The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

News of: Friday, 1st of August, 2008

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Front Page

Local polls allowed to go political

The August 4 polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities will be held as per schedule and political parties can contest them as the High Court (HC) yesterday declared the election schedule valid.

Tata pulls out

Indian industrial conglomerate Tata Group yesterday scrapped its plan for $3 billion investment in Bangladesh as it sees "no prospect" of taking the projects any further.

Of forests and Kochu plantation

The arum (Kochu) plantation says it all. Or the new settlement a little away from the BDR camp in Marissa. Or the hills themselves. The story they tell is the same--it is one of mass scale destruction of forests in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). It could as well be called a genocide of trees.

Kuwait won't renew residency visas

Kuwait has decided not to renew residency visas of Bangladeshis doing menial jobs, saying these workers are a threat to state security and bring unnecessary international focus on the country, reports the Kuwait Times.

Truth Commission rolls into action Sunday

The Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) starts functioning on Sunday, Tac Chairman Justice Habibur Rahman Khan confirmed yesterday.

Middlemen behind Middle East woes

A clique of unscrupulous middlemen between employers and workers has developed in overseas job markets over the years and is mainly responsible for numerous forms of abuse of Bangladeshi expatriates in the Middle East.

Dhaka calls for stronger Saarc to tackle food crisis, climate change

Dhaka yesterday called for making Saarc more effective to enable it to tackle the major regional and global problems like food security, trade, energy and climate change.

CEC for law amendment to bar party campaign

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) might ask the government to incorporate specific provisions in laws regarding local body polls to prevent political parties from campaigning for their candidates in future.

UK minister for local govt in city

British Minister for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a two-day trip.

Ex-minister Shamsul Islam freed on bail

Former BNP minister M Shamsul Islam was released from prison on bail in the Gatco corruption case yesterday.

No alternative to BNP unity to compete in polls

BNP leader Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan yesterday said there is no alternative to unity for the BNP to compete in the next general election.

Poll campaigns get momentum as elections near

The Election Commission (EC) and the candidates running in the mayoral and councillor races of the four city corporations and nine municipalities are making last minute preparations for elections.

ACC presses charges against Sylhet mayor, wife for illegal wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday submitted charge sheets against Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran and his wife Asma Kamran in connection with concealing information about their wealth worth over Tk 7.21 lakh from the commission and amassing over Tk 2.22 crore illegally.

Petrobangla to fight thru' WB arbitrators

Petrobangla has finally decided to contest the case filed by Chevron with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID), an autonomous arbitration institute of the World Bank, to settle the dispute over payment of a gas-business charge.

WB to lend $50m for Sidr-hit people

The World Bank (WB) yesterday signed a credit agreement worth $50 million with the government to help restore assets and livelihoods for families affected by Cyclone Sidr.

Petition for quashing graft case rejected

A Dhaka court yesterday threw out a petition for quashing a case filed against detained former Biman flight engineer Shamim Iskander for hiding information about his wealth from the Anti-Corruption Commission.

6 die as bus rams tempo

Six people were killed and three others injured when a bus rammed into a tempo on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway near Ashuganj rail crossing in Ashuganj around 12 noon yesterday.

Obaidul Quader falls sick at case hearing

Detained Awami League (AL) leader Obaidul Quader fell sick after he was produced in a Dhaka court for hearing in a bribery case yesterday.

Ex-whip Ashraf gets HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail for six months to former BNP whip Ashraf Hossain in a bribery case.

Court order on charge framing Aug 12

A Dhaka court will pass its order on August 12 on whether to frame charges in the MiG-29 warplane purchase graft case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and six others.

Biman to buy 'useless' DC10 at $2 million

The Board of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd decided on Wednesday to buy the DC10-30 aircraft, which it leased in January 2000, with its three damaged engines at a cost of $2.1 million.

HC bench drops Nizami petition challenging Gatco graft case

The High Court (HC) yesterday dropped a writ petition filed by Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer and former industries minister Motiur Rahman Nizami from the docket on request of Nizami's counsels. The writ petition was filed challenging the legality of the Gatco corruption case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Iran again rejects nuclear deadline

Iran yesterday rejected any deadline to give a final response to a package drawn up by world powers seeking to end the nuclear crisis and said there should be more negotiations to reach a deal.

25 killed in Lanka as Saarc Summit nears

The Sri Lankan army launched a wave of attacks against Tamil Tiger separatists in the north, sparking battles that killed 24 rebels and one soldier, the military said yesterday.


Truth and Accountability Commission

THE much-vaunted, though not necessarily much-coveted, Truth and Accountability Commission has come into being. It has onerous responsibility to prove its efficacy, not just because the experiment is getting underway in the country for the first time with no experience to fall back on but also owing to the huge load of mercy petitions it will have to dispose of without undermining the integrity of the justice system in any way.

Deportation of Bangladeshi workers unacceptable

THE crisis resulting from the agitation by Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait has clearly taken a turn for the unsavoury. With the Kuwaiti authorities deporting as many as a hundred of the workers, with the very real possibility of more such workers being forced to come back home, matters get extremely awkward for relations between the two countries. Conditions ought not to have come to such a pass, given that the workers, at their wits' end, were only agitating for better wages and living conditions in the state. As far as issues of this kind go, it should have been the responsibility of Kuwait to look into the workers' grievances and so prevent the crisis from taking a bigger shape. That has unfortunately not been done. And what is certainly unacceptable now is the deportation measure.

A conspiracy in London?

ONCE I read something striking about conspiracy theories that they were like a black hole, which sucked in everything, irrespective of origin or content. Last week, that black hole sucked in words from London that the Awami League president held a series of meetings with Jatiyo Party leaders in the city of Big Ben. Ding dong, they talked about working together in a grand alliance. That is if they met. That is if they talked.

Impossible to save Doha

AFTER seven years of wrangling and recent marathon meetings in Geneva, which were often acrimonious, world trade talks collapsed on July 29, thus effectively putting an end to the hopes of saving the Doha Round.

The Indian Left's true colours

THE debate in the Indian parliament on whether or not to go through with the Indo-US nuclear deal that Dr. Manmohan Singh's government had signed with the US in July 2007, saw the worst in Indian democracy, but also, towards its end, the best.


Sehwag shines in rain

Ajantha Mendis and Chaminda Vaas led Sri Lanka's fightback after Indian opener Virender Sehwag missed out on a rare feat of scoring a century before lunch in the second Test here on Thursday.

Flintoff's feat in Eng toil

Andrew Flintoff took his 200th Test wicket as England tried to claw their way back into contention on the second day of the third Test against South Africa at Edgbaston Thursday.

Eyes out for big 'losers'

The Olympic movement has a long history of loveable losers but debate rages over whether they embody the spirit of Games or are a distraction unworthy of competing alongside the world's top athletes.

A team no match for du Plessis

A blazing knock from Francois du Plessis ensured Lancashire's six-wicket victory over Bangladesh A at Moss Lane in Alderley Edge on Tuesday.

Russel make it a Moroccan trio

Sheikh Russel brought another Moroccan under their wing for the Citycell Federation Cup and upcoming B. League when they signed Said-E-Zanzoun.

Wanderers, Navy surge ahead

Bangladesh Navy rode on Sekon's solitary strike to bag their first win in the Citycell Federation Cup qualifying round encounter against Bangladesh Air Force at the Army Stadium yesterday.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Volleyball Federation will organise a training camp prior to forming the national youth volleyball team that begins at the Mirpur Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium from today.

Spurs unveil Bentley

Tottenham on Thursday unveiled new signing David Bentley, who has cost an initial 15 million pounds (22 million euros) from Blackburn.

Capello backs Milan

England coach Fabio Capello said the acquisition of Ronal-dinho has made AC Milan favourites for the Serie A title.

Star pairing excites Rafa

Rafael Benitez believes he has already seen signs that his new strike force of Robbie Keane and Fernando Torres will gel ahead of the start of Liverpool's coming campaign.

Maria pulls out after win

Russia's Maria Sharapova withdrew from the WTA Rogers Cup Wednesday just moments after winning a marathon second-round match over Marta Domachowska.

Barry staying at Villa

Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry is to stay with the Midlands club after repeated approaches from Premier League rivals Liverpool.

Brazil will blend youth and experience

Ronaldinho said on Thursday that Brazil will blend youth and experience as the 'auriverde' bid for a first Olympic football gold.

Record shirt deal in Germany

The Bundesliga's 18 clubs will receive a record 114 million euros (178 million US dollars) collectively from their individual shirt sponsorship deals, according to estimates from German sports agency SID.

C'Ron still wants to play for Real

Manchester United's Portuguese striker Ronaldo is still dreaming of Real Madrid, despite his club's total opposition to his leaving, Spanish sports daily AS reported on Thursday.

Internal strife at Real

Real Madrid's German coach Bernd Schuster hit out Wednesday at the Spanish club's managers as he complained that he was being kept in the dark over possible new recruits.

Gunners thump Stuttgart

German veteran keeper Jens Lehmann conceded three second half goals as former club Arsenal beat his new side Stuttgart in a pre-season friendly late Wednesday.

Ben Haim joins Man City

Israel international defender Tal Ben Haim has joined Manchester City from English Premier League rivals Chelsea, according to the buying club's website on Wednesday.

Batsmen fell to good balls, says Sehwag

Not willing to blame the batsmen for the sudden Indian batting collapse, Indian vice-captain Virender Sehwag yesterday said all the batsmen fell to good balls though the wicket was playing well.

Moores bucks England up

England coach Peter Moores on Thursday called on the team to "get stuck in" to South Africa after their dismal opening-day third Test showing.


Cement plants face closure on production costs, declining demand

More and more cement factories, especially small ones, are facing closure due to price hike of raw materials and low demand for the construction material.

Tata's quit discouraging for Bangladesh

Tata Group's announcement of abandoning its $3 billion investment plan from Bangladesh is discouraging news for the country, economists and businessmen said, blaming the government for failing to take a concrete decision.

Developers review previous deals

Customers have alleged that developers are now raising the prices of apartments reviewing the previous agreements with their clients, despite the government's new law has a provision to bring the violators of such deals to book.

Tk 450cr textile machinery imports in July

Textile machinery worth Tk 450 crores was released from customs in the month of July after a reduction in duties on the import of capital machinery and spare parts and the introduction of 1 percent procedural fee.

NRBs urged to contribute to economic uplift

Non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) have been urged to contribute more than they are doing for quite a long time to help develop the country's economy in a homegrown fashion.

Restriction on import of reconditioned vehicles goes

The government on Wednesday lifted a restriction on import of reconditioned vehicles after four years of manufacture and relaxed the bar on import of vehicles over 1649CC.

Month-long fair in Panchagarh begins

A month long small and cottage industries and handicrafts fair began at Boda High School premises in Boda upazila in Panchagarh on Wednesday.

AKTEL's initiative to boost usage in August

AKTEL, country's third biggest cell phone operator, yesterday announced up to 25 percent bonus on recharge in the month of August, termed as 'friendship month' by the company, to attract its prepaid customers into making calls more frequently.

UK keen to invest in telecom sector

British High Commissioner Stephen Evans said his country's businessmen are eager to invest in Bangladesh's telecommunications sector, which has a huge potential to grow.

Customers hail, realtors denounce new housing law

Customers of apartments and plots welcomed the new ordinance for regulating the real estate sector, while developers expressed their grievances saying that the new law would ruin the sector.

French family budget blues amid holiday exodus

French families, in the midst of the annual holiday ritual, are the gloomiest for 21 years about what their wages will buy, living standards and jobs, official data showed on Tuesday.

DSE indices fall for fourth day

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) price indices fell yesterday for the fourth consecutive day due mainly to a fall in the share prices of United Commercial Bank shares (UCB).

Brand fair begins

A three-day fair styled " BSB Youth Brand Fair 2008" began in Dhaka yesterday at the Bashundhara Expo Centre. Hossain Khaled, president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, formally inaugurated the fair, said a press release.

British American Tobacco posts higher profits

Cigarette maker British American Tobacco said on Thursday that profits raced higher in the second quarter, boosted by its emphasis on emerging markets.

Unilever reports profit slump but sales rise

Dutch food products and cosmetics giant Unilever reported on Thursday a 19.0-percent slump in net second-quarter profit on restructuring charges, but a rise in sales beyond analysts' forecasts.

New SEVP of Dhaka Bank

Neaz Mohammad Khan has been promoted to senior executive vice-president (SEVP) of Dhaka Bank Limited.

Fed extends actions to ease global credit squeeze

The Federal Reserve took further steps Wednesday to battle a global credit crunch, including an extension of an emergency lending program for investment firms facing a liquidity squeeze.

Malaysia may cut fuel prices

Malaysia may reduce fuel prices in the weeks ahead if global oil prices continue to fall, a senior finance ministry official said Thursday.

China to boost tax incentives for some exporters

China will improve tax incentives for exporters of some textile and apparel products, the government said Thursday, moving to support companies struggling amid weakening foreign demand.

Gas Natural sets sights on Spain's third-largest power firm

Spain's Gas Natural said Wednesday it had reached an agreement to buy the 45.3 percent stake that builder ACS has in Union Fenosa, the country's third-biggest power firm, in a deal that could create a Spanish national energy champion.

Mazda operating profit slips on yen, material costs

Japan's Mazda Motor Corp. said Thursday that its operating profit slipped 12 percent in the quarter through June on a higher yen and rising material prices, despite growing sales in Europe and China.


Steps taken to strengthen local govts

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said his caretaker government has taken steps for strengthening local government institutions as a strategy to strengthen the democracy at the grassroots levels as well as make women's voice stronger.

Take action against candidates for false information

Shushashoner Janney Nagorik (Shujan) yesterday condemned the election commission for not taking action against the candidates of the city corporation and municipality elections who have submitted false and inadequate information in their respective affidavit and income tax returns.

Science education on decline

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday noted that science education in the country has been on the decline due to various reasons, depriving the nation of the services of talented students.

'Student bodies should not act as front organisations of parties'

Student politics is a constitutional right, but the students should not involve themselves in it in such a way that their academic career is hampered as they are the future leaders of the nation, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Tension ends after 30 DU female students shifted from vulnerable bldg

The mounting tension among around 30 Dhaka University (DU) female students residing at the vulnerable Honours Building at Rokeya Hall ended yesterday as the university authorities shifted them to the Fayezunnesa Chhatri Nibas.

Pakistan has fulfilled legal obligations to stranded Pakistanis: Pak envoy

Pakistan High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alamgir Babar yesterday said Pakistan has fulfilled the legal obligations to the stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh.

Road crashes kill journo, two others

Three people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Bogra, Magura and Chapainawabganj yesterday.

Sohel F Rahman, 4 others asked to appear in court by Aug 6

A Dhaka court yesterday asked Beximco Holdings Ltd Chairman Sohel F Rahman, its two directors and two former high-ups of IFIC Bank to appear before it by August 6 in a Tk 158.67 crore embezzlement case.

BLAST, OSHE to provide legal aid to victims

Bangladesh Legal Aid Services Trust (BLAST) and Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE) yesterday announced that they would provide legal assistance to the victims of workplace accidents to help them realise compensation.

2 lion cubs at Rangpur Zoo struggle for life

Two lion cubs at Rangpur Zoo are struggling to survive as they have been suffering from serious skin disease for about a month.

Indian army chief visits Rangamati

Indian Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor visited Rangamati yesterday.

Comilla varsity VC removed

Comilla University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Golam Mowlah was removed from his post on Wednesday, an official order issued by the education ministry said.

Ferdousy Priyabhashini's exhibition begins

The inaugural ceremony of ninth solo exhibition of Ferdousy Priyabhashini titled 'Shokhi Mor Bonolata' (my loving friends and the nature) will be held at Dots Contemporary Art Centre in the city at 6:00pm today, says a press release.

Rapist gets life term RI in Magura

A rapist was awarded life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) by a court here yesterday.

Students promise to refrain from corruption

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

Convicted criminal held in Ctg

Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) arrested a convicted criminal yesterday.

Stolen child rescued from Patuakhali

Patuakhali police rescued the 10-month-old baby girl Jannatul Naim Tinni from Taltola slum in Patuakhali town in the early hours of yesterday after a domestic help stolen her from their Hatirpool residence in the city on Tuesday.

Reception to Mizarul Quayes

Pakundia Samity, Dhaka has accorded a reception to its life member and adviser Mizarul Quayes on being appointed ambassador to Russia, says a press release.


Income generating projects

People wanted more relief after Sidr hit our coastal areas. Now they are looking for work instead of relief. I have been working with the biggest national NGO in their relief and rehabilitation programme in Sidr affected areas since December 2007.

Homeless people

Homeless people living on footpaths was a common sight in Dhaka. We saw them at Kamalapur Railway Station and in many places at night. But after the caretaker government took charge of the country, the scene radically changed. The number of homeless people increased manifold. Now I see them everywhere in Dhaka. The other day when I was crossing the street in Mirpur at about 12:00pm, a middle-aged woman was sleeping there on the island. Any time I pass through Karwan Bazar, in front of Prothom Alo office I see people sleeping or lying on the footpaths. If I make a list of the places where every day I see these floating people, it won't end. We all know what happened, these people were evicted from slums where they had been living illegally! They can't manage their two meals daily and this eviction added to their sufferings.

India and we

Relations with India are getting strained these days due to a host of unresolved issues. There is tension in border areas, as BSF often kills innocent Bangladeshis. This is really sending negative signals.

"Change is coming"

Barack Obama is certainly one of the greatest men of our times. To see him speak inspires and gives hope not just to Americans but to people all over the world. And this especially counts for young people like me who are simply amazed at the brilliance of his oratory. In the face of such troubling times the world can do a lot better with Barack Obama as president of the United States.

“Deep in the heart of nowhere”

Zafor Sobhan's post editorial on the charlands up the stream of the mighty river Jamuna gave a vivid description of the land, the people and opportunities to develop those areas and the people (July 25, 2008).

Generate solar power

It is very unfortunate that in spite of having three elected governments and 15 years of democracy in the country, none of the parties who were in power had invested in the power sector. Rather, they have consumed the power from the power generation units to fulfil their individual needs on different occasions. The outcome is - we all get to share the limited power supplies which the country still generates.


The regime of autocrat President Ershad was a dark chapter of our political history, no doubt, but his initiative to introduce 'decentralisation' was a praise-worthy move. Everything is in Dhaka, but that cannot bring about optimum benefits for the country. Everyone is rushing towards Dhaka for job, education, business, marketing etc. And so, Dhaka is now on the verge of death. Other regions of the country are underdeveloped to a great extent. Now it is high time to rethink the matter seriously for the country's benefit.

Why so many parties?

Politics is growing like business. It is a matter of regret that there are 62 political parties, including 22 religion-based ones in our country, but these parties are not functioning smoothly. Why should we have so many political parties?

Vehicle tax and post office hassle

Your article under the above heading (DS July 23, 2008) deserves thanks from those who go through untold sufferings in the post offices every year while depositing vehicle related taxes. Perhaps, you will now consider doing an investigative report on what goes on at BRTA where owners have to produce their vehicles for the final report - that is, the Fitness Certificate.

No good candidates

The long cherished hope of electing honest and dedicated persons as people's representatives to the national and local bodies/ institutions is going to remain a far cry. This has become evident from the list of the candidates who got nominations and were accepted by the EC for different posts in the upcoming city corporations and pourashava elections. In Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayoral & ward commissioner candidacy, 13 are facing allegations of corruption and criminal activities. In Sylhet City Corporation mayoral election, three candidates are accused of similar crimes. The scene is not different for the other two city corporations i.e. Barisal and Rajshahi. Mostly incumbent ward commissioners belonging to two major political parties (a few of them were even convicted & now out on bail) are seeking to be elected again. Recently, the CEC even expressed frustration as very few good people came forward to participate in the polls.

What's going on?

What is going on even during the period of interim non-political government? The cabinet is taking decisions transparently but the ministry officials are adamant and that's why most of the projects got stuck, whatever be the situation or public interest & necessity.

Policy shift needed

As high rate of inflation and escalating unemployment have seized the public life in Bangladesh, it is now our grave concern to survive through this crisis. So, considering the changed circumstances and the global context of food crisis, we feel the need for broad scale policy shift by the government that will ensure foods, social security and employment in the long run.

Back to square one!

I may sound a little melodramatic but it's so frustrating and disturbing that all our expectations are vanishing into thin air! All our "respected VIP" corrupt people will be free within a few months!

Admission policy

The SSC results 2008 were published recently. The wonderful results will, however, not help many students to get admission in college. Because, the admission process is determined by the students' age along with results. The education ministry decided on 26 June, 2008 that a similar method could be applied in higher education from 2008.

Extra-judicial killing

Another murder in the name of crossfire? This man could have been your son, brother, nephew or even father. But he gets no justice because the state has decided to kill him, As long as the victim is not your relative, you might be thinking the act of crossfire is a great way to get rid of criminals? Well, I do not know who are criminals and who are not unless they face the judicial system. Let them have their day in the court and punish them according to the law of the land.

Judges seek justice

Ten aggrieved judges of the HC appealed to uphold their right to get confirmation of their appointment as Judges of the HC. They have won the first round based on the judgment of the HC. Now the 19 sitting Judges of the HC have moved an appeal in the SC to uphold their seniority.

Taxpayer's appeal

Please allow me to share the view expressed and appeal made by Mr. Abdullah Syed. I am in a similar situation, and in my case I did not have the opportunity to submit my tax returns from 2003 to 2007 since I was abroad doing my doctorate degree during that period.

Freedom fighters' quota

The much talked about topic these days is quota system in government services. As I am a candidate of 28th BCS, the matter haunts me all the while. So I am expressing my personal view here again.

Where are those candidates?

The CEC recently said he is disappointed that good people will not be participating in the municipal polls. And the Chief Adviser has appealed to the people to elect good candidates. Now, where will they get good candidates?

Costly maintenance!

Well done BTTB. You have got front-page coverage after quite some time in the most widely circulated English daily of the country for your unholy acts(News item - The DS, 22nd July,08). You should be grateful to ACC Task Force for this. Their relentless digging to unearth your misdeeds over the years resulted in this "Honour" being conferred upon you. Who cares about shame, stigma etc? Those were old schools of thought. Taka 6 lakh for maintenance of each car is nothing. After all, don't these mechanical transports require maintenance? Money is no problem. Taxpayers are there. So, money had to be spent to keep each vehicle flawless, spotless, shinning, so that BTTB officers' children, grandchildren, friends, relatives, in-laws did not have to face slightest bit of embarrassment while riding in cars. Now you have a worthy successor BTCL. They have reduced the number of cars by 22%. A remarkable achievement indeed! We see old wine in new bottle with an old stopper at the top. Wish you all the best BTCL.


Indo-Pak FMs meet amid strains in peace drive

The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan met yesterday in Sri Lanka amid new strains in their peace process caused by border clashes and a slew of deadly bomb attacks on Indian targets.

20 Taliban killed in Nato strikes

Nato-led ground troops backed by air power killed more than 20 Taliban-linked militants in a battle in central Afghanistan that erupted after a bomb wounded some soldiers, an official said yesterday.

Pak troops vacate fort in tribal area

Pakistani officials said yesterday that troops were vacating a key fort in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan, identified by the United States as a haven for Islamic militants.

Israeli PM to resign in Sept

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision to resign amid corruption allegations and his own plummeting popularity has intensified doubts about Israel's prospects for reaching peace deals with the Palestinians and Syria.

Pakistan blames India, Afghanistan for unrest

Facing intense US pressure to act against militants thriving in its restive tribal region, Pakistani has blamed India and Afghanistan for stirring trouble in its northwestern areas and Baluchistan province.

Israel could strike Iran if sanctions fail: Obama

White House hopeful Barack Obama believes Israel will launch a military strike on Iran if nuclear sanctions fail, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Nepali PM seeks to meet Manmohan on Saarc summit sidelines

Nepal's caretaker Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who is scheduled to attend the 15th Saarc Summit in Colombo this week amid uproar among the political parties, is seeking a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the regional meet.

India to witness partial solar eclipse today

A partial solar eclipse will be seen in India on Friday while the north-eastern parts of the country will see quite a large fraction of the disc of the Sun, eclipsed by the Moon.

Bomb defused on Kashmir pilgrimage route: Police

Indian troops defused a bomb yesterday on a key Kashmir highway used daily by hundreds of Hindus to reach a revered cave-shrine high in the Himalayas, officials said.

Karadzic to appear before war crimes tribunal

Radovan Karadzic made his first appearance yesterday before the UN war crimes tribunal on charges that the former Bosnian Serb leader was behind massacres and atrocities against Muslims and Croats.

IAEA meets today to talk on India

As India hopes to resume nuclear commerce with the global community after a gap of 34 years, the IAEA Board of Governors meets in Vienna on Friday in a crucial session to consider for approval a key step for operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Thaksin's wife found guilty of tax evasion

The wife of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was found guilty yesterday of evading millions of dollars in taxes and sentenced to three years in prison, dealing a staggering blow to a man who was once one of the richest and most powerful in Thailand.

Locals involved in terror acts

Gujarat government and the police believe that there was substantial local support for the blasts that took place in the city and several bombs planted in Surat.

Arts & Entertainment

“Raarang” representing Bangladesh at Korean theatre fest

Theatre troupe Aranyak Natya Dal will represent Bangladesh at the 20th Masan International Theatre Festival (MITF) to be held in South Korea. A 15-member team headed by Bikash Kishore Das, secretary of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), will leave Dhaka tomorrow (August 2) to participate at the festival. Raarang will be staged at the festival on August 6.

Dhaka Theatre celebrates 35th anniversary

Dhaka Theatre, one of the leading troupes in the country, celebrated its 35th anniversary with a special programme at the National Theatre Stage on July 30. Formed in 1973, Dhaka Theatre has produced several quality productions and talented actors who are dominating theatre and the small screen.

“Shob Charitro Kalponik”: Bipasha Basu makes her debut in Bangla cinema

She is sexy, beautiful and graceful. Actress Bipasha Basu has been in the spotlight recently for her role in the upcoming film Shob Charitro Kalponik (directed by Rituparno Ghosh). The theme is riveting. Says Filmfare magazine, “How much does art owe to life and vice versa? Can life truly be depicted in art? Is life as complex as art? These are some of the questions Bipasha Basu's debut Bengali film attempts to answer.”

Olympic boost for "Mummy" blockbuster?

As all eyes turn to Beijing for the Olympics, the third instalment of the successful "Mummy" films offers its own take on China -- swapping Egyptian Pyramids for the Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

Reminiscence on poet Samudra Gupta

Bangladesh Sanskritik Karmi Sangha (BSKS) arranged a memorial programme honouring the recently deceased poet Samudra Gupta at the auditorium of Music and Dance Centre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on July 30. Noted cultural personalities spoke on the life and works of Samudra Gupta. Artistes also rendered poems written by Gupta.

New TV Programme: Western Union Probashi

A new fortnightly TV programme, Western Union Probashi, is airing on Channel i. The next episode of the programme will be aired tonight at 6:20pm (re-telecast on the same night at 2:10am). The programme will focus on the lives, struggles, joys, sorrows and successes of Non Resident Bangladeshi's (NRB). The programme will also feature songs and dances performed by NRB artistes.

Telefilm “Rong” on Channel i

Telefilm "Rong" will be aired on Channel i today at 2:35pm. The telefilm is written and directed by Ahmed Enamul Azim.


Stopping the sea

MAN-made climate change didn't begin last summer. Its apocalyptic journey started with the first smoke belching chimneys of the industrial revolution in the UK several centuries ago. Climatologists say that it's the UK which has contributed most greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and not the popular villain, the US with its shorter industrial history.

From Jahangirnagar to Dhaka

THIS year marks Dhaka's 400th anniversary as a capital city. However, Dhaka's history as a town or an urban settlement goes back much further, and it is very difficult to say exactly how old Dhaka city is.

Everybody should care if Bangladesh drowns

HAVE boat, will travel Bangladeshis have long been known as a mobile people. In fact, you could say that it is in our blood. And yet this wanderlust owes much more to another liquid substance: water.

Unstoppable urbanisation

NOT even wars, natural disasters, or public policies have slowed the pace of urbanisation. During the late 19th century, rapid growth of population occurred in industrial countries -- the urban revolution. The same revolution is now taking place in the developing countries, expanding technological opportunities on one hand, and damaging sustainability and liveability on the other.

New star rising

WITNESSING Reihan Salam speak off-the-cuff feels like some intensely demanding, habit-forming new spectator sport. While he's in full rapid-fire, animated flow, the rapt listener remains completely engrossed, delighted by his insights, analysis, and wide-ranging references, wowed by his effortless formulations and disarmed by his wry asides.


A looming threat

The rise of computers and advances in technology have paved the way for the genesis of a new genre of crime. High-tech crime involves an attempt to pursue illegal activities through the use of advanced electronic media.

Robo-relationships are virtually assured: British experts

David McGoran cradles his baby in his arms. As he looks down into its big, dark eyes, it turns its head towards him and blinks, looking contented as it curls a bony white finger around his hand.

Nokia introduces N78

Nokia has introduced Nokia N78, new member of the Nseries family. It's especially designed for sharing music and images. Nokia N78 was actually introduced at Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona, Spain. The product is available in Bangladesh from June this year.

VPN-firewall router SL1200

The ASUS SL1200 VPN Security Router possesses all the advanced functionalities of an Enterprise-grade Firewall, NAT router and VPN (up to 50 Tunnels). campus career festival begins, the largest job portal of the country, has organised the first ever campus career festival in the country. The festival is being and will be held at six leading public and private University campuses over two months (July and August 2008).

The Daily Star

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