News of: Sunday, 7th of June, 2009
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The government will introduce 'National Service' programme at upazila level in the next fiscal year to train the HSC-passed unemployed youths and recruit them for a two-year term, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.
Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) Touhidul Alam yesterday confessed before magistrate of a Dhaka court to have led the planning of the BDR mutiny and all operations during the carnage.
Officials involved in the ongoing government drive for demolishing illegal structures in the Turag river, yesterday expressed an urgent need for excavators to remove the debris, for recovering the river's encroached upon channel.
English in Schools (EIS), a joint initiative by The Daily Star and AKTEL, will help the students learn English and prepare themselves for global challenges, educationists and policymakers said yesterday.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said a single counter at the sub-registrar's offices will receive all land registration fees to reduce existing registration hassles from September 1.
A fire at a daycare centre in northern Mexico has killed at least 31 young children and left dozens of others injured, police and officials said yesterday.
Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), the country's leading business chamber, yesterday pledged to work for saving the rivers of the country.
The government is going to allow whitening money by paying 10 percent tax if invested in some specific sectors including infrastructure, while honest taxpayers now pay 10 to 25 percent tax on their income.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated her government's commitment to handing down exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of the massacre at the Pilkhana BDR headquarters.
Awami League (AL) observes the historic 7th June today to commemorate the six-point movement it launched 42 years ago demanding autonomy of erstwhile East Pakistan.
The monsoon low over northwest Bay and adjoining areas intensified into a well-marked low over the same area, said a Met Office bulletin yesterday.
Criminals yesterday stabbed to death a driver of a pharmaceutical company in front of his office at Eskaton after chasing him down for more than one kilometre while a fleeing mugger killed an engineering workshop employee in the capital's East Jurain.
Calling upon opposition lawmakers to join the budget session of parliament, Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday said that it is not possible to offer anymore front-row seat to the opposition BNP.
US President Barack Obama said yesterday that North Korea's nuclear weapon test had been "extraordinarily provocative" and that it would be "profoundly dangerous" for Iran to get an nuclear bomb.
The dispute surrounding the governing of Proshika, one of the largest NGOs of the country, took another turn yesterday after Qazi Faruque Ahmed, who was removed from the chairmanship of the organisation by its governing body last month, formed a new governing body yesterday.
RECENT incidents of Nasaka, the Myanmar border security force, opening fire on Bangladeshi fishermen in what are clearly Bangladesh's territorial waters leave us gravely concerned about the situation. As reports indicate, quoting a number of our fishermen in such areas as St. Martin's island, the Myanmar men left at least eleven Bangladeshi fishermen injured, with one of them in critical condition owing to bullet wound in the head. We condemn such unacceptable and morally untenable action on the part of the Myanmar authorities. It is not just high-handedness or a demonstration of an aggressive posture on the part of Nasaka but in effect a wanton act of piracy.
IT is an appalling instance of how a body established by law and designated to provide vital input for legal and judicial reform has been deliberately sidelined for the most part since its inception in 1996. The fact that only four of the 200 laws and amendments recommended by the commission had been adopted by the previous AL government and none by the subsequent BNP government, bears testimony to the history of neglect suffered by it. The BNP government's pathological indifference to the body is etched on its framing 184 laws without any recourse to the commission.
THE nation has been observing with growing concern that the parliament and the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC), the two august bodies of the country, have entangled themselves in a row, erroneously interpreting their jurisdictions, which is indecent indeed.
WATCHING Barack Obama deliver his much-anticipated address to the Muslim world in Cairo, I am witnessing, I realise, an epochal moment in history.
THERE are, in the annals of history, certain defining moments in the evolution of nations. In Bangladesh's case, such a moment came on February 5, 1966, when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, general secretary of the East Pakistan Awami League, revealed in Lahore a broad-ranging formula for regional autonomy. That formula was of course the Six Point Plan, which in time would lead to a wider movement and eventually an armed struggle for East Pakistan's emergence as the independent People's Republic of Bangladesh. The plan put Mujib and a large section of Bengali Awami Leaguers on a confrontational course with the All-Pakistan Awami League led by Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan. It also drew the fury of President Mohammad Ayub Khan, who openly threatened to use what he called the language of weapons against the proponents of the Six Points. The plan, as Ayub and his regime saw it, was aimed at causing Pakistan's break-up and the exit of its eastern province from the rest of the country.
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha grabbed 4-21 as defending champions India overpowered Bangladesh by 25 runs in the World Twenty20 here on Saturday.
Shahriar Nafees who was most vocal against the cricket establishment in the country officially expressed his desire on Saturday to return to the mainstream along with six other players by scrapping their ties with the unapproved Indian Cricket League (ICL).
Netherlands captain Jeroen Smits was in no doubt his nation had enjoyed their finest cricket victory ever after a stunning four-wicket win over England in the opening match of the ICC World Twenty20.
England captain Paul Collingwood faces a test of his leadership credentials ahead of their ICC World Twenty20 clash with Pakistan at the Oval after their shock loss to the Netherlands.
Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-2 in an all-Russian final of the French Open on Saturday to take away her second Grand Slam title.
Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) survived a scare on the final day to manage a draw in the second four-dayer against Bangladesh A at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
West Indies captain Chris Gayle made a brilliant 88 as his side beat Australia by seven wickets in their ICC World Twenty20 Group C opener at the Oval here on Saturday.
The 2nd version of the much talked-about Port City League (PCL) Twenty20 Cricket-Chittagong is likely to be held at Dubai in 2010 for maintaining its continuity after successful completion of the inaugural meet.
Ten foreign countries have shown interest to play in the Bangabandhu International Gold Cup Tournament that will be held in Dhaka later this year.
The final round of the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup will be held at two venues.
Disgraced cricketer Andrew Symonds arrived here Saturday saying he had "a fair bit to consider" after being ordered home from Australia's tour to England on disciplinary grounds.
Roger Federer eyes a place in history on Sunday as he attempts to finally win a French Open title, wrap up a career Grand Slam and end all doubts over his status as the greatest player of all time.
France signed off before the summer recess with a much-needed 1-0 victory over Euro 2008 semi-finalists Turkey in a rain-sodden friendly here on Friday.
Andre Agassi, the last man to complete a career Grand Slam 10 years ago, said on Saturday that Roger Federer will be more deserving of the rare achievement if he wins the French Open on Sunday.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Friday pictures of topless women and a naked man sunbathing at his villa were "innocent," but his lawyer vowed to sue a Spanish newspaper that published them.
North Korea inched closer to their first World Cup finals since 1966 with a gritty 0-0 draw against Iran on Saturday.
World Cup winning trio Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Luca Toni head Italy's Confederations Cup squad released by the Italian Football Federation here on Friday.
German driver Sebastian Vettel took pole position in his Red Bull car here at the Turkish Grand Prix on Saturday.
Former Juventus defender Ciro Ferrara was on Friday confirmed as the Turin side's new manager for the next two seasons, the club announced.
South Africa begin their quest to win the ICC World Twenty20 title against Scotland at the Oval on Sunday determined to shed their reputation as one-day 'chokers'.
Ross Taylor's unbeaten 21 saw New Zealand to a seven-wicket win over outsiders Scotland in their opening Group D match in the ICC World Twenty20 at the Oval here on Saturday.
On the surface, a rain-reduced 'Seven7' match would appear as meaningful as Britney Spears' lyrics, but New Zealand may come to view their seven-wicket victory over Scotland as something far more significant in the weeks to come.
England captain Paul Collingwood insisted his side were "still in the tournament" after their stunning four-wicket loss to minnows the Netherlands in Friday's ICC World Twenty20 opener here at Lord's.
Talismanic all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's absence has severely dented England's prospects and given Pakistan the edge in their crucial group match in the World Twenty20 on Sunday, feels Shoaib Malik.
Scotland v South Africa
Venue: The Oval
The biggest challenge for the government in the next fiscal year will be to prop up falling investment to cope with growing domestic demand, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said yesterday.
A huge turnout marked the third day of a housing fair in Dhaka yesterday with a good number of visitors and buyers buying and booking plots and flats.
The central bank is working to set up a surveillance team to monitor risk management and corporate governance activities of the banking sector, said the Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor yesterday.
The use of organic fertiliser cannot be made all exclusive suddenly, rather the government should first ensure a balance between organic and chemical fertilisers to help increase farm production, said the agriculture minister yesterday.
The taskforce that was constituted to figure out the future of the pre-shipment inspection (PSI) system suggested continuation of it till building the capacity of customs department.
Bangladeshi products displayed in Kunming Export and Import Fair that began yesterday attracted visitors, including foreign entrepreneurs.
The government is expected to earn Tk 2,000 crore in revenue this year from voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) operations as Tk 1,500 crore has already been earned in the last nine months since the operators were licensed in August 2008.
Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd has recently elected Md Towhidur Rahman as its chairman, according to a press statement released yesterday.
Markets in Asia were higher Friday as investors continued to buy on confidence that data due out of the United States later will show the world's biggest economy is beginning to recover.
Bangladesh's readymade garment (RMG) sector has now many success stories in terms of volume of manufacture and exports, but it has some hurdles, too, that are to overcome to sustain its growth.
The government is reportedly going to unveil a PPP (public-private partnership) project for which a sum of Tk 3,500 crore is being earmarked in the 2009-2010 fiscal year budget. From Bangladesh's economic development perspective this is no doubt a new concept aimed at involving participation of the private sector in the capital-intensive infrastructure development projects. The idea, among others, is purported to make best use of the undeclared income of local entrepreneurs and business houses for which necessary provisions are also expected in the budget allowing use of such funds in the sectors to be earmarked. This is a wise move by the government to bring in undeclared money for utilisation in the national development programmes.
Stocks passed a bullish week riding on expectations of market-friendly announcements in the national budget to be placed on Thursday.
Oil prices retreated Friday after a brief spike that pushed New York crude above 70 dollars per barrel for the first time in seven months, before the market settled back on a US dollar rebound.
Singapore expressed concern Friday over a controversial "Buy American" plan in US efforts to stimulate recovery, saying some nations were exploiting gray areas in global trade rules.
Canada shed 42,000 mostly manufacturing jobs in May, pushing its unemployment rate up 0.4 percentage points to 8.4 percent -- its highest rate in 11 years, Statistics Canada said Friday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have sought to score political points by slamming central banks last week, but she also echoed fears over growing public debt and waning bank independence.
Russia has still not passed the worst of the economic slowdown and faces a second crisis wave, a minister warned Friday, clouding the mood at the country's premier economic conference.
May 30th-June 4th, 2009
The international markets experienced another rollercoaster ride this week. The dollar weakened significantly at the start of the week on increased investor optimism as well as speculation that many central banks may move away from the dollar as a reserve currency.
Experts at a roundtable yesterday said the government should scrap plans to export coal and gas to meet the local demands.
Former caretaker government adviser Akbar Ali Khan yesterday stressed the need for amending the constitution to include a provision for referendum to ensure direct democracy and take people's opinion on different important national issues.
A weeklong painting exhibition of leading artists began at Gallery Chitrak in the city yesterday in aid of children suffering from hunger and malnutrition.
The three schoolboys who were arrested on charges of killing a classmate in the port city were placed on a one-day remand yesterday.
Local Awami League (AL) men occupied the government sub-registrar office on the court building premises in Cox's Bazar town Friday morning.
Awami League general secretary Abdul Jalil and joint general secretary-1 Obaidul Quader did not attend the AL Central Working Committee (ALCWC) meeting yesterday.
A total of 156 students were awarded in the Oitijhya-Gollachhut Prothom Alo Story Writing Competition, 2008 amid a ceremony yesterday at China Friendship Conference Centre, Dhaka.
Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) brought out a procession on Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday demanding ban on Islami Chhatra Shibir, student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.
The final phase of the election of 25 representatives of registered graduates to the Dhaka University senate will be held on the campus today.
Thousands of people around the globe will join the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and its major corporate partners, TNT, Unilever and DSM in a walk today to raise awareness and money to feed hungry school children in some of the poorest countries in the world.
The US-based International Republican Institute (IRI) assured Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of providing all necessary cooperation in strengthening democracy in Bangladesh.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-1) seized forged national identity cards, equipment for preparing the cards and arrested three people in this connection at Kaliakair in Gazipur early yesterday.
The government has initiated steps to stop river encroachment but we must develop awareness so that no more encroachment occurs, said Abdul Mamin Talukder, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee for Forest and Environment.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said utilising the potentials of hydro-electricity in Nepal and Bhutan and sharing electricity among Saarc member states can ensure a long-term energy security in the region.
Family members of Md Jinnah Ali, one of the two students of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute killed allegedly in a shootout with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), yesterday demanded a fair investigation into the incident and punishment to the persons responsible for his death.
The launching ceremony of the reference book 'Liver-A complete book on Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Diseases' edited by Dr Mamun-Al-Mahtab and Prof Selimur Rahman of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University was held at Sheraton Hotel in the city yesterday, says a press release.
People of 15 villages around Barapukuria Power Plant have been forced to use and consume contaminated water since the 250MW plant started power generation four years ago.
The Department of Public Libraries has drafted the 'Bangladesh Public Libraries Act' with a view to formulating a national policy to ensure proper management of the libraries across the country.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) will publish the circular of the 30th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations within January 5-15 next year, PSC Chairman Dr Saadat Hossain said recently.
An agreement to establish an educational exchange programme was signed between the government of Bangladesh and American Institute of Bangladesh Study (AIBS) at a simple ceremony at Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC on Friday.
A group of noted citizens yesterday termed militancy an immediate danger to the country and vowed to launch an awareness campaign across the country soon to help curb it.
Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the government to ensure the rights of women working in non-formal sectors.
Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) organised a vessel rally on the river Karnaphuli yesterday in observance of Maritime Safety Week-2009 that aims at ensuring safe journey on riverine and sea routes and creating awareness among the owners and crews of coasters, launches, fishing trawlers, lighter and other vessels.
World Cancer Survivors' Day 2009 will be observed in the country today like elsewhere across the globe.
Gazi Noshin Tabassum, a meritorious student of class three at Rajbari Town Maktab Government Primary School, has been suffering from aplastic anaemia, says a press release.
A report headlined 'Manju freed on bail', published in The Daily Star on page 2 on June 4, mistakenly mentioned that he was convicted of possessing drugs illegally. In fact, he was convicted of possessing alcohol, not drugs. We regret the error.
People of Zakiganj yesterday formed a human chain at Amolshid in the upazila protesting Indian move to construct a dam on the river Borak at Tipaimukh in the Indian state of Manipur.
Study of over 50,000 students is being hampered as the May 25 cyclone Aila followed by tidal surges damaged 487 academic institutions in four upazilas of Khulna district.
A large quantity of dates, which was seized as a case evidence on October 8 in 2007, have gone 'missing' from Bogra Sadar Police Station.
Two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Barisal Polytechnic Institute (BPI) unit yesterday clashed on the campus leaving eight injured.
About Tk 16 lakh government allowances for the poor disabled and elderly people in Kishoreganj upazila were returned allegedly due to lack of coordination between the Social Welfare Department and Union Parishad (UP) chairmen of the upazila.
People of Mithipur yesterday gave the officer-in-charge of Pirganj Police Station a two-day ultimatum to arrest the killers of two children. Earlier, Pirganj police recovered the bodies of the two children from a pond at Madarganj of Mithipur union under Pirganj upazila on Thursday. Kabir, 11, son of Shafijan Miah and Subash, 10, son of Gonesh of the adjoining village Hasanpur were allegedly killed when they went to steal mango from the tree of a local influential person.
Indian BSF yesterday handed over bodies of two Bangladeshi nationals, who went missing on Wednesday, to the BDR. Shafiqul Islam, 25, and Rubel Ahmed, 20, hailing from village Lakma under Tahirpur upazila of Sunamganj district, crossed border while collecting abandoned coal, sources said, adding they failed to return as they fell into a ditch there. The BSF recovered the bodies and handed those over to BDR yesterday. The BDR then handed the bodies to their families through police.
BDR on Friday night pushed five Bengali speaking indian nationals back into their territory through a border point in the district. Subeder Omar Faruk, Company Comander of Mujibnagar BDR BOP said Indian BSF at Hridaypur outpost under Nadia district had pushed them into Bangladesh territory at dawn on Thursday. All the five Indian nationals who were arrested by Indian police from Azmeer Sharif area were earlier jailed for one month.
BDR jawans of 17 Rifles Battalion at Cox's Bazar Sadar Thursday night pushed back 48 Rohingyas to Myanmar through Ukhia border. BDR sources said, the Rohingyas crossed the Naf River and intruded into Teknaf from Myanmar in the morning on the day. Then they took a passenger bus to reach Cox's Bazar. They were held at Thaiongkhali and Palongkhali on Cox's Bazar-Teknaf highway. The Rohingyas included 21 children and 15 women.
An elderly man was beaten to death at village Shreemodee in Homna upazila yesterday. A gang of hired goons attacked Abdul Malek,60, in the morning. They beat him severely leaving him dead on the spot. A murder case was lodged with Homna Police Station accusing Malek`s nephew Mojibur Rahman and his wife Shakila Begum. All the members of Mojibur family went into hiding after the incident. Police suspected the murder was a sequel to feud over a land.
A fresh charge sheet in the Tarak Das murder case, pressing charges against five people, was submitted yesterday to the additional chief judicial magistrate's court. The accused are Mozammel Haque Sheikh, Tojammel Haque Sheikh, Masud Sheikh, Khasrul Sheikh and Mahmudul Sheikh, all sons of Moksed Ali Sheikh of village Dohar in Tala upazila. On September 21 last year, the court rejected the charge sheet submitted by the then IO after the complainant filed a petition for fresh charge sheet. Tarak Chandra Das, 75, of village Dohar in Tala upazila, a retired village police was slaughtered on December 20 night in 2007 at the verandah of his house. He had a land dispute with Moksed Ali Sheikh of the same village.
Internet and trunk links with three hill districts of Bandarban, Rangamati and Khagrachhari remained cut off with capital city and other parts of the country since May 3. Journalists and businessmen are facing acute problems as they cannot make urgent calls and send e-mails. Contacted, Swapan Barua, assistant engineer of Bandarban Telecom Division said the situation followed a glitch at Chittagong Microwave Station. "Work is on to resolve the problem but it might take some time," Barua said.
Every year we hear the news of water logging in the major cities. The rainy season is just a few days away and rain will start to pour again, but what is our preparation regarding water logging?
Every year, more than 4 millions lives are saved worldwide, thanks to voluntary blood donation by people. In our country as well, there are many generous people who donate blood regularly. Despite that, many of us do not actually know the importance of donating blood and some even fear that blood donation might be harmful for health. In fact every physically fit 18+ adult can donate blood at least twice a year. At the time of donation, only 350ml of blood is taken. An average person has 5-6 litres of blood in the body. In terms of volume the loss is corrected in 24-48 hours by the body. The red cell count is corrected in about 56 days. So the health of the donor will not suffer because of the blood donation. A few days ago, my friend's sister died because of non-availability of blood. Her blood group was AB- but we were unable to collect enough blood for her despite our sincere efforts. Moreover, the blood which we got from the blood bank was date expired in most cases. I think the government needs to monitor these unauthorised and authorised blood banks because they do not help people when it is needed most. There is a disease called thalassemia and in some cases this disorder is treated with blood transfusion.
The Maldives, an archipelago, faces the bleak prospect of gradual inundation. As the world's climate is getting warmer the sea levels are on the rise. Since most of the islets of this cluster of islands are about 3 feet above the ocean, an increase of the sea level will inundate those areas. As a result the inhabitants of this archipelago may be forced to leave their ancestral land and take refuge in other countries. It is estimated that the sea level will rise two feet this century.
Theoretically, we all want democratic general elections. But the reality is different (in Dhaka). The incoming, elected regime is attracted towards some sectors; and neglect many sectors which need BMR of BMRE. This pattern is not changing. The motivation is not public service.
The AL government has passed over 100 days in power with some successes and failures. Though 100 days is not enough to evaluate any government's success or failure, it is considered very crucial, as good beginning is half the battle. With a view to bringing about a positive trend in the governance, PM Sheikh Hasina formed a new government with the leaders having a clean image. However, some of them have failed to hold up their image. But the thing that pinches the common people of our country most is the godfather issue. During the last rule of the AL govt, the people experienced large-scale extortion, snatching and robbery, which finally accelerated the defeat of the AL in 2001 election. This time also the AL cadres have appeared before the countrymen. The people have already started feeling the presence of the men like Hazari and Shamim Osman as they have already attracted media coverage through their activities. Besides, all sorts of notorious activities of the local cadres, patronised by the influential leaders of the AL, are getting momentum day by day. As a result, the people are getting panicked.
The office of the Registrar of Joint Stock is an important place. But here people have to remain standing in a queue for submitting their papers and documents for hours together. If a person has to deposit money, he has to go to a certain branch of a bank which is located in another building. But sometimes the counter official disappears, although there is always a big queue of people before the counter.
Nowadays mishaps in the roads and highways are taking place on a regular basis.
There are many meanings attached to this phrase by various people trying to further there own motives and ideas. As a disinterested person, I feel that this phrase has only one core meaning and that is to provide cheap, reliable and the fastest available (according to international standards) wireless broadband service throughout the land along with the assurance of 24 hours non-failing supply of electricity. If these two simple steps are guaranteed, many businesses and well-to-do people will relocate from the crowded city areas and move to the countryside enriching the land as a whole. The government can also then carry out de-centralisation of most of its work.
We express our grave concern over the killing of two students of polytechnic in a so-called “Rab encounter”. As reported, they were picked up by Rab personnel from their college hostel and held incommunicado somewhere. It has made headline once again, and a wave of fresh criticism of the latest killing in “crossfire” is coming from all sections of society.
According to Oxford dictionary the term "secularism" means the belief that religion should not be involved in the organisation of society, education, etc.
With the democratic process starting from the 1990's, have we really achieved what we dreamt of? Probably those involved in politics have. The general people's lifestyle has not changed, apart from the rich and the upper middle class people who have learned to spend money on luxury. The common people, especially the ones living in the rural areas and the poor living in the cities, can hardly say they are better off now.
Most of the Middle Eastern countries are authoritarian societies where the rights of their own citizens are not adequately protected. The absence of democracy in those countries leaves their citizens vulnerable to abuse by the authorities.
It seems the massive awareness creating campaign launched jointly by The Daily Star and the Channel i to save the rivers around Dhaka and adjoining areas has started yielding a positive result. The government agencies have started drives to clean the rivers and riverbanks.
I am a resident of Niketon area and my residence is near the Gulshan-Niketon-Banani Lake. The lake gradually became polluted because of the negligence of the authorities concerned. During the dry season, it has become almost impossible to live here, as the odour coming from the lake water is unbearable. Not only the residents of these areas but also the users of the walkways are affected by it. One of the main causes of the pollution is sewers from the houses dumped into the lake. In addition, a lot of hanging latrines have been built around the banks of the lake, especially near the newly built Gulshan-Banani Bridge.
Militants ambushed a military convoy carrying prisoners in Pakistan's volatile northwest yesterday, killing two detained aides of a senior Islamist cleric from the Swat Valley, the army said.
Gordon Brown vowed to soldier on as Britain's prime minister yesterday, admitting that he faced an unprecedented period of turbulence he awaited another electoral bloodbath.
On the 65th anniversary of the Allies' D-Day landings, President Barack Obama yesterday paid tribute to the invasion that turned the tide of World War II and cemented the trans-Atlantic alliance.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday rejected Israeli assertions that the Bush administration had reached a binding agreement with Israel on Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
Climate change figured prominently in UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's recent talks with senior officials from the United States and Japan, his spokesperson announced yesterday.
The Philippines' military said yesterday its troops had killed 30 Muslim separatist guerrillas in three days of fighting on the southern island of Mindanao.
Indians protesting government moves to develop oil, gas and other resources on their lands battled police in Peru's Amazon on Friday, with authorities and Indian leaders separately reporting 11 police and 25 protesters deaths.
At least 36 people were killed Friday in central Somalia when fighting erupted between pro-government militiamen and hardline Islamist insurgents, local elders and medical sources said.
US First Lady Michelle Obama took her two daughters up the Eiffel Tower for a birds-eye view of Paris at sunset Friday after flying in to France to join President Barack Obama, who arrived from Germany.
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has reiterated that the United States should provide drone technology to Pakistan, so that it can carry out missile hits on extremists on its own.
The UN chief lent credence Friday to the possibility of war crimes in Sri Lanka, saying an international investigation is needed to examine the military actions of the government and defeated Tamil Tiger rebels during the civil war.
A deadly terror plot by suspected white supremacists was busted when the police recovered dangerous ricin meant to poison ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom.
Myanmar authorities have summoned members of Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party to rebuke them for provoking "unrest" over a statement critical of her trial, state media reported yesterday.
Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said the resolution of the Kashmir issue is the key to peace in the region and for India and Pakistan to have cordial ties.
A suicide bomb rocked an Afghan town bordering Pakistan Saturday killing four people as clashes claimed the lives of another 12 in a fresh wave of insurgent violence, authorities said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jharkhand has accused the Election Commission of India of trying to help the United Progressive Alliance by holding the election of two Rajya Sabha seats separately in the state.
Air France Flight 447 sent out 24 automated error messages-- including one saying the aircraft's autopilot had disengaged--before it vanished with 228 people on board, aviation investigators said yesterday.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has launched a massive manhunt for a man named Daniel James Murray, who has claimed that he is 'on a mission to kill' President Barack Obama.
In a fence-mending move, Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has finally met Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, the man who had bitterly opposed his reinstatement to the post he had been sacked from two years ago.
Arts & Entertainment
'Esraj,' sibling of 'dilruba' (literally meaning "robber of the heart") and 'sarangi' (evocative of a "hundred colours"), is an instrument that possesses the ability to pull at the strings of the coldest of hearts. In the hands of a seasoned musician, Esraj can be like an effusive lover -- providing moments of tranquillity and conjuring a storm of emotions. There has to be a reason why Tagore is believed to have been an ardent admirer of this instrument (it is often the accompanying instrument of choice for Rabindra Sangeet singing). Esraj requires the most serious of connoisseurs; only absolute silence will do. Justifiably, the audience at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts on June 4 evening were getting annoyed at the otherwise tolerable camera shutter sounds.
Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha (BRSSS), an organisation of Tagore singers, arranged a musical programme at the auditorium of National Music and Dance Centre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on June 5. The programme marked the 110th birth anniversary of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. BRSSS also celebrated its 21st anniversary (May 27) through the programme. The soiree featured solo renditions of Nazrul Sangeet, recitation of Nazrul's poetry and reminiscence by members of the organisation.
UNICEF, in association with European Cultural Foundation and the One Minutes Foundation, held a five-day workshop (from May 31 to June 4) on filmmaking for youngsters. The project aimed at enabling the youths (aged 12-20) to narrate their stories in sixty-second videos. The premier of the videos produced at the workshop was held at Goethe Institut-Bangladesh on June 4.
A lively cultural function and a play, performed by children, were staged in Tangail last Friday.
Popular Indian singer and host of the widely watched talent hunt "Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa," Aditya Narayan and Arab artiste Asma Mohammed Rafi enthralled hundreds of music lovers in Chittagong with their melodious numbers last Thursday.
Written and directed by Mamunur Rashid, drama serial "Naksha" will be aired tonight at 9:20pm on ATN Bangla. This is the 24th episode of the serial, aired every Saturday and Sunday.
Drama serial "Bhangan" will be aired tonight on Desh TV at 9:30pm. Written by Touhin Hasan and directed by Parvez Amin, the serial is aired every Sunday and Monday.
One of the child stars of the Oscar-winning movie "Slumdog Millionaire" is to publish her life story.
DEAR Brother Hussein, I am certain about two things. I am a Muslim, and I live in this world. Now the uncertainties begin. On June 4 you gave what was heavily advertised as a major speech to the "Muslim world." Does that mean that while every Christian believes in the divinity of Jesus, he can be legitimately and widely varied in his political interests, but Muslims must have both Allah and politics in common?
PROVIDING farmers with due prices for what they produce has never been an easy thing to do though it may often sound so. There are so many market players with their diverse and, often, conflicting interests that offering the farmers best prices, which they deserve, for all their toils become even more challenging.
IN Bangladesh, the negative effects of the global financial crisis are not yet that severe. In the financial year 2007-08, Bangladesh's export earning came to $14.1 billion. With the GDP in current prices amounting to $79 billion in that year, the export/GDP ratio was estimated at about 17.8 per cent.