The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, August 28, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 29th of August, 2007

Front Page

EC opens electoral reform talks Sept 12

Following an assurance from the caretaker government that the ban on indoor politics will be lifted, the Election Commission (EC) yesterday announced that it will kick off dialogues with political parties on September 12 which will continue till the end of November.

Galloping garment sector goes downhill

Growth in the readymade garment industry, the powerhouse of the country's export economy, has slowed with the sector for the first time failing to reach export targets and facing a sharp decline in new orders.

Bijoy Sarani link road, 7 other projects okayed

The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved eight projects involving Tk 4,039 crore.

HC grants petitions for winding up Dinkal Ltd

Staying proceedings of the case against BNP Chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia and others, the High Court yesterday granted two petitions for winding up Dinkal Publications Limited.

Moeen dismisses Mainul's view of government

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the present government is a caretaker government, not an army-backed national government.

Dhaka to sign duty free RMG export deal with Delhi

Dhaka will sign a deal with New Delhi on duty-free export of eight million pieces of Bangladeshi readymade garments to India annually.

FBCCI asks traders not to make extra profit during Ramadan

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) yesterday urged the businessmen to refrain from making extra profit during the month of Ramadan out of their social responsibility.

Judgment today in tax evasion cases against Shajahan family

An anti-graft court will deliver judgment in three separate tax evasion cases against former jute minister Shajahan Siraj, his wife Rabeya Haider and son Rajib Siraj today.

Tk 500cr foreign funds pledged so far

Bangladesh has so far received commitments of Tk 500 crore from foreign countries for the country's flood relief and rehabilitation.

FTA, shipping links high on agenda

The Bangladesh-Pakistan annual foreign secretary-level consultations start in Dhaka today, with free trade agreement (FTA) and re-establishing direct shipping links between Chittagong and Karachi figuring high on the agenda.

Saarc transport ministers meet in Delhi Aug 31

Communication ministers of Saarc countries will meet in New Delhi on August 31 to discuss ways and means to strengthen connectivity among eight of its member states.

Judicial probe body wants to talk to 2 detained DU teachers

The one-member judicial probe commission of Justice Habibur Rahman Khan is to ask authorities concerned to produce the two detained Dhaka University (DU) professors before it to record their accounts of the recent student violence on DU campus.

Political parties want ban to go before talks

Different political parties including Awami League (AL) and BNP yesterday said the caretaker government should lift at least the ban on indoor politics for them to take part in the Election Commission's (EC) dialogue.

Rajshahi voters given national ID cards

Distribution of National Identity (NID) cards among the listed voters began in Rajshahi yesterday.

Shab-e-Barat tonight

The holy Shab-e-Barat will be observed across the country tonight with due religious fervour.

ACC making further enquiry into Tarique's wealth report

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is conducting further inquiry into the wealth statement of detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, as it appears the commission does not have enough evidence to file any case against him.

Barge-mount power plant at Khulna shut down after fire

One of the two 28-megawatt barge-mount power plants at Khulna's Goalpara Power Station (GPS) was shut down early yesterday due to a fire.

UK clarifies position on recent unrest

A British High Commission spokesman yesterday issued a statement clarifying the UK's position regarding the recent unrest in Bangladesh.

Report on teachers' link baseless, say DU authorities

The Dhaka University (DU) authorities in a press release yesterday rejected the media reports that pointed finger at DU authorities for promoting student unrest on and afterwards August 20.

Barkat Ullah Bulu, family sued for land grab

A case was filed against former commerce adviser Barkat Ullah Bulu, his wife Shameema Barkat and son Omar Sharif for allegedly cultivating fish by grabbing 24 acres of khas land in the district.

3 detained RU teachers sent to Dhaka for quizzing

The three detained Rajshahi University (RU) teachers were sent to Dhaka yesterday evening for placing them before the Taskforce for Interrogation (TFI).

Charges framed against 5 Ctg JMB men

A Chittagong court yesterday framed charges against five Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) activists in two cases filed for bomb attacks and possession of illegal explosives.

41 Iraq rebels die in US assaults

A series of US-led air and ground assaults in Iraqi flashpoints has killed at least 41 suspected rebels while 27 Iraqi pilgrims were killed in clashes in Karbala, the American military said yesterday.

No plans to let Benazir, Sharif become PM again

Pakistan's prime minister called for reconciliation between the country's main political parties as President Gen Pervez Musharraf prepares to seek reelection.

30 killed in fierce Afghan fighting

Fierce fighting and roadside bomb blasts in Afghanistan killed six Afghan soldiers and more than 20 Taliban rebels, officials said Tuesday, as the Islamist insurgency raged unabated.

Beijing police launch virtual Web patrol

Police in China's capital said they will start patrolling the Web using animated beat officers that pop up on a user's browser and walk, bike or drive across the screen warning them to stay away from illegal Internet content.

Editorial

The call of Lailatul Baraat

MUSLIMS all across the world will observe Lailatul Baraat as the day draws to a close this evening. When night descends on the world, they will recall the Almighty and His munificence and will offer up prayers to Him in all their gratitude, seeking His blessings for the year ahead. Of much more importance, though, is that on this night Muslims will devote themselves to penance and a seeking of forgiveness from the Almighty for the sins they have committed, especially in the year gone by. It is this awareness of sin and the knowledge that such sin must not be committed anew that will drive souls tonight into a fresh consciousness of the role that spirituality can play in their lives. Beyond the temporal world, with all its mundane realities, among which come a sordid array of temptations, exists a world we know not and yet we understand that the idea of such a world all so often gives us a sense of it in our inner being.

Telecom and Internet chaos must be avoided

FOR the second time in a week, Bangladesh's connectivity with outside world was disrupted -- thanks to the snapping of the optic fibre link to the submarine cable network. The trouble spot has been identified and repair work undertaken since Monday night under the supervision of the technical experts of BTTB.

This should never have happened

It must cause all right thinking persons to ask why a fracas between some army persons and university students turned into violent protests that witnessed wide-scale vandalism and destruction, which could only be controlled through imposition of curfew.

The lighthouse that education once was . . .

All these images of screaming, ecstatic, young men and women you are regularly treated to in the newspapers and on television every time the SSC and HSC results are announced somehow remind you of lost times. And they do so because the present happens to be an era when you are literally bombarded with such new inventions as GPAs and various other grades, many of which quite escape you, in terms of meaning and nuance. That is because of the particular academic legacy you are heir to.

Horses for courses

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, on the same analogy permutations and combinations in politics should depend upon the voter. Governance in most parts of the world has very little to do with the wishes of the voter, it is more a convenience of those really exercising power, irrespective of the wishes of the electorate and their ambitions thereof, not excluding the preference of outside powers. Those who seek power, individuals and/or political groupings, have their own objectives, not dissimilar to the agenda of a superpower and/or a neighbour.

Sports

Rafiq replaces Faruque

Former national all-rounder Rafiqul Alam was appointed as the chief selector of the national cricket team while Bangladesh's first Test captain Naimur Rahman was named a selector on Tuesday in the three-man panel that already includes another former captain Akram Khan.

Tigers duo in contention

Test captains Ricky Ponting of Australia and Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka were on Tuesday nominated in four categories for the 2007 International Cricket Council awards.

England go ahead again

Ian Bell continued his purple patch as his third fifty in a row was instrumental in England's 42-run win against India at Edgbaston on Monday as they took a 2-1 lead in the seven-match series.

Another feather in Isinbayeva's cap

Pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva won gold Tuesday but failed in a world record attempt, as Kenyan runners held sway on the track at the World Athletics Championships.

Tigers go to Kenya today

Bangladesh cricket team will leave Dhaka for Nairobi today to participate in a four-nation Twenty20 warm-up competition ahead of the ICC Twenty20 World Championship that to be held in September.

BCB opens domestic window

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) formed a 10-member committee for reviewing the domestic structure with former board general secretary Aminul Haque Moni named as its convener.

First defeat for NCA

BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) team succumbed to an 83-run defeat against New South Wales in their second limited-overs match in their tour down under yesterday.

U-23 booters go to Myanmar

Bangladesh will take part in the third Grand Royal Challenge Cup to be held in Myanmar from November 1.

Noble gesture

The national cricketers handed over their two days salary to the Chief Adviser's relief fund yesterday.

ICC won't recognise ICL

The International Cricket Council on Tuesday ruled out recognising an unofficial multi-million dollar league in India until it was approved by the country's cricket administration.

Junior, Dilkusha play out thriller

Dhaka Junior pipped an exciting 4-3 victory over Dilkusha in the Metropolis Third Division Football League at the Outer Stadium yesterday.

Top seeds sail smoothly

World number ones Roger Federer and Justine Henin breezed over qualifiers Monday into the second round of the US Open while reigning Grand Slam champions Serena and Venus Williams also advanced handily.

Monaco look to take advantage

Southern heavyweights Monaco and Marseille will be looking to take advantage of the absence of surprise leaders Nancy to continue their push for the summit in French first division action midweek.

Domenech suspended

France coach Raymond Domenech is to appeal against his one-match ban and 10,000 Swiss Francs (6,000 euros/8,000 dollars) fine, handed out by UEFA for bringing the game into disrepute, the French Football Federation (FFF) said Tuesday.

Ronaldinho now Spanish

Two of Barcelona's stars swore Monday - Ronaldinho on the Spanish constitution as he officially obtained dual nationality and Andres Iniesta that the club would do better after the dismal goalless draw at Santander on the weekend.

Solskjaer calls it quit

Manchester United's Norwegian striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Tuesday announced his retirement from football.

Wenger confident of success

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's growing pains have given his players a steely determination that will ensure there is no Champions League letdown against Sparta Prague.

Fielding worries Rahul

India captain Rahul Dravid said his side were being "out-fielded" by England and warned his team they would have to improve this aspect of their game if they were to win the ongoing seven-match one-day international series.

Bell 'occupies' home turf

The most impressive part of England's performance on Monday was that they overcame a home disadvantage. Edgbaston, a ground renowned for its partisan English supporters, transformed itself into little India with large sections of blue dominating the stands. Conches, bugles, flags, banners ... this was an away game for England in every sense.

Politics beckon for Nadia

It's been over 30 years since she captivated the world in Montreal, earning the first perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics history.

Nat'l Youth Kabaddi from Sept 1

The first phase of the Fresh IGP Cup National Youth Kabaddi Championship will begin on in seven zonal venues on September 1.

Gopal, Rohit on top

International Masters GN Gopal and G Rohit are in joint lead at the end of the seventh round in the Asian Zonal Chess Championships at the NSC conference room yesterday.

Open TT from Sept 7

Sam Open Table Tennis Tournament will begin at the NSC Wooden Floor Gymnasium on September 6.

Puerta's condition worsens

Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta's condition has worsened since he suffered a heart attack during a Spanish league match on Saturday, the hospital where he was admitted said Tuesday.

Drenthe escapes injury

Real Madrid's new Dutch midfielder Royston Drenthe escaped unharmed after he was involved in a road accident with a police car, Spanish sports daily Marca reported on Tuesday.

Argentina name top stars

Argentina's top European-based stars will travel Down Under next month for a friendly with the Socceroos, Football Federation Australia (FFA) said Tuesday.

Business

Knitwear makers urged to be more competitive

The finance adviser has asked the knitwear manufacturers to become more competitive to sustain in the world market.

BoI drive a one-man show

The Board of Investment (BoI) has neither a permanent investment promotion policy, nor a fixed budget of its own to woo foreign potential investors or to uplift image of the country.

World equity markets stumble before US housing update

Global stock markets suffered losses on Tuesday ahead of a fresh reading on the frazzled US housing sector, with markets lower in Europe and most of Asia.

Indian infrastructure projects stuck in paperwork quagmire

Entrepreneur Ashok Kheny has been shuttling between his adopted US home and India for 12 years to build a project he hopes will bring pride to his country.

Citigroup set to enter into stock market as merchant banker

Citigroup, world's leading financial conglomerate with operations in investment banking and insurance, has set to enter into the local stock market as a merchant banker.

Holcim starts exporting cement to Assam in a week

Holcim Bangladesh is going to export cement through river route to northeast India in order to exploit the huge regional market potential.

Export trouble raises fears for Thai economy

Exports, a pillar of strength in Thailand's wobbly economy, have suddenly slowed due to cooling foreign demand and a strong currency, raising fears the kingdom will miss already modest growth targets.

Trust to set up CSR centre formed

In a bid to set up a CSR (corporate social responsibility) centre in Bangladesh, a CSR centre deed of trust was formally signed yesterday at Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) in Dhaka.

Citibank funds Tk 123cr for BRAC

Citibank NA Bangladesh and its partner banks are providing a Tk 123 crore backstopped facility for BRAC, a leading non-government organisation with over 5 million borrowers, for rural development especially supporting the NGO's post-flood rehabilitation programmes.

Int'l medical fair from December 6

The three-day fifth international medical equipment and pharmaceutical products and healthcare services exposition styled 'Medexpo-2007' will begin in Dhaka from December 6.

Trust Bank launches credit cards

Trust Bank Ltd yesterday launched five types of credit cards for its clients, says a press release.

National Life Ins okays 20pc cash, 20pc stock dividends

National Life Insurance Company Ltd has approved a 20 percent cash dividend and a 20 percent stock dividend for its shareholders for the year 2006.

China to launch private equity fund with S'pore

A Chinese-Singaporean private equity fund that would provide easy financing for hi-tech companies is close to winning approval from China's top economic planner, state media reported Tuesday.

BGCCI's new office bearers

Saiful Islam of Picard Bangladesh Ltd has been elected president of Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) for a two-year term (2007-09).

New DMD of Agrani Bank

Md. Fayekuzzaman has been appointed deputy managing director of Agrani Bank, says a press release.

Metropolitan

More relief, donations for flood victims

Different government, non-government and international organisations and individuals continue to donate to the Chief Adviser's Relief and Welfare Fund and distribute relief among the flood victims yesterday.

Verdict in extortion case against Chy Alam today

A Dhaka court will deliver the judgement of a Tk 20 lakh extortion case against detained Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Ward Commissioner Chowdhury Alam and three others today.

KMP on high alert

Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) have been put on high alert following intelligence reports about the entry of the cadres of underground organisations who are moving in different guises in the city.

Only 1 out of 1.6 lakh diarrhoea patients dies: Health adviser

Health Adviser Major General (Retd) Dr ASM Matiur Rahman yesterday said though 1.6 lakh people were suffering from diarrhoea, only one person has so far died which is a rare event in the history of the world.

‘Release five university teachers’

Bangabandhu Krishibid Parishad yesterday demanded immediate release of the teachers of Dhaka and Rajshahi universities and innocent students.

Judgement in 2 cases to be pronounced September 9

Judgment in two cases related with August 17 series bomb blasts in Sylhet will now be pronounced by the Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal on September 9.

Roundtable on maternal, child health

A roundtable on 'Maternal health, child health and neonatal health' organised by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University was held in the city on Sunday, says a press release.

Shariah Board team of Islami banks meets president

A five-member delegation of Central Shariah Board of Islami banks called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Two more PWs give depositions

Two more prosecution witnesses in a case filed in connection with the grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury gave depositions at the Speedy Trial Tribunal in Sylhet yesterday.

Earthquake hits country

An earthquake occurred at 09:03:38am yesterday.

NBR seeks bank statement of Teknaf UP chairman

The Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) asked all commercial banks to provide bank statements of Teknaf Union Parishad Chairman Md Zafar Ahmed and 13 members of his family.

Voter registration begins in Gazipur municipality area on Sept 12

Work on preparing a voter list with photographs and national identity cards will kick-off in Gazipur municipality area on September 12.

BOU activities postponed

Bangladesh Open University (BOU) has postponed all its examinations, admissions, course registrations and tutorial classes due to unavoidable circumstances, says a press release.

Former UNB news editor wins legal battle for dues

The appellate division of the Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the appeal plea of United News of Bangladesh (UNB) against the High Court division's judgement to pay the dues to its former news editor.

Undertrial prisoner dies in Mymensingh

Nurul Haider alias Nuru Munshi, an alleged patron of militants, who was an undertrial prisoner at Mymensingh Central Jail, died yesterday.

Biman cancels 4 int'l flights in last 2 days

Biman Bangladesh Airlines cancelled its four international flights in the last two days due to aircraft shortage and technical glitches causing sufferings to passengers.

Factory worker succumbs to injuries

A factory worker who sustained severe burn injuries during a fire at Lalbagh on Sunday succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday.

WFP online quiz contest

World Food Programme (WFP) distributed Fight Hunger Online Quiz Competition Award 2007 among its three winners yesterday.

Iftekhar leaves for Moscow Sept 1

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury will leave for Moscow on September 1 on a three day official visit to Russia at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Sergey V Lavrov.

IITM, Shoishab sign MoU

The International Institute of Technology & Management (IITM) and Shoishab Bangladesh signed an MoU on joint cooperation in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on Monday, says a press release.

CJ goes to Nairobi on Sept 8

Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin will leave for Nairobi on September 8 to attend the 15th Commonwealth Law Conference.

Sirajganj road crash kills 2

At least two people were killed and four others injured in a road accident on the Dhaka-Bonpara highway in Gozabridge area in Sirajganj yesterday.

Malam Party leader held in Bagerhat

Joint forces yesterday arrested a listed criminal from Satgambuj area in Sadar upazila.

Book on pharmaceuticals distribution launched

The second edition of 'Efficient Management of Distribution System for Pharmaceuticals' by Sawkat Ahmed Chowdhury, Manager (distribution) of Biopharma Laboratories Ltd, was launched at National Press Club in the city yesterday, says a press release.

JMB cadre, PBCP outlaw held

Police arrested a Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) cadre and a Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) outlaw in different raids at Bagmara yesterday.

Fatullah PS observes Open House Day

Fatullah Police Station yesterday observed its first Open House Day, introduced by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police recently in an effort to bridge the gap between the police and the people.

National

Over Tk 12.50cr loss in fisheries sector in Netrakona

The fisheries sector has incurred a loss of over Tk 12.50 crore in the district, according to an estimate of the District Fisheries Department.

Prices of hilsa come down in Chandpur

Hilsa prices have come down considerably within the reach of common people here.

Pry teachers' assoc leader faces 'graft' allegation

Salongram Purbopara Registered Primary School headmaster Md Aminur Rahman in Jaldhaka upazila has brought an allegation of bribery against the Bangladesh Non-government Primary Teachers' Association secretary general Alhaj Akkas Ali.

Rally to protect indigenous fish on PSTU campus

A colourful rally was brought out on the Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) campus yesterday to protect indigenous fish.

Faulty weights seized from LSD godown

Joint forces lead by the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) yesterday in a raid conducted at the government LSD godown at Jaldhaka seized two faulty weights.

Open House Day observed in dists

'Open House Day' was observed in Khagrachhari, Satkhira and Faridpur districts yesterday with a vow to establish a cordial police-public relationship.

Sramik Dal leader held in Satkhira

Police yesterday arrested a Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal in Kalaroa on charge of corruption.

Letters

Adivasis in trouble

Twenty thousand Garo Adivasi people of Modhupur Gahr under Tangail District in Bangladesh are living there for more than 600 years. Their life and culture are very close to the nature, earth, and the forests. The beauty of the area is now being destroyed by the Forest Department. The Forest Department with the help of the law enforcers is destroying their crops, paddy fields, houses, banana plantations and pineapple orchards in the name of biodiversity and environment preservation. The Forest Department has destroyed 330 acres of banana plantations. Indigenous People love forests and their culture is dependent on nature and forest but the so-called development now endangers their very existence.

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa experienced 'emptiness' at some stages of her life as a human being of flesh and blood. I wonder why people the world over have raised an uproar on such human and natural feelings of void and uncertainty on the eve of making public a collection of letters Teresa wrote to her friends, colleagues and superiors over 66 years!

Crusade against corruption

As we all know we are now facing a hazardous situation due to floods. However, I am writing to you to address a current topic--our war against corruption. A few days ago, I watched a live telecast on ATN Bangla where ACC Chairman Hasan Mashud Choudhury was the chief guest. He talked about his plans & said that he didn't have the resources to handle every sector to determine whether there is corruption or not. I agree with him. But my point is most of the middle class people are corrupt too. You are arresting the big ones, but still their followers are doing their jobs. suppose you may have documents for a tender & you can decide from that if it was allotted illegally. But what about the passport office? The verification officer is taking money from each of the applicants. What about the banks?

Relief work

When we were students of ninth grade we came across a story, entitled Relief Work, in our Bengali textbook. As the story goes, Hamid ,the protagonist of the story, joins relief work out of his love for the suffering masses. Interestingly, all his enthusiasm and devotion for the salvage operation melt into thin air when he discovers, to his shock, the ugly faces of those so-called relief workers. He finds that they are more interested in helping themselves with the relief materials, instead of serving the people in distress. This apathy on the part of those workers forces some of those poor people to steal relief stuff at night. Once some of these people are caught in the act of stealing and are handed over to the law enforcers and branded as rogues.

Violence in Bangladesh

It was a sad day for me as I felt ashamed of what happened on DU campus (August 20, 2007). I was ashamed because it's been 35 years we are in control of our destiny and we are still fighting each other. Those who were involved in the incident are part of our body and soul and whom should we blame?

Calm down

The students of the many universities who joined the recent violence should calm down and behave responsibly. Their actions are a shame to the nation and to the educational institutions they represent.

Vat on education

Believe it or not the government has imposed 4.5% VAT on English medium education. No such tax on Bengali, Arabic or even Sanskrit medium education, just English medium. Isn't it funny?

Ship accidents

Of late lighter age vessels are sinking out in the bay harming the economy and endangering our shipping lanes. All those lighter age ships sinking are either too old or otherwise not authorised to ply in the bay. The M series vessels are not legally authorised to ply out of inland waters if not permitted by the authorities to cross the bay. Such permissions are given to relatively bigger, stronger and properly maintained vessels. But due to negligence of enforcing agencies, most unworthy vessels cross the channel and sometimes meet with accidents causing loss of life and property.

CTG

Lately, I am hearing a couple of things about the CTG , mostly that this government is on the wrong track. Why and why people want to see the CTG failing? Let's try to analyse the situation.

DU and government

Since the very inception of the Dhaka University, it has been playing an important role in all democratic movements of which we feel proud. In this context, Dhaka University should be considered not only as an educational institution but also as a democratic institution. The university is fully autonomous by its structural-functional approach since its very inception. Furthermore, the teachers of the university are also supposed to enjoy full freedom of speech, movement etc.

Education and job market

In the absence of a specific education policy, many boys and girls obtaining BSC or MSC in physics or chemistry or in any other subject are entering the banking profession or other occupations but they cannot have jobs related to their subjects as the governments failed to create such jobs for them. So, what is the use of studying those subjects? And it is known to us that when a man does not get a job according to his qualification, it is a wastage of his talent.

Injured photo journalist

It is really shocking that one of your photo journalists, Showkat Jamil, had met with a tragic accident while on his professional duty.

Sino-Russian military exercise

Joint-military exercises have become quite a common feature in several parts of the world, but the recent Russo-China exercise in Russia acquires importance as it is considered to be a strategic maneuver. Russian and Chinese military forces started joint war-games on 17 August 2007, using a joint land and air assault on a mock town held by "terrorists" as a showcase for their military prowess. Fighter jets swooped overhead, commandos jumped from helicopters onto rooftops and the boom of artillery shells shook the firing range in central Russia as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao looked on smiling. The presidents, who control two of the largest armies in the world, were joined by leaders and military forces from the four other Central Asian members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security and economic grouping. General Vladimir Moltenskoi, the Russian commander in charge of the exercise, said the war games involving 7,500 troops from the SCO members would help the grouping fight "international" and "internal terrorists." The "exercise" area is close to Chelyabinsk, nicknamed "Tankograd" after Josef Stalin moved tank and other arms production there during World War-II to escape the invading Nazis. Russia has waged two wars against Muslim Chechen freedom fighters since 1994, China says it has been combating Uighur Muslim rebels in its most westerly province.

International

Olmert, Abbas talk Palestinian state

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at their meeting yesterday about how to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel, an Israeli government spokesman said.

Iran agrees to reveal nuclear information

Iran on Monday offered some cooperation with an International Atomic Energy Agency probe of an alleged secret uranium processing project linked by US intelligence to a nuclear arms programme.

Taliban agree to free S Korean hostages

The Taliban agreed yesterday to free 19 South Korean church volunteers held hostage since July after the government in Seoul pledged to end all missionary work and keep a promise to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

Not too late for Lanka peace talks: Egeland

There is still time for peace talks between Sri Lanka's government and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels despite the virtual collapse of a truce, a former Norwegian peace broker said Tuesday.

Foreign firefighters join Greece battle

Foreign firefighters and aircraft joined the battle yesterday against blazes in southern Greece, and officials expressed optimism that wildfires burning some of the country's lushest landscape could be brought under partial control.

US-led force admits they had no permission for Pakistan strike

The US-led coalition in Afghanistan has admitted it did not have permission from Pakistan to strike Taliban positions across the border at the weekend, citing a "miscommunication" problem.

Pakistan will 'not sign' NPT

Pakistan will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as its atomic capability is very much essential to maintain strategic balance of power in South Asia, the Foreign Office has said.

Indian troops kill 7 in Kashmir clash

Indian troops killed seven Islamic militants in clashes in Kashmir, including four who were trying to cross from the Pakistani side of the disputed Himalayan state, the army said yesterday.

Ex-Islamist Gul elected Turkey's president

The Turkish parliament yesterday elected Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as president, making him the secular republic's first head of state with an Islamist past.

Militants free 19 Pak hostages

Militants on Tuesday released 18 soldiers and a Pakistani government official kidnapped near the Afghan border earlier this month, the army and the militants said.

Iraq is front line against Iran, al-Qaeda: Bush

US President George W Bush yesterday will describe Iraq as the front-line against Shia extremism championed by Iran and the Sunni extremism of al-Qaeda, an aide said Monday.

Sarkozy warns against attack on Iran

French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Monday that it would be "catastrophic" to resort to military force in confronting Iran over its suspect nuclear programme.

Japan asks Taiwan to improve aviation safety

Japan yesterday asked Taiwan to improve aviation safety after a fuel tank hole was suspected of sending a China Airlines plane into flames moments after landing.

North Korea warns against US 'hostility' before talks

North Korea warned yesterday that "hostile" US policy could endanger a six-nation nuclear disarmament deal, as the two countries prepared to resume talks on normalising ties as part of the process.

Japan's new cabinet sees poll boost but opposition fire

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet enjoyed a rebound in public support yesterday after a major reshuffle, a poll showed, but his new line-up was quickly rebuffed by an emboldened opposition. The new cabinet, made up of a string of veteran lawmakers brought back by Abe to shore up his government, got to work on one of its first challenges -- trying to keep a Japanese mission helping US-led forces in Afghanistan.

17th CPC congress Oct 15

China's ruling Communist Party has fixed October 15 for the start of its pivotal five-yearly congress, which will make key leadership decisions and define policy to guide the country, state media said yesterday.

58 North Korean fishermen freed

Russia has released 58 North Korean fishermen and nine boats after they entered Russian territorial waters and were detained for a week, the Interfax news agency reported yesterday.

Star-struck Indian cop back on job

A star-struck Indian policeman suspended for hugging Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt despite his conviction for arms possession has been reinstated, a report said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Nazrul's death anniversary observed

To observe the 31st death anniversary of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) arranged a special programme on August 27 at the National Theatre Stage. The programme featured discussion on Nazrul and presentation of Islamic songs, a genre in Bengali music that was popularised and pioneered by the poet.

Nazrul's death anniversary observed

“Kazi Nazrul Islam has always been our guiding light through all our national and social crises. He also fortified our socio-cultural identity. It is important to uphold and implement the ideas we found in Nazrul's works,” said Dr. Rafiqul Islam in his speech on the last day of the three-day event organised by Nazrul Institute. The programme started from August 25.

In quest of nouveau angles

Works of three young photographers -- Sajal Khaled, Musa Ibrahim and M.A. Mohit -- are on display at the residence of renowned bird photographer Enam Ul Haque. Their solo exhibitions are for three days each. In their works one can find fresh ideas and dimensions of camera work.

OP-ED

Getting freed from pathogenic greed

MR. Harun ur Rashid, in his post editorial article in the Daily Star (June 26), lamented the bane of greed in our national politics. His allusion to the problem was thought provoking but brief. The problem is deep and wide-spread. It is not endemic to Bangladesh; many other countries have been afflicted by this scourge. Poor countries like Bangladesh can ill afford to bear the effects of the problem. As it happened, Bangladesh was unfortunately buffeted by this terrible malaise in the recent past.

Of clouds and silver linings

It has been a tough one for the local counterpart of the Berlin-based organization. Even after a year of investigation and research, the gentlemen working on the report could not find the end of the tail of the ageing, and dying, creature. Consider the creature to be Biman, and the tail thereof being corruption and inefficiency, and you know why the end could not be found -- because there have not been any!

Night of salvation

The auspicious night of the 15th of Sha'ban, known as Lailat-ul-Baraat, and popularly known as Shab-e-Baraat in this sub-continent, is indeed a glorious and important occasion in the life of every God-fearing Muslim. Both the words, Lailat in Arabic and Shab in Persian, mean night, and Baraat means salvation or privilege. It is on this auspicious night of privilege or night of salvation that benign providence, in His infinite mercy, blesses each and every human being with a unique opportunity to receive the most coveted divine mercy.

Star City

Theatre groups' rehearsals silently fall silent

Theatre groups have been barred from rehearsing at the city's Eskaton Garden High School for the last three months at the instruction of the authorities.

Subscribers can now lodge complaint

Aggrieved cable TV subscribers can now lodge complaints against cable service providers who have been collecting higher fees ignoring government directives.

Wasa eviction drive hits snags

Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) could not complete restoration of the Kalyanpur canal and its branches through frequent eviction drives as the government is yet to acquire land and cancel leases of land to the private sector.

Dear Shab-e-Barat with dearer treats

To relish the delicious treats in this Shab-e-Barat, the lower and middle-income people are destined to lose a hefty amount of money from their wallet.

Star Chittagong

Tidal water woes of North Agrabad residents

More than one lakh people living at North Agrabad ward in the port city have long been experiencing inundation due to onrush of tidal water even in the dry season.

Road accidents on rise in Ctg

Loss of lives in road accidents marked a sharp rise with at least 22 people were killed in four accidents within a span of four days since August 11 in the port city and Chittagong district.


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