Vol. 5 Num 925 Fri. January 05, 2007    
Today's Index
Front Page
Letters to Editor
Write to Editor
Reflections on an Execution

About Us


Today's Index
Front Pagearrow 24 more die as cold wave turns severe
The cold wave blowing across most part of the country killed at least 24 people in 24 hours till 6:00pm yesterday, raising the last three days' death toll to 41, most of whom are from worst-hit northern
 arrow CA silent on advisers' knock for meeting on crisis
President and Chief Adviser (CA) Iajuddin Ahmed did not convene any meeting of the council of advisers to the caretaker government in the last two days although the advisers were waiting to sit together
 arrow Khaleda asks all to ignore election boycott
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said the election must be held on January 22 as per the election commission schedule regardless of who participates in it or not.
 arrow Hasina asks party men to make door to door visit
Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday instructed her party leaders and workers to initiate door to door campaign to make the people aware about a free and fair election to resist vote rigging
 arrow Army to recover illegal arms from Jan 10
The army will start recovering illegal arms and assisting the law enforcement agencies on January 10 to maintain law and order ahead of and after the general election set for January 22 amid boycott by
 arrow Polls sans grand alliance won't be acceptable
Adviser Ruhul Alam Chowdhury yesterday said if Awami League-led grand alliance does not take part in the January 22 election, it would not be acceptable to all.
 arrow Ershad asked to surrender by Jan 17
A Dhaka court yesterday asked former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad to surrender within January 17 in connection with a Japanese boat purchase case.
 arrow ACC sues ex-MD, 13 others for graft
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed 29 graft cases against 14 former and current officials of Oriental Bank Ltd, including its former managing director CM Koyes Shami, for embezzling Tk 33.
 arrow Cackle of red jungle fowl now heard louder
Community participation in the conservation process of the Lauachhara forest has seen a remarkable improvement in the overall condition of the forest including an increase in wildlife.
 arrow 14-party says people to resist use of army against blockade
Awami League (AL)-led 14-party alliance yesterday warned the caretaker government (CG) that the people would not tolerate any conspiracy over army deployment in a bid to foil its countrywide blockadeprogrammes
 arrow Writ petition filed against takeover as acting CEC
A public interest litigation (PIL) writ petition challenging the legitimacy of Justice Mahfuzur Rahman as acting chief election commissioner (CEC) is likely to come up for hearing after the High Court
 arrow Black smoke...

 arrow Tannery relocation halts on damages bargaining
The much-awaited relocation of the tanneries from Hazaribagh in the capital to proposed 'leather estate' at Savar is yet to be started while the tannery owners are now bargaining hard with the government
 arrow Chronology of keeping off polls
The Daily Star publishes a chronological account of the political events that took place in the last two months leading to the Awami League-led alliance's latest decision to boycott the January 22 general
 arrow Independent candidate alleges threat by 4-party men
An independent candidate in the upcoming general elections filed a general diary (GD) with the Kotwali Police Station here last night after being threatened with death allegedly by supporters of the four-party
 arrow Poll participation of major parties essential for legitimate govt
British High Commissioner in Dhaka Anwar Choudhury yesterday said participation of all major political parties in a parliamentary election is required to form a legitimate and credible government in Bangladesh.
 arrow EU observers to assess latest situation
The EU Election Observer Mission (EOM) yesterday termed the decision by the Awami League and its allies to boycott the election "a very significant development," saying they will observer the currentsituation
 arrow Dr Kamal hails poll boycott decision
Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said the grand alliance decision to boycott the January 22 parliamentary election exactly reflects the sentiment of the people who want a free and fair election.
 arrow Corrected list sees a rise of 28,491 voters
The number of voters in the country rose by 28,491 to stand at 9,33,32,657 with the correction of the updated electoral roll based on the voter list of 2000.
 arrow Septuagenarian women...

 arrow 7 left parties also boycott Jan 22 polls
Along with the Awami League (AL) led grand alliance, seven left parties under the banner of Ganomukti Andolon will boycott the general election set for January 22 alleging that a congenial atmospherefor
 arrow Hajis start coming back
Hajis started to return home as three Biman Bangladesh Airlines flights carrying pilgrims landed at Zia International Airport yesterday.
 arrow Dhaka regrets Saddam's execution
Bangladesh yesterday regretted the execution of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein on Eid day.
 arrow 6 warehouses of jute gutted in Khulna
A devastating fire yesterday burnt down Tk 8 crore worth raw jute stockpiled in six adjacent warehouses at Daulatpur. However, the locals said the damage would not be worth over Tk 3 crore.
 arrow Ershad meets Hasina
Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad had a meeting with Awami League President Sheikh Hasina at Sudha Sadan yesterday evening.
 arrow health hazards...

 arrow Iraq stalls execution of Saddam aides
Iraq postponed hanging two of Saddam Hussein's henchmen yesterday amid international pressure following the ousted dictator's bungled and much criticised hanging.
 arrow Democrats set to take control of US Congress
Democrats take control of the US Congress yesterday for the first time in 12 years, vowing to hold Republican President George W Bush accountable for the Iraq quagmire.
 arrow 2007 predicted to be warmest year
This year is set to be the hottest on record worldwide due to global warming and the El Nino weather phenomenon, Britain's Meteorological Office said yesterday.
 arrow 6 Indian cops fired for neglect over child murders
Six Indian policemen have been sacked for apparently failing to act on reports of missing children believed to have been raped and killed following the discovery of their remains, authorities said yesterday.
 arrow Iran makes more feedstock for nuke fuel
Iran's top nuclear official said on Thursday U.N.
Businessarrow Exporters eye Tk3000cr earning in FY07
Leather and leather goods exporters eye more earning from exports of rawhide this fiscal as additional quantity of the item is available now in the market because the candidates engaged in the electioneering
 arrow DSE indices up
Stocks on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday bounced back with indices gaining slightly. However, trade turnover declined sharply.
 arrow India may have to write off Rs850b tax arrears
The Indian government may have to write off a whopping Rs.
 arrow US, Brazil hold talks on breaking Doha impasse
US Trade Representative Susan Schwab held talks with Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim Wednesday as part of efforts to break an impasse in a stalled round of global trade talks.
 arrow Managing volatility: Is hedging the right solution?
The dollar's recent downtrend has left US dollar investors worldwide unhappy. Overriding this investor gloom is the fear that dollar's recent fall may as well revive the global economic imbalance.
 arrow China's trade friction to continue this year
China will continue to face trade frictions in 2007 despite the government's cooling measures, says a report by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
 arrow Top Japan executives predict strong economy in '07
Most of the top executives at 30 major companies predict that the current economic upturn will continue this year or beyond, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun's new year survey on business trends.
 arrow Land tax exemption for foreigners goes in China
China has removed an exemption for foreign investors in land taxes starting from this year, state media reported Tuesday, as part of its latest effort to cool the sizzling real estate market.
 arrow Jakarta grants tax incentives to attract investment
Indonesia will grant tax incentives to 15 industries in a bid to attract foreign and domestic investment, a finance ministry official said Thursday.
 arrow Low-cost competition may cut Asian airlines' profits
Asian airlines will likely reap reduced profits in 2007 as increased competition offsets gains in passenger and freight traffic, a global aviation body said Thursday.
 arrow Oil below $59
Oil prices declined in Asian trade Thursday as the market continued to focus on mild North American weather, dealers said.
 arrow Talks to find a buyer for BenQ Mobile still on
Talks with potential investors over the possible acquisition of mobile phone maker BenQ Mobile are still going on, the court-appointed administrator of the bankrupt German arm of Taiwanese electronics
 arrow Arcelor-Mittal bids for India's Sesa Goa
The world's largest steel manufacturer Arcelor-Mittal has bid to buy a controlling stake in Sesa Goa Ltd, one of India's leading iron exporters, according to a report Thursday.
 arrow Google ties up with China Mobile
The world's top Internet search engine, Google, said Thursday it forged an alliance with China Mobile to provide mobile and Internet services in China.
 arrow OECD seeks structural reforms in eurozone
Eurozone countries must make more structural reforms to consolidate a nascent economic recovery in the area, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development recommended Thursday.
 arrow Currency

Sportsarrow Cricket: Faulty scheduling!
Lack of coordination between Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) will cost the Premiership clubs dear as they are going to miss the services of country's top
 arrow Cricket: Warne bats out England
England were just 12 runs in front of Australia with five wickets left in their second innings as the spectre of an Ashes whitewash loomed large in the fifth Test at Sydney on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Spinners rock Proteas
India's persistence with the old ball paid off when three key South African wickets fell before tea on the third day of the third and final Test at Newlands Thursday.
 arrow Football: 'No Chelsea crisis'
Frank Lampard has insisted Chelsea are still in the hunt for a third straight Premier League title despite a disappointing sequence of results over the Christmas and New Year period which has left the
 arrow Football: Ferguson scents title
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes his Premiership leaders are on course to deny Chelsea a third straight title.
 arrow Football: Becks back to Real talk
Real Madrid have offered a two-year contract extension to David Beckham and will hold talks with the former England captain's representatives during the next two weeks.
 arrow Football: Henry hails Van Persie
Arsenal captain Thierry Henry believes fellow Gunners striker Robin van Persie has it in him to become one of the Premiership's greatest players.
 arrow Football: Brazil to face Portugal
Brazil are to play Portugal in their first international of the year.
 arrow Football: Real bid for C'Ron!
Spanish giants Real Madrid have made a bid for on-fire Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo.
 arrow Football: Injury blow for Recoba
Inter Milan striker Alvaro Recoba will be out of action for around three weeks after injuring a calf muscle, the Serie A club said on Thursday.
 arrow Tennis: Shaky win for Sharapova
Russian sensation Maria Sharapova began her run up to the Australian Open with a less than convincing victory over China's Yan Zi in the first round of a Hong Kong invitational on Thursday.
 arrow Football: Le Guen leaves Rangers
Paul Le Guen stepped down Thursday as manager of Rangers after a mere seven months in charge of the Glasgow giants.
 arrow Football: Real urging on Ronaldo
If Ronaldo gets in shape and commits himself to the cause Real Madrid will be able to end their four-year trophy drought according to club president Ramon Calderon.
 arrow Tennis: Russia in final
Top seed Russia snuck into the mixed teams Hopman Cup final with a win over France in their final Group A tie here Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Rule on drug ban soon
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said Thursday it will likely rule on the World Anti-Doping Agency's appeal against the lifting of bans on Pakistani bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif within
 arrow Tennis: Hewitt dealt early blow
Lleyton Hewitt's preparations for this month's Australian Open were dealt a major blow when he was bundled out of the Adelaide International by unheralded Russian Igor Kunitsyn on Thursday.
 arrow Tennis: Classy Hingis through
Former world number one Martina Hingis showed she would be a major player at this year's Australian Open as she cruised into the semi-finals of the Australian Women's Hardcourt championships here Thursday.
 arrow Football: Inter end Figo speculation
Serie A champions Inter Milan have released a statement saying Luis Figo will definitely not be joining Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad.
 arrow Football: Ballack lashes out at Kalle
Germany captain Michael Ballack has hit back at criticism from Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge over his decision to leave Munich for English champions Chelsea.
 arrow Football: London merry-go-round
London: the managerial merry go round, or perhaps the better word would be farce.
 arrow Football: Neill is hot commodity
Lucas Neill's agent has insisted the Australia defender has already been the subject of interest "from England and abroad" just days into the January transfer window.
 arrow Football: Newcastle takeover talks abandoned
A consortium backed by American group Polygon have broken off talks with Premiership side Newcastle over a potential takeover.
 arrow Football: Flo to Leeds
Tore Andre Flo has linked up with former Chelsea teammates Dennis Wise and Guy Poyet after signing a short-term deal with Championship strugglers Leeds United.
 arrow Football: Cassano cannoned
Controversial Italian forward Antonio Cassano is edging nearer the exit door at Real Madrid, according to the Spanish press who said he had been kicked out of training by his coach Fabio Capello.
 arrow Football: PSG stand to stay closed
A notorious stand at Paris St Germain that was closed after a fan was killed outside the ground in November, will remain shut at least until the end of January, a municipal source claimed.
 arrow Football: Tavano completes Roma switch
Striker Francesco Tavano has joined Roma on a six-month loan deal from Spanish side Valencia, the Serie A club said on Thursday.
 arrow Football: Ribery hints at Marseille exit
France international midfielder Franck Ribery said Thursday he might leave French club Marseille at season's end and that his preference would be to go to either Spain's La Liga or the English Premiership.
 arrow Football: FA charge Morgan
Sheffield United captain Chris Morgan has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association after a clash with Arsenal's Robin van Persie.
Metropolitanarrow Killings in political violence marked 21pc rise last year
Killings in political violence marked 21 percent rise last year comparing to that of 2005.
 arrow Two killed in road crashes
At least two people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka and Chittagong yesterday.
 arrow No election sans grand alliance
Chittagong Divisional coordinator of Awami League-led grand alliance and City Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury yesterday said any election without participation of the grand alliance will not be allowedin
 arrow Any intervention in blockades to be resisted
The Dhaka city unit of 14-party alliance yesterday warned of stiff resistance to any intervention into their countrywide blockades on January 7 and 8.
 arrow Strengthen trade ties
Adviser for Finance, Planning, Commerce, Post and Telecommunications Dr Shoaib Ahmed yesterday emphasised the need for boosting Bangladesh-Myanmar bilateral relations through strengthening natural resource
 arrow UPDF demands free, fair polls
Leaders of United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF), a regional political group of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), yesterday placed 4-point demand for holding a free and fair election.
 arrow Resignation of Iajuddin as CA demanded
Leaders of 11-Party at a meeting yesterday demanded resignation of Iajuddin Ahmed as the Chief Adviser of caretaker government, arrangement for making a correct voter list, neutrality of Election Commission
 arrow 17 candidates elected unopposed
A total of 17 candidates in the forthcoming national election, including BNP Chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman, have been declared elected unopposed.
 arrow Mascot Plaza Robbery: Guard confesses to crime
One of the guards at the Mascot Plaza in Uttara yesterday confessed to a magistrate that he along with five others, made the biggest gold mugging worth about Tk 12.80 crore on December 5 last year.
 arrow CPB, left parties to stage countrywide demonstration tomorrow
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and five other left political parties will stage countrywide demonstration tomorrow demanding correct voter list, reconstitution of Election Commission (EC) and neutrality
 arrow AL-BNP clash leaves 20 hurt in Chandpur
Around 20 people were injured in a clash between Awami League and BNP activists in Kochua Sadar yesterday afternoon.
 arrow Listed criminal held in Gazipur
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested one of the top listed criminals of Gazipur from Bhogra area in Sadar upazila yesterday.
 arrow Mobile court fines high-rise buildings in Chittagong
A mobile court here fined a community centre and two under construction high-rise buildings Tk 1.25 lakh on Tuesday for pilfering water through illegal pump from Wasa line and bypassing the meters everyday.
 arrow VCs demand increase in allowances
Vice-Chancellors of public universities yesterday urged President/ Chief Adviser Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday to increase allowances.
 arrow Narandi-China Friendship Complex inaugurated
The Narandi-China Friendship Complex was inaugurated at Narandi village under Monohardi upazila of the district on Tuesday.
 arrow One killed, 150 hurt in Habiganj clashes
A young man was killed and around 150 people were injured in a series of clashes between two groups of people at Bamoi village in Lakhai Upazila yesterday.
 arrow 21 shanties gutted
Twenty-one shanties were gutted in a fire here on Wednesday night.
 arrow Membership of 4 LDP members suspended
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) temporarily suspended the primary membership of four of its party members in charge of violating the party rules and regulations, says a press release.
 arrow 290 bags of urea recovered in Khulna
Detective branch (DB) of Khulna police yesterday recovered 290 bags of urea from a rice mill and arrested its owner at Dumuria in the district.
 arrow Attack on Pirojpur journo condemned
Different organisations yesterday condemned the attack on Pirojpur Correspondent of the daily Inqilab and Baishakhi TV Zahirul Haque Titu by BNP-Jamaat cadres on December 28.
 arrow KMC classes begin Jan 10
The classes of 1st-year MBBS (session 2006-07) of Khulna Medical College (KMC) will begin from January 10, says a press release. The orientation will be held at Lecture Gallery-1 at 10:00am.
 arrow Govt schools' admission tests Jan 13
The admission tests of city's top eight government high schools under group-A will be held on January 13 instead of January 7 due to unavoidable circumstances, says a press release.
Point-Counterpointarrow Is the Grand Alliance decision to boycott the election proper?
ELECTIONS may well be compared to fuels and lubricants that keep the engine of democracy going.
 arrow The perfect storm
LIKE pre-monsoon droplets, a number of separate events seem to have converged into a powerful torrent in Bangladesh's cultural world.
 arrow Highest judiciary victim of a blatant fraud?
DECEMBER 19, 2006 -- a day that will live in infamy in the judicial history of Bangladesh. That was the day when a blatant fraud was perpetrated on the highest judiciary of the land by a vested quarter.
 arrow Heading for another ungainly election?
SO far as strict ideological adherence is concerned, no major political party in the country stands upright any more. There can be a healthy debate as to tangible benefits upon return of democracy in1991.
Culturearrow Ferdaus: Much sought after in two movie industries
FERDAUS Ahmed, popularly known as Ferdaus, is perhaps the only Bangladeshi film actor to have become hugely popular in two movie industries -- Dhaka and Kolkata.
 arrow New voices, unadulterated popularity
Three contenders, Muhin, Salma and Nishita were pitted against each other at the recent grand finale of Closeup 1 Tomakei Khujchhey Bangladesh '06.
 arrow Telefilm 'Shosagora Konya'
Written by Abdus Selim and directed by Gazi Rakayet, telefilm Shosagora Konya will be aired today at 2:40pm on ATN Bangla.
 arrow 'Indiana Jones' returns
Nineteen years after chasing down the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Harrison Ford will return to the big screen in the character of the globetrotting archaeologist in May 2008.
 arrow UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards '07
To recognise and encourage private and public-private initiatives for restoration and conservation of structures that are over 50 years old, Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO (BNCU) and Ministry
 arrow A music video on Grameen Microcredit
Los Angeles-based The Green Children Foundation is creating a music video on Grameen Microcredit, says a press release. For this music video, a group from the Foundation recently travelled to Dhaka.
 arrow Birth anniversary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin
To mark the 92nd birth anniversary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, a children's painting competition was held at the Zainul Abedin Sangrohoshala, Mymensingh.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Chief Adviser's role
WE have reached a political dead-end. Only a stroke of super-ingenuity or luck or a miracle can have us wriggle out of the mire and ensure return on to the path of universally participated election within the given constitutional timeframe.
 arrow Editorial: Commuting chaos during Eid
THIS was yet another year of unprecedented suffering for people leaving for homes in villages and townships as well as returning to their respective work places after celebrating Eid.
 arrow The Fourth Republic, 1991-2006, R.I.P.
POLITICS in every country, it seems to me, is based on a series of fictions, that the public accepts, more or less, as the price for establishing a stable social and political order.
 arrow A ventriloquy of death
THERE was an art and there was a science to how Saddam Hussein met his death on the dawn of the holiest day in the Muslim world.
 arrow An eventful year for South Asia
SOUTH Asia witnessed both turmoil and remarkable achievement during 2006, making the region more talked about in world affairs compared to many other preceding years.
Letters to Editorarrow Execution of Saddam
I applaud The Daily Star for publishing Robert Frisk's article "A dictator created then destroyed by America" (December 31, 2006).
 arrow The Nobel laureate
Criticism can be helpful to the person who is criticised. From an article written about Prof.
 arrow Traffic jam
Traffic jam is one of the biggest problems in Dhaka city. True, we are short of resources to handle this situation. Still, we have to do something to keep things under control.
 arrow Moral defeat for AL
Everyone who sought a level playing field for the Awami League in the coming elections must feel disgusted by its pact with the Khelafat Majlis.
 arrow Political agitation
I was shocked and surprised to read the letter on the above subject ( published on 26 December 2006) written by Adeeba Aziz Khan.
 arrow New kings
Bangladesh has become a place for new kings. These kings are our politicians of some big parties who never care for the common people.
 arrow Bad signs
People of Bangladesh have no reason to feel relieved. Rather, they should start holding their breath and bite lips because of what Dr. Yunus said.
 arrow AL understanding with Khilafat
Thank you for your well thought out and well articulated commentary on the subject .
 arrow MP candidates
Unlike Eid or Durga Puja or Christmas the festival of 'Election' visits us only once in five years! Naturally, it generates tremendous enthusiasm, activity and excitement among the general people, and
 arrow Some suggestions
I am a Bengalee and my father was a doctor, martyred during the liberation war. Very recently, I left my beloved country which is now passing through a grave crisis.
 arrow AL and Islamic parties
Without going into any argument, one can say that the AL general secretary has committed a political blunder by signing a formal MoU with the Khelafat which includes a provision going against thebasic
 arrow Separation of judiciary
The judiciary has a special position in every civilised society. The reason why the judiciary had achieved the decorum was due to its non biased role as well as fair treatment to all.
 arrow Closeup 1 contest
A little girl Salma, from a remote village of Kushtia, has won the victory crown. She sang well and congratulations to her.
Reflections on an Executionarrow Saddam a victim of vendetta?
Saddam Hussein was executed on December 30 at 6 pm local time when Iraqis and all Muslims all over the world were preparing for Eid through prayer and sacrifices.
 arrow Saddam takes his secrets to the grave
We've shut him up. The moment Saddam's hooded executioner pulled the lever of the trapdoor in Baghdad yesterday morning, Washington's secrets were safe.
 arrow Judge not lest the judge is judged
Saddam has been put to the gallows. Iraq's most formidable link to the blood and iron of the past thirty years has been removed. The fallen leader was surely a despot.
Worldarrow South Asia: 'Widening gap' between Afghanistan, Pakistan
Afghanistan and Pakistan remained at odds about the laying of mines on their shared border after top-level talks yesterday, with President Hamid Karzai noting a "widening gap" between the neighbours.
 arrow South Asia: Kashmir leaders to visit Pakistan to push peace
Kashmir's main political separatists will visit Pakistan this month to try set up a permanent peace dialogue process to help end a 17-year revolt in the disputed Himalayan region, a top leader said on
 arrow South Asia: Lanka bombs rebel base in new strike
Sri Lankan jets bombed a Tamil Tiger naval base in the north of the island on Thursday in a third consecutive day of air strikes despite United Nations calls for an end to the fighting.
 arrow South Asia: Blasts kill 5 in Afghanistan
Five Afghan militiamen were killed and four others were injured when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in volatile southern Afghanistan, a senior military official said Thursday.
 arrow South Asia: 'Nato killed too many Afghan civilians'
Nato said Wednesday that it killed too many Afghan civilians during fighting last year against resurgent Taliban militants, but that the Western alliance was working to change that in 2007.
 arrow South Asia: West is environmentally wasteful: Manmohan
Slamming the West for its "environmentally wasteful lifestyle", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called on Wednesday for industrialised nations to look at alternative energy sources to save the environment.
 arrow South Asia: Nepali Maoists to allow police posts to reopen
Nepali police posts closed by Maoist threats during a decade-old revolt will be allowed to reopen to ensure timely polls for an assembly to map the nation's political future, the rebel chief said on Wednesday.
 arrow South Asia: Myanmar releases 3,000 prisoners
Myanmar's military government on Wednesday freed nearly 3,000 prison inmates, including about 50 political prisoners, according to media reports and a human rights group.
 arrow South Asia: Mullah Omar hasn't seen Laden for yrs
Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar has added to the mystery over Osama bin Laden, saying he had not seen his ally and fellow fugitive since US-backed forces ousted the Taliban from Afghanistanin
 arrow South Asia: 79 Maoists surrender in C India
Seventy-nine Indian Maoist rebels have surrendered to authorities in the insurgency-racked central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, police said yesterday.
 arrow Bush may send 40,000 more troops to Iraq
President George W Bush could send up to 40,000 more US troops to Iraq when he unveils his revised Iraq policy, US media said yesterday, cautioning that a final figure has not been determined.
 arrow Boy survives ferry disaster as other survivors found far from wreck
A seven-year-old boy spent days clinging to an oil rig platform before being rescued while other survivors of an Indonesian ferry disaster were swept hundred of kilometres in seas before being pickedup.
 arrow 3,500 Islamists hiding in Somalia
Remnants of Somalia's Islamic movement still pose a threat in the capital, the interior minister said Thursday, a week after his government and Ethiopian troops chased most of the militiamen from Mogadishu.
 arrow Indonesia seeks missing plane with foreign help
Aircraft from Singapore yesterday joined Indonesia's search for a plane that disappeared in bad weather with 102 people aboard four days ago, while navy vessels combed rough seas.
 arrow Thai junta leader trashes fresh coup rumours
Thailand's junta leader yesterday denied rumours swirling around Bangkok that the army had mobilised its troops in preparation for another coup, amid heightened tensions after recent bombs in the capital.
 arrow Mysterious object crashes thru' roof
Authorities were trying to identify a mysterious metallic object that crashed through the roof of a house in eastern New Jersey.
 arrow FBI report shows mistreatment of Guantanamo detainees
A Guantanamo official squatted over a Koran in front of a chained detainee and another bearded detainee's head was wrapped in heavy packing tape as he prayed, a newly released FBI document on mistreatment
 arrow Congressman to be sworn in using Quran
The first Muslim elected to Congress says he will take his oath of office using a Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson to make the point that "religious differences are nothing to be afraid of.
 arrow Saddam: From monster to martyr?
It takes real genius to create a martyr out of Saddam Hussein.
 arrow Gene test may help lung cancer patients
Scientists in Taiwan have developed a simple, five-gene test aimed at showing which lung cancer patients most need chemotherapy, as similar tests now do for people with breast cancer and lymphoma.
 arrow Rebellion deepens in Thai Muslim south
Three years after a separatist insurgency erupted in Thailand's Muslim south, rebel attacks have grown more frequent and gruesome amid signs that young radical Islamists are taking a greater role.
 arrow Japanese student arrested for dismembering his sister
A 21-year-old Japanese pre-college student was arrested here yesterday over the death of his younger sister whose naked body was found cut into a dozen pieces at their home, police said.
 arrow Indian Muslim campaign aims to break stereotypes
A powerful Muslim group in India, home to the world's third-largest Islamic population, has launched a campaign to spread progressive values in the community and break stereotypes, its leaders said yesterday.
 arrow Rare Nepal rhinos disappear mysteriously
Dozens of endangered Great One-horned rhinoceros have mysteriously gone missing from a nature reserve in southwest Nepal over the past few years, a wildlife official said on Wednesday.
 arrow Chinese hero's memory burns bright in Penang
The fate of China's last imperial dynasty was sealed in an unlikely place -- an indigo-blue shop house jammed into a bustling commercial street on the Malaysian island of Penang.
 arrow Iran women chip away at male political supremacy
Banned from becoming president and with just a dozen MPs, women have started making inroads in the male-dominated world of Iranian politics by boosting their numbers on local councils.
 arrow Indonesian flood victims in camps
Thousands of people who fled flash floods on the Indonesian island of Sumatra two weeks ago are unable to return home as their villages are buried under mud, aid workers said yesterday.
 arrow Avalanches kill 3 in French Alps
Three off-piste skiiers were killed on Wednesday in snowslides in the French Alps, taking the avalanche toll in the region to four since the start of the week, the gendarmerie said.
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