.10 Taliban kill 7 Afghan security forces
KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, September 19 - A Taliban attack near a polling station in Afghanistan's north killed one Afghan soldier and six pro-government militiamen on Saturday, police said. "One national army and six Arbaki (militiamen) were killed in the attack," Baghlan's police chief, Abdul Rahman Rahimi, told reporters by phone. Five others were wounded in the attack in Baghlan province, which took place near a polling station and an adjacent security outpost. [>thenews.com.pk]
09.19.10 Ahmadinejad asks US to free detained Iranians
(AFP) September 19 - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked Washington to free eight Iranians who he said were “illegally arrested and detained,” in an interview to be aired on Sunday. "It would not be misplaced to ask that the US government should take a humanitarian gesture to release the Iranians who were illegally arrested and detained here in the United States," Ahmadinejad said, according to excerpts of the interview released by ABC News. The request came days after Iran freed 32-year-old US national Sarah Shourd after holding her and fellow hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal for more than a year. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
09.19.10 Iranian court jails human rights activits for 'waging war against God'
September 19 - Shiva Nazar Ahari convicted of crime known as 'moharebeh,' usually punishable by death. An Iranian court has jailed a prominent human rights activist and journalist for six years after convicting her of "waging war against God" and other charges. In another indication of the regime's determination to punish those who took part in protests after last year's disputed presidential election, Shiva Nazar Ahari was convicted of the crime known as "moharebeh" — usually punishable by death. The 26-year-old, who founded the Committee of Human Rights Reporters in Tehran, was also convicted of plotting to commit crimes and agitating against the ruling system, Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency reported. Ahari was fined about £250 as a substitute for receiving 76 lashes. The activist's family and supporters say the charges were politically motivated. [More>>guardian.co.uk]
09.19.10 American woman freed from Iran arrives in US
NEW YORK, September 19 - An American woman who was held in Iran for more than 13 months and accused of spying returned Sunday to the United States, a spokeswoman said. Sarah Shourd arrived in the country Sunday morning after leaving Oman Saturday, spokeswoman Samantha Topping said. She wouldn't specify where Shourd's flight landed but said Shourd was on her way to New York for a news conference later Sunday, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also is due to arrive in the city to attend the UN General Assembly. [More>>cbsnews.com]
09.19.10 Philippine troops kill wanted militant
MANILA, September 19 - Philippine troops killed a top Abu Sayyaf militant Sunday who had helped plan and carry out the 2001 kidnapping of three Americans and 17 Filipinos from a popular Philippine resort, military officials said. Abdukarim Sali, who also went by the names Benjami Sali and Ben Rafy, was killed during a 10-minute firefight with soldiers and police, said First Lt. Jinky M. Perez, a military spokeswoman in the southern Philippines. The incident occurred in the town of Lantawan on the province of Basilan Island, where Abu Sayyaf was founded in the early ’90s and maintains a presence despite a nearly decade-old US-backed campaign to flush it out. Mr. Sali, for whose capture the authorities had offered a reward of 350,000 pesos, or about $7,900, was one of a number of Abu Sayyaf leaders they have sought in the past decade. Lieutenant Perez said soldiers on Basilan had been conducting operations for weeks and chanced upon a GROUP of Abu Sayyaf militants early Sunday. Troops recovered weapons and mobile phones after the gunfight, she said. [More>>nytimes.com]
09.19.10 Two foreigners injured in firing near Jama Masjid in Delhi
NEW DELHI, India, September 19 - Raising security concerns ahead of the Commonwealth Games, two men on a motorbike fired several rounds on a tourist vehicle near the historic Jama Masjid in the walled city, injuring two Taiwanese nationals. A red alert has been sounded across the capital after the incident in which the two bikers are said to have fired 7-8 rounds on the stationary vehicle adjacent to gate number three of the mosque and 100 metres away from the house of Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari at around 11.30am. The two injured, who are from Taiwan, were taken to nearby government Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan Hospital in the same bus. Their condition is stated to be stable. One of them was injured when a bullet grazed his head while another was hit in the abdomen and is being operated, LNJP Hospital Medical Superintendent Amit Banerjee said. [More>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
09.17.10 Karzai urges Afghans to vote, ignore Taliban
(AP) September 17 - Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged citizens to vote in Saturday's parliamentary election despite fears of violence and threats from the Taliban warning people not to leave their homes. Police set up extra checkpoints across Afghanistan on Friday to search for suicide bombers and insurgents ahead of the election that will test the government's ability to hold legitimate elections after last year’s disastrous presidential vote. "Tomorrow's election is very important," Karzai told reporters. "I hope that all our people in all corners of the country, in any village will go to the polling centers and to vote for their favorite candidate." The international coalition supporting Afghanistan with 140,000 troops and billions of dollars will be watching to see if the election will be safe and fair and not a repeat of the fraud-marred presidential vote in August 2009 that nearly undermined Karzai's credibility with his international backers. About 2,500 candidates are vying for 249 parliamentary seats allocated among the 34 provinces according to population. [More>>indianexpress.com; See related story,
09.17.10 Pope's visit: Five arested in alleged terror plot
September 17 - Scotland Yard arrested five street cleaners today over an alleged terrorist threat to the pope. The men were arrested by armed officers in central London at 5.45am on the second day of the pope's visit. Sources say the men are believed to be Muslim and that some of them are Algerian. A spokesperson for Westminster city council said they were working for Veolia Environmental Services, a contractor which employs 650 on-street staff to keep Westminster's streets clean. The suspects, aged 26, 27, 36, 40 and 50, were held under the Terrorism Act 2000 at business premises in the central London. They were taken to a nearby police station, where they will be interviewed by detectives. [More>>guardian.co.uk]
09.17.10 IDF kills Hamas military commander in West Bank
September 17 - IDF says strongman ran towards soldiers in threatening manner, ignored requests to stop, resulting in him being shot. IDF soldiers killed a Hamas military commander overnight Thursday during security operations east of the West Bank city of Tulkarm, the IDF spokesperson's Unit said in a statement on Friday morning. The statement said that the Hamas member, Iyad Abu Shalabiya, ran towards IDF soldiers in a threatening manner, and had ignored the IDF's requests to cease his approach, resulting in him being shot. Military sources said that Shalabiya spent several years in Israeli prisons and was wanted for questioning. Twelve other suspects were arrested during the raid. The circumstances of the incident are under investigation.
09.17.10 Karachi shut down after killing of exile Imran Farooq
September 17 - Pakistan's largest city has come to a near standstill following the killing in London of an exiled leader of the powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement. MQM supporters have gathered in Karachi to mourn Imran Farooq, who was stabbed outside his home on Thursday afternoon. A BBC correspondent in the city says the situation is tense, with most shops, restaurants and schools closed. The murder investigation has meanwhile been taken over by the Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism unit, SO15. The BBC's home affairs correspondent, Danny Shaw, says although no-one has yet been arrested over the stabbing of Mr. Farooq, the working assumption at this stage is that it was politically motivated. [More>>bbc.co.uk]
09.17.10 Bomb planted at Quetta hospital defused
QUETTA, September 17 - A remote controlled bomb planted by unknown miscreants at Civil Hospital in Quetta has been successfully defused, Geo News reported Friday. According police sources, the explosives were packed in a container of Ghee and planted in the Dental Section of Civil Hospital situated here at Jinnah Road. Police sprung to action and rushed to the site upon getting the report of the bomb in the hospital where bomb disposal squad successfully defused the remote controlled bomb. Police sources further said that explosives weighing 8 kilograms were packed in a Ghee container. The initial investigation disclosed that the bomb was planted to target security forces. [>thenews.com.pk]
09.17.10 Your email IDs, passwords on sale online!
September 17 - There's a full-fledged underground marketplace on the Web for all things considered most secure: your email IDs and banking and passwords, online banking passwords, mobile numbers and related authentication details. And what's more the 'merchandise' can be custom-ordered too. Here's a product'-wise rate list: credit card CVVs; dates of birth and fraudulent phone call service; flooding software, and a full trojan making set. The underground e- Commerce crackers' marketplace. CVV2 Data Sets: $1.50 - $3.00. The CVV2 data set consists of a credit card's 16-digit PAN, CVV2 code, expiration date, billing address and embossed name.
These personal details are very often used by banks to authenticate an individual's identity. [More>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
09.16.10 Turks growing closer to Middle East: poll
ANKARA (AFP) September 16 - Turks have lost their appetite for European Union membership and believe their country should develop closer ties with the Middle East, according to a survey received on Thursday. The Transatlantic Trends study by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) found that only 38 percent of Turkish respondents in 2010 said they backed their country's integration with the EU, compared to 74 percent in 2004. The number of Turks who said they favoured closer cooperation between Ankara and Muslim countries in the Middle East has doubled from 10 percent in 2009 to 20 percent this year, said the survey.
09.16.10 Landmine kills 10 in Turkey: Security official
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (AFP) September 16 - Landmine explosion occurs during PKK ceasefire. A landmine believed to have been planted by Kurdish rebels blew up a minibus in southeast Turkey on Thursday, killing 10 people in one of the bloodiest attacks on civilians in recent years. The vehicle was carrying Kurdish villagers to Hakkari city when it hit the mine near Gecitli, a remote village in Hakkari province, on the border with Iraq and Iran, a local security source said on condition of anonymity. The bodies were badly mutilated in the blast, which left three people wounded, among them a 15-month-old baby...Immediate suspicions for the blast fell on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for self-rule in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. [Full story>>alarabiya.net]
09.16.10 Pakistan immigrant charged with unwittingly funding NY bomb plot
NEW YORK (Reuters) September 16 - A Pakistani immigrant pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to running an illegal money transfer business between Pakistan and the United States that was used to fund an attempt to bomb New York's Times Square. Mohammad Younis, 44, of suburban Long Island, provided failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad with money in April to pay for his attempted May 1 car bomb attack, but prosecutors did not accuse Younis of knowing how the money would be used. Shahzad, a Pakistani-born American, pleaded guilty in June to the attempted car bombing and said the payment he received to fund the attack had been organized by associates of the Pakistani Taliban Islamist extremist group.
09.16.10 Iran agents 'raid opposition leader's office'
(AFP) September 16 - Iranian security agents have raided the office of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, his website reported on Thursday, saying it was a move to stop him from highlighting the nation's economic woes. "Last night, security agents raided the office of Mir Hossein Mousavi. They searched the premises and took some equipment" including computers, Kaleme.com said without giving the exact location of the office. With the attack by plainclothes security agents on the office of Mousavi, it seems that another phase of restrictions has started," it said. The report said the raid was an attempt to prevent Mousavi from commenting on the country's economic situation. "The upcoming economic crisis... is among the worries of the government... They are distracting public opinion by imposing restrictions on people of the Green Movement like Mousavi and (Mehdi) Karroubi who are trying to give news on the status of the country," Kaleme said. [More>>france24.com]
09.16.10 Europe plans large lunar lander
September 16 - Europe is pressing ahead with plans to send a sophisticated, unmanned spacecraft to the surface of the Moon. EADS Astrium has been awarded a 6.5m-euro contract by the European Space Agency (Esa) to do further detailed design work on the mission. The 700-800kg robot would be aimed at the lunar south pole, using automated systems to guide itself into a gentle, precision landing. Once down, it would release a small rover to trundle across the surface. "The lander will have a set of scientific instruments onboard but the science will be geared towards human exploration," said Simonetta Di Pippo, the director of human spaceflight at Esa. "We will be looking for minerals and, hopefully, water in the soil, to see if we can prepare for a sustainable presence on the surface of the Moon," she told BBC News. [More>>bbc.co.uk]
09.16.10 Wasteland: Europe stalked by spectre of mass unemployment
September 16 - Rise in UK claimants prompts calls for rethink in austerity plans. The UK's fragile economic recovery was exposed yesterday by disappointing employment figures and an unexpected rise in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits. The claimant count, which measures the number of people claiming jobseekers' allowance, increased by 2,300 in August, the first rise since December last year, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics. The jump confounded City forecasts, which had pointed to further declines — and will alarm policy makers, coming as it does in the wake of this week's IMF warning that Europe risks becoming an employment "wasteland" in which joblessness threatens entire societies. Overall, unemployment in the UK fell by 8,000 in the three months to July on the preferred International Labour Organization (ILO) calculation. Joblessness in the UK now stands at 2.47 million, or 7.8 percent. [>independent.co.uk]
09.16.10 Census: 1 in 7 Americans live in poverty
September 16 - 14.3% Poverty rate highest since 1994; ranks of working poor reach level unseen since 1960s. The ranks of the working-age poor climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven Americans in poverty. The overall poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people, the Census Bureau said Thursday in its annual report on the economic well-being of US households. The report covers 2009, President Barack Obama's first year in office. The poverty rate climbed from 13.2 percent, or 39.8 million people, in 2008. The share of Americans without health coverage rose from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent — or 50.7 million people — mostly because of the loss of employer-provided health insurance during the recession. Congress passed a health overhaul this year to address rising numbers of the uninsured, but the main provisions will not take effect until 2014. [More>>cbsnews.com; See also foxnews.com, September 16, "Poverty rate highest since '94; foreclosures up 25 percent"]
09.16.10 An American innovation in light bulbs, but will manufacturing stay in the US?
SATELLITE BEACH, Fla., September 16 - During the depths of the night, Fred Maxik is often struck by an idea for building a better light bulb. When that happens, he rolls over and scrawls a diagram or a few words on the wall beside his bed with an indelible black marker, a practice his wife tolerates because he offers to repaint their room every six months. "I don't want to lose the thought," says the graying, pony-tailed inventor. Now, in a coup for Maxik and the company here he founded, the object of those pre-dawn inspirations is going on sale at Home Depot, the nation's largest lighting retailer.
09.16.10 Hillary Clinton says Mideast peace talks 'constructive'
September 16 - Peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis have been "constructive" and the United States hopes Israel will extend its moratorium on settlement construction, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an exclusive interview with Christiane Amanpour of "This Week." "It took a lot of political capital for Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu to achieve this moratorium," Clinton said today in Jerusalem. "It had never been done before. "At the same time, it's been in effect for the time that it was set for and the talks are just starting." The United States has worked hard to create a "conducive atmosphere" for negotiations, she said. Clinton is in Jerusalem for the second round of U.S.-brokered peace talks between the Israeli government, led by Netanyahu, and the Palestinian Authority, led by Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. [More>>abcnews.go.com; See related story,