News of: Sunday, 16th of March, 2008
The real income of people working in the agriculture, manufacturing and construction sectors decreased by 2-5 percent last year, a recent study conducted by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) revealed.
The housing and public works ministry is at loggerheads with the Parliament Secretariat over the control of the Nam apartments and realising their increased rent from resident former lawmakers.
The government has yet to respond to the Election Commission's (EC) call for it to decide by early March whether the state of emergency would be lifted or relaxed for city corporation polls in April.
The Daily Star honoured in an award ceremony yesterday, the nation's 911 highest achieving 'O' and 'A' level students, including 55 who ranked among the world's top scorers in their subjects.
Prices of rice, pulses, chicken, egg and fish are increasing every day in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country for a week now, leaving people on middle and low incomes in further distress.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday said if people of all walks of life become aware of the negative impact of corruption, it would help check corruption in the society.
The 11th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) on Friday adopted Dakar Declaration pledging to preserve world peace and security, face the challenges of the Muslim Ummah and ensure development of the member states.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the commission (EC) is considering announcement of a tentative date for national elections after June as the final draft of voter list will be in their hands by then.
The caretaker government is planning to reform the fertiliser distribution system to ensure its smooth supply.
Sparkling eyes spoke of their dream of winning the world, as relentless applause for extraordinary achievements of around a thousand of 'O' and 'A' level students reverberated through the hall yesterday, followed by music and dance performances in Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium in the capital.
Both the Square Hospitals and the jail authorities yesterday denied exclusion of five physicians from the seven-member medical panel and said five more doctors have rather been included to treat Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina.
Notorious criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon told interrogators that he fled to India in 2004 after he lost the backing of former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar.
The Supreme Court hears today a government appeal against the High Court judgment on trial of a Tk 3-crore extortion case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR).
The government has authorised US company Chevron to conduct 3D seismic survey in the Lawachhara Reserve Forest.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is likely to punish national cricketers Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Abdur Razzak and Syed Rasel for playing in a cricket tournament in Narail yesterday.
Workers Party of Bangladesh yesterday expressed concern over the government's handling of the religious fundamentalists on the issue of national women development policy 2008.
BNP leaders close to Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah yesterday backed down from holding an organisational meeting of the party scheduled for today following request from the rivals.
The anonymous philanthropist, who earlier promised to donate $ 130 million to rebuild schools and battered lives of the Sidr victims, has deposited the money in the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
The National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan has decided to withdraw cases against PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari in Switzerland and Britain, Dawn News reported on Friday.
Tibet's exiled government said yesterday that about 30 people had been killed during unrest in Lhasa, as Chinese troops locked down the city amid fierce international scrutiny ahead of the Olympics.
At least four people were killed and more than 170 hurt yesterday when powerful blasts rocked an army munitions depot near the Albanian capital Tirana, with the prime minister predicting a "considerable" toll.
We welcome Bangladesh’s stand on trafficking and child labour in a meeting of the UN Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking held recently in Austria. It has helped frustrate the efforts of an international lobby to paint Bangladesh as a country where child labour, exploitation of workers and human trafficking are rampant.
The element of uncertainty which has been a feature of Pakistan’s politics since its general elections on 18 February persists, in a number of ways. That has, of course, little to do with the regime of General Pervez Musharraf, who has already called the newly elected national assembly into session. So far the president has given little cause for anyone to doubt his intentions, even if the election results have not been to his advantage. The problem, though, comes from within the Pakistan People’s Party. As the single largest winner of seats, though not an outright majority, the party is poised to form the next government in alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif. Improbable as the alliance between these old rivals may seem, the fact remains that in the circumstances it is the only credible option before the politicians opposed to President Musharraf.
The paradox facing Bangladesh today is whether elections would be able to arrest the economic slide by passing the baton of power to the elected representatives of the people, many of whom have sullied the name of electoral democracy, particularly during the kleptocratic rule of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.
"I want to be a Sonia Gandhi." So says Asif Zardari, co-chairman of Pakistan People's Party (PPP). The remark brings no credit either to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Yet, both should realise the significance of the remark, which is louder in India than in Pakistan and elsewhere. The general impression is that she does the back-seat driving while Manmohan Singh is at the wheel.
With Barack Obama running off eleven straight primary and caucus victories after February 7, fattening his seemingly insurmountable lead in pledged delegates, popular votes and states won, Hillary had a decision to make: To "go gentle into that good night" or "rage, rage" (with apologies to Dylan Thomas). She raged.
The national selectors surprisingly exclu-ded left-arm seamer Syed Rasel when they announced a 14-member squad yesterday by making two changes for this month's three-match one-day series against Ireland.
If we could only look instead of gawking, we would see horror in the heart of farce. (Henri Toulose-Lautrec)
As an all-rounder, Manzarul Islam Rana had the rare ability to win matches for be it the national side, a club or his divisional team. Being the match-winner is the ultimate tag for a cricketer but Rana's speciality was not just his abilities as a left-arm spinner, useful batsman, agile fielder or a good strategist but his humane sides beyond the game that made him stand apart.
England held a near impregnable lead of 421 runs in the second cricket Test against New Zealand as they reached 277 for nine at stumps on the third day here Saturday.
Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, has said that it is important to be No. 1 in the one-day rankings after blanking Bangladesh but added that what his team really wants is to beat India in the three-Test series starting in Chennai on March 26.
The final of the Dhaka Premier League Twenty20 Cricket competition between Abahani and City Club will be held at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.
Ispahani Limited earned the title sponsorship right for the three-match one-day series between Bangladesh and Ireland to be held at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Youngmen's Club Fakirerpool beat Jatrabari Krira Chakra 2-0 in a Super Six match of the Senior Division football match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith replaced India's Sachin Tendulkar as the world's top-ranked one-day batsman after his fine display in the 3-0 series sweep in Bangladesh.
Arsene Wenger believes Robin van Persie's return to full fitness is perfectly timed to revitalise Arsenal as they close in on Premier League and Champions League glory.
Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova, bidding to preserve her so-far perfect season, breezed into the third round of the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters Series tournament on Friday.
Harry Kewell has been told by Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez that he faces an uphill battle to land a new contract at Anfield.
Schalke 04 recovered from a goal down to beat lowly MSV Duisburg 2-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday after facing a chorus of boos at halftime.
Manchester United defender Jonny Evans will not face charges over allegations he raped a girl at the club's Christmas party, officials said on Friday.
William Gaillard, advisor to UEFA president Michel Platini, described as a "ridiculous story" claims that the Champions League draw was fixed, saying "cheating is impossible."
Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said Friday he has indefinitely suspended argumentative Argentine international defender Martin Demichelis.
Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer has labeled the German giants' UEFA Cup opponents Getafe as "nobodies" with the sides set to meet in the quarterfinals next month.
Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero said on Friday he was convinced he could force his way into Italy coach Roberto Donadoni's Euro 2008 squad.
France striker Nicolas Anelka wants to finish his career at Chelsea after growing tired of constantly changing clubs.
Narayanganj registered their second win in the final round of the JFA Cup Under-15 football championship beating Cox's Bazar 3-1 at Rajshahi Divisional Stadium yesterday.
FIFA will press ahead with controversial proposals to limit the number of foreign players available to clubs, president Sepp Blatter said on Friday.
New Zealand remained confident they could chase down England's target of more than 420 runs to wrap up the second Test and series, pace bowler Kyle Mills said after the third day's play on Saturday.
As the clock winds down to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) executive board meeting in Dubai, the selection of the next chief executive is developing into a potentially fractious matter with the Indian board backing the candidature of IS Bindra, its former president, who, the ICC secretariat is keen to point out, is over the specified age. In the event of Bindra failing to get the job, it is likely to go to Imtiaz Patel, a South African, who heads Supersport, the broadcast network.
Kamal and Mithun ensured Lalmatia won by 19 runs win over Mariners Youngs Club in the First Division Cricket League at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Former England opening batsman Marcus Trescothick has withdrawn from his county side's pre-season tour of the United Arab Emirates after the recurrence of a stress-related illness, the club said on Saturday.
The discontent against former Indian coach Greg Chappell over his bad blood with local hero Sourav Ganguly yesterday made him face a demonstration here when he was on a talent hunt.
Sri Lanka spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi on Saturday was handed a four-year suspended jail sentence for driving carelessly and killing a woman pedestrian in 2003.
Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag yesterday insisted that his is a balanced side even though they could afford the Australian tour hero Ishant Sharma because of his "high price".
England's hopes of victory in the second Test against New Zealand at Wellington have taken a serious blow after their hero of the first innings, James Anderson, twisted his left ankle while playing football on the outfield after the close of the third day's play.
New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram was fined 20 percent of his match fee after being found guilty of dissent during the second Test against England, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Saturday.
The country's processed spices market is heating up as big business houses battle to win shares in the booming market, which is growing by around 15 percent a year.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the US plane maker Boeing to buy 8 new-generation aircraft worth $1.265 billion (equivalent to Tk 8,728 crore).
Gold prices topped 1,000 dollars for the first time and oil futures rocketed to a record high 111 dollars this week as the dollar plunged to all-time lows against the euro.
Another Bangladesh shipbuilding company signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with a Dutch firm to supply eight sea-going ships worth US$87 million.
With only a day away, candidates for the FBCCI directorship are now busy with the last leg of electioneering to drum up voters' support.
Communist China is today the second biggest economy in an open market global regime. It is a message has not been lost on our nearest communist provincial government, West Bengal.
The country's garment export grew strongly in January on the back of hefty exports to EU and USA markets, said officials of the EPB (Export Promotion Bureau).
The government at a meeting with businessmen yesterday set a time frame for receiving delivery of imported goods after purchase of Delivery Order (DO) to ensure uninterrupted supply in the market as well as control the soaring price of essentials.
Pointing to the rise in the number of both local and foreign tourists at the end of January, local tour operators have sought proper government support and easy visa system for flourishing the tourism industry.
Women entrepreneurs yesterday urged banks and other non-banking financial institutions to provide collateral-free long-term credit for SMEs run by women entrepreneurs.
Bangladesh meets 73 percent of its demand for spare parts by import, although there is an opportunity to produce those locally, a seminar in Dhaka was told yesterday.
The next fiscal year's budget would focus on increasing GDP growth, employment generation and poverty alleviation, the finance and planning adviser said yesterday.
Asian stocks closed mostly down on Friday due to concerns about the US economy, a sliding greenback, near record high oil prices and the debilitating global credit crunch.
Prime Finance & Investment Limited, a leading non-banking financial institution and full-fledged merchant bank, recently signed an agreement with Confidence Salt Limited to manage its proposed initial public offering (IPO).
Bibiyana, one of the largest gas fields in Bangladesh, has completed one year of its operation on March 12.
Bangladesh received at least US$ 1,107 million in foreign aid during July-February period of the current fiscal year, which is the highest-ever disbursement by bilateral and multilateral donors during the same period in yesteryears.
President George W. Bush acknowledged Friday that the US economy was going through a tough period but avoided talk of recession, as he sought to reassure voters that better times lay ahead.
Egyptian doctors staged a protest on Saturday outside their union headquarters in Cairo to demand better pay amid national anger over skyrocketing food prices.
Thailand and neighbouring Myanmar have signed an agreement to boost investment during a one-day official visit to the military-run country by the kingdom's premier, state media said Saturday.
March 09-March 13, 2008
Medical experts at a seminar yesterday called for setting up cancer registry in all hospitals in order to ensure proper treatment for patients suffering from the deadly disease.
Election Commissioner Brig Gen (Retd) M Sakhawat Hussain yesterday reiterated that elections would be held by the end of this year in accordance with the roadmap announced earlier.
Union parishad (UP) chairmen and members of Barisal Division yesterday called for a strong, autonomous local government system to ensure sustainable democracy and promote good governance in the country.
Bangladesh wants an action-oriented OIC focussed on implementation of resolutions rather than remaining satisfied with their adoption, Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed
Teachers of different universities yesterday demanded immediate cancellation of the international tender process for offshore oil and gas exploration and all agreements on gas with multinational companies in order to ensure energy security in the country.
Agriculture, Forest and Environ-ment Adviser CS Karim yesterday urged the university teachers and researchers to utilise their knowledge and experiences for the development of the country.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government to take special initiative to export manpower from monga-prone areas of the country to eliminate seasonal hunger from those regions.
Family members of slain college student Kamrul Islam Momin yesterday demanded judicial probe into his killing.
Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) President Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday expressed concern over the fraudulent practice by a vested group in the name of NGO activities in different areas of Natore.
The JCD leaders of the 80s yesterday demanded release of all political prisoners, including two former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina.
Sammilita Sangskritik Jote yesterday expressed concern over the government's refusal to give permission to Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) to hold their national convention.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) gunned down a Bangladeshi national at Kharamura frontier in Sribordi upazila early yesterday.
A garment accessories supplier and a security guard were shot by a gang of criminals and extortionists in separate incidents at Mirpur in the city yesterday.
Former Justice Habibur Rahman Khan yesterday supported the cause of stranded Pakistanis saying that those who were born here should get the Bangladeshi citizenship.
Several hundred students of Government Titumir College yesterday blocked the road in front of the college for two hours demanding speed breaker and a footbridge on the road and a canteen at the college.
A daylong healthcare programme for farmers was held at Tongibari in Munshiganj yesterday as part of awareness campaign initiated by 'Hridoye Mati O Manush' of Channel i and Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital.
Sandoz Gold Award was conferred on three renowned physicians yesterday for their outstanding contributions to health sector.
At least two people were killed and 15 others injured in separate road accidents in Gopalganj and Rajshahi yesterday.
Chief Adviser's Special Assistant Brig Gen (retd) MA Malek yesterday said the government has taken stern actions against the government officials for the negligence of whom some local NGOs swindled huge money out of their depositors.
Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTBL) and Dhaka University Alumni Association (DUAA) yesterday jointly launched a financial programme styled "MTBL and DUAA Jubilation" for meritorious students of the university.
Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) has invited nominations from individuals and organisations for Chand Sultana Literacy Prize 2007, says a press release.
The Centre for Foreign Affairs Studies (CFAS), a private think-tank, will hold a talk on “India and South Asia in an Emerging World Order” at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel at 3:00pm tomorrow.
The Advertising Club, Dhaka with the support of Save the Children-USA organised a daylong contest 'Sharpener 2008' for under-30 Bangladeshi creative professionals at the club premises on Friday, says a press release.
Soroptimist International Club of Dhaka observed the International Women's Day on March 9 at their Literacy Centre at Maghbazar in the city, says a press release.
The library services of British Council, Chittagong will remain closed from today to Wednesday due to annual stock taking, said a press release yesterday.
The annual general meeting (AGM) of Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association (Belta) was held at the British Council Auditorium in the city on Friday, says a press release.
Speakers at discussions on World Consumers' Rights Day yesterday urged immediate enactment of the consumers' rights protection act to enable people to take legal measures against the producers of sub-standard commodities and adulterated food.
The Tk 12 crore 'Mixed crop cultivation project' that created great enthusiasm among hill people is virtually ending in failure, much to the frustration of farmers.
A reception was accorded to female freedom fighters and wives of martyred freedom fighters at a function held at Zila Parisad auditorium here yesterday.
Speakers at a condolence meeting here yesterday paid rich tributes to Ashraful Alam Tutu, a valiant freedom fighter, progressive politician and development activist.
Farmers in Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts are now selling potato at cheaper prices after attaining its bumper production in the current season.
Two persons were injured in a bomb attack on a brick field at Kumrabaria village in Sadar upazila in the distict Friday night.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday recovered a 130 kg touchstone statue worth about Tk 10 crore from village Salgaria in Pabna municipality.
Police recovered the body of a young woman from the cabin of M V Rajhangsa-7 plying on Dhaka-Mehendiganj route on Friday.
Every agro-based country ensures its overall progress based on rural development. Most of the people live in rural areas. Agriculture and other secondary and unrecognised occupations define their income network. Rural development is multidimensional, desirable positive change in rural areas. It will never be possible to achieve in one or two days. It is a continuous process. Normally, rural development concentrates on the rural women, men, children & disadvantaged groups for changing their lifestyle.
I read with interest the article 'Death of two tigers: Immature science in immature hands?' in your newspaper on Friday February 22nd.
I was travelling by bus on 24.2.08. The bus was overcrowded. After coping with the initial hassle I started minding to the talks around me. I heard a loud voice, some time choked, of seemingly an old man. His voice overpowered all the sounds and noises around us. He was speaking as if the people, whom he holds responsible for his suffering are just in front of him. His main grievance was against the price hike of essential commodities due to which it was difficult for him to survive with his family. He was straight in saying "set aside the future goods, what we do with future goods if we do not survive at present."
Agriculture is the largest contributor of the economies of many developing countries, generating more than half of the annual GDP. Fifty percent of the world's poorest people are small and resource-poor farmers, and another 20% are the rural landless dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. It is unfortunate but true that we live in such a world where one amongst every six persons, in the developing world, has no access to food and 2.8 billion people live on less thanUS$2 per day. At the World Food Summit, 186 countries pledged a reduction by half in the number of undernourished people by 2015. Combating poverty involves actions to increase food security and per capita income. Increasing income of small and poor farmers contributes directly to the poverty alleviation of a large majority of the world's poorest people. Science and technology are globally recognised as the drivers of increased wealth and continuously improving standard of living. Agribiotech comprises a wide range of biological discipline, offers enormous potential to speed up the development of plant varieties with pro-poor traits such as drought tolerance, higher yields, increased nutritional value among others. Biotech/GM crops can play a great role to alleviate global poverty. In the USA, farm income gain from biotech crops(HT soybean, Bt potato, Bt maize etc.) is $15.9 billion. Biotech cotton has already made a significant contribution to the income of poor farmers in the first decade(1996-2005),and this can be enhanced significantly in the second decade. India has already adopted biotech crops and is benefited a lot. India's cotton areas represents 25% of the global area of cotton but the indigenous cotton yields were some of the lowest in the world. It was in 2002 when India adopted Bt cotton(a biotech crop) for the first time and became the leading cotton growing country of the world in 2007.Approximately 3.8 million small and resource-poor farmers planted Bt cotton. China has been also benefited hugely by producing biotech crops like Bt cotton, biotech rice.
It was a great pleasure to be present at the NRB conference in Dhaka in December 2007, and listen to your usual thoughtful speech! Sir, I am writing to you in response to your suggestion to the NRBs, to send you emails with our personal views and suggestions.
I appreciate Mr, Rashed Suhrawardy for writing a column entitled “Hasina should be allowed medical treatment abroad immediately” in The Daily Star on 18th February, 2008. I do also agree with him on the point that Sheikh Hasina should be allowed medical treatment abroad immediately. This is not because Hasina was the prime minister of Bangladesh that she should be allowed to go abroad for her treatment. But the point is that “a nine member medical team after examining the detained former prime minister at Square Hospital in the city made three recommendations including sending Hasina to the United States for treatment of her hearing problems”. Dr Syed Modasser Ali, Hasina's personal physician and also a member of the medical team that conducted her check-up at the Square Hospital said that she needs treatment of her ears in the United States. “ Her hearing could be permanently impaired if she is not given treatment immediately. She needs treatment in the US where she received ear treatment earlier”, said Dr Modasser.
Bangladeshi students are studying in many countries in the world including developed countries like the USA, UK Australia, France and some Middle Eastern countries. We are proud that our boys and girls living abroad are doing well in their studies, which have been reflected in their results. I feel that Bangladeshi students are very serious in their studies, they have to do well because of the fact that they are from a poor ad underdeveloped country like Bangladesh. I have got two granddaughters living in Sydney, Australia who were born and brought up there. They are studying in standards XII and VI and by the grace of the Almighty both of them are doing well in their studies. Apart from schooling they are also equally good in cultural activities and received a good number of trophies. This has become possible mainly due to proper supervision of their parents, that is, my daughter and son-in-law, a Senior Engineer working in RTA NSW.
From the Holy Koran we come to know that the most merciful Allah has bestowed a mother tongue upon each and every caste, creed and colour. Mother tongue is so important that the people of a country express their ideas, thoughts, feelings, emotions etc. clearly through mother tongue. But it is an irony of fate that the then rulers tried to impose Urdu as mother tongue upon us, instead of Bangla. But the valiant sons of our country laid down their lives for our mother tongue, Bangla. Since then, the day is observed as Shaheed Day commemorating the sacrifice of the language martyrs. But since 2000, this day has been recognised by the UNO as “The International Mother Language Day.”
I want to discuss here the philosophical idea, "know thyself." Because it is an important subject and related with perfect lifestyle. Have you ever thought about?
Although many of the overbridges at different points in Dhaka city are not always used, indispensability of the same at certain places needs no emphasis. Such a bridge is badly needed near the country's biggest Heart Hospital (NICVD) alongside the Suhrawardy Hospital, before which run two divides of Mirpur Road and through which run speedy vehicles, from dawn to dusk, causing risks and hazards to hundreds of patients and their relatives.
What a great nation we are! We leave all the expensive granite and marble stones for our bathrooms, hotel floors and staircases and use only bricks, mortar, concrete or unglazed terracotta blocks for building our national monuments such as the Liberation War Memorial or the Shaheed Minar!! We celebrate Bhasa Shaheed Dibash on a day of the year with lots of pomp and grandeur, and send our children to English medium schools for the remaining days. Are we afraid that a granite monument may last forever outliving the life of this nation? Are we afraid that our children when they grow up may remain unemployed if they go to Bangla medium schools?
Growing popularity of cricket in Bangladesh can reshape its tourism and hospitality industry. Cricket and style go together, so should the cricket fans and their tours. That cricket boosts tourism can be seen from the instances of the West Indies, Dubai, Sharjah and India. The West Indies is the archetype for tourism development through cricket. They have been marketing tourism through cricket since the first World Cup held in 1975. Sharjah , India, Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka, all attract more tourists since they emerged as well known cricket venues.
The present nation-state era was preceded by Imperialism and before that Feudalism etc. There is no point in maligning the national leaders of the past. Each of the nationalist movement was based on existing socio-economic issues of a particular place or a region.
The correct use of one's mother tongue is one of the small pleasures of life. I agree in principle with the musing of Syed Badrul Ahsan (DS, Feb 6). It is like a good cup of tea, [note the rise of our Tommy Miah] prepared the way you like it.
With Hillary Clinton running to be the first woman in the Oval Office and Barack Obama bidding to be the first black president, charges of racism or sexism were inevitably never far from the surface.
Pakistan People's Party's senior vice-chairman Makhdoom Amin Fahim met Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman here on Friday.
Travellers' images and witness accounts of the deadly violence that rocked Lhasa Friday crisscrossed the Internet in near real time, opening up a widening channel of information in defiance of the Chinese authorities.
The sectarian bloodshed which has ravaged Iraq since 2006 is now running at a "much lower" level, offering a chance for leaders to push national reconciliation, a top UN official said yesterday.
Iran's conservatives have won 71 percent of the seats in parliament after legislative polls, according to partial results announced by Interior Minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi yesterday.
Azerbaijan warned it would review relations with France, Russia and the United States yesterday after they voted against a UN resolution calling on Armenia to pull out of Azerbaijani territory, Russia's Interfax news agency reported.
A Sri Lankan national appeared in court in London yesterday charged with endangering aircraft after a major security alert at the city's main Heathrow airport.
Hu hea China's Communist Party chief Hu Jintao was given five more years as president at an elaborate parliamentary ceremony yetserday, but his orchestrated victory was overshadowed by turmoil in Tibet.
Malaysia's Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said he will continue as prime minister despite calls to quit, but promised change in his administration after its humiliating election performance. Badawi has been under pressure to resign since his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition took a beating in March 8 polls, conceding four states and a third of parliamentary seats in unprecedented losses.
A suicide bomber blew up an explosives-filled car near international troops in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, killing two Afghan boys and wounding a NATO soldier, officials said.
US Vice President Dick Cheney starts his visit to the Middle East today, hoping to help revive the battered peace process and get Arab allies like Saudi Arabia to do more to curb Iran's influence in Iraq.
Singapore police yesterday arrested 10 people for holding a rally without a permit to protest against rising living costs, witnesses said.
Moves by Turkey's chief prosecutor to ban the Islamist-rooted ruling party and bar the president and prime minister from politics were "an attack on the will of the nation," premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday.
Iran yesterday reaffirmed its rejection of any talks with world powers over the nuclear crisis, saying it would only negotiate with the UN atomic watchdog.
Berlin will host an international conference on assistance to the Palestinian police and judiciary at the start of June, a German foreign ministry spokesman said Friday.
Fierce fighting has flared again overnight between Mahdi Army militiamen and Iraqi forces in the Shiite city of Kut in which two people were killed and eight wounded, police has reported.
Arts & Entertainment
The second International Music Festival commenced on March 14 at the Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Auditorium of the National Museum. The event is organised by The Centre for Education, Creative and Performing Arts in association with the Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO (BNCU) and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO). Artistes of Bangladesh and Iran performed on the first day of the festival.
On the second day (March 14) of the three-day long Adivasi Cultural Festival '08, artistes of six indigenous communities showcased their traditional art forms at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Troupes included Santal, Marma, Tanchanga, Khyang, Mandi and Cha-Janagosthi highlighted their lifestyle and ritual through the performances.
Stories of Change, a 55-minute documentary by young filmmakers Kamar Ahmad Simon and Sara Afreen that portrays the challenging lives of five successful women, was premiered on March 14 at the Russian Cultural centre.
A daylong Ashtokalin Kirtan featuring leelas (basic emotion of love, called bhava-bhakti, seeks to take an experience common to all human beings and transform it into a vehicle for salvation) done by Lord Krishna during the eight prohars (period) of the day was presented at Sri Sri Barodeswari Kalimata Temple, Rajarbag, Madartek.
Fantasy Kingdom, the biggest entertainment theme park in the country, celebrated its sixth anniversary on March 14. A sister concern of Concord Group, Fantasy Kingdom was officially launched on March 18, 2002 with the aim of providing a quality entertainment destination for urbanites. Soon after its establishment the park became a major attraction, especially on the weekends.
The children's recitation festival 2008 was organised by Bangladesh Recitation Academy on 14th March at Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Public Library. The chief guest at the show was Language Movement veteran Imdad Hossain. The academy's chairman Asaduzzaman Noor set off the inauguration ceremony. About five hundred child artistes from the country's 25 institutions took part in this event. The welcome speech was delivered by Mohammed Ahkam Ullah, general secretary of the organisation. Each group of children from different institutions went up to the stage independently to present their recital.
A scientific presentation was held recently at the Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban highlighting the topic “Cosmic Perception and Dawn of Human Civilisation”.
She may have come to be known as Bollywood's most sizzling actress but that has not stopped her from choosing to act in roles different from what she has done before. Bipasha Basu is going off the beaten track.
It is now day three of the trip and Bandarban is well behind us. We drive back to Chittagong and I consciously realise that driving at night makes me nervous. We board the train once again and head back to Dhaka. Our next road is not made of asphalt, tar or steel: it is the river Meghna. We board the M.V. Aboshar, Guide Tours' largest boat, and begin the 28-hour journey to Mongla, the gateway to the Sundarban.
The Warid Cricket Series 2008 between South Africa and Bangladesh of 2 Test matches and 3 ODIs has just concluded. The performance of the Bangladesh team has been dismal to say the least. They have been, to the utter disappointment of Bangladeshi fans at home and abroad, comprehensively defeated in both versions of the game. To be blunt, they have been literarily whitewashed.
One of the cardinal principles of the business world and sound economic management is that success is rewarded and failure is penalised. In a successful business organisation the CEO and his team of managers are rewarded with pay raises and bonuses for turning out a profit for the company and its shareholders. If the company makes a loss or is found guilty of breaking the law the CEO and his team are unceremoniously booted out or sent to jail.
Monday: It was the worst possible start to the week. Someone tampered with my morning fix. At the coffee-shop my barista/pusher shouted out something I didn't catch and placed a paper bucket on the bar.
The Hindu community is facing a severe shortage of cremation and burial grounds in the city with the biggest cremation ground at Postogola, established about 132 years ago, shrinking gradually due to encroachment.
At long last, the Uttara Model Town, set up around four decades ago, is going to have an underground drainage system.
A division bench of the High Court (HC) has ordered the government to show cause within two months why construction of the bridge over Gulshan-Banani Lake should not be declared illegal on environmental grounds.