The Daily Star

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Monday, November 24, 2014


News of: Sunday, 20th of September, 2009

Front Page

Rajuk to take action against 198 buildings

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) will take action against 198 buildings located on busy city roads, the authorities of which occupy the roads for car parking while using their own parking spaces for other purposes.

Decoding a riddle

Beximco Textiles (Bextex) has recently won the Securities and Exchange Commission's approval to pay off its foreign and local creditors by issuing 19 crore new shares at Tk 32, down from Tk 60, the going price of company shares.

Eid likely tomorrow

Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of the Muslims, will be celebrated across the country tomorrow if the moon of the holy month Shawal is sighted today.

4 forest staff suspended

Four forest staff have been suspended for negligence in discharging duties and aiding the plunderers of some 30,000 Jhau (tamarisk) trees on Teknaf beach in Cox's Bazar early this month.

PM flies to NY tomorrow

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who leaves for New York tomorrow (September 21) to attend the 64th UN General Assembly session, will focus her speech on the adverse impacts of climate change and global financial crisis.

PM urges all to build graft-free society

Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday called for concerted efforts to free the society from corruption for achieving desired progress at all levels.

Talks with Pakistan depend on tackling cross-border terror

Ahead of the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers' meeting in New York next week, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao Saturday made it clear that the resumption of dialogue, stalled after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, depends on Islamabad tackling cross-border terror 'squarely'.

Outlaw killed in 'crossfire'

A regional leader of outlawed Janajuddho was killed in 'crossfire' between his cohorts and police at Nandanpur under Pabna Sadar Upazila yesterday.

Toxic drugs slip thru' monitoring

The Drug Administration (DA), the country's sole drug regulatory body, fails to monitor the domestic drug manufacturing companies due to lack of sufficient laboratory equipment and facilities and manpower shortage, posing serious threat to public health.

2m kids suffer from acute malnutrition

Millions of impoverished Bangladeshis are barely sustaining a hand-to-mouth existence that would be wrenched from their grasp by any fresh "economic shock," according to the UN food aid agency.

Surge in road crashes

As many as 20 people were killed and 79 others injured in road accidents in different districts and the capital Dhaka on Friday and yesterday.

BNP, Jamaat move to publish 'white papers' soon

The main position BNP and its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami have initiated publishing "white papers" as proof of rigging in the December 29 parliamentary election.

Help make Bangladesh mid-income country

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni Friday sought cooperation from World Bank to help make Bangladesh a middle-income country by 2021.

Khaleda returns home

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday returned home after performing umrah in Saudi Arabia.

Army, rebels fight despite 'truce'

Fighting continued in north Yemen yesterday despite the government saying it was suspending a five-week-long operation against Shia rebels to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

7 dishonest sugar traders identified

The government has identified seven dishonest sugar traders and will take legal action against them.

Timber seized from bus in Khagrachhari

Khagrachhari forest officials yesterday recovered 112 pieces of stolen teak planks from a bus at its counter in the sadar Bazar area. They also seized the bus of Hill King Transport, which was to carry the consignment to Dhaka.

Mullah Omar asks 'invaders' to study Afghan history

The Taliban's reclusive leader said in a Muslim holiday message yesterday that the US and Nato should study Afghanistan's long history of war, in a pointed reminder that foreign forces have had limited military success in the country.

Editorial

The essence of Eid-ul-Fitr

EID-UL-FITR brings with it a sense of joy we associate with a benign commitment to sharing it with others. Coming as it does immediately after the end of Ramadan, it is for all Muslims an occasion not only to celebrate but also to introspect and reflect on the degree to which we have brought themselves closer to the true tenets of the religion and how prepared are we to identify ourselves with the woe of the disadvantaged and less fortunate members of society. It is not enough to be empathetic of their plight but also to contribute our mite to serving the cause of collective well-being. Through a month of sacrifice and the process of self-purification we came to stage of giving zakat and fitra as a more than symbolic act of piety.

Highway policing

IN times like this, when there is a glut of vehicular traffic on the highways carrying home goers to various parts of the country to enjoy the holidays, does one feel the absence of a well organised highway police outfit even more. The present state of the highway police gives it little capacity to perform its assigned tasks.

Let us not forget the countryside

ALL through last week, homebound people left the capital city in droves to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr in their country homes. And how the capital as well as other bigger cities of Bangladesh depend on the countryside for their verve and sparkle one can understand on such big socio-religious occasions such as Eid. Though the city's older residents often curse the influx of fresh invaders from the districts who are responsible for its ever-swelling population, its intolerable traffic jams and everything that annoys them, it is also the people from the countryside that keep the city going. The city-ward migrants who swarm the slums and the footpaths are not purely an object of vexation, for they also supply the factories, the households and the markets with their necessary workforce. The expanding city needs enough working hands and the migrants their work. So, they both serve one another. Ideally, the relationship between the city and the rural backyard should have been mutually beneficial, a win-win one. Unfortunately, in the case of the capital and other big cities of Bangladesh, it is rather a lose-lose situation as it is also destroying the demographic and ecological balance of the cities.

Resource for national development

RICHARD Florida, a well-known American academic has developed the concept of "creative class." Florida has emphasised the role of this class in economic development in a competitive environment, especially in the age of knowledge-based economy. In a globalised world, the creative class has also become highly mobile.

Tackling corruption electronically

OF late, involvement of ruling party functionaries in the manipulation of tenders for governmental projects has become an embarrassment for the government. More so as the party activists are not listening to the advice of the prime minister that they should refrain from doing so.

Sports

Sajjad hits history

Sajjad Hossain created a small piece of history when he became the first Bangladeshi archer to win a gold medal at an international tournament yesterday.

Hopes for a whitewash

Australia all-rounder James Hopes admits the chance to become the first team to win a one-day series 7-0 will provide all the motivation his side need to crush England one more time on Sunday.

Here they go again

The Cham-pions Tro-phy is set to hail the comeback kings as Shane Bond, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Asif and Ashish Nehra return from the international wilderness.

ODIs under microscope

The one-day ICC Champions Trophy starts Tuesday in South Africa with the future of the 50-over format under the microscope.

CT primed to glow

Thrilling contests will be the order of the day at the Champions Trophy, especially following a raging debate over the future of one-day cricket.

Pakistan want to play India offshore

Pakistan's cricket chief said Saturday he hopes his team will get to play arch-rivals India at a neutral venue in the future.

Shakib attends school reunion

Bangladesh national cricket team's vice captain Shakib Al Hasan joined a reunion of his 2003 SSC batch followed by an Iftar Mahfil at the Magura press club yesterday.

Niaz runner-up in Ravana chess

GM Niaz Morshed became runner-up in the Ravana Challenge International Chess tournament in Colombo after beating IM Zozulia Anna of Belgium in the final and tenth round on Friday.

Younus worry for Pakistan

Pakistan's Champions Trophy campaign has suffered a setback as their captain Younus Khan suffered a minor fracture on his little finger during a training session on Friday.

Easy SA, Pak wins

South Africa and Pakistan secured victories in their Champions Trophy warm-up matches on Friday, but New Zealand suffered a morale-sapping defeat.

Jimmy plans to stop Aus

England pace bowler James Anderson believes his time on the sidelines during the one-day series against Australia can help him to stop Ricky Ponting's team claiming a seventh successive victory.

Czech Rep, Spain stay on course

Croatia's Ivo Karlovic served a world record 78 aces, but still lost a six-hour Davis Cup semifinal marathon on Friday as the Czech Republic and holders Spain closed in on a December title showdown.

SA seeks UN probe in Semenya storm

The South African government has asked the United Nations to investigate the "violation of rights" of world 800m champion Caster Semenya, who is at the centre of a public storm over her gender.

Razzaq coming to terms with CT snub

Seasoned Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq is struggling to digest his exclusion from the ICC Champions Trophy squad and made it clear that he does not fancy following the team on television.

Indian govt backs WADA

The Indian government has informed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that it backs the agency's anti-doping code, including the controversial 'whereabouts' clause, a senior Indian official has claimed.

Clarets stun Black Cats

Burnley striker David Nugent marked his home debut with his first goals since February to give the Clarets a 3-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday.

Fergie warns Tevez

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has warned former Old Trafford favourite Carlos Tevez to expect a hostile reception from the supporters who used to adore him if he features for Manchester City in Sunday's derby showdown.

Ancelotti unflustered

If Carlo Ancelotti has been left shaken by the upheavals at Chelsea during his few ten weeks in charge, he is doing a very good job of disguising the fact.

Unforgettable derbies

A look at some classic meetings between Manchester United and Manchester City, prior to the first Manchester derby of the Premier League season at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Wolfsburg bounce back

German champions Wolfsburg ended a run of three straight league defeats on Friday with a 2-1 win at Schalke, the team coached by Felix Magath who led them to the Bundesliga title last season.

City to fight Ade charge

Manchester City will fight the Football Association's improper conduct charge against Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor after his goal celebration against his former club Arsenal last weekend.

Italian taxman seizes Diego's earrings

Italian police on Friday seized a pair of earrings from holidaying Argentina coach Diego Maradona, who owes 36 million euros to the Italian taxman, the Ansa news agency reported.

Adidas, Puma to settle feud on pitch

German sportswear giants Adidas and Puma are to settle on the football pitch a feud kicked off over 60 years ago by their founding brothers, a joint statement from the two rival firms said Friday.

Metropolitan

Meat, chicken, sugar prices soar

Defying the decision of the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC), traders are selling meat at higher prices just ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr while prices of essentials also marked a sharp rise.

Eid congregations in city

The main congregation of holy Eid-ul-Fitr will be held at the National Eidgah on the High Court premises in the city at 9:00am.

IMF to sell 403 tonnes of gold to boost lending to poor

The International Monetary Fund said its executive board on Friday endorsed the sale of 403 tonnes of gold, worth an estimated 13 billion dollars, to boost its lending capacity to poor countries.

Banana trader hacked to death at Fatullah

Local goons hacked a banana trader to death at Fatullah Sadar upazila in Narayanganj on Friday night.

Eid shopping frenzy at city malls

The shopping centres across the city witnessed a huge crowd, mostly with thousands of garment workers rushing to the marketplaces amid long tailbacks on the streets following closure of their factories yesterday.

The Age of Stupid: A wakeup call on climate

Could we, the human race, really miss an ever-narrowing chance to save the planet from the ravages of global warming?

Sweater factory workers demonstrate for salary

Over 300 workers of a sweater factory staged a demonstration in front of the BGMEA building at Karwan Bazar yesterday demanding immediate steps to pay their salaries for the last four months and Eid bonus.

Top criminal Kader held in Ctg

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested top criminal Abdul Kader alias Machh (fish) Kader and one of his accomplices from Dewan Hat footbridge area on Friday night.

Oil, gas protection body ready to talk with govt

Leaders of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports would agree to sit with the government if any formal invitation comes to hold talks on the issue of leasing out three offshore gas blocks to foreign companies.

ACC moves for early hearing to contest cases of big shots

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has taken initiative for early hearing of the appeal filed by Awami League (AL) lawmaker Habibur Rahman Mollah at the Supreme Court (SC) against the High Court (HC) verdict that ACC's sanction (permitting its officials) to file the graft case against Mollah was legal.

Saarc FMs meet in NY Sept 26

Foreign ministers of eight Saarc nations, who are now attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), will meet in New York on September 26 to review the progress of the regional block.

'Delhi assures utmost restraint'

India has assured Bangladesh of exercising 'utmost restraint' when the issue of killing of Bangladesh civilians along the border was raised at the recent Delhi talks, capped with accords on a wide range of bilateral issues.

Special security ahead of Eid, Puja

Dhaka Metropolitan Police has taken special security measures for the city dwellers on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr and upcoming Durga Puja, the two biggest religious festivals of Muslims and Hindus respectively.

No action against hoarders

An anti-hoarding team in Khulna yesterday opened the warehouses of three businessmen it had sealed earlier on charges of hoarding sugar.

Wife blames police

Leaders of Khulna district and city BNP yesterday accused police of killing a leader of Ghatbhog union unit BNP under Rupsha upazila on Friday midnight.

Four robbers arrested at Araihazar

Police arrested four robbers from Araihazar upazila in Narayanganj in two separate incidents on charges of robberies on Friday night.

National

Stop harassment in collusion with cops

Patuakhali journalists yesterday formed a human chain in front of local press club demanding withdrawal of all the four 'harassment' cases filed against two journalists and immediate arrest of the perpetrators of September 9 attack on newsmen in Galachipa under Patuakhali district.

Thakurgaon clash over temple: 5 held

About 200 followers of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), including chief of Gorea ISKCON Temple Pushpa Shila Sham Das, have been sued on charge of killing a traditional Hindu devotee at Bhatgaon village under Sadar upazila on Friday.

Robbers loot houses, kill one in Pirojpur

Robbers shot dead a young man and injured three others in a village under Bhandaria upazila of Pirojpur district early yesterday.

Eid at some places today

People in a few areas of the country will observe Eid-ul-Fitr today, in conformity with the festival in Saudi Arabia.

Muggers stab sales rep

Muggers stabbed a sales representative of a pharmaceutical company and snatched Tk 3 lakh from him at Haji Muhammad Mohsin Road in the town on Friday night. Locals and police said Asaduzzaman was waylaid by three muggers who also tried to snatch his motorbike. Locals rushed to the spot as Asad cried for help. They also caught one Tauhidul Islam red-handed and handed him over to police. The victim was taken to Jessore General Hospital first and then sent to Dhaka as his condition deteriorated.

Tiger kills fisherman

A fisherman was killed by tiger Friday night in Takerbhani area in the Sundarbans. According to forest officials, four fishermen including Moksed Ali, 45, went to the Sundarbans for fishing on September 16. On their way back home when they reached Takerbhani, they decided to take rest. Meantime, a tiger swooped on them and dragged Moksed into the deep forest at about 8 pm. Forest guards and local people recovered the body yesterday morning. Moksed was son of Mandar Gazi of village Munshiganj in Shyamnagar upazila.

Jubo Dal leader arrested

Jhalakathi police arrested a Jubo Dal leader on Friday from his residence at Kamarpatty in the town on charge of

Mobile court fines two

A mobile court yesterday fined two dishonest businessmen Tk 20,000 for unhygienic condition in their food factories. During a drive at Rajshahi BSCIC industrial area, the court fined Mistibari, a sweetmeat factory and Bishal Biscuit Factory Tk 10,000 each. Rajshahi City Corporation launched the drive led by the corporation's executive magistrate M Sadekul Islam. The mobile court is conducting the raid in different markets in the city in a bid to stop cheating consumers.

Extortionists beat up three

Extortionists yesterday beat up three labourers of a construction farm as its owners refused to pay ransom at Mogaichhari under Laxmichhari upazila. Severely injured Mohammad Abdullah Gaji, 45, Mohammad Shamsul Haque, 43, and Mohammad Monir Hossain, 20, were later admitted to Manikchhari Upazila Heath Complex. Police said, an armed gang of 15-20 raided the construction farm. No case was filed till filing of the report at 6 pm yesterday.

Robbery in Feni

Robbers Friday night looted the house of a doctor at South Kashimpur village under Panchgachhia union in Feni upazila. Police and villagers said a gang of 15 to 20 entered the house of Dr Ranjit by breaking open the door and looted cash and gold ornaments worth about Tk 4 lakh. The robbers also beat up Sanjay Raha,28, and the woman members of Ranjit's family.

Fast food shop vandalised

Swechchasebok League cadres vandalised Kazi Foods, a fast food shop at Kotchandpur upazila town on Friday night. They also damaged five mishuks and a motorbike in front of the shop injuring five people. The injured are Reza, Kalu, Palash and Monzur. Officer in-Charge (OC) of Kotcxhandpur police station said, the attack was a sequel to long-standing conflict between BNP activist and shop owner Mostak Ahmed and Swechchasebok League activist Ripon. The accomplices of Ripon attacked the shop at around 10-30 pm Friday night, he said. A GD was filed.

Lightning kills one

A man was killed by lightning at Monishgaon village under Ranishankoil upazila in Thakurgaon on Friday evening. Victim Shariful Islam,29, son of Korban Ali, was a van puller. Locals and police said, the incident occurred at about 7: 30 pm at Bhandagram village when Shariful was returning home from Paschim Bangaon bazar. Severely injured Shariful was rushed to Ranishankoil health complex where the attending doctors declared him dead.

Letters

Dealing with traffic

Much has been said about traffic jam in Dhaka city. Do we have any solution or improvement plan? Mere concern will not solve the problems, we need to take action and act immediately. Thanks to the Honourable Prime Minister for asking the authorities to have staggering working hours. This is something new, innovative and, interestingly, was worked out by none other than the prime minister herself. Where are our so called experts?

Dying zoo animals

The Daily Star has taken a timely and crucial step to pinpoint the social frailties and odds which is praiseworthy to citizens. Going through The Daily Star on 11th September, 2009, I noticed the crucial issues about Dhaka Zoo at Mirpur. It stated that a lion and a tiger died after the death of a young giraffe. More than 4 animals including a giraffe had already died in the past month. A survey has revealed that about 20 animals have died this year. Many other animals are suffering from infectious diseases.

Child labour at its worst

The headline of the 13th September issue of The Daily Star 'Prisoners of ropes' caught my attention and I can not help but write this piece. It's pathetic and heartbreaking to know from that news report that minor boys are toiling hard at the rope factories in the outskirts of Keraniganj to earn livelihood. The worst is that they are subjected to inhuman physical labour and are burdened with making coils of rope, carrying huge sacks of bobbins etc without having any protection gear at all. They almost work 12 hours a day for a meagre income. At this age when they should have been enrolled at educational institutions for study, they have been engaged in such barbaric tasks. It speaks about the fate of these ill-fated children. There are many such kids here in our country who are being engaged at various workshops and enduring great hardship to support their family and it a known fact to everybody. It seems that our government and the policy makers bother little about these children. It's understandable that the government is burdened with 'Huge' tasks but at least it should look at the plight of these children. We don't expect our government to solve all the existing problems which the 'Adults' of these country are going through but at least it can pay attention to the needs of the poor children who are subjected to such harsh treatment at workplaces due to poverty. Without educating these poor children and ensuring their basic rights, how could this government expect to build the cherished 'Digital Bangladesh?'

The magic number

There was a fascinating front-page article on September' 09 in a local English daily. It highlights the very interesting mathematical phenomena of the digit 9. Wednesday's date 09/09/09, if the added digit comes to:

What is democracy?

We, in Bangladesh, profess to be a democratic and civilized society. But what is democracy? Besides meaning 'rule by the majority', does it not guarantee the State bestowing on ALL its citizens, all the rights as enshrined in our sacred constitution. These rights include the right to travel on all public roads freely, it includes the right to earn one's livelihood by all legal means and it includes the right to mobility and access to any part of Bangladesh.

Primary education

Bangladesh has one of the largest primary education systems in the word. Primary education is recognized as a means of reducing poverty and improving the quality of life.

America's role

We know Hitler of Germany was the man behind the Second World War. Italy and Japan were his partners. For stopping the war, America decided to drop an atom bomb on the enemies. But why did it choose Japan and not Germany or Italy? Many people believe that the war was at its final stage at that time. America chose the time to see and show its power. Germany and Italy were/ are European Christian states and there were/ are many Christian states around these two countries. On the other hand, Japan was not a Christian country and it was in Asia.

A bankrupt America

When former US President Bill Clinton entered the White House, his first act to raise taxes on wealthy Americans to stem a runaway budget deficit. Clinton's tax-hike on the rich, denounced by Republicans as "a passport to recession," balanced the budget, produced a surplus, lowered the long-term interest rates and triggered the longest economic boom in recent history. His successor President George W. Bush squandered the surplus by his staggering $1.67 trillion tax cut, producing a massive $400 billion deficit.

Criminology

The history of criminology from ancient times to the early twentieth century, its many themes at times have clashed and at times supported one another. Some scholars concentrated on criminal law and procedure; others; on criminal behaviour. Some took the biological route; others the psychological; still others, the sociological. And the work of some investigators has encompassed a combination of factors. The founding father of modern criminology is Cesare di Beccaria. After his long time research we have got the modern criminology.

Bad news

We are aghast by the news that in the JS session of September 8, 2009, Speaker Abdul Hamid rejected all 35 notices from opposition lawmakers. They demanded discussion on various issues which are not only of opposition political parties but also of the people of Bangladesh-- Tipaimukh dam, shortage of power and gas, law and order situation, extortion, tender manipulation and many other problems.

Diplomats and traffic

This is a reply to Mr. Sikander Ahmed (DS September 13, 2009) where he sides with a diplomat's wife based in Dhaka to protest against my original letter published on August 30th, 2009. The records will show that the words “most of the stretched out, 4-5 lakh gas-guzzling monstrosities that have flooded and blocked Dhaka's narrow pot-holed roads, streets and lanes belong to the diplomatic community and that the Bangladeshi tax-payers pay for their fuel” are Mr Ahmed's and not mine.

An interesting conversation

As I was travelling in a bus, I heard a very good conversation . A young quite well dressed man said that everyone was jealous of America's development and so they thought the fight against Muslim terrorists was bad also. An old man said, “ Have you yourself seen the Muslim terrorist?” America and other European countries have killed millions of innocent people in Afghanistan and in Iraq but still they are against criminals. The old man asked the young guy if any terrorist entered his house whether he would destroy the whole building. The old man further said that if the judge was guilty himself how could he make a right decision and how would you fight against that guilty judge. Everyone listened to the conversation and the young man became completely silent.

Day and night Test cricket

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has agreed to the ECB's request to appear in the first ever day-night Test during the team's tour of England in May-June 2010. The ICC has not yet cleared the idea and its approval will be subject to suitable equipment being developed for the purpose. The decision taken by the BCB is a trend setting one but the reality is something different. The Test may end in 02 days' time in favour of England as the tropical Tigers are not accustomed to playing in the chilly weather of England during the month of May and June. The day time temperature in these months is much cooler than our winter and when we talk about the evening temperature it certainly will freeze our Tigers.

International

Road to ME peace talks 'blocked', says Abbas

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said yesterday that the failure by US envoy George Mitchell to a secure a deal on Jewish settlements means the resumption of peace talks with Israel is on hold.

Rival protests rock Thailand on coup anniversary

Thousands of protesters from rival political groups rallied in Thailand yesterday, sending tensions soaring on the third anniversary of a coup against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Iran must 'now decide' on nuclear talks: Hillary

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Iran Friday to engage in talks with the United States and other powers on its suspect nuclear activities or pay the price of further isolation and economic pressure.

Racism not 'the overriding issue' in criticism: Obama

US President Barack Obama does not think racism is "the overriding issue" in the fierce debate surrounding health care, but that tempers are rising over government roles in daily life, according to interviews to be broadcast today.

Terrorism a by-product of Pakistan's past mistakes: Zardari

President Asif Ali Zardari has revealed that extremism was a by-product of Pakistan's past mistakes and was deliberately created during the 1980s.

India agrees to share partial intelligence info with Pakistan

The Indian government has reportedly agreed to partially share the intelligence it has acquired with regard to the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai and other possible attacks by Pakistani groups with Pakistan, but sources told a private television channel that New Delhi would also continue monitoring Islamabad's handling of the six dossiers handed over to it by New Delhi.

Ruling clears way for Jackson estate deal

Katherine Jackson's attorney says a judge's ruling that she can challenge the administrators of her son's estate could result in a deal that will determine control of the singer's gargantuan assets.

Ex-CIA heads seek end to interrogations probe

Seven former CIA directors who served both Republican and Democratic presidents have asked President Barack Obama to end the Justice Department's criminal probe into the harsh interrogations of terror suspects during the Bush administration.

Obama likened with Hitler

Even as thousands of people packed the streets of Washington on Friday to protest against government spending, some of the agitators likened President Barack Obama to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

UN asks Lanka to probe human rights abuses

A top UN official issued a strong call for "truth-seeking" into alleged excesses by security forces during the crushing of Tamil rebels as he ended a visit to Sri Lanka, a UN statement said yesterday.

Prachanda warns of revolt again in Nepal

Maoist chairman Prachanda has threatened to launch a decisive revolt in Nepal if the Maoist-floated resolution motion on civilian supremacy were not debated in the Parliament.

'The Age of Stupid': A wakeup call on climate

Could we, the human race, really miss an ever-narrowing chance to save the planet from the ravages of global warming?

Pakistan police raid US-employed security firm

Pakistani police raided a local security firm that helps protect the US Embassy on Saturday, seizing dozens of allegedly unlicensed weapons at a time when unusually intense media scrutiny of America's use of private contractors has deepened anti-US sentiment here.

Pakistan tells Britain to stop passing the buck on terror

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said yesterday that Britain should not "pass the buck" by blaming Islamabad for all its home-grown terror plots.

Kashmir on high alert following border firing

Security was beefed up in the Akhnoor sector and in the Jammu region on Friday following an incident of border firing from the Pakistani side.

UN probe to quiz Musharraf on death of Benazir

United Nations investigators are preparing to question former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, amid mounting doubts over official versions of how she died and claims of a cover-up.

Maoists planning human shields to thwart troops in Chhattisgarh

Worried after the massive assault launched by security forces and warned of more in the coming days, top Maoist leaders have started fleeing their landmine-protected hideouts in the Chhattisgarh jungles and are planning to put up human shields to thwart the troopers, top officials said Saturday. At least two dozen ultras were killed in the attacks Friday.

UN hails release of Myanmar dissidents

UN chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed Friday the release of a batch of political prisoners in Myanmar but urged the junta to free those still being held, including democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

Car bomb at Manipur governor's residence

A major disaster was averted in Manipur when police detected a powerful car bomb inside the premises of the heavily guarded governor's residence on Friday.

Grieving Pakistan villagers bury bomb victims

The death toll from a suicide car bomb attack in a crowded Pakistani market rose to 40, police said Saturday as grieving families buried their dead.

DNA test confirms Noordin death

DNA tests have confirmed it was Southeast Asia terrorist leader Noordin Top who was killed days ago in a shootout with police, Indonesian police said yesterday.

Rebels kill 2 cops in Kashmir

Islamic militants have shot dead two policemen in a fresh outbreak of violence in restive Indian Kashmir, police said yesterday.

Moderate quake hits Pakistan

A moderate 5.5-magnitude earthquake jolted northwestern Pakistan Saturday, but there were no reports of casualties or damage, officials said.

16 dead in China road accident

At least 16 people were killed Saturday when a road maintenance vehicle carrying workers was hit from behind by a cargo truck and plunged off a viaduct in eastern China, state press reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Eid Treats

Highlights of special programmes

Chronicles of a freedom fighter

Liberation War, freedom fighters and movements are the recurring themes in works of Shahabuddin Ahmed, one of the most widely recognised Bangladeshi painters. His works provide insight into human emotions and the complexity of life.

Spirituality manifested in Islamic songs

Islamic songs always have a unique appeal -- reminding us of the creator, the divine, his creations and more. During the Holy month of Ramadan, people throng music outlets trying to pick up the latest release.

Eid offerings on abc radio

Musical programme Music Shake featuring international hits will be aired at 9am on Eid day.

OP-ED

Reflections on Eid

EID-UL-FITR is not as old as Eid-ul-Azha. Whereas Eid-ul-Azha, that commemorates the glorious sacrifices of the Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail (peace be upon them), goes back to the days of yore in the 18th century before Christ. Eid-ul-Fitr originated in the 7th century AD. In fact, it is the newest major festival amongst the celestial religions. It saw the light of day only 1,387 years ago.

The Eid-ul-Fitr dilemma

EID-UL-FITR comes after Ramadan, on Shawwal 1, and fasting is forbidden on that day. The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle and important days are scheduled by seeing the crescent moon of the month. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also followed the lunar month for ramadan.

In a class of his own

SHASHI Tharoor has to be the only Indian who was safer last week in Liberia than in Jaipur. After all, no one in Liberia had asked for his resignation, but the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, a fellow Congressman, did suggest that the best option for Tharoor would be to resign. I cannot think of a previous occasion when a Congress Chief Minister has asked for the head of a Union Minister from his own party. This must, incidentally, also be the first time that a politician is in trouble because of a misplaced sense of humour.



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