Vol. 5 Num 715 Fri. June 02, 2006    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Garment workers' unrest flares up again
Garment workers at Savar and Gazipur continued to ransack factories over arrears and low wages yesterday, threatening a repeat of widespread rioting which destroyed or damaged dozens of industries a week
 arrow Petrobangla being crippled, gas sector to land in crisis
The guardian of the country's energy resources, Petrobangla, is systematically being crippled as it is now severely lacking manpower for most of its technical and supervisory posts including those atits
 arrow To err is human, CEC now says
In the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on preparing a fresh voter list, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice MA Aziz yesterday said humans may make mistakes and that they are working in the interest
 arrow Fertiliser dealers shouldn't be politically appointed
To ensure that agricultural subsidies reach real farmers, competition should be introduced in marketing of subsidised agricultural inputs, and fertiliser wholesalers should not be appointed on political
 arrow All parties should resist acts against political process
US Ambassador Patricia A Butenis yesterday said all parties should come together to 'resist and repudiate actions' that threaten the integrity of the political process in Bangladesah.
 arrow Governor worried over stay orders
Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed yesterday asked the banks to take special measures to recover bad loans as the defaulters filed 1,768 writ petitions in the High Court on such loans amounting
 arrow Governance, graft dip on BNP-AL confrontation
Japan has issued its new Country Assistance Programme (CAP) for Bangladesh, which prioritises assistance for poverty reduction, private sector growth, power and infrastructure and helping Bangladesh improve
 arrow JS body blasts power ministry for graft
Lawmakers at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Undertakings yesterday blasted the power ministry for corruption and mismanagement that they held responsible for the ongoing power
 arrow Kushtia daily still out of publication
Dainik Andolaner Bazar, local daily of Kushtia, is still unable to publish following Tuesday's attack on its press and continued threats from cadres of ruling BNP lawmaker Shahidul Islam.
 arrow AL demands JS body to probe unrest in RMG industry
Awami League (AL) lawmakers at a parliamentary standing committee meeting yesterday demanded a parliamentary body to probe the recent unrest in garment factories.
 arrow Primary teachers end hunger strike
Teachers of non-government primary schools yesterday ended their hunger strike unto death following the assurance from Prime Minister's Political Secretary Harris Chowdhury of realising their one-point
 arrow Pvt security firms to be made accountable
The government will soon issue an SRO (Statutory Regulatory Order) to ensure accountability and responsibility of private security agencies in the wake of growing incidents of heists by on-duty security
 arrow Bail rejected to BD Foods boss
A Dhaka court yesterday rejected the bail petition for BD Foods Chairman Badruddoza Chowdhury Momen, arrested on charge of smuggling heroin to the United Kingdom.
 arrow Unhappy Saifur meets PM
Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman, who is not happy at the BNP high command's action on intra-party conflict in Sylhet, met party chief and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia at her office yesterday evening, sources
 arrow 14-party to block roads at 10 points
The opposition combine yesterday finalised their preparations for the June 11 Dhaka siege programme which would be followed by even tougher agitation programmes.
 arrow Tripartite meet agrees on TU in RMG units
A meeting of government, RMG owners and workers yesterday forged a consensus that exercise of trade union right in the export industry would not be restricted.
 arrow Biman employees threaten to resist Thai Airlines flights at ZIA
A forum of six employees' groups of Bangladesh Biman yesterday threatened to resist the operation of Thai International Airlines flights at Zia International Airport from the day the Thai airlines will
 arrow Six die in Noakhali bus crash
At least six people died and 40 others were injured in a bus collision on Laxmipur-Begumganj road yesterday. Three of the dead were identified as Abdul Haque, 22, Swapan, 40, and Dipankar, 23.
 arrow 170 peacekeepers leave for Ivory Coast
A 170-member team of Bangladesh Army, led by Lt Col AKM Nurul Islam, left Dhaka for Ivory Coast on Wednesday night to work under the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission there.
 arrow FM to visit China June 6
Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan leaves for Beijing on June 6 on a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart.
 arrow Mirpur traders protest extortion
Traders of Hazrat Shah Ali Shopping Complex at Mirpur in the capital yesterday kept their shutters down and staged demonstrations to protest against the alleged extortion by the vice-president of themarket.
 arrow Rejoinder, our reply
Cabinet Secretary ASM Abdul Halim yesterday protested a news item published in The Daily Star on May 27.
 arrow World powers meet on Iran's nuke standoff
Foreign ministers of the world's major powers gathered yesterday bidding for a breakthrough in the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme after a dramatic US offer to join talks with Tehran.
 arrow Boishakhi director not quizzed over health condition
Police did not interrogate the Boishakhi director MNH Bulu yesterday considering his health condition, although a Dhaka court granted a one-day remand for him on Wednesday in an attempt-to-murder case.
Businessarrow Violence in garment units erodes country's image
US Ambassador in Dhaka Patricia A Butenis yesterday said violence in readymade garment (RMG) industry impinges on the international reputation of Bangladesh as a safe place for investment and a reliable
 arrow Asean logistics market set to expand in next 5 years
The Asean (Association of South East Asian Nations) logistics market is poised to expand at a double-digit growth in the next five years due to increasing trade and movement of goods across borders.
 arrow Govt asked to compensate affected RMG units, workers
A parliamentary body has asked the government to take necessary steps for paying compensation to the damaged readymade garment (RMG) factories and affected workers following the recent violence in the
 arrow Dubai firm in $18b Pak property deal
Dubai real estate company Emaar Properties said Wednesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Pakistan for a deal worth 18 billion dollars to build a major leisure and commercial development.
 arrow China, Arab countries target energy sector
China and the Arab world will target the energy sector as they seek to double their trade volumes over the next few years, the two sides said as they wrapped up a ministerial forum here Thursday.
 arrow New president of Gazipur Chamber
Golam Dastagir Gazi (Bir Pratik), proprietor of Gazi Tank and Gazi Group, has been reelected president of Gazipur Chamber of Commerce & Industry, says a press release.
 arrow Premier Leasing Int'l declares 15pc dividend
Premier Leasing International Ltd has declared a 15 per cent dividend (five per cent cash and 10 per cent stock) for its shareholders for the year 2005.
 arrow Opec meets as Iran tensions lessen
The Opec cartel looked set at talks Thursday to keep pumping crude at 25-year-high levels, recognising that any cut now would drive oil prices to new highs and risk choking off world growth.
 arrow Indian minister believes WTO accord possible
Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath believes a WTO deal can be reached this year despite repeated setbacks and obstacles that pit the needs of developing countries against those of industrialized nations.
 arrow US urges China to widen market access
China must do more to protect intellectual property rights and level the playing field for American companies in its domestic market, a senior US trade official said Thursday.
 arrow ROK inflation rises 2.4pc in May
South Korea's inflation rate struck 2.4 per cent year-on-year in May as higher oil prices and a rise in service fees offset a drop in agricultural prices, the National Statistical Office said Thursday.
 arrow Thai inflation hits 6.2pc in May on high oil prices
Thailand's inflation rate struck a seven-month high of 6.2 per cent in May amid soaring oil prices, which sharply raised costs of energy and public transportation, the government said Thursday.
 arrow Boeing to invest $27b in Russia over next 30 years
US aviation giant Boeing plans to invest 27 billion dollars (21 billion euros) in Russia over the next 30 years, its representative for Russia and the former Soviet republics said Wednesday.
Sportsarrow Football: Roberto Baggio: The divine ponytail
If the World Cup's that were graced with Roberto Baggio's presence were made into movies, the Italian would be undoubtedly cast into the role of the tragic hero.
 arrow Football: Bits and Bobs
Drugs test for Brazil quartet
Afp, Weggis

FIFA's anti-doping team paid an unannounced visit to the hotel being used by Brazil's World Cup squad here Thursday to carry out drugtests

 arrow Football: France sound warning
Goals in either half from Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord boosted home hopes of World Cup success this summer with a 2-0 warm-up friendly win over Denmark in northern France on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Euro Leagues dominate squads
If the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A and the Spanish league were able to put together their own World Cup teams, no one else would stand a chance of winning the trophy.
 arrow Football: Italy disappoint in draw
Italy looked uninspired during a 1-1 draw against Switzerland in a largely experimental World Cup warm-up where both sides substituted six players during the second half.
 arrow Football: Iran pound Bosnia
Iran fought back from a two-goal deficit to beat Bosnia 5-2 in a World Cup warm-up match on Wednesday which raised serious questions about their defence in Germany.
 arrow Cricket: Rajshahi meet Khulna in final
Khulna and Rajshahi reached the final of the Dhaka Bank Under-19 National Youth Cricket Championship after shrugging off their respective oppositions in contrasting styles in the semifinals on yesterday's
 arrow Football: World Cup Quiz Round-2 draw today
The second round draw of the Daily Star RANGS TOSHIBA World Cup Quiz will be held in the southern port city Khulna today. The attractive show will get rolling in Khulna Zia Hall at 3.30pm.
 arrow Football: School soccer semi today
Yunus Ali High School of Pabna will take on Salampur Dakhil Madrassah of Natore in the first semifinal of the bangalink tiger trophy National School Football Championship will today.
 arrow Cricket: Tigers turn soccer pundits
With the eagerly anticipated football World Cup just days away and the world abuzz with the greatest show on earth, the Bangladesh cricketers could not stay away from the soccer frenzy.
 arrow Cricket: Wet start for cricketers
The Bangladesh cricket team returned to training on a wet morning when the players selected in the preliminary camp for the tour of Kenya and Zimbabwe in July-August reported for duty at the Army Stadium
 arrow Football: Reckless Ribery captures French imaginations
France fans applauded politely when Zinedine Zidane was substituted in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Denmark, saving wild roars of approval for the man who replaced him, Franck Ribery.
 arrow Football: Chelsea seal Sheva move
Chelsea have signed Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko from AC Milan on a four-year deal for a club record fee, the English Premiership champions announced Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Smicer ruled out of World Cup
Czech midfielder Vladimir Smicer announced Thursday that he not will play for the Czech World Cup squad in Germany.
 arrow Football: Gerrard happy to fill Rooney role
Steven Gerrard insists he is ready and willing to fill the gap left by Wayne Rooney and play as England's emergency striker at the World Cup.
 arrow Football: Record crowd for Germany training session
A record crowd of 42,200 flag-waving fans watched a Germany training session open to the public on Wednesday.
 arrow Tennis: Hewitt, Myskina up the ante
Lleyton Hewitt and Anastasia Myskina, two players with plenty to prove at the French Open, moved into the third round on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: 5-million dollar cricket match!
A Texan-born billionaire is financing a world record 5-million-dollar Twenty20 international between West Indies and South Africa in Antigua this November, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Hosts have the egde
West Indies are hoping to build on the momentum they have gained from their triumph in the preceding one-day international series, when they face India in the first Test of their four-match rubber, starting
 arrow Cricket: Eng look to see off SL
England will look to seal their first Test series victory since last year's Ashes triumph against Australia when they face Sri Lanka in the climax of a three-Test campaign at Trent Bridge starting here
 arrow Cricket: Jayasuriya set for Test return
Sanath Jayasuriya was poised to make a return to Test cricket after being included in Sri Lanka's squad for the third and final match of their series with England starting here at Trent Bridge on Friday.
 arrow Cricket: Roberts open old wounds
Former West Indies fast bowling great Andy Roberts on Thursday reopened the chucking debate saying Australian paceman Brett Lee and Pakistani counterpart Shoaib Akhtar had "suspect actions".
 arrow Football: Pernia swaps wedding for World Cup
Spain have called up Getafe left back Mariano Pernia to replace the injured Asier del Horno in their World Cup squad.
 arrow Football: Kaiser gives in to Blatter
The head of the World Cup organising committee Franz Beckenbauer on Thursday distanced himself from standing against Sepp Blatter to be FIFA president next year.
 arrow Football: Podolski completes Bayern transfer
Germany striker Lukas Podolski said on Thursday he would transfer from Cologne to Bayern Munich from July.
 arrow Football: Racing appoint Caro as coach
Racing Santander have appointed former Real Madrid coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro as coach for next season, the Primera Liga club said on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Pak to leave no stone unturned
The Pakistan opening batsmen are to have an extra weapon with which to counter the England seam attack during the Test series starting next month.
 arrow Cricket: Ten tickets per second!
Tickets for this year's Australia-England Ashes Test cricket series were snapped up at a rate of ten per second when sales opened here Thursday, Cricket Australia said.
 arrow Cricket: Don on top of shady order
Australian batsman Don Bradman and West Indian bowler Joel Garner have been named as the highest rated Test players of all time in a new rankings list in the LG ICC Best Ever Ratings.
 arrow Football: Prince William will watch match
Prince William is headed to the World Cup to cheer on England when it plays Paraguay, officials said Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: ICC to help Boje, Gibbs
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Wednesday it would do everything possible to ensure South African stars Nicky Boje and Herschelle Gibbs could tour India without fear of arrest in a match-fixing
 arrow Football: NOTICE
Dear Readers,
From what we all have seen in the draw of THE DAILY STAR-RANGS TOSHIBA WORLD CUP QUIZ ROUND 1 that one person running away with as many as four prizes and another person winning

Metropolitanarrow 'Stop eviction of indigenous people'
Human rights activists and political leaders at a rally yesterday vowed to resist moves to export gas, coal and other natural resources and evict indigenous people from their lands.
 arrow Pry school teachers threaten tougher movement
The government and non-government primary school teachers will launch tough movements, including strikes in all primary schools and a grand rally in the capital, demanding elimination of wage discrimination
 arrow Rights activists demand action against culprits
Seven human rights and development organisations yesterday demanded punishment to those responsible for the attacks on indigenous people and rape of two girls at Maizzchhari in Khagrachhari in April.
 arrow JCD leader shot over drug trade at DU
A Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leader of Salimullah Hall of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday received bullet injuries allegedly over a feud between two phensidyle syndicates on the campus.
 arrow Youth camp on reproductive health ends at Sitakunda
A youth camp on reproductive health ended at Sitakunda in Chittagong yesterday.
 arrow IU staffs block roads for salary
Third and fourth-class employees of Kushtia Islamic University (IU) supported by a large number of people of two unions adjacent to the university yesterday barricaded the nearby road demanding payment
 arrow 2 Bangladeshis among 8 get Gold Prize in Beijing
Eight photographers, including two from Bangladesh, yesterday received Gold Prize in different categories at the inaugural Photo Tribe Asia Press Photo Contest in Beijing.
 arrow Hasina urges Kuwait to take more workers
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday requested Kuwait to take more workers from Bangladesh and assist for training of skilled manpower.
 arrow 2 killed, 37 hurt in Jessore road accidents
Two people were killed and 37 others injured in separate road accidents at Rajarhat and Rupdia on Jessore - Khulna Highway yesterday.
 arrow Patients suffer as SSMCH interns go on strike
Interns of Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital went on an indefinite strike yesterday to realise their two-point demand leaving hundreds of patients to suffer.
 arrow Training on journalism for women begins
The training for the 2007 batch of Salma Sobhan Fellowship for Women in Journalism was inaugurated at a ceremony at the Brac Centre for Development Management (BCDM) in Savar on Wednesday, says a press
 arrow Polytech student gets 30 yrs' RI for keeping heroin
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced a student of Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute to 30 years' rigorous imprisonment for possessing 500 grams of heroin in October last year.
 arrow Kamalganj flooded
Five unions of Kamalganj upazila in Moulvibazar district have gone under water due to heavy rain and onrush of water from Tripura hills in India. River Dhalai is flowing 10 feet above the danger level.
 arrow Editor, new management for Holiday
The weekly Holiday has reorganised its editorial and management teams following the death of its founder-editor Enayetullah Khan late last year, says a press release.
 arrow CPJ concerned over govt's failure to protect journos
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) yesterday expressed concern over the government's failure to protect journalists in Kushtia.
 arrow Condolence meet on Milon tomorrow
Greater Comilla Journalists' Forum in Dhaka will hold a condolence meeting in memory of veteran journalist Zakaria Milon tomorrow.
 arrow Team of Indian academics due tomorrow
A high-powered delegation of Indian academics will arrive in Dhaka tomorrow, aiming to develop scientific cooperation between Dhaka University and Indian institutions of higher learning.
 arrow Petrobangla Officers' Assoc executives
Md Fazlul Haque and Md Abdul Aziz were elected president and general secretary of Petrobangla Officers' Association on May 30, says a press release.
 arrow WVA Int'l Ladies Lunch tomorrow
Women's Voluntary Association (WVA) will arrange its Annual International Ladies Lunch at the banquet hall of Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre from 10:00am to 4:00pm tomorrow, says a press
Point-Counterpointarrow Role of civil servants in functioning of democracy
In his Friday column in the Daily Star, Zafar Sobhan has stressed the need for reforming the civil service, the election commission (EC) and the caretaker government (CG) 'to make democracy work' in the
 arrow Of police and power
Nothing is unfair in love and war. Law, rules and conventions are invalid where there is a question of survival, where emotion and sentiment rule over everything.
 arrow Making the ACC functional
Since inception the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been facing manifold problems. Some of the problems are the creations of the ACC itself while the government can be held responsible for others.
Culturearrow A gifted actress
As a young girl, I was always interested in dancing and singing. Naturally, I would get restless in the house when I saw the local boys preparing for any cultural event.
 arrow In search of the veritable radiance
Last week the nation celebrated Kazi Nazrul Islam's 107th birth anniversary.
 arrow ITI World Congress held in Manila
The 31st World Congress of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) concluded on May 28 in Manila, Philippines.
 arrow A lifetime commitment to cinema
Hard to believe, yet true. Actor, director and producer of numerable Hindi films that enthralled audiences across the sub-continent, Raj Kapoor embarked on his career as a clapper boy, assisting Kidar Sharma.
 arrow Conjuring up Latin magic
Drinking the tempting poison of your love
I remain near death and full of sorrow,
Still breathing the bitter smoke of your goodbye,
And since you left, all I have is...

Editorialarrow Editorial: Stop cultivation of predator fish
It seems that those at the policymaking end, who should know better, are either not aware or not worried at the potential harm to our indigenous fish population.
 arrow Editorial: No optimal diet for majority
Adequate intake of food is essential for maintaining the nutritional level and ensuring proper growth of a person, especially during the formative years in childhood.
 arrow Time to get out of the bargain basement
IT is difficult to write about the troubles inside Bangladesh while I am out of the country, but the recent strife in the garment industry was of such gravity and consequence that I feel that there is
 arrow Blood and stains
LOUIS XVI was warned when the French Revolution erupted: No, sire, this is not a rebellion, it is a revolution.
 arrow Govt and rebels under pressure for peace in Sri Lanka
SEVERAL developments in recent days in Sri Lanka have brought both government and the Tamil militants under intense pressure from the international community for eschewing the path of confrontation and
Letters to Editorarrow World Cup
World Cup Football 2006 is just a few days away. This grand occasion brings the warmth and the urge in the individual and the collective being of the people across the globe to remain engrossed in the exciting matches.
 arrow Workers' rights and dignity
The existing labour laws of Bangladesh are applicable to all, whether there exists any labour union or not. The labour law prohibits certain things and make certain things mandatory for the employer.
 arrow Hasina's remarks
I was amused by the Leader of the Opposition's remarks on the health condition of the Honourable President. This is another example of how distant our political leaders are from common people.
 arrow Bangladesh getting isolated?
Bangladesh is increasingly becoming isolated from the mainstream of economic activities of South and South-east Asia.
 arrow An appeal to photojournalists
Over 300 hundred garment factories, including 21 of Dhaka EPZ, and 200 vehicles were ransacked and at least 100 people were injured as garment workers rampaged the industries.
 arrow Opinion poll
I am impressed that you have a poll section in your Internet edition. Anyhow, the reason I write this is that I wanted to recommend an improvement in the types of poll you carry out.
 arrow Consumers' rights
In Bangladesh, there is no law for consumer protection. According to the newspaper reports, a draft has been prepared in this respect. The consumers are deprived in many ways in the absence of law.
 arrow CEC
He was a justice. He now holds a constitutional post. But he doesn't behave like that. He has already made the EC very much controversial through some dubious activities.
 arrow Election commissioners
Thank you for your well-timed commentary on the controversy surrounding the election commissioners and the voter roll.
 arrow 'Allah Hafez' vs 'Khoda Hafez'
This is in response to the letter "Allah/Khoda Hafez" by J. Osman on May 26 . 'Allah' is an Arabic word and 'Khoda' is a Persian one.
 arrow Divine verdict
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has upheld the High Court directives over Election Commission' preparation of a voter list for the next national election.
 arrow Future of our politics
The activities of the two major political parties of the country over the past fifteen years have aptly demonstrated that this country is just not fit for Westminster type parliamentary democracy.
 arrow 'Don't support the infidel nations'
I wonder if the 'hujur' who gave this khutba has the same sentiment when Bengalis fly a Pakistani flag when a Pakistani cricket team wins.
 arrow Tata and gas reserves
As a layman having travelled extensively , I know of 40 countries wherein Tata industries are in operations as coal fired/based projects.
 arrow Price hike and statements of our minister
We are really lucky to have some ministers in our four party alliance government who make amusing remarks that nobody can believe.
 arrow Satire and cartoons
I am sure I am not the only reader who is hugely enjoying the articles by Shahnoor Wahid, not only because of their wit and wisdom but because, at last, here is an example of a much misunderstood andrarely
Environmentarrow Wealth of beauty in silence needs to be explored and protected
The enchanting stories about the Sundarbans--its emerald mangrove forests that seem to be an unspoiled showcase for the diversity of life, its wild life, the rivers, canals and creeks flowing deep inside
 arrow We have no guest birds
There is no bird in Bangladesh or in that matter any part of the world that can be considered as a GUEST BIRD. This is definitely a misnomer introduced in Bangladesh by self-proclaimed bird experts.
 arrow We must contain air pollution
Air pollution is the contamination of the air by human carelessness and ignorance. It is caused by substances such as fuel exhaust and smoke. This harms the health of all living things.
Urbanarrow The ambivalent modernity of Dhaka
Fretting inside a car and trying for hours to trek an impossibly traffic-inflicted urban passage -- from Dhanmondi to Gulshan -- paradoxically offer me a prism onto Dhaka's urban life.
Worldarrow South Asia: Tamil party office bombed in east
An office of a Tamil political party was bombed in Sri Lanka's restive eastern province and two party activists were gunned down elsewhere yesterday, the military said.
 arrow South Asia: Storms wreak havoc in India: 28 killed
Lightning storms and monsoon rains lashing parts of India have killed at least 28 people and wrought havoc in the country's commercial capital Mumbai, officials and witnesses said yesterday.
 arrow South Asia: India, Pakistan talk promotion of culture to improve ties
Indian and Pakistani officials started talks yesterday on strengthening cultural links, with New Delhi expected to push Islamabad to end a ban on Indian films and television channels, officials and areport
 arrow South Asia: Six die as troops hunt down Kashmir rebels
Five Kashmiri militants and an Indian paramilitary soldier have died as troops hunt down armed rebels in ongoing operations, the army said yesterday.
 arrow South Asia: Suspicion lingers 5 years after Nepali royal massacre
Five years after Nepal's crown prince gunned down most of his immediate family in a palace massacre that shocked the world, the country's monarchy has lost its lustre and suspicions over the current king's
 arrow South Asia: US pledges military support to Lanka, warns against war
The United States yesterday pledged "tangible military cooperation" with embattled Sri Lanka, but warned the government here against a return to war with Tamil Tiger rebels.
 arrow South Asia: Doctors resume work as strike over quota ends
Thousands of doctors and interns were back at work at state hospitals yesterday, ending a nearly three-week strike against a government move to reserve more college seats for lower castes.
 arrow South Asia: US troops open fire on Afghan crowd: 3 killed
US troops fired into a crowd of stone-throwing rioters, killing at least three Afghans, as their convoy left the scene of an accident that triggered anti-American riots, Kabul's chief of highway police
 arrow South Asia: US to pursue UN resolution against Myanmar
The United States said Wednesday it would pursue an unprecedented UN Security Council resolution calling on Myanmar's military junta to change its alleged repressive policies.
 arrow Indonesia hospitals lack basic supplies
The number of casualties from the Indonesian quake soared yesterday as the United Nations said hospitals were overcrowded and still lacked basic supplies to treat the mass of injured.
 arrow US probe finds Iraqi killings unprovoked
A pregnant woman was shot dead at a US checkpoint in Iraq while on her way to give birth, officials said yesterday, sparking further controversy amid a furore over an alleged marines shooting rampage.
 arrow US offer on Iran aimed more at Russia, China
Washington's conditional offer to join multilateral talks on Iran's nuclear programme signals a major policy shift aimed more at Russia and China than the Islamic republic, analysts said Wednesday.
 arrow Timor president appeals for loyalty, national unity
East Timor's President Xanana Gusmao took to Dili's troubled streets yesterday, pleading with the country's feuding security forces to show national unity as foreign peacekeepers appeared to take control.
 arrow Flimsy tents now home for quake survivors
Tens of thousands of Indonesians took refuge in flimsy tents in the earthquake-hit region of Java island yesterday, as officials urged a stop to aid distribution by night to prevent theft and looting.
 arrow German mother jailed for killing 8 newborns
A German court jailed a woman for 15 years yesterday for killing eight of her newborn babies in the worst case of infanticide in the country's criminal history.
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