The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Thursday, 24th of July, 2008

Front Page

Livelihood withers as rivers die

Pollution and loss of navigability in the Buriganga and other rivers surrounding the capital are forcing thousands of people to change their livelihoods.

Khaleda's release stuck in conditions

Release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is being delayed as she and the authorities have yet to reach a consensus on the conditions, party sources said.

EC moves to make voters 1.6 lakh Urdu speakers

The Election Commission (EC) has moved to register the 1.6 lakh Urdu-speaking stranded Pakistanis living in different camps in Bangladesh in the fresh electoral roll, allowing them to cast votes in the upcoming national and local polls.

Khaleda, Tarique interrogated

A team of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday separately quizzed detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia and her eldest son and BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman in connection with the embezzlement of over Tk 2.10 crore of Zia Orphanage Trust.

Bogra power plant gets free gas

The Pashchimanchal Gas Company Ltd (PGCL) has been supplying gas to the private power plant company GBB Power Ltd in Bogra without taking any security deposit and gas bills since the latter began power generation last April.

Gas line blast causes fire at Bangla Motor

Flames spouted out of a defective underground pipeline of Titas Gas, causing panic and disruption to vehicular movement on the busy Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue near Bangla Motor intersection yesterday afternoon.

BDR-BSF gunfight stalls trade thru' land port

Border security forces of Bangladesh and India exchanged gunfire on Shibganj border in Chapainawabganj yesterday morning, halting cross-border trade and immigration activities through the Sona Masjid land port.

Govt to appoint 2,000 law officers thru' PSC

The newly established Government Attorney Department has taken initiatives to recruit about 2,000 law officers for conducting cases in the courts including the apex court on behalf of the state.

5 kids die as boat sinks in city lake

Five school students, including two sisters, died when a boat capsized in a jheel (water body) at Pallabi in the capital yesterday.

CA asks for details of canal lease

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday asked the land ministry to send him the details about leasing out of a canal to British Colombia School President Dr Anwara Begum, wife of President Iajuddin Ahmed.

50,000 marooned in Netrakona flash flood

About 50,000 people remain marooned in four upazilas in Netrakona due to flash floods caused by heavy rain for the last three days.

Recovered money to be returned

Bangladesh Bank is set to return the money, which was reported to have been siphoned off, deposited with the bank during the massive anti-corruption drive as the government initiated a process in this regard.

Top criminal Anar snatched from police by his aides

The henchmen of an Interpol-listed criminal, Anwarul Islam Anar, snatched him from police soon after his arrest in Jhenidah's Kaliganj upazila yesterday.

Suspect reveals account of grisly murder

One of the suspects in Fahmida Akhter Nazma murder case in a confessional statement before a magistrate has described how Dr Tozammel Hossain killed his wife at their Mirpur house on July 6.

GP to raise $300m from IPO, pre-IPO

Grameenphone, the country's largest mobile phone operator, has finalised its plan to raise $300 million (Tk 2,058 crore) -- $150 million from the stock market and the rest through private placement or pre-IPO.

Truth Commission starts working in 7-10 days

The Truth and Accountability Commission will start functioning within next seven to 10 days, mainly to deal with the clemency matter of high-profile corruption suspects, according to Law Adviser AF Hassan Ariff.

CA wants quick housing project in city for low-income group

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday directed the authorities concerned to immediately take up a short-term housing project in the capital to address the accommodation problem of the low-income group.

HC bail to SQ Chy, Lotus Kamal stayed

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed three High Court (HC) orders granting bail to former BNP lawmaker SQ Chowdhury, ex-Awami League MP Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal (Lotus Kamal) and Dhaka Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka's wife Ismat Ara in corruption cases.

People will end emergency if govt doesn't

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said people will put an end to the state of emergency if the caretaker government fails to do so.

JS polls not possible in October

Dismissing the demand of a section of politicians, Election Commissioner Brig (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain yesterday said holding parliamentary election in October is not possible.

Indian army chief due next week

Indian army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor will pay a three-day visit to Bangladesh next week to discuss military cooperation between the two countries.

Indian oppositions expel members who helped UPA win

Coming down hard on dissidence in the party, India's opposition parties yesterday expelled eleven members of Lok Sabha who either voted for the UPA government or abstained from voting helping the ruling Congress-led alliance emerge victorious.

Zimbabwe crisis talks may begin today

Full-scale talks aimed at resolving Zimbabwe's months-long political crisis are expected to begin in neighbouring South Africa today, according to a report in state media.

Israel not deterring Jerusalem attackers: Security chiefs

Israel's security chiefs said yesterday that more needed to be done to protect Jerusalem from Palestinian attacks as debate raged after a second bulldozer rampage in the Holy City this month.

UNSC to discuss Thai-Cambodia dispute

The UN Security Council is expected to discuss a tense military standoff between Cambodia and Thailand this week as more troops amassed along the border, officials said yesterday.

Nato soldier killed in Afghanistan

A British soldier serving with NATO forces in Afghanistan was killed in fighting with insurgents, the Ministry of Defence in London said yesterday.

Editorial

Historic voter list

WE felicitate the successful completion of voter list with photographs by the Election Commission (EC), and while we do so we take special note that the enormous task, first of its kind, has been completed in only 11 months' time. And on this occasion we must make a special mention that but for the country's armed forces this highly demanding work could not have been accomplished. It is indeed a feat that deserves praise and we should all come forward to express it without any hesitation.

Manmohan wins confidence vote

WE can take satisfaction from the successful exercise of the democratic provision for trust vote that has just concluded in neighbouring India, with the Manmohan Singh government surviving a no-confidence motion with a wider than expected margin Tuesday on the issue of India's civilian nuclear energy deal with the US.

Pax Americana

OR let us call it new imperialism. Contrary to common belief that imperialism as a historical phenomenon had come to an end by the early sixties when the last vestige of colonialism was shed by the colonial powers through their exit from their possessions around the world -- regrettably, it did not.

Price hike: Adjustments needed

PRICE hike hurts some groups more than others. Surplus owners, producers or hoarders, middlemen, market manipulators, etc benefit from price hike. Fixed income groups, the unemployed, wage earners who are not adequately compensated, and the ultra-poor are worst hit. Their misery is further exacerbated because there is no adjustment, which is the recipe for minimising hardship.

Sleight of hand

PREVENTING Iran from developing nuclear weapons has been near the top of the US diplomatic agenda for years now, and stories about Iran's efforts -- and the negotiations to undo them -- have dominated newspaper coverage in many nations.

Sports

Battling all the way

They will take the field as runners-up of the last Federation Cup held in 2005. But the latest crop of Muktijoddha Sangsad is unlikely to repeat a similar performance when the season starts next month.

Finals before Aug 10

Only the opening match of the Citycell Federation Cup qualifying rounds, which kicks off the domestic season on Saturday, will be held at the Bangladesh National Stadium.

Rain hits Colombo

Sri Lankan opener Malinda Warnapura defied India's attack with an unbeaten half-century on the opening day of the rain-hit first Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground here on Wednesday.

Powell takes revenge

Jamaica's 100 metres former world record holder Asafa Powell beat compatriot and present record holder Usain Bolt here at the IAAF Grand Prix meeting on Tuesday.

India beside Pakistan

The International Cricket Council board's discussion -- via a teleconference on Thursday -- on the issue of Pakistan hosting the Champions Trophy is likely to see India resist any move to change the venue, though there is a growing fear of top players from non-Asian countries pulling out.

Rasel's England tour over

Left-arm pacer Syed Rasel's England tour with the Bangladesh A team was over due to constant back pain.

Ishtiaque resigns from BCB

Ishtiaque Ahmed confirmed yesterday that he has tendered his resignation as an ad-hoc executive member of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

Bangladesh A stay in contention

Tamim Iqbal hit a blazing half-century to keep Bangladesh A's chances to win a first-class match in the tour of England against Derbyshire on the third and final day at the County ground in Derby yesterday.

Nat'l women's kabaddi

Faridpur, Jhenaidah, Narail and Jamalpur became zonal champions to book final round berths of the Spectra Group National Women's Kabaddi Championship yesterday.

Open letter to Bush

Douglas Logan, the new chief executive of USA Track and Field, on Tuesday urged US President George W. Bush to turn a deaf ear to Marion Jones's request that her perjury sentence be commuted.

'Chelsea are favourites'

Michael Essien insisted Chelsea were the Premiership favourites after Manchester United's Alex Ferguson kicked off the pre-season mind games by casting doubt on their ageing squad.

United edge Pirates

Lee Martin netted a first-half winner for Manchester United as the Premier League champions' young stars overcame Orlando Pirates to seal a 1-0 win here on Tuesday.

Blues romp to a win

Nineteen-year-old Franco Di Santo scored on his debut as Chelsea kicked off the Luiz Felipe Scolari era with a 4-0 romp against Guangzhou Pharmaceutical on Wednesday.

Carlo happy with signings

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Tuesday that he was delighted with the three additions he has made to his squad as the Club World Cup holders go in search of a first Italian title since 2004.

Argentina the team to beat

Defending champions Argentina, likely to field two of world football's most exciting and in-demand youngsters, loom as the team to beat again at the Beijing Olympics.

Roma make Mutu offer

AS Roma have made an offer for Fiorentina's Romanian striker Adrian Mutu, media reports said Wednesday, quoting Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino.

Bayern duo must deliver

Having shone for Germany at last month's Euro 2008, Bayern Munich stars Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger are now under pressure to re-produce their best form for the German giants next season.

Cannavaro back in training

Real Madrid's Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro on Wednesday trained on the pitch for the first time since he injured his ankle in early June, just before the Euro 2008 finals, the Spanish club said.

Henry guns for goals

Thierry Henry has promised Barcelona fans that he's anxious to make up for last season's modest tally by scoring bags of goals in 2008-09.

Ribery targets UCL return

Bayern Munich's French star Franck Ribery has targeted a September return date for the German giants' Champions League campaign as he continues his rehabilitation from ankle surgery.

Mertesacker blow for Bremen

Werder Bremen suffered a blow on Tuesday as it was revealed German international defender Per Mertesacker would be out for several weeks after undergoing an operation on his meniscus.

Decision will be for cricket

The Inter national Cricket Council said Wednesday that its decision on whether Pakistan can host the Champions Trophy in September must be viewed in the "larger interest of the game".

Darren wants more Eng caps

Darren Pattinson has set his sights on winning more England caps, although he accepts he may have to wait.

'Umps' decision is final'

An experimental rule allowing players to seek a second opinion on umpiring decisions will not undermine the on-field officials' authority, a top cricket official said here on Wednesday.

Djokovic downs Dancevic

Defending champion Novak Djokovic returned to tennis for the first time since Wimbledon and broke Canadian hearts with a 6-4, 6-4 second-round win over local Frank Dancevic on Tuesday.

Vaughan told to explain

England selector Geoff Miller demanded an explanation from skipper Michael Vaughan, who described selection for the disastrous second Test against South Africa as "confused" as a trio of former captains Wednesday spoke out.

Shipperd wants to coach Kiwis

Greg Shipperd, the Victoria coach, could be one of the contenders to replace John Bracewell, whose term as New Zealand coach ends in April 2009.

BKSP, Tejgaon grab full points

A 65th minute strike by Saifuddin helped BKSP collect full points from yesterday's Dhaka City Corporation Pioneer Football League match at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.

ACA still in fear

The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) remained unconvinced there is a safe and secure environment to hold this year's Champions Trophy tournament in Pakistan.

Tamarine surprised

Thai tennis star Tamarine Tanasugarn said Wednesday she is delighted after being told she will be given a special invite to next month's Olympics after her performance at this year's Wimbledon.

Business

GP okays plan to raise $300m from IPO, private placement

Grameenphone, the country's largest mobile phone operator, has finalised its plan to raise $300 million (Tk 2,058 crore) -- $ 150 million from the stock market and the rest through private placement or pre-IPO.

57pc drop in GP's operating profit in six months

The country's largest mobile phone operator Grameenphone's (GP) operating profit dropped by 57 percent in the first half of the year 2008 compared to the same period of the last year, mainly due to a significant amount of money it had been fined by the telecom regulator.

Rising air fuel surcharges cast shadow on leisure travels

Higher fuel surcharge imposed by airlines has affected leisure travels from Bangladesh as a section of travellers are forced to cut down their expenditure plans, according to airlines and holiday travel operators.

Private sector credit flow under BB lens

The central bank would monitor the private sector credit flow to avert its unproductive usage.

Stocks rise after 7 days

After a fall for seven consecutive days, price indices on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) rose slightly yesterday.

WTO talk progress modest so far: Lamy

The WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said on Wednesday that only "modest" progress had been made in the past two days of crucial trade talks aimed at concluding a global trade accord.

Provide greater market access for Bangladeshi products

Raising the issue of abnormal price hike, Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman urged for greater market access for Bangladeshi products to the developed countries.

Protect patent rights jointly

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the countries in the sub-continent to jointly protect their patent rights.

$24 m loan for setting up 3 small power plants

Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday signed an agreement with NCC Bank to lend $24 million from its Investment Promotion and Financing Facility (IPFF) project for financing three small power plants (SPPs) to be set up by Doreen Power Generations and Systems Ltd.

Brinkmanship, not breakthroughs, dominate WTO talks

High-stakes brinkmanship took hold on day three of crucial WTO trade talks on Wednesday, with both advanced and developing countries demanding concessions to avert another failure.

Chinese yuan yet to see equilibrium

The yuan, the Chinese currency, has appreciated more than 20 percent against the greenback since the country dropped its peg to the US dollar with a one-off two-percent revaluation exactly three years ago.

Asian stocks mostly up

Asian shares rose sharply Wednesday following an oil price tumble, with India surging nearly six percent after the country's ruling coalition survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

Business journalism cell opens at DRU

Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) yesterday launched a business journalism cell to promote the country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Pakistan may allow Indian investment

The Pakistan government has signalled its readiness to allow Indian investment in various sectors by unveiling measures to encourage India-based firms to set up units in the country for making CNG buses.

Citi wins awards from Euromoney

Euromoney, a monthly financial publication, has named Citi Best Global Cash Management Bank, Best Global Investor Services Bank and Best Global Emerging Market Debt House among its 2008 Awards for Excellence, according to a press release.

New MD of UCBL

M Shahjahan Bhuiyan has been made managing director of United Commercial Bank Ltd (UCBL) with effect from July 7, says a press release.

Japan to help trim Asean development gap: Surin

Japan on Wednesday promised to help the Association of Southeast Asian Nations narrow the gap between its rich and poor members that could undermine economic integration.

China warns state firms against risky investments

A Chinese watchdog has warned state-owned enterprises to exercise extreme care when investing in a time of growing financial turmoil, state media reported Wednesday.

Limited success for poverty programmes in Philippines

The Asian Development Bank said Wednesday that its programmes aimed at lifting millions of Filipinos out of poverty have only had limited success.

Sri Lanka tea output grows by over 18pc

Sri Lanka's tea production rose by 18.2 percent to 171.3 million kilograms (376.9 million pounds) during the first half of this year, the Sri Lankan Tea Board said Wednesday.

EU posts first-quarter deficit

The European Union's current account showed a deficit of 26.5 billion euros (41.8 billion dollars) in the first three months of 2008, the EU's Eurostat data agency said Wednesday, revising up a first estimate.

Metropolitan

Deliver service to people in transparent manner

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed vented dissatisfaction over the slow pace in restructuring of the outworn Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), where people used to pass through the hassles of moving from desk to desk for service.

Leaders like Tajuddin vital to restore democracy

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said there is no alternative to politics and political leadership like Tajuddin Ahmed at present in order to restore democracy in the country.

Select officers neutrally for promotion

The President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday asked the Army Headquarters Selection Board to rise above all personal liking and disliking and decide neutrally based on justice in selecting officers for promotion to senior posts.

14 lakh residents of southern part of city live with waterlogging

The 14 lakh residents of Demra, Shyampur and Jatrabari in the city have been tremendously suffering from waterlogging, loadshedding and lack of adequate bus services.

Youths urged to play more active role

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday called upon the young generation to play more active and effective role in the anti-corruption movement.

Dhaka seeks better immigration facilities from Australia

Bangladesh sought more scholarships for students and better immigration facilities for its people from Australia.

3 business partners to die in Munshiganj

A speedy trial tribunal of Dhaka sentenced all the three accused to death in the sensational Mubarak murder in Munshiganj yesterday.

One dose of vitamin A can save 20,000 infants a year

As many as 20,000 lives of infants can be saved every year in the country if all newborns are provided with a dose of oral vitamin A each shortly after their birth, experts at a seminar said yesterday.

Certified copy of HC stay order Aug 4

A special court dealing with the Niko corruption case against the detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 10 others yesterday set August 4 for submitting the certified copy of the High Court stay order.

Bangladesh ready to send more manpower to Saudi Arabia: CA

Saudi Embassy in Dhaka now issues some 1,000 visas everyday to Bangladeshi people, newly appointed Saudi Ambassador Dr Abdullah Bin Naser Al Busairi yesterday apprised Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed as they discussed a wide range of issues.

German investment depends on sustainable political climate

German Ambassador in Dhaka Frank Meyke yesterday said massive bureaucratic tangle, frequent power cut and political uncertainty are the major obstacles intimidating the newcomer of his country to invest in Bangladesh.

HC starts delivering judgement

The High Court (HC) yesterday started delivering the judgement of a writ petition challenging the legality the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2008.

HC declares PSC recommendation illegal

The High Court (HC) yesterday declared illegal and void the Public Service Commission (PSC) recommendations for recruiting 13 associate professors (child) and 15 associate professors (medicine) for the public hospitals.

HC starts hearing on writ filed by Hasina

The High Court (HC) yesterday started hearing on the writ petition filed by Awami League President Sheikh Hasina challenging the legality of MiG-29 Corruption Case against her.

Mayor hopefuls vow to solve water crisis, remain graft-free

The two-day BBC dialogue on Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) election at Rajshahi Medical College auditorium has created enthusiasm among the electorates.

Petition to stay HC verdict on reappointment of 10 judges

A pro-Jamaat-e-Islami lawyer yesterday filed an application with the Supreme Court (SC) with a view to fighting a legal battle against the recent High Court (HC) judgment directing the government to reappoint 10 additional judges who were not confirmed during the BNP-Jamaat-led government.

Punishment to JCD cadres, other culprits demanded

Different student organisations yesterday staged demonstrations on the Dhaka University (DU) campus demanding exemplary punishment to the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) cadres and also those involved in the police atrocities on female students at Shamsunnahar Hall on July 23 in 2002.

New swimming pool at Sonargaon Hotel launched

Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city has launched a brand new swimming pool and health club facilities after its renovation for more than one year and a half.

Arms found at Jurain

Police found nine homemade firearms in abandoned condition at East Jurain under Shyampur Police Station in the city yesterday.

Tributes to Prof Abdul Karim

Late Prof Abdul Karim, a former vice-chancellor of Chittagong University (CU), was a brilliant historian of the country.

Train crash kills one

A woman was killed as a Dhaka-bound train hit her in Dinajpur yesterday.

Appeal for help

Nine-year-old Joy has been suffering from serious cardiac ailment with a damaged valve and a hole in the heart, says a press release.

Contraband drugs seized in Ctg

Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) seized huge quantity of contraband medicine in the port city yesterday.

US commander meets navy, air chiefs

Visiting US Pacific Marine Force Commander Lt General Richard C Zilmer passed a busy day yesterday by participating in different programmes.

BARD annual planning confce begins

The 42nd annual planning conference of Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), Comilla began at its auditorium yesterday, says a press release.

Govt Attorney Service Ordn challenged

A writ petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) challenging the legality of the Government Attorney Service Ordinance 2008.

DCC move to fell trees protested

Save The Environment Movement (SEM) and Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association (Bela) yesterday condemned the move of the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) to fell 52 trees at Gulshan, Banani and Baridhara areas in the city.

Attack on FF by Shibir cadres condemned

Teachers of Dhaka University (DU) formed a human chain on the campus yesterday protesting the assault on a freedom fighter by Shibir cadres.

Factory closed as workers demand better wages

Authorities yesterday indefinitely shut down one garment factory at Dhaka Export Processing Zone after its workers started demonstration for better wages in the morning.

National

Contenders vow to ensure transparency if elected

Nine mayoral and more than 50 councillor candidates in Barisal City Corporation elections yesterday vowed that, if elected, they will take up 'massive' programmes to provide more civic amenities to city dwellers and to develop the divisional city.

Warrant to arrest ex-Jamaat MP Khaleque, four others

A court in Satkhira yesterday issued an arrest warrant against all the five charge-sheeted accused including former Jamaat lawmaker Maulana Abdul Khaleque Mondal as they remained absent before the court yesterday fixed for hearing in the sensational China Khatun murder case.

Try culprits, ban Jamaat politics

Freedom fighters and common people in Brahmanbaria, Rajshahi and Satkhira yesterday held separate programmes demanding punishment of Jamaat-Shibir cadres responsible for assaulting freedom fighter Sheikh Mohammad Ali Aman in Dhaka on July 11.

Send dumb woman to safe home

The High Court division bench issued Suo Moto rule upon the deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, chief judicial magistrate and jailor of Khagrachhari, asking them why the detention of the dumb women in safe custody, should not be declared illegal and without lawful authority.

Charges against Babul, 5 others being probed

Law enforcers have started probe into allegations of violation of electoral rules by a mayoral candidates and five councilor aspirants in Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) election.

4 to die for gangrape, killing mother, daughter

A Rajshahi Court yesterday sentenced four persons to death in a double murder case at Dhuapara under Godagari upazila of Rajshahi.

4 Sust teachers stop agitation

Four senior teachers of Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) yesterday suspended their agitation after the VC assured steps to meet their demand as soon as possible.

GD against KCC mayoral candidate for violating code

A general diary was filed with Khanjahan Ali police station yesterday against mayoral candidate BNP leader Moniruzzaman Moni for violation of electoral code of conduct by using loudspeakers before 2 pm.

International

Obama all praise for "miracle" of Israel

White House hopeful Barack Obama vowed yesterday to tighten US bonds with Israel as he began an intense day of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, a key moment in his international campaign swing.

Coast now clear for Indian govt and its nuclear deal

Fresh from its convincing victory in the trust vote in Lok Sabha on Tuesday night, India's Congress-led coalition government is set to go ahead full throttle with the controversial civil nuclear deal with the United States and economic reforms that have so far been thwarted by its former Communist allies.

Pak coalition meets on terrorism, rifts

Leaders of Pakistan's ruling coalition met yesterday to discuss the threat of Islamic militancy and rifts over the restoration of judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf, officials said.

How the Butcher of Bosnia feigned a new life for himself

Radovan Karadzic, the genocide suspect who avoided arrest for more than 10 years, created a personal website as part of his alter ego as an alternative health guru.

Iran will not yield to world powers

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday vowed that Iran would not yield in the crisis over its nuclear drive as world powers awaited a response from Tehran to a proposal aiming to end the standoff.

Iraq set for assault on al-Qaeda bastion

Some 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and police are to launch a military assault against Al-Qaeda fighters and insurgents in Diyala province from August 1, army and police officers said yesterday.

'Afghanistan tougher job than Iraq'

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Afghanistan might end up being tougher to subdue than Iraq, days after visiting both war zones.

Karadzic to defend himself

Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb genocide suspect who was captured earlier this week, will defend himself before the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, his lawyer was reported as saying yesterday.

Accidental premier

Even at his hour of triumph, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does not forgotten his humble origin and calls himself a politician by accident.

Opposition attacks Indian govt on N-pact

India's left-wing parties and other opposition groups yesterday mounted a scathing attack on the government over inflation and a nuclear pact with Washington after failing to topple it in a confidence vote.

Amnesty Int'l pushes Pak govt on missing persons

Amnesty International pressed Pakistan's new government yesterday to quickly investigate the disappearance of hundreds of people allegedly at the hands of its security agencies.

Threat to Zardari's life 'increased’

The threat to PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari's life has increased following the death of his security officer Khalid Shahanshah, PPP Punjab Secretary General Ghulam Abbas said on Tuesday.

Nepal's first president sworn in

Nepal's first president, Ram Baran Yadav, was sworn into office yesterday, officials said.

Rice pushes N Korea on nukes

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pushed North Korea yesterday to accept terms to verify the dismantling of its nuclear weapons program, as the two countries held cabinet-level talks for the first time in four years.

Arts & Entertainment

Uttam Kumar: An icon, larger than life

When I was in school I slowly became aware of the appeal of Uttam Kumar (September 3, 1926 - July 24, 1980), observing the ecstasy of the young and older ladies in my family. Their eyes used to go dreamy, their heartbeats wayward and their voices husky at the drop of his name. Not having attained the age yet when romanticism overpowers all other senses, I used to wonder why they would do such a thing for a man. I watched in amazement how the ecstasy of the ladies progressed into veritable frenzy as the day of the release of another Uttam Kumar film (preferably Uttam-Suchitra) drew nearer. They would count the days; they would read everything about the new movie in the newspapers and weeklies (Cinema Jogoth, Ultorath, Chitrali) with unflinching devotion. And then they would spend hours discussing those with friends, plan ahead, collect advance tickets, decide who would come along this time and which lone male member would accompany them. Yes, that used to be a festivity of sorts, going to watch an Uttam movie. Nishat, Mukul, Rupmahal, Nagar Mahal, Shabistan, Lion and Gulistan were the cinema halls in Dhaka that regularly screened Indian Bangla films of the pre-65 era.

Nakshi Kantha Film Festival drawing interest in Kolkata

The ongoing Nakshi Kantha Film Festival in Kolkata -- featuring Bangladeshi films -- is drawing a sizeable number of filmmakers, film critics and enthusiasts. The festival has been organised by Kolkata-based Eisenstein Cine Club and Bengali Film Lovers Society in association with Bangla Telefilm Club.

Tarun Samprodaye turns 30

Tarun Samprodaye, a local cultural organisation celebrated its 30th anniversary in Sirajganj town amidst much festivity.

Track round starts tomorrow

Popular talent hunt Close Up 1: Tomakei Khujchhey Bangladesh is entering its most awaited part -- the track round, where the audience can directly vote for their favourite contestant through SMS. Forty-two contestants selected from the instrumental round will perform with music tracks in this round that starts tomorrow on ntv at 9:30 pm.

“Tajuddin Ahmed: An Unsung Hero” receives Australian award

Tanvir Mokammel's documentary Tajuddin Ahmed: An Unsung Hero received the best foreign language documentary award given by TVS Channel of Australia, according to a press release.

“Ranjuni” staged in Khagrachhari

Local group Khagrachhari Theatre staged a play at Zilla Shilpakala Academy recently.

Drama serial “Lukochuri” on Rtv tonight

Lukochuri, a psychological thriller directed by Dipankar Dipon will be aired tonight on Rtv at 9:20pm.

Bangladeshi folk music programme in Japan

Invited by the “International Volunteer Pore Pore” of Aichi in Japan, cultural organisation 'The Gram-Bangla Folk Musical Group' has made a month-long tour in Japan recently, performing at different cities, says a press release.

“Golden Girl” Estelle Getty passes away

Actress Estelle Getty, best known as sarcastic Sicilian octogenarian Sophia Petrillo in the mega-popular sitcom The Golden Girls, had died at the age of 84.

OP-ED

Bleak new world?

THE EC is disappointed that "undesirables" are slipping through and running for election. I am not in the least bit surprised that these erstwhile corrupt people have slipped through the net -- and why wouldn't they? You have a reformed electoral system in place, you spend a year and a half revamping the entire system, you set out seemingly solid rules of the game, hoping to dissuade or discourage any ambitious profiteering contenders, and lo and behold, your system is not foolproof after all, and so, it's back to the drawing board, eh? And start pondering on what went wrong.

Plundering of heritage

THIS is in response to several recent incidents regarding loss of architectural heritage of a city poised to celebrate the fourth centenary of being a capital city. Some of these have already been reported in the media, including The Daily Star. However, there were some inaccuracies, which this write-up intends to clarify.

Hidden monopoly in the free market

A free market economy ensures a competitive market where the rights of buyers as well as sellers are protected. What is free market? A market will be treated as free market when it fulfills the following conditions -- price of the product will be fixed through bargaining, there will no action taken by anybody to control demand and supply, there will no action taken by government to fix prices, etc.

Air travel in Asia may have just a little too much excitement

SUMMER has started. The airport beckons. But I choose airlines carefully these days, having learned the hard way.

Star Chittagong

Where orphans, destitute children feel at home

SOS Children's Village Chittagong, a welfare organisation for the children, has been playing a vital role in raising orphans as well as the destitute children of broken families since its journey in the port city in 1989.

Passengers hostage to city bus services

Introduction of ticket system for the bus services in the port city has become virtually ineffective due to non-compliance with the traffic rules by a section of owners and drivers, causing untold sufferings to the commuters.

The Week That Was

Call to cancel age-based admission system
Leaders of Consumers' Association of Bangladesh (CAB) on Thursday urged the government to cancel the existing admission system in the colleges on the basis of age of the students.


The Daily Star

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