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Bangladesh Supreme Court yesterday sentenced a senior Islamist opposition leader to death for mass murder during the country's 1971 liberation war against Pakistan. In February Abdul Kader Mullah (65), of the Jamaat-e-Islami party was convicted by the special war crimes tribunal of five out of six charges, including murder. 

 

altRussian President Vladimir Putin has been playing host to an increasingly long queue of statesmen trying to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

The latest to arrive is Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, who held meetings on Friday and is due to meet the Russian president.

So far, Putin shows no sign of abandoning President Bashar al-Assad, a staunch Russian ally.

Al Jazeera's David Chater, reporting from Moscow, says Putin "will not sacrifice such a vital strategic partnership, no matter what weight of international pressure is applied".

Russia is opposed to any armed  by Text-Enhance">intervention by the West in Syria.

 

A day earlier on Thursday, US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to increase pressure on Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
Obama said in a news conference with Erdogan at the White House on Thursday that the only way to resolveSyria's two-year crisis was for Assad to hand over power to a transitional government.

He said Turkey would  by Text-Enhance">play a critical role in that process "We're going to keep increasing the pressure on the Assad regime and working with the Syrian opposition,'' Obama said. "We both agree that Assad needs to go.''

The leaders said that they had made Syria top of their agenda, as they agreed that the issue of chemical weapons was an important one and Obama said that the use of chemical arms should always be out of bounds.

 

altInternational Medi Organisation(IMO) revealed that Philippine authorities have massacred about 55 journalists who criticised the government.
 
Under these circumstances, Philippine has reached to the top of the list of countries where where media personnels are killed when they criticise the authorities.
 
The other countries on top of the list are Iraq, Somalia and Srilanka. 

altProtesters demand death penalty for owner of collapsed building as court orders confiscation of his assets.A top Bangladesh court has ordered the government to "immediately" confiscate the property of a collapsed building's owner, as thousands of protesters demanding death penalty for the man clashed with police, leaving 100 people injured.

 


A top Bangladesh court has ordered the government to "immediately" confiscate the property of a collapsed building's owner, as thousands of protesters demanding death penalty for the man clashed with police, leaving 100 people injured.

 

A two-judge panel of the High Court on Tuesday also asked the central bank to freeze the assets of the owners of the five garment factories in the building, and use the money to  by Text-Enhance">pay the salaries and other benefits of their workers.

The order came after police produced Mohammed Sohel Rana and the factory owners in court. The order did not elaborate but it was implied that the salaries of the dead victims would be paid to their relatives. The court has given the police 15 days to interrogate Rana.

At least 386 people were killed and 2,500 people escaped with injuries when the illegally constructed eight-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24.


Al Jazeera's correspondent, whom we are not naming due to reporting restrictions, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who visited the site and met survivors, has promised to severely punish those responsible for the tragedy.According to one estimate, about 1,000 people are still missing, indicating that the death toll could end up in the neighbourhood of 1,400.The collapse has become the deadliest disaster to hit Bangladesh's garment industry, which is worth $20bn annually and supplies global retailers.

Britain's  by Text-Enhance">Primark and Canada's Loblaw, two western retailers that had factories in the building, have also pledged to compensate families of the victims

Al Jazeera's Daniel Lak, reporting from Loblaw's headquarters in Canada, said that while the announcement of compensation is a partial victory for labour activists, what remains to be seen is the nature of the aid and how meaningful it will be for the families. 

Violent protests

Clashes broke out again on Tuesday between thousands of garment workers and police in Savar, leaving at least 100 people injured, the United News of Bangladesh news agency reported.

It said police attacked with sticks when the workers, who were demanding death penalty for Rana and news of the missing people, tried to break the security cordon around the collapsed building. At least 22 of the injured were hospitalised, it said.

The protesters also smashed at least 20 vehicles in the area, the agency said.

Earlier, people had waited patiently at the site for news of missing relatives, holding their pictures and identity cards as they watched  by Text-Enhance">cranes lifting sections of ceilings and floors from the rubble. Emergency workers in hard hats used drilling and cutting machines to break up the slabs into manageable pieces.

Ratna Akhtar, looking for her husband at a nearby school ground, wailed: "Give me my husband back. At least I want to see his dead body if not alive."

Most of the bodies have been handed to families except 49 that have been kept at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital for identification. Mahmud Ali of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society said many more bodies are believed trapped under the rubble of the building, judging by stench of decomposing flesh still emanating.

 

altSeveral arrests after victim sustains injuries to neck and genitalia after sexual assault in Badarpur area of capital.

 

Twenty-two suspects have been detained after a six-year-old girl was brutally raped and had her throat slit in New Delhi.


The attack happened on Saturday in Badarpur district on the outskirts of the Indian capital.

The incident came only days after the sexual assault of a five-year-old girl in the same city triggered a huge public outcry and calls for capital punishment for all rapists.

Family members said the girl went to the public toilet for her daily bath but they were soon informed by locals she was lying in a pool of blood.

"The girl used to go for a daily bath in that public toilet. She also went today," said Jitender Kumar Jha, a relative of the victim.

"After some time people came to our house to tell us that the girl is lying in the toilet with injuries on her neck.

"When we went, we saw her lying on the ground with a slit throat and she was naked."

The police were quick to seal the crime scene and detained 22 suspects with past  by Text-Enhance">criminal records in the region.

"We have rounded up 22 suspects. They are alcoholics and drug addicts, who have some past  by Text-Enhance">criminal record," said Ajay Chaudhary, a commissioner of police.

"All of them are being questioned. Soon we will identify the culprit and he will be arrested."

Severe neck injuries

The girl was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences trauma centre, where she underwent emergency surgery.

Viplav Mishra, who operated on the victim, confirmed wounds to her genitalia and said her neck injuries were severe enough to  by Text-Enhance">confirm an attempt to murder the child.

"The girl had an incised wound on her neck showing that someone tried to slit her throat with a sharp object," Mishra said.

"It was a very deep wound, her wind pipe was just saved, we could see the windpipe and deep structure inside.

"The neck muscle was also damaged. There were four to five incisions.

"I had to take out a segment of skin to repair the damage. It was a long and tedious process.

"Fortunately she has survived and I think that after the sexual assault, there was also an attempt to murder the child."

Last December, public outrage over the fatal gang rape of a woman in New Delhi forced the government to pass a new, tougher law to punish sex crimes and hold police and hospital authorities more responsible.

Brutal sex crimes are common in India, which has a population of 1.2 billion, and UNICEF says one in three rape victims in India are children.

New Delhi alone has the highest number of sex crimes among major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, according to police figures. 

 

alt

The Greek parliament has passed a bill which will see 15,000 state employees lose their jobs by the end of next year.

The bill passed by 168 votes to 123, and had the support of the three parties making up the ruling coalition.

 

It is part of continuing moves by the centre-right government to cut costs and ensure more bailout money from international creditors.

 

altAmerican authorities imposed a ban upon the daughter of Cuba's unprecedented leader Mariaela Castro against her arrival to Philadelphia.She has been invited by equality forum organisation in America to receive an award as an honour for the service, she has rendered in respect of homosexual education. She is one of the directors of the national centre for homosexual education.
 
The opponents of Cuba have made every possible attempts to stop her arrival to Philadelphia to prevent her receiving the accolade to which Mariaela is perfectly entitle.

 

altNewzeland parliament has passed a Bill to legalized gay marriages despite the protest from christian groups. With this move, Newzeland become 13th country in the world and first in the East Asia who accept gay marriages. ' This resolution is a huge victory on human equality', said Newzeland labor party MP Lusiya Wallse who also played a leading role to pass this Bill.
Over 44 members have voted for the Bill while seven members voted against.
 
Earlier  French senate has passed a controversial  resolution on gay marriages and accept them to adopt children. On-line with the Newzeland move, French parliament will soon pass a Bill for gay marriages, sources said.
 
Nederland, Belgian, Spain, Canada, Argentina, and American governments have legalized gay marriages.

 

altPakistani troops are in Iran in a bid to rescue its citizen after the powerful earthquake which hit south east Iran.

The 7.8-magnitude quake, the most powerful to hit Iran for more than 50 years, caused at least 40 deaths in Pakistan's Baluchistan province.

Iranian state media say 27 people  have been injured, but the depth of the quake prevented more casualties.

The quake shook tall buildings as far away as India and the Gulf States.

It struck in the Iranian province of Sistan Baluchistan at about 15:14 local time (10:44 GMT) on Tuesday close to the city of Khash, which has a population of nearly 180,000, and Saravan, where 250,000 people live.

 

altState news agency KCNA said leader Kim Jong-un signed off on the order at a late-night meeting of top generals.

The time had come to "settle accounts" with the US, KCNA quoted him as saying, with the B-2 flights an "ultimatum". Pyongyang has been angered by fresh UN sanctions and annual US-South Korea military drills.

 

Russia said it was concerned by "unilateral action being taken around North Korea" and warned against the situation slipping out of control. China, North Korea's biggest trading partner, has called on all sides to ease tensions.

Kim Jong-un "finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets of the KPA, ordering them to be stand-by for fire so that they may strike any time", the KCNA report said.

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