Tuesday, December 4, 2012
AL ARABIYA NEWS
Egyptian police have fired tear gas at opposition protesters demonstrating against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's drive to hold a snap referendum on a controversial draft charter, as the country plunges deeper into crisis. Live television footage showed that some protesters broke through police lines and got too close to the presidential palace. Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo said: "We saw thousand of people surrounding the palace on all four corners, outnumbering the police and getting close to the presidential walls." "Opposition has announced there's going to be a sit-in outside the palace," she said. "The message coming out of here is that the president has failed to prove to Egyptians that he is the president of all of Egypt, as opposed to a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood group." She said "Morsi is preparing for the referendum, he is under a lot of pressure from the opposition, but he does not seemed to be phased by the protests". Thousands had taken to the streets waving Egyptian flags, chanting for the downfall of the president and denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi emerged, for having "sold the revolution" that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year. The strikes were part of a planned campaign of civil disobedience that could bring in other industries. 'Stand up to tyranny' Also on Tuesday, at least eight influential daily newspapers, a mix of opposition party mouthpieces and independent publications, suspended publication for a day to protest against what many journalists see as the restrictions on freedom of expression in the draft constitution. The move, according to independent daily Al-Tahrir, was aimed at "standing up to tyranny". The country's privately owned TV networks are planned their own protest on Wednesday, when they will blacken their screens all day. A November 22 decree issued by Morsi expanding his powers and enabling him to put to a mid-December referendum a draft constitution rejected by liberals has sparked strikes and deadly protests. The charter has become the focal point of a political and ideological battle in Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamic allies and the largely secular-leaning opposition. "The country is deeply divided over Morsi's legitimacy, the opposition are saying they are not against his election which was legitimate, but his actions and decrees are not legitimate," said our reporter. Morsi's decision has not only placed his decisions beyond judicial oversight but also barred any judicial body from dissolving the panel that drafted and approved the new constitution, sparking a conflict with the country's judges. As he faces his worst crisis since taking office in June, Morsi insists the measures are aimed at ending a tumultuous transition following the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak in early 2011. But his opponents have accused him of choosing the same path of autocracy that finally cost Mubarak his presidency. The decision to go to a referendum on December 15 caused further upheaval, including within the judiciary itself. On Monday, the Supreme Judicial Council said it would ensure judicial supervision of the referendum, despite calls for a boycott by some of their colleagues, including the influential Judges Club, an association that represents judges nationwide.
By Karen Angela Ellis
As a Christian woman, when I think of the social conditions that were in place when Christ walked the earth, I am forced to see how little a young girl’s plight has changed in many areas of the world. Centuries may have passed, but the fundamental flaws in our human character remain the same, and they are often unavoidably woven into the fabric of our societies, both free and restricted.
This year's Ashura in Pakistan signified a continuation of the country's spiral into self-destructive communal violence.
One in five U.S. adults shows signs of chronic sleep deprivation, and a shortage of sleep has been linked to health problems as different as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies have found some interesting connections between illness and what is happening in our brains as we snooze.
http://www.telegraph.co.ukThe New York Times said that the mayor was not entirely happy with the calibre of candidates competing to replace him and thought the Secretary of State, who has announced her intention to retire soon, would be the ideal replacement. Mr Bloomberg, founder of the eponymous data services firm and the 10th richest person in the US, must stand down at the end of next year after 12 years. Mrs Clinton is a former senator for New York, but her fellow Democrats in the city said the idea of her seeking office there struck them as improbable, whether or not she mounts a second run for the White House in 2016, which has been heavily rumoured. “As much as anything, they said, Mr Bloomberg’s encouragement seemed to reflect his lofty view of the office — and himself,” the New York Times said. “He is looking for somebody he can feel comfortable handing the reins over to,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York City political operative who worked on Mr. Bloomberg’s last campaign.
In the latest incident of persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan, a group of armed men belonging to a hardline sect vandalised 120 graves at an Ahmadi cemetery, and assaulted a security guard and a gravedigger in the capital of Punjab province Lahore, members of the Ahmadi community said on Monday. The group of about 15 armed men, who reportedly belonged to the Deobandi sect, entered the Ahmadi graveyard at Model Town in Lahore at 10 pm on Sunday and severely beat up the security guard and gravedigger. The men, who were armed with pistols, then smashed or removed the headstones of about 120 graves before they left the cemetery. The men told those present in the cemetery that Ahmadis could not have Quranic inscriptions on their headstones as they were “not Muslims”. The two injured men were later taken to a nearby private hospital. Police went to the cemetery only on Monday morning to carry out an investigation, members of the minority Ahmadi community said. However, police have not yet registered a case. Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya spokesman Salimuddin condemned the act and said such incidents had made Ahmadis vulnerable across Pakistan. He demanded a speedy investigation of the incident and action against those responsible. This is the third incident this year of Ahmadi graveyards being vandalised by members of hardline groups. Earlier, cemeteries in Hafizabad and Jeranwala districts of Punjab were targeted. Deobandi clerics are of the view that Ahmadis are non-Muslims and the headstones of their graves should not have Quranic inscriptions or Islamic prayers. In the past, clerics removed the headstones or blackened them with paint at several places in Punjab, which is Pakistan’s most populous province. Leaders of the Ahmadi community said a 1992 ruling by the Supreme Court had allowed them to inscribe some Quranic verses on their graves. This year, police had removed Quranic inscriptions from several Ahmadi mosques and shops run by members of the community after receiving complaints from the public. Pakistan’s Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims but were declared non-Muslims through a constitutional amendment in 1974. A decade later, they were barred from proselytising or identifying themselves as Muslims. Some 1.5 million Ahmadis live across the country.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened to expel Afghan refugees and migrant workers in response to Afghanistan's signing a strategic security pact with the United States. Some 190,000 Afghan refugees have been forced out of Iran so far this year, and hundreds more are being expelled each day.
THE TIMES OF INDIALashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed has criticized foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar for promising to take action against him if India provides evidence, saying the Pakistan government had been unable to resolve outstanding issues like the Kashmir issue. Saeed, named by India as the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, claimed that evidence against him provided by India had been "dismissed" by Pakistani courts. In the four years since the attacks in Mumbai, India "has been unable to provide any evidence against me in connection with the case. The documents provided by India as evidence could not stand in court and were dismissed by Lahore HC as propaganda. A similar case was also made by the SC," Saeed told the Urdu newspaper Ummat. who now heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, was placed under house arrest for less than six months after the UN Security Council declared the JuD a front for the LeT in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks in November 2008. He was freed on the orders of the Lahore HC. The LeT founder was subsequently detained for incidents that occurred in Pakistan but let off again.
Workers provide evidence of exploitation and harsh work conditions at a national tribunal.
The Express Tribune