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New Year message from the Editor


It is the time of the year when we reflect over the past and hope for the best in the days and months to come. We carry with us the lessons we learned and the memories we hold dear. As we enter the New Year, we are perfectly aware of the realities of our world—a world that poses formidable challenges yet leaves ample room for new rays of hope to come in.


No doubt 2013 will also have its fair share of prospects and challenges. But each challenge will make us stronger and further united in what we do and what we believe in.

In the past year, there have been a lot of challenges, difficulties and tremendous losses. From The Oslo Times, we did our best to update our readers on all important developments. We worked hard to promote human rights and freedom of speech—the two issues fundamental to our movement.

There are still a large number of media workers, bloggers and human rights activists behind bars, imprisoned unlawfully for raising their voices for the right causes. People living under corrupt and oppressive regimes are still afraid to speak up and stand for their fundamental rights.


They are afraid of consequences if they protest against repression, discrimination and violations of their freedom of expression. All these challenges may very likely be with us in 2013 as well.


I would like to thank all our readers and contributors for their support in 2012, and hope that they would continue their support for us. I would also like to thank those who inspired and enriched us with their insightful feedback and lighted our ways with their visions.

With our readership continuing to grow, we could not be more enthusiastic about 2013 and what we can accomplish together with your feedback and continued support.

As the first dawn of the New Year is about to break very soon, let us take a pause and think. Have we come all the way up here, after all the struggles and sacrifices for a just world, only to lapse into silence at this stage?


If we cannot join the protests on the streets, let us do what any thinking person can do: share news of HR violations and use our pens to unmask the violators. As Winston Churchill once wrote: “You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police…yet, in their hearts, there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home – all the more powerful because forbidden – terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.”



Hatef Mokhtar

Editor in Chief

The Oslo Times

World News Headlines of April 11

France and U.N. Hit Ivory Coast Strongman’s Home and Palace

BOUAKÉ, Ivory Coast — French and United Nations helicopters fired missiles on Sunday at key positions held by forces loyal to the entrenched strongman Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan, the country’s economic capital, partly destroying Mr. Gbagbo’s residence, according to one of his top aides. The United Nations said the attacks were part of its…

Gaddafi accepts ceasefire: AU mediator

Tripoli, April 11: South African President Jacob Zuma says embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi has accepted the African Union’s roadmap for a ceasefire to end the war in Libya. An African Union (AU) mediation delegation held talks with Gaddafi’s team on Sunday about a peace plan to put an end to the conflict, AFP reported….

Many dead in battle for Libya town

Many people are reported to have been killed in renewed fighting as pro-democracy fighters repelled an attack on the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya by forces loyal to longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi. A Reuters news agency correspondent said he had seen at least 15 charred bodies next to vehicles belonging to Gaddafi’s forces which had…

A divided Poland marks 1st anniversary of plane crash that killed president

WARSAW, Poland – Poland on Sunday relived the deep pain that engulfed the nation a year ago with a day of prayers and other ceremonies marking the anniversary of the plane crash in Russia that killed President Lech Kaczynski and many other prominent civilian and military leaders. But deep political and social divisions that have simmered since the…

Pro-Gbagbo forces deny attack on rival’s HQ

ABIDJAN (AFP) – The government of Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo denied carrying out an attack Saturday on a hotel in Abidjan where his rival, UN-recognised president Alassane Ouattara, is headquartered. A UN spokesman and witnesses told AFP earlier the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, where Ouattara has been holed up since disputed November…

China tells US: Stop preaching on human rights

China has told the US to stop preaching on human rights, after the state department’s annual report on the issue criticised China. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the US should concentrate on its own rights issues and stop interfering. Chinese authorities have launched a major crackdown on dissent recently….

In Libya, an Odd-Couple Alliance

WASHINGTON — At home in France, he has long been called “Sarko l’Américain.” But it took an American president and the threat of a massacre in Libya to give President Nicolas Sarkozy the chance to channel his inner American. With his call for military action against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, his recognition of the…

Egypt army kills 1 dispersing overnight protest

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Health Ministry says one person was killed and 71 injured after the army charged into a central Cairo square to disperse a protest. Hundreds of soldiers stormed the square, beating protesters with sticks and firing volleys of gunfire in the early hours of the morning to disperse a demonstration carried over from the night…

Syrian city of Deraa hit by deadly clashes

At least 23 protesters have been killed during anti-government rallies in the southern Syrian city of Deraa, witnesses have told the BBC.

Latest World News


World News Headlines of April 06

Libyan rebel says strikes too little, late

BENGHAZI, Libya – A rebel military leader lashed out at NATO yesterday, saying that it was falling short in its mission to protect Libyan civilians. But the alliance said ruler Moammar Khadafy’s forces position heavy weapons in populated areas, preventing some airstrikes. Abdel-Fattah Younis, chief of staff for the rebel military and Khadafy’s…

International pressure mounts on Yemen leader

International pressure is mounting on Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, after at least 19 people have been killed in anti-government protests in the last two days. Strong statements from the United States, United Nations, European Union, Britain and Italy came as Saleh backers clashed with protesters in the capital,…

Radioactive water stops leaking from Japan plant

TOKYO (AP) — The utility that owns the crippled Japanese nuclear reactor says that highly radioactive water has stopped leaking into the ocean. Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesperson Naoki Tsunoda said Wednesday the company’s attempt to stem the leak by injecting 1,500 liters (400 gallons) of “water glass,” or sodium silicate, and another agent near…

Ivorian leader denies move to surrender

Wednesday, 6 April 2011, 11:42 am Press Release: Al Jazeera Ivorian leader denies move to surrender Laurent Gbagbo, Cote d’Ivoire’s incumbent president, said that the Ivorian army had called for a ceasefire but denied…

Libya: Rebel leader accuses Nato of failing civilians

The Libyan rebel commander, Gen Abdul Fattah Younis, has accused Nato of standing idly by while pro-Gaddafi forces kill people in Misrata. If Nato waited another week to intervene, the besieged city’s people faced extermination, he told…

Libya: Rebels set to export first oil shipment

The first export of oil from rebel-held areas of eastern Libya for almost three weeks is due to begin later. Libya’s opposition groups are making plans to load a tanker believed to have now docked at a terminal near Tobruk.

France says Gbagbo in talks over departure

Cote d’Ivoire’s incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo is negotiating his departure from power after several days of heavy fighting in Abidjan between his forces and those loyal to rival Alassane Ouattara, according to his government spokesman. “There are direct negotiations based on African Union recommendations which said Ouattara is president,”

Afghan policeman kills 2 U.S. soldiers

KABUL, Afghanistan – Two U.S. soldiers were shot to death by an Afghan police officer yesterday in northern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said. It was at least the third time this year that Afghan security personnel had turned on coalition soldiers. The shooting came after three days of…

Radiation in water rushing into sea tests millions of times over limit

Tokyo (CNN) — Japanese utility and government authorities suffered fresh setbacks Tuesday with the detection of radiation in a fish and news that water gushing from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific had radiation levels more than millions of times above the regulatory limit. Readings from samples taken Saturday in the concrete…

Final battle rages in Ivory Coast, forces close in

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast-United Nations and French forces closed in on Ivory Coast’s presidential palace early Tuesday after launching full assaults on the residence of the entrenched leader, the republican guard, two major military bases and state TV. Fighters aiming to topple strongman Laurent Gbagbo had succeeded in taking nearly the entire…

Latest World News

World News Headlines of April 3

As many as 1,000 killed in Ivory Coast town, Red Cross says

Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa— As forces loyal to rival presidents fought pitched battles in the country’s biggest city, the reported an ominous development in the increasingly brutal struggle for control: the massacre of up to 1,000 civilians in a western town. The killings in Duekoue reportedly came over the course of three days…

Japan Nuclear Plant: 2 Missing Fukushima Workers Found Dead

TOKYO — A massive tsunami that crippled a nuclear power plant also killed two workers there, the Japanese operator announced Sunday, confirming the first deaths at the complex. The two workers – a 21-year-old and a 24-year-old – had been missing since a massive March 11 earthquake spawned the wave, but their bodies were discovered…

State Officials: Koran-Burning Led To 20 Deaths

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  — WPBF.com State officials said that Pastor Terry Jones’s act of burning the Koran in March 20 fanned the flames of anti-American sentiment and led to dozens of deaths as Muslims attacked a United Nations headquarters in Afghanistan. Seven months after Jones bowed to public pressure and vowed to never burn the…

Battle for Abidjan rages, ‘carnage in west’

The fierce standoff between fighters loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president of Cote d’Ivoire, and Alassane Ouattara, the country”s internationally recognised leader, intensified on Saturday. Gbagbo’s force retook the bridge leading to his presidential palace on Saturday, after the opposition had appeared poised to topple the..

Libya: Coalition air strike near Brega kills rebels

At least 12 people are reported to have been killed when a coalition plane enforcing the no-fly zone fired on a rebel convoy between Brega and Ajdabiya late on Friday night.

Latest World News


World News Headlines of April 2

Red Cross: 800 killed in Ivory Coast town

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — The International Committee of the Red Cross says that more than 800 people were killed in intercommunal violence in a town in western Ivory Coast. The town was the first of many in Ivory Coast to fall earlier this week to an armed group vying to install the country’s democratically elected leader, Alassane Ouattara.

Mob kills 8 U.N. workers in Afghanistan

Officials say a crowd of up to 1,000 people attacked the United Nations compound in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, killing eight guards believed to be from the Philippines. The attack was sparked by a mosque sermon describing the burning of the Koran by an American pastor….

Showdown for Ivory Coast rivals

Troops supporting the UN-recognised president of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, appear poised for a final push to oust his rival, Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to give up the presidency. In the main city, Abidjan, pro-Ouattara forces have launched an assault on the fortified presidential residence.

Battles rage in Libya amid defections of key Gadhafi allies

Libyan opposition leaders emerge Are you in Libya? Send your pictures, video to iReport. Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — As Moammar Gadhafi’s inner circle showed possible signs of cracking Friday, heavily armed forces loyal to the Libyan leader continued pounding cities that were once some of the country’s most prosperous places.

Grim search for dead three weeks after Japan quake

Tokyo: Thousands of Japanese and US troops launched an intensive air and sea operation on Friday to recover bodies of those killed in the huge earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northeast Japan three weeks ago. The grim search came as the government revealed that radiation from a nuclear power plant crippled by the twin disaster had been found in…

Ivory Coast fighters descend on main city

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast-Fighters trying to install Ivory Coast’s democratically elected president descended Thursday on its largest city and seat of power, poised for a final push to unseat the entrenched ruler. Forces backing Alassane Ouattara have overrun nearly 80 percent of the country as soldiers fled and towns fell in quick succession.

Rebels cheer cracks in Gaddafi rule

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Rebels cheered the defection of a Libyan minister as a sign that Muammar Gaddafi’s rule was crumbling, but U.S. officials warned he was far from beaten and made clear they feared entanglement in another painful war. After former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa arrived in Britain, London urged others around…

Libya: Nato insists Alliance will enforce arms embargo

Nato has slapped down Barack Obama and David Cameron by insisting that the Alliance will enforce an arms embargo on all of Libya, including rebel held territory. Rebels have pleaded for more arms and ammunition to supplement dwindling stocks taken from government depots at the start of the conflict

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World News Headlines of March 31

Pro-Ouattara forces sweep through I.Coast

Pro-Ouattara forces in Duekoue, western Ivory Coast. Forces backing Ivory C… Picture taken on March 29 shows damaged houses in Duekoue, in western Ivory… A member of the pro-Ouattara forces takes a break in Blolequin. Forces back… Forces backing Ivory Coast’s recognised president Alassane Ouattara captured key cities and warned his rival…

Libya’s foreign minister defects

London – Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, one of Muammar Gaddafi’s closest advisers and a former spy chief, defected and flew to Britain on Wednesday in protest at attacks by Gaddafi forces on civilians, a friend said. A British government source described his resignation as “a significant blow” to Gaddafi and Koussa’s predecessor…

Arming Libya’s rebels: A cautionary tale

As the fortunes of the Libyan opposition forces rise and fall, there is a growing concern within the coalition that its air power may not be enough to prevent the rebels’ defeat, raising the spectre of…

Syrian Leader Calls for Reform but Warns of ‘Plots’

CAIRO — A day after his cabinet resigned, President Bashar al-Assad appeared before Syria’s Parliament on Wednesday to deliver a major speech that could help determine his destiny as he seeks to to address protests against his authoritarian rule. Agence France-Presse — Getty Images An image taken from Syrian television shows President…

Japan crisis: Four stricken reactors at Japan Fukushima nuclear plant to be scrapped

TOKYO/FUKUSHIMA: Scrambling hard to tackle its worst atomic crisis, Japan today said it will scrap four stricken reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear facility, as radiation seeping into seawater reached its highest level yet and the President of the troubled plant’s operator hospitalised. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the plant’s…

Leaders talk as cricketers clash in Mohali

The prime ministers of India and Pakistan are meeting during a World Cup cricket match between the countries, hoping to use one of the world’s biggest sporting contests to rebuild relations shattered by the Mumbai attacks. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited his counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani to watch the semi-final match in the northern…

Bali bomb suspect arrested in Pakistan: Indonesia

JAKARTA: An alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people has been arrested in Pakistan, an Indonesian counter-terrorism official said on Wednesday. The official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Umar Patek had been detained on Tuesday but declined to give details about where or how the arrest was made.

Floods trigger southern Thai landslides; 15 dead

BANGKOK (AP) — At least four people have been killed in landslides in southern Thailand, bringing to 15 the death toll in the flood-battered region. A Krabi province official says another 10-20 people are missing in the landslides from late Tuesday night. Some seven villages were affected by the slides, three of which were inaccessible Wednesday…

Radiation levels soar in Japan sea water

Radiation levels in sea water near Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant have reached more than 3,000 times the legal limit, officials said, as efforts continue to bring the country’s nuclear crisis under control. Japan’s nuclear safety agency said on Wednesday that water near the crippled plant’s No. 1 reactor contained radioactive iodine at…

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World News Headlines of March 30

World mulls arming Libyan rebels on the run

AJDABIYA, Libya (AFP) – Moamer Kadhafi’s forces were pushing rebels further back in east Libya on Wednesday after routing them outside the key city of Sirte as world powers mulled arming the rag-tag band of fighters. Correspondents said Kadhafi’s troops were closing in on the oil refinery town of Ras Lanuf, 370 kilometres (230 miles)…

Radiation levels soar in Japan sea water

Radiation levels in sea water near Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant have reached more than 3,000 times the legal limit, officials said, as efforts continue to bring the country’s nuclear crisis under control. Japan’s nuclear safety agency said on Wednesday that water near the crippled plant’s No. 1 reactor contained radioactive iodine at…

Arms to Libya rebels ‘not ruled out’

US President Barack Obama has said he does not rule out arming the rebels seeking to overthrow Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He said in an interview that Col Gaddafi had been greatly weakened and would ultimately step down. Pro-Gaddafi forces have driven the rebels back tens of kilometres over ground they took in recent days after…

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh loses grip on several provinces

A tribal insurgency in the north and Islamic militants in the south capitalize on turmoil to make territorial gains. Share Related Stories By Garrett Therolf, Los Angeles Times…

Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo calls for ceasefire

Ivorian incumbent Laurent Gbagbo has appealed for an immediate ceasefire after advances by forces loyal to President-elect Alassane Ouattara. A spokesman for Mr Gbagbo said the army had adopted a strategy of tactical…

Virginia Tech Fined $55K for Response to Shootings

The Associated Press By DENA POTTER Associated Press RICHMOND, Va. March 29, 2011 (AP) Mario Tama/Getty Images Mourners hug during Virginia Tech’s Day of Remembrance honoring the 32 people killed by Cho… Mourners hug during Virginia Tech’s Day of Remembrance honoring the 32 people killed by Cho Seung-Hui April 16, 2008 in Blacksburg, Virginia….

Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi should go, say world powers as rebels advance

WORLD powers have vowed to continue military action until Muammar Gaddafi stops his “murderous attacks” on Libyan civilians, as loud blasts rocked his stronghold in Tripoli. At a meeting of more than 35 nations in London, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Prime Minister David Cameron said that allied air strikes would go…

Syria Cabinet Resigns Amid Unrest

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria’s Cabinet resigned Tuesday to help quell a wave of popular fury that erupted more than a week ago and is now threatening President Bashar Assad’s 11-year rule in one of the most authoritarian and closed-off nations in the Middle East. Assad, whose family has controlled Syria for four decades, is trying to calm the…

The influence of unions worldwide

COMING TO A BANK NEAR YOU? Although it was not covered much by the media, over 400,000 people recently demonstrated in central London, decrying the government cuts in its budget. UK newspapers report that although some were there to peacefully demonstrate, unions used 600 coaches and 9 trains to take union members to the scene, where they created…

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