The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, December 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 23rd of January, 2009

Front Page

Upazila polls influenced

Low turnout, ministers and ruling party lawmakers meddling in balloting, and irregularities in places marked the long-awaited upazila elections yesterday, meaning a letdown for the Election Commission (EC).

Minister, AL MP may face jail term

The Election Commission (EC) has initiated steps to take legal actions against a cabinet minister and a ruling party lawmaker for allegedly influencing yesterday's upazila parishad election.

Ghosts of past return

More than 100 people including policemen were injured across the country during clashes among supporters of rival candidates of upazila polls yesterday.

45 ordinances may be made law

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said about 45 out of the 117 ordinances promulgated by the immediate-past caretaker government would be tabled as bills in parliament to make them laws.

Polls suspended in 5 upazilas

Polls were suspended in five upazilas and at over 50 polling centres of other upazilas due to deterioration of law and order, intimidation of voters and irregularities in the yesterday's upazila polls held across the country.

AL men win in most upazilas

Pro-Awami League (AL) candidates won the chairmanship of most of the upazilas, according to unofficially results of yesterday's upazila parishad elections received early today.

Enthusiasm runs low in Savar

It was 9:30am. Although one and a half hours had elapsed since the voting began, only one ballot was cast at a polling booth at Phulbaria Govt Primary School in Savar upazila.

Fear factor behind low turnout

Political interference and fear of clashes between candidates' followers were among the main reasons behind low turnout in yesterday's Upazila Parishad polls.

BNP alleges massive irregularities

Accusing ruling Awami League (AL) of massive irregularities in the upazila polls yesterday, BNP said AL proved it wanted to annihilate the opposition, which is nothing but a traditional characteristic of AL politics.

Polls almost peaceful

The home ministry yesterday observed that upazila parishad elections were held peacefully across the country yesterday without major violent incidents.

Polls smooth barring minor incidents

Awami League (AL) has claimed the Upazila Parishad elections were held peacefully across the country despite a few minor incidents.

Clashes spoil JS polls success

Several election monitoring orgainsations yesterday in preliminary findings said voters' turnout in upazila parishad polls was low and incidence of violence in polling centers overshadowed the bright achievements of the recently held national polls.

8 small-time 'thieves' held

Law enforcement agencies yesterday arrested eight people in connection with the sensational break-in at Bangladesh Railway (BR) headquarters in the capital on Saturday night.

Dhaka tipped to qualify this time

Bangladesh may qualify by this year for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) fund if it makes a little improvement in the fields of functional democracy, governance and economic policies and cutting corruption.

Separate wage structure sought for university teachers

President Prof Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday approved the '34th Annual Report-2007' of University Grants Commission (UGC) with 26 recommendations, including formation of separate wage structure for the university teachers and setting up a university teachers' training academy.

Ranglai Mro still handcuffed

Handcuffed to his hospital bed, indigenous leader Ranglai Mro, who was brutally tortured, has been waiting 15 days for his bail order documents to reach the jail authorities from the High Court (HC).

Hasina seeks more Saudi assistance

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the Saudi government to increase their development assistance to Bangladesh and recruit larger volume of human resources from the country.

People to be invited to be party in war criminal case

A Dhaka court has allowed a petitioner to run advertisement in newspapers, inviting people or institutions to become parties in a case against Jamaat-e-Islami's ex-amir Golam Azam, current Amir Motiur Rahman Nizami and 34 others to declare them war criminals.

Shakib best all-rounder

Shakib Al Hasan has been named the top player of ICC All-rounder's ODI Championship Rankings this week following his sparkling performance with both bat and ball.

ACC okays graft cases against 47 BTCL staff

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved filing of eight corruption cases against 47 officials of Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited, formerly BTTB, on charges of illegally drawing Tk 14.13 crore and misappropriating Tk 17.26 crore.

Obama shuts down Guantanamo

President Barack Obama yesterday signed three landmark executive orders mandating the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison, shutting down all CIA prisons and banning the use of torture.

China milk scam duo given death

A Chinese court condemned two men to death and handed a life term to a former dairy boss yesterday for their roles in the country's contaminated milk scandal, which ignited public anger and accusations of cover-ups.

UN counts damage in Gaza, Israel warns it can hit tunnels again

The United Nations urged Israel yesterday to reopen Gaza crossings as senior officials assessed war damage and the Jewish state warned it would strike again if Hamas rearms through smuggling tunnels.

Editorial

Giving MPs a development role in upazilas!

The reported mulling by LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam over formally empowering the MPs with a developmental role in the upazilas originally designed to play a pivotal role in the local government system has come as a big surprise and shock. The implication is that the amended ordinance whereby the previously assigned advisory and development role of MPs in upazilas was withdrawn through an initiative of the caretaker government is sought to be restored through another amendment.

Obama moves on Guantanamo issue

There is little question that Barack Obama faces a whole slew of challenges as he begins his presidency on a note of euphoria. In these past few days since his inauguration on Tuesday, America's new leader has happily demonstrated his determination to do business through living up to his campaign pledges. He has ordered prosecutors to halt all proceedings against prisoners held on Guantanamo, a directive that has been heeded by the military judges handling matters in what has turned into a symbol of notoriety. Obama's action is welcome, though many are disappointed that in the matter of those on trial on the island, proceedings have been halted for 120 days. Obviously, these individuals, many of them families of those detained, expected quicker action and so quicker justice to be done.

1/11

NOW that the dust has settled and that we have an elected government in place, the time is right for a full inquiry into 1/11, whether on balance it was a good thing or a bad thing, what the interim government did right and what it did wrong, what lessons have been learned, and what are the implications for the future.

Where have all the men gone?

MAX Fashions, a New Zealand based fashion company, with 38 retail outlets throughout the country, put up a three-story high billboard in which it called New Zealand a women's republic. What prompted that aphorism has a context of its own. The sitting heads of three branches of New Zeland government were all women: the prime minister, the speaker of the house and the chief justice.

Where Osama came from

IN 1918, a startling coincidence took place. Every single Muslim in the world was colonised. The defeat of Ottoman Turkey eliminated the last independent space in the Muslim world. The restructuring of Arab west Asia also began after 1918. Over time, with halting steps, new nations were granted qualified freedom.

Sports

A virtual final

Bangladesh batsmen have taken the blame for the team's woes in the recent one-day internationals against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at home but one department got all the praises for their indefatigable effort.

Numero uno Shakib

Shakib Al Hasan became the first Bangladeshi player to top the ICC Reliance Championship all-rounder rankings after overtaking New Zealand's Jacob Oram and England's Andrew Flintoff yesterday.

Rahmatganj ride on Hanif

Hanif Pradhan scored his first goal of the season to give Rahmatganj a 1-0 win over Arambagh in yesterday's Citycell B. League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Venus dumped

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams was dumped from the Australian Open on Thursday but it was a different story for Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray who barged into the third round.

BFF rejects MSC pleas

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday rejected 'strange' Mohammedan's demands to punish a referee, forfeit the result of a B. League match and revise the fixture of the same competition.

Div 1 T20 starts

The Metropolis First Division T20 cricket tournament kicked-off yesterday with six games in three grounds of the city.

GM Niaz starts well

Bangladeshi Grandmaster Niaz Murshed got off to a fine start in the 1st Gurgaon Open International Chess Tourna-ment in Haryana, India.

Eng arrive in Windies

England, under new captain Andrew Strauss, touched down in the Caribbean on Wednesday confident that they can continue their dominance over West Indies.

Third ODI today

If anyone thought Twenty20 would spell the end of 50-over cricket, the opening two ODIs between Australia and South Africa should have assuaged their fears. Both contests came down to the final over with either side still capable of victory.

Flower can bloom with Pietersen

Andy Flower is adamant he can work with Kevin Pietersen during England's tour of the West Indies even though he might not still be in a job if the former captain had had his way.

Malik unhappy with Akhtar

A disgruntled Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik on Wednesday questioned Shoaib Akhtar's fitness and commitment, leaving a big question mark on the paceman's international career.

Base Bashar BAF tennis champs

BAF Base Bashar clinched the Bangladesh Air Force Inter-Base tennis title beating Base Zahurul Haque in the final at the Base Bashar tennis court yesterday.

Robin, Zaheer swapped

Mumbai Indians, led by Sachin Tendulkar, have swapped Karnataka Ranji Trophy captain Robin Uthappa with left-arm pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who represented Bangalore's Royal Challengers in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year, at no cost to either franchise.

DFAT warns Chingoka

The Australian government on Thursday warned Zimbabwe cricket boss Peter Chingoka that he must have good grounds to enter the country to attend an International Cricket Council (ICC) conference.

Runner Group Open tennis from today

The Runner Group Open tennis tournament will begin today at the Ramna National Tennis Complex.

NZ bring in 2 rookies

International debutants Trent Boult and Brendon Diamanti were named Thursday in New Zealand's 14-man squad for the five match Chappell-Hadlee one-day international series in Australia next month.

Lanka revise venues for India

The central town of Dambulla will host just one match instead of two during India's upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, the two cricket boards said in a statement on Thursday.

Inter down Roma

Inter Milan moved a step closer to their fifth Italian Cup final appearance in a row with a 2-1 quarterfinal victory over AS Roma at the San Siro on Wednesday.

City's long failure list

Manchester City's aborted bid for Brazilian superstar Kaka was preceded by failed attempts to sign Gianluigi Buffon, Thierry Henry and the Valencia pair David Villa and David Silva, it emerged on Thursday.

Spurs leave it late

Strikers Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe scored deep into extra-time here on Wednesday to break Burnley hearts and ensure holders Tottenham Hotspur will face Manchester United in the League Cup final.

City pay £15 million extra

Manchester City have literally paid the price for their impatience in the transfer market after it emerged that £17m new signing Nigel De Jong had a £2.3m release clause in his contract that would have activated in just four months.

Real target Wenger and Fabregas

Real Madrid presidential contender Florentino Perez will make the appointment of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger the cornerstone of his election campaign.

Valencia lose, Barca held

Valencia's hopes of retaining their Spanish Cup trophy hang on a knife edge after they scraped a 3-2 home victory over Sevilla in their quarterfinal first leg clash on Wednesday.

Business

Singapore Airlines cuts Dhaka flights in turmoil

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has cut two of its flights from Dhaka as it is receiving less than expected passengers due to the global economic downturn that forced the leading carrier to suspend more than 200 flights worldwide.

Maker says no control over drug price

A leader of the local trade body for medicine manufacturing sector has admitted that pharmaceutical companies have no control over the prices of life saving drugs.

Bangladesh fares well as exports slip in Asia

KARAWANG, Indonesia -- At a three-story factory here that used to make television remote controls, most of the fluorescent lights have been turned off. The hallways are nearly silent, and three-quarters of the workers have been laid off.

Japan firm seeks to buy $600m RMG

One of the largest Japanese retail chains, Uniqlo, sought to purchase readymade garment (RMG) products worth more than $600 million from Bangladesh in 2009, said a top official of the company.

German investor keen to set up $200m RMG unit

German Ambassador to Bangladesh Frank Meyke said yesterday an investor of his country is eager to set up a mega-RMG unit in Bangladesh spending $200 million.

Build up social movement against profiteering

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday asked businessmen to build up a social movement against profiteering and unscrupulous trade of basic commodities in order to ensure consumer protection rights.

Asian markets rise on Wall Street gains

Asian stocks rose Thursday as investors reacted positively to a strong rally on Wall Street and sought bargains following two days of heavy losses.

MCCI stresses competitive exchange rate

The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has suggested that the government should keep the exchange rate stable and competitive to support export growth.

More manpower for BSTI soon

The government plans to strengthen the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) with additional manpower and modern equipment, said the industries minister yesterday.

Singapore's growth may sink to -5pc

Singapore has downgraded its growth forecast again amid what it brands the "sharpest, deepest and most protracted recession" the country has ever faced.

DBH launches property services

Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. (DBH) has recently launched DBH Property Services (DBHPS) with a view to providing professional and risk free service for individuals interested in selling or buying properties.

Trust Bank opens merchant banking wing

Trust Bank Limited, one of the leading private commercial banks in Bangladesh, recently launched a Merchant Banking Wing at Gulshan, Dhaka, says a press release.

Measures of competitors may hit Bangladesh

The global economic meltdown is shaking the world. Though the crisis originated in developed countries, its adverse impacts started to be felt in economies of many low-income countries. There has been a lot of debate among businessmen, economists about the impact of the meltdown on Bangladesh. In an exclusive interview, economist Professor Mustafizur Rahman shared his thoughts with The Daily Star on the matter.

Pay freezes spread during brutal recession

What do Tropicana Casino and Resort, Avis and the White House now have in common? They're all freezing the pay of some of their workers. It's part of a growing trend by employers facing the fallout - economic and political - from a brutal recession.

Stocks end slightly higher

Dhaka stocks ended slightly higher yesterday, driven by sharp gain in the share prices of some state-owned and small market capitalisation companies.

Oil prices gain ground

World oil prices marched upwards on Thursday, winning support from a global equities rally ahead a vital report on crude reserves in the United States, the number one energy consuming nation, dealers said.

Nokia profit drops 69pc in fourth quarter

The world's top mobile phone maker, Nokia Corp., on Thursday said its profits fell 69 percent in the fourth quarter as the economic downturn slowed handset sales.

Sony expects $2.9b operating loss

Sony on Thursday forecast a much bigger than expected operating loss of 2.9 billion dollars, the first in 14 years, as the global economic crisis saps demand for cameras, televisions and other goods.

Crisis-struck KBC secures fresh state capital

Belgian regional authorities moved on Thursday to bail out embattled bank KBC, providing up to 3.5 billion euros (4.6 billion dollars) after its shares collapsed in a crisis of investor confidence.

Deutsche Post ex-head on trial over tax scandal

The ex-head of Germany's Deutsche Post faced court on Thursday over an international tax evasion scandal that fuelled public anger about "fat-cat" excesses in Europe's biggest economy.

Metropolitan

Irregularities prompt EC to postpone Belkuchi UZ polls

Election to Belkuchi Upazila Parishad in Sirajganj was postponed yesterday following allegations that supporters of pro-Awami League candidate Fazlul Haque have prevented voters from casting votes and taken control of polling centres.

Ensure rights of persons with disabilities

Bangladesh Disability Welfare Act 2001 is not coherent with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), said the speakers at a conference yesterday.

Six govt offices ransacked in Bogra

Miscreants broke into six government offices and ransacked government documents and machines at Gabtoli upazila parishad premises and adjacent area Wednesday night.

50pc dropout at primary level in Bangladesh

Global Campaign for Education (GCE) yesterday expressed its concern at the 50 percent dropout of students at the primary level in Bangladesh.

Criminal drowns in pond while trying to flee

A criminal drowned as he jumped into a pond with his accomplices after members of the Bangladesh Army chased them at Khedermara village at Longudu in the district yesterday.

Man killed, his daughter injured in train accident

A man was killed and her minor daughter injured when Rajshahi-bound Mahananda Express hit the motorcycle they were riding on at Baharampur bypass crossing in Rajshahi on Wednesday.

WHO to help implement govt's health vision

Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Margaret Chan has congratulated the newly elected government in Bangladesh for its bold vision in ensuring health care for all.

20 injured as students of 2 universities clash

Clashes between the students of two neighbouring private universities yesterday injured at least 20 people, turning the Kemal Ataturk Avenue area into a battlefield that halted smooth vehicular movement for around two hours.

Pollution exceeds WHO standards in city

Speakers at a workshop yesterday said the level of pollution in the city is more than double than that of the acceptance level of World Health Organisation (WHO).

Dipu greets Hillary

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni congratulated Hillary Rodham Clinton on her assumption of office as the Secretary of State of the United States of America.

Schoolgirl found dead, guard slaughtered

An eight-year-old schoolgirl was found dead at her home at Mirpur in the city while a security guard was slaughtered in his room at a house in Pallabi yesterday.

Verdict in graft case against Saifur's son on Jan 25

The verdict in a graft case against Shafiur Rahman Babu, younger son of former finance minister M Saifur Rahman, will be delivered on January 25.

Project real history of War of Liberation

Speakers at a publication ceremony yesterday underscored the need to project the accurate history of the liberation war to the next generation as they would lead the country in future.

Poet Abu Zafar made BTV DG

The government yesterday appointed poet Kazi Abu Zafar Siddiqi and Kha Ma Harun as director general and deputy director general respectively of Bangladesh Television (BTV).

Cooperation in agricultural research to be strengthened

Cooperation in agricultural research between Bangladesh and Pakistan would further be strengthened for mutual benefits of two countries.

Joy ride sours

An afternoon day-out turned into a fright for two children who were riding a Ferris wheel at Wonder Land at Gulshan in the city yesterday.

754 more held

Police in separate drives arrested 754 people on various charges from different parts of the country in last 24 hours until 6:00am yesterday.

DFID assures enhanced financial assistance

DFID Director General Mark Lowcock yesterday assured Bangladesh of continued and enhanced level of financial assistance as the British development agency was finalising their assistance plan for the country for next few years.

DU to appeal against HC verdict

Dhaka University authorities yesterday decided to appeal in the Supreme Court (SC) against a High Court verdict that declared admission rules in seven departments illegal as the rules disqualify madrasa students from their admissions.

HC stays trial court verdict for 4 months

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for four months a trial court judgment sentencing Awami League lawmaker Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir to 13 years' imprisonment in a graft case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

FF Mahmud Hasan no more

Mahmud Hasan, founder chairman of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad, passed away at Eden Multicare Hospital yesterday at the age of 80, says a press release.

Moudud allowed to draw money from frozen bank account

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to permit former BNP minister Moudud Ahmed to withdraw Tk 5 lakh a month from one of his frozen IFIC bank accounts.

Md Fazlul Haque

Md Fazlul Haque, a freedom fighter, passed away due to a cardiac arrest at Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital on Wednesday at the age of 60.

57 survivors identified as Bangladeshis

Bangladesh government has identified at least 57 survivors rescued from Andaman coast, India, as its citizens --according to a BBC Bangla Service report.

3rd Edn Worldwide Expo begins in city

The 3rd Education Worldwide 2009 Expo began in the city yesterday.

Ban on rallies around JS

Government authorities imposed ban on carrying harmful and objectionable materials and holding rallies in areas around Sangsad Bhaban from tomorrow midnight as the newly elected 9th parliament convenes in the inaugural session Sunday (January 25).

Letters

Conflict in Gaza

Palestinian militancy and Zionism, which mark the ideologies behind the conflict in the Middle East, are archaic and outdated. With the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, God is no longer tied to a specific geographical area. All the people of the earth are the People of God.

Congratulations, Obama

Barrack Hussein Obama took the reigns of power as the first black American President of the United States of America. Obama stepped into history on Tuesday by being sworn in, holding the bible used by Abraham Lincoln, as the 44th President of the USA. A few million people streamed into that nation's capital Tuesday, packing mass transit before dawn as out-of-towners and area residents alike headed for Pennsylvania Avenue and the National Mall for the swearing in of the first black American president. Obama pronounced the 35-word oath of office, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts whose confirmation to the Supreme Court Obama voted against along with 22 other Democrat Senators back in 2005.

Task ahead

The Awami League has won in a big way. Now they must use it wisely. With such a great victory come unreasonably great expectations. Many of their supporters will be let down because they are hoping for too much. We are aware of their limitations; everything now depends on how they govern.

Election 2008

The 9th parliamentary election has been held peacefully. National and international communities have described the election as free and fair. A survey conducted by International Republican Institute (IRI) has shown that 99 per cent of the voters believe that the 29th December election was free and fair.

President Obama

History is made. We congratulate Americans for making it a reality. We pray for the success of Obama's presidency to march ahead taking the nation behind him and his administration. While watching the CNN coverage in the USA, I just switched over to a Bengali channel to listen to the news headline running concurrently with the live telecast of the CNN. On this solemn occasion, the tv channel could easily avoid showing Iraq.

World today

The people of the world, irrespective of the religion they follow, are aware of the fact that the theory, "I am the State", died with the end of the French Revolution and that the modern world is moving away from "Master-Slave" pattern to "DEMOCRACY".

Halls and student politics

Most of the public universities are affected by student politics. Student politics is a cacophonous word. When a student enrols into university and stays in hall, he/she is compelled to engage in politics and political activities. Most of the time of a student is spent in processions, meetings and other political activities. So he/she gets very little time to study.

Rule of law and good judges

On 08 January I had the opportunity to listen to our newly appointed law minister Barrister Shafiq Ahmed twice on the TV screen, once in the morning while he was addressing the journalists, and then in the evening during a talk show. He is known to be one of the most learned and renowned lawyers in our country. On both the occasions he expressed his firm conviction in the rule of law. No one can disagree with him. There cannot be good governance in the absence of rule of law. There cannot be any rule of law in the absence of learned, honest and efficient judges who can perform their duties independently and honestly.

Disturbing scene

Friday prayers in the Baitul Mukarram national mosque were disrupted due to a row over who would deliver the khutba or the sermonthe government-appointed new khatib (i.e.cleric delivering sermons) Mawlana Salahuddin or the Imam of the mosque and acting khatib Mawlana Nuruddin. Newspapers earlier reported that the government had appointed Mawlana Salahuddin as the khatib of the mosque. This had stirred up discomfort and anger among the activists of a political party who had long been using the mosque for their militant-type activities. In this context we can recall the mayhem that took place when they attacked their political opponents from inside the mosque just before the 2nd caretaker government took over on 1/11.

Father Marino

Star Insight's cover story on Father Marino Rigon, in its January 3rd. issue by Rafi Hossain, is indeed a moving portrait of the life of a noble man who came to Bangladesh way back in 1953, to serve the people of a remote locality in Mongla. Unfortunately, he has not been recognised by the country which he dearly loves and served selflessly; and where he wants to live and die and be buried! He is indeed a true Bangladeshi, in thought, word and deeds! How many such persons can we find today?

Banglapedia

"Banglapedia", a publication by Asiatic Society, is a wonderful and praiseworthy work in the print arena of Bangladesh.It is an encyclopaedia type of work on Bangladesh, its history, culture, geography, religion, archaeology and what not. It is a storehouse of knowledge on every sphere of our country.

Stunning news

The nation is stunned by the news of alleged bribery and money laundering involving Khaleda Zia's two sons which shattered the country's image. Khaleda Zia as their mother and the then Prime Minister cannot avoid the responsibility in this regard and therefore owes an explanation to the nation.

Internet usage

Living in a third world country like Bangladesh, with half its population dragging their lives below poverty line, the ambition for competing with the hi-tech world is lofty, if not impossible. With a trifling number of people, one percent of the total population, using Internet, the status of the country regarding the usage of Internet is anybody's guess.

Great rescue operation!

I put my hats off to the crew of the US Airways Flight No. 1549. In aviation there are many safety equipments available both in aircraft as well as on ground. These equipments are kept serviceable all the time so that whenever any mishap takes place they can be used and loss of life minimized. This was a unique example of handling the emergency in an efficient manner. the crew here gets hundred percent marks.

Israel deserves glo- bal condemnation

The wild and bloodthirsty Israeli soldiers were mercilessly killing innocent Palestinian children and civilians in Gaza. They do not care anyone, not even the UN resolution! Israeli atrocities crossed all limits. Israel deserves global condemnation.

Freedom fighters

Since centuries freedom fighters have always fought the occupiers and invaders for their homeland. The occupiers have always termed the freedom fighters terrorists, that is what Israel is terming the freedom fighters of Palestine. Israel didn't exist before 1948, it was illegally settled on the Palestinian land with the help of western forces. If the Westerners were true friends of the Jews they would have provided or gifted a part of their own land to the Zionists. Grabbed or looted things cannot be a good gift!

Israel's brutal assault

As the assault of Israel on Gaza strip that started on the Christmas eve lingered on, the death toll continued to climb. It reached a staggering figure of 850 in 16 days. In other words, Gaza has become a valley of death. Civilians --men, women and children-- were being killed by the brute force of the state of the art war machine of a menacing Israel. It is clear that the people of Palestine are helpless and at the mercy of the marauding force that has been unleashed on them.

Economic order

In this twenty-first century the total population of the world has reached 6.3 billions. The 192 member-states of the United Nations (UN) are trying their best at all levels to cope with the challenges of the pattern and the modality of the transactions of goods & services and also the occupational trainings & skills when the barter trade is on the verge of complete extinction.

International

Man linked to UK bombings arrested

Pakistani police arrested an al-Qaida suspect believed linked to the 2005 London transit bombings as US intelligence agents watched the capture from a nearby car, two Pakistani security officials said yesterday.

US, Israel could coax Hamas to moderate

Postwar Gaza could become a test of President Barack Obama's inauguration speech offer to Muslims to "extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Iraq ready for early US withdrawal

Iraq said yesterday it is prepared for an early reduction of US troops after President Barack Obama asked the American military to draft plans for a withdrawal from Iraq.

UN calls for durable Gaza cease-fire

The UN Security Council on Wednesday called for the temporary cease-fire in Gaza to be turned into a durable truce with guarantees to prevent arms smuggling and to ensure that all border crossings are permanently reopened.

Austrian incest trial to start on March 16

The trial of an Austrian man accused of holding his daughter captive and raping her over 24 years, will begin on March 16, the court in St. Poelten said yesterday.

Millions to be spent on British daily

Russian billionaire and ex-KGB spy Alexander Lebedev yesterday pledged to spend tens of millions of pounds to ensure the survival of his newly acquired London Evening Standard newspaper.

Lanka troops kill 30 civilians in 'safe zone'

The Sri Lankan military shelled a village and a makeshift hospital inside a government-declared "safe zone" for civilians in the north yesterday, killing at least 30 people and injuring scores of others, local health officials and a rebel-linked Web site said.

US, Afghan forces kill 30 insurgents

Afghan and international forces said yesterday they had killed around 30 militants in Afghanistan, 22 of them in Nato air strikes after a patrol was attacked near the Pakistan border.

Indian parties mull over future allegiances

With elections to Lok Sabha round the corner, it is time for political allegiances and loyalties to shift.

NATO chief praises Pakistan's fight against extremism

Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer held talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad yesterday on the regional situation and security along the Afghan border, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

2nd Int’l Children’s Film Festival to commence with “Hands Off Mississippi”

With the slogan "Future in Frames", 2nd International Children's Film Festival '09 begins tomorrow with the screening of German filmmaker Detlev Buck's "Hands Off Mississippi". Based on an acclaimed novel, the light-footed family film sparkles with warmth and a lovingly nostalgic feeling. It bagged the German Film Prize 2007 as best children's and youth film.

The other side of the story

Music is an integral part of our lives and everything we do is somewhat related to music. "Close Up 1: Tomakei Khujchhey Bangladesh" was like a breath of fresh air for the TV audience, delighting and mesmerising music lovers all around the country. Renowned artiste Fahmida Nabi, who recently made waves with her song "Lukochuri lukochuri golpo" (from the film "Aha!"), was a judge on "Close Up 1", one of the most watched shows on television and was accompanied by the noted music composer Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul and popular singer Partha Barua.

Three-day ‘Bomang Raj Punha’ to begin from February 5

The traditional 'Bomang Raj Punha' celebrated by the Bomang Circle will start from February 5 in the hill town of Bandarban. Aungsoi Prue Chowdhury, 94, chief of the Bomang Circle, made the announcement at a press conference held recently at his palace in Bandarban.

Akshay Kumar turns down award

It is seldom that a Bollywood star refuses to accept a popular award when (s)he is attending the presentation ceremony. But that is precisely what Akshay Kumar did on the night of January 14 when he refused to take the Star Screen Award for best actor in the Popular Viewers' Choice category for his performance in box office hit "Singh is Kinng", leaving his fans and organisers absolutely stunned.

Jungle Dahon A narrative of the Rakhain existence

Barisal-based theatre troupe Shabdaboli's 50th production "Jungle Dahon" is a theatrical expression of the life and livelihood of the ethnic group Rakhain.

Batman & Bollywood? Oscars eye “Knight”,“Slumdog”

"The Dark Knight" is the box-office behemoth with the deceased acting front-runner whose name everyone knows. "Slumdog Millionaire" is the out-of-nowhere surprise with a cast no one in Hollywood ever heard of before.

Chollish Minute Por on BTV

Single-episode play "Chollish Minute Por" will be aired on January 24 on Bangladesh Television at 8:45 pm. Written by Arun Chowdhury, the play is directed by Chayanika Chowdhury.

NEW RELEASES

Shokol-e Phuralo
Solo album of Rabindra Sangeet by
Sayeed Hasan Tipu
Source: Laser Vision

OP-ED

Witnessing a movement

LIKE many Bangladeshis living overseas, I was energised by the US election, which produced a remarkable president and, as importantly, mobilised the young and old like no other political event in recent history.

Defiling Islam

ISLAM was painted black and defiled by acts of violence and hooliganism inside Baitul Mukarram, the national mosque, during Jumma prayers on January 9 and 16. We are used to seeing ugly scenes of political violence on the streets, but we have never seen musallies getting into a brawl and throwing shoes at their opponents in order to chase them out of the mosque. And mind you, this was going on when the khutba, or sermon, was being given by the khatib.

Revamping public universities

CHANGE on the campuses of public universities following change at the centre is quite a regular phenomenon in Bangladesh. Though Bangladesh Chatra League (BCL) is now hitting the headlines, otherstudent organisations are also tarred with the same brush. The students who were oppressed during the previous BNP-Jamaat regime might have a point in settling their old scores with the ones that had ridden roughshod over them.

The seven stages of working life

YOUR work and your personal achievements remain a major focus these days, or so the contents of my mailbag suggest, so let's return to that subject.

StarTech

The touch experience

Sajeeb is tired, very tired, suddenly his eyes sparkled with a winning smile on his face. He was one of the first in the huge queue in front of Shopper's World in Gulshan, waiting for hours in the cold, to get his hands on the 'Tube' codename for the new touch screen from Nokia, the 5800 ExpressMusic.

Hospitality software makes it easy

One of the leading problems in the hospitality business is that we never have time according to requirements. It is nearly impractical to develop all the policies and measures to make our business run more smoothly. Not that it is easier in any other business, but by its very nature the hospitality business is very demanding.

Obama oath floods internet

The first US Internet president is an online sensation, triggering a tidal wave of Web traffic as he officially seized the nation's reins.

Global introduces Eee Box B202

Global Brand Pvt. Ltd has brought 'worlds smallest PC' - Eee Box B202 latest product of Asus in the country, says a press release.

Windows worm numbers 'skyrocket'

Infections of a worm that spreads through low security networks, memory sticks, and PCs without the latest security updates is "skyrocketing".



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