Pakistan Observer

International

US blogger in Dhaka hacked to death

Dhaka—A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious fundamentalism was hacked to death in the streets of Bangladesh’s capital as he walked with his wife, police said Friday. The Thursday night attack on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred along a crowded stretch of sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. ... Saturday, February 28, 2015 Details

Obama and Israel

ALL eyes, especially in the Middle East, will be focused next week on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most influential pro-Israel lobby in the US, which will be holding its annual conference, as always, near the US Congress led by the triumphant Republican Party, which now controls its two legislative branches: the House of Representatives and the Senate. ... Saturday, February 28, 2015 Details

Chinese call for fair trial of NYPD officer

New York–New York’s Chinese community has called for a fair and just trial, uninfluenced by the intensified relations between police and the public, for Chinese-American NYPD officer Peter Liang for the Nov. 20 fatal shooting of the black man Akai Gurley. The current situation that the Chinese has little influence in American politics needs to change, Brooklyn Asian Communities Empowerment Chairman Shanzhuang Chen told Xinhua Thursday. ... Saturday, February 28, 2015 Details

Another winter storm hits US East Coast

Washington—The latest in an unending parade of winter storms moved over the US East Coast on Saturday, dropping a wintry mix as far south as northern Georgia and potentially causing more headaches for the snow-weary northeastern New England states. ... Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Details

Bankers emerge as Fed ally in fight against audit bill

Columbus (Ohio)—Local bankers are joining the fight against a congressional proposal to audit the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decisions, with more expected to lobby against the bill if it gains traction in Washington. The audit the Fed bill, championed by Rand Paul of Kentucky, a Republican Senator and likely presidential candidate, would encourage interference from lawmakers into the central bank’s monetary policy discussions. A similar Fed audit bill passed the House of Representatives late last year and a hearing on Fed transparency is expected to be formally called by the Senate banking committee, according to people familiar with the matter. ... Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Details

China urges political resolve in Iran nuclear talks

Beijing—As negotiators are meeting again over the Iranian nuclear issue, China has called for political resolve from all the parties. It has been over a year since Iran and world powers agreed to return to the negotiating table over the country’s long-disputed nuclear program, yet wide differences have kept them from striking a final deal. Delegates from Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany met Iranian negotiators on Sunday in Geneva to continue their diplomatic efforts for a long-term, comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. ... Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Details

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Origins, Present Status and Legal Aspects

THE Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan is part of the geographical area called Garabaghthatfrom ancient time was part of different Azerbaijani states. The Gulustanand Turkmanchay peace treaties of 1828 and1813respectively signed between Russia and Iran made Northern Azerbaijan a part of Russia. After these treaties a rapid mass resettlement of Armenians in the Azerbaijani lands took place and the subsequent artificial territorial division emerged. The WW-I also contributed to increase in number of Armenians in the South Caucasus. From 1828 to 1911 alone, more than one million Armenians were resettled from Iran and Turkey in the region, and 350,000 Armenians appeared there in 1914-1916. ... Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Details

Blast kills two in Ukraine city; rebels, army wrangle over truce

Kharkiv—A bomb killed two people during a pro-government march in the east Ukraine city of Kharkiv on Sunday, officials said, as Kiev’s army and rebels wrangled over a truce requiring them to pull back heavy weapons. Tensions also rose around a new flashpoint, the port city of Mariupol on the Azov Sea, with Kiev accusing Russia of trying to wrest it away through the deployment of several tanks. ... Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Details

‘Only fools confuse religion with criminality’

IF I read one more article or hear one more speech by a Western politician telling us that we are experiencing a war within Islam between radicals and moderates, or a battle for the future and soul of Islam, I will seek medical options for a long hibernation so I can wake up in another era, when more sensible analysis is used to understand and roll back the expanding circles of violence that plague many countries. ... Sunday, February 22, 2015 Details

Madani condemns Mogadishu bombings

Mogadishu—The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani, has condemned the twin bomb attacks on the Central Hotel in Mogadishu, which killed a dozen of innocent people and injured a score of others. The victims included top government officials and lawmakers. The Deputy Prime Minister was among those wounded. ... Sunday, February 22, 2015 Details

US strike widens to nation’s largest refinery

Houston—The US refinery strike widened as workers at the nation’s largest refinery walked off their jobs at 12 a.m. CST (0600 GMT) on Saturday, according to the United Steelworkers union (USW). Shortly after talks between union and oil company representatives ended on Friday night, the union notified Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] of a strike by its members at the company’s 600,250 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. ... Sunday, February 22, 2015 Details

How to arm Ukraine without starting World War Three

THE Feb. 12 Minsk II Ukrainian ceasefire agreement brokered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a fragile arrangement. Most analysts hold modest expectations. The past few days are proving them right. ... Friday, February 20, 2015 Details

Fighting rages despite bid to revive Ukraine truce

Ukraine—Fighting raged in eastern Ukraine on Thursday despite European efforts to resurrect a still-born ceasefire, a day after pro-Russian separatists who spurned the truce forced thousands of government troops out of a strategic town. ... Friday, February 20, 2015 Details