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moNDAY, DecemBeR 24, 2012 Issue No.



12 PAges 150 Fils

MPs file request for special session to address state security issues
Mohammad Al-Salman Mohammed Al-Khaldi, Osama Al-Qatari and Ahmed Al-Shemmari
Staff Writers

Vicious attack spurs security dialogue request

In the same vein, the Deputy National Assembly Speaker Mubarak Al-Khureinej condemned the heinous crime that claimed the life of a young Lebanese citizen. The Deputy Speaker urged the government and the legislative body to shoulder their responsibility by examining the issue of violence and find a fundamental solution to it. Al-Khureinej praised the efforts of the security services and the speedy manner in which they apprehended the culprits, and stressed that the Ministry of Interior should do its utmost to cleanse the country of people with past criminal records of all nationalities. MP Nabeel Al-Fadhl blamed the murder case as a manifestation of ill-brining, noting that chaos breeds chaos. He added that no law in the world is respected without force to protect it. For his part, MP Khaled Al-Shulaimi claimed that the doors of the interior minister are closed to the citizens, and that the ministry of interiors approach toward security issues is flawed. The MP addressed a parliamentary query to the minister questioning admission procedures at the Saad Al-Abdullah Academy. This comes at a time when MP Yaqoub AlSanee announced that he submitted a request for the allocation of the Jan. 9 session to deliberate over government spending policy against the backdrop of comments made by former minister Shuaib Al-Muwazri. The lawmaker cited AlMuwaizri as lamenting the loss of 603 million Kuwaiti dinars in the Kuwait Investment Authority and KD 312 million Gulf International Bank and over 300 million in the Social Security Institution, among others. In another development, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affiars Committee MP Saleh Ashour announced that the committee asked for a session to look into all the agreements and treaties signed between Kuwait and Arab countries so that they can be put into practice in the best interest of the country. The lawmaker noted that the committee had met yesterday and discussed a number of agreements and treaties on its agenda as well as the need for continued cooperation between the State of Kuwait and these countries.

Peace envoy Brahimi in Syria, air strike kills dozens

KUWAIT: Ten MPs on Sunday filed a request with the National Assembly Speaker Ali Al-Rashed calling for a special session to address the sense of insecurity in the country. MP Safa Al-Hashem stated that signatures of a number of MPs have been gathered to submit to the speaker in preparation for a session to discuss a host of issues related to security. The lawmaker added that she, along with a number of colleagues, met with the First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah to discuss the issue of unauthorized demonstrations and rallies that take place in residential areas. Al-Hashem noted that the minister had attentively listened to the delegation, while expressing hope that positive steps will be taken to this effect. The MPs who attended the meeting include Safa Al-Hashem, Abdullah Maayouf and Hisham Al-Baghli.

Egypt opposition to appeal vote passing new constitution

CAIRO: Egypts opposition said on Sunday it will appeal a referendum seen as voting in a new constitution backed by ruling Islamists, and vowed to keep up a struggle that has spawned weeks of protests and instability. Polling fraud and violations skewed the results of the two-stage referendum, the final leg of which was held on Saturday, the National Salvation Front charged. We are asking the (electoral) commission to investigate the irregularities before announcing official results, a Front member, Amr Hamzawy, told a Cairo news conference. The referendum is not the end of the road. It is only one battle, said another member, Abdel Ghaffar Shokr, reading from a Front statement. We will continue the fight for the Egyptian people. Germany immediately backed the call for a transparent investigation into the results. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: The new constitution can only meet with acceptance if the process of its adoption is beyond reproach.
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S.Korea says North rocket could reach US

Free Syrian Army fighters and residents carry the bodies of people killed by what activists said were missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet from forces loyal to Syrias President Bashar Al-Assad at a bakery in Halfaya, near Hama Dec. 23, 2012. (Reuters)

BOSASSO: A ship and its crew of 22 sailors held by Somali pirates for almost three years have been freed after a twoweek-long siege by maritime police, the government of the breakaway region of Puntland said on Sunday. The sailors aboard Panama-flagged MV Iceberg 1, from the Philippines, India, Yemen, Sudan, Ghana and Pakistan, were held for longer than any other hostages in the power of the pirates, who prey on shipping in the region, according to the presidents office of the northern Somali enclave in a statement Maritime police laid siege to the vessel on Dec. 10 near the coastal village of Garaad in the region of Mudug. After 2 years and 9 months in captivity, the hostages have suffered signs of physical torture and illness. The hostages

Somali pirates release longest-held hostages after 33 months

are now receiving nutrition and medical care, said the statement. The ship originally had a crew of 24, but two had died since the roll-on roll-off cargo vessel was seized on March 29, 2010, some 10 miles from Aden, pirates said. One of the pirate leaders said they only released the ship after negotiation with Puntland officials and local elders. They kindly requested the release of the ship we held for three years. Puntland forces had attacked us and tried to release the ship by force but they failed. We fought back and defeated them, the pirate known as Farah told Reuters. Farah did not disclose whether any ransom had been paid for the crew and the ship, owned by Azal Shipping in Dubai with a deadweight of 4,500 tons.
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DAMASCUS: International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Syria Sunday in a new bid to resolve the brutal 21-month conflict, as an air strike on a bakery in central Syria was reported to have killed dozens. Officials said the UN-Arab League envoy, seen at the Sheraton Hotel in central Damascus, travelled overland from neighboring Lebanon on a previously unannounced visit. He last visited on Oct. 19, but since then there has been fighting between government forces and rebels on the road to Damascus airport. During his October visit he met President Bashar Al-Assad and other officials to clinch a temporary ceasefire for the Muslim feast of Eid AlAdha. Despite pledges, the truce did not hold.

At least 44,000 people have been killed in violence across Syria since the outbreak of the antiregime revolt in March last year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Information Minister Omran Al-Zohbi, who earlier told reporters he had been unaware of any visit by Brahimi, reiterated calls for national dialogue. Only Syrians will participate in national dialogue, he said. We tell those who do not want dialogue to engage in talks, because time is running out. Hours after Al-Zohbis press conference, regime warplanes bombarded a bakery in rebel-held Halfaya, in the central province of Hama, killing dozens and wounding many more, the Observatory and activists said. More on 2

Indias gang-rape protesters defy moves to quell outrage

NEW DELHI: The Indian government moved on Sunday to stamp out protests that have swelled in New Delhi since the gang-rape of a young woman, banning gatherings of more than five people, but still thousands poured into the heart of the capital to vent their anger. Police used tear gas and batons to hold crowds back from marching on the presidents palace, just as they did the day before. About 30 to 35 people, including a few policemen, were being treated at a nearby hospital for injuries, two doctors said. The 23-year-old victim of the Dec. 16 attack, who was beaten, raped for almost an hour and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi, was still in a critical condition on respiratory support but responding to treatment, doctors said. Six men have been arrested for the assault. New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among Indias major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, according to police figures. Most sexual assaults go unreported and unremarked, but the brutality of last weeks attack triggered the biggest protests in the capital since mid-2011 demonstrations against corruption that rocked the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
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Protest against Iraq PM blocks highway to Syria, Jordan

Iraqi protesters, demanding the ouster of premier Nouri Al-Maliki, block a highway in western Iraq leading to Syria and Jordan, in Ramadi, on Dec. 23, 2012. (AFP)

ISTANBUL: NATO member Turkey has agreed to lift its veto on non-military cooperation between the alliance and Israel which it imposed over a deadly raid on a Turkish aid ship to Gaza in 2010, a diplomat said Sunday. Ankara took the retaliatory measure after the Israeli army stormed the ship carrying humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip while it was in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, leaving nine Turks dead. The decision to renew NATO links came at a December 4 meeting in Brussels of the 28-member alliance on a proposal by its Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the diplomat said. In return, several NATO allies of Israel agreed to drop a veto against cooperating with Turkey-friendly countries notably in the Arab world. Turkey will agree to Israeli involvement in certain NATO activities but will maintain its ban on joint military maneuvers, and Ankara reserves the right to bar activities with Israel on its own soil.The agreement comes after NATO agreed early this month to deploy Patriot antiaircraft missiles along the Turkish border with Syria. Turkeys relations with its former ally Israel deteriorated sharply after the Gaza ship raid. Israel has rejected Ankaras demands for an apology and compensation. -AFP

Turkey lifts veto on NATO cooperation with Israel

Petitioners ask Obama to retaliate for Russia adoption ban

ROME: Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti announced on Sunday he would consider seeking a second term if he is asked by a political force that backs his reform agenda and launched a sharp attack on his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi. The former European commissioner, appointed to lead an unelected government to save Italy from financial crisis a year ago, resigned on Friday but had faced growing calls to seek a second term at the election on Feb. 24-25. He had kept his position a closely guarded secret for weeks and in recent days had appeared to be

Italys Monti says may be ready to seek second term

have strong doubts about whether to continue in frontline politics. Monti, who remains in office as caretaker prime minister, said he would be prepared to consider approaches to serve again from reform-minded centrist groups although he held back from committing himself fully to the race. As a Senator for Life, Monti has no need to run for election to parliament but he said he would publish a detailed agenda of recommendations for a future government and would potentially be willing to lead a party that adopted it as its own. More on 4

RAMADI: About 2,000 Iraqi protesters, demanding the ouster of premier Nouri Al-Maliki, blocked on Sunday a highway in western Iraq leading to Syria and Jordan, an AFP correspondent reported. The protesters, including local officials, religious and tribal leaders, turned out in Ramadi, the capital of Sunni province of Anbar, to demonstrate against the arrest of nine guards of Finance Minister Rafa Al-Essawi. Their arrest on terrorism charges has sparked a call from Al-Essawi for AlMaliki to quit or be removed. We are gathered today not for Al-Essawi and his bodyguards, but to change the course of this sectarian government and to overthrow Al-Malikis government, Anbar provincial councilor Hikmat Iyada told the protesters. A letter from Sheikh Abdul Malek Al-Saadi, a leading Sunni cleric in Anbar, was read at the protest in which he called for Shiites in the government to respect Sunni officials, and the minority Sunni population in Iraq. Al-Maliki was also condemned in a separate statement issued by fugitive Sunni vice president, Tareq Al-Hashemi, who praised the demonstration. AlMaliki is a prisoner of a sick mind, obsessed with power, said Al-Hashemi, who has been handed multiple death sentences in absentia for charges he insists are politically motivated. The Islamic and Arab world looks at him now as the sponsor of the Safavid (Iranian) project in Iraq. Al-Hashemi also called for a no confidence in the premier, accusing Al-Maliki of aiming to get rid of his opponents. Sectarian tensions are still significant in Iraq, which suffered years of brutal confessional violence in which tens of thousands of people were killed and many more forced from their homes. -AFP

WASHINGTON: The NRA, the most powerful gun lobby in the United States, ruled out any support Sunday for greater regulation of firearms or ammunition magazines after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre. Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, said planned legislation to outlaw military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines was phony and would not work. He repeated the NRAs call to place an armed guard in every school and argued that prosecuting criminals and fixing the mental health system, rather than gun control, were the solutions to Americas mass shooting epidemic. On Dec. 14, a disturbed local man, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed his mother in their Newtown, Connecticut home before embarking on a horrific spree at a local elementary school. He burst into Sandy Hook elementary and shot dead 20 six- and seven-year old children and six adults with a military-style assault rifle before taking his own life with a handgun as police closed in. The bloodshed reopened a national debate on gun laws. President Barack Obama said he would support a new bill to ban assault rifles and put Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a panel looking at a wide range of other measures, from school security to mental health. Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein has pledged to table a bill on Jan. 3 that would ban at least 100 military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, and would curb the transfer, importation and the possession of such arms. -AFP

US lobby issues point-blank no on gun control

Lebanese people gather around a Christmas tree decorated at Martyrs Square near the Mohammed Al-Amin mosque in downtown Beirut on Dec. 23, 2012. (AFP)