The Daily Star

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

News of: Friday, 28th of March, 2008

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Mamun jailed for 10yrs

A special court yesterday awarded businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun 10-year and his wife Shahina Yeasmin three-year rigorous imprisonment in a case for amassing huge ill-gotten wealth, highest among the bigwigs.

SC cancels govt plea against Khaleda acquittal

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday refused the government's leave to appeal against the High Court (HC) judgment quashing two graft cases against former premier Khaleda Zia as the government failed to clearly explain years of delay in seeking the permission.

4 Shibir men to die for Ctg massacre in 2000

A Chittagong court yesterday sentenced four Islami Chhatra Shibir activists to death and three Shibir men to life imprisonment for killing eight people including six Bangladesh Chhatra League activists in Bahodderhat on July 12, 2000.

EC to ask govt for war criminals' trial

The Election Commission (EC) is preparing a set of recommendations for the caretaker government on some crucial issues including trial of war criminals.

Graft guru born

Detained businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun was in the spotlight as a controversial businessman, a close friend of Tarique Rahman and part of the mighty Hawa Bhaban coterie throughout the rule of BNP-led four-party alliance.

CHT finally coming under mobile network

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday announced the decision to introduce mobile-phone network in Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban.

105 killed as fighting rages thru' Iraq cities

At least 105 people have been killed in Iraq since fierce clashes between Shia militants and security forces broke out three days ago, according to an AFP tally based on reports by security officials.

CHT accord is to uphold hill people's rights

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace accord of 1997 was signed in full accordance with the country's sovereignty and integrity.

ACC okays charge sheet against Tarique, wife

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved submitting charge sheet against BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, his wife Dr Zubaida Rahman and mother-in-law Iqbalmand Banu in a case filed for amassing illegal wealth and hiding wealth information.

US steps up efforts for unilateral strikes

The United States is escalating unilateral strikes against al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan's tribal areas amid fears that the new government here will curtail such attacks, a report said yesterday.

Hasina's doctor writes letter to CA for ear treatment in US

Prof Modasser Ali, a personal physician of detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina, yesterday appealed to Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed again to take steps for sending the former premier to the USA for treatment of her ear.

Rice hopes for polls as per roadmap

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday expressed hope that the caretaker government in Bangladesh would play a sincere role to hold a free and fair election according to the announced electoral roadmap to return to democracy.

Duta threatens tough action if incident recurs

The Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) has decided to take up a tough action programme if the type of incident that occurred at the residence of Prof Dalem Chandra Barman early on Wednesday is repeated.

Indian generals visit Liberation War Museum

The visiting delegation of Indian generals visited the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka yesterday where they recalled the courage of Bangladeshis during the liberation war.

DA for govt employees in next budget

The government will announce dearness allowance for government officials and employees in the next budget, Finance Adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam said yesterday.

Geeta Pasi talks future of democracy with Sircar

have roles and important responsibilities," Geeta Pasi told reporters after the hour- and-a-half-long meeting with the speaker at his Bailey Road home.

Suspension of division cut to one-week

The jail authorities yesterday reduced the three-month suspension of division to five VIP prisoners to just one week --two days after imposing the punishment for violating the jail codes.

Islamic scholars to review nat'l women policy

The government yesterday formed a high-powered committee comprising country's eminent Islamic scholars for an urgent review of the National Women Development Policy 2008.

2 teachers, 117 students expelled on first day

Two teachers and 117 students were expelled across the country yesterday, the first day of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC), Dakhil and SSC vocational examinations, for resorting to unfair means.

ACC allowed to freeze bank accounts of ex-MP Salim

A Dhaka court yesterday allowed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to freeze the bank accounts of detained former BNP lawmaker MAH Salim and his family members in connection with a case filed against them for amassing wealth through illegal means.

Missing youth's skeleton found after 53 days

Police yesterday recovered the skeleton of a youth, missing for about two months, from Basabo in the city's Sabujbagh area.


Interference in DUTA affairs

THE nation has of late been rather surprised at the way the government has interfered in the elections to such independent bodies as the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Dhaka University Teachers' Association. Such action has not gone down well at all and is in glaring contrast with the oft-stated desire of the government to introduce democratic practice and transparency in national affairs. The high-handed manner in which the authorities acted on Wednesday in the matter of the DUTA polls has taken us aback. We believe that the action, at once inexplicable and abrasive, was uncalled for. We will not be surprised if citizens now begin to think that there is today an invidious desire among the powers that be to harass the teaching community. Where politeness in dealing with university teachers should have been the norm, there now seems to be a clear intention to show them disrespect.

Indian war veterans

IT was a reunion long overdue. The Indian war veterans of 1971 led by General JFR Jacob, former chief of staff of the eastern command of the Indian army, were in Dhaka to witness our Independence Day programmes in an atmosphere of friendly warmth and bonhomie, which rekindled the glorious memories of the nine month long Liberation War. They shared our moment of joy and pride, in a spirit of renewal after long 37 years. We missed Gen JS Arora, the GOC-in-C of the eastern command, on the occasion who had passed away recently.

Take it from Tagore

IN the Bengali year of 1347, roughly one year before he died, an interview with Rabindranath Tagore was published in the April-May issue of Shonibarer Chithi (The Saturday Mail). The interview had created quite a stir, as many didn't like what was said. The poet decried the national politics of Bengal, stating that puerile politicians ran it. Then he gave his final blow. He said he was disappointed in the future of the Bengali race.

A troika rules Pakistan

DESPITE the passing of over a month after the election, Pakistan still does not have a new government(s); the people having spoken loud and clear, what does this delay signify?

Hillary's economic Hail Mary

HELLO, Hillary? Hate to wake you, but it's 3 o'clock in the morning, and we have a real crisis. It's your campaign, senator. It's Hail Mary time. You've lost the bid for a revote in Florida and, it seems, in Michigan, which means your prospects for prevailing over Barack Obama in the primary popular vote by June are vanishing fast.


Bangladesh clinch series

Bangladesh secured the four-match Eastern Bank Women's ODI Series against Hong Kong, taking an unassailable 3-0 lead with one match in hand when the hosts won by 71 runs at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

FAs legalised

As expected, the councillors of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday approved the amendments in the BFF constitution.

Amla propels Proteas

India made a confident reply to South Africa's record 540 in the first cricket Test here, reaching 82 without loss by stumps on the second day on Thursday.

Villa stuns Italy

David Villa scored a stunning left-foot volley to give perennial under-achievers Spain a morale-boosting 1-0 victory over Spain here on Wednesday.

SL's maiden win in WI

Chaminda Vaas played a starring role with the ball, as Sri Lanka created a bit of history, when they completed a 121-run victory over West Indies in the opening Test on Wednesday.

Booters start training today

The national football team will start preparation today for the two coming international tournaments when new coach Abu Yusuf takes his boys to the Bangabandhu National Stadium for the first time.

GM Zia in 2nd place

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman's victory in the fourth round took him to second position of the 3rd Kolkata Open yesterday.

Local Snippets

Banani Bidyaniketon set a semifinal clash with Narinda Government High School in the boy's section of the 17th Bata School Handball competition today at the outer stadium handball ground.

Hammam due after midnight

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed Bin Hammam will arrive Dhaka after midnight on a brief visit.

President's Cup may come to Dhaka

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is looking forward to host the Group A matches of the AFC President's Cup football tournament in Dhaka after Kathmandu cancelled its plan to stage the April 20-24 competition due to political unrest.

Bahrain shock Japan

Bahrain scored an upset 1-0 win over Asian giants Japan in a World Cup qualifier here on Wednesday, while China held Australia and the two Koreas also fought to a goalless draw.

France outclass England

Fabio Capello has insisted that his bid to revive England remains on track, despite seeing his new charges comprehensively outclassed by a far from full strength France side.

Sullivan regains 50m WR

Australia's Olympic gold medal prospects soared Thursday with a pair of world records for sprint stars Eamon Sullivan and Libby Trickett at the national trials.

Klinsmann to let players sleep

Bayern Munich's superstars Franck Ribery and Luca Toni can expect to sleep on the job next season as new coach Jurgen Klinsmann introduces radical changes - including beds in the team room.

Pato makes the difference

Brazil coach Dunga believes Alexandre Pato can emulate Ronaldo after the teenage prodigy marked his international debut with a sublime winner against Sweden.

Swiss blitzed by Gomez

Germany got their Euro 2008 preparations back on track on Wednesday with an emphatic 4-0 win over tournament co-hosts Switzerland.

Dutch make stunning comeback

Striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar hit a late winner for the Netherlands to cap a superb fightback from 3-0 down to seal a 4-3 win over Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria in a friendly on Wednesday.

Donadoni backs Cannavaro

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni has backed captain Fabio Cannavaro despite the defender's mistakes in Wednesday's 1-0 defeat by Spain in a friendly.

Int'l friendly results

International football friendly collated results on Wednesday:

Schuster to remain coach

Bernd Schuster has been assured by club president Ramon Calderon that he will remain Real Madrid coach even if his side fail to win the league title this season.

Aguero sets up win

Sergio Aguero set Argentina on their way to a 2-0 victory over African champions Egypt in a friendly on Wednesday.

No revenge for Portugal

Midfielder Georgos Karagounis struck twice to give European champions Greece a 2-1 win over Portugal in a friendly on Wednesday.

Mahela praises bowlers

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene paid tribute to his bowlers for dismissing West Indies twice on what was widely acknowledged as a docile Guyana National Stadium pitch, and handing the visitors their first Test match win in the Caribbean.

Failure of NZ top-order

New Zealand's inability to produce runs from their top four batsmen was painfully exposed by England during the Test series that ended on Wednesday.

'England on way up'

England captain Michael Vaughan will return home to prepare for his side's series against New Zealand and then South Africa with the knowledge his side are showing signs of improvement.

Spirit of cricket, the IPL motto

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hopes to keep offensive language and rude gestures out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by having the eight team captains take a pledge to abide by the "spirit of cricket".

5 Kiwis get IPL leave

Five New Zealand players have been given permission to miss the start of this year's tour of England to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament.

Gavaskar will explain in May

India batting great Sunil Gavaskar will chair the next meeting of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) cricket committee in May but will then have to explain to his fellow administrators whether he feels he can continue in the role while pursuing a career as a media analyst.

A Hayden promise

Outspoken Australian opener Matthew Hayden has vowed to uphold what he calls the purity of Australia's baggy green cap in honour of the late cricket icon Bill Brown.

The good old Sree!

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth claims yoga and meditation have helped him calm down but going by his antics on Day Two of the first Test against South Africa on Thursday, the Kerala speedster remains very much an angry young man on field.


Huge expansion of ATMs planned nationwide

Cash Link Bangladesh, a company formed by a group of banks, and Euronet Worldwide have tied up to set up 505 automated teller machines (ATM) across the country in next three years, officials said.

Mobile operators to open battle in hill districts

The country's mobile phone operators have been given a new opportunity to intensify their rivalry as they battle to win customers in hill districts that are to be opened for mobile telephony.

Vietnam commits to supply Philippines with 1.5m tonnes of rice

Vietnam has committed to supply the Philippines with 1.5 million tonnes of rice this year to alleviate an expected rice shortage in the coming months, the Agriculture Department said Thursday.

Sizeable cut in lending rates in 3 months

Bank borrowers are likely to see a substantial cut in lending rates within the next three months, as the bankers yesterday promised to start reducing the interest rates from the next month.

Asia-Pacific exporters to be hit hard by US financial turmoil

Economic growth in Asia Pacific's developing nations will fall slightly in 2008 to 7.7 percent, the UN said Thursday, but buoyed by booming India and China, it will likely weather a slowdown in the US.

GP's Clinics on Wheels for the coastal poor

Grameenphone, the leading private mobile phone operator, has introduced two movable clinic styled 'Clinic on Wheels' to provide medical services to the poor people in the coastal areas.

NBR asked to impose higher tax on tobacco business

Economist Atiur Rahman yesterday urged the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to impose at least 20 percent tax on tobacco business to discourage smoking.

Spontaneous shop owners submit tax, seek TIN

For the first time in the country's history, more than 440 shop owners in Dhaka yesterday spontaneously applied for tax identification number (TIN) and 141 submitted their income tax return worth Tk 5,39,650.

New hospitals don't halt healthcare tourists

Kaium, a worker at a private commercial bank, has managed to scrape together Tk45,000 from his savings, family and friends to go to India next month to get treatment for his seven years son Ovi, who is suffering from a gastrological problem.

Clothing with a conscience

Look inside any TAC Social garment on sale in the group's Gulshan store, be it a designer t-shirt or a pair of ladies trousers and you will find a label with a unique number.

Grameenphone cuts tariffs

Grameenphone Ltd. has introduced new tariff rates, with F&F and nighttime rates as low a 25 paisa per minute.

Bangladesh to organise trade fairs in S’pore, Malaysia

Bangladesh will hold 3-day trade fairs in Singapore and Malaysia from May 23 to May 25 and May 30 to June 1, respectively.

Capital market fair begins in Sylhet today

A 2-day Capital market fair, organised by Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) in cooperation with its Sylhet based members, begins in Sylhet today.

Asian stocks close mixed

Asian stocks closed mixed Thursday after another batch of disappointing economic figures in the US shoved Wall Street into negative territory and sent regional players into the wings.

Sharp investing 727m in solar cell plant

Japan's Sharp Corp. said Thursday that it was investing 72 billion yen (727 million dollars) in a new solar cell plant to meet fast growing demand for environmentally friendly power generation systems.

Biofuels boom hurting Asia's poorest: UN

Biofuels are not only hurting poor consumers in Asia by driving up crop prices, they are also failing to help the region's farmers who have not been able to adapt their production to cash in on the boom, a United Nations report said on Thursday.

AirAsia X buys 10 Airbus planes

Malaysian long-haul budget airline AirAsia X on Thursday signed a deal to buy 10 more Airbus A330-300 aircraft, but said plane shortages have jeopardised plans to fly to Britain by year-end.

Oil prices higher

Oil prices were higher in Asian trade on Thursday, bolstered by a weaker-than-expected energy stockpiles report in the United States, the world's biggest energy user, dealers said.

Motorola to split in two

Motorola announced Wednesday it would split into two independent, publicly traded companies in an effort by the struggling telecom and wireless firm to regain market leadership.


Talks resume to decide on delivery time

For the third time, food ministry officials started negotiations with an Indian delegation in the city yesterday on the import of 4 lakh tonnes of rice from India, but they failed to reach any decision on delivery time.

CG keen to develop institutional base for historical researches

Education and Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said the caretaker government is keen to take initiative to develop an institutional base for historical researches as part of its efforts to establish a knowledge-based society.

RPO to have provision for cancellation of candidature for providing false info

A provision has been incorporated in the draft of the Representative of Public Order (RPO) so that the candidature of any election candidate can be cancelled for providing false information through affidavit to the Election Commission (EC).

BB governor for building food stock

Bangladesh needs to build food stock utilising the foreign currency reserve to ensure food security, said Bangladesh Bank Governor Salehuddin Ahmed yesterday.

Start talks with political parties soon: AL

Awami League presidium at a meeting yesterday demanded that the caretaker government start the proposed dialogue with the political parties immediately to avert conflict.

Reshuffle in DMP: 25 AC transferred

In a major reshuffle in Dhaka Metropolitan Police 25 Assistant Commissioners (AC) have been transferred and given new postings, said a DMP handout.

Abed urges home adviser to hasten recovery of stolen goods

Brac Bank Chairman Fazle Hasan Abed yesterday requested Home Affairs Adviser Major General (retd) M A Matin to hasten the process of recovery of goods stolen from the lockers of its Dhanmondi branch in the city.

Probashi Kalyan Desk opens at ZIA

Foreign Advisor Iftekhar A Chowdhury yesterday inaugurated the Probashi Kalyan Desk at Zia International Airport.

Release of Khaleda, Hasina demanded

Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal, the youth front of BNP, yesterday urged the government to meet its 10-point demand, including immediate release of former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina.

AL, BNP leaders meet German delegation

Leaders of Awami League and pro-reformist BNP met the visiting six-member German delegation at the German Embassy in the city last night.

Emon placed on four-day remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed top listed criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon on a four-day fresh remand yesterday in connection with former National University vice chancellor Prof Aftab Ahmad murder case.

Reception to war heroes

Dhaka Club accorded a reception to war-maimed freedom fighters on Wednesday on the occasion of the 38th Independence Day, says a press release.

One held for registering as voter in 2 areas

One person was arrested in Nandail and a case was filed against another person in Phulbaria in the last two days for registering as voters in two areas.

30 hurt as five compartments of train derail

At least 30 people were injured when five compartments of a Dhaka-bound passenger train from Bahadurabad were derailed at the outer signal of Begonbari Railway Station in Mymensingh yesterday.

FFs demand removal of 3 Bagerhat UNOs

Freedom fighters have demanded immediate removal of three Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNOs) of Bagerhat district.

1,342 more held

Police arrested 1,342 people in separate drives across the county in the last 12 hours ending at 6:00am yesterday.

Int'l role of Dhaka lauded

Head of the UN system in Geneva Sergei Ordzhonikidze has said the international community greatly appreciates the positive contribution of Bangladesh to global affairs.

Channel i Krishi Padak giving ceremony today

The 3rd Channel i Krishi Padak 2008 giving ceremony will be held at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre at 4:00pm today, says a press release.

Seminar on cardiac catheterisation

Apollo Hospitals Dhaka and Dhaka National Medical College and Hospital (DNMCH) organised a scientific seminar on 'Cardiac Catheterisation' in the city recently, says a press release.

Nine new JOCV members in city

Nine new Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) arrived in the city on Tuesday to extend cooperation in different sectors such as rural community development, PC instructor, computer technology, tourism, and environmental education.


Price hike

The coarsest type of rice sells at Tk 25--a matter of great concern. As I travel around the city I can see people standing in front of fair price outlets. It is not only the poor who are hit by soaring prices of the essentials. The middle- class and the lower middle-class also suffer immensely due to spiralling prices.

HR report: why from the US?

Many countries have good, some have bad and some may have even worse records of human rights. Somebody needs to look into the matter globally. Is there any internationally recognized legal framework to see and deal with the human rights situation all over the world? Yes, the world now does have the Human Rights Council of the United Nations! Then who is the US to reveal other countries' human rights situation? Isn't it a single sovereign state like our poor Bangladesh, Kenya or Myanmar or the rich Norway, Japan or the UK?

Potato growers

I read a news item in The Daily Star stating that there has been a bumper harvest of potatoes this year. It made me so happy. But I was worried to learn that middlemen are making it difficult for the farmers to get a fair price of their product.

Passengers' plight at ZIA

This is a clarification of ABM Zakaria's letter published on March 19. I am grateful to Mr. Zakaria for his kind comments. The following lines will make the picture somewhat clear for the prospective passengers, as well as the public at large. The DEFRA bulletin as stated may be OK in the UK, but not necessarily everywhere which is not a British colony. It may allow frozen fish (presumably raw fish?) or cooked food items in carry-on bags in the UK, but definitely not allowed in Germany, the USA and Thailand based on my travel experiences. Just imagine the dripping water when the ice melts at the cabin temperature, particularly in a long flight! Won't the smell of raw fish seep through and pollute the cabin atmosphere? A few days back, the Thai delicacy that I had in my cabin bag, although allowed at the entry security check, was removed and dumped at the final pre-boarding check of hand baggage at Bangkok airport.

Let's face it

We are Bangladeshis, We know how to fight against any problem. This month bears testimony to what we are capable of doing. We were united in 1971. Shouldn't we be so once again?

Jamuna Bridge cracks

The cracks are developing on the Jamuna bridge slabs very slowly. The cause behind the cracks is not definitely known. However there is definitely some kind of fault in the construction of this very big bridge. One striking feature of the bridge is the construction of the steel towers for the electric lines on the same side of the bridge as the railway track. Whether this put the slabs on unequal stress is best known to the engineers of the bridge. If it does, there should be longitudinal cracks parallel to the bridge slabs. Another important consideration is the geology of the site. It is now known that the Jamuna river more or less defines the line of contact of the Indian and Asian tectonic plates. The plates are supposed to be on continual slow movement all the time. If the Jamuna Bridge spans these plates , there should be deleterious effects on the bridge no doubt, as the slabs are placed on the columns constructed deep underground.

Truth commission

As reported in your daily, the proposed truth and accountability commission (apparently being set up by the CTG ) would let the possessors of ill gotten money off the hook if he confesses to committing the crime and deposits the sum to the government exchequer. Independent of the question of commensurability of such a commission with the independence of the Judiciary, a confession to the commission closed doors is unlikely to have the desired deterrent effect on the same or another potential offender. In this context it is worth considering an East Asian practice, especially in Japan and Korea, where the repenting offender is required to appear before the national television to ask for pardon publicly. This requirement might be of interest also to the ACC and the Judiciary for enhancing the deterrence effect on the practice of corruption, especially by the "respectable" practitioners.

AL strategy

I was just reading an article in The Daily Star (Friday March 21). It stated that the Awami League was planning to stage a street protest again price spirals. It is a good political move.

Bangladeshi telecom engineers

Mobile communication has experienced significant growth in the last couple of years throughout Africa. To keep pace with this giant market growth, the biggest mobile companies of Africa are relying mostly on foreign engineers. Many Bangladeshi engineers, those who were mostly working with different GSM companies in Bangladesh earlier, are now providing the highest level of professional services in the African market and earning huge remittance. Our motherland is known to be the place of natural disasters, political turmoil and other messy things. However, the days are not that far away when this stigma will be erased and our beloved motherland will stand with its firm, esteemed and glorious image to the international community. The huge amount of population that is often seen as a burden can make significant difference if we just turn them to manpower.

Why blame the doctors?

Case 1: A 50-year old man suffering from pain in the middle of the chest every night just before going to bed, which resolves after some time. He doesn't feel any kind of pain during daytime. He is moderately hypertensive and suffering from no other diseases. After consulting with his doctor the doctor prescribed him glycerol trinitrate to use when the pain starts. Then the doctor gave him some laboratory investigation. After investigating the doctor prescribed him to continue the same drug life long for that pain. But, the patient again consulted some doctors and they also prescribed him the same medicine. Although he is OK with this drug , he is still blaming the doctors, “The doctor told me to take this life long but why can't they cure it?”

Election 2008

Finally, we are going to have upazila election and general election at a time. The CEC is considering that option.

Essence of accountability

The long political turmoil that was brewing over Bangladesh for decades finally ended up in the present fiasco. By now we know most of the covert and overt reasons of the gradual decline of our political system. The factor topping the dark list is the continual recession of government accountability in each fold of its activity. In strict sense, accountability means that public officials -- elected and un-elected -- have an obligation to explain their decisions and actions to the citizens. The absence of such a transparency mechanism gives rise to many an irregular action, the foremost of which is corruption. Now that the closed vault has been forced open, we are appalled at the gargantuan volume of veiled misdeeds and corruption that got piled up over the years. Lack of government accountability lies at the core of such massive fraud and deception.


US, China press N Korea over N-arms declaration

US President George W Bush and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao pressed North Korea Wednesday to come clean over its nuclear arms programme as South Korea warned that time and patience were wearing out on Pyongyang.

EU ministers to mull boycott of Olympics opening in protest

EU foreign ministers will discuss a possible boycott of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony in protest against China's crackdown in Tibet when they meet for talks in Slovenia today.

Sarkozy offers more troops for Afghanistan

President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that France will boost its military presence in Afghanistan, a move welcomed by his allies in Britain and the United States.

Civilians will lead govt after elections, says Myanmar junta chief

Myanmar's junta chief Than Shwe said yesterday that civilians would take the reins of government after elections in 2010, once a constitution is approved giving broad powers to the military.

Hillary's popularity has plunged to 7-year low: Poll

Hillary Clinton's popularity has plunged to a seven-year low, while her Democratic White House rival appears to have escaped unscathed from controversy over his outspoken pastor, a poll suggested Wednesday.

Indian minister's China visit cancelled over Tibet row

New Delhi has cancelled a proposed visit to Beijing by Trade Minister Kamal Nath after China's early morning summons of the Indian envoy over Tibetan protests here, a report said yesterday.

India temple stampede Kills eight

At least eight people have been killed and 10 others injured in a stampede at a temple in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, officials say.

Fireworks blast claims 25 lives in China

Journalists and police officers were among 25 people killed in a fireworks explosion in a remote part of northwestern China, state media reported.

Israel to open West Bank police HQ

Israel is set to inaugurate a new police headquarters for the occupied West Bank in an area outside Jerusalem that is at the heart of a bitter land dispute.

Britain still top US ally: Bush

President George W Bush Wednesday said Britain was still the United States' "greatest ally," despite having scaled back its military presence in Iraq, in an interview with foreign media including the Times of London.

Arts & Entertainment

Amar Shurey Swadhin Bangla

On the occasion of the 37th In-dependence Day Grameenphone honoured the artistes of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra through a concert at Gulshan Youth Club premises on March 26.

Liberation War on canvas

On the Independence Day, the Liberation War Museum premises was crowded with eminent artistes, poets, litterateurs, media personalities and freedom fighters. In association with Gallery Chitrak, Liberation War Museum arranged a programme titled Muktijuddher Chetona (The spirit of Liveration War) where artists participated and offered their paintings to the museum. The event was a part of the ongoing weeklong Independence Day programme organised by the museum.

“Swadhinata Orjoney Muktijuddho”

To observe the Independence Day, Bangla Academy arranged a discussion and cultural programme at its premises on March 26. Discussants spoke on the significance of the Liberation War in achieving a sovereign country in 1971. The cultural programme featured patriotic songs rendered by popular artistes.

“We will encourage our member troupes to stage plays at the Zahir Raihan Sanskritik Kendra– M. Hamid

Chairman of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) M. Hamid is one of the few theatre leaders who were involved during the construction of the Zahir Raihan Sanskritik Kendra.

"Konjush" to be staged today

As part of the ongoing Mahanagar Natyoshob '08, Loko Natya Dal will stage Konjush today at the Zahir Raihan Sanskritik Kendra at Loharpul Sutrapur.

Independence Day programme at Chhayanat

On the occasion of the Independence Day, Chhayanat arranged a musical programme at its Sanskriti Bhaban Auditorium on March 26.

International Dance Day to be celebrated at national level

To celebrate the International Dance Day (April 29), Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Bangladesh Nrityashilpi Sangstha are jointly organising month-long dance competitions at the district and division levels across the country. Apart from that, on April 29 and 30, cultural programmes will be held at different venues in Dhaka, says a press release.

Madhubala: The evanescent flame

Recently, screen diva of yesteryears Madhubala was immortalised when the Indian government released a stamp in her name.


Confronting AIDS in Asia

AS a Korean, and the first UN Secretary-General from Asia in more than 30 years, it's no surprise that I often speak of my home continent as a model for economic development. Yet, when it comes to the AIDS epidemic, I am more disheartened than proud.

Reversing brain-drain

IN a recent get-together of all my friends who passed from Jhenidah Cadet College, it was like a bolt from the blue when we discovered that only 23 out of 48 of us are now staying in Bangladesh, while the rest have gone abroad. It was the same distressing revelation when we found that 69 out of 136 friends who passed from Dhaka Medical College have committed their services to another nation.

Trial of war criminals

THAT a very tiny segment of the population which had not only opposed our glorious liberation war and our independence in 1971 but also collaborated with the Pakistan occupation army in committing crimes against humanity has not been indicted for the anti-people role it had played, and has remained free all these years to enjoy full freedom and rights to be elected leaders of this country is a gross historical aberration and incongruity. But sadly enough, this is the legacy handed down to us by our rulers following the August 15 tragedy of 1975.

Say yes to drugs

TODAY, medical researchers all over the world pause for a moment to acknowledge the birthday of the most successful drug of the modern era. Viagra was launched ten years ago today. At a dinner party recently, I was surprised to hear women name it as a breakthrough, which had improved the lives of women in Asia.


Untapped potential for local companies

Around the world, there are almost 3 billion mobile phone users and in some cases, the mobile craze endangers PC proliferation. The secret of cell phone's popularity is its broad-spectrum applications. Today mobile phone use is not limited to voice calls only. It now incorporates many intuitive features that have a deep impact on human psyche.

Bangladesh making progress in global e-government readiness

The United Nations E-Government Survey 2008, published by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, brings some good news for Bangladesh. Ranked 142nd this time, the country has done well on 2004 and 2005.

BCS IT Expo 2008 begins Mar 30

One of largest computer expositions of the country, 'BCS IT Expo 2008', kicks off from March 30 at the ECS Computer City, located at Multiplan Centre in New Elephant Road, Dhaka.

Acer offers desktop Pcs at lower price

Executive Technologies Ltd (ETL), the local business partner of computer and accessories maker Acer, has introduced a new desktop in the local market -- the Aspire E2140. ETL announced the availability of this low priced desktop at a press briefing at a local hotel on March 18.

Digital entertainment notebook PC

Computer Source Ltd. (CSL), one of the leading IT vendors of the country, recently unveiled the HP Pavilion dv6743tx notebook in the local market.

The Daily Star

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