Volume 4 Number 157 Fri. October 31, 2003    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow BB axes10 unionists
The central bank yesterday axed 10 employees, including presidents and general secretaries of Bangladesh Bank Officers Welfare Association (BBOWA) and Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA), in its first-ever
 arrow Bangladesh slips in competitiveness
Bangladesh is losing out in global competitiveness, having slipped to 79 in 2003 from 77 the previous year in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF) that assessed 80countries.
 arrow Pneumonia takes fatal turn in city
Twenty-three children died of pneumonia at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in the last six days as the scourge broke out across Bangladesh in the first week of this month, hospital sources said.
 arrow Tigers in trouble
Bangladesh were in deep trouble at 93 for four in their first innings when stumps were drawn on day two of the second Test against England at Chittagong yesterday.
 arrow JS body blames price surge on extortion
The parliamentary standing committee on the food ministry yesterday blamed the price spiral of essentials on the government's failure to stop extortion on the highways and other places.
 arrow Khosru tags spiral to int'l price hike
Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury says price hike of some essential items on the international market had its knock-on impact on the local market leading to the price spiral.
 arrow SJC may sit tomorrow to decide probe terms
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) is likely to sit tomorrow to decide its terms of reference to probe the allegation of misconduct against an additional judge of the High Court.
 arrow Govt agrees to withdraw L/C margin by December
The government yesterday committed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it will completely withdraw margin on letters of credit (L/Cs) on imports and peg interest rates on savings instruments
 arrow Tripathy for joint approach to remove any mistrust
Outgoing Indian High Comm-issioner ML Tripathy has said Dhaka and New Delhi could initiate a joint approach to remove any mistrust or misgivings between the two next door neighbours.
 arrow Govt believes in free flow of information, says PM
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has reaffirmed that the government believes in free flow of information and people's right to know.
 arrow Food prices peak four times: ADB
Food price index curved up four times in July 2003 compared to the same month last year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said yesterday.

"The food price, which has a weight of 58.

 arrow Job seekers to Malaysia flock to clinics ignoring minister's caution
Anisur Rahman was in the middle of a long queue at a city clinic for medical checkup required for a job he hopes to land in Malaysia but its prospect is anything but certain.
 arrow UN pulls out Iraq staff over safety fears
The United Nations has ordered the withdrawal of its remaining international staff from Baghdad as part of a review of the security situation there.
 arrow Rain may tame raging fires in California
Rain and incoming fog may help Californian firefighters tame voracious fires that have killed 20 people and devoured thousands of homes in their raging path.
 arrow Sangsad goes into session November 16
The eighth Jatiya Sangsad goes into its 10th session on November 16 with the main opposition Awami League (AL) showing no sign to end its boycott.
 arrow PDB quick to restore power supply
The Power Development Board (PDB) yesterday restored power supply across Bangladesh in less than 24 hours after Wednesday's massive blackout.
 arrow Anomalies found in Rajuk projects
Two sub-committees constituted by the parliamentary standing committee on estimates found irregularities in the implementation of different housing and road construction projects under Rajuk.
 arrow DU admission form on offer from Dec 8-24
Distribution and submission of application forms for the first year honours admission to Dhaka University (DU) will continue from December 8-24, according to a schedule announced yesterday.
 arrow Few essentials' prices down a little
Prices of a few essentials eased slightly yesterday with most still selling at their previous high at different kitchen markets in the capital.
 arrow Rejoinder and our reply
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs protested a report headlined "Of a blessed bureaucrat" run by The Daily Star on October 27.
 arrow Locals besiege Khilgaon Police Station again
Locals at Meradia laid siege to Khilgaon Police Station yesterday demanding immediate arrest of the officials allegedly involved in the killing of Shakil Ahmed Chowdhury Sumon in police custody.
 arrow Scarcity of ambulances..

Businessarrow Dhaka-Colombo FTA to benefit both nations
A free trade deal between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka should benefit both the countries, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Gamini S Munasinghe said in Dhaka yesterday.
 arrow Local firm to process DV 2005 data
A local information technology company has obtained the job of processing data collected from around the world under the DV (Diversity Immigrant Visa) 2005 Programme of the United States.
 arrow Dollar firm against taka
The US dollar remained firm against the Bangladesh taka yesterday on strong demand from importers but slid back to recent three-year lows against the yen due to concern over the Japanese intervention,
 arrow Call money rate slightly higher
The call money rate was slightly higher but yesterday but the demand for cash and credit was lower from both private and public sector, fund managers said.

The call money rate ranged between 3.

 arrow National Polymer okays 5pc dividend
National Polymer Industries Ltd has declared a five per cent dividend for its shareholders for the year 2002-03.
 arrow Midas Financing declares 8pc dividend
Midas Financing Limited has declared an eight per cent dividend in the form of bonus share for its shareholders for the year 2002-03.
 arrow Repo auction
The Reverse Repo auction of Bangladesh Bank for commercial banks and financial institutions was held here yesterday.

Two bids of 2-day tenor amounting to Tk 240.00 crores were received and accepted.

 arrow China defends economic growth figures as reliable
China's official GDP growth of 8.5 per cent in the first three quarters of the year is reliable, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, rejecting speculation growth is more like 10 per cent.
 arrow Recovery to be uncertain if house prices dip: EU
Europe's long-awaited economic recovery could be jeopardised if soaring house prices in some euro zone member states collapse, the European Commission warned Wednesday.
 arrow Asian airlines need shakeup
The Asian airline industry must prepare for major structural changes to capitalise on a projected surge in travel demand, Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said here Thursday.
 arrow Mahathir sees 6pc growth until 2005
Outgoing Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday unveiled new measures to put more wealth into the hands of the country's majority Malays and predicted gross domestic product (GDP) would grow sixper
 arrow ECB needs urgent reforms
The European Central Bank is in urgent need of reform, according to a study by a British parliamentary committee published Thursday.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Fletcher believes his bowlers
England coach Duncan Fletcher believes his bowlers will prove too strong as Bangladesh try to save the second Test.
 arrow Cricket: SERIES SALAD
At least 25 journalists of different international media mostly based in England are now in Bangladesh to cover the ongoing Test and one-day series.
 arrow Cricket: Rafique fined
Mohammad Rafique was fined half of his mach fee for showing excessive aggression against England batsman Mark Butcher during the first day's play of the second Test at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong
 arrow Cricket: Trescothick may not bat again
England opener Marcus Trescothick may be unable to bat in the second innings of the second and final Test against Bangladesh after injuring his thumb while going for a slip catch on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: U-19 cricket meet from today
Bangladesh under-19 team take on hosts Pakistan under-19 team in one of the two opening day matches of the four-nation Asian Under-19 Cricket Tournament at the National Stadium in Karachi today.
 arrow Football: Unimpressive Brothers
Alfaz Ahmed struck twice as the season's sensation Brothers Union launched their Tibet Federation Cup campaign with a 3-0 victory over Dipali Jubo Sangha in the opening match at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed
 arrow Football: Alfaz back in contention
Ace striker Alfaz Ahmed was recalled to the national team camp when Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday named a preliminary list of 28 players for the World Cup Qualifying preparations.
 arrow Cricket: Nat'l cricket to be held at DCS
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has selected Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium (DCS) as one of the two venues for the second round of the Emirates 27th National Cricket Championship that will start from November
 arrow Chess: Minakshee, Ganguly lead
Indian GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly regained the solo lead in the Asian zonal chess championship with a win over Bangladesh IM Enamul Hossain Rajib in the sixth round at the NSC conference room yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: WI deny WC doubts
The man in charge of the 2007 World Cup has on Wednesday played down reports the Caribbean could be dropped as venue.
 arrow Tennis: Novak sends Ferrero packing
Top seed and world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain crashed out of the Paris Masters here on Thursday losing to the Czech Republic's Jiri Novak 7-5, 7-5 in the third round.
 arrow Football: Heskey's double act
England striker Emile Heskey struck twice as League Cup holders Liverpool overcame 10-man Blackburn Rovers 4-3 in a see-saw match at Ewood Park to move into the fourth round.
 arrow Football: Deportivo defeated
Deportivo La Coruna lost their 100 per cent home record when they were surprisingly beaten 2-0 by struggling Real Mallorca but they hung on to the league leadership after Valencia were held to a 2-2 draw
 arrow Football: Smith says sorry
Leeds United's Alan Smith has apologised for throwing a bottle that hit a Leeds fan saying he hopes the incident will not damage his "special relationship" with the club's supporters.
 arrow Football: Robson to join Nigeria in Nov
Former England captain Bryan Robson will take over as coach of Nigeria's national team early next month, the country's soccer authority (NFA) said on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: FA charges Ferdinand
Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand was charged with misconduct by the Football Association on Wednesday for "failure or refusal" to take a drugs test.
 arrow Football: Al-Fayed not selling Fulham
Fulham chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed has insisted the club is not for sale.
 arrow Football: Overmars fears Barca sell-off
Barcelona's most expensive signing Marc Overmars believes that the Catalan club may be preparing the ground to sell him after he was left out of the squad for a third match in succession.
Politicalarrow AL accuses BNP of making parliament dysfunctional
The Awami League (AL) yesterday accused the ruling coalition of making parliament dysfunctional for what it said was its lack of belief in parliamentary democracy.
 arrow JCD rivals strengthen positions at DU halls
Rival factions of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) have strengthened their positions at different halls of Dhaka University following Wednesday's clashes between two rival groups of Shahidullah Hall
 arrow Hasina returns home
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina returned home yesterday from Frankfurt, Germany, after a five-day visit abroad.
Metropolitanarrow Viqarunnisa, Mastermind become champions
A total of 54 winners were awarded in different categories at the closing ceremony of the Third The Daily Star-Viqarunnisa Noon School and College English Debate Championship-2003 yesterday.
 arrow US embassy officials meet Kamal Yusuf
Second Secretary Joseph B Mellott and Third Secretary Steptten J Wilger of the American Embassy in Dhaka paid a courtesy call on Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusufat
 arrow Russian envoy calls on home minister
Russian Ambassador Oleg Malginov called on Home Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury at the latter's office yesterday.
Culturearrow A magnificent meeting of minds
Fernando, Fred & Mustafa speak about their work at Bengal Gallery to Fayza Haq of The Daily Star

Fernando Palma Rodregues, from Mexico, speaking of how his colleagues and he got together

 arrow 6th National Poetry Festival
The 6th National Poetry Festival took place recently at the Public Library.
 arrow Chaplin estate to be museum
Charlie Chaplin was the world's first superstar, mobbed wherever he went, adored by fans around the world.
 arrow Asif's latest album
Asif's new album, Tumi-i Rakhoni Money, is his seventh album. The album will be released under the banner of Soundtek this Eid. The style is the same as in his previous albums.
Generalarrow JU students submit memo to vice chancellor
General students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday submitted a memorandum to the vice-chancellor demanding immediate restoration of normal situation on the campus.
 arrow $ 1.20 lakh ADB grant to review arsenic situation
Asian Development Bank (ADB) will give Bangladesh 120,000 US dollars as technical assistance grant to review the situation of arsenic contamination in the country and evolve a strategy to address it.
 arrow 'River erosion devours 10,000 hectares of land a year'
River erosion devours ten thousand hectares of cultivable land every year, revealed a water resources ministry statistics yesterday.
 arrow Grounded pilot to be sent to S'pore for medical
The Biman Bangladesh Airlines authorities yesterday decided to send a pilot grounded on health reasons to Singapore tomorrow for a medical check-up.
 arrow Nat'l Cooperatives Day tomorrow
The 32nd National Cooperatives Day will be observed in the country tomorrow with a call to strengthen the cooperatives movement.
 arrow '86 women, children raped this month'
A total of 86 women and children were raped across the country in the last 30 days since October 1, according to a study report released yesterday.

Of the victims, 11 are children.

 arrow DBBF donates Tk 1 lakh
Dutch-Bangla Bank Foundation has donated Tk one lakh for the treatment of Syed Faiyaz Kabir Sangeet, a student of class five, who has been suffering from a rare disease 'Myosities Osfificans Progressiva',
 arrow 40 arrested while being trafficked to India
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel yesterday held 40 people, including girls and children, near Sadipur border while they were being trafficked to India.
 arrow 3 get life term for raping woman
Three persons were yesterday given life in prison for raping one woman in February this year.

The court also fined them each Tk one lakh to pay to the victims.

 arrow Symposium on vaccination
A scientific symposium on 'Vaccination at crossroads - Bangladesh perspective' was held in the city yesterday to mark the launching of Centre for Child Life and Health Research, Bangladesh (CCLHR,B).
 arrow Norwegian help sought for integrated dev of CHT
Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan has sought cooperation of Norway for the integrated development of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and disaster management in the country.
 arrow Minister briefs WB officials about education, dev credit programme
World Bank Human Resources Development Director for South Asian region Charles Griffin and Country Director Christine Wallich yesterday met Education Minister M Osman Farooq at his office.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Can this be trade unionism?
Manifestly, it was trade unionism at one of its worst that the nation had the misfortune of witnessing on Tuesday afternoon at the Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country.
 arrow Privatisation: Magic wand for all economic ills?
No, it is not. Since the days of Reagan Presidency in early 80s the "magic forces" of free market have been taught by the policy planners as the panacea for all economic ailments of US economy.
 arrow The weakness of power
Power is the most coveted thing in the world, but it often overpowers those who possess it. It gives some people the reason to live, while it also makes them do funny things.
 arrow Fasting is no self-torture, it's noble and glorious
iam' is an Arabic word meaning fasting.
Letters to Editorarrow Letters from the West: writers' motif questionable
This is in reference to Mr. S. Khan's letter published in the Daily Star on Friday (October 24, 2003). Mr.
 arrow Confusing vitamin A with polio doses
If you look back on the last page of your daily dated 23rd of October, 2003 you will find a big photograph of a child receiving a capsule.
 arrow Jews, Mahathir and the US
Dr. Mahathir's assertion that the "Jews rule the world by proxy" has annoyed and angered western leaders, particularly the US. His statement was blunt and it pointed out the truth.
 arrow Inflation might spark upheaval
"Popular opinion has it that inflation makes everyone worse off by reducing the purchasing power of people's incomes. Accordingly, most people perceive inflation as public enemy number one.
 arrow Tele-terror: Please do something about it
I believe that there are only a few people who have not been baffled by the telephone department of our country. And, while one deals with the T&T, one knows what's what.
 arrow Is Daily Star anti-establishment?
My attention was drawn to the Editor's commentary that appeared in the DS on 25th October.
 arrow Editor's commentary: Valuable and analytical
I have gone through your editor's valuable and analytical commentary of 25 October, 2003. I do agree with most of the observations, albeit with some exceptions.
 arrow When teachers go wrong
Rev. Mrs.
 arrow Professing morality to nation's professors
My sincere thanks to and gratitude for the letter of Md. Anwarul Kabir, Assistant Professor of the AIUB's Department of Computer Science, published in your esteemed daily on October 23, 2003.
 arrow ICT can perform as good as apparel
While in Dhaka, I have tried unsuccessfully to publish my viewpoints through your letter page. I'm a professional and my viewpoints have some implications in creating awareness and provoking thoughts.
Focusarrow Political lapses and a look forward
Building up a sovereign, respectable, economically viable, disciplined, safe and affluent state is probably the undisputed aspiration of any nation or people, and it is not impossible to build up such
 arrow Muslims should stop apologising
Legend has it that President Lyndon Johnson used to arm twist legislators so hard that some Senator or Congressman would simply give up and inform the President that he would vote as the President wished,
 arrow On passing of the grand dame of Cathay
Browsing through the Internet I came to learn the passing of Madame Chiang Kai-shek. In this age of super fast information highway, we hear about the happenings of the day rather quickly.
 arrow AL deals a tactical blow
Politicians have come dangerously close to casting themselves as belligerents incapable of seeing anything beyond confrontation, not for the first time though.
Environmentarrow Biodiversity: Striking an economic and environmental balance
Natural resources such as clean air, clean water, soil quality, rare species, and even scenic beauty are considered to be common property owned by society at large.
Worldarrow Mahathir defends his democratic record
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad defended his democratic record and predicted strong economic growth in an upbeat final parliamentary appearance yesterday on the eve of retirement.
 arrow US mulls shifting WMD experts to look into Iraq insurgency
The Pentagon is considering shifting intelligence personnel in Iraq from the so-far fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction to strengthen efforts to combat the intensifying resistance, officials
 arrow India rejects UN monitors for Kashmir bus service
India has rejected as "meaningless" a proposal by Pakistan that the United Nations monitor a proposed bus service across the disputed border between the arch-rivals in restive Kashmir, a report said.
 arrow EU-China agree on growing importance of strategic ties
Chinese and European leaders acknowledged the growing strategic importance of Sino-EU ties and agreed to pursue greater economic cooperation at their annual summit here.
 arrow Pak opposition leader charget with attempt to incite army mutiny
A top Pakistani opposition leader arrested overnight has been charged with inciting mutiny in the armed forces, an offence punishable with life imprisonment, officials said yesterday.
 arrow North Korea says crisis becoming 'unpredictable'
North Korea told China its nuclear standoff with the United States was approaching an "unpredictably difficult phase" as Japanese media reported the isolated communist state may be softening its stand
 arrow Halliburton overcharging on Iraq contract: Democrats
Two Democratic lawmakers Wednesday accused oil services giant Halliburton -- once led by now Vice President Dick Cheney -- of vastly overcharging for gasoline imports into Iraq.
 arrow 'Former Iraqi general coordinating attacks'
A former Iraqi general, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, is reported to be coordinating attacks in Iraq by foreign fighters and Iraqi regime loyalists, a US defense official said Wednesday.
 arrow US lawmakers near deal on $87b aid for Iraq
Despite rising criticism about President Bush's handling of Iraq, Congress is on the verge of approving an $87 billion package for military and reconstruction costs in Iraq and Afghanistan that largely
 arrow British Conservative MPs ditch Duncan Smith
Right-wing former interior minister Michael Howard is set to become head of Britain's opposition Conservatives, newspapers unanimously predicted yesterday, a day after the fractured party ousted its leader.