27 November 2008

Militants claim responsibility for India attack

Previously unknown Islamic group says behind blasts that killed dozens

Image: Indian police
Indian police hold a sketch of a suspect in the Jaipur serial blasts on Wednesday. Seven bombs ripped through crowded parts of the ancient city in western India on Tuesday, killing dozens.

South and Central Asia video
New blasts heard outside hotel
Nov. 26: Indian troops have taken positions outside the Trident Hotel in Mumbai, in preperation to rescue hostages that are still being held inside. MSNBC's David Shuster reports.

updated 5:22 a.m. ET May 15, 2008

JAIPUR, India - A previously unknown Islamic militant group claimed responsibility Thursday for bombings that killed dozens in this historic Indian city by planting bicycles laden with explosives on crowded streets, police said.

The claim was reportedly made in videos and an e-mail sent to Indian television stations and a Hindu nationalist political party. Investigators were examining the video clips, which showed a bicycle with an alleged bomb strapped to it parked in a crowded market, said Pankaj Singh, the city’s inspector-general of police.

Police said Thursday that 61 people were killed in Tuesday’s bombings and 90 people were wounded. Previously, they said 80 people were killed and 200 wounded. Police did not give an explanation for the revised tolls.

Bicycle bombs
Singh said investigators believe most of the bombs were placed in bags left on bicycles, which police have traced to two shops in Jaipur’s old city. Police released a sketch of a man in his early 20s who is suspected of buying the bikes and have questioned nearly a dozen people. But no arrests have been made, Singh said.

A previously unknown group calling itself the Indian Mujahedeen claimed responsibility for the bombings in the two video clips, Singh said. They also made the claim in an e-mail sent to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which governs the state of Rajasthan, where Jaipur is located, the CNN-IBN television news channel reported.

In the e-mail, the group demanded India stop working with the United States and Britain, CNN-IBN said. The e-mail also says Jaipur, a city of pink-hued palaces that is popular with Indian and foreign tourists, was targeted to disrupt the tourism industry. There have been no reports of foreigners killed or wounded in the attack.

Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress party, which heads India’s governing coalition, visited Jaipur on Thursday along with Home Minister Shivraj Patil. They toured the blast sites and met with some of the wounded at a hospital.

Patil condemned the attack and said “the guilty will be brought to justice.”

Stoking Muslim-Hindu tension?
Apart from targeting a tourist center, officials have said they believe the attack was also intended to stoke tensions between India’s Hindu majority and its Muslim minority.

Authorities tried to prevent any retaliatory violence by imposing a daylong curfew for a second day in Jaipur’s walled old city, where the seven explosions took place.

A-Rod reportedly linked to Madonna

Since the bombings on Tuesday, Indian authorities have repeatedly suggested blame would eventually fall on Islamic militant groups, many of which India accuses Pakistan of backing.

The attacks came days after Indian soldiers came under fire trying to stop militants from crossing the frontier with Pakistan, and 11 people were killed in fighting between security forces and Islamic militants in the Himalayan region.

Indian authorities say Pakistan-based Islamic extremist groups were behind those incidents and a spate of bombings that have killed hundreds in this predominantly Hindu country of 1.1 billion people since 2005. Pakistan, an overwhelmingly Muslim country, denies any role in the bombings.

26 November 2008

Govt issues Thai travel warning

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians going to Thailand for business or leisure have been advised to exercise caution and constantly monitor the situation in view of protests in Bangkok.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said they should contact the Malaysian embassy in the Thai capital should they find themselves in difficult situations due to the protests.

Latest reports from Bangkok said hundreds of anti-government supporters tried to block roads leading to the Suvarnabhumi Airport Wednesday as they continued with their attempts to topple the elected government of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat who is due to return home from attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting in Peru.

The reports quoted police as saying that several people were injured, including at least two by gunshot, when pro-government supporters and those of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) clashed near Don Muang Airport.

Abdul Rahim, who spoke to reporters after officiating at the Asean Ladies Circles of Kuala Lumpur Charity High Tea and Fashion Show here, said the tense situation in Bangkok was confined to specific places.

“Hotels and tourist spots are not affected and it is business as usual for the people in Bangkok. The citizens there are not affected and are carrying on with their daily lives,” he said. - Bernama

13 November 2008

Harga minyak sudah sepatutnya RM1.62

KUALA LUMPUR - Harga minyak dunia yang terus merudum ke paras AS50 (RM175) setong semalam, sewajarnya medorong penetapan harga baru dibawah RM1.92 sen untuk pasaran tempatan.

Malah, kepada Pensyarah Ekonomi Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Prof. Madya Abdul Rahim Anuar, masanya kini sudah sesuai untuk ia di selaraskan kepada R1.62 seliter.

"Pada saya, harga runcit petrol seharusnya diturunkan kepada RM1.62 seliter, namun apa sahaja harga di bawah RM1.92 sebenarnya sudah pasti mengembirakan rakyat," ujarnya ketika dihubungi semalam.

Beliau mengulas kenyataan Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna, Datuk Shahril Abdul Samad semalam bahawa harga petrol mungkin di turunkan kepada RM2 selain cadangan penetapan paras minimum.

Mengenai cadangan itu, Abdul Rahim lebih selesa membiarkan harga runcit petrol dan diesel di tentukan oleh pasaran tanpa menetapkan paras minimum jika tidak mahu rakyat disekat daripada menikmati keselesaan ketika harga minyak dunia turun.

"Purata rakyat membelanjakan hampir 30 peratus pendapatan untuk membeli minyak dan jika kerajaan menurunkan lagi harga runcit petrol di bawah paras RM2, pendapatan boleh guna mereka meningkat," jelasnya.

Namun pakar ekonomi, Senator Datuk Dr. Ismail Md. Saleh pula bersetuju dengan penetapan harga minimum dan menurunkan harga runcit petrol secara berperingkat-peringkat.

"Langkah itu membolehkan kerajaan menggunakan lebihan pendapatan itu kepada pembangunan infrastruktur dan kemudahan untuk rakyat juga," ujarnya.

sumber Kosmo

08 November 2008

Blogger Raja Petra freed
By : Rita Jong 
Raja Petra Kamaruddin and his wife Marina Lee leaving the court compound in a maroon Rolls Royce
Raja Petra Kamaruddin and his wife Marina Lee leaving the court compound in a maroon Rolls Royce

SHAH ALAM: The High Court yesterday ordered the immediate release of Raja Petra Kamarudin from his two-year detention under the Internal Security Act.

This followed the decision of judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad to allow the Malaysia Today editor's habeas corpus application, which was filed on Sept 31.

Syed Ahmad held that the home minister had issued the order outside the scope of Section 8(1) of the Internal Security Act 1960.

He also allowed the application by Raja Petra's counsel, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, to order that he (Raja Petra) be brought from the Kamunting detention centre to the Shah Alam court before 4pm for his release.

Syed Ahmad said he found there was no merit for the applicant's counsel to state that Section 8 was unconstitutional, as it fell within the ambit of Article 149 of the Federal Constitution.
(Article 149 allows action to be taken against anyone who threatens national security even if it violates his fundamental liberties.) 

"But in issuing the order, the minister can only do so based on grounds provided under the ambit of the act. The minister cannot simply detain someone. He must be confined to the circumstances stated." 

He said based on the grounds given by the minister for the detention, "I found that it did not fall within the scope of Section 8 (1) of the ISA."

On the grounds that the order was made in bad faith, he said that this was not a matter for review by the court as "mala fide is not procedural and non-compliant." 

Raja Petra was arrested on Sept 12 as he was deemed a threat to national security and the order to detain him under the ISA was issued on Sept 22. 

He was detained on the grounds that he:

- owns and operates the Malaysia Today website;

- intentionally and recklessly published his articles as well as readers' comments on Malaysia Today that were critical of and insulted Muslims, the purity of Islam and the personality of Prophet Muhammad; and,

- that he published his articles concerning national leaders that were defamatory and false with the intention of undermining confidence and inciting public hatred against the government, which could affect public order and prejudice national security.

In filing the habeas corpus application, Raja Petra named the home minister as the respondent.

Senior federal counsel Abdul Wahab Mohamad and Dusuki Mokhtar appeared on behalf of the minister. Malik Imtiaz was assisted by Azhar Azizan Harun, Ashok Kandiah, J. Chandra, Sreekant Pillai and H.K. Neoh.

After Syed Ahmad delivered his decision, Raja Petra's supporters clapped with joy, only to be ticked off by the judge who reminded them that they were in a court of law.

Raja Petra's wife, Marina Lee Abdullah, and their two daughters, Suraya and Sarah, were in tears.

Later, Marina said: "No words can describe how I am feeling right now. I am just glad everything went the way I hoped. This is fantastic." 

Raja Petra arrived at the court in a white van, escorted by five warders, at 3.15pm to a hero's welcome.

When he got out of the van, the blogger, clad in a brown T-shirt and jeans and looking tired, gave the thumbs-up sign as some 100 supporters chanted "RPK! RPK!" He hugged and kissed his wife.

He was then led into the courtroom and Syed Ahmad ordered his release at 3.20pm. 

After the court stood down, a supporter placed a garland on him.

"I am quite surprised that I am released.

"Not many people who challenged the ISA detention succeeded. So I didn't give it too much hope."

He added that the fight to abolish the ISA must continue. 

Raja Petra had to jostle his way past some 50 photographers to get into a maroon-coloured Rolls Royce with Marina, before leaving the court compound at 3.35pm.

06 November 2008

President Barack Obama - Yahoo

Obama picks Clinton alum Emanuel chief of WH staff

AP - Wed Nov 5, 6:32 PM ET

AP - President-elect Barack Obama pivoted quickly to begin filling out his new administration on Wednesday, selecting hard-charging Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff while aides stepped up the pace of transition work that had been cloaked in pre-election secrecy.

Share, Discuss, Participate

More than 200,000 candidate photos uploaded on flickr

See more

Latest Discussion

We are in the last few weeks of the political race that will shape our nation's history."

- Overheard in Yahoo! Groups

Subscribe to Yahoo! News Coverage of the 2008 Elections

Get email and mobile alerts:

More Alerts »

Add news headlines and feeds:

View latest state-by-state results and create your own scenarios!

Go to Yahoo! News Political Dashboard!
Click here to find out more!

Parties and Politics

Vote! - Find out where to vote in your neighborhood!