The Daily Star

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Thursday, April 17, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 10th of March, 2009

Front Page

Admin may get back judicial horns

The parliamentary standing committee on law affairs yesterday agreed in principle to recommend that the House reinstate the executive magistrates' power to take cognisance of offences.

450 BDR men found involved so far

Investigators have so far found involvement of around 450 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel in the mutiny at the BDR Headquarters while at least 12 of them led several groups of mutineers.

Jessore GOC killed in chopper crash

General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 55 Infantry Division and Jessore Area Commander Maj Gen Rafiqul Islam and pilot Lt Col Md Shahidul Islam died as an army helicopter crashed at Rouha of Kalihati upazila in Tangail yesterday morning.

No bail or no jail for at least 15 convicts

At least 15 people including some high-profile politicians, who have been sentenced to imprisonment in absentia in different criminal cases, are now in the country, but not on bail or in jail.

BDR HQ hardly cordoned off

Hundreds of rebels of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) could flee from Pilkhana headquarters almost unobstructed during the 33-hour bloody mutiny as law enforcers and security personnel did not cordon off a vast stretch of areas alongside the boundary, people of nearby areas said.

4 hours outage a day in Dhaka

Frequent power outages, over four hours a day, amid hot and humid conditions have made the life of city people miserable.

Solution lies in gas supply

Unless the government improves gas supply to the existing and emerging power plants, load-shedding scenario will turn worse throughout this year, sources say.

2 relations of mutiny victims among 36 picked by AL

The Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance has nominated 36 candidates to contest the election to reserved seats for women in the Jatiya Sangsad.

Education stays shut inside BDR HQ

The four schools and colleges inside the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Headquarters bearing evidence of atrocities during the February 25-26 bloody mutiny are unlikely to reopen immediately to the frustration of around 10,000 students.

Ministers asked not to visit 7 constituencies

The Election Commission (EC) has requested ministers, state ministers, deputy ministers and other individuals enjoying similar status not to visit the seven constituencies during the April 2 by-polls.

BDR subedar 'kills' himself

A naik subedar of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in a bathroom of BDR headquarters in Pilkhana yesterday morning.

Probe body gets 7 more working days

Local investigators have sought help for ballistic and forensic examinations from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States for a proper probe into the carnage at the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters.

Miladunnabi today

Eid-e-Miladunnabi, marking the birth and death anniversaries of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM), will be observed today across the country.

Tight security planned for JS Bhaban

A high-powered committee yesterday decided to ensure foolproof security in and around Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, as it finds the present arrangements inadequate in the wake of recent terrorist attacks at home and abroad.

Arms-laden boats anchored at CUFL without permission

Former officials of Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd (CUFL) during the grilling yesterday claimed that the engine boats did not have permission for using CUFL jetty on the day of seizure of huge amount of arms and ammunition on April 2, 2004.

UK minister for int'l dev due today

The UK Minister for International Development Mike Foster MP arrives here today on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh.

Key suspect arrested

A Detective Branch (DB) team arrested Shakil, the prime suspect in the ntv's video editor Atiqul Islam murder case, from the city's Dakkhin Khan on Sunday night.

BIWTA office vandalised

Unruly labourers of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) ransacked its head office at Motijheel yesterday evening.

UK minister for int'l dev due today

The UK Minister for International Development Mike Foster MP arrives here today on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh.

WB to help ensure food security

The World Bank (WB) will assist Bangladesh in building modern silos and food warehouses to increase stock and ensure food security in the country.

Little-known militant behind Lahore attack

A little-known militant Muhammad Aqil has been identified by Pakistani security agencies as the mastermind of the audacious attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, but raids across the city to nab him proved futile on Monday as he managed to escape.

180 rebels killed over weekend

The Sri Lankan military said yesterday its troops had killed at least 180 Tamil Tigers during a weekend of fierce fighting around the rebels' shrinking fiefdom in the northeast of the island.

North Korea warns of war

North Korea put its military on combat alert yesterday as US and South Korean troops began a major joint exercise, and warned that any attempt to block its upcoming satellite launch would spark a war.

Opposition loses crucial partner

India's main opposition alliance suffered a blow yesterday with one of its oldest partners cutting ties just weeks ahead of the April-May general elections.

Notice

The Daily Star offices will remain closed today on account of Eid-e-Miladunnabi. Therefore, there will be no issue of the newspaper tomorrow.

Editorial

Eid-e-Miladunnabi

EID-e-Miladunnabi, observed on the 12th day of the Hijri month of Rabiul Awal throughout the Muslim world, marks the birth of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and he embraced death on the same day 63 years later, leaving behind his universal message of peace and tolerance for not only the Muslims but also mankind as a whole.

Administrative shake-up

FOR the civil administration to suffer from uncertainty and transfer phobia is not a healthy sign. But that is what the state of the civil bureaucracy is at the moment.

Days of thunder

THE two months of the English calendar -- February and March -- come to our lives to remind us of our glorious history. These two months are blood-soaked all right, but some of our greatest achievements came in these two months. We had shed blood in February 1952, and had turned around to defeat the enemy to uphold the honour of our mother tongue. We are proud of that legacy. We have shed blood again in February 2009, and we have taken the resolve to defeat the enemy once again. Be informed, we never let our sacrifice go in vain.

Easy money

AS GM goes -- so goes America." GM is going (bankrupt) and America is going deeper into a downturn. General Motor's stock plummeted to close at its lowest since 1935 to $1.45 a share on March 5. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly 60% of its market value in less than a year. Stock market investors are now buying low and selling lower for fear of losing it all as the market keeps plummeting.

Clearing the air

WHILE the government's handling of the Pilkhana incident has been well appreciated, the questions that continue to surface are not only perplexing but have also turned out to be extremely disturbing for the democracy-loving people of the country. Why should there be questions about the government, and why should there be fingers pointed at the people in the government?

Sports

BCB eager to hold Pakistan series

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is working hard to get the green signal from the government to save the postponed limited-overs home series against Pakistan.

Biman, MSC coast

Biman and Mohammedan sailed to easy victories in the Premier Division Cricket League matches at different venues yesterday.

Battle for the crore begins tomorrow

All looks set for the launching of the Citycell Super Cup, the richest football tournament in South Asia with Tk one crore for the champions, tomorrow.

Brothers rely on locals

While Abahani, Mohammedan and Sheikh Russel boast foreign collection for the Citycell Super Cup, fellow title contenders Brothers Union will rely on local recruits.

S Africa fight back

Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers shared an unbeaten 164-run partnership and gave South Africa a chance of saving the second Test on the fourth day at Kingsmead here on Monday.

Ctg seeks two WC matches

Sports organisers here sought at least two matches of the 2011 Cricket World Cup and urged the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to take immediate steps in this regard.

English are well-placed

England could have four teams in the quarterfinals of the Champions League if the Premier League quartet can match their first-leg performances in this week's return games. However the last 16 remains in the balance, with four Spanish sides and Italy's trio still strongly fancying their chances.

Ranieri dreams revenge

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri will be looking to get one over his former employers when the Italian giants face Chelsea in the Champions League here on Tuesday for a place in the quarterfinals.

Make or break for Spanish

When it comes to experience of high-pressure European encounters, Real Madrid can hardly be placed in the category of innocent novices.

Klinsi stresses focus

Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann insists Tuesday's Champions League last 16 clash with Sporting Lisbon is not a foregone conclusion despite the Germans' huge first-leg advantage.

Numancia down Valencia

Debt-ridden Valencia watched their Champions League cash lifeline slip further away on Sunday when a 2-1 defeat to relegation strugglers Numancia left the troubled club six points off the top four.

Of the real Ronaldo

Manchester United's claims that 'there's only one Ronaldo' have been met with a shirty response in Sao Paulo.

Everton clinch semifinal spot

Everton came from behind to beat top-flight rivals Middlesbrough 2-1 at Goodison Park on Sunday to book a place in the semifinals of the FA Cup.

Beckham sacrificed a lot of money

David Beckham gave up a "huge" amount of money to make his dream of staying at AC Milan turn into a reality, the club's vice-president Adriano Galliani revealed.

Pakistan back on track

Pakistan bounced back from the defeat to India by beating Sri Lanka in their second match at Canberra's Manuka Oval. Sri Lanka kept tabs on Pakistan after they elected to bat, restricting them to 161, but were rocked in their chase by new-ball bowler Qanita Jalil. Shashikala Siriwardene propped up Sri Lanka's sloppy chase with 58 but the slew of wickets all around her eventually told, and once she was dismissed the end was swift. It was Pakistan's first-ever victory over Sri Lanka in 19 ODIs and also its maiden win in the World Cup after six straight defeats.

Hair hits back

Outspoken Australian umpire Darrell Hair labelled ICC chief Haroon Lorgat a bully Monday for telling officials caught in the Lahore attack to be "more rational" about their experience.

Inzaghi steals the show

Veteran forward Filippo Inzaghi stole the show from David Beckham with a hattrick as AC Milan returned to winning ways in a 3-0 success over Atalanta at the San Siro on Sunday.

Vettori back, Southee out

Captain Daniel Vettori will return to the New Zealand team and paceman Tim Southee has been dropped as the home side attempt to stop rampant India from sealing a one-day series victory.

Tangail U-13 champions

Tangail clinched the Under-13 Development Football title defeating Satkhira 3-2 in the tiebreakers at the Mymensingh Stadium yesterday.

Butt optimistic

A week after terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, has said that he expects teams to tour Pakistan in "six to nine months". He was also confident that Pakistan would remain a co-host of the 2011 World Cup.

Rumi's death anniversary tomorrow

Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association (BSJA) will observe the sixth death anniversary of freedom fighter and eminent journalist Masud Ahmed Rumi tomorrow.

Local Snippets

Indira Road KC brightened their super league hopes when they recorded their fifth win in six matches in the First Division Cricket League yesterday.

Business

Supermarkets to spread out

Supermarket biggies have attempted a massive expansion drive this year to catch up more shoppers who still depend on unorganised wet markets to buy their essentials.

Extraction ban makes stone chips rare, pricey

The supply of stone chips has dropped in recent times raising its prices in local markets because of a partial government ban on stone collection from two rivers in Sylhet.

MCCI backs stimulus to face global crisis fallout

The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) yesterday suggested the government adopt a stimulus package combining monetary, fiscal and sectoral policies to counter effects of the global economic crisis transmitting slowly on Bangladesh.

Global economy nearing pick-up, say G10 bankers

The global economy is "approaching" a pick-up point because positive elements which could fuel growth have yet to be priced in, G10 central bankers said yesterday.

Merchant bankers seek reserved quota in IPO

Merchant bankers yesterday sought a quota reserved for them in every initial public offering (IPO).

IDB funds Rahimafrooz to aid its battery export

Islamic Corporation for Development (ICD), the private sector financing arm of Islamic Development Bank (IDB), yesterday made its first ever investment in Rahimafrooz Globatt Ltd to develop the latter's automotive battery export business.

Govt seeks long-term loan from WB

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday urged the World Bank South-Asian chief to sanction long-term loans for the development of the country.

Indo-Pak trade to decline 60pc

Because of the fear psychosis gripping exporters and importers in the current terror situation, India-Pakistan trade is likely to suffer a major setback in the coming months.

Fujian bank to become first to enter Taiwan market

A Fujian-based commercial bank will become one of the first mainland banks to open in Taiwan, a local Taiwan affairs office official said.

Satyam starts bidding process for 51pc stake sale

Fraud-hit Indian outsourcing giant Satyam Computer Services said on Monday it had started the bidding process to sell off a 51 percent stake.

Swiss economy to shrink 2pc in 2009: IMF

The International Monetary Fund forecast on Monday that the Swiss economy would shrink by at least 2.0 percent this year, or double that of the Swiss official forecast.

Property values sink in New Zealand

Housing values in New Zealand are continuing to sink and new residential building work is declining at the fastest rate in eight years, new data showed Monday.

Market Matrix, Paper Rhyme sign deal

Market Matrix and Paper Rhyme have recently signed an agreement to introduce CRM-based marketing communications in Bangladesh.

How developing nations are hit

There doesn't seem to be respite to the global economic downswing as the latest reports show another 651,000 jobs lost in the United States in February, bringing its unemployment rate to 8.1 percent, the worst in 25 years.

CellBazaar, a face of Digital Bangladesh

The concept of "Brand Bangladesh" has been discussed a lot in recent times -- in seminars, articles and research. Bangladeshi technology entrepreneurs can be crucial in this effort. As a practitioner of micro-finance with a focus on bottom of the pyramid development via small and medium enterprises (SMEs), I am looking closely at the use of technology for economic empowerment. For the last three years I have been watching a fascinating initiative -- CellBazaar, which can be an excellent example of "Digital Bangladesh" and is a part of the government's vision for Bangladesh 2020. Originally designed as a classroom project at MIT, CellBazaar team has been working in Bangladesh for four years. CellBazaar service (http://www.cellbazaar.com) allows people to buy and sell over mobile phones or computers.

World stocks sink

Stock futures were lower Monday as a $41 billion deal between drugmakers Merck and Schering-Plough did little to jolt investors out of their pessimistic mood.

Dollar higher

The dollar rose against major rivals on Monday, while the yen weakened on news of a record current account deficit in Japan, the world's second biggest economy after the United States.

Warren Buffett says economy fell off a cliff

Billionaire Warren Buffett says the economy has "fallen off a cliff" over the past six months and consumers have changed their habits in remarkable ways.

Japanese export machine falters, recession deepens

Prospects for Japan's export-driven economy turned gloomier on Monday on news that worldwide demand for Japanese goods dried up in January, sending the Tokyo stock market to a 26-year low point.

Ex-IMF chief calls for new global super-agency

The former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday called for a new super-agency that would represent all countries and help avoid a repeat of the present global financial turmoil.

Iran economists warn against big hike in fuel prices

A group of Iranian economists has warned against a proposal for a sharp rise in energy prices, saying it would increase poverty and stoke already high inflation, press reports said on Monday.

Correction

A March 5 report, headlined DSE plans to take junk shares off market, had erroneously described Desh Garments as a Z-category company.

Metropolitan

Sahara not aware of recruitment process

The home ministry is going to recruit around 200 sub-inspectors (SIs) of police, but the home minister is in the dark about the recruitment process.

Bring Ctg Storage Depot under food deptt

Union leaders of Central Storage Depot (CSD) in Chittagong yesterday called on the government to bring the largest state-owned depot under the food department again.

Form regional bodies to end militancy in SA

Speakers at a consultation yesterday underscored the need for forming national and regional bodies to end bloodshed, arms trafficking and militancy in South Asian countries.

C'wealth must exploit potential of youths

The Commonwealth, an association of 53 sovereign nations, must exploit the potential of its 100 crore young people to achieve its goals, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Changing mindset a must to end repression on women

The laws, policies and international treaties are not enough to eliminate women repression from the society unless people change their mindset, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

Khaleda demands Tk 5 crore for party backing

Irad Ahmed Siddiky, a Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) mayor aspirant, yesterday alleged that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia demanded Tk 5 crore from him in exchange for party backing in the upcoming mayoral election.

Law minister exempted from proceedings of writ petition

The High Court (HC) yesterday exempted Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed from the proceedings of the writ petition claiming that he (Shafique) was simultaneously holding posts of the minister and member of Bangladesh Bar Council.

AL, BNP clash in N'ganj: 5 injured

Five people were injured in a clash between activists of Awami League and BNP at Ladurchar under Sonargaon Police Station in Narayanganj yesterday.

PM asks for all-out steps

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the authorities concerned to take both short-term and long-term initiatives to tackle power crisis by generating more electricity.

13 Dinajpur BDR men on the run

At least 13 BDR jawans who mutinied at Dinajpur BDR Sector on February 26 are still on the run, according to the BDR and police sources.

Dutch support in health sector sought

Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhul Haque yesterday hoped that the assistance of the Dutch government in the health sector would increase.

Anti-liberation forces behind all subversive activities

Workers Party President and lawmaker Rashed Khan Menon yesterday said it's the anti-liberation war forces that carried out all the subversive activities, including the Pilkhana massacre on February 25, since the liberation war.

Build knowledge-based society to face global challenges

President Zillur Rahman yesterday called upon all to ensure the optimum use of the country's limited resources for building a prosperous Bangladesh.

Dewanbagh, Charmonai Pir followers clash: 20 hurt

At least 20 people were injured in a clash between the followers of Dewanbagh Pir and Charmonai Pir at Simrail intersection under Narayanganj Sadar upazila yesterday.

Call to stop discrimination against women

Employees of Brac at the concluding ceremony of celebration of the International Women's Day yesterday pledged to work together to prevent all discrimination against women.

TIB invites reports

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has invited reports on corruption from journalists of both print and electronic media for its Investigative Journalism Award 2009.

Seven killed in road crashes

At least seven people were killed and six others injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur and Gopalganj yesterday.

Iran, Turkey hail govt

Iran and Turkey have lauded the steps taken by the government in overcoming the crisis created by the barbaric killings at the BDR headquarters recently.

Groundbreaking begins this week

Groundbreaking begins this week for nine new US government-funded Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelters in Cyclone Sidr-affected Khulna division.

3 get 30 yrs' RI for possessing heroin

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced three people to 30 years' rigorous imprisonment for possessing 3.5kg of heroin in January in 2001.

Probe on to find JMB patron link

Investigators in Rajshahi are trying to detect whether there is any link between BDR rebels and the patrons of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

New water pump opens at Khilgaon

Awami League lawmaker Saber Hossain Chowdhury yesterday inaugurated the operation of a water pump at Block-A in Khilgaon in the city, says a press release.

Isabel visits Brac school

World Bank (WB) Vice President for South Asia Region Isabel Guerrero and Country Director Xian Zhu paid a short visit to a Brac school at Badda in the city yesterday and later called on the Brac Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed, says a press release.

Reappointment of 10 judges this week

Ten judges of the High Court (HC), whose jobs were not confirmed during the BNP-Jamaat government despite the Chief Justice's positive recommendations, will be reappointed this week as per the Supreme Court guidelines.

Partnership in higher edn stressed

A three-member delegation of the British Council led by David J Lock, director of International and UK Projects at the UK Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in London, called on the UGC Chairman Prof Nazrul Islam at the latter's office yesterday, says a press release.

29 aspirants to contest by-polls

A total of 29 aspirants filed nominations to vie for upcoming by-elections in seven constituencies, which fell vacant after elected representatives of three major political parties including President Zillur Rahman opted to leave those seats.

'Reinstate Pandora workers'

Speakers at a press conference yesterday demanded immediate reinstatement of the workers of Pandora Sweaters and compensation for attack by criminals on the workers, says a press release.

Director, dy director appointed at PMO

The government appointed a director and a deputy director at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) yesterday.

PM consoles families of 11 slain army officers

Family members of 11 more army officers brutally killed in the BDR headquarters met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Jamuna yesterday.

Killing of army officers condemned

More organisations yesterday condemned the incident of killing of army officials at the BDR headquarters at Pilkhana on February 25-26, says a press release.

Female garment worker found dead in launch

A female garment worker was found dead in a cabin of MV Parabat-2 of Dhaka-Barishal route at Sadarghat.

National

Gaibandha protesters besiege power office

Hundreds of people including farmers, traders and students yesterday laid siege to Saghata Upazila Rural Electrification Board Office demanding regular power supply.

Five Ctg youths get life for killing woman

The Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal yesterday sentenced five youths to life imprisonment for killing a woman in the city's Halishahar area on January 25, 2007.

5 children rescued, trafficker held

Villagers at Shekhpara of Muladuli union in Ishwardi upazila caught red-handed an alleged woman trafficker while fleeing with five school children Sunday afternoon.

Moitree declared 'unwanted' as BCL man stabbed

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Rajshahi University unit yesterday declared Chhatra Moitree 'unwanted' on the campus after a BCL man was stabbed by Moitree activists in front of Bangabandhu Hall at around 2:00pm.

Miscreants set afire 11 houses

Unknown miscreants set afire 11 houses at village Rudrakor under Sadar upazila of the district Sunday night.

RU fine arts students go on rampage

Students of fine arts department of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday ransacked classrooms and put the chairman's room under lock and key demanding immediate withdrawal of additional examination fees.

Horrific!

A four-year-old indigenous girl was violated by a youth at Maidda Boalkhali under Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari on Sunday.

BSF returns body of Bangladeshi

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday afternoon returned the body of a slain Bangladeshi cattle trader to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) after a flag meeting.

Boy killed by classmates

Classmates killed a student of class eight over a trifle matter at Barokhata High School of Hatibandha upazila in Lalmonirhat yesterday.

Housewife acid-burnt

A housewife sustained severe burn injuries as rival villagers threw acid on her at Ghorerpara in Saghata upazila under the district yesterday.

Special

WI build on Gayle ton

England's bid for a series-levelling victory ran into trouble when West Indies avoided following on in the fifth and final Test on Sunday.

International

Tribesmen sign peace deal with Pak govt

Tribesmen signed a deal with Pakistani authorities yesterday, promising not to shelter militants in a tribal area on the Afghan border where the military said the Taliban had been defeated.

N Korea threatens war if satellite shot down

North Korea put its armed forces on standby yesterday and threatened retaliation against anyone seeking to stop it from firing what regional powers fear will be a missile in the latest barrage of threats from the communist regime.

Afghanistan seeks Iran help in stability efforts

Afghanistan called yesterday on neighbouring Iran to help the United States and other world powers in stabilising the violence-wracked nation.

Women's Day marks crisis of poverty, violence

Women rallied worldwide Sunday to demand equal rights and protest against domestic violence and growing poverty in the global economic crisis as they marked International Women's Day.

Brown vows N Ireland peace 'unshakeable'

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown vowed yesterday that peace in Northern Ireland was "unshakeable" despite the first killings of soldiers in 12 years, pledging to find the "callous murderers."

Taliban kill 3 Pakistani US 'spies'

Taliban militants shot dead three men in Pakistan's restive northwest tribal belt after filming them confessing to spying for the United States, officials said yesterday.

Lanka rules out Indian hand in Lahore attacks

Sri Lanka yesterday rejected reports that neighbouring India may have been involved in the militant attack against the island's national cricket team in Pakistan.

China's Hu calls for 'Great Wall' against Tibet separatism

Chinese President Hu Jintao ordered Tibet leaders yesterday to build a "Great Wall" against separatism as the restive Himalayan region marked the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising.

Two killed in Thai south

Suspected militants have shot dead two men and seriously injured two others in Thailand's Muslim-majority far south, where a separatist insurgency is raging, police said yesterday.

Indonesian jet slides off runway

An Indonesian passenger jet skidded off the runway on landing in heavy rain at Jakarta's main airport yesterday but no one was injured, an airport official said.

Pak troops kill 15 militants

Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships attacked Islamist militants close to the Afghan border, killing 15 of them, a government official said yesterday.

Afghan army kills eight militants

Afghan soldiers killed eight suspected Taliban fighters in an offensive against insurgents in the country's flashpoint south, the army said yesterday.

Iraqi MP demands immediate pullout

A senior MP of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr's party yesterday called for the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, a day after plans for a drawdown of two US brigades were announced.

Hamas makes Islamic Jihad vow not to fire rockets

Secrity forces of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza detained several Islamic Jihad activists and made them sign an agreement not to fire rockets at Israel, a Jihad leader said yesterday.

Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai says wife's death an accident

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai sought to dispel speculation yesterday over the cause of the car crash that killed his wife, saying her death was a tragic accident.

US to discuss Afghanistan with Nato allies

US Vice President Joe Biden headed to Brussels yesterday for consultations with Nato allies as a moment of decision looms on a new US strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Turkey warns US against recognition of 'genocide'

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Sunday there was a "risk" that US President Barack Obama would recognise the massacre of Armenians a century ago as genocide.

Obama to overturn policy on stem cells

President Barack Obama is ending former President George W Bush's limits on using federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research, with advisers calling the move a clear signal that science, not political ideology, will guide the administration.

Iranian lawyer meets detained US journalist

US-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi has been able to meet with a lawyer for the first time since she was detained in a Tehran prison more than a month ago, the attorney said yesterday.

Five held over plot against Turkish PM

Police have arrested five people in the southern Turkish city of Adana on suspicion that they were planning an attack against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, media reports said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Fancy a bit of French?

Coinciding with the city's 400th birthday, and in an attempt to leave no stone of Old Dhaka unturned, intrepid architects, Homaira Zaman and Taimur Islam conduct heritage walks to arouse interest and awareness among locals and expats alike. As part of the Urban Studies Group (USG), they have been busy documenting landmarks in historic localities.

Stories of Change screened on Int’l Women’s day

On the occasion of International Women's Day, documentary film “Stories of Change” was screened at Star Cineplex, Bashundhara City Mall. The 55-minute documentary directed by Kamar Ahmed Simon is an artistic documentation of the success stories of five valiant women, who, braving all obstacles, have made significant achievements.

Indian political parties squabble over Jai Ho

The last thing Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman would have hoped for is Indian political parties squabbling over the right to play his signature song from "Slumdog Millionaire" at election campaign rallies.

Subal Das and his musical instruments find eager ears around the country

Subal Das is well known as a maker of percussion instruments in Jhenidah. Music enthusiasts and artistes flock to Subal for his quality musical instruments, particularly 'dugi' and 'tabla.'

Tropical Paradise: Drama by IUB on climate change

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has sponsored a 'jatra' on climate change, according to a press release. The IUB Drama Club has prepared the drama, which will be staged at five universities from March 9 to 15.

OP-ED

The most excellent of all creations

ON the auspicious day of Eid-e-Miladunnabi we celebrate the birthday of the holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), whose life has a special significance not only to the world of Islam but also to the whole of mankind. For God, in His infinite mercy, sent him Rahmatal-lil-Alameen -- a divine blessing not for one age or clime, but "for all mankind till the end of the world."

Arrows in the air

WHAT happens when Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party woos the Shiv Sena's patriarch Bal Thackeray with cut glass and high-quality watches? Does Pawar become communal or does Thackeray become secular?


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