The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, August 22, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 18th of August, 2009

Front Page

Foreign enemies got benefited

About six months after the Pilkhana massacre on February 25-26, the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) chief yesterday for the first time hinted that the country's foreign enemies benefited from the carnage.

Act tough on extortion

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the authorities concerned to take immediate stern actions to stop rampant extortions in the country.

Lease of 8,000 acres hill land cancelled

Leases of 8,175 acres of land in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), given years back for horticulture and rubber plantation, have been cancelled for violation of lease agreements.

TCB fixes prices of sugar, edible oil

Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has fixed the prices of commodities to be sold during the Ramadan.

Over 25 RMG units suspend production

Production at over 25 garment factories has been suspended for the last two days in fear of fresh labour unrest at Ashulia and Jamgarah on the outskirts of the city.

Yet another child dies of renal failure

A Brahmanbaria court yesterday issued arrest warrant against five officials of Rid Pharmaceuticals Ltd as another child died of renal failure at Dhaka Shishu Hospital raising toll from paracetamol intake to 27.

Trial reference sent to SC for opinion

President Zillur Rahman yesterday sent a reference to the Supreme Court (SC) for its opinion on whether the people charged with mutiny and massacre at the BDR headquarters can be tried under the military law.

Army pulled out for peace in CHT

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government has decided to pull out army camps from the hill districts as a peaceful situation now prevails in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region.

Paltan killing case withdrawn

The government yesterday withdrew the Paltan killing case against Prime Minister and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina and 45 others, saying it was “politically motivated” and “meant for harassment.”

Jet Airways flight veers off runway

A Jet Airways aircraft went off the runway while taxiing and got stuck in the greens at Zia International Airport, halting the airport for three hours.

Criminals shoot doctor for money

Muggers shot a physician and snatched Tk 3 lakh from him at Green Road in the capital yesterday afternoon.

Bangladeshi forced to stay in Taiwan

Taiwan has barred a Bangladeshi marine officer from leaving the country until the completion of a trial on allegations of hitting a sea trawler, despite maritime experts' opinion that he should be sent to Panama or returned to Bangladesh as the alleged incident happened in international waters.

Shopping time relaxed for Ramadan

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed that markets and shopping centres would remain open till 10:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays during the month of Ramadan.

SQ Chy sued for offensive remark on Bangabandhu

BNP's senior central leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury was sued yesterday in a Khulna court for making derogatory comments on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the National Mourning Day.

Police yet to make any headway

Police have begun questioning three people, including two relatives of the two men accused in the FIR, in the gang rape case at a Faridpur court.

Probe NGOs' patronage of militancy

A parliamentary standing committee yesterday asked the social welfare ministry to probe allegations of patronising different militant groups against a section of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during the rule of BNP-led alliance government.

Minister hurt in car crash

Labour and Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and two of his aides sustained injuries in a road accident at Dhamrai, Savar, last night.

Five Indians arrested in Khagrachhari

Bangladesh Army and police personnel in a joint drive yesterday detained five Indian citizens at a hilly area of Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari.

3 bullet-hit in attack on Khasia family

Three members of an indigenous family sustained injuries after armed miscreants attacked their house in the early hours yesterday at a remote Khasia habitat called Khasia Punji in Gowainghat upazila of Sylhet.

Koko's parole extended for a month

The government yesterday extended the parole of Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of the opposition leader and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, till September 16.

Pak militants planning fresh attacks on India

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said yesterday that militants in Pakistan were plotting new attacks on India as he urged security forces to stay on high alert.

Bolt shatters world mark

Jamaican Usain Bolt smashed his own 100 metres world record with a scintillating time of 9.58 seconds to win the world championship final on Sunday.

31 militants killed in Pak offensive

A bomb blast claimed by Taliban militants killed seven people including children in northwest Pakistan Monday, police said, as 31 insurgents were reported dead in a fresh wave of unrest.

Rab captures criminal after shooting him

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested bullet-hit criminal Al-Amin at Rampura in the capital yesterday.

Thousands seek Thai royal pardon for Thaksin

More than 30,000 "Red Shirt" supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra handed in a petition Monday seeking a royal pardon for the fugitive former premier, further underscoring Thailand's deep political rifts.

Nato launches new anti-piracy operation off Somalia

Nato yesterday launched operation Ocean Shield to help fight rampant piracy off the Horn of Africa after the alliance's North Atlantic Council approved the mission, it said in a statement.

Editorial

Extortionists jacking up prices

THE food and disaster management minister himself has admitted that extortion is the single most important reason behind the seemingly uncontrollable price hike. The minister's statement has made it clear that extortion has become part of the entire process of transporting goods, and the law enforcers are apparently not capable of doing anything to counter this organised crime.

Regrouping of terrorists

THE news of religious extremists regrouping themselves has been hogging the media headlines of late. The month of August is a distressing reminder of what the religious extremists are capable of. Both the events of 21 August 2004 and 17 August 2005 testify to their canny operational efficiency as well as their organizational effectiveness.

Ahoy! The pirates are around

FOREIGN policy issues are seldom raised or debated during an election campaign in a country such as Bangladesh, perpetually caught in the poverty trap and chronic under-development. Such debate is irrelevant for a people engaged in making both ends meet. No wonder that the contestants in the election for the ninth parliament also did not indulge in that luxury. The contesting political parties rather vied with one other with their promises to provide food at affordable prices, ensure uninterrupted supply of power and drinking water, and maintain order in the society.

Independence is a must

THERE is no better test of excellence of a government than the efficiency of the judicial system. In determining a nation's rank in political civilisation, no test is more decisive than the achievements of the judicial administration.

Sports

NCL in for changes

A reduced number of matches is one of wholesale changes set to be made by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) as the governing body looks to overhaul the country's lone first-class competition; the National Cricket League (NCL).

Tamim stamps his class

A day after his stupendous 154, which sealed a series win for Bangladesh and inspired a record run chase, Tamim Iqbal was quietly soaking in the significance of it all.

Bolt blitzes Berlin

Jamaican Usain Bolt added the world crown to his Olympic title as he scorched to victory in a world record 9.58 seconds in the men's 100m final at the World Athletics Championships here on Sunday.

Tigers get busier from October

Zimbabwe cricket team is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on October 23 to play five one-day internationals against Tigers.

BD-Zim 5th ODI today

Having wrapped up the series quite comfortably, the buoyant Tigers will be trying to finish the series on a winning note when they take on Zimbabwe in the fifth and final ODI at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo today.

Bolt dominates Europe press

Usain Bolt's stunning 100 metres world record run in Berlin was hailed by European papers on Monday as one of the finest sporting exploits of all time.

Dilshan set for new role

Tillakaratne Dilshan will add another feather to his all-rounder's cap when he opens the batting for Sri Lanka in the first Test against New Zealand today.

2 IPL sides bailed out

In an unprecedented financial bailout, the Indian board has sanctioned 22 crore rupees (approximately 5 million dollars) each to the Chennai Super Kings -- owned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary -- and Rajasthan Royals, the 2008 Indian Premier League (IPL) finalists, as compensation for cancellation of the Champions League Twenty20 last November.

Lee's Ashes reminder

Brett Lee boosted his chances of playing in the Ashes decider with a three-wicket haul as Australia beat England Lions by 103 runs at Canterbury on Sunday.

Cincy crowns Jankovic

Serbia's Jelena Jankovic boosted her US Open hopes with a brisk 6-4, 6-2 victory over world number one Dinara Safina on Sunday in the final of the two million-dollar WTA Cincinnati Open.

Punter's biggest Test

Ricky Ponting is not given to hyperbole, so when he declares this week's Ashes finale the most important match of his 135-Test career, it is worth taking note. In a revealing column in the Daily Telegraph, the Australian captain predicted the pain of England's 2005 Ashes victory would prove a motivating factor for his side entering The Oval Test, and hinted reverse swing could play a role in determining the outcome of the match.

Korean tames Tiger

South Korea's Yang Yong-Eun became the first Asian to capture a major championship Sunday, doing the unthinkable by rallying past Tiger Woods for one of the biggest upsets in golf history.

Sehwag wants to 'leave' Delhi

Virender Sehwag is reported to be seeking a move from Delhi, the state he has represented since 1998, to Haryana from the 2009-10 season, citing the heavy interference in selection matters.

MU ride on Rooney

Manchester United claimed a 1-0 win over newly-promoted Birmingham at Old Trafford on Sunday, then Tottenham stunned Liverpool with a 2-1 triumph at White Hart Lane.

Murray Montreal master

Andy Murray has seized the momentum a fortnight before the US Open, the Scot exploding into form with his fifth title of the season Sunday at the Montreal Masters.

Marseille keep pace

Brazilian striker Brandao made sure Marseille kept pace with their fellow French league title contenders with the game's only goal in an entertaining 1-0 win over Lille Sunday.

Celtic, Arsenal to battle it out

Celtic and Arsenal will battle for a place in the lucrative Champions League group stages on Tuesday in a mouth-watering play-off clash.

Barca edge Bilbao

European champions Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup on Sunday with second-half goals by Xavi and reserve forward Pedro Rodriguez.

Negredo to stay in Spain

English Premier League outfit Hull City appear to have failed in their bid to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Negredo, who is set to join Spanish side Zaragoza, a Spanish sports daily said Monday.

Schalke down Bochum

Schalke 04 beat neighbours Bochum 3-0 on Sunday to join defending champions Wolfsburg at the top of the Bundesliga as the only sides with 100 per cent records after two games.

Flamengo outselling Real

Brazilian side Flamengo are selling their shirts at a faster rate than Spanish giants Real Madrid, according to the club's marketing department.

Kaka finds it 'very easy'

Real Madrid's Brazilian signing Kaka said he finds it "very easy" playing alongside the other new world stars at the club.

Riise appears in court

Roma defender John Arne Riise appeared in court here Monday to give evidence against his former agent Einar Baardsen, who is accused of swindling 22 million kroner (2.5 million euros, 3.5 million dollars) from the ex-Liverpool star.

Business

FDI on upward curve

Foreign direct investment (FDI) crossed $1 billion last year, marking a 63 percent rise compared to 2007, mainly because of an increased inflow of such investment to telecom sector.

Local bricks to hit Tripura market

Bangladesh is to export 40 crore bricks worth around Tk 283 crore to Tripura, which is expected to reduce the ballooning trade gap between the two neighbouring countries.

Govt mulls pumping money into jute sector

The government considers revamping the liquidity-crunched jute industry by pumping money into the sector, as demand for jute products is now on the rise.

Govt to distribute stress-tolerant rice seeds through PPP

The government plans to distribute stress-tolerant rice seeds among farmers in public-private partnership in an effort to tackle the growing threat of climate change to agriculture and food security of about 15 crore people.

RACE to launch six mutual funds

RACE Management is to float six mutual funds in the next one year, an initiative that will increase the depth of investment in the stock market.

Electric rickshaws in Rangpur

Battery-run rickshaws are replacing the traditional ones in Rangpur as businessmen are showing keen interest in transportation with the new venture.

Trade halted for two hours at Sonamasjid

Export and import through Sonamasjid land port in Chapainawabganj came to a halt for two hours yesterday afternoon after a brawl over an alleged toll collection attempt by a group of workers.

Chittagong fixes commodity prices

The Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and Chittagong District Administration yesterday jointly fixed the prices of seven essential commodities, in consultation with business leaders.

Rangs launches world's slimmest LCD TV

Rangs Electronics Ltd launched yesterday the KLV-40ZX1, the latest addition in the Sony Bravia LCD TV family (ZX Series) in Bangladesh, says a press release.

Japan limps out of recession

Japan on Monday became the latest major economy to escape from recession, lifting hopes that a fledgling global recovery is taking hold thanks to massive pump-priming efforts.

Typhoon hits hard Taiwan tourism

Typhoon Morakot has hit Taiwan's agriculture and tourism sectors hard, but the overall impact on the economy -- already reeling from the financial crisis -- may be limited, experts said.

US banks added 10,000 branches in boom

US banks expanded at a breathtaking pace over the past five years, adding more than 10,000 full-service branches, but barely 1 in 10 were in inner-city, minority neighbourhoods, another sign the financial spending spree skipped over substantial parts of the country.

Fortescue breaks China iron ore impasse, secures funding

Australia's Fortescue Metals on Monday unveiled discount iron ore prices for the key Chinese market in return for up to six billion US dollars of financing, ending an industry-wide negotiating impasse.

Yen climbs in Asia as stocks slide

The yen rose to its highest levels in about two weeks against the dollar and the euro in Asia Monday as falling share prices boosted demand for less risky investments.

China needs to adapt for new EU rules on illegal fishing

China, the world's leading exporter of marine fish products, needs to adapt its fisheries if it is to meet new EU regulations to combat illegal fishing, according to a report released Monday.

US regional manufacturing index rebounds

US manufacturing in the New York state region rebounded sharply in August, the first improvement in the ailing sector in more than a year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday.

Asian markets dive

Asian markets dived Monday, with China, Tokyo and Hong Kong taking the brunt after new US data overshadowed Japan's move out of recession and raised fresh concerns for global economic recovery.

Oil prices fall

World oil prices sank on Monday, extending heavy pre-weekend losses as traders took profits and digest falling consumer confidence in the United States, analysts said.

FDI falls for 10th month in China

Foreign direct investment in China dropped 35.7 percent year-on-year in July for the 10th straight monthly fall, the commerce ministry said Monday.

Islami Bank chairman reelected

Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd has reelected Abu Nasser Muhammad Abduz Zaher as its chairman, says a press release.

Australia treasury chief warns of 'second shockwave'

Australia's top Treasury official on Monday said there were grounds for optimism about the economy but warned a "second shockwave" may yet derail recovery from the global downturn.

Philippines remittances hit new high

Filipinos working abroad sent home a record 1.5 billion dollars in June, the central bank said on Monday, boosting hopes the country can avoid a recession this year.

Eurozone trade surplus doubles in June

The trade surplus for the 16 countries using the euro more than doubled in June, providing another positive sign for Europe's economy after France and Germany officially pulled out of recession.

Decline in Singapore exports slows down in July

Singapore said Monday its key exports shrank 8.5 percent in July from the year before but at a slower pace as hopes grew that the economy was emerging from a deep recession.

Metropolitan

Writ petition challenging proceedings withdrawn

The writ petition challenging the proceedings of Tk 3 crore extortion case filed against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by businessman Azam J Chowdhury was withdrawn from the High Court (HC) yesterday since the case was earlier withdrawn from the trial court.

Less use of air conditioners can save 500MW power daily

If power consumption by air conditioning system in all institutions and organisations including the office of the prime minister can be reduced, 400 to 500MW power can be added to national grid everyday, said the experts at a roundtable yesterday.

Execution of verdict by this year: Razu

Post and Telecommunications Minister Raziuddin Ahmed Razu yesterday said the verdict of Bangabandhu Murder Case will be executed by this year.

Section 9 contradicts constitution: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said Section 9 of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, which directs for enrolment of only 'permanent residents' of the hills in the voter list to hold election to three hill district councils and regional council is a contradictory to the constitution.

UK High Commission clarifies visa process

The British High Commission in a press release yesterday said it is aware that some agents are providing misleading advice on tuberculosis (TB) tests.

SC upholds HC bail to Babar

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday upheld two High Court (HC) orders granting bail to former state minister for home Lutfuzzaman Babar in two corruption cases filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Autorickshaw drivers enforce strike today

Autorickshaw drivers called a daylong strike in the city for today to protest harassment by vehicle owners and press for their 11-point demand.

Historic Nimtali Deuri to get heritage facelift

As part of its three-year-long programme to celebrate 400 years of Dhaka city, the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (ASB) has embarked on a project to conserve 244-year-old Nimtali Deuri, the only existing gatehouse of Nimtali Palace Complex.

Invest in Bangladesh

President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised the need for increasing the volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) by wooing more foreign entrepreneurs for investment in various sectors as an investment-friendly atmosphere prevails in the country.

Tourist police to ensure security of tourists

Bangladesh Police introduced tourist police, a new unit of police, to ensure security of tourists and protect tourism sites.

Those who celebrate birthday on Aug 15 are killers of Bangabandhu

Speakers at a meeting yesterday called for immediate steps to execute the verdict in the Bangabandhu Murder Case.

Tributes paid to Shamsur Rahman

The 3rd death anniversary of noted poet Shamsur Rahman was observed yesterday.

Mass Education Project staffs demand salary arrears

The employees of the Mosque-based Child and Mass Education Project yesterday demanded payment of their salary arrears, including other allowances from January immediately.

MoU signed to work on AIDS

Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UNAIDS to work on the HIV/AIDS issue, says a press release.

Complete construction work by December: Nahid

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday directed the concerned officials to complete the construction work of the International Mother Language Institute by December.

Applications invited for media award

Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) under Disaster Management Bureau invited applications for media award on disaster management, says a press release.

Jokes contest soon

The Unmad, the country's only satire cartoon magazine, and Autoline Multimedia will jointly organise a nationwide jokes contest shortly.

7 robbers arrested

Police arrested seven members of a gang of robbers from in and around the city in separate drives in last two days.

Film appreciation course in Khulna ends tomorrow

A weeklong film appreciation course that began at Purbanchal Dialogue Centre in Khulna on August 13 ends today.

Workshop on media's role in addressing domestic violence held

Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA) in association with Manusher Jonno Foundation organised a workshop on role of media in addressing domestic violence at LGRD seminar room in the city yesterday.

Signature campaign launched

Gono Sanghati Andolon launched a signature campaign at Rabindra Sarobar in the city yesterday protesting the Indian move to construct Tipaimukh dam.

Health minister, state minister declare to donate eyes after death

Health Minister Prof AFM Ruhul Haque and State Minister Captain (retd) Dr Mojibur Rahman Fakir yesterday announced that they would donate their corneas after their death.

Birth anniversary of Murtaja Baseer observed

The 78th birth anniversary of veteran artist Murtaja Baseer was celebrated yesterday through staging an exclusive presentation of his early works titled 'Revisit' at Gallery Kaya at Uttara in the city.

Tribute paid to Shamsuddin, Prafulla

Speakers at a memorial meeting yesterday paid tribute to language movement veteran ATM Shamsuddin and artist Prafulla Roy, saying that both of them worked behind the scene to build a secular and democratic country and promote the spirit of the Liberation War.

CRP to provide free treatment to clubfooted children below three years

Under the special supervision of two foreign surgeons, the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) will provide free treatment to clubfoot affected children below three years at its Mirpur unit in the city from October 25 to 28, says a press release.

National

Flash flood in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat

Heavy downpour has triggered flash flood in the low-lying areas of Lalmonirhat district and Rangpur town.

Sacked Mongla workers start indefinite siege

Over a thousand of sacked casual employees of stevedoring agencies began their indefinite siege programme on the Call Station compound of Mongla Port yesterday morning to press home their five-point demand.

Big hilsa catches still elude fishermen

Several weeks into the hilsa season, fishermen in the southern region are yet to start getting good catches of the popular fish.

Moslema burnt with acid for protesting wrong

Victim of acid attack by husband, a mother of three children is undergoing treatment at a Nilphamari hospital.

Lizu's parents seek justice

The family members of killed schoolgirl Lizu Rani Dey have demanded punishment to the alleged killer, her husband Shakirul Islam Mamun of village Char Bhawanipur in Sadar upazila.

Three die of 'food poisoning'

Three people died of 'food poisoning' and another fell sick at Chouddagram upazila headquarters early yesterday.

2 murders in Khagrachhari

Two people were killed in two separate incidents at Natunpara under Matiranga upazila and Buiyachhari under Dighinala upazila yesterday. The two were identified as Parvez Al Mamun alias Sohag, 20, son of Matiranga upazila AL leader Mohammad Abul Hossain and Saleha Begum, 45, wife of Mohammad Habibur Rahman of Buiyachhari village under Dighinala upazila. Police said Sohag was killed in deep jungle of Taindong area under Matiranga. "It is not a political killing," Matiranga police station officer-in-charge (OC) said, adding a case has been filed accusing some of Sohag's friends who were with him on Sunday evening. Dighinala OC said unknown assailants killed Saleha with sharp knives early Monday while she was asleep. During the incident her husband was away from home, he said.

Outlaw held, arms recovered

A 'regional leader' of outlawed Lal Pataka, a faction of Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCL-ML), was arrested in Chuadanga yesterday. According to police, a joint team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-6) and Alamdanga police raided a house at village Munshiganj in Alamdanga upazila at about 2:30 am and arrested Rana alias Babu, 38. They recovered one rifle, one shuttar gun, six bullets and four bombs form his possession. Hailing from village Jhutikadanga of Mirpur upazila, Rana was recently organising the outfit in Kushtia and Chuadanga, police and Rab sources said. Accused in at least a dozen cases including five for murder in Kushtia and Chuadanga, Rana was a listed outlaw in the area.

11 bombs recovered

Police recovered 11 bombs from Battala Bazar in Dullah union under Muktagachha upazila yesterday morning.

One killed in clash

One person was killed and four others were injured in clashes between family members of two brothers over a disputed land in Muladi upazila on Sunday evening.

Body recovered at IU

Islamic University (IU) police recovered body of a young man from the university lake on Saturday noon. Police said some farmers saw the body in the lake on the western side of the campus at about 5:30 pm and informed them. The young man was wearing half shirt and jeans pant. He was about 25 and his throat was slit by the killers. Campus sources said four such killing occurred within two months. On June 15, two bodies were found in the compound of a female dormitory. The victims were identified as Sher Ali and Abdul Awal, both cadres of outlawed Gono Mukti Fouz (GMF). Rivals slaughtered them and dumped the bodies on the campus. Again on June 28, severed head of another person was found at the main gate of the university. The dead was identified as Liton, a cadre of the same outfit.

Risky bridge being replaced

Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) all on a sudden on Sunday sealed off Chanduria Coukirghat Bridge in Tanore to all vehicular traffic, marking the bridge risky. People were seen taking another road of neighbouring Mohonpur upazila to reach Tanore spending extra time and fare for additional 15-km of road. The LGED authorities on Sunday were shutting the road on both sides of the bridge and testing soil nearby to replace the old bridge with a new one. “Structure of the left lane of the bridge was affected due to movement of overloaded vehicles”, said Abul Kashem, sub-divisional engineer of LGED who was on the spot. He claimed the bridge was constructed in Pakistan era. “Due to its old age, we declared it unfit for use one year ago and we abandoned it one week ago when we noticed the bridge's structure has become weak and it can be damaged any time”, said Kashem. However, locals said the bridge was constructed in 1992 and was frequently repaired.

International

20 killed in car bomb attack on Russian policemen

A truck packed with explosives rammed through the gates of a police compound in southern Russia yesterday and exploded in an attack that killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens, officials said.

Afghan candidates hold mass rally as campaign concludes

Top candidates in the Afghan presidential race yesterday addressed allies attended by thousands of cheering supporters on the last day of campaigning for key elections overshadowed by Taliban threats.

Suu Kyi 'not opposed' to lifting of sanctions

Detained Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is "not opposed" to the lifting of some sanctions against the country's military junta, US Senator Jim Webb said yesterday.

Jaswant describes Jinnah as a 'great Indian'

Four years ago, senior BJP leader LK Advani had to quit as party chief after his controversial praise of Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah during a tour of that country and now another saffron leader and India's former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh described Jinnah as a "great Indian."

American's release gives little hope for Suu Kyi

The release of a US prisoner could herald a softer stance by Myanmar's junta towards Aung San Suu Kyi, but she will almost certainly stay locked up for elections next year, analysts said.

Killing of Sunni militant leader sparks Pak riots

The leader of a banned Sunni Islam militant outfit was shot dead in southern Pakistan yesterday, sparking sectarian rioting in Pakistan's biggest city Karachi, police said.

Squalid war camps dent Lanka's image

Sri Lanka risks further damage to its image by failing to improve conditions for tens of thousands of war-displaced people held in squalor, the island's main opposition leader said yesterday.

Nepal must tackle social inequality: UN agency

Nepal's warring politicians must tackle the country's growing social inequality if they are to achieve lasting peace, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) warned yesterday.

7 killed, 68 missing after accident at Russian power station

Sixty-eight people were missing Monday after an accident at Russia's largest hydroelectric plant that killed seven people, an emergency ministry official told Russian radio.

Karroubi should be lashed over rape claims: Iranian cleric

A hardline Iranian cleric called yesterday for opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi to be lashed over his controversial claims that some election protesters were raped or tortured in custody.

Ex-wife 'confesses' to igniting deadly Kuwait wedding blaze

The ex-wife of the groom at a Kuwait wedding party that turned into tragedy when a fierce fire engulfed a tent, killing 43 women and children, has confessed to starting the blaze, local newspapers reported yesterday.

North Korea to lift border restrictions, restart family reunions with South

North Korea said yesterday it would restart family reunions and a stalled tourism programme for South Koreans, in a rare conciliatory gesture after months of bitter hostility.

Iran releases French researcher on bail

Iranian authorities released a young French academic who was accused of spying on bail on Sunday, the French presidency announced, after she spent six weeks in Tehran's notorious Evin jail.

Strong quakes rock Japan, Taiwan

Two strong earthquakes jolted the ocean floor off southern Japan yesterday, triggering tsunami warnings for a cluster of sub-tropical islands and shaking buildings in nearby Taiwan.

3 killed in Somalia UN compound

Armed men attacked a World Food Programme compound in Somalia, sparking a gunfight with security guards in which three attackers were killed, UN officials said Monday.

Three killed in Thai violence

Suspected Muslim insurgents slit the throat of a rubber-tapper and shot dead two other men in the latest violence to hit Thailand's troubled far south, local police said Monday.

Three killed in Iraq attacks

At least three people, including two police officers, were killed in attacks in northern and central Iraq on Monday, police said.

Iran delays Bahai espionage trial

Iran postponed yesterday the trial of seven members of the banned Bahai religion on charges of spying for arch-foe Israel, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Selim Al Deen birth anniversary celebration begins

Today marks the 60th birth anniversary of noted playwright Selim Al Deen. On this day in 1949, Al Deen was born in a remote village called Senerkhil under Shonagaji upazilla of Feni. He attained an M.A degree in Bengali Literature from Dhaka University and did his PhD from the Department of Bangla, Jahangirnagar University on the topic "Madhya Juger Bangla Natyo." Al Deen is widely credited for his post-colonial approach in the neo-theatre movement in Bangladesh. His notable works include "Keramat Mangal," "Prachya," "Hat Hadai," "Jaibati Konyar Mon," "Chaka," and "Nimajjan." He received Ekushey Padak in 2007.

Sumaiya Shimu: Getting into the skin of a slum girl

Actress Sumaiya Shimu has earned plaudits from the TV audience for her portrayal of a girl from the slums of Dhaka in the ongoing drama serial called “Lalita.” Though raised in a slum, Lalita has high aspirations. She wants to break free of the incarceration of poverty and prejudice. The story revolves around Lalita's journey to freedom and narrates the different phases of her life -- from adolescence to married life.

The discrepancies in compositions of Rabindrasangeet

Abdul Wadud has been one of the most enthusiastic cultural activists and involved in organising many Rabindra Sangeet programmes and festivals since the '70s.

The Sen women

A famous mother and daughter duo in the world of films is Aparna Sen and Konkona Sen Sharma. While the former is a well- known actress, director and writer, Konkona is on her own path to glory as an actress. Apart from the critically acclaimed Mr and Mrs Iyer, directed by her mother, she has wowed the audience with her roles in Page 3 (2005), 15 Park Avenue (2005) and Omkara (2006). In fact she has won two consecutive Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Awards for her performances in Omkara (2006) and Life in a..Metro (2007). Her performance in the former won her a second National Award under the Best Supporting category. The year 2009 is to see her in films such as Luck by Chance, Wade up Sid, Sunglass, Mirch, 8 and Tanu weds Manu.

Yet another magical offering from Bhupinder

You have heard him belting out some of the most memorable songs in Hindi cinema over the years and now he is set to recreate the magic of his voice in a new album.

Drama serial Ichchhey Holo on Desh TV

Drama serial "Ichchhey Holo" will be aired tonight on Desh TV at 9:45pm. Written jointly by Ranjan Rabbani and Amitav Reza, the serial has been directed by the latter.

Rocking and hip hopping for a good cause

The Bhola-based Charfashion Orphanage is in very poor condition. “I inherited the orphans from my father around 1972. I am worried about what will happen to the orphans when I am gone.” This question comes from former UNDP Consultant A.H.Mainuddin Jahangir, who owns the orphanage.

Beatle’s schoolboy photo auction

A previously unseen photograph of Sir Paul McCartney, before he found fame and fortune with The Beatles, is set for auction.

TV serial Tobu-O Basonto on Rtv

TV serial Tobu-O Basonto will be aired on Rtv at 9:25 pm tonight.

OP-ED

300 lawmakers, or administrators?

THE legislature is one of the three organs of the state, the other two being the executive and the judiciary. The constitution and the rules of procedure of parliament (ROP) spell out the functions and responsibilities of the legislature in such a way that it does not step into the areas of the two other organs. In fact, the constitution has assigned the powers of the republic to these three organs in such a way that no one organ can transgress the limit set by the constitution or encroach upon the powers assigned to the other organs.

Who rules Pakistan?

A seemingly minor incident was reported by India's Hindu newspaper. It said that in a surprise move Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the Director General of Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) indicated that the three Indian military attaches of the army, navy and air force could come and have a cup of tea in his office. This was a surprise move because protocol-wise such requests are made, and in the case of India, seldom listened to. The three went there on July 3.

When in danger, sing

EXAM time: Four young people recently took a super-tough spoken language test. Their assignment: Pretend you are a group of hikers who have trekked out of range of cell phone reception. Your friend Kelvin has fallen off the edge of a cliff and hurt his leg. Discuss your response.


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