News of: Wednesday, 8th of October, 2008
With only eight days remaining for political parties to get registered with the Election Commission (EC) for contesting in the December 18 parliamentary election, the largest two parties of the country, Awami League and BNP, took opposing stands on the matter yesterday.
The Election Commission (EC) seems unaware of its inherent power to cancel election results on grounds of gross irregularities in the polls.
International finance chaos deepened Tuesday as Russia set up a huge rescue package, Iceland was forced to nationalise another bank and markets enduring another volatile helter-skelter.
Bangladesh and Myanmar yesterday signed an agreement to avoid double taxation, a barrier to boosting trade between the two neighbouring countries.
The High Court (HC) yesterday asked former BNP minister M Saifur Rahman to appear before trial court within four weeks to face Barapukuria coal mine graft case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The mammal was probably best portrayed in Alexander Beliaev's famous novel -- The Amphibian Man. Ichtiandr, the Fish Man, had his loneliness shared with his pet dolphin under the sea. And then they got into prominence again in The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh as an American girl comes to the Bengal to research the Irrawaddy dolphins.
The government is contemplating continuing with the state of emergency until the general election to ensure voters' security and thwart poll violence, Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said.
In addition to achieving higher export earnings, the country witnessed a 44 percent growth in remittance earnings during the first quarter of 2008-09 fiscal year compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Amidst the growing demand from political parties for deferring upazila parishad polls scheduled for December 24 and 28, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday ruled out any possibility of meeting the demand.
An eight-member taskforce has been formed to monitor how powdered milk of several Chinese companies is being imported or marketed here without registration.
The caretaker government's cabinet purchase committee yesterday returned a power ministry proposal to award the contract for 450 megawatt Bibiyana power project to Malaysian-Korean consortium Powertek, asking the ministry to re-evaluate the bid.
BNP Vice-President and former minister Tariqul Islam was released on bail from the prisons cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital last night.
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has said his government firmly believes that Bangladesh visit of Vice-Chairman of the ruling State Peace and Development Council of the Union of Myanmar General Maung Aye will generate a giant leap in bilateral relations of the two countries.
The Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal, Dhaka, yesterday fixed October 14 for charge-hearing in two cases filed in connection with the grenade attacks on an Awami League rally in the capital on August 21, 2004.
This year's hajj flights will begin on October 31, an inter-ministerial meeting decided yesterday.
Norwegian telecom heavyweight Telenor has reiterated its stand on controlling Grameenphone (GP) as a majority shareholder, saying the majority should remain in its hands because of its higher financial contribution to the largest cellphone operator in Bangladesh.
Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said the government will have to hand over power to an elected government after holding the election on the scheduled date for strengthening democracy.
Tree felling goes on unabated in and around the areas of Khejurchhara forest in Srimangal by the authorities of a tea garden that took lease of some land in the area. Three elephants are now being used for transporting the chopped down trees.
Influential British MP and former minister Keith Vaz, who is leading a parliamentary delegation, has said the forthcoming general elections are probably the most important in Bangladesh's history to “break the cycle of despair” and make “a new beginning.”
Anti-government protests yesterday left at least one dead and hundreds injured as months of political turmoil boiled over, with troops deployed across Bangkok to quell the demonstrations, officials said.
Two senior army officials, including one who was placed at the foreign ministry for diplomatic assignment, have been appointed force commanders in UN Peacekeeping Missions in Liberia and Georgia.
Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa of Japan and Yoichiro Nambu of the United States won the 2008 Nobel Physics Prize yesterday for groundbreaking theoretical work in fundamental particles.
Thirty benches of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court were reconstituted yesterday.
Hundreds of Hindu devotees thronged different Puja mandaps (marquees) in the city and elsewhere across the country yesterday to make offerings on the day of Mahaaustami of the Durga Puja- the third of the five-day Durga Puja festival.
Pakistani police yesterday said a Shiite lawmaker whose house was targeted in a suicide attack had earlier received threats from a sectarian militant group linked to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Prices of rice witnessed a rise in the capital after the Eid vacation. In retail markets, prices of most varieties of rice went up by Tk 1 per kg while the wholesale prices increased by Tk 20-30 per maund (37.32 kg).
With the inauguration of the automation project of the Chittagong Custom House the forwarding and clearing operation of the port has potentially come at par with that of other international ports. All concerned agencies and institutions must be complimented for their role in completing this project within a very short span of time. This new addition comes as a part of the larger context of the port operation, which would have remained incomplete without this technology. The changeover is also heartening because it is a product of public-private partnership.
It is surely a matter of concern that many products in the market do not carry the mandatory seal of the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution. In fact, there are hundreds of products that are openly being sold in the market, with hardly anyone to check whether these products, minus BSTI approval, can be offered to the public. Intriguingly, the BSTI always seems to be in the news every time there is bad news about what it does not do or how people can skirt around it. That says a good deal about what must now be done to turn the organisation into an effective body if goods sold in the market are to maintain safety standards.
SYED Muhammad Ibrahim started it all. The former military officer let it be known a few days ago that former army chief and president Hussein Muhammad Ershad bore responsibility for the assassination of President Ziaur Rahman, and the murder a few days later of General M.A. Manzoor.
THE AL is clearly in disarray and has lost its direction. Or else why should it be wooing a fiendish tinpot dictator like Ershad for reorganising an alliance called mohajote. The disturbing rumour had already been in the air, and now it has been spelt out by the man himself. He claims he was in the mohajote and is still in it. Those who favour the idea are least aware that by subsuming him in the jote the entire alliance will spread a miasma, driving people away from it.
IN several dinner parties surrounding the Eid celebrations, many of my friends asked me if -- with the Wall Street's September 29 loss of over $1.2 trillion -- we were witnessing the breakdown of laissez faire economic order like a falling house of cards and tiptoeing into the symptoms of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
New Zealand will start their campaign against the Tigers without any match practice as their lone limited-over warm-up game against BCB XI was called off at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) councillors yesterday approved the new constitution, paving the way for elections next month.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said Tuesday he would retire from international cricket at the end of the upcoming four-Test series against Australia.
If statistics and experience alone won cricket matches, world champions Australia would be regarded as no-hopers in the Test series against India starting on Thursday.
Mohammedan equalled the record of the biggest win in the B. League when they destroyed bottom-table Muktijoddha 7-0 yesterday on resumption of the professional league after the Eidul Fitr vacation.
Raymond Domenech, whose stock has plunged since leading Les Bleus to the 2006 World Cup final, faces what could prove to be a determining week in his career as coach of France.
Former European champions AC Milan were among the big names looking with optimism towards possible UEFA Cup glory after landing in a comparatively manageable group following Tuesday's draw.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh holds the key for India in their series against world champions Australia, former Pakistan great Wasim Akram said on Tuesday.
Australia suffered a setback ahead of the first Test against India when vice-captain Michael Clarke missed training on Tuesday because of a stomach virus.
Aggressive Indian opener Virender Sehwag said Tuesday he was against a "catches pact" with Ricky Ponting's Australia in the upcoming Test series after bitter memories of the last tour Down Under.
Former Test wicketkeeper batsman Ejaz Butt has been appointed chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), an official said Tuesday.
Injuries to Chelsea's Alex and Julio Baptista of Roma have forced Brazil coach Dunga into late call-ups ahead of two World Cup qualifiers that should herald the return of star midfielder Kaka.
Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash will miss next season's first two County Championship matches for repeatedly swearing at an umpire.
England were left sweating over captain John Terry's availability for the World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan on Saturday after the Chelsea centreback missed training on Tuesday with a sore back.
Today's Star City page could not be brought out due to space constraints. We regret the inconvenience.
Norwegian telecom heavyweight Telenor has reiterated its stand on controlling Grameenphone (GP) as a majority shareholder, saying the majority stake should remain in its hands because of its higher financial contribution to the largest cellphone operator in Bangladesh.
The United States opened up a major new front in the battle against financial turmoil Tuesday, sucking up huge amounts of corporate debt as European governments staged new rescues and nationalisations.
Sector people see the new insurance law as an opportunity for merger of the smaller companies grappling with a low capital base.
Summit Power Limited, the first local power producer, has moved to double electricity generation capacities of its power plants, a plan that will help the country bridge the gap between supply and demand for electricity.
Abdul Monem Ltd (AML), manufacturer of Igloo brand ice cream, assured its customers yesterday that its ice cream does not contain melamine as it imports raw materials from Australia, not from China.
BIFT will be elevated to a full-fledged university soon in order to develop human resources in fashion and designs as the country faces dearth of such high valued professionals.
India's giant Tata Group has found a new home for its project to build the world's cheapest car after violent protests forced it to abandon its factory in West Bengal, reports said Tuesday.
The credit crunch started as an obscure phenomenon in the financial sector, but as the crisis worsens, the impact on workers and businesses is causing growing alarm in the United States.
European governments are guaranteeing savings to stop panicky depositors from pulling out their money and provoking a run on the already stricken banking system, analysts say.
Dhaka stocks continued its downward trend yesterday, the second consecutive day, as investors kept selling shares to earn profit.
Siemens Bangladesh Limited has signed a Tk 46.7 million contract recently with Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) to set up a power substation for New Mooring Container Terminal.
Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited has recently obtained offshore banking licence. The bank is going to set-up a branch for offshore banking unit at Dhaka EPZ very soon.
Oil prices rebounded by three dollars a barrel Tuesday after Libya called on crude producers to cut output to protect their incomes if the market continued trading at current levels.
US lawmakers Monday grilled the head of Lehman Brothers demanding he justify some 500 million dollars he had earned since 2000, as well as huge bonuses sought for top executives even as the bank failed.
Iceland's government announced it was taking control of the country's second-biggest bank on Tuesday as Russia said it would lend it four billion euros (5.4 billion dollars) to fend off the engulfing financial turmoil.
In the face of an escalating court battle over troubled bank Wachovia, suitors Wells Fargo and Citigroup agreed Monday to a two-day "standstill" on litigation actions.
Bank of America said Monday it was ready to spend up to 8.4 billion dollars to restructure the troubled mortgage loan portfolio of the recently-acquired mortgage lender Countrywide.
Taking hard line on toxic milk
Recently, 53,000 Chinese children have been sickened by tainted milk formula. The health ministry of China said that more than 80 percent of the 123,892 children hospitalised in recent weeks were two years or younger.
The US is keen to extend higher education programmes to Asian countries, including Bangladesh, to help face global challenges such as food security, disaster management and poverty reduction.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday said the anti-graft watchdog will hold a firm position regarding the corruption cases.
Thirty-year-old housewife Lal Banu died yesterday, five days later her admittance into Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH).
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Ismat Jahan underscored the need for refocusing on the link between disarmament and development, and urged the major military powers to divert the resources to poverty alleviation in the developing countries.
With a call to lift all kinds of restrictions on trade union activities, rights activists yesterday observed the World Day for Decent Work for the first time in the country.
Democratic Left Alliance yesterday threatened the government of staging demonstrations across the country on October 16, demanding holding of the general election on the scheduled date and lifting of the state of emergency to create a congenial environment for the polls.
At least five people, including madrasa student, were killed and 31 others injured in separate road accidents in Tangail, Patuakhali and Kishoreganj yesterday and Monday night.
Several hundred readymade garment (RMG) workers took out a protest precession with shoes in their hands yesterday, protesting repression on a female worker by the general manager of a garment factory in the city's Kadamtali area.
Bangladesh will receive 3.33 million US dollar as grant to implement three environment-related projects in the country.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members arrested three criminals with firearms at an underconstruction site at Golapbagh in the city after a fight with them last night.
A two-year-old boy died at a private clinic in the port city yesterday due to wrong treatment, his family members alleged.
Burglars stole over 70 tolas of gold ornaments and Tk 1.25 lakh from two houses at Mohammadpur and Tantibazar in the city yesterday.
Mark Ward, a senior official of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), yesterday said the US government is excited about the upcoming national polls of Bangladesh.
A vacation bench of the High Court yesterday granted bail for six months to detained former BNP lawmaker Nazimuddin Alam of Bhola in another criminal case, clearing the way for his release from jail as he earlier got bail in six other criminal cases.
Saudi Ambassador Dr Abdullah Bin Naser Al Busairi called on Communication Adviser Major General (Retd) Ghulam Quader at his office yesterday.
US Ambassador in Dhaka James F Moriarty yesterday visited a number of Puja mandaps (worship pavilions) at Dhamrai on the occasion of the holy Durga Puja, the largest Hindu festival.
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Ismat Jahan said here yesterday, 'Bangladesh remains fully committed to making progress in all spheres of social development in line with the Copenhagen objectives and the MDGs with particular emphasis on the promotion of full and productive employment and social equity.'
Squally weather is likely over north Bay and adjoining costal region as a deep convection is taking place over the area yesterday evening, which may affect the maritime ports.
Bangladesh strongly condemned the terrorist blast in Northern Turkey on October 4 that killed 15 Turkish soldiers and injured a number of innocent civilians.
Leaders of the 11-party yesterday urged the government to declare inundated area of Jessore-Khulna region as a disaster zone, says a press release.
Six British MPs led by Rt Keith Vaz, MP visited different projects of Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB) in Sylhet on October 7, says a press release.
A mobile court yesterday warned the authorities of Madhu's Canteen at Dhaka University (DU) that stern action would be taken against them if they do not keep the kitchen clean and hygienic.
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in separate drives in four districts in Rajshahi region yesterday seized huge quantity of sarees and phensidyl and arrested four people.
Amra Muktijoddhar Santan, a platform of children of freedom fighters, yesterday urged the government to increase the number of seats in the public universities and government colleges.
The American Embassy, including the consular section and the public affairs section with the Archer K Blood American Centre Library and the student advising centre will remain closed tomorrow to celebrate Durga Puja, says a press release.
Zakaria Redoy, Patuakhali correspondent of Amar Desh, a Bangla daily, and Baishakhi Television, a private TV channel, has been suffering from 'Aplastic Anamia' for years.
The masters examinations 2005 of Department of Drama and Dramatics of Jahangirnagar University (JU) will begin October 30, says a press release.
Leaders of the 11-party yesterday visited several Puja Mandaps in the city on the occasion of Mahaastami, the third day of the Durga Puja, says a press release.
Prof Sirajul Islam, an eminent child specialist, has been elected president of the Commonwealth Association of Mentally Handicaps and Developmental Disabilities (CAMHADD) at its conference in India, says a press release.
Three young women, including a domestic help, committed suicide in the city yesterday.
Awami League nomination aspirant in December 18 election from greater Rangpur have expressed their anger over Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad's statement about nomination in 21 constituencies, made on Sunday.
Mintu is chained for 18 years. Family members said they tie him with an iron chain to save themselves from his 'torture'.
With deterioration of waterlogging in Kobadak basin areas, over 75,000 people living there are passing miserable days amid crisis of food and drinking water.
Several Awami League (AL) leaders including Sector Commanders Forum leader Air Vice Marshal (retd) AK Khondoker and Bangladesh Krishak League President Mirza Abdul Jalil have started mass contact as aspirants for nomination in Pabna-2 (Sujanagar and Bera upazilas) constituency.
Members of visiting British parliamentary delegation from their home affairs committee yesterday said new points-based system will simplify migration to the UK and help genuine migration seekers from Bangladesh.
Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) will reopen on October 12 after 50 days' closure following an incident of lynching of a plumber by students on the campus.
Gournadi police station Monday night registered a regular criminal case against Zahiruddin Swapan, former BNP lawmaker for Barisal and party's central information and research secretary, and 12 other party men for demanding toll.
Jatiya Party vice-chairman and former lawmaker Waheduzzaman Sarker has declared that party chief H M Ershad's former wife Bidisha would not allowed to enter Sunderganj (Gaibandha-1) constituency.
Bhomra Land Customs authorities seized 600 metric tonnes (MT) of onions from the port for allegedly importing those through forged letter of credit (LC) on Monday.
Police arrested an outlaw from Priya cinema hall here on Monday.
The distance between the parallel railway tracks is known as the gauge of the railway. Most commercial railways, except for those running in fairs or exhibitions, are covered by one of the following gauges. These are designated either as Broad Gauge or Standard Gauge or Meter Gauge railways. Mountain Railways are generally of Narrow Gauge. Broad Gauge, which is the widest, measures a distance of 5feet 3inches between the two parallel rails. It was pioneered by the British, and laid in England and it's colonial railways subsequently. The meter gauge measures one meter between the tracks, and was pioneered by the French in Europe. The narrow gauge is usually set at track width of 2 feet.
Apart from the increase in population in the city with non-availability of pure water, erratic electricity supply, intolerable traffic congestions, limited number of roads and insufficient healthy accommodation facilities, the biggest challenge Dhaka will face is earthquake. God forbid if it happens, the outcome will be catastrophic.
According to newspaper report, BDR shops are going to close by the end of this month. This is really shocking news for us. In fact, the government's move to open such shops was appreciated by all. We city dwellers were really happy and rely on these shops to get safe fish, vegetables and fruits. We should be grateful to BDR authorities for their good management of these shops and contribution to society. The shops ensured cheaper price as well as genuine goods for the buyers.
Since tobacco requires large quantities of water, fields are mostly located near water bodies. Since large amounts of pesticides are used on the tobacco plant, the chemical residue flows back to the water bodies when the fields are irrigated.
This is no longer a new issue that most of the foods we purchase from the markets are made in an unhygienic and frowzy condition. Beyond doubt, most of the restaurant and hotel owners do not ensure cleanliness as their kitchens are found sordid and dirty.
There have been official talks between Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao about China's help in implementing the Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant.
It is a matter of great regret that there is regular power failure at Kuliarchar,Kishoregan. Electricity is supplied for only 3-4 hours a day.
A good piece of news that impressed me a lot regarding the natural gas of Bangladesh was published on 24 September in The Daily Star “Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission ( BERC ) will hold public hearings from today on proposed hike in gas prices ranging up to 65 percent and on conclusion of the hearings, the commission will announce its final decision by October 30.”
Firstly, I would like to express my opinion that the current Election Commission has done a lot of improvement upon its work, the electoral laws and preparation of voter list and National ID card. You may or may not agree with me but that is not the issue here. Today, I am raising the issue of upazila polls. I only read what the political parties and the EC want. What about your view points ? Why is your political correspondent not doing any investigative reporting on it?
After a nine-month long nightmare we got independence. Some valiant sons of this soil sacrificed their lives to uphold our rights and to establish a National Flag. We had a dream.
I am informed that the education ministry is planning to make the mark-sheet appear in the HSC certificate along with the grade. This could make the whole admission thing for HSC students a lot easier as the university authorities could easily judge a student's merit by the marks. Also, it would require less time for the admission process.
A few days ago, I went to a cyber café. When I was about to finish my work, I peeped at my front monitor where two school boys (wearing school dress) were seated. I was astonished to see their monitor. They were browsing a porn site and whispering.
If the top two leaders and the common clients of a top barrister, Khaleda and Hasina, sit together, ultimately the politicians and the business people, who backed the dialogue, will feel happy.
In a letter to the editor, I responded reflexively and rashly to a review of the recently published anthology-- Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond (W.W. Norton & Co., 2008) by Khademul Islam in your publication.
Today everyone wants an MBA degree after his name, even if he has done undergraduate in theology, as if MBA is an inevitable requirement even for the post of a clerk. Just open the vacancy announcements, you will see that each and every job needs an MBA degree- this is degradation of the degree.
It is technology that is developing rapidly all around the world. One of it is DTH service. This service is now available in Saarc countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. This service will replace the dish service providers. Most of the time they cannot provide good service to customers. But it is a matter of regret that the Bangladesh government has not taken the initiative to allow its operation in Bangladesh. It would be a source of optimal revenue collection for the government. And people could get the best entertainment facilities from DTH.
The Daily Star has published a number of letters from concerned citizens regarding sexual harassment by teachers. No doubt, if such heinous activities are actually taking place in our educational institutions, then those should be properly handled by the administration. However, after reading a letter on the topic, which was published on September 25, I actually had to wonder if some letter writers were confusing 'failed relationship with teacher' with 'sexual harassment'. Unfortunately, that's the impression I got after reading Nasrin Pervin's letter published on September 12, 2008. According to the writer, her friend was having a long relationship with her teacher and when the teacher backed out (for whatever reason it might be), then it automatically became a 'sexual harassment by the teacher', just because the guy who was flirting with her friend was a teacher by profession.
I was amazed to watch TV where BNP leader Mr. Delwar was demanding a level playing field without specifying what that meant. However, from another channel I understood that he wanted the RPO to be repealed and rejected the idea of registration of political parties, etc. It appears that the Jamaat is riding on the BNP.
Taking responsibility for the actions, especially the wrong ones, of the followers and subordinates is one of the most important qualities of any leader in any profession. One may quote a number of incidents from recent history wherein ministers in other countries, including our neighbour India, resigned for the failures and lapses committed by the junior members of their respective departments. For example, a railway minister resigned for two trains colliding face to face on the same track. A civil aviation minister resigned because two airplanes collided in the air. A defence minister resigned because his soldiers failed to fight efficiently. CEOs of many multinational companies resigned because their respective companies failed to make profits. On the other hand, in Bangladesh no leader takes responsibility and never resigns for the failures and lapses committed by their followers. They rather encourage such wrong doers to commit bigger crimes. We are yet to hear any word of regret or remorse from the two women leaders of these convicted persons, let alone their resignation. The nation was shocked to hear that the standing committee of a political party recently decided to make one such leader the chairperson of the party for life. Like master like servants!
The nation must have been shocked when Begum Zia and her party, soon after her release from the sub-jail, stubbornly rejected all the 12 provisions of the RPO without assigning any reason, while the AL accepted nearly all the provisions. What does she hope for- to take us back to those dreadful days prior to 1/11?
Afghan refugees were flowing over the border from a Pakistani battle zone yesterday after officials accused them of links with Taliban militants and ordered them out, police said.
Former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif is willing to broker talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, his spokesman said yesterday, amid reports that Sharif is already playing a key role.
Two powerful bombs exploded outside the Iraqi capital's tightly-guarded Green Zone yesterday as US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte was ending a visit focused on a controversial military pact.
Kyrgyzstan yesterday dispatched helicopters to evacuate victims of a devastating earthquake that killed 75 people, including 41 children, in a remote mountain village near the Chinese border.
Republican John McCain questioned Barack Obama's character, and the Democrat pressed his foe's alleged weakness on economic issues, as tempers escalated ahead of Tuesday's presidential debate.
Thailand yesterday deployed troops to quell anti-govern-ment protests in Bangkok that left hundreds of people hurt as months of political turmoil boiled over into violence, officials said.
Schools, businesses and government offices reopened yesterday and vehicles were back on the streets in Indian Kashmir as authorities lifted a two-day curfew in the troubled Himalayan region.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday he still has enough support to topple the government and is deliberating over how to carry out his delayed plan to seize power.
Sri Lanka's top opposition party called yesterday for an international investigation into a bomb attack the previous day that killed a popular former army general and 26 others.
If the whole world could vote for US president, Democrat Barack Obama would win by a landslide, according to polls conducted in 17 countries by Reader's Digest magazine.
A bitter campaign ahead of historic elections in the Maldives drew to a close yesterday, with a veteran Asian leader and a prominent dissident each confident of victory.
China yesterday declined to release updated figures revealing how many children have been affected by the tainted milk scandal, as it attempted to boost confidence in its food safety standards.
Afghan and international troops killed 60 militants in southern Afghanistan in a battle that erupted after a patrol came under attack from several directions, the US-led coalition said yesterday.
Authorities in Malaysian Borneo have called on police to investigate reports that women and girls from the Penan tribe have been raped by workers from jungle logging camps.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet approved an extension of German participation in the Nato-led force in Afghanistan yesterday and added 1,000 more soldiers to the mission, government sources said.
Arts & Entertainment
Contrary to what the pundits and aficionados may argue, in the real world classics and masterpieces do have a shelf life. How do they retain immortality? Every few years or decade, it takes artists/ filmmakers/ litterateurs with empathy for the classics to give them a contemporary touch. If it was not the case, the language of the original Shakespeare plays would remain incomprehensible to the masses or classic jazz/ blues compositions would stay confined to museums and libraries. Putting a work of art on a pedestal often makes it unreachable; soon it becomes a niche genre -- perhaps not a fate the masters would have wanted for their creations.
Culture and heritage reveal our identity and of the artists seeking to revive our folk and traditional work, Abdus Shakoor is one such artist. Over a large span of his career, Shakoor has been working on folk motifs and ancient ballads. Folk ballads of Mymensingh-the famous Mahua and Malua love stories, Nakshi Kanthar Maath, Gazir Pata, Manasha Pata have found prominent places in his works. In his paintings, peacocks and parrots have featured on a large scale. Shakoor also uses animal figures such as elephants, bulls, dogs, cats, tigers, birds, serpents and reptiles-all as pleasant and decorative motifs.
Mahorat of the film Opekkha, to be shot in HD format, was held recently, says a press release. Based on a story by litterateur Mitali Hossain, the film is scripted by Mohammad Ali and will be directed by Kaiser Kader Selim.
Kichu Kotha Kichu Gaan, a programme featuring songs of yeasteryears, will be aired tonight on ntv at 8:50 pm.Popular songs composed from the '30s to the '90s will be presented in this episode.
Remember when actresses really lit up the screen? Anne Hathaway rekindles memories of Bette Davis and "Klute"-era Jane Fonda in Jonathan Demme's new film: barely a scene goes by without her pulling on a cigarette.
DURGA Puja is the festival of promp and power, the greatest socio-religious extravaganza of the Bengali Hindus -- is now a celebration witnessed in almost all the major cities of the world. It is a mixture of spiritual sublimity and an enlivened sociability that gives it a multi-dimensional excellence.
WHAT a few weeks it has been, banks and financial institutions in the US, and to a lesser degree around the globe, are falling like nine-pins. Suddenly, the whole global financial system looks shaky and crumbling. Nothing seems safe and banks, strangely but understandably, least of all.
THE subprime-mortgage crisis laid bare America's decadence. The world's largest economy is rife with over-consumption of everything from McMansions to tchotchkes from Target, cursed by negative real savings rates and weighed down by debt that has spilled from Wall Street to Main Street.
A Western journalist called me the other day to ask what Asians thought of Sarah Palin.