‘Animal rights come before Religion’ – Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter

GoatDenmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’

Denmark’s government has brought in a ban on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat, after years of campaigning from welfare activists.

he change to the law, announced last week and effective as of yesterday, has been called “anti-Semitism” by Jewish leaders and “a clear interference in religious freedom” by the non-profit group Danish Halal.

European regulations require animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered, but grants exemptions on religious grounds. For meat to be considered kosher under Jewish law or halal under Islamic law, the animal must be conscious when killed.

Yet defending his government’s decision to remove this exemption, the minister for agriculture and food Dan Jørgensen told Denmark’s TV2 that “animal rights come before religion”.

Read more » THE INDEPENDENT

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/denmark-bans-halal-and-kosher-slaughter-as-minister-says-animal-rights-come-before-religion-9135580.html

ISIS jihadists open ‘marriage bureau’

The Islamic State, which advocates public stoning for adultery, has opened a “marriage bureau” for women who want to wed its fighters in territory they control in Syria and Iraq.

The Islamic State, which advocates public stoning for adultery, has opened a “marriage bureau” for women who want to wed its fighters in territory they control in Syria and Iraq.

BEIRUT: The Islamic State, which advocates public stoning for adultery, has opened a “marriage bureau” for women who want to wed its fighters in territory they control in Syria and Iraq.

The jihadist group’s office is operating from Al-Bab, a town in Aleppo province of northern Syria, for “single women and widows who would like to marry IS fighters”, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1122339

Pakistan mob kills woman, girls over ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post

File photo - The followers of the Religion of Peace have to kill you!

[File photo] – Beware, the followers of the Religion of Peace have to kill you in the name of Most Merciful!?

By SYED RAZA HASSAN

ISLAMABAD — Reuters: A Pakistani mob killed a woman member of a religious sect and two of her granddaughters after a sect member was accused of posting blasphemous material on Facebook, police said Monday, the latest instance of growing violence against minorities.

The dead, including a seven-year-old girl and her baby sister, were Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslim but believe in a prophet after Mohammed. A 1984 Pakistani law declared them non-Muslims and many Pakistanis consider them heretics.

Read more » The Globe And Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/pakistan-mob-kills-woman-and-girls-over-blasphemous-facebook-post/article19803246/

- – – – – – – — – – – -
More details » So what if she is 8-months old? She is Ahmadi, kill her!

http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/23426/so-what-if-she-is-8-months-old-she-is-ahmadi-kill-her/

Dozens of Canadians have gone to Israel to take up arms for the Jewish state

CIBy Katrina Clarke

If things had turned out differently, Orli Broer would be starting her second year at Montreal’s McGill University, spending her days studying and her nights dancing.

Instead, the 19-year-old moved to Israel and joined the Israeli Defence Forces. Now, she spends her days in the West Bank and her nights with a gun under her pillow.

She is one of thousands of lone soldiers, young adults from around the world who come to Israel to fight for the Jewish state. Some are Israeli citizens who grew up elsewhere, others visited on school trips and felt compelled to take up the Zionist cause. Few have close family in the country.

Read more » National Post

http://ww2.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com%2F2014%2F07%2F23%2Fdozens-of-canadians-have-gone-to-israel-to-take-up-arms-for-the-jewish-state

Obama gets tough with Netanyahu, for Gaza

senatorobamaObama gets tough with Netanyahu, for Gaza and/or for Kerry

Remember: nothing riles the White House more than the appearance that Israel is supplying ammo to Obama’s political enemies, as it did on Sunday.

By

Barack Obama may have stopped short of reading the riot act to Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, but the White House version of the two leaders’ phone conversation left no room for doubt: The U.S. President was ratcheting up the rhetoric and the pressure on Israel to end the fighting in Gaza, and to end it now.

Read more » HAARETZ

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.607509

 

Scandinavian countries condemn Israel’s disproportionate violence, sends millions to aid Palestinians

By Henriette Johansen

Denmark, Finland and Norway are backing the Palestinian people in Gaza with substantial medical aid. As the first two countries in the world to have an official diplomatic Palestinian representative, Denmark and Finland followed the EU position of condemning Israeli attacks on innocent Gazans.

This week, Denmark is to send $2 million to protect and support Gaza with humanitarian aid. Following the escalating conflict and worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza, the Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Mogens Jensen sent contributions for water distribution, medicines and for the protection of civilians in Gaza, the Danish mission in Ramallah announced.

“The spiral of violence between Gaza and Israel has unbearable costs for completely innocent people. Almost half of the population in Gaza need access to clean water, and hospitals and humanitarian organisations need medicine to treat the wounded and save lives. Therefore, I find it crucial and right, that Denmark contributes to the humanitarian efforts in Gaza,” he said.

Read more » Middle East Monitor

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/europe/13020-scandinavian-countries-condemn-israels-disproportionate-violence-sends-millions-to-aid-palestinians

Sweden refuses Israeli president’s plane entry into its airspace

Swedish authorities refused on Sunday to allow the plane of Israeli President Shimon Peres to cross into its airspace en route to Norway, causing him to arrive late to his official reception.

When Stockholm refused the plane permission to cross, the pilots were forced into a holding pattern over the Baltic Sea for 20 minutes until they were rerouted via Denmark’s airspace.

Peres’s office blamed Stockholm, while the Israeli Foreign Ministry pointed the finger at the President’s Office and the private airline company responsible for arranging the trip.

Israel’s Haartez newspaper reported the ministry saying that Peres’s office had failed to follow the correct protocols, resulting in its intervention.

Read more » Middle East Monitor (MEM)

- See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/europe/11451-sweden-refuses-israeli-presidents-plane-entry-into-its-airspace#sthash.tbWKLGnG.dpuf

ISIS destroys ‘Jonah’s tomb’ in Mosul

The radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has destroyed shrines belonging to two prophets, highly revered by both Christians and Muslims, in the northern city of Mosul, al-Sumaria News reported Thursday.

“ISIS militants have destroyed the Prophet Younis (Jonah) shrine east of Mosul city after they seized control of the mosque completely,” a security source, who kept his identity anonymous, told the Iraq-based al-Sumaria News.

Read more » AL ARABIA NEWS

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/25/ISIS-destroys-tombs-of-two-prophets-in-Mosul.html

Brazil recalls Israel envoy to protest ‘disproportionate force’ in Gaza

Brazil follows Ecuador’s decision a day earlier, as well as the UN human rights council’s decision to open commission of inquiry into Israel’ ‘war crimes.’

By Barak Ravid

Brazil decided Thursday to recall its ambassador in Tel Aviv to protest what it has called “disproportionate use of force by Israel” in the Gaza Strip.

“The Brazilian government considers unacceptable escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine. We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip, from which large numbers of civilian casualties, including women and children resulted,” the Brazilian government said in its statement. “The Brazilian Government reiterates his call for an immediate ceasefire between the parties.”

“Given the seriousness of the situation, the Brazilian government voted for the resolution of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations on the subject In addition, the Ambassador of Brazil in Tel Aviv was called to Brasilia for consultations.”

Brazil is the second country to recall its envoy, following Ecuador’s move a day earlier.

The decision comes amid heightened tensions in the international community over Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip.

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday launched a commission of inquiry into alleged Israeli war crimes in its current Gaza offensive, backing Palestinian efforts to have Israel held up to international scrutiny.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office fiercely condemned the UN council’s decision as a “travesty and should be rejected by decent people everywhere.”

Read more » HAARETZ

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.606979

2 Palestinians said killed in rioting outside Jerusalem

Arab-Israel conflict

Arab-Israel conflict

Thousands clash with police at Qalandiya checkpoint; violent protests also underway in East Jerusalem

BY STUART WINER

Thousands of Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and riots broke out at several flashpoints near and inside East Jerusalem, on Thursday night. Palestinian sources said two demonstrators were killed at Qalandiya and over 100 were wounded. Protesters there were marching in the direction of the capital from Ramallah in the West Bank.

More » The Times of  Israel

Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/1-said-killed-in-widespread-riots-outside-jerusalem/#ixzz38RDxCRke
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

Listen all sides and look, how War and Hatred inflict Wounds To All Human Souls of all sides.

Photo credits to: The Time of Israel

Photo credits to: The Times of Israel

How the army breaks the worst news of all

The IDF’s Casualty and Wounded Soldiers Department delivers awful tidings and tends to families afterwards. The task only gets worse with time and experience

BY MITCH GINSBURG

On Monday afternoon, along a central Jerusalem street, the owner of an electrical supply store saw an ambulance slow to a halt. The paramedics remained inside

The man continued arranging his cluttered storefront, watching from the sidewalk as he worked. “I thought something happened to one of the neighbors,” he said.

Then he saw two army officers walk by and turn up the stairs of a nearby apartment. Moments later, he heard terrible sounds. The screaming, he said, “went on for an hour.”

Knowing that several soldiers had been killed in Gaza the previous night, he kept tinkering at work but, he said, wasn’t “able to function for the rest of the day.” Finally a man emerged from the apartment with the officers. The store owner, whose name and location are not being used here in order to ensure the privacy of the bereaved family, recognized him as a customer and hugged him. “My brother,” the man explained, and continued on with the officers to help break the life-altering news to other members of the family.

As Israel fights in Gaza and buries its soldiers at home – 32 have been killed thus far –

More » The Times of Israel

Read more: How the army breaks the worst news of all | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/how-the-army-breaks-the-worst-news-of-all/#ixzz38QSO41ia
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Madeleine Albright: Israel ‘overdoing’ its response to Hamas

Madeleine Albrigh

Madeleine Albright

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says focus should be on how to end conflict and implement two-state solution.

By Haaretz

Israel looks like it’s “overdoing” its response to Hamas rocket fire, which is “hurting Israel’s moral authority,” former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Tuesday.

Although she expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket fire, Albright said in an interview with CNN that the “question of proportionality” was important.

I do think that it is very hard to watch the number of Palestinians that have been killed – innocents,” Albright said as the current secretary of state, John Kerry, was in the region to attempt to broker a cease-fire.

Read more » Haaretz

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.606745

Saudi Arabia Crime rate up 102%

imageJEDDAH: ARAB NEWS – The Ministry of Justice has released figures, which indicate that crime rates have increased 102 percent in the Kingdom; up from 10,904 cases in 2012 to 22,113 cases in 2013. In the first six months of this year, the Kingdom has seen a surge in criminal cases, compared to the same period last year.

Read more » Arab News

http://www.arabnews.com/news/saudi-arabia/606766

France’s foreign minister has accused the UK of double standards

france flagFrance hits back after UK condemns Russia Mistral ship deal

France’s foreign minister has accused the UK of double standards following its criticism of the Russian Mistral warship deal. Referring to Russian oligarchs in the UK, he said that Britain must tend to its own backyard before attacking French policies.

Following the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, British Prime Minister David Cameron criticized Paris for its plan to go ahead with the delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. Cameron stressed that the move would be “unthinkable” in Britain.

The English in particular were very pleasant so to speak saying we would never do that, but I told my dear British friends let’s talk about the financial sector,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told TF1 television after a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels.

I am led to believe that there are quite a few Russian oligarchs in London,” he added, as quoted by Reuters.

When asked whether he meant that the UK must first address its own business, Fabius replied: “Exactly.

On Monday, French President Francois Hollande said the plan to deliver the Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia would go forward, despite calls from the US and UK. The first ship is nearly completed and will be presented in October.

The Russians have paid. Should we repay 1.1 billion euros if the boat was not delivered to the purchaser?” he asked while speaking to reporters late on Monday – the night before an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels to discuss tougher sanctions on Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis.

For the time being, a level of sanctions has not been decided on that would prevent this delivery,” he said. “The contract was signed in 2011, the boat is almost finished and should be delivered in October.

Read more » RT

http://rt.com/news/174808-france-uk-criticism-mistral/

 

‘Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies': Israelis And Palestinians show solidarity online

familyby Lauren O’Neil

As political tensions between Israel and Hamas continue to escalate this week in the Gaza Strip, a growing number of Jews and Arabs from around the world are coming together in solidarity against the conflict.

Read more » CBC

http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/yourcommunity/2014/07/jewsandarabsrefusetobeenemies-israelis-and-palestinians-show-solidarity-online.html

BackStreet Boys cancel upcoming shows in Israel

By: Robert Rheubottom AXS Contributor

The Backstreet Boys join the growing list of performers forced to cancel shows in Israel due to safety concerns. The reunited Orlando, Florida based boyband had three sold out dates scheduled for the end of July, but have called off the shows as a result of recent outbreaks of hostility between Israel and Palestine.

Read more » AXS

http://www.axs.com/backstreet-boys-cancel-upcoming-shows-in-israel-14931

Moscow will respond to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin said

putin‘We will react to NATO build-up!’ Key Putin quotes from defense policy address

Moscow will respond to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin said at the emergency Security Council meeting in Moscow. Here are his key quotes on Russia’s defense, Western sanctions, and violence in eastern Ukraine.

Read more » RT

http://rt.com/news/174768-putin-security-nato-ukraine/

Attack on Gaza by Saudi Royal Appointment

Saudi-King-AbdullahBy David Hearst, Editor, Middle East Eye

There are many hands behind the Israeli army’s onslaught on Gaza. America is not unhappy that Hamas is getting such a beating. As footage of the scenes of carnage on the streets of Shejaiya was coming through, John Kerry said on NBC’s Meet the Presson Sunday that Israel had every right to defend itself and the US ambassador Dan Shapiro told Israel’s Channel 2 news that the US would seek to help moderate forces become stronger in Gaza, meaning the Palestinian Authority.

Nor is Egypt overcome with grief. Its foreign minister Sameh Shoukry held Hamas responsible for civilian deaths after their rejection of the ceasefire.

Neither matter to Netanyahu as much as the third undeclared partner in this unholy alliance, for neither on their own could give him the cover he needs for a military operation of this ferocity. And that can come not from a handwringing but impotent parent like the US. Such permission can only come from a brother Arab.

The attack on Gaza comes by Saudi Royal Appointment. This royal warrant is nothing less than an open secret in Israel, and both former and serving defense officials are relaxed when they talk about it. Former Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz surprised the presenter on Channel 10 by saying Israel had to specify a role for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the demilitarization of Hamas. Asked what he meant by that, he added that Saudi and Emirati funds should be used to rebuild Gaza after Hamas had been defanged.

Amos Gilad, the Israeli defense establishment’s point man with Mubarak’s Egypt and now director of the Israeli defense ministry’s policy and political-military relations department told the academic James Dorsey recently : “Everything is underground, nothing is public. But our security cooperation with Egypt and the Gulf states is unique. This is the best period of security and diplomatic relations with the Arab.”

The celebration is mutual. King Abdullah let it be known that he had phoned President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to approve of an Egyptian ceasefire initiative which had not been put to Hamas, and had the Jerusalem Post quoting analysts about whether a ceasefire was ever seriously intended.

Mossad and Saudi intelligence officials meet regularly: The two sides conferred when the former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was about to be deposed in Egypt and they are hand in glove on Iran, both in preparing for an Israel strike over Saudi airspace and in sabotaging the existing nuclear program. There has even been a well sourced claim that the Saudis are financing most of Israel’s very expensive campaign against Iran.

Why do Saudi Arabia and Israel make such comfortable bedfellows? For decades each country has had a similar feeling in their gut when they look around them: fear.

Read more » The Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-hearst/attack-on-gaza-by-saudi-r_b_5603735.html

Major US air companies suspend flights to and from Israel

A number of major US airlines say they are immediately suspending flights to and from Israel after a rocket attack near Ben-Gurion International Airport. US Airways, Delta are both grounding their planes.

The decision was taken following a warning from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), after a rocket fell in the city of Yehud, which is just five kilometers from the airport, Haaretz reported.

The FFA has ordered US airlines not to fly to or from Ben Gurion Airport “for a period of up to 24 hours.”

A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean Sea heading for Tel Aviv on Tuesday when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.

Read more » RT

http://rt.com/news/174724-us-suspend-flights-israel/

Boko Haram Militants Kill More Than 100 In Northeast Nigeria

By HARUNA UMAR

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Boko Haram extremists have killed more than 100 people and hoisted their black and white flag over a town left undefended by Nigeria’s military, just 85 kilometers (53 miles) from the northeastern state capital of Maiduguri, a civil defense spokesman and a human rights advocate said Saturday.

Hundreds of villagers in another northeast area, Askira Uba, are fleeing after receiving letters from the Islamic extremists threatening to attack and take over their areas, spokesman Abbas Gava of the Nigerian Vigilante Group said.

“Nine major villages are on the run,” he said.

Survivors said Saturday that insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and lobbed homemade bombs into homes, and then gunned down people as they tried to escape the fires in the attack on Damboa town launched before dawn Friday. Most of the town has burned down, they said.

A human rights advocate said the extremists struck again as people were trying to bury the dead later Friday, and said the death toll is probably much higher than 100. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to reporters.

Read more » The Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/19/boko-haram-nigeria_n_5602191.html

ISIS burns 1,800-year-old church in Mosul

Militants from the radical jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have set fire to a 1,800-year-old church in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul, a photo released Saturday shows.

The burning of the church is the latest in a series of destruction of Christian property in Mosul, which was taken by the Islamist rebels last month, along with other swathes of Iraqi territory.

Read more » Al Arabiya News

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/20/ISIS-burns-1-800-year-old-church-in-Mosul.html

Extremists Make Inroads in Pakistan’s Diverse South

MIRPURKHAS, Pakistan — In a country roiled by violent strife, the southern province of Sindh, celebrated as the “land of Sufis,” has long prized its reputation as a Pakistani bastion of tolerance and diversity.

Glittering Sufi shrines dot the banks of the river Indus as it wends through the province. The faithful sing and dance at exuberant religious festivals. Hindu traders, members of a sizable minority, thrive in the major towns.

But as Islamist groups have expanded across Pakistan in tandem with the growing strength of the Taliban insurgency, so, too, are they making deep inroads into Sindh. Although banned by the state, such groups are systematically exploiting weaknesses in Pakistan’s education system and legal code as part of a campaign to persecute minorities and spread their radical brand of Sunni Islam.

A central factor in the expansion of such groups is a network of religious seminaries, often with funding from opaque sources, that provides them with a toehold in poor communities. “If there were three seminaries in a city before, now there are tens of seminaries in just one neighborhood,” said Asad Chandio, news editor of the Sindhi-language newspaper Awami Awaz.

In May, a threatening crowd in Mirpurkhas, a small city in central Sindh, surrounded four members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who had set up a stall near the railway station. The mob accused the four of blasphemy because they were selling books that contained images of God and Moses. The crowd’s leader was a member of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, a sectarian group that is ostensibly banned by the government, but that is now openly operating, and growing, across Sindh.

Fearing crowd violence, police officers led the four to a nearby police station where they were charged with blasphemy — potentially a capital offense. They were taken away in an armored vehicle, and are now in hiding as they await trial.

Locals said they were struggling to understand how, or why, the incident had taken place. “There are so many communities here, and we have all lived peacefully,” said Francis Khokhar, the lawyer for the four accused.

The Sunni supremacist ideology propagated by Pakistani sectarian groups is similar to the one that is proving so potent in the Middle East, where the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is flourishing. In Pakistan, such groups do not pose a direct threat to the state yet. But their growth in Sindh is a sobering reminder that a future threat to Pakistani stability could stem from the provincial towns as much as the distant tribal belt, where the Pakistani military is trying to disrupt havens for the Taliban and other militants.

The provincial government in Sindh, concerned about what one government official called the “mushroom growth” of extremist seminaries, is trying to decide what to do.

Continue reading

Stephen Hawking jumps on ‘boycott Israel’ bandwagon

World famous scientist Stephen Hawking called on the world to boycott the Israeli president’s conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in a letter which has gone viral, exposing the lies of the pro-Israel lobby which claimed he had withdrawn on health grounds.

Read more » World Bulletin

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/140658/stephen-hawking-jumps-on-boycott-israel-bandwagon

Syria President Bashar al-Assad sworn in for third term

Bashar al-Assad has been sworn in for a third seven-year term as president of Syria, after an election last month that opponents dismissed as a “farce”.

State television broadcast what it said was a live ceremony from the presidential palace in Damascus.

Mr Assad vowed to fight “terrorism” until security was restored to all of the country, but also promised to offer “national reconciliation” to opponents.

He has defied calls to step down since an uprising began in March 2011.

The conflict that erupted after the authorities launched a brutal crackdown on protests has left at least 170,000 people dead and driven more than nine million others from their homes.

‘Monstrous faces’

Mr Assad won 88.7% of the votes cast in the first multi-candidate election in decades, which took place only in areas of Syria that were under government control.

After taking the oath of office on Wednesday, Mr Assad told his supporters: “Syrians, three years and four months… have passed since some cried ‘freedom’.”

“They wanted a revolution, but you have been the real revolutionaries. I congratulate you for your revolution and for your victory,” he added.

“Those who lost their way can now see clearly… the monstrous faces have been unveiled, the mask of freedom and the revolution has fallen.”

Mr Assad also promised that Arab, regional and Western countries who are helping the rebels trying to topple him would soon “pay a high price for supporting terrorism.

Over the past year, Mr Assad’s forces – backed by Iran and the Lebanese Shia Islamist movement Hezbollah – have consolidated their control over a corridor of territory stretching north from the capital to the city of Homs and then into Hama and Latakia provinces.

However, large swathes of the north and east remain under the control of rebel forces, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis).

The powerful al-Qaeda breakaway declared the creation of a “caliphate” in its territories last month after launching an offensive that saw it capture parts of northern and western Iraq.

Western-backed and more moderate Islamist rebels in Syria, who have been engaged in deadly battles with the group’s fighters since the start of the year, rejected the announcement.

Courtesy: BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28328138

More » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/world/2014/07/140716_syria_president_assad_rwa.shtml

Pakistani universities climbing up international rankings: HEC chief

ISLAMABAD: While briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, this Monday, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairperson Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said that although Pakistan may not have the best educational institutes in the world, the local educational institutions are continuously improving in rankings.

The commission, he said, has been constantly trying to improve the quality of education in the country.

Dr Ahmed said that there were two types of rankings of educational institutions. In the global rankings, National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has been ranked among the top 500 universities of the world.

In the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) university rankings for Asia, Pakistan is improving steadily.

Read more » DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/news/1119344

Brics nations to create $100bn development bank

The leaders of the five Brics countries have signed a deal to create a new $100bn (£58.3bn) development bank and emergency reserve fund.

The Brics group is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries.

The bank will have a headquarters in Shanghai, China and the first president for the bank will come from India.

Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, announced the creation of the bank at a Brics summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on Tuesday.

A new player

At first, the bank will start off with $50bn in initial capital.

The emergency reserve fund – which was announced as a “Contingency Reserve Arrangement” – will also have $100bn, and will help developing nations avoid “short-term liquidity pressures, promote further Brics cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements”.

The creation of the Brics bank will almost surely create competition for both the World Bank and other similar regional funds.

Brics nations have criticised the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for not giving developing nations enough voting rights.

One of the goals for the bank – whose creation has been discussed for some time – would be to increase the amount of money loaned to developing countries to help with infrastructure projects.

Courtesy: BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28317555

PM Stephen Harper urges world leaders to side with Israel

The indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel are terrorist acts, for which there is no justification,” Harper said in a statement issued Sunday.

By: The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—Terrorists are deliberately placing people in the path of an Israeli offensive aimed at stopping rocket attacks from Gaza, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Harper says there is evidence that Hamas, listed by Canada as a terrorist organization, is using human shields in its attempts to stave off the Israeli offensive.

Read more » The Star

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/07/13/pm_stephen_harper_urges_world_leaders_to_side_with_israel.html

Putin Writes Off $32 Billion of Cuba’s Debts to Russia

 

By Polly Mosendz | The Atlantic Wire

Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently on a grand tour of Latin America. His first stop is in Havana, Cuba. Ahead of arriving in Cuba, Putin decided to bestow a gift upon the Cuban government. With one swift signature, he eliminated $32 billion of Cuba’s debt, left over from the Soviet era.

Read more » Yahoo News

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/putin-writes-off-32-billion-cubas-debts-russia-150048853.html

1 million workers across the UK walk off their jobs to protest pay and pension cuts in the nation’s largest strike in decades

Public sector strikes hit schools and services around the UK

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in rallies and marches across the UK as part of a day of strike action by public service unions. Teachers, firefighters and council workers joined the strike, which follows disputes with the government over pay, pensions and cuts. Thousands of pupils were affected as some 6,000 schools in England closed, the Department for Education said.

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28240683