The Daily Star

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


News of: Friday, 21st of November, 2008

Front Page

4-party says yes to JS polls on Dec 28

The BNP-led four-party alliance yesterday announced that it would take part in the parliamentary election if it is held on December 28 but maintained that the government must fulfil three of its key conditions before the polls.

97pc feel polls to be free, fair

An overwhelming 96 percent of people want to vote in the next parliamentary election and 86 percent feel that holding the polls on December 18 is very important for the nation, The Daily Star-Nielsen Election Opinion Poll 2008 revealed.

Grassroots sleep as BNP claims it fully prepared

BNP is yet to begin the process of picking contenders in the upcoming parliamentary election through grassroots level party committees across the country in line with the electoral laws and its own constitution.

10-day delay on if BNP joins polls

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday re-fixed the dates for scrutiny and withdrawal of applications for candidacy in the parliamentary and upazila elections.

AL may review list amid commotion

Awami League (AL) may review party nominations in a number of constituencies following AL grassroots' discontent with party picks and since the party now has the time to address the issue.

ACC's filing cases declared legal

The High Court (HC) yesterday ruled that the Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) permitting its officials to file a graft case against former lawmaker Habibur Rahman Mollah was legal.

Joint-graft venture in land unearthed

Irregularities by the land ministry in a housing project for its officials and distribution of plots violating cooperatives rules have caused a loss of Tk 81.3 lakh to the state, reveals an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Confusion over SC, HC orders on milk test

Complications have arisen over interpretation of the rulings delivered by the Supreme Court (SC) and the High Court (HC) about laboratory tests of powdered milk.

Vote out war criminals

The Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) yesterday urged people not to vote the war criminals and anti-liberation forces into parliament.

Hasina, Khaleda may attend Armed Forces Day reception

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia are likely to attend a reception for the Armed Forces Day today.

Khoka serves legal notice on CEC to lift bar on mayors

A legal notice was served on the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) yesterday by Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossian Khoka calling for rescinding the Election Commission's decision on barring mayors of city corporations from contesting the parliamentary elections.

All govt, pvt offices asked to appoint RTI staff by Dec 19

The government has asked all public and private offices covered by the Right to Information Ordinance 2008 to appoint officials within December 19 for providing information to people seeking it.

ACC to sue Zafarullah's wife, son

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved filing of separate cases against three people including Awami League (AL) presidium member Kazi Zafarullah's wife Nilufa Zafarullah and their son Kazi Omar Zafar in connection with concealing wealth information from the commission and amassing wealth illegally.

Govt should sit again for all-party polls

Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) Chairman Dr Akbar Ali Khan yesterday said the government should sit again with the political parties within 48 hours to ensure their participation in the upcoming polls.

US, UK hope for all-party elections

The United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) yesterday expressed the hope that the upcoming general elections in Bangladesh would be held with participation of all political parties as the Election Commission extended the deadline for nomination filing.

Microcredit brings shine to women

It was an amazing day for three women and an NGO as they got hold of recognition for their individual and organisational success and vision at a gala event in Dhaka yesterday.

Tigers made to follow on

Shakib Al Hasan's five-wicket haul failed to inspire the Bangladesh batsmen as they collapsed in their first innings and followed on in the first Test against South Africa on the second day at the OUTsurance Oval in Bloemfontein yesterday.

25 drugged in 24 hrs

At least 15 people fell victim to robbery by drugging during the last 24 hours in and around the capital.

US drone attacks intolerable: Gilani

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said yesterday that US drone attacks in Pakistani territory were "intolerable" as Islamabad lodged a protest with Washington over the latest strike while Pak jets and artillery killed 17 people in tribal area raid.

Somali pirates demand $25m for Saudi tanker

Somali pirates who hijacked Saudi oil super-tanker Sirius Star yesterday demanded 25 million dollars in ransom and set a 10-day deadline amid mounting calls for tougher action on sea bandits.

Scientists find new penguin, extinct for 500 years

Researchers studying a rare and endangered species of penguin have uncovered a previously unknown species that disappeared about 500 years ago.

Ex-MPs Lalu, Shahjahan get HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted three months' ad interim bail to former BNP lawmaker Helaluzzaman Talukder Lalu and former Jamaat-e Islami lawmaker Shahjahan Chowdhury.

Putin reassures Russia on economy

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday moved to reassure Russians over the growing financial crisis, vowing the government would do everything to prevent a repeat of the economic shocks of the 1990s.

Editorial

Election drama must end

BY the time this editorial appears in print, we expect that the issues centering on the holding of the December general elections will have been resolved to the satisfaction of the political parties and the caretaker government. It is our hope that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party will have decided on a course of action that will take account of the long-term future of Bangladesh's democracy. We have always believed that a principle of give and take should take centre stage in politics. A spirit of mutual accommodation should prevail in order for the national interest to triumph.

Corruption in government health sector

THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in its drive against institutional graft has revealed many a skeleton in the cupboards of public health care and family planning sectors. The scale and depth of corruption and malpractice encompassing 27 areas in different institutions under the health ministry that have been revealed make a sad tale of disservice to public healthcare. This is an eye-opener, if one were needed, to the deteriorating state of heath service in the country. This is not to say though, good, honest work is not done, but that seems rather outweighed by the price corruption exacts from the system.

Analysing love

AMERICAN songwriter Irving Berlin once wrote: "There may be trouble ahead, but while there is moonlight and music and love and romance, let us face the music and dance." If you read science, it throws cold water on that excitement.

The economic partition that still grounds us

IMAGINE, if you will, a nation unborn; the map of the Indian subconscious had the Indian subcontinent not been subdivided in 1947 and 1971.

Holding pattern

AMERICAN elections are a powerful drug: they bring delusions of omnipotence. Talk of "change" and "hope" demands swift action: "Do it now," "first six months," "hundred days."

Sports

A familiar collapse

In the end it was the same old pathetic story for the Tigers as the batsmen spoiled the good efforts of the bowlers on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at the OUTsurance Oval here on Thursday.

Kepler's wise words

It could have been much better if they didn't spill a few catches but still the Tigers earned the respect from their opponents for the first time in the tour. Captain Graeme Smith and former fast bowler Allan Donald came down heavily on the approach of Mohammad Ashraful's men but Neil McKenzie praised the visitors' bowling effort as a team after the first day's play despite only one success in their account.

Tariqul puts Barisal atop

Left-arm spinner Tariqul Islam snaffled up five wickets to give Barisal a resounding 222-run victory over Rajshahi in the sixth round of the National Cricket League at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium yesterday.

India make it 3-0

India crafted a 16-run win in the shortened third one-day international against England here on Thursday to go 3-0 up in the seven-match series.

Debut of a Diego kind

Maxi Rodriguez gave Diego Maradona a winning start as Argentina coach in a 1-0 victory over Scotland on Wednesday, and John Terry atoned for a blunder to lead England to a 2-1 victory over Germany.

BCB board of directors now official

The National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday officially announced the newly elected board of directors of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

Poor start for hockey team

The Bangladesh President XI suffered a huge 5-1 defeat in their opening match of the 45th Nehru Cup hockey tournament to Bharat Petroleum yesterday.

Men's team defeat Venezuela

Bangladesh men's team improved their position in the Open section of the 38th Chess Olympiad with a 2.5-1.5 win over Venezuela on Wednesday at Dresden, Germany.

Records roll for Smith

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith might have failed this time to make it a double, but his 157 in the first Test at the OUTsurance Oval on Thursday enabled him to become the highest run-getter against Bangladesh.

Terry-fic England

Germany coach Joachim Loew admitted England were simply better than his side as John Terry's late header sealed a 2-1 win for Fabio Capello's side.

Socceroos leave it late

Australia kept their 100 per cent World Cup qualifying record intact with a last-gasp 1-0 win over Bahrain on Wednesday while Group One rivals Japan secured a crucial 3-0 victory in Qatar.

Spain at the zenith

European champions Spain beat Chile 3-0 at the Madrigal stadium in an international friendly here on Wednesday to finish a marvellous year with yet another victory.

S Africa edge Cameroon

South Africa claimed a record-equalling fourth consecutive international victory Wednesday by edging Cameroon 3-2 in a Nelson Mandela Challenge thriller.

Theo out for 3 months

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed that Theo Walcott will be sidelined for at least three months after the England winger had surgery on his dislocated shoulder on Thursday.

Ballack likely to stay on

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is confident Germany midfielder Michael Ballack will commit his long-term future to the Premier League leaders.

Honduras, Mexico advance

Honduras defeated Mexico 1-0 with the help of an own goal on a waterlogged field Wednesday to advance in 2010 South Africa World Cup qualifying at the expense of Jamaica.

Mourinho's EPL medal sold at auction

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's Premier League winners' medal sold for 21,600 pounds (25,000 euros) at an auction in England on Wednesday.

Van Persie steers Holland

Arsenal star Robin van Persie scored twice as Holland beat Sweden 3-1 in a friendly international here on Wednesday.

Southee buries Australia

If Australia were expecting an easy follow-up to their tough tour of India, their hopes were dashed by Tim Southee within 40 minutes at the Gabba on Thursday. A super spell of swing bowling from Southee reduced Australia to 3 for 23 and, despite Michael Clarke's fighting 98, the green-tinged pitch and the discipline of New Zealand's seamers made scoring hard and ensured the visitors finished the day happy.

Pak PM assures India

Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani will assure his Indian counterpart top-level security will be given to India's cricket team to ensure they tour his country, a spokesman said Thursday.

Sunny slams Ponting

Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday hit back at Ricky Ponting for his "uncalled for" remarks that the former India captain was no angel in his hey-days, saying the Australian skipper's comments were an indication that his side was "rattled" to find a challenger in India.

Qadir made new chief selector

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday appointed former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir as head of its selection committee, an official said.

Business

Microcredit brings shine to women

It was an amazing day for three women and an NGO as they got recognition for their individual and organisational success and vision at a gala event in Dhaka yesterday.

Aluminium sector shows signs of recovery

The local aluminium sector shows signs of recovery from slack business, which was once hurt by a 30-40 percent cut in demand, according to industry insiders.

Industrial map on cards to woo investment

The Board of Investment (BoI) has recently drawn up an industrial map identifying special areas across the country for special industries mainly to attract foreign investment to those zones.

Oil price hits 3.5-year low

Oil prices dropped on Thursday, with Brent crude striking its lowest level for three and a half years close to 50 dollars a barrel in London as traders anticipated a protracted slump in energy demand.

Cost of doing business comes down 40pc

The newly constructed North Container Yard, with a capacity of storing 8400 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers in four high stacks at a time, was opened at Chittagong port yesterday.

Tk70cr sales forecast

The BCS ICT World 2008 sales have been projected to cross Tk70crore this time as most of the companies participating in the computer fair have offered discounts on their products, said organisers yesterday.

Repo hike meant for credit control: BB

The central bank has hiked repo and reverse repo rates to control rising credit flows to the unproductive sector, it said in a statement yesterday.

Call centre training institute launched

Hero Mindmine (HM), a subsidiary of Hero Corporate Service Limited of India, yesterday announced the launch of a call centre training institute in Dhaka.

Asia-Pacific ready to push ahead WTO talks

Twenty-one Asia-Pacific economies making up half of global trade are prepared to agree by next month on a formula to tear down tariff walls stalling global liberalization talks, a draft communique said yesterday.

Banglalink, EBL sign SME accord

Mobile phone operator Banglalink and Eastern Bank Limited signed an agreement yesterday on developing the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Step toward digital Bangladesh

She looked left and right in amazement. Her eyes were shining out of curiosity as she walked through the entrance. She was finally here. A place she always wished to come since the day she saw her abroad-living brother through a box saying, “Hi!”

Forefront in Bangladesh

In line with its commitment to help people and businesses realise their full potential, Microsoft has unveiled Forefront, Microsoft's latest range of Antivirus and IT security solutions in a bid to assist businesses to have improved and secured IT infrastructure. Forefront with its unique technological advantages has taken the Antimalware and Spam protection in a new height.

Global brings Brother

Brother, a world-renowned manufacturer of printing, communication and digital products, has started its journey in Bangladesh with GlobalBrand Pvt Ltd as its authorised distributor.

DSE stocks down, CSE up

Although Dhaka stocks closed slightly lower yesterday, an uncertainty about participation of all political parties in the national elections cast a shadow on the market.

World stocks dive

Global stock markets tumbled Thursday, with Tokyo losing nearly seven percent and European indices deep in the red after sharp overnight losses on Wall Street and amid a fresh wave of major job cuts.

US seeks $300b from Gulf states

The United States has asked four oil-rich Gulf states for close to 300 billion dollars to help it curb the global financial meltdown, Kuwait's daily Al-Seyassah reported Thursday.

GM launches 'product offensive' in China

US automaker General Motors has begun unveiling an unprecedented number of new models in China, where it has gone on the offensive as it faces bankruptcy at home.

Governments scramble to protect jobs as losses mount

Governments scrambled to cushion the impact of the finance crisis Thursday with France launching a sovereign wealth fund and China unveiling a jobs protection plan as the car industry made huge new cuts.

GE in talks with sovereign wealth funds

US industrial group General Electric (GE) is in talks with foreign sovereign wealth funds on a possible equity holding and joint operations, a senior executive said Thursday in a press report.

Metropolitan

CA seeks ADB support for agriculture

Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday praised the government's strong commitment to maintain macroeconomic stability and impressive economic progress despite setback caused by flood and cyclone Sidr and global economic recession.

Hasina for polls on Dec 18 with participation of all

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said general elections should be held on December 18 with the participation of all political parties.

Armed Forces Day today

The Armed Forces Day will be observed today with due enthusiasm and solemnity, marking the inception of the national military in war-field during the liberation war.

LG Commission framing policies to strengthen local govt bodies

The newly formed Local Government (LG) Commi-ssion is formulating policies to strengthen the local government institutions, as a comprehensive reform recipe is under implementation.

'Boycott war criminals in polls'

Speakers at a memorial meeting yesterday called on the countrymen to boycott war criminals in the next general and local government elections to create a real democratic environment in the society and recognise the women's rights.

'Write objective history of liberation war'

Speakers at a book publication ceremony yesterday called on freedom fighters to write an objective history of the liberation war.

Govt considering options to appoint candidates: Adviser

The government is considering three options to appoint candidates who passed the 27th BCS exams at first but were dropped from the list of successful candidates as per its second phase result, Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman said last night.

Physiotherapy should be provided at every medical college

Speakers at a national workshop yesterday said physiotherapy treatment should be provided at every medical college, specialised institutes and different public and private hospitals as the number of patients require physiotherapy has been increasing day by day.

Agitating people lay siege to fake company, 5 held

Hundreds of men and women from several villages of Shahzadpur upazila in Sirajganj district yesterday laid siege to a fake company demanding their payments.

All parties should take part in nat'l elections

Awami League leader Advocate Abdul Hamid yesterday said all political parties should take part in the upcoming election for the sake of greater interest of the nation and to safeguard democracy.

Reformulation of attorney service ordn okayed

The council of advisers of the caretaker government yesterday approved reformulation of the government attorney service ordinance 2008 to introduce attorney services in the district-level public prosecution system.

CA asks officials to start work of nat'l dairy board

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday asked the concerned officials to fast-track the activities of National Dairy Development Board after completing its formation process within the shortest possible time to increase the production of milk and meat in the country.

BSF agrees to end tension along Zakiganj border

Indian BSF officials yesterday agreed to take measures to end tension along the Zakiganj border over the deployment of additional troops.

Five injured in CU BCL factional clash

Five activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Chittagong University (CU) unit were injured in an intra-party clash over a trifle on the university campus yesterday.

70pc repair of Meghna Bridge complete

Seventy percent repair work of Meghna Bridge on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway has already been completed and the remaining work will be finished within the stipulated time, says an official handout yesterday.

FSB donates Tk 50,000 for FF Karuna's treatment

Leaders of Forum for Secular Bangladesh (FSB) and Trial of War Criminals of 1971 visited ailing freedom fighter Karuna Begum at Dhaka Medial College Hospital yesterday and donated Tk 50,000 for her treatment, say a press release.

Dipshikha school celebrates Aga Khan award

The villagers of Rudrapur in Dinajpur along with international dignitaries yesterday celebrated a colourful day over the Dipshikha school's winning of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2007 on the school premises.

2 brothers stabbed to death in Barguna

Two brothers were stabbed to death by close relatives in a dispute over harvesting paddy in Barguna yesterday.

Sunil Mela begins today

Sunil Mela, a fair marking the 75th birth anniversary of noted litterateur Sunil Gangopadhya, will begin today at Maizpara under Kalkini upazila in Madaripur, says a press release.

BOU SSC results published

The final results of SSC first and second year examination-2007 under Bangladesh Open University (BOU) were published yesterday.

HC asks govt to allow Mayor Mohiuddin to go to S Arabia

The High Court yesterday asked the government to allow Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury to go to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj.

Monindra demands judicial probe

Chairman of Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) Monindra Lal Tripura yesterday demanded judicial inquiry into the 'false' case filed against him to harass him politically.

Ruet admission test on Monday

The admission test for the first year of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) under academic session 2008-09 will be held on Monday.

Peacekeepers' team off to Congo, Darfur

Some 265 police personnel will join the UN peacekeeping missions in Congo and Darfur, replacing two contingents of MONUC and BANFPU-1.

Letters

Those chaotic days

It will be an interesting exercise to go back to the period prior to 1/11. The political atmosphere was charged with extreme confrontation, injustice and intolerance. The BNP appointed Justice Aziz as Chief Election Commissioner. The EC embarked upon the 'solemn duty' of election engineering. Thirteen million false voters were registered and 500 crore of taxpayers' money was reportedly ill-spent by them. The scenario was set for sure victory of the BNP-Jamaat alliance. Driven to the wall, the Awami League and other tormented and aggrieved political parties acted in the interest of themselves, country and common people. They formed an alliance and started agitation. The political sky was filled with high octane and we witnessed the rest of the events.

Lesson for Bangladesh

“After Barack Obama's win it is now statistically more probable for the child of a decent Bangladeshi citizen to be President of the United States of America than to be Prime Minister of Bangladesh.”

Election and voters' list

The sky is gradually getting clear. The EC is not fully ready to hold the election . Their prestigious voter listing with foreign aid has become a big hurdle now as reported in the media. Right from the day one I was sceptical about the success of the preparation of electoral rolls and national ID card. Nobody could speak about its limitations due to the state of emergency. The foreign sponsors never told us about the problem we might face. They told us about "gold standard" of the voter listing with photos. Not to speak of the NID, the voters' list with photos will not be available to all participants in the election. Nobody knows what is in store for us and whether this voter list would become redundant when the election will be held (?) The EC is talking about their affidavit to the SC. But there is no real basis one can stand on.

Morality and materialism

Zakaria's letter on the subject published on 14 November is thought provoking. He quoted Pope Benedict's warning against materialism, and the extremist nature of modern culture, which was subsequently analysed, giving Zakaria's interpretation of it.

Mobile phones

Nowadays cell phones are a part & parcel of modern communication system. People, obviously feel very easy to communicate with others, if necessary. In our country we are fortunate to have some very good names in Mobile Telecommunication Sector. A number of mobile servicing points have also been established under the supervision of mobile companies. People are to visit these points if they find any trouble with their mobile. But the role of the most servicing points is simply not reliable. They make customers one way, but act quite differently. As a result, customers don't get proper service.

Hide and seek!

The whole nation has been waiting for a non-violent and good enough election for more than two years. After the creation and reformation of the caretaker government(s), we considered genially that it would conduct a fair election. In the primitive stage, providentially, the government was stronger than the working political parties. But for unknown reasons, especially in the last few months, the government seems to be weaker or even helpless. Besides, the bargaining power of the political leaders is increasing tremendously. They started to impose conditions, one after another. Now the nation observes a 'hide and seek' game between the government's (implicit) spokesperson and party's representatives. It is not comprehensible to us what they want to make us understand, or really what's going on behind the screen. The stand of the parties should be clear; their agenda should be explicable to mass people.

Unsuccessful IPO candidates

I appreciate the letter of Mr. Sikander Ahmed, Niketon, Gulshan-1, Dhaka published on 14 November 2008. Being NRBs we have also applied for IPOs, but we do not find any way to know our IPO status. The IPO result which is published shows some code Nos. displayed by the computers such as Lottery Serial, Bank-Branch Code, Bank Serial No. I could say it is incomplete as it is unable to meet the requirements of the applicants. Obtaining information in any way is troublesome and time consuming even sometimes impossible if the authorities do not make it simple, easy and proper. Allotment is uncertain; refund is unknown as if it were the mercy of the authorities to offer these services. I would like to suggest some points to the authorities concerned:

Prices of bread & biscuit

A few months back price of wheat rose sharply in international as well as local markets. We experienced the same phenomenon in case of sugar and edible oil. These are the basic ingredients of making bread and biscuit.

News headlines

Very often we find some deceiving headlines in some Bangladeshi Bangla newspapers.

Parjatan and Barisal

Surprisingly and unfortunately, Barisal a divisional headquarters and gateway to the South-- does not have a state owned Parjatan Hotel. There is hardly any hotel of international standard worth mentioning. The only hotel in the heart of the city is not up to the standard and lacks all the basic amenities. The importance of Barisal has increased manifold over the last couple of years. The flow of travellers has increased significantly. The govt. Circuit House always remains occupied and cannot cater to the needs of the growing number of visitors. It is really disappointing and a shame that the city is yet to have a modern hotel. The land of Sher-e-Bangla, Ashwini Kumar, Poet Jibananda Das and Poet Mukund Das is a land of mesmerizing and stunning beauty.

Arsenal disappoints

Arsene Wenger was full of confidence that his team would do very well this year before the start of the EPL, much to the doubt of millions of fans. Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and even a few mid-level clubs bought some very famous players to add to their club's strength, but Arsene Wenger decided to stick to his young team without any big star.

Do politicians understand ?

Our respected and venerable intelligentsia are screaming nearly for 24 hours on TV and writing hundreds of articles foretelling that we are at a crossroads; passing through a critical time; moving towards the darkest phase of our history etc. Whenever my good luck prevails I take the opportunity to listen to some of the dire forewarnings about the bleakest future of our country.( I am not sarcastic but after listening to them for a while future seems to be really bleak to me). The problem is I have an uncanny feeling that whatever the host and guest of these talk shows predict, the people concerned--the politicians --do not bother at all. May be they do not have enough time to watch TV or read newspapers. But their deputy-cronies (cronies of cronies) should have informed them about what these respected people are trying to pass on .In the Holy Quran, Allah has termed some people as deaf, dumb and blind since they would never take the right path. Unfortunately, I find a lot of similarity between the people mentioned in the Holy Book and our politicians.

Anti-poverty campaign

I am in receipt of a copy of Choyon - a tri-monthly magazine (July-September 2008 issue) edited by Poet Lily Haq. I am not sure about the spelling of her name, though.

International

Pakistan fired on rebels on Afghan border: Nato

Pakistan fired on militants who attacked a Nato outpost on the Afghan border, the alliance said yesterday, an example of the cooperation seen as vital against the rising power of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Lankan troops squeeze Tiger territory

Sri Lanka's government said yesterday its troops have smashed through a key Tamil Tiger defence line in the far north of the island, putting fresh pressure on the rebels' shrinking jungle mini-state.

Taliban threaten revenge attacks inside Pakistan

A Pakistani Taliban commander warned yesterday there would be reprisals by militants across the country if the US carried out further drone attacks in the tribal territory.

Pakistan army chief vows to keep Nato supply line open

Pakistan's army chief vowed Wednesday to keep Nato's supply line to Afghanistan open and reaffirmed support for the alliance's mission there, a senior Nato officer said.

Iraqi parliament likely to approve US pact

Iraq's parliament appeared likely to approve a comprehensive US military pact that would see all troops leave by the end of 2011 despite a loud and contentious debate of the measure yesterday.

Red Sea nations in emergency talks on Somali piracy

Arab Red Sea states were holding an emergency meeting in Cairo on Thursday to discuss the threat of piracy off Somalia, with Egypt saying all options were on the table to deal with the growing crisis.

Jordan king meets Abbas after 'secret' Israeli talks

Jordan's King Abdullah II held talks yesterday with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas two days after Israeli leaders made a clandestine visit to the kingdom, a senior Jordanian official said.

IAEA makes little headway on Syria, Iran

The UN atomic watchdog on Wednesday reported scant progress in its investigations into alleged suspect nuclear activities in both Iran and Syria.

Obama taps Daschle to lead health drive

Barack Obama picked former Senate leader Tom Daschle to end the US healthcare crisis and stocked his White House staff with loyal campaign aides, as new contenders emerged Thursday for key cabinet posts.

'Hallucinating' Pak scientist unfit for US trial

A US judge on Wednesday ordered further psychiatric evaluation for a Pakistani woman he says is mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges of attempted murder of US officers in Afghanistan.

37pc polling recorded in Chhattisgarh assembly polls

About 37 per cent of the electorates exercised their franchise by 1330 hours this afternoon in the final phase of polling in Chhattisgarh for 51 assembly seats.

Int'l Space station celebrates 10th anniversary

Nasa couldn't have staged it any better: 10 people in orbit for Thursday's 10th anniversary of the world's most elaborate and expensive housing project, the international space station.

Myanmar activist follows dad, grandfather to jail

A court in military-ruled Myanmar sentenced a student activist to 6 1/2 years in jail on Wednesday, a week after his father received a 65-year prison term for his own political activities and a decade after his grandfather died in custody.

Nobel winners highlight edn as tool for peace

Thirty-one Nobel Peace Prize winners urged world leaders yesterday to devote more attention to an estimated 37 million children who live in conflict-affected countries and cannot go to school.

S Koreans float more propaganda leaflets into North

South Korean activists sent propaganda leaflets over the border Thursday into North Korea, ignoring their own government's pleas to stop the practice and threats from the North to sever relations if it continues.

Rebels fighting pro-govt militia in DR Congo

Fighting broke out yesterday between Laurent Nkunda's rebel force and pro-government militia in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo, several sources reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Fellow artistes perform songs of the mix-master

“Fuad Live,” a grand music event, featuring live performances of songs composed, re-arranged and mixed by Fuad al Muqtadir, was held at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre on November 19.

Friends and well-wishers reminisce on Sanjeeb Chowdhury

On the first death anniversary of singer-activist-journalist Sanjeeb Chowdhury, his band-mates (of Dolchhut) honoured his memories through releasing a music album titled "Tukro Kotha: A tribute to Sanjeeb Chowdhury." The album was unveiled at Coffee House, Elephant Road on November 19.

OP-ED

Vital reforms ignored!

IN his interview published in the Daily Star of November 18, Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, Professor Emeritus of Dhaka University, has urged reduction of the government tenure from 5 years (as it is now) to 4 years. This is a vital electoral reform that the caretaker government missed introducing during the interim period that it got since 1/11. This missing out is unfortunate, because this very simple and easy-to-implement reform could have had a very significant positive effect on the country's politics.

Emerging priorities

BANGLADESH is no longer the marginal, poverty-ridden basket-case on the global economic stage as it perhaps was three decades ago. It is the 9th largest country in the world in terms of population, and the 58th largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP.

The language of business people

I used to wonder what it would be like to work for a billionaire. Then I met three people who did -- or at least, they did until last month, when two of them were sacked.


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