"He was staying in Riyadh until his abduction off the streets by the Muttawa (Saudi religious police)," said a spokesperson for ICC. “It is being reported to us that the Muttawa approached Sam as he was waiting for friends near the city center of Riyadh on the evening of March 9th at approximately 7:00 pm. Mr. Varghese was awaiting a visa extension from the Saudi government.
“The Muttawa asked Varghese for his passport. However, he was only able to give them a copy because the Saudi government had taken his passport since he was requesting a visa extension. They then asked him what was in his bag. In his bag, he had one Bible in the Hindi language. The Muttawa then took Mr. Varghese away and there has been no communication from him since."
LAHORE: The body of Sumera Nazir, a 25-year-old girl murdered in London, supposedly in the name of honour, arrived at Lahore Airport early on Friday morning. Her cousin Muhammad Azhar accompanied the coffin on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-758. She was buried at her family graveyard in the evening.
Not a single person from Sumera’s immediate family came with the coffin, said Azhar, adding that her family had refused to come to Pakistan from London, where they are settled. “Her father, Nazir, is admitted in a hospital. He advised me to bury her in their hometown."
The deceased’s relatives received the body at Allam Iqbal International Airport and took her to her uncle Dildar’s house in her native village 284-J-B, Toba Tek Singh. “Sumera Nazir, a 25-year-old recruitment consultant had her throat cut in a suspected honour killing. She is believed to have refused to marry a man in Pakistan, as she wanted to marry her Sikh boyfriend," one of the deceased’s relative was quoted as saying in a London newspaper report about the killing. “Police found her body in Southall after neighbours made a call at emergency number 999. Witnesses say they saw a man wearing a bloodstained shirt. The victim lived at the house with her parents, her brother, his wife and their two children, and a teenager believed to be adopted by her father Nazir."
The newspaper quoted one of her neighbours who didn’t want his name to be revealed, “They wanted her to marry a boy in Pakistan, but she did not want to do it. We saw a man who had blood all over his shirt standing in the front garden of the house. There was also blood on the front door. The whole family was in on the plan. There are rumours that the older brother did it, but the family is pining it on the younger son because he is adopted."
Body of girl killed in London arrives
Rather than quietly settle into his likely new job at the United Nations, Ambassador-nominee John Bolton will hit the ground running, targeting first the dubious U.S. ally of France, says geopolitical expert Jack Wheeler.I look forward to it.
In a column on his intelligence website, To the Point, Wheeler writes, "Don't expect John Bolton to have been the least bit intimidated by the Dems' vendetta against him, nor to lie low and not rattle anybody's cage for a while. That's not what GW is sending him to do at Turtle Bay. John has quite a list of cages he intends to rattle, and the first one belongs to France."
Bolton's nomination was sent to the Senate floor for consideration last week.
France has long been a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, giving it veto power over any proposed resolution before the panel. While some at the U.N. want the exclusive club expanded, Wheeler says Bolton will seek France's ouster.
"Bolton is going to lob a Molotov cocktail into this bidding contest," writes Wheeler. "He is going to argue that France should be replaced by the European Union. The EU is now Europe's governing body, to which its 25 member countries have given much of their national sovereignty. Twelve of them, including France, have abandoned their national currencies, replacing them with the euro. Ten more have applied to join the Euro Zone."
Arguing that other European countries deserve Security Council representation, Bolton, Wheeler says, will back President Jacques Chirac "into a deep, deep corner."
Writes Wheeler: "France's only exit strategy will be to point at Britain, arguing that the UK too will have to give up its seat in place of the EU. John will finesse this by pointing out that while Britain does belong to the EU, it retains its own currency, the pound, and gives every indication it will not relinquish it for the euro."
Referring to France's support of the EU's sovereignty-sapping constitution, Wheeler notes, "No wonder the French-loving Democrats desperately tried to demonize Bolton. Destroying American sovereignty is their fondest dream. It's going to be a lot harder to do now. The Bolton Show at Turtle Bay promises to be quite a performance."
Saad Hariri said on 16 May that he expects opposition parties will win a landslide in upcoming parliamentary elections. “The opposition will win 80-90 seats [out of 128]," Hariri said. Saad Hariri is the son of assassinated former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, and heir to his father’s business fortune and political legacy. There will be a “white revolution against the police state which governed Lebanon for 15 years", he said.
Hariri announced his electoral list of 19 candidates on 15 May, which includes Solange Gemayel, the widow of Maronite Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel, and Hizbollah member Amin Sherri. The candidates, 10 Christians and nine Muslims, will stand in three multi-member constituencies in Beirut. “We will not let sectarian rancour affect the unity of Beirut and the Lebanese," he said. “The opposition is not divided," Hariri said in reference to Christian demands the 2000 electoral law be changed to permit smaller constituencies to improve Christian representation. Reuters reported that Hariri and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt have been in secret talks with parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri to retain the electoral law, which Christians maintain favours Muslims. As a tactical move, Berri has aligned himself with Hizbollah and Jumblatt announced he will stand with the Maronite Lebanese Forces, his former civil war enemy.
Havana - Night after night, Fidel Castro has sat before hundreds of government and Communist Party officials - and millions of other Cubans watching on live television - and proceeded to read them the daily news.Comandante, shut up! Sheesh.
He thunders with indignation and laughs in ridicule as he works through a scattering of newspapers from Europe, Latin America and the United States, occasionally pausing to hunt for a quotation.
The result is remarkably like a televised version of an Internet blog - references to outside news sources tightly wrapped in personal commentary.
Speaking sometimes several nights in a row and for up to four hours at a time, the Cuban president has mounted his most intensive media campaign since the successful battle for the return of shipwreck victim Elian Gonzalez from Miami in 2000.
Increasingly focused on Castro's longtime foe Luis Posada Carriles, the campaign peaks on Tuesday with a massive march to demand that the United States arrest the Cuban exile, who is sought in Venezuela on charges of helping bomb a civilian airliner in 1976, killing 73 people.
Cuban officials - and newly released US archives - also link Posada, a former CIA agent, to other violent actions, some of them military, some aimed at civilians.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to participate in the morning march outside the US Interests Section, the American mission here, and state media reported that Castro would address the nation in another live broadcast on Monday night.
Sometimes angry, sometimes laughing, Castro in his night-time chats has dismissed US government claims that Posada cannot be found and might not be in the United States at all - even as the fugitive's attorney and friends have confirmed his presence.
And he has demanded that US President George Bush - whom he sometimes calls "the little fuhrer" - live up to his promise to fight terrorism wherever it occurs.
Castro repeatedly links the case to hundreds of other attacks meant to undermine his government - notably focusing on a longtime associate of Posada, Orlando Bosch, who was pardoned by former American president George Bush Senior despite US intelligence reports branding him a terrorist.
"What a grotesque type, to pardon him," Castro said on May 12, accusing the United States - "the empire" - of organising or backing virtually all of the attempts to topple his government since he took power in 1959.
Cuba's three state television channels and its radio stations always have focused heavily on Castro's doings.
But Castro became even more visible starting in March, making four jovial Thursday night appearances to announce an up-valued currency and to offer millions of cut-price energy-saving appliances.
Castro's appearances became more frequent in April when Miami news media reported that Posada had slipped into the United States and was seeking political amnesty.
Castro has given 16 "special interventions" on live state TV since April 12 - not counting lengthy televised comments on May Day and during a two-day meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
He's even made sure broadcasters set aside one of the three channels for children's programming so boys and girls don't miss their favourite cartoons.
Underscoring how long Castro has been in power - 46 years - some of the documents he has read out in his appearances are declassified historic documents about attempts to assassinate him.
And his TV chats often suddenly switch focus from one subject another.
Complaints about US failure to return a hijacked Cuban aircraft, for example, detoured briefly into a discussion of the merits of a late 1950s British jetliner that carried Castro on an early trip to North Africa.
Castro spent more than an hour reading from one New York Times story. He spent most of two nights reading and commenting on newly declassified CIA and FBI documents.
The readings from newspapers, as well as documents from the Internet, offer Cubans an unusual, if very personalised window on the world. The government allows relatively few Cubans to have unfettered access to foreign newspapers, magazines, broadcasts or the Internet.