The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, December 22, 2014


News of: Friday, 13th of February, 2009

Front Page

Guidebook trade behind artificial textbook crisis

Some unscrupulous school textbook publishers in collusion with some dishonest government officials are creating an artificial crisis of textbooks on the market, to boost the sales of so-called guide books, also published by them.

Trapped in tailbacks

Return of unfit buses and illegal rickshaws on the city streets is one of the reasons why traffic congestion has worsened over the last two weeks, say traffic cops and public transport employees.

Zillur sworn in as president

Veteran Awami League (AL) leader Zillur Rahman was sworn in as the country's 19th president in a simple ceremony at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Unruly students confine teachers, staff for 10hrs

Police freed over three hundred teachers and employees of Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) from their terrible ordeal of confinement for over 10 hours at its Tejgaon premises.

Part of Mumbai plot hatched in Pakistan

Pakistan acknowledged for the first time that the Mumbai terrorist attacks were launched from its shores and at least partly plotted on its soil, saying yesterday that it had arrested most of the main suspects including one described as "the main operator."

Dhaka says no to IMF support offer

IMF offers Bangladesh support in its efforts to offset any negative impact the country may face due to the global financial crisis, but Bangladesh says it does not need such assistance right now.

Stalled polls in 6 upazilas on April 6

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday decided to hold the postponed upazila parishad elections in six upazilas on April 6 while re-election at eleven polling stations of eight upazilas on March 16.

9 killed as bus falls into ditch

At least nine people were killed and over 35 were injured when a bus carrying students of Chittagong Government College on a picnic fell into a ditch beside Bandarban-Chittagong Highway in Bandarban yesterday.

Help cut poverty, up food output

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought cooperation of all concerned, including aid agencies, in increasing food production to remove poverty from Bangladesh and other South Asian countries as poverty breeds many other problems in the region.

NBR sitting on PSI auditor bid

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) could not appoint an auditor to review the activities of the Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) companies in the last nine years due to resistance from vested interest groups which helped some customs and PSI officials misappropriate hundreds of crores of taka each year.

Sajeda new deputy leader of House

Awami League (AL) presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury succeeded Zillur Rahman as deputy leader of the House yesterday.

Language hero Gaziul out of life support

The condition of ailing language movement veteran Gaziul Haque has improved considerably.

Faruk now too critical of Tifa

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said the proposed latest draft of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) would be detrimental to Bangladesh's interests.

Ekushey Padak '09 goes to 13

Thirteen distinguished persons of the country will be awarded the Ekushey Padak-2009 in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their respective fields.

BNP to hold convention on post-poll violence

The main opposition BNP has taken an initiative to organise a national convention on post-election violence in a bid to create public opinion against “torture and repression on their supporters” across the country after the December 29 elections.

Very few new books by female authors

The number of books authored by women brought out at the Ekushey Boi Mela this year has been low so far.

50 houses ransacked, 15 injured

At least 15 people, including a woman, were injured and 50 houses were ransacked in a fierce clash between two groups of people at Najarpur village in Sadar upazila yesterday.

Lankan troops seize rebel bomb factory

Sri Lankan troops killed 28 Tamil rebels and seized a cache of weapons and ammunition in their latest push for victory in the island's drawn-out ethnic conflict, the government said yesterday.

US, Russian satellites collide in space

US and Russian satellites have collided in the first known major space accident of its kind, creating two clouds of debris that were being tracked by experts yesterday.

Suu Kyi's party launches signature campaign

Myanmar's pro-democracy party launched a name-signing campaign calling for the release of political prisoners, including leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on the 62nd anniversary of Union Day yesterday.

Editorial

Our new head of state

WE take this opportunity to extend our heartiest congratulations to President Zillur Rahman on his assumption of the high office of head of state. The new president brings to the office a dignity and a stature that he has built over the years through his dedicated service to democracy and everything that has had to do with the promotion of public welfare. Zillur Rahman has been a fervent believer in the ideals that his party, the Awami League, has always espoused; and he has in his long and distinguished career never flinched from the challenges involved in bringing those ideals to fruition. He has been a respected confidante of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman; and in the years since 1975 has consistently underscored his faith in the ability of democracy to bring about social and political change in the country.

PM's welcome stance on extra-judicial killing

PRIME Minister Sheikh Hasina's categorical denunciation of extra-judicial killings that grew into a culture during the BNP-led alliance government strikes a responsive cord instantly with people who believe in the due process of law and supremacy of the rule of law. Not only that, she has made it abundantly clear, and very appropriately at that, on the floor of the House, that her government will stop custodial killings and bring to justice those who were involved in such crimes.

Friendship train

WHAT event last week was the most important sign of where Bangladesh-India relations are heading and what this means for the future? Significant as it was, it wasn't the much-heralded visit of the Indian foreign minister: it was the signing of Bangladeshi paceman Mashrafe Mortaza to a $600,000 contract by the Kolkata Knight Riders. Let me explain.

Be mine, Valentine

THE feeling of love is a lovely feeling. If you have loved, you would know what it means. If you haven't, it only tells what you miss. French mathematician Blaise Pascal says the heart has its reasons that reason doesn't know. In love it's the other way around. It has its feelings that only feeling knows. Love is when every heartbeat turns into music.

Sports

DOHS, BKSP win thrillers

Old DOHS maintained their impressive run in the Premier Cricket League when they snatched a five-run win against Surjo Torun in the second round yesterday while BKSP and Cricket Coaching School (CCS) both recorded their first wins in the competition.

Brothers' 9th victory

Goals in the second half ensured the fourth place for Brothers Union in the Citycell B. League when the giants from Gopibagh blanked Farashganj 2-0 yesterday.

England aim to level

England seek to draw level in a Test series that they were favoured to win when they face West Indies in the second Test, starting on Friday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

'NZ tour will be tough'

India's batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday said it would be a challenge for the inexperienced Indian side to cope with the conditions during the upcoming tour of New Zealand.

Messi steals the show

Diego Maradona milked the adulation of the home fans beforehand but it was Lionel Messi who stole the show, capping a virtuoso performance with a goal as Argentina beat France 2-0 at Marseille's Stade Velodrome on Wednesday.

Super Cup from March 3

Bangladesh Football Federa-tion (BFF) has decided to start its mega event Super Cup on February 3 instead 6.

Sri Lanka in final

Sri Lanka scored a emphatic victory over Pakistan when they beat them by 115 runs in the GrameenPhone Tri-Nation Women's Cricket Tournament yesterday at the Shaheed Flight Lieutenant Motiur Rahman Stadium in Khulna.

BOA signs MoU with Harrow

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Harrow Council of UK, under which the Bangladesh athletes will get training and accommodation facilities in England for preparation of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Local Snippets

The men's singles competition of the Amicus Cup National Badminton Championships in Bogra reached the pre-quarterfinals stage yesterday.

Spain stroll to a win

Spain handed England a sharp reminder of the limits of the progress they have made under Fabio Capello by strolling to a 2-0 friendly victory here on Wednesday.

England hail Beckham

David Beckham may not be Bobby Moore, but in equalling his outfield record of 108 caps for England the 33-year-old proved what an extraordinary footballer he is, newspapers here said on Thursday.

Norway stun Germany

Euro 2008 finalists Germany were beaten by minnows Norway for the first time since 1936 as midfielder Christian Grindheim scored to inflict a 1-0 defeat on the hosts in Wednesday's friendly.

Carlo not leaving Milan

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti dismissed reports he will join Chelsea at the end of this season by telling newspaper La Stampa that he has no intention of leaving the Italian giants.

Maradona praises Messi

Diego Maradona proudly eulogised Lionel Messi, the man he says is the best player in the world, after the young Barcelona star scored the killer second goal in Wednesday's 2-0 win over France in Marseille.

Kranjcar wants out

Croatia midfielder Niko Kranjcar has added to Portsmouth's misery by admitting he is keen to leave the struggling Premier League club at the end of the season.

Barcelona best supported club in Europe

Spanish giants Barcelona are officially the best supported team in Europe, according to a survey carried out by German marketing company Sport Markt, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Press slam Mannschaft

The German press pulled no punches on Thursday as it ripped into die Mannschaft following their 1-0 friendly defeat at home to Norway with Bild claiming the Germans were "ridiculed by the viking tourists".

Giggs signs new 1-year deal

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs signed a new one-year contract extension with the Premier League and European champions on Thursday.

Aus-NZ 'final' today

Despite four matches in two weeks, the Chappell-Hadlee Series comes down to one game as the fifth and final one-day international between Australia and New Zealand takes place at the Gabba today. After the Kiwis earned a surprise 2-0 lead, they gave up the next two contests to an Australian side playing in a more familiar style, with their big-name run-makers re-emerging from hibernation and the bowlers finding more ways to subdue the fighting, but under-manned tourists.

Mahela explains why

Mahela Jayawardene said on Thursday his poor form in recent one-day matches was a factor in his decision to resign as captain of Sri Lanka.

Muralidaran shocked

Muttiah Muralidaran has said he knew Mahela Jayawardene was planning to quit the captaincy but the decision on Wednesday left the team in shock. Jayawardene said he was stepping down to give his successor enough time to settle down before the 2011 World Cup, but Muralidaran felt off-field politics had also contributed to the decision.

Trio starts with wins

Brothers, Eskaton and Indira Road began their campaigns with a victory each in the Dhaka First Division Cricket League yesterday.

Modi in trouble

Troubled Rajasthan Cricket Association president and Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi has landed into fresh controversy after the Nagrik Morcha has demanded a probe against him for not depositing the promised sum to the chief minister's benevolent fund.

Qadir bats for Afridi

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Abdul Qadir has thrown his weight behind out-of-form Shahid Afridi insisting that a player of his talent deserves to be a part of the national team.

ICL cancels W Series

The Indian Cricket League (ICL) has hit recession mode with a series of moves that reflect the current economic realities. The World Series Twenty20 tournament, scheduled for March, now stands cancelled, and payments to players have been put on hold until the management completes a stringent performance review that could lead to downgrading of payments and even sackings.

Business

Stocks rebound as state banks buy into market

Stocks rebounded yesterday as state-run banks entered the scene to rescue the troubled market from a slump in investor confidence and downturn for four days.

Cupid promises to bring love, business

Romance is set to paint the town scarlet and several industries eye trade worth over Tk 100 crore on Valentine's Day, just around the bend.

Leasing firms face tough time as banks take slice of the pie

Commercial banks are increasingly branching into leasing business, causing a great market competition.

N-districts' hosiery plants face setback

Hosiery factories in Gobindaganj upazila are faced with setback due to fund crisis and marketing problems although this cottage industry meets up to 80 percent demand for warm clothes of the poor and fixed-income people in the northern districts.

More farm projects in next budget

Planning Minister AK Khandakar yesterday said the present government will include more agricultural projects in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) from the next budget to augment food production so that none goes hungry.

India eases FDI norms

India has further eased the entry of foreign direct investment (FDI) by allowing that foreign equity routed through companies in which majority ownership and control is with Indians would be treated as fully domestic.

Money? Spend it for future

Free markets are on the skids. The once-unwavering belief in deregulation is at a low ebb. Champions of globalisation are shaken. The minted masters of the universe are now more inward-looking than ever before.

Costs of polluted Buriganga

Pure sewage. Black and stinky. Nostrils stings in the strong stench. That is what the Buriganga is on both ways from Bossila.

Faruk assures traders of all-out help to keep market stable

Commerce Minister Col (retd) M Faruk Khan yesterday said the government would extend all-out cooperation to businessmen to keep the prices of essentials stable.

Euro forecasters see lower growth

Forecasters in the eurozone expect the eurozone to contract by 1.7 percent next year and grow by 0.6 percent in 2010, according to a survey released on Thursday by the European Central Bank.

G7 to focus on protectionism, says Italy

Finance ministers from the G7 most industrialised countries will discuss protectionism and the financial crisis at a meeting in Milan from Friday, Italy's finance ministry said.

AirAsia X wants to lease five A340-300s

Long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X wants to lease up to five Airbus A340-300s so it can fly to new markets in Europe and New Zealand, its chief executive said Thursday.

Asian shares down

Asian markets continued to fall Thursday as all eyes remained on the United States where a banking bailout deal received a cool response while a new stimulus is going through Congress.

Oil heads to $35

The price of oil fell towards 35 dollars a barrel in New York on Thursday in a market plagued by weak energy demand reflected in new US data that showed surging crude stockpiles.

GP hosts feast in Ctg

Grameenphone (GP) Ltd yesterday hosted Mezban, a traditional feast in Chittagong.

Bank Asia gets new VP

Bank Asia Ltd has recently elected Nurul Islam Anu, a former CSP, as the bank's new vice president, said a statement.

New chairman for National Housing Finance

National Housing Finance and Investments Ltd has elected Latifur Rahman as the new chairman of the company, according to a press release.

India's inflation falls to one-year low

India's inflation hit a one-year low, government data showed Thursday, giving more room for interest rate cuts to spur Asia's third-largest economy.

Yamaha Motor expects first loss in 26 years

Japan's Yamaha Motor Co. said Thursday it expects its first loss in 26 years in 2009 because of sluggish motorcycle sales and the strong yen.

Spain officially in recession

Spain's economy fell into recession in the fourth quarter of 2008, provisional official data showed Thursday, confirming the once-buoyant economy's first recession in 15 years.

Renault says net profit fell 78pc in 2008

French carmaker Renault said on Thursday it had slumped to an operating loss for 2008 and would focus on freeing up cash this year to weather even worse market conditions.

Metropolitan

Govt set to file claims to UN on maritime boundary

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said the government is all set to file Bangladesh's claims to the United Nations (UN) on the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal.

US envoy for transparent investigation

US Ambassador James F Moriarty has said that extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh should be investigated through a transparent process.

PSC introduces new system for BCS exam

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is going to introduce a new system for form collection, submission and issuing admit card for BCS examinations to cut in the time limit for procedural matters.

Iran keen to set up hospital, university in Bangladesh

Iranian government has expressed interest in setting up a hospital and a university in Bangladesh.

A new journey of democracy begins

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said a new journey of democracy began, with Zillur Rahman becoming the 19th president of the country.

'Take steps for welfare of tea industry workers'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said the government and industrialists must take an initiative to ensure betterment of the tea industry and its workers.

Basanta Utsab today

Jatiya Basanta Utsab Udjapon Parishad will celebrate Pahela Falgoon, the first day of Bangla season Basanta, with a colourful programme at the Institute of Fine Art of Dhaka University today, says a press release.

Statement of witness recorded

A Dhaka court yesterday recorded the statement of one more prosecution witness of the August 21, 2004 grenade attack cases.

RMG workers barricade road in Ctg for salaries

Workers of a garment factory in the port city's Nasirabad industrial area under Bayezid Bostami Police Station blockaded a busy road for around four hours yesterday demanding payment of last month's salaries.

Lack of coordination between agencies responsible for poor traffic system: Khoka

Lack of coordination between agencies concerned is the main reason behind the miserable condition of traffic system in the capital, said Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka yesterday.

AS Mahmud remembered

Speakers at a memorial meeting yesterday paid tribute to media personality AS Mahmud, saying that he played a vital role in the expansion of the mass media, particularly the electronic media, in the country.

AL-BNP clash in Narail

At least 20 people including three women were injured and eight houses looted in a clash between the supporters of Awami Leage (AL) and BNP in the district on Wednesday night.

'Punish killers of BRDB female staff'

Bangladesh Human Rights Commission (BHRS) has condemned the brutal killing of Kazi Zohra Khatun, a BRDB field officer and daughter of a freedom fighter, says a press release.

Chevron staff take part in house building programme

A group of 22 employees from the Dhaka office of Chevron Bangladesh joined hands with Habitat for Humanity recently in a two-day house-building programme at Madhupur in Tangail with a view to supporting the underprivileged to build low-cost but durable homes.

Organisations greet Zillur

Different political, cultural and labour organisations yesterday congratulated President Zillur Rahman on becoming the 19th president of the country.

Newly wed woman succumbs to burns

A newly married housewife succumbed to her burns yesterday after fighting for life for seven days at The City Hospital in Dhaka.

3 killers of Minu executed at Jessore jail

Three men convicted of killing Minu, a housewife, were executed at Jessore Central Jail last night.

CJ to refrain from hearing appeals against HC verdict

Chief Justice MM Ruhul Amin yesterday decided not to hear further the appeals against the High Court (HC) judgement declaring illegal the appointment of Kazi Habibul Awal as acting law secretary.

Removal of head teacher demanded

Guardians of the students of Monipur High School at Mirpur in the city yesterday put up barricades on the roads in the nearby areas for about three hours demanding removal of its head teacher.

US Embassy closed on Sunday

The American Embassy, including the Consular Section and the Public Affairs Section with the Archer K Blood American Centre Library and the Student Advising Centre, will remain closed on Sunday in observance of former US president George Washington's birthday, an American national holiday, says a press release.

Nat'l Rover Moot ends today

The grand campfire and closing ceremony of the 9th National Rover Moot will be held at Bahadurpur Rover Scout Palli at Gazipur today, says a press release.

AL asks women nomination seekers to collect forms

Awami League has asked nomination seekers for reserved seats for women in parliament to collect nomination forms from the party president's office at Dhanmondi in the city from February 14 to 18.

Five bookshops fined for selling notebooks

A mobile court yesterday fined five bookshops in Satkhira town for selling notebooks with the textbooks of class one to class eight.

Letters

Unequal war

Last month's 22-day bombardment and artillery onslaught on unarmed Gazans by the Israeli army is the most vicious attack on the Palestinians in such a small area. The attack destroyed their houses, offices, schools, mosques and so on and in the process killed more than 1350 people including over 350 children. But why? Apparently all this mayhem was in retaliation for the so-called rocket attacks against Israel which by the way a western journalist called ' tin pot rockets' practically causing no damage so as to warrant such a devastating response. Now one may ask why did the Hamas fire these useless rockets toward Israel?

Ethnic diversities

During my recent tour to the greater Sylhet area I had the opportunity to visit the Manipuri community at Madhabpur under Kamalgonj Police Station in the district of Moulvi Bazar.

Is bottled water safe?

Scarcity of drinking water is a serious problem in the city these days. Assuming that the sea level has been shrinking down to the layers that do not provide adequate potable water, tube-wells as well as Wasa are falling far short in terms of their supply of water to the consumers.

Is bottled water safe?

Scarcity of drinking water is a serious problem in the city these days. Assuming that the sea level has been shrinking down to the layers that do not provide adequate potable water, tube-wells as well as Wasa are falling far short in terms of their supply of water to the consumers.

War criminals

A fair trial must be offered to the alleged war criminals. We must remember that crime must be judged as per national laws relating to treason and crimes. If any political motivation interrupts the due process of the trial and diverts the independent course of law, the trials will become questionable.

Priorities of new govt

A lot of commitments have been made by the Awami League/ grand alliance in its electoral manifesto.

Help me, please

Those who are blessed with money and who want education to spread, please help me.

OIC's role

Mr. Md. Humayun Kabir's letter headed "Role of OIC" published in The Daily Star's edition of 9 February 2009, reflects serious lack of information about what took place in the OIC immediately after Israel's military operation started in Gaza. Although I do not represent the OIC Secretary General in Bangladesh, I thought that it would be useful to put the record straight about the OIC which both Bangladesh and Turkey are long time members of.

Statement of wealth

Following the Awami League's overwhelming victory in December 29, 2008 general election we welcome the formation of the democratic government headed by Sk. Hasina the daughter of our father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Undeclared censoring

Bangladesh is a fully democratic country now with no less a person than Bangabandhu's illustrious daughter at the helm. We have every right to believe that Bangabandhu's daughter with a totally democratic mind will never permit any ministry of hers to carry on secret activities without informing the people. But of late, we find that the TV channels (MOVIEMAGIC) mm1, mm2 and BBC Entertainment regularly go off the air at about 6:00am every morning. We enjoy some good movies telecast by these three channels. But it is really painful that right in the midst of these movies (sometimes in the beginning of some movies as well) the aforesaid channels (known as the E-16 service) are stopped every morning. A message is displayed on the screen : "Insert E-04 Card". It becomes obvious that due to some secret instructions from the top, the E-04 cards are withdrawn to disrupt the said channels at 6:00am everyday. It is strange that the channels resume services automatically at about 7-30am.

CHT Peace Accord

At long last the CHT Peace Accord is going to be implemented fully by the newly elected government. The accord was signed between PCJSS and the government on December 2, 1997 with a view to ending two decades of bush war. But the much expected result did not come into being fully due to interferences from home and abroad.

Political scene

I am not a politician and also not so aware of poly-tricks to twist certain things as many of our politicians can do, to their advantage. It will not be out place to quote here the late Bhutto of Pakistan. Replying to a question by some press people quoted as asking Bhutto, “ Sir, it is said that you tell a bundle of lies, one thing in the morning and the other thing just the opposite in the evening”, he was then quoted to have said as “ I am a politician and that is a great quality of a good politician”.Now, as a citizen however, I am politically conscious like many other fellow citizens of our country.

Mobile towers

It is a common feature at Dhaka city that most of the roof top mobile towers have been erected in the vicinity of residential areas disregarding the safety aspect of common people. When the government is regularly reminding us of the safety and precaution to be adopted in case of earthquake, the question arises as to how the authorities are allowing mobile towers compromising safety of lives and property of its citizens.

Law and order

The number of murders has increased after the AL led new political government came to power. Law and order is deteriorating day by day. Panic has gripped all of us.

Gaza situation

I am writing with reference to: "The Gaza Horror Show," by Forrest Cookson (Feb. 2).

Deprived officials

It has been reported that the govt has instituted a high-powered committee to review the cases of those civilian officials who have suffered at the hands of the four-party alliance rulers (DS: 30 January 2009). However, it is not very clear whether the same committee will also examine the cases of the officers of the defence forces. If not, then a similar committee may be formed to review the cases of the officers of the armed forces who were given similar treatment.

No results!

We, the students of Dhaka University, dept. of political science, have long been waiting for our honours results. Five valuable months have gone from our life since we appeared in our final exams. Still, we do not know when our results will be published. When we contacted the university authorities, we were told that the results would be published as soon as possible. But nothing is happening. How long shall we have to wait?

Mosque incidents

It is a matter of great regret that over the appointment of the Khatib at the central mosque, sanctity of the House of Allah has been repeatedly undermined, that too with no sign of any settlement.

International

Lanka plans to house war refugees for 3 yrs

Sri Lankan troops declared a new safe zone for civilians Thursday as they battled to finish off the island's drawn-out ethnic conflict, the defence ministry said.

Obama, Zardari agree on 'active engagement'

US President Barack Obama and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari agreed Wednesday to embark on a policy of "active engagement" to turn the tide in the war on extremism in South Asia.

Pakistan wish list exposes Holbrooke challenge

US envoy Richard Holbrooke leaves Pakistan yesterday with a wish list for aid, but in no doubt about the challenge of eradicating Islamist havens in the nuclear-armed Muslim nation.

US reviews terror tag on Nepal govt

A senior US official said on Wednesday that during a meeting with the Nepalese government he had raised the possible removal of the country's ruling Maoists from a Washington terrorist blacklist.

Pak Taliban threaten to destroy schools

The Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday threatened to destroy all the schools in a region of northwest Pakistan if government troops did not leave the area within three days.

Myanmar envoy brands Rohingyas 'ugly as ogres'

Myanmar's senior official in Hong Kong has described the Rohingya people as "ugly as ogres" in a letter sent to media and foreign officials after a high-profile refugee case highlighted their plight.

Bangarappa quits SP, to join Congress

Samajwadi Party MP and former Karnataka Chief Minister S Bangarappa yesterday resigned from Lok Sabha as well as the party and announced his plans to join the Congress.

N Korea faces sanctions for any missile test: Seoul

Seoul warned North Korea Thursday to drop any plans to fire its longest-range missile, saying a launch would mean increased isolation and more sanctions for the communist state.

Mugabe rival takes oath as Zimbabwe PM

President Robert Mugabe swore in his longtime rival as prime minister Wednesday, cracking his nearly three-decade stranglehold on power and conceding they must work together to rescue Zimbabwe from economic and humanitarian disaster.

Australia feels urgency for fire alert system

Australian police detained two suspects Thursday in connection with the country's worst-ever wildfires, as the government pledged to push through a national fire alert system after thousands were caught off-guard by the infernos.

US frees scores from Abu Ghraib prison

The US military has released more than 100 prisoners from Abu Ghraib jail, which has been renamed Baghdad Central Prison, Iraqi officials said yesterday.

Satellite collision raises concern over space traffic, debris

An unprecedented collision between a Russian and US satellite will fuel concern over the lack of traffic controls in space and the rising volumes of junk that endanger vital satellites and manned flight.

No arrest warrant for Sudan's Beshir: ICC

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said Thursday it has not issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir for crimes in Darfur.

Arts & Entertainment

Babul’s Canvas: Tribute to Language Movement martyrs and Birangana

Babul Mahmood is a talented young artist who has been working on the theme, freedom movement of Bangladesh and its different aspects, over the last decade. “Ekushey Smaraney” and “Birangana” -- two such series by him -- delve into memorable events that forged our nation.

Khudey Gaan Raaj ‘08 at finishing line

The grand finale of “Meridian Channel i Khudey Gaan Raaj'08”, will be held tonight at National Women's Sports Complex, Dhanmondi. Channel i will air the programme live from 7:50 pm.

Special programmes on Pahela Falgun

February 13 ushers in Falgun, the spring season of our country. Various Satellite channels will air special programmes on the first day of the Bengali Month Falgun. Here’s a run up:

Pushpa Rath: Bidding farewell to the departed with flowers

'Pushpa Rath' (literally meaning 'chariot of flowers') a tradition that originated in neighboring Myanmar, has become a part of cultural practices in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Valentine’s Day special on Banglavision

“Bhalobasha Karey Koy”
Noted educationist Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed and well- known poet Nirmalendu Goon will appear in a Valentine's Day special programme on Banglavision. The programme, titled "Bhalobasha Karey Koy", will go on air on February 14 at 6:25 pm.

WATSAN Mela a cultural fiesta

A recent three-day fair, titled ' WATSAN Mela', attracted much attention through its interesting cultural events to build public awareness about water and sanitation. The fair was held at the premises of Shambhuganj UC High School in Sadar Upazila. Deputy Commissioner of Mymensingh, Ziaur Rahman Khan was present on the occasion.

OP-ED

Bangladesh as the first stop for President Obama

IT was in the media recently that President Obama's first foreign trip will be to a Muslim country. Earlier, Obama had said to an Arabic television channel that he would like to extend a hand of friendship to Muslim countries.

Reconstitution, abolition, and ...?

WHILE our political leaders are still at loggerheads on a trifling issue like occupation of seats in the parliament, their unwelcome sermons have started to vex the people again. They are now busy dishing out suggestions instead of striking the problems at their roots.

Pranab Mukherjee's visit

NOT surprisingly, Indian political leaders were the first in the world to welcome Sheikh Hasina's spectacular victory in the 2008 parliamentary elections. Congratulating Hasina, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured India's commitment to further strengthening bilateral relations.

It's time for Asian Idol

I was shocked to hear that American Idol, a singing contest, has become the most popular show in the history of TV all over the world, including in Asia. It is so popular that whenever a new series begins, traffic vanishes, pollution falls, wars stop and global warming halts, with Antarctic ice sheets growing by two millimeters.

StarTech

Is DART the solution?

Bangladesh is in need of planting the DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) system to mitigate losses due to tsunami. On September 13 in 2007, Bangladesh issued Tsunami alert in the coastal region of Bangladesh saying that Tsunami might hit the coastal parts of Bangladesh. After December 30 of that year, Bangladesh survived the effects of Tsunami, due to the natural barrier of its continental shelf stretching 200 km into the Bay of Bengal, reported the official Bangladesh News Agency.

Microsoft launches portals for developers and IT professionals

Microsoft Bangladesh on Wednesday announced that it would run two online community portals each for developers and IT professionals in Bangladesh.

Revolutionary microchip on cards

Researchers at Rice University (USA) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) have developed a microchip that is cleaner and greener and yet 7 times faster than the chips in use today!



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