The Daily Star

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


News of: Sunday, 22nd of March, 2009

Front Page

Resign by today, for 'reshuffle'

Vice-Chancellor Prof Nazrul Islam of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) has been asked to resign by today citing 'personal reasons'.

Probe into 'armed outsiders' entry'

Investigators of the February 25-26 BDR carnage are still examining information on some armed people's entering the Pilkhana BDR headquarters on vehicles from outside.

Poor show of BNP MPs in JS bodies

Two parliamentary standing committees, each headed by a BNP lawmaker, have ignored the rules of procedure of the Jatiya Sangsad by not holding any meeting in over last one month since their formation.

Asthma thrives on air pollution

Worsening air pollution in the capital has led to increasing rates of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases especially in children, health experts say.

Tk 1,200 crore left aside in govt coffer

The Bangladesh Bank and National Board of Revenue (NBR) have suggested the government take a decision on Tk 1,200 crore which was realised by the army-backed caretaker government during its anti-graft drives as both the bodies have no authority to determine legality of the money to use it.

DMCH interns end strike after 14hrs

Interns of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) called off their strike after a long fourteen hours yesterday.

Feni gas field reels from writ petition

As a partner of the controversial Canadian oil company Niko, which developed and began selling gas from the marginal Feni Gas Field from late 2004, Bapex has been suffering financially by a four-year-old writ petition filed by Bangladesh Environment Lawyers' Association (Bela) and others with the High Court.

Tk 6,542cr revenue stuck in litigation

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) could not realise around Tk 6,542 crore in revenue because of 16,372 unresolved cases.

10 die, 30 hurt in road crash

At least ten people were killed and 30 others injured in a road accident on the Dhaka-Tangail highway in Basail upazila of Tangail at about 6:00am yesterday.

Faruk Khan claims to have more proof

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retired) Faruk Khan yesterday said they have found some more proof of “various types of organisations' involvement in the BDR carnage” on February 25-26.

2 workers burnt alive

Two female factory workers were burnt alive in a fire that broke out at Mrs Luna United Company, a cotton factory, in the city's Kadamtoli area yesterday night.

Ministers asked to keep mum till probe ends

Remarks should not be made about the massacre at Pilkhana BDR headquarters before completion of investigation into the incident, said speakers at the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap yesterday.

Trial to be fair

Human rights will not be violated even if the BDR members involved in the Pilkhana massacre are tried by court-martial, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.

Ex-dy speaker Siddiqui held

The Detective Branch (DB) police in Naogaon arrested former deputy speaker and BNP leader Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui from Mohadevpur upazila yesterday evening under the Special Powers Act (SPA) for making 'seditious statements'.

Outages to go on till Boro harvest

The persisting electricity crisis and power outage across the country will not ease until the end of Boro harvest, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Shamsul Haque Tuku said yesterday.

Death lurks in 60km road

The 60km highway from Jamuna Bridge to Mirzapur in Tangail has turned into a death trap since the Jamuna Bridge came into being in 1998.

A seminar lesson for Dipu Moni

Being requested to be the chief guest of a seminar, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni was on her way to the venue. A few speakers and journalists covering it were already there. But the organisers were not.

World's maiden organic fertiliser plant launched

The world's first composting plant under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) set up in Bangladesh, WWR Bio Fertilizer Limited, launched its organic fertiliser in the city yesterday.

5 Myanmar nationals arrested

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and members of Ansar-VDP arrested five Myanmar nationals in separate drives from bordering Thanchi and Naikhongchhari upazilas yesterday.

Trial of war criminals a tough task

Dr Helen Jarvis, an expert on trial of war criminals, said yesterday if the nation is united on the issue, it is possible to bring to trial the war criminals committing genocide and crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

Fog disrupts ferry service again

Ferry service on Paturia-Daulatdia route remained suspended for three hours yesterday due to dense fog, causing sufferings to several thousand people.

Iran to change if US leads the way

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rebuffed President Barack Obama's latest outreach yesterday, saying Tehran was still waiting to see concrete changes in US policy.

Pakistani, Indian troops trade fire in Kashmir

Pakistani and Indian troops yesterday traded fire in the disputed Himalayan Kashmir region amid heightened bilateral tensions triggered by Mumbai terror attacks.

Beshir 'exterminating' people in Darfur: ICC prosecutor

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor accused Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir of "exterminating" people in Darfur in an interview released on the BBC's website Saturday.

US envoy unveils outlines of new Afghan strategy

The United States will call for major efforts to build the Afghan police, fight opium production and boost farm aid in a new strategy to beat the Taliban-led insurgency, a US envoy said Saturday.

Palestinians say Lebanon army soiled Iran food aid

Palestinian factions in Lebanon accused the army on Saturday of contaminating Iranian food aid destined for a refugee camp by using sniffer-dogs to search the shipment.

CIA chief visits Pakistan for talks

New CIA chief Leon Panetta was in Pakistan Saturday for high-level talks on a major review of US strategy in the war against Islamist militants in South Asia, a Pakistani official said.

Editorial

Measures against deviant buildings

It is welcome news that Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has decided to sever utility connections to buildings that have flouted Rajuk approved designs. Frankly speaking, this serious aberration has been going on with full impunity since the creation of Bangladesh. And we observe with some degree of despondency that since most violators of building acts are influential people in society including a few lawmakers, they managed to go scot-free.

US' olive branch to Iran

The US president's overture to Iran on the eve of the Persian New Year Nowruz, is a significant departure from his predecessor's policy that never lost a chance to refer to Iran as a part of the axis of evil. We welcome the change of attitude of a establishment that had looked at Iran and indeed much of the Middle East and the Muslin world with a blinkered vision. Mr. Obama should be congratulated for taking the first step, as he had promised in his campaign he would, seeking engagement with Iran that was "honest and based on mutual respect".

Facing the recession

THE government seems to be alert to face the ripples of the worldwide economic recession. It has already commissioned a National Task Force comprising ministers, eminent economists, politicians, and businessmen. Hopefully, the task force would review the situation, time to time, and suggest some policy prescriptions.

Mutineers proved themselves wrong

HEART-rending facts emerged from the maze of the BDR carnage. We were shocked at the horrific trail of death and destruction. It was as if ghastly scenes of a horror film were unfolding on the screen. Our eyes were wide open to the exposes of bloody criminality. We were stunned at the unbelievable ferocity and scale of the barbarism.

Sharing water, sharing opportunities

INTERNATIONAL World Water Day is observed on March 22 each year to underscore the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year, the focus of World Water Day will be on trans-boundary waters: sharing water, sharing opportunities.

Sports

Russel top in shootout

In a match full of missed opportunities Sheikh Russel managed a 5-3 penalty shootout victory against Chittagong Abahani to move into the Citycell Super Cup plate stage final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Stars not shining

National players have not done justice to their status so far in the Premier Cricket League, once again proving themselves as Tigers without claws, barring a couple of exceptions.

De Villiers puts SA on top

AB de Villiers went on a six-hitting spree as South Africa moved into a dominant position on the third day of the third Test against Australia at Newlands Saturday.

PM may watch Super Cup final

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to watch the country's biggest-ever crore-taka Citycell Super Cup football final next Friday as the chief guest at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Women's WC final today India finish 3rd

England captain Charlotte Edwards says her players will not be complacent going into Sunday's ICC Women's World Cup final in Sydney.

India end NZ drought

India broke a 33-year drought when a six-wicket haul by Harbhajan Singh spun them to a 10-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first Test here Saturday.

Eng win for Dyson error

England won the opening one-day international by one run under the Duckworth-Lewis method on Friday, following a horrible mathematical miscalculation by West Indies coach John Dyson.

Dhoni eyes series

In the end it didn't seem like it had been 33 years in coming. The Indian team hadn't lined up at the picket fence waiting for the winning runs nor did they rush onto the field to soak up what they hadn't experienced on several previous tours -- a Test win in New Zealand.

Local Snippets

The Premier Cricket League relegation phase starts today with Victoria taking on City Club at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Three teams are taking part in the relegation playoffs, which will be played in a league format with all teams playing two matches.

BSJA awards on March 24

Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association (BSJA) has announced a new date for its Kool-BSJA Awards for the last seven years (2002-2008). The awards will now be presented to the athletes and organisers, who have contributed in their own fields, at a ceremony at the National Sports Council Tower on March 24.

BCCI calls for emergency IPL sitting

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to take a final decision on hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL) during an emergency working committee meeting in Mumbai on Sunday. At an informal meeting held on Saturday in the city, Lalit Modi the IPL chairman, briefed various members of the board including former president Sharad Pawar, president Shashank Manohar and the secretary N Srinivasan.

Roddick ousts Djokovic

Andy Roddick ousted defending champion Novak Djokovic in straight sets on Friday to set up a semifinal clash with world number one Rafael Nadal at the Indian Wells hardcourt tennis tournament.

Franklin signs for Gloucs

New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin on Friday agreed a deal to play for English county Gloucestershire where he will link-up again with coach and compatriot John Bracewell.

Pompey ride on Crouch

Peter Crouch boosted Portsmouth's bid to stay in the Premier League as the England forward scored twice to clinch a crucial 2-1 win against Everton on Saturday.

A feeling of deja vu

There was a distinct air of deja vu about Friday's draw for the quarterfinals of the Champions League, not least after English powerhouses Liverpool and Chelsea were paired together for the fifth successive season in the competition.

Bochum snatch a win

Bochum survived a frantic finish to snatch a crucial victory at Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday.

'Lennon wasn't coached well'

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has criticised the previous regime at White Hart Lane by insisting Aaron Lennon was not coached properly and questioning why a second right winger was bought last summer.

More to come: Arshavin

Andrey Arshavin has promised the Arsenal fans there is plenty more to come from him as he adjusts to life at the Emirates.

Hiddink has no fears

Guus Hiddink insisted he has no fears about Chelsea facing Liverpool in the Champions League for the fifth successive season.

Henry happy

Barcelona forward Thierry Henry said Friday he was relieved the Spanish club was drawn against Bayern Munich and not his former squad Arsenal for the quarterfinal of the Champions League.

Police caution Drogba

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has received a police caution for throwing a coin at Burnley fans during a League Cup match in November, the Press Association reported on Saturday.

Mourinho, De Rossi fined

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho and Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi were on Friday both hit with fines for comments they made following this month's match between the two clubs.

Business

Crisis scare cuts car sales

Some were all smiles and some were glum at the concluding day of the 4th Dhaka Lucas Motor Show yesterday, as the sales executives of brand new cars were gauging their sales and struggling to match up those to the previous events'.

KDS launches Tk 300cr ICD in Chittagong

KDS Logistics Ltd launched a Tk 300 crore inland container depot (ICD) yesterday to provide "world-class" logistics solutions.

Pubali Bank posts Tk 365cr operating profit

Pubali Bank Limited, a private commercial bank that was on central bank's watch list till 2007 for its poor performances, posted an upward in all major indicators in 2008 despite global financial slowdown and its adverse impact locally.

US banks lost $26b in Q4 of 2008

Revised figures showed the US banking sector lost a combined 32.1 billion dollars in the fourth quarter last year amid a deep credit crisis, the industry's regulator said Friday.

Toys from wheat straw bring shine to women

The utilisation of left-out wheat straw in making handicrafts has changed the lives of some poor women in Binerpota village under Sadar upazila in Satkhira district.

Cultivation stops although Hakaluki not far away

As the country observes International Day of Water today, farmers along Hakaluki Haor, one of the largest water bodies, are abandoning Boro cultivation for want of water due to a drought-like situation in the district.

In France, motor crisis drives everyone down

The Peugeot factory's metal-stamping presses boomed loudly, but car worker Laurent Roziak welcomed the noise after six days of empty silence from the latest work stoppage.

Former policymakers advise on allowing undisclosed money

Former economic policymakers at a meeting yesterday with Finance Minister AMA Muhith advised him to allow undisclosed money, if necessary, through making way for investment in low-return bonds.

WB urges the rich to help poor

World Bank President Robert Zoellick yesterday said donor nations could raise up to $15 billion if they used just one percent of their multibillion economic stimulus plans for new aid to help poorer countries.

China to restructure auto industry

China said Saturday it wanted to boost its auto industry by reducing the number of major carmakers through mergers, and promoting two or three companies as the dominant players in the sector.

Nigeria oil unions launch strike next week

Nigeria's oil workers said Saturday they will begin a three-day warning strike on Wednesday to protest a plan to remove a subsidy on petroleum products and the growing insecurity in the Niger Delta.

The rich are feeling the bite

An original Kandinsky, an Andy Warhol, a grand piano and Rolexes by the dozen: as the economic crisis bites even the filthy rich are hocking prized possessions to pay the bills.

A business leader

He turned around a five-year loss-making business in a year and the business is growing ever since. Meet Dilip Gokhale. In his early 60s Dilip is moving in to Syngenta Foundation to support its activities in APAC, Asia Pacific Countries, one of the four Syngenta regions. I was so fortunate to have met up with him after several years -- the last was when he was head of APAC for Syngenta Seeds.

Stocks went bearish last week

In spite of high turnovers, stocks experienced a bearish trend last week, driven by continued slide in the prices of banking shares, the lifeline of the market.

Oil down

Oil prices eased in Asian trade Friday but stayed around 51 dollars a barrel after a dramatic US central bank move to infuse one trillion dollars into the financial system.

Elite Paint Group gets new CEO

BB Saha Roy has recently taken over as the managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Elite Paint Group of Companies, according to a press statement.

Fantasy Kingdom celebrates 7th anniversary

Fantasy Kingdom, one of the largest amusement parks in the country, celebrated its seventh anniversary on the park premises in Ashulia, Dhaka on Friday.

Singapore may take six years to recover: Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore's recession-hit economy may take up to six years to recover in a worse-case scenario, influential founding father Lee Kuan Yew said.

AIG bonus outrage has employees living in fear

Pillars of the community are now pariahs fearing for their safety in a ritzy area of Connecticut home to many executives at American International Group Inc., hit with a backlash over bonuses it paid to top brass even as it accepted federal bailout money.

Third bidder joins race for India's troubled Satyam

The board of India's Satyam Computer Services met Saturday to review a list of bidders for the fraud-hit outsourcer as a third company announced it had joined the race.

2 corporate credit unions taken over by US govt

Federal regulators on Friday seized control of two large institutions that provide wholesale financing for U.S. credit unions, a move they say was needed to stabilize the credit union system.

Weekly Currency Roundup

March 15th- March 19th, 2009
Local FX Market

The USD continued to remain strong against the BDT. Early in the week there was a significant uptrend, but the market lost steam by the end of the week. The market was active, and there was ample liquidity.

Metropolitan

Country to miss another yr in hydrocarbon exploration

When the country is experiencing nagging energy crisis, it is going to miss another year in exploring hydrocarbon in the offshore because of the government's indecision.

Basic healthcare services absent in Char lands

Excluded from the mainstream development programmes, the people living on Char lands across the country also lack access to basic healthcare services.

Road crashes kill 7

At least seven people were killed and 25 others injured in separate road accidents in Faridpur, Mymensingh and Tangail yesterday.

Cooperation deal with Indonesia signed to fight terrorist financing

Bangladesh and Indonesia have agreed to cooperate with each other in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Number of patients on the rise again

Though the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) witnessed reduced number of diarrhoea patients last week, the number is on the increase again.

RTI Bill to be passed in current JS session

The Right to Information Bill will be passed in the current session of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS), Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad said yesterday.

SCBA elections on Mar 24, 25

The annual election of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for its 14 executive posts, including president and secretary, will be held on March 24 and 25.

Five shops on DU campus declared illegal

Five shops and a kitchen of a food shop on the Dhaka University (DU) campus have been declared illegal, as they did not take permission from the DU authorities properly to run business.

BDR to be reconstituted under new name: DG

New chief of the mutiny-mangled Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Brig Gen Md Mainul Islam yesterday said the paramilitary border force would be reconstituted under a new name with courageous and patriotic members who are still dedicated to the cause of the nation.

World Water Day today

With the theme “Shared Water-Shared Opportunities,” the World Water Day 2009 is being observed with due significance in the city today.

PM talks to people, assures help

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina talked to a number of people of the common run, including physically challenged ones, at Awami League's Dhanmondi office yesterday and assured them of providing necessary cooperation.

Trader shot dead in city

One person was killed and three others sustained injuries as miscreants sprayed them with bullets when they were playing carom inside a shop at Mohakhali in the city yesterday.

Tiger kills 1 in Sundarbans

A tiger killed a bawali at Satkhira range in the Sundarbans yesterday.

National

Save ship-breaking sector, cry jobless workers

Thousands of workers of different ship-breaking yards yesterday formed a human chain on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Sitakunda demanding steps to save the sector now in limbo.

Disgusting, disgraceful

The government initiative for helping families of insolvent freedom fighters through monetary grant for their funeral turns nuisance for the bereaved people who have to wait long tiring months or years to get the 'aid of honour'.

Poor navigability hits water transport in Barisal region

Drastic decrease in navigability due to siltation and emergence of shoals on the river routes has severely hit water transport in Barisal region.

1 killed, 15 hurt as AL rivals clash

One person was killed and 15 others were injured in a clash between two factions of Awami League (AL) Mehendiganj upazila unit under Barisal district yesterday.

Roadblock to free 3 BCL leaders

BCL and a section of Awami League (AL) activists blocked Pabna-Chatmohar highway in Atghoria upazila yesterday morning demanding release of three local BCL leaders.

Over 200 kids languish in jails

More than two hundred children have been detained in several jails in the country as prisoners for alleged involvement in different crimes as of March 20 this year.

7 injured as rival Mongla dockers clash

Seven people were injured in a clash between two rival groups of dockers at Mongla port on Friday night.

16 AL, Jubo League men expelled

Sixteen leaders of Awami League and Jubo League Digholia upazila units have been expelled for their alleged involvement in anti-party activities during the last upazila election.

Letters

Women's Day

International Women's Day was observed throughout the globe recently. Bangladesh was not any exception; there were rallies, seminars and different programmes held by different organisations and people of repute in order to spread the message of the day.

Global meltdown

The world's financial system is very complicated and is interlinked with a large number of economic and non-economic variables, which tend to affect the global economy from time to time. The financial meltdown of 2008 was the worst of its kind since the Great Depression in the 1930's. It became prominently visible in the last quarter of the year 2008. The US sub-prime mortgage market collapse and the downturn of the housing boom in other industrially developed economies have had a ripple effect around the world. The gravity of the problems has been so severe that some of the world's biggest financial institutions have collapsed and subsequently gone for restructuring. The governments of the rich countries have come out with extensive bail-out policies and rescue packages, pouring billions of dollars into the banking system. Now, the question is- how much isolated we are, from this meltdown. Our policymakers might already have identified the various aspects of this crisis along with its likely impact on us. But the most important question is- how shall will address those forces which will have negative impact on our economy? First of all, we should focus on those sectors, which are relatively more sensitive to the global economic activities. Remittance is one of them along with export, import and foreign aid. Globally, jobs have been cut significantly by the industrialized nations. As a result, our manpower export is declining which has been magnified due to unscrupulous middlemen problem. Foreign aid may also be shrunken, as the donor countries are busy with their own economy and stimuli packages whereas it is easier to cut foreign aid budget since we are not their voters. From the media, we are hearing the news of employment decline and retrenchment of migrant workers across the globe. This will continue until the crisis takes a new look. FBCCI has already sought a Tk 6,000 crore bailout package to deal with the situation. The impact of global meltdown is perhaps much greater than the one, perceived earlier. It is like a shockwave, which is yet to be realized in most of the developing countries around the world.

Child labour

We organise seminars, symposiums and meetings for protecting children from labour but I am not sure of our success in this regard. In my locality, there are many factory where I see most of the workers are children. Besides, there are also many CNG and bike garages where preteen boys are doing very risky jobs. A few days ago, I witnessed a very tragic scene that hurt me a lot. I saw a young child who had lifted scrap iron into a rickshaw van. He filled the van more than its weight and the scrap irons seemed to wait for a soft touch to make a mess. As soon as he pulled the van a little, all the iron which looked like a mound, fell down his slender body and the result was that he died on the spot. The irons fell down on his body in such a way that no one could do anything. . I was so much shocked.

Too many problems

The Bangladeshi nation is plagued by so many maladies!

Postal service

For posting a letter, I, on March 17 last, went to the post office at Lama Bazar in Asadganj, Chittagong. The time was around 3:15pm. An old lady there asked me, ''Why have you come at this time?'' I said, 'why'?

Country in trouble

Perhaps, no one can disagree with me at this point that Bangladesh is passing through a critical phase after the restoration of democracy. Yes, if we look at the mishaps like, BDR HQ mutiny, helicopter crash, blaze at Bashundhara, clashes at Rajshahi University, we will be able to figure it out.

Where is the building?

For years, I have been looking for a particular building that must be in existence now for over 62 years. No doubt it is a huge structure by now because there must have been numerous additions to it, to increase capacity and to take the ever-increasing load over the years. It is certainly centrally air-conditioned because the contents stored there require to be kept safely in cold storage.

Why saints' names?

Many private schools are using the names of the saints for business purpose. These schools are led by lay people, not missionaries.

Student politics

Recently, campus violence increased considerably in most of the public universities especially in JU and RU.

No education, no respect?

Reading yet another article on the importance of women's education for their 'emancipation', I am suddenly questioning this oft-repeated assumption.

Bashundhara City

According to the Bangladesh National Building Code, every high-rise building must have a control room at its basement near the main entrance to the building.

Squabbles in parliament

It is quite disheartening to see our parliamentarians going back to their old habit of squabbling over matters that don't add any value to what our country needs to accomplish at one of the most critical periods of its existence. The gruesome tragedies that we witnessed less than a month ago have shaken most of us at the core of our being and have definitely made us think over and over again about the evils that could be summoned by hatred for others. I held out hope that, of all the people, our politicians will understand the gravity of it all and act in a civil manner towards each other and try to put an end to the violence that is wrought by differences in ideology. I don't think I should be ashamed if I cannot figure out who is gaining by these endless fights over the declaration of independence and overt insults directed at leaders who have been dead for nearly 30 years. Our politicians should understand that in a feudalistic society such as ours, where pleasing the political masters takes precedence over decency, they are running a very high level of risk of creating the environment that could lead to more tragedies; the constant fighting need to stop now because hostilities breed more hostility, lest we want to risk resembling Pakistan.

Campus politics

Politics in public run universities and affiliated colleges is a sad reflection on the achievement of these educational institutions. No matter what the basis of student politics is ethnic, political, ideological or religious, regional or even academic the fact remains that it undermines academic pursuits and discipline in educational institutions.

Smoking

Along with the pleasures of smoking there are real risks of serious diseases such as lung cancer, respiratory and heart diseases. And for many people, smoking is difficult to quit.

International

Pak govt asks SC to suspend ruling against Sharif

Pakistan government yesterday asked the Supreme Court to suspend a judgement barring opposition PML-N leaders Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif from contesting polls and holding public offices till its petition against the verdict is decided.

3 Indian airports on alert after Tamil Tiger threat

India tightened security at three major airports in the southern state of Kerala after a call threatening attacks by Tamil Tiger sympathisers, police said yesterday.

Dalits dwindle among Mayawati polls picks

Seeking to replicate the social engineering formula which brought her to power in India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh two years ago, BSP chief Mayawati nominated more upper caste candidates than Scheduled Caste persons as party picks for the coming parliamentary elections.

US plans steps to engage Iran in dialogue

The White House says it has more steps planned to entice Iran to engage in dialogue after President Barack Obama offered a "new beginning" to turn back the tide on decades of mutual animosity.

11 dead as blasts mar Afghan New Year

Four bomb blasts struck Afghanistan yesterday, killing 11 people and wounding several more as the country marked the first day of its New Year amid a spike in deadly insurgent attacks.

Singapore needs immigrants to survive

Singapore, which is facing its worst recession in history, needs foreigners to survive in the long-term, founding father Lee Kuan Yew said.

Thai govt survives no-confidence vote

Thailand's three-month-old government survived a no-confidence vote Saturday, but analysts said it is likely to face continuing street demonstrations by loyalists of exiled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Russia clashes kill five soldiers, 14 rebels

Five soldiers and about 14 rebel fighters have been killed in the latest clashes in Russia's Caucasus province of Dagestan, news agencies reported Saturday as operations wound down.

N Korea reconnects military phone lines, reopens border

North Korea Saturday restored military communications lines with the South and reopened the border crossing to a joint industrial complex, as tensions remain high ahead of an expected rocket launch.

'Jerusalem as Arab cultural capital' marked in West Bank

Events were being held in the West Bank on Saturday to mark Jerusalem's designation as the 2009 "capital of Arab culture" while Israel banned them in the disputed Holy City itself.

Chaudhry to resume duties today

Pakistan's independent-minded Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry, reinstated after a nationwide anti-government protest, is set to resume duties from today as incumbent Abdul Hamid Dogar retired today.

Congress to contest 37 seats in Bihar

Deciding to go it alone in Bihar, the Congress Saturday said it would contest 37 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Taliban chief Mullah Omar in Afghanistan

Taliban leader Mullah Muhammed Omar is not in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, a senior official said Friday, and urged the United States not to carry out missile attacks in the region.

Gilani determined to end 'imbalance' in Pak power structure

Firing another salvo at Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has expressed his determination to end what he called "the imbalance in the country's power structure."

Five dead in heavy fighting in Lanka

Heavy fighting between Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil Tigers continued in the northeast of the country, with troops recovering the bodies of five rebels, the defence ministry said Saturday.

Obama launches 'YouTube diplomacy'

Ping pong diplomacy helped thaw US-China relations and YouTube diplomacy may do the same for US ties with Iran.

NKorea says 2 US reporters detained

North Korea detained two Americans for illegally crossing its border and is investigating them, the communist country's official news agency said yesterday.

'Change you can eat:' First lady starts White House garden

As US President Barack Obama hopes for green shoots of economic recovery, his wife Michelle is seeking a different return to growth, from the first White House kitchen garden in 60 years.

Arts & Entertainment

Jatiyo Rabindra Sangeet Shammilan ‘09

The 28th Jatiyo Rabindra Sangeet Shammilan began at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library, Shahbag on March 20. Organised by Jatiyo Rabindra Sangeet Shammilan Parishad (JRSSP), this three-day annual programme features nearly 300 participants from across the country.

Selim al Deen’s Dhaboman: Death, the inseparable companion

Dhaka Theatre premiered its latest production "Dhaboman" on March 20 at the National Theatre Stage. Through this Selim Al Deen play, noted actress Shimul Yousuf made her debut as a theatre director.

Capturing the disparities

Pantomime is a non-verbal creative art form which uses dramatic expression to convey its message. A three- day pantomime festival, titled 'National Pantomime Festival 2009' began here on Friday with a view to capture the inequity in our society.

A treat for information seekers

A CD titled Mymenpedia, a vast storehouse of information about Mymensingh, was launched at the local Shilpakala Academy on March 19. Dhaka divisional commissioner Dr. Khandaker Shawkat Hossen unveiled the CDthe first of its kind here-- as chief guest.

Latest Warfaze album to be released on Nokia 5800

Nokia is set to lure Bangladeshi music lovers with 5130XpressMusic -- the newest addition to the brand's XpressMusic range and a first of its kind to team up with musical powerhouse Warfaze with the exclusive release of the band's Album on Nokia 5800, according to a press release.

Sculpture on Liberation War in Barisal

'Mukto Bihango,' the first sculpture on Liberation War in Barisal, will be unveiled at Amtala crossing in the city on March 23.

OP-ED

Lights out

POWER shortage has been a nagging pain for the people in Bangladesh for many years. It has turned into a crisis of serious nature in the last seven years or so because of gross negligence and wanton corruption on the part of those who were responsible for maintenance and development of this sector.

Route to recovery

THE government now has in place a taskforce, headed by the finance minister, to observe and advise on the subject of the global financial crisis and the fallout from it.


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