Over Easy

(Picture courtesy of mhaithaca at flickr.com.)

The tradition of featuring foreign news media has a combined item to show today, as Al Jazeera has bought up the Current TV station founded by Al Gore with Joel Hyatt.

The new channel will be based in New York and will double Al Jazeera’s U.S. payroll to more than 300, according to the statement.

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Some pay-TV systems may choose not to carry the channel. Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), the second-biggest U.S. cable company, said it would stop carrying Current TV with the ownership change. The cable provider carries Al Jazeera programming in New York City, according to the Al Jazeera website.

The new station will replace existing shows with those chosen by the Qatar based organization.

In Pakistan, Mullah Nazir was killed by a drone, as he was targeted for leading attacks against American forces.

He died with at least five fighters when two missiles struck his vehicle in the north-west tribal district of South Waziristan, they said.

He was the leader of one of four major militant factions in Pakistan, accused of sending fighters to back the Afghan Taliban and fight foreign troops there.

He had been supplying Afghan insurgents as well as opposing Western troops.

A city in the Indonesian province of Aceh announced a ban on women straddling behind male drivers on motor bikes.

The regulation has been met with criticism from well-known Muslim activists like Ulil Abshar Abdalla, who is based in the capital, Jakarta.

“How to ride a motorbike is not regulated in Sharia law. There is no mention of it in the Koran or Hadiths,” he said on his Twitter account, referring to the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran.

“In a democratic country, what is claimed to be Sharia must be assessed by the public’s common sense if the government aims to turn the regulation into law.”

New figures compiled by the U.N. showed deaths in fighting in Syria were beyond estimates that had been considered formerly, but the figure reached was described as a minimum.

More than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime erupted in March 2011, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said.

Navi Pillay said that an exhaustive analysis carried out by data specialists showed that 59,648 people had died through to the end of November.

Peruvian drilling projects that impinge on isolated indigenous tribes have been challenged by court action to protect the territory set aside for them.

Peru‘s biggest indigenous federation, the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (Aidesep), intends to use the courts to halt the planned $70m (£43m) expansion of the country’s largest natural gas reserve further into territory set aside for isolated Amazon tribes.

Aidesep said the plans by Peru’s energy and mines ministry to increase exploration and drilling in Block 88, the largest gasfield leased by the Camisea consortium, risk the existence of nomadic groups living in “voluntary isolation” in the Nahua-Kupakagori indigenous reserve, 23% of which overlaps the gas block in the country’s south-eastern jungle.

As our late friend Southern Dragon never stopped reminding us; Never.give.up.