Volume 4 Number 321 Fri. April 23, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow 3,000 feared dead in N Korea rail blast
Up to 3,000 people were killed or injured when two trains loaded with fuel collided and exploded at a North Korean station yesterday, hours after leader Kim Jong-il had passed through, South Korea's YTN
 arrow WB promises $1b credit
The World Bank has assured Bangladesh of over US$1 billion in credits this year.
 arrow Arrest frenzy continues in city
Blanket arrests continued to smother Dhaka yesterday ahead of the Awami Leauge's April 30 deadline for unseating the government, while anxious relatives thronged jail gates with bail documents for the
 arrow Raw deal for the innocent
Police and the court following the dictum of the power that be swung into unprecedented actions of human rights and constitution violations last week to foil the Awami League's plan to lay rsiege to Hawa
 arrow AL plans tougher programmes
The main opposition Awami League (AL) and its left-leaning ally Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Inu) are planning a massive showdown in the capital from tomorrow, the first day of their three-day 'no-confidence'
 arrow 40pc Iraqi troops missing from job
About one in every 10 members of Iraq's security forces "actually worked against" US troops during the recent militia violence in Iraq, and an additional 40 percent walked off the job because of intimidation,
 arrow BJP out to woo Muslim voters
Buoyed by exit poll predictions of the first phase of parliamentary elections putting the BJP in the lead, India's ruling party decided to go all out to woo Muslim voters ahead of the second phase ofelections
 arrow JS body lists 9 firms as big land-grabbers
A parliamentary body yesterday accused nine firms of grabbing huge chunks of government land in Narayanganj and Gazipur and decided to hold an inter-ministerial meeting to gear up a drive to recover the
 arrow Bush's policy shift to upset ME peace
US President George W.
 arrow No criminalisation of politics if voted back to power
Blaming the government for patronising hooligans, criminals and killers, opposition leader Sheikh Hasina yesterday said she would stop criminalisation of politics if voted back to power.
 arrow Kick poverty to bring education
Schoolchildren yesterday identified poverty as the main roadblock to education and called on legislators to take measures to bring all children to school.
 arrow Secretariat security to go up
The government has planned to step up security at the Secretariat and equip police deployed there with modern technologies and sophisticated devices and impose further restrictions on entry to it.
 arrow Jackson indicted
Pop star Michael Jackson was indicted Wednesday by a Santa Barbara County grand jury investigating child molestation allegations, according to news reports.
 arrow Farm credit thru' women to empower them
A city dialogue yesterday recommended channelling farm credit through women as a measure to further quicken the process of women empowerment in society.
 arrow Justice calls for change in bail concept
The age-old concept of bail in the judicial system needs to be changed to ensure justice, said Attorney General AF Hassan Ariff yesterday.
 arrow Taiwan's top official cancels Dhaka trip
Chief of the Taiwanese trade-promoting body has cancelled his visit to Bangladesh after the opening ceremony of Taiwan Trade Centre (TTC) in Dhaka was postponed on April 20.
 arrow 2 businessmen shot dead at Pallabi
Armed extortionists shot two Jubo Dal activists dead at Block D in Pallabi last night.

The dead are Nasir Shikder, 35, assistant organising secretary of ward No.

 arrow Babar asks cops to nab accused
State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar yesterday directed the investigation officers (IOs) of 10 sensational cases to immediately arrest the fugitives at any cost.
 arrow Leftists take a swipe at Jamaat
Workers' Party President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday said it is not BNP but 'fundamentalist' Jamaat-e-Islami is in proxy rule and at the helm of power.
 arrow Outlaws again threaten Duta president with death
Outlawed Sarbahara Dal has once again issued death threat to Dhaka University Teachers Association (Duta) President Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique in a letter received yesterday.
 arrow RU remains standstill over controversial appointments
Indefinite strike at Rajshahi University (RU) by Rajshahi University Teachers Association (Ruta) demanding the cancellation of controversial April-17 recruitment continued for the second consecutive day
 arrow President, PM condole loss of lives
President Iajuddin Ahmed and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday expressed their deep sorrow at the loss of lives in the Wednesday's car bomb blast in Riyadh.
 arrow Cops pick up 40 from near AL HQ
Police in a raid in front of the Awami League (AL) headquarters on Bangabandhu Avenue and in the areas close-by last night picked up at least 20 people after a rally of Awami Jubo League, the AL's youth
Businessarrow BB to launch Tk 100cr credit scheme for SMEs
A new initiative involving Tk 100 crore is in the offing to promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which neither come under microcredit operations nor have access to bank loans.
 arrow Ogilvy & Mather eyes product branding role in Bangladesh
Bangladesh as a growing market in Asia has tremendous potential for product branding, in which a Hong Kong-based leading advertising agency wants to play its supportive role.
 arrow Petrobangla-IOCs efforts needed to reach electricity to all by 2020
Joint efforts by Petrobangla and international oil companies (IOCs) for gas exploration aided by huge funds are required to make electricity available for all by 2020, speakers at a seminar observed yesterday.
 arrow Dhaka wants market access to India
Bangladesh has sought greater access for its products to Indian market and suggested removal of barriers to help promote bilateral trade.
 arrow China opens up market to US products
China offered greater market access to US goods and pledged to step up enforcement against copyright infringement after key ministerial talks Wednesday which saw the clinching of eight trade-boostingagreements.
 arrow Europe's food business seeks S'pore aid on halal standards
The halal food business in Europe is a growing pie and those who want a slice of it are asking Singapore's Muslim officials for help on setting halal standards.
 arrow Aptech, Edexcel announce tie-up
Aptech Worldwide Bangladesh Limited yesterday in Dhaka formally announced its tie-up with Edexcel International.
 arrow Indian co to set up metal factory in Mongla EPZ
An Indian company will set up metal factory in Mongla Export Processing Zone under an agreement signed here yesterday with BEPZA.
 arrow Nat'l Housing signs MoU with Sanmar Properties
National Housing Finance and Investments Ltd, a home mortgage loan provider, and Sanmar Properties Ltd, a developer in Chittagong, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide loans toSanmar
 arrow EXIM Bank to become Islamic bank in July
Export Import Bank of Bangladesh Limited (EXIM Bank) is going start its functioning as a full-fledged Islamic bank from July this year.
 arrow Shell to hand over assets to Cairn by Apr 30
The transfer of energy giant Shell's operations and upstream assets in Bangladesh to Cairn, its joint venture partner in the country, will be completed by April 30.
 arrow New director of Radisson Water Garden Hotel
Saeed Ahmed has joined the new five-star Radisson Water Garden Hotel, Dhaka as its director of sales and marketing.
 arrow Singer rear projection television
Singer has launched a 43-inch screen rear projection television in local market.

Singer provides one-year guarantee for the television along with after sales service.

 arrow WTO chief gives members one month challenge
The head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Wednesday gave countries one month to start agreeing on elements in the latest round of free trade talks or risk missing a deadline to complete the process.
Sportsarrow Cricket: No joy for chasers
National wicket-keeper Khaled Mashud and his understudy Mo-hammad Salim scored half cen-turies as Araf Apparels made a flying start in the GrameenPhone Corporate Cricket League with a 49-run victory over
 arrow Football: Maradona out of danger
Argentina soccer legend Diego Maradona was no longer in a critical condition after being rushed to hospital on Sunday apparently at death's door with heart and breathing problems.
 arrow Cricket: Jayasuriya goes atop as SL zap Zimbabwe
Sanath Jayasuriya became Sri Lanka's highest run scorer in one-day internationals and helped his side to a nine-wicket victory over weakened Zimbabwe in Bulawayo on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Cancer kids' Akhtar day
A number of Indian children suffering from cancer had a memorable Thursday when they played cricket with the world's fastest bowler -- Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar.
 arrow India, Pakistan avoid each other
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan have been placed in separate preliminary pools in the Olympic men's field hockey tournament, according to the draw released by the sport's governing body on Thursday.
 arrow Hockey: Aussies hold India
India and Australia fought out a 2-2 draw in the men's field hockey four-nations challenge tournament here Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Glenn, Darren for tour
Glenn McGrath and Darren Lehmann say they are not prepared to follow teammate Stuart MacGill's boycott of Australia's cricket tour of Zimbabwe next month.
 arrow Tennis: Safin's new image
Marat Safin is determined to put behind him his reputation as a party animal and concentrate on work, work and more work.
 arrow Tennis: Coria reaches quarters
Argentine third seed Guillermo Coria and former world number one Marat Safin of Russia stayed on course for a semifinal showdown after both men moved into the last eight of the Monte Carlo Masters onThursday.
 arrow Volleyball: Rajshahi lift nat'l youth volleyball
Rajshahi clinched the title of the City Bank 20th National Youth Volleyball Championship beating Jessore 3-1 in the final at the volleyball court near Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Chess: Parag marches on
Mehdi Hasan Parag continued to dominate the 25th national junior chess championship at the NSC auditorium yesterday.

He has earned full points from eight rounds.

 arrow Handball: Girls h'ball
The inaugural Maple Leaf handball competition for girls will begin at May 5 at the Outer Stadium handball court.
 arrow Football: Everything still to play for
Both coaches said beforehand that Porto and Deportivo La Coruna were evenly matched and so it proved as they fought out a 0-0 draw in their Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Totti earns derby draw
Francesco Totti slammed in a second-half penalty to ensure Roma and Lazio shared the points after an entertaining 1-1 draw in the re-arranged Rome derby on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Bavaria's beer fears
Officials in beer-loving Germany urged a rethink on Tuesday after organisers of the 2006 World Cup signed a deal with a US brewery that would bar local brews from being sold in stadia.
 arrow Football: Changing like Beckham
To most people, the news that David Beckham has shaved off his flowing blond hair merits little more than a curious glance at a newspaper. For Matthew Middleton, it spells an emergency trip to the barber.
 arrow Football: Racist Ron!
Former Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson has resigned as a football pundit with British terrestrial broadcaster ITV after making a racist off-air comment following Tuesday's Champions League match
Metropolitanarrow Arrest of AL activists condemned
Different political organisations yesterday condemned Wednesday's attack and arrest of the Awami League (AL) activists by police when the party attempted to lay siege to Hawa Bhaban.
 arrow 'Set up permanent pay commission'
Bangladesh Civil Service Coordination Committee has urged the government to set up a permanent Pay Commission before the budget session.
 arrow Father says he surrendered 3-yr-old child fearing arrest
The father of Iman Ali, the child who made a sensation by surrendering to the chief metropolitan magistrate's court of Dhaka on April 13, yesterday said fear of arrest compelled him to take his baby-boy
Point-Counterpointarrow Whither Bush in Iraq: Between the rock and the hard place
One knows the Bush administration has credibility problems when its secretive leader deems it necessary to meet with the press five time in less than a week. George Bush, Jr.
 arrow Looking to the future with hope
When Bangladesh established itself as an independent country, at the beginning of 1972 the predominant opinion in the western world was that this country, if left to itself, would not survive long.
Culturearrow A rare blend of intellect and emotion
'The quiet but deep observation, understanding and love of the human race, which are characteristic of all his films, have impressed me greatly....I feel that he is a "giant" of the movie industry.
 arrow Bridging the cultural divide
On April 18, prominent cultural artistes from both Bangladesh and West Bengal came together to celebrate the Indo-Bangla Kala-Music Award 2003 held for the very first time at the Manhattan Center, New
 arrow The return of Humayun Ahmed's Aj Robibar
Ntv restarts airing Humayun Ahmed's famous drama serial Aj Robibar (Today is Sunday) from today. The 14-episode drama series was previously shown on BTV.
 arrow Recommendations
April 01-29
Russian Cultural Centre has arranged a photo and stamp exhibition on aviation and cosmonautics to celebrate the International Day of Cosmonautics and Aviation

Generalarrow Expand opportunity of higher education
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday called on the teachers of Bangladesh Open University (BOU) to take up more programmes to expand the opportunity of higher education.
 arrow 'Launch movement to oust government'
Speakers at a rally yesterday called upon the people to launch all out movement to oust the BNP-Jamaat-led coalition government for its total failure to govern the country.
 arrow Morocco iterates support
Morocco has reiterated its support to Bangladesh candidature for the post of OIC Secretary General when Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan met his counterpart Mohammed Benaissa on Wednesday, a message received
 arrow Hi-tech facilities for peacekeepers open
Opening highly sophisticated facilities for Bangladeshi peacekeepers here yesterday, US Ambassador Harry K Thomas said Dhaka and Washington would continue to build and grow together that will serve both
 arrow Dengue fortnight to be observed
A dengue fortnight will be observed to create awareness among the city dwellers about Aedes mosquito responsible for the disease.
 arrow MOU signed to raise funds for cancer hospital
Dhaka Ahsania Mission will set up a cancer hospital at Uttara in the city.
 arrow Taher appointed chief national representative of Edexcel
Edexcel International has appointed Mirza Taher as the national representative in Bangladesh recently, says a British Council press release.
 arrow Tk 160cr earned last year
The revenue income from the tolls of hats and bazars in just concluded Bangla year 1410 has increased 43 percent to Tk 160 crore.
 arrow Khulna jail raises 'false' alarm
The authorities of Khulna District Jail (KDJ) yesterday raised 'false' alarms apprehending unrest among inmates.

Jail guards rang sirens at around noon as a practice, KDJ officials said.

Editorialarrow Editorial: Sweeping arrests and convictions
Indiscriminate arrest and detention of youngsters by the police centring around Wednesday's Hawa Bhaban siege programme of the opposition have been an extremely disquieting development.
 arrow Editorial: Bush and Blair turn to UN
At last Blair and Bush have realised it is only the UN that can bail them out of the Iraqi imbroglio that basically is of their own making.
 arrow Who's going to win the Democratic veepstakes?
With the Democratic nomination for the US presidency sewn up, the focus has shifted to speculation as to who nominee John Kerry will pick as his running mate in November.
 arrow One circle, two centres
You must have heard of it, if not seen it, that there can be two yolks in one egg, because anything is possible in the freak of nature.
 arrow BBC's list of Great Bangalis: Some questions
The Bengali service of the BBC conducted a survey among its listeners from 11 February through 22 March 2004.
Letters to Editorarrow Help the twister victims
I was shocked to learn that children from both rich and poor families are begging in desperation in the tornado-stricken villages in Netrakona (ref Schoolchildren beg in twister-torn Netrakona, 19.04.
 arrow Where is the martyr of 1757 ?
A few days ago the BBC published the names of 20 persons as the greatest Bengalees of all time. And Bangabandhu finished ahead of others in the opinion poll.
 arrow Artificial ripening of fruits and vegetables
Mr. Mizanur Khan's article (DS: April 18) on the subject states about the government's decision to frame a policy to control use of toxic chemicals in growing and ripening fruits and vegetables.
 arrow Targeted killings
Assassinations are nothing new to Israeli intelligence community.

The policy of targeted killing is like a double-edged sword. What you do to your opponent, they can do to you.

 arrow Unutilised minerals
What is 'Black-gold'? How many people in our country know about 'black-gold'?

It is a mixed component of various minerals Zircon, Ilmenite, Rutile Garnet, Magnetite and Monazite etc, etc, found in

 arrow Sylhet scene
Sylhet is an important city , but it is full of problems nowadays. The main problem is traffic jam. Every day, we face traffic congestion in Sylhet. For this reason, people lose their valuable time.
 arrow The end of politics?
What is wrong with politics--anywhere in the world? The same question can be applied to the yardsticks of economics (A. Sen). The new millennium has drowned hopes and floated uncertainties.
 arrow Bangladeshi for UNSG?
We are living in an unbelievable world.
 arrow Revolving restaurant
I heavily congratulate the Mayor of Dhaka city for deciding to build the tallest building in the capital.
 arrow TIME magazine, our politicians and the facts
While going through the report of Mr.
 arrow BTTB's mobile phone
From a news item published in DS of April 19, it appears that the BTTB has waken up from a long sleep and has realised that rate cut will eventually add more to its revenue earning, albeit under pressure
 arrow BBC's greatest Bengalee
We should not get carried away by the BBC's latest "Greatest Bengalees of All Time" survey. One can easily question the validity of this survey.
 arrow Tagore second to Mujib
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has arranged for a programme on the Greatest Bengalees of all ages. First, the BBC asked for naming five greatest Bengalees to the audience.
 arrow TIME report
I am surprised at the amount of column spaces devoted to responding to a 'single' negative article about Bangladesh. One wonders if the critics even bothered to read the article in question.
Worldarrow Congress to return to power, claims Sonia
Dismissing the projections of various opinion and exit polls as contradictory, Congress president Sonia Gandhi yesterday claimed the results would be in favour of Congress which would form the government
 arrow Vajpayee to complete his term if NDA retains power
In the backdrop of talk about his successor, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said Wednesday night that if returned to power he would not quit midway during his next tenure as the head of government.
 arrow New terror threat targets 8 allies of US in Iraq
A self-proclaimed "anti-American" group is threatening terrorist attacks against eight US allies by the end of the month, including South Korea, Japan, Australia and the Pakistan, a South Korean official
 arrow Asia faces more Sars like epidemics
Asia faces the threat of more deadly epidemics such as Sars, which could have cost regional economies up to 50 billion dollars, Southeast Asian health ministers were told yesterday.
 arrow Drama over Lankan Speaker election
A third vote for a Speaker in the new Sri Lankan parliament was ordered yesterday after the first ended in a tie and the second in confusion, an AFP correspondent said.
 arrow Pak tribal leader seeks deal in al-Qaeda hunt
A Pakistani tribesman spearheading resistance to efforts aimed at capturing up to 400 al-Qaeda fighters has opened talks with authorities after persuading them to put off a deadline for military action,
 arrow 'Mars may become home for humans after 30-yr'
President APJ Abdul Kalam yesterday predicted that the planet Mars would become a home for human habitation in the next three decades.
 arrow Basra grieves after suicide bombings
Iraq's southern city of Basra mourned its dead on Thursday after suicide bombers killed 73 people, 17 of them children burned alive on their way to school.
 arrow US won't tolerate nuke-armed Iran
A nuclear-armed Iran would pose an intolerable threat to peace in the Middle East and a mortal danger to Israel, President Bush said on Wednesday, adding that any such threat would be "dealt with" bythe
 arrow US faces $4b shortfall of Iraq war budget
Two days of Capitol Hill hearings on Iraq have produced some new details on Bush administration plans for the beleaguered campaign, but not all that lawmakers had hoped for.
 arrow US to rehire Baathists to shore up Sunni support in Iraq
The United States is set to rehire thousands of members of fallen Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's Baath party and former Iraqi military to help rebuild Iraq, The Washington Post said yesterday citingUS