News of: Friday, 24th of December, 2010
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Over 84 percent households in Bangladesh became victims of corruption while receiving services from government and non-government institutions between June 2009 and May this year, revealed a Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) survey.
Microfinance institution Grameen Bank yesterday refuted reports of a section of media that Dr Muhammad Yunus had resigned from the post of its managing director, and said he has been "discharging his duties as usual".
Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday came under fire from a parliamentary body for “faulty” probe into the Narsingdi train crash and “irregularities” in the bidding for the elevated expressway.
Ruling Awami League is yet to finalise party candidates for a number of municipalities and negotiate with allies over sharing seats in the next month's municipal polls.
A BDR special court yesterday convicted of mutiny all 20 accused from Joypurhat-3 Rifle Battalion and sentenced them to different prison terms.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday asked banks to send in information about bank accounts of detained BNP standing committee member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury within seven days.
The investigators suspect that the recently recovered huge quantity of bullets in Bakagora village of Sherpur belonged to the Indian insurgents active in the bordering hilly villages.
A parliamentary body yesterday said microcredit programmes help eradicate the country's poverty in spite of an "inadequate and very weak" regulatory system.
Sygma Shipping Line, the parent company of Indian flag carrier Ocean Pearl, has been served with a notice to answer by December 28 why the company would not be prosecuted for causing oil spill in the Bay.
The opposition BNP has connection with domestic and international terrorist networks, alleged State Minister for Home Affairs Shamsul Haque Tuku.
Sammilito Ulama Mashayek Parishad, a religion-based political forum, will consider withdrawing the December 26 hartal if the government publishes a handout clearly stating its position regarding the parishad's demands about the National Education Policy.
A mother and her two children were killed in an attack by a herd of wild elephants at Natun Chakpara village in Naikkhangchhari upazila of Bandarban early Thursday.
Investigators yesterday petitioned before the International Crimes Tribunal to keep Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee detained till completion of the investigation into war crimes allegations against him.
The leader of an Indian separatist group has alleged that his son has been kidnapped in Bangladesh.
The United States and Britain should immediately stop supporting a Bangladeshi anti-crime force blamed for killing hundreds of suspects without trial if there is no visible effort to reform it, a rights group said yesterday.
The government will start to distribute food grains among the ultra poor under Fair Price Card (FPC) and Ration System from the new year.
The results of Primary Education Terminal Examination will be published on December 27, and the first-ever Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) exams on December 31.
A gunfight between Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members and a gang of muggers left two alleged muggers bullet injured yesterday in the capital's Agargaon Taltola.
A CIA task force -- known by the suitable acronym WTF -- is to assess damage done by WikiLeaks' mass release of classified US documents, an official said Wednesday.
Greece's governing Socialists won a key budget vote in Parliament early yesterday, calling for deeper austerity measures in the crisis-hit country and promising to avoid default despite a soaring national debt.
We in Bangladesh cannot but feel happy at the placing the country has been given on the Economist Intelligence Unit's Index of Democracy 2010. We have advanced to 83rd position from our earlier placing at 91st (which was back in 2008). We certainly feel encouraged but at the same time we might as well remind ourselves that this new report comes against a background of elected, democratic government in Bangladesh at this point of time. The 2008 report was prepared in light of the country being under emergency caretaker rule. Naturally, therefore, the general feeling is that in the current democratic dispensation we should be finding and indeed do find our state of politics at an elevated level. That said, it must also be noted that the EIU survey is a comparative study which even includes countries where not even a semblance of democracy is to be spotted. Even so, it feels good to know that we are better off than many other nations that profess to practise democracy.
Bangladesh's extreme vulnerability to climate change has been well recognized by the developed nations and especially by the relevant international forums. So, it is only expected that Bangladesh is a strong candidate to draw the Green Climate Fund pledged by the rich countries at the recently held Cancun Climate Summit.
India once again proved their supremacy in South Asian women's football when they defeated Nepal 1-0 at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday to take home the inaugural SAFF Women's Football Championship trophy.
Coach Jamie Siddons expressed his frustration over the latest injury to country's leading paceman Mashrafe Bin Mortaza with less than two months to go for the World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
Mohammedan Sporting Club have brought Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf yesterday in an attempt to retain the Premier Division Cricket League title.
National football coach Robert Rubcic is visibly unhappy with Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club's move to not releasing two players selected for the national U-23 side for Olympic pre-qualifiers against Kuwait.
The 2003 World Cup, the eighth cricket World Cup, was the first to be held in Africa. The co-hosts were South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. The majority of the matches were played in South Africa, with Zimbabwe hosting six matches and Kenya two.
World chess champion Viswanathan Anand joined the growing list of top athletes on Thursday supporting the demand that iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar be conferred the Bharat Ratna -- the highest civilian honour in India.
A 13-year-old Indian cricketer has smashed 498 runs off 490 balls in a match in Mumbai to claim the national record for the highest score by a schoolboy.
Cricket authorities have rejected a plea by Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt to delay a hearing scheduled for next month into a spot-fixing scandal which rocked the sport, the player said Wednesday.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday awarded women cricketers central contracts for the first time, honouring the team which scooped gold at the Asia Games.
El-Hadji Diouf has launched an astonishing verbal assault on Jamie Carragher, claiming the Liverpool vice-captain has "done nothing with his life".
Australia carry the momentum of their thumping Perth victory over faltering England into the fourth Melbourne Test on Sunday with the series finely balanced at a win each.
Indian cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar scored his record 50th Test century this week using a damaged and patched-up "lucky charm" bat which has now scored 14 hundreds, a report said Thursday.
Ricky Ponting said Thursday his chances of leading Australia in Sunday's fourth Ashes Test against England were "very high" after completing training without mishap.
The sun has made a welcome appearance in Durban to ease some of the concerns for the ground authorities, but Wilson Ngobese, the chief groundsman at Kingsmead, doesn't want to predict too much about the nature of the pitch for the Boxing Day Test.
Australia may have momentum from their big Perth Test win but England are playing better cricket going into the fourth Ashes Test, England batsman Ian Bell said on Thursday.
Chelsea ma-nager Carlo Ancelotti has slammed the Premier League fixture planners as his side prepare to play twice in three days over Christmas.
Jose Mourinho said on Thurs-day he deserved to be named coach of the year and not Spain's World Cup winning coach Vicente del Bosque.
The head of the ground staff at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) said Thursday there was no conspiracy in his switch of drop-in pitches for the crucial fourth Ashes Test against England.
European champions Inter Milan sacked coach Rafael Benitez on Thursday just a few days after he guided them to the World Club Cup title and looks set to be replaced by former AC Milan coach Brazilian Leonardo.
Miroslav Klose struck twice on Wednesday to help holders Bayern Munich advance into the German Cup quarterfinals with a 6-3 win at VfB Stuttgart, who were reduced to nine men and also missed a penalty.
Karim Benzema cemented his return to form with his second hattrick of the month and Cristiano Ronaldo also netted three goals as Real Madrid crushed lowly Levante 8-0 in their King's Cup last-16 first leg on Wednesday.
Unfashionable Lille drew 1-1 with St Etienne on Wednesday but it was enough to guarantee they finished the year top of the French championship for the first time since 1949.
Argentina are looking to win the Copa America on home ground next year and end the doubts in fans' minds about Lionel Messi's commitment and ability when playing for his country, coach Sergio Batista said.
German number one goalkeeper Manuel Neuer doused his club Schalke 04'S hopes he would end speculation over his future by saying on Wednesday he would not sign a new contract over the Christmas break.
Bayern Munich have finally reached agreement with the Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) in their long running dispute over compensation in the Arjen Robben injury affair.
Uruguay's footballer of the World Cup finals Diego Forlan injured ligaments in his right ankle on Wednesday and will be out for an unspecified amount of time.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said Thursday he expects Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to retire at the end of the season.
Portugal winger Simao is leaving Atletico Madrid and will join Turkish side Besiktas, Atletico said on their website (www.clubatleticodemadrid.com) on Wednesday.
Carols and bells, lights and flowers.
ADB asks Bangladesh to tackle power crisis, upgrade infrastructure and improve investment, for higher growth
The insurance industry, both life and general, posted robust growth in 2009.
Microcredit experts and economists yesterday warned that any shift from the weekly repayment system to monthly, quarterly or yearly one could lead to the rise in the number of loan defaulters.
Standard Chartered Bank and MicroSave have launched a risk management toolkit for micro-finance institutions in partnership with Credit and Development Forum (CDF).
Leading shipbuilder New Western Marine Shipbuilders laid keels of two double hull tankers for a local company to transport fuel oil across the country.
Asif Ibrahim, vice chairman of Newage Group of Industries, has been elected president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) for 2011.
A Bangladeshi couple made a mark in Australia by way of an upmarket textile art. It is the art of making aboriginal fabrics, mastered by Sham Lohani and Momtaj Lohani. It is the art best expressed in patchworks and quilting.
East Asia's booming economies have for years been the envy of the world, but a shortfall in one crucial area -- babies -- threatens to render yesterday's tigers toothless.
Asian markets were mixed on Thursday with traders winding down for the holidays while an upgrade of US economic growth provided some cheer.
Greek lawmakers Thursday approved an austerity budget, including 14 billion euros in spending cuts, as part of a tough economic overhaul imposed on Athens after it received an international bailout.
Recent food price surges in China have underscored the supply challenges the country faces, as decreasing arable land is making it harder to maintain farm output, a UN envoy said Thursday.
Insurance giant American International Group is likely to announce next week the buyer for its Taiwan unit, Nan Shan Life, a report said Thursday as the firm tries to pay back its US government bailout.
Argentina on Wednesday launched a new bid to pay off the remainder of its debt from a disastrous 2001 default, calling it the "last chance" for creditors holding out for higher returns.
Agricultural Marketing Co Ltd, AMCL (PRAN), declared 30 percent dividends for its shareholders for 2009-10 in Dhaka yesterday, said a statement.
Parveen Mahmud has been elected president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) for 2011 in its council meeting yesterday.
Kohinoor Chemical Company (BD) Ltd yesterday approved 40 percent cash dividends for 2009-10 in its 23rd annual general meeting in Dhaka.
Orion Infusion declared 14 percent cash dividends for 2009-10 in its 27th annual general meeting in Dhaka yesterday.
Several European countries, including Germany, are working on a permanent euro rescue mechanism that would include the creation of a new and independent funding institution, a press report said Thursday.
Global ratings agency Standard & Poor's yesterday lowered Vietnam's sovereign credit rating, the second downgrade of the country by an international agency in recent days.
Crude prices resumed their rally in Asian trade on Thursday after hitting fresh two-year highs the day before as the US hiked its economic growth figures and oil stockpiles fell, analysts said.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday called upon the people to launch social movement countrywide to end all sorts of discriminations against and torture on women.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday renewed her government's pledge to build a science and technology-based modern Bangladesh through turning the country's huge population into human resources.
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the sheer number of cases which are now on trial or pending in the courts may cause the whole judiciary system to collapse.
Cervical cancer can be prevented in 97 percent cases if adolescents are vaccinated with human papilloma virus (HPV) before their sexual exposure, a study revealed yesterday.
A separate chapter on the right to information (RTI) act will be incorporated in the subject of social science in the secondary level of education from next academic year.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) yesterday terminated and demoted 41 of its employees including professors, associate professors and assistant professors.
Three people were killed and one injured in road accidents in Natore and Chapainawabganj on Wednesday evening and yesterday.
Members of the indigenous community yesterday demanded amendment to the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Land Dispute Resolution Commission Act to resolve problems in the CHT region.
A sedition case was filed against detained BNP stalwart Salauddin Quader Chowdhury with Fatikchhari Police Station in the city on Tuesday for his offensive remark on the 15 August killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The verdict in a mutiny case filed against 111 jawans of Record Wing under BDR Headquarters at Pilkhana in the city is likely to be pronounced between January 15 and 20 next year.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government wants to work with people of all faiths for the overall development of the country.
A team of Chittagong Divisional Forest and Animal Preservation Department recovered at least 21 different species of birds and one mongoose here on Wednesday.
A traffic police sergeant was assaulted by a group of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) cadres as he sought documents from a motorcycle rider here at Khulshi area yesterday.
A woman was beaten to death allegedly by her neighbour at Demra in the city yesterday morning.
A number of non-government organisations yesterday urged ulamas to call off the hartal on December 26.
The festival on traditional Dhaka food started yesterday to conclude the celebration of the 400th year of Dhaka as capital.
Pakistan yesterday assured Bangladesh of extending all possible cooperation and support for the release of kidnapped Bangladeshis in Afghanistan and their safe return.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed six detained members of banned outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir on a two-day remand each in a case filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Judgement in the cases for BDR mutiny at 29 Rifles Battalion in Khagrachhari and at 32 and 35 rifles battalions in Kushtia will be delivered on January 13 and February 2 next year.
Unfavourable weather this season is likely to affect potato cultivation in Rangpur and winter vegetable farming in Jhenidah district.
State Minister for Water Resources Md Mahbubur Rahman will visit Aila affected Dakope upazila of Khulna district today to see for himself progress of embankment works undertaken by Water Development Board (WDB).
Police on Sunday evening arrested the main accused in Bamihal police outpost looting case from Bonpara bus stand while he was returning home from Sirajganj.
Police arrested the principal of a college on Wednesday evening on charge of joining service with 'fake' academic certificates.
Two housewives have been beaten to death in Mymensingh and Jessore while another allegedly committed suicide in Jhenidah.
Criminals entered a house at Kalapara village at dead of night on Monday and threw acid on a housewife.
As many as 48 Awami League men submitted their nomination papers for mayoral posts in the upcoming elections to seven municipalities scheduled for January 18 in Chandpur district, according to a correspondent.
At least five leaders and activists of Jubo League and Chhatra League were injured as the supporters of AL-nominated candidate and rival candidate of Hatiya municipality clashed near the Hatiya Upazila Complex on Wednesday, reports our correspondent.
History has hardly seen the like of the calculated annihilations of the intellectuals by their own people which happened in our country in 1971. The pictures of disfigured dead bodies and the mass killing sites are stark reminders of the heinous crimes the collaborators committed just two days before our victory, obviously with a motive to make the new nation crippled. They had also involved themselves in the genocide the Pakistani occupation forces carried out during the whole period of our Liberation War when three million people were killed. They were the members of Rajakar, Al-Badr, and Al-Shams and belonged to Jamaat-e-Islami, Nizam-e-Islam and Muslim League.
Chinese is the most dominant amongst the ethnic Mongolian languages in Asia. It is also a language spoken by the highest number of people in the world. There are about 30 different Mongolian Sino-Burman languages spoken by the Adivasi or indigenous people of this country, but their condition is pitiable.
The news published in The Daily Star on 12th December stated that our capacity of power generation is 6000 MW but only 4300 MW is being produced. The authorities blame the low quality equipment, old machines, etc. to hide the real reason behind this situation.
The cholera patients in Haiti are going through unbearable sufferings. On December 17, I have watched a news report on BBC about this. The cholera epidemic has claimed nearly 1200 lives. It has been almost a year since the epidemic started after the devastating earthquake hit the country. It has been alleged that the Nepalese UN peacekeeping mission have brought the disease there. Investigation is now going on. Haiti is in a big crisis. The international community must come forward to save Haiti from this disaster.
Undoubtedly, Shahrukh Khan is one of the most famous heroes in India. Recently, he along with his troupe performed gorgeously in Dhaka. The event was organised by some private organisation. Definitely, the cultural heritage and costumes of our country are pretty different than that of Mumbai. We must keep in mind that foreign cultural elements are gradually infesting our showbiz. People are more willing to accept foreign films, songs, etc., being exposed to them. Thus, our native cultural products are being neglected.
I am just ending my university life. The most painful experience of my university life was living in the dormitory.
There has been no follow-up news on the interesting and important news report by Shamim Jahangir on the matter since last reported in your daily on 4th November. In our national interest, I feel as far as the report goes, we should take up this offer to set up an experimental 10MW power plant, based on coal gasification of the rather deep Jamalpur coal seam; which lies 500 to 1000 metres below the surface! Given the depth of the coal seam, possibly power generation by gasification should be a cost effective option for power generation, rather than mining it, in my opinion.
On December 18, 2010 I attended the 60th Anniversary programmes of Holy Cross College as a former student. Words are not enough to express my happiness to be a part of this educational institution. The college authorities arranged the grandest occasion with disciplined preparations. Arrangements of chairs according to batches in the pavilion next to the college field were set systematically, volunteers' services were highly noticeable and the performers enthralled us with their singing and beautiful presentations. With scintillating words and loud clapping the celebrations won the hearts of thousands present there as the audience. All of us were very much thrilled meeting with old friends. The great occasion ended with the hearty meal and unforgettable photo sessions.
The PCP article (19 Dec) on China's economic development and taking out 500 million people out of poverty is indeed very interesting. Many political and economic policies and actions are cited for this, however, the most important and effective policy of 'One child per family' is completely ignored! This is the main reason for China's prosperity and this is why it is bound to lead mankind in near future in the global village.
There are many educational institutions in urban areas. Most of the institutions are situated in the buildings used for commercial purposes, with markets, shopping centres, etc., adjacent to them. And there is no playground in these institutions.
China's ambassador Zhang Yan has said the relations between China and India is fragile. I appreciate him for his aptness in choosing correct diplomatic adjective and obviously for his outspoken remark. India should take it positively bearing in mind that an outspoken enemy is better than a reserve friend. We hope Indian media and the govt. stakeholders will take it positively, and consider this a step to erase the misunderstanding between the two countries.
At last, the present govt. headed by Sheikh Hasina has come forward to implement some important projects which will greatly benefit common people as well as help develop economic condition of the country.
There is hardly any doubt that women these days are still striving for attaining their rights. Though they are contributing a lot to the society, they cannot reach their goals as a whole. However, it should be admitted that women are playing a great role in RMG sector which paves the way for achieving the highest currency for the country.
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Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has welcomed US ratification of a landmark treaty to cut nuclear arsenals and says he hopes Russia's parliament will ratify it too.
The UN atomic watchdog has asked Myanmar to be allowed to visit a number of suspect nuclear sites and facilities, a source close to the agency said yesterday.
The Indian government has offered to hold a special corruption debate with opposition lawmakers to break a deadlock that meant no legislation was passed in all of the last parliamentary session.
Kenyan MPs have voted overwhelmingly for the country to pull out of the treaty which created the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Parcel bomb blasts in the Chilean and Swiss embassies in Rome injured two staffers yesterday, officials said, as Italian prosecutors opened an inquiry for a suspected "attack with terrorist aims."
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that a US government effort to prosecute him should serve as a warning to journalists in the United States.
North Korea's armed forces minister has said his country is ready for a "holy war" using the nuclear deterrent.
Post-election violence has claimed 173 lives in Ivory Coast, the UN says, as international pressure mounts for Laurent Gbagbo to quit the presidency.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been named "Man of the Year" by France's Le Monde newspaper, one of the five publications to cooperate with the whistleblowing website on its latest release of leaked documents.
Iraqi forces have arrested 93 suspects, including 60 wanted men, in a crackdown on Al-Qaeda in Anbar province, defence ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed al-Askari said yesterday.
Pakistani security officials said yesterday that a Taliban militant commander had been killed in a gunfight with government troops in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.
Three men have been found guilty of plotting a suicide attack on an army base in the Australian city of Sydney.
Arts & Entertainment
Doegar Phunsum Troupe, a cultural group from Bhutan, performed for the audiences here in the port city last Wednesday evening.
An eight-day solo photography exhibition opened on December 17 at Drik Gallery, Dhaka. With the title, “Immersed in Water”, the exhibition features Masuma Pia's 51 striking images that have taken her eight long years of hard work. Director General of Bengal Foundation Luva Nahid Chowdhury with others inaugurated the exhibition.
Bengal Foundation's endeavour to recognise and provide a platform to talented, young singers across the country began in 2006. The talent hunt, known as 'Bengal Bikhash Pratibha Anneshan', stood out for its focus on traditional genres. A group of renowned artistes, led by the late Waheedul Haque, helped Bengal to discover the talents.
Five years in the pipeline, “Aashor”, a rock compilation, hit the market on November 12 under the banner of Gaanchil. From big names like LRB to young, emerging bands from Dhaka and Chittagong, rock fans will get a taste of 14 fresh tracks -- all likely to make it to playlists for years to come. Moktadir Dewan Shanto coordinated the album.
Art should not be fettered by geographical boundaries, said renowned Bangladeshi painter Abdus Shakur Shah. “To promote art and culture there should be less security curbs on the movement of people between our two countries,” Shakur, the 1977 Lalit Kala Academy topper and 1991 Japan Excellence Award recipient, told the media in Kolkata on Tuesday night at an exhibition of his paintings embossed with textile designs.
Quazi Krishnakali Islam, better known as Krishnakali, is recognised as a gifted lyricist, a deft composer and an emotive singer. An ardent feminist and social activist, she is deeply involved with Biplabi Nari Shanghati, a socio-political organisation working -- among other pressing issues -- for women's rights.
Wikileaks rendering of commandeered official communications between the US State Department and its embassies world-over in their website will be viewed in different ways depending on which side of the fence one is on. Although most of the cables deal with analyses, some based on assumptions, some on local assessments, and yet many on shared information of diplomats of other countries on similar errands, some indeed have helped to reconfirm the geo-strategic aspirations of the only superpower on earth. No wonder the US government has given Mr. Assange the new appellation "high-tech terrorist."
The recent exchange of invectives between two major political camps targeting each other's patriarchs is an ominous sign of acerbic politics corroding into its foundations. If Awami League is trying to vilify Ziaur Rahman and BNP is trying to undermine Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, it only shows that our bankrupt politics has nothing left to do but abuse its own stalwarts. Even a better analogy: a prodigal son having spent all his money is going after family treasure.
If any reminding was necessary, torture in custody on political grounds and directions was a reprehensible feature of the BNP Jamaat Alliance Government. I know this for a fact and can vouch for it first-hand based on my own personal experience as can I am certain, individuals such as Muntasir Mamun, Shahriar Kabir, Mohiudding Khan Alamgir, Bahauddin Nasim, BSS and Reuters Correspondent of that time, Enam and a vast number of others.
In the aftermath of the WikiLeaks disclosure of US diplomatic documents, we are all nervous and wondering when the other shoe will drop. The reason for us being concerned about leaks is very simple. We have all in our lifetime written many emails, letters, memos, and what have you to the White House in support of various causes, some popular and some unpopular.
A Microsoft top official has linked the overall growth of a country with its IT infrastructure related to broadband penetration, and how new devices are used there.
Anis went to attend a Christmas party in Gulshan. But unlike others, he felt he wasn't enjoying the occasion. Rather than becoming a party pooper, he left the place and before returning home in Dhanmondi, he decided to spend some quality time with his friends. But for that, he had to call a number of people to know their whereabouts at that moment.
Apple Inc has joined a growing number of U.S. companies that have severed ties with WikiLeaks, removing an application from its online store that gave users access to the controversial website's content.
Asus, a leading computer manufacturer, has introduced its latest notebook and motherboard in the local market, said a press release.
Microsoft Corp is working on a version of its core Windows operating system for devices such as tablets, according to media reports on Tuesday, and the company said its Windows Phone 7 software is making headway in the booming smartphone market.