BBC

Somali Islamic scholars denounce al-Shabab in fatwa

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The government organised the religious conference to tackle extremism

Some 160 Somali religious scholars have issued a fatwa denouncing al-Shabab, saying the group had no place in Islam.

Correspondents say it is the first time Somali religious leaders have come up with a fatwa against the group, which controls many rural areas.

At a conference on the phenomenon of extremism in Mogadishu, the scholars said they condemned al-Shabab’s use of violence.

Al-Shabab, or “The Youth”, is fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia.

Despite being pushed out of key cities in the past two years, it still remains in control of smaller towns and large swathes of the countryside.

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Iran Daily Brief February 20, 2012 – Full Report

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English: Balance of trade, Iran (2000-2007). H...

International Affairs

Ahmadinejad in Islamabad for a trilateral Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran summit – The three leaders stressed the need for economic cooperation and completion of all projects, especially gas pipelines, one to import gas from Iran and the second from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan and will be extended to India.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman: Military intervention in Syria will be “very dangerous” – Ramin Mehmanparast said that a military intervention in Syria will be “very dangerous” to regional security and stability. He added that the legitimate demands of the Syrian people should be met, and reforms should be made in Syria. He added that Bashar al-Assad’s government has so far implemented considerable reforms. Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, praised the Syrian government for planning a referendum on Syria’s new constitution, and urged the Arab League, Europe and the UN to support the Syrian government’s bid. He also called on the Arab League to fulfill its duty to prevent any foreign interference in Syria.

Intelligence Minister: There is an ongoing all-out war against the Islamic Republic IranHeidar Moslehi stated that “Based on accurate information, Iran is currently in a ‘heavy soft war’ situation.” He added that the enemy has hatched different plots in almost all fields and that the Ministry of Intelligence has so far countered enemies’ countless plots. Moslehi noted that the plots have caused many threats, but have also created opportunities. He stressed the importance of crafting new strategies to face the new threats that have changed in nature etched against Iran.

Strong criticism of the Iranian chargé d’affaires in Egypt and Iranian policy towards Egypt in general – An editorial in Asr Iran directed sharp criticism at the positions taken by Mojtaba Amani on the chargé d’affaires of Iran on Egypt. Under the headline, “Are you protecting the interests of Iran or Egypt?!” Asr Iran comments on an interview Amani gave to Al-Ahram in which he expressed Iran’s immediate willingness to strengthen diplomatic ties with Egypt and provide urgent economic assistance to the Egyptian people as they face pressure and threats from the US. He also noted that Iranians are eager to visit Egypt. This is not the first time that senior Iranian officials express such positions towards Egypt. He remarked that Iranians have not forgotten that President Ahmadinejad announced at a press conference in 2008, “I declare emphatically that if the Egyptian government expresses readiness, by the end of the day I will open an Iranian Embassy in Egypt.” Egyptian officials at the time received his words with apathy and disregard, in Iran with surprise and shock. After the Egyptian revolutionaries won, they received a similar message from Iran, and they continued to ignore them, claiming that now is the time for a transitional government, and these matters should wait until later.

Now representatives from Iran’s Interest Section in Egypt are making statements, saying that the Iranian people are even willing to pay for renewing diplomatic ties with Egypt. They also promised that if the US stops financial aid to Egypt, Iran is ready to immediately provide alternative assistance to Egypt. Read the rest of this entry »

Afghanistan arrests British citizens with 30 unregistered AK-47s

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Venezuela begins gold shipments

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THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW. At a joint press-conferen...
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Published: Nov. 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 26 (UPI) — The head of the Central Bank of Venezuela said shipments of gold to the bank from Europe gave the country a larger degree of financial independence.

“It has historic value. It has symbolic value. And it has financial value,” bank chief Nelson Merentes said about the first shipment of gold to arrive from Europe under orders from President Hugo Chavez, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Saturday.

Chavez has ordered 85 percent of the country’s gold — about $11 billion worth — to be physically returned to Venezuela.

“The gold is returning to where it was always meant to be: the vaults of the Central Bank of Venezuela,” Chavez said.

Merentes supported the move, saying, “The country’s finances will be backed by autonomous wealth, so we are not subject to pressure from anyone.”

But some have complained that moving the gold has no purpose and is an expensive project. Read the rest of this entry »

Gadhafi’s son captured: reports

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Ronald D. Orol

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi sits in an airplane in Zintan, LIbya, on Saturday after being captured in the southern desert and flown to the northern city.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Moammar Gadhafi’s son has been captured in the desert by fighters who plan to hold him until there is a Libyan administration to which they can hand him over, according to media reports Saturday.

Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, 39, had been accused of crimes against humanity.

Saif al-Islam was captured near the southern desert city of Obari and flown to the fighters’ base in Zintan, in northern Libya, the BBC reported.

It was unclear Saturday whether al-Islam will face trial in Libya or whether he will be transferred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, for a trial there for his alleged involvement in the killings of civilian protesters. Read the rest of this entry »