The Daily Star

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Saturday, November 29, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 12th of August, 2008

Front Page

Elected city leaders won't quit party posts

The Awami League (AL)-backed mayors- and councillors-elect prepare to pursue a legal challenge against the new electoral rules that require the winners to resign their party positions before taking the oath of office.

Shah Alam's Tk 498cr escapes ACC net

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) could have charged Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam with amassing ill-gotten wealth worth Tk 606 crore had he not whitened Tk 498 crore under the money whitening schemes offered by successive governments.

Prices of essentials drop significantly

Prices of essential commodities including edible oil, pulses, rice and flour have dropped significantly at kitchen markets in the city over the last three days.

Khaleda refuses to be voter while in jail

Detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia yesterday again declined to register herself as a voter from behind bars, passing the last chance for it in the capital city area.

45 cheated workers return from KL

Battered by employers and cheated by agents, 45 Bangladeshi workers returned from Malaysia yesterday after over one year with bruises all over their bodies.

Thaksin flees to UK amid graft case

Deposed Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his family have fled to the United Kingdom, the former leader said yesterday after he and his wife skipped a hearing on corruption charges in a Thai court.

Lezak keeps Phelps' dream alive

With history about to slip away and Michael Phelps cheering him on, Jason Lezak pulled up next to the lane rope and set out after hulking Alain Bernard, like a NASCAR driver drafting down the backstretch at Daytona.

Army to work as strike force in next polls

Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain yesterday said army will work as strike force with the law enforcement agencies during next elections.

President, CA to visit Tungipara to pay homage to Bangabandhu

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed will visit Tungipara in Gopalganj on August 15 to pay homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of his 33rd death anniversary.

Kh Mosharraf, Mirza Azam get HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted adinterim bail to BNP leader and former health minister Dr Khandker Mosharraf Hossain and Awami Jubo League General Secretary and former lawmaker Mirza Azam in separate corruption cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Counterfoil of ballot papers found on Khulna road

A counterfoil of ballot papers used for August 4 Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayoral polls was found lying in front of Udayan Club in Khulna city on Sunday night.

Kamal Majumder sued for tax dodging

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday filed a case against detained former Awami League (AL) lawmaker Kamal Ahmed Majumder for dodging Tk 2.42 crore in income tax from 1986 to 2006.

Medical Board formed for Tarique

The government yesterday formed a five-member medical board for treatment of detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, now at a prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) hospital.

Ershad, B Chy against freeing graft suspects

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and Bikalpadhara President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury have strongly opposed the release of the detained political leaders who are facing corruption charges.

Over 3,000 sued for violence in Gazipur, Ashulia

Two cases and three general diaries were filed yesterday against over 3,000 workers for torching a garment factory in Gazipur and vandalising several others at Ashulia and the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) on Sunday night.

Arrest warrant against Shah Alam, family

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam, his wife and four sons in a case filed for amassing wealth worth Tk 107.81 crore illegally.

Russian warplanes pound Georgia

Dozens of Russian warplanes staged air raids in Georgia on Monday, officials said, but Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States of trying to undermine Russia's mounting military offensive.

ACC probe reveals graft in BSMMU

The corruption watchdog yesterday said it has detected anomalies in several institutions including the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) where equipment purchase irregularities caused the state to lose over Tk 2.37 crore.

BDR to be strengthened, BOP increased

The government has decided to strengthen the capabilities of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), increase the number of border outposts (BOP) and build roads to enhance security in border areas.

Eminent citizens slate 'anti-people' activities of govt

Twenty-two eminent personalities yesterday called upon the caretaker government to stop its "anti-people, anti-constitutional and illegal activities" in dealing with the country's energy resources.

JS polls can be held in similar situation

French Ambassador to Bangladesh Charley Causeret yesterday said generally they will prefer the lifting of the state of emergency but the coming general election can also be held in a situation that had prevailed during the local-body polls on August 4.

HC quashes proceedings, orders further investigation

The High Court (HC) yesterday quashed proceedings of the case concerning bomb blast at Narayanganj Awami League (AL) office in 2001 and ordered further probe into the incident.

Graft case against Koko shifted to another court

The Senior Special Judge's Court of Dhaka yesterday transferred the graft case against Arafat Rahman Koko from the Special Judge Court-7 to Court-6 after Koko's lawyers submitted a petition for transfer of the case saying that they would not get justice from the trial court.

17 rescued from traffickers on Rajshahi border

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday arrested two human traffickers and rescued 17 people including women and children on the Godagari border of Rajshahi.

Musharraf won't quit despite impeachment move

Embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will not resign, his spokesman said yesterday, as parliament convened to discuss the impeachment of the key US anti-terror ally.

Editorial

Garment sector boiling again

IT appears that the RMG sector is heating up once again. It is distressing to learn of the destruction of a large number of garment factories in Ashulia by agitating workers demanding payment of their arrears. What is regrettable is the routine regularity with which the management of some garment factories default on payment to their workers, and for the workers to almost predictably resort to violence resulting in loss of property.

Government decision on National Mourning Day

THE Council of Advisers has made a judicious move by deciding to reinstate August 15 as National Mourning Day. It is a step that will surely resonate with the sentiments of a nation which was clearly traumatised by the tragic incidents of August 15, 1975. Indeed, the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, along with most of his family members, on the day remains a blot on our collective national conscience. It is ironic that on such a vital issue as a proper observance of August 15, it remained for the higher judiciary to step in to resolve the matter. By the same measure, we can certainly say that when the last political government decided to do away with the observance of National Mourning Day in 2002, it proved itself unable to rise above party politics.

Measuring up to Asean

I have returned recently from Colombo after attending a plenary meeting of the South Asian Free Media Association and the South Asia Media Commission Conference. They were held on a parallel track with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit Conference. This permitted me to have a deeper insight into the way Saarc is functioning as an institution.

Crunch time across the border

AFTER three days of uncertainty and dramatic flip-flops, Pakistan's ruling coalition has decided to impeach President Pervez Musharraf. This begins what could be a decisive battle for the assertion of will of the people's elected representatives against unaccountable centres of power -- or precipitate a disastrous chain of events.

Russian moves in the Americas

RUSSIAN Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's surprising announcement in early August that his country would seek to "re-establish" ties with the Soviet Union's old allies in Havana stirred up excitement in many foreign newsrooms, and raised eyebrows in a few foreign ministries around the world.

Sports

Golden boy Bindra

Abhinav Bindra won India's first ever individual Olympic gold medal on Monday, saying it was a reward for "punching holes in a paper target" all his life.

Lanka win in style

Sri Lanka survived early blows to clinch the series against an injury-ridden India with a comfortable eight-wicket victory on the penultimate day of the third and final Test here on Monday.

Our shooters took steps backward

While Abhinav Bindra pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the Beijing Olympics 2008 yesterday by snatching the first ever individual Olympic gold medal for India, his regional rival from Bangladesh finished 46th in the same event.

Some solace for England

As fresh starts go this wasn't too shabby from England as they wrapped up a consolation six-wicket victory on the final day at The Oval. Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook broke the back of the run chase with a positive opening stand of 123 before Makhaya Ntini and Paul Harris claimed two wickets apiece to take away a little of the gloss. But a week after England were plunged into uncertainty Andrew Flintoff signed off the victory with a six to give Kevin Pietersen a winning start.

No football this week

Inclement weather forced the organisers to postpone the ongoing Citycell Federation Cup matches for a week.

India in raptures

India's first ever individual Olympic gold medal win was greeted back home with disbelief and joy -- as well as renewed hope the country could break with its total obsession with cricket.

Fielding lets India down

Late last year, after a five-match ODI series against Pakistan, India's fielding coach Robin Singh sent a report to the BCCI assessing the players' fielding skills. The report praised a couple of players' throwing arms, spoke of poor agility among others and lamented the concentration and commitment of a few, but there was one common theme to his observations: the need to improve anticipation and technique.

Thrilling win for Academy boys

Pacer Mahbubul Alam scripted an exciting three-run win for GP-BCB National Cricket Academy in the first four-day match against their South African counterparts at Tukkies in Pretoria yesterday.

BFF's vast plan for women's football

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will introduce the girls' school football competition this October in Dhaka, it was decided after the first meeting of the BFF women's football committee at the BFF Bhaban yesterday.

Living up to the hype

State-of-the-art swimming technology doesn't come without its drawbacks and the humble, low-tech zipper had a dramatic influence on the Beijing Olympics on Monday.

2 in 2 for Phelps

Michael Phelps' dream of a record eight gold medals was dramatically kept alive by teammate Jason Lezak in a 4x100m freestyle relay thriller Monday, while the first drugs scandal of the Beijing Olympics emerged.

Yao shines in loss

A loping run to the arc, a split-second pause and the flap of the net. It wasn't exactly a breakthrough moment, but it will be remembered as the most famous 3-pointer scored in China.

Mirza pulls out too

The Williams sisters both cruised into the second round of the Olympic Games tennis singles on Monday, while Indian hope Sania Mirza was forced to retire hurt.

Federer lightens up the mood

Roger Federer's timing was a little off Monday at the Olympics. He easily won, but at a post match news conference he kept stepping on the interpreter translating questions and answers into Chinese.

S Korea get archery gold

South Korea took the gold medal Monday in the Olympic men's team archery competition, matching the feat of its women a day earlier.

Satu brings Finns gold

Satu Makela-Nummela of Finland won the gold medal in women's trap shooting Monday, hitting 21 targets in the finals to set an Olympic record.

Community Shield MU's

Manchester United's spot-kick prowess came up trumps again as they won the Community Shield 3-1 on penalties after a drab goalless draw against Portsmouth at Wembley on Sunday.

Lyon start with a win

Seven-times reigning French league champions Lyon beat Toulouse 3-0 in their opening match of the 2008/09 campaign on Sunday to shoot to their usual spot at the top of the table.

Eto'o staying at Barca

Cameroon international Samuel Eto'o, who was deemed surplus by Barcelona's new coach Pep Guardiola in June, will be staying at the Spanish giants after all, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Sachin out of ODIs

Sachin Tendulkar will not play the five-ODI series in Sri Lanka after sustaining an injury to his left elbow during the third Test in Colombo. S Badrinath, the Tamil Nadu batsman, is likely to be his replacement.

No Rawalpindi for Champs Trophy?

The International Cricket Council Monday said it could drop the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi as one of the three venues for September's Champions Trophy.

Seminar on disabled people in sports held

A view exchange meeting on “Disable People in Sports” was held at the District Sports Association premises here yesterday.

United starlet gets over £4m damages

A former Manchester United player was awarded more than 4.3 million pounds (5.4 million euros) damages at the High Court in London on Monday over a tackle which ended his career.

China rule roost in weightlifting

Chen Yanqing easily defended her title in the women's 58-kilogram category Monday, winning China's third weightlifting gold medal and breaking two Olympic records.

Corluka not leaving City

Manchester City's Croatian international defender Vedran Corluka is to stay with the club after holding talks with manager Mark Hughes, the club said Sunday.

Business

Decision on Mittal proposed townships in Ctg likely tomorrow

The Council of Advisers in its scheduled meeting in Chittagong tomorrow will decide on the investment proposal from UK-based Mittal Group to build two modern industrial and residential townships in the port city.

Competition in toilet cleaning market to intensify

Competition in the household products market is expected to intensify as a local cosmetics and toiletries maker, Kohinoor Chemical, has stepped in with its toilet cleaner aiming to exploit a slice of the market and to witness double digit growth every year.

FBCCI to monitor retail market essentials prices

Country's apex trade body Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will monitor the prices of essential commodities at retail markets to keep prices under control during the Ramadan.

Pro-active bureaucracy to stimulate investment urged

Business leaders yesterday stressed the need for a pro-active bureaucracy to stimulate local and foreign investment in the country, which they said is necessary for new employment.

Mushroom cultivation, plantation of oil palm tree can reduce poverty in rural areas

The LGRD and Cooperatives ministry is set to incorporate palm oil tree plantation and mushroom cultivation in its existing projects aiming at lifting female road maintenance workers in rural areas out of poverty, according to a seminar held in Dhaka yesterday.

Garment owners demand action against vandals

The garment manufacturers yesterday again demanded immediate punitive action against the hooligans involved in Sunday's factory vandalism in Gazipur.

Nokia launches Shopno Dekhun

Nokia, one of the world's leading mobile handset makers, yesterday launched a campaign styled 'Shopno Dekhun' (keep dreaming) for the Bangladesh market to help the user's dreams come true.

Asian International Trade Expo 2008 kicks off

A 10-day exhibition on Asian products and services, `Asian International Trade Expo 2008' kicked off at the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre yesterday. Conference and Exhibition Management Services Ltd USA (CEMS) in association with `CEMS Bangladesh' has organised the exhibition.

China's producer price growth at 12-year high

China's producer or wholesale prices rose at their steepest rate in 12 years in July, state media said Monday, amid lingering concern about inflation in the world's fourth-largest economy.

Where is credit going?

There is a heated debate going on over the banks' credit growth for the past several months. Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed himself said credit flows need to be scrutinised to see where it is going. The issue has also been stressed in the recently announced monetary policy for the July-December period.

Womenomics: The economic cost of discrimination against women

Last Saturday there was a dialogue on the economic impact of home violence. Incidentally the same economist who did her PhD research from the University of London on the economic impact of environmental degradation (popularly known as Green Accounting), led the study conducted by a popular advocacy and public policy dialogue organisation.

Stock price indices rise slightly

Price indices on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) rose slightly yesterday with some big ups and downs during the trading hours.

Grameen Two IPO 17.75 times oversubscribed

The initial public offering (IPO) of Grameen One: Scheme Two, the second scheme of the fund, has been oversubscribed by more than 17.75 times, including about 9.4 times in the NRB quota and over 12.2 times for the mutual fund quota.

Oil prices rise on supply worries

World oil prices rose by more than one dollar in Asian trade Monday on supply concerns amid the escalating fighting between Georgia and Russia, dealers said.

SingTel’s regional mobile users near 198m

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) said Monday its regional mobile user base was up 45 percent to almost 198 million in the second quarter against a year earlier.

Singapore predicts decline in key exports

Singapore said Monday its key exports could fall up to four percent this year as a global economic slowdown takes its toll on Southeast Asia's most advanced economy.

ROK to sell stake in airport in privatisation plan

South Korea's new conservative government Monday announced plans to sell off a 49 percent stake in the main international airport as part of its attempt to reform state firms.

Global shipbuilding industry enters adjustment period

The global shipbuilding industry is in a period of adjustment after five year's lasting expansion, according to China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry.

Metropolitan

Non-availability of gas blocks investment worth Tk 3500cr

Amid high hopes of the people, the 5th cabinet meeting outside the capital will be held in Chittagong tomorrow.

Execution of Bangabandhu murder case verdict demanded

Speakers at a discussion yesterday demanded immediate execution of the verdict of Bangabandhu murder case and immediate trial of the war criminals in a special tribunal.

Youths' contribution a must to tackle environmental degradation

International Youth Day 2008 will be observed in the country today as elsewhere in the world with “Youth and climate change: Time for action” as the theme of this year.

'Declare Bangabandhu as father of the nation'

Awami League (AL) yesterday demanded that the government officially declare Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the father of the nation.

'Bring changes to municipality ordinance'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the government to bring several changes to the 'Local Government (Municipality) Ordinance 2008', including abolition of the post of the chief executive officer.

Recruit workers from Bangladesh

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday underlined the need for enhancing bilateral trade and commerce for mutual benefits of Bangladesh and Yemen.

Dhaka to host high profile Indo-Bangla art exhibition

A high profile exhibition of the artworks of some top-notch painters from Bangladesh and India will be held in Dhaka on August 17-28, said the organisers.

Invest energies to shape safer, sustainable planet

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the young people around the world to invest their energies and bright ideas into shaping a safer and more sustainable planet in the wake of looming hazards due to climate change.

BAF exercise begins today

A two-day routine exercise of Bangladesh Air Force named 'Adex 2008-1' will be started at all BAF bases today, says an ISPR press release.

Karmojibi Nari demands rationing system for RMG workers

Karmojibi Nari demanded immediate introduction of rationing system of essential commodities for the garments workers to cope with the price hike of essentials, says a press release.

Shafique new scouts nat'l commissioner

Shafique Alam Mehdi, chairman of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC), was appointed as the national commissioner of Bangladesh Scouts recently, says a press release.

Bangladesh gets into Trans-Eurasia Info Network

Bangladesh gets into Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN3) to derive immense benefits in spheres of research and education, enhance global connectivity and get high-speed connection to the information superhighway where every stroke is money.

Groundwater arsenic problem may worsen in Bangladesh

Bangladesh may find it difficult in future to cope with the growing arsenic problem in its groundwater due to reluctance of the concerned parties, including the government and NGOs, experts told an international symposium in the city yesterday.

Air pollution major cause of mortality, morbidity: Study

Air pollution has been identified as the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Bangladesh, according to a study.

16.1pc people suffer from mental illness

Recognise the schizophrenia patients as valued citizens of the country and raise sensitivity about them in the society, said the speakers at a press conference yesterday.

HC rule on five secretaries

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon five secretaries of the government to explain to this court by August 25 why contempt proceedings should not be drawn against them for not complying with its (HC) direction to give promotion to a petitioner.

BCL hunger strike for execution of HC verdict

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of Awami League (AL), yesterday observed a three-hour token hunger strike on the Dhaka University (DU) premises demanding immediate execution of the High Court (HC) verdict in Bangabandhu Murder Case.

Concert for children with autism held

Society for the Welfare of Autistic Children (SWAC) organised a charity concert at Radisson Water Garden Hotel in the city recently to create awareness about autism in the society, says a press release.

3 Navy officers promoted to commodore

Three officers of Bangladesh Navy have been promoted to the rank of commodore from captain yesterday.

Memorabilia of Principal Abul Kashem donated to Ducsu

The Principal Abul Kashem Trust donated different memorabilia of Language Movement veteran Principal Abul Kashem to the collection centre of Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) yesterday.

Emergency no problem for next polls

Reformist BNP leader Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed yesterday said he sees no problem with the next elections being held under the state of emergency.

5 killed in road accidents

Five people were killed in separate road accidents in Jhenidah and Rajshahi in the last two days.

Biman's Haj flight schedule by mid-Oct

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited will declare the Haj flight schedule by the middle of October.

Sri Lankan navy chief passes busy day

Sri Lankan Navy Chief Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda passed a busy day by participating in different programmes yesterday.

Seminar on 'nano technology' held at MIST

A seminar on 'nano technology' was held at Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) seminar hall yesterday, says an ISPR press release.

Mobile courts fine food outlets Tk 2.35 lakh

Five mobile courts, jointly operated by Dhaka City Corporation and Bangladesh Standard Testing Institute (BSTI), yesterday in several drives in business establishments realised Tk 2.35 lakh as fine for adulteration in food and cheating in weight.

SKS invites applications for stipend

Sena Kalyan Sangstha (SKS) invited applications from ex-servicemen of the armed forces for education stipend/financial aid for their wives/children studying in higher secondary classes, polytechnics, PTI, nursing, homeopathy, marine, diploma and other courses, not exceeding two children at a time, says an ISPR press release.

HC order on Tarique's writ today

The High Court (HC) will deliver today an order on a writ petition filed by detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman challenging the legality of a tax evasion case filed by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) against him.

193 Bangladeshi peacekeepers to receive UN medals today

One hundred and ninety three Bangladeshi police peacekeepers in East Timor will receive UN peace medals today for their services in the Southeast Asian country.

Give priority to earthquake issue: Adviser

Food and Disaster Management Adviser Dr AMM Shawkat Ali yesterday stressed the need to give priority to the earthquake issue while formulating the Disaster Management Act-2008.

Release Khaleda, send Tarique abroad for treatment: JCD

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, staged a demonstration on Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday demanding unconditional release of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

National

Pricy fertilisers make Aman prospect bleak in Rangpur

The yield of Aman paddy in Rangpur district is likely to be 30 to 35 percent less than targetted five lakh 50 thousand tonne of paddy as most of the farmers failed to use Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) and Murate of Potash (MoP) in time.

CHT commission ends Bandarban visit

A team of International Commission for Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs left Bandarban hill district after completing their four-day long visit on Sunday night.

Protect rights, culture of indigenous people

Leaders of indigenous communities at a discussion meeting here yesterday demanded proper government steps to protect the rights and culture of indigenous people.

Trader shot by patrol police for 'bribe'

An onion trader, shot by a police man at Modhyapara Sunday night allegedly for refusing to give bribe, is being treated at Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) for bullet injury in the belly.

Sitakunda mayor-elect resigns from AL

Newly-elected Sitakunda Pourasabha mayor Shafiul Alam alias Nayek Shafi, also a local Awami League (AL) leader resigned from his party yesterday.

Memo to VC for punishment of Shibir men

Rajshahi University (RU) unit of Progotishil Chhatra Jote (PCJ) yesterday demanded punishment to Islami Chhatra Shibir activists who assaulted the acting vice chancellor (VC) of the university, Prof Mamnunul Keramat on Friday.

Execute verdict of Bangabandhu murder case

Rajshahi University (RU) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday observed a token hunger in front of the university central library demanding execution of the verdict of Bangabandhu Murder Case, campus sources said.

Woman dies during child birth

A woman died after she gave birth to twin babies at Popular Hospital in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila on Sunday night due to alleged negligence by the doctor who conducted a caesarean operation on her.

AK-22 rifle recovered in Ctg

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday recovered an AK-22 rifle and a double-barrel gun in Rauzan upazila, Chittagong.

'Erect monument at Jahajmara to preserve war history'

Speakers including freedom fighters at a discussion here yesterday demanded construction of a monument and a museum at Jahajmara in Bhuapur to preserve the history of Liberation War in the area.

2 Khagrachhari journos remanded

Two journalists who were arrested here on August 7 on charge of taking Tk 20,000 illegal toll from a bazaar fund staff were remanded for a day by Khagrachhari chief judicial magistrate's court yesterday, court sources said.

International

US-led coalition forces kills 25 militants, 8 Afghan hostages

A series of clashes and an airstrike in southern Afghanistan killed 25 militants and eight civilians held hostage by insurgents, the US-led coalition said in a statement yesterday.

Indian troops shoot dead prominent Kashmir separatist

Indian troops yesterday shot dead a prominent Kashmiri separatist leader and three other protesters as they tried to halt huge Muslim demonstrations in the revolt-hit region, witnesses said.

Pak clashes kill 6 civilians, 20 Taliban militants

Pakistani warplanes killed at least six civilians in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan yesterday after fierce clashes in which 20 Taliban militants were killed, officials said.

Lanka steps up attacks on Tigers: 46 killed

Sri Lankan security forces have stepped up attacks against Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's north, leaving at least 44 guerrillas dead for the loss of two soldiers, the military said yesterday.

Diplomatic drive mounts to end Georgia-Russia clash

Diplomatic efforts to stop fighting in Georgia mounted yesterday with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb due in Moscow after crisis talks in Tbilisi.

Iraq demands 'clear timeline' for US withdrawal

Iraq's foreign minister insisted Sunday that any security deal with the United States must contain a "very clear timeline" for the departure of US troops. A suicide bomber struck north of Baghdad, killing at least five people including an American soldier.

Georgia crisis triggers war of words on White House trail

Prominent supporters of White House runners John McCain and Barack Obama clashed Sunday over the crisis in Georgia as a McCain adviser came under fire for his links to the government in Tbilisi.

Iran, EU to continue nuclear talks

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana agreed yesterday to pursue talks aimed at resolving the nuclear crisis, state television reported.

Nepali assembly to elect PM this week

Lawmakers in Nepal are to vote this week on who will be the country's first post-royal premier, after Maoists and their rivals failed to form a consensus government, officials said yesterday.

Australian scientists in potential leukaemia breakthrough

Australian scientists said Monday they had mapped a blood cell structure, which could hold the key to improved drug treatments for diseases such as leukaemia, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Filipino troops press assault on MILF

Philippine troops, backed by helicopter gunships, regained control of two southern villages from Muslim rebels Monday and pressed ahead with a massive assault to clear 13 others, officials said.

New Zawahri tape slams Musharraf

In a rare English-language message partially aired Sunday that is believed to be from al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri claimed Pakistan is now "virtually ruled from the American Embassy."

India to join Air Force training exercises in Nevada

India's military pilots are expected to participate for the first time in Air Force training exercises above the Nevada desert, marking another step in steadily improving US relations with the Asian subcontinent nation since the Sept 11 terrorist attacks.

Bolivians back Morales in recall vote

Voters vigorously endorsed President Evo Morales on Sunday in a recall referendum he devised to try to break a political stalemate and revive his leftist crusade, partial unofficial results showed.

Bush wraps up Asia trip

President Bush, increasingly distracted by Russia's harsh military crackdown in Georgia, took in one final golden Olympic moment Monday then ended what was likely his last trip to Asia before he leaves the White House.

Forklift helps 700-lb Mexican man take rare outing

A 700-pound (310-kilogram) man once considered the world's most obese person left his home for the first time in five months Sunday with the aid of a forklift and a platform truck.

Arts & Entertainment

Observing 100th anniversary of Khudiram's execution

After the deaths of her two children, a mother sold her third son at a price of three handfuls of khud (fragments of rice grains) to her elder daughter, Aparupa Devi, believing this ritual might save the boy. The child survived the apparent threat, but at the age of 18, nothing could stop him from sacrificing his life for the sake of his motherland. This is the story of Khudiram, the immortal hero from Agnijug.

Int'l Day of the World's Indigenous People

Speakers at a discussion on Saturday said that the indigenous people are facing discrimination both from outsiders and administration. They are losing their lands. The government should intervene and ensure the rights of the indigenous communities, expressed the speakers.

Contemporary Artist 4

An art exhibition featuring works by young Bangladeshi and Japanese artists titled Contemporary Artist 4 was held recently at Zainul Gallery 2. Organised by G.S. Kabir Arts and Graphics, five works of each of the four participating artist were on display at the weeklong exhibition.

Nine-day theatre festival begins at Natmandal

Department of Theatre and Music of University of Dhaka (DU) has organised a nine-day theatre festival at Natmondal, DU campus, which begins today. Students of the department will direct and perform the plays, informed Dr. Israfil Shaheen, chairman of the department, at a press conference at Natmandal on August 10.

The call of the time

Over the years theatre activists in Bangladesh have been arranging full-fledged stage and street theatre performances, demanding the trail of war criminals who conspired against the pro-Liberation War forces and unarmed civilians. In particular, the issue has been explicitly addressed in street theatre productions.

Demanding trial of war criminals through poetry recitation

'Kanthabithi', an organisation of recitors in Magura held a poetry recitation programme with a demand of immediate trial of war criminals. The programme was held at the Syed Ator Ali Public Library premises recently.

Special programme on Olympic ‘08 on ATN Bangla

Ashiyan City Swopnochhowa Olympic, a live programme on Beijing Summer Olympic 2008 will be aired today on ATN Bangla at 9:15 am. The programme has been on air everyday from August 7 (except Fridays) and will continue till August 25. Planned, compiled and directed by Biplab Rahman, the programme is hosted by Dr. Anupam Hossain.

Bonsai exhibition in Rajshahi

A three-day bonsai exhibition concluded in Rajshahi recently with a view to popularising bonsai-culture among the people in the region.

"Tropic Thunder" boycott in the works

A coalition of disabilities groups is expected to call for a boycott of the film “Tropic Thunder” because of what the groups consider the movie's open ridicule of the intellectually disabled.

OP-ED

ZIA as a hub of air traffic

BIMAN'S growth options look to be immensely bright with the prospect of new aircraft joining its fleet. Suddenly, from a state of total despondency, there is the promise of a bright future.

Successful test run

AUGUST 4, 2008 may be recognised as a historical day in some respects for Bangladesh. The events of the day to be remembered are:

Strongman in trouble

PRESIDENT Parvez Musharraf, once Pakistan's powerful general who banished two elected prime ministers, is going to be the first to face impeachment in Pakistan's sixty-one year history. The matter has ignited both attention and tension in Pakistan, in the region, and in the world. The US state department reacted cautiously to the move. Pakistan's ruling coalition stated that it was an internal matter. "We have consistently said it is the internal politics of Pakistan and an issue for the Pakistani people to decide," said State Department spokesperson Gonzago Galegoes, pointing out that Washington and Islamabad remain close allies in the war against terror.

Draft questions for an Asian school textbook

MY neighbour's child brought home a school work-sheet. It said: "If Alfie hits a baseball at 10 miles an hour, how long will it take to cross a 176-yard diamond?"



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