The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, April 18, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 16th of March, 2010

Front Page

Billboard crash kills 2, hurts 8

Two people were killed and eight others injured when a poorly-mounted hoarding collapsed on them in front of a market at Gulshan-1 during the storm that swept through the capital yesterday evening.

Power cut, poor gas supply hit RMG sector hard

Faruque Hassan found himself in a sticky situation last month when his garment factory could not complete the orders. He still had 20 percent job to finish, but frequent power cuts and low gas pressure had eaten up his shipment time. Worst still, his buyer would not accept any partial shipment -- they want the whole lot in one go.

Test Dhaka's supply water

The High Court yesterday directed the government to get water supplied in eight areas of the capital tested by Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution and Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and submit the test reports to it within two weeks.

BSF to remove border post from Bangladesh

The Indian Border Security Force yesterday came up with a commitment to remove their newly set up 'border post' inside Bangladesh territory and 'sub-post' on Naljuri border in Jaintapur in Sylhet.

River vessel workers on strike

Water transport workers went into a countrywide work stoppage for an indefinite period in the first hour of today, after a tripartite meeting of over four hours among the government, workers, and the owners failed to reach a consensus yesterday.

Fake note making set-up busted

Police on Sunday night busted a fake note making set-up in the capital's Jatrabari and arrested three persons including a woman with counterfeit Bangladeshi and Indian currencies.

BNP MPs blame unrest on army pullout

The recent violence in Rangamati and Khagrachhari has happened due to withdrawal of army personnel from the hill region, observed a team of BNP lawmakers after visiting the affected areas yesterday.

AL, BCL men snatch tender boxes

The ruling party men yesterday snatched tender boxes and documents in three districts, sparking clashes between contractors that left nine people injured.

Troops join work to repair cyclone-hit embankments

Members of the army yesterday joined the civil administration to accelerate repairing the breached embankments in the cyclone Aila-hit southern districts of Satkhira and Khulna.

No letup in plunder of trees

The tree felling at Kailin Punji near Nahar Tea Garden in Srimangal of Moulivibazar continued for the third consecutive day yesterday.

BDR spl court accepts fresh mutiny case

The special court set up at Darbar Hall, Pilkhana accepted a fresh mutiny case against 310 BDR jawans of 36 Rifle Battalion of Dhaka sector yesterday.

BDR chief for shoot order on drug traffickers

The border troops will be ordered to shoot drug traffickers on sight if necessary, BDR chief Major General Mainul Islam said yesterday.

Indo-Bangla jt working group meets soon

Delegations from Bangladesh and India will soon sit at a Joint Boundary Working Group (JBWG) meeting to resolve border disputes in line with Mujib-Indira Land Boundary Agreement 1974.

Rid Pharma MD granted bail

A Brahmanbaria court yesterday granted bail to the managing director of Rid Pharmaceuticals Ltd in a case filed for manufacturing adulterated paracetamol syrup that caused the deaths of 28 children last year.

111 killed in 'encounters' last year

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said in parliament that 111 'criminals' were killed in encounters or gunfights with law enforcers last year.

Pak airports under terror threat

Pakistani airports have been placed under severe terrorist threat following indications that Taliban fighters may attempt to hijack aircrafts in the near future.

4-lane highway likely in 2yrs

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the finance minister to disburse immediately the fund for the construction of Dhaka-Mymensingh four-lane highway.

13 cops sued for 'killing' Shibir leader

Local Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mofizul Islam yesterday filed a case with Judicial Magistrate's Court against a superintendent of police and 12 other policemen of Shibganj Police Station for killing a Shibir leader of Rajshahi university unit.

Robber killed in 'shootout'

A suspected robber was killed in a 'shootout' between his cohorts and Rapid Action Battalion members in Siddirganj upazila of Narayanganj early Monday.

Teenager stabbed to death in Rajshahi

A teenager was stabbed to death near New Market Police Outpost in Rajshahi city last night.

Maliki widens lead in Iraq vote

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's hopes of retaining his post were given a major boost yesterday when updated election results showed a strengthening of his grip on Baghdad, Iraq's biggest province.

Obama cranks up heat in crucial health reform week

US President Barack Obama launched an impassioned week-long closing campaign yesterday to drive his historic health reforms through Congress at a pivotal moment that may help define his presidency.

Editorial

BCL infighting taking a murderous turn

THE Chhatra League's criminal activities which have already crossed a critical threshold are taking a newer dip with each passing day. Since the coming into power of the present government this student wing of the Awami League has often gone berserk in materialising its desires and demands. Deaths, injury and destruction were left in their wake to paint a sordid picture of what they are capable of. But, to our profound concern, no one in the government or the Awami League seems to be aware of the damage these elements are still causing to the credibility of the government and the country as well. We wonder when the prime minister will wake up, take full cognisance of the impact of such incidents on her own image, and act decisively.

Protective laws for construction workers

WE fully endorse the demand of the construction workers for new laws insofar as those relate to governing their remuneration and working conditions. Given that there are a large number of people that subsist on the earnings of these workers in an industry that produces revenue of more than 1000 crore every year it was about time the government took up the issue as matter of priority.

Sports

Battling duo takes game into 5th day

When England declared their innings with a mammoth lead and Bangladesh lost two quick wickets before lunch break, everybody was sensing the home side's defeat inside four days, but Zunaed Siddiqui and Mushfiqur Rahim staged a brilliant fight-back to take the first Test into the fifth day at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here yesterday.

'Commitment the key'

The array of short balls produced by the England pace bowlers initially jolted left-hander Zunaed Siddiqui. Mushfiqur Rahim also received some nasty short balls in his helmet, chest and shoulder. Just before the tea break, Bangladesh were suddenly five wickets down, courtesy of a poor leg-before decision from umpire Tony Hill against skipper Shakib Al Hasan. Everyone thought that the match was on the verge of finishing on the fourth day.

Shakib climbs

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan jumped one place to become the second best one-day bowler when the International Cricket Council (ICC) released the latest ODI rankings in Dubai yesterday.

Omari screamer lifts Sk Russel

A second-half strike from Samir Omari helped Sheikh Russel KC end first-leg of the Bangladesh League with a victory over falling giants Brothers Union 1-0 in their last encounter of the first leg at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

WC blow for Beckham

Former England captain David Beckham will undergo surgery at a Finnish hospital on Monday afternoon on a ruptured Achilles tendon that looks set to rule him out of the World Cup.

Rokibul meets BCB president

Rokibul Hasan, the disillusioned former national cricketer, is inching towards a return to cricket, as it seems, less than a week after his bewildering decision.

Finn impressed by Tigers

The fighting spirit of two Bangladesh batsmen Zunaed Siddiqui and Mushfiqur Rahim on the fourth day of the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium also impressed the English tent as lanky paceman Steve Finn told after the day's play.

Minhaz wins Rating Chess

FM Minhaz Uddin Ahmed emerged champion in the Prime Bank 12th International Rating Chess Tournament securing eight points from nine games, said a press release yesterday.

Nabajagaran reach final

Nabajagaran Sangsad moved into final of the Poura Gold Cup cricket tournament with a 46-run victory over Dashara Palli Mangal Samity at Shaheed Miraj-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.

WI win once more

West Indies cantered to a four-wicket victory in the fifth and final one-day international on Sunday as Zimbabwe's brittle batting line-up crumbled again.

Federer, Murray thru'

World number one Roger Federer shrugged off a second-set lapse to reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open Sunday with a victory over Victor Hanescu.

Ferrari all smiles

Ferrari were singing and smiling again Monday morning as they reflected on what a difference a year -- and one important win -- can make in the Formula One World Championship.

NZ postpone tour of Zim

New Zealand has postponed its cricket tour to Zimbabwe scheduled for June, officials said Monday.

Maria bites the dust

China's Zheng Jie battled past former champion Maria Sharapova 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 Sunday to reach the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Harun made chef de mission

Harun-or-Rashid, member of the Bangladesh Football Federation, has been made chef de mission of the Bangladesh contingent for the Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games.

Messi steals the show

Superstar Lionel Messi is on course for a record-breaking goal-scoring season following his sublime hattrick in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Valencia on Sunday.

Rooney fires MU to top

Wayne Rooney fired Manchester United back to the top of the Premier League as his double-strike inspired a 3-0 win over Fulham, while Adam Johnson's first Manchester City goal rescued a 1-1 draw at Sunderland on Sunday.

Mourinho targets revenge

Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea with the ultimate revenge mission on his mind as Inter Milan attempt to knock his former club out of the Champions League.

Sehwag the Daredevil

A disciplined performance by the Delhi Daredevils bowlers and a blistering innings from Virender Sehwag inflicted a dispiriting defeat on Rajasthan Royals, their second in as many games, in an Indian Premier League match in Ahmedabad yesterday.

Sevilla look to make history

Sevilla can reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time on Tuesday if they defeat CSKA Moscow in the second leg of their last 16 tie after battling to a 1-1 draw in the opener.

Becks injury clouds win

Clarence Seedorf's stoppage-time goal gave AC Milan a 1-0 win over Chievo on Sunday which cut the gap on Inter Milan to just a point, but the win was overshadowed by a serious injury suffered by David Beckham.

Bayer back in hunt

Germany striker Stefan Kiessling scored twice on Sunday to put Bayer Leverkusen back in the title race and seal a 4-2 win over Hamburg while Bayern Munich stayed top of the Bundesliga.

Hull sack Brown

English Premier League strugglers Hull announced Monday they have relieved manager Phil Brown of his duties with immediate effect and placed him on gardening leave.

Minibus drivers protest in SA

Private minibus drivers barricaded Soweto with burnt tyres on Monday to protest a new public transport system being introduced in Johannesburg ahead of the football World Cup, police said.

Business

Top apparel buyers open offices in Dhaka

Most global retail brands have opened their offices in Dhaka in recent times for direct sourcing of Bangladesh's quality clothing items at reasonable prices.

New stimulus for stocks

In an effort to give an impetus afresh to the stockmarket, the regulator has increased the margin loan ratio to 1:1.5 from 1:1 for equity securities.

Spotlight on microfinance regulations

A rise in commercialisation of microfinance activities calls for a regulatory framework in the sector to benefit all stakeholders, experts said yesterday.

Budget spending on slow lane

Budget spending in the first six months of the current fiscal year was 6.1 percent lower than in the same period of last fiscal year, according to a government report.

Eco-correct substitute for CI sheets

Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) has developed an environment friendly jute-made substitute for traditional corrugated iron (CI) sheets.

DSE website off-limits to BB employees

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has made the Dhaka Stock Exchange website off-limits to its employees during office hours from Thursday.

Lebanon may take more Bangladeshi workers

Lebanon considers employing more Bangladeshi male workers in construction and cleaning sectors, a delegation that visited the Middle Eastern country said yesterday.

A career for future

It was immediately after the independence of Bangladesh that Architect Mubasshar Hussain completed his studies in architecture.

Singapore narrows door for foreign workers

Construction workers from Bangladesh, hotel staff from the Philippines, waitresses from China, shipyard welders from Myanmar, technology professionals from India -- Singapore has them all.

Corporate Briefs

PRIME FINANCE & INVESTMENT
Trading of the company's shares will be allowed only on the spot market and block/odd lot transactions will also be settled as per a spot settlement cycle from March 16 to March 21. Trading will remain suspended on March 22, the record date.

Minister takes tough line on consumer rights violators

The government will take punitive measures against violators of the consumer rights protection law, said Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday.

Strategy of microcredit institutions must be reviewed: Muhith

The high interest rates and sustainability strategies of microfinance institutions should be reviewed to make them truly effective tools to reduce poverty, said the finance minister yesterday.

Cut in call charge to check illegal VoIP

Bangladesh Telecommuni-cations Company Ltd (BTCL) yesterday urged a cut in international incoming call charge, which it said will help check illegal call termination through VoIP (voice over internet protocol) technology.

WB to fund Kaliakoir hi-tech park

The World Bank will provide fund to help construct the hi-tech park in Kaliakoir as the first site for special economic zone in the country.

PepsiCo to buy back up to $15b in shares

PepsiCo says it will buy back up to $15 billion shares of its common stock through June 2013.

Indian inflation nears double figures

India said Monday inflation rose to near double figures as roaring economic growth sent prices higher, fuelling expectations that the central bank will raise rates next month.

Chinese automaker BYD plans massive expansion

Chinese automaker BYD Co. said Monday it had massive expansion plans this year and would consider building a plant in the United States, a day after announcing annual profits had tripled.

Japan may ease visa rules for foreign nurses, dentists

Japan may lift work visa restrictions for foreign nurses and dentists, to help care for its fast-ageing and shrinking population, the government said Monday.

New office bearers for CanCham

Masud Rahman, managing director of Crane Ltd, has been re-elected as president of Canada-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham) for the 2010-11 term, a CanCham statement said yesterday.

New MD for SME Foundation

Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Foundation appointed Syed Rezwanul Kabir as its managing director, says a statement released yesterday.

NCC Bank gets new DMD

Swapan Kumar Das has been promoted to deputy managing director of National Credit and Commerce (NCC) Bank, the bank said in a statement.

Oil sags

World oil prices weakened on Monday as traders turned their attention towards this week's crucial output meeting of the Opec oil cartel.

Metropolitan

Feeling of insecurity among ethnic people increases to all-time high

Feeling of insecurity among indigenous people living in Rangamati and Khagrachhari have increased to all-time high as violence might occur in the area at any time, according to a report prepared by Manobatabadi Nagorik Samaj.

Ensure proper infrastructure facilities

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the private universities to ensure proper infrastructural facilities for their students alongside maintaining requisite standard of education.

Sahara discloses list of 42 top criminals

Home Minister Sahara Khatun in the parliament yesterday disclosed an updated list of 42 top criminals.

Road crashes kill 5

At least five people were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Dinajpur and Chapainawabganj yesterday.

Arrest warrant against Farroque

Two defamation suits were filed against Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farroque in Chittagong and Shariatpur yesterday for making 'derogatory comments' about the prime minister's son Sajeeb Wazed Joy.

BTCL rules out Joy's involvement

Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) yesterday outright rejected the allegation of involvement of Sajib Wazed Joy, son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business.

BCL president harassed by party men on DU campus

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) President Mahmud Hasan Ripon was harassed by a group of central leaders on Dhaka University campus yesterday for 'violating the constitution of the organisation'.

Int'l confce on bioethics begins

A two-day international conference on 'Progressing bioethics in Bangladesh for the future' began yesterday at the University Grants Commission (UGC) auditorium.

Nurul Alam made envoy to Oman

Nurul Alam Chowdhury has been appointed Bangladesh ambassador to Oman.

Stamp duty on transfer of land in rural areas up

The stamp duty on transfer of land and property in rural areas has been increased by one percentage point with a view to increasing revenue collections.

Govt to make public joint communiqués with India

The government yesterday decided to make public the joint communiqués signed between Bangladesh and India during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi in January.

Army chief in Delhi to strengthen ties

Chief of Army Staff General Md Abdul Mubeen is now on a six-day visit to India seeking to strengthen military relations.

Elderly person dies while trying to board faulty lift

An elderly person died after falling from the seventh floor through the passage of a lift while attempting to board the faulty elevator of Gulistan Shopping Complex on Bangabandhu Avenue in the city yesterday.

Bank official shot in city

Muggers yesterday shot a bank official and took away his bag at Nababpur road in the city yesterday afternoon.

'Ministry misleads cabinet'

Leaders of the Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) at a roundtable yesterday alleged that the cabinet has been provided with misleading information about private universities to have the private university bill approved.

Shibir president retracts statement, blames media

Islami Chhatra Shibir President Rezaul Karim yesterday retracted his statement regarding the threat on the life of one lakh Awami League workers and blamed the media for 'distorting' his comments.

CPB blast case: Court issues arrest warrant against 8

A Dhaka court yesterday directed Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to complete the probe immediately in the CPB bomb blast case and submit its report without fear.

4 expelled for protesting admission trade

Four leaders of Eden Girls' College BCL were expelled from the organisation on Saturday as they protested 'admission trade' and 'torture' of fellow activists by president and general secretary of the college unit.

Call to protect consumers' rights

Consumer Rights Day 2010 was observed yesterday with a call for making the National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate truly effective, which commenced its operation the same day.

3 Huji men on remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed three Harkatul Jihad (Huji) members on a three-day remand in a case filed against them for their alleged involvement in anti-state activities across the country.

Hearing on Tuku's petition adjourned

A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearing till April 24 on the petition filed by former state minister for energy Iqbal Hassan Mahmood Tuku seeking attachment of properties of former army chief General Moeen U Ahmed before judgment.

Reunion of Kanthashilon Mar 18-20

The reunion of Kanthashilon, a cultural organisation, will be held at the Public Library auditorium in the city on March 18-20, celebrating the birth anniversary of its principal Wahidul Haque today.

National

Fire at 3 Lawachhara hills destroys trees

Fire incidents at three hillocks of Lawachhara under Kamalganj upazila in Moulvibazar district have burnt trees and plants on about 50 acres of land.

36 more sued in Bagerhat on war crime charges

Thirty-six more alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces were sued on war crime charges in Morrelganj upazila of Bagerhat district on Sunday and the day before.

Naogaon hospital upgraded, services downgraded

Treatment seekers are being deprived of health care facilities as the 100-bed Naogaon Sadar Hospital is beset with various problems including shortage of doctors and nurses, accommodation problem and inadequate supply of medicine.

BCL drives Shibir men out of Carmichael College

A Shibir cadre was stabbed while four others were injured by brickbat as the activists of Chhatra League (BCL) attacked the pro-Jamaat students yesterday and drove them out of Carmichael College.

15 injured as clashing Jubo League men blast bombs

At least 15 people were injured in bomb explosions as Jubo League rivals clashed at Kutuberhat in Senbag upazila of Noakhali Sunday afternoon.

BCL activists vandalise principal's office

A group of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists vandalised the office room of Mahtab Uddin Degree College principal in Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah yesterday noon.

Villagers beat dead young expatriate

Mob on Sunday night beat dead an expatriate youth on charge of theft at Maligaon village under Gondharbyapur Uttar union of Hajiganj upazila.

Robbers loot two filling stations in Manikganj

Robbers looted Tk 8 lakh from two filling stations in Sadar and Shibalaya upazilas early Sunday.

4-year-old girl burnt alive, houses gutted

A four-year-old girl was burnt alive and five houses were gutted in separate incidents of fire in Madarganj and Melandaha upazilas of the district on Sunday.

12 Rohingyas arrested in Satkhira

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Sunday night arrested 12 Rohingyas including women and children while they were going to India through Laxmidari border.

Bombs blasted at former BNP leader's house

Criminals on Saturday night exploded bombs at the house of former BNP vice president Jewel Member at Sadipur.

Man jailed for killing wife

A court here on Sunday convicted a man and sentenced him to life term imprisonment for killing his wife. Convict Bashir Mia, 45, was also fined Tk 10,000, in default to suffer two more years in jail. According to the prosecution, Bashir Mia of Umairgaon village in Sadar upazila chopped his wife Kamala Begum to death following a family feud on December 5, 2008. Victim's brother Maulana Shoaibur Rahman filed a case with the police. After examining the records and witnesses District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Momin Ullah handed down the verdict in the crowded courtroom.

Fake cosmetic factory

A mobile court on Sunday unearthed a fake cosmetic factory at Atua in the town and seized the spurious items worth Tk 4 lakh. The mobile court led by additional deputy magistrate (ADM) Emam Uddin Kabir raided the fake cosmetic factory at the residence of Kobad Ali at about 10:00 pm, seized several hundred packets of spurious cosmetics and arrested Monirul Islam, 20, and Md Rabiul Islam, 16, sons of Kobad Ali from the spot. They were manufacturing fake cosmetic items of prominent brands. A case was filed with Pabna police station.

Van driver murdered

Police recovered the body of a missing covered van driver from Sanarpar area of Siddhirganj police station on Saturday night. The deceased was identified as Mamun, 24, son of Abdul Mannan of Dhaka city's Chakbazar area. Family sources said Mamun went out of his house in the evening and remained missing. Locals found the body in the Sanapar area beside the Dhaka-Chittagong highway at about 11:00pm and informed the police. Police recovered the body that bore some stab injury marks and sent it to Narayanganj General Hospital morgue for autopsy.

UPDF man arrested

Police on Sunday arrested an active member of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) from Swaniror Bazaar area under Sadar upazila for his alleged role in February 23 Khagrachhari violence. Additional Superintendent of Police Mohammad Amir Zafar said police raided the area and arrested Khokon Chakma, 28. Police have enough evidence that Khokon was involved in violence, he said. However, District UPDF member Rina Dewan said Khokon is not a UPDF man. He is the treasurer of a club named Huang- boi o-ba, she said.

SSC examinee killed

Criminals stabbed to death an SSC examinee at Katabaria village in Sadar upazila on Friday evening. The deceased was identified as Aminul Islam, 16, son of Abdus Sobhan of Darijahangirpur village in Tarail upazila. He used to live at his maternal grandfather's house at Katabaria village in Sadar upazila. Quoting witnesses police said a gang stabbed him at the playground of town's Government Gurudayal College at 6:00pm and fled the scene. Locals rushed him to Sadar Modern Hospital where attending doctors after giving first aid referred him to Mymensingh Medical College and Hospital. But the victim died on way to the hospital at 9:00pm. Meanwhile, police in separate drives on Friday night and Saturday morning in the town and adjoining areas arrested five youths in this connection.

Woman strangled

A housewife was strangled allegedly by her husband at Lalpur village in Nasirnagar upazila on Saturday. The victim was identified as Amena Begum, 23, wife of Akram Ali of the village. Officer-in-charge of Nasirnagar police station Golam Faruqe said Akram used to torture his wife for refusing to sell a piece of her land. On the fateful day he picked up a quarrel with her over the issue and at one stage strangled her. Police arrested Akram and a case was filed.

Elephant Sent to Sanctuary

Moulvibazar forest staff put this elephant onto a truck at Juri upazila headquarters yesterday to send it to Dulahazra Safari Park in Cox's Bazar.

International

US wants Israel to cancel settlement plan

Israeli officials said yesterday that the US is pressing Israel to scrap a contentious east Jerusalem building project whose approval has touched off the most serious diplomatic feud with Washington in years.

Top UNSC members on same page on Iran

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on a visit to China yesterday that the veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council were on the same page on how to tackle Iran.

Mexico presses EU to unblock promised climate funds

Mexico yesterday urged European leaders to hand over funding promised to help poor nations cope with global warming, as an important gesture before a key climate conference in Cancun later this year.

Putin's party suffers setbacks in polls

Russia's ruling party United Russia again emerged yesterday as the dominant force in regional elections but suffered a string of surprising setbacks against the background of the economic crisis.

Yemen air raid kills 2 al-Qaeda leaders

A Yemeni air raid against a "terrorist cell" in the southeast of the country has killed two senior al-Qaeda members, the defence ministry said early yesterday.

US Homeland Security staffer flees S Korea amid fraud probe

A US Department of Homeland Security official who fled his post in South Korea is wanted in California in connection with a 240,000-dollar wire fraud, according to a statement seen yesterday.

Laden's son seeks release of relatives detained in Iran

One of Osama bin Laden's sons has called on Tehran to release a number of his relatives said to be detained under house arrest in Iran, according to a letter released Sunday.

'Da Vinci foresaw end of the world in 4006'

Leonardo da Vinci predicted that the world would meet its end in a "universal flood", beginning on March 21, 4006 and concluding on November 1 the same year, claims a Vatican researcher.

Suicide bomber kills 8 in Iraq

A double-blast suicide bomber targeting a military checkpoint and labourers killed eight people on Monday in the former Sunni rebel bastion of Fallujah, Iraqi police and medics said.

Drug gang blamed for killing of 3 with US consulate tie

Suspected drug gang hit men separately ambushed two cars carrying families with ties to the US consulate in this violent border city, killing an American couple and a Mexican man. Three young children survived, although two suffered wounds.

Iraq PM bolsters chances of retaining post

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's bloc looked poised yesterday to be the biggest single group in parliament, as poll results from key provinces gave him a strong lead eight days after the vote.

Thai PM rejects ultimatum as demo reaches barracks where govt holed up

Thailand's prime minister yesterday rejected an ultimatum by tens of thousands of red-shirted protesters to call snap elections as they descended on a military barracks where the government was holed up.

Bombs kill 9 as Afghan cops foil suicide attack

Roadside bomb blasts killed nine people in Afghanistan yesterday as the government said local security forces shot dead five would-be suicide bombers, thwarting a major coordinated attack.

US official ran private spy network in Pakistan, Afghanistan

A US Defence Department official had set up a private network to help track and kill suspected militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan under the cover of a benign government information-gathering programme, military sources have revealed.

'No democracy' in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's former chief justice slammed the arrest of ex-army chief and opposition leader Sarath Fonseka yesterday on the eve of his court martial, saying there was "no democracy" in the country.

Suu Kyi party set date for registry decision

The Myanmar opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi will decide in two weeks whether to re-register under new election laws that force their detained leader out of the party, a spokesman said Monday.

Nirupama to visit Pakistan for further talks: Krishna

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna yesterday said that Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao would soon visit Pakistan for further talks.

India, Pakistan must end confrontation

India and Pakistan must end their confrontation and "go for peace," former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has said.

Rajya Sabha revokes suspension of four SP MPs

The Rajya Sabha yesterday revoked the suspension of four Samajwadi Party (SP) members, amongst the seven MPs against whom action was taken for their unruly behaviour before the debate on the women's reservation bill last week.

28 killed as bus falls into river in Rajasthan

In one of Rajasthan's worst road accidents, 28 people were killed yesterday and 36 were injured when a bus fell into a river from a bridge in Sawai Madhopur district, police said.

Indian govt backs off, avoids introducing Nuke Liability Bill

The expected face-off between the UPA government and the opposition over the former's proposed Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill has fizzled out with the UPA saying it will not table the Bill that provides for compensation in case of a nuclear accident for discussion today.

Scientists reveal how snakes 'see' at night

Scientists revealed Sunday for the first time how some snakes can detect the faint body heat exuded by a mouse a metre (three feet) away with enough precision and speed to hunt in the dark.

Indian toddler killed in Australia cremated

Hundreds of people from all walks of life yesterday joined the funeral procession of three-year-old Gurshan Singh Channa, who was killed in Australia, as his mortal remains were consigned to flames.

Arts & Entertainment

Spanish honour for artist Monirul Islam

Artist Monirul Islam was conferred with the “Cross of officer of the Order of Queen Isabella” for his outstanding contribution to art on March 14. The award was handed to the artist at the Dhaka residence of the Spanish Ambassador to Bangladesh.

Theatre as a catalyst of change

Theatre can provide an unbiased look at our life and society -- inspiring us to right the wrongs.

Of national movements and sense of identity

Liberation War and Language Movement are the main themes of the current exhibition featuring Proshanta Karmakar Buddha's artworks. Karmakar is mainly a printmaker (mainly etching). In recent times, he has developed his skills in painting (particularly acrylic). The medium provides a spontaneous and alluring look to his creations.

Spring festival by Shurbihar

Cultural organisation Shurbihar arranged a programme to celebrate the season of spring at the auditorium of National Music and Dance Centre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on March 13.

Kanthabithi holds cultural programme

Kanthabithi the lone recital organisation of Magura held a three-day cultural programme featuring poetry recitation and folk songs to mark its 12th anniversary that ended on March 13 with a folk musical function.

ABBA among Roll Hall of Fame inductees

ABBA, Jimmy Cliff, Genesis, The Hollies and the Stooges are the latest inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The induction was held yesterday.

OP-ED

Let Sholakia be our Panipat

WE all have heard about and seen the open air gun-battles between rival groups of students belonging to BNP and Awami League on various campuses. There were deaths following those incidents and yet those gun-toting ruffians could not be brought before any court of law. They sail with impunity high above the laws of the land. The fighting seemed to be infectious and soon it found its way into our Parliament house.

The tumor at the heart of the Afghan campaign

THERE is a real danger that with each day that our brave troops spend fighting in the sands of Afghanistan, victory there becomes less and less worth winning.

War crimes trial an internal matter

IT is hard to believe that a newly appointed diplomat can have a start as bad as this. The Pakistan high commissioner to Bangladesh the other day claimed that the question of the trial of war criminals had been resolved by the Simla agreement, and, therefore, Bangladesh should not break that international agreement and try the war criminals.

Prof. Sobhan at 75

WE have read with great interest the interview of Prof. Rehman Sobhan published in The Daily Star in two instalments. Prof. Rehman Sobhan belonged to the elite class of society in his upbringing, education, and social milieu. Yet, after obtaining his degree from Cambridge University, he chose to become an economics teacher at Dhaka University, instead of choosing elite services.

Turning a blind eye

TO the casual observer, it might seem that bird flu is no longer news. It rarely appears in the papers any more, and one could be forgiven for thinking that the massive damage it did to the poultry industry a few years ago was a thing of the past. But this is not true. The outbreak of bird flu at a bio-secure breeder farm owned by Kazi Farms in North Bengal, a region that had been considered safe, shows that the threat is not over. Rather, it seems to be increasing, invading locations and well-managed farms that were previously not affected.

A Victory for Obama

PRESIDENT Obama gets much credit for changing America's image in the world -- he was probably awarded the Nobel Prize for doing so. But if you asked even devoted fans to cite a specific foreign-policy achievement, they would probably hesitate. "It's too soon for that," they would say. But in fact, there is a place where Barack Obama's foreign policy is working, and one that is crucial to US national security -- Pakistan.


The Daily Star

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