The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 23, 2014


News of: Friday, 12th of September, 2008

Front Page

Freed Khaleda to join talks, contest polls

BNP Chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia was freed yesterday from her yearlong detention amid huge celebration and a grand reception given by thousands of party leaders, activists and supporters.

Tarique quits party post, flies to UK

Former prime minister Khaleda Zia's son Tarique Rahman last night flew to the United Kingdom for treatment hours after his just-freed mother's announcement that he will stay off politics until he recovers fully.

Anti-graft drive to go on

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) plays down the recent string of releases of high-profile graft-suspects, while the cross-section of people express disappointment with the manner they obtained bail out of the blue in such a large number.

AL caught off guard with general secretary row

In a dramatic development last night, Awami League (AL) joint general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam was reinstated as acting general secretary hours after Abdul Jalil returned to his general secretary post.

Move on to get two leaders into talks

Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman said yesterday the government has taken steps to bring political arch rivals Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia to sit across the table to help pull the country out of the prevailing political crisis.

EC to relax rules for registration

The Election Commission (EC) is working to have some changes to the new electoral provisions to make it easier for the political parties to meet the criteria for registration.

Higher study to elude many HSC achievers

A large number of the students with brilliant results like GPA-5 in HSC examinations will be denied admission to their 'first-choice' public universities and medical colleges because their number is much more than the number of seats in those institutions.

Arrest, release

September 2, 2007: The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) files its first case against Khaleda Zia, her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko and 11 others, on charges of violating tender rules by awarding Gatco container-handling work in Dhaka and Chittagong, causing a loss of Tk 1,000 crore to the state.

4 pledges secured release?

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her elder son Tarique Rahman's release through seemingly transparent legal procedures, was actually part of a 4-point deal with the government, authoritative sources claim.

AL, Jamaat hail release

Political parties gave mixed reaction to the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday, with the Awami League and the Jamaat-e-Islami welcoming it.

Mainstream leaders move for BNP unity

A group of former BNP lawmakers, mostly the mainstream leaders, are trying to remove the divide in the party as Khaleda Zia has been released on bail.

Climate seminar could sensitise int'l community

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said the UK-Bangladesh climate conference was successful in sensitising the international community about the danger facing Bangladesh due to perilous impact of climate change.

Padma ferry service improving

The situation at Paturia-Daulatdia ferry ghats started improving yesterday night as Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) brought a ferry from Mawa ferry ghat for operating in the route.

Kuwait bans unskilled foreign workers

The Kuwaiti Parliament on Wednesday unanimously passed non-binding recommendations calling for a 'complete ban' on the entry of unskilled foreign workers into Kuwait for five years, reported Arab Times Online yesterday.

Five killed in 'encounters’

At least five people including two members of banned outfit Gono Bahini were killed in Kushtia, Jhenidah and Dhaka in encounters between their cohorts and law enforcers on Wednesday night and yesterday.

Powertek to get Bibiyana despite high tariff quote

The power ministry has okayed the bid of Malaysian-Korean consortium Powertek for the 450 megawatt (MW) Bibiyana power project that quotes almost double the power tariff of past large private power projects.

City schools, colleges close from Sept 16

All schools, colleges and madrasas, including private English medium schools, in the city will remain closed from September 16 until government holydays for Eid-ul-Fitr.

Upazila polls soon under new laws

Local Government and Rural Development Adviser M Anwarul Iqbal yesterday reaffirmed that the upazila election will be held soon though major political parties are more eager about holding the parliamentary election first.

Khaleda's nephew jailed

A special court yesterday sentenced BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's nephew Shahrin Islam Tuhin to 13 years' imprisonment for amassing wealth beyond known sources of income and concealing information in his wealth statement submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

ACC to sue Justice Fazlul Huq's son

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved filing of four separate cases against former adviser to caretaker government Justice Fazlul Huq's son Dr Afzal Hossain, son-in-law Tariqul Rahman Prince and one of his employees on different charges.

Charge-framing hearing now September 17

A Dhaka court yesterday re-fixed September 17 for hearing on charge framing against 22 accused including Harkatul Jihad (Huji) chief Mufti Abul Hannan and detained former BNP lawmaker Abdus Salam Pintu in connection with the August 21 grenade attack case.

JMB cadre held in Joypurhat

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members arrested an activist of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) at Battali Bazar under Khetlal upazila of Joypurhat yesterday.

One-point passport service thru' post office starts in city from Sep 14

The government has decided to introduce one-point passport service through post offices from September 14 to ease the process of issuing passports, says a press release of Bangladesh Postal Department.

20 die as grenades hurled inside Pakistan mosque

Pakistani troops backed by tanks and fighter jets yesterday killed at least 18 rebels in a restive tribal area near the Afghan border, officials said.

Political infighting, Qaeda return can harm Iraq gains: US general

Political discord between Iraq's leaders and a resurgence of Al-Qaeda and Shiite extremists could still torpedo the significant security gains of US-led forces, General David Petraeus said on Thursday as he prepared to hand over command of coalition troops.

US army looks for outside help to reduce suicides

The Army's top medical officer says commanders are looking to their counterparts in the Air Force and in civilian agencies for ways to cope with an alarming increase in suicides.

Editorial

A welcome move

WE welcome the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on bail. We believe it bodes well for politics and the way will now be clear for a broad-based participation of all political parties at the general elections scheduled for the end of this year. It is our hope that Begum Zia's release now removes all the impediments that have so far prevented her party from taking part in a dialogue with the Election Commission. It is now our expectation that the party will take part wholeheartedly in all the preparatory moves aimed at a holding of the elections.

Positive trends in HSC results

PREVIOUS records have been broken by this year's HSC results -- hands-down. The seven education boards have yielded a pass percentage of 74.85, a clear 10 percent increase over previous year's level with almost a doubling of the figure of GPA-5 achievers.

Now let's start the election campaign

EVER since Sheikh Hasina was freed on medical parole three months ago, the country has been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Just as Hasina's original incarceration two months ahead of Khaleda Zia seemed one-sided until her counterpart was also similarly detained, so it was when Hasina was released.

The Mercury retrograde?

IN so much as a good thing going has started to sputter, the current state of our national affairs is comparable to this comic situation. A man is pulled by the hair on his head, only to find that he couldn't retaliate because his assailant was bald. We are victims of a similar disappointment.

Trouble in paradise

IT is obvious that, for mutual interest, Europe needs the US to be a global player and US needs Europe to sustain its global commitments. But, the future appears bleak, whether observing European sentiments at the mere mention of President Bush or comparing foreign-policy statements from US presidential hopefuls that include scant mention of Europe.

Sports

Another year for archrivals Abahani, Mohammedan?

Professional football enters its second year in Bangladesh as the second B. League commences tomorrow with the Abahani-Rahmatganj match.

Manik asks nat'l players to behave

This would the first time in years footballer-turned-coach Shafiqul Islam Manik will watch a local league from the stands.

It goes to Chanderpaul

West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was named as the 2008 International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricketer of the Year at an awards ceremony here on Wednesday.

Revenge is a dish called Walcott

Theo Walcott scored a fairytale hat-trick as England came through their first major test under Fabio Capello in scintillating fashion with a 4-1 win over a Croatia side never before beaten at home in a competitive international.

Academy pile on the runs

Farhad Hossain struck a useful half-century as GP-BCB National Cricket Academy notched up 441 at the end of the second day of their four-day game against Sri Lanka Cricket Development squad in Dambulla yesterday.

Bolt could've gone faster

Had the world record sprinter Usain Bolt not begun his chest-beating celebrations 20 metres before the finish of the Olympic 100 metres final in August he would have smashed his world record by a further 0.14 seconds, according to physicists who have analysed the race.

India rejects '09 plan

The Indian board has rejected suggestions made during the ICC's chief executives' committee meeting in Dubai on Wednesday to conduct the Champions Trophy in October 2009 because it will clash with the "very important" one-day series at home against Australia. The issue now passes to the International Cricket Board (ICC) board, which meets on Thursday.

Relief for France, Italy

Hattricks by Theo Walcott and Miroslav Klose saw England to a crushing 4-1 win over Croatia and Germany a face saving 3-3 draw with Finland respectively in Wednesday's second batch of European qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup.

Favourites march on

The United States, Mexico and Costa Rica remained unbeaten in the semi-final phase of regional World Cup qualifying Wednesday, continuing their march toward South Africa 2010.

Superstition paved the way

Theo Walcott contemplated changing his boots at half-time last night, one of the studs having disintegrated during the first period, only for superstition to get the better of him. "There was no way I was going to change them," he said, and the pair that had yielded his first goal at this level duly helped him to become England's youngest ever hat-trick scorer. "The stud had basically just fallen to pieces. That's why I finished the third goal with my left."

Toni slams press

Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni has slammed the press in his native Italy for consistently criticising him since he joined the German giants last year.

WC 2010 Qualifying Results

EUROPEAN ZONE
Group 1

At Stockholm

Koreas scrap a draw

Bitter rivals North Korea and South Korea fought out a 1-1 draw in the latest round of final Asian 2010 World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday while Australia got their campaign off to a winning start.

ESPN-STAR ropes in 900m dollar league

Twenty20 cricket's brand value rose to new heights on Thursday after pan-Asian ESPN-STAR network agreed to pay 900 million dollars for the proposed T20 Champions League.

Army, Comilla on top

Bangladesh Army and Comilla lead the Trust Bank 8th National Taekwondo Championships, securing four gold medals each on the second day of the three-day meet at the National Sports Council gymnasium yesterday.

Div II football

Prantik Krira Chakra notched an emphatic 3-0 win over Kadamtala Sangsad in a match of the Second Division Football League at the Kamalapur Stadium yesterday.

DU chess on

The Dhaka University (DU) Chess Championship began at the TSC Café yesterday.

Simon loved Yuvraj sixes

Simon Taufel, the man officiating at the all-important end during the over when Yuvraj Singh hit six sixes that won him the ICC award, said it was "quite an experience" watching the Indian unleash his array of strokes.

Ganguly back in training

Scotching speculations of retirement after he was left out for the Rest of India squad in Irani Trophy, former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Thursday resumed his rigorous training and net session at Eden Gardens.

Business

Policy dilemma holds back e-commerce takeoff

The government's lingering hesitancy in the execution of the policy on information and communication technology even six years into its formulation remains the main hurdle to e-commerce, say people in the ICT sector.

Pran to invest Tk 450cr in Indian venture

Pran, one of the leading food processing companies in the country, wants to invest around Rs 300 crore (Tk450 crore) to set up five food processing plants in parts of India with a vision to stand up as a regional brand.

State-owned banks cut capital deficit

Three state-owned commercial banks cut their capital deficit by Tk 6,219 crore in the three months to March, turning cumulative losses into assets in what is known as valuation adjustment.

Banks warned of risky lending

Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday advised commercial banks not to do any lending violating the core risk guideline.

Oil prices slide to six-month lows under $98

Oil prices tumbled to six-month low points below 98 dollars a barrel on Thursday as the dollar rallied and demand for energy decreased around the world amid an economic slowdown, traders said.

Private sector urged to help achieve MDGs

Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged private sector entrepreneurs to extend their support to the government's initiatives to help them achieve all the millennium development goals (MDGs) of the country.

Sun to provide core banking solutions to City Bank

Sun Microsystems, a US-based technology developer, has won a deal to provide core banking automation support to local City Bank.

Asian stocks down

Asian stocks tumbled Thursday after ailing US investment bank Lehman Brothers hit investor sentiment by posting more hefty losses due to the global financial crisis and credit crunch.

Japan machinery orders slip

Japanese orders for machinery dropped for a second straight month in July, government data showed Thursday, raising further concern about the outlook for the world's second largest economy.

Australian joblessness falls unexpectedly

Australian unemployment fell unexpectedly in August to 4.1 percent, its lowest level in five months, despite a slowing economy and rising prices, official figures showed Thursday.

Banks peddle Eid smart cards

Is the unavailability of ready cash dampening the Eid celebrations of the inhabitants of Dhaka? Are liquidity issues on the back of everyone's minds? Or, are people swiping the power of plastic in their shopping frenzies, bringing back the glitz and glamour of 'yester-Eid' to today?

Opec moves to keep oil above $100

With oil prices falling below 100 dollars per barrel this week, oil producer group Opec decided to cut production to prevent a further drop, despite an economic crisis in consumer countries.

Profit-taking pulls down stocks

Dhaka stocks ended the week lower on profit-taking after a five-day rise.

Euro slides versus dollar, yen

The euro on Thursday slid below 1.39 dollars for the first time in a year and struck the lowest point versus the yen since September 2006 on heightened concerns about a weak European economy, dealers said.

S Korea to invest $900m to train young workers

South Korea will invest some 900 million dollars over the next five years to train 100,000 young people for next-generation industries, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said Thursday.

Taiwan unveils $5.6b economic stimulus package

Taiwan announced an economic stimulus package Thursday worth 5.6 billion US dollars less than four months since the president took office as growth flags and the stock market struggles.

US investment fund offers to take over Japanese heating firm

US investment fund Steel Partners on Thursday made an offer to take over leading Japanese heating company Noritz Corp., its latest target in a country that frowns on unsolicited bids.

EU finance ministers gather for fight against recession

Averting a recession in Europe is the burning issue for EU finance ministers as they meet on the French Riviera on Friday and Saturday, but officials predicted no sweeping stimulus plans.

Metropolitan

UP revenue reform imperative to reduce poverty: Study

Reform in the revenue instruments and administration is imperative to help union parishads (UP) play a key role in reducing poverty and achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), revealed a study yesterday.

Election monitoring bodies must register with EC: Humayun

The election monitoring organisations must register with the Election Commission for accreditation to observe the upcoming elections, EC Secretary M Humayun Kabir said yesterday.

Try corrupt suspects, publish White Paper on graft

Leaders of Democratic Left Alliance yesterday demanded trial of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen and publication of a White Paper on corruption.

Reopen RU, hold dean polls

Teachers of Rajshahi University (RU) under the banner of Progressive Teachers Society yesterday met RU acting Vice Chancellor Prof Mamnunul Keramat and demanded reopening of the university before October 10.

Global Xchange programme launched

Global Xchange (GX) programme was launched yesterday in a bid to create global citizens who will take an active role in the fight against poverty and inequity through an exchange of international volunteers.

3 DU teachers to get appointment as Prof Emeritus

The authorities of Dhaka University (DU) have decided to appoint its three veteran professors as 'Professor Emeritus' for their outstanding contribution to the university.

BNP factions scuffle at party office in Ctg

Two rival factions of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) were locked into a scuffle at the party's office in Chittagong yesterday over supremacy in the party.

Release of Mohiuddin demanded

Leaders of Chittagong City Awami League and its front organisations yesterday demanded immediate release of its president and City Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury.

1430 bottles of phensidyl seized in Ctg

Police recovered 1430 bottles of phensidyl from two vehicles on Dhaka-Chittagong road under Pahartali Police Station in the port city early yesterday.

TCB reduces soyabean price

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has reduced the price of soyabean oil by Tk 6 per litre with effect from tomorrow, says a press release.

Kamran attends office as SCC mayor

Sylhet Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran took charges from acting mayor Azam Khan at a simple function at the city corporation yesterday.

Transport worker gunned down

Armed criminals gunned down an employee of Sohagh Paribahan at one of its counter at Kalyanpur in the city early yesterday.

Two to die for killing housewife in Ctg

A Chittagong court yesterday sentenced two persons to death for strangling a woman after rape.

'Establish physiotherapy college, remove NITOR director'

The physiotherapy students yesterday demanded immediate establishment of physiotherapy college and ousting of Director AKM Ishaq from National Institute for Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation (NITOR).

1,484 arrested on various charges

Police in separate drives arrested 1,484 people on different charges across the country in the last 24 hours as of 6:00am yesterday.

Prof Ibrahim wins literary award

Prof Dr Muhammad Ibrahim, an eminent science writer, educationist and researcher, has been awarded Meher Kabir Science Literary Award 2007, says a press release.

'Ban Shibir on BAU campus'

Leaders of Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) unit yesterday demanded a ban on the politics of Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) on BAU campus.

One killed as villagers clash in Mymensingh

At least one person was killed and 10 others were injured in a clash between two groups of two villages at Phulpur upazila in Mymensingh yesterday.

Indian sarees worth Tk 15 lakh seized, 2 held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday seized huge smuggled Indian sarees worth about Tk 15 lakh from Ishwardi in the district yesterday and arrested two smugglers in this connection.

Letters

Lost glory of Dhaka University

That the university, which imparts ethics, morality, justice, honesty and humanity plays an important role in building the nation needs no telling. And Dhaka University is no exception to this. It contributed greatly to the Language Movement in 1952, in the Liberation War, the fall of autocratic regimes, the restoration of democracy in 1991 etc. At the same time, it produced world famous scholars scientists, litterateurs, for which tt is called the Oxford of the East. But some recent incidents- the murder of a private medical college student, the sexual harassment of female students, the fake students in various departments, leakage of question papers, the delay in publishing results, session jams, and the recent extortion in a hall have tarnished the image of the university.

Domestic help

Many recent articles, including quotations from conferences on the subject, have spoken of the importance of 'changing attitudes towards child domestic help' but how long can such children wait?

Sangsad Bhaban

The Sangsad Bhaban at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka is a wonder of modern architecture. It is one of the largest and most spectacular parliament buildings in the world.

Cleaning Banani Lake

Your staff correspondent's report about Warid Telecom cleaning up the Banani Lake is very good news for the people living there. It is a great example of corporate social responsibility, shown by Warid Telecom. Congratulations to them for performing a much needed civic service for the common benefit of all residents.

Unbecoming of a captain

This is not for the first time that Ashraful, an overrated cricket player in terms of his performance, showed his poor manners. It started with his slapping a teen-age cricket fan a few months back and he did not offer any public apology for the misdeed. Even BCB appeared to be very lenient towards him! And now he has ridiculed coach Siddons for his recent apology to the cricket fans of Bangladesh as the team performed miserably in Australia. Does Ashraful have the ability to understand the philosophy behind seeking apology? This apology is for showing respect to people's love for cricket.

Remembering a good soul

I was shocked to hear the news of sudden demise of the renowned and veteran Engineer, Mr Quamrul Islam Siddiqui in the USA on 1 September.

Train service

The train is regarded as a cheap, safe, comfortable and fast moving transport for carrying both passengers and commodities. It can carry a huge number of people and goods at a time. It is environment friendly compared to other mechanized transports as it uses less fuel, considering the number of passengers and volume of commodities. Ours is a small country.

Obama's prospects

Enjoying massive black, Hispanic and young white support, Obama will win in a landslide.

NRBs

There are about five million non-resident Bangladeshis around the world. They are working tirelessly & send the hard earned foreign currency back home. Every moment they keep their beloved country in their hearts. There are many non residents from many countries who vote in their national election & even elect member of parliament from the expatriates.

Traffic jam at Paribagh

Paribagh, near the mosque, is a point where vehicular traffic & rickshaws are meeting from different directions such as, traffic from the east from Hotel Sheraton side, from Bangla Motor (north), from the P.G Hospital (south) and from the Elephant Road--Hatirpool--Central Road and Dhanmondi (west).

Sexual harassment by teachers

I am writing this in response to Md Zillur Rahman and Adnan Karim's letters published in your daily on September 5, 2008 entitled 'Sexual harassment in educational institutions'.

Biman tickets

Almost all flights of Biman operate with a few vacant seats. But by offering 90% rebated subject to load ( sub-load )passages to the retired employees and their immediate family members, the airline can easily earn substantial amounts of revenue on each flight from otherwise empty seats which remain unutilised all through. As regards the passage facilities, though it may sound unbelievable, all retired employees, other than the cockpit crew, are entitled to only a total of ten free tickets to be entitled on completion of each year unlike all other international airlines of the world. All retired cockpit crew and their family members during their lifetime as well as even after their death, are entitled to a large number of free and rebated passages vide admin order no 15 and 16 / 2001 dated 19th July 2001.

Teachers' role

As a school student I want to say that our secondary education cannot give us enough scope that we deserve. What is the reason behind it? Nowadays it's a common question which arises in the minds of the students-- are our teachers responsible for this?

Signal lights

Almost all signal lights are non-functional in the port city. Traffic police control the vehicles with their hands. Sometimes they fail due to irresponsible driving.

A bus passenger

While travelling in the Volvo bus regularly I discovered one person who behaves unusually. First, he takes a seat in the lower compartment and search for a woman who is sitting alone. Then he immediately moves to that position. If there is no such position, he goes to the upper compartment and waits for a chance. When the bus comes near a stoppage he searches for the opportunity in both compartments. One day I found one woman changing her seat just to avoid this gentleman. Once I found him just before my seat. I observed he was sweating and using his handkerchief to clear his forehead.

Why this capitulation?

The present government had started its journey with a big bang to fight corruption and clean up politics. We, the people, had played our role in extending full support to the government. We did it in the hope that the neutral caretaker government would usher in a new era of clean governance in our country.

International

Pakistan warns US against border incursions

Pakistan has rejected US claims that the rules of engagement gave the coalition forces in Afghanistan the right to enter its territory, saying the nation's sovereignty will be defended at all costs.

Kabul endorses new US focus on Pak border

President Hamid Karzai endorsed yesterday a new US focus on the Afghan and Pakistan border in its "war on terror," saying it was something his government had been pushing for years.

White House sends Indian nuclear deal to Congress

The White House said late Wednesday it sent the text of a landmark US-India civilian nuclear agreement to Congress for final approval but it remains unclear if lawmakers will give the accord the green light.

Internet disrupted for five hours

Internet service was hampered across the country for about five hours as miscreants again cut off the optical fibre cable near Cox's Bazar Government College early yesterday.

India nears nuclear pacts with France, Russia

India is finalising bilateral pacts with countries including France and Russia for the import of civilian atomic power plants and technology, a foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday.

Japan ending air mission in Iraq

Japan said yesterday it may withdraw its military airlift mission in Iraq by the end of the year in light of security improvements there and a growing focus on Afghanistan. The move would end Japan's military involvement in Iraq, a non-combat mission that has tested the limits of its pacifist constitution and divided a war-wary public.

US marks 9/11 terror attacks

As the nation pauses to mark the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the spotlight from a presidential campaign and a new memorial at the Pentagon are joining the familiar rituals of remembrance on this solemn day.

Iran, Syria pose 'no problem' for Iraq

Iraq President Jalal Talabani told US President George W Bush on Wednesday that Iran and Syria, long targets of US blame over deadly unrest in Iraq, now pose "no problem."

Georgia accuses Russia of breaking truce

Georgia said one of its policemen was shot dead from a Russian position Wednesday in violation of a fragile truce, as a major crack appeared in the EU-brokered ceasefire over the remit of EU observers.

Obama keeps cool as Democratic fears heat up

White House hopeful Barack Obama professes no anxiety about polls that show his longstanding lead evaporating, but senior Democrats are rattled at the Republicans' Sarah Palin-inspired charge.

Bush secretly approved raids in Pakistan

US President George W Bush has secretly given go ahead to American special forces to carry out ground attacks inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the country's government.

Bomb kills pro-Syria Lebanese politician

A Druse politician in Lebanon who recently helped reconcile rival factions within his minority community was killed when a bomb tore through his car, police said.

14 more rebels killed in Lankan fighting

At least 14 Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed in fresh ground battles across Sri lanka's embattled north, the island's defence ministry said yesterday.

Zardari to address jt session of parliament Sept 19

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will address a joint session of parliament in Islamabad on September 19, as the contours of the ruling coalition are set to change.

Bihar flood victims asked to stay in camps till Oct 15

Hundreds of thousands of people sheltered in relief camps in flood-hit Bihar are being persuaded to stay in the temporary shelters till Oct 15 although the Kosi river, which changed its course and wreaked havoc in the state, has begun to recede, an official said on Thursday.

Thai ruling party re-nominates Samak as PM

Thailand's ruling party endorsed ousted leader Samak Sundaravej to return as prime minister Thursday despite misgivings by some of its coalition partners, intensifying the country's political deadlock.

Bolivia orders US ambassador out, warns of civil war

President Evo Morales of Bolivia on Wednesday ordered the US ambassador expelled, accusing him of contributing to divisions in the country which the government warned was headed towards "civil war."

Raj accepts Big B's apology, calls off agitation

Expressing satisfaction over the apology tendered by Amitabh Bachchan, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray said on Thursday that the agitation against the star's wife, actor-MP Jaya Bachchan, was being "withdrawn".

Nepal to deport illegal Tibetan exiles

Nepal's government has ordered police to crack down on Tibetans living illegally in the country and will deport those who are found without proper papers, an official said Thursday.

Arts & Entertainment

Muniruzzaman: Lingering on lyricism

Md. Muniruzzman, director of Chitrak, is reputed for his watercolour and mixed media works. His patrons come from far and near to get his romantic images done on paper and canvas. His forte was seen in the recent past at the "Sunderbans "joint exhibit at his gallery. He helps conduct art lessons at Chitrak premises too. He combines nature with the eternal theme of man and his exploits. He excels in superb watercolour images of birds, beasts, the sky and eternally beauteous blossoms. Working in his studio at Mohammadpur, he labours ceaselessly to present flamboyant and optimistic paintings to his viewers.

Prokash Chandro Saha: The lure of magic

Prokash Chandro Saha, also known as P.C. Saha, is a young and emerging magician. His father R.P. Saha, who passed away last year, was a reputed magician of the northern-western part of Bangladesh. Prokash is the only son of his parents. Prokash pointed out that his father was a student of P.C. Sarkar and named him after the legendary illusionist.

Asha Bhosle: 75 and still going strong

Seventy-five and still going strong. That is the message diva Asha Bhosle sent out as she celebrated her 75th birthday by cutting a big cake and releasing yet another album of her songs on September 8.

Bangladesh-Thailand joint art exhibition to be held soon

On the occasion of the 36th anniversary of Bangladesh-Thailand diplomatic relations, the Royal Thai Embassy has planned a series of events to celebrate this historic milestone. As part of this, an art exhibition featuring watercolour paintings on Thailand as seen by young Bangladeshi artistes as well as Bangladesh seen by a renowned Thai artist will be held soon, says a press release.

Fashion-based show on Channel i

Second episode of Veet fashion.com, a TV show highlighting Eid fashion, will be aired today at 4:30 pm on channel i. The show is produced by Sayeduzzaman Mithu and hosted by Samia Afrin.

Single-episode play “Motir Shopno” on ATN Bangla tonight

Single-episode TV play Motir Shopno will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 8pm. Written and directed by Dibyendu Udas, the plot centres on the life of a cobbler named Moti.

OP-ED

Return of the natives

FOR our national politics if 2007 was the year of breakdown, 2008 is the year of restoration. The year of breakdown began with the political locomotive rushing to the brink. It was stopped in its tracks by 1/11.

What would a 4 degree rise mean for the planet?

PROFESSOR Bob Watson, the chief scientific adviser to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and a senior UK government adviser warned of the risk of a rise in global temperatures of 4 degrees Celsius.

No foreign operations to be allowed in Pakistan

PAKISTAN'S military leadership made it clear that no external force will be allowed to conduct operations inside Pakistan and vowed to defend the sovereignty and integrity of the country at all cost.

The mystery of the gender-specific joke

WOMEN and men laugh at different jokes, scientists have discovered. Men chuckle at jokes simply for being jokes, while women analyse the situation in a funny story before laughing more selectively but louder.

StarTech

WiMAX in sight

WiMAX, the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a wireless-broadband-access Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) technology, based on the IEEE 802.16 standard, that provides for the wireless transmission of data in a variety of ways, ranging from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular-type access. By virtue of its longer transmission distance, faster broadband access, excellent last-mile connectivity and multimedia communication services, WiMAX has already made its mark on markets worldwide.

Testing the 'Big Bang' theory

It all started with a bang that's what physicist and astronomer Georges Lemaître had postulated. According to his theory, the universe has expanded from a primordial hot and dense initial condition some 15 billion years ago and continues to expand to this day, owing to some sort of an explosion thus was coined the nomenclature of the Big Bang Theory. But until today, this postulation could not be physically explained, at least not what had happened in the initial stages following such an explosion.

New iPod to colour up your life

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on Tuesday unveiled new iPod models and iTunes stores upgrades for the coming holiday season as he brushed aside reports about his health.

Infusion technology with unmatched durability

With the staunch belief that good design enhances the consumer experience, Asus unveiled the F80 series notebook with the revolutionary Infusion technology.

Facebook makeover nettles some devotees

Facebook's new look became mandatory Wednesday in a shift to what the popular social networking website says is a faster, streamlined and more spam-resistant format that has some devotees in a state of rebellion.



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