Vol. 5 Num 151 Sat. October 23, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Exports to US set to dip further next year
Bangladesh is set to face a body-blow in its single largest export destination US with the income already dipping by US$ 534 million or 22 percent in the last three years mainly for phaseout of export
 arrow Corruption check in public procurement
A tender evaluation committee (TEC) will scrutinise tenders or proposals for public procurement from now on and two outsiders will sit on the five-member committee of the ministries concerned to ensure
 arrow Tale of Biman's faulty F-28s
Biman's F-28 fleet of five aircraft appears to have become a burden to the national flag carrier as the ageing planes procured to save money face frequent technical faults, escalating maintenance cost
 arrow Food officials threaten strike to realise decade-old demand
Amidst the spiralling prices of food across the country, food officials at grassroots level are threatening to strike in order to settle their long unresolved battle with the government.
 arrow Immersion of Durga today
Bijoya Dashami will be observed today to bid farewell to Goddess Durga with due religious fervour.
 arrow Another heavy home defeat
Bangladesh might have pushed the first Test against New Zealand into the fourth day but that was not enough to avoid yet another innings defeat.
 arrow Poll finds Bush, Kerry locked in a tie
Many voters are dissatisfied with President Bush's job performance but uneasy about Democrat John Kerry's ability to protect the nation, according to an Associated Press poll that found the two presidential
 arrow Academics term move to rename NU unjust
Noted academics of the country yesterday described the National University (NU) authorities' move to rename the university Ziaur Rahman National University as unfortunate and morally unacceptable.
 arrow 7 killed in US air raids on Fallujah
US aircraft and artillery strikes pounded suspected weapons warehouses in the insurgent bastion of Fallujah overnight leaving seven people dead and three others wounded, hospital officials said as hundreds
 arrow Malaysia offers amnesty to all illegal immigrants
Malaysia has offered an amnesty for all illegal immigrants to return home during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, a day after pardoning Indonesian illegals, a minister said yesterday.
 arrow 'Please help me, these might be my last hours'
Kidnapped British aid worker Margaret Hassan begged Prime Minister Tony Blair in a video aired yesterday to save her life by scrapping the planned redeployment of British troops and pulling them out of
 arrow Getting ready...

 arrow Pabna Mental Hospital robbery pre-planned
Robbery at Pabna Mental Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre in December last year was a preplanned incident, an investigation by the health ministry revealed.
 arrow Missing Sylhet magnate yet to be rescued
Police could not rescue magnate Md Habibur Rahman, who has been missing for the last five days, until yesterday.
 arrow Water crisis still acute in some city areas
Acute water crisis in some parts of the capital during the ongoing Ramadan has left thousands of residents in a miserable condition.
 arrow 50 SIs under DMP being transferred
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) authorities have already started transferring over 50 'incompetent' sub-inspectors (SI) of different police stations and the Detective Branch (DB).
  arrow 5 soldiers hurt in fight with CHT 'rebels'
Five army personnel were injured, two of them seriously, during a firefight between the army and 'insurgents' yesterday morning.
 arrow First Friday....

 arrow KCC men vow to stop circulation of Purbanchal
The mayor and pro-BNP ward commissioners of Khulna City Corporation have demanded that the government should cancel the declaration of Dainik Purbanchal published from the city.
 arrow Woman outlaw slaughtered in Meherpur
A woman cadre of an underground outfit was slaughtered at village Ambahar in Meherpur Sadar upazila early yesterday.
 arrow Yet another step to politicise education system: Jalil
Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday protested the National University (NU) senate's decision to rename the university Ziaur Rahman National University.
 arrow US soldier sentenced to 8-yr jail for prison abuse
A US military judge sentenced Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick to eight years in prison on Thursday for sexually and physically abusing detainees at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.
 arrow No compromise on sovereignty issue: Ulfa
Ruling out "unconditional" talks with the Centre, the outlawed Ulfa has said that it would not "compromise" on the demand for Assam's "sovereignty" during any peace dialogue.
 arrow Warped sat proves Einstein Theory of Relativity
Einstein was right -- again. Satellites that have been pulled slightly off their orbits show that the Earth is indeed twisting the fabric of space-time as it rotates, scientists said on Thursday.
 arrow Shrimp traders in Satkhira flee home
Male members of at least 13 families in four villages in Sadar and Tala upazilas are on the run after death threats by two outlawed outfits demanding tolls.
 arrow SI closed for assaulting journalist
Sub-Inspector (SI) Daud Ali of Rupsha Police Station was closed to Khulna Policelines yesterday for assaulting Prothom Alo Staff Correspondent Shamsuzzaman Shahin.
Businessarrow Jute thrives as synthetic prices go up
A trend of using natural fibres has surfaced among people on hopes jute will not lose out to synthetics.
 arrow Dhaka handloom fairs wooing Eid shoppers
Dhaka city has turned into a bustling bazaar for handloom products with three big exhibitions are now going on in full swing to woo Eid shoppers.
 arrow China's free trade pact with Asean in sight
The foundations of the world's largest free trade area may be laid next month.
 arrow Indian govt ally opposes higher foreign equity limits
A communist ally of India's government will oppose attempts to allow higher foreign ownership of telecom and insurance firms, but will back higher foreign equity in airlines, a senior leftist leader said
 arrow US 'City of Looms' fears for future
After a more than a century of Churning out towels, sheets and bedspreads for American homes, there's no future for textiles in this self-proclaimed "city of looms" and many other North Carolina towns
 arrow Oil bubbles near $55 a barrel
Oil prices simmered near $55 a barrel on Friday on rising fears of a winter fuel supply crunch and robust but slowing economic growth in China, the world's number two user.
 arrow WB, IMF only ready for case-by-case help
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund said Friday that poor textile-exporting countries could only expect help on a case-by case basis to cope with the forthcoming end of import quotas.
 arrow European frozen food buyers due Nov 27
A 12-member delegation of frozen food buyers from European countries will arrive in Dhaka on November 27 on a three-day visit to Bangladesh.
 arrow Second int'l travel fair in March
The second Bangladesh international travel fair will be held in Dhaka from March 4 to 6 next year.
 arrow Citigroup's ex-exec may face SEC action
US securities regulators may recommend enforcement action against the former head of Citigroup Global Investment Management for his role in activities under investigation at the company's mutual fundunit,
 arrow India's inflation rate dips as food prices fall
India's weekly inflation rate fell slightly to 7.10 percent due to a drop in prices of food and manufactured goods, official figures showed Friday.
 arrow ROK stock market to see rebound in coming week
South Korea's stock market is expected to see a technical rebound next week after sustained losses over the past two weeks made on the back of disappointing results in the key tech sector, dealers said
 arrow IMF chief calls for more investment in oil production
International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Rodrigo Rato on Friday called on oil-producing nations to boost investment in production facilities in response to rising oil prices, which he saidwould
 arrow Weekly Currency Roundup
October 16-October 21, 2004

Local FX Market
US dollar was bullish against Bangladeshi taka in this week.

Sportsarrow Cricket: Bashar misses Chittagong Test
Habibul Bashar has been ruled out of the second Test against New Zealand after selectors announced a 13-member squad for the Chittagong match yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Same old story
Even after a crushing inn-ings defeat with a day and a half to spare, the Bangladesh team's think-tank was still trying to find some sort of inspiration for the second Test that starts in three days'time.
 arrow Cricket: Series Salad
While Bangladesh continued to be miserable on the field for most of the first Test against the Kiwis, their fans still turned up in numbers even though the writing was all the wall for the Tigers on the
 arrow Cricket: Sanath puts SL in control
Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya steered Sri Lanka into a commanding position over Pakistan with an unbeaten century on the third day of the first Test at the Iqbal Stadium here on Friday.
 arrow Cricket: Older and hungrier
At an age when most elite cricketers are past their use-by date, Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya blasted a Test century against Pakistan on Friday and declared he was as hungry as ever.
 arrow Cricket: Chucking meet next week
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Friday its "comprehensive review" of illegal bowling would begin next week in Dubai with a high-profile committee meeting involving former players.
 arrow Football: Devils stand in 50's way
Gary Neville has warned Arsenal that their 49-match unbeaten run in the Premiership will count for nothing when they run out at Old Trafford on Sunday.
 arrow Football: Stop Adriano, win derby!
AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini believes shackling in-form Brazilian striker Adriano will be the key to success in Sunday's eagerly anticipated derby against Inter Milan.
 arrow Football: Owen without guarantee
The inclusion of Michael Owen in the starting line-up for Real Madrid against Valencia on Saturday is the most hotly-argued topic in Spanish football at the moment.
 arrow Cricket: Int'l cricket to stay at SCG
Test and international one-day cricket matches will stay at the Sydney Cricket Ground after efforts to seek a move to the bigger Olympic Stadium, Cricket NSW said here Friday.
 arrow Cricket: Zim convince ECB safety team
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) delegation visiting Zimbabwe to assess safety and security ahead of England's tour next month are satisfied they have been well briefed on the issues.
 arrow Cricket: Afridi to lead Pakistan in HK Sixes
Explosive all-rounder Shahid Afridi will lead Pakistan in next month's Super Sixes tournament in Hong Kong, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Friday.
Metropolitanarrow Ensure proper treatment to save foreign exchange
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday inaugurated a conference of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) with a call to the physicians to launch a social movement against smoking through raising awareness.
 arrow Bangladesh for UN-Saarc institutional relationship
Speaker Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar said here yesterday that an institutional relationship between SAARC and UN would strongly help achieve objectives of these organisations.
 arrow Black money behind all crimes
Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said black money is responsible for all criminal activities.
 arrow Oct 22 National Road Safety Day
The government has decided to observe October 22 every year as the National Road Safety Day to curb road mishaps as well as raise awareness on road safety.
 arrow 'Conserve bio-diversity for sustainable food production'
Speakers at a seminar have called for conservation of bio-diversity for sustainable food production.
 arrow Separate lanes for cycling demanded
Speakers at a rally of cyclists here yesterday emphasised the need for creating separate lanes for cycling in the capital city.
 arrow Tigress gives birth to three babies at Ctg zoo
A tigress in Chittagong Zoo gave birth to three baby tigers on Wednesday, zoo sources said. Of them, one is male and the other two are female.
 arrow SM Hall English Forum formed
An executive committee of Dhaka University's Salimullah Hall English Forum for 2004-05 session was formed recently with Shafiqul Islam Bhuiyan as president and M Shah Alam general secretary.
 arrow President, PM greet Hungarian Counterparts
President Iajuddin Ahmed and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia felicitated their Hungarian counterparts on the occasion of the National Day of Hungary to be observed today.
 arrow Rab nabs 4 thieves, recovers truck
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four alleged thieves from Banshkhali upazila in the district on Thursday night and recovered a truck stolen from the capital
 arrow Prisoner dies at CMCH
A prisoner of Chittagong Jail died yesterday.
Nationalarrow Farmers' hopes wane as govt inactive
The Daily Star investigated the prospects and problems in raising tea gardens in Panchagarh and Thakurgaon. The first part of a series of reports is published today.
 arrow Aman on 1.64 lakh acres affected in 4 dists
Aman cultivation on one lakh 64 acres in Kushtia, Jhenidah, Chuadanga and Magura districts is being affected due to lack of proper irrigation as water supply from the GK (Ganges-Kabadak) project in Dheramara
 arrow Tk 40 lakh garment fabric seized by Rab
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), Chittagong seized garment fabric worth Tk 40 lakh, arrested two criminals and recovered arms and ammunition in three separate drives here on Wednesday and Thursday.
 arrow KCC Mayor's move to cancel declaration of Purbanchal slated
Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman and pro-BNP ward commissioners in Khulna City Corporation (KCC) have demanded of the government to cancel the declaration of Dainik Purbanchal published from the city.
 arrow Verdict rejected
The Rajshahi University (RU) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on Wednesday rejected the verdict of historic Jail Killing Case by terming it 'a farce and a blueprint' of the Alliance Government.
 arrow 3 T&T officials sued for Tk 17 lakh scam
Two sub-assistant engineers and an office assistant at Barisal divisional telephone exchange have been accused of misappropriating Tk 17 lakhs by using 24 fake telephone numbers.
 arrow 8 yr-old boy testifies in murder case
Hassan Majhi, 8, testified before a Magistrate court here on Thursday in connection with the murder of his classmate Tamim, 5.
 arrow Shamsur Rahman murder: Charge framing tomorrow
The date for framing charges against the accused persons of Journalist Shamsur Rahman Murder Case was fixed anew.
 arrow Fight for dredger: 100 hurt in clash
At least 100 leaders and activists of Jessore Keshobpur Kobadak Bachao Andolon (movement to save the Kobadak in Jessore) including its convenor Mahabubur Rahman were injured, 15 of them seriously, when
 arrow Engineer beaten by extortionists
An engineer of a DANIDA assisted project was beaten by four to five extortionists led by Jamal for non-payment of toll amounting to Tk 10,000 on Thursday.
 arrow 'Top' criminal held by Rab
Rab on Thursday arrested a 'top' criminal from his home at Chaltebaria village in Debhata upazila.
 arrow College teachers sued for toll
Six lecturers of a college were sued here on Thursday for alleged toll collection.
 arrow Man caught for breaking Hindu idol
A man was caught by people for breaking an idol of Goddess Kali (Kali Murti) at Shankar Moth temple in Natun Bazaar area on Thursday.
Point-Counterpointarrow Remembering Azim Bhai
He was a most unlikely media man. In fact all his life he was a very low profile, self-effacing, unassuming, shy, and quiet person. Happy to be left alone to his work.
 arrow Haroon, my friend
He was tall, fair, and handsome. You could pick him out in a crowd, dapper and distinguished, yet modest and self-effacing. He looked more like a professor than the businessman he was.
Culturearrow Weaving a dream
The golden fairy with the globe in her hands' can be ours! No, it's not a dream but the initiation of a dream-come-true, as a Bangladeshi TV production, Amrao Pari, has been nominated in the children
 arrow A rare passion for Nazrul and Rabindranath
Practising Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Sangeet simultaneously is a rarity among artistes. Badrunnesa Dalia's specialty as a singer is that she has wrought this feat.
 arrow Shabana Azmi
Veteran actress-activist Shabana Azmi is on a roll. She is just back from shooting in an American film dealing with a subject close to her heart.
 arrow Rituparno Ghosh retrospective
Bangladesh Federation of Film Societies (BFFS) screens Chokher Bali, Shuvo Mohurat and Utsab today at Bishwa Shahitya Kendro.
Generalarrow 'Stop mixing toxicants with food'
Speakers at a rally yesterday called on the government to take immediate steps to stop unabated mixing of toxic substances with food items during the holy month of Ramadan.
 arrow Diarrhoea, pneumonia claim 15 children in Sherpur
Diarrhoea and pneumonia have broken out in epidemic form in Sherpur district.
 arrow BSF returns body of Bangladeshi youth
The Border Security Forces (BSF) returned the body of Bangladeshi youth to the Bangladesh authorities after a flag meeting with Bangladesh Rifles yesterday.
 arrow Bidisha made JP presidium member
Bidisha Ershad, political adviser to Jatiya Party chairman and coordinator of Jatiya Mohila Party, has been made a presidium member of Jatiya Party (Ershad).
 arrow BDR's Kerat, Ajan competition held
Constable M Atiqur Rahman of Kushtia sector and lance corporal M Mashiur Rahman of Dhaka sector have secured the first position in Bangladesh Rifles' Kerat and Ajan competition respectively.
Internationalarrow Israeli missile kills top Hamas militant, aide
Israel killed Hamas's top bomb and rocket maker in Gaza and launched a missile strike on the home of another leading militant yesterday in the run-up to a key parliamentary vote on a plan to quit theoccupied
 arrow Delhi gives nod to peace talks with Bodo rebels
India's central government has given the go ahead for peace talks between northeastern Assam state and a powerful tribal separatist group, Assam's chief minister said yesterday.
 arrow Terrorism common threat to all Asian countries
Describing terrorism as the common threat to all Asian countries, India said on Friday that eliminating the menace through a "comprehensive and sustained effort" should be the "foremost common concern"
 arrow Iraqi polls still possible in Jan, says Annan
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Thursday said elections in Iraq were still possible in January despite the limited UN presence on the ground because of security concerns.
 arrow US elections projected to cost record $3.9b
If anything, democracy does not come cheap. The 2004 elections that involve not only the frenzied presidential race but hundreds of congressional races will cost Americans a record 3.
 arrow Pak opposition fails to dislodge Speaker
A move by Pakistan's opposition parties to dislodge the Speaker of the national parliament's lower house failed yesterday amid a rumpus and without the resolution being put to a vote.
 arrow Ex-Lebanese PM asked to form new govt
Pro-Syrian Lebanese President Emile Lahoud named former premier Omar Karameh Thursday to succeed Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who resigned a day earlier amid international criticism of the influence Damascus
 arrow US slaps ban on Bulgarian firms for arms sales to terror sponsor
The United States yesterday slapped punitive sanctions on two Bulgarian firms for arms sales to one of six countries on a US terrorism blacklist.
 arrow Laden on the move, Indian intelligence on alert
Central intelligence agencies are on alert following a report in a Pakistani newspaper, quoting unnamed US intelligence agency sources, that al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has left Afghanistan and entered
 arrow Coal mine blast devastates life of many in C China
Along a dusty, dirty road outside the scene of one of China's worst mining disasters, a woman sat sobbing yesterday, her mother-in-law in tears next to her and her sister offering comfort.
 arrow 'Pentagon exaggerated risk posed by Iraq'
A senior Democratic senator released a report Thursday alleging that the US Pentagon exaggerated the military risks posed by Iraq before the US-led war there to support a decision already taken by the
 arrow Access to US polling places difficult
An international human rights group said Thursday its observers for the 2004 US election found access to polling stations difficult in Florida and Ohio.
Editorialarrow Editorial: TI's corruption ranking
Bangladesh has the misfortune once again of being adjudged, on the basis of Transparency International's corruption perception index (CPI), the most corrupt among 146 countries listed for ranking this
 arrow Editorial: Durga Puja
Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community, is being celebrated in the country amid great enthusiasm and festivity.
 arrow Is the war on terror being lost?
The United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan observed earlier this week that the Iraq war has done little to increase security across the world or halt the activities of international terrorists.
 arrow Is realism enough?
President Pervez Musharraf came through as a robust realist while addressing Indian journalists recently, saying that, given sincerity and flexibility by both India and Pakistan, Kashmir issue can beresolved
Letters to Editorarrow Whither Islam?
Bush can no longer beat about the bush, as Kerry will not give him any easy points.
 arrow US influence
I refer to Mr Shahjahan Ahmed's letter (Oct 4) "Whither Bangladesh." The current global religious movement (of extremists) is different from the one existing in 1971, when Pakistan broke up.
 arrow Floods and polythene bags
More than two years ago, the government banned the production, sale, and use of polythene bags in the country.
 arrow Probe body report on Aug 21 attack
The one man Judicial Enquiry Commission has performed its task within the stipulated period of six weeks. It submitted the probe report on October 2.
Literaturearrow Silent Dreams
"I love you," said Charmaine over the phone.
 arrow AT A MAD DREAMER'S "SAARCUS": The 11th Saarc Writers' Conference, 7-9 Oct 2004
Let me first apologize for the bad pun in my title--before the reader can respond with a grimace! Also, I should make it absolutely clear, I have used it without any malice, purely in a spirit of mischievous
 arrow The Inheritors, Penguin India, Delhi, 340+xvi pp., pb, Rs. 295
An examination of the social and family life during India's modern history, Aruna Chakravarti's novel, The Inheritors is as complicated as life itself.