Posted: 20 Apr 2009 01:40 PM PDT
WASHINGTON: The United States called Monday on Iran to end its “hateful rhetoric” after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s attacks on Israel but said it still wanted talks with Tehran to mend relations.
President Barack Obama “disagrees vehemently” with Ahmadinejad, who branded Israel a racist state, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.
He said it vindicated the decision by the country’s first African-American president to shun the UN conference on racism in Geneva.
“This is hateful rhetoric. It’s, I think, one of the reasons why you saw the administration and the president determined that its participation in this conference was not a wise thing to do,” he said.
But Gibbs added, “We continue to evaluate our policy and understand that from a larger foreign policy framework, doing things the same old way is not likely to bring about the change we need in our foreign policy.”
State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Ahmadinejad’s “rhetoric is unhelpful, it’s counterproductive and it just feeds racial hatred.”
“We want to have a direct dialogue with Iran, but Iran needs to do a number of things to get back in the overall good graces of the international community,” Wood told reporters.
Posted: 20 Apr 2009 01:34 PM PDT
GILGIT- Pakistan: As many as two people were killed including a Deputy Speaker Northern Areas Legislative Assembly (NALA) Syed Asad Zaidi while one was injured in a firing incident on a car here in Kashrot area of Gilgit late on Monday, police sources reported.
According to sources, unknown armed militants opened fire at car on the link road in Kashrot area of Gilgit district, killing two persons on the spot including Deputy Speaker Northern Assembly Syed Asad Zaidi while his driver was critically injured.
Police, having got to the firing scene, have shifted the injured and dead bodies to District Headquarter Hospital Gilgit meanwhile, police have kicked off investigation into the incident, police sources said.
All the government departments and educational institutes in Northern Areas will remain closed on Tuesday in protest of slaying of deputy speaker. Where as one day mourning has been announced to be observed on Tuesday.
Posted: 20 Apr 2009 09:00 AM PDT
TURBAT: On the call of Baloch National Front (BNF), a wheel-jam strike was observed on Monday in various cities of Balochistan against the killing of three Baloch nationalist leaders in Turbat.
In Quetta, a protest rally was taken out by the BNF from the Government Degree College to the Mannan Chowk against the killing.
Apart from Quetta, complete shutter-down and wheel-jam strike was witnessed in Khuzdar, Qalat, Mangchar, Awaraan, and other parts of the province.
Banks and school remained closed during the day.
Posted: 20 Apr 2009 08:58 AM PDT
LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister has announced lifting of ban on employment to all the posts of Grade 1 to 16 in government departments and autonomous bodies.
In a notification issued from Punjab Civil Secretariat, the heads of government departments have been directed to form a list of all the vacant posts and advertise them in newspapers for filling the same.
The notification states that all the employments will be made strictly in accordance with the existing rules and regulation and purely on merit.
Posted: 20 Apr 2009 08:38 AM PDT
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik has said that the government is examining Maulana Sufi Muhammad's remarks about the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the democracy.
Rehman Malik said "Provincial government is responsible to maintaining law and order situation in Swat and other parts of NWFP."
The recording of Sufi Muhammad's public address is being seen to evaluate the intent behind his remarks about superior courts and the democracy.
Malik said that he had sought a report from the provincial government about prevailing security situation in Swat valley and parts of NWFP.
"A high-level meeting has been called on Tuesday to review the overall law and order situation across the country."
Earlier, he called on Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and apprised him of the steps taken by the government to improve law and order situation.
Posted: 20 Apr 2009 07:07 AM PDT
Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian leader Arbab Khizar Hayat Khan expressed has criticised Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif for not rejoining PPP-led federal government and termed the decision as contrary to the larger interest of country and nation. In a statement issued here on Monday , the PPP leader said President and Co-chairperson of PPP Asif Ali Zardari keeping in view the national interest and the turmoil loaming over the country invited the PML (N) leader to rejoin the cabinet and join hands to solve the common problems.
Khizar Hayat Khan said PML rejection to the offer reveals it true face that its leaders were more interested to get benefit from the situation and prefer their petty and personal interest above national interest, adding that Pakistan was acquired after hectic efforts and sacrifices of millions of people and defending it was every body’s national and ethical duty. President Asif Ali Zardari, PPP leader said believed in politics of harmony and wished to work jointly with all parties for the people and country, especially, he added , in a situation while the country was surrounded by various kinds of dangers. PPP leader Khizar Hayat Khan said PML (N) leader rejected the invitation with the aim to get popularity and increase its vote banks but he added the masses were well aware and would reject the PML (N)and its leaders in the elections expected to be held in 2013.
submitted by Arbab Khizer Hayat Khan and you can reach at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: 20 Apr 2009 06:32 AM PDT
Bollywood's most glamorous married couple won't be in India for their second marriage anniversary on April 20. Abhishek and Aishwarya are off for a week-long holiday to an undisclosed destination to bring in their vacation.
Says a source, "Last year Abhishek was slogging it out in Miami for Dostana and Aishwarya joined him there for their wedding anniversary. This year they were again supposed to be working, though happily together, for the next schedule of Mani Ratnam's Raavan on their anniversary."
But with Mani Ratnam asked by doctors to rest out for a while the schedule has been slightly pushed ahead, giving the pair a chance to go for a much-needed holiday.
Posted: 20 Apr 2009 06:26 AM PDT
Santa Barbara: Authorities say a pilot is missing after his small plane crashed into the ocean off the Santa Barbara coast.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says in a statement that the single engine Extra EA300 disappeared off radar yesterday evening.
A Santa Barbara County Sheriff Department helicopter crew later found debris and an oil slick about two miles (3.2 km) offshore.
The plane is registered to a Santa Barbara company called Otter Enterprises, but no phone listing for that company could be found.
A sheriff’s dispatcher says Coast Guard crews are assisting in the search for the pilot, the only person believed to have been aboard the plane when it crashed.
The crash is under investigation by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Posted: 20 Apr 2009 06:18 AM PDT
BHOPAL: Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj today expressed confidence that the NDA would definitely cross the magic figure of 272 in the Lok Sabha elections.
Not only would the NDA get a majority on its own, the BJP would also emerge as the single largest party, Swaraj said while addressing a press conference at the Madhya Pradesh BJP office.
Asked to specify the number of seats that the BJP was likely to win, she said that the party would win anything between 180 to 200 seats on its own.
The senior BJP leader, who is the party in-charge for Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand said that her party can win all the 11 seats in Chhattisgarh, all the 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh and four out of six seats in Jharkhand for which polling was held in the first phase on April 16.
Sushma said that she was hurt at the type of language being used by leaders of some political parties during the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.
She claimed that when BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, L K Advani described Manmohan Singh as a weak Prime Minister, he did not attack him personally but only referred to his working style.
Similarly, Sushma said that when Narendra Modi called the Congress as old, he did not mean disrespect to any person but only spoke of the organization.
Posted: 20 Apr 2009 06:18 AM PDT
The wife of slain Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislator Ajit Sarkar, fighting elections from Purnia in Bihar, has urged the Election Commission to provide her adequate security against her husband's murderer and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Pappu Yadav.
Madhavi Sarkar, contesting as a Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) candidate, has told the poll panel that she feels threatened by Pappu Yadav.
"I have told the Election Commission that a free Pappu Yadav is a serious threat to my life. Anything can happen to me. Even the local police are helpless," Madhavi told media on telephone.
Madhavi's husband, who was locked in a feud with Pappu Yadav over farm labourers, was shot dead with his driver Harendra Sharma and party worker Ashfaqur Rehman in Purnea, about 350 km from here, on June 14, 1998.
Pappu Yadav, the sitting MP from Madhepura, was held guilty of Sarkar's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court last year. But the Patna High Court granted him bail two months ago.
He is now busy campaigning in the constituency for his mother Shanti Priya Devi, an independent candidate who enjoys Congress support.
"Pappu Yadav is posing a serious threat to peace in Purnea. Free, fair and peaceful polling is not possible unless he is put behind bars," said Madhavi.
Earlier this month, the Patna High Court rejected Pappu Yadav's plea to suspend his conviction in the murder case so that he could contest the Lok Sabha election.
After he was barred from contesting, he revolted against the Lalu Prasad-Ram Vilas Paswan alliance and said he would campaign for the Congress.
His wife Ranjita Ranjan, a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP, has also defected to the Congress to contest from Supaul constituency.
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