Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency » World The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:54:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 33 killed, over 50 injured as heavy explosion rocks Pakistan Fri, 30 Jan 2015 09:54:27 +0000 Read the full article...]]> explosion in PakistanA heavy explosion rocked shikarpur district in Sindh province of Pakistan on Friday afternoon leaving at least 20 people dead and 55 others injured.

According to the local security officials the incident took place inside a central imambargah at Lakhi Dr area after Friday prayers.

Preliminary reports suggest a suicide bomber detonated his explosives among the prayers attendants.

The officials further added that several others have been trapped under the debris after the roof of the imambargah collapsed due to the explosion.

There are fears that the death toll could rise as a number of the injured individuals are in critical condition, the officials added.

No group including the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

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Pakistan kills 92 insurgents including foreign fighters Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:34:54 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan airstrike in North WaziristanInter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistani Army’s media information source says that they have killed 92 insurgents and destroyed their six hideouts in fresh air strikes in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.

ISPR states that 76 insurgents were killed in Datakhil area of North Waziristan and 16 others in Khyber Agency.

According to ISPR information, 12 foreign fighters were among the ones killed.

Pakistan widened its offensive against insurgents after a warning issued by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah of carrying out more attacks like the one on a school in Peshawar that left over 250 people killed or injured, most of them school children.

On December 16 2014 a group of 6-7 gunmen stormed a school in Warsak Road area of Peshawar and sprayed bullets on school children, leaving 141 killed and over 130 injured.

Few of the slain were school staff and the remaining were all school children.

Mullah Fazlullah after the attack issued a video justifying the attack.

He said the school was indeed a training camp for Pakistan Army where they were raising soldiers to fight with them.

He further said in his video message that his fighters only killed the ones over 18 who along the military could join the fight against Taliban. He warned to kill the sons of Pakistani military personnel who have turned eighteen where ever they find them.

Pakistan-Teachers receiving weapon trainingSince the school attack last month, Pakistan issued weapons to school teachers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which is a primary target for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Hundreds of teachers both male and female have received weapon training and more are either under the training or scheduled to be trained.

After the threats of more attacks on schools the daughter of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and some other high ranking government officials discharged their children from schools in Pakistan.

Reports surfaced that they were planning to send their kids abroad the country to study.

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ISIS warns White House and Obama in new video Wed, 28 Jan 2015 04:52:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> IS ThreatIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in a new video warns White House of reaching there.

This video which is received and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a fighter of ISIS in Arabic language says ” Know, oh Obama, that will reach America, Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House, and transform America into a Muslim Province.”

White house has not commented on the report yet.

ISIS has also warned killing Japanese and Jordanian hostages if Jordan does not free Sajida Al Rishawi held by Jordan government for the past nine years.

Al Rishawi was arrested on suspension involvement in deadly attacks in Amman that left 57 people dead.

She later convicted his involvement in the attack.

ISIS in a video yesterday threatened that Jordanian government has 24 hours to release Al Rishawi in exchange for hostages.

ISIS which controls large areas in Iraq and Syria try to spread to the world.

Yesterday ISIS claimed shaping Khorasan in a video published on twitter by one of the spokesman of ISIS.

They also named a Hafiz as their commander for Khorasan and a Abdul Marouf his assistant.

Khurasaan is the old name of Afghanistan.

Khorasan included parts of Pakistan, Iran and other neighboring countries.

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Facebook website suffered temporary outage Tue, 27 Jan 2015 06:54:26 +0000 Read the full article...]]> facebook-inc-news-feed

Facebook, one of the world’s most popular social networking sites, faced a temporary outage due to unknown reasons on Tuesday.

The website refused to refresh, and multiple attempts led to the error message — “This website is not available.”
This is the second time Facebook is crashing during the past eight months. The site had went down for at least 15 minutes on 19th June last year.

The image sharing platform owned by Facebook – Instagram has also went down. ‘We’re aware of an outage affecting Instagram and are working on a fix. Thank you for your patience,’ Instagram said in a statement.

In the meantime, the service of the Facebook website was restored in about 40 minutes but there were no words regarding the reason that led to the outage.

According to reports, Facebook has about 1.25 billion users and Instagram has about 300 million.

In the meantime, reports suggest that Chat app AIM and dating app Tinder were also hit by the outage.

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Assad Emerging As Victor in Syria Tue, 27 Jan 2015 04:08:13 +0000 Read the full article...]]> AssadBy Manish Rai

It’s hardly a secret that the Obama administration’s plan to topple Syrian President Bashar-Al-Assad has long since been derailed by the rise of the Islamic State that now controls over one-third of Syrian territory and swathes of Iraq. But the evolution of Obama’s rhetoric across successive State of the Union speeches illustrates just how baldly the U.S. has abandoned the prospect of regime change in Syria something it once demanded. As a result of it now Syrian President Bashar-Al-Assad now at least in near future sees his position secured. But the forces of change coupled with strong Iranian and Russian backing and a splintered rebel movement have been a major advantages for Mr Assad. US Secretary of State John Kerry recently said it is time for President Assad, the Assad regime, to put their people first and to think about the consequences of their actions, which are attracting more and more terrorists to Syria, basically because of their efforts to remove Assad. He made no call for Mr. Assad’s resignation, a notable omission for Mr. Kerry, who has typically insisted on it in public remarks. Instead, he spoke of Mr. Assad as a leader who needed to change his policies. It clearly shows major policy shift of US with regard to Syria.

Not only America but other western countries are also looking in mood of tolerating Assad regime. The political solution will of course include some elements of the regime because we don’t want to see the pillars of the state fall apart, France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said last week. But this drastic change in the policy of US and West regarding Syria doesn’t happen all of a sudden it’s a results of very clever strategy of Bashar- Al-Assad. President Assad casts himself as the nation’s guardian against Sunni jihadists, but he has deliberately encouraged the rise of extremism. The Syrian president’s forces have allowed ISIS to consolidate a rump caliphate in north-eastern Syria as a visible warning about what the alternative to his rule looks like. Indeed, Assad’s troops rarely battle ISIS, saving their fire for more moderate enemies. Many analysts now believes Islamic State did not appear from nowhere but was part of a diversionary tactic by the Assad regime to undermine the credibility of its opponents. The regime released jihadists from Syrian jails, and they were able to make common cause with Iraqi militants who profited from America’s departure from Iraq on a timetable set by US electoral considerations. The regime has now won that trick, with some unwitting help from the Americans.

As a result of this strategy of Assad regime they have got a de facto coalition partner in the form of the United States itself, which has not only launched strikes against Islamic State targets within Syria, but also targeted other groups battling the Assad regime like the Khorasan group. American planes now bomb the Islamic State group’s militants in Syria, sharing skies with Syrian jets. American officials assure Mr. Assad, through Iraqi intermediaries, that Syria’s military is not their target. The United States still trains and equips Syrian insurgents, but now mainly to fight the Islamic State, not the government. While the Americans and Mr. Assad ostensibly share a common enemy, the two parties are not formally collaborating. Yet American fighter planes regularly invade Syrian airspace to bomb Islamic State targets and Syrian armed forces don’t show any reaction against US aircrafts. It’s a clear sign of informal understanding between Syrians and Americans. If the main threat is the Islamic State and the goal is to defeat it, might the West at some point be forced to work formally with Mr. Assad. The greater threat in the eyes of west is not now Mr. Assad but the Islamic State, especially if it continues to expand in Syria, entices more foreign fighters into its ranks and uses its territory to launch attacks on the West. A recent study by the Rand Corporation which does research for the government, says the collapse of the Assad regime, while unlikely now, would be the “worst possible outcome” for American interests depriving Syria of its remaining state institutions and creating more space for the Islamic State and other extremists to spread mayhem.

Americans see an emerging international consensus on the need for a long-term diplomatic solution between Mr. Assad and diverse rebel groups. There is also interest in United Nations-led cease-fires in local communities like Aleppo that might serve as a basis for a broader peace. Now the Russians are stepping in and trying to bring the two sides i.e. Syrian Government and Oppositions groups into talks with the apparent aim of a more gradual change in Syria. The prospect of these talks taking place are dim. But the diplomatic move confirms the clear shift in emphasis of US foreign policy away from removing the Assad regime to stopping the ISIS advance. Syrian reconciliation seems bleak but still Assad has enough reason to be confident that he will stay in power at least for some time to come. With his uncompromised grip on the power, Assad seems to have proven his ability even to the US and west by tightening the rope around Syria’s belly. Although Syria still occupies world attention, it is isolated and stuck within Assad’s political narrative dynamics.

Manish_Rai(Author is a columnist for Middle-East and Af-Pak region and Editor of news agency Views Around News and its geo-political division Views Around can be reached at

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35 insurgents including foreign fighters killed in North Waziristan Mon, 26 Jan 2015 04:18:36 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan airstrike in North WaziristanPakistan’s military officials say to have killed 35 insurgents in fresh air strikes in North Waziristan.

A statement issued by Pakistani military’s media office states their air force carried out several air strikes on militant centers and hide outs in Dadakhil area of North Waziristan late yesterday.

As a result of which 35 insurgents including several foreign fighters were killed and their centers and hide outs were destroyed, the statement adds.

The statement does not give details about the nationalities of the foreign fighters killed but foreign fighters hiding in North Waziristan are reportedly most of them Arabs, Uzbek and Chechens.

Pakistan started large scale operations against militants in North Waziristan and adjourning areas in June 2014 after their peace talks failed and then Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with the assistance of Uzbek fighters carried out a massive attack on Karachi airport in Pakistan’s business hub Karachi.

The attack left at least 28 people dead.

Since June 2014 Pakistan claim to have killed more than 2, 000 militants and breaking back bone of terrorists hiding in Pakistan.

This operation was taken more serious after another deadly attack by TTP in Pakistan.

The attack in Peshawar left at least 141 people killed and more than 130 injured, most of them school children.

On 16 December 2014 a group of six-seven TTP fighters stormed a school in Warsak Road area of Peshawar and sprayed bullets on school children leaving 141 killed and over 130 others injured.

At least eight wounded people including school children and school staff died of wounds in the hospitals.

A TTP spokesman later contacted media and claimed responsibility for the attack.

The spokesman claimed that the attack was revenge for their people killed in North Waziristan in Pakistani military operations.

TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah in a video later said that children killed in Peshawar attack were of military personnel who were under training to join Pakistani military against them.

Mullah Fazlullah threatened will target sons of military personnel above eighteen years of old wherever they are found.

He also said that if military finds chance they can do the same to him.

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Pakistan fire shells on India ahead of Obama’s visit Sun, 25 Jan 2015 09:48:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Obama and PM ModiIndian officials say Pakistani forces fired shells on India hours before US President Barak Obama’s was scheduled to arrive.

Indian officials say their soldiers retaliated to the unprovoked fire and the exchange of fire continued for little while in Kashmir but there was no loss of life.

Pakistani officials confirmed the skirmish.

Pakistani forces say the fires were retaliation to the rounds received from across the border.

Although Pakistani and Indian forces occasionally exchange gunfire along the border in Kashmir but there were no reports of such an event in at least last two weeks.

US President Barak Obama on Sunday arrived in India for a three days visit to discuss terrorism, enhance economic cooperation and trade.

Reuters reports that US President Barak Obama ahead of his arrival to India supported India’s quest to have a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

President Barak Obama was given a warm welcome By India’s premier Narendra Modi in New Delhi upon his arrival.

President Obama is now busy in meetings with Indian officials.

He will leave India on Tuesday for Saudi Arabia to pay tribute to Saudi nation for the death of King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud.

King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud passed away at the age of 90 on Friday.

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Charlie Hebdo & The Old World Order Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:57:36 +0000 Read the full article...]]> By S. Mubashir Noor

In the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo, Western Europe can finally make amends for its mistakes since Armistice Day 1918 by completely clamping down on Muslim migration to the neighborhood. This will force Muslims to learn to love themselves before they expect others to reciprocate. It will help shake off the malaise of learned helplessness that has overwhelmed their lives. They will work towards making their own countries livable, aware that no handouts also mean no strings attached. Sink or swim, do or die.

Charlie Hebdo

This won’t come to pass because the stakes are too high. Misery is big business and business is good. For the many sponsors of manageable chaos, every child born below the poverty line is an opportunity to make a buck. An upwardly mobile third-world is bad for investors, and bad for the soul.

The Entente powers are unwilling to relinquish the right to tut-tut their colonial peasantry. Simultaneously they cannot risk diluting their predisposition to war and disease, for big defense and pharmaceutical contracts depend on it. Immigration is a carrot dangled to these world-weary, a ticket to the promised land of plenty, free of strife and strain.

Now the chickens have come home to roost. The war has announced itself at their doorstep, and freedom fears for its life. Ironically Britain and France have only themselves to blame for a gross miscalculation. At the end of World War I, they greedily divvied up Muslim lands comprising the vanquished Ottoman Empire, thereby dismantling the only leash that would fit rapidly radical Islam, the Caliphate.

Outwardly, the logic was flawless. The Ottoman Empire consisted of local power brokers looking for a leg up. Despite having pledged their allegiances to the Ottoman Sultan, the circumference of nationalities nonetheless provided cracks to chip away at. The Arabian peninsula was especially vulnerable, the Arabs having little in common with their Turk overlords. The Sultan was no mere despot however, he was also Caliph of the Muslim world.

The Islamic institution of the Caliphate was established by companions of the Prophet Muhammed to provide historical continuity to Islam. It survived 1300 years, many relocations and the Mongols. Unlike the Roman Catholic faith where the Pope is law unto himself, the Imam (chief cleric) of the Great Mosque in Mecca has little to no spiritual sway in the Muslim world. The Caliph was considered the spiritual and military leader of the Muslim Ummah (entire community). His personal virtues or lack thereof were irrelevant. He was the only person under Islamic law able to declare offensive jihad.

When the Caliph spoke, Muslims shut up and listened. That was the status quo. It is hard to imagine these alternate realities of Islam slipping into the mainstream had the Caliphate survived. Such theological anomalies and their progenitors would have been flagged and dealt with post-haste to preserve the body politic. Detours of faith propped up by wayward sons would erode the Caliph’s political capital in the Islamic world. That would be unacceptable.

From Morocco to Indonesia, large swathes of Muslim land fell under generations of European rule in the 19th & 20th centuries. Their British & French sovereigns recut the socio-economic fabric to better dress the fealty of their new subjects. Land was exploited, cultures diminished and histories rewritten.

When they grudgingly parted ways after World War II, power was transferred to the local blue-eyed boys, thereby keeping one hook in the national life force. The other hook was planted into infant economies. Promise of money replaced the yoke of tyranny. Neo-colonialism in the form of super-lending entities like the IMF and World Bank came to be. The premise was simple, keep the colonial rat in the money maze. If the Muslim world were addicted to beg and borrow, the Entente owned their first borns for perpetuity.

Trampled underfoot by one scourge after the other, the Muslim consciousness sought refuge in religious introspection. Like a little child it grew possessive of this comfort blanket, lashing out at the mere suggestion of replacement or repair. How else would they get by? For quick perspective, India, that bastion of poverty, has almost 30% of its 1.2 billion living on less than USD $6 a month. 31% of that figure are Muslims.

Muslims display as much humor on the subject of Islam and the Holy Prophet as the Jews do about the Holocaust. They don’t debase other faiths and expect the same courtesy extended to them. If respect is a two-way street then Charlie Hebdo is the land-mine. Three million new copies of another passion-stoking cover may plump up their retirement benefits, but puts them in the crosshairs of other malcontents. Thanks to France and friends, the Muslim world is teeming with them.

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Barak Obama arrives in India for a three day visit Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:26:22 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Barak Obama in India2US President Barak Obama landed in New Delhi, capital city of India on Sunday morning for a three days visit to meet Indian officials on various topics.

Indian media reports that both leaders will talk about the militant hide outs in India’s neighboring Pakistan and its threats.

Yesterday British based Telegraph reported US President Barak Obama giving a strait warning to Pakistan to close terrorist save havens.

Reuters reports that President Barak Obama has also supported India’s quest for a permanent seat on UN Security Council.

President Barak Obama is scheduled to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade tomorrow.

Both leaders are also expected to talk on various topics including nuclear deal, enhancing ties, economic cooperation, strengthening trade and climate changes.

Tight security measurements were taken in New Delhi ahead of Obama’s visit.

President Barak Obama will leave India on Tuesday for Saudi Arabia to pay tribute to Saudi nation for the death of late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who died at the age of 90 on Friday.

He will also meet Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who took office after the death of his half-brother King Abdullah.

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Obama vows to hunt terrorists from “Pakistan to the streets of Paris” Wed, 21 Jan 2015 06:14:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ObamaThe US President Barack Obama has vowed to to relentlessly hunt down terrorists from “Pakistan to the streets of Paris”.

Speaking during his sixth State of the Union address Obama said “We stand united with people around the world who’ve been targeted by terrorists – from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris.”

“We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks,” Obama said, adding that “We reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we’ve done relentlessly since I took office, to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.”

Obama called on Congress to approve new war powers against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

He argued that US military leadership in Iraq and Syria is stopping ISIL from advancing, but asked lawmakers “to show the world that we are united in this mission” with a war authorisation vote.

“Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group,” Obama said.

In the meantime, the Republican lawmakers have said they are prepared to work with him to pass such a measure, if he sends a proposal up to Capitol Hill.

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ISIS warns to kill Japanese hostages if ransom not paid Tue, 20 Jan 2015 07:10:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> IS ThreatIslamic States of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/IS/DAESH) in a new video threatens to kill two Japanese hostages if ransom is not paid.

In the video the group has asked for $200 million in exchange for the release of these hostages.

Two men are shown standing on their knees in the video whom DAESH claims to be Japanese hostages in their custody.

A man is seen holding a knife in his hands who is standing behind the hostages and threatens to kill these hostages if ransom is not paid in three days.

Although IS have executed hostages in the past but a ransom demand for release of hostages seems to be a new trend in their strategies.

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Story of America’s most lethal sniper on screen Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:20:22 +0000 Read the full article...]]> American sniper

A new Hollywood movie “American Sniper” had the best January opening ever by collecting a massive $90.2 million and receiving six Oscar nominations, including Best Actor and Best Movie.

The war drama directed by Clint Eastwood which is about post-traumatic stress and death and war and sadness and is based on the true story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who had served four tours in Iraq and was called the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.

Kylye claimed 255 kills over six years, with 160 of them officially confirmed by the Pentagon.

American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper which cuts back and forth between Kyle’s time in the field and his home life with wife Taya (Sienna Miller) and their two children.

Kyle was gunned down at the age of 38 in February 2013 at a shooting range in his native Texas by Eddie Ray Routh, a Marine veteran allegedly suffering from PTSD.

“American Sniper” star Bradley Cooper told FOX News “it became quite a responsibility to tell the story” after Kyle was killed last year at a shooting range in Texas. He also said he hopes the film will provide insight into the lives of soldiers and their families.

“It was a keyhole into that life,” Cooper said. “One thing that we were able to do was explore this man’s life and this woman’s life and their children and their family and in doing so hopefully get just a nugget, a kernel of truth, that people who actually have gone through it and are going through it can relate to it and not feel alone.”

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Newborn baby mysteriously catches fire in India Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:25:46 +0000 Read the full article...]]> rahulbaby_660_081013061337A mysterious case has been reported in Viluppuram district at Tamil Nadu state of India a newborn baby who is mysteriously catching fire.

According to the local media reports, the 10-day-old baby boy is currently being tested by the doctors in Kilpauk Meical College and Hospital (KMCH) in Chennai.

The mother of the baby has said her child caught fire and his feet burst into flames last Thursday when he only six day old.

A four-member special committee headed by KMC dean Dr N Gunasekaran, and comprise chief pediatrician Dr Sathya Moorthy, chief plastic surgeon Dr Nirmala Ponnambalam and chief psychiatrist Dr Raja Rathinam was formed by the state governmnet to investigate the mysterious case.

The KMCH dean Dr Gunasekaran has said they have conducted blood, creatinine and electrolyte tests immediately after the infant was admitted, and the results were normal.

“The child suffered burns on the legs. Today morning, the wound swab culture was sent for tests to detect bacterial infection if any. The results will be known after 48 hours,” Gunasekaran quoted by The Indian Express said.

This comes as a 3-month-old baby belonging to the same family was also admitted to the hospital in August 2013 where doctors conducted a series of tests.

According to the results of the tests, the baby had not caught fire mysteriously which raised concerns at that time that the baby may have been abused by relatives or burnt in an accidental fire.

In the meantime, the doctors have said they will on Monday discuss about further investigations and study the latest case in-depth.

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4 insurgents killed in US drone strike in NW Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:31:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> DronePakistan’s local media reports that a US drone strike killed four suspected militants North Waziristan on Monday.

As per the information published by Pakistan’s local media the drone targeted a compound of suspected militants in Shahikhel area of North Waziristan leaving four suspected insurgents killed on the spot.

Previous reports published indicate that US drone strikes have killed several high ranking Al-Qaeda leaders and foreign fighters beside local insurgents in North Waziristan in the past.

However, these strikes are not largely popular in Pakistan.

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No terror attack during Obama’s visit to India, US warns Pakistan Mon, 19 Jan 2015 07:54:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]> obama_modi_4The United States has asked Pakistan to make sure there is no cross-border terror incident during President Barack Obama’s visit to India later this month, according to local media reports.

Washington has also reportedly warned Islamabad of “consequences” if any such attack is traced.

Obama is expected to arrive in India on January 25 and will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

The local newspapers have also reported that New Delhi is also expected to hold crucial talks over Afghanistan with the US President.

According to the reports the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks on various issues with President Obama, including the possible rise of ISIS, the Al-Qaeda adn also the sudden surge in activity by Pakistan.

Sources told One India newspaper last week that Afghanistan will be a very vital issue during the talks between the two leaders.

Sources further added that the issue of Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Mohammad Omar who is kept in a safe house by Pakistan is also in the agenda as the Prime Minister’s think tank is gearing itself up to discuss a host of issues.

Other issues included in the agenda are heightened Pakistan activity in Afghanistan as India has seen Pakistan increasing funding and providing weapons and also aiding the Taliban with strategic planning.

Enhancing trade relations specifically in energy sector and natural resources of Afghanistan, training the Afghan police and cooperation to curb drug trafficking would also be discussed, according to the paper.

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Fierce fighting between Yemeni forces and Houthi rebels Mon, 19 Jan 2015 05:38:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]> yemeni-shia-houthi-rebels-seize-the-control-arman-city-aFierce fighting erupted between the guards of Yemen’s presidential palace and Houthi fighters in the capital Sanaa on Monday.

A report about the casualties was not issued until the writing of this story.

Huthis who claim to be fighting for their rights are blamed for a proxy war in Yemen for Iran.

They seized most parts of the capital Sanaa in September.

They are also blamed for abduction of Chief of Army Staff of Yemen’s president in Hada area of the city which has a strong presence of Huthi fighters.

Ahmed Awab Bin Mubarak was kidnapped along with two of his guards on Saturday.

War engulfed in larger flames in Yemen after vast protests forced President Ali Abdull Saleh to step down in 2011.

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3 Muslims killed in Muslim-Hindu violence in India Mon, 19 Jan 2015 04:19:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Burned villageThree Muslims have been burned to death after Hindus burned their Houses in India.

The violence occurred in Muzaffarpur area of Bihar state on Sunday after Hindus found dead body of a Hindu boy who went missing over a week ago.

Hindus blamed Muslims for the killing as the boy was friendly with a Muslim girl in their village.

Security forces arrested 14 people in connection to the violence occurred in Azizpur village.

On Sunday after a crowd of angry Hindus attacked the village and started to burn huts, most of the villagers escaped.

A spokesman for Bihar police says at the time of the violence they were unable to enter the village for several hours but by the time they entered the village everything was burned.

He said that the situation is now under control.

]]> 0 Yemeni Chief of Army Staff kidnapped Sat, 17 Jan 2015 12:25:42 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Yemen's chief of Army StaffUnidentified gunmen have kidnapped the Chief of Army Staff of Yemen in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

Officials say Ahmed Awab bin Mubarak and two of his guards were abducted at an insurgent check point in Hada area on Saturday.

Until writing this story, no group had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping but officials suspect Shia Houthi militiamen are behind the abduction.

Most of the capital Sanaa is in the hands of Shia Huthi militiamen.

Ahmed Awab bin Mubarak was nominated by the president for the post of prime minister in 2014 but was largely opposed by the Shia Huthis.

Yemen’s current instability occurred in 2011 following a large scale demonstrations that forced president Ali Abdulla Saleh to resign from his post.

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Pakistan arrest Afghan Taliban who opposed ISIS Sat, 17 Jan 2015 07:59:04 +0000 Read the full article...]]> paksitani police 9

Killid Radio reports that two Afghan Taliban commanders who had opposed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) or (DAESH) in Logar province have been arrested by Pakistan.

Killid Radio quotes the police chief of Logar province Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai as saying that after the Afghan Taliban commanders opposed DAESH flag in Charkh district they were called to go to Pakistan and put in jail upon their arrival.

Killid Radio further quotes the police chief as saying that these commanders had fought with the supporters of DAESH in their area.

Before Logar, officials in Helmand, Zabul and Farah provinces reported the existence of DAESH supporters in their provinces.

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Woman publicly beheaded by authorities in Saudi Arabia Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:06:04 +0000 Read the full article...]]> B7ZNzvCCEAE907ZA Burmese woman was publicly beheaded by authorities in Saudi Arabia Mecca city of Saudi Arabia after she was found guilty of sexual abuse and murder of her seven-year-old step-daughter.

The Burmese woman identified as Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim was residing in Saudi Arabi. Her execution further prompted criticism of Saudi’s human rights record.

A video of her execution which was carried out by a sword was released online on YouTube. The video showed the woman being dragged into what appeared to be a car park, screaming “I did not kill” repeatedly.

Held down by four police officers, she was then beheaded with three blows of a sword. YouTube later removed the video as part of its policy on “shocking and disgusting content”.

A human rights activist Mohammad al-Saeedi said the woman was beheaded without injecting painkillers as the authorities wanted to make the pain more powerful for her.

According to al-Saeedi there are two ways to behead people. “One way is to inject the prisoner with painkillers to numb the pain and the other is without the painkiller,” he told the Middle East Eye.

A statement by the Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia said it believed the sentence was warranted due to the severity of the crime.

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Gunmen attack another school in Pakistan Thu, 15 Jan 2015 10:49:08 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistani Police

Reports suggest that gunmen have attacked another school in Swabi area of Khayber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan.

The attack took place this morning.

Police officer of Swabi area confirming the attack says gunmen opened fire at the school but escaped after a retaliation of fire by the watchmen.

According to the police officer no one was killed or injured in the attack.

Following the attack parents of the students arrived and took their children back home.

This comes after Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) threatened to carry out more attacks against Pakistani forces and their sons who are over eighteen wherever they find them even in schools.

Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah in a recent video claimed that they had told fighters to kill children of soldiers who are above eighteen in a recent attack at a military-run school in Peshawar.

The attack left at least 141 dead and over 130 injured, most of them school children.

Attackers who were wearing military uniform entered a military-run school in Warsak Road are of KPK’s main city of Peshawar and sprayed bullets on school children on December 16, 2014.

The responsibility of the attack was claimed by TTP.

A TTP spokesman told media that the attack was a revenge for their people killed in Pakistani Army operation in North Waziristan.

TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah by issuing a video recently threatened to continue his war against the current government of Pakistan and its forces.

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Drone strike kills 6 insurgents in North Waziristan Thu, 15 Jan 2015 06:48:39 +0000 Read the full article...]]> DroneA US drone strike killed six suspected militants in the North Waziristan on Thursday.

According to Pakistani Media, the drone targeted a militant position in North Waziristan’s Shawal area.

North Waziristan is reportedly a hideout to local and foreign fighters.

Pakistani forces have started a mass operation against the insurgent in North Waziristan and adjacent areas since June 2014.

Pakistan claim to have killed over 2, 000 local and foreign insurgents in this operation and have confiscated large amount of explosives, weapons and ammunition.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif says insurgents have been weakened due to the ongoing military offensive against them in North Waziristan.

Mohammad Nawaz Sharif also says that the military operation will continue until the elimination of terrorists.

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Can Geneva Accelerate US and Iran Patch Up? Wed, 14 Jan 2015 06:04:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Iran US talksBy Manish Rai

Negotiators form Iran and the major powers that is P5+1 — the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany resume their talks next week in Geneva. While they have made significant progress, they remain at odds over how large a nuclear program geared for energy production and medical uses Iran will be permitted to have. In 2013, the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, struck a preliminary agreement with Iran for Tehran to suspend sensitive nuclear work in return for easing some economic sanctions imposed during more than 12 years of nuclear dispute. However, the two sides failed for a second time in November last year to meet a self-imposed deadline for ending the stand-off and securing a comprehensive agreement, and extended the preliminary accord by seven months. Fresh round of talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme set to resume in Geneva on January 18, as a third deadline for a deal approaches. The teams have now set a July 1 ultimatum, although they hope to reach a framework accord sometime in March, leaving the most complex technical details to be finalized afterwards. It should be known that the two sides have been negotiating for more than a decade to reach a deal that would ease international economic sanctions on Iran if it agrees to limit its nuclear activities.

In a sign that there are still tough talks ahead, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced his distrust of Washington as he weighed the prospects of a complex nuclear deal if reached with the west. Moreover because of amid pressure from the US Congress to impose more sanctions, Washington has also insisted that in the initial stages of a deal it would only suspend, not entirely lift, the measures. On one hand the United States and Iran continue negotiating a possible breakthrough nuclear agreement, but on another hand both sides are carrying concealed weapons that could be used if the talks collapse. The threats that underlie the bargaining are rarely discussed publicly, but both countries recognize the dangers ahead if they don’t reach an agreement by the June 30 deadline. The United States leverage is its demonstrated ability to use cyber weapons to attack Iranian nuclear facilities and impose more sanctions; Iran’s leverage is its ability to target the more than two thousand U.S. military personnel now in Iraq. The political pressures surrounding the bargaining are evident in Tehran and Washington. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tried to create space for a deal by arguing that Iran’s economy shouldn’t be hobbled by ideological factors, but Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that the United States couldn’t be trusted to lift sanctions. Meanwhile, conservatives in Congress are urging even more sanctions, while the Obama administration tries to pin down a deal.

President Obama pursued what amounted to a two-track policy. At the same time as he sought engagement with Iran, he authorized use of the computer weapon to sabotage Iran’s enrichment facility at Natanz. Iran’s leverage in this game of chicken is its ability to wage covert war through its proxies in the Middle East. The threat matrix includes Iranian aid to Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Assad regime in Syria and the Houthi rebels in Yemen. But Iran’s most potent weapon is its ability to attack U.S. forces returning to Iraq to fight the Islamic State. The United States is vulnerable, but so is Iran. That’s the symmetry of this negotiation. Both sides in the talks are still arguing about how much of an enriched uranium stockpile to leave Iran. It now has enough for several bombs, and Washington wants substantial cuts below that level. Two other unresolved issues are Iran’s Fordo underground enrichment site and the nearly built Arak nuclear reactor. The U.S and its five allies in the talks want to repurpose Fordo to a non-enrichment function because it is believed impervious to a military attack from the air. The six also seek to re-engineer Arak from a model that produces enough plutonium for several nuclear weapons a year to a less proliferation-prone model.

But a strong lobby in US and West believes that sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies has brought Iran to the negotiation table, and only more economic sanctions will induce it to surrender. The premise is false. While the sanctions did play a role, they were not the most important reason, or even one of the primary ones. Iran is negotiating because that is what it has wanted. So only solution to the issue is through diplomatic dialogue without any pre-notions and with open mind. A diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue the sooner the better will remove the threat of any future military conflagration in the Middle East, already in tumult with the ongoing ugly violence in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. An ultimate failure of the nuclear negotiations, whether torpedoed by the Israel-U.S. Congress joint effort or other naysayers, would play in the hands of certain quarters in Iran to push for withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty an eventuality that I presume few people would like to face after the North Korean affair. With the stakes as high as they are, both with the nuclear dossier and the situation in the region, it is incumbent on the U.S. Congress to act in a way to give diplomacy a real chance and regional stability a real boost. The bottom line is clear: Both sides need each other. The United States without Iran would continue to see its problems in the region remain unresolved or even aggravated, and Iran without the United States would continue to suffer in other ways.

Manish_Rai(Author is a columnist for Middle-East and Af-Pak region and Editor of geo-political news agency Views Around can be reached at

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10-year-old boy kill ‘Russian spies’ in latest ISIS execution video Tue, 13 Jan 2015 16:47:57 +0000 Read the full article...]]> isis-most-shocking-execution-video-small-boy-executes-two-russian-spies-pistolThe Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group released its latest propaganda video which purports to show th execution of two men by a 10-year-old boy.

The terrorist group’s propaganda outlet al-Hayet Media released the video showing the two men confessing they are agntes of the Russian intelligence.

Titled “Uncovering an enemy within”, the terror group claims the two men were offered money to “Uncovering an enemy within”.

The boy who appears to be around 10-year-old appears to shoot the men who are on their knees in a dessert before a militant.

According to reports, the same child has appeared in previous videos released by the terror group in the past.

The video was released a day after another video was published showing a 14-year-old boy carrying out a suicide attack in Salahuddin province of Iran.

This comes as the terror group released a guide for mothers in mid December last year on how to raise a jihadi baby.

The guide, titled “Sister’s Role in Jihad”, recommends showing children jihadi websites, reading tales of jihad at bedtime, and encourages sports such as darts to improve their aim.

Indoctrinating children with the militant group’s values is the most important way women can contribute, the guide says, urging the mothers not to wait until their children are seven to start, insisting that it may be too late by then.

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Pakistani premier’s granddaughter discharged from school in Pakistan Tue, 13 Jan 2015 09:52:47 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan-Maryam NawazPakistani premier Mohammad Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz has discharged her daughter from school in Pakistan.

According to Pakistan’s Express News, Maryam Nawaz has said that she is not afraid and she loves other kids like her own kids.

She said that her daughter will study in Pakistan like other kids but at this time discharging her from school was necessary for the security of other school children.

She rejected the reports that she is sending her daughter to London for study.

This comes after Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan vowed more Peshawar like attacks in Pakistan.

Peshawar attack that took place on 16 December 2014 left more than 140 killed most of them school kids.

A group of gunmen attacked a military-run school in Warsak Raod area of Peshawr on 16 December 2014 and sprayed bullets on school children.

After leaving more than 140 killed and around 130 injured, the attackers were killed in the explosions of their own explosives and by the security forces.

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Military Operation in NW Significant: Kerry Tue, 13 Jan 2015 07:52:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> John Kerry with PM Nawaz Sharif 2John Kerry, U.S Secretary of State, on his two days visit to Pakistan praised the military operation in North Waziristan.

John Kerry arrived in Pakistan on Monday and so far has met Pakistan’s premier Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz and Army Chief General Rahil Sharif beside some other high ranking Pakistani officials.

Kerry asked Pakistani side to continue the fight against terrorism and extremism with no distinction.

Delegation accompanying Kerry to Pakistan has said that Washington wants more serious efforts against Taliban, Haqani Network and other armed militant groups in both the neighboring countries.

Delegation says these terrorist groups pose threat not only to Pakistan and Afghanistan but also to the interests of the United States.

Washington plans to provide $250 million assistance for those internally displaced due to the military operations in Pakistan.

Pakistan following the failure of peace talks with Taliban launched a military offensive against them in North Waziristan and adjacent areas in June 2014 causing heavy casualties to them.

According to Pakistani officials more than 2, 000 insurgents have been killed since the operation began.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also commended Pakistan for reopening of Peshawar school that was cloase after a deadly Taliban attack leaving more than 140 people killed most of them school children.

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Charlie Hebdo again printing cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) on next edition Tue, 13 Jan 2015 06:37:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Charlie HebdoCharlie Hebdo announced they will again print the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (peace-be-upon-him) on their next edition.

Charlie Hebdo plans to print 50 times more than what they were printing usually.

Charlie Hebdo is planning to print more than three million copies this time with the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace-be-upon-him) on the cover.

This announcement comes at a very sensitive time.

Recent reports published indicate that some 14, 00 people in France have already joined or plan to join the militants groups.

In the meantime France plans to deploy thousands of additional troops to secure the sensitive sites.

This comes after a group of gunmen stormed Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris and killed eleven of their workers.

The attack was later claimed by Al-Qaeda and a video published online showed the announcement of the attackers to Islamic States.

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Anonymous Hackers announced fight against terrorism Tue, 13 Jan 2015 05:39:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> HackersA video of Anonymous Hackers talking French have surfaced on the internet announcing fight against terrorism.

A man who has covered his face and changed his voice says “We announce war against you terrorists”.

The man who has a paper in his hands threatens to avenge the killing of Charlie Hebdo workers who were recently killed by armed men in their office in Paris.

The masked man threatens they will find terrorist accounts online and block them.

 The video is believed to be uploaded to Youtube by the Anonymous Hackers in Belgium.

The group claims to have been working for the safety of the democracy.

According to BBC this group had threatened BBC in the past.

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ISIS (Daesh) hacks Twitter account of US Central Command Mon, 12 Jan 2015 18:20:42 +0000 Read the full article...]]> On-Site-02-GAL

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has hacked the twitter account of the US Central Command on Monday.

The hacking report was followed after a CENTCOM Twitter feed said “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad.”

A list of Army Generals and adresses associated with was also published through the Twitter account of CENTCOM.

Col. Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson for the US Central Command, has confirmed the compromise and said the military is “taking appropriate measures to address the matter.”

The YouTube account of the US Central Command was also apparently hijacked by the ISIS supporters after pro-ISIS videos were uploaded.

The apparent infiltration came as the US President Barack Obama prepared to outline new proposals on cyber security.

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Through Afghanistan, India involved in activities in Pakistan: Sartaj Aziz Mon, 12 Jan 2015 08:42:26 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ????????????Sartaj Aziz, National Security Advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif says activities taking place in Pakistan from Afghanistan, India is involved in it.

Sartaj Aziz has told Dawn News, a Pakistani Media, in an interview that both the neighboring countries have promised not to let each other’s territory used against the other.

He has told Dawn News that the previous policies applied by Pakistan did not have a positive impact on the national security.

According to the paper Aziz has said that for the national interests, the current governments decided not interfere in other countries, rather than that, Pakistan will try to make good relationship with neighbors.

Sartaj Aziz according to the paper has said that when India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office he told Pakistan to forget Kashmir for good relations with India, he said but Pakistan rejected the call.

India wants negotiations with Pakistan based on their interest but Pakistan cannot accept that, Sartaj Aziz was quoted by the paper as saying.

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Pakistani man beheaded in a video released by Taliban and ISIS Sun, 11 Jan 2015 09:16:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistani man beheadedThe former Pakistani Taliban leaders who have announced their allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISSI) on Saturday released a video purportedly showing the beheading of a man whom they identify as a Pakistani military soldier.

According to the SITE Inteligence Group, the video was released by ISIS on Twitter and Jihadi forums, showing the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP’s) former spokesman Shahidullah Shahid along with dozens of other militants in a wooded area.

SITE Intelligence Group is a US-based terrorism monitor which offers a variety of services to assist in monitoring and understanding jihadist news and trends.

The video released on Saturday also purports to show militant leaders who identify themselves as from Afghanistan and Pakistan pledging their support to the Islamic State group.

This comes as the residents of soutehrn Helmand province of Afghanistan have said that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has started operations in this province.

According to the local resients the group is led by a local commander identified as Abdul Rauf are operting in Zamin Dawar area of Sangin and also parts of Kajaki district.

The security institutions in Afghanistan have not independently confirmed the operations of ISIS in Afghanistan. However, insurgents belonging to a faction of the Hezb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said earlier in September last year that they consider to join the Islamic State militants who are currently fighting in Syria and Iraq.

This comes as a notorious anti-government armed militant commander who is believed to have links with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was also arrested by Afghan security forces in Paktia province earlier in December last year.

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57 killed in traffic accident in Pakistan Sun, 11 Jan 2015 05:49:36 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan Bus CrashA traffic accident has left 57 people killed and 10 others wounded in Pakistan.

The accident took place in Pakistan’s Sindh province between a passenger bus and a fuel tanker.

Officials say after the accident both vehicle gutted leaving 57 people dead on the spot and 10 others wounded.

Hospital sources say the wounded are also in critical condition.

Due to the heavy burns, it is difficult to identify many of the dead bodies.

The accident took place in Sindh province close to the provincial capital last night.

According to the officials the accident was the result of the negligence of the fuel tanker’s driver.

]]> 0 Pakistani father kills his 5 kids to gain magic powers Sat, 10 Jan 2015 05:50:58 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistani manA Pakistani father-of-six, practicing black magic, allegedly killed his five children by strangling them to death believing that it would endow him with magical powers.

According to the Pakisani police officials, the incident took place on Thursday overnight in the village of Saeed Khan, some 230 kilometers (140 miles) north of the city of Karachi.

The victims included two girls and three boys, aged between three and 13.

Police officer Qamaruddin Rahimo told AFP that the perpetrator has been identified as Ali Nawaz Leghari who is around 40 year old.

“The man’s financial condition was bad but he was also learning black magic and it seems that he made the sacrifice to excel in the craft,” Rahimo added.

He also added that the Leghari had attempted to poison the family’s dinner but was spotted by his wife, resulting in a bitter quarrel.

The provincial police chief Amjad Sheikh confirmed that Leghari was undertaking a 40-day spiritual journey, known as a ‘Chilla’ prescribed to him by a pir (living saint) that he hoped would teach him the art of alchemy.

According to the police officials, the eldest of the six children survived as he had left the home with his mother who had gone to her parents house after the fight.

A search operation has also been launched to detain a a black magic practitioner whom Leghari used to visit frequently for help as he was in bad financial condition.

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Film star Jackie Chan’s son jailed for drug crime in China Fri, 09 Jan 2015 16:35:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Jackie Chan's son jailedThe son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan has been sentenced to six months in jail in Beijing after he was convicted on a drug charge in a Beijing court on Friday.

Jaycee Chan, 32, was also found guilty of “hosting others to take drugs,” was fined 2,000 yuan ($320).

After the 90-minute trial at the Dongcheng District people’s Court, Chan bowed to the judge and prosecutor and said “I committed a crime and deserve to be punished.”

“It doesn’t mean I have received mercy and forgiveness – I hope to earn them with my future actions,” he was quoted as saying in a message by the court’s official microblog.

Chan was arrested during a police raid on his home in August 2014 amid a drug use crackdown in China after President Xi Jinping ordered police to use strong measures to stop drug use.

Police had found over 100g of cannabis and arrested Chan along with a Taiwanese film star Kai Ko. At least 10 locally known stars were detained following the crackdown last year.

Chan is expected to be released in mid-February, having already spent five months in jail.

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Pakistani extremist fought to sentence Facebook founder to death Fri, 09 Jan 2015 11:49:35 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Mark-Zuckerberg1The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Facebook social media Mark Zuckerberg has said that a Pakistani extremist fought to sentence him to death.

In an online statement issued a day after 12 people were shot dead by extremists at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo magazine, Zuckberg said “A few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Mohammed that offended him.”

Charlie Hebdo has in the past published cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, causing furore among the Muslims and its offices were firebombed in 2011. The newspaper has also been poking fun at popes and presidents.

At least two police officers and four cartoonists of the magazine were among those killed following the attack. It is believed the gunmen were angered by irreverent depictions of the Prophet Muhammad of Charlie Hebdo.

In the meantime, Zuckerberg expanded on why Facebook refused to censor content about Prophet Muhammad and said “We stood up for this because different voices — even if they’re sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place.”

“Facebook has always been a place where people across the world share their views and ideas. We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world,” he added.

Zuckerberg also added “Yet as I reflect on yesterday’s attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world.”

He promised not to let that happen on Facebook and vowed to build a service where everyone can speak freely without fear of violence.

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Imran Khan got married to BBC weather girl Reham Khan Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:41:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 247461F900000578-2898260-image-m-3_1420558847836The prominent Pakistani political leader Imran Khan got married to a former BBC weather girl and presenter Reham Khan, a week after rumors went viral regarding their secret wedding.

According to Pakistani media reports, the couple’s nikkah ceremony took place on Thursday at the politician’s residence in Bani Gala.

The wedding was a low-key affair due to the Peshawar tragedy where over 140 people, mostly children were massacred by Taliban militants.

“The event was a low key affair because we did not want to celebrate due to the Peshawar school massacre,” a leader of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Imran Ismail said while speaking to the Express News.

Reports regarding the secret marriage of the 61-year-old cricketer-turned-politician surfaced late in December.

Reham Khan is a 41-year-old mother of three children and has lived in Britain for part of her previous marriage, when she was a presenter on a regional news program in BBC.

There had been a backlash on social media in Pakistan regarding the rumored marriage, with photos of Reham in revealing clothes and a video of her doing a tango while working for the BBC circulating online and the reactions have been mostly negative.

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Militants attack French newspaper in Paris, leaving 12 dead Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:36:22 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Gunmen attack ParisA group of gunmen attacked the office of French magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, leaving at least 12 people and several others wounded.

The gunmen armed with AK-47 assault rifles and  managed to escape after attacking the office.

At least two police officers and four cartoonists of the magazine are among those killed following the attack.

The French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said a manhunt is under way in Paris for the assailant militants who escaped in a car.

The four journalists of the magazine killed in the attacked have been named as Stéphane Charbonnier, cartoonists Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac.

The French President Francois Hollande called the shooting a terror attack and “an act of exptional barbarity”.

No group has far claimed responsibility behind the incident. But, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist grouip has previously wanred it intends to attack France.

Charlie Hebdo has in the past published cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, causing furore among the Muslims and its offices were firebombed in 2011. The newspaper has also been poking fun at popes and presidents.

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Pakistan announced head prices of top Taliban commanders Mon, 05 Jan 2015 17:06:18 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Maulana FazlullahPakistan announced head prices of top Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commanders including the group’s leader Mullah Fazlullah.

A list of top 615 Taliban leaders and high ranking commanders has been issued with a total reward of 77 Crore Pakistani Rupees (7,621,470.65 USD), conversion rate of 05 January 2015.

According to the list the reward on Mullah Fazlulla, Mangal Bagh, Qari Bashir and Samiullah is one Crore (98,980.14 USD) each, conversion rate of 05 January 2015 .

Mullah Fazullah is TTP’s leader who has been fighting the government of Pakistan for years.

Mangal Bagh is reportedly leading a group of thousands of fighters under the name of Lashkar-e-Islam in Pakistan.

Qari Bashir and Samiullah are wanted to the government of Pakistan for a massive jailbreak in Pakistan’s tribal area of Dera Ismail Khan.

The jailbreak let 175 inmates go in 2013 after dozens of gunmen stormed the jail.

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Volleyball ground explosion leaves 5 killed, 10 injured in Pakistan Mon, 05 Jan 2015 06:54:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan policeA blast in a volleyball ground has left five civilians killed and ten injured in Pakistan.

Officials say the explosion took place in the tribal area Lower Orakzai agency of late Sunday after.

According to the eyewitnesses there was a volleyball match going on and a lot of people gathered in to watch when the explosion occurred.

Security officials believe the explosives were planted in the ground from before and were exploded with a remote control.

Orakzai agency, one of the semi- autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan is believed to be one of the hotspots of Pakistani Taliban.

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ISIS (Daesh) issues guide for raising jihadi babies Sun, 04 Jan 2015 15:47:33 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 2466D36400000578-2895998-image-m-8_1420365530973The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as Daesh, has released a guide for mothers on how to raise a jihadi baby.

According to reports, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) unearthed the guide on jihadi websites which is believed to be issued by ISIS or its followers.

The guide, titled “Sister’s Role in Jihad”, recommends showing children jihadi websites, reading tales of jihad at bedtime, and encourages sports such as darts to improve their aim.

Indoctrinating children with the militant group’s values is the most important way women can contribute, the guide says, urging the mothers not to wait until their children are seven to start, insisting that it may be too late by then.

“Don’t underestimate the lasting effect of what those little ears and eyes take in during the first few years of life!” the guide says.

This comes as two young toddlers were snatched from their mother after returning from the war-torn Syria.

According to the Mail Online, the decision by the authorities was taken amid fears that the children were radicalized.

The young kids were taken into police protection at Luton airport last week after travelling to the U.K. from Istanbul with their 25-year-old mother.

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Terrorists plan to hijack Delhi-Kabul flight Sun, 04 Jan 2015 06:43:27 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Air IndiaIndia’s intelligence agencies say there is information that terrorists have planned to hijack a Delhi-Kabul flight.

Based on the tip off received, India’s intelligence agencies say that terrorists have planned to hijack an Air India flight, the third largest airline in India which has flights between Delhi-Kabul.

After receiving a high alert from the intelligence agencies, Indian officials have tightened security in the airport.

The security personnel at the airport even are even tightly checking their staff members.

The intelligence agencies say the hijack could be similar to the hijack of 1999 when gunmen hijacked an Indian Airlines airbus in route to India from Nepal.

The hijackers took the airbus to several locations but the flight was finally forced to land in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

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Pak-India fire exchange leaves 2 killed, 10 injured Sat, 03 Jan 2015 09:07:08 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Indian border security forcesReports indicate that Pakistani and Indian forces late Friday night began exchanging fire which continued till Saturday afternoon.

Paktani officials say a 14 year-old girl was killed and another eight year-old injured due to the rounds of Indian forces which landed on civilian houses across the border.

On the other side, Indian Border Security Forces say Pakistani soldiers late last night started shooting their security check posts as well as nearby villages in Kashmir which left a villager killed and nine others wounded.

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) says that Indian soldiers responded accordingly and the exchange of fire took hours.

In past few situation has been tense on the joint border between the two neighboring countries.

Both sides have been shelling heavy and light weapons on each other.

Last week one Indian and two Pakistanis soldier were killed when the two sides exchanged fire.

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TTP reportedly released video of Mullah Fazlullah’s son justifying war in Pakistan Sat, 03 Jan 2015 05:03:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Mullah Fazlullah's sonAfter about two weeks of Peshawar’s deadly attack, Pakistani Taliban known as Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP reportedly released a video of a child justifying their fight against the government of Pakistan.

The video has been received by the SITE Intel Group, a site which usually publishes stories about TTP.

According to the group the child says “Regarding our battle today with the tyrants, which include the Pakistani government and its apostate army, I will clarify for you their reality, it is an American army and it has no zeal or morals. Those bastards, hypocrites, polytheists and agents of the Jews and the Christians, those thieves, highway robbers and drunkards… Our war will continue with them until the war meets its end.”

The child in the video has been identified as the son of TTP’s leader Mullah Fazlullah, the SITE Intel Group says.

According to the SITE Intel Group the video was released at the end of December 2014 after a deadly attack at a military-run school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.

The attack left around 141 killed and over 130 injured, most of them school children.

TTP later claimed responsibility of the attack stating that this was a revenge for the death of their people who were killed in the military operations of Pakistan’s Army in North Waziristan.

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Pakistani and Indian soldiers again exchange fire, 3 killed Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:38:08 +0000 Read the full article...]]> IndiaOne soldier from India and two from Pakistan were killed after the two sides exchanged fire with each other on the joint border on Wednesday.

Pakistani commanders say a commander of India requested a meeting with them.

The commanders add that when two of their representatives contacted Indians they were shot dead.

But defense ministry of India says a patrol of their soldiers was attack by Pakistani soldier where they lost one soldier.

The defense ministry adds that Indian soldiers retaliated accordingly.

According to the defense ministry of India, Indian soldiers stopped firing on Pakistani soldiers after Pakistan soldiers waved a white flag for removing their dead bodies.

India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar says Pakistan will face a double response if they fire at Indian soldiers.

Indian and Pakistani soldiers exchanged fire on the joint border in October and November which left at least twenty dead.

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Imran Khan secretly married a BBC weather girl and presenter Wed, 31 Dec 2014 09:50:22 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Imran KhanAccording to reports, a prominent Pakistani political leader Imran Khan has remarried in secret to a former BBC weather girl Reham Khan.

The 61-year-old cricketer-turned-politician has reportedly tied the knot at the weekend, sources close to the couple quoted in a report by Daily Mail have said.

Reham Khan is a 41-year-old mother of three children and has lived in Britain for part of her previous marriage, when she was a presenter on a regional news program in BBC.

The news of Khan’s remariage has neither been confirmed nor rejected so far. However, Farhat Javed Rabani, a well-known news anchor in Pakistan, twitted on Saturday “Ahmmm… an anchor has married a politician today… #WeddingBells <3 #HappinessAllAround ;)”.

In the meantime, Khan’s ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith had said in October that her ex-husband was about to remarry. “My ex-husband, Imran, recently announced that he intended to get remarried soon, which made me think it’s probably time to change my name back to Goldsmith,” she added.

There has been a backlash on social media in Pakistan regarding the rumored marriage, with photos of Reham in revealing clothes and a video of her doing a tango while working for the BBC circulating online and the reactions have been mostly negative.

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2 year old kid kills mom in the US Wed, 31 Dec 2014 05:35:14 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ToddlerA two year old kid has accidentally discharged the pistol and killed his mom in the US state of Idaho.

According to the officials and witnesses the kid was setting in a shopping cart in Walmart and accidentally triggered the pistol after reaching his mom’s purse.

Veronica J. Rutledge, 29 had taken four kids to Walmart for shopping and left her son in the same cart where her purse with a pistol was.

Police say the surveillance cameras and witnesses statements helped proof that it was an accident.

The manager closed Walmart after the incident and Rutledge’s son and three nieces were taken to a relative’s home.

Weapon Rules vary in the US states. However, Idaho allows carrying licensed/permitted handguns in a concealed manner.

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45 Afghans arrested in Peshawar Tue, 30 Dec 2014 09:27:10 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Peshawar policePeshawar police have conducted fresh operations in different parts of Peshawar where they have arrested 45 Afghans.

Police say the arrested Afghans neither have Refugee Cards nor necessary travelling documents.

Beside unregistered Afghan Refugees there registered Afghan Refugees who are also issued a one month notice to leave the country.

Afghan government says they are in contact with the government of Pakistan to solve the problem.

UNHCR however, have asked the Pakistani government to house the registered refugees until the end of 2015.

The registered Afghan refugees have been issued Refugee Cards which legalize their stay in Pakistan until the end of 2015.

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ISIS (Daesh) killed almost 2,000 people in Syria in past 6 months Tue, 30 Dec 2014 05:09:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ISISA British-based monitoring group has said nearly 2,000 people have been executed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Daesh) in the past six months.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said the executions were carried out in the areas under the control of ISIS in Syria.

According to the monitoring group, at least 120 ISIS foreign fighters who were trying to return home and 80 members of the rival Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, were also among those killed by the terrorist group.

Since announcing its caliphate in June, ISIS has has taken vast parts of Iraq and Syria.

A statement released by the British-based monitoring group said “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the execution by the Islamic State of 1,878 people in Syria between June 28 when it announced its ‘caliphate’ and December 27.”

The statement further added that the executions were carried out in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Hama, Homs, Hasakeh and Raqa.

The group, citing activists and medical sources on the ground in Syria, said the victims were shot dead, beheaded or stoned to death.

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Indonesian plane went missing with 162 on board Sun, 28 Dec 2014 04:56:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> An IndonesianAirAsia plane carrying 162 passengers and crew on board went missing Sunday morning.

AirAsia officials say they have lost contact with Airbus A320-200 after it took off.

AirAsia officials a Search operations was underway and as soon as they receive more information they will release it.

Airbus A320-200 with Flight number QZ8501 left Surabay for Singapore and was supposed to land at 08:30 am (local time).

Kabul is 2 hours and 30 minutes after Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Saudi Arabia refers women to terrorism court for defying driving ban Sat, 27 Dec 2014 07:32:14 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Loujain-HathloulTwo women’s rights activists have been referred to a special court established to try terrorism cases in Saudi Arabi for attempting to defy the Kingdom’s ban on women drivers.

According to the local activists, the two campaigners – Loujain Hathloul, 25, and Maysa Alamoudi, 33, were arrested on December 1 at the border with the United Arab Emirates.

The two campaigners were referred to the special court by a local court in the eastern province city of Al-Ahsa.

Local activists supporting the two campaigners have said, said Loujain Hathloul, 25, was arrested after she tried to drive into the country from neighboring UAE, driving her own car.

The 33-year-old Maysa Amoudi was arrested after she traveled to the border to support Hathloul.

According to the local supporters, investigations surrounding the women appeared to focus on their social media activities rather than the fact that they tried to defy the driving ban.

According to reports, the 25-year-old Hathloul has 228,000 followers on the social networking site Twitter, with her lawyer expected to to appeal against the court’s decision.

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35 insurgents killed in Pakistan Sat, 27 Dec 2014 05:36:38 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan FightingPakistan’s military officials say to have killed 35 insurgents in separate actions in Khayber Pakhtunkhwa province of the country.

Twenty three insurgents were killed in fresh air strikes in Datakhil area of North Waziristan and 12 were killed after a group of unknown gunmen attacked a security check post in Orakzai agency of the province early Saturday morning.

Sources say insurgents were killed in the retaliatory action, adding that five soldiers also sustained injuries by insurgents fire.

Pakistan has begun a crackdown on the insurgents following the deadly Peshawar attack which left 149 people killed and more than 130 injured.

Last week security forces of Pakistan raided a house in the commercial hub of Karachi where they killed 13 insurgents with six of them having affiliation to Al-Qaeda.

Pakistanis are in alert in the wake of a statement from Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan that terrorists have planned another Peshawar like attack.

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Drone strikes kill 7 suspected militants in North Waziristan Fri, 26 Dec 2014 06:43:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]> DroneAs per the reports seven suspected militants were killed in two separate drone attacks in North Waziristan Friday morning.

In one strike a compound of the Panjabi Taliban commander Qari Imran was hit leaving four militants killed in the Kund area of Shawal in North Waziristan.

A second strike was carried out at Mangroti area of Shawal in North Waziristan where two missiles hit a compound killing three foreign fighters more likely Uzbek.

The compounds were also damaged in the strikes.

Although there is a heavy casualties to the insurgents in the drone strikes in North Waziristan but according to a survey conducted in Pakistan this year, 66 percent of the 188 million estimated populations oppose these strikes.

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Major Challenges For Pak Army Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:35:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Peshawar school attackBy Manish Rai

The Peshawar school attack has shaken Pakistani society to the core. It also represents one of the most horrific incidents in a brutal insurgency against the Pakistani state and civil society by the Pakistani Taliban or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The TTP is a loose coalition of militant groups, mainly comprised of tribal areas of Pakistan, particularly from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the extreme northwest, who joined the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1990s. Soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, these groups crossed the border and started engaging Pakistani military units deployed in the Tribal Areas as part of Pakistan’s U.S. alliance obligations. After 2004, these engagements grew into a domestic insurgency, with heavy fighting and significant military losses in the Tribal Areas and the Swat Valley. The TTP coalition was formed in 2007 after red mosque incident. The Pakistani military, in response to both domestic and international pressure, recently launched large-scale multiservice offensive operations, Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber one in an effort to destroy all insurgent bases in North Waziristan and Khyber agency which are quiet effective in destroying TTP strongholds. The wide extent of militant cooperation in the tribal areas has complicated matters for the Pakistani military intelligence agency to gather information and partners. Still Pakistani security forces are doing well in the clearing operations.

The army has reacted very strongly after Peshawar attack. The Pakistani military carried out dozens of airstrikes and ground operations in a remote part of northwestern Pakistan. The Pakistani military claimed that in less than three days of the Peshawar incident, 119 militants were killed in the FATA– 62 in ground operations and 57 in air strikes. Upon pressures from the military forces, the civilian government of Nawaz Sharif has also lifted a moratorium on death penalty. It shows that Pak Army the most respected and powerful institution in the country is willing to finish out this domestic Taliban menace forever now. The army has been facing many difficulties in conducting effective counter-insurgency operations even though it has deployed more than 150,000 soldiers in the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa and FATA, and has suffered over 15,700 casualties, including over 5,000 dead since 2008. This is because of counterinsurgency campaigns of army have to overcome following challenges:-

Lack of Local Know How – The most soldiers deployed in the tribal areas know little about the demographic structures, topography, and local language, and thus are widely seen as an occupying force in the Pashtun society.

Inexperience in Fighting Guerilla War -The Pakistan army’s training and doctrine are largely informed by the country’s historical experience of fighting three wars with India in 1947, 1965, and 1971 and thus place a heavy emphasis on conventional war preparedness. This has made Islamabad largely incapable of fighting a protracted insurgency in the FATA – a tribal region where the central government has historically had minimal control, and thus delegated power to the tribal leaders.

Poor Command Structure – Pakistan army’s weak counterinsurgency campaigns are further compounded by the poor structure of its paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC). The FC soldiers are primarily drawn from the tribal areas, and thus are familiar with the local culture and terrain. This could make them an ideal counterinsurgent force. However, the FC is not a regular military force, and its training and preparedness focus on patrolling the frontiers and fighting cross-border smuggling. As a result, fighting insurgency and militancy have largely been alien to the FC personnel. When deployed for counterinsurgency purposes, along with Pakistani military forces, the FC has lacked the leadership and equipment, and demonstrated poor performance against the Taliban insurgents.

Lack of Credible Intelligence – Poor intelligence collection and coordination has added more challenges to Pakistan’s war on terrorism. Put simply, the army acquired strategic intelligence about the TTP’s possible intentions but it lacked any actionable intelligence on the potential targets. The problem of intelligence coordination is also evident in the overlapping responsibilities of the civilian-run Intelligence Bureau or the Federal Investigative Agency, and the military-controlled Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, widely known as the ISI. While each of the three agencies has some counterterrorism intelligence related tasks, there is no effective coordination among their collection and analytical efforts. The problem is further complicated as religious extremists in Pakistan operate with various names, making it hard for the agencies to monitor them.

Lack of Coordination among civil and military establishments – Another big problem in countering insurgency is Pakistan’s civil and military establishments are so divided over the issue. The politicians have a number of reasons for leaving the fight against the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) to the army alone. Privately, government ministers argue that the army’s total control of security policy means it is unreasonable for the generals to expect the civilians to take responsibility for what the army decides to do. The politicians are anyway deeply suspicious of an army that has frequently mounted coups to overthrow elected governments. The current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was kicked out of power, put in a dungeon and then exiled by the last military ruler Pervez Musharraf. Mr Sharif believes that despite his overwhelming popular mandate the army has never accepted his political comeback in 2013 and is once again plotting to remove him from power.

It would be a miracle if all political parties and the military, along with its intelligence services, end up on the same page in tackling the Taliban insurgency. All the stakeholders in Pakistan should understand that countering militancy and violent extremism will remain the country’s overriding security goal. Only concerted army operations launched with single-mindedness of purpose can stop the TTP juggernaut. Pakistan army has to rework on its strategy against Taliban in every aspect like- Intelligence gathering, finishing out the Taliban ideological base, dealing every militant outfit with the same way only then the desired results can be achieved.

(Author is a columnist for Middle-East and Af-Pak region and Editor of geo-political news agency can be reached at

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US Ex-President H.W. Bush taken to hospital for shortness of breath Wed, 24 Dec 2014 04:43:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]> BushUnited States former president George Herbert Walker Bush was taken to Texas’s Houston hospital late Tuesday after shortness of breath.

Officials say George H. W. Bush 90, was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

H.W. Bush had experienced bronchitis-related cough and other health issues. He was also unable to use his legs.

George H. W. Bush who is the last living president of the United States has served as United State’s 41 presidents from 1989-1993 and succeeded by Ex-president Bill Clinton.

Since 1997 he and President Clinton were involved in Humanitarian activities.

After Bill Clinton, Bush’s eldest son became the 43rd president of the United States.

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60 Journalists killed in 2014 Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:37:44 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Zubai HatamiCommunity to Protect Journalists also known as (CPJ) whose headquarters is in the New York City of the United States says at least 60 journalists have been killed worldwide in 2014.

CPJ in a report based on the data collected from 21 countries states that most of the journalists were killed in their own countries while 23 percent were killed in foreign countries.

Following is the breakdown of the number of the journalists killed in each country.

Afghanistan: 3

Pakistan: 3

India: 2

Syria: 17

Iraq: 5

Ukraine: 5

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory: 4

Somalia: 4

Paraguay: 3

Mexico: 2

Brazil: 2

Bangladesh: 1

Central African Republic: 1

Guinea: 1

Philippines: 1

Burma: 1

Yemen: 1

South Africa: 1

Libya: 1

Egypt: 1

Democratic Republic of the Congo: 1

As per the data Syria was the most deadly country for journalists with 17 journalists being killed there.

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TTP threatened to target Media in Pakistan, 2nd Zarb-i-Azab will kick off Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:43:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> PakistanTehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) blamed Pakistani media for taking the military side in the ongoing conflict.

Mohammad Khurasani, TTP spokesman on Monday threatened strict actions against media.

He said 120 of his men were killed in past 2 days but media was ignoring them.

Media in Pakistan has been targeted in the past too.

Mohammad Khurasani who has threatened media in his new statement is the person who claimed responsibility of the Peshawar Attack on behalf of TTP.

In the meantime Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday announced that his military will soon start second Zar-i-Azab operations against the militants.

He said in 1st Zarb-i-Azab which still continues militants were targeted in the tribal areas but 2nd Zarb-i-Azab will target rebellious in cities and villages.

He added that without differences any outlawed group would come under strike.

Mohammad Nawaz Sharif reiterated that the military operation will continue until the eradication of the terrorists from Pakistan.

Pakistan is taking strict steps towards its armed opponents after past Tuesday’s attack that killed 141 people and injured more than 130 others, most of them school children.

Pakistan’s government since then is under severe internal pressure towards the militants.

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Pakistan plans to execute 500 militants following deadly school attack Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:56:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan to execute 500 militantsShortly after lifting a moratorium on the death penalty in terrorism cases, the government of Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants arrested by the country’s security forces.

According to senior Pakistani officials, the government is planning to execute the convicts in coming weeks.

At least six militants have been executed since the deadly attack on an army-run school in Peshawar city of Pakistan a week ago which left over 140 people dead, mostly school children.

The attack by the Pakistani militants sparked outrage on domestic and international level, forcing the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to life the six-year moratorium.

“[The] interior ministry has finalised the cases of 500 convicts who have exhausted all the appeals,” a senior Pakistani official told AFP.

The official further added “Their mercy petitions have been turned down by the president and their executions will take place in coming weeks.”

In the meantime, the Human Rights Watch has condemned the decision by the government of Pakistan to reinstate executions, terming the executions “a craven politicised reaction to the Peshawar killings”.

The rights group on Saturday demanded that no further hangings be carried out.

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UNHCR: Afghan Refugees not be expelled forcefully Mon, 22 Dec 2014 06:31:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> afghan-refugeesUnited Nations Humanitarian Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the government of Pakistan has granted legal stay to Afghan Refugees in their country and therefore they should not expel them forcefully.

Qaisar Afridi, spokesman for UNHCR in Pakistan says the Refugee Cards issued to Afghans do not expire until the end of 2015.

Afridi said Afghans should not be made to leave unless they want to.

The federal government of Khayber Pakhtunkhwa, following a deadly Peshawar attack, issued a one month deadline for Afghans to leave their territory.

The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said they can no longer house Afghan refugees in their territory since it is damaging the economy.

But some Afghan Refugees in Peshawar say Pakistan is making excuse to receive funds from international donars.

They say Pakistan in the past also has issued statements like this but after receiving fund they would not expel the refugees.

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ISIS (Daesh) executes 100 of its own fighters for desertion Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:55:54 +0000 Read the full article...]]> isis execute own fightersAccording to reports, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has executed around 100 of its foreign fighters who tried to flee their headquarters.

The execution was carried out in the Syrian city of Raqqa, according to an activist opposed to ISIS and President Bashar al-Assad.

The activist quoted by The Financial Times said he had “verified 100 executions” of foreign Islamic State fighters trying to leave the jihadi group’s de facto capital.

“Local fighters are frustrated they feel they’re doing most of the work and the dying . . . foreign fighters who thought they were on an adventure are now exhausted,” the activist told FT.

According to paper, quoting Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, a military police has been formed to clamp down on foreign fighters who miss duty.

According to the reports, large areas in northern and eastern parts of Syria are under the control of the ISIS militants. The group claims to have fighters from European countries, including UK, France, Germany, as well as the U.S., the Arab world and the Caucasus.

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Another Peshawar like attack planned for Pakistan Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:26:19 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Peshawar school attackInterior Minister of Pakistan says there is information indicating another Peshawar like attack designed to be carried out in Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called on security agencies to be on high alert.

Khan ordered the mobile companies in Pakistan not to issue illegal SIM cards.

He ordered all the hotel owners to be strict in verification of the room renters and inform the security agencies regarding any suspected individuals.

Peshawar attack which was carried out past Tuesday left 141 people killed and more than 130 injured, most of them school kids.

Attackers targeted a military-run school in Warsak Road area of Peshawar.

The responsibility of the attack was claimed by the Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan also known as TTP, Pakistan’s armed opponent group.

Taliban’s spokesman told media that the attack was carried out as a revenge for Pakistan’s military operation in North Waziristan where they (TTP) has lost their people.

Taliban also emailed photos of some dead people to the media claiming to be the family members of their fighters killed in North Waziristan.

However, the minister of interior of Pakistan did not mention in the news conference that who is behind planning another attack.

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International Peace Conference to be held in Peshawar Sun, 21 Dec 2014 07:26:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]> OICPakistan based Dawn news agency reports that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is mulling an International Peace Conference for Muslim countries in Peshawar.

According to the news agency the aim of the conference is to unite Islamic countries for a shared strategy for defeating terrorism.

The news agency adds that the promise was made by OIC Secretary General Iyad Amin Madani who is currently on a visit to Pakistan.

OIC is pondering international peace conference to bring Muslim countries together against terrorism after a deadly attack in Peshawar that killed at least 141 and injured more than 130 others.

In the meantime peace council of Afghanistan says until Pakistan is not honest to its commitment to fight against any terrorist group, the region will face insecurity.

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US airstrike leaves 5 militants dead in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Sat, 20 Dec 2014 07:33:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]> MQ-9 reaperAt least five suspected militants were killed following a US drone strike in North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan earlier today.

According to Pakistani security officials, the airstrike was carried out in DAtta Khel area, targeting a compound used by suspected militants.

A senior security official speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed that five militants were killed and that the death toll could rise.

In the meantime, another intelligence official has said a high-value target was likely among those killed but the identities of the militants yet to be ascertained.

North Waziristan is among the volatile districts in tribal region of Pakistan near the Afghan border where militants are actively opereting.

The area is alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, among others.

At least eight suspected militants were killed following a drone strike in North Waziristan late in the month of November.

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Boko Haram again kidnapped girls and women in Nigeria Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:19:41 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Boko HaramSuspected Boko Haram rebels in an attack at a village in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state have killed 32 men and kidnapped more than 100 girls and women including children.

Villagers of Gumsuri after escaping to Maiduguri, provincial capital of Borno state, have told media that gunmen attacked their village, killed men and kidnapped girls and women including children on Sunday.

Because of the poor or no electronic communication and poor roads the report is getting late to the media.

Boko Haram in an attack at another village in the same state had kidnapped more than 200 school girls and later announced that the girls were married off to their fighters.

Boko Haram has established an insurgency in Nigeria since five years.

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3 day countrywide mourning in Pakistan Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:48:47 +0000 Read the full article...]]> peshawar-650_121714120534Pakistan on Wednesday begin a 3 day countrywide mourning following a deadly attack at a military-run school in Peshawar that killed 141 and injured 124 others on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s flag was flown half all over the country as the funeral of the victims was offered in different parts of the city of Peshawar and later buried.

The attack prompted lifting ban on death penalty to convicted terrorists by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday.

Nawaz also vowed strict response to those responsible for the attack.

He said the operation will continue until the demolishment of the terrorists.

The attack was strongly condemned by world leaders including Afghanistan.

The death included at least 100 school children.

The responsibility was later claimed by Pakistani Taliban yesterday.

A Taliban spokesman has told media the attack was in the revenge for military operation in North Waziristan area where they also have lost their family members.

Pakistani Taliban have sent pictures of people they claim to be their people killed in Pakistan’s military operation in North Waziristan.

Pakistan military started a full-blown operation in North Waziristan in June which still continues. Pakistani officials say to have killed more than 1800 insurgents in these 6 months period.

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141 killed, 80 injured in Peshawar attack Tue, 16 Dec 2014 07:14:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]> peshawar attack   2The attack which started at around 11:00AM Tuesday in Warsak Road area of Peshawar and continued till late afternoon has left 141 killed and 80 injured on Tuesday.

Most of the victims are students of the military-run school stormed by gunmen.

The attack also included explosions in the school where around 500 students were thought to be inside by the time of the attack.

According to the officials attackers were  6 persons.

Eyewitnesses say the attackers were wearing military uniforms.

Pakistan prime minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has declared a three-day country wide mourning.

Tahrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Taliban spokesman has said that the attack was carried out to revenge Pakistan’s military operation under way in North Waziristan where they lost their family members.

TTP in the past also have carried out attacks in different parts of Pakistan in an apparent response to the military operation in the tribal belt.

Pakistan’s military has initiated a large scale operation in North Waziristan since June this year with last Monday marking 6 months.

Pakistan’s military sources claim to have killed over 1800 terrorists in this operation including Al-Qaeda and other foreign fighters.

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Miss South Africa Rolene Struss crowned Miss World Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:23:06 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Miss WorldA 22-year-old fourth-year medical student Rolene Strauss from South Africa has claimed the crow at this year’s Miss World competition.

Women from 121 countries contested in the 64th annual competition where the contest’s glitzy final was held in London on Sunday.

Edina Kulcsar from Hungary was judged the runner-up and Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit came third.

Strauss was crowned by the outgoing Miss World, Megan Young of the Philippines, to huge cheers in the EXCEL exhibition centre.

She told AFP she wanted to help spread education in her homeland and thereby help other people realise their dreams.

“I am what I am today because of the opportunities I have received and I would love to give others the same opportunities; educating, the opportunity to be educated, to make healthy choices and also to live their dreams,” Strauss said.

Strauss is the third South African Miss World, the title has been held by the country in 1958 and 1974.

Venezuela has held the title for six times since the Miss World began in 1951, while India and the United Kingdom have claimed the tile for five times each.

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Three men arrested in Belgian hostage siege after police lockdown Mon, 15 Dec 2014 12:01:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> MAIN-Belgium-seige-gunmenThree men were arrested by Belgian police after they allegedly stormed an apartment building and took a hostage in the city of Ghent on Monday.

But police say a hostage allegedly held by the men was released unharmed. 

The alleged motive remains unclear but Belgian authorities have been at pains to say it was “nothing political”. 

Federal police spokeswoman Annemie Serlippens said: “There appears to be nothing political.” 

“We are sure that it has nothing to do with terrorism. We think it might be drug related.”

She later added: “This isn’t the same sort of incident as events in Sydney.”

Four armed men had been reported entering the apartment block early on Monday in the working-class neighborhood, prompting police to set up a large security operation to keep bystanders away.

After several hours, at least two men left the building with their hands up. It was unclear how the third man came out or whether police were still looking for more suspects.

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US developes first ever self-guiding bullets Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:44:50 +0000 Read the full article...]]> self-guiding bulletAccording to reports, the Teledyne Scientific & Imaging LLC is developing bullets that can change direction after they have been fired.

The .50-caliber bullet is developed under the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program and behest of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The EXACTO program released a new footage of their self-guiding bullets in action after a series of successful tests conducted year.

“The objective of the EXACTO program is to revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet,” DARPA officials quoted by Stars and Stripes said.

The officiasl further added “The EXACTO .50-caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems.”

How that is done remains a tightly held secret. However, the Tech Generation Magazine, reported that the bullet gathers in-flight information through the optical sensors on the surface of its nose and transmits the data to internal electronic systems responsible for interpretation.

The bullet changes its direction with a series of fins located along it’s exterior with the help of the data.

It has been reported that the bullet has met accuracy standards from a distance of 1.2 miles.

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Gunman including 3 killed in Sydney cafe siege Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:49:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Sydney_gunman_AFP_650The deadly siege began in the most incongruous of ways, on a sunny Monday morning inside a cheerful cafe in the heart of Australia’s largest city. An Iranian-born gunman burst in, took 17 people hostage, and forced some to hold a flag with an Islamic declaration of faith above the shop window’s festive inscription of “Merry Christmas.”

It ended after midnight with a barrage of gunfire that left two hostages and the gunman dead, four others wounded, and a nation that has long prided itself on its peace rocked to its core.

After waiting 16 hours, police stormed the Lindt Chocolat Cafe early Tuesday when they heard gunfire inside, said New South Wales state police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.

A loud bang rang out, several hostages ran from the building and police swooped in amid heavy gunfire, shouts and flashes. A police bomb disposal robot also was sent into the building, but no explosives were found.

“They made the call because they believed that at that time, if they didn’t enter, there would have been many more lives lost,” Scipione said.

The gunman was identified as 50-year-old Man Haron Monis, who once was prosecuted for sending offensive letters to families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monis had “a long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism and mental instability.”

Scipione wouldn’t say whether the two hostages who were killed — a 34-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman — were caught in crossfire, or shot by their captor. Among the four wounded was a police officer shot in the face.

One of the victims was Sydney lawyer and mother-of-three Katrina Dawson.

“Katrina was one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends” Jane Needham, president of the New South Wales Bar Association, said in a statement.

Officials rolled one gurney out of the cafe carrying what appeared to be a man draped in a blood-soaked sheet with a bloody handprint in the center. Paramedics also carried away a woman with blood-covered feet.

“I can only imagine the terror that they’ve been through,” Scipione said. “They are very brave people who in many cases were just buying a cup of coffee and they got caught up in this dreadful affair. We should reflect on their courage.”

The prime minister also reflected on how an ordinary day turned terrifying.

“There is nothing more Australian than dropping in at the local cafe for a morning coffee, and it’s tragic beyond words that people going about their everyday business should have been caught up in such a horrific incident,” Abbott said.

While Monis’ motivation for the attack was still unclear, Abbott confirmed he was “well-known” to state and federal authorities.

Last year, he was convicted and sentenced to 300 hours of community service for using the postal service to send what a judge called “grossly offensive” letters to families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2009.

At the time, Monis said his letters were “flowers of advice,” adding: “Always, I stand behind my beliefs.”

Monis later was charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. Earlier this year, he was charged with the sexual assault of a woman in 2002. He has been out on bail on the charges.

“He had a long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism and mental instability,” Abbott said. “As the siege unfolded yesterday, he sought to cloak his actions with the symbolism of the ISIL death cult. Tragically, there are people in our community ready to engage in politically motivated violence.”

“This is a one-off random individual. It’s not a concerted terrorism event or act. It’s a damaged-goods individual who’s done something outrageous,” his former lawyer, Manny Conditsis, told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“His ideology is just so strong and so powerful that it clouds his vision for common sense and objectiveness,” Conditsis said.

Flags were lowered to half-staff on the landmark Harbour Bridge as Australians awakened to the surreal conclusion of the crisis. The state’s premier expressed disbelief that the attack could happen in Australia — a place he dubbed “a peaceful, harmonious society which is the envy of the world.”

“In the past 24 hours, this city has been shaken by a tragedy that none of us could have ever imagined,” Premier Mike Baird said. “The values we held dear yesterday we hold dear today. They are the values of freedom, democracy, and harmony. These defined us yesterday, they will define us today, they will define us tomorrow.”

The siege began about 9:45 a.m. in Martin Place, a plaza in Sydney’s financial and shopping district that was packed with holiday shoppers. Many of those inside the cafe would have been taken captive as they stopped in for their morning coffees.

Hundreds of police flooded the city. Streets were closed and offices evacuated. The public was told to stay away from Martin Place, site of the state premier’s office, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the headquarters of two of the nation’s largest banks. The state parliament house is a few blocks away, and the famous Sydney Opera House also is nearby.

Throughout the day, several hostages were seen with their arms in the air and hands pressed against the window of the cafe, with two people holding up a black flag with the Shahada, or Islamic declaration of faith, written on it.

The Shahada, which translates as, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger,” is considered the first of Islam’s five pillars of faith. It is pervasive throughout Islamic culture, including the green flag of Saudi Arabia. Jihadis have used the Shahada in their own black flag.

Channel 10 news said it received a video in which a hostage in the cafe had relayed the gunman’s demands. The station said police requested they not broadcast it, and Scipione separately asked media that might be contacted by the gunman to urge him instead to talk to police.

Australian Muslim groups condemned the hostage-taking in a joint statement and said the flag’s inscription was a “testimony of faith that has been misappropriated by misguided individuals.”

In a show of solidarity, many Australians offered on Twitter to accompany people dressed in Muslim clothes who were afraid of a backlash against the country’s tiny Muslim minority of some 500,000 people in a nation of 24 million. The hashtag #IllRideWithYou was used more than 90,000 times by late Monday evening.

Seven Network television news staff watched the gunman and hostages for hours from a fourth floor window of their Sydney offices, opposite the cafe.

The gunman could be seen pacing back and forth past the cafe’s windows. Reporter Chris Reason said the man carried what appeared to be a pump-action shotgun, was unshaven and wore a white shirt and a black cap.

Some of the hostages were forced up against the windows.

“The gunman seems to be sort of rotating these people through these positions on the windows with their hands and faces up against the glass,” Reason said in a report. “One woman we’ve counted was there for at least two hours — an extraordinary, agonizing time for her, surely, having to stand on her feet for that long.”

“When we saw that rush of escapees, we could see from up here in this vantage point the gunman got extremely agitated as he realized those five had got out. He started screaming orders at the people, the hostages who remain behind,” he added.

Reason later reported that staff brought food from a kitchen at the rear of the cafe and the hostages were fed.

As night set in, the lights inside the cafe were switched off. Armed police guarding the area outside fitted their helmets with green-glowing night goggles.

“This is a very disturbing incident,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. “It is profoundly shocking that innocent people should be held hostage by an armed person claiming political motivation.”

Lindt issued a statement saying it was “profoundly saddened and deeply affected about the death of innocent people.”

“We are devastated by the loss of their lives and that several others were wounded and had to experience such trauma,” said the statement from the Swiss company Lindt & Sprugli. “Our thoughts and feelings are with the victims and their families who have been through an incredible ordeal, and we want to pay tribute to their courage and bravery.”

Australia’s government raised the country’s terror warning level in September in response to the domestic threat posed by supporters of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIL. Counterterror law enforcement teams later conducted dozens of raids and made several arrests in Australia’s three largest cities — Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. One man arrested during a series of raids in Sydney was charged with conspiring with an Islamic State leader in Syria to behead a random person in Sydney.

The Islamic State group, which holds a third of Syria and Iraq, has threatened Australia in the past. In September, its spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani issued a message urging attacks abroad, specifically mentioning Australia.

One terrorism expert said the situation appeared to be that of a “lone wolf” making his own demands, rather than an attack orchestrated by a foreign jihadist group.

“There haven’t been statements from overseas linking this to extremist groups outside the country — that is quite positive,” said Charles Knight, lecturer in the Department of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism at Australia’s Macquarie University. “The individual or individuals involved didn’t kill early, which is part of the pattern of some recent international attacks. … It seems to be shifting more into the model of a traditional hostage situation, rather than the sort of brutal attacks we’ve seen overseas.”



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ISIS (Daesh) publishes guide authorising fighters to rape children Sun, 14 Dec 2014 06:40:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ISISIslamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has published a shocking guidebook for its fighters on how to treat captured Yazidi women, allowing its followers to beat and trade them, and authorising them to rape slave girls – even if they have not reached puberty.

The manual, titled Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves, has been reportedly drawn up by the Islamist group’s research and fatwa department.

The document justifies the taking of non-Muslim women as sabaya (sex slaves) and gives detailed answers to 29 questions as to how fighters should behave with them.

Senior Islamic State leaders started circulating the document on Twitter accounts on Friday and was distributed by masked IS fighters outside a large mosque in Iraq’s second city Mosul.

The document asserts that the women from other faiths such as Christians, Jews and polytheists and that “there is no dispute among the scholars that it is permissible to capture unbelieving women.”

It is further added in the document that the female captives and slaves can be both, sold, or given as a gift, “for they are merely property, which can be disposed of as long as that doesn’t cause the Muslim ummah [COMMUNITY]any harm or damage.”

According to the guidelines of the document, the women can be beaten but only to discipline them and the virgins can be raped after their “masters” have purchased them.

Approval of sex with the girls who have not reached puberty, is the most chilling with the guidelines asserting: “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who has not yet reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse, “it says. “However, if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse.”

The Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute translated the Arabic manual into English after obtaining the document.

The document provides an insight into the likely fate of 5,000-7,000 Yazidis, mostly women and girls, who were kidnapped by the Islamic State fighters this summer.

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Syrian Moderate Rebels Faces Extinction Sat, 13 Dec 2014 05:57:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Syrian rebelsBy Manish Rai

The moderate Syrian rebel groups are caught between a rock and a hard place, pilloried by radical factions for taking Western weapons but failing to get enough of them (or quickly enough) to become serious players. Moderate groups also suffer from poor morale and a lack of resources which is leading to large scale dissertation. The forces that the U.S. and west has nominally been backing have suffered losses at the hands of the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra (al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise) and the regime. The current trajectory means the moderate opposition remains marginal and incapable of shaping the battlefield in any material way. US and coalition airstrikes against ISIS had allowed President Bashar al-Assad to refocus on hitting mainstream rebels, and the regime had made gains around Hama and Aleppo. Combined with al-Nusra’s advances in Idlib and the threat of a renewed offensive by ISIS, moderate groups were now in danger of a rapid decline. Making things still worse for moderates there appears to be at least a truce between al-Nusra and ISIS, allowing each to focus on other enemies, whether moderate groups, the regime or the Kurds, and consolidate control over their respective strongholds. The bottom line is that the pace and scale of U.S. and west support is not sufficient to halt, let alone reverse, the erosion of moderate forces in Syrian arena.

Most territory in Syria is essentially shared by the “big three”: Islamic state, al-Nusra and its allies, and the regime. Assad’s forces control Damascus, the Mediterranean coast and much of the area in between. Islamic State, controls the east, while Nusra controls much of the northwest and is expanding at the expense of moderates. Syrian regime is after the moderate rebels which it wants to vanished out from the scene as soon as possible. Assad regime is working on the strategy of killing off the mainstream groups and leaves the West with a stark choice: Bashar al-Assad or ISIS and other jihadist groups turning Syria into an Islamic state. On the other hands the jihadists group are also attacking moderates and taking territory from them as they consider them soft targets as compared to Syrian regime. During a key battle in the rugged mountains of northern Idlib province this month, US-backed Syrian rebels collapsed before an assault by Nusra fighters. Some surrendered their weapons and others outright defected to the militants. At the same time, a string of assassinations has targeted some of their most powerful moderate’s commanders. This is the end of the Free Syrian Army, said Alaa Al Deen, an opposition activist in Idlib, referring to western-backed rebel groups. “It’s the beginning of an Islamic emirate. Al Nusra drove US-backed factions almost completely out of Idlib provience where they had been the predominant force since from the start of the Syrian conflict. Two of the strongest western-backed forces, the Hazm Movement and the Syrian Revolutionary Front, were defeated and several other allied groups simply vanished.

Meanwhile, US is also reworking on its strategy to make moderates a prominent force in Syria. The Pentagon plans to train and equip a force of 5,000 fighters in northern Syria to fight the Islamic State. A location south of the Turkish capital, Ankara, has been identified as a base for training the first 2,000 rebels, this training is expected to start from March next year. This new strategy which seems to have very little chance of success is being hastily formulated. The aim is to build a proxy rebel army from scratch to take on the Jihadists, recruiting from the sprawling refugee camps which house millions of displaced Syrians in neighbouring countries. It is unclear how the US will go about convincing Syrians brutalized and displaced by their regime to turn their attention away from battling it, and focus instead on fighting groups which they consider as brothers in arms. The Americans either have to employ some extraordinary powers of persuasion, or otherwise end up with little more than a limited and mediocre mercenary force, motivated by money and lacking any real conviction in its cause. A force like that would stand little chance against the more numerous and better motivated fanatical jihadists, let alone a cornered regime viciously fighting tooth and nail for its very survival.

If the fighting in Syria continues on its current trajectory, the country soon it will be partitioned almost entirely between jihadist forces and those of the Assad regime, leaving the moderate rebels without territory and the United States without allies in the strategically important country. It’s a hard fact that the Free Syrian Army the umbrella group of moderate rebels is currently the weakest force on the ground in Syria, a result not only of inadequate foreign backing compared with that of rival Islamist and extremist factions, but of its own internal divisions, byzantine leadership structure (based in Turkey) and rampant corruption. Over the period of time the moderates have gotten weaker, and are facing a regime that has adapted its military and political tactics. Their morale has gone down and the structural problems have become much more problematic in terms of organizing against the regime. Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State have done a great job at leveraging opposition weaknesses and attracting fighters from other groups into their ranks. It will be true to say that moderate rebel groups inside Syria are facing the prospect of complete annihilation. Moderate opposition groups were never going to survive if they didn’t address some of the core structural issues and challenges it faces in terms of fighting the Assad regime and extremists.

Manish_Rai(Author is a columnist for Middle-East and Af-Pak region and Editor of geo-political news agency can be reached at

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FY 2015 bill expands fight against IS Sat, 13 Dec 2014 05:49:58 +0000 Read the full article...]]> White HouseLawmakers approved an annual defense policy bill on Friday that authorizes American training for Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting Islamic State rebels and sets overall defense spending at $577 billion, including $64 billion for wars abroad.

The Senate passed the legislation and sent it to President Barack Obama to sign into law. The House of Representatives last week endorsed the measure, which sets defense policy and authorizes spending levels for the 2015 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, but does not actually appropriate funding.

The bill approves a Pentagon base budget of $496 billion, in line with Obama’s request, plus nearly $64 billion for conflicts abroad including the war in Afghanistan. It also authorizes $17.9 billion for Energy Department nuclear weapons work.

The measure formally endorses the Pentagon’s plan to vet, train and equip a moderate Syrian opposition military force to fight Islamic State rebels, defend the Syrian people and promote conditions for a negotiated end to Syria’s civil war.

The U.S. military program to train and assist Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants also was authorized.

The bill takes new steps to control personnel costs, which consume about half the Pentagon budget, essentially approving a year’s worth of proposed long-term reforms but delaying further action until hearing in February from a congressionally appointed commission on military compensation.

The measure increases co-pays on most prescription drugs by $3, reduces the military housing allowance by 1 percentage point and remains silent on military pay hikes, thus allowing the Pentagon to implement a proposed 1 percent raise. In the past, Congress often approved pay raises above levels recommended by the Pentagon but did not do so this year.

The bill rejects a number of Pentagon efforts to retire or curtail weapons systems the department insists it can no longer afford to maintain because of budget cuts intended to trim projected defense spending by nearly $1 trillion over a decade.

The measure bars retirement of the A-10 Warthog close air support plane, beloved by ground troops because of its ability to fly low and destroy enemy tanks. The Air Force wants to retire the fleet to cut costs and retrain maintenance personnel to work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

It also prohibits inactivation of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, a step being studied for budgetary reasons, and authorizes funding to begin an overhaul and refueling of the ship.

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Saudi prince offers $1m to spend night with American model Kim Kardashian Fri, 12 Dec 2014 18:06:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]> kim-kardashianAccording to reports, a Saudi prince has proposed $1 million per night to a famous American model and actress Kim Kardashian to spend the night partying with him.

It is rumoured Mrs Kardashian-West is set to fly out to Saudi Arabia in January, as a special guest of the prince.

The rumours were followed after Adel Al-Otaib, allegedly a member of the Saudi royal family commented on one of her many selfies in Instagram, saying: “I’m Saudi and I’ll pay you one million per night Mai”.

According to Media Take Out gossip website, the mother-of-one has accepted the offer, and will fly out to Saudi Arabia early next year.

However, Mrs Kardashian-West has denied she was offered $1m to spend the night partying with a Saudi prince, with her representatives saying the story was false.

The 34-year-old model has one daughter and is married to rapper Kanye West. She has previously been paid $500,000 to attend the 2013 Vienna Ball as the date of 81-year-old billionaire Richard Lugner.

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Pakistan detained 50 Indian fishermen, seized boats Thu, 11 Dec 2014 08:24:13 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Indian fishermenPakistani officials say that 50 Indian fishermen along with their 10 boats were arrested on Thursday for unlawfully entering to Pakistan territorial water.

Pakistan and India frequently arrest and accuse each other’s fishermen of violating their respective zones in the Arabian Sea.

Recently the relationship between the two neighboring countries have been narrowed due to the exchange of fire between their soldier on the border where dozens of people have been killed and as much wounded.

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17 rebels killed in past 24 hours Thu, 11 Dec 2014 07:34:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> TalibanThe interior ministry of Afghanistan reports that the operations were conducted in in Nangarhar, Parwan, Baghlan, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Khost and Paktika provinces jointly by Afghan National Police and National Directorate of Security personnel.

A statement issued by the ministry states that two insurgents were also wounded during the operations and another arrested.

The statement adds that 4 IDS were defused and admonitions were seized from the position of the terrorists.

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Palestinian minister dies in clash with Israel Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:58:17 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 2784988-4091537Palestinian Authority minister Ziad Abu Ein has died after inhaling tear gas in clashes with Israeli forces in occupied West Bank on Wednesday.

Ziad Abu Ein was taken in serious condition from a protest site near Ramallah in West Bank to a hospital where he breathed last.

Abu Ein, was heading the Anti-Wall and Settlement Commission constituted to act against the occupation of the Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian President has condemned the death and has said that it is intolerable.

Mahmoud Abbas said that necessary steps will be taken after an investigation into the death is conducted.

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Pakistan in the hunt for Islamic State leader Wed, 10 Dec 2014 06:24:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ISIS in AfghanistanReports suggest that Pakistan is looking to recapture the fleeing leader of the Islamic States who has been designated for terrorist activities in the region.

Pakistan says Abdul Ghani Muslim Dost who an Afghan citizen is assigned by the terrorist group Islamic States to carry out terrorist activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran and other countries in the Middle East.

It is understood that Afghanistan and USA are also assisting Pakistan in the look for Muslim Dost.

Abdul Ghani Muslim Dost was a prisoner of Pakistan and Guantanamo.

Previous report suggested that some key leaders of the Tahrik-i-Taliban-i-Pakistan (TTP) had announced their allegiance to Islamic States also known as DAESH.

Unconfirmed reports including the main city Kabul also shows the presence of DAESH supporters in parts of Afghanistan.

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US beefed up security ahead of scheduled release of CIA report Tue, 09 Dec 2014 06:06:45 +0000 Read the full article...]]> White HouseThe US has stepped up security of US facilities around the globe including the embassies ahead of a long-delayed report into the CIA’s interrogation of suspects following the 9/11 attack at world trade center.

The report scheduled to be released, will be the first report put in public about CIA’s use of torture on captives in secret detention facilities in Asia and Europe.

“There are some indications that the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to US facilities and individuals all around the world,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

He further stated that “The administration has taken the prudent steps to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place at US facilities around the globe,”

The White House, however, did not give a specific time of the release for the report.

The full report which some 6, 200 pages will remain classified but 480-page report scheduled to be released is believed to be covering the treatment of around 100 suspects arrested on terrorism charges by the US operatives between 2001 and 2009.

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UN appeals for record aid fund of $16.4bn Tue, 09 Dec 2014 05:30:44 +0000 Read the full article...]]> un_logoThe UN appealed for a record $16.4 billion fund to provide aid to more than 57 million people worldwide for the year 2015, and almost half of the fund is scheduled to be spent in Syria.

“We are facing needs at unprecedented levels,” Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said on Monday.

She added that because of the ongoing conflicts in some of the countries the number of the vulnerable people is in the sharp raise. “Currently there are about 102 million people worldwide in need of aid” she said.

Monday’s appeal did not include the needs in Djibouti and including Nigeria and Mali, the nine countries in Africa’s Sahel region, which will be addressed in a separate appeal in February.

A $7.2 billion of aid is scheduled to be spent on the estimated 18.2 million  victimized people of the Syrian civil war which erupted in March 2011.

Around 2.1 million Iraqis have been displaced since January, mostly since the Islamic State group began seizing large swaths of the country in June, declaring an Islamic “caliphate” across much of Iraq and Syria.

The UN is appealing for $1.2 billion to help most of an estimated 5.2 million people in need throughout Iraq, including 3.6 million living in areas controlled by the IS group and its affiliates.

The crises in Central African Republic and South Sudan are also considered among the most serious, while the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has left more than 4,300 dead and driven around one million people from their homes, also figures on the list.

Crises in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, the occupied Palestinian territories, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen will also require significant funds.

“This is not business as usual in the humanitarian world,” said Antonio Guterres, head of the UN refugee agency, adding that needs are growing “exponentially”.

According to the United the number of people forced to flee their homes worldwide due to conflicts had raised from 14,000 a day in 2011 to 32,000 each day last year.

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70 Ethiopians drowned in Red Sea Mon, 08 Dec 2014 05:52:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Boat drowned

At least 70 Ethiopians died after the boat they were using to illegally immigrate to Yemen drowned in Red Sea, officials said on Sunday.

Officials in Taiz province added that these people were being transported by human traffickers in unusable jerry-built small boat which capsized in bad weather conditions close to al-Makha port.

Human traffickers often smuggle Africans to Yemen which Africans believe as a gateway to the Middle East’s wealthier life.

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200 prisoners escape in Nigeria jailbreak Mon, 08 Dec 2014 04:59:43 +0000 Read the full article...]]> NigeriaArmed men attacked a jail in central Nigeria and freed more than 200 prisoners but 10 of them were recaptured by Sunday night. Deputy Superintendent Ibrahim Gambari said

The recent mass jailbreak which took place on Saturday was the third of its kind in Nigeria since November.

Earlier this month gunmen bombed a prison in Ekiti state and freed more than 300 inmates and 144 escaped from captivity in Kogi state on November 3 when gunmen blown up a wall of the prison.

No group has claimed the responsibility for Saturday’s attack but hundreds of Boko Haram fighters were being held in the jail.

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World’s oldest two-faced cat dies at the age of 15 Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:36:21 +0000 Read the full article...]]> two faced catThe world’s oldest two-faced cat with a record in Guinness World Records has died at the age of 15 in the United States.

Named Frank and Louie, the cat had two mouths, two noses and three eyes but one brain.

Believed to be the oldest Janus cat in the world, Frank and Louie died due to a cancer. He had made it into the 2012 edition of Guinness World Records as the longest-surviving so-called Janus cat.

Jenus cats almost never survive as they suffer from a rare congenital disorder known as craniofacial duplication.

The cat was adopted by Martha Stevens in 1999 when he was brought into a local vet clinic to be put down where she was told by veterinarian that the cat would die within three or four days.

But the pet survived due to careful nursing. “I tube-fed him until he was three months old because I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to eat,” she told The Telegram of Worcester.

Ms Stevens further added that she would be ready to give another Janus cat a home if one was in need.

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Drone strike kills Al-Qaeda commander for Afghanistan and Pakistan Sun, 07 Dec 2014 10:18:54 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Drone

Umar Farooq, and four others were killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan tribal belt on Sunday.

Sources say an American UAV fired two rockets on a compound in Khat Tangi area of Datakhil district in North Waziristan and where the militants were hiding, killing 5 including Umar Farooq and wounding 3 others.

Sources added that Umar Farooq was head of the operations of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Umar Farooq was believed to be the most high ranking Pakistani national within the leadership of Al-Qaeda.

Sunday’s strike comes a day after the Pakistan military killed wanted Al Qaeda leader Adnan Shukrijumah during a raid at a compound in Shin Warsak area of South Waziristan.

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Asia: people and governments are addicted to the deadly weed Fri, 05 Dec 2014 11:44:07 +0000 Read the full article...]]> cegAccording to reports around 700 million Asians, mostly men, cannot get through the day without puffing on a cigarette.

The habit is thought to kill around 2.3m Asians every year, almost half smoking’s global victims.

Cancer and other tobacco-related diseases are rising sharply.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and a major public health concern.

Tobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and cancer.

But health ministries are taking tougher action against smoking.

In Asia, Thailand, which banned it in most public buildings in 2003, is holding hearings on a plan to extend the ban to all places of entertainment.

China’s press said this month that cigarette makers would be told to put larger health warnings on their packets, including images of skulls, blackened teeth or diseased lungs.

In India import of cigarettes are band since several years but inside the country the domestic produce of cigarettes are booming meanwhile the price of cigarettes is also high.

In Afghanistan even the numbers of smokers are increasing day by day but still the central government do not have any clear agenda to control that social problem.

Cigarette consumption in China soared between 1970 and 1990 but has fallen slightly since.

There, as elsewhere in Asia, smoking among men is far more common than in the West.

The worry, says Burke Fishburn of the World Health Organization (WHO), is that Asia will follow the Western trend, with more women taking up smoking as men quit. In Vietnam, for example, cigarettes are being peddled to urban women as a “sophisticated” pursuit.

Western tobacco firms, their home markets shrinking, have turned their attention to developing Asia, drawing fire from anti-smoking groups. But, says Mr Fishburn, a bigger worry is the ambitious plan by China’s huge state tobacco monopoly to become a big exporter of cut-price smokes to the rest of the region. Thailand, while extending its smoking bans, also plans a giant new factory for its state tobacco firm.

Almost all Asian countries have signed the WHO’s tobacco-control treaty, committing themselves to restricting the marketing of cigarettes, curbing smoking in public and helping smokers to quit. But they will struggle to change entrenched social customs.

In our neighbor China, for example, cigarettes are a social lubricant, pressed on guests, whose attempts to decline them are often ignored, or on those from whom one wants a favour, whose acceptance of the cigarette implies the favour will be granted.

Tobacco firms are wriggling around the new restrictions. In India, most outdoor advertising has been taken down since it was banned in 2003 but firms are spending heavily on in-store promotional displays, which are still allowed.

Another big obstacle is that Asia’s governments are addicted to the huge revenues they earn from both tobacco taxes and the profits of state tobacco firms. Though Afghanistan’s government is promising to cap cigarette output by 2012.

Tobacco taxes provide a huge amount the Afghan economy a country which will face some economical problem after the international troops pull out by the end of this year.

However, both nicotine-addled countries may be wrong. In each, tobacco taxes are unusually low by world standards. Studies by the World Bank and others suggest that, though raising tobacco taxes succeeds in cutting smoking, it still increases government revenues.

Tougher curbs on cigarette smuggling can have the same effect.

Tobacco farmers could switch to growing, say, oilseeds, for which demand is booming. And Asia’s tobacco firms, in the short term, says Mr Fishburn, need fear neither higher taxes nor tougher advertising bans: they have so much scope to improve their efficiency that they could boost profits even in a shrinking market.

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Australia hands over 38 intercepted asylum seekers to Sri Lanka Wed, 03 Dec 2014 04:29:46 +0000 Read the full article...]]> asylum seekersThe Australian Government continues its close cooperation with the Sri Lankan Government to disrupt people smuggling ventures departing Sri Lanka.

On 26 November2014 a people smuggling venture carrying 38 Sri Lankan nationals attempting to travel illegally by boat to Australia was successfully disrupted.

A statement from the Ministry of Immigration and Border Protection of Australia said every boat that departs is encouraging people smugglers and their customers to think there is an illegal way to Australia. There is not.

“There are only two outcomes for people who travel illegally by boat to Australia,” Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon. Scott Morrison said.

Morrison further added, “They will be intercepted and either turned back, or sent to another country, either Papua New Guinea or Nauru, for processing and resettlement in that country. Resettlement in Australia is not an option.

“The rules apply to everyone. There are no exceptions,” Morrison said, adding that “This is the Australian Government’s policy and it will not change.”

Australia will continue to work with its regional partners to disrupt people smuggling ventures and protect its borders.

People should not believe the lies of people smugglers and seek to come to Australia illegally by boat. The way to Australia remains closed.

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French lawmakers votes for the recognition of Palestinian state Tue, 02 Dec 2014 17:14:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Palestine stateThe lawmakers in the National Assembly of France on Tuesday voted to call on the government to recognize Palestine as a state.

The proposal was passed with 339 votes in favor and 151 against is likely to raise domestic political pressure on the government of France to be more active on the issue.

This comes as the lawmakers in Britain, Spain and Ireland have already passed similar proposal in an effort to push forward peace efforts between Israel and Palestine.

Sweden voted to formally recognize Palestine as a state on October 3, becoming the biggest Western European country to diplomatically accept the existence of Palestine.

The text introduced by the ruling Socialists “invites the French government to use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict”.

Israel immediately reacted towards the vote, saying that the motion would “harm the peace process,” AFP reported.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier warned that the move would be a “grave mistake.”

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Abu Bakr al-Badgdai’s wife and son arrested on Lebanon border Tue, 02 Dec 2014 07:26:24 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 371210_Al-BaghdadiAccording to reports, the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Badghdadi’s wife and his son have been arrested on Lebanon’s border.

The Lebanese security officials have said al-Baghdadi’s wife and son were arrested while they were crossing the border from syria.

The officials further added the arrest was made in coordination with “foreign intelligence apparatus”, the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported.

She was taken to the Lebanese Defense Ministry where interrogation is ongoing, the report added.

No further details were given regarding the name and nationality of the woman arrested by security forces.

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Tobacco industry booming in Asia Mon, 01 Dec 2014 19:19:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pic of toboco userWhile much of the developed world has seen a big drop in the number of smokers, the opposite is true of many emerging and developing markets in Asia. Health officials are concerned.

Huge tobacco companies like big numbers, and they’re finding them in Asia, with the world’s largest and fastest growing population.

Take China with its estimated population of 1.3 billion people: More than 300 million Chinese already smoke. Or consider India with its 1.2 million people: Around 275 million people there are tobacco users, according to recent World Health Organization (WHO) figures.

But now the number of smokers  sagnefecntly increased in Afghanistan, a country with low income and huge number of people living under the poverty line.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that In Afghanistan, for instance, just over 2 percent of tobacco users are women and about 10 percent of teenagers smoke.

Afghanistan also has a smoking problem. Ahmad, a 33-year factory worker in Kabul, admits it’s sometimes tough not to smoke when everyone is smoking.

“People smoke because their parents smoke or their friends smoke or they’re stressed,” he told Khaama Press. “People smoke because it is also very cheap to smoke here. And they also like to copy movie stars.”

The WHO is acutely aware of Asia’s potentially dangerous demographics when it comes to having a puff.

“Countries with low numbers of people smoking are markets waiting to be tapped,” said Edouard Tursan D’Espaignet of WHO’s tobacco control program.

“In many Asian countries like China and India where men already smoke at an incredibly high rate, women and young people are now being targeted by the tobacco industry.”

Already, approximately 1 million smokers in China die each year from tobacco-related diseases and about 100,000 people die from exposure to second-hand smoke, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

If current trends continue, the non-governmental organization expects the country’s smoke-related death toll to reach 2 million by 2020.

But there is no official numbers of tobacco related death in Afghanistan a country which producer more than 90 percent of poppy in the world.

Kicking the habit may not be so easy for China, however.

The country is both the largest consumer and producer of tobacco in the world. More than 20 million Chinese farmers produce nearly 40 percent of the global supply. Clearly, there’s money to be made.

China’s tobacco sales in the first half of this year rose 2.8 percent from a year ago to 1.31 trillion cigarettes, according to the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration. And for the same period, the sector remained one of the countries most profitable, with state-owned tobacco companies reporting a combined profit of 152.04 billion yuan (US$24.08 billion). The government collected 480.7 billion yuan in tax revenues for the period.

Singapore is seen as one of Asia’s most determined countries to curb tobacco usage. Smoking is banned in nearly every public area. Cigarettes are expensive, about US$9 per pack, and packages already contain graphics. Yet the government says smoking is on the rise.

Indonesia, by comparison, is the complete opposite. The country of 240 million is one of the last vestiges of laissez-faire tobacco controls in the world and is paying with the price of growing addiction.

Its problem is illustrated with a video circulating on the Internet, showing a toddler with a 40-cigarette-a-day habit.

Indonesia has no ban on advertising. Consumers see ads of well-known athletes promoting smoking and even sporting events named after sporting events.

Some 17.3 million smoke in the Philippines, one of Asia’s highest rates, and about 87,000 people die per year of tobacco-related disease, according to Philippine Health Undersecretary Paulyn Jean Ubial.

WHO claims that tobacco kills half of its users.

The agency warns in its recently published Global Adult Tobacco Survey that if the current trend continues, it will cause up to 1 billion deaths in the 21st century.

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Muhammad becomes the most popular name for boys in UK Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:19:26 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Mohammad most popular name in UKA new research in United Kingdom has revealed that the name Muhammed has become the top boys’ name chosen by parents in Britain following a huge surge in popularity last year.

The annual data by United Kingdom’s top baby names website – BabyCentre shows the name Muhammad at the top of the list of the most used boys’ name in 2014.

According to the research by BabyCentre, the name has risen 27 places from last year to claim the number one spot for the boys.

This comes as Oliver was the number one name until the spellings of 3,499 Muhammads, 2,887 Mohammeds and 1,059 Mohammads were combined, giving a total of 7,445 babies.

However, the latest research puts Oliver in to second place, Jack in to third place while Sophia took top spot for girls.

The managing editor of BabyCentre Sarah Redshaw said traditionally Mohammed is often given to the first-born boy in Muslim families.

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WHO: 16,000 people infected with Ebola Mon, 01 Dec 2014 03:26:47 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ebola-3Around 16,500 people have been infected with Ebola virus and nearly 7,000 have died, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization.

The new death toll, released late on Friday by the UN agency, represents an increase of more than 1,000 deaths since a report from two days before.

 Most of the new deaths were recorded in Liberia, but the new toll likely includes deaths that have gone unreported over a significant period of time.

Data from the outbreak has been spotty and slow to come and often death and case tolls see large jumps when backlogs of information are cleared. Because the data is so hard to come by, the World Health Organisation has cautioned that its figures may significantly underreport the actual number of people sickened and killed by the disease.

The current outbreak began in West Africa and has been severely hitting three countries there: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Friday’s data showed there have been 16,169 cases in just those three countries — an increase of 268 cases since a report two days earlier.

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European Parliament voted at Google break up Sat, 29 Nov 2014 05:54:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Google to be broken up in EuropeThe European Parliament members have voted that the Google should be broken up, as it favours its own services in search results, BBC reported.

US trade bodies and politicians have expressed their objection and disagreement at the vote.

Google has almost covered 90% of the market share for search in Europe and its rivals have asked Margarethe Vestager, the European Union commissioner who will take the final decision, to investigate the following four areas:

  • The manner in which Google displays its own vertical search services compared with other, competing products
  • How Google copies content from other websites – such as restaurant reviews – to include within its own services
  • The exclusivity Google has to sell advertising around the search terms people use
  • Restrictions on advertisers from moving their online ad campaigns to rival search engines

Many believes that the Commission may not order for the company break-up, as there has never been such an order before.

This comes as Google’s rivals had lodged an anti-competitive case in 2010.

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Australian cricket star Phillip Hughes dies after being hit by ball Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:07:45 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Phillip HughesAn Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in a hospital in Sydney on Thursday, two days after he was struck on the head by a ball.

Regarded as a player with a bright future, the 25-year-old Hughes had played dozens of One Day International (ODI) and test matches for Australia.

He was hit by a short ball from bowler Sean Abbott during a domestic game on Tuesday, striking him on the part of the side of his head as he was trying to evade the delivery.

According to reports, the force was such that his vertebral artery was pierced and was induced a coma by physicians as they sought to save him.

His death drew expressions of grief, shock and disbelief from fellow players and sporting figures around the world.

Following the announcement of his death, a two-day tour match between India and a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide was called off, while New Zealand and Pakistan suspended their Test match in Sharjah for the day out of respect.

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Canada pledges $500m in development aid to Afghanistan by 2017 Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:33:28 +0000 Read the full article...]]> CanadaThe government of Canada has pledged over $500 million in development to Afghanistan by 2017.

Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Consular of Canada has said the aid would be spent by 2017 in the development sector.

In an interview with The Oslo Times at the ‘High-level Symposium on Women’s Rights in Afghanistan’ in Oslo, Minister Yelich, said Afghanistan is a country of focus for Canada

She said Canada is among the lead donors of the Independent Afghan Human Rights Commission and insisted that women’s rights remains at the core of Canadian efforts in Afghanistan.

“When it comes to the United Nations policies we are focused on the implementation of the resolution 1325, in an effort to eliminate violence against women,” Minister Yelich added.

She also added “Just today we want to invest and we are investing over $6 million on the National Democratic Institute. This money is for those who are trying to have a fair election and in an effort to increase women participation in elections.

Whether we are talking about members of parliament fulfilling their mandate in accordance to women participation criterion or providing necessary resources for women in parliament, these are places where this budget can be used.”

she also hailed the national unity government under the leadership of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah for their commitment to make sure that women’s rights are considered and to recognize the important role that women can and do play in the social, political and economic spheres.

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Canadian FM strongly condemns suicide attack in Paktika province Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:24:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> John BairdThe Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird condemned a suicide attack which targeted a volleyball match in eastern Paktika province on Sunday.

“Canada condemns in the strongest terms the suicide attack that took place at a volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan, reportedly killing dozens of people and injuring scores more,” Foreign Minister John Baird said following a statement.

He said “On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and friends, and wish a swift recovery to those injured.”

“This heinous attack was clearly meant to target innocent civilians who had gathered to watch the sporting event. Afghan civilians continue to bear the devastating impact of this ongoing campaign of terror,” Baird added.

He also added “Canada stands by the Government of Afghanistan as it strengthens its efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms in order to bring peace and prosperity to all Afghans.”

The incident took place around 4:30 pm local time in Yahya Khel district after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a gathering attended by hundreds of match spectators.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

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ISIS launches caliphate passport as it aims to expand its territory Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:46:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Islamic State passportThe Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has reportedly issued Islamic State passports as the group expressed desire to expand its territory in Middle East, parts of Asia and Europe.

The group has also threatened to to raise the jihadist flag over Downing Street and the White House.

The introduction of passports by ISIS is believed to be part of the group’s ongoing campaign of psychological warfare, with experts saying that the passports are little more than a symbolic gesture.

Photos of the passports based on the black jihadist flag flown by ISIS terrorists with inscription “State of the Islamic Caliphate” at the top of the passport, were circulated on social media websites.

The document also allegedly says, “If the holder of the passport is harmed we will deploy armies for his service.”

The first image of the passport emerged last month by ISIS militant members and sympathizers who said that the the new document will be distributed to 11,000 citizens living in cities bordering Iraq and Syria.

According to reports, the passports are being printed in a government printing facility in Mosul which was building in 2011.

ISIS which operates in both Syria and Iraq has said their would spread from Aleppo in northern Syria to Diyala in eastern Iraq.

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Clashes over Valentine’s Day celebration in Pakistan leaves 4 injured Fri, 14 Feb 2014 13:23:55 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 1392315659000-pakistan-valentinesAccording to reports, at least four university students were injured following clashes between two rival student groups in Pakistan.

Police officials in Pakistan said the incident took place in country’s northwest over celebration fo Valentine’s Day.

A local police official, Rahim Hussain, said clashes between the two groups started in University of Peshawar after a liberal group rallied in the favor of the romantic holiday.

Mr. Hussain further added that both members of the liberal group and conservative group started throwing stones at each other and used weapons to fire in the air.

He confirmed that four students were injured following the clashes which lasted for several minutes.

The young are increasingly using Valentine’s Day as a form of rebellion – some call it a silent revolution of sorts, despite conservatives in Pakistan every year call for people to boycott Valentine’s Day.

In a devout Muslim society where adultery is punishable by death and public displays of love are forbidden, celebrating on this day is a direct challenge to the rigid Islamic groups that hold sway in the country and who deem such displays as immoral.

However, the holiday is still widely celebrated in Pakistan where people buy flowers, pink teddy bears and heart-shaped balloons.

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Valentine’s Day 2013: Americans spend $18.6 Billion Thu, 14 Feb 2013 07:21:06 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Valentine's Day 2013 Americans spend $18.6 BillionValentine’s Day is a $18.6 billion event holiday with origins in a third-century beheading, stoning and ritualized beating of a recalcitrant priest.

Even amid a slow recovery, Americans are set to spend a record $18.6 billion this Valentine’s Day. Flower shops, jewelry stores and online dating sites are all expecting to cash in on the day of love.

“It’s a holiday with a lot of cash. It’s a lot of sales,” Ron Friedman, who leads Marcum Consulting’s retail business told Forbes Magazine. “Although, it’s pretty short-lived. The flowers die, the candy gets eaten up, and the lingerie gets destroyed in a couple minutes.”

According to the 2013 National Retail Federation Valentine’s Day spending survey, the average American is expected to spend $130.97 on gifts, a slight increase from last year.

Here are some of this year’s numbers according to Fiscal Times:

$18.6 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend this Valentine’s Day.

$13.5 billion
The total cost of shipments for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2011.

$4.4 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on diamonds, gold and silver this Valentine’s Day.

$1.9 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on flowers this Valentine’s Day.

$1.6 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on candy this Valentine’s Day.

$928 million
The amount of revenue brought in my Internet dating services in 2011

$815 million
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on gifts for their pets this Valentine’s Day.

$365 million
The total value of fresh cut roses in 2011.

The average amount men will spend on gifts and a date this Valentine’s Day.

The average amount women will spend on gifts and a date this Valentine’s Day

The number of workers employed by floral shops in 2010.

Number of workers employed by chocolate, cocoa and candy manufactures in 2010. Bureau)

Valentine’s Day comes into light in Afghanistan:

Although the conservative Afghanistan majority are unaware of the Valentine’s Day, some youngsters do celebrate the day by sending flowers to their beloved ones and by sending messages via cell phone or the Internet.

In Afghanistan, the tradition is that having open relations between boys and girls is a taboo. Love marriage and court marriage seldom happen in the Muslim Afghan society as the families prefer arranged marriage for their sons and daughters in accordance with Sharia or Islamic laws.

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Protesters denounce Valentine’s Day celebration in Pakistan Wed, 13 Feb 2013 06:54:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan Valentines DayHundreds of protesters in Peshwar city of Paksitan on Tuesday staged a noisy demonstration to denounce marking Valentine’s day in Pakistan.

The protesters urged for a “day of modesty” instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day which they believe is an un-Islamic act.

The demonstration was organized by Pakistan’s main religious party — Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and was attended by hundreds of students outside the press club in the northwestern city of Peshawar, chanting slogans against Valentine’s Day, saying it had “spread immodesty in the world”.

The younger generation of Pakistan is celebrating Valentines’s Day which is increasingly getting popular in this country. Many of the younger Pakistanis are marking the Valentine’s Day by giving cards, chocolates and gifts to their sweethearts to celebrate the occasion.

However Pakistan is an Islamic country with a conservative society where many Pakistanis disapprove and call it an import of Western tradition.

But the protesters on Tuesday said the tradition encourages the younger and unmarried men and women to live together in sin and urged that February 14 should be marked a “day of modesty” by carrying banners.

Shahzad Ahmed, the local head of the student organisation said, “We will not allow holding of any Valentine’s Day function.”

He said, “The law enforcing agencies must prevent such gatherings, otherwise we will stop in our own way.”

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Saif Ali Khan charged with assault on South African businessman Sat, 22 Dec 2012 06:33:09 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Saif Ali Khan charged with assaultIndian police have charged Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan for allegedly assaulting and breaking the nose of a South African businessman at a luxury hotel earlier this year, a report said Friday.

“Mumbai’s Colaba police station filed a chargesheet against Khan in a metropolitan magistrate court on Thursday,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shishwe told reporters here on Friday.

“The chargesheet has been filed with regard to a complaint registered against him for assaulting an NRI businessman on Feb 22,” he added.

Shishwe further informed that the charge-sheet has been filed with regard to complaint registered against Khan and two others by NRI businessman Iqbal Mir Sharma on February 22. Thus, the charge-sheet apart from naming Khan as accused included his two friends — Shakeel Ladak and Bilal Amrohi.

Khan and two friends were charged under section 325 of the Indian Penal Code for assault, Press Trust of India reported.

Khan, 42, was at the time of the alleged assault dining with friends and actress Kareena Kapoor, whom he married in October.

Saif was arrested on February 22 with Amrohi and Ladak for assaulting NRI businessman Iqbal Sharma. They were later released on bail. Khan however claimed one of his friends was assaulted which led to the fight.

Khan is one of Bollywood’s biggest actors and the Nawab (Muslim prince) of the former princely state of Pataudi.

His father was famous cricketing legend Mansur Ali Khan, better known as “Tiger Pataudi”.

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NASA: No Universal Blackout in December 2012 Sat, 01 Dec 2012 07:20:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> NASA deny reports regarding a universal blackout which has been predicted during 23-25 Dec 2012 due to Earth Alignment.

This comes as unconfirmed reports quoting US scientists predicted Universe change, total blackout of planet for 3 days from Dec 23 2012.

The report also added that it is not the end of the world, it is an alignment of the Universe, where the Sun and the earth will align for the first time. The earth will shift from the current third dimension to zero dimension, then shift to the forth dimension. During this transition, the entire Universe will face a big change, and we will see a entire brand new world.

However NASA has said, “Neither NASA nor any other scientific organization is predicting such a blackout. The false reports on this issue claim that some sort of “alignment of the Universe” will cause a blackout. There is no such alignment (see next question). Some versions of this rumor cite an emergency preparedness message from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. This is simply a message encouraging people to be prepared for emergencies, recorded as part of a wider government preparedness campaign. It never mentions a blackout.”

The officials further added, “There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. One major alignment occurred in 1962, for example, and two others happened during 1982 and 2000. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.”

The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on 21 December 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.

The phenomenon was followed after Mayan archaeologists met in Guatemala and confirmed the end date for the Mayan Prophecy is December 21, 2012.  That’s when the world will end.

Archaeologists reviewed a newly discovered 1,300 year-old Maya text that provides only the second reference to the “end date” of the Maya calendar on December 21, 2012.  The discovery, one of the most significant hieroglyphic find in decades, was announced at the National Palace in Guatemala.

The Mayan phenomena was refused by various scientists and Astrobiology Institutes since Maya calendar doesn’t end in 2012, as some have said, and the ancients never viewed this year as the time of the end of the world.

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