Volume 5 Number 229 Thu. January 13, 2005    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Metamorphosis of taka
Criminals are now using special chemicals to erase the print on Tk 100 notes and then reprint them as Tk 500 notes. The security thread and water print are kept intact.
 arrow Govt to sell rice after Eid to check price
The government is going to launch an Open Market Sale (OMS) of rice immediately after the Eid-ul-Azha in a bid to check its soaring price.
 arrow 32 army men axed for timber theft
Thirty-two army men including a major have been fired and eight of them awarded with one-year rigorous imprisonment for smuggling timber in collaboration with 15 forest staff and 35 Ansars in the Kaptai

 arrow US happy, stops GSP withdrawal process
The US authorities have cancelled the process of withdrawing GSP (generalised system of preference) facilities for Bangladesh, as the condition for allowing trade union in the export processing zones(EPZs)
 arrow Biman F28 escapes crash but narrowly
A Biman Bangladesh Airlines domestic flight with 62 passengers on board yesterday narrowly escaped an accident due to a faulty landing gear by managing to make a safe emergency touch down at Zia International
 arrow 4 more Rab battalions soon
The government is planning expansion of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) by forming four more battalions in a short time.
 arrow Take urgent steps to cut charge, time
When one cent counts in global trade now with the phaseout of the multi-fibre agreement, the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) yesterday asked the Chittagong Port Authority to takeurgent
 arrow Govt action against Khatme Nabuwat demanded
Political leaders yesterday asked the government to take punitive action against the religious zealots who declared eminent lawyer Dr Kamal Hossain as murtad (deviated from Islam) at a public rally last
 arrow Gas field fire dying down
The fire at Tengratila gas field is slowly dying down with the flames leaping less than five feet at three points yesterday, compared to around 10 feet on the previous day.
 arrow Dhaka pressing Islamabad for fresh dates
Dhaka has asked Islamabad to speed up its discussions with New Delhi to agree on new dates for the postponed 13th Saarc summit here, as schedules of the leaders for the other four Saarc member stateshave
 arrow GP donates Tk 1cr as tsunami aid
GrameenPhone Ltd. yesterday donated Tk 1.08 crore (approximately $180,000) to Unicef to help tsunami affected children in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
 arrow Stocks bounce back after slide
Stocks rallied spectacularly yesterday, a day after a huge slide, as the market regulators assured the investors of reverting to the margin facilities if share prices continue to fall.
 arrow Rajuk evicts Amtoli slum
Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakkha (Rajuk) yesterday evicted Amtoli slum in Banani turning a few thousands of people homeless.
 arrow Two criminals killed in 'crossfire'
Two criminals were killed in 'crossfire' between their accomplices and separate teams of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar in the last two days.
 arrow 10 hurt in bomb blast at drama festival
At least 10 people were injured, two of them critically, in bomb explosions at a drama festival at Chakpara village in Sadar upazila in the early hours yesterday.
 arrow Manmohan thanks Khaleda
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has thanked Prime Minister Khaleda Zia for her message of condolence on the devastation wrought by the tsunami in India's southern coast and island territories.
 arrow English schools' registration time extended up to end-January
The Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Dhaka has extended the time for the private English medium schools to register with it up to the end of this month.
 arrow Raj Punnah festival starts today in Bandarban
Raj Punnah, a traditional festival of the Bomang tribe, begins today in Bandarban amid much fanfare and jubilation.
 arrow 22 BDR men hurt in road crash
At least 22 members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) were injured in a road accident on the Panchagarh-Dhaka highway near Birganj of Dinajpur district yesterday morning.
 arrow SC orders for continuation of the stay
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday ordered for continuation of the stay order of the Court of District and Sessions Judge, Dhaka until disposal of the appeal against an assistant judge court's orders on
 arrow Student strike observed
Six opposition-backed student organisations yesterday observed a countrywide strike at educational institutions to press home their three-point demand including arrest and punishment of the killers of
 arrow Take care with mobile phones: Health report
No hard evidence exists to show mobile phones damage health but users -- especially children -- should take care, UK scientists said in a survey Tuesday.
 arrow Nasa to launch comet-busting spacecraft
For the first time ever, NASA is setting off on a collision course with a comet, in hopes of blasting a huge hole in the celestial snowball and gazing upon the original ingredients of the solar system
 arrow Reshuffle in police
In a major reshuffle of the police hierarchy yesterday, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) SM Mizanur Rahman was made Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner(current charge).
 arrow CPB won't form alliance with AL
The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday decided not to go for one political platform or one political alliance with the main opposition Awami League (AL) as the two parties are 'not like-minded'.
 arrow Saudia Hajj flight leaves 29hrs behind schedule
The Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA) flight stranded at Zia International Airport left Dhaka for Jeddah yesterday, about 29 hours behind schedule.
Businessarrow Greenback hits record high
The exchange rate of greenback in the inter-bank foreign exchange market reached a record high yesterday with banks buying US dollars at Tk 63.20, pushing import cost up.
 arrow Indian budget 2005-06 likely to slash duty
The Indian budget for 2005-06 to be presented next month is likely to draw a roadmap for cut in peak customs duty to reach the levels prevailing in Asean countries.
 arrow No real threat in post-MFA era
Garment sector leaders yesterday sounded optimistic about good business this year despite the apprehension of international agencies about a big crisis in the post-MFA era.
 arrow Meghna Group signs Tk 210cr syndicated loan agreement
Meghna Group of Industries yesterday signed a syndicated loan agreement with 10 financial institutions to set up a sugar refinery plant with an annual production capacity of 3 lakh tonnes.
 arrow 4-day Wise fair begins
A four-day trade fair organised by Women in Small Enterprise (Wise) began at Gushan in Dhaka yesterday to create export markets for various products made by women entrepreneurs.
 arrow Oil prices higher in Asian trade on Opec cut concerns
Oil prices were higher in Asian trade Wednesday amid nervousness that Opec might cut output further and forecasts of colder weekend weather in the United States, dealers said.
 arrow Country lacks skilled professionals
The country lacks skilled professionals, although the unemployment is very high in Bangladesh, said speakers at a luncheon meeting of Australia-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ABCCI) in Dhaka
 arrow Axe falls on 18 money changers
Bangladesh Bank yesterday cancelled licenses of 18 money changing firms for flouting foreign exchange regulations.
 arrow Development fund for tourism to be set up
A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Tourism Affairs yesterday decided to set up a development fund for the expansion and flourishment of tourism industry in the country.
 arrow EU mulls trade breaks to help tsunami states
The European Union wants to help the worst-hit tsunami states by lowering tariff barriers for their exports to Europe, its trade chief said yesterday.
 arrow New chairman of TCB
Additional Secretary of the government Dr Selina Ahsan joined as the first woman chairman the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) on Monday.
 arrow Cairns strikes gas in Rajasthan
British energy major Cairns said it has struck gas in the northern Indian desert state of Rajasthan.
 arrow EU trade chief to seek special ties with India
Europe's top trade official will seek to forge a strategic partnership with India, boost world trade talks and combat counterfeit goods when he visits New Delhi this week, the European Union said on Tuesday.
 arrow New area manager of Holcim arrives today
Gerard Letellier, the new area manager of Holcim Ltd, arrives in Dhaka today.
 arrow India to drop anti-foreign investment provision
The Indian government will abolish a "restrictive" clause impeding foreign firms from forging joint ventures with local partners, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday.
 arrow Lanka hopes for 2-yr debt freeze at Paris
Sri Lanka hopes to secure at least a two-year moratorium on debt repayment when the Paris Club of creditors meet on Wednesday to consider relief for tsunami stricken nations, a senior finance ministry
Sportsarrow Cricket: Pressure of favourites
Fresh from the historic Test win in Chittagong Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore feels different kind of pressure ahead of the second and final Test against Zimbabweans starting at the Bangabandhu National
 arrow Cricket: Veni vidi vici for DOHS
Old DOHS came, saw and yesterday with a piece of inspiration from captain Akram Khan, won the Green Delta Premier Division cricket league in their debut season.
 arrow Cricket: Pakistan win warm-up
Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq belted 89 runs from 61 balls to lift his team to a morale-boosting 13-run win over Australia A in their limited-overs match at the Adelaide Oval here Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: SA may field Langeveldt
South Africa are considering playing fast bowler Charl Langeveldt for the fourth Test against England despite his fractured hand, Graeme Smith said on Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: WI pacer believes Aussies beatable
West Indies fast bowler Reon King says world champions Australia will be intimidating, yet beatable, in the triangular one-day series which starts in Melbourne on Friday.
 arrow Cricket: 'Australia won't write off Windies, Pakistaní
Rising Australian batting star Michael Clarke Wednesday played down suggestions his team would breeze through the upcoming tri-nations one-day international series here.
 arrow Cricket: 'Warne returning to ODIsí
Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has given the best hint yet that champion leg-spinner Shane Warne may be preparing to return to one-day international cricket.
 arrow Hockey: PHL dream begins
India is launching a new, hyped-up field hockey competition from Thursday in a bid to revive what was once the country's national sport till cricket became an all-consuming passion.
 arrow Tennis: Hewitt on course
Lleyton Hewitt's domination of the Sydney International tennis tournament continued apace with his 17th consecutive victory here on Wednesday.
 arrow Tennis: Agassi, Federer advance
Super-fit Andre Agassi laid the groundwork for an Australian Open assault on Fortress Federer with an opening win at the Kooyong Classic Wednesday as his Swiss rival stuttered in his match.
 arrow Cricket: 'I'll play in Australia againí
A year ago Muttiah Muralitharan threatened never to tour Australia again.
 arrow Golf: Jr gymnastics gets underway
The 17th National Junior Gymnastics Championships began at the National Sports Council yesterday.
 arrow Chess: Liza on top
Shamima Akhter Liza maintained her solo lead in the 25th National Sub-Junior Chess Championship at the end of seventh round at the federation hall room yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Kenyans pleased with ICC probe
Top Kenyan cricketers being quizzed about match-fixing allegations by investigators from the International Cricket Council (ICC) are pleased with the probe's progress, their lawyer said Tuesday.
 arrow Cricket: All Black Wilson surprisingly recalled
The stellar career of double All Black Jeff Wilson was stunningly revived Wednesday when he was recalled to the New Zealand cricket team for the series against a World XI later this month.
 arrow Tennis: Coria survives a scare
Top seed Guillermo Coria survived a day of carnage for seeded players at the New Zealand Open Wednesday when it took a tie-break in the final set to quell Frenchman Cyril Saulnier in their second round
 arrow Football: Gerrard saves the blushes
Steven Gerrard's second-half goal gave Liverpool a 1-0 win over second division Watford in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at Anfield on Tuesday.
 arrow Football: Morientes heads to L'pool
Real Madrid said Wednesday that Spanish international forward Fernando Morientes has agreed terms on a three-and-a-half year contract with English Premiership giants Liverpool.
 arrow Football: Becks passes Spanish test!
England captain David Beckham was given a spontaneous round of applause by journalists on Tuesday when he made his first attempt at speaking Spanish in public at a Real Madrid news conference.
 arrow Football: Mission Italaia 2012 starts
Italy kicked off its bid to host the 2012 European Championship on Wednesday, with officials warning the country will have to combat racism and violence to be in with a chance.
 arrow Football: Fergie doesn't think so
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has written off Chelsea's chances of winning four trophies this season but Jose Mourinho's right-hand man Steve Clarke believes the best is yet to come from
Metropolitanarrow 9 forest officials transferred
The Ministry of Environment of Forest has transferred nine senior officials of the Forest Department on Tuesday, says an official notification yesterday.
 arrow Admission tests of DU Ga unit tomorrow
Admission tests of Ga unit (commerce group) for the first year honours courses under the 2004-05 session of Dhaka University (DU) will be held tomorrow at 10.00am.
Nationalarrow Awareness programme to save Lawachhara National Park
A praiseworthy effort was made to create mass awareness for saving Lawachhara National Park in Srimangol, Moulvibazar.
 arrow Ruta election on January 16
Election to the executive committee of Rajshahi University Teachers' Association (Ruta) will be held on January 16.
 arrow 96 RU employees face dismissal threat
The Rajshahi University (RU) authorities on Monday gave a dismissal threat to 96 third and fourth class employees recruited during the Awami League (AL) regime.
 arrow JUCSU election demanded
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists on Monday organised a rally on the Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus demanding immediate holding of JUCSU (Jahangirnagar University Central Students' Union)
 arrow 4 agitating garment workers held
Police on Monday arrested four garment workers for staging demonstration inside the factory in Kapasgola of Panchlaish Police Station.
Point-Counterpointarrow Saga of a politicised civil service
The very essence of democracy is that the civil servants will work under the guidance of an elected government and implement its policies.
Culturearrow A journey back in time
Tanvir Mokammel, an acclaimed film director with many awards to his credit, and whose film retrospective will run at Alliance Francaise from January 14th, speaks about how he got into films.
 arrow Musings
In the countdown to Eid, our cultural correspondent spoke to talented pop singer Baby Nazneen.
 arrow Drama Putra-Shukh on ATN Bangla
ATN Bangla will telecast a special drama Putra-Shukh. Based on a story by Brindaban Das, the adaptation and direction is steered by Sayeed Kajol.
 arrow Actor Amrish Puri passes away
Amrish Puri, the "Mogambo" of Indian cinema, passed away in Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai yesterday morning following a brain hemorrhage. He was 72. He is survived by wife, a son and a daughter.
 arrow Bangladeshi children in Japanese art festival
A special exhibition of artworks by 10 children selected for the Mitsubishi Impression Gallery Festival of Asian Children's Art 2004-2005 is being held at the gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Generalarrow Employees vow to resist move to restructure BTTB
Bangladesh Telegragh and Telephone Board Protection Committee, a platform for BTTB employees, yesterday vowed to resist any move to restructure the state-owned telecoms operator and the handover of its
 arrow 'Criminalisation of politics main obstacle to dev'
The growing criminalisation of politics is the main obstacle to the development of the country, speakers said at a roundtable yesterday.
 arrow Regional resolution of disputes over Ganges stressed
Water experts and senior journalists yesterday reiterated the need for regional resolution of the disputes over the Ganges and other common rivers allowing the nature to decide the courses of the streams
 arrow Domestic help dies after forced abortion
A teenage domestic help died of excessive bleeding in the city yesterday during an alleged forced abortion.
 arrow 34th founding anniversary of JU celebrated
The 34th founding anniversary of Jahangirnagar University (JU) was celebrated yesterday amid much enthusiasm and great festivity.
 arrow Khulna jute mills workers observe hartal
The day-long hartal called by Khulna regional unit Patkal Sangram Parishad passed off peacefully from Rupsha to Noapara yesterday.
 arrow PBCP cadre Joy shown arrested
Mashiqul Islam alias Joy, an armed cadre of outlawed PBCP (M-L), was shown arrested on Tuesday in the Khulna grenade attack case.
 arrow Govt takes tough steps to deal with criminals
In the wake of rising incidents of robbery and carjacking in the capital, the government has taken tough measures to deal with such criminal acts.
 arrow Body to probe timber smuggling
The Ministry of Environment and Forest has formed a three-member committee to investigate the incidents of smuggling of timber.
 arrow 94 kg marijuana seized in city
A team of the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) seized about 94 kg of marijuana at Sutrapur in the city yesterday.
 arrow US embassy IRC closed Jan 16-23
The American Centre of the US Embassy in Dhaka has announced closure of its Information Resource Centre (IRC) from January 16 to January 23.
 arrow 1,275 more held
Police arrested 1,275 people, including three listed criminals, on various charges during their countrywide drive in the last 24 hours till 6.00am yesterday.
 arrow Appeal for help
The father of a six-year-old boy who has been suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer of white blood cells, seeks financial assistance for the treatment of his son, says a press release.
Internationalarrow Indonesia wants foreign troops out soon
Indonesia yesterday told foreign troops helping tsunami victims to get out of the country soon and defended tough new restrictions on aid workers, while rich nations prepared to freeze Jakarta's debtrepayments.
 arrow Violence greets start of Abbas era
Four Palestinian militants and an Israeli settler were killed in a rash of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, puncturing the optimism that has greeted the election of a new Palestinian leader.
 arrow Allawi admits some areas unsafe to vote
Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi publicly acknowledged for the first time that parts of Iraq probably won't be safe enough for people to vote in the January 30 elections, and he announced plans to boost
 arrow Kanchi seer out of jail
Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati was released from the jail exactly two months after he was arrested in connection with a murder case.
 arrow Bush to push for immigration reform: Report
US President George W Bush said he would spend political capital to force a debate in Congress on his immigration reform proposal and added that it will be a big agenda item in his second term.
 arrow 6 dead, more missing after California landslide
Rescuers who pulled six bodies from the mud and debris of a huge southern California landslide said on Tuesday that 13 people might still be trapped under the rubble.
 arrow Sharon calls Abbas to congratulate
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday to congratulate him for his landslide victory in an election to replace Yasser Arafat, signaling Israel's readiness to work with the new Palestinian
 arrow 3 Russian human rights advocates win Olof Palme Prize
Three Russian human rights advocates have been awarded the 2004 Olof Palme Prize, the jury of the Olof Palme Memorial Fund announced on Wednesday.
 arrow Search for WMD in Iraq has ended: Report
The search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ended last month, nearly two years after President Bush sent troops to disarm Saddam Hussein, The Washington Post reported yesterday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: ACC still a non-starter
While the anti-corruption commission (ACC) was long in coming, it nonetheless raised our hopes and expectations of good governance and public accountability.
 arrow Editorial: Mongla Port underperforming
Mongla Port has long been known to be functioning well below its potential. This appears to have been confirmed by the recent findings of the parliamentary standing committee on shipping ministry.
 arrow Can Abbas move the ME peace process forward?
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has been elected with a comfortable majority as the successor of the icon of Palestinians' struggle for independence, Yasser Arafat, and people of goodwill around the world will
 arrow Instituting good governance
Good governance can hardly dispense with the co-operation and support of Civil Society which is a non-government organisation capable of contributing to the socio-economic and political development of
Letters to Editorarrow New faculties at SAU
Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University (SAU) is a higher agricultural education institution located in the heart of the capital of agro-based Bangladesh, where students from almost all parts of the country
 arrow 'Crossfire'
Crossfire' has become a familiar word in more than 7 months, since the formation of Rab with the aim of curbing terrorism. Much has been written about it in different dailies.
 arrow Knitting factory fire
The Global Union Federation representing workers in the garment industry has demanded immediate government action in the aftermath of a factory fire that has left at least twenty-three workers dead and
 arrow A leader without credibility
Once Britain had a vast empire but had no respect. Later Britain had no empire but had respect. At present Britain has no empire and no respect either.
 arrow Rab and crossfire
Rab, the elite force, has been performing tremendously well to contain terrorism. It is really a revolutionary attempt on the part of the present government.