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Broadcasting Time: 07:00-08:00, GMT+08:00, 2012-09-23
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In This Edition
Pakistani government disassociates itself from a cabinet minister's offering of a reward of 100,000 U.S. dollars to kill the maker of an American anti-Islam film.
Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says his country will not rush to seek external aid to finance its debt.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad travels to New York for the annual UN General Assembly, highlighting Syria's conflicts as a priority for his visit.
And a Turkish court sentenced more than 300 military personnel for plotting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan almost a decade ago.
Hot Issue Reports
Anti-Islam Movie Continues to Spark Protests in Middle East
Protests continue across the Middle East as more people took to the streets to unleash their anger at a US-made film defaming the Prophet Muhammad.
In East Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated against the film.
"The Americans are like the Israelis, they insulted our prophet Muhammad."
A peaceful protest also took place in the southern Lebanese city of Bint Jbeil, near the border with Israel.
The protest was organized by the Shiite Islamist militant group Hezbollah.
Nawaf Al-Moussawi, a Hezbollah member of parliament, said the film was an "American policy" against Islam.
"What happened was not a lousy film, but it is an American policy that they are trying to implement in the West."
The film, "Innocence of Muslims", has sparked violent protests throughout the Muslim world that have resulted in the deaths of dozens, including the US ambassador to Libya.
Minister Offers $100,000 Reward for Death of Anti-Islam Filmmaker
Pakistani Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour has offered a reward of 100,000 U.S. dollars to anyone who kills the maker of an anti-Islam film defaming the Prophet Mohammad made in the United States.
"I invite the Taliban brothers and the al Qaeda brothers that they should join me in this sacred mission. Along with others, they should also join in the good work. And God willing, whoever is successful in killing him I will present 100,000 U.S. dollars to him."
A spokesman for Pakistan's prime minister said the government disassociated itself from the minister's statement.
Fifteen people were killed during protests on Friday in several Pakistani cities over the video, which enraged Muslims in several countries. It depicts the Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer and a fool.
Many Western and Muslim politicians and clerics have appealed for calm condemning violent actions.
Economy Minister: Spain in No Rush to Request Bailout
Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says his country will not rush to seek external aid to finance its debt.
De Guindos was speaking in response to some market expectation that Spain will seek this assistance in the next few days.
"This is not about rescuing Spain, but about making sure that the euro currency project is a project for everybody. Spain will do what it has to do, but with no rush and with a knowledge of all elements involved in this type of operation, and also taking into account what is good for Spain and good for the euro zone."
De Guindos added that deficit-cutting efforts would remain a priority for the Spanish government.
Madrid is expected to present its draft budget plan for 2013, and new structural reforms next week.
Spain is at the centre of the euro zone debt crisis, now in its third year. Investors believe that a high deficit, soaring debts, and a troubling banking sector will eventually force Madrid to seek more external help.
The government sought a 100 billion euro European credit line to recapitalize troubled lenders in June.
Merkel: No Decisions yet on EADS-BAE Merger Plan
France and Germany have pledged to consult closely on merger plans by Europe's two largest aerospace and defence companies, but announced no joint decisions.
Franco-German-Spanish group EADS is in 45 billion US dollar merger talks with Britain's BAE Systems to forge the world's largest aerospace and defence contractor.
The tie-up would create the world's largest integrated defence and aerospace company with annual sales of 93 billion US dollars.
After talks with French President Francois Hollande in Ludwigsburg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said no decisions have been made on the proposed merger.
"Of course we discussed what we still need to consider with regard to the EADS/BAE issue. We agreed that we will investigate the necessary issues intensively with the necessary care, and in agreement with the companies involved. We didn't make any decisions today; let me make that very clear."
But Merkel added that they were aware of the deadlines.
Under British stock market rules, EADS and BAE have until Oct. 10 to announce whether they will go ahead.
French President Francois Hollande said France and Germany are seeking conditions on jobs and industrial strategy as part of talks over the proposed aerospace and defence merger.
Dozens Injured as Libyans March to Islamic Militia Headquarters
Unconfirmed witness reports say three people have been killed and dozens injured when hundreds of protesters angry over last week's killing of the US Ambassador to Libya attacked the bases of several militias in Benghazi.
In a wave of public anger at Libya's rampant militias, the crowd overwhelmed the compound of the Ansar al-Shariah Brigade in central Benghazi. But later they abandoned the site after it was overrun by protesters.
Many protesters were injured.
"We won't stop until we clear this brigade. Rafallah Sahati's brigade is over. It doesn't belong to the army. An army which kills its people is not an army."
"The Ansar al-Shariah members shot at us. I tried to help my friend who was shot down. They hit me with a car. I brought my dead friend here."
Officials and witnesses say fighters from Ansar al-Shariah led the attack on the US consulate, which killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
For many Libyans, the September 11 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi was the last straw in one of the biggest problems Libya has faced since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi a year ago.
Turkish Military Officers to be Jailed over Alleged Plot to Topple Govn't
A Turkish court sentenced more than 300 military personnel for plotting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan almost a decade ago.
Two retired generals and a retired admiral, considered the ringleaders of the "Sledgehammer" plot to topple Erdogan in 2003, were given life terms.
But a lawyer for the defendants Huseyin Ersoz criticized the trial, accusing it of being political.
"The legal crime that was committed by mass detentions and the judicial process turned into a legal massacre with today's verdict. The Turkish Republic and our future were massacred by this verdict."
Main Opposition Party CHP lawmaker Mehmet Ali Akgunduz echoes Ersoz's criticism.
"This verdict shouldn't come out without the lawyers. The basic principle of law, the right to a defense, was violated. This is a legal massacre. I think in this case the law served as a tool for cruelty."
The military in secular Turkey launched three coups between 1960 and 1980 and pressured out an Islamist-led government in 1997.
But Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK Party has tamed military influence over policy-making and ministerial appointments as part of efforts to strengthen democracy. He defended the verdict.
"To comment without seeing the reasons for the verdict would be inappropriate. There is an appeals process. What is important for us is that the right decision emerges."
The conspiracy is alleged to have included plans to bomb historic mosques in Istanbul and trigger conflict with Greece to pave the way for an army takeover.
Ahmadinejad Promises Debate on Syrian Crisis as He Departs for UN
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has left Tehran to attend the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, highlighting Syria's conflicts as a priority for his visit.
Speaking before his departure, Ahmadinejad promised debate on the Syrian crisis in the UN.
"We would like to hold discussions about the crises that have hit regions like Syria and form contact groups. I have made preliminary phone calls myself and the Foreign Minister has contacted several officials to arrange appointments. We will hold meetings with members of the Non-Aligned Movement regarding the reforms in the UN structure as well as forming up a contact group to deal with regional conflicts and stopping the violence."
The 18-month Syrian conflicts have killed some 23,000 people, according to activists.
The Non-Aligned Movement is a Cold War-era group that Iran seeks to transform into an alternative voice to Western power as Tehran battles pressures over its nuclear program.
Tehran hosted the annual conference of the grouping of 120 nations in August.
Belarus President Lashes out at Opposition over Election Boycott
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has harshly criticized leading opposition parties for their decision not to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The opposition in Belarus has urged voters to boycott a upcoming parliamentary election which they denounce as a sham.
Lukashenko, staying in power since 1994, said his opponents demonstrated that they were unable to compete in a free and fair political struggle.
"They have shown that they are nothing, that they will lose even those dozen people who still support them. So they will lose them totally. They are afraid of going to the people, and they do not really want power."
The election on Sunday to a 110-member chamber is widely seen as a formality which will only reinforce Lukashenko's grip on power.
Scores of opposition activists were arrested in the December 2010 election unrest and many people, including several candidates who stood against Lukashenko, were jailed.
Protesters Demand to Sue Officials over Prison Abuse Scandal in Georgia
Thousands of protesters have rallied in Georgia to demand the prosecution of top officials sacked in a prison abuse scandal that threatens to unseat the ruling party in the country's upcoming elections.
Demonstrators gathered overnight outside the Gldani prison in capital Tbilisi where the videos of abuse were filmed, stopping several prison vans and asking prisoners inside whether they had suffered abuse.
Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili said during the opening ceremony of Justice House that those who were disseminating footage of violence in the prison had political aims.
"I want to ask why those who were recording this violence were keeping it hidden because they wanted to release it for the elections. They want this election to bring Georgia back to the dark times. We know very well, we are not blind that with Russian money, Russian style blackmailing they are conducting a classical Russian campaign to bring Georgia into the Russian Empire."
Saakashvili has sought to contain the damage by firing his interior minister and the minister in charge of the penitentiary system while also reshuffling prison personnel.
But despite these efforts, protesters increased their demands insisting the ministers to be brought to justice.
An opposition victory in the October 1 vote would make Bidzina Ivanishvili Georgia's prime minister. He would succeed Saakashvili to become the country's president.
Family not to Ask Pardon for Hospitalized Fujimori
The daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori visited her father in the hospital and confirmed that the family is not asking for a pardon at this time.
Keiko Fujimori criticized the administration of President Ollanta Humala for not considering a humanitarian pardon on the grounds of poor health.
"For now, we are putting the request for a pardon aside because of the insensitive and inhumane attitude that this government has had when they indicated that they would only give Alberto Fujimori a pardon if he were dying, in other words, at death's door."
Fujimori was found guilty of human rights abuses and is currently serving a 25-year sentence for his role in death squad murders and kidnappings during his 10-year presidency.
He was hospitalized on Wednesday after suffering complications from his August 23rd surgery, the fifth operation to remove precancerous lesions on his tongue.
Keiko Fujimori was first lady under her father's administration between 1990 and 2000 and has served both as a member of congress and as head of his political party.
She ran unsuccessfully for presidency against Humala last year.
Police Intervene as Party Invitation Goes Viral in Dutch Town
Riot police were called into the suburban Dutch town of Haren on Friday night as thousands of revellers gathered after a teenager's Facebook birthday invite went viral.
Footage filmed by Dutch broadcaster RLT 4 showed riot police being pelted with bottles and stones as they tried to clear the revellers from the area.
A vehicle appeared to have been turned upside down and set on fire.
Some of the revellers accused the police of overreacting.
"The way the police are acting is making the people to react this way."
Some local residents said they were frightened by the sheer size of the crowd.
"I find this really scary, the crowd coming towards you. I hope it quietens down later."
Police had been on high alert ever since the Facebook invite went viral, receiving more than 20-thousand replies.
The birthday girl, who forgot to mark her invite "private", was forced to flee her home earlier on Friday.
Several websites emerged in the run up to the event, dubbing it "Project X Haren" after the 2012 film "Project X" about a party which grows rapidly out of control.
Women in London Stage "SlutWalk" Protest against Rape
Thousands of women marched through central London on Saturday, some dressed only in their underwear, protesting at the way rape victims are treated by the police and justice system.
The so-called 'Slutwalk' protesters demand that sexual assault laws be applied without prejudice to clothing, drunkenness or other circumstances in which sexual abuse occurs.
Anastasia Richardson is the organizer of the 'Slutwalk' protest in London.
"Rape is rape, you know, even if you're wearing a short skirt, you're drunk, in a relationship with the man, married for twenty years, if it was your husband. If you are an asylum seeker and you were raped in a detention centre. You're an immigrant, you're a sex worker, you were raped by a client. Whatever, rape is rape. We are all worthy of protection. We all want protection."
"SlutWalks" started in Toronto, Canada in 2011, after a police officer made remarks that women could avoid being raped or victimised by not dressing like "sluts".
Pop Singer Juanes Calls for Peace and Change in Colombia
Colombian rocker and activist Juanes has called for change as the government of the South American country nears peace talks with the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
The singer attended a peace conference in Bogota and encouraged young people to become peace-makers in their communities.
"We have to think of what we are doing wrong, of where the problem is and where it comes from. That's why we have to look at what is happening that makes us so violent. I think this is really important; it is a time to reflect and to change this paradigm and put our minds elsewhere."
Juanes made these comments as Colombia and the FARC look to start peace talks next month in Norway before moving them to Cuba.
Many in Colombia hope the negations will end nearly five decades of violence in the South American country.
The FARC group was set up in 1964 as a peasant army fighting to reduce the gulf that still divides rich and poor in Colombia.
The last attempt at peace was more than a decade ago, but those talks collapsed, and they were seen as having helped the FARC build up their fighting forces.
Xinhua: Japan's Noda Needs to Reset his China Policy
It has been reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda plans to send a special envoy to China to ease tensions after Tokyo's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands.
Noda appeared on television Wednesday and floated this idea. Also, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba has voiced his intention to maintain communication with China.
A commentary by the Xinhua News Agency says Noda should reset his current ailing China policy with concrete actions for the benefits of both nations.
The article notes that Noda is poised to fend off challenges to his premiership in the next general elections after being reelected as head of the ruling Democratic Party on Friday.
Amid the election buzz, the commentary reminds Noda to not lose sight of the need for an immediate China-policy overhaul to ease the tension caused by his current policies.
About two weeks ago, Noda's government decided to "purchase" part of China's Diaoyu Islands despite repeated protests from Beijing.
The provocative move immediately caused a ripple effect that drove bilateral relations to a near freezing point and ignited protests across China.
The Xinhua commentary says Noda showed a lack of historical perspective among other blunders, despite his claim to have handled the territorial dispute "from broad viewpoints."
The commentary points out that Noda should realize that mishandling of the issue risks devastating the hard-won healthy relationship between the world's second and third largest economies, creating a flash-point in Northeast Asia.
The commentary concludes in saying that it would be a better choice for Noda to back down from nationalist impulses and sketch out a new strategy that serves to benefit both sides in a year that marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral ties.
China Daily: Expo Proof of Cooperation
The 9th China-ASEAN Expo kicked off in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the past week, during which leaders from China and ten ASEAN nations are scheduled to discuss bilateral and regional issues and forge new programs of cooperation.
An editorial in the China Daily newspaper says Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's attendance at the expo demonstrates the great importance China attaches to its relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The article affirmed the active role that the expo plays in serving as a platform for showcasing prospering trade ties and good neighborly relations between the two sides. Since its inauguration in 2004, the expo has boosted momentum for the smooth development of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, officially established in January, 2010.
It adds that the healthy growth of China-ASEAN ties contributes to the region's integration process and brings real benefits to people in the region. That explains why both sides have put a lot of effort in recent years into expanding their interactions from trade to other common concerns, such as regional security.
Given the fact that China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand have strengthened joint patrols along the Mekong River after the brutal killing of 13 Chinese sailors, the editorial says the move is essential in combating cross-border crimes and maintaining regional security and stability.
The editorial is convinced that the successful transnational cooperation on the Mekong demonstrates that regional conflicts can be addressed and eased as long as countries in the region shore up friendship and cooperation. The same principle should be applied to the South China Sea disputes that involve China and a few ASEAN members, according to the editorial.