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Monday, December 23, 2002

Head Lines

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

Monday, December 23, 2002



Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia leaves for China on a five-day official visit. An umbrella agreement on defence cooperation between Dhaka and Beijing is likely to be signed, besides several other deals, during her visit. Foreign Secretary Shamser Mobin Chowdhury told newsmen Sunday that some agreements, MOU and exchange of letters would be signed between Bangladesh and China during the PM's tour.

Labour and Employment Ministry has prepared a draft child labour policy to eliminate the worst forms of child labour within shortest possible time.

Dhaka Medical College Students Union was dissolved Sunday amid turmoil on the campus as the unionists went on rampage to press the authorities for increasing admission-form fees. The decision was taken in a meeting of the DMC academic council at noon with Principal Prof Tofayel Ahmed in the chair. Meanwhile students continued their agitations demanding resignation of the principal.

The syndicate of Dhaka University (DU) Sunday decided to serve a show-cause notice to teacher Mesbah Kamal for slapping a female student in his room. According to the show-cause notice, Mesbah will reply as to why he will not be expelled from his job or why any action will not be taken against him.

The government is investigating the stockpiling of huge bomb-making explosives seized from a warehouse in Narsingdi. The government yesterday admitted that departmental action has been taken against about 20 army personnel for various offences during the ongoing Operation Clean Heart. However, the punitive actions have no relation with the 'so-called custodial deaths', Principal Information Officer Khandkar Manirul Alam said at a press briefing. The actions have been taken for wrongdoing, overdoing and negligence of duty. This is a routine affair in the defense forces, the PIO said.

Opposition leader and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina again termed the Mymensingh cinema bombings a 'stage-managed' ploy to hook government's political opponents and blamed the Prime Minister for the tragedy.

The main opposition Awami League is all set to hold its triennial central council on Thursday amid party men's strong hopes that it would give birth to a new leadership combining old and youth. The council is also expected to adopt a number of proposals to amend the party constitution and change its manifesto.

The government has decided to reduce renewal fees for different categories of passport by around 50 per cent. According to sources, a statutory regulatory order in this regard will be issued soon. The Ministry of Finance has already approved a revised renewal fee structure.

At least 16 people were killed and 71 others injured in road accidents in Faridpur, Sylhet, Noakhali and Feni districts yesterday. Of them, six were killed in Faridpur, four in Sylhet and three in Noakhali and Feni each.

The Election Commission (EC) has imposed restriction on the use of children in electioneering activities including meetings and processions during the upcoming Union Parishad elections across the country. The decision was taken at a meeting of the commission held yesterday with Chief Election Commissioner MA Syed in the chair.

Some 4613 admission seekers are vying for 810 seats at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) this year (2002-03 session). The admission test will be held on January 9.

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Pakistan's new Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has said he is keen for peace talks with India and is committed to stop cross-border infiltration of terrorists, a key Indian condition to resume dialogue. But New Delhi was behaving like a child crying for no reason, Jamali said in an interview to the weekly magazine Outlook which hit the stands on Sunday.

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has threatened to use its military might to remove Indian separatist rebels from bases within its borders, a report said Sunday. We will hold talks with the militants who have established camps inside Bhutan." Bhutan's King Jigme Singhye Wangchuk was quoted saying in the government-run newspaper Kuensel.

Sri Lanka is set to mark a full year without major ethnic bloodshed as government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels notch up their longest cease-fire in the decades-old separatist war.

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Russia yesterday stood up firmly for Iraq by declaring that a military campaign there ran counter to Moscow's national interests and urging Washington to strictly abide by the United Nations resolutions on the conflict. "The most important thing is making sure that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction". Foreign Minister Ivanov said in an interview with Channel One, broadcast first in Russia's far-eastern regions, and picked up by news agencies.

OPEC will activate a mechanism to keep oil prices within the cartel's 22 to 28 dollars a barrel target band if prices remain higher on world markets, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi pledged Saturday.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Sunday he was confident his nation's free trade agreement with the United States would be signed on schedule in about 18 months.

North Korea, defying world opinion, said Sunday it had begun removing UN monitoring equipment from a nuclear reactor at the center of the communist state's suspected put-suit of nuclear weapons.

Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party frontrunner for the 2004 presidential elections following Al Gore's decision not to seek presidential nomination, according to a poll released Saturday.

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A day of tension ended with New Zealand easing to a four-wicket victory over visiting India on the forth day of the second Test, giving the home team the series 2-0. New Zealand were set 160 to win, a sizeable target in the context of an historic low-scoring Test. They lost wickets regularly and the Indians grew more tenacious as the day went on.

The touring West Indies cricket team left Dhaka yesterday afternoon after dense fog delayed their flight for more than 24 hours. Caribbeans were originally scheduled to fly to London by a British Airways flight on Saturday morning at 8:30 am on completion of their 23-day tour of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh national football team struggled past the visiting Sporting Bengal United of the United Kingdom 2-1 in an exhibition match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday afternoon. All the three goals came in the first half of the match treated as a warm-up game by the national team.

World one-day cricket champions Australia steamrollered to their third successive win in the tri-nations limited-over contest Sunday when they crushed Sri Lanka by 142 runs at the WACA Ground.

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ARCHIVE CALENDAR - December 2002

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ARCHIVE CALENDAR - November 2002

1| 2| 3 | 4 |5 |6 |7| 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 |12 | 13 |14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19| 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25| 26 |27 | 28 |29|30


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