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Girls increasingly aborted in India

Source | AP
NEW DELHI | 24 May 2011

A new study shows that an increasing number of Indian families with one girl are aborting pregnancies when prenatal tests reveal another female.

The study to be published in the medical journal Lancet on Tuesday says the decline in the numbers of girls is larger in richer and better-educated households. It says a 1996 law that bans revealing the gender of a fetus has been largely ineffective.


Georgia calls Circassian killings genocide

Source | Reuters
TBILISI | 23 May 2011

Georgia's parliament has branded the 19th-century killings of the Muslim Circassian minority by Russia's tsarist forces as genocide in a resolution likely to further strain Tbilisi's ties with Moscow.

Originally from the northwest Caucasus, Circassians say 1.5 million of their ancestors were systematically killed in a 1860-64 military campaign to conquer the Caucasus Mountain area on the southern border of today's Russia.


Yemen protests, Ali Abdullah Saleh

Source : Ahmed Al-Haj | AP
SANAA | 23 May 2011

Security forces and opposition tribal fighters battled with automatic weapons, mortars and tanks in the Yemeni capital on Monday, blasting buildings and setting government offices on fire in violence that hiked fears of an armed confrontation after the collapse of efforts to negotiate a peaceful exit for President Ali Abdullah Saleh.


Indonesia urged to halt caning

Source : AP
JAKARTA | 23 May 2011

Amnesty International is urging Indonesia to stop the growing use of caning as a punishment in Aceh province.

The London-based rights group says at least 21 people have been publicly caned in Aceh this month for gambling. Sixteen people were caned last year.

The group's director for Asia and the Pacific, Sam Zarifi, said Sunday that caning is a cruel and inhumane punishment that can cause permanent injury. Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that permits caning.


1001 Inventions declared in UK best touring exhibition

Source | Arab News
JEDDAH | 23 May 2011

The internationally renowned “1001 Inventions” exhibition, which is touring the world in partnership with ALJ Community Initiatives (ALJCI), was crowned Best Touring Exhibition of the year at the annual Museums and Heritage Excellence Awards in London on May 11.


EU imposes sanctions on Syrian ruler

Source : Justyna Pawlak | Reuters
BRUSSELS | 24 May 2011

The European Union imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad and other senior officials on Monday, raising pressure on his government to end weeks of violence against protesters.

EU foreign ministers agreed at a meeting in Brussels to expand restrictions against Syria by adding Assad and nine other senior members of the government to a list of those banned from traveling to the EU and subject to asset freezes.


Turkey meets Libyan rebels, tells Qaddafi to quit

Source : Reuters
ANKARA | 23 May 2011

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi should quit in order to allow a peaceful transition of power, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday, standing alongside the head of Libya’s revolutionary movement.

A major Muslim partner in NATO, Turkey earlier this month proposed a timetable for a cease-fire that could allow a political transition to take place.


Palestinians to proceed with UN recognition bid

Source : Karin Laub | AP
RAMALLAH : West Bank | 21 May 2011

Senior Palestinian officials say that negotiations with Israel have become pointless after Israel’s prime minister rejected President Barack Obama’s call to base Mideast border talks on the pre-1967 war lines.


Foreign Umrah pilgrims expected to cross 4 million mark

Source : P.K. Abdul Ghafour | Arab News
JEDDAH | 21 May 2011

The number of foreign pilgrims coming to the Kingdom for Umrah is increasing year after year and is expected to reach four million next year, said Haj Minister Fouad Al-Farsy on Saturday while meeting with Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.

Al-Farsy said Prince Khaled, who is chairman of the Central Haj Committee, urged Haj-related institutions and top officials of Tawafa organizations who attended the meeting to provide the best possible services to pilgrims.


$4 billion Saudi aid for Egypt

Source : Arab News
RIYADH | 21 May 2011

Saudi Arabia has pledged $4 billion in aid to Egypt, the chief of Egypt's ruling military council said Saturday. The aid will be in the form of soft loans, deposits and grants, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the council, was quoted by Egypt's MENA news agency as saying. The agency did not provide a time frame or other details.


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