The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, December 20, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 22nd of April, 2008

Front Page

Poor loan recovery from top defaulters

Four state-owned commercial banks (SCBs) achieved only 21 percent of their targeted loan recovery from the top 20 defaulters of each bank last year.

RMG workers clash with cops, 30 injured

At least 30 people including eight policemen were injured when garment workers clashed with the police at Dhaka Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Savar yesterday.

EC to go ahead with HC decision as BNP unification move fails

The Election Commission's (EC) move to have a united BNP in the electoral reforms talks appears to have failed with both the factions vying again for invitation.

New US envoy says task to be very difficult

New US Ambassador to Bangladesh James F Moriarty yesterday said the state of emergency should be lifted as it will be 'extremely difficult' to hold an election under emergency rules.

Govt asked to declare specific poll date, lift emergency

The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Workers Party of Bangladesh yesterday asked the government to declare specific date for holding the national election in line with the electoral roadmap and to lift the state of emergency.

Woman murdered brutally in city flat, 'killer' caught

Writer Mumina Deyasini, 56, wife of deceased Dhaka University professor Dr Sultan Ahmed, was slaughtered in her Dhanmondi apartment yesterday afternoon.

Farmers firm on more output if inputs ensured

Bangladesh could turn into a food surplus country provided the government ensures supply of quality seeds, fertiliser, diesel and electricity to farmers in time.

BPC gets Tk 1,000cr loan from govt to tackle liquidity crisis

The Finance Division yesterday released a loan of Tk 1,000 crore to the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) at 3 percent interest rate as a temporary solution for the corporation's acute liquidity crisis.

Zoo animals suffer in the heat

As city dwellers struggle to keep the heat out, the four-legged inhabitants of the zoo are also finding it difficult to keep cool in the sweltering weather.

Women, HR bodies demand scrapping of review body

Samajik Protirodh Committee, a platform of 40 women and women rights organisations, yesterday submitted a five-point memorandum to the chief adviser demanding immediate dissolution of the review committee of the Women Development Policy and scrapping of the committee's recommendations.

Rising power demand worsens load shedding

With no rain clouds in the sky promising a respite, the hot weather continues to put an extra load on the demand for power resulting in frequent and longer power cuts in the city and elsewhere in the country.

Hasina lawyer alleges agency pressure

The counsel for former premier Sheikh Hasina has alleged intelligence agencies are putting pressure on her lawyers to quickly complete hearing of the graft cases against her.

Govt shoulders Biman's debt to BPC

The government has decided to shoulder Biman Bangladesh Airlines' debt of about Tk 1,200 core to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), enabling the troubled national flag carrier to start anew with a fresh account.

132 houses burned in CHT arson attack

At least nine people were injured and 132 houses burnt down after unknown assailants attacked Gangaram Mukh Chhara in Sajek union under Baghiachhari upazila in Rangamati on Sunday night.

Home orders more probe into Nasreen Huq's death

The home ministry yesterday directed investigators to conduct further investigation into the death of Nasreen Parveen Huq, former ActionAid Bangladesh country director, as the victim's family members maintain that the incident of her death was murder, not an accident.

HC's EPR verdict not delivered for Judge's illness

The Supreme Court's crucial judgment on a government appeal challenging the HC ruling over its jurisdiction to dispose of bail petitions in criminal cases under the EPR could not be pronounced yesterday as a judge fell sick.

Ministry proposes raising allowance to Tk 1,000

The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs yesterday proposed to raise the monthly allowance for the freedom fighters to Tk 1,000 from Tk 600.

Yunus to launch Grameen Bank in NY April 25

Nobel laureate Dr Mohammad Younus will inaugurate a Grameen Bank branch at the Jackson Heights in New York on April 25 to provide its inhabitants with micro-credit and other banking facilities.

Govt to import 1 lakh tonne rice from Myanmar

The caretaker government has taken a fresh initiative to import one lakh tonne of rice from Myanmar immediately to increase rice supply to the market.

Millers' hint at price hike shoots up market prices

Wholesalers and retailers of soybean oil in the capital hiked up prices of the essential commodity by Tk 10 a litre yesterday due to an earlier announcement by producers that there would be a price increase, although the supply of high priced batch of the oil had not reached the market yet.

8-yr-old sued, sent to jail for drug trade

An eight-year-old girl was sent to the Khulna District Jail yesterday after being sued for carrying twenty bottles of phensidyl.

Indictments soon in Niko graft cases

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) will soon submit charge sheets in the two Niko graft cases filed against detained former premiers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, and 10 others.

Nepal's king won't go into exile

Nepal's embattled King Gyanendra yesterday angrily denied speculation he will be heading into exile following a victory by former Maoist rebels in landmark elections.

Economy the top worry, but barely affecting votes

The economy has soared past Iraq as the top problem on the minds of voters.

Hamas willing to accept Israel as its neighbor

Former President Carter said yesterday that Hamas the Islamic militant group that has called for the destruction of Israel is prepared to accept the right of the Jewish state to "live as a neighbor next door in peace."

Editorial

EC should keep above intra-party conflict

EXCEPT for the work on the voter list with identity card being on course, in all other areas of preparation like bringing in electoral reforms, the Election Commission is certainly lagging behind the pre-set schedule. In particular, the major concern is the unfinished agenda of a massive amendment to the Representation of the People's Order 1972 in the shape of an Electoral Reform Ordinance. Fourteen months since the caretaker government's takeover and with the obligation of holding national election in eight months' time, it's a pity that the Election Commission is stuck in the BNP's internal issue over who legitimately represented the party in taking forward the electoral reform agenda through its last lap.

Recovering submerged land

PEOPLE in 100 villages in three upazilas of Jessore district have got a new lease of life, thanks to the recovery of arable land that remained under water for 18 years. They are now looking forward to a bumper boro harvest which will alleviate their prolonged sufferings caused by water logging over 16,00 hectares of land. The members of the 55 Bengal Regiment stationed in Jessore Cantonment have succeeded in removing stagnant water from vast areas and with that the affected people have got back their only means of survivalcultivable land. It has indeed been a commendable effort and we praise our army for it.

Dialectics will take us nowhere

THESE are the times to indulge in dialectics, with the hope of getting back the lost empire. These are the times to talk, with tea, tea-talk that is, and then wait for the time to take the people on a ride once again. Gradually "leaders" are sharpening their tongues to lash out at the power and the powerful, as things remain in bad shape in various sectors, at the moment. These are the times to remain forgetful about your past deeds, about the gross misconduct, misrule, torture, blackmailing, and what not.

Floating on gas but flouting its growth!

WE drove to Birashar, Brahmanbaria, where Bangladesh Gas Company Limited (BGFCL) is located. BGFCL is the largest gas producing company in the country, and owns 6 gas fields with Titas topping the list. The other fields are: Habigonj, Bakhrabad, Narshingdi, Meghna and Kamta.

Dam busters

IN many ways the Kajaki dam is a symbol of Afghanistan's troubled history. Built by the United States back in the 1950s, it fell into disrepair for lack of spare parts under the Taliban. Now the United States is trying to rebuild the 330-foot-high earth-filled hydroelectric facility as the centerpiece of a hearts-and-minds strategy in the strategic Helmand River valley.

Sports

Negatively positive

Last month Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) gladly accepted an offer from its Pakistani counterpart to fill up the gap left by world champions Australia's postponement of their scheduled series over security fears.

Hail Ashraful!

"We played competitive cricket in Pakistan". This statement came from none other than the captain, Mohammad Ashraful upon the Bangladesh team's arrival at the Zia International Airport from Karachi yesterday.

Academy dream gets rolling

General Moeen U Ahmed will lay the foundation stone of GP-BCB National Cricket Academy's building of at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Wednesday.

Razzak flies out Apr 26

Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak is all set to fly off to Bangalore to play in the Indian Premier League on April 26, pending visa procedures.

High-scoring draw give Usha top spot

Usha Krira Chakra made a huge turnaround to hold Abahani 3-3 in the last group match of the Brac Bank Club Cup hockey tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

Local Snippets

The Group B matches of the Exim Bank Women's National Handball Championship will begin in Bagerhat on April 25.

Twin tons sink NCA

Two brilliant tons by Ahmed Shehzad and Khalid Latif helped Pakistan earn an easy eight-wicket win against Bangladesh in the Grameenphone Academy Cup at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

2-week training for cricketers

Seven national cricketers are taking part in a coaching camp which began at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium's Indoor Centre yesterday.

Boucher Bangalore hero

In a match dominated by South African stars, the batting efforts of Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis edged the all-round contribution of Shaun Pollock, as Bangalore Royal Challengers recovered from Friday's mauling to register their first win of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday.

Who to support?

New arrivals usually have teething problems, and one of the concerns after the first two days of the Indian Premier League centred on the people who will ultimately make or break this competition: the fans.

Will Liverpoool be third time lucky?

Liverpool's Jamie Carragher believes Chelsea will be desperate for revenge when battle commences at Anfield on Tuesday in the Champions League semifinals.

Inter close in on title

Inter Milan executed the perfect smash-and-grab raid to win 1-0 at Torino on Sunday and open up a six-point gap at the top of Serie A with just four games left.

Real almost there

Real Madrid could clinch their 31st Spanish league title next weekend after they beat Racing Santander 2-0 on Sunday, with their goals coming from captain Raul Gonzalez and Gonzalo Higuain.

Roma deny bid reports

The majority shareholder of Italian soccer club AS Roma on Monday denied press reports it had begun the process of selling its controlling stake or that it had received an offer to buy the club.

Schalke roping in Dutch coach

Dutchman Fred Rutten looks set to become coach of Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 it was revealed on Monday.

Eto'o's final warning

Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o has said he will leave the club and head abroad if they fail to win any trophies before the end of next season.

Euro 2008 Briefs

The 2008 European football championships in brief:

AC Milan backtrack on Ronaldinho deal

Vice-president Adriano Galliani admitted on Monday that AC Milan's bid to lure Ronaldinho to Italy was far from a done deal.

No fear for Eriksson

Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is confident he will emerge from an upcoming meeting with the club's owner, Thaksin Shinawatra, with the backing needed to continue in his post.

Federer ends title drought

Roger Federer ended a long drought with his first title of the year, and it took a leg injury to his opponent to ensure victory for the world's top-ranked player.

Family Circle Cup Serena's

Serena Williams captured the Family Circle Cup title Sunday, defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 for her first clay court title since the 2002 French Open.

To cheer or not…

The night is still young, the sky radiating many hues of the myriad coloured artificial lights, as thousands of spectators inside the stadium wait with intense expectation for the entertainment to begin. Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium has never looked so bright, colourful and, some might say, even garish.

Malik to play in Aisha's city!

Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik does not foresee any problem in playing the Indian Premier League matches in Hyderabad despite his long running feud with an Indian family who claim that he has married their daughter and is not granting her divorce as per Islamic laws.

Aussies to tour Pakistan twice

Australia have agreed to split their postponed tour to Pakistan in two parts and will tour in April-May next year and again in 2010, a joint statement from the two boards said Monday.

Four take lead in nat'l chess

Bangladesh Biman duo Grand Master Abdullah Al Rakib and GM Ziaur Rahman were among four players who shared the lead in the 34th National Chess Championship at the federation hallroom yesterday.

Sultan rejects resign letters

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan did not accept resignation letters of 13 executive committee members.

WB to probe Eden snags

The West Bengal government on Monday constituted a three-member committee to probe mismanagement in the Eden Gardens during the Indian Premier League match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers Sunday night which lowered the prestige of the famed ground.

'Anna won't marry me'

Many women might wish to be in her place, but Spanish pop singer and heart-throb Enrique Iglesias says his girlfriend, tennis champion Anna Kournikova, keeps turning down his proposals of marriage.

Eng-India four Tests in 2011

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has ensured England will play four Test matches against India at home in 2011.

Fletcher warns fallen pace duo

Former England coach Duncan Fletcher says Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard may struggle to regain their Test spots after being dropped in New Zealand.

Business

Bangladesh to get credit rating

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) will invite three international credit rating agencies next week to submit proposals on conducting credit rating for Bangladesh in efforts to attract more foreign investment and receive easy international aid.

EC team in town to probe GSP forgery

An independent high profile anti-fraud team from European Commission (EC) is now in Dhaka to probe fraudulent exports by many to Europe through a third country cashing in on the generalised system of preference (GSP) facilities.

Govt to increase food storage capacity

The government is going to construct new warehouses and repair old ones soon to enhance the storage capacity of food, Food and Disaster Management Adviser A M M Shawkat Ali said yesterday.

Bold reform needed to tackle high food prices

Bold reform is needed to deal with the long-term problem of rising food prices, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a comment piece published Monday.

No response yet on self-monitoring of gas misuse

There has been no response with regard to submission of reports on gas consumption by apparel factory owners as yet, although the deadline for submission of such reports to the energy ministry will expire Thursday next.

Govt may reduce tax on SIM card

The government may reduce tax on SIM (subscribers identity module) card from Tk 800 to Tk 300 in the next budget, sources said.

Philippines grapples with record high rice prices

Prices of rice in the country, which imports more than 10 per cent of its annual rice requirement and is the world's top importer this year, may retail as high as 49 pesos (US$1.16) a kilo because the surge in international prices is relentless.

Of accounting standards

Most of us are aware of the Enron debacle, a most talked about corporate failure of recent times. On December 2, 2001, Enron, once the America's seventh-biggest company, filed for bankruptcy. Only days earlier, its bonds had been downgraded to junk. Enron crisis had also cast serious doubts on the existence of top rated audit firm, Arthur Andersen, and more to say, generally about role of accounting principles followed by audit firms as well as corporate business houses. While the Enron story is now somewhat outdated, the lesson that we have learned from this debacle will stay valid over a long period of time.

FDI into Bangladesh slows, UK envoy says

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Bangladesh has slowed in the last few months due to delay in making quick decision on big investment proposals, said outgoing British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury yesterday at a function in Dhaka.

Govt for wider use of coal

The government is considering wider use of coal as an alternative energy source to safeguard the interests of the country's industries, said Chief Adviser's Special Assistant for Power and Energy Ministry M Tamim yesterday.

Local firm to set up spinning unit at Adamjee EPZ

M/s Shore to Shore Textile Limited, a local company, will set up a spinning unit in Adamjee Export Processing Zone with an investment of US$32 million (about Tk 217 crore).

UAE, Russia ink WTO protocol to boost trade

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a protocol with Russia here Sunday on Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the official Emirates News Agency reported.

StanChart teams up with post office to offer money transfer

Standard Chartered Bank has joined hands with Bangladesh Post Office to offer quick money transfer thorough thousands of post offices across the country, says a press release.

Lanka threatens to use force against rice hoarders

Sri Lanka Monday warned it will use security forces and the police to crack down on traders suspected of hoarding rice following government-imposed price controls, officials said.

Dhaka Bank approves 25pc stock dividend

Dhaka Bank has declared 25 percent stock dividend (i.e. one bonus share per 4 existing shares) for its shareholders at the 13th annual general meeting (AGM) of the bank, held in Dhaka yesterday.

Tiger Airways’ passenger traffic up 50pc

Budget carrier group Tiger Aviation said Monday it carried 50 percent more passengers last year and foresees a further expansion of its regional operations.

China textile sector struggling to survive this year

Textile firms, once an export engine of China, are fighting for their survival this year with rising costs and dismal overseas market hit by the subprime crisis.

Asian stocks close mostly up

Asian stocks closed mostly up on Monday despite near-record-high oil prices as hopes grew that the worst of the global financial crisis may be over.

$10 rise in oil price costs world economy $500b: Italy

A 10-dollar rise in the price of a barrel of oil costs the global economy an estimated 500 billion dollars, outgoing Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said on Monday.

Food tops agenda at UN trade conference in Ghana

A warning from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the possible consequences of the rise in global food prices, together with the plight of the world's poorest nations, dominated the start of a major UN trade conference Sunday in Ghana's capital.

EU trade chief urges Japan to open up to investment

European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson on Monday urged Japan to open up to foreign investment, saying it was the most closed of the developed economies.

Oil prices too high, production sufficient: IEA

Oil prices at their current level are too high for everyone, the head of the International Energy Agency, Nobuo Tanaka, said on Monday.

Metropolitan

New textbooks for all pry students from next year

Primary and Mass Education Adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury yesterday said primary students of all government and private schools will get new textbooks from next year.

Agrani Bank staff jailed for 13 years

A special court yesterday sentenced a fourth class employee of Brahammanbaria regional branch of Agrani Bank to 13 years in absentia in a case filed against him for amassing wealth illegally.

AL leader Mollah charged, arrest warrant against Quader's wife

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former Awami League (AL) lawmaker Habibur Rahman Mollah in a case filed for amassing illegal wealth and giving false information submitted to the commission.

Proper probe demanded

The Department of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday demanded proper investigation and exemplary punishment of the perpetrators of the attack to the students of the department, says a press release.

Punishment to perpetrators demanded

The Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote (PCJ), an alliance of left leaning student organisations, yesterday staged a demonstration at Dhaka University (DU) demanding exemplary punishment to those responsible for creating violence on the campus on Sunday.

Curry house staff protest at new UK work rules

Thousands of curry restaurant workers gathered in London on Sunday to demand that the government relaxes new immigration rules to avert a financial catastrophe caused by crippling staff shortages in the £3.5bn industry.

HC wants swift, stern action

The British High Commission in Dhaka expects a swift and stern action over the recent alleged assault of a British national by security personnel at Zia International Airport.

Five killed in road accidents

Five people were killed and 23 others injured in separate road accidents in Netrakona, Natore, Rajshahi, Brahmanbaria and Chandpur in the last two days.

'Biographies of great Bangalees to strengthen cultural ties'

Speakers at a book-launching ceremony yesterday said biographies of great people of Bengal can inspire young generations at home and abroad to strengthen their cultural bondage.

Over 400 Bihari families rehabilitated

Around 412 non-Bangalee (Biharis) families were rehabilitated at Pallabi in the city yesterday as they lost their dwellings due to the construction works of Zia Colony-Mirpur Road.

5 to die for killing trader in city

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced five people to death for killing Sumon Hossain, a trader at Adabar in the city in June in 2004.

2 beaten to death in Chittagong

A mob beat two people to death after they were caught breaking into a factory at Bara Awlia of Sitakunda in Chittagong yesterday.

Govt urged not to receive review body suggestions

Bangladesh Sanjukta Works' Women Commission (BSWWC) yesterday urged the government to implement the National Women Development Policy (NWDP) and not to receive the suggestions of the review committee.

2 ship-breaking workers fall into ballast water tank, die

Two workers of a ship-breaking yard died and another one was injured while breaking a ship at Sitakunda in Chittagong on Sunday.

Labour Ordn 2008 blacker one

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said the Labour Ordinance 2008 has cut down all democratic rights of labourers that were given by the country's Constitution and the ILO Convention.

New stipend fund formed

A research stipend fund titled “AKM Abdul Hamid and Begum Selina Jahan Research Stipend Fund" was formed at Centre for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Sciences of Dhaka University (DU), says a press release.

'Remove controversial provisions'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday criticised the proposed police ordinance-2007 saying many provisions of the ordinance are inhuman.

Concern over death in police custody

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) yesterday expressed concern at the death of Fakir Chan in police custody at Siddhirganj Police Station in Narayanganj, says a press release.

1521 get CDA plots

Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) yesterday announced the name of allottees of plots in Ananya Residential Area, the largest housing projects it developed so far.

Hearing of Ctg arms case deferred

A court in the port city yesterday deferred the hearing of sensational Chittagong Arms Haul Case to April 28 following submission of a petition by the defence lawyer opposing a remand appeal of the investigation officer.

BIDS research director honoured

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, has formally acknowledged the contribution of Dr M Asaduzzaman, research director of BIDS, says a press release.

DU urges law enforcers to increase vigilance on campus

The Dhaka University (DU) syndicate at an emergency meeting yesterday urged the authorities concerned to increase vigilance of law enforcement agencies on the campus to avoid further untoward incidents, says a press release.

Abducted girls of Viqarunnisa Noon School rescued

Police rescued two abducted students of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College from Uttara and Asad Gate areas in the city yesterday.

'Work together to address social problems'

Vice Chancellor (VC) of Dhaka University (DU) Prof SMA Faiz yesterday urged the teachers and the students of the university to work together to address the social problems, says a press release.

Contest final round today

The final round of the cultural contest “Marks All-Rounder” will be held today at 6.30pm at the auditorium of Institute of Engineers Bangladesh (IEB), Chittagong.

Rally to mark Global Action Week

Bangladesh National Commission for Unesco and Ministry of Education in association with Unesco, Dhaka organised a rally yesterday marking the Global Action Week to achieve education for all, says a press release.

Brac support to five NGOs

Brac has taken up a special multi-donor funded initiative to tackle the extreme poverty in Bangladesh called 'Challenging the frontiers of poverty reduction-Targeting ultra poor', says a press release.

Girl drowns

A minor girl was drowned in the river Padma near Baghra under Srinagar upazila in Munshiganj when she went to take bath in the river on Sunday.

Indian officers visit Foreign Service Academy

A 20-member team of Indian Foreign Service probationer officers yesterday visited the Bangladesh Foreign Service Academy.

Nasreen Memorial Award announced

ActionAid Bangladesh has announced the Nasreen Memorial Award 2008.

National

Gas emission near B'baria field threatens people, ecology

Emission of natural gas through thousands of holes at Shyampur and Anandapur villages, Loiska Beel and Titas riverbed from Bakail and Shuhilpur areas near Brahmanbaria Titas Gas Field is posing threat to people and environment.

Boro on 1000 acres dying as irrigation canal leased out

Prospect of Irri-Boro on over 1,000 acres of land in Kamalapur union under Patuakhali Sadar upazila has become bleak as the lands cannot be irrigated as the canal running through the fields has been leased to some influential people.

Magistrate, AC, policemen hurt 5 villagers bullet-hit

Fifteen people including a magistrate, an assistant commissioner, a surveyor, policemen and villagers were wounded as people attacked the officials and law enforcers and police fired bullets to control the situation during an eviction operation at Bolora Bazaar under Harirampur upazila in Manikganj on Sunday.

Rab seizes bombs, bullets, drugs, Indian currency

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday seized 20 bullets of .22 rifle, nine local-made bombs, 20 Indian 500-rupee notes, 130 bottles of phensidyl from Chapainawabganj, Gaibandha and Dinajpuir districts and arrested eight people.

29 JMB men produced before court

Police produced 29 Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) men, including two death sentence awardees and the wife of executed JMB kingpin Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, before a Mymensingh court yesterday.

4 get life for stealing electric transformer in Jhenidah

Jhenidah District and Sessions Judge's Court yesterday sentenced four people to life-term imprisonment and fined them Tk 1,000 each on charge of theft of electric transformer.

Naraji petition against final report

Complainant Hafiz Sheikh filed a naraji petition with the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Khuna on Sunday afternoon rejecting the final report of an extortion case against detained Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayor Tayebur rahman and 12 others.

2 babies drown in Satkhira

Two babies were drowned in ponds near their houses in Tala and Debhata upazilas yesterday.

6 houses gutted

Six houses were gutted in a fire at Haripur in Paba upazila of Rajshahi on Sunday night.

UP chairman sued for illegal stay in rest house

A union parishad (UP) chairman and a former municipality commissioner have been sued for keeping a government dak bungalow (rest house) illegally occupied for a few months.

International

Britain backs Pakistani talks with militants

Britain's foreign secretary extended support Sunday for the new Pakistani government's plans to negotiate with militants and agreed that economic development was key to battling pro-al-Qaeda and pro-Taliban sympathies.

Pakistan hopes for Commonwealth readmission

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said yesterday that he expected the Commonwealth to readmit his country next month, as Britain gave its firm backing for the move.

US calls for dialogue between China and Dalai Lama

A top US official on Monday reiterated a US appeal for dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama saying it was "the only viable way forward" to resolve the issue of Tibet.

Thai PM warns of snap poll

Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej warned yesterday that House dissolution would become inevitable if the three coalition parties were disbanded for electoral fraud.

Troops destroy 10 Tiger bunker bases: 33 killed

Sri Lanka's military said yesterday it had smashed at least 10 Tamil Tiger bunker positions in an offensive in the far north of the island that left 28 rebels and five government soldiers dead.

Hamas to accept Israel if Palestinians back deal

Former US president Jimmy Carter said yesterday the Islamist Hamas movement told him it would recognise Israel's right to live in peace if a deal is reached and approved by a Palestinian vote.

Japan, S Korea want N Korea to come clean on nukes

Japanese and South Korean leaders pressed Monday for North Korea to give a complete account of its nuclear programmes, as a US team set off to Pyongyang to discuss ending a nearly five-month stalemate.

Rice fails to clinch firm Arab commitments on Iraq

The United States met Sunni-led Arab allies yesterday to try to persuade them to back Iraq's Shia leadership but failed to clinch any concrete commitments on debt relief or diplomatic presence.

Polls point to Hillary win in Pennsylvania

Hillary Clinton accused Barack Obama of stooping to "desperate" tactics, as polls put her on track for a solid, morale-boosting win in today's Pennsylvania presidential primary.

US jets bomb Sadr City

US warplanes dropped bombs overnight in the east Baghdad district of Sadr City where Shia militiamen are battling security forces, residents said yesterday, as the American military reported another five people killed in the embattled township.

Pakistan tests nuclear capable missile again

Pakistan's military yesterday carried out a training launch of a long-range nuclear-capable missile which can hit targets deep in rival India, the second such test in three days, the military said.

11 more Taliban killed in Afghan clashes

The Defence Ministry says clashes and airstrikes in southern Afghanistan have left 11 Taliban militants dead.

Indonesia jails leaders of 'terrorist' JI

An Indonesian court sentenced two leaders of the Jemaah Islamiyah group, blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings, to 15 years' jail yesterday and slammed the Islamist outfit as a "terrorist organisation."

Paraguay leftist ex-bishop ends ruling party's 61-year reign

A leftist ex-bishop yesterday celebrated his historic electoral triumph in Paraguay's presidential election after defeating the ruling party candidate and ending 61 years of conservative rule.

Queen turns 82

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II quietly celebrated her 82nd birthday Monday, amid a stirring of republican sentiment in Australia and proposals at home for reforming the monarchy.

Climate projects prevented 135m tonnes of Co2

Projects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in developing countries have prevented 135 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering Earth's atmosphere so far, the Norwegian classification group Det Norske Veritas (DNV) said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

A feast of colours, lines and objects

At Samatata's recent Spring Art Festival one saw 80 paintings and two sculptures, which included the works of well-known artists like Aminul Islam, Murtaja Baseer, Samarjit Roy Chowdhury and Rafiqun Nabi. It was a display of many styles like realism, impressionism, surrealism and abstraction.

Sujan Dey: Highlighting local heritage through art

Sujan Dey is an artist with a deep love for tradition and nature. A sort of nostalgia draws Sujan to be in touch with the vast canvas of natural beauty.

Three eminent litterateurs honoured in Satkhira

Satkhira Sahitya Parishad recently accorded reception to three eminent litterateurs of the country and organised a daylong conference at the Sadar upazila auditorium.

In affair with the gorgeous creation

Among the hustle of hectic city life, we often enliven ourselves by looking at those beautiful creations of God, reviving ourselves with the fragrance of it, which cheer us up when we are depressed, which symbolises every emotion that we cannot share with words - flowers. And there are people who work day and night to bring these attractive creations to us, the flower vendors of Dhaka city.

Drama to generate awareness on the rights of differently abled

A different kind of cultural programme was held at Meghai Bazar in Kazipur upazila, Sirajganj district last Saturday to generate awareness on the rights of the differently abled.

Audition for Rajshahi division ends

After Chittagong, Barisal, Khulna and Sylhet, the preliminary audition round of the talent hunt Channel-i Shera Kantho '08 for contestants in the Rajshahi division was held recently, says a press release.

"Ironeaters" wins DocAviv Award

Shaheen Dill Riaz's much acclaimed documentary film Ironeaters has won the “DocAviv Award", the first prize at the “Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival", says a press release.

OP-ED

Korotoa: Tale of a dying river

I have an intrinsic love for rivers and water-bodies since I was brought up in a rural area, which once had an abundance of water-bodies and rivers. As I grew up, I, however, saw the gradual vanishing of the water-bodies and drying up of the rivers.

Food prices and the nature of government

AMID the intense suffering and pain generated by food inflation, our understanding of its causes is getting murkier. This issue is, predictably but unfortunately, getting increasingly politicised. Any sound and sustainable solution requires a sound understanding of the issue.

Reasons for soaring prices

AND all nations came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain because everywhere the famine was severe:" Genesis 41:57 The Old Testament.

Major league eating proves that sports is bad for you

WELCOME to The Myth-Exploders Report. In each assignment, we take a widely held topical belief and examine it to see if it is true or false. We do this without any form of prejudice or bias, except for the fact that we really, really hope it is false, otherwise, let's face it, we are well and truly stuffed.



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