Volume 4 Number 261 Thu. February 19, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Train blast kills 200 in Iran
Runaway train cars carrying fuel, fertiliser and industrial chemicals derailed and exploded in northeastern Iran yesterday, killing more than 200 people, injuring hundreds more and devastating five nearby
 arrow Hasina's no to talks with govt
Refusing dialogue with the ruling alliance, Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday demanded immediate resignation of the government and mid-term parliamentary elections.
 arrow Govt can still withdraw any case at will
Although the new legislation, Anti-Corruption Commission Act, will allow independent investigation and prosecution of anyone involved in corruption, the government secretly kept its trump card: it can
 arrow CUFL showcaused, gas leak probe starts
The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday served a show cause notice on Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) concerning Monday's death of livestock due to toxic gas emission from its plant at
 arrow Legal framework needed to make MFIs efficient
Speakers at working sessions of the regional microcredit summit yesterday described good governance and transparency as crucial to microfinance institutions that should be regulated through a legal framework
 arrow Younus wants free watchdog
Grameen Bank Managing Director Muhammad Yunus yesterday demanded a regulatory framework and an independent commission for monitoring microfinancing by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
 arrow Nuke rivals agree roadmap on peace
Nuclear rivals India and Pakistan announced a "basic roadmap" for peace yesterday aimed at ending more than five decades of hostility over the divided Himalayan state of Kashmir.
 arrow Maiden bid to strike gas at Block 9 fails
Oil companies led by Irish Tullow have failed in their first attempt to strike gas at Block 9 despite high hopes that made this area most lucrative in the second round block bidding.
 arrow Nepal turn SA upside down
The Fifth U-19 Cricket World Cup came to life yesterday when the underdogs stole the show at different venues across the country.
 arrow AL to probe govt corruption
The main opposition Awami League (AL) has decided to probe alleged corruption of the coalition government of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia that has served half of its five-year tenure.
 arrow UP chairman abducted in Rangamati
A union parishad (UP) chairman was abducted allegedly by the armed cadres of the United people's democratic front (UPDF) from village Kuramara under Sadar upazila on Tuesday night.
 arrow Moudud surprised at TIB rejection
Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Moudud Ahmed yesterday expressed surprise at the Transparency International, Bangladesh's (TIB) rejection of the Anti-corruption Commission Bill, 2004 hours
 arrow Minister forecasts power shortage
State Minister for Power Iqbal Hasan Mahmud said the country might experience power shortage this summer due to lack of back-up facilities in case of repair or breakdown of power stations.
 arrow IMF team arrives Saturday to review implementation
The second review commission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will arrive in the capital on Saturday to monitor and review the implementation of conditions of the Poverty Reduction Growth Facilities
 arrow Business leaders ask Khulna chamber to call off hartal
Leaders of 20 business organisations of Khulna yesterday asked the president of Khulna Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to call off the half-day hartal on March 1 for the sake of greater economic
 arrow National Poetry Festival

 arrow Project closes but staff use vehicles
A parliamentary body yesterday asked the social welfare ministry to immediately return 20 vehicles allegedly used by its officers despite closure of different projects to the government transport pool.
 arrow Iraq bombers strike Polish base, kill 11
Suicide car bombers killed at least 11 Iraqis and wounded 58 foreign troops yesterday in twin attacks on a military base south of Baghdad in the run-up to a UN report on the feasibility of direct elections
 arrow Govt plans to set up microcredit banks
The government in a groundbreaking move has taken plans to form microcredit banks to lend tiny loans to the poor -- an activity limited only to non-governmental organisations so far.
 arrow Coalition to start mass contacts to face AL
The ruling alliance has decided to face the anti-government agitation including hartals politically and launch a mass contact programme soon.
 arrow Red Cross slams Israel barrier
The International Committee of the Red Cross yesterday condemned Israel's building of a barrier in the West Bank as "contrary" to international law.
 arrow Transport workers trigger traffic jam over police beating in Gulistan
Traffic at Gulistan, Bangabazar and Chankharpool screeched to a halt for over an hour yesterday, stretching the snarl-up into the areas close by as transport workers parked buses on Gulistan roads following
 arrow Huda sorry for joking about Ershad
Communications Minister Nazmul Huda yesterday withdrew his February 8 remarks in parliament about the government decision to bar Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad) Chairman HM Ershad from going abroad on vacation.
 arrow 13 vehicles looted in C'nawabganj
Robbers looted five long-haul coaches, four microbuses and as many trucks on Dhaka-Chapainawabganj highway at Bijoynagar, Basantapur and Raninagar in Godagari upazila early yesterday.
 arrow Death threat to 2 Bagerhat journalists
Two journalists of Bagerhat received death threat through two separate letters delivered to them from post office Tuesday noon.
 arrow Overhead footbridge near Science Laboratory...

 arrow Youth shot dead in city
Assailants gunned down a youth with criminal records at Manipuripara Tuesday night.

Theu Tonier Borai alias Christian Babu, 25, was killed a day after he left his house at Anandapur City Lane in Savar.

 arrow Fire chars 150 shanties in Lalbagh
Fire gutted more than 150 dwellings at a slum at Islambagh in Lalbagh yesterday evening.
 arrow Indian truckers strike, trade thru' Benapole port stopped
An indefinite strike by Indian truckers has halted export-import activities at Benapole land port since Tuesday.
 arrow Three children of a family burnt alive
Three children of a family were killed in a fire at their thatched house at village Sreeramdia under Dangs Union of Nagarkanda upazila on Tuesday night.
 arrow Former cricketer Partha's wife 'plunges' to death
The wife of former national cricketer Imran Hamid Partha died in a six-storey fall at their Gulshan-2 home in an apparent suicide-motivated incident Tuesday.
 arrow ACI depot looted in Barisal
Robbers looted medicines said to be worth Tk 1.10 lakh from a depot of the ACI at Nabagram Road in the city Wednesday night.
 arrow Microfinance proved effective in Bangladesh
Queen Sofia of Spain has said the microcredit programme has been proved effective throughout the world, including Spain and Bangladesh.
 arrow Outlaws claimed responsibility, but AL men held
Police arrested nine Awami League (AL) leaders and activists of Shilmaria Union yesterday in connection with Tuesday's murder of union unit leader of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal Wahedul Islam Pakhi for which
 arrow M-16 rifle, 190 bullets found in Bandarban
Security forces recovered M-16 rifle, one Pakistani made gun and 190 bullets from Masterpara in Naikhongcari upazila of Bandarban districts Tuesday evening.
 arrow 8 hurt as train rams vehicles in Lalmonirhat
A local train hit a number of vehicles on Teesta railroad bridge in between Lalmonirhat and Kaunia stations in the early hours of yesterday, leaving eight people injured, officials said.
Businessarrow Japan's envoy urges govt to clear investment irritants
Urging the government to solve problems facing Japanese investors in Bangladesh, the ambassador of Japan in Dhaka said it will not only increase investment from Japan but from other countries also.
 arrow Pacific Motors plans car assembling plant in Ctg
Pacific Motors Ltd (PML), a local car distributor, plans to set up a motor vehicle assembling plant in Chittagong in a couple of years in collaboration with Nissan Diesel Motor Company Limited of Japan.
 arrow Ctg int'l trade fair opens
Inaugurating the 12th Chittagong International Trade Fair 2004 (CITF-2004) here yesterday, Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury called upon traders and entrepreneurs to help government attain
 arrow Prices of essentials up on strikes
Prices of flour, edible oil, green chilli, onion and fish soared in different kitchen markets in Dhaka in the last five days.
 arrow Tommy Miah in Dhaka as Heritage Restaurant opens
A good news for the food connoisseurs in Dhaka. Master chef Tommy Miah has come to his homeland with some mouth-watering dishes.
 arrow Banoful opens bread factory in Sylhet with ATDP support
Banoful and Company Ltd has set up a fully automated bread factory in Sylhet with support from ATDP (Agro-based Industries and Technology Development Project).
 arrow Stakeholders form crisis management committee
Scientists, veterinarians, breeders and producers of poultry in the country have formed a coordination committee for crisis management and promotion of meat and eggs on domestic as well as overseas market.
 arrow Marjan van Lier sees hope in microfinance programme
"Microfinancing programme in Bangladesh is very hopeful as far as my perception goes," a Dutch participant of the Asia Pacific Region Microcredit Summit told The Daily Star Monday.
 arrow Russia keen to help develop energy sector
Russia, which was once a key partner in developing Bangladesh's energy and power infrastructure, is keen to resume assistance for further development of the booming sector.
 arrow New variety of clone tea evolved
The Bangladesh Tea Research Institute (BTRI) has evolved a third variety of clone tea following 11 years of experimentation.
 arrow StanChart clients to get insurance service from Alico
Standard Chartered Bank has signed an agreement with American Life Insurance Company (Alico) to provide insurance facilities to its clients.
 arrow C'wealth ministers hopeful for WTO trade talks revival
Commonwealth trade ministers expressed optimism Wednesday about the prospects for reviving global trade talks but stressed the rich world must address poor nations' demands on agriculture.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Minnows marvel
Lightweights Zimbabwe and Nepal stole the show at the ICC Cricket World Cup on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Jewel sparks rare happiness
Mohammedan Sporting Club gave their brui-sed and battered fans something to remember the season by when they handed bitter foes Abahani a 1-0 defeat in their Western Union Premier Division football league
 arrow Cricket: Kapali dropped
Alok Kapali was dropped when Bangladesh announced the squad for the first Test against Zimbabwe which begins in Harare today.
 arrow Cricket: Tigers eye Test chance
Bangladesh have their best chance yet to win a Test when they take on Zimbabwe in the first match of two in Harare on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Hi-tech Bracewell
The New Zealand cricket team has turned to modern technology to get their message across against the touring South Africans and the hi-tech wizardry appears to be paying dividends.
 arrow Cricket: India's no to Tests in Karachi, Peshawar
India have asked the Pakistan cricket board not to schedule any Test matches during their ice-breaking tour of Pakistan next month in the volatile cities of Karachi and Peshawar.
 arrow Cricket: Spin's crown at stake
Shane Warne heads into March as the most successful spin bowler of all time but he may well have lost that honour by the end of the month.
 arrow Tennis: Henman thru', Paradorn out
British fifth seed Tim Henman reached the second round of the World Indoor Tournament on Tuesday after overcoming Spaniard Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-2.
 arrow Cricket: Manikganj cricket
Provat Sangha defeated Victoria Club by eight wickets in he Language Martyr Rafique Memorial Cricket Tournament at the Shaheed Miraj-Tapan Stadium here yesterday.
 arrow Table Tennis: Nabin Mela emerge CJKS TT champs
Nabin Mela emerged champions in the CJKS-Sinmin Mineral Water Table Tennis league that ended on Tuesday.

Nabin Mela outplayed Satadal Club 3-0 in the last match of league.

 arrow Football: Magura soccer
Sreerampur Friends Club defeated Young Eleven Star Club 2-1 in the Econo First Division Football League at the Magura Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Football: Victorious starts for ROK, Japan
South Korea opened their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Lebanon in Asian Zone Group 7.
 arrow Football: The match no one wants to miss
The Republic of Ireland's preparations for the 2006 World Cup qualifiers will move up a gear when they welcome world champions Brazil to Lansdowne Road for what is already a 44,000 sell-out match.
 arrow Football: 'Hand's off Rooney’
Everton manager David Moyes has again warned off Manchester United and Chelsea who are reported to be tracking Wayne Rooney.
 arrow Football: Goals are bad!
Two Indian soccer teams who scored a combined total of 116 goals in their final games of the season in a bid to win promotion have been suspended, along with the two teams who let them do it.
 arrow Football: Valencia to go to court
Valencia supporters and shareholders are set to sue the referee of their match at Real Madrid at the weekend for one euro on grounds of negligence after he awarded Real a controversial injury time penalty.
 arrow Football: Leeds face FIFA ban
Leeds United face sanctions after their Australian striker Mark Viduka failed to report for international duty.
 arrow Football: President to help Jay Jay
Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo has promised to help national soccer captain Jay Jay Okocha recover $1 million of his money from one of the country's banks.
Metropolitanarrow Bangladesh can derive benefits from Shapta Kushi dam
Bangladesh can derive benefits from different regional projects like proposed 'Shapta Kushi high dam', experts said at the concluding session of a workshop on 'Sharing of common regional resources' in
 arrow JU VC panel election today
The VC panel election of Jahangirnagar University (JU) will be held today amid fresh polarisation.
 arrow Tk 49 lakh Danish grant
Denmark will provide a grant of Tk 49 lakh to Bangladesh as part of the Danish Private Sector Development (PSD) programme.
 arrow Exploration licence of AEC renewed
In an unusual move, the government has renewed the exploration licence of a foreign company for two years to carry out feasibility study at a block in Phulbari Coal Field.
 arrow Crown Beverage sues Inqilab
The Crown Beverage Limited has filed a damage suit of Tk 100 crore against the daily Inqilab for publishing reports against its products, said a press release.
 arrow Robbery at Uttara
Robbers entered a house in Uttara pressing the doorbell and looted valuables worth Tk 2.87 lakh yesterday.
 arrow Nari Unnayan Shakti distributes grants
The Nari Unnayan Shakti (NUS) and the Department of Social Services jointly distributed Tk 10,000 each among the socially disadvantaged women who were once commercial sex workers, says a press release.
Nationalarrow Exportable betel leaf dwindles
Production of exportable betel leaf in the southern districts has decreased drastically due to adverse weather conditions and lack of government support.
 arrow Illegal extraction of boulders, from Sherpur hills destroying ecology
Continuous illegal extraction of hardrock and boulders from hills in the district through unscientific methods on the nose of law enforcers is destroying the ecology in the area.
 arrow Barisal Food Deptt officials face showcause notice
The Barisal City Corporation (BCC) served a showcause notice to the local Food Department officials yesterday.
 arrow Teachers vow to resist cheating in exams
Teachers' community leaders here have vowed to curb cheating in all public examinations including the upcoming Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination.
 arrow JCD men force others not to vie, take all tenders
None but JCD leaders and activists could purchase tenders for lease of 21 ferry terminals in the district, it has been alleged.

The last for purchasing tender schedules expired on Tuesday.

 arrow A tourist spot ignored by govt
The greens created about a decade ago and the natural beauty has turned coastal Monpura inland in Bhola into an attractive tourist spot, but the prospect can not be utilised due to lack of any government
 arrow 171 arsenic patients in Manikganj
One hundred and seventy one persons have affected with arsenic-related diseases in Harirampur upazila.

Over 1.5 lakh people are drinking contaminated water as 63 per cent tube-wells are arsenicaffected.

 arrow Bid to kill Jubo Dal leader: Five outlaws arrested
Five outlawed New Biplobi Communist Party (NBCP) cadres were arrested by joint forces on Sunday on charge of attempt on a Paikgachha Jubodal leader on Saturday night.
Point-Counterpointarrow What are the main obstacles to SME ?
Working for over two decades in the arena of indigenous technology and its commercialisation I would like to convey an exciting news -- the common people in this country have already set the ground for
 arrow Exploring sme development potential
A chief strength of the Japanese economy is the creativity and flexibility of its small businesses.
 arrow Microcredit gives credit where there may be none
The hungry destitute and landless village family is a normal thing in the villages of third world Bangladesh. All they need is some money for a fresh start.
 arrow Emerging microfinance industry in Nigeria
World leaders have pledged to achieve the Millennium Develop-ment Goals, including the overreaching goal of reducing poverty by half by 2015.
Culturearrow An evening with Arun Chowdhury
When I first came to Dhaka, I never really had the desire to become a playwright or a writer. In fact, I wanted to be a scientist and join the NASA.
 arrow Rabindra Sarovar and Bangla Academy steal the show
After the sudden ending of Shammilito Shangskritik Jote's 12-day long programmes at Shaheed Minar premises on February 16, the crowd now is attracted to the programmes being held at Rabindra SarovarUnmukta
 arrow Spring Festival at Comilla
The first day of Phalgun falls on the 13th of February. The day heralds the beginning of the best of seasons of Bengali calendar and culture, Basanta.
 arrow Screening of 'Matir Moina' for foreigners at Spectra
'Matir Moina', being the first ever Bangladeshi film to take part in the Oscar competition, had a spectacular screening recently, at Spectra Convention Centre at Gulshan-1.
 arrow Queen Sophia accorded reception
Queen Sophia of Spain was accorded a colourful reception jointly organised by Pan Pacific Sonargaon and Bibi's Production at the Nirala Room of Pan Pacific Sonargaon on 16 February 2004, says a pressrelease.
Generalarrow Bangladesh vulnerable to earthquake
Experts and stakeholders at an workshop yesterday underscored the need for taking a long-term programme specially focusing in urban areas to face any natural calamities like earthquake.
 arrow Accountability a must for independent judiciary
To function independently, a judiciary must have credibility and the law practitioners must have moral integrity, good reputation and merit, said GL Sanghi, president of the Law-Asia, a regional forum
 arrow Criminals force slum dwellers to leave shanties at Mirpur
Some dwellers of Kaloapara Bepari Basti (slum) at Mirpur, Section 1 started leaving their longtime shanties that reduced to ashes on Monday night in a devastating blaze following threat from the local
 arrow Six of a bridal party killed in road accident
Six people were killed and two others injured severely when a speeding tanker hit a microbus carrying a bridal party on Rangpur-Bogra highway near the Goshaiganj Bridge in Sadullapur upazila yesterday.
 arrow Unesco book exhibition begins
A two-day Unesco book exhibition began yesterday at Central Public Library in the city to mark the International Mother Language Day.
 arrow Outgoing Swiss envoy meets president
Outgoing Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Walter Gyger called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.
 arrow Textile vocational instt to be set up in each dist
Textiles Minister Abdul Matin Chowdhury yesterday said textile vocational institute would be set up in each district while textile diploma institute in every divisional town in phases.
 arrow BBC film team visits GP village phone site
A BBC documentary team visited a village phone site of GrameenPhone yesterday to film the activities of a woman phone operator in Manikganj district, says a press release.
Internationalarrow We are not in nuke race with India: Musharraf
Pakistan has no interest in matching India's nuclear weapons development and does not need outside help to maintain or advance its programme, President Pervez Musharraf told the Financial Times newspaper.
 arrow Haiti asks for foreign help, US rebuffs call
Faced with spreading rebellion, Haiti appealed for foreign help, but Washington rebuffed the call, telling Haiti to focus on fundamental reform and warning rebels against a violent takeover.
 arrow EU 'big three' hold Berlin talks
The German, French and UK leaders are meeting in Berlin for controversial talks on the future of the European Union and other major issues.
 arrow Asia's bird flu toll rises to 21
The death toll from Asia's bird flu crisis rose to 21 yesterday, with confirmation that a four-year-old Thai boy had died of the virus which has staged new outbreaks in several nations.
 arrow WB barrier violates humanitarian law: Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) yesterday said the security barrier that Israel is building in the West Bank was contrary to humanitarian law, and should not be built.
 arrow Parties lure film stars
Come election and major political parties in India rush to rope in film stars faded and shining to shower glamour on the campaign and try to steal a march in the race to grab a space in the electorate's
 arrow 'Maoists' blast damages Nepal state airline HQ
A blast set off by suspected Maoist rebels shattered the windows of Nepal's national airline headquarters yesterday during a military procession, police said.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Anti-corruption commission in the offing
The JS passed a bill Tuesday night providing for an independent anti-corruption commission.
 arrow Editorial: Snap poll in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe have been locked in a power struggle for months.
 arrow Of OPEC and Sheikh Zaki Yamani
OPEC became an international spectacle of the first order in the mid 1970s. The eyes of the world fastened on its meetings, with their drama, pomp, and commotion.
 arrow Resolution of political conflict is imperative
The nature, scope and outcome of pro and anti hartal activities in Bangladesh are, in an average sense and under the present context, not conducive to the advancement of progress and prosperity
Letters to Editorarrow DUET admission test
Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology (DUET), Gazipur, has announced that its admission tests will be held on May 10, 2004.
 arrow Let the leader of the opposition speak
In a placid, friendly and pleasant atmosphere and get-together graced by many top BNP, Awami League MPs and other VVIPs organised by Dhaka Reporters Unity at National Press Club, the LGRD Minister and
 arrow Learn to use space
President Bush claims to be sincere in his benign approach to teach millions of "foreign" humans some hard lessons.
 arrow India-Pakistan cricket series
All cricket fans across the world are now waiting in a feverish mood for the upcoming India-Pakistan series . This series is very significant for many reasons .