Vol. 5 Num 921 Fri. December 29, 2006    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow 100 hurt as hartal paralyses Rangpur over Ershad's fate
Fierce clashes between police and activists of Awami League-led grand alliance marked the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the alliance in Rangpur and Lalmonirhat districts yesterday while the hartal inKurigram,
 arrow Grand alliance to decide today if it would contest
The Awami League (AL) led grand alliance will announce today its decision whether to participate in the next parliamentary elections under the circumstances when the caretaker government is allegedlyusing
 arrow Resentment over tickets to weak candidates
A number of mid- and grassroots-level leaders of Awami League (AL) are increasingly becoming frustrated at the party's nomination of several candidates with slim chance of victory over those recommended
 arrow Aggrieved left-outs clash with rivals
More and more BNP activists staged protests in the last couple of days, sometimes locking in violent clashes with rivals within the party, in different parts of the country defying their party nominees
 arrow Toxic transformer oil used for frying food
Presence of poisonous oil used in electrical transformers as coolant was found in deep fried food items sold in roadside shops in the capital.
 arrow Politics rule attorney general's office
The Attorney General's Office (AGO) goes into overdrive, speeding up or slowing down some court orders for the Election Commission (EC) to capitalise on the dubious moves that curiously suit the purpose
 arrow Ershad files appeal with EC today
Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad will file appeal with the Election Commission (EC) today challenging the validity of the returning officers' (RO) decisions rejecting his nomination papers for five
 arrow AL showing fresh excuses to boycott polls
BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan last night blamed the Awami League-led grand alliance for trying to show fresh excuses on Ershad issue to boycott or foil the January 22 general election.
 arrow Jamal, 2 others' nomination valid despite BB report on loan default
The Returning Officer's Office of Barisal did not disqualify the nomination papers of former BNP whip Shahidul Huq Jamal and two other candidates even though a Bangladesh Bank (BB) report listed themas
 arrow Thousands head for home ahead of Eid
Thousands of passengers thronged bus, train and launch terminals yesterday, the last working day of the government employees, to leave the capital in a bid to observe Eid-ul-Azha with their near and dear
 arrow Show-cause notice served on BNP leader Khokon
The BNP served a show-cause notice on its former lawmaker Khairul Kabir Kokhon yesterday, asking him to explain his recent activities centring party nomination for Narshingdi-1 ignoring party decision.
 arrow Birdwatchers find 5 lakh waterfowls of 72 species
A census, conducted by Nature Conservation Committee (NCC) early this year, found 4,94,401 waterfowls of 72 species at 40 sites across the country.
 arrow Brother files case against Tarique, Babar, cops
Brother of Awami League (AL) leader Waziullah, who was killed on November 13 during the blockade programmes, yesterday filed a murder case against BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, former
 arrow 12 EU election observers arrive Sunday
Twelve European Union long-term election observers (LTOs) will arrive in Dhaka on Sunday for the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place on January 22.
 arrow HC orders not to harass Shamim Osman
Supporters of Awami League (AL) leader and former lawmaker Shamim Osman foiled an alleged police attempt to arrest the leader at his Chashara home in Narayanganj early yesterday.
 arrow Japan welcomes recent political developments in Bangladesh
The government of Japan has welcomed the recent political development in Bangladesh where all major political parties expressed their willingness to participate in the upcoming general elections.
 arrow Hartal observed in Khulna-Jessore industrial area
A daylong hartal was observed in Khulna and Jessore industrial areas yesterday in response to a call by a Jatiya Party election candidate to woo jute mill workers.
 arrow Arrest warrant against ex-BNP MP Kaikobad
A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against former BNP lawmaker Kazi Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad and two others in a cheating case filed by a proprietor of a construction firm in September 2001.
 arrow Asia back to online after quake setback
Asia's telecommunications services were partly restored on Thursday after earthquakes off Taiwan cut undersea cables and knocked millions of users offline, but with few alternative routes, access wasslow
 arrow Victory rally

 arrow Advisory council holds up move to make PDB a holding company
The council of advisers yesterday sent back for further vetting a proposal for transforming the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) into a holding company.
 arrow Traders' strike paralyses Sonamasjid land port
Activities at Sonamasjid land port remained halted for the second day yesterday due to the indefinite strike enforced by importers and exporters.
 arrow 4 murdered in city
Four people including an eight-year-old were murdered yesterday in Lalbagh, Shyampur, Jatrabari and Gulshan areas of the capital.
 arrow Last date for depositing firearms now Jan 5
Home ministry in a circular last night extended the time for submitting licensed firearms to the police stations to January 5.
 arrow Shooting in microbus leaves 3 hurt
Unknown criminals sprayed bullets in broad daylight yesterday on a microbus at Dhupkhola in the capital injuring the owner of a manpower agency and its two staff.
 arrow Bombings kill 23 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad
Three bombs killed 23 Iraqis in Baghdad yesterday, and the US military announced the deaths of three American soldiers.
 arrow 2 AL men hurt in bomb attacks in Chuadanga
Two local Awami League (AL) leaders were injured in bomb attacks on Wednesday night.
 arrow Head-banging snakes may predict China quakes
China has come up with an earthquake prediction system which relies on the behaviour of snakes, state media said yesterday, two days after two quakes struck off neighbouring Taiwan.
Businessarrow Cut in duty on raw materials, capital machinery sought
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has urged the caretaker government (CG) to reduce import duty on basic raw materials and capital machinery from existing 5 percent to 2.5 percent.
 arrow Put best efforts to earn market access
Bangladesh should put its best efforts for early harvest of a market access facility that is free of duty and quota from the Doha Development Round (DDR) under WTO, speakers at a dialogue in Dhaka suggested
 arrow More salary-based jobs needed to cut poverty
More salary-based jobs are needed to alleviate poverty, as self-employment through micro-finance is not enough, economist Wahiduddin Mahmud said yesterday.
 arrow Tanners offer prices of rawhide
Tanners and leather goods makers have offered prices of rawhide ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha, which is going to be celebrated on Monday.
 arrow Tata pursues expansion path in US
Indian conglomerate Tata may be making waves with a planned mega takeover of top European steelmaker Corus, but its biggest acquisition so far has been in the United States, where it is eyeing even more
 arrow Citigroup may buy into Chinese airline
China's Spring Airlines is in talks with Citigroup Inc and others to sell stakes as the privately owned carrier looks to outside capital to fund expansion, two sources familiar with the matter said on
 arrow Sugar price refixed
The ex-mill selling price of sugar produced by state-run mills has been re-fixed at Tk 33,000, reducing it by Tk 2,000 per ton. The revised rate comes into effect today, said a PID handout yesterday.
 arrow Discussion on investment climate held
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) organised a discussion on Bangladesh Investment Climate Assessment (ICA) 2006, in Dhaka on Wednesday, says a press release.
 arrow India-Russia business summit in Feb
India and Russia are planning to hold an unprecedented business summit in February next year to explore ways to boost bilateral trade to USD 10 billion in coming three years, Indian ambassador KanwalSibal
 arrow FDI in India may cross $11b in 2006-07
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India is set to double and cross USD 11 billion this fiscal, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath has said.
 arrow Daffodil Computers approves 11pc cash dividend
Daffodil Computers Ltd has approved an 11 percent cash dividend for its shareholders for the year 2005-06, says a press release.
 arrow Bank Asia, Brac to provide microcredit for the poor
Bank Asia Ltd and Brac, one of the leading non-government organisations, have signed a term loan agreement to provide microcredit facility for the poor, says a press release.
 arrow Siemens-IBM in $9b German accord
The German military said Thursday it has tasked a consortium run by Siemens AG and IBM Corp. with modernizing and running much of its communication network, awarding a contract worth some 7.
 arrow New president of ICAB
M Farhad Hussain has been elected president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) for the year 2007, says a press release.
 arrow New director (Operations) of Texas Group
M Zakir Chowdhury has recently been promoted to director (Operations) of Texas Group Bangladesh, says a press release.
 arrow Currency

Sportsarrow Cricket: DOHS, Mohammedan battle for Twenty20 honours
The first part of the Kai-Altech Premier Cricket League concludes today with the final of the Twenty20 version between Old DOHS and Mohammedan Sporting Club.
 arrow Cricket: Aussies rout England
Australia will go to Sydney aiming for the first 5-0 Ashes series clean sweep in 85 years after crushing England by an innings and 99 runs in the fourth Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Sanath blazes a trail
A quickfire century by veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya propelled Sri Lanka to an easy seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in the opening one-day cricket international here Thursday.
 arrow Football: Farashagnj's Eid shopping
After last season's impressive performance on their return to the premiership, Farashganj Sporting Club managed to retain their strength for the inaugural Profession Football League.
 arrow Football: U-13 trial in Jan
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will hold open selection trials for its under-13 football team at eleven venues across the country.
 arrow Cricket: Asif set for SA tour
Pakistan are considering sending an extended 17-member squad for next month's tour of South Africa, according to Iqbal Qasim, who is standing in for chief selector Wasim Bari.
 arrow Cricket: Panelist slams drug upend
An expert on a panel which overturned doping bans on Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif said Wednesday that the handling of the case by Pakistani cricket authorities did not meet international standards.
 arrow Cricket: Warne bids MCG bye
Shane Warne was carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates Thursday after the incomparable star helped Australia pull off another soul-destroying Ashes win over England.
 arrow Cricket: Galle greets gesture
Test cricket's leading wicket-taker Shane Warne has committed his charitable foundation to donate 20,000 dollars (15,600 USD) to tsunami reconstruction efforts in Sri Lanka, reports said Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Punter 'bets' whitewash
Ricky Ponting says Australia are looking to create something special and whitewash demoralised England in an Ashes series clean sweep next week after yet another pulverising victory here Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Onus on non-stars
Two of Australia's greatest ever Test bowlers are just days away from retirement, but Ricky Ponting said the manner of his team's crushing fourth Test victory at the MCG again showed the future was in
 arrow Cricket: Power cut stops Proteas
A power failure and bad light halted South Africa's surge into a strong position on the third day of the second Test at Kingsmead Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Heat rising at the top
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho stepped up their war of words on Wednesday, each insisting that their side has control of their Premiership destiny.
 arrow Football: Backers wont abandon Liverpool
The company behind the proposed takeover of English football giants Liverpool insisted on Wednesday that they would have a long-term commitment to the club and are not interested in just a quick profit.
 arrow Football: Mourinho expects Porto ovation
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho says he expects applause and even a standing ovation when he returns to his old club FC Porto in February for the first knockout round of the Champions League.
 arrow Football: Platini favours club limits
French legend Michel Platini has vowed to limit English, Italian and Spanish representation in the Champions League to three clubs if he wins election as UEFA president next month.
 arrow Cricket: Warne needs one more
Another major milestone is looming for Shane Warne as the Australian prepares for his final Test against England in Sydney next week -- 1,000 international wickets.
 arrow Football: Totti forever a Romanista
Francesco Totti wants to extend his contract with Roma so that he can finish his career with the Serie A club to whom he has always stayed loyal.
 arrow Football: Pardew left 'disgusted'
Alan Pardew was robbed of a winning start as Charlton manager when Fulham snatched a controversial injury-time goal in a 2-2 draw in the English Premiership on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Fergie launches Chelsea jibe
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said his side's superior goal difference is the equivalent of a point advantage in the battle for the Premiership title with Chelsea as he tried to aimanother
 arrow Football: Al-Ahly flies African flag
The stars of Cairo football club Al-Ahly conquered Africa twice this year to emerge as continental kings.
 arrow Football: Injury blow for Amauri
Palermo's in-form Brazilian striker Amauri is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after damaging cruciate ligaments in his right knee, the Sicilian Serie A club said Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Micah not for sale: Pearce
Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce has said he has been in touch with Chelsea over possible signings sparking talk of a move for former player Shaun Wright-Phillips.
 arrow Football: Eto'o targets January return
Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o, who has been sidelined with a right knee injury since September, will return to training in mid-January, the Spanish champions said on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Probe into Assis doping
The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) have been ordered to reopen the doping case against Benfica midfielder Nuno Assis which their disciplinary commission decided not to pursue earlier this year.
 arrow Football: Adebayor to miss Blades match
Arsenal will be without striker Emmanuel Adebayor for the Premiership match away to Sheffield United on Saturday.
 arrow Football: Betis appoint Fernandez
Frenchman Luis Fernandez has been appointed coach of relegation threatened Spanish club Real Betis in place of sacked Javier Irureta.
 arrow Football: Broken leg for Balde
Celtic defender Bobo Balde suffered a broken leg during Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Dundee United, the Glasgow giants announced Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Granqvist seals Wigan move
English Premiership side Wigan are set to sign Sweden defender Andreas Granqvist from Helsingborgs on a loan deal to the end of the season.
Metropolitanarrow Ensure right to vote of people with disability
Speakers at a discussion yesterday said the people with disabilities are deprived of their fundamental rights including right to voting due to lack of initiatives by the government as well political parties.
 arrow 'Implement electoral laws strictly to curb corruption'
Shushashoner Janney Nagorik (Shujan) yesterday called for proper implementation of the election-related laws in order to curb corruption and ensure transparency in the forthcoming general election.
 arrow SC stay order obstacle to right to know about polls candidates
With his hands tied and mouth gagged, a voter sat in front of the National Museum in the city yesterday to protest a Supreme Court order staying a High Court verdict that compels the Election Commission
 arrow 5 killed in road accidents
Five people were killed in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.
 arrow All 19 accused acquitted
All the 19 accused in Babu Lal Shil murder case including some cadres of outlawed party were acquitted yesterday.
 arrow Valuables worth Tk 6.61 lakh looted in Barisal
Robbers looted valuables worth Tk 6.61 lakh in two separate incidents in the district yesterday.
 arrow Final decision in March next year
A final decision on the proposal of South Asian University (SAU), put forward by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the last Saarc summit in Dhaka, is likely to be taken in March next year aheadof
 arrow AL deal with bigots condemned
Different development and women organisations yesterday condemned the deal signed between Awami League (AL) and Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish (BKM).
 arrow CA urged to work impartially
A citizens' rights body has urged the President/Chief Adviser (CA) to the caretaker government Prof Iajuddin Ahmed to ensure a free and fair election acceptable to all by working impartially.
 arrow Mutasim, Masum president, secy
Shah Muhammad Mutasim Billah of the daily Janakantha and Masum Billah of Dainik Naya Diganta were elected president and general secretary respectively of Dhaka Sub-Editors Council (DSEC) on Monday.
 arrow Anti-corruption concert today
The first ever anti-corruption concert, organised by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), will be held in the city today.
 arrow Abbas, Yusufi elected CPC president, secy
Ali Abbas and Ezaz Yusufi were elected president and general secretary of Chittagong Press Club (CPC) on Wednesday.
 arrow CARE-NILG deal to strengthen local govt bodies
CARE Bangladesh and National Institute of Local Government (NILG) yesterday signed an agreement for strengthening capacities of local elected bodies, service providers and pourasabha and city corporation
 arrow 60 launches stranded in mid-river for six hours
About 60 passenger-launches were stranded in the mid-rivers for almost six hours due to dense fog near Chandpur and Mehendiganj on Wednesday night causing sufferings to thousands of passengers.
 arrow US embassy closed for three days
The American Embassy offices, including the American Centre, Archer K Blood American Center Library, the student counselling service and the Consular Section will remain closed for three days from Sunday
 arrow 5 bank officials sued
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed five separate cases against six people, including five employees of Agrani Bank, on charge of misappropriation of funds from Green Road Branch of the bank,
 arrow New chairman of Red Crescent meets staffs
Prof Abdur Rob, the new Chairman of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), had a courtesy meeting with the members of the managing board, officers and staff members on Wednesday at the BDRCS national
 arrow Appeal for help
Sati Rani Sarker, a mother of three, has appealed for financial assistance for her treatment as she has been suffering from severe kidney diseases, says a press release.
 arrow Benajir chairman of NSU Foundation
Benajir Ahmed has been elected chairman of the North South University Foundation at the meeting of its Board of Governors on December 24, says a press release.
Point-Counterpointarrow Backward march of a nation
Nineteen Fifty-Four. Elections to the Bengal legislative assembly took place barely seven years after the end of the British colonial rule.
 arrow New Year's gift
What could be an extraordinary new year's gift to Bangladesh this year? Probably the most recently legalized term, "fatwa.
 arrow Knowledge sharing: Forever a future prospect?
Is knowledge sharing a utopia, the international community's new "buzz word?" We do not think so. A few examples are telling more than a dozen analyses.
 arrow Free and fair election possible, but not the results
When we all talk about "free and fair election" we assume that the result of such an election will also be fair, truly reflecting the wishes of the voters.
Culturearrow Taking Bangladeshi dance to Oslo
Dance is an integral part of not only Bangladeshi culture but also cultures throughout the world. It is an art form that transcends language and cultural barriers.
 arrow Abdul Kuddus Bayatiand his latest endeavours
December is a rush time for eminent artistes as many programmes are arranged by several organisations to celebrate Victory Day.
 arrow 'Mad_e In Bangladesh': Spirited but flawed
With his unconventional style of filmmaking, Mostafa Sarwar Farooki has carved a niche for himself, specifically among the young audience.
 arrow Exhibition of Henry Moore's prints
A fortnight-long printmaking exhibition by world famous British artist Henry Moore (1898-1986) was held recently at Bengal Shilpalaya.
 arrow AR Rahman: In limelight again
When it comes to espousing a noble cause, internationally acclaimed music director AR Rahman always takes time off his busy schedule in the film industry.
 arrow Music album to help an ailing artiste
The launching ceremony of the VCD titled Dehoghori, a collection of memorable Bangladeshi folk songs by Abdur Rahman Bayati, was held on December 26 at the ATN Bangla studio.
 arrow Live coverage of 'Concert Against Corruption'
"Durjoy Tarunno Durniti Rukhbei" -- bearing this slogan the first ever concert against corruption is being held today at the Youth Club premises, Gulshan, organised by Transparency International Bangladesh.
Generalarrow Havildar found dead in Ctg
Police recovered the body of a havildar from city's BSCIC Industrial area yesterday morning.
 arrow Certificate award ceremony of BAF course held
The certificate award ceremony of No. 73 Junior Command and Staff Course of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) was held at BAF Command and Staff Training Institute in Dhaka cantonment yesterday.
 arrow ACC files cases against 5 bank officials
Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed five separate cases against six people, including five employees of Agrani Bank, on charge of misappropriation of funds from Green Road Branch of the bank,
Editorialarrow Editorial: For an inclusive globalisation
It was thoughtful of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) to have organised a dialogue towards an inclusive globalisation with two Noble laureates Prof Amartya Sen and Dr Yunus on hand to give their crystallised
 arrow Editorial: Violence against women
The national convention against domestic violence organised by the Action Network to Combat Violence Against Women on Wednesday has actually put us in prospective about the work done in this vital field
 arrow Devil's advocate
The last couple of days have done nothing for the AL's reputation for indecision and vacillation, to say nothing for its reputation for political expediency. Let's look at the first one first.
 arrow A probable conspiracy theory
Almost 3000 years ago, the famous storyteller Aesop lived in the Aegean region.
 arrow Living with contradiction and anomaly
It looks like we in Bangladesh have to bear with, and adjust to, an increasing number of oddities, incongruities and contradictions.
Letters to Editorarrow People power
Considering the recent developments in Bangladesh one has got every reason to feel confident about the fact that democracy, meant for people, has started working at the behest of people power.
 arrow It's now or never
I was not at all surprised to see that the National Democratic Institute's (NDI) survey report claims 1.22 crore excess or duplicate voters in the latest voter list, 2.
 arrow Combating AIDS
Every year on December 1, AIDS Day is observed around the globe.
 arrow Constitutional guidelines
There is so much talk about the constitutional guidelines on parliamentary election. Let's have a look at the provisions of the Bangladesh constitution.
 arrow Failed government
The caretaker government (CG) is acting much like a Funeral Director. The unlucky victim getting the burial service is none other than the unfortunate Bangladesh.
 arrow Closeup contest
The closeup contest on ntv raised lots of questions among the people of the country.
 arrow Déjà vu
Bombarded with perplexing experiences of present day Bangladesh, my restless soul has frequent bouts of déjà vu.
 arrow Complacency in cricket
Habibul Bashar seems to be floating on complacency after the Bangladesh team defeated two poorly rated teams recently in the home ground.
 arrow Political impasse
Machiavelli, the 16th century political thinker, would have understood the current political impasse in Bangladesh. Machiavelli thought that politics was about how to gain power and to retain it.
Specialarrow Agency, inequality and human rights
I feel very honoured and also very happy to be here, back in Dhaka, my ancestral town, and among friends whom I greatly admire and like.
Environmentarrow Climate change: An issue of great importance
The climate is changing, and nowadays it is being widely recognized as a serious risk to development.
 arrow Parched in Australia: Drought changes views on warming
Australia's long hot summer has barely begun, but already the dams are running dry, crops are stunted from lack of water, and livestock markets are being overwhelmed by farmers trying to sell sheep and
 arrow Report sounds alarm on pace of Arctic climate change
The most comprehensive international assessment of Arctic climate change has concluded that Earth's upper latitudes are experiencing unprecedented increases in temperature, glacial melting and weather
 arrow Prospect of bio-diesel fuel from plants sources
Nowadays the innovative world-class scientists are turning to biotechnology to invent something different. Still, the broadness of biotechnology is not defined, and is not well known to the people ofBangladesh.
Worldarrow South Asia: Pak border fencing plan not a solution: Karzai
Afghanistan's president yesterday urged Pakistan to do more to stop Taliban and other militants sheltering and training on its territory rather than separating families with an impractical border fence
 arrow South Asia: Civil war erases Lanka's 'paradise isle' tag
Glass bottom boats tethered to the shore, candlelit shacks serving seafood empty of patrons, a solitary bar open: Not the signs of a vibrant beach resort at the height of the holiday season.
 arrow South Asia: Police kill top Maoist rebel in Andhra
Security forces shot dead a senior Maoist rebel leader in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday in what police said was a big blow to the leftist insurgents.
 arrow South Asia: 9 killed in Kashmir violence
Nine people including five Islamic rebels were killed and 10 injured in separate incidents in violence-wracked Indian Kashmir, the police and army said yesterday.
 arrow South Asia: British, Pak diamond dispute revealed in Bhutto's letters
The Pakistani prime minister called on Britain to right historic wrongs 30 years ago by returning a precious diamond which left during colonial times, newly declassified documents showed Friday.
 arrow South Asia: British soldier killed in southern Afghanistan
A British soldier was killed and three others hurt, one of them seriously, after a blast caused their vehicle to crash during a reconnaissance mission in southern Afghanistan, Nato said yesterday.
 arrow South Asia: Two soldiers killed in Lanka mine blast
At least two soldiers were killed and three more wounded in a powerful mine attack in northern Sri Lanka Thursday, defence officials said.
 arrow South Asia: London plot suspect might face Pakistani terror court
A Pakistani high court has suspended the trial of a Pakistani-British man suspected of involvement in a plot to blow up US-bound airliners in a move that could see him tried in an anti-terrorism court.
 arrow South Asia: Nepal doctors on strike over violence
Doctors in Nepal began a three-day nationwide strike from Wednesday in protest over attacks on their colleagues, medical officials said.
 arrow Israeli heads new peace drive with Palestinians
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is spearheading a new peace initiative between Israel and the Palestinians that seeks to address the most contentious issues such as that of refugees, she said inan
 arrow 16 killed in Brazilian bus attack
Sixteen people were killed and 23 injured in attacks by armed gangs against civilian buses and police stations in Rio de Janeiro, officials said Thursday.
 arrow Extreme weather on rise in China
China experienced some of its deadliest weather in years in 2006 and climate experts expect the extreme conditions to continue, state media reported Thursday.
 arrow Passengers foil Russian plane hijack
Passengers overpowered a Russian man who tried to hijack an Aeroflot plane on Thursday and the aircraft safely made an emergency landing in Prague, airline officials said.
 arrow Egypt sent arms to Fatah with help of Israel
Egypt has sent a large quantity of arms to forces loyal to moderate Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, battling for influence with the ruling Islamist Hamas movement, an Israeli official told AFP yesterday.
 arrow Bush, advisers crafting new Iraq strategy
Already weeks in the making, President Bush's new war plan is being burnished with the assistance of top military and diplomatic advisers as critics of the war urge the Democratic Congress to resist any
 arrow Hajj gets underway amid tight security
Around two million Muslim faithful were heading yesterday from Makkah to the valley of Mina as the annual Hajj pilgrimage got under way in Saudi Arabia amid heavy security.
 arrow 'Somali govt forces capture Mogadishu'
A Somali lawmaker said the government had captured the capital Mogadishu yesterday, but a government spokesman could not immediately confirm that. "The government has taken over Mogadishu.
 arrow French spaceship begins search for new planets
A French-made spacecraft began its two-and-a-half year search for undiscovered planets suitable for human habitation outside our solar system on Wednesday, scientists said.
 arrow Vatican cleric hopes for clemency for Saddam
A senior Catholic cleric has said he hopes former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein will be spared execution, citing the Church's opposition to the death penalty.
 arrow Ford's state funeral begins today
In a state funeral for the president who only wanted to be speaker of the House, Gerald R. Ford's casket will return to the Congress he served on his historic journey to an unelected presidency.
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