The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, November 1, 2014


News of: Sunday, 9th of January, 2011

Front Page

Subsidised rice, wheat for poor

The government is going to launch a programme to supply rice and wheat at low price to about one crore poor families in next four months in the face of prevailing high food price.

Energy boost forlocal industries

In a major policy decision, the government is withdrawing import duty on furnace oil to help local industries overcome the on-going energy crisis and resolve their problems on their own.

Rangpur to become city corporation

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday her government is going to make the divisional town of Rangpur a city corporation, and form metropolitan police for it.

BNP struggles to recover from poll shock

Two years after a massive defeat in the parliamentary elections, the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party still struggles to get its rhythm back.

Govt move for dropping double murder case

The government has moved for withdrawal of a double murder case against four persons considering it ''politically motivated'' and filed for ''harassment''. The case was filed with Sutrapur Police Station in the capital eight years ago.

Users face trouble with google.com.bd

Many Internet users yesterday faced difficulties accessing the Bangladeshi Google site following problems in Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL).

Addict kills boy

A drug addict allegedly drowned a boy in a water drum and stabbed the boy's father while trying to rob him in an apartment in the capital's Gendaria area yesterday.

A forgotten poll pledge

Ruling Awami League in the first two years of its tenure did not keep one of its major electoral pledges of publishing annual wealth statements and sources of income of the prime minister, ministers, lawmakers and their families.

5 drown in boat capsize

Locals yesterday recovered the bodies of five fishermen who had drowned after their trawler capsized in the Meghna Friday.

Child dies after taking vaccine

A three-year-old boy yesterday died allegedly after taking polio vaccine at Toilokup village under Kaliganj upazila in the district.

Engineer back home after 8 months of captivity

“It's like rebirth,” said ABM Giasuddin Azam Khan, the second engineer of a German tanker, on his return home.

Khulna brick kiln fined for land grabbing

A Department of Environment (DoE) team yesterday fined a brick kiln owner Tk 20 lakh and seized five lakh bricks for setting up an illegal brick kiln in Fultola upazila illegally occupying 25 acres of agricultural land and a homestead of poor local farmers.

Mild cold wave grips North

Another spell of mild cold wave is sweeping across two divisions and four districts while a moderate one grips another district in the country bringing misery to the lives of the poor and the disadvantaged.

1,200 sued for Ctg clash

Patiya police on Friday night filed two cases against 1,200 unnamed people in connection with a clash over the control of Baitul Ekram mosque.

Proceedings adjourned till Jan 13

Two prosecution witnesses yesterday gave depositions against 49 accused of 24 Rifles Battalion and rifles security unit of which 41 cross-examined them at a BDR special court at Darbar Hall in Pilkhana.

Husband throws acid on wife

A woman received burn injuries as her husband and his first wife allegedly threw acid on her early yesterday at the city's Mirpur.

AL leader shot in city

Miscreants yesterday evening shot a city Awami League leader in Agargoan area leaving him critically injured.

Biman pilots to asks for withdrawal of notices

Biman Airlines Pilots' Association sends a letter today to the Biman managing director asking to withdraw the show cause notices served on seven of their colleagues.

Editorial

Rice price keeps soaring

Rice price situation continues to worry us. Government decision to import 2.5.lac tonnes of rice from Vietnam at a price 35 per cent higher compared to four months ago is disquieting news to be sure.

Moving against canal and river grabbers

The Dhaka district administration means to reclaim five canals within the capital city within this month. That sounds like a decisive move and we hope it is. We are also enthused by the idea of the administration taking those who have been developing housing projects illegally through encroaching on the Buriganga, Turag and Balu rivers to task. Now, such moves are clearly reflective of public concern on everything that has been happening to our canals and rivers, a worry which has for a long time been reflected in editorial comments and even judicial moves. Obviously, the grabbing which has gone on where canals and rivers are concerned has had grave ramifications for the environment, not to say a clear disrespect for the law on the part of those responsible. Now that the district administration has resolved to recover such lost public property, we hope the enterprise succeeds. For that to happen, the authorities must take into account the recent High Court directive regarding a demarcation of rivers in a concrete manner and ensure that the recovered canals and rivers are protected by green zones around them.

Sports

Shakib now a Knight Rider

In a matter of three minutes yesterday afternoon, the rampant Kolkata Knight Riders swooped on Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan in the auction of the India Premier League held in Bangalore.

Naeem salvages Gazi

Naeem Islam's unbeaten half-century steered Gazi Tank to a five-wicket win over Surjo Tarun while Old DOHS beat Prime Doleshwar by 37 runs in yesterday's Premier League encounters.

Gambhir: 2.4 million man

Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir was snapped up for a record $2.4 million on Saturday's first day of bidding at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for players.

'The unluckiest man of 1999'

Daily Star Sport (DSS): How did it feel when you heard that you would play the 1999 World Cup?

'Nafees threat for Imrul, Junaed'

Jamie Siddons placed the onus on the competing batsmen ahead of the Tigers' World Cup training camp that begins today with 23 players.

India, England matches sold out: LOC

The local organising committee (LOC) of the World Cup confirmed yesterday that the tickets of Bangladesh's matches against India and England have already been sold out at all the branches of the designated bank outlets.

School football

Saint Joseph's High School pounded AK International School 7-0 in their Ashiyan City Dhaka Metropolis School Football tie at the Abahani Club Ground yesterday. Pias and Ishrat scored braces while Shakib, Taufik, and Farhan scored one each for the winners.

Jr gymnastics

The 30th National Senior and the 20th National Junior gymnastics competition began yesterday.

Robin, Andy in Brisbane final

Top seed Robin Soderling will take on second-ranked Andy Roddick in the final of the Brisbane International after both men survived tough semi-final examinations on Saturday.

MSC take solo lead

Mohammedan Sporting Club took a solo lead in the Grameen-phone Bangladesh League points table with a 2-1 win over their Chittagong namesakes at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Pakistan dominate

A crucial unbroken 128-run stand between Misbahul Haq and Asad Shafiq saw Pakistan regain control of the first Test against New Zealand on the second day on Saturday.

Hilditch on the defensive

Laying the blame squarely with the players for the humiliating Ashes loss, Australian selection panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said that the selectors had "done a very good job" and reiterated that he won't step down from his post.

Campaign peaks in Rangpur

Campaigns for the upcoming municipality polls are running in full swing in Rangpur division with ruling Awami League having to contend with its rebel candidates the most.

Zvonareva demolishes world No. 1

Russian tennis ace Vera Zvonareva threw down the gauntlet ahead of the Australian Open with an awe-inspiring demolition of world number one Caroline Wozniacki in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Liverpool sack Hodgson

Liverpool on Saturday announced that manager Roy Hodgson has left the club by mutual consent, with Kenny Dalglish put in charge for Sunday's FA Cup tie against Manchester United.

Uzbekistan off to a flier

Odil Akhmedov and Server Djeparov shattered Qatari dreams with second-half goals to hand Uzbekistan a 2-0 win over the below-par hosts in the opening game of the Asian Cup on Friday.

Cesc rescues Arsenal

Arsenal needed a last-gasp penalty from captain Cesc Fabregas to snatch a dramatic 1-1 draw with Leeds on Saturday as the Championship outfit were denied a famous FA Cup third round upset.

Perez rules out winter signings

Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez has told coach Jose Mourinho he cannot sign a new striker in the winter transfer window to cover for the injured Gonzalo Higuain, a sports newspaper said Saturday.

City snap up Dzeko

English Premier League title-chasers Manchester City on Friday completed the signing of Bosnia and Herzegovina striker Edin Dzeko from German club Wolfsburg.

Metalist sign Blanco

Midfielder Sebastian Blanco on Friday became Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv's third Argentine player when he signed from Lanus for six million euros.

Sidwell joins Fulham

Former Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell returned to his native London on Friday when he signed for Fulham for an undisclosed fee on an initial six-month deal.

Khumalo completes Spurs switch

South African international defender Bongani Khumalo completed his switch from Supersport United to Tottenham on Friday promising to bring his "addiction" to winning to the English Premier Leagie side.

'Pep is world's best’

Barcelona's Josep Guardiola is the world's best coach, the Spanish club's Argentine international Lionel Messi said Friday in a television interview.

Footballer fakes kidnapping

A Brazilian footballer who faked his own kidnapping to get out of a team training session faces up to six months in prison, police said Friday.

Okafor commits suicide

Former Nigerian international defender Uche Okafor, who featured at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, killed himself at his Texas home, police said Friday.

Business

Jute pulls in investors

The jute industry sees a surge in investment, as nearly a dozen companies are set to spin out jute goods and value-added items, inspired by the rising global demand for green products.

Real estate on the mend

Real estate sales rebounded through the year 2010, despite challenges in getting new gas and electricity connections that compelled the realtors to delay asset handover to customers.

Rice OMS fails to contain Ctg prices

The open market sales (OMS) of rice have failed to contain the soaring prices in Chittagong although the drive began seven days back.

Govt reviews policy on labour migration to Malaysia

The government is reviewing its policy to put in place a transparent and safe system enabling private recruiting agencies to send migrant workers to Malaysia.

23 overseas missions surpass export targets

The majority of Bangladesh's overseas missions, including key ones like Washington, Berlin, Ottawa, Madrid, The Hague, London and Paris, achieved their export targets for the first five months in the current fiscal year.

Prime bourse passed a negative week

The stockmarket passed its first week of the new year with a negative tone, as key indices of the prime bourse plummeted 555 points.

Akhaura trade resumes

Exports and imports through Akhaura land port in Brahmanbaria resumed in full swing yesterday.

BB chief stresses change in farmers' fortune

Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr Atiur Rahman has said the fates of the farmers should be changed first for attaining the country's sustainable development.

New MD for Fareast Ins

Ekramul Ameen joined Fareast Islami Life Insurance Company as managing director recently, said a statement. Prior to the appointment he was the managing director of National Life Insurance Company.

Dhaka to get more OMS trucks

Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque has directed the authorities to increase the open market sale (OMS) of rice in Dhaka, in an effort to keep the prices of food grains affordable for the poor.

Goldman's Facebook coup embarrasses rest of Wall Street

Goldman Sachs' rivals must be kicking themselves. The firm's near $2 billion investment hook-up with Facebook is relatively small beans financially, but it's a big win in franchise terms. After the lumps Goldman took last year, the deal shows the firm can still lead the way wrapping its tentacles around a key client for mutual benefit.

Benefit from info sharing

Sharing of technology, products and services among banks is a growing phenomenon in the world, which is shaping the banking business where risk and compliance issues are putting the banks in a knot.

Motivation goes beyond pay

Money is important in life, especially when you are working. But it does not always get the job done when it comes to motivation, as you have to get a lot of things right to have a lower staff-turnover rate than your competitors. At Citibank NA Bangladesh, a leading global financial services company, the turnover rate is “one of the lowest” in the industry, according to Rashed Maqsood, managing director of the bank.

On motivating staff

Asign in front of the gate of a factory read: “If you are like a wheelbarrow, going no further than you are pushed, then do not apply for work here.” The sign makes it vivid that non-motivated people are useless and unworthy of doing anything in an enterprise.

G20 to tackle food prices

The world's biggest economies are working to find ways to bring down soaring food prices, a G20 official said on Friday, as top exporter Thailand vowed to keep rice supply steady and avert a repeat of the 2008 food crisis.

High time for social website IPOs

LinkedIn may not be the only social networking website that plans to go public this year -- other companies are likely to tap the market before Facebook sucks up a significant amount of investor cash.

Toyota, BP among most hated US firms

Toyota and BP have joined a familiar cast of airlines, banks and telecoms providers as the most loathed companies in the United States, according to a survey published Thursday.

How Ford became last man standing

Bill Ford Jr. just can't let the good times roll. In late December, Ford, 53, was on a family ski vacation in Colorado but found himself unable to put aside dark visions of how too much success could lead to the next crisis for the auto industry.

Shanghai overtakes Singapore as world's busiest port

Shanghai said it overtook Singapore for the first time in 2010 to become the world's busiest container port, as the global economic recovery boosted cargo traffic through China's business centre.

Asia stocks mixed

Asia's New Year stocks rally showed signs of fading on Friday amid caution ahead of US jobs data, although Tokyo's Nikkei hit an eight-month high on a firmer dollar, which gave a boost to auto stocks.

Nippon Steel, Tata sign $480m India steel joint venture

Nippon Steel Corp, the world's No.4 steelmaker, and Tata Steel Ltd said on Friday their $480 million cold-rolled sheet steel joint venture will begin production in India by late 2013.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Jan 2- 6 , 2011
International Markets:
The first week of trading in the new year saw the dollar surging ahead on robust data from the US. On Thursday the dollar steadied after surging the previous day on strong US private sector jobs data, but investors were reluctant to chase the greenback higher ahead of Friday's payrolls numbers. A string of robust US data have driven the dollar higher on expectations that the world's largest economy would recovery faster than other major economies. The ADP jobs report on Wednesday showed a record 297,000 private-sector jobs were created in December, boosting expectations for Friday's official jobs report. US factory and services sectors' data this week has also buoyed the greenback. The ADP report drove the dollar's 1.5-percent gain versus the yen on Wednesday, its biggest one-day rise in three months, although dollar-selling by Japanese exporters tempered gains. By 1011 GMT, it was down 0.2 pct on the day at 83.09 yen. The single currency got a slight boost after Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that China was willing to buy about 6 billion euros of Spanish government debt. The market gave little reaction to data showing that euro zone economic sentiment jumped in December while retail sales fell in November. The dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against a basket of major currencies, as steady at 80.341, a sharp turnaround from last week's 78.775 trough. Even then, the dollar's gains could be limited unless the data changes expectations for the US Federal Reserve to keep its quantitative easing in place through June.

Metropolitan

PM asks army to earn people's trust

Bangladesh Army played a sparkling role for the country whenever needed, apart from their professional duties.

Trader murdered at Kamrangirchar

Criminals killed a trader and hung his body from the ceiling of his shop early yesterday at Pakapool Bazar in the city's Kamrangirchar area.

Dhaka needs $10b for adaptation

Bangladesh needs US $10 billion for mitigation and adaptation to climate changes in the next five to 10 years, said Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, co-ordinator of the National Climate Change Negotiation Committee, yesterday.

DU proposes alternative route on the campus

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday proposed an alternative route for the city's proposed elevated railway that goes over the campus from Shahbagh to Chankharpool.

Call to nominate honest people

Citizen for Good Governance (Shujon) yesterday urged the political parties to nominate honest and efficient candidates who work for people's interest.

Stop unplanned housing to keep Dhaka livable

Dhaka will turn into an unlivable city unless a plan is immediately put in place to develop a smooth transport system and stop unplanned housing, said environmentalists yesterday at a conference in the capital.

167 students fall sick at JU hall

Impure water has caused diseases to 167 students of Maulana Bhasani Hall of Jahangirnagar University (JU) since last two weeks, though JU authorities put the number at three.

DU for alternative route

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday proposed an alternative route for the city's proposed elevated (partially) railway that goes over the campus from Shahbagh to Chankharpool.

Ctg city AL factions to hold separate programmes

Intra-party feud and division in Awami League (AL) Chittagong city unit has intensified again over celebrating government's two-year term and marking the Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu.

AL breaches pledge: Jamaat

Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday said Awami League has breached its electoral pledge on submission of wealth statement of its ministers and lawmakers.

Govt responsible for HR violation

The government must take responsibility of human rights violations including killing in border areas and in the name of 'crossfire', said speakers at a discussion yesterday.

BSF returns body of Bangladeshi girl

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday returned the body of Bangladeshi girl to Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) through a flag meeting in the West Rumkhana border area under Fulbari upazila here.

First round of NID observed

First round of the 19th National Immunisation Day (NID) was observed yesterday across the country by administering polio vaccine to nearly 2.2 crore children for maintaining its polio-free status.

Road accidents kill 3

At least three people were killed in separate road accidents in Thakurgaon and Chapainawabganj on Friday and yesterday.

Intra-Ctg train service soon

State Minister for Environment and Forests Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday said government plans to start a train service in Chittagong from airport to Bhatiary and Bhatiary to Battali within a short time.

Call to conserve biodiversity

Speakers at a conference yesterday said biodiversity conservation is needed at individual, national, and international levels to ensure availability of resources to the future generations.

Primary Edn Week begins today

The National Primary Education Week 2011 begins in the country today.

BNP joint meet today

BNP will hold a joint meeting today to chalk out elaborate programmes to observe the 75th birth anniversary of former president Ziaur Rahman.

Santosh Gupta's birth anniversary

Today is the 86th birth anniversary of late Santosh Gupta, a veteran journalist, columnist, freedom fighter and noted intellectual of the country, says a press release.

IUB recalls Prof Mobin

Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) at a programme yesterday recalled the life and legacy of its former vice-chancellor Prof Bazlul Mobin Chowdhury.

Prof Farida Huq laid to rest

Prof Dr Farida Huq, wife of Barrister Rafique-ul-Huq, laid to rest at Banani graveyard in the city after namaz-e-janaza yesterday, says a press release.

15 Saudi-bound passengers held at airport

Immigration police yesterday arrested 15 Saudi-bound passengers at the Shahjalal International Airport on charge of using forged passports.

BDR mutiny: 2 witnesses testify against 49 accused

Two witnesses testified against 49 accused members of 24 Rifles Battalion and Rifles Security Unit (RSU) at a special court in Pilkhana BDR headquarters yesterday.

Agriculture of haor areas needs reform

A holistic reform of agriculture in haor areas is needed to ensure food security and build a hunger-free country, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.

National

Indiscriminate sand lifting threatens Kuakata dyke

Kuakata flood control embankment and adjoining sea beach area are under threat as a local influential group has continued illegal sand extraction from a ditch outside the embankment for the last six months.

More mayor aspirants vow to check crime, corruption

Mayoral candidates in Khagrachhari, Lalmonirhat and Chapainawabganj have pledged to the voters that they will work for checking crime and corruption and ensuring civic amenities for the townspeople, if elected.

Mustard farming expanding in 10 south-western districts

Mustard cultivation is expanding in 10 south-western districts.

AL in Jhenidah, Pabna expels rebel candidates

Jhenidah and Pabna district Awami League have expelled six local leaders for contesting the upcoming municipal poll in violation of party decision.

Two outlaws held, one freed on bail: Arms recovered

Police arrested two outlaws in Kushtia and Pabna on Wednesday and Thursday.

4 women activists of Hizb-ut Towhid held

Four women activists of controversial Hizb-ut Towhid were held on Friday evening at Chhatadap village under Atwary upazila in Panchagarh while they were distributing Islamist books and leaflets.

Robbers kill trader

Robbers shot dead a trader in Habiganj and looted passengers of seven buses in Sherpur yesterday.

For refusing to bring dowry money

A woman and her baby girl sustained burn injuries allegedly as her in-laws poured hot milk on her body for refusing to bring dowry money in Soeyalbari ghat area of Bandar upazila Friday.

Election Fever

Khagrachhari: No BNP man to vie for mayor post
Five people are now in the race for mayoral post in Khagrachhari municipality. No BNP man will contest for the post of mayor as one local Awami League (AL) leader, one Khagrachhari Nagorik Committee (KNC) backed leader, one United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) backed leader and two independent candidates remain in the race, reports a correspondent.

Man killed in tiger attack

A tiger killed a middle-aged man at about 9 am on Friday at Helatala Baushi Canal near the Sundarbans under Koira upazila of Khulan district. The victim was identified as Rahmat Ali, 50, son of late Mohor Ali of Ksuhodanga village under the same upazila. The victim went to the Sundarbans with permission from forest department on December 21 for collecting golpata, a kind of big tree leaves. A tiger attacked and killed Rahmat when he woke up and went to take bath in the canal. Others who went to the area with him recovered his body from the forest at 4 pm on Friday.

Ex-UP member shot dead

A former union parishad (UP) member was shot dead in Lalpur upazila on Friday night. The deceased was identified as Akbar Ali, 70, of Bilmaria union Parishad of the upazila. Officer-in-charge Tariqul Islam of Lalpur police station said, two armed criminals stormed the house of Akbar at Mohorkoya village at about 8:00 pm and sprayed bullets on him. He was first taken to Lalpur upazila health complex and later shifted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital where he died at about 10:00 pm. Police suspect rivals might have killed him over land dispute.

Kidnappers demand ransom

Abductors of a village doctor yesterday demanded Tk 10 lakh ransom for his release at Jhoudia in Sadar upazila. Police said criminals called Pabitra Prasad, 35, son of Durga Prashad out of his home on Thursday at about 7:30pm. The gang picked up Pabitra at gunpoint. Hearing the news, police and villagers and a team from Rab-12 rushed to the spot but failed to trace out the victim. On Friday night, an unknown caller using Pabitra's mobile phone contacted his family members and demanded Tk 10 lakh for his release.

Five bombs recovered

Five hand bombs were recovered by Narail police at around 4.00 pm yesterday from a house owned by Omar Ali at village Jurulia in Shahabad union under Sadar upazila. Police said, acting on secret information, a team went to the place and recovered a packet of five fresh bombs. SI Shankor of Narail said that all the bombs were wrapped with polythene. None was arrested as those were found in an abandoned condition, he added.

Letters

Optimum use of land in BD

Our per capita land is seriously scarce. Therefore, we must always be extra cautious, smart and innovative in planning and taking up projects that involve huge land mass. Case in point is the proposed Bangabandhu City and Airport. The project is needed and is really grand in its scale. But do we have so much of land mass to go ahead? I am not against having an airport with future needs. But I strongly feel we are simply rushing to 'launch' such programme. Local people are apprehensive about its impact on their life and economy. They do not see any good in mass displacement and local culture is likely to be disturbed. Worst of all, most of the land lost to the mega project will be arable land. Farmers will lose their livelihood and a lot of crops will be lost as a result. We can not forget how important is our food security, when every hour there are new mouths to be fed!

Setting up permanent power plants

This vital matter was very rightly taken up in a front page news report published in a local English daily on December 29th. It is a cause for worry, that no prompt positive action is being taken to expedite the important matter of issuing letter of intent and sign the agreement for setting up four already government approved power plants. As stated in the report, Summit Group and GE Energy &Associates have been selected by the cabinet committee for purchase, to set up three power plants for generating 1350MW of power, while a Malaysian Group is to set up one rated at 150 to 225 MW in Bhola.

Unrealistic ideas to resolve traffic jam

The article published in The Daily Star on December 29, 2010 entitled 'Finance minister on traffic congestion' has rightfully identified the true nature of our country. If we wonder why things do not work in our country, it is because we perhaps, do not really want them to work.

Pakistan scene

After a female suicide bomber killed 43 in Pakistan recently, The Lahore based Daily Times ran an editorial on Dec 26 on the incident.

Why they talk too much?

After a landslide victory in December 2009 election, the present government has spent two years in office. One of the main reasons behind this victory was the immense corruption of the BNP-led 4 party alliance, of which the countrymen were informed by the media and some other watchdog organizations like TIB. When the AL-led grand alliance spoke against corruption before the election, we thought they would really do something to eradicate corruption. But of late, comments of some ministers of the government regarding TIB's annual report have raised a question in my mind whether they really want to do anything to curb corruption. Why are they (some ministers who seemingly want to be jack of all trades) so eager to talk to media about each and every issue?

New traffic rule

I don't think restricting cars to ply the Dhaka streets is practical without creating first class and safe public transportation in the city. The present state of public transportation is highly unsafe, unhygienic and very unappealing.

Price of rice

To arrest the rising trend of rice price the government has started OMS of rice. Under the open market economy this sort of intervention is appreciable. OMS is a method to arrest the price hike, especially when the situation is not entirely dependent on normal supply and demand.

Need for strong Islamic media

This refers to the report, “OIC chief affirms need for strong Islamic media.” Unfortunately, especially after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Muslims are stereotyped as extremists, fundamentalists, fascists, terrorists and suicide bombers. A school of thought in the West play double standards, and some of their remarks and comments naturally fuel Muslim anger. Muslim anger is also fueled by the deaths of over a million Iraqis following the US invasion and Washington's support for Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, and the ongoing US occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries.

Bureaucratic efficiency

The style of governance has changed for the worse (compared to the British era). Elected political regimes in Dhaka go after new and mega projects, for publicity, and not for scheduled completion of the projects. The efficiency of the daily routine jobs is neglected.

Voice against oppression

Like many others I also love the heart-touching and soothing ghazals of Mehdi Hasan. One of my favourite numbers from among his numerous songs is:

International

Pakistani, Indian officials to meet in Bhutan

Pakistani and Indian officials will meet at a regional conference in Bhutan next month to resume a rapprochement process between the nuclear-armed rivals, an official said yesterday.

Binayak sentence miscarriage of justice

Coming out in support of Binayak Sen, Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen said here yesterday that the life sentence given to the doctor-activist looks like a "miscarriage of justice".

Iraq Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr urges Iraqis to unite

Anti-US Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has told an enthusiastic crowd of followers in Iraq to give the country's new government a chance.

Six more die due to cold in UP; death toll rises to 68

Six more persons died in different parts of Uttar Pradesh due to extremely cold conditions as mercury dipped sharply at a number of places, taking the death toll in the state to 68 this winter.

Iran nuke talks set for January 21-22: Turkey

Talks between world powers and Iran on its disputed nuclear programme will take place in Istanbul on January 21 and 22, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday, local media reported.

US wants Twitter details of Wikileaks activists

The US government has subpoenaed the social networking site Twitter for personal details of people connected to Wikileaks, court documents show.

Intense US push led up to Sudan referendum

An intense US diplomatic push, personally led by President Barack Obama and motivated by fears of cataclysmic bloodshed, helped underwrite a landmark independence referendum in Sudan today.

South Sudan not ready for split

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has warned that Southern Sudan will face instability if it votes to secede from the north in the upcoming referendum.

North Korea renews South overture

North Korea says it wants to reopen talks with the South - the latest in a series of conciliatory gestures.

South Sudan's Muslims welcome secession

Muslims living in Sudan's largely Christian south, which holds a referendum on independence today, say they will vote for secession, even though some new arrivals are nervous about their future.

PM pledges financial help

Prime Minister Julia Gillard pledged financial support for Australia's flood-hit northeast yesterday during a tour of the most heavily inundated parts of Queensland state, but warned the recovery would be slow.

Chile's recognition of Palestine useless: Israel

Chile's recognition of an independent Palestinian state is "useless" and will not help advance peace, a senior Israeli official told AFP yesterday.

Sudan goes for historical vote today

Western envoys, Hollywood stars and elder statesmen all gathered in Sudan as the war-ravaged south was finally poised to have its say on independence after a 50-year wait today.

Iran claims nuclear breakthrough

Atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi declared in a report yesterday that Iran is capable of making its own nuclear fuel plates and rods, technology the West says the Islamic republic does not possess.

S Africa flooding kills 50, hundreds homeless

Heavy flooding has left at least 50 people dead and hundreds homeless in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province as residents continue to battle adverse weather conditions that have plagued the country since mid-December.

Israeli soldier killed in 'friendly fire' at Gaza border

An Israeli soldier has been killed and four others injured by so-called friendly fire near to the Gaza border, the Israeli military says.

Two dead, 400 hurt in Algerian riots

Two people were killed and 400 injured, 300 of them police, in riots in Algeria linked to rising food costs and unemployment, Interior Minister Dahou Oul Kablia said yesterday as the government scrambled to defuse the crisis.

S Africa may restrict foreign land ownership

South African President Jacob Zuma yesterday said foreign land ownership may be restricted in a bid to revive lagging reforms to transfer land to the black majority.

15 beheaded bodies found in Mexico

The decapitated bodies of 15 men were found yesterday near a shopping centre in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco, the state of Guerrero's public security office said.

Arts & Entertainment

In Bangabandhu's presence

Dhaka International Trade Fair 2011 is on at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the fair on January 1. Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) organised the month-long event.

Tajul's fondness for abstraction and organic forms

Tapestry, a form of textile art, is woven by hand on a perpendicular loom. It is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike cloth weaving where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible. In this way, a colourful pattern or image is created. Rashid Choudhury was the pioneer of this art in this country and definitely the finest artist of this particular genre till today. He successfully introduced tapestry in various forms. His works are unparalleled in their subjects and unique work. This great artist created a distinct path in our subcontinent.

Winter melodies around Poush

Bangladesh Poush Mela Udjapon Parishad organised a two-day Poush Mela at Ramna Botomul. The festival was inaugurated by eminent cultural personality and adviser of Mela Udjapon Parishad, Ramendu Majumdar, on January 7. The Parishad has been celebrating the festival in the city for the last 12 years. The festival is usually observed on the first day of Poush.

Gearing up for the peak season

Female jatra and drama artistes are gearing up for the peak season to increase their earnings. For the rest of the year, however the 150 female artistes in the district, including 60 in the district town, face hard times. Many are compelled to live in tiny houses mostly in Baghmara and Krishtapur areas of the town.

Bijoy Mela for working children

To build awareness on our Liberation War among working children, a day-long Bijoy Mela (victory fair) was observed in Kurigram recently.

OP-ED

Wrong turn for microcredit

In the 1970s, when I began working here on what would eventually be called ''microcredit,'' one of my goals was to eliminate the presence of loan sharks who grow rich by preying on the poor. In 1983, I founded Grameen Bank to provide small loans that people, especially poor women, could use to bring themselves out of poverty. At that time, I never imagined that one day microcredit would give rise to its own breed of loan sharks.

Game between bald eagle and dragon

President Hue Jintao of China is visiting Washington this month to meet with President Obama. Both have a long list of items to resolve. They are likely to chalk out strategic goals that would ensure peace and stability in political and economic spheres around the world. Today, the USA ranks first in terms of wealth while China is second in the world

Breaking the Israel-Palestine deadlock

While intensively engaged in illegal settlement expansion, the government of Israel is also seeking to deal with two problems: a global campaign of what it perceives as "delegitimation" -- that is, objections to its crimes and withdrawal of participation in them -- and a parallel campaign of legitimation of Palestine.

The murder of a Pakistani liberal

Long years ago, in the days of General Ziaul Haq, Salman Taseer wrote a poignant biography of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It was, of course, adulatory in tone and some copies were available in bookstores in Dhaka. Taseer was a bright young man at the time and showed promise of a scholarly career in writing. Those who observed Pakistan at that point imagined that Taseer and others like him, all of whom were engaged in their many ways in the struggle against the Zia brutality, would someday transform Pakistan into a liberal state, well away from the sordid military-civilian bureaucratic complex it had become trapped in despite the loss of East Pakistan in 1971.

A column about endings

MANY people think murdering their parents is a bad thing. In general, it's a lifestyle choice which gets a bad rap.



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