The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Thursday, 21st of May, 2009

Front Page

Turag almost grabbed

Encroachment, after pollution, stands as the biggest threat to the life of our rivers. The reach and scope of the encroachers have made them seemingly invincible. Powerful, rich and ruthless, these encroachers have come to pull strings in government, pocket law enforcers and lean on land administration to produce ownership papers out of the blue. The legal system has been left helpless in its wake and left our rivers in peril.
Starting today, we offer a series on the most visible encroachments on the Turag and three other Dhaka rivers, with a plea to authorities to go and check grabbers' claims. We invite our readers to join the cause -- save our rivers.

Ex-NSI chiefs tell of foreign links

Interrogators have gleaned important information about the smuggling of 10 trucks of arms and ammunition and foreign links to the incident from the two arrested former National Security Intelligence (NSI) chiefs, the prosecution yesterday told the court.

Major decisions on coal likely within this year

Within this year, the government will take several major and thorny decisions on developing the coal sector, including approval of the coal policy, an open-pit mine in Barapukuria, resettlement of people affected by the existing mine and development of a mine city.

Odd BDR deaths to be probed

The government yesterday formed a three-member probe committee to investigate the suicides and unnatural deaths of BDR jawans in custody after the mutiny at the Pilkhana BDR headquarters.

Dhaka metro govt proposed

Members of the parliamentary standing committee on the local government ministry at a meeting yesterday discussed forming Dhaka metropolitan government combining Gazipur and Narayanganj to improve city life.

District units see rat race for posts

District-level leaders of BNP are now busy with last-minute lobbying to get included in the district convening committees to be announced in a day or two.

JS body for tax holiday

The parliamentary standing committee on finance ministry has recommended continuing the existing tax holiday facility with some conditions in the budget for next fiscal year.

CHT accord implementation body recast

Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury has been made chairperson of the National Committee for Implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord.

Paltan killing case against AL leaders to be dropped

The metropolitan public prosecutor (MPP) yesterday recommended scrapping of the Paltan killing case against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Home Minister Sahara Khatun, AL General Secretary Abdul Jalil, and 37 others.

Another child dies in Dhamrai

A seven-year-old girl Shibli Akhter died at Naogakait village in Dhamrai upazila yesterday allegedly due to poisoning from overuse of pesticides.

Haji Selim, Saifur's son sent to jail

Former Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim and former finance minister M Saifur Rahman's younger son Shafiur Rahman Babu were sent to jail after they surrendered before two Dhaka courts yesterday in connection with graft cases.

Bhutan hosts Saarc summit for first time next year

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan will seize world's attention once again in April 2010 when it hosts the 16th summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) for the first time since the organisation came into being in 1985.

49 Rohingya intruders held at Teknaf

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawans yesterday arrested 49 Rohingya intruders at Teknaf bus terminal and surrounding areas of the upazila during an eight-hour drive.

Safety net to get boost in budget

The government will give massive increases in budgetary allocation for safety net, employment and food security, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday while unveiling some salient features of the next national budget.

Ex-mayor of KCC Tayebur gets HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted regular bail to former Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman in a graft case.

Kabirul held for 'killing' brother

A son of former Jatiya Party lawmaker Karimuddin Vorosha was arrested from a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in the city's Uttarkhan area yesterday on charge of killing his younger brother.

Swine flu cases cross 10,000

The number of worldwide swine flu infections surged past the 10,000 mark yesterday as the crisis escalated in the United States and Asia despite stringent government efforts to contain the virus.

Sri Lanka celebrates victory over LTTE

Sri Lanka celebrated victory over the Tamil Tigers with a national holiday yesterday as the army hunted down fugitive rebels, shooting dead eight thought to have escaped from the final battle.

Congress invited to form new govt

A Congress-led coalition government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be sworn in New Delhi tomorrow following the triumph of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the Indian parliamentary poll.

Indonesian military plane crash kills 98

An Indonesian military transport plane carrying soldiers and their families crashed into homes and erupted in flames yesterday, killing at least 98 people, the air force spokesman said.

Editorial

Heightened concern over river pollution

WE are gratified to see that when it comes to the issue of combating river pollution, the pressure does not seem to be letting up, and that the issue continues to dominate the people's agenda.

Grisly road accidents

THE death of a police sergeant, and a female university student sustaining multiple injuries that might cripple her permanently, are the latest reminders of how dangerously exposed citizens are to grisly road accidents in this city of traffic chaos and peril.

Physician, heal thyself!

NOT often do we find our actions emulated by others. At least not acts that we can be proud of -- except perhaps for the Grameen Bank, the concept of which we find being replicated in many parts of the globe.

BJP, Left face existential dilemma

IT may be difficult to deal with defeat, but the regret of a drowned dream is quickly overtaken by the compulsions of survival. Both the BJP and the Left now face an existential dilemma, and will require honesty to pare away that part of the dogma that has checked the growth of one and undermined the success of the other.

Formulating an education policy

THE need for a suitable education policy to build a strong nation is immense. It is unfortunate that we haven't yet been able to introduce a full-fledged education policy since our independence in 1971, though nine education commissions were formed and nine education policies formulated during the period. Till now, the nation has been deprived of a realistic education policy.

Sports

UCBL made official sponsor of Tigers

United Commercial Bank Ltd (UCBL) signed a deal with Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to become the official sponsors of the national team for the ICC World Twenty20s to be held in England next month.

Champions Club Cup from Friday

After an initial delay due to domestic and international football competitions the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup will kick off on Friday.

Zia, Niaz share 3rd position

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman beat International Master Richard Bitan of Philippines yesterday in the 8th Asian Continental Chess Championship at Subic Freeport in Olongapo City.

WC opening ceremony at the Bangabandhu

It is all but confirmed that the opening ceremony of the 2011 Cricket World Cup will take place at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Chennai in semifinals

Muttiah Muralidaran led a disciplined spin attack as Chennai Super Kings qualified for the Indian Premier League semifinals with a 24-run win over Kings XI Punjab here on Wednesday.

KKR oust Rajasthan

Laxmi Ratan Shukla hit a vital 48 not out as Kolkata Knight Riders knocked defending champions Rajasthan Royals out of the Indian Premier League with a four-wicket win here on Wednesday.

KP out of WI ODIs

Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the whole of England's one-day series against the West Indies with an Achilles injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Wednesday.

'We can win without Roy'

Skipper Ricky Ponting says he has enough talent for Australia's Ashes defence in England this year without controversial all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

Ponting targets Strauss

Lighting a fuse on the eve of Australia's Ashes squad announcement, captain Ricky Ponting has publicly dared rival skipper Andrew Strauss to stand up to an onslaught of pressure coming his way.

'Keep some in the bank'

Ricky Ponting's only concern for the torrent of runs youngster Phillip Hughes has unleashed in English county cricket is whether he will have enough left for Australia in this year's Ashes series.

Akhtar's T20 WC in doubt

Shoaib Akhtar's participation in the World Twenty20 has come into doubt after a skin condition he developed last week failed to improve as was expected.

ICL to let fifty go

The Indian Cricket League (ICL) has decided to release around 50 players who had sought a return to official cricket. Those released are believed to include New Zealand's Shane Bond, Pakistan's Imran Nazir and Navedul Hasan, Bangladesh's Habibul Bashar and Deep Dasgupta, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Hemang Badani from India.

Veeru admits team relaxed

Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag has dismissed suggestions that his side did not fight with intensity in their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore but admitted the players were a bit 'relaxed'.

Rio fighting to be fit

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted on Wednesday that Rio Ferdinand is likely to have to prove his fitness against Hull to stand a chance of featuring in next week's Champions League final.

Petrov staying at Villa

Stiliyan Petrov, the Bulgaria midfielder who has been one of Aston Villa's outstanding performers this season, has committed his long term future to the club by signing a new four-year contract.

I am staying: Wenger

Arsene Wenger will continue as Arsenal manager and spurn the advances of Spanish giants Real Madrid, according to quotes from the Frenchman.

Klinsmann speaks out

Bayern Munich would have won the Bundesliga this season had Jurgen Klinsmann been given the chance to complete his first season in charge of the Bavarian giants.

Akram signs with Twente

Dutch Eredivise club FC Twente Enschede have signed Iraq national team captain Nashat Akram on a three-year contract.

Maria cruises into quarters

Maria Sharapova continued her successful return to the WTA circuit on Wednesday with a confident 6-2, 6-0 victory over Darya Kustova of Belarus which took her into the quarterfinals.

Eduardo to undergo ankle op

Arsenal's Croatian striker Eduardo Da Silva is to undergo minor surgery Wednesday on the leg he suffered a horrific break last year, sports daily Sportske Novosti reported.

'Beckham was underhand'

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Stefan Effenberg has attacked David Beckham's style of play, labelling the AC Milan loan star as ''underhand''.

Messi rejects City offer

Barcelona's Argentine star Lionel Messi has rejected a multi-million-euro offer to move to big-spending English Premiership club Manchester City, a Spanish sports newspaper reported Wednesday.

13 years for Lewis

Former England all-rounder, Chris Lewis, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after being found guilty of smuggling cocaine into the country.

Symonds dumped

Skipper Ricky Ponting says Australia have learned the lessons of their titanic 2005 series loss and promises England a torrid Ashes battle with his rebuilt team.

Watto beats Simmo

Selectors have again put their faith in injury-prone all-rounder Shane Watson, believing he will provide the balance to the Australian team for their defence of this year's Ashes against England.

FINA to strip French WRs

FINA's crackdown on hi-tech swimsuits will make it difficult to ratify new world records by two French swimmers, Australian head coach Alan Thompson said Wednesday.

Veteran dies while playing

A former first-class cricketer died during a veterans Twenty20 match in Pakistan, leaving organisers contemplating a ban on players with a history of cardiac problems, officials said Wednesday.

'MU's defence hold the key'

Arsene Wenger believes the performance of Manchester United's defence against Barcelona will determine whether his old rival Sir Alex Ferguson gets his hands on another Champions League trophy next week.

Business

Expat bank won't be viable

The government move to set up an expatriate welfare bank would not be viable with experts terming the initiative 'unnecessary'.

Banglalink, AKTEL may merge

Mobile operators Banglalink and AKTEL are in talks for a possible merger in an aggressive bid to grab a substantial market share of Bangladesh's 46 million market, giving a hint that the number of operators will come down in the already saturated six-operator market.

Fare war on Dhaka-Kolkata air route

A fare war has now surfaced on the Dhaka-Kolkata route, as Indian carriers recently slashed fares drastically to secure a slice of the market, airline officials said yesterday.

DSE reiterates demand for allowing black money investment

Scoffing at the critics of whitening black money, Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) authorities said they want to see a specific announcement in the next budget on corporate-tax cuts, allowing undisclosed money into the capital market and 'stabilizing fund' for crisis period.

Ban calls for new way to finance development

The global recession is eroding traditional forms of financing in poorer nations, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned yesterday, as he addressed a meeting in Geneva tasked with finding creative alternatives to funding development.

Deals with MoneyGram for easy transfer of money

Al-Arafah Islami Bank on Tuesday signed an agreement with MoneyGram International, a leading global money transfer company.

International Leasing eyes fund generation thru' deposit collection

International Leasing and Financial Services, a multi product joint venture financial institution, is aggressively eyeing fund generation through deposit collection.

Obama sees 'return to normalcy' in markets

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday welcomed a "return to normalcy" in some sectors of the financial markets as he gathered a blue-chip board of independent financial advisors.

Ctg laptop fair tomorrow

A three-day laptop fair is scheduled to begin in the port city on Friday.

China loses low-cost manufacturing crown to India, Mexico

China has lost its position as the world's lowest-cost components manufacturer to India and Mexico, a study indicated Wednesday, in a blow for the Asian giant as it fights the financial crisis.

Asian carriers face rough weather

Asia's leading airlines are bracing themselves for more rough weather after earnings nosedived in the first quarter with no signs of a global economic recovery in sight, industry analysts said.

Japan's slump may mark trough in recession

The Japanese economy's nosedive in the first quarter may mark the low point in its worst post-war recession, but a swift recovery seems unlikely given its reliance on exports, analysts said Wednesday.

Remittance show kicks off in Sylhet

A 3-day fair titled Bangladesh Remittance Fair kicked off yesterday at Hafiz Complex in Sylhet to encourage expatriates for remitting their wages through banking channel avoiding hundi.

Stocks close flat

Dhaka stocks closed flat yesterday, with a marginal down in key indices.

Oil higher in Asian trade, NY crude breaks $60

Oil was higher in Asian trade Wednesday, recovering from early losses caused by fresh concerns about the US economy following the release of grim housing data, analysts said.

Thai exports plunge 26.1pc

Thai exports fell 26.1 percent year-on-year in April, the sixth consecutive monthly decline, the Commerce Ministry said Wednesday.

S Korea to lift ban on short selling of non-financial stocks

South Korea's financial watchdog said Wednesday it would lift a ban on short-selling of non-financial stocks amid signs of more global financial stability.

Vietnam govt asks legislature to lower growth target

Vietnam's lawmakers should lower the country's economic growth target to around five percent in the face of an economic slowdown, a senior official said Wednesday.

UAE pulls out of Gulf monetary union project

The United Arab Emirates has pulled out of a proposed monetary union deal being negotiated by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a foreign ministry official said on Wednesday.

Indonesian president vows 7pc growth

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pledged Wednesday to return the country to strong growth of seven percent by 2014 if he is re-elected in July.

China to tighten control on fixed-asset investment loans

China is to tighten up supervision of lending for fixed asset investment projects after bank loans surged this year and auditors warned of fund misuse.

Exports fall to cut developing Asia's growth: ADB

Plunging western demand for developing Asia's exports would trim the region's potential economic output this year by 2.8 percent, the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday.

Iraq to slap foreign oil firms with 35pc corporate tax

Iraq's cabinet has approved a bill that will slap foreign oil firms with a minimum 35 percent corporate tax in a bid to boost government revenues, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Wednesday.

Metropolitan

Govts urged to show respect for rights of indigenous people

The 8th annual session of Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples continued in New York yesterday with indigenous speakers decrying the governments' near-total disregard for their rights in the development of roads, waterways and extractive projects, negotiation of free trade agreements and drafting of national legislation that have impacted their lives.

Govt mulls formulation of nat'l child labour policy

The government is actively considering the formulation of a national child labour policy with a view to eliminating child labour, State Minster for Labour and Employment Munnujan Sufian said yesterday.

RMG workers need Tk 7,000 a month for healthy life

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said a garment worker needs at least Tk 7,000 per month to maintain a healthy life, while minimum wage for the garment workers should not be given below Tk 4,500 anyway.

'Celebrating Life' kicks off in Bogra

People in Bogra enjoyed a rare taste of 'Celebrating Life', as The Daily Star and the Standard Chartered Bank yesterday kicked off the district-level festival featuring fabulous songs and dance by eminent artists and a photo exhibition in the district town.

Increase budgetary allocation for cultural ministry

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the government to increase budgetary allocation for the cultural ministry and incorporate concerned stakeholders while preparing any project of the ministry to help flourish culture in the country.

Dhaka to work closely with new govt

Congratulating victory of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said Bangladesh would work closely with the new government of India to enhance the relations between the two countries.

Create mass awareness to check road accidents

Traffic and safety rules should be included in primary and secondary level education to teach the youngsters about safe road behaviour, said Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, vice-chancellor of Dhaka University while presiding over a workshop yesterday.

EC to update voter list with own manpower

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the commission would make the voter list up to date with its own manpower and there is no need to take help from the army.

President eyes hydropower of Bhutan

President Zillur Rahman yesterday said Bhutan could export hydropower to Bangladesh to help mitigate the current power crisis as the Himalayan kingdom holds a huge potential for producing about 30,000 megawatt hydroelectricity.

Journo Arif passes away

Arif Rahman, former executive member of Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) and senior reporter of the Dainik Bhorer Dak, died of cardiac arrest in the city's Holy Family Hospital yesterday at the age of 40.

Call to implement CHT peace accord fully

Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) chief Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Shantu Larma yesterday called for full implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Agreement, which was signed in 1997.

New DPRK envoy calls on Hasina

The newly appointed Ambassador of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Dhaka Sin Hong Chol called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) yesterday.

CU, Cider School clinch title

Chittagong University (CU) and Cider International School clinched the titles of the 3rd inter-university and 9th inter-school debate competitions respectively in the final round of South East Bank-Drishty English Debate Competition '09 yesterday.

Arms, fertiliser, Phensidyl seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in different anti-crimes drives seized firearms, bullets, fertiliser, parts of motorcycle and Phensidyl from Chapainawabganj, Joypurhat, Rajshahi and Rangpur yesterday.

Call to stop construction of Tipaimukh Dam

Different organisations yesterday strongly protested and condemned the construction of Tipaimukh Dam on Borak River in India saying that it would cause serious havoc in northeastern region in Bangladesh.

Final hearing on proclamation of independence starts

The government yesterday produced the copies of the daily Ittefaq, the daily Sangbad and the daily Azad published from March 1, 1971 to March 25, 1971, before a High Court (HC) bench to examine the historical background on the declaration of independence of the country.

500 tons of Saudi date as gift

Saudi government will give 500 tons of date to Bangladesh as gift on behalf of the king on the eve of holy month of Ramadan.

'RMG workers need Tk 7,000 a month for healthy life'

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said a garment worker needs at least Tk 7,000 per month to maintain a healthy life, while minimum wage for the garment workers should not be given below Tk 4,500 anyway.

Judicial probe demanded

Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) yesterday demanded formation of an impartial judicial probe body to investigate into the February 25-26 carnage at the BDR headquarters in the city.

Need for exhibiting heritage stressed

Speakers at a discussion yesterday underscored the need for exhibiting the country's history and heritage to the tourists and attracting more tourists with the help of the museums.

Books for underprivileged children

Agrani Bank Limited distributed books among the underprivileged children of local community at Noorunnahar Fyzennessa Kishalay Free School at Dhamrai in Dhaka on May 17, says a press release.

'6 silos to be set up to stockpile food grains'

Food Minister Abdur Razzak yesterday said the government has taken an initiative to set up around six warehouses in the country having the capacities of keeping five lakh metric tons of food grains to increase the food security of the country.

Delwar admitted to hospital

The BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain was admitted to Birdem hospital in the city on Tuesday night for medical checkup.

Magura road crash kills 2

Two people were killed and eight others injured when a Dhaka-bound bus collided head-on with a truck on Magura-Faridpur highway at Bhellakandi in Magura yesterday.

Murder of two women condemned

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) President Ayesha Khanom and General Secretary Maleka Banu in a joint statement yesterday condemned the murder of two young women and injury of another one at Meradia in the city.

Suspected thief beaten to death in Pirojpur

A suspected thief was beaten to death by a mob at Bhurikhali village in Nazirpur upazila early yesterday.

Alleged killer arrested

Police yesterday arrested the alleged killer of two sisters who were murdered brutally by their brother in the city on Tuesday.

BPC hands over awards

Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC), the sole government body to promote tourism of the country, yesterday gave away prizes among the winners of an essay writing competition on tourism.

Traffic sergeant's death condoled

Home Minister Sahara Khatun and State Minister Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj yesterday condoled the death of traffic sergeant Mohammad Abdul Baset, says a press release.

Removal of principal demand

Teachers and staffs staged a demonstration at Ispahani School and College in the capital yesterday demanding removal of the principal for her alleged involvement in irregularities.

National

Khulna police make list of troublemakers

Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) has finalised a list of 32 students of three academic institutions, identifying them as troublemakers on the campuses.

Shibir backed by outsiders flexes muscles at RU

Activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir accompanied by outsiders yesterday flexed muscles on Rajshahi University campus, creating panic among students, teachers and employees.

Poll goes, pledge forgotten

People in Barisal city yesterday formed a human chain and handed over memorandum to the prime minister through the district administration, demanding immediate steps for completion of Taltali Bridge.

Khulna demands fund for 17 dev projects

Greater Khulna Development Action Committee (GKDAC) has demanded allocation of necessary fund in the upcoming national budget for implementation of 17 projects for economic development of Khulna region.

Bus strike withdrawn

Pabna District Motor Sramik Union withdrew their strike yesterday hours after the union enforced it demanding release of its leader Shamsur Rahman Swapan who was arrested on Tuesday on charge of making fake driving licences.

Human chain at Rajshahi

Physically challenged people yesterday formed a human chain at Shaheb Bazar and submitted memorandums to Rajshahi deputy commissioner (DC) and local lawmaker demanding increase in allocation for their welfare in the upcoming budget. They demanded at least two percent allocation in the budget to ensure rights of around 1.40 crore of their kind in the country. Badhan Protibandhi Sangstha and Jatiya Trinomul Protibandhi Sangstha jointly organised the human chain backed by Action on Disability and Development (ADD) of Rajshahi unit. The human chain was followed by a rally where the participants urged the authorities to fulfill their 12-point demand.

Three to die for gang rape

The Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal awarded death penalty yesterday to three young men for rape and murder of a teenage girl. The convicts are Sayed Ahmed Sayem, Ruhul Amin and Atique, all aged below 25 and hailing from village Khalopar in Golapganj upazila. According to the prosecution story, police recovered the body of 13-year girl Rima Begum, daughter of poor villager Abdur Rahman of Sherpur from a bush at village Nalua on November 17, 2006. Police on March 20, 2007 filed charge sheet against the three accused who kidnapped the victim from her house and killed her after gang rape. Sayem and Ruhul Amin are in jail while Atique is still at large.

Yaba tablets seized in Teknaf

Police seized 200 pieces of banned Yaba tablets in Damdamia under Teknaf upazila on Tuesday and arrested two persons in this connection. Omar Faruk Bappi, 28, son of Abu Taher of Bazar Para and Farzana Akter Runa, 24, wife of Feroz Ahmed of Kharangkhali village were produced in court yesterday and the judge ordered to send them to jail.

Myanmar criminals held

BDR jawans of 15 Rifles Battalion at Bandarban Naikkhongchhori Sadar in a raid on Goyalmara village in Tirer Dibba under Lama upazila on Tuesday arrested two Myanmar criminals and recovered arms from their possession. Sources said, a BDR patrol team arrested Shoi Moi Marma, 38, and Apele Khumi, 28, with a German made pistol and a sawed off gun. The arrestees are residents of Mondou and Buchidong areas in Myanmar's Arakan province.

7 Satkhira robbers arrested

Police yesterday arrested seven robbers and recovered a firearm bullets from their possession at village Keragachhi in Kalaroa upazila. The robbers are Alam Hawladar, Abdus Salam, Mani Sarkar, Shahidul Islam, Abdus Selim, Rafiqul Islam and Shariful Islam. Police raided the house of Alam at village Keragachhi in the early morning and rounded up the robbers while they were asleep. A pipegun, eight cartridges and some sharp weapons were recovered from the house. During interrogation the arrestees told police that they committed robberies in 11 houses at village Kanerdangi on May 16 and in a house of a Kuwait expatriate at village Aruakhali in Sadar upazila on May 17.

Robberies in Comilla

Armed robbers looted goods and valuables from four houses and seriously injured one middle-aged man at village Chotukhil and Chatiani under Chouddagram upazila Tuesday night. About 20 armed men wearing mask entered the house of Ali Akkas by breaking open the door and tortured the house owner, Yakub Miah, before looting goods and valuables worth about Tk 3 lakh, villagers said. The same night robberies were also committed in the houses of Monir Shodagor and Noor Hossain, police said.

International

Pakistan struggles to aid displaced thousands

Pakistan struggled to provide relief for the 1.5 million people who have fled its anti-Taliban onslaught, admitting the enormity of the challenge as fears grew yesterday about a lengthening crisis.

Aid groups ask for access to Lanka battlefields

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced yesterday that he will visit Sri Lanka later this week, in part to get a first-hand look at the situation on the ground after the Government declared that its military operation against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has ended.

Tamil doubts over rebel leader's death

The Sri Lankan military has released pictures of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran which it says prove conclusively that he is dead.

India to help Lanka's Tamil civilians

Close on the heels of Sri Lanka announcing decimation of terror group LTTE and its chief V Prabhakaran, India yesterday rushed two of its senior officials as special envoys to that country to discuss rehabilitation of Tamil civilians who were affected by the cross-fire between Lankan army and the separatist outfit.

Prabhakaran made 2 last attempts to flee: Navy

LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran made two last-minute attempts to escape to India or Malaysia, but these came too late as the Sri Lankan Navy had put up a effective naval blockade by then.

US to end 'incoherent' Pakistan policy

Promising to end "incoherent" US policy towards Pakistan, the Obama Administration has sought "very clear and transparent" ties between the two countries.

British PM rebuffs calls for election after speaker quits

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown rebuffed growing calls for an early general election yesterday after the historic resignation of the House of Commons' speaker in a row over MPs expenses.

Air strikes kill eight Afghan civilians

Western air strikes sparked fresh controversy in Afghanistan oyesterday as Nato said a bombing killed eight civilians and the US military estimated that up to 30 villagers died in an attack this month.

US Senate to reject Guantanamo plan

The US Senate has said it will reject a White House call for funding to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Egypt warns of flu threat to Makkah pilgrims

Egyptian Health Minister Hatem al-Gabali warned in a newspaper interview yesterday of the dangers posed by swine flu to millions of Muslim pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia.

US arms land with Afghan Talibans

American ammunition and its supplied assault rifles are finding their way into the hands of Taliban, making the militants carry out their battle against the US forces for years, a media report said.

'Slumdog' child star's home torn down

The shanty home of another "Slumdog Millionaire" child star was torn down by Mumbai authorities yesterday as they demolished part of city's slum where she lived.

Arts & Entertainment

Pantomime Movement: Silent soldiers of the stage

Pantomime, the performing art form where silence speaks, has not yet received much attention from the mainstream audience in our country. Several individual artistes and organisations are currently working to promote pantomime, including Partha Pratim Majumder, Zillur Rahman John and Kazi Mashurul Huda. Most of them are based in Dhaka though. In this context, Chittagong-based organisation 'Pantomime Movement' is an exception. The group is doing a commendable job in popularising the art form not only in Chittagong but all over the country as well.

Faiz Ahmed talks about his passion for arts

Shilpangan is one of the active art galleries in Dhaka, which opened in January 1992. Faiz Ahmed, a veteran journalist and rhymester, is the founder of the gallery. Ahmed was the president of Samilito Sangskritik Jote and has been contributing to our cultural arena for a long time.

Greece gets back scores of artefacts dating to 5th century B.C.

Greece on Tuesday reclaimed scores of ancient objects dating to the fifth century BC that Belgian, British and German authorities returned, the culture ministry said.

Play with anti-corruption message staged

The Youth Engagement and Support group, Committee of Concerned Citizens (CCC), a unit of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) staged a play at Chapainawabganj Government College premises in the town last Tuesday to generate awareness against corruption among the people.

ATN Bangla launches talent hunt for dancers

ATN Bangla, in association with Oxford International School, has launched a talent"Tatka National Star," hunt for young dancers. The programme will start from June 23.

Shambhu Ebong Shaptho on Desh TV

Single-episode TV play "Shambhu Ebong Shaptho" will be aired tonight on Desh TV at 10:02pm. Sanjay Sarkar and Manabi Sarkar have jointly written the play. Sazzad Sony and M.A. Munna are the co-directors.

Almodovar, Penelope give men their due in Embraces

Expect more male characters from Pedro Almodovar, whose credits include such female-cantered films as "All About My Mother," "Volver" and "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown."

Drama Club Padakkhep turns 23

Padakkhep Drama Club, a local cultural organisation, observed its 23rd founding anniversary at the club premises on May 18.

OP-ED

Clogged arteries

AFTER years of expressing concern over the mounting problem of traffic indiscipline and jam through a series of seminars and media blowups, the situation on Dhaka streets has only worsened, to the dismay of the suffering public. Observance of scores of traffic weeks has simply failed to cause any dent in the prevailing impasse.

The sorrows of Swat

AS early as the sixth century B.C., the Chinese traveler Huang-Tsang praised the "forests, flowers, and the fruits" of the rugged mountains and the beautiful valley of Swat. So did Alexander the Great who arrived there a couple of hundred years later. Thus, visitors from the East and the West were agreed on that land's idyllic ambience in the ancient ages.

Star Chittagong

Tobacco cultivation poses threat to environment in CHT

Tobacco cultivation is posing a threat to the public health and the environment in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Para Kendra a ray of hope for hill children, women

The underprivileged children and women of tribal communities have started to reap the benefits of Para Kendra (centre) in the remote hilly areas of Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban.

The Week That Was

Tagore's birth anniversary observed
Speakers urged the young generation to go through the works of Rabindranath Tagore in order to realise the philosophy of the maestro.


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