The Daily Star

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Friday, August 22, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 16th of June, 2009

Front Page

Govt's rules change to rock WB aid flow

As the government has finalised some major amendments to the public procurement rules, the World Bank last week said adoption of these changes could jeopardise its project aid including budget support for Bangladesh.

DMCH finds huge food supply graft

Indoor patients at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) are getting apparently improved diet after being provided with rotten food for years thanks to rampant irregularities by the authorities and food suppliers.

Oli blamed for route chaos

A whimsical decision by former communications minister Col (retd) Oli Ahmed in choosing the entry\exit points for the proposed Asian Highway (AH) that would go through Bangladesh, has been delaying the country's inclusion in the network, said experts.

Costly RPCL deal drains out $25m

To renegotiate a costly and redundant past contract with a Dutch company, the Rural Power Company Ltd (RPCL) is holding a restricted re-tender for a long-term service agreement (LTSA) to run its three 70 megawatt power units in Mymensingh.

JS body to hear Matin's version

A parliamentary sub-committee yesterday decided to summon former shipping adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin to hear his version about the allegation of corruption against him in awarding contract of container handling at Chittagong port.

Govt footing eviction bill?

The government is spending huge amount from the public exchequer for its ongoing drive against river grabbers, although there is a legal option for realising the cost from the demolished property of the encroachers.

JS to get update after 6 months

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said he would inform the House after six months about progress in budget implementation in the upcoming fiscal year.

BTMA favours selected sectors

Leaders of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) yesterday criticised the national budget for 2009-10 fiscal year for the provision of legalising undisclosed money in all sectors against 10 percent tax.

Unite against Tipai dam

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan (Bapa) President Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday called on the government “not to kill people" by allowing India to build Tipaimukh dam and thus cause a drought in Bangladesh.

Another BDR man dies of 'heart failure'

Another jawan of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) of 46 rifles battalion died of heart failure at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) yesterday.

Asian Highway routes get cabinet nod

The cabinet yesterday decided in principle to sign the Asian Highway Network (AHN) agreement, accepting the proposed routes, and make Bangladesh a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).

Flour mills, warehouses demolished

Seven new structures illegally built on the Shitalakhya were partially demolished yesterday as part of the ongoing drive against encroachments on the river conducted by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) along with Narayanganj district administration.

Govt mulling import of gas, electricity

State Minister for Power and Energy Shamsul Haque Tuku yesterday informed the House that the government is actively considering import of gas and electricity from abroad.

RMG worker found dead at factory

Khilgaon police yesterday recovered a hanging body of a female worker from a garment factory in Rampura.

Govt expects more loan from Japan

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday hoped that the Japanese government would increase its loan assistance for the proposed Padma Bridge.

AL candidate wins by-polls in Sunamganj-4

Awami League led grand alliance nominee Md Matiur Rahman has won the Sunamganj-4 by-election held yesterday.

Dutch support pledged for river training, excavation

The Netherlands would provide technical and financial assistance for river excavation and river training.

Israel's peace term angers Arab world

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conditional acceptance of a Palestinian state came under fire yesterday, with the Arab world and Palestinians saying it killed chances of a peace deal.

Tk 40,000 looted from restaurant

A gang of criminals looted Tk 40,000 from a restaurant after entering there in guise of customers in the city's Dhanmondi-27 area last night.

Probe ordered into alleged rigging

Defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi appeared in public on Monday for the first time since the election that has divided the nation, joining thousands of supporters who defied a ban to stage a mass rally in Tehran.

Parties asked to submit constitution by July 25

The Election Commission (EC) has decided to issue show cause notices to the registered political parties if they fail to submit their permanent constitutions by the July 25 deadline.

Editorial

Import duty on newsprint

THE five per cent import duty on newsprint, as proposed in the budget, will deal a crippling blow to the already wobbly newspaper industry grappling with high production costs. The 5% import duty will in effect be enhanced to 11.5% with the inclusion of VAT and regulatory tax. And that will mean the newspapers will have to pay 30% as import costs to the government, as even under the existing zero tariff regime they are paying 19% of such costs. So, the additional financial burden that will be imposed on the industry is going to be huge in real terms.

Elections in Iran

THE dust has yet to settle in the aftermath of the presidential election held in Iran this week. Incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been declared the official winner of the race with over 63 percent of the vote.

The colour of money

REMEMBER the super hit song by ABBA: "Money, Money, Money," or the movie, "The Colour of Money" (1986) starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise? Well, there is no commonality between the two, except for the word Money. That's enough, isn't it? It rings so sweet in our ear…the sound "Money," whether it comes in metal or paper.

Iranian imbroglio

MAHMOUD Ahmadinejad has been re-elected as president of Iran in a resounding victory, according to the official result. Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli announced that Mr Ahmadinejad won some 63 per cent of the vote in an election marked by a turnout of more than 80 per cent.

Sports

Rafiq has much to answer

It's obvious that the players face the wrath of any bad performance on the field. And there was no exception when Mohammad Ashraful's men suffered the heartbreaking six-wicket defeat to Ireland which confirmed their early exit from the ongoing ICC World Twenty20.

Windies enter semis

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul steered the West Indies into the semifinals of the World Twenty20 at England's expense as they beat the hosts by five wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method here Monday.

Kaka clinch a thriller

Real Madrid's new signing Kaka rescued Brazil with a last-gasp penalty to hand the defending champions a thrilling 4-3 win over Egypt in the Confederations Cup on Monday.

Pakistan almost there

Pakistan ended Ireland's slim hopes of qualifying for the World Twenty20 semifinals with a 39-run victory at The Oval here on Monday.

Irish hold heads high

Ireland captain William Porterfield said his side had "given everything" after they came within a whisker of adding to their country's record of shock cricket wins against Sri Lanka.

Media slam Team India

Millions of cricket-crazy fans in India woke up Monday to disbelief and dismay after the defending champions were knocked out of the World Twenty20 by England.

'T20 a bowlers' game'

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said Twenty20 cricket was now a bowlers' game after his side were given a major scare by Ireland.

Tigers begin training

After their dismal performance in the ICC World Twenty20, the Tigers got back to business as they started their preparation for the upcoming West Indies tour at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

BCB lifts ban on ICL-ers

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to allow the rebel cricketers, who had been under contract with unauthorized Indian Cricket League (ICL), to participate in domestic cricket.

Battle for last four heats up

Abahani Krira Chakra of Barguna kept their hopes alive of a semifinal berth in the Bashundhara Club Cup championship by handing a 2-1 defeat to Sadar Upazila Krira Sangstha of Madaripur at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday.

Braille chess

Three players are sharing the lead in the points table with four points each after the fourth round of games ended in the Grammenphone 9 th Special Chess Tournament for Braille chess players yesterday at the chess federation hall room.

Torres burns Kiwis

Liverpool's Fernando Torres says he has nothing more to prove after scoring the fastest hattrick of his career in Spain's 5-0 rout of New Zealand in the Confederations Cup

High stakes showdown

North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran are bidding for automatic berths at next year's World Cup in South Africa in an intriguing final round showdown in Asian qualifying on Wednesday.

Iraq stifle S Africa

The 2009 Confederations Cup opened with a goalless stalemate between hosts South Africa and Asian champions Iraq at Ellis Park here on Sunday.

Tevez's no to Man Utd

Carlos Tevez has informed Sir Alex ­Ferguson that he has no plans to return to Manchester United despite the club's renewed efforts to persuade him to reject Manchester City's overtures.

Kiwi coach vows to bounce back

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert vows his team will bounce back after crashing 5-0 to Spain, a team which he rated as clear favourites for the Confederations Cup title.

Barca, Real fight for Villa

Barcelona on Sunday went head-to-head with bitter rivals Real Madrid in the battle to sign Spanish international striker David Villa from Valencia.

Jose eager on Portuguese duo

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho is eager to sign Portuguese duo Ricardo Carvalho and Deco from Chelsea, according to the Italian club's president.

Tired Kewell to sit out Japan clash

Australian attacker Harry Kewell will sit out Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Japan because of fatigue, coach Pim Verbeek said Monday.

Dhoni offers no excuse

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni refused to blame a packed playing schedule for the defending champions World Twenty20 exit at the hands of England.

Hughes ready for Ashes

Australia's rookie Test opening batsman Phil Hughes says he will give as good as he gets if he is sledged by England in next month's Ashes series.

AFC U-19 C'ship in November

The Group E matches of AFC Under-19 Championship qualifiers 2010 will be held from November 1 to 11 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Smith sorry for Dhoni

South Africa captain Graeme Smith offered his support to under-fire India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday after the defending champions crashed out of the World Twenty20.

No decision yet on Pakistan

The International Cricket Council said on Monday no agreement had been reached on where Pakistan will hold its World Cup matches in February-March 2011.

2nd women's school football from today

Scholastica will play the opening match of the second edition of the Citycell Dhaka Metropolis Women's School Football Championship against Rahmatullah Model High School at the Sultana Kamal Sports Complex at Dhanmondi, Dhaka at 2pm today.

Curtains on Pepsi First Ball-er Captain

The closing ceremony of the groundbreaking "Pepsi First Ball-er Captain" and the award giving ceremony of "Pepsi Display" promotion was held on Sunday at the Transcom Beverages Ltd. headquarters.

Indian boos fired up England

England captain Paul Collingwood said the boos of Indian supporters helped fire his team to victory on Sunday and send the defending champions crashing out.

Business

Govt staff to be outsourced

The finance ministry has directed all ministries and government offices to outsource class-IV employees under revenue budget in posts that fall vacant because of retirement or other reasons.

Rising interest payment may mar vital works

The continuous increase in interest payment on loans of the government, both from foreign and domestic sources, is becoming a major concern for the economy, analysts said.

Stimulus must be based on track records

Any stimulus package should be designed, based on track-records of different sectors, not in a blanket measure, says Belal E Baaquie, a professor at the National University of Singapore.

Banks, airlines, DSE move on daylight saving time

The central bank directed yesterday all banks to set their clocks one hour ahead in line with the government's daylight saving time (DST) plan to take effect at midnight on June 19.

Mobile handset makers fear slack sales

Mobile handset makers yesterday anticipated a 10 percent slack sale, if the proposed 25 percent tax on each imported set remains unchanged in the final budget for the fiscal year 2009-10.

Seminar stresses measures to face climate change fallout on farming

Saarc member states should prepare a list of insect-resistant crop varieties and share information and genetic material with one another to face the challenges of food security and climate change, the concluding session of a two-day seminar in Dhaka was told yesterday.

Forex rises to record $7b mark

The country's foreign exchange reserve has risen to a record US$ 7 billion mark for the first time due to slackened private sector investment.

ICT policy awaits cabinet's nod

The ICT Policy 2009, one of the most effective tools to create a Digital Bangladesh now awaits the final nod from the cabinet, the science and information and communication technology (ICT) secretary has said.

Vietnam's textile industries optimistic

Vietnam's garment and textile companies are encouraged by forward export orders after export turnover reached its lowest growth rate, 2 per cent, in April and reduced by 11 per cent last month.

IMF projects 'solid' US recovery in mid-2010

The International Monetary Fund projected Monday the United States would make a "solid" recovery from recession in mid-2010, but warned of major risks including the real-estate crisis and rising interest rates.

US financial regulatory system to be bolstered

Faced with continued market weakness, President Barack Obama's administration is to unveil a plan to bolster the US financial regulatory system, two top presidential economic aides said Monday.

Emerging big four economies flaunt power at summit

Brazil, Russia, India and China flaunt their unity against more established powers this week as the four emerging economic giants hold the first summit of their grouping, known as BRIC.

Merkel defends export-heavy Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel defended on Monday Germany's heavy dependence on exports that has made Europe's biggest economy one of the biggest casualties of the global recession.

Black, white and compromised grey

We are muddling excessively with 'white' and 'black' money without pondering over the failures in governing transactions that give rise to the so-called black money. If one is strictly legalistic and defines 'black' to include any excess of tangible and non-tangible assets over and above that recorded in a taxpayer's wealth statement; there is possibly no country in this world with zero black money. One may also cite examples where taxpayers have less than what they have on record. The reason for the latter is simply because our tax assessors have allowed us to record lower expenditure than actually incurred by an individual or a household.

Boeing, Airbus lift gloom at air show

Airbus announced its first big deal of the year and Boeing saw better times ahead, despite the dire climate for the aviation industry at the opening of the Paris Air Show on Monday.

Asian stocks fall on profit-taking

Asian stocks tumbled on Monday as dealers moved in to take profits from recent gains with little economic data giving any direction.

HK air cargo traffic drops 17.6pc

Air cargo shipped through Hong Kong dropped 17.6 percent year-on-year in May, the city's airport authority said, as the global downturn continued to slash demand for goods made in southern China.

Euro dips against dollar in Asia

The euro dipped against the dollar in Asian trade Monday as recent weak eurozone data and a report that Germany's credit conditions are worsening sapped hopes for a quick recovery in Europe.

ILO puts jobs at heart of summit on economic crisis

The International Labour Organization called on Monday for urgent measures to save jobs, at the opening of a summit on the economic crisis marked by fears that unemployment could soar by up to 59 million worldwide.

Detroit summit seeks new economic vision

A summit seeking a new economic agenda for America kicks off Monday, with debate among a broad array of leaders aiming to find ways to maintain US leadership and competitiveness.

Eurozone sheds record 1.2m jobs in first quarter: EU

A record 1.2 million people lost their jobs across the 16 euro countries in the first three months of the year as companies cut back severely to survive the recession, official EU data showed on Monday.

Philippine remittances up 2.2pc in April

Cash sent back to the Philippines by its overseas workers rose to 1.4 billion dollars in April, up 2.2 percent on the same period last year, the central bank said Monday.

Metropolitan

Govt keen to decentralise power, strengthen rural economy: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the present government wants to ensure a better life for the people through decentralising power and strengthening the rural economy.

Put pressure on developed world to provide promised aid

Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque in a global forum in Cairo yesterday urged the developing countries to put pressure on the developed world to provide the promised aid -- 0.7 percent of their GDP.

Budget to help fight poverty, ensure social security

The leaders of Jubo League, an associate body of the ruling Awami League, yesterday termed the proposed national budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2009-10 an investment-friendly budget which would certainly eliminate poverty and ensure social and economical security of the people.

Primary teachers call to end discrimination

Bangladesh Non-Government Primary Teachers' Association yesterday demanded amendments to all the government circulars which, they claimed, are discriminatory.

CCC mayor hospitalised

Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury was admitted to a private clinic here yesterday following acute chest pains and other complications.

New Indonesian envoy calls on Dipu Moni

Newly appointed Ambassador of Indonesia Zet Mirzal Zainuddin called on Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at her office yesterday.

CPB's protest programme tomorrow

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) will stage rallies, demonstrations and processions across the country tomorrow demanding cancellation of some of the 'anti-people' proposals in the proposed national budget.

Evicted indigenous people living under open sky

The indigenous people, who were evicted from their residences at Khatirpur at Porsha in Naogaon, are living under the open sky without any food, shelter and security as the government has not taken any step yet to stand beside the affected community, revealed a field visit report yesterday.

Enact law banning fatwa

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) yesterday urged the home ministry to issue a gazette notification immediately to stop whipping of women in the name of arbitration.

Ensure foolproof security to VVIPs

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the Special Security Force (SSF) to provide foolproof security to the (VVIPs) without affecting their normal public contacts.

Indoor air pollution 4th leading risk factor for diseases

Health and Family Welfare Minister Prof AFM Ruhal Haque has said necessary measures will be taken to reduce indoor air pollution (IAP) to minimise its dire impact on human body, preserve ecosystem and mitigate global warming.

Illegal current nets destroy Hilsa, other fish fries

Use of illegal 'current net' is not only destroying 'Hilsa' fry (Jatka) but also other small fish fries in rivers, Navy made the observation at an evaluation meeting on 'Hilsa Fry Protection Programme' organised by the Department of Fisheries at Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council in the city yesterday.

8th int'l language, dev conference to begin June 23

A three-day 8th International Language and Development Conference will begin on June 23 at Sonargaon Hotel in the city with the theme 'Language and Development: Socio-cultural Issues and Challenges'.

Gen Mubeen takes over as army chief

General M Abdul Mubeen took over as the chief of Army Staff yesterday, replacing General Moeen U Ahmed who went into retirement on completion of his tenure.

Statue of Buddha recovered

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members recovered a touchstone statue of Gautam Buddha from a residential hotel in Green Road area in the city yesterday and arrested a man in this connection.

Ismat Jahan new envoy to Belgium

Ismat Jahan, ambassador and permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, has been appointed ambassador to Belgium.

7th anniversary of bomb attack in N'ganj today

Today is the 7th anniversary of bomb attack in Narayanganj.

Indian cloths worth Tk 28 lakh seized, 3 held

The police seized Indian cloths worth about Tk 28.33 lakh and arrested three people on Dhaka-Chittagong highway under Sadar South Model police station in Comilla on Sunday.

JS body gets more time to probe graft during Sicar's tenure

Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday extended one-month time to a parliamentary body to complete the investigation into alleged corruption in parliament secretariat during the tenure of former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar.

Form all-party body to probe misdeeds of caretaker govt

BNP leader Moudud Ahmed yesterday called on the government to constitute an all-party committee to investigate the misdeeds of the immediate past caretaker government.

JP (Manju) nat'l council Oct 24

The national council of Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) will be held on October 24 with a view to amending the constitution of the party.

National

Erosion threatens Sariakandi embankment

Erosion by the Jamuna River has turned serious in some areas including Kurnibari, Kutubpur, Titporal and Kamalpur villages on the west bank of the river in Sariakandi upazila of Bogra district.

11 sued on war crime charges

Eleven more alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces have been sued for killing six freedom fighters in Magura and Chapainawabganj districts in 1971.

Withdraw 2 UNOs, demand Bagerhat upazila chairmen

All the nine upazila chairmen of Bagerhat district have demanded immediate withdrawl of Sharankhola UNO Khandaker Zahirul Islam and Chitalmari UNO Sohel Hasan for their 'derogatory' remarks about the chairmen on Sunday.

Boroitali in Khagrachhari still tense

A meeting organised by Sindukchhari Zone Army on Hafchhari Union Parishad premises in Guimara upazila of Khagrachhari district, apparently to remove disputes between locals and settlers, yesterday saw no indigenous people from Boroitali village, where Sunday's clash left 17 settlers injured.

Hospital room ransacked

Agitated relatives of a patient and slum dwellers yesterday brought out a procession and ransacked the conference room of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) protesting 'negligence' in treatment of a child accident victim.

Vet interns lock institute

The interns of Barisal Veterinary Institute under Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) brought out procession on the campus yesterday demanding reinstatement of one-year internship in the course curriculum.

Ruma college gutted

The academic building of Ruma Non-government College at Ruma was gutted in a fire early Sunday. Witnesses said that the fire broke out around 12:30am. As there is no fire station at Ruma, the blaze destroyed the semi-pucca building built in 1999 by Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board (CHTDB) at a cost of Tk 12.5 lakh. The reason of the fire was not immediately known. But Ruma upazila Chairman Aong Thoai Ching suspected sabotage by vested group. Meanwhile, the district administration has formed a probe body but no case was filed till filing of this report.

CCTV cameras at RU

Rajshahi University (RU) authorities yesterday installed eight close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at different points including RU vice chancellor's residence on the campus to monitor movement of outsiders. Campus sources said the cameras were installed to identify the trouble-makers on the campus. On the occasion, RU authorities yesterday held a programme at university proctor office attended by VC Prof Abdus Sobhan. Proctor Prof Zakaria told newsmen that other CCTV cameras were installed at the university main gate, administrative building, academic building, Kazla gate and three other important points.

JMB suspect arrested

Manikganj Sadar police on Sunday night arrested a JMB suspect from a rented house at village Dashara. Arrestee Shafiqul Islam, 26, is son of Salam Bepari of village Moamari under Nageswari police station in Kurigram district. Shafiqul told this correspondent that he came to the village to spread JMB ideology and recruit workers about six months ago. He was first sheltered by a leader of Manikganj district unit Jamaat-e-Islami at Bewtha. Later, he rented the house of one Ashraf at Dashara.

PTI trainees boycott classes

Trainees at Jhenidah Primary Training Institute (PTI) yesterday boycotted their classes protesting sacking of a physical instructor. They also demanded reinstatement of Shahana Pervin. Shahana told The Daily Star that she was repeatedly harassed as she protested the maltreatment by the principal. She said she often opposed realisation of 'extra money' from the trainees, which angered the principal. Despite several attempts over cell phone the principal could not be contacted for his comment.

Militant remanded

Abdul Mobin,24, a member of banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) arrested from village Khorogpur on Sunday, was remanded for four days yesterday. Investigation Officer of Shibganj police station Sub Inspector (SI) Mizanur Rahman produced Mobin before the judicial magistrate's court with a prayer for five days remand, but the magistrate granted a four-day remand. Son of late Toyab Ali of village Koilar Diar under Gomostapur upazila, Mobin joined the organisation only 22 days ago, the arrestee told police during interrogation.

Traders oppose trade fair

Traders at the district town have threatened to go on strike if the local chamber did not cancel its trade fair immediately. The traders under the banner of 'General Businessmen of Moulvibazar' at a press conference yesterday said due to the proposed fair at Moulvibazar Government High School ground, small and middle class businessmen of the town will suffer loss. They feared that like every year, lottery will be introduced and the law and order will deteriorate due to some unethical practices. They said, not only businessmen, guardians of the town have also demanded cancellation of the trade fair and submitted a memorandum to the DC in this regard. Earlier, on Sunday, the traders of the town brought out a procession to protest the bid to hold the fair and submitted a memo to the DC.

BCL-Jubo League clash in Feni

At least five people were injured yesterday in a clash between Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Jubo League over control of a sand quarry at Parshuram . Witnesses said, rivals attacked each other at the Melaghar quarry over control of sand of the Silonia River at DM Shaheb Nagar leaving upazila Jubo League president Abdul Mannan, secretary Quader Rabbani Nayon, organising secretary Mamunur Rashid and Alauddin injured. Feni additional DC (revenue) Khaled Abu Naser said seven out of 20 sand quarries have been leased out. He said he did not know whether anybody was illegally lifting sand from the quarries. Parshuram OC said he heard of the clash between two rival groups, adding, action would be taken if anybody files a case in this regard.

International

Pakistan pounds Taliban in tribal belt assault

Pakistani forces pounded militants in tribal areas yesterday, after vowing an all-out assault on a Taliban chief in the lawless Afghan border region known to be an al-Qaeda and rebel hideout.

Palestinians count on world to pressure Israel for peace

Dismayed by the conditions set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in accepting the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians are counting on the world to pressure the Israeli leader.

Ahmadinejad's return likely to weaken Iran

The disputed return of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's president will weaken the Islamic republic and isolate it further from the rest of the world, analysts said.

Indo-Pak top leaders set for talks today

India's prime minister and Pakistan's president are set to hold their first face-to-face talks since last year's devastating attacks on Mumbai, officials said yesterday.

Netanyahu tests Obama in ME policy speech

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is testing US President Barack Obama's terms for peace talks with the Arabs by nodding to some of the demands, analysts said.

Taliban could spread into India, Persian Gulf

Pakistan has warned that the Taliban could spread beyond its borders to neighbouring India and as far as the Persian Gulf, unless it receives international aid to help battle militancy on its soil, the Online news agency reported Monday.

Special force needed to curb terror menace in Pakistan: Sharif

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has stressed on the need for a special security squad to curb terrorism in the country, saying police forces lack the training and skills to counter extremism.

Lanka military recovers rebel submarine

Sri Lankan troops have recovered the first submarine believed to have been used by the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels, the military said yesterday.

LTTE chief tortured before killing, HR group alleges

LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was captured alive and "tortured" by the army before being shot dead in northern Wanni, a Jaffna-based hu-man rights group has alleged in a report that has been dismissed as "ridiculous" by the Sri Lan-kan government and military.

Maoists shut Kathmandu valley after cadre's death

Hopes that the political crisis gripping the three-week-old government of Nepal would be resolved Monday with the much-awaited expansion of the fledgling cabinet receded as the opposition Maoist party went on the warpath again, shutting down Kathmandu valley without prior intimation to protest the death of a cadre.

Sites for possible North Korean nuke tests found

The US and South Korea have pinpointed 11 underground sites in North Korea where it could conduct a third nuclear test, a newspaper reported yesterday ahead of a summit between the two allies on the communist regime's growing atomic threat.

BJP's situation now volcanic: Sushma

Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has said that she would not like to comment on the situation in her party following its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

23 insurgents killed in Afghanistan

The US military along with Afghan security forces backed by war planes killed nearly two dozen insurgents in a clash in southern Afghanistan at the weekend, the US side said yesterday.

Iran in spotlight at IAEA meet

Iran's nuclear programme was in the spotlight of a meeting of the UN atomic watchdog here Monday, following the country's disputed presidential election.

Cong demands CBI probe into Chhattisgarh paddy scam

The Congress Monday renewed its demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into an alleged multi-million-rupee scam in which paddy was procured from the farmers by cooperative societies in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Chhattisgarh.

Seven foreign hostages murdered in Yemen

Seven out of nine foreign hostages including a child were found murdered in northern Yemen yesterday, a security official said.

Chinese sub, US sonar collision accidental

A state-run newspaper said Monday that a Chinese submarine's reported collision with an underwater sonar apparatus towed by a US destroyer last week in the South China Sea was likely an accident.

Arts & Entertainment

Monsoon arrives

Of the Bengali seasons, Monsoon has a special appeal. Yesterday was 'Pahela Ashadh' (first day of the monsoon season in Bengali calendar). Though city dwellers have been experiencing occasional downpour for the last few days, with the official arrival of the season, the wait was finally over.

Atia Islam Anne
Images of women objectified

Violence against women is a scourge of our times. What can explain this phenomenon? The long subjugation of women and their relegation to the position of sex objects or reproductive and domestic machines in a male dominated society. Thankfully the tide is turning now thanks to socially concerned artists, writers and poets.

Eksho Bosta Chal staged in Sylhet

Staging of a quality play drew much appreciation in Sylhet last week. Japanese Embassy in Dhaka organised the event in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on June 12 and 13 at the M Saifur Rahman auditorium.

Historical Hindu-Muslim love epic sweep IIFA Awards ‘09

A tale of love between a Muslim emperor and his Hindu wife swept the IIFA Awards -- popularly known as the "Bollywood Oscars" -- last weekend, earning a clutch of awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Ashutosh Gowariker.

Nari O Nakkhatra on Sufia Kamal’s birth anniversary

To mark the birth anniversary of poet Sufia Kamal, a special episode of the talk show "Nari O Nakkhatra," based on issues related to women, will be aired on Rtv tonight at 7pm.

Talk show O Bondhu Amar on ETV

Actress Elora Gawhar and her friend Karavi Mizan will appear on tonight's celebrity talk show "O Bondhu Amar." The show will be aired on Ekushey Television at 7:45pm.

Celebrating Rabindra and Nazrul in Pabna

The 'Ekushey Book Fair Celebration Committee,' Pabna celebrated Rabindra-Nazrul Jayanti (birth anniversary) in the district recently. A discussion and cultural programme was organised at Pabna Town Hall premises on this momentous occasion. The speakers emphasised the major contributions of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam to Bangla literature.

OP-ED

Budget and the expectations of biotech scientists

QUITE often, especially at this time of the year, we get treated to delicious lunches, courtesy of students who have obtained either a US, European or Japanese scholarship for pursuing research leading to a higher degree. They simply cannot wait to work in these advanced laboratories and use their skills in biotechnology to solve the many problems in health, agriculture etc. that afflict mankind.

Tapping the potential

IT is good to see that in his budget speech on June 11, Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith proposed allocation of Tk.200 million to introduce a "National Service" program on a pilot basis from the next financial year.

Political leadership and our armed forces

GENERAL Md. Abdul Mubeen took over charge as the new Chief of Army Staff (CAS) yesterday. Retirement of the outgoing and emergence of the new army chief is a routine administrative affair that is not supposed to evoke interest in the general public. However, the current circumstances are a little different due to the unexpected events that happened in the last two and half years, during which army's role had come under scrutiny and debate for many reasons. Time has come to move on, and a new chief is expected to help us to move towards a functional and sustainable democratic system.


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