News You Can Use

IRAQ - US helicopter shot down in Latifiya. 4 US and 4 UK troops killed Apr 5. (BBC, Apr 5)

CHECHNYA - Ramzan Kadyrov was sworn in as pro-Russian president of Chechnya. He rules by fear, using a private militia to kidnap, torture and kill Chechens. (BBC, Apr 5)

INDONESIA - Editor of porn Playboy magazine was acquitted of publishing indecent material. Protesters who forced the publishers to Bali said the verdict was a bitter pill. (BBC, Apr 5)

GUANTANAMO - Conditions for detainees are deteriorating, with majority in solitary confinement, Amnesty International says. Inhumane conditions are making people insane and detainees are confined to windowless cells for 22 hours a day, only allowed to exercise at night and go for days without seeing daylight. (BBC, Apr 4)

COLOMBIA - International arrest warrants were issued for 3 Israeli Jews wanted for training fighters for drug-traffickers' private armies. (BBC, Apr 4)

ETHIOPIA - Ethiopia admits holding 41 Muslim ‘terror’ suspects from 17 countries arrested in Somalia, in secret prisons for interrogation by the FBI. Among the captured were 23 women and children. Mujahideen in Ogaden, a Muslim Somali area captured by Ethiopia, attacked an oil field in Abole killing 74 in a battle. (BBC, Apr 11, 25)

PAKISTAN - Hundreds of Taleban attacked security forces in Tank, near Afghanistan. (BBC, Mar 28)

KASHMIR - Gulmarg in Indian-occupied Kashmir is turning into a paradise for extreme skiers. It’s at a height of 4,267m overlooking Himalayan mountains. These are probably the best and most dangerous skiing conditions in the world. (BBC, Mar 21

HEALTH - World Health Organization and UNAIDS said male circumcision should be used to reduce the spread of HIV. Trials show that circumcision halved the rate of HIV infection in heterosexual men, but not in gay men. (BBC, Mar 28)

KOSOVO - UN envoy for Muslim Kosovo says independence is the only option for the territory, in a report to the Security Council. Russia backs Serbia to hold on to Kosovo. (BBC, Mar 27)

MALAYSIA - Govt blasted BBC presenter who ridiculed a Malaysian-made car in magazine articles and on the Top Gear motor show. He was filmed attacking the Perodua Kelisa car with a sledgehammer before blowing it up. He said its name was like a disease and it was built in jungles by people who wear leaves for shoes. (BBC Mar 28)

ALGERIA - 17 killed after 2 blasts rocked the capital, one near the PM’s office. (BBC, Apri 11)

SYRIA - Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi became the most senior US politician to visit in 2 years. She met Pres Basheer. Bush, a Republican who is engaged in a struggle with Democrat-dominated congress, condemned her visit. (Al Jazeera, Apr 4)

QATAR - Foreign minister Sheikh Hamad was named PM. In 2005, he met Israel's foreign minister, the first public encounter between a Gulf diplomat and Israel. Qatar, a US ally, also keeps close ties with Hamas, allowing its leaders to have homes there. (Al Jazeera, Apr 3)

BAHRAIN - Plans are in place to set up Islamic mega-bank named Emaar. It will have an initial capital of R7bn reaching a capital of R700bn in 7 years. The Islamic finance industry has up to R2800bn in assets. (Al Jazeera, Mar 28)

INDONESIA - Christians in Papua province have been fighting against govt for decades with attacks on economic and military targets. (BBC, Feb 21)

NEW ZEALAND - Churches are to hold a conference to discuss the ‘threat’ of Islam. (busrep)

THAILAND - A grenade thrown in a mosque in the south injured 14 people at Fajr time. (BBC, Apr 5)

EGYPT - Amnesty says Egypt has become a centre for interrogation and torture on behalf of other states in the ‘war on terror’. (BBC, Apr 11)

IRAQ - Red Cross says the situation for ordinary Iraqis is getting steadily worse. (Apr 11)

TURKEY - The army and secularists told PM Erdogan not to stand for President as his party has Islamist roots. (BBC, Apr 24)

Islamci Focus 45 May 2007

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