Pakistani Forces Use Tear Gas on Anti-Government Demonstrators

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 11:40 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Pakistani security forces have fired into the air and lobbed tear gas in Islamabad, where protesters are holding an early morning march and calling on the country's political leaders to resign and dissolve the government.

The demonstrators gathered on one of the city's main thoroughfares for an anti-corruption protest. They were acting at the urging of populist Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul Qadri. He told the tens of thousands of people at the protest to march on parliament.

Qadri's supporters pushed aside barriers of barbed wire and shipping containers that police had erected to contain the crowd.

The influential cleric said he would speak to his supporters around mid-day outside parliament to press his demand for the government's abdication.

Pakistan is due to hold parliamentary elections in mid-May, and parliament would be dissolved about two months beforehand. But Qadri said the government should step down immediately, to clear the way for an interim Cabinet to root out graft and mismanagement, which he blames for chronic energy shortages, slow economic growth and a rise in crime and Taliban insurgency.

Qadri's black, chauffeur-driven SUV was showered with rose petals by supporters as he arrived at the protest rally.

The Sufi cleric, who runs an educational and religious organization with global reach, recently returned to Pakistan after years living in Canada, where he also has citizenship.

He promised to bring a million demonstrators to the streets of Islamabad, but turnout appeared to fall far short of that goal. Pakistan's interior minister estimated Monday evening that the total crowd would not exceed 25,000.

Still, Qadri was greeted by raucous cheers from supporters as he arrived.

This protest comes just after a three-day demonstration by Hazara Shi'ites in Quetta, capital of southwestern Baluchistan province, protesting against one of the worst sectarian attacks in the country's history – bomb attacks last week that killed nearly 100 people.

After thousands of Shi'ites sat in the roads, refusing to bury their dead, the federal government yielded to the protesters' key demand and dismissed the provincial government.

Clinton to Testify Before Congress on Benghazi

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 9:40 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will finally testify before Congress next week about September's deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton will appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23. She was to have appeared last month, but illness forced the delay.

Republican committee chairman, Congressman Ed Royce of California, says it is important to learn as much as possible about what happened in Benghazi to ensure that such an attack does not happen again.

Armed Islamic militants overran the consulate on September 11, killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Royce says he wants Clinton to explain why officials did not anticipate the attack, and what can be done to boost security at diplomatic facilities.

An independent panel found failures in the State Department offices responsible for security.

Clinton was forced to curtail her official duties for weeks after she fell ill with a viral ailment, then fainted and suffered a concussion. She subsequently was hospiotalized for treatment of a blood clot on the brain that may have been caused by her fall.

More Suicides Than Combat Deaths in US Military

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 8:20 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The Pentagon says 349 U.S. servicemen and women killed themselves last year, more than the number of troops killed in combat.

The number is up from the 301 military suicides in 2011. Some experts predict the number will be even higher this year.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has called suicides in the armed forces an epidemic, but a trend the Penatagon seems unable to control or fully understand.

U.S. military leaders have made suicide prevention one of their highest priorities. Experts put some of the blame on stress and alcohol. They also say many soldiers, sailors and Marines face uncertain futures after the end of the war in Iraq and next year's expected withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Pakistani Cleric Demands Government Resign

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 8:00 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A populist Pakistani cleric gave the country's political leaders an ultimatum to dissolve the government and resign, telling his supporters to march on parliament early Tuesday and force the issue.

Tahir-ul Qadri called for action by tens of thousands of people gathered for an anti-corruption rally on one of Islamabad's main thoroughfares, following a 38-hour protest march from the eastern city of Lahore.

Qadri's supporters said they would heed his call. They pushed aside barriers of barbed wire and shipping containers that police had erected to contain the crowd, and set out for parliament.

The influential cleric, known as a political moderate, said he would speak to his supporters before noon Tuesday outside parliament (at six hours UTC / 0200 EST), and press his demand for the government's abdication.

Pakistan is due to hold parliamentary elections in mid-May, and parliament would be dissolved about two months beforehand. But Qadri said the government should step down immdiately, to clear the way for an interim Cabinet to root out graft and mismanagement, which he blames for chronic energy shortages, slow economic growth and a rise in crime and Taliban insurgency.

Qadri's black, chauffeur-driven SUV was showered with rose pedals by supporters as he arrived at the protest rally.

The Sufi cleric, who runs an educational and religious organization with global reach, recently returned to Pakistan after years living in Canada, where he also has citizenship.

Qadri had promised to bring a million demonstrators to the streets of Islamabad, but turnout appeared to fall far short of that goal. Pakistan's interior minister estimated Monday evening that the total crowd would not exceed 25,000.

Still, Qadri was greeted by raucous cheers from supporters as he arrived.

The protest comes just after a three-day demonstration by Hazara Shi'ites in Quetta, capital of southwestern Baluchistan province, protesting against one of the worst sectarian attacks in the country's history – bomb attacks last week that killed nearly 100 people.

After thousands of Shi'ites sat in the roads, refusing to bury their dead, the federal government yielded to the protesters' key demand and dismissed the provincial government.

Scientists: Chimps and Human Share Sense of Fair Play

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 7:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Scientists already know chimpanzees are the closest human relatives. They now say chimps and humans share a trait that was thought to be exclusive to people — a sense of fairness.

U.S. researchers at Emory University had chimps play a game called “Ultimatum,” where one chimp can choose between two tokens. One token would let him share food with the group while the other would let him keep more food for himself.

The researchers say the chimps shared as much food as a group of young children performing the same experiment for stickers.

The researchers write of the experiment in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They say the results could provide insight into how human behavior evolved.

Islamabad Rally Calls for Delay in Elections

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 6:30 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Thousands of Pakistanis have converged on the capital, Islamabad, to back the call of a charismatic Sufi cleric for an indefinite delay in elections and a crackdown on government corruption and inefficiency.

Tahir-ul Qadri, who recently returned home from Canada, arrived in Islamabad early Tuesday to join the protest rally. His black, chauffeur-driven SUV was showered with rose pedals as it inched its way toward a stage on one of Islamabad's main boulevards.

The influential cleric had promised to bring a million demonstrators to the streets of Islamabad, but turnout appeared to fall far short of that goal. Pakistan's interior minister estimated Monday evening that the total crowd would not exceed 25,000.

Still, Qadri was greeted by raucous cheers from supporters as he arrived.

The Sufi cleric has called for an interim government to root out graft and mismanagement, which he blames for chronic energy shortages, slow economic growth and the rise in crime and Taliban insurgency in Pakistan.

The protest comes just after a three-day demonstration by Hazara Shi'ites in Quetta, capital of southwestern Baluchistan province, protesting against one of the worst sectarian attacks in the country's history – bomb attacks last week that killed nearly 100 people.

After thousands of Shi'ites sat in the roads, refusing to bury their dead, the federal government yielded to the protesters' key demand and dismissed the provincial government.

Thousands of Demonstrators Gather in Islamabad

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 12:45 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Thousands of Pakistanis are converging on the capital for a protest march led by a cleric who has called for political change.

Tahirul Qadri, who recently returned home from Canada, had promised to bring a million demonstrators to the streets of Islamabad Monday in his call for electoral reform, but early estimates say he will not reach that goal. Still, a huge crowd is gathering.

The cleric wants an interim government to root out graft and mismanagement blamed for chronic energy shortages, stunted growth, and allowing crime and a Taliban insurgency to flourish.

Thousands of security officers have been deployed in Islamabad to protect government and diplomatic areas as the protesters gather in the city.

The protest comes just after a three-day demonstration by Hazara Shi'ite in Quetta, capital of the southwestern Baluchistan province, protesting against one of the worst sectarian attacks in the country's history in which nearly 100 in their community were killed.

After thousands of Shi'ites sat in the roads by the bodies of their dead, the federal government finally gave in to one of the protesters' key demands and fired the provincial government.

Italian Court Rejects Berlusconi Bid to Halt Sex Trial

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 12:30 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

An Italian court in Milan has rejected a request by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to suspend his sex scandal trial.

Lawyers for Berlusconi argued that his role as leader of a center-right coalition standing in next month's general election would be an impediment to the proceedings. Prosecutors have accused the defense of trying to draw out the trial to avoid a verdict before elections.

Meanwhile, defense lawyers said they did not need to hear the testimony of the Moroccan-born exotic dancer at the center of the case. Karima el-Mahroug, also known as Ruby, appeared in court Monday where she had been expected to testify.

Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with El-Mahroug when she 17 at his mansion near Milan. Both have denied any sexual contact. Prostitution is legal in Italy, but not for women younger than 18.

The former prime minister is also accused of abuse of office by pressuring police to release El-Mahroug after her arrest for petty theft.

Eurozone Industrial Production Still Shrinking

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 9:30 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The eurozone says its industrial production fell for the third straight month in November, the latest signal that the currency bloc remains mired in recession.

The 17-nation eurozone said Monday that industrial output dropped the most in three years in November, down three-tenths of one percent. Analysts had predicted that manufacturing would advance slightly.

From November 2011 to this past November, eurozone industrial production contracted 3.7 percent.

The eurozone economy is already in a recession, shrinking modestly for two quarters in a row, from April through September. With the latest figures on industrial production, experts say the overall eurozone economy likely will record a third straight recessionary quarter in the final months of 2012.

The eurozone economy has struggled to grow as debt-ridden countries on its southern geographic periphery have imposed austerity measures to control spending. In the last few years, the eurozone has bailed out Greece, Ireland and Portugal and now is considering a rescue of one its smallest nations, Cyprus.

Thousands of Demonstrators Gather in Islamabad

Posted January 14th, 2013 at 6:35 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Thousands of Pakistanis are converging on the capital for a protest march led by a cleric who has called for political change.

Tahirul Qadri, who recently returned home from Canada, had promised to bring a million demonstrators to the streets of Islamabad Monday in his call for electoral reform, but early estimates say he will not reach that goal. Still, a huge crowd is gathering.

The cleric wants an interim government to root out graft and mismanagement blamed for chronic energy shortages, stunted growth, and allowing crime and a Taliban insurgency to flourish.

Thousands of security officers have been deployed in Islamabad to protect government and diplomatic areas as the protesters gather in the city.

The protest comes just after a three-day demonstration by Hazara Shi'ite in Quetta, capital of eastern Baluchistan province, protesting against one of the worst sectarian attacks in the country's history in which nearly 100 in their community were killed.

After thousands of Shi'ites sat in the roads by the bodies of their dead, the federal government finally gave in to one of the protesters' key demands and fired the provincial government.

Calendar

April 2024
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Archives

Categories