Pakistan Observer


US, Europe call for end to Libyan violence

Washington—The United States and four European countries jointly called on Saturday for an end to violence in Libya. The governments of France, Italy, Germany, Britain and the United States said in a statement that they “agree that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis” and expressed dismay that calls for a ceasefire had not been respected. ... Monday, October 20, 2014 Details

Obama moves into mid-term polls campaign mode

Washington—President Barack Obama is set to make his first major campaign appearances of the midterm elections. Obama plans to attend a Sunday afternoon rally for Anthony Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Brown is Maryland’s lieutenant governor and the Democratic candidate for governor. ... Monday, October 20, 2014 Details

OIC team to visit Iraq

Jeddah—The Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ambassador Hesham Youssef, and the Director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Geneva, Rashid Khalikov, are scheduled to visit Iraq from 20 to 23 October to observe first-hand the magnitude of the crisis, says a press release. ... Monday, October 20, 2014 Details

‘Makkah Metro operates under highest standard of safety’

Makkah Al-Mashaer—Metro (MMM), China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), explained the smooth operation of the MMM this year and the last five years pilgrimage since its inception. Dong Liwei, the CRCC deputy general manager, said CRCC is committed to making every Haj year successful and meeting the most stringent safety standards for smooth operations of the Makkah Metro pointing out that they had transported a total of over 16 million passengers for five years in a row. He said strict maintenance and evaluation of every task and work assignment are in place round-the-clock with the help of the best railways experts in the world to do safety inspections and test runs of the trains throughout the year before the Haj period. ... Monday, October 20, 2014 Details

How to cover the Islamic State?

SOMETIME in 2013, as Islamic State militants expanded the territory under their control, an order came down to the local brigades: Grab any non-Muslim foreigner you can find. Western journalists became prime targets, and over the next few months dozens were captured by local fighters. International news organizations purposely avoided covering the kidnappings. ... Monday, October 20, 2014 Details

2 Koreas exchange gunfire along border

Seoul—North Korean and South Korean troops exchanged fire Sunday along their heavily fortified border in the second such shooting in less than 10 days, South Korean officials said. South Korean soldiers broadcast warnings and fired warning shots at about 10 North Korean soldiers who were approaching the military demarcation line inside the Demilitarized Zone that bisects the Korean Peninsula, according to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. Two shots believed to have been fired by North Korean soldiers were found at a South Korean guard post, and South Korean soldiers fired toward the North, the statement said. ... Monday, October 20, 2014 Details

Nepal closes trekking route after 38 die

Katmandu—Nepalese officials closed a section of a popular Himalayan trekking route Sunday after rescuers, overwhelmed with last week’s snowstorms that killed 38 hikers, had to bring to safety new climbers who set out on the same mountain trails where the blizzards struck. The dead from the blizzards and avalanches that hit the upper section of the Annapurna Circuit in northern Nepal included foreign trekkers, local guides and villagers. Most among the hundreds of trekkers who had been stuck in the snow have been brought to safety, and government official Yama Bahadur Chokhyal said rescue helicopters were winding down flights. ... Monday, October 20, 2014 Details

Searching for a Consensus

OVER the last two years, tensions between China and Japan over historical issues and territorial disputes have brought diplomacy between the nations to a stalemate. The on-going diplomatic discord has affected cooperation in the realms of politics, the economy and tourism for the two influential East Asian neighbors. ... Sunday, October 19, 2014 Details

Refugees can crack this tough nut

THE Palestinian unity technocratic government that held its first meeting in war-torn Gaza October 9 marked several significant if symbolic realities, the most important being the need to unify all Palestinians under a single legitimate leadership. It could be an important first step in a historic series of actions that are needed to address the visible weaknesses in the Palestinian national condition. ... Sunday, October 19, 2014 Details

Yemen sectarian clashes raging in Yareem

Sana’a - Yemeni Shi’ite Houthi fighters and supporters of the Sunni Muslim party Islah clashed in central Yemen, residents and local officials said, another sign of sectarian warfare in the violence-prone country that borders Saudi Arabia. Saturday’s fighting in the town of Yareem in Ibb province came after 15 people were killed in fighting on Friday between Sunni tribesmen and Houthi rebels on the outskirts and in the city of Ibb, 150 km (90 miles) south of Sanaa. ... Sunday, October 19, 2014 Details

Lebanon pushed into war with IS

Beirut—With all eyes on the Islamic State group’s onslaught in Iraq and Syria, a less conspicuous but potentially just as explosive front line with the extremists is emerging in Lebanon, where Lebanese soldiers and Shiite Hezbollah guerrillas are increasingly pulled into deadly fighting with the Sunni militants along the country’s border with Syria. ... Sunday, October 19, 2014 Details

More bodies spotted on Nepal trekking trail

Katmandu (Nepal)—A rescue helicopter spotted nine more bodies Saturday on a trekking trail in northern Nepal, bringing the death toll to 38 from this week’s series of snow storms and avalanches in the worst hiking disaster in the Himalayan nation. The bodies were seen from the air in Dolpa district, but the steep terrain made it impossible for the helicopter to land, said Yadav Koirala from the Disaster Management Division in Katmandu. ... Sunday, October 19, 2014 Details

HK activists recapture core protest zone

Hong Kong—The pro-democracy activists recaptured parts of a core protest zone from police early on Saturday after hours of turmoil that the city’s police chief warned undermined order and jeopardized public safety. Dozens of people were injured in the skirmishes, including 18 police, which raged through the night as several thousand protesters squared off again police in the densely populated Mong Kok district. ... Sunday, October 19, 2014 Details

Israel restricts Muslim’s Al-Aqsa entry

Jerusalem—Israeli authorities continue to restrict the access of Palestinians to the al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied West Bank for the third consecutive week. Israeli police have deployed nearly 1,000 soldiers and erected several roadblocks around the holy Islamic site in East al-Quds (Jerusalem). The site has been the scene of clashes between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli settlers and troops in the past few weeks. ... Sunday, October 19, 2014 Details

Turkish-Iranian relations: addressing the assymetries

TURKISH-Iranian relations continue to influence as well as to be influenced by the transformations in the national, regional, and international contexts. In this process, bilateral relations between the two states are evolving both in substance and style to display new characteristics of cooperation and competition. The fundamental dynamic to determine the nature of this relational evolution is the salience of economic issues, which have come to dominate the bilateral agenda and dictate the terms of engagement between Turkey and Iran to a great extent. Nonetheless, concomitant with economic issues acquiring rather decisive influence on bilateral relations, three asymmetries have become discernible that need to be addressed for a politically safe and economically sound relationship. ... Saturday, October 18, 2014 Details


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