The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, July 29, 2014


News of: Friday, 25th of June, 2010

Front Page

Warnings not working

The unruly activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League can be reined in only if Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina plays a more serious role, observed some leaders of the ruling Awami League.

Champs crash out

Reigning champions Italy were knocked out of the World Cup on Thursday as they slumped to a sensational 3-2 defeat to unheralded Slovakia in an Ellis Park thriller.

Missing boy found dead in a sack

Police yesterday recovered the body of a six-year-old boy, who went missing from the capital's Adabar area two days ago.

Fix RMG wage by July 28

A parliamentary body yesterday asked the labour and employment ministry to declare a time befitting minimum wage structure for garment workers by July 28.

Target fakes, unfits

The government will launch a drive in the capital from July 15 against one lakh unfit and old vehicles and around four lakh drivers using fake licence to reduce road accidents.

UN adds Yunus to anti-poverty effort

UN chief Ban Ki-moon named a high-profile committee Wednesday aimed at sparking progress against poverty and toward improved welfare under the organization's Millennium Development Goals.

Researchers to get govt care

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the government will give special thought to job tenure and salary scale of the researchers, in order to ensure complete support for research in the country.

Donors pledge $9m for Aila rebuilding

The donor consortium led by UN Development Fund (UNDP) yesterday assured the government of providing $9 million to assist nearly 70,000 worst affected Aila victims in Khulna and Satkhira.

Speedy Trial Act extended for 2yrs again

Parliament yesterday passed a bill extending the Speedy Trial Act's term by two years to dispose around 2,600 pending cases filed under the act.

War heroes to get Tk 2,000 as allowances from July 1

The government has taken a decision to raise the allowances of the freedom fighters to Tk 2,000 per month from the next fiscal year.

I was kept blindfolded for 10 hours

Mahmudur Rahman, the acting editor of daily Amar Desh, told a Dhaka court yesterday that he was taken to the Rapid Action Battalion headquarters and kept there blindfolded for over ten hours on Wednesday.

Waterbus service from August

Waterbus service will be launched in August to carry passengers through the rivers surrounding the capital to ease horrific traffic congestion in the city, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan told parliament yesterday.

Car crash hurts ex-Indian speaker's wife in Moulvibazar

Former speaker of Indian Lok Sabha PA Sangma, his wife Soradini K Sangma and other delegates got into a road crash at Munshinagar in Moulvibazar yesterday as their car hit a security vehicle from behind.

Australia gets first woman PM

Welsh-born lawyer Julia Gillard became Australia's first woman prime minister yesterday after the once hugely popular Kevin Rudd fell to a party coup less than three years after taking office.

Qamrul to oversee progress

State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam will oversee the daily progress in the trial process of the '1971 crimes against humanity', as an investigation into the crimes is going on.

HC clears way for election

The High Court yesterday cleared an obstacle to holding the election of Muktijoddha Sangsad Command Council (MSCC) on June 26.

'Outlaw' killed in shootout

An operative of outlawed Gono Mukti Fouz was killed in a 'shootout' between his cohorts and Rab in Sadar upazila of the district yesterday.

Govt plans big to curb pollution

The government will take 29 projects involving around Tk 2,894 crore in its next five-year plan aiming to curb environment pollution.

Four British soldiers die in Afghan road accident

Four British soldiers were killed in a vehicle crash in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday, only days after Britain passed the grim milestone of 300 deaths.

Jaswant Singh rejoins BJP

Lok Sabha MP and former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh rejoined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) yesterday-- ten months after he was expelled from the party over his book praising Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He said it felt good to be back.

Political parties must de-link student fronts

Political parties must sever ties with their student bodies to restore healthy student politics and ultimately ensure a congenial environment for education in public universities of the country, said speakers yesterday during a roundtable at Jatiya Press Club.

June deadliest month for foreign troops in Afghan war

The deaths of another four Nato troops in an accident in Afghanistan made June the deadliest single month for US-led foreign forces in nearly nine years of conflict, according to an AFP tally yesterday.

Editorial

Let the DAP be implemented in full

THE good news is that we now have before us a gazette notification approving the detailed area plan (DAP) for the nation's capital. We are convinced that if and when the plan is implemented, citizens will derive unadulterated advantage from it. This we say with a caveat, though. The minister of state for housing and public works, who was vocal about dealing sternly with land grabbers only the other day, now appears to have taken a step backward. The government, he now says, will adopt a soft stance regarding DAP in certain instances. He also informs us that the authorities might have to accept violations of land-related laws where necessary. Such statements on the part of a functionary of the state cannot but cause grave worries, especially when we are all faced with the reality of how Dhaka has been losing its appeal and indeed its character over the years because of the exploitative way in which it has been 'developed'.

BCL excesses take an unbearable turn

ADMISSION trade by Bangladesh Chhatra Leagur (BCL) activists has gone to such an extent that now different factions of this student wing are at each other's throat in claiming their stakes from the college administration in different districts. They have roughed up college principals in Pabna and Bogra and pressured the college administration at the Hatia Government College Noakhali to have students of their choice admitted into those colleges flouting all laws and rules. In consequence, the process of admission in those colleges has been put on hold to the utter dismay of the admission-seekers. And the outraged teachers in one of those colleges have gone on an indefinite strike protesting the assault on the principal of that institution.

Sports

Free-kicks fire Japan

Superb free-kicks by Keisuke Honda and Yasuhito Endo inspired Japan to an exhilarating 3-1 win over Denmark that sends them into the last 16 of a World Cup for the first time on foreign soil.

England: Flashback 1990

Twenty years ago, England struggled through the first round of the World Cup, just as they have done in South Africa.

Draw suits Paraguay fine

Paraguay topped Group F at the World Cup on Thursday after a drab 0-0 draw with surprise packets New Zealand.

Pro Carbonero, anti Carbonero

The journalist girlfriend of Spain's goalkeeper was accused of breaching professional ethics Wednesday after she reported on live television from behind the net ahead of the country's World Cup loss to Switzerland.

Vuvuzela can carry germs

Vuvuzelas aren't just loud but they can spread germs too, a South African clinic warned Thursday, urging fans to keep their lips on their own horns to avoid catching colds.

Impressive underdogs

You won't find any American or South Korean flags in any rooftop of Dhaka. They don't have as much appeal as the likes of Brazil, Argentina or Italy offer but these two underdogs have been most impressive in the World Cup.

Battle for supremacy

World Cup favourites Brazil clash with their former colonial masters Portugal in their final Group G match on Friday, with the five-time champions already qualified for the round of 16.

Brazil wait on Elano

World Cup favourites Brazil were waiting on the fitness of Elano as they trained for Friday's World Cup meeting with their former colonial masters Portugal.

Maradona is a Mourinho fan

To have Jose Mourinho on your bedside table for advice seems a novel way of resolving a problem that keeps you awake at night during the World Cup.

Red flag for Armada

Reigning European champions Spain will need a victory over Chile here on Friday to keep a much-fancied World Cup run on course with mighty Brazil or arch-rival Portugal likely waiting if they do advance.

Mission impossible

Ivory Coast face the improbable task of making up nine goals on Portugal if they are to join fellow Africans Ghana in the last 16 at the World Cup.

Swiss confident of progress

Giant killers Switzerland go into their final group clash knowing a win by two clear goals against Honduras would seal a place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

World Cup One Twos

PLAYERS TEEMING AT SW19 BLACKOUT
Andy Roddick mimed a goal-scoring volley, Serena Williams tweeted with fury and punters departed for nearby pubs or listened on radios after the All England Club had the temerity to enforce a blackout of England's World Cup group game against Slovenia

Asia Cup India's

India's pace battery led by Ashish Nehra demolished Sri Lanka to help their team win the Asia Cup with a comfortable 81-run win on Thursday.

A tennis odyssey

Latest
The match ended with John Isner beating Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the final set, ending an 11 hours and 5 minutes epic.

Africa not out

Africa rallied behind Ghana on Thursday after the Black Stars kept the continent's dreams of football glory alive by making it through to the second round of the first World Cup on African soil.

India scent victory

India's under-fire seam attack came good when it mattered, albeit with some assistance from conditions, as they reduced Sri Lanka to 79 for five after 25 overs in the final of the Asia Cup cricket competition at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium yesterday.

Americans buoy themselves up

Keeping team morale high clearly is not a problem for United States captain Carlos Bocanegra.

Thursday's results

Results on the fourth day of Wimbledon at the All England Club here on Thursday (x denotes seeding):

Ajax Sporting thrash Azad

Ajax Sporting Club came from behind twice to thrash Azad Sporting Club 5-2 in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

T&T back to winning ways

T&T Club Motijheel returned to winning ways after two successive losses when they defeated Agrani Bank 2-0 in the Bashundhara Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

NU claim 4 medals

National University clinched four gold medals out of five events in the Inter-University badminton, table tennis and tennis championship that concluded at the Islamic University in Kushtia on Tuesday.

Sujon's father passes away

Mushtaque Ahmed, the father of former national cricket captain Khaled Mahmud Sujon, passed away at a city hospital yesterday. He was 83.

TT camp

In a quest to groom table tennis players at school level through proper training, the Bangladesh Table Tennis Players' Society (BTTPS) in collaboration with renowned company Singer Bangladesh Limited have launched a training programme titled 'Singer-BTTPS School Table Tennis Development Campaign' in the capital.

Business

Implementation main challenge

The World Bank (WB) has said the main challenge in the budget for the next fiscal year is its implementation, and the finance minister's budget speech lacked a clearer roadmap on how to gather pace in the implementation rate.

Private expatriate bank soon

The central bank has started work on setting up an expatriate bank in the private sector to foster manpower exports and provide services to non-resident Bangladeshis.

Energy crunch causes $16.6b loss a year: Study

Bangladesh's energy crunch causes $16.6 billion yearly loss in the gross domestic product (GDP), reveals a study.

Call for more allocation for farm, power sectors

Discussants at a post-budget dialogue here yesterday stressed increasing allocation for agricultural sector and improving energy and power sector for better growth.

Govt eyes a top-earner tourism sector

The government will take every necessary step to turn the tourism industry into a huge income-earning sector, said the civil aviation and tourism minister yesterday.

Phenomenal mobile telephone growth in developing world:UN

The United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said there were nearly two billion additional mobile telephone connections around the world between 2006 and 2009, while developing countries accounted for most.

Flexible lending boosts income, savings

Flexible microfinance programmes contributed to positive growth in income, savings and consumption of the extreme poor, according to the findings of a research by Institute of Microfinance.

WB accepts BBS estimate on growth

The World Bank (WB) has accepted Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) estimate on the current fiscal year's GDP growth, as the Finance Division and the BBS gave different projections.

BKMEA polls now July 11

The date for biennial election of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) has been deferred for the second time.

Corporate Briefs

MEGHNA LIFE INSURANCE
In line with DSE listing regulations, a board meeting of the insurer will be held at 4pm Tuesday to consider, among others, audited financial statements as of December 31, 2009.

Oil down

Oil prices fell further yesterday but held above $76 per barrel amid persistent concerns over demand in the United States, the world's biggest energy consumer, analysts said.

Bank Asia gets new chairman

Bank Asia elected A Rouf Chowdhury as chairman, said the bank is a statement yesterday.

Fevicol products to be produced locally

Pidilite Speciality Chemicals Bangladesh Private Ltd (PSCB), a subsidiary of Pidilite Industry Ltd in India, is set to produce three leading Fevicol brand products from a plant in Munshiganj.

Demand to impose more tax on tobacco products

Tobacco users will not be discouraged unless tax on cigarettes and tobacco products is raised by 10 percent and 50 percent respectively, speakers said at a press conference in Dhaka yesterday.

Six more banks donate to PM's fund

Six more banks recently donated Tk 1.80 crore to the Prime Minister's relief and welfare fund for the victims of Nimtali and Begunbari tragedies.

Metropolitan

Centres inoperative since inception

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has failed to start operating the Automated Vehicle Inspection Centres even 10 years after initiating the project, while it continues to issue fitness certificates to vehicles on the basis of 'visual testing'.

8 killed in road accidents

At least eight people were killed and 10 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Rangamati, Khagrachhari, Brahmanbaria and Pabna yesterday.

Spain to assist in renewable energy

Spain will cooperate with Bangladesh in the field of renewable energy and climate change adaptation and sign several deals to expand trade and investment between the two countries.

Physiotherapy students fall sick

A number of physiotherapy students became unconscious while taking part in a silent procession on the Dhaka University campus yesterday, the fourth day of their fast-unto-death programme.

Trader robbed of Tk 3 lakh in Ctg

Snatchers took away Tk 3 lakh from a trader of Khatungonj in Chittagong yesterday, just a day after another trader was robbed of Tk 5 lakh in Colonel Hat area.

Strike halts Benapole trade

Export and import activities between Bangladesh and India through Benapole land port came to a halt yesterday due to the strike enforced by the district Truck Workers Co-ordination Council.

Raise awareness to keep city liveable

Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need for increasing awareness about the environment to keep Dhaka city liveable in future.

Minister warns of tougher action against corruption

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has warned the officials and employees of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) of tougher action if any allegation of corruption in disbursing monthly payment order (MPO) is found against them.

$ 5 lakh deal with ADB to improve teaching

A technical assistance (TA) grant agreement for 500,000 US dollar was signed yesterday between the government and ADB to lay the groundwork for a project to further improve teaching quality in secondary education.

Digital Bangladesh to ensure people's empowerment

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday said Digital Bangladesh aims at ensuring people's empowerment and reaching government services to their doorstep faster and without any hassle, says a press release issued by Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB).

Call to increase budgetary allocation

Persons with disabilities (PWD) yesterday said the current budgetary allocation is too insignificant to meet their needs.

Railway ignored since independence

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said railway can be developed as the cheapest and most convenient mass transit system in the country that remained largely ignored since independence compared to the development of road network.

Shops, garages gutted in Ctg fire

Five shops, two CNG-run auto-rickshaws and 45 rickshaws worth around Tk 14 lakh were gutted in a fire at Kamal Bazar in the port city early hours of yesterday.

NU admission results

The National University (NU) published a merit list of students seeking admission in master's first part (regular) under the session of 2008-09.

Recognise adversities faced by tribal women

Women's movement should also include their indigenous counterparts for their socio-economic empowerment, said experts at a discussion held at IDB Bhaban in the capital yesterday.

Two bodies recovered from trains

Government Railway Police (GRP) recovered two bodies at Kaola and Kamalapur station yesterday evening.

Partial lunar eclipse tomorrow

A partial eclipse of the moon will occur tomorrow and it will be visible in the country if the sky remains clear.

Production in Bangura gas field resumes

Production in the Bangura gas field resumed yesterday after remaining shut down for 16 days.

National

BDR, BSF promise to keep border peaceful

A high-level meeting between the border security forces of Bangladesh and India yesterday decided to maintain normal and peaceful atmosphere on the border of the two neighbouring countries.

Deadline ends, many farmers deprived

An amount of Tk 1.4 crore meant for diesel subsidy for farmers has remained non-disbursed in greater Sylhet region as the deadline for disbursement ended yesterday.

15 unruly students of Hajee Danesh university punished

Authorities of Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) have awarded punishment including expulsion from courses and dormitories for different periods to 15 students for breach of university discipline.

BNP leader's business firm wrecked, looted

A gang allegedly led by Mongla upazila Awami League Organising Secretary Bulbul Ijaradar ransacked and looted a business firm owned by a BNP leader on Madrasa Road in Bagerhat town Wednesday evening.

BCL men ransack college rooms

Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on Wednesday ransacked several rooms of Habiganj Government Brindabon College protesting what they said 'irregularities in admission process'.

BDR rescues 8 in Sherpur, BSF hands over 5

Eight Bangladeshis were rescued by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) men at the Haldigram frontier early yesterday while being trafficked to India.

7 Shibir cadres arrested at RU

Police arrested seven more Shibir cadres at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday in connection with February 9 violence on the campus.

BCL disrupts classes at Azizul Haq College

No classes were held at Bogra Azizul Haq College yesterday as leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) held a rally on the campus using loudspeakers, a day after they forced the authorities to stop admission process demanding their 'quota'.

Outlaw held in Chuadanga

Police on Wednesday arrested a top outlaw in Chuadanga and recovered a cocktail and bomb making materials from the house of a Pabna outlaw.

Letters

Factories in residential areas

The recent tragic incident of Nimtoli has opened everybody's eye and at the same time raised our level of fear and concern. My younger sister is living at Mirpur-2, Dhaka. Although this is a small housing, this is going to be an industrial housing-cum residential area very soon if immediate measure is not taken. At the very entrance of this housing, there is a welding factory which belongs to a very powerful man, just after few yards there is a make-shift generator plant and a few yards after there is a garment's factory belonging to a very high level police officer. The factory is located along with the residential flats. It was learnt that incidents of small fire also happened in that building. People complained several times to the City Corporation but as one is a very powerful man and another one is a very high level police officer, the City Corporation did not take any action. Apart from these, also there are other factories in this housing, such as water bottling plant, CNG garage etc.

Soccer frenzy!

As soccer fever grips the entire world, Bangladesh also joins in the bandwagon with great enthusiasm. Sale of flags, jerseys, wristbands and other accessories corresponding to different nations participating in the football extravaganza is at its peak all over the country. Thus the vendors also seem to be making some extra bucks cashing in on people's passion for the world event. We see that the skyline of Dhaka city undergoes a total change with all the colourful flags. Even amid the clashes between the fans of Brazil and Argentina, we still see Brazilian and Argentine flags fluttering from the same pole on the same rooftop which again symbolizes our centuries old spirit of peaceful coexistence. Everyone, starting from the driver to the top executive, is upbeat about the upcoming soccer carnival.

Power plant

Contract for Sylhet 90 M.W. combined cycle power plant (2nd. Unit) construction work was signed between PDB and M/S Harbin Power Engineering co. (HPE) on 12.09.05 with completion date on 02.01.08.

Better late…

Almost all dailies on 10 June reported on the punitive action taken by a Rajuk mobile team, to dismantle illegal structures. At least the task has begun and as usual it was too little too late, and at the cost of over a hundred innocent lives was this harsh lesson learned! Shame on Rajuk for not doing it earlier! They have clearly failed in their duties, and must share at least part of the guilt for the building accidents.

Neglected North Bengal

A Tk. 38,000 crore budget for development of Bangladesh has been proposed for 2010-11. Zonal allocation for North Bengal is not known.

Scapegoats!

The information minister told parliament that the government had not shut down the Bengali daily and that it was the deputy commissioner of Dhaka, who ordered its closure for alleged violation of the publication law. He said this while responding to the allegation made by a BNP lawmaker that the government had shut the newspaper. "The deputy commissioner, be it of Sherpur or Dhaka district, is the authority to give declaration of newspapers. The DC can cancel the publication in case of any of violation of the law," said the information minister. At one stage, during his prolonged speech, he resorted to personal attack against an opposition MP. The Speaker intervened, saying, "Honourable minister, your point is: the deputy commissioner has closed the Amar Desh and the court shut the Channel One". "Yes, Honourable speaker," said the minister adding the present government believed in free flow of information.

BSF and our politics

When the BSF thugs routinely kill Bangladeshis in the border regions, they do not discriminate whether their victims in Bangladesh belong to the Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party or Jamaat. However, in condemning BSF's regular violations of human rights and its killings of Bangladeshis, Bangladeshi political parties are sharply divided. Some Bangladeshi political parties raise a hue and cry now and then to register their protests against BSF's murderous actions. But, unfortunately, a very prominent Bangladeshi political party remains dead silent with regard to BSF's wrongdoings.

Safari park

Is the safari park concept in our country viable? The Dulahazra "Safari" Park is merely a zoo and is in shabby condition. If the proposed "safari park" is planned on the same intended lines, then the government has to think again before embarking on it.

Auto-rickshaw

It is highly appreciable that recently in our cities manually driven rickshaw is being replaced by battery driven auto-rickshaw. It is smoke free and is not noisy. So it is pollution free. Moreover, pulling rickshaw manually is inhuman and it causes traffic jam. Introducing auto-rickshaw will play an important role in keeping the environment pollution free.

Education and our society

Illiteracy has become a major issue in Bangladesh. Along with Bangladesh, many other countries throughout the world are not being developed due to lack of education. Education is a system of training and instruction designed to give knowledge and develop skills. Education helps a person become more aware and get better technical knowledge. Educated people are able to contribute to the country and help it to develop. They are aware of their rights, responsibilities and the importance of education. They are capable of fulfilling their basic needs and maintaining their health, hygiene and safety rules. The uneducated people's lives are not the same. They don't realize their potential and lead a poor life. As they don't know the importance of education, many uneducated people make their children work to have a better life. Many women are also not getting their right to education and several are suffering due to early marriage. Education is a right and a basic need for everyone.

US and Israel

We are shell shocked to see the atrocities perpetrated by Israeli commandos on the Turkish cargo ship which came to Gaza to supply much needed relief. The raid is reported to have claimed lives of 10 civilian aid workers. Israeli blockade in Gaza has left the impoverished region in the lurch. What staggers us to say is that when any occurrence takes place in the Palestinian terrain, condemnations come thick and fast. But any concrete action against the defaulters fly in the face of reality. It has emboldened the defiant Israeli regime to carry out this type of disproportionate attacks on the plea of self-defence.

Rickshaws at Tulip Festival

I am writing with reference to letter: "Re-designing rickshaw" by Sikander Ahmed (June 4).

Unsafe buildings

Infrastructures and buildings are gift of modern civilization. Buildings have given shelter, a workplace. But it turns to a matter of great sorrow when this gift of civilization becomes a killer! We have faced this worst situation.

A wake-up call

The last few days were catastrophic. The shockwaves of Begunbari collapse, Nimtoli conflagration have jolted the nation in terabytes. There goes a saying, “disasters sink nations not because of the poverty of the poor, but because of the poverty of the minds.” The harrowing tale of the two catastrophic events once again redefines the poverty of our collective psyche. The clarion call now urges a nationwide awareness. Home of millions, this bustling city has structures clustered in concentrated fashion that makes it more vulnerable to earthquake. But Begungari collapse was not an aftermath of an earthquake. Rather the collapses were virtually invited. Ignorant of future, we flouted the rules to build structures in slapdash manner. Building code exists; however, we the very independent people, don't want to follow it anyway. We got to help Rajuk by following building codes. Situated in Old Dhaka, the dilapidated and rickety buildings should be brought under special vigil. Demolition or reinforcement is the option we have. Apart from that, we don't have a well organized disaster management system for emergency. Unfortunately, our management is limited to calling in of the Army since independence. On the other hand, the fire service system needs development throughout the country. Inadequate water hoses and ladders, absence of modern masks and fire hydrants makes our fire fighting team a mere spectator at the time of crisis. Moreover, capacity building is direly needed to combat the future disasters. As time marches off, our enthusiasm wanes off and plans don't march forward until disaster strikes again. We, the whole nation, face a mammoth task to mobilize ourselves to grapple with future disasters. We are the resilient nation that withstood Sidr, cyclone, floods. So, be it. Let's not be greedy but considerate for a future that we shall face together.

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International

Obama assigns Gen Petraeus as US chief for Afghanistan

President Barack Obama on Wednesday placed the flagging Afghan war effort in the hands of Iraq hero General David Petraeus, after firing US commander Stanley McChrystal for speaking out of turn.

Myanmar clamps down on political activity before polls

Members of political parties contesting Myanmar's first elections in two decades will be banned from marching, waving flags and chanting to garner support, under rules announced Wednesday.

Indo-Pak secy level talks end

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan yesterday ended their talks in Islamabad, which will firm up the agenda for the meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries next month.

Govt to block UN panel from entering

Sri Lanka will ban visits by the United Nations panel investigating alleged human rights abuses in the final months of the island's civil war, a senior minister said yesterday.

US-Russia: From Cold War foes to burger buddies

American and Russian leaders once arrived at Cold War summits ready to swap fierce rhetorical grillings.

Pak court convicts five US men on terror plot

Five Americans have each been sentenced to 10 years in jail by a court in Pakistan after being found guilty of terrorism charges, prosecutors say.

Mind reader at Indo-Pak talks

The two-hour-long foreign secretary-level talks, which took place at the Pakistan Foreign Office here, included a mind reader among the officials taking part in the deliberations.

Govt knows details about Benazir killing plot: Pakistan

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has sensationally revealed that the government has come to know where and when the conspiracy to assassinate former Prime Benazir Bhutto was hatched.

Zardari's parents get notices on graft case

A Pakistani court has issued notices to President Asif Ali Zardari's parents in connection with a case registered by anti-corruption agency the National Accountability Bureau.

Blast wounds nine in Colombo

An explosion in a commercial area of Sri Lanka's capital yesterday wounded nine people, police said, adding that Tamil rebels were not responsible.

Australia leadership change a huge election gamble

Australia's ruling Labor Party has taken a huge gamble by unseating the prime minister months before elections, but is banking on a boost in polls from new leader Julia Gillard, analysts say.

Obama's ratings fall amid Gulf oil spill

President Barack Obama's job performance rating has dropped to the lowest level of his presidency as Americans grow less confident in his leadership, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday.

Israel assures US on more goods for Gaza

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised more goods will enter the Gaza Strip after Israel's decision to ease its blockade of the Palestinian enclave, the US State Department said on Wednesday.

Spanish train kills 12 on tracks

A high-speed train passing through a Spanish railway station has hit a group of young people crossing the tracks, killing at least 12 people.

Medvedev to visit Obama in Washington

President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev will seek to kick start trade and investment yesterday to complement a political reset between the former Cold War foes.

Arts & Entertainment

“Jaago” wins big at Film Award Bangla 2010

“Jaago”, claimed to be the first Bangladeshi film based entirely on football, received six honours at the Film Award Bangla 2010. The award giving ceremony was held at the Siam Pavilion, Bangkok, Thailand on June 14, according to a press release.

Songs of yesteryears at Shilpakala Academy

The Production department of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) arranged a musical soiree, titled “Harano Din-er Gaan,” at National Music and Dance Centre auditorium of BSA, in Dhaka, on June 23.

Dancing, exhibits, grave visit mark Jackson’s first death anniversary

In Tokyo, fans are planning a sleepover surrounded by his possessions; in Los Angeles, devotees will visit his grave; and on TV and radio stations around the world, lovers of the King of Pop's music won't stop 'til they get enough.Fans, museums and some members of Michael Jackson's family will mark today's one-year anniversary of the singer's death with special exhibits, tributes and flash mob dances from Manila to Manhattan.

DS Café

This month DS Café will have actress Tarin take your calls at The Daily Star office. Readers will have the opportunity to ask Tarin whatever they want to know. Call 8126155 on Saturday, June 26, between 4 and 5 pm to speak to Tarin!!!

Creative corner

An art competition, titled 'Amader Ananda Bari,' was held recently at the hall room of Udhichi Bhaban in Mymensingh town. The art competition, aimed at fostering children's creativity, was organised by Development Wheel (DEW), a non-government organisation.

A tribute to Michael Jackson on Desh TV

Desh TV will air a special programme, “Tribute to the Legend: Michael Jackson,” marking the first death anniversary of the King of Pop, who moonwalked into the hearts of millions with his music and signature break dance, tonight at 9:45 pm.

Celebrities on World Cup 2010

Abul Hayat
“When it comes to football I simply love it,” says veteran actor Abul Hayat.

Daniel Radcliffe to star in World War I drama

“Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe is to play a German soldier in a new film version of “All Quiet on the Western Front”, according to Variety.

OP-ED

Wake up call

WELL, well, well. For the past six months all I have heard from AL-ers is that things are not as bad as the media is making it seem, and that, what's more, the people remain happy with the AL government.

2014

FOR those who believe that history repeats itself, here comes a scholarly work that adds prognosis to prediction. Cambridge professor Nicholas Boyle writes in his book 2014 - How to survive the next world crisis that the year 2014 is going to set the tone for rest of this century. Nation states will cede place to global governance, and what will make or break the future of the world is going to depend on how American leaders react to the emerging crisis.

Yellow card for the Grand Alliance?

THE voters in the Chittagong City Corporation election gave the mayor a red card, ending his sixteen-year rule, and a yellow card to the grand alliance government. You may think differently, but an election reflects the voters' mood. Postmortems and analyses of this verdict will be useful if the grand alliance takes lessons and acts accordingly. The result is a verdict against non-performance and empty rhetoric.

Passing the baton

FORMER president, H M Ershad, put forward some of his thoughts on the issue of future stewardship of his party (JP) in this column on June 15. By all means, this has been an encouraging move on the part of the JP leader. This could be even a turning point and a catalyst for all other political entities, large or small.

Tiny tot pols!

It is strange that elections in selected primary schools were held on June 15 when annual students' union elections in universities and colleges have been in abeyance since 1991. One does not understand why elections were held in primary schools but not in universities and colleges. It would be proper if the government could also ensure students' union elections in universities and colleges.

StarTech

Staying safe on Facebook

With social networking sites springing up like mushrooms nowadays, it becomes quite difficult to fight the temptation of joining these online communities. With such an assortment served up, it's hard to decide whether it's going to be orkut, hi-5, twitter, facebook or any other.

HP unveils Converged Infrastructure

Hewlett-Packard, one of the largest US-based information technology corporations, on June 17 officially announced launching of their latest storage solution -- HP Converged Infrastructure for mission-critical customers in the country.

Over 160,000 Android devices sold every day: Google CEO

More than 160,000 mobile phones powered by Google's Android operating system are being sold every day, the Internet giant said Wednesday on the eve of the launch of the new iPhone from rival Apple.

Apple mania unabated as fans scramble for iPhone 4

Apple fans queued overnight in their hundreds outside stores in Europe and Japan to snap up the latest iPhone, as the technology giant set a new benchmark in the hard-fought and fast-growing smartphone market.

Asus launches notebook with Nvidia Optimus

Taiwanese computer maker ASUS has launched its strikingly stylish U30Jc notebook in the local market, says a press release.


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