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sources, said “militant training to Canadians is a part of al-Qaeda plans to recruit, train and launch Western Caucasians in their countries... the aim is to spread the flames of the South Asian war theatre to the West.” “In Afghanistan they received basic jihadi training, while currently they are busy doing some special courses. Their main learning is how to use sophisticated weapons, and how to connect with local smuggling networks in North America. They are also learning how to use ordinary material like sugar and basic chemicals to make powerful explosives. These militants will then return to their country to execute alQaeda’s plan of targeting big cities in Canada,” Arif Wazir said. A 30-year-old man Abu Shahid, sporting golden beard, is leading the Canadian group, the report said, adding that those who could not be independently verified include: Jeam Paull (local name Sadiq Ullah), Leman Langlois (Sana Ullah), James Richard (Abdur Rehman), Otto Paul (Abu Usman), Thomas (Abdullah) and Paul Gall (Hafiz Ullah). The news article also mentions that various militants of other nationalities are also being trained in North Waziristan and apart from Arab and Central Asian militants, one can find jihadis from the US, Britain and Germany.
NEW DELHI I TUESDAY I JANUARY 18 I 2011
TUNISIA GETS UNITY GOVT, PEOPLE CALL FOR TOTAL REJIG
12 Canadians at Pak militant camp: Report
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
KUALA LUMPUR, JANUARY 17
Ghannouchi names government in Tunis. AP TUNIS: PM Mohamed Ghannouchi announced a unity government Monday, including at least two top ministers from the Cabinet of ousted president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, as demonstrators called for wholesale reshuffling of the country’s leadership. The Interior and Foreign ministers would remain under agreement negotiated by Ghannouchi and interim President Fouad Mebazaa, both allies of Ben Ali.
GROUP of 12 Canadians are reported undergoing militant training at an alQaeda camp in Pakistan’s lawless North Waziristan in apparent plots to carry out terror attacks back home. The Canadians, who may have converted to Islam, were helped to reach the Darpakhel areas of the lawless tribal belt after joining radical Egyptian group Jihad al-Islami, Hong Kong based Asia Times reported. Their presence in the camps in Pakistan’s tribal belt comes close on the heels of intelligence warnings that al-Qaeda is training armed cadres from several European countries, including Germany, in such camps. Arab intelligence agencies have already warned that foreign recruits are being trained to carry out terror attacks in European mainland triggeringacontinent-widealert.“TheCanadians went to Afghanistan in February 2010; there were 12 of them. After nine months, al-Qaeda’s leadersdecidedtosendthemtoNorthWaziristan and they reached Darpakhel in November last year,” Arif Wazir, a local militant of Darpakhel, was quoted as saying in the report. The report, quoting well placed Taliban
With 26/11 notice against him, ISI chief Pasha meets CIA head in US
ISLAMABAD: The powerful InterServices Intelligence chief attended a meeting that President Asif Ali Zardari held with CIA chief Leon Panetta last week, dispelling a perception that the Pakistan government did not want to involve the military in its dealings with the US. ISIheadLtGenAhmedShuja Pasha sat in on the key meeting held in Washington on Friday, the Dawn newspaper quoted diplomatic sources as saying. Pasha was not in Zardari’s entourage that arrived in the US on Thursday. Pasha travelled alone to the US, participatedinthePresident’smeetingwith Panettabut“stayedawayfromotheractivities”, the report said. The ISI chief’s visit to the US took place against the backdrop of a court in Brooklyn issuing notices to Pasha, his predecessor Lt Gen Nadeem Taj and Lashker-e-Toiba leaders including Hafiz Muhammad
Leon Panetta and Shuja Pasha
Saeed in connection with a lawsuit filed by relatives of two Jewish victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The Pakistan government has said it will protect the interests of all officials named in the lawsuit but skirted the issue of defending private individuals like Saeed. Zardari left Washington on Saturday evening at the conclusion of his visit during which he attended a memorial service for late Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and met President Barack Obama with Pakistan’s
Ambassador Husain Haqqani. ThoughObamacametothemeeting with his entire national security and counter-terrorismteam,Zardarididnot takeanyotherofficialwithhim,causing wild speculation in the media about the purpose and contents of his talks with theUSPresident,the Dawn reported. Zardari also met other US officials and lawmakers but his meeting with the CIA chief was considered the most important after the one with Obama at the White House. After the ZardariObama talks, the White House issued a statement that said the two leaders focused on shared efforts to fight terrorism and to promote regional stability. No statements were issued after Zardari’s meeting with the CIA chief, which led to reports that Panetta wanted to expand drone attacks in uetta where the US believes senior Afghan Taliban leaders are hiding. PTI
Biggest black hole ever found
THE GLOBE \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\THEY \\\\\\\\\\CONQUERED \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
The 68th annual Golden Globe Awards were held Sunday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Facebook film The Social Network led the pack and picked up four awards while TV series Glee bagged three. Winners in major categories:
DRAMA: The Social Network COMEDY: The Kids Are All Right ACTOR, DRAMA: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech ACTRESS, DRAMA: Natalie Portman, Black Swan ACTOR, COMEDY: Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version ACTRESS, COMEDY: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right DIRECTOR: David Fincher, The Social Network ANIMATED FILM: Toy Story 3 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: In a Better World (Denmark) DRAMA: Boardwalk Empire COMEDY: Glee MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Carlos ACTOR, DRAMA: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire ACTRESS, DRAMA: Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy ACTOR, COMEDY: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory ACTRESS, COMEDY: Laura Linney, The Big C ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Al Pacino, You Don’t Know Jack ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
LONDON: Astronomers have discovered the biggest black hole which weighs the same as 6.8 billion suns and could swallow our entire solar system. According to scientists, the black hole, identified as M87 is some 50 million light years away.
19 killed in bomb attack on bus in Pak
PESHAWAR: A powerful time bomb ripped apart a minibus in Khyber-Pakhtunnkhwa on Monday, killing 19 people and injuring 11 others. The Hangu police said it was a terrorist attack.
Behindstoryof China’srisingpower, leader’sauthority underquestion
DAVID E SANGER & MICHAEL WINES
BEIJING, JANUARY 17
Yemeni gets death for killing Frenchman
SANAA: A judge sentenced to death a man convicted of killing a French engineer, and also sentenced in absentia radical USborn cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to 10 years in jail for aiding man. Hisham Mohammed Assem, 22, opened fire in October in an oil firm killing the Frenchman.
BLACK OUT, PINK RULES RED CARPET
Staple black gowns were outnumbered by creations in pink, green, red and nude hues on the red carpet. Last year’s best actress winner Sandra Bullock wore a sheer powder pink dress with silver beading by Jenny Packam while Scarlett Johansson wore a similar shimmery number with loose sleeves by Elie Saab. Pregnant star Natalie Portman (left) covered her bump in a flowing light pink gown with red flower detailing by Viktor and Rolf. Glee star Lea Michele wore a dramatic ruffled gown in a blush pink by Oscar de la Renta. Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Mila Kunis chose to stand out in their emerald hued gowns.
Giffords condition improves but serious
TUCSON: US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ condition was upgraded from critical to serious, days after she was shot at by a gunman. Meanwhile, father of Christina Green, 9, said some of her organs have been donated. John Green said this “really lifted” his spirits, as his daughter, “has done another amazing thing”.
Event came days after a former publicist filed a lawsuit accusing Hollywood Foreign Press Association of engaging in questionable deals such as accepting lavish perks from studios in exchange for nominating films. Host Ricky Gervais wasted no time tackling the lawsuit. He joked that there was a ridiculous rumour that surprise contender The Tourist was nominated so that members could hang out with the stars of the costly flop, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. “That is rubbish. That is not the only reason,” Gervais said. “They also accepted bribes.”
HOLLYWOOD TAKES A DIG
Christian Bale, the show’s first winner for his supporting role as a washed-up boxer in The Fighter, said he used to consider the Association’s members to be oddball characters. He recalled that he would attend promotional events where they would argue among themselves while ignoring him. “Now I know who you are, and suddenly I realise how wise and spectacular and perceptive those guys really are,” he said.
Robert De Niro, winner of a lifetime achievement award, joked that many of the 80-some members of the Association had just been deported as illegal immigrants. De Niro revived the issue a little later with a backhanded compliment, thanking the group for its tireless work in promoting our industry all over the world. Then he stuck the knife in: “The important thing is that we are all in this together, the filmmakers who make the movies and the Association members, who in turn pose for pictures with the movie stars.”
Israel’s Barak quits Labour Party
JERUSALEM: Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Monday he was leaving his Labour Party and forming a new faction inside the governing coalition, over the handling of peace talks with the Palestinians. The move did not threaten Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s majority. It strengthen his hardline coalition by leaving a smaller, yet largely like-minded majority.
OSCAR WINNER A R RAHMAN LOSES OUT TO THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Oscar winning musician A R Rahman lost out the Golden Globe in the Original Score category to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who won for their music in The Social Network. The 45-year-old musician was up for his second Golden Globe for the Danny Boyle film 127 Hours and had just a day earlier bagged the best original song trophy at the 16th Critics’ Choice Awards for his number If I Rise. Rahman who won a Globe in 2009 for Slumdog Millionaire, is in running for his second Oscar with the song.
WITH President Hu Jintao at the helm, China has become a $5 trillion industrial colossus, a growing military force, and a model of authoritarian decisiveness, sealing its position as theworld’sfastestrisingpower. But as Hu prepares to visit Washington this week in an attempt to defuse tensions with the US, Obama administrationofficialsaregrapplingwith what they describe as a more complex reality. China is far wealthierandmoreinfluential, butHualsomaybetheweakest leader of the Communist era. Hu’s strange encounter with Defence Secretary Robert M Gates last week — in which he wasapparentlyunawarethathis Air Force had just test-flown China’s first stealth fighter — wasonlythelatestcasesuggesting he has been circumvented byrivalpowercentres. USofficialshavespentyears urging Hu to revalue China’s currency, rein in North Korea, easeupondissidentsandcrack down on copying of US technology, and they felt at times thatHuagreedtoaddressconcerns.Butthoseproblemshave festered,andafterfirstwondering if the Chinese leader was simply deceiving them, President Obama’s advisers have concluded Hu is at mercy of a
diffuse ruling party in which generals,ministersandbigcorporate interests have more clout than they did in the days ofMaoorDengXiaoping. China’s military has sometimespursuedanindependent approachtoforeignpolicy.RecentlyTreasurySecretaryTimothy F Geithner hinted that jockeying for power and an coming leadership transition have degraded China’s ability tosetconsistentpolicies. In past meetings, Hu and his Prime Minister have indicated that they would let China’s currency gradually rise. But the Commerce Ministry promptly labelled the move a “catastrophe”. Adding to the uncertainty aboutisanexpectedleadership change in 2012. It is at once a choreographed transition to a newgenerationofleadersanda volatile minefield for all contenders, none of whom wish to be viewed as risk-takers, or as subservienttotheUS. NYT
Info overload a problem for US military
THOM SHANKER & MATT RICHTEL
NEW YORK, JANUARY 17
Courtiers feared for Charles after Di death
LONDON: Royal courtiers insisted on Prince William and Harry’s presence in Princess Diana’s funeral cortege to protect Prince Charles from getting lynched by angry members of the public, it has been claimed. According to former British Premier Tony Blair’s ex-communications chief Alastair Campbell, royal courtiers feared that the Charles would be lynched by an angry crowd at Diana’s funeral unless his sons accompanied him, the Daily Mail reported.
Arnie not to pursue political office
LONDON: Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would not seek another political office, but may return to films. “The big political office that really interests me is unreachable, because I was born in Austria and therefore cannot be US President,” He told Austrian Kronen Zeitung. AGENCIES
WHEN military investigators looked into an attack by US helicopters last February that left 23 Afghan civilians dead, they found the operator of a Predator drone had failed to pass along crucial information about the makeup of a crowd of villagers. But Air Force and Army officials now say therewasalsoanunderlyingcausefor thatmistake:informationoverload. AtanAirForcebaseinNevada,the drone operator and his team strug-
gled to work out what was happening in the village, where a convoy was forming. They had to monitor the drone’s video feeds while participating in dozens of instant-message and radioexchangeswithintelligenceanalysts and troops on the ground. There were solid reports that the group included children, but the team did not adequately focus on them amid the swirl of data — much like a cubicle worker who loses track of an important e-mail under the mounting pile. The team was under intense pressure to protect US forces nearby, and in the end it determined,
incorrectly, that the villagers’ convoy posed an imminent threat, resulting in one of the worst losses of civilian lives in the war in Afghanistan. “Information overload— an accurate description,” said one military officer, who was briefed on the inquiry and spoke on condition of anonymity. The deaths would have been prevented, he said. Data is among the most potent weapons of the 21st century. Unprecedented amounts of raw information help the military determine what targets to hit and what to avoid. And drone-based sensors have given
rise to a new class of wired warriors who must filter the information sea. But sometimes they are drowning. Research shows that the kind of intense multitasking required in such situations can make it hard to tell good information from bad. The military faces a balancing act: how to help soldiers exploit masses of data without succumbing to overload. Across the military, the data flow has surged; since the attacks of 9/11, the amount of intelligence gathered by remotely piloted drones and other surveillance technologies has risen 1,600 per cent. NYT
James Blunt performs on Today show.
PROTEIN CALLED IRF5 ACTS AS A SWITCH THAT CONTROLS WHETHER CERTAIN WHITE BLOOD CELLS PROMOTE INFLAMMATION
LONDON, JANUARY 17
Scientists find protein that triggers arthritis
CIENTISTS have found a protein that acts as a “master switch” to determine whether certain white blood cells will boost or dampen inflammation, a finding that may help the search for new drugs for rheumatoid arthritis. Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis are treated with a class of drugs known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors made by various drug firms. Butaround30percentofpatientsdon’t respond to anti-TNF drugs, so experts say there is an urgent need to develop
morewidelyeffectivetreatmentoptions. In this study, scientists from Imperial College in London found that a protein called IRF5 acts as a molecular switch that controls whether certain white blood cells, known as macrophages, will promote or inhibit inflammation. In a report of their findings in the journal Nature Immunology on Sunday, they said the results suggest that blocking the production of IRF5 in macrophages might be an effective way of treating a wide range of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus and multiple sclerosis.
They also suggest that boosting IRF5 levels might help treat people whose immune systems are weak, compromised or damaged. “Our results show that IRF5 is the master switch in a key set of immune cells, which determines the profile of genes that get turned on in those cells,” Irina Udalova, senior researcher on the study, said in a statement. “This is really exciting because it means that if we can design molecules that interfere with IRF5 function, it could give us new anti-inflammatory treatments.” The researchers said IRF5 seems to work by switching on genes that stimulate inflammatory responses and
dampening genes that inhibit them. It can do this either by interacting with DNA directly, or by interacting with other proteins that themselves control which genes are switched on, they explained in their study. Udalova’s team is now studying how IRF5worksatamolecularlevelandwhich otherproteinsitinteractswithsothatthey candesignwaystoblockitseffects. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting around 1 per cent of the world’s population and ariseswhentheimmunesystemmistakenly attacks joints all over the body. As well as joints, it may also affect the skin, heart,lungs,kidneysandbloodvessels.
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