The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, April 17, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 28th of October, 2008

Front Page

Cyclone Reshmi dies down with little loss

At least six people were killed and dozens of fishermen missing as Cyclone Reshmi lashed Khulna-Barisal coast yesterday morning with winds gusting up to 84 km an hour.

Emergency inconsistent with normal elections

Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma has said the state of emergency is “inconsistent” with a normal electoral process and favoured its lifting before the election.

BNP ready for polls, movement: Khaleda

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said since her party is the most popular and an election-oriented one, it is ready for the December 18 national elections as well as a 'movement'.

Govt finally acts on HC ban order

Though the High Court (HC) banned sale and display of eight brands of powdered milk 'contaminated with melamine' on October 23 the government apparently took no measures until yesterday.

Jamaat's EC registration draws sharp reaction

Different organisations and individuals, who demand prosecution of anti-liberation war criminals, yesterday raised formal objections to Jamaat's possible registration as a parliamentary political party with the Election Commission (EC).

Intelligence focused only on accused JMB men

Despite a number of major arrests during crackdowns on Islamist militants in the last few years, over 250 trained operatives of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) are still at large and many of them are reportedly trying to regroup.

Dec 18 election will rehabilitate corrupt

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Inu) President Hasanul Haq Inu fears that political parties which will get defeated in the upcoming parliament election will reject the poll results and attempt to resume politics of confrontation since, he said, allegations of bias have already been raised against the caretaker government.

No money laundering in Trust Bank

The central bank yesterday said the Trust Bank's loss of about Tk 22.41 crore was not due to money laundering rather it was transactional loss.

HC bench now refuses to hear 5 petitions

A High Court (HC) bench yesterday refused to hear petitions filed by six ministers of past BNP-Jamaat alliance government for quashing proceedings against them in the Barapukuria coal mine corruption case.

Emergency might be lifted before polls

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday hinted that the state of emergency may be lifted before elections after gradual relaxation of emergency rules depending on the evolving situation and discussion with the political parties.

Stay orders on 2 cases against Hasina extended

The High Court (HC) yesterday extended its stay orders on proceedings against Awami League President Sheikh Hasina in the Niko and barge-mounted power plant corruption cases.

Govt to form regulatory body on food

The government has decided to set up a regulatory body specific to checking adulteration of food items, Health and Food Adviser AMM Shawkat Ali said yesterday.

Govt trying for controlled polls by not lifting emergency

Awami League (AL) presidium member Matia Chowdhury alleged yesterday that the government is trying to stage a 'controlled election' by not withdrawing the state of emergency completely.

HC sends back Huda's petition against EPR

A High Court (HC) bench yesterday sent back a writ petition challenging the legality of the provision of the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) 2007 that bar people convicted in the cases under the EPR from contesting polls, as the bench was overstressed with other cases.

Dec 18 polls will be a model for future

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has said the government wants the next general election to be a model for all future elections by making sure that voters can cast vote without fear.

Body to safeguard policewomen

For the first time in the history of Bangladesh Police an internal organisation is being created to safeguard women personnel's interest.

Hearing on writ petitions continues

The High Court (HC) continued the hearing of the writ petitions against the Election Commission's (EC) re-demarcation of parliamentary constituencies for the fourth day yesterday.

UNDP hands over transparent ballot boxes to EC today

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will today formally hand over transparent ballot boxes to the Election Commission for December 18 general elections.

Indian minister due Oct 31 for transit talks

India's Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh Sunday said New Delhi will seek permission to cut across Bangladesh for transporting equipment for a mega power project in Tripura from West Bengal.

Mong Raja Prue Chy cremated

The cremation ceremony of late Mong Raja Paihala Prue Chowdhury was held yesterday in Khagrachhari.

Pro-Awami DU teachers to resist 'pressure' on 7 depts

Pro-Awami League blue-panel teachers of Dhaka University (DU) decided to resist any sort of "influence or pressure" on seven departments of the university to cancel the prerequisites for freshmen admission they had introduced earlier.

296 local NGOs apply for poll monitoring

A total of 296 local non-government organisations (NGOs) applied to the Election Commission (EC) for permission to monitor the upcoming elections as observers.

Pintu's counsel completes arguments

Counsels of detained former BNP lawmaker Abdus Salam Pintu yesterday completed arguments on the discharge petition in connection with the grenade attack case on an Awami League (AL) rally in 2004.

Ex-MP Lobi gets HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail for four months to former BNP lawmaker and ex-president of Bangladesh Cricket Board Ali Asghar Lobi in two cases filed by the police.

Recession worries send stock markets reeling

Recession fears sent world stock markets tumbling Monday, with Tokyo at a 26-year low, Europe badly under water and Wall Street struggling to hold the line despite a G7 pledge to stabilise the financial system.

Obama moves to close the deal with voters

High-flying Barack Obama was set yesterday to present his "closing argument" to voters as the Democrat's epic White House duel with beleaguered Republican John McCain entered its final full week.

Suspected US strike kills 20 in Pakistan

A suspected US missile strike killed up to 20 people in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, officials said, the latest salvo in an intensifying assault on militant hide-outs near the Afghan border.

US forces launch attack inside Syria: 8 killed

US military helicopters launched an extremely rare attack Sunday on Syrian territory close to the border with Iraq, killing eight people in a strike the government in Damascus condemned as "serious aggression."

Editorial

Fall in fuel prices welcome

Rare have been the instances where fuel prices have gone down in Bangladesh. But now that fuel prices have been slashed by anywhere between 10 and 13 per cent, we certainly appreciate the move. We do realise, of course, that such a reduction in the prices of fuel, having consistently gone up in the last few years, has come about owing to a decline in fuel prices worldwide. It can certainly be argued that the decrease in fuel prices here does not quite match the fall in prices at the international level. Even so, the decision to reduce fuel prices is appreciable and we hope it will set a precedent for the future.

Kidnapped Brac staff in Afghanistan

The abduction of two Brac officials from the Afghan town of Ghazni last Thursday came as a rude shock to us, more so, when till the time of writing this editorial no trace has yet been found about their whereabouts. Ironically, the two men were engaged in development activities having nothing to do with Afghanistan's highly volatile, explosive political situation. Brac has certainly proved itself to be a development partner with welfare of the people it serves being its prime objective.

Removing sculptures will not bring food on your plate

A section of people in this country who have taken the responsibility of "protecting" their religious beliefs on their own shoulders are doing so of their own volition. No one has told them to do so, but then again there would be no problem if they would educate themselves with the history first and then try to preach and practice the essence of religion, remaining within the entire gamut of the society they belong to. It is essential they take into consideration the ethnic, socio-political and cultural matrix that shape the mosaic of that society because no group can progress and prosper by remaining hostile to society.

Thus far and no further

THE removal of baul sculptures from the roundabout in front of the Zia International Airport by the Civil Aviation Authority, under threat from religious bigots, has aroused a deep sense of anger among the conscious people because of the government's indirect encouragement to bigotry.

Deregulation is disastrous

JET Airways, India's largest private airline, decided to sack as many as 1,900 employees just two days after it announced an "alliance" with Kingfisher Airlines, India's second largest private carrier. Both decisions have a common cause: overcapacity and mounting losses in civil aviation, triggering desperate cost cutting.

Sports

Another holiday

The contest in the second and final Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand is all but over as no play was possible on the third day at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Dhaka restrict Mumbai to 151-6

An expensive 40 runs in the last two overs saw Dhaka Warriors let Mumbai Champs off the hook in their fifth match of the Indian Cricket League at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurgaon yesterday.

'Time to stand up'

Ricky Ponting has asked his senior men for a greater impact in Delhi when Australia attempt to fight back from a 1-0 series deficit in Wednesday's third Test. The elder statesmen, particularly Matthew Hayden and Brett Lee, have been quiet overall during the opening two games and are desperate to show their worth against a committed India.

'Mishra unlikely'

While the stadium itself has retained none of the charm of the old world, the surroundings suggest you have entered a town of forts. Once you have entered the Feroz Shah Kotla and it's mighty tough given the security - just look up and you'll find a policeman at most of the high points, overlooking the movements outside the stadium, almost like the guards in a fortress. They may as well be guarding India's lead in the series, welcome to the Fortress Feroz Shah.

Warne expects comeback

Legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne said Monday there is no need for him to come out of retirement and he expects Australia to bounce back in their Test series in India.

A soft target

Though the manner of it should not have pleased anyone, the sacking of Geoff Lawson, it is safe to say, has done just that. An easier target hasn't been seen round this way since Pervez Musharraf stepped down earlier this year. As all the country's ills were thrown onto Musharraf's shoulders, so too all the cricketing ones have been on Lawson's.

Waugh praises India pacers

After spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi lent his helping hand to Ricky Ponting and his men in Sunday's practice session, former Australia skipper Steve Waugh attended the nets on Monday as the visitors left no stone unturned in their preparation for the third Test against India.

BCB polls on November 12

The election of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) under the new constitution will be held on November 12.

No play in NCL

There was no play for the second successive day in the third round of the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 10th National Cricket League (NCL) yesterday due to inclement weather.

BOA signs deal with KOC

An agreement was signed in Seoul yesterday with Korean Olympic Committee to enhance cooperation in the field of sports between South Korea and Bangladesh.

Changes likely in team for Myanmar

The think-tank is considering making a few changes in the national football team for next month's Myanmar trip.

Shouhardo Cup begins today

The Shouhardo Cup football tournament will kick off at the Tangail Stadium today with eight teams taking part in the event organised by 21 AD Regiment Artillery and Tangail District Sports Association under the overall supervision of 98 Composite Brigade.

Real win Bilbao battle

Real Madrid moved a point behind leaders Valencia with a hard-fought 3-2 home win over 10-man Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Benitez calls for calm

Rafa Benitez has told his Liverpool stars their stunning 1-0 victory at title rivals Chelsea will count for nothing if they slip up against Portsmouth this week.

Mourinho fumes at Inter

Jose Mourinho blasted his players for lacking discipline after the champions failed to beat 10-man Genoa at the San Siro.

Harry couldn't turn it down

Harry Redknapp watched Tottenham win his first game in charge, and their first Premier League match this season, before revealing how he would have "regretted it for the rest of his life" if he'd turned them down.

FifPro team unveiled

Ronaldo is in line to win a series of major individual awards, deservedly so in his own opinion, following his astounding 42-goal contribution to Manchester United's double-winning campaign.

C'Ron picks up FifPro award

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named FifPro World Footballer of the Year.

Zamparini blasts Gilardino

Palermo coach Maurizio Zamparini blasted Fiorentina's Alberto Gilardino after the striker scored a goal with his forearm in his side's 3-1 victory in Sicily.

PSG upset Marseille

Paris Saint Germain's thrilling 4-2 victory at Marseille on Sunday night prevented the home side grabbing top spot in the French league in their first victory at the Riviera club for five years.

Napoli aim for UCL

Italian high flyers Napoli are aiming at Champions League qualification after a storming start to the season that sees them level on 17 points with champions Inter Milan and Udinese at the top of the table.

Figc to look into handball goal

The Italian Football Federation (Figc) said on Monday it will investigate the controversial goal scored by Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino against Palermo on Sunday.

Lights bother KP

Kevin Pietersen says he is concerned about the lighting in Antigua ahead of England's 20-million-dollar showdown against the Stanford Superstars on Saturday.

Hackett calls it a day

Champion Australian swimmer Grant Hackett said he will announce his retirement from the sport at Swimming Australia's swimmer of the year awards here later Monday.

MCC wary of T20 threat

The Marylebone Cricket Club's world cricket committee believes Twenty20 cricket must be scrutinised to prevent it from damaging the impact of the traditional Test format. The group comprising former Test captains and players met over the weekend with a view to improving the game and focused on the growth of the sport's newest version.

Dibaba ties the knot

Ethiopia's double Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba married her long-time fiance and fellow athlete Sileshi Sihine in a colourful wedding ceremony witnessed by thousands of people here on Sunday.

Barnak hold Farashganj

A late goal by Prasenjit helped Barnak Samaj hold Farashganj Sporting Club to a 1-1 draw with in yesterday's Green Delta Insurance First Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium.

Shahin new GS of BSF

The Solaiman-Shahin panel swept all the posts in the Bangladesh Swimming Federation (BSF) executive committee in its yesterday's election.

2 matches today

The Dhaka Metropolitan Women's School football will resume today after no matches could be played on Sunday and yesterday due to inclement weather.

Rice named Australia's best

Triple Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Rice was named Australia's Swimmer-of-the -Year at a function here on Monday.

Federer's hattrick

Roger Federer completed a trophy hattrick at his home event, the Swiss Indoors, on Sunday as he defeated longtime rival David Nalbandian 6-3, 6-4.

Younis helps SA to draw

Pakistan Test batsman Younis Khan scored an unbeaten 71 to help South Australia bat out the final day and salvage a Sheffield Shield draw with New South Wales at Adelaide Oval on Monday.

Business

Rupee slide rattles exporters

Local exporters fear over 20 percent depreciation of the Indian rupee against dollar would cost them badly.

Dhaka stocks spin lower

Dhaka stocks nose-dived yesterday, as some top merchant banks forced their clients or investors to sell off shares to adjust loans.

BB cautions exporters against crisis fallout

Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed yesterday urged exporters, mainly ready made garments sector people, to cautiously receive orders from new buyers since the latter risks turning bankrupt due to the present global financial crisis.

Regulator asks GP to submit new IPO plan

The capital market watchdog has asked Grameenphone to submit a fresh IPO proposal, with updated financial statements, as the validity of the company's last audited accounts have expired.

Adviser prioritises infrastructure development

Finance Adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said constraints on infrastructure and lack of skilled human resources limits growth and economic development of a country.

Narrowed EU-Bangla trade gap sought

European Bangladesh Federation of Commerce and Industry (EBF), a newly formed business association, has emphasised more foreign investment in Bangladesh, and also a rise in local exports to European Union.

Industrialists seek clear info on gas reserves

Industrialists and bankers yesterday asked the government to provide clear information about gas reserves in Bangladesh and take immediate steps to develop gas-based industries.

Asian airlines brace for worse

Asia's aviation sector is hurting from a sharp descent in passenger numbers but the full impact of a deepening global financial crisis is not likely to be felt until next year, analysts said.

Great expectations

As a child growing up in Bangladesh, I remember the stereotype of a businessman as portrayed in BTV dramas (pre-satellite era): dishonest, immoral, greedy and intent only on making as much money as fast as possible and preferably, as unscrupulously as possible. For some reason, he was usually attired in a silk dressing gown and smoking a pipe at any time of day and night. In the last 25 years that has changed quite a bit -- no more of a gown, for a starter.

Asian shares tumble

Asia's stocks were hammered again Monday, with Hong Kong losing almost 13 percent and Japan hitting a 26-year low, as traders ignored emergency steps by world governments and a unity pledge by the G7.

World oil prices sink in Asian trade on recession fears

World oil prices sank in Asian trade Monday in tandem with plunges in global stock markets on fears of a global recession, dealers said.

G7 vows cooperation on financial crisis, warns on yen

The Group of Seven major economies on Monday vowed to work together to protect the crisis-hit financial system and fired a warning shot to currency traders over the surging yen.

Spike in illegal immigrants seen amid global turmoil

The number of illegal immigrants worldwide may spike if governments restrict visas in response to the global financial crisis, experts at a UN-backed forum said Monday.

Japan's Canon lowers net profit forecast

Japanese electronics maker Canon Inc. said Monday it was lowering its net profit forecast for 2008 by 25 percent due to the global economic slowdown and higher yen.

Sony still on offensive in tough times

Sony Corp. chairman Howard Stringer said Monday the electronics giant was keeping up its long-term global ambitions despite taking a "very, very strong" hit in the global financial crisis.

Correction

The photo caption of Eastern Bank Limited was wrongly printed on this page against the picture of a function at the Mirpur outlet of Agora. We regret the mistake.

Metropolitan

Protect environment to keep natural calamities at bay

If the environment is protected, human beings need not be protected from natural calamities, Nobel laureate Prof Richard R Ernst said at a lecture in the city yesterday.

Transport owners ignore decision

The government decision to decrease the transport fares was not implemented practically yesterday.

'Apply clubfoot-ponseti method in workplaces'

A four-day seminar on 'Awareness and Management of Clubfoot-Ponseti Method' began in the city yesterday.

GMG restarts flights to KL, Kathmandu

Private GMG Airlines has resumed operations on two international routes in a sign of recovery from financial trouble, thanks to cuts in fuel prices.

NBR may widen tax-return time

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is likely to extend the deadline for submitting individual income tax returns, as the NBR has received lower returns than last year.

Save waterlogged people in Kobadak river basin

People, living in the waterlogged areas along the bank of Kobadak river in Khulna-Jessore region, are suffering from severe shortage of food, drinking water and medicine, said the speakers at a press conference yesterday.

Equal JS seats a must for gender parity

Speakers at an opinion exchange meeting yesterday demanded equal distribution of parliamentary seats for both gender to ensure gender equality in politics.

UN blamed for ignoring rights issues

The Urdu-speaking minority of Indian origin in the country criticised the United Nations (UN) for overlooking their rights issues at a meeting in the city on Sunday.

Counselling needed to improve students' mental health, confidence

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said counselling in mental health is essential for students to improve mental health, self-confidence and working capacity.

Kali Puja today

Kali Puja, the second largest religious festival of the Hindus, will be celebrated today.

Create mass awareness for democracy

US Ambassador James F Moriarty called upon the journalists to come forward in creating mass awareness to push Bangladesh towards democracy.

Saarc psychiatric confce on Nov 1

The fourth Saarc Psychiatric Federation Conference and fourth International Conference on Psychiatry-2008 will be held in the city on November 1 focusing on mental health.

Include workers' demands in election manifestos

Speakers at a press conference yesterday urged major political parties to include workers' demands in their election manifestos.

Three to die, 8 get life term

A court here yesterday sentenced three people to death and eight others to life term imprisonment in a triple murder case.

BCL expels 4 over factional clash at DU

Dhaka University BCL leaders expelled its four activists of Salimullah Muslim Hall unit as they were involved in Sunday's clash at the hall compound, which left five activists injured.

Tk 10cr Shiva statue seized in N'ganj

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized a 55-kg touchstone statue of Hindu god Shiva worth around Tk 10 crore and arrested two people in this connection at Lakhsminagar village in Fatullah in Narayanganj yesterday.

Bodies of 17 Bangladeshis to be brought from Turkey soon

Bodies of 17 Bangladeshis, who were killed in a road accident at Istanbul in Turkey on October 5, will be brought home soon, official sources here said yesterday.

Nasir's family demands arrest of killers

The family of Nasirullah Khan yesterday demanded immediate arrest of his killers to protect them.

'Send Pankaj abroad for better treatment'

A medical board headed by Prof Dr S Sirajul Karim of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) suggested to send detained Awami Swechhasebak League General Secretary Pankaj Devnath abroad for better treatment.

OFA reunion Dec 26-28

The Golden Jubilee Reunion of Old Faujians' Association (OFA), an organisation of former cadets of Faujderhat Cadet College, will be held at Faujderhat Cadet College from December 26 to 28, says a press release.

One shot, another stabbed in city

A furniture shop staff was shot by the extortionists at Pallabi while a day labourer was stabbed by a gang of muggers at Badda in the city last night.

President undergoes eye check-up

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday underwent eye check-up at Haroon Eye Foundation in Dhanmondi.

Tribute paid to MA Samad

The third death anniversary of insurance legend and founder of Bangladesh General Insurance Co. Ltd. MA Samad was observed on October 18, says a press release.

Sharma assures help to revive CMDF

Secretary General of the Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma said yesterday that he would use his good offices to revive the suspended Commonwealth Media Development Fund (CMDF).

'Allow Mohiuddin to resume mayoral work'

Leaders of different professional bodies yesterday urged the government to allow recently-freed Chittagong City Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury to resume his responsibilities as mayor.

Spanish envoy calls on DU VC

Spanish Ambassador to Bangladesh Arturo Manuel Perez paid a courtesy call on Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof SMA Faiz yesterday at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban on the campus.

Robbers loot valuables worth Tk 7 lakh

A gang of robbers on Sunday night took away cash money, gold ornaments, mobile phone sets and other valuables worth around Tk 7 lakh from a house at Basabo under Sabujbagh Police Station in the city.

Road crash kills schoolteacher

A school teacher was killed in road accident on Benapole-Jessore highway in Benapole early yesterday.

Appeal for help

A war-maimed freedom fighter seeks financial assistance for his treatment as he is suffering from various complicated diseases, says a press release.

Mayor Mohiuddin goes to Bangkok for treatment tomorrow

Chittagong City Corporation Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury leave for Bangkok tomorrow for medical treatment.

National

Politicians, ward councillors among 36 terror-suspects in Rajshahi city

Police have prepared a list of 36 terror-suspects including some ward councilors and politicians in Rajshahi city as they might pose threats to holding of the upcoming Jatiya Sangsad elections peacefully.

Birshrestha Hamidur Rahman's death anniversary today

The 37th death anniversary of Birshrestha Hamidur Rahman will be observed today at the memorial complex built in honour of the great hero.

Food, water crisis aggravates in Kabodak basin areas

The inclement weather came as a severe blow to over two lakh people in Kabodak basin areas, as rains and waters from the swelled river aggravated the flood and inundated more areas.

'Don't allow war criminals in election'

Several hundreds students and cultural activists under banner of Sculpture Protection Forum yesterday staged a one hour sit-in demonstration on Rajshahi University (RU) campus demanding immediate re-installation of Baul sculptures at the airport roundabout in Dhaka.

UNDP to build 4,500 more houses for Sidr victims

UNDP has taken a plan to construct 4500 more disaster-resilient houses for badly affected people in eleven Sidr-hit districts in the south-western region by December 31 this year.

Reforms in land commission law soon: Debashish

Special Assistant to Chief Adviser Raja Debashish Roy at a consultation yesterday said the government is working to bring some reforms in land commission law in a month or two.

Plan to lease off shore oil blocks to foreign cos protested

Dinajpur district unit of National Oil, Gas, Minerals, Power and Port Protection Committee yesterday submitted a memorandum to Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner (DC) Md Nabiul Haque Mollah opposing a government decision to lease out nine offshore gas blocks to foreign business giants.

Noble gesture follows Daily Star report

A generous woman has donated Tk 10,000 for an acid attack victim day labourer in Nandail upazila.

BNP factions clash in Sirajganj: 20 hurt

At least 20 BNP men including Sirajganj Pourasabha mayor Nur-e- Alam were injured in a clash between supporters of orthodox and reformists at a party meeting held at Bhasani auditorium here Sunday night, party sources said.

Involve people in uplift plan

Speakers at a workshop on Active Participation by Different Stakeholders in ICDP Project held at CHT Development Board conference room yesterday stressed on people's participation in uplift programmes to accelerate the pace of development in the hilly region.

Storm kills one in B'baria

An elderly night guard of Brahmanbaria Chamber of Commerce and Industries died here yesterday as he fell from the roof of his office during storm.

International

Obama shackles McCain to Bush's shattered economic legacy

Barack Obama took aim at John McCain before record crowds on Sunday after his rival acknowledged sharing the same Republican party philosophy as unpopular President George W. Bush.

Taliban shoot down US chopper in Afghanistan

Insurgents shot down a US helicopter after exchanging fire with its crew in central Afghanistan on Monday, while a suicide bomber in the north killed two US soldiers inside a police station, officials said.

Pakistan, Afghanistan hold 'mini-jirga' on violence

Pakistani and Afghan officials and tribal leaders met for talks in Islamabad on Monday to find ways to end mounting Taliban and al-Qaeda violence along their troubled border.

Dalai Lama signals strategy shift with China

The Dalai Lama has opened the door to a tougher China policy following a complete lack of progress in talks on Tibetan autonomy with Beijing, aides and exiled Tibetan leaders said Monday.

ME peace efforts teetering, warns Palestinian PM

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad warned on Monday that peace efforts with Israel based on a two-state solution are teetering because of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Financial Times endorses Obama

The Financial Times, the respected business daily, endorsed Barack Obama on Monday to become the next US president, even though it prefers the trade policies of his Republican rival John McCain.

Obama leads McCain in Virginia by 8 points

Democrat Barack Obama has opened up an eight-point lead over his Republican rival John McCain in Virginia, a key battleground state in this election campaign, according to a new poll released Monday.

US refrains from making ground raids into Pakistan

The United States is refraining from using its special forces on Pakistani territory following a raid nearly two months ago that resulted in civilian casualties and vehement protests from Islamabad, The New York Times reported on its website late Sunday.

UN proposes more representation for Iraqi minorities

The United Nations on Monday proposed that 12 seats be reserved on Iraqi provincial councils for minority communities in elections to be held by the end of January, an Iraqi official said.

Maldives set for landmark presidential run-off today

The first-ever democratic presidential battle in the Maldives goes to a second round today, with Asia's longest serving leader facing his most outspoken critic, a former political prisoner.

2 Koreas hold military talks amid tension

Working-level military officers from North Korea and South Korea met Monday to discuss improving their lines of communication amid strained ties between the divided nations, officials said.

Thousands of protesters attack UN in E Congo

Thousands of protesters attacked the United Nations' eastern Congo headquarters yesterday, expressing anger that a UN peacekeeping force has been unable to protect them from a rebel attack that has forced tens of thousands to flee.

Israeli president clears way for snap polls

Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Monday that efforts to form a new government had failed, paving the way for snap elections that could turn on the future of the Middle East peace process.

Ethiopia agrees to Somalia pullback deal

Ethiopia's foreign ministry on Monday vowed to comply with a UN-sponsored deal signed a day earlier by rival Somali factions for a phased withdrawal of Ethiopian troops in Somalia.

Iraq hopes Syria raid won't harm relations

A senior Iraqi official says Iraq hopes that an alleged US raid into Syria will not harm Baghdad's relations with Damascus.

Taiwan to produce 300 cruise missiles

Taiwan plans to manufacture up to 300 cruise missiles, despite warming ties with rival China, it was reported Monday.

World's heaviest man marries

The world's heaviest man has tied the knot.

Five top Hizbul militants killed in Kashmir

In a setback to the Hizbul Mujahideen, five top terrorists of the outfit were shot dead on Monday in an encounter with army personnel in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Protest against Indian rule shuts down Kashmir

Shops, businesses and government offices closed across Indian-administered Kashmir on Monday as separatists called a general strike to mark the anniversary of the day Indian troops took control of the region in 1947.

Arts & Entertainment

Asian Art Biennale '08

Bangladeshi artist Reza Asad Al Huda Anupam's work “Black Line 1” got an Honourable Mention at the ongoing 13th Asian Art Biennale '08 organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Food and fun in Delhi

Culture and cuisine came together in a delightful mélange just the other day. Regaling a captivated audience were chefs from South Africa, Brazil and India Just a sample: Kalaripayattu (Kerala) dancers who fused martial dance, strikes, kicks, grapples. In one piece two dancers, armed with swords and shields took centre stage in a mock combat. The venue was the foyer of the Ashok Hotel, New Delhi and the organiser was the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

"SM Solaiman Pronodona Britti ‘08" goes to Kazi Toufikul Islam

To observe the sixteenth anniversary of the organisation, Theatre Art Unit (TAU) honoured young dramatist Kazi Toufikul Islam with SM Solaiman Pronodona Britti 2008 for his contribution to theatre.

Off camera: Babita

Babita is associated with the golden era of our cinema and she's still going strong. The glamorous Babita attained fame for her histrionic skills in films such as Satyajit Ray's “Ashoni Shanket”, Amjad Hossain's “Golapi Ekhon Train-e”, Subhash Dutta's “Arunodoy-er Agnishakkhi”, attaining numerous national and international awards.

ITI’s Theatre of the Nations held in China

“The Theatre of the Nations," the biggest international theatre festival in China, was held from October 16 to 26 in Nanjing, Jiangsu province amidst festivities, says a press release. This was the 31st session of the festival, which was founded by ITI in 1957.

Discussion and cultural show on World White Cane Day

On the occasion of the World White Cane day, the Green Disabled Foundation, (GDF) Sylhet organised a discussion and cultural programme at their office recently.

“Kheturi Festival”: A tradition spanning over four centuries

“Some render 'kirtan', some are immersed in 'puja', what links them all is their devotion to Lord Gaurango,” said Ramesh Chandra Das at Kheturi Dham.

“Meridian Channel-i Khudey Gaanraaj” tonight

The SMS round of popular talent hunt for children, "Meridian Channel-i Khudey Gaanraaj" starts from today. The contestants who have made it to this round are Aloka, Bela, Ananya, Shuchona, Parshi, Tuba, Jhuma, Priya, Shoron, Jewel, Niloy, Dibya, Raaj, Abhijit, Nafis, Omlan, Sodyo, Udoy and Imran.

Zeta Jones to star as Cleopatra

Catherine Zeta Jones is to star in a musical film about Cleopatra and her romance with Caesar and Mark Anthony, according to a report.

OP-ED

'Uncertainty will loom large over the reform initiatives after the election'

Hasanul Haq Inu is president of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD). He started his political career when he was a student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet). He was elected Buet unit general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League in 1969. A freedom fighter, Inu also played an important role in the historical mass upsurge in 1969. He organised the historical soldiers' revolt and mass upsurge against the military junta on November 7 in 1975. Inu was one of those who led the democratic movement against former military dictator H.M. Ershad from the forefront. Shariful Islam and Suranjith Deabnath took his exclusive interview.

Sher-e-Bangla: A natural leader

Dr. T.G. Spear of Cambridge University has divided leadership into five types: (1) natural, (2) charismatic, (3) rational, (4) of consensus, and (5) by force. According to him, the natural leader is selfless; he is, in fact, not interested in leadership. He exerts himself to the best of his ability and with all the sincerity and devotion under the sun without any expectation of reward. Because of his sincerity he is able to establish a personal bond between himself and his followers. Generally, the cause throws up such a leader, he takes to it like a duck to water.

The Bin Laden factor

The decision by Barack Obama to return to Hawaii to visit his ailing grandmother might not be the last surprise of the last fortnight of this campaign. Two weeks is an eternity in presidential politics, which means we're likely to have one more twist before this ends -- though with early voting, more than a quarter of the electorate now votes before Election Day.


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