Dec 092017
 
US declaration

US President Donald Trump has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and decided to relocate the US Embassy there. The controversial decision has not only invited the wrath of Muslim-majority countries, but other countries like Britain and Russia have also condemned Trump’s move. Many political analysts have opined that the decision will act as a catalyst for wider violent confrontations between Israel forces and the Palestinian people. This will also pave the way for strong protests before the US’s and Israel’s embassies across the Muslim world. Trump’s credibility and competency have been challenged once again and this move will prove to be another nail in the coffin.The UN should immediately respond to this impartial, illegitimate, and inconclusive action. Besides, the OIC, Arab League, and a recently formed coalition of 39-Muslim countries should build pressure on the international communities, including the UN, the EU, the ICJ, and other human rights organisations so that they can help in reverting the gruesome move of the Trump administration. The Muslim countries should not hesitate to isolate Israel if it doesn’t give up its aggressive stance regarding the sacred city of Jerusalem.Syed Fakhar Imam ( Pakpattan ) Click for detailed story

Dec 072017
 
US gymnastics team doctor sentenced to 60 years for child pornography

Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar appears at Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing, Michigan, US, November 22, 2017. AFP/Jeff Kowalsky/FilesA federal judge on Thursday sentenced Larry Nassar — the former USA Gymnastics team doctor accused of sexually assaulting gymnasts — to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges that grew out of a sex abuse investigation.US District Judge Janet Neff in Grand Rapids, Michigan, handed down the sentence sought by prosecutors, who said there was a link between Nassar’s child pornography and his “prolific molestation of children”, according to court documents.“He has demonstrated that he should never again have access to children,” Neff said according to the Lansing State Journal.Matt Newburg — Nassar’s attorney — said he was “devastated” and remorseful, according to a State Journal video.Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty in July to possessing thousands of images and videos of child pornography depicting children as young as infants between 2003 and 2016.Nassar is also set to be sentenced in January in two Michigan courts after pleading guilty to additional counts of criminal sexual conduct related to allegations he assaulted girls under the guise of medical treatment.At that hearing, all of the more than 120 victims or their parents will be allowed to give impact statements. Nassar is likely to spend the remainder of his life in prison.Nassar was the team physician for the Michigan State University gymnastics and women’s crew teams, as well as an associate professor at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. [Read More…]

Dec 072017
 
OIC denounces US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Jeddah – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed deep regret over the US President Donald Trump’s announcement of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his orders to move his country’s embassy to the city, which constitutes a provocation of Muslims’ sentiments.The OIC rejected the decision as a violation of the political, legal and historical status of the city of Jerusalem, a clear defiance of international laws and resolutions, a departure from the international consensus on the status of Jerusalem, and the requirements of peace in general, thus undermining the US role as a sponsor of the peace process.The OIC emphasized the need for urgent action by convening an extraordinary summit of the leaders of the OIC member states in Istanbul on December 12 and 13 to discuss the repercussions of the US decision and formulate a unified Islamic position on this serious escalation.The OIC also insisted that the decision does not only threaten the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem but also the Christian identity of the city, stressing Muslims’ eternal attachment to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the centrality of the cause of Jerusalem to the Islamic Ummah. It stressed commitment to working with the international community and to supporting the Arab and international efforts to achieve peace based on the two-state solution, the establishment of the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital and the end of the Israeli occupation.The OIC reaffirmed its firm stance towards Jerusalem, considered as an integral part [Read More…]

Nov 282017
 
US, Britain, France Accused of Snubbing Anti-nuclear Nobel Prize

OSLO � The anti-nuclear group which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize accused the United States, Britain and France on Wednesday of snubbing its disarmament work byplanning to send only second-rank diplomats to the award ceremony next month.“It’s some kind of protest against the Nobel Peace Prize,” Beatrice Fihn, director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), told Reuters of a plan by the three nations to send only deputy chiefs of mission.“They like their nuclear weapons very much and don’t like it when we try to ban them,” she said, accusing the three of wrongly opposing ICAN’s work “when North Korea and the United States are exchanging threats to use nuclear weapons”.The annual December 10 Nobel prize ceremony in Oslo, attended by King Harald and Queen Sonja, is the highlight of the diplomatic calendar in Norway. The prize comprises a diploma, a gold medal and a check for $1.1 million.Olav Njoelstad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, confirmed the three nations would send only deputies. He said the awards committee always preferred to see chiefs of mission.“That being said, we are neither surprised nor offended by the fact that sometime foreign governments prefer to stay away from the ceremony in protest or, as in this case, because they prefer to be represented by their deputy chiefs of mission,” he told Reuters.“The Nobel Peace Prize is, after all, a political prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee takes notice of the joint decision of the British, French and U.S. embassies,” [Read More…]

Nov 142017
 
FIFA defendants ?blinded by greed?, US prosecutors say

NEW YORK: Blinded by greed into accepting millions of dollars in bribes, or innocent bystanders? Prosecution and defense lawyers opened the FIFA corruption trial on Monday, two and a half years after the United States unveiled the largest graft scandal in the history of world soccer. In the dock are three fabulously wealthy South American former football officials from Brazil, Paraguay and Peru, who are charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. All have pleaded not guilty. They are just a fraction of the 42 officials and marketing executives, not to mention three companies, indicted in an exhaustive 236-page complaint detailing 92 separate crimes and 15 corruption schemes to the tune of $200 million. Unveiled by then US attorney general Loretta Lynch in May 2015, the charges laid bare a quarter of a century of corruption in the heart of FIFA, football’s governing body. “Lurking underneath the surface are lies, greed and corruption,” assistant attorney Keith Edelman told jurors on Monday, recounting a meeting of officials in Miami in 2014 to celebrate the upcoming 2016 Copa America tournament in the United States. “Some of these officials had other reasons to celebrate. They had agreed to receive millions of dollars in bribes regarding the tournament,” Edelman told the federal court in Brooklyn.The centerpiece of the trial is the US government’s accusations that the three defendants accepted bribes to bestow advertising and marketing rights for tournament matches, through a complex web of fake contracts, shell companies and wire transfers.The most [Read More…]

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