Pakistan to launch new anti-Taliban operation

Pakistan has decided to launch military offensive in North Waziristan Agency tribal area, the stronghold of the militants, adjacent to border with Afghanistan, a leading newspaper reported on Monday.

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PAKISTAN: Backgrounder on Khyber Agency militancy

The Khyber Agency in Pakistan has emerged in recent times as a centre of sectarian conflict – partially as a result of the spillover of deep-rooted differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the nearby Kurram Agency and partially as a reaction to efforts by hardline Sunni groups to establish their writ in the area.

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Lawyer Says Mladic Won’t Live To See Trial

The defense lawyer of Ratko Mladic says the former Bosnian Serb military chief is so ill he won’t live to see the start of his trial on genocide and war crimes charges.

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Bulgarian Bodyguard Saves Life of US Movie Star Scarlett Johansson

US movie actress Scarlett Johansson has revealed how she almost lost her life while on her latest film set, and was saved only by the prompt actions of her Bulgarian bodyguard.

Praising the unnamed guard, Johansson described how she was shooting a dangerous scene when she fell from the stallion she was riding, the UK Daily Star has reported.

“I was riding side saddle with this 400 pound costume on… It had been raining and we rode up this muddy embankment and suddenly the horse was being temperamental. He reared up and I felt majestic on top until his whole a** slid underneath him and he started to roll over on one side.”

She said she feared the worst, until her bodyguard rushed to her rescue.

“I thought for sure this was going to crush my legs and out of nowhere my Bulgarian bodyguard flew in and stop, dropped, and he rolled, and he carried me sailing through the air! I knew he would save my life one day, and he did.”

Scarlett Johansson was filming “The Other Boleyn Girl” when the incident occurred. The US actress began her career at the age of 10. She starred alongside Robert Redford in “The Horse Whisperer”, and has worked with Woody Allen and Ewan McGregor. She has been nominated for three Golden Globe awards.


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US Hoping for UN Security Council Vote on Libya

A Libyan government soldier poses for the camera at the west gate of town Ajdabiyah, March 17, 2011

The U.N. Security Council meets Thursday for more discussions on a resolution to set up a “no-fly” zone over Libya, as forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi pound rebel strongholds.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday Washington hopes for a vote on the resolution “no later” than Thursday. Britain, France and Lebanon introduced the document, with the support of the Arab League.

Some Western powers are pressing for quick passage of a resolution to establish a no-fly zone and authorize other steps in support of the rebels. The lightly armed and poorly organized opposition fighters have lost ground repeatedly in recent days to Gadhafi’s army, with its aircraft, tanks and heavy weapons.

However, some Security Council members, including Germany and Russia, have expressed doubt over the implementation and potential effectiveness of a no-fly zone. There have also been calls for Arab countries to participate in the implementation if one is approved.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for an immediate cease-fire in Libya, saying he is “gravely concerned” about the increasing military escalation by government forces.

Witnesses say government shelling of the opposition-controlled western city of Misrata killed at least five people Wednesday. Pro-Gadhafi forces also pounded the eastern town of Ajdabiya, but rebels denied government claims that it had regained control of the town.

Ajdabiya is the last large town on the road to the opposition’s eastern stronghold of Benghazi. The Libyan government urged Benghazi residents to hand over weapons and support a government advance on the city.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to Security Council members, urging them to come together without delay to “save the martyred people of Libya.” He said the worst outcome would be to allow “the force of arms” to overrule the decisions of the Arab League and the Security Council.

Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, said in a television interview that whatever decision the council takes it will be too late. Seif al-Islam told EuroNews that pro-Gadhafi forces are almost to Benghazi and that within 48 hours everything would be finished.


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Terrorism in Australia

Australia has known acts of modern terrorism since the 1960s, while the federal parliament, since the 1970s, has enacted legislation seeking to specifically target terrorism.

Terrorism is defined as “an action or threat of action where the action causes certain defined forms of harm or interference and the action is done or the threat is made with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause”. In a government publication, transnational terrorism in particular is identified as a threat to Australia, driven by an extremist interpretation of Islam.

In September 2007 there were 19 organisations designated and banned, by a court or a government department, for active involvement in terrorism. All but one of those organisations are Islamic. Identification of terrorist organisations may result from a prosecution for a terrorist offence, or from a listing determined by the Attorney-General of Australia.

Source: Wikipedia

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