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3 killed, 14 hurt in Baluchistan blast
Quetta, September 8
The situation in Baluchistan continues to remain unstable and unpredictable, 13 days after the killing of senior Baluch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.

Indian American chosen ‘Scientist of the Year’
Washington, September 8
Indian American Abhijit Mahalanobis, who developed vital ‘pattern recognition’ components in missile defence system for the US army, has been chosen as ‘Scientist of the Year’ by the prestigious Emerald Honours that recognises contributions by minority scientists.

Miss India Natasha Suri walks with other participants of the Miss World competition during the beach event in Sopot, Poland, on Thursday. Miss India Natasha Suri walks with other participants of the Miss World competition during the beach event in Sopot, Poland, on Thursday. A new Miss World will be crowned on September 30 in Warsaw, Poland. —AP/PTI


EARLIER STORIES


Pak defers debate on Hudood Bill
Islamabad, September 8
Amidst threats of resignations by lawmakers belonging to Islamic alliance Muttahida Majlis-e Amal (MMA), Pakistan Government has deferred the debate in Parliament on a Bill to modify controversial Islamic laws, including one which forces rape victims to produce four male witnesses to prove the crime.

Armitage says he was source in CIA leak
Washington, September 8
Former number two State Department official Richard Armitage says he inadvertently disclosed the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame in conversations with two reporters in 2003.

Suicide blast near US Embassy kills 16
Kabul, September 8
A devastating suicide car bombing in Kabul today, the worst for months, killed 16 persons, including seven foreigners, rescuers and the police said.

Video shows Laden meeting 9/11 attackers
Dubai, September 8
Al Jazeera aired a video tape that showedAl-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden meeting what it said were perpetrators of the September 11 attacks on US cities, days ahead of the fifth anniversary of the strikes.

In video

Indian army troops help villagers for reconstruction in Lebanon.
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3 killed, 14 hurt in Baluchistan blast
Muhammad Anwer for ANI

Quetta, September 8
The situation in Baluchistan continues to remain unstable and unpredictable, 13 days after the killing of senior Baluch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.

On Friday, a bomb explosion near the Rakhni Market in Barkhan in Baluchistan district killed three persons and wounded 14.

Police sources told ANI over phone that the bomb was planted in a dustbin near the Civil Hospital on Rakhni Lower Alai Road.

They confirmed that the wounded had been admitted to local hospitals. The critically injured had been shifted to the Dera Ghazi Khan Hospital.

Friday’s blast occurred even as two of Nawab Akbar Bugti’s sons — Jamil Bugti and Talal Bugti — said that they were mulling over a decision to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and national and international human rights organisations to help them to conduct a post-mortem of their father’s body through an international medical board to ascertain the actual “cause of his death.”

“We are considering approaching the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Jamil Bugti told reporters at Bugti House here on Thursday evening.

Both sons also demanded the registration of an FIR for the “murder” of Nawab Akbar Bugti against the present rulers and other high-ups, who had “ordered the August 26 action.” They held President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Baluchistan Governor and the provincial Chief Minister, Quetta Corps Commander and the IG FC Balochistan responsible for the incident.

They quoted Musharraf as having once said: “No one would know what hit the three Baluch Sardars. This was a solid evidence for lodging an FIR.” Regretting the fact that they were not handed over Bugti’s body, Jamil and Talal said being the legal heirs of Akbar Bugti, it was their legal and constitutional right to know about the actual cause of his death.

“Neither they informed us about it, nor handed over the body. It was a sheer violation of the Islamic principles to bury Nawab Akbar Bugti without shroud and ‘ghusal’ ,” they added.

Jamil Bugti demanded that a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test be conducted on his dead body.

Asma Jehangir, the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), has demanded a probe by an independent judicial commission into the killing of Bugti and other “injustices to Balochistan.”

On Thursday, Minister of State for Information Tariq Azeem Khan said the federal government had no objection to exhuming Bugti’s body for tests.

He also denied that security forces had used chemical weapons against Bugti.

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Indian American chosen ‘Scientist of the Year’

Washington, September 8
Indian American Abhijit Mahalanobis, who developed vital ‘pattern recognition’ components in missile defence system for the US army, has been chosen as ‘Scientist of the Year’ by the prestigious Emerald Honours that recognises contributions by minority scientists.

Besides Mr Mahalanobis, a Fellow of Lockheed Martin, several Indian American scientists would receive the awards instituted by the Science Spectrum magazine, to be given away on September 16 at the Baltimore Convention Centre in Maryland.

They include Ashok Kumar of the Army Corps of Engineers, Venkatesh Krishnan of Eli Lilly, Dharmendra Jani of Bausch and Lomb and Anil Duggal of GE Global Research Centre.

Assam-born Mahalanobis, who works in Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control division, was roped in by Defence Department to solve the problem of wrong targetting by computerised missile batteries.

He looked at the way things moved and developed algorithms to analyse major joints of people and animals, which eventually led to the development of the pattern recognition system.

His Automatic Target Recognition system has become the plinth of the land-based missile and fire control defence of the US army and has set a standard for all future military computer recognition systems, Science Spectrum said in a write-up about the scientist.

He wrote the book Correlation Pattern Recognition, which serves as the primary text for the defence industry, earned three patents in the field, and was elevated to the rank of fellow at Lockheed Martin, the Society of Photo - Optical Instrumentation Engineers, and the Optical Society of America, it said. — PTI

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Pak defers debate on Hudood Bill
K.J.M. Varma

Islamabad, September 8
Amidst threats of resignations by lawmakers belonging to Islamic alliance Muttahida Majlis-e Amal (MMA), Pakistan Government has deferred the debate in Parliament on a Bill to modify controversial Islamic laws, including one which forces rape victims to produce four male witnesses to prove the crime.

As the MMA threatened to resign from Parliament in protest against the Bill to amend the Hudood Ordinance brought in by former military ruler Zia-ul Haq, the government stepped up consultations with the Islamic alliance’ leaders to mollify them.

The government was now set to further tone down the provisions of the Bill to amend the ordinance criticised by human rights groups as “draconian” for women, speciallym the victims of rape and violence.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) headed by former premier Benazir Bhutto was the only Opposition party to had expressed support for the Bill. PPP general secretary Pervez Asharf said the party would formulate its stand after the government announced changes to the bill.

The government’s Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill seeking to protect women from the misuse of two controversial Hudood laws was the first item on the day’s legislative agenda yesterday, but was not taken up for unexplained reasons while talks were being held between leaders of the ruling PML-Q and the MMA. — PTI

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Armitage says he was source in CIA leak

Washington, September 8
Former number two State Department official Richard Armitage says he inadvertently disclosed the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame in conversations with two reporters in 2003.

Confirming he was the source of a leak which triggered a federal investigation, the former Deputy Secretary of State said yesterday that he never intended to reveal Plame's identi y. He apologised for his conversations with syndicated columnist Robert Novak and Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.

For almost three years, an investigation led by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has tried to determine whether the Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Plame’s identity as covert operative as a way to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for criticising the Bush administration’s march to war with Iraq.

“I made a terrible mistake, not maliciously, but I made a terrible mistake,” Armitage said in a telephone interview from his home last night.

He said he did not realise Plame’s job was covert.

Armitage’s admission suggested that the leak did not originate at the White House as retribution for Wilson’s comments about the Iraq war. Wilson, a former ambassador, discounted reports that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger to make a nuclear weapon — claims that wound up in President George W Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address.

Armitage said he was not a part of a conspiracy to reveal Plame’s identity and did not know whether one existed. — AP

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Suicide blast near US Embassy kills 16

Kabul, September 8
A devastating suicide car bombing in Kabul today, the worst for months, killed 16 persons, including seven foreigners, rescuers and the police said.

The blast ripped through one of Kabul's busiest, most protected streets just outside the US Embassy. Al Jazeera television reported that at least three American soldiers had been killed.

The explosion occurred at a big intersection less than 100 metres from the heavily fortified embassy.

Taliban fighters began using suicide attacks late last year as part of a strategy to harry Western forces in Afghanistan and destabilise President Hamid Karzai's government.

More than 2,000 people have been killed this year due to a Taliban resurgence that has led to the heaviest fighting since US-led troops toppled the hard-line Islamists in 2001. — Reuters

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Video shows Laden meeting 9/11 attackers

Dubai, September 8
Al Jazeera aired a video tape that showedAl-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden meeting what it said were perpetrators of the September 11 attacks on US cities, days ahead of the fifth anniversary of the strikes.

The television said yesterday the tape documented the “daily life” of Al-Qaida operatives as they trained and prepared for the attacks in the mountains of Afghanistan. The video, which shows Bin Laden in one scene greeting a fighter against the backdrop of a mountain, also contained parts of taped “wills” of two of the September 11 attackers —Wael al-Shihri and Hamza al-Ghamdi.

“If we accept our humiliation — the footsteps of the enemy will stretch from Jerusalem to Mecca,” a man identified as Hamza al-Ghamdi was shown as saying. In one scene a man chops wood. Another scene shows a man preparing a meal. — Reuters

 

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