The Daily Star

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Monday, April 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 30th of January, 2009

Front Page

JS passes proposal to try war criminals

Parliament yesterday unanimously passed a resolution calling on the government to ensure immediate trial of the war criminals.

Jamaat to take on war crime trial

Not from any conviction but to save its skin from the move to try war criminals, Jamaat-e-Islami plans to make a strategic apology not for its war crimes during the Liberation War but for its political stance in 1971.

Opposition to get all facilities as per rules

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the opposition party would be provided with all facilities in parliament as per its Rules of Procedure.

BNP skips session, wants 3 more front-row seats

The BNP-led opposition, who remained absent in the House proceedings since Wednesday, has demanded three more seats in the front row as a condition to return to parliament.

2m to attend Biswa Ijtema

Biswa Ijtema, the second largest Muslim congregation after the hajj, begins today on the bank of river Turag with participation of devotees from 152 countries.

Top Jamaat leaders talk trial issue

Top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday discussed political issues including the government's move to try the war criminals and saving the party from the present severe crisis.

Presidential polls in JS on Feb 16

The presidential election will be held on February 16, the Election Commission (EC) announced yesterday.

Govt should be more liberal

The government side should be more liberal in appointing a deputy speaker nominated by the opposition bench and distributing seats in Jatiya Sangsad, said former adviser to a caretaker government Akbar Ali Khan yesterday.

Gruesome murder in city

Police yesterday recovered 14 pieces of the body of a man brutally murdered by unknown criminals in the city.

Thailand grants UN access to Rohingyas

The UN refugee agency said yesterday it had visited 12 teenage migrants from Myanmar after Thai authorities finally granted access to some of the Rohingya boat people washing up on its shores.

More amendment to ACC Act sought

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has recommended that the government amend the ACC Act 2004 to make the commission a party in petitions filed by graft accused with the High Court (HC) seeking bail or order for staying case proceedings.

Govt to implement CHT accord fully

The government is going to fully implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord which remains shelved for the last seven years during the BNP-Jamaat and caretaker rule.

200m workers may become extreme poor, fears ILO

Some 200 million workers, mostly in developing economies, could be pushed into extreme poverty because of increased unemployment as fallout of global economic recession, said International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Jalil tells of torture

Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday alleged in parliament excruciating torture on him by the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) after 1/11, and called for a parliamentary probe into the matter.

Hamas signals readiness to negotiate a deal

Senior officials in the Islamic group Hamas are indicating a willingness to negotiate a deal for a long-term truce with Israel as long as the borders of Gaza are opened to the rest of the world.

Design deal signed for Padma Bridge

The government yesterday signed an agreement with the New Zealand-based consultant firm Maunsell AECOM Ltd for preparing the design of the Padma Bridge.

6 doctors asked to surrender in 8 weeks

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed six physicians of United Hospital, accused of negligence in treatment resulting the death of film actor SM Aslam Talukder Manna, to surrender before the trial court within eight weeks.

Govt body to review cases of 'deprived' officials

The government yesterday formed a six-member panel to review the cases of the civil servants who were deprived in different ways, including halt of promotion and forced retirement, between July 2001 and October 2006.

3 cops closed over death in custody

Three policemen were closed here yesterday over the death of a construction worker in police custody on Wednesday.

One-third posts of govt doctors remain vacant

Almost one third of the government posts for physicians remain vacant, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr AFM Ruhul Haque informed the House yesterday.

EC asks banks not to make NID mandatory for clients

The Election Commission (EC) has directed banks and other service oriented organisations not to make National Identity (NID) card mandatory for clients and service seekers while providing their services, including opening a bank account, until distribution of NIDs is fully completed.

ACC seeks 5 more special courts to try graft cases

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has recommended the government to set up five more special courts as the number of corruption cases is increasing.

Mumbai terror attack planned outside Pak territory

After weeks of dithering, Islamabad has now rejected the 26/11 evidence dossier provided by India.

Editorial

Changes in the administration

Politics has for a long number of years played havoc with civil administration and the careers of government officials at the senior levels. Perhaps some of the most glaring instances of a politicisation of the administration were noticed in the five years of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government, when officials were rewarded or punished, as the case may be, on the basis of their loyalties to the powers that were. One example is the mass promotion of 103 joint secretaries to the position of additional secretaries under that government. At the same time, there were an inordinately high number of OSDs (officers on special duty) under them.

It's crunch time

Achieving government revenue targets in the current fiscal may be difficult as import duty collection figures up to December showed a definite downturn. The knock-on effect of the global recession is being felt there. A fall in the world commodity prices is adversely affecting realisation of import duty. But we had set the rate of import duty and the revenue target on the basis of what was then an upward spiralling of commodity prices in the world economy.

Public relations 101

I don't get it. Why is it that successive Bangladesh governments are so clueless when it comes to public relations? Perhaps it is hubris caused by winning an election in a landslide or perhaps it has something to do with our feudal society in which the powerful need not concern themselves with anything as insignificant and inconsequential as how the little people see them.

Is America in decline?

Johan Galtung, a Norwegian sociologist, determines that decline and fall of an empire starts when, amongst other things, it begins to anger a lot of people in the periphery, who are the ones being exploited. He also cites other factors, including lack of balance, a foundation of endless expansion and exploitation, falling apart of infrastructure, and a certain material laziness in a nonproductive elite which finds it easier to buy or steal goods than produce them. The American Empire is already showing some of these symptoms.

Sports

Abahani in semis

Abahani became the first team to qualify for the semifinals of the Dhaka Premier Division Twenty20 tournament when the defending champions crushed Young Pegasus Club by seven wickets at BKSP yesterday.

Dido to focus on preps

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will focus on preparation of the national football team for the coming AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers at home as soon as the ongoing B. League is over.

Citycell Women's Nat'l Football from today

The inaugural national football championship for women kicks off today with 25 teams -- 23 district and two services -- competing in four zones.

Federer floors Roddick

Switzerland's Roger Federer blasted Andy Roddick off-court in another fearsome display to reach the Australian Open final and stay on course for a record-tying 14th Grand Slam title on Thursday.

Jamal leads the pack

Bangladeshi amateur Jamal Hossain Mollah's five under 67 yesterday helped him emerge as the sole leader in round two of the City Bank-Dhaka Bank Bangladesh Open at the Kurmitola Golf Club.

34th place for Javed

Bangladeshi FIDE Master Mohammed Javed overtook his compatriot Grandmaster Niaz Murshed in the final round to clinch 34th place in the 1st Gurgaon Open International Chess Tournament, which concluded at Gurgaon, Haryana in India yesterday.

Mithun slams 7th hattrick of B. League

Mithun Chowdhury struck a hattrick as Chittagong Abahani blew away their Khulna namesakes 5-0 in the Citycell B. League at home yesterday.

Matches drawn in Div 3

Both the Citycell 3rd Division Football League matches ended in draws at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

KP could be IPL's most expensive

Kevin Pietersen could become the Indian Premier League's (IPL) highest-paid cricketer when he goes on sale at the auction on February 6 with a base price of 1.3 million dollars, according to a newspaper report.

Serena, Safina in final

Serena Williams will gun for her 10th Grand Slam title and the world number one ranking against Dinara Safina in the Australian Open final after they both came through tough clashes on Thursday.

Inter extend lead

Diego Milito equalised three minutes from time to deny David Beckham a winning goal as AC Milan were held to a 1-1 draw by Genoa at the San Siro on Wednesday.

Liverpool lose ground

Liverpool's bid for a first English title since 1990 suffered a significant setback on Wednesday as Rafael Benitez's side were held to a 1-1 draw at Wigan.

Big guns falter

Pim Verbeek voiced confidence in his rookie Socceroos team despite a 0-0 draw with lowly Indonesia, as Asian Cup qualifying was overshadowed by an alleged mass brawl after Singapore beat Jordan.

'Becks will return to Galaxy'

Los Angeles Galaxy boss Tim Leiweke said he expects David Beckham to honour his commitment and return for another year of football in North America.

Arshavin deal almost done

Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal are on the verge of finally sealing a deal to sign Andrei Arshavn from Zenit St Petersburg.

Bayer, Werder through

Bayer Leverkusen, Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg booked their places in the quarterfinals of the German Cup on Wednesday, while second-tier Wehen Wiesbaden sprung a surprise with a 1-0 win at first-division Karlsruhe.

Owen suffers ankle injury

Michael Owen's hopes of an England recall were shattered on Wednesday when the Newcastle striker suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out of action for at least six weeks.

Dunga backs Robinho

Brazil national coach Dunga on Wednesday added his support to Robinho after the star player was arrested and bailed over allegations of rape in a British nightclub.

ICL on ICC agenda

The International Cricket Council's (ICC) board meets in Perth on Saturday with the key item on its agenda being an application for recognition from the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Dead rubber can win Proteas the top rank

The similarities between today's match at the WACA and the Sydney Test are striking. Both turned into dead rubbers after South Africa claimed the series early and both provided opportunities for South Africa to claim the No. 1 ranking. Australia hope the parallels continue and they take a consolation win and hold onto top spot, as they did at the SCG. South Africa will rest some key players but neither team wants to give their opponent any extra confidence ahead of the return Test and one-day series in South Africa, which begins in a month.

Powell full of hope

Daren Powell believes West Indies have the firepower to overcome England 3-0 in their Test series in the Caribbean.

Afghans brighten chance

Afghanistan boosted their World Cup qualifying bid on Wednesday with an impressive eight-wicket win over World Cricket League Division Three leaders Papua New Guinea in a game wrapped up before lunch.

Broad's no to IPL

England fast bowler Stuart Broad has turned down the chance to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Double crowns for Amol, Ayami

Top seed Amol Roy and BKSP's Japanese player Ayami earned double crowns in the Runner Group Tennis tournament which concluded yesterday at the Ramna National Tennis Complex.

Zimbabwe crush Kenya

Zimbabwe beat Kenya by 151 runs in the second one-day international match here on Thursday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Symonds fined for McCullum remarks

Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds has been fined 4,000 Australian dollars by Cricket Australia over a remark he made in a radio interview.

TT League

Reigning champions Abahani blanked Dhaka Women's Club 3-0 at the Woodenfloor Gymnasium yesterday in the women's competition of the KDS Dhaka Metropolitan Table Tennis League.

Clark to miss S Africa tour

Seam bowler Stuart Clark will miss Australia's forthcoming tour to South Africa because he is still recovering from surgery on his right elbow.

Two referrals per innings

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reduced the number of reviews available to a team from three unsuccessful reviews per innings to two during the Test series between England and West Indies in February.

Business

BB warns govt of hefty borrowing

Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday warned the government of excess bank borrowing and suggested three measures to help reduce "fiscal pressure" as the borrowing from the banking system exceeded BB's target in the first half of the current fiscal year.

Watch out for recession risk

Economist Prof Rehman Sobhan yesterday called for formation of a "special parliamentary committee" to update lawmakers on the global financial crisis and its probable impact on Bangladesh.

Beximco Pharma down in London trade

Prices of global depository receipts (GDRs) issued by Beximco Pharmaceuticals fell by around 47 percent at the Alternative Investment Market of London Stock Exchange (LSE) since September 1 last year, amid global financial turmoil.

Digital dream hits Softexpo focus

Speakers at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday identified the government's mindset and leadership as major preconditions to materialise the dream of 'Digital Bangladesh'.

Rental power the best short term solution: Aggreko

Leading international rental power provider Aggreko believes that Bangladesh would have to rely on the rental power system as the best short-term solution for the next few years until it could bring some large power projects online.

Call for ensuring right to housing for posterity

A housing fair began here yesterday with a call for ensuring the fundamental right to housing for the next generation.

Export, import activities halted for six hours

Export, import, clearance and forwarding activities remained suspended for six hours at three customs zones yesterday as customs agent employees abstained from their work in protest against the alleged misconduct by the Clearance and Forwarding (C&F) agents.

Protectionism under scanner

The global economy is set for a year of recession and then low growth until 2012, economists at the World Economic Forum in Davos have said.

Jobs gloom mounts as US rescue plan passes first hurdle

A surge in Germany's unemployment rate and more widespread Asian job cuts plunged the world economy deeper in the mire Thursday as Barack Obama's plan to cushion the impact on the US passed its first hurdle.

Stocks end nearly flat

Dhaka stocks ended the week virtually unchanged with investors wandering from one sector to another looking for profit.

Dollar gains in Asia

The dollar strengthened in Asian trade Thursday on hopes that President Barack Obama will take bold action to get the US economy back on its feet.

RRC suggests changes in foreign exchange rules

The Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) yesterday suggested the government amend the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and relax some rules of the labour law.

Trade with Canada to reach $1b this year

Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert McDou-gall yesterday hoped that the trade between Bangladesh and Canada would reach $1billion this year if the global recession does not take its toll on it.

Loan waiver sought for state-owned jute mills

A people's commission on jute and jute industry yesterday demanded exemption of loans of state-owned jute mills to allow the factories to regain foothold and reopen.

Increase remittance business: BB chief

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor has urged Janata Bank to increase the flow of remittance business by providing better customer services.

Chinese premier defends forex policy

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday defended the yuan exchange rate as "reasonable and balanced" against US accusations that Beijing was manipulating its currency to boost exports.

Japan's technology titans hit by fresh trouble

Japan's technology giants on Thursday revealed fresh wounds from the global economic crisis, prompting 4,500 job cuts at Toshiba and a profit warning from once-invincible Nintendo.

Shell suffers $2.8b loss on tumbling oil prices

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday it made a net loss of 2.81 billion dollars (2.15 billion euros) in the final quarter of 2008 as plunging oil prices slashed the value of inventories.

Banks losses estimated at $2.2 trillion: IMF

The IMF said Wednesday global banking industry losses may reach 2.2 trillion dollars in the current financial crisis, sharply revising up its previous estimate of 1.4 trillion dollars.

India's Maruti Suzuki Q3 net profit down 54.3pc

India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India, majority owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor, said Thursday that third-quarter net profit fell 54.3 percent, hit by high input costs and low volumes.

Metropolitan

Army chief to write undisclosed events in history of army

TIB Chairman Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday said he expects Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed to write undisclosed events in the history of Bangladesh Army and suggest ways to bring transparency to the armed forces.

Youths urged to follow Shawkat Osman's works

The 92nd birth anniversary of Shawkat Osman was celebrated yesterday with paying a befitting tribute to the memory of the eminent litterateur.

Rupsha Bridge hit by steamer: Pillar damaged

Khan Jahan Ali Bridge (Rupsha bridge) suffered damage as one of its protection pillars was severely hit by BIWTC rocket steamer MV Ostrich on Wednesday morning.

Rail link snapped as commuter train derails

Railway links between Mymensingh and North Bengal remain suspended for around 12 hours due to the derailment of six compartments of a passenger train at Begun Bari level crossing on Dhaka-Mymensingh route yesterday.

One held for making fake nat'l ID cards

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab)-4 arrested a man for making fake 'National Identity (ID) Cards' in Savar on Wednesday night.

Bir Shreshtha families aspire to one seat

Efforts are underway to secure at least one reserved seat in parliament for women from female members of the freedom fighters who were awarded with the highest honour of Bir Shreshthas.

12,000 mothers, 1.2 lakh newborn babies die a year: Unicef report

Although the country has made significant progress in reducing child mortality, the rate of maternal and newborn mortality still remains high, according to a Unicef report.

Police to stand tough against Ctg criminals

Senior officials of law enforcement agencies in port city yesterday decided to stand tough against the listed top criminals so that they can't come out of the prison easily on bail and pose threats to law and order.

Prepare yourselves to be able to solve problems

Nobel laureate Prof Yuan Tseh Lee yesterday said students should prepare themselves to be able to solve future problems.

Work sincerely for quality service

State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan Khan yesterday called on the officials and employees to perform their duties sincerely to improve the service of the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).

'Case filed to harass BNP supporters'

An Awami League supporter has filed a 'false' case against 22 BNP supporters in a bid to harass them so that they cannot cast their votes for the pro-BNP chairman candidate in the re-election to Chowhali Upazila Parishad.

Noakhali ACC sues ex-BNP lawmaker, DC

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Noakhali unit yesterday filed two separate cases against eight corrupts, including former BNP lawmaker Md Shahjahan and a former deputy commissioner (DC).

Newspaper office ransacked in Gaibandha

Some unruly youths ransacked the office of a local daily yesterday evening for publishing a news item on the expulsion of Fulchhari upazila Awami League president Akbar Hossain, also the upazila chairman.

Booksellers go on strike for artificial crisis of textbooks

Booksellers in two coastal districts yesterday observed a daylong strike protesting the artificial crises of textbooks made by syndicates and additional charges on them by the publishers.

Enayet addl attorney general

Supreme Court lawyer M Enayetur Rahim was appointed additional attorney general (AAG) of the country yesterday.

BCL leader dies in Ctg Jail

An under-trial prisoner died in Chittagong Jail due to illness yesterday.

Chobi Mela begins today

Chobi Mela V, the international festival of photography, will begin in the city today.

Khulna Hardboard mill closed for financial crisis

Khulna Hardboard mill has been closed for indefinite period on Wednesday due to financial constraints and raw materials.

Bangladesh begins journey towards prosperity

The newly appointed Irish Ambassador (resident in New Delhi) Kenneth paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday.

JCD man stabbed by BCL cadres on RU campus

Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) stabbed a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) man in front of Taposhi Rabeya Hall at Rajshahi University on Wednesday night.

Documentary on gibbons

The Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh (WTB) and Global Science Productions (GSP) have jointly produced a documentary on gibbons (Ulluk) titled 'Gibbons: The Forgotten Apes in Peril'.

Ctg jute mill workers demand arrears

Agitating workers of a jute mill here yesterday blockaded the Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Sitakunda to press home their demands for payment of arrears.

Foreign liquor, Phensidyl seized

Members of Detective Branch (DB) of Police seized 564 cans of foreign liquor, 275 bottles of Phensidyl and a private car and arrested its driver in separate drives at Gulshan and Sabujbagh in the city on Wednesday night.

Pass Upazila Parishad Ordn to strengthen local govt

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday urged the new government and parliament members to pass the Upazila Parishad Ordinance 2008 for strengthening the local government.

Programme on Waheedul Haque's death anniversary

Soroj Sangskriti Britta will hold a daylong programme at Bhawal Monoharia in Keraniganj today to mark the 2nd death anniversary of Waheedul Haque, eminent Tagore song exponent and journalist.

Protest on against semester system

Students of social welfare institute at Dhaka University (DU) yesterday made their teachers hostage inside the institute building by locking the main gate to press home their demand for cancelling the decision of introducing semester system at masters level.

JU teachers' team, JCD leaders call on Khaleda

A 23-member delegation of teachers of Jahangirnagar University (JU), led by Prof Khandaker Mustahidur Rahman, called on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office last night.

Ex-minister Jahanara gets bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail for two months to Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) secretary general and former primary and mass education minister Jahanara Begum in a corruption case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Two arrested with fake currencies

Rab members yesterday arrested two people on charges of possessing fake local and Indian currencies in the city's Baridhara area.

Letters

Concert for Bangladesh

"A friend came to me, with sadness in his eyes, told me that he wanted help before his country dies, although I couldn't feel the pain, I knew I had to try, now I am asking all of you, help us save some lives. Bangladesh, Bangladesh where so many people are dying fast."

BFTI

Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute, a non-profit research and training institution, has been given the task of monitoring the prices of essential commodities, by the government. The government also wants it to act as think-tank dealing with external trade issues and with internal ones as well.

Child development

All children are born as human beings but all cannot be good citizens. Which child would be a good citizen? One who would be physically fit to work, always hard working and responsive in all respect? One who would bear a good personality, morality and honest mind? One who would be good decision maker, creative thinker, intelligent and good learner? One who would speak well, mix easily with everybody, well behaved and committed to the society, family and friends?

Textbook crisis

It is that time of year when students in secondary schools should be walking into classes with new textbooks in hand. Unfortunately, as much as fifty percent of them simply cannot do that because the number of books printed so far is far short of the requirement. In other words, it is the same old problem, which comes up on an annual basis, but it has come about in a much aggravated form this year. The authorities are now saying that those students who do not have textbooks need to wait for two or three months. I would like to request to the ministry, NCTB and the printers to put their heads together to rework the schedule for additional printing, and deliver the textbook on an urgent basis.

Phulbari election and open pit mining

In an editorial of 25th January a local English daily stated that the Phulbari election result reflects the opinion of the people against open pit mining. It actually reflects the clash between self-interest and national interest. It also reflects that popular views aired by leaders to build their vote bank override all national, strategic and economic interests.

Baitul Mukarram incident

The third round of mishaps in the form of shoe throwing inside our national mosque is hurting its sanctity. It is the place where Muslims offer their prayer; it is thus a place where the devotees express their gratitude to the Almighty Allah through their prayers. This needs complete harmony, peace, quietness and tranquillity of mind, free from all forms of meanness and prejudices. Perturbing is the fact that some people inside the God's House are tarnishing the sacredness of the place. Such appalling acts not only pollute the mosque but also affect the minds of people who believe in the faith. The government should also act quickly to put a stop to this.

Campus clashes

To keep my promise to my two children I took them to Jahangirnagar University on Jan 16 to show them winter birds. Getting down from the bus we took a rickshaw. “This is the university campus where you will study,” I told my children, showing them the large campus.

Digital Bangladesh

Both manifestos submitted by the two parties, AL and BNP, emit more of a jocular tone. AL, who overwhelming defeated its opposition in the ninth parliamentary election, have sworn to present the nation a 'digital Bangladesh'. This is a bit ambiguous representation that we observe in many cases. As large percentage of our population is illiterate and cannot be expected to understand the meaning of the word 'digit', so it is very ridiculous to present us the so-called Digital Bangladesh.

Avoid blame game

Blame game is an old practice in Bangladesh politics. Any incident that happens anywhere in Bangladesh, the party in power will immediately jump to conclusion and blame the opposition party for it without even a preliminary investigation. The party in power believes "all good work are ours and all bad work are done by the opponents"

An open letter to Khaleda Zia

I wrote an open letter to you which was published in this paper on 11 December, 2006. I am writing this open letter to you to express my views and feelings about the post general election situation.

International

Gaza truce under fire as US envoy meets Abbas

Spiralling violence near Gaza threatened yesterday to shatter ceasefires that ended a war in the Hamas-run enclave as US envoy George Mitchell headed for talks with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

The myth of Hamas rockets, tunnels

Father Manuel Musallam is the Catholic Priest of more than 3500 Christians in Gaza. He voted for Al Fatah in 2006 election but today he is a big supporter of Hamas, which was declared terrorist by USA many years ago.

Obama sees 'difficult decisions' on Iraq, Afghanistan ahead

President Barack Obama said Wednesday he had "difficult decisions" to make on Iraq and Afghanistan after his first meeting as commander-in-chief at the Pentagon with military brass.

Efforts to involve Iran in Afghanistan gather pace

Efforts to involve Iran in stabilizing Afghanistan are gaining pace and raising hopes that President Barack Obama can find a key to defuse tensions with Tehran on the nuclear and other fronts.

News Analysis

New US President Barack Obama must view Iran as a strategic player if he wishes to achieve regional peace rather than limiting his policy to Tehran's controversial nuclear drive, analysts said on Wednesday.

UN evacuates hundreds from Lanka battle zone

The United Nations evacuated hundreds of severely wounded civilians from behind rebel lines in Sri Lanka yesterday as government troops fought to secure final victory over Tamil separatists.

Zardari vows to restore order to Swat

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday vowed to rein in Taliban militants in northwestern Swat valley, a spokesman said, amid efforts to wrest back the area.

Obama urged to aid Afghanistan, stop Pakistan strikes

President Barack Obama should deepen US engagement in Afghanistan but show more restraint in Pakistan, ministers said Thursday as the volatile region took centre stage in Davos.

Somali pirates seize German gas tanker

Somali pirates yesterday hijacked a German gas tanker with 13 Filipino and Indonesian crew in the Gulf of Aden, a Kenyan maritime official said.

No national alliance for LS polls, says Congress

In a move aimed at avoiding pressure from regional allies seeking seats in several states, Congress today ruled out a national alliance in the coming Lok Sabha elections, limiting adjustments to state-level. "We do not have an alliance at the national level. We have alliance partners and seat adjustments at the state level..." AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee here.

Afghan voters to decide Karzai's fate on Aug 20

Afghanistan's election commission said Thursday that the country's presidential election will be held Aug. 20, when voters around the country will decide whether to keep President Hamid Karzai on the job.

Iraq govt won't allow Blackwater to operate

Iraq will not allow Blackwater Worldwide to continue providing security protection for US diplomats in the country, Iraqi and US officials said yesterday.

Russia drops missile plans

Russia has shelved plans to install missiles on central Europe's doorstep after detecting a cooling by the Obama administration towards a controversial US shield project, a military official said Wednesday.

Arts & Entertainment

Madhu Mela in full swing

On the occasion of 185th birth anniversary of poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt, a weeklong 'Madhu Mela' was inaugurated by Khulna Divisional Commissioner (DC) Younusur Rahman on January 25. The mela is sponsored by Banglalink.

Dhaka has evolved into one of the photography capitals of the world, says Dr. Shahidul Alam

How does 'Chobi Mela' rate, compared to other international photography festivals? Festival director and acclaimed photographer, Dr. Shahidul Alam's response: "Chobi Mela has become one of the most important festivals of photography in the world. Historically, photography has been Euro-centric. So the festival culture developed in the west. 'Chobi Mela' is the first major photography festival in Asia and that's a significant achievement for us."

Ittyadi 21 years and still going strong

A wholesome family-oriented variety show, “Ittyadi”, continues to come up with innovative ideas to convey social messages and generating awareness among the masses -- reminding them of their social responsibilities -- with a dash of entertainment.

Winter weddings, filmi music and traffic jams

January being what it is, you probably have been to quite a number of weddings. Days prior to the wedding, your evening at the “gaye holud” probably ran something like this.

Drama serial Bijlee Maholla on Banglavision

Centring on various areas and communities in the city, drama serial "Bijlee Maholla" will be aired tonight on Banglavision. Written by Brindabon Das and directed by Quazi Amirul Islam, the serial is aired at 9:05 pm every Friday.

Gupta artefacts recovered in Bogra

Recently recovered sculptures from the Gupta period and ornate stones will go on display at the Mahastan Museum premises, according to museum sources.

StarTech

Towards digitalisation

Every year Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) organises a spectacular event to showcase the magnificent wonders of the Software and IT services industry in Bangladesh.

Future phones to read your voice & gesture

According to a report by Priya Ganapati of Wired Dot Com, buttons on Cell Phones are pretty much on their way out. Five years from now, it is likely that the mobile phone you will be holding will be a smooth, sleek brick a piece of metal and plastic with a few grooves in it and little more.

SKorea claims advance dog cloning

A South Korean bio-engineering company Thursday claimed a world first, saying it has successfully cloned dogs using stem cells derived from fat tissue.

Asus launches quality graphics solutions

One of the world's quality graphic solutions, ASUS, recently launched the EAH4670 series of the latest ATI Radeon™ HD 4670 GPU graphics card specially designed for discerning users looking for enhanced home theatre experiences.


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