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International News on February 19, 2012

'Caring' Kate to raise awareness of drug addiction
The Duchess of Cambridge seems to be following in Princess Diana's footsteps as she plans to put the problems of drug addictions at the forefront of her charitable work. ANI

24-hr drinking allowed by Blair's govt was wrong, says Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell, the right-hand man of Tony Blair, has admitted that the former Prime Minister's government's decision to roll out 24-hour drinking was a mistake that has fuelled a frightening alcohol crisis among Britain's middle classes. ANI

Saudi mufti rejects call to try columnist accused of blasphemy in non-religious court
Saudi Arabia's mufti, the country's highest religious figure, has rejected calls to shift the trial of a controversial columnist, who was accused of blasphemy and abusing Prophet Mohammed, from religious courts to the information ministry. ANI

Pakistan Bar Council slams kidnapping of Baloch people by agencies
The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has adopted on Saturday a hard-hitting resolution condemning the unabated kidnapping of people in Balochistan allegedly by the intelligence agencies. ANI

Pak religious parties strongly condemn US Congress resolution on Balochistan
Religious parties in Pakistan have strongly condemned the resolution tabled in the US Congress calling for the right to self determination to the people of Balochistan, terming it a blatant conspiracy to disintegrate Pakistan. ANI

Indian Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to visit Pakistan on February 21
Indian Speaker of Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar, will arrive in Pakistan on February 21 for a five-day state visit. ANI

Political solution needed to deal with genocide cases in Balochistan: Editorial
A political solution must be sought immediately to deal with the cases of genocide in Balochistan before it is too late, an editorial has said. ANI

Afghan war will not end early unless Pak Army's policy on proxy control addressed: Editorial
As long as the Pakistani military's policy on proxy control of Afghanistan is adhered to, there appears no early end to the ongoing war in the neighbouring country, an editorial has said. ANI

UK govt to store people's phone call, messages, e-mail details under new anti-terror plan
The British government has planned to store the details of every phone call, text message, email traffic and websites visited online as a part of its new anti-terror plans. ANI

White teacher in US sues school district after suspended for using the N-word in classroom
A white school teacher in the US is suing a school district after he was suspended for using the N-word during a discussion with students about the perils of offensive vocabulary. ANI

Tweeting about bad day at work could get you fired
Employees who tweet or update their Facebook status saying "I had a bad day at work" could end up losing their jobs, a leading employment lawyer has claimed. ANI

Queen watches recorded 'X Factor' show on weekends
The Queen has revealed that she is a fan of 'The X Factor', admitting her fondness for the talent show to ex-contestant Mary Byrne. ANI

'Cocaine traces' found on Costa Concordia captain's hair sample
Traces of cocaine have reportedly been found on a hair sample of the shamed captain of Costa Concordia, the luxury cruise ship that ran aground off the Italian coast last month. ANI

Iranian Intel official says 'Stuxnet virus infected 16,000 computers'
A senior Iranian intelligence official has claimed that an estimated 16,000 computers were infected by the Stuxnet virus, which targeted the country's nuclear facilities and other industrial sites in 2010. ANI

Rehman Malik admits Difa-e-Pakistan Council a 'banned' organization
Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has admitted that the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) is a banned organization that should not be allowed to stage a sit-in in Islamabad. ANI

Karzai asks US not to negotiate with Taliban on their behalf
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked the US not to negotiate with the Taliban on their behalf. ANI

Radicalised UK Muslims recruited to fight in 'holy war' for 'Al-Qaeda' in Somalia
Dozens of radicalised Muslims in Britain are being trained by militant Islamists to fight in a "holy war" for Al Shabaab, the Al-Qaeda inspired Somali terrorist group, it has emerged. ANI

Oman firm withdraws use of Ashok Chakra after being challenged by Indian lawyer
An Oman-based business firm that has been using images of the Ashoka Chakra on their stationary, hoardings and newspaper advertisements has decided to withdraw such advertisements, an Indian lawyer who highlighted the issue to the Indian embassy has said. ANI

Hafiz Saeed banned from entering Islamabad in bid to stop addressing rally
Pakistan has imposed a seven day ban on some leaders of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, including Jamaatud Dawa's (JuD) Hafiz Saeed, Ahle Sunnat wal Jamat (ASWJ) chief Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and General Secretary Dr Khadim Hussain Dhillon, from entering Islamabad. ANI

Madrassa Haqqania not used for plotting Benazir's assassination: JUI-S
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-S (JUI-S) leader Maulana Samiul Haq has termed the latest report of former premiere Banazir Bhutto's assassination as a conspiracy, insisting that Uloom Haqqania, the seminary he manages, had no involvement in the incident. ANI

Musharraf orchestrated Benazir Bhutto's assassination, reveals Pak Interior Ministry probe
The probe into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, ordered by the Pakistan Interior Ministry, has revealed that former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf orchestrated the murder through two police officers and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Baitullah Mehsud, Waqt News TV channel has reported. ANI

Diplomat warns 'Iran poised for major nuke program expansion at underground site'
A Vienna-based diplomat has warmed that Iran is planning to expand its nuclear programme at a fortified underground plant. ANI

Egypt sets trial date for 44 NGO workers, including 19 Americans over 'illegal foreign funding'
Egypt has announced that the criminal trial for 44 civil society workers, including nearly 19 Americans, will start on February 26 over charges of illegal foreign funding for non-governmental organisations. ANI

Strauss-Kahn to be quizzed by French police over alleged 'prostitution ring'
Disgraced former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be quizzed over his alleged involvement in an illegal prostitution ring in France. ANI

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