The Daily Star

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Saturday, August 30, 2014


News of: Thursday, 3rd of January, 2008

Front Page

Govt finally wakes up to soaring rice prices

Prices of rice continued to increase yesterday and the government decided to introduce open market sale (OMS) outlets across the country and ask donors to provide food grains as aid instead of money.

Workers demo brings Mirpur to a standstill

Several thousand garment workers protesting closure of a factory without notice barricaded the busy Rokeya Sarani in the city yesterday, leading to severe traffic congestion on other streets in Mirpur area for almost the whole day.

Tapan antics spark sharp criticism

Food Adviser Tapan Chowdhury's remarks on government's role in tackling the skyrocketing prices of rice have triggered sharp reaction both within and outside the government.

Govt open to sending Khaleda, Hasina abroad

The caretaker government would consider sending detained Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia abroad for better treatment if it received formal proposals from their parties.

Election in Pakistan now on Feb 18

Pakistan yesterday postponed general elections until February 18 following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, which sparked days of unrest that left dozens of people dead.

Govt to import 2 lakh tonnes of fertiliser

The government yesterday held discussions with six countries on procuring 2 lakh tonnes of fertiliser from overseas to tackle a possible shortage during the Boro season that could lead to a severe food crisis this year.

Four lakh MT Aman shortfall in North

The harvest of Aman saw a shortfall of four lakh tons against the target of 13.21 lakh tonnes this season in 16 northern districts under Rajshahi division, according to Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).

Charges framed against Rajshahi, Khulna mayors

Charges were framed yesterday against Rajshahi Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu in an extortion case and Khulna Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Raman in two cases filed under the Arms Act and the Narcotics Control Act.

Better foreign ties, remittance flow success of one year

Improving foreign relations and record remittance figures are the highlights of a successful foreign policy adopted by the government in its first year, Foreign Adviser Iftekhar A Chowdhury yesterday said.

Editors review state of media

Editors of leading national dailies yesterday held a meeting in the capital to discuss the prevailing situation in the print and electronic media.

2 cold waves this month

Two cold spells are likely to sweep the country this month, especially the northern and central parts, a meteorological office forecast yesterday said.

Delwar falls sick, admitted to Birdem Hospital

Khandaker Delwar Hossain, BNP secretary general appointed by party Chairperson Khaleda Zia, was admitted to Birdem hospital yesterday with several health-related complications, including heart disease.

Flower shop staff, tea vendor give depositions

A flower-shop employee and a tea vendor gave their statements yesterday in one of the two cases filed against four Dhaka University teachers and 15 students for allegedly breaking the emergency power rules in August last year.

ACC files case against ex-MP MA Mannan

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against former lawmaker and BNP leader Prof MA Mannan, his wife and son in connection with accumulating wealth illegally and concealing information about their wealth in their wealth statements submitted to the ACC.

IO asked to submit report by Jan 30

A Dhaka court yesterday asked the investigation officer of a murder case against Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Motiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and seven of their party men for killing two freedom fighters during the liberation war to submit probe report by January 30.

Two globally endangered birds found in Hakaluki

Two globally endangered species of waterfowl have been spotted in the Hakaluki Haor in Sylhet this year by a survey team that went there to conduct a census on water birds.

Ex-additional secy commits suicide in city

A former additional secretary and ex-member of National Board of Revenue (NBR) committed suicide at his Shyamoli residence in the city yesterday.

Dignified legal process on for detained DU teachers

The cases against the detained teachers and students of Dhaka University may not be withdrawn, but they will be freed through legal procedures, said Vice-chancellor Prof SMA Faiz.

Quarishi holds meet in N'ganj despite ban

Although the caretaker government has not relaxed restrictions on political activities outside the capital, Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday held a meeting in Siddhirganj upazila of the district.

Humayun R Chy's son held for cheating

Mohammadpur police yesterday arrested Noman Rashid Chowdhury, son of former speaker Humayun Rashid Chowdhury, in the city in a Tk 30 lakh cheating case filed in 2002 with a police station in Nilphamari.

Volcano erupts in Chile; 150 evacuate

Hundreds of people fled their homes overnight yesterday as a volcano erupted in southern Chile, rocking the area with explosions and spewing lava and ash.

Editorial

Boosting export with a global sense

WHILE inaugurating Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF), 2008 Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed stressed the need for higher productivity and diversity of exportables in the face of the lifting of European Union embargo on import of Chinese garments from January 2008. Garments being the mainstay of our exports, exclusive dependence on it would be like putting all eggs in the basket in the changed circumstances with China enjoying competitive edge because of its total indigenous value addition to the their products.

How free is our economy?

BANGLADESH has been ranked 143rd among 157 countries in terms of economic freedom by Heritage Foundation, an ultra conservative American organisation, which is believed to have its own political agenda. So we have to take its evaluation with a grain of salt.

Thy (BB's) will be done

TWO very interesting and politically significant developments have taken place in Pakistan since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto (BB). First, the selection of her son Bilawal as the PPP party chief, and secondly, the call by the PPP to not only participate in the elections but also to have the elections as per the declared schedule, on Jan 8, 2008.

Plug of tobacco

POLITICS in Pakistan is getting curiouser and curiouser. I am not dwelling on the dynastic succession which is becoming common in India, not only at the Centre but also in the states. I am referring to Benazir Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, becoming in-charge of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) until his 19-year-old son, Bilawal, named as the successor, returned from London after finishing his studies. Even otherwise, he cannot contest election until he is 25.

Flirting with disaster

THE most devastating cyclone in recorded history hit the coastal areas of (then) East Pakistan on Friday Nov 13, 1970. The full extent of the disaster was not apparent even 4-5 days later. Estimates of those who perished ranged from 500,000 to upwards of 2 million, the population of dozens of islands in the Bay of Bengal were washed away along with the entire livestock of the area. For the handful of helicopter pilots who flew from before dawn to after dusk, ferrying relief to those who survived, the images of death and destruction wrought by mother nature can never really be wiped away from memory.

Sports

In search of inspiration

Each of the five destinations the Bangladesh team have travelled to on this tour so far have been different in character. In the penultimate leg of their journey the Tigers find themselves in New Zealand's heritage city.

Symonds stops India

Andrew Symonds hit a fighting century and featured in a ground record stand to rescue Australia on the opening day of the second cricket Test against India here on Wednesday.

WI defy hosts

Marlon Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul defied the South African bowlers as the West Indies recovered from the loss of three early wickets on the first day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands Wednesday.

'I was out on 30'

Andrew Symonds admitted he should have been given out on the way to his unbeaten century that hauled Australia out of a sticky position against India in the second Test here on Wednesday.

Victoria, City draw blanks

The Metropolis Senior Division Football League match between Victoria Sporting Club and City Club ended in a goalless draw at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Army thump Barnak 19-0

Bangladesh Army gave Barnak Samaj a lesson with a 19-0 thrashing in the Dhaka Bank Victory Day Hockey tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Eves' kabaddi from Jan 10

The EXIM Bank Women Kabaddi League will begin January 10.

Amin, Parag winners

Three Bangladeshi FIDE Masters Khondokar Aminul Islam, Abu Sufian Shakil and Mehdi Hasan Parag secured three points each after the end of the fifth round of the 83rd Hastings Chess Congress in England on Tuesday.

Ching crowned girls' champs

Ma Hai Ching became champion in the girls' under-16 singles event of the Prestige Bengal Victory Day tennis competition with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Sharda 6-1, 6-1 in the final at the National Tennis Complex yesterday.

Malik eyes fruitful '08

Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik Tuesday said he hoped his players will put the miseries of 2007 behind them and bounce back with strong performances in the next 12 months.

Punter falls to Bhajji again

Positioning fielders is like maneuvering chess pieces and there is usually a lot of build-up before any reward. Dinesh Karthik, a substitute for Wasim Jaffer, was the pawn who helped break down Australia's famed batting order and all he did was move a couple of steps.

Zaheer out of series

India pace spearhead Zaheer Khan will return home from Australia after injuring his left heel, the cricket board said Wednesday.

RP enjoys leading attack

RP Singh revelled in the chance of leading the Indian attack following the withdrawal of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan on the opening morning of the second cricket Test against Australia here on Wednesday.

New year, old habits

Too much happened on the first day at the SCG. Close to 30,000 people got to see a fine spell of left-arm seam, a tantalising display of off spin and a counterattacking partnership straight out of a classic western flick. Six wickets fell before the clock tower showed two; all hell broke loose thereafter.

Duo walk tall

Brad Hogg is the most unfashionable player on Australia's 25-man contract list and admits to under-estimating his own capabilities at times. A 36-year-old employing a bowling style few have persevered with, he has remained in the national consciousness due to his one-day expertise. Now he is a cult hero at the SCG after scoring 79 in an innings-saving stand of 173 with Andrew Symonds.

Trio start year well

It was a case of as you were at the head of the Premier League as the top three sides all enjoyed a winning start to 2008.

Grant can get tough

Avram Grant insisted he was prepared to get nasty in order to keep Chelsea in the English Premier League title race.

Tevez laid low

Carlos Tevez faces an anxious wait to discover the extent of an ankle injury sustained against Birmingham City after being carried off at the end of Manchester United's 1-0 New Year's Day victory here at Old Trafford.

Hitzfeld will leave

Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has confirmed reports he will leave the club at the end of the season.

O'Donnell died due to heart failure

Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell died of heart failure, according to a post-mortem examination.

Koeman stands by decision

Valencia's Dutch coach Ronald Koeman, who is struggling to impose himself at the Spanish side, on Tuesday defended his decision to exile three veteran players from his squad.

Ramos wants Berbatov stay

Tottenham Hotspur coach Juande Ramos has dismissed suggestions that striker Dimitar Berbatov would be sold in the January transfer window.

Sharapova cruises

Russian superstar Maria Sharapova overpowered the young Dane Caroline Wozniacki in Hong Kong Wednesday, only just breaking a sweat in chilly conditions for a straight sets victory.

Serbia trump France

World No.3 Novak Djokovic carried top seeds Serbia to a 2-1 win over France in their Group A clash at the mixed teams Hopman Cup here Wednesday.

More to come from R Fed

Roger Federer has warned would-be challengers that he intends to stay at the top for several years to come.

Okada vows to lift Japan

Japan's new coach Takeshi Okada has vowed to turn the former Asian champions into a force to be reckoned with after a year of disappointments.

Fans fury at Fergie's jibe

Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson has come under fire from the club's fans after complaining about the lack of atmosphere at home games.

Chinese make WC pledge

After being offered more than one million dollars as a reward, China's national football team players have vowed to play for their lives and qualify for the 2010 World Cup, state press said Wednesday.

Totti set to extend deal

Roma talisman and captain Francesco Totti is to extend his current contract at the club until 2012, according to a report in Corriere dello Sport on Wednesday.

Arjuna vows new era

Sri Lanka's new cricket chief Arjuna Ranatunga has vowed to start with a clean slate and to stamp out corruption within the sport on the island.

Gatlin receives four-year ban

Reigning 100-meter Olympic champion Justin Gatlin was suspended for four years for a 2006 doping violation and forfeits his former 100m world record run, the US Anti-Doping Agency announced Tuesday.

India confirm SA schedule

South Africa will play their three Tests in Ahmedabad, Kanpur and Chennai on their India tour in March and April, the Indian cricket board said in a statement on Wednesday.

Don't play with Dravid's career: Kirmani

Former wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani Wednesday lashed out at the Indian team management in Australia for "playing with the career" of Rahul Dravid by pushing him to the opener's slot.

Business

BTTB looks to cut phone installation fee

The state-owned Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) is considering slashing installation charges for fixed telephone lines for the second time in 18 months in a desperate attempt to stem the flow of customers to private rivals.

Mandatory registration system for foreign visitors relaxed

The government has relaxed the mandatory registration system for all foreign nationals arriving in Bangladesh in a bid to promote tourism and investment in the country.

Market capitalisation up 139pc in '07

With a remarkable 139 percent rise in market capitalisation, the contribution of securities market to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) stood at around 16 percent at the end of 2007.

Poultry industry to struggle to recover in 2008

Battered by avian flu, floods and cyclone Sidr, the country's previously booming poultry industry shrunk last year and will struggle to recover in 2008, weighed down by higher feed costs and weak demand, industry sources warned.

Royal Denim to enhance its output capacity

Royal Denim, a local producer of denim fabrics, is going to double its production capacity this year in order to take advantage of the surge in demand for denim, said the company's Managing Director Abu Jafar Nizami.

Foreign exhibitors see more business

Foreign exhibitors at the Dhaka International Trade Fair-2008 are expecting better business this year due to the peaceful situation in the country, but complained that delays at customs meant many of their exhibits had still failed to arrive.

Dollar down against euro before Fed minutes

The dollar fell against the euro on Wednesday as the market awaited publication of the minutes from the US central bank's last interest rate meeting for a lead on the direction of monetary policy.

SEC rejects Summit Power's bid to offer rights shares

The stock market regulator has rejected the application of Summit Power for offering rights shares to the shareholders.

Comprehensive foreign aid policy needed

The Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the WTO and UN Offices in Geneva has voiced the necessity of a comprehensive foreign aid policy for the country.

Vietnam lures bigger FDI in 2007

Vietnam is estimated to attract 5-6 billion US dollars of foreign indirect investment (FII) last year, 3-4 times the figure in the year earlier, local newspaper investment reported today.

Daffodil Computers approves 10pc stock dividend

Daffodil Computers Ltd has approved a 10 percent stock dividend for its shareholders for the year 2006-07.

Hyundai Motor announces record 2007 sales

South Korea's top carmaker Hyundai Motor said Wednesday that sales last year rose 4.1 percent year-on-year to an all-time high of 2.6 million units.

New DMD of AB Bank

AB Bank Ltd has recently appointed Faruq Mainuddin as the bank's deputy managing director, says a press release.

Metropolitan

Multidimensional policy a must to address monga

A multidimensional policy approach can help alleviate poverty as well as address monga, a near-famine situation in the northern region of the country, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Biman measures to send Saudi-bound people

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has taken special measures to send the stranded Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia-bound Bangladeshi workers, arranging additional flights, Biman sources said.

36532 to vie for 7479 seats in 24 govt schools

A total of 36,532 students will vie for the 7,479 seats in the admission tests in city's 24 government schools.

SC order Jan 10

The Supreme Court has set January 10 as the date for its order to be given in connection with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) plea seeking leave to appeal against the High Court judgment declaring illegal the ACC notice asking detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina to submit her wealth statement.

Proposal to acquire 144 acres of land okayed

The government has approved a proposal to acquire around 144 acres of land to implement two projects under private initiatives in Dhaka and Narayanganj.

CJ unveils cover of SC Digest

Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin yesterday formally unveiled the cover of a book titled “The Bangladesh Supreme Court Digest” containing important decisions of the apex court.

Tributes paid to Chittaranjan

Speakers at a memorial meeting held in New York branch office of Muktadhara yesterday paid rich tributes to late Chittaranjan Saha, founder of Muktadhara and Puthighar, publishing houses of progressive and creative works.

Concern over health condition of Hasina

Some 301 lawyers yesterday expressed deep concern over the health condition of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina who is undergoing trial in extortion case and fell sick in the dock on Monday.

'Swadesh has dedicated his life to establishing justice'

Eminent economist and researcher Swadesh Bose has dedicated his life to establishing justice in society and made significant contribution to this field nationally and internationally, speakers said at a function celebrating his 80th birthday.

Ctg autorickshaws queue for meters

Hundreds of CNG-run autorickshaws thronged the meter installation companies in the port city yesterday in the wake of the drastic operation launched by the traffic department of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) on Tuesday.

'People unaware of health rights'

A workshop to operationalise Charter of Clients Rights (CCR) for health was held at Brac Centre Inn auditorium in the city yesterday.

Hasina Shams Foundation stands by Sidr victims

The Hasina Shams Foundation distributed winter clothes among the Sidr victims at Charbhadrashan, Sadarpur and Boalmari upazilas in Faridpur recently, says a press release.

CG urged to shift residents to safer place

Bangladesh Dalits Human Rights (BDHR) and Nagorik Uddyog yesterday expressed grave concern over the authorities' negligence to rehabilitate the residents of a building that developed cracks at Dhaka City Corporation's Ganaktuli sweepers' colony in Hajaribagh.

SKS invites applications for stipend

Sena Kalyan Sangstha (SKS) has invited applications from the ex-servicemen and released or retired personnel from Armed Forces for school and madrasha level stipend 2008 for their children, studying from class VI to X.

Admin reshuffled

The government yesterday brought changes to the offices of a secretary, an additional secretary and a joint secretary.

Four shot in city

Four people were shot in separate incidents in the city yesterday.

Probe body meets

The committee formed to investigate the question leakage in the masters' final examinations 2005 under the department of political science at Dhaka University held its first meeting yesterday.

Mobile courts to reduce Desa system loss

Mobile courts launched drives in the capital from January 1 for reducing system loss and increasing revenue of Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (Desa), says a press release yesterday.

APHR urges govt to lift emergency

The Association for the Protection of Human Rights (APHR) yesterday urged the caretaker government to withdraw the state of emergency immediately in order to ensure democratic rights of the countrymen.

DU Kha unit admission test on Feb 1

Kha unit admission test for the first year honours courses at Dhaka University under the 2007-2008 session will now be held on February 1 instead of January 11 due to unavoidable circumstances.

IER admission test

Admission test for the first year honours of Bachelor of Education at the Institute of Education Research (IER) at Dhaka University under academic session 2007-08 will be held on February 1 at 3:00pm instead of 10:00am due to unavoidable circumstances, says a press release yesterday.

Families return to building that develops cracks

All the 40 families of a four-storey building in the city's Ganaktuli Sweeper Colony, which developed cracks in its walls, returned to their homes yesterday following assurances from Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) authorities.

National

Diseases dash potato farmers' hopes in northern dists

Farmers' hopes to recover flood losses by cultivating potato may be shattered as vast areas of potato fields in Nilphamari are attacked with 'early blight' and 'late blight' diseases due to dense fog and chilly cold.

Admin decision questioned by guardians, teachers

The district administration's decision to moderate questions for admission test in Rangpur Zila School and Rangpur Government Girls High School is being questioned by many guardians of admission seekers and teachers as well.

Police yet to record case in 4 years

The case for the killing of Madhupur indigenous leader Piren Slan is yet to be recorded four years after the killing while Piren's family members have alleged 'intentional' passing of time to save the accused.

Kushtia SI sent to jail for extortion

A Judicial Magistrate Court in Kushtia yesterday sent a police Sub Inspector (SI) to jail in an extortion case.

2 accused give confessional statement, 3 remanded

Two of the five persons arrested on Tuesday in connection with the murder of Awami League leader Saiful Islam Sabu gave statement before court yesterday under Section 164, confessing their involvement in the killing.

Couple hurt in bomb attack, 4 held

A married couple got serious injuries in a bomb attack by criminals at Peshinagar village in Harinakundo upazila in Jhenidah on Wednesday night.

HC stays Ariful's trial for 3 months

A High Court Division Bench yesterday stayed for three months the ongoing trial in the tax evasion case against detained Sylhet city BNP chief Ariful Haque Chowdhury.

Harris' cousin sent to jail on surrender

Ashique Chowdhury, cousin of Harris Chowdhury, former political secretary of ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia was sent to jail after his surrender before a court here yesterday.

New Somo Adhiker body formed in Khagrachhari

A 101-member committee of Khagrachhari district Somo Adhiker Andolon (SAA) was formed at their Kalabagan office in hill town district Khagrachhari yesterday.

11 rescued fishermen handed over to relatives

Eleven fishermen who were rescued by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) from Kalir Char area in the Sundarbans on Tuesday were handed over to their relatives yesterday, BDR and police said.

6 Bangladeshis kidnapped by Nasaka

Mayanmar border security force Nasaka has kidnapped six Bangladeshi nationals from Aju Khaiya border in Naikhongchhari upazila, locals said.

Letters

Ban on rickshaw

Most trips in Dhaka are short in distance, usually one to five kilometres. These trips are perfect for rickshaws. Rickshaws are a cheap and popular mode of transport over short distances. Rickshaws are safe, environmentally friendly and do not rely on fossil fuels. Rickshaws support a significant portion of the population, not only the pullers, but also their families in the villages, the mechanics who fix the rickshaws, as well as street hawkers who sell foods. From the raw materials to the finished product the rickshaw employs people in some 38 different professions. Action needs to be taken to support the rickshaw instead of further banning it in Dhaka. The combined profits of all rickshaws exceed that of all other passenger transport modes.

Election in Kenya

Elections in Kenya may have ended but the results of the elections have sparked violence there, killing 13 people. Mwai Kibaki, the sitting president, has been re-elected but his opponent, Mr. Odinga of the ODM, was not at all satisfied with the results.

Benazir Bhutto's assassination

Benazir, one of the most popular political leaders in South Asia, was killed very brutally at the end of a political meeting. She was very courageous. Her death has been a great tragedy for Pakistan.

My experience at ZIA

I am a non-resident Bangladeshi living in Europe. Recently I visited my home country. On my arrival at ZIA International Airport I was very dismayed and disheartened while passing through the terminal building. On entering one of the rest rooms near a boarding gate, I found it was dirty and in an appalling state. Inside the toilet there was no toilet paper and not even a coat hook to hang jackets/overcoats etc Water and litters were all around. Even toilet flush was inoperative. It was so disgusting and distasteful for a visitor entering the country.

What after election?

Though the caretaker government is indifferent to the development of the country, what they are doing is accepted by all. Examples containing terrorism, cracking down on the corrupt politicians, separation of the judiciary and so on.

Humanity

Most of the people of our country are soft and kind hearted. They are very mild and generous. They have been co-operating with one another from time immemorial. People still rush to others' places in times of their danger. This is the remarkable characteristic of our tradition.

Pakistan scene

The year 2007 will be remembered as a year of extremism. It was in this year that 'the extremists became very extreme'. It was in this year that the extremists on the mountains of Waziristan killed and captured more soldiers than at any other time in the history of Pakistan. It was in 2007 that we became the only country in the world that suspended and 'house-arrested' its own chief justice twice in the same calendar year. It was in this year that a militant legislation transferred all state powers to a single individual perhaps the only person in the world who has a nuclear button in his pocket and whose constitutional amendments cannot be challenged.

International

Kenya violence toll climbs to 328

The overall death toll of Kenya post-electoral violence climbed to 328 after overnight violence yielded 22 more fatalities in the country's western towns, officials said on yesterday.

Dubai mourners join Bilawal in prayers

The teenage son of assassinated Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto received condolences for his slain mother in the Gulf emirate of Dubai yesterday.

6 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrike

An Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip killed six Palestinian militants early yesterday, medics said, including three from the Hamas movement that has ruled Gaza since June.

27 militants killed in clashes in northwest Pakistan

At least 27 militants were killed in two days of clashes in restive northwestern Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan, a military official told the news agency yesterday.

Bomb kills 5 in Lankan capital

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a powerful roadside bomb in the Sri Lankan capital yesterday, killing at least five people and wounding 26 others, police said.

Malaysian minister resigns over sex video scandal

Malaysia's health minister resigned yesterday after admitting his role in a video showing him having sex with a female friend in a hotel room.

4 killed, 16 hurt in Iraq suicide attack

A suicide bomber blew himself up in the restive Iraqi city of Baquba yesterday, killing at least four people and wounding 16 in an attack aimed at an anti-Qaeda patrol, police said.

Thailand mourns death of Princess Galyani

Thailand yesterday mourned Princess Galyani, only sister of revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose death from cancer at the age of 84 also put a temporary halt to post-election coalition haggling.

86 journos killed in deadly year for world media

At least 86 journalists were killed around the world in 2007, the highest number since 1994, with Iraq, Somalia and Pakistan topping the list of most dangerous places, according to a report released yesterday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

N Korea still undecided on giving up nukes

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has still not decided whether to give up his nuclear weapons despite a disarmament pledge under an international deal, a senior analyst said yesterday.

9/11 commission leaders blast CIA on interrogation tapes

The leaders of a US commission that examined the September 11, 2001 terror attacks accused the CIA yesterday of having obstructed their investigation by withholding information about videotaped interrogations of terror suspects.

US welcomes date for Pak polls

The White House yesterday welcomed Pakistan setting February 18 as the "date certain" for elections postponed after the slaying of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

5 Taliban killed by own car bomb in Afghanistan

Five suspected Taliban militants were killed when a suicide car bomb they were building went off prematurely in the southern province of Kandahar, police said yesterday.

Israel does not expect war with Iran: Peres

Israeli President Shimon Peres said he did not believe a war with Iran would be necessary but called for the end of the current government in Tehran, in an interview published yesterday.

Iran hangs 13

Iran hanged 13 convicted criminals yesterday, including the mother of two young children who had been found guilty of murdering her husband after discovering he was having an affair, reports said.

Fire ravages renowned London hospital

Patients were evacuated Wednesday as an internationally-renowned cancer hospital in London was ravaged by fire which engulfed its roof, emergency services and witnesses said.

Sudan army misses new deadline to quit south

Khartoum has missed a new deadline to withdraw its troops from south Sudan, flouting a deal that saw former rebels rejoin the government last week, a senior ex-rebel commander said yesterday.

US military says 51 Qaeda leaders killed or captured

The US military said yesterday that 51 Al-Qaeda leaders were killed or captured by multinational forces in Iraq during December, as efforts to close down the Islamist extremist group intensified.

Arts & Entertainment

2007: An average year for urban theatre

IN terms of Dhaka-centric urban theatre activities, 2007 was an average year. Except the National Theatre Festival in last March, not much remarkable theatre events have happened last year. At the 23-day-long National Theatre Festival, 46 troupes staged their production (one each) at two venues of Shilpakala Academy -- National Theatre Stage and Experimental Theatre Stage. Eleven full-fledged productions were premiered in the year. The number is less than previous years'.

Rafiq's enterprising architecture

Rafiq Azam, who has received 16 national and international awards for architecture and six for paintings held a presentation with accompanying lecture at Bengal Gallery recently. Azam, who is the main architect for Shatotto, that aims for green living, has been teaching for 12 years as a visiting faculty, at universities -- BRAC, Asia Pacific, Ahsanaullah and others -- concentrating on the preservation of Old Dhaka from the outset.

"Swapnodanay" to be screened in Bangalore

The 'Second Bangalore International Film Festival' will kick off today with the screening of Bangladeshi film Swapnodanay, says a press release.

Drama serial "Swapnojal" on ntv

Drama serial Swapnojal will be aired tonight on ntv at 8:15 pm. Written by Ahmed Shahabuddin and directed by Dipankar Dipon, the 26-episode serial centres on a young couple.

Kylie Minogue honoured by Britain's Queen

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue and the professor who created Dolly the sheep are among the prominent figures who have received awards from Queen Elizabeth II in her annual New Year Honours list.

OP-ED

The bane of statistics in Bangladesh

THE political masters throw a fit at disagreeable statistics. They suspect the motive, decry the methodology, and pretend to brush aside the findings if they go against them. At times, they would suggest dismantling of the organisation that crunched out data that did not support their official or public claims. The same politicians would profusely quote the statistics released by the same organisation if those suited their purpose. They are not interested in the academic rigour of the methodology, or the actual process of collecting data. They may not have the time, energy or skill to assess the validity of the data. Had they gone for such analysis or exercise, they might have discovered that that their inferences were right, unfortunately for a wrong reason.

My heart bleeds for Pakistan. It deserves better than this feudal charade.

SIX hours before she was executed, Mary, Queen of Scots wrote to her brother-in-law, Henry III of France: "...As for my son, I commend him to you in so far as he deserves, for I cannot answer for him." The year was 1587.

Two tips for 2008

IF you are asked "which is the commonest consumer product in your every day life?" without hesitation you will reply "a bottle of mineral water ." These days, city people are acquainted with different brands of drinking water available in the market. Did you know that none of this packaged drinking water is actually "mineral water!" Natural spring mineral water contains all the essential minerals vital for the human body. It should be bottled at source to maintain natural composition and purity. This is why natural spring mineral water is healthy. In this part of the world, the best spring mineral water can be sourced exclusively from the foothills of the great Himalayas.


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