The Daily Star

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Saturday, August 2, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 7th of January, 2009

Front Page

Hasina sworn in as PM

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as the country's new prime minister yesterday evening, marking a peaceful return to democracy.

A mission accomplished

Fakhruddin Ahmed, whose two-year-long rule came to an end with the swearing in of the new prime minister yesterday, wished the new government all the best.

First task is to fulfil hopes of people

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government's first task is to fulfil people's hopes and aspirations.

Israeli jets pound Gaza schools

Israeli tanks and troops surged into towns across the Gaza Strip yesterday striking Hamas targets, but hits on three UN-run schools killed at least 45 people sparking urgent new ceasefire calls.

BNP ready to help

BNP leaders, who attended the oath-taking ceremony of the grand alliance cabinet at Bangabhaban yesterday, said they would extend their cooperation to the Awami League (AL)-led government if the government wants it.

Hasina emerges with a change

The new prime minister of the country, Sheikh Hasina, returns to power after seven years with a new vision of change as pledged by her party Awami League (AL).

Heartbreak for heavyweights

AL President Sheikh Hasina has left most of her senior party colleagues out of the cabinet and brought some surprise picks to run several important ministries.

New govt starts with healthy food stock

Although the current foreign currency reserve can be a reason for a slight discomfort of the Awami League-led grand alliance government, it will very likely be nothing major as the new regime is starting with a pretty healthy food stock.

Small and fresh

The small cabinet with fresh faces is something very rare in the arena of the political culture of the country, which has created a space for new leadership and political reforms, civil society members and educationists said.

Many landmark laws among ordinances

The caretaker administration led by Fakhruddin Ahmed has handed over power to the Awami League-led government along with the fate of at least 114 ordinances to be decided about in the first 30 days in parliament.

AL's journey for 'change' started thru' killing

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday came down heavily on new Awami League (AL)-led government, saying that it has started its journey towards “change” through killing, snatching and criminal activities across the country.

AL's road to power always strewn with thorns

The Awami League had to prevail over many murky fronts other than politics to clinch three of the four elections it won including the one in 1970 that led decisively to the birth of Bangladesh.

Farewell mood grips secretariat

The caretaker government ended its two-year tenure yesterday with the advisers and the special assistants to the Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed coming to their offices for their final day yesterday.

4 advisers appointed to assist govt

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has appointed four advisers with the status of full minister to assist her in running the government.

Voters set 5 priority agenda for govt

When voters had cast their votes in the just-ended general elections, the five top things that they wanted the next government to address are inflation, corruption, crime and law and order, food security and education, an International Republican Institute (IRI) exit poll shows.

5 milk brands tested safe in German lab

Test reports from a Germany laboratory say popular powdered milk brands Dano, Red Cow, Diploma, Nido and Anlene do not contain melamine exceeding 0.1 parts per million (ppm).

Global meltdown puts govt on a tightrope

The new government faces strong challenges to maintain the existing labour markets already showing a downtrend due to the global financial crisis despite increase in overseas employment and remittance over the last two years.

Sri Lanka takes Test series

Bangladesh's sordid record book was rewritten when they suffered their biggest margin of defeat by runs on the fourth day of the second and final Test at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

2,000 sued, 23 held for rubber garden unrest

After the death of a police constable during a clash between workers and police on Monday at Baishari in Naikkhongchari in Bandarban, police arrested 23 persons and lodged cases against another two thousand on charge of murder and creating unrest.

Business feud led to murder

Jatiyatabadi Swechchhasebak Dal leader Nazrul Islam, who was murdered in the city's Bijoynagar Monday afternoon, was killed following a feud over a market association in Bijoynagar, police and intelligence sources said.

ACC sues Gayeshwar for Tk 2cr extortion

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against former state minister and BNP joint secretary general Gayeshwar Chandra Roy on charges of extorting Tk 2.61 crore and concealing information of his wealth worth Tk 25.95 lakh from the commission.

Mumbai attacks backed by official Pak agencies

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said the Mumbai attacks had the support of "some official agencies" in Pakistan, in his strongest accusation yet against the neighbouring country.

Troops seize key LTTE defence line

Sri Lankan government troops yesterday captured a key Tamil Tiger defence line on the Jaffna peninsula, killing scores of rebels, the defence ministry said.

Editorial

Welcome transition to elected government

AS Sheikh Hasina had promised, the cabinet that was inducted last evening is largely composed of new faces, with a few surprises. For the most part, it is an inexperienced team. It will therefore be a big challenge for the government to deliver the goods in full measure to the nation. Even so, we wish the government well and expect it to bring about the changes that the people of Bangladesh so keenly look forward to.

Reviewing DAP

NOT very long ago in these very columns we had called upon the caretaker government not to approve the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) before addressing all its flaws that had been pointed out by the experts from time to time.

Fortifying democracy

THE new government that Sheikh Hasina will preside over as prime minister will need to hit the ground running. That will call for decisive action on the part of the prime minister and her colleagues in the government. And such action must be taken in those particular areas where public interest has been intense in these past couple of years.

Small boys, big game

THERE is only one relevant question in an election year: who will win? The pundits have begun to get themselves into the usual tangle, most of the tangle created by the spin of bias. The right thing to do would be to admit that no one really knows, but that would reduce a column to just one sentence. Since pundits get their money from columns rather than sentences, this is an inadequate solution to their dilemma.

Relations with India and Myanmar

ALTHOUGH Bangladesh's relations with India and Myanmar (Burma) are characterised as friendly and mutually supportive, there is room for much improvement in interactive relations in all sectors with both the neighbours. In the past, an inconsistency existed in the conduct of Bangladesh foreign policy. On the one hand, there appeared to be a set of policies, which were designed to turn the country into “a cocoon,” on the other hand, there was another set of liberal policies that tended to operate in a trans-national environment.

Sports

Siddons gives no excuses

The picture was all clear after the third day's play about what was going to happen in the second and final Test at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium. So everybody was all but confirmed about the outcome of this Test but there was only interest left to see whether the Tigers could show the same sort of contest, something they did in the second innings in Mirpur only last week.

Dilshan in the limelight

The focus was firmly on his captain with due to his hundredth Test match but it was Tillakaratne Dilshan who made the second Test against Bangladesh a memorable one in his career at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Twenty-two wickets fall on Day One

It was the day of the bowlers at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium here yesterday as 22 wickets tumbled on the opening day of the three-day practice match between the Zimbabweans and GP-BCB National Cricket Academy.

Blackburn edge Blyth

A brilliant freekick by Chilean international Carlos Villanueva proved the difference between Premiership side Blackburn Rovers and non-league Blyth Spartans here on Monday as Rovers ran out 1-0 winners.

Ctg MSC rout R'ganj

Chittagong Mohamme-dan returned to winning ways in the Citycell B. League with an impressive 5-2 away victory against giant-killers Rahmatganj at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Tricky final day at SCG

South Africa need 314 runs on the final day of the third and final Test if they are to complete a clean sweep of the series after reaching 62-1 at stumps on the penultimate day at the SCG Tuesday.

BCB announces ticket prices

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday announced the ticket rates for the upcoming tri-series involving Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Manilal to hand over 3000 footballs today

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice-president Manilal Fernando will handover three thousand footballs -- a gift from AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam -- to the National Sports Council (NSC) chairman and Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed today.

Tevez might leave MU

Carlos Tevez has warned he will leave Manchester United if he gets a suitable offer after becoming frustrated at the lack of progress over talks to turn his loan deal at Old Trafford into a permanent contract. The Argentinian also risked the anger of Sir Alex Ferguson by saying he would like to play for Real Madrid.

Focus on league prize

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has told the Premier League leaders not to be distracted from their quest to win the English title by the hype surrounding their derby FA Cup tie with Everton.

Wenger ends Inler hunt

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he has put and end to his pursuit of Udinese midfielder Gokhan Inler and will target a player with "special class" instead.

Milan in for Pennant

Milan have offered Jermaine Pennant the chance to move to San Siro on a free transfer next summer but have been warned by Liverpool that they will not succeed in any bid for Daniel Agger this month.

Three Bangladeshi stars on Cricinfo Awards list

Graeme Smith, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Ajantha Mendis and Dale Steyn were the cream of the crop in the nominations for the Cricinfo Awards, which recognise the best performances in Tests and ODIs in 2008.

Harmy calls for calm

Steve Harmison has become the first England squad player to speak out on the rift between Peter Moores and Kevin Pietersen, urging the pair to sort out their differences for the good of the team.

Djokovic sent crashing

Little-known Latvian Ernests Gulbis sent top seed and world number three Novak Djokovic crashing out of the first round of the Brisbane International here Tuesday.

Vettori wants adding third Indian Test

New Zealand cricket captain Daniel Vettori said Tuesday he is excited by the prospect of adding a third Test to India's tour starting in March.

'No signs of Matty going'

Michael Hussey has seen no signs from Matthew Hayden that he is about to retire and would be stunned if the opener was not part of next month's tour to South Africa. Hayden scored 39 in the second innings to continue his horrible run at home this season amid increasing pressure to call time on his 103-Test career.

Downing not for sale

Middlesbrough made it clear to Premier League rivals Tottenham on Monday that Stewart Downing would not be leaving during the January transfer window after rejecting the England winger's transfer request.

Defoe on way to Spurs

England international striker Jermain Defoe is set to leave Portsmouth and rejoin Harry Redknapp at Tottenham, the London club said on Tuesday.

Nat'l tennis player Pimon passes away

Former Davis Cup player and coach of Bangladesh Tennis Federation Mazharul Islam Pimon died from head injury at the United Hospital in Dhaka yesterday.

Football games cancelled in Israel

Israel's Football Association on Monday cancelled all league matches due to the army's operation in Gaza and rocket fire against the south of the country.

Angeleri set for Inter

Estudiantes defender Marcos Angeleri looks set to join Italian giants Internazionale during the current transfer window.

Business

Telecom firms seek secure climate

A bleak year rolled past the telecom industry.

Yarn sales slump on demand drop

Yarn sales in the local market dropped significantly mainly due to depreciation of the Indian currency against the US dollar and a slump in demand for apparel items on international market, said spinning millers.

Economic crisis may hit millions of children: UN

The deepening global economic crisis could significantly raise infant mortality and malnutrition rates, a UN official said Tuesday, urging Asian governments to protect millions of vulnerable children.

Institute of capital market by March

An educational institute meant for capital market will start its journey within March this year, aiming to provide training to develop skilled human resources for the country's stock market.

Frontier Fund's equity investment in Rahimafrooz's battery project

Frontier Fund, the local partner of Brummer and Partners, yesterday made its first-ever equity investment in Rahimafrooz's global expansion project to develop its automotive battery export business.

BR projects under ADP reviewed

The progress in implementation of development projects under the annual development programme (ADP) of the fiscal 2008-09 of Bangladesh Railway was reviewed at a meeting here.

10m Indians to lose jobs

At least 10 million Indians will lose their jobs by March as the economic slowdown in North America and Europe hits India's exports, a key exporters' association predicted Tuesday, according to a report.

Asian stocks extend new year optimism

Asian stocks on Tuesday extended their positive start to the year amid optimism for measures to ease the global economic meltdown after share prices were decimated in 2008, dealers said.

South China told to go easy on errant firms

Southern China's Guangdong province on Tuesday ordered legal authorities to treat law-breaking enterprises gently so as not to further upset business in tough economic times, state media said.

German mogul kills self over financial meltdown

German billionaire Adolf Merckle has committed suicide after his business empire, which included interests ranging from pharmaceuticals to cement, ran into trouble in the global financial crisis, his family said Tuesday.

Cane industry close to oblivion

The country's once famous cane industry now battles for its existence.

Creative capitalism: Profits plus philanthropy

Bill Gates has challenged companies to engage in "creative capitalism" that delivers profits and helps the poor. This "capitalism for the 21st Century" had to improve the lives of those who did not benefit from market forces. The Microsoft founder said capitalism only worked for those who could pay, so firms had to find out "how the power of the marketplace can help the poor".

Biz Letter

Consulates in west African states


Bangladesh has a tremendous opportunity to grab the markets of the west African nations. We can export pharmaceuticals, garments, toiletries, jute and leather items and many others to those countries. West African countries like Liberia, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Ghana have good markets if only our businesspeople can explore the markets before other countries do.

Stocks end down

Dhaka stocks continued to fall yesterday, influenced by early-day confusion over who to take over as finance minister in the new government, and profit-taking by investors.

Euro slides in Asia on rate cut speculation

The euro suffered fresh losses in Asia on Tuesday as traders bet the European Central Bank will cut interest rates further in a bid to revive the recession-ridden eurozone economy.

Global stocks hold gains

Global stock markets held onto New Year optimism Tuesday even as the euro suffered fresh losses amid signs of Europe's deepening recession and a looming energy standoff with Russia drove up oil prices.

Balkans shiver as Russia gas crisis worsens

A Russia-Ukraine gas dispute worsened for the Balkans on Tuesday, with shipments ceasing to two ex-Yugoslav states and slashed to another as temperatures plunged far below freezing.

China's sovereign wealth fund to slow investment

China's 200-billion-dollar sovereign wealth fund will slow down its investing pace after being stung by major investments that turned sour in the world financial crisis, a report said Tuesday.

French consumer confidence weakens in December

French consumer confidence weakened in December, official figures showed on Tuesday, and analysts warned that sentiment could fall further in the near-term as households fret over the state of their finances.

Toyota to suspend domestic production for 11 days

Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday that it would suspend production at all of its domestic plants for 11 days between February and March in response to a slump in sales.

Metropolitan

'19 new women MPs to help end discrimination'

Karmojibi Nari President Shirin Akhter and General Secretary Sharmin Kabir in a joint statement yesterday congratulated the 19 newly elected women lawmakers, says a press release.

Valuables worth over Tk 26 lakh looted

Robbers looted valuables worth over Tk 26 lakh from a residence in the city's Kamrangirchar area yesterday.

Becoming president means leaving politics forever

Former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said it would not be wise for him to become president as it would make him give up politics forever.

BCL factions clash

At least 10 students were injured in a clash between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at two dormitories of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University in the city early yesterday.

AL lawmaker Anwar refutes allegation of war crimes

Dr Md Anwar Hossain, a newly elected Awami League lawmaker from Pirojpur-3 constituency, yesterday refuted the allegations published in several newspapers that he is a 'war criminal'.

Bhashani University admission test on Friday

The admission test under academic session 2008-09 in Maulana Bhashani University of Science and Technology will be held on Friday, says a press release.

Ex-IGP, acting principal, ex-vice principal sued

A graft case was filed against acting principal Kamrun Nahar Ahmed of Shaikh Burhanuddin College of Dhaka, its former vice-principal Jane Alam Shikder and former IGP and chairman of college governing board Mohammad Ashraful Huda with a Dhaka court yesterday.

Outlaw killed in shootout

A cadre of outlawed Gono Mukti Fouz (GMF) was killed in 'shootout' between his cohorts and the police at Baria village in Sadar upazila early yesterday.

3 CU halls raided

Three residential halls of Chittagong University (CU) were raided yesterday evening following repeated demand from Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

'Stop Israeli invasion of Gaza'

Different socio-political and rights organisations yesterday strongly condemned the ongoing Israeli offensives on Gaza Strip and expressed their profound shock at the deaths of innocent civilians in the attacks.

DWASA realises Tk 3 lakh from bill defaulters

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) in a special drive yesterday realised Tk 3 lakh from bill defaulters in Pallabi-Mirpur area.

Dhaka TT College celebrates 100th anniversary

Former and current teachers and students of Dhaka Teachers Training (TT) College celebrated its 100th anniversary in the city yesterday in a festive mood.

Ideal College students protest fee hike

Several hundred agitating students yesterday damaged furniture and windowpanes at Dhaka Ideal College in the city's Dhanmondi area protesting higher fees for their model tests.

Wahid Ullah new chairman of Milk Vita

Rotarian Md Wahid Ullah Mollah took the charge of chairman of Milk Vita, says a press release.

Mohiuddin gets SC nod to his mayoral charge

The Supreme Court (SC) chamber judge yesterday upheld a High Court (HC) directive staying a government order, which barred ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury from functioning as mayor of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and allowed panel mayor M Manzurul Alam to function instead.

Two more convicted killers held in Kolkata

Two more fugitives sentenced to life imprisonment for killing former Awami League lawmaker Ahsanullah Master were arrested in Kolkata yesterday.

CU journalism teacher commits suicide

Dr Andrew Alok Dewary, an assistant professor of Chittagong University, committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan at his house at Mirzapul in the port city of Chittagong yesterday.

Bomb explodes inside Bogra police station

Two policemen were injured when a homemade bomb exploded inside Bogra Sadar Police Station at around 10.45am yesterday.

Osmani Medical College orientation class today

Orientation class of MBBS first year students of Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College will begin today.

One killed in Rajshahi road accident

A truck helper was killed and five day-labourers were injured in a road accident on Rajshahi-Chapainawabganj highway at Mohisalbaria at Godagari in the district yesterday.

Three mortar shells seized

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized three mortar shells at Jugirampara under Thanchi upazila in Bandarban yesterday.

Saudi riyals seized

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday arrested two people and seized 95,000 Saudi riyals worth Tk 17.10 lakh from their possession at Benapole check post.

National

Tension mounts at RU amid BCL-Shibir face-off

Amid escalating tension between Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir on the campus, Rajshahi University (RU) acting Vice Chancellor Prof Mamnunul Keramat yesterday held a closed-door meeting with faculty deans, high officials of local administration and police at his office.

Satkhira freedom fighters demand trial of war criminals

Freedom fighters and pro-liberation forces brought out a colourful procession and held a rally in the town yesterday congratulating the people for 'rejecting anti-liberation forces and war criminals' in the December 29 parliamentary election and demanding their trial.

Feud in Satkhira AL over UZ poll candidacy

Grassroots level leaders and activists in different upazilas in Satkhira district Awami League (AL) are divided over candidature of more than one leaders for the same post in the upcoming upazila election.

Jubo League leader held for extortion

Police arrested Jubo League leader on Monday night from his residence at Dhulashar union in Kalapara upazila on charge of demanding toll from a construction firm.

BCL, Shibir file cases against each other

Bangladesh Chhatra League and Islami Chhatra Shibir filed two separate cases Monday night with Daulatpur police station accusing each other of attacks on the campus of Daulatpur Government BL College on that day.

BNP leader's jute godown gutted

Two thousand maunds of jute worth about Tk 16 lakh were gutted in a big fire at a godown of Ismail Hossain, a local BNP leader at Hijolbaria village in Gangni upazila Monday night.

4 Meherpur BNP leaders expelled

Four district-level leaders of BNP were expelled from party for their anti-party activities during Jatiya Sangsad (JS) election.

3 Ashuganj power units silent

Three units of Ashuganj power station are silent, dipping power generation to 228MW from 618 MW yesterday.

Letters

Fair election, but…

By all accounts, the election of 29 December can be regarded as free and fair. But the outcome of it is so one sided that the winning party may take the result as the 'Mandate' for them to do anything they wish not that they will but it is within their right. This is where Bangladesh is sadly lacking the benefit of a second chamber as in India, the USA and in the UK who can 'Moderate' the actions of the elected prime minister and the cabinet. A strong opposition also helps but here the opposition has been routed so completely, but still has the audacity to have already shouted 'foul'. That is really laughable, but worrying nevertheless.

CTG deserves congratulations

Congratulations to the CTG for organising a nice, peaceful and credible election. According to people, this is the best election they have seen in their lives.

AL and its pledges

The landslide victory of the Awami League (AL) is welcome at home and abroad. People of Bangladesh wanted a change with a new dimension in the country's leadership. Most of the citizens gave their verdict against corruption, against sky-high price hike of foods and daily essentials. AL chief Sheikh Hasina should not forget her pre-election pledges.

Israeli aggression

The UN has requested Israel to stop the deadly attack but Israel does not care, because there is a strong veto of the USA on Israel's behalf. It clearly proves the worthlessness of the UN. Processions and demonstrations are continuing throughout the world. The world is witnessing once again a large-scale condemnation against Israel's aggression after the end of Iraq war. Palestine does not have any air support, navy and enough arms. So why is Israel still killing hundreds of Palestinians daily? Israel is violating not only human rights but also international laws.

An open letter to Sheikh Hasina

Happy New Year and many congratulations on this historic victory. While you surely know the peoples' aspirations, as you prepare to assume the vast responsibility in the New Year, we would like to briefly reiterate what we, the ordinary people of this country, expect from the new prime minister and her new government, We would like to declare in very clear terms that we do not expect your government to fulfil all election pledges. Let it be very clear that neither we expect to receive free fertilizers and rice for Taka 10/kg, nor do we expect you to flood the country overnight with electricity and build all those highways and seaports in immediate future. We are much more realistic than the architects of the Awami League Election Manifesto are and we know that much of the pledges are over ambitious and it may take decades for a government to attain those goals.

EC's failure

The Election Commission had earlier announced over TV and radio, that provisions would be available at polling centres for the elderly and handicapped voters, however this was just a hollow statement from the EC, as I could not cast my vote at our polling centre at BIT School in

Mandate against misrule

The grand alliance triumph is a historic and unprecedented landslide win. It is a clear mandate against corruption, plundering, killing, violence, terrorism and ineffective and incompetent running of government. It is also an outright rejection of the war criminals. This election sends strong and clear signals that the days of ignorance are over and the electorate is conscious and aware of its environment and wants to be a partner in the development of the country. The voters want the politicians to know that they are watching and will not hesitate to respond whenever they deviate. This election is a backlash against misrule.

Intransigent Khaleda

As expected, Khaleda, true to her intransigent nature, did not accept the results and came out with various unfounded allegations of voting irregularities, despite the nation's and the world's total acceptance of the election being free and fair. Minor irregularities and mismanagements compared to the magnitude of the total operation will hardly make any impact on the overwhelming verdict. Though her non-acceptance of the election result did not matter, had she accepted the result gracefully, her image before the nation and the world would have been brightened. An honest soul searching perhaps would help her and the party to identify their misdeeds and mistakes and help reorganize for future. But she preferred to defy the verdict of the nation. Perhaps she had sensed her inevitable debacle earlier. That is why throughout her election campaign, instead of offering countrymen better governance, she remained busy in delivering negative speeches which had no value to the general public. Therefore the public overwhelmingly exercised their franchise right and clearly spoke against her and her party through ballot. The misdeeds and lust for money of her sons and close aides allegedly under her direct protection and patronage knew no bounds. Crores of taka was allegedly siphoned out of the country through money laundering, by none other than her son, apparently with full knowledge of the administration as evident from the disclosure of the foreign governments which ultimately confiscated those illegally earned and transferred money.

Trial of war criminals

The much talked about election was held with the AL-led grand alliance's historic victory. So, of course, the ever-expected democracy has been restored, bringing back the derailed train on the right track. But it may de derailed again if and only if the present AL government fails to try the war criminals working as designers of conspiracy theories.

Khaleda Zia's options

I was prompted to write after reading Mridul Chowdhury's article “What Sheikh Hasina should do now.” In the wake of a mesmerizing election, the article aptly calls upon Sheikh Hasina to make good on the promises she made in the early hours of her campaign and take other steps which are long due in the interest of this country.

Free & fair election

The national election of 29 December was a remarkable event in the history of Bangladesh. More than eight crore people voted across the country. Every young male and female, man and woman, even the elderly people were excited and enthusiastic to restore democracy by giving valuable votes. People had to wait for the day for 7 years. So, after 7 years, when the expected election appeared before us, we could not stay at home. People came out simultaneously and went to the polling centres to vote.

Our president

If I may state it correctly, Dr. Kamal Hossain deserves to be our next president, not Prof. Dr. Yunus, not Zillur Rahman, and definitely not Ershad.

International

'Full blown' humanitarian crisis in Gaza: ICRC

The international Red Cross yesterday warned that increasing numbers of civilians in the Gaza Strip are being killed during Israel's military offensive, locking the territory in a "full blown" humanitarian crisis.

Gaza hospital overwhelmed

Wailing in grief, Salah Samouni banged his head against a wall inside the hospital morgue where the bodies of his three young nephews lay on the floor Monday.

Gaza children will keep physical, mental scars

More than 150 children have died in the Gaza conflict and aid groups say the survivors will carry the physical and psychological scars for as long as they live.

Arabs pushing Gaza ceasefire at UN

The UN Security Council will hold a ministerial meeting Tuesday to discuss an Arab call for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict in the Gaza Strip and for protection of Palestinian civilians, diplomats said.

Hamas team in Egypt for Gaza truce talks

A Hamas delegation was in Cairo yesterday to discuss an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire with Israel, 10 days after the Jewish state's unleashed its massive offensive on the Islamists' Gaza Strip stronghold.

Olmert warns Hezbollah against attacking Israel

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday again sent a veiled warning to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia that Israel was ready to respond on its northern front if threatened.

Lanka moves to flush out Tigers from Jaffna

Sri Lankan troops were battling yesterday to flush out Tamil Tigers from the Jaffna peninsula after taking the rebels' political headquarters in the northern mainland, the military said.

Arts & Entertainment

“Shunagoriker Shondhaney” staged at RU

Anushilon Nattyadal of Rajshahi University staged "Shunagoriker Shondhaney" (in search of ideal citizens) at the Shaheed Minar Mukto-mancho on campus last Saturday.

Nashid Kamal’s solo concert in LA

On January 3, noted Nazrul singer Dr. Nashid Kamal had a solo concert in Los Angeles, USA, says a press release. Organised by Bangla Academy, the first half of the show was dedicated to National Poet Kazi Nazul Islam and his versatility; the second half featured a repertoire of folk songs.

Songs and poems of the four winds

It was an unusual situation at La Galerie, Alliance Francaise de Dacca on the evening of January 5. Usually cultural programmes in our country are delayed for artistes or special guests who arrive late. At La Galerie, the programme too was delayed, for nearly an hour; this time not for the performer or special guests, but rather the organiser waited for the audience to fill up the venue.

Doubt High moral stakes in shades of grey

The air is thick with paranoia in "Doubt," but nowhere as thick, juicy, sustained or sustaining as Meryl Streep's performance as a distrustful nun in John Patrick Shanley's screen adaptation of his stage play. Wearing flowing black robes, a bonnet that squats on her head like an upside-down Easter basket, and glasses, Streep blows in like a storm, shaking up the story's reverential solemnity with gusts of energy and comedy.

Sur Shambhar on BTV tonight

Musical programme "Sur Shambhar" will be aired tonight at 10:30 pm on Bangladesh Television. The programme features an interview of and performances by popular singer Fahmida Nabi.

70th episode of Talking Point

ATN Bangla will air the 70th episode of "Talking Point," a talk show highlighting contemporary issues, tonight at 11:30 pm.

Siddiqua Kabir’s Recipe on ntv

Hugely popular cooking show “Siddiqua Kabir’s Recipe” will be aired tonight on ntv at 8:15 pm.

OP-ED

Sheikh Hasina's carte blanche

EVEN some staunch supporters of Bangladesh Awami Leauge (AL) were pensive instead of being over the moon following the landslide victory of the AL-led grand alliance. Yes, there was a kind of apprehension as to whether the AL leadership would be able to keep the promises and live up to the trust reposed in them by the people who have given Sheikh Hasina free rein to move ahead through a silent vote revolution.

Tyranny of irrelevance

AS many as 38 political parties contested in the national election 2008. Only eight parties, including those in the alliances, have at least one of their members elected to the parliament. To be specific, except Awami League, BNP and Jatiya Party, no other party has got more than three seats in the parliament.

Israel, opium of the people

"Why aren't you as an Arab lady writing about Gaza?"
"Where are your columns about Gaza?"
"Say the Israelis are wrong!"

Reasons to be cheerful

OKAY, so you've lost your job, you're about to lose your home, your investments have vanished, your partner has left you, and the debt collectors have given you a week to live. Now, come on, gang, be honest: are these really reasons to be miserable?

Star City

25 lone inmates at Dhaka Zoo

More than 25 species of animals in Dhaka Zoo have been living a lonely life in their cages for long that can have a serious effect on their life, say experts.

Horrendous honking near hospitals

It was 10:30pm on Monday. The Shahbagh intersection seemed like a sea of vehicles. Hundreds of tattered city buses, private cars, covered vans, three-wheelers and taxis from all directions inched their way towards the roundabout.

A Rare Pastime

With the water bodies becoming rare in the city angling has become a rare pastime in recent years. However this lucky old man has found a tranquil corner at Mirpur Ceramic Lake to catch a few fresh fishes peacefully.


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