Volume 4 Number 4 Sat. May 31, 2003    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Free access of goods high on agenda
Trade ministers and officials from 38 least developed countries (LDCs) begin a three-day meeting in Dhaka today to set common agenda in the run-up to the WTO ministerial meeting in Mexico in September.
 arrow Education budget curves down, standard nosedives
Education budget has been on a decreasing curve since independence of Bangladesh.

The allocation for education slid to 16 per cent in the current fiscal 2002-03, down from 21.14 per cent in 1972-73.

 arrow 'Godfathers' resurfacing to grab AL party posts
The prospect of a political comeback by some Awami League (AL) leaders having 'godfather' image is now haunting the main opposition party as it plans to restructure some of its key units prior to launching
 arrow Kushiara bridge still incomplete, ferries also out of order
Long-distance travellers who pinned hopes on the Kushiara bridge in Fenchuganj are frustrated by the slow pace of construction.
 arrow Robberies send city dwellers on nerves
A sense of serious insecurity dogs city dwellers, as law enforcers have failed to check robbery and burglary, let alone arresting culprits.
 arrow Toxic threat shadows gastronomic delight
A highly toxic chemical smuggled from India is being widely used for artificially ripening and maturing fruits and vegetables, posing serious health hazards.
 arrow Establish Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital
The Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM), which ended here yesterday, adopted a declaration with a 141-point resolution that called for establishment of an independent Palestinian state with
 arrow Hanuman next door to extinction
Having survived for more than a century in some villages of Keshabpur, the hanuman species (Grey Langur) is now facing extinction.
 arrow Consumerism at unstable levels
Consumers are in trouble --there is nothing called quality or price control and adulteration is quite common.
 arrow Civil society to put forward 13-pt demand
The outstanding implementation issues in favour of LDCs should be resolved at the Cancun conference, an international civil society forum demanded yesterday.
 arrow Thousands pay tribute to Zia
The 22nd death anniversary of President Ziaur Rahman was observed across the country yesterday with a call for national unity to build up a self-reliant Bangladesh.
 arrow Fresh bid to push in 42 foiled in Panchagarh
The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and frontier villagers foiled a push-in attempt by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Atoari border in Panchagarh district in the early hours of Thursday.
 arrow Pak deadline to wind up militant camps
The Pakistan government is reported to have set May 31 as the deadline for militant groups operating from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), to wind up their camps but the outfits have vowed to resist any
 arrow Rally in city demanding fair world trade
A coalition of non-government organisations (NGOs) demanded assurance of fair trade and protested against injustice in international trading from a rally in Dhaka yesterday.
 arrow Robbers loot cash, medicine worth Tk 9 lakh from Square Pharmaceuticals
Robbers looted cash and medicine worth about Tk 9 lakh from the godown of Square Pharmaceuticals at C&B road here in Barisal town in the early hours of yesterday, police said.
 arrow Nepalese PM resigns amid agitation
Nepalese Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand yesterday resigned amidst joint agitation by major political parties demanding formation of an all-party government.
Businessarrow Foreign feeder vessels to suspend operations
Foreign feeder vessel operators have decided to suspend their services.
 arrow Run on new autos
Sale of brand new cars is increasing steadily as tax and duty on automobile imports has been restructured in the current budget, bringing down prices within affordability of middle-class people, importers
 arrow Sting of truth: Internet, poetry and journalism
Laura Bush planned a symposium titled "Poetry and the American Voice" at the White House on February 12, 2003.
 arrow PHP now GP's corporate client

The PHP Group has become the corporate client of GrameenPhone Ltd, says a press release.

 arrow Pakistan hopes to beat GDP growth target
Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Thursday the country would beat its target for real growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 5.1 per cent in 2002-3.

"Pakistan's GDP will be 5.

 arrow Asian consumers emerge as SARS fear recedes
Yeo Hee Lien postponed a family vacation to Australia for nearly three months, worried that being Chinese and having a Singapore passport might invite discrimination because of SARS.
 arrow Thousands demonstrate ahead of G8 summit
Up to 3,000 people demonstrated here on Friday in front of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations buildings here ahead of this weekend's G8 summit in the nearby French town of Evian.
 arrow Japan jobless rate hovers near record high
Japan's unemployment rate was stuck at 5.4 per cent in April, within a whisker of a record high, as companies fighting for survival in a down trodden economy sought to stay lean.
 arrow Moscow must stick to rules to join WTO
Russia must make a commitment to stick to World Trade Organization rules if it wants to join the body, President George W. Bush said Thursday ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
 arrow US growth revised upward
The US economy plodded ahead at a 1.9 per cent growth rate in the first quarter of 2003, the Commerce Department said Thursday, revising upward its preliminary 1.6 per cent growth estimate.
Sportsarrow Cricket: 20 probables for Aussie tour
The return of almost forgotten Shahriar Hossain and first ever call up for prolific opener Mohammad Moniruzzaman were the highlights when Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday named a 20-man preliminary
 arrow Cricket: Shahriar propels N'ganj into semis
Shahriar Hossain celebrated his inclusion in the 20-member Bangladesh primary squad for the tour of Australia, with an unbeaten century to propel Narayanganj into the 26th National Cricket Championship
 arrow Cricket: BCB to correct Chuckers
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has short-listed ten bowlers with dubious actions.

BCB advisor and cricket committee chairman Mahbubul Anam disclosed this yesterday.

 arrow Cricket: Lara praises Bichel
Australia boast Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee in a fearsome three-pronged pace attack, but it is fourth choice bowler Andy Bichel that is giving the most cause for concern for West Indies
 arrow Cricket: Full marks to Marsh
Australia great Dennis Lillee has said England have trumped their oldest rivals by making his friend and former teammate Rodney Marsh a selector.
 arrow Cricket: Father figure suits him
Darren Gough hoped his recall to England's one-day squad on Thursday would lend experience to an otherwise fledgling party.
 arrow French Open: Ferreira falters
The French Open ended in dramatic fashion for South Africa's Wayne Ferreira Friday when he collapsed in agony after stretching wide for a forehand in his third round match against Germany's Rainer Schuettler.
 arrow French Open: 'I'm not the new Hingis'
Justine Henin-Hardenne scotched all talk of her being the new Martina Hingis on Friday after reaching the last 16 at the French Open.
 arrow French Open: French fries
French hope Julien Varlet was just a point away from causing an upset in his second-round match against Finland's Jarkko Nieminen before losing out in five sets having won the first two 6-1, 6-1 and had
 arrow Tennis: Future is Gasquet
French tennis fans are in a fizz over Richard Gasquet, the teenager they hope can reach the top of the tennis tree one day.
 arrow Football: Sociedad aware and loving it
League leaders Real Sociedad are starting to finally believe that they can win their first Spanish title in 21 years although first they have to beat reigning champions Valencia on Sunday.
 arrow Football: Last chance for both
A French Cup final victory at the Stade de France on Saturday for Paris Saint Germain or Auxerre would salvage the season for clubs who did not live up to their billing this year.
 arrow Football: Ballack's point to prove
Michael Ballack intends to lead Bayern Munich to the German league and cup double on Saturday and wipe out the miserable memory of losing three cup finals in 2002.
 arrow Football: Atalanta happier
Atalanta survived the 64th minute dismissal of defender Luigi Sala to secure a valuable 0-0 draw away to Reggina in the first leg of their Serie A relegation play-off on Thursday.
Politicalarrow AL defers rally, asks govt to step down
The main opposition party, Awami League (AL), deferred its June 7 rally in view of party chief Sheikh Hasina's delay in returning home.
 arrow JCD, Jubo Dal men attack AL office in Barisal
Activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) and Jubo Dal attacked the district Awami League (AL) office yesterday, leaving a party leader and four activists injured.
 arrow Hasina urges US to simplify visa procedures
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Sheikh Hasina called upon the US authorities to simplify visa procedures for Bangladeshi expatriates.
 arrow AL leader shot in N'ganj
An Awami League leader was shot and critically injured by unidentified gunmen at Mandanpur under Bandar police station here Thursday night.
Metropolitanarrow World Tobacco Free Day today
World Tobacco Free Day will be observed today in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world.
 arrow Anti-tobacco rally, procession in city
Students Anti Smoking Committee (SASC) yesterday called for strict implementation of tobacco control law through the Jatiya Sangsad immediately.
 arrow Nat'l tree plantation movement begins tomorrow
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia will launch the national tree plantation movement and open a tree fair tomorrow to boost the forest resources and help maintain ecological balance.
 arrow An unidentified man murdered in city
The young man, whose body was recovered by Badda Police from the western side of the Airport road on Thursday evening, was murdered, said forensic experts at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday.
 arrow SSKOP rally Today
A rally of newspapermen, including journalists, press workers and general employees, will be held in front of the daily Ittefaq office in the city at 11 am today.
Nationalarrow Ansars sold bullets looted from jute mills in Daulatpur
Alleged pirates Wahab Akand and his younger brother Habib Akand, arrested on May 25 from Khalishpur industrial belt, confessed to police that they had purchased rifle bullets from Ansars.
 arrow 'Rapists' freed on bail throw acid on victim, husband for filing case
Alleged papists, released on bail, threw acid on the rape victim and her husband for filing case against them.

The rapists are reportedly activists of the ruling party.

 arrow 3 murdered in Ctg
Three persons were killed in separate incidents at Patenga and Baizid Bostami in the city and in Banshkhali in 28 hours till Friday afternoon.
 arrow Fresh shootout in Kawkhali between rival actvists
Additional troops have been sent to Kawkhali after a shootout between activists of Parbattya Chattagram Jono Sanghati Shamity (PCJSS) and United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) at Hazachhori village on
 arrow Bank guard injured in bomb attack in Khulna
Security guard of Agrani Bank at Clay Road was injured when unidentified miscreants hurled a bomb on him on Thursday.
 arrow Man accused of triple murder arrested
A man who allegedly killed his wife, father-in-law and sister-in-law, was arrested from Charmalshapara area in the town in the early hours of Thursday.
 arrow Demarcation pillars being smuggled to India
Demarcation pillars made of valuable touchstone and powerful magnet are being stolen from various mauzas in Barguna district and smuggled to India.
Culturearrow Floating forms with a feminine angle
Farida Yesmin, who has done her MFA from Kala Bhaban, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, India, recently held her exhibition at Chuwa Gallery, Japan. The display was organised and sponsored by G S Kabir.
 arrow An entertaining evening with SAFMA
About 100 Editors and senior journalists of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), an organisation of the SAARC countries, participated in the third conference of SAFMA recently held in Dhaka.
Generalarrow Hot spell likely to continue
A moderate to severe heat wave may smother Khulna division and the regions of Rajshahi and Ishwardi and a mild wave may continue in Dhaka division today, the meteorological office said.
 arrow College student found dead
A college student was found dead at the Ramkrishna Mission hostel here yesterday morning.
 arrow Girl missing after vehicle plunges into river
A minor girl was missing and three people were injured when a microbus plunged into the Dhaleshwari river being hit by a truck in the rear at Muktarpur Ferry Ghat in Munshiganj yesterday, police said.
 arrow Abducted shrimp cultivator's body recovered
Police recovered the body of shrimp cultivator Chitya Hawlader from the river Telikhali of Paikgachha here yesterday, four days after he was abducted from his house.
 arrow Father, son hacked to death by extortionists
A farmer and his son were hacked to death yesterday at Patoa village under Ataikula Upazila here yesterday morning.
Internationalarrow US extends full support to Vajpayee's peace initiative
Words of praise from the American President await Prime Minister Vajpayee at Avian when the leaders of the G-8 and the special invitees get together to reflect on World affairs especially developments
 arrow UK ministers 'distorted' UN weapons report
Tony Blair's Iraq crisis deepened on Thursday night as ministers were accused of distorting the findings of the chief UN weapons inspector to support Britain's claims about Saddam Hussein's weapons programme.
 arrow LTTE rejects govt peace plan
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday rejected a government proposal for restarting the island's stalled peace process with a hardline letter that cast more doubt on the future of the peace drive.
 arrow Russia invites US to help build Iran N-plant
Russia has invited the United States to join in the construction of the nuclear power station at Bushehr in Iran and Washington is considering the proposal, Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumantsyev
 arrow Delhi's Pak policy lacks clarity: Sonia
Alleging that the BJP-led NDA government's Pakistan policy "lacked clarity, consistency and conviction", Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday asserted there will be no compromise on her party'sdetermination
 arrow UK war veteran finds he's been dead for 60 yrs
A British war veteran looking at a memorial in his local park discovered he had been listed as dead for almost 60 years, the Times newspaper reported yesterday.
 arrow US halts tech smuggling plots to Pakistan
Three times in the past month, the US government has uncovered illicit efforts to smuggle sensitive military or nuclear technology out of the United States to Pakistan, one of America's key partners in
 arrow US planning to boost troop levels in SE Asia
Radical moves are afoot to reposition American troops in East Asia, say top officials in the United States Defence Department.
 arrow Israel pledges pullout from West Bank
Israel last night promised to withdraw its forces from the centres of Palestinian cities in the West Bank after a three-hour meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers in Jerusalem.
 arrow US sees infiltrators entering Iraq as it fails to restore calm
US President George W.
 arrow World leaders gather for party in St. Petersburg
World leaders gather in Russia on Friday to mark the 300th birthday of the old Czarist capital, a glittering occasion many hope will help dispel lingering rancor over the Iraq war.
 arrow Blair urges Europe, US to heal divide
British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday urged Europe and the United States to heal the divide caused by the Iraq war, telling them that the world was entering "a crucial time.
 arrow Foreign envoys in Iraq have no diplomatic immunity: US
Foreign diplomats in Iraq no longer enjoy diplomatic immunity or any of the privileges they were accorded under their accreditation to Saddam Hussein's former regime, the US State Department said Thursday.
 arrow 'US, UK claims on Iraq's WMDs may be intelligence cock-up'
As fears grow that the public were misled over Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, senior politicians in London and Washington told the British press Friday that unprecedented intelligence blunders
 arrow 3 missions aim at enigma of Red Planet
Mars, the planet that has enthralled, frightened or exasperated Man ever since he gazed at the heavens, may be on the brink of surrendering its most tantalising secret.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Trial of Mondol's killers
The trial of the killers of Advocate Habibur Rahman Mondol has again proved that unnecessary delay in disposal of criminal cases can be avoided if the courts are designed to achieve that goal.
 arrow Editorial: Amnesty after the 'war on terror'
The annual report by Amnesty International most legitimately points out the plights and dilemmas many of us had been going through ever since the US-led 'war on terror' ensued.
 arrow Two-state solution of the Palestinian problem
The end of April has seen the publication of a 'performance based and goal-driven roadmap', with somewhat 'clear phrases, timelines, target dates and benchmarks'.
 arrow Road to Shimla went through Murree
ROADMAP' is the latest neologism added to the political jargon of conciliation efforts.
Letters to Editorarrow How do our judges feel?
There have been numerous reports in your daily that judgements or orders given by the High Court are either ignored or delayed in execution by the government.
 arrow "Bombings in Saudi Arabia, Casablanca..."
S Khan in his original letter criticised the silence towards the Saudi bomb blasts. I pointed out that those killed were part of military infrastructure.
 arrow Inept governance
What would be the consequence, if we let a blind to lead a group of school children to cross a road or a traffic inter section? If we let a deaf to be the judge of a recitation competition? If we letan
 arrow "George W. Bush is a man of vision"
Mr. Abu expressed his dismay about Mahmood Elahi never replying to his comments about Mr. Elahi's views (May 29). I am not sure if Mr. Abu realises that Mr.
 arrow "Passport fees"
This is in response to the letter by Shuja Khondokhar (May 28).

I share your sympathy and kindness towards our poor country and its unlucky citizens.

Literaturearrow Letter from London
Earlier this year Dhaka-born Monica Ali created literary history when she became the first unpublished author to be included in Granta's decadal list of 'Twenty Best Young British Novelists.
 arrow Letter from Kathmandu
The literary magazine Sarada was started in 1934. It went on and off before folding up in 1964.
 arrow The Price
The joy of sipping morning tea with stale mouth
Of stirring up a storm from the newspapers
Will end, alas, today:
Saturday's delight--
Going home to the wife in Krishnanagar,