The death of each child should be condemned. Be it an Israeli or a Palestinian, both have equal right to live in peace.

one worldUS and UN condemn killing of Palestinian boy in Israel

The US and UN have condemned the abduction and murder of a Palestinian teenager in Israel, which sparked fierce clashes in East Jerusalem. US Secretary of State John Kerry called it “sickening” while the UN demanded justice over the “despicable act”.

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28138860

Defying China, U.S. bombers fly into East China Sea zone

By Phil Stewart and David Alexander | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two unarmed U.S. B-52 bombers on a training mission flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea without informing Beijing, defying China’s declaration of a new airspace defense zone and raising the stakes in a territorial standoff.

The flight did not prompt a response from China, the Pentagon said, and the White House urged Beijing on Tuesday to resolve its dispute with Japan over the islands diplomatically, without resorting to “threats or inflammatory language.”

China published coordinates for an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone over the weekend and warned it would take “defensive emergency measures” against aircraft that failed to identify themselves properly in the airspace.

The zone covers the skies over islands at the heart of a territorial dispute that China has with close U.S. ally Japan.

“The policy announced by the Chinese over the weekend is unnecessarily inflammatory,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in California, where President Barack Obama is traveling.

“These are the kinds of differences that should not be addressed with threats or inflammatory language, but rather can and should be resolved diplomatically,” he said.

Two U.S. B-52 bombers carried out the flight, part of a long-planned exercise, on Monday night EST, a U.S. military official said.

The lumbering bombers appeared to send a message that the United States was not trying to hide its intentions and showed that China, so far at least, was unable or unwilling to defend the zone.

Read more » Reuters
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-aircraft-fly-over-east-china-sea-without-172248256.html

Bitcoin Boom? US fears digital currency may hit dollar demand

The US is becoming increasingly concerned over virtual currencies, launching broad investigations into Bitcoin and the likes. The online currency has won official recognition with a US federal judge ruling it is real money. A Texas man, being tried for laundering billions of dollars using the Bitcoin system, challenged the court by saying bitcoins were virtual and couldn’t be the basis for a fraud charge. He failed. RT’s Peter Oliver went to meet those who have no doubt bitcoin has real value.

Courtesy: – RT

Another good work by USAID

us aidSteps for education: USAID-funded building to open in Sindh University

By: The Express Tribune Report

HYDERABAD: The ground breaking ceremony for a new education faculty building, being funded by the USAID, at the Sindh University, Hyderabad was held on Wednesday.

“The building is part of the $40 million project to establish 14 new faculties of education across Pakistan over the next two years,” informed the US consul-general, Michael Dodman, who was the chief guest at the ceremony. Two other education faculty buildings are being constructed at the University of Karachi and the Shah Abdul Latif University, he added.

The new faculty will accommodate two new teaching programmes including the two-year associate degree in education and the four-year Bachelors of education. “These courses have been designed in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The USAID is working with 110 universities and teacher training colleges in Pakistan to initiate these programmes.”

The new building, to be completed by June 2014 at the cost of Rs23 million, will have 18 classrooms, computer labs, a wi-fi system, a library, an auditorium and a media library. Its eco-friendly structure will be an additional feature.

The three-storey structure is being built over an area of 20,000 square feet, adjacent to the heritage building of the old campus. “We will offer classes in the morning and evening shifts in order to accommodate as many students as possible,” said the education faculty’s dean, Dr Parveen Munshi.

USAID mission director Grogory Gottlieb said that around 2,500 students and 200 teachers will acquire education from the 14 new faculties every year. Over the last four years, he added, the USAID has rehabilitated around 600 schools, sponsored 10,000 university scholarships and provided training to 12,000 teachers in Pakistan.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.
http://tribune.com.pk/story/575299/steps-for-education-usaid-funded-building-to-open-in-sindh-university/

LOVE RULES THE DAY!

Supreme Court Bolsters Gay Marriage With Two Major Rulings

By

WASHINGTON — In a pair of major victories for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there.

The rulings leave in place laws banning same-sex marriage around the nation, and the court declined to say whether there was a constitutional right to such unions. But in clearing the  way for same-sex marriage in California, the nation’s most populous state, the court effectively increased to 13 the number of states that allow it.

The decisions will only intensify the fast-moving debate over same-sex marriage, and the clash in the Supreme Court reflected the one around the nation. In the hushed courtroom Wednesday morning, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced the majority opinion striking down the federal law in a stately tone that indicated he was delivering a civil rights landmark. After he finished, he sat stonily, looking straight ahead, while Justice Antonin Scalia unleashed a cutting dissent.

Read more » The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/us/politics/supreme-court-gay-marriage.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Will the Japan trade deal revive globalization?

Japan Trade Deal May Revive Globalization

By the Editors

The U.S. and Japan agreed to terms last week allowing Japan to join talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, another step toward creating the world’s most important free-trade initiative. The emerging pact has far- reaching implications for domestic policy in Japan and elsewhere, and could offer a new approach to global as well as regional trade liberalization.

Japan’s participation would widen the TPP to 12 members, accounting for 40 percent of global gross domestic product. The Japanese economy is bigger than all the other non-U.S. members combined. By taking part, Japan is making a commitment to long- overdue domestic economic change. Supply-side reform is one of the “three arrows” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised will revive Japan’s stagnant economy (the others are monetary stimulus and fiscal expansion). In the long term, it’s the one that matters most — and it’s the one that the TPP can provide.

Abe deserves much credit for pressing this part of his program so determinedly. Special interests, especially farming, have supported protectionism in Japan for years. (Rice farmers are shielded by tariffs approaching 800 percent.) The TPP will mobilize Japan’s manufacturing exporters, which will gain directly from the deal, as a countervailing political force.

Farmer Resistance

According to the government’s estimate, annual farm and marine production might decline by 3 trillion yen ($30.3 billion) under the TPP, though other sectors would expand more than twice as much, raising aggregate GDP by 3.2 trillion yen. That’s probably an underestimate, because the benefits would build over time. One independent study puts Japan’s potential gain at more than $100 billion a year (2 percent of GDP) by 2025. ….

Read more » Bloomberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-14/japan-trade-deal-may-revive-globalization.html?alcmpid=view

‘They want me dead!’ Venezuelan president claims US murder plot

Acting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro believes there is a US plot to assassinate him during his election campaign. He called on his followers to be “vigilant” and warned conspirators want to prevent his victory in next week’s election.

Presidential candidate Maduro pointed the finger at the former US Ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich and the ex-ambassador to the Organization of American States, Roger Noriega, outing them as the driving force behind the conspiracy.

Their goal is to kill me,” said Maduro on Saturday during an electoral campaign speech in the northern state of Bolivar. He called on his supporters to be on maximum alert, warning that the object of the plot was to increase the homicide rate in cities across Venezuela and cause a blackout ahead of the elections.

“Roger Noriega and Otto Reich are involved, as well as the Salvadorian far right that has contracted hit men,” announced Maduro during his speech. He stressed that they wanted him dead because “they know they cannot beat me in fair elections.” …

Read more » http://rt.com/news/venezuela-maduro-murder-plot-457/

Af-Pak: reversing the reverse strategic depth — Dr Mohammad Taqi

The Taliban retreated though in the face of overwhelming US might while Pakistan is doing so sensing the US vulnerability written in red letters on the withdrawal calendar

Just before the first anniversary this week of the NATO attack on the Pakistani military check post in Salala, Pakistan has released some mid-level Taliban leaders that it held. The post-Salala saber-rattling between an angry Pakistan and an unrepentant United States almost caused the bilateral relations to snap. A frigid standoff followed the bitter spat and Pakistan blocked the NATO ground supply route through its territory. A face-saving apology of sorts was squeezed out of the US, a thaw ensued, and the supply line reopened. It was business as usual between the frenemies.

The Taliban release is purported to be not merely a goodwill token towards the Afghan High Peace Council delegation that visited Pakistan but is also being showcased to mark a ‘sea change’ in Pakistan’s notorious policy towards Afghanistan, i.e. its quest for strategic depth. A slew of reports in the western and Pakistani media appearing before and after the Taliban leaders’ release quoting Pakistani officials and analysts close to the Pakistani security establishment claim that not only has Pakistan jettisoned its strategic depth policy but has also been reaching out to Afghan groups other than its Taliban proxies.

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Hafiz Saeed’s brother leaves US with family

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: Imam Hafiz Muhammad Hamid Jamaat-ul-Daawa chief Hafiz Saeed’s brother along with his wife and five children has been whisked out of the United States.

The family boarded a Gulf airways flight to bypass London because the British authorities had earlier refused them transit permission on the grounds that they did not have valid US visas.

By the time this report has been printed, Hafiz Hamid and his family would be in Pakistan. What treatment they receive there is not known but the Pakistani authorities do consider Hafiz Hamid a “person of interest”.

Hafiz Hamid was imam at the Islamic Centre of Greater Worcester in Worcester, Massachusetts and had been fighting immigration regulation infringements for the last several months.

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Julian Assange urges US to end Wikileaks ‘witch-hunt’

Julian Assange has urged the US to end its “witch-hunt” against Wikileaks, in his first public statement since entering Ecuador’s London embassy.

He also called for the release of Bradley Manning, who is awaiting trial in the US accused of leaking classified documents to the Wikileaks site.

Mr Assange spoke from a balcony at the embassy and thanked Ecuador’s president, who has granted him asylum.

He faces extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims, which he denies.

The 41-year-old said the United States must also stop its “war on whistleblowers”. ….

Read more » BBC

US synagogue welcomes Muslims seeking a place to pray

Muslims around the world are gathering for Friday prayers, and in one neighbourhood in the US state of Virginia, the worshippers will enter a building that could hardly be further from a traditional mosque.

At a time when religious differences are sparking conflict in the Middle East and beyond – it is cooperation between two faiths which is allowing this unique programme flourish.

The BBC’s Katty Kay reports on how the Jewish community opened its doors because the area’s mosques could not accommodate all of the growing Muslim population.

Courtesy: BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19289226

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» →» Israeli, Pakistani news agencies launch joint media venture

Thank you Honorable Congressman Brad Sherman for your efforts for Sindhi language

By: Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom

Credit must be given where credit is due. Indeed, the work, statements and support of US Congressman for the Nation of Sindh is certainly creditable, highly commendable, truly admirable and most humbly appreciable.

The gregarious and generous sons and daughters of Motherland, Sindh, do whole-heartedly appreciate, applaud and laud the worthy efforts of the Congressman towards highlighting the Sindhi Nation.

None in the higher echelons of US and even in other Western States – their Lawmakers, People and Government including – have had a heart, decency and courage to voice their concerns for the over fifty million people of Sindh and their slave-like treatment, genocide and ethnic cleansing in this country. Thus, the sincere and noble endeavours at voicing Sindh’s concern by Congressman Brad Sherman are a breath of fresh air in the desert of gloom and doom.

We also express our appreciation and admiration for SAPAC and its indomitable leadership for their selfless and sincere, capable and competent advocacy for Sindhi Nation.

Note- Writer is an Educationist, Human Rights Activist, Writer, Researcher, Inter-Faith Dialogue Leader.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, August 4, 2012.

US gurdwara shooting: Why racism, ignorance are to blame

By: Seema Sirohi

Washington: It is tragic and there is no right way to say it — Sikhs in Oak Creek were targeted because the gunman probably thought they were Muslims. You can’t call it a mistake because a crime against Muslims would be just as heinous.

Six men are dead, including a granthi who had recently brought his wife and daughter to Wisconsin from India. The president of the gurdwara lies injured in a hospital in Milwaukee as does a policeman who faced down the gunman. The details so far show the attacker to be a white male of about 40 years, 6 feet in height wearing a white T-shirt and black pants. He reportedly had a tattoo on his arm about 9/11. ….

Read more » First Post

India, US learning from Israel’s border security

By YAAKOV KATZ

Growing number of countries flock to Israel to study construction of Egypt border fence;

A growing number of countries are flocking to Israel to study border security as the Defense Ministry works to complete the construction of a physical and technological barrier along the Egyptian border.

In August, a delegation from India will arrive to study the various technologies used by the IDF to secure the borders with the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Egypt, and which could be implemented as part of India’s own fence with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The interest in Israeli border security has spiked since Israel began constructing a barrier along its border with Egypt to stem terrorism and infiltrations by illegal migrants. The Defense Ministry and IDF have so far completed about 150 km, of the fence; plans are to complete the remainder by the end of the year.

The fence is 5 meters in height and layered with barbed wire. It is supported by dozens of radars that are deployed along the border to issue alerts about possible crossings while the potential infiltrators are still kilometers away.

Israel’s primary concern is with the growing number of terror attacks along the border. Last week, shots were fired at a bus carrying IDF soldiers. While there was damage to the bus, no one was wounded. On June 18, terrorists crossed into Israel from Sinai and killed an Israeli contractor working on the border fence, while last August eight Israelis were killed in a cross-border attack.

India is interested in beefing up its border security to prevent future incidents like the Mumbai attacks in 2008.

The Indian press reported Sunday on a tunnel that had been discovered under the border with Pakistan in the contested Kashmir region.

Another country closely following Israel’s decisions on border security is the US, which is building a barrier along its border with Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security is, for example, testing the ELM-2112 family of persistent ground surveillance radars, developed by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, and used by the IDF to detect intruders before they reach the border.

Five different versions detect individuals at ranges from 300 m. up to 20 km., and vehicles at up to 40 km.

The radars feature four stationary antennas, each covering a 90-degree sector enabling persistent surveillance and tracking over a wide area.

Several radars can be integrated into a single network to provide an integrated picture of a border area. In addition, the command-and- control interface features icons resembling an animal, vehicle or person based on the target detected by the radar.

Courtesy: The Jerusalem Post

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=279366&R=R9

U.S. names two Af-Pak money traders for helping Taliban

By: AFP

WASHINGTON: The United States named two Afghanistan-Pakistan money changers as helping the Taliban manage and move funds, setting sanctions against both that aim to hinder their business.

The US Treasury said the two hawalas, or money exchange businesses – the Haji Khairullah Haji Sattar Money Exchange (HKHS) and the Roshan Money Exchange – “have been used by the Taliban to facilitate money transfers in support of the Taliban’s narcotics trade and terrorist operations.” Up through last year, HKHS services were “a preferred method for Taliban leadership to transfer money to Taliban commanders in Afghanistan,” the Treasury said.

Roshan was used for money transfers by the Taliban, particularly in Helmand province, including allegedly moving hundreds of thousands of dollars last year “for the purchase of narcotics on behalf of Taliban officials.” The Treasury listed Haji Abdul Sattar Barakzai and Haji Khairullah Barakzai, HKHS co-owners, under the sanctions for donating funds to the Taliban.

HKHS has 16 branches in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Dubai, according to the Treasury.

Roshan operates 11 branches in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

Pak US relations

Welcome to Washington Beat: A hard hitting talk show focusing on the latest news from and about Pakistan. This episode covers Pakistan and United States bilateral relationship. Host Dr Manzur Ejaz talks to Masood Haider, Dawn newpaper’s New York correspondent.

Courtesy: Dr Manzur Ejaz Show

World Sindhi Institute endorses the declaration of the Sindh Solidarity Conference

PRESS STATEMENT for immediate release 1st June 2012, Washington USA and Toronto, Canada – - Ms. Humaira Rahman, General Secretary of  the World Sindhi Institute, formally endorses the declaration of the Sindh Solidarity Conference, which deliberated and announced its position on 29th May 2012 , at the Beach luxury Hotel in Karachi , SINDH , Pakistan.

The World Sindhi Institute has been shocked and saddened by the recent targeted killings of several leaders , intellectuals and workers of many political parties and civil society groups of the larger non aligned SINDH-Rights movement for fundamental, political and economic rights, in the year 2012, represented by a wide cross section of Sindh society.

The WSI is appalled by the lack of adequate government response to the dire political , economic and social situation in Sindh.

From Professor Bashir Channar murdered on the Sindh University campus in January 2012 , JSQM President Bashir Khan Qureshi murdered in April 2012 , JSMM leader Muzaffar Bhutto killed/discovered in May 2012 , Awami Tehreek’s Yasmin Palijo and PIA Union’s Ghazala Batoul Siddiqui murdered on 22nd May 2012 , WSI condoles the death of all those known and unknown martyrs who gave their lives to uphold the essential values of secularism, pluralism, democracy and non violence in Sindh.

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Alarm bells in the U.S.

Alarms are ringing as negative trends come together in a perfect storm. Is the United States sleepwalking into economic and geopolitical decline?

By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE, UPI Editor at Large

WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) — Gen. David Richards, the British chief of staff, in the understatement of the week, says the strategic landscape is “worrying” and the outlook “bleak.”

The United States as the world’s strongest geopolitical player has become ungovernable, saddled with a dysfunctional Congress. House and Senate together, with 535 members, maintain 250 committees and subcommittees and micromanage muscular government decisions into unworkable policy directives.

No fewer than 108 committees have oversight jurisdiction on Homeland Security.

The latest book of Edward Luce, the Financial Times’ chief U.S. commentator, and former FT Washington bureau chief (2006-11), is titled, “Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent.”

America, he says, is sleepwalking into economic and geopolitical decline.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2012/05/29/Commentary-Alarm-bells-in-the-US/UPI-42381338299783/#ixzz1wIdSUlVl

U.S. military developing miniature drones that resemble birds and insects

By Wichaar Desk

The U.S. military is developing these. innocent-looking devices that are actually some of the most sophisticated drones on the planet. They resemble children’s toys that are left disgarded in closets around the world.

The U.S. Air Force is developing the miniature spy craft with the goal of making them so small that they resemble birds and even insects.

Some even have moving wings that military chiefs hope will look so convincing that people won’t pay them any attention.

The Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are being developed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

The base’s Air Force Research Laboratory mission is to develop MAVs that can find, track and target adversaries while operating in complex urban environments.

The engineers, led by Dr Gregory Parker, are using a variety of small helicopters and drones in the lab to develop the programs and software.

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The coming disaster in Pakistan? beheadings in Waziristan show balance of power

Blowback from Afghanistan?

By Omar

Khalid Ahmed’s latest attempt at figuring out what happens after Uncle Sam leaves. 

I think Khalid may be overly pessimistic. Perhaps in an effort to raise awareness and prevent the outcome he predicts?

The writ of the state is indeed getting weaker and does not really exist in some areas (as in this case, where the local Taliban beheaded two soldiers and hung their heads from utility poles in the city…under the noses of the army) but even after Imran Khan fails, there may be another “last chance”.  We have not yet scraped the bottom of the barrel. For example, we have not yet begged the US for help, submitted to a strip search and publicly switched sides. We have not yet begged India for help and “given up” Kashmir in return. We have not yet handed over the Northern areas to China. We have not yet offered to sell the nukes. We have not yet offered to create Khalistan in Pakistani Punjab and Karachi in exchange for restoration of law and order by Ranjit Singh the second (“saanhoon port nahin chahidee” ..dont we need a port? actual answer by a Khalistani netizen to question about why his map of Khalistan showed Karachi as part of Khalistan). There is a long way to go before we hit bottom.

In any case, Uncle Sam is not done yet.  ”There are levels of survival we are willing to accept”. (at 6 minute point in this load of bullcrap)

And then there is this: female staff of NGOs face forced marriage to militants. The glorious days of yore are indeed about to come back in Kohistan.

Seriously, I too think the pressure for a deal with the Jihadis (with imposition of so-called Islamic law all over Pakistan) will become greater once Uncle Sam leaves, but I dont see him leaving anytime soon, so I think the present mess will continue in various forms for the foreseeable future. There may even be a temporary improvement in appearances when GHQ finally brings in their next “undertaker” regime. Or brings in Imran Khan, same thing.  Or we may stumble along under Zardari sahib for longer than anyone could possibly have imagined 5 years ago…the main reason I hesitate to bet on Zardari is that no one can survive with Rahman Malik as interior minister for more than 5 years. Its against all the known laws of nature.

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BBC – Enormous frustration in Washington regarding Pakistan which is now seen by many in the US Congress and the military as an enemy rather than a friend.

Afghan end game sees Pakistan ‘paralysed’ by US rift

Since US forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan a year ago, relations between the two countries have never recovered. Writer Ahmed Rashid looks at a relationship in crisis as US troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.

The continuing breakdown in co-operation between the US and Pakistan is having a hugely detrimental effect on US and Nato resolve to withdraw from Afghanistan while trying to remain committed to the region’s stability.

Although the US has much to answer for in terms of mistakes made, the refusal of the Pakistani leadership – both military and civilian – to take responsibility and ownership for desperately needed decisions, is leading the country into a terrible sense of drift and despair.

The recent visit to Islamabad by a high-level US delegation, consisting of officials from the defence and state departments, the CIA, the White House, and led by US special envoy Marc Grossman failed to elicit any major breakthrough in resolving any of the major outstanding issues which could lead to improving relations.

Drone attacks

Pakistan insists on a US apology for the killing of 24 of its soldiers last November by US helicopters on the Afghan border – yet when a US apology was on the cards a few months ago, Pakistani officials declined to meet their US counterparts.

Pakistan also insists on an end to drone strikes which the US refuses to agree to.

Both sides have tried to explore different scenarios for co-operation so that drone attacks can continue.

If a co-operation mechanism can be found, the US wants Pakistan to be more transparent about drone attacks because Pakistani interests are also served when drones kill leading members of the Pakistani Taliban.

US officials say their own lack of transparency over drones was dictated by former President Pervez Musharraf who insisted that they never be admitted to, even though drones took off from Pakistani bases until last year.

Also stuck is the reopening of the road that is used to take supplies from the port of Karachi to Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The road should have reopened nearly a month ago after approval from Pakistan’s parliament, but threats by Islamic extremist groups to burn trucks and convoys of goods have played a part in the delay.

The US has already indicated that it is willing to pay generously for use of the road.

The talks were made more complicated by the Obama administration now refusing to issue an apology and US charges that Pakistan allowed the Haqqani group to launch the multiple suicide attacks on Kabul and other Afghan cities on 15 April.

‘Window on the West’

There is enormous frustration in Washington regarding Pakistan which is now seen by many in the US Congress and the military as an enemy rather than a friend.

Many leading Americans consider that Pakistan should cease being important for the US, or should no longer be considered an ally when the US gets over the 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Pakistan is doing little to stop this drift in negative opinion growing in the US.

Gone are the early days of the Obama administration when major efforts were made to woo Pakistan.

Now what Pakistan may lose as a US ally in the region, India will gain – something that should be worrying for the Pakistani ruling elite.

The failure of Pakistan to rebuild ties with the US is rooted in actual incidents, anger and real disputes.

But it is also down to the inability of the government or the military to make decisions that need to be taken collectively to preserve the state of relations with a powerful country which has acted in the past as Pakistan’s window to the West – especially in terms of loans, aid and business and exports.

Internal conflict

There has been an unprecedented growth in violence from north to south involving sectarian, ethnic, militant Islamic, criminal and other heavily armed groups which the government appears helpless to stop.

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US government says terrorists could be in last stages of planning an attack in Kenya

By Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya — The U.S. government is warning that a terror attack on prominent government buildings and hotels in Kenya’s capital could be imminent.

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya said Monday the timing of the attack is not known but they believe it to be in its final planning stages. They did not give further details.

The embassy urged Americans to be vigilant.

Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants from neighboring Somalia have vowed to carry out an attack on Kenya for sending troops into Somalia.

Kenya sent hundreds of troops into Somalia in October last year following a wave of kidnappings, including those of four Europeans on Kenyan soil, blamed on al-Shabab.

Courtesy: The Washington Post

 

US drone strike kills 24 al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen

By AFP

ADEN: Air strikes have killed 24 Al-Qaeda suspects in their strongholds in the country’s south and east, the defence ministry and a tribal chief said on Sunday.

A Yemeni air raid late on Saturday killed “16 terrorists belonging to Al-Qaeda network in Kud near Zinjibar,” the extremists’ stronghold in the south, the defence ministry news website 26sep.net reported.

Meanwhile, a tribal chief told AFP a US drone killed eight Al-Qaeda suspects when it fired a missile at their vehicle in the eastern province of Shabwa on Saturday, a tribal chief told AFP.

“Al-Qaeda militants were aboard a vehicle on their way from Shabwa to (nearby) Marib province when a US drone fired a missile at their vehicle, killing them all,” the source said.

He said the suspected militants, killed late on Saturday, were five Yemenis and three Arab foreigners.

“US spy planes were also flying over several areas in Shabwa, especially those which are Al-Qaeda strongholds — Rawdah, Huta, and Azzan,” said the source.

The United States, which says the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is the most active branch of the global terror network, has long made Yemen a major focus of its “war on terror.”

Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, the self-proclaimed Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) has exploited a decline in central government control that accompanied Arab Spring-inspired protests that eventually forced president Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power.

Suicide attacks targetting security forces have intensified since Saleh’s successor, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, took office in February and vowed to continue the fight against Al-Qaeda.

Security forces have also been locked in battles with the Partisans of Sharia in Abyan’s provincial capital, Zinjibar, since the extremists took over the city in May 2011.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

http://dawn.com/2012/04/08/us-drone-strike-kills-eight-al-qaeda-suspects-in-yemen/

US-Pak: how bad can it get? Worse. Maybe much worse.

U.S.-Pakistan Relationship Hits New Low

By: Walter Russell Mead’s Blog

The U.S.-Pakistan relationship is fraught in the best of times, but we may be approaching a new low. Pakistani politicians of all stripes have united in denouncing the $10 million dollar U.S. bounty on Hafiz Saeed, the man behind the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, who is currently living openly in Pakistan. Pakistan’s refusal to cooperate in turning over Saeed is the latest sign that the already chilly U.S.-Pakistan relationship is beginning to freeze over.

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Someone donates heart to Dick Cheney.

Dick Cheney recovering at hospital after heart transplant

By NBC News

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering Saturday at a Virginia hospital after receiving a heart transplant, his office said.

Cheney was in the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, his office said.

Cheney, 71, who served as vice president in the George W. Bush administration, has had a long history of heart trouble and has been on the cardiac transplant list for more than 20 months.

“Although the former Vice President and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift,” aide Kara Ahern said in a written statement that was authenticated by several close associates of the former vice president. ….

Read more » msnbc

Is America on the Verge of Theocracy? 4 Fundamentalist Ideologies Threatening U.S. Liberty

Extremists shape American politics to unabashedly pursue legislative policies that favor the rich and punish the poor.

Americans seem confident in the mythical notion that the United States is a free nation dedicated to reproducing the principles of equality, justice and democracy. What has been ignored in this delusional view is the growing rise of an expanded national security state since 2001 and an attack on individual rights that suggests that the United States has more in common with authoritarian regimes like China and Iran “than anyone may like to admit.” I want to address this seemingly untenable notion that the United States has become a breeding ground for authoritarianism by focusing on four fundamentalisms: market fundamentalism, religious fundamentalism, educational fundamentalism and military fundamentalism. This is far from a exhaustive list, but it does raise serious questions about how the claim to democracy in the United States has been severely damaged, if not made impossible.

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WHY BHANBHORE NEGLECTED BY SINDH GOVERNMENT

By Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Sindh

On 1st Aug 2010, my friend and his younger brother a USA California citizen visited Bhambhore for sight seeing and knowing the culture and civilization of old Sindh prevalent before the conquer by the army under the Arab conqueror Muhammad Bin Qasim in 712 AC.We first purchased three Tickets or entry slips for Rs 10 each and then met the In charge Deputy Director of this project. He was nice man who provided and guided us well and then asked his two staff members to help and provide us full guidance and knowledge on the whole site of the Bhanbhore area.The site is situated on the northern Bank of the Gharo about 60 Kms east of Karachi on the Indus highway to Thatto.In March 1958, the site was excavated and continued yearly for about four months each winter for a number of years till a complete picture of the site of the ancient settlement revealed in 1965.The site conceals the remains of a settlement of considerable size. It is divided into two parts viz a well-fortified citadel area measuring over 2000 feet from east to west and 1200 feet from north to south and another unwalled city extending over a large area on the north and east round an ancient lake including an industrial area and an ancient graveyard on its outskirts. It is on the mouth of old channel of mighty Indus, the site is ideally situated to have been an inland port of some importance. Some archaeological Scholars and historians have suggested its identification with DEBAL, the famous port which fell to the Arab worrior providing it after success of Muslim army as the gate way to Islam for the whole Pakistan and India sub-continent and then spread towards all the eastern and far eastern countries. We were astonished to observe that no attention has been given by the Governments of Pakistan and Sindh to convert this area as sight seeing and make it an abode and frequent visits of foreigners so that by their visits, our country and Sindh Government earn a huge amount of foreign exchange and other services.Their is need of new residential and industrial areas for increasing the employment of local unemployed people. Secondly, a good number of hotels and restaurants may be built up so that visitors can get lodging and boarding facilities etc.

American Marxism as a guide to action:

Marxist political advice and its discontents

By Omar Ali

Professor Vijay Prashad  is the George and Martha Kellner professor of history at Trinity college. He is also a prominent left wing activist. The two roles have different requirements. Here he tries to bridge the gap. 

Someone had commented on 3quarksdaily.com that this is “Another bucketload of gormless Marxist verbiage around a central anti-semitic core: forget the mountains of corpses and the decades of torture and oppression – Assad’s main crime is defined as “neoliberalism … and a practice of accommodation with both the US and Israel.”

That triggered the following comment (i have edited the original slightly for clarity)  from me: The real problem with neomarxist verbiage is not double standards or selective outrage, its the unbridgeable gap between being a professor and being an actor on the ground in a civil war in a faraway country.
Vijay Prashad as a professor in a first world University may eventually contribute to changing the way X or Y issue is framed in the mind of the elite, and that in turn will eventually have some impact somewhere in actual daily politics and political struggles but those are big “eventually-s”. Some professors are OK with that and focus on doing their research and writing their books and teaching their students in the hope that their analysis will eventually “trickle down”. But that (for obvious reasons) is not very satisfying for most of us. Hence the need to suggest practical courses of action in today’s clash, to pick sides, to “organize a relief column”. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your estimate of said professor’s wisdom and insight) this aspect of a professor’s work has near-zero real world relevance.
I don’t know how to fix this problem, but it does seem to be a real problem. Most right wingers are almost by definition closer to the ruling elites so maybe they dont feel the pain as much, but left wing professors are in a painful bind here..to have no opinion on proximate politics and wars seems silly, but to have an opinion that arises logically from their theoretical framework is frequently sillier, and any honest and good man may end up in Professor Prashad’s position. Its a real dilemma.

In an attempt to pre-empt misunderstandings, let me add:

1. My question is not about the details of his analysis.

2. Its about this scenario. Lets say Vijay is Vladimir Lenin. Well, in that case he is not only a theoretician (though he would like to believe that his superior understanding of theory informs his practice), he is an organizer, a rebel, a leader, a politician with day to day decision to make. Very fine nuances and very involved calculations will come into play. Many of those calculations will be very cynical. All of them will be locally bound by existing circumstances. Theory will have to give way again and again. But Vijay (probably not even in his own mind, but I don’t know him personally, so I cannot say for sure) is not Lenin. He is a professor. He does research, he writes books. He has theories. And he is part of a broader left wing academic current that has its own internal dynamics very far from the ground in Syria. I am saying I don’t expect him to say things that are too useful as guides to action.
3. What do you think?

Courtesy: Brown Pundits

Pakistani Pleads Guilty in Key Guantanamo Case

By AFP

US NAVAL BASE AT GUANTANAMO BAY: Pakistani national Majid Khan pleaded guilty Wednesday at a Guantanamo military tribunal in a landmark case that could speed the trials of September 11 suspects.

Majid Khan, 32, a protege of September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, murder and attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, and to material support for terrorism and espionage.

Dressed in a dark suit and pink tie, he spoke in English without an interpreter in delivering his plea.

Khan, who has spent the last nine years behind bars, faced possible life in prison but is expected to receive a reduced sentence as part of a plea agreement.

In exchange for the lighter sentence, he will testify against other “high value” detainees, including Mohammed and four others alleged to have taken part in the 2001 attacks.

Many of the terms of the plea agreement remain classified. The Washington Post reported that the military plans to delay Khan’s sentencing for four years to ensure he complies with the agreement.

“It’s part of a strategy of building more solid cases against the handful of defendants that the government plans to try before the commissions,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer who has represented other Guantanamo detainees.

More than 10 years after the September 11 attacks, Mohammed and four co-defendants accused of plotting them are still awaiting trial at the prison, part of a US naval base in Cuba.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

 

No justification to detain Dr Shakil: Clinton

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Pakistan has no justification for holding Dr Shakil Afridi, who had a role in the CIA operation to hunt down Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad.

This she said while addressing US Congress Committee. Hillary Clinton said Dr Shakil Afridi provided key information to US before the Abbotabad operation, adding that he served for the interest of both Pakistan and the US.

Clinton said Pakistan has no basis for detaining Dr Shakil.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-37643-No-justification-to-detain-Dr-Shakil–

DAWN – Hameed Gul a complimentary member of US intelligence

Hamid Gul a complimentary member of Stratfor, says report

KARACHI: Former spy chief of Pakistan General Hamid Gul was reportedly a member of the US intelligence firm Stratfor, it emerged on Wednesday.

A report published in the Indian daily Times of India says that approximately five million emails of the Texas-based think tank were revealed by WikiLeaks.

“Whereas seemingly large numbers of Stratfor’s subscribers and clients work in the US military and intelligence agencies, Stratfor gave complimentary membership to General Hamid Gul, the controversial former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack on international forces in Afghanistan in 2006,” the report said. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM