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Headline news for 24-12-2009

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


  • US survey reveals: Islam is a dangerous religion
  • UK priest: Rob the rich if you are poor
  • World leaders 'have betrayed people of Gaza
  • Turkey buys 10 Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles
  • Ahmadinejad denies reports of Iranian efforts to test a nuclear trigger
  •  US Special Forces conducted multiple raids in Pakistan
  • World Bank doesn't accept Kashmir as part of India


US survey reveals: Islam is a dangerous religion

Two out of three Protestant pastors believe Islam is a "dangerous" religion, according to a new survey from a US Southern Baptist-affiliated research group. The survey of more than 1,000 Protestant clergy by LifeWay Research, released last week found that 45% strongly agree with the statement "I believe Islam is a dangerous religion" and another 21% agree somewhat with it. The results of the telephone survey were based on a random sample of 1,002 senior pastors taken in October 2008 and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. On Dec. 10, evangelist Franklin Graham told CNN that while he loves the Muslim people in countries he's visited with his Samaritan's Purse ministry, "I don't agree with the teachings of Islam and I find it to be a very violent religion."

 UK priest: Rob the rich if you are poor

A priest from North Yorkshire UK has advised his congregation to shoplift if they find themselves in hard times. Father Tim Jones, the parish priest of St Lawrence and St Hilda in York , said people should steal from big chains rather than small businesses. He said society's attitude to those in need "leaves some people little option but crime".

Speaking to his congregation, Father Jones said: "My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift...We create a situation which leaves some people little option but crime."

 World leaders 'have betrayed people of Gaza '

Human rights groups have released a report accusing the world of betraying the people of Gaza , by failing to end an Israeli-led blockade. The report by 16 non-government organisations accuses Israel of violating international law by imposing an indiscriminate blockade which it says punishes the entire Gaza population for the acts of a few. Its authors include the groups Oxfam, Amnesty International and many church organisations.  It highlights the blockade on building materials which has prevented Gaza from restoring countless buildings destroyed in the war.

 Turkey buys 10 Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles

Turkey has decided to go through with the purchase of ten unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from Israel , Israel Radio reported Tuesday. The announcement of the decision was made Monday by the director-general of Turkey Aerospace Industries. Official affirmation of the deal is expected in the coming days. Israel and Turkey agreed on a $185 million UAV deal four years ago, but the Turkish defense minister in July announced the deal would not go through as scheduled due to Israeli delays.

President Shimon Peres met with Turkish President Abdullah Gul while in Copenhagen and Defense Minister Ehud Barak is to travel to Turkey in January for talks with his Turkish counterpart.

 Ahmadinejad denies reports of Iranian efforts to test a nuclear trigger

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said a document apparently showing that Tehran plans to test a trigger for a nuclear bomb is a US forgery. In an interview filmed on Friday with ABC News, Mr Ahmadinejad said the report in the Times newspaper was "fundamentally not true". Mr Ahmadinejad said criticism of Iran 's nuclear programme had become "a repetitive and tasteless joke". The Times reported last week that it had obtained a document, dating from 2007, describing a four-year plan by Iran to test a nuclear trigger using uranium deuteride. The product can be used as a neutron initiator: the component of a nuclear bomb that triggers an explosion.

 US Special Forces conducted multiple raids in Pakistan

US Special Forces have conducted multiple clandestine raids as part of a secret war inside Pakistan 's tribal areas where Washington is pressing to expand its drone attacks, a report in Britain 's Guardian newspaper said. Citing a former Nato officer, the Guardian said these incursions, only one of which was previously reported, occurred between 2003 and 2008. It involved helicopter-borne elite soldiers entering through the border at night. The incursions were never declared to the Pakistani government, the report said. The source said Pakistan was kept in the dark about the operations and that the United States would not officially confirm the procedures. After the only publicly acknowledged special forces' raid in September 2008, Pakistan 's foreign office condemned it as ‘a grave provocation', while the Pakistani military threatened retaliatory action.

 World Bank doesn't accept Kashmir as part of India

The World Bank has refused to accept occupied Kashmir as an integral part of India and has insisted on a disclaimer from the Jammu and Kashmir government that funding for a project will not be seen as recognition of India 's territorial claim on the state. The bank has put a ‘disclaimer clause' for bankrolling a key project in the disputed state which indicates that funding of projects in disputed areas should not be used to endorse territorial claims, said a news report here on Tuesday. The government of the occupied state wants New Delhi to settle issue with the World Bank, which has refused to fund more projects in the state, treating it as a disputed territory between India and Pakistan . Mr Ahmad said the World Bank had raised the disclaimer issue last year after assessment of the project which was then at the funding stage.

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