Foreign articles

Grand mufti calls terrorism ‘un-Islamic’

Grand mufti calls terrorism ‘un-Islamic’

LAHORE: Terrorism is forbidden in Islam and such acts should not be reciprocated in any term, Mufti-e-Azam Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah said while delivering the haj sermon on Monday.
Delivering the sermon to pilgrims assembled around Mt Arafat to perform a key ritual of haj, Mufti Azam said God Almighty called the Muslims as the best Ummah on the face of the earth, and he whoever killed a Muslim deliberately would be sent to hell.
He said Islam condemned any act that

Suu Kyi urges freedom of speech in Myanmar

YANGON: Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for freedom of speech in army-ruled Myanmar on Sunday and urged thousands of supporters to stand up for their rights and not lose heart, indicating she might pursue a political role.
“Democracy is when the people keep a government in check. I will accept the people keeping me in check,” she said in her first major address since being freed from seven years of house arrest a day earlier.
Suu Kyi could give Myanmar a strong

Karzai wants US to cut back Afghan military operations

WASHINGTON: Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants the US military to scale back the visibility and intensity of its operations in Afghanistan and end night raids that he said incited people to join the Taliban insurgency, The Washington Post reported.
“The time has come to reduce military operations,” Karzai told the Post in an interview. “The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan … to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life.” The

Prince William flies to Afghanistan as Britain remembers war dead

LONDON: Prince William flew into Afghanistan on Sunday for a surprise visit to honour Britain’s war dead, as the Queen led the nation in remembrance here in central London.
The Prince attended a Remembrance Sunday service earlier in the morning at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, and laid a wreath before flying home. Back in London, Queen Elizabeth II led the nation in a two-minute silence at 1100 GMT to remember the fallen, and laid a wreath at the Cenotaph memorial.

Obama says will push for START in ‘lame duck’ congress

YOKOHAMA: US President Barack Obama said on Sunday he would push hard to get the US congress to approve a new START weapons treaty with Russia and stressed the former Cold War foes were now cooperating closely on key issues.
Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also discussed a possible veto by Russian foe Georgia of Russia’s entry to the World Trade Organisation, which Obama has backed under his administration’s “reset” policy to repair US-Russia ties.

Israel okays immigration of 8,000 Ethiopians

JERUSALEM: The Israeli cabinet on Sunday voted to bring to the country some 8,000 Ethiopians who claim Jewish descent, saying they are living in conditions of disease and hunger.
“There are about 8,000 women, men and children living in the most severe humanitarian conditions,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet session.”We have a moral commitment as Jews, as the People of Israel, to find a solution.”
Israel began bringing Ethiopia’s Jewish community

Airbase attacked, 10 killed in Afghan market bombing

KABUL: The Taliban launched a pre-dawn attack on a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, triggering a firefight with foreign and Afghan forces that left eight militants dead.
Another 10 people, including three children, were killed in a motorcycle bombing in a market in a remote area of northern Afghanistan in an attack apparently targeting a local pro-government militia leader. The Taliban, which often exaggerates details of its attacks and foreign casualties, said 14

Violence in Bangladesh over ex-PM’s eviction from home

DHAKA: Police in Bangladesh fired tear gas and rubber bullets on Saturday to clear demonstrators trying to prevent authorities from evicting the leader of the opposition from a home she has occupied since 1982.
At least 50 people were injured and more than 20 demonstrators detained in the capital Dhaka, police said. Police and witnesses said up to 4,000 protesters armed with sticks and stones set fire to vehicles and attacked officers near the headquarters of former prime

Japan-China feud thaws with leaders’ talks

YOKOHAMA: A feud between China and Japan thawed Saturday as their leaders pledged to improve the relationship in their first talks since a territorial dispute erupted two months ago.
Japan said that Prime Minister Naoto Kan had detailed his nation’s “firm stance” on the East China Sea islands at the centre of the feud in his meeting with President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of a Pacific Rim summit. But China’s foreign ministry said that Hu believed the two countries should

Obama wraps up G20, comes to Japan for APEC summit

YOKOHAMA: US President Barack Obama arrived in Japan Friday for a Pacific Rim summit and meetings with other world leaders, after attending the Group of 20 talks in South Korea.
Obama will take part in the weekend Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and also attended by China’s President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Air Force One touched down at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport from Seoul, where the G20

EU’s Ashton offers to meet Iran on 5th

BRUSSELS: European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has proposed to meet Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator early next month to discuss Tehran’s nuclear programme, an EU diplomat said on Friday.
Following consultations with the six world powers involved in negotiating with Iran — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — the diplomat said Ashton would write to Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, proposing a meeting on December 5, probably in

UN refugee agency signals more fighting in Myanmar

GENEVA: The UN refugee agency said on Friday that most of the 15,000 people who fled from Myanmar earlier this week have returned from Thailand despite renewed post-election fighting near the border.
A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Adrian Edwards said fighting reportedly erupted again overnight after the Thai army cleared their return, with the potential for more clashes around the Myanmar villages of Maekata and Halokani.
“As of today most of the

Iran to cooperate with Nigeria on illegal arms probe

ABUJA: Iran has promised cooperation in a probe of an illegal arms shipment discovered in Lagos and sent from an Iran, Nigeria’s foreign minister said Friday after meeting his Iranian counterpart.
Iran’s cooperation will include granting Nigerian authorities access to an Iranian believed to have taken refuge in the Iranian embassy in Abuja, Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia told journalists.
“One of the individuals connected to the shipment was an Iranian national who we

UN appeals for Haiti cholera aid to avoid being ‘overrun’

GENEVA: The United Nations on Friday appealed for nearly 164 million dollars in aid to tackle cholera in Haiti and avoid being “overrun” by the growing epidemic.
“We hope we can get this otherwise all our efforts will be overrrun by the epidemic,” said Elisabeth Byrs, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Byrs said UN, other aid agencies and Haiti’s health ministry needed 163.8 million dollars for a strategy to stifle the

Suicide car bomber targets foreign troops in Kabul

KABUL: A suicide car bomber targeted foreign forces in Kabul on Friday but the device detonated early, slightly injuring an Afghan soldier, ISAF and city police said.
An International Security Assistance Force spokesman said the explosion happened near Camp Julien, which is located in the ruins of the former Afghan royal palace in the west of the city.
“According to initial reports it was a vehicle-borne IED (improvised explosive device),” the spokesman said. A later

China needs ‘sound’ world economy for forex reform

SEOUL: Chinese President Hu Jintao told US President Barack Obama Thursday that Beijing has an “unswerving” resolve to pursue currency reform, but needs a sound world economy to do it, an official said.
“President Hu also stressed that China’s resolve to push forward foreign exchange reform is unswerving,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said after Hu and Obama met just prior to the start of a G20 summit in South Korean capital, Seoul.
“The reform will need a very sound

British PM condemns student riot at party HQs

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday branded the ugly riots at his party’s headquarters “completely unacceptable” after a student protest over tuition fees turned violent.
Cameron also criticised the “inadequate” police response, saying there had only been a small number of officers deployed to protect the London building housing the Conservative Party’s offices when the violence broke out Wednesday.
Fifty people were arrested and bailed after thousands