The body overseeing Egypt's presidential election disqualified 10 candidates from the race on Saturday, including the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat al-Shater, former spy chief Omar Suleiman and ultra orthodox Salafi sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail.
Farouk Sultan, head of the presidential election commission, told Reuters the disqualified candidates had 48 hours to appeal against its decision. He declined to give details on the reasons for their disqualification.
The army doesn't like the Brotherhood candidates, and decided to nail Suleiman only to let him win his appeal? Thus getting rid of the Islamicists that would spoil the boodle for the army while letting Suleiman demonstrate his 'independence' from the military?
The disqualification of some of the leading candidates would redraw the electoral map with just weeks to go before the May vote that decides who will replace Hosni Mubarak as head of the Arab world's most populous country.
A council of military generals has been governing Egypt since Mubarak was swept from power a year ago in a popular uprising against his rule.
Abu Ismail's candidacy has been in doubt since the election commission said it had received notification from US authorities that his late mother had an American passport, a status that would disqualify him from the race.
Abu Ismail followers have held several demonstrations to warn against any move to disqualify their candidate. On Friday they besieged the headquarters of the election commission, forcing it to evacuate the premises. His lawyer, Nizar Ghorab, told Reuters he expected "a major crisis to happen in the next few hours."
Was he looking at his watch when he said that?
A spokesman for the Shater campaign said their candidate had already prepared his appeal. Shater's candidacy had been in doubt because of a former criminal conviction.
"We will not give up our right to enter the presidential race," said Murad Muhammed Ali. "There is an attempt by the old Mubarak regime to hijack the last stage of this transitional period and reproduce the old system of governance."
Suleiman, appointed deputy president by Mubarak in his last days in power, entered the presidential race at last moment, triggering both concern and heavy criticism from reformists who see him as a symbol of Mubarak's rule and a danger to democracy.
Hussein Kamal, a top Suleiman aide, told Reuters his campaign would also challenge the commission's decision. "Omar Suleiman will take legal route to challenge this decision to exclude him from the presidential race," he told Reuters.
A new study has found that almost half of Pak students applying to come to Britannia to further their studies are incapable of speaking English.
The study carried out last month by the National Audit Office (NAO) also found that a flawed immigration crackdown may have allowed up to 50,000 bogus students into Britannia.
The NAO estimated that around one in six of student visas granted went to workers whose intention was to take jobs.
Border officials conducting face-to-face interviews for student visas found that more than 40 percent of the applicants should be blocked for poor language skills.
But under the current form-filling visa system, just 20 percent of those from Pakistain are turned away.
Home Secretary Theresa May will now order that every person in Pakistain applying to study in Britannia will have to be interviewed first.
Every Pak student wanting to come to Britannia will face tough new tests after a pilot scheme found that as many as four in ten applicants may be bogus, according to the study.
Home Office figures have revealed that thousands of student visa applicants cannot speak English, despite claiming they want to study in the UK.
The Home Secretary has now decreed that anyone wanting to come to study in Britannia from Pakistain must be interviewed by border agency officials before a visa is granted.
An estimated 10,000 students apply to come to the country from Pakistain every year.
Whitehall sources said that in 2006 12 percent of visa applicants were interviewed, but by 2009 this had fallen to just one percent.
Students make up two-thirds of the migrants coming to the UK from outside the EU.
The coalition has already barred more than 11,000 foreign students from entering Britannia after their college courses were exposed as bogus.
One in every five colleges - more than 450 in total - offering places to overseas students have lost their licenses, and have been banned from bringing any non-EU students into the UK.
A pilot of the new "culpability test" of interviews was carried out in Pakistain last year.
It was followed up by similar tests in 14 locations across the world. Between December 2011 and February 2012, more than 2,300 student visa applicants were interviewed by officials.
Some 38 percent were deemed bogus in Bangladesh, 27 percent in Sri Lanka, 29 percent in India and 28 percent in Egypt. Campaign group Migration Watch heralded the findings as a victory for its three-year call to re-introduce interviews for all overseas students.
Last week we were supposed to post an analysis of a Mexican general who could be the next top commander in the Mexican Army. Due to circumstances that story won't be presented until we can find a suitable news peg.
Human rights organizations have lauded the Mexican senate for advancing military justice reforms this week to make crimes committed by soldiers against civilians prosecutable by civilian courts.
However, those very reforms were among those suggested last fall by Mexican president Felipe Calderon Hinojosa in anticipation of a far greater reform in national security law, which languishes in the legislative process.
Human rights organizations may wind up getting what they asked for. And so could Calderon.
Reliving a Day of Tragedy Will Test Survivors; Many Fear Courtroom Will Give Breivik a Platform for His Extremist Views.
Nine months after a lone gunman killed 77 people and injured hundreds with an unprecedented shooting spree and a car boom, Norway faces a new trauma: his trial.
Anders Behring Breivik, 33 years old, has admitted his deeds, but said they were justified because he is at war with Islam and what he described as "multiculturalism." Many in Norway fear that the trial--the biggest in Norway since those of Nazi collaborators after World War II--will give him a platform to spread such views.
At the core of the trial, scheduled to last 10 weeks, is whether the massacre was carried out by a madman or by someone representing growing political rumblings over Norway's increased openness to immigrants. Try musclehead and meth head
[An Nahar] A Lebanese-Canadian university professor accused of a 1980 bombing of a Gay Paree synagogue that killed four people will appeal an order to extradite him to La Belle France, his lawyer said Friday.
Canada's justice minister on April 4 signed an order to send Hassan Diab to La Belle France after a Canadian court in June 2011 approved his extradition despite its concerns the case is "weak."
"We don't want your kind round here no more, eh!"
The sociologist at the University of Ottawa denies any involvement in the first fatal attack against the French Jewish community since the Nazi occupation in World War II.
His lawyer Donald Bayne said Attorney General Rob Nicholson's decision was made in the face of "shocking new information that La Belle France is not prepared to put Hassan Diab on trial, but is only seeking him for questioning."
French officials confirmed no charges have been laid, yet.
Both sides left open the possibility that Diab would be formally charged upon his return to La Belle France.
Bayne also said some of the evidence in the case was obtained from Syrian intelligence services through torture, and thus questioned its reliability.
The lawyer said he would appeal the minister's order. It will be heard by year's end, at the same time as another appeal of the evidence presented at Diab's extradition hearing.
"We simply cannot be sending Canadians around the world so foreign regimes can investigate them," Bayne said. "Either there's a case against them or there isn't."
"Canada is alone in doing this and Canada has never done this before."
Canada used to be ruled by those left-wing types, but now Prime Minister Harper is running things. All sorts of new things are being done.
Diab himself told a presser, "I'm very disappointed that the minister of justice has allowed this travesty to go on."
"It's a grave injustice to extradite me for a crime that the evidence shows I did not commit."
"I would like to go back to teaching and resume my life... and not languish without charges in a French jail."
Diab stressed that he does not support terrorism and is "not an anti-Semite."
Furthermore, he said he wishes to cooperate with the French investigation and answer "any questions," but from home. His lawyer said police have not responded to the offer.
Diab, a Canadian of Lebanese descent, was placed in long-term storage in an Ottawa suburb in November 2008 following a request from French prosecutors.
La Belle France alleges Diab was a member of a Paleostinian bad turban group believed to have planted a bomb in a cycle of violence saddlebag outside the Copernic Street synagogue in the posh 16th arrondissement of Gay Paree on October 3, 1980.
The blast killed three Frenchies and a young Israeli woman, and injured dozens.
[Dawn] Showing deep resentment at 'illegal' detention of a person for over 38 months, the Beautiful Downtown Peshawar High Court on Thursday asked the General Headquarters (GHQ) and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) director general to form a high-powered team to check widespread illegal activities of ISI and other agencies in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... and adjoining Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Mian Fasihul Mulk observed: "It is more than essential to bring these agencies under control and discipline and their work is fully channelised as none will be permitted to act in this illegal manner in future and if any one defy and violate the law he should be tried by a court martial under the Army Act."
The bench also summoned the sector in charge of ISI and the inspector general of prisons in some missing person cases.
It, especially the chief justice, expressed anger after a former detainee, Mir Mohammad Arshad, informed that he was kept in a basement for 38 months after he was interrogated only for three days. He informed that during his captivity his old mother could not sustain his disappearance and had died.
The chief justice asked: "Who will compensate him and his family who has undergone agonising period of 38 months is a big question mark for the army leadership?"
The bench observed that instead of taking action directly it would leave the matter to ISI DG and GHQ to constitute a high-powered team to check activities of ISI and other agencies.
"This court expects Pakistain Army, which has rendered great sacrifices for this country, to step into this matter quickly to regain what they have lost due to illegal acts of agencies," it said.
...who has been singing like a bird about all the little friends he made while indulging in jihad...
is listed as a potential witness at the trial of Adis Madunjanin. Opening statements are set for Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.
Medunjanin has pleaded not guilty "Wudn't me." to charges he conspired with two childhood friends from Queens to suicide bomb Manhattan subway lines in 2009. Prosecutors say the three had gone to Pakistain together in 2008 to get terror training from al-Qaeda.
Vinas, 29, who's from Long Island, was captured in Pakistain in 2008. He isn't charged in the subway plot, but could be called to the witness stand to testify about the inner-workings of al-Qaeda.
[Dawn] Difa-e-Pakistain Council on Thursday announced not to let food for Afghanistan-based NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization.... forces pass through Pakistain, saying the reopening of the supply route will mean accepting the US supremacy.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... chief Professor Mohammad Ibrahim at Al-Markaz-e-Islami here, DPC chairman and JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq said conditional restoration of NATO supply was meant to accept conditional slavery of Americans and that was unacceptable to the nation.
He said the council's April 15 public meeting had a great significance as it would be a warning to the pro-US people in Pakistain.
Mr Haq regretted that the NATO supply continued during Musharraf regime and the current government was giving it a legal shape through parliament's consent. He said parliament had no authority to compromise national interests.
"We will stop NATO supply and in case any mishap happens, the entire responsibility will be with the government as Americans on the pretext of provision of protection to its supply will try to push its forces into Pakistain," he said.
Mr Haq said supply of foodstuff to Americans in Afghanistan was un-Islamic as they would consume liquor and pork and kill Moslems for no fault of theirs and that was why DPC was opposed to such food's passage through Pakistain.
JI leader Professor Ibrahim said his party would fully support the April 15 public meeting of DPC as it would an effective step towards ridding Pakistain of the US slavery. He asked the government to withdraw the decision to restore NATO supply to prevent people's agitation. JI provincial general secretary Shabbir Ahmad Khan, former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly deputy speaker Ikramullah Shahid, Maulana Yousaf Shah, Israrullah Advocate, Najam Khan Advocate and Abdul Haseem Haqqani also attended the news conference.
[Dawn] More than 181,000 people have decamped fighting between government troops and Taliban or al Qaeda-linked forces of Evil in northwest Pakistain, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.
"The number of people displaced by an ongoing government security operation in northwest Pakistain has now surpassed 181,000," said a statement from the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The agency said that about 10,000 new arrivals were being registered daily by officials at the Jalozai camp near the city of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... province.
"The vast majority of those registered --85 per cent --choose not live in the Jalozai camp, opting instead to stay with friends, relatives or in rented accommodation," said the UNHCR.
The body said it had distributed more than 37,000 humanitarian kits and other UN agencies, including Unicef and the World Health Organisation (WHO), were also providing aid.
The fighting started on January 20 when government troops attacked krazed killer groups in the Khyber region.
[Dawn] Pakistain will deport the widows and children of former al Qaeda leader the late Osama bin Laden ... who went titzup one dark and stormy night... to Soddy Arabia next week after their jail sentence for illegal residency ends, their lawyer said on Friday.
The three women and two children were jugged by Pak security forces after a secret US special forces raid killed bin Laden in the Pak town of Abbottabad ... A pleasant city located only 30 convenient miles from Islamabad. The city is noted for its nice weather and good schools. It is the site of Pakistain's military academy, which was within comfortable walking distance of the residence of the late Osama bin Laden.... in May last year.
Earlier this month a Pak court sentenced the women to 45 days in prison for illegally staying in the country. It ordered their deportation after the prison term which began on March 3 when they were formally placed in durance vile.
"They are likely to be deported to Soddy Arabia on April 18, as their sentence ends on April 17," the family's lawyer, Aamir Khalil, told Rooters.
The three widows and the children were among the 16 people jugged after the US raid. Two of the wives are Saudi nationals, and one is from Yemen.
The family is being held at a house in the Pak capital Islamabad.
Analysts had said Pakistain may have preferred a lengthy prison sentence for the family to prevent them from discussing details of their time in the country.
Once outside Pakistain, bin Laden's relatives could reveal details about how the world's most wanted man was able to hide in US ally Pakistain for years, possibly assisted by elements of the country's powerful military and spy agency.
[Dawn] Thousands of Shia Mohammedans rallied across Pakistain on Friday to protest against sectarian violence and demand the government to provide security for their community.
At least 14 people were killed and more than 50 maimed in sectarian violence in northern Pakistain on April 3, prompting the government to deploy troops and impose a curfew in the northern towns of Gilgit and Chilas.
Around 2,500 people staged a sit-in outside the parliament building in Islamabad on Friday, an AFP photographer said, a demonstration organised by the Majlis-e-Wahdatul Mohammedaneen (MWM), a Shia religious party.
Rallies were also held in the central city of Multan, Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistain-administered Kashmire, and the southwestern city of Quetta where protestors called for action against those involved in killing Shias.
Human rights groups have heavily criticised the government for failing to crack down on sectarian violence between the country's majority Sunni and minority Shia Mohammedan communities that has killed thousands.
[An Nahar] Al-Qaeda front organization, the Islamic State of Iraq, said on Friday that it carried out a jail breakout in which 19 prisoners beat feet in late March, in a statement on jihadists sites on Friday.
The group said that its members were able "to drug the guards responsible for monitoring the prisoners at night... and then open a hole in the wall of one of the cells".
"Nineteen mujahedeen (holy warrior) prisoners succeeded in leaving, among them some who were sentenced to death by the Safavid judiciary," it said, using a derogatory term for Shiites derived from the name of the Safavid dynasty, which ruled what is now Iran from the 16th to 18th centuries.
The prisoners beat feet early on March 23, according to a security official who said that the escapees included members of al-Qaeda and the Ansar al-Sunna Death Eater group.
The group apparently drugged guards and fellow inmates using narcotic-laced dates that put them to sleep before breaking out of al-Tasfirat prison in the northern oil hub of Kirkuk.
Of the 19, two were sentenced to death, while 17 faced various accusations including murder.
AFP - The head of Iraq's electoral commission and another of its members have been jugged on suspicion of misusing state funds, a statement released on Friday by the country's Higher Judicial Council said.
"The decision to detain Faraj al-Haidari and Karim al-Tamimi was based on (them paying) real estate registration employees to register pieces of land for them, from the budget of the electoral commission," Abdelsattar Bayraqdar, the front man for the Higher Judicial Council, said in the statement.
Haidari heads the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), of which Tamimi is a member.
The charge of using state funds for personal benefit carries a prison term of up to seven years, the statement said, adding that the two were placed in long-term storage so the investigation could be completed.
Judge Qassem Abboudi, also a member of the IHEC, had earlier told AFP that Haidari and Tamimi were placed in long-term storage on Thursday for paying a bonus of 150,000 dinars ($130) to an employee.
Karima al-Assadi, a spokeswoman for IHEC, said that "an investigation of the integrity commission (Iraq's anti-corruption watchdog) is under way within the electoral commission."
Asked about the matter, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's front man Ali Mussawi said only that "it is a judicial issue related to the integrity commission and the judiciary."
There is bad blood between Haidari, a 64-year-old Shiite Kurd, and Maliki's State of Law list over the former's refusal to carry out a national recount after 2010 parliamentary polls, in which the premier's list came second to rival Iyad Allawi ... Iraqi politician, interim Prime Minister prior to Iraq's 2005 legislative elections. A former Ba'athist, Allawi helped found the Iraqi National Accord, which today is an active political party. He survived liquidation attempts in 1978, in 2004, and on April 20, 2005. One of these days he won't... 's Iraqiya list.
Haidari recounted the votes only in Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... province.
The State of Law list sought a no-confidence vote on Haidari for alleged corruption, but failed because other parties opposed the move.
From a tiny studio in southern Tel Aviv, a group of Iranian-Israelis beam music and news in a effort to reach out to their former fellow countrymen. Farsi-language web broadcaster, Radio RadisIN is based in a small shopping center on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. It was set up three years ago to encourage a sense of unity among the 300,000 Israelis of Iranian descent.
But it also has another, perhaps more important mission: to send news and views from Israel directly to Iranians living in the Islamic Republic and around the world. Broadcaster Kami Itzhakyan said, "Our goal is for Iranians to really know what is happening here in Israel, and also at home. The Tehran regime hides the truth from them."
Born in Iran, Itzhakyan immigrated to Israel 25 years ago and is now one of the station's 35 presenters and journalists, who provide a steady stream of popular and classical Iranian music, cultural programs, and political news and analysis.
He says, "In Iran, all of the news which is broadcast is a lie. There is no truth in it. I want our listeners in Iran to know the real truth."
RadisIN broadcasts on the Internet because the Iranian regime is not able to interfere with the US-owned Intelsat Galaxy 15 satellite by which its programs are transmitted. The programs are also rebroadcast by several free cable and satellite stations, the station says.
The this has resulted in a growing audience. They have callers ringing in from around the world, most of them from the United States, France, Germany and of course, Israel. From time-to-time, a listener may dare to ring in "from somewhere in Iran".
Many in Iran are preparing for the inevitability of war, says Itzhakyan, who stays in touch with friends back home. He says, "There's a sense of war in Iran, people fear that war is very, very close. Some people are going to the supermarkets and stocking up on supplies which they are keeping at home in case of war."
Meanwhile, as speculation grows that Israel is ready to mount a lightning strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, RadisIN is sticking to business as usual, despite attempts by the Iranian regime to shut them down.
Amir Shai, the 42-year-old founder of RadisIN, says, "They tried to block us, and got into our website and damaged it. The regime knows that a station like RadisIN, which was set up by people in Israel, is much more dangerous to it than if it were set up by a government body.
"They don't want my voice -- along with another 35 or so other broadcasters who speak heart-to-heart with the Iranian people -- to be heard. But it's important for the Iranian people that it is."
Official Iranian media reports Tehran turns down request from US delegation to meet with Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.
Iran turned down a request by the United States for a rare bilateral meeting on the sidelines of nuclear talks between the Islamic republic and six world powers in Istanbul on Saturday, the official IRNA news agency said. There was no comment from US diplomats, whose country has not had direct ties with Tehran for more than three decades.
IRNA's report followed contradictory accounts from two other Iranian news agencies on prospects for a meeting between Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and the head of the US delegation, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.
[An Nahar] Western nations and Russia on Friday put forward rival U.N. Security Council resolutions on sending ceasefire observers to Syria as they wrangled over conditions for the mission.
The dispute after two days of tough negotiations means no vote is likely until Saturday on any final resolution which would allow an advance party of 30 unarmed military observers to go to Syria next week.
The United States, Britannia, La Belle France and Germany have registered one text for a vote. It demands "full, unimpeded, and immediate freedom of movement" for the mission.
But it also demands that Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Leveler of Latakia... "implement visibly" the commitments he made to U.N.-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... , including the withdrawal of troops and weapons from cities.
The text would force the council to "consider further measures" if Syria does not carry out its commitments.
Russia's U.N. ambassador Vitaly Churkin said his mission had put forward a much shorter text. Details were not immediately released but diplomats said it did not demand the same level of security guarantees or that Assad pull back troops.
La Belle France's U.N. ambassador Gerard Araud said the council will negotiate the western text "paragraph by paragraph and I suspect it will be a long afternoon."
"If there is an agreement on the council we will vote it tonight. If there is not agreement, as you know, we need 24 hours after having put a text in blue which means that your Saturday is lost," Araud told news hounds. Putting the text "in blue" is the technical phrase for registering a draft resolution for a vote.
Churkin, whose country is Syria's last major ally, insisted that the Western countries were putting too much detail into the text.