The Daily Star

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Thursday, October 23, 2014


News of: Sunday, 19th of July, 2009

Front Page

Huji managed even a charity licence

Banned Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami set up a charity called Faruqi Welfare Foundation last year to use it as a cover for receiving funds from abroad.

Clouds over fate of 60,000 rural poor

A government decision of not extending leases of over 800 water bodies to a Grameen Bank subsidiary put livelihoods of over 60,000 rural poor in jeopardy.

Jobs for 2,000 youths in Barguna, Kurigram

The government would provide employment to around 2,000 HSC-passed unemployed youths in two most poverty-ridden districts during the current fiscal year under the newly introduced 'National Service' programme.

Drop Tipai dam project

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday urged India to cancel the Tipaimukh dam project to implement the Indian prime minister's assurance in this regard.

Laskar leader used 6 mobiles for links

Detained Mufti Obaidullah, one of the most wanted Laskar-e-Taiyeba leaders in India, used six mobile phones and had regular contact with Ameer Reza, chief of Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF) working with the Pakistan-based Islamist militant outfit, said Detective Branch (DB) of police sources.

AL goes to council, ignores constitution

The ruling Awami League is violating its own constitution by keeping General Secretary Abdul Jalil aloof from the process of holding its July 24 national council, which has sparked strong criticism among many party leaders.

Sirajganj breach under near control

Hundreds of workers and navy divers have been working to prevent the Sirajganj town protection embankment from further erosion as the entire dyke comes under threat after second time collapse.

Extremism blooms on backing in Rajshahi

The four top leaders of the new JMB splinter Islam O Muslim claim they along with the mainline outfit have "supporters and well-wishers" in the administration in three districts in Rajshahi Division.

2 dead, 5 others of a family burnt

A minor girl and her cousin were killed and five others of the same family critically burnt when a fire broke out in their house in city's Kadamtali area in the early hours yesterday.

BNP presents Tipai paper

The Tipaimukh dam and Fulertol barrage will leave the Surma-Kushiyara rivers with virtually no flow and unleash a Farakka-like disaster, said experts at a press meet organised by BNP yesterday.

Prankster fools media

A prankster caught major private television stations off guard yesterday and made them air false news about the expansion of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's cabinet.

BNP to always oppose dams on trans-border rivers

The Awami League-led government is satisfied with India's assurance with regard to the Tipaimukh dam but BNP would always oppose such projects on trans-border rivers, BNP leader Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed said yesterday.

Hasina wants an elected AL presidium

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the party's presidium members would have to be elected at the national council on July 24.

Summit sideline talks hold hope

The 15th Non-Aligned Movement summit in Egypt is widely seen by analysts as fruitful and crucial for Bangladesh in terms of its relations with foreign nations including neighbours.

PM briefs Nam result

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called on President Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban and apprised him of the outcome of the recently-held Non-Aligned Movement (Nam) summit in Egypt.

3 shot in capital

A gunfight between police and criminals left a policeman and a criminal injured in the capital's Pallabi area while unidentified criminals at Rayer Bazar area shot a trader yesterday.

Bapa rallies behind Nikunja Lake

Leaders of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa), a non-government organisation, yesterday demanded putting a stop to filling up the Nikunja Lake in the city to protect bio-diversity of that area.

Akbar Ali for review after every 6 months

Former adviser of the caretaker government Dr Akbar Ali Khan yesterday said the prime minister should evaluate the performance of cabinet every six months, as its expansion is not the only means of achieving the confidence of people.

Hillary calls for global fight against terror

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday called for a global fight against terrorism after paying tribute to victims of last year's deadly Mumbai attacks, as she began a visit to India.

Hand of Malaysian extremist seen

Investigators worked yesterday to identify a pair of suicide bombers who attacked two American luxury hotels in Indonesia's capital, and health officials confirmed at least four of the dead were foreigners.

UN probe restricted

The UN commission set up to investigate the assassination of Pakistani former prime minister Benazir Bhutto warned Friday it was limited to fact-finding and would not point to "smoking guns".

Granny stabbed to death

A man stabbed his ex-wife's grandmother to death and also injured her uncle in city's Khilgaon area on Friday night.

UN may extend mission in Nepal

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recommended in a report released yesterday that the UN's special mission to Nepal be extended for another six months.

Editorial

Rudderless home ministry

IT is quite mind-boggling that one of the most important ministries of the government should be without a minister for such a long time. Both the minister and state minister for home have been absent from office, the minister having suffered a broken hip, and her deputy being away on leave since 9th June. To make matters worse the PM, who had been looking after the ministry in the interregnum, was out of the country to Egypt and has just returned. We are not aware whether someone was given the charge of looking after the home ministry during her absence. Moreover, given the PM's commitment, we wonder if she can give the attention that the ministry deserves.

Barbaric acts

IT is all a reminder of medieval barbarism. In Chapainawabganj, a local influential politician took it upon himself the other day to subject a young man to unimaginable torture for altogether five hours before petrified villagers. In Faridpur, a father was asked by influential locals to hit his own son because of alleged theft of a mobile phone by the boy. In the Chapainawabganj incident, the chairman of Gomostapur Boalia Union Parishad was outraged that the young man he humiliated had earlier filed a case against his supporters regarding the stealing of some irrigation equipment. There are also reports, though, of old enmity between the chairman and the father of the young man.

The litigation game

THE government's move of withdrawing political cases filed against Awami League leaders during the period of both BNP-Jamaat government and the caretaker government of Fakhruddin Ahmed, has given raise to lot of questions regarding its legality and transparency.

No redemption

IN the absence of the opposition, a friendly house obliged the finance minister and approved his proposed budget without making a fuss over its nitty-gritty with regard to the share of benefit or stimulus to various sectors of the country's interest groups, in spite of a shift of resources in favour of privileged ones.

Sports

Tigers spin their way back

Bangladesh's spinners gave them control of the second and final Test against West Indies on Friday, despite a resilient 95 from Travis Dowlin before the home team were dismissed for 237 in their first innings.

Bangladesh to host SAFF C'ship

Bangladesh is set to host the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship this December.

England go slow

England's bid for a first Test win over Australia at Lord's in 75 years stalled after lunch here on the third day.

Dewan chief of LOC

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Saturday named Dewan Shafiul Arefin as convenor of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2011 World Cup.

Vaas's farewell Test?

Rampant Sri Lanka go into the final Test against Pakistan here from Monday aiming for a 3-0 sweep despite the uncertain future of veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas.

Jimmy gets royal seal

England quick James Anderson got a royal endorsement of his efforts as he played a key role in making Australia struggle during the second Ashes Test here at Lord's on Friday.

Trio to join ODI squad in WI

Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday announced that three players would be joining the Bangladesh squad in West Indies for the ODI series. They are left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, paceman Syed Rasel and all-rounder Naeem Islam. The players will leave Dhaka tomorrow evening and are expected to reach Grenada on Monday.

U-19s need 283 runs

England left Bangladesh chasing a target of 283 runs after the end of their 50 over innings in the first match of the U-19 Youth one day series in Leicester yesterday.

No room for Akhtar for SL ODIs

Controversial Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will not be considered for the one-day series in Sri Lanka on fitness grounds, interim chief selector Wasim Bari said on Saturday.

Nemesis Gay on Bolt's sights

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has helped set up what should be one of the most eagerly-awaited sprint duels in decades at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin next month.

'Terry will stay'

Whatever uncertainties new Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti faces, the future of captain John Terry with the club doesn't appear to be one of them.

Ronaldinho ready to step up

AC Milan playmaker Ronaldinho has insisted he is ready to fill the boots left by departed Brazilian compatriot Kaka during the coming season.

Barry slams Benitez

Gareth Barry has accused Rafa Benitez of a lack of respect after the Liverpool manager questioned the motives behind his move to Manchester City.

Owen lifts Man Utd

Michael Owen got his Manchester United career off to a flyer on Saturday when he scored the winner on his debut as the Premier League champions struggled past a Malaysian XI 3-2.

Higuain unfazed

Real Madrid's Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, the club's top scorer last season, is unfazed by the prospect of facing more competition for a place in the starting line-up due to the arrival of stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.

Roma open to Aquilani offers

Roma are willing to consider offers for Italian playmaker Alberto Aquilani.

Everton reject Lescott bid

Everton have turned down a bid from Manchester City for defender Joleon Lescott, the Liverpool club confirmed on Friday.

'No offers for Chamakh'

Bordeaux have not received any offers for reported Arsenal target Marouane Chamakh, coach Laurent Blanc has confirmed.

Maradona involved in car accident

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona is to appear in court here following a car accident in which two young people were slightly injured, judicial sources said Friday.

MU reject Indonesia plea

Manchester United on Saturday rejected an Indonesian plea to reconsider their decision to cancel a match in Jakarta, saying they had a responsibility to ensure the safety of their players.

Hinds sides with players

Former West Indies international Wavell Hinds has added his voice to those critical of the way the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has handled dealings with its players.

Gone in one week!

Australia have only themselves to blame after going from "flat track bullies to hapless hookers" in less than a week during their Ashes battle with England, Australian media said on Saturday.

Russia lead the pack

Favourites Russia continued their fine tradition in team synchronised swimming events by topping the scorecards in the technical team preliminaries on Saturday.

3rd Division cricket

Cricket of Pirates emerged Group J Champions beating Dakhin Khan Nabo Udayan Sangha by six wickets in the qualifying round match of the Metropolis 3rd Division Cricket League at the City Club ground yesterday.

School chess

The fifth round of the 11th Standard Chartered School Chess Tournament ended on Saturday at the N.S.C Tower Auditorium Lounge.

Friends come face-to-face!

Barely five days after his remarks against Sachin Tendulkar created a controversy, former India player Vinod Kambli on Saturday came face-to-face with his celebrated childhood friend at a public function here.

School kabaddi begins on Thursday

The Dhaka DC School Kabaddi (Boys and Girls) tournament will commence at the Kabaddi Stadium on Thursday.

PCB rejects boycott talks

Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) chief operating officer, Saleem Altaf, on Saturday rebuffed claims that Pakistan was considering boycotting the 2011 World Cup under instruction from its government.

Harmy reminds once again

Discarded England fast bowler Stephen Harmison gave the selectors another indication of his Ashes credentials as he bowled county champions Durham to the brink of victory over Nottinghamshire.

Business

Land port operators fall behind on revenue pay

Private operators of land ports fall behind on paying a share of revenues to the government and developing infrastructure, which the regulator sees as a breach of contract.

Kutubdia wind power plant under threat

The Tk 12 crore one-megawatt (MW) wind power plant at Kutubdia upazila in Cox's Bazar is under threat as its protecting dam has been washed away by a string of cyclones that struck the project site.

SEC to stop stock rumours

The stock market regulator will take action against those who spread rumours in the market to make it unstable, the top boss of the watchdog said yesterday.

Jitters linger over shares

A bearish trend continued in the Dhaka market last week with investors treading cautiously after the central bank's intervention.

Rajshahi textile, silk factories to resume production soon

Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation AHM Khairuzzaman Liton has said the closed Rajshahi Textile Mills and Rajshahi Silk Factory would resume operations soon aiming at creating job opportunities and revitalising the traditional silk sector.

Edible oil sales thru' TCB from Aug 10

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said the government would start the sales of edible oil through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB ) on August 10 in a bid to keep its price at an affordable level during Ramadan.

Citi sees huge business in Bangladesh despite recession impact

Although the possibility of global recession fallouts is not over and many believe Bangladesh will adversely be impacted by the wave of the financial tsunami in the coming days, a member of US corporate giant, Citibank NA, sees huge business and investment opportunities here.

Best Air to resume flights in Sept

Best Air, the country's third private airlines, is likely to resume its flight operation in September after

Seminar on Bangladesh in US in October

An international seminar on Bangladesh's development will be organised in the United States next October.

Business team leaves for Japan today

A high-powered business delegation is going to Japan today to explore a $10 billion knitwear market there and attract investment from Japanese entrepreneurs, said the head of the delegation.

Indian firm keen on transport sector

Consulting Engineering Services (CES), an Indian private limited company, is interested to invest in Bangladesh's transport sector under Private-Public Partnership (PPP).

Healing, but still fragile

The big banks are making big money again, but they won't be back to health as long as they have to deal with a recession and customers defaulting on mortgages and credit cards.

Dream makers

Advertising and its twin, personal selling, create a make-believe world where gullible people like me and you get trapped into buying things that in reality may not give us any benefit, per se. During my student life, I was negotiating the crowded pavements of Station Road, Chittagong. Like any other salesman you meet on pavements, this one was pitching a magic block that would copy anything and you could reprint the copy on paper. He had a mesmerised crowd watching him do the act and I too melted into that crowded circle. Then the final pitch, one for one taka, and a special discount of three for two takas. As I watched the crowd part with their notes, I too took the plunge and parted with mine, a hard earned pocket money, but I was now an owner of three beautifully wrapped magic blocks.

New chairman for Global Insurance

Global Insurance Ltd has elected M Amanullah as its chairman, says a press release.

World stocks mixed

World stock markets gave mixed performances Friday, with European exchanges closing in positive territory for the fifth straight day while Wall Street wobbled in early trade.

New DMD for Mutual Trust

Mutual Trust Bank has appointed Md Ahsan-uz Zaman as its deputy managing director, said a statement.

City Bank's new brokerage head

The City Bank Ltd has recently appointed Khondker Asadul Islam Ripon as its executive vice-president and head of brokerage, says a press release.

'Safe' dollar gains after Indonesia blasts

The dollar rose against the euro on Friday as deadly bomb attacks in Indonesia sent risk-averse traders running for the cover of the so-called safe-haven currency, analysts said.

US housing starts, permits surge in June

US housing starts and construction permits surged in June after strong gains the prior month, government data showed Friday, suggesting the prolonged real-estate slump may be easing.

GE reports lower earnings, all segments profitable

US conglomerate General Electric said Friday profits in the past quarter fell 49 percent from a year ago to 2.68 billion dollars.

London market eyes economic data next week

Investors in Britain will look to more economic data next week for prospects of extending this week's unchecked surge on the London stock exchange.

German economy may be on way up

A severe drop in German economic activity may be coming to an end, the economy ministry said on Friday in its latest monthly report based on several encouraging indicators.

Weekly Currency Roundup

July 12th-July 16th, 2009
International Markets
This week the international currency markets were mainly influenced by US corporate earnings reports. Investors appeared to be cautious ahead of the numbers releases, and this sparked a rally in the lower yielding safe haven currencies. The yen and USD rallied broadly against the other currencies. Yen also appreciated against the USD and hit a 5 month high versus the dollar. Fears about an economic slowdown also impacted crude oil prices, with prices falling sharply. This led the petro currencies lower. On Wednesday after the release of very strong results posted by Goldman Sachs, there was an increase in appetite for riskier assets, which led both the equity markets as well as the higher yielding currencies upwards.

Alleged $10b fraud by tycoon Sanea rocks Saudis

Saudi Arabia has been rocked by a lawsuit charging one of the country's wealthiest businessmen, Maan al-Sanea, with stealing 10 billion dollars from his wife's family over four years.

Canadian consumer prices fall 0.3pc in June

Canada's consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in June compared to a year ago, the first 12-month decline in nearly 15 years, due primarily to lower gasoline prices, Statistics Canada said Friday.

Wall Street mostly higher, Dow makes five-day rally

US stocks closed mostly higher Friday as investors digested surprisingly good earnings reports from big companies and took a breather after four days of robust gains.

Metropolitan

Glory for Agrabad Girls' School, Ctg Govt School, Cuet

Agrabad Girls' School, Chittagong Government High School and Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) became champions at different categories in the weeklong Mutual Trust Bank-The Daily Star Debate Competition '09 that concluded yesterday.

Road crashes kill seven

Seven people were killed in separate road accidents in Gazipur and Kushtia yesterday.

Former Indian president Abdul Kalam due today

Former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam arrives in Dhaka today on a three-day visit to Bangladesh.

'Extend deadline for submitting party constitution'

Gono Forum Leaders at a meeting yesterday urged the government and Election Commission to extend deadline for submitting party constitution until December 31 as the party would not be able to organise its council meeting and formulate the constitution by July 25.

National

Internal feud rife in JMB over money, ideology

A new offshoot of banned Islamist outfit JMB, Islam O Muslim was formed in Chapainawabganj three months ago, following internal feud between present leadership of JMB and some of their members over financial and ideological matters.

College admission of 67 in Nilphamari uncertain

College admission of 67 students has become uncertain as the school authorities allegedly held up their documents although the time for admission into the higher secondary class under the education board concerned expires tomorrow.

Satkhira AL to take action against its publicity secy

Satkhira Awami League (AL) at its meeting yesterday decided to take organisational action against district unit Publicity Secretary Shahidul Islam as he allegedly misbehaved with some senior leaders including the district AL president.

Class boycott at Barisal SBMC

Students of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) yesterday boycotted classes and examinations and brought out a procession on the campus protesting attack on a college hostel by outsider BCL cadres on Friday night.

One crushed under train

An unidentified person aged about 40 was crushed under the wheels of a train near Kotchandpur railway station in Jhenidah yesterday morning.

Letters

Aging Shishu Park

Due to its affordable costs and exiting rides, Shahbagh's Shaheed Zia Shishu Park was once a famous hang out place for Dhakaitees. Maintained by Dhaka City Corporation, this park was a buzzing place for teenagers and adults alike. But those golden days of Shishu Park are gone by with the passage of time. Now Dhaka has a good number of parks which are maintained by private enterprises and these parks are way better than the Shishu Park in terms of rides and all other facilities. Moreover, we have now water parks as well in our country like the developed countries. So I think people of Bangladesh are not deprived of getting their desired entertainment options since we have no dearth of entertainment parks. But the high cost of these privately run parks does not encourage lower class people and even the middle class people can hardly go to these parks. So generally Shishu Park is still the only source of entertainment for majority of lower and middle-income people. But the age-old rides and run down vehicles of Shishu Park hardly attract the visitors nowadays. Dhaka City Corporation is neglecting to allocate the required budget for Shishu Park from the very beginning and hence the same age old 12 rides without any renovation have been frustrating the visitors for a long time. Several projects for development and renovation of the park couldn't be implemented in the past ten years due to bureaucratic tangles. But kudos must be given to the persons who are constantly maintaining the age old rides of the Shishu Park. The sheer hard work of the maintenance staffs of Shishu Park is responsible for no major accidents from these run down rides. But things should not go this way. It has been heard that by the end of this year, some new rides will be added to Shishu Park and the park will be renovated. But so far no indication in this regard has been revealed by the people concerned. Dhaka City Corporation must wake up and take the appropriate measures to improve the sorry state of Shishu Park without further ado before it's too late. The frustration of common people for lack of government run entertainment park will be worsened if the authorities concerned do not pay heed to improving the condition of the Shishu Park. People have the right to have affordable entertainment and the government definitely should not neglect this issue of importance.

River erosion

Bangladesh is an active deltaic plain in a constant state of morphological change. There is a large seasonal variation in the flows and the sediment carrying capacity of the rivers. The rivers in this deltaic plan are categorized as either unstable such as the Meghna or very unstable such as the Padma and the Jamuna. The Jamuna is of a braided and eroded nature. The annual erosion rate is 8,700 hectors. The erosion has led to destruction of villages rendering thousands of people homeless every year.

Memorable Test victory

The nation is celebrating a joyful moment at the win over West Indies in the first Test in Kingstown. The win over West Indies will regenerate cricket and invigorate cricketers to repeat the same kind of results in future. The nation admires the golden boys for their heroic performance. Team Bangladesh played memorable cricket. Skills and efforts with commitment/patience are preconditions for the players to keep up the momentum.

Reflections on life

As a life-long resident of Dacca/Dhaka city, life in 2009 is different to me: we cannot find and engage a maidservant [bua]--not available! Decades ago, I remember about the maidservants we exported from Dacca to Calcutta [@Rs ten pm] They also acted as dai (nurse) to the children in the household; who later grew up and married and the maid was allowed a pension after retirement!

Prices of essentials

The prices of essentials are going up as Ramadan approaches. At the same time, the country is facing the primary flood situation in some regions. And the performance of the government in controlling unwanted situations has been facing questions so far.

Politics

Our politics is neither polite; nor does it tick (infected with ticks). We are beating about the bush. Our rivers and politics need to remove the silt also. How to salvage our sense and sensibility? Our politics is creating a negative image outside. Not interested? Get out of the routine mindset!

Power distribution

Dhaka Power Distribution Company was formed on 1st July, 2008. After the failure in running DESA in a profitable way, DPDC started its activities. During the first few months after its inception, its systems loss was reduced and remarkable enhancement in earning was recorded. Great zeal and vigour were found in DPDC officials and employees' minds for attaining progress of their organisation. It is to be noted that no trade union activities were found during this period. Now several labour organisations have got their registrations in DPDC. According to DPDC law, anyone who has any affiliation with any political party must be disqualified for enrolment in DPDC. Now the old game has started, particularly by one organisation which claims itself to be backed by the present ruling party. They are trying to take control of different offices of DPDC.

EIS programme

The Daily Star and Aktel have jointly taken EIS (English in schools) Programme to better the condition of English of the secondary schools. It is a well-timed and laudable initiative which will create an awakening among the students to learn English with new enthusiasm and zeal.

Quorum crisis

Recently, TIB reported that over Tk 5 crore has been wasted already this year due to lack of quorum in parliament sessions. This is not desirable. The MPs are expected to perform their duties with a sense of devotion.

Why should this happen?

Human beings are a strange creature of the Almighty. Sometimes they say one thing but do the opposite.

Role of TIB

It is unfortunate that the role of TIB is being questioned by the lawmakers including the speaker and the prime minister. I can see that I am not the only one who raised immediate question after the TIB "calculator politics" was widely mentioned in the media.

Who was corrupt?

During the period of the caretaker government (CTG) of Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) filed corruption cases against a large number of politicians belonging to both AL and BNP, government servants and businessmen. Many of the accused were proved guilty in the lower courts and, on being convicted, were sent to the jail. Some of these convicted persons were tried in absentia as they had fled the country. People in general, including the mid level leaders and workers of AL and BNP, hoped that at least some of their senior leaders, and businessmen who financed these politicians, and the government servants who were genuinely corrupt would get punished; the country and the political parties would get rid of the corrupt leaders; and the state bureaucracy would to a great extent be free from corruption.

Talk shows

Nearly all the private TV channels are running talk shows every day. It was a popular show in the days of immediate past caretaker government for various reasons. It gave openings for the public opinion to ventilate and to air - sort of communication established between the government and the people. And talk shows became popular. It also relieves some burden off the private channel operators from the point of financial implications as it costs least to arrange a talk show.

RMG in disarray

The spine of our economy, the garment sector, is really in vulnerable condition these days. This sector earns more than 75 percent of the foreign currency in exports, employ more than 35 lakh people directly (80 percent women) and about two crore indirectly. Unfortunately, we are losing this resource, achievement and contribution to economy hastily. The losing process should be stopped right now. No excuse can be enough to continue this devastation.

International

12 die as Pak jets pound northwest militant bases

Pakistani warplanes and troops yesterday killed at least 12 militants and destroyed Taliban training centres in the restive northwest, officials said.

Indian women's group a 'poverty-fighting model'

Greeted with a garland and songs from rural India, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a reunion here Saturday with village women she presents as a model for easing global poverty.

Indian PM under pressure after meeting with Gilani

A rare meeting between the Indian and Pakistani premiers this week ended with a pledge to cooperate on terrorism that has triggered anger and consternation back in New Delhi.

Jakarta blasts show security weaknesses of hotels

Twin hotel suicide bombings in Indonesia on Friday exposed new security weaknesses in an industry increasingly in the cross-hairs of terrorists and pointed to evolving tactics by the militants.

Iraq govt faces claims of prisoner abuse

Iraqi officials outraged by the abuse of prisoners at the US-run Abu Ghraib prison are trying to contain a scandal of their own as allegations continue to surface of mistreatment inside Iraqi jails.

Mumbai attackers trial in Pakistan adjourned

The trial in Pakistan of the five accused of involvement in last year's terror attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai has been adjourned until next week, the defence lawyer said yesterday.

US fighter jet crashes in Afghanistan

A US military F-15E fighter jet crashed in central Afghanistan early yesterday, killing two crew members, officials said.

Ban talks climate pact with French leader

The urgent need to forge consensus on a new climate change pact aimed at curbing harmful greenhouse gases dominated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's talks Friday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Indonesian police examine bombers' remains for clues

Indonesian police Saturday were studying DNA evidence from the remains of two suicide bombers who carried out twin attacks on luxury Jakarta hotels, as security was tightened across the country.

UK shopping centres on terror attack alert

Shopping centres across Britain have been placed on alert for a terrorist attack that would probably result in the deaths of dozens of innocent people.

US seeks meetings with N Korea on nukes

A top envoy said the US remains ready for talks with North Korea, while Washington warned of aggressive sanctions against the North unless it returns to stalled multinational talks on ending its nuclear programmes.

Group linked to Qaeda threatens China

An offshoot of a secessionist group with ties to al-Qaeda is threatening revenge for the deaths of Muslim Uighurs in clashes with Chinese earlier this month, a US group that monitors militant Web sites said.

Hillary salutes Mumbai's 'brave men and women'

"Let us rid the world of hatred and extremism that produces such nihilistic violence," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in memory of the Mumbai terror victims while hailing the "brave men and women" of India's financial capital.

3 foreign aid workers kidnapped in Kenya

Gunmen have seized three foreign aid workers in northern Kenya and taken them across the border into Somalia, a security official said Saturday.

BSF to raise strength by 35,000

The strength of the Border Security Force (BSF) is to be increased by 35,000 troopers and a women's battalion will be raised by July 25, the Director General (DG) of BSF ML Kumawat said yesterday.

Israel planned to kill Ahmadinejad

Iranian Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie said on Friday that Israel had planned to assassinate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad around the time of last month's presidential election.

US TV news legend Walter Cronkite dies at age of 92

US TV news legend Walter Cronkite, dubbed "the most trusted man in America" for his calm and honest delivery during a tumultuous period in US history, died Friday in New York at the age of 92, said the CBS network, where he spent most of his career.

Mandela turns 91

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, turns 91 on Saturday with a call for community service and celebrations from New York's Madison Square Garden to downtown Johannesburg.

World's oldest man dies at age of 113

Henry Allingham, the world's oldest man and oldest World War I veteran, died Saturday at the age of 113, the nursing home in Britain where he spent his last years said.

Obama takes first all-female helicopter flight

For the first time in history US President Barack Obama flew in a chopper manned by an all-female Marine Corps crew.

First swine flu death in S'pore

Singapore on Saturday reported its first death linked to swine flu after a 49-year-old man who was diagnosed with the virus died of a heart attack in hospital.

Arts & Entertainment

Ferdausi Rahman honoured

Veteran artiste Ferdausi Rahman was honoured at the Radisson Water Garden Hotel on July 17. As part of 'Gunijon Shongbordhona' programme, Ferdausi Rahman was greeted with a standing ovation at the event. Her melodious voice and popular songs have found a special place in the hearts of millions. A legion of A-list stars paid homage to Rahman with special performances and moving words on her contribution. The theme of this year's programme was "Aji jhoro jhoro mukhoro badolo diney."

Abdullah Al Mamun birth anniversary celebration ends

The eight-day Abdullah Al Mamun birth anniversary celebration programme ended at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on July 17. On the concluding day, Theatre staged the Mamun's popular play "Meraj Fakir-er Ma."

DL Roy: Patriotism to the fore

Way back in 1993, I was presented a rare audio cassette with an original song by Dilip Kumar Roy, a famous singer of the 1930s and son of the illustrious DL Roy. The cassette was given to me by Dr. Khan (a reputed physician settled in the US) who had driven all the way from Ohio to Pennsylvania with the tape.

Monsoon melodies by Nibedon

Nibedon, a cultural organisation of the city, held a musical soiree titled "Shotoborsher Borshar Gaan" at the National Music and Dance Auditorium, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on 17 July.

Creating a new generation of dance artistes in Pabna

Gontobbo, a dance-based organisation, celebrated its fifth anniversary on Friday. A discussion and dance festival were held at the Pabna Town Hall premises on this momentous day. A reception was also accorded to noted dancer Bazlur Rahman Badal of Rajshahi.

OP-ED

Overcoming the problems of population growth

IMPLEMENTING any human development programme has become a daunting challenge due mainly to the increasing population. Demographic transition over time paints an alarming picture of the state of population. The country's population growth has been showing an alarming trend over a couple of decades and has now reached the height of overpopulation with 14.45 people. If there is no attempt to arrest the growth of population the total population will double. With this growth of population it has become difficult to meet the nutritional demands of the citizens. With the growing number of poor, it has become even more difficult to get them within the reach of development programmes. The reproductive health sector is also deficient.

Sometimes, cats are just plain impussible

LIFE is changing so fast we need new words to keep up with it. University lecturer Jenny Eagleton wrote to me: "I wonder if you have made-up words for the following situations? I tried to get my linguistics students to do this, but I think they were stumped. Thanks."



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