Vol. 5 Num 951 Fri. February 02, 2007    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Graft allegations against Huda, Mamun to be probed
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has decided to investigate the allegations of corruption against former communication minister Nazmul Huda and Tarique Rahman's close business partner Giasuddin Al
 arrow Falu's quick rise in fortunes in just 31 months
The controversial former lawmaker from Dhaka-10 constituency, Mosaddek Ali Falu, had a meteoric rise in fortune in the last two and a half years with his wealth in shares in different companies increasing
 arrow Aid flow thinned for poor reform, politics
Fourteen out of 22 development partners did not disburse any aid to Bangladesh in the first half of the current fiscal year, resulting in a decrease of 40 percent in foreign aid flow from the preceding
 arrow Mamun arrested
Tarique Rahman's business partner Giasuddin Al-Mamun was arrested in the capital sometime Wednesday, laying to rest week-long rumours surrounding the high-profile capture.
 arrow Interim govt to take policy decisions too
Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said apart from carrying out routine work, the present caretaker government would also take policy decisions.
 arrow CA calls for graft-free society
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday called on the people to create a just and knowledge-based society, free from the influence of black money, the corrupt and the criminals.
 arrow Govt gets 11 days to submit amended CrPC
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday granted the government 11 days to submit the gazette of the amended Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for separating the judiciary from the executive.
 arrow Activities at Kamalapur ICD come to a halt
Handling of export and import goods at the lone public sector inland container depot (ICD) at Kamalapur in the capital came to near standstill as the three main container handling equipment remained out
 arrow 5 lakh sacks of fertiliser, rotten commodities seized
Joint forces yesterday seized around 3.6 lakh sacks of rotten basic commodities including wheat, sugar, lentil and over 1.5 lakh sacks of fertilisers from Chittagong and Khulna.
 arrow 300 structures knocked down
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) yesterday knocked down around 300 illegal structures along Mirpur Road and the Buriganga riverbank.
 arrow Bangladeshi scientists get prestigious award for arsenic filter
Sono Filter of Bangladesh has won the one million dollar prize of the US-based National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for inventing a technology to remove arsenic from contaminated water.
 arrow Bishwa Ijtema begins today
A three-day Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of Muslims, begins on the bank of the Turag in Tongi today amid tight security.
 arrow UP chairman dies in army custody
A union parishad (UP) chairman detained by army personnel yesterday morning was declared dead at Moheshpur hospital in the afternoon.
 arrow Jalil demands release of Hasina's APS
Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday demanded immediate release of AL President Sheikh Hasina's assistant personal secretary (APS) Dr Awlad Hossain and two others, who were arrested
 arrow Rear Admiral Sarwar new Navy chief
Rear Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam has been appointed chief of naval staff of Bangladesh Navy. "He replaces Rear Admiral M Hasan Ali Khan," an official announcement said yesterday.
 arrow New rules for govt officials' foreign trip
The caretaker government yesterday issued a new order regulating foreign travel by top officials of the ministries, departments, directorates and autonomous bodies.
 arrow Yunus opens Grameen Trust India
Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus yesterday stressed the need for enacting laws relating to the micro-credit programme to make it a success in India.
 arrow Rejoinder, our reply
Chairman of High Speed Group of Companies KM Mahmudur Rahman in a rejoinder protested a news item headlined "Rajuk evicts lake grabbers" in The Daily Star on January 19 clarifying that "one Nilufar Mustafa"
 arrow Manjoor Rahim new foreign secy
The caretaker government appointed AB Manjoor Rahim, Bangladesh ambassador to Berlin, as the new foreign secretary, according to an official announcement yesterday.
 arrow Sweetmeat shops, bakeries fined for unhygienic condition
A mobile court in Dhaka yesterday filed two cases against two bakeries and fined a few bakeries and sweetmeat shops Tk 3,40,000 in total for not maintaining proper hygiene in the stores and using harmful
 arrow Fog disrupts ferry, launch services for 11 hrs
Ferry and launch services on Daulatdia-Paturia-Nagarbari routes were suspended for 11 hours yesterday due to dense fog.
 arrow MRCA to start issuing licence to NGOs next month
Micro-credit Regulatory Authority (MCRA) will start issuing licence to the NGOs from next month, as a meeting of the authority decided yesterday.
 arrow Fake fertiliser factory busted in city
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) unearthed a fake fertiliser factory at Kajla in the city's Jatrabari area last night and arrested five people on charge of manufacturing and marketing counterfeit
 arrow US senators unite against troop surge
Democratic and Republican senators have agreed on compromise wording to a resolution opposing President George W Bush's plan to increase US forces in Iraq, as the US war of words with Iran simmers.
Businessarrow Govt plans NCBs' corporatisation
Government is contemplating corporatisation of the nationalised commercial banks (NCBs) in order to enhance the banks' efficiency, said Finance and Commerce Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam.
 arrow Saudi Arabia tightens visa processing for Bangladeshi workers
In the wake of malpractices in visa processing for Bangladesh workers at individual levels, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has decided to tighten the process.
 arrow Apparel makers urged to up competitiveness
Textiles and Jute Adviser Geeteara Safiya Choudhury yesterday urged the country's apparel manufacturers to enhance their competitiveness in terms of productivity, cost and quality to face the challenges
 arrow Changes in Indian income tax rules in the offing
Seeking to ease access of the rural poor to micro credit, a committee constituted by the Indian government is understood to have recommended for changes in the Income Tax rules to promote micro finance
 arrow All air carriers switch over to BSP system
Biman Bangladesh Airlines and all foreign carriers operating in Dhaka have completely switched-over to IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) with effect from yesterday.
 arrow WTO backs call for full-scale Doha talks resumption
The World Trade Organization's (WTO) 150 states backed on Wednesday a call for a full-scale resumption of the Doha round of free trade talks, suspended six months ago due to deep divisions between members.
 arrow DSE turnover down, indices up
Turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday dropped slightly, coming down to Tk 144.82 crore from Tk 158.74 crore on Wednesday.
 arrow DSE fines 27 listed firms
Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) has slapped a daily fine of Tk 500 on 27 listed companies for failing to submit half-yearly financial reports to the premier bourse on time.
 arrow Int'l medical expo in Dhaka from March 22
The fourth International Medical Equipment and Healthcare Services Exposition (MEDEXPO) 2006 will begin at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel from March 22, 2007, says a press release.
 arrow Un-audited half yearly MIDAS accounts okayed
As per the un-audited accounts, the net profit and earning per share of MIDAS Financing Ltd stood at Tk45,878,143.77 and Tk17.74 during the last six months of 2006 compared to Tk29,318,785.00 and Tk12.
 arrow British Airways statement on calling off strike
British Airways has welcomed the decision by the cabin crew branch of the Transport and General (T&G) Workers' Union to call off the strike, which was scheduled for January 30 and January 31, says a press
 arrow ICE Today, Aqua Paints launch interior design award
Monthly magazine ICE Today and Aqua Paints Bangladesh signed an agreement yesterday to initiate an interior designing award styled 'ICE Today-Aqua Paints Interior Design Award', says a press release.
 arrow World Islamic Economic Forum in May
The 3rd World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) will be held in Kuala Lumpur from May 28-29, says a press release.
 arrow Currency

Sportsarrow Cricket: Shahjada savages Sonargaon
Fast bowler Mohammad Shahjada blew Sonargaon to bits as his devastating six-wicket haul propelled Abahani to an eight-wicket victory in the Kai-Altech Premier League at the Fatullah Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Football: Mohammedan upbeat
Although Mohammedan Sporting Club high-ups claimed that they had instructed their 'football management committee' to build a youthful team for the coming Professional Football League, the frustrationof
 arrow Football: Friendly match today
Bangladesh's Under-23 football team will play their last preparation match today ahead of their Olympic pre-qualifiers against Hong Kong when they take on visiting Ulsan Hyundai Mipo Dockyard FC of Korea.
 arrow Cricket: Tigers safely in Harare
The Bangladesh cricket team reached Harare safely at afternoon local time yesterday for the four-match Croco Motors Series. The Tigers landed in Harare following stopovers in Doha and Johannesburg.
 arrow Football: BFF's Sylhet crisis not over
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) was hoping against hope that one team from Sylhet will play in the B.
 arrow Cricket: Ansar, Bhola register wins
Ansar and VDP and Bhola posted big wins in the first-ever Women's Cricket Championship yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Court probing Malik ban
Pakistan's supreme court wants an explanation from cricket authorities about a life ban on former captain Salim Malik for his alleged involvement in match-fixing, an official said Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: England facing disaster
Embattled England received another injury setback on Thursday, losing fast bowler James Anderson for the rest of the tri-series ahead of their do-or-die clash against Australia.
 arrow Cricket: Coach doubted Akhtar
Controversial Pakistani paceman Shoaib Akhtar on Wednesday said coach Bob Woolmer believed he had feigned injury during his short stint in South Africa.
 arrow Cricket: Sehwag set for return
Virender Sehwag is being tipped to play in the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka as the selectors explore all options before naming their World Cup squad.
 arrow Cricket: Ponting slams Vincent
Australian captain Ricky Ponting on Thursday hit back at Lou Vincent's sledging claims and accused the New Zealand opener of "yapping" in the field.
 arrow Cricket: Styris joins Kiwis
Versatile New Zealand batsman Scott Styris has only just arrived in Australia, but he says he has immediately sensed a growing confidence among his teammates.
 arrow Tennis: Sharapova in quarters
World number one Maria Sharapova qualified for the Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals on Thursday with an error-strewn 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 win over the unseeded Francesca Schiavone.
 arrow Football: MU turn on the style
Cristiano Ronal-do inspired Man-chester United's four-goal rout of bottom-club Watford to maintain Sir Alex Ferguson's side's six-point advantage over Chelsea at the head of the Premiership table.
 arrow Football: Hitzfeld back at Bayern
German giants Bayern Munich sacked manager Felix Magath on Wednesday after the 20-time champions slipped to fourth in the Bundesliga.
 arrow Football: Liverpool secure late signings
Liverpool were the most significant players on deadline day for the January transfer window with Rafael Benitez scoring a hat-trick of new signings.
 arrow Cricket: Inzy doubtful for T20 clash
Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq is doubtful for the Twenty20 international against South Africa on Friday which precedes a five-match one-day international series starting in Centurion on Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: No Mexican waves!
Australian cricket chiefs on Thursday banned spectators from launching a "Mexican wave" at all remaining one-day international matches in the country.
 arrow Cricket: Jhankar beat Adhunik
Jhankar Krira Chakra beat Adhunik Sporting Club by three wickets in the Second Division Cricket League at the Gaibandha Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: We were outplayed: Lara
West Indies captain Brian Lara admitted his side had been outplayed by India, as the home side sealed a 3-1 one-day series triumph in Vadodara.
 arrow Cricket: Moody eyes England job
Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody would be "very interested" in taking on the same role with England if it became available, says his former county boss.
 arrow Football: 'Ronaldo exit a mistake'
Real Madrid have made a mistake in selling Ronaldo to AC Milan, according to former coach Vicente del Bosque.
 arrow Football: Beckham mourns cancer patient
David Beckham was mourning the death of a Canadian teen cancer patient whom he bolstered last week with a surprise telephone call, his agent told the Hamilton Spectator.
 arrow Football: Young guns lift Arsenal
Jeremie Aliadiere scored the decisive goal as Arsenal reached the League Cup final with a 3-1 extra-time victory against Tottenham on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Chelsea win but pay dear
Chelsea kept pace with leaders Manchester United with a 3-0 win over Blackburn but their defensive resources were hit once more when Ashley Cole was stretchered off in agony with a knee injury.
 arrow Football: Marseille sink Lyon
Late goals by Mickael Pagis and Mamadou Niang gave Olympique Marseille a remarkable 2-1 victory over Ligue 1 leaders Olympique Lyon and a place in the French Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Barca relive Zaragoza nightmare
Real Zaragoza gained the upper hand in their King's Cup quarterfinal against Barcelona when defender Carlos Diogo headed in 12 minutes from time to earn his side a 1-0 win in the first leg at the NouCamp
 arrow Football: Now Doll gets the sack
German club SV Hamburg on Thursday sacked coach Thomas Doll after sliding to the bottom of the league, making him the third Bundesliga managerial casualty in 48 hours.
 arrow Football: Hertha sign Mineiro
Hertha Berlin on Wednesday signed veteran Sao Paulo midfielder Carlos Luciano da Silva on a two-year contract. 'Mineiro', 31, will join his friend and fellow Brazilian Gilberto at the Bundesligaside.
 arrow Football: Dubai out of Liverpool takeover
Dubai International Capital (DIC), the investment arm of the Gulf Emirate, on Wednesday pulled out of negotiations on a takeover of Liverpool after the club's board asked for more time to examine a rival
 arrow Football: Coco loaned to Torino
Inter Milan defender Francesco Coco on Wednesday joined Serie A rivals Torino on loan until the end of the season.
Metropolitanarrow 260 species of freshwater fish extinct
World Wetland Day will be observed today in the country as elsewhere in the world emphasising the wise use of all wetlands and their protection from illegal encroachment for preserving ecosystem and resolving
 arrow Amar Ekushey Book Fair begins
The Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2007 kicked off on the Bangla Academy premises in the city yesterday amid festivity and enthusiasm.
 arrow RU Shibir procession to undermine Prof Taher's death anniversary
In violation of the emergency ordinance, Islami Chhatra Shibir yesterday brought out a procession on the campus of Rajshahi University (RU) in a covert attempt to undermine the first death anniversary
 arrow Mitford student nurses on strike for security
Some 110 student nurses of Mitford hospital went on strike from yesterday demanding security at their dormitory causing sufferings to patients.
 arrow Nairobi meet on climate change Feb 5
Commonwealth environment ministers will meet in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on February 5 to discuss concerns in adapting to climate change.
 arrow Valuables worth Tk 12 lakh gutted in Ctg
At least 37 tin-shed houses and properties worth around Tk 12 lakh were gutted in three separate fire incidents at different city areas yesterday.
 arrow Street drama festival not held due to cop objection
Group Theatre Federation, a member of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, could not inaugurate its street drama festival scheduled to begin at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city yesterday as the police did
 arrow 332 incidents in Jan
A total of 332 incidents of violence against women occurred in the first month of the new year, according to a report of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad.
 arrow Businessman gets 32 yrs' RI
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced a businessman to 32 years' rigorous imprisonment for importing mobile phone sets of Tk 37 lakh by evading a huge amount of revenue to the government in September 2003.
 arrow 3 cops, 2 Khair Group officials sent to jail
Three police officials and two officials of Abul Khair Group, arrested on Tuesday for taking Tk 15 lakh as bribe, were sent to jail yesterday.
 arrow CA urged to start trial
Teachers, students and staffs of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday urged the chief adviser (CA) to caretaker government to start trial of the murder case of Prof S Taher Ahmed of geology and mining department
 arrow Saarc Editors' Confce begins in Delhi Feb 9
Promoting understanding among the people of the region and core media values are among the subjects that would come up for discussion at the first-ever South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
 arrow Grameenphone nominated for GSM award
Grameenphone Ltd. has been nominated for the GSM Association Award 2007 for its HealthLine Service initiative, says a press release.
 arrow Travel advice for US citizens
The US government yesterday urged its citizens to closely monitor current information regarding Bangladesh before travelling to the country.
 arrow Bail petitions of 2 arrestees rejected
A Dhaka court yesterday rejected the bail petitions of two arrestees, including the prime accused in connection with killing of young jewellery trader Turya Ghosh Roni in October last year.
 arrow Valuables worth Tk 5.6 lakh looted from city shop
Unknown thieves stole valuables worth around Tk 5.6 lakh from a shop at Sutrapur in the city in the early hours of yesterday.
 arrow Watercolour art camp launched
Eminent artists along with promising young artists launched a three-day watercolour art camp titled 'Renewal of nature' at Jamuna Resort in Bhuapur yesterday.
 arrow Grabbing of playground by Ansar-VDP protested
Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday in a statement protested grabbing of a playground at Khilgaon in the city by the members of Ansar and VDP on Wednesday.
 arrow JU botany dept exam postponed
The third-year final examination of 2002-2003 academic sessions at Botany department of Jahangirnagar University (JU) has been postponed for sine die following leakage of question paper.
 arrow Award giving ceremony today
Unilever Bangladesh Ltd will honour the winners of 'Shada Moner Manush' at a ceremony at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel at 6:30pm today, says a press release.
 arrow New courses at British Council Teaching Centre
Some exciting new changes have been brought to the British Council Teaching Centre for 2007, says a press release.
 arrow Mizan Chowdhury's death anniversary today
Today is the first death anniversary of former prime minister Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury, says a press release. He was also an organiser of liberation war and veteran parliamentarian.
 arrow Debesh Bhattacharya
Today is the third death anniversary of Justice Debesh Bhattacharya, an eminent jurist and champion of human rights, says a press release.
Point-Counterpointarrow Taking stock
Whatever the positive vive going around after the new interim government took over, 2007 continues to prove to be an unpredictable year for Bangladesh and the recent performance of the country's stock
 arrow Daylight Savings Time for power conservation
As the caretaker government is implementing a yearlong comprehensive plan for the power crisis, as part of this plan, I would like to propose the introduction of Daylight Savings Time.
 arrow Toward a healthier democratic practice, and thereafter
Can I make a few suggestions toward trying to improve the quality of democracy in our country as far as this objective of the nation goes?

Culturearrow Bangladeshis: Happiest people in the world?
According to a survey by the London School of Economics a few years ago, the happiest people in the world live in Bangladesh.
 arrow "I have always been an introvert and been on my own" -- Ankhi Alamgir
Once upon a time when people heard the name Ankhi Alamgir, they immediately associated her with famous actor Alamgir.
 arrow Four-day classical dance and instrumental recitals end at Shilpakala
Leading instrumentalists of Bangladesh presented classical recitals on the last two days of the four-day programme featuring classical dance and instrumental music, which ended on February 1.
 arrow 'Shundoritoma': Lux Drama of the week
Lux Drama of the week Shundoritoma will be aired tonight on Channel i at 7:50pm.
 arrow Chekhov's penetrating insight for theatre lovers
To mark the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations of Russia and Bangladesh, two Chekhov plays, A Malefactor(Bhar) and The Proposal(Paigam) were recently presented at the Russian Cultural Centre.
Generalarrow 5 killed in road crashes
At least five people were killed and 33 others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Chittagong, Gaibandha and Satkhira yesterday.
 arrow Jamaat against weekly holiday on Sunday
Jamaat Ameer Maulana Matiur Rahman Nizami yesterday expressed deep concern over the issue of changing Friday as weekly holiday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Big task before the new EC
The acting chief of the Election Commission with his four commissioners quitting the Election Commission after the resignation of CEC Justice MA Aziz on leave, the deck has been cleared at last for areconstituted
 arrow Editorial: Slum-dwellers' eviction
As many as 5.4 million people live in the slums spread over six metropolitan cities of the country, namely, Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet and Barisal in as many as 9048 slums.
 arrow By their deeds shall ye know them
Once upon a time, the conventional wisdom went, the Bangladeshi polity and society were divided largely along bi-polar BNP-AL lines.
 arrow Fumes of remorse
The portly woman of middle age, who was the mother of two grownup daughters, started to walk in the morning after the doctor told her that she needed to watch her weight.
 arrow Democratic dictators
Democracy is a system of governance where people are supposed to rule themselves through their representatives, who honestly, diligently and selflessly run the system according to the views expressedby
Letters to Editorarrow 'Chander Gari'
Part jeep, part pick-up van, ''Chander Gari'' is a strange vehicle that has a miraculous carrying capacity.
 arrow Prof. Yunus' comments
Prof. Yunus' comments must have touched a real raw nerve among political leaders.
 arrow Evicting illegal business
We thank the caretaker government for its effort in evicting illegal business vendors and demolishing outlawed structures all over the country.
 arrow Fatwa
'Fatwa' is a much discussed subject in our country, especially in the recent past when AL signed an MAU with BKM.
 arrow Guantanamo and beyond
Secret torture camps have become the symbol and order of the US politics in international arena.
 arrow National ID card
Bangladesh is going through a crisis in holding a free and fair election. For a credible election, a correct voter list is mandatory.
 arrow As you sow ...
It is interesting and funny too to hear the reaction of the four parties and fourteen parties to CA's address to the nation for which they took much longer time.
 arrow Voter ID is a must
In (possibly) 1973 parliamentary election, I went to vote in the designated polling centre BAWA School in Chittagong and found that my vote was already cast.
 arrow Terrorists' godfathers
We should immediately halt the proposed execution of the pseudo-Islamic fundamentalists and instead invite the FBI in and interrogate them to find out who are their backers.
 arrow Illegal arms for students
I was reading "Daily Sangbad" internet edition. There I read a news item about Sheikh Hasina. She was exchanging greetings on Saraswati Puja with students of different educational institutes.
 arrow 'Monumental mistakes'
This is in response to the letter by Shapan Biswas with the above title, 24 Jan. Interesting letters and articles appear in The Daily Star every day.
 arrow Rajuk's awakening
On behalf of the thousands of city-dwellers who are thankful that Rajuk and the DCC have finally started the demolition of illegal structures around Gulshan Lake and other areas, I would like to register
 arrow Term limit for politicians
The craziness we saw in Bangladesh is unbelievable; some politicians treat the country as their property. Perhaps flaws in our constitution have created them.
 arrow Shuffling of civil servants
The politicisation and subsequent removal or frequent shuffling of civil servants are going to have a serious impact on our civil administration.
Environmentarrow Ecotourism : An effective tool for nature conservation
Many definitions of "ecotourism" have been emerged since the term was coined in 1987.
Worldarrow US warns Iran to stop aiding Iraqi insurgents
Iran is supplying Iraqi insurgents with weapons technology used to kill American troops, a senior US diplomat said on Wednesday, sending another warning to Iran against interfering in Iraq.
 arrow Grenade hits office of Kashmiri separatists
Suspected Muslim militants threw a grenade at the main office of Kashmir's separatist alliance nearly a week after a senior leader called on guerrillas to support peace moves, but no one was hurt,
 arrow Nepali PM promises federal state
Nepal's prime minister promised on Wednesday to turn Nepal into a federal state after this year's constituent assembly elections, a move to stem protests by ethnic Madhesi people in which 11 people have
 arrow Blair quizzed again
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been questioned by police for a second time over a "cash-for-honours" probe clouding his final months in office, his Downing Street office said yesterday.
 arrow Palestinian truce enters third day
A truce between warring Palestinian factions entered its third day yesterday, marred by sporadic shootings.
 arrow Mass arrests after Lanka blasts kill 12
Tamil Tiger rebels set off a roadside bomb in Sri Lanka's troubled north yesterday, killing a soldier as police carried out mass arrests after a similar blast killed 11 people, officials said.
 arrow Musharraf lobbies OIC to back his ME plan
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf lobbied the head of the Islamic world's largest grouping yesterday to back his idea for Muslim nations to come up with a new Middle East peace initiative.
 arrow Israel PM quizzed by Lebanon war commission
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was being grilled yesterday by an Israeli commission probing failures of the Lebanon war, amid a string of scandals that have left his government teetering.
 arrow India extends Taslima Nasreen's visa for 6 more months
Indian government has extended the visa of controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen for six more months.
 arrow Putin seeks advice from family dog, Persian poet
When the going gets tough, President Vladimir Putin turns to his labrador Connie and 11th-century Persian Poet Omar Khayyam for advice, the Russian leader said at his annual press conference yesterday.
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