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News of: Thursday, 10th of January, 2008

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Five new advisers take oath

Five new advisers to the caretaker government were sworn in yesterday evening at Bangabhaban to replace the advisers who resigned in the last few days.

New advisers to focus on poll roadmap

Leaders of Awami League (AL) and BNP yesterday expressed their hope that the newly appointed advisers would concentrate on implementing the electoral roadmap and ending crises of food and price hike of essentials.

CA reasserts polls before end-2008

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said his government and the Election Commission are proceeding towards holding the general election before end of this year (2008) and there is no reason for doubt about it.

Mad rush for rice, many return empty-handed

The Open Market Sale (OMS) of rice witnessed a huge demand on the first day of its operation across the country yesterday, with many consumers returning empty-handed as the outlets ran out of stock fast.

Nov inflation hits highest in 17 years

The inflation rate on a point-to-point basis reached 11.21 percent in November last year, the highest in 17 years, while inflation in food items was 13.80 percent, mainly affecting people in low-income groups.

WB projects 5.5pc GDP growth for '08

The World Bank has projected Bangladesh's economic growth to 5.5 percent for 2008, lower than domestic estimates, due to political tensions, flooding and Cyclone 'Sidr'.

France sends back 42 artefacts next month

The 42 artefacts sent to Guimet museum in Paris on December 1 would come back by next month, ministry sources said.

Tarique claims torture during remand, seeks security

Detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman yesterday appealed to a Dhaka court to ensure his security claiming he was "inhumanly tortured" in the name of interrogation while he was on remand in connection with a corruption case.

Class boycott, sit-in, human chain at DU

The Dhaka University teachers and students yesterday staged a sit-in, boycotted classes and formed a human chain demanding release of their detained colleagues and classmates.

Move on to abandon damaged Titas well

Bangladesh Gas Field Company Ltd (BGFCL) is going to permanently abandon its Brahmanbaria Titas Gas Field's faulty well no. 3 and has already started the procedure.

Raise use of coal to cut gas consumption

The draft coal policy review committee in its final report has recommended that use of natural gas in different sectors, including power, should be gradually lessened side by side with increasing the use of coal and other substitute fuel sources to ensure energy security in the country.

Bangabandhu's homecoming day today

The nation celebrates the historic Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman today.

Locker renters claim Tk 2.2cr valuables lost

BRAC Bank yesterday received claims from 22 of the 60 affected locker renters that they had kept gold ornaments and other valuables worth about Tk 2.20 crore in the lockers, according to officials of the private bank.

Decomposed bodies of 6 Sidr victims recovered

Decomposed bodies of six more Sidr victims were recovered from the Sundarbans and Sharankhola upazila yesterday, nearly two months after the disaster.

Ex-director of NBR sued for ill-gotten wealth

Former National Board of Revenue (NBR) director Jahurul Haque and his wife were sued yesterday for amassing wealth beyond their known sources of income and concealing information in the wealth statement submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Students' judicial statements were not influenced

A former magistrate in his statement to a Dhaka court yesterday said the two Dhaka University (DU) students who had given judicial statements to him were not influenced by anyone.

Ashura on Jan 20

The holy Ashura will be observed in the country on January 20 as the moon of Muharram, the first month of Hijri year 1429, was not sighted yesterday.

Hillary wins New Hampshire race

Hillary Clinton yesterday basked in the glow of her primary win in New Hampshire, where she defied polls and narrowly beat rival Barack Obama in the state's key Democratic presidential nominating contest.

Bush starts ME tour, sees new chance for peace

US President George W Bush said he saw a new chance for Middle East peace as he arrived in Israel yesterday at the start of a landmark regional tour marked by escalating tensions with Iran.

Malaysia to ban foreign workers at its airports

Malaysia will ban foreign workers from serving customers at all its airports in a bid to reduce migrant labour in the country, according to a report yesterday.

Tapan leaves for London

Former energy and power adviser Tapan Chowdhury left for London last night.

EC plan to upset poll roadmap

Leaders of the Awami League (AL) and BNP yesterday said the implementation of electoral roadmap might be hindered if the Election Commission (EC) redraws the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies.


Changes signal determination to turn a corner

Although the step has come several months late, yet we heartily welcome it. A public perception had been growing over time that certain individual advisers were pulling the government down. Some were performing poorly and others were being vociferous with insensible utterances in their zeal to play to the media that undermined the image of the government and created confusion in the minds of the people. They created more problems than they solved. They neither could work as a team nor prove individual capabilities in their respective fields.

Hasina's sagacious stand

Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina has clarified her position on the next parliamentary election by putting greater emphasis on its being held on schedule, than her own participation in it. The AL chief wants timely election even if she is barred from it. We wholeheartedly welcome the position taken by her.

Time for a rethink

It is time to rethink -- to put our heads together to consider the future state of the many things that affect our lives as citizens, as political creatures, and as human beings. This is compelled by the developments since Oct 2006 -- the end of the 4-party alliance rule, but most of all because of the situation brought about by the resignation of four members of the caretaker government (CTG).

Does the US pursue a flawed policy toward Pakistan?

In May 1991, while campaigning for another shot at the top political job, former prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated by a suicide bomber, and there was an international outpouring of grief. Similarly, in recent weeks, the assassination of former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, brought out deep expressions of anguish and sorrow across the world.

Learning security lessons

While public memory remains fresh, what better example to illustrate the predicament of security forces and those they protect than the brutal assassination of our charismatic Ms. Benazir Bhutto? The October 18 blast only underscored that this was a tragedy waiting to happen but, unfortunately, either the protectors or the protected did not use it as a wake-up call. A correct analysis of some of the security lapses that led to (and including) December 27 could mean the difference between life and death for others in the future.


A first-class bonus

When Ban-gladesh Cri-cket Board (BCB) ambitiously pla-nned a mid-October start to this season's local cricket, some believed it could not go through. And they had their reasons: seasonal rain wasn't receding and the different grounds across the country were not up to scratch. Today, after National Cricket League's resounding success, dynamics of domestic cricket, it seems, is going to be changed for the good.

Proteas think pace

South Africa are considering fielding an all-seam attack in the third Test against West Indies, captain Graeme Smith said on Wednesday.

India resume tour

India resumed their crisis-hit cricket tour Wednesday as Australian officials brushed aside criticism of the national team, saying the world's top side plays tough Test cricket -- "not tiddlywinks".

'Choose best umpires'

Pakistan greats Wednesday urged the cricket world to axe the tradition of choosing neutral umpires in favour of those considered the best at the job, in the aftermath of the crisis-hit Australia-India series.

'King Off The Field'

India, whose controversy-scarred cricket tour of Australia is back on after numerous disputes, is the undisputed powerhouse in the sport off the field, and has been acknowledged as such by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Jatrabari's 2nd win

After a series of goalless affairs, the Senior Division Football League clubs seemed to go on the right track as they began to find goals.

Wright bats for Indians

Former India coach John Wright suspects there was an Australian provocation behind Harbhajan Singh's on-field outburst during the Sydney Test and said the outrage against the three-Test ban on the off-spinner stems from a sense of injustice.

Dhoni captain for tour match

With Anil Kumble opting out, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead India against the Australian Capital Territory XI in a warm-up match starting at the Manuka Oval here today.

Kumble asked Ponting not to report Singh

India captain Anil Kumble said he tried to persuade Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting not to proceed with a formal charge against Harbhajan Singh over an alleged racist jibe.

NZ judge to hear Bhajji appeal

New Zealand judge John Hansen has been appointed as commissioner for the appeal of Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh against the finding that he made racist comments during the second Test against Australia.

U-16 booters leave for India today

The under-16 football team will tour India this month to attend a coaching camp from today till January 26 at the Tata Academy in Jamshedpur.

Bucknor should quit: Bird

Legendary English umpire Dickie Bird believes Steve Bucknor has "gone on too long" and that it is now time for him to retire from international cricket.

Aussie media slam BCCI

Australian media Wednesday accused Indian cricket bosses of arrogance and bullying after world officials bowed to their demands in rows over racism and umpiring.

Women's WC qualifiers out of Pakistan

The International Cricket Council Tuesday announced the women's World Cup qualifying rounds have been shifted from Pakistan to South Africa on the guidance of independent security reports.

Blues are fighters

Avram Grant believes Chelsea's never-say-die spirit will help his side reach a third League Cup final in four seasons.

Chelsea gain the edge

Joleon Lescott's stoppage time own goal gave 10-man Chelsea a dramatic 2-1 win against Everton in the League Cup semifinal first leg at Stamford Bridge here Tuesday.

'Bronze Eagles' chase gold

Nigeria are the serial third-place finishers of the African Nations Cup.

Ivorians want to exorcise ghosts

Ghana does not hold happy memories for 2008 African Nations Cup favourites Ivory Coast.

Takahara back in Japan

Japanese international striker Naohiro Takahara returned to Japan Wednesday to join the home league after his six-year stint in Germany, resolving to keep his aggressive style.

Robert glad to be back

Laurent Robert said Tuesday he was happy to return to "the best league in the world" even though he has signed for Premier League basement side Derby County.

Derby sign Savage

Derby County have completed a 1.5 million pound move for Blackburn midfielder Robbie Savage on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Anelka a Blue by Saturday?

Chelsea manager Avram Grant hopes to sign Bolton striker Nicolas Anelka in time for Saturday's match against Tottenham.

Van Persie set for Arsenal return

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie could return from injury in Wednesday's League Cup semifinal against north London rivals Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium.

Pregnant wife takes Santos away

Midfielder Fabio Santos has quit French first division leaders Lyon to be by the side of his pregnant wife in Brazil, the six-times champions said on Tuesday.

Maniche to sign with Inter?

Atletico Madrid's Portuguese midfielder Maniche, sidelined by Mexican coach Javier Aguirre, will join Italian side Inter Milan, Spanish media reported Tuesday.

Adriaanse to compensate Porto

FIFA have ordered FC Porto's former Dutch coach Co Adriaanse to pay the club 1.15 million euros (1.7 million dollars) in compensation for abruptly terminating his contract without a reason in 2006, the Portuguese outfit announced Tuesday.

Marseille reject Cisse approach

Marseille president Pape Diouf insisted Tuesday he has no intention of selling Djibril Cisse after turning down a move from English Premier League club Manchester City for the striker.

Maradona files theft charges

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona filed charges against businessman for stealing hundreds of memorabilia items shown around the world in his "Itinerant M10 Museum," the star's official website said Tuesday.

Lions surprised by Eto'o delay

Cameroon football federation (Fecafoot) chiefs on Tuesday expressed their surprise that striker Samuel Eto'o has yet to be released by Barcelona for the African Nations Cup which starts on January 20.

Beckham talks with Brown

England footballer David Beckham had a private meeting with Gordon Brown for nearly an hour at the British Prime Minister's 10 Downing Street residence here Tuesday.

Army finish their job

Bangladesh Army all but confirmed a final berth in the Dhaka Bank Victory day hockey tournament when they finished their league campaign in an advantageous position in a three-way race for the final.

Mohammedan eye Jan 26 kick-off

The Protiti Pharmaceutical Victory Day Club Cup football tournament, organised by Mohammedan Sporting Club, will begin on January 26 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Mirza crashes out of Hobart

India's Sania Mirza paid dearly for not taking advantage of her numerous break point chances to crash out of the Hobart International in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Higher training for jumper Al Amin

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) will send long jumper Al Amin to Malaysia for high performance training for the coming Olympic Games in Beijing.

Annual sports of Police held

LGRD Adviser Anwarul Iqbal inaugurated the annual sports of Bangladesh Police at the Rajarbag Police Lines ground yesterday by releasing balloons and pigeons.


Retail investors' scramble for Jamuna Oil shares

The government received a bonanza in the early stages of the partial sale of the Jamuna Oil Company yesterday, as retail investors scrambled to purchase stock in the group, in some cases paying more than Tk 950 for shares whose face value was fixed at only Tk 10.

EPB starts implementing 'one district one product' project to diversify exports

Inspired by the Japanese 'one village one product' movement, the government has started implementing a 'one district one product' (ODOP) scheme to decentralise and diversify export production..

Overseas job sector may turn volatile as recruiting agents plan legal step

Overseas employment sector is likely to turn volatile, as many recruiting agencies plan to file writ petitions against a government order asking them to deposit Tk 15 lakh as security money.

Asian economies face slight slowdown in '08

Developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region will face a slight slowdown in 2008 as exports are likely to fall due to a wobbly United States economy, a UN report said Wednesday.

GP launches BlackBerry

Leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone (GP) in collaboration with Canada's Research In Motion yesterday launched BlackBerry mobile services in Bangladesh, aiming mainly at corporate customers.

Saarc securities regulators meet in Kathmandu April 21

A two-day meeting of Securities Exchange Regulators of Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) will be held in Kathmandu from April 21.

SRO likely to change int'l oil company tax

International oil companies operating in the country are likely to be exempted from paying tax-on-tax from the next fiscal year (2008-09).

Bajaj, Renault to make cost effective cars

India's second largest motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto has said it aims at manufacturing a cheap, highly fuel-efficient small car within four years under a joint venture possibly with the French car maker Renault.

Partex to launch designer furniture

Partex, one of the country's leading furniture producers, is launching a range of designer furniture, aimed at satisfying the growing demand for furniture in Bangladesh.

SEDF financial product for SMEs

IFC Advisory Services for South Asia -- the SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) -- in collaboration with Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association is facilitating the adoption of a new financial product for Bangladesh's small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Fu-Wang Ceramic approves 5pc cash dividend

Fu-Wang Ceramic Industry Ltd has approved a 5 percent cash dividend for its shareholders for the year that ended on June 30, 2007.

ACME launches Cipro-A for infection treatment

The ACME Laboratories Ltd has launched a new dosage form of Ciprofloxacin i.e. Cipro-A IV Infusion 200mg/100ml, says a press release.

FDI risks chill after record 2007: Unctad

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) hit a record in 2007 but economic turbulence and inflationary pressures could have a "chilling" effect in 2008, the UN trade and development agency said Tuesday.

KL denies any freeze on Indian workers

Malaysia Wednesday denied it had frozen the recruitment of workers from India, after reports quoted officials saying a ban was in place as the government cracks down on dissent by ethnic Indians.

New chairman, vice chairman of Sonar Bangla Ins

Md Shamsul Haque and Ram Chandra Barai have been elected chairman and vice chairman of Sonar Bangla Insurance Ltd, says a press release.


CA seeks cops' help in facing challenges

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday sought all-out cooperation of the police with the government in facing reform, electoral and economic challenges.

Syndicate active to encroach on FFs’ land in Chittagong

A syndicate of land-grabbers is trying to encroach the land leased out to freedom fighters in the port city's Bayezid area.

Admin move a must to ensure women's voting rights

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) leaders at a view exchange meeting yesterday stressed the need for administrative initiatives to ensure women's voting rights and their increased participation in Parliamentary election.

'Form watch bodies to observe local govt activities'

'Civil watch bodies' will have to be formed at all levels of the local government with a view to strengthening the local government institutions and infusing dynamism into their activities, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.

6 killed in road accidents

Six people were killed and nine others injured in separate road accidents at Sherpur and Rajshahi in the last two days.

Election should be held as per EC roadmap: UK envoy

British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury yesterday said general election should be held as per the roadmap announced by the Election Commission (EC).

Remain alert about activities of HR commission

Appreciating the formation of National Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International (AI) Secretary General Irene Khan yesterday said the efforts might go in vain if all concerned do not remain alert about the activities and outcome of the commission.

Trial deferred as KCC mayor falls ill

The Special Tribunal (fourth court) of Khulna yesterday deferred the trial of detained Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman in an arms case as he could not appear at the tribunal because of his illness.

CCC chief engineer surrenders

CCC Chief Engineer Mokhter Alam, an absconding accused in the Bijoy TV scam case, surrendered before a Chittagong court during a hearing on framing of charges yesterday and prayed for bail.

Naraji petition against charge sheet

A naraji (no confidence) petition was submitted yesterday against the charge sheet in a looting case against former lawmaker and chairman of a faction of Islami Oikyo Jote (IOJ) Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini and eight others.

Passengers protest mismanagement

Several hundred air passengers, mostly migrant workers, staged a demonstration outside the office of the Saudi Arabian Airlines at Karwan Bazar in the city yesterday to protest the mismanagement by the office authorities.

Arsenic mitigation possible by fern, flower cultivation

It is possible to mitigate arsenic from soil by cultivating fern and different types of flower plants in the arsenic-affected areas and such a practice will also help contain the arsenic contamination of crop produced on the same soil.

Ex-MP Falu granted bail

Former BNP MP Mosaddek Ali Falu was granted bail by a Dhaka court in a land grabbing and intimidation case yesterday.

CA condemns attempt on Gayoom's life

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday condemned Tuesday's cowardly attack on the life of Maldives' President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

EWG completes voter awareness campaign in 1000 unions

To assist the Bangladesh Election Commission in preparing voter rolls, Election Working Group (EWG) launched voters' awareness campaign in 1000 unions across the country in last six months, says a press release.

Military edn for younger generation stressed

Quarter Master General of Bangladesh Army Lt Gen Mohammad Jahangir Alam Choudhury yesterday said military education for the younger generation along with academic learning is essential for the nation.

Work on e-Library going on

Speakers at a seminar titled “e-Library for the Universities” urged University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh to play the leadership role in building e-Library in the universities, says a press release.

WFP, Proshika distribute relief in Pirojpur

World Food Progarmme (WFP) and Proshika jointly distributed relief among 3823 families of five unions at Kaukhali upazila in Pirojpur recently, says a press release.

DU Gha unit admission test deferred

Admission test of Gha unit for the sessions 2007-2008 at Dhaka University will be held at 10:00am on February 8 instead of January 18.

Saarc Secy Gen due Jan 12

Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Chenkyab Lyonpo Dorji accompanied by his spouse will arrive in Dhaka on a two-day farewell visit on January 12.

Huge explosives, phensidyl seized in Khulna

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 12 kilograms of gunpowder, five kilograms of explosives and 65 bottles of phensidyl from Digholshingha village at Chowgachha in Jessore district yesterday morning.

Valuables worth Tk 10 lakh looted in Ctg

Armed robbers looted gold ornaments and cash worth around Tk 10 lakh from a residence in the port city's Pahartali area in the early hours of yesterday.

South Asian confce against drug abuse held

South Asian consultation conference to formulate a draft policy to augment movement against drug abuse was held at Dhaka Regency Hotel and Resort yesterday, says a press release.

Prof Muniruzzaman made JU Pro-VC

Prof Mohammad Muniruzzaman of Physics Department of Jahangirnagar University (JU) has been appointed Pro-vice Chancellor of the university for next four years.

Safta Ministerial Council meet in Delhi on March 3

The third meeting of the Safta Ministerial Council (SMC) is scheduled to be held in New Delhi, India on March 3.

Preparatory meet held at Bangabhaban

A preparatory meeting for a proposed seminar on global warming and its impacts was held with chief patron President Iajuddin Ahmed in the chair at Bangabhaban yesterday.

'Launch movement aganist communal, imperialist forces’

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called on the government to ban religion-based politics and take steps without delay to bring the war criminals to book.

Extortionists stab transport businessman

A gang of extortionists stabbed a transport businessman at Shyampur in the capital yesterday as he refused to pay Tk 3 lakh in toll.

Ahmed Kabir Choudhury passes away

Ahmed Kabir Choudhury of Sylhet, a language movement veteran, passed away on January 7 at the age of 77, says a press release.


Irrigation of 12,000 acres uncertain in Moulvibazar

Siltation and other obstructions in the irrigation canals are hampering normal irrigation to 12,000 acres of Boro lands under Monu River Irrigation Project (MRIP) in Moulvibazar district while Water Development Board (WDB) is failing to re-excavate the canals.

BCC ward commissioner, headmaster sent to jail

Polonius Gouda, suspended headmaster of Barisal Udayan Secondary Missionary School in the city and BCC ward commissioner Mosharraf Ali Khan Badsha were sent to jail Tuesday evening after they surrendered before court.

Small farmers upset by Nilphamari REB decision

Hundreds of small farmers in the district are upset as Nilphamari Polli Bidyut Samity under Rural Electrification Board (REB) has made it mandatory to install at least 3 horsepower (HP) power pumps for irrigation during the current Irri-Boro season.

Killings by BSF dominate Satkhiraflag meeting

A battalion level flag meeting between the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) was held at Taluigachhi border in Sadar upazila yesterday.

Two travel agents sued for cheating pilgrims

Two directors of a travel agent in Dhaka have been sued for cheating 19 Hajj pilgrims.

Low-income groups demand loan waiver in Barisal

Slum-dwellers and low-income people of Barisal city and adjacent villages yesterday handed over a memorandum to the Barisal deputy commissioner, demanding total exemption of their arrear micro-credit refund instalments till June 2008.

5 get life for murder in Barisal

A court here yesterday sentenced five killers, two of them in absentia, to suffer life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) in Mobarak Ali Murder Case.

Photo exhibition begins in Khulna

A three-day photographic exhibition began at Khulna Press Club auditorium yesterday.


Nepal's Maoists slam PM over refusal to accept ex- guerillas in army

Nepal's Maoist leader slammed Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's refusal yesterday to accept former guerrillas in the army, calling it a threat to the nation's fragile peace process.

Lanka steps up security for lawmakers

Sri Lanka has increased its already tight security arrangements for members of parliament following the death of a cabinet minister in a suspected Tamil Tiger bomb attack, officials said yesterday.

Armed Pak tribesmen vow to hunt down militants

Thousands of armed tribesmen met in a remote Pakistani district yesterday vowing to organise a lashkar (legion) to hunt down al-Qaeda-linked militants blamed for killing eight of their kinsmen.

Japan PM urges opposition to back Afghan mission

Japan's embattled Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda yesterday urged the opposition to support resuming a naval mission backing the US-led "war on terror" ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote.

Pakistan hits out at UN nuclear chief

Pakistan rejected the UN nuclear chief's criticism of its atomic weapons safety yesterday, saying its arsenal would not fall into the hands of extremists and chastising his "irresponsible" remarks.

34 killed in Afghan snowfalls

Authorities said yesterday that at least 34 people had been killed in days of heavy snowfall across trouble-torn Afghanistan.

Rival clan wants Benazir's son to defect

After years of discord in Pakistan's top political dynasty, Benazir Bhutto's sister-in-law has stoked up the family feud by saying she wants the opposition leader's son to join her rival party.

3 US soldiers killed in Iraq

Three US soldiers were killed when they were attacked with small arms fire while conducting operations in northern Iraq, the American military announced yesterday.

Scotland Yard beefs up its team probing Benazir death

Scotland Yard has sent an explosives expert and two other detectives to Pakistan to beef up its team aiding the probe into the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, an official said yesterday.

White House warns Iran over naval incident

The White House warned Iran yesterday over a weekend confrontation between Iranian speedboats and US warships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Iran, IAEA close new chapter in nuclear talks

Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog have wrapped up the latest chapter in ongoing talks aimed at resolving ambiguities over the contested Iranian nuclear programme, the ISNA news agency reported yesterday.

Where humans live, coral fails

The world's coral reefs are in alarming decline, but what -- or who -- is most to blame?

Malaysia denies any freeze on Indian workers

Malaysia yesterday denied it had frozen the recruitment of workers from India, after reports quoted officials saying a ban was in place as the government cracks down on dissent by ethnic Indians.

Powerful quake strikes Tibet

A powerful earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale shook an uninhabited area of China's mountainous Tibetan region yesterday, an official with the Tibetan seismological bureau said.

Arts & Entertainment

10th Dhaka International Film Festival begins today

Tenth Dhaka International Film Festival, the biggest event of its kind in the country, begins today at the National Museum Auditorium. Over 100 full-length films, short films and documentaries from 40 countries are participating at the festival arranged by Rainbow Film Society in association with European Union, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Royal Norwegian Embassy, SIGNIS, Religion Today Film Festival and GMG Airlines.

Far yet actively connected to Bangladeshi music

Chanchal Khan has been away from Bangladesh for over two decades, as his past profession with the UN took him to places, thus depriving him of contributing to the arena of Rabindra Sangeet in Bangladesh as intimately as he would have wished to. Trained by exponents of Rabindra Sangeet, such as Sanjida Khatun, Zahidur Rahim, Wahidul Haque, and Debabrata Biswas in Kolkata, Chanchal Khan has been unusually passive in promoting himself. He is a 'self-imposed prisoner', as Abdul Ahad remarked once. Chanchal Khan owes his music pursuits to his friend for many years, Sadi Mohammad, an accomplished Rabindra Sangeet singer and a trainer who inspired Chanchal Khan to 'return to music' after a long pause. That was in the late '80s. He has been a member of 'Rabiraag', a front-line Rabindra Sangeet institution in Bangladesh.

Eight accorded reception in Pabna

Eight, including Amena Khatun, wife of Language Movement martyr Abdul Jabbar and Rokeya Khatun, mother of four martyrs who died during the Liberation War were accorded a reception at Ishwardi upazila, Pabna recently. The programme was held in the village 'Purba Tengri'. The programme was held during the inauguration of a television programme Jago Manush.

Drama serial “Chhayabari” begins tonight

New drama serial on Channel i Chhayabari begins tonight at 9:35pm.


Dilemma of democracy

SINCE independence, the people of Bangladesh had always held the aspiration of practicing democracy. The Constitution of Bangladesh says in the preamble: "Further pledging that it shall be the fundamental aim of the state to realise the democratic process, a socialistic society, free from exploitation -- a society in which the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedom, equality and justice, political, economic and social, will be secured for all citizens." The aim had been to achieve an ideal society fulfilling all the elements of social justice through practice of democracy.

The day Bangabandhu came home

THE crowds began converging in front of Tejgaon airport at dawn. By early morning, the place was dense with people -- young and middle aged, with a smattering of the aged -- come to welcome the founding father of the new state of Bangladesh, back home from ten months of captivity in Pakistan. It was January10, 1972. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was flying home from London, whence he had been flown by the Pakistan authorities a couple of days earlier.

Remembering Md. Nurul Islam

A career civil servant, joining the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1950, Mr. Nurul Islam spent thelast 10/11 years of his career as the Governor of Bangladesh Bank, which post he voluntarily relinquished due to ill-health at the age of 61, though he could still serve for another 4 years.

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