The Daily Star

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Saturday, August 2, 2014


News of: Sunday, 23rd of November, 2008

Front Page

Fresh schedules today to break polls deadlock

The Election Commission (EC) will announce fresh dates for the parliamentary and upazila elections today.

Legally Tac can act, morally should not

The moral right of the government to move along the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) has great weakened by obtaining stay on a High Court (HC) verdict that declared Tac illegal and unconstitutional, say intellectuals and civil society members.

Call to increase regional interconnectivity

Former diplomats have suggested that the next elected government formulate a foreign policy prioritising regional connectivity for economic growth, impacts of climate change, international labour market, energy crisis and access of Bangladeshi products to global market.

CG to consider its last power bid

With some success and some failure in its bag in the last two years, the cabinet purchase committee of the caretaker government this week will consider approval of its last power scheme -- the 50-megawatt Sikalbaha rental power project.

Prices shoot up locally; drop 50pc abroad

While edible oil prices came down by around 50 percent in the international market in the recent times, prices of both brand and non-brand edible oil witnessed a sharp rise in the local market.

Anti-graft drive may lose steam

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury fears that under an elected government it might not be possible for them to continue the anti-graft drive the way they did in the last two years.

AL, allies blast Zillur over talks failure remark

The Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance yesterday blasted Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman for making 'false statement' on why the caretaker government had failed to negotiate a deferment of the general election.

Hasina talks to leaders denied AL ticket

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday held talks with some party leaders who were denied nomination and assured them of reviewing their appeals.

TIB for EC power to cancel poll candidature

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) thinks that Section 91(e) of the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 2008 empowering the Election Commission (EC) to take measures against the candidates for violating the code of conduct should not be cancelled.

Defaulted loans go up 37pc in PCBs

Defaulted loans with private commercial banks (PCBs) increased by 37 percent in nine months till September with the rate of rise being the highest in the last three months due to excessive disbursement of low quality loans.

BNP cannot prepare as demands not met

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said his party's preparation for the upcoming parliamentary election is hindered as the government is yet to meet their demands.

BNP asks allies for names of poll aspirants

BNP yesterday asked its allies to provide it with the names of their prospective candidates for the upcoming parliamentary election.

Govt mulls further cut in fuel prices

The government will further reduce the petroleum prices if downturn in prices continues on the international market.

15 hurt as students clash with traders

At least 15 people were injured in clashes between Dhaka College students and traders of an adjoining market over a trivial incident in the city yesterday.

Pro-AL lawyers sweep Bar Council polls

Sammilito Ainjibi Samannoy Parishad (SASP), a forum of pro-Awami League lawyers, unofficially won 12 posts out of 14 in the Bangladesh Bar Council election held Thursday.

UN panel due today to see preparations for JS election

A 3-member high-level panel established by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will arrive here today on a weeklong visit to evaluate the preparations of the upcoming parliamentary polls.

Tigers crash to innings defeat

Dale Steyn claimed his ninth five-wicket haul as Bangladesh crashed to an innings and 129-run defeat against South Africa in the first Test at the OUTsurance oval on Saturday.

Obama plans to create 2.5m jobs

President-elect Barack Obama yesterday outlined his plan to create 2.5 million jobs in coming years to rebuild roads and bridges and modernise schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.

US missile kills terror plot mastermind

The alleged al-Qaeda mastermind of a 2006 transatlantic airplane bombing plot was killed in a US missile attack in northwest Pakistan early yesterday, officials told AFP.

Crowley hopes for all-party, fair polls

US Congressman Joseph Crowley has expressed the hope that Bangladesh's general elections will be held in a free and fair manner with participation of all political parties.

Outlaws kill businessman

A businessman was shot dead by the operatives of outlawed Gono Mukti Fouz (GMF) at Ratulpara village in Sadar upazila of the district Friday night.

3 robbers beaten to death

Three suspected robbers were beaten to death by a mob at Baligaon village in Kaliganj upazila of Gazipur Friday night.

Somali pirates vow to resist any assault on super-tanker

Somali pirates holding an oil-laden Saudi super-tanker will fight back should any military intervention to free the ship be attempted, a member of the pirate group told AFP yesterday.

Editorial

Sheikh Hasina and Begum Zia meet !

IT is quite a statement on our political realities when news comes in that Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia have finally met each other and have exchanged pleasantries. But that is what they, as the foremost political personalities of the country, are supposed to be doing anyway. That they have not met or have not talked for a long time in the way modern politicians should is an embarrassment not only for them but for all of us in this country as well. It is only normal practice for politicians of their stature to be in constant contact with each other and keep themselves in touch with the objective realities around them. The fact that screaming newspaper headlines greet readers about their rare meetings only shows the levels of poverty to which politics has sunk in Bangladesh. And poverty is in the way the chiefs of the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party have effectively transformed adversarial politics into deep personal animosity.

Export of jute products in crisis

THE jute industry faces a fresh spate of problems stemming from a fallout of the global financial meltdown. The recessive trends have triggered a fall in the demand and prices of jute products. The price of jute goods have decreased by about 15 percent. With higher cost of production entailed by our industry, the falling international price has turned out to be a double jeopardy. Many jute mills are having to suspend production while others are incurring losses by selling their products at prices that do not even cover costs.

Is spring ahead?

THERE has always been a raging debate on the primacy of politics over development. With the transition of mankind over the ages that brought about enlightenment, making life easier, and now ushering in globalisation and the ascendancy of an economic philosophy that puts freedom of capital over the interest of the society, the debate continues whether development and democratic pluralism cannot be fellow travelers on the same train.

Changing face of 'Obamarica'

AS president-elect Barack Obama selects his cabinet in preparation to hit the ground running, Americans are adjusting to the expectation that things will be different and better come inauguration day in January.

Sports

Batters poor, bowlers okay

The crushing defeat handed to the Bangladesh team at the OUTsurance Oval in the first Test of the two-match series was hardly unexpected. What was difficult was finding the answer to the question of whether there had been any improvement from six years ago, which was when the Tigers toured the country last.

The coaches' coach

His playing days may have ended too soon, but Andrew Zesers knows enough to suggest a growth among the country's cricket coaches.

Defeat & disgrace

Mohammad Ashraful's men had a squabble with the Bangladeshi supporters after their innings and 129-run defeat against the Protaes at the OUTsurance Oval here on Saturday.

Asif fires to two gold medals

Asif Hossain Khan returned to winning ways and started the 4th South Asian Shooting Championship in Islamabad brilliantly after winning two gold medals on the opening day yesterday.

Dismal Zimbabwe

Two days after a senior ICC delegation turned up to assess Zimbabwe's suitability for a return to Test cricket the country's batsmen ruined everything by cobbling together only 67 runs in a backs-to-the-wall 31 overs against Sri Lanka here Saturday.

Katich sets the path

Simon Katich became the first Australian to carry his bat in a Test for more than a decade and set Australia on the path towards victory at the Gabba. New Zealand were barely in the hunt at stumps on the third day but Ross Taylor gave them a glimmer of hope in their chase of 327, which after they stumbled to 4 for 49 must have seemed as attainable as an Oscar for Paris Hilton.

Local Snippets

Bachelors Sporting Club played out a 2-2 draw with Barnak Samaj in the only match of the Green Delta First Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

59m euros for Buffon!

Manchester City are preparing to make a world record 50 million pound (59m euros) bid to sign Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, The Times reported on Saturday.

Fans first for Juve

Juventus unveiled final plans for their new stadium on Thursday, which this time will be all about the Serie A club's fans.

Keane slams food habits

Sunderland manager Roy Keane has attacked footballers from Ireland and Scotland for eating and drinking "rubbish".

Gallas loses captaincy

William Gallas was fighting for his Arsenal future on Friday after reports emerged that he had been stripped of the captaincy and dropped for Saturday's trip to Manchester City.

Robinson returns to Spurs

Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson returns to Tottenham on Sunday with his confidence only just restored after the nightmare end to his time at White Hart Lane.

Tevez going to Real

Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez will be a Real Madrid player next season, the Marca sports daily reported on Friday.

Gunners want compensation

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said on Friday that the Gunners should be compensated by the Football Association for the injury sustained by Theo Walcott on England duty this week.

Kinnear invites Shearer

Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear has invited St James' Park legend Alan Shearer to learn the coaching ropes alongside him at the struggling English Premier League club.

Skipper offers to resign?

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has reportedly offered to resign from the high-profile post following paceman Rudra Pratap Singh's exclusion from the ODI team but the BCCI vehemently denied the development.

More scans for Ryan

England have sent left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom for a new scan on his lower back as they seek to determine the extent of his injury problem.

Tail wagged: Martin

Two costly dropped catches on the third day basically ended New Zealand's chances of toppling Australia, but Chris Martin, the fast bowler, still held out hope of a "little miracle" despite his side losing six second-innings wickets. Opener Simon Katich was missed twice before Australia's lead reached 230 and they went on to set the visitors an unlikely 327 for victory.

Tsotsobe only new cap

Left-arm pace bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe was Saturday named in a 15-man South African squad for a three-Test series in Australia next month.

Jeetan recalled for Adelaide

The offspinner Jeetan Patel will join New Zealand's squad for the second Test starting in Adelaide on Friday. Patel has been named to replace the fast bowler Kyle Mills, who missed out on a spot at the Gabba and will be released so he can play in the State Championship for Auckland this week.

Business

Syndicated bank loans on a roll

Bangladesh's syndicated loan market is growing fast, as more private local banks in a group have come forward to lend different organisations because of the less risk in such banking product, according to bankers.

Janata plans to raise Tk 100cr in IPO

State-owned Janata Bank plans to raise Tk 100 crore from capital market through initial public offering (IPO) next year in a bid to strengthen its capital base.

Yarn prices decline on global slump

Prices of yarn declined in the local market, helped by falling cotton prices in the international market, manufacturers said.

Bush urges Apec pledge to free markets

US President George W Bush yesterday urged Asia-Pacific leaders at a summit in Peru to rely on "the power of free markets" to bolster long-term growth in the face of the global economic crisis.

CNG refuelling stations to face shutdown in case of cheating

A government functionary has warned stringent punitive measures against the unscrupulous compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling stations cheating consumers by giving less quantum of gas and charging extra.

24 CCCI directors elected unopposed

Twenty-four directors of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) were primarily elected unopposed yesterday for a two-year term (2009-2010).

Oil plunges, gold shines

Oil prices collapsed this week below $50, their lowest levels in almost four years, as the market focussed on the threat of a global recession and tumbling energy demand.

Lanka's Jan-Sept trade gap narrows

Sri Lanka's trade deficit narrowed during the nine months to September, as a slowdown in the global economy hurt export sales, official data showed Saturday.

Local T-shirts all the rage

It was rather paying tribute than making any business at the beginning.

Light in the heart of darkness

There are numerous unflattering epithets for Africa, of course the most prominent of which is the 'heart of darkness', from the eponymous novel by Joseph Conrad. The dark history of apartheid in South Africa, the scare of yellow fever in Central Africa, the 60 percent HIV prevalence in Swaziland (highest in the world), the horrific genocides of Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, mass starvations in Sudan are just a few headlines that define our perception of Africa -- the so-called 'dark continent'. So when a couple of months back I was invited by the International Trade Center (ITC), a Geneva-based UN organisation dedicated to promoting exports from developing countries, to attend a services exporters network meeting in South Africa's commercial capital Johannesburg, I immediately accepted. The lure of Africa -- the mystique, the fear, the legacy -- was overwhelming.

Stocks pass bearish week

Dhaka stocks witnessed a downtrend last week with most investors remaining cautious, driven by a mix of reasons, including uncertainty over the upcoming national election.

Singapore's Temasek to cut pay

Singapore's Temasek Holdings, one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, says it will cut staff salaries in the face of a global economic slowdown.

German HSH Nordbank gets 30b euros in state guarantees

HSH Nordbank announced it had obtained up to 30 billion euros (38.5 billion dollars) in loan guarantees from the German government as part of a national rescue plan for the banking sector.

Air China reports $454m in fuel hedge contract losses

Flag carrier Air China said Saturday it was facing fuel hedging contract losses of up to 454 million dollars at the end of October as global oil prices tumbled, state press said.

Nikon lays off 1,500 in Thailand as demand slumps

Japanese camera-maker Nikon has laid off 1,500 sub-contractors in Thailand, a government official confirmed Saturday, after a fall in demand put down to the global financial crisis.

Wall Street breaks slump

Wall Street staged a stunning late rebound Friday in another tumultuous day for global markets that saw heavy losses in Europe amid growing concerns over a grim global economic outlook.

Weekly Currency Roundup

November 16-November 20, 2008
Local FX Market

This week, the market was a little and the US dollar rose slightly against the Bangladesh taka. There was ample demand for dollar in the market.

Metropolitan

Make human development an enterprise of all humanity

Make human development an enterprise of all humanity, said Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of Brac, at a lecture in the city yesterday.

'Regional cooperation a must for development'

Cultural Affairs Adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury yesterday said mutual understanding and cooperation among the South Asian countries would have to be increased through creating a congenial political atmosphere in order to bolster the economic development of this region.

EC forms body to finalise media code of conduct

The Election Commission will finalise a code of conduct for the mass media with suggestions from media personalities for the objective coverage of news during the upcoming elections.

'No need for powdered milk for babies'

Reiterating the importance of breastfeeding for the children, experts at a roundtable yesterday declared that there is no need for powdered milk for the babies

18 politicians join BNP

A total of 18 politicians, including three former ministers and six lawmakers and leaders of Jatiya Party, Progressive Democratic Party and Awami League, joined the BNP yesterday.

Secy directs to complete work before Dec 16

Housing and Public Works Secretary ASM Rashidul Hai yesterday visited the site of Bijoy Sarnai-Tejgaon link road and asked the officials concerned to complete necessary work for its inauguration on December 16.

CS Karim meets FAO DG

Agriculture and Water Resources Adviser and leader of Bangladesh delegation to the 35th special session of FAO, Dr CS Karim, met FAO Director General Dr Jacques Diouf on the sideline of the session on Friday.

Training on journalism for ethnic youths ends

A three-day training on basic journalism for ethnic youths with a view to ensure their representation in media and facilitate better coverage of the groups in mainstream media concluded at Modhupur in Tangail on Friday, says a press release.

Biman cancels a direct Hajj flight from Sylhet

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has cancelled one of the two direct flights for non-balottee Hajj pilgrims from Sylhet Osmani International Airport, said an official yesterday.

Police teams off to Congo, Darfur

Two contingents of 195 police personnel left Dhaka on Friday night to join the United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Congo (MONUC) and Darfur (BANFPU-1).

Students protest teachers' class boycott programme

The students of Tangail Textile Institute vandalised the principal's room, library, yarn and jute spinning sheds on the campus yesterday protesting the indefinite class boycott programme of teachers.

Policeman, fugitive injured in gunfight

A sub-inspector of Araihazar Police Station and a convicted fugitive were injured in a gunfight between the police and criminals at Baghhata village in Narsingdi on Friday night.

Rab arrests six on charges of robbery

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested six members of a gang in connection with a Mohammadpur house robbery on Thursday and recovered some booty from their possession.

Firearms, 300 phensidyl bottles seized

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized three firearms, and 300 bottles of phensidyl and 700 grams of ganja in separate drives in Comilla and in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

Call to make selection of polls observers transparent

National Alliance for Election Monitoring (Naem) yesterday called on the Election Commission (EC) to make public the guidelines for the selection of election observers.

ISA registers with EC under new name

Islami Shasantantra Andolon (ISA) has been registered with the Election Commission (EC) under a new name -- Islami Andolon Bangladesh (IAB).

DU health economics admission test now on Jan 2

The admission test of the Post Graduate Diploma in Health Economics (PDGHE) programme of the Institute of Health Economics of Dhaka University (DU) will be held on January 2, 2009 instead of November 28, 2008.

National

Hakaluki haor getting back bio-diversity

Hakaluki Haor, one of the largest wetlands in the country, is getting back its bio-diversity following various programmes implemented by the Department of Environment (DoE).

Grassroots AL oppose fielding 'unpopular' men in 7 JS seats in Barisal division

Awami League (AL) grassroots leaders and activists have demanded that party high command cancel nomination in seven constituencies in Barisal division.

Media can play more effective role for free, fair polls

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said the media can play a more effective role to ensure a free and fair election by unveiling the misdeeds of musclemen and black money holders.

480 of 811 polling centres in Bogra district risky

Bogra district election office declared 480 of the 811 polling centres in seven constituencies in the district as risky for the upcoming general election.

Rift in 4-party alliance in Pabna as Jamaat demands 3 seats

The rift between four-party alliance partners BNP and Jamaat in Pabna district is widening as Jamaat wants alliance tickets in three seats for the upcoming parliament election.

Ticket deprived AL man to vie as 'independent'

Khagrachhari district Awami League (AL) secretary Mohammad Zahidul Alam yesterday declared his candidature as an independent candidate.

KHDC Chairman Monindra wants 4-party alliance ticket

Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) chairman Monindra Lal Tripura yesterday expressed his intention to contest the upcoming polls with BNP led-4 party alliance ticket.

2 outlaws arrested in Sirajganj

Police arrested two fugitive members of the outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) at Jhotibari village in Kamarkhanda upazila yesterday.

25 shops gutted in Panchagarh

At least 25 shops were gutted in a devastating fire that broke out at Tepokharia Bazar in Boda upazila in Panchagarh yesterday afternoon.

2 killed in Rajshahi

Two persons were killed in separate incidents in Puthia and Godagari upazilas yesterday.

Letters

Congratulations to Hasina and Khaleda

We are pleased to see Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia together and having a conversation at Sena Kunja Program. It happened after two years. The nation always expects to see such scenes. Congratulations to Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia!

Melamine free powder milk

We agree that there is no substitute of breast-feeding for human baby. But in practice when a baby does not get enough milk, we have to arrange for supplementary food suitable for a baby. Cow's milk is the best supplementary baby food known to us. In Bangladesh scarcity of cow's milk is an established fact. The government has imposed excess customs duty, VAT and supplementary duty to encourage production of milk in the country but in last two decades no significant development has been achieved. Very insignificant quantity of milk is produced here.

End of a corrupt politician?

Recently visa of former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been revoked by the British government. He is reportedly heading towards the Philippines which announced that they will refuse him entry to Philippines. It seems that Thaksin is looking for a safe place to live. Warrant has been issued by the Thai government for his arrest.

Political activities and traffic jam

Last Friday evening as I was taking a stroll near GEC crossing, the nerve-centre of Chittagong town, I came across a number of buses loaded with political workers. Though it was a holiday the presence of so many buses created a traffic congestion in that area. Those who sat on the roof of those buses were chanting slogans in chorus, thereby causing noise pollution. The event was occasioned by the arrival of the chairperson of a major political party.

Melamine in milk?

Following detection of melamine in milk powder some imported brands of powdered milk have been tested and presence of melamine in them has been confirmed. But what about the locally produced milk powders and various brands of condensed milk?

Tigers & Smith's comments

This is in reference to the sports article dated 11Nov08 where it was reported that the Tigers were angered by the South African Captain's (Smith) comments. In my personal view, Smith was absolutely right. The so-called Tigers should learn how to take criticism in a positive and constructive way and improve on their game. Winning one game once in a blue moon does not show any signs of improvement or prove anything. I think the Tigers should stop crying about Smith's comments, get their acts together and start producing results because this indeed is not good for cricket.

Thakurgaon Airport

Thakurgaon is one of the northern districts of Bangladesh. It is beside Panchagarh, the northern-most district of Bangladesh. There is an airport in Thakurgaon but most of us do not know about that. The airport is located at Shibganj in Thakurgaon. During the 80's it was used as a domestic airport. But afterwards, for the lack of air passengers and maintenance facilities it was closed down. But now the situation has changed. The income level and standard of living of Thakurgaon people have improved considerably. Their capability in earning has also increased. Normally it takes eight hours to go to Dhaka by bus. It also takes many hours to go by railway. So, the local people feel the reopening of the airport. It is to be mentioned here that Thakurgaon is a district of economic possibilities and opportunities, therefore it is expected that the respective authorities will take necessary steps to make the airport ready for operation.

Dual policy?

After a prolonged hunger strike, candidates of the 27th BCS first time successful have got an assurance from the government concerning their re-recruitment. Meanwhile, second time successful are being recruited. Now a very simple question may arise in the minds of the people regarding the policy of PSC as well as government. Are they not pursuing a dual policy?

Telephone operator

I like to file a serious complaint about your telephone operator. I have called twice to enquire about your fax machines. I was trying to fax some documents and none of the fax machines were responding. I called your main number and requested the operator to find out. He flatly told me that these fax machines are always on. I told him that I know that I am having difficulties please check it for me. He hung up the phone on my face. I called back again 10 minutes later and he said the same and hung up again.

Rickshawpullers

Rickshaw is a favourite form of transport both in cities and rural areas. Rickshaw cannot create much problem in rural areas as the number of vehicles is less there. But in cities, rickshaws cause traffic jams. Rickshawpullers believe that road rules are not for them to abide by. So they pull their vehicle however they fancy, without showing any concern for safety. During rough weather like rain or storm they charge exorbitant amounts. Again, during school, college or university time they ask for double the fare. In such cases girls become the worst sufferers as they do not jump on a rickshaw like the boys or bargain with a loud voice.

Scientists in politics

National election is expected to be held very soon in Bangladesh. Names of possible candidates with their short profiles are coming in the newspapers. As a conscious citizen and voter of the country, I believe I have every right to comment, criticize and advise the politicians who are going to take responsibilities of serving the nation as members of parliament which is a very sensitive and important position. Some of them will take responsibilities as ministers of the government of the peoples' republic of Bangladesh as well. It has been observed from newspaper report that very few women are participating in election, though the male candidates are coming from different educational and professional backgrounds. It has also come to my notice that very few scientists and technologists are taking part in the upcoming election.

Revenue policy

To make government's revenue policy adequate, I think govt. should give emphasis on revenue from land. Land may be divided into several categoriesa such as commercial land, industrial land, residential land and agricultural land. Revenue rate of agricultural land should be least whereas, business and industrial land revenue should be high. Calculating on the basis of total land government should impose tax on landowners. Income tax rate should be uniform and should be minimum as a result tax-paying attitude of people will grow. VAT policy should be discarded because it created scope for misuse and corruption. Income tax rate should not exceed 10%. Tax on industrial land, commercial land, business land should be higher than that of agriculture land. I hope the government will think about this matter.

BSF jawan

I am utterly shocked to know that the BSF jawan who was captured after the brutal killings of a mother and her sleeping sons inside the Bangladesh territory will now be handed over to the Indian authority (Prothom Alo; November 18; 2008). He and his accomplices had entered Bangladesh illegally and committed a heinous crime. Jawan RP Singh does not deserve our mercy and should be tried according to the law of our land.

Ashraful's consistency

They say, form is temporary but class is permanent. Ashraful just proved the saying again. Although his batting was not up to the mark in the test series against New Zealand, his performance in the ODIs was decent and consistent. And now in South Africa he just played a genuine innings in the first ODI. He also started well in the T-20 match against South Africa before throwing his wicket away. In the first ODI, he played some glorious shots that remind us what he is capable of. Recently, his batting style was under a lot of criticism. The batting form he is starting to regain will stop all criticism. Let us hope he becomes consistent from now on.

International

Obama moves quickly to fill Cabinet positions

President-elect Barack Obama has moved with unusual speed to select officials for his administration, and senior Democratic officials say he intends to name Timothy Geithner as his treasury secretary as soon as Monday.

Lankan troops capture rebel training camp

Sri Lankan soldiers captured a Tamil Tiger rebel training camp, while air force helicopters bombed two rebel groups in the north, the military said yesterday.

Pak CM urges end to US missile strikes

The chief minister of Pakistan's most populous province called Saturday for Washington to stop aerial missile strikes on the nation's soil, as the latest raid killed four more suspected militants.

Terror groups may use nuclear, biological devices: India

With the face of terrorism changing over time, the government on saturday warned that terror groups might use "nuclear, biological and chemical devices" and favoured a multi-pronged approach to deal with the menace.

Carter, Annan refused entry to Zimbabwe

Former US president Jimmy Carter said yesterday that he and others planning a humanitarian mission in Zimbabwe had been refused entry to the impoverished African country.

British FM urges Obama to embrace 'new multilateralism'

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called Friday on the next US administration to embrace a "new multilateralism," saying the election of Barack Obama will allow the "world to lay new foundations."

Five civilians, 14 rebels killed in Afghanistan

A bomb blast in an Afghan market yesterday killed two people, authorities said, also reporting other unrest-linked violence that left three more civilians and 14 militants dead.

UN slams HR violations in Iran, N Korea, Burma

A UN General Assembly commission denounced Friday human rights violations in Iran, North Korea and Burma through separate non-binding resolutions.

N Korea accuses South of seeking 'war of aggression'

North Korea on Saturday said South Korea was seeking war against the communist state, condemning President Lee Myung-Bak's remarks that a reunified Korea should be a free democratic system.

Iraqi PM, president in public quarrel

Iraq's presidential council has taken the unusual step of publicly criticising the Shia prime minister after he berated them for their opposition to councils of loyal tribesmen in several Iraqi provinces.

Myanmar calls for 'duty' to democracy after jailing 150 protesters

The head of Myanmar's military junta called yesterday for all citizens to back a controversial "road map" to democracy, a day after the regime sentenced the country's top comedian to 45 years in jail.

2nd phase of Kashmir polls today

The electoral fortunes of 81 candidates, including NC president Omar Abdullah and former PDP minister Qazi Mohammad Afzal, will be decided today when six seats in Jammu and Kashmir go to polls in the second phase amid tight security.

Gunmen kill Shia scholar in Pakistan

A Shia Muslim scholar and his police guard were killed in an apparent sectarian attack when gunmen fired at his car in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, police said yesterday.

Two killed in fresh Kashmir protests

A second day of protests against Indian rule shook Kashmir Saturday, leaving two Muslim protesters dead and over 30 hurt, police and witnesses said, ahead of more voting in state polls.

French Socialists clash as Aubry wins leadership vote

France's opposition Socialists descended into open political warfare on Saturday after ex-presidential candidate Segolene Royal refused to concede defeat to Martine Aubry in a party leadership vote.

Gates would like to add US forces in Afghanistan

Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Friday he would like to add significant US forces to the war in Afghanistan before national elections scheduled for next year, and that grim depictions of backsliding in the seven-year-old war are "far too pessimistic."

Tibetan exiles favour 'middle path'

Hundreds of Tibetan leaders debating how to advance their struggle for freedom Saturday will likely continue to support the Dalai Lama's path of compromise with China, the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile said.

Nepal 'Buddha Boy' returns to jungle

A young man believed by followers to be a reincarnation of Buddha has returned to Nepal's jungles to meditate alone, police said yesterday, as scholars cast doubt on his supporters' claims.

Congo rebels to hold rally in seized territory

Congo's rebel leader is expected to hold his first public rally yesterday in the territory his fighters seized during a lightning advance last month in the eastern part of the country.

Malaysian Islamic body bans yoga for Muslims

Malaysia's top Islamic body yesterday ruled against Muslims practicing yoga, saying it has elements of other religions that could corrupt Muslims.

Archaeologists unearth ancient chariot

Archaeologists have unearthed an elaborately decorated 1,800-year-old chariot sheathed in bronze at an ancient Thracian tomb in southeastern Bulgaria, the head of the excavation said Friday.

Arts & Entertainment

DIK drama festival at SUST

To observe its ninth anniversary, Dik Theatre of the Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) arranged a two-day theatre festival at the Sust mini auditorium. The festival ended on November 20.

Loko Natyadal’s Shonai Madhab hits century

"Shonai Madhab", an illustrious presentation by Loko Natyadal, was staged on November 21at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Based on the tragic love story of Shonai and Madhab, a well-known chronicle from Mymensingh Geetika, "Shonai Madhab" is an experimental blend of Padabali Kirtan and traditional Jatarapala. As it was the hundredth stage performance of the production, Loko Natyadal celebrated the event with great enthusiasm.

Good songs have sense of the literary Shabnam Mushtari

From the late 1960s Shabnam Mushtari has emerged as one of the major stars in Nazrul songs. Here are excerpts from a conversation with her.

Nibedon's homage to Mohammad Moniruzzaman

To celebrate its 17th anniversary, cultural organisation Nibedon held a cultural evening at the Department of Dance and Music, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on November 21. The programme was dedicated to the late Professor Mohammad Moniruzzaman.

Sufia Kamal remembered in Pabna

The ninth death anniversary of poet Begum Sufia Kamal was celebrated in Pabna. Bangladesh Mohila Parishad, Pabna district unit committee observed the anniversary. A discussion was held at the organisation's office premises as part of the programme on November 20. The speakers focused on her involvement in women's issues and her life and work. The speakers also voiced their demand for fulfilling the dreams of the poet by building a progressive society free from fundamentalism and misplaced beliefs.

Victory fair on Saturia freedom day

To keep today's generation in touch with the history of the Liberation War, Rouha Club recently organised a seven- day long Bijoy Mela (victory fair) at Rouha village under Saturia upazila in Manikganj. The objective was to observe Saturia freedom day, the day when Saturia upazila was freed from Pakistani occupation on November 21, 1971.

OP-ED

'Prevention of corruption will be more effective than prosecution'

The Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury was born on September 9, 1948. Mashhud was commissioned in the Pakistan Army (infantry) in 1969 and joined Bangladesh Army in 1974. He graduated from defense services command and Staff College in 1979. He served as commandant; school of infantry and tactics, defense services command and Staff College, and National Defense College. He is also a graduate of the US Army War College, class of 1992. He attended training courses at Naval post-graduate school, Monterrey, California and Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii in US. He completed a master degree from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, US. He commanded the Bangladesh Military Contingent in Saudi Arabia during operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm in 1990-1991. He was the chief of general staff during 1997-2000. He served as Bangladesh's Ambassador to the UAE in 2001-2002. He was the chief of staff, Bangladesh Army during 2002-2005. Since retirement from the army Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury served as adviser, Group-4, Bangladesh, and adviser of the caretaker government in 2006. He was appointed as ACC chairman in February 2007. Emran Hossain took the interview.

Addressing the global financial crisis in emerging Asia

THE global financial turmoil has intensified in recent weeks, and the world economy is entering a deep and protracted slowdown. Despite bold actions in US and Europe to tackle the crisis, credit is likely to remain constrained for some time, as financial institutions continue to reduce leverage, while growth in industrial countries is expected to be negative next year. What does this mean for Asia? And what can be done to limit the impact on the region?

Scientists in politics

THE national election is expected to be held very soon in Bangladesh. Names of possible candidates, with short profiles, are coming out in the newspapers. As a conscious citizen and voter, I believe I have every right to comment on, criticise and advise the politicians who are going to take the responsibility of serving the nation as members of parliament.

Star City

Buses blind to the disabled

Although people with disabilities are supposed to have seats reserved for them in all public buses in the city as per a government order, they are regularly being denied of their rights by bus operators including the state-run BRTC.

Playing at future of playgrounds

The local government ministry is yet to take measures on the basis of a report submitted 10 months ago for better maintenance of the city's parks and playgrounds.


The Daily Star

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