The Daily Star

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Saturday, August 23, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 19th of January, 2010

Front Page

JCD men fight at DU

Clashes between Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal factions at Dhaka University yesterday left at least 25 people including proctor, JCD chief and four policemen injured.

Govt moves to open VoIP

The government has decided in principle to issue more VoIP licences for handling international calls to trigger a price war and bring illegal VoIP operators under a legal framework.

12 Shibir activists held with firearms

Police arrested 12 Shibir activists and recovered arms and bomb making materials from their mess at Mistiripara in the port city yesterday.

PM for quick release of $10b fund for LDCs

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the developed countries to disburse the fund for mitigation and adaptation to climate change immediately among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Taliban launch serial attacks across Kabul

Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers attacked buildings across the heart of Kabul yesterday, triggering fierce gun battles with security forces and killing at least five people including a child.

All grabbed canals, land to be reclaimed

The government has already started recovering all grabbed canals and khas land across the country, State Minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanok told the House yesterday.

70,000 buried in mass graves

Rescuers pulled dazed survivors from the ruins of Haiti's flattened capital as thousands of US troops headed in to shore up the beleaguered international relief effort yesterday.

Rare Rosy Starlings sighted

Golapi Shalik or Rosy Starling is one of the rarest migratory birds in Bangladesh, eight of which were recently sighted by Dr Reza Khan, a nature lover, on St Martin's Island also known as Narikel Jinjira.

PM to visit China soon

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit China soon to sign deals on road and rail links between Kunming and Chittagong, and the use of two seaports.

Foreign friends of Liberation War to be honoured

The government has taken an initiative to honour foreign organisations, journalists, singers, politicians, and poets who stood beside Bangladesh during the Liberation War.

Jyoti Basu's state funeral today

Eminent Marxist leader and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, who passed away on Sunday, will be given a state funeral in Kolkata today.

Tigers lose way after good start

After dominating the first day of the opening Test against India at Chittagong, Bangladesh lost some ground on the second day yesterday.

Khaleda must explain claim

Ruling Awami League yesterday threw a challenge to Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia to make public the "secret deal" Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed with India during her recent visit to the neighbouring country.

Charges framed against 60 BDR men

A special court of Bangladesh Rifles yesterday framed charges against 60 BDR jawans of 7 Rifle Battalion with links to the February 25-26 mutiny at its headquarters in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.

Bangladesh needs 26 yrs to graduate from LDC

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said it would take Bangladesh another 26 years to graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status.

BNP leaders in the dark

BNP leaders do not know anything about the 'secret security deal' that their chairperson alleged had been signed between Bangladesh and India during the prime minister's recent visit to the neighbouring country.

Processions, rallies banned

Dhaka Metropolitan Police yesterday imposed a ban on any kind of gathering, rally and procession around Proshika head office in Mirpur.

3 drown in boat capsize

An overcrowded boat carrying around 50 pilgrims capsized in a haor of Austagram in Kishoreganj district yesterday, leaving three women dead.

Fog blankets most parts of country

A blanket of fog and a mild cold wave caused disruptions to road, air and river transport networks in many parts of the country yesterday.

Clemency petitions rejected

President Zillur Rahman has rejected the clemency petitions filed by three of the five convicts of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case.

JU teacher shot, robbed of Tk 5 lakh

Armed muggers snatched Tk 5 lakh after shooting a university teacher yesterday at Savar and another gang took away Tk 50,000 by stabbing an electronics trader at the capital's Baitul Mukarram Market yesterday.

Australian media crews pull baby from rubble

Rival Australian news crews said Monday that saving a life came before doing their jobs when they rescued an 18-month-old baby from underneath the rubble in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

Zia's birth anniversary today

Today is the 74th birth anniversary of late president Ziaur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Editorial

Khaleda's predictable reaction

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia has made her party's position clear on the prime minister's trip to Delhi by summarily rejecting the India-Bangladesh joint communiqué. Much of what the opposition leader said could be anticipated, but the extent to which she has gone has taken us by surprise.

Do something about Dhaka traffic, please!

WE address our plea to the Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and his deputy commissioners in charge of traffic of the capital.

The India Card

THE honourable leader of the opposition (though this role is yet to be fully played by her in the right forum, the Parliament) Begum Zia deserves some credit for her consistency. Her position has been consistent since the interruption of January 11, 2007, the fateful day when a military-backed government replaced her administration.

Asymmetric relations

THE long awaited talks with India over unresolved bilateral issues came at long last when last week the summit between the prime ministers, Sheikh Hasina and Dr. Manamohan Singh, took place in New Delhi amid wild speculation as to its scope and prospects. Bangladesh being a country at the receiving end of this exercise, its people pinned much hope on Sheikh Hasina's ability in exacting our dues from India on the basis of universally acceptable good neighbourliness.

Sports

Too many wickets lost

It could have been an exciting day of cricket but the 'weather god' played foul on the second day of the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Stadium in the port city yesterday and it was not cricket rather fog hogged the spotlight on the day.

Natants eye four gold

Nepal has been the bogey place for Bangladesh's swimmers. Because in both South Asian (SA) Games that were held in Kathmandu in 1984 and 1999, Bangladesh left the pool without a gold medal. In every other meet elsewhere in the subcontinent the natants finished atop the podium.

Cook captain for Bangladesh tour

Alastair Cook has been named as England's Test captain for their tour of Bangladesh in February and March, after the selectors opted to rest the regular captain Andrew Strauss, as well as their leading strike bowler, James Anderson, from the two-Test and three-ODI tour that also includes a two-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan in Dubai, in which Paul Collingwood will once again take charge.

Many feds blast BOA

The high-ups of different federations kept on slamming the ignorance of the Bangladesh Olympic Association for not involving their technical persons during the finalisation of different events for the 11th South Asian Games to be held in Bangladesh over January 29-February 9.

Sharapova sent packing

Former champion Maria Sharapova was a high profile casualty at the Australian Open on Monday but there were no dramas for Rafael Nadal and Dinara Safina who led the charge into the second round.

Nepalese swimmers arrive

With 10 days left to the start of the 11th South Asian Games, Nepalese swimmers have reached the capital of Bangladesh a couple of days ahead in a bid to prepare themselves at Mirpur National Swimming Complex in Dhaka.

Aussies' clean sweep

Australia wrapped up their 12th consecutive Test victory over Pakistan on the final afternoon in Hobart, where Khurram Manzoor's fighting half-century was not enough to salvage a draw for the visitors. Nathan Hauritz added to his growing reputation as Test bowler by picking up the key wicket of Manzoor and finished with three, while Peter Siddle also grabbed a trio of victims.

Ricky defends his side

Australia's 2009-10 won't go down in history as one of the great summers. It didn't have the hype of an Ashes series, nor the tension of a contest against India, nor the raw combat of a series against South Africa. But don't be fooled, this was a big season for Ricky Ponting's men. It was an important two months during which Ponting's hard work to mould a new-look outfit could have unravelled if the side had sunk into a post-Ashes-loss depression.

England fined

Andrew Strauss has been rested for England's forthcoming tour of Bangladesh, but he may yet miss more matches for England after his team was fined for maintaining a slow over rate during the course of South Africa's victory in the final Test of the series at the Wanderers.

Varsity games

The annual sports competition of Dhaka University's Rokeya Hall was held at the university's central ground yesterday.

V'ball training

A month-long volleyball training, organised by Manikganj District Sports Association, began at Manikganj Government Boys' High School playground yesterday.

Zia bounces back

GM Ziaur Rahman returned to winning run in the 8th Parsvnath International Open Chess tournament after beating IM Priyadharshan in the seventh round held in Delhi yesterday.

Milan crush Siena

Ronaldinho plundered a hattrick as AC Milan crushed 10-man Siena 4-0 on Sunday to close the gap on Serie A leaders Inter Milan to just six points and with the Milan derby to come next week.

Cameroon stay alive

Day eight of the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday dished up a five-goal thriller in Lubango, a potentially massive blow for Ghana, and a costly ticking off for a champion.

Cesc inspires Gunners

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas scored his 13th goal of the season as the Gunners beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 here on Sunday and then said his tally owed as much to "luck" as anything else.

Schalke go second

Ex-Germa-ny striker Kevin Kuranyi proved his worth by sealing Schalke 04's 1-0 win over Nuremberg on Sunday, to put the Royal Blues second in the Bundesliga, despite nearly being sold over the winter break.

Maradona arrives in SA

Argentine coach Diego Maradona arrived in South Africa on Monday, just days after the end of his two-month suspension from all football activities for his sexually explicit rant at journalists.

Cruz out for a month

Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz is set to be out of action for a month after his latest comeback lasted just four minutes.

Over the counter WC tickets for SA fans

South Africans will be able to buy World Cup tickets over the counter, the tournament's chief said Monday, following complaints that the existing sales system is too complicated for local fans.

Villa fires Valencia

David Villa joined Lionel Messi at the top of the goalscoring charts, hitting his 13th and 14th goals, as Valencia moved three points behind second-placed Real Madrid after a 4-1 derby win over 10-man Villarreal at the Mestalla on Sunday.

Woods a bad example: Pele

Brazilian football legend Pele on Sunday said Tiger Woods was a bad example to youngsters who once looked up to the tainted golf superstar.

USA suffer Dempsey blow

Experienced American striker Clint Dempsey could face World Cup heartbreak after suffering a serious knee injury in Fulham's 2-0 Premier League defeat at Blackburn on Sunday.

Essien ruled out

Ghana suffered a colossal blow to their hopes of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations' quarterfinals when their best player, Michael Essien, was ruled out of Tuesday's game against Burkina Faso.

Business

LDCs seek more help from development partners

Finance ministers of the Asia-Pacific region's least developed countries (LDCs) yesterday sought greater assistance from development partners for the economic advancement of such countries.

Indicators bright in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in macroeconomic management, despite a range of constraints, both internal and external, a country review paper said.

$1b revenue if Bangladesh allows movement of Indian goods

Bangladesh stands to earn one billion US dollars in transit fee if it allows free movement of Indian goods through its territory, views the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Foreign devotees start coming

Several thousand foreigners have already arrived in the capital to take part in the three-day Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of the Muslims, on the bank of the river Turag scheduled to be held from January 22.

EBL to acquire 60pc stake in brokerage firm

Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) has received the green light from the central bank to acquire a 60 percent stake in a stock brokerage house.

SEC launches market awareness campaign

The stock market regulator has initiated a move to create awareness of capital market among retail investors through advertisement in daily newspapers.

Institutional barriers hinder investment flow in Saarc countries

The member-countries of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) need to look into how they can remove institutional barriers and develop regionalism to encourage investments and joint ventures from neighbours, Bangladesh's Board of Investment (BoI) executive chairman has suggested.

LDCs' human skills development stressed

Representatives from least developed countries in the Asia Pacific region yesterday stressed human skills development, as income inequality is growing, despite some signs of poverty reduction.

Wall Street sell-off hits Asian shares

Wall Street's worst performance so far in 2010 weighed on Asia stocks Monday amid fresh fears over the pace of recovery, while Japan Airlines sank to a new low ahead of its expected bankruptcy.

UK facing decade of economic pain: Forecasters

Britain faces the prospect of a decade of economic pain, after binging on cheap debt, and its recovery will rely on trading more with Asian tigers like China, forecasters warned on Monday.

LDCs need investment, not aid

Poor nations need investment from developed countries to break the poverty trap and catch up with the rest of the world, said a senior United Nations official yesterday.

Global fund required to cushion price shocks

Bangladesh and similar countries should start talks immediately to raise a global fund to tackle the possible shocks from rising food prices in 2010, says a high official of UNDP.

IMF: Global recovery stronger than expected

The head of the IMF said China and other developing Asian economies are leading a global recovery that is faster and stronger than expected, but warned that money rushing into emerging markets could lead to asset bubbles.

GP chairman due today

Head of Asia Region for Telenor Group and Chairman of Grameenphone Ltd Sigve Brekke is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today on a three-day official visit, said the company in a statement yesterday.

New chief of Korea-Bangla chamber

SM Kamaluddin, chairman of Concord Group, has been elected the president of Korea-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the new trade body which got licence from the Ministry of Commerce to start its operation in Bangladesh, according to a press release.

MRA gets executive vice chairman

Khandakar Muzharul Haque, former executive director of Bangladesh Bank (BB), has joined Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) as its new executive vice chairman recently.

Oil drops

Oil prices dropped Monday on doubts over the strength of economic recovery in the United States, the world's biggest energy consumer, analysts said.

G20 finance officials to meet in South Korea next month

Senior financial officials from the Group of 20 economies will meet in South Korea next month to discuss spurring the global recovery, officials said Monday.

Japan Airlines bankruptcy filing expected Tuesday

Japan Airlines is expected to file for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, ending months-long speculation about its fate and launching a massive overhaul to shed the fat and inefficiency that hobbled Asia's biggest airline.

Asia faces 'golden opportunity' after crisis: Singapore fund

Asian financial institutions face a "golden opportunity" after the global slump left their Western counterparts struggling, the deputy head of Singapore's sovereign wealth fund said in Taipei Monday.

Corporate Briefs

MAKSONS SPINNING
The company has said a meeting of the board of directors is scheduled for January 25 at 5:30pm to consider audited accounts for the year to September 30, 2009 to finalise the dividend to be declared and to discuss and take decisions on other agendas.

Singapore exports up 26.1pc in December

Singapore's main exports surged strongly in December from a year ago on rising external demand, the government said Monday, strengthening expectations of a rebound for the economy this year.

Currency

Local Market FX
USD/BDT rates were steady today. The market traded actively and remained liquid. The demand for dollar was steady.

Metropolitan

Tk 15cr for development of each constituency this year

The government will spend Tk 15 crore for local development of each of the country's 300 constituencies in the current fiscal year, announced State Minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanok yesterday.

Joint body to manage recruitment process

Bangladesh and Libya have formed a joint committee to manage the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers and ensure their welfare in the North African country.

Chinese company makes lowest offer

Chinese company Shanghai Electric Co made the lowest "read out" financial offer for the Khulna 150 megawatt (MW) peaking power project.

Rickshaws use wrong way, create jam

Hundreds of rickshaws are 'forced' to go wrong way on the Shaheed Selina Parvin Road near Moghbazar intersection in the city every day, causing traffic jam in the area.

'Frame policy to stop sexual harassment'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called for formulating a policy to eliminate sexual harassment at workplace.

Come forward to face climate change

Terming climate change a serious problem for all, speakers yesterday called on private entrepreneurs not to wait for the government or development agencies and step forward to meet the challenge.

E-textbooks spark huge interest among students

E-textbooks of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) has sparked so much interest among the students and guardians that its website has crashed several times due to an overload of incoming traffic in the last two weeks.

Make world beautiful by good deeds

Chief Justice (CJ) Md Tafazzul Islam yesterday said human beings can make the world beautiful and living worthy through their good deeds, as the service to the mankind is the best virtue.

2 policemen sued

A vendor filed a case yesterday with a Dhaka court against two policemen on charges of extortion of Tk 60,000 and beating him in November last year.

Tk 19.35cr spent to orchestrate Jan 22 JS polls

Election Commission (EC) had spent Tk 19.35 crore for preparing voter list and taking preparation for holding the January 22, 2007 general elections which was stalled amid political turmoil.

Hearing on charge framing against Jalil February 10

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed February 10 for hearing on charge framing against former Awami League general secretary Abdul Jalil in connection with a tax evasion case filed in October last year.

3 top cops get promotion

The government yesterday made Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner AKM Shahidul Haque, Special Branch (SB) chief Zaved Patwary and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Shahzaman Raj additional inspectors general (AIGs) of police.

'All religions teach peaceful co-existence'

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at, Bangladesh organised a 'Meet on Inter-Faith Harmony' at its headquarters at Bakshi Bazar in the city recently.

'India has lost astute politician at death of Jyoti Basu'

Different political parties, socio-cultural organisations and individuals yesterday condoled the death of former chief minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu.

US official Moon due tomorrow

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Patrick S Moon arrives here tomorrow on a three-day visit to Bangladesh.

JU teacher shot, robbed of Tk 5 lakh

Armed criminals shot a teacher of Jahangirnagar University and took away Tk 5 lakh from him in broad daylight in front of the sub-registrar's office here yesterday.

Build ramp for persons with disability

Human rights lawyers and activists appealed to the chief justice to redesign the infrastructure of the Supreme Court building to facilitate the movement of persons with disabilities in order to increase their accessibility to the judicial system.

Hearing on two petitions today

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday adjourned for a day the hearing on the leave-to-appeal petitions challenging the High Court (HC) verdict that declared illegal the fifth amendment to the constitution.

Fast delivery of containers demanded

Clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents confined two high officials to their offices at Kamalapur Railway Station in the city for about two hours yesterday demanding steps to quicken the delivery of containers of imported goods from Chittagong port to Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Dhaka.

National

Docs keep away from govt quarters for four years

One hundred and seventeen officers' quarters, built for the doctors of Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital about four years ago, are lying idle as doctors prefer to stay on their own arrangement.

Woman outlaw held, documents seized

Police on Sunday arrested a woman 'regional leader' of an outlawed party in Pabna and an 'operation commander' of another outfit in Khulna.

Log hunt threatens Kuakata beach

Ecosystem in Kuakata sea beach faces threat as a section of locals dig areas there to find out logs of dead sundary trees while a group of youths are engaged in giving motorbike rides to tourists on the beach for rent.

Kushtia student nurses boycott classes, ransack CS office

Students of Kushtia Nurses Institute yesterday boycotted classes and ransacked the office of the civil surgeon, alleging that he did not take any steps against an Islamic University (IU) employee who assaulted a student nurse at Kushtia General Hospital on Friday night.

Bail prayers of 28 Habiganj BNP men rejected

Twenty-eight leaders and activists of Habiganj BNP were sent to jail yesterday in a case for bringing out stick procession in the district town on the night of December 20, 2009, defying restriction imposed by police.

Charge framing against 4 in Feb, 5 chargesheeted

Charges will be framed against four militants of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Sylhet next month while five others of the outlawed Islamist outfit were charge sheeted in Jhalakathi on Sunday.

2 sent to jail, one freed on bail

The second court of Women and Children Repression Prevention Court yesterday sent two accused in Rajshahi University (RU) student Lima Parvin murder case to jail upon their surrender.

Criminals fell 1,000 trees in Gaibandha

Criminals cut down about one thousand small trees planted around a pond at Bishnupur village under Palashbari upazila on Sunday night.

Jubo League, BCL activists beat up contractor

Activists of local Jubo League and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) beat up a contractor for dropping tender against their will at Ranishankoil upazila Local Government Engineering (LGED) office yesterday.

Dinajpur Textile Institute closed

Dinajpur Textile Institute was yesterday declared closed for an indefinite period in the wake of a violent protest by general students.

6 jailed for rape, murder attempt

A court here on Sunday jailed six people in a rape and attempt to murder case.

Drugs seized, peddlers arrested

Police arrested two drug pedddlers in Chandpur and Faridpur yesterday and the day before and recovered Yaba tablets and phensidyl syrup.

Housewife commits 'suicide'

A housewife allegedly committed suicide at Barashia village in Sadar upazila on Thursday.

Water-logging in Bagerhat remains a tale of woe

Water-logging has forced the farmers of Bagerhat district to keep vast tracts of land uncultivated.

BSF detains Bangladeshi

Indian Border Security force (BSF) yesterday detained a Bangladeshi citizen from a point near Ratnai Border Outpost (BOP) under Baliadangi upazila. BDR and locals said BSF members at Sonamoti camp detained Dilbahar,28, son of Ismail Hossain of Ratnai village at about 9:00am as he went a few metres inside Indian territory to bring back his cow. Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) strongly protested the incident and asked its Indian counterpart to return Dilbahar.

Railway staff missing

Activities at Shahtoli railway station under Chandpur-Laksham route came to a halt on Sunday as booking clerk Ziaul Haq who was in charge of the station master went missing from morning. An employee at the station said, Ziaul left his workplace for Meghna Sunday morning. Earlier, he handed over the keys to station master Tapan Kumar Mitra of Chitoshi railway station. The incident stopped all activities at the station. Earlier, the activities at the station remained suspended on January 11 and 12 as the station master of the station was transferred.

Guidebooks seized

A mobile court yesterday seized 200 banned notebooks from a library in Pabna town. Additional deputy magistrate (ADM) Emam Uddin Kabir aided by members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized the books from 'Taj Library' in the town. The mobile court recovered 100 notebooks of class three and 98 of class four and the library owner was fined Tk 2 thousand.

Body recovered

Police on Sunday recovered the body of an unidentified man at Kanchrahati in Shyamnagar upazila. Locals found the body of the man, aged about 40, on the road beside BRAC office early in the morning and informed the police. Later, police rushed to the spot and sent the body to Sadar hospital morgue for autopsy. Fazlur Rahman, OC of Shyamnagar police station said the unidentified man might have been killed in a road accident.

Journo taken to DMCH

Chandpur district correspondent of daily Bangla Bazar Patrika, Shawkat Ali, was shifted to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) on Sunday afternoon from the General Hospital here as his condition deteriorated. Family sources said, Shawkat remained almost unconscious and his condition showed no improvement. Hence, he was referred to DMCH by the attending physicians. Members of local press club visited Shawkat at the hospital on Saturday evening. Shawkat along with six others were injured in an attack by a mob suspecting them to be robbers while he went to collect information at Ketua village in Sadar upazila early Friday. None was arrested till Sunday in connection with the attack on Shawkat.

10 injured in clash

At least 10 people were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers over possession of land at Sondai village in Shailakupa upazila on Thursday. Locals said there has been a longstanding enmity between Jalal and Siraj Member of the village. The clash ensued between the supporters of the two following an altercation over irrigation of boro at the field. Critically injured Akul, Golam Rasul and Rezaul were rushed to the upazila health complex.

SUSTTA polls today

Annual election of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology Teachers' Association (SUSTTA) will be held today. Awami League and left leaning group fielded Prof Dr Muhammad Anwarul Islam of the department of mathematics and Md Faruque Uddin of the social science department for the posts of president and general secretary while pro-BNP group has fielded Prof Sajedul Karim of the department of mathematics and Muhammad Taj Uddin of statistics department against them. A total of 380 voters will elect their representatives to the 11-member committee. Voting would start at 10:00 am and continue till 5:00 pm today.

International

Afghanistan yet to come up with anti-graft policy

The Afghan government has yet to put together a comprehensive anti-corruption plan ahead of a key international conference to lay out a road map for development, diplomats and a government official said.

Hope emerges from the ruins of a Haiti supermarket

"Hello," said the rescuer, a simple greeting that belied the enormity of the moment as Maria, Ariel and Lamy were pulled from the debris after surviving more than 100 hours under the rubble -- living off supermarket food.

Quake ruins coastal city

This coastal city normally would be gearing up for its raucous Carnival festival, with celebrants in brightly decorated masks dancing in the streets and the air filled with joyous song.

Israel 'collectively punishing' Gaza people, says Amnesty

Amnesty International yesterday accused Israel of "collectively punishing" the population of Gaza with border closures tightened after the Islamist Hamas movement's bloody 2007 takeover.

US may keep up drone attacks

Pakistan Defence Minister Chaudhury Ahmed Mukhtar has said that despite Islamabad's continuous reservations against drone attacks, the US has not given any clear signal that it would put an end to it.

Zardari seeks world support for Pak war on terror

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has urged the international community to provide Pakistan with more resources so that the country can fight the war on terror more successfully.

Breakthrough in leukaemia treatment

Scientists have overcome a technical obstacle and made first successful use of expanded umbilical-cord blood units to treat leukaemia and other blood cancers.

Neptune and Uranus may have oceans of diamonds!

Scientists have said that the outer planets of our solar system may have oceans of diamonds.

Deadly unrest flares in Lanka ahead of polls

A Sri Lankan opposition supporter was killed yesterday as fresh unrest erupted ahead of next week's presidential election despite a security crackdown, police said.

Myanmar court hears Suu Kyi appeal

Lawyers for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday they were optimistic Myanmar's highest court would overturn an extension of her house arrest imposed after an American intruder swam uninvited to her home.

Story of Newton's encounter with apple goes online

An 18th-century account of how a falling piece of fruit helped Isaac Newton develop the theory of gravity is being posted to the Web, making scans of the fragile paper manuscript widely available to the public for the first time.

Haiti buries 70,000 in mass graves

An estimated 70,000 bodies have been buried in mass graves in Haiti since last week's devastating earthquake, the government has announced.

Iraqi province gives Saddam loyalists 24 hours to leave

Local government officials warned Saddam Hussein loyalists yesterday to move out of the Shia province of Najaf in central Iraq within 24 hours or face an "iron fist."

Quake in China kills 7 people

Landslides triggered by a small earthquake in southern China killed at least seven people and left one person missing over the weekend, local earthquake officials said yesterday.

Pope gunman released

The Turkish man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 was released from prison on Monday after more than 29 years behind bars.

Somali pirates free Greek supertanker

Somali pirates have released the Greek supertanker VLCC Maran Centaurus after receiving millions in ransom, a Kenya-based maritime watchdog and pirate sources said Monday.

Arts & Entertainment

Riaz and Tina: A perfect match on and off screen

Riaz and Tina first worked together in the dance show “Goalini Binodon Bichitra”. Subsequently they appeared as anchors on the musical talent hunt “Shah Cement Nirman Taroka”. On screen they are a star couple, but what about off screen? The Daily Star explores the conjugal lives of the two.

Indian hockey players get support from film stars

If you thought Bollywood superstars have a fascination for cricket, the most popular game in South Asia, think again.

National ‘pitha’ festival from January 21

The third 'Jatiyo Pitha Utshab' (National Rice Cake Festival) will start from January 21 at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) premises. Organised by Jatiyo Pitha Utshab Udjapan Committee, the weeklong festival will have over 30 stalls offering various kinds of traditional rice cakes that are made in this season [winter] across the country.

Oscar race begins at Golden Globes

A rain-drenched Hollywood paused in its efforts to raise money for Haitian earthquake victims on Sunday long enough to focus on the Golden Globes, perhaps the most frivolous of the high-profile stops on the entertainment industry's awards trail. The big winner was James Cameron's “Avatar”, which came away with awards for best dramatic picture and best director.

Commemorative festival at Al Deen’s ancestral village

In honour of 'Natyacharya' Selim Al Deen, a three-day festival will be held at the theatre icon's ancestral village Shenerkhil under Shonagazi upazilla of Feni. Organised by Selim Al Deen Mela Udjapan Jatiyo Parshad, the festival will be held from February 4 to 6. The festival will feature theatre, music, film screening and traditional performing arts.

“Kobitar Gaan”: Turning admired poetry into songs

The debut music album of young artiste Oyshika Nodee, daughter of Shaheen Sarder (director, Sargam Lalitakala Academy) is going to be released soon. The album titled “Kobitaar Gaan” features patriotic poems set to tune by Shaheen Sarder.

Photography exhibition in Mymensingh

A 15- day exhibition of photographs capturing the glorious and historical Liberation War concluded at the training gallery of Alok Chitra Shilpi Sangsad (Ashis) recently in Mymensingh.

How telethons help: Haiti will be George Clooney’s third

In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti that has killed up to tens of thousands of people, George Clooney and MTV Networks are organising a megawatt line up of musicians, film and television stars for a global telethon looking to be successful in raising funds as previous disaster telethons have in the past.

OP-ED

The last lion

VETERAN CPM (M) leader Jyoti Basu is no more with us. He passed away on January 17 at a Salt Lake Hospital. He would have been 96 years old this July.

Master of the game

INDIA is to be without Jyoti Basu. The new reality will not sink easily into most minds. For most of the past half-a-century, the man had filled a crucial spot in the country's political landscape. It was a movable spot since circumstances were evolving all the time, but the picture would never be complete without this man's position and point of view.

Life and times of a Marxist icon

-July 8, 1914 Born Jyotirindra Basu in Calcutta to N.K. Basu, a leading doctor of his time. He was the third of three siblings.

Travel

Naturally Narail

WE were supposed to visit Narail months ago. But then many moons moaned by and all our plans collapsed one after another for one reason or another. Finally when we found time, it began with a disaster.

Science & Life

Evolution theory put to test

A recent study on the origin of life conducted by the Department of Genetics and Microbiology at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) contradicts the long held belief that life on Earth originated from a system of self-catalytic molecules.

Cultured meat from stem cell

DUTCH scientists have been growing pork in the laboratory, since 2006, and while they admit they haven't gotten the texture quite right or even tasted the engineered meat, they say the technology promises to have widespread implications for our food supply.

Soybean genone decoded

SCIENTISTS recently unveiled the genome of the soybean, saying it was an achievement that should deepen understanding of one of the world's most important crops, help to boost yields and defend the plant against pests.

Waterfall in desert

HEAVY rains which flooded parts of Australia's vast desert centre have brought rare waterfalls spilling from the iconic monolith Uluru, or Ayers Rocks.

Well of souls

THE Well of Souls, thought to be located on the Jerusalem site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, may contain the fabled and elusive Ark of the Covenant. This is the sacred vessel that, according to biblical account, contained the original Ten Commandments tablets that God gave to Moses at Mount Sinai as the ancient Israelites wandered the desert.

Oldest Hebrew text found

SCIENTISTS have discovered the earliest known Hebrew writing - an inscription dating from the 10th century B.C., during the period of King David's reign.


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