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News of: Tuesday, 6th of October, 2009

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Lawmakers' bid to be adviser dashed again

Parliament yesterday passed the local government (city corporations) bill rejecting a House body's recommendation for making MPs advisers to the city corporations from where they were elected.

Huge river plan on cards

The government has taken an eight-year-long mega plan to bring back navigability in 53 important waterways by carrying out massive dredging with a cost of around Tk 11,474 crore, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan informed the House yesterday.

Bangladesh ranks slightly better

Bangladesh has moved two positions up to 146th place among 182 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) ranking but still holds the last position among South Asian nations, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report said yesterday.

'Justice' meted out in vigilante style

The case of abduction and rape of a class VII schoolgirl in Kalapara on September 25 'ended' two days later at an arbitration conducted by local Awami League (AL) leaders with police looking on, according to an investigation.

Union leaders grab land to build shops

Seven shops are illegally being built in front of the emergency department of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) grabbing its land by the top leaders of its class IV employees' association.

Playgrounds, water reservoirs made must

All future housing projects must have playgrounds and water reservoirs to get approval of the government, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday.

SC starts to hear convicts' appeals

The Supreme Court yesterday started hearing the appeals of the five convicts, who challenged their death sentences in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case.

City 'shootouts'kill three

Two alleged criminals were killed in separate 'shootouts' with the members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in the capital's Jatrabari and Mirpur while another died in a gunfight with police in Sutrapur yesterday.

Yet another giraffe dies

The death of rare animals at Dhaka Zoo seems never ending due to poor management of the zoo.

CID to quiz 2 Lashkar leaders

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) took two members of Lashkar-e-Taiba of India on a three-day remand in connection with the blast at a rally of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) in 2001.

Bill for lifelong SSF security placed in JS

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday placed a bill in parliament, seeking lifelong special security for Sheikh Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana and their children.

Kalapara sees no evils, hears no evils, speaks no evils

Kalapara turns into the proverbial monkey, as no body wants to talk about the night of September 25.

Seasonal sicknesses strike

The seasonal illnesses like viral fever, dengue, typhoid, respiratory tract infections and jaundice with sore throat and running nose have been spreading fast in different parts of the city for over a month.

Khaleda wants to know BNP's bearing

Apparently disappointed with the slow pace of reorganising the party, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has asked party officials to inform her of the actual situation in the shortest possible time.

Petitions filed to quash Zia orphanage case

The petitions filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman for quashing the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case against them, which were earlier taken back from a High Court bench, were submitted yesterday to another HC bench for hearing.

Tk 30 lakh looted in city

A gang of armed muggers shot two employees of a pharmaceutical company and snatched Tk 30 lakh from them at Lalmatia in the city's Mohammadpur yesterday.

ACC issues letter to 9 high-ups

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) team probing irregularities in awarding container-handling job at Chittagong Port and extending retirement age of shipping pilots yesterday issued notices to nine people including former shipping secretary to appear before the committee for questioning and taking statements from witnesses.

Wife's shrine built on 'grabbed' land

Shah Sufi Dewan Bagi Pir in the city's Arambagh area has forcibly grabbed huge part of a private land despite the court's status quo regarding possession of the property.

Suicide blast kills 5 at UN office

A suicide bomber dressed in military uniform struck inside a heavily fortified UN office in the Pakistani capital Islamabad yesterday, killing four Pakistanis and an Iraqi working for the food agency.

3 Americans share Nobel medicine prize

Americans Elizabeth H Blackburn, Carol W Greider and Jack W Szostak won the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine yesterday for discovering a key mechanism in the genetic operations of cells, an insight that has inspired new lines of research into cancer.

7 dismissed doctors file writ petitions

Seven out 11 terminated doctors of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University have filed separate writ petitions with the High Court challenging the authorities' decision to cancel their appointments.

Charges framed against OC Rafiq, 8 others

A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against suspended officer-in-charge (OC) of Motijheel Police Station AKM Rafiqul Islam and eight others in Kamrul Islam Momin murder case.

Burglars showed innovation

In the guise of essence and cap sellers, a gang of burglars had stolen gold with cash from a jewellery shop at Gulshan-2 on Eid day.

Diving lessons for cabinet meeting!

Ministers in the Maldives have taken diving lessons ahead of an underwater cabinet meeting that will highlight the threat global warming and rising sea levels pose to the low-lying atoll nation.


Public medicare cost enhanced

TO a great majority of the people who avail medical service of public hospitals and health centres, the government decision to increase charges of certain services provided by them cannot come as welcome news. Public hospitals are supposed to provide free service or at best on cost basis in terms of certain facilities or at nominal costs. In reality, things are different.

Errant Rab men

THE standing of Rab, a special anti-crime crack force, must have been jolted, or lowered in the public eye, following the arrest of two Rab men reportedly involved in mugging and looting. The report is a really shocker, given the slide in law and order which leaves citizens in a state of quandary already.

Rape incidence: How high is high?

HAS our society started to rot from inside? If not, then why incidence of rape all across the country has risen so alarmingly? Young women and minor girls are not safe anywhere! Neither in towns, nor in villages. Why some men behave like animals? But wait, do animals rape? No, they don't. They follow a biological clock and respond accordingly.

A paean to India's melody queen

THE 80th birthday of Lata Mangeshkar, surely the greatest popular singer of our lifetime and beyond, invites an irresistible question: which song is the best of her six-decade oeuvre? We are spoilt for choice, of course: she has 30,000 on offer, which makes it about four a day, not counting holidays. Phenomena do not get more phenomenal than that.

Government-opposition relations

THE post-independence politico-administrative history of Bangladesh may be divided broadly into four parts. They are,


Australia keep the trophy

Shane Watson and Cameroon White were the batting heroes as title-holders Australia coasted to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand Monday in the Champions Trophy final.

Abahani oust Muktis

A energetic second-half performance powered title contenders Abahani to an easy 3-0 win over Muktijoddha Sangsad to finish top of Group C in the Citycell Super Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

'IPL teams not at a disadvantage'

Gautam Gambhir, Delhi Daredevils' newly appointed captain, has disagreed with the view that IPL sides are at a disadvantage in the Champions League Twenty20 because, unlike other teams who play as a group throughout the year, their players get together only for franchise tournaments.

Hockey transfers start today

The inter-club players' transfers for the Premier Hockey League gets underway today though most clubs including giants Abahani and Mohammedan are seemingly unwilling to take part in the transfer citing the shortage of quality players.

MCA-BD A match drawn

Bangladesh A were spared a very likely embarrassing defeat in their 4-day match against Maharashtra Cricket Association as rain put paid to any chances play for a second consecutive day at the Poona Club Limited ground in Pune yesterday. The match was heavily tilted towards the hosts as they lead Bangladesh A by 303 runs with nine second-innings wickets remaining after first two days' play. The second days' play was also curtailed due to rain and bad light. Bangladesh A were all out for 81 runs in their first innings. But two days of torrential rain meant there was no play possible on the scheduled third and fourth day and the game ended in a draw.

Flintoff, Lineker came under Taliban attack

England star cricketer Andrew Flintoff and football legend Gary Lineker dove for cover when Taliban insurgents attacked a British military base in Afghanistan, they were quoted as saying Monday.

'Tough to replace Graeme'

JP Duminy has said that Graeme Smith's absence would be felt during the Cape Cobras' Champions League Twenty20 campaign, but it would also give others a chance to display their skills. Like his captain Andrew Puttick, Duminy believed the team's sense of self-belief was a strength, and if they get their basics right, they can overcome their inexperience in Indian conditions.

Nadir to umpire Zim v Kenya matches

Nadir Shah, International Panel Umpire from Bangladesh, has been nominated by the ICC to officiate in three ODI matches between Zimbabwe and Kenya, and a 4-day match between Zimbabwe XI and Kenya, said a press release from Bangladesh Cricket Board on Monday.

Surfing starts tomorrow in Cox's Bazar

A two-day international surfing competition will be held on October 6 and 7 in the Bay of Bengal near the Kolatoli beach in Cox's Bazar.

Anlene tennis

Second round matches in the Men's singles group and first round matches of the Women's singles group in the Anlene National Tennis Tournament 2009 were held at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday. Among the matches of the Men's group, top-seed Amol Roy of Engineers' Club disposed off Arif Hossain of NTC in 6-1, 6-0 sets to qualify for the pre-quarters. Among the Women's group matches, Jhilik Chakma of BKSP blanked her opponent Sabiha of NTSC as she rolled past her 6-0, 6-0 to advance to the second round.

Japan decimate Bangladesh

After a creditable draw against Indonesia in the first match, Bangladesh lost by a massive 6-0 margin to Japan in their second match in the AFC U-16 qualifiers at the Panned Stadium in Philippines yesterday.

Sevilla slay Galacticos

Real Madrid's "Galacticos" crashed to their first defeat of the season losing 2-1 at title rivals Sevilla on Sunday as Barcelona opened a three-point lead at the summit.

Ronnie rescues a point

Substitute Ronaldinho popped up seven minutes from time to salvage a point for AC Milan in a 1-1 draw at 10-man Atalanta on Sunday but that might not be enough to save coach Leonardo from the chop.

Blues trump Reds

Carlo Ancelotti has warned Manchester United that the destiny of the Premier League is in Chelsea's hands after the Blues went back to the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Liverpool.

Hamburg blitz Hertha

Hamburg blitzed rock-bottom Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin 3-1 in the German capital on Sunday, but still missed out on regaining top spot from new leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

Monaco edge Marseille

South Korea international striker Park Chu-young scored a memorable goal to help Monaco to a 2-1 win at Marseille on Sunday and a place in the top four of the French first division.

Italy welcome back Gattuso

Italy coach Marcello Lippi on Sunday named a 24-man squad for this month's decisive World Cup qualifiers against Republic of Ireland and Cyprus.

Totti out for two weeks

AS Roma captain Francesco Totti will be out for up to two weeks after suffering a knee injury during Sunday's 2-1 victory over Napoli.

Llorente leaves hospital

Athletic Bilbao's Spanish international Fernando Llorente was released from hospital Monday, one day after suffering a blow to the head during a league match, the club said.

England game live in cinemas but not TV

England's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Saturday is to make history by being the team's first international to be shown live in cinemas and on the Internet but not on TV, media group Perform said.

One dead after Croat, Muslim fans clash

One person died from injuries after Croat and Muslim fans clashed in the southern town of Siroki Brijeg ahead of its Bosnian Premier League match against Sarajevo, police said.

Safina, Venus out

Top seed Dinara Safina imploded at the China Open on Monday, losing to an unheralded Chinese player and clearing the way for Serena Williams to reclaim the world number one ranking from the Russian.

Injuries cost India: Anil

Former Indian captain Anil Kumble on Sunday said that absence of key players in the Indian team cost them a major tournament like ICC Champions Trophy.

Lorenzo hot on Rossi's heels

Spain's Jorge Lorenzo, riding a Yamaha, moved to within 18 points of MotoGP championship leader Valentino Rossi after winning the Portuguese Grand Prix here on Sunday.

Monfils, Wawrinka win

Former world junior number one Gael Monfils fired down 15 aces in two sets to beat Marsel Ilhan of Turkey in the first round at the Japan Open tennis tournament on Monday.

A glorious 10 years

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol celebrated a glorious 10 years of service with the Spanish giants as the European champions beat Almeria 1-0, lapping up the plaudits from team-mates and his coach.

Younus played through pain

Pakistan captain Younus Khan has admitted that despite not being fully fit, he decided to play in the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal, which they lost by five wickets to New Zealand in Johannesburg.

Umar found not guilty

Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal was found not guilty Sunday of dissent during the Champions Trophy semifinal loss to New Zealand, an International Cricket Council statement said.

Fun-loving Djokovic

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, whose comic impressions of other players on the men's and women's tours became huge hits on YouTube, says clowning around is his way to give back to the fans.

Australia fined for slow going

Australia have been financially punished for a slow over rate when defeating England by nine wickets last Friday in an ICC Champions Trophy semifinal at Centurion.

Belgian keeper retires

Belgium goalkeeper Stijn Stijnen has retired from international football after new coach Dick Advocaat said he was no longer number one.


Money transfer by mobile

Money transfer is about to go digital in six months, as Bangladesh Bank has approved the launch of an electronic prepaid card system that will have a mobile payment option.

Bangladesh to seek lower RMG tariff for US market

Bangladesh will push the US government to offer it lower tariff or similar duty benefits like Sri Lanka and Pakistan under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, said Mujibur Rahman, chairman of Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC).

Ashuganj Fertiliser counts Tk 6 lakh in daily loss

Ashuganj Zia Fertiliser Company Limited is facing a Tk 6 lakh loss daily as inadequate storage facility has forced the company management to go below its full production capacity.

Banks asked for progress report on farm loan

The central bank has directed the scheduled banks concerned to submit progress report on disbursement of farm loan every month with the first one on November 15.

Petrobangla starts talks with ConocoPhillips

Petrobangla, the state-run oil and gas company, yesterday started negotiations with ConocoPhillips, a US oil and gas company, aiming to explore hydrocarbon potential in the Bay of Bengal.

Bangladesh StanChart gets new CEO

Jim McCabe has been appointed the chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank in Bangladesh, according to a bank statement.

Stocks continue steady rise

The market was on a steady gaining streak for a third day yesterday, with the premier bourse benchmark index reaching the second highest level ever.

Govt reviews sugar price today

The commerce ministry will hold a meeting with sugar refiners and traders today to review sugar price and the existing rules of sugar distribution system from the mill gates to the retail level.

20,000 garment workers lose jobs in Cambodia

The global economic downturn has forced at least 20,000 workers to lose their jobs in Cambodia's garment industry this year, a labour ministry report showed Monday.

Top HSBC official due today

Paul Leech, head of international operations for HSBC's Asia Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong, arrives in Dhaka today on a two-day official visit, the bank said in a statement.

Banks remain fragile

The Financial Stability Board on Sunday warned the global financial system remained "fragile," with banks requiring large inputs of capital and balance sheets still clogged up with toxic assets.

German investment in renewable energy sought

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday asked for German investment in river dredging and renewable energy.

Politics drag Kuwait behind Gulf partners

Political volatility means Kuwait lags behind most of its energy-rich Gulf peers, but the emirate is still on track to post the largest surplus in the region, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Monday.

IMF takes on greater global role

The International Monetary Fund has taken on an enhanced global role to promote lasting economic recovery in the world, with its 186 member nations pledging to keep stimulus support of growth in place.

Taiwan LCD makers eye China

Taiwan's producers of liquid crystal displays know that venturing into the Chinese market is risky, but they are also fully aware they have no choice, analysts said.

Asian stocks broadly lower

Asian markets were broadly lower on Monday as investors grew anxious following news that more jobs than expected had been lost in the United States.

Spain pledges 4b euros for IMF

Spain on Monday pledged to lend more than four billion euros (5.8 billion dollars) to the International Monetary Fund to help global recovery efforts as part of a European Union agreement, the IMF said.

Oil slips

World oil prices weakened on Monday as recent weak economic data sparked fears about a recovery in the United States, analysts said.

Sarkozy to seal major deals for French firms in Kazakhstan

French President Nicolas Sarkozy leads a high-powered business delegation to Kazakhstan on Tuesday to seal a string of lucrative deals on Caspian oil and gas, satellite technology and defence.

Brazil switches roles with helping hand for IMF

Brazil, an emerging economy, said on Monday that it will spend 10 billion dollars (6.8 billion euros) on buying IMF bonds to boost the fund's power to help countries through the global crisis.

Moscow airport set for privatisation

One of Moscow's main international airports is set to be privatised next year as part of a new government drive to sell shares in state firms, Russian financial daily Vedomosti reported on Monday.

Eurozone business activity rises in September: Survey

Private sector business activity in the 16-nation eurozone grew in September with manufacturing and services each gaining on initial estimates, a closely-watched survey showed on Monday.


Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active today. There was ample liquidity in the market and the USD/BDT rate traded in a similar range to the previous working day.


Free UP from interference by bureaucrats

A group of Union Parishad representatives yesterday demanded enactment of a law to make the Union Parishad (UP), the lowest tier of the local government, free from interference by bureaucrats and lawmakers.

Concern over sorry state of public hospitals

Ruling alliance lawmakers yesterday expressed deep concern and frustration at the sorry state of public hospitals at field level and demanded that the government takes immediate measures to improve the situation to ensure people's health.

Steps to be taken to stop use of children in politics: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will take necessary measures to stop use of children in political activities.

Time for probe extended again

The time for further investigation into the sensational Chittagong arms haul case has been extended up to January 4, 2010.

Attack on religious festival in Cox's Bazar: Four arrested

At least 12 people were injured when a group of miscreants attacked the Probarona Purnima festival of Buddhists at Madhyam Rakhaine Para in Cox's Bazar on Sunday afternoon.

'Women worst victims of HR violations'

Political instability and worsening law and order situation are linked to the violations of human rights in the country and the worst victims of HR violations are women, said Sultana Kamal, a former adviser to the caretaker government, at a seminar yesterday.

Seized container to be opened today

The cotton-laden container, seized during the delivery on Saturday night with fake documents, will be opened in front of the importer and customs officials concerned today.

HSC minimum educational qualification

An applicant of US Diversified Visa (DV) must have a minimum education qualification of HSC or a two-year technical board certificate and work experience to qualify for the DV visa lottery.

Taskforce to review CHT refugees' list

Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts Refugee Affairs Taskforce Jatindra Lal Tripura yesterday said they would review the list of refugees from India and internally displaced people very soon and take decision to rehabilitate them gradually.

Movement if Aman not released

BNP leaders at a rally yesterday threatened to launch movement if party leader Amanullah Aman was not released immediately.

National Girl Child Day today

The National Girl Child Day will be observed in the country today with great enthusiasm.

Tk 487cr mega plan to improve city air quality

The government with support from the World Bank yesterday launched a Tk 487 crore mega project to improve the poor air quality of this densely populated city.

'Ensure safe housing for urban poor'

The World Habitat Day 2009 was observed in the country yesterday as elsewhere across the globe with a call for ensuring safe housing facility for the urban poor and the marginalised.

Int'l confce begins at DU tomorrow

A three-day international conference on 'Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue' will begin at Dhaka University (DU) tomorrow.

Quality education stressed

President Zillur Rahman yesterday put emphasis on ensuring quality education at all private universities for building the younger generation worthy citizens of the country.

UK university scholarships for Bangladeshi students

The Liverpool Hope University of England will provide scholarships for Bangladeshi students in its January session as part of its efforts to encourage insolvent students to study in the UK.

Bangladesh-US joint military exercises in Nov

The United States (US) and Bangladesh militaries are participating in a joint "Tiger Shark" exercises in Chittagong in November.

BAF Squadron Commanders Course held

The certificate award ceremony of No 1 Squadron Commanders Course of Bangladesh Air Force was held at BAF Command and Staff Training Institute (CSTI) here yesterday.

Workshop owner killed, youth beaten to death

The owner of an engineering workshop was stabbed to death at his house allegedly by his employee, and in another incident a youth was beaten to death in the city yesterday.

Reshuffle in admin

In a reshuffle in the administration, the government yesterday transferred three secretaries and also made one of them officer on special duty (OSD).

Evidence of irregularities found at ICT ministry

The government has found evidence of irregularities involving millions of taka at the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology, said Education Adviser to the Prime Minister Prof Alauddin Ahmed yesterday.


5 JMB militants get 14-yr RI in Kishoreganj

Five Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants were awarded 14 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in a case under Explosive Substances Act in Kishoreganj while 25 JMB militants including three capital punishment awardees were produced before four courts in Mymensingh yesterday.

Angry protests in 3 dists

People in three districts in the last one week staged angry protests against frequent power outages.

One arrested, two sued on charges of war crimes

An alleged war criminal was arrested at Rahonpur under Gomostapur upazila of Chapainawabganj district early yesterday, while two others were sued for war crimes in Chittagong the day before.

Nat'l convention October 24

National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports will hold a national convention on October 24 to press home their demand for scrapping the government decision to sign a production sharing contract (PSC) with foreign companies to explore oil and gas from offshore gas blocks.

3 Jubo League men sent to jails in Rajshahi, Barisal

Police yesterday arrested city Jubo League vice president Sirajul Islam Khokon alias 'Bhangri' Khokon from Rajshahi Railway Station area.

Barisal medical to file case against tree plunderers

The authorities of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (BSBMC) will lodge a case in connection with felling 63 trees on the campus and looting them during Eid vacation.

Criminals kill baby, hang body with rope

Criminals killed an 18-month-old child and seriously injured its mother at their Puratan Bazar residence in Bagerhat town yesterday morning.

Under-trial prisoner dies

An under-trial prisoner died at Kushtia General Hospital . Police said, Aser Ali, 40, son of Shamsuddin of Boaldah in Sadar upazila was arrested on September 17 from his house on charge of drug peddling and later sent to jail. He felt serious pain in his chest at about 9:30pm on Saturday night and was rushed to Kushtia General Hospital where on-duty doctors declared him dead after half an hour of his admission. Police said Aser was a cardiac patient. He was arrested twice earlier for drug peddling.

Nephew kills uncle

One person was killed by his nephew as a sequel to land dispute at Dumrai Sarkarpara village under Bagatipara upazila on Monday. Victim Jahangir Alam,38, was son of Zahir Uddin of Dumrai village. Police and villagers said, nephew Mahabub Alam and uncle Jahangir Alam locked in a quarrel over a piece of ancestral land. At one stage, Mahabub hit in the head of his uncle with a lethal weapon. Locals rescued Jahangir in a critical condition but he died on the way to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital. A case was filed with Bagatipara police station in this connection.

Housewife strangled

A woman was strangled allegedly by her husband and in-laws at Razakpur village on Saturday. Victim Shely, 20, was daughter of Mozzamel Haque of Doagachi village under Sadar upazila. Police and locals said Shaheen, son of Nazir Uddin of Razakpur village married Shely a year ago. He and his family members often tortured Shely on different pretexts. Soaid Hossain, brother of Shely, filed a case with Naogaon Sadar police accusing six people including Shaheen and his family members.

7 get life for murder

A court here on Sunday sentenced seven people to life imprisonment on charge of killing a suspected thief in a village around nine and a half years ago. The court also fined them Tk 20,000 each, in default, to suffer, two months more in jail. The convicts were identified as Minnnat Ali, Mamun Islam, Saban, Atu alias Ataher Ali, Ziaul Haque Zia, Korban Ali and Khairul Islam. Two other accused Saiful Islam and Kalu, were acquitted as the charge brought against them could not be proved. All nine are residents of Nurnagar village under Bagha upazila. According to the prosecution story, the convicts stormed into the house of their neighbour Nazim Uddin and beat him indiscriminately on charge of a theft. Nazim Uddin later succumbed to his injuries on January 3, 2000.

Freedom fighter passes away

Abu Ashraf Ratan, a valiant freedom fighter of the district, died of heart attack on Sunday at the age of 60. He is survived by his wife, two sons, one daughter and a host of relatives to mourn his death. Ratan was buried at the central graveyard of the district town with state honour following a namaz-e-janaza held at the central Jame Masjid. Leaders of Tangail district Awami League, Tangail district Muktijoddha Sangsad and other political parties expressed deep shock at the death of Abu Asharaf Ratan.


Pakistan's new Taliban chief threatens revenge

Pakistan's new Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud has met journalists, ending speculation about his death, and vowed to avenge drone attacks and the killing of his predecessor Baitullah Mehsud.

Indonesia calls off quake search

Rescue workers called off the search yesterday for life under the rubble left by a massive earthquake, focusing instead on bringing aid to survivors in the towns and hills of western Indonesia, despite being hampered by torrential rains.

Nobel Medicine Prize for 'cellular immortality'

Australian-American researcher Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider and Jack Szostak of the United States won the Nobel Medicine Prize yesterday for identifying a key molecular switch in cellular ageing.

Sample audit in Afghan vote gets under way

Afghan authorities began a sample audit of suspect ballots in the controversial elections yesterday, officials said, as the country inches closer to a final decision on the next president.

Billions in US aid never reached Pakistan army

The United States has long suspected that much of the billions of dollars it has sent Pakistan to battle militants has been diverted to the domestic economy and other causes, such as fighting India.

Iran to be 'positive' in talks

Iran said yesterday it would head into the next round of talks with six world powers on the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear programme later this month with a "positive" approach.

10 killed as train derails in coastal Thai city

A train derailed during heavy rains yesterday near the coastal Thai city of Hua Hin, killing at least 10 people, including a 2-year-old girl, and injuring 88 others, officials said.

Only Maoists can lead govt in Nepal: Bhattarai

Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) vice chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai yesterday said Nepal cannot get rid of problems unless the new government is formed under the Maoist leadership.

Floods displace 1.5m in India

Heavy rains and floods over the past week have wreaked havoc in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and claimed over 230 lives and displaced nearly one and a half million people.

2 Isaf soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Two soldiers with the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) were killed in southern Afghanistan, Nato said Monday, a day after announcing the deaths of eight US soldiers in the east.

BSF arrests 5 Pak nationals

Five Pakistani nationals have been arrested from creek area on west coast of Kutch district by the Border Security Force (BSF), police said today. The incident took place yesterday, they said, adding the boat in which they were travelling has also been seized.

Arts & Entertainment

Blood-red oleanders lurk in a world of shadows

Nagarik Natya Sampraday staged its much-acclaimed production "Rakto Karobi" at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on October 4. This was the 88th show of the production.

Indian Summer: Film on Nehru-Edwina relationship

A proposed film on the relationship between India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten, the wife of last Viceroy of British-ruled India Lord Mountbatten, has received conditional clearance from the Indian government.

Priyotameshu gets green light from censor board

Morshedul Islam's film "Priyotameshu" recently got the clearance from Bangladesh Censor Board. To celebrate the occasion, an informal meet was held at a restaurant in the city on October 4.

Mercedes Sosa, the voice of Latin America, dies

Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa, the "voice of Latin America" whose music inspired opponents of South America's brutal military regimes and led to her forced exile in Europe, died Sunday, her family said. She was 74.

Dhaka auditions for “Lux Channel i Super Star ‘09” begin

The Dhaka audition rounds for "Lux Channel i Super Star 2009" started from October 4 at Emmanuel's Banquet Hall, Gulshan 1, says a press release. On the first day eleven contestants -- Shathi, Mukta, Papiya, Rini, Sukonya, Ananya, Jannat, Parveen, Nurshat, Tasmina Yasmin and Arsha -- received 'Yes' cards, which would allow them to participate in the next round.

When Dhaka becomes quiet

Traffic jam and commotion -- these are the familiar features of Dhaka city at daytime. But after midnight, this city takes on a completely different look. The streets and avenues become almost empty and crowded places look eerily unfamiliar.

An insight into Tangail

The publication ceremony of a book, titled "Tangail Zila Parichiti," by young writer Khan Mahbub was held recently in the district.


37th anniversary of Bangladesh-Thailand relations

BANGLADESH and Thailand have long enjoyed friendly relations as trusted and tested friend, even before the two countries established diplomatic ties on October 5, 1972. The friendship between them has grown from strength to strength, and it is clear that never before has it been in as good a shape as it is today.

The founding of China

CHINA celebrated being 60. But what was actually being celebrated?


The temple at last

Ada Chai forest station looked forlorn in this deep forest -- an outstation with a pale existence. We walked down a long wooden pier that had developed gaping holes through its rotten wood planks. At the end of it was the wooden station its planks blacked by continuous rain, damp, musty smell hanging in the air. The lanterns could hardly beat the gloom of the gathering dusk as we entered the ramshackle station. The dampness enters your inside and you feel dizzy. I was taken aback by the unbelievably sorry living condition of the foresters.

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