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Friday, December 4, 2009

COP15 : Bangladesh to seek Tk 70,000cr for climate battle

< Haynal Haque, a folk singer, performs a song during a folk festival arranged by a NGO to create awareness about climate change in Dhaka.
Disaster-prone Bangladesh will need $10 billion from polluting nations to help it adapt to powerful storms, floods and rising seas, chief of the parliamentary standing committee on environment and forests said.
Photo : Reuters
Dhaka, 4 December : Bangladesh will seek Tk 70,000 crore from the international community at the Copenhagen conference to deal with the impacts of climate change, said the chief of a parliamentary committee.
The parliamentary standing committee on environment and forest ministry at a meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban discussed the preparation for raising demands at the conference as Bangladesh will be one of the worst victims of climate change. "We shall demand Tk 70,000 crore including Tk 38,000 crore for dredging the rivers," committee Chief Abdul Momin Talukder told a press briefing after the meeting.

A woman makes a hut at Lahiripur in Sundarban delta, about 140 kilometers south of Kolkata.
Scientists have warned of alarming rise in temperatures in the Bay of Bengal due to climate change which could inundate coastal islands, destroy mangrove forests and affect India's Sunderbans, home to the largest wild population of Bengal tigers and one million people.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the rate of warming was quite high during 1993-2007. The Sunderbans is about 3,860 square miles of marshlands and mangrove forests along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Photo : AP
B'desh hands over Ulfa chairman Rajkhowa to India
BBC, Kolkata / PTI, Guwahati, 4 December : Ulfa’s top leader Arabinda Rajkhowa, his wife and another key militant were on Friday handed over to the Indian authorities by Bangladeshi agencies at an outpost along the border in Meghalaya, paving the way for peace talks with the banned militant outfit.
The custody of 53-year-old Rajkhowa along with 9 others, including Ulfa's military operations deputy chief Raju Barua was given to the BSF at the Dawki outpost in the Jaintia hills district, BSF officials told the BBC. Along with them were Rajkhowa's wife and two children, his bodyguard Raju Borah, Barua's wife and son, and wife and daughter of Ulfa's self-styled foreign secretary Sashadhar Choudhury, they said. They were later flown to Guwahati where they surrendered before the Assam Police, the sources said. They were immediately taken into preventive custody for completion of various legal formalities, the sources said.
The developments assume significance in view of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India slated later this month and also the signing of three proposed agreements, including an extradition treaty and another on combating international terrorism. File Photo : Subhamoy Bhattacharjee and AP

Sixth SAFF Football C’ship begins
Dhaka, 4 December : The sixth edition of the South Asian Football Federation Championship begins in Dhaka today. The 8-nation tournament is named as Bangabandhu SAFF Cup in honour of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the Bangladesh Nation. The tournament inaugurated by Bangladesh Finance Minister A.M.A Muhith this afternoon. Bangladesh is hosting this tournament for the second time after 2003.
Defending Champions Maldives, four times Champion India, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Afghanistan will battle it out for the next nine days to win the coveted regional title. Photo : Firoz Ahmed

Bangladesh did not arrest Ulfa chief: Home Minister Sahara
Dhaka, 4 December : Bangladesh Home Minister Sahara Khatun on Friday denied recent media reports that Indian separatist group ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa had been arrested in Bangladesh and later pushed back to India.
“Since we did not even arrest him, how come the question of pushing him back arises?” the home minister said. Sahara Khatun denied the widespread media reports while talking to reporters after attending a function in the capital in the morning. In response to another query, whether her government will place any reply following the recent reports by some Indian media, Sahara said they published whatever they thought and there is nothing for her government to do.
Earlier BBC News and Indian media reported that the Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa has been taken to Delhi from Tripura where he surrendered to the security forces.

Proposals for improving train network in Northeast: Mamata Banerjee
PTI, New Delhi, 4 December : The Railways have drawn up proposals for improving the train network in the north eastern region, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Friday.
"The north eastern region is significant for us," Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said during the Question Hour. The safety trial run on the Kamakhya-Dibrugarh line will start on Friday and two new trains will be introduced as a new year gift to the region, she said. Banerjee said Rs 705 crore has been earmarked for doubling and electrification of lines in the region.
Dhaka, Delhi strive for more pacts during Hasina visit
Dhaka, 4 December : Bangladeshi and Indian experts began deliberations Friday to sort out details of a bilateral pact on sharing of Teesta river waters, ahead of summit level talks scheduled in New Delhi on 19 December.
Bangladeshi officials say they are working to remove hurdles on the way for a decision that would require “intervention at the highest level”. “We are trying to persuade India for several years to come to an agreement on sharing of the waters of the Teesta river. We have started preparing a draft agreement for handing it over to the Indian side,” a senior foreign ministry official said.
“But the government is yet to decide whether the draft agreement will be placed at the highest level or at the technical level through the Joint Rivers Commission.”

Ship with Ammonium nitrate chemical load held up
Haldia, 4 December : A ship loaded with a load of 12,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate has been held up at the Haldia Dock Complex after objections from intelligence agencies. According to sources, the ship has been waiting at the Sandheads for nearly seven days.
Intelligence sources revealed that the ammonium nitrate had been brought in by a private company to make explosives for mining. Intelligence agencies suspect that much of the ammonium nitrate imported into the country may have been pilfered while being transported to the explosives manufacturers in Jharkhand.
"This ship is carrying a huge load of ammonium nitrate, part of which was unloaded at Vizag. We are trying to find out whether this consignment was to be passed off as fertilizer or explosive material. In the past, there have been cases of pilferage of ammonium nitrate, as no security has been provided en route," a senior official said.

TMC demands army deployment in Maoist-affected areas
PTI, New Delhi, 4 December : The Trinamool Congress today retracted from its demand for imposition of President's Rule in West Bengal saying it wanted rule of law to prevail, but demanded deployment of army in three Maoist-affected districts of the Left-Front ruled state.

"We are not asking for Article 356 (President's Rule) to win elections. Government must act as per the Constitution andprotect the minorities, women and weaker sections in West Bengal," TMC chief and railway minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters after meeting with prime minister Manmohan Singh here.
Left claims 'proof' of Maoist-TMC nexus in W Bengal
PTI, New Delhi, 4 December : Indian left leaders on Friday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and presented him "evidence" of the "nexus" between Maoists and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, charging the latter with using violence to expand their political base in the state.
The Prime Minister expressed deep concern over the violence in the state and assured them that the documents and compact discs submitted by the Left leaders would be sent to the Home Ministry for a "proper and thorough probe", CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters after the meeting.

46 die in Kishoreganj trawler capsize
Kishoreganj, 4 December : At least 46 people died after a trawler capsized in the river Shrigan at Fulpur in Mitamoin upazila of Kishoreganj district on Friday morning.
The identity of the deceased could not be known immediately. Sub-inspector Mutalib of Mitamoin Police Station told The BBC that the rescuers have recovered 36 bodies from the capsized trawler and were continuing their search operation for more bodies in it. He said the trawler with around 80 passengers on board sank in the river after colliding head-on with a launch due to foggy weather at about 8:00am(BDST). Mutalib said the death toll might rise. File Photo : AP
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returns from Trinidad
BSS, Dhaka, 4 December : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned home on Friday morning ending her six-day official visit to Port of Spain, the capital of Caribbean Island state Trinidad and Tobago.
An Emirates flight carrying the prime minister and her entourage members landed at Dhaka International Airport at about 9:45am(BDST). The prime minister left Dhaka for Port of Spain on 25 November to attend the three-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) concluded on 29 November.
During the CHOGM events, Sheikh Hasina exchanged pleasantries with British Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
Shibpur's BESU plans Rs 100-cr medical college-hos
Howrah, 4 December : Besu has drawn up a Rs 100-crore plan for a medical science and technology centre next to the Shibpur campus that’ll include a medical school and a 400-bed state-of-the-art research hospital.
“We are waiting for the land (the 70-acre vacant plot next to the existing campus) to be handed over to us. If the state government takes up the proposal and acquires land, it will be a dream come true for us and the state,” said vice-chancellor Ajay Kumar Roy.
One of the unique features of the multi-speciality hospital will be to arrange for a telemedicine course, a boon for villagers across the state who are far away from modern health-care facilities.

Suspected Maoists again kill two in West Midnapore
Midnapore, 4 December : Suspected Maoists shot dead two cousins who were members of a resistance forum against the ultras in West Midnapore district, an official said Friday.
The two bodies were found in Shimulpal area under the Belpahari police station. The victims Nimai Singha and Phani Singha were abducted from their house by a group of heavily armed ultras Thursday night, an officer manning the state police control room here said. Sources said Phani and Nimai were earlier members of the CPI(M) but were now with the resistance forum against Maoists.
Rise in sea level may hit cities likeKolkata-Chittagong
Kolkata, 4 December : Days before the Copenhagen conference on climate change kicks off, a major study by a group of 100 international scientists has said that sea levels are likely to rise by as much as 1.4 metres by the end of this century.
That’s twice as much as predicted in IPCC’s fourth assessment report in 2007. The study also enhances the threat to the Bengal coast and cities like our Kolkata, and Chittagong. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research report is the first comprehensive review of the impact of global warming on Antarctica. The IPCC report had projected that sea levels could rise 18-59 cm by 2099.
Subsequent studies of glacial melts in Greenland and Antarctica had raised fears that the rise could be higher.

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