The Daily Star

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Sunday, October 26, 2014


News of: Friday, 4th of December, 2009

Front Page

Huji founder makes startling confession

Founder of banned Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami (Huji) Sheikh Abdus Salam yesterday confessed to his involvement in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally.

AL asked to amend its charter again

The ruling Awami League (AL) will have to further amend its constitution in line with the Representation of the People Order (RPO) as the Election Commission (EC) has declined to compromise on the issue with any political party.

1 more body found after salvage operations end

One more body was recovered by local fishermen about two hours after the five-day rescue operation of the Bhola launch capsize ended yesterday.

Intense pressure to create Tarique's post

In the run-up to BNP's national council, all eyes are focused on what position Tarique Rahman is about to get in the party, while its rank and file are mounting pressure on the leadership to create a whole new post just for him, said party insiders.

Dhaka to seek Tk 70,000cr for climate battle

Bangladesh will seek Tk 70,000 crore from the international community at the Copenhagen conference to deal with the impacts of climate change, said the chief of a parliamentary committee yesterday.

2 outlaws killed in 'shootout'

Two top leaders of banned outfit Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML) were killed in a "shootout" between their cohorts and law enforcers at Kedarganj in Chuadanga district early yesterday.

Deals likely on power, railway infrastructure

Bangladesh and India may sign two deals on the purchase of electricity from India and developing Bangladesh's railway and roads with Indian funding when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits New Delhi this month.

Arrested Ulfa chief 'taken to Delhi'

Indian separatist group United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa has been taken to Delhi from Tripura where he surrendered to the security forces, report BBC News and Indian media.

SAFF football championship kicks off today

Bangladesh is all set to host the Bangabandhu sixth SAFF Championship with two matches taking place on the opening day at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Govt issues gazette on new pay scale

The government yesterday published the gazette notification of the new pay scale for the public servants and fixed the highest salary at Tk 40,000 and the minimum at Tk 4,100.

Gazette on Information Commission rules soon

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday the government will soon issue a gazette notification containing rules for making the Information Commission effective.

Delwar slates implicating Tarique, Koko

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday condemned the filing of case against Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman in connection with the recent launch capsize in Bhola.

Mufti Hannan remanded

A Jessore court yesterday granted a seven-day remand for Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji) leader Mufti Abdul Hannan in Udichi blast case.

Plunderers feast on rainforest

Remoteness of Kalenga rainforest has prompted a local gang, with the backing of foresters, to terrorise villagers and plunder the age-old rainforest.

Traffic signal violators in city face music

The traffic police have started fining motorists for violating traffic light signals introduced in place of manual traffic control system since November 23.

Admission forms available from tomorrow

Government schools in the capital will start selling admission forms tomorrow for the next academic year and forms will be available till December 17, said sources of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE).

Scrap trader arrested for tree plunder

Police have arrested a scrap trader with alleged links to plundering of the forest along Sonaichhari coast under Sitakunda upazila.

Shipping minister states owners' 'greed' for more money

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan said yesterday 'the greed of Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman' for money caused the death of so many people in Bhola launch disaster.

Jailer lands in jail for assaulting prisoner

A jailer was sent to Khagrachhari district jail after he surrendered before a court yesterday in connection with a case filed for assaulting a prisoner.

3 Somali ministers among 19 killed

A suicide bomber killed 19 people including three Somali government ministers at a graduation ceremony for medical students in a Mogadishu hotel yesterday, officials said.

Pak forces kill 17 militants

Pakistani forces have killed 17 militants in operations across the northwest, as Peshawar city was once again struck by a bomb blast injuring four people yesterday, officials said.

Senators press Obama on climate plans

US Senators urged President Barack Obama yesterday to push for global action to fight climate change but warned that developing nations must shoulder a large part of the burden.

Notice

This week's Star magazine will not come out today due to the Eid holidays which coincided with the magazine's working days. We regret the inconvenience to our readers.

Editorial

Rejuvenating SMEs

THE Bangladesh Bank (BB)'s decision to set financial targets for the commercial banks in order to enhance their lending operation for the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector is commendable in view of the fact that it will go to ensure better use of the huge funds known to be lying idle with them. This renewed attention of the central bank towards this mostly labour-intensive sector will help stimulate the sector better and create employment.

Lanes on the roads

THE emphasis that has been placed of late on improving traffic conditions in the city is surely welcome. It is a sign of how seriously the authorities, especially those in the traffic police department, are looking at the problem. And now that they have come up with plans for a three-lane based movement of vehicular traffic, all we can say is that we as citizens desperately hope the measure yields results. Indeed, that there should be different lanes on the roads is a given anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, in our instance, the idea of lanes, despite being there all the time, has not quite worked owing to a multiplicity of reasons. Such a condition cannot any more be permitted to continue, for reasons that should be obvious.

The hungry billion

ONE with nine zeroes on the right looks quite tidy as a figure, but it gives an uneasy feeling when FAO says that the number of hungry people in the world has reached a historic high of more than one billion. FAO organised a three-day summit of the heads of states and governments in Rome from November 16 to 18 with a view to achieving its goal of eradicating global hunger by 2025.

Impact of remittance on development

In Bangladesh 156 million people live in an area of 143,998 sq.km, which means 1,083 persons per sq.km, or one person per square meter! In terms of population, Bangladesh is the 7th largest country in the world whereas in terms of GDP (PPT, Per Capita Income Parity) its position in the world is 196. About 45% of the population lives below the poverty line and each year natural calamities like devastating flood, cyclone, drought, etc. push millions of people below the poverty line. A big percentage of its 70.86 million labour is either unemployed or nominally employed. Under such a grim socio-economic condition what is the impact of remittances on the socio-economic development of Bangladesh?

Pakistan makes good beginning

I found a big difference between the perceptions in India and Pakistan on the anniversary of 26/11, the terror attack on Mumbai. India reconstructed the 60-hour tragedy and vowed not to "tolerate" any such act in the future. Pakistan said that it had expressed its horror adequately in the past and that by dwelling on it India was avoiding a composite dialogue. And there was a string of familiar accusations and counter-accusations. Sometimes I think that only a miracle can bring them close.

Sports

The hour arrives for Bangladesh

Bangladesh will be hoping to put a month of turmoil behind them when they step onto the Bangabandhu National Stadium today in pursuit of the SAFF Championships.

Know The Contenders

A brief synopsis of each side taking part in the 6th SAFF Championship in Dhaka between 4th to 13th December, 2009 is provided below. Since none of the teams are traditional heavyweights or frequent visitors to Bangladesh, this is a guide to help identify each team's players and status from a global standpoint. It will highlights each team's full squad list, their FIFA rankings, past performance in the Championships, their aspirations for this years tournament and their best player.

Ispahani comes in as sponsors

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) finally got a sponsor for the ongoing Premier Division Cricket League in the middle of the competition as MM Ispahani came forward to sponsor the country's most coveted domestic tournament.

League back with a bang

After a long Eid vacation the Premier Division Cricket League resumes today with the highly anticipated clash between Abahani and Mohammedan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Sehwag 284 not out

Virender Sehwag smashed a scintillating unbeaten double century as India turned the tables on Sri Lanka in the third and final cricket Test on Thursday.

Rain spoils U-19 match at Dambulla

Bangladesh Under-19 team's return-leg clash in the tri-nation series against Pakistani Under-19s was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain at Dambulla yesterday.

Henin starts 2nd career

Former world number one Justin Henin will begin her second career on Saturday on home ground at Charleroi, 18 months after retiring from the women's circuit.

NZ dominate Day One

The weather took time to clear up and New Zealand took time to wake up, but by the end of a shortened, disrupted first day at what was the Basin Reserve's 50th Test, both had taken firm hold of this match.

Mauresmo retires

Two-time Grand Slam winner Amelie Mauresmo of France announced Thursday she is retiring at the age of 30 following a decision made "after careful consideration."

Pak players cleared for IPL

Pakistan's players have been cleared to participate in the 2010 season of the IPL after receiving the final government clearance they needed, from their country's interior ministry.

Blues lose on penalties

A double penalty save by Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson sent his side into the semifinals of the League Cup 4-3 in a shootout after an enthralling encounter here with Chelsea.

All eyes on Cape Town

Supporters of hosts South Africa will be anxious onlookers Friday evening when the 2010 World Cup draw is made here before a 3,000-strong audience including President Jacob Zuma.

City spike Gunners

Carlos Tevez, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Vladimir Weiss were all on target as Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the English League Cup at Eastlands here on Wednesday.

Lazio, Celtic crash

Everton, Benfica, Hamburg, Fenerbahce and Red Bull Salzburg confirmed their places in the knockout phase of the Europa League on Wednesday, but Lazio and Celtic crashed out of European competition.

Barca see off Xerez

Barcelona and their new Ballon D'Or victor Lionel Messi moved five points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish league with goals from Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealing a 2-0 win at Xerez on Wednesday.

PSG crush Boulogne

Paris Saint-Germain left it late before giving renewed life to their title push on Wednesday with a 5-2 victory at struggling northern outfit Boulogne.

MU opt against Ljajic move

Manchester United have decided not to take up the option to sign Partizan Belgrade midfielder Adem Ljajic, a club spokesman said Thursday.

FIFA rules out ref aids

World governing body FIFA on Wednesday ruled out the introduction of both video technology and goal-line assistant referees at next summer's World Cup in South Africa .

Becks loses his grandfather

David Beckham's grandfather died Wednesday, his agent said, but the England midfielder is expected to stay in South Africa where he is helping sell England's bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Tiger admits transgressions

Golf superstar Tiger Woods Wednesday admitted "transgressions" saying he had let his family down, in a statement posted on his website that appeared to confirm rumours of an extramarital affair.

Business

Two more submarine cables in the pipeline

The telecom regulator has taken a move to connect Bangladesh with two more submarine cables through private sector initiative within one and a half years as internet-based services are often disrupted with the country's lone undersea cable.

MCCI backs use of excess liquidity in productive sectors

The large volume of excess liquidity in the banking system could increase inflationary pressure in the economy unless it is utilised in productive economic activities, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has observed.

Soft drinks pull in hefty ad spending

Soft drinks advertisements on television have been increasing fast, with around Tk 25 crore spent in the May-October period.

Monthly remittance crosses $1b mark

Remittance reached $1.05 billion in November, an all-time high in a single month, Bangladesh Bank (BB) statistics show.

Mutual Trust Bank to fund Biman to buy aircraft

Mutual Trust Bank Ltd got licence for offshore banking yesterday and will take part in financing Biman Bangladesh Airlines for purchasing aircraft under a syndicated loan arrangement, the managing director of the bank said.

Sick industry association a disgrace: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday having a sick industry association in the country seemed disgraceful.

Bumper winter vegetables output in the north likely

A bumper production of winter vegetables in the northern region is expected this Rabi season, according to DAE (Department of Agriculture Extension) officials and growers.

Stocks return from losses

Dhaka stocks returned to the black yesterday, as shares of small-cap sectors offset losses in two major sectors: banking and telecom.

Orascom realigns itself

Orascom Telecom Holding has restructured its organisation recently in a move to more effectively focus on growth and drive greater agility in the execution of key strategic transformational goals.

Concito signs deal with Miles

Concito PR has signed a deal with Miles to manage the musical band's public relations, says a press release.

Trade thru' Benapole suspended

Import- export trade through Benapole land port came to a halt in the morning yesterday, as Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) enforced Bandth (general strike) in Indian state West Bengal to protest the murder of a leader in Bongaon sub-division.

BRAC Bank gets new DMD

Mohammad Mamdudur Rashid has joined BRAC Bank recently as deputy managing director, the bank said in a statement.

Green cars to get Copenhagen boost

American drivers fond of their gas guzzlers will have to quickly learn to love greener cars, which are expected to get a big boost from upcoming international climate talks in Copenhagen.

Zoellick says Asia to play key role

Asia will have to play a bigger part in the global recovery than in previous downturns as US consumers are cash-strapped, World Bank chief Robert Zoellick said in an interview published Thursday.

Bernanke haunted by fear of another downturn

Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke, who was scheduled to appear at a confirmation hearing Thursday for a second term, is a renowned expert on the Great Depression of the 1930s and is driven to avoid a repeat of such devastation.

Asian shares higher

Asian markets rallied for a fourth consecutive day Thursday with strong commodity prices lifting related shares while a weaker yen led to buying in Japanese exporters.

Oil rebounds

Oil prices rebounded on Thursday as traders digested mixed official data on US energy stockpiles that had triggered heavy losses a day earlier.

Indian carmaker Maruti may hike output by 75pc

India's biggest carmaker Maruti Suzuki aims to boost output by up to 75 percent as it seeks to maintain its dominant position in the fast-growing domestic market, a report said Thursday.

Major layoffs at Washington Times, Miami Herald

The Washington Times will lay off at least 40 percent of its 370 employees as part of a major overhaul announced Wednesday by the financially troubled paper.

Malaysia's Legoland theme park to open in 2012

A Legoland theme park will open in Malaysia's south in 2012 at a cost of 700 million ringgit (206 million dollars), one year earlier than scheduled, developers said Thursday.

Yahoo! deepens Facebook connection

Yahoo! said Wednesday that it is weaving Facebook connections into its popular online services such as email and news.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active yesterday. There was adequate supply of dollar in the market. The USD/BDT rate traded at a slightly higher level compared with the previous working day.

Metropolitan

Call for concerted action to ensure constitutional rights

Social Welfare Secretary Quamrunnesa Khanam at a discussion yesterday called for a concerted action by the government and non-government organisations to empower persons with disabilities (PWDs) and protect their constitutional rights.

Climate change: Bangladesh needs urgent help

Bangladesh's vulnerability to global warming was eloquently discussed in French National Assembly Wednesday.

Akhter Ahmed's body arrives today

The body of journalist Akhter Ahmed Khan, press minister of Bangladesh embassy in the US, will arrive in Dhaka at 8:00am today, says a press release.

2 UN experts in city

Two independent UN experts arrived in Dhaka yesterday to investigate the relationship between sanitation and human rights in Bangladesh.

DAM invites designs for children's city

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) has undertaken a project titled 'Shishu Nagori' (children's city) in different parts in the country aiming at making orphan street children aged 6-15 years self-reliant, says a press release.

Potholed roads perennial problem for Shipahibagh-Meradia residents

Peyara, a 35-year-old woman, failed to buy food for their family on one Monday as the sale of tea at her small tea stall was very poor which was inadequate to arrange meals for her family.

Bangabandhu memorabilia found at Dhaka University

Thirty-four years after the death of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Dhaka University authorities found a citation, crests and casket, which were meant to be handed over to Bangabandhu at a meeting with the students and teachers scheduled for August 15 in 1975.

Swadesh Bose passes away

Dr Swadesh Bose, a renowned economist and organiser of the Liberation War, passed away at his residence in the city yesterday at the age of 81.

'Punish culprits, make probe report public'

Three different legal aid and human rights organisations yesterday demanded the government punish the culprits behind the Bhola launch capsize and make the probe report public.

JS reserved seats for indigenous women demanded

Speakers at a seminar yesterday demanded reserved seats in the Jatiya Sangsad for indigenous women from Chittagong Hill Tracts to ensure their political empowerment.

Ameerah Haq made UN secy general's Special Representative for Timor-Leste

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh as his Special Representative for Timor-Leste and Head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) to succeed Atul Khare of India.

Climate change issue: Role of Hasina in CHOGM lauded

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was given special honour by international leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)'2009 held on November 27-29 in Port of Spain.

More training for journos stressed

President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised increasing training opportunities for journalists at home and abroad so that they could write quality reports to protect interests of the common people.

Govt recasts Road Show schedule

Power and Energy Ministry yesterday recast the schedule of its planned Road Show to be held in three commercially important cities abroad to showcase investment opportunities and government's incentives for foreign investors.

31 women killed for dowry in November: BSFHR

Thirty-one women were killed and five women severely tortured for dowry while 15 women committed suicide being victim to eve-teasing or domestic violence or due to failure in love across the country during the month of November.

€6.5m German help to install 3 lakh solar units

German Ambassador to Bangladesh Holger Michael yesterday said Germany will give Bangladesh 6.5 million euros in grant for installing three lakh solar home systems in the rural areas by 2012.

'Ban export of mineral resources'

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port will hold a mass campaign on the victory day on December 16, demanding a law be enacted banning export of mineral resources.

CRP observes Int'l Day of Persons with Disabilities

The Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) observed the 18th International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2009 in the country yesterday as elsewhere across the globe.

Health minister assures poor of medical aid

Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque yesterday said the government has a plan to assist the poorer section of the people to reduce the health hazards caused by the climate change.

Sonargaon Assoc to award GPA-5 achievers

Sonargaon Association will reward the students who got GPA-5 in the SSC and HSC examinations from different schools at Sonargaon in recognition of their brilliant results in the public exams.

3 bullet-hit in city

Extortionists shot and injured three people in two separate incidents at Wari and Bongshal in the city yesterday.

Lt Gen Jahangir placed at foreign ministry

The government has made some important changes in Bangladesh Army, National Security Intelligence (NSI) and Anti-Corruption Commission through fresh transfers and appointments.

Newly married couple commits suicide

A newly married couple committed suicide by hanging themselves form a ceiling fan at their rented house at Tongi in Gazipur last night.

Double shifts in 80 govt schools soon

About 2,000 teachers will be recruited as the government is going to introduce double shifts in 80 more secondary schools in 41 districts across the country.

YMCA executives

Symon P Adhikary was reelected president of the National Council of Young Men's Christian Associations (YMCA) of Bangladesh for the term 2009-10, says a press release.

First death anniversary of Nurul Islam today

Today is the first death anniversary of Nurul Islam, president of Gonotantri Party and Bangladesh Trade Union Centre.

National

Mindless extraction of earth from river worries villagers

Indiscriminate extraction of earth from river Paira at Angaria point of Patuakhali and Dudhalmau point of Bakerganj upazila in Barisal by influential quarters has put Lebukhali ferry terminal and many nearby villages under the threat of erosion.

Toxic ice creams put Sirajganj kids at serious health risk

Around 500 factories in Sirajganj are producing ice creams with harmful chemicals posing a serious health hazard to the ice-cream lovers particularly children.

Cancel Cox's Bazar dist BNP body

A faction of BNP Cox's Bazar unit yesterday formed a human chain in the town demanding cancellation of the district body approved by the central committee.

Wards of Aila victims want exemption of exam fees

Over 27 hundred candidates of next SSC, HSC and equivalent examinations from 51 high schools, colleges and madrasas in Aila-hit Koira upazila of Khulna district have appealed to the government for exemption of their board fees.

Saudi expatriate, woman murdered in B'baria

A Saudi expatriate and a woman were murdered in two separate incidents in two upazilas of the district yesterday.

MMCH interns call off indefinite strike

Interns at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH) on Wednesday night called off their indefinite strike after a meeting with the hospital authorities and local leaders of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA).

Transformers looted from Narsingdi mills

Robbers took away transformers from textile mills in Narsingdi yesterday while a local gang looted three houses and injured seven people at a village in Shariatpur the day before.

Warrant for arrest of SQ Chy

A court in the port city yesterday issued arrest warrant against BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury in a sedition case filed for delivering 'provocative' speech regarding August 15 and the historic verdict in Bangabandhu murder case.

7-hr traffic jam as truck stuck on bridge

Traffic movement on Dhaka-Kapasia-Kishoreganj Road remained suspended for seven hours from 4:00am yesterday as a goods laden truck bound for Kishoreganj got stuck on Rajabari Bridge on the road.

Image of goddess damaged

Criminals damaged an image of goddess Kali at a temple at Fulbaria village in Khoksa upazila in Kushtia on Wednesday night.

Criminals beat up Rab man

A member of Rab-5 was seriously injured at around 2pm Wednesday in an attack by criminals when he went to recover arms from them in the guise of a buyer. Police and Rab sources said, Rab-5 detective branch member Kamal Hossain went to a spot at Dhanaidah village under Boraigram upazila. At one stage of bargain, illegal arms dealers Sajib, Rezaul, Barek and Don took the money but refused to hand over the arms. The also beat up Rab member Kamal and fled the scene. Rab-5 assistant director Anwar Hossain said drives are on to arrest the culprits.

Housewife's body recovered

Police yesterday morning recovered the body of an expatriate's wife from Sawdagor Bari in Paschim Lalpur village under Kabilpur union in Senbagh upazila. Police and locals said, Nazmun Nahar, 23, daughter of Qatar expatriate Mohin Uddin of the village was married to their neighbour Saudi expatriate Anwar Hossain Sohag about five years ago. Nahar had been staying in her father's residence for the last two years as she was suffering from cancer. On Wednesday night, she went to bed after dinner. But in the morning, her grand mother found her body hanging from a wooden beam of the bathroom. Sub-inspector (SI) Abu Yusuf of Senbagh police said, they recovered the body and sent it to hospital for postmortem.

Fire at Thakurgaon hospital

Fire at Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital yesterday noon halted scheduled operations of the patients for a few hours. Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Dr. Sultanul Alam told this correspondent that the fire broke out in a switch board on the wall of operation theatre due to short circuit. Within 10 minutes it damaged the cables of the operation theatre badly. The incident delayed the scheduled operations of the patients, he said. On information, fire fighters rushed to the spot and brought the fire under control. Later, a three-member probe committee headed by senior consultant Dr. Partho Sharothi was formed to investigate the matter.

Woman stabbed to death

A woman was killed allegedly by her husband at Bhimpur village under Sadar upazila in Naogaon early yesterday. Victim Tahmina Khatun alias Khuki, 37, was wife of Abdus Salam, 45, and a mother of two children. Aminul Islam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Sadar police station said, following an altercation with his wife at 1:30 am Salam stabbed her wife with a sharp knife killing her on the spot. The OC said Salam often pressed Khuki to sell her one and half bigha land. As she refused, Salam killed her and fled away. Victim's elder brother Sadekul Islam filed a case with Sadar police accusing Salam of murder.

Sex worker murdered

A sex worker was murdered yesterday at a brothel at Romesh Sen Road in the town. The victim was identified as Meena alias Rita, 22. Police said, Rajib, the so-called husband of Rita assaulted her severely the previous night following an altercation over a trifling matter. Critically injured Rita was taken to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH) early yesterday but she succumbed to her injuries after some time. The body was sent to MMCH morgue for autopsy yesterday afternoon. There were marks of injuries on the body of the victim, said Sub-Inspector (SI) Abdul Mazid, also the Investigation Officer (IO) of the case.

Madrasa teacher, student held

Police arrested a teacher and a student of a madrasa for suspicious movement on Chittagong court building premises Wednesday afternoon. The arrestees are Habibur Rahman, 23, a teacher of JM Hat Noorpur Madrasa at Fulgazi upazila under Feni district and Mobarak Hossain, 23, a student of Hathazari Madrasa. Police arrested the two from police check-post at the court building at around 12.30pm. Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mohiuddin Mahmud of Kotwali police station said the arrestees claimed that they went to the court building for a visit. Habibur is an ex-student of the Hathazari Madrasa and son of Ali Hossain of Kanthalia under Jhalakathi district and Mobarak is son of late Abdus Sobhan of Babupara under Lalmonirhat district, said the OC.

Two arrested in Bandarban

Ruanchhari police arrested two suspected tribal criminals from forest office area under the Sadar upazila on Wednesday. With the arrest of the two, a total of 22 suspected criminals were arrested from different places of the district in the last two months, police said. The arrestees are Sujan Chakma of Kalindipur, Rangamati and Khokan Chakma of Diginala, Khagrachhari. They are members of the newly formed Chittagong Hill Tracts National Forum (CHT-NF). They confessed to the police that they have been involved in abduction, extortion and various other crimes in the localities.

Two held with forged stamp

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members arrested two people along with forged non-judicial stamp worth Tk 3 lakh at Hemayetpur yesterday morning. The arrestees are -- Tajul Islam, 50, and Kazi Keramat Ali, 35, of Comilla district. Acting on secret information, a Rab team arrested Tajul and Keramat with the forged stamps of different denominations.

Letters

Class-V final exams in CHT

I am very pleased to learn that for the first time the govt. has introduced Class-V final exams intending to improve the education standard in the country. This will definitely help to ensure quality education in our society. An NGO named Koinonia has been running an education programme named Tribal Children Education Programme with a total of 100 schools in 4 upazilas under Bandarban district since 2005. As this organisation is mainly involved with education programme, it has gained some knowledge/experience on the present status quo of education among the indigenous children in the remote areas. In light of the experience gained, I would like to share some of my views on the new rules of class- five final exams.

Environment protection

I am sending some important highlights from the book "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis" written by Al Gore, released in the USA in November. This and other observations about climate change were published in the weekly "Newsweek' of November 9th. The highlights will be of interest to all concerned about the environmental issues. These are as follows:

Obama in Japan

The US President showed his respect with a bowed head to the Emperor of Japan & a group of political analysts strongly condemned the gesture.

Rickshaw issue

I am indeed indebted to Mr Chisti of Lalmatia for his letter in DS 18 Nov on the subject supporting rickshaws. Before going in to details I would draw his attention to the letter “VIP roads” by Ameer Sobhan, a student of NSU in the adjoining column. Ameer has raised pertinent points in defense of the rickshaw in the circumstances prevailing TODAY that will partly answer some of Mr Chisti's fears. We will talk about the freeways, new roads, subways, metros, circular rails, waterways and other lollipops WHEN THEY ARE A REALITY, not before.

President of European Commission

I am glad Tony Blair did not get the job. He had alienated a lot of British Muslims by the invasion of Iraq on falsified intelligence report and Labour lost the Tower Hamlets constituency (last Labour MP, Oona King) to George Galloway's Respect Party. Many European countries were against the candidacy of Blair although he was the most known name in the running. Blair's running generated mild xenophobia against Britain and the Belgian newspaper La Capitale just before the final selection printed a list of "10 reasons to hate Britain" widely covered in the British media.

My orphaned life!

As much as I talk to the Bangladeshis' at home and abroad, the signals they send out, reminds me of a common terminology (“whatever”) that Americans use a lot. This is a lingo that American teenagers use to express their sense of frustration, however the adults use it too, when they do not or can not make a sense of complicated or semi complicated issues. Most of the time Bangladeshis' frustration would be expressed as “the country is screwed up, I don't give a damn, let them do whatever they want, Allah is displeased with us etc”. Almost all the comments would send a signal of learned helplessness, hopelessness, sadness, irritability.

Why not Zia murder case?

The recent verdict is a milestone in our history. But why not revive the Zia murder case ?

Commonwealth scholarship

Commonwealth Scholarship is perhaps now the only important and prestigious scholarship available to our young scholars. It is therefore expected that great care would be taken in awarding this scholarship. It seems regrettable that the UGC this year has suddenly changed the prevailing rules of selecting the awardees from among the applicants, apparently ignoring the fact that there still exists two different systems of examination in the older public universities and there are significant differences between them.

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International

US asks Karzai to fight graft or be sidelined

The White House on Wednesday warned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to fight corruption or see Washington bypass his cabinet and seek out lower level officials to provide essential services to Afghans.

Pakistan wants 'more clarity' on new US Afghan strategy

Pakistan wants "more clarity" on US President Barack Obama's new Afghan war strategy, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said yesterday.

UN climate head eyes Copenhagen aid deal

The UN climate chief voiced optimism Wednesday that the upcoming Copenhagen summit will offer immediate aid for developing nations but urged rich states also to chart out long-term help.

Obama war plan may get Congress backing

President Barack Obama appears to have secured what president George W Bush couldn't: bipartisan support for an unpopular and faltering war.

India ready to withdraw some troops from Kashmir

India's home minister said Wednesday the government was prepared to withdraw a "significant" number of troops from the restive Muslim-majority Kashmir region.

Pullout deadline not fixed

Top US officials defended Barack Obama's new strategy to win the Afghan war, denying that a timeline for departure was set in stone as Nato met yesterday to consider his call for more troops.

China sentences 5 more to death for Xinjiang riots

A Chinese court sentenced five more people to death yesterday for murder and other crimes committed during ethnic riots that rocked the western region of Xinjiang in July.

The deal that may prove costly for Zardari

All eyes in Pakistan are turning towards the Supreme Court as a larger bench has been constituted to take up all cases relating to the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).

Russia to take tough action against terror

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed yesterday that the Russian government will step up the fight against terrorism following a deadly train bombing that killed 26 people last week.

Obama borrows Soviet's Afghan endgame

The US-led war in Afghanistan bears ominous similarities to the disastrous Soviet war there 20 years ago, when a modern army was humbled by small guerrilla bands and the invaders struggled to prop up an unpopular government in Kabul.

Nepali ministers to meet on Everest today

Nepalese ministers began arriving yesterday in Lukla, one of the main towns in the Everest region, ahead of a high-altitude cabinet meeting to stress the impact of global warming on the Himalayas.

Pak HC rejects LeT chief's plea against indictment

Pakistan-based LeT's operations chief and Mumbai attacks mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi yesterday failed to get any reprieve from the Lahore High Court, which disposed of his two petitions challenging his indictment for involvement in the 26/11 strikes.

Newspapers push to reclaim online identities

Newspaper editors and owners meeting in India have urged their industry to seize back the online publishing initiative from search engine "parasites" living off their work.

Maldives seeks climate summit cash to adapt and survive

The president of the Maldives said yesterday that he would use the UN climate summit in Copenhagen to appeal for immediate cash to fend off the rising sea levels that threaten his atoll nation.

Look at her feet to know if she likes you

Searching for the twinkle in her eye to tell if she is head over heels in love with you? Well, it's time you turn your attention towards her feet, suggests a new study.

Arts & Entertainment

National identity, as envisioned by Biren Shome

Liberation War, Language Movement and the eternal beauty of Bangladesh are the major themes at the upcoming exhibition of Biren Shome. Shome is one of the noted painters of the '60s who has been consistently maintaining a significant role in the contemporary Bangladeshi art scene. Throughout his chequered career, the artist has worked on varied themes, portraying them in his personal style and technique. His themes have always been closely connected to the soil of Bengal and its people. His works plunge deep into assortment of forms like abstract, pure-abstract, realistic and semi-realistic.

Soumitra and Sharmila go down memory lane

For a moment, the clock was turned half a century back.

Glory days: Ajit Roy speaks on Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra

On the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr in November 1971, when the artistes of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra saw the moon, they all became emotional. As veteran singer Ajit Roy reminisced, "With due respect for the religion, nobody was in a mood to celebrate Eid, when people were in pain and agony. Lyricist Shahidul Islam wrote a song 'Chand tumi phirey jao' and Rupa Khan sang it. Everyone shared this sentiment. I composed the tune of the song."

Tele-film “Grohonkaal” on Desh TV

Desh TV will air the tele-film “Grohonkaal” today at 3 pm. Written by Bipasha Hayat, the tele-film has been directed by Tauquir Ahmed.

A much-needed break for urban career women

Meril Revive is a brand of Square Toiletries for women who are always on the go. For these women who want to make it on their own, attain professional efficiency and have it all, spending a lot of time on make up is not an option. Meril Revive has come to their rescue, providing them with an easy option to look and feel good.

Beyonce leads Grammy nominations with 10

Beyonce has enough Grammy nominations for her and Sasha Fierce.

OP-ED

From Barcelona to Copenhagen: Is there any hope left? (Part-1)

THE last of the five rounds of negotiations on climate change since Cop-14 in December 2008 ended in November in Barcelona. The outcome differs in no substantive manner from the previous rounds. Perhaps Barcelona witnessed the highest number of non-papers, which are in-session documents issued informally. The decision to carry some of these non-papers to Copenhagen for consideration, without adopting any substantive decision is symptomatic of lack of any progress. The expectation is a new deal, particularly on mitigating climate change. Judging by the outcomes of the eight negotiations since adoption of the Bali Action Plan in December 2007, the prospect looks bleak.

Pain falls, drop by drop

THERE was a fundamental decency in Nurul Islam. And it was there because of the dignity, the sense of self-esteem, which defined his personality. He was a politician in the very real sense of the meaning, which is as much as to say that he was a reminder of the values we once lived by. As one of the foremost of spokesmen for the toiling classes, he was second to none. There was the authoritative about him. There was nothing of the authoritarian you could spot in his long career in the political circuit. He was a bold individual to whom the idea of power was essentially the idea of trust. Politics, in that very broad way of looking at it, was a responsibility that brought the state and its citizens together, through the formulation of social welfare programmes and then pushing them on to fulfillment. It was never about seeking or winning office.

StarTech

Cisco seeks to widen reach

Cisco, one of the leading networking, communi cations techno logy and services companies in the world, seeks to strengthen its foothold in Bangladesh.

A year of notebook

Computer businessmen of Bangladesh tend to call it a 'Year of Notebook' with growing popularity of the small computers. They noted 30 percent rise in sale of this type of computers this year. The trend was growing as youths the home users in particular were looking to the latest technology.

MJ ruled Internet in 2009

The late King of Pop Michael Jackson ruled the Internet this year, with his name crowned the most popular search term at Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Facebook tops 350m users, tightens privacy

Facebook is enhancing privacy controls and eliminating its regional framework for online communities as the Internet's most popular social networking service tops 350 million users.

HP awarded top achievers of 2009

Speed of execution, teamwork and technology these three are the Hewlett-Packard's (HP) winning formula. The company also serves the customers with products developed in environmentally responsible manner, said the speaker at Grand Reseller Meet and Top Achievers' Award Ceremony, recently held in Dhaka, says a press release. More than 200 HP resellers and renowned information technology personnel of the country took part in the ceremony.



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