Most but not all of the compensation was paid out by Libya on condition that U.N. sanctions against it were cancelled and U.S. trade sanctions against it lifted. That's the way Moo-Mar wanted it.
The judge said the two men's action was a crime because "the compensation was a waste of public money especially when there was no guarantee the charges in the Lockerbie case would be dropped if the compensation was made". But not to worry! Justice will prevail!
On Sunday, war-time interim Justice Minister Mohammed Al-Alagy told reporters that the current trials of Gaddafi-era officials were "invalid" because the prosecutor general's office was not following the necessary legal steps.
[An Nahar] Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of thich is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... 's criminal court on Monday adjourned the trial of two former senior Libyan officials accused of abusing funds set aside to compensate families of Lockerbie bombing victims, an AFP news hound said.
The trial of slain dictator Muammar Qadaffy ...whose instability was an inspiration to dictators everywhere, but whose end couldn't possibly happen to them... 's foreign minister Abdellati al-Obeidi and his head of parliament Belgassem al-Zwai will now take place on October 15.
Charges read out by the judge accused the former officials of mismanaging public funds meant for compensating families of victims of the 1988 Lockerbie attack, which Libya claimed the credit for in 2003.
The two men, responsible for negotiating with the families, paid them double what was initially agreed as compensation in return for removing Libya for a list of countries supporting terrorism, according to the charge sheet.
There were no further details.
The kaboom that blew up PanAm flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie killed all of its 259 passengers and 11 more on the ground.
Libya eventually paid relatives of the victims $2.7 billion in compensation.
Obeidi and Zwai denied the accusations and their defense asked for more time to review the case.
The public prosecution office told AFP last week that the two men are also being questioned over involvement in attempting to crush the Libyan revolt that unseated Qadaffy last year, and will be face further charges.
More than 3,000 Kuwaitis rallied in front of the parliament Monday demanding the election of a prime minister from outside the ruling Al-Sabah family and against a government move to amend the electoral law.
Among them were 21 lawmakers from the opposition-majority parliament which was elected in February before being dissolved months later after the constitutional court declared the polls illegal and reinstated the previous pro-government parliament.
"We have decided as people that (Prime Minister) Jaber al-Mubarak will be the last prime minister... from the Al-Sabah" family, prominent Islamist MP Walid al-Tabtabaie told the rally.
The Al-Sabah family can "be the emirs but the ministers will be from among us," he said at the so-called "Determination Square" located opposite the parliament.
Kuwait was the first Arab state in the Gulf to introduce democracy 50 years ago but the constitution leaves massive powers in the hands of the ruler and the government is dominated by the Al-Sabah dynasty that has ruled the country for over 250 years without any challenge. Since 2006, the government resigned nine times and parliament was dissolved on five occasions.
"Our problem is with the members of the family who must be kept away from ministerial positions. There must be a law that organises the work of the ruling family," said former MP Khaled Shakheer.
"I will come every evening to the Determination Square with the people until our demands are met," he told the demonstrators.
The rally was called for by Nahj -- an umbrella group of Islamist and independent opposition and youth activists who have called for activating the constitutional monarchy concept in Kuwait.
An AFP correspondent reported tight security measures in the square and the areas surrounding it. Hundreds of opposition activists insisted on remaining in the square even after the demonstration was over despite a ban by the interior ministry on any sit-ins.
The demonstrators are also protesting against a government move to amend the electoral law. Earlier this month the government decided to refer the electoral law, amended in its current form in 2006, to the constitutional court over suspicion that it contradicts the constitution. The move will effectively put on hold dissolving the pro-government parliament, reinstated in a court ruling on June 20 after it was dismissed in December, and holding fresh general election.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague issued a strong condemnation Monday of the government's decision to grant the Ariel University Center the status of a full university, deploring the timing which he implied hurt London's efforts to combat attempts in Britain at boycotting Israeli universities.
A Mohammedanholy man at the centre of an illegal marriage scandal has stepped down after he allegedly offered to marry a 12-year-old girl to a man in his 20s.
Imam Mohamed Kassamali is said to have told an undercover news hound posing as a father that he could carry out a ceremony for his school-aged daughter.
He allegedly told the Sunday Times journalist: 'If it (the marriage) was not possible, I would have told you straight away... I would love the girl to go to her husband's houses (sic) as soon as possible, the younger the better.
'Under Sharia (Islamic law) there is no problem. It is said she should see her first sign of puberty at the house of her husband.
'The problem is that we cannot explain such things (the marriage) if the girl went tomorrow (to the authorities).
'The other thing is the underage thing and if tomorrow the girl is, let's say coerced or forced into this, and she goes and reports it to the police then she will put all of us into the problems.'
The imam, who worked at the Husaini Islamic Centre in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, apparently urged the father to encourage the newlyweds to 'delay the togetherness' - meaning they should postpone having sex.
A statement released by the Islamic Centre read: 'The management and members of Peterborough's Husaini Islamic Centre do not recognise the alleged remarks of Imam Mohamed Kassamali, who is reported to have discussed the possibility of underage marriage in Britannia with The Sunday Times.
'In line with our practice, we are in the process of carrying out a full independent inquiry on this matter.
'The imam has temporarily stepped aside by mutual consent with the centre while an investigation takes place.
'A legal, British civil marriage certificate is a prerequisite for any Islamic (Nikah) officially conducted at the Husaini Islamic Centre.
'We respect the law of the land and since the establishment of the Husaini Islamic Centre, no under legal age marriages have been conducted at the centre, nor will it be allowed.
'We find the practice of forced marriages to be abhorrent, reprehensible and totally un-Islamic and we support the Forced Marriage Unit, established by the Government, in its attempts to tackle this issue.'
A second imam, retired Abdul Haque, who still officiates at weddings at Shoreditch mosque, East London, reportedly agreed to carry out the ceremony after evening prayers on a Wednesday.
He allegedly told the news hound: 'Tell people it is an engagement but it will be a marriage.
'In Islam, once the girl reaches puberty the father has the right, the parents have the right, but under the laws of this country if the girl complains and says her marriage has been arranged and she wasn't of marriageable age, then the person who performed the marriage will be enjugged ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... as well as the mother and father.'
He explained how the Prophet Muhammad had married a seven-year-old girl before adding: 'We are his followers, and that is what you have to explain (to your daughter).'
UK law lets imams marry consenting under-16s provided they do not have sex until the age of 16.
The Home Office has now confirmed that such ceremonies will be examined in the Government's forthcoming Bill to outlaw forced marriages.
More than 1,000 of the 8,000 forced marriages of Britons each year are believed to involve girls of 15 or under, with one case last year allegedly involving a girl of five.
After being confronted, Kassamali said he would not have performed the marriage without the girl's consent and would have sought legal advice. Haque declined to comment.
The Home Office said: 'Child marriage is totally unacceptable and illegal. Perceived cultural sensitivities and political correctness cannot and will not get in the way of preventing and uncovering such abuse.'
North Korea on Monday agreed to accept disaster-relief supplies from South Korea and asked Seoul to provide a detailed list of items and quantities. The response came seven days after the South cabled its offer. Isn't that great of them? They're willing to take free stuff as long as they get a detailed list...
The North signaled its acceptance through a Red Thingy Cross connection in the truce village of Panmunjom, a Unification Ministry official said. South Korea halted aid to North Korea following the North's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in November 2010.
The Harper government -- which makes no secret of its strong support for Israel -- has come under severe criticism from many circles for its decision to shut the Canadian embassy in Iran. But Canadian diplomats who were on the ground in Tehran supported the move.
They had "known this was coming for a long time," said a Canadian official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment.
"If Iran had been attacked [by Israel or the United States]" people in the mission knew they "would likely have been taken hostage," the official said. And to every diplomat in the mission, he added, "the threat was very real."
Canadian officials cited a range of reasons for the extraordinary decision to expel all Iranian diplomats from Ottawa and close the mission in Tehran, chief among them the threat to the security of Canadian personnel, particularly if Israel or the United States should launch an attack on Iran in an effort to eliminate Tehran's alleged nuclear-weapons program.
"With no American embassy in Tehran and the British embassy closed [since an attack on it in November] the next most likely target for retaliation would have been the Canadians," said a former government official with experience in Iran.
That is why, these officials say, there was no objection from the Canadian diplomats when the order to evacuate came down, especially since the mission was serving no practical purpose anyway.
While critics argue that the closing of the embassy means there will be no more contact with the Iranian regime, Canada has had no formal communication with Iran for a long time.
"There is no relationship with Iran," insisted one official with knowledge of the situation on the ground in Tehran. "There's been no real relationship since the Canadian ambassador was expelled" in 2007, he added.
This admission will come as a surprise to the families of Canadian citizens now on death row in Iran, who have said they believed Canadian diplomats have been in contact with Iranian authorities on their relatives' behalf.
The expulsion in 2007 came after Canada rejected the two people Iran had successively nominated to be ambassador to Ottawa -- both had apparently been involved in seizing the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and taking its diplomats hostage. Since 2007, each country's mission has been headed, at Iran's insistence, by a chargé d'affaires, rather than an ambassador, and relations have been drastically circumscribed.
The one hesitation over last week's closing of the embassy, an official said, was over the fate of its Iranian staff. Beyond economic hardship, those local employees may face personal harassment as well.
The official said he felt lousy about this but "there was nothing we could do."
The employees learned that the embassy was closed from a BBC report -- after the doors were locked and the Canadian diplomats safely out of the country.
Iran has blasted the government of Stephen Harper as extremist following the embassy closing and the expulsion of Iran's diplomats. It has also threatened retaliation. Even so, Hasan Sobhaninia a member of Iran's parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, acknowledged Monday there "is the possibility" of other countries following Ottawa's lead.
In an interview with the Iranian parliamentary website, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Canada was "irrational and unjustified" in its decision to cut diplomatic ties. He described the Harper government as "neo-conservative extremist" and said it was "boundlessly defending international Zionism."
But Canada has experienced threats in Iran before.
In 2009, said Michel de Salaberry, a former Canadian ambassador who returned as chargé d'affaires that year, the mission and its personnel came under "credible threats" from the Revolutionary Guards' volunteer militia force known as the basij. The threats came following an interview Mr. Harper gave the Wall Street Journal in which he described the Iranian regime as "evil." The incident showed how quickly real threats can arise, Mr. de Salaberry said.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Mehr news agency on Monday reported that the decision of the country's parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, to cancel a planned trip to Quebec City in October was just the first act of retaliation against Canada that had been vowed on the weekend.
To those in Canada who had been lobbying for years for Ottawa to cut off diplomatic ties with Iran, the move to do so was a pleasant surprise.
"We've been pressing for the government to consider ratcheting up the efforts to compel Iranian compliance with their international obligations and the will of the international community," said Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. Among the measures sought were sanctions on Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards.
For their part, Iranian-Canadian activists have been asking Ottawa to expel Iranian diplomats since 2003, when Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kahzemi was killed in Iran, and they stepped up the efforts after the regime's crackdown on protesters following the 2009 presidential elections.
In a highly unusual rebuff to a close ally, the White House said on Tuesday that President Barack Obama would not meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a U.S. visit later this month, as tensions escalated over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program.
The apparent snub, coupled with Netanyahu's sharpened demands for a tougher U.S. line against Iran, threatened to plunge U.S.-Israeli relations into crisis and add pressure on Obama in the final stretch of a tight presidential election campaign.
An Israeli official said the White House had refused Netanyahu's request to meet Obama when the Israeli leader visits the United States to attend the U.N. General Assembly, telling the Israelis "the president's schedule will not permit that."
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor denied Netanyahu's request had been spurned, insisting instead that the two leaders were attending the General Assembly on different days and would not be in New York at the same time.
Netanyahu has had a strained relationship with Obama, but they have met on all but one of his U.S. trips since 2009. The president was on a foreign visit when the prime minister came to the United States in November 2010.
By withholding a meeting, Obama could alienate some Jewish and pro-Israel voters as he seeks a second term in the November 6 election. Republican rival Mitt Romney has already accused Obama of being too tough on Israel and not hard enough on Iran.
The White House's decision could signal U.S. displeasure with the Israeli leader's intensifying pressure for Obama to set specific red lines on Iran.
Word that the two men would not meet came on the same day that Netanyahu said the United States had forfeited its moral right to stop Israel from taking action against Iran's nuclear program because it had refused to be firm with Tehran itself.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
Forget about it Bibi, Champ isn't going to attend national security meetings and he isn't going to deal with anything before election time. He is voting "Present" despite not being present. Obama is a caricature of a President.
Al Qaeda confirmed on Tuesday that one of the group's most senior figures, veteran militant Abu Yahya al-Libi, had died in a U.S. drone strike earlier this year.
The U.S. government said in June it had killed Libi in Pakistan, dealing the biggest in a series of blows to the group since the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year.
"I proudly announce to the Muslim umma and to the Mujahideen (holy fighters)... the news of the martyrdom of the lion of Libya Sheikh Hassan Mohammed Qaed," Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said in a video released on Islamist websites, referring to Libi by his birth name.
Zawahiri's statement was the first acknowledgement by Al Qaeda that Libi had died.
Recently released letters written by bin Laden and captured during the U.S. raid in which he was killed show Libi was one of a handful of al Qaeda operatives who bin Laden relied on to promote the group's case to a worldwide audience of militants, in particular to the young.
A cleric, Libi escaped a high security U.S. prison in Afghanistan in 2005. On at least one previous occasion was he was wrongly reported to have been killed in a U.S. drone strike.
The White House said in June it would be hard for the group to find someone of similar stature to replace him.
[Fox News] Pakistan's powerful spy agency regards America as its "worst enemy," and the government's claims that it is cooperating with the US are a sham to extract billions of dollars in American aid, according to the CIA informant jailed for his role in hunting down Usama bin Laden.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Shakil Afridi, the medical doctor who helped pinpoint bin Laden's Abbottabad compound before last year's raid by SEAL Team 6, described brutal torture at the hands of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, and said the agency is openly hostile to the U.S.
"They said 'The Americans are our worst enemies, worse than the Indians,'" Afridi, who spoke from inside Peshawar Central Jail, said as he recalled the brutal interrogation and torture he suffered after he was initially detained.
How can we further distance ourselves from this notion of complicity with the great Satan and of throwing Bin Laden under the bus...as they say. Yes, YES! I think you have it, and they will pay us for it as well!
Pakistan,Iran,Saudi,Eygpt ie most Muslim countries are our enemy as they seek dominance not to live peacefully alongside other religions eg.convert or die.Where do they get that from?Their holy book needs to be tackled at source with their advocates Saudi,MB,Mad Mullahs,Hezbollah,ISI etc.
[An Nahar] Some 2,000 Paleostinians angry at the rising cost of living flooded the streets of Hebron on Monday, as a general strike halted public transport across the West Bank.
Clouds of black smoke poured into the air across the Israeli-occupied territory as furious demonstrators set light to tires, kicking off a second week of protests against the spiraling cost of living, high petrol prices and unemployment.
In the southern city of Hebron, demonstrators erupted into the streets in the early morning, blocking main roads with boulders and burning tires, which later degenerated into mass stone throwing at cars and the municipal building, an AFP correspondent reported.
They also hurled stones at Paleostinian police and Israeli troops in the area.
"We demand that President (Mahmoud) Abbas and Prime Minister (Salam) Fayyad resign and all of the Paleostinian Authority because they have been unable to carry out their political and economic duties," said 28-year-old Hebron resident Khaled Idriss told AFP.
Another man had come to protest with his donkey -- the only form of affordable transport following the petrol price hikes.
"I didn't come alone, I came with my donkey to show I am protesting against the rise in (petrol) prices," said 32-year-old Fawaz al-Ragabi.
Public transport was at a complete halt throughout the West Bank as union bosses called a mass strike over the rising cost of petrol which has risen from six to eight shekels per liter in the past two months (from $1.50 to $2.00/1.18 to 1.57 euros).
With no buses, minibuses or taxis in operation, the streets were empty, and private cars were also barred from entering towns and cities by makeshift roadblocks.
At the Qalandia crossing between Ramallah and Jerusalem, small groups of bus and taxi drivers were on the lookout for any strike breakers.
"People need to appreciate what we are doing and they should support us because you shouldn't be paying seven shekels ($1.8/1.4 euros) to get here from Ramallah," one driver told AFP, without giving his name, saying the current price of 3.5 shekels was set to double.
So far, the police have looked on passively as thousands of demonstrators have protested over the past week, with front man Adnan Damiri saying they were not planning to intervene unless things got out of hand.
"We completely understand these protests, the president and the leadership's instructions were clear and affirmed the peaceful nature of these protests," he told AFP.
"We are not interested in clashing with the people because we don't want to complicate things, but at the same time we are seeking to maintain the peace."
However the protests triggered sharp criticism of the Ramallah-based Paleostinian Authority from the rival Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, rulers of the Gazoo Strip, with front man Fawzi Barhum saying they were a "natural reaction" to its "political and economic failure".
"Abu Mazen (Abbas) has to respond quickly to the fair demands of the protesters and make them a priority, because responding to their daily needs is an act of nationalism," he told AFP.
[An Nahar] U.N. Secretary General the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... called Monday for all war criminals in Syria to be brought to justice, as his human rights ...which are often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless... chief urged a probe into the slaughter of hundreds in the town of Daraya.
"We must ensure that anyone, on any side, who commits war crimes, crimes against humanity or other violations of international human rights or humanitarian law is brought to justice," Ban said in Geneva, where he opened the 21st session of the United Nations ...an idea whose time has gone... Human Rights Council.
"I am deeply troubled by the aerial bombardments of civilians by government forces, by the increasing sectarian tensions, by the deteriorating humanitarian situation and by the apparent choice of both sides to pursue a solution through force rather than dialogue," he said.
Ban called on the rights council "to maintain its vigilance on Syria, including on the question of accountability."
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay for her part urged an immediate probe into the slaughter late last month of several hundred people in the Syrian town of Daraya.
"I am deeply shocked by the reports of the massacre in Daraya and I urge an immediate and thorough investigation into this incident," she said on the first day of the three-week rights council session.
"I call on the (Syrian) government to ensure full and unhindered access to the (U.N.) Independent Commission of Inquiry," she said, also calling for "full support" of the new U.N. and 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... peace envoy for the Syria conflict, Lakhdar Brahimi.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.