The Daily Star

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

News of: Sunday, 15th of March, 2009

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Dangers lurk in city skyscrapers

Most of the multi-storey buildings in the city are dangerously exposed to fire disasters as they lack adequate firefighting equipment and properly trained personnel.

Mutiny motive was to destabilise country

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan yesterday said the motive for the last month's carnage at BDR Pilkhana headquarters was to destabilise the country and hinder its progress under a democratic government.

A farewell in forests

She clung tight to his neck. With her big round eyes, she gave us a cursory glance and then nibbled at the grape she was holding so delicately with her long, beautiful fingers. Then she saw the apple in my hand and immediately abandoned her grape to reach out.

Rajshahi colleges, institutes shut

All higher educational institutions in the city, including Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet), Rajshahi New Degree College, City College, Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute and Institute of Health Technology, were closed sine die yesterday following violent clashes at Rajshahi University.

Major reshuffle in police admin

In a major reshuffle in the police department, a total of 56 senior officials with ranks from additional inspector general to superintendent of police (SP) were transferred yesterday.

Workers on leave too face trouble

The Malaysian immigration authorities are restricting entry of not only fresh Bangladeshi jobseekers but also those who came home on vacation with valid work permit to return to workplace.

Amazing achievers honoured

Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium was resounding with loud cheers and jubilation for the "nation builders of tomorrow" as The Daily Star yesterday honoured 953 O and A level students for outstanding achievements, including 53 who ranked among the world's top scorers, in the June 2007-June 2008 academic session.

Probe begins, PM visits Bashundhara

The government-formed probe committee yesterday began its investigation into the Friday's fire incident at Bashundhara City Complex.

4 PLCs, local govt bodies run without legal cover

Four public limited companies (PLCs) and all the local government institutions have been functioning for more than half a month without any legal authority, said legal experts.

Pak govt urges talks to ease political crisis

Pakistan's president urged opposition parties yesterday to negotiate an end to the country's political crisis while vowing to maintain law and order "at all cost" in the face of anti-government protests.

Heads high among all achievers

Thirty-four Bangladeshi students secured the highest marks worldwide in thirteen subjects in the GCSE O-level examinations last year while another 19 have obtained the highest marks worldwide in six subjects of the A-level exams during the same period.

JS session resumes today

The inaugural session of parliament resumes today after a nine-day recess to transact some important business, including passage of a bill for continuation of separation of judiciary.

Sheikh Helal to be elected unopposed

Convicted ex-lawmaker of Awami League Sheikh Helal Uddin is going to be elected MP uncontested from Bagerhat-1 constituency as no one of the two contenders have appealed against rejection of their candidature during scrutiny.

Diarrhoea cases on rise

Every hour an average of 40 to 45 diarrhoea patients are seeking admission at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) this season. The rate is alarmingly three times more than that of last March.

BCL factions clash at Dhaka Polytechnic

At least 20 students were injured in a clash between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) last night at Latif hostel of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute over control of the dormitory.

Lanka denies UN charges of firing on civilians

War-hit Sri Lanka Saturday denied UN charges that troops had fired into a safe zone for civilians and said allegations that 2,800 non-combatants had been killed in recent weeks were "unsubstantiated".


Student violence in Rajshahi

For more than 72 hours till Friday evening the two major campuses of Rajshahi were turned into veritable battlegrounds with the Chhattra League and Shibir supporters conducting chase and counter chase of the opponent. The violence has resulted in the death of a Shibir leader and a large number of students from both the groups have sustained severe injuries. And not surprisingly, the two educational institutions have been closed indefinitely, throwing the already disrupted schedule into further chaos.

Gathering crisis in Pakistan

What has lately been happening in Pakistan is saddening and deeply disquieting. As if the country's troubles with Islamic militants in places like Swat valley were not enough, there are now all the signs of its fledgling democratic politics collapsing in a heap. And if blame were to be pinned on anyone, it is clear that President Asif Ali Zardari is to be held responsible for all the turmoil Pakistanis are going through. There are enough reasons to think that the president has today brought his country face to face with new dangers. In the first place, he has gone back on his deal with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on a curbing of presidential powers. In the second, he has almost brazenly backed out from an agreement to have the judges, dismissed earlier by now departed president Pervez Musharraf, reinstated in office.

The enemy may strike again

THE BDR mutiny is the worst tragedy which has struck and traumatised the nation since August 15,1975. While the enquiry committees and CID investigations will be trying to find out who conspired and led the mutiny, who killed the officers and looted their houses, and bring to light such facts as would facilitate speedy trial and deterrent punishment of the mutineers, this AL government must not be complacent to think that the crisis is over.

What brought on the worst post-war recession?

THE US economy contracted 6.2% in the final quarter of 2008. Unemployment rate has now reached an all-time high of 8.1%, General Motors, long considered as the flagship of American business enterprises has just declared that its auditors have raised substantial doubts about its ability "to continue as a going concern" and all the economic indicators predict that things are going to get worse in the coming months. The World Bank has just predicted that global economy would shrink in 2009 for the first time since World War II.


MSC 1st in semis

Mohammedan stormed into the Citycell Super Cup semifinal as the first team when the Dhaka giants crushed Farashganj 4-0 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Dhaka derby today

Sanath Jayasuriya is feared in the cricket world for his devastating display of batting. The champion Sri Lankan left-hander, however, has done little to justify his abilities in Dhaka cricket so far. But he might get a good chance to end his Dhaka jinx when his side Mohammedan Sporting Club face off their bitter rivals Abahani in the Premier Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Kiwis pull one back

Part-time bowler and big-hitting batsman Jesse Ryder stood out as New Zealand's champion in an eight-wicket win over India in the fifth and final one-day cricket international here Saturday.

Lee looks to IPL

Australia paceman Brett Lee is hoping a spell in the Indian Premier League (IPL) will help him regain fitness ahead of the Ashes series in England.

A fight at last

Finally there was a contest between bat and ball. And India, perhaps continuing in their merry ways, came unstuck when the ball moved around, more so in the first half of the day and lesser and lesser as the pitch started to get older. Daniel Vettori was surprised his bowlers got the first use of the pitch, something Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted India should have done.

L'pool massacre Man United

Liverpool breathed fresh life into the Premier League title race on Saturday after coming from a goal down to complete a stunning 4-1 defeat of Manchester United in front of a disbelieving Old Trafford crowd.

Chelsea face City test

When Chelsea met Manchester City in only the fourth game of the season, the match was played against a backdrop of speculation surrounding City's prospects of upsetting the established order and breaking into the top four.

'Nadal not invincible'

Confidence and concentration make world number one Rafael Nadal a formidable foe, but they don't make the world number one unbeatable, rival Novak Djokovic said Friday.

Ranieri blasts Trezeguet

Juventus coach Clau-dio Ranieri blasted Fre-nch international striker David Trezeguet as a 'spoilt brat' on Friday after the former Monaco striker hit out after being substituted in Tuesday's Champions League exit.

SA finish seventh

South Africa crushed Sri Lanka by nine wickets to take seventh place in a battle between the two teams without a win in the ICC Women's World Cup at the North Sydney Oval yesterday. Only two Lankan batswomen made it to double-digits as their side folded for 75, a total South Africa sauntered past with more than 21 overs to spare.

Kalabagan hearing today

Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) disciplinary committee has fixed a hearing for the troubled Kalabagan-Indira Road match at its Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium headquarters in Mirpur today.

Dhanmondi's easy victory

Dhanmondi Club outplayed Eskaton SS by 76 runs in the lone match of the First Division Cricket League at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Local Snippets

Sirajul Kabir of Tangail Chess Power took a solo lead in the Metropolitan Selection Chess Tournament with full six points after the sixth round matches at Chess Federation hall room yesterday.

Shakib to be fit before T20 WC

Star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan's groin injury, which has ruled him out of the rest of the Premier Cricket League, is still in its preliminary stage and he will be fit before the Twenty20 World Cup.

Grafite sinks Schalke

Brazilian striker Grafite scored a hattrick to help VfL Wolfsburg beat Schalke 4-3 on Friday to lift his side into second in the Bundesliga behind leaders Hertha Berlin.

Capello praises English clubs

England manager Fabio Capello has revealed why he thinks the English clubs dominated their Italian counterparts in Europe this season: physical and mental superiority.

S Korea submit World Cup bid

South Korea has submitted an official bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups to football governing body FIFA, a Korea Football Association spokesman said Saturday.

Collingwood doubtful

England's Paul Collingwood is doubtful for Sunday's Twenty20 international against West Indies in Trinidad, after he contracted a bacterial infection.

IPL discloses players' lists

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has released the final squad lists of the eight franchises even as doubts persist over the staging of the league's second season. A total of 263 players have been picked -- 73 more than in the first year -- indicating that the franchises have cast their net wider this time.

CK denies pay row

Cricket Kenya (CK) chairman Samir Inamdar has dismissed claims in the Nation newspaper that national team members boycotted training in a dispute over pay as they prepare to leave for South Africa.

Nishat hammers double ton

Reazul Islam Nishat hammered a double century to shape a 62-run win for Akua AC Krira Chakra against Neel Kamal Krira Chakra in the first division cricket league at the Circuit House ground here yesterday.

KHDC Gold Cup from today

The first Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) Gold Cup Football Tournament will start today at the Hill Town Stadium here.


Recession may spark social crisis

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday vented fear that the return of migrant workers and a possible slowdown in exports amid global financial meltdown might create a social crisis in Bangladesh.

Bankers unsure of benefit from repo rate cut

Bankers have reacted cautiously to the possible gains from the central bank's recent repo rate cut move and said consumers will not be benefited if demand for money does not increase.

Singapore backs healthcare to heal financial trauma

As the global recession hits Singapore's manufacturing and shipping business, the government of the city-state now focuses on attracting more international patients to its world-class hospitals with competitive price offer to help maintain its economy.

2009 ‘very dangerous’ for economy: WB chief

World Bank president Robert Zoellick said Friday that 2009 was turning into "a very dangerous year" for the economy but warned G20 members against protectionist policies to fight the downturn.

Knitwear makers demand 10pc export bonus

Knitwear manufacturers yesterday demanded a 10 percent export performance bonus for all readymade garments to be more competitive in the time of global recession.

Fake TIN amnesty gets good response

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has received "good responses" to the amnesty it offered to fake taxpayer identification number holders to legalise their TINs by April 30, the NBR chief said yesterday.

China 'worried' about US Treasury holdings

China's premier didn't say it in so many words, but the implied warning to Washington was blunt: Don't devalue the dollar through reckless spending.

Obama shifts to more upbeat economic message

President Barack Obama is shifting to a more upbeat economic message as he talks of working to create a "post-bubble" model for solid economic growth once the recession ends.

EU-Hanoi trade ties get a boost

Co-operation between Vietnamese and European Union businesses in the fields of trade, investment, sea transport and tourism is tipped to develop strongly.

Top revenue collector terms corporate tax high

In line with corporate people views, the country's top revenue collector has now labeled the corporate tax rate as high.

Lunch couriers of Mumbai

In Mumbai, lunch is set to a railway timetable.

New spotlight on Madoffs

Bernard Madoff and his wife had $823 million in assets at the end of last year, including $22 million in properties stretching from New York to the French Riviera, a $7 million yacht and a $2.2 million boat named "Bull," according to a document his lawyers filed Friday.

Stocks pass bullish week

Stocks passed a bullish trend last week, backed by increasing turnover that eventually hit the highest-ever figure on the last trading day.

Opec eyes oil output cuts

The Opec oil exporters' cartel braced Friday for a weekend meeting to decide whether more output cuts are needed to support weak crude prices amid a spreading global recession.

Satyam gets 'adequate bid response'

The board of swindled Indian outsourcing giant Satyam said it has received an "adequate response" to its invitation for bids, as a newspaper said Saturday that IBM had joined the race.

G20 ministers discuss credit crunch fight, as split denied

Finance ministers from the world's biggest economies hold talks Saturday trying to find common ground ahead of a vital G20 summit on April 2 -- but already the talk is of splits, not harmony.

US black rights group sues banks for racist lending

The NAACP African-American civil rights group on Friday filed lawsuits against US lending titan Wells Fargo and the US branch of Britain's HSBC, accusing them of "institutionalized racism."

Merkel rejects calls for new stimulus package

German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced opposition Friday to a new package of economic stimulus measures US officials have called for as world leaders prepare for G20 meetings in Britain.

Weekly Currency Roundup

March 8-March 12, 2009
Local FX Market
The USD continued to strengthen against the BDT in anticipation of a possible devaluation of the taka due to various internal and external factors, throughout the week. The market was active, and there was ample liquidity.


Gloomy picture of mismanagement

Patients coming for treatments at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH), the lone tertiary hospital for around four crore people in the region, suffer a lot every day due to its organisational irregularities, mismanagement and acute lack of manpower.

Road crashes kill 17, injure 33

At least 17 people were killed and 33 others injured in separate road accidents in Khulna, Jamalpur, Magura, Sirajganj, Bogra, Noakhli, Bagerhat and Satkhira yesterday.

Raise awareness, provide support for victims

Violence against women is increasing day by day even after laws are being made stricter to check such incidents, legal experts said at a seminar yesterday.

'Form crisis management team to protect lives, properties'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday stressed the need to form a crisis management team to prevent loss of lives and properties in any untoward incidents such as mutiny at the BDR headquarters.

120 shops gutted, 42 hurt in Bhola fire

At least 120 shops and an unspecified number of houses were gutted and 42 people suffered burn injuries in two separate fire incidents in Sadar and Tajumuddin upazilas early yesterday.

Call for end to sick student politics

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for an end to sick student politics, saying that such politics is creating obstacles to ensuring congenial academic atmosphere in all institutions.

Make effluent treatment plant mandatory for industries

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday demanded the government take immediate steps to make installation of effluent treatment plant (ETP) mandatory in all industries to save the rivers from pollution.

LGRD minister undergoes operation

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam underwent a laparoscopic surgery at the capital's Labaid Specialised Hospital yesterday for removing stones from his gallbladder.

Viqarunnisa Noon Science Festival prize giving ceremony held

The prize giving ceremony of the 'Pran Frooto Viqarunnisa Noon 13th Science Festival' of took place at the auditorium of the institute yesterday.

Start process of trying war criminals

Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee in a memorandum to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged her to start the process of trying war criminals quickly in a special tribunal.

Recognise contribution of indigenous women

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said indigenous women and female tea workers of the country remain largely neglected and their contributions to their community has never been recognised.

Many relatives still wait to meet BDR jawans

Family members of 14 more BDR personnel were allowed yesterday to meet the jawans staying inside the headquarters at Pilkhana, while several hundred others were eagerly waiting for their turn.

Manpower agent arrested in N'ganj

Police arrested a manpower agent in the DIT Commercial Area of the town on charge of cheating a person out of Tk 10 lakh in the name of sending him abroad.

'Withdraw WB from climate change strategy, action plan'

Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), an alliance of more than 150 national and international development organisations, at a press conference at the National Press Conference yesterday urged the government to withdraw the World Bank (WB) from the climate change strategy and action plan, and related fund management responsibilities.

Restoration of Zia's mural demanded

Leaders of Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Dal in a statement yesterday demanded restoration of the mural of late President Ziaur Rahman at the lounge of Shah Amanat International Airport in the port city, says a press release.

Duke of Edinburgh's Award

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award was launched at Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday to promote young individuals at university level.

Valerie Taylor honoured in US

Hope Foundation, a social services organisation of Florida, USA, accorded a reception to the founder of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) and noted social worker in Bangladesh Valerie Taylor.

One arrested with foreign currencies at Ctg airport

A youth was arrested with foreign currencies at Shah Amanat International Airport in the port city on Friday night.

Work unitedly to ensure victory in by-elections

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia asked party leaders and activists last night to work unitedly to ensure victory of their candidates in the upcoming parliamentary by-elections.

JU researchers' confce on April 2

Research Scholars' Association, newly formed organisation of the PhD and M Phil researchers at Jahangirnagar University (JU), will organise a conference of the researchers on April 2 on the campus.


Kalaroa tense as locals to resist Saydee's meet

Several hundred people including freedom fighters brought out a procession and held a rally yesterday evening at Kalaroa protesting a bid to hold 'political meeting in the name of mahfil' by Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Saydee at the local high school ground this afternoon.

JMB suspect still a police SI

A sub-inspector (SI), listed by police as an activist of outlawed militant Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) after the countrywide bomb blasts on August 17 2005, is still working in the police department.

Imam, 5 women all in borkha

Police on Friday night arrested an Imam of a local mosque and five women, all in borkha (veil), from the Lalmoni Exhibition and Trade Fair at stadium ground, suspecting their link to Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Punish culprits, demand Sylhet medical students

Students of Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College yesterday boycotted classes and put the office of the principal under lock and key for three hours from 11:00am protesting attack on some of their fellows by outsiders on the college playground on Friday.

Plying of unsafe boats banned as nor'wester season nears

As the nor'wester season nears, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authorities (BIWTA) have issued a circular asking owners of passenger vessels to strictly abide by the ban on plying of small and unapproved passenger boats on some risky coastal and estuary routes for seven months from today to October 15.

52 houses gutted in Thakurgaon

At least 52 houses were gutted in fire in two villages Friday afternoon and early yesterday.

Hired goons injure 10 Patuakhali teachers

At least 10 teachers of BLP Degree College were injured in an attack by a gang of hired goons yesterday.

Case against 9 BM College BCL men

A case has been lodged against nine BCL activists accusing them of stabbing two Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) leaders on BM College campus on Friday.


Load shedding in Chittagong

Summer has not yet set in, but we, the people of Chittagong city, are already experiencing an acute power shortage. There are, in a day, several hours of supply cut time for the city dwellers during the day and more terribly at night. As a result, children and the old people are the worst victims. However, one wonders why the SSC examinees have to undergo this kind of ordeal every year.

Women's Day

The International Women's Day is the focal point of what I am writing today.

Nuclear case against Iran

A report from Washington, published in a local English daily on March 3, shed light on the issue. This is very much in line with the falsehood that was said against Iraq having WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) for attacking it illegally, against all norms of international law. Later it was proved that it was an outright lie!

Agriculture and students

Agriculture is now the main key sector of living all over the world. On the other hand, students are the future of every nation. Most students are dependent on their parents. But all the parents do not have the capability to maintain educational expenses smoothly for their children. So, students often face financial problems.

An appeal

Recently, a local leader set up a make shift kitchen market at Popular Housing-1 under Barabagh , Mirpur-2. People from the adjacent areas use Popular Housing-1 approach road to go to Monipur School to drop their children. The connecting road through Popular Housing-1 is a very busy one. The market starts at 7:00am and continues up to 1:00pm. Different types of traders gather here and set their shops occupying almost 70-80% of the road to do their trading. During this time it becomes extremely difficult for us to go to school.

Environmental degeneration

Today man stands on the brink of annihilation as a result of environmental pollution. It is confronting the modern civilized world. It is fouling the habitat. Air pollution, water pollution, land pollution, noise pollution are some of the many types of pollution. The problem is assuming monstrous proportions. The root cause of the problem is the man himself.

Computerised system?

Recently, I went to a bank in Dhaka to withdraw a small amount of money giving a cheque to the counter and the counter said “You have to wait for a while as the Rajshahi branch is offline” I have an account with the bank in Rajshahi. I had to wait for about an hour and the banking hour was over.


Given his young age, his portfolio, and the gravity of the situation, the State Minister for Home should have extended his helping hand to Home Minister Sahara Khatun after the BDR carnage. It has been reported that he was on a personal tour abroad, but he should have flown back to Dhaka immediately.

Why these doubts?

Pilkhana carnage is the biggest shock to the nation. But it is too early to comment on the way the crisis was handled. Only time will speak about what has been done and what could have been done when the tragedy had struck. The nation is eagerly awaiting the results of the ongoing investigation. The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina looks very serious to identify the perpetrators, their patrons, financiers, conspirators and the motive behind the carnage.

Admin horns

It is with great alarm that we the ordinary public note the efforts of the Admin cadres to get back some judicial powers. It is only natural that these relics of our colonial past will try every means to regain their undue perks and privileges bestowed on them by the British Raj and later on by the Pakistani occupiers. The colonial rulers needed a compliant and subservient group whose loyalty was to their masters rather than the public. We need people-friendly administrators who consider themselves public servants, rather than masters of the public.

Pakistan-Bangladesh cricket series

The above series has come in the court of a politician after facing trouble in the court of cricket bureaucracy. I was so shocked to listen to the minister for sports at prime time news cast on Channel-i. If I am not wrong, the minister was more keen to plan for the protection of the Pakistani players, of course we will do at an appropriate time, than putting due weight to the security of thousands of young men and women who might be allured to attend the proposed cricket match. The proposed date of arrival and possible date of curtailed matches seem to be an wild idea of a few cricket organisers and policy makers.

Stinky Wasa water

For the last couple of days, we the inhabitants of Rahmatgonj, Haji Ballu Road, Water Works Road, Chawkbazar in the old part of Dhaka city are being made to use stinky, foul smelling, black water supplied by Wasa. So stinky is the supplied water that one cannot use it for any purpose whatsoever. I can't describe what we are going through.

Rationing system

I strongly endorse your recent illuminating editorial on food rationing.

Crisis and opposition leader

The nation has seen perhaps the worst attack in its history by a few unruly BDR personnel. The whole nation along with the Bangladeshi communities living abroad are deeply shocked by the loss of lives of military officers as well as other innocent people. It is one of the views now that early intervention could have reduced the number of casualties. However, most of the local and foreign media and representatives of civil society, foreign governments, as well as high officials of the army have agreed that the situation could have deteriorated further if they had intervened earlier. Many more civilians could have been killed instantly, and on the other hand, an intense long-term rivalry would be established between the two forces-- the Army and the BDR. None of these would contribute to bringing back peace to the nation. Therefore, the government deserves thanks for the intelligent and bold steps it took to avoid those unwelcome events.

Opposition leader's role

Since the most brutal killing of our brave sons at Pilkhana, Begum Zia is making unfounded, aggressive and provocative statements every day which can only divide people, and not unite, at this critical and challenging time. Merrily, our press is giving extensive coverage to her questionable campaign against the just installed democratically elected government.

TIN and NBR circular

The recent efforts by the NBR authorities to widen the tax net and enhance collection of income tax is quite timely and we do support the initiative. But people are still apprehensive about the effort as certain issues are still not smooth and client-friendly. For example, collecting TIN certificate for purchasing land, apartment, seeking permission for establishing industries or taking large loan from the bank is quite all right. But why should it be necessary for renewal of fitness certificates of personal cars every year? Did not the concerned person had his TIN certificate and submitted it while purchasing the car and get it registered earlier?

BDR bloodbath

Provocation from outside is possible; no, likely. But why do we succumb? There will always be people ready to commit the most heinous crimes for a tiny gain. Lamenting it does not take us very far. We have to develop our own defence. Talking about germs floating in the air around us is no cure. We have to develop our own immunity.


Palestinian unity talks in Cairo hit deadlock

Palestinian factions in Cairo for marathon unity talks were deadlocked yesterday after failing to agree on the composition and obligations of a unity government, officials said.

US concerned over Lanka 'safe zone' deaths

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday to express her "deep concern" over mounting deaths in a government safe zone, a US official said.

Kashmir govt to initiate talks with separatists

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has said that the National Conference was ready to talk to separatists after the upcoming general elections.

Kiyani not plotting a military takeover

The top US military commander has expressed confidence that his Pakistani counterpart, General Ashfaq Kiyani, is committed to civilian rule and is not plotting a military takeover.

No split between Zardari and Gilani, says Malik

Cautioning that Pakistan's unity was at stake, Interior Minister Rehman Malik Saturday sought to dispel reports of differences between President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, even as he urged the agitating lawyers to come to the negotiating table rather than marching on Islamabad to enforce their demands.

US looking to retool Pakistan relationship

Former president George W Bush recast the US relationship with India, forging closer ties. Could President Barack Obama do the same for US policy towards its nuclear-armed rival Pakistan?

Pakistan should follow its commitment with tangible action: Pranab

A day after India handed over to Pakistan more evidence regarding the Mumbai terror attacks, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said he expected Islamabad to follow up its commitment with "tangible action."

Madagascar opposition appoints own PM

Madagascar's opposition leader declared himself president and appointed a prime minister as head of a transition government Saturday, as the authority of embattled leader Marc Ravalamona crumbled.

Cuba, Venezuela could host Russian bombers

A Russian Air Force chief said Saturday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers, the Interfax news agency reported.

Italy dig unearths female 'vampire' in Venice

An archaeological dig near Venice has unearthed the 16th-century remains of a woman with a brick stuck between her jaws evidence, experts say, that she was believed to be a vampire. The unusual burial is thought to be the result of an ancient vampire-slaying ritual. It suggests the legend of the mythical bloodsucking creatures was tied to medieval ignorance of how diseases spread and what happens to bodies after death, experts said.

Gaza offensive is a 'holocaust': Laden

al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has called Israel's offensive on Gaza a "holocaust" and blamed Arab leaders for not doing enough to stop the fighting in his latest audio recording aired on Al-Jazeera.

Afghan father, 4 sons killed in US raid

A Nato soldier was killed yesterday in Afghanistan, where police said a father and four of his adult sons died in a separate US-led raid.

Arts & Entertainment

Manabadhikar Natya Utsab 2009: When theatre ensures human rights

Bangladesh Manabadhikar Natya Parishad (MANAP) is celebrating a three-day theatre festival at the Rabindra Sharobar Mancha. Through plays that envision a Bangladesh of secularism, justice, effective democracy and equal rights, the organisation has been working for the last 10 years in various corners of the country. The festival, which began on March 13, is the third such festival organised by Manabadhikar Natya Parishad.

The dream journey begins

Amidst much enthusiasm, glitz and glamour the grand finale of beauty pageant “Style Icon 2008”, drew a large audience as the first open air beauty contest of the country kicked off at Fantasy Kingdom, Ashulia on March 13. Titled “Swapner Holo Shuru” the contest began on January 5. Out of 25 thousand entries ten -- Kumkum, Maliha, Tithi, Tanima Rouf, Tamanna, Sormin, Nayna, Pinki, Shifa and Jhinuk-- made it to the gala round.

Two-day Swadhinota Utsab begins in Chittagong

A two-day vibrant Swadhinata Utsab (Independence Day Festival) began here on March 13, with a call to spread the power of poetry among the young generation to struggle against anti-liberation, anti-democratic and all evil forces.

Holi celebrated with verve in Dinajpur

Holi, the colourful Hindu festival, was celebrated recently with traditional verve in Dinajpur and adjacent districts.

“Nature -- My Love”

A three-day long solo art exhibition featuring works of young artist Rezaul Karim Jewel was held at Ambika Memorial Hall in town recently.

Last episode of Aim in Life tonight

The last episode of ntv's drama serial "Aim in Life" will be aired tonight at 8:15 pm. The serial is written and directed by Masud Sezan.

Drama serial Meyeti Ekhon Kothay Jabey on Rtv

Drama serial "Meyeti Ekhon Kothay Jabey" will be aired tonight on Rtv at 9pm. Written by popular author Imdadul Haque Milon, the serial is directed by Sanjit Sarkar.


Middle Income Bangladesh

BANGLADESH could possibly be a middle income country (MIC) by 2016 if the GDP growth continues to be sustained at the rate of 7.5%. The World Bank has classified its 185 member countries into the low-income, middle-income, and high-income groups on the basis of 2006 per capita GNI figures. As per the classification, countries which have $905 or less per capita GNI are low-income countries, from $906-$3,595 are lower middle-income, from $3,596-11,115 are upper middle-income and $11,116 or more are high-income.

Managing Digital Bangladesh 2021

THE scope of Digital Bangladesh (DB) is not yet clear. We assume that the government wants to make Bangladesh fully digitised by 2021 through application of third generation information and communication technology (ICT).

A flawed idea

INDIANS and Pakistanis are the same people. Why then have the two nations moved on such divergent arcs over the last six decades? The idea of India is stronger than the Indian, and the idea of Pakistan weaker than the Pakistani. Multi-religious, multi-ethnic, secular, democratic India was an idea that belonged to the future; one-dimensional Pakistan was a concept borrowed from the fears of the past.

The Daily Star

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