The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, April 17, 2014


News of: Sunday, 2nd of January, 2011

Front Page

All they want a ticket

A new year imbues people with hopes and dreams. And 2011, for any sports enthusiast in Bangladesh, holds only one dream, one hope: to secure tickets for the cricket World Cup.

Only 5 for Jamaat

The main opposition BNP has finalised a list of mayoral candidates for the municipality polls leaving five municipalities for its major ally Jamaat-e-Islami.

Books to reach all within week

Distribution of free textbooks among primary and secondary grade students started yesterday amid festivity across the country on the very first day of the new academic session.

Jamaat fails to find backing

Panic spread among the rank and file of the Jamaat-e-Islami after the arrest of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, who had close contact with the Islamist party.

Licensed yet illegal

Licensed but not-in-operation pharmaceutical companies are importing raw materials for drugs and selling those on the black market, finds a parliamentary sub-committee probe.

2010 witnesses 133 deaths

At least 133 persons were killed in 'shootouts' with the law enforcers and in their custody, while another 128 died of mob beatings in the country last year, said a human rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK).

Never neglect workers

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the owners of different industries not to neglect workers and assured that her government would remove all barriers to flourishing of trade and business.

All state power captured by PM

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday warned that all activities of the ruling Awami Legue will be considered illegal once it steps out of office, and it will have to be accountable for those.

Ershad sees disaster

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad said yesterday the country's politics is heading towards a disaster.

50 hurt as cops obstruct

BNP activists clashed with police yesterday as law enforcers charged a roadside BNP rally at Moni Chattar in Rajshahi.

SC launches digital case registration

The Supreme Court yesterday launched electronic registration (e-Registration) system to preserve case information as part of its digitalised case management.

Vessel sinks at Ctg port

A lighter vessel carrying around 1200 tonnes of cement clinkers worth Tk 42 lakh sank yesterday morning near the outer anchorage of Chittagong Port.

Outburst over Press Club polls results

Pro-Awami League Sarwar-Saiful panel yesterday rejected the results of Jatiya Press Club election and staged a rowdy demonstration.

Robber beaten to death

A robber was killed and four others were injured in a mob beating in Belabo upazila of Narsingdi while a person was stabbed to death by robbers at Khatrapara village in Savar on the outskirts of the capital yesterday.

Body of police mosque imam found

The decomposed body of Maulana Hafez Mohammad Ishaque, 50, was recovered from a flat at West Shewrapara on Thursday.

BNP picks by-election candidates

BNP yesterday nominated its candidates for the upcoming by-elections to Habiganj-1 and Brahmanbaria-3 constituencies.

2 troops die in Afghanistan on first day of 2011

Two foreign soldiers were killed Saturday in Afghanistan, coalition forces said, in the year's first deaths among NATO-led foreign forces after the war's highest-ever annual death toll in 2010.

Pirates kill fisherman

A fisherman was killed and four others were injured critically when a gang of pirates fired bullets at their fishing boat in the estuary of the Pashur in the Sundarbans in Bagerhat early yesterday.

Editorial

The expectations in 2011

The year 2011 is already upon us. And it is as good a time as any to look forward to what the nation ought to expect from the government, given its record in the year just gone by. The first point to note is some intrinsic strengths the government possesses, mainly by virtue of its three-fourths majority in parliament, whereby the ruling party can show magnanimity by giving the opposition some space. For its part, the opposition, being a crucial component of democracy, must come to terms with its own responsibilities to its constituents and to the country through opting for active participation in the Jatiyo Sangsad. Reverting to the performance of the government, we are deeply distressed at the cavalier manner in which a number of so-called politically motivated cases have been withdrawn. We believe the law should have been allowed to run its course. Such withdrawals of cases have only raised questions about the future of the rule of law. In addition, there has been a clear degree of politicization of the bureaucracy. Appointments to administrative positions along partisan lines have obviously undermined morale in the civil service, something we should have done without.

Congratulations to JSC and JDC achievers

Results of maiden Junior School Certificate and Junior Dakhil Certificate exams are just out combined passing rate being 73.04 percent. Considering the nature of the exams and the sudden challenge upon the students, we should be comfortable with the outcome. To be precise, the pass rate in JSC exams is 71.34 percent and in JDC exam 81.03. It needs to be noted, however, that the passing rate is less than the 92 percent as in primary terminal exams, leaving room for improvement there. The number of schools with cent percent pass rate is 863 while only 2 madrassas got that credit. Boys fared better than the girls. Pass rate among boys is 75.65 while the rate is 70.68 among the girls. Examinees of the Barisal Board achieved the highest passing rate of 81.75 percent.

Sports

For a cherished ticket

The cricket World Cup is still 48 days away and the ticket booths are to be opened this morning, but for the thousands who stood in line in front of different The City Bank branches since yesterday morning, World Cup fever has already caught on.

Riding on a lenient law

The domestic cricket continued to lose its discipline as yet another unsavoury incident marred a Premier League match on Friday.

R'ganj make winning start

Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society started the Grameenphone Bangladesh League with a 2-1 victory over Arambagh Krira Sangha at the Birshreshtha Mustafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday. A fine volley from youngster Jamal Hossain gave Rahmatganj the lead before their Nigerian recruit Paul McJames Mwachukwu made it 2-0 after the breather. Veteran Liberian striker Benjamin Cooper's last gasp goal was the only consolation for a sorry Arambagh.

'An unforgettable handshake'

Shahriar Hossain Bidyut was one of the most exciting batsmen. He had a terrible time during the 1999 World Cup, only to redeem himself with a fine 39 against Pakistan on that famous day. He spoke to The Daily Star Sport about his World Cup days.

Afridi, Waqar to appear in ICC tribunal

Pakistan cricket chiefs said on Saturday they would allow one-day captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis to appear at a hearing into spot-fixing allegations in Doha during the coming week.

Metropolis School Football

A quadruple from Sohag powered AK International School to a 6-1 victory over Kamuchan Shah High School in a match of the Asian City Dhaka Metropolis School Football Tournament at the Rahmatganj MFS Ground yesterday. At the Khilgaon Jorpukur venue, Siddeshwari High School smothered Motijheel Model High School 5-0, courtesy of a Tamal hattrick and a brace from Dipu. Elsewhere, Saint Gregory High Schoool beat Wari High School 3-1 while Residential Model School defeated Vashantek High School 2-0.

Newlands beckons history

South Africa will be hoping for a repeat of history when they take on India in a series-deciding third and final Test at Newlands on Sunday.

Akram bats for India

India are no longer a one-man team, and are capable of winning matches without batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar's contribution, former Pakistan cricket captain Wasim Akram has said.

Hussey eyes to level series

Winning next week's final Test to square the Ashes series with England would be a boost for the demoralised Australians, senior batsman Mike Hussey said on Saturday.

BTI Golf C'ship from today

The four-day BTI Profe-ssional Golf Champion-ship starts at the Kurmitola Golf Club today. Spon-sored by Buildin Techno-logy and Ideas Ltd, one of the prominent real estate developers of the country, and organised by Bangla-desh professional Golfers' Association (BPGA), this event is expected to draw a number of young, up and coming as well as professional golfers of the country.

Henin back and wins

Former world number one Justine Henin made a winning start in her latest comeback on Saturday but the Belgian could not prevent her team losing to Australia at the mixed-teams Hopman Cup.

No decision yet on Pak WC squad

Question marks over several key players forced Pakistani selectors Friday to defer the announcement of a preliminary squad for the World Cup and a team for the six-match one-day series against New Zealand.

Nadal, Federer showdown

Tennis icons Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will contest the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi after both won their Friday semi contests.

KP wanted Warne as coach

Former captain Kevin Pietersen had wanted Australian spin legend Shane Warne as coach of England after the sacking of Peter Moores in 2009 but ECB scuppered his plans after finding that the players were against it, a report said today.

Real aim to close gap

Real Madrid kick off 2011 with a testing derby day at city neighbours Getafe on Monday as Jose Mourinho's side bid to close the two-point gap on Spanish league leaders Barcelona.

Hernandez lifts MU

Wayne Rooney scored his first goal in open play since March as leaders Manchester United won away in the Premier League for only the second time this season with a 2-1 victory against West Brom.

Chelsea's Villa test

Carlo Ancelotti admits Chelsea must beat Aston Villa on Sunday before the champions can start to believe they have ended the miserable run that threatens to destroy their title challenge.

Becks set for Spurs

Former England captain David Beckham could be set for a sensational return to English football after Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp confirmed he would try to land the midfielder on a short-term loan.

Harry free to spend

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp admitted on Friday that the club's chairman Daniel Levy has told him to make a big-money signing during the January transfer window.

Ayala hangs up his boots

Former Argentina captain Roberto Ayala, his country's second most-capped player, has told his club that he is retiring, according to Argentine media reports.

City back Balotelli

Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd insists homesick Italian striker Mario Balotelli will be a big hit in the Premier League once he adapts to his new surroundings.

Ronaldinho close to exit

AC Milan forward Ronaldinho is on the verge of leaving the Serie A leaders after media reports on Saturday said he had left the club's training base in Dubai to return to Brazil.

Fergie won't go shopping

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out a spending spree in the January sales.

Rooney fancies management

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney revealed on Friday that he is planning to go into management when he calls time on his playing career.

Business

Banks log hefty profit

Private banks logged as high as 90 percent growth in their operating profit last year, riding on a boom in stockmarket and an upward trend in external business.

Trade fair sets off cheery mood

Local and foreign participants at the 16th Dhaka International Trade Fair 2011 hope the exposition will help them woo both overseas and domestic buyers.

Apparel tech show starts Jan 12

The tenth edition of Garmentech Bangladesh show will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka from January 12-15, showcasing the latest machinery and technology in the garment sector.

CHT farmers count deep losses

Farmers count losses every year in Chittagong Hill Tracts, as they often are compelled to sell off their produces crops and fruits at prices lower than production costs due to preservation constraints and poor infrastructure in the region.

Citi points to 'healthy' growth

Bangladesh showed commendable resilience to grow at a healthy rate last year although the lagged effects of the global economic crisis hindered the country's two main growth drivers -- exports and remittance inflows, said a leading global financial services company.

Green Delta turns 25, relaunches website

Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd, one of the leading private non-life insurers, yesterday celebrated its 25th founding anniversary and relaunched its newly designed website.

StanChart gets new MD

Abrar A Anwar recently joined Standard Chartered Bank as managing director of wholesale banking. Prior to this appointment, Anwar was the managing director and head of global corporate and commercial banking of Citibank NA, said a statement.

Orion Laboratories renames itself

From now on, Orion Laboratories will manufacture and market its products under the name of Orion Pharma Ltd, said a statement.

The global economy in 2011

We are cautiously optimistic on the global economic outlook in 2011 and beyond. We expect sustained above-trend expansion and forecast global Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) growth of about 3.5 percent in 2011 and 4 percent in 2012. Global growth is rarely uniform, but the current recovery is more uneven across major economies than usual. The developed countries overall should record only modest growth in 2011 because of private sector deleveraging and, in many cases, fiscal consolidation. Divergences are likely to remain acute in the euro-area, with continued above-trend growth in Germany but little or no growth in the periphery countries like Greece and Portugal. The emerging markets in Asia should again outperform the other regions as the expansions in China and India will continue, not only in 2011 but also for many years to come.

Microfinance faces hurdles in empowering Afghan women

In a dimly lit room at the back of an Afghan house, 21-year-old Zahara is crouched on a plank of wood weaving a large carpet on a loom that she was able to buy using a microfinance loan of $1,100.

Cassandra complex

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten The World Economy
By Raghuram G Rajan;

Why new values are killing consumerism

The Age of Selfish Altruism
By Alan Fairnington; Published by John Wiley & Sons; 256 pages; $24.95; Hardback

Strong corporate governance for Asian economy

Challenges in Implementing Corporate Governance: Whose Business is it Anyway?
By John Zinkin; John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd; 288 pages; $34.95

Tech tops 2011 resolutions for small business

Charlie Raines has resolved to become more Web savvy in the New Year in order to haul in business overseas for his fledgling Florida-based seafood company.

Facebook tops Google in website hits

Facebook stole the thunder from Google this year as the most-visited website in the United States, according to a new study from Internet research firm Experian Hitwise.

Carrefour arrives in India

French supermarket giant Carrefour has opened its first cash and carry store in India, hoping the government will soon relax restrictions on foreign investment in its massive retail sector.

ArcelorMittal matches rival offer for Baffinland

Steel giant ArcelorMittal upped its takeover bid for Baffinland Iron Mines on Friday, valuing the company at about C$550 million ($550 million) as it pursues its undeveloped iron ore deposit in Canada's Arctic.

DoCoMo aims to take on iPad

Japan's top carrier NTT DoCoMo is to launch a tablet computer running Google software to challenge Apple's hot-selling iPad, a report said Saturday.

Indian group buys luxury London hotel

The conglomerate, Sahara India Pariwar, has bought London's luxurious Grosvenor House hotel from state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland for 470 million pounds ($728 million).

Colombia to sell oil shares for rainy season response

Colombia will sell 10 percent of its shares in Ecuador's state oil firm Ecopetrol, worth some eight billion dollars, to fund its response to a rainy season that killed 303 people and left 2.2 million homeless, an official said Thursday.

Ford, Chrysler recall almost 160,000 vehicles

US automakers Ford and Chrysler are recalling tens of thousands of vehicles due to safety problems, the government said Friday.

Wall Street ends robust 2010

US stocks closed mixed Friday in a quiet final session of 2010 as investors looked toward the new year in hopes of building on Wall Street's recent robust gains.

Hangover or afterparty for US stocks?

A bout of profit taking seems likely early next year after the S&P 500 ended its best December in almost two decades, but stocks may have further to run at the start of 2011.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Dec 26th-Dec 30th, 2010
International Markets

This week trading in the international markets was quite thin, as most traders were away on the year end holidays. The Swiss franc hit record highs versus the euro and the dollar on Thursday, bolstered by its safe-haven status and lower US bond yields in thin year-end trade that exaggerated price swings.

Metropolitan

'Save Dumni- Boalia canal'

Environmentalists yesterday demanded that the government take immediate steps to protect the Dumni-Boalia canal from the grabbers.

Audience spellbound by children's performance

Unique performances by children of seven English medium schools of Sylhet kept the jam-packed audience enthralled for over two and a half hours at Sylhet auditorium on Friday night.

Road crashes kill 9

At least nine people were killed and 11 others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Madaripur, Brahmanbaria, Natore, Gaibandha, Jhenidah districts on Friday night and yesterday.

Implementation a challenge: Experts

Strong monitoring of the implementation process of the national education policy and building mass awareness are necessary for its accomplishment, educationalists said yesterday.

BDR to be BGB from 3rd week of Jan

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) will replace their name with Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) officially from the third week of this month.

Ten injured as BCL factions clash at Dhaka Homeopathic College

At least 10 students were injured early yesterday as two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Dhaka Homeopathic College unit clashed during New Year's celebration feast on their premises in the city.

Khaleda greets new NPC leaders

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday congratulated newly elected president Kamal Uddin Sabuj and the general secretary Sayed Abdal Ahmed of National Press Club, says a press release.

Sufian, Rouf re-elected CPC president, secy

Editor of Weekly Chattala Abu Sufian and Rashed Rouf of The Daily Azadi were re-elected the president and secretary of Chittagong Press Club (CPC) in the polls held yesterday.

Call to stop harassment of street children

Human Rights International (HRI) Bangladesh yesterday demanded an end to harassment of street children, their rehabilitation and treatment, and appointment of ombudsman, says a press release.

Sabuj, Abdal elected NPC president, general secy

Kamal Uddin Sabuj, news editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), and Sayed Abdal Ahmed, deputy editor of the daily Amar Desh, were elected president and general secretary of the National Press Club (NPC) on Friday.

Kamal Lohani falls sick

Noted cultural personality and Director General of Shilpakala Academy, Kamal Lohani, has fallen seriously ill on Tuesday during a visit to China.

Ulfa leader Arabinda Rajkhowa released

Arabinda Rajkhowa, chairman of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa), was released early yesterday from an Indian jail, reports The Times of India.

Visually impaired person shot dead

General secretary of Jatiya Andha Sangstha, an organisation for the visually impaired persons, was shot dead allegedly by his rivals at a house in city's Mirpur last night.

SC reopens today

The Supreme Court (SC) reopens today after a two-week winter vacation.

National

Cancer unit now family quarters

The building meant for cancer unit of Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) is being used as family quarters of four staff while treatment seekers are hardly aware that there is a separate unit for cancer treatment in the hospital.

Verdict in case against 61 mutineers Jan 31

The Special Court-14, set up at Sylhet Sector headquarters, will deliver judgement in the mutiny case against 61 BDR men of the sector on January 31.

4 mayor aspirants allege attacks by AL men

Four mayor candidates in Jenidah, Pabna and Patuakhali districts have alleged that the ruling party candidates attacked them and their supporters, damaged posters and created obstacles to electioneering in their respective municipalities on Thursday and Friday.

Land subsidence victims lock in factional fight, 20 hurt

At least 20 people including two policemen were injured as police went into action to stop violent clashes between two groups of land subsidence affected villagers around Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) yesterday.

Killing of Rakhaine youth triggers protest

Members of the Rakhaine community here formed a human chain in Kalapara upazila town on Friday demanding arrest and punishment of culprits who attacked a youth of the community.

RU students boycott classes demanding new grading system

Students of business studies faculty under 2004-05 and 2005-06 sessions at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday boycotted classes demanding results under newly approved indifferent grading system.

Sramik Dal leader beaten to death in Khagrachhari

A local Sramik Dal leader was beaten to death by ruling party cadres in Matiranga upazila Friday night.

Robbers kill one at Savar

Robbers killed a man and looted cash and valuables worth about Tk. 1.50 lakh from a house at Khatrapara village in Tetulbar union early yesterday.

Election Fever

Rajshahi: Symbols distributed among candidates

52 bombs recovered

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members recovered 52 bombs from a graveyard at Bhuiyan village in Sadar upazila yesterday evening. Major Abdur Rahman of Rab-11 said, acting on secret information, a team launched drives at separate places of the village and recovered the bombs digging soil of a graveyard at about 5:30 pm. He said the bombs were kept hidden for carrying out sabotage. None was arrested in this connection.

BCL men held with pistol

Two activists of Chhatra League (BCL) were arrested along with a pistol and three bullets from Puthia upazila Friday midnight. The arrestees are Asaduzzaman alias Asad, a BCL activist of Rajshahi University unit, also a student of accounting and information system department and Selim Reza, a worker of Binodpur Chhatra League unit of the district. On information that Asad and Selim were going to Baneshwar Bazar with firearms by a motorbike from the university campus, law enforcers of Putiha police station stopped them near Puthia Bazar at around 11:30pm and arrested them with the firearms, sources said.

Jasim Palli Mela begins

The fortnight-long Jasim Palli Mela, a fair in honour of late folk poet Jasim Uddin, began at Ambikapur in Faridpur yesterday. Labour, employment and expatriate welfare minister engineer Khondoker Mosharraf Hossain inaugurated the fair as chief guest in the afternoon. The fair will continue till January 15. At the opening session of a discussion on the poet, SM Nurunnabi, central member of advisory committee, Begum Saleha Mosharraf, MP, Arun Chandra Mohottom, additional deputy commissioner (revenue) and poet's son Dr Jamal Anwar spoke with Faridpur deputy commissioner Helaluddin Ahmed in the chair.

Letters

Sham economic growth

G.D.P, expressed in arithmetical number, is the barometer to measure economic development of a country. Obviously, the question is does it stand true to what it is intended for? A cursory look at the state of affairs obtaining in developed and developing economies all over the world will provide instant answer. It is apparent that though a good many countries show meteoric G.D.P growth and high rise of income and wealth, yet the fruits of development do not reach equally, or even at all, to all the segments of the population. In fact, the rich and poor divide further widens and the number of poor multiplies.

Traffic management

An article on the matter was published in a local daily on December 25th. The writer stated that merely restricting private motor cars is not the solution of traffic problems of Dhaka. I agree, and believe that two distinct steps need to be taken to ensure that traffic is streamlined by speed and power. The first step is to segregate traffic by type of drive (powered or manual). Secondly, traffic police must control traffic by slots on time basis, rather than the traffic density in each direction, as they tend to do all the time.

Terrible TIB report

We do not need the TIB report stating that the people of Bangladesh paid Tk. 9,591 crore bribe between June 2009 and May this year, or the WikiLeaks to assess how mired we are in corruption. People are aware of the ever increasing corruption in all sectors, thanks to the media.

Pursuing old policies

It is very unfortunate that the Chief Election Commissioner has discouraged the use of national ID card on the plea that it is not hundred percent complete. Maintenance of national ID for over 70 million people is undoubtedly a continuous process and it will never be hundred percent complete and error free.

Etymology and Etiology

My students often ask me for academic help/guidance over cell phone. Recently one of my students asked me the meaning of the word - “Etymology” as he was confusing this word with another word - “Etiology”.

Using our territory with zero tariff!

This refers to several news items on the above subject published in our various national dailies on December 01, 2010.

An open letter to Home Minister

The Honourable Home Minister always claims that law and order is satisfactory in the country. I do not know whether she is right or wrong when reportedly 208 people were killed in political violence, 115 in extrajudicial killings, 91 died in police custody, 63 Bangladeshi nationals killed in the border by Indian BSF; when there were 231 incidents of repression of journalists including killing, attack, litigation and arrest; and another 1,790 incidents of rape, in 11 months from January to November 2010.

Hats off to Julian Assange

Julian Assange has shaken the world by standing against the superpower America and its allies. WikiLeaks has unearthed lots of significant and unknown data about what America and its allies are doing. We know how America has been doing injustice to other countries. They invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to fight against so-called 'terrorism,' but later the world came to know who the real terrorists are. The world also knows what is going on in Israel and Palestine. Now the USA has targeted Iran for developing its nuclear project. It cannot tolerate the rise of others. It always talks about humanity and democracy but does not without practice it.

Doing a govt. job

These days a person is often considered to be good or bad by his/her profession. If he or she does a government job, most of the people make good comments about him or her. Sometimes I think if a rickshaw puller does not pull his rickshaw, then how will we be able to go to our destination? If all of us do government jobs, then who will do private jobs?

Morality and secularism

Morality is the only virtue that makes human race a nation, and even a man great. The international, national, social and family problems that we are facing nowadays are due to lack of morality. All thoughtful people's opinion regarding morality is almost similar. Every religion teaches morality and the believers practice it whole-heartedly. In our society, the best way of teaching morality is to teach religion. The teaching of making a believer is more important than the teaching that makes a person mere educated.

International

N Korea calls for Peace with South in new year

North Korea began 2011 with calls for improved relations with South Korea after a year of tensions marked by the first deadly attack on a civilian area since the war.

Egypt blast kills 21 at Coptic church

Egyptian officials now believe that an attack on a church which killed at least 21 worshippers in Alexandria was the work of a suicide bomber.

Gbagbo rejects resignation deadline

Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo has rejected a deadline set by his rival for him to stand down, saying the international community is trying to stage a coup against him.

Nigerian capital hit by barracks bomb

Several people have been killed by a bomb blast at a bar near a barracks in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.

Russian plane crash kills three

Three people were killed yesterday and dozens injured when an aircraft burst into flames before take-off on a runway at an airport in Russia's Far North, officials said.

Tornado outbreak kills six in south and mid-western US

A series of tornadoes in the south and mid-western US have killed six people, injured several others and caused power failures for thousands in the region.

Drone raid in Pakistan kills at least 11 in N Waziristan

Two US drone attacks have killed at least 11 people in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region, local officials say.

India-Pak exchanged lists of nuke installations

India and Pakistan yesterday exchanged through diplomatic channels the list of each other's nuclear installations and facilities under the bilateral Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against nuclear installations.

Sri Lanka erases colonial name, Ceylon

Sri Lanka's government has decided to change the names of all state institutions still bearing the nation's former British colonial name, Ceylon.

Direct negotiations best to peace

Face-to-face negotiations are still the best path to peace with the Palestinians, an Israeli official said Saturday dismissing calls for a new peace plan as premature.

Tremor hits northern Argentina

A strong earthquake has struck in northern Argentina, but it was not immediately clear if there were any injuries or damage.

Egypt flood kills schoolgirls on bus

Fifteen people, mostly schoolgirls, were drowned when a school bus was swept off the road by flood waters, Egyptian police say.

Buenos Aires train crash hurts 45

At least 45 people were injured when one passenger train crashed into another in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

Blast kills bomb squad pair in Thai south: police

Two bomb disposal policemen were killed and nine other people wounded in a blast in the Thai south yesterday after warnings of New Year violence in the restive region, police said.

Palestinian woman gassed at demo dies

A Palestinian woman died overnight after being teargassed by Israeli troops at a West Bank protest, an incident the Palestinian Authority is calling "a war crime."

Pope to hold peace summit

Pope Benedict said on Saturday he will host a summit of world religious leaders in the city of Assisi in October to discuss how they can promote world peace.

Estonia becomes euro zone member

Estonia has become the 17th member of the eurozone - the first ex-Soviet state to adopt the EU single currency.

Yemen to amend constitution

Yemen's parliament agreed in principle on Saturday to make constitutional amendments that could see President Ali Abdullah Saleh rule for life, and will hold a formal vote on the matter later this year.

One dead, dozens hurt in Naples new year festivities

One person was killed, more than 70 injured, and fireworks set on fire dozens of piles of rubbish as the city of Naples rang in the new year.

Arts & Entertainment

Swinging to the rhythm

People from all walks of life in Rajshahi city swung to the rhythm of folk songs on third and fourth day of the Folk Festival, organised by Rajshahi Theatre. The five-day festival marked the end of its yearlong silver jubilee celebrations at Kumarpara Mukta Mancha in the city.

The countdown begins

We enter the New Year with many interesting news snippets for our readers. To start with we begin a series of interviews with leading artists about their aspirations for 2011. We turn the spotlight on Bindu and Monalisa. Here's what they had to say:

Colours of 2011

The Daily Star spoke to three leading artists about the colours of 2010 and what they have on their palettes for the New Year.

Galloping time

Horse racing is regaining its popularity in rural areas in Panchagarh district. Several organisers under different banners have been arranging the traditional competition at different locations for the last three years.

Songs from the soul

Mother Foundation, a local organisation, has been holding a five day (January 1-5) Baul Samabesh at the Manikganj Government High School playgrounds. The organisation will award gold medals and certificates posthumously to 10 popular spiritual singers and crests and certificates to 20 popular Baul singers of the country.

Boney M Singer Bobby Farrell Dead

Bobby Farrell, the energetic frontman of the 1970s disco band Boney M, died last Thursday (December 30) in his hotel room in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the age of 61.

OP-ED

Good morning 2011

So at last you are in 2011. Congratulations! In the meantime, did you know that you had survived several major crises and scares that happened around the world before you could reach the second decade of this 21st century?

More exchanges for the better

Frequent high-level visits signal the desire of China and the EU to strengthen their economic and political ties

Politics, Yes ... Change, Not Yet

First, the truth. Something Barack Obama did during his campaign for the United States presidency in 2008 quickly caught on around the world. He promised change if he were elected to the White House. And suddenly other politicians in other countries were picking up the idea, to tell their own people that change was theirs for the asking, only if they voted for those who promised it. That was what the Awami League did in the campaign leading up to the general elections of December 2008. Having gone through the bitter experience of the Fakhruddin Ahmed-led caretaker government, a period which saw Sheikh Hasina undergo a spell of imprisonment and, before that, a bitter struggle to be let back into the country following a bad move by the authorities to prevent her return from a trip abroad, the Awami League appeared willing and ready to inaugurate a new phase in national politics. Its pledge was one of change. It called the promise "dinbodol-er rajniti" -- the politics of change.

Sporty Forty

The young boy diving around in this veritable dustbowl can hardly be eight years old. He is small for his age, and most definitely either a rubbish collector or a beggar plying the roads of Dhaka every day. But in the early hours of this winter morning, kicking around a deflated football in the grassless plains of the Banani playground, he is someone else entirely.

The Problem of Poor Pressure

Bangladesh has concluded 39 years as a country free from direct external control of its administration and resources. A society is judged by how it treats its weakest citizens. In that regard, where do we stand?

Bollywood Badshah and Bangladeshi Loyalists

Let me begin this article not from 1971 or any of the other momentous political dates over the last 39 years with which so many of our friends and families are intricately connected to.


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