On Saturday Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Pakistan's Minister for Railways, announced he would personally pay $100,000 to anyone who kills the film's director.
Shortly after announcing the bounty, however, a spokesman for Pakistan's foreign minister tried to distance the government from it. The spokesperson said that it was "representative of Mr. Bilour's personal views and had nothing to do with the official policy of the Government of Pakistan."
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old California-based Coptic Christian, is the man federal authorities have said is behind the film, though he has only acknowledged publicly that he was involved in management and logistics. He has a criminal record that includes drug and check fraud convictions, and he has been in hiding since leaving his suburban Los Angeles home last weekend.
Bilour referred to Nakoula as a "blasphemer" and "sinner" who has "spoken nonsense" about Mohammad.
"I invite the Taliban brothers and the al Qaeda brothers that they should join me in this sacred mission.
However, new documents obtained by the French newspaper Le Monde show that Merah actually had much more extensive contact with figures overseas than was previously suggested by authorities.
Merah, 23, reportedly told police his shooting spree - in which he killed three paratroopers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi in Montauban and Toulouse - was an attempt to "bring France to its knees."Continue »
(CBS News) Russia is sending three Navy ships, each carrying about 120 marines, to its naval base in Syria, a Russian defense ministry source has confirmed to CBS News.
However, the Russian Defense Ministry later issued a statement denying the reports.
According to CBS' source, three ships of the Northern fleet will come to Tartus by the end of this week to renew water and food supplies, and will spend two to three days there. Because the port is small, one ship will dock at a time.
The supply base at Tartus is the Russian navy's only refueling facility in the Mediterranean. Approximately 100 personnel staff the base.
Each ship has about 120 Marines on board. The Russian military source would not say whether the Marines were to disembark, or if they would remain in Tartus when the ships head back to Novorossyisk port.Continue »
An article published by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies states that, although Tehran has continued to operate centrifuges for uranium-enrichment activities, mounting evidence shows sanctions have blocked indigenous efforts to develop and build intercontinental missiles, by cutting off access to components for large solid-propellant rocket motors and key ingredients for propellants.
The IISS states that if sanctions continue, Iran's attempts to develop and deploy long-range missiles could be delayed for at least a decade - or halted altogether.
The Daily Mail reports that after Winston Howes' wife Janet died 17 years ago at age 50, the farmer planted thousands of sapling oaks in a six-acre meadow in order to create a lasting memorial.
He left a heart-shaped area bare, marking the space with a large hedge. The point of the heart faces Janet's childhood home, Wotton Hill. Daffodils planted in the center of the heart push forth in spring.
The meadow is not visible at ground level, and was a family secret - until balloonist Andy Collett accidentally discovered it last week.
It also demanded that international monitors be given access to detention facilities in Syria where mistreatment has been documented, both by former detainees and the families of those detained and by defectors from the Assad regime's security forces.
The New York-based rights organization issued a report Tuesday, "Torture Archipelago," based on more than 200 interviews conducted since the beginning of anti-government demonstrations in March 2011. Human Rights Watch spoke with former detainees, families of detainees, and members of Syrian security forces who have defected and who actively participated in or witnessed the abuse and torture of prisoners.
The report details specific known detention centers throughout the country run by the government's four intelligence agencies (Department of Military Intelligence, Political Security Directorate, General Intelligence Directorate and Air Force Intelligence Directorate). Included are maps of government detention facilities as well as temporary holding centers (stadiums, schools, hospitals); video accounts from former detainees; and sketches depicting various torture techniques as described by those who were subjected to them or witnessed the abuses. Several former detainees claim they witnessed people dying from torture. Defecting members of the country's intelligence agencies also told the group that they either participated in or witnessed the torture and ill treatment of detainees.
"The report on torture supports the case that the U.N. human rights chief is making, to urge the Security Council to refer the case of Syria to the International Criminal Court," said CBS News Foreign Affairs Analyst Pamela Falk, who is also an international lawyer.Continue »
According to PFCAuctions.com, the 5-inch glass vial contains dried blood residue from President Reagan, from a sample taken at the time of the assassination attempt on the president in 1981.
As of Tuesday afternoon, bidding for the vial passed 7,000 pounds (around $11,000). The online auction ends Thursday at 2 p.m. ET.
The revelations about Neil Heywood, 41, which have come to light since he was found dead November 15 in Chongqing, have already scuttled the prospects of a prominent government official, Bo Xilai, who was jockeying for a leadership position in the country's ruling Politburo.
Last week the Chinese government said that Heywood's death, which was at first classified a case of alcohol poisoning, was murder. Bo's wife, a lawyer named Gu Kailai, was taken into custody for complicity in Heywood's death. No further details were released, beyond Chinese state media's report that Heywood was killed following a financial dispute.
Reuters has reported that, according to sources familiar with the police investigation, Heywood was poisoned. He died at the Nanshan Lijing Holiday Hotel in Chongqing's Nan'an district.
The New York Times reported Monday that sources indicate Heywood - who had a long relationship with Bo and Gu - was involved in facilitating large, illicit transfers of money overseas for Bo's family. Heywood is also said to have helped Bo's son, Guagua, gain entrance to elite British schools.
The demands by Ayman al-Zawahiri were made in a nearly-11-minute video released Friday by al Qaeda's media arm as-Sahab. The video, obtained by the Intel Center, has a production date of February 2012.
Warren Weinstein, 70, of Rockville, Md., was kidnapped last August from his house in Lahore. Weinstein was the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors. He has worked in Pakistan for several years and speaks Urdu.
The U.K. Foreign Office said that on February 24 and 26 hundreds of headstones in two British military cemeteries in Benghazi were vandalized. Markers identifying Christian or Jewish war dead were damaged or broken.
In video re-posted on YouTube the men (including the videographer) are seen kicking over or smashing headstones. One man takes a hammer to a ceremonial Cross of Remembrance.
Men are heard saying of the dead, "They are dogs."
Several elementary school-age children risked their lives to make a perilous journey to school, after flooding damaged a suspension bridge that is the only connection between two Indonesian villages in the district of Lebak.
Since Saturday flooding in the area has collapsed three bridges in the area.Continue »
As if tensions between Iran and Western nations weren't strained enough, now Tehran is going after Barbie.
Reuters' Mitra Amiri reports that the nation's morality police - citing the influence of Western culture it deems antithetical to Islamic values - is cracking down on the sale of Barbie dolls.Continue »
The comments were made during an interview with Geo Television, and come amid recent tension between the two countries over border violence and accusations of Pakistani involvement in the September 20 assassination of an Afghan peace envoy, former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani.
"God forbid, if ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan," Reuters quotes Karzai.
There is concern that such sources - including activists, journalists and academics in authoritarian countries - could face reprisals, from loss of their jobs to prosecution and violence.
Scott Shane of The New York Times writes that news organizations (including the Times) have redacted names of sources when publishing cables provided by WikiLeaks when those sources are deemed to be vulnerable. WikiLeaks as well had redacted the identities of low-level diplomatic sources when publishing on its own website.
Anti-Qaddafi forces have continued to have considerable help from U.S. and NATO aerial surveillance and airstrikes against government targets, but Sunday's march into the capital represented a closely coordinated plan by NATO, the insurgents, and secretly-armed residents of Tripoli.
A senior rebel official, Fathi al-Baja, told The Associated Press that over the past three months - as the fighting appeared to have stalemated - the National Transitional Council worked with NATO to set up sleeper cells within Tripoli, armed with weapons smuggled in by the rebels.
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