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News of: Monday, 26th of January, 2009
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President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday termed the new Jatiya Sangsad a "parliament for change" and said poverty alleviation, elimination of corruption and terrorism, trial of war criminals and establishment of good governance would be the main objectives of the newly elected government.
The BNP-led opposition lawmakers yesterday walked out of the inaugural session of parliament and boycotted President Iajuddin Ahmed's address.
The Election Commission (EC) Secretariat yesterday received around 100 complaints from losing upazila election candidates, alleging that ruling Awami League (AL) lawmakers and activists influenced voting, intimidated voters, stuffed ballot boxes, and beat up their polling agents.
Advocate Abdul Hamid and Col (retd) Shawkat Ali were unanimously elected speaker and deputy speaker of the ninth parliament respectively in the inaugural session of the House yesterday.
Three probe committees that investigated the recent break-ins at Rail Bhaban in Dhaka and a railway office in Chittagong came up with three different conclusions.
The government yesterday brought major changes in the civil administration, promoting seven officers to the rank of secretary and making one secretary and two additional secretaries the officer-on-special-duty (OSD).
Many unscrupulous traders capitalising on the current crisis of textbooks for secondary school students are marketing pirated books in substandard newsprints in a bid to make brisk business much to the chagrin of students and parents.
Despite obtaining country's citizenship, the Urdu-speaking Bihari are still being deprived of getting Bangladeshi passport as copy of the High Court (HC) verdict is yet to reach the home ministry even after eight months of the ruling.
Immediate past Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar yesterday hoped that the new parliament would be the focal point of all activities and the symbol of people's expectation.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is embarrassed to deal with the list of frozen bank account holders that include lawmakers and influential leaders of the ruling party.
The Awami League (AL) will launch an internal investigation into the alleged influencing of Thursday's upazila elections by a cabinet minister and a lawmaker.
Widespread speculations on the low voter turnout in the January 22 upazila parishad elections seem to be wrong as result sheets from 450 upazilas show that 71.57 percent votes were cast.
The government is thinking about developing a new case-management system to reduce sufferings of litigants.
State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs Dipankar Talukdar yesterday said the CHT Land Commission would be reformed soon to permanently end the land disputes in the CHT region.
The intending hajj pilgrims will have to collect international passport to perform hajj from this year.
A High Court (HC) bench yesterday granted three months bail to former BNP minister Shahjahan Siraj in a tax evasion case.
The Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) authorities yesterday decided to dismiss some 470 “unnecessary and politically-appointed” employees to cut expenditure.
The country was covered in a blanket of fog for the fourth consecutive day yesterday disrupting normal life across the country and affecting flight schedules at Zia International Airport.
Three people were killed in separate criminal attacks in the city's Tejgaon, Sabujbagh and Kadamtoli yesterday.
A thick substance has been found floating in a bottle of purified water supplied with a medicine called Neofloxin manufactured and marketed by Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
A collision between a train and a truck left a labourer dead and four others injured last night at the city's Baraitala in Shyampur when the truck tried to beat the train to a level crossing.
A team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-1) personnel yesterday arrested six female muggers from different parts of the city and two members of an “Agyan Party” (robbers stealing from people by drugging) from Paltan.
Sri Lankan troops yesterday overran the last town controlled by Tamil rebels, army chief Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said, striking a major blow in Asia's longest-running ethnic conflict.
Global warming may create "dead zones" in the ocean that would be devoid of fish and seafood and endure for up to two millennia, according to a study published yesterday.
Pakistan urged President Barack Obama to halt US missile strikes on al-Qaeda strongholds near the Afghan border, saying Saturday that civilians were killed the previous day in the first attacks since Obama's inauguration.
THE ninth national Parliament has got off to an encouraging start. A new Speaker and Deputy Speaker have been elected by the lawmakers. At the same time, the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition have taken their places in the House. The country, therefore, can now look forward to a productive first session of the new Parliament, one that is expected to set the right tone and tenor for the future of parliamentary democracy in Bangladesh.
IT is disconcerting news that about 200 teachers of Dhaka University (DU) left their students sitting in the classrooms for hours as they scrambled for paying compliments to the newly elected Pro-Vice Chancellor and Treasurer in the Registrar building on Saturday. Teachers queued up with flower bouquets to congratulate the two senior officials who took office that day on being appointed by the new government. The angst of the students can be well understood since many of them had come from peripheral townships to attend classes. They are reported to have complained aloud that no notice was served earlier about teachers having to attend such an 'unofficial' programme of greeting. Indeed it was a glaring act of irresponsibility on the part of the teachers of the prime educational institution of the country which must adhere to a strict routine to break out of the sessions jam cycle. The teachers could have assembled after class hours to go and congratulate the newly appointed colleagues.
THE new Al-Led dispensation has set off with a jerky start amid a spurt of dismal events on several fronts. It may be recalled that soon after AL's assumption of power in 1996, turbulences erupted across the country. As then, so also now, the government refrained from putting up a conspiracy theory, not even a veiled one, thus showing signs of maturity.
FOREIGN policy is not made in a day. The smiles in Delhi when President Obama cautioned Pakistan that non-military aid would be cut if it did not curb domestic terrorism were premature. It is military aid to Islamabad which should be of concern to Delhi, but the government has become so dependent on the US that it gets pleased with very little. An inaugural speech can only have markers that will be fleshed into policy. But amateurs in Delhi have rushed to judgment where professionals fear to tread.
IT is not that much, but nevertheless it is a sign of growth of a decent and sophisticated political culture in the country, that BNP has decided to join the inaugural session of the ninth parliament on January 25.
Under foggy conditions, low scoring matches were the order of the day as the Premier Division Twenty20 cricket began at different venues across the country yesterday.
The Australian Open was blown wide open Sunday when top seed Jelena Jankovic crashed out while Roger Federer was forced to mount a memorable comeback to beat Tomas Berdych.
Australia must win on their national holiday on Monday to keep the five-match series alive following another nerveless chase from South Africa in the third game in Sydney on Friday night. Apart from the 2-1 disadvantage, the most troubling thing for the hosts is that they don't feel safe with any total. South Africa have been stunning during their pursuits of 271 in Melbourne and 269 at the SCG, and the only time they fell short was in the five-run defeat in Hobart.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has released the itinerary for the upcoming women's tri-nation cricket tournament which starts from February 6.
Kalabagan continued their good run of form by winning their third game in a row in the First Division Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Visiting Indian women's football team blanked Munshiganj women's team 3-0 in an exhibition match at Munshiganj Stadium yesterday.
Eleven players moved into the second round of the Runner Group Open Tennis tournament winning their respective first round matches in the men's singles event at the Ramna National Tennis Complex yesterday.
After a barren first half Farashganj Sporting Club blanked Arambagh Krira Sangha 2-0 in a second phase match of the Citycell B. League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said his team were progressing well and he was looking forward to facing India after thumping Pakistan Saturday to win the one-day series 2-1.
Afghanistan's hopes of reaching the 2011 World Cup suffered an early setback on Saturday with a 13-run defeat at the hands of Uganda in the World Cricket League Division Three.
Owais Shah can stake a claim for an England Test place against the West Indies after he was named in the team to face St Kitts & Nevis on Sunday.
Kyle Mills, the New Zealand fast bowler, will test his knee during Auckland's State Shield game against Central Districts on January 25 before leaving for Australia two days later for the five-match Chappell-Hadlee Series. Mills decided to skip domestic games in the past two weeks to rest his right knee, but believes the niggle will not prevent him from leading the attack against Australia.
Grand Master Niaz Murshed shared points with the highest rated player GM Alexander Areshchenko of Ukraine in the fifth round of the First Gurgaon Open international chess tournament in Haryana yesterday.
An Australian indigenous rights activist beat a cricketer to a top national honour Sunday, less than a year after an historic apology to Aborigines for injustices committed by white settlers.
England opener Alastair Cook will be Andrew Strauss's vice-captain in the four-Test series against West Indies, which starts on February 4.
The 30th National Junior Chess Championship will start on January 28 at the federation hall-room.
Ten Sports has successfully secured the broadcasting rights for cricket in Sri Lanka for the next four years from 2009 to 2013.
On the eve of the Indian cricket team's departure for Sri Lanka for a one-day series, dashing opener Virender Sehwag has sought to put the rivals on the backfoot, saying he had done his homework against mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis and would not hesitate to attack him.
Barcelona's formidable attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry came up trumps again as the league leaders crushed Numancia 4-1 at Camp Nou on Saturday.
Juventus went level on points with Inter Milan at the top of Serie A for the first time this season as a Claudio Marchisio goal gave them a hard-fought 1-0 win over Fiorentina at Turin's Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Holders Portsmouth crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday as Manchester United were forced to come from behind to overcome Tottenham and keep their quadruple bid on track.
Tony Adams admitted Portsmouth got exactly what they deserved as the FA Cup holders crashed out in the fourth round after being out-played and out-fought by Championship team Swansea.
Liverpool have "everything they need" to win the English Premiership title this season, according to ex-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, now coaching Inter Milan.
Teenage forward Mario Balotelli has again been left out of Inter Milan' squad for Sunday's visit of Sampdoria.
Prices of branded aromatic rice still remain high although those of non-branded or loose ones fell by around 43 percent since mid-November last year, traders said yesterday.
The local software makers have urged the government to value their innovations to make Bangladesh 'truly digital' as per the ruling party's election manifesto.
Five sponsor directors of a listed company, Bangladesh Welding and Electrodes (BD Welding), have sought to quit the company, officials said.
An army of cheap labour has made Bangladesh a hotspot for growth as the rest of Asia struggles through the global financial crisis and observers say the country must now exploit its advantages.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) commitments were the lowest in 2008 both in terms of value and the number of proposals, according to Board of Investment (BoI) data.
With the journey of the new government amid people's expectation for easing their economic and social woes, the business community's demand is a business-friendly environment, said the Bangladesh chapter of International Chamber of Commerce in the editorial of its quarterly News Bulletin released yesterday.
The Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association (BLFCA) yesterday demanded cuts in corporate taxes for non-bank financial institutions to help the sector grow and contribute to increased economic activities.
Bangladesh Employers' Federation (BEF) yesterday urged the labour ministry to take urgent measures to protect the jobs of migrant workers who face threats of displacement abroad.
Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday sought cooperation from US Ambassador in Dhaka James F Moriarty in passage of a bill in US Congress that will allow Bangladeshi products to get duty- and quota-free access to the US market.
Momena lost everything in the 1998 floods and then came to Dhaka in search for a livelihood. Now she lives here in a slum, struggling to make ends meet and dating with the high cost of living. She says if her home in the village did not go under water, she would live in Faridpur now.
India's software sector, reeling from a huge accounting fraud in one of its flagship companies, faces further problems as US firms scale back in a troubled global business environment, analysts said.
Dhaka stocks started the week with gains yesterday, driven by non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs).
There is no joy among workers at Dell's factory here over the global computer giant's decision to shift production from Ireland to Poland but as the economic crisis bites they are relieved their jobs are safe.
World demand for new aircraft could plunge 50 to 60 percent in 2009 due to the global economic crunch and tight credit, Airbus chief executive Thomas Enders said in the Saudi capital on Sunday.
Having cut interest rates to near zero, the Federal Reserve meets Tuesday and Wednesday to consider further actions to get credit flowing again and battle the worst economic crisis in decades.
Hundreds of people in the Philippines are losing their jobs every day as the global economy slows, Labour Secretary Marianito Roque said Friday.
A top Chrysler LLC executive says the automaker should be viable by springtime because of its restructuring, introduction of new and improved vehicles, and higher sales due to loosened credit and sweetened incentives for buyers.
The loss of 1,200 jobs at a giant Nissan car factory in northeast England is fuelling fears that the wheels are coming off Britain's "Motor City", as the global economy grinds to a halt.
Japan's largest brokerage Nomura Holdings is forecast to report a net loss of some 300 billion yen (3.4 billion dollars) for the October-December quarter, its worst in eight years, a report said Sunday.
China has announced a raft of measures to help university graduates find jobs, state media reported Sunday, in a bid to fight unemployment amid the global economic crisis.
The presidents of Colombia and Venezuela pledged Saturday to invest $100 million each in a special fund in hopes of boosting cross-border trade as the world economic crisis slashes global demand for their exports.
The time has come for the young generation to rebuild the nation by removing all sorts of corrupt and illegal practices, eminent citizens said at a programme yesterday.
Newly appointed State Minister for Power and Energy Shamsul Haque Tuku yesterday said government's first priority would be to ensure electricity for irrigation in the coming farming season.
Chairmen and vice chairmen candidates, who boycotted the January 22 upazila election from Araihazar upazila in Narayanganj-2 constituency, yesterday demanded its immediate cancellation, alleging that it a massively rigged election.
Health and Family Welfare Minister AFM Ruhal Haque yesterday urged the World Health Organisation (WHO) to extend its support to the developing countries to reduce maternal and reproductive health-related deaths.
At least two people were killed and 28 others injured in separate road accidents in Gopalganj, Gaibandha and Rajshahi yesterday.
At least five people including a woman were killed and 20 others injured in a road accident at Narayanpur on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway under Trishal upazila yesterday morning.
A trader was burnt alive and 10 shops were gutted in a fire that broke out at Shyamganj Kalibari Bazar in Madarganj early yesterday.
Several hundred farmers yesterday laid siege to the office of Narail Deputy Commissioner demanding sale of urea fertiliser on the open market.
President Iajuddin Ahmed and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday greeted their Indian counterparts on the occasion of the Republic Day of India.
Defeated chairman candidate of Kapasia upazila Abdur Rashid Sarker, who is the central leader of Krishak League, yesterday alleged that chairman-elect Krishak League's central General Secretary Motahar Hossain manipulated in the January 22 upazila elections.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday sought Danish assistance in water resources management, especially dredging of rivers, so vital for the country's agriculture.
People from all walks of life took to the streets in observance of 'Palestine Solidarity Day' yesterday with a call for an independent and sovereign Palestinian state and trial of Israeli forces for their war crimes in Gaza.
A delegation of human rights activists yesterday demanded of the government to repeal the Vested Property Return (Amendment) Ordinance 2008 promulgated by the immediate-past caretaker government.
Chevron will conduct a reevaluation of the Bibiyana gas field to delineate its latest reserve position.
Vice-chancellor of Brac University Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury yesterday called for forming a national advisory council where an expert team will work on disaster management and provide technical support to the government whenever it needs.
The authorities of Dhaka Central Jail yesterday denied Aliya Madrasa's accusation of ransacking rooms of its dormitories by jail guards.
CHT Adivasi Society accorded a reception to State Minister for CHT Affairs Dipankar Talukder, lawmakers Jatindra Lal Tripura and Bir Bahadur and Member of National Human Rights Commission Dr Niru Kumar Chakma at Shakkyamuni Buddhist Temple in Mirpur on Saturday.
Students of Dhaka University (DU) at a rally yesterday condemned the ongoing wars all over the world and demanded an end to the bloodshed.
A court in Dhaka has set today for delivering the judgement of a graft case against Shafiur Rahman Babu, younger son of former finance minister M Saifur Rahman.
State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Dipankar Talukdar yesterday said the Land Commission would be reformed soon to permanently end the existing land problems in the CHT region.
A youth was beaten to death at Char Alauddin in Subarnachar upazila yesterday.
The six newly appointed state ministers yesterday placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi and National Mausoleum at Savar.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has invited reports on corruption from journalists of both print and electronic media for its Investigative Journalism Award 2008, says a press release.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday seized 423 sacks of fertiliser from some shops and godowns at Nashratpur Bazar at Adamdighi upazila in the district for alleged charges of adulteration.
An unidentified person was crushed under the wheels of a local train in the Jamtoil railway station area in Kamarkhanda upazila of Sirajganj district yesterday.
A gang of criminals beat up the settlement officer and vandalised furniture at his office at Dhunat in Bogra yesterday.
State Minister for Housing and Public Works Advocate Abdul Mannan Khan yesterday urged the officials of his ministry and agencies under the ministry to work neutrally and honestly.
The police arrested three muggers from Jatrabari area in the city yesterday on charges of killing one of their accomplices.
A gang of armed robbers looted valuables worth about Tk 8 lakh from the house of a retired police officer in the city's Mirpur area early yesterday.
National Garment Workers' Federation formed a human chain at Muktangan in the city yesterday protesting the mass killing in Gaza Strip, says a press release.
Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty yesterday said India is determined to work with Bangladesh to address terrorism, a major threat to peace and stability, and further strengthen friendship and widen the scope of cooperation.
The admission forms of Pabna University of Science and Technology (PUST) would be available from tomorrow.
The admission test for first year honours courses under the 2008-09 session of Jahangirnagar University (JU) will be held from February 3 to 14, says a press release.
At least 33 of 50 level crossings in five upazilas in Lalmonirhat district have remained without gates nor gate men for a long time, keeping them exposed to accident.
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Rajshahi University unit yesterday staged a demonstration inside the university administrative building demanding immediate resignation of RU acting Vice Chancellor Prof Mamnunul Keramat and Proctor Prof Enamul Haque.
United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) has proved their popularity in Thursday's upazila election as they have won posts of upazila chairman in three out of seven upazilas in hill district Khagrachhari.
With serious acid injuries inflicted by husband, a housewife of Safderpur village in Kotchandpur Upazila is fighting for life at the local health complex.
Eight people, including a primary school teacher and a VDP commander, were abducted allegedly by the members of Democratic Party of Arakan (DPA) from Waingranpara and Bangchhari areas in Roangchhari upazila of the district early yesterday.
Thirty-nine out of 87 candidates who contested for chairmanship and vice- chairmanship in seven upazilas have lost their security deposits for failure to secure required one-eighth of votes during upazila (UZ) elections, district election office sources said.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) officials at a meeting here yesterday sought all-out cooperation of border villagers to resist smuggling of fertiliser, diesel and drug into India.
A Barisal court yesterday awarded life term imprisonment to five people including three siblings and father and son for murdering the principal witness of a murder case.
Congratulations Shakib Al Hasan for the laurels you brought for the country. You are the only glimmer of hope of this time of frustration borne by the cricket team. You are the only one who relentlessly fit the bill when the others time & again disappoint us.
I would like to congratulate through DS Jananetri PM Sheikh Hasina for wisely taking the responsibility of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs ( supposed to be responsible for the development of 66% of the population of Bangladesh-- women and children). Expectations are high that Sheikh Hasina's leadership in the Women and Children Affairs Ministry will be good for women and children.
After the new government had taken office, its student wing went berserk in some high seats of learning. They are resorting to violent means to intimidate the students who follow other ideologies. Chase and counter case, indecent slogans, violent clashes --all these have become common phenomena in some of our public universities and colleges. Needless to say, it is the common students who have to bear the brunt of this spate of violence on campus.
Almost every day a very eye catching , ornamental advertisement appears in the daily newspapers on the Jamuna Future Park, that strikes my mind. Do we really need such a large supermarket and amusement park in our country?
I fully appreciate the DS editorial of 12 Jan under the caption "Demonstrate Zero Tolerance to Vandalism". In fact, this culture of vandalism by students started in our country since our independence. This culture took the present shape in course of time. Initially, some fortune seekers, especially the political leaders, trade union leaders, group leaders of teachers of different ideologies of politics in universities and colleges down to the school levels used the students as their mini-musclemen for their personal or small collective gains.
We the students of session 2003-2004 of Dhaka University would like to request the respective departments of our university to publish our graduation results as early as possible to enable us to appear in the 29th BCS exams. It is a golden opportunity for us that we have got the circulation of BCS. We are enthusiastic enough to participate in this competitive exam. But we are still not sure whether our results will be published before March 2009.
While many consider George W. Bush a very bad US president, the point is highly debatable. George W. Bush's position in history is not different from that of Robert Clive in British history. I have met many English men and women but hardly any one of them spoke unkindly about Robert Clive's activities in Bengal in 1757 and afterwards. Like Robert Clive, George Bush was an empire builder. As a shrewd politician he created facts intelligently and mobilized American people behind him to occupy Iraq. Now the long term presence of the US in Iraq in order to exploit its vast oil resources is a fact that nobody can deny. Like Robert Clive, he has set up stooges who pay lip service to the Iraqi national question while serving wholeheartedly their US masters. Without Bush, this interest of the US big business could not have been achieved. Only a little over 4,000 US soldiers had died during the last six and a half years in Iraq. More people die of car accidents in the US per year. Under certain circumstances, democracy has to be established through the barrels of gun. Bush realized it and had successfully implemented democracy in Iraq, even at the expense of more than one million Iraqi lives.
The national election 2008 was a great challenge to the EC and we the Bangladeshi people have seen how they completed their task successfully. According to local and international election observers, it was the fairest election in the history of Bangladesh.
This is in response to the letters of Rafiqul Islam and Mahboob Hossain on this topic. I agree with the first point of Mr. Rafiq that Israel has no right to be in the Middle-East at the first place, but strongly disagree with his second view. He said that Hamas is to be blamed for the bloodshed taking place in Gaza. But I don't agree with you. As mentioned by Mr. Mahboob Hossain, no economic activities took place in Gaza during the six-month ceasefire period with Israel. According to the ceasefire conditions, Israel was supposed to gradually ease the blockade to which they had subjected the Gazans since June 2007. But they didn't do that and so Hamas had no option but to fire rockets at Israel to press home their demands. So Hamas isn't to be blamed for this bloodshed.
Everybody is all praise for the youthful cabinet that the new prime minister, Sheikh Hasina has presented. We also praise her for her courage, swiftness and worldliness. She has not turned into a Devi aloft beyond the common people. Her respect shown to Zillur Rahman, the elderly politician, is remarkable.
US President Barack Obama did not waste a moment after the oath taking ceremony and he got down to work immediately. Faithful to his election pledges he has turned the page of the black chapter of G.W. Bush and started a new one. Obama ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison within a year and banned the practice of torture in terror interrogations.
With the changes of time things in the world are also changing proportionately or disproportionately that is, things are never static, they keep on rolling a universal phenomenon.
It was anticipated that Israel would declare a unilateral ceasefire so that Hamas would not be bound to stop launching rockets into Israel. It was anticipated that both Israel and Hamas would be the winner as it has happened. For moderate forces to overcome extremist forces, the moderates must be able to provide their population with what they most need. In the Palestine case, the end of Israel's siege of the Gaza strip and its occupation and colonising of the remaining Palestinian territories (West Bank) is the most needed thing.
Once again the tainted face of our student politics is revealed with its true colour and this time it appears as post election violence in different universities. Student politics in the last two decades hardly relates to well being of mass people. It mostly stands out only to articulate how to prevail over opponents by any means driven by hatred and vengeance.
I am referring to the scrapping of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh as confirmed by the commerce minister recently in a meeting with businesses.
A day ahead of the Republic Day, the Government has increased security in the national Capital amid fears of air attacks.
A Hamas team met Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman yesterday in a bid to clinch a lasting truce in war-battered Gaza, after an Israeli negotiator held similar talks in Cairo.
Police in remote northwestern Afghanistan killed 13 Taliban fighters in a clash triggered by the killings of five civilians by the militants, police said yesterday.
Mohammed Samuni and his fellow Gazans can do little more than pick apart the rubble a week after the end of Israel's war on Gaza, with major reconstruction efforts blocked because of closed borders.
Pakistan formally took control Sunday of the main operational facility of a charity allegedly linked to the Mumbai attacks, underscoring its ongoing effort to ease international pressure over militancy on its soil.
Iraqis vote Saturday in the first nationwide election in three years, choosing provincial leaders in what amounts to a test of Iraq's stability as the US plans to remove its troops.
Sri Lanka is in the grip of its biggest military offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, but the country's journalists are also facing an unprecedented battle of their own.
President Barack Obama's pledge of bipartisan cooperation with Congress will be tested as he tries to fulfil a campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay and establish a new system for prosecuting suspected terrorists.
At least 40 people, mostly women and children, drowned in Vietnam on Sunday when a heavily crowded river boat sank while taking people to a market for lunar New Year shopping, officials said.
Mohammad Saad breaks into sobs and gut-wrenching moans when he details six years' humiliation, interrogation and ill-treatment under US orders in Egypt, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who underwent a successful coronary by-pass surgery to overcome multiple blockages to his heart, is doing fine, has been taken off the ventilator and put on liquid diet, doctors attending to him said on Sunday.
With an eye on world opinion, President Barack Obama ushered in a kinder, gentler version of the "war on terror" this week with orders banning torture and shutting down Guantanamo within a year.
The BBC yesterday faced more pressure to broadcast a charity appeal for funds for people in Gaza, as the Archbishop of Canterbury joined the row and more than 50 lawmakers signed a motion condemning the move.
Security has been stepped up for Pakistan's envoy to India, Shahid Malik, after he received a death threat, an official of the high commission said yesterday.
The Security Council on Friday unanimously agreed to extend for six months the mandate of the UN mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and endorsed plans for a further, gradual drawdown of the operation.
Arts & Entertainment
Amidst much enthusiasm and presence of hundreds of children, the 2nd International Children's Film Festival '09 opened at the Central Public Library premises on January 24. Eminent educationist Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed inaugurated the festival. Children's Film Society Bangladesh (CFSB) has arranged the festival in association with Unicef. This year's festival features 156 films from 40 countries.
Central theatre department of Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Goshthi staged its latest production "Half Akhrai" at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpkala academy on January 24. Based on the historic conflict between Ramnidhi Gupta -- popularly known as 'Nidhu Gupta', the originator of Bengali 'tappa' songs -- and his once-favourite disciple Mohan Chand, the play is written by Ratan Siddiqui and directed by Azad Abul Kalam.
To commemorate the 106th birth anniversary of 'Polli-kobi' Jasimuddin a fortnight-long fair -- 'Jasim Polli Mela' -- began yesterday at Govindapur village in Faridpur amidst much enthusiasm. A lively cultural programme was part of the inaugural session.
"Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire" claimed three prizes on Saturday including best drama by the jury and audiences at the Sundance Film Festival, putting it on 2009's must-see list for independent film fans.
Former adviser to the last caretaker government, Rasheda K Chowdhury, will be present as guest on "Aparajita", a live talk show on abc radio today. The programme will be aired from 12:20 pm to 3 pm. The former adviser will share her experiences with the audience on the show. The audience can participate through SMS during the show.
The District Information Office organised an art competition for children to boost their artistic potential and build opinion against drugs.
Yesterday more than half a billion people in China were expected to watch the annual Chinese Lunar New Year gala. Organised by the state-owned China Central Television, the marathon event showcases the country's musical diversity with an extensive line-up of Chinese pop stars performing hit songs. But one genre audiences are unlikely to see is Chinese hip-hop, despite its growing popularity among the country's urban youth.
The ninth episode of “Women in politics and good governance” will be aired today at 6:20 pm. This episode focuses on the role of women councillors in the city corporation. Among the questions raised are whether they are able to perform their duties, whether they face any obstacle from male partners, the nature of these obstacles and their role in an executive committee.
Drama serial "Antorikkho" will be aired on Banglavision today at 4:20 pm. Written by Pantha Shahriar and directed by Sumon Anwar, the play features Abul Hayat, Pijush Bandopadhyay, Masud Ali Khan, Joya Ahsan, Richi Solaiman, Ahmed Rubel, Fazlur Rahman Babu, Jayanto Chattopadhyay, Chandni, Pran Roy, Nadia and others.
AS the classroom is the focus of concern of PEDP II, our purpose is: first, to explain the relevance of organising the classroom around what children are like and how they learn; and second, indicate what needs changing and how.
SMALL is not only beautiful but also manageable. Starting with a small cabinet is undoubtedly a good beginning. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken the right course in keeping with the idea of downsizing government. It is a clean cabinet with a host of new faces, devoid of any misdemeanor.
LEPROSY is a health hazard as well as a sociological problem. Although it is not an infectious disease, it causes deformity if treatment is not received at the initial stage.
THE flow of holidays continues. Have you seen the huge choice of greeting cards now available for special purposes?
Labonya was fetching boiled water from the kitchen of her hostel. Suddenly she tripped and fell. And hot water splashed all over her body.
Production, marketing and use of hazardous polythene bags continue in the city at an alarming rate despite a government ban in force.