Vol. 5 Num 588 Mon. January 23, 2006    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Country heading for highest GDP growth
The country may strike the highest-ever GDP growth of 6.86 percent this fiscal year thanks mainly to a strong performance of the agriculture sector, according to a preliminary estimate of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).
 arrow 200 pickets injured in hartal clashes
Sporadic clashes in the capital and elsewhere in the country during the countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal enforced by the 14-party opposition coalition yesterday left more than 200 people injured, ten of
 arrow One EC decision contradicts other
The Election Commission last week took two decisions contradictory to each other on voter list preparation and then put the first decision opposing the chief election commissioner's stance on the ice.
 arrow AL seats at stake
The Jatiya Sangsad goes into session today forcing the main opposition Awami League to decide soon whether it will return to parliament or resign en masse as the opposition leader's seat will fall vacant
 arrow Tea giant Finley sells business to local group
James & Finley, one of the oldest foreign tea companies in the country, is winding up its business due to changes in government policy and internal management problem.
 arrow EU Troika due today to talk polls, extremism, governance
A European Union (EU) Troika arrives here today on a three-day visit to hold talks with government and opposition leaders, representatives of civil society and international diplomatic community on abroad
 arrow AL's ultimate goal to spoil polls: PM
Prime Minster Khaleda Zia yesterday blamed the Awami League for what she said was its bid to avoid election under the caretaker government by not accepting the independent and neutral Election Commission
 arrow 14-party asks PM to meet demand for reforms soon
The Awami League (AL) led 14-party opposition alliance yesterday urged the Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to meet immediately the demand for reforms in the electoral systems for the next general electionto
 arrow Final round talks with Tata deferred
The fifth and final round talks between the Bangladesh government and India's Tata Group have been deferred until Feb 6, further delaying a final agreement on commissioning of four proposed projects worth
 arrow RU goes soft on attackers
Rajshahi University authorities in a lenient mood filed only a general diary (GD) against Saturday's attacks on teachers apparently to appease the city mayor, who is supporting the 'controversial' employees,
 arrow Govt ready for structured ties with US: FM
Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan yesterday said that Bangladesh is ready to accept the US offer to establish a structured cooperation in counter-terrorism activity to enhance the country's capability to
 arrow 2 killed in bid to grab Hindu lands
Two Hindus were killed and 10 others injured, three of them critically, as alleged grabbers of minority community lands attacked them in Churer Bhita village in Dhubaura upazila yesterday.
 arrow Cairn wants long-term market guarantee
Cairn Energy Exploration (Bangladesh) Ltd wants long-term market guarantee from Bangladesh before it starts developing new gas fields in Sangu and Hatia.
 arrow Put an end to voter list crisis
Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain and Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) President Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday at a press briefing demanded that the government put an end to the present crisis over
 arrow Maj Gen Shakil new DG of BDR
The government yesterday appointed Major General Shakil Ahmed the director general (DG) of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) replacing Maj Gen Jahangir Alam Chowdhury, who was appointed the principal staff officer
 arrow Shamsul Islam passes away
Former industries minister and incumbent BNP lawmaker from Manikganj-4 Shamsul Islam Khan, 80, died of old-age ailments at Lab-Aid Cardiac Hospital in the capital yesterday afternoon.
 arrow Khaleda goes to Pakistan Feb 12, India in March
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is expected to visit Pakistan on February 12-13 and India in the third week of March, Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan said yesterday.
 arrow Prime accused sent to jail on surrender
Shahabuddin Lashkar alias Dhira, prime accused in journalist Belaluddin murder case yesterday surrendered to the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Golam Rahman Mia who sent him to the district jail after
 arrow Charges framed against 6 Bogra JMB men
A Bogra court yesterday framed charges against six Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) men including its chief Shaekh Abdur Rahman and operations commander Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai in one of
 arrow A Long Walk..........

 arrow 23 killed in Nepal Maoist clash
Seventeen Maoist guerrillas and six security personnel were killed in the deadliest gun battle in restive Nepal since the rebels ended a four-month-old truce three weeks ago, an army officer said yesterday.
 arrow One dies in road mishap during hartal
A man was knocked down by a passenger bus while he was trying to board it during the hartal hours in the city yesterday.
 arrow 2 cops hurt in gunfight with outlaws
Two policemen including an officer-in-charge (OC) were injured in a gunfight with Biplobi Communist Party (BCP-Laltu) cadres at Bharat in Gangni upazila in Meherpur early yesterday.
 arrow One killed in 'Israeli missile attack' in Gaza
One person was killed and another injured when a car exploded in the Gaza Strip, witnesses said.
Businessarrow Cellphone firms offer PCO packages 'flouting' licensing agreements
All mobile phone operators are offering PCO (public Call Office) packages 'flouting' licensing agreements, the association of land phone operators has told the telecoms regulator.
 arrow SEC rejects 28 IPO plans in 18 months
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected 28 initial public offering (IPO) proposals during the last one and a half years as the companies submitted flawed documents.
 arrow Altaf urges Lankan businesses to invest in Bangladesh
Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain Choudhury has urged Sri Lankan businesspeople to invest in Bangladesh's diamond cutting and polishing, jewellery, agriculture, leather, banking and ICT sectors.
 arrow Safta has no clause to give MFN status to India
The draft South Asia Free Trade Area (Safta) has no clause that requires Pakistan to give the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India and Islamabad will not grant any preferential tariffs for New Delhi,
 arrow Japan-Bangla IT show in April
With a view to introducing people to latest IT products, Japan-Bangladesh Group, a joint venture, will hold a three-day IT exposition in Dhaka from April 13.
 arrow KSA invites Indian firms for gas exploration
As India prepares to receive the Saudi Monarch next week, the oil-rich Gulf country Saturday invited Indian companies to participate in gas exploration projects there.
 arrow Google tops Apple in 2005 brand poll
Internet search engine Google has retaken first place in the 2005 global poll of the world's most influential brands, while the eBay-owned web phone service Skype makes its debut at No. 3.
 arrow Global CEO of MTI Consulting due today
Hilmy Cader, global CEO of MTI Consulting, strategic business consultancy firm, arrives in Dhaka today on a short visit.
 arrow Davos mixes oil and water to attract big business
Over the coming week, a small corner of the Swiss Alps will become a businessman's playground as more than 1,000 executives buttonhole rivals and political leaders on global challenges and deals, in between
 arrow Mercedes-Benz sales in China grow 39pc in '05
DaimlerChrysler-owned Mercedes-Benz sold 16,128 sedans in China last year, up 39 percent from the previous year, the state-run Xinhua news agency said Sunday.
 arrow Chinese capital sees GDP grow 11.1pc
The economy in China's capital Beijing grew by 11.1 percent last year, partly due to a property market that is booming ahead of the city's hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games, it was announced Sunday.
 arrow Myanmar exports to hit $3b in 2005-06
Myanmar's export are expected to hit 3 billion US dollars in the fiscal year of 2005-06 ending in March, slightly up from the previous fiscal years, said a report of the Myanmar Times yesterday.
 arrow Chile, Thailand discuss joint study of FTA
Chilean Foreign Minister Ignacio Walker and his Thai counterpart Kantathi Suphamongkhon discussed setting up a joint study group in preparation for talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two
Sportsarrow Football: BFF plans beyond BNS
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is determined to start the domestic season in April with the Premier Division League despite the unavailability of the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS).
 arrow Cricket: Jayasuriya jolts Aussies
Sri Lankan veteran Sanath Jayasuriya shrugged off jet-lag and a shoulder injury to flay Australia's attack and set up a comfortable 51-run victory in a one-day triangular series match at the Sydney Cricket
 arrow Cricket: India off to bold start after Pakistan run riot
India were waging another battle to save the second Test after Pakistan put on an impressive batting display for the second consecutive time here on Sunday.
 arrow Tennis: Roddick run ends
Andy Roddick tumbled out of the Australian Open on Sunday, losing 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to unseeded Marcos Baghdatis in the fourth round.
 arrow Cricket: One last hurdle for DOHS
Defending champions Old DOHS will desperately look for a victory to close in on their second successive title when they lock horns with start-studded Sonargaon Cricketers in a one of the three Super-Six
 arrow Cricket: Dravid defends decision
India skipper Rahul Dravid Saturday defended Sourav Ganguly's omission from the second Test against Pakistan, saying the team needed five frontline bowlers to win the match on a flat track at the Iqbal
 arrow Chess: Zia secures 3rd spot
Grand Master Ziaur Rahman finished third in the Fourth Parsvnath International Open chess tournament when he defeated FIDE Master Zhumabaev in the tenth and final round in New Delhi on Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: Aftab withdrawn from A team
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) withdrew Aftab Ahmed from the Bangladesh A team on Sunday a day after the right-hand batsman was included for the two limited-over matches against the visiting UAE.
 arrow Cricket: UAE's first match at Bogra today
The visiting UAE team will play their first limited-overs match against Bangladesh Under-19s at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra today.
 arrow Football: Sohel scores hattrick in JFA Cup
Mohammad Sohel slammed hattrick as Narayangaj beat Kurigram 3-2 in the final round of the JFA Cup Under-16 Football Tournament at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Football: Real see off Cadiz
Real Madrid recovered from a goal down to beat Cadiz 3-1 thanks to spectacular strikes by Roberto Carlos and David Beckham and a breathtaking effort from Robinho in their Primera Liga match at the Bernabeu
 arrow Football: Inter pummel Palermo
Inter Milan won 3-0 at home to Palermo on Saturday to close the gap between themselves and Serie A leaders Juventus to five points.
 arrow Football: Eto'o takes club form to Egypt
Samuel Eto'o transferred his Barcelona club form onto the international stage here on Saturday as a sublime hat-trick saw Cameroon to a 3-1 victory over World Cup qualifers Angola in Group B of the African
 arrow Cricket: Kenya's new cricket body formed
A new cricket body was formed in Kenya on Sunday following the decision to dissolve the old Kenya Cricket Association (KCA), which had been hit by financial scandals and mismanagement, officials said.
 arrow Football: Scolari eyeing England job?
As Sven-Goran Eriksson suggested Sir Alex Ferguson had stayed too long with Manchester United, Luiz Felipe Scolari revealed his interest in replacing the Swede as England coach after this year's World
 arrow Football: Chelsea finally held at home
Premiership leaders Chelsea were held to a shock 1-1 draw by London rivals Charlton as their 11-match home winning streak in the league this season came to an end at Stamford Bridge here Sunday.
 arrow Football: Rijkaard rubbishes reports
Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard denied Saturday that he would leave the Spanish champions at the end of the season and take over at AC Milan.
 arrow Football: Eriksson in 'corruption' revelation
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson and his agent have accused several unnamed English Premier League clubs of corruption, according to a report in Sunday's News of the World.
 arrow Cricket: Div I cricket
Young Pegasus maintained their all-win record in the First Division Cricket League when they beat Dhanmondi Club by 27 runs at the City Club ground yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: India beast of cricket: Atherton
Former England captain Mike Atherton has criticised the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) decision to deviate from the Future Test Programme (FTP), and called the rest of the cricketing nations
 arrow Cricket: Chappell greets Inzy's hundred
India coach Greg Chappell accepted with good grace Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq's 25th Test century on Sunday, which pushed the former Aussie captain out of the all-time top 10.
 arrow Cricket: Naved doubtful for third Test
Pakistan pacer Navedul Hasan will consult a specialist to find out if a niggling shoulder problem will keep him out of the third Test against India from January 29.
Metropolitan arrow Dhaka, Moscow to work for regular contact at political level
Bangladesh and Russia have agreed to work for regular contacts at the political level, which might begin with the visit by Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan to the Russian Federation this year.
 arrow Removal of CEC, 2 new Ecs demanded
Leaders of Sammilita Ainjibi Samannay Parishad (SASP) yesterday demanded the removal of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two newly appointed election commissioners (ECs).
 arrow Female teacher gives up fight for life after 24 days
An injured female schoolteacher, stabbed by her husband for dowry, succumbed to her injuries at Apollo Hospital in the city yesterday after 24 days of fighting for life.
 arrow Baul Songs 'Masterpiece of Oral, Intangible Heritage of Humanity'
Baul Songs of Bangladesh have been proclaimed as 'Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity' by Unesco, said an official announcement in Dhaka yesterday.
 arrow Bomb hoax at Zia
Two bomb-like objects left at the Civil Aviation canteen of the Zia International Airport (Zia) sent panic waves among the airport officials, employees and passengers yesterday.
 arrow Uncle beaten to death by nephew at Rangunia
A man was beaten to death by his nephew over a trifling matter at a village in Rangunia upazila of the district on Saturday.
 arrow Trader killed in road mishap
A trader was killed and three others were injured in a road accident at Shikalbaha under Patiya upazila of the district yesterday.
 arrow Schoolgirl abducted in Khulna
A schoolgirl was kidnapped on Saturday when she was going to her house at Islampur Road in the city.
 arrow Plan Int'l chief arrives today
Chief Executive Officer of Plan International Headquarters Tom Miller arrives in Dhaka today along with his wife Bonne Miller on a five-day official visit to Bangladesh.
 arrow Special trains on Biswa Ijtema
Bangladesh Railway (BR) will run some special trains for easy transportation of devotees on the occasion of Biswa Ijtema from January 26 to January 29.
 arrow Council for Interfaith Harmony formed
A new non-political organisation comprising members of all religions was formed in the city yesterday.
 arrow Farmer murdered over land dispute
A farmer was killed and two others were injured yesterday in a clash between the two rivals over a disputed land at village Gobordari in Sadar upazila.
 arrow Measles vaccination campaign begins Feb 25
The national measles vaccination campaign will begin on February 25 across the country aimed at reducing child mortality and other complications from the disease.
 arrow Caac workshop on translation begins Jan 26
A workshop on the art of translation organised by Centre for Asian Arts and Cultures (Caac) begins in the city on January 26 Friday, says a press release.
 arrow English course for Rangs executives begins
Speakers at the inauguration of 'Professional English Language Course' for the Rangs Group executives underscored the need for learning English for professional skill development to compete the most competitive
 arrow Boy missing
Md Shahadat Hossain Rakib, 10, son of Md Abul Kashem, has been missing since January 17, says a press release.
Nationalarrow Kalondi remains a sorrow for 30 Akhaura villages
Toxic water flowing from across the border through the Kalondi canal is destroying the ecology and posing a health hazard in 30 villages in bordering Akhaura upazila of Brahmanbaria district.
 arrow Kaptai Lake getting silted up
Picturesque Kaptai Lake, the country's lone manmade lake in Rangamati hill district, is gradually becoming silted due to deposit of soil because of erosion of hillocks and dumping of garbage.
 arrow Darshana Sugar Mill set to incur loss this year
KUSHTIA: Darshana Sugar Mill in Chuadanga, which earned Tk 12 crore profit last year, is set to incur loss this year, allegedly due to neglect of BSFIC in repairing a major equipment, which kept the mill
 arrow Gas theft in Chittagong
A mobile court in a drive against illegal consumption of gas here yesterday unearthed another incident of stealing gas worth around Tk one lakh a month by an industry in Bandar thana area.
 arrow Unfavourable weather worries potato growers in N-dists
Abnormal change in the weather in northern districts has made potato farmers worried as germination from planted seeds is being hindered.
 arrow 19 outlaws held in 3 dists
At least 19 outlaws were arrested by police following drives conducted in Sirajganj, Pabna and Jessore districts in the last two days Our Sirajganj Correspondent reports: Fifteen outlaws were arrested
 arrow 10 get life for killing trader in Meherpur
Ten persons were sentenced to life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) yesterday in businessmen Enamul Haq murder case in Meherpur.
 arrow Drug smuggler flees jail custody
A notorious drug smuggler of Godagari who was being treated at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) fled yesterday.
 arrow Flag meet held in Ramgarh
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) held a flag meeting in Kailermuk border area in Ramgarh in Khagrachhari district yesterday after BDR objected raising of barbed wire fence
Point-Counterpointarrow Iran's nuclear dilemma
Last year the US intelli-gence agencies assessed that due to Iran's limited technical abilities, it would take Tehran between six to ten years to produce nuclear weapons, even if Iran were allowed tooperate
 arrow Empowering for development
Mr. Hilary Benn, Secretary of the State of DFID in UK told in an interview published in the official newsletter of DFID namely 'Developments' (fourth quarter 2004) that, 'NGOs play a really important role.
 arrow India in bigotry's grip
Over the past few weeks, India has witnessed an explosion of intolerance, censorship, and physical harassment of people who differ from the "mainstream.
Culturearrow Farida Parveen makes waves in Paris
Noted Lalon artiste Farida Parveen has performed at the esteemed Théâtre de la Ville, Paris on January 14.
 arrow Of sub continental sentiments and values
Sekhar Das's entry in the 9th Dhaka International Film Festival is his second film, Krantikaal (A time of crisis), which deals with the universal theme of separatism.
 arrow Theatre festival for a cause
On February 1, a theatre festival will being at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
 arrow British Council's latest art documentary
After screening documentaries on four contemporary British artists, the British Council turned the spotlight on Gary Hume on January 22.
Internationalarrow Lanka offers compromise to end peace deadlock
Sri Lanka will offer a compromise to end a deadlock in peace moves with Tamil rebels when a Norwegian envoy visits today, following violence that has claimed 146 lives in two months.
 arrow Congress seeks to pressure Pakistan
The Congress party said yesterday it was committed to making peace with the country's arch rival Pakistan and urged the government to pressure Islamabad to curb anti-Indian militants.
 arrow US to prod Pakistan to flush out al-Qaeda
US leaders are expected to call for more intensive efforts by Pakistan to flush out Osama bin laden and his number two from their sanctuary in meetings with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz here this week.
 arrow Showdown in Nepal as king refuses to budge
As thousands of pro-democracy protesters fought running battles with police on the streets of the capital this weekend, Nepal's king sat regally unmoved hundreds of miles away in the east of the country.
 arrow Israel mulls options if Hamas wins vote
Israel was yesterday formulating a strategy to prepare for a possible Hamas victory in the Palestinian election as international observers monitoring Wednesday's vote met for talks with organisers inthe
 arrow Saudi king to push for better ties with India
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah visits New Delhi this week to build on steadily improving ties between the world's top oil exporter and India, eager to meet the future energy needs of its booming economy.
 arrow Iraqi parties to appeal vote results
Iraq's electoral commission was set yesterday to start receiving appeals by political parties contesting results from last month's election, with both winners and losers complaining they should have won
 arrow Iran denies shifting foreign assets
Iran has transferred no money from its foreign accounts, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said yesterday, denying reports from the central bank governor that such transfers had begun.
 arrow Red Cross chopper missing in Pakistan
A helicopter used by the Red Cross for earthquake relief operations in Pakistan has gone missing with seven crew on board, an official said yesterday.
 arrow Kosovo seeks to fill Rugova vacuum
The funeral of Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova will be held Thursday, his office said as the UN-administered region began the difficult task of finding a successor to the man whose death left a vacuum
 arrow Insurgent attacks kill 11 near Baghdad
Roadside bomb blasts, shootings and rocket-propelled grenade attacks killed at least 11 people north of Baghdad, including a police officer's four children, officials said yesterday.
 arrow New judge to preside Saddam trial tomorrow
The trial of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is set to resume tomorrow with a new presiding judge after his predecessor quit over charges he was not firm enough with the accused.
 arrow Bomb blasts rock Assam ahead of Republic Day
Militants in Assam have steeped up attacks ahead of Republic Day, triggering a string of explosions overnight wounding five policemen, blowing up two gas pipelines and two power installations, officials
 arrow Thousands rally against US in Pakistan
Thousands of angry Pakistanis protested yesterday against a US airstrike that killed civilians, chanting "Long live Osama bin Laden!" as anti-American rallies in the country entered their second week.
 arrow US officer guilty in Iraqi general's death case
The highest-ranking US Army officer charged with killing a detainee in Iraq was found guilty on Saturday of negligent homicide but not guilty on the more serious charge of murder of an Iraqi general
Editorialarrow Editorial: Rajshahi University disorder
What we saw happen in Rajshahi University the other day evokes instant condemnation.
 arrow Editorial: Fake licences, endangered lives
The figure is staggering: half a million people are driving vehicles on fake licence. This must be regarded as one of the prime causes for road accident.
 arrow The French intifada?
Triggered by the electrocution of two French teenagers of North African origin who took shelter in a power substation to escape police hassles routinely meted out to black and Arab immigrants ghettoised
 arrow Combating terrorism with US assistance
The government of Bangladesh has realized at long last that the country is in great peril with the rise of religious based terrorism and its Ministry of Home has finalised the draft of the Anti-Terrorism
 arrow Bureaucracy: Points to ponder
It is a matter of fact that the bureaucracy represents the core of any society and reflects the dynamics of the same.
Letters to Editorarrow Why hartal?
If the opposition parties are so serious about the safety, security and welfare of us, citizens, then why can't they pursue their concerns through legally and constitutionally approved ways - that isthrough
 arrow Achievement & reward
Nolok Babu's rise from rags to riches is an inspiration for any human endeavour. The prizes offered (materialistic) should be in keeping with the background of the winner.
 arrow BTRC decision...
It seems that the BTRC have asked the mobile phone operators to collect personal details of all their existing mobile phone subscribers.
 arrow Our children
There are more than 400,000 children in the Dhaka city, all of whom must work from dawn till dusk each day, earning an average of 14 taka to help support their families.
 arrow Kushtia operation
The more than 18-hour long biggest ever operation in Kushtia on Thursday ended without arrest of any JMB operatives.
 arrow Stampede at Meena
It has been reported that at least 363 pilgrims died at Meena due to stampede when they were throwing stone on the effigy of Satan/ Iblis as a compulsory ritual of hajj.
 arrow Balance in education
In our country, there is no balance in education. Students are studying as per demand. So, when the demand of a certain area is filled up, students of that area get into a trap.
 arrow Save the bridge
The first Bangladesh-China friendship bridge, which is situated at Postogola region in Dhaka city, is now completely vulnerable.
 arrow Modernism and believers
I strongly refute some claims made by non-Muslims that many Imams from around the world are brainwashing a large number of followers of Islam.
Star Cityarrow Children engaged in hazardous jobs
Hedayet Ullah, all covered in grease, soot and black smoke of vehicle emissions arrived at his work place, an auto repair shop beside the shooting club in Gulshan 1, at 8:30 am and probably would notleave
 arrow Production put off till June 2006
The bottled water project by Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) originally scheduled to commence production in January, may not begin before June 2006.
 arrow Security tightened at female dorms of Dhaka University
Dhaka University authorities have taken strict security measures in four female dormitories of the university, more than a month after a bomb threat.
 arrow A doorway to knowledge
Visitors to the Bishwa Shahittyo Kendra (BSK) appreciate the many positive aspects the library has, but are at the same time disappointed at the lack of innovation.
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