Vol. 5 Num 924 Thu. January 04, 2007    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Grand alliance boycotts Jan 22 election
Awami League (AL)-led grand electoral alliance yesterday announced it will boycott and resist the parliamentary election set for January 22, alleging that all the electoral preparations by the government
 arrow Poll must be held within 90-day deadline: BNP
Reacting to Awami League-led grand alliance's declaration not to contest the upcoming election, BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan said the next general election must be held within the stipulated
 arrow CEC says polls will be held on schedule
Rejecting the Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance's demand for a fresh schedule for the upcoming general election, acting Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice Mahfuzur Rahman yesterday said election
 arrow Factors leading to boycott decision
With the formal announcement of boycotting the January 22 election by Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance, the failure of the caretaker government (CG) headed by President and Chief Adviser (CA) Iajuddin
 arrow Court courts new attention
The country's court has been the centre of some important verdicts that had significant repercussion in the political arena in the last few months.
 arrow Politics now volatile, uncertainty looms
Eminent citizens and members of civil society yesterday observed that the Awami League-led grand alliance's decision to boycott the January 22 election would make politics more volatile pushing the country
 arrow Eid-ul-Azha celebrated
The Muslims of Bangladesh celebrated holy Eid-ul-Azha on Monday through sacrificing animals and praying to the Almighty for the purgation of soul and peace in life.
 arrow Advisers still hopeful of all-party polls
Five advisers to the caretaker government yesterday expressed hope for an all-party participatory election but said that they did not have a specific strategy to persuade the Awami League (AL)-led grand
 arrow Khaleda, Tarique, Saifur, Nizami elected unopposed
BNP Chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman have been declared member of parliament from two Bogra constituencies as other contestants withdrew their nomination papers
 arrow Cold wave kills 17 in last 2 days
A cold wave sweeping through the northern, southern and central parts of the country for the last couple of days claimed at least 17 lives.
 arrow Army to control streets before blockade
The armed forces along with law enforcing agencies will take control of the streets ahead of the countrywide blockade called by Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance on Jan 7 and 8, a top official of the
 arrow 19 killed in road crashes in 4 days
At least 19 people were killed and 56 others injured in road accidents across the country since Saturday last.
 arrow Experts for SC advice on poll timeframe
Constitution experts yesterday suggested the government should seek legal advices from the Supreme Court (SC) regarding whether it is mandatory to hold the election within the 90-day timeframe.
 arrow US, UK, EC disappointed
The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Commission (EC) yesterday expressed their disappointment over the grand alliance's decision to boycott the January 22 polls.
 arrow CPB, BSD too boycott Jan 22 polls
Political parties outside the two major alliances yesterday followed suit with the Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance's announcement to boycott the January 22 elections saying the polls have becomefarcical
 arrow Hasina talks decision with Butenis
Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday held talks on her decision to boycott polls with US Ambassador Patricia A Butenis.
 arrow Components of 4-party may go to polls individually
Partners of the four-party alliance are likely to participate in the January 22 polls individually as the Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance decided to boycott it, sources said.
 arrow Probe into fuel crisis initiated
The energy ministry has formed a two-member inquiry committee to investigate the reason behind the gasoline crisis that gripped the country just before the Eid day.
 arrow Eid vacation ends

 arrow Decision to stall power price hike may hinder donor funding
The government's decision to stall its earlier decision on electricity price hike might push the future of donor funding in the energy sector into uncertainty, sources said.
 arrow Massive search for Indonesian plane missing with 96
Indonesian rescue teams mounted a massive air, land and sea search yesterday for a missing airliner as anguished families and the media slammed authorities over false reports of survivors.
 arrow Bush says Congress must limit spending
President Bush said yesterday he'll submit a proposal to balance the budget in five years and exhorted Congress to "end the dead of night process" of quietly tucking expensive pet projects into spending
Businessarrow Bangladesh may lose out to other S Asian competitors
Bangladesh's apparel exports tend to fall due to volatile politics followed by labour unrest for several months.
 arrow Tk 50cr tax evasion yearly in CEPZ
A section of unscrupulous export-oriented industries at Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) have been evading taxes worth Tk 50 crore every year through sales of duty-free goods in the local market,
 arrow US campaign to isolate Iran financially
The United States is ready to launch a new diplomatic initiative with several European countries to try to isolate Iran financially, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
 arrow Oil prices ease in Asian trade
Oil prices eased Wednesday as Asian trade resumed for the New Year in a market focussed on mild North American weather.
 arrow Billionaire boom in China as stock market soars
China's business elite were the big winners of last year's soaring stock market, with the top 50 executives worth nearly 40 billion yuan (5.1 billion dollars), state media said Wednesday.
 arrow ROK FTA to put 100,000 out of work
Free trade agreements with the United States, Japan, China and Southeast Asia would put more than 100,000 South Koreans out of work over the next 10 years, a government estimate has said.
 arrow Merkel for closer US-EU economic ties
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she wanted to see "ever-closer economic co-operation" between the European Union and the United States in a Financial Times interview published Wednesday.
 arrow $30m ADB loan to modernise Vietnam farm sector
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday it would lend Vietnam 30 million dollars to help modernise agricultural science and technology in the country, a major exporter of rice and other farm goods.
 arrow Libra Infusions okays 17.5pc dividend
Libra Infusions Ltd has approved a 17.5 percent dividend for its shareholders for the year 2006.
 arrow IPDC signs Tk150m debt financing deal with BSRM
Industrial Promotion and Development Company of Bangladesh (IPDC) will provide Tk 150 million debt financing to Bangladesh Steel Re-rolling Mills Limited (BSRM) for its project expansion.
 arrow Dollar begins 2007 on weak footing
The dollar fell sharply against the euro in trading Tuesday, opening the New Year on a continued low note against the European currency which notched up hefty gains against the dollar last year.
 arrow ROK plans promoting investment abroad
South Korea's top economic official Tuesday announced plans to change financial rules to encourage more local companies and funds to invest abroad.
 arrow Bepza, Texas Fashion Wear sign agreement
Bangladeshi-owned textile manufacturing company Texas Fashion Wear Limited will expand its plant in Dhaka Export Processing Zone with an investment of $1 million, according to a press release.
 arrow China plans stricter auto export rules
China plans stricter export rules to ensure that only big and credible auto makers take part in the nation's push to become a major power in the global vehicle market, state media said Monday.
Sportsarrow Table Tennis: One-man show!
In an unprecedented move, Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation (BTTF) president Solaiman Chowdhury abolished the elected body of the federation just before the Eid holidays, replacing it with an ad-hoccommittee.
 arrow Cricket: Proteas peg India back
India lost their last five wickets for 19 runs as South Africa fought back on the second day of the third and final Test at Newlands Tuesday.
 arrow Cricket: 5-0 stays reality
Australia will look to recover from the setback of skipper Ricky Ponting's run out and seize an innings lead in the final Ashes Test after England hit back on Wednesday's second day at the Sydney Cricket
 arrow Cricket: Yardy to lead Eng A
England international Michael Yardy has been named captain of the England A team for their tour to Bangladesh.
 arrow Tennis: Czechs too good for Spaniards
The Czech Republic kept its Hopman Cup hopes alive with an upset win over Spain in their Group B tie at the mixed teams tournament here Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: No fear about Freddie
On a day when England needed to be firing on all cylinders to prevent Australia taking control of the fifth and final Test, Andrew Flintoff's contribution with the ball was a cause of concern.
 arrow Cricket: Harmy stands up
Steve Harmison gave a glimpse of what might have been Wednesday with a zestful bowling performance to give England hope of preventing a 5-0 Ashes series whitewash to Australia in the final Test.
 arrow Cricket: Going in a flash
As Justin Langer ripped his gloves off as he approached the boundary it looked like a normal end to one of his Test innings.
 arrow Cricket: 'We can turn around'
Ever-positive Glenn McGrath is confident Australia can again shut the door on England and go on and clinch a rare Ashes clean sweep in the fifth and final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
 arrow Cricket: Kiwis limp to victory
New Zealand had to work hard on Tuesday to reach a paltry target of 110 for victory against Sri Lanka and take the lead in their one-day international series.
 arrow Cricket: Morgan, Pawarto fight it out
The ICC have revealed David Morgan, the chairman of the ECB and Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, as the two nominees to succeed Percy Sonn as president of the board.
 arrow Cricket: Warne claims 1000 wickets
Australian spin wizard Shane Warne reached another milestone in his farewell outing as he grabbed his 1000th international wicket in the fifth and final Ashes Test here Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: Inzy denies rift with Shoaib
Inzamamul Haq, the Pakistan captain, has denied all speculation that Shoaib Akhtar's exclusion from the touring squad to South Africa had anything to do with personal differences between the two.
 arrow Football: Villa frustrate champions
Jose Mourin-ho's public rage at his malfunctioning Pre-miership champions failed to have the desired effect when Chelsea dropped more valuable points in the title race after a goalless draw at Villa Park
 arrow Football: Bayern sign Schlaudraff
German champions Bayern Munich have signed national striker Jan Schlaudraff from Alemannia Aachen on a three-year contract from the end of the season, the two clubs said on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: PFA questions facilities
England's Professional Foot-ballers' Association (PFA) has questioned the effectiveness of emergency services at Premier League grounds after a series of high-profile injuries to goalkeepers this season.
 arrow Football: Keane splashing cash
Sunderland manager Roy Keane wasted little time in utilising this month's transfer window, signing Luton midfielder Carlos Edwards and Tottenham reserve goalkeeper Marton Fulop for a combined two million
 arrow Football: Curbishley given license to spend
Money will be no object for West Ham manager Alan Curbishley during this month's transfer window according to the Premier League strugglers' chairman Eggert Magnusson.
 arrow Football: Red hot Gunners
Arsenal captain Thierry Henry marked his return from injury in style by inspiring the home side to a 4-0 league win against 10-man Charlton.
 arrow Football: New year, new Henry
Arsene Wenger insists Thierry Henry will provide the spark for a successful 2007 after the Arsenal captain returned from injury to inspire his side's 4-0 rout of Charlton.
 arrow Football: Buffon pondering future
Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon says he may quit the club unless they secure promotion and strengthen their squad.
 arrow Football: Swift return for Terry
John Terry could play for Chelsea in the FA Cup against Macclesfield this weekend, barely a week after undergoing keyhole surgery on a back injury that has troubled him for much of the season.
 arrow Football: 'Hard to emulate 2006'
Real Madrid's Italian defender and World Player of the Year Fabio Cannavaro said Tuesday it would be hard to match last year's exploits in the coming 12 months but vowed to try to match an unforgettable
 arrow Football: Diego best of the first half
Brazilian playmaker Diego was voted the best player during the first half of the Bundesliga season in a Kicker magazine poll of 270 teammates and league rivals. Kicker said on Tuesday 49.
 arrow Football: Crouch commits to Liverpool
Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has dismissed speculation linking him with a move away from Anfield during this month's transfer window, insisting his future lies on Merseyside.
 arrow Football: Emre in racism probe
Newcastle midfielder Emre is at the centre of a racism investigation following his side's 3-0 Premier League defeat last weekend against Everton.
 arrow Cricket: Afghans rout Brit forces
England getting clobbered in Australia might be understandable, but there will be no special mentions in dispatches for those Royal Marines in Afghanistan who were likewise stuffed by the locals at cricket.
 arrow Football: Coach embroiled in match-fixing
A former coach of Malaysia's national football team went on trial Wednesday charged with match fixing in Singapore. Chow Kwai Lam could face up to five years in prison if convicted.
Metropolitanarrow Situation in Bangladesh, other neighbouring states discussed
The situation in Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries of India came up for discussion when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met top BJP leaders in a bid to work out a political consensus on majorforeign
 arrow Full text of Hasina's speech
Following is the full text of the speech Awami League President Sheikh Hasina delivered at a press conference of the grand alliance at Sheraton Hotel in the city yesterday:
 arrow Sincere efforts can solve all outstanding issues
President/Chief Adviser Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday hoped that with sincere efforts of both Bangladesh and Myanmar all outstanding issues including repatriation and maritime demarcation could be resolved
 arrow Robbery, mugging on rise during Eid holidays
The capital witnessed a rise in robbery, theft and mugging during Eid holidays.
 arrow All political parties to participate in polls
BNP chairperson and immediate past prime minister Khaleda Zia exchanged greetings with a cross section of people and diplomats on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Azha.
 arrow 20 injured in Chandpur BNP intra-party clash
About 20 people were injured in an intra-party clash of BNP at Sholaghor in Chandpur on Tuesday during an election procession.
 arrow President hosts Eid receptions
President Iajuddin Ahmed hosted receptions for distinguished citizens and foreign dignitaries on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Azha at Bangabhaban this morning.
 arrow Hasina exchanges Eid greetings
Awami League President Sheikh Hasina exchanged Eid-ul-Azha and New Year's greetings with a cross section of people and foreign dignitaries at the party's Dhanmondi office here.
 arrow Akhtaruzzaman new DG of BR
Md Akhtaruzzaman has taken office as the director general of Bangladesh Railway (BR) on December 28, 2006, says a press release. He joined BR in 1973 as assistant signal and telecommunications engineer.
 arrow 3 murdered in city
At least three people were killed in three separate incidents in the last several days in the city.
 arrow 'Boycott polls under Iajuddin'
Bangladesh Awami Jubo League held a rally yesterday in the city demanding boycott of the blueprint election under BNP partisan chief adviser Iajuddin, says a press release.
 arrow Injured Pirojpur journo admitted to DMCH
Pirojpur Correspondent of the daily Inqilab and Baishakhi TV Jahirul Haque Titu, who was critically injured following an attack by BNP-Jamaat cadres, has been admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital
 arrow Trial court gets copy of HC judgement
The trial court yesterday received the High Court (HC) judgement copy imposed on former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad in connection with the corruption case of purchasing Japanese boats.
 arrow BCL founding anniversary today
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) will observe its 59th founding anniversary today.
 arrow Khaleda visits mazar of Zia
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday visited the mazar of Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman on the occasion of the holy Eid-ul-Azha.
 arrow City 14-party representatives' meeting today
A representatives' meeting of Mahanagar 14-party will be held at Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) central office today, says a press release.
 arrow Snatchers kill two in city
Two people were killed in the capital last night allegedly by the snatchers in two separate incidents.
 arrow More donation to cancer hospital
AQ Siddiqui, managing director, Management Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, donated Tk 5 lakh to Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital (AMCH) Fund, says a press release.
 arrow Obituary
Yakub Ali Khan, former relief commissioner and food secretary of the erstwhile East Pakistan and joint secretary of the ministry of works of the then Government of Pakistan, died at Monroe Township, New
Nationalarrow Grand alliance partners hail decision to boycott election
Grand alliance partners in various districts yesterday hailed a decision to boycott general election scheduled to be held on January 22 and vowed to resist any move to hold any farcical election.
 arrow Joyful learning for slow learners
It was a red letter day for the Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), the nodal agency for implementing the Community Learning Action Project (CLAP), when three former slow learning children, availing the benefit
 arrow Bakkhali river now a narrow canal
The Bakkhali flowing through the resort town turned into a narrow canal following massive land grabbing along its banks during the last few years.
 arrow Kuakata sea beach bustling with tourists
Kuakata sea beach is now full of tourists. Thousands of tourists from home and abroad have flocked here to spend the Eid-holidays and to welcome the New Year.
 arrow Big fire in Khulna, Khagrachhari
Cash and belongings worth Tk 25 lakh were lost in two big fires in Khulna and Khagrachhari on Tuesday.
Point-Counterpointarrow Why Iajuddin should go
FROM day one of the present caretaker government (CTG), all the political parties and political alliances -- except BNP and its allies -- have been demanding resignation of President Iajuddin Ahmed,a
 arrow America's choice?
THE US has finally got what it wanted, even if it is somewhat diluted. The UN Security Council has passed a resolution mandating sanctions against Iran.
 arrow Back to Hindutva and hatred
If there's one organisation in India, which can pretend that it always lays down the agenda, it's the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
 arrow Stay the course?
In 2000, James Baker came to the rescue when it appeared that George Bush, the Republican presidential candidate might sink in Florida.
Culturearrow Celebrities and new year resolutions
The Daily Star had a chat recently with prominent cultural personalities on the year gone by, their plans for 2007 and New Year resolutions, if any.
 arrow Shefali Ghosh: Uncrowned queen of regional songs
Folk singer Shefali Ghosh, widely known as the 'Queen of regional songs', passed away on December 31 in Chittagong. She never fully recovered after suffering from cerebral hemorrhage in April 2006.
 arrow Leading female artistes and their aspirations for '07
Speaking to some of the women artists, one comprehends their plan of work for the New Year, as well as their hopes for the holidays.
 arrow Eid specials on TV
Channel i
Senior Junior: Directed by popular actor Zahid Hassan, tele-film Senior-Junior will be aired today at 2:30pm. Ahmed Yusuf Saber has penned the story.

 arrow Hero and Chandni work in tandem
During the last Eid celebrations dancing duo Anisul Islam Hero and Chandni earned accolades as for their TV programmes.

Internationalarrow Baghdad to hang two Saddam aides today
Iraq will execute two former henchmen of Saddam Hussein today, five days after the former dictator was himself hanged in Baghdad, an official at the Iraqi prime minister's office said yesterday.
 arrow As inmate ,Saddam read poetry, fed the birds
Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was an avid reader, fed birds and told jokes while he was in US custody, an American military nurse who looked after him said in interviews with US media.
 arrow Hundreds still missing five days after ferry disaster off Java
Indonesian navy ships yesterday battled storms and gale force winds to rescue 13 survivors of a ferry disaster, with hundreds still missing five days after the ship sank in a storm off Java island.
 arrow Maoists blame Nepal govt for delaying constitution
Nepal's Maoists yesterday said the government had endangered a power-sharing pact and elections by not sending an interim constitution agreed to almost a month ago for parliamentary approval.
 arrow Indian police probe organ trade angle to child killer case
Indian police Tuesday probed whether a plot to harvest vital organs such as kidneys was behind some of the deaths of at least 17 children found buried next to a house near New Delhi last week.
 arrow Ban declines to condemn Saddam's execution
The new UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declined on Tuesday to condemn or defend the execution of Saddam Hussein, saying it was for each country to decide its position on the death penalty.
 arrow Former Saddam trial judge says execution violates law
The first chief judge who presided over Saddam Hussein's trial for crimes against humanity said on Monday that the late dictator's execution by the Iraqi government was illegal.
 arrow Three 'foreign fighters' to die in Iraq
An Iraqi court has sentenced a Saudi, a Syrian and a Sudanese to death after finding them guilty of Al-Qaeda related terrorist offences, the US-led coalition in Iraq said yesterday.
 arrow Foreigners advised to leave Gaza
Palestinian security officials advised European and American nationals to leave Gaza yesterday because of a threat of kidnappings, a top official said, two days after the abduction of an AFP photographer
 arrow Construction of controversial Narmada dam complete
India Sunday completed the construction of a controversial dam almost two decades after the project was launched, despite protests from environmentalists who said hundreds of thousands of people would
 arrow Powerful Iraqi Sunni tribal chief killed
A 75-year-old chief from Iraq's powerful Tamin tribe was thrown to his death from the top of a Baghdad building after gunmen kidnapped him from a funeral, a relative said yesterday.
 arrow Pak PM to visit Afghanistan amid border mining row
Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz will visit Afghanistan today for talks with President Hamid Karzai amid a row over Pakistan's decision to fence and mine their joint border, the foreign ministry said.
 arrow Nepal bars visas to 4 African nations
Nepal has told its diplomatic missions abroad not to issue visas to citizens from four African countries because of unspecified security reasons, the foreign ministry said yesterday.
 arrow France backs Italian drive for global death penalty ban
France said yesterday that it would back Italy's efforts, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, to push for a worldwide ban on the death penalty.
 arrow Iran's top N-negotiator goes to China today
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani will arrive in China today for a two-day visit carrying a message from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the state news agency IRNA reported.
 arrow Moderate quake hits Sumatra
A moderate 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra yesterday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
 arrow Israel urges UN chief to revoke Iran membership
Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman yesterday called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to revoke Iran's membership over its nuclear programme and calls for the Jewish state's destruction.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Grand alliance's poll boycott
THE decision of the grand alliance -- announced by Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina yesterday -- to boycott the January 22 parliamentary election has created great political uncertainty.
 arrow Editorial: A fuel crunch out of the blue
ALTHOUGH the closure of the oil companies' fuel supply depots for five days since December 29 officially ended on January 2, the chain impact it has had on the economy cannot be sloughed off so easily.
 arrow Flirting with bigots: BNP vs AL
No sooner was my defense of objective journalism archived before I found myself faced with an opportunity to prove the even-handedness of my column.
 arrow Awami League, fatwa and our self-esteem
A section of the Awami League leadership, if not the whole leadership, would like us to think that the Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish has finally come round to accepting secularism as a plank of state policy.
 arrow Year end jottings
SOME odds and ends from a jumble of books picked up during a year's rummage of bookshops. Opening thought: can any piece of information be totally useless? The emphatic answer is no.
Letters to Editorarrow Dr. Yunus' proposal
This refers to Mr. M. M. A. Sayeed Rushd's letter titled "Appeal to politicians" published in The Daily Star on December 22, 2006.
 arrow Tony Blair
British Prime minister Mr. Tony Blair had promised when he came to power in 1997 that his government would be "whiter than white" but after a decade of his stay in power that pledge has been proven a myth, or an English joke.
 arrow Music and commercialism
Nowadays because of the development of audio and video industries we have various music competition and polyphonic songs which are considered a proper match for the time.
 arrow Sheikh Hasina's words
Sheikh Hasina was the prime minister of Bangladesh and she might be PM again if her party wins the next election. However, she still needs to learn a lesson or two regarding her use of words.
 arrow Good article
I have read with great interest an article under the caption, "We are under threat of sorts" by Brig. Gen. (Red) Shahedul Anam Khan published in your esteemed Daily of 21 December 2006.
 arrow Students in trouble
Dear students, being one of the faculty members, I beg your pardon for taking your so many days and years - as I can't handle the political parties and their student wings which are destroyingthe
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