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Tuesday, July 01, 2003
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News Brief, Summary of more than 20 leading Bangla & English Dailies, Source : News Garden

Tuesday, July 01, 2003


Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday launched a scathing attack on the main opposition Awami League (AL) in parliament, labelling it as 'al-Qaeda, Taliban, terrorist and killer'. She also said the AL is out to create chaos and indiscipline and mislead the world about Bangladesh.

Ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan Monday accused the opposition of hatching plot to stage a civil war in the country. Pointing his finger at Awami League in the Bogra arms haul, he told Parliament that those involved in it would not be allowed to go free and unpunished.

The Awami League (AL) yesterday sharply reacted to Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's remarks that labelled the party as al Qaeda, saying it was a ruse to protect the real criminals.

The Jatiya Sangsdad yesterday passed Taka-519.8 billion national budget with an annual development programme outlay of taka 203 billion for the fiscal year beginning from today. Main opposition Awami League, however, boycotted the session.

The budget proposal to increase supplementary duty on salt has been withdrawn while that on sugar scaled down. The proposal to reduce duty on hard drinks has also been withdrawn.

Ignorance and arrogance of three on-duty police sergeants brought them to face contempt of court charge. Sergeant Mustafiz, Russel, Shoeb and two others failed to show respect to a judge of the High Court travelling in a flag car in the city on June 23 and eventually prosecuted for contempt of court.

A tribunal in Dhaka yesterday sentenced three persons to death and one to life imprisonment in its verdict on the killing of Rushdania Islam  Bushra, a college student. Three people were killed in as many incidents of violence in the city yesterday and a Jubo Dal leader was gunned down Sunday night.

Bangladesh will get $236.12 million, equivalent to Tk 1,369.50 crore, as credit from the International Development Association (IDA) for implementing three projects.

A truck driver and two others suspected of involvement in Bogra ammunition and explosive case were taken into custody Sunday night Most of the rivers continued to rise yesterday, inundating fresh areas in a number of districts, disrupting communication and raising the number of marooned people by thousands.

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India has banned manufacture and sale of plastic carrybags less than 8 inches by 12 inches in size. Bigger carrybags more than 20 microns thick may still be used.

Pakistani troops on Monday resorted to cross-border shelling along the Line of Control, targetting forward posts and villages in Keran sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian official sources claimed.

A separatist group in occupied Kashmir said Monday there would be more attacks like the weekend massacre of 12 Indian troops until Kashmiris were allowed self-determination. "These kinds of attacks will continue  to occur until both countries seriously make moves to resolve the  problem of Kashmir," S.M. Afzal, leader of the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) told AFP

US troops were attacked by a group of gunmen in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan but there were no casualties, a US military spokesman said Monday. Several rockets were fired in Jalalabad Monday, causing some damage but no casualties, witnesses said.

Ten people were injured Monday when a bomb exploded at a mosque in the main southern Afghan city of Kandahar during evening prayers, an official said. Three of the injured were in serious condition, said Khalid Pashtun, the spokesman for Kandahar provincial governor Gul Agha.

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Israel's prime minister and his Palestinian counterpart meet Tuesday to discuss the way ahead for a U.S.-led peace plan after a partial Israeli pull-out from the Gaza strip and a truce by Palestinian guerrillas.

Israel agreed to return the West Bank town of Bethlehem to Palestinian control after its pullback Monday from the Gaza Strip, crucial steps that advance a U.S.-backed "road map" to Palestinian statehood and raise hopes that 33 months of violence may be nearing an end.

Governments worldwide hailed a truce by Palestinian groups against anti-Israeli attacks and a partial Israeli troop withdrawal as a hopeful sign that nearly three years of deadly conflict in the region could
finally come to an end.

Iraq's most senior Shia cleric has issued a religious ruling, or fatwa, opposing US plans to set up a council of Iraqis to draft a new constitution. Ayatollah Ali Sistani called for general elections in the
country to choose representatives of the Iraqi people instead.

British forces in southern Iraq have sent 500 troops back to the town of Majar al-Kabir, where six military policemen were killed.

US forces have launched a major offensive against resistance fighters in central Iraq. Operation Sidewinder began with more than 20 simultaneous raids involving aircraft, armoured vehicles and infantry in an area north of the capital, Baghdad, along the River Tigris.

The mounting casualty toll suffered by US and British forces this week in Iraq is a worrying reminder, both to their commanders and to their political masters back home, that the process of bringing peace to Iraq will take time and will have a significant cost.

Amnesty International has warned that the "conditions of detention Iraqis are held under... may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, banned by international law". The rganisation
says hundreds of people have been held without shelter or basic sanitation and denied access to lawyers.  But the Pentagon rejects the Amnesty allegations.

Japanese bookstores are set to launch a national campaign to stop so-called "digital shoplifting" by customers using the lastest camera-equipped mobile phones. The Japanese Magazine Publishers Association says the practice is "information theft" and it wants it stopped.

Tropical Storm Bill pounded the Gulf Coast on Monday, spinning off a tornado that injured four people, forcing evacuations and leaving at least 11,000 homes and businesses without power.

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The League Committee of the Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) has recommended to impose a three-year ban on Abahani coach Jummon Lusai and give captain Mahabubul Ahsan Rana a one-year suspension. Both Jummon and Rana were found guilty of beating umpire Golam Kibria during the final moments of the Club Cup hockey final between Mohammedan and Abahani last Thursday.

Andre Agassi's bid for a second Wimbledon title was shattered yesterday when the American second seed crashed to a five-set defeat at the hands of Mark Philippoussis.

Rain drenched Wimbledon on Monday but held off just long enough for five of the leading women's contenders, led by defending champion Serena Williams, to storm through to the quarterfinals.

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