Israel settlement offer ‘unprecedented’: Clinton

Jerusalem, November 01: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Saturday called Israeli concessions on construction of settlements in the West Bank “unprecedented”.

The remarks came after the top US diplomat held meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Clinton also insisted that a total freeze on settlement was not a precondition for peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Cyprus supports India for UN Security Council seat

Nicosia, November 01: Cyprus has expressed its support for a permanent seat for India in an expanded UN Security Council.

Cyprus President Demetris Christofias while speaking Saturday at a state banquet in honour of visiting Indian President Pratibha Patil said his country considers India a very important country at the regional and international level, Xinhua reported.

“Should a decision on the reform of the UN Security Council be made, India would deserve a permanent seat in such a body which would have enhanced authority and would enjoy the highest possible approval,” he said.

Wearing pant and Jeans for women Ban in West Aceh

Cairo, November 01: An official decision to ban women from wearing jeans and pants in West Aceh is stirring uproar in the Indonesian province, amid accusations of violating women’s rights.

“The enforcement of the regulation is an accumulation of the negative views against women,” Norma Susanti, Head of the woman and children’s division at Aceh Human Rights NGO Coalition, told The Jakarta Post Saturday, October 31.

Officials in West Aceh have forbidden women from wearing jeans and tight pants as of January.

Hajj brings peace hopes to Pakistan

Islamabad, November 01: Charging their batteries for the soul-searching journey, Pakistani pilgrims are heading for the holy lands in Saudi Arabia with hopes that hajj will bring peace to their violence-wracked country.

“This year’s Hajj has much more importance for us as compared to any other country as we have been facing a total chaos,” Hashmat Hashmat Khan, 53, told on Saturday, October 31.

“I am hopeful that our journey to the Holy land will bring peace to our beloved country.”

Fidel Castro blames Obama, tourists for swine flu in Cuba

Havana, Novobember 01: Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said that tourists from countries like Canada and Spain brought the AH1N1 flu virus to his country, and that US President Barack Obama influenced it by easing restrictions on Cuban-Americans’ visits to the island.

In a new article released by the Cuban news media Saturday, Castro recalls that “the initial symptoms of AH1N1 arose in Mexico in the first quarter of this year, and almost simultaneously spread to the US and Canada,” and from there “it reached Spain”.