Vol. 5 Num 922 Sat. December 30, 2006    
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Front Pagearrow AL's alliance to go for blockade Jan 7-8
Awami League (AL)-led grand electoral alliance yesterday announced back-to-back countrywide blockades on January 7 and 8 demanding publication of a 'properly' corrected and updated voter list, and resignation
 arrow Dense fog bedevils home rush for Eid
Dense fog in the early hours yesterday disrupted road and river communications across the country and forced suspension of flight operations at the Zia International Airport (ZIA) for hours, causing immense
 arrow BNP bins grand alliance demands
Rejecting the demands of Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance, BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan yesterday said the question of resignation of the chief adviser of the caretaker government does
 arrow Ershad appeals to confront rejection
A total of 70 aspirants including Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad, whose nomination papers had been rejected by returning officers (RO), yesterday filed appeals with the Election Commission (EC), challenging the validity of the ROs' decision.
 arrow Court's rejection order fails to reach jail in a month
Even after a month of the Supreme Court (SC) judgment on the Jhalakathi judges murder case that confirmed death sentences of six Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leaders, its copy has not yet reached
 arrow 2 JMB militants held with arms, ammo
Police arrested two alleged Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants with firearms, ammunition and detonators after they shot a police constable and a police informant during luggage checking at
 arrow Muslims pray for peace at Arafat
More than 2 million elated Muslim pilgrims crowded onto holy Mount Arafat near Makkah yesterday, praying for Muslims around the world and hoping for a safe hajj.
 arrow Saddam may be hanged in hours
Iraqi officials have completed all paperwork necessary to execute Saddam Hussein and could hang him as early as today, but may wait until later in the week, said an aide to the prime minister.
 arrow Khaleda to kick off poll campaign from Sylhet
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will formally kick off electioneering by offering special prayer at the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal in Sylhet tomorrow. She will leave for Sylhet by road around 10:00am.
 arrow Ershad, B Chy cast doubt on polls
Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad has said the upcoming general elections may not be held if the grand alliance's demands are not met.
 arrow Cattle prices soar too high this year
The price of sacrificial animals has gone beyond the reach of middle class and lower middle class people even though all 14 cattle markets in the capital witnessed a flood of animals.
 arrow Gangsters start to cross border for election job
As the countdown to the parliamentary election has begun, the listed and wanted criminals, who fled abroad fearing arrest, have started returning to the country to work as 'gunmen' for the candidates.
 arrow Youths throng concert against corruption
The young generation at a huge concert yesterday vowed to stand against corruption in all its forms.
 arrow AL man killed, 50 injured in clash with BNP
An Awami league (AL) activist was killed and 50 others were injured in a clash between the AL and BNP men at Islamnagar village in Daulatpur upazila of the district yesterday.
 arrow DMP calls for restraint on 31st night
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has requested people from all walks of life to refrain from any activities that may hurt religious sentiments of different faiths on the night of 31st December.
 arrow AL leader shot dead, 6 hurt in Cox's Bazar
A local Awami League (AL) leader was killed and six other party men were injured in an armed attack at Natun Bazar in Ramu upazila early yesterday.
 arrow Rejoinder, our reply
The Prisons Directorate yesterday protested a report headlined "13 jail officers face authorities' wrath" which was published in The Daily Star on December 24.
 arrow Destroying forest

 arrow Somali PM enters Mogadishu
Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamad Gedi swept into Mogadishu in an armed convoy yesterday a day after his Ethiopian-backed forces drove Islamist rivals from the city they had ruled for six months.
 arrow Iraq mosque attack kills 9
An attacker detonated an explosive-laden vest in a Shia mosque in the town of Khalis north of Baghdad just after Friday prayers and killed at least nine people, including an imam, officials said.
 arrow Indian cops arrest serial 'child-killer'
A suspected serial child-killer was arrested yesterday by Indian police following the discovery of the bodies of six children in a satellite city of New Delhi.
 arrow Asia Internet slowly comes back online
Millions of frustrated Internet users across Asia slowly regained access to overseas websites yesterday, three days after an earthquake off the coast of Taiwan snapped several vital undersea cables.
Businessarrow Submission of final draft on amendments by Jan
Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) will submit a final draft on amendment of the bourse's listing regulations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January for the commission's approval.
 arrow DITF ends tomorrow
Foreign participants in the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF)-2006 yesterday expressed satisfaction over their sales, with the month-long extravaganza coming to a close tomorrow.
 arrow Living cost goes 13.52pc up in '06
The cost of living in the year 2006 went up by 13.52 percent while the prices of essentials marked a 15.22 percent rise over the previous year, according to the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB).
 arrow Low tea output, few tourists add to Lankan woes
Sri Lanka's Central Bank on Friday cut its 2006 economic growth estimate to 7.0 percent from 7.4 percent, blaming the reduction on poor tea production and falling tourist arrivals.
 arrow US, India set up forum to boost trade in legal services
The United States said Thursday it has set up a forum with India to facilitate trade in legal services.
 arrow Oil prices slip at end of volatile year
World oil prices fell on Friday to trade about 23 percent below their record high points of more than 78 dollars struck in July and August.
 arrow China may grow 10.5pc in 2006
China's economic growth is likely to hit 10.5 percent this year, although inflation will remain low, the government's statistics office said Thursday.
 arrow New executive body of Indenting Agents Assoc
A 21-member executive committee of the Bangladesh Indenting Agents Association has been constituted for a two-year term (2007-2008) with Obaidur Rahman, Advocate Rafiqul Islam Masum and M Shahid Ullah
 arrow Euro up 11pc against dollar in 2006
The euro climbed against the dollar on Friday in the wake of positive eurozone data, marking an 11-percent gain for the European single currency against the US unit in 2006. The euro rose to 1.
 arrow China tightens iron ore import rules
China, the world's biggest iron ore consumer, has sharply tightened up its import rules in a bid to avoid putting further pressure on soaring international prices, state media said Friday.
 arrow Liberia, Arcelor Mittal sign $1b mining deal
The world's largest steelmaker, Arcelor Mittal, signed an iron ore mining contract with Liberia Thursday that promises to pour more than a billion dollars (760 million euros) in investment into the war-ravaged
 arrow New RMG unit in Karnaphuli EPZ to employ 2,780 locals
A Bangladeshi company named Rhythm Dressmakers Limited will set up a garment industry in the Karnaphuli EPZ through investing 2.536 million US dollars.
 arrow Quake cuts Philippines telecoms services by 40pc
The powerful earthquake which hit Taiwan Tuesday has cut Philippine telecoms capacity by as much as 40 percent, a senior official said Thursday.
 arrow Italy invites bids for flag carrier Alitalia
The Italian Economy Ministry on Friday offically invited bids for the acquisition of financially troubled flag carrier Alitalia, giving interested parties until January 29 to put forward their offers.
 arrow Vietnam's first low cost airline to start operation next year
Vietnam's first budget carrier, Pacific Airlines, will start operations in February and hopes to cash-in on a growing tourism sector, officials said on Thursday.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Mohammedan Twenty20 league champions
Young openers Imtiaz Hossain and Zunaed Siddiqe ignited a chilly afternoon to help Mohammedan Sporting Club clinch the Kai-Altech Twenty20 Premier Cricket League title with a 24-run victory over Old DOHS
 arrow Cricket: Australia stay unchanged
Sydney specialist Stuart MacGill will not get his chance to join Shane Warne in next week's final Ashes Test against England after being overlooked by selectors Friday.
 arrow Cricket: Bad light rules Durban Test
Makhaya Ntini struck twice before bad light took another huge chunk out of play on the fourth day of the second Test between South Africa and India at Kingsmead Friday.
 arrow Football: United urge on Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is being urged by his team-mates to continue his thrilling form as Manchester United look to strengthen their grip on English Premiership top spot at home to Reading this Saturday.
 arrow Football: Make or break for L'pool
Liverpool find themselves in a mini-league below the top two in the battle for Champions League places, according to manager Rafael Benitez.
 arrow Football: Terry undergoes back surgery
Chelsea and Eng-land captain John Terry has undergone surgery on his back injury, the Premiership champions annnounced in a statement here Thursday.
 arrow Tennis: Scud to follow Agassi path
Forgotten Australian Mark Philippoussis hopes to revive his career at the Hopman Cup mixed teams tournament -- with a little help from retired American star Andre Agassi.
 arrow Cricket: Asif in, Akhtar out
Pakistan's doping-tainted bowling pair had contrasting fortunes on Friday as Shoaib Akhtar was left out but fellow paceman Mohammad Asif was included in the Test team for next month's tour of South Africa.
 arrow Cricket: Press for whitewash
The Australian media is predicting a rare 5-0 Ashes clean sweep in next week's final Test after Australia's emphatic fourth Test win over demoralised England here.
 arrow Cricket: Fletcher admits folly
Under-fire coach Duncan Fletcher admitted Friday he had made selection blunders in choosing the England team for the disastrous Ashes series against Australia.
 arrow Cricket: KP is 'selfish': Buchanan
Australian coach John Buchanan has ensured the Ashes series won't peter out by accusing England star batsman Kevin Pietersen of selfishness.
 arrow Cricket: Boycott doubts loyalty
Former England opener Geoff Boycott questioned the spirit of the current side after they slumped to an innings and 99-run defeat inside three days in the fourth Ashes Test on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Arthur irate at delay
South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said he was "hugely frustrated" after a power failure and bad light halted his team's surge on the third day of the second Test against India at Kingsmead Thursday.
 arrow Football: Beckham to consider Japanese sunset
Former England captain David Beckham ate sushi for the cameras and even said he may play in Japan one day as he went all out on a flying promotional tour to Tokyo.
 arrow Tennis: Hingis to tie the knot
Former world tennis number one Martina Hingis rewarded Australian curiosity Friday with details of her recent engagement to Czech player Radek Stepanek, a fact that passed her Swiss compatriots by.
 arrow Football: Spanish prank on Zidane
A Spanish newspaper claimed on Thursday that Zinedine Zidane should have been World Footballer of the Year and not Italian World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro after a voting blunder.
 arrow Football: FIFA backs Cambodia boss
Football's world governing body has endorsed the election of a military police chief to head the Cambodia Football Federation, despite concerns of political interference, according to a letter received
 arrow Cricket: 'Twenty20 harmful for batters'
Former Cricket Board president Raj Singh Dungarpur on Friday sounded a warning that Twenty20 cricket will lead to further erosion of Indian batting which is already showing the ill-effects of a overdose
 arrow Cricket: Pathan returns home
Paceman Irfan Pathan returned here early this morning from South Africa.
 arrow Kabadi: Mokabbar Smriti win first div kabaddi title
Shaheed Mokabbar Smriti Sangsad clinched the First Division Kabaddi League crown beating Moulvi Suruzzaman Smriti Sangsad 42-22 with at the Outer Stadium kabaddi court yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Pawar gets full support
The powerful Asian bloc in world cricket has nominated Sharad Pawar of India for the presidency of the sport's governing body, an official said on Friday.
 arrow Cricket: McMillan back after a year
Craig McMillan, the New Zealand middle-order batsman, has been recalled to the squad for the second one-dayer, as reported by AFP, against Sri Lanka at Queenstown on December 31 as it is doubtful that
 arrow Cricket: Glamorgan want coach back
Glamorgan are reportedly trying to lure Duncan Fletcher back to Cardiff when his existing contract with the ECB expires after the World Cup.
 arrow Football: Buffon cleared of betting
Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon was cleared of illegal gambling by a Turin prosecutor on Friday.
 arrow Football: Blues face defensive worries
The team that has it all has unexpectedly been found wanting.
 arrow Football: Carvalho has little doubt
Chelsea's Ricardo Carvalho has told English Premiership leaders Manchester United that the Blues will still overtake them in the title race -- despite talismanic captain John Terry being sidelined.
 arrow Football: Heinze's WC woe
Manchester United's Argentinian defender Gabriel Heinze believes he has paid a heavy price for pushing himself to make his country's World Cup squad.
 arrow Football: Charlton sign China captain
China's national team captain Zheng Zhi has been signed by Charlton on loan from Shandong Luneng with a view to a permanent deal.
 arrow Football: No Rovers return for Beattie
Blackburn Rovers will not be making a bid for Everton striker James Beattie in the January transfer window, the club said Friday.
 arrow Football: Sevilla rope in Russian forward
Spanish league leaders Sevilla on Thursday boosted their title push by signing Russian international striker Alexandre Kerzhakov on a five and a half year deal from Zenith Saint Petersburg.
 arrow Football: Wanchope joins FC Tokyo
Former Manchester City striker Paulo Wanchope has joined Japan's FC Tokyo, the J-League club said on Friday.
Metropolitanarrow BNP urges dissident candidates to withdraw nomination papers
BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan yesterday urged those, who had filed nomination papers without party ticket, to withdraw their nomination papers within January 3.
 arrow 'Journalists accountable to society'
Investigative reports must dominate the daily newspapers in order to attract the readers in the face of challenges posed by the electronic media, said the speakers at a prize giving ceremony yesterday.
 arrow Two killed in road accidents
At least two people were killed and 28 others injured in separate road accidents in Barisal and Goalando yesterday.
 arrow Bangladesh envoy named as co-chair
UN General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa has named Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, ambassador and permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, as the co-chair of theWorking
 arrow Eid-ul Azha in Chandpur villages today
Eid-ul Azha is being celebrated in some 45 villages under five upazilas of Chandpur district today to keep consistency with the people of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.
 arrow Memo to Hasina today for cancellation of deal with Khelafat
Aggrieved citizens will submit a memorandum to Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina urging her to cancel the five-point memorandum of understanding signed between the AL and fundamentalist partyKhelafat
 arrow Prof Yunus arrives in Ctg today
Nobel peace prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus arrives here in Chittagong today to exchange views on development of Chittagong.
 arrow 10 hurt in BNP factional clash in Chandpur
Ten people were injured and two BNP election camps damaged during a factional clash of the party at Sholaghar in the town yesterday.
 arrow Schoolboy beaten to death in Ctg
A schoolboy was beaten to death at Shahidnagar in the port city yesterday during an altercation between two neighbouring families over a land dispute.
 arrow Four awarded Bangla Academy fellowship
Bangla Academy yesterday conferred honorary fellowship on four distinguished persons for their remarkable contribution to respective fields in 2006.
 arrow FBAST AGM held
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Franco-Bangladesh Association of Scholars and Trainees (FBAST) was held in the city yesterday.
Nationalarrow AL, BNP 'rebels' mount agitation for tickets
Agitation by nomination aspirants of different parties in their respective constituencies in several districts continued yesterday.
 arrow Rail slippers torched, vehicles damaged in Khalishpur
Angry workers and employees of jute mills went berserk yesterday in different areas of Khalishpur industrial belt on the fourth day of their rail-road blockade programme to press their eight-point demand
 arrow Fair polls not possible under caretaker govt
All candidates of Awami League-led 'grand alliance' from five constituencies in Rajshahi have expressed their doubt over holding of a free and fair election under the caretaker government because of its
 arrow All 19 accused acquitted
A tribunal here on Thursday acquitted all 19 accused of Workers' Party (WP) leader Babu Lal Shil murder case of charges for failure of the prosecution to produce sufficient evidence against the accused.
 arrow BNP, Jamaat close ranks in Khulna
Khulna Jamaat at last agreed to forget and forgive its strained relations with former Whip Ashraf Hossain in Khulna-3 (Daulatpur-Khalishpur) constituency.
 arrow BNP enforces hartal in Mirpur
BNP yesterday enforced a half-day hartal in Mirpur upazila in Kushtia district protesting the arrest of party leader Arman Hossain.
 arrow AL accord with Khelafat protested
Bangladesh Hindu, Bouddha, Christian Oikya Parishad here yesterday protested the five-point agreement signed between Awami League (AL) and Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish recently.
 arrow Killing of Somo Odhikar leader protested
Somo Odhikar Andolan (SOA), a platform for Bengali settlers fighting for equal rights in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), yesterday protested the recent killing of its leader Kina Mohon Chakma and Ghilachhari
 arrow PSTU admission from Jan 6
Admission to first year honours courses in Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) for the 2006-'07 session will begin on January 6, university sources said.
 arrow Nomination to GF leader protested
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Inu) here yesterday protested nomination of Gano Forum (GF) leader Mofizul Islam Khan Kamal as a candidate of the grand alliance.
Point-Counterpointarrow Will poverty alleviation remain a far cry in South Asia?
Recently, Bangladesh capital Dhaka witnessed unique meeting of great international personalities, who have earned laurels for their relentless efforts in the direction of poverty alleviation and uplifting
 arrow More benefit at less cost
Microcredit now has universal recognition as the most effective tool in poverty reduction.
 arrow How effective the role of civil society can be?
The United Nations once dealt only with governments.
 arrow Archbishop Theotonius A. Ganguly
Remembering Archbishop Theotonius Ganguly is a venerable affair, because he is on the path of beatification and canonisation.
Culturearrow 2006: A recap
This year the cultural arena was quite active.
 arrow In remembrance...
The cultural arena of Bangladesh lost some of its brightest and most talented stars in the year 2006.
Internationalarrow EU, UN restate opposition to Saddam execution
The Finnish presidency of the EU yesterday restated its opposition to the execution of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, after speculation in Iraq that Saddam's death penalty could be carried out
 arrow Tiger-held town to fall soon
An eastern stronghold of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels will likely fall to the military soon following weeks of fighting that has forced thousands of civilians to flee, a brigadier said yesterday.
 arrow 'Israel will not free Palestinians now'
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has dropped the idea of freeing Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of a Muslim holiday, Israeli political sources said on Friday.
 arrow 'Taliban won't accept defeat in Afghanistan'
Fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar called Friday on his fighters to avoid harming civilians in Afghanistan in an anti-government insurgency he said would never accept defeat.
 arrow Nepal constitution needs to be amended: PM
Nepal's Prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala yesterday said an interim constitution, finalised earlier this month, needs to be amended as it has given unlimited power to the premier.
 arrow Israeli army killed 660 Palestinians in 2006: Rights group
An Israeli human rights association said on Thursday that 660 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army in 2006 -- three times more than in 2005.
 arrow Mamata ends fast over car factory
An opposition leader in eastern India ended her 25-day fast against a car project early yesterday after the country's prime minister and president asked her to call off the hunger strike.
 arrow China defends military rise amid threats
China's military modernisation will focus on strengthening its navy and air force as it faces security threats from border spats, historical disputes and self-ruled Taiwan, according to a defence white
 arrow US vows to press on with UN resolution
The United States vowed Thursday to press ahead with efforts to push a resolution through the UN Security Council condemning political repression in Myanmar, despite the reluctance of council heavyweights
 arrow Ice mass snaps free from Canada's Arctic
A giant ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has snapped free from Canada's Arctic, scientists said.
 arrow UN arms monitors arrive in Nepal
The first group of UN arms monitors has arrived in Nepal to manage the weapons of Maoist guerrillas and the government army as part of a peace deal between the two sides, a top UN envoy said on Friday.
 arrow Housework cuts breast cancer risk
Women who exercise by doing the housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer, a study suggests.
 arrow Too Much fish risky for foetuses: Study
Pregnant women who eat fish more than three times a week could be putting their baby at risk because of higher mercury levels in their blood, according to a study by Taiwanese researchers.
 arrow Assam oil industry blamed for polluting rivers
Oil companies in Assam are responsible for polluting rivers and destroying rainforests and have been told to clean up their act or face closure, authorities said on Thursday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Loan defaulters in election
The concern of some eminent citizens of the country expressed at a seminar of Shujan, a platform of the civil society for good governance, strongly amplified what the saner section in society thinks and
 arrow Editorial: Political standoff taking its toll of education
Due to the continued political impasse during the months of October and November, University of Dhaka had to postpone as many as 600 scheduled examinations.
 arrow Does diplomatic norm permit expression of concern?
Recently, my attention has been drawn to a letter written to the editor of a local English language daily newspaper.
 arrow Hindutva with a vengeance
Lal Krishna Advani, the BJP leader, chided the media once for dividing his party into hardliners and soft-liners. "All of us are the same," he said. He is correct.
 arrow Fair elections: Within or beyond 90 days?
If the election is held within the constitutionally stipulated 90 days, there are chances AL and other political parties of the grand alliance would not participate in it, unless those parties decideotherwise
Specialarrow Historic moments of Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony
I had the opportunity to travel to Europe on quite a few occasions in the past, on both personal and professional business.
StarTecharrow Redefining mobility
In this rapidly changing world time is a very critical factor to achieve your goal. But you must need a constant flow of information in order to execute your tasks in the right time.
 arrow For future ICT enabled Bangladesh
In the age of globalisation it is high time for us to take more pragmatic steps in order to accelerate the socio-economic growth of Bangladesh.
 arrow Microsoft organises workshop for govt officials with BCC, Sonali Bank
Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), Sonali Bank and Microsoft Bangladesh recently conducted separate workshops on MS licensing overview and identification of genuine MS software for Government Purchase
 arrow Great performance, maximum power saving but minimum noise
Global Brand Pvt. Ltd.
 arrow Communicating Flower

Literaturearrow Feet
(Abridged and translated by Andaleeb Shahjahan)
The long procession of men and women, walking into the burning heat of a Chaitra noon, are marching forward.

 arrow On Armstrong, Dalrymple And Shobha De
There has been a definite international flavour to literary activity in Karachi since Eid, with the visits of Karen Armstrong, William Dalrymple and Shobha De.
 arrow Talking with Bapsi Sidhwa
(Bapsi Sidhwa has become well-known as the author of the novel Cracking India, which was made into the 1998 movie 'Earth', directed by Deepa Mehta.
 arrow Mourning a sibling, celebrating a maestro
Kali O Kolom, Editor: Abul Hasnat, December 2006 Taka 25/-
Syed Badrul Ahsan
Kali O Kolom has, much to its readers' relief, held on to quality.

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