The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, December 21, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 26th of January, 2010

Front Page

Over 20,000 NGOs to lose registration

The government will cancel registration of over 20,000 non-government organisations that remain inactive for several years, Secretary of social welfare ministry Quomaran Nessa Khanam said yesterday.

Garment workers go berserk in Gazipur

Angry garment workers torched 15 vehicles and vandalised over 50 others yesterday, shutting down production in all garment factories on Dhaka-Gazipur highway, after a bus crushed a garment worker.

Graft, power abuse won't be tolerated

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday warned her party deputies against corruption, abuse of power and unruly behaviour.

Saving 'problem tigers' of Sundarbans

The department of forest has launched a tiger immobilising training programme for its officials as the existence of Bengal tigers is at risk due to frequent human-carnivore encounters in the Sundarbans.

War crimes act needs reform

The law by which the government intends to prosecute people suspected of war crimes during the 1971 liberation war has been criticised by an expert group of international criminal lawyers.

BNP didn't show negative attitude despite failure of AL-led govt

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said getting just 30 seats in the December 29 parliamentary polls threw the party into extreme frustration but they successfully overcame the situation by reorganising the party in the last one year.

Speaker urges opposition to return to JS

Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday urged BNP-led opposition lawmakers to join the House to play their due role.

Rangpur made 7th division

The government has declared Rangpur the nation's seventh division.

Good work mostly undone

World cricket's two most accomplished batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Rahur Dravid hit centuries as India took a firm grip on the second Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Bird flu again

The bird flu virus H1N1 struck again on Sunday at Lata Poultry Farm under Khetlal upazila in Joypurhat.

BB nod a must for banks in land purchase

Bangladesh Bank has directed all banks that they must take prior permission from it for purchasing land, floor space or any other permanent structure.

Amended law on pvt universities okayed

The government yesterday approved the amended Private University Act 2009 to maintain standards of higher education and bolster discipline in private universities.

Gunmen kill 'thug' Businessman shot

An unidentified man was killed and another one injured when gunmen shot them last night at Dhanmondi in the capital.

BNP starts 2nd round reorganisation today

The BNP starts the second phase of reorganisation today holding councils at district units that could not arrange councils ahead of the party's national council on December 8, 2009.

Universities fail to ensure quality education

Public and private universities have largely failed to implement the aims and objectives of higher education, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has observed.

Submit probe report by March 11

A Dhaka court yesterday asked Criminal Investigation Department to submit a probe report by March 11 in a bribery case against former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and three others.

4 cops, 7 robbers hurt in gunfight

A fisherman was killed and 11 people including four policemen were injured in two separate incidents of gunfight in Barguna and Cox's Bazar districts on Sunday and yesterday.

5 more jawans plead guilt, beg for mercy

Five more of the 62 accused BDR mutineers of 19 Rifle Battalion in Feni pleaded guilty and begged for mercy yesterday at the BDR special court-3.

Media shouldn't publish photo of Manila rope

The Supreme Court has asked the attorney general to take steps so that the media desist from publishing any photo of a Manila rope, which is used for execution by hanging.

Reserved posts to remain vacant until FF quota filled

The cabinet yesterday decided that posts in different offices reserved for dependents of freedom fighters will remain vacant if eligible candidates could not be found to fill the 30 percent quota in each of such offices.

Murad's mother denies having memory card of conversations

The mother of Murad denies having any memory card, which her son claims contains photos and telephonic conversations with Nashifa Akand Pinky.

Ethiopian plane crashes with 90 on board

An Ethiopian airliner carrying 90 people exploded in a ball of flames and plunged into the sea off Lebanon just after takeoff in stormy weather early yesterday, officials and witnesses said.

Car bombs kill 36 in Baghdad hotels

At least 36 people were killed and 71 wounded in three massive apparently co-ordinated minibus-borne bombings that targeted hotels in Baghdad yesterday less than six weeks from a general election.

'Chemical Ali' hanged

Saddam Hussein's notorious cousin and henchman "Chemical Ali" was executed yesterday, Iraq's government said, eight days after he was sentenced to death for the 1998 gassing of thousands of Kurds.

Editorial

Freeing the rivers of illegal occupation

THE order of the High Court to start demolition of the 8000 or so illegal structures on the banks of the four rivers surrounding the capital and to keep it updated on the matter every three months is a heartening example of judicial activism in greater public interest. The relentless pursuit of the matter by the HC, one is confident, would help complete the job of cleaning the river bed as well as the banks of the four very vital lifeline of the capital within the stipulated time.

Street vandalism a cause for concern

IT is the same old story of people getting incensed by road accidents and turning their ire on objects that had nothing to do with the mishaps. The students of Chittagong Polytechnic Institute damaged at least 40 vehicles, setting some of them on fire, after a fellow student was killed in a road accident on Sunday in the port city. The Bogra-Dinajpur Highway remained blocked for fours as students of a school were protesting the deaths of two students in a road accident.

Position of the opposition

WHEN the opposition takes a position before anything worth opposing happens, what happens to the position of the opposition? The answer to the riddle is it becomes a case of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. The opposition becomes obsessed with a thought that has no connection with reality. And it starts to do things compulsively no matter how much damage it might cause to its mental health.

The death penalty debate

THE European Union (EU) is reportedly opposed to the death penalty for, what it called, politically motivated cases. The head of the EU delegation in Bangladesh, Ambassador Dr. Stefan Frowein, said: "The European Union is paying close attention to the various judicial proceedings in Bangladesh this year concerning politically motivated murders." He made it clear that this EU statement "applies to trials for all such crimes, notably, the 1975 murders of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members and others, murders committed during the 2009 Bangladesh Rifles mutiny, and potentially also war crimes committed during the country's struggle for independence."

Sports

Centurion Tendulkar praises BD bowlers

Bangladesh finished the second day's play of the second and final Test against India on a positive note as the stumps were drawn after young paceman Shafiul Islam had got an edge off Harbhajan Singh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Bouncy Shahadat

When he speaks he speaks his heart out. And there was no exception when Shahadat Hossain turned up to face the press after the eventful second day's play of the second and final Test against India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

NZ name squads for Bangladesh series

The Wellington fast bowler Andy McKay and the Central Districts opening batsman Peter Ingram are in line for their international debuts after being named in the squads to take on Bangladesh next month.

Roger, Nikolay in qtrs

A dominant Roger Federer joined the Williams sisters in the Australian Open quarterfinals Monday while Li Na ensured China has two players in a Grand Slam last eight for the first time.

Beauty, Al Amin earn pass mark

Sprinter Nazmun Nahar Beauty and long jumper Al Amin have been finally declared fit for the upcoming 11th South Asian Games as both passed their fitness tests at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishthan yesterday.

Bhutan booters arrive in Dhaka

Bhutan's Under-23 football squad became the first official foreign team to arrive in Dhaka for the 11th South Asian Games, beginning on January 29.

Dravid sent to hospital

Rahul Dravid has been admitted to hospital with a suspected fractured jaw after being struck on the side of his face by a bouncer from Shahadat Hossain on the second day of the second and final Test against hosts Bangladesh on Monday.

Harbhajan warned

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been officially reprimanded by the ICC match referee Andy Pycroft for kicking and damaging an advertising board after a misfield near the boundary during the first day of the second Test in Mirpur.

Azam steers Pakistan to final

All-rounder Hammad Azam, not for the first time, guided Pakistan to a four-wicket win over the West Indies at Christchurch on Monday to ensure their progress into the final of the Under-19 World Cup.

Pak players should have been picked: Shah Rukh

Shah Rukh Khan, the the co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, has spoken of the pressures the IPL franchises face in team selection, referring to the recent auction where no Pakistan player received the bid. He also referred to the demands of the Shiv Sena, a regional party, to block Australian players from the IPL.

Aussies eye series

Australia can wrap up the series with victory in Adelaide after going 2-0 up at the SCG, where they enjoyed their third-greatest winning margin over Pakistan in terms of runs with a 140-run triumph. The visitors will find it difficult to come back in the five-match series but the first step must be to win on Australia Day to ensure the final two games in Perth do not become dead rubbers. To achieve that, they will need a much stronger batting performance than they showed in Sydney, where they were skittled for 127 chasing 268.

Sanjay takes lead

Sanjay Kumar of Lucknow posted a magnificent bogey-free 66 to take the lead on day one of the PGTI's American Express Bangladesh Open 2010 at the Kurmitola Golf Club yesterday, says a press release.

Aussies to trial pink balls in D/N Test

Day-night Test cricket could be a step closer after Cricket Australia confirmed they would trial a pink ball under lights during next week's Futures League match at Adelaide Oval. The test-run is intended to determine how the pink ball holds up in the longer format of the game and how visible it is when used at night.

AUSSIE OPEN AT A GLANCE

A look at Monday's eighth day of the Australian Open tennis championships:
WEATHER: Sunny and windy. High of 24 Celsius (75 Fahrenheit).

Inter win Milan derby

Nine man Inter Milan moved nine points clear at the top of Serie A after a 2-0 victory over arch-rivals AC Milan in a pulsating derby at the San Siro on Sunday.

Algeria stun Ivory Coast

Algeria and Ghana are one step away from the Africa Cup of Nations final after stunning favourites Ivory Coast and hosts Angola respectively on Sunday.

C'Ron scores, sees red

Cristiano Ronaldo spoilt a stellar two-goal display by getting sent off for a stray elbow as Real Madrid closed to within five points of league leaders Barcelona with a 2-0 win over Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Kroos fires Bayer

Rising star Toni Kroos was both chief playmaker and goalscorer on Sunday in Leverkusen's 3-0 win over Hoffenheim that knocked his parent club Bayern Munich off the top of the table.

Ruud drops Holland hint

Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy said he has joined Bundesliga side Hamburg in a bid to win back his place in the Holland team before this summer's World Cup in South Africa.

Vieira sure of WC chance

New Manchester City recruit Patrick Vieira says he has a "100 per cent chance" of playing for France at next summer's World Cup finals, despite having not represented his country since June 2009.

Robinho ready to leave City

Brazilian winger Robinho revealed on Sunday English Premiership side Manchester City are ready to agree to a loan move to Santos, where he began his career in his homeland.

Fuller sinks Gunners

Arsenal became the latest member of the Premier League's elite to suffer an early exit from the FA Cup as Ricardo Fuller's double strike inspired Stoke's 3-1 win over the Gunners in the fourth round on Sunday.

Man City table Gago offer

Manchester City have made an offer for Real Madrid's Argentina midfielder Fernando Gago, who is desperate to leave the club after spending too much time on the bench, a Spanish newspaper said Monday.

Fan dies during Milan derby

A 51-year-old man died during Sunday night's Milan derby between Inter and AC at the San Siro after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest.

Cantona to debut in Paris stage

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona takes his artistic post-football career in new directions this week when he appears on the Paris stage in what is touted as one of France's theatrical events of the year.

Business

Spinners back in the black

The spinning industry has been experiencing good business for the past several months, showing signs of overcoming a situation close to collapse it faced since 2008, according to sector people and bankers.

Stocks lurch into danger zone

The stockmarket has traded close to an alarming level with a record-breaking trend for a third day.

Plastic fair kicks off

A fair to display plastic products began yesterday in Dhaka.

Mongla port offloads third batch of cars

A third consignment of 325 reconditioned cars was unloaded from MV Orange Horizon, a flag bearer of Panama, at Mongla port on Saturday.

Regulator looks into GP trading

The stock market regulator is looking into the transactions of Grameenphone (GP) shares, whose price rocketed to a record high yesterday.

Trust Bank First Mutual Fund debuts tomorrow

Trust Bank First Mutual Fund will make trade debut tomorrow and Prime Bank ICB AMCL First Mutual Fund on February 2.

Experts stress production boost to hike export

Enhancing internal production capacity in the industrial sector is key to surviving amid the fierce competition in the global business, top entrepreneurs observed at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

Maksons Spinning okays 20pc stock dividend

Maksons Spinning Mills Ltd has recommended 20 percent stock dividend for FY 2008-09 at the company's 19th board meeting in Dhaka recently, said a statement.

Dying potato plants worry farmers in Rangpur

A large number of farmers in different areas in the district are worried as their potato plants are dying due to substandard seeds, imported by a private company from the Netherlands.

BRAC Bank MasterCard to hit market soon

BRAC Bank and MasterCard Worldwide, an international payment system solutions provider, jointly announced formation of a strategic alliance to launch BRAC Bank MasterCard branded cards in Bangladesh, said a press statement.

Controversy shadows debut of Russia's Rusal

Debt-ridden Russian metals giant UC Rusal makes its stock market debut this week in an offering worth 2.24 billion US dollars that marks one of the most controversial listings ever in Hong Kong.

Dollar mixed

The dollar traded mixed against it main rivals on Monday as investors await a Federal Reserve policy meeting and a key speech by US President Barack Obama this week.

China heats up Davos debate

Global leaders and bankers will be looking for firm signs at the Davos forum this week of China's determination to control the hot money pouring into its economy.

The positives of a negative list

Although the cabinet gave the green light to the draft Economic Zone Act (EZ Act) 2009 on March 5 last year, the act is yet to be approved and implemented.

MySpace bids to pay ‘lost' royalties to musicians

Social networking site MySpace, which has enabled many artists to launch their careers, is now helping to pay them back millions of dollars in "lost" royalties for songs and performances.

Asian shares lower

Uncertainty over US President Barack Obama's bank revamp plans and fears of policy tightening by Beijing spooked risk-averse investors in Asian trade Monday, as financial stocks continued to slide.

StanChart top official due today

David Gareth Thomas, group country head of human resources for Asia, Standard Chartered Bank, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today, said a press release.

Oil steady

Oil prices steadied on Monday following a slump last week against a background of weak global demand for energy and concerns about the wider economy's strength.

World Bank praises China anti-inflation steps

The World Bank said Monday recent moves by China to clamp down on rampant lending were the "best way" to tackle the problem of rising inflation and the threat of asset bubbles.

Philips Electronics reports profit in Q4

Royal Philips Electronics NV, the world's largest maker of lights, reported a net profit of 251 million euros ($355 million) for the fourth quarter on Monday, helped by lower one-time charges and by job cuts.

South Korea to hold FTA talks with Japan and China

South Korea, Japan and China will hold talks this week to launch a joint research project into a possible free trade pact, officials said Monday.

Vietnam approves largest thermal power project

Authorities in energy-hungry Vietnam have approved development of the country's largest thermal power project, worth at least 2.5 billion dollars, the developer said.

Currency

Local Market FX
USD/BDT rates were steady today. The demand for dollar was steady and there was adequate liquidity in the market.

Metropolitan

US seeks support for UN convention on religious rights

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said a new convention ensuring religious rights of the people would be introduced in the United Nations (UN) by the USA.

HC rule on authorities to explain in four weeks

The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the authorities to explain within four weeks why they should not be directed to demarcate the areas and determine the number of the wards of Dhaka City Corporation on the basis of equal number of population before holding the upcoming DCC election.

50,535 get scholarships

A total of 50,535 students will get the scholarships of Primary Terminal Examinations 2009 this year.

'Help persons with disabilities lead decent life'

Speakers at a view-exchange meeting here on Sunday underscored the need for ensuring congenial atmosphere to end repression and discrimination against the persons with disabilities to enable them live a decent life.

4 arrested for forging PM's signature

Bagmara police yesterday arrested four including two teachers for forging signatures of the prime minister, a state minister and a lawmaker.

5th Amendment cannot be scrapped holding gun to head of court

The Fifth Amendment cannot be cancelled only by holding a 'gun to the head of the court', Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Matiur Rahman Nizami said yesterday.

Korea-Bangla MPs' assoc chairman in city

Kim Choong-Whan, chairman of the Korea-Bangladesh Parliamentarians' Friendship Association of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, is now in city on a four-day visit to Bangladesh.

HC asks SQ Chy to surrender before trial court

The High Court yesterday directed BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury to surrender before the trial court within eight weeks in connection with a defamation case filed in Khulna.

Probe to begin in March: Minister

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said formal investigation against war criminals would begin by March.

Elderly woman stabbed to death

An elderly woman was stabbed to death at her residence at Pallabi in the city on Sunday night.

Hannan Shah threatens movement

BNP standing committee member Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah yesterday threatened the government to wage a tough movement against it if it imitates any move to establish one-party rule in the country in line with BAKSAL.

HC directive to stop publishing two textbooks

The High Court yesterday directed the authorities concerned to stop publishing and circulating two textbooks under Bangladesh Open University programme as they contain distorted information on the Liberation War history.

Preparation afoot for Ekushey Book Fair

Preparation for the month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela 2010 is going on in full swing on the Bangla Academy premises to welcome tens of thousands of book lovers at the book fair venue from February 1.

Attack on Sanjeeb Drong condemned

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad yesterday strongly condemned the attack on Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples' Forum, said a press release.

Ashraful made Cirdap chairman

Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam was elected chairperson of Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (Cirdap).

Memorial meeting on Jyoti Basu Feb 4

A memorial meeting on former chief minister of West Bengal and veteran Communist leader Jyoti Basu will be held at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city on February 4.

BCL demands withdrawal of case

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of ruling Awami League, yesterday demanded immediate withdrawal of the case filed against 14 leaders and workers of the organisation.

Asthma causes one in every 250 deaths

The number of child patients suffering from asthma has been increasing gradually due to prolonged cold weather, lack of public awareness and timely preventive measures.

Training on human resources dev launched

A4 Consultants, a reputed consulting organisation, has launched two exclusive training programmes on 'Human Resources Management and Development' recently, says a press release.

Aktel launches e-ticketing service to help cancer patients

Aktel has recently introduced e-ticketing service in Bangladesh for the welfare of cancer patients, contributing yet again to helping make a digital Bangladesh.

CHT students' council begins today

The two-day 18th council of the Chittagong Hill Tracts' Pahari Chhatra Parishad will start on Dhaka University (DU) campus today.

Workshop on cyber crimes begins

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad inaugurated a two-day workshop on 'Computer-Facilitated Crime' at the Police Staff College at Mirpur in the city yesterday.

National

Python, fishing cat rescued from Moulvibazar villagers

A python was recovered from a village house at Rajnagar upazila here on Sunday and later released into the jungle.

Arms recovered from three Ctg districts

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in separate drives recovered seven firearms and four cartridges from Lohagara upzila in the district and Lama in Bandarban yesterday and the day before.

60 shops, seven houses gutted

Around 60 shops including a godown and seven houses were gutted in fire in six districts in last four days.

Orange becoming a cash crop for Thakurgaon, Panchagarh farmers

Commercial cultivation of orange gains popularity among the farmers of Thakurgaon and Panchagarh as its cultivation proves more profitable than many other traditional crops.

BCL at RU brings out procession defying ban

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Rajshahi University (RU) unit yesterday brought out a procession on the campus defying restrictions imposed by the authorities.

Tranport workers protest raising of bridge toll

Traffic movement on Chapainawabganj-Sonamasjid highway was disrupted for about three hours yesterday as transport workers blocked the highway protesting rise in Mohananda Bridge toll.

Crop loans on easy terms not that easy to draw

Sharecroppers of the district have been facing harassment in getting crop loans from the state-owned banks allegedly due to non-cooperation of the landowners and bank officials.

Farmers getting higher yield using 'guti' urea

Farmers using 'guti' (granular) urea are getting increased yield compared to those applying conventional method of spreading urea on croplands.

Girl beaten up by gang dies

An 11-year-old girl, who was severely beaten up by a gang of criminals at Shamlapur village under coastal Baharchhara Union of Teknaf upazila on January 16, died at Chittagong Medical College Hospital on Friday.

Robbers loot house in Chuadanga

Armed robbers on Saturday night looted a house critically injuring house owner at Chadpur village in Alamdanga upazila in Chuadanga.

Criminals held in Kushtia

Police on Sunday night arrested four criminals with help of locals following a failed bid to snatch a microbus killing its driver in Doshmile area on Kushtia-Bheramara highway.

Housewife murdered

A woman was strangled allegedly by her gambler husband at Sarolkhan village of Sarpukur union in Aditmari upazila yesterday. Police recovered the body and sent it to Lalmonirhat hospital morgue for autopsy. The victim was identified as Ayesha Begum,30. Police said Saidul Islam pressed a week ago his wife Ayesha for bringing Tk 10 thousand from her parent's house. As she failed to bring the amount, the couple locked in frequent quarrels. On the fateful night, Saidul strangled his wife in sleep at her bed, police said. Locals said Ayesha was blessed with a son and a daughter.

2 die from burn injuries

Two people, including a woman, who received burn injuries on Wednesday and Thursday in separate incidents in Bogra and Naogaon, died at Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital on Sunday and Saturday. In Bogra, Rostam Ali, 65, of Nishindara village in Gabtali upazila received burn injuries on Wednesday while he was warming himself by the fire during the biting cold. He was rushed to the hospital where he died at 5:00am on Sunday. In another incident in Naogaon, Fancy Begum, 30, of Choughat village in Dhamoirhat upazila received serious burn injuries on Thursday while she was cooking at her kitchen. She was admitted to the same hospital where she died at 9:00am on Saturday.

Nine cow lifters held

Police, in a special drive on Saturday night, arrested nine cow lifters along with six cows and a truck at Kandapara village in Salanga upazila. The arrestees are Saiful Islam, 40, Shahidul Islam, 37, Aslam, 42, Sumon, 30, Asad, 35, Sagar, 32, Salam, 35, Jhantu, 38, and Milon, 28. They hailed from Kandapara, Masimpur and Islampur villages of the upazila. Police said an organised gang took away six cows from Deobhog village on Friday night. Later, acting on secret information, they raided a house and arrested Saiful, the gang leader. As per his confessional statement, the law enforcers arrested the other members of the gang and recovered the cows. They also seized the stolen truck from their possession.

Bomb attack on traders

Two bamboo traders were injured in a bomb attack on Sunday night at a village under Gangni upazila of the district.

Students block road

Students of Singia Ideal College went on rampage and vandalised 15/20 vehicles on Jessore-Khulna highway at Bashundia bazaar on Monday morning.

Lawyers boycott courts

The lawyers of Durgapur Bar Council are boycotting judicial magistrate's court, executive magistrate's court and assistant judge's court in Durgapur from Thursday demanding removal of the officer-in-charge (OC) of Durgapur police station. The lawyers started the programme after a group of criminals allegedly hired by the OC attacked advocate Abdur Razzak of Durgapur Bar Council on January 19 and injured him for filing a criminal case with Durgapur Judicial Magistrate's Court against OC Abdul Karim the day before. Hazrat Ali, president of Durgapur Bar Council said the court boycott programme will continue until removal of OC Karim. Contacted, Police Superintendent of Netrakona Sheikh Nazmul Alam told this correspondent the allegations against the OC is being investigated.

International

Lankan war victors battle for vote

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse vowed yesterday to ensure the first post-war nationwide election goes off peacefully, as he prepared to face his former army chief after an acrimonious campaign.

Zardari's presidential nomination challenged

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's eligibility to contest the presidential elections has been challenged before the Election Commission of Pakistan following the Supreme Court declaring the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) as unconstitutional and illegal.

Pak-Afghan presidents hold security summit

The presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan met yesterday for talks on closer cooperation against the Taliban, after the Nato commander in the war against the militants said he wanted a negotiated peace.

Republic Day attack plot foiled in Kashmir

Troops in insurgency-hit Kashmir found a large cache of arms and explosives that were to be used in an attack on India's Republic Day celebrations, police said yesterday.

US commander signals peace talks with Taliban

Nato's top commander in Afghanistan has said increased troop levels could bring a negotiated peace with the Taliban.

Myanmar may set free Suu Kyi in Nov

The political party of Myanmar's detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has heard that the military regime could set her free in November, a spokesman said yesterday.

Bodies pile up as Haiti begs for aid

Earthmovers cleared rotting corpses from Haiti's ruined capital as donors met yesterday to draw up a recovery plan from an earthquake now known to have killed at least 150,000 people.

Man hurls shoe at Sudan President

A Sudanese man hurled his shoe at President Omar al-Beshir on Monday but missed him, witnesses said, adding that the assailant was immediately arrested.

Mumbai gunman demands trial by int'l court

The alleged gunman in the 2008 bloody siege of Mumbai said yesterday he should be tried by an international court because he does not expect justice in India.

Manmohan worried as politics fails to woo the brightest

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday expressed concern that the country's politics "is not attracting the best and brightest" among the people and that educated professionals often shy away from participation in electoral process.

Arts & Entertainment

Disadvantaged children in focus

The 3rd International Children's Film Festival began on January 23. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the festival at the Osmani Memorial Hall. Over 240 children's films from 50 countries are being screened at this year's festival. Of these, 61 are Bangladeshi films. Child filmmakers have made 34 films. Children's Film Society Bangladesh, in association with Unicef, is the organiser of the festival.

Documentary “Laguna Helper” screened

As part of the ongoing 3rd International Children's Film Festival, an 11-minute documentary, titled "Laguna Helper", was screened at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture on January 24.

Puppets have their say

Artistes from countries as diverse as India, Brazil, Israel, Switzerland and Italy are to converge on the Indian capital for the exciting forthcoming Ishara International Puppet Festival. Beginning January 27, the Delhi audience will get a taste of puppetry at its very best. From Brazil come two entries --'Animals of Brazil', directed by Beto Andreatta and 'Flamingo', directed and performed by Anne Westphal. 'Animals of Brazil ' uses inflatable puppets, great music and choreography to depict the amazing diversity of Brazilian jungle animals. 'Flamingo', directed and performed by Anne Westphal, is a silent solo show that slips in dance, movement and animation theatre to relate the story of an egg from which emerges a baby flamingo. Along the way the audience is treated to some several surprises and incredible images. A show with a sure appeal to young and old alike.

Delving into musical roots

Department of Music and Dance of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) has arranged the week-long Folk Music Festival 2010 at the academy premises. State Minister for Cultural Affairs Advocate Promode Mankin formally inaugurated the festival yesterday as the chief guest. Director general of BSA Kamal Lohani along with director of Music and Dance Department, BSA Mahmud Selim were present on the occasion.

The movers and shakers

The stage at Fu-Wang Bowling Club rocked again on January 22. 'Rock the Stage 2' concert was organised by Uchchash Event Management. This event was a follow-up to the 'Rock the Stage' concert held at the same venue months earlier.

Cricketer Akram Khan turns actor

Renowned Bangladeshi cricketer Akram Khan is set to make his appearance on the big screen. Filmmaker Chotku Ahmed's upcoming feature film “Tomakei Khujchhey Bangladesh” will feature the former captain of the Bangladesh cricket team.

Star on Moon: Crater named after Shah Rukh

Bollywood supertstar Shah Rukh Khan seems to have turned the idiom “asking for the moon” on its head, if a newspaper report is anything to go by.

Gonoshilpi observes Mass Upsurge Day with cultural programme

Gonoshilpi Shangstha, a leading organisation of the Pabna district, held a discussion and cultural programme to honour the heroic sacrifices made in the course of the mass upsurge of 1969.

Cultural programme and traditional games celebrating the girl child

To generate awareness on the health and rights of girl-children, a discussion, traditional games and a cultural programme were held at Panchagarh Shishu Academy premises on Sunday.

OP-ED

What Bangladesh should ask of India

PRIME Minister Sheikh Hasina's recent India visit has generated considerable discussion. The main outcome of the visit has been the expression of Bangladesh's unequivocal commitment to stop insurgency abetting activities carried out using her land against India. Broadly, this stand applies to all types of terrorist and criminal activities. The commitment has been reciprocated by India, resulting in the agreements signed during the visit. This step has established goodwill and a level of trust that can now influence positively other spheres of Indo-Bangladesh relationship.

The Indian Left's Yasser Arafat

WITH Jyoti Basu's death, India has lost the last leader who embodied a personal link between the many phases of national politics since the early 1940s.

'There is no room for dogmatism in politics'

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was recently elected as a senior joint secretary general of BNP in its fifth national council in December 2009. He had earlier served as state minister for agriculture and played an important role in our country's liberation as part of a student union. Rakib Hasnet Suman recently spoke to him.

Science & Life

Factory on a kitchen cabinet

NOBEL Laureate physicist Richard Feynman gave a visionary lecture entitled “There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom” at Caltech in December 1959. He said, “…. our ability to see what we are doing, and to do things on atomic level, is ultimately developed --- a development which I think cannot be avoided.” He asked, “Why cannot we write the entire 24 volumes of the Encyclopaedia of Britannica on the head of pin?” What he was talking about is nanotechnology.

World's deepest freshwater lake

LAKE Baikal, the deepest in the WorldLake Baikal, lake in southern Siberian Russia, the deepest lake in the world with a maximum depth of 1,637 m . It is estimated to contain approximately one-fifth of all the earth's fresh surface water. The lake has an area of 31,500 sq km and about 1,963 km of shoreline, making it the third largest lake in Asia, as well as the continent's largest freshwater lake in terms of surface area. The crescent-shaped lake is 636 km long and varies in width from about 14 to 80 km . The lake is fed by the Selenge, Barguzin, and Verkhnaya Angara rivers and by more than 300 mountain streams. The only outlet is the lower Angara, which flows west from the lake into the Yenisey River. The Baikal, Barguzin, and other mountain ranges surround the lake, rising on all shores except the southeastern Selenge delta. Lake Baikal has several islands, the largest of which is Olkhon. Nizhneangarsk and Listvyanka are ports on the lake.

Sunny side of sunflower

A $10.5 million research project aimed at mapping the DNA sequence of sunflowers could one day yield a towering new variety for both food and fuel.

Synthetic biology

Scientists have produced a very unusual light show, engineering bacterial cells to fluoresce in synchrony.

Big cat in crisis

After trudging through the wilds of western Thailand for several hours, the forest rangers thought they were finally onto something: the distant sound of crunching leaves.

Novel way to adapt

The tobacco plant Nicotiana attenuata has a love-hate relationship with the hawkmoths that visit its flowers every night. The moths pollinate the plant, but they also drop off eggs that hatch into very hungry caterpillars. Now ecologists have found that when a tobacco plant is being clobbered by caterpillars, it shifts the time of day its flowers open. That makes it more appealing to hummingbirds, a more benign pollinator that doesn't eat leaves.



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