The Daily Star

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Sunday, December 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 7th of May, 2010

Front Page

Hasina warns, MPs ignore

Bangladesh Chhatra League has gone beyond control as ruling party lawmakers have been ignoring Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's repeated directives to contain the unruly activities by the student body.

SQ Chy sued for money laundering

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday sued BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury on money-laundering charges.

Unending roads

Construction of a bridge on the Dhaleswari River at Elasin of Tangail, taken up five years ago, will be completed after 490 more years, thanks to inadequate annual funding.

First Bangalee to become British lawmaker

The Bangalee community in Britain is eagerly waiting for the outcome of the UK General Election 2010 as a Bangladeshi is certainly going to make the history of becoming a lawmaker of the Commons.

Wasa high-ups draw MPs' flak

A parliamentary body yesterday came down heavily on the high officials of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) for their failure in resolving water crisis in the city.

Most of intelligence men betrayed

Betrayal of most of the members of Bangladesh Rifles' intelligence wing led to the barbaric carnage at the Pilkhana headquarters in the capital last year, said the commanding officer of the Rifles Security Unit (RSU).

Fresh drive to free Turag

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) in cooperation with Dhaka district administration knocked down 25 illegal concrete and semi-concrete structures by the river Turag near Amin Bazar bridge yesterday.

Invest more in agri research

The government has to invest more to conduct research on agricultural developments and frame policies to address people's vulnerability caused by climate change, agriculturists and economists said yesterday.

10,000 fake nat'l ID cards seized

Rab personnel yesterday seized 10,000 fake national identity cards and 2,610 unregistered SIM cards from two shops at Sundarban Square Supermarket in capital's Gulistan area.

BNP agitation tomorrow

BNP will stage rallies across the country tomorrow protesting the killing of its leader in an attack at Natore on his way to the Wednesday's grand rally in Rajshahi.

New MPO list almost finalised

The government has almost finalised a list of non-government education institutions for giving them monthly pay order (MPO) facilities.

Return houses to 13 Hindu families

The High Court yesterday ordered the police administration of Pirojpur to rehabilitate to their houses within five days 13 Hindu families in Mathbaria upzila evicted allegedly by Awami League activists.

Expedite war crimes trial

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged International Crimes Tribunal to speedily accomplish the trial of war criminals for their misdeeds during the country's Liberation War in 1971.

Hasina again blames past BNP govt

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday blamed the then BNP-Jamaat government for current power and gas crisis in the country.

10 seamen to return home tomorrow

Ten of the 28 seamen will arrive in Dhaka tomorrow from Benin after being stranded for four months on ships offshore the West African country.

India may ease conference visa rules for Bangladeshis

India is considering relaxing the procedure for granting conference visa to Bangladeshi citizens, reported Times of India yesterday.

Muggers loot Tk 40 lakh

Armed muggers looted around Tk 40 lakh from the employees of a private farm yesterday afternoon in the city's Uttara area.

War probe agency to be recast

State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam yesterday said the government will include five to seven more members in the war crimes investigating agency to strengthen probe.

Kasab to die

The lone surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks was sentenced to death yesterday, but any execution will only happen after a lengthy appeal process is completed, legal experts say.

JS body for forming nat'l reserve force

A parliamentary committee yesterday suggested the government form a 'national reserve force' (NRF) by giving training to general citizens of Bangladesh to build a disciplined nation.

SQ Chy sees 'plot' to kill him, other BNP leaders

BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury yesterday said embassies of two western countries warned him of a plot to kill him and top leaders of the party.

One more held, 4 cops quizzed

Detective police arrested another person and quizzed four policemen of Nayatola outpost yesterday in connection with the murder of Assistant Sub-Inspector Shah Mizanur Rahman.

Editorial

Endangered police chain of command

That law and order has deteriorated in the country over these past many weeks and months has never been in question. And now that even senior police officers have acknowledged the situation, there are additional reasons to be worried about the state of things. What is indeed gravely disturbing is the new dimension which seems to have come into the picture. These police officials have pointed to what is clearly a break in the police chain of command owing to the close ties many of their subordinates maintain with political, usually ruling party, activists across the country. Indeed, the revelations made at a quarterly crime conference in the capital on Wednesday are but a confirmation of the politicization which has for long characterized the police service. There is not much that is new about the situation, but of late matters have clearly gone out of hand. When junior officers have the gall to defy the instructions of their superiors merely because they enjoy close ties with local political elements, it is a signal of danger for the country.

Why this lobbying for MPO?

Aware that enlisting of schools that fulfil all the criteria to receive monthly pay order (MPO) from the education ministry is nearing completion, influential ruling party people, Members of Parliament (MPs) and their cronies are still creating pressure on the ministry to have their schools of choice enlisted.

Sports

Azharul new king of track

Azharul Islam became the new king of the track while Shamsun Nahar Chumki regained her crown as they won the most coveted 100m events in the Walton 35th National Athletics Championships at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Maruful quits as MSC coach

Mohammedan's shrewd tactician Maruful Haque tendered his resignation as the head football coach of the Black and Whites half-way through the Bangladesh League second leg on Wednesday citing a long list of discrepancies.

First win for WI A

Nelon Pascal and Shane Shillingford bowled West Indies A to an 11-run victory over South Africa A in the second match of the ATN Records tri-nation one-day series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

SA Academy make it 1-1

South Africa Academy team bounced back with a 15-run victory over GP-BCB Academy team in the second one-day match to level the three-match series at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra yesterday.

Praveen out of World T20

India fast bowler Praveen Kumar has been ruled out of the remainder of the World Twenty20 due to an abdominal injury. His replacement will be Vidarbha and Delhi Daredevils fast bowler Umesh Yadav, who impressed with his pace during the recent Indian Premier League.

Pietersen stars for England

Kevin Pietersen's unbeaten 73 saw England to a six-wicket win over defending champions Pakistan in the opening Super Eights match of the World Twenty20 at the Kensington Oval here on Thursday.

Barcelona coaches in city

Three youth coaches from reigning Champions League winners FC Barcelona arrived at the city yesterday in a three-day trip aimed at introducing local coaches and players to the philosophy of the famous Catalan club.

Qualifiers underway

The Robi Asian Games hockey qualifiers got underway yesterday through a brief but lovely opening ceremony at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium.

Kabir seeks int'l help

Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan wants professional teams around the world to help his players build on their performances at the World Twenty20.

Azzurri double

Just as Mussolini had in Italy in 1934, Hitler used the 1936 Olympics as a weapon of propaganda. So, to avoid any further political chicanery, FIFA chose a 'neutral' venue: the federation's birthplace, France. But, as before, there were some high-profile absentees.

Marseille clinch title

Marseille clinched their first French league title in 18 years on Wednesday after beating Rennes 3-1.

Real take it to the death

Cristiano Ronaldo netted his first ever hattrick for Real Madrid to move onto 25 goals of the season as Real came from behind to win 4-1 at Real Mallorca on Wednesday to move a point behind Barcelona and ensure the title race goes down to the wire.

Few surprises from Loew

Coach Joachim Loew on Thursday selected seven members of Champions League-finalists Bayern Munich for Germany's World Cup squad including recalling veteran goalkeeper Hans-Joerg Butt.

One down for Inter

Inter Milan secured the first trophy in their historic treble quest as they beat AS Roma 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico here on Wednesday.

Crouch seals UCL spot

Tottenham booked a lucrative place in the Champions League in dramatic fashion as Peter Crouch's late header clinched a 1-0 win against Manchester City on Wednesday.

Ribery loses appeal

Bayern Munich's French international playmaker Franck Ribery lost his appeal to UEFA against a three match European ban, club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said after Wednesday's hearing at European football's governing body.

EPL rejects Fulham plea

Fulham's request to have their final league game of the season brought forward to aid their preparation for next week's Europa League final has been rejected by the English Premier League.

SA too hot for Afghans

South Africa won through to the second round of the World Twenty20 with a 59-run win as newcomers Afghanistan were bowled out for just 80 at the Kensington Oval here on Wednesday.

Clarke ready for spin

Michael Clarke admitted his bowlers were ready for a trial by spin when they faced India in their opening Super Eights clash at the World Twenty20 here on Friday.

Modi preparing reply

India is bracing for the next round of mudslinging in the Indian Premier League (IPL) corruption scandal as the cricket tournament's chief prepares to take on the establishment to save his job.

Asia Cup cricket in Dambulla

The 2010 Asia Cup will be held in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, between June 15 and 24, the Asian Cricket Council has announced. The tournament comprises India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and hosts Sri Lanka.

Murali staying in Caribbean

Sri Lanka's injured start spinner Muttiah Muralidaran is recovering slowly and will remain with the team for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, Sri Lanka Cricket said Wednesday.

Thushara in for Murali

Thilan Thushara, the left-arm seamer, has been called in as cover for Muttiah Muralidaran in the Sri Lankan squad for the ICC World Twenty20.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Water Development Board continued their winning ways in the National Bank Limited Volleyball Premier League at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Business

Biman gets lifeline from banks

Local banks have come up to lend in foreign currency for the first time to the national airline.

Debate heats up on duty-free access to US

Business leaders, economists and politicians yesterday disagreed with US Ambassador James F Moriarty as he said Bangladesh's exports to his country will not increase even if it allows duty-free market access for Bangladeshi products.

Hospital bed makers coming of age

Mushrooming modern hospitals that provide the latest in treatments have helped propel the local high-tech hospital bed sector forward.

ESCAP forecasts 6pc GDP growth

Bangladesh will post 6 percent economic growth in the current fiscal year, the United Nations' regional development arm predicts in a survey.

BB moves to calm Ramadan prices

Bangladesh Bank has directed all commercial banks to keep the import finance interest rate for essential items, including edible oil, at a maximum of 12 percent.

Greek austerity plan approved

The Greek parliament Thursday approved a draconian austerity drive demanded by Athens' eurozone partners and the IMF in return for a massive 110-billion-euro bailout to avert financial meltdown.

Political instability to downgrade positive rating

Political instability might downgrade the positive sovereign rating for Bangladesh, fears Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman.

KL to host Islamic economic forum

The sixth World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) begins in Kuala Lumpur on May 18, with a focus on business opportunities in the Muslim world.

Govt to ease property registration

The government is trying to eliminate corruption from all organisations responsible for property transfers, and is modernising the land registration system, said the land minister yesterday.

Chamber to explore broader trade with Germany

A business delegation of Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) will visit Germany in August to explore how to increase trade between the two nations.

Diplomatic missions yet to speed up export efforts

Bangladesh's diplomatic missions and commercial wings are yet to speed up efforts to brighten their performance. Most are below their export targets.

Laptop fair kicks off in Ctg

A laptop fair began in the port city yesterday with a call for taking information and communication technology to every nook and corner of Bangladesh.

CORPORATE BRIEFS

ISLAMI BANK
As per unaudited quarterly accounts for the first quarter to March 31, the bank reported net profit of Tk 1,318.22 million with basic earnings per share (EPS) of Tk 21.34 as against Tk 633.06 million and Tk 10.25 (restated) respectively for the same period of the previous year. However, considering proposed 20 percent bonus share for 2009, diluted EPS will be Tk 17.78 as of March 31, 2010 and Tk 8.54 (restated) as of March 31, 2009.

Oil up

Oil prices nudged higher on Thursday after recent sharp losses but gains were capped by a stronger dollar, analysts said.

Metropolitan

Allocate Tk 20,000cr for education in next budget

The government will have to increase budgetary allocation for education sector, as the expenses will go up if the proposed National Education Policy is implemented, said noted economist Prof Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad yesterday.

ACC okays charges against 71

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) approved filing of charge sheets in 34 graft cases against 71 persons, including politicians, government officials and businessmen, last month.

14 Gulshan shops fined

A mobile court of Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined 14 shop owners at Gulshan-1 DCC Market in the city Tk 50,000 for selling and storing polythene illegally.

Complete dev projects within dry season: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the ministries and all departments concerned to complete all development projects in the coastal and riverine areas within the dry season.

HC asks Mockbul to surrender in tribunal

The High Court (HC) yesterday asked former Awami League lawmaker Mockbul Hossain to surrender before the tribunal within seven days in a corruption case in which he was earlier sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Project to promote HR launched

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the United Nations Development Porgramme (UNDP) yesterday launched a new project to develop the commission's capacity to protect and promote human rights.

India to train more BSTI staff

India will provide training to more officials of Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) with a view to improving their skills, Indian High Commissioner Rajeet Mitter said yesterday.

Govt to ask Interpol to find out killers

The government will take the help of the Interpol to find out the fugitive killers of Awami League leader Ahsanullah Master, Home Minister Sahara Khatun said yesterday.

Presentation on 'Food as medicine’

The Association of Former UN Staff of Bangladesh (AFUNSOB) is organising a presentation on 'Food as medicine' by Mohsin A Khan at Thaichi Restaurant near the Bijoy Sarani-Tejgon link road roundabout in the city tomorrow, says a press release.

Ahsanullah Master's death anniversary today

Today is the 6th death anniversary of former Awami League lawmaker Ahsanullah Master.

Girl commits suicide

A schoolgirl allegedly committed suicide at her house at Mohakhali in the city yesterday.

Water transport strike from midnight today

Bangladesh Noujan Sramik Federation is going to start water transport strike from midnight today to press home their 22-point demands, including formation of new pay scale.

Yunus's new book

Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus's latest book, Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs, will come out worldwide on Tuesday.

National

25 injured as Sylhet BNP factions clash

Twenty-five people sustained injuries as two factions of Sylhet BNP engaged in clashes in Zindabazar and Court Point areas in the city yesterday afternoon.

Mirzapur massacre day today

Today is Mirzapur massacre day.

7sued in Khulna, Bagerhat on war crime charges

Three people have been sued in Khulna on charge of killing a freedom fighter (FF) during liberation war in 1971 at Chandpur village under Rupsha upazila in the district.

Mob assaults UNO for assaulting elderly person

An angry mob assaulted the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Bagmara in Rajshahi as the UNO misbehaved with an elderly person during a drive to evict illegal traders at a local bazaar yesterday.

4 'stalkers' arrested in N'ganj, Benapole

Police yesterday arrested four alleged stalkers in Narayanganj and Benapole while students and people in Pabna formed a human chain demanding action against stalkers.

Using 'Joy Bangla' slogan

A local leader of ruling Awami League (AL) has set up 'Joy Bangla Hotel' on a 0.5 decimal government khas land at Jharbari village of Birganj upazila in the district after grabbing it from Md Abdus Salam who had been using the land following a lease order 20 years ago.

Indefinite transport strike 'enforced' in Moulvibazar

Indefinite transport strike began in Moulvibazar district yesterday.

50 hurt, 200 shops ransacked

At least 50 people were injured and about 200 shops ransacked during a clash between two groups of locals at Chowdhury bazaar under Rajnagar upazila on Wednesday night.

Frequent attack on a Sylhet mall worries traders

Leaders of the business community yesterday called upon the administration and law enforcers to take steps to stop attacks on a shopping mall by a section of activists and agitators.

Two Huji men remanded

Two brothers, arrested on suspicion of their involvement with banned Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) early Wednesday, were placed on a three-day remand yesterday.

10 injured in Magura clash

At least 10 people were injured in a clash over land dispute between two groups of people at Nuhata village in Sreepur upazila on Wednesday.

AL rivals clash over tender, two injured

Two local leaders of Awami League's associate bodies were injured and the upazila chairman's office was vandalised during a clash between two rival groups allegedly over tender manipultion at Durgapur upazila headquarters yesterday.

Extortionists beat up AL leader

Extortionists beat up an AL leader on Wednesday night as he refused to give them Tk 20,000 from illegal toll collected from hawkers and shopkeepers in a cinema hall area under Ramgarh upazila.

Cocktails recovered

A woman received minor injuries in a cocktail blast in Barguna yesterday as she opened an unattended bag at the foreyard of her son-in-law's house at Chuikata village under Amtali. Police later recovered four cocktails from there around noon yesterday. A Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) team defused the cocktails. The injured woman, identified as Salina Begum, 50, who came on a visit to her son-in-law's house, took first aid from a local doctor. Abdul Jalil, SI (Sub Inspector) of Amtali police station said a case was filed with Amtali police station in this regard.

Current nets seized

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel seized contraband goods including current nets and smuggled motor parts worth about Tk 7.60 lakh from Bhaberber and Gatipara borders at Benapole yesterday morning. None could be arrested in this connection. The seized goods have been deposited to Benapole Customs House. A Chandpur Correspondent adds: Chandpur district administration yesterday seized 3.5 lakh metre of current nets worth about Tk 70 lakh. The seized banned current nets were burnt on the bank of the Dakatia River in Chandpur town area at 10:00 am.

FF killed in attack

A freedom fighter (FF) was killed when he went to save tractor workers from the wrath of attackers in Akhaura upazila on Wednesday. Some local people locked in an altercation with two tractor workers- Nurul Islam and Khayer Mia - when the workers were unloading fish-feed at Mogra Bazaar at 8:00am. At one stage, locals beat up the two workers mercilessly. As freedom fighter Haji Shamsu Mia, 65, of the same village went to save the workers the angry people attacked and beat him dead on the spot.

5 factory workers hurt

Five workers of an accessories factory in city's Oxygen area were injured when hot water from a dying machine fell on them yesterday. The injured identified as Rubel, 25, Jakir, 35, Eklas, 25, Subas, 27, and Dipak, 24, were the workers of National Accessories Limited under Bayezid police station. Factory Manager Sanjoy Barua said that the accident occurred at the dying section at around 11:30am when worker Rubel opened cover of a dyeing machine before releasing pressure from it. “As the cover was opened, the hot water from the machine fell on Rubel and four of his fellow workers leaving them burn injured,” Sanjoy said.

Letters

Rainwater preservation

Citizens of Dhaka are suffering due to the present water crisis. Still, some respite can be found through an easy but convenient method - preserving rainwater. Here are a few important points in this regard:

Urban transport

An article on this important subject was published in a local daily on 27 April. This should attract the attention of the relevant government authorities. Commuter transport in and around Dhaka is becoming more chaotic day by day!

Digital Bangladesh and power

These days, very often, we hear about Digital Bangladesh. Before our general election 2009 we did not hear anything about Digital Bangladesh. We only heard about Sonar Bangla.

Activities of BCL

This refers to the news 'Stop BCL's Criminal Activities' by your Rajshahi correspondent published on 27 April. Fifteen teachers of Rajshahi University expressed deep concern over the “criminal activities” of Bangladesh Chhatra League at educational institutions and urged the government to take immediate steps in this regard. They felt that this anarchic situation is infiltrating into the state activities like cancer.

Rehab's obligations

Rehab's cooperation is necessary to save the dying Dhaka from overcrowding effects. New official regulations may be promulgated for implementation by REHAB members (the house-building construction companies) in the following areas:

Tobacco cultivation in CHT

Tobacco cultivation in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is posing a threat to public health and the environment.

Agriculture sector

Agricultural production in Bangladesh is highly influenced by different seasonal climatic variables such as high fluctuations of day and night temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, high carbon dioxide concentrations, humidity and day-length. It is also adversely affected by different climatic disasters such as floods, cyclones, storm surges and sea level rise.

Prostitution and drug abuse

An article in the largest circulating daily newspaper of Sweden (Dagens Nyheter, page 18, April 18, 2010) related to the drug use among the prostitutes of Bangladesh has generated a lot of discussions among Bangladeshis living in Sweden. Prostitution, regarded as the oldest profession, is practiced worldwide, not just in Bangladesh. The article, based upon a report of an NGO, emphasizes the role of a powerful steroid oradexon in making young girls (often between 12-14 years of age) more mature (older than the officially allowed age of 18) and sexually attractive to the customers. This in return brings more profit to the brothel owners. The drug, used by majority of Bangladeshi female sex workers, has serious side effects and is hazardous to health. The scene portrayed in the article is indeed a pathetic one as these young girls, often lured away from their villages, to work as sex slaves are locked up in a prison like environment. The article should reach the Bangladeshi authorities who should look into the matter seriously and must take appropriate measures. After all, the article portrays a very negative image of Bangladesh.

May Day and Workers

The historical importance of May Day is great. Labourers of America demanded 8-hour working time in 1886. In that gathering, police fired and some of the labourers were killed. We remember their great sacrifice on this day.

Human Development

Human developments are about much more than the increase in national incomes. It is about create surroundings in which citizens can lead a prosperous life.

Our culture

Every nation has its individual art and culture and it is followed by the nation with pride. As the people of Bangladesh, we do have our own art and culture and we love it. Our culture has survived through our tradition and we retain it inside us. But what is horrifying to see is that nowadays, with the intrusion of western culture, our tradition and culture is on the decline. Now the young generation is obsessed with western music and films.

Deadly fungus!

According to a recent research report an airborne deadly fungus - Cryptococcus gattii is spreading among humans and animals in the northeastern United States and the Canadian province of British Columbia. This new genetically different fungus strain is capable of causing serious health problems to humans as well as animals (cats, dogs, dolphins, etc.). C.gattii enters into the human body through inhalation of spores of the fungus. C. gattii infections include persistent cough (lasting for weeks or months), fever, shortness of breath, sinusitis, severe headache, nausea, night sweats, photophobia, skin problems, et cetera. The good news is, C.gattii is not transmitted from person to person or animal to person. An open wound may be a route for intrusion of the deadly fungus into the human and animal body system.

Using cell phone

Late Dr. Mohammad Shahidullah was very correct in saying " Disease is contagious not health". The other day I went to a bank to collect money sent from abroad. There was a long queue at the counter. From a little distance, I could very well see the teller at the counter was talking on her cell phone. After she finished talking, she attended the next customer on line. After some time, she again got back to her cell phone and the process continued like this making the queue bigger and bigger.

Thanks to the PM!

Kudos to our prime minister for taking the decision to ban films of the subcontinent in our country. It will facilitate protection of local films and job security to the people engaged in the industry. May I submit one more request to her: please impose restrictions on advertisements displaying foreign models in our media, signboards and billboards. In the name of free market economy, some multinational companies are displaying Indian models ignoring our popular showbiz models.

Dealing with power shortage

We, the people of Bangladesh, are now in the middle of an energy crisis and each of us needs to do something to ensure that we have electricity, and that the economy can continue to run.

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International

Clashes in Nepal as frustration grows

Maoist protesters clashed with residents in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu yesterday as anger grew over a strike that has shut down much of the country for five days.

NY car bomb suspect did a dry run

Days before the failed car bomb in Times Square, a Pakistani-American scouted the bustling district in the same vehicle and then, on a second trip, left a getaway car blocks from his chosen target, a law enforcement official has told The Associated Press.

Thai PM offers to dissolve Parliament in September

Thailand's prime minister said yesterday he would dissolve Parliament in September meeting a key demand of anti-government protesters but only if they end their crippling occupation of Bangkok's commercial district.

Fonseka vows to expose war crimes

Sri Lanka's ex-army chief yesterday vowed to "expose" any war crimes committed at the end of the country's civil war, raising pressure on the government, which has resisted calls for a probe.

One baby with syphilis born every hour in China

One child was born with syphilis every hour in China in 2008, researchers said yesterday, as new money from the country's growing economy fuels the world's fastest-growing epidemic of the disease.

Britain votes in knife-edge polls

Britain voted yesterday in the closest general election for decades, with polls suggesting David Cameron's opposition Conservatives will win most seats but not enough to form a government alone.

Indian police fire on Naga protesters

Police have opened fire on a group of Naga tribes people on the border between India's north-eastern states of Manipur and Nagaland, officials said.

Greek bank workers strike over deaths

Greek bank workers walked off the job in a 24-hour strike Thursday to protest the deaths of three colleagues trapped in a bank torched by protesters during massive demonstrations against the government's new harsh austerity measures.

IAEA seeks ideas to get Israel to sign NPT

UN atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano is asking IAEA member states for ideas on how to persuade Israel to sign up to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), according to a document seen by AFP yesterday.

38 dead after tornado hits China

At least 38 people were killed after a tornado, hail storms, gale-force winds and torrential rains hit southern China, damaging thousands of homes and destroying crops.

Karzai urges closer military coordination

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called yesterday for US-led foreign troops to coordinate more closely with the Afghan military on operations, just days ahead of a key trip to Washington.

Give NPT teeth: Israel

An Israeli official says the UN atomic watchdog should focus more on giving teeth to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty than on trying to get Israel to join.

Japan PM's family grave vandalised

The family grave of Japan's under-fire Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was sprayed with yellow paint, police said yesterday, in what is believed was a protest against his US airbase policy U-turn.

UK Election by numbers

Millions of people across the UK selected their candidates in the general election.

Kaczynski twin makes first campaign appearance

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's conservative opposition and twin of late president Lech Kaczynski, yesterday made his first campaign appearance before the nation's snap presidential vote.

Arts & Entertainment

Showcasing the artistic greats

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) has organised a weeklong art exhibition featuring the works of leading and promising painters of Bangladesh at National Art Gallery, BSA. The works on display are from the collections of BSA.

21st National Rabindra Sangeet Festival on track

With the theme “Cholo Podey Podey Shotyer Chhondey; Cholo Durjoy Praner Anandey,” the 21st National Rabindra Sangeet Festival arranged by Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Shongstha (BRSSS) is now on at Shawkat Osman Auditorium of Central Public Library, Shahbagh, Dhaka.

Kalim Sharafi and Dr. Sanjida Khatun to receive Rabindra Award 2010

Veteran Tagore singer and president of Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha, Kalim Sharafi, along with Tagore exponent and President of Chhayanaut, Dr. Sanjida Khatun, will receive the Rabindra Award 2010. Bangla Academy will honour the two cultural personalities on May 8 with a programme at its premises.

“I was not aware of Shabana's work when I met her” -- Sendhil Ramamurthy

Need evidence of the Indian Diaspora's increasing importance in world cinema? Look no further than “It's a Wonderful Afterlife” which comes out soon. It's been directed by British filmmaker of Indian origin Gurinder Chadha and stars Indian American Sendhil Ramamurthy and internationally renowned Indian actress Shabana Azmi.

Lifetime achievement award for Bonna

Channel i will be awarding accomplished Tagore artiste Rezwana Chowdhury Bonna with a lifetime achievement award on the occasion of 149th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore. The announcement was made at a press conference at the channel's Tejgaon office yesterday. Among others, Faridur Reza Sagar, managing director, Impress Telefim ltd and channel i, was present at the event.

“Choita Pagol”: Mahfuz Ahmed’s latest venture

Popular TV actor Mahfuz Ahmed has moved towards direction over the last few years. “Amader Nurul Huda” was the first drama serial that he co-directed with Aranya Anwar. “Tomar Doa-e Bhalo Achhi Ma”, directed by Mahfuz, was much admired by the TV viewers. Both serials were aired on ATN Bangla. Besides serial, the actor-helmer has directed several single-episode plays. Currently, Mahfuz is busy directing a new serial, “Choita Pagol.” Aside from direction, he is also playing the protagonist in the 104-episode serial written by Brindabon Das.

TV play “Robibar” on ATN Bangla tonight

Single-episode TV play “Robibar” will be aired on ATN Bangla tonight at 8 pm. Directed by Ashim Sen Gupta, the play is an adaptation of a Tagore short story by Shyamol Dutta.

Tele-film “Gouri” on Channel i

Channel i will air the telefilm “Gouri” today at 2:30 pm. Directed by Nahid Ahmed, the play is an adaptation of a short story (“Udhdhar”) by Rabindranath Tagore.

OP-ED

Traffic jam

Dhaka is a city with no end of problems. Power. Water. Sewage. Pollution. But anyone you ask will tell you that the biggest problem we face in the capital today is traffic, and the problem is getting worse every day.

Awaiting the wait

NICOLAS Cage is a Hollywood star who has bought himself a gawky gift. Not a mansion, not a car, nor anything else of a flashy kind, neither to flaunt his money nor to flourish his fame. Nicolas Cage has bought himself a mausoleum in Louisiana, which would serve as his final resting place. Great minds think ahead of time. My man Cage has thought of his death.

We need a facilitator not a government

ANALYSING what is happening throughout the world, I think we need to ask ourselves a fundamental question; in the post-colonial era, how have we reconciled with the colonial concept of a "government" in which some people have more authority over others?

Imperatives of interfaith tolerance

A few days ago, national dailies reported that an Ahmadiya woman was denied a burial place in the Nakhalpara graveyard in Dhaka because she belonged to the Ahmadiya community. The woman used to live in the Nakhalpara area and it was her Sunni Muslim neighbours who barred her burial in the locality. Her body had to be carried to a graveyard at Tejgaon, where she found an eternal resting place.

Keeping the lights on

A headline in Dhaka newspapers stating, "Future of Energy lies in Coal," reminded me of our national malaise: lurching from one extreme to another (hjujuge bangalee).

StarTech

Unwinding the wires

The telecom regulator has decided to take overhead cables underground to free Dhaka from a tangle of cables from sight.

Jobs attacks Adobe Flash as unfit for iPhone

For iPhone users who've been wondering whether their devices will support Flash technology for Web video and games anytime soon, the answer is finally here, straight from Steve Jobs: No.

Introducing the flagship N8

Nokia launched their flagship N series device, the N8, in Finland recently. The new smartphone, which will be available in selected markets from the third quarter of 2010, boasts heavy specs and a revamped operating system, says a press release.

Barracuda Networks announces its presence

With the slogan “To save Dhaka from huge IT infrastructure establishment,” Barracuda Networks, one of the world's leading security, networking and storage solution providers, has made a debut in Bangladesh.

Microsoft's competition for secondary school teachers

Microsoft Bangladesh arranged a competition among secondary level school teachers from all over Bangladesh on April 30 at TTC auditorium in the city, said a press release.



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