Vol. 5 Num 202 Fri. December 17, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Knit garment exporters ready for quota-free era
Industrial term loans soared by a staggering 62 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, with the garment sector drawing the bulk of the lending to set up backward linkage and export-oriented
 arrow Fresh vows to work for a prosperous nation
The nation yesterday celebrated the 34th Victory Day paying glowing tributes to the heroes of the Liberation War and taking fresh vows to work for a prosperous future.
 arrow Mahathir touches down today on high-profile visit
Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister of Malaysia and the architect of its rapid rise as an Asian economic power, touches down in Dhaka this afternoon with a 50-member delegation to attend the inaugural
 arrow Height ceiling eased in Gulshan, Uttara
A decision by the Ministry of Housing and Public Works to ease height restrictions on all six-storey buildings along streets in Gulshan and Uttara has been criticised by the utility agencies and townplanners.
 arrow Ruling coalition activists attack opponents in dists: 32 hurt
The ruling coalition activists injured at least 32 people in Barisal and Rangamati while chased off Khulna University teachers and students in Khulna and barred Sylhet Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran from
 arrow Chittagong Test starts today
Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar was looking for inspiration and would be trying to inject some confidence into his teammates ahead of the second and final Test against India that starts here today.
 arrow 2 of the 4 Tanore rapists held on ministerial orders
Police yesterday arrested two of the four BNP men accused of gang-raping a woman 17 years ago in Tanore, while the victim, now 34, has found safe custody with Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association
 arrow Spirit of '71 still burning bright at DU
In 1971, students at Dhaka University would take to politics to serve the nation, risking their very lives.
 arrow Jobs disaster looms large
Millions of desperately poor workers, particularly women, will lose their jobs next year following the lifting of a global system of textile and clothing tariffs, a leading aid agency warned yesterday.
 arrow Spokesman for New Asia
Mahathir Mohamad's pragmatic policies at home won him huge popular support and helped transform Malaysia into an Asian economic tiger.
 arrow Resist attempts to foil progress, PM tells rally
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday urged the countrymen to forge unity to face the evil attempt of those who will try to stand in the way of the ongoing nation-building efforts.
 arrow Govt subduing spirit of victory, says Hasina
Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina yesterday accused the government of undermining the spirit of victory by distorting the history of Independence War.
 arrow Miscreants kill Pak national, take away car
Unknown miscreants carjacked a Pakistani national and beat and doped him to death in the early hours yesterday on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway at Chouddogram in Comilla.
 arrow JS team starts CHT visit today
The parliamentary team formed to review the post-peace accord situation in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) districts arrives here in Khagrachhari today on a three-day visit to the hill districts, official
 arrow Laden asks Saudi rulers to quit or face revolt
Osama bin Laden called on Saudi rulers to abandon power or face a popular uprising, laying the blame for deadly unrest gripping the country on the kingdom's own regime, in a new purported audiotape message
 arrow Rab nabs 2 aides to top Ctg criminal
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two accomplices of Osman, a top criminal of the district and Jubo Dal cadre, at Mirpur in Dhaka yesterday morning and brought them to the port city
 arrow Tk 10cr shrimp sent back from Europe
European buyers have sent back 10 containers of frozen shrimp worth Tk 10 crore exported last month by five exporting firms of Khulna after detecting harmful bacteria in the consignments.
 arrow Ershad Shikder's man arrested
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested an accomplice of notorious criminal Ershad Shikder from Shyamnagar upazila in the district on Wednesday.
 arrow Shibir does it openly
Alleged activists of Islamic Chhatra Shibir (ICS) forcibly put up miniature national and ICS flags in wayside shops in front of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque during the Victory Day yesterday.
 arrow Bomb blast near Kerbala shrine kills 10
A bomb near a Shia shrine killed ten people and a fierce attack on Iran by a minister fueled fears of sectarian strife when campaigning began on Wednesday for Iraq's first election since Saddam Hussein's
 arrow JP's vicory day celebration...

 arrow Daughters to get equal property rights in India
India's cabinet has approved proposed legislation to give daughters the same rights as sons to inherit ancestral property.
 arrow Hasina's son to visit Bangladesh this month
Sajib Wajed Joy, son of Leader of the Opposition and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, now living in the US, is scheduled to visit Dhaka this month for three weeks.
 arrow Patients suffer as Mitford interns' strike on
Continued work abstention of the interns at the Mitford Hospital has added to the sufferings of hundreds of patients while treatment seekers are often refused admission due to lack of sufficient doctors.
 arrow Work on Haripur gas well-7 begins
Work on the much-talked-about well No. 7 in Haripur structure of Sylhet Gas Fields Company Ltd. began Wednesday after about a decade of changing schedules.
Businessarrow Mad rush for BO accounts to get IPO slice
With the continuous rally of stock prices, investors are on a wild run to open beneficiary owner's (BO) accounts with the central depository system to get hold of at least one market lot of new initial
 arrow 3 Ctg planners get ATDP's Agripreneur 2004 award
Three Chittagong agriculture business planners on Wednesday were awarded " Agripreneur 2004" for their new entrepreneurial ideas in the sector.
 arrow Costly oil, rising rice import widen trade deficit
Trade deficit has hit a 27 percent high in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, thanks to rise in oil prices in the international market and increase in import of consumer goods.
 arrow Bush pledges to address weak dollar
President George W Bush said Wednesday a renewed drive to cut US budget deficits should help the weak dollar and that Tuesday's Federal Reserve interest rate hike showed Alan Greenspan's awareness ofthe
 arrow Strong yen may slow down Japan economy in 2005
Japan's economy may be heading towards a slowdown in 2005 as a stronger yen and a growing disparity between rich and poor threaten to spoil the party the country enjoyed in the early part of 2004.
 arrow Asian economies may see slowdown in 2005
Asian economies will face a more difficult year in 2005, with problems in China leading the way, analysts told a regional economic forum Thursday.
 arrow Indian minister proposes Asian common market
Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh on Thursday proposed an Asian common market encompassing India and East Asian countries, South Korean officials said.
 arrow Euro nears record high against dollar
The euro marched towards record high points against the dollar Thursday on news overnight that foreign investors had slowed their fund flows into the United States, as markets awaited US current account
 arrow HSBC named best trade finance bank by FinanceAsia
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Ltd was named as best trade finance bank by FinanceAsia, Asia's leading financial magazine, in its 2004 regional achievement awards issue of December
 arrow Extreme pain for ROK as curtain falls on miracle growth
The final curtain has fallen on decades of high growth in South Korea, whose economic woes will probably worsen in the coming year before getting any better, analysts say.
 arrow Nortel grabs $500m deal for wireless network in India
Canadian-based telecom giant Nortel has picked up a 500-million-dollar contract to set up telecommunication networks in eastern and southern India, utility Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) said Wednesday.
 arrow New MD of Jamuna Bank
M Nazrul Islam has been made managing director of Jamuna Bank Limited.
Prior to his new assignment, he was the additional managing director of Jamuna Bank, says a press release.

 arrow Singapore jobless rate at 3-yr low
Singapore's employment rose by 14,100 in the July to September quarter -- the strongest quarterly gain in three quarters -- but lower than an earlier estimate of 16,600 jobs, the Manpower Ministry said
 arrow SMS business booms in China
China's mobile phone users sent 176 billion short messages in the first 10 months of this year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Information Industry Thursday.
 arrow Indian oil firm interested in Yukos assets
India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. said Thursday it is interested in bidding for some of the assets of stricken Russian oil giant Yukos, but not the whole company.
 arrow AirAsia confirms purchase of 40 Airbus jets
Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia announced Thursday that it will buy 40 A320 jets for 2.5 billion dollars from Europe's Airbus, which beat US aerospace giant Boeing in bidding for the contract.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Tigers all paced up
Bangladesh as expected, have decided to go with three specialist pace bowlers into the second and final Test against India which starts in Chittagong today.
 arrow Hockey: Abahani back to top
Abahani Krira Chakra regained the lead in the Green Delta Premier Hockey League when the defending champions put an end to Usha Krira Chakra's winning run yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Atapattu's ambition
Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu believes his side are capable of becoming the best one-day international team in time for the 2007 World Cup.
 arrow Cricket: Langer defies Pakistan
The long-awaited showdown between two of the world's best pace attacks did not disappoint here Thursday when first the ball, then the bat dominated proceedings on the opening day of the Test between Pakistan
 arrow Cricket: Series of serious questions
South Africa and England start a five-Test series at St George's Park Friday with question marks over both teams.
 arrow Cricket: Records beckon three Indians
Will records tumble in Chittagong during the second Test between Bangladesh and India like the first Test in Dhaka?
The question hovers around as at least three Indian cricketers are on the verge

 arrow Cricket: Marsh puts England coaching atop
England now have the best cricket coaching system in the world and are ready to start challenging the dominance of world champions Australia, according to Rod Marsh.
 arrow Cricket: WI delay naming squad
West Indies have picked their squad for the forthcoming tour of Australia, but the drawn-out dispute over contracts has delayed its announcement until next week.
 arrow Cricket: Proteas target Harmison
South Africa's batsmen will look to dominate England fast bowler Stephen Harmison in the Test series that starts in Port Elizabeth on Friday, captain Graeme Smith said on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Tuffey drafted for SL ODIs
Seam bowler Daryl Tuffey was recalled to the New Zealand squad on Thursday for the one-day series with Sri Lanka which starts later this month.
 arrow Volleyball: Pepsi V'Day volleyball
Bangladesh Navy and Kathmandu Metropolitan City reached the semifinals of the Pepsi Victory Day Volleyball Tournament from Group A.
 arrow Football: Mouth-watering draw looms
English Premiership sides make up the strongest continent with four clubs in Friday's Champions League draw for the first round of the knockout stage.
 arrow Football: Rangers shown the door
Scottish giants Rangers bowed out of the UEFA Cup in humiliating fashion on Wednesday as they went down 2-0 at home to French side Auxerre with Bonaventure Kalou grabbing a double to ensure the visitors
 arrow Football: Morientes heading to Anfield?
Unwanted Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes was reported Thursday to be set to move to injury-hit Liverpool in the January transfer window.
 arrow Football: Everyone's bending it like Becks!
Former stars Ray Clemence and Bob Wilson claim the new ball being used in the English Premiership is the reason so many goalkeepers are dropping clangers this season.
 arrow Football: England's 'enemy' retires
Urs Meier, the referee held responsible by many English people for England's defeat by Portugal at the Euro 2004 finals, has retired at the age limit of 45, it was revealed on Wednesday.
 arrow Tennis: Roddick hires new coach
World number two Andy Roddick is set to hook up with his US Davis Cup assistant coach after sacking Brad Gilbert at the weekend.
 arrow Cricket: RU cricket
Anthropology Department defeated English Department by 57runs and Physiology Department recorded a tense two-wicket win against Islamic Studies Department in the inter-department cricket tournament of
 arrow Cricket: Shield cricket
Rookies George Bailey and David Dawson rescued Tasmania on the opening day of their Sheffield Shield cricket match against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Mega Power Cup Cricket
The Mega Power Cup Cricket Tournament 2004-05 began yesterday at the Meghna ghat Power Limited cricket ground.
The tournament is being organized by Globeleq Bangladesh.

 arrow Athletics: Marion sues accuser
Track and field great Marion Jones, who has seen her reputation sullied by allegations of steroid use, has sued the head of the BALCO lab for defamation, saying he falsely accused her of doping.
 arrow Tennis: Happy Henman!
Tim Henman's best year on the tennis tour was capped on Wednesday by the birth of his second daughter.
The British number one and wife Lucy are to call the girl Olivia.

 arrow Cricket: Muttaliph multiplies BCB HP's woes
A century by opener Ishan Muttaliph consolidated Sri Lanka Cricket Academy's position on the opening day of the four-day match against Bangladesh Cricket Board BCB High Performance (HP) Squad yesterday.
Point-Counterpointarrow Dhaka city planning, traffic and commuter train service
There are discrete plans by various organisations apparently said to be concerned with the improvement of city services in Dhaka.
 arrow Ode to my friend Jessie
She stood there with her gracious smile, she held out her hand and said, "Here, hold it, I am there for you!"
Jessie alias Shahnaaz Ahmed breathed her last at a local clinic on December 11.

 arrow US Dollar losing strength but not its throne
The US Dollar has finally chosen the path of a relentless slide downwards that almost everyone has been anticipating.
Culturearrow Priobhashini's agonising nine months
Talking about her ex-periences in 1971, sculptor Ferdousi Priyobhashini says, 'At that time I was going through a trauma in my personal life. It was the period when my husband had left me.
 arrow A tribute to the unrivalled actress
When our cultural correspondent met stage, radio, TV and film actress Najma Anwar six months ago, she was characteristically modest.
 arrow Celebration of the Victory Day
On the eve of the 34th Victory Day celebration, the Liberation War Museum organised a memorable presentation of patriotic and Sari songs by Jatiyo Rabindrasangeet Sammilon Parishad and a boat-race
 arrow Chittagong gears up for a theatre festival
Nandimukh is all set to organise a theatre festival from December 21 to 31 at the Shilpakala Academy of Chittagong. The festival is titled ' Fifteen years of creation and struggle.
Generalarrow DU convocation begins tomorrow
Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia, will attend the 42nd convocation of Dhaka University as the convocation speaker while 8,069 graduates, including 4,387 female students, will receive
 arrow Int'l confce begins in city today
An international conference on 'Regional Cooperation on Trans-boundary Rivers: Impact of the Indian River-linking Project' begins in the city today.
 arrow 'Bangladesh has highest pry enrollment in dev countries'
Child friendly academic institutions and favourable homes are important preconditions for quality primary education, said experts and high officials at a seminar on Wednesday.
 arrow Help carry forward dev work
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan yesterday sought cooperation from the opposition to carry forward development programmes of the government.
 arrow 48 students to vie for each seat
A total of 52,818 admission seekers will contest for 1,100 seats in 24 departments of Jahangirnagar University (JU) under 2004-05 academic session.
 arrow CNG hijacked in city
Criminals hijacked a CNG autorickshaw and stabbed its driver at Madartek in the city on Wednesday night.
A woman aged about 35 hired the CNG from Khilgaon Taltola for Madertek at about 9:00 pm.

 arrow BSF man arrested
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) arrested a member of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday.
 arrow Ahsania Mission gets AGFUND award for environment
Starting as a small localised initiative to fight pervasive illiteracy some 50 years ago, Dhaka Ahsania Mission yesterday came to the global limelight when it was awarded the prestigious AGFUND International
 arrow Fazle Hasan Abed receives UNDP award
Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of Brac, received the UNDP Human Resources Development Award-2004 at a function here yesterday.
 arrow 5 city roads named after five sector commanders
Five Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) roads were named after freedom fighters as the country was celebrating 33rd anniversary of its independence yesterday.
 arrow Now dictionary on cellphone
If you are looking for the meaning of an English word but don't have the dictionary around, a cellphone may come in handy.
 arrow 'Exempt all sorts of duty from animal health products'
Animal Health Companies Association of Bangladesh (AHCAB) yesterday renewed their demand for exempting animal health products from all sorts of duty.
 arrow Donation to Liberation War Museum
Citibank N.A. donated Tk 3 lakh to 'Liberation War Museum' recently aiming at supporting the museum's noble initiative to impart human rights education to the young generation, says a press release.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Rab to tap telephones?
Two ominous inter-related moves are in the offing.
 arrow Editorial: Indo-Pak dialogue
There are reasons to be optimistic about the current round of talks between the two big South Asian neighbours.
 arrow The post-71 generation
December 16 always brings to my mind the experiences and perspectives of the 71 generation who were shaped by the liberation war.
 arrow A shortsighted vision
Aformer Pakistan Air Chief who led a delegation of retired military officers to India a few days ago made a poignant remark at a farewell party in New Delhi.
 arrow No need for caretaker government reform
The last election under the caretaker government of Justice Latifur Rahman took place under unprecedented security and neutrality.
Letters to Editorarrow The Questions of the Day
Today we, as usual, are celebrating the 33rd anniversary of Victory Day in a befitting manner.
 arrow Cricket
It has truly been an embarrassment for all cricket lovers in the country.
 arrow War against terror
President Bush's war against terror has been an abortive and unsuccessful one. Laden has not yet been captured. Most of the terrorist organisations are still not eliminated.
 arrow Landscape in Lagos
There was a big house in the corner. It was very old. The streets were also very old. I would sit in the verandah. The people in the street were always quarrelling.
 arrow Development plan
The commentary on the above subject was relevant.
 arrow Running out of ideas
Our negative political culture reminds us of hen-pecked husbands. The parliamentary opposition in Dhaka, regardless of the name of the party, display one-track mind.
 arrow 'Black-gold' of Cox's Bazar
It is unfortunate that most of our people know nothing about and they have never seen the valuable minerals zircon, rutile, garnet, magnetite and monazite etc, etc, which I call 'black-gold' of Cox'sBazar.
 arrow Asian women
The changing attitude of Asian women has become the subject of research by the social scientists.
 arrow Itch of the rich
The value of the US dollar is going down, and the price of oil is going up. It has created more problems for the rich industrialised countries than the combined evil machinations of Osama and Saddam.
 arrow WTO : 0.4% trap
What is the use of having the WTO (World Trade Organisation, created by the rich) when the global trading share of the LDCs is only 0.4 per cent of 100% (reduced from 0.
 arrow How to eradicate poverty?
In her letter of December 14, Suraiya Zafar suggested enactment of law prohibiting more than two children in a family as part of the plan to eradicate poverty.
 arrow New pay scale
A Bengali daily came out on December 8 with the news that the Pay Commission has proposed a new scale of pay for government servants.
 arrow Cricket, again!
This is a disturbing issue to write about.
 arrow Where do we stand?
In this glorious month, December, 1971, an independent state named "Bangladesh" emerged on the world map as a result of the supreme sacrifices made by the freedom fighters.
Environmentarrow Human assault of oceans must stop
Some six months ago World Environment Day called for protecting our oceans. How much have we tried to protect it this year? Perhaps the stock taking will occur on the next World Environment Day.
Worldarrow Pakistan, India to start nuclear hotline
Pakistan and India agreed to push forward plans for a nuclear hotline after two days of talks but failed to reach a deal on advance warning of ballistic missile tests, officials said Wednesday.
 arrow 21 Neapli troops, 41 rebels killed
Nepal's army said it killed at least five Maoist guerrillas when it foiled an attack yesterday by hundreds of insurgents on a communications tower.
 arrow China can help regional security by helping poor neighbours: Aziz
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz urged booming China to help poorer neighbours, saying yesterday that a larger role by the nascent giant could boost development and improve regional security.
 arrow Myanmar junta putting Suu Kyi's health, safety at risk: Opposition
Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party accused the military regime yesterday of endangering party leader Aung San Suu Kyi's life by restricting her access to a doctor and non-junta
 arrow Lankan floods spread to fresh areas
More heavy rain lashed northern and eastern Sri Lanka yesterday after two days of floods that killed six people and made 750,000 homeless, officials said.
 arrow Marxists blamed for sabotaging peace
Foreign aid donors Wednesday pressed Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga to rein in her coalition allies and stop the country slipping back to war as Norway failed in its latest bid to restart peace
 arrow Natwar's nuke talk stirs controversy
Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Natwar Singh has stirred controversy with an interview in which he urged South and North Korea not to follow India's example by becoming a nuclear power.
 arrow Bush warns Syria, Iran not to meddle in Iraq
President Bush Wednesday warned Iran and Syria not to meddle in Iraq ahead of elections scheduled for January 30 and voiced new hopes of forging peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
 arrow British govt loses case over detention of terror suspects
A key but controversial plank of Britain's post-September 11 security policy was dealt a blow yesterday as the country's highest law court ruled that detaining terror suspects indefinitely without trial
 arrow Resignation of Blunkett leaves gaping hole in Blair govt
The resignation of David Blunkett as home secretary has left a gaping hole in the frontline of Prime Minister Tony Blair's government ahead of elections expected in a matter of months, newspapers warned
 arrow UN calls for action over climate change
The United Nations on Wednesday urged the international community to do more to fight global climate change as host Argentine President Nestor Kirchner indirectly took aim at foot-dragging by the United
 arrow US eases sanctions against Cuba, Iran
The United States has quietly eased sanctions against three of its old nemeses -- Cuba, Iran and Sudan -- to facilitate literary, cultural and scientific exchanges that could help foster dissent there.
 arrow US free press faces tough challenge
America's First Amendment turned 213 years old on Wednesday, but supporters of the bulwark of personal liberty and free press are hardly celebrating.
 arrow Blast kills 4 Afghan cops
Four Afghan policemen were killed and two injured yesterday when a remote-controlled bomb exploded in the southeastern province of Khost, an official said.
 arrow Pakistan refuses new passport to Zardari
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's party complained yesterday that her husband Asif Ali Zardari had been refused a passport, but officials said anyone freed from jail on bail was barredfrom
 arrow Norway embassy closes after anthrax scare in Colombo
Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway shut its embassy in Colombo yesterday after the diplomatic mission received a package containing a white powder suspected to be anthrax, police said.
 arrow US Nobel winner to marry woman 54-yr junior to him
A 82-year-old Nobel prizewinner plans to marry a Chinese woman who is 54 years his junior and whom he sees as "God's last gift", Taiwanese newspapers reported yesterday.
 arrow Israeli arms deals with China raise tensions with US
Israeli arms deals with China have provoked tensions between Israel and its top ally the United States, the head of Israel's parliamentary defence committee acknowledged yesterday.