The Daily Star

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

News of: Tuesday, 27th of January, 2009

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Govt leans on advisory clout

The new government has amended its rules of business, empowering Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to appoint as her advisers and special assistants as many persons as she deems necessary.

Telegraph scripts trouble

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) recommended Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) to permanently close all its telegraph offices after a probe revealed that expenditure of the almost idle and corruption-riddled offices were 15 times their income between 2000 and 2008.

Grateful thanks to BNP and its allies

We have always complained about the opposition normally being unhelpful, unreasonable, quarrelsome, combative, quick on their feet to walk out, and generally negative. Seldom have we found anything to thank them for. At last BNP-led opposition has given us something to cheer and be grateful for. On Sunday, they gave us the best joke of the year.

Travesty of probe

Probes into the assassination of former finance minister SAMS Kibria symbolise the bankruptcy of law-enforcement agencies, as the latest finds completely contradict the previous investigation report.

EC yet to act on complaints

The Election Commission (EC) Secretariat continues to receive complaints from defeated upazila election candidates but the commission is yet to work out a procedure to investigate those, and go for the next course of action.

President may be elected Feb 18

The main opposition BNP wants to see President Iajuddin Ahmed impeached for 'violating the constitution by failing as the chief adviser to hold the parliamentary polls within the stipulated 90 days'.

Govt moves to try war criminals

In line with its election pledges, the Awami League government has taken initiatives to try war criminals after long 37 years of the Liberation War.

BNP sees fresh complication

BNP fears fresh complication over rearrangement of seats of lawmakers at the Jatiya Sangsad as the speaker yesterday said he will reorganise the seats.

Saifur's son Babu jailed

A special court in Dhaka yesterday sentenced Shafiur Rahman Babu, absconding younger son of former finance minister M Saifur Rahman, to 13 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in a corruption case.

Second deputy speaker from opposition

Newly elected Speaker Abdul Hamid said yesterday the government will soon place a bill in parliament to amend the constitution to create a second post of deputy speaker, who will be elected from the opposition.

Govt should study other countries' experiences

UN Resident Coordinator Renata Lok Dessallien said Bangladesh government should study on how the war crime issue was handled in other countries so that Bangladesh can avoid any unfortunate experiences.

Congo warlord denies war crimes

The first-ever trial at the International Criminal Court began yesterday with a Congolese militia commander denying he committed war crimes by recruiting hundreds of child soldiers to kill and rape.

ACC to sue 38 BTCL staff for Tk 23cr graft

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will file a case against 38 staff of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL), formerly BTTB, including 21 divisional engineers for misappropriation and wastage of around Tk 23.04 crore.

RU proctor, all assistants quit

The proctor and all nine assistant proctors of Rajshahi University (RU) having allegiance to BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami resigned en masse yesterday in the wake of demands for their resignation from various student organisations.

Training academy for fake doctors, nurses

A fake training academy has been found running in the capital and providing certificates to the students of medical, nursing and pathological courses for a period of over a decade.

Cases against AL men to be reviewed

A high-powered committee will review all cases filed against Awami League (AL) leaders and activists with 'political motive' during the tenures of the immediate past caretaker government and the BNP-led coalition government.

Global food crisis can still worsen: FAO

The global food crisis which threatens to stoke social unrest and push millions more into poverty could get worse due to the international credit crunch and falling food prices, the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said yesterday.

Hasina's get well message to Manmohan

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has wished early recovery of Indian Premier Manmohan Singh, who underwent cardiac surgery on Saturday.

Latif denies influencing upazila polls

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas yesterday denied the allegation of influencing upazila polls.

Ranglai Mro finally freed

Indigenous leader Ranglai Mro was freed at last yesterday 19 days after the High Court (HC) granted him bail.

Symonds sent to rehab again

Embattled Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds will be sent to rehab for a second time in five months and not be considered for the Test tour to South Africa after his radio diatribe against Brendon McCullum.

Purchase body okays import of 1.5 MT urea

The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved import of 1.5 lakh tonnes of urea fertiliser to meet its demand in the current Boro season.

ROK pledges $200m for Bangladesh

South Korea will provide Bangladesh over $200 million as development assistance this year and also allow access of a greater volume of products to the Korean market.

Iceland govt resigns amid financial collapse

Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde announced yesterday the immediate resignation of his government following massive protests over its handling of the country's dire economic crisis.

Rear Admiral ZU Ahmed new Navy chief

Rear Admiral ZU Ahmed has been made new chief of Bangladesh Navy.

Zillur already president in kindergartens!

A book on general knowledge taught in many kindergartens in Chapainawabganj mentions Awami League (AL) leader Zillur Rahman as the country's present president.

Four US soldiers killed in Iraq helicopter crash

Four US soldiers were killed yesterday when two helicopters crashed in northern Iraq, American and Iraqi military officials said.


A good beginning, but…

WE watched a lively first session of the ninth parliament, dignified change of guard in the speakership, and a decent speech by the president that did not go out of the way to denigrate the previous government, which has been the norm. The newly elected MPs, many of them new faces in parliament, applauded the goings on quite enthusiastically. It was for the first time since 1991 that we had such a fully participated, vibrant first session of parliament.

Farewell Mr. Sircar

MR. Jamiruddin Sircar has relinquished his duty as the Speaker. We would like to wish him good health and a happy future with the hope that he would be able to acquit himself better in his new calling, whatever that might be, than he had done as the Speaker of the eighth parliament.

Religious schools can be modern too

TODAY'S subject is modernism and religion, and how we perceive and handle the two in this country. Can the two live in the same room as room-mates? Or should they treat one another as perennial enemies? The subject is complex and demands greater insight.

Break bread, not bones

THOSE whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make extremists; those who cannot wait become suicide-bombers. What is it that motivates young men anywhere to choose death as a career? It cannot be the prospect of celestial virgins. How can a Muslim martyr be sure that when he does reach the gates of a communal Paradise, he is not rewarded with a pious Roman Catholic nun?

Obama's big-picture problem

AN Inaugural Address is a new president's best opportunity to put forward a vision of government. In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson proposed an expansion of the federal role to counter economic and racial injustice. "In a land of great wealth, families must not live in hopeless poverty," he declared.


Ash's all-round show

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful continued his impressive run while left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak returned to business in the second round of the Premier Division Twenty20 cricket yesterday.

Pro golf returns

The Aircel-Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) comes to Bangladesh as the City Bank-Dhaka Bank Bangladesh Open 2009 begins at the Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC) today.

Russel hope dented

Sheikh Russel's title hopes suffered yet another blow when the second-placed side drew 2-2 with Brothers Union in a tense Citycell B. League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

South African double

South Africa completed a magnificent Test and one-day double over Australia with an eight-wicket win in the fourth one-day international at the Adelaide Oval on Monday.

Murray's dream over

Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams stayed on track at the Australian Open Monday but Andy Murray's campaign came shuddering to a halt and a raft of withdrawals blighted the race to the quarterfinals.

Milan romp at Bologna

David Beckham struck his first goal in Italian football on Sunday while Kaka put the Manchester City transfer saga behind him with a brace as AC Milan romped to a 4-1 victory at Bologna.

Australian Open Secrets

Serena Williams says there won't be any rematch against Andy Roddick no matter how badly journalists -- or Roddick -- may want one.

Fergie plays mind games

Premier League leaders Manchester United can steal a march on closest pursuers Liverpool by going three points clear on Tuesday, 24 hours before their north-west rivals are next in action.

History awaits Murali

Ace Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralidaran is poised to complete a record bowling double during the one-day series against India starting on Wednesday.

Afghans back on track

Afghanistan recovered from their first day defeat to Uganda to beat Hong Kong by 13 runs on Sunday and get their World Cricket League Division Three campaign back on track.

Raul leads Real

Real Madrid's iconic captain Raul moved to just one goal from equalling Alfredo di Stefano's club goalscoring record as Real cut Barcelona's lead at the top to 12 points with a 1-0 home win over Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

Gerrard rescues L'pool

Steven Gerrard kept Liverpool alive in the FA Cup on Sunday as his equaliser rescued a 1-1 fourth round draw against local rivals Everton.

Messi vows to stay at Barca

Lionel Messi has said he would never leave Barcelona amid curious speculation Real Madrid want to sign the Argentine Wunderkind from their arch rivals.

Cardiff hold Gunners

Premier League Arsenal face an FA Cup replay against Cardiff City after the Welsh side held them to a goalless fourth round draw here at Ninian Park on Sunday.

Portsmouth bring in new faces

Struggling Portsmouth have brought two new faces into their squad in the shape of West Ham midfielder Hayden Mullins and Porto youngster Pele.

Rosicky starts training

Arsenal's Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky, sidelined with a knee injury for more than a year, started individual training last week, his agent Pavel Paska said on the website Sunday.

India arrive in Lanka

The Indian cricket team, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, arrived at the Bandaranaike International airport here yesterday afternoon and was received by Sri Lankan officials.

Kevin leaves everything behind

Kevin Pietersen put the confusion of the last month behind him, and Owais Shah made a strong claim for a place with hundreds in England's opening tour match against St. Kitts and Nevis on Sunday.

Niaz slips to second

Grand Master Niaz Murshed slipped to second position in the First Gurgaon Open International Chess tournament after the end of sixth round in Haryana yesterday.

Badda record first win

Imran hit 62 as Badda Ekota registered their first victory in the First Division T20 Cricket League when they handed a five-wicket defeat to Azad Sporting Club at the CCG ground yesterday.

Top seeds move up

Top seed Sathi Sarkar and Disha Islam along with Ayami of BKSP moved into the women's singles semifinals of the Runner Group Tennis tournament at the Ramna National Tennis Complex yesterday.

PCB's soul-searching

Pakistan cricket authorities have asked captain Shoaib Malik and coach Intikhab Alam for a detailed report on their team's loss against Sri Lanka in the recent one-day series, an official said Monday.

Cudicini joins Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur have signed goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini on a free transfer from Chelsea, the Blues said Monday.

Lanka name same side

Sri Lanka on Monday announced a 15-member squad for the first three ODIs against India, the same bunch that beat Pakistan 2-1 in the recent cricket series.

Bravo may miss England Tests

Dwayne Bravo is likely to make his first appearance for West Indies following ankle surgery only in the five one-day Internationals against England.

Asif's claim

Suspended fast bowler Mohammad Asif on Monday claimed that the Indian Premier League (IPL) Drugs Tribunal has accepted his argument that the banned substance found in his urine sample was due to the herbal eye drops he had used.

BSJA condoles death

Kohinoor Rahman, mother of BSJA vice-president and special correspondent of Dainik Janakantha Arifur Rahman Babu, died of old age complications at her village home in Manikganj Sunday night. She was 72.

Chimbonda set for Spurs return

Frenchman Pascal Chim-bonda looks like leaving Sunderland after a mere six-month spell and returning to Tottenham, it was revealed on Sunday.


Vegetable exports slip

Fresh vegetables exports dipped 25 percent in the July-November period of the current fiscal year against the same period last fiscal, thanks to a sliding pound sterling and additional non-tariff barriers (NTBs) imposed on some items to enter one of the key markets -- United Kingdom.

40 firms join UN Global Compact network

More than 40 local organisations, including private sector companies, have signed up for UN Global Compact Local Network for Bangladesh -- the main UN instrument for promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) -- launched at a programme in Dhaka yesterday.

Global economy hit by massive job cuts

The world economy was hit by a massive wave of job cuts on Monday with companies announcing plans to lay off tens of thousands of workers as US President Barack Obama warned of a crisis that could become "dramatically worse."

Grameen Mutual Fund floats 3rd scheme this year

The third scheme of Grameen Mutual Fund One will be floated this year following the success of earlier two schemes, a move that will strengthen the mutual fund's contribution to the country's stock market.

Private landline operators get financial concessions

The telecom watchdog yesterday officially announced financial concessions, including a 50 percent reduction in yearly licence fee, for private landline operators.

Beximco Pharma to raise Tk 460cr from GEM

Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited (BPL) yesterday announced a subscription agreement with GEM Global Yield Fund Limited (GEM Global), USA to raise Tk 460 crore by issuing its shares or warrants.

Seoul to up zero duty facility for Dhaka

Korea will provide Bangladesh over US$ 200 million as development assistance this year and also allow access of a greater volume of products to the Korean market.

Genuity to showcase call centre solution at Softexpo

Genuity Systems Limited (GSL), one of the leading providers of call-centre solutions, will set up a live call centre at the four-day BASIS Softexpo 2009 that begins today.

Indigenous Fair in Cox's Bazar Friday

In a bid to attract more tourists and introduce diversified culture and lifestyle of the country's different indigenous communities to the world, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and satellite TV station Channel i will organise a daylong fair in Cox's Bazar on Friday.

Japan envoy suggests cuts in power system loss

Japan's Ambassador in Dhaka Masayuki Inoue has said a 10 percent system loss reduction is equivalent to installing a 500 megawatt power station.

China bags Holcim Gold award

China received the top prize of $100,000 in the Holcim Awards Gold 2008 for "effectively" combining heritage preservation, traditional knowledge, local materials, modern technology and professional project management.

NBR turns down Best Air plea to withdraw letter

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has declined to withdraw its letter sent earlier to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) with a request to cancel all Best Air flights as the airline paid only Tk 1.5 million out of an outstanding Tk 20 million in travel tax.

PwC auditors admit to fraud in Satyam case

Two senior auditors of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Sunday confessed that they had received heavy amounts to deliberately overlook the fudging process in Satyam at the behest of its former chairman B Ramalinga Raju.

Oil back over $46 despite deeper recession

Oil prices crawled back above $46 a barrel Monday after falling more than $1 as White House officials warned the U.S. recession would likely worsen in coming months, undermining demand for crude.

Open up VoIP technology

Bangladesh should open up the voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology, focusing on the private sector to extend affordable services to the mass, observes a US-based ICT expert.

Financing infrastructure in Bangladesh

The newly elected government of Bangladesh has identified the development of infrastructure as one of its first and foremost objectives. This is an important area of the economy where investments have historically remained below potential because both local and foreign investors had been constrained by various types of inefficiencies, including, high levels of corruption.

Stocks slip back into losses

Dhaka stocks treaded back into the red yesterday, driven by the profit-taking sales of shares that capped a two-day rally.

Euro, pound on backfoot in Asia

The euro and the British pound were under pressure in Asian trade Monday as traders remained gloomy about prospects for the European economies.

Indian-owned steelmaker Corus to axe 3,500 jobs

Indian-owned steel group Corus said Monday that it would cut 3,500 jobs worldwide, including 2,500 in Britain, following a strategic review sparked by the global economic downturn.

Kuwait's emir urges MPs to back stimulus package

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has urged parliament to support a government economic stimulus package in the face of the global meltdown, newspapers reported Monday.

British bank Barclays sees 2008 profit above forecasts

British bank Barclays said Monday it expected a 2008 pretax profit of more than 5.3 billion pounds (5.6 billion euros, 7.1 billion dollars) despite credit-crunch writedowns of eight billion pounds.

France sets aside five billion euros for Airbus clients

France has ordered its banks to lend five billion euros (6.5 billion dollars) to airlines and transport firms to help them pay for European-built planes, the finance ministry announced Monday.


Bangladesh opposes WHO draft resolution

Adviser to Prime Minister Syed Modasser Ali stressed the need for ensuring quality, safety and efficacy of medicines to protect public health, says a press release.

20 injured as AL, BJP clash in Bhola

At least 20 people, including a policeman, were injured at the clashes between the rival activists of Awami League (AL) and Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) over submission of tenders in Bhola yesterday.

US keen to strengthen bond of friendship

A three-day-long 'America Week' was inaugurated in Barisal yesterday.

Rice trader killed in Gazipur

The body of a rice trader was found on the railway track at Bhurulia area of Joydevpur town yesterday.

DU appeals against HC verdict

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday filed an appeal with the Supreme Court (SC) for staying the High Court (HC) verdict that declared new rules of DU disqualifying madrasa students from admission to its seven departments illegal.

US troops could pull out before deadline

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki yesterday said he was determined that the country's armed forces could be rebuilt quickly enough to allow United States troops to be withdrawn earlier than agreed.

Law secy for action against agitating judges

Law Secretary Kazi Habibul Awal yesterday came down heavily on judges agitating for his removal saying that disciplinary action should be taken against the judges for their conduct.

Urban slum dwellers face safe water shortage: Study

Slum dwellers of Ghuntirghar and Chitarpar slums under the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) and Rishipara slum in Narayanganj upazila are facing severe safe water and sanitation problems.

Schoolboy missing

Abdullah Al Mobin Hridoy, an 11-year-old schoolboy, has been missing in Comilla since January 20, says a press release.

Implement 30pc job quota for FFs' children

Amra Muktijoddhar Santan yesterday demanded implementation of 30 percent quota in job and five percent quota for admission in educational institutions for the children of freedom fighters (FFs).

Hydraulic horns of 13 vehicles seized

Department of Environment (DOE) yesterday filed cases against 24 vehicles in the city and realised Tk 19,000 in fines for violating sound pollution rules.

Death of patient sparks violence

Relatives of a female patient vandalised a private hospital at Mirpur in the city and staged demonstrations in the last two days, alleging that she died due to faulty surgery on her.

Road crashes kill 6

Six people were killed in separate road accidents in Naogaon, Netrakona and Benapole yesterday.

NBR official gets bail

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to a former National Board of Revenue (NBR) senior secretary Amir Ali Khan in a Tk 33.65 lakh embezzlement case after he surrendered to the court seeking bail.

BNP leader stabbed to death in Jessore

A BNP leader was stabbed to death in broad daylight allegedly by Awami League activists at Rajapur village in Jessore yesterday.

Three-yr-old baby rescued, three kidnappers held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members on Sunday rescued a three-year-old baby from kidnappers and arrested three criminals from Sirajganj district.

Modernise journalism education: DU VC

Dhaka University Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique yesterday said integration between theoretical knowledge and practical training is needed in journalism education to build efficient media workers.

German foreign secy due today

The State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany Reinhard Silberberg will arrive here today for consultations with the Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain.

Prof Salam acting dean of DU social science

Prof Sheikh Abdus Salam, chairman of Mass Communication and Journalism department, has been appointed acting dean of Social Science faculty at Dhaka University yesterday.

Salanga Day today

Today is the historic Salanga Day.

Republic Day of India celebrated

The 60th Republic Day of India was celebrated with traditional pomp and gaiety in Bangladesh by the Indian high commission here yesterday, says a press release.

Cabinet discusses amendment to ACC Act 2004

The Cabinet at its regular meeting yesterday discussed a proposal to amend the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2004 and the proposed Bangladesh-Uzbekistan Cultural Agreement.

Cancellation of Madarganj UZ poll demanded

Leaders of Democratic Left Alliance, a platform of left-leaning political parties, on Sunday demanded immediate cancellation of Madarganj upazila election in Jamalpur due to vote rigging.

HC judge MA Rashid retires

Justice MA Rashid, a senior judge of the High Court, retired yesterday after his long 10 years in the service.

One to die for killing wife

A Gazipur court yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing his pregnant wife.

Tiger kills golpata collector in Sundarbans

A golpata collector was killed by a Royal Bengal Tiger in Shukdekhali canal area in Sundarbans.

Speaker, Dy Speaker pay tributes to Bangabandhu

Speaker Md Abdul Hamid Advocate, Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali and Chief Whip Vice Principal Abdus Shahid yesterday paid tributes to Bangabandhu at Dhanamondi and the martyrs at the National Memorial.

Shahidul Islam Pannu passes away

Mohammad Shahidul Islam Pannu, director, Sara Advertising Ltd., and a promising advertising entrepreneur, passed away due to a cardiac arrest yesterday at the age of 34, says a press release.

Jhut worker shot in city

A man was bullet hit by criminals due to a dispute between two gangs of criminals over control of garment jhut (scrap) trading.


Southeast University (SEU) has refuted a part of a report headlined '20 injured as students of 2 universities clash' published in The Daily Star on January 23.

Tk 3 lakh outstanding Wasa bills realised

The mobile court of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) in a drive in the city's Kotwali, Lalbagh and Hazaribagh areas yesterday realised Tk three lakh outstanding bills, says a press release.

Robbers kill female teacher

An indigenous female teacher was killed and two other fellow teachers were injured as robbers attacked them in a bus on Mymensingh-Tangail highway at Borbaid in Madhupur last night.

2 extortionists arrested with firearms

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two extortionists with firearms in the city's Moghbazar area yesterday.

Councillor of London Tower calls on Khaleda

Councillor of London Tower Hamlet Mohammad Abdullah Salique called on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office and discussed various issues yesterday.

AL activist killed in post-poll violence

One Awami League (AL) activist was killed and 21 people were injured, one of them with bullet, in post-upazila poll violence in two districts yesterday.

Committee to dispose of complaint against ACC chief

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has formed a two-member special scrutiny committee to dispose of a complaint against its Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury.


Three hill councils without woman members for 20 yrs

Ignoring constitutional provision to ensure representation and participation of women in every sector, three Hill District councils (HDC) have been running without female members since their inception in 1989.

Angry locals call Bodi another 'Hazari'

With allegations of torture and repression on opposition activists and violation of election rules in the recently concluded upazila election, Awami League lawmaker Abdur Rahman Bodi has made himself controversial in less than a month of his election from Cox's Bazar-4 (Ukhia-Teknaf).

Criminal acts alleged against RU BCL

After Awami League-led grand alliance came to the power, the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Rajshahi University unit have involved themselves in criminal activities like toll collection and kidnapping on the campus

111 lose deposit in Pabna, Lalmonirhat

A total of 111 contestants have lost their deposits in upazila (UZ) elections in Pabna and Lalmonirhat districts, election office (EC) sources said.

16 supporters of ex-JP MP sent to jail

Rangpur Ditrict and Sessions Judge's Court yesterday rejected the bail petitions of 16

BNP supporter 'abducted' by AL men in Natore

Awami League cadres allegedly kidnapped a BNP man at Naldanga of Natore yesterday and demanded ransom for his release.

Cargo handling at Mongla port halted for 4 hours

Death of two retrenched dockworkers triggered high tension in Mongla port yesterday morning.

Captors free two of 8 in Bandarban

The criminals involved in Sunday's abduction of eight indigenous people yesterday freed two of the victims and demanded Tk 2 lakh as ransom for release of six others.


Pakistan imposes curfew as army battles Taliban

Four civilians were killed yesterday as troops pounded suspected militant hideouts in Pakistan's Swat valley after a curfew was slapped on the area, officials said.

Tigers flee to jungle as troops advance

Sri Lankan government troops yesterday pushed into the last pockets of jungle still held by the Tamil Tigers after capturing the rebels' last urban stronghold and military headquarters.

Israel vows to back soldiers accused of war crimes

Special legal teams will defend Israeli soldiers against potential war crimes charges stemming from civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip, the prime minister said Sunday, promising the country would fully back those who fought in the three-week offensive.

US would not hesitate to hit Qaeda targets inside Pakistan, says Biden

US Vice President Joseph R Biden has reiterated President Barack Obama's campaign stand that US would not hesitate to attack actionable targets "of high-level al-Qaeda personnel" inside Pakistan.

India celebrates 60th Republic Day amid tight security

Kaleidoscopic images of India's rich cultural diversity and the might of its military were on full display on the magnificent Rajpath in New Delhi on Monday as the nation celebrated its 60th Republic Day amid an unprecedented security cover.

Bicycle bomb kills 5 in northwest Pakistan

A bomb rigged to a bicycle exploded in a northwest Pakistani city yesterday, killing at least five people and wounding 20 others in the latest attack to rattle the volatile region, police said.

Nepal bans dowry system

Nepal's Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda on Sunday banned the dowry system and criminalised caste-based discrimination in a bid to win public support for his faltering government.

Arts & Entertainment

Stars in the heavens, reeds on the earth

There was a knowledgeable being that inhabited Waheedul Haque. He was into song, into all those feelings that contribute to the making of aesthetics. Tagore for him was a lifeline, to culture, indeed to politics. He was always humming a tune, on the rickshaw rides we took together on steamy afternoons, at his desk as a breather from the drudgery of writing editorials at a time when there was not much to write about. Tagore for him was a metaphor, for all the celebratory in life. And as a way of explaining away the darkness that enveloped Bengali society, it was Tagore he went back to. Which is when he broke into a soft rendition of ekhono gelo na andhar/ekhono roilo je badha.

Celebrating the 185th birth anniversary of Michael Madhusudan Datta

On the occasion of 185th birth anniversary of legendary Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt, 'Madhu Mela' began on January 25 at the poet's ancestral home in Sagardari, Jessore. The local administration has organised this weeklong festival (till January 31), says a press release.

Heart to heart with Tahsan-Mithila

He was a serious IBA student, from a family with PhDs and no media link whatsoever, she was a political science student from Dhaka University with a family background in the media. They met in 2004 and love blossomed in the university campus via rickshaw rides and SMS. On August 3, 2006 Tahsan Rahman Khan and Rafiath Rashid Mithila tied the knot. Tahsan reached stardom initially through the band Black and went on to become a successful solo singer. Mithila is a well-known model and has appeared in ads for Meril, Bajaj, Close up and Aktel.

JRSSP conference: Kindling the memory of Tagore

The Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammilon Parishad (JRSSP), Barisal unit recently held its biennial conference at the Barisal NGO Development Network (BNDN) auditorium in the city. The occasion gave artistes a chance to call for the popularisation of Rabindra Sangeet.

Art competition for children

The District Information Office organised an art competition for children to boost their artistic potential and build opinion against drugs.

Mohammad Asaf-ud-Daula on Gaanalap

Renowned cultural personality Mohammad Asaf-ud-Daula is tonight's guest on the musical programme "Gaanalap". The programme will be aired on Banglavision at 9:05 pm. Asaf-ud-Daula is an accomplished singer, songwriter and music composer as well as a deft music connoisseur.


Still waiting for justice

IT has been four long years since my husband Shah A. M. S. Kibria, M.P., was assassinated in a grenade attack at a political meeting in his Habiganj constituency. It is difficult for me to express the overwhelming sense of loss and grief I have felt every moment since that terrible event of January 27, 2005. The worst part has been a sense of helplessness as his murder has not even been properly investigated and that the real culprits may get away without punishment.

The quintessential diplomat

ON this day four years ago, the country lost one of its outstanding sons, Shah Abu Mohammad Shamsul Kibria, in a dastardly grenade attack in Habiganj. His death has been an irreparable loss to the nation. If Kibria were alive today, he would have been the happiest man on earth to see that that his dear party, Awami League, under the able stewardship of Sheikh Hasina, had triumphed at the just-concluded Parliamentary elections. What a valuable asset he could have been to the nation at this important juncture!

In Gaza city, muted hopes for Obama

THERE were no cheers in the Ranoush Café in Gaza City when Barack Obama was inaugurated. A few dozen young Palestinians watched the proceedings on one of the place's four televisions, listening to Al-Jazeera's Arabic voice-over as they sucked on Hubbly Bubblies, which are big water pipes with burning charcoal in the bowl. Afterward, the patrons said they were tentatively pleased.

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