The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, July 26, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 15th of October, 2008

Front Page

List of 8.11cr voters handed over to EC

With the completion of the electoral roll with photograph, Bangladesh is now also the proud owner of the world's largest electronic database of 8.11 crore voters.

No result yet from govt's talks with BNP, Jamaat

The dialogue between the caretaker government and BNP yesterday ended inconclusively with both sides agreeing to meet again to resolve differences on issues like lifting of the state of emergency and constituency re-demarcation.

Shortage of quality seeds costs output up to 20pc

Acute shortage of quality seeds costs the farmers 15-20 percent in jute production every year while unavailability of enough water for the jute plant to rot lowers the quality of the fibre.

Banks cautious in funding small, new exporters

The continuing global financial crisis has prompted Bangladeshi banks to be cautious in financing small and new exporters, top bankers of the country said yesterday.

New rice varieties smile at monga-hit people

Agriculturists and farmers of the northern districts are finally seeing some hope of defeating monga, a recurrent near famine situation with wholesale unemployment, as harvest of the newly developed early harvestable rice varieties, cultivated in greater Rangpur this aman season, has already begun.

BSTI still waiting for lab test results

A month after the milk scandal in China, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) is still unable to confirm or deny the presence of industrial chemical melamine in formulas available in the market.

Polls must on Dec 18 for democracy's sake

The parliament elections have to be held on the scheduled date of December 18 in the interest of democratic process, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.

HC bench feels embarrassed to hear Khaleda's petition

A High Court (HC) bench yesterday felt embarrassed to entertain a petition filed by former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for quashing the proceedings against her in Barapukuria coal mine graft case.

Hearing of Hasina's 2 writ petitions deferred

The High Court yesterday deferred until October 19 the hearing on two writ petitions filed by Awami League President Sheikh Hasina for quashing the proceedings of Niko and barge-mounted power plant corruption cases against her.

AL, JP submit registration forms today

Awami League (AL) submits it application for registration with the Election Commission (EC) today with a renewed call on EC to withdraw its authority to cancel candidatures in parliamentary polls on grounds of violation of electoral laws.

'Fugitive' Mojahid seen prominently at CA's meeting

When the police claim that Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid is fugitive, the Jamaat leader joined his party's dialogue with the government yesterday.

EC takes back petition for vacating stay

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday took back from the High Court (HC) its petition for vacating the court order staying the EC's re-demarcation of parliamentary constituencies.

4 Huji men captured in Khulna

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four activists of banned Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) in Khalishpur area yesterday.

Watch Out

The whole country is agog with the expectation of getting democracy back as December 18 draws nearer.

Kiwis clinch series as Taylor hits ton

Bangladesh lost a golden opportunity to score a series victory over a major Test-playing nation as New Zealand clinched the three-match Brac Bank ODI series 2-1 with a comprehensive 79-run win here at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

UK Minister for Asia arrives today

British Minister of State for Asia, Africa and the United Nations, Lord Mark Malloch Brown arrives in the city today on a two-day visit to the country.

Machinery gutted in RMG factory fire

A fire gutted fabrics, machinery and other valuables at a garment factory at Boardbazar in Gazipur yesterday.

WB to activate climate change fund soon

The World Bank (WB) will do its best to immediately operationalise the multi-donor trust fund for climate change and mobilise resources for the fund, including those from the bank's newly established climate investment funds.

Koko's parole extended until Nov 16

The government yesterday extended the parole of Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, until November 16.

Court rejects Salam Pintu's plea for stay

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected detained former BNP lawmaker Abdus Salam Pintu's petition for staying the proceedings of two cases filed for the August 21 grenade attacks.

Mere touch costs life

A rickshaw-puller was killed by an influential person's associates yesterday just because his hands touched the latter's body.

Pakistan hints at N-deal with China

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari may sign a preliminary civilian nuclear pact with China during his state visit to the country, Pakistan's ambassador to China said yesterday.

Sudan to try militia leader accused of war crimes

A Sudanese special prosecutor investigating atrocities in Darfur has decided there are grounds to try a leader of the feared Janjaweed militia, a Sudanese official said yesterday.

Top Philippine court rejects autonomy deal for Muslims

The Philippine Supreme Court threw out yesterday a proposed accord to grant minority Muslims expanded autonomy after Christian protests and renewed fighting convinced the government to abandon the deal.

Editorial

How the global crisis will affect Bangladesh

Lately we have heard many disparate assessments as to the effect the global financial crisis will have on Bangladesh from various think tanks, private individuals, trade bodies, and members of the care-taker government.

Unauthorised private universities

The government's directive to students not to enroll in illegal private universities and colleges sounds rather queer and amusing. It shall not be responsible, the education ministry also says, for any adverse consequences of enrolling in those so-called institutions should anyone choose to disregard the advisory.

Speaker ought to be above the fray

JAMIRUDDIN Sircar was passionate in his defence of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party a few weeks ago. That was quite natural, given that the BNP has been his political base for as long as anyone can recall. It is in his interest, and in the interest of other BNP-wallahs, to be reassured about the party's future, especially as a party of government, when the general elections take place.

Why is Zardari visiting China?

PAKISTAN President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to Beijing from October 14-17 for talks with the Chinese leadership will not go unnoticed by India. News of Mr. Zardari's visit came as the president paid his first visit to the National Command Authority that controls nuclear warheads.

The Taliban are succeeding

LAST week saw two suicide attacks. The first was aimed at killing Asfandyar Wali, the Chief of Awami National Party -- an old secular democratic party in NWFP's Charsadda.

Sports

Comebacks for trio

There were three changes when the national selectors picked the team for the first Test against New Zealand, at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium, which begins from October 17.

I am sorry: Ashraful

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful apologised for playing an ill-timed scoop shot which he believed turned the tide away from the home side and ultimately cost them the three-match one-day series against New Zealand at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

No pleasure, only pains

Cricket fans here turned up in their hundreds anticipating something special from the Tigers in the hundredth one-day international on Bangladesh soil. But they had to leave the purpose-built venue with a broken heart after enduring the twin pains of a heavy defeat and the scorching heat.

Chits From Chittagong

IMPRESSIVE FIELDING
One of the major positives that can be picked from the third ODI of the Brac Bank Series yesterday was definitely the Tigers' fielding. It was highly impressive, thanks to the timely reflex of the Bangladeshi fielders and their accurate throwing to the stumps. The fielders particularly excelled as far as the 'direct throw' was concerned, for which the Kiwis were forced to stumble to the crease on several occasions to stop themselves from being run-out. The Tigers' commitment in the fielding was quite evident there.

Canada T20 Sri Lanka's

Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya, with his trademark big-hitting, and newboy Ajantha Mendis, delving into his bag of bewildering spin tricks, led Sri Lanka to a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in the Canada Twenty20 final here on Monday.

England look to maintain lead

Coach Fabio Capello must rejig his defence as England head to Belarus for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier with John Terry and Ashley Cole both out of action while Germany have doubts over Michael Ballack in their fixture against Wales.

Germany fret on Ballack

Germany captain Michael Ballack is an injury doubt for Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier against Wales after damaging a calf muscle, it was announced on Monday.

I was wrong: Kuranyi

Striker Kevin Kuranyi has explained why he walked out on Germany and admitted he was wrong to leave the team without permission during the 2-1 World Cup qualifier win over Russia.

Lippi targets win

Italy coach Marcelo Lippi insisted on Tuesday that the world champions must beat Montenegro in Lecce on Wednesday or this will have been a bad week for the azzurri.

Kaka boosts Brazil

The return of world player of the year Kaka has given Brazil a boost before they host Colombia in Rio de Janeiro in a South American World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

Viduka keen on return

Injury-hit Newcastle United striker Mark Viduka says he still wants to help Australia reach the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, reports said here Tuesday.

Zico backs Uzbekistan

Brazilian legend Zico, who coached Japan at World Cup 2006, has been giving Uzbekistan inside information on his former charges ahead of a World Cup qualifier between the two countries.

Idris inspires Rahmatganj

A brace by Ugandan import Idris Kasirye propelled Rahmatganj to come from a goal down and comprehensively beat visiting Khulna Abahani 3-1 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in yesterday's Citycell B. League match.

Vettori pleased with series win

Although they wanted to become the second best one-day outfit in the world by beating Bangladesh 3-0, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori was relieved that his side got out with a 2-1 result.

Bronze for Fayema

Bangladesh weightlifter Fayema Akhter won bronze in the 53kg weight category in the 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games at Pune, India yesterday.

VB referees' course begins

A referees' refreshers course under Asian Football Confederation's Vision Bangladesh (VB) project began in Dhaka yesterday.

Lippi to star in a film

Italy coach Marcelo Lippi has volunteered to take part in an anti-racism and anti-fascism film aimed at schoolchildren, its director Moni Ovadia said Monday.

Messi rested for friendlies

Fans of Scotland and France will not get the chance to see Lionel Messi in upcoming friendlies against Argentina after Barcelona succeeded in their bid to have the winger rested for the two matches.

Becks' servants arrested over theft

A housekeeper who works for former England football captain David Beckham denied any wrongdoing Tuesday after a newspaper said that he and his wife were arrested on suspicion of theft.

UEFA punishes Atletico

UEFA have slapped Spanish side Atletico Madrid with a stadium ban following a complaint of racism by French club Marseille.

Kanoute out for 3 weeks

Sevilla's Mali international Frederic Kanoute, who tore his right calf against Chad in an African World Cup qualifier at the weekend, will be out of action for at least three weeks, the Spanish first division club said.

3-match ban for Mexes

France defender Philippe Mexes has been hit with a three-match ban for insulting a referee following his sending off against Siena on Ocotber 5.

Kenya still in contention

Opening batsman Seren Waters and his skipper Steve Tikolo will look to cement their partnership Tuesday after helping Kenya claw its way back into contention on the third day of the ICC Intercontinental Cup match.

Blake crashes out

American James Blake maintained his dismal, winless record at the Madrid Masters on Tuesday with the frustrated 11th seed crashing out to on-form Frenchman Gilles Simon 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Patel extends Notts days

England all-rounder Samit Patel agreed a contract extension on Monday that will keep him with Nottinghamshire until the end of the 2010 campaign.

Business

Inflation may ease in crisis

The country's inflation is likely to come down in the coming days as global commodity prices have taken a beating from the ongoing financial turmoil across the world, analysts said yesterday.

US to inject $250b into banks

The United States was to inject up to 250 billion dollars in capital into banks yesterday in the latest bid to end the financial crisis, officials said as forecasters warned two key European economies risked recession.

Apparel industry unveils ambitious target for export

Bangladesh apparel-industry leaders yesterday unveiled an ambitious export target of US $ 25 billion and additional 2 million jobs in next five years, keeping well in mind the impacts of possible long-term recession following the recent global financial crisis.

BB waiting out rough weather

Bangladesh Bank will wait for a suitable timing to reinvest the “now absolutely protected” foreign currency reserves it earlier diverted to safe deposits, mostly with the central banks of other countries, in the wake of global financial crisis.

Global action must to combat market turmoil

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday expressed grave concern over the possible adverse impact of global financial turmoil on the developing countries.

EPZs in western region offer good prospect

With lower tariff of industrial plots and an atmosphere free from labour unrest, the export processing zones (EPZs) in the western region of the country offer a good prospect for labour intensive industries, the Bepza executive chairman told a visiting Taiwanese team in the port city yesterday.

NBR to open offices in 100 big upazilas

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman yesterday said from now tax commissioners will go to upazila level, and offices will be opened at all district headquarters as well as 100 big upazilas in a bid to come close to the taxpayers.

Local businessmen urge Chinese to help grow exports

Bangladeshi businessmen yesterday urged the visiting Chinese delegation to continue sending purchase teams to Bangladesh so that the country's export volume could continue to grow.

Luxury brands under stress

During a recent trip to her expensive Hong Kong hairdresser, luxury brand consultant Radha Chadha asked her stylist if recent turmoil in the world's stock markets had affected business.

Another BRIC in the wall

What a difference a week can make! Only the other day it seems one could not throw a brick in a room full of economists without hitting someone who was touting the 'decoupling theory' where the remarkable economic growth in the unfortunately named BRIC countries -Brazil, Russia, India and China- along with emerging powerhouses such as Vietnam and Indonesia would more than compensate slowing economic growth in Europe, USA and Japan.

I should have seen it coming: Krugman

Paul Krugman, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for economics, said Monday in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) that he should have anticipated the current financial turmoil.

Stocks keep up bullish trend

The stock market continued its bullish back-to-back sessions yesterday following its strong recovery a day earlier.

Southeast Bank gets depositor director

Southeast Bank Ltd elected Financial Express Editor AHM Moazzem Hossain as director of the bank from its depositors, according to a press statement.

Listed firm, dealer fined for defying securities rules

The stock market regulator has fined a listed company's directors and a stock dealer for violation of securities rules.

Beximco Pharma enters Chilean market

Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the country's leading manufacturer of medicine, has commenced exports to Chile after receiving marketing authorisation for a number of products from the drug regulatory authority of the Latin American country.

Oil rallies in Asia

Oil prices rallied further on Tuesday after world leaders rolled out further measures to tackle the global financial crisis, dealers said.

China's forex reserves pass $1.9 trillion

China's foreign exchange reserves, already the world's largest, rose to 1.9056 trillion dollars by the end of September, the central bank said on Tuesday.

HK guarantees all bank deposits

Hong Kong on Tuesday said it would guarantee all bank deposits and set up an emergency capital fund for the city's banking industry, but insisted the sector remained stable despite global turmoil.

Australia unveils massive stimulus package

Australia's government on Tuesday unveiled a 10.4 billion dollar (7.25 billion US) stimulus package to counter a slowdown caused by the global financial crisis, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said.

Philippines prepares 'worst-case scenario' for overseas workers

The Philippine government has prepared a "worst-case scenario" should thousands of overseas Filipinos return home due to the global financial crisis, the labour secretary said Tuesday.

Biz Letters

Isn't interest a curse?
The truth is that the global financial system is simply crumbling. This is the horrifying truth whether we like it or not and it is only due to manmade financial systems that this financial meltdown has occurred.

Metropolitan

Change mindset, work sincerely for development of children: CA

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday underscored the need for changes in the mindset and sincere work to ensure overall development of children.

'Launch social movement to combat visual impairment'

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for launching social movement to combat visual impairment in the country.

AL to take part in polls even under emergency

Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury yesterday said Awami League (AL) is an election-oriented party and it will take part in the election even if the polls are held under the state of emergency.

62pc women can't buy healthy food due to price hike

Price hike of essentials has shown its adverse impacts on women and children's health, nutrition and education, a survey conducted by Steps Towards Development revealed recently.

KFC, Pizza Hut launch hunger relief campaign

KFC and Pizza Hut have launched the World Hunger Relief Campaign in association with the World Food Programme (WFP) to raise wider awareness about hunger and support the WFP to provide meals to children in schools in order to help ensure that they complete basic education.

AL protest programmes begin today

Awami League (AL) has declared a five-day programme to protest the killing of Khan Ibne Zaman, senior joint secretary of Khulna City AL.

Boy dies after vendor hits him with brick

A schoolboy succumbed to his injuries yesterday at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) after a fruit vendor attacked him with a brick on Sunday night, accusing him of stealing fruits.

Cargo capsize: Another body found

The body of another victim of Monday's cargo capsize was recovered yesterday.

Gono Forum, CPB apply for registration

Gono Forum (GF) and Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday submitted their applications to the Election Commission (EC) for registration.

Project to provide eye care to visually impaired people

A five-year eye care project titled 'Dhaka Urban Comprehensive Eye Care' was launched yesterday for providing eye care to over 2.7 lakh visually impaired people in the city.

Kader urges govt to allow him to operate bank accounts

Awami League Joint general secretary Obaidul Kader, now in New Delhi for treatment, has requested the government to allow him to operate his bank accounts, which were frozen after his arrest on corruption charges.

S Asia has great development potential

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday said South Asia has a great development potential in terms of its diverse cultural heritage and human resources as one-fourth of the world population live in this region.

Quality edn a must for progress: Gen Moeen

Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said a nation could not develop without quality education.

World White Cane Safety Day today

World White Cane Safety Day will be observed today in a bid to raise social awareness among general public to make a smooth movement for the visually handicapped people and to make them more conscious of the white cane as a mobility aid.

Probe into extrajudicial killings demanded

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called for impartial probe into extrajudicial killings by the members of law enforcement agencies.

Extortionist killed in shootout with police

An extortionist was killed in a 'shootout' with police at Gobindapur near Dhopaghata Bridge under Jhenidah Sadar upazila yesterday.

Mobile court fines 6 stores Tk 5.5 lakh

A mobile court fined several stores Tk 5.5 lakh during its drive against adulterated food products, especially milk products in the city's Mirpur area yesterday.

Prof Saifuddin made KU VC

The government yesterday appointed Prof Dr Md Saifuddin Shah as the vice-chancellor of Khulna University (KU).

97th anniversary of birth of Zohra Kazi today

Today is the 97th birth anniversary of Dr Zohra Begum Kazi, who was the first female Muslim doctor in undivided Bengal, says a press release.

Ex-AL lawmaker Mirza Azam released on bail

Jubo League general secretary and former Awami League lawmaker Mirza Azam was released on bail yesterday evening.

DU Mourning Day today

Dhaka University observes DU Mourning Day today commemorating the tragic deaths of students, employees and guests in a building collapse at the university's Jagannath Hall in 1985.

Steps to be taken to bring back Subrata Bain: Adviser

Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin yesterday said the government would take initiatives to bring back dreaded criminal Trimoti Subrata Bain arrested in Kolkata recently.

National

Central BNP team's failed tour of Sylhet division

A team of central BNP leaders will visit Sylhet today and is scheduled to hold a meeting with leaders of district, city and other units here.

'Punish killers of FF Sajjad, try war criminals'

Several hundred people including freedom fighters and teachers, students, officials and employees of Rajshahi University yesterday formed a human chain and held a rally demanding immediate arrest and punishment to killers of freedom fighter Sajjad Hossain.

BDR, BSF agree to resolve disputes through talks

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at a sector commander level meeting at Satkhira Circuit House yesterday agreed to work together to contain cross border crimes and solve related problems through talk.

3 officials sued for illegal lease of govt land

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) here filed a case with Bhaluka Police Station yesterday accusing three government officials and an industrialist for leasing out 155.39 acres of uncultivable government land violating the official rules.

10 Kasba Poura councillors jailed for lease scam

Brahmanbaria Additional District and Sessions Judge Court, in a verdict pronounced here yesterday, sentenced 10 councillors of Kasba Pourasabha to two years rigorous imprisonment (RI) each, for leasing out 10 shops of a poura market in their names at a very nominal price, resulting in loss of government, court sources said.

'Ensure safe water in SW region'

Representatives of NGO AOSED and Water Rights Committee at a press conference yesterday demanded steps for ensuring rights on safe water in the southwest coastal region of the country.

Attack on ETV journos at Mymensingh

A team of journalists of Ekushey Television (ETV) came under attack of a gang of criminals at Gulpukurpar in the town yesterday when they were collecting information on Sumon murder happened in May 2006, police said.

Kathin Chibar Daan festival begins tomorrow

'Danutthum Kathin Chibar Dan', one of the biggest religious festivals of Buddhist community in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), will begin here tomorrow.

Letters

Durga Puja

Durga Puja (Worship of Durga), also known as Durgotsab (Festival of Durga) has been an annual Bengali festival that marks the worship of Hindu Goddess Durga.

Good cricket

After the miserable series against the Aussies the Bangladesh cricket team has bounced back gracefully. They comprehensively defeated the Kiwis by seven wickets in the first ODI. More importantly, it was their first win against the black caps.

Law enforcers

The main job of the police is to protect the public. This includes protection against crime, maintenance of civil order, enforcement of traffic and other regulations, prevention of alcohol and drug abuse, prevention of neighbourhood disorders, firearms and weapons control, law enforcement and investigations as mandated by the law and requested by the relevant national or local authorities.

Palin, a liability?

To understand why Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be of little help, a look at what a prominent Alaskan woman thinks about her will be in order. In a column published in The Anchorage Daily News on Sept 16, Alaskan writer Elise Patkotak wrote: "There was a time when I thought John McCain really was a different kind of politician, one who would put the country above his personal desire for grandeur. I stopped thinking that the day he announced Sarah Palin as his running mate. ... Sarah Palin is untested and untried. There were dozens of other people much more qualified to be McCain's running mate who would not have caused people to question how ready they'd be to take over if something happened to McCain. To my mind it is fairly clear that the only reason McCain chose Palin was because she brought in something he desperately needed as the right-wing, conservative Christian base of the Republican voters who view McCain with distrust and distaste.

Global crisis and lending institutions

The ongoing financial crisis in the US which constrained the US government to move a $700 billion bailout is not an internal matter of the US alone.

Dead telephones

I would like to bring to the kind notice of the authorities concerned that 200 telephone lines have been out of order only in Gulshan area for the last 7-8 days. When I tried to contact BTCL to lodge a complaint, I was informed that 1200 other lines were affected around Dhaka city in a similar way, which was caused by theft of telephone cables. I was also informed that the lines could not be restored because there was no availability of cables and funds were not allocated for new replacements either.

Poor train service

We must improve the service of our government owned railways, the cheaper and safer way to long distance travelling all over the world. The matter of regret is that the authorities make little effort to improve the railway service in our country. There may be a luxury train side by side the luxury buses.

Pakistan betrayed ?

Needless to say that Mr. Kabir has unnecessarily brought India into the recent US-Pak problems and cautioned India what to expect from the US if it fails to honour the nuclear agreement. I see the Pakistan analogy is wrong and illogical. Even if we assume that Mr. Kabir?s analogy is right, I highly doubt that the US would start bombing some random part of India for violating the nuclear deal. But, if suddenly, Indians start harbouring anti US terrorists in their territory and keep thinking that territorial integrity and sovereignty would save them from US fury, they should think again. Well, who knows, what would happen to that kind of India? I am sure the US will be furious.

Lunar Calendar

I thank Mohammed Zamir for his fine PCP article on this issue. A couple of years ago, I had the good fortune to meet him and discuss with him my book Islamic Calendar: A Global Blueprint which clearly lays out a perfect mathematical lunar calendar based on mere counting of either 29 or 30 days alternately for Islamic months and a provision for a leap month every two years ( with some easily memorable exceptions).

Doctor or bully ?

“You won't live long”, said the doctor to my aunt.

Thai visa issue

I am extremely thankful to His Excellency, the Ambassador of Thailand to Bangladesh, for kindly responding to my letter on "Thai visa issue" published in DS on 26 September 2008 through his letter on 6 October 2008.

International

India announces polls schedule for 5 states

Skipping a decision on polls in Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission today announced one-day poll in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Mizoram while Naxalite-infested Chattisgarh will have two-phased elections between November 14 and December 4.

3 Nato soldiers, 16 Afghan civilians killed in blasts

US military successes in Iraq have forced sophisticated and well-trained insurgents to pour into Afghanistan instead, part of the reason violence has spiked in Afghanistan, the Afghan defence minister said yesterday.

North Korea to resume nuclear dismantlement

North Korea planned to resume dismantling its nuclear programme Tuesday for the first time in two months, days after the United States removed the communist regime from a terrorism blacklist as a reward under a disarmament pact.

'Pakistan faces internal threat to integrity'

Pakistan is facing a "very serious internal threat" to its integrity as a grouping of al-Qaeda, Taliban and local 'Jihadi' elements wanted to take over the country, Information Minister Sherry Rehman warned yesterday.

Pakistan threatens to go for 3rd party arbitration

Pakistan yesterday threatened to go for third party arbitration if, it said, India does not compensate it for the loss of two million acre feet of water due to an alleged reduction in the flow of the Chenab River.

Tensions over Georgia threaten peace talks

Georgian and Russian officials are to sit down face-to-face Wednesday for the first time since a five-day war in August, but tensions over the regions at the heart of the conflict threaten to derail the talks in Geneva.

Obama extends lead in key states: Poll

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has solidified his lead over rival John McCain with 51-54 percent support in four key battleground states, a poll released yesterday showed.

Russia gives territory to China, ending border dispute

Russia ended a decades-old border dispute with China yesterday by giving it a stretch of river island territory in a ceremony symbolising the Cold War rivals' warming ties.

Mbeki opens talks to save Zimbabwe deal

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his main political rival arrived for talks Tuesday with former South African leader Thabo Mbeki aimed at saving a flagging power-sharing deal.

Syria establishes diplomatic ties with Lebanon

Syria's president issued a decree yesterday establishing diplomatic relations with Lebanon, and a foreign ministry official said the country will have an embassy in Beirut by the end of the year.

Thai court accepts ruling party dissolution case

A Thai court yesterday agreed to hear a case which could see three political parties including the ruling People Power Party disbanded, in a further blow to the protest-hit government.

Clashes kill 28 Pak militants

At least 28 Taliban militants and a tribesman were killed in the latest clashes in Pakistani tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday.

Sonia defies Mayawati, visits Rae Bareli

Defying Mayawati's attempts to scuttle her plans, Sonia Gandhi yesterday visited her Lok Sabha constituency calling it her "karma bhoomi" and declaring that she is ready to go to jail for the sake of development.

Lankan military kills 38 rebels in pitched battles

Scattered fighting in northern Sri Lanka killed 38 rebels and three soldiers as the government pressed ahead with its offensive against the Tamil Tigers, the military said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

The Journey of a Legend

A solo exhibition titled "The Journey of a Legend" featuring photographs by Shahadat Parvez is on at Zainul Gallery-1, Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University.

A peek into Japanese art, culture and traditions

I recently viewed a Kabuki performance, which was inspiring. Thanks to divine providence, my long cherished desire to get a glimpse of Japanese art, tradition and culture was realised when my parents and I went to the country last year.

Mahmuduzzman Babu talks about Mrittika’s new album

Mrittika, a band led by popular singer Mahmuduzzaman Babu, will release its new album titled Manush in December this year. One of the songs of this album, on the Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, has already drawn the audience's attention. From October 9 (death anniversary of Che), the music video of the song has been on air on different TV channels. The Daily Star talked to Mahmuduzzaman Babu about the song, Mrittika's new album and more.

Drama serial “Ghar Shangshar” on Rtv

Rtv's new drama serial Ghar Shangshar will be aired tonight at 9:10 pm. Written by Nurul Islam, the serial is directed by Moin Khan.

Hollywood's growing interest in the Indian movie market

It may not yet be a marriage between Hollywood and Bollywood, but reflects a burgeoning relationship between the two.

Don Cheadle replaces Terrence Howard In “Iron Man” sequel

In a surprise move, Don Cheadle will replace Terrence Howard as Robert Downey Jr's best friend in "Iron Man 2," the sequel to the superhero saga.

OP-ED

Has BNP learnt from 1/11?

IT appears that the BNP and its alliance members learnt little from the nation's predicament over the last two years. Since the fall of HM Ershad's autocratic regime, the nation voted the BNP to power twice out of three genuine elections -- in 1991, 1996 and 2001. The AL had a mandate once in 1996. In all new democracies, election year is always a year of political turmoil or brinkmanship. Needless to say, Bangladesh is not an exception.

The success of failure

THOUGH somewhat paradoxical, in the mysterious real world, often successes of failures are as real as failures of successes. This is not a rehash of some philosophical discourses where philosophers speak, paradoxically, and ironically, of "closeness of distance" or "distance of closeness," a la Heidegger. The purpose here is simply to reflect on the alleged failure of the interim government of Bangladesh that took office in January 2007.

Making a difference in South Asia

WHEN I first heard of the Asian University for Women, I immediately identified with its mission and dream. I had seen too many bright young women in Phnom Penh complain about the low quality of their education, and seen too many girls in rural areas drop out of high school because they didn't see opportunities for higher education even if they graduated. I knew that I wanted to see Cambodian women have access to the kinds of opportunities that I saw possible through AUW.

Now only kids can understand derivatives

MUMS and dads, today I sound an urgent alarm about a creeping danger which is growing unnoticed within our very homes. I am talking about: our children's brains.

Star City

Poor public hearing to hush up flaws, coterie interests

Anomalies and flaws in the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) of Dhaka metropolitan area must be rectified through meaningful and comprehensive public consultations for a liveable capital city, said urban experts and environmentalists.

Nostalgic look back at good old days

When Mohiuddin Ahmed, a septuagenarian resident of Malibagh, suddenly found a damaged 1969 group picture of his family and cousins, he immediately went to a photo-mender to have prints made for other family members.

An oasis in the middle of concrete jungle

Green vegetables and fresh herbs are dangling from the tub. Branches of fruit trees are swaying with the light breeze. Seasonal flowers are giving away sweet fragrance with butterflies fluttering. It is like an oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle.


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