The Daily Star

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Friday, June 22, 2018

News of: Monday, 24th of August, 2009

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Govt takes on terror socially, politically

Recognising the fact that anti-militant drive is not enough to uproot the evil of extremism from the society, the government has launched a massive socio-political campaign, involving 14 different agencies, to educate people and closely monitor militant activities at the grassroots level.

Forest-hostile projects deforesting Madhupur

The Department of Forest is apparently depleting the Madhupur Sal Forest through implementation of different donor-funded afforestation projects, which mainly plant exotic trees of commercial value.

Ministry asked to watch educational institutions in city

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid urged the health ministry to monitor educational institutes to contain swine flu a day after two leading English medium schools in Dhaka were shut.

Iftar items get costlier

The prices of ingredients used for making iftar items went up yesterday, the first day of Ramadan, while the prices of most essentials remained unchanged at city's kitchen markets.

BRTA drive makes little difference

The drive to ease traffic congestion in the capital often proves counterproductive as queues of buses and cars seized by mobile courts obstruct the other vehicles on the roads.

Potato made pricey

Despite having sufficient stocks, the price of potato increased by 15 percent to Tk 28 per kg from Tk 24 a month ago, as traders are reluctant to release potato from stocks to get more profits.

Kidnappers local goons

Those who kidnapped nine members of a joint family from their house at Hrishikesh Das Lane in the capital on Saturday were local goons, victims and locals said.

Biman struggles to maintain flight schedule

The authorities of Biman Bangladesh Airlines yesterday cancelled two of its international flights and changed timetable of all its flights even three or four times in last two days.

Rajuk asked to list all plot recipients in 7yrs

A parliamentary committee yesterday asked Rajuk authorities to prepare a list of persons who got allocation of plots and flats in the city during 2002 to 2008 through political influence canceling previous allotments to others.

Ministers slam traders for price hike

Two ministers yesterday blasted businessmen, blaming them for the red-hot prices of essentials.

WHO warns of 2nd wave of pandemic

The World Health Organisation is urging the planet to brace for a second wave of the swine flu pandemic as the heavily populated northern hemisphere edges towards the cooler season when flu thrives.

Khaleda allowed to stay for 4 more months

The High Court (HC) yesterday extended for four months its earlier order staying the government's third notice that asked BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to vacate her cantonment house by June 30.

Govt seeks scrapping of 2 Huji men's bail

The government submitted two petitions for cancellation of the bails of two Harkatul Jihad (Huji) members in the August 21 grenade attack cases yesterday.

Call for fresh probe into DU violence 2007

Teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday observed University Black Day on the campus with demands for a fresh investigation into the August 20-22 campus unrest in 2007.

15 pirates hurt in gunfight

At least 15 pirates were injured in a gunfight between the pirates and coastguards at Kochikhali of the Sundarbans yesterday morning.

Hanif acting GS of AL

Mahbubul Alam Hanif, who was not much known to the party leaders even a month ago, is now the acting general secretary of Awami League as Syed Ashraful Islam left for UK on Saturday for a 15-day vacation.

Summary of Bangabandhu murder case placed to SC

The summary of long pending Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case was submitted to the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday for hearing of appeals filed by the five convicts in the case.

2 housewives murdered

Two housewives were killed and four people injured in four incidents in the city yesterday while body of an expatriate was recovered from Zia International Airport.

Fraud charges could sway final results

Charges of fraud in Afghanistan's presidential election are extensive enough that they could sway the final result, the commission investigating the complaints said yesterday.

Withdrawal of army camp resumes

The army camps withdrawal resumed in Khagrachhari yesterday as part of the government initiative to implement the 1997 Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord.

Iran raps Argentina for 'meddling' in internal affairs

Iran yesterday accused Argentina of meddling in its domestic affairs after the south American country expressed outrage at the nomination of a man wanted for a 1994 bombing to be the next defence minister.

Victorious England regain Ashes

England regained the Ashes with a momentous 197-run win in the deciding Test to seal a 2-1 series triumph.

Ex-minister Shafiqul Ghani no more

Former state minister Shafiqul Ghani Swapan passed away at a city hospital yesterday.

Suicide blast kills 3 in Pakistan city

Three passers-by were killed and 15 injured Sunday in a suicide bombing in Pakistan's northwest city of Peshawar triggered by an apparent feud between rival militant groups, police said.


Madhupur and the loss of our forests

BIOLOGICAL diversity looks about to be a thing of the past in Bangladesh, if the state of the Madhupur forests is any indication. A well-documented report in this newspaper yesterday threw up all the insidious details of the way the forests have been ravaged over the last forty years and in their place have come projects ostensibly geared to development. Just how such so-called development programmes can wreak damage on nature has been made clear in the Madhupur forests. In the last four decades, as much as 85 per cent of the forests have vanished. That means the overall area of the forests has come down from 45,000 acres to a mere 8,000 acres today. In spaces where woodland trees and plants essential for herbal medicines used to be, there are today banana and pineapple plantations. More ominously, human settlements have also been set up in the forests, thus posing even more serious threats to the environment.

Bid to grab private property by force

IT seems that the wicked would stop at nothing to get what they want. A recent incident of kidnapping and unlawful confinement of a family of nine in old Dhaka amply illustrates the regrettable increase in the incidence of illegal grabbing of property, particularly of the vulnerable. In many such cases the predators use their political link to exert undue pressure on the victims. In this case, reportedly, force was used at the behest of a developer who had tried but failed to secure the property of the victims, and used force to lay their hands on the small piece of property, the only possession of the poor family.

Transit: A sub-regional issue

IT has been a bizarre experience to witness the furore over the question of transit during the recent months. The importance and urgency accorded to it have indeed a tinge of mystery. The question of transit was never a major item on our foreign policy agenda -- let alone a national issue -- although it could have existed in the peripheries of numerous policy discourses in the foreign office with regard to our bilateral relationship with India. From the hints dropped in recent years by several Indians of prominence, it could be established that India is interested in transit through Bangladesh.

The magic in market

WITH the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, the kitchen markets in the capital have started to experience a magical rise in the prices of essentials. The government's move to hang a price chart at the kitchen markets in a bid to protect the consumers from the price cartels is not going to help in any way.


Maruful vows trophies

Coach Maruful Haq yesterday vowed to help Mohammedan SC bring home the season's all three trophies, but admitted to feeling the pressure to deliver the elusive B. League crown that the Black and Whites are yet to capture.

Another Bolt gold

Usain Bolt bagged his third gold medal of the World Athletics Championships on Saturday when Jamaica stormed to the men's 4x100m relay title.

Australia struggling

Andrew Flintoff marked his final Test before retirement with the dismissal of Australia captain Ricky Ponting as England pressed for an Ashes-clinching victory with two run-outs here at the Oval.

Dan gets selection role

In a move that could radically change how cricket teams are selected, New Zealand Cricket has formally appointed captain Daniel Vettori and coach Andy Moles as national selectors. With voting rights given to them, Vettori and Moles will now have a powerful say in selection matters, along with the two other voting members on the panel, Glenn Turner and Mark Greatbatch.

Trott's dream comes true

Jonathan Trott said he'd exceeded his own expectations after making a century on Test debut as England strengthened their grip on the Ashes finale at The Oval.

GM chess

Indian GM Dibyendu Barua joined the top with hosts' GM Reefat Bin Sattar at the end of the fourth round in the 9th United Insurance & United Leasing Grandmasters Chess tournament at the National Sports Council conference room yesterday.

Barrichello wins European GP

Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello claimed an emotional 10th Formula One victory on Sunday when he drove his Brawn GP car through a perfectly-judged race in searing heat to win the European Grand Prix.

Div-I football

A hattrick from Salahuddin Rubel steered Nabajagaran Sangsad to an emphatic 3-0 win over Dautia Bulbul Club in the Hafijul Islam Khan Uttu Smriti First Division League at Shahid Miraz-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.

Magura welcomes golden boy

Tigers captain Shakib Al Hasan was given a warm reception on his arrival at his hometown Magura yesterday after historic triumph in West Indies and Zimabwe.

Giants go goal crazy

Manchester United made amends for their humbling by Burnley as Wayne Rooney's double and Michael Owen's first goal for the Premier League champions inspired a 5-0 win at Wigan on Saturday.

PSG the pacesetters

Paris St Germain, seeking only their third title and first since 1994, and Lyon are setting the pace in the French league after both posted key away successes on Saturday.

Bayern crash at Mainz

Bayern Munich were humbled 2-1 by promoted minnows Mainz in the Bundesliga on Saturday while the Bavarians' rivals Bayer Leverkusen routed Freiburg 5-0 to lead the table.

Milan's bright start

Brazilians Pato and Ronaldinho proved there is life after Kaka as they inspired AC Milan to a 2-1 victory at Siena in coach Leonardo's opening Serie A match in charge of the Italian giants on Saturday.

Fergie backs 100-goal Rooney

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney will score "many more" for Manchester United after he joined a select band of players to net 100 goals for the club.

Davenport stabbed

West Ham defender Calum Davenport and his mother were stabbed Saturday in a suspected attempted murder at the family home, police said.

'We were terrible'

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm admitted his side suffered a catastrophe in the first-half of their 2-1 defeat at minnows Mainz as the German giants slumped to their first league defeat of the season.

RvN, Diarra to make return

Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mahamadou Diarra both return from several months out injured to join the Real Madrid squad for Monday's Bernabeu Trophy match against Rosenborg, the Spanish club said.

Burdisso joins Roma

Argentine defender Nicolas Burdisso on Saturday joined AS Roma from Serie A rivals Inter Milan on loan for the season, the champions said.

Elena-Maria showdown

Elena Dementieva avenged a tough Wimbledon defeat with a straight-sets victory over second-seeded Serena Williams Saturday to reach the final of the two million-dollar WTA hardcourt tournament here.

Federer sets up Djokovic final

World number one Roger Federer snapped a four-match losing streak against second-ranked Andy Murray Saturday to book his berth in the Cincinnati Masters final.

Gul desperate to beat India

Fast bowler Umar Gul has said that Pakistan are desperate to beat India in the upcoming Champions Trophy fixture. Pakistan are grouped with Australia, West Indies and India, and the two teams face off on September 26 in Centurion.

Tuffey, Diamanti get Kiwi call-up

Daryl Tuffey and Brendon Diamanti have made it to New Zealand's Champions Trophy squad while Nathan McCullum misses out. Diamanti, who is playing for New Zealand A in India, will also join the Twenty20 and one-day squads in Sri Lanka.

Usain invited to Bernabeu

Self-confessed Real Madrid fan Usain Bolt has received an invitation from the Spanish side to attend their opening match of the new season against Deportivo La Coruna next weekend, sports daily Marca reported on Sunday.

Sehwag to meet Delhi chief

Virender Sehwag will meet the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) chief Arun Jaitley on Tuesday to discuss his future with the state side a week after reports emerged that, fed up of selection interference, Sehwag was seeking a move to Haryana.Other senior Delhi players backed Sehwag's claims about the DDCA's selection procedures, with several saying that they would not hesitate to shift teams as well.


Pharma industry set for expansion

Leading pharmaceutical companies are set to expand operations to meet local demand that industry insiders expect to double by 2015.

Power lags in average ADP pace

The revised annual development programme (ADP) recorded 86 percent implementation last fiscal year, 4 percentage points higher than in the previous financial year.

Traders come under fire for price hike

Two ministers yesterday came down heavily on businessmen for the soaring prices of essentials.

Jhenidah market brings solace to women

Women with less fortunate backgrounds in Jhenidah found a new meaning to life through shop-keeping.

PM's adviser opposes any cut in savings certificate interest

Prime Minister's Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman yesterday opposed any reduction in the interest rate on savings certificates and said it would affect small savers.

Stocks suffer deep losses

Falling share prices in all sectors weighed down the key indices of the Dhaka bourse by more than 1 percent yesterday.

Garment workers want Eid bonus before Sept 16

Garment workers yesterday demanded payment of Eid bonus within September 16 to avert anything untoward.

Trading firms changing convenience store world

Major trading firm Itochu Corp has emerged as the apparent final candidate to acquire Japan's seventh-largest convenience store chain am/pm Japan Co, and if realised, this would see three of the nation's major convenience store chains under one umbrella. With trading firms utilising their strengths, such as merchandise procurement, logistics and financial prowess, it appears highly likely that the reorganisation of the nation's saturated convenience store industry will be guided by these firms.

Firms seek to shed 'sweatshop' label

In the small town of Narsingdi, Suria Begum sits in a small hut, a short walk from her house, with two dozen other women where she knits children's hats, mittens and blankets.

European cafes see empty tables

Empty terrace tables at Parisian cafes. Fewer sunbathers scattered along Italian and Spanish beaches: The global economic crisis has cast a dark cloud over Europe's top tourist destinations.

Asian currencies lower

Asian currencies ended the week mostly lower against the dollar with the exception of the Japanese yen, which strengthened on concerns over the prospects of a sustained recovery in the global economy.

Competition lacking among US private health insurers

One of the most widely accepted arguments against a government medical plan for the middle class is that it would quash competition -- just what private insurers seem to be doing themselves in many parts of the U.S.

StanChart offers discount to cardholders

Standard Chartered Bank has launched a 'Great Discount Offer' for all its Debit and Credit cardholders, the bank said in a statement.

Urban schools in US use marketing to woo residents back

Most students try not to think about school during the summer. But a number of them took to the streets on a sweltering August day to talk up public education to people who might normally enroll their children in private or parochial schools.

Dollar squeeze puts imports out of reach for Venezuelans

Venezuela may be South America's richest oil exporter, but its population is finding many imports such as cheese, meats and wines being priced well out reach because of currency controls.

Swiss companies keen to get back into Libya

Switzerland, which has apologised to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi for arresting one of his sons, has climbed down in the hope of once again gaining access to a lucrative market, analysts say.

Apple denies 'rejecting' Google Voice for iPhone

Apple Inc has told federal regulators that it blocked the Google Voice programme from running on the iPhone because it alters important functions on the device -- yet Apple denied that it has rejected Google's application outright.

AutoNation stops offering Cash for Clunkers early

AutoNation Inc, the nation's largest auto dealership chain, said Saturday it hit the brakes on the popular Cash for Clunkers program three days early because it wants to make sure it can submit the paperwork on thousands of sales to the government before a Monday evening deadline.

LA, London routes cut Qantas profit

Australian flag-carrier Qantas on Sunday blamed flagging demand on its key London and Los Angeles routes for an 88 percent drop in annual net profit.

Sri Lanka eyes peace dividend

Conflict-torn Sri Lanka is banking on foreign cash to rebuild shattered infrastructure as the island emerges from decades of ethnic civil war, officials say.

Japan PM frontrunner vows to cut public debt

Japan's opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama, seen as the likely next prime minister, said Sunday he would strive to cut soaring public debt amid criticism that his party is adopting free-spending policies.

Homes of former Porsche executives searched

Anti-corruption officers have searched the homes and offices of two former Porsche chiefs and not only the German automaker's headquarters, news magazine Der Spiegel reported.

Germany ramps up pressure on GM over Opel

With just five weeks until German elections, leading politicians on Sunday cranked up the pressure on General Motors and the US authorities to choose a candidate to take over GM's troubled Opel unit.


Fresh areas flooded

The flood situation yesterday worsened further in Netrakona, Sirajganj, Gaibandha, Bogra and Satkhira while marked a slight improvement in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Thakurgaon.

A grandma prefers death to unbearable blame

A middle-aged woman has committed suicide by drowning herself in Kherkati River as the false allegation of killing her newborn grandson became too much to bear for her.

Grabbers' goons attack landless on khas land

Around 25 people including men, women, and children were injured as attackers tried to oust landless people from khas land at Milanchar village of Handial union in Chatmohar upazila under Pabna district Saturday afternoon.

Because of lust for land

After nine months of the incident, a case was filed yesterday with a court here accusing three people including a woman of killing her first husband and his mother by poisoning.

Guardian's act sparks protest

Students and teachers of Chapainawabganj Government Technical School and College yesterday brought out a procession in the town and submitted memorandum to the deputy commissioner demanding punishment of a guardian for threatening the principal and a few other teachers and students on Saturday.

Jubo League man, aides held

Police yesterday arrested five people including local Jubo League leader Rafiqul Alam for their alleged involvement in attacks on two leaders of the front organisations of Awami League (AL) at two separate places of Sadar upazila Saturday night.

One gets life for murder

The women and children Repression Prevention Court here yesterday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for killing a physically challenged girl in 2006. The convict is Khairul Islam Master of Malbagdanga village in Sadar upazila. The judge acquitted two others. According to the prosecution, Khairul strangled his neighbour, physically challenged Edanur, 20, at a paddy field at the same village on August 28, 2006.

Criminals kill cows

Criminals burnt dead five Australian cows at a private dairy farm at Shalomdi under Araihazar upazila on Saturday night. The incident occurred at the farm of Abu Siddique Bhuiyan, a rice trader, at around 11:45 pm. Police said the gang poured petrol on the cows and set fire to their bodies. They apprehended that the incident might be a sequel to a previous enmity. The value of the cows was estimated at around Tk 7 lakh.

Lightning kills youth

A young man was killed by lightning at Bondor Gram under Noupara Union of Modhukhali upazila on Saturday. The victim, Fela Sheikh, 25, was struck by a thunderbolt while he was working on a cropland at noon. He died on the way to hospital. An unnatural death (UD) case was lodged with Modhukhali Police Station.

House gutted

Valuables worth Tk 20 lakh were gutted in a fire at a house at village Sirajnagar under Srimongal upazila yesterday. The fire originated from an electric short circuit at the house of Faruk Miah at about 11:00am, fire brigade sources said. Being informed, the fire fighters from Srimongal and Moulvibazar rushed to the spot and extinguished the blaze after two hours of frantic efforts.

Shops, vendors removed

Sylhet Metropolitan Police yesterday removed about 200 makeshift shops from footpaths and roadside places in Bandarbazar, Court point, Zindabazar and Registry office areas. Police conducted the drive following a demand placed by Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SCCI) to ease traffic jam immediately or face agitation.


Save the poor farmers

To save the poor cultivators in severely flood affected areas and to make the next harvest better to sustain the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, the crying needs are:

Ship breaking

I would like to bring to your attention the fact that the government is discouraging primary steel production in your country. The ship breakers are restraining the steel producers from entering due to their influence in the ministries. Because of this the people of Bangladesh are suffering through paying a high price for steel. Bangladesh has high reserves of iron ore and it should use it for producing steel.

Religion of peace

I always feel the media is portraying Islam wrongly. Every Muslim knows that killing an innocent person is compared to that of killing the whole humankind in Islam. From Islam we learn that a person cannot be a Muslim whose neighbour passes the night in hunger. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) once told a young men that taking care of his old parents would be the best Jihad for him. Politeness, self-control, charity, generosity, manners, truthfulness and what not are elements of Islamic teaching.

Good and bad students

The other day Channel-i arranged a discussion with the students to get to the bottom of the causes of failure and the discussants were the Hon'ble Education Minister, Prof. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal and Mrs. Khusi Kabir. The students, among many other problems faced by them, referred to forcefully that they do not get proper attention of and support from their teachers in class teaching. The poor students blamed their fate as they could not afford money, they could not go to subject-wise coaching practised by the school/college teachers in their residences. The renowned personages above, though accepted the students' views, did shy away from finding fault with the teachers, and while advising the students stressed, among other things, the imperative of reading the text, first and last, instead of going through the guides for short-cut success. Question remains whose duty is it to make the students get the habit of reading the text to know things fully and find out the answers there from?

DMCH issue

I am writing in reference to Dhaka Medical College Hospital's visitors' fee introduction (source: The Daily Star; 11-08-09). The authorities introduced the mechanism to reduce crowding of visitors which is definitely an issue of concern. Journalists might have noted bad implication of the procedure on patients and criticizing its implementation without approval by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW), they have published the news.

Political 'mosquitoes'

One of the small pleasures of life is to go through the daily newspaper with the first cup of morning tea. This pleasure is denied in Bangladesh, thanks to the exuberance of our super-agile politicians. Daily, the pages are crammed with the Bangladeshi human beings?

A new beginning

A dream came true when Bangladesh were able to chase 312 runs against Zimbabwe. A victory against 312 was really tough. August 16 was the historic day for Bangladesh cricket.

Book review

A grand page of Book Review that appeared on the National Mourning Day.

Real tigers!

The symbol of Bangladesh national cricket team is tiger, yet their performance was not tiger-like in the past. Especially in Test matches, their performance was very poor. For this reason our cricketers and all Bangladeshi people were desperate for a Test win.

Our export basket

Our traditional export market of jute, jute-goods, tea, raw and tan-hide had long been lost due to national policy missteps and international trade imbalance. In the early eighties of last century some innovative and talented entrepreneurs of our country emerged on the scene with a new commodity for sale in the global market with a huge promise and that is today's RMG. Although faced with tremendous handicaps like absence of backward and forward linkage, poor infrastructure, perennial power-shortage, inefficient port facility and paucity of skilled professionals etc. the RMG industries on their own achieved a fantastic growth over the years. Today it is not only the biggest employer in the country but also it accounts for nearly 80% of our total export earnings, second only in volume to the earnings from our overseas workers.

Valuable minerals

Through your daily I would like to thank our Honourable Finance Minister AKM Muhith for granting me an interview on 20th July, 2009.

“Reviewing injustices in the military”

I came across the post-editorial bearing the above title in your daily dated 16 July 2009. The writer is Brig-Gen. (Retd.) Shahed Anam. I quite appreciate the concern expressed by him. To a certain extent I accept that in numerous cases actions have been taken on whims or mere hearsay, not even bothering to listen to the other side.

Ruling party men

Hardly a day passes without the news of some misdeeds committed by the ruling party activists. Mostly Chhatra League and Jubo League are involved in these incidents.

Killing , mugging…

Every day after getting up from bed when we have a look at the newspaper, killing, mugging, smuggling etc come to our eyes first. We get utterly surprised when we hear the news of the crimes taking place in broad daylight. Now our country is burdened with some major problems like poverty, and militancy. Again the country is in a precarious position over the issues like Tipaimukh dam, maritime boundary with its neighbouring countries. In this situation if the country is to struggle with its internal affairs, then it would be like a suicidal act. During the rule of the caretaker government, we experienced a drastic reduction of crime as most of the godfathers, top terrors were in jail. But now it's a political government and we feel the comeback of the top terrors with their notorious activities. So it is clear that these are none but the party men of the AL who are giving shelter to the criminals.


Afghan polls lay hope for power of ballot box

Afghanistan's contested presidential election has the potential to lay the foundations for a political system in which opposing factions draw broad support and power changes hands at the ballot box.

Widespread rigging in favour of Karzai, alleges Abdullah

Leading Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday claimed there was widespread rigging in last week's election in favour of the incumbent, President Hamid Karzai.

Yemeni troops kill 100 Shia rebels in fighting

Yemeni troops have killed more than 100 Shia rebels, including two of their commanders, in an operation to recapture a small town in the northern mountains, the government said yesterday.

Monsoon misery for Lanka war refugees

Tamil civilians who lived through the vicious final battle of Sri Lanka's separatist war are now locked in another struggle for survival with heavy rains bringing misery to the camps they call home.

Lanka to train Pak army, offers same to India

After its success in defeating the Tamil Tigers, the Sri Lankan army has agreed to train Pakistani military in tackling insurgency and offered the same to India.

Do Asia-Pacific quakes herald a disaster?

Powerful earthquakes that have jolted Asia recently do not presage a disaster, although it is only a matter of time before the next catastrophe befalls the quake-prone region, seismologists say.

India offers 'full support' to Nepal's peace process

India Saturday offered its 'full support' to the peace process in Nepal, with both countries also saying they would hold discussions on reworking their Treaty of Peace and Friendship that was signed nearly six decades ago.

Taliban announces truce for Ramadan in tribal belt

The Taliban has declared a unilateral ceasefire in North Waziristan during the fasting month of Ramadan.

Forest fires reach Athens suburbs

Forest fire tore through suburbs north of Athens early Sunday, destroying homes and forcing thousands to flee in nighttime evacuations, fire service and local officials said.

British procurement for military flawed

A report for Britain's Ministry of Defence leaked yesterday said the MoD's procurement programme was hugely inefficient and harming Britain's ability to fight enemies like the Taliban.

Kim sends message to S Korean president

North Korean envoys delivered a message from their leader Kim Jong-Il when they met South Korea's president Sunday, raising hopes of an end to high tensions that had sparked fears of military clashes.

Japan's ruling party faces voter revolt

Keiko Saito's son-in-law recently lost his job and can't find another. As she and her husband approach retirement, they worry whether their pensions are safe. The economy seems chronically incapable of recapturing its glory days.

London, Edinburgh under fire over Lockerbie bomber's release

Scotland rejected scathing criticism Saturday from the FBI over the Lockerbie bomber's release, as the British government came under pressure to explain its role.

US notifying Red Cross of militants jailed in secret camp

In a first, the Pentagon is handing the International Committee of the Red Cross the names of militants held secretly at a camp in Iraq and another in Afghanistan, The New York Times reported Saturday.

S Korea holds state funeral for Kim Dae-jung

Tens of thousands of mourners filled the lawn outside parliament for the state funeral Sunday of ex-President Kim Dae-jung, a longtime defender of democracy and advocate of reconciliation who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to reach out to communist North Korea.

Advani aide Sudheendra quits BJP

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani's close aide, Sudheendra Kulkarni, on Sunday announced that he was quitting the party because of ideological differences with it.

2 Pak intelligence officers shot dead

Unidentified gunmen shot dead two intelligence officers in the northwestern Pakistani city of Nowshera, police said today. The armed men fired indiscriminately at Military Intelligence officer Aftab Alam and Naik Ameer Hamza in front of their homes in a military residential colony in Nowshera cantonment, they said.

Four killed in Kashmir

Indian troops killed four Muslim rebels in Kashmir in a violent start to the holy fasting month of Ramadan, officials said yesterday.

Great train robber Biggs says sorry

Ronnie Biggs, notorious for his role in the Britain's 1963 Great Train Robbery, said sorry in a German newspaper interview on Sunday -- but only to his family for the hurt he has caused them.

China drought leaves 5 million short of water

A drought in China's north has left nearly 5 million people short of drinking water and damaged crops, while dry weather in the south could cause more shortages, a state news agency reported Sunday.

Arts & Entertainment

Quranic cosmology on digital prints

Syed Zulfiquar Zahoor is an Islamic thinker, architect and astronomy enthusiast. Zahoor has delved into Islamic spirituality and philosophy through his digital prints. His works denote the connection between science and Islam and introduces the astronomical world, planets and mysteries of the universe from the religious perspective. Zahoor's works highlight the power and infinity of Islam.

Costume design has come a long way

Ramim Raj is a talented costume designer and has worked behind the scenes for several films, TV plays, commercials and award shows such as the 'Meril-Prothom Alo Puroshkar' and 'Lux-Channel-i Performance Award.' Recently, The Daily Star caught up with the designer. Raj talked about his work in these diverse spheres as well as the prospects of costume design:

Dik Theatre’s drama festival in Sylhet: A resounding success

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Dik Theatre of Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) arranged a three-day drama festival recently at the SUST Auditorium at the M Saifur Rahman Auditorium.

‘Sabdabali’ receives Arju Memorial Theatre Award

Dhaka-based theatre group Subachan Natya Sangsad conferred this year's Arju Smriti Natya Padak (Arju Memorial Theatre Award) to Sabdabali Group Theatre of Barisal. The award-giving ceremony was held at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy recently.

800th episode of Ekusher Shondhya

The 800th episode of "Ekusher Shondhya" will be aired this evening on Ekushey TV at 6:15 pm.

Homage to poet Sufi Motahar Hossein

Marking the 34th death anniversary of renowned sonneteer Sufi Motahar Hossein, a memorial programme was held at Faridpur Sahitya Parishad premises in Faridpur town on August 20.

BBC Bangladesh Shonglap on Channel i

"BBC Bangladesh Shonglap" will be aired tonight on Channel i at 8 pm.

Jackson burial rescheduled

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Jackson family confirmed that Michael Jackson would be buried on August 29 -- the day that would have been the late singer's 51st birthday. But it now appears that the family needs more time to prepare and has changed the date.


Ramzan Mubarak

I am a Bangladeshi Muslim and I find it really vexing when I read the word "Ramadan" in an English newspaper or receive a card that says "Ramadan Mubarak" in English. Ramadan sounds awfully confusing to me as I have known it as "Ramzan" all my life.

Karzai wins first round

INCUMBENT Hamid Karzai has claimed victory after the first round of the Afghan presidential elections. His nearest rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah has made a similar claim. The official results are not expected for another two weeks. According to the constitution, if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round, the two highest vote winners will have to run in the second round. Opinion polls before the elections suggested that Karzai was leading, with 44 percent against 26 percent for Abdullah Abdullah. The second round is expected on October 1.

Phones and farmers

IN the early 1990s, I was engaged in an empirical research work relating to the nexus between mobile phone and poverty in rural Bangladesh. However, friends used to tease me and raise their eyebrows on hearing about the project and my interest at that time. This was to be expected in the early 1990s when, not to speak of the poor, even the "solvent" could not afford to have a mobile set. It was treated as a "luxury" item, only to be monopolised by the moneyed people.

The Daily Star

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