News of: Monday, 28th of April, 2008
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The government is likely to begin the much-awaited formal dialogue with the political parties in the first or second week of May.
Saifur Rahman faction of BNP yesterday asked the Election Commission (EC) to curtail the wholesale authority of law enforcement agencies to arrest anybody without a warrant on the polling day, and suggested empowering only the officers engaged in parliamentary election duties with the authority.
Detained Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said she would not leave politics on anyone's dictates.
A special court dealing with corruption cases yesterday sentenced former Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim to 13 years imprisonment for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Following an incident of fire in the eco-sensitive Lawachhara National Park during a seismic survey, US oil company Chevron Bangladesh suspended its survey work and launched an investigation.
The ulema committee formed to review the National Women Development Policy could not pinpoint in its recommendations which provisions of the policy contradict the Quran and Sunnah, said a section of Islamic scholars.
The pro-Saifur faction of BNP could not break away from the tradition and hired hundreds of people to show off their strength as they sat with the Election Commission (EC) for the reforms dialogue yesterday.
Khaleda Zia-appointed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the dialogue between the pro-Saifur faction and the Election Commission (EC) is part of a blueprint to exclude BNP from the election process.
Victims of an arson attack on four hilly villages under Baghaichhari upazila in Rangamati yesterday alleged that Bangalee settlers there set fire to their 77 houses on the night of April 20.
The Awami League (AL) yesterday postponed its token hunger strike scheduled for tomorrow in all 64 districts "due to the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) election".
The stalled annual election to the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) 2008 begins today, according to an agreement signed between the SCBA leaders and Law Adviser AF Hassan Ariff.
Thai police arrested and charged a man from Bangladesh found in possession of hundreds of fake passports and visas, a senior police official said Sunday.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is likely to submit the charge sheet of the Tk 21 crore bribery case against detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and six others to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's (CMM) Court, Dhaka today.
The country's lone crocodile farm, Reptiles Farm Ltd, established at Hatibeer of Bhaluka upazila five years ago, now has 140 seven-month-old croc babies.
The government has decided to introduce direct elections to the post of Zilla Parishad chairman and create two new posts of vice-chairman in the Zilla and Upazila Parishads.
A number of former diplomats yesterday expressed support for the movement of Sector Commanders Forum, saying that none can forgive war criminals and trial of war crimes could be conducted any time.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday said protecting the poor people from the impact of high prices of food, essential commodities and fuel remains the biggest challenge for Bangladesh.
A fire last night gutted 16 cloth and cosmetic shops of Mohammadia Super Market in Mirpur-11 in the capital.
Politicians and women leaders said yesterday that communal politics and mollatantra (theocracy) are powerful barriers to empowerment of women in the country and both should be eliminated.
Customs officials at Zia International Airport (ZIA) early yesterday seized 105 kilograms of drugs contained in five bags.
Detained Daily Janakantha Editor Atiqullah Khan Masud has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment in a case filed against him for forging a design approval from Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).
An Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) taskforce last night arrested Mohammad Abu Sufian, executive director of East West Development Ltd, a concern of Bashundhara Group, in connection with the Sabbir murder case.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday directed all commercial banks to provide accounts details of former Awami League lawmaker of Sunamganj constituency Mohibur Rahman Manik and 20 others by May 6.
An informant of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) was stabbed to death last night at Dhalpur of Jatrabari in the city.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was set today to lead a concerted effort by 27 key UN agencies to tackle the growing crisis caused by a worldwide sharp rise in basic foodstuff prices.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai escaped unharmed yesterday after militants attacked a high-profile military parade with rockets and gunfire, killing three people including an MP and wounding a dozen.
Separatist rebels used light aircraft to bomb an army defence line in Sri Lanka's war-torn north early yesterday, hours after fierce clashes killed 42 combatants, the military said.
THE statement made by the head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) last week that the global food crisis could lead to civil war in some countries and requires a complete revamping of the international food system is both timely and welcome.
THERE is no alternative to creation and application of high quality knowledge through research for a nation to progress and prosper. It is widely believed that the future world will be shaped by the knowledge of science. Therefore, a community that will lag behind in updating itself through accumulation and imparting of knowledge will perish in the long run. It is true that many of today's problems have been created through the wrong use of scientific knowledge, but it is also true that it is this knowledge again that will solve them. Therefore, a balance has to be maintained in the application of knowledge.
THERE are speculations galore that between now and June, before things slide into the thick of American election, Israel is likely to attack Iran, with the latter reacting with a quick ripostethus starting a mutually bruising war in the gulf. We couldn't care less if either Democrats or Republicans benefit from the possible catastrophe, but it does worry us in this region as to what might happen to Afghanistan and Pakistanboth Iran's neighbours but closely aligned to the United states. India, another US ally whom the US administration has been able to have on her side in its stand-off with Iran, will also matter in the ensuing conflict. How the next armageddon in a region close to ours will be eventually played out in the present milieu is of profound interests to observers. To make matters complex, a number of ethnic economic factors are also involved. Thus, the scenario appears alarmist and, hopefully, it is just that.
RELEASE of deposed judges was so easy, but the withdrawal of fake cases against Baluch leaders is becoming difficult for the new government of Pakistan. The new Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani ordered the release of detained judges immediately after getting majority in the National Assembly of Pakistan last month. His orders were implemented by the police within an hour. All Supreme Court judges were released after four months of detention ordered by President Pervez Musharraf in November 2007.
THERE are two dangerous moments in the life of any politician. One comes when he has the misfortune to be the messenger of bad news. Good news is brought by a crowd; bad news is borne by an individual, for the crowd suddenly discovers it has other things to do. The messenger's loyalty and courage are always praised -- he may even, in some circumstances, be awarded the Padma Vibhushan -- before his tongue is sliced off and deposited in a very cold icebox. Bad news may be necessary, but that does not mean that it is welcome.
The recent hopeless performance of the national cricket team has forced the authorities to rethink the recruitment policy of the players in the backdrop of a notion that the current crop 'feels comfortable' about their future under the existing salary structure despite repeated failures.
With hope to elect a workable executive committee that will bring football in the country back on the right track, the long due election of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will be held today.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) delegation in Dhaka to monitor today's election of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) was happy at the preparation.
GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) took a slender 95-run lead at the end of the second day's play of the first four-day match against Pakistan Cricket Academy at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium yesterday.
Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) president and Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday asked the newly elected members of the National Olympic Committee to increase momentum in the sports arena.
Grand Master Ziaur Rahman overcame a big hurdle when he won his seventh round board against Grand Master Abdullah Al Rakib to maintain solo lead in the 34th National Chess championship at the federation hallroom yesterday.
Simon Katich's last game of the Indian Premier League turned into a memorable one as he steered Punjab's run-chase against a formidable Delhi bowling line-up in Mohali on Sunday.
India spinner Harbhajan Singh was facing a lengthy ban from cricket on Sunday after being accused of slapping national teammate Shanthakumaran Sreesanth during an Indian Premier League match.
Rajasthan Royals continued to surge up the points table by beating Bangalore Royal Challengers comprehensively by seven wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday to draw level with the Chennai Super Kings with three wins each.
Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard took no risks ahead of Tues-day's massive Champions League semifinal with Manchester United, resting most of his stars in a 2-0 defeat at Deportivo La Coruna that all but gifts the title to Real Madrid.
Jermaine Pennant pushed his claims for a role in Liverpool's Champions League showdown with Chelsea on Wednesday night by inspiring a wonderful second-half fight back as Liverpool forced Birmingham City to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Sir Alex Ferguson hit out at the penalty decision which allowed Chelsea to claim a 2-1 win over Manchester United on Saturday and has revived the Londoners' chances of reclaiming the Premier League title.
Germany striker Kevin Kuranyi fired Schalke 04 up to joint se-cond in the Bundesliga Saturday while Bayern Munich have a golden chance to ex-tend their lead at the top of the table and put one hand on the league title if they beat Stuttgart on Sunday.
Olympique Lyon recovered from going 2-1 down and the dismissal of Fabio Grosso to draw 2-2 at home to Caen on Saturday to edge closer to a seventh successive Ligue 1 title.
The Football Association (FA) confirmed Sunday they will be examining TV footage of the post-match bust-up between Manchester United players and Chelsea staff.
Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson believes that Saturday's unruly clash at Stamford Bridge should not have an impact on John Terry and Rio Ferdinand's bids to be national team captain.
Veteran Germany midfielder Bernd Schneider faces a race against time to be fit for June's Euro 2008 tournament after back surgery.
Real Madrid would jump at the chance to sign Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, the Spanish club's president Ramon Calderon said on Sunday.
Malaysia should legalise football betting to stamp out match-fixing, a top coach said Sunday, after police launched a graft probe into five of the 13 teams in the Malaysian Super League.
Narail emerged zonal champions in the Exim Bank 19th National Women's Handball tournament beating Faridpur 23-15 in the last Super Three match of Group B at the Bagerhat Stadium.
A newly-barbered and clearly happy Kimi Raikkonen cruised to the 17th win of his career here on Sunday when he produced a flawless performance for Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Rafael Nadal won an historic fourth successive Monte Carlo Masters title on Sunday as he defeated world number one Roger Federer 7-5, 7-5 in the latest thrilling instalment of their epic rivalry.
Still in a state of shock after being punched by one of his Indian teammates, Kerala pacer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth said he has no bitter feeling towards Harbhajan Singh and he has forgiven the volatile off-spinner.
Bangladesh Under-15 side went down to West Indies by 37 runs after John Campbell scored a brilliant century in the opening round of the Clico International World Championships at Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain yesterday.
The traditional horse race competition was held at Natabaria village of Chalan Bil union in Chatmohar upazila under the district on Saturday.
Bangladesh Army Shooting Association became champions of the Golden Harvest 1st National Airgun Shooting Championship at the Sylhet Rifles Club on Saturday.
TeleTalk, valued at around Tk 1300 crore ($188 million) with the struggling state-owned operator, is aiming to offload up to 30 percent of it shares to the public by the end of the year.
Rupali Bank management is in the dark about government's future plan on the bank following the scrapping of a deal with a Saudi Prince last month, said a senior official of the bank.
A high profile European Commission (EC) anti-fraud team has cleared Bangladesh of forging certificates that give goods duty free access to the European Union (EU), the government claimed yesterday.
Thailand's prime minister Samak Sundaravej promised Sunday that the kingdom would not cut rice exports, as soaring prices of Asia's staple grain continued to fuel concerns of a shortage.
The country's state-run rubber plantations are sitting on a stockpile of 3,000 tonnes of rubber as they struggle to compete against an imported substitute known as ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA).
Asia's rainforests are being rapidly destroyed, a trend accelerated by surging timber demand in booming China and India, and record food, energy and commodity prices, forest experts warn.
Indian-born steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal remains the wealthiest person in Britain, The Sunday Times newspaper's 2008 annual Rich List said.
Agriculture Adviser CS Karim yesterday warned private seed suppliers not to sell low quality and barren seeds.
A four-member technical team is likely to go to Bangkok this week to see the Boeing 747 of Orient Thai that won the bid for leasing out to Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
A Pakistani Company will invest US$ 3.1 million to set up a knit composite industry in the Chittagong Export Processing Zone.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Saturday backed calls for the international community to create a food fund to tackle the crisis caused by sharp global price rises.
China and the European Union are committed to deepening economic cooperation, senior officials at the first China-EU High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue said on Friday.
Paddy and rice procurement drive began in the district on Saturday.
Key Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar following forecasts that the US Federal Reserve may soon end its interest rate-cutting cycle and after an inflation hike in Australia.
India's largest private-sector lender ICICI Bank on Saturday beat forecasts with a nearly 40 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit.
US business magazine Fortune rated BASF as the second best global chemical company in 2008, says a press release.
Md Mokhles ur Rahman, additional secretary, joined Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation as chairman on Tuesday, says a press release.
Singapore Airlines has taken delivery of its fourth Airbus A380 plane, the world's biggest passenger jet, which left Toulouse, France, on Saturday, Airbus said.
A Microsoft deadline for Internet service company Yahoo to accept its 44.6 billion-dollar (28.5 billion-euro) acquisition offer expired at midnight Saturday, setting the stage for a hostile takeover bid by the software giant.
Workers at one of Britain's biggest oil refineries started a two-day strike Sunday, forcing the closure of a major North Sea pipeline and triggering panic-buying of petrol.
Japan is considering subsidising farmers to boost production of rice flour as measures to cope with surging wheat prices, a report said Sunday.
Switzerland's banking sector, once synonymous with stability and secrecy, is now under intense scrutiny and undergoing serious soul-searching after its two biggest banks got caught in the subprime crisis.
The Philippines on Friday announced auction results for rice supplies in which Viet Nam won with the highest offer of US$1,200 per tonne for 100,000 tonnes of 25 percent white rice.
Speakers at a national consultation yesterday stressed the need for raising mass awareness and enacting laws to stop physical and humiliating punishment (PHP) to children in educational institutions.
With an increase of rice supply in the city's rice wholesale markets, the price of Boro rice started to fall in the last two days, while there is an acute crisis in supply of coarse rice varieties in the last week.
Those opposing the National Women Development Policy 2008 are actually differing the fundamentals of Bangladesh and its constitution, which is tantamount to sedition, said Karmojibi Nari, an organisation of over 5.0 lakh working women, in the city yesterday.
Leaders of Paribesh Bachao Andolan (PBA) (Save Environment Movement) yesterday called for an immediate halt to ongoing 3D seismic survey of Chevron Bangladesh at Lawachhara National Forest in Moulvibazar to save the bio-diversity of the forest and lives of local people.
Global Action Week ended yesterday with a call for ensuring quality education for all and ending exclusion from literacy arena.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday said provisions in the model production sharing contract (MPSC) 2008, including cost recovery, compensation, export and arbitration, will undermine the country's interest.
The 46th death anniversary of Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq was observed yesterday with due solemnity.
The second meeting of legal advisers for finalising the draft of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters was held in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo last week.
A court here yesterday sentenced three siblings to life term imprisonment in a murder case.
Police has rescued Mithila Farzana, a class four student of Singair Government Primary School in Manikganj, from Kanchpur area under Sonargaon Police Station in Narayanganj yesterday 72 hours after her abduction.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday stressed the need for readjusting the country's foreign policy.
The met office is yet to give the city dwellers any good news as the unbearable heat will remain for another couple of days though a depression was formed over southeast Bay and adjoining southwest Bay.
A police constable was killed in a road accident at Khilgaon in the city yesterday.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday expressed his grave concern over cowardly attack on Afghan President Hamid Karzai's life in Kabul.
The government has taken initiative to send a guide for each group of 50 hajj pilgrims, who will perform hajj under government management, from now on.
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed Comilla Education Board chairman and its secretary to give permission to 25 students of Duttapara Degree College in Laxmipur for taking part in the forthcoming HSC examination.
The government has cancelled licenses of 24 travel agencies for not renewing those timely.
An international seminar titled “An Update on Peptic Ulcer Disease” was held at Zia Hall in Khulna yesterday, says a press release.
Cadres of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, beat up a student of Chemistry Department of Dhaka University (DU) in the early hours yesterday.
Prof Jatin Sarker was accorded a reception by Amra Shurzomukhi, a socio-cultural organisation, says a press release.
A two-month long foundation training course for 40 BCS (Health) cadre officials began at Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) in Comilla yesterday, says a press release.
Khulna University (KU) will set up a field research station on one acre of land at Baruikhali under Dakop upazila in the district.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) at Rajshahi University yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus demanding release of BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina for the sake of establishing democracy.
Rajshahi University Rotaract Club (RUCC) yesterday held a career counseling and seminar on 'English Language Learning System' at Kazi Nazrul Islam auditorium on the campus.
Ullapara police yesterday arrested three BNP activists in a case for alleged toll collection, lodged on September 2 last year.
Two people were shot in separate incidents in the city yesterday.
The award giving ceremony of the Art Competition-2008 of Maple Leaf International School was held on the school premises in the city on Saturday, says a press release.
Chief of Pakistan Air Force Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed arrived on a five-day official visit in Bangladesh yesterday, says an ISPR press release.
A two-day Soroptimist South Asian International Conference will be held on August 15-16 to mark the 25th year of the club's charter, says a press release.
Simon P Adhikary has been elected president of National Council of Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) of Bangladesh.
An end to water crisis in Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) areas seems faraway as little progress has been made four years after taking of a project to solve the crisis.
Ending a five-day joint survey, officials of Bangladesh and India yesterday signed a draft document on border demarcation in Habiganj-Tripura sector.
Wheat straw is no more useless. Instead of being used as a cooking fuel, beautiful handicrafts are being produced from it, creating employment for women and earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.
Police arrested three injured cadres of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML) after a gunfight at Azampur in Mirpur upazila in the district Saturday night.
A sluice gate built by Water Development Board (WDB) six month ago at the mouth of Barabhetkhali canal in Mirgang river for draining out water has now turned into a bane for local people.
Former minister Tariqul Islam could not be produced before the Jessore Special Court yesterday in connection with charge framing in a case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) due to his physical indisposition.
A woman member of Mohishkhocha Union Parishad in Aditmari upazila in the district was arrested yesterday for allegedly misappropriating test relief (TR) wheat.
People of Nilphamari yesterday observed Kaliganj massacre day, showing respect to about 300 innocent people massacred by Pakistani occupation army at Kaliganj village in Jaldhaka upazila in the district.
I have just read the article by Md. Ataul Hoq on politics in DU with interest. I would like to express some of my views on this. I think that the involvement of teachers in political activities has been a thorny issue for a long time now.
When ancient Athenian invented democracy, they believed that ordinary people must have say in the government and rich oligarchs should not rule them by force. They were rightly concerned that oligarchy would ultimately lead to tyranny. The ancient Athenians realised tyranny is a kind of government that rules through fear. The symptoms of tyranny they identified are: A tyrant does not accept criticism; a tyrant does not listen to advice from those who don't agree with him; and a tyrant tries to prevent those who disagree with him from participating in politics.
My daughter Aishi, a student of class four, was reading a paragraph on jute. "Jute is the golden fibre of Bangladesh", she went on reading for her exams. In our student days we used to read the same sentence and there had been reasons to believe it at that time but is it still true these days?
Do you believe that an Election Commission which is directly involved in political game and behaves like a "Super Political Party" can and will deliver the promised election? At least, I cannot believe that. Time is approaching very fast to ask for their exit, some political parties are already asking for it.
I find interesting the healthy discussion going on in this page of DS regarding ban on rickshaws put forward by Mr. Sikander and Mohammad Rahat.
I am shocked and surprised by the decision taken by the British Council of Bangladesh and Edexcel International Examinations Body to debar Bangladeshi English Medium Students from participation and inclusion of Bangladesh Studies in GCE Ordinary Level Examinations. The only ground they try to advance is that the number of candidates is not enough. So it is not profitable for them. This debarment will deprive the English Medium Students' only way to enlighten themselves about Bangladesh--its precise history and salient geographical features.
The majority of the population is passing through hard days. Most of them are not conscious about the importance of balanced diet for good health and longevity. Malnutrition usually stems from poverty and from ignorance of what should be the ideal diet.
The affirmative role of tourism in women's empowerment can only be geared up if poverty reduction and the issue of women's dignity and role at workplace are addressed. These are among the issues in UNWTO's Action Plan to empower women through tourism, announced recently. The organistion is committed to playing an important role in economic empowerment of women in the tourism industry.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has recently established "one point service centre" to offer the taxpayers certain prompt services. One of the jobs of the said one point service centre is to issue T.I.N certificates within 2 working days of receiving application from the taxpayers. But it is seen that the one point service centre established at Zone-7, Dhaka office, is not providing such facilities, as prescribed in citizens' charter, also published by the NBR. The applicants have to wait for 20 to 30 days for such certificates. Moreover, hand written certificates are issued nowadays, though there are computers at every circle.
Pahela Baishakh is the biggest traditional festival for us. Bangla New Year is an indispensable part of our own culture, heritage, lifestyle and civilisation. When Pahela Baishakh comes I cannot express how pleased I am! It gives us a feeling of great pleasure.
Frequent road accidents in different places of the country have become a matter of great concern for all of us. These accidents yet again prove the inefficacy of our transport system.
I agree with the letter published on 17th April, 2008 entitled, “Income tax law” written by SMS Zaman, Member(retd), Taxes Administration, National Board of Revenue, Dhaka. I am a law student of 1st year and I don't know much about income tax laws.
If you have gone through the dailies or watched in the TV news the chronology of what happened in March of 1971, from the first through 25th, under the title “the days of tumultuous March”, you have again come to know who was that man whom the people of the then East Bengal, later East Pakistan, made their undisputed leader, who by virtue of his people's mandate led movement after movement against the state and government of Pakistan and sat across the table with the Pakistani Military Junta and Political Coterie and led marathon parleys in order to resolve the issues of future Pakistan on the basis of his Six-point, and who stood out to be the people's sole and supreme leader to hear from and obey, indeed as a king without the crown, and who drew the attention of the world press and the world leaders who saw in him the leader to make history. He was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Are we really going to have our stalled general election by the month of December 2008?
E-mail is the latest invention in the communications system. It helps all classes of people. The students are much benefited by e-mail. But in Bangladesh this facility hasn't reached all the students due to shortage of computers. If the e-mail facilities can be given to all the students, they will be immensely benefited by it.
In the mid-70s, the government in order to facilitate the healthy functional growth of the NGOs at national level allotted land to a number of organisations in Mirpur area of the city to build up their infrastructure facilities. The Ministry of Social Welfare incurred the cost of the land out of its revenue funds.
Sylhet railway station remains what it was. People still don't get proper service from staffs working there. Sometimes even ten days earlier passengers don't get tickets. It is a mystery that all chair tickets are sold within a few hours after the sale starts!
The only surviving military rulers in Myanmar and Pakistan are in trouble. This is an object lesson for all the countries in the region.
People going out for a walk to Raman Park in the evening are often bothered by motorcycles moving along the footpaths around the place! The motorcyclists don't look repentant, they push through the evening walkers without showing the slightest regard for traffic rules!
Israel's ambassador in Ankara raised the possibility yesterday of renewing long frozen peace negotiations with Syria under Turkish mediation.
Bullets sped past President Hamid Karzai and black smoke and the smell of gunpowder filled the air when militants struck Afghanistan's most important military parade Sunday, a minister told AFP.
US Marines are crossing the sands of southern Afghanistan for the first time in years, providing a boost to a Nato coalition that is growing but still short on manpower.
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal said on Saturday his movement is awaiting an official Israeli response to a truce offer in the Gaza Strip, even though Israel has already poured cold water on it.
Nepal's Maoists, poised to head the new government in the country, have said they would pursue a policy of 'equi-proximity' with both India and China, and would not play the China card or India card against either of the two nations.
Iraq's prime minister met yesterday with the Sunni Arab vice president to discuss reintegrating Sunni political parties into the Shia-dominated government as police said five people died in violence in Baghdad.
Foreigners hiding in the Tribal Areas are carrying out and supporting terrorist activities, President Pervez Musharraf said on Saturday.
A fire roared through a mattress factory in a poor section of Casablanca Saturday, killing up to 55 workers and injuring as many as 24 others, Moroccan officials said.
Suspected tribal rebels blew up a gas pipeline in insurgency-hit southwestern province of Baluchistan suspending supplies to several districts in central Pakistan, officials said yesterday.
The Dalai Lama said Saturday he welcomed China's offer to hold talks with his envoy but cautioned it would be meaningless to meet if Beijing was not serious about trying to solve the problems that caused recent unrest in Tibet.
The Myanmar military government has decided to allow pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi to vote in a May 10 national referendum on whether to endorse a draft constitution, sources in the ruling junta said Saturday.
Massive gunbattles broke out between suspected drug traffickers who fired at each other while speeding down heavily populated streets of this violent border city early Saturday, killing 13 people and wounding nine.
Arts & Entertainment
International Dance Day is once more on the horizon. Time for dancers and organisers to assess past successes, failures, milestones and envision the future. For some reason this art form has lagged behind in mass popularity when compared to other mediums like films, TV plays and music. While many young dancers have an eye on the more glamorous outlets, dance is picking up slowly but surely and there are many who are ardent devotees to the art form. A heartening trend is the mushrooming dance schools. Beginning in the 1950s with Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA), many dance schools have come up and earned recognition. Prominent in their ranks are Jago Art Centre, Chhayanat, Nritya Nandan, Nrityanchal and Pallavi. And this development is not confined to Dhaka. Some established dancers have taken their art to various districts and organised workshops, lecture demonstrations, cultural exchanges and festivals. For this art form to truly thrive, dance needs patronage from the corporate sector and the exposure from the media. Likewise the Ministry of Cultural Affairs needs to pull its weight on this front. To gauge the status of dance in Bangladesh today, The Daily Star spoke to a few leading dancers. Here's what they had to say:
For the last few years Bangladesh Nrityashilpi Sangstha (BNS), a common platform for dancers of the country, has been arranging special programmes to celebrate International Dance Day (April 29).
Amanul Huq, who began his career as a dancer in 1959 under the guidance of Ghonoshyam Anjariya in Karachi, Pakistan, is now a prominent name in the Bangladeshi cultural scene. The convenor of Bangladesh Nrityashilpi Sangstha (BNSS), Amanul Huq is the co-convenor of this year's International Dance Day celebration programme. The Daily Star spoke with Amanul Haque recently.
“Dance is a form of education. It has its own rules and regulations -- geometry, emotions, colours and numerous other dimensions," says noted Kaththak dancer Shaju Ahmed. On the occasion of International Dance Day, Ahmed took the time to speak with The Daily Star on the art of dancing and the effect of globalisation on this medium.
The International Dance Day celebration '08 began yesterday morning at the Music and Dance Centre Auditorium, BSA with the final of the talent hunt programme.
Cultural organisation Srijon arranged a musical soiree featuring songs of yesteryears on April 26 at the Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium, National Museum. Srijon holds similar musical programmes on the last Saturday of every month.
Banglavision will air the first episode of drama serial Horek Rang-er Mon at 6:50 pm today.
Ekushey TV will telecast the last episode of drama serial Hitlu tonight at 8:30 pm.
Jennifer Lopez has signed up to star in her own reality TV series, which will be based on her life as a singer, actress and mother.
FAUJDARHAT (then "East Pakistan") Cadet College, the most prestigious public school in the nation, was inaugurated fifty years ago today. The late Pakistani president, Ayub Khan, who as the general officer commanding (GOC) of East Pakistan in the 1950s personally selected the site at Faujdarhat, founded the school for the express purpose of supplying Pakistani armed forces with "East Pakistani" officers.
HOW much fuel can we burn before the apocalypse strikes? The catastrophe that the whole world is screaming about? How much can we move forward before the silent approach of a cataclysmic change of climate that is probably accelerating every moment?
AS food prices soar, crime rates are going up. This is bad news. Well, mostly bad. One good bit is that a revolutionary new type of villain is robbing people all over Asia. Readers of newspaper crime pages are learning about the victims, and sympathetically exclaiming: "Wow, some people have all the luck."
While conservationists decry construction of a 6-storey building on the premises of century-old Chummery House at the city's Topkhana Road labelling the act as ruinous for the magnificent architecture, the government goes on with the work.
The delectable summer fruits have started to arrive in the city markets, though most of them are still beyond the capacity of the commoner's wallet.
The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.