Saturday, 4 September 2010
Sep 4 - A suicide bomber struck a rally in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Friday, killing at least 54 people in the second major attack this week and piling pressure on a US-backed government overwhelmed by a flood crisis.
Pakistan's Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast and said it would launch attacks in the United States and Europe "very soon" -- repeating a threat to strike Western targets in response to drone attacks that have targeted its leadership.
In Washington, the White House condemned the Quetta attack on a Shi'ite rally expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people, saying it was "even more reprehensible" because it came during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as Pakistan reels from disastrous flooding.
A U.S. counterterrorism official said the threat by the al Qaeda-linked Taliban against the United States and Europe could not be discounted.
The attack came just two days after Washington added the Pakistani Taliban to its list of "foreign terrorist organizations" and charged its leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, with plotting a bombing that killed seven CIA agents at a US base in Afghanistan last December.
In Quetta, dozens of dead and wounded people lay in pools of blood as fires engulfed vehicles. Senior police official Hamid Shakeel told Reuters at least 54 people were killed and about 160 wounded.
Hours later, the Taliban said the bombing was revenge for the killing of radical Sunni clerics by Shi'ites, further challenging Pakistan's unpopular civilian government.
"We take pride in taking responsibility for the Quetta attack," Qari Hussain Mehsud, a senior Pakistani Taliban and mentor of suicide bombers, told Reuters.
Earlier in the day, the Taliban also claimed responsibility for bombings on Wednesday at a Shi'ite procession in the eastern city of Lahore in which at least 33 people died.
Those blasts were the first major attack since the worst floods in Pakistan's history began more than a month ago. The Taliban and its allies often target religious minorities in a campaign to destabilize the government.
Thursday, 2 September 2010
Butt, Asif and Amir dropped for rest of tour
Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, the three Pakistan players who are at the centre of the spot-fixing controversy have been dropped for the limited-overs leg of the England tour, according to team manager Yawar Saeed. He said they had not, however, been suspended.
The three players are currently in London, where they are due to meet Pakistan's high commissioner to the UK. The PCB chairman, Ijaz Butt, is expected to be at that meeting.
Speaking in Taunton, where the Pakistan team are to play a warm-up match later on Thursday, Saeed said he had taken the decision, and also called for three replacements "The T20 squad will remain what it is here this morning, i.e. 13 people," Saeed said. "When we play the one-day internationals we will be asking for replacements to make the squad up to 16.".
Despite the government's claim that Anthrax is under control, the disease is steadily making its way through the country.
On Wednesday, 16 new anthrax infected people were detected in Kushtia's Dharmadaha village under Doulatpur Upazila raising the number of infected patients to 193.
Upazila health and family planning officer Saleh Ahmed confirmed the detection. He identified the infected as Liakat Hossain, Mahbubul Islam, Sahara Ali, Sabina Khatun, Ambia Begum, Sahina Khatun, Rabeya Begum, Jahima Bewa, Tohura Begum, Fahima Khatun, Sakhina Khatun, Anzira Begum, Sahara Begum, Amina Begum, Mitan Pramanik, and Kawsar Hossain.
Anthrax commonly infects both wild and domesticated mammals which ingest or inhale the bacterium while grazing. Diseased animals can then spread anthrax to humans, either by direct contact or through consumption of the meat.
Livestock minister Abdul Latif Biswas had told bdnews24.com that the disease was under control. Several experts and civil sugeons of the affected areas have assured of 'no epidemic' situation, since 'it is curable'.
The minister was also firmed in saying that no anthrax-infected cattle would be allowed to enter the capital.
The disease was first detected on Aug 19 among 26 residents of the Chithhulia village under Shahjadpur Upazila in Sirajganj. Later it spread in Pabna.
In addition, at least 14 people were contracted Anthrax at Kurmurshi village under Ghatail Upazila in Tangail on Tuesday.
Experts team from the Dhaka's institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IDCR) and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) had visited Sirajganj and Pabna, collected specimens and confirmed anthrax.
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An advertisement for luxury accessories brand Bulgari featuring actress Julianne Moore is too sexy for Venice, the Italian city's mayor says.
The billboard, which was to be displayed on Doge's Palace, which overlooks the famous St. Mark's Square, features the actress lying naked across a divan, covered by a handbag and two lion cubs.