Body Matches Description Of Missing Mariha Smith

DETROIT, July 29 (UPI) — Detroit investigators say they’re awaiting DNA test results to determine whether a young girl’s body is that of a 5-year-old missing since Sunday.

The family of Mariha Trenice Smith has been searching her west side neighborhood, posting fliers, asking about her whereabouts and yelling her name, the Detroit News reported.

The body, found in a burned vacant house about a mile from where Mariha went missing between 3 a.m. and noon Sunday, matched her description, Wayne County spokesman Dennis Niemiec said. The girl had been suffocated, her skull was crushed and she was set on fire, an autopsy showed.

Mariha was staying at the home of her aunt, Quanita Smith, when a kidnapper apparently opened a window screen, moved a fan, climbed over Smith, who was asleep on a couch from being drunk, and took Mariha, the News reported.

Family members said the girl’s mother, Konesha Smith, passed a lie detector test, but Quanita did not. Quanita was being held on outstanding traffic violations, police said.

Police were interviewing Quanita Smith’s boyfriend, relatives said.

Police, who said they were seeking a person of interest in the arson, released a videotape of a man they say bought 41 cents worth of gasoline at a nearby station about 10 minutes before the fire started.

EU Worried About ‘ghosts’ In Kosovo

BRUSSELS, July 29 (UPI) — The “ghosts of the past” are trying to rekindle the violence between Kosovo and Serbia and it must stop, the president of the European Parliament said.

Fighting broke out Monday after the government in Pristina ordered troops to set up border check points in the mostly Serb populated regions in the north to enforce a recent trade embargo with Serbia.

NATO’s peacekeeping force for Kosovo said some of its forces came under attack along the border by unknown gunmen in the area.

European leaders called on both sides to exercise restraint and NATO peacekeepers closed some border crossings.

European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek called on both sides two show restraint.

“I have learned with great regret that ghosts of the past are trying to disturb the peace in northern Kosovo,” he said. “Recent violence is unacceptable and must stop.”

International courts are busy prosecuting crimes against humanity committed during conflict involving both sides during the 1980s and 1990s.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and his German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in a statement expressed serious concern over the violence.

Both leaders said they supported mediated dialogue under the auspices of the European Union.

“The dialogue provides a crucial opportunity to find peaceful solutions to outstanding issues between Belgrade and Pristina, and to move both Serbia and Kosovo toward a secure future in the EU,” they said.

Wage Cuts Imposed On Detroit School Staff

DETROIT, July 29 (UPI) — Detroit public school employees will have their wages and benefits cut by $81 million in August, the district’s emergency manager said Friday.

Roy Roberts announced that all 10,000 workers in the district, including those in unions, will take a 10 percent pay cut starting Aug. 23 and will be charged for 20 percent of their medical costs from Sept. 1, The Detroit Free Press reported.

It will be first invocation of Michigan’s new emergency manager law, which lets the state-appointed manager modify or terminate a union contract after meeting and conferring with union representatives.

The cutbacks are needed to close the district’s $327 million deficit, Roberts said.

“We are in an extremely difficult financial period for Detroit public schools, requiring extreme measures,” he said.

“I’m not taking this lying down,” Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, said Friday.

The 2011-2012 budget calls for closing 11 schools, cutting $231 million in expenses, eliminating 796 jobs and issuing $200 million in long-term bonds.

Panel Makes Nuclear Waste Recommendations

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — A commission studying alternatives to plans for a nuclear waste repository in Nevada will recommend at least one new site, sources told The Washington Post.

The commission, set up by President Obama in January 2010, will urge setting up a new site to store waste from U.S. nuclear power plants, the Post reported Thursday.

The commission is not suggesting where that site should be located, the Post said.

Many commission members reportedly believe New Mexico, already the site of a nuclear waste storage facility, might be more willing than Nevada to accept a federal waste facility.

An interim storage site for waste now being stored from 10 closed reactors at nine different sites should be found, the commission said.

The 15-member commission, chaired by former Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton and Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush, was created by Obama after his administration decided not to pursue long-delayed plans to create a national nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain.

Opponents of the Yucca site have cited possible corrosion concerns, water contamination and earthquake hazards.

Al-Shabaab Can Hit U.S., Panel Finds

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab has an active recruitment network in the United States, posing a significant threat to the country, a U.S. panel determined.

The FBI this month announced a Minnesota man admitted to having a role in a plan to recruit Somali men to travel to the country and fight against Ethiopian forces.

Al-Shabaab is attempting to create an Islamic state in Somalia, which hasn’t had a functioning government since the 1990s. The al-Qaida-affiliated group has declared war on the peacekeeping force in the war-torn country.

A report from the House Committee on Homeland Security concluded there was a “looming danger” of U.S. nationals who have pledged loyalty to al-Shabaab returning to the United States to strike or help al-Qaida and its affiliates attack the United States.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House committee, said U.S. intelligence agencies have underestimated the threat posed by the Taliban and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and can’t afford the same mistake with al-Shabaab.

King’s committee found that federal indictments tied to al-Shabaab account for the largest number of domestic terrorism cases filed by the U.S. Justice Department during the last two years.

In its report, King’s committee found that at least 15 U.S. citizens and three Canadians were killed fighting alongside al-Shabaab. The al-Qaida group has the capability to conduct attacks on the United States, the committee found.

“With al-Shabaab’s large cadre of American jihadis and unquestionable ties to al-Qaida, particularly its alliance with AQAP, we must face the reality that al-Shabaab is a growing threat to our homeland,” King said in a statement.

Default Could Spell Chaos For States, Too

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — As the U.S. heads for possible default within days, the effects on states would depend on which bills the Treasury pays, an analysis shows.

States rely on federal aid for one-third of their budgets — mostly funding for Medicaid, welfare, education and transportation, Stateline.org reports.

If the federal government runs out of borrowing authority next week, it could stop aid for these programs, plunging state budgets into crisis, the Bipartisan Policy Center predicts.

If military and federal employee pay and veterans benefits are halted instead, the disruption would be equally drastic but distributed more widely across the economy.

States also risk losing their own access to credit markets.

Moody’s has warned Maryland, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia that if the federal government loses its AAA bond rating, they likely will, too.

“About all we can do is wait and worry,” said Warren Deschenaux, head of Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services.

Feds Suspend Author Of Polar Bear Report

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — The U.S. government suspended a wildlife biologist whose sightings of dead polar bears became a rallying point for environmental campaigners, documents show.

Biologist Charles Monnett was notified July 18 by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement he had been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into “integrity issues,” The New York Times reported.

A copy of the bureau’s letter posted online by the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility indicates the investigation grew out of a 2006 report Monnett co-wrote regarding deaths of polar bears swimming in the Beaufort Sea.

Monnett’s report was taken up by environmental activists who used it to support their contention global warming and the retreat of sea ice were threatening the bears’ survival.

The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has filed a complaint accusing the ocean energy bureau, saying that in banning Monnett from conducting scientific work it had disrupted his research, including at least one continuing study of polar bears.

In a transcript of an interview of Monnett by two special agents for the bureau’s inspector general posted online by the public employees group, he is quoted as saying that “we got blasted, you know, really hard, by the agency” after the reports of the drowned bears circulated.

At another point in the interview he said of his superiors, “They don’t want any impediment to, you know, what they view as their mission, which is to, you know, drill wells up there” and “put areas into production.”

Turkish Military Heads Resign

ANKARA, Turkey, July 29 (UPI) — High-ranking members of the Turkish military resigned Friday over apparent controversy surrounding the appointment of generals, state media reports.

Turkish Chief of Staff Isik Kosaner and the top commanders in the Turkish air force, navy and army announced they have resigned, Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman reports.

The newspaper reports there is a controversy between members of the military and the ruling Justice and Development Party. The ruling party said it wouldn’t approve the promotions for some military officials suspected of being involved in a shadowy coup against the government.

There are 195 suspects in the military accused of plotting against the government.

Kosaner met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in recent days as the government considered promotions for top military officers.

The military last year tried to promote a number of high-ranking officers who were on trial for various criminal cases, the Turkish newspaper adds. The government blocked several appointments.

Erdogan is to meet with senior military officials Monday. He denied there were major tensions with the military.

“The laws regarding dismissals and promotions are obvious,” he was quoted as saying.

Chicago Dedicates Library To Daley

CHICAGO, July 29 (UPI) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined former Mayor Richard M. Daley and other city leaders for a ceremony renaming a library after Daley.

The library in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood became the first public building named after Daley, who had served 22 years, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Thursday ceremony marked the first time Emanuel and Daley have appeared together publicly since Emanuel became mayor in May.

But Emanuel said they had spoken privately several times and had dinner.

Emanuel called Daley “our mayor,” said introducing him was “the greatest of honors that I have ever had” and thanked his predecessor for his public service.

DePaul University named a building after Daley and his wife, Maggie, while the former mayor was in office.

After the ceremony, Daley posed with people in the library in front of a painting of him reading from the 1909 plan for Chicago co-authored by Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett.

The name of Daley’s father, Richard J. Daley, appears on a Loop building that’s part of the Cook County court system, a campus of the City Colleges of Chicago and an elementary school.

Report: Cost Cuts Threaten U.K. Patients

LONDON, July 29 (UPI) — Managers in Britain’s public health service are deliberately delaying operations to save money, an official report says.

The report by the Cooperation and Competition Panel, an independent watchdog that advises the National Health Service, said operations are being delayed in hopes patients will opt for private treatment, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

Some NHS executives insist the delays would lead to savings as “experience suggests that if patients wait longer, then some will remove themselves from the list.”

Interpreting that statement, the panel said: “We understand that patients will ‘remove themselves from the waiting list’ either by dying or by paying for their own treatment at private sector providers.”

But NHS managers, who are already limiting surgeries for cataracts, hips, knees and tonsils, say they must withhold or delay some treatments because the government has ordered the NHS to cut costs by $33 billion by 2015.

Patient advocates say that is unacceptable.

“It is outrageous that some primary care trusts are imposing minimum waiting times,” said Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association.

“The suggestion that it could save money because patients will remove themselves from the list by going private or dying is a callous and cynical manipulation of people’s lives and should not be tolerated.”

South Sudan Becomes Newest Member Of AU

LONDON, July 29 (UPI) — The decision to accept South Sudan into the African Union demonstrates the country is taking its place on the international stage, a British official said.

The African Union announced this week that it received the requisite number of written approvals for the admission of South Sudan following the country’s request to join the bloc.

The 53-member African Union noted that 33 member states, including Sudan, backed South Sudan’s request. Admission is decided by a simple majority.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague in a statement said London welcomed South Sudan as the 54th member of the African Union.

“Following accession to the United Nations, this is a further demonstration of South Sudan taking its rightful place among the international community,” he said in a statement.

South Sudan was welcomed as the 193rd member of the U.N. General Assembly shortly after gaining independence July 9. Independence was part of a comprehensive peace agreement reached in 2005 that ended Sudan’s bloody civil war.

Issues like revenue-sharing, currency and border demarcation continue to hamper the security situation in the region.

The United Nations sent peacekeepers to the disputed region of Abyei and rights groups have called for similar action in South Kordofan, the site of alleged ethnic killings along the border between the two Sudans.

U.N. Official Urges Transition In Libya

UNITED NATIONS, July 29 (UPI) — A cease-fire that leads to political transition is the only sustainable way to end the crisis in Libya, a U.N. official told the U.N. Security Council.

Members of the NATO-led military intervention in Libya are lining up behind the rebel-backed Transitional National Council. London this week said the TNC was the sole governmental authority in Libya and that Moammar Gadhafi has lost his legitimacy as a leader.

B. Lynn Pascoe, the U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, told members of the Security Council that transitional agreements were needed in Libya as the conflict moves closer to its sixth month.

“As we have said many times, a cease-fire tied to transitional arrangements, which address the aspirations of the Libyan people, is the only sustainable political solution to the crisis in Libya,” he said.

Pascoe said that rebel leaders and members of the Gadhafi regime are talking but their talking points at this stage are miles apart.

In terms of the situation on the ground, the United Nations’ political affairs chief said the situation was fluid.

“The frontlines remain in flux as opposition forces attempt to advance toward Tripoli, while government forces target strategic cities and areas under opposition control,” Pascoe said.”NATO operations continue, primarily against sites in and around Tripoli.”

Air France Report Cites Pilots And Gear

PARIS, July 29 (UPI) — The French agency investigating the crash of an Air France jet into the Atlantic Ocean called Friday for better pilot training and equipment upgrades.

An interim report cites both gear malfunctions and pilot error in the June 1, 2009, Rio-to-Paris Flight 447 crash, which killed all 228 people aboard.

The Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses made 10 safety recommendations, including placing an image recorder in the cockpit that can observe the whole instrument panel and better “task sharing” with relief crews, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The cockpit crew of the Airbus A330 was distracted by fluctuating air-speed indications and kept pulling back on the controls while reducing engine thrust as the jet fell into the sea, a violation of standard procedure, the report said.

Air France said Friday, “at this stage, there is no reason to question the crew’s technical skills” and pointed to faulty equipment.

The BEA said the air-speed instruments gave conflicting readings, probably because ice was blocking sensors on the exterior of the plane. But the engines functioned throughout and responded to pilot directions.

The agency said airlines must train pilots in manual airplane handling, especially during high-altitude stalls.

Autos To Average 54.5 Mpg By 2025

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama announced fuel economy standards Friday that would push the average rate to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Thirteen major automakers embraced the new standards, which Obama called “the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Obama was joined by representatives of Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo — which account for 90 percent of vehicles sold in the United States — at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington to announce the standards.

“Most of the companies here today were part of an agreement we reached two years ago to raise the fuel efficiency of their cars over the next five years,” Obama said. “We’ve set an aggressive target and the companies are stepping up to the plate. By 2025, the average fuel economy of their vehicles will nearly double to almost 55 miles per gallon.”

Mileage standards are set to rise to 35.5 mpg for the 2012-16 car and light truck models.

Experts estimate the initial increase will save U.S. drivers $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, increasing to more than $8,000 per vehicle by 2025.

“Additionally, these programs will dramatically cut the oil we consume, saving a total of 12 billion barrels of oil, and by 2025 reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day — as much as half of the oil we import from OPEC every day,” the White House said.

The administration, which originally wanted 56.2 mpg by 2025, gave Detroit’s Big Three leeway to keep building profitable sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, officials told The Detroit News.

The agreement includes average increases in fuel economy of 5 percent for passenger cars and 3.5 percent for light trucks through 2021, with a 5 percent increase for all vehicles after that, officials said.

The proposal will be formalized by Sept. 30 and the final rule will be completed next July, the officials said.

Poll: Bicycle Helmets Should Not Be Forced

LONDON, July 29 (UPI) — Forcing people to wear bicycle helmets may cause people to give up cycling altogether and lose the health benefits of regular exercise, a British journal says.

In a poll published in the British Medical Journal, two thirds of the publication’s readers said they opposed compulsory helmets for adults, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

“It gives out the message that cycling is dangerous, which it is not,” one respondent said. “The evidence that cycling helmets work to reduce injury is not conclusive.

“What has, however, been shown is that laws that make wearing helmets compulsory decrease cycling activity. Cycling is a healthy activity and cyclists live longer on average than non-cyclists.”

Australia made bicycle helmets compulsory in 1991 but Sydney University researchers say the law should be repealed, arguing a decrease in head injuries was because of road safety improvements rather than the law, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The researchers cited figures from Western Australia indicating a 30 percent drop in cycling rates after the passage of the legislation.

“Since nowhere with a helmet law can show any reduction in risk to cyclists, only a reduction in cyclists, why would anyone want to bring in a law for something, which is clearly not effective at reducing the risk to cyclists?” asked one respondent in the BMJ poll of 1,427 people.

Kerry Releases Funds For Cuban Dissidents

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — A key U.S. senator has stopped blocking $20 million in aid to Cuban dissidents, a spokesman said.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, officially lifted his hold on the funds Thursday after the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development agreed to a “thorough review of the programs,” spokesman Frederick Jones told The Miami Herald.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., still has his own hold on some of the money, but Senate staff said his concerns were likely to be resolved soon as well.

Kerry was said to view the democracy program, which the Castro regime calls subversion, as ineffective and wasteful, and fears it could delay the release of Alan Gross, a U.S. government subcontractor jailed in Cuba.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., a Cuban-American, was considering blocking Senate action on all ambassadorial nominations until Kerry called off his block, staffers said.

Chicago Adopts New Curfews For Children

CHICAGO, July 29 (UPI) — The Chicago City Council has established new curfews for children under 12 and parents of repeat violators could pay heavy fines, officials in City Hall said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has given his blessing to the curfews, which require the young children to be inside by 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 p.m. on weekends, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Emanuel said parents who exercise “insufficient control” could be fined up to $500 or community service if their young children receive two curfew citations in a calendar year, and fines up to $1,500 for “three strikes.”

“I grew up with a curfew,” Emanuel said. “When the lights on the street went on, you took your tail and made it home and [got] in the house. And that’s what I believe is the right policy for the safety and security of our kids … it means that we’re aligning good parenting and the laws of the city.”

Former Mayor Richard Daley set the curfew times two years ago at 10 p.m. weekdays and 11 p.m. weekends for children under 17. The same curfew had also applied to younger children.

Newspaper Defends Muslim Terror Cartoon

SYDNEY, Nova Scotia, July 29 (UPI) — The editor of a Canadian newspaper is refusing to apologize for an editorial cartoon showing two Muslim men commenting on last week’s Oslo terror attacks.

Tuesday, artist Sean Casey’s cartoon ran in The Cape Breton Post in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

It shows two bearded men in turbans and tunics sitting on a pile of skulls perusing a newspaper whose headline reads “Oslo Massacre,” Postmedia News reported.

The character on the left is captioned saying “Wow, they’re blowing themselves up,” to which the other replies, “Perfect …”

The newspaper’s managing editor, Tom Ayers, said complaints began coming in accusing the artist of racial and religious profiling of Muslims.

“It does not portray all Muslims as terrorists. It doesn’t portray all terrorists as Muslims,” Ayers said. “There are, in fact, Muslim terrorists, so how you could object to that, I don’t know.”

In Oslo, Anders Breivik has told police he had help in Friday’s bombing and shooting spree that killed 76 people, although investigators said that’s unlikely.

Peres, Palestinians Discuss State Borders

RAMALLAH, West Bank, July 29 (UPI) — Israeli President Shimon Peres has been holding secret talks with the Palestinians this week to head off a confrontation at the United Nations, diplomats said.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Peres, an architect, as foreign minister, of the 1993 Oslo accords, met with top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Ramallah Tuesday. They pored over maps of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to identify land swaps that would allow a Palestinian state equivalent to pre-1967 Arab territory, sources told Haaretz.

A senior Palestinian source in Ramallah confirmed more than one meeting.

Peres was acting with the full approval of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Haaretz said, but neither of their offices would comment.

Speaking to Arab reporters from Israel, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and neighboring countries, Peres called for renewed negotiations before the U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood expected in September, which Israel is trying to head off.

“Such a political move will allow for a breakthrough and will transform September into a month of hope,” he said. “I have noted the Palestinian preference for an agreement instead of continuing the conflict in a U.N. resolution.”

F-16 Damaged At Wisconsin Air Show

OSHKOSH, Wis., July 29 (UPI) — An F-16 fighter jet was damaged after running off the end of a runway at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., officials said.

A witness said the jet appeared to run out of runway after landing at Wittman Regional Airport Thursday. Wittman is a public airport about 2 miles south of the Oshkosh central business district.

The jet came to rest nose-down, cracking the nose cap but not injuring the pilot, who was not immediately identified, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“It looked like the plane came off the edge of the runway going about 60 miles per hour … the front landing gear sunk into the soft ground because of the rain,” said Bill Tregoning, of Tonica, Ill.

Storms Halt Traffic, Cut Power In Midwest

DETROIT, July 29 (UPI) — Highway flooding snarled morning commutes in the Detroit area Friday, a day after a record rainfall, authorities said.

A rash of accidents by 7 a.m. EDT had troopers “just running from one to another,” Michigan State Police Sgt. David Stokes told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s just flooding all over the place.”

DTE Energy said about 10,000 customers had lost power from storms.

Between 1 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday, 2.16 inches of rain fell at Detroit Metro Airport, topping the 1.57-inch one-day record for July 28 set in 1949, the National Weather Service. Another .67 inches of rain had fallen by 7 a.m. Friday.

In the Chicago area, 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain fell Thursday, adding to a record total for July. A thunderstorm warning was called off at 2:45 a.m. CDT Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Northwest Indiana was under a severe thunderstorm watch and flash flood warnings in the morning.

The Chicago area already had 6,000 homes and businesses without electricity from previous storms. Thursday night’s storm raised that figure to 28,000, but it was down to 19,000 by 5:30 a.m.

By 1 a.m. Friday, O’Hare International Airport had recorded 10.45 inches of rain for the month. The previous July record was 9.56 inches in 1889.

Repairing Border Fence Can Be Costly

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — Most of the debate on a fence between the United States and Mexico is about building it but maintaining it can be costly, federal officials said.

The office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., announced Thursday that Kellogg Brown & Root of Houston has won a $24.4 million contract for three years to maintain the barrier along Arizona’s southern flank, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The items to be kept in repair include fencing, roads and bridges, electrical systems, drainage ditches and lights. Vegetation has to be kept under control and litter picked up.

Jenny Burke, a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, said the one-year cost of the contract is $7.7 million, with options for two one-year extensions. The three-year cost would be $24.4 million.

Border fencing between Arizona and New Mexico cost between $2.6 million and $7.4 million a mile, the newspaper said.

Arizona shares a 378-mile border with Mexico, with 123 miles of pedestrian fences that are 12-25 feet high and another 183 miles of vehicle barricades.

Muslim Brotherhood Splinter Group Rolls Out Platform

CAIRO, July 29 (UPI) — A splinter group of the Muslim Brotherhood said in its founding political statement that it viewed Egypt as predominately Arab and Islamic.

The Muslim Brotherhood after the Egyptian revolution removed Hosni Mubarak from power organized its political activity under the Freedom and Justice Party. The group said it wasn’t seeking to establish an Islamic state in Egypt nor would it field a presidential candidate.

Candidates affiliated with the group in 2010 ran under the slogan of “Islam is the Solution.”

Some Muslim Brotherhood members have broken from the group to take part in the presidential contest.

The Pioneer Party, formed by former Muslim Brotherhood members, issued the founding statement of the new political movement.

“Egypt is Arab by affiliation, Islamist by culture and civil by inclination,” Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted the statement as saying.

The platform goes on to describe a post-revolution Egypt as a leader in international community.

Members of Mubarak’s dissolved National Democratic Party are barred from playing any role in the Pioneer Party, the statement adds.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces postponed parliamentary elections to late 2011, meaning presidential elections and constitutional reforms probably won’t happen until 2012.