The Daily Star

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Saturday, July 26, 2014


News of: Monday, 17th of December, 2007

Front Page

V-Day celebrated

The nation celebrated 36 years of independence yesterday, saluting the gallant sons and daughters of the soil who had unflinchingly sacrificed their lives in the Liberation War of 1971 to translate the national dream of an independent motherland into a reality.

War heroes, most political parties skip president's party

The major political parties, socio-cultural organisations and war heroes yesterday boycotted the Victory Day reception at the Bangabhaban to protest invitation to the anti-liberation forces.

Eid tickets vanished

Unavailability of tickets of buses, trains and launches has as usual caused suffering to many city dwellers ahead of Eid-ul-Azha as almost all tickets for three days before the vacation starts have already been sold out.

Some concerns matched by major achievements

World Bank Vice-president Praful C Patel said the results of the caretaker government's performance over the past year are mixed, with some concerns matched by major achievements in anti-corruption and institutional reforms.

No celebration till war criminals punished

The families of the seven Birshreshthas yesterday said they would never be able to celebrate the victory wholeheartedly until the war criminals are punished.

Form tribunal or face public wrath

The sector commanders of the Liberation War yesterday strongly demanded that the caretaker government form a special tribunal for trying the war criminals before facing the wrath of the people.

Human chain demands trial

Hundreds of people from all walks of life formed a human chain on Dhaka University campus yesterday, the Victory Day, demanding trial of the war criminals.

Loan sharks thrive on NGO inaction

Small entrepreneurs affected by Cyclone Sidr are now at the mercy of loan sharks, also known locally as 'mahajans', as the NGOs in the district stopped disbursing fresh loans.

Bids for rental power plants get nod today

The power ministry today seeks the nod of the caretaker government's purchase committee on seven rental power bids of 250 megawatt capacity with three local and foreign entities that submitted offers in October.

8 still missing as relatives wait outside Rangs

Although it was the eighth day into the collapse of the upper floors of Rangs Bhaban in the capital, relatives of the remaining trapped demolition workers who are surely dead by now according to experts, were seen waiting still for the bodies of their loved ones yesterday.

Cattle supply sparse in Eid markets

Sparse supply of cattle and huge losses of livestock caused by Cyclone Sidr might raise prices of cattle and other sacrificial animals at cattle markets set up on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha this year, said traders.

No room for top graft suspects

Incarcerated top graft suspects and other VIP prisoners were excluded from Victory Day programmes inside jails yesterday.

Workers to block highway for arrears

The laid-off workers of state-owned Alim Jute Mills at Atra Industrial Area in the city will put up barricades today at different points of Khulna-Jessore Highway demanding withdrawal of layoff notice and payment of arrears.

Pak parties kick off polls campaign

Pakistan's election campaign began in earnest yesterday, a day after President Pervez Musharraf lifted his unpopular emergency rule and restored the constitution.

UK troops return Basra to Iraqis

Iraq formally took over security control of the southern oil province of Basra from British forces on Sunday paving the way for Britain to sharply reduce its nearly 5,000-strong troop presence.

Editorial

A modest step forward

THE outcome from Bali climate conference can be seen in a positive light given that the USA is party to a consensus which it has not been during the Kyoto protocol days since 1997. In a last-minute dramatic turn, the US reached a compromise with the European Union, tilted towards itself though, to the effect that no numeric range in slashing green house gas emissions was adopted in the declaration. Aside from the USA, it does not also require two of the largest emitters of the world, India and China to take on reduction commitments. Yet, a framework to launch negotiations and a timeline for reaching an accord by 2009 to fight climate changes has been spelt out.

Massive power breakdown

THE major nationwide electricity failure on Saturday came like a bolt from a clear sky with no gale or cyclone in the vicinity whatsoever. It was a mechanical failure at the national power grid originating at Ashuganj and it took hours for the PDB technicians to repair the glitch and bring back normalcy in life. Our guess is there is hardly a functional auto-reactive mechanism in place to arrive at a solution within the shortest possible time. By all means, it was an irritant of a large scale as day to day work almost came to a halt at many places. Among the mentionable sufferings, trade and commerce activities and hospital services were severely disrupted because of the obstruction. To say the least, the experience made the citizens ponder anew the dismal state of our existing electricity generation and distribution system.

Ignorance is our worst enemy

WITHIN the Islamic world of about 1.4 billion of people, disparity between rich and poor is stark. The leaders of Islamic community have not been able to rescue many of them from oppression and humiliation.

Rise, 2008

Is this the ultimate opinion poll? In early December a press release issued in Islamabad cited an opinion poll conducted by a Boston-based organisation called, slightly obviously, International Public Opinion Polls (IPOP: was the acronym significant?). The respondents in Pakistan, it said, had been interviewed by phone or Internet and concluded that a very satisfying 74% thought that President Pervez Musharraf's popularity had risen ever since his tailor had the good sense to change his dress code to civvies. To complement such good news, 55% of the respondents thought that the general elections in Pakistan should be held in early January as announced by the government, without any delay.

Sweet victory and awful defeat

WHEN victory showered this nation on December 16, 1971, two things came to our then young mind: the birth of a free nation and at last the enemy has been defeated. It is not possible to put in words now after so many years elapsed, the relief sweet victory brought to this nation.

Sports

Tigers' tame start

Bangladesh's match-preparation on their New Zealand tour got off to an inauspicious start when the Northern Districts Knights eased to a seven-wicket victory with seven and a half overs to spare chasing a target of 223 in the first warm-up at Seddon Park on Sunday. The day ended on a gloomier note for the tourists when it was learnt that left-arm paceman Syed Rasel had suffered a dislocated left collarbone.

Advantage Khulna

Imrul Kayes slammed his second hundred as hosts Khulna tightened their grips on Sylhet on the penultimate day of the four-day game at the Birshreshtha Matiur Rahman Stadium yesterday to brighten their chances of posting solo lead in the National Cricket League.

Selectors mull on Rasel's spot

A replacement for left-arm seamer Syed Rasel, who was injured in Tigers' opening warm-up game against Northern Knights, is expected to be announced later today.

Aussies' moral victory

Australia claimed a moral victory in the second one-dayer against New Zealand on Sunday after the tourists slumped to a top-order collapse before the match was abandoned because of rain.

Jaffer knows his job

Opener Wasim Jaffer is hoping that India's top-order batsmen can emulate those on the last tour of Australia by giving the visitors a solid foundation to build big scores.

Malik faces Khan threat

Nothing stirs Pakistan cricket more than defeat by India. A first-ever Test series loss in India in 27 years -- preceded by the ODI series reverse -- and particularly the insipid manner of defeat has ensured that discontent with the status quo is gathering strength.

Victims knew killers, police say

The sensational case of the murder of housewife Kajal Begum and her school-going daughter in the city has been handed over to Detective Branch of Barisal Metropolitan Police (BMP).

Trio to receive BCCI awards

Champion batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, ace leg spinner Anil Kumble and former Test captain Nari Contractor will be felicitated here Monday for their playing feats at the Cricket Board's annual awards function.

'Tendulkar & De Silva my favourites'

Sri Lankan veteran Sanath Jayasuriya has rated Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and compatriot Aravinda de Silva as his favourite batsmen.

India will fear Tait: Akhtar

Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar has urged the Australians to pick Shaun Tait for the upcoming Test series against India as the slinger would be a scary proposition for Anil Kumble's men on the quick tracks here.

Boca bow to Kaka

Italian giants AC Milan overwhelmed Arge-ntina's Boca Juniors 4-2 in the Club World Cup final on Sunday to win a record fourth intercontinental crown.

Del Piero's reminder

Alessandro Del Piero scored a brace of second-half breakaway goals to fire Juventus up to second place in Serie A with a 3-2 win over Lazio at the Stadio Olympico here on Saturday.

Barca thrash Valencia

Barcelona warmed up for next Sunday's tussle against Real Madrid with a 3-0 victory over Valencia on Saturday but it came at a cost with Argentine Lionel Messi ruled out of 'El Classico' with a foot injury.

Good year for Asia

Asian football can boast of a successful year in 2007 with the staging of an entertaining Asian Cup amid growing interest in the game, but it wasn't all a bed of roses.

Press dissect Capello

Fabio Capello will be unveiled officially as England's new manager on Monday, but he is already proving to be a major talking point here -- and not just for his considerable footballing pedigree.

Tevez sinks Liverpool

Liverpool's hopes of wresting the Premier League title away from Manchester United suffered a major setback on Sunday when they allowed the champions to get away from Anfield with a 1-0 win.

Milan set new title record

In beating Boca Juniors 4-2 in the Club World Cup final in Tokyo on Sunday, AC Milan set a new record of international titles.

Club WC winners

Winners of the Club World Cup:

Robben overeager

Dutch winger Arjen Robben's desire to impress his new club Real Madrid is hindering his return to full fitness, their coach Bernd Schuster has said.

Messi out of 'clasico'

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will miss the 'clasico' against Real Madrid next weekend after picking up a thigh injury in Saturday's 3-0 win at Valencia.

Hurst gives his thumbs-up

Sir Geoff Hurst, whose hat-trick propelled England to their lone World Cup trophy, believes Fabio Capello is the right man to revitalise the fortunes of the ailing national side.

Dead 'Venue' Walking

England and Sri Lanka will mark one of cricket's most poignant moments when they contest the third Test at the previously tsunami-ravaged Galle International Stadium from Tuesday.

'Bigger than cricket'

Kevin Pietersen says England have a duty to ensure the final Test against Sri Lanka goes ahead on Tuesday despite concerns about the Galle ground.

Leonine take solo lead

Leonine Chess Club overtook Pritam Prijam as the First Division Chess League leaders after the sixth round yesterday.

Amit's 107 propels Mushtaque XI

Amit Majumder slammed a masterful 107 to give Shaheed Mushtaque Eleven a massive 94-run victory over Shaheed Jewel Eleven in the Victory Day friendly match at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

V-Day shooting held

The National Shooting Federation (NSF) yesterday organised an open shooting competition at the National Shooting Complex to mark the Victory Day celebrations.

Goal fest at the JJB

Manchester City maintained their perfect home record this season as they moved into the top four of the Premier League with a 4-2 win against Bolton on Saturday.

Boring Bayern

Bayern Munich will stay top of the Bundesliga for Christmas only by virtue of a superior goal difference over Werder Bremen after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Hitzfeld slams media

After a difficult week for the Bundesliga leaders, Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld went on the attack with the German media following his side's lacklustre 0-0 draw at Hertha Berlin.

Klasnic's fairytale finish

Werder Bremen's Ivan Klasnic enjoyed a Christmas fairytale finish to the kidney transplant nightmare - which almost ended his career - with two goals in the 5-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Kaka set to add to honours

AC Milan and Brazil playmaker Kaka is widely expected to add to his haul of trophies and titles this season when FIFA announce their World Player of the Year at Monday's annual gala in Zurich.

Sorry times for PSG

Paul Le Guen's hopes that ailing Paris Saint Germain's wretched season had turned a corner were dashed after a 2-1 home loss to Toulouse on Saturday.

Elano set for recall

Sven Goran Eriksson is ready to restore Brazilian playmaker Elano to Manchester City's starting line-up in the League Cup quarterfinal against Tottenham, despite seeing his side secure a ninth straight Premier League home win with a 4-2 victory against Bolton.

Diarra wants to leave

France midfielder Lassana Diarra wants to leave Arsenal due his frustration at being left on the substitutes' bench.

Simeone takes River reigns

Former Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone has signed a one-year contract to coach River Plate starting on Jan. 3, the club announced on Saturday.

Business

Local RMG to lose competitiveness on rising yarn prices

Exporters fear Bangladesh's knitwear and readymade garments (RMG) industry may lose international competitiveness due to the persistent price rises of yarn in the local market.

High internet tariff holds back software growth

The government's high internet tariff is holding back the country's software industry to have a strong position in the global market, says the chief of software makers' association.

Soaring energy needs, oil prices push SE Asia to nuclear power

As oil prices and energy demand soar in tandem in Southeast Asia, many nations are turning to nuclear power -- to the horror of environmentalists who say it is not a safe option.

India PM hints at review of subsidies

Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Saturday underlined the need for a re-look at subsidies that have failed to achieve the objective of reducing inequities.

Thai luxury vehicles may bounce back

The Thai luxury-car market may experience growth next year after a long period of sluggish sales, said Wolfgang Huppenbauer, president of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand), the market leader.

India, Russia, China to boost economic ties

India, Russia and China vowed to boost trade and investment with each other after a one-day meeting that saw officials and businessmen from the three countries gather in New Delhi this weekend.

Bank of Japan may find rate hike difficult

The Bank of Japan's Tankan survey indicated the Japanese economy is showing signs of instability, despite recent steady growth.

Airbus close to sale of four factories

Airbus boss Thomas Enders could be days away from selling four of the aircraft maker's factories to US company Spirit Aero Systems, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

China asset investment keeps rising

China's investments in factories, real estate and other urban assets surged 26.8 percent in the first 11 months of this year despite government curbs meant to prevent runaway spending, according to data reported Friday.

Hyundai's tech 'leaked' to Chinese firm

Hyundai Motor Co's key technology used in the company's sports utility vehicles has been leaked to a Chinese company in another case of industrial espionage, prosecutors said Saturday.

Midas Financing okays 10pc stock, 5pc cash dividends

Midas Financing Limited has approved the proposed 10 percent stock and five percent cash dividends for the shareholders.

US heading to recession

The US is heading for a recession and the rest of the world would be "dead wrong" to think this will not impact on growing Asian economies, Morgan Stanley senior executive Stephen Roach said Sunday.

Toyota to expand output to near 10m units in 2008

Japanese car giant Toyota Motor Corp. plans to raise its global output to near 10 million units next year, out-distancing its rival General Motors Corp. of the United States, a news report said Sunday.

Citibank recognized as best bank in Asia

A survey by FinanceAsia recognized Citibank as the best foreign commercial bank in nine countries in Asia, says a press release.

Globalisation hotly debated in US

The vaunted merits of globalisation are being hotly debated in the United States, long considered the home of open-market capitalism, amid fears that free trade is boosting inequality.

Metropolitan

Human chains in 17 cities worldwide for trial of war criminals

Human chains were formed in 17 cities across the globe on Saturday demanding trial of war criminals in Bangladesh through formation of an international tribunal.

One burnt alive at Demra

A youth was burnt to death while another one injured critically in a fire at Demra in the city early yesterday.

Next elected govt to lead country to new path

Former chief adviser Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman has hoped that an elected government would be formed next year to lead the country to a new path.

Tale of a visually impaired student

While moving with the crowd of students rushing to their classes, there is nothing to distinguish Nazia from the others. But when a classmate comes forward to guide her to classroom, her identity becomes apparent to an outsider.

Happenings since 1/11 are no way out

Awami League acting general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said the happenings in Bangladesh since 1/11 that will never take the country towards any way out.

SSKOP postpones today's programme

The Sangbadik-Sramik-Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SSKOP) has postponed its today's programme as the government has decided to form a review committee for the removal of anomalies, revival of existing facilities and amendment to the 6th Wage Board Award, an SSKOP press release said yesterday.

CA arrives in Jeddah

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed arrived in Jeddah yesterday afternoon on his way to Makkah to perform holy Hajj.

16 killed, 76 injured in road accidents

At least 16 people were killed and 76 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Pabna, Satkhira, Netrakona, Sherpur and Bogra yesterday.

Mufrad Nabeel’s untimely demise

Mufrad Nabeel Rahman, son of Prof Dr Anisur Rahman of Apollo Hospitals, Dhaka and Prof Dr Amena Mohsin of Dhaka University, passed away at Apollo Hospitals in the city due to an acute liver failure yesterday evening at the age of 20, says a press release.

Youth murdered

Police recovered the body of an unidentified youth from Mohammadpur embankment in the city yesterday.

Detained KCC mayor shifted to KMCH prison cell

The detained Mayor of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Sheikh Tayebur Rahman was admitted to prison cell of Khulna Medical College and Hospital (KMCH) yesterday as he has been suffering from serious heart ailment, high blood pressure and arthritis.

National

Fake FFs'names still on Kishoreganj memorial

Names of some fake freedom fighters are still on the victory memorial on Gurudayal Government College compound in Kishoreganj town while many martyred freedom fighters including Khairul Zahan Beer Pratik did not find place on the plaque.

Cattle market venue occupied before bidding

Boys were playing in Masimpur field of Sylhet city Corporation (SCC) in the afternoon. All of a sudden, some people came with shovels and asked them to leave.

Voters rise in Sylhet city in new listing

The number of voters in Sylhet City Corporation areas got a big increase in the new listing.

BSF returns body of cattle trader in Dinajpur

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday returned body of a Bangladeshi cattle trader to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) while two other cattle traders were tortured to death by BSF in last two days, report our correspondents in Dinajpur and Satkhira.

'Encourage women in shrimp farming'

Speakers at a women Golda (prawn) farmers rally yesterday urged the authorities to formulate a strategy to encourage women in its cultivation in sweet water.

25,000 Sidr victims get work in Bagerhat

Rupantor, an NGO, has so far provided jobs to 25,000 Sidr victims in Sharankhola and Morrelganj upazilas of Bagerhat district by introducing cash-for-work (CFW) scheme funded by OXFAM.

Rejoinder, our reply

Quazi Md Khurshid Hassan, executive engineer of Sirajganj Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) has sent a rejoinder to the news titled "Allegation against Sirajganj LGED engineer" published on the National page of The Daily Star on December 12.

Reception to freedom fighter journos

Satkhira Press Club yesterday accorded reception to two freedom fighters turned journalists with a call for trial of war criminals.

Indian govt to rebuild 3 Sidr-hit villages

Indian government will rebuild three Sidr-hit villages and rehabilitate the victims in Patuakhali.

Letters

Annapolis M-E conference

Many times on many occasions, at different venues, places, cities and capitals, the USA has arranged, invited, proposed, promised and lured the leaders of the Arab World for statehood and freedom of Palestine on the basis of 'two state solution' of Arab-Israel conflict for comprehensive peace in the Middle East. But all the meetings and discussions proved futile due to US-Israel secret deals, intrigue and dilly-dally tactics. We feel the Annapolis conference sponsored by US President George Bush would again end in a fiasco.

Sidr

As Bangladeshi we all are familiar with different types of natural calamities. The repeated floods and the recent Sidr led to deaths of thousands of people and dislocated many other things. But Sidr could not destroy our mental strength. We can rise up again.

Sun Temple

The Sun Temple of Konark is situated at Konark city in the eastern part of Orissa in India. During our family trip to India, I longed so much to have a glimpse of Sun Temple which is very famous worldwide for its intricate sculptures and carvings. At last, after lots of persuasions and arguments, finally I managed to make my father agree to go to Konark.

Street beggars

The number of street beggars has increased enormously in the metropolitan Dhaka city, especially, in most of the traffic signals, foot overbridges, in front of mosques. Many of them are crippled (amputated foot or arm) walking with the support of crutch. Blinds are begging with the support of either son/daughter or a caring person.

“Micro-credit interest charges”

Much as I appreciate your publishing my article on the above subject in your today's issue (29th November 2007), I have to convey that there have been some mistakes in understanding my technical paper which are as follows:

Release of university teachers

It is great news that the four teachers of Rajshahi University have been released unconditionally and that has really reflected the hidden feelings of general public. We are also very eagerly waiting to see the government decision on the release of respected teachers of Dhaka University as well.

Setting a wrong example?

Teachers have the greater burden of setting the moral standards not only by teaching the same in the classroom but by living by them. When a teacher teaches about moral behaviour and discipline in his classroom, only the students sitting inside the four walls of the classroom have the opportunity to learn. But when they live by that, the rest of the world have the opportunity to learn the same. As you can see the later form of teaching not only has an exponential effect compared to the former.

MP's qualifications

I disagree completely with the writer under this heading (10 Dec) that an MP candidate must have 15 years of political experience at union, thana, zilla level etc. Such a requirement will fossilize the political process for career politicians and there will be no newcomers and no new big ideas. The writer has also been misinformed about such a process in other countries; for instance in the UK there is no such requirement. That is why Una King could be nominated and won the Tower Hamlets seat for Labour in 1997 when the local career politician with long experience Ms. Paula Uddin made way for her.

CI sheet price

Cyclone Sidr hit Barisal Division and parts of Khulna & Dhaka divisions last November. As most of the inhabitants of the affected areas are poor, they cannot even think of PCC/RCC building. They have to reconstruct their shelters with wood, bamboo and Corrugated Iron (CI) sheets. But the price of CI sheet has gone sky high in the last one year. General people cannot afford it. In the international market the main raw materials of CI sheet, Hot Rolled Coil (HR Coil) and Zinc Ingot have risen sharply.

Inaccurate news

In BTV news on the Armed Forces Day on Wednesday, 21 November last, it was mentioned that the Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force had come into being on 21 November 1971. The information is not correct. Neither the Armed Forces, nor the Army the Navy, the Air Force was formed on 21 November 1971.

Decline of colonial powers

The exploitation of the third world by the rich industrialised countries, that is colonialism, continues, directly or indirectly. Today the DCs and the LDCs are facing additional pressures: natural disasters, relocation of factories, and the hunt for untapped sources of natural energy. Bangladesh is a victim, and is under increasing social pressure due to turbulences in religious escape routes, for economic salvation, and the trappings of western democracy templates. The newly emerging nations are facing the indirect effects of the global village syndrome. The IT effect on societies has increased the awareness of the masses [note the hartal on shortage of fertilisers]. The reduction of the communication gaps in the have-not societies has made corruption a hard issue to tackle by the regimes, lured by the economic disparities between the first and third worlds. Now religious extremism is sought as an escape route back to religion, not back to virtual politics.

Textile technology institute

The low investment, low technology and labour intensive garments industry has developed tremendously in the last two decades in Bangladesh. Huge demand of production ingredients like, nit & woven fabric, button, jeepers, level and packing materials of the garments industry created scope for backward linkage industrial units. A good number of industrial units have been set up in the last couple of years to cater to the demand of the garments industry, especially yarn producing spinning factories, fabric producing factories, processing dying and washing plants that have come up and created a good number of jobs. But these backward linkage industrial units are confronting shortage of technical experts in textile technology these days. On the other hand, every year thousands of crore is spent by the government of Bangladesh to impart general and religious education in public and private school and collages, which ultimately increases the number of unemployed educated youths. What a pity!

Divorce

Now-a-days divorce, a widespread social disease, is affecting our family life. But have we ever deliberated on what the possible factors and consequences are and what remedial measures we have to adopt to redeem our people from its gangrenous effect? Actually, it is high time we did so and any procrastination may deteriorate the situation hampering all possibilities of finding out a desired remedy. However we have to diagnose the ominous trend with a critical and analytical attitude. In doing that the most obvious factors that come out are conflict in personality, impact of satellite channels, extra marital relations and so on. In this case we have to remember that marriage is a holy bond that can never be defiled by noxious causes as mentioned above, it is a gateway to peace and prosperity, felicity and success and above all sound life through commitment, sympathy and co-operation. Whoever embarks on this new life should be committed to maintaining that marriage does not mean momentary pleasure only and it is not a child's plaything that is vulnerable to personal whims, nor a commercial enterprise that is contingent upon monetary gains; over and above it is a track of patience, prudence and sacrifice for mutual understanding. But in our society modern couples, driven by their impulsive decisions, never care about the bedrock of marriage and take it for something worthless. That is they are very often seen embroiling themselves in personal attacks against each other with reference to faithlessness, sense of superiority and inferiority, dowry, difference of opinions, maladjustment in ages and so on which lead them to hasten their separation. This is a typical picture of our society which indicates that we are trying to keep pace with the western traditions, hurling away the age old unity and sympathy without ever considering that a little bit of patience, prudence and sense of propriety can ward off the painful situation. But before that we have to participate in indirect action against the tendency.

International

Musharraf tightens grip on nuclear arms

President Pervez Musharraf has tightened his control over Pakistan's nuclear weapons, anchoring in law a commission responsible for overseeing the nuclear arsenal and preventing further proliferation.

Lanka talks with Russia, India on arms purchase as war escalates

Sri Lanka will meet with Indian and Russian delegations this week on possible arms purchases including air defence weaponry as clashes with Tamil Tiger rebels escalate, press reports here said Sunday.

Millions vote in India's riot-scarred Gujarat to seal Modi fate

Millions in India's religiously divided Gujarat state voted yesterday in closely-guarded elections as exit polls predicted a Hindu hardliner accused of aiding deadly riots will be re-elected.

Nepali election by mid-April next yr

Nepal's political parties and former rebels Saturday agreed to hold elections by mid-April next year, a top minister said.

Four Taliban killed in first post Musa Qala operation

Four militants were killed in fighting with Afghan troops in the southern town of Musa Qala Sunday, the defence ministry said, in the first battle since the rebels were ousted from there last week.

Musharraf explains state of emergency

President Pervez Musharraf lifted a six-week-old state of emergency Saturday, telling a skeptical nation the crackdown was to save Pakistan from a conspiracy rather than ensure his own political survival.

WHO to investigate Pakistan bird flu

International health experts have been dispatched to Pakistan to help investigate the cause of South Asia's first outbreak of bird flu in people and determine if the virus could have been transmitted through human contact, officials said Sunday.

Pakistan orders probe into British terror suspect's escape

Pakistan's government yesterday ordered a high-level investigation into the escape from police custody of a British terror suspect, officials said, as a hunt was launched to track him down.

BJP backs Advani as party's PM face

BJP on Sunday rejected Congress' claims of a division in the party over Leader of Opposition LK Advani being chosen to lead it.

India installs antennas for planned moon mission

India has installed a pair of giant antennas to monitor a planned robotic mission to the moon next year, making it one of a few nations with deep space tracking ability, officials said.

Turkish planes bomb northern Iraqi villages

Turkish planes bombed northern Iraq on Sunday targeting Kurdish rebels, in at least the second such operation this month even as Ankara held back from launching a ground assault.

Climate deal runs into trouble with US

A hard-fought deal fixing a 2009 deadline for a new treaty to tackle global warming ran straight into trouble yesterday with the United States voicing "serious concerns" over its provisions.

World powers gather in Paris to bankroll Palestinian state

Major powers and key donors meet in Paris today for a conference aimed at raising billions of dollars to help the emergence of a viable Palestinian state and give political impetus to the newly-relaunched peace process with Israel.

S Africa's ANC opens leadership conference

A conference of South Africa's ruling ANC which could see President Thabo Mbeki toppled as party leader was formally opened in the northern city of Polokwane on Sunday.

Abu Sayyaf leader killed in Philippines clash: Military

A senior Islamic militant, wanted by the US government, has been killed in a clash with the Philippine military in the nation's restive south, an official said Sunday.

'Quarter of Israeli troops in West Bank witness to abuse'

One in four of Israeli troops serving at the hundreds of checkpoints across the occupied West Bank have engaged in or witnessed abuse of Palestinians, an army-commissioned survey said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Sammilito Sangskritik Jote's Victory Day programme ends

WE were optimistic about getting the permission from the authorities to bring out this years Bijoy Shobhajatra. However, we were not granted permission to bring out the procession. This is very unfortunate,” said Golam Kuddus, general secretary of Sammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ). Kuddus was speaking at the Central Shaheed Minar on the final day of the Victory Day celebration programme by SSJ.

Celebrating Victory Day with music and dance

Liberation War Museum celebrated the Victory Day with much enthusiasm and a cultural programme at its premises. The seven-day event that began on December 10 came to an end with yesterday's programme, which included songs, dances, recitations, discussion and staging of a jatrapala titled Andharer Musafir.

“Swadesh-er Gaan”: Musical soiree at Bengal Shilpalaya

To mark the ongoing exhibition of artist Nitun Kundu's works, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts and the artist's family arranged a musical soiree. Noted singers presented patriotic songs of Tagore, Nazrul as well as gano sangeet and more. The programme was held at the Bengal Shilpalaya in Dhanmondi on December 15.

Documentary on child marriage

Highlighting the ill effects of early marriage, Ekushey TV will telecast a special documentary titled Koishor: Bikasher Shomoy, Bieyer Noy, tonight at 6:30pm.

OP-ED

December thoughts

WE celebrate Victory Day on December 16 every year because our glorious war of liberation finally ended in victory for us on this day in 1971. We, of the old generations who have had the rare privilege and honour of being witness to the great saga of our liberation war and the finest hour of our national history, and those of us of the new generations, who have only read and heard of that glorious past of ours, need to be reminded of the travails we have been through in our journey to freedom and of the potentials of our nationhood.

Please sacrifice for the sake of Sidr-affected families

ON November 15, several million people in our southern coastal areas, in at least seven districts, faced the Cyclone Sidr, which caused huge damage to human lives, livestock, poultry, trees, houses, and it destroyed the livelihood sources of people. We do not yet know how long it will take for the people to recover from such damage of the disaster. Although lots of relief and recovery efforts are taken up by government, non-government organisations, individuals, and different social organisations, all these are simply not enough to cover the losses.

Bali conference roadmap

DELEGATES from nearly 190 countries are meeting for two weeks in Bali to discuss climate change. A principal objective is to agree a "Bali roadmap" -- a process leading to a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, whose targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions expire in 2012.

Star City

Moments of history on show

Two freedom fighters with machineguns hanging on their back are ploughing land with two bulls. This 1971 picture shows something so real, so expressive determination and love for one's country that cannot be expressed in words. It can be felt only by seeing the picture.

Electronic cash registers to be made mandatory

The use of electronic cash registers at small and medium retail businesses is being made mandatory by the government to ensure collection of value added tax (VAT) from the retailers.

Winter vegetables yet to be cheaper for all

Prices of winter vegetables have started easing but most of the items are still pricey for the low-income group.

"city express"

The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.


The Daily Star

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