IM boss Yasin Bhatkal among bomb planters in Hyderabad?
Hindustan Times; Presley Thomas
Syed Ahmed Zarar Siddibappa, or more infamously Yasin Bhatkal, the Indian Mujahideen operational commander and arguably India's most wanted man, is believed to have planted the second bomb in Hyderabad's Dilsukhnagar area on Thursday.
He could also still be in the Andhra capital or in Cyberabad city, investigators said.
"The imprint of the Indian Mujahideen is quite clear in the twin blasts and we are looking for Yasin," said a senior police officer, who has been at the centre of major blast investigations across the country, on Sunday.
Karzai orders US forces out of Afghan province
Hurriyet Daily News; AFP
Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded Sunday the withdrawal of US special forces from Wardak within two weeks, accusing them of fuelling "insecurity and instability" in the volatile province neighbouring the capital Kabul.
"In today's national security council meeting... President Karzai ordered the ministry of defence to kick out the US special forces from Wardak province within two weeks," said presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi.
"The US special forces and illegal armed groups created by them are causing insecurity, instability, and harass local people in this province," he told a press conference.
Critically endangered NZ storm petrel found breeding
New Zealand Herald; Cassandra Mason
A New Zealand seabird, which was thought to be extinct for over 150 years, has been found breeding on Little Barrier Island.
The sparrow-sized New Zealand storm petrel is critically endangered and was thought extinct until a sighting in 2003.
But a team of Auckland University researchers has found the species breeding on Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
Military icebreaker arrives to defend Japanese whalers
Sydney Morning Herald; Andrew Darby for Fairfax Media.
Japan has sent a giant military icebreaker to bolster its whaling fleet in the conflict with Sea Shepherd off the Australian Antarctic Territory, anti-whaling activists say.
The 12,500 tonne Shirase, operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, has appeared near whalers and Sea Shepherd activists 50 nautical miles off the coast of the territory, the group said.
The ship was recognised on radar by its identification signal, according to Sea Shepherd.
The Koreans are involved too. At least the Chinese aren't.
Speeding fines wiped as appeals bank up
The Age: Deborah Gough
Up to 40,000 speeding motorists have got off without paying for their fines because there are too few public servants to cope with the review process, the public sector union has said.
Under the Infringement Act, a person can apply for a review of their speeding fine. If the review is not dealt with within 45 days it must be withdrawn by the Traffic Camera Office.
The ABC reported that the camera office was forced to withdraw up to 40,000 speeding fines because it could not keep pace with the appeals.
The Community and Public Sector Union state secretary Karen Batt said cuts to public servants and a freeze on hiring had led to a leap in motorists getting off without paying their fine. Ms Batt said police officers had been used to make up the shortfalls for trained support staff since December last year.
Government so small it can't keep us safe nor raise the money to function? Similar story in Local section . . .
Major power breakdown plunges most of country into darkness
Dawn.com: from the newspaper?
A massive power breakdown plunged major parts of the country into darkness late on Sunday night. From Islamabad to Karachi, most major cities reported power outage.
There was suspension of electricity supply in Lahore, Gujranwala, Multan, Quetta, Peshawar and Sukkur and other cities and towns across the country because of a major fault in the National Power Control Centre (NPCC) system.
In Karachi, 36 grid stations tripped, plunging at least 70 per cent of the city into darkness. Other cities and towns in Sindh also reported complete power outage.
South Korea swears in first woman president, Park Geun-hye
South China Morning Post; AFP
Park Geun-hye, the daughter of South Korea's late military ruler, was sworn in as the country's first female president on Monday in a ceremony shadowed by North Korea's recent nuclear test.
As leader of Asia's fourth-largest economy, Park, 61, faces significant challenges, including the belligerent regime in the North, a slowing economy and soaring welfare costs in one of the world's most rapidly ageing societies.
Her inauguration speech is expected to focus on job creation, welfare expansion and national defence, while appealing for national unity at a time of growing concern with income and wealth disparity.
Mujuru: Only SADC members should monitor Zim elections
Maul & Guardian; AFP
"Why should we be monitored by other countries outside the Southern African Development Community when we are a sovereign state?" Mujuru was quoted as saying in the Sunday Mail.
The 15-member regional bloc brokered a coalition government between President Robert Mugabe and his arch rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2008.
Mujuru said countries that have imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe wanted to "impose themselves on our national election processes to influence the outcome in their favour".
Mujuru seems to be on Mugabe's party? Is that right?
Foreign Office pledges more marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean
MercoPress; no attribution
Foreign Office Minister for the Polar Regions Mark Simmonds made the comments on fish stocks around South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands following on the British television Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'Fish Fight' program latest weekly episode which was dedicated precisely to the Southern Ocean.
In the presentation of his program Hugh, who is a sponsor of marine protected areas says that with two thirds of the planets fish stocks being over-fished, and a fifth having collapsed altogether, he aims to persuade governments around the world to set up more marine protected areas, to rebalance our seas and to allow people to continue enjoying the benefits of eating fish.
And even in that remote part of the planet, the Southern Ocean "Hugh finds out about the high-tech fishery targeting krill, the tiny shrimp at the bottom of the food chain, eaten by creatures such as whales, penguins and seals, but increasingly being eaten by humans, whether they are being used as feed to turn salmon pink or to make krill oil tablets - part of the lucrative chain of omega 3 health products".
Turning Up the Heat: Banks Could Face Massive Fines over LIBOR Scandal
Der Spiegel: rr w/ wire reports
Global banks will soon face even more intense scrutiny and the threat of heavy fines over their alleged involvement in the LIBOR rate rigging scandal. The European Commission is now widening the reach of its 18-month antitrust investigations to include Swiss franc-denominated swaps, the Financial Times reported late on Thursday. Until now, the probes by the competition authority have included yen and euro interbank lending rates.
Banking authorities are investigating dozens of banks from around the world for colluding to fix LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), a key interbank lending rate used to price trillions of dollars of financial instruments.
Because banks face a penalty of up to 10 percent of their global turnover for each case, those found to be involved with all three cartels would potentially have to pay fines equal to 30 percent of total revenues, the FT reported.
Ganges hit by alarming pollution levels during Kumbh Mela
The Telegraph; Dean Nelson
Campaigners called on the government and worshippers to take action to save them from chemical pollution and human sewage as millions of devotees immerse themselves on Monday at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna river.
Despite government measures to reduce the human and industrial waste from leather factories upstream, the impact of more than 80 million worshippers bathing in the river and camping on its banks had dramatically raised organic pollution to dangerous levels.
Afghanistan's first female mayor proves critics wrong
Guardian; Golnar Motevalli
When Azra Jafari became mayor of Nili, she knew that the impoverished and remote Afghan town desperately needed roads and investment. She was aware she would be living in very basic conditions, on a meagre salary of $76 (£50) a month, and that taking care of a four-year-old daughter at the same time would be challenging.
What she was less prepared for was the appearance of a powerful mullah in her unheated, makeshift office, wagging his finger at her, warning that Nili was not about to accept a female mayor who thought she could "exploit her femininity in order to complete a few projects and influence our women".
"After three months, the same man came up to me and thanked me," Jafari recalled, four years later. "He said, 'If a man could do just half of what you've done here, our province will surely flourish.' He now supports me and we work very well together - I have a great deal of respect for him."
Utah crime lab struggles to keep up with evidence explosion
Salt Lake Tribune; Michael McFall
Investigators were confident the touch DNA they brought to Utah's crime lab a couple years ago would confirm they had the right suspect. But an analysis pointed to someone else, according to lab director Jay Henry.
In fact, the lab clears about a third of the people initially suspected of a crime, Henry said. But funding constraints have reduced the lab staff over the past few years, creating long delays in the kind of analysis that cleared the innocent man. Now the lab is asking legislators for two more DNA analysts to handle the mounting evidence and help mend a lab still limping from a "brain drain" it has experienced for years.
Low wages and state budget cuts have cost the lab about half its staff since 2005, including two computer forensics specialists and its only firearms and toolmarks expert, creating a backlog of cases in a lab that now processes about 10,000 pieces of evidence every year. Ideally, the lab would turn an analysis report in three weeks. But the average completion time has tripled for crimes that don't have the priority of a violent felony. Too much lag time in getting lab results can result in valuable evidence being excluded from trials or force judges to delay them.
China's $1.38bn aid to Pakistan for nuclear plants Short blurb.
This diary is cross-posted in orange