Vol. 5 Num 257 Tue. February 15, 2005    
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Front Pagearrow Valentine's Day party at DU foiled by blasts
At least 16 people including 12 Dhaka University (DU) students were injured as four bombs exploded in a large Valentine's Day crowd in front of the DU Teachers-Students Centre (TSC) last night, creating
 arrow Street show-off ends without confrontation
The Awami League-led opposition and ruling BNP activists came out on the city streets yesterday in an apparent show of strength but avoided any confrontation as a 36-hour opposition-called countrywide
 arrow Dhaka softens on graft, transparency in TIFA
Bangladesh and United States trade officials are close to finalising a draft for a trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA), as Dhaka softened its positions on key debated issues in the first day
 arrow Donors meet in Washington to talk sliding governance
Donors, worried over the worsening political and governance situation, will meet in Washington on February 23-24 to hammer out what could be done to improve the situation.
 arrow Ex-PM of Lebanon killed in car bomb
A huge car bomb killed Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri and at least 12 other people yesterday in Beirut's most devastating attack since the 1975-90 civil war.
 arrow 3 AL leaders picked up for quizzing
Police yesterday picked up three Awami League leaders, including central leader and ex-municipal chairman Shaheed Uddin Chowdhury, for interrogation for the Habiganj grenade blasts.
 arrow BB starts probe into Premier Bank scam
Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday launched an investigation into the Premier Bank public floating scam after being informed officially by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
 arrow GMG to fly to Kolkata daily
Private carrier GMG Airlines that made its international debut last year plans an overseas expansion this year taking advantage of open sky policies in neighbouring countries.
 arrow 750mw load shedding as gas pressure drops
Due to a drop in gas pressure in the national grid and a shut down of a major power plant, the country is facing a daily power load shedding of up to 750 megawatts.
 arrow Govt, WB differ on capital injection amount at Rupali
The government and the World Bank (WB) are having difference of opinion on re-injection of capital needed for privatising the state-owned Rupali Bank.
 arrow 2 robbers killed in fight with coast guards
Two alleged robbers were killed and 50 people including two Coast Guard lieutenants were injured in a series of armed clashes between forest robbers and their aides with coastguards and forest guardsat
 arrow Cop station attacked, 30 fishermen hurt
At least 30 people were injured, five with bullets, in a clash between police and fishermen at Tajimuddin upazila headquarters in Bhola yesterday.
 arrow Nepal party men unite in India for democracy
Leading members of seven Nepalese political parties who fled to India after King Gyanendra seized power formed a united front yesterday to push for the restoration of democracy at home while king renewed
 arrow Govt won't allow bid to create anarchy
State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar yesterday said the government will do whatever is necessary to protect public life from troublemakers during hartals.
 arrow 2 hurt as JCD, Shibir clash over Quran lessons
Two people were injured when activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Islami Chhatra Shibir clashed over forced participation in holy Quran lessons at a college hostel in Rajshahi yesterday.
 arrow Asma worried about Rab's probe charge takeover
Asma Kibria, wife of late SAMS Kibria, yesterday expressed concern over Rapid Action Battalion's (Rab) reported taking charge of the local investigation into the January 27 blasts.
 arrow Enact new law to try Hasina
A ruling BNP lawmaker yesterday demanded that the government enact new law to bring Opposition Leader Sheikh Hasina and some other intellectuals to justice for what he said was tarnishing country's image
 arrow 3 children burnt to death
Three children of a family were burnt to death in a fire at Papua village in Sonaimuri upazila Sunday night.
The dead are Sabbir, 3, Kulsum, 3, and Tamanna, 5.

 arrow 2 'muggers' lynched
Mob lynched two alleged muggers in Keraniganj yesterday.
 arrow Mosque blaze in Tehran kills 35
Thirty-five people have been killed and 200 injured when a faulty electrical heater started a blaze in a Tehran mosque crowded with worshippers for a Shia Muslim festival, Iranian state television reports.
 arrow Rescue bids for storm-hit ship
A cruise liner with 732 people on board - most of them Spanish - has been crippled by a severe storm in the western Mediterranean.
 arrow BNP rallies against AL 'conspiracy' Feb 23
The ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will hold protest rallies at ward and union levels across the country on Feb 23 against Awami League's "conspiracy to destabilise the situation".
 arrow Court extends Taj Mahal's nighttime viewing
The Taj Mahal will be open for moonlight viewing for another year under a ruling yesterday by India's Supreme Court, which extended its order lifting a 21-year ban on nighttime visits to the 17th century
 arrow Chargesheet pressed against 37
Police yesterday charged 37 people, including some local leaders of the Awami League (AL) and its front organisations, with the murder of a police constable during February 6 hartal in Nalitabari upazila.
 arrow Govt plans to reclaim lands from Bay offshore
The government plans a long-term project to reclaim a vast stretch of land from the Bay of Bengal offshore in the Bangladeshi territory.
 arrow 1.37 lakh posts remain vacant, minister tells JS
A total of 1,37,334 posts are lying vacant under different ministries, post and telecommunications minister Aminul Huq told parliament yesterday.
Businessarrow US trade fair from tomorrow
With a view to popularising American products and services in Bangladesh the US Trade Show 2005 will kick off tomorrow in Dhaka.
 arrow Polls unity to help RMG face quota-free era
Leaders of the three BGMEA groups contesting the upcoming election from a common panel yesterday said they become united for the sake of the RMG industry so that it can face quota-free regime.
 arrow Foreign capital inflow key challenge to India
Large capital inflows into India are posing a major challenge to exchange rate management and monetary policy, the country's central bank governor was quoted as saying in a newspaper Monday.
 arrow EC to offer new GSP facilities to help tsunami-hit countries
In response to the Tsunami disaster, the European Commission(EC) has proposed to accelerate the entry into force of the new EU preferential trade regime for developing countries.
 arrow Japan's current account surplus up, exports weak
Japan's current account surplus rose sharply in December, helped by surging dividend and interest payments from overseas, but economists expect slack exports to weigh on the economy for a while.
 arrow China faces uphill battle to keep farmers on land
Chinese grain farmers should be enjoying the best of times.
 arrow Bangladeshi cos get $3.5 lakh order from Bahrain fair
Bangladeshi companies that took part at a five-day Islamic trade fair in Bahrain have received US$3.5 lakh export order.
 arrow EPB seeks China help to build permanent fair complex
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) sought Chinese help to construct a permanent fair complex in old Dhaka Airport area.
 arrow Dutch-Bangla Bank signs deals with Dutch co
The Netherlands Finance Development Company (FMO) will extend credit facility to Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL).
 arrow Beximco Infusions, Beximco Pharma hold annual confc
The annual sales conference-2004 of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) and Beximco Infusions Ltd (BIL) was held in Cox's Bazar on Friday.
 arrow Asian govts to borrow over $2 trillion in 2005
Asia-Pacific governments led by Japan are expected to borrow more than 2.0 trillion dollars in long- and medium-term debt in 2005, Standard and Poor's said Monday.
 arrow Ganex opens new service centre at Mirpur
Ganex, an herbal product manufacturing company of Malaysia, has opened its service centre at Mirpur in Dhaka recently.
 arrow Emirates lounge opens at Auckland Airport
Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, has formally opened a passenger lounge at Auckland International Airport in New Zealand.
 arrow New MD of NCC Bank
Md Nurul Amin has recently taken over as managing director of National Credit and Commerce (NCC) Bank Ltd.
 arrow Verizon sets deal to buy MCI
US local telephone company Verizon Communications Inc. has clinched a deal to buy long-distance carrier MCI Inc. for $6.8 billion, outflanking rival Qwest Communications International Inc.
 arrow ROK faces labour shortage
The volume of South Korea's employable population is expected to peak in 2009 before spiraling downward and giving rise to a corporate "productivity crisis," new research has found.
 arrow Fiat eyes future without GM
Fiat shares and bonds rallied on Monday after the Italian group won a $2 billion settlement with General Motors, avoiding a long court case but also increasing the pressure to revive its car arm.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Enamul strikes again
Enamul Haque Jr. continued to haunt Zimbabwean batsmen like an unshakeable ghost as he put Bangladesh A in charge on day two of the first A Test at Bulawayo yesterday.
 arrow Football: 'Pure football, pure hope and pure emotion'
He rules the organisation that governs football associations of almost every country in the world.
 arrow Cricket: Kalabagan get Premier ticket
Kalabagan Krira Chakra returned to domestic cricket's top flight after one season when they managed a two-wicket victory over Partex Krira Chakra in the First Division League at the Bangabandhu National
 arrow Cricket: Shoaib still ill at ease
Express pacer Shoaib Akhtar is still facing fitness problems with just over a week before Pakistan start their first full tour of India in six years, chief selector Wasim Bari said on Monday.
 arrow Cricket: Kevin dreams of Test
Kevin Pietersen's third century in the 4-1 series defeat to South Africa ensured he lifted the awards for both man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series.
 arrow Cricket: Sweet S African revenge
Ashwell Prince scored his maiden half-century to steer South Africa to a three-wicket win over England and wrap up a 4-1 series victory in the seventh and final one-day international on Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: Nat'l League resumes today
The second round of the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea Sixth National Cricket League commences today with a change to the format.
 arrow Cricket: Selectors to name BD A stand-ins today
The national selectors will meet today to name two replacements for the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) XI squad to play in the upcoming Duleep Trophy in India.
 arrow Cricket: ICC assisting BCCI & PCB
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is working with the Indian and Pakistani boards on the dispute over Ahmedabad as a Test venue for the upcoming series.
 arrow Olympics: London waits for IOC team
Based around the capital's historical landmarks, a London Olympics in 2012 would enjoy passionate support from a racially diverse community, Games inspectors will be told this week.
 arrow Cricket: Difficult time ahead of King
If evidence were needed that Bennett King's all-too-brief honeymoon period as West Indies coach is over, it came courtesy of a stinging editorial on caribbeancricket.
 arrow Tennis: Federer back to battle
Top seed Roger Federer will begin the battle to re-establish his superiority as he opens as top seed against a qualifier at the 782,250-euro Rotterdam Open on Monday.
 arrow Cricket: She's no longer little sis
More commonly known as the little sister of two-time Grand Slam winner Marat Safin, Russian teenager Dinara Safina came of age Sunday when she lifted her first major title at the expense of world number
 arrow Swimming: Thorpedo gives World C'ships a miss
Ian Thorpe will skip this year's world swimming championships in Montreal in an attempt to peak for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, his coach Tracey Menzies says.
 arrow Volleyball: Quarterfinalists complete
The quarterfinal line-up of the Pepsi Inter-District Volleyball tournament was confirmed yesterday at the Chuadanga Stadium.
 arrow Table Tennis: Rumi Smriti TT in early March
The Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation will organise the Rumi Smriti Open Table Tennis Championships next month to mark the second death anniversary of renowned sports journalist Masud Ahmed Rumi, who
 arrow Cricket: Bangabandhu in Zia Cricket final
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall reached the final of the Shaheed Zia Smriti Cricket tournament of Jahangirnagar University beating Shaheed Barkat-Salam Hall by 59 runs in the semifinals at theUniversity
 arrow Cricket: Proteas climb ODI ladder
South Africa have their sights set on second place in the one-day ratings after the 4-1 series win over England on Sunday.
 arrow Football: Squeaky Real win
Michael Owen came off the bench to inspire Real Madrid to a 2-1 win at Osasuna on Sunday, the Spanish giants' seventh successive win.
 arrow Football: Seventh Wanderley!
Real Madrid coach Wanderley Luxemburgo booked himself a place in the annals of the club's history after their 2-1 victory at Osasuna on Sunday.
 arrow Football: All-star tsunami match today
World Player of the Year Ronaldinho and European Footballer of the Year Andriy Shevchenko will lead two teams at the Nou Camp on Tuesday in a benefit match to raise funds for victims of the Asian tsunami.
 arrow Football: Paris of love
Paris hasn't always been a happy place for Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo.
 arrow Football: Milan get lucky
Serie A title-holders AC Milan stayed in close pursuit of leaders Juventus with a 1-0 win away to Reggina on Sunday.
 arrow Football: United chase on
The chase may appear a forlorn one, but Manchester United maintained their dogged pursuit of Chelsea with a 2-0 victory over near neighbours Manchester City courtesy of a Wayne Rooney opener and a Richard
 arrow Football: Buckley bombs Bayern
South Africa striker Delron Buckley continued his fantastic season at Arminia Bielefeld scoring a sensational brace to help down league leaders Bayern Munich 3-1 on Sunday.
 arrow Football: Passive offside could go
FIFA president Sepp Blatter admits football's governing body will consider abolishing the confusing passive offside rule in a meeting scheduled for February 26 in Cardiff.
 arrow Tennis: Roddick captures San Jose again
American Andy Roddick cruised past unseeded Cyril Saulnier 6-0, 6-4 for his second consecutive San Jose ATP title and 16th career tour victory.
 arrow Cricket: Smith stands by Jennings
South Africa captain Graeme Smith has called for Ray Jennings to be made national coach on a permanent basis.
 arrow Cricket: Aussie bookies favour Aussies
Local bookmakers here believe the Australians have the beating of England in this year's Ashes series even though there is money coming in for the home side in cricket's time-honoured contest.
 arrow Tennis: Clijsters on comeback trail
Former world number one Kim Clijsters makes her comeback from a serious wrist injury at the Antwerp Diamond Games this week.
Metropolitanarrow Indonesia urged to import more Bangladeshi goods
President Ijuddin Ahmed yesterday called on Indonesia to increase imports from Bangladesh to reduce the trade gap between the two countries.
 arrow 'Dhaka needs extra efforts to achieve MDG'
Bangladesh is quite on track to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG), but it requires extra efforts in poverty alleviation and health sectors to reach the target by 2015.
 arrow New IO to probe Belal murder case
A new investigation officer (IO) was appointed on Sunday to probe into Journalist Shaikh Belal Uddin murder case.
 arrow Govt uses hoodlums to foil hartal: Jalil
Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil has alleged that the government was using its armed hoodlums to foil the ongoing spontaneous hartal across the country.
 arrow Experts call for protecting endangered wildlife
Experts, ecologists and conservationists made a call for protecting endangered wildlife to maintain biodiversity in Bangladesh.
 arrow 20 RU students hurt in clash with traders
At least 20 Rajshahi University (RU) students were injured, one of them seriously, in a clash with the traders at Binodpur Bazaar on Sunday night.
 arrow DU IT festival from March 1
A three-day information technology (IT) festival will begin at Computer Science and Engineering Department of Dhaka University (DU) on March 1.
 arrow Plan to set up more courts at district level
The government has a plan to increase the number of courts at district level for quick disposal of cases, parliament was told yesterday.
 arrow Reports invited for TIB Journalism Award
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has invited reports carried out in print and television media for its Investigative Journalism Award-2005.
 arrow Cabinet okays draft of ICT Act 2005
The cabinet yesterday approved the draft of 'The Information & Communication Technology Act 2005' aimed at enhancing the use of ICT in all spheres of activity.
 arrow Energy Regulatory Commission (amend) Bill passed
The Jatiya Sangsad yesterday passed the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Amendment) Bill-2005 outlining the academic qualifications needed to become the chairman and members of the Commission.
 arrow PKSF partner organisations' contributions for tsunami victims
The partner organisations of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) have mobilised over Tk 45 lakh for the tsunami-affected people.
 arrow 1,468 more held, 11 firearms seized
Police arrested 1,468 more people, including four listed criminals, on various charges during their countrywide drive in the last 24 hours till 6.00am yesterday.
 arrow Obituary
Mohammad Safiullah, a sub-inspector of the Special Branch, died of brain stroke yesterday at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). He was 50.
Nationalarrow 'Most vulnerable' area skipped on deputy minister's order
The government's 'disaster risk reduction programme' has been shifted from a 'most vulnerable area' to a comparatively well-off area in Rangpur at the instruction of a deputy minister, creating a public
 arrow Fresh breach in Teesta project dam
IRRI-Boro crops on 1,500 hectares of land have been flooded due to new breach on the left embankment of Dinajpur Main Irrigation Canal under Teesta Irrigation Project here.
 arrow HC orders fresh investigation
A division bench of the High Court (HC) on Wednesday ordered reinvestigation of Jessore Dainik Runner Editor Saiful Alam Mukul Murder Case. The HC bench comprising Justice Sharifuddin Chaklader andJustice
 arrow More protests in dists
Journalists in Manikganj and Madaripur on Sunday protested the murder of Khulna journalist Shaikh Belaluddin.
 arrow Public outcry over Jhenidah couple 'murder'
The killing of a couple in an alleged arson has evoked protests in Jhenidah by human rights organisations and local people but any of the culprits involved in the heinous crime are yet to be nabbed eighteen
 arrow 3 grenades recovered from Thakurgaon defused
The three explosives recovered from a paddy field in Barobari village in Pirgoaj upazila in Thakurgaon district on Wednesday were grenades, army explosive experts said yesterday.
 arrow Down with dowry

 arrow Four with arms arrested in Ctg
Four persons were arrested and three firearms and ammunition were recovered from their possession in Raozan upazila on Friday.
 arrow Threat to newspaper agent for toll
Janajuddho cadres on Thursday threatened a newspaper agent for payment of illegal toll amounting to Tk 50,000 or face death.
The criminals warned Sekan-der Ali Patwary not to seek police help.

 arrow 'Strengthen local govts'
Speakers on Sunday at a discussion meeting held here stressed on strengthening the local government institutions for decentralisation of power, equal distribution of resources, good governance and overall
 arrow 3 hurt in RU JCD factional clash
A Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leader and two activists were injured in a factional clash at Nawab Abdul Latif Hall of Rajshahi University (RU) on Sunday.
Point-Counterpointarrow ICT in Bangladesh: Waiting for a take-off?
Thousands of years ago at the dawn of human civilization, agricultural society evolved from the plough.
 arrow A traumatic blow to democracy
As a least developed country with poor resource base and burden of over population the capability of Bangladesh is extremely limited for development.
 arrow Whither Shonar Bangla?
Times are stranger than expected. The entire nation has turned towards "dangabaji".
Culturearrow A feast for bookworms
With the advent of Falgun, the Ekushey Book Fair is abuzz with activity. As the grand event of Bangla literature approaches its middle phase, more books are arriving at the fair everyday.
 arrow The Freedom of the City
If we analyse world history, we find that most political crimes in the world remain unresolved.
 arrow ' Music runs in my blood' -- Kiron
Kiron Chandra Roy, a dedicated folk singer of the country, has been performing since 1976 and has contributed immensely in popularising the genre.
 arrow Partha Pratim in town
Internationally reputed pantomime artiste Partha Pratim Majumdar is now in Dhaka. The repatriate Bangladeshi artiste has made good in Paris, the city famous for art and culture.
 arrow Campus music
An unplugged musical programme titled Rong, organised by the North South University Shangskritik Shongothon (NSUSS), was held in their main campus recently.
Generalarrow ME leaders fear for Lebanon's stability after Hariri killing
Middle East leaders expressed concern for Lebanon's stability after a massive explosion killed five-times premier Rafiq Hariri and brought scenes reminiscent of the 1975-1990 civil war back to central
 arrow Selection of medical college teachers finalised
Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) yesterday published the list of the finally selected candidates for the posts of associate professors and assistant professors in the medical college and hospitals
 arrow US envoy predicts Taliban amnesty breakthrough
US ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad yesterday predicted a breakthrough in ongoing talks with Taliban militants aimed at bringing members of the ousted fundamentalist regime back into mainstream
 arrow Bill Clinton grabs another Grammy
Former US president Bill Clinton kept up his unlikely 100 percent Grammys record by winning his second trophy in as many years at the music industry's annual awards show here on Sunday.
 arrow Ebadi accuses Iranian court of obstruction
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi accused Iran's hardline judiciary on Monday of doing all it could to prevent human rights lawyers from defending political prisoners.
Internationalarrow Iraqi Shias move to form coalition govt
Moves to form a new government are under way in Iraq after the announcement of full election results.
 arrow KL crackdown on illegal immigrants starts Mar 1
Malaysia will crack down hard on Indonesian illegal immigrants from March 1, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday after talks with the visiting Indonesian president.
 arrow New era beginning in Middle East: Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians and Israel are embarking on a "new era" after more than four years of violence, according to a New York Times interview published yesterday.
 arrow Disease threat looms in Pak disaster zone
Disease threatened flood survivors in Pakistan's southwest yesterday as officials said the death toll from freak rains and snow across the country was as high as 450.
 arrow Iraq's neighbours voice concern
The leaders of the United States and Britain led a chorus of praise at the announcement of Iraq's election results, but views on what the results meant varied widely around the world, with many concerned
 arrow World papers urge Iraqi leaders to heal divisions
Newspapers around on the world yesterday welcomed the results of the Iraqi election which delivered victory to the long-oppressed Shia majority, but said the future of the fledgling democracy depended
 arrow Natwar starts Pakistan trip today
Amid hopes of progress in breaking the deadlock over the modalities to run a Srinagar- Muzafarabad bus service and trans-national gas pipelines, External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh arrives here today
 arrow Iraq's outgoing PM down but not out
Outgoing Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's list came third in Iraq's election, yet the tough-talking US-backed leader's political story is far from over, despite widespread criticism of his time in office.
 arrow N Korea's nuclear statement proves nothing: Seoul
North Korea's declaration that it possesses nuclear weapons does not make it a nuclear weapons state, South Korea's unification minister said yesterday, clearly skeptical about the veracity and timing
 arrow Hillary Clinton receives German Media Prize
Senator for the state of New York and former first lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton, received Sunday the German media prize for 2004.
 arrow Straw confident Pakistan can handle nuke inquiry
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Monday he was confident Pakistan was properly investigating its disgraced nuclear hero Abdul Qadeer Khan despite refusing to let international bodies quiz him.
 arrow Lankan tsunami baby wins back parents, name
Sri Lanka's three-month-old "Baby 81," who was found alive among tsunami debris and became a beacon for bereaved couples, is to recover his parents -- and his name -- after positive DNA tests, court officials
Editorialarrow Editorial: Extra-judicial killings
Until now we have exercised caution in writing about the subject of 'crossfire' killings, but in keeping with our role as a conscientious newspaper, we feel the time for such reticence is over as thecasualty
 arrow Editorial: Rice prices too high
With the cereal price spiralling, and putting heavy pressure on the consumers in general, the government has decided to go for open market sale of rice from February 17 across the country.
 arrow We must talk some more about RAB and crossfire killings
NEWS item: Three more killed in RAB crossfire; with this, the number of deaths in that category since June last year rose to 221.
 arrow The answer alas is 'no'
The silence, as happens so often, was louder than an explosion.
Letters to Editorarrow Hartal
Last few months most of us were building our hope and aspirations looking into the various and increased interests shown by the international business community.
 arrow Should we not rethink?
Do we not have enough arguments that we review our role in the three-nation gas pipeline meeting ?
It has been well said by Indian press in many words that the reasons cited by India for the postponement

 arrow Put forth aptly
This refers to the letter of Zeeshan K. Huq (writing from Vietnam) DS 9.2.2005.
 arrow Fading democracy
Bangladesh as a nation and as a democracy is fading away.
 arrow Democracy in deathbed
Democracy perhaps needs more than 15 years to cross the childhood! We saw the birth of a child democracy in Bangladesh, as the then politicians said in 1991 with the end of the autocratic rule of HM Ershad.
 arrow Disgraceful
News about the poor people who work in our homes being tortured is not anything new. We witness many incidents in our country that are almost monstrous. People are killing people for no reason.
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