The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 23, 2014


News of: Monday, 31st of January, 2011

Front Page

Jubok owes Tk 2,147cr, not Tk 37cr, to people

Jubo Karmasangsthan Society (Jubok) owes a staggering Tk 2,147 crore to its clients, finds a government probe into alleged financial scam by the controversial NGO.

Good genie vs evil genie

Our honourable state minister for environment and forests claimed on Saturday that an "evil genie" is prowling the premises of our apex court and influencing the court's decisions in a bid to destroy the ship breaking industry.

BNP for joining JS along with SQ Chy

BNP lawmakers want to return to parliament, but not without their senior leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, who is now behind bars with links to war crimes.

Buriganga recovery begins this week

The Water Development Board (WDB) after many months of delay has finally selected contractors under the Buriganga River Restoration Project to begin dredging parts of the Buriganga and Turag to increase their navigability.

Unproductive sector loan to get major cut

Bangladesh Bank is going to take strict steps to reduce credit flow to unproductive sectors.

CJ, many judges may not join SC Bar's lunches

Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque will not join the annual lunches of the Supreme Court Bar Association, as the lawyers' body now dominated by pro-BNP men has been fiercely criticising him over different issues.

Egypt crisis deepens

Egypt's powerful military stepped up its presence across Cairo yesterday, closing roads with tanks and sending F-16 fighter jets streaking over downtown in a show of force after a day of looting, armed robbery and anti-government protests.

All measures taken to stop extra-judicial killings: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday that her government has taken all measures to stop extra-judicial killings and improve the human rights situation in the country.

Lakhs raise hands in prayers

Lakhs of devotees from home and abroad raised their hands in prayers seeking divine blessings as the three-day second phase of the Biswa Ijtema, one of the largest congregations of the Muslims, ended with the Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers) yesterday.

Dhaka city's beautification by Feb 5

The Engineering Corps of Army in association with Dhaka City Corporation will complete the repair and beautification work of the capital ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup by February 5.

HC rejects plea for govt probe

The High Court yesterday rejected a writ petition seeking its directive on the government to form a committee to investigate the killing of Felani, a Bangladeshi teenage girl of Kurigram, by Indian Border Security Force (BSF).

SC to hear Tarique's plea Feb 6

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday adjourned till February 6 the hearing on a petition filed by BNP leader Tarique Rahman against a High Court (HC) order in a money laundering case against him.

TIB high-ups granted bail in 2 cases

Two Chittagong courts yesterday granted bail to three officials of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) in two separate cases filed for demeaning the judiciary.

HC ruling on saving city's Nikunja Lake

The High Court yesterday directed the government to maintain the status quo on earth filling and building on Nikunja Lake at the capital's Joar Sahara for next three months.

Unlicensed brickfield auctioned

Authorities sold a brickfield at auction yesterday nearly a week after it was found operating illegally amid allegation of using forced labour.

Editorial

PM's reaction to loss of Habiganj seat

The Prime Minister's remarks, made at a meeting with the UK Chapter of the AL in London, that the loss of the Habiganj seat in the recent by-election might have cost the party a seat in the parliament but has gained the AL a political victory by ensuring a free and fair election, are very wise indeed.

The rising spectre of crime

There are serious questions we must raise again about the overall law and order situation in the country. The murder of a journalist and his wife in Dhaka a few days ago has only confirmed fears that there is a slide where security of life is concerned. We are yet to see the police come up with any clues relating to the killings. Add to these incidents the shooting which left the guard of a residential building in Dhaka's Shyampur badly injured. There is then the killing of a trader in East Rampura. The pattern appears to be distressingly familiar. As if to add to such a feeling, we now have from Bogra the story of a girl studying in class seven falling prey to stalking. By itself stalking is a crime, but what makes this incident worse is that the stalker allegedly tried to take the girl's life by slitting her throat.

Sports

Let's plan sans Mashrafe

While watching the Tigers train under the magnificent lights of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday, one thing that struck me most was the participation of injured fast bowler Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in the extensive workouts with the selected fifteen for next month's showpiece event.

First ball & last ball

Hasibul Hossain was the country's first bowler capable of achieving genuine pace. He was part of the team that played and won the 1997 ICC Trophy, which led the country to its World Cup debut. In the final against Kenya, it was off his boot that the last ball ricocheted to fine leg, enabling him and non-striker Khaled Mashud to run through for the single that gave Bangladesh the ICC Trophy.

Djokovic domination

Novak Djokovic claimed his second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open Sunday with a dominant display which shattered Andy Murray's dream of becoming Britain's first male major-winner in 75 years.

'It's World Cup, guys'

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise how serious the business of playing the World Cup is. Everyone and everything have only one target in mind and you will get sucked into the mindset as soon as you enter the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Beggars to be 'paid' during World Cup

The mayor of Chittagong said yesterday that he would pay hundreds of beggars a daily wage to keep them off the streets during the cricket World Cup.

Silver, bronze in taekwondo

Shahnaj Khatun won a silver medal in the 5th Commonwealth Taekwondo Championship after neck-and-neck battle against a Scottish opponent in the final of the 62-kg category in Chennai yesterday.

BFCA wants players punished

Bangladesh Football Coaches' Association (BFCA) condemned the harassment of Sheikh Russel KC coach Mahmudul Haq Liton and demanded exemplary punishment of the players who attacked him after the Bangladesh League match on Saturday.

Club Cup cricket

Haji Shirajul Islam Smrity Shangshad won yesterday's only match of the Club Cup Championship at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong.

Jamal scrape past Feni

An early strike from Mamunul Islam helped Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club edge Feni Soccer Club 1-0 in their Grameenphone Bangladesh League match at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Series goes to Aussies

Australia claimed the one-day international series against England with a 51-run win in the fifth match at the Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday.

Sarwan happy at return

Ramnaresh Sarwan, the West Indies batsman, has said he is happy to return to the national fold after being named in the 15-man squad for the World Cup, and is keen to hit form during the ODI series against Sri Lanka starting on January 31.

Barca untouchable

Lionel Messi struck twice as Barcelona beat Hercules 3-0 on Saturday to clinch a record-equalling 15th consecutive Spanish league win as the champions moved seven points clear of Real Madrid.

Clemon's Big Bat

Clemon, a brand of Akij Food & Beverage Limited (AFBL), is going to launch the world's biggest mobile cricket bat which will have signatures of cricket fans from over the country. The bat named Clemon Big Bat will be displayed at various points around the country where people will be able to express their wishes to the Bangladesh cricket team during the World Cup, said a press release from AFBL yesterday.

Axe falls on Yousuf & Malik

Pakistan's cricket selection committee has omitted names of senior players Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Danish Kaneria and Navedul Hasan from the proposed list of 30 players, who will be awarded fresh central contracts this year.

Asia Japan's,the world next

Japan reaffirmed their status as a heavyweight football nation with victory at the Asian Cup and coach Alberto Zaccheroni believes there are bigger and better things to come.

Zaccheroni the toast of Samurai

Japan praised Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni after a sleepless night Sunday, saying his shrewd and timely use of squad players helped the Blue Samurai lift a record fourth Asian Cup.

Bremen sink to new depths

Bayern Munich had to come from behind on Saturday to win 3-1 at Werder Bremen, while Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund kept up their domination with a 3-0 win at Wolfsburg.

Bommel off, but Milan still win

Mark van Bommel was sent off on his AC Milan league debut but the Serie A leaders still claimed the three points in a 2-0 win at Catania on Saturday.

Ballack coy about national team

Having made his first start since September, Germany captain Michael Ballack was coy about whether he expects to be named this week in Joachim Loew's squad to face Italy in a friendly.

Fergie hails Hernandez

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he tinkered too much with his Manchester United line-up before hailing Mexican hotshot Javier Hernandez for another face-saving strike.

Jose flirts with England again

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has once again suggested that he could leave the Bernabeu and return to the Premier League at the end of the season.

Business

BB discounts links to stock swings

Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday played down links between stockmarket troubles and curbs on money market liquidity.

Budget airlines crowd Bangladesh skies

All economy seats and budget meals are the key strategy of the low-cost carriers to win the air travel market of Bangladesh. Such an approach has reduced the cost of travel, mainly to different regional destinations such as Dubai or Sri Lanka.

Stocks get off to a nervy start

Stocks opened the week in the black in step with the previous three days' recovery in prices that witnessed a massive decline during the recent debacle.

Bangladesh to get Tk 441cr from Kuwait Fund

Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development will give Tk 441 crore to Bangladesh government for power generation and food security promotion in the country.

Japanese firm to join Ishwardi EPZ

Japanese firm Nakano International Company will set up a garment manufacturing industry at Ishwardi Export Processing Zone in the country.

Muhith suggests efforts to make Planning Commission more active

A substantial streamlining and flawless planning is required to make the Planning Commission more active, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday.

DCCI demands stern action against stock manipulators

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) yesterday demanded stern action against stock manipulators and insider traders for proper growth of the country's troubled stockmarket.

Flagship software fair starts tomorrow

The country's largest exposition for software and ICT-enabled services -- BASIS SoftExpo 2011 -- will begin tomorrow in the city with a view to bridging the gap between service providers and users.

Natore onions may hit record

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Natore expects a record cultivation of onions in the current season. It is expected to surpass the target of over 60,000 tonnes.

BB issues eco guideline

Bangladesh Bank yesterday issued a guideline for managing the environmental risks in the financial sectors, said a statement.

Solar lamps to empower the poor

Evans Wadongo is not yet 25 but has already changed the lives of tens of thousands of his fellow Kenyans living in poor rural communities by supplying them with solar lamps.

Metal handicrafts: a dwindling legacy

Jerry Huang, a Chinese tourist, was having a hard time bargaining with a shopkeeper for an articulately designed showpiece.

Making a living out of nothing

MD Shahjahan, 50, a father of three, has been in the metal handicrafts business for 27 years. It was 1983 when he came to Dhaka from Noakhali to try to make a living.

Myth buster: antiques or handicrafts?

If you ask someone in Dhaka the whereabouts of an antique shop, they might give you the address of Gulshan 2 DCC market, which has many shops displaying marvellously crafted metal products, some old and some new.

Emerging market companies buy up the world

There's a new swagger among the bosses of emerging market companies as they sign cheques for a growing list of acquisitions in both the developed and developing world. And this is just the start.

Philippine business titan wants more

Manuel Pangilinan may have embarked on one of the Philippines' most remarkable corporate buying binges over the past dozen years, but he is hungry for more.

ICBC leads Chinese banks global charge

ICBC, the world's largest bank by market value, is proving the most aggressive Chinese bank in expanding abroad, serving Chinese firms that are increasingly active globally after the financial crisis.

India courts investment as FDI slides

As India was pitching itself as a hot investment destination at the World Economic Forum in Davos, figures showed the amount of foreign money entering the country has fallen by nearly a third.

Comcast finalises NBC deal

Comcast Corp. said Saturday it finalised a deal for control of NBC Universal, creating a media and entertainment empire that rivals that of The Walt Disney Company.

British finance minister warns of 'turmoil'

British finance minister George Osborne insisted Sunday he would resist pressure to drop his deficit reduction plan, saying to abandon it would unleash "financial turmoil" within minutes.

China central bank says inflation still high

China's central bank governor warned Sunday that inflation is higher than expected and that banks' reserve ratios could be tightened further to soak up excess liquidity in the economy.

80pc of Irish want bailout renegotiated: poll

An overwhelming majority of Irish voters want the terms of a 67.5 billion euro ($92 billion) EU-IMF bailout renegotiated, according to an opinion poll out Sunday.

China seek maximum fine for Carrefour

China price regulators are seeking to fine French retail giant Carrefour 2.5 million yuan ($380,000) -- the maximum fine for overcharging customers, state media reported Sunday.

Corporate Briefs

LIBRA INFUSIONS
In line unaudited half yearly accounts as on December 31, 2010, the company reported net profit of Tk 4.40 million with earnings per share of Tk 35.15 against Tk 2.68 million and Tk 21.38 respectively for the same period of the previous year.

Metropolitan

ICT improving people's lifestyle

Use of information and communication technology (ICT) is improving people's lifestyle, said speakers yesterday.

Construction of bldg begins in Feb

Construction work of the permanent building of the Liberation War Museum will start by the next month at the city's Agargoan and it will take more than two years to complete, said the museum trustee Mofidul Haque.

2,600MW power plant being built with Indian help

A 2,600-megawatt coal-fired power plant is being built with India's assistance in Rampal upazila to reduce nagging power crisis in the country.

Rights of indigenous people on forest resources underscored

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will ask the government to incorporate the rights of the indigenous people on the natural resources in the amended forest act.

Stock market: BNP reaction today

The main opposition BNP will give its formal reaction today on the recent crisis in the capital market and other related issues directly linked to the economy of the country.

Make practical edn compulsory

President Zillur Rahman has urged all university authorities to make practical education compulsory in their curricula so that the students could acquire knowledge about reality and contribute in the national development.

World Wetland Day on February 2

The World Wetland Day will be observed across the country on February 2 like elsewhere in the globe to mount campaign for conservation of forests and water bodies.

Relatives of crew protest ship officials' misbehaviour

Family members of three crewmembers confined in hijacked Bangladeshi ship MV Jahan Moni staged a four-hour sit-in at the ship's owning firm's office here yesterday protesting misbehaviour of the officials.

Fifth population census begins on March 15

Preparations for holding the fifth Population and Housing Census are going on in full swing to conduct it from March 15.

Road crashes kill 4

Four people were killed in separate road accidents in the city and Thakurgaon yesterday.

Land dispute behind murder

Police suspected that trader Mohammad Shahidulla might have been gunned down at Kunjaban in the city's East Rampura on Saturday night following a land dispute.

SSC exams begin tomorrow

Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations begin tomorrow with 13,15,002 examinees taking part under 10 education boards including one madrasa and one technical education board.

OC Rafiq's division in jail cancelled

A Dhaka court yesterday cancelled first class division of the then officer-in-charge (OC) of Motijheel Police Station AKM Rafiqul Islam in jail, an accused in the killing of college student Kamrul Islam Momin in September 2005.

Last date to submit BCS application on Feb 28

The last date to submit applications for the 31st Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examination has been set on February 28.

Killing of journo Farhad Khan protested

Journalist leaders yesterday expressed grievance over the silence of the government and administration on the murder of journalist Farhad Khan.

Hearing on charge framing against Babar deferred

A Dhaka court yesterday deferred till March 15 the hearing on charge framing against detained former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar in connection with a tax evasion case.

Course on PR begins Feb 13

Bangladesh Institute of Journalism and Electronic Media (BIJEM) arranged a two-week long training course titled "Modern Technique of Public Relations and Communications" beginning February 13.

Bangladeshi peacekeeper dies in Sudan road crash

Bangladeshi peacekeeper Captain Md Iftekhar was killed and three others were injured in a road accident in Sudan yesterday afternoon.

Criminal shot in ‘gunfight’ with cops in city

A man was bullet-hit during a “gunfight” between his associates and detective police at Milbarak Balurmath area in the capital yesterday.

Hold polls after updating voters' list: HC

The High Court yesterday directed the Election Commission to hold Chandpur municipality polls after updating voters' list as early as possible.

DMP ban on movement

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) imposed restriction on movement of people, except examinees, within 200 yards of examination centres on the occasion of SSC examinations in the city.

Prime Bank distributes blankets

Prime Bank recently distributed blankets to the winter-stricken people at Domar upazila, Dimla upazila of Nilphamari and Boda upazila of Panchagarh, says a press release.

Body of youth found in city

Police recovered the decomposed body of an unidentified youth from the city's Demra last evening.

Abu Sayeed's birthday today

Today is the 89th anniversary of birth of former president Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury.

PM returns home today

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returns home today ending her five-day visit to the United

Jamaat leaders meet Khaleda

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia last night discussed latest political situation with Jamaat-e-Islami leaders following her party's victory in the recently held municipal and by-polls.

Bomb attack on city AL leader

A Tejgaon thana unit leader of ruling Awami League came under attack by an unknown youth on Green Road in the city last night.

National

'Start session without delay'

'Barisal University Implementation Committee' yesterday held a six-kilometre-long boat chain, a human chain and a rally to press for immediate implementation of the project of Barisal University (BU), the only proposed general public university in Barisal division.

59 Indians languishing in Satkhira district jail

At least 59 Indian nationals including three women are languishing in Satkhira district jail, despite completion of their prison terms.

'Dredge Kobadak to mitigate sufferings of 14 lakh people'

Several hundred people staged 'token' hunger strike and held a rally in the town yesterday demanding immediate steps for dredging silted up Kobadak River to solve the perennial waterlogging problem to mitigate sufferings of 14 lakh affected people in Satkhira, Khulna and Jessore districts.

PSTU to hold its first convocation Feb 27

The first convocation of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) will take place on February 27.

Robbers kill one,loot 12 houses in 4 districts

Robbers killed one person and looted at least a dozen houses in Pabna, Munshiganj, Narayanganj and Barisal districts yesterday and the day before.

Verdict in case against 61 mutineers today

The special court-14 will deliver judgement in the mutiny case against 61 jawans of BGB Sylhet sector headquarters today.

Hartal enforced by BNP passes off peacefully

A dawn-to-dusk hartal enforced by local unit of opposition BNP to protest 'vote rigging' during January 27 by-polls in Brahmanbaria-3 constituency passed off peacefully yesterday.

Obscene dance, illegal acts under the guise of fair

Obscene dance, gambling and deceitful lottery are going on under the guise of 'adivasi mela' (fair of indigenous people) at Balabhir village in Boda upazila of Panchagarh district.

Latif finally caught

An absconding college teacher, who allegedly took video footage of his illicit act with a student here in Shibganj, was sent to jail on his surrender before a court on Wednesday.

Rivals kill outlaw

An outlawed party leader was stabbed to death by his rivals in Bethuri river terminal of Goalanda upazila in Rajbari district Saturday night.

Human trafficker held

Police arrested an alleged human trafficker from village Jhhapaghat in Kalaroa upazila Saturday night. Arrestee Abdus Samad, 32, is son of Matiar Rahman of village Jhhapaghat. Quoting locals police said, the accused abducted Poly Akhtar, daughter of Md Kamruzzaman of the same village while returning home from school on December 28 last. Later he took her to India and sold her to a brothel there. Victim's father filed a case with Kalaroa PS. Poly later managed to escape from the brothel with the help of another Bangladeshi and returned home on Thursday.

Smugglers held with CDs

Seventeen smugglers along with 2,400 pieces of CD were arrested at Gotipara border here yesterday morning. Acting on secret information, a team of police raided the area and held 17 people along with the CDs worth about Tk four lakh. The CDs were being smuggled out to India, said police. The arrestees were identified as Rehena Khatun, 20, Fatema Khatun, 18, Abdur Rahim, 21, Younus Ali, 23, Bhutto, 20, Milon Rahman, 24, Badar Uddin, 21, Monir Hossain, 26, Abu Jafar, 25, Masud Hossain, 22, Jahangir Hossain, 28, Russel Hossain, 20, Humayun Kabir, 30, Shakil Ahmed, 27, Bulbul Ahmed, 30, Nayon, 27, and Sujit Kumar, 20. All of them hailed from different areas in Benapole.

Boy killed in wall collapse

A two-year-old boy was killed as a wall collapsed on him at his house at Karnajhora village in Sribordi upazila Saturday. The deceased was identified as Masum Miah, son of tea stall owner Abdul Motaleb. Police said when Masum was playing in his house a wall of the house fell on him in the afternoon, leaving him dead on the spot.

Woman held with fake notes

A woman was arrested along with fake currency notes from a shop at Kanchpur industrial area on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Sonargaon upazila Saturday afternoon. The arrestee was identified as Fatema Akhter, 30, daughter of late Abdul Kader of Samondi area in the upazila. Police said Fatema gave a Tk 1,000 note to a shopkeeper after purchasing cloths at about 4:30pm. Suspecting the note as fake he informed the highway police. Later, police recovered three more fake notes of the same denomination searching her body.

Letters

World Cup ticket conundrum

As the excitement begins to reach a crescendo in the coming days leading to the opening game in February 19, there is a growing concern among the general public about the availability of the tickets in time. With the BCB President himself making ambiguous comments about the allocations for ministers and MPs, former national players venting their frustrations quite publicly and justifiably with the way they have been treated over the issue of tickets, the situation is hardly encouraging for the tax-paying, sports-loving individual.

Reasons behind traffic jam

Of late traffic congestion has become an acute problem. The traffic police are introducing new rules frequently for the drivers, but nothing is working. It seems it is not a manageable problem at all. The number of vehicles is not the reason for such traffic jam. I feel it is the traffic management which is at fault. We remember, during the army backed caretaker government the traffic was well managed and there was less traffic jam. This means, people strictly follow the traffic rules under efficient management. In general, Bangladeshis are not a law-abiding nation. Here people get proud in flouting the laws than obeying them.

Utilising the golden fibre

Nowadays we see that poly bags are used everywhere. Even if it is banned, thousands of poly bags are made every day. It has serious effects on our environment. On the other hand, a jute bag can replace more than 300 conventional poly bags in its lifetime! It will help our environment a lot! It is economical and durable. Items made from jute fabric include fashion apparel, soft luggage, carpet backing and bags or sacks for packing.

A stubborn lady indeed!

Even the Honourable Prime Minister at times reluctantly admits the failure of the government to carry out the pledges made to the people on different occasions. On the other hand, the Honourable Home Minister is unwilling to admit that law and order is not well in the country when a daring dacoity was committed at the residence of a treasury bench member of the parliament and her landlord. Thanks heaven that she did not blame it on the opposition.

Shortage of teachers

The Prime Minister said in a meeting that her government will establish public university in every district. Not very long ago a report was published in a daily that there was shortage of students in Pabna University, established recently. The scenario is almost the same in all the newly established universities. There is not only shortage of students, but also shortage of teachers. Most of the districts have university colleges with shortage of teachers. Many government high schools have no Head teachers, Assistant Head teachers, English, Math and Science teachers.

President Obama recites the Beatles

The President of the United States of America Barack Obama recited the lyrics of the Beatles' song “Let it be” in a gospel choir performance. This is for the first time a US President's voice is being incorporated in the Beatles song. The video is now on show on the Web.

Habit of reading newspapers

Reading newspaper daily is one of the best ways to keep up to date with the ever advancing world. All the important news and events of the world are brought to our doorstep by the newspapers. But reading newspapers have other benefits as well. Reading English daily can enrich the vocabulary of an individual.

A teacher's responsibility

Teaching is a noble profession. But it is very pathetic to observe that some teachers do not show any instance of nobility. I have witnessed and learned that in many schools and colleges some teachers use slang words if any student does any mistake. If any student makes any fault they also abuse their parents verbally. This is not acceptable.

Minimum wage of journalists

I would like to draw attention of the people concerned as to the minimum wage of the probationary journalists. Not all, but most of the newspapers remunerate the probationary journalists at around TK. 3,000- 4,000/-. To my utter surprise, many do not even pay the journalists during the probationary period as I have recently come to know from some of my friends working in the media. Management asks them to work 3-4 months for free and start paying them only upon satisfactory performance at the completion of this period.

We want peace in campus

Recently we witnessed another clash between two groups of Chhatra League, this time not in the campus but on the roads (Prothom Alo, 5th January).We have seen the same occurrences throughout the year 2010. Even in last two years we lost some valuable lives in different clashes. But whenever we ask the MPs to ban student politics, they cite the examples of students' role in 1952. We all know that the situation is very different now.

Power-at-all-cost syndrome

Our nation will see the beginning of hard bargains with some parties demanding that elected city/town mayors be thrown out, some others wanting plum portfolios and so on. No party is likely to demand efficient, corrupt-free governance. Who are they? Who wants to think about them for the next five years?

From Pentagon to Hexagon and beyond!

An interesting and detailed essay on the subject on the total number of US military bases was published in a local English daily on 14th January.

International

Govt corruption raises protests in India

Thousands of people marched through New Delhi and several other Indian cities yesterday to protest against corruption in the country's government and state bodies.

Hillary heads to Haiti to mediate political crisis

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is flying to Haiti to mediate in a political crisis there while other administration officials are keeping watch on violent protests halfway across the world in Egypt.

Thousands rally in Lahore

About 40,000 people rallied in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore yesterday in the latest protest against proposed reforms of a controversial blasphemy law, police said.

Hillary for 'orderly transition' in Egypt

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called yesterday for an "orderly transition" in Egypt but stopped short of demanding President Hosni Mubarak step down as protests engulfed his regime.

Pak PM declines comment on US man's arrest

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday declined to comment on the arrest of a US man who shot dead two men in Lahore, saying the matter was being probed by courts and regional authorities.

India sends plane to rescue citizens from Egypt

India yesterday sent a passenger plane to Cairo to evacuate Indian citizens from Egypt due to the ongoing unrest, the government in New Delhi said.

Dutch ends Iran ties over hanging

The Dutch government has frozen official contacts with Iran to protest the hanging of a Dutch-Iranian woman, the foreign ministry said.

Tunisian Islamist leader returns from exile

Tunisian Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi returned to his homeland after more than 20 years in exile yesterday, eyeing a political future for his Ennahda movement after the fall of Tunisia's regime.

Sudanese police clash with students in Khartoum

Sudanese police beat and arrested students yesterday as protests broke out throughout Khartoum demanding the government resign, inspired by a popular uprising in neighbouring Egypt.

Birds use quantum theory to literally 'see' Earth's magnetic field as they fly

Birds may be able to 'see' the Earth's electromagnetic field as they fly through the sky, scientists have suggested.

Sarkozy urges early reform of UN Security Council

French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday challenged the United Nations to reform its powerful Security Council this year to include one or more permanent African members.

Iran MPs appoint Salehi foreign minister

Iran's parliament yesterday officially endorsed atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi as the Islamic republic's foreign minister, who told lawmakers the nuclear issue was a key part of foreign policy.

Malaysia's ruling coalition wins by-election

Malaysia's ruling coalition yesterday comfortably won a key by-election in its traditional stronghold, amid speculation of snap polls later this year.

Fire kills 12 in Philippines

Twelve people were killed in a huge fire that razed some 100 houses in a poor residential area in the Philippine capital yesterday, authorities said.

Cyclones to hit flood-weary Australia

Flood-shattered Australia braced for further downpours yesterday as two tropical cyclones hammered toward the devastated northeast, threatening further misery for already submerged towns.

South Sudan chooses to secede

Close to 99 percent of south Sudanese chose to secede from the north in a landmark January 9-15 referendum, according to the first complete preliminary results announced yesterday.

German train crash kills 10

At least 10 people are reported to have died in a train crash in eastern Germany.

Somalis accused of piracy are flown to South Korea

A group of Somalis suspected of piracy have been flown to South Korea to face possible criminal charges.

Blasts at Venezuela arms depot wounded 40

A fire set off a series of explosions at a military arms depot in the city of Maracay yesterday, injuring about 40 people and leading authorities to evacuate the area, an official said.

Three NATO trucks attacked in Pakistan

Gunmen in southwestern Pakistan attacked three trucks after they returned from delivering supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, police said yesterday.

Oman busts UAE spy ring: security official

Oman has dismantled an Emirati spy ring that was targeting the government and the military in the Gulf sultanate, a security official said yesterday.

Man dies after falling off Japanese roller coaster

A 34-year-old man died after falling off a roller coaster at a popular amusement park in Tokyo yesterday, in the third incident there in three months, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

The Daily Star-BGTF Theatre Festival

"Socrates-er Jobanbondi", "Prakrito Purangana" and "Bhager Manush" were staged on the fifth day (January 29) at the ongoing theatre fest arranged by The Daily Star and Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF). The plays were staged respectively at the Studio Theatre Hall, National Theatre Hall and Experimental Theatre Hall.

Ustad Momtaj Ali Khan Sangeet Academy Marks its 8th Anniversary

To mark the 8th anniversary of its inception, Ustad Momtaj Ali Sangeet Academy conferred honorary awards to the celebrated singer Ajit Roy and the late Language Movement veteran and poet Mahbubul Alam Chowdhury on January 29 at Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium, Public Library in Dhaka.

Notes of Raga

Arnab Chatterjee is currently teaching Hindustani classical music at the Dhanmondi and Gulshan sections of the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre. He was originally trained by his father and Ustad Mashkur Ali Khan, and is currently learning from Ulhas Kasalkar of Sangeet Research Academy.

Yasmin Mushtari's Solo Performance at National Museum

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of country's independence, socio-cultural organisation 'Amra Shurjomukhi' arranged a musical soiree at Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on January 29. The featured artiste of the soiree was noted Nazrul singer Yasmin Mushtari.

Art Festival in Honour of Visva Bharati Teachers

Cosmos-Atelier 71 organised a one day art festival in honour of the visiting faculty members of Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati, in Shanti Niketan. The festival was held recently at Cosmos Centre in Malibagh.

Oscar Nominations: Snubs and Surprises

Look quickly and you may think that most predictions for the films "The King's Speech", "Black Swan", and "The Social Network" have come true -- they have been nominated for the top Oscars.

Timeout for Youngsters Fair and cultural function for children

A two-day fair and cultural function for children concluded last Friday at the tourist destination of Kuakata, in Patuakhali district. Patuakhali District Information Office organised the programme on January 27 and 28 at the Rakhain market field.

OP-ED

People power in Egypt

The spark of people power that erupted into flames in small Tunisia is now raging through the Middle East. The biggest of the Arab countries, Egypt, is at the moment boiling. The regime of Hosni Mubarak is witnessing the worst challenge to its existence during its nearly three decades of rule with an iron first.

When Mirpur stood liberated

Let us get the facts straight. When Bangladesh stood liberated, as a whole, on December 16, 1971, there were yet small pockets where Pakistan's defeated soldiers were putting up last ditch resistance. That resistance would come to an end within days. But there was, unbelievably, one small portion of the country which non-Bengali collaborators of the Pakistan occupation army kept in their grip for a month and a half after liberation.



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