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News Brief, Summary of more than 20 leading Bangla & English Dailies, Source : News Garden

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

National

Police and intelligence authorities questioned movie theatre employees after a string of deadly bomb explosions at four crowded cinemas in Mymensingh, and the government ruled out Al-Qaeda involvement in the attack.

 The World Bank (WB) yesterday said it may provide $150-$200 million in assistance to Bangladesh this fiscal without attaching any conditions, but there are a number issues to be resolved before the fund is committed.

 The Awami League (AL) has called a dawn-to-dusk hartal across the country on December 12 to protest the movie theatre blasts in Mymensingh and the subsequent arrests of a number of AL leaders and workers.

 Two days after the serial blasts at four cinemas in Mymensingh, nine homemade explosives were found at the High Court premises yesterday morning.

 Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday condemned the arrest of her party leaders and intellectuals. The Awami League yesterday blamed Prime Minister Khaleda Zia for prejudicing the inquiry into the bomb blasts in Mymensingh by accusing the opposition. "It is amazing that Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has, within hours of the tragic incident, hurled accusations at the opposition”, an extended meeting of the party resolved.

Gano Forum Chief Dr Kamal Hossain at a press conference held on Monday stressed the need for national consensus in order to resist terrorism. He called for forging a greater unity of all irrespective of party affiliations to free nation from the curse of terrorism.

BNP Secretary General and LGRD Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan on Monday said the bomb attacks in Mymensigh cinemas were not isolated incidents but planned killings by the conspirators at home and abroad.

A magistrate court on Monday rejected the bail petition of Awami League leader Tofail Ahmed and sent to the central jail. Tofail, a former minister, was arrested on return from Singapore Sunday night in connection with Anwar murder case of Bhola in 1996.

The Bangladesh Army has detained a junior commissioned warrant officer and his two suspected accomplices found involved in spying for India, security officials said in Dhaka Monday.

 Denmark appreciates the development efforts of Bangladesh and the ongoing anti-crime drive by the government for maintaining peace that is imperative for productive activity. Danish Ambassador in Dhaka Niels Severin Munk expressed the views while making a courtesy call on Prime Minister Khaleda Zia at her office yesterday afternoon.

 Prime Minister Khaleda Zia will go to Thailand on December 12 on a three-day trip officially opening a new air-route between the two countries, reports UNB. Thai Prime Minister Dr Thaksin Shinawatra will fly into Chittagong earlier in the day to take her to his country’s resort city Chiang Mai from the Bangladesh port city by a special inaugural flight of Thai Airways. 

Bangladesh Railway will run some special trains from December 12 to December 15 for the convenience of devotees who would attend the upcoming Biswa Ijtema at Tongi. On December 15, the day of Akheri Munajat, seven special trains will shuttle between the capital and Tongi at every 20 minutes from 8 am to 10:40 pm.

 Chief executives of 25 NGOs have resigned from the ADAB alleging that the present committee of the apex body of the NGOs has lost credibility and acceptance as it is serving narrow interests of a few individuals and organisations at the cost of the collective interest of NGO community, according to a press release issued in Dhaka Monday.

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Neighbour

 Pakistan says it has postponed indefinitely a summit of South Asian leaders it was scheduled to host because India has not yet said whether it will attend.  The meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was to take place on January 11-13 next year.

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International

Killing or capturing Osama bin Laden would not make a fundamental difference in freeing the West of the threat of terrorism, an FBI anti-terrorism specialist said yesterda. "The problem will change in one way. It will become more widely dispersed. As long as bin Laden is still alive he is a point around which al Qaeda adherents and many non al Qaeda persons will rally," said Spike Bowman, the FBI's deputy general counsel for national security affairs, the Reuters reports. 

U.S. special forces and Afghan troops hunting al Qaeda and Taliban remnants have detained at least 27 suspects in Afghanistan and seized a large quantity of weapons, an Afghan commander said yesterday.

 U.S. forces are staging a major war games simulation in the Gulf state of Qatar to test a forward command center that could direct an eventual conflict in Iraq.

The leader of Turkey's governing party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has attacked the European Union for applying double-standards in its judgements about which countries might join the EU and when.

The United States and China have begun their first formal high-level military talks since the two countries were embroiled in a crisis over the downing of a US surveillance plane last year.

 Separatist rebels from the troubled Indonesian province of Aceh say they will continue their campaign for independence after signing an historic agreement with the government on Monday.

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 Sports

Ramnaresh Sarwan hit a long-awaited maiden Test century as the West Indies took a commanding lead on day two of the opening Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

 Kenya set Zimbabwe 212 for victory in the opening one-day international, but rain forced the match to be abandoned after just five overs of the hosts' reply.

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ARCHIVE CALENDAR - December 2002

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ARCHIVE CALENDAR - November 2002

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