Saturday, 12 May 2012

Woman jailed over killing of cow

 
Cow in Nepal
The cow is a holy animal in the Hindu kingdom
A court in Nepal has sentenced a woman to 12 years in prison for slaughtering a cow, considered a sacred animal in the predominantly Hindu kingdom. Police arrested 50-year-old Kripa Bhoteni after receiving complaints that she had killed the animal, dried the meat and eaten it.
Ms Bhoteni is reported as denying that she killed the cow. She received the maximum sentence for the offence.
Killing a cow is illegal in Nepal, the world's only Hindu kingdom.
'False'
Ms Bhoteni was sentenced to prison by a district court in Sankhuasabha district some 500km (310 miles) north-west of the capital, Kathmandu.
According to a report in the Kantipur newspaper, she is not a Hindu.
While killing a cow is illegal, it is not an offence against the law to eat meat from a cow.
Another man charged in the same case has fled and police are searching for him, Kantipur newspaper said.

By Qali Farah
May 12 , 2012


For over twenty years, any possible resolution to the quagmire that has befallen our glorious nation has faced a formidable obstacle. It’s a word formed of one syllable and composed of two letters: NO. This is the keyword in our political life.
Our recent history is exclusively that of a country held hostage by naysayers. Their entire political ideology or ‘program’ can be summed up with one word. NO!
No to progress. No to development. No to peace. No to security. No to prosperity. No to the rule of law. No to reconciliation. No to justice. No to proper governance. No to accountability.
Is it possible to overcome a mindless opposition that rejects out of hand any potential resolution? That’s the dilemma faced by those who wish take our nation forward and restore the republic back to its former glory as a respectable player amongst the nations of the world.
They say NO to the constitution. NO to the Roadmap. NO towards the program of ending the transitional federal government. No, no, no!Continued

US 'foils new underwear bomb plot' by al-Qaeda in Yemen

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Leon Panetta: Security services will "do everything necessary" to keep US safe

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The US has foiled a plot by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to detonate an upgraded version of the failed 2009 "underwear bomb", US officials say.
The alleged device was seized in the Middle East after a CIA operation in Yemen and is being studied by the FBI.
Reports say no target had been chosen and no plane tickets purchased by the time the alleged plot was foiled.
Officials say there was never any risk to the public. It is not clear what has happened to the would-be bomber.
Peter King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee of the US House of Representatives, said counter-terrorism officials had told him: "We don't have to worry about him any more."
The officials revealed that the would-be bomber was alive, but would not say whether he was in foreign custody, Mr King added.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the foiled attack was proof of the continuing need for vigilance around the world.
"These terrorists keep trying. They keep trying to devise more and more perverse and terrible ways to kill innocent people," she said.
US officials said the device had been seized in an unspecified Middle Eastern country outside Yemen within the last 10 days.
"As a result of close co-operation with our security and intelligence partners overseas, an improvised explosive device (IED) designed to carry out a terrorist attack has been seized abroad," the FBI said.

Analysis

In spite of recent successes against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen continues to be the focus of US counter-terrorism operations.
Targeted killings carried out by unmanned aircraft, or drones, have become a key component of the CIA's campaign against senior al-Qaeda figures. On Sunday, Fahd al-Quso, wanted by the FBI for his role in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, was killed by a missile as he stepped out of a vehicle. It's not clear whether his death was part of the same operation that uncovered the latest plane bomb plot against the US.
The man believed to be responsible for designing the device that would have been used is also said to be hiding in Yemen. Ibrahim al-Asiri, 30, is a Saudi national who helped mastermind the so-called "underwear bomb" plot in 2009 and the 2010 attempt to blow up two cargo planes bound for the US. The FBI says the device it is currently examining is similar but more sophisticated than the ones used in those previous attacks.
"Initial exploitation indicates that the device is very similar to IEDs that have been used previously by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in attempted terrorist attacks, including against aircraft and for targeted assassinations," it added.
President Barack Obama was first informed of the plot in April, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said, adding the device had not posed a threat to the public.
The BBC's Mark Mardell in Washington says the plot, disrupted as a result of US co-operation with other unnamed intelligence agencies, appears to have been caught at a relatively early stage - after the making of the bomb, but before the public was put at risk.
"What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country. And we will do everything necessary to keep America safe," Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters on Monday.
Although other agencies were involved, senior Yemeni officials say the government in Sanaa there has no information on this particular plot, according to Reuters news agency.
'Hallmarks'
Officials said it appeared that AQAP leaders in Yemen had instructed a suicide bomber to board any flight of his choosing to the US with the bomb under his clothes, but that he had been stopped before reaching an airport.
It is not clear who built the alleged device, but officials said it shared some features with the bomb sewn into the underwear of would-be suicide bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
The Nigerian was arrested when his device failed to explode fully while on a plane bound for Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

'Bomb plot': Unanswered Questions

  • Unclear who the would-be bomber is or whether he/she is in custody
  • Country where alleged device was seized as yet unspecified
  • No information on how the alleged plot was intercepted
  • Exact composition of alleged device unclear, although said to contain no metal parts and designed to escape detection by magnetometers at airport security
A US intelligence official said the latest device bore the "hallmarks" of the 2009 underwear bomb, which was built by the Saudi militant, Ibrahim al-Asiri.
It seems it is an improved model, with a more effective detonation system; it has no metal parts and probably would not have been detected by most airport security magnetometers, our correspondent adds.
It is not even clear if it would have been found by the body scanners that have been installed in some US airports after that attempted attack three years ago.
Abdulmutallab's "underwear bomb" was not detected during security checks at airports in Lagos, Nigeria, and Amsterdam before he boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253 for Detroit.
On the flight, the bomb did not detonate fully and passengers had to put out the fire. He has been sentenced to life in prison.
In a previous incident that year, a man also equipped with a bomb in his underwear tried to attack Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a senior Saudi Arabian counter-terrorism official. The bomber killed himself in the attack, but the prince survived.
Airport security
In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said air security would continue to incorporate threat and vulnerability analysis, pre-screening and screening of passengers, as well as random searches at airports, air marshals and other unspecified security measures.
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A video simulation shows what would have happened if Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attack had succeeded
It added: "We have no specific, credible information regarding an active terrorist plot against the US at this time, although we continue to monitor efforts by al-Qaeda and its affiliates to carry out terrorist attacks, both in the homeland and abroad."
News of the operation emerged shortly after the US marked the first anniversary of the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
It also comes one day after Fahd al-Quso, an al-Qaeda leader in Yemen, was killed by a US drone strike.
The US had offered a $5m (£3.1m) reward for information leading to Quso's capture or death.
The Yemeni government has stepped up its battle against AQAP since Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down as president in November.
However, the group and its allies still control large parts of the country.

Islamist group al-Nusra Front 'behind Damascus blasts'

 

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (Sana) shows onlookers gathering amid the debris and destroyed vehicles at the scene of twin blasts in Damascus on 10 May Thursday's blasts killed 55 and caused extensive damage to nearby buildings
A video posted online in the name of Islamist group, al-Nusra Front, says it carried out two bomb attacks in the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday.
The attacks took place near a military intelligence building during the morning rush hour, killing 55 people.
Opposition activists have accused the regime of orchestrating the explosions.
The al-Nusra Front emerged in January and has said it was behind previous attacks, including one in March on a police HQ and airforce Intelligence.
The video says the bombings were in response to attacks on civilian areas by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
"We fulfilled our promise to respond with strikes and explosions," a distorted voice says in the video, according to the Associated Press.

Analysis

The group's statements echo those of jihadist groups, and the latest bomb attack was certainly similar to some in Iraq which have been blamed on al-Qaeda. But little else is known about al-Nusra. Who leads it, what its ideology is, and where it originated are just guesswork at the moment.
If this is the start of an al-Qaeda style bombing campaign in Syria, it will complicate an already intractable conflict. It would harden attitudes on both sides, and heighten sectarian suspicion.
The Syrian government has frequently accused the main opposition groups of links to al-Qaeda. So far there is no clear evidence of this. But the fact that al-Nusra says it shares their goal of overthrowing President Assad may make some countries which support the opposition feel uneasy about the possibility of al-Qaeda infiltration.
"We tell this regime: Stop your massacres against the Sunni people. If not, you will bear the sin of the Alawites," the video continues, referring to the offshoot of Shia Islam to which Mr Assad and many of the ruling elite belong.
The video also warns Sunnis against "living near security buildings and dens of the regime or passing near them".
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says al-Nusra refers to its fighters as "mujahideen of Sham [Syria] in the arena of jihad" and there are suspicions it may have links to al-Qaeda.
The tactics used in the Damascus attacks are similar to attacks by al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent years, the BBC's Jonathan Head in Istanbul reports.
Meanwhile, the funerals of some of those killed in Thursday's blasts have been taking place in the city.
Violence has been continuing across the country despite a ceasefire being monitored by a team of UN observers.
The UN estimates at least 9,000 people have died since pro-democracy protests began in March 2011.

Rochdale grooming: More child sex arrests

 

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Nine men have been arrested in a second sexual grooming inquiry in Rochdale.
The men aged between 24 and 38 have been questioned on suspicion of sexual activity with a child, police said.
The arrests are as a result of an inquiry into the sexual exploitation of a teenage girl since 2005. The men have been bailed pending further inquiries.
It follows the conviction of nine men from Rochdale and Oldham who were jailed for running a child sexual exploitation ring.
The men had targeted vulnerable girls as young as 13.
During the trial, five girls gave evidence, but police believe there may have been up to 47 victims.
'Damaged individuals'
Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, Peter Fahy, said he hoped more victims of sexual abuse would come forward after the men were sentenced.
But he said the vulnerability of the witnesses made it difficult to bring the cases to court, describing the girls as "damaged individuals".

Start Quote

We've seen inspiring bravery shown by victims in the recent trial”
End Quote Simon Danczuk Rochdale MP
Police said the latest arrests were not related to the case that concluded with the nine men being jailed from four to 19 years.
They had been found guilty of offences including rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.
On sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court, Judge Gerald Clifton said the convicted men treated the girls "as though they were worthless and beyond respect".
All five girls who were witnesses in the gang's conviction were known to social services at some stage in their lives.
Rochdale Council has been tackling the problem of grooming by running an education programme warning schoolchildren of the dangers of child sexual exploitation.
So far, 10,000 high school students have taken part.
Commenting on the latest arrests, Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said: "There have been some who've said this is a one-off case but I have consistently said I believe it to be a wider problem and that's why I am pleased to see the police acting swiftly.
"My message for anyone thinking of getting involved in this kind of activity is that you do so at your peril because the full force of the law will come down very hard on you.
"We've seen inspiring bravery shown by victims in the recent trial. I hope the heavy sentences imposed will encourage other victims to speak out because this crime is being taken very seriously and we need to send out the clearest message that this behaviour will not be tolerated in Rochdale or anywhere else."

Derby fire deaths: Church service held for children

 

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The service took place at St George's Roman Catholic Church in Littleover, which is affiliated to the school the children attended

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A church service has been held in memory of five children killed in a fire at their home in Derby.
The children, four boys and a girl aged between five and 10, died in the fire in Allenton on Friday despite their father's attempts to save them.
A local resident has set up a charity to help raise funds for the family.
Police are continuing to question a man and a woman arrested on suspicion of murder.
The woman, 28, and man, 38, from Derby, were arrested separately on Friday.
The scene of the fire in Derby The children were sleeping upstairs when the fire began early on Friday
The children have been identified by police as 10-year-old Jade Philpott, John Philpott, nine, Jack Philpott, seven, Jessie Philpott, six, and Jayden Philpott, five.
Their 13-year-old brother, Duwayne Philpott, who was also in the house in Victory Road, remains in a critical condition in a Birmingham hospital.
Prayers for the children were read at a special service held at St George's Roman Catholic Church, which is affiliated to the school the children attended.
The Reverend Alan Burbidge, chair of governors at the St George's Catholic Primary School in Littleover, said staff had been trying to comfort pupils.

Start Quote

I think it's been a shock and the reality is just starting to set in now ”
End Quote Karen Hillier Local councillor
He said teachers had asked the children to write poems about their friends and had set up altars with candles and cards.
Local councillor Karen Hillier said the community was pulling together to give each other support.
She said: "In times like this when the emotion is felt it brings people together more.
"I think it's been a shock and the reality is just starting to set in now as well."
Local resident Bobby Sutherland, who has lived in the area all his life, said he was inspired to set up an online charity called Catch Me When I Fall to help pay for the funerals and anything else the family might need.
Mr Sutherland said: "I said to my missus they're going to have to pay about £10,000 when they get home - and that ain't right."
Mick Philpott and his family in 2007 The family were photographed in 2007 during a period of media attention
He added that Mr Philpott "loved his children desperately".
Gavin Tomlinson, area manager for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, said the parents had managed to get out of the house and were trying to get to the children, who had been asleep upstairs when the fire began, when fire crews arrived.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police Steve Cotterill said: "There appears to have been some valiant attempts by the father [Mick Philpott] to resuscitate his children."
Mr Philpott, who was named locally, is believed to have 17 children.
His family were the subject of media scrutiny in 2006 when he asked the council for a larger house to accommodate his wife, girlfriend and 14 children.
In 2007 former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe spent a week living with the family as part of an ITV documentary and he also appeared as a guest on the channel's Jeremy Kyle Show.
Appeal for information
Following the fire Miss Widdecombe said: "Nobody would ever call him a bad father. I'm so sorry to hear the news and my thoughts are with the family."
Post-mortem tests are due to take place later and forensic specialists continue to examine the house.
Mr Cotterill said eight people were living in the house on a permanent basis, though other people may have stayed there on an ad hoc basis.
He said: "I want to stress that we are keeping an open mind in terms of the investigation - the arrests are only one aspect of the inquiry.
"It is paramount that we have a thorough investigation of the scene before we determine the cause of the fire.
"Our thoughts are with the parents and the family of the children for their tragic loss and for the community of Allenton, who would of course have known the children as they played."
Anyone with information about the fire has been asked to contact Derbyshire Police.

Nigeria: Lagos doctors sacked over 'illegal strike'

 

A patient in hospital in Lagos, Nigeria (Archive shot - 2009) The usually busy hospitals in Lagos have been virtually empty during the strike
Hundreds of doctors in Nigeria's economic capital have been dismissed after going on an "illegal" strike over pay, Lagos state officials have said.
Almost 800 doctors, on strike for close to three weeks, have been replaced by about 400 junior doctors.
Nurses staffed hospitals in the strike, and some patients are said to have suffered because of a lack of care.
A BBC reporter in Lagos says this is the first time doctors in Nigeria have been sacked over industrial action.
Tough stance
The doctors were dismissed for refusing to answer queries about why they had been absent from work without leave and for breaking rules guiding industrial action in the state's public service, Lagos government official Adesegun Ogunlewe said.
More than 1,000 doctors went on strike on 16 April, saying that the state government had failed to implement a pay increase promised by Governor Babatunde Fashola at the end of 2010.
The BBC's Fidelis Mbah in Lagos says the administration's tough stance is unprecedented - although it did not sack those doctors who replied to queries.
During the strike the city's hospitals have been virtually empty and patients who could not afford to turn to private treatment are expected to flood in, our correspondent says.
This, and the fact that the striking doctors have been replaced by less experienced medics, is of great cause of concern for Lagos residents, he adds.
The Nigerian Medical Association has condemned the dismissals.

The Prophet: Why is it so loved?

Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet: Why is it so loved?


Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran is said to be one of the world's bestselling poets, and his life has inspired a play touring the UK and the Middle East. But many critics have been lukewarm about his merits. Why, then, has his seminal work, The Prophet, struck such a chord with generations of readers?
Since it was published in 1923, The Prophet has never been out of print. The perennial classic has been translated into more than 50 languages and is a staple on international best-seller lists. It is thought to have sold tens of millions of copies.
Although practically ignored by the literary establishment in the West, lines from the book have inspired song lyrics, political speeches and have been read out at weddings and funerals all around the world.
"It serves various occasions or big moments in one's life so it tends to be a book that is often gifted to a lover, or for a birth, or death. That is why it has spread so widely, and by word of mouth," says Dr Mohamed Salah Omri, lecturer in Modern Arabic literature at Oxford University.
The Beatles, John F Kennedy and Indira Gandhi are among those who have been influenced by its words.
"This book has a way of speaking to people at different stages in their lives. It has this magical quality, the more you read it the more you come to understand the words," says Reverend Laurie Sue, an interfaith minister in New York who has conducted hundreds of weddings with readings from The Prophet.
"But it is not filled with any kind of dogma, it is available to anyone whether they are Jewish or Christian or Muslim."
The book is made up of 26 prose poems, delivered as sermons by a wise man called Al Mustapha. He is about to set sail for his homeland after 12 years in exile on a fictional island when the people of the island ask him to share his wisdom on the big questions of life: love, family, work and death.
Its popularity peaked in the 1930s and again in the 1960s when it became the bible of the counter culture.

The Prophet

On marriage: "Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup."
On children: ''Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.''
On beauty: ''Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.''
"Many people turned away from the establishment of the Church to Gibran," says Professor Juan Cole, historian of the Middle East at the University of Michigan who has translated several of Gibran's works from Arabic.
"He offered a dogma-free universal spiritualism as opposed to orthodox religion, and his vision of the spiritual was not moralistic. In fact, he urged people to be non-judgmental."
Despite the immense popularity of his writing, or perhaps because of it, The Prophet was panned by many critics in the West who thought it simplistic, naive and lacking in substance.
"In the West, he was not added to the canon of English literature," says Cole. "Even though his major works were in English after 1918, and though he is one of bestselling poets in American history, he was disdained by English professors."
An image of the Prophet drawn by Kahlil Gibran Gibran sketched the Prophet after a dream
"He was looked down upon as, frankly, a 'bubblehead' by Western academics, because he appealed to the masses. I think he has been misunderstood in the West. He is certainly not a bubblehead, in fact his writings in Arabic are in a very sophisticated style.
"There is no doubt he deserves a place in the Western canon. It is strange to teach English literature and ignore a literary phenomenon."
Gibran was a painter as well as a writer by training and was schooled in the symbolist tradition in Paris in 1908. He mixed with the intellectual elite of his time, including figures such as WB Yeats, Carl Jung and August Rodin, all of whom he met and painted.
Symbolists such as Rodin and the English poet and artist William Blake, who was a big influence on Gibran, favoured romance over realism and it was a movement that was already passe in the 1920s as modernists such as TS Eliot and Ezra Pound were gaining popularity.
He painted more than 700 pictures, watercolours and drawings but because most of his paintings were shipped back to Lebanon after his death, they have been overlooked in the West.
Professor Suheil Bushrui, who holds the Kahlil Gibran chair for Values and Peace at the University of Maryland, compares Gibran to the English Romantics such as Shelley and Blake, and he says that like Gibran, Blake was dismissed in his own time.
"He was called 'mad Blake'. He is now a major figure in English literature. So the fact that a writer is not taken seriously by the critics is no indication of the value of the work".
In Lebanon, where he was born, he is still celebrated as a literary hero.
His style, which broke away from the classical school, pioneered a new Romantic movement in Arabic literature of poetic prose.

A poet's life

  • Born to Maronite Catholic family in Lebanon, 1883
  • Moves to US aged 12 with mother and siblings after father imprisoned for embezzlement
  • Settles in South Boston's Lebanese community
  • Clerical error at school registers his name as Kahlil, not Khalil
  • He was a talented pupil and came to the attention of local artist and photographer Fred Holland Day
  • Returns to Lebanon at 15 to study Arabic
  • Soon after, he lost his mother, sister and brother to TB and cancer within months of each other
  • Back in the US in 1904, he meets Mary Haskell
  • In 1908, goes to Paris for two years to study art in the symbolist school
  • First book of poetry published in 1918, then The Prophet five years later
  • Dies in 1931 from cirrhosis of the liver and TB
  • Inspires a play Rest Upon the Wind, which tours UK and Middle East in 2012
"We are talking about a renaissance in modern Arabic literature and this renaissance had at its foundation Gibran's writings," says Professor Suheil Bushrui, who holds the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace at the University of Maryland.
In the Arab world, Gibran is regarded as a rebel, both in a literary and political sense. He emigrated to the US at 12 but returned to study in Lebanon three years later where he witnessed injustices suffered by peasants at the hands of their Ottoman rulers.
"He was a Christian but he saw things being done in the name of Christianity which he could not accept," says Bushrui.
In his writing, he raged against the oppression of women and the tyranny of the Church and called for freedom from Ottoman rule.
"What he was doing was revolutionary and there were protests against it in the Arab world," says Juan Cole. "So he is viewed in Arabic literature as an innovator, not dissimilar to someone like WB Yeats in the West."
A portrait by Kahlil Gibran of his family Gibran the painter created more than 700 works, including this one of his family
Political leaders considered his thoughts poisonous to young people and one of his books, Spirit Rebellious, was burnt in the market place in Beirut soon after it was published.
By the 1930s, Gibran had become a prominent and charismatic figure within the Lebanese community and New York literary circles.
But the success of his writing in English owes much to a woman called Mary Haskell, a progressive Boston school headmistress who became his patron and confidante as well as his editor.
Haskell supported him financially throughout his career until the publication of The Prophet in 1923.

Find out more

  • The Man behind The Prophet was broadcast on Heart & Soul for the BBC World Service
Their relationship developed into a love affair and although Gibran proposed to her twice, they never married.
Haskell's conservative family at that time would never have accepted her marrying an immigrant, says Jean Gibran, who married Kahlil Gibran's godson and his namesake and dedicated five years to writing a biography of the writer.
In their book, Jean Gibran and her late husband didn't shy away from the less favourable aspects of the Gibran's character. He was, they admit, known to cultivate his own celebrity.
He even went so far as to create a mythology around himself and made pretensions to a noble lineage.
But Jean Gibran says that he never claimed to be a saint or prophet. "As a poor but proud immigrant amongst Boston's elite, he didn't want people to look down on him. He was a fragile human being and aware of his own weaknesses."
But arguably for Gibran's English readers, none of this mattered much.
"I don't know how many people who picked up The Prophet, read it or gifted it, would actually know about Gibran the man or even want to know," says Dr Mohamed Salah Omri.
"Part of the appeal is perhaps that this book could have been written by anybody and that is what we do with scripture. It just is."

EU central bankers ponder Greece euro exit

 

Alexis Tsipras (foreground), leader of Greece's biggest anti-bailout party Syriza, leaves talks with Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos (left) in Athens, 11 May The anti-bailout party led by Alexis Tsipras (right) came second in the polls
Europe central bankers have been openly expressing views on the possibility of Greece leaving the eurozone as its leaders struggles to form a government.
Germany's top banker said it was up to the Greeks to decide, but if they did not keep to their bailout commitments, they would receive no new aid.
His counterpart in the Irish Republic said a Greek exit would be damaging but not necessarily fatal to the euro.
Greece is to make a final attempt at forming a government on Sunday.
President Karolos Papoulias is to meet party leaders after they failed to deliver a coalition through their own negotiations.
Greek voters punished mainstream parties which backed the bailout at last Sunday's parliamentary election.
If no new government is formed, a new election will have to be held, and opinion polls suggest Syriza - a leftist, anti-bailout party - will benefit most.
Syriza firmly rejects the terms of the most recent EU-IMF bailout, which requires tough austerity measures in return for loans worth 130bn euros ($170bn; £105bn).
'Manageable'
On Saturday, German central bank chief Jens Weidmann said: "If Athens doesn't keep its word, it will be a democratic choice.
"The consequence will be that the basis for fresh aid will disappear."

Start Quote

Technically, [a Greek exit] can be managed”
End Quote Patrick Honohan Irish central bank chief
Without financial aid, there is the possibility that Greece will default.
"We're a breath away from the drachma and disaster," liberal Greek daily Kathimerini warned on Saturday, referring to the country's old currency.
Per Jansson, deputy head of Sweden's central bank, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying on Friday that central bankers across Europe had begun discussing the possibility of a Greek exit from the eurozone and how to handle the consequences.
"I would be very careful in speculating that it would be a painless process without complications," he said in Stockholm.
Irish central bank chief Patrick Honohan told a conference in the Estonian capital Tallinn on Saturday: "It [a euro exit] is not imagined in the legislation, in the treaties, but things can happen that are not imagined in the treaties."
"Technically, it can be managed," he added.
"It would be a knock to the confidence for the euro area as a whole. So it would add to the complexity of the operation until things settle down again. It is not necessarily fatal, but it is not attractive."
Speaking at the same conference, EU Economic and Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn was quoted by Bloomberg as saying Europe was "certainly more resilient" to a possible Greek exit than it had been two years ago when it would have been "massively under-prepared".
"I still believe that Greece can stay in the euro and find the way to make sure that it respects its commitments," he said, adding Greece would suffer more than Europe if it left the euro.
Final bid
After Greece's three biggest parties - the centre-right New Democracy, far-left bloc Syriza and socialist Pasok - each failed to form a government, President Papoulias called them to a meeting on Sunday.
He will also hold talks with fringe parties including Golden Dawn, an extreme right-wing, anti-immigration group.
Analysts say the president's bid is unlikely to succeed because the parties are so divided over the bailout.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said on Friday he could not join any coalition that intended to implement the bailout deal.
"The bailout austerity has already been denounced by the Greek people with its vote, and no government has the right to enforce it," he said.
Analysts say Syriza could be hoping for another election after one opinion poll put them in first position in any new ballot, albeit without an overall majority.
Greek election results graphic

Saudi King Abdullah sacks conservative adviser

 

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah has made some steps towards loosening Saudi Arabia's strict gender segregation

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Saudi King Abdullah has sacked one of his most hardline advisers, Sheikh Abdelmohsen al-Obeikan.
Sheikh Obeikan, who was an adviser to the royal cabinet, opposed moves to relax gender segregation.
The dismissal comes shortly after Sheikh Obeikan attacked plans by "influential people to corrupt Muslim society by trying to change the natural status of women".
Saudi officials did not give a reason for Sheikh Obeikan's departure.
His recent comments were taken to be an attack on tentative steps towards relaxing some stricter interpretations of Saudi law.
King Abdullah has promised women the right to vote in future elections, has opened the country's first co-educational university and introduced measures against domestic violence.
The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police, the "mutawa", was also replaced in January, with the new head widely seen as more moderate than his predecessor.
Sheikh Obeikan achieved a degree of notoriety several years ago with a decree suggesting that unrelated Saudi men and women could mix so long as the man drank the woman's breast milk, thus creating a maternal bond between them.

UN: Starvation threatens 2 million in drought-hit Somalia

Fri Sep 13, 2019 01:44PM [Updated: Fri Sep 13, 2019 01:52PM ] Home Africa Somalia A newly arrived woman fleeing from the drought...