The Daily Star

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

News of: Sunday, 13th of January, 2008

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Govt mulls full lifting of ban on indoor politics

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the government is considering lifting restrictions on indoor politics countrywide and gradually relaxing the state of emergency depending on 'needs and circumstances'.

RMG workers block Rokeya Sarani again for wages

Several hundred garment workers yesterday took to Rokeya Sarani at Sheorapara in the capital and blockaded the busy street for the entire day in support of their 12-point demand including timely payment of their salary and overtime allowance.

No price relief despite good supply

Prices of essential commodities are yet to come down within the reach of Dhaka city residents, although the market got enough supply over the last one week.

Procession at DU to free teachers, students

Students of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday continued their demonstrations on the campus demanding unconditional release of the detained university teachers and a student.

CA's speech hailed

Leaders of political parties and civil society members yesterday hailed the chief adviser's speech saying that it would dispel doubt and confusion in people's mind about the next general election.

Probe into question leak after students protest on streets

The National University (NU) yesterday formed a committee to probe the allegation of question leak of 2nd Year Honours English Compulsory Examinations 2006.

Pro-Khaleda BNP for early polls, Saifur backers prefer roadmap

Pro-Khaleda faction of the BNP yesterday demanded holding the next parliamentary election as soon as possible while pro-Saifur faction of the party asked for the election to be held as per the roadmap announced by the Election Commission (EC).

Text of CA's address to the nation

Following is the English rendering of the address delivered by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed to the nation:

Sector commanders' convention now on Mar 15

Sector Commanders' Forum has announced fresh date for holding the convention of freedom fighters in the capital to mobilise public support for its demand for trial of the war criminals.

Mirza Aziz asks bankers not to harass clients in transactions

Finance and Planning Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday asked bankers not to harass clients during transactions. He criticised the banks for maintaining a bigger than normal spread between borrowing and lending rates.

AL, BNP against army role in governing process

Awami League (AL), BNP and Workers' Party yesterday opposed former autocrat ruler HM Ershad's recent proposal to involve the army in the governing process, saying this would hamper the country's democracy.

No progress yet in talks over rice import from Delhi

Dhaka and New Delhi made no progress yesterday in the first day's talks over the price of five lakh tonnes of rice that India agreed to export to Bangladesh, according to BBC Bangla Service.

Khulna Jute mill workers continue agitation over arrears, higher pay

Situation in the Khulna-Jessore industrial belt is still edgy as casual workers of six jute mills continued their agitation and work stoppage programmes to drive home a five-point demand that included payment of arrears and rise in daily wages.

Musharraf rules out UN probe

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf ruled out a United Nations probe into the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, in an interview with a French newspaper published yesterday.

Special assistants get portfolios

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday allocated portfolios to his three newly appointed special assistants.

Sidr victim's body found

Decomposed body of another Sidr victim was recovered from a ditch in South Khali Union under Sharonkhola upazila of Bagerhat district yesterday morning.

House owner files GD against Geeteara

A woman, who has long accused former adviser Geeteara Safiya Chowdhury and her husband Nazim Kamran Chowdhury of occupying her house at Gulshan, filed another general diary (GD) against the couple and several others yesterday.

10,000 living under open sky

Over 10,000 people who became homeless in the devastating fire at Rayerbazar Friday night are spending their days under the open sky.

Tigers in tatters

Bangladesh suffered another batting failure as New Zealand were firmly in control of the second Test at the end of the first day at Basin Reserve on Saturday.

Robbers kill expatriate in Sylhet

A Bangladeshi expatriate, who returned home from Saudi Arabia a month ago, was shot dead by a gang of robbers in Golapganj upazila early yesterday.

67 killed in fighting across Lanka

Thirty-six hours of intense fighting across Sri Lanka's north left at least 66 rebels and one soldier dead by midday yesterday, the military said, a day ahead of a visit by a Japanese peace envoy.

Pakistan kills over 50 militants

Pakistani troops killed more than 50 Taliban militants after fighting off an attack on a military fort in a troubled tribal region bordering Afghanistan, security officials said yesterday.

Hamas slams Bush vision of Palestinian state

The Islamist Hamas movement that controls the Gaza Strip yesterday dismissed US President George W Bush's vision of a Palestinian state.

Japanese divided over return to Afghan mission: Poll

Japanese people were divided over the nation's resumption of refuelling operations in the Indian Ocean in support of a US-led Afghanistan mission, an opinion poll showed yesterday.


Eradicating petty corruption

There is general agreement that the anti-corruption drive launched by the caretaker government has convinced people that no one is above the law. While that is a big stride we are nonetheless confronted with the problem of petty corruption that affects our life on a daily basis. This is the type of corruption that citizens encounter in their dealings with police stations, land registration offices, education department and Union Parishad personnel. There are also the very regrettable instances of aged, superannuated government employees having to gratify petty officials in their efforts to have their pensions settled and drawn. The list can be endless.

Passing away of Sir Edmund Hillary

We mourn with the rest of the world the passing way of a man who, during his lifetime, came to be the personification of courage, determination and firm resolve. Sir Edmund, who passed away recently at the age of 88, emerged on the world scene as the conqueror of the highest mountain peak in the world, when on 29 May 1953, he and his Sherpa companion Tenzing Norgay, set foot where others had failed and perished in their efforts previously.

Treading the trodden path

ONE may wonder if there are variants of democracy in developing and developed parts of the world. Barak Obama, winning the caucus at Iowa and placing second in the New Hampshire primary, may create history if he is elected as the first African-American president of the US, while his father's birthplace -- Kenya -- is smouldering after the presidential election, the results of which the opposition refuses to accept. In Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili has got the endorsement from OSCE, though many in his country consider the election as flawed.

Brain gain

THE first ever non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) conference ended on December 29 with a call to help the country become a middle-income state by 2021 with long-term contribution by the NRBs in the different fields of development. Around 1,400 Bangladeshi scholars, professionals and investors living across the world congregated in the city for a three-day conference to harness their skill and expertise in the country's development.

The globe's most important relationship

TOGETHER China, Japan and the US are today's most important trilateral relationship. Regional and global economic integration -- along with increasing openness, mobility and democratisation -- is currently shaping US-Chinese-Japanese relations. Only domestic politics or virulent nationalism could disrupt what promises to be a positive new decade for great-power relations in East Asia.


Repeat offence

The pitch at the Basin Reserve wore a more shaven look with the green grass taken out but the Bangladeshi batsmen found still found life difficult and were shot out for 143 after being put in. By close New Zealand had reached 134 for 3 with Stephen Fleming batting on a chancy 39.

Steyn seals series

Marlon Samuels made a defiant century but the pace of Dale Steyn secured a series victory for South Africa on the third day of the third Test at Kingsmead Saturday.

Pollock ends on Feb 3

South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock has announced his retirement from international cricket following the second day's play against West Indies here Friday.

Sonali clinch V-Day crown

Sonali Bank shrugged off Bangladesh Army's early lead to become unbeaten champions in the Dhaka Bank Victory Day Hockey tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Veeru's superb reminder

Explosive opener Virender Sehwag made a strong case for a Test recall with a typically swashbuckling century on the final day of India's three-day tour match against an Australian Capital Territory XI here on Saturday.

ZC hopeful of England tour

Zimbabwe will look to the ICC to ensure that their future tour commitments go ahead as planned. Recent reports suggest that the UK government are uneasy in allowing Zimbabwe to tour the country as planned in 2009 and might not let the tour go ahead. However, while the government wants the series to be scrapped, it will allow Zimbabwe to take part in the ICC World Twenty20, scheduled to take place in England in 2009.

Madugalle invites Kumble, Ponting

ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle has requested rival captains Anil Kumble and Ricky Ponting to be present for a "cool-off" session at Perth on Monday, two days before the third Test begins there.

Saif, Moni enjoy lead

Abdullah Al Saif and Arifa Khatun Moni continued their winning ways to jointly lead the table in the 28th National Sub-Junior (under-16) boys and girls chess championship after the end of the fourth round at the federation hall-room yesterday.

Pawar won't pull the plug

There is no possibility India will pull out of their tour of Australia even if Harbhajan Singh's three-Test suspension is not lifted, according to the BCCI president Sharad Pawar. The board has given Pawar the sole authority to cancel the rest of the trip and earlier comments attributed to Pawar indicated he may use that power if he was not satisfied with the result of Harbhajan's appeal.

6 months in jail for Jones

Disgraced former athletics star Marion Jones was sentenced Friday to six months in prison for lying about taking steroids in a scandal that cost the sprinter her five Olympic medals.

Klinsi relishes challenge

Juergen Klinsmann said on Friday the high expectations of his first club coaching job would only make his task more enjoyable when he takes over at German giants Bayern Munich next season. "I feel honoured to be the coach at Bayern Munich," Klinsmann said at a news conference after flying in from his home in California after the club announced he would succeed current coach Ottmar Hitzfeld on a two-year contract from July 1, 2008.

'Serie A has racism'

Japan star Shunsuke Nakamura has blasted Italian football for its racism in an interview published on the official UEFA website.

Redknapp says no

Harry Redknapp admitted Saturday he had been offered a "terrific opportunity" to take over from Sam Allardyce at Newcastle, but that it would not have been right to walk out on Portsmouth.

Serena sad for Marion

Tennis star Serena Williams said Saturday she felt sorry for disgraced former sprinter Marion Jones, but agreed her jailing sent the right message to drug cheats.

Mixed news for Roma

Roma received mixed news on Friday as Romania forward Adrian Mutu insisted he will not be joining the club but Brazilian winger Alessandro Mancini pledged his future to the Romans.

Lehmann's move is off

Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will not be signing for Borussia Dortmund due to "personal reasons", the German Bundesliga club announced Friday.

Lyon snap up duo

Lyon bolster their squad by completing the double signing of Cesar Delgado and Marc Crosas. The French champions paid Mexican side Cruz Azul 7.25 million euros (£5.47m) for 26-year-old Argentina forward Delgado, who pens a three-and-a-half-year deal.

Akram set for City

Iraq international midfielder Nashat Akram, who plays for Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates, is set to sign for Premiership club Manchester City, an official of the Emirati club said on Friday.

'Settle Sydney first'

Australian coach Tim Nielsen said one of the biggest issues facing his all-conquering side as it prepared for the third Test against India at the WACA Ground was confronting the bitter fallout from the controversial second Test in Sydney.

Matuail, Jurain in semis

Matuail Milon Smriti and Jurain Janata won their respective matches yesterday to complete the semifinal line-up of the Exim Bank Women Kabaddi League at the Kabaddi Stadium.

Sonali Otit polls held

Former BOA secretary general and star hockey player Bashir Ahmed has been elected president and ex-footballer Mosabber Hossain the general secretary of Sonali Otit Club for a two-year term.

Edison, Shoma lift TT titles

Biman's Edison had to fight hard to lift the men's singles title of the Victory Day table tennis competition at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium yesterday.

'We'll talk back'

Virender Sehwag has come out in support of Harbhajan Singh, saying he believed Harbhajan never said anything racist. Sehwag also said he hoped there would be no sledging in the Perth Test, which begins on Wednesday, but the team would respond if there was.

Ponting points at ump burnout

Ricky Ponting has called on the ICC to expand its elite umpiring panel and believes officials are as much at risk of burnout as players, if not more. Ponting hopes that increasing the elite group from ten men would help reduce umpire fatigue and thereby limit on-field errors, such as those that plagued the Sydney Test.

Yousuf ready for hearing

Mohammad Yousuf will have legal counsel representing him at the next arbitration hearing in Mumbai examining his pullout from the Indian Cricket League (ICL). The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the hearing on January 24 will arrange the representation.

Kooyong hattrick for Roddick

Andy Roddick sealed his Australian Open preparation with a third straight Kooyong Classic title on Saturday, defeating Marcos Baghdatis in the final 7-5, 6-3.


Processed food export up on high demand from expats

The export of processed foods has risen sharply in recent years as Bangladeshis abroad try to satisfy their craving for a taste of their homeland by stocking up on pickles, spices and snacks imported from Bangladesh.

Increased focus on motorised vehicles to take toll on economy

More than 15 percent of the country's GDP will have to be used just to keep Bangladesh's transport system going by 2030 if the country continues to prioritise motorised vehicles, a transport expert claimed in Dhaka yesterday.

Foreign adviser urges NRBs to invest in Sylhet

Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has urged the expatriates to come in a big way for setting up industrial units in the country, especially in Sylhet.

WTO negotiator sees 'lot of progress' in farm talks

The World Trade Organisation's chief agriculture negotiator said Friday that members have made "a lot of progress" in recent talks but more still needs to be done before an agreement is reached.

Use of hi-tech machines can double size of RMG industry

"The ready made garment industry can double in size if hi-tech machines are used" said Anwar-ul Alam Chowdhury Parvez, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), yesterday.

US trade gap balloons 9.3pc

The US trade deficit widened a sharp 9.3 percent in November to a larger-than-expected 63.1 billion dollars, mainly due to surging crude oil costs, the government said Friday.

Trade high on agenda as India PM starts visit to China

A long-standing boundary issue and trade deficit will be high on the agenda of a three-day state visit to China by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who leaves for Beijing today.

REHAB fair in Ctg from Jan 17

A three-day housing and real estate fair begins in Chittagong from January 17.

Gold price crosses $900 for first time

The price of gold on Friday crossed 900 dollars an ounce for the first time, driven by the prospect of a significantly weaker dollar as the market bet on new US interest rate cuts.

Chrysler, Nissan to team up on car for South America

Chrysler LLC and Japan's Nissan Motor Co. said Friday they will team up to sell a car in South America as the automakers look to extend their cooperation.

Bangas okays 15pc dividend

Bangas Ltd, a bread and biscuit manufacturing company, has declared a 15 percent dividend for its shareholders for the year that ended on June 30, 2007.

StanChart buys S Korean bank

Standard Chartered, the emerging markets bank, said Friday it had agreed to buy South Korea's Yeahreum Mutual Savings Bank for an undisclosed sum.

Dollar steadies

The dollar steadied Friday after the prior day's bashing as the market weighed the prospect of a fresh cut in US interest rates and a jump in the US trade deficit.

AB Bank gets new DMD

Niaz Habib has joined AB Bank as its deputy managing director, says a press release.


Ban war criminals from contesting polls

Women leaders at a meeting yesterday urged the government to hold the trial of the war criminals as soon as possible and enact laws that will prevent them from contesting the coming general election.

'Freedom fighters do not belong to any party’

Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said the Liberation War is a glorious chapter in our life and the freedom fighters are our pride.

New book by Prof Yunus launched in USA

Hundreds of people braved the Washington cold on Friday to queue up at the launching and signing ceremony of the latest book by Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus.

8 killed in road accidents

Eight people were killed and 23 others injured in separate road accidents in Tangail, Chittagong and Patuakhali yesterday.

Tk 13 lakh AL aid for Sidr-hit farmers

Bangladesh Awami League has taken an agriculture rehabilitation programme, involving Tk 12.48 lakh to help the farmers of three Sidr-hit upazilas recoup their crop losses.

14 shops burn down

About 14 shops burned down in a fire at Fatikchhari in the early hours of yesterday.

Reduce call rate, offload shares

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called on the cellphone operators to reduce call charges and offload shares in their companies.

125 DU teachers concerned over torture of Tarique

One hundred and twenty-five pro-BNP-Jamaat teachers of Dhaka University (DU) have expressed their concern over the report of physical torture of Tarique Rahman, senior joint secretary general of BNP.

Justice Sobhan to remain alive in people's mind

Justice KM Sobhan will remain alive in people's mind for his contribution to establishing human rights in the society, said the speakers at a meeting yesterday.

Trawler with Tk 5cr Indian goods seized

A trawler carrying contraband Indian goods, including clothes, worth about Tk five crore was seized at the estuary of the Bishkhali River in Patharghata upazila on Friday night.

Two arrested with 24 sacks of fertilizer

Two people were arrested with 24 sacks of fertiliser at Amnura in Sadar upazila on Friday night.

Jahangirnagar University Day celebrated

Jahangirnagar University (JU) celebrated the University Day 2008 yesterday with colourful programmes, marking its 37th founding anniversary.

Severe traffic jam at Mawa

Traffic movement remained disrupted for three consecutive days yesterday causing sufferings to thousands of passengers at Mawa Ghat in the district.

Police Service Assoc executives

Bangladesh Police Service Association has formed its new executive committee for 2008 with Nabo Bikram Kishore Tripura, additional IGP (admin), Police Headquarters, and Mahbubur Rahman, superintendent of police, Dhaka, as president and general secretary respectively.

5 students hurt in Dhaka College brawl

At least five Dhaka College students were injured in a clash between two groups of students last night over a trivial issue.

Dwijen, Mostafa win Prothom Alo Best Book of the Year Award

Dwijen Sharma and Ahmad Mostafa Kamal were honoured with Prothom Alo Barshashera Boi (best book of the year) 1413 Award in recognition of their contribution to literature.

GroupM workshop on business vision held

All GroupM agencies in Bangladesh -- Asiatic MindShare, Maxus and the newly launched Mediaedge:cia -- held the first ever combined workshop on setting their business vision for 2008 in Shillong, India, recently, says a press release.

Rehabilitation of city fire victims demanded

Communist Party of Bangladesh yesterday expressed sympathy for the victims of a devastating fire that broke out at Nimtoli slum in the city on Thursday, says a press release.


Dhanmondi Government Boys' High School Ex-Students Association (DExSA) will hold a 'Reunion 2008' on the school premises in the city on February 29, says a press release.


Century-old perfume industry in Moulvibazar faces closure

About 400 perfume (attar) producing factories in hilly Baralekha upazila in Moulvibazar have been closed due to alleged hassle and harassment by land officials and BDR.

800 chickens die in 3 days, 1300 other poultry birds culled

About 800 chickens died of bird flue during last three days in Kulaura upazila while District Livestock Department culled 1283 more chickens, ducks and parrots in one square kilometre area of the affected place.

743 fertiliser sacks seized in Pabna, 3 arrested

Joint forces during a daylong drive recovered 743 sacks of fertiliser from different areas of Santhia and Bera upazilas in the district yesterday and arrested three traders for hoarding and selling fertiliser at high prices.

3 dredgers engaged to keep Baghabari channel navigable

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) permanently engaged three dredging units for dredging operation along the Paturia-Baghabari channel in the Jamuna to ensure its navigability for the entire dry season, BIWTA sources said.

3 jail warders suspended in Kishoreganj

Three security men of Kishoreganj jail were suspended yesterday as they attacked and injured four visitors allegedly for realising money.

Land official sued for extortion

An extortion case was filed against a settlement officer of Shyamnagar upazila settlement office Friday night

UPDF activist held after gunfight in Rangamati

Army men yesterday arrested an activist of UPDF and recovered 10 bullets and documents from him after a gunfight at remote Udoipur of Sajek in Bagaichhari upazila of Rangamati district.

UNDP official visits Kantanagar Temple

The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) country director in Bangladesh, Monoj Basniyat yesterday visited the historic Kantanagar temple in Kaharol upazila.

BNP leader held with arms

A local BNP leader and former chairman of Shovnali Union Parishad (UP) in Assassuni upazila has been sued for allegedly keeping firearms and ammunition illegally.

'Land grabber' sent to jail in Satkhira

An alleged land grabber and four others, arrested by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Thursday with firearms were sent to jail yesterday.

Workshop for child journos ends

A two-day training workshop for children journalists concluded here yesterday.


Price hike

The exorbitant price hike of daily essentials, particularly coarse and other varieties of rice, edible oil, flour, lentils, and potatoes has put the common and fixed income groups in a very difficult situation. The prices of these commodities are very high and are showing an upward trend every day, it is now beyond the purchasing capacity of many common people. They have been facing acute hardship and, therefore, are trying to manage with less intake of food or avoiding some of these commodities in daily meals and even many daily wage earners have reduced their daily meals from three to two. On January 2, on my way to office, I saw a long queue of thousands of people of various classes waiting to purchase rice in a BRD sponsored shop designated for selling daily essential commodities. It clearly indicates that the market prices of rice and other consumable commodities have gone very high.

Hasina's illness

Awami Leaguers have put forward the demand that their leader Sheikh Hasina be sent abroad for medical treatment, although her lawyers who recently met with her did not notice any such serious illness and she gave a political statement, as usual, to her party supporters. She is an accused in a corruption case and at present an under trial prisoner. If she is sick, why the government should be asked to arrange her medical treatment abroad at the cost of the public exchequer is not understood. Very recently, there was a similar demand from the Awami League to send her husband for medical treatment abroad at government expenses. She is like any other ordinary citizen of the country and, therefore, should get the treatment from the government which an under trial prisoner is supposed to get. Otherwise, if she can afford, she should be free to avail any foreign medical treatment, provided legally allowed. Under no circumstances should the public funds be used for her medical treatment abroad.

China-Japan ties

Yasuo Fukuda's recent visit to China is a reflection of the fact that Fukuda looks forward to warming ties with China and the fact that by improving relations with China, he also looks to bolster his own position ( in effect, this would help him overshadow some of the domestic problems he has been facing, to a certain extent). While his predecessor looked to adopt a more tougher stance towards China, Fukuda is certainly not following suit. And this was clearly reflected by the refusal of his government to meet the Dalai Lama in November last year (when he visited Japan). The excuse given by his govt. was that Dalai Lama was not "important" enough and hence they could avoid meeting him.

Release of top leaders

The year 2008, the long awaited election year for the people of Bangladesh has dawned with a lot of hopes and aspirations. The EC (Election Commission) has declared a roadmap for a free, fair and credible election this year. This is the first time the people of Bangladesh are expecting to cast their votes with voter ID bearing their photos. There is lot of enthusiasm among public to enlist their names as voters. As the election time is nearing the voices of some of the leaders of certain political parties are becoming louder every day. They are dreaming that their old days are coming back and the people are always with them as they were and ready to sacrifice their lives for them as they did in the past, as if they (these leaders) have not done any wrong to the people and were not involved in any anti-people activities. They are trying to make the people believe that all the actions against them by the present CTG are vindictive. They are clean and "fuler mato pabitra"-- the slogan their supporters used for them.

Good idea

It was interesting to learn about the conference organised by Scholars Bangladesh at Hotel Sheraton, Dhaka. Some of the private universities in Bangladesh have already started doing that. Fulbright exchange programme is an excellent vehicle to set examples of this kind of projects. I was fortunate to spend six months at the BRAC school of public health on a Fulbright fellowship. I found the following areas in which we can learn and contribute: course design and implementation, web based learning, teaching, research and development, net working, etc.

Gold and oil prices

A London based back page report on the rising gold prices (Jan:02) was published in a local English daily. However, I believe that it is not relevant to the vast majority of Bangladeshis; except for the very few well-to-do, who are planning weddings this winter. In addition, the same daily, in its bottom left hand column in the same page, writes about the Paris based report of oil reaching 100 dollars a barrel soon this year! More miseries are in store for bus passengers and those who use oil driven transports. It will be no wonder if our electric power, water and fertiliser prices follow suit!


Bush asks Syria, Iran to stop backing Iraq violence

US President George W Bush said yesterday his goal of reducing troop numbers in Iraq by July was on track but called on Syria and Iran to stop fuelling violence in the war-torn country.

Nationalists win Taiwan polls

Taiwan's opposition nationalists, who favour closer ties with China, yesterday declared a landslide victory in legislative elections, claiming to have won more than two-thirds of the seats.

al-Qaeda in Pakistan 'a grave concern'

al-Qaeda's use of Pakistani tribal areas as safe havens is a "grave concern" but it is up to Pakistan to address the problem directly, US military chief Admiral Michael Mullen said Friday.

Iraqi parliament okays bill to rehabilitate Baathists

Shia and Sunni members of Iraq's parliament buried their differences yesterday to pass a controversial bill allowing former officials of Saddam Hussein's Baath party to return to public life.

IAEA presses Iran on cooperation

UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei yesterday met Iranian leaders on a visit aimed at persuading Tehran to intensify cooperation with his agency over its disputed nuclear programme.

US presidential race gathers steam ahead of new balloting

The US presidential race gathered steam yesterday as candidates promised fresh initiatives to bolster the lackluster economy ahead of a new round of primaries in the blue-collar state of Michigan.

30 killed in Nigerian fuel tanker blast

At least 30 people were killed and several shops razed yesterday when a fuel tanker exploded in Port Harcourt, the hub of Nigeria's multi-billion-dollar oil industry and a target of attacks by militants.

World warns Kenya to avert fresh bloodshed

Kenya's feuding factions came under fresh diplomatic pressure yesterday to give mediation another chance, after the opposition threatened mass rallies to protest disputed presidential polls.

Benazir niece criticises Bilawal appointment

Benazir Bhutto's niece described as "dangerous" the idea that the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) must be led by a member of the family in an interview published Saturday.

'Saudi cannot be launchpad for Iran attack'

A leading Saudi newspaper yesterday ruled out any attempt by the United States to use the oil-rich Gulf kingdom as a launchpad for a possible war on Iran over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

ADB to help SE Asia find ways to cut greenhouse gases

The Asian Development Bank said Friday it will conduct a yearlong study on what six Southeast Asian countries can do to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

Patients diagnosed with dementia survive for 4 yrs

Individuals with dementia live on average for around four more years after they are diagnosed with the disease, according to a study published in Saturday's British Medical Journal.

Syrians rebuilding bombed site: Report

Syrians are rebuilding a desert site bombed by the Israeli military last September on suspicions it was supposed to house a nuclear reactor, The New York Times reported on its website late Friday.

Arts & Entertainment

"Sound knowledge of films is a must for reviewers"

RENOWNED film critic Nenad Dukic, the vice-president of The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), is in town. Nenad has come here to attend the 10th Dhaka International Film Festival. At the festival he will present a keynote paper at the seminar titled “Role of a Film Critic in Contemporary World Cinema”. Moreover, he is a member of international jury of the 'Australasian Competition' at the festival.

Reunion at Chhayanat Shangskriti Bhaban

Cultural organisation Chhayanat arranged a programme at its premises on January 11. It was a cheerful evening for students and teachers of Chhayanat Shangskriti Bhaban as the organisation arranged the programme to mark their reunion. Eminent artistes of various sections of our culture performed at the programme. The evening featured songs, dance, and recitation.

On a Parisian firebrand and her lifetime

Books on foreign philosophers are a run of the mill for Professor M. Shah Qureshi, who studied in Sorbonne and lived for quite a while on the Left Bank. The book that celebrates the 100th birth anniversary of Simone de Beauvoir was launched recently at Alliance Francaise. Sitting in the cultural center's “bibliotheque”, Professor Qureshi spoke at one breath to The Daily Star.

Australasian Competition and Women Filmmakers section begins

The most attractive section of 10th Dhaka International Film Festival- Australasian Competition began on January 11.

Concert For Bangladesh

After the devastating cyclone Sidr many organisations have been quick to come forward to the aid of Sidr victims -- raising funds for the affected through charity concerts. On January 11 yet another name was added to the list -- Interspeed Activation. The organisation held a concert at the Birsrestha Shahid Sipahi Md. Mustafa Stadium in Kamalapur.

"Metamorphosis" enthrals Delhi audience

The eternal questions of alienation and de-humanisation were the leitmotif of The Metamorphosis, recently staged in Delhi. The play was adroitly rendered by the Dhaka-based Centre for Asian Theatre (CAT) on January 8. The theatre, directed by Kamaluddin Nilu, played to a cosy auditorium at the National School of Drama as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the premier theatre-training institute.


Application areas of ICT

THE whole world is now a village through the effective use of ICT. In most developing countries, access to ICT based information is very limited, but we will have to have tried to implement it in our country for our next generation.

Tell the truth

ASKED by a journalist if he had "blood on his hands," General Pervez Musharraf said last week that it was "below my dignity," and his family background, beliefs and values were enough to prove that he was not involved in anyone's murder. He may well be right.

Foreign policy in the US presidential campaign

THE campaigning for nomination began almost twenty months ago in the United States, but foreign policy did not feature prominently in the debates. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007, has sparked debate on foreign policy among the presidential hopeful of both parties.

Star City

A keeper of nation's treasure

At a time when a large number of national heritage sites are languishing in oblivion, a private organisation has come up with a plan to draw a roadmap to rescue and protect them.

Parents, kids tense as admission battle nears

The stress level of parents and admission seeking students is once again escalating as the race for admission in government schools in the city is approaching.

An Ode to Winter

Chill in the air, lukewarm sunshine in the afternoon and scant fog at dusk characterise winter. In spite of the weak wintry features in this 'concrete jungle', the city dwellers still continue celebrating the season with passion. Poush Mela or winter fair at Ramna Batamul brought the flavours of culture and tradition in the midst of the hustle bustle of urban life. The celebration started early in the morning with a folk instrumental track when the timid winter sun just started shining. Freedom fighter and folk singer Abdul Jabbar Boyati and Dr Anisuzzaman inaugurated the celebration together lighting fire in a clay pot as a symbol of warmth. Udichi, Spandan, Bonhi Shikha, Nrityom and renowned artists welcomed winter with songs, dances, poetry recitals and blowing of shaankh. The fair also offered mouth-watering winter cakes like bhapa, maalpoa, chitoi, paatishapta, handcrafted items and fresh honey. Poush Mela first started in 1997 at the Rabindra Shorobor beside the Dhanmondi Lake.

Star Health

Home treatment of pneumonia safe and effective

Treating children with severe pneumonia at home is just as effective as treating them in hospitals, a new study has found. The study results could significantly change the way the illness is managed in developing countries, saving a significant number of lives every year and taking pressure off health systems.

Five steps to combat stress

Crrrrrrring! Someone is ringing the door bell impatiently. Hurriedly Tania’s mom opened the door. It was Tania. Tania’s mom could assume that something was wrong with her daughter. She looked quite upset and tormented. “What happened, Tania?” asked her mother. No reply. Again she asked with a soft voice. Tania shouted to her mom, “Oh, just leave me alone!” and slammed her room’s door.

Be relaxed.
Anxious people have higher heart risk!

Heart attacks may not be reserved for the hostile and driven among us — anxious, fearful people also have a higher risk, U.S. researchers reported recently.

Checklist to identify severe illness in infants

Medical experts have compiled a checklist of seven signs that mothers and healthcare workers can use to identify severe illnesses in newborn infants requiring urgent treatment in hospital.

Nepal radio breaks taboos to fight HIV/AIDS

Ignoring social taboos in this conservative nation, a Nepali radio programme on safer sex is spreading awareness against HIV/AIDS and offers life-saving advice to young people who are vulnerable to the disease.

4 health changes can prolong life 14 years

People who drink moderately, exercise, quit smoking and eat five servings of fruit and vegetables each day live on average 14 years longer than people who adopt none of these behaviors, researchers said.

The Daily Star

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