Volume 4 Number 156 Thu. October 30, 2003    
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Front Pagearrow Outage knocks country to a standstill
The country plunged into one of the worst power outages ever as 21 out of 23 power plants tripped in a series yesterday morning.

Power went out at 9:35am and was partially restored at around 12:30pm.

 arrow JS body, minister split over spiral
A parliamentary standing committee chairman and the commerce minister yesterday disagreed on the price upswing of essentials, with the first saying the prices soared high and the latter arguing against
 arrow Sonali Bank to hold hearings with top loan defaulters
For the first time, a leading nationalised commercial bank -- Sonali Bank -- has decided to hold hearings with top loan defaulters to find ways to recover stuck-up loans.
 arrow President asks CJ to probe allegation
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday directed the chief justice (CJ) to form the Supreme Judicial Council, for the first time, to probe the allegation of misconduct against an additional judge of the High
 arrow Integrated plan to save Buriganga announced
The Buriganga Protection Taskforce resolved at a meeting yesterday to undertake an integrated action plan to demarcate and retain the riverbank following the eviction of encroachers.
 arrow Life slows to a crawl
One of the longest power cuts brought Bangladesh to its knees yesterday, stalling operation at industries, businesses and banks.
 arrow Tourists take charge
An unbroken 103-run fifth wicket stand between former captain Nasser Hussain and all-rounder Rikki Clarke helped England recover from some middle-order jitters on the first day of the second and final
 arrow Price pace picks up further
Prices of essentials continued to rise in the kitchen markets of Dhaka yesterday and traders said they might stabilise two weeks later.
 arrow Hunt on for unruly CBA leaders
Police are on hunt for six Bangladesh Bank union leaders who put the central bank governor under siege during a demonstration Tuesday.
 arrow Bush still defiant over Iraq attacks
Struggling to maintain public support for his Iraq policy, President Bush vowed on Tuesday US forces would not leave Iraq and said he never misled Americans about the difficulties of occupying the country.
 arrow Ministry tags extortion to jam at Kanchpur
A meeting on law and order yesterday cited obstruction of vehicles by extortionists for illegal toll collection as the reason for intolerable traffic jam near the Kanchpur Bridge.
 arrow Pakistan hails Indian offer, wants talks
Pakistan yesterday welcomed proposals made last week by India to revive the flagging peace process, but expressed regret at New Delhi's rejection of Islamabad's offer of talks.
 arrow US tank attacked, 2 soldiers die in Iraq
The US post-war combat death toll in Iraq climbed past the number of soldiers killed during the invasion when the US military said yesterday it had lost two more dead in a roadside bomb north of Baghdad.
 arrow Crackdown on muggers sought
A delegation of shop-owners yesterday urged the home minister to take strong action against muggers during the month of Ramadan.
 arrow Three to walk the gallows for Lalbagh double murder
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced three persons to death for double murder in Lalbagh.

The convicts are Mohammad Badiul, Mohammad Saidul and Mohammad Adel.

 arrow Nasir holds talks with agitating Biman staff today
As a 72-hour ultimatum by agitating Bangladesh Biman staff expires at 6:00pm today, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin sits with their leaders at 11:00am in the dayin
 arrow Coastguards hunt for defaulting foreign vessel
Coastguards yesterday started a search for a foreign cargo vessel as it left the outer anchorage of Chittagong Port without clearing port dues and other charges.
 arrow JS body to release list of Janatar Mancha bureaucrats
The parliamentary standing committee on the establishment ministry has decided to make public a list of officials involved with the political platform styled Janatar Mancha in 1996 and recommend punitive
 arrow Earth buffeted by solar flare
A massive bubble of gas that could cause havoc with power grids and satellite systems hit the Earth's magnetic field yesterday morning and is likely to have the biggest impact in Alaska and the Far East.
 arrow Ctg-Riyadh direct Biman flight starts
The Chittagong-Riyadh direct Biman flight started yesterday.

The new flight with 158 passengers aboard landed at Shah Amanat International Airport at 8:55am, 10 minutes ahead of scheduled time.

 arrow Nod to health plans to buy drugs, pay stuck-up salary
The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved 15 annual operational plans (OPs) under the Health and Popu-lation Sector Programme (HPSP).
 arrow Dhaka to open consulates at Chicago, Sydney
The government plans to set up two new consulates at Chicago and Sydney, considering the commercial importance of the cities and presence of huge expatriate Bangla-deshis, foreign ministry sources said.
 arrow 2 cops roughed up over toll demand
Two police constables were beaten up by a mob allegedly for demanding toll at a restaurant in the port city yesterday.
 arrow Two boys killed in road mishaps
Two young boys were killed in separate road accidents in Gulshan and Motijheel in a span of eight hours ending at 6:30am yesterday.
Businessarrow Dumping dogs local industries
Several hundred small and medium industries may face closure amidst stiff competition after 2004 if the government fails to protect them from dumping by foreign companies, local entrepreneurs said.
 arrow FTA with India to boost investment, export
A free trade deal with India may boost foreign direct investment in Bangladesh and push the exports up, said leading chambers and exporters.
 arrow Yarn prices rise as cotton costs go up
As yarn prices rose sharply local producers yesterday said rise in cotton prices in global market have compelled them to up yarn prices.
 arrow July trade deficit doubles
With a sharp rise in imports, Bangladesh's trade deficit has doubled in the beginning of the current fiscal year compared to the same period of last year.
 arrow Biman's direct flight from Riyadh lands at Ctg airport
The first flight on the newly introduced Riyadh-Chittagong direct route of Biman Bangladesh Airlines landed at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong yesterday.
 arrow Thai Airways offers special package tour to Chiang Mai
Thai Airways International recently launched its Royal Orchid Holidays tour packages to Chiang Mai.
 arrow Reverse Repo auction
The reverse REPO auction of Bangladesh Bank for commercial banks and financial institutions was held here yesterday.

Two bids of 1-day tenor amounting to Tk 285.

 arrow US Trade Show begins in Dhaka Jan 21
The 13th annual US Trade Show will begin at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel on January 21 next year.
 arrow Shell Solar launches thin film technology
Shell Solar Industries LP on Tuesday launched the world's largest rooftop thin film photovoltaic array on the roof of its manufacturing building in California.
 arrow Brac University seminar on e-commerce
Brac University organised a seminar on 'Understanding e-Commerce in the Contexts of Bangladesh' recently.
 arrow New info centre for tourists in Singapore
Singapore Visitors Centre (SVC), a new information and service point for tourists, opened at the intersection of Cairnhill and Orchard Road in Singapore.
 arrow SkyCargo holds worldwide confce in Dubai
Emirates SkyCargo, a venture of Emirates Group, organised a worldwide conference from October 17 to October 20 in Dubai.
 arrow US panel votes to end tax breaks for exporters
A US congressional panel Tuesday voted to strike down tax breaks for US exporters, which have been deemed illegal by the World Trade Organization and which could draw massive European countermeasuresif
 arrow India can compete with China: FM
China may be grabbing the lion's share of European trade in Asia but India is well placed to transform itself into a rival investment destination, Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha said Tuesday.
 arrow Foreign investment up in service industries
Foreign investment into service industries is rising, with new areas such as telecoms attracting interest from more traditional financial and trading services, the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Sportsarrow Cricket: Mahmud defends fielding first
Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud defended his decision of fielding first in the second Test against England that began yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Of Sylvester & Prince Harry!
Believe it or not, Syl-vester, Pink Panther and Bugs Bunny are in Chittagong wat-ching and cheering the England cricketers!

If that is blowing your mind away, just wait till you hear the next news

 arrow Cricket: SERIES SALAD
Surprise, surprise the rain gods were busy somewhere else. And the second Test between Bangladesh and England got off to a picture perfect start at MA Aziz Stadium here yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Raja summons Rafique
Bangladesh's left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique has been summoned by the match referee Wasim Raja for showing excessive aggression on the first day of the second Test match against England.
 arrow Cricket: Tour over for Harmison?
England pace bowler Stephen Harmison's Bangladesh trip is likely over.
 arrow Cricket: Waugh would have ended...
Australia Test captain Steve Waugh said his Test career could have ended had he not scored any runs in the fifth Ashes Test against England earlier this year.
 arrow Cricket: Aussie part-timers do in the Kiwis
Back-up pace bowlers Brad Williams and Nathan Bracken skittled New Zealand for 97 before Australia raced to an eight-wicket win in their one-day TVS Cup triangular match on Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: Ponting praises 'em
Ricky Ponting paid tribute to last-minute stand-ins Brad Williams and Nathan Bracken after the two quick bowlers set up Australia's eight-wicket win over New Zealand in the TVS Cup on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Federation Cup starts today
Pre-tournament favourites Brothers Union Club will begin their much awaited football campaign today when they take on Dipali Jubo Sangha in the inaugural match of the Tibet 19th Federation Cup football
 arrow Chess: Indians atop chess table
Indian Grand Masters Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Pentala Harikrishna were leading the Asian Zonal Chess Championship men's group table with 4.
 arrow Football: United multiply Leeds' woes
Premiership leader's Arsenal survived a scare before advancing to the fourth round of the English League Cup with a penalty-shootout victory over plucky Rotherham on Tuesday, as debt-ridden Leeds United
 arrow Football: No Real goals
Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz may be regretting his decision not to risk David Beckham after the reigning Spanish champions could only scramble to a lacklustre 0-0 draw at lowly Real Zaragoza on Tuesday.
 arrow Football: Eto'o Mallorca's only until June
Real Mallorca coach Luis Aragones said on Tuesday that his Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto'o has agreed to stay at the struggling Balearic island club, at least until the end of the season.
 arrow Football: Thai PM wants to buy Fulham
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said he is interested in buying football club Fulham after watching the Premier League side beat English champions Manchester United at the weekend.
 arrow Football: Mbeki to rally Morocco's bid
South African President Thabo Mbeki will raise the issue of France's overt support for Morocco's 2010 World Cup bid during a state visit to France next month, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
 arrow Football: Hertha scrape thru'
Hertha Berlin coach Huub Stevens endured a painstaking 120 minutes and penalty kicks as his side triumphed 4-3 over Hansa Rostock on spot-kicks in the second round of the German Cup and saved his jobat
Politicalarrow Internal strife stalls JCD politics at DU
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) at Dhaka University (DU) has been dogged by internal feud for the best part of the year leaving campus politics in a shambles for the ruling BNP's student wing.
 arrow JCD rivals clash on DU, 12 hurt
At least 10 leaders and workers of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) and two policemen were injured, in clashes between two rival factions of Shahidullah Hall JCD unit on Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday.
 arrow AL demands judicial probe into Sakil's death
A parliamentary team of the main opposition Awami League (AL) yesterday demanded a judicial inquiry into the death of Shakil Ahmed Chowdhury Sumon in police custody at Khilgaon Police Station.
Metropolitanarrow President seeks Indo-Bangla cooperation in IT, culture, edn
President Iajuddin Ahmed has said Bangladesh and India have enough scope to extend cooperation in the field of science, education, culture and information technology.
 arrow Donors' fund misused in the name of rural uplift
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said rural people have seen very little uplift in their areas although thousands of crores of taka were received from donors in the name of rural development since the
 arrow Current literacy rate 62.66 pc
Country's current literacy rate is 62.66 per cent and of them 65.94 per cent are men and 58.69 per cent are women, while the adult literacy rate is 54.80 per cent.
 arrow Deadline extended for ballottee Hajj pilgrims
The deadline for ballottee Hajj pilgrims of 2004 to deposit money with the banks has been extended till November 10 from October 30.
 arrow 'Parities use localgovt for political gains'
All political parties want to use local government to pursue their political agenda, said Prof Dr Salahuddin M Aminuzzaman, chairman of Development Studies Department of Dhaka University.
 arrow BRCT to provide training to health workers
The Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT) will provide training to health workers across the country on treatment of mental patients.
 arrow Army deployed at Dhaka, Ctg Wasa establishments
Army personnel have been deployed at important establishments of Dhaka and Chittagong Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) for maintaining normal supply of water to the city dwellers during the holy month
 arrow New CU BCU body
Ahsanul Haque Nipun and Selina Sultana Sumi have been elected president and general secretary of the Chittagong University unit of Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU) for next one year.
Nationalarrow Shrimp sector awaits big boost
A newly introduced cultivation system will revolutionise shrimp production, increasing yield of the second largest export industry by five to seven times.
 arrow Barisal Admin Tribunal to be closed
The Barisal Bench of the Administrative Tribunal will be closed soon, official sources said.

The Attorney General's office suggested closure of the Bench due to shortage of cases, they said.

 arrow WDB facilities illegally occupied in Patuakhali
Most of the sluice gates in seven upazilas in the district do not benefit farmers as influential local people illegally utilise those for fish cultivation.
 arrow Newborn stolen from BSBMC rescued within hours
A newborn male baby was rescued within hours of his missing at the Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (BSBMCH) on Tuesday morning.
 arrow 70 cattle looted from Monpura shoal
Pirates on Saturday looted more than 70 cattle from a remote shoal area under Monpura upazila in Bhola district.

Of the looted cattle, 28 belong to three relatives of the Home Minister.

 arrow Tk 7 lakh contrabands seized in Satkhira
Contraband worth over Tk 7 lakh was recovered from a Dhaka-bound bus at Jhaudanga Bazaar and a shop at Nalta Bazaar in two days.
 arrow Workshop on pest control held at M'bazar
A day long workshop on "Pumri pest control in transplanted aman paddy field" for local farmers was held on the Udayan KG and Junior High School premises in Monumukh union under Sadar upazila recently.
 arrow World Vision donates 120 sewing machines
The World Vision, an NGO, has distributed 120 sewing machines free of cost among poor people in Mymensingh town for self-employment.
 arrow Onion prices fall in N dists
Onion price has fallen in northern districts in the last few days as local markets have been flooded with huge supplies of imported onion.
 arrow Life for 3 rapists in Magura
Three rapists were awarded life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) by a court here on Tuesday.
Culturearrow Staging comedies at Natyajan Theatre Festival
On two consecutive evenings, recently, comedies reigned at the Shawkat Osman auditorium of the Central Public Library.
 arrow Meemangchina, a neo-ethnic drama
Department of Drama and Dramatics of Jahangirnagar University stages Meemangchina as part of their experimental theatre work. The play represents the culture and heritage of the Garo tribe.
 arrow Space and Acting Research Centre
Space and Acting Research Centre Aka Space Theatre recently completed an era of activities by holding a day-long programme by the side of the Dhanmondi lake.
 arrow Tisha: Busy with acting and modeling
I became a champion in recitation, story-telling, classical and patriotic songs in Natun Kuri 1995 and gradually my love and interest for music increased,' said Tisha.
 arrow Aamir Khan on what keeps him ticking in tinsel town
You have finally returned to the thick of things by shooting for Ketan Mehta's The Rising. What's the feeling?

I do feel a little nervous as I am starting a film after so long.

Generalarrow Ecnec okays Rural Dev Project-23
Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) yesterday approved the Rural Development Project-23 (amended) of the Local Government Division for improving infrastructures in Laxmipur and Feni
 arrow Cooperatives awards announced
Fifteen best cooperative societies and 12 best cooperators have finally been selected for the National Cooperatives Award for the year 2002.
 arrow Bangladesh likely to sign protocol with France
Bangladesh and France appear to sign a protocol in mid-December this year, aiming to exchange experience and technical knowledge to face earthquake.
 arrow MK Anwar leaves for Hanoi
Agriculture Minister MK Anwar left for Hanoi yesterday to share Vietnam's experience in agriculture development as the Asian country recorded a quick success in attaining food autarky.
Internationalarrow Forecast hope for California fires
Firefighters battling huge forest fires in southern California may be helped by lower temperatures and light rain forecast for the next few days.
 arrow Trapped Russian miners rescued
Eleven of the 13 miners trapped underground for more than five days in southern Russia were brought out alive on Wednesday, even as an explosion at a different mine in the country's Far East killed five
 arrow Iran rules out immediate dialogue with US
Iran's government said yesterday that it would not share its intelligence on al-Qaeda with the United States, and told Washington that it needed to see "practical steps" before it could consider resuming
 arrow Study estimates 13,000 Iraqis died in war
An estimated 13,000 Iraqis, including as many as 4,300 non-combatants, were killed during the major combat phase of the war in Iraq, a research group found in a study made public Tuesday.
 arrow UN at odds over human cloning
After Iraq and the West Asia, the United Nations is now divided again over another life-and-death question -- whether human beings should be cloned in the name of medical research.
 arrow Militant killeTd by Israeli fire in Gaza
A Palestinian militant from the hardline Islamic Jihad group was killed by Israeli army fire Wednesday at dawn east of Gaza City, Palestinian security sources and medics said.
 arrow 'Suspected Baghdad bomber is Yemeni with Syrian passport
The suspected bomber thwarted in Monday's suicide bombing rampage in Baghdad was a Yemeni holding a Syrian passport, Iraqi interim Health Minister Khodair Abbas said yesterday.
 arrow Bush hosts Ramadan dinner at White House
US President George Bush hosted a Ramadan dinner late Tuesday with US Islamic leaders, as the White House was besieged with demands to fire an army general whom made comments some say makes the US-led
 arrow UK opposition leader fights for his job
Iain Duncan Smith is fighting for his political life as Conservative MPs prepare to decide his future in a confidence vote.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Purbachal plots
Allotment of Rajuk plots at Purbachal has given rise to a host of unpleasant questions. Newspaper reports say the allotment process was politically manipulated, apart from being plagued by many otherirregularities.
 arrow Editorial: Car set ablaze at DU
The increasing incidence of mobs meting out street justice is a disturbing symptom of the corrosion of respect for the rule of law in the country.
 arrow Governance: Don't judge the book by its cover
The BNP-Jamaat coalition has governed the nation for two years. The achievement and success of the government are being measured in political, social and economic terms.
 arrow After the 'Sankalp Sammelan'
Millions feel relieved that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's deplorable sankalp sammelan, meant to precipitate a crisis in Ayodhya, turned out a flop.
Letters to Editorarrow The blessed bureaucrat
I read with extreme disgust the news report published in your esteemed daily of 27 October.
 arrow About weekly holidays
I totally disagree with Mr. Shahed Jamil's letter regarding weekly holidays published in The Daily Star on 30th September 30, 2003. Mr.
 arrow Reading Nehru
In last Friday's letter to editor section there was a piece from Mr. AAB, "On reading Jawaharlal Nehru". Excuse me sir, but what was the point of this piece in this column.
 arrow Thanks to Star Heritage
Thanks to Star Heritage, The Daily Star for highlighting some of Bangladesh's significant architectural heritage.
 arrow I pity Iraqi people!
To claim that we are civilised and we are living in a civilised world has little relation with truth.
Focusarrow What did Mahathir actually say at the OIC Summit?
On 16th October, Datu Seri Dr.
 arrow HSC result and non-functioning colleges
The result of this year's HSC examination has not shown any spectacular improvement over the previous year's in spite of the fact that government and functionaries in the colleges made efforts to rise
 arrow Asia's economic ascendancy
We have had many false dawns about Asian economic ascendancy. Blistering growth of the nineties was the last one, but sadly it all came melting down with the Asian financial crisis of 1997.
 arrow Spreading higher education in villages
Education is the backbone of the nation, as many educationists would have us believe. There is no dispute about this axiom. Almost 50 per cent of the population of present-day Bangladesh is female.