Jun 28 2011

Six In The Morning

Afghans Build Security, and Hope to Avoid Infiltrators


 For someone who had once joined an insurgent group, and whose family was tied to a top Taliban commander, Akmal had a strikingly easy path into the Afghan National Army.

The district governor who approved his paperwork had never met him. A village elder who was supposed to vouch for him – as required by recruiting mandates – did little more than verify his identity.

No red flags went up when, after just six weeks in the army, he deserted. He returned more than three months later with the skimpiest of explanations and was allowed to rejoin. “I told them I got sick,” Akmal recalled.

Tuesday’s Headlines:

How the demise of a trusted adviser could bring down Ahmadinejad

General strike under way in Greece

‘We May Be Naive, But We Are Not Idiots’

Egypt to assist international Gaza flotilla

The real face of Hizbul Tehrir

How the demise of a trusted adviser could bring down Ahmadinejad

Iran’s President has survived mass uprisings, but a corruption row engulfing his inner circle may soon be his undoing. Robert Fisk reports from Tehran

Tuesday, 28 June 2011  

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Iran’s irascible, unpredictable but devout president, may be forced to resign in the coming weeks as a political crisis far greater than the massive street violence which followed his re-election in 2009 threatens to overwhelm him and his court favourites in the government.

The overweening influence of his close friend and confidant Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaee, the president’s chief of staff – who is blamed for the firing of two intelligence ministers and for infuriating even the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei – is expected to bring down Ahmadinejad in one of the most spectacular putsches in the history of the Islamic Republic.

General strike under way in Greece’

National shutdown comes as parliament debates austerity reforms to help crisis-hit government secure rescue loans.

Last Modified: 28 Jun 2011  

A 48-hour general strike is under way in Greece as the country’s parliament debates a new round of austerity reforms that will help the bankruptcy-threatened government secure rescue loans.

The strike, which began on Tuesday, is set to disrupt or halt most public services.

The strike has been called by unions angry at a new €28bn ($40bn) austerity programme that would slap taxes on minimum wage earners and other struggling Greeks, following months of other cuts that have seen unemployment surge to more than 16 per cent.

“These measures are a massacre for workers’ rights. It will truly be hell for the working man,” said Thanassis Pafilis, a lawmaker with the Greek Communist Party that will lead one of Tuesday’s main rallies.

“The strike must bring everything to a standstill.”

‘We May Be Naive, But We Are Not Idiots’  

Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb

By Susanne Koelbl  

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Recent attacks on a naval base in Karachi, Pakistan, which resulted in the deaths of 16 people, show that extremists are posing a serious threat to the government in Islamabad. How safe is the Pakistani nuclear arsenal?

Khan: This hype has been created by the West. There never was, there is not and there never will be any threat to our nuclear assets. Right from the early 1980s on, the army put a fully fail-safe mechanism in place, which was subsequently improved upon by successive army chiefs. The plant was always secured by a fully armed army contingent and the perimeters were made impregnable using various tiers. Since then the security of our nuclear assets has been taken care of by the National Command Authority which has put in place a system whereby decisions are to be taken by a number of people who also possess specific security codes. It would thus be impossible, even if there were an infiltration of extremists, to pass all the components of the security system and get to the bomb.

Egypt to assist international Gaza flotilla

Jason Koutsoukis, Jerusalem

June 28, 2011  

EGYPT has agreed to allow an international flotilla targeting Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip to unload its cargo at the nearby port of El-Arish and transfer it into the Palestinian enclave over land.

The flotilla of at least eight ships is scheduled to set sail from a handful of Mediterranean ports, but is not expected to reach waters off Gaza until later next week.

The real face of Hizbul Tehrir

By Amir Mir  

ISLAMABAD – The shadow of militant group Hizbul Tehrir (HuT) looms large in the interrogations of Pakistan army Brigadier Ali Khan and four majors who have revealed senior military officers planned to lead a coup against the government in Islamabad in an attempt to convert the country into a pure Islamic state by reviving the Khilafat (caliphate) system envisaged by the al-Qaeda-linked organization.

The officers are being interrogated in the garrison town of Rawalpindi by the Special Investigation Branch of the Military Intelligence (MI) after their arrest for suspected ties to militant organizations, reinforcing fears that the Pakistan’s armed forces have been infiltrated at all levels by al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked Islamic extremists.