The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, September 22, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 15th of December, 2010

Front Page

26 killed in factory fire

At least 26 people were killed and 100 more injured when a fire swept through Ha-Meem Group's sportswear factory at Narsinghapur in Ashulia yesterday.

Justice, how far?

With the call to speed up the war crimes trial, the nation yesterday mourned for intellectuals and professionals massacred by the Pakistan army and their local collaborators on the eve of the country's independence.

Trapped in smoke

Ha-Meem Group garment workers could not reach fire-fighting equipment to douse the blaze, as chocking smoke clouded their vision.

236 doctors hired illegally, says HC

The High Court yesterday declared illegal appointment of 236 medical officers at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

Of '71 butchers

Blood and death greeted his eyes as his 'friends' dragged him inside the pump house to slit his throat, Sharikul Islam Bablu shuddered while narrating his spine-chilling experience on July 28, 1971 in Mirpur 'Jalladkhana'.

India plotted intellectuals' murder

Leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the party widely condemned for opposing the country's independence and collaborating with Pakistani occupation force during the Liberation War, is now accusing India of planning the murders of intellectuals on December 14, 1971.

Bepza chief withdrawn

Production resumed at 11 factories of Korean-owned Youngone Ltd in Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) yesterday after a two-day suspension due to labour unrest over implementation of the new pay scale.

Khaleda siding with war criminals: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday alleged that BNP chief Khaleda Zia has sided with the war criminals and their collaborators through extending support for the December 26 hartal.

Ship breakers get HC rebuke

The High Court today will pass an order on Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association's petition seeking directives for the government to frame specific rules to regulate the import of scrap ships.

Families seek PM's help

The families of abducted crewmembers of the hijacked Bangladeshi ship MV Jahan Moni have urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take steps for rescuing them.

Road dividers on all highways

The government will take steps to set up road divider on all the highways of the country gradually to minimise the number of road accidents, Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain said yesterday.

WikiLeaks' Assange granted bail

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, arrested in Britain on Swedish allegations of sex crimes, was granted bail by a British court yesterday.

Palestinians want US guarantees before talks

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas was hoping to secure a series of US guarantees before resuming peace talks with Israel, as he met with Washington's Middle East envoy.

HC moves to stop mobile theft

The High Court asked the government why it should not direct the state to block the use of stolen, unauthorised, and illegal mobile phones by using international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) numbers.

Bodies of boy and woman recovered in city

Police yesterday recovered body of an unidentified 10-year-old boy from Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital's Shahbagh.

South Korea's army chief resigns

The head of South Korea's army, Gen Hwang Eui-don, has resigned.

China probes 'slave labour' factory

Chinese police are investigating reports that a group of people with mental disabilities have been working in slave-like conditions.

SQ Chy's city house raided

Law enforcers searched BNP standing committee member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury's Dhanmondi residence in the capital yesterday.

Editorial

Nabbing militants in Chittagong

The Rapid Action Battalion busted a hilltop training camp of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami in Chittagong on Monday. Obviously it is good news, for it demonstrates the state of alert in which the security forces remain where handling militancy is concerned. There is little question that despite all the operations against them, large numbers of religious militants remain active and could yet pose a grave threat to the security of the state. A heightened and constant state of alert is, therefore, a clear necessity. Unless these disruptive elements are tackled firmly and militancy is firmly put to an end, the future of democratic politics in Bangladesh will remain something of a question mark.

Honouring the friends of 1971

The government has, at long last, decided to honour the nation's friends of 1971. Four decades into independence, in a long overdue show of gratitude, the close to 500 individuals and organisations which helped the nation achieve freedom are to be accorded a reception and awarded something significant in recognition of their support, next Independence Day. They range from individuals and institutions in India and Russia to the United Kingdom and Canada; from media organisations such as Akashbani of India and the BBC to different United Nations bodies.

Sports

Nepal slam 13

Pakistan got their campaign off on the right foot while Nepal went goal crazy against Afghanistan on the third day of the SAFF Women's Football Championship in this seaside town yesterday.

Cox's Bazar stirred up

In a city renowned for it's leisurely activities, sport is hardly the most visible pastime. Even local sports are an irregular phenomenon and national sports are thought to be a far cry. Hence, when a tournament of regional magnitude comes to town, the interest amongst the locals is almost palpable.

BCB sits to fix WC plan today

The technical committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will sit today to discuss on the preparation plan of the national team for the 2011 World Cup, to be co-hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

Premier League from Dec 18

The Premier Division Cricket League will now start from December 18 across the country.

Zulu rules in rookies' Cup

The 1999 World Cup was a tournament for the newer faces in world cricket, with the bowling and batting charts headed by players in their first World Cup.

Hosts take on Bhutan today

Hosts Bangladesh will meet minnows Bhutan in their second match of the SAFF Women's Football Champion-ship at the Cox's Bazar Zilla Stadium today.

Victory Day cricket teams announced

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday announced the teams for the traditional Victory Day cricket match to be held at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium tomorrow.

Kaiser's faith in FIFA lost

Franz Beckenbauer, a member of FIFA's executive committee, said Tuesday he has lost some confidence in football's governing body after Russia and Qatar were awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.

Dhoni hides Tendulkar

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni downplayed the role of batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar Monday ahead of a three-Test series against South Africa.

Jimmy not jetlagged

In-form seamer James Anderson is confident the English pace attack won't lose any of its potency in the third Ashes Test starting Thursday at the WACA Ground, despite a couple of untimely setbacks.

Beer slightly better than Doherty!

In an extraordinary slap in the face for Ashes debutant Michael Beer, one of the men behind his remarkable rise to Test cricket has questioned the wisdom of his surprise selection.

Archery C'ship starts today

The Uttara Bank 4th National Archery Championship will get underway today at the Army Stadium with 150 archers including 40 women participating in the three-day meet.

Women's h'ball

The Dhaka Sports Association finished third in the Exim Bank 21st National Women's Handball Championship with a massive 27-9 win over Dhaka University at the Handball Stadium yesterday.

India wait on Zaheer

India looked a side at comfort with itself during their first full practice session with the whole squad for the Tests, but there was cause for concern with Zaheer Khan choosing to go through just fitness drills due to what seems like a hamstring injury.

Park fires MU atop

South Korea international Park Ji-Sung's sixth goal of the season sent Manchester United two points clear at the top of the Premier League table after they beat former leaders Arsenal 1-0 at Old Trafford here on Monday.

Do or die for Atletico

Holders Atletico Madrid are one of several high-profile sides whose continued participation in this season's Europa League will be at stake when the group phase concludes on Wednesday and Thursday.

Big Sam sacked

A "shocked" Sam Allardyce was sacked as manager of Blackburn Rovers with immediate effect on Monday after nearly two years in charge, the English Premier League club announced on their official website.

Diego for Rovers?

Argentine legend Diego Maradona is being lined up as the new manager of Blackburn Rovers, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.

Osasuna dent Valencia

Struggling Osasuna won only their second point away from home all season as they stormed back to draw 3-3 against Valencia and put a dent in their rival's Champions League hopes on Monday.

Egypt set USA date

The United States will visit Egypt for a football friendly against the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions on February 9 at Cairo, the US Soccer Federation announced Monday.

Van Marwijk to quit after Euro 2012

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk says he intends to quit his post and return to club football after Euro 2012, Dutch magazine NUsport on Tuesday quoted him as saying.

Van Marwijk to quit after Euro 2012

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk says he intends to quit his post and return to club football after Euro 2012, Dutch magazine NUsport on Tuesday quoted him as saying.

Lyon suffer triple blow

Lyon will be without defenders Cris and Pape Diakhate and French international midfielder Jeremy Toulalan for Sunday's clash at French champions Marseille, the club revealed on Monday.

Milan lose veteran duo

Serie A leaders AC Milan will be without veterans and 2006 World Cup winners Gennaro Gattuso and Gianluca Zambrotta for Saturday's final game before the Italian winter break against Roma.

Wales appoint Speed

Gary Speed has been appointed as the new manager of the Wales national team on a three-and-a-half-year contract, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) announced here on Tuesday.

Business

Banks pinched for overnight cash

The interest rate at which banks lend money to one another shot up 60 percent yesterday, following a rise in the cash reserve requirement (CRR), according to top bankers, and squeezed the stockmarket.

Food processors in double bind

Makers of munchies feel the pinch of the rising prices of their ingredients but say they are hesitant to pass on the costs to consumers.

National Bank's Tk 250cr bonds

National Bank Ltd has issued subordinated bonds worth Tk 250 crore to expand its investment in various sectors and consolidate its capital base in line with the Basel-II framework. This was disclosed at a ceremony at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka yesterday.

New chief for MCCI

Amjad Khan Chowdhury, managing director of PRAN-RFL Group of Companies, has been elected the president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka, says a statement.

Manmohan raps businesses for ethical deficit

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said business practices of some corporate houses in the country had recently come under serious public scrutiny for their perceived ethical deficits.

Campaign for US zero tariff benefit to be renewed

Bangladesh will renew its campaign to get duty-free or the generalized system of preferences (GSP) facilities for its products in the US market when the new Congress resumes its session next month.

Campaign for US zero tariff benefit to be renewed

Bangladesh will renew its campaign to get duty-free or the generalized system of preferences (GSP) facilities for its products in the US market when the new Congress resumes its session next month.

Banglalink money transfers best: Group

A London-based association of small enterprises involved in international money-transfers awarded Bangladesh's number-two telecom operator's "mMoney" mobile remittance the "best new service" prize last month.

Insurance assoc's new chair

Sheikh Kabir Hossain has recently been elected chairman of Bangladesh Insurance Association for 2011-12, says a statement.

Winds of change in training

From a single line policy perspective, 'Job Creation' features favourably with everyone. The government wants this, the development partners like it, the think-tanks wax eloquent about it, business and industry support it and the citizens aspire to it.

ThumbDrive inventor: no one-hit wonder

Henn Tan could have ruled the global market in what became the ubiquitous USB flash drive that helped consign the floppy disk to the dustbin of technological history.

CSE president reelected

Fakhor Uddin Ali Ahmed has been reelected as president of Chittagong Stock Exchange for 2011, says a statement.

ADB to fund Vietnam metro line

A metro rail line in Vietnam's congested business hub of Ho Chi Minh City came a step closer Tuesday with financing of 540 million dollars from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

South Korea govt tips 5pc economic growth

South Korea's government on Tuesday was upbeat about economic prospects for next year, predicting growth of around 5 percent compared with lower forecasts from the central bank and think-tanks.

India inflation falls, central bank may pause on rate hikes

India's annual inflation rate dropped by a over a percentage point in November from the previous month, lending weight to forecasts the central bank may pause in its aggressive rate hiking cycle.

Australia's record exports hit by floods, minerals dip

Australia faces a slow-down in exports of 3.8 billion dollars due to flooding of grain harvests and lower-than-expected shipments of coal, iron ore and gold, an official forecaster said Tuesday.

Oil down

Oil weakened in Asian trade Tuesday on profit-taking after gains in New York driven by OPEC's decision to maintain its existing output targets, analysts said.

Asian shares nudge up

Asian stocks nudged a little higher Tuesday but optimism about China was limited by uncertainty over Beijing's plans to rein in inflation and concerns over tax reform in the United States.

BP sells Pakistan assets

BP said it had agreed to sell a portfolio of oil and gas assets in Pakistan to Hong Kong-listed United Energy Group for $775 million as it raises cash to pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Metropolitan

Call for speedy war crimes trial

Socio-political and cultural organisations yesterday observed the Martyred Intellectuals' Day in a befitting manner with a call for speedy trial of war criminals.

'Highest transparency being maintained'

The government is maintaining the highest level of transparency in selecting the private investor for the Dhaka Elevated Expressway (DEE) project.

4 held with stolen jeep

Police recovered a stolen jeep and arrested four people at Laksham in Comilla on Monday.

Democracy, not military rule, can ensure security

It is democracy and human development, not the military regime or arms, which can ensure security and peace in any part of the world, said Commerce Minister Faruk Khan at an international conference yesterday.

HC asks Kings College to relocate from Segunbagicha

The High Court yesterday asked the authorities of Kings College at Segunbagicha in the city to relocate the college from its present premises within six months.

50 shanties gutted, 10 hurt in N'ganj

At least ten people were injured and 50 shanties and five shops gutted in a devastating fire at Fazilpur in district's sadar upazila yesterday.

'Prof Yunus pride of Bangladesh'

Some ex-students of Chittagong University in a statement yesterday said Nobel laureate Prof Dr Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank are pride of Bangladesh.

City Jamaat chief on fresh remand

A Dhaka Court yesterday placed Dhaka City Jamaat-e-Islami chief Rafiqul Islam Khan on a two-day fresh remand in connection with a case filed for preventing police from discharging their duties in front of National Press Club in the city.

Three killed in road accidents

Three people were killed and another was injured in separate road accidents in Narsingdi and Chittagong yesterday.

100 Ctg shanties gutted

At least 100 shanties were gutted in a fire, which broke out at a slum at West Madarbari in the port city early yesterday.

Modernise railway

Different civic organisations on Monday demanded the government modernise the country's railway, saying it has been ignored over the years despite being the best transport system in terms of economy, environment and mobility for people.

Two robbers held in city

Police yesterday arrested two alleged robbers while trying to commit a robbery in a rented house at Uttara in the city.

4 reasons inspire govt to try war criminals

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government is holding the war crimes trial for four reasons.

DU set to celebrate Victory Day

Different social and cultural organisations of Dhaka University will hold a colourful programme under the banner Rokte Ranga Bijoy Amar to mark the Victory Day on December 16.

National

Survey stops due to obstruction by Indian tribesmen

India-Bangladesh joint survey on much-talked Dibir Haor border in Jaintapur upazila of sylhet district could not start yesterday due to obstruction created by the Indian tribesmen.

V-day in, V-day out, rezakars go untouched

The Victory Day is going to be celebrated in a lacklustre atmosphere in Magura tomorrow as freedom fighters are unhappy over Liberation War Affairs Ministry's indifference to erase the names of two rajakars (collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces) and some fake freedom fighters engraved on the victory memorial plaque in the district town.

18 cases filed against 48 in last 16 months

As many as 18 cases were filed against 48 alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces in five districts of Barisal division in the last 16 months.

Painful days of families of Pabna martyrs

"I have to depend on others for maintaining my family. Sometimes we get help from our relatives. Sometimes we remain uncared for," said Maleka Khatun, the widow of martyred freedom fighter Shahid Idris.

Girl killed five days ahead of marriage

A teenage girl was hacked to death by criminals yesterday only five days ahead of her marriage.

Two more Shibir men held at RU

Motihar police on Monday arrested two accused in the case for killing Rajshahi University (RU) unit Chhatra League (BCL) worker Faruque Hossain.

Arms, ammo seized in Rajbari, one held

A team of Rab-8 recovered a good number of arms, ammunition and arrested an illegal arms dealer from Chhoto Kolkolia village under Pangsha upazila of Rajbari district yesterday.

Jute, textile workers of pvt mills to agitate from Dec 18

Workers of private owned jute, yarn and textile mills of Khulna-Jessore industrial belt will start a 17-day agitation programme from December 18 to press home their 10-point demand.

166 aspirants for mayor, 1190 for councillor posts in Rangpur divn

As many as 166 mayor aspirants and 1190 councillor candidates filed nomination papers on Monday to contest the election scheduled for January 12 in 17 out of 22 municipalities of Rangpur division.

85 houses, two jute godowns gutted

At least 85 houses were gutted in fire incidents on Sunday at different villages under Sadar upazila of the district.

4 boys, girls murdered

Four boys and girls were murdered in Habiganj, Bagerhat, Rajshahi and Manikganj districts on Monday and the day before.

Man murdered by 'wife'

A man was strangled allegedly by his wife and her lover at village Panchnol in Kalaroa upazila Sunday night. Police arrested Shapla Begum, 32 for her alleged involvement in the killing. Victim Nur Mohammad, 42, was son of Abdul Khaleque of the village. Quoting local people police said, Shapla Begum fell in love with Kabir Hossain of the same village two years ago. As Nur Mohammad protested, they threatened him of dire consequences, police said. On the fateful night, Shapla and her lover Kabir Hossain strangled Nur Mohammad. Locals found the body of the victim lying in the room and informed police. Police arrested Shapla but failed to arrest Kabir as he went into hiding.

20 hurt as boiler explodes

Twenty people were injured and eight houses and four shops were gutted following explosion in a chemical factory at Bottola in Fatulla on Monday afternoon. Police said, boiler of Bhai Bhai Chemical Factory exploded with a bang creating panic in Bottola area at 12:30pm. Fire spread to adjacent eight houses and four shops following explosion, burning 20 people including the members of the houses and shops and passers-by. Owner of the factory Firoz Ahmed along with officials and workers went into hiding following the explosion. On information, fire fighting units from Mandalpara rushed to the spot and doused the flames. All the injured were admitted to Khanpur 200-bed hospital. Preliminary estimation puts the property loss at Tk 15 lakh.

Muggers take away Tk 4.5 lakh

Armed muggers shot and wounded a transport official and robbed Tk 4.5 lakh at Shimrail, Siddirganj on Monday. Tamijuddin Tamij, 55, manager of Khawja Garib-e- Newaj Transport, wounded by bullet in the leg, was admitted to local Maa General Hospital. Tamij said he withdrew Tk 5 lakh from Dutch Bangla Bank at Hajee Ibrahim Khalil Shopping Complex, Shmrail, at about noon. Five armed muggers riding motorbikes were waiting in front of the bank. When he was passing by, the muggers snatched away the bag full of money. As he raised a hue and cry, the muggers fired two gunshots, one hitting his leg, and scaring away the people. During the incident, a bundle of Tk 50,000 fell down, which he collected later.

'Suicide' in Sylhet

A diabetic patient, who allegedly took poison Friday in a bid to commit suicide, died at Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital Saturday morning. The deceased was identified as Anwar Ali, 45, son of late Abdul Mosabbir of Purba Talipara village in Balaganj upazila. Family sources said Anwar had been suffering from diabetics since long. Recently the disease aggravated and he took poison Friday night as he could not bear any more the extreme physical pain. He was rushed to the hospital where he died early Saturday morning. A UD case was filed in this connection.

Letters

A lonely JU winter

Winter in Jahangirnagar University means a winter with the migratory birds. JU winter doesn't come without migratory birds in the lakes. But this year, it is a different winter we are going through. It is the mid of December, but no migratory birds have arrived yet. Usually, they start arriving in November and they stay here till March.

CNG-run auto-rickshaws

We know that one-third of the population of Dhaka belong to the middle and lower middle class. They face many problems on the streets of Dhaka. When one needs to go to an exam centre to sit for an examination, or a hospital with a patient, s/he needs an affordable transport like CNG-run auto-rickshaw or a rickshaw. But rickshaws are not allowed to ply on every road in Dhaka. Taxi cab is not affordable and available. CNG-run auto-rickshaw is the only option left. Specially, a female student needs an auto-rickshaw to go to her college or university, as the public bus service is not available in all areas of the city.

Halmonas titanicae

Above is the name of a newly discovered strain of bacteria. The Canadian researchers have discovered this new strain while they detected seven strains of bacteria forming “rusticles” (a formation of rusty masses similar to an icicle) that are slowly eating away the wreckage of the historic RMS Titanic, the world's largest passenger steamship which sank four days after she set off on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, USA on April 10, 1912.

Drilling near reserve forest

The govt. has permitted Chevron Bangladesh to dig three wells for extracting gas near the Lawachhara Reserve Forest (TDS: Dec 11, 2010). One of the three wells is extremely close to the forest and this kind of activity could easily disturb the wildlife of the area. Bangladesh may not be a large country and she may not have a lot of forests, still she boasts a tremendous variety of exotic wildlife.

Asymmetric information in politics

The Nobel Prize in Economics for 2002 went to three economists who established the ground rules on the 'economics of information'. It deals with asymmetric information between the interacting groups concerned. In plain language, in many cases, the playing field is not level; some known, some unknown. It is an old trick used by the old traditional merchants and the rural moneylenders for generations in this part of the world (the victims were mostly the illiterates and those less educated). Now the tools have been identified, and the processing analysed; and the system seems to work. Its application in the third world would be revolutionary, if successful. The question is not whether it could be done, but whether the big vested groups would allow it.

Vehicle manufacturing in Bangladesh

This news item was published in most dailies on 4th December. This will herald a very significant milestone in our engineering industry, initiated by the Nitol-Niloy Group in collaboration with Tata. We wish them the best of luck with the light trucks that they propose to start with. Technical people, and possibly all others, will appreciate if the progressive local manufacturing components are identified percentage wise in value over a projected time frame. The value addition for final assembly, and other usual local labour oriented input may also be shown separately.

Decentralisation a must

Only after posting a letter on the topic, I happened to watch General Ershad delivering his speech at the National Assembly on BTV on December 9, 2010. I listened intently to the deliberations of General Ershad. I thank him for speaking out the truth. Dhaka is perhaps the dirtiest city in the world. On top of this, things are getting further complicated with the arrival of 2000 new immigrants from different parts of the country in search of a livelihood and introduction of about 200 new cars on the streets of Dhaka every day.

Dynamic leaders

Can't we make a difference from our respective positions? Of course, we can. We just need to change our way of thinking. If we are dedicated and determined, we can contribute a lot in building a prosperous nation.

Sales executives' behaviour

One of my relatives came to Dhaka from Canada to spend holidays and went to buy some saris in a well-known superstore in Gulshan. When she pointed to a certain sari to the sales executive to show her , he said to her, “This saree is expensive, its price is.….,” as if she wont' be able to afford it. My relative was shocked at this attitude, but she bought some saris from there.

Vandalism

The other day, I saw near Tongi garment workers going berserk demanding pay hike. They looked fanatical while vandalising the vehicles on the street. A few days ago, I was panicked to see the agitated students on Dhaka University campus.

Border killings

When the Bollywood Mega Star Shahrukh Khan was performing at the Army Stadium in Dhaka in presence of thousands of spectators, a Bangladeshi national at Chapai Nawabganj got killed by the Border Security Force of India, as reported in the media.

We are proud of Dr. Yunus

It is very shameful and disgusting how our media pounced upon the report of a Danish journalist aired by Norwegian television which sullied Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize winner. He made our country known to the world by his achievement. The media acted irresponsibly not caring about destroying the image of Bangladesh.

Vilification of GB

I would like to support Dr Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, who has asserted that a person is innocent until found guilty. Our Prime Minister has voiced her government's decision to probe the matter to find out 'if there was any unauthorised fund transfer' by GB's founder. Soon after the PM's comment for investigation, Dr. Yunus promptly welcomed the move for a probe into the allegations of so-called unauthorised transfer of funds being levelled against Grameen Bank and him as an individual.

A live embarrassment

After watching the audience on stage, their interaction with Shahrukh Khan, their body language - I really feel embarrassed to be a Bangladeshi. This has been a live embarrassment at a very hefty cost.

International

Berlusconi wins Senate vote

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won a confidence motion in the Senate as expected yesterday, ahead of a lower house vote that could force him to resign or leave him clinging on to a wafer-thin majority.

Key Islamic party quits Pakistan govt

Pakistan's most prominent Islamic politician, a firebrand pro-Taliban cleric yesterday withdrew his party from the coalition government, protesting against the sacking of a cabinet minister.

Indian PM orders inquiry

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ordered an inquiry into phone-tapping amid a corporate lobbyist scandal.

Indian Muslims appeal against Ayodhya ruling

A Muslim group in India yesterday filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging a ruling that divided a bitterly contested religious site between Hindus and Muslims.

Voyager near Solar System's edge

Voyager 1, the most distant spacecraft from Earth, has reached a new milestone in its quest to leave the Solar System.

US envoy Richard Holbrooke dies

Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan and one of Washington's most experienced diplomats, died in a US hospital Monday as the Obama administration reviews its strategy in Afghanistan.

Court grants bail to Assange

A British judge granted conditional bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a London court yesterday, one week after he was arrested over allegations of rape and molestation in Sweden.

Cops detain Nepal's ex-crown prince after gunshot

Police detained Nepal's former crown prince yesterday for firing a gun into the air after an argument with two guests at a restaurant, officials said.

Hillary the best ever secretary of state: Obama

There is a growing bipartisan consensus that Hillary Clinton is the best ever secretary of state, US President Barack Obama has said.

UN to end Saddam-era sanctions on Iraq

The UN Security Council will today end a swathe of Saddam Hussein-era sanctions against Iraq in a sign of the changes in the country, diplomats said.

Pakistan 'disappointed' at Sarkozy's remarks

Islamabad on Monday said it was disappointed by remarks French President Nicolas Sarkozy made in India criticising Pakistan for allowing extremist "safe havens" in its tribal border areas.

Pakistan 'disappointed' at Sarkozy's remarks

Islamabad on Monday said it was disappointed by remarks French President Nicolas Sarkozy made in India criticising Pakistan for allowing extremist "safe havens" in its tribal border areas.

Six lakh sign petition for WikiLeaks

Almost 600,000 people had signed an online petition in support of WikiLeaks, ahead of a second appearance in court in London by the whistle-blowing website's founder, Julian Assange.

Chernobyl area to be open for tourists

Want a better understanding of the world's worst nuclear disaster? Come tour the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Beginning next year, Ukraine plans to open up the sealed zone around the Chernobyl reactor to visitors who wish to learn more about the tragedy that occurred nearly a quarter of a century ago, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday.

Iranian president sacks foreign minister

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed his long-serving foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Monday and named one of his own close allies, Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, as his interim replacement.

Japan to continue paying $2b for US troops

Japan's government agreed yesterday to continue contributing $2.2 billion a year toward the cost of stationing American troops in the country.

Imelda to get her mansion back

Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos said yesterday that she will have a merry Christmas thanks to a court ordering the return of one of the sprawling mansions the government seized after her husband was deposed.

Arts & Entertainment

SSJ’s Victory Day celebration kicks off

The three-day Victory Day celebration programme by Shammilita Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) began at the Central Shaheed Minar premises on December 13. Forty freedom fighters formally inaugurated the celebration through releasing 40 pigeons, while members of SSJ released balloons.

Distinct lines

Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts has organised a two weeklong retrospective exhibition titled “The Limitless Luminosity of Art” of master artist Safiuddin Ahmed. The show was inaugurated on December 10. At the exhibition, his drawings (pencil, crayon, charcoal) watercolours and oil paintings are on display.

A fusion of Chhau and contemporary Western

Shadhona's latest production, “Tasher Desh” is to incorporate the energetic Chhau dance from Purulia and contemporary Western from UK. Two renowned masked Chhau dancers from Purulia, Biren Kalindi and Jagannath Chowdhury, and Rachel Krische from the UK presented a demonstration for Shadhona members on December 13, says a press release.

Gaiety galore

A 15-day Victory Fair (Bijoy Mela), one of the largest events of its kind in the country, began at Manikganj Government Boys' High School playground in Manikganj on Monday with cultural events, a discussion and rally.

Hitting corruption with wit, creativity

It is of key significance to encourage anti-corruption attitudes among the youth. That is exactly what Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has set out to do. Over the last five years, the organisation has held countrywide cartoon competitions and exhibitions with participants in the age groups 13-18 (Group A) and 19-35 (Group B).

A look at the illustrious career of Atiqul Huque Chowdhury

Veteran media personality Atiqul Huque Chowdhury turns 80 today. To celebrate his birthday, satellite channels ETV and Rtv will air special programmes.

Fahmida Nabi teams up with Close Up 1 stars

Popular singer Fahmida Nabi's suggestions and constructive criticism have long been appreciated by the contestants of the “Close Up 1” musical talent hunt. Fahmida always aspired to work with the young singers she mentored, but the opportunity kept evading her. This December, however, will finally see her dream turn to reality as she teams up with seven “Close Up 1” stars to make “Priyo Bangladesh ” -- an album of patriotic songs.

Band musical “Jonmo Bhumir Gaan” on ntv

To celebrate the Victory Day, ntv will air a special band musical programme titled “Jonmo Bhumir Gaan”. Featuring popular and upcoming bands, the programme will be aired tomorrow at 1:25pm.

Retrieving lost heritage

A nine-day exhibition of clay jewellery began in Tangail on Wednesday.

OP-ED

TIB, polls and unpalatable truths

People in the police administration are unhappy with Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB). So is Home Minister Sahara Khatun. They ought not to be. What they ought to have gone for is a serious assessment of the recent TIB findings, which squarely inform the country through an opinion survey that Bangladesh's police are regarded as the most corrupt of the country's public service oriented organisations.

Obama's surprise visit to Afghanistan

As has become customary under both President Obama and former President George W. Bush, the trip to Afghanistan has always been carried out in clandestine fashion.

Cancun reflections

In the long list of disappointments arising out of management and outcome of COP15 in Copenhagen, prominent was the fact that the integrity of the UNFCCC process had been undermined.

Pride and (extreme) prejudice

Today, I want to talk about the fickle nature of our hero syndromes. But first, people will ask: "Yes, yes, but where do you really stand?" So, let's get that over with in the first paragraph. Based on the public documents, Grameen Bank acknowledges transferring funds from one entity to another to reduce tax liabilities and support that entity. The transfer helped the overall picture of "Grameen" entities -- a fund surplus in one area moved to the deficit zone. Not a novel practice. But not informing the donors? Bad decision and terrible policy.

Remembering Quazi Azhar Ali

Quazi Azhar Ali was an outstanding and brilliant officer of the erstwhile Civil Service of Pakistan. Not only a civil servant, he was a reformer in the education and socio-economic fields. He was a dedicated philanthropist who founded many educational institutions and launched poverty eradication programmes.



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