The Daily Star

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 15th of September, 2010

Front Page

Rivals ready to face off on street

Ruling Awami League and main opposition BNP are at the threshold of a face off on the streets in the coming days, as both parties already announced street demonstrations, with AL threatening to resist the opposition.

JMB still getting plenty of funds

Financial strength of militant organisation Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh has been a grave concern for law enforcement agencies as the banned outfit is reportedly getting more than Tk 50 lakh a month from local and foreign sources.

Row over power plant contract

A Chinese company has filed a complaint with the government that the Power Development Board was unduly favouring another Chinese company in the tender for 200-300 megawatt power plant at Ghorashal.

Pressure within BNP, Jamaat for return to JS

A large section of opposition lawmakers are mounting pressure on the high-ups of BNP and Jamaat-e Islami for joining the next parliamentary session.

Shaon to be questioned by Sept 20

Awami League (AL) lawmaker Nurunnabi Chowdhury Shaon will be interrogated by the Detective Branch (DB) of police by September 20 regarding the killing of Ibrahim Ahmed.

Envoy claims Myanmar agrees on road transit to Kunming

Bangladesh will get assistance from China to set up a deep-sea port at Sonadia in Cox's Bazar.

NHRC team to visit hospitals to monitor services

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will make sudden visit to government health complexes across the country to monitor the health service for the poor people.

BNP sits on reform

Forty-five days after the BNP held its rare executive committee meeting, its high command is yet to finalise decision on recommendations made by the committee to organise and reform party activities.

Thousands marooned as floods tighten grip

Flood situation in at least nine districts has deteriorated due to a sharp rise of water level in the three major rivers and a tributary in 24 hours till 06:00pm yesterday.

Locals agitate for water

Thousands of villagers yesterday besieged the Barapukuria power plant and threatened to cut electricity supply to its water pumps following an acute drinking water crisis in the area due to excessive water lifting.

Warrants issued to arrest 2 QC brothers

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against two brothers of BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury in connection with a case over bouncing cheque.

Potholed, dug up for 8 months

Nine-year-old twin brothers, Ronny and Jonny were struggling with bundles of goods as heavy as 25 kg each on their shoulders as they trudged for a kilometre from Meradia Primary School to their father's grocery shop.

SC stays Mufti Shahidul's acquittal

The Supreme Court yesterday stayed for six weeks a High Court verdict acquitting former Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) lawmaker Mufti Shahidul Islam in a corruption case.

Robber beaten to death

Mob beat to death an unidentified robber at Pashchim Jangalia village of Comilla sadar upazila in the wee hours yesterday.

Bangladesh to get UN recognition

The United Nations is to acknowledge Bangladesh for its achievements in UN-set Millennium Development Goal (MDG) next week as the world leaders join the 65th general assembly session of the highest global forum in New York.

Nadal's career Grand Slam

Rafael Nadal sealed his place among the tennis greats on Monday, beating Novak Djokovic to win the US Open and complete his collection of Grand Slam titles.

Ugandan army dismisses UN accusations of Congo crimes

The Ugandan army yesterday dismissed accusations in a leaked UN draft on atrocities in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo that it committed war crimes during operations there in the 1990s.

Face-veil ban under vote in France

The French senate is to vote on a bill that would ban niqab or face-covering veils in public, a proposal that has sparked fierce debate in a country that is home to Western Europe's largest Muslim population.

Editorial

A hint at legitimising extortion?

Centring around Eid festival, extortionists of different denominations have had a field day. Transports were stopped at different points on inter-district highways to extract 'toll' without any compunction, legal or otherwise. Even policemen and ruling party name flaunters were found demanding money from the passing vehicles, reportedly. Perhaps, this year's festival time has seen record takings in reckless abandon.

Turkey's referendum is a turning point

The results of Sunday's referendum in Turkey may well be regarded as a turning point, if not exactly a defining moment, for the country. The constitutional reforms package put forward by the ruling Justice and Development Party now has the support of 58 per cent of the electorate. And yet the fact that 42 per cent of voters disapproved of the reforms is indicative of the deep divisions which still assail a nation in the political sense of the meaning. Even so, the referendum is a clear triumph for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his allies. There are quite a few good reasons why that is so. The most significant is that the vote reduces the power or authority of the military, which has for decades seen itself as the guardian of Turkey's secular democracy, in politics. That promises to be quite a change, given that the Turkish armed forces have on more than one occasion --- four in fact --- in the past four decades have launched coups d'etat against elected governments, especially when they have perceived a threat to the secular republic put in place by Kemal Ataturk.

Sports

Pleasure in performance

Shakib Al Hasan confessed that he had no qualms of being lonely in the West Midlands of England.

Rain plays foul on Day 2

Shakib Al Hasan did not bowl a single over on the second day of Worcestershire's last Division Two game against Sussex after rain stopped play after lunch at the New Road ground yesterday.

Nadal comes full circle

World number one Rafael Nadal completed a career Grand Slam title sweep on Monday by capturing his first US Open crown, defeating Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Jacobs tames Bushrangers

Warriors captain Davy Jacobs hit a thrilling half-century and took two stunning catches as the South African champions defeated the Victoria Bushrangers by 28 runs in a Champions League Twenty20 match at St George's Park on Monday night.

Versatile Pont appointed Tigers bowling coach

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has appointed Ian Pont as the bowling coach for the national team.

Hosts take on India on Sept 20

Hosts Bangladesh will take on Jordan in one of two opening day matches of the AFC U-19 Women's Football Champion-ship qualifiers at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium on September 20.

Beaten, but not down

Novak Djokovic could not tame the fury of Rafael Nadal in New York on Monday but his return to his best form augurs well for Serbia as they prepare to host the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup semifinal this week.

Mani slams PCB again

Ehsan Mani, the Pakistani former president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), has accused the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of failing to educate its players about the dangers of corruption.

Who's the best?

Roger Federer is still widely regarded as being the best player of all time, but if the US Open is anything to go by, he may not remain so for much longer.

Trio to be heard in 40 days

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will convene a preliminary hearing into allegations of spot fixing against three Pakistani players in 40 days time, the legal adviser to the country's cricket board said on Tuesday.

India looking for a venue

India's cricket chiefs were Tuesday searching for a venue to host a Test match against New Zealand in November after both Kolkata and Kanpur declined.

Latif quits Pak job

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif resigned Tuesday as a coach at the national cricket academy over spot-fixing comments and said that he had taken up a new job with the Afghan team.

Spanish media praise legend

Spanish media on Tuesday hailed world number one tennis ace Rafael Nadal as a "legend" after he became only the seventh man in history to complete a coveted career Grand Slam.

Jose's quest for treble

Jose Mourinho makes his European bow for Real Madrid on Wednesday leading his new charges out against Dutch side Ajax at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League Group G opener.

Bayern's Roma test

Champions League finalists Bayern Munich take on AS Roma in Wednesday's opening group game with both sides looking to get their season back on track after a poor run of form.

David v Goliath clash

Slovak champions MSK Zilina have relished qualifying for the Champions League and are hungry for more as they brace to face star-laden Chelsea in their debut at home on Wednesday.

Wenger fires Braga caution

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal must not take victory for granted when they face unfashionable Portuguese club Braga in their opening Champions League group match on Wednesday.

Stoke stun Villa

Stoke manager Tony Pulis's emotional return to the dug-out after his mother's death inspired his side to a dramatic 2-1 win against Aston Villa on Monday.

Kalle wants damages

Bayern Munich's chairman has threatened to sue the Dutch Football Federation for compensation for a bad injury picked up by the German side's star winger Arjen Robben in the World Cup.

Double blow for Gunners

Arsenal will be without defender Thomas Vermaelen (achilles) and midfielder Abou Diaby (ankle) for their Champions League Group H opener at home to Portuguese club Braga on Wednesday.

Sno suffers heart attack

Ajax midfielder Evander Sno suffered a heart attack during a reserve team match with Vitesse Arnhem on Monday, both clubs announced on their websites but medical staff managed to resuscitate the 23-year-old.

Moyes faces FA rap

Everton manager David Moyes was charged with misconduct by the Football Association (FA) on Monday after he confronted referee Martin Atkinson following Saturday's 3-3 draw with Manchester United.

Business

Summit steps into financial services

Summit Group is moving into the financial services sector with its purchase of a majority stake in both a leasing company and a local insurer.

Beef sales in freefall

Beef sales in Dhaka have plummeted 75 percent as customers avoid the item due to the outbreak of anthrax, butchers and traders said.

SEC digs into rise of Eastern Housing

The premier bourse failed to unearth evidence of wrongdoing in a suspicious price spike of Eastern Housing Ltd (EHL) shares, but the stockmarket regulator will now start to dig.

India scraps approval for Lafarge cement project

Indian authorities have overturned environmental approval given to a 200-million-dollar cement plant project planned by French industrial giant Lafarge in northern India.

BB re-fixes commemorative gold coin price

Bangladesh Bank has re-fixed the prices of commemorative gold coins for International Mother Language Day.

Rajshahi rallies for tax

Abdul Hai, a small cloth-shop owner in Rajshahi, has never submitted any income tax return since the mid-80s. He thought he was no longer running a profitable trade.

WB assistance strategy today

The World Bank releases the Country Assistance Strategy for Bangladesh today.

Liquefied gas import from Qatar likely

A deal is likely to be signed with Qatar this month to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the gulf country, energy ministry officials said.

Nokia unveils three new smartphones

Nokia, the world's largest cellphone maker, unveiled three new smartphone models on Tuesday, trying to claw back market share at the lucrative top end of the sector.

The cheque's in the ether

This month, a team of specially trained officers of the Bangladesh Bank, staff from each of the country's 48 banks, and a dozen different technology vendors are doing the final testing of the most advanced electronic cheque-processing systems in the world. Already, the system has been run in production for 24 hours and even several days at a time. Within weeks, it will take over from the country's ancient, manual system.

Uncertainty strikes US forecasters

US economists are having an unusually tough time predicting the path of a recovery that doesn't seem to fit neatly into a bullish or bearish box.

Regional chef competition set for Sept 24

The regional final round of the Monitor-Malaysian Palm Oil Chef of the Year 2010 competition kicks off in Khulna on September 24.

Anthrax hits hide trade in Khulna

Anthrax left an adverse impact on hide business in Khulna city, as cow and goat slaughtering fell drastically due to the phobia.

Govt takes steps for high-yielding sugarcane

The government is taking steps to explore the opportunity of producing hybrid sugarcane variety in the country.

Toyota to launch six new hybrids by end of 2012

The world's top automaker Toyota Motor plans to launch six new hybrid models by the end of 2012, a spokesman for the company said Tuesday, as competition to build greener cars heats up.

Air Liquide in $450m Saudi investment

The world's leading industrial gas group, Air Liquide of France, said Monday it would commit 450 million dollars to build two two hydrogen production units in Saudi Arabia, the largest single investment project in the company's history.

AIG formulating plan to exit government ownership

American International Group Inc is in talks with US officials to formulate a plan that would speed up the insurer's exit from government ownership, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

South Korea's Kia halts exports to Iran

South Korea's Kia Motors, whose Pride model is ubiquitous on Iranian roads, said Tuesday it had suspended exports to the Islamic state after Seoul announced new nuclear-related sanctions.

Oil mixed

Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade Tuesday but analysts were optimistic that markets would rise on strong Chinese industrial output and an improved US economic outlook.

Spanish Gamesa to triple China investments

Spain's Gamesa, one of the world's top wind turbine manufacturers, said Tuesday it will triple its total investment in China by 2012 to meet rising demand for clean energy in the Asian country.

Reinsurers float $20b plan for BP-type blowout

A scheme floated here at an annual meeting of giants in the insurance industry could come up with a 20-billion-dollar insurance payout if an oil rig blows up, kills people and spreads pollution.

Corporate Briefs

CONFIDENCE CEMENT
Share trading of the company will be allowed only on the spot market and block/odd lot transactions will also be settled as per spot settlement cycle from today to Sunday. Trading will remain suspended on Monday, the record date for extraordinary general meeting.

Metropolitan

Project to infuse dynamism into rural economy: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the main objective of her government's 'One House, One Farm' (Ekti Bari, Ekti Khamar) project is to infuse dynamism into the rural economy by making each family economically self-reliant.

UN to award Bangladesh

The United Nations is to acknowledge Bangladesh for its achievements in UN-set Millennium Development Goal (MDG) next week as the world leaders join the 65th general assembly session of the highest global forum in New York.

Bangla-China-India-Myanmar car rally in 2011

A cross-country car rally among Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and China will be held next year with a view to establishing regional communication and strengthening mutual cooperation.

Call to develop tax culture

The National Income Tax Day will be observed in the country today with a call to develop tax culture.

Cultural belt on cards to protect heritage

The government is planning to establish a "cultural belt" at Dhaka University and its adjacent areas for protecting all historical heritages and preserving information about Bangladesh, including the 1952 language movement and 1971 liberation war.

PM further consoles the three girls

It was again the gracious company of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that eased the agony of the three fire surviving girls, who lost everything in Nimtoli inferno on June 3 and were later married off through arrangements made by the Ganobhaban.

Acid thrown on woman, two daughters

An Army staff threw acid on two sisters and their mother on refusal of marriage proposal in Gaibandha on Monday night.

12 killed in road accidents

At least 12 people were killed and 49 others injured in separate road accidents in Pabna, Dhaka, Gazipur, Comilla and Natore yesterday.

Bangla-US exercise begins Sept 19

Bangladesh-US joint training exercise named ''Tiger Shark-4'' will begin on September 19 and continue till September 26, taking place mostly in Chittagong and Sylhet.

Another 15 years' waiver on drugs demanded

Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Society, Pharmacy Graduates Association and Swadhinata Pharmacists Parishad urged the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for another 15 years' waiver of pharmaceuticals from the patent laws.

Beheaded body found in Ashulia

Police on Monday night recovered the body of an unidentified man whose head was severed from inside a sack at Durgapur in Ashulia, the outskirts of the city.

Ensure permanent infrastructure for students

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged all private universities in the country to impart quality education to students ensuring required infrastructural facilities.

Alem-Olamas to create awareness

Islamic Foundation has decided to involve Imams and Alem-Olamas to create awareness among people about post-disaster actions, a press release said.

HC stay on appointment of Justice Gour Gopal to remain

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that stayed the appointment of Justice Gour Gopal Saha as the vice chairman of Bangladesh Hindu Kalyan Trust.

National

Khulna AL expels two leaders

Two leaders of Khulna Awami League have been expelled from the party for their alleged involvement in criminal activities.

10 Aila-hit villages flooded again

At least 10 Aila-hit villages were flooded on Monday following dyke collapse in Satkhira while the flood situation in Gaibandha deteriorated yesterday.

6 Hizbul Mahadi men arrested

Barkal upazila police on Monday evening arrested six members of Islamist outfit 'Hizbul Mahadi' from Suvalong Bazar while selling books on jihad at the weekly village market.

'Robber, extortionist' beaten to death in Comilla, Meherpur

A suspected robber and an alleged extortionist were beaten to death in Comilla and Meherpur yesterday and the day before.

Lightning kills 7 in three districts

Lightning has killed seven people and injured at least 22 others in Kurigram, Magura and Nilphamari districts.

Another accused arrested

Police yesterday arrested an absconding accused in a case filed with Satkhira Sadar Police Station on August 22 for distributing anti-government leaflets.

Drug addict kills wife, neighbour

A drug addict strangled his wife and then beat his neighbour's wife dead at Sherol village under Paikgacha upazila of the district yesterday morning.

Couple commits 'suicide'

A couple yesterday committed suicide in Dimla upazila of the district following a dowry-related feud between the families of the two.

3 children drown in Habiganj, Sylhet

A two-year-old boy drowned in a pond at Rajabad village of Nabiganj sadar union yesterday.

10 hurt as BNP, Jubo League activists clash

Ten people were injured as BNP and Jubo League activists locked in a clash over a trifling matter at Kolapara in Srinagar upazila yesterday morning.

Letters

Anthrax red alert!

The government has issued red alert to control spread of Anthrax. Reported first in Sirajganj, anthrax is now spreading to other parts of Bangladesh. Caused by bacterium Bacillus Anthracis, anthrax is an acute infectious disease which attacks both animals and humans. Domestic animals like cattle, goats, sheep, dogs, horses, etc. are often attacked by the deadliest anthrax disease. Anthrax usually spread by the spores of bacterium Bacillus Anthracis (Spores are the asexual production units of bacteria) which lives in soil in dormant condition. They survive well in alkaline soil and multiply when the soil conditions are favourable in terms of moisture, temperature, nutrition, etc. Meanwhile the average soil in Bangladesh is acidic in nature (pH between 5.5 and 6.5), so survival of anthrax spores is rather difficult. The anthrax spores enter into animal through ingestion while grazing on grassland.

Medical treatment

Society is going to the dogs; in almost every sector. The campus is full of political activities --- of the wrong kind. The medical treatment has gone out of the reach of the middle class. The diagnostic centres prescribe expensive non-essential tests, for making profits, thanks to the doctors. Except allopathic, no other form of treatment is officially recognised. The ambulance emergency service is expensive; with lack of publicity.

Jamuna Bridge

The news item published in The Daily Star on 27 August 2010 captioned “Govt seek further opinion of Prof Reza about cracks” caught my attention. South Korean Hyundai Ltd built Jamuna Bridge with an expected lifespan of 100 years .But cracks have developed within 5 years of its construction. The govt is now going to give the task of repairing the bridge to a Chinese firm at a cost of Tk 165 crore. I want to know from our honourable FM why HEC(Hyundai Engineering and Construction) Co Ltd is not being asked for paying compensation as per the agreement? Or should we guess that Tk 165 crore is no amount to the govt?

Bangladesh-Israel relation!

Plenty of material surfaced to come to conclusion that those Arab pilots were not even ready for solo flights in a Cessna, those flying objects that hit the twin towers were not commercial aircrafts, 3 big towers collapsing under controlled demolition, the celebration by 5 MOSAD agents right after the attack took place…all pointing towards a Zionist element behind the whole conspiracy. The real victims are the Muslims and this is exactly what the conspirator's objectivity was. Ground zero mosque is not going to make much difference in the name of building inter-faith relations, it's all politics. Are Muslims learning?

Opposite views

Success can be considered from two different points of view. Progress in making money and being able to lead a luxurious life is the point of our consideration these days. But when there is no shortage of money and something takes place only because someone has plenty of wealth, we say, if he had less such a mishap might not have happened. On the other hand, when we think about the rewards and punishments of the life hereafter, then we say, there is little necessity of money here.

Match fixing

There has been uproar in the cricket world that Pakistan team in recent England tour has done match fixing in the match against Australia. In that scam one Pakistani gambler has been arrested in the hotel suit of Pakistan team with a huge amount of money. It is presumed that entire deal of match fixing was supposed to be done through that gambler. Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raja Zilani vowed to bring to book the culprits of match fixing who tarnished the image of Pakistan. Match fixing is not new in the cricket world. Previous Indian Cricket Captain Mohammed Azharuddin had been implicated into the scam of match fixing. There had been voice of denouncement and condemnation from around the cricket world against this heinous act. People in India spitted at the portraits of the cricket captain in public places where those were available. Azaharuddin had been banned from cricket for life by a ruling of Indian Cricket Board once this scam had been proved. The Daily Star in its 30th August issue in the sports page quoted some foreign journalists as saying “Pakistani cricket players are after money, women and food” whenever they visit England. The Pakistan cricket captain in his immediate reaction told one cannot be implicated or prosecuted into a case without proof. It has been estimated at least 7 Pakistani cricketers will be implicated into the case of match fixing. So, arch rivals of two superpowers in this subcontinent are not free from malpractices.

Biman

Biman has a captive set of customers in providing the hajj service (numbers going up and up) and transporting labour to the Middle East. Its services to other destinations are viewed as of non-core nature demanding little attention or motive for profit. This can be felt by international passengers as there are frequent breakdowns, cancellation of flights, change of schedules, delays and lost luggage.

Inside Biman

Capt. Monawar Hossain's frank assessment of corruption at the highest levels was published in a local daily on 31 August. This supports an reiterates my own experience in the public sector industries in mid 1970s. Small wonder that today Biman is known by its acronym "Bay-Iman", which means untrustworthy!

English newscasters

Some English newsreaders we have in our electronic media are simply excellent and the quality of their news reading either in the radio or on the T.V. is as good as, if not better than that in the international media like the BBC, CNN, Al Jazira, All India Radio or Doordarshan to name a few.

Tobacco farming

We know that a huge number of people suffer from and die of cancer and other diseases due to puffing cigarette, bidi and consuming zorda etc with betel leaves. Due to increasing publicity against smoking, the number of smokers is decreasing in the developed countries, whereas the same is on the increase in poor and developing countries.

Constitutional amendments

The DS on 01 Sep 2010 contained a lot of fuel to prompt me to write this letter.

Regional cooperation

Mr Pranab Mukerjee, the finance minister of India, came to Bangladesh and watched the one billion dollar loan treaty between Bangladesh and Exim Bank of India. Out of this amount the development of Ashuganj internal port would be done for the transit and transhipment of Tripura with main parts of India. In exchange, the activities of the Banglabandha port would be eased by India so as to facilitate the carrying of commodities between Bangladesh and Nepal through Siliguri of India. It reminded me that thirteen years ago Banglabandha land port was opened. It was a sunny day on 1st September 1997. A helicopter was disembarked at the zero point from where the then Bangladesh Minister for Trade and Commerce Mr Tofael Ahmed, one of the Ministers of Nepal and some reporters of the leading dailies of Dhaka got down. Before that DC Panchagarh, Mr Saiful Islam, the ambassador of Nepal and the customs commissioner were present. Tens of thousands of people from the adjacent places thronged there.

National university

Most of the students study in National University. But session jam is very common in this university. After passing the higher secondary exam. 2003,we got admitted in this university for three years' degree (pass) course 2003-04 and passed the course in 2007. We have got admission in M. A (Part-I) 2007-08 session. Already three years have been lost, though it was a one-year course. There is no coordination between the course and the exams.

One billion dollar loan

We would request out Ministry of Finance, our economists and financial experts to kindly enlighten us on the following matters relating to one billion dollar Indian loan to Bangladesh:

Pakistani flood victims

Recently, a massive flood hit Pakistan. I cannot give a vivid detail of the loss, but as far as I know, a significant portion of the country's land is now submerged in deep water. The flood has spared none. Young, old, men, women are now all at the same platform, that is, they are all victims.

Bus fare

BRTC deserves kudos for introducing a host of new CNG buses in different routes in Dhaka city. Those are very spacious and can carry a good number of passengers. It helps the regular commuters a lot, especially during the office time.

International

Chinese PM to meet Obama next week

China said yesterday that Premier Wen Jiabao would meet with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of a UN meeting in New York, as ties between the two countries improve after months of tensions.

Global hunger declining in 2010: UN

The number of people in the world suffering chronic hunger has declined for the first time in 15 years, due to improving economic conditions and lower food prices, the United Nations' food agency said yesterday.

US tries to break deadlock in Middle East talks

Israeli and Palestinian leaders still believe they can reach a peace deal in a year, Washington's Middle East envoy said yesterday after talks in Egypt, despite a dispute over Jewish settlements.

EU may take legal action against France over Roma

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has urged the European Commission to take legal action against France over its deportations of Roma (Gypsies).

Japan PM wins party vote but faces more challenges

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan will keep his job after an unexpectedly decisive victory in a ruling party leadership vote yesterday, but must now unify his party and forge deals with the opposition in a divided parliament.

Ballots better than bullets

Afghanistan's parliamentary election this Saturday will prove to war-weary Afghans that ballots are better than bullets for resolving conflict, the UN envoy to the country has told AFP.

US drone strikes kill 15 in Pakistan

Missiles fired by US drones in two attacks yesterday killed 15 militants in Pakistan's tribal badlands, with 11 strikes targeting the lawless Afghan border area in 11 days, officials said.

Ten killed, three lakh displaced in Assam flood

At least 10 people were killed and about 3 lakh displaced in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in the northeastern states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Gillard sworn in as Australian prime minister

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been sworn into office, making her the first woman elected to the post in the nation's history.

Death of civilians 'a mistake'

The Israeli army's killing of three Palestinian civilians at the weekend, among them an elderly Gazan and his grandson, was a mistake, a senior commander admitted yesterday.

Petraeus issues guidelines to limit corruption

The commander of international forces in Afghanistan, US General David Petraeus, has ordered troops to limit corruption as they dole out billions of dollars in a drive to end a nine-year war.

Cuba to axe one million state jobs

Cuba has announced plans to slash one million state jobs and encourage the growth of small businesses in a gamble it hopes can keep its communist system and floundering economy afloat.

Plane crash in Venezuela kills 15

A plane crash in Venezuela has killed 15 people - but 36 passengers have survived the impact, officials say.

Arts & Entertainment

Mymensingh Museum in a derelict state

Once a popular draw for the public, the Mymensingh museum is fast losing its appeal. Due to the sheer apathy of the concerned authorities, the museum manages to get just 10-20 visitors a day.

Journeying back to old songs

There is always magic in old music. Those of us who went to school in the Sixties have, in all these years that we have passed from youth to middle age, have somehow remained convinced that the songs we heard Ferdousi Rahman sing in the old days, that her peers gave voice to, are music that remains on a perch higher than anything that we have had before us since then. Think of jaar chhaya porhechhe / monero aina te and you will know. Sheer romance underpins the song, in much the same way that absolute pain struggles with the need for love in ke amar ondho moner bondho duar / fello khule tumi jaante cheyo na. Ferdousi's voyage into the world of Urdu music, which music was touched by the inimitable splendour arising in Robin Ghosh, remains an equally poignant reminder of the good old times for us. Ye arzoo jawan jawan and wo mere saamne tasveer bane baithe hain are symbols of the grandeur we once associated with music in our part of the world. You spot that grandeur again in Farida Yasmeen's saiyan bedardi mora dard na jaane re.

Another Oscar nod for “Slumdog” director?

At the recently concluded 37th Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, USA, people fainted at the screenings of Danny Boyle's new film “127 Hours”. Two years ago, the director had held the world premiere of his multiple Oscar winning “Slumdog Millionaire” at the same film festival.

50th show of Padatik’s “Jolbalika” next month

The 50th show of Padatik Natya Sangsad's much acclaimed production “Jolbalika” will be staged in October at Zahir Raihan Hall, Sutrapur, Old Dhaka, according to Selim S.H. Chowdhury, chief executive and leader of Padatik Natya Shangshad.

Hard Rain: Headlong Collision with Nature

Believe it or not, Bob Dylan's music is alive and well even in the inhospitable Sahara desert. Ask British “environmental communicator” Mark Edwards who was lost on the edge of the desert in July 1969. Rescued by a Turareg nomad who lit up a fire with two sticks, he was stumped to see the former produce a cassette player from which Bob Dylan belted out his famous political song, “A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall”.

Boat race in Magura

A boat race was held on the river Gorai last Monday on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. Golabaria Jubo Sangha of Dariapur union in Sreepur upazila arranged the traditional competition in conjunction with the adjoining villagers.

OP-ED

September 11, 1973

Darkness descended on Chile and the world beyond its frontiers on September 11, 1973 when its military commandeered the state and put an end to its democracy. It was a coup d'etat which had been waiting to happen since the election of the Marxist Salvador Allende Gossens as Chile's president in September 1970.

Lesson from Twin Tower tragedy

This year's anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was probably the most political and contentious ever, because of a proposed Islamic centre (Cordova Centre) and mosque near Ground Zero and a Florida pastor's plan to burn the Holy Qur'an.

Compromise as art in democratic politics

Former president of USA Thomas Jefferson once said: "I see the necessity of sacrificing our opinions to the opinions of others for the sake of harmony." Creation of an atmosphere of harmony is a necessity in politics, if not always but obviously at certain critical stages, for the sake of democracy.

Cleaning up 'hot spots' will cost 300 million more

A war doesn't really end when the last soldier leaves the battlefield and goes home. Rebuilding in the aftermath of the destruction a war leaves behind can be a monumental task to undertake. Any war ends with terrible costs to both the winner and the loser. There can never be any lasting happiness about the effects of war.

Healthy habits in our children

Children across the world are gaining more weight than ever before, and so are the ones in Bangladesh. Of course I'm talking about the children who come from well-off families. They consume a lot of high-fat and high-sugar food and spend less time being physically active. This is really posing a big threat to our future generation.


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