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News of: Tuesday, 13th of May, 2008
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Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed last night announced that the long-stalled ninth parliamentary election would be held in the third week of December.
Addressing the nation, he also said the government would either suspend or relax relevant provisions of the emergency power rules to create an environment congenial to electioneering.
The caretaker government yesterday relaxed the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) once again, allowing political parties to resume their organisational activities, on a limited scale, all over the country from today.
A massive earthquake rocked southwest China yesterday killing thousands of people and flattening schools and homes in a powerful tremor that was felt across a swathe of southeast Asia.
Leaders of major political parties, with the lone exception of pro-Saifur faction in BNP, expressed their disappointments over the chief adviser's (CA) address to the nation, which they believe 'failed to reflect the hopes and aspirations of the nation'.
The caretaker government's bid to have 260 megawatt (MW) of rental power before June is missing the deadline due to selection of bidders who do not qualify for such fast-pace projects.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday said that it has formed a special team to probe into institutional corruption in various levels of the education sector.
The Special Court-1 will rule on May 18 if graft charges would be framed against detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina and seven others in the barge-mounted power plant case.
Lack of government initiatives to impart quality training, introduce certifying agencies and research of overseas labour markets have led to the decrease of the percentage of skilled and professional workers going abroad.
Leaders and workers of political parties across the country started gathering at party offices with cautious enthusiasm yesterday as the news of countrywide lifting of the ban on indoor politics spread.
The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) chairman Taimur Alam Khondaker and three others in a case filed for misappropriating Tk 1 crore.
Editors of print and electronic media and senior journalists yesterday expressed concern over the increasing pressure on the media regarding freedom of expression under the state of emergency, reports BBC Bangla Service.
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday asked the government to file a regular leave to appeal petition with it by May 15 against the High Court (HC) order staying operation of the Supreme Judicial Commission.
Outgoing British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury yesterday said the state of emergency should be lifted to the maximum possible extent for free, fair and credible elections in Bangladesh.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is likely to submit the charge sheet in the graft case involving Gatco today by showing 12 persons including six former ministers, so far indicted in the case and not arrested yet, as fugitive.
The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule asking the authorities to explain within eight days why continuation of trial proceedings of the barge-mounted power plant corruption case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina should not be declared illegal.
Four people died and many went missing as a passenger launch capsized in Ghorautra river under Nikli upazila of the district yesterday.
Chevron, one of the world's major energy companies, has completed its 3D seismic survey in Lawachhara forest of Moulvibazar district amid various allegations.
Expressing concern about the alleged interference of intelligence agencies in the judicial process, human rights watchdog Odhikar yesterday demanded the government puts a leash on the agencies and stops their intimidations.
Bangladesh Navy yesterday successfully test fired C-802 missile in the Bay of Bengal, following an upgrade to the missile system with the assistance of a Chinese technical team, officials said.
Detained Harkatul Jihad (Huji) leader Arif Hasan Sumon has denied his involvement in the bomb attack on a CBP rally on July 20, 2001.
A scheduled meeting between the leaders of the two factions of BNP to reunite the party could not be held yesterday afternoon following opposition from BNP chairperson-appointed Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain.
The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule asking the government and the Election Commission (EC) to explain why the move to redo demarcation of parliamentary constituencies should not be declared illegal and unconstitutional.
Prime Bank Limited yesterday donated Tk 20 lakh to Oitihya Onneswan to help the excavation work at Wari-Bateshwar site in Narsingdi.
The price of different varieties of rice has risen in the wholesale markets in the capital over the last two days since the government's rice procurement programme began across the country.
A Chapainawabganj court yesterday issued arrest warrants against 11 persons for killing and torturing several people during the Liberation War.
Police yesterday submitted a charge sheet accusing seven leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Chittagong University (CU) unit for violating the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) by bringing out a procession on the campus on April 30.
The government has appointed 390 assistant judges/judicial magistrates in courts across the country following the separation of the judiciary.
Nepal's government announced yesterday that its new constitution-drafting body would meet for the first time on May 28 when it is due to formally abolish the monarchy and declare the country a republic.
A general election contest between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain took shape yesterday, even though Hillary Clinton showed no inclination of abandoning the Democratic presidential nomination race.
THERE has been much discussion and debate as to the impact in the higher courts of the long-awaited separation of the judicial branch from the executive branch, but we are pleased to note that in the operation and functioning of the lower courts there can be no question that the measure has been a resounding success.
THE need for moving the tannery units away from city's Hazaribagh area has always been felt acutely by the environmentalists and the decision makers alike, considering the severe negative impact of the industry on environment. But little progress has been made to relocate them in Savar, even after three years of inauguration of the relocation project there.
WORLDWIDE so many people are saying so many things, often to our utter amazement! Sometimes it becomes quite a chore keeping track of them. So here is a little compilation with anecdotes of what some IP, VIP and VVIP said in recent days. Let us start with Janab Matiur Rahman Nizami of Jaamat e Islami. He hardly opens his mouth these days unless he is double sure that it won't land him in trouble with people he should not mess around with. Hence, he has been keeping a low profile and keeping tight-lipped since 1/11.
ON May 6, China's President Hu Jintao began his five-day trip to Japan. This visit is intended to consolidate friendly relations with Japan. Hu's visit falls on the 30th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, one of the three key political documents serving as the bedrock for developing friendly and cooperative ties between the two nations.
LAST month, the wheat fields in the Indian state of Punjab stretched in amber-tinged waves as far as the eye could see, promising bountiful harvests. Nothing hinted at the grave crisis that has gripped the state, driving farmers to suicide and unemployed youth to the comforts of heroin. Dubbed "the breadbasket of India," Punjab is in the throes of a serious crisis, one that bodes ill for the future of agriculture at a time when the world faces an acute food crisis.
Star-studded Mohammedan's pathetic batting display cost them dear in the Premier Cricket Super League when the title contenders crashed to a youthful BKSP at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Abahani Limited remained atop the points table jointly with Usha Krira Chakra when they recorded a hard fought 3-1 victory against Ajax Sporting Club in yesterday's Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League.
Although there had been a little tension among the professional league clubs about the long gap between transfer and start of the B. League, the footballers transfer will begin on schedule On May 15.
Comilla rode on Kamrul's 70 to reach the final round of the 28th National Cricket Championship as zonal champions following their 43-run win against Chittagong in the final at the Comilla Stadium yesterday.
Three Bangladeshi grandmasters won their opening round ties in the Mayors Cup 1st International Open Chess tournament which began in Mumbai on Sunday.
Shane Watson first used the uneven bounce of the Jaipur pitch to keep the Delhi Daredevils in check, then batted as if it didn't exist to bludgeon 74 off 40 balls and maintain the Rajasthan Royals' all-win record at home on Sunday.
England skipper Michael Vaughan says his side's batters must regain their aggressiveness if they are to compete effectively in the Test series against New Zealand.
Sachin Tendulkar, who is yet to play his first ball in the Indian Premier League (IPL), could feature in the crucial next tie against Chennai on Wednesday, Mumbai Indians coach Lalchand Rajput said on Sunday.
Bangalore Royal Challengers may be struggling to find their feet in the Indian Premier League, but skipper Rahul Dravid on Wednesday said the youngsters should not get disheartened as performance in Twenty20 was not an indicator of a player's ability in longer version of the game.
World champions Australia will play one-day internationals against Scotland and Ireland in 2009 and 2010.
For their second successive Indian Premier League (IPL) match, the Kolkata Knight Riders were fined for slow over-rate after the Sourav Ganguly-led squad was found two overs behind schedule in their last night's tie against the Hyderabad Deccan Chargers.
Sir Bobby Charl-ton insisted he was delighted to see Ryan Giggs equal his Man-chester United appearance record.
Sir Alex Ferguson claims Manchester United will be 'bouncing' all the way to Moscow for next week's Champions League final after a 2-0 win at Wigan secured the club's 10th Premier League title.
Inter Milan will go into the final week of the season feeling decidedly jittery and haunted by the nightmare of six years ago when they threw away the title on the final day.
Diego Forlan repaid back a huge chunk of his 21 million euro transfer fee as he fired Atletico Madrid into the money-spinning Champions League for the first time in over a decade with a 1-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
Chelsea coach Avram Grant insisted his side can bounce back from losing out on the Premier League title and get revenge by beating Manchester United in the Champions League final on May 21.
Cristiano Ronaldo believes he could score 50 goals for Manchester United next season after striking 41 times during his side's current campaign.
Chelsea are close to signing Portugal right-back Jose Bosingwa after Porto announced they have accepted the Premier League club's 16.2 million pounds (20.5 million euros) offer.
Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted retirement is the last thing on his mind as he savours the tenth Premier League title at the helm of Manchester United.
Over 1,800 men and women posed nude for US photographer Spencer Tunick Sunday in Vienna's Ernst Happel stadium, less than a month before it hosts the European football championship final.
Sven Goran Eriksson will fly to Thailand on Tuesday to discover if his brief reign as Manchester City manager is over.
Lyon striker Karim Benzema has picked up the award of France's Player of the Year awarded by his fellow professionals accepting the trophy from former winner Zinedine Zidane.
Ups and downs in English football following Sunday's final round of matches in the Premier League:
Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga recovered from a first set white-wash to beat French compatriot Nicolas Mahut in the first round of the Hamburg Masters Series here on Monday.
New Zealand vice-captain Brendon McCullum admits his side will need skipper Daniel Vettori back in action if they are to get revenge on England.
Pakistan came back from a goal down on Monday to edge Canada 2-1 and register their third win in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament being held in Malaysia.
Adam Gilchrist, the Hyderabad Deccan Chargers' stand-in captain, has conceded that his team is out of contention for a semifinal spot after they slumped to a 23-run defeat to the Kolkata Knight Riders, their seventh loss in nine matches.
Shane Warne has called the return Indian Premier League match between the Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Daredevils on Sunday a "sweet revenge". Last time the two sides met, Delhi had walloped Rajasthan by nine wickets. That match was the first for both teams in the tournament.
Australia batsman and vice-captain Michael Clarke may miss next week's first Test against West Indies following the death of his fiancée's father, Australian Associated Press reported on Monday.
Red Sun KC drew 1-1 with Satrawja Nabin Sangha in the opening match of the Dhaka City Corporation Pioneer Football (Under-16) League at the Jagannath University ground in Dhupkhola yesterday.
Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova said here on Monday that she was relieved to finally begin her clay court season.
Matthew Hoggard has set his sights on reaching 250 Test wickets after the England bowler was named in the squad for Thursday's first Test against New Zealand.
Surrey's England leg-spinner Chris Schofield faces six weeks on the sidelines after having surgery on his broken left thumb.
New Zealand were forced to settle for a draw against the English Lions at the Rose Bowl on Sunday as their winning momentum ground to a halt ahead of the first Test against England.
The country's major manufactures of potato flakes have closed their factories, despite this year's bumper potato crop, complaining that they are unable to raise working capital to run the plants.
Undisclosed money holders are likely to have another chance in the next budget to legalise their concealed earnings with fine, which will increase year-wise.
Rice production in Asia, Africa and Latin America is forecast to reach a new record level in 2008, but world rice prices could remain high in the short term, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said Monday.
The financing on crude oil import by the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) will top the agenda during the next week's visit of a team to Dhaka from Islamic Trade Financing Corporation (ITFC), a new organ of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH), parent company of Banglalink, the second largest mobile operator of the country, arrives in Dhaka today to announce his company's future investment plan.
Viet Nam reaped more than US$1 billion from seafood exports in the first four months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 8.4 per cent, Deputy Minister of the Agricultural and Rural Development Ministry Luong Le Phuong said.
Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday assured that a good chunk of budgetary allocation in the next budget would go for the development of marketing of agricultural products to ensure fair prices for farmers.
Foreign Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has said 314,000 workers have so far got clearance for employment abroad this year, as there has been no sloth in manpower export.
Social Investment Bank Ltd has recently signed a remittance agreement with US-based money transfer company Placid NK Corporation under which Bangladeshi expatriates in the USA will be able to send their money home through the branches of the bank.
The revenue collection of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) increased by Tk 11.74 crore in March compared to that of the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
The TV camera pans across the paddy field and the faces of beleaguered farmers, before settling on the familiar image of Shykh Seraj, bespectacled and wearing his trade mark short sleeve shirt.
As mountain climbing booms in China, the first group of guides trained by an expert Frenchman will soon graduate -- part of a government drive to boost safety standards.
Ivo Distelbrink, managing director and regional sales head for Treasury and Trade Solutions for Citi Global Transaction Services (GTS) in Asia including Japan, arrives in Dhaka today on a three-day visit, says press release.
MIDAS (Micro Industries Development Assistance and Services) is going to arrange a five-day training course titled 'Start Your Own Business' from May 25 in Dhaka.
Bank Asia has donated a microbus to Birshreshtha Motiur Rahman Foundation, a non-profit organization, for running its mobile hospital to provide emergency medical services to the poor patients.
Asian stocks closed mostly up Monday despite concerns about inflation due to near-record-high oil prices and official data showing surging food prices in China.
The dollar advanced against other major currencies on Monday as the market awaited a raft of economic data this week for fresh leads clues on the extent of the US economic slowdown, dealers said.
Renault-Nissan and the Indian group Bajaj announced a joint venture Monday to produce a 2,500-dollar (1,600-euro) car, with sales expected to begin in India in early 2011.
Agriculture-related investment funds have sprouted in Singapore recently, as fund managers rush to satisy the appetite of investors keen to put their money literally where their mouth is.
Global bank HSBC said Monday that first-quarter profits climbed, despite writing off an additional 3.2 billion dollars (2.07 billion euros) from its exposure to the US subprime housing market slump.
Strong sales of digital cameras helped to lift Nikon Corp's net profit by 37.7 percent to a record high in the year to March, the Japanese photography icon said Tuesday.
Oil prices dipped Monday from last week's record highs but held above 125 dollars on tensions in the crude-rich Middle East and ongoing supply fears in Nigeria, traders said.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed is likely to instruct all concerned including secretaries of four ministries concerned for necessary legal reforms to curb the plight of the children who come in conflict with the law, sources said.
Speakers at the concluding session of a national workshop yesterday stressed the need for increasing budgetary allocation to strengthen the local justice system and ensure marginal people's access to resources.
Police yesterday rescued an official of a private firm 27 hours after he was kidnapped in the city.
Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote (PCJ), an alliance of left-leaning student organisations, yesterday demanded proper investigation into the incident of sexual harassment of a female student of psychology department of Dhaka University (DU) by a teacher of the same department.
Following is the text of the address to the nation by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed aired by Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television yesterday:
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon both the faculty and students of universities to get engrossed in pursuit of knowledge so that a knowledge-based society can be established to cope with the competitive world.
As the nurses are an integral part of the healthcare team, they must be provided with better facilities in order to improve healthcare service, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.
Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus yesterday unveiled a plan of Grameen Healthcare Services Ltd to set up a medical college hospital and research institute of international standard in the country to upgrade the healthcare services for poor people.
Speakers at a meeting yesterday urged the government to implement the National Women Development Policy (NWDP) 2008 immediately and declare an action plan accordingly in the next budget.
All political parties will have to reach a consensus on the cancellation of foreign debt as the debt providers like World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are misguiding the nation through false prescriptions, said the politicians and civil society members yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday, by an ad-interim injunction, directed the newly elected Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Secretary Advocate Nurul Islam Sujan not to continue his function until May 25 following a civil suit filed by defeated candidate Barrister Abdullah Al Mamun.
Community primary teachers submitted a memorandum to the Chief Adviser's office yesterday demanding payment of 100 percent of salary by the government.
A group of freedom fighters yesterday launched a new organisation titled 'Bir Muktijoddah Mancha' at the National Press Club in the city.
The government will import rice from neighbouring India despite bumper Boro production in the country this season, said Food and Disaster Management Adviser Dr AMM Shawkat Ali.
Robbers gunned down two people and injured five others at Khasatbak village in Patharghata upazila on Sunday midnight.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel rescued two children while being trafficked to India from bordering Amrakhali village in Benapole yesterday.
Police arrested three persons on charge of beating a traffic constable in Chittagong yesterday.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed three petitions with the Supreme Court, seeking stay of the High Court (HC) order that halted proceedings of three corruption cases against Awami League leader and former state minister Obaidul Quader.
A truck helper was crushed under the wheels of the truck he works at Bhomra land port area in Sadar upazila yesterday.
A garment accessories trader was found dead at a forest at Porabari in Sadar upazila yesterday.
Eminent playwright Selim Al-Deen and Tapan Bagchi have been awarded Gemcon Literary Award and Gemcon Young Literary Award 2008 respectively, says a press release.
Leaders of the Left Democratic Alliance yesterday said increasing fuel price would push people's life into more miseries.
The quarter final of the 15th All Asians Inter-Varsity Debate Championship 2008 was held at United International University (UIU) yesterday.
Former secretary and ambassador Sabihuddin Ahmed has joined ASA as deputy president recently, says a press release.
At least six activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, were injured during a factional clash at Haji Mohammad Muhsin Hall of Dhaka University (DU) last night.
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), in a joint drive with Titas Gas officials, arrested four staff members of GMS Glass Factory in Siddhirganj yesterday morning on charges of pilfering a huge amount of gas worth Tk 100 crore.
Visiting Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Dr Ahmad Mohammed Ali made a courtesy call on Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday and discussed implementation of 130 million US dollar project for setting up multipurpose cyclone shelters and schools in Sidr-hit areas.
Absence of rain for a couple of months in Rangamati has kept the Karnaphuli Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) crippled, snapped the tourist town's water way links with six out of 10 upazilas and sent townspeople clamour for water.
The authorities of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) in a dramatic move yesterday afternoon decided to postpone their Sunday night's decision about holding of two suspended honours final semester examinations of English department on May 13 and 14.
Rajshahi election office yesterday published a list of 129 probable polling centers in Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) areas. There were 130 centers in the previous list.
A large number of contractors enlisted with government departments in Rangpur yesterday demanded allocation of additional funds to complete construction projects.
Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet) vice chancellor (VC) Prof Dr M Nawsher Ali yesterday said steps have been taken to stop recurrence of unpleasant situation like Sunday's violence on the campus.
Argument of the complainant in the case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against Sylhet city BNP chief Ariful Haque Chowdhury and his wife Shyama Haque Chowdhury (absconding) ended yesterday in Sylhet District and Sessions Judge's Court, also the special tribunal.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday returned a snatched rifle to Indian Border Force (BSF) at a flag meeting, BDR sources said.
Police yesterday recovered the skeleton of a youth who was murdered after he had gone missing on April 20 from the deep jungle at Alutilla under Sadar upazila in Khagrachhari hill district.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said ministers from his party will resign from their posts today over differences regarding the reinstatement of judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf.
The Commonwealth re-admitted Pakistan as a full member yesterday after a six-month suspension triggered by a clampdown by President Pervez Musharraf, the grouping's secretary general said.
Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog held a new round of talks on Monday on Tehran's disputed atomic drive, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Sri Lanka's opposition said yesterday it planned to mount a legal challenge to the government's weekend win in key local elections in the east of the island.
US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher has advised Pakistani leaders to avoid a confrontation with President Pervez Musharraf, the US media reported on Sunday.
The United States delivered its first relief supplies to Myanmar on Monday, as the UN urged the reclusive nation to open its doors to foreign experts who can help up to 2 million cyclone victims facing disease and starvation.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asked Egypt's intelligence chief on Monday to tell Gaza militants a truce would be conditional upon progress being made towards freeing a captive Israeli soldier.
Aid groups said Sunday that supplies trickling into cyclone-hit Myanmar were far less than was needed, as the faltering relief effort suffered a new blow with the sinking of a Red Cross boat.
The death toll in a weekend gunfight between Islamic rebels and troops in Indian-administered Kashmir has risen to eight, a senior military officer said yesterday.
Tribal separatist rebels shot dead at least 10 railway workers in two weekend attacks in India's restive northeast, police said yesterday.
Buoyed by the string of successes with the intermediate range ballistic missile Agni-III, India is planning to test a missile with 5000 km range soon.
Nepal's embattled king, whose centuries-old dynasty faces its end within weeks, made a rare public appearance Monday for a ritual animal sacrifice aimed at preserving power, priests said.
President Bush spent months joking about being a father of the bride, but on Sunday he was downright wistful about giving his daughter Jenna away to her longtime beau.
Arts & Entertainment
To celebrate the 147th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Bangla Academy arranged a cultural programme at its seminar room on May 11. The programme highlighted lecture and solo performance by Tagore researcher and singer Professor Anisur Rahman.
When I first saw the shikhar of the Shiv Temple in Puthia, I was embarrassed. Embarrassed for a number of reasons -- mostly because I had no idea something of this stature exists in Bangladesh. Should I blame myself single-handedly? I could but then again, growing up most of us didn't read about it. Our textbooks mentioned the few obvious "archaeological treasures" like Sonargaon, Paharpur, Mahastangar or Mainamati. Perhaps there was a vague reference or some miniscule, fuzzy sketch of the Puthia Rajbari.
India-born Hollywood director Manoj Night Shayamalan says he loves to scare viewers of his films but would have us believe that he does not consciously choose Sci-Fi genre.
Superheroes exist for many reasons. Certainly in our time they exist to sell movie tickets and plastic action figures. But superheroes, those crusading men and women in tights, allow us to believe that in a cape or magical second skin we can do the impossible. We can transform ourselves.
To mark the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, a vibrant cultural programme was held at the Rabindra Complex in Dakkhindihi, Khulna recently, says a press release.
TV serial Opekhha Bhorer will be aired on ATN Bangla tonight at 8:45 pm. Mir Sabbir, Romana and Abul Hayat play the major roles in the serial.
TV serial Kon graamer meye will be aired tonight on BTV at 9:15 pm.
WE have been hearing a lot about development of primary education in Bangladesh ever since independence. No doubt the governments tried to increase the allocation of funds for primary schools as much as possible from year to year. The multilateral and bilateral donor agencies are assisting in various development projects of primary education. Despite all these, we do not see any visible qualitative improvement in primary education. For the last decade and a half the governments attempted to improve teaching of English in the primary school students, but could not succeed.
TEA is a very popular healthy drink and is the cheapest beverage in the world. In Bangladesh it is a hot drink but in many countries of the world -- particularly in Europe and America -- it is not only a hot drink, but is also drunk as cold tea, ice tea, tablet tea etc.
WHEN I first arrived in Tokyo as a beneficiary of a Japanese Government Technical Assistance Program, on a JAL jumbo flight from Bangkok, some years ago I was overwhelmed by the enormous warmth of the people who received me at the airport. It is not always that you see the same smile on the ground as the one you have left behind on board the plane. As I was being driven past the floating Tokyo evening traffic I felt as if the city was illuminating up for a special occasion.
IMAGINE an elevator that never actually stops moving. It zooms up the east side of the building, disappears into the attic and then reappears, zooming down the west side. It goes round and round, endlessly, night and day. It has no doors. The only way to use it is to throw yourself in as it passes your floor, and leap out when it reaches the floor you want to get to.