The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Monday, 19th of October, 2009

Front Page

Evict, sue river grabbers

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the administration to free rivers, canals and wetlands from the grabbers' clutches and take legal actions no matter how influential the encroachers are.

Textbook board depot catches fire

A raging fire in the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) warehouse in Tejgaon industrial area of the capital yesterday burnt a large stockpile of textbooks and printing materials.

AL's Jasim to lose JS membership

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the High Court verdict that declared illegal the parliament membership of Maj (retd) Jasim Uddin, who was elected from Bhola-3 constituency on Awami League nomination.

PAC stays in slumber

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the ninth parliament has apparently been ineffective till now as it did not meet in the last five months to perform its task of ensuring transparency in government expenditure.

Scrap flawed land leases in CHT

A parliamentary standing committee yesterday asked the authorities concerned to scrap lease of about 27,250 acres of land in three hill districts for violating the lease contract given to 545 organisations and individuals.

Khaleda upset over party reform pace

The chaos over BNP's ongoing reorganisation process got on its chairperson's nerves, as the party has not yet been able to hold councils across the country, said insiders.

Huda managed 10 coffins, bodies

Barrister Abdullah-al Mamun, counsel for convicts Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin in Bangabandhu murder case, yesterday claimed before the Supreme Court that Bazlul was innocent and had not been involved in the killings of Bangabandhu and his family members.

Suicide attack on Iran's elite guards

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a meeting of the elite Revolutionary Guards in southeastern Iran yesterday, killing at least 30 people including top commanders and tribal leaders, a senior official said.

Hasina cleared of misuse of power charge

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday submitted final report clearing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and three others of charges in a corruption case saying the charge of misuse of power against them could not be proved.

Jalil gets HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail for three months to former Awami League general secretary Abdul Jalil MP in a tax evasion case.

Changes to stop misuse of rules

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked top bureaucrats to discharge duties fearlessly, assuring them that no rules of the Anti-Corruption Commission would be misused against them.

6 doctors indicted for Manna's death

A Dhaka court framed charges against six physicians of negligence in treatment that allegedly led to the death of popular film actor Manna on February 17 last year.

Explain legality of proceedings against Tarique

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to explain why the proceedings against Tarique Rahman, elder son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in Zia Orphanage Trust embezzlement case should not be quashed.

Muggers shoot security guard, loot Tk 20 lakh

A group of muggers yesterday snatched Tk 20 lakh from officials of knitex Dresses Limited and shot a security guard of the company on Asad Avenue in the city.

SQ Chy faces arrest warrant

A Thakurgaon court yesterday issued an arrest warrant for BNP leader and lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury who made derogatory comments on the killings of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members.

SC upholds HC stay order on Hasina's Niko case

The Supreme Court upheld a High Court order yesterday that stayed proceedings against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Niko corruption case.

Myanmar militant held in Bandarban

A member of Democratic Party of Arakan, a militant group of Myanmar, was arrested in Ruma upazila in Bandarban yesterday.

Shykh Seraj wins FAO award

Director (News) of Channel i Shykh Seraj has won a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) award for 2008-09.

4 die drinking toxic liquor

Four people died and nine others fell sick after drinking toxic, homebrewed alcohol in Mahasthangarh area of Shibganj upazila early yesterday.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader on Bashalgaon border under Haripur upazila in Thakurgaon yesterday.

Pak forces kill 60 militants; Taliban resist onslaught

Pakistan pounded Taliban bases from the air and bore down on their leader's hometown yesterday, intensifying a major offensive against the Islamists and claiming to have killed 60 militants.

Afghanistan needs credible leadership

Afghan leaders have to prove they are a credible partner in ensuring security in their country, a top US official warned yesterday as Washington mulls whether to send more troops to Afghanistan.

China starts resettling 330,000 for water project

Authorities have started resettling 330,000 people in central China to make way for a massive project to divert water hundreds of km to the booming cities in its arid north, a report said yesterday.

14 Taliban, 1 US soldier killed in Afghanistan

A roadside bomb attack claimed the life of one US soldier in Afghanistan, while 14 armed Taliban were killed in two separate incidents, Nato and the Afghan security forces said yesterday.

Editorial

Promoting adivasi languages

THE richness of a nation's heritage come from its cultural depth and diversity. As recent history has shown, countries around the globe are preoccupied in reviving the heritage that has made them what they are today. Indeed, with such international organizations as Unesco taking the lead in preserving cultural sites and promoting as well as retrieving nearly lost specimens of heritage, it is important that we in Bangladesh join the enterprise in the interest of our own cultural past. For Bangladesh is a land of rich cultural diversity and is home not only to Bengali-speaking people but also to people belonging to other cultures. We are speaking here, of course, of the indigenous peoples, the adivasis, inhabiting different areas of the country. The adivasis altogether speak as many as thirty languages. In line with the efforts to revive culture that has been going on worldwide, it is today important that we do all we can to keep our indigenous heritage alive. Some of the adivasi languages, as we understand, are facing extinction.

Threat to Maldives' survival

ALMOST the whole top order of the government of the Maldives was under the sea conducting a cabinet meeting on Saturday. What an exceptional way to highlight to the world the grave threat of global warming that the Maldives face due to the effects of climate change.

Nine months of the 9th parliament

NINE is a memorable number close to our heart. After nine months of arms struggle, this nation was liberated in 1971 from the brutal Pakistani forces. The next milestone was crossed in 1991 when the nation was liberated for the second time from the hands of the military-civil autocrats. The third milestone was crossed in January 2009, after a two-year pause in democratic governance, when the nation once again embraced democracy via the 9th parliament.

The Russian factor in a grand bargain

THE 27-nation bloc of the European Union is indeed uncertain about how to deal with Moscow as a resurgent Russia casts its long shadow over the continent. Hardliners like Angela Merkel of Germany and Nicolas Sarkozy of France, with eyes on their dependence on Russia's gas supplies, instinctively reel themselves back from being stringent and are unwilling to let relations with Moscow become too sour.

Sports

Abahani scrape thru' to semis

Abahani set up an early showdown with bitter rivals Mohammedan Sporting Club after an eventful group stage of the Big Boss Premier T20 League that also offered a surprise package in Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity in the semifinal line-up of the season's curtain-riser.

Sky Blues blaze into final

Title contenders Abahani oozed class in a spirited come from behind win to reach the final of the Citycell Federation Cup with a comfortable 4-1 win over newcomers Beanibazar SC in the semifinal at Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Bangladesh eye 2 gold

Bolstered by success in the fourth edition of Asian Archery Grand Prix in India, hosts Bangladesh dream of clinching at least two gold medals in the fifth edition of the tournament which gets underway at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan in Savar tomorrow.

Bangladesh U-19 trail by 87 runs

Bangladesh Under-19 team was trailing by 87 runs against touring England Under-19 team on the 3rd day of the four-day Youth Test at the Divisional Stadium in Chittagong on Sunday.

Lee will quit if …

Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has declared his intention to return as the Test spearhead this summer, and vowed to quit if he can't measure up.

Pak army faces black hole in Waziristan battle

Pakistan's military faces near impossible odds to smash Taliban networks in South Waziristan on impenetrable terrain infested with some of the most dangerous militants in the world, analysts say.

NSW in semis

On a pitch that offered bounce and some movement, Stuart Clark led a disciplined bowling performance to restrict Somerset to a below-par 111 which New South Wales knocked off without breaking a sweat in at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad yesterday. With this crushing win NSW have joined their Australian counterparts Victoria in the Champions League semifinals.

B stands for Bangladesh

From now on B. League, the professional football league of the country, will be called as the Bangladesh League as Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has approved the new name to avoid confusion over the term 'B' abroad.

McCullum to keep opening for now

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has said Brendon McCullum will continue as an opener for the ODI series against Pakistan because Jesse Ryder's absence due to injury meant the opening line-up was already a little shaky.

Barcelona streak ends

Barcelona's perfect start to the Spanish League season ended on Saturday when the champions were held to a 0-0 draw at Valencia.

Champs back on top

Manchester United regained top spot in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford on Saturday as Liverpool's title bid suffered a potentially fatal blow.

Inter hammer Genoa

Champions Inter Milan opened up a three-point lead at the top of Serie A on Saturday with a thumping 5-0 win at hapless Genoa.

Messi heads nominees

Barcelona's Argentinian star Lionel Messi headlines the 30-strong list of nominees for the Ballon d'Or, or European Player of the Year award, released by the France Football magazine on Sunday.

Bordeaux lose again

Bordeaux's hopes of landing a second successive French title suffered a blow on Saturday when they slid to a surprise loss at Auxerre, while the side they deposed as champions, Lyon, went down at home to Sochaux.

Dour draw for Bayer

Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen were held 0-0 at second-placed Hamburg on Saturday while Bayern Munich moved up to fifth as hot-shot midfielder Thomas Mueller helped seal a 2-1 win at Freiburg.

Much ado about beach ball!

Instant notoriety is guaranteed for a young spectator who effectively condemned Liverpool to a 1-0 defeat against Sunderland here at the Stadium of Light.

Zimbabwe go 3-1 up

Zimbabwe won the battle of the bats in Harare to take the series after going up 3-1 against Kenya in the fourth one-day international on Saturday. The series win was their second over the same opposition this year. Zimbabwe were boosted by a collective batting display, with each of their top five batsmen making important contributions, as they chased down a challenging target with ease. Three of their batsmen -- Mark Vermeulen, Forster Mutizwa and Brendan Taylor -- struck half-centuries to see them home by six wickets with two overs to spare.

Taylor KOs Delhi

Twenty20 matches are usually pulsating, high-octane affairs, and this one lived up to that billing. A Diwali that began with a bomb scare ended in fireworks as Royal Challengers Bangalore, having been eliminated before they took the field, took Delhi Daredevils down with them.

Rating chess

FM Syed Mizanur Rahman Emon of Air Destiny enjoyed solo lead with six points after the sixth round matches of the Pexatech Open International Rating Chess Tournament at the chess federation hall room yesterday. FM Mohammad Abdul Malek and Dewan Md. Riad were jointly in second position with five and a half points. Thirteen players were in third position with five points each. The matches of the seventh round will be held at the same venue today from 3:30 pm.

Strauss backs KP as captain

Current England cricket captain Andrew Strauss believes the country's best bat Kevin Pietersen can return as captain despite his spectacular fall from grace nine months ago.

Business

Banks get green light to raise capital in debt instruments

The central bank yesterday permitted banks to raise capital through debt instruments instead of issuing only rights and bonus shares, following bankers' demand.

Same timing for banks countrywide

Office hours have been reset for all banks across the country -- between 10am and 6pm with effect from today.

Confusion over new office hours

Some bank officials and clients in Dhaka were not aware of new office timing, which was put in place from yesterday.

Cut likely in fertiliser prices

The government may cut the prices of non-urea fertilisers further to help farmers benefit from the falling prices of the agricultural inputs on the international market.

Australian firm offers $400m investment in mineral sand mining

An Australian company has offered to invest $ 400 million in mineral sand mining in Cox's Bazar coast, after ascertaining a good finding through preliminary exploration.

GP IPO 3.5 times oversubscribed

Grameenphone's initial public offering (IPO) has been oversubscribed more than 3.5 times -- evidence of huge enthusiasm from prospective investors for the largest mobile phone operator's shares.

Foreign investors demand end to energy crisis

Foreign investors yesterday sought immediate improvement in the supply of power and energy to industrial plants, as they face difficulties in running their units.

DGEN hits new high

Benchmark index of the premier bourse crossed the 3,300-point mark for the first time with the stocks rallying yesterday.

Chittagong EPZ now under automation

The Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ), the country's first and largest EPZ, is now under automated systems to issue all sorts of import permissions (IP), export permissions (EP) and sub-contracts.

Australia's bid to be Asian hub

Australia's ability to weather the global downturn has enhanced its bid to become Asia's financial hub, observers said, after a report ranked its market ahead of those of Singapore and Hong Kong.

Integration to keep Asean relevant

With a combined economy bigger than India or South Korea and a total population of over half a billion people, Asean has the potential to become an economic force that could rival China, India, Brazil and Russia.

Assistant US trade representative in town

Assistant US Trade Representative for South Asia Michael J Delaney arrived yesterday for a five-day visit to Bangladesh.

Kuwait expat population falls

The expatriate population of Kuwait dropped 0.6 percent in the first half of 2009, bringing to an end 19 years of sharp increases in the oil-rich emirate, official figures revealed on Sunday.

Asian currencies mixed

Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar, with investors selling both the yen and the US unit in favour of higher-yielding currencies, such as the Australian dollar.

US capital flows go up

Net long-term capital flows to the United States rose to 28.6 billion dollars in August on the back of foreign demand for US bonds and other assets, the US Treasury said Friday.

South Asia mobile summit Wednesday

The South Asia Mobile Summit 2009, a conference organised by the South Asia Mobile Forum, will kick off at Radisson Water Garden in Dhaka on Wednesday, says a press release.

Benapole Customs Revenue earning goes ahead of target

Benapole Custom House has so far earned Tk 513.95 crore in revenue against its target of Tk 477.87 crore. The target of revenue earning for the 2009-10 fiscal is Tk 1783 crore.

Sheltech extends fair duration

Sheltech extended its fair duration for another two days, according to a press release.

IT fair begins in Bogra

A three-day IT fair started at Covered Ground Gymnasium in Bogra town yesterday.

UK plans tax raid on banks

Britain is drawing up plans for a tax raid on banks that could help pay the cost of the government's bail-out of the financial system, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.

Foreign worker remittances from Saudi soaring

Remittances from Saudi Arabia's estimated nine million mostly Asian foreign workers are soaring as the kingdom recruits more of them for its massive development plan, an economist said Saturday.

Four Gulf states renew vow to form monetary union

Gulf finance ministers and central bank governors on Saturday reiterated their commitment to a monetary union and a single currency which four states plan to launch next year.

Windows 7 to salvage Vista 'train wreck’

Microsoft has released Windows 7 to the world as the US software giant tries to regain its stride after an embarrassing stumble with the previous generation operating system Vista.

UAE's Etisalat acquires Tigo Sri Lanka for $207m

Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) said on Saturday it has bought Tigo Sri Lanka, a unit of Millicom International Cellular, for 207 million dollars amid growth opportunities in the southeast Asian country.

Metropolitan

All party parliamentary group on extreme poverty soon

Speaker Abdul Hamid Advocate yesterday said an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on extreme poverty would be formed soon to create a new horizon of debates on the issue.

Project to rehabilitate destitute children soon: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will launch a project soon for rehabilitating destitute children across the country as the government has a duty to take care of them.

Ensure quality edn for overall development

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called on the government to ensure quality education across the country, especially in the rural area, for the overall development of education sector.

No alternative to democracy for poverty alleviation

Bangladesh spends a meagre amount on social safety net programmes to alleviate poverty, and this too meagre amount also does not reach the hardcore poor as there is no accountability in its distribution process, said the speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Fake DU admission forms seized, 4 arrested

Police and DU authorities in a joint raid at an admission consultancy firm at Farmgate in the city yesterday seized several hundred fake admission forms of Dhaka University (DU) worth around Tk 84,000 and arrested four persons in this connection.

Spurious drugs major threat to public health

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said easy availability and consumption of spurious, sub-standard and unregistered drugs pose a major threat to the public health in the country, which have flooded the entire drug market.

'17,691 tax-related cases pending with HC'

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said some 17,691 tax-related cases involving Tk 7,229 crore have been pending with the High Court (HC) for disposal for a long time.

KDA chief engr among 5 killed in road crashes

Five people were killed and two others were injured in separate road accidents in Faridpur and Gazipur yesterday.

BNP to continue movement

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain has said their party will continue movement until cases against its Chairperson Khaleda Zia, her sons and leaders and workers are withdrawn.

Heart disease, diabetes, cancer on the rise

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said the prevalence of non-communicable diseases has been increasing in the society with the growing number of elderly people following a change in lifestyle and food habit and the reduction of infectious diseases.

'Appoint ombudsman to protect rights of children with disiabilities'

Speakers at an experience sharing meeting yesterday urged the government to appoint ombudsman to protect rights of the children with disabilities.

Youth hacked to death in city, 4 held

Criminals hacked a youth to death near Mirpur Stadium-2 yesterday.

Promotion of 223 officials challenged

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within four weeks why the promotion of 223 government officials should not be declared illegal.

Many areas still out of WatSan services

Speakers at a consultation workshop said WatSan services are yet to reach vast areas of Bangladesh due to its geological and geographical location, communication system, technological, socio-economic condition and risk of natural disasters.

25 hurt as sand lifters attack villagers

At least 25 villagers were injured in a series of clashes between the miscreants lifting sand illegally from the river Meghna and the villagers at Sonargaon upazila here yesterday.

Implement nat'l edn policy in phases

The teachers and employees of different non-government schools and colleges at a view exchange meeting yesterday said the draft National Education Policy should be implemented gradually as it would be difficult to implement at a time.

Gayeswar gets ad-interim bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad-interim bail to BNP Joint Secretary General Gayeswar Chandra Roy in a corruption case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Majibur made envoy to Bhutan

AKM Majibur Rahman Bhuyian, Minister, Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo, has been appointed Ambassador to Bhutan.

NUB founding anniversary programmes begin

The five-day founding anniversary programmes of Northern University Bangladesh (NUB) began on its campus on Saturday, says a press release.

Abul Hossain honorary consul of Uganda

Eminent businessman Abul Hossain has been appointed Uganda's honorary consul in Bangladesh, says a press release.

National

Fire at long-closed cotton mill raises questions

A 'mysterious' fire at long-closed Calico Cotton Mill in Pabna early yesterday damaged valuable machinery, cotton and official documents.

Buses go off 14 SW routes from today

Khulna-Barisal Divisional Road Transport Owners' and Workers' Association has called for an indefinite bus strike on 14 routes of south-western region from today to press home their four-point demand.

Expatriate killed in Sylhet

An expatriate was killed as he tried to settle a dispute between his nephew and a villager at Habra bazaar in Biswanath upazila on Saturday.

Ambulance, anaesthesia machine out of order

The lone ambulance and anaesthesia machine of Moulvibazar Sadar hospital have remained out of order for two months, much to the sufferings of patients, especially those with emergency need.

Housewife allegedly forced to swallow poison, dies

A housewife, allegedly made to swallow a poisonous pellet by her dowry-greedy husband at Khalisha Chapani village in Dimla upazila on Thursday, died at Dimla Upazila Health Complex the same night.

3 get life for rape of speech impaired girl

Judge of the Women and Children Repression Special Tribunal Court-1 AKM Arifur Rahman yesterday sentenced three people to life imprisonment for rape of a physically challenged girl.

LPG supply to Sylhet nosedives

The authorities of LP Gas Ltd, one of the two bottling plants of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), have been compelled to run the plant for only 6-7 days a month, due to drastic fall in supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), from Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL), another sate-run company.

12 RCC councillors including 7 from BNP join AL

Twelve councillors of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC), including seven from the BNP, have joined the ruling Awami League with a pledge to 'accelerate development of the city'.

I myself killed them all, I have no godfather: Rasu

Serial killer Rasu Khan, who confessed to killing 11 women in Chandpur, was yesterday placed on a six-day fresh remand.

Assault on newsman protested

Local newsmen brought out a procession and held a rally in Thakurgaon town yesterday demanding exemplary punishment and arrest of those who assaulted a staff reporter of a local weekly on October 1.

Boiler blast kills one

A man was killed and two others were injured in boiler explosion at Domdoma Bazaar in Ullapara upazila yesterday morning. The deceased, Modina Pramanik, 40, was son of Mofazzal Hossain Pramanik of Chardomdoma village. Police and local sources said, Modina and his two associates Hossain Ali and Monsur Ali received serious burn injuries as the boiler of a rice mill owned by Shahidul Islam exploded with a huge bang at around 6:30 am. The three had been working at the rice mill as labourers for long. The injured were shifted to Sirajganj Sadar Hospital in a critical condition where Modina succumbed to his injuries after a few minutes after admission. Condition of others is stated to be critical.

Two children drown

Two children drowned in a pond of their house at Dakkhin Shom village in Kaliganj upazila on Saturday. They were Fazle Rabbi, 2, son of Mostafizur Rahman and Punno, 2, son of Parvez Bhuiyan. Family sources said, Rabbi and Punno were playing together near the pond in the afternoon and at one stage they fell into water and drowned. After a hectic search their floating bodies were recovered from the pond in the evening.

Housewife electrocuted

A housewife was electrocuted at Daripara village in Sadar upazila Saturday morning. Family sources said Sabuja Begum, 40, came in contact of a live wire of an irrigation pump when she was collecting vegetables at a field. She died on the spot. On information, police recovered the body and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy. An unnatural death (UD) case was filed.

Youth hacked to death

Criminals hacked a young man to death at Karimpur village under Sadar upazila Saturday night. Victim Alamgir, 28, was son of Afsar Ali of the village. Police and family sources said, Alamgir went out after dinner on Saturday night but did not return home. The next day locals found his body lying in a field in the afternoon. Contacted, officer in-charge (OC) of Jhenidah Sadar police station said, Alamgir's murder might be linked to killing of Channu of the same village in 2007.

Trawler, boat collide

At least 15 people were injured, six seriously as a trawler and a sand laden boat collided in Kheyaghat point of the Sitalakkhya River on Saturday. Witnesses said, the accident occurred at around 6:30 pm when the boat hit the Bandar upazila bound trawler boarded by about 60 passengers. The seriously injured were identified as Rafique, Ansar, Parvez, Alamgir, Sabuj and Rahima. They were rushed to Narayanganj General Hospital where condition of Rahima was stated to be critical. Most of the passengers of the trawler managed to swim ashore while others were rescued by nearby trawlers.

Youth's body recovered

Police yesterday morning recovered the body of a young man at Maddhya Chuarykhola village in Kaliganj upazila. Locals found the body of the unidentified man aged about 30, and informed police. Later, police recovered the body at about 10:00am and sent it to Sadar hospital morgue for autopsy. Police suspect the assailants shot the man dead elsewhere and left the body at the village.

Tk 6.5 cr drugs destroyed

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) of 39 Battalion destroyed huge addictive substances worth about Tk 6.5 crore at the battalion headquarters yesterday. They destroyed 5.3 kg heroin, 21,960 bottles and 72 litres of phensidyl, 208 bottles and 369 litres liquor, 1,479 ampules injection and 13.75 kg cannabis in presence of deputy commissioner (DC) KM Ali Azam, mayor of Chapainawabganj, police, narcotic and BDR officials. The border guards recovered the drugs and arrested 20 drug peddlers during the drives conducted across the district from August 7 to October 17. Sixteen cases were filed with different police stations in this regard.

GRP, smugglers clash

Five people including a railway security guard were injured in a clash between government railway police (GRP) and smugglers yesterday morning at Natore railway station. Police and witnesses said, police held Badu Miah, son of Taslim Uddin of Chawk Baiddyanath area in Natore town while he was carrying smuggled goods by Barendra Express. When the train reached Natore station, an organised gang of armed smugglers attacked the train and started beating railway security guard Sajedur. It sparked a clash between GRP men and smugglers. As GRP police retreated, the smugglers snatched smuggler Badu from them and also took away the goods brought from Hili. Five people including railway security guard Sajedur and smuggler Badu were injured during the incident.

Robbery in Comilla

A gang of robbers looted cash and valuables valued at Tk. 5 lakh from a house at village Mahini in Nangolkot upazila yesterday. Sources said, about 10 to 12 armed robbers entered the house of Manu Mia at about 4:30 am. The gang first identified themselves as member of detective branch (DB) of police and asked the family members to open the door. As the inmates did not comply, they broke open the door and stormed into the house. The masked robbers beat up inmate Aleya Begum before looting Tk 1 lakh and eight tolas of gold ornaments, TV set, tape recorder, digital camera, mobile phone and other goods.

Letters

Rawalpindi attack - what next?

Defeat, Disgrace and Dictatorship are inevitable companions of the Pakistan Army despite its possession of a few nuclear crackers. The 24 hour-long, not unexpected, Mumbai-style hostage taking suicidal attack by the Islamist militants inside Pakistan's political and Military Headquarters (GHQ) at Rawalpindi once again exposed the myth of the Pakistan Army, the capability of Pakistani Talibans and grave concerns over Pakistan's nuclear arsenals. Shock, fear and panic gripped the whole country. No one, no place in Pakistan is safe from the militants now. In fact in the last 2/3 years, on several occasions the militants attacked the GHQ, all big cantonments, Air force and Navy Headquarters (HQ) and bases, commando, paramilitary and police HQs and barracks and killed/injured a number of generals and ministers including Benazir Bhutto. The Pakistan Army is the architect as well as the victim of the Islamist militancy.

Child labour

Child labour nowadays is not accepted in any civilised society. But child domestic service is a widespread practice in Bangladesh. The majority of child domestics tend to be 12 to 17 years old. But children as young as 5 or 6 years old can also be found working. A survey of child domestic workers found that 38 percent were 11 to 13 years old and nearly 24 percent were 5 to 10 years old. Child domestics work long hours, getting up well before their employers and going to bed long after them. On an average 50 percent domestic workers work 12- 14 hours a day.

Biodiversity

The article 'Biodiversity in Peril' (DS 10 Oct 2009) by Mr. Md. Asadullah Khan is a reminder of atrocities the humans are doing on the fellow living things with which we share the planet. The precarious state of biodiversity is recognized globally and Bangladesh is no different. The writing could have been more educational to our Bangladeshi bureaucrats and businessmen had examples from Bangladesh been used in the discussion.

Magic box

The box has both merits and demerits. It depends on the needs of the users. Actual users get maximum benefit out of it, but those who do not have utility and money should be treated as "nonsensical".

Obama wins Nobel

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama is arguably one of the most absurd awards that the Nobel committee has ever made. Highly patronizing it will be received with incredulity around the world. In fact there's rarely been an award that has been so obviously partisan and political in its intention.

Palestine and Israel

During World War-1, the UK invaded and occupied the Turkish Muslim Empire in the Middle East and cut the Arab world into pieces.

Expensive foreign tours

Everyone knows that Bangladesh is a poor country. The government has to beg and borrow from other countries every year to meet the "deficit" of our budget. Day by day the expenses are going up and the govt. has failed to keep control on the expenses.

Poor postal service

It is very sad that in Bangladesh the "Postal Service" is extremely poor. We have a very large population who are deprived of the postal services. The service available is very inefficient and inadequate. There is ample opportunity to improve the services but no one ever really tried to look into this matter. Therefore it is suggested that the govt take the following measures.

Obama and Suu Kyi

It is great news that US President Barack Obama has been awarded Nobel Prize. Though it is very early, there is no denying the fact that he really deserved this prize. This achievement would definitely encourage him to take more fruitful steps in establishing peace all over the world. The shining eyes of Obama who is also a follower of Mahatma Gandhi raise hope in the hearts of millions.

Our future

About two months ago, the prime minister of Bangladesh issued an order to advance every clock in the country by one hour, in order to make more use of daylight. But where is all the saved electricity? They are definitely not in the houses of the average citizen, for load shedding is still going on unabated!

Tobacco

How many people in Bangladesh smoke, or have raw tobacco with beetle leaves, as their everyday item to satisfy themselves, is unknown to me, but lately I have learned from a television advertisement that each year, at least 57,000 Bangladeshis are dying every year due to smoking. Still there is no information about the death of raw tobacco users.

DU lagging behind

The immense sufferings of the admission seekers of Dhaka University provoked me to write this piece. The undisciplined and haphazard queue under the sun for long hours really reminded us that Dhaka University is backward in information technology. A couple of days earlier we had witnessed that a public university demonstrated submission of admission form by the students through SMS.

International

Pak army's 'mother of all battles' might turn futile as Taliban slip away

Though Pakistan has announced an all out offensive, a 'mother of all battles', against the Taliban in South Waziristan, local residents see the offensive as futile as they believe many Taliban have slipped away into other neighbouring areas.

India to send Mumbai attack evidence to Pakistan

Statements of key witnesses in the Mumbai attack case in an anti-terror court in Mumbai will be forwarded by India to Pakistan to be used as evidence in the trial there, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said in Mumbai yesterday.

Taxman probes 27 British lawmakers over expenses

A total of 27 British lawmakers are being investigated by tax officials amid revelations over their expense claims, officials said Saturday.

Maoists want one-party rule in Nepal

Nepal's Maoists are in favour of a one-party rule in the country similar to that in communist China, a top CPN-United leader has said, raising doubts about their commitment to multi-party democracy.

'Karzai, Abdullah agree to end polls deadlock'

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said that Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and his top challenger Abdullah Abdullah have agreed to "work together" for a possible runoff vote to end the deadlock on the controversial general elections.

Experts doubt effectiveness of US sanctions on Iran

A flurry of congressional measures aimed at toughening US sanctions on Iran to pressure the Islamic republic to abandon its suspect nuclear programme will likely have little to no impact, experts say.

'Irresponsible' to send more troops to Afghanistan

John Kerry, an influential US senator, has cautioned President Barack Obama against raising troop levels in Afghanistan, saying it would be 'entirely irresponsible' to do so while the Afghan government remains in turmoil following national elections.

Obama find ME peace still elusive

He has pushed and cajoled in grand statements and closed-door meetings, but President Barack Obama -- a newly-minted Nobel Peace Prize winner -- is finding Middle East peace remains elusive.

270,000 victims of human trafficking in EU: UN

The United Nations said on Sunday there could be around 270,000 victims of human trafficking in the European Union and urged greater efforts to combat the illegal trade.

Copenhagen climate talks could fail

The crucial Copenhagen climate change summit could end without a deal, the US special envoy for climate change warned Saturday, while urging big developing economies to boost their efforts.

100,000 flee Pak offensive

More than 100,000 people have fled South Waziristan, the lawless area on the Afghan border where Pakistan has launched a major ground assault against the Taliban, officials said Sunday.

US military plane forced to land in India

Indian military officials ordered a United States airplane carrying 205 Marines to land at Mumbai airport yesterday over an airspace clearance dispute.

Lanka arrests editor over military rift story

A Sri Lankan editor was arrested for reporting on an alleged rift between a senior military commander and the government after the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels, police and his newspaper said yesterday.

6 firemen choked to death after battling blaze in India

In a gruesome Diwali tragedy, six firemen suffocated to death after they battled a blaze at a multi-storied building in Thane district of Maharashtra state in India yesterday, a senior officer said.

Immigrant allowed to stay in Britain, thanks to pet cat!

An immigrant in Britain, who was about to be deported, has been allowed to stay in the country after a court ruled in his favour - just because he and his girlfriend had bought a pet cat.

Kidnapped aid workers freed

Two members of Irish aid agency GOAL kidnapped in Sudan's conflict stricken Darfur region in July were freed early Sunday after more than 100 days in captivity, a Sudan minister told AFP.

Russian cargo ship docks with ISS

A Russian cargo ship, launched Thursday from the Baikonur space station in Kazakhstan, docked successfully Sunday with the International Space Station, Russia's space command centre said.

Gabon PM appoints new cabinet

Gabonese Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe Mba named on Saturday a new slimmed-down government of 30 ministers, including 12 from his previous cabinet.

Arts & Entertainment

‘Alokito Shondha’ lives up to its name

On October 17 evening, a cultural programme titled 'Alokito Shondha' was held at Winter Garden, Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. The event was made memorable thanks to performances by renowned artistes Andrew Kishore, Farida Parveen and Kanakchapa. Former 'Close-Up 1' contestant Rafat and Shoron, Uday from 'Khude Gaanraj' were there as well. Gram Bikash Shohayok Shongstha (an NGO) organised the event for Shondipon (a school that works with differently-abled children.

A long journey to the destination

A group art exhibition, titled “Ultimate Destination,” featuring the works of Lubna Habib, Ranjit Kumar Sarkar and Syed Ahmad Saber, is now on display at Nalinikanta Bhattashali Gallery of National Museum. The displayed works mainly focus on our Bengali folk life, nature, human emotions, hopes and woes.

Festivals of Light

The over 175-year-old 'Maha Shamshan Dipali Utshab,' and the traditional Hindu festivals of Dipabali and Kali Puja went off peacefully and in a festive spirit in Barisal last weekend.

Lalon songs at Public Library

Bangladesh Loko Sangeet Parishad (BLSP) held a programme featuring Lalon songs at Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of Central Public Library, Shabagh on October 17. The event was organised on the occasion of Lalon's 119th death anniversary.

‘Gangkhachhimee’ observed in the Hill Tracts

The 'Gangkhachhimee' festival was recently observed by Buddhists at several areas in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Shishu Academy, Dinajpur holds cultural competition

The Bangladesh Shishu Academy of Dinajpur unit recently organised a 'Moushumi Competition' for school going children of the district. Hundreds of enthusiastic children from 13 upazilas of the district participated in the event.

Inspirational songs by Gonoshilpi Shangstha

Gonoshilpi Shangstha, Pabna, a leading cultural organisation of the district, celebrated its 26th anniversary last Friday. A discussion and cultural programme were held at the organisation's premises, where speakers focused on the organisation's objectives.

Pythons reunite for Bafta award

The five surviving members of Monty Python have been joined on stage in New York by a cardboard cut-out of the late Graham Chapman for a 40th reunion.


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