Congress MP Biswal’s attacker arrested

By IANS, New Delhi: Delhi Police arrested the man who allegedly attacked former Orissa Chief Minister and Congress parliamentarian Hemananda Biswal here, police Saturday said.

Sufi appointed first Kashmir information commissioner

By IANS, Jammu : G.R. Sufi, an income tax officer, has been appointed Jammu and Kashmir's first chief information commissioner.

Three brothers sentenced to life for murder

By IANS, Lakhimpur Kheri (Uttar Pradesh) : A court here Wednesday sentenced three brothers to life imprisonment in a decade-old murder case, police said.

Musharraf will be president till new man steps in: minister

By Muhammad Najeeb, IANS Islamabad : Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf, whose term as president expired Thursday, will continue in office until the next person takes oath, Information Minister Tariq Azim said here Thursday. "This is the common sense that incumbent (sic) will continue until the new man steps in," Azim told reporters. Musharraf has said in various interviews that he would continue as president and take oath of office after the Supreme Court ruling in the cases challenging his candidature as president.

For expatriates, changing jobs in UAE easier but costly

By IANS Dubai : Expatriate workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now change their jobs without having to spend a year with their original sponsor, but at a high cost. Humaid Bin Deemas, Assistant undersecretary in the UAE Ministry of Labour, told the Gulf News that the government has done away with the rule of workers getting an exemption from his ministry before leaving the employment of the original sponsor within one year.

Israel calls on Arabs to join Annapolis talks unconditionally

By DPA Jerusalem : Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called on Arab countries Sunday to join "without conditions" the upcoming international conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at Annapolis in the US. Stressing that the conference was only a beginning, she told a news conference with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that the role of the Arab world was "to support the moderates in the Palestinian authority". The conference, announced in July by President Bush, is to be held in Annapolis, Maryland at the end of this month.

US commander rules out military strike against Iran

By DPA Cairo : The chief of the US Central Command Admiral William Fallon Sunday ruled out a possible strike against Iran and said Washington was mulling non-military options, instead. "There are concerns in the region over Iran's behaviour and its radical talk that is constantly threatening other people. We are trying to find ways to work with other countries to get the Iranians to change their behaviour and to be more helpful," Fallon told reporters in Cairo.

PLO official: Abbas, Olmert may meet on Monday

By Xinhua Ramallah : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were likely to meet on Monday, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Sunday. "This meeting will address the obstacles that face the Palestinian-Israeli talks," Yasser Abed Rabbo of the PLO's executive committee told Voice of Palestine radio. The talks were in preparation for a U.S.-hosted peace conference, initially expected by the end of this month, in Annapolis in the United States.

Disaster warning was no wolf cry this time

By IANS Dhaka : For the many thousands in southern Bangladesh's villages, this was one warning they didn't take seriously. And it proved fatal as Cyclone Sidr hit with ferocity, sweeping away an estimated 10,000 people and leaving a trail of destruction. It is a common story told through the cries of people left to gather the rubble of their lives in the devastated coastal region. The disaster warning two days before the cyclone struck was no wolf cry.

Martial law due to parliament’s failure: Pakistan chief justice

By IANS Islamabad : Pakistan Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar has said failure on the part of lawmakers has led to martial law in the country. Dogar Tuesday heard petitions against the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) and emergency rule imposed by President Pervez Musharraf on Nov 3. "Parliament's failure has given way to martial law," Dogar said while responding to petitioner barrister Zafarullah Khan's argument that the reasons cited by Musharraf for imposing emergency rule could have been placed before the parliament for a solution, the Daily Times reported.

RSP slams West Bengal government on Taslima issue

By IANS New Delhi : In yet another sign of fissures in West Bengal's ruling Left Front coalition, the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) Friday condemned the state government's decision to send exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen to Rajasthan. "It is a condemnable decision to send her to Rajasthan," RSP leader Abani Roy told reporters, adding that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhatacharya "should not have allowed this to happen".

Politics takes over day after Uttar Pradesh blasts


Lucknow : The blame game has begun in Uttar Pradesh, a day after serial terror bombings in three towns killed 13 people, with opposition parties Saturday training their guns on the Mayawati government while a cracker going off in Mughal Serai, near Varanasi, led to panic for a while.

The cracker that went off in Mughal Serai Saturday morning led to panic.

US begins relief operations in cyclone-hit Bangladesh

By IANS Dhaka : The US has launched special relief operations in cyclone-hit areas of Bangladesh's southern coast, bringing food, drinking water and other supplies to the disaster-struck people in the country. The first sortie was by a pair of Marine helicopters that lifted from the USS Kearsarge with loads of bottled water. The 750-gallon shipment of water was delivered to a relief-supply distribution centre in the southern city of Barisal, according to New Age newspaper.

Musharraf to take oath as president Nov 29

By Xinhua Islamabad : Pervez Musharraf will take oath as Pakistan president for a second 5-year term Nov 29, TV channel Dawn News reported Monday. Officials were quoted by the report as saying that the Defence Ministry would notify the retirement of Gen Musharraf as Chief of the Army Staff a day before the oath taking. The oath taking ceremony will be held at Islamabad and Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar will administer the oath of office and secrecy, the report said.

Israel to release over 400 Palestinian prisoners Sunday

By Xinhua Jerusalem : Israel will release more than 400 Palestinian prisoners Sunday, the local daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported. The prisoners in Israel's Ketziot prison were quoted as confirming that they had received notice from the Red Cross about their release. On Nov 19, the Israeli cabinet approved the release of 441 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture of goodwill to strengthen Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas who demanded Israel free 2,000 prisoners before a US-sponsored international summit on Middle East peace.

With Indian help, Bangladesh mulls long-term disaster management

By IANS Dhaka : With a helping hand from India, Bangladesh wants to discuss organising and funding of long-term disaster management measures, especially in the Bay of Bengal, with all nations and agencies that are its development partners. The idea, media reports said, is to confront a common problem. Hurricane Sidr that hit Bangladesh Nov 15 had brushed past the Indian territory before devastating Bangladesh's coastal areas, moving north and then to northeast towards India's Meghalaya and Tripura provinces.

Blueline kills biker, toll 111

By IANS New Delhi : A speeding Blueline bus knocked down and killed a motorcyclist and critically injured two pillion riders here, making him the 111th victim of the capital's notorious 'killer' buses this year. The bus, plying on Route No. 405 between old Delhi and Badarpur, hit the motorcyclist, Subhan, 32, and his pillions Mohamed Raju, 20,Mohamed Maan, 24, near the Lodhi Road flyover in south Delhi late Monday. The driver sped off from the accident spot. He could not be arrested till Tuesday.

Car bombing kills two in Iraq

By Xinhua Baghdad : At least two people were killed and 10 injured in a car bomb explosion in Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad Wednesday, a local police source said. "A car bomb parked near the Samir Restaurant on a main road in Kirkuk exploded near a passing Kurdish soldiers' convoy," the city police chief told Xinhua. The blast apparently targeted Kurdish Peshmerga forces guarding a police chief, but missed its target, killing at least two people and wounding ten, he said.

Hamas: Participants in annapolis responsible for catastrophe in Gaza

By NNN-PIC Gaza : The Hamas Movement has affirmed on Dec 6 2007 that all participants in the recently concluded Annapolis conference in the United States will be held responsible for any human catastrophe that might occur in the besieged Gaza Strip as a result of the escalated Israeli aggressions and the harsh measures against the Palestinians there.

Priyanka blames Rizwanur’s brother for tragedy

By IANS Kolkata : Priyanka Todi, wife of graphics designer Rizwanur Rahman who died under mysterious circumstances here Sep 21, Saturday blamed her brother-in-law Rukbanur for the circumstances leading to the tragedy.

It’s back to ABCs for Pakistan political parties

By Muhammad Najeeb, IANS Islamabad : Political parties in Pakistan seem to be flaunting their knowledge of the English alphabet. While the manifestos of two parties are based on five Es and Ds, another party is to unveil a list of poll promises focussing on five Rs. The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) announced its manifesto based on five Ds - Democracy, Development, Devolution, Diversity and Defence.

UN climate change confab represents crossroads, Ban Ki-moon says

By IRNA Tehran : The negotiations at the historic United Nations Climate Change Conference under way in Bali, Indonesia, represent a turning point in the fight against global warming, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday. "Today, we are at a crossroads, one path leading towards a comprehensive new climate agreement, and the other towards oblivion. The choice is clear," he said, underscoring the importance of the Bali meeting.

At least four killed in Lebanon blast

By DPA Beirut : At least four people, including Brigadier Francois al-Haj of the Lebanese Army, were killed and several wounded Wednesday morning in an explosion in eastern Beirut near the presidential palace, the Red Cross said. An army source said al-Haj was one of the candidates to succeed the army commander General Michel Suleiman, who has been nominated by the ruling coalition and opposition to contest in the presidential elections in Lebanon.

Blair calls for Palestinian-Israeli action to reach agreement within certain time

By Xinhua Cairo : Mideast Quartet envoy Tony Blair called Friday for an action to reach an political agreement between the Palestinians and Israel within certain time, reported Qatar's al-Jazerra satellite news channel. Blair, who is currently on a tour in the Middle East region seeking to speed up the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, made the call in an interview with al-Jazerra. The Palestinian and Israeli sides should not take any measures that could hinder the final status negotiations, Blair told al-Jazerra.

One killed in Kashmir protest over college

By IANS Srinagar : One person was killed and at least eight were wounded Saturday when police fired at an unruly mob in a north Kashmir town demanding a degree college there. Scores of people came out in Magam town, 25 km from here, in Badgam district and blocked traffic. "The protesters also pelted stones on passing traffic and torched a government bus," a senior police officer said here.

Rice visits Iraq to boost reconciliation

By Xinhua Baghdad : U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a surprise visit to Iraq on Tuesday in a bid to push Iraqi leaders to speed up the national reconciliation efforts. Rice also talked about the U.S.-Iraq ties with Iraqi leaders as the two countries are moving forward to forge a long-term relationship map next year. Her visit coincided with the Turkish troops' cross-border strikes on the hideout of rebels in northern Iraq and a bombing in the region on Sunday.

Syria demands right of home-visiting for Golan families

By Xinhua Damascus : Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Tuesday demanded the international community to pressure Israel to allow the Syrian families in the occupied Golan Heights to visit their relatives in their motherland. Muallem made the demand in letters to UN Secretary General, current President of the European Union, Chairman of the Human Rights Council and the UN Human Rights High Commissioner, the official SANA news agency reported.

WHO commends Kingdom’s efforts in serving pilgrims

By IRNA-SPA Mina : The World Health Organization (WHO) commended the efforts exerted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, and the wise government to serve pilgrims and provide them with security. This came in a cable sent by WHO Regional Director of the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Hussein AlJazaeri to the Minister of Health Dr. Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Manea.

Turkish air strikes kill 175 Kurdish rebels

By Xinhua Ankara : At least 175 rebels of the separatist Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) were killed in air strikes by Turkish planes in northern Iraq on Dec 16, a Turkish Army statement said Tuesday. It said that Turkey's military has hit more than 200 PKK positions in northern Iraq since Dec 16, killing hundreds of rebels. Turkish planes carried out strikes at some villages near the border in the Qandil mountains Dec 16. The military said other hideouts were hit in a cross-border air operation Dec 22 followed by artillery fire.

219 Indonesian pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia

By Xinhua Jakarta : The Indonesian government said Wednesday some 219 pilgrims from the country on way to Mecca and other holy places of Saudi Arabia have died since the annual haj pilgrimage began Nov 19. Most of the deaths took place after the annual ritual at the Arafat and Mina deserts started last week. The high number of casualty has become a major concern for the government, Jakarta said. Within a week, the death roll increased from 99 to 219, according to a statement from the Indonesian ministry for religious affairs.

Bhutto killing injects new element in US presidential race

By Arun Kumar, IANS Washington : The assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto has unexpectedly injected a new element into the US presidential race with media speculating how it would affect the candidates' chances. Terrorism which had somewhat receded into the background with reduced violence in Iraq came to the fore again with the presidential hopefuls on either side of the political divide quickly coming up with their positions on how they would tackle the menace.

US welcomes British help in Bhutto murder probe

By Arun Kumar, IANS Washington : The US has welcomed Islamabad's decision to seek British help in probing the assassination of former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto and suggested that a UN investigation was unnecessary. "The Pakistanis have just made a decision to ask Scotland Yard to get involved, and we think that that's appropriate. We welcome that," White House spokesperson Dana Perino told reporters Wednesday. "We don't see a need for an investigation beyond that at this time.

King Fahd Complex for Holy Quran excels in its mission

By SPA Madinah : King Fahd Complex for Printing the Holy Quran is devoted to the service of the Holy book and the Prophet's (May Peace be Upon Him) Teachings. It also received all attention and care of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Erekat: Israel’s settlements, checkpoints in W Bank harm Mideast peace process

By Xinhua Gaza : Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Thursday that Israel's settlement activities and the remaining army checkpoints in the West Bank harmed the Middle East peace process. In an interview with Voice of Palestine radio, Erekat said the continuation of settlement activities in the West Bank harmed the peace process and delayed the progress of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks that were relaunched in November 2007.

Maoist guerrilla critically injures policeman in Orissa

By IANS Malkangiri : A policeman was critically injured after a suspected Maoist guerrilla allegedly attacked him in Orissa's Malkangiri district, police said Tuesday. The guerrilla allegedly attacked S.K. Barik, an assistant sub inspector, with an axe late Monday, district superintendent of police Satish Kumar Gajbhiye told IANS. The incident occurred in a crowded place near the police station in Kalimela town, about 700 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

Deport Rushdie, says Samajwadi Party


Mumbai : Asking authorities to deport author Salman Rushdie to Britain, the Samajwadi Party youth cell has threatened to stop him from attending film actress Riya Sen's birthday celebrations in Mumbai next Thursday.

If Riya persisted in her birthday bash plans, she could face "dire consequences", as Samajwadi Party activists would lay a siege around her house and prevent her from stepping out, youth cell president Farooq Ghosi said Saturday.

How to avoid e-mail threats

By Jay Dougherty, IANS Washington : Checking your e-mail has become a dangerous business. The number and types of e-mail borne threats that can cause harm to your computer or your privacy are growing. Sometimes the actual danger imposed by these threats can be over hyped, but you still need to know what could constitute a dangerous e-mail message and how to respond to the threat. Q: Can I get a virus just by reading an e-mail message?

Delhi boy strangled before being set ablaze: police

By IANS New Delhi : A 10-year-old boy whose burnt body was discovered Thursday was strangled to death, the police said Saturday quoting the autopsy report, but the investigators remained clueless about the identity of the assailants. "The autopsy report suggests the assailants first strangled and then set his body on fire," a senior investigating police officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Orissa youth burnt alive by suspected Maoists

By IANS Bhubaneswar : Suspected Maoists set ablaze a youth after tying him to a tree with an iron chain in Orissa's Angul district, an official said Saturday. The incident occurred in Nuasahi village, located in the middle of a forest, some 200 km from here Friday night, Additional District Magistrate Bandhu Billor told IANS on phone. "We suspect it may be the handiwork of Maoists. The police are investigating the matter," Billor said. He said the villagers heard a blast and rushed to the spot to see the youth in flames, tied to a tree with a chain.

Reservation for upper caste Hindus and Muslims demanded

By staff reporter

Patna: Reservation has been demanded in Bihar for economically backward, and poor members of higher castes in Hindu and Muslim communities in order to remove their poverty and backwardness.

Kidnapper of Adobe India CEO’s son arrested

By IANS Noida : Chattra Pal, the alleged mastermind behind the high profile November 2006 kidnapping of Adobe India CEO Naresh Gupta's son, was arrested here early Thursday, the police said. Chhattrapal and his accomplices had abducted Gupta's three-year-old son Anant on Nov 13, 2006, and demanded a Rs.5 million ransom. Anant was found five days later. The police had then arrested Chhattrapal and two more people on charges of kidnapping. Chhatra Pal had escaped from police custody on Feb 4, while he was being produced before a court.

Direct flight from Indore to Jeddah for Haj pilgrims


Bhopal : Haj pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh will have a direct flight from Indore to Jeddah from the next Haj season, it was announced Saturday.

The decision to connect the city with Jeddah in Saudi Arabia was taken at the All India Haj Conference organised by the Haj Committee of India at New Delhi recently, an official said.

Madhya Pradesh Haj Committee Secretary Nusrat Mehandi, who attended the meeting, said Haj pilgrims from the state would get to fly from Indore via Mumbai.

Leading Mumbai builder raided for massive provident fund fraud

By IANS Mumbai : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday swooped down on the homes and offices of leading Mumbai realty developers Niranjan Hiranandani and his brother Surendra, and three senior government officials for committing a Rs.1.68-billion fraud on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The government officials under the CBI scanner include Regional Provident Fund Commissioner of Maharashtra & Goa K.S. Arya, two assistant PF commissioners Rajnikant and K. Gopalan. The fourth is a retired regional PF commissioner M.R. Yadav.

Maoists kill Orissa village leader

By IANS Bhubaneswar : Maoists Wednesday brutally killed a village leader in Orissa's Malkangiri district, the police said. A group of Maoists entered Peta village, some 700 from here, and dragged Kanha Madkami to a nearby forest and slashed his neck with weapons. The 50-year-old managed to escape, but they shot him dead, a district police official told IANS. Madkami died on his way to hospital. The rebels who claim to be fighting for the cause of the poor and downtrodden are active in more than half of Orissa's 30 districts. They often attack police and landlords.

State Minister escapes unhurt in a terror attack in Northeast India

By KUNA New Delhi : A Minister in India's Northeastern state of Assam Thursday escaped unhurt in a blast that injured seven others. A blast by an insurgent group at a market in Assam's Karbi Anglong district today during a public meeting addressed by state?s Hill Areas Development Minister Minister H Khorsing Ingti, injured seven people, news agency Indo Asian News Service reported. The Minister, however, escaped unhurt, the news agency said, quoting an officer of the Assam Police.

80-year-old woman held for smuggling drugs

By IANS Raipur : The Government Railway Police (GRP) Thursday arrested an 80-year-old woman in Chhattisgarh on charges of smuggling marijuana. Akun, hailing from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, was arrested from Raipur railway station while waiting for someone to hand over 7 kg of contraband, which she kept in a bag along with chocolates and biscuits. GRP sources said the woman was arrested under section 20 of the Narcotics Act when she got down from Link Express and was taking a stroll on the platform.

LTTE communication facility bombed

By P. Karunakharan, IANS, Colombo : Sri Lanka Tuesday claimed its warplanes bombed a communication facility of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the rebel-heartland of Mullaitivu in the north. "Supersonic fighter jets bombed an LTTE covert communication facility located at Panikkankulam in general area south of Kokavil in Mullaitivu at 12.30 p.m.," the defence ministry said.

Witnesses fail to appear, Abu Salem case put off

By IANS, Mumbai : A special court here deferred the trial of underworld don Abu Salem in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blast case to April 22 after witnesses failed to appear in the court Wednesday. Special public prosecutor Ujwal Nikam told IANS that the trial did not commence as the witnesses had some personal problems. "On next Tuesday, the court will begin the hearing of the two witnesses." The first witness summoned is an immigration officer. Salem has been accused of supplying arms and being part of the conspiracy to carry out the blasts.

TV scribe attacked in road rage

By IANS, Noida : A man who claimed to be a lawyer and a politician attacked a television journalist with an iron rod in a case of road rage in Noida in Uttar Pradesh before he was arrested. The incident took place around 11.30 p.m. Thursday at Sector 44 near the Amity University police post close to the Indian capital. Police identified the journalist as Chandra Prakash of NDTV. Superintendent of Police Rakesh Gautam said Prakash was returning home in his car at Sector 93. While he was taking a u-turn, another car hit his car.

Infant kidnapped from hospital

By IANS, Chennai : A day old boy was allegedly kidnapped Monday from a hospital in Tamil Nadu by a woman posing as a voluntary nurse, the police said. Police told IANS on telephone that the mother of the newborn, Sundari, 26, was under trauma at the hospital in Erode district, 400 km southwest of Chennai. She is undergoing natal care in the hospital. The incident was reported when a Hindu and a Muslim couple were waiting in the Tamil Nadu capital for DNA reports to identify their child - a male and a female infant.

Woman dies after being raped, set on fire

By IANS, Patna : A woman, who was allegedly raped and then set on fire by a civic body chief in Bihar, died after battling for life for six days, a police official said Saturday. The victim, Asha Devi, in her 30s, suffered nearly 80 percent burns. She died at a nursing home in Siliguri in neighbouring West Bengal. She was admitted in a critical condition in the nursing home last week after she was set on fire by Navin Yadav, Thakurganj Nagar Panchayat chief in Kishanganj district, about 350 km from the state capital here.

Al Qaeda terrorists active in Pakistan: US

By Arun Kumar, IANS, Washington : Even as several international terror organisations including Al Qaeda (AQ) operated and carried out attacks in Pakistan in 2007, Islamabad took steps to prevent support to the Kashmiri militancy, according to the US State Department. "Pakistan's leaders took steps to prevent support to the Kashmiri militancy, and the number of violent attacks in Kashmir was down by approximately 50 percent from 2006," it said Wednesday citing public statements made by the Indian defence minister.

Manipur raises people’s army, rights groups warn of anarchy

By IANS, Imphal : The Manipur government's decision to raise a people's army to fight militancy is mired in a blazing row with civil rights groups warning of chaos and anarchy if the armed vigilance force comes into being. As part of the Manipur cabinet's decision, 300 youths were recruited Monday from among hundreds of locals at Heirok village in Manipur's Thoubal district, about 22 km southeast of state capital Imphal.

Ground shrinking for Muslim burials in Haryana; minority commission to visit state

By staff reporter,

New Delhi: Concerned over reports about Muslims not being provided land for burial in Haryana, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has decided to take up the matter with the state authorities.

NCM has reportedly been receiving complaints from Muslims residing in Panipat, Kaithal, Sonepat and Karnal, where the dearth of land for burial has become a big concern for the community.

‘Lonely’ Taslima to return to Kolkata or Agartala


Agartala : Her writing "badly affected" since she left Kolkata and desperate to return, controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen said she would return there "as soon as possible". If not Kolkata, she would choose Agartala as her home when she returns to India in August.

Cash, jewellery worth Rs.25 mn stolen in Ludhiana

By IANS, Chandigarh : Cash and gold jewellery worth nearly Rs.25 million was stolen from the office of a finance company in this industrial city of Punjab Monday. The theft took place in the Miller Ganj area of the city where the office of the Muthoot finance company is located. The police have still not been able to identify the culprits behind the theft. Interestingly, the theft first came to the notice of finance company officials in Gurgaon city adjoining national capital New Delhi when the sirens of the company's Ludhiana office started ringing there after the heist.

Robbers in Malaysia look for sex first

By IANS, Kuala Lumpur : Sex before money - that seemed to be on the minds of a group of five armed robbers who struck at a house clad only in their underclothes and face masks, a newspaper report said Wednesday. The five men broke into a house, tied up its four occupants, then searched the house for the Indonesian maid instead of the loot. They did not like the maid, so they beat her up and then robbed the entire family, The Star newspaper reported. Miri town police are hunting for the group of foreigners who escaped with more than 10,000 ringgit ($312) in cash and belongings.

Savvy and young, the great Indian consumer rises

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : The new Indian consumer doing the rounds of the markets this season is a savvy shopper. He is educated, knows his brand and is ready to spend more on premium lifestyle products and entertainment. He is dreaming big and going all out to translate his aspirations into reality, even if it means overspending and using credit. And giving him the power are banks with low-interest finance schemes. All this has combined to make pricing an insignificant factor in the decision to purchase goods.

Gunmen kidnap 12 in Philippines

By DPA, Iligan City (The Philippines) : Unidentified gunmen kidnapped 12 people - teachers and students - in the southern Philippines Tuesday, an army commander said. The victims were preparing for their classes when they were seized from the elementary school San Roque village in Kolambugan town, Lanao del Norte province, 810 km south of Manila. Colonel Edwin Respicio, an army commander in the area, said most of the hostages were female. "Male pupils were left behind as the armed men fled with the victims on foot," he said.

Islam was a revolution on several fronts: Hamid Ansari

By Mumtaz Falahi,, New Delhi: Vice President of India Mohd. Hamid Ansari on 15th July released a book entitled “Islami Tarraqqi Pasandi” authored by Late Ali Jawad Zaidi at a function here in the national capital. Addressing on the occasion, the Vice President said that this book contains the issues on how to make the lives of common men better and purposeful. He suggested that this useful book should be translated into Hindi and English also so that more and more people may take advantage of this book.

Ketan Parekh denied more time to surrender

By IANS, New Delhi : The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to extend the July 31 deadline for stock broker Ketan Parekh to surrender to the Mumbai jail authorities to undergo his year-long jail term for siphoning off Rs.477 million from a Canara Bank subsidiary in a financial scam of 1992. A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan asked him to approach the apex court's "chamber judge", who deals with the technical pleas like extending deadlines for surrendering before jail authorities, before being heard by it.

‘Madrassa education to be made more attractive’

By IANS, New Delhi : The government has proposed to make education in madrassas more attractive and improve the standard of education among Muslims in India, according to an official. The proposal under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's new 15-point programme for the welfare of minorities focuses on revising madrassa modernisation programme.

Reality show members remanded in police custody

By IANS, Kolkata : Three members of a Bengali TV reality show, including two producers and a contestant, were remanded in five days police custody by a West bengal court Saturday for allegedly pushing the caretaker of a hotel from the fifth floor for asking them to stop their night-long drinking. The team of "Fatafati" - a reality show aired on ETV Bangla - went to Midnapore town, about 165 km from here, to shoot for a special episode Friday.

Growing support to Imam Bukhari’s proposal

By staff reporter, New Delhi: Several Muslim religious leaders and institutions have supported the proposal of Ahmad Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, to organize an all-party meeting of Muslim organizations to discuss indiscriminate arrest of Muslim youths in the garb of terrorism and bomb blasts.

‘Professor’ Kalam starts IIM-A classes Saturday

By IANS, Ahmedabad : Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is all set to start his classes at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) Saturday. Reducing the urban-rural divide, energy security and water conservation are some of the key themes he will be addressing.

BJP, Samajwadi Party lock horns over Jamia shootout

By IANS, New Delhi/Panaji : Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh Tuesday called for the resignation of Home Minister Shivraj Patil and a judicial probe into the shootout in Delhi's Jamia Nagar, prompting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to label his stance "vote bank politics". "Shivraj Patil should voluntarily step down in the name of morality and in the wake of the great Congress tradition over the decades," the Samajwadi Party general secretary told reporters in Goa.

Aligarh Muslim University to award Pakistani writer

By IANS, Aligarh : Aligarh Muslim University will confer the Sir Syed Ahmad Khan International Award 2008 for literature on Mohammed Zakir Ali Khan. Mohammed Zakir Ali Khan, one of the founders of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology of Pakistan, is an author of several books highlighting the sociocultural life of the university. He is the editor of Urdu monthly Tehzeeb.

Three years on, RTI a boon but needs more teeth

By Mayank Aggarwal, IANS, New Delhi : Sixteen-year-old Shahnaz knew nothing about the Right To Information (RTI) Act till a few months ago, but today she is grateful for the three-year-old law that helped her secure admission in a government school. "The school made me undertake an entrance test and failed me in that since I live in a resettlement colony. Finally I filed an RTI application asking the government education department to tell me if there is any provision of an entrance test for a student who has successfully passed Class 10," Shahnaz told IANS.

Heavy poll turnout pushes Kashmir separatists into a corner

By Sarwar Kashani, IANS, Srinagar : Where do the unexpectedly high voting percentages in the first two phases of elections in Jammu and Kashmir leave the separatist leadership that had called for a boycott? That question could get increasingly important for separatists in the Kashmir valley if the next few phases of the assembly elections go the way of the first two.

Three foreigners arrested with heroin in Delhi

By IANS, New Delhi : Two Afghan nationals and a Nigerian were arrested in the national capital and 2.17 kg of heroin worth Rs.20 million seized from them, the police said Thursday. Acting on specific information about an international drug cartel operating in the capital, the police laid a trap and arrested Afghan national Mohammed Alam Noori and Nigerian national John Chiedozie Martin from Lodhi Colony in south Delhi Wednesday.

Delhi Police asked to explain alleged framing of innocent men

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) A city court Monday asked the Special Cell of Delhi Police to file its response to a Central Bureau of Investigatiobn report that two Kashmiris allegedly framed as Al Badr terrorists are innocent. Additional Sessions Judge S.K. Gautam asked the Special Cell to file its reply by Dec 24, the next date of hearing. The court earlier issued warrants against the two alleged terrorists and they were brought before the court Monday.

65-year-old appears for class 10 exams for 44th time

By IANS, Lucknow : A 65-year-old grocery shop owner in Uttar Pradesh, undeterred by past failures, is appearing for class 10 exams for the 44th time. "Jabbar is taking the exams in the Adarsh Janta Inter college in Fatehpur district as a private candidate," District Inspector of Schools Prem Prakash Maurya told IANS over phone. Fatehpur district is around 200 km from here. "He would be probably the oldest student enrolled with the UP (Uttar Pradesh) board. His determination to pass the exam has impressed us all," added Maurya.

Samajwadi Party hopes to tie up with Congress in Maharashtra

By IANS, Mumbai : The Samajwadi Party is hopeful of working out an alliance with the Congress in Maharashtra ahead of the Lok Sabha polls though they face problems in seat-sharing in Uttar Pradesh, a top Samajwadi Party leader said here Friday. Samajwadi Party state president Abu Asim Azmi said the near-collapse of talks at the central level did not mean that the doors to forge an alliance at the regional and state levels have been closed.

Kashmir Valley shuts down over separatist leader’s death

By IANS, Srinagar : A shutdown called by the Hurriyat Conference and other separatist groups hit life in the Kashmir Valley Tuesday to mark the first death anniversary of a separatist leader killed in police firing. Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who headed the People's League, a key constituent of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, was killed with three other people while leading a march to Muzaffarabad in Pakistani Kashmir. The march was called by the Kashmir fruit growers association during the Amarnath land row protests last year.

25 kg of heroin seized at India-Pakistan border

By IANS, Gurdaspur (Punjab) : Border Security Force (BSF) personnel seized 25 kg of heroin near the India-Pakistan border in this district of Punjab Tuesday. "We have seized 25 kilograms of heroin that is worth Rs.125 crore (Rs. 1.25 billion) in the international market in the wee hours Tuesday," Jagir Singh, Punjab frontier deputy inspector general, told IANS.

Indian Haj delegation interacts with pilgrims in Jeddah

By IANS, Jeddah : A 25-member Indian Haj goodwill delegation visited this port city of Saudi Arabia and interacted with Haj pilgrims there, expressing their satisfaction with the arrangements made by the Indian Haj mission. The delegation, which was led by senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz, reached the Jeddah Haj terminal Sunday. On Monday the delegates visited various accommodations for pilgrims in Mecca and Aziziya. They also visited the main office of the Indian Haj mission and a 50-bed hospital run by them.

Six get two-year jail in Bhagalpur riots case

By IANS, Patna : A court in Bihar sentenced six persons accused in a case of murder during the 1989 communal riots in Bhagalpur to two years' rigorous imprisonment after convicting them of involvement in the crime, court sources said Tuesday. Bhagalpur Additional District and Sessions judge Anil Kumar Pandey acquitted the six of charges of murdering a Muslim man during the riots but found them guilty of involvement in the crime. Over 1,000 people, a majority of them Muslims, were killed in the month-long riots in Bhagalpur city in October 1989.

153 attacks against Indians in Australia in 14 months

By IANS, New Delhi: Feb 24 (IANS) As many as 153 cases of attacks have been confirmed against Indian nationals, including students and taxi drivers in the last 14 months in Australia, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told parliament Wednesday. In a written statement in the Lok Sabha, Krishna said the Indian government was "deeply concerned" about the plight of Indian nationals in Australia. "The government of India has reiterated that it is the responsibility of the government of Australia to ensure that such attacks cease forthwith," he said.

Ten militants killed in clash in Pakistan

By IANS, Islamabad : At least 10 militants were killed in a clash with security forces in northwest Pakistan's tribal area Wednesday. Fifteen other militants were also injured during the exchange of fire in Orakzai tribal agency, Xinhua news agency reported. US drones Tuesday night fired two missiles at militant hideouts in North Waziristan tribal agency, killing at least six people, security officials said.

Five killed in renewed Hamas-Fatah clashes


Gaza City : Five Palestinians were killed in renewed clashes between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah in three separate incidents in the Gaza Strip.

Israel launches air strikes on Gaza amid rocket fire


Tel Aviv : Israeli aircraft fired rockets at two buildings in the central Gaza Strip Tuesday, pushing ahead with an aerial campaign against Palestinian militant factions after a week of intense rocket fire from the Strip.

American paedophile arrested in Tamil Nadu


Chennai : Tamil Nadu police have alerted the ministry of external affairs after arresting a 60-year-old American paedophile, one of the 100 most wanted men in New York, from the seaside town of Mahabalipuram.

Iran shows willingness to compromise on nuclear issue


Vienna : A new round of talks may bring a way out of the stalemate over Iran's nuclear programme, said International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.

Suicide bombing kills 2 foreigners, injures 5 in Kabul

By Xinhua Kabul: A suicide car bombing in the Afghan capital Thursday killed two foreigners and injured five, officials said. "Two foreign security personnel working for a security company were killed in the explosion," said Ali Shah Paktiawal, Kabul deputy police chief. "Three foreigners and two Afghan civilians were injured." The officials did not reveal the nationalities of the victims. However, media reports said one American and one Nepalese were killed and three Americans were injured. One vehicle was totally damaged in the powerful explosion that targeted a convoy.

Lal Masjid demands ban on Naseeruddin Shah starrer


Islamabad : "Khuda Kay Liye", a film that depicts the struggle between fundamentalist and liberal Muslims and stars India's Naseeruddin Shah and Pakistani actor Shan, has attracted the ire of the radical Lal Masjid here.

Yemeni President condemns terror act targeted at Spanish tourists


Sana'a : President Ali Abdullah Saleh has expressed sorrow and condemned the terror act targeted at Spanish tourists in the Mareb governorate Monday.

The attack resulted in the death of seven Spanish tourists and two Yemenis while eight others were injured. The initial information indicated that the al-Qeada is behind the attack.

Saleh said that the terrorists who are behind the attack will not escape justice.

Four soldiers killed in explosion in north-west Pakistan


Islamabad : At least four soldiers were killed and six injured Wednesday in a roadside explosion in Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

Firing near Akshardham temple in Delhi, one killed


New Delhi : A 35-year-old man was arrested after he along with two other people allegedly shot dead a man near Akshardham temple in east Delhi Wednesday, police said.

60 dead bodies in mosque compound: cleric


Islamabad : Some 60 dead bodies of girl and male students are lying inside the compound of mosque and seminary, deputy of Lal Masjid Abdul Rashid Ghazi said Thursday night.

The government has confirmed only 19 deaths.

Ghazi told Pashto language Kheyber TV channels that students died due to bombing and use of tear gas by the security forces.

He said the government must allow the international and local media to see the destruction of the mosque building and bodies of the students.

UK terror suspect Bilal Abdullah charged with conspiracy

By Prasun Sonwalkar, IANS

London : Bilal Abdullah, the Iraqi diabetes specialist doctor who was one of the two men arrested following the car bomb attack at Glasgow airport, has been charged with conspiracy to cause explosions.

President Musharraf warns Lal Masjid occupiers to surrender


Suni Shoran(Balochistan) : President General Pervez Musharraf here Saturday warned the Lal Masjid elements to surrender or otherwise face the consequences.

Talking to media representatives at the residence of Federal Minister Yar Mohammad Rind in Sani Shoran Bolan district, he said the government has demonstrated extraordinary patience regarding Lal Masjid issue but it should not be taken as its weakness.

Musharraf vows to root out terrorism

By IANS Islamabad : Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf Thursday called for rooting out terrorism and extremism in the country even as he vigorously defended the storming of the Lal Masjid to free it of terrorists who, he stressed, did not represent true Islam and called for national "introspection". The president's remarks came at the end of the day when dozens of bodies of alleged militants killed in the storming of the mosque were buried here while Al Qaeda urged Pakistani people to overthrow Musharraf for ordering the army assault of Tuesday.

Syria, Iran seek to further bilateral ties

By Xinhua

Damascus : Syria and Iran sought to further bilateral ties as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid an official visit here on Thursday in which he held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials.

Ahmadinejad's visit, two days after Assad's inauguration as president for a second seven-year term, was his second trip here since he became Iranian president in August 2005.

Pakistan PM expresses sympathies with China on loss of lives in floods


Islamabad : Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Tuesday expressed sympathies with China on the loss of lives in the floods in the Southern part of the country.

Aziz in his message to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, “I am deeply grieved to learn about the catastrophic floods that have hit the Southern part of China causing immense damage to life and property and resulting in displacement of multitude of people.�

13 killed, 61 injured in suicide bombing in Islamabad

·Up to 13 people died and 61 others were injuried.
·A suicide bomber exploded himself on Friday afternoon in a market.
·The investigation agencies have found the head of the bomber.

By Xinhua

Islamabad : Up to 13 people died and 61 others suffered injuries in a suicide bombing on Friday in the Pakistani capital, Interior Ministry Spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said at a news conference.

Taliban extends deadline for abducted Koreans

By Xinhua

Kabul : After killing two South Korean hostages, Taliban guerrillas Tuesday extended the deadline for 21 remaining hostages till 12 p.m. (0730 GMT) Wednesday.

A purported Taliban spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, told Xinhua on telephone from an undisclosed place that militants would kill more hostages if their demands were not met.

He also said some hostages were in very bad condition and they may die a natural death.

This is the ninth time Taliban militants have revised the deadline for killing Korean hostages.

Musharraf accepts resignation of Pakistan law officers


Islamabad : Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has accepted the resignations of two senior law officers who pleaded the government's case on suspension of the country's top judge.

Attorney General of Pakistan Makhdoom Ali Khan and his deputy Tariq Mehmood Khokar had earlier resigned following the Supreme Court's verdict last month reinstating Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.

IAEA discusses strategy for inspection of Iranian nuclear site

By IANS Tehran : A four-member technical team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived here Monday to draw guidelines for the inspection of Iran's controversial nuclear site. During its four-day visit, the delegates will meet Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation officials to discuss the action plan for inspection of Natanz uranium enrichment facility within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, IRNA news agency quoted an official as saying.

Taliban ready to swap female hostages for prisoners

By Xinhua Kabul : Taliban Tuesday expressed readiness to swap all South Korean female hostages with their women supporters held in Afghan and US military detention centres, Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf said. "We offer to exchange all the Korean females with those Taliban women supporters who have been languishing in Afghan government prisons and US military detention centres in Kandahar and Bagram," Ahmadi told Xinhua from an unknown location. However, he did not specify the number of women who have been held by authorities in Afghanistan for supporting the Taliban.

Taslima’s visa extended till February

By IANS Kolkata : Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen's visa, scheduled to expire this month, has been extended by six months till February next year. She is living in exile in Kolkata following a fatwa issued against her by some Islamic groups in Bangladesh for her book "Lajja". "We have received a communiqué from the union home ministry stating that Taslima Nasreen's visa has been extended by six months till February next year," West Bengal Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy told reporters.

US concerned about impact of UK withdrawal from Iraq – report

By IRNA London : The US administration is becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of an imminent British withdrawal from southern Iraq and would prefer UK troops to remain for another year or two, according to a press report. Reporting from Washington, the Guardian newspaper said that the US was worried about the political consequences of losing British troops.

Germany urges deeper Afghan-Pakistan cooperation

By IRNA Berlin : Germany on Monday called for stepped up political cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan in an effort to help stabilize the political situation in the war-stricken country. Speaking at a routine weekly news conference in Berlin, German deputy government spokesman Thomas Steg said closer cooperation between the Afghan and Pakistan government was "urgently needed". He made clear that improving ties between Kabul and Islamabad was of a "special concern" to the German government.

Over 100 students, teachers hurt in Dhaka varsity clash

By IANS Dhaka : Bangladesh Tuesday witnessed this year's first indefinite strike call following running battles between Dhaka University students and the police in which over 100 students and teachers were injured. Media reports Tuesday said acting Vice Chancellor A.F.M. Yusuf Haider and Proctor Aka Firowz Ahmed were among those injured in clashes that began at the football ground and continued till late Monday evening.

More than 300 killed in Pakistan clashes since July

By DPA Islamabad : Some 250 militants and 60 troops were killed in clashes in Pakistan's tribal areas since the July storming of a radical mosque in Islamabad, a military spokesman said Friday amid fresh attacks. Casualties among security forces resulted from roadside bombs, suicide attacks and fire fights with Islamic militants, mainly in the tribal areas of North and South Waziristan, army spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said.

Taliban to free remaining seven South Korean hostages

By DPA Kabul/Seoul : The Taliban will release the remaining seven hostages Thursday, the day after 12 of the 19 South Korean aid workers the militants have been holding hostage in Afghanistan for nearly six weeks were let free, a Taliban spokesman said. The intention to complete the release under a pledge the Taliban made a couple of days ago in face-to-face negotiations with South Korean officials, was confirmed by Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousif Ahmadi to South Korean television station KBS Thursday.

US judge fines Iran $2.65 billion for 1983 Lebanon attack

By Xinhua Washington : A US federal court ruled Friday that Iran must pay $2.65 billion to the family members of the 241 US servicemen killed in the 1983 bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. "The court hopes that this extremely sizable judgement will serve to aid in the healing process for these plaintiffs, and simultaneously sound an alarm to the defendants that their unlawful attacks on our citizens will not be tolerated," Federal Judge Royce Lamberth said in his ruling from a federal court in Washington DC.

Hasina demands telephone facility in jail

By IANS Dhaka : Sheikh Hasina, one of the two former prime ministers of Bangladesh now in jail, has demanded use of telephone since she is charged but not yet convicted. Telephone facility is her right under the jail laws, her lawyer Fazle Noor Taposh, quoted her as saying. He was part of the team that met her Saturday. "She (Hasina) is not getting many rights which she is entitled to under the jail code," another lawyer, Tawfique Nawaz, said.

Bangladesh seeks N-power technology from Russia

By IANS Dhaka : Bangladesh hopes to get Russian technology to set up a nuclear power plant and says Moscow has expressed its willingness to cooperate. After some tentative moves at the official level, political interventions were made during Foreign Advisor Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury's recent visit to Russia.

Teacher Uma Khurana, framed in sex sting, gets bail

By IANS New Delhi : Uma Khurana, a government schoolteacher falsely framed in a fake sting operation of a TV news channel, was Monday granted bail. "So far the investigation has revealed that she was a victim of a fake sting operation conducted by the private TV news channel," Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Alok Aggarwal said while granting her bail. Khurana's lawyer Vivek Sharma said: "We argued in the court that she was arrested only on the basis of a sting operation and even the prosecution has admitted that the sting operation was doctored."

Pakistan protests opening Siachen for tourism

By IANS Islamabad : Pakistan Monday protested India's decision to open the Siachen Glacier - the world's highest battleground - to tourists. India's deputy high commissioner was summoned to foreign office and a protest was lodged with him, said foreign office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam during the weekly press briefing. India and Pakistan are currently engaged in talks to resolve their 20-year-old-conflict over the 72-km-long frozen battlefield.

UAE to penalise firms hiring illegal foreign workers

Dubai, Sep 18 (IANS) The UAE has decided to impose heavy penalties on companies that are found hiring illegal foreign workers, including Indians, from next month. UAE Minister of Labour Ali bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi Monday approved a new government decision detailing penalties that would be imposed on such firms. "There are many sponsors who hire illegals as drivers and housemaids. It is a violation of the labour law because there is no protection of the workers' rights in such cases," Al Ka'abi told a press conference.

Syria condemns Beirut car blast

By Xinhua Damascus : Syria on Wednesday strongly condemned a car bombing in eastern Beirut that killed a Christian lawmaker and several others, the official SANA news agency reported. "This criminal act targets the efforts and endeavors exerted by Syria and others to achieve the Lebanese national accord," an unnamed Syrian media official was quoted as saying, asserting Damascus' keenness on security, stability and unity of neighboring Lebanon.

Russia abstains from UN Security Council vote on Afghanistan

By RIA Novosti New York : Russia abstained from a UN Security Council vote to extend the authorisation of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan for another 12 months. Russia raised objections Wednesday to the unexpected inclusion in the document of a sentence expressing appreciation to NATO as well as to contributors from many nations to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), "including its maritime interdiction component".

Abbas to reshuffle negotiation team: Fatah spokesman

By Xinhua Ramallah : A Fatah spokesman said Thursday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was planning a reshuffle of the team that represents the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the political negotiations with Israel.` Ahmed Qurea, a former prime minister and a member of Fatah central committee, will head the reshuffled delegation, which will comprise current chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's (PLO) executive committee, according to spokesman Ahmed Abdel Rahman.

Columbia University president’s harsh remarks about Iranian president draw mixed reactions

By Xinhua New York : Colombia University President Lee C. Bollinger's pointed introduction of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has drawn mixed reactions, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Kuwait, Iraqi FMs discuss political process, reconstruction in Iraq

By NNN-KUNA United Nations : Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Sabah held talks here with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on the upcoming meetings of Iraq's neighbours, the political process and reconstruction in Iraq.

Issue of Iran’s nuclear programme not “closed” – US

By NNN-KUNA Washington : The United States has said that the Iranian nuclear programme case is not closed yet, in a direct response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statement in New York. "Iran is under Security Council sanctions, is under several Chapter VII resolutions not asking it nicely or politely, but requiring it as a matter of international law, to halt its uranium enrichment programme and to engage in negotiations with the international community," said State Department deputy spokesperson Tom Casey in his daily press briefing Wednesday.

Iran refutes allegation on hidden nuclear site

By NNN-IRNA Tehran : Deputy Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council for International Affairs Javad Vaeedi has denied allegation on existence of a hidden nuclear site in Iran. Vaeedi told IRNA Friday: "Such an allegation is being made under the circumstances that new round of Iran's cooperation with the IAEA has begun on one hand, and Iranian constructive presence at the UN General Assembly, on the other."

Iran criticizes France

Tehran, Oct 7, SPA -- Mohammed Ali Husseini, the spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry has described the new political trend of the French government towards Iran as an illogical trend. In a statement to the pressmen today, Husseini said 'we have made it clear to the French officials that illogical trends towards Iran will not yield positive results. It is worth mentioning that the French foreign minister has recently criticized the Iranian nuclear policy noting that his country prefers diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue.

Gaza militants launch rocket attacks at Israel

By Xinhua Gaza : Two Palestinian armed groups said Sunday they launched four homemade rockets from northern Gaza Strip at the southern Israeli town of Sderout early in the day. The armed wings of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the Fatah movement led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claimed their responsibility for the attack in leaflets. The two groups also told the media that they attacked the Israeli-Egyptian crossing by eight mortar shells.

Navy war room leak accused granted bail

By IANS New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Monday granted bail to Vinod Kumar Jha, a dismissed Indian Navy officer accused of leaking secrets and classified information, as the prosecution failed to frame charges against him after one and half years of investigation. Justice Pradeep Nadrajog granted bail to Jha, who had been in judicial custody after his arrest on April 6, 2006, on furnishing a personal bond of Rs.50,000 and a surety of the like amount.

29 people arrested for human trafficking

By IANS New Delhi : At least 29 people, including the wife of a popular Punjabi folk singer,were Thursday arrested on charges of human trafficking after the US embassy registered a police complaint. "We have arrested 29 people, including Dolly Singh, who writes her husband's name as Malkit Singh. She had applied for visa on the basis of forged documents at the US embassy here," Joint Commissioner of Police Ajay Kashyap told IANS. Malkit Singh resides in the US.

Top Al Qaeda suspect surrenders to Yemeni police

Sana'a, (Xinhua) Fugitive Al Qaeda suspect Jamal al-Badawi, accused of masterminding the bombing of the destroyer USS Cole in 2000, has surrendered to Yemeni police, media reports said. So far, 18 out of the 23 suspects involved in the bombing have been arrested or killed by security forces, four are still on the run and one has been killed in a terrorist attack in which he participated. The 23 suspects have been convicted of bombing the USS Cole in Oct 2000 at the port of Aden in South Yemen, which killed 17 sailors and injured 28.

Iranian women’s status elaborated at UN

By NNN-IRNA New York, UN : IRI representative at UN General Assembly's 3rd Committee session here Wednesday elaborated on developments, advancement, and achievements related to women's status in Iran. Seyyed Mohsen Emadi in his address also expounded on various types of aggressions observed against women in the world today, including poverty, threats due to foreign forces occupation, losses due to military attacks, human smuggling, aggressive behavior at homes, taking advantage of women in advertisements etc.

Return of Benazir won’t affect national politics

By NNN-APP Islamabad : Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani Wednesday said return of Benazir Bhutto will not create any impact or make any difference in the political scenario as the people are averse to her corruption-based politics. Addressing a press conference here at his residence, Durrani said Benazir Bhutto has nothing for the masses of Pakistan and she is returning without any programme and clear agenda for any destination.

Egypt to launch civilian nuclear programme

By Xinhua Cairo : President Hosni Mubarak announced Monday Egypt will set up nuclear power plants to make up shortfall in generation, and thus augment the country's power security, local media reported. Addressing the inauguration of a northern Cairo power station, Mubarak said a council for peaceful use of nuclear energy will be established according to a republican decree, which will be issued within days, MENA new agency reported.

Former Mizo rebels feel betrayed by state

By Sangzuala Hmar, IANS

Aizawl : Twenty years after he surrendered and joined the mainstream, 42-year-old Zohmingthanga, a former rebel fighter from Mizoram, is an angry man today - leading a life of penury and feeling betrayed by the state.

A former Mizo National Front (MNF) rebel, Zohmingthanga surrendered in 1986 along with his insurgent leader Zoramthanga, now the respected chief minister of the northeast Indian state of Mizoram.

Militants free 48 captured Pakistani troops

By DPA Islamabad : Islamic militants Friday freed 48 paramilitary troops that they had captured in overnight fighting in Pakistan's volatile north-western valley of Swat, where a week of fierce battles has left around 200 people dead. The militants first paraded the soldiers to the media and then gave Rs.500 (around $9) to each captive before freeing them, Pakistan's Aaj news channel reported.

Pakistanis in US upset at emergency

By Parveen Chopra, IANS New York : Pakistani Americans by and large are feeling aggrieved and are critical of President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency - widely seen as tantamount to imposing martial law. "The hope that democracy may be round the corner in my country has finally died. I am in mourning and so are many Pakistanis I came across in Jackson Heights (a South Asian conclave in New York)," Mumtaz Hussain, an artist and filmmaker of Pakistani origin, told IANS.

Lucknw’s Roomi Darwaza renovation process halted

By Mohd. Faisal Fareed,,
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