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Sunday, May 27, 2018

News of: Tuesday, 1st of July, 2008

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Octane now Tk 90, diesel Tk 55

The caretaker government increased prices of petroleum products for the second time during its tenure yesterday, 15 months into the last hike.

Party politics unwanted in upazila elections too

Upazila elections too will be non-partisan as the Election Commission (EC) moves to have new election rules with provisions barring candidates from using political affiliations.

S Asia braces for climate change fallout

Think of a baby born today in Dhaka. The likelihood is that she will see her birthplace sloshing under water by the time she is at the end of her lifespan. Bangladesh itself will then reduce to 20 percent of its present size, leaving only the highlands of Chittagong Hill Tracts and Sylhet peeking out of water. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts 35 million could flee Bangladesh's flooded delta by 2050.

BTV's autonomy stays trapped in red tape

The government initiative to make the state-run Bangladesh Television (BTV) an autonomous media outlet has been caught up in a maze of red tape through formations of committees, sub-committees and a lengthy evaluation process by those.

Young offenders getting into serious crimes

Growing negligence by, and indifference of, parents towards children could be the cause behind increasing cruelty in juveniles as is evident from the growing number of offences committed by them.

Farm practice change key to save land, water

Land and water resources of Bangladesh are at stake and the country may face serious food crisis next decade unless agricultural practices change, geographers and environmentalists say.

Charges framed against Huji man Zandal

A Sylhet court yesterday framed charges against Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji) operative Abu Zandal in a case filed in connection with the grenade attack on British high commissioner Anwar Choudhury on May 21, 2004.

Muggers did the horrendous crime

Two murderers who sexually abused and killed two schoolboys in the capital's Noyatola area in April, yesterday spoke to the media for the first time about how they committed the gruesome killings while under influence of drugs.

Upazila polls date soon: CEC

The Election Commission (EC) will decide within a few days about holding the Upazila Parishad polls before the general elections, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda said yesterday.

AL starts talks with allies on common stand

Awami League (AL) during its formal dialogue with the government on July 3 will urge the authorities not to hold the upazila parishad elections before the parliamentary polls.

Delwar asks govt not to hold local polls first

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday urged the government to refrain from holding local government polls before the national elections.

Hearing on charge framing adjourned until July 9

The hearing on charge framing in the Gatco corruption case started yesterday but the Special Court-3 adjourned the hearing until July 9.

JP against politics of boycotting election

HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party (JP) at its dialogue with the caretaker government yesterday strongly opposed the culture of boycotting elections.

Noab asks govt to up ad fund

Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (Noab) urged the government to increase its advertisement budget by at least four times to meet the additional cost of the newly increased rate of its advertisement.

President okays budget

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday approved the national budget for 2008-09 fiscal year beginning today.

CA calls for public-private work to control population

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday called upon public and private sectors to work under close coordination to implement target-oriented programmes to check the country's booming population growth.

2 outlaws killed in Rab 'shootout'

Two top leaders of a faction of outlawed Sarbahara Party were killed early yesterday in a shootout between the law enforcers and their cohorts at Sargram village in Pabna.

3 JMB cadres get 20yrs for keeping explosives

A Panchagarh court yesterday sentenced three activists of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 20 years rigorous imprisonment for possession of bomb making materials.

SC stays case proceedings till July 16

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed till July 16 all proceedings of the Bijoy TV graft case against detained mayor of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and former chief executive officer of the city corporation Imtiaz Hossain.

700MW power shortfall worsens load shedding

Due to gas supply shortfall, eight power plants yesterday generated more than 700 megawatt (MW) of power less than their capacity yesterday, worsening the country's load shedding situation.

Clinical Sri Lanka romp into final

Sparkling centuries from Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara powered defending champions Sri Lanka to a crushing 158-run win over Bangladesh to reach the final of the Asia Cup yesterday.

Morshed Khan, wife asked to appear in court

A Dhaka court yesterday asked absconding former foreign minister M Morshed Khan and his wife Nasrin Khan to appear before it by July 6 in connection with a case filed for amassing wealth worth Tk 1.67 crore illegally and giving false information to the commission.

CHT gets courts from today

The district and sessions judge's courts will start functioning from today in the three hill districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Oil prices hit $143

Leading figures in the oil world gathered in Madrid yesterday for one of the industry's biggest events, as oil prices hit record high points close to 144 dollars per barrel.

US-led forces kill 33 Taliban militants

US-led air strikes and Afghan ground troops killed 33 Taliban rebels in western Afghanistan, while four civilians and four US soldiers were killed in bomb blasts and attacks elsewhere, officials said yesterday.

Zimbabwe vote results not legitimate: UN

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday sharply criticised Zimbabwe's violence-marred election, saying he considered the results giving President Robert Mugabe another term illegitimate.


Poor performance of rural schools

There is little question that the results of the Secondary Certificate Examinations have been excellent this year. On our part, we have, through an editorial a few days ago, already extolled the performance of the students and their schools. We have also noted that there remains much room for improvement in the system and that ways and means need to be devised to ensure a zero failure school leaving academic structure in the country.

Unspent part of police development budget

There are certain conclusions that one might draw from the fact that a large amount of development budget of the Police for the year 2007-08 is being returned to the treasury - because it could not be timely spent on the heads they were allocated for. But the explanation accompanying the story in a Bangla daily appears rather unconvincing. Because of lack of timely decision from the Home Ministry, an amount of Taka 112 crore has lapsed to the state. And the supposed reason that has prevented the officials of the ministry to give approval of various purchases -- fear of being held accountable for any financial decision - has added an element of the bizarre to the matter.

The ailment factor works wonders!

MANY things can happen in Bangladesh all at a time, and you shall have to be up and about not to miss any of it. After what you see on the surface, you shall have to dig deeper to comprehend the full meaning. Many of it will not make any sense and you will wonder aloud: Oh no! It was not supposed to happen like this! This is unacceptable! Why is he doing what he is not supposed to do! Why is he saying what he is not supposed to say! Gosh! What is happening in this country! Maybe, if you are a student of English Literature, you will say: There is something rotten in the state of Denmark!

Let's not forget the rice market

TRULY speaking, the current crisis in the market of agricultural commodities, especially of rice, is a grave concern for policy makers. According to reports, this has forced the government to strengthen its monitoring capacity. Earlier, it was expected that the bumper boro harvest might fill the silos by luring producers with the higher procurement price.

India's search for a foreign policy

INDIA has at various times been described as a rising giant, a superpower and by Indian leaders themselves as a "bridging power," but a closer look at the shambles that pass for India's foreign policy dispels such notions.


Better be disciplined

When birthday boy Sanath Jayasuriya decided to make it his day, a score in excess of 300, something that the Tigers have conceded four times in their last nine games, was only a matter of time.

Spain's new era

After just over three weeks of drama, shocks, comebacks and capitulations, Spain emerged triumphant from Euro 2008 to end decades of consistent failure and launch perhaps a new dawn in international football.

Tamarine makes a mark

Tamarine Tanasugarn became the first Thai to reach a Grand Slam quar-terfinal as she sent Serb second seed Jelena Jankovic crashing out of Wimbledon on Monday.

Zimbabwe find friends

Support for Zimbabwe appears to be growing in the sub-continent ahead of this week's International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai.

Journos storm out of Lawson conference

Journalists stormed out of Geoff Lawson's post-match press conference as tempers frayed after Pakistan's 64-run loss to Sri Lanka on Sunday, which pushed the hosts to the brink of elimination.

A team's final Irish tie today

Bangladesh A team play their last match in Ireland today when they meet the second string Irish side in a limited-over game in Belfast.

Tendulkar now second top batsman

Out of action due to a groin injury, Sachin Tendulkar still moved up one spot to second while two unbeaten innings in the ongoing Asia Cup has pushed Mahendra Singh Dhoni by five places to joint fourth spot in the latest ICC ODI rankings for batsmen.

Geoff says sorry

Geoff Lawson, Pakistan's Australian coach, on Monday has apologised for a row with the media after Sunday's Asia Cup defeat by Sri Lanka in Karachi.

Chingoka slams ICC decision

Peter Chingoka, the chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket, has criticised Ray Mali, the International Cricket Council's outgoing president, for tabling a motion to discuss the future of Zimbabwe when the ICC meets in Dubai this week.

In shadows no more

Fernando Torres showed that anything his fellow striker David Villa can do he can do too with the precious goal that gave Spain victory over Germany in Sunday's Euro 2008 final.

It's the best: Casillas

Spanish goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas basked in the glory on Monday of having won Euro 2008 and reflected on the ghosts Spain laid to rest by winning their first title for 44 years.

Ballack's miseries on

Having lost May's Champions League final with Chelsea, Michael Ballack again suffered silverware heartbreak on Sunday as Germany lost the Euro 2008 final 1-0 to Spain.

No place for Ronaldo

Victorious Spain's open, attacking play at Euro 2008 was hailed by UEFA on Monday with midfielder Xavi reserved for special praise.

Ready to die if…

Some of the things they said at Euro 2008:
"The team is ready to die on the field if they have to.”

Spain goes berserk

Spain's celebratory party at landing their first football title in 44 years was marred by a death and police making 52 arrests for acts of vandalism or public disorder in Madrid.

'Triumph for football'

Spain's triumph at Euro 2008 is a "triumph" for football, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said on Monday.

Germans still heroes

Germany's luckless football team arrived back home on Monday for a heroes' welcome parade in central Berlin despite losing 1-0 to Spain in the final of Euro 2008.

Top of the flops

It doesn't say much for the Bundesliga defenders that Luca Toni and Mario Gomez accrued 40 goals between them last season and yet when they got to Euro 2008 their return was -- zero.

Watson guides Aussies

Shane Watson collected his maiden Test century to power Australia to a seven-wicket victory in the third one-day international against West Indies on Sunday.

Klinsmann in action

Jurgen Klinsmann led his first training session as new coach of German champions Bayern Munich on Monday.

B. League clubs told to confirm home venues

The B. League committee has asked all eleven clubs to name their respective home grounds for the second edition of the professional football league due to start in August.

Norman, Evert tie the knot

Sports legends Greg Norman and Chris Evert have married in the Bahamas, the weekly People reported on their website Sunday.

Narail move into semis

Narail got off a solid start in the EXIM Bank 19th National Women's Handball Competition when they defeated Ranagamati 24-13 in the opening match at the Mirpur Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium yesterday.

Akhtar appeals against ban

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar Monday filed a fresh appeal against a ban for indiscipline just weeks after the punishment was reduced from five years to 18 months, his lawyer said.

Athletics camp

Bangladesh Amateur Athletics Federation picked up 21 athletes from the recently concluded senior and junior competitions for a 60-day residential training camp that will begin on July 5 at the BKSP in Savar.

Kallis out of tour match

Jacques Kallis will play no part with the bat or in the field on the second day on Monday of South Africa's opening tour match against Somerset at Taunton, after sustaining a painful blow to his elbow while facing Andrew Caddick with the second new ball on Sunday evening.


SMEs yet to benefit from BB's refinance scheme

Bangladesh Bank's move to provide small and medium enterprises with easy access to loans is yet to benefit the SMEs because of high interest charged by financial institutes.

Oil leaders meet amid blame game over price hike

Leading figures in the oil world gathered in Madrid on Monday for one of the industry's biggest events, with the search for a remedy to record crude prices again stymied by division about the causes.

BTCL to offload shares in one year

Bangladesh Telecom Company Limited, formerly BTTB, which makes its debut today as a public limited company, announced yesterday that it would offload shares in the next one year.

Private rubber gardeners want subsidised fertilisers

Private rubber garden owners at a press conference yesterday criticised the government's decision of not providing fertiliser to the rubber sector at a subsidised rate and urged it to review the direction.

New asset management firm to float Tk100cr mutual fund

A new asset management company plans to float a Tk 100 crore mutual fund by December this year, says a press release.

DSE indices continue falling

Price indices on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) continued falling yesterday, led by falling prices of mutual funds' shares.

Thai auto exports jump 30pc in May

Thai auto exports rose 30 percent in May with strong demand in most markets despite high global oil prices, an industry group said Monday.

Singapore Airlines launches all-business class flight

Singapore Airlines has redefined long-haul air travel with the launch of its new all-business class service to New York.

Over 20 Chinese firms to get listed in London bourse by 2010

There will be more than 20 Chinese firms to be listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) by 2010. Alderman David Lewis, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, was quoted as saying.

Travel, gems favoured by Asia's rising millionaires

India and China have the world's fastest-growing populations of millionaires, with a penchant for luxury travel, gems and designer clothes, a study released in Asia on Wednesday said.

Corporate social responsibility

There is a great myth or rather a buzzword about 'corporate social responsibility', in short, CSR. We often get confused between charity and CSR, indulging in several activities in the name of CSR. I once heard the CEO of a bank terming their sponsorship of 'Indian Idol' singers in a social club as part of their CSR. Yet another CEO termed their compliance to regulatory norms as CSR. A chamber leader, at a TV talk show, repeatedly urged reducing the SME loan interest rate, as part of the bank's CSR. Of course, the biggest joke ever was when a mid ranking defense personnel wrote to the bank, to allocate a portion of their CSR funds for development of their golf course.

Advisers propound theories behind rice price spirals

Agriculture Adviser Dr CS Karim and Foreign Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury came up with various theories behind the rising prices of rice despite a bumper Boro harvest as journalists caught them off-guard at the Foreign Ministry yesterday.

Best Air to add two more aircraft to its fleet

Best Air, the country's third private airliner, is going to add two aircraft to its fleet to operate its flights on Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur, Dhaka-Dubai and Dhaka-Kolkata routes.

Islamic banking shows upward trend

Islamic banking experienced a phenomenal growth in the last decade but a good number of people are still ignorant, a seminar was told on Sunday, says a press release.

G8 leaders to set up task force on food crisis

Leaders from the Group of Eight industrial powers will agree to establish a task force at their summit next month to tackle the world food crisis, a report said Monday.

Biman awarded by Malaysian airport authorities

Biman Bangladesh Airlines was awarded the 'foreign carrier of the year (passenger)' award by the Malaysian Airports authorities.

DBBL to help Citibank expand its distribution channel

Citibank NA Bangladesh and Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd (DBBL) yesterday entered into a correspondent banking agreement, which will enable Citibank to expand its distribution channel in the country, says a press release.

Etihad Airways likely to order up to 100 planes in July

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, said on Monday it is likely to announce bumper orders of between 50 and 100 aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow in Britain in July.

GP, Titas Gas sign BillPay service deal

Grameenphone (GP) and Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company have signed an agreement to jointly launch electronic bill payment service 'BillPay' for Titas customers.

Iraq fails to sign contracts with global oil majors

Iraq said on Monday it had failed to sign technical support deals with global oil majors hoping to cash in on boosting the war-torn country's extensive but underexploited oilfields.

Sheltech Real Estate Fair begins today

Sheltech (Pvt) Ltd, a leading developer, will organise a five-day real estate fair from today to celebrate its 20th founding anniversary.

France Telecom drops TeliaSonera takeover bid

France Telecom said on Monday it was abandoning a bid to create the world's fourth-biggest telecom group through an offer for Nordic operator TeliaSonera based on a valuation of 33 billion euros.

Taiwan allows wider yuan exchange as China ties warm

Taiwan on Monday allowed its banks to exchange Chinese currency for the first time in more than five decades as frosty ties with Beijing continue to thaw, officials said.

Mittal considers takeover of Rio Tinto

Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, the biggest shareholder in ArcelorMittal, is considering entering the takeover battle for Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Gulf shipper in $1.5b deal with Samsung

The United Arab Shipping Company on Monday said it had ordered nine container ships costing over 1.5 billion dollars from the South Korean yard of Samsung Heavy Industries.


CG should quit power holding credible polls

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the incumbent caretaker government should quit power through holding a free and fair election within a short time.

People-to-people contact stressed to take bilateral relations forward

India wants Bangladesh to open up its road and river routes to facilitate better link between Kolkata, Myanmar and the Northeast, said Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee while inaugurating a conference of the Saarc-backed South Asia Free Media Association (Safma) in Kolkata yesterday.

Take up disaster management programme for people with disabilities

Speakers at a dialogue yesterday called on the government to take disaster management programme for the people with disabilities in a bid to mitigate their untold sufferings during and after any natural disaster.

Arguments on July 16

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed July 16 as the date for the hearing on arguments in a sedition case filed against Awami Swechchhasebak League President AFM Bahauddin Nasim, who is now at large.

Students to be involved in fighting trafficking in women

The government will involve the students of the country's secondary and higher secondary schools and their guardians in its efforts to fight the increasing trend of women and children trafficking.

$100m Danish help for water supply project

Denmark will provide US$100 million for a new three-year project taken to ensure improved water supply in densely populated Dhaka city.

'Develop human resources to resolve migrant workers' issue'

Academics at a seminar yesterday called for planned development of human resources to address the issues of migrant workers.

90pc of women face gender violence at workplaces

More than 90 percent of working women both in rural and urban areas have faced various forms of gender violence, including verbal, physical, mental and sexual ones, at their workplaces.

81pc girls fall victim to eve teasing: Study

The issue of eve teasing should be addressed seriously as it affects not only a girl personally but also leads to social violence, increase the rate of girls' dropout from schools and colleges and threatens women empowerment, speakers at a workshop said yesterday.

Dhaka Int'l Edn Fair begins Thursday

The 3rd Dhaka International Education Fair 2008 will begin at Bashundhara Expo Centre in the city on Thursday.

Preliminary test of 28th BCS by Aug

Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Prof Dr Saadat Hussain yesterday said the preliminary test of the 28th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations will be held by August and its final result will be published by December 2009 after completion of the written test and viva voce.

President, CA greet Canadian counterparts

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed have greeted their Canadian counterparts on the occasion of Canada Day today.

Biman receives leased aircraft

A 512-seater Boeing 747-300, which the Biman Bangladesh Airlines has leased from a Thai airline for one year, has arrived at Zia International Airport last night.

Indian HC hands over books to DU VC

Indian high commission (HC) yesterday presented 55 volumes of books on the history of Indian science, philosophy and culture to the central library of Dhaka University (DU) as a gift, says a press release.

DU Day today

Dhaka University (DU) will celebrate the 'DU Day' today on the campus amid a series of colourful programmes.

HC quashes proceedings of graft case against Pintu's wife

The High Court (HC) yesterday quashed the proceedings of a graft case against former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Pintu's wife Nasima Akhter Kalpana.

N'ganj Pourasava announces Tk 54.5cr budget

A Tk 54.48 crore budget of Narayanganj Pourasava for 2008-09 financial year was announced yesterday.

1 killed in Ctg road accident

A bus driver was killed and four passengers were injured when the bus fell into a roadside ditch at Mostan Nagar area under Mirsarai upazila in Chittagong early yesterday.

Wives of Minu, Shamim Iskander get anticipatory bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail to the wives of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu and former prime minister Khaleda Zia's brother Shamim Iskander for four months or until submission of police reports in two separate graft cases.

Nazmul, Rafiqul new president, GS of IBA Alumni Assoc

Nazmul Hassan, chief executive officer of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) and secretary general of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI), and M Rafiqul Islam, CEO of Management Consulting Group, have recently been elected president and general secretary of IBA Alumni Association respectively, says a press release.

HC issues rule on govt

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within two weeks as to why it (government) should not be directed to remove three commercial establishments from the city's Banani residential area.

3 brothers get life for killing housewife

A Naogaon court yesterday sentenced three brothers to life imprisonment for killing a housewife.


'Ensure constitutional rights of indigenous people'

Indigenous people of the country should get their due constitutional rights including access to justice and land rights if they are to contribute to the nation, said speakers at discussion marking the 153rd anniversary of Santal Hool (revolution) yesterday.

Homestead gardening changing their life

Once ultra-poor Khodeza Begum of village Vati Kapasia under Sunderganj upazila now earns around Tk 3,000 a month by vegetable gardening and poultry rearing.

3 AL leaders collect nomination paper for mayoral election in Khulna city

Three Awami League (AL) leaders collected nomination papers yesterday for contesting the mayoral election scheduled to be held here on August 4.

Police official, two lawyers sued for extortion, cheating

A police official, two lawyers and eight others were sued on charge of extortion and a cheating yesterday.

Pregnant woman killed by husband in Sirajganj

A young pregnant woman was killed by her husband for her father's failure to pay him part of dowry money he promised during his daughter's marriage, family sources said.

11 people held with 8,099 fake dollars, 2 Rab men hurt in Dinajpur

Rapid action Battalion arrested 11 forged dollar traders in Birganj upazila of Dinajpur and recovered fake dollar notes amounting to US$8,099 from the gang on Sunday night.

'Fraud' couple arrested in Mymensingh

A 'fraud' couple was handed over to Iswarganj police yesterday after their arrest by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) from Tarakandi village on Sunday.

RU opens today

Rajshahi University will reopen today after 39 days' summer vacation.

3 'outlaws' held, sent to jail

Three alleged outlaws were sent to jail yesterday after their arrest from their houses at Bagmara in Rajshahi on Sunday.


Nine killed in missile strike in Pak Khyber Agency

Up to nine persons were killed and as many injured in a missile strike carried out yesterday by pilotless drones on the headquarters of a religious group in Pakistan's troubled Khyber Agency.

Pak SC adjourns govt appeal on Sharif's disqualification

Pakistan's Supreme Court yesterday adjourned for two weeks the hearing of an appeal filed by the government against a High Court's order disqualifying former premier Nawaz Sharif from contesting by-polls.

Govt did not disclose whole truth on nuke deal

The CPI-M yesterday made a fresh attack against the UPA government over the Indo-US nuclear deal, saying it had not disclosed that it was mandatory to go to the IAEA for the India-specific safeguard agreement.

Nepali constituent assembly meet stalled

Concluding that 'one Madhes one Pradesh'--the notion of one Madhes, one province--will disintegrate the country, Maoists and Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) have decided to strongly oppose it. A meeting of the two parties on Sunday, however, decided to discuss proper definition of the autonomous Madhes (plains in southern Nepal) province--the demand already agreed to by the government before Constituent Assembly polls.

Afghan civilian deaths up 60 percent

The number of civilians killed in fighting between insurgents and security forces in Afghanistan has soared by two-thirds in the first half of this year, to almost 700 people, a senior UN official said Sunday.

Iraq occupation was understaffed

A nearly 700-page study released Sunday by the Army found that "in the euphoria of early 2003," US-based commanders prematurely believed their goals in Iraq had been reached and did not send enough troops to handle the occupation.

Just a yr needed to finish Tigers: Lanka army chief

Sri Lanka's army chief said yesterday his forces had wiped out the military capability of the Tamil Tigers, and that they needed just one more year to totally defeat the rebels.

China resists bid for Zimbabwe sanction

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged China on Monday to back UN Security Council action to punish Zimbabwe, saying the time for mere statements was over.

US seeking Russian sanctions on Iran

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said here yesterday he would discuss with Russia's leaders the possibility of imposing new sanctions on Iran.

Hamas emboldened by Hezbollah prisoner swap

Gaza's Hamas rulers hinted yesterday they would raise the stakes for a captured Israeli soldier, emboldened by Israel's decision to trade a Lebanese prisoner convicted in a brutal attack for the bodies of two other Israeli servicemen.

US transfer of Shia province to Iraq cancelled

The handover of security control of the Shia province of Diwaniyah from the US military to Iraqi forces has been cancelled, a local government official told AFP on Monday.

Hollywood shows way for first black US president

A slew of African-American presidents portrayed in film and television has helped US voters get used to the idea of electing the country's first black commander-in-chief, analysts say.

CPI-M, Trinamool activists clash in Nandigram

Trouble has broken out in West Bengal's Nandigram area with clashes between the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the main opposition Trinamool Congress.

Suu Kyi's party urges release of Myanmar activists

Myanmar's opposition party led by detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday called for the release of activists who were beaten and arrested by a militia group earlier this month.

Protests continue in Kashmir

Police used batons in an attempt to clear protesters from the streets of Indian Kashmir on Monday, the eighth day of rioting against what critics call a government plan to build Hindu settlements in the Muslim-majority region.

Glaucoma could turn 8.4 million Asians blind by 2010: Survey

More than 8.4 million people in Asia will turn blind from glaucoma by 2010 if they do not undergo timely treatment, a region-wide survey released on Monday showed.

6 die as medical helicopters collide over Arizona

Two medical helicopters collided Sunday about a half-mile from a northern Arizona hospital, killing six people and critically injuring a nurse, a federal official said. Two emergency workers on the ground were injured after the crash.

Anwar leaves Turkish refuge

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim yesterday left the Turkish ambassador's residence, where he fled after being accused of sodomy, after the government guaranteed his safety.

Arts & Entertainment

Four-century-old Atia Mosque on the verge of ruination

The 400-year-old Atia Jam-e Mosque in Delduar upazila of Tangail with its terracotta plaques is on the verge of ruination due to lack of care and maintenance.

Blending imagination with reality

Images of humans, flowers and animals are to be found in Joya Shahrin Huq's prints and mixed media in her exhibition, "With my imagination", which opened recently at Shilpangan. Having done her masters in prints from Baroda, Joya now teaches part time at the Institute of Fine Arts, DU.

“Wall-E": In a world left silent, one heart beeps

The first 40 minutes or so of “Wall-E” -- in which barely any dialogue is spoken, and almost no human figures appear on screen -- is a cinematic poem of such wit and beauty that its darker implications may take a while to sink in. The scene is an intricately rendered city, bristling with skyscrapers but bereft of any inhabitants apart from a battered, industrious robot and his loyal cockroach sidekick. Hazy, dust-filtered sunlight illuminates a landscape of eerie, post-apocalyptic silence. This is a world without people, one might say without animation, though it teems with evidence of past life.

"Rang Pahar-er Pala" staged at Shilpakala

Instead of focusing on any particular plot artistes of different ethnic minority groups of Upojatiyo Sanskritik Institute, Khagrachhari, presented diverse cultural elements in the play Rang Pahar-er Pala, written and directed by Dr. Zahir Biswas. Rang Pahar-er Pala was staged at the National Theatre Staged on June 29. Upojatiyo Cell of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organised the programme.

"Love Guru": Panned in US, heads to India

What's worse: that the new Mike Myers movie, “The Love Guru,” satirises Indians and mocks Hinduism, or that it is just not funny?

"Protisthapon" on ATN Bangla tonight

A special play Protisthapon will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 8:45 pm. Written by Supriyo Chowdhury, the play has been directed by Kamruzzaman Rony.

Street show in Chapainawabganj

Chapai Theatre Group, a local cultural organisation recently arranged a street show to generate awareness among the people living in the remote villages of five upazilas in Chapainawabganj district.


Bangladesh will NOT completely disappear under water by 2100

BANGLADESH is a flat deltaic country where 80% of the land is less than 12 metres above sea level. Coastal southern Bangladesh is mostly at sea level. Because of the geographical setting and physical characteristics, the country is regularly inundated by riverine and coastal flooding.

Women want more than words

THE finance advisor termed the budget of 2008-2009 as gender sensitive, and said that gender expenditure would rise from 23.5% to 26.3% in the budget. The budget increased the beneficiary coverage under Allowances Program for the Widowed, Deserted and Destitute Women, Old Age Allowance, and the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) Program.

Tiger Woods takes a forced hiatus

AMERICA will elect a new president before Tiger Woods, the world's most recognisable face and the best athlete, tees off again. On June 18, Tiger Woods announced on his website that he was "shutting it down" in midseason for the remainder of the year, to repair three injuries to his left leg.

They got what they prayed for, plus a lawsuit

ALL over the world, highly trained newspaper columnists ("good-for-nothings") spend long hours every day doing research, which is a combination of finely-honed skills: reading, making phone calls, staring into space, and drinking themselves into a stupor. They seek interesting, original "source material," which is journalistic jargon for "something I can copy out so I can go home."

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