Vol. 5 Num 224 Sat. January 08, 2005    
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Front Pagearrow Knitting factory fire kills 22 workers in N'ganj
At least 22 people were burnt alive and more than 50 others injured in a devastating fire at a knitting plant in Siddhirganj Thursday night, hours before another blaze killed a man and charred 90 shanties
 arrow Return from Riyadh with shattered hopes
The young man clad in shabby trousers, a threadbare shirt and plastic sandals stands out like a sore thumb in the plush surroundings of the arrival lounge at Zia International Airport (ZIA).
 arrow Bangladesh in charge
Bangladesh's quest for a maiden Test victory took a step closer to reality when the home side threw a big challenge to Zimbabwe in the first Test at the MA Aziz Stadium here yesterday.
 arrow Tengratila gas field blaze tamed in two hours
A fire broke out at Tengratila gas field in Doarabazar upazila of Sunamganj district last night triggering panic that drove people of the villages around out of their houses for safer places.
 arrow Fire devours two children, son-in-law of starving Nurunnesa
Starving, middle-aged Nurunnesa on Thursday night was awaiting some food her children would bring her, but fate had a different design in store for her.
 arrow Businesses smell a rat as govt jumps at court order
The business community smells a rat in the government decision to promptly appoint an administrator that replaces the elected office bearers of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association
 arrow Hartal today, half-day in Chittagong
Police clubbed an opposition procession in the capital yesterday on the eve a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal today called by the main opposition Awami League's (AL) front organisations protesting downslide
 arrow 80pc city buildings faulty due to Rajuk corruption
More than 80 percent structures of Dhaka city were not constructed with proper plan and design due to massive corruption at Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), speakers said at a roundtable conference
 arrow Donors stick to preconditions for fresh funding
Donors may decide to pump approximately $600 million into the Health, Nutrition and Population Sector Programme (HNPSP), if the government agrees to their conditions that include immediate resolutionof
 arrow Plight of survivors in camps as death toll tops 1,65,000
US Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday visited areas of Sri Lanka devastated by the December 26 tsunamis, saying afterwards he was impressed with how survivors were helping each other recover from
 arrow Teenage boy clings to tree for 10 days
A teenage boy clung to a tree for 10 days in India's remote Andaman islands chain without water or food after the tsunami before being plucked by a helicopter rescue crew, one of 17 survivors found Thursday.
 arrow Minister sees no scope now to revise proposals
Shipping Minister Akbar Hossain has said he would not comply with the directives of the cabinet division on economic affairs to revise his ministry's proposals on privatising five land ports.
 arrow Garment fire kills 231 in 15 years
At least 231 garment workers died and more than 1,100 were injured in fire-related incidents including Thursday night's fire at Narayanganj since 1990, according to the news items published in the dailies.
 arrow Benapole strike called off
Five organisations of Benapole port users called off an indefinite strike after the authorities concerned accepted their demands at a meeting at Jessore Circuit House yesterday.
 arrow Tremor jolts Chittagong again
A moderate earthquake jolted the port city and its adjoining areas yesterday morning, officials said.
The tremor, measuring 5.13 on the Richter scale, hit at 9:54am and lasted for 36 seconds.

 arrow Zealots threaten anti-Ahmadiyya steps again
Islamist extremists at a rally yesterday reiterated their pledge to go for a tougher movement if the government does not declare the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim immediately.
 arrow Mild cold wave may sweep Sylhet, Rajshahi, Khulna divisions
The weather office in Dhaka yesterday forecast mild cold wave for three days from today in the regions of Sylhet, Rajshahi and Khulna divisions.
 arrow No clue yet to blast at Sylhet ex-MP's house
Police could not yet find any clue to the December 24 bomb blast at the Sylhet residence of former Awami League lawmaker Syeda Zebunnesa Haque.
 arrow Security beefed up in Khulna to foil any outlaw attack
Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) have beefed up security measures in the city following bomb attack on Dainik Jugantar's Khulna Bureau Chief Dip Azad and recovery of two powerful bombs from the spot.
 arrow Rab nabs 'listed' criminal in Bagerhat
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested listed criminal and illegal arms dealer Akbar Hossain alias Aku in Rampal upazila of Bagerhat district yesterday morning.
 arrow 55 followers of Atroshi pir injured in road accident
At least 55 followers of Atroshi pir (religious leader) were injured in a road accident on the Natore-Bogra Highway at Baksorghat yesterday today.
Businessarrow Local cement cos ready to make foray into India
Local cement companies are ready to make foray into cement-hungry eastern Indian states with some leading producers already getting Indian standard clearance.
 arrow CityIT computer fair ends on a high note
Attracting a considerable crowd for the nine days, the first computer show of the year in Dhaka ended yesterday.
 arrow HSBC loan fair begins in Ctg
A four-day loan fair began yesterday at the MA Aziz Stadium gymnasium here with a call to improve loan disbursement system and help small entrepreneurs.
 arrow India strikes 25-year deal to buy Iranian gas
India has reached an agreement with Iran to buy 7.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year over 25 years, the government announced Friday.
 arrow Philippines cuts 2005 export target after MFA expiry
The Philippines sees lower export growth in 2005 with the ending of the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) and softer demand in developed economies, Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri said Friday.
 arrow Little impact of tsunami on India growth: RBI chief
The recent tsunami disaster that killed nearly 10,000 people in India will not have much impact on the country's economic growth and price level but may affect exports to the tune of 200 million dollars,
 arrow Curtailed trading schedule for today on CSE
Trading on the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) will start at 12 noon today and continue until 3pm.
 arrow JP Morgan to buy Vastera for $129m
JP Morgan Chase & Co. on Friday said it would buy trade-management software provider Vastera Inc. for $129 million to bolster the bank's logistics and trade-services business.
 arrow Licensing system for auto imports not against WTO rules: Malaysia
Malaysia's licensing system for auto imports does not contravene World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz said Friday amid rising pressure to abolish the controversial policy.
 arrow US, China relax visa rules for business, tourism
The United States and China have agreed to a reciprocal visa arrangement with both sides offering 12-month multiple-entry business and tourist visas, the US embassy in China said Friday.
 arrow US panel rules against shrimp imports from Asia, South America
The quasi-judicial US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled after a one-year probe Thursday that Thailand, India, China, Vietnam, Brazil and Ecuador were dumping shrimp at unfair prices.
 arrow Oil steady after jump higher
Oil prices held strong Friday after a $2, five percent surge higher as OPEC ministers weighed the timing of a possible further output cut for the spring.
 arrow Hyundai completes world's first ‘on-ground' built vessel
South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Co. said Friday it was set to deliver the world's first vessel constructed on land instead of in a dry dock in what it claimed was a technical breakthrough.
 arrow Jet Airways to raise $342m in IPO
India's largest private airline, Jet Airways, announced plans Friday to offload 20 percent of its share capital Friday in an initial public offering expected to raise some 342 million dollars.
 arrow China vows no repeat of $4b wage default to migrants
Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan Friday threatened to prosecute construction companies which failed to pay migrant workers and vowed to step up efforts to retrieve unpaid wages, state press reported Friday.
 arrow Weekly Currency Roundup
Jan 1-Jan 6, 2005
Local FX Market
US dollar became stronger against Bangladeshi taka throughout the week. Increased demand for import continued to push the dollar higher.

Sportsarrow Cricket: Rafique's vow, Nkala's growl
It is hard to recall when Bangla-desh last dominated two successive days of a Test match but now they find themselves on top against Zimbabwe with three days to go.
 arrow Cricket: The race nobody won
Two brand new cars -- a pearl-grey sedan and a pearl-white SUV (sports utility vehicle) -- were waiting inside the MA Aziz Stadium for new owners to pick up the keys and drive them home.
 arrow Cricket: Murali fit for charity game
Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has passed himself fit to participate in the fundraising match for tsunami victims between an ICC World XI and an Asian XI in Melbourne.
 arrow Cricket: Boucher back for South Africa
Mark Boucher has made a shock return to the South Africa squad for the fourth Test against England in Johannesburg.
 arrow Cricket: Kapali off to Australia
Bangladesh batsman Alok Kapali was scheduled to leave Dhaka last night to play for the Asia XI in the charity cricket match against the ICC World XI in Melbourne on January 10.
 arrow Hockey: Mohammedan finish third
Mohammedan Sporting Club finished third in the Green Delta Premier Hockey League after outplaying Mariner Youngs Club 4-1 at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Tsunami match official ODI
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal matches will have official one-day international status.
 arrow Tennis: BKSP Jr tennis
Bangladeshi pair Amol Roy and Ranjan Ram clinched the boy's doubles title in the Third BKSP International Junior Tennis Championship yesterday.
 arrow Handball: Rajshahi champs
Rajshahi emerged zonal champion in the Pepsi 17th National Handball Championship (men's) beating Chapainawabganj 27-21 in the final at the Rangpur Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: 'Good to be boring'
South Africa batsman Jacques Kallis said he did not mind being called 'boring' after his side thrashed England by 196 runs in the third Test on Thursday.
 arrow Football: Milan gain from Juve slip
Juventus saw their lead at the top of Serie A cut to two points Thursday after they were held 1-1 at Parma and closest rivals AC Milan thrashed Lecce 5-2 as the Italian league resumed after its winter
 arrow Football: Di Canio gets one over Totti
Veteran striker Paolo Di Canio had the last laugh on Francesco Totti, guiding Lazio to a 3-1 win over Roma in an eventful Rome derby at the Olympic stadium on Thursday.
 arrow Football: Derby time for Madrid
Real Madrid's trips across the Spanish capital to local rivals Atletico come second only to meeting Barcelona in their list of difficult away fixtures and Sunday's derby promises to live up to its billing.
 arrow Volleyball: Fourth place for Titas
Titas Club finished fourth in the invitation international volleyball competition in Nepal when they lost the place-deciding match against Nepalese Mahendra Police Club 25-27, 20-25, 25-27 yesterday in
 arrow Cricket: Razzaq takes Shoaib's place
All-rounder Abdul Razzaq has replaced Pakistan teammate Shoaib Akthar in the Asian XI for Monday's charity game against a Rest of the World XI, the International Cricket Council (ICC) says.
 arrow Cricket: Building for Ashes
England can look forward to this year's Ashes series with confidence despite suffering their first Test defeat for over a year this week, England fast bowler Darren Gough has said.
 arrow Tennis: Slovak Rep in Hopman Cup final
The Slovak Republic reached the final of the Hopman Cup mixed teams tennis tournament against Argentina here Friday, denying the United States any chance of a third straight win in the event.
 arrow Football: Rafa thinking alternatives
Liverpool manager Rafael Beintez is ready to make a move for Manchester City's Nicolas Anelka after Real Madrid refused to listen to his four million pound bid for Fernando Morientes.
Nationalarrow All 5 Jhenidah LSDs closed as 20 MT foodgrains missing
All the five government LSDs (local supply depots) in Jhenidah were closed Wednesday night as per a directive from higher authorities following alleged misappropriation of food grains.
 arrow Lax probe lingers trial of 19 sensational murder cases in Chuadanga
Kushtia: Nineteen sensational murder cases in Chuadanga are awaiting disposal by courts.
 arrow Fake note trade!
A group of unscrupulous people including BNP activists are running a business on fake currency notes in different villages in Sherpur, Dupchancha and Kahaloo upazilas in the district.
 arrow Breakthrough in commercial orchid cultivation
A government horticulture centre in Mymensingh has become successful in commercial production of orchid saplings, which has opened the scope for profitable business for many in the country and also good
 arrow Army officer's body exhumed for fresh autopsy
The body of army officer Abu Bakar was exhumed on Thursday, 45 days after burial at the victim's family graveyard at Sreebari village in Gheor upazila. Autopsy of the body will be done again, sourcessaid.
 arrow Indefinite court boycott by Kurigram lawyers
Lawyers in Kurigram on Wednes-day began an indefinite court boycott protesting alleged misbehaviour of a judge with a Lawyers Association leader.
 arrow One lynched, body recovered from brick kiln in Meherpur
Three persons were killed in separate incidents in Meherpur and Kushtia on Thursday and the day before.
 arrow 100 hurt in B'baria clashes over land disputes
At least 100 people were injured and five houses damaged in clashes between rival groups in land disputes at Birampur village in Brahmanbaria Sadar and at Tanchhara in Nabinagar upazila.
 arrow Pirates loot 5 trawlers on Meghna estuary
Armed pirates hijacked five fishing trawlers with fishes and goods worth about Tk 20 lakh from the Meghna estuary near Ramnewaz police camp in Manpura upazila in Bhola on Monday.
 arrow Police take case 2 years after rape, murder
Jessore Kotwali police recorded a rape and murder case on Monday, about two and a half years after the incident.
The ease was recorded after a court order.

Point-Counterpointarrow Tsunami devastation
It is a small consolation that, in the wake of an epic natural disaster, people and governments can rise to the occasion and demonstrate deep compassion for the plight of their fellow human beings.
 arrow Positive political development in war-torn Sri Lanka and Indonesia?
The very velocity high undersea earthquake and devastating tsunami that followed in south-east and south Asia and reaching also east coast of Africa have brought about criticism and blessing in disguise
 arrow Why this massive hypocrisy?
As the world mourns over 150,000 Tsunami deaths in Asia, one has to wonder why the world is so silent about the killing of no less than 100,000 Iraqi civilians in the aftermath of the US-led invasionof
Culturearrow Ivy's outgoing outlook
Ivy Zaman has not just cashed in her excellent results from Shantiniketan.
 arrow In memory of Najma Anwar
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

 arrow Pitha Festival 2005
Who does not have any childhood memory of winter mornings, wrapped in shwal and eating pithas sitting beside grandmother who makes those delicious cakes! Especially for Bangalees winter is indeed
 arrow DiCaprio, Scorsese get top French awards
France honoured Hollywood director Martin Scorsese of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull fame with its top distinction, the Legion of Honour, while superstar Leonardo DiCaprio received a leading
Generalarrow Evict encroachers of Banani-Gulshan lake
Speakers at a rally yesterday urged the authorities concerned to evict the encroachers of Banani-Gulshan lake.
They also called for urgent steps to stop earth filling and water pollution of the lake.

 arrow Quality leadership a must for development
Quality leadership is imperative for development which could ensure national security, said political scientists at a seminar yesterday.
 arrow 11,000 posts for doctors to be created
The government is going to create 11,000 new posts for physicians to reach healthcare facilities to the doorsteps of the grassroots people.
 arrow 23 to vie for each seat in CU admission test
Twenty-three students will vie for each seat at the Chittagong University (CU) as the admission test for first year honours courses under 2004-2005 session begin on February 5.
 arrow Alliance govt strengthens fascist culture: BSD
The four-party alliance government has strengthened the fascist culture by introducing elite forces in the name of combating crimes, said Abdullah Sarkar, a leader of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD),
 arrow Quick changes, reforms can help resolve problems: Joy
Bangladesh needs quick changes and reforms to resolve the varied problems, including corruption, and steer the nation to the path of development and modernisation, said Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of Leader
 arrow AMJB provides relief materials to Tsunami victims of India
Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaat, Bangladesh (AMJB) has provided medicines, foodstuffs and household articles to Tsunami victims of Chennai in India, says a press release.
 arrow Transport strike in Mymensingh tomorrow
Transport owners and workers yesterday called a 24-hour strike in greater Mymensingh for tomorrow, demanding that Dhaka-Mymensingh highway be repaired soon and their agreement with the government on movement
 arrow Garment worker found dead
Police recovered the body of a garment worker from a water body at Mohammadpur in the city yesterday.
The dead was identified as Mohammad Ripon, 23, a resident of Shekhertek.

 arrow JU Day on Jan 12
The Jahangirnagar University (JU) Day will be celebrated on January 12.
Vice-chancellor Prof Khandaker Mustahidur Rahman will inaugurate a daylong programme on the occasion.

 arrow JS session from Jan 31
President Iajuddin Ahmed has summoned the 15th session of the eighth Jatiya Sangsad at 4:15pm on January 31, said an official release on Thursday.
Internationalarrow Annan wonders where are the people?
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan toured Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province yesterday, flying by helicopter to the razed town of Meulaboh, beyond which is a black hole of devastation.
 arrow Orphans launch drive to help tsunami victims
Children orphaned in tragedies from diverse corners of the globe came together yesterday to launch a fund-raising campaign for Asian tsunami orphans, saying they understood the trauma of suddenly losing
 arrow Palestinian election campaign winds up
The main challenger to Palestinian presidential hopeful Mahmud Abbas was arrested by Israel yesterday as candidates in the race to succeed the late Yasser Arafat wrapped up their election campaigns.
 arrow Untouchables forced out of Indian camps by higher caste
India's untouchables, reeling from the tsunami disaster, are being forced out of relief camps by higher caste survivors and being denied aid supplies, activists charged yesterday.
 arrow Indo-Pak water-sharing talks run aground
Pakistan yesterday said that talks with India on resolving a river water-sharing row in disputed Kashmir had failed and that it may now approach the World Bank for mediation.
 arrow Top officials failed to prepare for 9/11
A still classified internal CIA investigation has determined that its former chief George Tenet and his deputy James Pavitt failed to heed to the threat posed by terrorism before the September 11, 2001,
 arrow US general to review Iraq policy: NY Times
A retired four-star US general will travel to Iraq next week at the behest of the Pentagon to review the US military's policy there, The New York Times reported yesterday.
 arrow US soldier at center of prison abuse goes on trial
US Army Spc. Charles Graner, the accused ringleader of the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal that outraged the world, goes on trial yesterday ready to offer a defence that he was just following orders.
 arrow Congress certifies Bush's win amid protest
The US Congress on Thursday formally certified President Bush as the victor of the November elections after two Democrats symbolically stalled the event in protest at alleged voting irregularities inOhio.
 arrow Kerry visits troops in Mosul
Former US presidential hopeful John Kerry visited US troops stationed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, scene of a major suicide attack against on a US base in December, the US military said yesterday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Yet another arms seizure
We have been always prompt in praising our civil armed forces, the BDR, or the army whenever they hogged news headlines by hauling arms and ammunition from criminal dens, other clandestine places, orsimply
 arrow Editorial: Community clinic management
The health ministry's decision to run 12,000 community clinics at the union level through NGOs and local community groups is indeed a solid step towards giving the people and organisations working for
 arrow ME peace process: The way ahead
The Middle East conflict continues to be one of the major problems in international relations. It is likely to remain so for years to come, in an area of conflict and violence.
 arrow Functioning of democracy
In a democracy, the government usually performs core functions and leaves other matters to the community with direction and regulatory rules, emphasising national needs and policies.
Letters to Editorarrow Grab the USD 10 billion export market
The Malaysian trade delegation which visited Dhaka recently indicated that the global halal meat export market was worth around US Dollars 100 billion, and Bangladesh could grab 10 percent of the market.
 arrow Pedestrians' woes
The number of pedestrians killed or wounded in road accidents while crossing roads and streets in Dhaka is increasing at an alarming rate day by day.
 arrow Post-harvest technology and SAU
With economic development, people's dietary preference is changing. During the last few years, the demand for fruits and vegetables has increased tremendously.
Literaturearrow The Owl
This is May 1963, in the port city of Chittagong, in the then East Pakistan. It is the morning after the cyclone.
 arrow Lit activities in the year that was
If you are an Indian writer in English, the chances are you were relieved to have seen the last of 2004.
 arrow Relatively Confused
My cousin's wedding day
I dress with care and dread
No matter how I look
I'll return with my ego in shreds.
Aunty A will be sure to say
"You look kind of fat today.