Volume 4 Number 249 Sat. February 07, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Moscow metro suicide bombing kills 40
An explosion, apparently caused by a suicide bomber, tore through a packed underground train in Moscow in morning rush-hour yesterday, killing up to 40 people.
 arrow Abductors bargain over ransom to free Bablu
Joint forces are yet to rescue Hasan Mahbub Bablu, a director of a resort hotel in Bandarban, five days into his abduction for ransom and an outfit wrote to influential people for tolls in a fresh threat
 arrow Dhaka wants concession for LDCs
Bangladesh wants the spirit of Safta (South Asian Free Trade Area) agreement reflected in the proposed free trade area (FTA) agreement under the BIMST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand-Economic
 arrow Far from the tobacco world
A primary schoolteacher smiled and spoke to 30 children, restless and eager to rush back home. "Yes, you can go home now," the teacher sounded.
 arrow AL working out 'tougher' agitation programmes
In the wake of the government' s indifference to Awami League's (AL) one-month ultimatum to meet its 15-point demand, the main opposition party is now chalking out details of what it said is a 'tougher
 arrow UP chairmen reel from lawmakers' heat
Mohammad Ali Khan, chairman of Mannargaon union in Sunamganj, is in a fog about his responsibilities.
 arrow 22 still missing; launch vandalised; staff, passengers robbed
Wary relatives of the dead or missing cried at coastal destinations in Barisal, as a trawler headed south yesterday, carrying 12 bodies of the passengers killed in a head-on collision between two launches
 arrow First return Hajj flight...

 arrow Ekushey Book Fair opens today amid tight security
'Ekushey Book Fair' begins today on Bangla Academy premises in the city to commemorate the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs of the Language Movement.
 arrow 48-hour road blockade in CHT begins tomorrow
A 48-hour road blockade called by the Parbatya Chattagram Jano Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) for the implementation of landmark Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace agreement begins in the highlands tomorrowamid
 arrow Cairn gets $40m IFC loan for greater operation in Bangladesh, India
International Finance Corporation (IFC) has okayed a $40 million loan for Scottish Cairn Energy to support the expansion of its operations in Bangladesh and India.
 arrow Ershad barred at ZIA from going abroad
Immigration officials at Zia International Airport (ZIA) yesterday barred Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman H M Ershad from going abroad reportedly as per directives of higher authorities.
 arrow Land ports resume operation after Indian exporters call off strike
Four land ports in the country's western and northern regions resumed their activities after the Indian Exporters' and Customs Clearing Agents' Associations (IECCAA) called off their indefinite strike
 arrow Indonesia quake kills 23, more feared dead
A powerful earthquake rocked Indonesia's eastern province of Papua early Friday, killing at least 23 people in a coastal town and possibly more in other areas, officials said.
 arrow Bird flu detected in pigs
The death of a six-year-old girl has taken Vietnam's death toll from bird flu to 13, as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says the disease had been detected in pigs in the capital and its environs.
 arrow Lok Sabha dissolved paving way for polls
President APJ Abdul Kalam yesterday dissolved Lok Sabha (the lower house of Indian Parliament), setting the stage for early general elections.
 arrow Militant leader among 16 killed in Kashmir
Indian troops shot dead 11 rebels, including a pro-Pakistan militant group leader, in Indian Kashmir, while suspected guerillas killed four soldiers and beheaded a civilian, police said yesterday.
 arrow Selling N-secrets not an internal matter of Pakistan: Delhi
In its first official reaction to admission by Pakistan's top scientist A Q Khan of providing sensitive technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, India yesterday said it was "not an internal matter"of
 arrow Delhi studying gas import from Myanmar, Thailand
India is exploring the possibility of importing natural gas from Myanmar and Thailand either through an overland or undersea pipeline.
 arrow Cellphone, gold worth Tk 30 lakh seized at ZIA
Customs officials at Zia International Airport (ZIA) seized cell-phone sets, gold-bars and electronic goods worth over Tk 30 lakh from an incoming Bangladesh Biman flight Thursday night.
 arrow Khulna city AL calls half-day hartal today
Main Opposition Awami League today enforces a half-day hartal in Khulna to protest rise in murders.
 arrow AL forms city unit body
The full-fledged committee of Awami League's city unit was approved yesterday, eight months after its council.
 arrow Support for Bush wanes
President Bush's public support dropped sharply over the past month, especially among older voters, political independents and people in the Midwest, an Associated Press poll found.
 arrow New outlaw outfit in Khulna
A new underground political platform has been formed in Khulna styled Purba Banglar Maoist Communist Party (PBMCP) reportedly by defected cadres from outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party's (PBCP) M-L
 arrow 'Involve more women in decision-making'
Participation of women in decision-making process is a must for proper functioning of democracy.
 arrow Police frisk CNG-autorickshaw passengers...

 arrow Australian scientist warns superflu pandemic 1,000 times worse than SARS
An Australian scientist involved in the World Health Organisation fight against SARS in China said yesterday a new pandemic resulting from bird flu combining with a human flu could be a thousand times
 arrow Robbers' accomplices still at large
Police are yet to trace the two absconding security guards suspected of having close links to Wednesday's heist at two jewellery shops of Karnaphuli Garden City.
 arrow 21 Maoist rebels killed as Nepal's king visits guerilla stronghold
Troops shot dead 21 Maoist rebels in Nepal as King Gyanendra paid a rare visit to a guerilla stronghold where they are fighting to overthrow the monarchy, police said yesterday.
 arrow Footprints of Stone Age men found in ROK
Fossilized footprints from Stone Age men have been discovered for the first time in Asia in South Korea, cultural authorities said yesterday.
 arrow BNP activist hacked to death
A Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activist of Mahanganj upazila was killed and seven of his relatives were injured in an armed attack on his house at village Hatnaia here yesterday.
 arrow Pilot of Ukrainian cargo plane dies mysteriously
A foreign pilot died at Sadar Hospital here yesterday in mysterious circumstances.
 arrow 'Mystery disease in Goalondo caused by Nipha virus'
The disease that claimed the lives of 11 children in Goalondo in Rajbari was caused by the 'Nipha Virus', the civil surgeon of Goalondo said yesterday citing a group of visiting foreign medical experts.
Businessarrow Dhaka files complaint against Delhi
Bangladesh has filed a complaint with the dispute settlement body of the WTO over duties imposed by India on import of lead acid batteries.
 arrow More cos to be allowed to operate under CDS
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is likely to allow more listed companies to operate under central depository system (CDS) to consolidate investors' confidence in the scripless trading system.
 arrow US not satisfied on China's WTO commitments
The United States is still not satisfied that China is meeting commitments demanded by its entry into the World Trade Organisation, a senior US official said Thursday.
 arrow IMF revises upward US, world growth forecasts
The International Monetary Fund has revised upward its world growth forecasts for 2004, with the US economy in particular seen expanding faster than previously expected, Italian news agency Ansa reported
 arrow Badawi coins new policy to goad Malaysian growth
Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has stamped his mark on the economy in just 100 days in office, shifting away from mega projects and pledging to wipe out corruption to boost growth inone
 arrow India may cut vegoil imports as local production surges
India, the world's top edible oil buyer, is likely to cut purchases by about 10 per cent from a year ago in the quarter ending in April as a bumper summer crop is seen lifting domestic supplies, traders
 arrow US to talk up growth, others to cite deficits
The Americans are talking about growth while Europeans and Japanese are warning of dangerous US deficits as officials of the Group of Seven powers meet Friday to consider global economic ills.
 arrow India's soymeal exports subdued after bird flu
India's soymeal exports have been subdued with buyers in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand delaying purchases and deferring shipments following Asia's bird flue outbreak, industry officials said Thursday.
Sportsarrow Football: Top two stay on track
Main title aspirants Brothers Union Club and Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra showed no Eid-break jitters as they won their respective matches on resumption of the second leg of the Western Union Premier
 arrow Cricket: Ctg flying high
Chittagong maintained their solo lead in the Ispahani National Cricket League one-day competition with an emphatic eight-wicket win over hosts Sylhet yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Stadia ready for action
Renovation of the major stadia in the port city -- MA Aziz Stadium and Divisional Stadium -- has already been completed ahead of ICC Under-19 World Cup tournament.
 arrow PM to inaugurate Shaheed Chandu Stadium today
The Shaheed Chandu Stadium, which will host three Group A matches of the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup 2004, will be officially inaugurated here today.
 arrow Cricket: Ponting savages India
Captain Ricky Ponting blasted 88 off 80 balls to lead Australia to a seven-wicket victory over India on Friday and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three limited-overs finals series.
 arrow Cricket: Venkat to stand down
Srinivasaraghavan Venkatara-ghavan, known universally as Venkat, is to retire from the elite panel of international umpires during the forthcoming Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia, the International
 arrow Cricket: Waqar rubbishes claim
Waqar Younis has hit out at allegations that Pakistan had deliberately underperformed in one-day tournaments in Morocco and Kenya in 2002.
 arrow Cricket: Kallis redefined, rebuilt
Jacques Kallis is a far cry from the sorrowful, soul-searching cricketer who struggled to live up to his own expectations in 2003.
 arrow Cricket: Tigers 55-4
The Bangladesh top-order collapsed on the first day of the three-day match against Namibia yesterday.
 arrow Football: U-17 play Myanmar today
Bangladesh Under-17 footballers will take on their Myanmar counterparts in the semifinals of the BIMST-EC Youth Tournament today in Phuket, Thailand.
 arrow Cricket: Final practice match today
The Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team will play their last practice match against Nepal at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium today.
 arrow Cricket: New Model cruise
Kawsar and Akid picked up four wickets each as New Model High School handed Shaheed Lieutenant Selim Shykhhalaya a crushing ten-wicket defeat in one of three Dhaka metropolis qualifying matches of the
 arrow Football: Muktis fly to Turmenistan
An 18-member team of Muktijo-ddha Sangsad Krira Chakra will fly today to Turkmenistan to play in the first ever Asian Football Confe-deration (AFC) Cup tournament.
 arrow Football: Beckham not amused
David Beckham has issued a strenuous denial on Wednesday after model Jordan hinted of an affair with the England captain.
 arrow Football: Ronaldo a concern
Real Madrid, with one foot in the Spanish Cup final after their 2-0 semi-final first leg success over Sevilla, will bid to turn up the heat in the title race on challengers Valencia with another three
 arrow Football: Friendship can wait
Old friends will become deadly foes on Saturday when Tunisia face Senegal and Mali clash with Guinea in the quarterfinals of the African Nations Cup.
 arrow Football: Absentees Gunners' worry
Premiership leaders Arsenal are set to be without record signing Jose Antonio Reyes when they play second-from-bottom Wolves at Molineux on Saturday.
Metropolitanarrow No headway in investigation
There is no headway in the investigation of Pangsha thana OC Mizanur Rahman murder case.
 arrow 70,000 criminals freed from jails to create anarchy: Hasina
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said it was not her party, but Prime Minister Khaleda Zia who is responsible for 'continuing chaos'.
 arrow Shahjahan visits residence of Hajj stampede victim
State Minister for Religious Affairs Mosharref Hossain Shahjahan yesterday visited the Chashara residence of Haji Jahanara Begum who died in February 1 stampede during "stoning of the devil" as a Hajj
 arrow Bus supervisor killed in road accident
A supervisor of an inter-city bus service died when he fell down from his bus near Science Laboratory in the city yesterday.

The victim was identified as Jamal Uddin, 30, a supervisor of Hanif Enterprise.

 arrow Search begins for foreign vessel at Ctg port
The Chittagong Port Authority(CPA) has begun a search for a detained Panama flag carrier vessel which fled the harbour without taking due clearance, port sources said.
 arrow Khairul Kabir's anniversary of death today
The seventh death anniversary of Khairul Kabir, a renowned journalist and banker, will be observed at his ancestral home in Ghorasal today, says a press release.
 arrow BTV announcer injured by miscreants
Unidentified miscreants injured a Bangladesh Television (BTV) announcer after failing to hijack his car at Fuller Road on the campus of Dhaka University last night.
 arrow Abducted grocer rescued
Police in a predawn raid yesterday rescued a 65-year-old grocer and arrested seven people who abducted him on Thursday night for refusing to pay toll.
 arrow Wife strangled by husband
A wife was strangled by her husband at Chalrayenda village under Swarankhola upazila in Bagerhat district on Wednesday midnight.

The victim was identified as Khadija Begum, 22.

Nationalarrow Bogra BNP MP to face forgery case
The Janata Bank is preparing to file a criminal case against ruling BNP lawmaker Helal-uz-Zaman Thalukder Lalu and his business partner Mahabubur Rahman Talu for "violating" agreement with the bank.
 arrow Death after arrest sparks protest in Nilphamari
Angry people from Katgari village in Kishoregang upazila in Nilphamari district laid a siege to neighbouring Taraganj thana in Rangpur following the death of a young man after arrest.
 arrow 'BIWTC negligence costs life'
Navigation in Patuakhali has become very risky due to absence of beacon lights in most of the routes, which often cause accidents and claim lives.
 arrow Cheat flees Satkhira with Tk 60 lakh
A cheat fled the town with Tk 60 lakh on January 11.
 arrow Two govt officials flee homes after death threats from outlaws
Two government officials fled homes after receiving death threats from extortionists.
 arrow RU reopening uncertain, admission test suspended
Rajshahi University (RU) will not reopen on Sunday (February 8) due to 'lack of congenial academic atmosphere' on the campus.
 arrow Extortion: BNP activist caught with revolver in Bogra
People caught an alleged BNP activist with a revolver when he swooped on a businessman at Puran Bogra near the town Tuesday night for illegal toll.
 arrow 10 arrested DAE staff personnel suspended
Ten arrested officials and employees of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) were suspended by the authorities concerned, according to an office order issued here on January 30.
 arrow Kolaroa Mohila Dal bodies formed
A joint biennial conference of Kalaroa thana and Pourasava Jatiyatabadi Mahila Dal, ruling BNP's women wing, was held at Kolaroa on January 31.
 arrow Body of 'outlaw' recovered
Dumuria thana police recovered on Monday the body of Iqbal Hossain, 32, from the bank of the Bhadra river.
 arrow Four outlaws arrested in Khulna
Four outlaws were arrested from Rayermahal area under Khalispur thana on Monday.
 arrow Police officer assaulted by mob in Barisal
A police officer here was physically assaulted by mob for 'trespassing a JCD leader's house in plain clothes.
 arrow Acid attack Housewife fighting for life in Satkhira
A housewife is fighting for life at Satkhira Sadar Hospital following an acid attack by miscreants.
Point-Counterpointarrow Energy sector and incongruous donor assistance
When the major donors in the energy sector turned deaf ear to BPDB, DESA and Petrobangla's proposal for financing, the former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called the Resident Director of the World Bank
 arrow O'Neill's revenge
On February 5, 2001, President George Bush, Jr., praised Paul O'Neill at his inauguration as US Secretary of the Treasury: "In a distinguished career he earned a reputation as straight shooter and innovator.
 arrow Ispahani Colony and the Ispahanis
One of the things that we, those who have grown up in Ispahani Colony, Moghbazar pride ourselves of is the serenity, greenery, calmness, and warmth this unique place inspires in not only those who live
Culturearrow A tête-à-tête with Shibli and Neepa on Tarana
The first dance VCD in Bangladesh titled Tarana was launched in December last by Nrityanchal.
 arrow Ekushey Boi Mela begins today
The long awaited Ekushey Book Fair starts today at its usual venue--the Bangla Academy premises.
 arrow Duet album of Nahid Nazia
To add to the music lovers' Eid festivity, Soundtech has released Nahid Nazia's Bangla duet album Shob Kichhu Paglami (All Is Madness) on January 29.
 arrow Cuban Grammy nominees denied US visas
Cuban musicians invited to attend this weekend's Grammy Awards in Los Angeles have been denied US visas needed to attend the ceremony, a Culture Ministry official said Thursday.
 arrow Salman does a Matrix Reloaded
Remember the scene in Matrix Reloaded where one Neo fights 100 Agent Smiths? Now, picture this: In David Dhawan's Mujhse Shaadi Karoge, Ek Salman attacks ek sau Akshay Kumars!
Generalarrow Raj Punnah festival on Feb 17
The 119th Raj Punnah festival begins here on February 17.

Bomang chief Ongsoipru Chowdhury announced the date of Raj Punnah festival at the royal palace on Wednesday.

 arrow Special prayers...

 arrow Over 1,000 arrested
Police arrested a total of 1,044 people during their ongoing countrywide drive in the last 24 hours till 6.00am yesterday.
 arrow Malaysian PM vows 'no favours' probe into son's alleged nuclear link
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has told police to investigate "without fear or favour" allegations that a company controlled by his son was involved in supplying parts for Libya's nuclear
 arrow Iraqi leader Sistani targeted by assassins
The spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority escaped an apparent assassination bid, as two young Iraqis accused by insurgent groups of collaborating with US occupiers were shot dead by masked
 arrow Secret of homing pigeons revealed
The secret of carrier pigeons' uncanny ability to find their way home has been discovered by British scientists: the feathered navigators follow the roads just like we do.
 arrow Antibody could block SARS infection: Study
US researchers said they had found an antibody that could help prevent infection with the SARS virus.
 arrow New Images of 'Black Eye' Galaxy
The Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a new image of the 'Black Eye' galaxy, so named because an ancient cosmic smashup produced a dark ring and a roiling, conflicted interior.
Internationalarrow Israel mulls moving settlers
Under an emerging plan to dismantle settlements, Israel is considering moving Gaza Strip settlers to West Bank areas that Israel wants to annex under a final peace deal, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon'sspokesman
 arrow Rumsfeld: US-Europe ties back to normal
US relations with Europe were badly strained by the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq, but Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says trans-Atlantic ties have returned to being "fairly normal.
 arrow CIA chief defends US Iraq weapons intelligence
CIA Director George Tenet, in his first public defense against criticism that US intelligence on Iraq was flawed, said on Thursday that while analysts had concluded Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction
 arrow US captures 6 'closely tied' to Saddam
US forces on Friday captured six people "closely tied" to Saddam Hussein and his regime for suspected anti-coalition activities including attacks on helicopters, a US commander said.
 arrow McCain picked for Iraq intelligence probe
President Bush is expected to name Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, to a bipartisan commission that will investigate flaws in US intelligence used to justify the Iraq war, Republican sources said.
 arrow Gephardt backs Kerry
Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry, riding a hot streak in the presidential race, won the backing of former rival Richard Gephardt on Thursday as rival Howard Dean vowed to make what could
Editorialarrow Editorial: Launches collide
The safety of launch passengers still remains an elusive goal, as yet another disaster struck when two launches collided in the Meghna river on Thursday night.
 arrow Editorial: Qadeer Khan pardon
The saga of Pakistani nuclear technology being clandestinely passed onto Iran, Libya and North Korea took another twist Thursday when Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf held a press conference to unconditionally
 arrow Expanding the Jatiya Sangsad: Need to re-think
The last few days have seen several comments both in the television and the published media about the government's proposal to expand the Jatiya Sangsad through constitutional amendment.
 arrow Tyranny of the democracies!
If the world suffered from the tyranny of the totalitarian regimes and dictatorships in the twentieth century, the twenty-first century has been ushered in inauspiciously with an unhealthy dose of the
Letters to Editorarrow A dishonoured Judge
In a society mired in things that are bad, and where we hold the rank of topping the corruption list the sad affairs of Justice Rahman as mentioned in news reports is possibly the last nail in our coffin
 arrow "Khaled Mahmud and the African Safari"
It was bound to happen. The former Bangladesh skipper Khaled Mahmud (Sujon) has got the axe.
 arrow A negative sign
Supreme Judicial Council has taken an extraordinary step to remove a sitting Additional Judge of the High Court from his position for bribe related cases.
 arrow BNP-AL handshake
My attention was drawn to your excellent editorial on BNP-AL (DS issue of January 27th) and to a picture with a news item carried earlier on this meeting.
Literaturearrow The Weed
Angoori was the new bride of the old servant of my neighbour's neighbour's neighbour.
 arrow Brahmaputra Diary: a journey to the source of Asia's greatest river
It started from a longing to cross other boundaries. Reaching across boundaries of time, across boundaries of political space, across racial and cultural barriers of language, race and religion.
 arrow The Law of the Market-place
In the back street
of the capital city,
stalls and shops stretch out
on to the pavement.
Passers-by stop to examine
crates, baskets, sacks
and jars
filled with colour and abundance.

 arrow NOTICE
Readers have started to send in English translations of Bengali poems and short stories in the mail.