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Tension mounts as world faces short rations PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Food prices are soaring, a wealthier Asia is demanding better food and farmers can’t keep up. In short, the world faces a food crisis and in some places it is already boiling over, reports Reuters.

Around the globe, people are protesting and governments are responding with often counterproductive controls on prices and exports—a new politics of scarcity in which ensuring food supplies is becoming a major challenge for the 21st century.

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Decision to ban non-basmati rice export hasty: Indian exporters PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Rice exporters on Tuesday termed the government’s decision to ban non-basmati export as “hasty” and said there was no need to put a blanket ban when the minimum export price (MEP) has already been raised.

The exporters also said the decision would not help ease prices and added that they would approach the government to review the decision, reports PTI. “This (ban on non-basmati rice) is a completely wrong decision.

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East Asia faces uncertainty in 2008: WB PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

East Asia faces challenging times in 2008 as falling exports and reduced business spending result in slower economic growth at a time when rising food prices push up inflation rates, the World Bank said, reports Reuters .

In its semi-annual report released today, the World Bank predicted 7.3 percent growth for East Asia, excluding Japan. Developing Asia, which also excludes Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, would expand 8.6 percent, which will be its lowest growth rate since 2002, and down from 10.2 percent in 2007, the fastest pace since the early 1990s.

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EU has failed to justify beef hormone ban: WTO PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

The European Union has failed to justify its ban on imports of hormone-treated beef, the World Trade Organisation said in a ruling published yesterday, reports Reuters.

But in a mixed verdict the WTO panel also found the United States and Canada had broken trade rules when they extended sanctions on EU exports in response to the EU’s revised ban.

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Argentina’s Fernandez plays with fire PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has aggravated a crisis over grains export taxes and damaged her image by enlisting an inflammatory protest leader to fight her street battles, reports Reutrs.

When city residents banged pots and pans on the streets last week to support farmers whose weeks-long tax revolt has paralyzed the country’s grain exports and emptied store shelves, they were met by pro- government demonstrators.

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Pakistan mulls revamping subsidised food programme PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

The State Bank of Pakistan has proposed revamping of subsidised food programme for low-income groups, suggesting involvement of private sector to make it more effective.

In the second quarterly report, the SBP said due to persistent high food inflation, the contribution of food group in overall inflation increased from 55.4pc in Feb 2007 to 59.9pc in Feb 2008.

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US Treasury regulatory overhaul plan sparks debate PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson revealed sweeping plans yesterday for streamlining a hodgepodge of financial regulations that are blamed for allowing the U.S. mortgage crisis to balloon into a full-blown economic threat, reports Reuters.

The proposals, in the form of a 218-page “blueprint” that was started before markets unraveled in August, offer no quick fix for the credit contraction that threatens to tip the U.S. economy into recession.

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Eurozone struggles to cope with ‘inflation spiral’ PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Consumer prices in the 15 nations sharing the euro surged in March to the highest level since the bloc was formed in 1999, official data showed yesterday, fuelling concerns of an “inflation spiral,” reports AFP

Soaring consumer prices, which came on top of slumping economic confidence, further complicates the European Central Bank’s task of holding a lid on inflation while trying to keep the eurozone economy from falling into a rut.

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Jalil''s parole extended PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

League general secretary M Abdul Jalil''s parole has been extended by 10 days from April 1 for the sake of his current treatment abroad, an official announcement said Tuesday, reports UNB.

The Home Ministry granted the extension of his parole "on humanitarian grounds and for the sake of his treatment" following his application, it said.

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ACC to file cases against Koko, Khoka soon PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

The Anti-Corruption Commission is going to file cases against detained former Prime Minister''s younger son Arafat Rahman Koko and Dhaka City mayor Sadek Hossain Khoka soon for amassing illegal wealth and concealing information in their wealth statements, reports UNB.

"The inquiry report on Koko''s wealth statement has been submitted to the Commission and the vetting of the ACC lawyers took place (Tuesday). Following the Commission''s approval, a case can be filed any day," a competent source told UNB.

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Govt bolsters ministries'' monetary might PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

The caretaker government bolstered the financial authority of the ministries to sanction Tk 50 crore from the existing Tk 25 crore for public procurement, apparently in order to accelerate the sluggish pace of project implementation, reports UNB.

To this effect, the Advisors Committee on Public Purchase Tuesday endorsed a proposal empowering any of the ministries to approve procurement offer up to Tk 50 crore. Also approved in the same package is a ministry''s financial clout to hire a consultant for up to Tk 10 crore.

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Ousted Pak CJ presses for return to his post PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Pakistan''s deposed chief justice claimed Tuesday that he was still the legal head of the Supreme Court and hailed the election defeat of President Pervez Musharraf''s allies as the end of "one-man rule", reports AP.

Pakistan''s new government has pledged to reinstate within a month about 60 senior judges purged by Musharraf last year, raising the prospect of a showdown with the US-backed president.

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‘IG (Prisons) statement baseless’ PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Detained former premier Sheikh Hasina’s lawyers Tuesday termed the statement of the IG (Prisons) to the media on her discharge from the Square Hospital “untrue, baseless, concocted and motivated”, claiming that she was whisked away to her trial court, reports UNB.

‘The behaviour meted out by the jail authorities to the daughter of the father of the nation and president of the largest political party Awami League that led the War of Liberation is unpardonable,” says a joint press statement by Barrister Shafique Ahmed, Adv Shahara Khatun and Adv Qamrul Islam.

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Free distribution of rice among extreme poor pleaded PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Prof Abul Barakat, an economist, Tuesday sugge-sted free distribution of rice among the extreme poor who cannot afford to purchase food grains because of high price, reports UNB.

He estimated the number of extreme poor in the country at 2 crore. Prof Barakat was speaking at youth festival - Tarunner Mela - at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Center in the afternoon.

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RAB to have forensic lab, helicopter PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Director General of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) Hasan Mahmud Khondakar has expressed satisfaction that they have earned confidence and love of the people by curbing terrorism and rise of militancy, reports UNB.

“We have been able to control terrorism, extortion and evil acts of religious extremists,” Hasan told newsmen at RAB head office Tuesday. He dismissed the prospect of rise of religious militants in the country.

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Myanmar junta sentences 40 protesters – Amnesty PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Reuters, BANGKOK - At least 40 people, including seven Buddhist monks, have been given prison sentences for taking part in last September's anti-junta protests in Myanmar, Amnesty International said.

Among those sentenced in the past six months were three people who got between two and 2-½ years for giving water to demonstrating monks, the London-based human rights group said in a report released this week.

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Bush calls on NATO allies for Afghan troops PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Reuters, BUCHAREST - U.S. President George W. Bush urged NATO allies on Wednesday to send more troops to Afghanistan, saying the alliance could not afford to lose its battle against Taliban insurgents and al Qaeda militants.

In a keynote speech before a summit of the 26-nation defence alliance in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, Bush said: "As (French) President (Nicolas) Sarkozy put it in London last week, we cannot afford to lose Afghanistan.

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Plans afoot to set up 'eco-latrines' across the country PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Agency

The government has planned to set up over 4,500 'eco-latrines' across the country, LGRD adviser Anwarul Iqbal said Wednesday.

One latrine will be set up in each union parishad, he said.

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India, China lead explosion in diabetes epidemic: researcher PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2008

AFP, WELLINGTON - India and China are leading a global explosion in the diabetes epidemic, with the numbers of sufferers worldwide expected to grow more than 50 percent by 2025, a leading researcher said Tuesday.

"But it already appears those estimates may be an under-estimate," Zimmet said on the sidelines

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Nepal parties vow to end violence ahead of vote PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2008

Reuters, KATHMANDU - Nepal's three leading political parties, including Maoist former rebels, vowed on Tuesday to end violence and intimidation allowing peaceful campaigning ahead of next week's national elections.

Nepalis are due to vote on April 10 for a constituent assembly meant to draw up a new constitution, a key demand by Maoists who ended decade-long civil war under a 2006 peace deal with the government.

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Pakistan bans maverick bowler Akhtar for five years PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2008

AFP, ISLAMABAD - Pakistan banned fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for five years on Tuesday for repeated disciplinary breaches, effectively ending the maverick paceman's controversial career.

The 32-year-old appeared before a disciplinary committee charged with publicly criticising the country's cricket board. He was already on two years' probation for hitting a teammate with a bat last year.

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