The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, April 21, 2014


News of: Thursday, 7th of May, 2009

Front Page

Savar in grave peril

Untreated liquid wastes from Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) have been polluting the Bangshi river and other water bodies around, putting around two lakh people of 12 villages in the area into tremendous health risk.

Sircar spent Tk 1 crore for non-existing MPs

In spite of the absence of parliament, former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar spent over Tk 1 crore in the last two years for purchasing medicines for non-existing lawmakers and sending parliamentary delegations abroad.

UNOs made more powerful than vice-chairmen

The LGRD ministry's operational guideline for newly elected upazila parishads renders upazila executive officers (UNOs) more powerful than elected vice-chairmen.

AL men blamed for law, order slide

Top officials of law enforcement agencies yesterday blamed Awami League men for deterioration of law and order, identifying extortion and tender manipulation by the party men as main reasons behind it.

Probe post-poll violence in 2001

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to form an enquiry commission in two months to probe violence and criminal offences against the opposition parties and minority communities across the country after the 2001 polls.

PM seeks donors' help in dredging all rivers

The government will start the dredging of Gorai river immediately to save agriculture and ecology of the country's southwestern part, including the Sundarbans.

Delwar claims JS body can't summon him

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the parliamentary probe body did not have any jurisdictions to summon him.

Some BRTA services to be outsourced

High-ups of the communications ministry at a meeting yesterday termed the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) a den of corruption and decided to outsource some of its services to private sectors to provide people with better services.

Manju, Omar sent to jail on surrender

A Dhaka court yesterday sent Jatiya Party (Manju) Chairman and former communications minister Anwar Hossain Manju and ex-state minister for law Shahjahan Omar to prison after they surrendered before it in connection with two separate corruption cases.

Rejoinder, our reply

The Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB) in a rejoinder differed with a paragraph of The Daily Star news headlined “Govt opens maiden power plant bids” published May 1, 2009.

60 killed in deadly Pakistan fighting

Pakistan said it killed more than 60 militants in heavy bombardments in an upsurge of fighting yesterday that caused tens of thousands to flee and threatened to torpedo a northwest peace deal.

JS body formed to recover money looted in past 8yrs

A parliamentary body yesterday formed a sub-committee to recover 'the money and properties misappropriated' in tourism sector during the tenures of previous BNP-led four-party government and the last caretaker government.

Amend act to strengthen UZ parishads

Speakers at a discussion yesterday suggested amending the Upazila Parishad Act on the basis of opinions of all the stakeholders and experts to strengthen it by ensuring a balance of power between the lawmakers and elected chairmen of upazilas.

20 more BDR jawans held

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested 20 more Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawans from Pilkhana headquarters in connection with the mutiny on February 25-26.

Deal signed for feasibility study on Ganges Barrage

An agreement involving Tk 34.34 crore was signed here yesterday for launching feasibility study of the Ganga Barrage, meant for offsetting the adverse impact of scanty flow of water in the once-mighty river Ganges (Padma).

Hopes for job in Kuwait brightens

The government sees a ray of hope for fresh recruitment of Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait as the Gulf nation has initiated formation of Kuwait-Bangladesh Joint Committee to deal with the manpower recruitment process.

'Crossfire' continues

An alleged criminal was killed and two Rab men were wounded in a shootout between the elite force and his cohorts in the city's Kamrangirchar area early yesterday.

JMB torture victim sues 34 in Bagmara

M Manik, a torture victim of Bangla Bhai-led outlawed organisation, of Bagmara upazila yesterday filed a case with a Rajshahi court against 34 people including Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) adviser Lutfar Rahman.

Proshika staff want Faruque's removal, probe into graft

Officials and employees of Proshika yesterday put forward a three-point demand that include removal of its Chairman Qazi Faruque for using the 'non-political organisation for political purposes over the years and causing huge financial losses to it.'

Ex-NSI boss Sahab Uddin's remand ends

The three-day remand of former director (security) of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Mohammad Sahab Uddin ended yesterday evening without any further development in the Chittagong arms haul case.

Sedition case filed against Akhtar Hamid

A sedition case was filed against former deputy speaker and BNP leader Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui yesterday, 46 days after his arrest.

One killed as billboard collapses

A young man died and three others sustained injuries when a billboard collapsed on a phone shop near the Zia International Airport during storms last night.

Maoists vow to step up protests in Nepal

Police clashed yesterday with protesting Maoists, who vowed to prevent a new government from being formed unless the president supported the firing of the country's army chief the key dispute that has thrown the Himalayan country into crisis.

Obama to hold Pak-Afghan crisis summit

President Barack Obama will try to cajole leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan into a crackdown on resurgent extremism, in summits aimed at bolstering anti-terror efforts.

Sri Lanka invites UN's Ban to assess crisis

Sri Lanka's president has invited UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit the island and assess first-hand the plight of civilians affected by fighting with Tamil rebels, his office said yesterday.

Editorial

Per capita income approaching respectability

THE bureau of statistics calculates the present per capita income in Bangladesh at US$690. This is quite a leap from the previous fiscal year's $608 and helps us get closer to the bottom of the middle-income bracket: $850 per capita, going by the World Bank standard.

Rice rations for RMG workers

WE applaud the announcement made by the BGMEA that it will start providing rice rations to garment workers in Dhaka and Chittagong at Tk 16 a kg by May 15.

Our worst fears are coming true

THE matter of the Chittagong arms haul is in the headlines once again. And what is appearing in the media must be a matter of discomfiture for all. Although the issue is still under investigation what agitates one's mind is that apprehensions regarding various possibilities of collusion and linkages, which were based on rational assessment, are proving true.

Speechless in Dhaka

IT must be a thankless job to be a speechwriter, especially since you cannot claim credit for your work. In Bangladesh, you would probably not want to, especially if you are writing for the seasoned politicians. You are more likely to compose a document that you regret.

Is the newspaper industry at death's door?

DURING a recent visit to Dhaka, the chairman of The Financial Times Group, Sir David Bell, categorically accused search engine giants Google and Yahoo of "stealing" contents of newspapers, which affects the industry badly. A similar allegation came from media mogul Rupert Murdoch in early April. "Should we be allowing Google to steal all our copyrights?" asked the News Corp. chief.

Sports

Younus takes first hattrick

Mehrab Hossain laid the foundation but Mohammad Younus took the honours with a hattrick as Brothers Union confirmed themselves as the first to the semifinals of the Habib Group PCL Twenty20 tournament at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.

Two move into final round

Mymensingh Abahani moved into the final round of the National Club Cup competition after they defeated Chader Haat by six wickets at the Mymensingh Stadium yesterday.

Dress rehearsal

Pakistan and Australia will get some practice for next month's Twenty20 World Cup tournament when they play a one-off version of the game at the Dubai Stadium Thursday.

MU in final again

Manchester United swept back into the Champions League final as the holders produced a stunning 3-1 win over Arsenal in Tuesday's semifinal second leg.

Sharma strangles Mumbai

Mumbai Indians squandered a crucial opportunity to grab a spot in the top four, losing to Deccan Chargers by 19 runs in a see-saw game where they had held the cards for the most part at the SuperSport Park, Centurion.

Nat'l hockey team off to Malaysia

The Bangladesh national hockey team, led by Russel Mahmud Jimmy, was due to leave the capital for Malaysian city of Kuantan last night to participate in the 8th Asia Cup Men's Hockey Tournament over May 9-15.

A lonely leader

The saddest part of the current Indian Premier League has been watching Brendon McCullum slowly go to pieces. The swaggering, tattooed hard-hitting batsman has become almost a thing of memory, replaced by a lonely figure wearing an increasingly haunted look as his team stumbles from one nightmare to another.

Fidel leads fightback

Fidel Edwards took three wickets, including the prize scalp of Kevin Pietersen for nought, as West Indies fought back in the first Test against England at Lord's here on Wednesday.

School football

Three hattricks from Darpan, Roxi and Arshad helped Younus Ali High School vanquish Mahmudpur High School 11-0 at the Natore Stadium in the first round of the Citycell National School Football Championship yesterday.

Gambling on Lee?

Australia's chairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch, admits the selection of Brett Lee in the 15-man World Twenty20 squad represents a sizeable gamble, but was hopeful the fast bowler's forthcoming stint in the IPL will go some way to improving his match fitness. Lee, Shane Watson and Andrew Symonds were all named in Australia's streamlined squad despite limited preparations, and are likely to use the IPL as a springboard into the World Twenty20.

ECB's offer to PCB

Discussions between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) are at an advanced stage as the three parties try and find a way of rescheduling Pakistan's 'home' series against Australia in England next summer.

Visitors romp to huge win

Sri Lanka Cricket Development team took just three days to register a nine-wicket victory over GP-BCB National Cricket Academy who were woeful with the bat at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Div I cricket

Dashora Nabojagoron Sangsad thrashed Sewta Udoy Sena by a massive 180 runs in the Colonel Malek Smriti First Division Cricket League at the Shahid Miraz-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj on Tuesday.

PCB reviving WC issue

After failing to stop the International Cricket Council (ICC) from shifting the 2011 World Cup matches out of the country, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has now promised more straight-forward approach to revive the issue at the annual ICC meeting in June.

Radwanska stuns Ivanovic

French Open champion Ana Ivanovic produced a fractured display as she was stunned by Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 at the WTA Rome claycourt International on Wednesday.

Buchanan stands by McCullum

Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchanan threw his weight behind Brendon McCullum and said the beleaguered captain should not be singled out for the team's abysmal performance in the Indian Premier League.

Zia 3rd in Mumbai Open

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh Biman earned six points to share the third position along with 19 others in the Second Mumbai Mayor's Cup Open International Chess Tournament in India yesterday.

Fergie salutes C'Ron

Sir Alex Ferguson saluted Cristiano Ronaldo after the Manchester United winger's two-goal blast against Arsenal in Tuesday's Champions League semifinal sent the holders back to the final with a 3-1 win on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.

Schalke unveil Magath

Felix Magath, coach of current Bundesliga leaders Wolfsburg, will join rivals Schalke 04 at the end of the season, he confirmed on Wednesday.

'Park will play final'

Sir Alex Ferguson has hinted South Korea winger Park Ji-Sung will play in the Champions League final as a reward for his heroic display in Manchester United's semifinal win over Arsenal.

Hamburg hold slim lead

Hamburg coach Martin Jol admits he is tempted to make sure his side practice penalties ahead of Thursday night's UEFA Cup semifinal, second leg at home as they hold a slim 1-0 lead over Werder Bremen.

Wenger mulls changes

Arsene Wenger admits he will consider overhauling Arsenal's young squad after the Gunners were taught a Champions League lesson by Manchester United.

Arsenal fan commits suicide

An Arsenal fan in football-mad Kenya hanged himself following his team's 4-1 aggregate drubbing by arch-rivals Manchester United in the Champions League semifinal, police said Wednesday.

Ferguson's grandchildren hurt in crash

Sir Alex Ferguson's daughter-in-law and grandson were seriously injured in a car crash, according to police and press reports Wednesday.

No reprieve for Fletcher

UEFA on Wednesday ruled out a reprieve for Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher over the red card that means he will be suspended for the Champions League final.

Van Basten steps down

Marco van Basten has stood down as coach of Ajax after failing to guide the Dutch giants into next year's Champions League, the club announced Wednesday on its website.

2010 WC tickets in high demand

The second phase of 2010 World Cup ticket sales reached 185,000 in eight hours as fans vied for seats at next year's showpiece event in South Africa, FIFA said Tuesday.

Velappan says sorry

Gaffe-prone former top Asian Football Confederation official Peter Velappan was forced to apologise Wednesday after telling the AFC president to go home "to the desert."

Business

Key RMG players shift to automated systems

Leading readymade garment (RMG) manufacturers are shifting to automated production systems from the traditional ones to be more competitive in global apparel business, said industry insiders.

Govt takes up Tk 4,900cr ICT projects

The government has undertaken projects worth Tk 4,900 crore as part of a move to establish a 'Digital Bangladesh', the post and telecommunications minister said yesterday.

Export earnings less than expected

Bangladesh fetched $1.280 billion from exports in March against the $1.369 billion target, registering a 6.48 percent shortfall in expected earnings, according to the latest Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) statistics.

US private sector cut 491,000 jobs in April: ADP

The US private sector shed 491,000 jobs in April, fewer than expected by analysts, a survey by payrolls firm ADP data showed Wednesday, signaling the prolonged recession may be easing.

US retail sales hit Bangladesh RMG exports: IMF

Plunging US retail sales are leading to reduction in garment export orders as the global economic crisis has now started hitting Bangladesh, which had showed some initial resilience, like other low income countries (LICs) in Asia.

SEC to take decision on GP IPO soon

The stock market regulator will take a decision about Grameenphone's (GP) initial public offering (IPO) soon, said a high official of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Islamic banking less risky

Islamic banking is now an issue of great interest for many, including Western non-Muslims, because the system still remains almost unhurt by the ongoing global financial crisis.

A catalyst for economy

Healthy economic growth is the goal of all developed and developing countries. For Bangladesh, which is still a least developed country, there is no alternative but to grow at a very higher rate in order to reduce poverty, educate a large population of 150 million, and provide better living condition for its people.

Asian markets broadly up

Asian markets were broadly higher Wednesday on continued hopes for the global economy although many dealers waited on the sidelines prior to the announcement of "stress test" results for US banks.

Asian markets broadly up

Asian markets were broadly higher Wednesday on continued hopes for the global economy although many dealers waited on the sidelines prior to the announcement of "stress test" results for US banks.

Oil prices lower in Asian trade

Oil prices were lower in Asian trade Wednesday ahead of a report expected to show rising oil inventories in the United States, the world's biggest energy consumer.

Adoption of 3G tech stressed to boost broadband

Ericsson Bangladesh Limited, one of the leading telecom vendors, said yesterday the country should go for 3G (third generation) technology as soon as possible to accelerate the growth of broadband market.

US reviews trade preferential schemes

The new US administration is reviewing its trade preferential schemes to make it more effective for the poorest countries, US Trade Representative Ronald Kirk said.

France's economy doing better than neighbours: Minister

France is doing better than its European neighbours when it comes to weathering the economic crisis, Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said Wednesday.

Pak textile team talks jt venture possibilities

A Pakistani textile delegation, led by S Muhammad Aasim, met yesterday the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at the trade body's office in Dhaka.

US economy to turn around in 2009: Fed chief

Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke said Tuesday the recession-hit US economy could rebound this year but warned of further "sizable" job losses and vulnerability of the financial system.

Thailand to borrow $22.9b for stimulus

Thailand's cabinet Wednesday endorsed plans to borrow 800 billion baht (22 billion dollars) to fund second a stimulus package of 1.4 trillion baht over the next three years, the finance minister said.

Nissan seeking more government loans

Nissan Motor Co. is seeking a further 100 billion yen (1.01 billion dollars) in emergency government loans designed to help Japanese firms cope with the global economic crisis, a report said Wednesday.

Singapore's UOB says Q1 net profit down 22.7pc

Singapore's United Overseas Bank (UOB) said Wednesday that first quarter net profit fell 22.7 percent year on year as the global downturn continued to hurt the banking sector.

Indian media agency top official in town

Satyajit Sen, managing director of Zenithoptimedia, a leading media agency in India, arrived in Dhaka yesterday, says a press release.

Uttara Bank's new DMD

Uttara Ba-nk Ltd has recently promoted one of its assistant managing directors, Abu Ahmed, to deputy managing director, says a press release.

Metropolitan

BCL men share money from tender rigging

Keeping factional clashes at bay, Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders yesterday distributed around Tk 7 lakh among themselves as they received the money from a construction firm for tender rigging.

Remain united to help protect democracy

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the flow of democracy would have to be kept uninterrupted as freedom of press depends on democratic dispensation.

Ten receive Anannya Top Ten awards

Ten women received the 'Anannya Top Ten 2008' awards yesterday for their outstanding contributions to different potential sectors in society.

HR Commission team meets president

A delegation of the National Human Rights Commission led by its chairman Justice Amirul Kabir Chowdhury called on President Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban in the city yesterday.

60pc of UP standing committees do not function properly

Around 60 percent of union parishad (UP) standing committees are not functioning properly, says a study report on local governance.

Road accidents kill 8

At least eight people were killed and two others injured in separate road accidents in Sylhet, Sirajganj and Jhenidah yesterday.

Sikhs banished by Taliban want to migrate to India

Scores of Sikh families, banished from Pakis-tan's tribal areas by Taliban militants, want to migrate and settle in India for good, this newspaper learned.

No swine flu case in Bangladesh so far

No case of swine flu strain has so far been detected in Bangladesh as the screening drives taken by the government at the country's nine entry and exit points are going on in full swing.

Pro-BNP lawyers for resignation of AG, SCBA president, secy

Pro-BNP lawyers yesterday demanded resignations of the attorney general (AG), president and secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for their reactions to a recent Supreme Court (SC) order in a case regarding fifth-amendment to the Constitution.

Brother kills sister in Ctg

A female garments worker was killed by her younger brother in Bakalia area in the port city yesterday.

BRTA to be digitised

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday said all activities of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) would be brought under digital system to brighten image of the organisation.

Procure paddy in large amount

Jatiya Krishak Samity yesterday called on the government to procure paddy in a large amount in order to protect the farmer's interest, says a press release.

Live concert of sufi music today

A live concert of sufi music will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city at 7:30pm today, says a press release.

3 workers hurt as roof of under-construction bldg collapses at ZIA

At least three workers were injured as a roof of an under-construction building in the Cargo Village area of the Zia International Airport collapsed yesterday.

Doa for early recovery of Wajed Miah sought

Family of noted nuclear scientist Dr MA Wajed Miah, husband of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, sought doa from the countrymen for his early recovery.

4 criminals arrested in city

Police arrested four criminals and seized two firearms from them at Shahjadpur of Gulshan in the city early yesterday.

Abduction day of RP Saha, Bhabani today

Today is the 38th abduction day of Ranada Prasad Saha, a renowned philanthropist, and his son Bhabani Prasad Shaha.

Abandoned brief-case spreads bomb scare in N'ganj

A black briefcase lying abandoned at the Municipal Shaheed Minar in the centre of the town from 11:00am to 4:00pm yesterday spread bomb scare in Narayanganj.

Prof Mamun wins Fredric William Basel Research Award

Dr A A Mamun, professor of physics at Jahangirnagar University (JU), has won the Fredric William Basel Research Award from Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation in Germany for his outstanding contribution to physics, says a press release.

Comilla varsity reopens May 10

Comilla University will reopen on May 10, says a press release.

Maintain congenial atmosphere

Jagannath University (JNU) Vice-chancellor Prof Mesbahuddin yesterday urged all concerned including students to help maintain congenial academic atmosphere on the campus.

SCF executive members

Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF) elected five members of its new executive committee on the May 3 election at the Liberation War Museum in the city, says a press release.

Prof Alfatunnesa appointed Gonoshasthaya coordinator

Prof Alfatu-nnesa Maya has been appointed coordinator of Gono-shasthaya Kendra on May 2, says a press release.

National

Dying Gorai still cries for new lease of life

Once mighty Gorai River, the main branch of the Padma, now sees a lowest ever flow, posing a serious ecological threat to the country's south-western region.

38 more including Jamaat man sued

Thirty-eight people, including an upazila Jamaat ameer, have been sued for their alleged involvement in war crimes in Sirajganj, Satkhira and Jhalakathi districts in 1971.

5 BNP men jailed for illegal arms, violence

A Barisal court yesterday sentenced five BNP cadres to 17 years imprisonment each for possessing illegal arms and launching an armed attack on the activists of 14-party alliance at Banaripara upazila headquarters in 2006.

Nor'wester kills one, injures 27 in two districts

One person was killed, 27 others were injured and about 1,100 houses damaged as two nor'westers lashed Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts on Tuesday.

Outlaw demands toll from mayor

An outlaw has demanded Tk 10 lakh as illegal toll from Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayor and city Awami League president Talukder Abdul Khaleque. The caller who did not disclose his name other than identifying himself as an outlaw demanded money and threatened the mayor over cell phone. The mayor said he had filed a general diary (GD) with Khulna Sadar police station on Tuesday. "I shall file another GD as the same caller demanded the money again yesterday", the mayor said.

Cop commits suicide

Shiplu Shekhar Chowdhury, 34, sub-inspector (SI) of Nabiganj police station in Habiganj committed suicide using his own pistol at a dak bungalow Tuesday night. The reason behind the suicide could not be ascertained immediately. Hailing from village Mahmud Nagar of Shulla upazila in Sunamganj district, unmarried Shiplu had been serving at Nabiganj as second officer for the last three years. The body was sent to the village home of the deceased.

Weigh station at Jamuna bridge

Weigh station on the western side of Bangabandhu Jamuna Bridge in Sirajganj district finally resumed operation from Tuesday night. Sources said, machines at the weigh station had gone out of order about two months ago. But the authorities did not take any step to replace them for which the government was losing a huge amount of revenue. Following publication of a report in the Daily Star on April 26, Jamuna bridge authorities took the initiatives to set up a new load-cell at the weigh station.

Journos protest attack

Khulna journalists at a rally yesterday decided to boycott coverage on KUET news in protest against attack on three mediamen during violence on the campus on Monday. Speakers at the rally said the boycott would continue till attackers are arrested and tried. A seven-member committee has also been formed to monitor the case filed on Tuesday by injured journalist Kanak Rahman. Besides, a three-day agitation programme has been announced by Khulna Press Club beginning today.

GD seeking security of life

Abdul Motin Khaleque, a deputy director of District Social Welfare Department yesterday filed a General Diary (GD) seeking security of life alleging that organisational secretary of district AL Ataur Rahman Azad Bablu and president of Dinajpur town AL Taiyab Uddin Chowdhury, have threatened to kill or transfer him. In the complaint he said they also hurled abusive words in front of 25 officials at the Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner's office on Tuesday as he declined to issue any old aged allowance card as per their list.

International

Mass exodus in Swat as ceasefire falls through

Thousands of civilians are reported to be fleeing their homes in Pakistan's Swat valley where a peace deal with the Taliban looks increasingly fragile.

Nepal struggles for stability again

Nepal's mainstream parties struggled to find a consensus prime minister to replace Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, whose resignation has plunged the former Himalayan kingdom into its latest crisis.

China rejects US criticism

Chinese military officials have rejected criticism by Washington that China's rising military power is focused on countering the United States and said US pressure was behind Australia's bid to boost its defense spending.

Left parties spurn Rahul

The Left parties and the JD(U) on Tuesday spurned AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi's overtures.

No clear winner for India polls

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP supreme Mayawati has flagged her prime ministerial ambitions ahead of the penultimate round of staggered Indian parliamentary elections slated for today.

Car bomb kills 11 in Baghdad

A car bomb exploded yesterday at the entrance to a fruit and vegetable market in south Baghdad, killing 11 people and wounding about 30, police and hospital officials said, in the latest sign of rise in attacks.

Gates touts strength of US-Saudi ties

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates yesterday reassured nervous Saudis over a possible warming of US relations with Riyadh's regional rival Tehran, stressing Washington's strong ties with the kingdom.

Offices, businesses reopen in Mexico as epidemic fades

Offices and restaurants in Mexico were scheduled to reopen yesterday after a week-long shutdown caused by swine flu but officials now insist it is on the wane.

Libya seeks transfer of Lockerbie bomber

Libyan authorities have applied for the man convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing to be transferred from his prison in Scotland to Libya, the Scottish government said yesterday.

Singapore to lower flu alert

Singapore said yesterday it would likely lower its alert level for swine flu next week, as the new strain of the virus appeared milder than originally feared.

Seven police killed in Afghan blast

Seven police officers were killed in Afghanistan yesterday when their jeep hit a roadside bomb apparently planted by insurgents, a provincial police chief said.

Accused pleads not guilty

A Pakistani man on trial in India over last year's Mumbai attacks yesterday pleaded not guilty to all charges, denying his part in "waging war" against the country and slaughtering scores of people.

100 Afghans killed in US strikes

Police in Afghanistan said yesterday that US-led air strikes against insurgents had killed 100 people, most of them civilians, in one of the deadliest such attacks in nearly eight years.

Family, three soldiers killed in SW Pakistan

Militants killed a young family and shot dead three soldiers clearing mines in Pakistan's troubled southwest province of Baluchistan yesterday, a military official said.

Arts & Entertainment

20th Nat’l Rabindra Sangeet Festival begins

With the slogan "...Durjanerey Hano," the five-day '20th Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Utshab' (National Rabindra Sangeet Festival) began at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library on May 5. The annual programme, organised by Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha (BRSSS), marks the 148th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. Over 100 Tagore artistes from and outside Dhaka are participating in the programme. The highlight of the first day's programme were solo and group performances.

Conveying a social message

'Pabna Drama Circle', a leading Pabna-based theatre organisation, presented a play 'Tantra Bilas', at the Pabna community centre on May 4. This is the 37th production of the organisation after it was established in 1981, said Gopal Sannal, president of Pabna Drama Circle.

Little pieces of happiness

Among the art forms, pottery is as tangible as it gets. With earliest known ceramic objects -- Gravettian figurines -- dating to 29,000-25,000 BCE and pottery (China) dating back to 10,000 BCE, this is also one of the oldest of crafts. Civilisations and eons have been introduced to metals, then plastic but pottery has retained its popularity. Why? Perhaps because metals/plastic do not induce the kind of earthy bliss pottery does. Every item of earthenware/ceramic/stoneware is a little (or big, depending on the magnitude of the work) piece of happiness.

Be-Libaas: Power equations in society

A recently staged play in Delhi, "Be-Libaas" (The Naked Truth), does not present a pretty picture of relationships. Instead it poses a number of disquieting questions about power politics in society -- be it in the office, neighbourhood or even at home. Quite often it is women who are victimised but sometimes the women are the exploiters.

Channel i’s Rabindra Mela

Channel i is holding a "Rabindra Mela" at its Tejgaon office to celebrate the 148th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore on May 8. The announcement was made at a press conference at the channel's Siddeswari office yesterday. Faridur Reza Sagar, managing director, Impress Telefilm Ltd and Channel i, artist Hashem Khan, Shahidul Alam Sachchu, poet Asad Chowdhury and others were present at the conference.

Swapnabhumi lauded in Bahrain festival

Acclaimed Bangladeshi director Tanvir Mokammel is pleased that his film "Swapnabhumi" (The Promised Land) has been well received by the audience at the Second Bahrain International Film Festival, held from May 1 to 4.

Subir Nandi performance on Rtv

"Bashudha Tomar Jonno Amar E Gaan," a weekly musical programme on Rtv, will feature Subir Nandi, on tonight's episode. Nandi, renowned for his 'Adhunik' and film songs, will present his popular numbers including “Amar e duti chokh,” “Din jaye kotha thake,” “Ami brishtir kachh thekey kandtey shikhechhi” and more. The artiste will also present songs upon requests from the audience, who can call during the show.

11th Dhaka Int'l Film Fest in January next year

Enthusiast filmmakers are invited to submit their films for the '11th Dhaka International Film Festival,' which will be held between January 14 and 22, next year, according to a press release. The event will be organised by Rainbow Film Society in association with The Religion Today Film Festival, Trento, Italy; SIGNIS; International Film Critics Association of Bangladesh and Channel i.

OP-ED

Web 2.0 and Digital Bangladesh

AROUND March 4, someone posted on Youtube a thirty to forty minute clip from a meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and army officials. It showed the confrontation between angry army officials and the PM on her decision to negotiate with the mutineers rather than take military action.

Let's not waste waste

CALL me naïve, but I am a strong believer that the fate of our country lies in the hands of each one of us. The citizen need not be highly educated; however, the highly educated and well-to-do definitely have more responsibility towards the country. The latter need a change in mind-set and should start thinking of "not what the country can give her/him but what he/she can give to the country."

What lies ahead?

WHAT a difference a year makes. Last May, Asia seemed to be in an enviable position, with its economies continuing to boom, even as the United States was becoming mired in recession. At that time, many analysts argued that this situation would continue, since Asia would "decouple" from the West. Things turned out quite differently. Instead of decoupling, some of Asia's key economies, including Japan, are experiencing recessions more severe than those at the epicenter of the crisis. How did this happen? And what does this experience imply for Asia's future?

Star Chittagong

Hill levelled to make plots in Matiranga

Plots are being developed near Chharpara under Matiranga upazila in the hill district of Khagrachhari, defying the ban on hill cutting under the nose of the administration.

Move to increase food grain storage capacity

The government has taken initiative to return Halishahar Central Storage Depot (CSD) to the department of food from Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone to increase food grain storage capacity in Chittagong.


The Daily Star

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