Vol. 5 Num 914 Fri. December 22, 2006    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Army used to tackle hartal after 16 years
For the first time since restoration of democracy through a mass upsurge in 1990, the government that too a caretaker one yesterday employed the army to tackle political demonstrations in the city and
 arrow 100 hurt in first hartal of interim govt history
The army was used for the first time since HM Ershad's military regime to prevent picketing in the capital and Narayanganj during yesterday's hartal enforced by the Awami League (AL) led grand alliance,
 arrow Zakaria absent from work
Election Commissioner SM Zakaria remained absent from office yesterday, the day after the council of advisers requested him to go on leave until the election is over to 'resolve' the political crisis.
 arrow EU for easing tension among political parties
The leader of European Union election observation team to Bangladesh stressed the need for overcoming political tension for holding a transparent and credible general election.
 arrow Concern over army tackling political programmes
Two former advisers to caretaker government and a security analyst have expressed concern over involving army in tackling political programmes like hartal while a former top bureaucrat said it would have
 arrow 14-party may again go for Bangabhaban siege
The Awami League-led 14-party alliance may announce "Bangabhaban siege" programme again to force the caretaker government (CG) to implement the package it (CG) proposed earlier to create an atmosphere
 arrow It was army's duty to resist anarchic actions
BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan yesterday defended the army personnel's actions against 14-party alliance activists during the dawn-to-dusk countrywide hartal.
 arrow Hasina asks CG to start electoral process afresh
Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the caretaker government to start anew the electoral process while her alliance enforced a nation-wide hartal to press for deferment of the polls.
 arrow Eid on Jan 1
The holy Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, will be celebrated on January 1 as the Zilhaj moon was not sighted anywhere in the country yesterday.
 arrow Nagorik Committee worried at SC stay order's fallout
Members of the Nagorik Committee 2006 yesterday expressed its concern over the consequences of the Supreme Court stay order on a High Court verdict on collecting and making public relevant information
 arrow Rising sea sinks 2 Sundarbans islands in India
Rising sea levels have submerged two islands in the Sunderbans, where tigers roam through mangrove forests in the Ganges river delta, and a dozen more islands are under threat, scientists say.
 arrow Hartal as usual

 arrow All issues of polls resolved, says Iajuddin
President and Chief Adviser Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday said all issues raised by some political parties as preconditions for participating in the upcoming general elections have been resolved.
 arrow Mirza Khokon comes up with new story
The exact details of the shooting at the Mirza family residence on December 18 remain blurry, as contradictory statements from Mirza Abbas and Mirza Khokon are still the primary sources of information
 arrow 4-party aspirants file nominations
Amid countrywide hartal enforced by the Awami League-led 14 alliance and Jatiya Party (Ershad), BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and other candidates of BNP and Jamaat yesterday filed nomination papers indifferent
 arrow Kamal, Amir, Rokan may face sedition charge
Investigators of the November 30 vandalism on the Supreme Court (SC) premises are likely to bring sedition charges against a number of SC lawyers including Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud
 arrow DU convocation postponed amid boycott threat
The Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday postponed the 43rd convocation scheduled for December 24 amid calls for boycotting the programme by different student organisations and a number of teachers
 arrow Judicial probe into distortion of history starts
A Dhaka court yesterday began judicial inquiry with deposition of the complainant of the case filed against former law minister Moudud Ahmed for distorting history about the proclamation of independence
 arrow Prime accused confesses to kidnap, killing
The prime accused in the jewellery trader Turya Ghosh Roni murder case confessed to a magistrate yesterday that she, along with two others, kidnapped the victim to realise ransom and later killed himto
 arrow Warne to call it quits after Ashes
Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne will retire from international cricket after the final Ashes Test against England next month, saying his "time had come".
 arrow Biman crew held with Tk 45 lakh foreign currencies
Customs officials yesterday held a Biman Bangladesh Airlines crew and seized local and Saudi currencies worth around Tk 44.8 lakh from him at Zia International Airport yesterday evening.
 arrow US, UK move ships to Gulf in signal to Iran
The United States and Britain will start moving additional ships into the Gulf region in a signal to Iran as the United Nations weighs sanctions action, The New York Times reported yesterday.
 arrow 13 Iraq police recruits killed in suicide blast
A suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest amid a crowd of police recruits in central Baghdad yesterday, killing 13 in the latest brutal attack on Iraq's beleaguered security forces.
Businessarrow Apparel makers seek loans to pay salary
Garment manufacturers yesterday sought special bank loans to pay salary and bonus to workers before the Eid-ul-Azha as they said the ongoing political unrest has taken a hefty toll on their business.
 arrow Lafarge Surma zeroes in on domestic cement market
As Lafarge Surma Cement Ltd has started production, the French-Spanish joint venture zeroes in on domestic market. "Bangladesh is a growing market and there has always been a demand for quality cement.
 arrow World shakes as China's global footprint deepens in 2006
From the oil fields of Africa to the living rooms of American homes and Asia's shopping malls, virtually every part of the world felt the impact in 2006 of China's ongoing, spectacular transformation.
 arrow Six countries may lose duty-free access to US market in 2007
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has identified six countries, including India, which could lose duty-free access to the American market in 2007 under a revamped trade pro-gramme signed into
 arrow Bangladesh holds huge potential for spices export to UK
The country has a huge potential for exporting spices to the Bangladeshi food companies operating in the United Kingdom (UK), said Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) at a discussion on Wednesday.
 arrow Japan, Brunei to sign FTA
Japan said Thursday it had agreed in principle on a free trade accord with major gas producer Brunei that will help Asia's largest economy in its quest for stable energy supplies.
 arrow Jubok gets 3 months more to return deposits
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Wednesday granted additional three months to Jubok (Jubo Karmasangsthan Society) to return all savings and deposits to its members and depositors.
 arrow Sanjiv Mehta to move as chief of Unilever Philippines
Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh Ltd (UBL), has been appointed as the chairman & CEO of Unilever Philippines Inc, says a press release.
 arrow SingTel, Advance Data to offer int'l IP-VPN network in Bangladesh
Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), Asia's leading communications group, on Monday announced an alliance with Advance Data Networks System Limited (ADNSL), Bangladesh's leading provider in
 arrow Goldman Sachs chief gets record $53.4m bonus
Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein will have a very merry Christmas with a year-end bonus worth an estimated 53.4 million dollars, a record for a Wall Street executive.
 arrow BJIT to up its number of IT engineers to 1000 by 2009
BJIT Ltd, a Japan-Bangladesh joint venture information technology company, is planning to increase its number of computer engineers to 1000 at its Dhaka office by 2009.
 arrow AMCL-Pran declares 26pc dividend
Agricultural Marketing Company Ltd (AMCL)-Pran has declared a 26 percent dividend for its shareholders for the year 2005-06.
 arrow New MD of Dragon Sweater
Mostafa Qamrus Sobhan has been made the group managing director of Dragon Sweater Bangladesh Ltd, says a press release.
 arrow Iran, China sign $16b gas deal
Iran and China's biggest offshore oil producer, CNOOC, have signed a memorandum of understanding worth more than 16 billion dollars to develop a giant natural gas field, the Fars news agency reportedThursday.
 arrow Currency

Sportsarrow Cricket: Warne rides into sunset
Test cricket's greatest bowler Shane Warne announced his retirement from international cricket on Thursday, drawing the curtain on one of the most celebrated careers in the sport's history.
 arrow Cricket: New ball for Twenty20
A better quality ball will be used in the second round matches of the Twenty20 version of the Premier Cricket League, which resumes today after a day's break due to the countrywide hartal.
 arrow Cricket: The Hollywood
Throughout his career, only Shane Warne's sublime on-field performances have generated more headlines than his tempestuous life away from the cricket pitch.
 arrow Cricket: Harmison quits ODIs
England fast bowler Steve Harmison announced his retirement from one-day internationals on Thursday, while injured captain Michael Vaughan was recalled for next month's triangular series here.
 arrow Nat'l Sports Award announced
The government yesterday announced the ten winners of the National Sports Award for 2006.
 arrow Cricket: Zimbabwe tour on
Bangladesh will tour Zimbabwe in February 2007 for a one-day international series but on their own conditions, mentioned Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) general secretary Mahbub Anam.
 arrow Cricket: Dhaka-BKSP in Nat'l Cricket final
Dhaka and sports institute BKSP reached the final of the National Cricket Championship with big wins in their semifinal encounters at the BKSP grounds yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Sachin salutes Shane
Sachin Tendulkar, one of the few to have played the game even longer than Shane Warne, paid tribute to his old sparring partner after Warne announced that he would retire at the end of the current Ashes
 arrow Football: Ronaldinho seeks to be a Spaniard
Barcelona's Brazilian international striker Ronaldinho has applied for Spanish citizenship, which he could obtain early in 2007, a spokesman for the Catalan club confirmed Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Crunch time for India
Kingsmead has few happy memories for India, outside of the 2003 World Cup, but they arrived in Durban on Wednesday afternoon aware that five days of the discipline and grit shown at the Wanderers will
 arrow Cricket: World expresses shock
The cricket world heaped praise on retiring Australian great Shane Warne on Thursday while many expressed shock at his sudden departure.
 arrow Cricket: Victim turns admirer
Mike Gatting, the man on the receiving end of the 'ball of the century', responded to Shane Warne's impending retirement from international cricket by saying the sport may not see the like of the Australia
 arrow Cricket: Pigeon stays tight-lipped
Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath was keeping a low-profile on Thursday amid growing speculation he was about to follow Shane Warne into retirement.
 arrow Football: Huelva make Real mourn
Primera Liga leaders Sevilla crushed Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 on Wednesday while Real Madrid suffered an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat by Recreativo Huelva in their final game before the Christmas break.
 arrow Football: Inter smash Lazio
Inter Milan maintained their seven-point lead at the top of Serie A after defeating Lazio 2-0 here on Wednesday for their 10th successive league win.
 arrow Football: Drogba savours Cup success
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba admitted he has a soft spot for the League Cup after dumping Newcastle out of the competition in the quarterfinals.
 arrow Football: Venus out of Hopman Cup
Former world number one Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Hopman Cup with a wrist injury and is in doubt for the Australian Open, organisers said on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Buchanan plans post-Warne era
Australia coach John Buchanan admitted Thursday that Shane Warne's Test retirement would leave a huge void in his side, but insisted plans were in place to cope with a changing of the guard.
 arrow Cricket: 'Tendulkar, Lara best'
Outgoing Australian spinner Shane Warne on Thursday said India's Sachin Tendulkar and the West Indies' Brian Lara were the toughest batsmen he played against.
 arrow Football: Arambagh rope in Morshed
Arambagh Krira Sangha recruited their second professional footballer in two days when they registered Abu Morshed yesterday.
 arrow Football: Mascherano wants West Ham stay
Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano wants new West Ham boss Alan Curbishley to give him a chance to prove himself.
 arrow Football: Chelsea, Spurs march on
Substitute Didier Drogba bent in a free-kick to give Chelsea a 1-0 win at Newcastle United in the League Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday while Tottenham Hotspur needed extra time to beat second division
 arrow Football: Littbarski to coach Fukuoka
Former West Germany's 1990 World Cup winning midfielder Pierre Littbarski will come to the rescue of relegated Avispa Fukuoka as head coach, club officials said Thursday.
 arrow Football: Real seal Gago deal
Boca Juniors have agreed to sell highly rated midfielder Fernando Gago to Real Madrid for over 20 million euros, the Argentine club said on Thursday.
 arrow Football: Lyon see off Nancy
Florent Malouda scored one goal and set up another to send Olympique Lyon into the French League Cup semifinals with a 3-1 home victory over holders AS Nancy on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Aachen jinx strikes Bayern
Bayern Munich's hopes of lifting the German Cup for a third successive season went up in smoke as Alemannia Aachen produced the shock of the season with a 4-2 win on Wednesday to eliminate the holders
 arrow Football: Mido relishes Blues showdown
Egyptian striker Mido insists Tottenham would not fear a League Cup final showdown with English champions Chelsea.
 arrow Football: Sagnol wants Kaka at Bayern
French international defender Willy Sagnol has urged Bayern Munich to get the cheque book out in the winter break and sign AC Milan's Brazilian international playmaker Kaka.
 arrow Football: Newcastle confirm Polygon approach
English Premiership side Newcastle confirmed Wednesday that St James' Park Group Limited -- a consortium backed by Polygon -- are one of the parties to approach them regarding a possible offer for the
 arrow Football: Doll to stay at Hamburg
Thomas Doll will stay on as SV Hamburg coach for the second half of the season, the club said in a press conference on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Dutch hooligans jailed
Three supporters of Dutch club Feyenoord received prison sentences ranging from two weeks to a month here on Wednesday for their part in crowd trouble during last month's UEFA Cup tie against French club
Metropolitanarrow BNP men torture Sechchhasebak League leader in Rajshahi
BNP activists brutally tortured a Sechchhasebak League leader in Bagmara yesterday in the same style as Jagrata Muslim Janata of Bangla Bhai did.
 arrow 24-hour ultimatum to arrest culprits
Indigenous community organisations of Khagrachhari yesterday gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the administration and law enforcing agencies to arrest the two Bengali settlers who raped two native girls atManikchhari
 arrow Hartal across the country
The Awami League-led 14-party combine and the Jatiya Party (Ershad) enforced a dawn-to-dusk hartal across the country yesterday as part of their joint movement to resist any one-sided elections.
 arrow 4 killed in road crashes
At least four people were killed and ten people, including four policemen, injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Gaibandha and Khulna yesterday.
 arrow 'Bangladesh lags behind other countries'
Compared to health services in other countries, Bangladesh is lagging behind in terms of doctors' behaviour and attitudes towards the patients, said Dr Sufia Rahman, health and family welfare adviserto
 arrow Rab arrests 3 with firearms
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested three people for possessing illegal firearms in the city, says a Rab press release.
 arrow BB instructions to CIB, banks
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued a circular yesterday asking its Central Information Bureau (CIB) to remain open from 5:00pm on December 24 to 5:00pm on December 26 with a view to furnishing the election
 arrow Spurious homeopathic drugs seized
A police team of Detective and Crime Intelligence Department yesterday arrested two people and seized different adulterated homeopathic drugs of six renowned companies from a city market, says a Dhaka
 arrow Handicrafts exhibition to help empower disadvantaged women
With a view to empowering socially disadvantaged women and their children through alternative livelihood, a three-day exhibition of handicrafts began in the city yesterday.
 arrow HC vacation bench sits at judge's house during hartal
The one-member vacation bench of Justice Mir Hashmat Ali of the High Court (HC) division yesterday sat at the judge's Khilgaon residence to hear cases during the hartal enforced by the Awami League (AL)
 arrow EU observers' mission chief meets acting FS
Chief of the EU Election Observers' Mission (EU-EOM) Alexander Lambdorff, also a member of the European Parliament, yesterday called on acting Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain at his office in the city.
 arrow BNP vandalism at AL offices condemned
Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday condemned the attack and vandalism at Louhajang AL and Swechchhasebak League offices by BNP's 'armed terrorists', says a press release.
 arrow Robbery at city house
A gang of robbers looted gold ornaments weighing 40 tolas, Tk 80,000 and other valuables from a house at North Badda in the city yesterday.
 arrow JMB commander Nahid placed on five-day remand
A Gazipur court on Wednesday placed Tangail district commander of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Abdullah Taslim alias Nahid on a five-day remand in connection with August 17 series bomb blasts.
 arrow Cuet postpones admission test after HC order
The Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) yesterday postponed the admission test for the B.Sc engineering course following a High Court (HC) order.
 arrow Woman's body found at N'ganj rail station
Body of a young woman was found at an abandoned toilet at city's Chashara Rail Station yesterday. The victim, aged around 23, had allegedly been strangled after being raped.
 arrow US embassy closed Dec 24-25
The American Embassy offices, including the American Centre, Archer K Blood American Centre Library, the student counseling service and the Consular Section will remain closed on Sunday and Monday onthe
 arrow Noman, Jafrul file nomination papers
Nine more candidates including two former ministers of BNP yesterday submitted nomination papers here raising the number of the nomination papers submitted to 30 in last two days.
 arrow One killed, 17 hurt in train accidents
One person was run over by a train at Sitakunda Railway Station in Chittagong yesterday when he was crossing the rail track.
 arrow 61 fake passports recovered, 2 held
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered 61 fake passports, rubber stamps and other papers from a house at Shahjalal Upashahar in the city yesterday.
 arrow Obituary
Advocate Abdus Salam, a valiant Freedom fighter and one of the organisers of the War of Liberation in Rajshahi district, passed away at a city hospital yesterday at the age of 87.
 arrow ISPAB executives
Mohammed Abdus Salam of Agni Systems Ltd and Azhar H Chowdhury of Grameen CyberNet Ltd were elected president and vice-president of Internet Service Providers' Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) for 2007-2008
 arrow Comrade Abdul Haque's death anniversary today
Today is the 11th death anniversary of Comrade Abdul Haque, an eminent communist leader of the subcontinent, says a press release.
Point-Counterpointarrow Why the EC must be overhauled, now!
Although the ill-effects of the appointment of Justice MA Aziz as chief election commissioner (now on forced leave) will, unfortunately, continue to be felt for many years to come, its immediate outcome
 arrow Is it wrong to be rich in Bangladesh?
Is it wrong to be rich? Why has everyone been bad-mouthing rich people lately in Bangladesh? Are not there rich but good people living there any longer, or are they a near extinct, or already wiped out,
 arrow A returnee's tale
October 1, 12:35 am. Zia international airport was brimming with people and humid temperature. It had been quite a while since I last tasted the bitterness of this sort of climate.
 arrow Thirty-five years on
I am one of the children of the post-war period. To be more precise, I was born a year after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was murdered in the night.
Culturearrow Delving into remnants of a bygone era
Bangladesh is a small country but it possesses remarkable history and heritage. References of this land go back to 1000 BCE.
 arrow International Documentary Festival at Liberation War Museum
First International Documentary Festival on Freedom and Human Rights 2006 started at the Liberation War Museum premises on December 20.
 arrow Actress receives acclaim as a director
Kabori, one of the most successful actresses of her time, has won plaudits for her new venture as a director. In addition, she was an ex-member of the national jury board in Bangladesh.
 arrow Flashes of a meteorite
There is something about dying young that perpetuates fame. Witness the icon industry that has sprung around Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.
Generalarrow 2 murdered, another dies in blast while making bombs
Three people were killed in separate incidents in Kushtia and Chuadanga on Wednesday night and yesterday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Time is fast running out
Looking back on the initiatives taken by the caretaker government to come to grips with the Election Commission reform impasse, it would seem that numerically they have done quite a few things.
 arrow Editorial: Guntanamo Bay returnee
Early this week, Mobarak, a Bangladeshi national held in the infamous Guantanamo Bay, was handed over to the Bangladeshi authorities in Dhaka by the US government.
 arrow Shuffling the deck-chairs
One has to feel a little sorry for the council of advisers who have, by all accounts, been working heroically to try to bridge the difference between the 4-party alliance and the 14-party alliance with
 arrow Ershad lost and found
It was a flip-flop, a somersault, but can be best described as a political high drama of lost and found.
 arrow Pakistan's new stance on Kashmir
President Pervez Musharraf, in his interview to NDTV on December 5, has given the ultimate concession to India. It is a clean break from Pakistan's 59-year-old stand.
Letters to Editorarrow Politics of power grabbing
Political debate is healthy for the exercise of democracy. But in the name of democracy and constitution, if any party somehow wants to grab power, then it is a crime.
 arrow Dismal records
The BNP Jamaat alliance won the 2001 election with more than two- thirds majority of seats.
 arrow President's failure
The new twist of the never-ending controversial story has thrown us to greater uncertainty as our President and Chief Advisor to the Caretaker Government has failed to handle the situation effectively.
 arrow DU campus and politics
I got admitted to DU in 2002-03 academic session and now it is 2006-07, but we are yet to complete our 3rd year final.
 arrow Linguistic misappropriation!
The famous French footballer Zinedine Zidane is a Muslim of Algerian origin. What sort of a 'Muslim' is he, is not known.
 arrow Indian railway ticket
It is known to all that hundreds of people from Bangladesh go to India round the year for various kinds of medical treatment. Most of them go on tourist visa.
 arrow Disgraced flag
National Flag is such a symbol that reflects our independence and our identity. It is our obligation to show due respect to the flag.
 arrow Appeal to politicians
I would request all of our politicians to accept Dr. Yunus' proposal for peace. We should not miss this last opportunity.
Environmentarrow Talking climate change
Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate. These effects add to natural influences that have been present over Earth's history.
 arrow The planet in peril
(This is the second and concluding part of the article. The first part was published on November 24) The threat to the planet from global warming is clear. Fortunately, so are the solutions.
 arrow How can we get more crop per drop?
Agriculture currently consumes 70 percent of the world's developed freshwater supplies.
Worldarrow Fragile ceasefire holds in Gaza for 2nd day
A fragile ceasefire aimed at halting deadly clashes between rival Palestinian factions held in Gaza for a second day yesterday as president Mahmud Abbas urged all sides to consolidate the truce.
 arrow Bush's India statement raises Congress worry
A statement by President George W Bush issued in connection with the just-signed US-India civil nuclear cooperation law has raised concerns that Bush may try to circumvent some of Congress' intentions,
 arrow Passengers stranded as fog hits flights in London
Thousands of passengers were stranded yesterday as heavy fog in southern England grounded hundreds of flights during one of the busiest travel periods of the year.
 arrow US soldiers in Iraq urge Gates to send more troops
US soldiers in Iraq urged their new boss on Thursday to send reinforcements, after their generals told Defence Secretary Robert Gates they were concerned a surge might delay the time when Iraqis takecontrol.
 arrow 'Global flu pandemic may rival death toll of WWII'
A global pandemic of a novel, contagious and lethal form of influenza could kill as many people in a year as died in World War II, according to an estimate published on Friday by The Lancet.
 arrow N Korea not budging on sanctions
North Korea has refused to scrap its demand that the US lift financial restrictions against the communist country, but talks resumed Thursday to resolve the broader issue of persuading the North to renounce
 arrow Ahmadinejad opponents win elections
Opponents of Iran's ultra-conservative president won nationwide elections for local councils, final results confirmed Thursday, an embarrassing outcome for the hardline leader that could force him tochange
 arrow 'Nuclear talks bringing China and US closer’
Six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear programme may be struggling but the chief US envoy said Thursday they were strengthening ties between the United States and China.
 arrow Turkmen leader dies, succession meeting called
Turkmenistan's President-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov died on Thursday after 21 years of iron rule in which he crushed all dissent and made his Central Asian state one of the world's most isolated countries.
 arrow Sadr mulls month-long unilateral truce
Radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who heads a militia feared by Iraq's Sunnis, is considering a one-month unilateral ceasefire and may push his followers to rejoin the political process after a three-week
 arrow Lanka nets 15 Tigers fleeing with civilians
Sri Lankan troops have arrested 15 Tamil Tiger rebels who pretended to be civilians fleeing the embattled eastern region ahead of a major military offensive, officials said yesterday.
 arrow Komodo dragon set for 'virgin birth'
British zoologists have a Christmas tale of their own to tell: a rare giant lizard, the Komodo dragon, is about to give "virgin birth".
 arrow US official confirms Israeli PM met Saudis
A senior US diplomat implicitly confirmed Wednesday a report that Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had met with senior officials from Saudi Arabia.
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