The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, July 31, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 9th of February, 2010

Front Page

Licensed to break law

Car licence plates have become a symbol of utter disregard for law as the vehicle owners tamper with the plates by using varying typefaces and designs in violation of the rules that strictly prohibit such practices.

Kuwait to invest more

The State of Kuwait is eager to provide all-out support for different development projects of Bangladesh and expand the bilateral trade between the two Muslim countries.

Deported workers yet to get arrears

Kuwait has not yet paid the arrears of several hundred Bangladeshi workers who were arrested and deported following a protest there one and a half years ago against low wage and non-payment of salaries.

25 lakh ultra poor families to get rice at Tk 22

With Open Market Sales (OMS) hardly stabilising rice prices, the government in yet another move yesterday decided to introduce fair price cards for 25 lakh ultra poor families across the country.

Soccer gold hosts'

Bangladesh capped off their best-ever performance in the South Asian Games with a dream gold in football at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday where the men's team thrashed Afghanistan 4-0 in the final much to the delight of a packed home crowd.

Roads blocked, dues demanded

Several hundred demonstrating garment workers yesterday suspended vehicular movement for four hours on Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway in Tongi, Gazipur.

No autopsy for 2 days as doctor not available

The autopsy of a body could not be performed even after two days at Faridpur Medical College Hospital as no doctor was available for the job.

Secretaries to visit dists to see dev work

Secretaries of the government at a meeting yesterday decided to work in a coordinated way to speed up the administrative activities for fully implementation of its development programmes.

Performance, not politics, to get MPO

The monthly pay order (MPO) facility would be provided to the non-government educational institutions on the basis of performance index not on political consideration, said Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday.

AL grassroots demand new committees

Pointing to a staggering lack of coordination within the party, leaders of Barisal district, city and upazila units Awami League and its associated bodies yesterday demanded formation of new committees at the grassroots tiers.

SC stays HC verdict for 6 weeks

The Supreme Court yesterday stayed for six weeks the High Court verdict that declared the existing warrant of precedence illegal.

Opposition to play active role in JS, on streets

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said the opposition led by her will play an active role both in the parliament and on streets while giving the incumbent government more time to prove itself.

New CJ asks lawyers to help poor get justice

Chief Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim yesterday proposed that the Supreme Court (SC) lawyers conduct a case for free every month for the poor and destitute litigants, who otherwise would have no access to justice.

28 BDR men appeal for retracting confessions

Twenty-eight Bangladesh Rifles members yesterday appealed to a Dhaka court to let them retract their confessional statements given earlier on the February 2009 at the BDR headquarters in Pilkhana.

3 cops sued for death in custody

A murder case was filed against the incumbent officer-in-charge, a sub-inspector and an assistant sub-inspector of Keraniganj police station yesterday following the death of an accused in the custody.

Two roads closed to traffic today

The roads from Dainik Bangla intersection to Paltan intersection and from Dainik Bangla intersection to Shilpa Bank Bhaban will be closed to traffic from 1:00pm to 8:00pm today due to the closing ceremony of the 11th South Asian Games, a press release of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said.

UZ chairmen ask govt to meet 10-pt demand

The Upazila Chairmen and Vice-chairmen Oikya Parishad yesterday urged the government to meet its 10-point demand and threatened to launch an agitation programme if the demands are not met immediately.

8 arrested at illegal manpower agency

Rapid Action Battalion yesterday arrested eight persons at a recruiting agency in the city's Malibagh area on charges of running the business illegally.

BCL men sued for 'bid to grab' land

Bangladesh Chhatra League activists yesterday attempted to grab 11 acres land of the Gano Bishwabidyalay and looted its construction materials worth Tk 5 lakh, officials of the university alleged.

Govt signs its first public sector power deals

The Power Development Board (PDB) yesterday signed contracts with two Chinese companies for two 150 megawatt public sector power projects, both of which would be implemented by the end of 2011.

Robber killed in gunfight with cops

A suspected robber was killed in a gunfight with highway patrol police in Ghoraghat upazila of Dinajpur early hours on Monday, police said.

Conjoined twins separated

Doctors at Dhaka Shishu Hospital yesterday separated conjoined twins Moni and Mukta in the third such operation performed successfully in Bangladesh.

Contempt rule on Jamuna Builders MD

The High Court yesterday directed the managing director of Jamuna Builders Ltd to appear before the court on February 22 in connection with a contempt of court charge.

Little mags attract many

The little magazine publications are witnessing brisk sells at the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela attracting readers of all ages.

Shibir activists beat up 2 BCL men at RU

Police in a raid arrested 10 Islami Chhatra Shibir activists at Rajshahi University last night after Shibir men beat up two Chhatra League activists at Bangabandhu Hall.

Taliban defiant as Afghans flee ahead of assault

Nato commanders called on the Taliban to surrender as troops dug in yesterday for a major assault on one of the last insurgent strongholds in southern Afghanistan, sending thousands of residents fleeing.

US battles to restore power to thousands of homes

Hundreds of emergency crews battled yesterday to clear snow-clogged roads and restore power to thousands of homes across the US east coast before a new storm hits.

Blast at US power plant kills 5

Fire marshals yesterday were preparing to start their investigation into a massive explosion that rocked an under-construction power plant where gas lines were being tested, killing at least five people.

Editorial

Managing traffic amidst constraints

Inadequate road space, unmanageably high number of vehicles and chronic disorders of all other types, which create regular and seemingly interminable traffic jams, are the severe problems that the traffic authorities are facing in the city, with the citizens taking the excruciating brunt of immobility and loss of man hours.

Cleaning up of rivers

One wonders whether the agencies mean business when they talk about cleaning the four major rivers around the capital of the waste. If that were the case one wonders how, while the cleaning-up is being conducted by the BIWTA on one hand, does the DCC authorities allow its garbage disposal trucks to off load refuse alongside the very rivers that are being cleaned, causing thousand of tons of rubbish to be dumped back into the same rivers.

From vision to action

The history of mutual suspicion, petty bickering on trade negotiations, cavalier attitude on border killings, dangerous gamesmanship with arms smuggling, etc. of the last three decades of Bangladesh-India relations would not normally justify the agreements that Sheikh Hasina penned two weeks ago in Delhi. Only a vision would. A vision of a South Asia doing what Asean did several decades ago, a South Asia of trusting neighbours rather than of subverting them, of fighting poverty and not using it to justify other failures, of a thriving market place of goods and services rather than of counting items in the negative list. In the latest agreement Bangladesh has moved towards such a vision. Has India responded? For us, the jury is still out.

Roadblocks to Obama presidency

Barack Obama walked into the White House with a vision of hope and change. Yet, no sooner had his first year in office glided into the second, his distracters started saying that Obama will be a 'one-term President' who is 'completely overwhelmed' by the challenges that confront him. The Senate Republican minority would relish nothing more than seeing him "fail and fade."

Sports

Football's dream fulfilled

Bangladesh outplayed Afgha-nistan 4-0 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday to win the football title of the 11th South Asian Games for the second time. Two goals in each half gave the hosts the gold in the most lopsided of finals in the 26-year history of the Games.

Boxers come good once more

Whenever Bangladesh hosted the South Asian Games, it saw its boxers presented gold and this time too the local boxers did not frustrate the nation as they grabbed two of those on the concluding day of the competition in the 11th edition of the regional sporting extravaganza at the newly-built Mohammad Ali Boxing Stadium yesterday.

Masbah rises to occasion

The only fear for him was S Somorjid. The Indian's earlier performances talked for itself that he would be the one to pose any threat for Masbah Uddin. Everyone's eyes were roving between the battle of Masbah and Somorjid and the scoreboard. But as soon as the duel finished, everybody heaved a sigh of relief.

Naseem, Shehan the speedsters

Shehan Saearuwan Abeypitia, the 20-year-old boy from Colombo, beat his more experienced and illustrious competitors to become South Asia's fastest man while a 23-year-old unknown quantity from Karachi named Naseem Hameed turned the table upside down to become the fastest woman in the 11th South Asian Games yesterday.

Tigers crash again

Bangladesh's abysmal batting performance continued in New Zealand as they suffered a five-wicket defeat in the second one-dayer at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday. With this win New Zealand clinched the three match series.

India follow on

South Africa were eyeing victory after Dale Steyn picked a career-best 7-51 to trigger a dramatic India collapse on the third day of the first Test on Monday.

Hosts' hope dashed in archery

Bangladesh's hope of clinching gold in archery was dashed when teenage archer Sajib Sheikh went down to Indian Tarundeep Rai in the individual 70m recurve bow final of the 11th South Asian Games at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan yesterday.

Drogba torments Arsenal

John Terry ended a miserable week on a high as Chelsea striker Didier Drogba tormented Arsenal again to inspire his team to a 2-0 win that sent the Blues back to the top of the Premier League on Sunday.

Sevilla slip to fifth

Spanish international striker Alvaro Negredo had a night to forget scoring an own goal and being sent off for violent conduct as nine-man Sevilla crashed to a 2-1 defeat at lowly Real Zaragoza on Sunday to slip out of the top four.

Kaka promises more

Real Madrid's Brazilian superstar Kaka believes he is yet to show his best form since his 68.5-million-euro move from AC Milan after scoring for the first time in three months in his side's 3-0 home win over Espanyol on Saturday.

Inter march towards title

Inter Milan continued their inexorable march towards a fifth straight Serie A title as they crushed Cagliari 3-0 at the San Siro while AC Milan were held to a 0-0 draw at Bologna on Sunday.

Warne slams Strauss for skipping BD tour

Australia great Shane Warne has accused Andrew Strauss of showing a 'lack of respect for Test cricket' following the England captain's decision to opt out of the tour of Bangladesh.

Alves, Toure injured

Barcelona right-back Dani Alves and midfielder Yaya Toure will be out for three and two weeks respectively after sustaining injuries in the 2-1 win over Getafe, the club announced on Monday.

Del Bosque warns of complacency

Spain national coach Vicente del Bosque said he was relatively happy with the draw for the 2012 European championships but added the holders would not be taking anything for granted in Group I.

Chamakh eyes Gunners switch

Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh has confirmed he wants to join Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer.

Hail the golden girls

With ambition of eclipsing their previous medal-hunt record, hosts Bangladesh had virtually pinned all their hopes on the male athletes when the 11th South Asian Games got underway 12 days ago. However, it all came as a surprise as the female athletes grabbed gold to eventually take Bangladesh close to their target.

Sweet 16 for India in pool

India left the pool in style by sweeping all four gold medals on the final day of swimming competition of the 11th South Asian Games at the National Swimming Complex in Mirpur yesterday.

Duo fires Khulna

Khulna rode on twin tons from Tushar Imran and Habibul Bashar to dominate the first day against Chittagong when the fifth round of the National Cricket League got underway at different venues across the country yesterday.

India take gold in women's football

India won the gold in the women's football of the 11th South Asian Games when they came from behind to hand a 3-1 defeat to Nepal in the trouble-hit final at Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.

Clean sweep for India in table tennis

India continued their supremacy in the table tennis competition of the 11th South Asian Games at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium yesterday.

Pakistan off to England sans Intikhab, Akmal

Pakistan on Monday left out coach Intikhab Alam and wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal from their 14-man side to face England in two Twenty20 matches.

Malik named captain

Shoaib Malik will captain both Twenty20 internationals against England in Dubai later this month despite the return of regular captain Shahid Afridi because the board does not want to change leaders in the middle of tours.

Asif not cleared

Pakistani paceman Mohammad Asif will not be able to play in the United Arab Emirates as its authorities have refused to revoke a travel ban on him, an official said Sunday.

Business

SEC's quick change of mind sends wrong signals to market

Frequent revisions of the decisions on margin loans by the capital market regulator may create more volatility instead of stabilising the stockmarket, experts fear.

Hasina urges investment from Kuwaitis

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged Kuwaiti business leaders and entrepreneurs to import products from Bangladesh and make investment in the country's promising sectors under an attractive package of incentives.

Govt to press aid from donors

Bangladesh will put forward its needs for $2 billion to $2.5 billion foreign assistance per fiscal year for budget implementation in the upcoming meeting of Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF), a consortium of donor agencies.

Migrants swipe smart card

Overseas jobseekers from Bangladesh yesterday started availing themselves of smart cards, a device that eases immigration process and help the government effectively assist the migrant workers.

Regulator moves to cool GP shares

The stockmarket regulator has directed the bourses, brokers and dealers to stop financial adjustment or money-netting facilities for Grameenphone shares from tomorrow, an initiative to hold back the increasing trend in the price of the mobile operator's stocks.

Axiata chairman due today

Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid, chairman of Axiata (Bangladesh) Ltd, the owning company of private mobile operator AKTEL, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today, said the company in a statement.

Equip women entrepreneurs to combat corruption

Dilip Barua, industries minister, said yesterday women entrepreneurs should have easy access to information and finance -- the tools that can equip them to avoid corruption in every sector.

Motorola handsets hit market

Motorola launched three new handsets under its Motoyuva WX range in Bangladesh yesterday, said a press statement.

HSBC tops brand value list

HSBC has been awarded the title of most valuable banking brand in the world for the third time in a row, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

Khulna customs blocks another container

Khulna customs officials have halted the delivery of a container of Media Enterprise from Mongla port on suspicion of illegal imports.

Trade with Australia up 98pc

The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Australia increased to 495 million Australian dollars in fiscal year 2008-09 from 281 million dollars the previous year, registering a 98 percent growth, data released by Canberra government shows.

JAL to stay with American Airlines

Japan Airlines, after declaring bankruptcy last month, appeared set on Monday to keep its current tie-up with American Airlines and end talks to defect to the world's biggest carrier Delta.

Agrani logs rise in operating profit

Agrani Bank increased its operating profit by three percent to Tk 644 crore in 2009 although its import and export trade fell because of global economic crisis. The amount was Tk 632 crore in 2008.

GP realigns market focus

Telenor now views Grameenphone as a market leader in innovation and not just in terms of a large subscriber base in the Bangladesh market.

Toyota faces fresh scrutiny as woes deepen

Toyota's handling of a dangerous gas pedal defect came under fresh scrutiny Monday after the group said it had fixed the flaw for some cars in Europe last year but initially decided against a global recall.

Canadian team due in city Saturday

An eight-member Canadian delegation comprising members of the Ministry of Agriculture of Saskatchewan will come to Bangladesh on Saturday to promote exports of the Canadian agricultural products.

Kuwait central bank cuts repurchase rate

The Central Bank of Kuwait on Monday cut its one-week and one-month repurchase rates by 25 basis points each in a bid to expand money supply, a day after reducing the benchmark discount rate.

Asian stocks mostly down

Concerns over Europe's debt woes continued to weigh on most Asian markets Monday while weaker-than-expected US jobs data also led to fears over the pace of recovery in the world's biggest economy.

India predicts growth at 7.2pc

India's economy should grow 7.2 percent in the fiscal year ending in March, an official forecast said Monday, as the economy's recovery from the global financial crisis picks up speed.

Singapore illegal loans rose sharply in 2009

Illegal loans rose almost 60 percent last year as Singaporeans reeling from the economic crisis turned to loan sharks to tide them over the tough times, a senior police official said Monday.

Temasek plans $704m bond offering

State-linked Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings said Monday it was planning a bond offering worth one billion Singapore dollars (704 million US) as part of its capital-raising programme.

Indonesia sells $850m worth of Islamic bonds

Indonesia has sold more than 850 million dollars worth of Islamic bonds to domestic retail investors, three-times more than its target, officials said Monday.

Oil below $72

Oil rose in Asian trade Monday as investors returned to the market after a massive selloff triggered by weak US jobs data and debt woes in the eurozone, analysts said.

Metropolitan

Over 300 Bangladesh rivers hard hit by climate change

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has invited sister of Kuwait Emir, Anthal Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, to visit Bangladesh for having a look regarding the adverse effect of climate change in the most vulnerable countries like Bangladesh.

Scanty water flow triggers drying up of Padma: Experts

The scanty water flow has been triggering the drying up process of the mighty Padma and its tributaries, causing an adverse impact on environment in the drought-prone Barind tract.

Religious leadership key to success in dev: McHale

Visiting US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A McHale yesterday said religious leadership is key to success in every effort for socio-economic development.

Dhaka can help build bridge between Muslim world, US

Bangladesh and the US have significant opportunities to work together to make a bridge between the Muslim world and the USA as the Obama government is taking major steps to that end.

Campus anarchy won't be tolerated

Adviser to the Prime Minister for Health and Family Welfare Prof Dr Syed Modasser Ali yesterday said the government would not tolerate any anarchy in the educational institutes any more.

Put an end to child marriage

The Disadvantaged Adolescents Working NGOs (DAWN) Forum held a conference of adolescent boys and girls in the city with a call to put an end to child marriage.

Abubakar's death: Police intercept protest

Police obstructed the leaders and workers of Anti-imperialism Students' Unity burning the effigies of Home Minister Sahara Khatun and Dhaka University Proctor Dr KM Saiful Islam Khan on campus yesterday.

Army deploys new contingent at UN mission in Sudan

Bangladesh Army has deployed a new contingent of 175 personnel at UN Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan (UNIMIS).

Navy's sea exercise ends with successful missile launch

Bangladesh Navy's annual sea exercise concluded with successful missile launch in the Bay of Bengal yesterday.

BTRC show cause on Citycell

Bangladesh Telecommu-nication Regula-tory Commission yesterday issued a show cause notice upon Citycell asking the mobile phone operator to explain as to why it was selling unauthorised connections.

Fair probe into death of Jasas leader demanded

BNP leaders yesterday demanded an impartial investigation into the death of Amirul Islam Mintu, a leader of the Jatiyatabadi Samajik Sangskritik Sangstha (Jasas), in police custody and trial of the persons responsible for his death.

Summerfield celebrates 36th anniversary

The Summerfield International School has celebrated its 36th anniversary recently with two-day programmes, including science fair, art competition, cultural activities and Summerfield Debating Championship, says a press release.

'Political unity a must to fight climate change'

Political leaders, academicians and environmentalists at a seminar yesterday said there is no alternative to political unity in order to protect the country from the adverse impacts of climate change.

Domestic help dies in rooftop fall

A teenage domestic help died after falling from the rooftop of a sixth-storied apartment at Gulshan in the city yesterday afternoon.

DU staff hurt in accidental firing

A Dhaka University employee was shot at the Janata Bank's Dhaka Medical College Hospital Branch when a security guard fired his rifle accidentally yesterday.

UK student visa system rife with cheats

Britain's student visa system has been denounced as rife with "cheating and deception" by a teacher who has experienced the process from within.

Call to demolish unauthorised structures to recover canals

Environmentalists at a human chain yesterday demanded demolition of the BGMEA Bhaban, which was built on Hatirjheel at Karwan Bazar, saying that the demolition will pave the way for removal of 5,000 unauthorised structures to recover 43 canals in the city.

'Stop inappropriate use of Bangla on radio, TV'

Bangla language has been used in an inappropriate way in some programmes on private television channels and FM radio channels, cultural personality and lawmaker Asaduzzaman Noor said yesterday.

7th anniversary of Bangalee Shamagra tomorrow

Bangalee Shamagra, a museum dedicated to preserving the works of best Bangalees, will celebrate its seventh anniversary tomorrow.

Art exhibition begins

A four-day 'Open Air Solo Art Exhibition' by artist Munwar Mehedi began at Chhabir Hat opposite the art faculty of Dhaka University yesterday.

Maulana Mufti Nurullah

Hazrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Nurullah, principal of Jamia Younusia Madrasa, passed away due to old age complications yesterday at the age of 84.

Birth anniversary of Prof Kabir Chowdhury today

Today is the 88th birth anniversary of National Professor Kabir Chowdhury, a renowned educationist and pioneer in the movement against fundamentalism and communalism, says a press release.

National

One held in C'nawabganj, four sued in Bagerhat

An alleged collaborator of Pakistani occupation forces was arrested in Chapainawabganj early yesterday while four other collaborators were sued in Bagherhat the day before on charges of killing an innocent man and two freedom fighters during Liberation War in 1971.

Zila Parishad's ownership claim triggers protest

Students of Pabna Government Commercial College yesterday staged demonstration as zila parishad claimed the ownership of the college hostel building and asked the resident students to vacate the dormitory.

AL men ransack BNP office

Ruling party men on Sunday evening attacked and ransacked Kishoreganj Sadar upazila BNP office for allegedly using abusive language against AL general secretary by BNP activists.

Centenarian Barujan Bibi still waits for her turn

"I am yet to get monthly old age allowance while several men and women around 50 years of age are getting it regularly," said centenarian Barujan Bibi.

Rezzaqul placed on 3-day remand

A Chittagong court yesterday placed former National Security Intelligence (NSI) director general (DG) Major General (retd) Rezzaqul Haider Chowdhury on a three-day remand in the sensational Chittagong arms haul case.

Fishermen block road in Nilphamari

Several hundred fishermen yesterday blocked Domar-Dimla Road demanding cancellation of lease of the water reservoir of Buri Teesta Irrigational Project to an outsider for fish cultivation. Movement of all types of vehicles came to a halt for three hours because of the blockade.

Adulterated pesticide seized

A joint team of law enforcers yesterday raided Baro Masjid Market area in the town and seized 1040 kilogram adulterated pesticide. Bogra Sadar police said, Rab and policemen led by executive magistrate Mobassherul Islam recovered 104 packets of Touch Furan-5 G adulterated pesticide meant for marketing. Cases were filed against Tarek Hasan Nahid, 30, and Goutam, 40, on charge of producing adulterated pesticide. As the two accused went into hiding the mobile court realised Tk 25,000 fine from their employee Boloy Das.

Drug peddlers jailed

A tribunal here on Sunday sentenced two drug peddlers to 10 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) for possessing drugs. Convicts Shahinur Rahman and Nabisuddin of Benapole were also fined Tk 25,000 each, in default, to suffer six months more RI. Nabisuddin was tried in absentia. According to the prosecution story, a team of Rab held the two drug peddlers from Biloba Bari Miazir Hall on the outskirts of the city and recovered 756 bottles of phensidyl syrup from their possession on March 10 last year.

One killed in clash

A day-labourer was killed and another injured in a bloody clash between two groups of labourers at Bholaganj stone quarry in Companyganj upazila of Sunamganj district on Sunday. Victim Rathindra Das, 30, was son of Raj Kumar Das of Niyamatpur village in Shalla upazila. Police said, an altercation ensued between the labourers of Shaheed Mia and Dulal Mia over a trifling matter at about 8:00am. Later, both the groups equipped with lethal weapons attacked each other leaving Rathindra and Provat Das critically injured. They were rushed to Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital where Rathindra succumbed to his injuries at noon.

Two held for fraud

Rab on Saturday held two alleged frauds in Goalpara area of the town. They were identified as Rafiq, 25, and Arif, 28. Members of Rab-5 in the guise of arms buyers earlier contacted the fraud gang over mobile phone for purchasing arms from them. Two plainclothes Rab members went to the area at noon where some 10/12 frauds were waiting for them. At one stage the criminals attacked them and tried to take away money from their possession. Other elite force members who were lying in ambush in a nearby place swooped on the gang and managed to catch two of the frauds while others fled away.

International

Musharraf aide escapes gun attack, two killed

A senior Pakistani politician and former aide to ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf escaped a gun attack yesterday that killed two of his bodyguards, police said.

Pakistan wants to discuss Kashmir issue with India

Pakistan says it wants to discuss Kashmir and other unresolved issues with India when the foreign secretaries of the two countries meet, possibly later this month.

Key powers push for tougher sanctions

The United States and France said Monday they would push for new UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme after Tehran announced it was going to enrich uranium to a higher level.

Kashmir avalanche kills 17 soldiers

A massive avalanche ploughed into an Indian army training centre at a ski resort town in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Monday, killing 17 soldiers and critically injuring 17 others.

Nepali Maoists set free all child soldiers

Assisted by the UN and its partner agencies, Nepal's former Maoist guerrillas Monday finally released the last of the child soldiers they had recruited in the course of their 10-year war to overthrow the royal dynasty.

Nepalese media tycoon shot dead

Nepalese police said yesterday they were hunting two men suspected of gunning down Jamim Shah, a prominent media tycoon who owned Nepal's first cable television company.

Australia tightens migration rules

Australia tightened its migration rules yesterday in favour of English speakers and professionals, saying the country has been attracting too many hairdressers and cooks and too few doctors and engineers.

Iran launches production lines of drones

Iran has launched two production lines to build unmanned aircraft with surveillance and attack capabilities, the defence minister announced yesterday.

Abbas mulls talks with Israel

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has agreed in principle to indirect talks with Israel under US mediation but has requested a number of guarantees, a Palestinian official said yesterday.

Qaeda leader calls for attacks on US interests

al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula number two Said al-Shihri called for attacks against US interests "everywhere," in an audio message released on the Internet yesterday.

Palin could run for president in 2012

Former Alaska governor and 2008 Republic Party vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has revealed that she may run for US President in 2012.

British dead in Afghanistan equals Falklands toll

Two more British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan at the weekend, bringing the country's death toll there to the same as the 1982 Falklands war, the Ministry of Defence said Monday.

Costa Rica elects 1st woman president

Costa Ricans have elected their first woman president as the ruling party candidate won in a landslide after campaigning to continue free market policies in Central America's most stable nation.

Space shuttle blasts off on last night flight

Endeavour and six astronauts rocketed into orbit Monday on what's expected to be the last nighttime launch for the shuttle programme, hauling a new room and observation deck for the International Space Station.

VHP calls for boycott of Shah Rukh's film

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Monday appeared to back the Shiv Sena by calling for a nationwide boycott of Shah Rukh Khan's 'My Name is Khan' but took objection to the Sena's Mumbai-for-Marathis stand and said every inch of India belonged to all Indians.

Pro-Russia Yanukovich wins tight Ukraine polls

Ukraine has narrowly chosen the pro-Russia Viktor Yanukovich as its next president, results showed yesterday, after elections that rejected the West-leaning policies of the Orange Revolution.

Arts & Entertainment

Beyond boundaries

“Transcending Borders II”, an exhibition of contemporary art from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, was held from February 7 to 8 at Radisson Water Garden Hotel in the city. The exhibition was inaugurated by Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Mijarul Quayes. Guest of honour was Muhammad A. Ali, Chairman Brac Bank Limited.

An evening of Adhunik songs by Fahmida Nabi

On February 6, the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in Dhanmondi witnessed a full house. The audience was treated to an evening of Adhunik songs, rendered evocatively by Fahmida Nabi, one of the most recognisable voices of Bangladesh.

A fascinating fare

A three-day festival featuring documentaries and short films by local filmmakers ended yesterday at the Seminar Hall of Central Public Library, Shahbagh. Titled "Bangladesh Short and Documentary Film Festival '10", the festival was jointly organised by Bangladesh Documentary Filmmakers Association and Bangladesh Short Film Directors Association.

The mirthful world of Unmad

Unmad can be considered the pioneer in Bangladeshi humour publications. Started by two friends -- Ishtiaq Hossain and Kazi Khaled Ashraf in 1978 -- the cartoon magazine soon drew attention for its intelligent satire. The magazine became extremely popular by the mid 1980s, when cartoonist Ahsan Habib took the charge of the magazine. Brother of Humayun Ahmed and Muhammad Zafar Iqbal -- two of the leading Bangladeshi writers -- Habib has carved a niche for himself in his own right.

“Raat Biraate”: Getting nocturnal with Debashish Biswas

Banglavision will air its late night entertainment show "Raat Biraate" tonight. Aired at 11:25 pm the programme features a celebrity who shares his/her experiences with the host.

Baul songs at Kagmari Conference anniversary

A three-day programme marking the 53rd anniversary of the historic Kagmari Conference began at Santosh in Tangail on February 7.

Filmmaking workshop by noted American director

Eric J. Adams, an acclaimed US filmmaker, producer, author and former journalist arrives in Dhaka today to conduct a workshop on filmmaking, according to a press release.

Memorial programme on Sayeed Ahmed

A memorial programme honouring the recently deceased cultural personality Sayeed Ahmed was held at the Central Shaheed Minar premises on February 7. Organised by Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) and Shammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ), the programme featured speeches by eminent personalities.

“Bichargaan” and horse race in Magura

A horse race and a musical soiree featuring 'Bichargaan' (light song in the form of debate on various issues) were held at village Barunatoil on February 7.

OP-ED

The case for regional cooperation

Geography dictates that the destinies of India and Bangladesh are inextricably intertwined. This is what makes Bangladesh and India very special neighbours. There is great benefit in the two countries working very closely together. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India in January 2010 clearly revealed that leaders in both countries recognise this.

Matching slogans with actions

Congratulations to Biman for its image-building efforts. Given the right conditions and resources, its potential could soon be reached. The new look is a welcome development and an acknowledgement that the airline business is entrenched and heavily tilted in elements that are predominantly marketing more than anything else. Indeed, the air travel industry in general and airline industry in particular are embedded in this reality.

The laptop revolution

Chondon Chohot, an area under the Rani Shonkoil upazila of Thakurgaon district, is a typical village located near the border which lacks both access to electricity and good roads. Most of the villagers are tenants but the people there are well off in terms of having proper meals. This is because of the growth of HYV and hybrid rice, maize, and wheat cultivation with substantial yield gains over traditional varieties.

Science & Life

Drug to treat the mentally retarded

Apill to ease a type of mental retardation? An experiment is under way to develop one, aimed at a genetic disorder that might unravel some of the mysteries of autism along the way.

Space shuttle blasts off

ENDEAVOUR and six astronauts rocketed into orbit Monday on what's expected to be the last nighttime launch for the shuttle program, hauling a new room and observation deck for the International Space Station.

Arctic birds resistant to antibiotic!

SWEDISH researchers report that birds captured in Artic tundra are carriers of antibiotics-resistant bacteria. These findings indicate that resistance to antibiotics has spread into nature, which is an alarming scene for future health care.

Pluto changing colour

Spurned Pluto is changing its looks, donning more rouge in its complexion and altering its iceball surface here and there.

Scotch in Antarctic

The spirits were excavated from beneath Shackleton's Antarctic hut which was built in 1908.

Dinosaur with stripes

The image provided by the National Geographic Society shows an Anchiornis huxleyi, in flying colors. Just days after one group of researchers reported that some dinosaurs had russet-colored feathers, another set of scientists says their ancient fossil appears to have had a Mohawk crest and stripes. The reports are the first to confidently assign colors to dinosaurs, long a subject of speculation among researchers and school children.


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