Vol. 5 Num 855 Fri. October 20, 2006    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Opposition targets Hasan takeover
Sensing that the government may not meet its reform demands, the 14-party opposition is making all-out preparations from today to launch massive street agitations to protest against handover of powerto
 arrow Tk 40 lakh bribe change hands at DMCH for seats
Patients have to pay Tk 40.48 lakh in bribes a year for seats at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) while many of its third grade employees paid Tk 50,000 to Tk 2.5 lakh in bribes for getting jobs.
 arrow Ex-director among top 20 defaulters
The top 20 defaulters of Islami Bank who share 47 per cent of the bank's total classified loans include one of its former directors and a sitting vice-chairman of another commercial bank.
 arrow Monga returns again
With the Eid-ul-Fitr only days away, the monga-affected people of rural areas of the northwestern region are now crowding this city and other towns desperately looking for jobs just for their survival,
 arrow Jumatul Wida today
The holy Jum'atul Wida, the last Juma of Ramadan, will be observed today while Lailatul Qadr on the night. Devotees will spend the night, offering special prayers and reciting the holy Quran.
 arrow Govt clears 300 visas for workers
The government yesterday cleared about 300 calling visas, final document for workers' entry into Malaysia, after a week's delay over the recruiting agencies' alleged overcharging the workers.
 arrow Saudi prince keen to buy remaining govt shares
Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Saudi, preferred buyer of the state-run Rupali Bank, has expressed his willingness to buy the rest 26 per cent shares of the bank owned by the government.
 arrow Canada says transparent ballot box not possible before polls
The Canadian High Commission yesterday informed the Election Commission (EC), ruling BNP and main opposition Awami League (AL) that use of transparent ballot boxes is not possible in the next generalelections
 arrow Gold smuggling case against Ershad further weakens
Two more prosecution witnesses (PWs) of the gold smuggling case filed against the former president HM Ershad told a Dhaka court yesterday that they knew nothing about the allegations against him.
 arrow Business leaders again urge Jalil, Bhuiyan for crisis solution
Top business leaders once again urged BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil to come to a solution in the ongoing dialogue by October 23.
 arrow 8th Bangladesh meet starts in Hanover today
The 8th Bangladesh-Conference will be held in Hanover, Germany this year from October 20 to 22.
 arrow Another feather in Yunus cap
This year's Bangladeshi Nobel peace laureate was honoured again yesterday for his work in fighting poverty and pledged to continue struggling for a world free of want.
 arrow Saifur critical of Grameen Bank
Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman said true development of the country will be achieved through establishing large-scale industries and modernising agriculture, not by running microcreditprogrammes.
 arrow SC to hear JMB petitions Nov 5
The Supreme Court (SC) has set November 5 for hearing the jail petitions filed by six condemned prisoners in the Jhalakathi judges' killing case seeking leave to appeal to overturn the High Court (HC)
 arrow Court order on Shaniram's bail prayer Oct 22
A Dhaka court will pass an order on October 22 on the bail petition of Shaniram Mondol, an accused in the Shazneen murder case, even though its proceedings were earlier stayed on an order of the HighCourt
 arrow Unnoticed practices...

 arrow 5 of a family trampled to death by wild elephants in Ctg
Wild elephants trampled to death five of a family and damaged three houses at Adarshagram of Banskhali upazila in Chittagong early yesterday.
 arrow PM sends Hasina Eid greetings
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has sent an Eid greeting card to Opposition Leader Sheikh Hasina.
 arrow Loans for the poor end up with BNP men
Ruling BNP men misappropriated Tk 35 lakh in loans from the disaster management and relief ministry depriving destitute people of Khagrachhari.
 arrow US, UN warn N Korea against further N-test
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her South Korean counterpart Ban Ki-Moon yesterday warned of "more grave consequences" for North Korea if it stages a second nuclear test.
 arrow Jamuna fertiliser factory down with glitches
Production at Jamuna Fertiliser Factory remained suspended due to a mechanical malfunction since Tuesday night, keeping the farmers in 19 districts in fear of a possible urea scarcity.
 arrow Blasts, clashes kill 20 in Iraq
A suicide bomber blew up a fuel truck outside a police center in the Iraqi city of Mosul yesterday, killing 11 people, and rebels fired mortar rounds at another station in coordinated attacks, policeand
 arrow Rocket attack in Pakistan suspends train service
Suspected tribal insurgents yesterday attacked a passenger train with a rocket and small arms fire in the restive southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, causing train services in the region to
 arrow 15 killed in Uzbekistan plane crash
Fifteen people were killed when an Uzbekistan Airways plane crashed due to poor weather while trying to land near the capital Tashkent yesterday, the emergency situations ministry said.
Businessarrow Exporters eye 30pc rise in footwear exports
Exporters are eyeing a 30 percent rise in leather footwear exports to the EU countries this fiscal on the backdrop of European Union's anti-dumping measures for a period of two years against leather footwear
 arrow Caretaker govt to face economic challenges
As the caretaker government is going to take over the administration on October 28 to conduct a free and fair national election, it is set to face some economic challenges, International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh
 arrow BGMEA team off to China
A 35-member delegation of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) left Dhaka yesterday for China to participate in a 4-day sewing machinery fair in Shanghai.
 arrow Tk1 lakh handed over to each family of 14 dead RMG workers
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday gave compensation to the families of 14 garment workers, who died on duty on different occasions.
 arrow IMF predicts slower US growth, strong global outlook
The IMF chief economist on Wednesday predicted slower than expected growth next year in the United States, with a "dramatic" slowdown in the housing market, but said global momentum remained "very strong.
 arrow Less red tape, business-friendly rules to boost S Asia growth
South Asia has the potential to go the way of robust economies of East Asia, but India and its neighbors must do more to cut red tape and remove regulations that stunt business initiative, the Asian Development
 arrow Tata may make formal Corus offer today
India's Tata Steel is likely to make a formal takeover bid for Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus Group today which could be at a higher price than previously offered, the Business Standard newspaper said Thursday.
 arrow Vietnam, Japan to start FTA talks next year
Vietnam and Japan agreed Thursday to start talks next year on a free-trade agreement that they hope will almost double their trade by 2010, with Hanoi pledging to improve its investment climate.
 arrow Oil prices higher
Oil prices rose in Asian trade Thursday as the market anticipated the outcome of an extraordinary Opec meeting later in the day on cutting output, dealers said.
 arrow Nokia launches Cost Control solution for cellphone users
Espoo, Finland--Nokia has introduced a new solution called Nokia Cost Control, says a press release.
 arrow Dollar takes breather after data boost
The dollar eased back in Asian trade on Thursday, paring gains made overseas in response to US data suggesting the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates unchanged for now, dealers said.
 arrow IAA Dentsu InterAd XI global student competition
The International Advertising Association (IAA) Dentsu InterAd XI Global Student Competition is being organised for advertising and marketing students worldwide.
 arrow Nokia profits shrink in 3Q
Nokia, the world's leading maker of mobile phones, on Thursday reported a four percent drop in third quarter net profit owing to a sharp decline in the average selling price for its handsets.
Sportsarrow Cricket: We were outplayed: Ponting
Australian captain Ricky Ponting Thursday warned his world beaters to shed their lethargy after the Champions Trophy exploded with three successive shock results.
 arrow Hockey: 4-star Kamal guides Usha
Usha Krira Chakra joined Abahani on top of the Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League table when the defending champions brushed aside Ajax Sporting Club 8-0 at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey
 arrow Cricket: Partex, Epyllion thru'
Epyllion confirmed a semifinal battle against Acme Laboratories after they de-feated Asia Pacific Blo-ssom Hotel by five wickets in the GrameenPhone Corporate Cricket League at the Fatullah Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: SL's must-win battle
Sri Lanka can't wait to take the field in Friday's key Champions Trophy match against New Zealand, a game they must win to stay in the tournament.
 arrow Cricket: Trophy Treats
The perennial foes of world cricket will lock horns in the ICC Champions Trophy at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium tomorrow but the talking point was not the day-nighter even on the eve of the crucial game.
 arrow Asif, Shoeb off to Bangkok
Injured shooters Asif Hossain Khan and Shoebuzzaman asked the nation to pray for their recovery before their departure to Bangkok yesterday for better treatment.
 arrow BOA to reward SA Games gold winners
Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) will honour the country's three gold medallists at the 10th South Asian Games held in Colombo last August.
 arrow Cricket: Gayle fined
West Indies all-rounder Chris Gayle was fined 30 per cent of his match fee on Wednesday for a code of conduct breach during the narrow Champions Trophy victory over Australia.
 arrow Cricket: PCB gags drug duo
Pakistan fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif have been told to stop talking to the media before their appearance next week at a doping tribunal.
 arrow Cricket: Diwali fear for old foes
Old foes Australia and England will play their Champions Trophy match on Saturday amid deafening blasts, choking air and poor visibility.
 arrow Cricket: Dizzy gives up on Ashes?
Veteran fast bowler Jason Gillespie concedes his chances of being part of Australia's new-ball attack in next month's Ashes Test opener with England are remote.
 arrow Cricket: PCB won't pay England
Pakistani cricket chiefs will refuse to pay England any compensation for this summer's Oval Test fiasco because they say Australian umpire Darrell Hair was to blame.
 arrow Cricket: India to pardon Azzu
India's cricket chiefs said on Thursday they will go ahead and resurrect former captain Mohammad Azharuddin from a life of shame despite objections from the sport's world governing body.
 arrow Cricket: WACA loses pace bite
Perth's WACA Ground pitch has long been considered the home of fast bowling in world cricket, but its changing nature could force Australia to break with years of tradition and play two leg-spinners for
 arrow Tennis: Murray, Nadal progress
Unseeded Andy Murray interrupted the Masters Cup qualification progress of Ivan Ljubicic with a second-round upset win at the Madrid Masters Series Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Chelsea exact revenge
A moment of brilliance from Didier Drogba just after half-time was enough to give Chelsea victory over Barcelona, leaving them firmly in control of Champions League Group A.
 arrow Football: Villa brace sinks Shakhtar
Two first half goals from Da-vid Villa gave Valencia a 2-0 win over Sha-khtar Donetsk and maintained the Spanish side's perfect record in Champions League group D.
 arrow Cricket: Taylor on treble table
Jerome Taylor's hattrick against Australia in the Champions Trophy on Wednesday was the first-ever by a West Indian and the 22nd overall in one-day internationals.
 arrow Cricket: India to issue visa to Pak visitors
Despite apprehensions over illegal overstay by cricket fans, the Indian home ministry has given clearance for grant of visas to around 1,000 Pakistani visitors to watch the ICC Champions Trophy matches
 arrow Cricket: Trescothick now fully fit
Marcus Trescothick said he is fully fit and raring to go to Australia for England's defence of the Ashes.
 arrow Cricket: Pervez urges punitive measures
In the backdrop of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif testing positive for a banned steroid, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has asked the national cricket board to enforce discipline in the team's ranks
 arrow Tennis: Amelie passes Stosur hurdle
Top seed Amelie Mauresmo overcame a strong challenge from Samantha Stosur to reach the quarterfinals of the Zurich Open on Wednesday, winning 7-6, 6-3.
 arrow Football: I am no superman: Drogba
"I'm not superman," Didier Drogba said after his goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 win over holders Barcelona in their Champions League Group A game at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Chelsea not going for Barthez
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said recently retired French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez is not a signing priority as they look to plug the hole left by recent injuries.
 arrow Football: Materazzi book saddens Zidane
French football legend Zinedine Zidane said he had been saddened to see Italy international Marco Materazzi profit from the head-butt he received from Zidane in this summer's World Cup final.
 arrow Football: Crouch leaps high again
Peter Crouch sealed victory for Liverpool with a second-half header that clinched a 1-0 Champions League Group C win against Bordeaux.
 arrow Football: Inter Cruz past Spartak
Argentine Julio Ricardo Cruz struck twice in the first 10 minutes for Inter Milan as they beat Russia's Spartak Moscow 2-1 in Champions League Group B on Wednesday to pick up their first points of the
 arrow Football: Jose lauds Hilario
Jose Mourinho praised his third-string goalkeeper Hilario on Wednesday after the Portuguese debutant kept a clean sheet against European champions Barcelona.
 arrow Football: Perrotta keeps Roma rolling
Midfielder Simone Perrotta's first goal in the Champions League was enough to give AS Roma a scrappy but valuable 1-0 win at Olympiakos Piraeus on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Bremen keep pace
German league leaders Werder Bremen kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League at the expense of holders Barcelona with a 2-0 Group A win over Levski Sofia.
 arrow Football: Hunt cleared over Cech challenge
Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt will not face any disciplinary action over the challenge which left Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech with a fractured skull, the Football Association has confirmed.
 arrow Football: Cesc signs long Gunners deal
Spain's teenage midfielder Cesc Fabregas has signed a new eight-year contract at Arsenal, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.
Metropolitanarrow Partisan bureaucracy obstacle to fair polls
It is a tough task to hold a free and fair election in the present context of the country even if the government meets all the 31-point demand of the 14-party opposition combine, said the speakers ata
 arrow 'US for free, fair polls with participation of all parties'
The US is looking forward to a free and fair election with the full and active participation of all political parties in Bangladesh, said Dundas C McCullough, political counsellor of the US Embassy, yesterday.
 arrow Vow to resist polls under Hasan
Sammilita Nagorik Andolon, a platform for united citizens' movement, yesterday vowed to resist any election under Justice KM Hasan, probable chief adviser to the next caretaker government, and MA Aziz,
 arrow 'Implement Phulbari agreement'
Leaders of National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Electricity and Port yesterday at a rally urged the BNP-led ruling alliance to immediately start implementation of the agreement that
 arrow Raise awareness about human trafficking
Speakers at a discussion called on the media people to publish investigative and follow-up reports on human trafficking to raise awareness in the society in order to combat the menace.
 arrow 9 vermicelli factories demolished in Ctg
A mobile court demolished nine unauthorised Semai (vermicelli) factories at Chaktai during an anti-adulteration drive in the early hours of yesterday.
 arrow Chirac hails Yunus
French President Jacques Chirac yesterday congratulated Prof Muhammad Yunus on his winning the Nobel Peace Prize, terming the recognition as a salute to a great achievement of 'solidarity, development
 arrow Footwear trader, CCC revenue officer found dead
Two people were killed in Chittagong in last two days. They were identified as Nurul Kabir, son of Abdus Sobhan of Satkania upazila and Mozammel Hossain Chowdhury of Patiya upazila.
 arrow DCC reception to Yunus Nov 4
Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) yesterday deferred its schedule for according a civic reception to Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus on November 3 by a day.
 arrow Woman chopped to death
Five pieces of a severed body of a young woman were found inside a bag yesterday at a drain at Mirpur in the city. The victim could not be identified immediately.
 arrow Auditor General submits reports to President
Comptroller and Auditor General Asif Ali yesterday submitted reports relating to accounts of the Republic to President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban.
 arrow DU to confer Doctor of Laws on Yunus
Dhaka University (DU) authorities decided to confer 'Doctor of Laws' (honoris causa) on Nobel laureate Prof Dr Mohammad Yunus at its 43rd convocation, sources said.
 arrow Situation calm at Jhenidah border
Villagers have started returning to their homes following the improvement of situation at the border upazila of Moheshpur in Jhenidah district.
 arrow PM offers prayers at Masjidul Haram
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, now in Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday spent holy night of Qadr through prayers at holy Masjidul Haram in Makkah with millions of Muslim devotees.
 arrow M A Samad's anniversary of death observed
On the occasion of the first death anniversary of MA Samad, founder of Bangladesh General Insurance Co. (BGIC), a milad mahfil was held at 42 Dilkusha in the city on Wednesday, says a press release.
 arrow HC rule on DCC
The High Court yesterday issued a rule on Dhaka City Corporation to explain why the appointment of taxation officers of DCC shall not be declared unlawful.
 arrow Ctg RMG workers ransack factory for salaries
Unruly workers vandalised a garment factory at Majhirghat in the port city yesterday demanding payment of advance salaries. Sources said the workers of Krishan Knitting Ltd.
 arrow Memorial plaque set up on grave of Birshreshta Matiur
A memorial plaque has been set up on the grave of Birshreshta Matiur Rahman at the Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals graveyard in the city.
 arrow Notre Dame College club to mark 40th anniversary
Outward Bound Adventure Club (OBAC) of Notre Dame College will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, says a press release.
Point-Counterpointarrow Bravo Yunus: You have made the nation proud
Muhammad Yunus: you have done it. You have made the nation proud.
 arrow From 2001 to 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006, far from being unlucky, was the sweetest of all Fridays for Bangladesh since its birth in 1971. Professor Yunus and his Grameen Bank won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize on this day.
 arrow Lailat-ul-Qadr
We celebrate Lailat-ul-Qadr on the auspicious night of the 27th Ramadan.
 arrow The night of honour
Al Quran was revealed unto the holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) for the guidance of the mankind.
 arrow Understanding Islam and Quran
The Quran, revealed by Allah, is the light to guide one toward becoming a civilized man or woman, but one should study and understand its meaning in the proper perspective, not haphazardly or half-heartedly.
Culturearrow Readers' delight: Special publications on Eid
On the occasion of Eid, there are special treats for everyone, including the readers. Literature enthusiasts in the country eagerly await Eid as the newspapers and magazines bring out 'Eid-specials'.
 arrow "My confidence grew with each award,"-- Momo
"I love wearing sarees and kajal, am crazy about kodbels and deshi beli flowers and dream of roaming the streets of Dhaka on a rickshaw at midnight.
 arrow Telefilm 'Suronjona' on Channel 1
Suronjona is a triangular love story. Rayan and Sinthi strike up a friendship through the Internet. Rayan's user name is Anando and Sinthi's Suronjona.
 arrow Of donkeys and Bollywood stars
Be it a modern city or rural countryside, Bollywood sells equally well everywhere.
 arrow Ultraviolet: Ultra let down
It would seem that Ultraviolet was designed to cash into the possible success that never came from Aeon Flux.
Generalarrow Political leaders ready to welcome Yunus in politics
Leaders of different political parties have welcomed Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus in politics, expressing doubts at the same time about his 'seriousness' in floating a new party with competent political
 arrow 2 killed in road accident
Two people were killed in a road accident on Dauladia-Khulna highway in the district early yesterday.
 arrow Radio Today begins commercial broadcast
Information Minister M Shamsul Islam inaugurated the formal commercial broadcast of Radio Today at the Utshab Hall of Hotel Radisson on October 15, says a press release.
 arrow British HC closed from Oct 24 to 26
British High Commission in Dhaka and its office in Sylhet will remain closed on October 24, 25 and 26 for Eid-ul-Fitr, says a press release.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Tell-tale project approval
Whereas people are reeling in the backdrop of frequent power outages and there is a universally felt palpable need for building new electricity generation plants, the government has hastily approved a
 arrow Editorial: Pitiable state of the railways
The story of our railways is indeed a deplorable and sad one. Just consider this, since independence if anything, there has been no increase in the railway lines even by a metre.
 arrow Imagine
When I look back at Dhaka in 1980, the year I returned to Bangladesh after an absence of half my young life, I see a city of wide open spaces, dotted with lakes, ponds, and canals, and ringed by paddy
 arrow The pride of a Nobel Prize
Dr Muhammad Yunus has won a Nobel Prize for peace, whereas he should have won two prizes in physics and economics.
 arrow Nobel will help poverty elimination in South Asia
It may be sheer co-incidence that the announcement of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, on issues related to the eradication of poverty, almost synchronized with the International Day for eradication ofpoverty
Letters to Editorarrow Prof Yunus: Our national pride
Please convey our (Probashi Bangladeshi) message to our first Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dr. Muhammad Yunus.
 arrow Bangladesh cricket team and management
After witnessing Bangladesh lose two of the first matches in the ICC champions trophy to Sri Lanka and the West Indies respectively the team had nothing left to do but play against Zimbabwe to complete
 arrow Prof Yunus
Dr. Md. Yunus has made us immensely proud. Henceforth Bangladesh will no longer be 'famous' for land of misery, tornadoes, cyclones, poverty, political violence etc.
 arrow Dialogue enters critical stage
The one-on-one dialogue between BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and BAL General Secretary Abdul Jalil is on.
 arrow Shooters
How should I start? I have lost all the words to express my grudges against the wild activities of our law enforcing agencies on the national shooters.
 arrow Caretaker government people
The dire necessity of non-partisan people to conduct one of the most important things in the country -- the running of the general election after each five years -- can't be denied.
 arrow Our talents
I have a point of view to share with you in relation to the recent joy of our winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
 arrow An appeal to Justice K.M. Hasan
Our next general election is not very far away. We must take necessary steps to ensure that the Caretaker government does not suffer from unnecessary debate and political debacle.
 arrow Bankrupt politicians
I am glad, shocked and worried at the same time reading about dialogue on electoral reforms between main parties.
Specialarrow Mounting traffic hazards: Substantial reduction possible
An article, captioned "How Dhaka collapses!" was published in The Daily Star on September 24, in which Mr.
Worldarrow South Asia: Tigers agree to hold peace talks
Tamil Tiger rebels yesterday told peace broker Norway that they will attend talks with the Sri Lankan government later this month despite a recent escalation in violence, a top guerrilla leader said.
 arrow South Asia: Nepal king fails to answer probe on crackdown
Nepal's isolated King Gyanendra has missed a deadline to answer questions by an inquiry panel on this year's crackdown on pro-democracy protests in which at least 22 people were killed, a committee member
 arrow South Asia: Millions in S Asia still lack basic services
South Asian governments are failing to provide millions of people in the region with basic health and education services, clean water and sanitation, aid agency Oxfam International said yesterday.
 arrow South Asia: N Korea test poses threat beyond Asia
North Korea's nuclear test has upset the balance of power in Asia and poses a threat beyond the continent, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.
 arrow South Asia: Afzal hanging put off till decision on mercy plea
The hanging of Mohammed Afzal, a Kashmiri convicted for his role in the 2001 attack on the Parliament, has been put off until a decision on a mercy petition filed by his wife, an official said on Thursday.
 arrow South Asia: Pakistan delays execution of Briton amid royal row
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has delayed the hanging of a British man by two months, officials said yesterday, meaning it will no longer coincide with a visit by Britain's Prince Charles.
 arrow South Asia: 40 feared drowned as bus plunges into India lake
At least 40 people were feared to have drowned yesterday when their bus plunged into a lake in central India, police said.
 arrow South Asia: 4 rebels, soldier killed in Kashmir
Four Islamic militants and an Indian soldier were killed during a fierce gunbattle near the de facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, an army spokesman said yesterday.
 arrow South Asia: Pakistan arrests serial killers of policemen
Police in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi have arrested two serial killers who shot dead 15 security officers since June, an official said yesterday.
 arrow China moves to ease nuke tension
China said yesterday it had sent a special envoy to Pyongyang in an apparent bid to de-escalate tension over North Korea's nuclear test, as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a crisis trip through
 arrow Britain now top target of al-Qaeda
Britain is the top target of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, which now presents a bigger threat than ever before, The Guardian reported yesterday.
 arrow Iraqi troops ready for full security role by late 2007: Minister
Iraq's newly-minted army will be ready to take over the security of the war-torn state from US and allied troops by late next year or early 2008, Iraq's oil minister said in Australia Thursday.
 arrow Bush for first time acknowledges Iraq-Vietnam war comparison
US President George W Bush has for the first time acknowledged a possible parallel between the raging violence in Iraq and the Vietnam War.
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