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Monday, May 10, 2010

Pranab Mukherjee regrets Congressman Subrata's quit

Kolkata, 10 May : West Bengal Pradesh Congress President Pranab Mukherjee today admitted that the party has suffered a jolt with its senior leader Subrata Mukherjee joining the Trinamool Congress ahead of the civic polls.
"It is a loss indeed," Mukherjee told reporters here when asked whether Mukherjee's quitting the party is a setback for the party. "Mukherjee had left the party before. He had done it again," he said.

Bangladesh plans tougher anti-poaching laws to protect endangered wildlife
PTI, Dhaka, 10 May : Tropical Bangladesh is planning to enact tougher anti-poaching laws to protect its endangered wildlife, including the Royal Bengal Tiger, and has drafted a legislation that seeks life imprisonment for repeated offenders.
"We have drafted the wildlife conservation act afresh suggesting life imprisonment for those who repeatedly poach," Wildlife Conservator of Bangladesh's Forest Department Tapan Kumar Dey told PTI. The country's existing Wildlife Conservation Act of 1974 prescribed maximum two years of imprisonment for a poacher or smuggler alongside a penalty amounting to only Taka 2,000 taka (30 dollar).
Dey, however, said the draft law would apply only for endangered wild animals listed under Schedule 1 of the wildlife inventory of the government that included elephants, Deer Sambar, burking and hog deer, the Royal Bengal tiger and dolphins.

No question of withdrawing support to UPA govt : Mamata
Kolkata, 10 May : Seeking to scotch speculation over Trinamool Congress snapping ties with the UPA, Mamata Banerjee today made it clear that her party was not withdrawing support to the Manmohan Singh government and claimed there was no distrust between them.
"Why are you asking me to withdraw? This is wrong," Banerjee, the Railway Minister, angrily told a correspondent when he sought her reaction on the Samajwadi Party reportedly offering to support the UPA if the Congress looked to replace ally Trinamool Congress. "No, there is no distrust," she said to a question.
Speculation over Banerjee parting ways with the UPA were rife after she decided go it alone in the 30 May Kolkata Municipal Corporation election, holding the Congress responsible for the collapse of the seat-sharing talks.

BD cabinet approved the Intl Mother Language Institute Bill
UNB, Dhaka, 10 May : The cabinet has approved the International Mother Language Institute Bill 2010 (IMLI), which stipulates the country’s Prime Minister as its chief patron and the Education Minister as the chairman of its governing body.
The cabinet meeting was held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at the Bangladesh Secretariat on Monday. Briefing journalists at the Press Information Department, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Abul Kalam Azad said according to the approved IMLI Act 2010, the institute will be headed by a 23-member governing body. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 21 February this year formally inaugurated the International Mother Language Institute with a declaration that her government wants to make it an autonomous institution furnished with modern facilities for research on all languages, equipped with a world-class library.
The Press Secretary said the International Mother Language Institute will be an autonomous institution which will run lots of research to preserve the world’s languages, as well as all historical documents and souvenirs of the 1952 Language Movement.

ULFA e-mail to medias, Rules out talks without sovereignty
Guwahati, 10 May : Two top ULFA leaders today asserted that the banned group will not budge from its stance on sovereignty while opting for talks with the government, saying it was not "chasing a dream aimlessly".
In an e-mail to the media, elusive ULFA 'commander- in-chief' Paresh Barua said, "ULFA and sovereignty are two sides of the same coin and there can be no negotiation on this issue." He said the group would not sit for talks "just for the sake of peace but we want a permanent solution of Assam's problems. We are not chasing a dream aimlessly."
Earlier in the day, ULFA advisor Bhimakanta Buragohain too asserted that the group would not compromise on the issue of sovereignty and ruled out any immediate talks.

RBI studying demand pattern of food : Dy gov Subir Gokarn
Kolkata, 10 May : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will study the demand pattern of food and look into the causes behind the rise in food prices, Subir Gokarn, the central bank's deputy governor, said today.
"We are studying what is causing food inflation, and a report will be submitted shortly," Gokarn told reporters on the sidelines of the ICC Banking Summit here. Gokarn said that there have been certain structural changes in the demand pattern of food. "There is a need to understand whether it is a long-term phenomenon, or a monsoon-based short-term one," he said.
B'desh court sends lawmaker Helaluddin, his wife to jail
Anisur Rahman, Dhaka, 10 May : A Dhaka court has sent influential Awami League lawmaker Sheikh Helaluddin, also a cousin of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and his wife to jail in a graft case in which the two were tried in absentia, found guilty and sentenced.
Court officials said Helaluddin and his wife Rupa Chowdhury were escorted to Dhaka Central Jail as Special Judge Mohammad Mozammel Hossain rejected their bail plea.
A special graft court in February 2008 during the previous military regime sentenced Helal to 13 years in jail for amassing wealth beyond his known sources of income and concealing wealth information to the Anti-Corruption Commission. Rupa was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for abetting him in acquiring the wealth.

Maj Gen Rafiqul Islam joins BDR as new Director General
Dhaka, May 10 (UNB) : Major General Md Rafiqul Islam joined Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) as its new Director General Sunday.
He took over from outgoing director general Maj Gen Mainul Islam, says an official release from the BDR headquarters Monday. Deputy DG, directors and senior officers of BDR welcomed Gen Rafiq when he reached the BDR headquarters on Sunday. Earlier Gen Rafiq served as DG of Ansar and VDP before he joined BDR.
Greek crisis may force Ind Reserve Bank to delay exit policy
PTI, Mumbai, 10 May : The escalating debt crisis in Greece and the fears of the contagion engulfing a few other Eurozone economies may prompt the Reserve Bank to slow the pace of its exit from the monetary stimulus measures, say leading experts.
"With the uncertainty in the markets, the RBI may not prefer to withdraw the support at this stage. The calibrated withdrawal of stimulus may be reviewed," Citi India chief financial officer Abhijit Sen told PTI here today.
My dream man is Rabindranath Tagore : Actress Riya Sen
PTI, New Delhi, 10 May : She was famously linked to Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie and it looks like Riya Sen has a thing for authors as she considers the Bard of Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore, the perfect man for herself.
The controversy-prone starlet, who is the grand-daughter of legendary actress Suchitra Sen says that she is a true Bengali at heart who adores the 'Gitanjali' poet. "I grew up with Tagore and nobody ever expresses the emotion of love like he did and he understood women so well. He is the perfect man everybody dreams of, including me," Sen told PTI.
The actress who is as well known for her sultry good looks as her acting skills will be seen in a totally deglam avatar in Rituparno Ghosh's 'Nauka Dubi', based on a story of the same name by the Nobel prize winning poet. "I am working with my sister Raima in the film, though we do not share any scenes in it. The story is different from the one written by Tagore, but it is based on the same elements," said the 29-year-old actress. Then too will join the celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore in Kolkata today, a city which is dear to her heart.