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Sunday May  11,2003

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

Tuesday, May 06, 2003


Prime Minister Begu Khaleda Zia yesterday reaffirmed that people of all religions and groups in Bangladesh were enjoying equal opportunities as citizens of the country. "BNP never uses religion for political gains or to divide the people," she told a 21-member delegation of the Hindu Kalyan (Welfare) Trust that met her at the International Conference Centre yesterday.

At least 22 people, including nine women, were killed and over 500 others injured when a tornado cut a swathe through two villages in Brahmanbaria district Sunday night.

The Jatiya Sangsad is likely to form the parliamentary standing committees on various ministries in its next session beginning May 8.

Dhaka University Teachers Association in an emergency meeting last evening expelled Shafiqur Rahman, a lecturer of law department, for his alleged remark on Prime Minister and fabricating police case against some student leaders.

The government has decided to form a body to work out a bailout plan for the frozen food sector, dogged by war on Iraq and 'propaganda' in the international media. Members of the committee, to be comprised of representatives from all stakeholders in the sector, will visit shrimp cultivation areas and processing units to observe the environmental, quality control and child labour issues.

Jute spinners have urged the government to implement the recommendations of the secretarial committee immediately to salvage the jute sector. The jute sector is in deep trouble as yarn buyers from the Middle East and other parts of the world have canceled their orders and advised to delay shipment of goods due to the war on Iraq.

 Bangladesh has not received any letter from the German or Italian governments about the reported deportation of illegal Bangladeshis from those countries, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

A high-powered body was formed yesterday to give recommendations after examining the draft integrated law on voluntary organisations. The committee, comprising five secretaries, was formed at an inter-ministerial meeting at the LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry with LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan in the chair. The committee has been asked to submit its recommendations on the draft law by May 30.

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Peace moves by India and Pakistan have kindled hopes of reviving trade worth billions of dollars that had withered under intense political hostilities between the arch-rivals, industry experts said Monday. Despite the strained relations between the two countries, trade through illegal channels is flourishing and estimated at around 1.5 billion dollars annually and rising, they added.

Pakistan on Monday raised the stakes in nascent peace overtures with India, saying it would junk its nuclear arsenal if its South Asian rival did the same.

Pakistan Government promised Monday to respond positively to every Indian peace gesture and said it hoped talks would start soon to resolve all the outstanding issues, including Kashmir.

Seven people were killed and 33 others, including a politician, wounded today in gunbattles and explosions in Kashmir. Suspected Muslim militants set off a home-made bomb in a bus-stand in the remote Doda district of Indian Kashmir killing a man and wounding 32 other people, police said.

US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca will meet top Pakistani leaders in Islamabad on Thursday, US and Pakistani officials said. Armitage and Rocca are due to arrive in Islamabad late Wednesday for Thursday's talks.

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The political future of Iraq and Middle East peace will be among four key topics to be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Jordan, a government official said  The University of California at Berkeley will turn away new students from SARS-infected China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong this summer in what is believed to be the first such move by a major U.S. university to prevent the spread China quarantines 10,000 people in the city of Nanjing in a desperate bid to control the spread of the Sars virus.

North Korea has asked the United States to respond to what it described as the "bold proposal" it made in last month's talks in Beijing to help defuse the continuing nuclear standoff.

 German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's upcoming visit to Southeast Asia shows he is determined to establish strong relations with the region and enhance economic, trade and political ties, a senior German envoy said Monday.

Four African cotton-producing countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali  said on Sunday they would file complaints to the World Trade Organisation against the United States and European Union for cotton subsidies they believe to be anti-competitive.

Observers in Nigeria have condemned the weekend elections to state houses of assembly. Both a Nigerian group and the European Union said there were incidents of ballot box stuffing, multiple voting and forged results.

A top government official in the central Nigerian state of Nasarawa and two of her aides were killed by a mob which attacked a police station during elections at the weekend, police said Monday.

Police in Benin are investigating reports that a pop concert went ahead despite the deaths of at least 15 fans from crushing. The incident happened before the Congolese musician Kofi Olomide was due to appear at the Friendship Stadium in Benin's main city Cotonou.

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Mohammedan Sporting Club kept their slim title hopes alive with a 160-run victory over Brothers Union in a crucial GrameenPhone Premier Super League match at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday. Set to score 290 runs on the final day of the four-day game, no-hopers Brothers were bundled out for 130 in 44.3 overs.

Australia beat West Indies by nine wickets in the third Test on Monday to go 3-0 ahead in the four-match series and stay on course for an unprecedented Caribbean whitewash.

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