The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, November 29, 2014


News of: Thursday, 24th of April, 2008

Front Page

Tarique, Babar to be charged over bribe

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) finally approved a charge sheet yesterday against eight persons, including Khaleda Zia's son Tarique Rahman, former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and former lawmaker Qazi Saleemul Huq Kamal, in connection with taking Tk 21 crore bribe over the murder of a Bashundhara Group director.

No polls under Huda-led EC

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday demanded resignation of all three election commissioners as he considers the present Election Commission (EC) as "controversial".

Undisclosed money to be legalised again

As part of a host of government decisions to boost business and investments in the country, all new industrial investments will be given tax holiday for the next 10 years while the existing Information Communication Technology (ICT) investors will get the benefit for a second five-year period.

HC has no jurisdiction to grant bail in EPR cases

The High Court (HC) has no jurisdiction to grant bail in criminal cases under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) 2007.

Upazila polls before parliamentary ones

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) plans to hold the long over due polls to upazila parishads before the parliamentary election.

Koko, Selim sued for ill-gotten wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against former prime minister Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko for concealing information about his wealth and amassing wealth through illegal means.

Gag order on lawyers of VIP prisoners

The jail authorities yesterday imposed a ban on making any political statement of the prisoners public, according to BBC Bangla Service report.

Voter registration rated as international standard

The ongoing voter registration process is of international standard, though some voters' names are missing on the list, says a survey funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Ershad backs polls under emergency

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said it is imperative to hold the stalled 9th parliamentary election under the state of emergency to ensure fairness in the poll.

Kazi Zafarullah, Obaidul Karim chargesheeted

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Awami League (AL) presidium member Kazi Zafarullah for not submitting wealth statement to the commission and Orion Group Chairman Obaidul Karim on charges of corruption.

42 fortune-seekers back home empty-handed

Forty-two Bangladeshi jobseekers returned home yesterday after manpower sharks lured them of jobs abroad and ultimately dumped them in war-torn Iraq.

Cherie Blair visits SC as Hasina's legal team expert

Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, yesterday said she hoped for the application of the human rights principles enshrined in Bangladesh's constitution.

JCD men attack CEC-owned bldg in Faridpur

Activists of Jatiyatabadi Chharta Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, yesterday attacked a building owned by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda in Faridpur district town.

90 killed as Tamil Tigers strike back

At least 52 guerrillas and 38 soldiers were killed and hundreds more wounded yesterday, officials said, as Tamil separatists reported repulsing a Sri Lankan offensive ahead of key local elections.

Trial begins on April 30 after 11 yrs

The trial of Lt Col (dismissed) Syed Faruk Rahman, Lt Maj (retd) Bazlul Huda and 13 others accused in a case filed for an attempt on Sheikh Hasina's life in August, 1989 begins on April 30.

Hillary keeps White House quest alive

A victorious Hillary Clinton has kept her White House quest alive, triumphing over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania's rancorous Democratic primary.

Chinese FM to invite CA to Olympics

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi arrives in the city today to formally invite Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed to the Beijing Olympics in September.

Gen Petraeus picked to lead US Mideast command

Army Gen David Petraeus, the four-star general who led troops in Iraq for the past year, will be nominated by President Bush to be the next commander of US Central Command, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday.

Huji man Sumon planned to flee to S Africa

Harkat ul Jihad (Huji) leader Arif Hasan Sumon, who is suspected for hurling grenades on an Awami League rally on August 21, 2004, planned to flee to South Africa where one of the masterminds of the attack Maulana Tajuddin is believed to be hiding.

Technical fault in Biman flight in Dubai

A Biman Bangladesh Airlines Airbus had to return to Dubai International Airport about half an hour after taking off yesterday due to technical glitches.

Editorial

These frequent power failures

A government committee has decided that as many as 15,000 bulbs and airconditioners will be withdrawn from the Secretariat as an austerity measure. The decision was obviously made in light of the on-going crisis in the power sector. The move will be appreciated by everyone concerned about the waste of public resources, especially at the level of the government. The question that we must now deal with, though, is why these bulbs and airconditioners were there in the first place, particularly after a decision in May last year to have them removed. The stark truth, as we understand, is that these extra facilities were indeed withdrawn but were later surreptitiously re-installed. It is sheer wastage of taxpayers' money. Now, if the move to put a stop to such wastage is truly implemented, the country will surely stand to benefit to a significant extent.

Eight-year old arrested?

THE High Court's suo moto rule on the detention of an eight-year old girl has exposed, once more, the stereotyped, unimaginative and thoughtless approach that may turn enforcement of the law into a ruthless exercise, particularly when it comes to the poor and vulnerable sections of society. The HC took cognizance of a newspaper report and asked the government to explain why the arrest of the minor girl, charged with carrying phensidyl bottles, should not be declared illegal.

Fuel versus food

THE hype and hopes surrounding the promise of bio-fuels and the realities of disappointments with its downsides have become a controversial issue of global interest. Everyone is asking: Can corn-based ethanol the primary ingredient for bio-fuels deliver the promises?

The day after

OF late, there has been a groundswell of demand for trial of people who committed war crimes during the liberation struggle of the country some thirty-seven years ago. It is time, too.

The bitter truth

AS expected, Hillary Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary on April 22, 55% to 45%. Although Barack Obama outspent Hillary 3 to 1 in TV advertising, the Democratic party establishment led by Governor Ed Rendell and the mayors of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh delivered the state to Hillary, who was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and managed to sell herself as the hometown girl.

Sports

Fighting mars semi

Incompetent umpiring by Golam Kibria brought a premature end to the first semifinal of the Brac Bank Club Cup hockey tournament yesterday.

Hopes run high

The foundation stone of the much-desired Grameenphone-Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) National Cricket Academy (NCA) was laid yesterday with a promise that all initiative would be taken to make the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium a pure sporting arena.

Salahuddin cleared

Kazi Salahuddin and his fellow ex-national footballers Ashrafuddin Ahmed Chunnu and Golam Rabbani Helal were cleared yesterday as candidates for the April 28 election of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).

PCA clinch Academy Cup

Sensible batting from Nasir Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim was not good enough for GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) to turn the table on Pakistan Cricket Academy (PCA) in the Academy Cup final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Rajshahi lights for tri-series

Four hundred flood light bulbs of Rajshahi Divisional Stadium are being taken to Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka for holding the day-night tri- series in June.

Federer avoids ignominy

Roger Federer escaped what would have been the most humiliating defeat of his career on Wednesday when he came back from 1-5 down in the final set to beat Spanish qualifier Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Riise hands Chelsea lifeline

Chelsea snatched a Champions League lifeline as Liverpool defender John Arne Riise's last-gasp own goal allowed Avram Grant's side to escape with a 1-1 draw from Tuesday's semifinal first leg.

Toni missing for Bayern

Both German giants Bayern Munich and Scottish mammoths Rangers had disappointing seasons by their high standards last term but both are now on course to redeem themselves by winning four trophies this campaign.

Mirpur ride on Akhtar

Akhtar's brilliant century gave Mirpur Cricket Club a close two-wicket win over Dhanmondi Cricket Academy (DCA) in Second Division Cricket League at the Dhaka University ground yesterday.

Booters call to vote for Amin

A group of former and current footballers called the councillors to vote for Maj Gen (retd) Amin Ahmed Chowdhury at this month's election of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).

Rakib still on top

Grand Master Abdullah Rakib won his fourth round board against International Master Enamul Hossain Rajib to maintain solo lead in the 34th National Chess Championship at the federation hallroom yesterday.

Berlusconi to step down

Silvio Berlusconi said on Wednesday he would step down as AC Milan president when he starts his third stint as Italian prime minister.

Pollock joins Durham

South Africa great Shaun Pollock is to join Durham for the English county's Twenty20 Cup campaign this season, the northeast side announced Wednesday.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Rifles beat Wari Club 25-12, 25-10, 25-18 in the Premier Division Volleyball League at the Dhaka Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

G4S to honour Sharmin

Group 4 Securicor, a private security firm, will introduce gold medal winning shooter Sharmin Akhter as their brand ambassador in a ceremony today.

Warne wishes Tendulkar on his birthday

On Sachin Tendulkar's 35th birthday today, legendry Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne wished the master batsman as many playing years as he wanted.

Hleb accepts FA charge

Arsenal winger Alexander Hleb will miss the rest of the Gunners' season after accepting Wednesday a Football Association (FA) charge of violent conduct.

'Euro title up for grabs'

German coach Joachim Loew has indicated that this summer's European Championships in Switzerland and Austria would be one of the most closely-contested ever with several sides in with a shout of glory.

Spain's Euro participation not in doubt

The chances of Spain being expelled from the Euro 2008 championships decreased on Tuesday when it was reported the government-run Spanish Sports Council had backed down on controversial plans to force the Spanish football federation to hold elections before Euro 2008.

Business

Jamuna Oil proves bonanza for govt

Jamuna Oil Company was a bonanza for the government as it received Tk 444 crore against only Tk 13.50 crore shares.

Grameenphone zooms in on rural areas

Grameenphone, the country's leading mobile phone operator, eyes increased number of customers in rural areas, as the company believes its future growth lies in rural areas.

Extra 100m now can’t afford to buy food: WFP

The world faces a "silent tsunami" of soaring food prices and more must be done to help secure future supply, the UN food agency said Tuesday as experts gathered in London for a special summit on the problem.

Medicine to be declared product of the year

Considering the pharmaceutical industry as a potential export earner, the government has decided to shortly announce medicine as the product of the year 2008.

FBCCI to seek changes in import tariff, income tax

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will submit a 592-point recommendation at a pre-budget meeting today, seeking substantial changes in import tariff, income tax and VAT provisions.

BTTB to offer free dial up internet connection

State-owned land phone operator BTTB plans to offer free dial up internet connection to its customers in a bid to sustain stiff competition in the telecommunications market.

Move to ensure transparency in diesel subsidy

The government has asked local government representatives at union parishads to hang lists of names of farmers who have received diesel subsidy.

Duty-free access to US market to further expand RMG sector

The ready made garment (RMG) sector of the country will further expand to generate 1,80,000 new employment opportunities, provided the US grants Bangladeshi RMG products a duty free access through the passage of the New Partnership Development Act (NPDA).

Tough times in US economy play into Google's strengths

Tough times in the US economy play into Google's strength as businesses trust the Internet giant to best target their precious advertising dollars, analysts said.

A Rab for policymaking?

In my column, a month ago (see Daily Star, “A Vision Thing”) I suggested that Bangladesh's corporates and entrepreneurs were likely to be the key to Bangladesh catching up with the other Asian tigers in the region. But, a dynamic private sector and a substantial increase in FDI flow is likely to fail to deliver the kinds of economic growth gains Bangladesh needs to become a Middle Income Country unless the government and the regulatory authorities can provide a supportive enabling environment in terms of infrastructure, corporate governance, capital markets, law and order, education, fiscal policies and so on. But do the public believe that Bangladesh's senior civil servants are likely to deliver on such high expectations?

Dispute over MD at WorldTel continues

With the backdrop of an ongoing legal battle over the position of the Managing Director (MD) of WorldTel Bangladesh Limited (WTBL), several officials of the company at a press conference yesterday claimed Nayeem Mehtab Chowdhury to be its legal MD.

Vietnamese opt for gold over stocks

Investors are creating a mini-gold rush, perceiving gold as a stronger investment than either stocks or savings at a time when the stock market is stagnant and commercial banks have colluded to place a voluntary cap on deposit interest rates.

Jakarta raises purchasing price for rice

After tightening rice export regulation earlier this month, the government of Indonesia raised the purchasing price of rice starting Tuesday in the hope that farmers will benefit from the surge in global rice prices and to discourage smuggling.

Asian stocks close mostly up

Asian stocks closed mostly up on Wednesday, shaking off rising inflation, a fresh record for the price of crude oil and concerns about the fallout from the global credit crunch.

Singapore inflation at 26-year high

Singapore's annual inflation was 6.7 percent last month, the highest in 26 years, the Department of Statistics said on Wednesday.

S Asian network of PR firms launched

Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, has announced formation of a 'Burson-Marsteller South Asia Network (BMSAN)' with the signing of strategic alliances with independent public relations companies across Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, says a press release.

Japanese exports grow at weakest pace since 2005

Japan's trade surplus shrank 30.2 percent in March with exports growing at the weakest pace in almost three years due to the US economic slowdown, official figures showed Wednesday.

Oil prices pause after surging close to $120

Record-breaking oil prices paused on Wednesday after spiking near 120 dollars per barrel, as international concern mounted and the world's top producer appealed for calm over soaring energy costs.

Euro pauses in Asia after record high

The euro marked a pause in Asian trade on Wednesday a day after breaching the 1.60-dollar barrier for the first time on renewed jitters about the US economy, dealers said.

Airbus, Boeing sign accord to cut air traffic impact on environment

Rival aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing put aside their differences and signed an agreement on Tuesday to work together to cut the impact of air traffic on the environment.

Japan, S Korea to resume FTA talks

Agreement by the leaders of South Korea and Japan to restart negotiations for a free trade agreement indicates conviction to successfully hammer out a deal once and for all, experts said Tuesday.

Metropolitan

No anti-Quran section in Nat'l Women Dev Policy

There is no anti-Quran section in the Women Development Policy, but a vested political quarter is conspiring to snatch the rights of women in the name of religion, said the Islamic scholars at a roundtable yesterday.

Most of high schools yet to get guidelines about SQ method

Four months into the new academic year, around 10 lakh class IX students have yet to have studies on the go as authorities have neither printed textbooks nor trained up most teachers as per the announced Structured Question (SQ) method.

Bangladesh deserves foreign funds

Speakers at a discussion yesterday emphasised optimum usage of climate change adaptation fund by finding out an effective way to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

Road crashes kill 9, injure 55

At least nine people were killed and 55 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Netrakona and Jhenidah yesterday.

Emergency to be lifted before polls

Outgoing British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury yesterday said they would hope that the state of emergency would be lifted ahead of the elections.

'World Biggest Lesson' taught across country

'World Biggest Lesson' was taught yesterday globally along with Bangladesh where millions of children, teachers, parents and campaigners participated in highlighting 'Quality Education to End Exclusion'.

Robiul, Anupam, Shafkat winners in different categories

The final round of a two-month talent-hunt programme titled 'Marks All-rounder' was held in the port city on Tuesday evening through a gala function.

Price of coarse rice on rise in city markets

Price of coarse rice in the wholesale markets of the city has been registering an upward trend for the last five days.

Southern Zone Power Distribution Co okayed

The Council of Advisers yesterday approved a proposal for forming Southern Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd under the Power Development Board for distribution of electricity in Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Noakhali and Comilla districts.

Suggestions from parties to be placed at council of advisers

The council of advisers will be presented a report containing suggestions made during informal talks with political parties.

Hearing on govt appeal resumes

After a five-week adjournment, the hearing on a government appeal against the High Court judgment on detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina in an extortion case filed by businessman Azam J Chowdhury resumed yesterday at the Supreme Court.

Extend hands of cooperation to CRP

Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) Coordinator Valerie Taylor, an angel for the paralysed, yesterday called on all affluent section of the society to extend their hands of cooperation so that CRP can go a long way with its noble duties.

Army chief to visit Bhabadah today

Army Chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed is coming here today to visit Bhabadah Beel, once a bane for the farmers for waterlogging and now a boon for them at army initiative.

Navy chief visits activities of naval contingent

Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam yesterday visited Patharghata of Barguna and Bhola districts to observe ongoing activities of the naval contingent deployed there.

US envoy meets foreign secy

US Ambassador James Moriarty yesterday made a courtesy call on Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain and discussed a broad range of bilateral issues between Dhaka and Washington.

Solve power, water crises

Leaders of Left Democratic Front (LDF) yesterday urged the government to take initiatives to solve the power and water problems across the country including the capital, says a press release.

3 injured in fresh BCL factional clash

At least three activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were injured yesterday in a clash between its two factions on the Dhaka University (DU) campus.

'Stick to decision of starting SQ system in 2010'

Leaders of Progatishil Shikkhak Chhatra Obhibhabak Forum, a platform of progressive teachers, students and guardians, yesterday urged the government to be strict to the decision of starting structured question (SQ) system from the SSC examinations in 2010.

30 injured in RMG worker-taxi driver clash in N'ganj

At least 30 people were injured when police charged baton indiscriminately to put down a clash between garment workers and taxi drivers at a local stand at Balurmath near Chasara in the district yesterday.

Dr Mahanambrata commemoration lecture April 26

Dr Mahanambrata Foundation for Peace and Solidarity at Dhaka University will organise Dr Mahanambrata commemoration lecture at the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) auditorium on April 26 (Saturday), says a press release.

Attack on religious minorities protested

Bangladesh Chhatra Maitree yesterday strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a religious minority group at Ruhirbari village under Ujirpur upazila in Barisal, says a press release.

JCD demands removal of ECs

Leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), yesterday staged demonstration on the Dhaka University (DU) campus demanding removal of three election commissioners (ECs) for their alleged involvement in conspiracy against BNP.

Apollo Hospitals celebrates founding anniversary

Apollo Hospitals Dhaka (AHD) celebrated the 2nd daylong 'centres of excellence' programme commemorating the 3rd anniversary of the hospital at the hospital auditorium recently, says a press release.

Minor boy dies in rooftop fall

A minor boy died falling from roof of a five-storied building in Mymensingh on April 16, says a press release.

Day labourer feared buried alive in mudslide

A day labourer was feared buried alive in a mudslide while digging a well at Koylarghat of Kamrangirchar in the capital yesterday.

'Re-fix minimum wage'

Leaders of Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SKOP) yesterday demanded re-fixing the minimum wage for the workers considering the interests of both the workers and the owners.

Journos' opinions conveyed to govt

A paper, containing the opinions of journalists on the draft Right to Information Ordinance, was handed over to Information Secretary Jamil Osman yesterday.

'Take steps to hand over power to elected govt'

Workers' Party of Bangladesh (WPB) President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday urged the government to take steps to hand over power to an elected government quickly, says a press release.

Three cheats arrested in city

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested three alleged frauds who have become millionaires and owners of even houses in the city by cheating people.

National

Bumper Boro yield expected in Mymensingh, Moulvibazar districts

Bumper production of Boro paddy is expected in Mymensingh and Moulvibazaar districts in this season as much larger areas came under cultivation and weather was favourable, said officials of Agriculture Extension Department (AED).

Potato rots in Chandpur cold storages as overloading raises temperature

A huge amount of potato is rotting at several cold storages in Chandpur Sadar, Matlab, Hajiganj, and Kochua upazilas, said affected potato growers, traders and middlemen.

Khepupara Radar Station opens today

The operation of a new radar station at Khepupara in Patuakhali is beginning today to monitor tropical cyclones generated in the Bay of Bengal and strengthen the early warning system to reduce casualties by natural disasters.

Tk 1 crore stolen electric wire seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized stolen electric wire worth over Tk 1 crore from an illegal factory and held ten factory workers in the port city yesterday.

2nd charge sheet submitted against ex-chief whip Hasanat

Barisal police has submitted charge sheets in two criminal cases lodged against former chief whip Abul Hasanat Abdullah for the second time.

Arms, drugs, fake notes seized

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized firearms, bullets, heroin, Indian phensidyl, marijuana and fake currency notes and arrested nine people including arms traders and drug peddlers from different areas in Rajshahi region yesterday and Tuesday.

Unique scheme to help the poor

Family of a Dubai expatriate has taken initiative to help the poor people of his area by selling rice at Tk 20.

Letters

Rickshaws in the city

This is in response to Mr. Sikander Ahmed's letter dated April 16, 2008.

Government support for SMEs

Underscoring the role of SMEs for the rapid growth of our economy and generation of employment opportunity, your recent piece in this regard is worth mentioning ('Incentives for SME Development: A compelling necessity' April 16th). Referring to the Governor of Bangladesh Bank the article rightly mentioned that macro economic policies should be supportive of SME development.

Full page daily, please

The readers of DS get the chance to write something in this page. Yes, this is solely the readers' page! Our happiness knows no bounds when we get a complete full page. But our happiness comes down to 50% when 50% of this page is occupied by... And we become sad when we find no page at all on some days.

Noise pollution

In the city of Dhaka, as I know, certain people are indiscriminately using microphones in residential, residential-cum-commercial areas, around educational institutions and nursing homes etc. They are using the microphones for selling their products and are roaming all around. This definitely disturbs people and must be stopped.

Salute the hero

With much grief and sadness we heard the news of another tragic accident at Tangail.

Railway crossings or death traps?

I was reading the report on the train-bus accident at Tangail. When I was in Bangladesh five years back and saw many level crossings on the newly built train line, I was totally disappointed to see some unsafe crossings in Dhaka -Tangail route. These are not accidents but planned killing by the builders of the Dhaka -Jamuna bridge railway track. Who was in charge of this death trap designing?

Potatoes

While Adviser CS Karim and Army Chief General Moeen suggested the people to substitute potatoes for rice with some good intention, they said something that is open to debate. Potatoes have much higher GI index than rice or other grains. Too much intake of potatoes can trigger diabetes in some people. Those who are already diabetic risk raising their blood sugar to dangerous levels by eating too much potatoes.

Selective load shedding!

Due to power shortage, we have to accept load shedding as an unavoidable evil. However, I feel aggrieved when I find some areas of Dhaka city, where schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, clinics and doctors` chambers are also located, suffering regular load shedding, whereas some VIP areas such as Baridhara, Banani, Gulshan, DOHS etc. are exempted from it. The areas having VIP residences, corporate offices, clubs, restaurants, which can afford UPS or generators, are spared the pangs of load shedding. It is not understood why all citizens are not allowed to share this burden.

International

Nepali Maoists look for allies to form coalition govt

Nepal's Maoists were pushing yesterday to build a coalition government with rivals following the upset victory by the former rebels in landmark elections, with vote counting nearing completion.

Hillary survives for yet another day

Hillary Clinton should savour the moment. Soon enough, she must face the reality of time and money running out on her once-invincible campaign.

19 people killed in Iraq fighting

Another 19 people were killed in fighting between militiamen and security forces in Shia areas of Baghdad, officials said on Wednesday, as the death toll from weeks of street battles passed 360.

US will not dictate to new Pak govt over judges

A United States envoy said Tuesday Washington will not dictate to the new Pakistani government on the restoration of judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf.

Tehran to cooperate with IAEA over alleged weaponisation studies

The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Wednesday it had reached an agreement with Iran to examine allegations that Tehran has studied how to design nuclear weapons.

Pakistan drafts peace deal with militants

Pakistan's new government has drafted a peace agreement with Taliban militants in its troubled tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, officials and a rebel spokesman said yesterday.

Biodiversity loss will lead to sick world: Experts

The world risks wiping out a new generation of antibiotics and cures for diseases if it fails to reverse the extinction of thousands of plant and animal species, experts warned yesterday.

Mugabe party wins in first recount result

President Robert Mugabe's party won in the first of 23 constituencies to complete a recount of votes from last month's general elections, Zimbabwe's state media said yesterday.

3 militant commanders killed in Kashmir

Indian security forces shot dead three top commanders of the main Islamic militant group fighting to merge Indian Kashmir with Pakistan, police said yesterday.

Afghan suicide bombings, attacks kill 13

A spate of suicide bombings and other attacks on security forces in southern Afghanistan Wednesday left 13 people dead and 24 others wounded, officials said.

Mother's diet can help determine sex of child

Oysters may excite the libido, but there is nothing like a hearty breakfast laced with sugar to boost a woman's chances of conceiving a son, according to a study released Wednesday.

Denmark evacuates embassies in Algeria, Afghanistan

The Danish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it has evacuated its staff from embassies in Algeria and Afghanistan because of threats after newspapers reprinted a cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

French crown jewel to return to France

A rare 141-carat diamond bow brooch made for Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, is to return to France, more than 100 years after it was sold by the government, the Louvre Museum said Tuesday.

Arts & Entertainment

Int’l Dance Day celebration

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) and Bangladesh Nrityashilpi Sanghstha are jointly celebrating the International Dance Day this year. A nationwide month-long dance competition has been arranged on the occasion, which will end with a three-day festival starting from April 27. As part of the competition, the artistes of Dhaka division performed at BSA yesterday.

Musical rendezvous in Chittagong

The amity between Bangladesh and India was strengthened with a new dimension through the much-hyped reintroduction of the train communication, aptly named as 'Moitree Express', on Pahela Baishakh this year.

A vibrant display of crafts

The recent exhibition at Zainul Gallery-II, Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), University of Dhaka featured works of six, third year (BFA, Honours) students of the Crafts Department.

Satyajit Ray: Remembering the doyen

Talking about the great late Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, his famous Japanese counterpart Akira Kurosawa said, "The quiet but deep observation, understanding and love of the human race, which are characteristic of all his films, have impressed me greatly...I feel that he is a 'giant' of the movie industry."

Series of short stories " Tero Kahon" on ntv

A series of plays, adaptations of short stories by national and international writers, will be aired on ntv from April 24 onwards. The series includes adaptations of stories by famous litterateurs such as Sukumar Ray, R K Narayan, Bhagirath Mishra and Manik Bandyapadhyay.

Oil painting 'originated in East'

Painting with oils was taking place in what is now Afghanistan, centuries before such techniques were known to Europeans, researchers say.

Artistes delegation to visit Pakistan

A twenty member cultural delegation of dancers, musicians and singers of Bangladesh led by Mr. M.A. Mannan Hawladar, Director, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy; visited Pakistan High Commission Dhaka, on April 22. The delegation met the High Commissioner of Pakistan, Alamgir Babar. says a press release.

OP-ED

Everything you always wanted to know about potatoes

RECENT research indicates that the first potatoes were cultivated near Lake Titicaca, on the Peru/Bolivia border in the Andes, about 8,000 years ago. The potato belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family whose other members include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tomatillos. A potato is the swollen portion of the underground stem, which is called a tuber and is designed to provide food for the green leafy portion of the plant.

Challenges of climate change

RECENTLY, an advertisement showed how super-models are trying to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle through their outfits made with materials that are less polluting, less harmful to the environment and the earth, which, in other words, is called a green method of living.

Gram sarkar and local government election

WITH the approval of Gram Sarkar (Rescission) Ordinance, 2008, about 40,000 Gram Sarkars officially existing so long as the lowest tier of the local government stand abolished. In fact, when the Gram Sarkar Bill, 2003 was placed before the parliament on February 26, 2003, about 11 MPs participating in the debate demanded eliciting of public opinion on the Bill prior to its approval as an Act. There was also demand for a referendum on the formation of such a vital tier of the local government, limiting the authority of the Union Parishad.

Signs for everyone

VAST numbers of readers wrote in to share their favourite Asian signpost. Clearly most of us go travelling around Asia not to visit beaches and historic monuments, but to snap pictures of signs which say: "Please Do Not Take Explosives into this Toilet."

Star Chittagong

CDA raises citizens' hopes for plots

Fast development of residential areas and fair allocation of plots by Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) have raised hopes among the common people for a piece of land in the port city.

Pirated books flood city markets

Pirated copies of books of higher education are flooding the bookshops in the port city, causing loss to the importers and distributors alongside depriving the government of revenue.

The Week That Was

Education and career expo ends
A three-day education and career exhibition titled “Education & Career@ Bangladesh Expo-08” and a workshop on “How to face an interview, concluded in the port city on Saturday.



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