The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, November 24, 2014


News of: Thursday, 22nd of May, 2008

Front Page

Govt talks with parties from today

The formal dialogue between the caretaker government and political parties kicks off today with the hope of reaching a consensus over a number of debatable issues and creating an atmosphere congenial to holding of the stalled parliamentary election by the end of this year.

Defaulted loans rise by Tk 1,215cr in 3 months

Defaulted loans in the banking sector increased by about Tk 1,215 crore or 5.36 percent in the first quarter of this year due to sluggish economy.

Graft goes institutional amid lax NBR watch

Rampant corruption in the control of imports became institutionalised as the bodies charged with monitoring trade, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and customs, became partners in the crime, an investigation by The Daily Star can reveal.

Hasina’s trial starts at special court

A special court yesterday started trial of the barge-mounted power plant graft case against former premier Sheikh Hasina and seven others with deposition of plaintiff Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Deputy Director SM Sabbir Hasan.

Sonali CBA don Bakir gets 13yrs, wife 3rs

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced BM Bakir Hossain, a top leader of Sonali Bank collective bargaining agent (CBA), to 13 years imprisonment, for amassing illegal wealth and concealing information in his wealth statement to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Aga Khan pledges help in developing human resources

The visiting Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community, Prince Karim Aga Khan, yesterday said his community would undertake various training programmes to develop human resources in Bangladesh.

Deployment of armed forces with arrest power in local govt polls

The Election Commission (EC) has moved to formulate rules for deployment of armed forces alongside other regular forces in local government elections with powers to arrest anyone without warrant on grounds of violation of electoral rules.

Women behind bars hope for new life

Shushila, a 35-year-old woman serving a life term for murder, never thought she could do anything useful for anyone again.

ACC permitted to quiz Bhuiyan, Nizami, Shamsul

A Dhaka court yesterday gave the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) permission to interrogate detained former LGRD minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, land minister M Shamsul Islam and Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami at jail gate in connection with the Barapukuria coalmine corruption case.

Polls to 5 city corporations, 9 municipalities in July: CEC

The Election Commission (EC) will announce schedule for local-body polls soon after the law ministry finalises the electoral rules, the chief election commissioner (CEC) yesterday said.

Hearing starts on Khaleda's petition

The High Court (HC) yesterday started hearing on the petition filed by former prime minister Khaleda Zia for quashing the proceedings against her in Niko graft case.

US envoy sees bleak political situation if poll not held by Dec

US Ambassador in Dhaka James F Moriarty yesterday said the political situation in Bangladesh, along with other elements, would deteriorate if general elections are not held by December this year.

Environment polluters still unpunished

Although the Environment Cell of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) in 2003 detected 36 industrial plants in Tejgaon Industrial Area of the capital as the main polluters of the Balu river and linked canals, no action has yet been taken against them.

Niko corruption case against Hasina shifted to special court

The Niko corruption case against detained former premier Sheikh Hasina and eight others was transferred yesterday to a special court set up at the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar MP hostel for trial.

China grateful to Bangladesh for mourning

Beijing has expressed profound gratitude to the government and people of Bangladesh for observing national mourning day and hoisting the national flag at half-mast in respect to the victims of China earthquake and Myanmar cyclone.

Emergency won't be compatible with free polls

The state of emergency during voting would not be compatible with free and fair elections, Erica Barks-Ruggles, US deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labour, yesterday said.

Mother, 2 kids missing in boat capsize

A mother and her two children are feared drowned in the Buriganga at Kholamora in Keraniganj after a sand-laden trawler rammed the boat they were travelling on Tuesday night causing it to capsize.

New committee to fix fare of CNG-run buses

The government yesterday formed a high-powered committee to set the fare of CNG-run passenger buses running in Dhaka and Chittagong as the bus operators refused to accept the fare fixed by a previously formed committee.

BDR clarifies Satkhira incidents

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has denied physical assault of anyone or acts of damaging shops by its personnel in Satkhira town on Monday as reported in a section of the press.

Islamic leaders seek Nizami's punishment for war crimes

Representatives of the Islamic community of the country yesterday demanded punishment of Jamaat Ameer Matiur Rahman Nizami for war crimes he committed during the Liberation War.

Probe finds untrained master responsible

The probe committee looking into the tragic launch capsize in Ghorautra river in Kishoreganj, yesterday cited the main reason behind the tragic accident to its running by an untrained master.

Pakistan signs peace deal with militants

Pakistani authorities yesterday signed a peace deal with pro-Taliban militants in the northwestern Swat Valley to end months of unrest in the region, a provincial minister said.

Rival Lebanese make deal to end political conflict

Rival Lebanese leaders signed a deal yesterday to end 18 months of political conflict, pulling their country away from the brink of a new civil war and paving the way for the election of a new president.

Oil prices cross $132

Oil prices bolted to a new record above $132 a barrel Wednesday after the government reported that supplies of crude oil and gasoline fell unexpectedly last week. And crude's rise in the futures market again pressured consumers by pulling prices at the pump higher -- a gallon of regular gas rose overnight to a new record above $3.80 a gallon.

Obama wins Oregon, Hillary takes Kentucky

Barack Obama advanced to the brink of victory in the Democratic presidential race, defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Oregon primary and moving within 70 delegates of the total he needs to claim their hard-fought nomination contest.

Editorial

Regulate number of rickshaws

ONLY a quarter of the rickshaw-pullers in the city have the licence issued by the City Corporation, which means that nearly three lakh rickshaws are operating illegally. With the limited road network in the metropolis such a huge number of unauthorised rickshaws are obviously a major contributor to traffic chaos in the city.

A centre for world class education

THE laying of foundation stone for the Aga Khan Academy in the city on Tuesday by Prince Karim Aga Khan has gone down as a crowning act of his august visit to Bangladesh. It has provided with an opportunity for us to greet his educational vision. The leader of the Ismailia community has reminded people once more of the ethical principles that should govern education. The academy in Dhaka is one of eighteen such centres of learning around the world and the first in a Muslim country Bangladesh. We are happy that Karim Aga Khan has chosen to have the academy established here.

Bush's visit to Israel on 60th anniversary

PRESIDENT Bush travelled to Jerusalem to take part in the celebration of the country's 60th anniversary on May 14, the day Israel was carved out of Palestinian territory.

Barack Obama over the threshold

BARACK Obama crossed an important threshold on Tuesday, May 20, when Kentucky and Oregon held their primaries. Hillary won Kentucky, while Obama won Oregon. Although he lost the Kentucky primary by more than two to one (65% to 30%), the pledged delegates Obama won from Kentucky put him over the top. The primaries and the caucuses were fought to win 3253 delegates.

Religious freedom: Just a slogan, or something we need to uphold?

EACH citizen in Indonesia is entitled to practice whatever faith he/she believes in. Our Constitution, in article 29, verses 1 and 2, supports this. This means the state legally guarantees its citizens to adhere and to practice whatever religion they believe in. The question is; if the state recognises its citizens' right to have, or even perhaps not to have, religion, then why do some people, who claim to be religious, prevent others from exercising the same right they have to practice their faith?

Sports

Abahani triumph

When Arafat Sunny drove Mohammad Sharif towards the mid-wicket rope, Abahani sealed their second successive Premier League title beating Surjo Torun by four wickets at BKSP in Savar on a tension-filled Wednesday.

It's Red in Russia

Manchester United won the Champions League here at the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday beating Premiership rivals Chelsea 6-5 in a penalty shootout after the match finished 1-1 after extra-time.

Dollar does it for MSC

Dollar Mahmud showed his big-hitting ability during a glowing half-century as Mohammedan Sporting Club finished their disappointing Premier Cricket League campaign with some sort of consolation.

Chennai, Mumbai choke

This was Chokers Day in the Indian Premier League. A few hours after Mumbai Indians collapsed from a winning position to dent their semifinal chances, Chennai Super Kings outdid them as panic struck at the Chidambaram Stadium last night. The Bangalore Royal Challengers seemed certain to crash to their sixth successive defeat but even they might struggle to fathom how they pulled off this robbery.

Winning where it mattered

To prove that your competition can only be conquered out on the field, Abahani came from behind to lift Dhaka's most prestigious cricket tournament after being third on the points table when the Super League started on April 9.

AFC assures help

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed Bin Hammam has promised all the help he can provide on behalf of Asia's governing body of football to the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF), said Kazi Salahuddin.

Benitez eyes MU scalp

While Man-chester United were preparing for the Cham-pions League final, Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez was already planning to overthrow the Premier League champions next season.

Persie boost for Dutch

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie boosted Dutch hopes of landing their second European title on Tuesday as he told AFP he believed he would be fully fit by the time Euro 2008 starts on June 7.

Croats ready to surprise

Eliminated in the first round of World Cup 2006, Croatia has turned its football fortunes around going into the European Championships thanks to a new wave of players.

Turkey see off Slovakia

2002 World Cup semifinalists Turkey beat Slovakia 1-0 to give themselves a timely boost ahead of the Euro 2008 finals which begin on June 7.

Del Piero, Cassano make it

Alessandro Del Piero made the cut on Tuesday as Italy coach Roberto Donadoni trimmed his Euro 2008 list of possibles down to 24 -- though he has to drop one name by May 28.

Axiom gets title rights

Axiom Technologies Limited secured the title sponsorship rights for next month's tri-series involving India, Pakistan and hosts Bangladesh.

First Test from today

For all the talk about a Caribbean cricket revival and a weakening of Australia's grip on the game, Ricky Ponting's new-look side have the familiar role of favourites in the Test series against West Indies which opens in Kingston, Jamaica, on Thursday.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh women's handball team finally got the visa from the Indian High Commission yesterday and left for Kolkata later in the night to Lucknow to take part in 3rd South Asian Handball Championship.

AS Roma coaches in town

A four-member delegation from Serie A club AS Roma arrived in Dhaka yesterday to run coaching workshops in the city.

Hayden in doubt

Australia opening batsman Matthew Hayden is doubtful for Thursday's opening Test against West Indies due to an Achilles injury, captain Ricky Ponting said on Tuesday.

No problem with Khan: Ganguly

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Sourav Ganguly yesterday denied reports of a rift between him and team owner Shah Rukh Khan over team composition and tactical matters, and said he will clear the matter soon.

7-star Abahani ride on Jimmy hattrick

Abahani crushed Mariner Young's Club 7-0 in the Green Delta Premier Hockey League yesterday to warm up for next week's top-of-the-table clash against Usha Krira Chakra.

Delhi must win today

Delhi Daredevils will have to fight against pre-tournament favourites-turned under achiever Kolkata Knight Riders as well as the natural elements in their must win Indian Premier League match here today to stay afloat for a semifinals berth.

C'Ron inherits Figo's mantle

Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo assumed former great Luis Figo's role on Tuesday as he was handed his number 7 shirt and named captain by Portugual coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Greece name Euro squad

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel has named a 24-man squad for the friendly match with Hungary on Saturday in Budapest.

Pauleta wants talks on future

Paris Saint Germain striker Pedro Pauleta said on Tuesday he would have liked a chance to discuss his future at the club and admitted that the failure of the club to enter talks as his contract ran out meant it was "difficult" to see him postponing his departure.

Flamini left to fulfil dream

AC Milan's latest signing Mathieu Flamini has spoken about his decision to leave Arsenal, saying that only a dream move to the Italian giants could have tempted him away from London.

Maradona warns Pele

Argentina's Diego Maradona, notorious for his drug-taking, warned fellow soccer icon Pele Tuesday to stop criticising him because he too had a "dark side" and had done things he wants kept secret.

Business

Shared ATM scheme gets poor response

Plans to set up a joint network of ATMs have stalled, as the country's banks are unwilling to share facilities with each other.

US passes anti-Opec bill

The House of Representatives Tuesday passed a bill authorizing the federal government to sue Opec in US courts over alleged price fixing, in the latest swipe at the cartel over skyrocketing oil prices.

Frozen fish meets demand for uncontaminated fish

One of the country's leading fish exporters has started to supply frozen sea fish to the domestic market to meet the rapidly growing demand for uncontaminated fish.

8 garment units get quota

The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) yesterday started giving approval to garment factory owners for exporting 8 million pieces to India this year under an agreement between Dhaka and New Delhi in September last year that allows Bangladesh a zero tariff facility for the yearly export of the agreed pieces.

GP sacks supplier for child labour

Grameenphone, the country's largest mobile operator, has sacked a supplier and launched a major investigation following revelations of unacceptable working conditions, pollution and child labour at its suppliers.

3 govt firms to amend rules to sell more shares

The three state-run companies are going to amend their memoranda and articles of associations next month for further offloading of their shares on the stock market.

Italian textile machinery makers eye greater market share in Bangladesh

Finding Bangladesh textile sector's continuous growth, the Italian textile machinery makers eye a greater market share of their products here, as they told a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

Increase in farm subsidy needed for food security

The government needs to increase agricultural subsidy in the next budget for ensuring food security against the backdrop of soaring prices of essentials both on international and domestic markets, economist Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud said yesterday.

DSE names 28 firms for failure to hold AGMs, pay dividends

28 companies have been identified by the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) as they have failed to hold annual general meetings and pay dividends without acceptable reasons.

More homestead farming could meet vegetable needs

The increased cultivation of vegetables on rural farmsteads would substantially help meet the country's demand for such produce, agriculturalist said at a workshop yesterday.

Govt looks for alternatives to gas, says Petrobangla chief

The government is considering exploring alternatives to gas, such as coal, in order to ensure a secure supply of electricity for industrial production, Jalal Ahmed, chairman of Petrobangla, said yesterday.

Road is less travelled in US as gas prices skyrocket

Americans are driving less for the first time in nearly 30 years as they face up to skyrocketing fuel prices, putting a dent in lifestyles in a country where the car has long reigned as king.

Unlocking the potential of the Bangladeshi diaspora

Diaspora, coming from the Greek word for “dispersion”, is defined in the Webster dictionary as “people settled far from their ancestral homeland”. The impact of the overseas Chinese, Indian and more recently Vietnamese communities in their respective economic transformations in the last 15 years cannot be overestimated, especially in the technology sector. But the impact of the diaspora in Bangladesh has so far been largely limited to remittances.

Govt support for knitwear sector to continue: Aziz

Adviser for Finance and Planning Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday assured the leaders of knitwear manufacturers of continuing government support to the sector.

Wall Street slammed by worries on inflation, housing

US stocks took a beating Tuesday as sentiment took a hit from worrisome inflation data and a weak earnings report from Home Depot that highlighted troubles in the housing market.

Latin America's economies to worsen in 2008

The economies of Latin America look likely to worsen this year, a quarterly survey released Tuesday suggested.

WTO offers fresh flexibility on industrial goods in Doha round

The World Trade Organisation offered about 30 developing countries on Tuesday a range of options to cut industrial goods tariffs in the hope of finally concluding the Doha round of trade talks.

Brazil's Petrobras bigger than Microsoft: Survey

Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petrobras has overtaken Microsoft to become the third-biggest company in the Americas in terms of stock market capitalisation, a Brazilian research firm said Tuesday.

Buffett says top bankers should be accountable for risks

Warren Buffett, the world's richest man, said Tuesday that few banking chief executives appeared willing to assume responsibility for the risks their institutions take.

Dollar falls against euro

The dollar lost ground against the euro Tuesday as traders raised the odds that the European Central Bank (ECB) might be forced to raise interest rates amid spiking inflation pressures.

Metropolitan

Join dialogue for sake of democracy

Eminent academic Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday said forming national government at this stage would delay the return to democracy.

Aga Khan lays foundation stone for Jamatkhana

Visiting Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims, and Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury jointly laid the foundation for the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre in Dhaka yesterday, which will be used as a place for congregational gathering of the Ismailis and their administrative functions.

Walk to preserve heritage sites

On the eve of celebrating 400 years of Dhaka, the city is losing its past glory to the current trend towards shiny new apartment buildings.

Hajj, Umrah exhibition June 5-7

A Hajj and Umrah Exhibition 2008 is going to be held at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city from June 5 to 7 to bring together the Muslims willing to observe Hajj and Umrah and agencies providing services.

Old scanning machine to check luggage

To ease further the sufferings of passengers, Chittagong customs authority is installing the old scanning machine replacing its damaged X-ray head at Shah Amanat International Airport following the recent installation of a rented one.

Arrest of Bihari sparks protest

In protest against the arrest of a stranded Pakistani from the city's Mohammadpur Geneva Camp, several hundred residents of the camp put up a barricade on a road in the area for over two hours yesterday afternoon.

$1.4m Aussie grant for Rohingyas

United Nations High Commissioner for the Refugees (UNHCR) is going to build new homes for 10,000 Rohingya refugees at Kutupalong Camp in Cox's Bazar at a cost of US$1.4 million donated by the Australian government.

Nazrul's birth anniversary celebration begins tomorrow

Nazrul Academy is going to organise an eight-day programme beginning from tomorrow in the city to mark the 109th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Bangladesh country of religious harmony: CA

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the government efforts would continue to uphold the rights of people of all faiths in the country.

Dhaka elected to ILO Governing Board

Bangladesh has been elected to the Governing Board of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva for the term 2008-11.

Aga Khan assures support in education sector

Education Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday called on visiting Prince Karim Aga Khan at his hotel suite.

Youth's Saudi job uncertain as muggers snatch papers

A youth is facing the risk of losing his job in Saudi Arabia since muggers snatched away his passport, air ticket and visa on April 13 from the city's Gulshan area.

Shaptahik 2000, Anandadhara celebrate 10th anniversary

Shaptahik 2000, a weekly magazine, and Anandadhara, a fortnightly entertainment magazine, celebrated their 10th founding anniversary yesterday.

Birshrestha Mahiuddin Jahangir library, museum open in Barisal

Special Assistant to the Chief Adviser Brig Gen (retd) MA Malek inaugurated the 'Birshrestha Captain Mahiuddin Jahangir (Engr) Library and Museum' at Agorpur village in Babuganj upazila here yesterday.

Hannan Shah briefs Crowley

Adviser to BNP chairperson Brig Gen (Retd) Hannan Shah on Tuesday met Co-chairman of Bangladesh Caucus in US Congress Joseph Crowley at the latter's office in Washington.

Medical team leaves for Myanmar

A 33-member combined military and civil medical team, led by Lt Colonel Anwar, left Dhaka by two BAF Aircrafts C-130 and AN-32 for Myanmar yesterday.

Lions urged to work more sincerely for humanity

Speakers at a function here yesterday urged members of the Lions Clubs to dedicate their sincere service more vigorously to the people in distress across the country.

2 DU students mugged

Muggers took away mobile phones and wallets from two Dhaka University students after hitting one of them in the head with a machete on the campus in the early hours of yesterday.

Dhaka elected to WHO Executive Board

Bangladesh has been elected to the Executive Board (EB) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a member for the period 2008-11.

One gets life for raping retarded woman

The tribunal judge here yesterday sentenced a young man to prison for life for raping a retarded (deaf and dumb) woman as a result of which she gave birth to a son.

DU teacher relieved of academic activities

Authorities of Psychology Department at Dhaka University (DU) temporarily relieved a teacher of all kinds of academic activities at the department for his alleged involvement in sexually harassing a female student of the same department.

Appeal for help

Salma, a six-year-old girl, has been suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a condition which affects the nervous system and paralyses sufferers.

Moderate tremor recorded near Sumatra

A moderate tremor with a magnitude of 5.6 on Richter scale was recorded near Bengkula of Sumatra, Indonesia yesterday, according to a met office message.

National

Jhenidah, Netrakona BNP in crisis as bigwigs held, hiding or inactive

Failing to get proper guidance from leaders, BNP activists in Jhenidah and Netrakona districts have remained virtually inactive even after over one week of lifting ban on the indoor politics.

Verdict in RU Prof Taher murder case today

The verdict in sensational Rajshahi University (RU) Professor Dr Sheikh Taher Ahmed murder case will be delivered today

BSF abducts 2 farmers

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) abducted two Bangladeshi farmers from near Chapasher border under Haripur upazila in Thakurgaon yesterday morning.

Woman killed by husband

Husband beat to death a woman at his house at Noupara village under Gurudaspur upazila under Natore district yesterday.

One to die for killing wife

Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court in Chapainawabganj yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing wife.

RU BCL activist stabbed

A Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist of Rajshahi University unit was stabbed by rivals of the same party near Binodpur Tuesday night.

Letters

Hasina's treatment

Everybody knows that AL president Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped death in the notorious bomb blast on August 21, 2004. But her ears were badly damaged due to the terrible sound of the bomb blasts and the bullets fired on the AL rally. Not only her private physicians but also those of Square Hospital, where the government admitted her, unequivocally declared that treatment of her damaged ears was beyond their capability. Her last time treatment was done in the USA and she needs to have the treatment there again.

Agricultural inputs

When there is a continuous hike in the prices of the agricultural inputs, then the incomes of the farmers would become further marginalised.

Global warming

Biodiversity is a popular way of describing the diversity of life on earth, it includes all life forms &the ecosystems of which they are a part. The biological resources of each & every country are important, but not all are equally endowed. In general, a small number of countries lying in the tropics and subtropics account for a very high percentage of world's biodiversity. Thus, biodiversity provides the raw materials, combinations of genes, that produce the plant varieties and animal breeds upon which agriculture depends.

Obama's move

From the newspapers, we have learned that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wants to have talks with Iran. It is a good decision from Obama's side which will serve the cause of sustainable peace in the region.

Punish the killers

The report of the murder of two little boys (Jewel and Biplob) touched me so much that I couldn't hold my tears. I cannot forget this for a single moment.

Police station needed

Violent incidents taking place in front of Dhaka College are a common sight these days. Besides political clashes, often the students of this college are seen battling with shop-owners and employees, hawkers, drivers and commuters and finally with the police. Thus the vehicles and passengers face a miserable situation. Women from all areas of Dhaka, shopping at New Market, Gauchhia and other adjoining markets and the school going girls along with their mothers often fall victim to such circumstances.

Jaipur blasts

We condemn the bomb blast that occurred in the Indian tourist city of Jaipur a couple of days ago. A previously-unknown militant group has claimed responsibility for a string of blasts that killed 63 people. This is an act of barbarism. Whoever has done this barbaric act should be brought to justice. How long will the peace-loving ordinary citizens continue to suffer?

Medical college

Recently, the government declared that five medical colleges would be set up in the country. We welcome this decision and hope the government will soon establish a medical college in Kushtia which has been the demand of the local people for a long time. In June 1980, the then president of the country had laid the foundation stone of this much cherished medical college, which is yet to be built. There is a general hospital in Kushtia with two hundred and fifty beds. A Medical Assistant Training School and a Nursing Training Centre are also there. So if a medical college is established, these buildings can be used for classes at the initial stage. The other infrastructure could be built gradually as there is no need to buy land, for the required land is already there. So, it would not cost a lot of money to start a medical college here which could serve the poor and unfortunate people of this district with good treatment facilities.

Rice production

Dasgupta's proposed solution for ending our rice crisis (May: 15) is rather an informative essay on global rice situation covering its production, sale and inventory levels. Tucked away in the concluding paragraphs, he proposes support for the farmers directly to increase their acreage under rice planting. The banning of rice export, by the major rice exporting countries, is their way to ensure their own rice inventories. May be it is a shrewd policy for increasing rice export prices by curbing supplies which will naturally boost up prices!

International

China to spend $13billion on quake relief, rebuilding

China announced yesterday it would spend more than 13 billion dollars on relief and reconstruction work following last week's earthquake disaster, slashing its budget by five percent to free up cash.

India, Pakistan sign prisoner swap deal

India and Pakistan have signed a prisoner exchange accord and agreed to meet again in July after talks in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

PPP may give indemnity to Nov 3 actions

The government may give indemnity to President Pervez Musharraf's November 3, 2007, actions “if it is in the national interest”, Law Minister Farooq H Naek told Dawn News on Tuesday.

Israel accepts Gaza truce in principle

Egyptian state media announced on Tuesday that Israel has agreed in principle to a truce in and around Gaza and quoted calls by a top official for Palestinian militants to seize an "historic opportunity".

Violence marks anti-Maoist strike in Kathmandu

Sporadic violence broke out in Nepal's capital yesterday during a day-long shutdown to protest the killing of a city businessman allegedly by the Maoists, an incident that sparked resentment against the former rebels who are expected to head the country's new government.

White House nod within reach: Obama

Barack Obama's camp yesterday celebrated a potent milestone on the road to the Democratic presidential nomination after sharing the spoils with Hillary Clinton in the two latest contests.

Kennedy has brain tumour, says doctors

Legendary political patriarch Senator Edward Kennedy has a malignant brain tumour, doctors said Tuesday, days after he was airlifted to a Boston hospital following a seizure.

Israeli MPs slam Olmert's Syria peace bid

Israeli members of parliament yesterday dismissed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement of renewed peace talks with Syria as a bid to divert attention from the latest police inquiry against him.

Myanmar shuns aid from US warships

Myanmar shunned a US proposal for naval ships to deliver aid to cyclone victims yesterday, according to state-run media, dimming hopes that the vessels could provide a major boost to relief efforts.

Strike paralyses life in Kashmir

Most businesses and schools closed in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir yesterday after a separatist group called for a general strike to mark the death anniversaries of two key Kashmiri leaders.

4 Palestinians killed in Gaza

A 13-year-old boy, two militants and another Palestinian were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, as talks continued in Egypt on a proposed truce, medics and witnesses said.

Arts & Entertainment

16th Young Artists' Art Exhibition

For her simple yet innovative painting, Broken Door 2, Sarkar Nahid Niazi has won the Best Award in Painting at the ongoing 16th Young Artists' Art Exhibition at the National Art Gallery, organised by the Department of Fine Arts, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Two paintings from her Broken Door series are on display at the exhibition.

Tareque and Catherine Masud at Cannes

Filmmakers Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud have been invited to the 61st Cannes Film Festival 2008 (May 15-25) to take part in the 40th anniversary celebrations of the "Directors' Fortnight" section of the festival, says a press release.

Learning the ropes

Arifa Hossain Tania, better known as Tania, is fast becoming popular as a TV actress. Tania's stepped into the world of acting when she joined theatre troupe Nagarik Natya Sampraday. This young actress made her first appearance on a TV commercial for Sunsilk and at present she is seen in TV serials Mahanagar and Salah-uddin Lavlu's Ghar Kutum. Recently, Tania talked to The Daily Star, sharing her views on priorities and missing out on family life.

Nazrul birth anniversary celebration at Public Library

On the second day (May 20) of National Nazrul Sangeet Convention organised by Nazrul Sangeet Shilpi Parishad (NSSP), several renowned and upcoming artistes performed at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library.

Eastwood joins dark films among Cannes favourites

An animated documentary about Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon and an unflinching portrait of the Naples mafia were among the front-runners for top honours as the Cannes film festival hit the halfway point.

Folk music festival at Shilpakala

To uphold and promote the folk music of our country has been one of the main objectives of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA).

Subachan to stage "Khudhito pashan"

Subachan Natya Sangsad's 27th production Khudhito Pashan will be staged today at Mahila Samity, says a press release. Samar Chattyopadhyay has adapted the play from Tagore's popular short story with the same title. Renowned actor-director Khaled Khan has directed the play.

OP-ED

Food prices the wild card in the deck

ALL the good achievements of the caretaker government seem to be facing serious challenges in the wake of high prices of food, particularly rice. The global food shortage and galloping increase of food prices, and their impact on Bangladesh in recent months, are not understood by the poor masses. All they understand is the price structure that existed during the rules of Hasina and Khaleda, and compare it with the prices they are paying at the moment.

How our unconscious votes

GIVE the Democrats of West Virginia points for honesty. As Hillary Clinton romped to a landslide of 67 to 26 percent over Barack Obama in the primary, 20 percent of voters in exit polls said that race was an important factor in their choice -- triple the percentage of earlier primaries. Of those, 80 percent voted for Clinton, making clear what they meant by "important."

The silk road to riches

SERICULTURE, an agro-based labour intensive cottage industry, offers a promising alternative farm activity that promotes self-employment and provides other livelihood activities to help increase income. Being a rural-based industry it offers a qualitative and quantitative change in poverty reduction, with creation of employment for unskilled farm labourer to skilled artisans of all sections, especially women.

The secret of marketing to men: Make it ugly

SOMEONE asked me the other day why the Coca-Cola Company had released several almost identical products. Diet Coke is a variety of Coke for people who are avoiding calories. And Coke Zero is … a variety of Coke for people who are avoiding calories.

Star Chittagong

East zone plans 2 new inter-city trains with 30 posh coaches

Bangladesh Railway is importing 30 new air-conditioned coaches for its east zone to introduce two new inter-city trains between Chittagong and Dhaka with a view to providing better service to the commuters.

Construction likely to complete ahead of schedule

Construction of the Third Karnaphuli Bridge is likely to be completed by June next year -- three months ahead of the schedule.

The Week That Was

'Make jute mills profitable'
Leaders of Jute Mills CBA Samannaya Parishad on Sunday emphasised the need for government helps, effective plans and graft-free management for making the existing jute mills profitable.



The Daily Star

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