The Daily Star

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Sunday, October 26, 2014


News of: Sunday, 16th of January, 2011

Front Page

9 cops die as truck rams van

Nine police personnel were killed as a truck rammed their van on Dhaka-Sylhet highway in Narsingdi yesterday.

Pricier the rice, longer the queue

Holding her nine-month-old baby in one arm, Salma Khanam braved the chilly morning breeze to buy subsidised rice at the Open Market Sales (OMS) point at Begum Rokeya Sarani in the capital's Mirpur area.

Move on to spot corrupt

An initiative has been taken to identify the corrupt in the judiciary, said Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque yesterday.

School buses hit city roads

The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) yesterday launched a bus service for school going students from Pallabi to Azimpur to ease off traffic jam in the capital.

Ode to a fighter

Some school kids, on their way home, suddenly stopped their bicycles by a paddy field. They got down as if they have seen something terrifying. But no, with utmost respect, they saluted a man carrying loads of Aman on his shoulder from the field.

Little cheer for ADP

Although the government took notably huge development task in the last budget, it could only utilise a disappointing 27 percent of the total outlay in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) in the first half of the current fiscal.

Another killed in 'shootout'

An alleged mugger was killed and another injured in a “shootout” between their gang and police in the city's West Rampura early yesterday.

A classical night with STAR

An audience of several hundred were enthralled by dazzling performances of famed artistes at the classical night organised by The Daily Star yesterday as part of the celebration of its 20th founding anniversary.

Mercury to go up today

Temperature will rise gradually from today taming the cold wave now sweeping the country but dense fog could continue disrupting communications for the next three-four days.

Smoking damages gene in minutes

Those first few puffs on a cigarette can within minutes cause genetic damage linked to cancer, US scientists said in a study released yesterday.

Hasina off to UAE

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves for the United Arab Emirates this morning on a four-day official visit to attend the fourth World Future Energy Summit (WFES).

New CNG fare from today

New fare for the four-stroke CNG-run auto-rickshaw comes into effect today. The lowest fare has been set at Tk 25.

Better gas supply in week

A legal notice was served yesterday on the government asking it to take necessary steps within seven days to ensure sufficient supply of gas for households in the capital and to control the price of liquid petroleum (LP) gas cylinder.

Over 100 killed in stampede at Indian festival

More than 100 Hindu devotees were killed after a road accident triggered a stampede among thousands of pilgrims returning from an Indian religious festival, officials said yesterday.

Hillary calls Hasina, lauds her role against extremism

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her stance against terrorism and militancy.

We got nothing out of joining grand alliance: Ershad

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said that his party got nothing out of joining the grand alliance.

2 injured in CNG station fire

Two people were injured in a fire at a CNG refuelling station on Dhaka-Aricha highway at Genda, Savar yesterday.

Saarc to get first woman secy gen

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) is set to get a woman secretary general, for the first time since its inception 25 years ago.

Defiant Iran says it's enriching uranium 'strongly'

A defiant Iran said yesterday its controversial uranium enrichment programme was progressing "very strongly", as it opened the doors of two of its atomic sites to foreign diplomats.

Editorial

One more shocking murder

We are shocked by the murder in broad daylight of a local Awami League leader in the city on Friday. The death is all the more disturbing because the incident took place as Fazlul Huq, general secretary of the ward 41 unit of the ruling party, was on his way to offer Juma prayers in a mosque. We condemn the killing and offer our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased. At the same time, we cannot but point out that the incident is a potent sign of how law and order has been taking a slide in these past few weeks. The manner in which individuals have been attacked and killed are all a pointer to the blatant nature in which crime has been committed in recent times.

Exit of Bin Ali

After weeks of upheaval, which started as a protest against rising food prices and then snowballed into a popular movement ,Tunisia turned the page on President Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali, ushering in an opportunity for change. He ruled the Arab country for 23 years with an iron fist now making way to Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi who has taken over provisionally as interim President. He has promised to call' free and plural' elections in six months.

Sports

Mash just wants to play

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza yesterday declared that he would do all that is necessary to play the World Cup, although he is running against time and assessment.

Tigers help paralytic

The Bangladesh cricketers practising at the Academy ground in Mirpur yesterday were served a sobering reminder of life's hardships when they were visited by Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, a young man whose life has been blighted by paralysis.

One club rule again?

The almost unobserved domestic cricket heated up for all the wrong reasons prior to today's titanic clash between traditional rivals Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani in the Premier Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

A wicket & a hattrick

Daily Star Sport (DSS): How did it feel when you heard that you would play the 2003 World Cup?

Brothers halt Russel

Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra assumed solo lead of the Grameenphone Bangladesh League despite being held to a 2-2 draw by a spirited Brothers Union at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.

Brothers halt Russel

Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra assumed solo lead of the Grameenphone Bangladesh League despite being held to a 2-2 draw by a spirited Brothers Union at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.

'Abahani have no chance'

"To tell you the truth, if we can play our normal game, Abahani have no chance of winning" were the words from Mohammedan skipper Shakib Al Hasan, completely ruling out their archrivals in today's high-voltage Premier League match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Siddikur slides

Siddikur Rahman slid to a joint fourth position at the end of the third round of the Gujarat Kensville Challenge with a one-over-par score at the Kensville Golf Club in Ahmedabad yesterday.

India out for 190

India collapsed to their second successive sub-200 score against South Africa as they succumbed to the hosts' pace battery to be all out for 190 within 48 overs in the second ODI at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg yesterday.

Federer plays mind game

Reigning champion Roger Federer Saturday piled pressure on Rafael Nadal by calling him "favourite" for the Australian Open, where the Spaniard is gunning for his fourth major title in a row.

Pak domination

Pakistan again exposed the brittleness of the New Zealand batting line up when they reduced the Black Caps to 246 for six at stumps on the first day of the second Test on Saturday.

No venue worry: ICC

Cricket's global chief Saturday admitted some venues were not yet ready for the World Cup in South Asia but vowed there would be no repeat of chaos that marred the build-up to the Commonwealth Games.

Hewitt readies for record

Lleyton Hewitt will enter the record books as he embarks on a 15th Australian Open campaign, a feat made even sweeter by his 7-5, 6-3 defeat of Gael Monfils to win the Kooyong Classic on Saturday.

'ODI Don's brainchild'

One-day cricket was the brainchild of Sir Donald Bradman and it was only money and nothing else which encouraged its introduction into the international arena, believes former Australian captain Bill Lawry.

Heineken Open goes to Ferrer

Top-seeded David Ferrer won his second Heineken Open title with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Argentina's David Nalbandian on Saturday.

Dortmund extend lead

Borussia Dortmund struck three goals in six minutes to ease past Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 on Friday to extend their lead to 13 points as the Bundesliga restarted after a winter break.

Harry eyes MU win

Harry Redknapp believes Manchester United will face the biggest threat to their unbeaten record when the Premier League leaders visit Tottenham on Sunday.

O'Neill in, Grant out?

West Ham are preparing to sack manager Avram Grant and will replace him with former Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill, Sky Sports television reported Saturday.

Ruud demands Real return

Hamburg striker Ruud van Nistelrooy was reported on Saturday to have demanded to be allowed to return to Spain after Real Madrid expressed interest in re-signing the Dutchman.

Bahrain thrash India

Striker Ismaeel Abdulatif scored four goals as Bahrain swept past India 5-2 at the Al Sadd Stadium on Friday to end the Bhangra Boys's interest in the Asian Cup.

Bob wants minute's silence

India's English coach Bob Houghton on Saturday called for a minute's silence at the Asian Cup for the more than 100 people killed in a stampede in Kerala.

Jones moving to Rovers

Schalke's out-of-favour USA midfielder Jermaine Jones looks set to go on loan to England's Blackburn Rovers until the end of the season.

Makoun joins Villa

Cameroon international Jean II Makoun has joined Aston Villa from French side Lyon in a three-and-a-half year deal, the English Premier League side confirmed Saturday.

Olic out for season

Bayern Munich's injured Croatian striker Ivica Olic said on Saturday he is unlikely to play again this season as he recovers from a knee injury.

Is loving stalking?

Russian beauty Maria Sharapova accused a New Zealand journalist of "stalking" her Saturday after he asked if she spent time with Anna Kournikova and frequented a club for "hot Russians".

Business

Drug makers double sales in three years

Top medicine makers recorded robust growth last year at an average 25 percent, riding on people's growing health awareness and purchasing power, according to the market players.

Summit Shipping set for IPO roadshow

Summit Shipping Ltd plans to go public in an attempt to raise funds for business expansion and repayment of bank loans.

Food imports look pricey

Imported foods are likely to go pricier through the first quarter of the current year, mainly due to tight global supply as unfavourable climates continue to hurt crops in parts of the world.

Mitsubishi to target India, Brazil

Mitsubishi Motors will streamline production in Japan, the United States and Europe while increasing output in emerging markets including Brazil and India.

Export earnings from EU to reach $12b

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said Bangladesh's export earnings might exceed $20 billion in the current fiscal year, surpassing the target.

Panasonic launches novel tech products

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic launched its multifunction printers and hybrid IP-PBX systems for the Bangladesh market in Dhaka yesterday to meet communication needs of small- to mid-size offices.

Bhutanese businessmen urged to import Bangladeshi goods

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Asif Ibrahim yesterday called upon Bhutanese businessmen to import pharmaceuticals, chemical, ready-made garments, IT accessories, leather and leather goods from Bangladesh.

AIG recapitalisation deal closes

The recapitalisation of bailed-out insurer American International Group Inc closed on Friday, leaving the government with a 92 percent stake that it plans to sell quickly.

Nygard boss in town

Peter J Nygard, the founder and chairman of private corporate organisation Nygard, has arrived in Dhaka, on a three-day visit.

BKMEA training: lifeline to many

Nupur's eyes glittered with dreams of living in Dhaka with her husband Noor Alam, as she had just completed training in sewing and knitting from the Payerabandh project of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufactures and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

India's airlines spend big but airports are lacking

An upstart Indian carrier's $15 billion order with Airbus is a bold bet on travel demand in the fast-growing country. But ageing airports and over-ambition could yet clip the industry's wings.

GP blazes green trail

There was a time when heavy use of conventional lighting and air-conditioning system prevailed among the newly-built corporate houses of Bangladesh. Some corporate houses -- big or small -- still follow this rule of thumb while building their new office.

An eco-resort that stands apart

Cox's Bazar is no more clamouring to be listed as one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World, but it attracts tourists in increasing numbers from home and abroad.

Onion anger mounts against embattled Indian government

The trebling of onion prices in India is not just making street hawker Kamlesh Gupta struggle to keep his children in school but is now threatening the stability of the Congress party-led coalition government.

BP and Rosneft in share swap

The heads of energy giant BP and state-run Russian oil firm Rosneft announced a deal Friday to swap shares in a joint venture to exploit the vast untouched energy resources of the Arctic.

World Bank unveils $1.73b loans to India

The World Bank on Friday announced $1.73 billion in loans to India, including $1.5 billion to fund a state project to build 24,000 kilometres (14,880 miles) of rural roads across seven states.

Indian billionaire barred from stock market

Indian billionaire Anil Ambani has been barred from investing in the stock market until December, authorities said Friday, in a settlement of a long-running regulatory inquiry into some of his companies.

Abu Dhabi to pump $5.2b into Aldar

Abu Dhabi's government will pump 19.2 billion dirhams (5.2 billion dollars, 3.9 billion euros) into the emirate's biggest developer by purchasing assets and convertible bonds, the two sides have said.

Ageing China offers silver lining for investors

Retired professor Chen Chongyu and his wife Liu Zhenjuan dreamed of coming back to China from their daughter's home in France, but until last year the couple had nowhere to go.

Toyota may shift to foreign production

Toyota Motor will consider shifting factories overseas if the yen stays high and puts pressure on its profits, the company president said.

Tata Steel to raise up to $769.5 mln in share sale

Tata Steel, the world's seventh largest steel maker, could raise as much as 34.77 billion rupees ($769.5 million) in its follow-on public share sale.

Fiat staff OK deal on conditions

Staff at Fiat's Mirafiori plant in Turin on Saturday approved a tough deal on working conditions that is to save their factory and prove key to the future of the new Fiat-Chrysler auto giant.

Asian stocks mixed

Asian stock markets were mixed on Friday as weak US jobs data and profit-taking were tempered by a strong performance by chip giant Intel and hopes for the global recovery.

Groupon, Pandora move on initial public offerings

Online coupon site Groupon and Internet radio company Pandora are moving ahead with plans for initial public offerings, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Jan 9-Jan 13, 2011
International Markets:

This week the markets were waiting on the bond auctions by Portugal and Spain to see which direction the euro zone debt crisis was going to take.

Metropolitan

Army deployment the last resort, says CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday reiterated his position against deployment of army during any local government polls.

'Two years not enough to judge govt'

Former home minister and Awami League central leader Mohammad Nasim yesterday said an elected government couldn't be judged in two years as much of its tenure lies ahead.

AUW 3-day int'l symposium begins Jan 20

Asian University for Women (AUW) will hold a three-day international symposium in the city from January 20.

Police still clueless

Police are yet to unearth the reason behind the killing of the general secretary of Awami League ward-41 unit of Agargaon and the gun attack on the president of the same unit.

Faruk on 5-day remand

The man arrested on charges of maiming child Niamul after abducting him from Kamrangirchar area was taken on a five-day remand yesterday.

Knowledge exchange to promote relations

Exchange of knowledge and wisdom between Bangladesh and China will enhance mutual understanding and promote diplomatic relations between the two, said Zhang Xianyi, ambassador of People's Republic of China yesterday.

Mosharraf warns against future poll influence

BNP Standing Committee Member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said his party would go for tougher movement if the government wants to influence the municipal elections in the remaining three divisions scheduled for January 17 and 18.

Planned housing needed to save arable land

Experts yesterday suggested comprehensive planning of housing system to save arable land, which is decreasing fast and threatening food security.

Eight killed in road accidents

Eight people were killed and 46 others injured in road accidents in Dhaka city, Sylhet, Manikganj, and Chapainawabganj yesterday and Friday.

New law soon

Human trafficking under the guise of manpower recruitment will be harshly punished under the recently drafted Human Trafficking Deterrence and Suppression Act 2011, said Law Minister Shafique Ahmed.

Learn from retired navy officers

A two-day long reunion of Bangladesh Navy Retired Officers and Sailors concluded at sports complex of BNS Issa Khan in the port city yesterday, says an ISPR release.

Trial of Manik Saha's killers demanded

Rule of law will not be established if the killers of journalist Manik Chandra Saha are not punished, said speakers at a human chain in the city yesterday demanding trial of the killers.

Readers respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Saturday's Daily Star report titled “AL surprised at BNP's gain” in the municipal polls.

IUBAT founding celebration today

The 19th foundation celebrations of International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) will be held today.

Call to protect domestic workers

Speakers at a human chain yesterday demanded formulation and full implementation of an effective policy to stop all forms of violence and discrimination against domestic workers and ensure their security and protection.

Arrest of robbers demanded

Leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad yesterday demanded immediate arrest of miscreants who robbed Dhakeshwari National Temple on January 8 and beefing up security measures in the temple and other temples in the country.

'Release Mishu'

Eighteen women leaders and 12 left-leaning leaders yesterday demanded unconditional release of detained garment workers' leader Moshrefa Mishu.

DBBL donates 30,000 blankets

Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited donated 30,000 pieces of blankets to poor and floating people around the country.

National

BSF kills 33, injures 67 Bangladeshis last year

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) killed at least 33 Bangladeshis and injured 67 others last year along the borders of southwestern (S-W) region.

7 to vie for mayoral posts in 2 hill dists

After withdrawal of candidature by one more independent candidate, a triangular contest is evident among three mayor aspirants in the election to Khagrachhari municipality scheduled for January 18.

8 hurt in Jhenidah violence

Post-election violence left at least nine people injured in Jhenidah and Dinajpur yesterday.

BSF severely tortures C'nawabganj youth

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) picked up a youth from Masudpur frontier of Shibganj upazila, tortured him in their camp and left him in a critical state at a frontier point of Shingnagar yesterday morning.

3 youths jailed for life in rape case

A court here sentenced three youths to life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) in a rape case in Manikganj on Thursday. The court also fined Tk.1 lakh each, in default, to suffer three years more RI.

PCJSS leader abducted

A leader of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghaty Samity (PCJSS) was abducted on Friday evening allegedly by their political rivals from Madhupur Bazar area in the town.

One jailed for stalking

A mobile court in the town yesterday sent a young man to one year's imprisonment for stalking.

Election Fever

Mymensingh: AL candidate violating code, alleges BNP

Letters

Vote for Sundarbans

Many educational institutions have already arranged programmes to vote for the Sundarbans to finds its place in the Seven Wonders of the World. It is very important to arrange more such programmes, because time is running out. This year the New Seven Wonders of The World will be announced. So, the educational institutions, especially the universities and colleges, should arrange programmes for the pupils to vote for the Sundarbans.

Preserve public facilities

The lakeside walks are one of the nicest things to happen in North Dhaka but I am shocked at the way some of those with lakeside houses treat them! These are not poor people, sir! I speak of the Gulshan side of the Badda lake.

The world's largest economy

The decade (2000-2010) has been marked by China's relentless rise from largely insignificant player in the global economy to the most prominent driver of the world economy. In the year 2000, China was the world's sixth largest economy behind the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain and Italy. Today China is the world's second largest economy after the United States, with a GDP of $5 trillion compared to $14 trillion for the U.S. and is set to outpace America as the world's largest economy before the end of this decade. While the U.S. economy is facing anemic growth (barely 2%), the Chinese economy is growing by more than 10% a year. Already, China has overtaken America as the world's biggest trading nation. China is now the biggest exporter of goods to America with a trade surplus of more than $200 billion in China's favour. China is also bankrolling America's budget deficits. With growing incomes of the Chinese consumers, China is now less dependent on the U.S. market while America is looking forward to China as a market for its products.

Mother of the Nation

Contributions toward social and economic development of some extra-ordinary Arab women deserve appreciation and acclamation. Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, wife of the founder and the first president of United Arab Emirates (UAE) late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who is known as the 'Mother of the Nation' made significant contributions in the establishment and promotion of women's rights in the Arab world. She also contributed in the field of literacy, mother and child care, welfare of disabled, elderly persons and orphans.

AL's election pledges

The incumbent government has celebrated 2nd anniversary of their tenure a few days back. Flashy advertisements have been made through every medium possible. It even organised a concert to commemorate its success. But was it worth it?

Energy projects: pros and cons

An interesting front page report on the subject was published in a local daily on 2nd. January which set a pessimistic tone on the subject. However, despite delays and disappointments, the government's attitude and approach has been reasonably positive and pragmatic.

Bangladeshi youth

Lately, with all the reports of drug abuse, stalking and other uncivilized behaviour, I was very frustrated with the youth of Bangladesh. I felt relieved as I watched Brandwitz 2010 on ATN Bangla. The contenders had to present ways of branding Bangladesh through the ICC World Cup to promote foreign investment. Their creativity really impressed me. I could see great skills of leadership in them.

The government should change its denial mode

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressed the nation on January 6, 2011 on completion of 2 years of her government. In her speech she pointed out the government's successes, one of them being the law and order. She claimed that law and order is better as her government has taken a tough stance against crime and corruption. This observation is so preposterous that I am at a loss for words. Home Minister Sahara Khatun also speaks in that vein, are they living in a bubble where no news of the outside world reaches them?

Gas and electricity crisis

We have been residing at Kadamtala, an underprivileged area of Bashabo, for many years. In this area from 8am to 3pm we do not get any gas supply. We complained to the Titas Gas many times, but the situation is deteriorating day by day. It is very difficult to feed the children before they go to school and college in the morning.

Poor customer service

On 31st December 2010, I went to the Shahjalal Int'l Airport to see off one of my family members who was going to USA. Some passengers there were complaining about our airport services. There was a senior US citizen among them who told me that in no international airport in the world they have to pick up their own luggage except for this airport. This is hard for the aged persons.

Quality education

There have been some substantial changes in the education sector lately. The initiatives of the present government have been welcomed and well accepted by all strata of society. However, while preparing the curriculum or upgrading the syllabus or contents of the books, quite a significant things are to be considered. Leadership and self-development related topics could be incorporated in the syllabus. Besides, the duties and responsibilities of a good citizen can be included in the textbooks in an interesting way. The young learners are likely to be motivated by this. The lessons should be as easy as possible.

International

Disease threat for victims

The threat of disease loomed yesterday over the million-plus victims of floods in Sri Lanka that have left nearly 40 people dead and devastated farmland in the island's rice bowl.

Taliban torch 16 Nato tankers in Pakistan

Taliban militants in southwestern Pakistan set ablaze 16 vehicles carrying fuel supplies for Nato troops in Afghanistan yesterday, officials said.

UN ends Nepal peace mission amid fears of chaos

Amid fears of chaos in Nepal, the UN yesterday ended its peace mission as the government and the main Opposition Maoists inked a crucial eleventh-hour deal to monitor the arms and the army of the former rebels and the military.

Unrest engulfs Tunisia after president flees to S Arabia

Unrest engulfed Tunisia yesterday after a popular rebellion forced the president to flee: Dozens of inmates were killed in two prison fires, looters emptied shops and torched the main train station and gunfire echoed through the capital.

'Jasmine revolution' in Tunisia jolts Arab world

The ousting of Tunisia's president after violent protests is a stark warning to authoritarian regimes across the Arab world, whose people have long voiced similar grievances, analysts said yesterday.

Week of mourning declared

Rio de Janeiro state yesterday declared a week of mourning for 550 people who died in flash floods and mudslides in mountain towns seen as Brazil's worst natural disaster.

Smoking causes gene damage in minutes

Those first few puffs on a cigarette can within minutes cause genetic damage linked to cancer, US scientists said a study released yesterday.

Iran opens atom sites to envoys

Iran opened the doors of its two atomic facilities to foreign diplomats yesterday, in a rare move to drum up support just days before talks with world powers about its sensitive nuclear programme.

'Last trumpet' sounds in South Sudan vote

A Christian bishop blew the "last trumpet" yesterday on south Sudan's landmark vote on independence from the Muslim north as he cast his ballot an hour before the close of the seven days of polling.

Cut down of troops not possible in J&K : Army

A day after the Union Government announced it is considering reducing the strength of security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army yesterday said that the present situation in the state does not allow cut down of troops and the decision should be reconsidered.

Three US soldiers killed in Iraq

Three American soldiers were killed and one was wounded in two separate incidents in central and northern Iraq yesterday, the US army said.

Tunisia reopens all airports, airspace

Tunisia reopened all airports and the country's airspace yesterday, a day after president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia following violent anti-government protests, the civil aviation authority announced.

Gang shootout kills 14 in Veracruz, Mexico

A shootout between Mexican security forces and suspected gang members has left 14 people dead.

S Korean freighter hijacked off Somalia

A South Korean cargo ship with 21 crew on board was hijacked apparently by Somali pirates yesterday, a Seoul foreign ministry source said.

Fresh political violence kills 17 in Pakistan's Karachi

At least 17 people have been killed in a fresh wave of political violence in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi, officials said yesterday.

At least 42 dead in Tunisia prison fire

A fire at a prison yesterday in Monastir in eastern Tunisia killed at least 42 inmates, a hospital doctor said.

Sri Lanka frees ex-Tigers to mark harvest festival

Sri Lankan authorities yesterday released 78 suspected Tamil Tiger rebels from an internment centre to mark the Tamil harvest festival of Thai Pongal, an official said.

Iran to display US drones it shot down

Iran will put on public display two US Navy drones shot down by its elite Revolutionary Guards, a top Iranian commander said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Homage to Selim Al Deen

To observe the 3rd death anniversary of Natyacharya Selim Al Deen, a three-day theatre festival has begun at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) from January 14. Named after the late theatre icon, the festival has been organised by his troupe Dhaka Theatre, in association with Jahangirnagar University and BSA. The festival that ends today features seven Al Deen plays.

The Daily Star Turns 20

Street plays, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Daily Star, the leading national English daily, were staged at Dinajpur last Friday.

An Evening of Rabindra Sangeet

Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, High Commission of India organised a musical soiree featuring Rabindra Sangeet by Adity Mohsin on January 14. The event was held at Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre in Gulshan, Dhaka.

Fahmida Nabi Breathes Life into Al Deen's Lyrics

Popular singer Fahmida Nabi released a solo album featuring lyrics penned by playwright Selim Al Deen. The album, titled “Akash O Shamudra Aupar”, features 10 songs by the late theatre icon. The formal launching ceremony of the album was held at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, as part of the Selim Al Deen Festival.

Workshop and Exhibition at FFA

A two-day art exhibition featuring works of participants from a five-day workshop was held recently at the Department of Sculpture, Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA), University of Dhaka, according to a press release.

OP-ED

Lure of Bhutanese happiness index

The Prime Minister of Bhutan L.J.Y Thinley, during his recent visit to Bangladesh, gave a lecture on Gross National Happiness in Dhaka University. He described people in today's world as "economic animals" and characterised development activities as tools for materialistic growth. He said that societies were doing little to make people happy.

Achievements need to be sustained

Evaluation of the government's two-year performance continues. Some evaluators have concluded that the government has failed to keep its election pledges. They have their own logic, evaluation methodology and basis for such a conclusion. More logical, however would be to measure success level based on the assessment of the nature of activities, prevailing socio-economic and political environment, resource mobilisation opportunities, time needed for accomplishment of targets vs. time spent, etc. The conclusions often ignored the above factors, which reduced the value of most conclusions, leaving room for doubt about their neutrality and fairness.

Forecasting major economic events

As we look at the crystal ball, and try to forecast the major economic trends for the coming year, it is clear that while there are reasons to be optimistic about the global outlook one cannot rule out the possibility of major disruptions to the world economy either due to unforeseen shocks or due to worsening condition of one or a few major undercurrents that were known but ignored. What are the likely economic events that we can expect this year?

Let us also know, dear leader

In the last few days the BNP chairperson and leader of the opposition in the parliament delivered two hard hitting speeches in two separate forums of her supporters. The language of both of her speeches reflected her desperation and contained a threatening phrase like "dire consequences" for the government leaders when they fall from power. She spelled out in clear term what her government will do in dealing with political opponents when, not if, she is voted to power.

Men of power, men in exile

Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has fled to Saudi Arabia with his family. Having lorded it over in Tunisia for twenty three years, without much to show for performance in this long period, the just deposed president now must depend on the largesse of the Saudi royals in order to live a decent life for himself and his family, at least for the immediate future.



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