The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Thursday, 31st of July, 2008

Front Page

Truth Commission gets chief, members

The government yesterday appointed chairman and members of the Truth and Accountability Commission, completing formation of the much-anticipated body to allow people exemption from prosecution in exchange for confession and surrender of ill-gotten wealth.

Three-tier security for 715 polling stations

The government will start deploying around 20,000 police and Ansar members in four city corporations and nine municipalities from tomorrow for the August 4 local-government elections there.

Kuwait deports over 100

Over a hundred Bangladeshi workers yesterday arrived in Dhaka from Kuwait that deported them over allegations of instigating labour unrest.

Process on for release of Khaleda, says CA

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the process is on for the release of former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and bringing her and her party to the pre-election dialogue.

AL terms EC's directive illegal

A delegation of legal experts from Awami League (AL) in an unscheduled meeting with the Election Commission (EC) yesterday labelled 'illegal' the commission's barring of political parties' central leaders from taking part in local government election campaigns.

Poorly paid, exploited at will, extorted even

Most of over 2 lakh Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait get monthly salary as low as Kuwaiti dinar (KD) 20-25 (equivalent to Tk 5,000-6,500) and cannot recover the amount they invest for the overseas job even in three to four years.

Bhuiyan freed on bail, demands Khaleda's release

Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, a top leader of the BNP's reformist faction and former LGRD minister, was released on bail from Dhaka Central Jail yesterday afternoon.

Move to replace repressive police laws snails

Nothing remarkable has yet been achieved to replace the age-old police laws of 1861, which encourage repressive and atrocious policing system, despite the recent reforms in the police department.

JU heats up over sexual harassment

Jahangirnagar University (JU) students kept eight syndicate members including the acting vice-chancellor confined to the university administrative building for 16 hours demanding dismissal of Associate Prof Sanowar Hossain Sunny on charge of sexual harassment.

Illegal CNG conversion goes on despite drives

CNG conversion of motor vehicles with substandard cylinders and parts continues unabated in the country as the Department of Explosives and the Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) fail to take stringent measures against the illegal act.

Zilla Parishad law, Local Govt Commission on cards

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the government will enact Zilla Parishad ordinance and form an independent Local Government Commission soon for sustainability of the local government strengthening process.

Start Safta talks on trade in services

Saarc foreign secretaries concluded their two-day meeting here yesterday with a set of recommendations, including one for starting negotiation on trade in services under the South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta) deal.

No possibility to go back to pre-Jan 11

Home Adviser MA Matin yesterday ruled out any possibility of the country sliding back into last year's pre-January 11 situation.

Khaleda denied bail in fake orphanage case

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected the bail petition of detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.

HC asks for medical reports of Nasim

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the inspector general (IG) of prisons and LabAid Hospital authorities to submit the medical reports of former home minister and Awami League leader Mohammad Nasim to the court by August 5 for examining those.

7 JMB men get life

A Barisal court yesterday sentenced seven activists of banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh to life imprisonment in a case filed for the series bomb blasts on August 17, 2005 in front of Barisal Central Jail.

Obaidul Quader says he was forced to appear in court despite illness

Detained Awami League leader Obaidul Quader yesterday alleged that he was forced to appear before court despite being ill.

7-yr-old killed after rape

A seven-year-old girl was allegedly strangled to death after being violated by some unknown miscreants in Cantonment area in the city on Tuesday.

KSA to welcome Khaleda's visit, if she wishes after release

Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Abdullah bin Naser Al-Bosairi has said his country will welcome former prime minister Khaleda Zia if she wishes to visit the kingdom after her release from jail.

Rahul Gandhi's trip delayed

India's ruling Congress party lawmaker Rahul Gandhi's proposed visit to Bangladesh has been postponed by a few days, sources said here today.

Charges pressed against Nanak

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Jubo League President Jahangir Kabir Nanak in a case filed for accumulating wealth worth Tk 18 lakh illegally, and giving false information in his wealth statement submitted to the commission.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout'

A regional commander of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) was killed during a “shootout” between his cohorts and police at Mohishshahi Chandpur village under Pangsha upazila early yesterday.

Businessman Amin Huda gets HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail to businessman Amin Huda for six months in two cases filed for manufacturing and trading Yaba tablets.

Iraqi parliament calls session on Kirkuk

Iraq's parliament went into summer recess yesterday without resolving key disputes holding up this year's provincial elections, forcing the speaker to announce a special session to discuss a power-sharing formula for the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Justice Naimuddin no more

Former election commissioner Justice Naimuddin Ahmed died of old age complications at a city hospital last night.

Five Pakistani troops, 25 militants killed in clashes

Dozens of Taliban rebels attacked a checkpost in Pakistan's northwestern Swat valley yesterday, sparking fierce clashes that left five troops and 25 militants dead, the military said.

UK local govt minister arrives today

British Minister for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears arrives in Dhaka today on a two-day trip to strengthen bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the UK.

Editorial

Candidates filing false and incomplete information

With the High Court directing the Election Commission to investigate and take legal action against candidates furnishing false information or concealing facts in their affidavits submitted with their nomination papers for city corporation and municipality elections, the EC is left with no alternative but to comply with the HC ruling on an expeditious basis. Only four days are left to debar such candidates, who prove guilty on this count, from the elections, due on August 4. An investigative report in Prothom Alo had revealed that out of 46 mayoral candidates 12 concealed facts about themselves apart from other newspaper reports on candidates with questionable credentials trying to stage a comeback.

Back to square one

The Doha round of negotiations at the WTO is finally dead. After seven years of often acrimonious debate and last-ditch efforts to cut a deal in Geneva, the talks were finally abandoned for good on July 29, due to irreconcilable differences between the US on one side and the G-33 group of developing countries on the other.

Revisiting 1/11

With the national elections round the corner, one feels that there is a need at this time for a serious introspection of the developments that led to January 11, 2007 and all that has happened since then, so that we may take home the lessons therefrom to avoid repetition of the mistakes, and avoid the disruptions and pain that these have caused us. It is essential to determine how wise or "otherwise" we are, or are we, as a nation, any the worse for wear after 18 months of a unique political dispensation. What have we learnt in the interregnum, if anything?

Same sad story

I am just retelling the same sad story that a younger columnist Zafar Sobhan told in his column on July 11. Zafar told Suma's story in emphatic words that really touched the heart of every reader. I am going to tell Roni's story, the circumstances and harrowing details of which are sadly similar to Suma's. In my story, the victim is Roni, who was also burnt in the lust of a beast. Suma was preparing herself to sit for the SSC examination next year while Roni's HSC examination was going on this year. And that is all the little difference between the two horrific stories of Suma and Roni. Badly burnt, both the girls are now fighting for life in the burn unit of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Are education planners thinking ahead?

The higher education institutions (HEIs) in Bangladesh will continue to face numerous challenges in the coming days, which include the issues of quality, access, cost, capacity, consistency, and so on. To meet these challenges, there is a critical need to develop coherent, comprehensive, and socially responsive strategies to make higher education more relevant, rigorous, and proactive.

Sports

Marshall returns

After a year in wilderness, talented batsman Marshall Ayub is all set to play competitive cricket as the right-hander was included in the 14-member GP-BCB National Academy squad for their South Africa trip.

A Lankan fortress

Galle has been something of a fortress for Sri Lanka: they have lost just one of their last nine Tests here since July 2000. Both Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have spoken of the fact that having fewer Test venues in the country gives Sri Lanka an advantage, as they know the conditions better. Six wins from 12 matches in Galle, with just two defeats, sums up that confidence.

Glamour couple splits

Australian swimming's glamour couple, Stepha-nie Rice and Eamon Sullivan, have split up just before the Olym-pic Games but insist their preparations have not been affected.

Nel nails England

Andre Nel took three wickets and sparked a slump by England on the first day of the third Test against South Africa at Edgbaston here on Wednesday.

Rajshahi clinch kabaddi title

Rajshahi clinched the title of the Spectra Group National Women's Kabaddi Championship when they beat Bangladesh Ansar 20-18 in a keenly contested final at the kabaddi court yesterday.

Sharmin will carry flag

Sharmin Akhter, SAFF Games gold medalist shooter, will carry Bangladesh's flag in the march past during the gala opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic, scheduled for August 8 to 24.

Army back on track

Bangladesh Army bounced back from their first match defeat when they blanked Bangladesh Customs Krira Parishad 2-0 in the Citycell Federation Cup football tournament's qualifying round at the Army Stadium yesterday.

Messi going to Beijing

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi says he will defy his Spanish club's orders and join up with Argentina's Olympic squad this week.

BCB seminar concludes

A two-day training seminar for managers of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) concluded at the Spectra Convention Centre in the city on Tuesday.

Dollar picks up three

Paceman Dollar Mahmud picked up three quick wickets to put Lancashire in a spot of bother in reply to Bangladesh A's score of 182 runs at Moss Lane in Alderley Edge yesterday.

Scolari happy with team

New coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was upbeat after Chelsea completed the Asian leg of their pre-season tour, saying he had seen enough to convince him he has a side that can win the Premier League.

Modric looks ahead

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric said his new club Tottenham Hotspur could look forward to a "great future" despite the departure of Robbie Keane and the possible exit of Dimitar Berbatov.

C'Ron baffles Van der Sar

Edwin van der Sar cannot understand why Cristiano Ronaldo would want to play for any club other than Manchester United.

Spurs ever closer to Bentley

Tottenham are on the verge of signing David Bentley from Blackburn and will confirm the transfer providing the England winger passes a medical today.

Nike cancels Barton deal

Joey Barton, released from prison this week following his conviction for assualt in May, has lost his 40,000 pound (62,000 dollar) a year boot sponsorship deal with Nike.

Eto'o suffers head injury in training

Barcelona's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o on Tuesday suffered a blow to the head in training although tests showed he had not suffered serious injury, the club reported.

Petit set for Cologne

Portugal midfielder Petit is set to sign for newly-promoted Bundesliga side Cologne from Portuguese giants Benfica for an undisclosed amount, according to a report here on Wednesday.

Fulham sign Stoor

Fulham signed Sweden defender Fredrik Stoor from Norwegian side Rosenborg on Wednesday, the English Premier League club announced.

Onus on batters: Anil

Anil Kumble is a man of few words when it comes to addressing the media before, during and after a match but his crisp verdict that India needed to win in Galle at any cost was the most forthright he's been this series. The last time India trailed a three-match series 0-1 was against Sri Lanka in 2001-02 and this Test could prove to be the most important in recent history, given that a loss here could seriously throw up composition concerns going forward into a busy season.

Dalmiya CAB chief again

Jagmohan Dalmiya has been elected president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), a position from which he was unseated in December 2006 following charges of embezzlement. Dalmiya, a former president of both the ICC and the BCCI, defeated the incumbent, Prasun Mukherjee, to secure a seat on the Indian board.

Zia starts with win

The 8th United Insurance and United Leasing International Masters Chess Tournament got underway yesterday.

Pioneer soccer

Nawabpur Krira Chakra rode on Nayan hattrick to outplay Bangladesh Sporting Club 5-0 in the Dhaka City Corporation Pioneer Football League at the Kamalapur Stadium yesterday.

Office Handball League Rifles'

Bangladesh Rifles emerged champions in the Design Zone 2nd Office Handball League with a 34-27 victory over Bangladesh Police in the final at the outer stadium handball ground yesterday.

Dali's success

Bangladesh Archery Federation Judge Mohammad Faruk Dali emerged as the country's first Continental Archery Judge recently.

Business

Shrimp hatcheries suffer Tk100cr loss

The country's shrimp hatcheries have incurred about Tk 100 crore losses this year because of a sharp decline in the price of fry amid poor demands from farmers, owners claimed yesterday.

Investors yet to get back deducted taxes on savings certificates

Taxes on savings certificates that were deducted almost a year ago from hundreds of individual investors, including retired persons, are yet to be refunded in accordance with a government order.

Top trading powers mourn collapse of WTO talks

Economic powerhouses and developing nations traded blame for the failure of the negotiations which crumbled amid a row over food tariffs, but expressed hope that they could be revived.

BB warns banks for not cutting interest rates

The central bank yesterday warned 16 private commercial banks (PCBs) for not slashing the lending rates as per their commitment, Bangladesh Bank (BB) sources said.

DSE indices keep falling

Price indices on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) fell yesterday for the third consecutive day mainly due to the investors' shakiness regarding investments in the stock market.

Country needs $8b investment in energy sector: ICC-B

As the country faces an acute shortage of power, it needs an investment of $ 8 billion in the energy sector to fulfill the rising demand by 2025, said the International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICC-B).

NBR lists professionals to expand its income tax base

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is making a list of various professional groups at district and upazila levels to expand its income tax base.

ICB declares dividends on 8 mutual funds, unit fund

Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) yesterday declared dividends on its eight mutual funds and on the unit fund for the year 2007-08.

Steel maker BSRM submits IPO prospectus

BSRM Steels Ltd, the country's only manufacture of 500 grade steel rod, has submitted draft prospectus of initial public offering (IPO) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to sources.

WTO talks collapse: What becomes of the broken-hearted?

Nine sleepless days and nights. The press room littered with coffee cups. Countless hotel reservations cancelled and rebooked. But as talks on a new global trade pact collapsed, the WTO was still none the wiser on Wednesday what the future holds.

Businessmen urged to pay income taxes regularly

National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Mohammad Abdul Majid yesterday urged businessmen and affluent people of the society to pay income taxes regularly to make the country financially self reliant.

Stock market development: Importance of being earnest

Last week saw the much-anticipated announcement of Grameenphone's Initial Public Offer (IPO) with $ 150 million sold pre-IPO and $ 150 million issued to the market of a $ 3.2 billion market valuation. One of the reasons both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) have been pushing Grameenphone to come to market is the belief the move would act as a catalyst for not only the other telecom providers but also other leading privately held companies in Bangladesh to also list their shares.

India favours slow growth to curb inflation

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sent a clear message on Tuesday that it wants to cool the double-digit inflation even if it means a slower economic growth by increasing both Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and repo rate for the third time in two months, analysts said.

Siemens posts strong results

Engineering giant Siemens posted unexpectedly strong results and orders on Wednesday and tried to turn the page on a scandal over which it intends to seek damages from former directors.

India's Tata Motors Q1 profit slides 30pc

India's top vehicle maker Tata Motors, which this year bought motoring icons Jaguar and Land Rover, Wednesday reported that quarterly profit fell 30 percent, hit by higher input costs.

Asian stocks up

Asian shares closed mostly up Wednesday after a Wall Street rally and a slide in oil prices, with Japan's market jumping despite disappointing data from the world's second biggest economy.

European economic confidence slumps fastest since 2001

European economic confidence slumped in July at the fastest pace since just after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, according to a widely watched EU survey on Wednesday.

NTT DoCoMo profits rise strongly on cost-cutting

Japan's top mobile operator NTT DoCoMo said Wednesday its net profit jumped more than 41 percent in the first quarter as it slashed costs to make up for sagging revenue in a fiercely competitive market.

Billionaire investor Pickens dumps Yahoo stock

Influential US investor T. Boone Pickens told a major California newspaper that he has dumped millions of shares of Yahoo stock at a loss.

Oil prices fall below $122

Oil prices fell slightly on Wednesday after a brief rally to stand below 122 dollars a barrel as the market awaited weekly data on the health of energy inventories in the United States.

Metropolitan

This year's US presidential election more significant than previous ones

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said the United States (US) presidential election has been on the focus across the world since this year's election is more significant than the country's previous presidential elections.

Nam ministers call for global partnership for peace, justice

The 15th Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (Nam) called for a just and equitable world order and stressed the need for global partnership for access to peace and justice.

Dhaka attaches great importance to relations with Male

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday said Bangladesh attaches great importance to her relations with the Maldives as the two brotherly countries have been working together at various platforms, including Saarc.

Two-year celebrations begin

People have built their homes on the moon, girls are flying in the sky and children are playing with the stars -- all these are seen in a picture painted by Tania, a student of class six at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College.

No special favour for particular party

The government of Saudi Arabia does not favour any particular party of Bangladesh rather wants to get closer to all parties and people of the country, ambassador Dr Abdullah N A AL

Home-grown models to be utilised for quality education at pry level

Primary and Mass Education Adviser Rasheda K Choudhury yesterday said home-grown models and small achievements will have to be accumulated in the mainstream education for improving quality education in primary level.

60 most vulnerable Ctg bldgs to be demolished soon

Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) is going to demolish 60 'most vulnerable' buildings in the port city shortly.

Hearing on govt's appeals at full bench Aug 4

The chamber judge of the Supreme Court (SC) Justice MA Matin yesterday fixed August 4 for hearing at the full bench of the Appellate Division on the government's appeals against the High Court (HC) orders staying the proceedings against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the Niko and barge-mounted power plant cases.

4 killed, 44 injured in road accidents

Four people were killed and 44 others injured in separate road accidents in Jessore, Narail and Patuakhali in the last two days.

AL urges govt to implement HC verdict on Aug 15

Awami League has drawn up a month-long programmes to commemorate August 15.

Charges framed against Purbani Hotel MD Joyanal

A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against Mahbubur Rahman Joynal, managing director of Hotel Purbani, in a case filed for possessing ornaments of diamond illegally at his residence in October last year.

Vow to continue movement for trial of war criminals

Dhaka University (DU) students burnt an effigy of Jamaat leader Golam Azam on the campus yesterday in a symbolic execution of the verdict of a 'People's Court' that tried the war criminals on March 26 in 1992.

City dwellers likely to get DAP map from Jan 1

The city dwellers are going to get the map of detailed area plan (DAP) from January 1, as the work of the plan will be completed before December, said Housing and Public Works Secretary ASM Rashidul Hai yesterday.

'Help save Saswoto'

Sammilito Sangskritik Jote yesterday appealed for help from the people of all walks of life to save Saswoto Satya, a 1st year student of the department of Mass Communication and Journalism at Rajshahi University (RU), who is suffering from almost an incurable disease.

Refrain from corruption in future life

A two-day anti-corruption campaign began on Rajshahi University campus yesterday.

Indian Army chief Kapoor visits Comilla

Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor visited Comilla Cantonment area and passed a busy day here yesterday.

Hearing on charge framing August 4

A special court yesterday set August 4 for hearing on charge framing against Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in connection with a corruption case.

Two muggers arrested while fleeing

Two muggers were held while fleeing on a motorbike after snatching about Tk 2 lakh from the officials of a textile mill in the city's Uttara area yesterday morning.

Tree plantation programme begins at DU

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday began a tree plantation programme on the campus.

Toll collection from CNG autorickshaws stops at last

The leaseholder of Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge-1 (Buriganga bridge) has finally stopped collecting tolls from CNG-run autorickshaws.

Shop employee hacked to death in Narsingdi

A shop employee was hacked to death by a gang of criminals at Pashchim Kandapara in the district town on Tuesday midnight.

Garo rape victim under threat for withdrawal of case

An adivasi Garo rape victim of Rajshahi yesterday expressed concern that her case is not being investigated properly and she is under constant threat for withdrawing the case.

Students block road, demand arrest of attackers

Around one hundred agitating students of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday blocked traffic on Dhaka-Rajshahi highway for over one hour demanding arrest and exemplary punishment of the salesmen who severely beat up a RU student at Rajshahi RDA market.

Two girls taken to safe custody of BNWLA

Two teenage girls who were rescued from a sex racket on Tuesday were taken to the safe custody of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA) following a court order yesterday.

Ramakrishna Mission stands by Sidr-hit Fishermen

Ramakrishna Mission, Dhaka has recently implemented a rehabilitation project for cyclone Sidr-affected fishermen in the southern districts, says a press release.

Chhatra Front's memo to mayor for removal of billboard

Police yesterday intercepted a procession of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front, a left-leaning student organisation, at Doyel Chattar intersection on the Dhaka University (DU) campus while they were moving towards the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) to submit a memorandum to the city mayor.

NIG criticises foreign diplomats for interfering in internal affairs

National Interest Group (NIG) in its first quarterly report criticised the foreign diplomats for interfering in the internal affairs of the country.

FCHD workshop on social justice held

The Forum for Cultural and Human Development (FCHD) organised a daylong workshop on Social Justice at its Khilgaon office in the city recently, says a press release.

SKS allowances for retired armed forces men

Sena Kalyan Sangstha (SKS) invited applications from the retired personnel age 70 years or above of Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force for allowances, says an ISPR press release.

Town bus services in Rajshahi demanded

Members of the civil society and professional bodies in Rajshahi city yesterday demanded the concerned authorities to launch town bus services in the city.

Brand Witz 2008 begins today

IBA Communication Club (IBACC) is organising Brand Witz 2008, an inter business school marketing competition.

ASK concerned over 'crossfire'

Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) in a statement yesterday expressed grave concern over the growing number of killings of alleged criminals in 'crossfire' by the law enforcing agencies, especially the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab).

Partial solar eclipse tomorrow

Partial eclipse of the sun will be seen from Bangladesh sky on August 1 from 4:45pm to 5:49pm.

2nd-leg meet on 'climate change and Bangladesh' in UK Sept 10

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam and Environment Special Assistant Raja Debasish Roy met donor country and agency representatives yesterday to thrash out the agenda for a high-level meeting on 'Climate change and Bangladesh' in September.

Yaba, phensidyl seized, five held

Department of Narcotics Controller (DNC) yesterday arrested five people and recovered 125 pieces of Yaba tablets, 350 bottles of phensidyl from their possessions, says a press release.

Appeal for help

Moshrequl Islam Raien, a third year BS (Agri) student of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU) and son of Muslem Uddin of Dewan Para at College Boarding Road in Joypurhat, has been suffering from blood cancer.

National

All KCC mayoral aspirants violate electoral code

The deputy election commissioner of Khulna, who is also the returning officer for Khulna City Corporation (KCC) elections, in an official letter to the Election Commission secretary has accused all the six mayoral candidates in KCC elections of violating electoral code of conduct.

Mayoral candidate Chan among 22 charge-sheeted

Police filed charge sheet in the case for killing Bangladesh Chhatra League leader Saidur Rahman Faruk for the third time against 22 people including Barisal City Corporation (BCC) mayoral candidate Ebaidul Huq Chan, a councillor candidate, two union parishad chairmen and local BNP leaders.

'Elect honest, competent persons'

Speakers at press conference organised by People's Forum on Anti-corruption has called upon the city dwellers to vote for the honest and competent people in Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) polls.

Rtd village police was killed to trap rivals

Retired village police Tarak Das was murdered in Tala upazila seven months ago by a gang to falsely implicate their rivals in the village in a murder case. This was revealed in the statement of one the alleged killers given in a Satkhira court yesterday.

Security beefed up at Mongla Port as dockworkers agitate

Security measures have been streagthened at Mongla Port where dockworkers threw a programme from last Monday as preparation for launching movement in protest against introduction of berth operating system from August 1.

BCL calls off strike at Sust

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday called off their indefinite strike at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) for 15 days following a fruitful discussion with vice chancellor VC Prof M Aminul Islam at his house.

Body recovered from launch in Barisal

Body of a passenger was recovered from the cabin of a launch here yesterday morning.

2 agri officials among 4 held for cheating farmers

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police in a joint raid conducted at a warehouse at Jalalpur here yesterday arrested four people including two agriculture officials for cheating farmers in weight and taking excess price from them during selling fertiliser.

Night coach looted, 5 hurt in Magura

Highway robbers stabbed and beat up five persons including the driver of a night coach and took away Tk two lakh and valuables from passengers in the early hours of yesterday.

Ex-UP chairman gets 10 yrs in arms case

A Rajshahi court yesterday sentenced former chairman of Gugripara

Indigenous youth's body found

Body of an indigenous youth was recovered from a pond at Gobindanagarh village under Sadar upazila in Thakurgaon on Wednesday.

18 students freed on bail

A Noakhali court yesterday granted bail to 18 students of Begumganj Agriculture Training Institute, who were arrested on charge of damaging vehicles and putting up barricade on road on July 24.

International

India claims Pak shooting on Kashmir frontier again

India's army yesterday accused Pakistani troops of again breaking a ceasefire along the de facto border dividing disputed Kashmir by opening fire on Indian positions.

Iran will not retreat, says Khamenei

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said yesterday that the country will not retreat in the face of demands by world powers for Tehran to halt sensitive nuclear work.

Karadzic sent to UN war crimes tribunal

Serbia handed over former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to the UN war crimes court in The Hague yesterday to face genocide charges after more than a decade on the run.

6 million N Koreans need food assistance: WFP

Hunger in North Korea is at its worst since the 1990s, the United Nations said yesterday, prompting the resumption of emergency UN food shipments after a two-year hiatus.

Fear of sodomy charge against Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia's opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim insisted yesterday he would fight a by-election later this year and form a new government despite fears he will soon be charged with sodomy.

Polls win fuels fear for democracy in Cambodia

The landslide election victory of Cambodia's ruling party puts the country under one party-rule and risks damaging its fragile democracy, rights groups said Wednesday.

US lawmakers apologise for slavery

US lawmakers Tuesday offered the federal government's first formal apology for the "fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity" of slavery and the legal segregation of African-Americans.

Iraq arrests 35 al-Qaeda suspects

Iraq forces supported by US troops said yesterday they had arrested 35 suspects as a major crackdown on fighters in the al-Qaeda bastion of Diyala province entered its second day.

Nato Soldier killed in Afghanistan

A Nato soldier died after being wounded in a militant attack in southern Afghanistan, and insurgents and a roadside blast killed five Afghan policemen elsewhere in the country, officials said yesterday.

Syria tries 12 over call for democracy

Twelve opposition activists who signed a declaration calling for democracy in Syria went on trial yesterday and rejected all prosecution charges, a human rights group said.

25 killed in fresh Lanka Fighting

Twenty-one Tamil rebels and four government troops were killed in fresh fighting in Sri Lanka's embattled north as the nation readied to host a summit of regional leaders, officials said yesterday.

India offers reward in blast probe

India yesterday offered a 120,000-dollar reward for help in arresting those responsible for a string of blasts in a western city that left 49 dead and more than 160 injured.

Nepal president asks Maoists to form govt

Nepal's president has invited former Maoist rebels to form the first government in the world's newest republic in a bid to end weeks of political deadlock, according to a statement yesterday.

Eradicate extremism by state, non-state actors

South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) yesterday urged the Saarc member states to take short-and long-term measures to eradicate extremism and violent practices by both state and non-state actors against civilians and journalists in particular.

California 'dodges bullet' as 5.4 earthquake rocks region

Southern Californians yesterday were taking stock of the 5.4-magnitude earthquake that shook the region a day earlier, spooking millions from Los Angeles to San Diego in a juddering reminder of their vulnerability to seismic shocks.

Arts & Entertainment

Controversy rages on the year of proclamation

There is a strong polarisation of opinion on the year that Dhaka was proclaimed as the capital of Bengal. On one hand, intellectuals assert that Dhaka was declared the capital by Mughal Subedar Islam Khan in 1608. This version is backed up by popular websites. On the other hand, there is group of scholars who claim that the 400th anniversary of the capital city should be observed in 2010, as Dhaka was announced as the capital in 1610.

Tourism gets a boost in Khagrachhari

The tourism sector got a boost as many nature lovers are coming to the hilly district Khagrachhari, known for its serene jade greenery.

Memorial programme for Sumudra Gupta in Faridpur

A memorial discussion and recitation programme in honour of eminent poet Sumudra Gupata, poet Babu Faridi, culture activist Shafikur Rahaman and journalist Sayed Imamul Azam Abdur Rob were held last Monday evening in Faridpur.

Mohammad Rafi: In old-fashioned pathos, in timeless passion

The evening descends. The rays of a tired sun play havoc with the cheeks of the woman you love to distraction. And you hum the old Mohammad Rafi song, Hui shaam un ka khayal aa gaya / wohi zindagi ka sawaal aa gaya. And there you have it. In the 28 years since July 1980, life without Rafi has been a time of declining, indeed increasingly mediocre music. He was a maestro, in that true sense of the meaning. Think of Radhike tu ne bansri churai; or dwell on Hue hum jin ke liye barbaad. There was that command in him of the various elements of music. Was that voice a gift from God? Never mind the answer. But what we do know is that Mohammad Rafi was an artiste whose presence in Indian music overshadowed every other presence in his time.

On screen in Venice

The 65th Venice Film Festival will focus on Italian cinema, Japanese animation and independent features, The Associated Press reported. Organisers revealed the 21 films to be screened for competition at the festival, running from August 27 through September 6, on Tuesday.

“Olympic Dreams” on ATN Bangla soon

A new show titled Olympic Dreams will be aired on ATN Bangla from August 7. The show has been created on the occasion of the Summer Olympic 2008 that will be held in Beijing, China from August 8. The show will cover various topics such as, countries that will participate in the event and the history of Olympic Games. Bangladesh will also participate this year.

OP-ED

Political reform: Myth and reality

THIS article is intended to support some of the views expressed by G.M. Quader in his piece, "Political reform: Myth and Reality," which was published in The Daily Star on July 23, and also to add some of my own views.

Presumptive US president

WHATEVER the illusion the American media is trying to create, it is certain that Barack Obama will be the next president of US. He is a Christian but, no doubt, he has Muslim heritage. He will be the first African-American US president. So far, Obama has proved to be a good, smart and popular person among Christians and Muslims (American), and among blacks and whites. His attitude toward world peace is generally acceptable, though, after his assumes office, there may be some changes due to exigencies of the situations.

It's about cricket

DR. M. Shah Alam's article, "Sorry, it's about cricket," published in this newspaper caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, it quite rightly highlighted the decline in the standard of cricket in Bangladesh. I have no doubt that most people in the country share this disappointment.

Ghosts and other dead creatures are alive and well in Asia

IN Asia, there are many reasons why you may wish to dig up a road: to lay pipes, to remove pipes, or just for somewhere to sit and smoke a pipe. Or, of course, you may wish to build a traffic bypass to foil a killer ghost hitchhiker.

Star Chittagong

Brisk business of adulterated, substandard foods

Sale of adulterated, stale and substandard foods is rampant in the port city for the last few months in absence of anti-adulteration drive.

CEB move to end admission rush

Chittagong Education Board (CEB) has increased some 600 seats in four leading colleges in the port city this year to tackle the rush of admission seekers.

The Week That Was

Lions Dist 315-B4 installation held
The first cabinet meeting and installation ceremony of the cabinet members of Lions District 315-B4 was held at a hotel in the port city on Saturday.


The Daily Star

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