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Pakistan PM defends failure to spot bin Laden hideout

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PARIS (Reuters) – Pakistan’s prime minister defended his country’s failure to spot that Osama bin Laden had been hiding out in a luxury compound near Islamabad, saying that fighting terrorism was the whole world’s responsibility.

Pakistan is under pressure from the West to explain how bin Laden, who was killed this week in a U.S. raid on his hideout, could have lived for several years in a military garrison town near the Pakistani capital without local intelligence finding out.

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“There is an intelligence failure of the whole world, not just Pakistan alone,” Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told reporters in Paris on Wednesday where he was due to meet French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

“Certainly we have intelligence sharing with the rest of the world, including the United States, so if somebody points out that there are … lapses from the Pakistan side, that means there are lapses from the whole world,” he said.

Gilani said Pakistan had paid a heavy price for its involvement in the U.S.-led “war on terrorism,” with more than 30,000 Pakistanis killed since the fighting in Afghanistan began.

Bin Laden, architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, was killed by U.S. commandoes on Monday in a raid on his fortified compound in Abbottabad, about 65 km (40 miles) north of Islamabad.

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Gilani, speaking to representatives of French employers’ group Medef, sought to convince business leaders considering investment in Pakistan that the country was plagued by what he called “exaggerated” and “misleading” perceptions.

“Today, through your forum, I want to convince the world that instead of giving negative messages for Pakistan, rather we should send positive messages to Pakistan,” Gilani said.

“We should have positive messages because no one, no single nation, alone can fight terrorism. Pakistan is a part of the solution and not a part of the problem,” he said.

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Gilani said he had delivered the same message to British Prime Minister David Cameron and to French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, who he met in Paris on Tuesday.

Juppe told a news conference on Tuesday it was hard to imagine how bin Laden could have gone unnoticed living in a large compound in a relatively small city in Pakistan.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari also defended his government on Wednesday, calling suggestions that Pakistan sheltered bin Laden “baseless speculation … (that) doesn’t reflect fact.”

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Nuclear-armed Pakistan is the recipient of billions of dollars of aid every year, which U.S. lawmakers have begun to call into question. Washington and Islamabad have clashed in the past over Pakistan’s commitment to the fight against Islamic militancy.

(Editing by Catherine Bremer)

Source: Reuters US Online Report World News

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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Trump’s resolve on background checks ‘substantially softened’ after call from NRA’s Wayne LaPierre: NYT

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President Donald Trump has reversed his promises to fight for gun control, The New York Times reported Monday.

"Days after a pair of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump said he was prepared to endorse what he described as 'very meaningful background checks' that would be possible because of his 'greater influence now over the Senate and over the House,'" the newspaper reported.

"But after discussions with gun rights advocates during his two-week working vacation in Bedminster, N.J. — including talks with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association — Mr. Trump’s resolve appears to have substantially softened, and he has reverted to reiterating the conservative positions on the gun issue he has espoused since the 2016 campaign," The Times reported.

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