Vol. 5 Num 932 Fri. January 12, 2007    
 
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Emergency declared; Iajuddin quits as chief adviser
President Iajuddin Ahmed last night resigned from the post of chief adviser to the caretaker government, declaring a state of emergency in the country--amid growing political crisis over election--after
 arrow Iajuddin's admission
President Iajuddin Ahmed has admitted flaws in the process of updating voter list and said it is imperative to prepare a flawless voter list to hold a free and fair election.
 arrow Int'l community puts immense pressure on Iajuddin, his govt
As the country was plunging into the abyss of a deep political crisis, the international community moved in a concerted way to put pressure on Iajuddin Ahmed and the caretaker government to back out from
 arrow Gagging the media is not the answer
In a move reminiscent of the autocratic era of General Ershad, Bangabhaban yesterday issues a verbal instruction through an unidentified official of the Press Information Department (PID) to the TV news
 arrow Predicament for economy
The economy had never been in such predicament with so much of political uncertainty looming ahead.
 arrow Delayed but necessary measure: AL
Awami League (AL) leaders last night described President Iajuddin Ahmed's resignation from the post of chief adviser as a "delayed" but "necessary" step.
 arrow Restricted rights
Under a state of emergency the state will not be restricted by the constitutional provisions for freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of thought, conscience and speech,
 arrow Curfew exemptions
The emergency services, including ambulances, Fire Brigade, the press, utility services, vehicles carrying patients, doctors, hajj pilgrims and aviation passengers, will remain out of the purview of the
 arrow Orion Group pocketed Tk 596cr using unique method
A Bangladesh Bank investigation categorically names Oriental Bank's majority shareholder and chief of Orion Group Obaedul Karim for misappropriating Tk 596.
 arrow NSI DG, PGR chief removed
National Security Intelligence (NSI) Director General (DG) Major General Rezakul Haider Chowdhury and Chief of the President's Guard Regiment (PGR) Brigadier General Abu Mohammad Sohel have been removed
 arrow Retiring judge tells of political influence in highest court
The senior-most judge of the High Court yesterday said he was held down at the highest judiciary on partisan political considerations, as three of his junior colleagues were elevated above his position.
 arrow UN threatens Bangladesh's peacekeeping role
The United Nations yesterday threatened to strip the Bangladesh army of its prestigious and lucrative international 'blue helmet' peacekeeping duties if it mobilised to support disputed elections this
 arrow Censorship slapped on press
Immediately after the president declared the state of emergency, the Press Information Department (PID) under the information ministry verbally imposed censorship on the media.
 arrow Container congestion reaches a new high
The container congestion at Chittagong port surpassed all previous records yesterday and the port authorities fear it would take at least a couple of weeks to clear the jam even if the country's political
 arrow Cops harass newsmen despite exemption
Police last night harassed the media and other emergency services by barring their vehicles' movement during the first hours of curfew in the capital although those were kept outside its purview.
 arrow BGMEA directors argue over making request to Iajuddin
The directors of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) locked in a heated debate at a press conference yesterday on the question of making an appeal to the government forshifting
 arrow HR violation increases in Bangladesh
War-torn Sri Lanka and politically unstable Bangladesh suffered worsening human rights violations in 2006 while other parts of the subcontinent saw scant progress, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.
 arrow Khaleda, Huda, Altaf yet to submit tax papers
BNP Chairperson and immediate past prime minister Khaleda Zia and some other high profile BNP leaders did not submit the statement papers of their wealth, income and expenditure as well as income taxreturns
 arrow Hearing on arguments adjourned until Jan 18
A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned hearing on arguments of a gold smuggling case filed against former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad till January 18 following a time petition by the prosecution
 arrow Day after...


 arrow Ex-BNP MP Pintu granted bail in attempted murder case
Former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and eight others yesterday obtained bail in an attempted murder case filed against them in December last year.
 arrow Criminal killed in 'shootout' with Rab
A criminal was killed in an encounter with the members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah district early yesterday.
 arrow Mokhles now pushes books for schools
The Narayanganj district administration recommended different school authorities to include books published by a Niloy Prokashoni in their booklists as Mokhlesur Rahman, adviser to President and Chief
 arrow Seven more die of cold
The sunny weather in most parts of the country yesterday could not fade away the cold wave that claimed seven more lives in Satkhira, raising the death toll to 159 people across the country.
 arrow Bush vows action on Iran, Syria
US President George W Bush vowed Wednesday to crack down on Iranian and Syrian meddling in Iraq and boost defence measures in the Middle East to promote stability throughout the region.
 arrow Inadequate number of flights


 arrow Afghan, Nato forces kill up to 150 militants
Nato-led and Afghan forces unleashed air and ground strikes on a group of insurgents spotted infiltrating into Afghanistan from Pakistan, killing up to 150 of them, officials said yesterday.
 arrow Rejoinder, our reply
The Power Development Board (PDB) in a rejoinder on Tuesday to The Daily Star report headlined "PDB Rental Plan for 15 years, 6 out of 7 Power deals set to go to pro-BNP men" published on January 6 contradicted
 arrow Pakistan an important ally in war on terror: US
Pakistan is an important ally in the "war on terrorism" and committed to the fight, a top US official said Thursday amid disquiet in Afghanistan about its neighbours' efforts against militants.
 arrow Indian serial killer suspect admits sex with dead bodies
A suspect in the gruesome murders of 17 people, mostly children, near the Indian capital has told investigators he had sex with the dead bodies and ate their organs, a report said yesterday.
 arrow ‘Chemical Ali' takes Saddam's hot seat in Iraq trial
Saddam Hussein's cousin "Chemical Ali" moved centre stage in Iraq's genocide trial Thursday, occupying the executed dictator's chair in court and confessing that he ordered thousands of Kurds to be forced
Businessarrow Tap TRIPS to export patented drugs to LDCs
Speakers at a function in Dhaka yesterday urged the local medicine exporters to utilise the opportunity of TRIPS agreement, under which Bangladesh is allowed to export patented drugs to other LDC member
 arrow Remittance grows record 29pc in '06
The country saw a record 29.08 percent growth in remittance reaching more than $5 billion last year against $4 billion in 2005.
 arrow Thailand backtracks on investment law
Investors in Thailand were left in confusion Thursday over new rules on foreign investment, as the government appeared to back track on its second major policy change in less than a month.
 arrow Iran, China to finalise $16b gas deal despite sanctions threat
Iran will hold talks with China next month to finalise a 16-billion-dollar gas agreement despite a US warning that the Chinese partner could become subject to sanctions, an official said Thursday.
 arrow Vietnam joins global trade system as WTO's 150th member
Vietnam on Thursday becomes the 150th member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a milestone expected to launch an era of radical change as the communist nation enters the global economic mainstream.
 arrow Brac receives Safa's best Presented account award
The South Asian Federation of Accountants (Safa) has awarded Brac the Best Presented Account Award for the year 2005 in the non-government organisation category.
 arrow Banks in China may go public
Chinese banks have sounded the drum of going public in 2007.
The Communication Bank of China (CBC) has recently convened a meeting of the shareholders, determining to issue less than 4.

 arrow HSBC named 'best trade finance bank'
HSBC has been named 'best trade finance bank' in Finance Asia's annual achievement awards, scooping the title for the tenth consecutive year.
 arrow Violence hits Lanka tourism hopes
Sri Lanka's hopes of attracting 600,000 tourists last year were dashed as fighting between troops and Tiger rebels discouraged foreign holiday makers from visiting the island, officials said Thursday.
 arrow Dollar firmer on US trade deficit decline
The dollar strengthened against the yen in Asian trade Thursday as sentiment toward the US unit remained positive after an unexpected fall in the US trade deficit, dealers said.
 arrow SKorea leaves interest rate unchanged
South Korea on Thursday left its key interest rate unchanged at 4.5 percent for a fifth consecutive month in a continued bid to help boost a slowing economy and as inflation remained under control.
 arrow Pakistan sees surge in edible oil exports to India
Pakistan is expecting a surge in its edible oil exports after India announced slashing of customs duty on edible oil imports from that country and Sri Lanka by more than 23 percent under the South Asian
 arrow Bangas declares 13pc dividend
Bangas Limited has declared a 13 percent dividend for shareholders for the year ending on Jude 30, 2006.
 arrow Schwab to hold talks with Lamy amid hope of Doha deal
US Trade Representative Susan Schwab will meet the director general of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy, on Friday amid speculation that a deal is close over the stalled Doha round of trade negotiations.
 arrow Infosys Q3 profit rises
Infosys Technologies Ltd, India's second-largest software exporter, posted a 51.
 arrow China becomes No 2 vehicle market
China surged past Japan to become the world's No.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Mohameddan, Abahani post identical wins
Toss played vital roles as Twenty20 champions Mohammedan and title contenders Abahani made most of the conditions in identical winning starts to the Kai-Altech Premier Cricket League yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Strauss fit to play
England batsman Andrew Strauss has been passed fit for Friday's one-day game against Australia in Melbourne.
 arrow Cricket: Ys steady Pakistan
Vice-captain Younis Khan shared an unbeaten century partnership with Yasir Hameed as Pakistan made a solid recovery after the loss of their openers in quick succession on the first day of the first Test
 arrow Cricket: Mashud injured
National wicketkeeper and Abahani captain Khaled Mashud will be out of action for at least ten days following an injury during yesterday's Premier Cricket League match at BKSP.
 arrow Cricket: Boucher takes record catch
South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher claimed a world record for Test catches on the first day of the first Test against Pakistan at Centurion Park Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Sehwag's anxious hours
With selectors' patience running out, Virender Sehwag will have to wait till Friday to know whether he would get another chance to translate his potential into runs.
 arrow Cricket: 1st Div unsure of future
Cricket Committee for Dhaka Metropoliton (CCDM) has yet again delayed the players' transfer date for this year's First Division Cricket League.
 arrow Chess: Rakib runner-up in Peerless chess
International Master Abdullah Al Rakib finished runner-up in the Bengal Peerless FIDE Rating chess tournament which concluded in Kolkata, India yesterday.
 arrow Tennis: Clijsters to face Jankovic
Jelena Jankovic, on a hot winning streak, will play Kim Clijsters in the women's final of the Sydney International after a gruelling three-set victory over Nicole Vaidisova here Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Full circle for Sourav?
Sourav Ganguly is set to return to India's one-day squad after 15 months out as selectors move to infuse life into a battered team ahead of the World Cup.
 arrow Cricket: Century at Centurion
Mark Boucher has no 'Off' button. He is always on, always competitive, always staring a hole in his next challenge, always expecting to win, or to die trying.
 arrow Cricket: Sidhu in jail
Former Indian cricketer and politician Navjot Singh Sidhu was jailed on Thursday after he surrendered before a court following his conviction for a 1988 road-rage killing, his lawyer said.
 arrow Cricket: Azhar upset at WC snub
All-rounder Azhar Mahmood has expressed frustration and confusion after being left out of Pakistan's World Cup plans.
 arrow Football: Mourinho fuels exit rumours
Jose Mourinho has fuelled speculation that he could be on his way out of Chelsea by refusing to kill off rumours that he could leave the Premiership champions at the end of this season.
 arrow Football: Capello tightens reigns
Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello insisted Wednesday he would not resign and moved to impose his authority on the team by dropping several star names including Ronaldo and David Beckham for Thursday's Spanish
 arrow Football: Wycombe wound Chelsea
Jermaine Easter extended his remarkable run of scoring to keep Wycombe's dream of a place in the League Cup final alive after a 1-1 draw with Chelsea in the first leg of their semi-final here on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Mourinho denied cash
Jose Mourinho has claimed that his plans to strengthen his injury-hit squad have been blocked by the club's refusal to fund the purchase of new players, adding to the uncertainty over his future at Stamford
 arrow Football: The Beckham conundrum
When David Beckham, the most hyped soccer player on the planet, was reported to be available for transfer Wednesday, there was no Klondike rush to sign him.
 arrow Football: Real lose Marcelo
Real Madrid will be without Brazilian new signing Marcelo for six weeks after he suffered an ankle injury in training, the club said Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Fans outraged at Smith exit
Shell-shocked Scotland bosses on Wednesday launched a search for a new manager as the nation's 'Tartan Army' of fans rounded on Walter Smith for turning his back on the national side to rejoin Rangers.
 arrow Football: Liverpool sign Leto
Liverpool have swooped to sign Argentine midfielder Sebastian Leto from Buenos Aires team Lanus, the Argentine club's vice-president Nicholas Russo confirmed Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Minister rejects soccer panel
Kenyan Sports Minister Maina Kamanda on Wednesday rejected the country's football governing body ahead of next week's planned meeting with FIFA to resolve the problems facing the sport.
 arrow Football: Garcia out for the season
Liverpool's hopes of emulating their 2005 Champions League triumph were dealt a major blow Wednesday when influential midfielder Luis Garcia was ruled out for the rest of the season.
 arrow Football: Casablanca sign Latinos
Wydad Casablanca of Morocco have signed two Argentinians ahead of their 2007 African Champions League debut this month.
 arrow Cricket: Tendulkar peps up U-19 boys
Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday made an appearance at the Wankhede Stadium to interact with the India under-19 squad members who are set to embark on a tour of New Zealand on Friday.
 arrow Football: Confusion surrounds Beckham
Confusion surrounded the state of David Beckham's contract talks with Real Madrid on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Everton draft in 'Rocky'
Everton are hoping "Rocky" star Sylvester Stallone can help them get back up off the canvas to fight Reading after they were dealt a straight knock-out by Blackburn.
Metropolitanarrow Grim economic situation if 'one-sided' polls held
Economists, legal experts and civil society members have predicted a grim picture of political and economic situation of the country in near future if the January 22 election is held without the participation
 arrow 'Shalish can also protect women's rights in urban areas'
Shalish (village court) could be an effective way of protecting women's rights not only in rural areas but also in urban areas, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.
 arrow 947 workers killed at workplace
At least 947 working people were killed and 3,650 others injured in various accidents and violent occurrences at their workplaces in the country in 2006.
 arrow Locals besiege Titas office for gas in N'ganj
Locals of Gog Nagar, Al Amin Nagar and Char Syedpur areas in Narayanganj yesterday laid a siege to the local office of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company for one hour as the supply of gas
 arrow 19 injured in AL-BNP clashes
At least 19 leaders and activists of AL and BNP were injured and about 25 shops damaged in sporadic clashes between the activists of the grand alliance and four-party at Purbadhala, Kalmakanda and Kendua
 arrow Poush Mela today
A daylong Poush Mela (winter fair) will be held at Ramna Batamul in the city today, says a press release.
Dr Nowazesh Ahmed will inaugurate the fair at 7:30am while Dr Anisuzzaman will preside.

 arrow Foreign, local currencies worth Tk 97 lakh seized at ZIA
Customs officials seized foreign and local currencies worth about Tk 96.7 lakh from a Singapore-bound passenger at Zia International Airport (ZIA) in the city on Wednesday night.
 arrow 103 shanties gutted in city slum
A devastating fire gutted 103 shanties at a slum in the city yesterday.
The fire broke out at a shanty in Gandaria at about 4:20am and soon engulfed other shanties reducing them to ashes.

 arrow Arrestee on 7-day remand
A Dhaka court yesterday placed a youth, arrested in connection with the killing of Sub-Inspector (SI) Mizanur Rahman in December last year, on a seven-day remand for interrogation.
 arrow 1,153 more held
Police arrested some 1,153 people, including 15 convicts, on various charges from across the country in the last 24 hours ending at 6:00am yesterday.
Point-Counterpointarrow Iconoclast who became our own icon
When the jetliner bringing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman home gleamed in the afternoon sky over Dhaka, a deafening roar of Joi Bangla went up from the crowd milling outside the old Tejgaon airport.
 arrow Wounded nation, still the dreamer
"You and I are of that clan
The one that sings in the middle of pain
That painful scream is the only song
Of this dead century.

 arrow Surya Sen -- the fiery freedom fighter
The history of the Indian sub-continent's struggle for freedom will remain incomplete if it leaves unexamined an episode like the Chittagong uprising of 1930.
Culturearrow Moushumi: An eventful innings in film industry
When the Dhaliwood film industry faced a terrible shortfall of talented actresses in the early 1990s, Moushumi appeared as a breath of fresh air.
 arrow Prema: A dancer to watch for
In this day and age many upcoming dancers pursue their art not through love of it but as a stepping stone to stardom in the media, small screen or filmdom.
 arrow Udichi Shilpi Gosthi UK: Fortifying the Bengali identity overseas
Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Gosthi, better known as Udichi, was formed in 1968. Since then Udichi has been one of the frontrunners among the cultural organisations in the country.
 arrow 'Last Exit': Brutal road rage in focus
Road rage is not an unfamiliar term to urban commuters. On the way to work, school, wherever...
 arrow Aparna Sen's upcoming project: 'Japanese Wife'
Parallel filmmaker Aparna Sen has announced a new film called Japanese Wife. She has signed Raima Sen, Rahul Bose and a Japanese actress for the project.
Generalarrow Normalcy returns to Tejgaon RMG units, workers join work
Normalcy returned to Tejgaon Industrial Area in the city and workers joined their works yesterday, a day after the area witnessed a violent demonstration by garment workers in protest against sudden shutdown
 arrow '6054 women tortured, killed in 2006'
A total of 6,054 women were reportedly tortured and killed in the last twelve months from January to December 2006 across the country, according to a report of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad revealed yesterday.
 arrow Edn Worldwide Expo begins
A three-day 'Education Worldwide Expo 2007' began at Bashundhara Expo Centre in the city yesterday with a view to providing education and career-oriented services for students and prospective candidates.
 arrow Huda concerned over decision not to monitor polls
Senior BNP leader Nazmul Huda yesterday urged the foreign election monitoring groups to reconsider their decisions to refrain from observing the January 22 election in the interest of continuing the democratic
 arrow 2 JMB men on fresh remand
A Tangail court yesterday placed two militants of banned outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) on seven-day fresh remand.
 arrow Fish trader killed in road accident
A fish trader was killed in a road accident yesterday when a Satkhira bound-minibus hit him from behind on Satkhira-Kaliganj road at Gazirhat in Debhata upazila.
 arrow Illegal lifting of water by washing plant unearthed
A mobile court here yesterday unearthed illegal lifting of underground water by a washing plant evading tax.
 arrow Boat with fertiliser seized in Ctg
Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard seized a boat with 235 sacks of fertiliser in the port city while being smuggled out on Wednesday.
 arrow NU exams postponed
The National University has postponed several examinations due to unavoidable circumstances.
 arrow Phensidyl seized
Police seized 3,130 bottles of phensidyl from a truck at Ulashi Bazar in Sharsha upazila early yesterday.
Acting on a tip-off, Sharsha police chased the truck on Balunda-Jamtola road.

 arrow US Mission closed on Sunday
US Embassy offices in Dhaka, including the American Centre, Archer K Blood American Centre Library, the student counseling service and the consular section will remain closed on Sunday the Jan 14 on the
Editorialarrow Editorial: Right to boycott but not to forcibly resist
SHEIKH Hasina-led grand alliance's declaration of a tough action program with non-stop siege of Bangabhaban, four-day country-wide blockade and two-day hartal is accompanied by single-line exhortation:
 arrow Editorial: Eviction of Adivasis
AT least 250 landless people belonging to the indigenous community, the Adivasis, were reportedly living under the open sky in this bitter cold following a recent incident that took place at a place called
 arrow All bets are off
THINGS are now slowly, inexorably working their way to a head. The elections are scheduled for January 22 and one way or the other we will have an answer by then.
 arrow Why a revolution is not possible
TAKE a scene from the mayhems when the police swoop down on the demonstrators, and it's mostly the ordinary men and women who get booted and beaten before being dragged to the prison van.
 arrow Advisory opinion the way out
IS the present impasse politicafl or constitutional? Has Professor Iajuddin destroyed the very spirit of caretaker government? Should we seek the opinion of the highest court to determine whether the90
Letters to Editorarrow Where are we going?
The prevalent political situation is outrageous, to say the least.
 arrow Khaleda's Press Conference
I just read Abdul Latif Mondal's post-editorial article on Khaleda Zia's press conference. I appreciate his writing, but it sounded to me like BNP bashing.
 arrow Killing of Saddam
The death of Saddam Hussein has made me deeply sad and outraged. It is quite clear that the deposed Iraqi President was hanged due to the instructions given by the Bush administration.
 arrow Israel and Iran
Reports indicating possible Israeli attack on the nuclear installations in Iran by using "mini nukes" look mischievous and threatening to Iran.
 arrow Desertification
The World Environment Day theme for 2006 was "Deserts and Desertification" and the slogan was "Don't Desert Dry lands"! The slogan emphasized the importance of protecting dry lands.
 arrow Spare the examinees
We, the peace loving people of Bangladesh, are facing a deep crisis due to the present political impasse. We are wholeheartedly expecting to end this crisis peacefully, compassionately and democratically.
 arrow Civil administration reshuffle
Today (08/01/2007) I was reading the article "Civil admin reshuffle makes little sense".
It's a good article with lots of detail about the reshuffle done by the caretaker government.

 arrow The biggest problem
I completely agree with you. The biggest problem our country is facing right now is greed. All over Bangladesh people are only looking to make money.
 arrow Mass arrests
When the country is reeling under the spell of a cold wave, the valiant law enforcers, as their wont, have managed to terrorise the poorer section of the urban populace.
 arrow Bankrupt politicians
The country has once again fallen into the grip of 3-day blockade imposed by bankrupt politicians, who pretend to be unaware of the immense suffering of the common people caused by such blockade.
 arrow A growing economy
10 October 2006, I felt proud to be a Bangladeshi once again. Yes, I am talking about the day Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the son of our soil, was declared a Noble Prize winner.
Featurearrow We can grow more
Being an agriculture-dependent economy with a growing population, and having one of the world's lowest land-man ratios with further aggravation due to loss of and non-agricultural use of land, the most
 arrow An on-line opportunity to serve the farmers
The Bangladesh Rice Knowledge Bank (BRKB) is an electronic hub of rice production technology knowledge. It is an on-line digital library to deliver up-dated information on modern rice cultivation.
Environmentarrow Reversing the effects of climate change
The problem of global warming is perhaps the most serious threat this country -- and the world at large -- has ever faced.
 arrow We alter ecosystems more to our peril than profit
ENVIRONMENTAL disaster is grouped into two categories -- natural and man made. Earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and volcanoes etc. are the causes of natural disasters.
 arrow Protecting the ozone layer
HUMANKIND in the twenty-first century continues to face global challenges that transcend geographical borders and the limits of time.
Worldarrow South Asia: Troops take Tiger base
Elite police commandos captured a key Tamil Tiger base yesterday after killing four guerrillas in a confrontation in eastern Sri Lanka while 16 other Tigers were killed in separate clashes, the defence
 arrow South Asia: SE Asian countries close ranks on Myanmar
Southeast Asian countries urged Myanmar yesterday to restore democracy but shrank from supporting a US-move to escalate pressure on their neighbour at the United Nations.
 arrow South Asia: UN organises mission to help Nepali peace pact
UN officials seek Security Council authorisation yesterday for a new mission in Nepal that includes 186 military monitors to help enforce a peace pact between the government and Maoist rebels.
 arrow South Asia: India may dump US nuclear deal: Envoy
India will walk away from a civilian nuclear deal with the United States if New Delhi's concerns are not allayed, its envoy said on Wednesday.
 arrow South Asia: Pak-Afghan border crossing closed after protest
A main border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan was closed yesterday after protests by thousands of Afghans against controls on cross-frontier movement, officials said.
 arrow South Asia: Indian SC asserts power as watchdog of parliament
India's Supreme Court reasserted its powers as a watchdog of the country's parliament yesterday, ruling it had the right to overturn laws which the legislature had tried to put beyond judicial review.
 arrow South Asia: Myanmar junta frees 5 prominent dissidents
Myanmar's military junta released yesterday five high-profile dissidents it arrested in September at a time of intensifying international pressure on the ruling generals to take concrete steps towarddemocracy.
 arrow '100 civilians killed in US airstrikes in Somalia'
Clan elders and residents in southern Somalia said yesterday that about 100 civilians were killed this week in US and Ethiopian airstrikes on suspected al-Qaeda targets in the region.
 arrow Bush fails to sway Iraq doubters
Allies of President George W Bush rallied to his new strategy for Iraq but Britain still plans to reduce its troop presence and widespread doubts remain about Iraq's future.
 arrow Indian troops launch Ulfa crackdown
Thousands of combat troops fanned out yesterday in the mountains and jungles of India's restive northeast to hunt down separatist rebels, blamed for killing dozens of migrant workers in the past week.
 arrow US raid Iran consulate in Iraq: 5 detained
US troops raided Iran's consulate in Arbil in northern Iraq and arrested five staff members, an official at the Iranian foreign ministry was quoted as saying yesterday.
 arrow Abbas vows to prevent clashes with Hamas
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas assured tens of thousands of supporters yesterday that he was determined to prevent further factional clashes with rival Hamas after weeks of internecine bloodshed.
 arrow US Cold War foe Ortega back in power in Nicaragua
Former Marxist guerrilla and Cold War veteran Daniel Ortega returned to power in Nicaragua on Wednesday and celebrated another leftist election triumph in Latin America with US foe Venezuelan President
 arrow Rice, Gates head to Cong for grilling
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates are expected on Capitol Hill Thursday to face tough questions on President George W. Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq.
 
   
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