The Daily Star

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Friday, August 1, 2014


News of: Sunday, 29th of March, 2009

Front Page

Subsidies, not cash incentives

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the government prefers giving subsidies to direct cash incentives demanded by the sectors affected by global recession to offset their losses.

Equal edn, health rights for children

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government would revamp the Children Act 1974 suiting the situation of the day to ensure equal facilities for children of all strata of society.

Sangsad to seal govt's judicial power

Parliament is scheduled to pass today the much-talked about bill designed to continue separation of the judiciary.

ACC hamstrung from SC stay

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) cannot contest over 150 cases regarding wealth statements mostly against different top politicians as a Supreme Court verdict stayed proceedings of a graft case against Awami League lawmaker Habibur Rahman Mollah.

2 more BDR men died

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday disclosed that two border guards have recently died after long illness.

Bhola kids given lessons of jihad

Maulana Mohammad Russell of Green Crescent Madrasa used to motivate his students to take part in jihad, which investigators believe he did to raise them as militants in the future.

No envoys in 12 countries

Diplomatic relations and efforts to safeguard interests of expatriate Bangladeshi workers are being hampered as Bangladesh has no ambassador in 12 countries, including Malaysia, Belgium and Switzerland.

IMF to review fallout for 5 days

A mission of International Monetary Fund (IMF) will start reviewing from tomorrow the impact of the global financial meltdown on Bangladesh economy.

Hasina to lead team in changing AL constitution

Awami League (AL) formed a high-powered committee yesterday with party President Sheikh Hasina as its chairman to amend the party constitution and declaration in line with the Representation of People Order (RPO).

Hate speeches land Varun Gandhi in jail

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Varun Gandhi was Saturday sent to jail here until Monday after he surrendered in a court over his reported hate speeches.

3 killed in Khulna mud slide

A landslide claimed the lives of three labourers on the Chitra at Tero Kheda upazila in Khulna yesterday. It also left two others injured.

Semutang gas to ease Ctg crisis

Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company (Bapex) expects to begin production of gas from Semutang gas field in Khagrachhari to help ease the deficit of gas supply in Chittagong city.

63 BDR jawans sent to jail, four taken on remand

A Dhaka court yesterday sent 63 suspected BDR mutineers to the Dhaka Central Jail and placed four others on a five-day remand for interrogation.

Ctg clash hurts 30

More than 30 people including several freedom fighters were injured in a clash over a 'mass grave' of 1971 in Anwara yesterday.

Trial process may start next month

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government may begin the process of war crime trial next month.

Sudan keen to hire workers, import jute

Sudanese Foreign Minister Dr Nafie Ali Nafie said the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers and import of jute from Bangladesh would increase in the coming years.

Nothing to fear in by-polls under elected govt: CEC

Urging all election-related officials of the upcoming by-polls to work without fear or favour, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda said there is nothing to fear in by-elections held under an elected government.

Save Jatka week starts today

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas yesterday said sustainable production of hilsha fish is a must to retain its immense economic potential.

SL offensives kill 31

At least 31 Tamil Tigers were killed and over 30 injured in fierce fighting with Sri Lankan security forces in the northern war zone as the troops repulsed a series of LTTE attempts to breach their forward defence lines, the military said yesterday.

Pak militants attack Nato supply terminal

Dozens of suspected militants fired rockets early yesterday at a transport terminal in northwest Pakistan that is used to ship supplies to Nato troops based in Afghanistan, police said.

Editorial

Murder in the mosque

THE bombing of a mosque in Pakistan's frontier town of Jamrud on Friday is a reminder once again of the increasing fragility of society and the state authority in that unfortunate country. The suicide killing left at least fifty people dead, with scores injured. There is every likelihood that the casualty figures will rise, adding to the grim nature of the tragedy. It is certainly not the first time that a mosque has been made the target of a violent attack in Pakistan. It is an ominous sign of how much radicalised religious fanatics have become in Pakistan of late. They are now ready and willing to transfer the ferocity of their internecine sectarian conflict to the interior of places of worship.

Campus disorder

WHAT has been demonstrated by the Chhatra League, through its muscle flexing and efforts to bring under control various halls of residence, was nothing short of being disruptive for the major educational institutions of the country. The matter has been further compounded by the clashes between various factions of the Chhatra League (BCL) for control of the turf.

Facing global meltdown

THE global economic meltdown is unraveling before Bangladesh faster than the prediction made by economists just a few months back. The IMF director for Asia and Pacific Anoop Singh said on February 13 that Bangladesh's economy has been able to resist some of the effects of the global economic recession as it has benefited from the fall in food, fuel, and other commodity prices.

Gridlocked

DIFFERENT agencies of the government had a number of hectic meetings during the last months of 2008 on traffic issues, and several decisions were taken which country people came to know through print and electronic media.

Big ideas equal bags of cash

ON another day in another time, the White House chief of staff might have been on Air Force One, flying to the metropolis of Los Angeles, where his brother is a famous Hollywood agent and the president was doing "Jay Leno." But Rahm Emanuel stayed in Washington last week, hunkered down behind closed doors in the US Capitol, plotting ways to push his boss's colossal, ambitious $3.6 trillion budget through a Congress that increasingly looks like it might blanch at the price tag.

Sports

Mashrafe plunders Mohammedan

There was consolation for Abahani fans at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, a day after a shocking defeat in the richest football final as they continued their supremacy in the cricket field over archrivals Mohammedan.

Match of many facets

It was not a game that people will remember for its standard or lack thereof. But Friday's Super Cup final between Mohammedan and Abahani in all probability will be fondly recalled for resurfacing that unbridled emotion and a peculiar hangover so common with the great global game but was sorely missing for a long time in the country.

Torun, Gazi win

Surjo Torun kept their hopes alive with a five-wicket victory over Partex while Bangladesh Biman's chances faded away following 18-run defeat to Gazi Tank in two high-scoring matches of the Premier Division Cricket Super League at different venues yesterday.

Dido demands devotion

Bangladesh's Brazilian coach Edson 'Dido' Silva said that he wanted total devotion from the players when he launches his assignment for the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Dhaka next month.

CCDM Cup might be Twenty20

The burn out of the national players has forced the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to re-think about the format of the CCDM Cup.

Bima, Badda relegated

Sadharan Bima and Badda SKS dropped down to the Second Division Cricket League for the next season when they lost their respective matches in the First Division Cricket League yesterday.

India against one Ryder

Jesse Ryder continued to command centre stage as India crashed in the second Test against New Zealand and were forced to follow on 314 runs in arrears on the third day here Saturday.

WI humble Eng

England had their egos battered further Friday, when West Indies captain Chris Gayle struck 80 from 43 balls to carry his side to an eight-wicket victory in their rain-affected third One-day International at Kensington Oval.

Kumar likes the 'idea'

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara believes John Buchanan's idea of having multiple captains in a team is an interesting concept that opens endless possibilities for the game's future. Sangakkara said that Twenty20, which he called cricket's maverick form, was a good testing ground for such "maverick ideas", which need to be tried and tested for the game to evolve.

Local Snippets

Four players are currently sharing the lead in the points table with 4 points each after the fourth round of the preliminary phase of the Mercantile Bank 35th National Chess Championship at the chess federation hall room yesterday.

Ansar, N'ganj to fight it out

Bangladesh Ansar and Narayanganj are set to contest in the final of the Citycell National Women's Football Championship as they ruled out their rivals in the semis at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Davis Cup ties over April 1-5

The Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group-IV will be held from April 1 to 5 at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna, Dhaka.

Albie, Mark upstage David

Albie Morkel and Mark Boucher trumped a virtuoso performance by David Hussey as South Africa scrambled a four-wicket win over Australia in the first Twenty20 international at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.

Maradona jibes at Pele

Diego Maradona will manage Argentina in a competitive match for the first time today and the reformed drug addict who is arguably the world's greatest player has already started making headlines for the wrong reasons in South America.

Japan ride on Nakamura

Japan and North Korea took giant strides towards the 2010 World Cup on Saturday with gritty home victories that left them topping their Asian qualifying groups.

Hiddink may stay on

Guus Hiddink suggested Saturday he may stay on and act in a consultancy role at Chelsea after his stint as interim manager runs out at the end of the season.

Button snares pole

Briton Jenson Button snared pole position just ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello as newcomers Brawn GP seized initial control of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix here on Saturday.

Terry calls for discipline

John Terry admits England's stars have a responsibility to clean up their act after the rash of negative headlines around several of Fabio Capello's squad.

Kaka out of Ecuador tie

Kaka will not play in Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Ecuador on Sunday because of an injured left foot.

Domenech's job safe

France coach Raymond Domenech was told his job was safe Saturday irrespective of how the national side performed in their key World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania.

Juninho mulling Vasco swansong

Juninho Pernambucano, skipper of Lyon's serial champions, said Friday he would wait until the season's end to see what the future holds but admitted he might well choose to finish off his career with Brazilian second-tier outfit Vasco de Gama.

Marseille punished

French title contenders Marseille revealed on Friday they will have to play a match behind closed doors following the throwing of fireworks by some of their fans at Lyon last December.

Business

Govt in double bind over food prices

The government will work on making a balance between farmers' expectations of fair prices and consumers' desire to buy foods at lower prices, Food and Disaster Management Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said yesterday.

Branding to combine emotions, rationales

Branding should go through both the rational and emotional ways, as customers often put their trust in a brand primarily without having any relationship with a certain product of that brand, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.

Don't cut ad spending, let your voice be heard

The Unilever's North Africa and Middle East region's top brass sees every crisis as an opportunity along with danger and suggests companies not going for ad spending cuts in the face of global financial crisis.

Aziz, Muhith agree on immediate spread cut

On an issue like a cut in bank spread, an amount of difference between lending and deposit rates that remains high for years, the finance ministry's two bosses, the past and the incumbent, have expressed their oneness.

Polyester chip plant in the pipeline

On the back of increasing demand for synthetics in textile and apparel industry, Malek Spinning Mills Limited plans to set up a polyester chip manufacturing plant with Tk515 crore investment.

ROK plans deregulation to fend off slowdown

The government plans to suspend current regulations deemed to be hindering business activities for two years as part of efforts to fend off an economic slowdown.

Bull or bear market? Wall Street undecided

The Wall Street resurgence of the past weeks has pundits pondering: Has a new bull market begun after 17 months of horrific losses? Or is this just another heartbreaking "bear market" rally?

Sudan to hire more workers from Bangladesh

Sudanese Foreign Minister and Deputy Secretary General of the ruling National Party Dr Nafie Ali Nafie said the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers and import of jute from the country would increase in the coming years.

World leaders mull crisis strategy

Centre-left leaders meet in Chile Saturday at a conference dominated by the financial crisis and global efforts to tackle it, ahead of a key G20 summit in London next week.

Tens of thousands hold pre-G20 rally in London

Tens of thousands of trade unionists, environmental campaigners and anti-globalisation activists took to the streets of London on Saturday to start five days of protests before the G20 summit.

Giving credit where it's due

We are all too quick to cut someone to size. We never miss to seize the opportunity to point out the faults in others no matter how inane those imperfections are. We surely take delight in others' follies even if those are the result of honest efforts at doing something meaningful that somehow had gone astray. At the same time we are probably the stingiest, most tight-fisted and the most miserly people when it comes to praising the good deeds of others. What we have in its place are unabashed flattery and undeserved credits showered by self-seeking sycophants on the situational masters of the day.

Merkel warns of unsustainable recovery threat

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said throwing too much money into reviving global economic growth would make the recovery unsustainable, in comments published Saturday.

Pubali Bank approves 30pc stock dividend

The Board of Directors of Pubali Bank Limited recommended 30 percent stock dividend for its shareholders for the year 2008, subject to the approval of its annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for May 14, 2009.

China aviation giant spins off defence branch

China's largest aircraft maker has spun off a 7.3 billion dollar independent defence manufacturing branch that will seek to produce top military hardware for global markets, state media said Friday.

Southeast Bank Foundation's new project director

Southeast Bank Foundation has recently appointed Ayesha Shireen Rahman as its project director, according to a press release.

US rejects reports of rifts

The United States on Saturday dismissed reports of rifts with and between top European powers ahead of the Group of 20 economic crisis summit in London next week.

Stocks move past a bearish week

Stocks continued its bearish trend for a second week, backed by bleak economic scenario painted by economists and policymakers.

Oil prices slide after rally

Oil prices plunged Friday on profit-taking amid a dollar rebound and renewed concerns over rising stockpiles, traders said.

Toshiba, Sharp in talks for solar power tie-up

Japanese consumer electronics giants Toshiba and Sharp are in talks on a possible tie-up in the solar power generation field, the companies said Friday.

Swiss banks call for tax amnesties

The Swiss Bankers Association on Friday welcomed a partial tax amnesty offered in the United States, saying that it was a "fantastic moment" for countries to get their citizens to declare hidden assets.

'Thousands' of Chinese workers heading to Vietnam

Chinese products and workers, rather than those from Vietnam, are being used for key industrial projects in the fast-developing country, a report quoted top officials as saying Saturday.

Google to expand TV ad service to online video

Internet giant Google is testing a new service that would expand its television-ad brokering business to YouTube and video on other websites, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

March 22nd-March 25th, 2009
Local FX Market

The USD remained steady against the BDT throughout the week. The market was active, and there was ample liquidity. The local market was closed for a national holiday on Thursday.

Metropolitan

Malaysia assures Bangladesh of all cooperation

Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industry Mohd Yassin has assured Bangladesh of his government' s all possible cooperation regarding visas of 55,000 Bangladeshi workers.

Ensure enjoyable educational atmosphere for children

Ensuring safe and enjoyable educational atmosphere is a must for proper mental growth of children, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

'Change attitude towards persons with disabilities'

Speakers at a programme yesterday called on all to change the attitude towards the persons with disabilities in order to build a prosperous country.

Razakar, Al Badr, Al Shams spawn militancy

Islamic Foundation Bangladesh (IFB) had been working in favour of a particular political party misusing a large amount of government money in the last few years, said new Director General of IFB Shamim Mohammad Afzal yesterday.

Probe deaths of BDR jawans in custody

Speakers at a dialogue here last night said the deaths of BDR jawans in the custody of security forces should be investigated transparently as there are allegations of physical and mental torture on them.

Ensure HR for migrant workers

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hasan Mahmud has called on the international community, especially the labour-receiving countries, to ensure human rights for migrant workers, says a press release.

Criminals attack Gazipur RMG factory

A group of alleged criminals yesterday attacked and damaged windowpanes of two garment factories in a building at Gachha in Sadar upazila in a bid to establishing their control over garments 'jhut' (scrap) trade.

Buet student, brother drown in Pirojpur

The bodies of two brothers who drowned in the Sandhya river at Bejkati village in Swarupkathi upazila on Friday were recovered from the Korsha canal yesterday.

Dr Yunus to exchange views in US on Apr 14

Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus will exchange views with Bangladeshi professionals in the USA on April 14.

Independent probe demanded

A group of lawyers, human rights activists and professionals yesterday demanded an independent enquiry into the deaths of six BDR men during the investigation into the mutiny by BDR jawans.

Mamun, Mallick KUJ president, gen secy

Mamun Reza, Khulna Bureau chief of the daily Samakal and Shudhangshu Mallick, Khulna correspondent of now-defunct the daily Ajker Kagoj, were elected president and general secretary of the executive committee of Khulna Union of Journalists (KUJ) yesterday.

Call to recognise female workers' contribution

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said contribution of female workers to informal sector, who are generally mistreated by the society, must be recognised by the state.

10 shops, 9 houses gutted in Ctg

Ten shops and 9 thatched houses were gutted in a fire at Cheragi Pahar intersection in Chittagong yesterday.

JCD calls off strike

Some activists of Dhaka University (DU) unit of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) yesterday misbehaved with the central leaders as they called off strike on the campus.

Zillur undergoes medical check-up

President Zillur Rahman had a medical check-up at Green Life Hospital at Green Road in the city yesterday.

Silver jubilee of ActionAid begins today

ActionAid Bangladesh organises a two-day programme today with the theme '25 years of ActionAid in Bangladesh: Striving towards dignity' to mark its silver jubilee, says a press release.

Robbery at Opposition Chief Whip's Noakhali house

Armed robbers looted the village home of Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farruque at Earpur village in Senbag upazila early yesterday.

PM condemns suicide attack on Pak mosque

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday condemned the Friday's suicide attack on a Pakistani mosque during Juma prayers that killed at least 48 people.

Diarrhoea situation improves slightly

Diarrhoea situation in the capital improved slightly yesterday as different hospitals experienced reduced number of patients in comparison with the day before yesterday.

Women MPs take oath today

The newly elected members of parliament from the reserved seats for women will be sworn in at the oath-room of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban today.

Bailey bridge collapses

A bailey bridge on Alipur-Kuakata road collapsed with a loaded truck yesterday noon disrupting movement of vehicles including those to tourist spot Kuakata.

Dyeing factory gutted in N'ganj

A dyeing factory was gutted in fire at Paglar Nandalalpur in Fatullah under Narayanganj Sadar upazila yesterday.

Desh TV video editing incharge killed in road accident

Aftab Khokon, incharge of video editing of private television channel Desh TV, was killed and video editor SM Alam Monir injured in a road accident at Jatrabari in the city last night.

National

Ammonia-hit villagers' demand unheeded

Pollution by ammonia gas emitted from the factory of Ashuganj Zia Fertilizer Company Limited (ZFCL) in the district is causing respiratory and skin diseases to the surrounding villagers and affecting environment and ecology in the area.

Punishment to Al-Badr leader demanded

Leaders of different political and cultural bodies in Rangpur demanded punishment to a local Jamaat leader for his alleged war crimes in 1971.

Vet instt interns lock dean office

Interns of Barisal Veterinary Institute yesterday morning locked the Dean and administrative offices of the institute and besieged their teachers protesting cut in internship allowance, campus sources said.

Woman with gunpowder arrested in Narsingdi

Police yesterday arrested a woman for her alleged link with militants at Kawriapara in Narsingdi town and recovered gunpowder from her possession.

AL faction in Pabna sues 25 party rivals

A faction of Awami League Atghoria upazila unit has filed a case against 25 leaders and activists of its rival faction following a clash between the two sides during Indepen-dence Day programme at Bangshipara under Majpara Union on March 26.

35 hurt as AL, BNP clash in Sirajganj

At least 35 people were injured, three of them seriously, in a clash between the activists of Awami League and BNP at Shahzadpur upazila headquarters yesterday.

Death of Bogra couple still a mystery

Death of a couple at a rented house at Namajghar in Bogra town Friday night remains a mystery.

Letters

Independence Day thoughts

The cold breeze swept through the pale, fragile body of the child standing immobile in the heavy downpour. Raindrops were falling on his porcelain smooth skin--mingling with the stream of moisture that was overflowing from his coal black eyes. He heaved a deep sigh as he tried to recall the events that led him here although his mind rebelled, frightened to bring back those painful incidents where he saw his own father being piled up in a heap of dead bodies, a nasty stench coming from the mutilated corpse-who was a vibrant man cradling him in his big, wide arms a day or two ago before that -------- BDR carnage.

Politicised students

In my childhood I used to hear a sentence from my teachers -- Education is the backbone of a nation. But at that time I could not realize the deeper meaning of the sentence. Now, this statement should more appropriately be "quality education is the backbone of a nation." Unfortunately, the quality of our country's education seems to be declining gradually, and this is largely the fault of our policy makers and the overall educational system. Moreover, the state of our student politics is at such a level that the prospect of quality education is unthinkable. I am really shocked with the news of recent political violence in different educational institutions. I think no civilized society would tolerate such violence in educational institutions. When the whole world is now in great fear of the economic recession and thinking about the possible ways to get rid of this situation, we are fighting with each other and killing one another. But what should be the duty of our students?

Power generation

As we all know we are having an electricity shortfall of about 2000mw per day. The situation is becoming worse as most of the age old power stations across the country can't run to their full capacity. On the other hand, due to fast urban development the country needs more & more electricity. Since the last 4 party alliance government did not do anything to generate power according to the demand of the country the hunger for power is increasing day by day. Though this new government is trying to address this issue on an emergency basis but it is very difficult to sort out this chronic problem in a year or so. On the one hand, the government should review what would be their source of energy i.e. gas, coal or fuel. Fuel is the most expensive source of energy nowadays to run any power station, so we have to look for alternate source of energy. Since we have sufficient coal we should prepare a coal policy at the earliest to utilise our own resources. Since we are having a shortfall of about 2000mw per day we should also look for nuclear power plants, as nowadays there are several countries which are using nuclear power plants to mitigate the demand for energy. Understandably, the government has started dialogues with Russia to negotiate commissioning of Rooppur Power Plant with a capacity of 1000mw. Besides China & India have also shown interest to help build such nuclear power plants.

Political solution?

The government is claiming that they have solved the 'Pilkhana' carnage politically. They also claim that this 'political solution' has saved many lives. Has it really?

Good potato harvest

The potato harvest was indeed remarkable this year and so would be the wheat cultivation particularly in the west and the north-western region of Bangladesh. However, the boro harvest will be better if fertilisers, pesticides and water are applied timely and sufficiently.

Bashundhara fire

Bashundhara Group's Corporate Office, attached with the Bashundhara City Shopping Mall, saw a devastating fire on 13 March 2009, Friday. The fire devoured the top five floors of the tower from 15th to 20th floor except the 16th.

Doctors' strike

We, the common people of the country, take exception to the latest incident that took place at DMCH. There was allegation that the patient died due to negligence of doctors. As the deceased's relatives were under such an impression, they might have failed to control their emotions.

Bleak future

I'm writing to you because I think I'm a responsible citizen of this country who had the great good fortune to witness the Great Liberation War as a petty officer in then exiled govt of Bangladesh. To speak the truth, the whole spirit of LW was lost immediately after the new govt took power. Just as our political leaders in the partition era (1947) did not care to get the Ist Radcliff Award exacted, rather set to fighting for 'gadi' and thereafter put all blame on WP leaders; the power-hungry, money-starved political leaders of Bangladesh got down to plundering the assets, immediately after liberation. Nobody bothered to restore the morale and morality of a traumatized nation; rehabilitate the people mentally after the great shock and set the judiciary and the education sector, first on the right track. Instead, party goons and thugs have since been nurtured in both the camps, thereby entirely degrading the standard of education.

University and environment

With due respect I would like to refer your 18th, 20th and 22nd Mar'09 editions' feature news, where in it has been observed that our sense of environmental cautiousness is increasing, which is obviously a good sign . A good environment is of course an important ingredient of a healthy life. In this regard , I would like to share the following with you. There is a university at Dhanmondi. On its left side, stands a school. Hundreds of small children are coming every morning and breathing the black smoke of the university power generator, besides the tremendous sound pollution during their classes. Also in the apartment houses there are many small children, aged and sick persons living among others, who can not intake fresh southern air for the same problem.

Post-Riquelme Argentina

The mercurial playmaker, Juan Roman Riquelme of Boca Juniors, has announced his retirement from Argentina national football team. He cited differences of football tactics and philosophies with coach Diego Maradona, a former Boca Junior player as well. The inclusion of Riquelme in the national team has pros and cons. The team has to be built around him and whenever he is in top form, the whole team plays well, but whenever he does not click, it seems to affect the performance of the whole team. That is why, he was hardly called up by former coach Marcelo Bielsa. Since coach Bielsa stepped down from his coaching role in late 2004, then coach Jose Pekerman built the team around him. This trend continued under coach Alfio Basile. In the meantime, a new superstar, Lionel Messi has become the most important player for the Argentina national team. The new coach, Maradona, repeatedly said the he would include Riquelme in his team and want him to be a part and parcel of it. But he said he wanted a slightly different role for Riquelme. Apparently, it was not acceptable for Riquelme.

Industrial units in bad shape

It was very disheartening to read a detailed report carried out by the Bangla daily, Prothom Alo (March 22nd ) on the present deteriorating state of different industries which were handed over by the government to the Bangladesh Freedom Fighters' Welfare Trust for the purpose of helping out the financially weak and injured freedom fighters.

International

Afghanistan backs US plan as fighting rages

Afghanistan welcomed Friday a revised US strategy to fight extremism as authorities announced they had killed 18 insurgents and an Afghan troop killed two foreign soldiers for unknown reasons.

Palestinian negotiator warns peace process may not survive

The chief Palestinian peace negotiator warned yesterday the Middle East peace process may not survive if the new Israeli government fails to accept a two-state solution for the crisis.

27 killed as Philippines troops, rebels clash

Twenty Muslim separatists and seven soldiers have been killed in fighting in the southern Philippines as the rebels Saturday accused the army of undermining the prospect of a return to peace talks.

ISI still backing al-Qaeda, Taliban: US admiral

The United States has vowed to put the heat on Pakistan's spies in its new regional strategy, with top officials openly accusing elements in powerful intelligence agency of abetting al-Qaeda.

Spotlight on multi-faith India as election campaign heats up

A Muslim-baiting speech ahead of India's elections next month has opened the door to a divisive campaign exploiting the country's religious fault lines.

Sharif holds Musharraf liable for Pak crisis

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif has held former President Pervez Musharraf responsible for the current crisis being faced by the nation.

Australia kicks off Earth Hour climate campaign

The waters of Sydney Harbour plunged into darkness yesterday night, with the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge killing their lights for an hour in a global call for swift action on climate change.

Indonesian dam burst: 100 people still missing

Rescue workers in Indonesia searched yesterday for 100 people still missing after a dam burst sending a torrent of water crashing into a Jakarta suburb, as the official death toll rose to 77.

Zardari ends governor's rule in Punjab

President Asif Ali Zardari executed a climbdown yesterday in calling for an end to governor's rule in Pakistan's most politically important province.

'US will not get involved in Kashmir issue'

The United States has made it clear that it would steer clear of the Kashmir issue as it seeks to involve India and other key stakeholders in the region in its new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Case filed against 'US meddling' in Pakistan

A constitutional petition has been filed in Sindh High Court challenging the alleged meddling of US diplomats in Pakistan's internal affairs during the political crisis in the country.

Malaysian PM to resign on April 2

Malaysia's prime minister announced yesterday he will resign April 2 and hand over power to his deputy, completing a transition one year in the making after the ruling coalition's shock drubbing in general elections.

Arts & Entertainment

Spectacular Bangladeshi panorama

It was a rather crowded affair than the usual calm and quite ambience at Drik Gallery, Dhanmondi on March 27. Young photo enthusiasts gathered and were chatting effusively on the second floor of the gallery. The occasion was the ongoing photography exhibition titled, "Bangladesh in Frames." The exhibition is the debut initiative by image and video hosting website Flickr-based photographic platform 'Through the Lens: Bangladesh.'

Addressing real life issues with street performances

Nijera Kori, an NGO organised a two-day street theatre festival titled “Natokey Amra Jiboner Katha Boli” at the Rabindra Sarobar open stage, Dhanmondi, starting from March 27. The festival aimed at raising social awareness through cultural programmes -- street plays, 'gano sangeet' and 'pot-er gaan' (a genre of narrative folk song).

After years Independence Day gets a fitting memorial at CU

Chittagong University (CU) authorities observed the 38th Independence Day amid much enthusiasm this year with special programmes that drew students, teachers and other employees of the university and outsiders as well.

Homage to mother language

Speakers at a recent language competition urged all to ensure the use of Bangla with utmost importance, as it is our mother language and the essence of our culture. The HSBC-Prothom Alo Bhasha Pratijogita (language competition) was held at Pabna Edward College auditorium last Friday. Prothom Alo, a leading Bengali daily of the country, in association with HSBC organised the event. Over 800 students from the northern districts participated in the competition.

Celebrating spring with poetry

A group of poets recently got together at a recitation programme at Durgabari Model Library in Mymensingh town. The function, titled 'Boshonter Kobitar Mela-1415,' was organised by Bangmoy with the aim of promoting Bengali poetry.

OP-ED

Hard times ahead

THE financial crisis that began in the US in July 2007 has subsequently deepened and emerged as global economic recession by September 2008, as stock markets world wide crashed and entered a period of high volatility, and a considerable number of banks, mortgage lenders and insurance companies failed.

Portents for the elections

AS India's national election approaches, politics is witnessing turbulence and uncertainty. Parties are courting one another across alliances, abandoning rules of coalition politics. The contest resembles a fish-market.

We are all becoming phone-starers

HAVE you noticed them? Every big city you go to these days, you see people staring at mobile telephones.


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