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11.30.10 WikiLeaks' chief says his next target is big business, big banks
November 30 - The world's most notorious whistleblower, Julian Assange, has broken from hiding in London to reveal his next target is big business and the unveiling of corporate secrets. The WikiLeaks' chief this week created a diplomatic relations nightmare by releasing 251,287 confidential US Embassy cables. The website creator further enraged the US, UK and Australian governments earlier this year when he unleashed a trove of Afghan and Iraq war documents. Now, the 39-year-old former computer hacker says he will expose global corporations. Speaking from his hideout in a London flat, Mr. Assange said a new haul of secret documents, about half of which relate to the private sector, would be released early next year. WikiLeaks' next target will be a major American bank, he said. "It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms," he told Forbes magazine, adding: "For this, there's only one similar example. It's like the Enron emails." Mr. Assange also said he was sitting on a haul of damaging data on pharmaceutical, finance and energy companies. [More w/links to newsmedia WikiLeaks documents>>news.com.au]
11.30.10 Mubarak told US to allow dictator in Iraq: WikiLeaks
CAIRO, November 30 - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak advised the United States in 2008 to "forget" about democracy in Iraq and allow a dictator to take over, according to a diplomatic cable released this week on WikiLeaks. Mubarak made the comments during talks with visiting US congressmen to whom he also admitted that he was "terrified" by the possibility of a nuclear Iran, in the cable sent home from the US embassy. The president noted to the US delegation he had advised Washington against the 2003 invasion of Iraq that deposed dictator Saddam Hussein. But now that they had troops in mainly Shiite Iraq, American troops should not withdraw because that would only serve to strengthen Shiite Iran next door. [More>>indianexpress.com]
11.30.10 China 'backs Korean reunification'
November 30 - Chinese leaders privately support a unified Korea and would not stop the North's collapse, according to leaked US cable. Chinese officials increasingly doubt the usefulness of neighboring North Korea as an ally and would support the reunification of the peninsula if the communist state were to collapse, according to leaked US diplomatic cables. The latest documents released by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks on Tuesday detail conversations between US officials and Chinese diplomats, as well as a senior South Korean official's discussion with his Chinese counterparts. Cheng Guoping, the Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan, was reported to have told Richard Hoagland, the US ambassador, that "China hopes for peaceful reunification in the long-term, but he expects the two countries to remain separate in the short-term." The remarks were made during a three-hour dinner in Astana, Kazakhstan's capital, in June 2009, according to documents published on WikiLeaks website. Cheng was quoted as telling Hoagland that China's objectives in North Korea were to ensure they honour their commitments on non-proliferation, maintain stability, and "don't drive [Kim Jong-il] mad." [More>>aljazeera.net]
11.30.10 'Christmas Tree Bomber' was in touch with al-Qaeda mouthpiece
November 30 - Portland Suspect Mohamed Mohamud Wrote Jihadi Articles For Samir Khan, Praised al-Qaeda mouthpiece. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the Somali-American college student charged with plotting an attack on a Christmas lighting event in Portland, Oregon, was in contact with, and wrote articles for, another prominent American al-Qaeda propagandist for nearly two years, authorities say. Mohamud, who was arrested in an FBI sting, is accused of attempting to detonate what he believed to be a car bomb in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square via cellphone during the annual lighting of the Christmas tree last Friday, which had drawn a crowd of thousands. The supposed explosive device was non-functional . Mohamud, 19, pled not guilty in federal court Monday to one count of an attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
(Updated 11.30.10) 11.28.10 East Java police ask ulemas to 'set right' terrorists' beliefs
JAKARTA, Indonesia, November 28 - East Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Badrodin Haiti asked local ulemas to help correct the beliefs of terrorists and terrorist suspects, saying it was part of “deradicalization” designed to curb terror movements in Indonesia. Addressing a dialog organized by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) in Surabaya, Badrodin said there were 40 terrorists and terrorist suspects from East Java who could be the subject of the deradicalization treatment. They are either in detention, undergoing legal processing or still on the police's wanted list. "Deradicalization is also important; this is where ulemas hold important roles to safeguard the communities from the influences of radicalism," Badrodin said before audience members representing the MUI, Nahdlatul Ulama, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia and the Islamic Defenders Front. "I therefore ask ulemas to help educate terrorist inmates, to 'set right' their understanding of jihad, thought, and khilafah," he added, as quoted by Antara. The East Java consultative leadership council (Muspida) would begin a program gathering clerics and ulemas across the province for the purpose this December, Badrodin said. [>thejakartapost.com; Updated story,
Editorial note: "Jihad is directed against the unbeliever (spelled variously, as kufr, kufur, kufar, Kafir)." One may wonder how Indonesian clerics 'set right' the understanding of terrorists in the context of the definitions of khilafa and the Koran's verses regarding unbelievers:
A commentary on "Kufur / Kuffar / Kafir" ("unbeliever")
(from a commentary on Kufurs / Kafirs and the Islamic Hell [flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/hell.html by Zulfikar Khan) :
Other verses in Khan's commentary reflect on the Koran's view of Jews and Christians and the kufur's punishment in hell.
*Perhaps the most authoritative translation of the Koran is that by N. J. Dawood, Penguin Books, 1956-1974.
11.30.10 Suicide attack kills six in Bannu
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, November 30 - A suicide bomber blew himself up near a police station in Bannu on Tuesday, killing six people, including two children, officials said. "It was a suicide attack. The bomber came on foot and detonated himself near a police van close to a police station," said Bannu police chief Iftikhar Khan. "The death toll is now six. They include two boys aged seven and nine, one police official and three pedestrians. Nineteen people were injured," Khan told AFP. "Our van was the target of the blast," police official Raza Khan told AFP. The Pakistani Taliban, who frequently bomb government security forces in the northwest, later claimed responsibility for the attack. "We will keep targeting security forces in future," deputy spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location. [>geo.tv]
11.30.10 20 bodies found in northern Mexico mass grave
(AP) November 30 - The Mexican army discovered several clandestine graves holding at least 20 bodies near a ranch in the northern border state of Chihuahua, authorities said Monday. Soldiers found the bodies of 19 men and one woman buried in 12 graves over the weekend in the town of Puerto Palomas, across from Columbus, New Mexico, and informed police so they could oversee excavations, Chihuahua state prosecutor Jorge Gonzalez said. Gonzalez said that the bodies had been buried between four and eight months and that it had not yet been determined how they were killed because they were badly decomposed. Earlier this month, the bodies of 18 men who were kidnapped in Acapulco where they had gone on vacation were found in a mass grave outside the resort city. An alleged drug trafficker arrested last week in Mexico City told police he ordered the killings after mistaking the men for members of a rival cartel. Also in Chihuahua state, gunmen in two trucks chased and killed the newly appointed female police chief of the town of Meoqui on Monday. Hermila Garcia Quinones was driving to work when the attackers opened fire on her car, said Carlos Gonzalez, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office. [More>>cbsnews.com]
11.29.10 Obama proposes two-year pay freeze for Federal employees
WASHINGTON, November 29 - Federal employees will find their salaries stagnant for the next two years as President Obama announced on Monday a pay freeze that Republicans have claimed for the past year is necessary to help put the country on sound fiscal footing. The president said the freeze would apply to all civilian federal employees, including those working at the Department of Defense, but would not affect military personnel. "The hard truth is that getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government," Obama said from the White House. "Today, I'm proposing a two year pay freeze for all civilian federal workers." [More>>foxnews.com]
11.29.10 NATO troops killed in Afghan attack
November 29 - Troops shot dead by a man wearing Afghan police uniform during training session in eastern Afghanistan. Six NATO troops have been killed by a man disguised as an Afghan policeman in during a training session in eastern Afghanistan. The attack, which took place on Monday in Nangarhar province, is the latest in a series of similar attacks targeting foreign troops in Afghanistan. "An individual in an Afghan border police uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) during a training mission today, killing six service members in eastern Afghanistan," ISAF said in a statement released on Monday. ISAF did not reveal the nationality of the dead troops, but the attack took place in a part of Afghanistan where US forces are locked in a deadly ongoing struggle against Taliban fighters. The incident was the worst casualty toll suffered by ISAF since eight troops were killed in five separate incidents on October 14. The deaths bring the number of coalition troops killed in Afghanistan to 668, according to a tally kept by the AFP news agency, making it the deadliest years since the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban government in 2001. [More>>aljazeera.net]
11.29.10 Subjects of leaks condemn release
November 29 - Governments around the world continued to react with disapproval on Monday to the first batch of disclosures from over 250,000 American cables, alternately brushing off revelations of problematic, embarrassing and impolitic comments and lashing out at Wikileaks, the Web site responsible for the release. Iran provided the most strident response, accusing the United States of purposefully allowing the confidential diplomatic correspondence to become public. A number of cables discussed many nations’ discomfort with Iran's nuclear program and revealed unvarnished opinions from world leaders on how to contain it, including by threat or force. "Some part of the American government produced these documents," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a news conference in Tehran on Monday. "We don't think this information was leaked. We think it was organized to be released on a regular basis and they are pursuing political goals." Israel found some measure of vindication in the revelations of the breadth of the dismay with Iran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the documents supported Israel's assessments of Iran. "There is not a huge gap between what we say behind closed doors and what we say openly," Mr. Netanyahu said, adding that such was not the case in other countries in the region. [More>>nytimes.com; See related story,
11.29.10 Scientists trick cells into switching cell types
(AP) November 29 - Suppose you could repair tissue damaged by a heart attack by magically turning other cells into heart muscle, so the organ could pump effectively again. Scientists aren't quite ready to do that. But they are reporting early success at transforming one kind of specialized cell directly into another kind, a feat of biological alchemy that doctors may one day perform inside a patient's body. "I think everyone believes this is really the future of so-called stem-cell biology," says John Gearhart of the University of Pennsylvania, one of many researchers pursuing this approach. The concept is two steps beyond the familiar story of embryonic stem cells — versatile entities that can be coaxed to become cells of all types, like brain and blood. Scientists are learning to guide those transformations, which someday may provide transplant tissue for treating diseases like Parkinson's or diabetes. It's still experimental. But at its root, it's really just harnessing and speeding up what happens in nature: a versatile but immature cell matures into a more specialized one. [More>>cbsnews.com]
11.29.10 Oregon Muslim leaders fear retribution after Christmas tree lighting bomb plot
CORVALIS, Ore. (AP) November 29 - Patrols around mosques and other Islamic sites in Portland have been stepped up as Muslim leaders expressed fears of retribution, days after a Somali-American man was accused of trying to blow up a van full of explosives during the city's Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Portland Mayor Sam Adams said Sunday that he beefed up protection around mosques "and other facilities that might be vulnerable to knuckle-headed retribution" after hearing of the bomb plot. The move followed a fire Sunday at the Islamic center in Corvallis, a college town about 75 miles southwest of Portland, where suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud occasionally worshipped, prompting an FBI arson investigation and concern about the potential for more retaliation. Mohamud, 19, was being held on charges of plotting to carry out a terror attack Friday on a crowd of thousands at Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.
11.29.10 Robbery or hate crime? Sacramento cabbie severely beaten
November 29 - Sacramento cab driver Harbhajan Singh is recovering from severe injuries he received at the hands of two men he drove into West Sacramento early this morning. 56-year-old Singh believes the men intended to kill him, but he was able to get away. In a press release, West Sacramento Police say "two of the subjects began assaulting the victim and demanded money." But Singh says that his money wasn't what provoked the attack. He says it was his turban. "After he gets the money," Singh said of one of his attackers, "he's still fighting. He says 'I'll kill you.' I say, 'I'm not Muslim. Please.'" Singh has several stitches on his head and other parts of his body, bone chips in his nose, and bruising along his rib cage. He says he picked-up the near fatal fare at Harlow's in Midtown Sacramento Sunday morning. He says there were two men and two women. They first told him they were headed toward Broadway in Sacramento, but later had him drive into a dark West Sacramento neighborhood. That's when, according to Singh, the two men exploded into violence. One shouted expletives and called him Osama Bin Laden. [More>>fox40.com; For other misunderstandings on the Sikh religion, See Maravot News 7.08.08 article 7.04.08 Sikh group joins protest against ban on use of word "Allah" in Malaysia]
11.29.10 Militants attack electrical towers in Iraq
BAGHDAD (Reuters) November 29 - Militants bombed three electrical transmission towers in Iraq's Anbar province on Monday, cutting power to numerous western cities and towns in the first attack on the power grid for months, officials said. Police said improvised explosive devices were used to destroy the three towers near the city of Haditha, disrupting power to Qaim, Akashat, Rutba and other towns and villages. "It was a sabotage operation," said Amir al-Ani, the manager of electrical distribution in the area. "An operation to repair the towers will be finished at the end of this week." Militants attacked Iraq's feeble electrical power grid frequently earlier this year as politicians squabbled over positions in a new government after a March election that failed to produce a clear winner. Intermittent electricity is one of Iraqis' biggest complaints about the government. In a month-long period during April and May, bombers toppled 22 transmission towers. Many of the attacks disrupted power to the northern Nineveh province. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
11.29.10 Pakistan court bars Zardari from pardoning blasphemy accused woman
LAHORE, Pakistan, November 29 - A Pakistani court barred President Asif Ali Zardari or any other government functionary from pardoning a Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy in a case that has outraged rights activists. Chief Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif of the Lahore High Court issued the stay order in response to a petition filed by a man named Shahid Iqbal, who claimed Asia Bibi's case is sub-judice and the President was not authorised to grant her a reprieve. Chief Justice Sharif also issued notices to the federal and Punjab governments, asking the federal Law Secretary and the provincial chief Secretary to file detailed replies on the matter by December 6. The petitioner also demanded the disqualification of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer for taking up the matter of a presidential pardon for Asia Bibi. [More>>indianexpress.com]
11.29.10 Pakistani woman's nose cut off by in-laws
ISLAMABAD, November 29 - A Pakistani woman's nose was cut off and her head tonsured by her in-laws who then locked her up for three days because they suspected her of having an affair with a neighbour, police said. The incident took place in Gujranwala in Punjab province. Aasiya Bibi's brother-in-law Anwar, his wife Kalsoom and sons Waqas and Awais caught hold of her and cut off her nose and shaved off her head, alleging that she had an illicit relationship with a local man. "Aasiya has been living with her in-laws for over seven years and her husband works in Multan, so he rarely manages to visit," Express Tribune quoted Aasiya's neighbour Nida as saying. Nida said that Aasiya's in-laws were often cruel to her. Police said that the family locked up Aasiya in a room where she lay for three days after the incident, till a police team released her after being tipped-off...Her brother-in-law Anwar said: "She was having illicit relations with a neighbour. We caught her and this was her punishment. She deserved what happened to her...I should have killed her on the spot." [Full story>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
11.29.10 Iranian nuclear scientist killed in bomb attack
November 29 - Another scientist badly wounded as attackers on motorbikes fix devices to windows of cars in Tehran. Bomb attacks have killed a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another in Tehran, state TV reported today. Attackers riding on motorcycles attached the bombs to the car windows of the scientists as they were driving to their workplaces this morning, the station's website said. One bomb killed Majid Shahriari, a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at the Shahid Beheshti University, in Tehran. His wife, who was in the car with him, was wounded. The second blast seriously wounded the nuclear physicist Fereidoun Abbasi,52, also a professor at Shahid Besheshti University, and his wife. Confusion surrounded reports of a third explosion. Javanonline, a newspaper website close to the Revolutionary Guards reported that another explosion in Tehran killed two people but semi-official news agency Fars published an interview with Tehran's chief of police insisting there had only been two blasts. State TV swiftly blamed Israel for the attacks. The attackers were described as "unknown terrorists" by Press TV, the English language news network controlled by the Iranian government. [More>>guardian.co.uk]
11.28.10 Lee calls for China's role; Beijing offers 6-party talks but Seoul cold on proposal
November 28 - President Lee Myung-bak called on Beijing to take “a fair and responsible attitude” toward inter-Korean relations to help restore peace on the Korean Peninsula during his meeting with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo on Sunday. China's foreign ministry later Sunday proposed holding a meeting of the chief envoys of the six-nation talks early next month to ease tension on the peninsula. Lee's aides at Cheong Wa Dae said that it was not time yet to discuss resumption of six-party negotiations. The last round of six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing North Korea was held in December 2008. Dai's trip to Seoul came as the international community is upping the pressure on China to exert its influence on North Korea after the North unleashed a barrage of shells on the South's Yeonpyeong Island, killing two marines and two civilians. Dai arrived in Seoul on Saturday as a special envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, a day before South Korea and the US began joint war games in the West Sea.
11.28.10 Bomb suspect to classmate: 'I hate Americans'
PORTLAND, Ore., November 28 - The Somali-born university student met with an undercover FBI agent in August at a Portland hotel and told him he had found the perfect location for a terrorist attack: the city's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Mohamed Osman Mohamud told the agent that he had dreamed of carrying out an attack for years, and the city's Pioneer Courthouse Square would be packed with thousands, "a huge mass that will ... be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays," according to an affidavit. On Friday, Mohamud parked what he thought was a bomb-laden van near the ceremony and then went to a nearby train station, where he dialed a cell phone that he believed would detonate the vehicle. Instead, federal authorities moved in and arrested him. No one was hurt. The case is the latest in a string of alleged terrorist plots by US citizens or residents, including one at Times Square in which a Pakistan-born man pleaded guilty earlier this year to trying to set off a car bomb at a busy street corner. [More>>msnbc.msn.com; See related story,
11.28.10 Christians flee Karachi over threats
KARACHI, November 28 - Several Christian families in Pakistani city of Karachi have fled their homes while many have sent their women to safer places after a Christian boy eloped with a Muslim girl, causing tension in their neighbourhood , a media report said. The situation in Karachi's Saeedabad area has become tense after an 18-year-old Muslim girl eloped with a 20-yearold Christian boy last week, The News International reported. The couple fled to Faisalabad, where the boy converted to Islam and married the girl. Following the incident, the girl's family and activists of a political party allegedly threatened the Christian community of dire consequences if the girl did not return home. The girl's family also stoned the locality's church, forced a local school to shut down and reportedly forced the Christian people to migrate from the area. William Sattar, a social activist , alleged that police were picking up boys from the area and beating them up. Saeedabad police station house officer Nasir Sami said police are doing all they could to control the law and order situation. [More (blog comments)>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
11.28.10 Algeria tries Christians for opening place of worship
ALGIERS (AFP) November 28 - Defendants are converts to Christianity. Algeria will put on trial four converts to Christianity from Sunday for "illegally opening a place of worship," one of their lawyers told AFP. "The defendants, who are between 35 and 45 years old, have been charged with setting up a Protestant church in the region without authorization by authorities," said lawyer Mohamed Ben Belkacem. One of the accused has also been charged with illegally accommodating a French pastor who had travelled to Algeria to make a speech before members of the Christian community. The trial was originally scheduled to open on October 10 but put off after the court insisted it needed witnesses to give evidence.
11.28.10 Suicide bombers kill 12 at Afghan police HQ
KABUL, Afghanistan, November 28 - Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at an Afghan police headquarters Saturday, killing 12 officers in an area along the Pakistan border that still sees heavy Taliban attacks even as NATO pours in more troops and resources. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in eastern Paktika province, which has long been a refuge for Islamist extremists from around the world. It is one of the most violent areas of Afghanistan, where NATO and Afghan forces fight daily against the Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based Taliban faction closely tied to al-Qaeda. The attackers, who were disguised in police uniforms, made it through three security gates, said Nawab Waziry, the head of Paktika's provincial council. One attacker detonated his explosives inside the police headquarters building, while the other blew himself up near the entrance about 20 minutes later. [More>>japantoday.com]
11.26.10 Chinese FM talks with DPRK, ROK, US diplomats on Korean peninsular situation
BEIJING (Xinhua) November 26 - Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with Chi Jae Ryong, Ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to China, and held phone conversation with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ROK Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan on Friday. They exchanged views on issues including the situation of the Korean Peninsula, according to a statement released Friday night by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The DPRK and the ROK should exercise calm and restraint, engage in contacts as soon as possible, and solve problems through negotiations and dialogue, Yang said. "The pressing task now is to put the situation under control and prevent a recurrence of similar incidents," he said.
11.26.10 Front-line city in Virginia tackles rise in sea
NORFOLK, Va., November 26 - In this section of the Larchmont neighborhood, built in a sharp “u” around a bay off the Lafayette River, residents pay close attention to the lunar calendar, much as other suburbanites might attend to the daily flow of commuter traffic. If the moon is going to be full the night before Hazel Peck needs her car, for example, she parks it on a parallel block, away from the river. The next morning, she walks through a neighbor's backyard to avoid the two-to-three-foot-deep puddle that routinely accumulates on her street after high tides. For Ms. Peck and her neighbors, it is the only way to live with the encroaching sea.
11.26.10 Saturn moon Rhea's surprise: oxygen-rich atmosphere
November 26 - ...The Cassini spacecraft had looked for an oxygen atmosphere around Rhea on two previous flybys, in 2005 and 2007. The probe found a few intriguing hints but came up empty. On those encounters, Cassini got within 312 miles (502 km) and 3,564 miles (5,736 km) of Rhea's surface. Last March, the spacecraft got much closer. It cruised over Rhea's north pole, coming within 60 miles (97 km) of the surface so close that it flew through the moon's atmosphere. Cassini's mass spectrometer confirmed the presence of both oxygen and carbon dioxide. Oxygen makes up about 70 percent of Rhea's atmosphere and carbon dioxide the remaining 30 percent, according to Teolis. Where Cassini sampled, the atmosphere is about 100 times thinner than the air cocooning Europa and Ganymede, the researchers found which explains why Cassini hadn't spotted it from afar...[Full story>>msnbc.msn.com]
11.26.10 Kenyan rangers gun down elephant poachers
(AFP) November 26 - Kenyan wildlife rangers have shot dead two poachers suspected of killing two elephants in one of the country's top national parks. The pair, a Kenyan and a Tanzanian, were gunned down on Thursday near the Amboseli National Park in the south of the country as they prepared to shoot a herd of elephants. "It is a group of poachers that we have been following up for the last three to four weeks. They were responsible for the death of two elephants about a month ago," said George Osuri on Friday, the Amboseli park senior warden. Kenya lost more than 200 elephants last year due to illegal trade in ivory driven by Asian and Middle Eastern demand for the tusks used in traditional medicines and for aphrodisiac potions. [>news.com.au; See related story,
11.26.10 Authorities find drug smuggling tunnel in San Diego
SAN DIEGO, Ca. (AP) November 26 - US authorities on Thursday found a sophisticated tunnel used to smuggle drugs between Mexico and San Diego, the second such discovery in the region in less than a month. The half-mile passage runs from a residence in Tijuana to a warehouse in San Diego's Otay Mesa area, the San Diego Tunnel Task Force said in a statement. Federal border patrol, drug enforcement, immigration, and customs enforcement agents in the task force arrested several suspects and seized an undetermined amount of marijuana in a tractor-trailer on US soil, the statement said. [More>>foxnews.com]
11.26.10 Duma recognizes Katyn massacre as Stalinist crime
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) November 26 - Deputies from the lower house of Russia's parliament, the Duma approved a declaration on Friday recognizing the 1940 Katyn massacre of Polish officers as a crime committed by Stalin's regime. "Materials which were kept in secret archives for many years show that the Katyn massacre was committed on the direct orders of Stalin," the draft says. According to official data, over 20,000 Polish officers were killed in 1940 by the NKVD — the Soviet secret police. The executions took place in various parts of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The largest massacre occurred in the Katyn forest near the Russian city of Smolensk.
11.26.10 Saudi arrests 149 Qaeda suspects in eight months
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, November 26 - Saudi Arabia has in the past eight months arrested 149 suspected al-Qaeda militants planning attacks on state and security officials and journalists, the interior ministry said on Friday. "During the past eight months, a total of 149" Qaeda-linked militants — 124 Saudis and the other 25 foreigners — have been arrested, interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told reporters. One woman was also among the alleged Qaeda-linked militants, he added.
11.26.10 Pakistan foils capital bomb plot; missiles kill 3
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) November 26 - Police arrested two would-be suicide bombers planning to attack a mosque and a government building in Pakistan's capital Friday, as local officials said another suspected US missile strike near the Afghan border killed three alleged insurgents. Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants seeking to topple Pakistan's US-allied government have carried out scores of attacks across the country, killing thousands. The military has responded by launching offensives in the remote northwest where the insurgents are based, and the US has increased its barrage of missile attacks on those strongholds out of reach of the Pakistani army. Police officer Bin Yamin said the detained men were linked to the Pakistani Taliban in the South Waziristan region, where the army has been fighting the militants since last year. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
11.26.10 Muslims warn of anarchy if Christian mother pardoned
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AFP) November 26 - Pakistani Muslims have threatened anarchy if the Government pardons a Christian mother sentenced to death for blasphemy, calling hundreds of protesters onto the streets. Hundreds of Muslims marched in the eastern city of Lahore after the most influential Sunni Muslim alliance in Pakistan urged the Government not to grant mother-of-five Aasia Bibi clemency. A crowd of several hundred called for "Jihad" and pledged to sacrifice their lives to protect the honour of Muhammad. The rally was organized by a subsidiary of banned charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which the United Nations has blacklisted as a terrorist organization. "We will hold nationwide protests if the government pardons the Christian woman," the subsidiary's chief coordinator, Qari Yaqub, told participants.
11.26.10 Nigeria charges arms traffickers
November 26 - An Iranian and three Nigerians are charged with illegal arms trafficking as a shipment is intercepted in Lagos port. A member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and three Nigerians have been charged in court for illegal arms trafficking. The Nigerian court charged the four men on Thursday over a shipment of mortars and rockets seized in the port of Lagos in October. Nigeria reported the seizure of the arms shipment, which had been hidden in containers of building materials, to the United Nations Security Council this month for an apparent breach of UN sanctions on Iran. Azim Adhajani, identified in court documents as a Tehran-based businessman and member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, was charged with the importation of prohibited firearms, as was an alleged Nigerian accomplice.
11.25.10 So who's next for financial meltdown? Spain, Portugal and Belgium set to follow Ireland into abyss as debt crisis threatens to destroy the euro
November 25 - New fears have been raised about the future of the euro with the domino effect of faltering economies spreading today. The latest nation to get sucked into the crisis is Belgium after market traders pushed the cost of insuring the country's debt to record levels. The rising cost of Belgium's debt is now 100 percent of annual national income. That is raising concerns the country could join Portugal, Spain and Italy on the growing list of countries that could be heading for a financial crisis along with stricken Ireland.
11.25.10 'Wikileaks documents show Turkey helped al-Qaeda
November 25 - Report: Documents expected to be leaked allege that Turkey allowed citizens smuggle weapons into Iraq, US helped Kurdish terrorists. Wikileaks is planning to release files that show Turkey has helped al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to London-based daily Al-Hayat. The newspaper also reported that the US helped the PKK, a Kurdish rebel organization. One of the documents, a US military report, reportedly charges Turkey with failing to control its borders, because Iraqi citizens residing in Turkey provided al-Qaeda with supplies to build bombs, guns and ammunition. A Wikileaks administrator also told Al-Hayat that the site needs Turks to volunteer to translate documents about Turkey's role in the war in Iraq and its bid for EU membership.
11.25.10 Turkey to respond if Israel attacks Lebanon or Gaza
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) Erdogan says Turkey "will not remain silent." Turkey will not remain silent if Israel attacks Lebanon or Gaza, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Beirut on Thursday, as ties between the longtime allies remained at an all-time low. "Does (Israel) think it can enter Lebanon with the most modern aircraft and tanks to kill women and children, and destroy schools and hospitals, and then expect us to remain silent?" Erdogan said at a conference organized by the Union of Arab Banks. "Does it think it can use the most modern weapons, phosphorus munitions and cluster bombs to kill children in Gaza and then expect us to remain silent? "We will not be silent and we will support justice by all means available to us," he said.
11.25.10 Armenians protest Erdogan's visit: Lebanese haven't forgotten Turkey's bloody history
(AFP) November 25 - More than 100 members of Lebanon's Armenian community gathered outside Beirut airport on Wednesday to protest a two-day official visit by Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The demonstrators stood amid tight security outside the main entrance of the airport, hoisting banners that read: "The Lebanese have not forgotten Turkey's bloody history in the region" and "Erdogan should bow before our martyrs." "Today's Turkey is yesterday's Turkey: malicious, oppressive and an ally of the enemy," or Israel, read another banner. An AFP correspondent said police, army and SWAT teams were on hand to control the crowd, which had amassed across the street from a rival gathering of more than 100 Lebanese students who waved banners welcoming Erdogan as well as the red flag of Turkey. Erdogan, whose country is seeking to emerge as a key mediator in the Middle East, will meet top officials during his visit.
11.25.10 Israel pulls down West Bank mosque
November 25 - Palestinians say troops have demolished mosques and several other structures in two areas in the occupied territory. Israeli troops have demolished a mosque and more than 10 other structures in two areas in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian sources have said. Most of the demolition activity took place in the village of Khirbet Yarza in the northern Jordan Valley on Thursday where local residents said troops had razed a very old mosque and its much-larger extension, which was built last year. They also said troops had levelled "more than 10 buildings used for sheep."
11.25.10 No quick pardon for condemned Pakistani Christian
ISLAMABAD (AP) November 25 - Pakistan's president will not immediately pardon a Christian woman sentenced to die for insulting Islam but may do so later if an appeals court delays her case too long, an official said Thursday. Pope Benedict XVI has appealed for the release of Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother of five who has said she was wrongly accused by a group of Muslim women with a grudge against her. The case has prompted outrage from international rights groups and inflamed religious passions at home. In recent days, demonstrations have been staged both by Pakistan's Christian minority calling for her release and also by hard-line Muslims warning against any pardon for her and defending the country's blasphemy law, which critics say is misused to settle personal scores and by extremists to persecute minorities. Bibi, 45, is the first woman condemned to die under the blasphemy law. She has been jailed for 18 months and was sentenced Nov. 8 to hang. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
11.25.10 Girl arrested for 'burning Koran and posting footage on Facebook'
November 26 - A British teenager has been arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after she allegedly burnt a copy of the Koran and posted footage of the incident on Facebook. The girl, 15, has been bailed pending further inquiries. Police also arrested a 14-year-old boy on suspicion of making threats over Facebook. He too has been bailed pending further inquiries. The girl is accused of burning an English-language version of the Islamic holy book at her school in Sandwell, near Birmingham in central England. A police spokesman said: "The local neighborhood team have strong links with the school and have been working closely with key partners from the community and the local authority to resolve the matter locally. "Police will investigate and monitor any crime reported by individuals who may have been targeted." [>news.com.au]
11.25.10 Egypt detains Christian protesters
November 25 - Up to 156 Orthodox Coptic Christian protesters arrested following deadly clashes with police a day earlier. Coptic Christians in Egypt often complain of discrimination from the authorities . Egyptian authorities have arrested 156 protesters for involvement in Wednesday's bloody clashes between Christians and police over the government's refusal to grant them a permit to build a church. Those arrested have been accused of planning to kill policemen and the public prosecutor has ordered their detention for two weeks. A judicial source said on Thursday that the protesters were also accused of illegally demonstrating to prevent the authorities from doing their work. They will remain in custody for questioning for two weeks and will then either be formally charged or have their detention renewed if they are not released. The Orthodox Coptic Christian protesters who clashed with the police had been protesting against an official decision to stop them from converting a community centre under construction in the Cairo suburb of Giza. The riots erupted outside a municipal building, after authorities halted construction of the church, claiming the local Christian community had violated a building permit. One demonstrator was killed in the violence and dozens were wounded. [More>>aljazeera.net]
11.25.10 Eight militants killed in Orakzai agency
PESHAWAR, November 25 - Security Forces on Thursday killed eight militants in restive upper Orakzai agency, official said. Security forces used artillery to target the militants' positions in upper Orakzai agency. Two hideouts of terrorists [were] destroyed by artillery shelling. Separately the Security Forces and police launched [a] joint search operation in Hangu district and arrested 130 suspects. The operation was launched following [a] remote bomb attack on [a] vehicle of the forces that killed one troop and injured six others. Police also seized 10 kalashnikovs, four hand grenades and twelve rifles. [>thenews.com.pk]
11.25.10 International jihadists use Karachi as hub
KARACHI, Pakistan, November 25 - Karachi is the pulsating heart of Pakistan, but the city of 18 million is descending into a maelstrom of violence. While NATO uses the port to support its war in Afghanistan, international jihadism has established strongholds in the metropolis's slums and suburbs. The circle had to be closed with blood, in order to wipe out the disgrace of the previous day. That's the way of life here -- the way of life in Karachi. The six men were heavily armed, and yet they still managed to get through all the checkpoints and reach Club Road in the red zone, a highly secured district in the heart of the city. The head of the provincial government has his official residence here, not far from the American consulate, two luxury hotels and the police headquarters, where the office of the young inspector Omar Shahid is located. As the head of the anti-extremism unit, Shahid was at the top of the attackers' hit list.
11.25.10 On 26/11 eve, Pakistan says there can't be viable peace without solving Kashmir
ISLAMABAD, November 25 - On the eve of the second anniversary of 26/11, Pakistan again harped on Kashmir and said there cannot be any trust between the neighbors unless there is peace in that region. Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit said: "India knows full well that without resolving the Kashmir dispute, there can neither be mutual trust between Pakistan and India nor can there be viable peace in the region." Observing a "lack of will" on Pakistan's part to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks — judicial proceedings have been held up due to repeated hiccups — India has stopped dialogue with the neighboring country. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently made it clear in the presence of US President Barack Obama that India would not talk unless Pakistan grounds the terror machinery that works on its soil against India. Pakistan said on Thursday India must show the "courage" to resume parleys to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries...The spokesman reiterated Pakistan's oft-repeated allegations about violations of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir and the "suppression" of the Kashmiri people. He said Pakistan had "always maintained that all issues between Pakistan and India, including the Kashmir dispute, should be resolved through dialogue." [Full story>>indianexpress.com]
11.25.10 Brazil Marines join slum battles; 30 dead
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) November 25 - Troops are "rescuing society from its position as a hostage to the drug trade," colonel says. Armored cars rolled through smoke-filled streets in Rio de Janeiro Thursday as police battled slum-based drug gangs for a fifth consecutive day in the city slated to host the 2016 Olympics. Live TV coverage showed heavily armed police exchanging gunfire with suspected drug traffickers in the hilly shantytowns on the city outskirts. Police targeted the Vila Cruzeiro slum in the northern part of the city, considered a stronghold of a gang thought to be behind ordering attacks. [More>>msnbc.msn.com]
11.24.10 US aircraft carrier heads for Korean waters
INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) November 24 - A US aircraft carrier group set off for Korean waters on Wednesday, a day after North Korea rained artillery shells on a South Korean island, in a move likely to enrage Pyongyang and unsettle its ally, China. South Korea said the bodies of two civilians were found on the island after Tuesday's attack, which is likely to stir up more resentment in the country against its prickly neighbor. The nuclear-powered USS George Washington, which carries 75 warplanes and has a crew of over 6,000, left a naval base south of Tokyo and would join exercises with South Korea from Sunday to the following Wednesday, US officials in Seoul said. "This exercise is defensive in nature," US Forces Korea said in a statement. "While planned well before yesterday's unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates the strength of the ROK (South Korea)-US alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence." [More>>thestar.com.my; See related story,
11.24.10 Four Taliban commanders killed
November 24 - Four Taliban commanders have been killed and an insurgent shadow governor captured in the British area of operations in Afghanistan, the military said today. The developments took place in recent weeks in the Nad-e-Ali and Nahr-e-Saraj districts of central Helmand Province, where most of the 10,000 UK troops in the country are based. Across Afghanistan 19 Taliban leaders and 252 lower-level fighters were killed or captured between November 15 and 21 alone, according to NATO figures. A total of 387 insurgent commanders were killed or captured nationwide in the three months before November 18. Major General John Lorimer, the new senior British military spokesman, said NATO and Afghan forces were "taking the fight to the enemy" and causing significant damage to militant networks. "There are isolated insurgent groups that are leaderless," he said. "There are people who are seriously worried and they don't have the equipment, they don't have their supplies, and they're beginning to wonder." [More>>independent.co.uk]
11.24.10 British forces destroy Somali pirate vessel
November 24 - A British warship on patrol off the Somali coast has destroyed a pirate "mother ship," NATO has said. The HMS Montrose Lynx helicopter spotted the craft during one of her dawn patrols. Snipers then sank it with heavy machine gun fire "in full view of the pirate camp," a NATO statement said. The boat was identified as the whaler from the MV Zouflecar, a vessel which has been acting as a pirate "mother ship" since it was seized on November 3. "Our destruction of the whaler close to a known pirate camp has sent a message to the Somali pirates, that NATO and other coalition forces are willing to take the fight to them in order to prevent them attacking merchant ships," said Montrose's commanding officer, Commander Jonathan Lett. NATO and EU Navfor, the European Union Navy Force Somalia, have intercepted several suspected pirates off Somalia and in the Gulf of Arden over the past few weeks, disrupting potential attacks. [More>>news.sky.com]
11.24.10 Crisis group calls for action on religious intolerance
JAKARTA, November 24 - The government need to immediately address growing religious intolerance, particularly in areas where Muslim hardliners and Christian evangelicals were competing on the same ground, a report says. The report, titled Indonesia: "Christianization" and Intolerance, by the Indonesia Crisis Group followed a series of clashes between religious groups in Bekasi, West Java.
11.24.10 'Qaeda' bombing kills 23 Shia in Yemen rebel bastion
SANAA, Yemen (AFP) November 24 - A suicide car bomber killed 23 Shias at a religious procession in Yemen on Wednesday, an attack a tribal chief charged was a bid by al-Qaeda to fan sectarian tensions in the already restive country. Tribal leaders said the dead were all supporters or fighters of a Zaidi Shiite rebel group which has been observing an uneasy truce with the government since February. The bomber struck in Al-Jawf province, a rebel stronghold in the far north, as the faithful were preparing to mark Al-Ghadeer, the day on which Shias commemorate the anointment of Ali, one of the key figures of their faith, as successor to the Prophet Mohammed. "It was a suicide bombing and it was the work of al-Qaeda," the tribal chief said. "The suicide bomber driving a four-wheel drive vehicle blew himself up alongside the procession," he said. "Among the dead was provincial tribal chief Hussein bin Ahmed bin Hadhban and his son." Yemen is the ancestral homeland of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and has been a growing focus for the operations of his worldwide jihadist network, sparking a sharp increase in US military aid. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]