The Daily Star

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014


News of: Monday, 24th of January, 2011

Front Page

Wrongs under probe

The government will form a high-profile committee to probe the allegations of stockmarket manipulation by inflating share prices or misusing the book building method.

Worker killed in clash with cops

A worker of ACI Pharmaceuticals was killed and more than 100 were injured, 15 by bullets, in a clash with police at Siddhirganj in Narayanganj yesterday.

Lakhs join Akheri Munajat

The first phase of the Biswa Ijtema at Tongi near the capital ended yesterday with the offering of Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers) joined by lakhs of Muslims from home and abroad.

Sangsad TV awaits debut

Sangsad Bangladesh Television will go on air tomorrow by broadcasting live President Zillur Rahman's address to the new-year session of parliament.

Lower courts to get 100 more judges

The government has decided to appoint 100 more assistant judges and judicial magistrates to deal with the huge backlog of cases, along with the 101 judges to lower courts whose recruitment procedure is already underway.

BGB starts journey

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) begins a journey afresh with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hoisting the new flag of the paramilitary force at its Pilkhana headquarters yesterday.

Crew members need water, food, medicine

Many of the crew in the hijacked Bangladeshi ship, MV Jahan Moni, are suffering from different diseases due to scarcity of water for drinking and other uses, food and medicine.

All fingers pointed at one man

A leading businessman yesterday came under fire at a high-profile meeting on the recent stock market debacle.

5 judges to find corrupt in judiciary

Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque yesterday formed a five-member probe committee to identify corrupt people in the judiciary and discourage harassment of people.

Moudud's contempt move rejected

The High Court yesterday rejected senior BNP leader Moudud Ahmed's verbal request to issue a suo moto contempt of court rule against The Daily Star, for publishing a report on his recent statement before the court about the trial and execution of Col Abu Taher.

PM flies to UK tomorrow

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves Dhaka tomorrow on a weeklong visit to the UK.

JS body for action to stop casualties

A parliamentary body yesterday asked authorities concerned to take stern action against people responsible for accidents, and deaths and injuries to workers at ship-scrapping yards in Chittagong.

3 suspects arrested

Detective Branch (DB) of police on Saturday arrested three alleged killers of Brigania Rozario and her son Valentine Rozario alias Milton who were found dead at their Indira Road house in the capital on January 9.

Muhith must resign for stock crash

Senior BNP leader Moudud Ahmed yesterday reiterated his demand for resignation of Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials concerned over the sharemarket crash.

Pressure mounts in Ireland for snap election

Pressure mounted in Ireland yesterday for an election to be held before the planned date of March 11, after Prime Minister Brian Cowen quit as leader of the ruling party but vowed to stay in office.

Editorial

Local government in fetters

One hardly expects to see the chairmen and vice-chairmen of upazilla (UZ) parishads go on hunger strike unto death, and more so when they happen to be elected by the people on the basis of open adult franchise. And they are demanding that they be allowed to perform their respective duties and carryout their responsibilities as laid down in the constitution of the country.

Reasserting faith on the banks of a river

The end of the first phase of the Bishwa Ijtema was marked on the banks of the river Turag in Tongi yesterday with tens of thousands participating in the Akheri Munajat. The prayers, organized annually, were one more indication of the myriad ways in which people across the spectrum are drawn to matters of faith. There is, always, something that transcends the worldly and attempts, as it were, a reaching out toward the higher perches of experience which only belief in the Almighty can explain. The Bishwa Ijtema, a yearly gathering which brings together men and women in an exploration of the religious spirit, indeed in a search for spiritual sustenance, is one of those moments which bring the one who remembers the Creator of the Worlds in deep communion with matters beyond the observed.

Sports

'Excitement struck me early'

He is Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker in all World Cups but Abdur Razzak has only played one tournament, the last one in the West Indies. He gave solid performances in each of Bangladesh's victories during the tournament and he shares his views with The Daily Star Sport.

SA win series

Yusuf Pathan nearly set the cat among the pigeons in Centurion yesterday when he threatened to make short shrift of a near-impossible task, scoring a 70-ball 105 in India's chase of a revised target of 268 in 46 overs.

Federer does a Connors

Men's champion Roger Federer stuttered to a record-equalling 27th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open Sunday, as Francesca Schiavone won the longest women's match at a major.

Fifteen get BOA scholarship

Keeping the 2012 South Asian Games as well as Olympics in mind, Bangladesh Olympic Association awarded one-year scholarships to 15 athletes from different disciplines.

Mashrafe doesn't need op

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has been told by Dr David Young to continue conservative rehabilitation to recover from his knee injury.

School cricket from Jan 25

The Standard Chartered Young Tigers Under-16 National Cricket Tournament will begin on January 25 in Dhaka.

Dull draws in Feni, Cox's Bazar

Both matches of the Grameenphone Bangladesh League ended in draws yesterday.

WC trophy due Feb 3

The ICC Cricket World Cup trophy will land in the capital on February 3 and will be staying in Bangladesh until the opening ceremony.

U-15s draw 2-day game

The two-day match between Under-15 teams of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and Bangladesh Cricket Board was drawn in Krishnanagar on Saturday.

Armstrong signs off

Tour de France icon Lance Armstrong brought an end to his international cycling career Sunday when he completed the final stage of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.

Hussey lifts Australia

David Hussey steered Australia to a four-wicket win over England in the third one-day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Warriors beat Blue Birds

Barguna Warriors beat hosts Patuakhali's Blue Birds by just four runs in the 2nd Inter-District Club Cup cricket tournament yesterday.

Open Secrets

World number one Caroline Wozniacki apologised to media Sunday after making up a story that she had been attacked by a kangaroo during the Australian Open.

Local Snippets

MSC FANS FINED
Two Mohammedan SC supporters have been declared persona non-grata for a month at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium following their involvement in harassment of referee Mizanur Rahman earlier this month.

Day of hattricks

Dimitar Berbatov struck a hattrick to cement Manchester United's lead at the top of the Premier League on Saturday as Darren Bent scored on his Aston Villa debut to derail Manchester City's title push.

Bayern close the gap

Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez hit a hattrick as the defending champions went third in the Bundesliga with a 5-1 win over Kaiserslautern on Saturday as leaders Borussia Dortmund drew 1-1 with Stuttgart.

Unstoppable Barcelona

Champions Barcelona went seven points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish first division on Saturday as goals from Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta sealed a 3-0 home win over Racing Santander.

Inter stalled at Udinese

Udinese ended Leonardo's perfect record since taking over as Inter Milan coach from Rafael Benitez with a 3-1 win over the Italian champions in a lively lunchtime match in Serie A on Sunday.

Roma stay in touching distance

Roma kept themselves in the Serie A title hunt as a 3-0 win over Cagliari at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday took them up to second, for a day at least.

Van Gaal gives as good as he gets

The war-of-words between Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness and coach Louis van Gaal escalated on Sunday when the Dutchman accused Hoeness of breaking his word.

'Follow Berbatov's example’

Sir Alex Ferguson has urged Manchester United's goal-shy strikers to take inspiration from the performances of Dimitar Berbatov after the Bulgarian centre-forward bagged his third hattrick of the season.

Suarez eyeing England move

Uruguayan World Cup star Luis Suarez is enthusiastic about the possibility of a move to England as speculation mounted of a transfer to Liverpool here Sunday.

Schiavone's staying power

Francesca Schiavone saved six match points as she battled to victory in the longest women's match in Grand Slam history, producing a 6-4, 1-6, 16-14 defeat of Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Australian Open.

Condolences

The BCB condoled the passing away of former Board Member Mizanur Rahman Sana who breathed his last yesterday morning in Singapore at the age of 73.

Business

Demand rings louder for return of stock confidence

Participants in a high-profile meeting on the stockmarket have recommended restoring investors' confidence first.

Economists put regulators on the rack

The stockmarket could have avoided the recent debacle if the 1996 scammers had been punished, economists said yesterday. They also questioned the regulators' roles in handling the current situation.

Minister hopeful of duty waiver for 61 products

Bangladesh is still hopeful about getting duty waiver for exports of the proposed 61 products to India, as a measure of reducing the trade gap between the two neighbouring countries, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday.

SEC must be overhauled: analysts

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suffers from capacity constraints and requires restructuring to bring order to the stock market that sank last week, analysts said yesterday.

Nokia launches X2 Qwerty

Nokia yesterday launched its new X2 QWERTY, an social networking device offering full blown music and networking experience, at The Westin in Dhaka.

Prada latest label to target China market

Miuccia Prada has already won plaudits for her spring/summer 2011 collection -- simply-cut dresses and suits in a quirky mix of stripes and solids, with bold splashes of orange, violet and electric blue.

Investment banks face pressure to diversify

Trading activity is weak, regulators are cracking down and investment banks worldwide are confronting a stark reality for 2011: the only way to survive and make money is to diversify.

Small investors rap regulators

Small-time investors have blamed regulators and auditors for the ongoing debacle in the stockmarket and urged the government to bring them to book.

Vodafone okays Essar IPO of Indian stake

British telecoms firm Vodafone yesterday said it had not blocked Essar from conducting an initial public offer (IPO) of the latter's stake in Vodafone Essar, India's third-largest telecoms company by subscribers.

Credit cards popular, but still largely untapped

Banks are yet to tap 20 percent of potential customers. Some bankers say an overall risk framework for credit cards can facilitate growth

Plastic money keeps tabs on sales

In a market where people are used to making transactions with no receipt trail, it is tough to introduce the credit card that ensures recorded payment and collection of tax.

Global markets uneasy over inflation

Investors may be forced to rethink investment strategies that centre on the rosy prospect of low inflation as key central banks look set to renew pledges to print money in the coming week.

Entrepreneur builds media empire on funny cat photos

Boredom and funny cat photos were catalysts for Ben Huh to create one of the Web's fastest-growing media companies.

India almost certain to raise interest rates

India's central bank is expected this week to hike interest rates for the seventh time in less than 12 months to clamp down on soaring inflation as clouds gather over the country's booming economy.

LG Display warns of lower shipments after heavy Q4 loss

LG Display, the world's No.2 LCD flat screen maker, warned of lower shipments and weaker screen prices after posting its first loss in seven quarters, as it battles weak demand from television makers.

NEC, Lenovo in talks on joint venture

Leading Japanese and Chinese electronics firms NEC Corp. and Lenovo Group are in the final stages of talks to form a joint venture in the personal computer business, a report said Friday.

Chinese bank ICBC to pay $140m for BEA division

Chinese bank ICBC confirmed on Sunday it would pay $140 million to buy a majority stake in the US subsidiary of Bank of East Asia, allowing it to enter the US retail banking market.

Better-than-expected profit for General Electric

General Electric Co posted a better-than-expected profit, helped by strong emerging-market demand for heavy equipment and setting the stage for what could be a wave of strong manufacturing earnings reports.

Yukos spectre lurks as Russia fetes BP mega deal

Russia has celebrated the alliance of Rosneft with BP as a historic breakthrough in its economic relations with the West but the deal remains shadowed by the break-up of its former top oil firm Yukos.

Dubai's Drydocks World gets $200m in financing

The shipbuilding and repair arm of indebted state conglomerate Dubai World says it has secured $200 million in immediate financing and plans to begin talks with creditors to restructure its debt.

Metropolitan

HC summons two Bogra AL men

The High Court (HC) yesterday summoned two Awami League leaders and three others on charges of constructing a road near Mahasthangarh archaeological site in Bogra ignoring an HC order.

Sundarbans needs 20cr more votes

Bangladesh's vast mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, is still another whopping 20 crore votes away from being crowned as a new natural wonder of the world, according to campaigners.

Written test result for pry teachers' posts published

The results of written test of freedom fighter quota for the post of assistant teacher in government primary schools were published yesterday with a total of 9,187 examinees coming out successful, said an official handout.

Stop building structures

The High Court yesterday directed the government to take steps for stopping construction of structures in Amoligola Math at Lalbagh in the city for next three months.

Mass upsurge day today

The nation will observe the 42nd historic Mass Upsurge Day today to commemorate the valiant sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives during the movement.

2 found dead in city

A garment worker and a manpower exporter were found dead in the city yesterday.

Move to fight human trafficking

US Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca, from the US State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, arrived in Dhaka yesterday for a two-day visit.

Canada to help train nurses, midwives

Canada has assured assistance for training nurses, midwives under its International Development Agency to strengthen the country's health sector.

'America Week' begins in Khulna today

Continuing the tradition to outreach across Bangladesh, the US embassy is sponsoring a three-day 'America Week' in Khulna beginning today.

Confined engr still in dark about his son's birth

Mohammad Moin Uddin, second engineer of hijacked ship MV Jahan Moni, confined in the ship since December 5, became father of his first child yesterday.

Road crash kills elderly woman

An unidentified elderly woman was killed in a road accident in front of Natore DC office in Hazra area on Saturday night.

DUJA silver jubilee Feb 5

Dhaka University Journalists' Association (DUJA) will celebrate its silver jubilee with due festivity at TSC of the university on February 5.

Youth arrested

A youth was arrested along with two foreign made pistols at Potherbazar Check Post under Khanjahan Ali police station in the city yesterday.

ACC official held with Tk 10 lakh bribe

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) caught a deputy director of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) red-handed last night with bribe money from the commission office at Agrabad in the port city.

Readers respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star report headlined 'Private cars fill 70pc city roads'.

32 houses gutted in Ctg

At least 32 houses and valuables worth around Tk 35 lakh were gutted in two fire incidents here yesterday.

Hearing deferred till Feb 23

A Dhaka court yesterday for the third time deferred the hearing on charge framing against Jamaat leader Mir Kashem Ali till February 23 in a tax evasion case.

Two garment workers stabbed

A gang of criminals stabbed two garment workers early yesterday at city's South Badda on their way homes from work.

Rejoinder

In a rejoinder to a report headlined “Rajuk stops drive under pressure” published in The Daily Star on Thursday (Jan 20), the International Recreation Club Ltd has said Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) demolished at least one third of the club's structure during its eviction drive on Wednesday (Jan 19).

UZ chairmen's hunger strike called off

Upazila chairmen and vice-chairmen yesterday agreed to postpone their hunger strike till March 28 after some leaders of the grand alliance assured them they would discuss the issue in parliament.

City Projonmo League leader shot

A Bangladesh Muktijoddha Projonmo League city unit leader was shot as a gang of armed criminals fired on him last night in front of Bangladesh College of Leather Technology gate.

National

Unlicensed brick kiln in densely populated area

The chairman of Auliapur Union Parishad in Patuakhali Sadar upazila has set up a brick kiln occupying over 0.50 acres of khas land in a densely populated area at East Auliapur village under the upazila without permission from the authorities concerned.

Gupta era relic damaged for 'development work'

Bogra Sadar Upazila Parisad recently implemented a rural road project in Sarkarpara area destroying brick built structures of ancient Gupta period.

5 outlaws held after gunfight with police

Five operatives of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Janajuddho) were arrested after gunfight with police at Jorgasa village under Atghoria upazila of Pabna district early yesterday.

Verdict in Naogaon mutiny case today

The special court-12 will deliver judgement in BDR mutiny case against 25 jawans of 43 battalion in Naogaon today.

BSF kills 13 on C'nawabganj border last year

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) killed at least 13 Bangladeshis and injured 11 others last year on different borders of the district.

Couple arrested as maid brutally tortured

A poultry development officer and his wife have been arrested on charge of causing serious burn injuries to their 12-year-old domestic help at their Netrakona municipality house.

Criminals kill owner, injure 6 of his family

A man was killed by a gang over occupation of a land at Angar Para Baro Bari village in Nilpamari Sadar upazila yesterday.

Road blockade in Natore demanding speed breaker

Locals again blocked Natore-Rajshahi highway at Gawnpara Dhalan in Sadar upazila yesterday demanding construction of a speed breaker to check road accident.

Ensure power supply to Gaibandha BSCIC estate

Several hundred people, including staff of Gaibandha BSCIC estate, brought out a procession in the district town yesterday demanding smooth power supply to the small industrial estate and steps to check theft of power transformers from there.

Baby burnt alive

A one-year-old baby was burnt alive while his twin brother sustained serious burn injuries at Khulumbaria village in Sailkupa upazila on Saturday night. The fire originated from a kerosene lamp of a house owned by Yunus Ali, a day labourer, locals and fire fighters said. At that time, the twins were sleeping in a tin-shed house while their mother was cooking outside the house and their sister went to bring fuel wood from another house. Soon the fire spread fast and caught the nearby straw-made kitchen. The twins sustained serious burn injuries. After an hour, locals and fire fighters rescued the twins and sent them to Sailkupa Upazila Health Complex. But on the way, a twin succumbed to his injuries.

Robbers loot valuables

Armed robbers yesterday attacked four houses at Satpara village in Sadar upazila and looted valuables. Sources said, the gang created panic among the villagers by blasting cocktails and later looted gold ornaments, cash, cattle and other valuables from the houses owned by Kuwait expatriates Hamid Miah, Master Miah, Fazlu Miah and Noab Ali's house at about 7:00pm yesterday night. Of them, Noab Ali was injured by the robbers when he tried to resist them. Later, he was admitted to Sadar hospital.

Microbus stolen

Muggers took away a microbus from the compound of a cinema hall in Srinagar upazila headquarters early Saturday. Police said, muggers took away the microbus bus of Srinagar upazila Jubo League general secretary Firoz-al-Mamun by breaking open the collapsible gate of Jhumur cinema hall. None was arrested in this connection.

Jubo League leader arrested

Police on Saturday arrested a Jubo League leader for stabbing a couple at Hamdah Khondakarpara in the town. The arrestee is Jhenidah unit Jubo League leader Shaheb Ali. Officer-in-charge (OC) of Jhenidah police station Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury said, there was long-standing conflict between Shaheb Ali and his neighbour Amjad Ali over a piece of land. The OC said that he had tried to settle the dispute by holding a meeting at the police station on Saturday noon. But on return home from the police station in the evening, Shaheb Ali and his brothers stabbed Amjed Ali and his wife Shahar Banu. As a result, the couple received serious injuries. They were immediately rushed to Jhenidah Sadar Hospital from where they were referred to BIRDEM in Dhaka in a critical state. Later, police arrested Shaheb Ali.

Muggers stab 5

Muggers stabbed five people including a motor labourers' union leader at Puthia early yesterday. The injured transport union leader is Puthia Motor Sramik Union president Asgar Ali, 45. He was admitted to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition with his hands and legs cut. Four others were given treatment at Puthia Health Complex. Asgar's brother Ashraf Ali said, muggers attacked Asgar and four others at Krishnapur Kalitala area, some 50 yards from Puthia police station at around 2:30am. At that time, they were returning home from Puthia. The muggers stabbed them after snatching their cell phones and cash money. Contacted, Ziaul Alam, OC of Puthia PS said, 'We are looking into the matter'.

Coastal water convention

A two-day coastal water convention will begin here on January 29. The programme is being organized by AOSED, an organisation for socio-economic development. The water convention has been aimed at finding a way out to solve acute water crisis in the south-western coastal belt of the country. Various programmes will mark the occasion. Five venues have been selected in Khulna city. The venues are Zia Hall, Khulna University, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet), Shahid Hadis Park and Shahid Altaf Auditorium. The programmes include workshop, seminar, discussion meeting, documentary film show and cultural programme. The inaugural session will be held at Khulna Zia Hall. KCC Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque has been made chairperson of a six-member committee formed to make the entire programme a success. The executive director of AOSED, Shamim Arfeen has been made secretary of the committee.

Drug peddler held

A drug peddler was arrested on Magura-Dhaka road near Palli Bidyut office for possessing 390 bottles of phensidyl yesterday. Acting on a tip-off, a team of detective branch of police raided a Nasimon, a locally devised unauthorized three-wheeler at noon. Police recovered the drug and arrested Nasimon driver Babul Molla, 25. Babul confessed to his involvement in drug peddling, police said. He said that he had brought the drug from Baghachar Sonaibari in Satkhira and taking it to Daulatdia Ghat (river terminal) in Goalanda, Rajbari.

Letters

Railway network needs overhauling

Journey by train which could be very comfortable, enjoyable and cheaper is getting risky day by day in our country. De-railing of compartments, head-on collisions due to wrong signaling have become common untoward affairs in our railway network. Often it is heard or appears in newspaper that the engine ran without any headlight or the loco-driver got drowsy/asleep, etc. Delay in railway schedules is very frequent.

Ban private coaching

Very often we hear that the govt. has put a bar on private coaching run by the school teachers. We are not sure whether the government has taken such decision. Private tuition has now become a roaring business. Students are told indirectly or directly by some teachers that those who want to secure good marks should seek the help of teachers outside the school, preferably at the teacher's house or at the coaching centre run by the teacher. A silent competition exists among the teachers. This unhealthy competition ruins the environment at schools.

Who will counter Felani's death ?

Border Security Force (BSF) of India is ruthlessly killing Bangladeshi people again and again. These are extrajudicial killings. The government of Bangladesh is not taking any effective steps against it. Recently Felani, a poor Bangladeshi girl was killed by BSF. She crossed the Indian border with her father. As she tried to come back, BSF shot her first, she was injured, then they raped her and finally shot her again. Her dead body was found at the border in Bangladesh. The Indians threw her body in our land.

Revive the drive!

The citizens of Dhaka are finding no respite from traffic congestion. Haphazard driving and jaywalking are going on unabated. The law enforcers on the roads were supposed to bring every single lawbreaker to book from November 1, 2010. Although some vigour was seen amongst the officials during the commencement of the traffic drive, now it seems that the momentum died down a great deal.

Wishes to The Daily Star : You can do more

The Daily Star, the most popular English daily of the country, has celebrated its 20th birthday. It's great news for all its well-wishers and readers. It has earned a permanent place in the hearts of its readers by dint of honesty and integrity. Its effort to create social awareness on several burning issues is praiseworthy. I am one of the millions who start their day by reading The Daily Star.

Railway can do better

Last Friday I boarded on Chaiti Express, one of the many Bangladesh Railway chair coach train services that run between Dhaka and Khulna. This was my first trip on this route after the opening of the Bangabandhu Bridge over the once mighty river Jamuna. The train was quite comfortable and clean, and the ticket price seemed reasonable. The food was tasty, the prices were not high and the service was good.

No improvement in sight

On 6th January 2011, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her thirty minutes speech claimed that her government achieved remarkable successes in last two years. She listed a few issues that need to be solved in the coming years. She claimed that the govt. made improvements in law and order, and took initiative to ensure fair price for the farmers. Yet no improvements are seen.

A unique gesture !

The recent violence in the Egyptian Coptic Church - one of the oldest churches in the world - means that the media cannot ignore any longer the persecution of Christians in some countries. In the past, the only way to read about it was to access the few dedicated websites who monitor the subject.

Comments on “Focus on Alternatives”

Your staff correspondent's report titled "Focus on Alternatives' published on 8th. January, related to the Colloquium on Alternative Energy held on 7th January in your office. The subject of commercial availability and use of 'fuel cell' in many countries was discussed. However, as far as I am aware, 'fuel cells' are still not established as a ready solution for power supply. It is expected to get wider usage may be in the next five years or so! Its largest prospect for the US domestic market will be as engine for electric cars; needing no power from any source, except water in place of gasoline or diesel fuel to be put into the fuel tank! We eagerly wait for the launching of the fuel-celled automobile in Bangladesh!

International

Rural Tunisians join demonstration

Protesters from Tunisia's poor rural heartlands demonstrated in the capital yesterday to demand that the revolution they started should now sweep the remnants of the fallen president's old guard from power.

Thousand 'Red shirts' rally in Thailand

About 30,000 anti-government "red shirts" rallied in Thailand's capital yesterday in another show of strength that heralds a rocky run-up to an election due this year.

US drones 'kill seven militants'

Two US drone strikes targeting vehicles in Pakistan's lawless tribal district of North Waziristan yesterday killed at least seven militants, officials said.

Lawmakers to defy court's suggestion

Afghan lawmakers set aside a demand for President Hamid Karzai to scrap a controversial court probing election fraud yesterday, paving the way for parliament to convene in three days after weeks of in-fighting.

New protest called as Albania buries victims

Albania's opposition said yesterday it will stage a new anti-government protest on Friday, a week to the day three protesters were shot dead in a similar rally.

Indian FM asks SL navy to stop shooting

Voicing concern over alleged attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday asked the defence force of that country not to open fire on the Indian fishermen but apprehend them if they had done something wrong.

Egypt blames Palestinian group for church blast

Egypt's interior minister said yesterday the government had proof that the Army of Islam, a Palestinian group linked to al Qaeda, was behind the New Year's Day bombing of a church that killed 23 people.

Ahmadinejad hopes for more talks with world powers

Iran hopes to resume talks with world powers on its nuclear programme, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday, a day after discussions ended in stalemate with no clear agreement to meet again.

Haiti braces for fresh troubles

Residents in the Haitian capital braced for more unrest yesterday, with presidential candidates calling for street protests to annul November elections marred by fraud allegations.

The hippy who became an imam

Forty years after following the hippy trail to South Asia, John Butt is still living in the region, and still spreading a message of peace and love - though now as an Islamic scholar.

Regional bank ally of Gbagbo quits

A key ally of Ivory Coast's disputed leader Laurent Gbagbo has resigned as head of the Central Bank of West African States amid regional pressure.

US, UK lost legitimacy to lead Afghan solution

The United States and Britain have lost the legitimacy and trust necessary to find a resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan, a British MP said yesterday as Asia's largest literary event turned to politics.

Russian envoy to visit Seoul for N Korea talks

Russia's chief envoy to disarmament talks on North Korea will visit Seoul this week, South Korea's foreign ministry said yesterday, amid calls to revive the long-stalled discussions.

EU diplomats to sit-in on Binayak Sen's appeal

European diplomats intend to observe the appeal hearing of an Indian doctor sentenced to life in prison on charges of helping Maoist insurgents, the German embassy in Delhi said yesterday.

Baghdad hit by fresh car blasts

A series of car bombings across Baghdad has killed at least four people and wounded a number of others, Iraqi officials say.

Portugal to re-elect president, boost for reforms

Portugal was poised to re-elect President Anibal Cavaco Silva yesterday in a vote expected to reinforce the country's determination to cut its budget deficit and avoid an international bailout.

Somali pirates threaten to kill Korean hostages

Somali pirates threatened yesterday to kill any South Korean seamen they take hostage in future in revenge for the killing of eight pirates by South Korean troops who stormed a hijacked vessel.

Central African Republic goes for vote today

The Central African Republic holds presidential and parliamentary elections today.

Israel inquiry finds Gaza aid flotilla raid 'was legal'

An Israeli inquiry has found the country's navy acted legally in a deadly raid on a flotilla of aid ships trying to reach Gaza last May.

Philippines rejects demand to free rebel

The Philippines yesterday rejected a demand by communist rebels to free a senior guerilla leader as a goodwill gesture ahead of formal peace negotiations in Norway next month.

Arts & Entertainment

As Film Stars See It

The Daily Star celebrated its 20th anniversary recently. On the occasion, we spoke to some of the popular film stars to get their feedback. They also clued us in with what they would like to see in the newspaper in future. Here's their take:

Puducherry Blue

Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, High Commission of India, Dhaka, in collaboration with the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts has organised a ten-day painting exhibition, titled “Puducherry Blue”, at the Bengal Gallery in Dhanmondi, Dhaka. The exhibition begins today and will continue till February 2.

Chobi Mela VI

To confront the out-of-focus images of fleeting moments by the internationally acclaimed photographer Laurence Leblanc is an unsettling yet fascinating experience. Born and raised in Paris, Leblanc took courses in design and painting at a very young age. She also trained in engraving at the "Ecole des Arts décoratifs du Louvre". Eventually, she took to photography and chose childhood as her theme. She made her debut in 1993 with a project on the Droit au Logement (the right to accommodation) and collaboration with the artist Peter Gabriel.

Youth Connect

Banglalink, in its latest bid to keep abreast with changing music trends and connect with the country's youth, has launched a series of nationwide concerts -- the second of which was held on January 21 in Chittagong.

OP-ED

Culture of finger-pointing

As a people we appear to be very self-critical. Whenever we come across anything outrageous being committed by our fellow people, the common reaction of the observer is: what else can we expect of a Bangalee? However, such an attitude of being self-critical is limited only to the cases where one is pointing the finger at the other person or to something abstract such as the nation or the people in general. But when it comes to taking the responsibility individually, then no one would be found around to shoulder it. Individually, we are all infallible.

US options in Yemen

With its large, growing population as well as its location next to Saudi Arabia and other petroleum-producing Gulf countries, Yemen's increasing problems could easily spill over and negatively affect both its neighbours and all who depend on them for oil and gas supplies. Can the U.S. do anything to ameliorate conditions in Yemen, weaken Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and de-link Yemen from the War on Terror?



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