The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, November 28, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 15th of February, 2011

Front Page

Import relaxed for essentials

The government has started taking a number of steps to cut the prices of essentials including edible oil, rice and sugar.

Rowdy protests on street

At least 60 people were detained in Motijheel area of the capital yesterday during violent clashes between retail investors and police after the stockmarket saw a massive fall for the fifth day in a row.

Fanfare hits fever pitch

Dhaka is now base camp for four international cricket teams: Pakistan, England, Canada and, of course, Bangladesh. Bangladesh, Pakistan and England all held practice sessions at different times at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) in Mirpur yesterday, while Canada practised at Fatullah. All four teams are scheduled to play warm-up games in the country before the World Cup begins on February 19.

Algeria 'to lift emergency laws'

The Algerian government has said it will end its 19-year-old state of emergency "within days".

Taliban attack kills two at Kabul mall

A Taliban suicide bomber targeted a popular shopping mall in the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul yesterday, killing two guards and wounding at least two other people, officials said.

Aga Khan spoke for Arabic as solution

Ratan Lal Chakrabarty, like Badruddin Umar, has done truly commendable scholarly work on the language movement, per courtesy of course of Bangla Academy. His extremely informative Bhasha Andoloner Dolilpotro (Documents of the Language Movement), published in 2000, will remain remarkable for the meticulous way in which he has unearthed a number of papers and documents relating both to the period leading up to February 21, 1952 as well as after it. The work, as the title suggests, is truly a documentary enumeration of the history behind the struggle for the establishment of Bangla as one of the two state languages of Pakistan.

Ekushey Padak goes to 13

Thirteen distinguished personalities have been nominated for Ekushey Padak-2011 for their special contributions to the society and the country.

Fake ticket makers held

A Rapid Action Battalion mobile court yesterday busted a printing press producing fake tickets of World Cup cricket and arrested four persons in this connection at Nanda Kumar Datta road in the capital's Chawkbazar area.

Dhaka denied an opportunity

Bangladesh missed the golden opportunity of upgrading its capital's beauty, as the ongoing city beautification work ahead of the World Cup Cricket is being carried out without any creative spark or consistency or showing the country's best, observe artists, visual artists and city planners.

Politics of municipalities

People of 200 municipalities have applied to the government for turning those into union parishads again, saying they were set up by previous governments “on political consideration”.

JS body moves to play safe

The parliamentary special committee on constitution amendment is now struggling to uphold secularism while maintaining the status of Islam as state religion in the constitution, in an effort to avoid any political flare up.

Dubious distinction

Wholesale absence of ruling Awami League-led alliance lawmakers, who were supposed to raise their scripted questions for ministers, put a bizarre record in parliament proceedings yesterday.

Buriganga freed of 80 structures

About 80 illegally built structures were demolished on a 1.5-kilometre stretch of the river Buriganga in Lalbagh yesterday as part of the move to free rivers of encroachers.

Endangered gharial caught in Padma

A young gharial, one of the most critically endangered reptile species, was caught from the river Padma in Kushtia on Sunday and will be released shortly at the Bangabandhu Safari Park in Gazipur.

Bogra cops asked to sue culprits

The High Court yesterday directed the police of Bogra to sue the persons involved in damaging the archeological site of Mahasthangarh.

Noab hails govt for CrPC amendment

The Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (Noab) has welcomed the government for amending the Criminal Procedure Code dropping the provision of issuance of warrants to journalists and writers or others in defamatory cases.

SC appoints 10 experts as amici curiae

The Supreme Court yesterday appointed 10 senior lawyers as amici curiae (friends of court) for their expert opinion on a long pending appeal against a High Court verdict that in 2001 declared fatwa (religious edict) illegal.

Nipah claims 2 more

Nipah encephalitis claimed two more lives at Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) yesterday raising the death toll to 33.

Spirit of love all around

An air of love was wafting through the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela yesterday, on the occasion of Valentine's Day as couples were seen walking hand in hand in the fair precincts.

Feb 17 half-day holiday for Dhaka

Government has announced public holiday from 2:00pm on February 17 in the capital on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Govt asked Yunus to step aside

The finance minister yesterday said the government had asked Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus to stay away from Grameen Bank as long as a review of the microlender continues.

Virtual walking on Red Planet

A group of volunteers isolated from the outside world for eight months stepped out on a mock-up of Mars yesterday, reaching the half-way point of their experimental "voyage" to the Red Planet.

Twelve die in Pakistan bus fire

At least 12 members of a wedding party were burnt to death when their bus caught fire in northern Pakistan, police said.

Editorial

Fatwa-related crimes

From Noorjahan in the 1990s to Hena just last month, hundreds of women who have fallen victim to fatwa-related violence have made headlines which have, since, died out. The crimes, however, have not -- despite the High Court's January 2001 ruling against fatwa as illegal. In as far later as in August 2009, in response to a public interest litigation filed by some human rights organisations, the Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD), law-enforcing agencies and union parishads and pourashabhas were directed by the High Court to take immediate measures against extra-judicial penalties in salish (arbitration).

Saving Dhaka's environs

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the envi-ronment and forest ministry has come up with strategies to save 20 percent of the extant water bodies with Dhaka City Corporation. In a report based on an analysis of the satellite images of the capital with assistance from the UNDP the JS committee has made some concrete recommendations. These are aimed at saving the critical mass of wetland we still have. It has spelt out 'sustainable strategies' to restore the rivers and other associated wetlands in and around Dhaka City.

Sports

Shakib looks to event proper

There might be a lot of hype among cricket fans about today's day-night warm-up match between Bangladesh and Pakistan, but the Tigers think-tank played down the significance of the match.

We can win: Colly

Paul Collingwood is England's most capped player, and stands as an example of a man who has squeezed every ounce of talent that he has been blessed with. The jovial former ODI captain took part in a press meet yesterday at Dhaka's Hotel Sheraton, where he answered questions ranging from England's chances in the World Cup and the team's confidence levels following their recent 6-1 reversal against Australia in a one-day series down under.

World Cup brings business to Nurul Islam

Nurul Islam, a 50-year-old carpenter, is piling on the extra hours in his small shop at the outpost of Keraniganj to meet the rising demand for cricket bats. While it is already well into the cricket season in the country, the advent of a World Cup at home has only fuelled the demand. Hence, Islam is now calling in two of his school-going sons to work with him in his shop after school.

Beautiful new BNS

As you approach gate No.1 of the Bangabandhu National Stadium, you'll get to see beautiful murals depicting figures of a cricketer in bowling action, a weight lifter, a swimmer and many more different athletes.

Wanna watch today's game?

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday confirmed that almost five thousand tickets for the practice match between Bangladesh and Pakistan remained unsold till yesterday.

Mosquitoes keep away

Bangladesh has launched an all-out war on mosquitoes in and around cricket stadiums to ensure a bite-free World Cup for spectators and players, an official said Monday.

Shadharan Bima in final

Shadharan Bima moved to the final of Chowdhury Group Shaheed Smriti Hockey Tournament crushing Bangladesh Police AC 3-1 in their last group match at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

Raonic ends title drought

Canada's Milos Raonic upset top seeded Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5) in the final of the SAP Open, becoming the first Canuck to win an ATP Tour title in 16 years.

Of backstage heroes

They don't win matches by smashing sixes or grabbing wickets but prefer plotting their teams' success behind the scene.

SA face Aus in warm-up

There are only two survivors from that semifinal between South Africa and Australia at Edgbaston in 1999 in this World Cup. Only Jacques Kallis and Ricky Ponting have experienced the heartache and exhilaration that laid the foundation for an intense rivalry between the two countries in the 21st century. Most of the men in the present squads only had a small taste of the tough contest that plays out when these two teams meet, in the 2008-09 season. They'll be served another morsel in the warm-up match in Bangalore on Tuesday, and even though it's only for practice, the winners will take confidence out of beating their old foes.

If it as coach, that'll do

As a player, Waqar Younis had nothing but bad memories of the World Cup.

Soderling retains title

Swede Robin Soderling retained his title at the ATP Rotterdam Open Sunday with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to join compatriot Stefan Edberg in lifting the indoor trophy twice.

Not enough love for Fatullah

Both Dhaka and Chittagong have almost been ensured beautiful cities ahead of the ICC World Cup through newly carpeted roads, hawker-free footpaths, freshly painted buildings, and decorative lighting across different roads.

Trott banks on purple patch

When everyone would be expecting Andrew Strauss or Kevin Pietersen to share the burden of England's hopes in the World Cup, an unsung batsman in Jonathan Trott could actually play a pivotal role in their endeavour to win the coveted trophy for the first time.

What to do with Chawla?

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was grappling with a selection puzzle Monday after a match-winning performance by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in a World Cup warm-up game against Australia.

This is his Prior-ity

Matt Prior's selection as the sole wicketkeeper in England's 15-man World Cup squad was a bit of a surprise but he remains the pragmatic choice.

Viv picks India

West Indian legend Vivian Richards feels that Indian have improved in the fielding department in recent times and that increases the chance of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men lifting the World Cup.

Pak trio sacked

Banned Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer have been sacked by their employee -- National Bank -- one of the leading teams in the country's domestic circuit.

Liu finishes 3rd again

China's former Olympic champion and world record holder Liu Xiang again finished third in the 60m hurdles on Sunday at the Karlsruhe indoor meet.

Sarwan wants to silence critics

Recalled West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan declared Monday that his side was determined to silence critics who have predicted an embarrassing World Cup flop.

El Phenomenon calls time on soccer

"I wanted to continue, but I can't do it any more. I think of an action, but I can't do it the way I want to. It's time. It's the body that's hurting me”

Real show real character

Real Madrid showed real character to close the gap on leaders Barcelona to five points winning 1-0 at Espanyol on Sunday, despite playing virtually the whole match with 10 men after goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas was sent off after just 90 seconds.

Juve dent Inter hopes

Alessandro Matri was the hero as Juventus stunned an out-of-sorts Inter Milan 1-0 in Turin on Sunday to dent the champions' title hopes.

An air of deja vu

There was a distinct air of deja vu about the draw for the Champions League round of 16, with six teams drawn to face sides they encountered during last season's competition.

Bale out of Milan clash

Welsh winger Gareth Bale has failed in his battle to be fit for Tottenham's Champions League clash with AC Milan on Tuesday due to an ongoing back injury.

Osasuna sack Camacho

Spanish first division club Osasuna fired their coach, Jose Antonio Camacho, on Monday following the side's 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad at the weekend.

Abramovich slips down rich list

Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich is no longer one of Russia's three richest men a report said Monday.

Business

Banks' loan default rates in decline

Default rates declined compared to outstanding loans last year, but showed a slight rise in volume, as some banks could not rein in their bad loans.

Govt changes mind on state shares

The finance minister has admitted that the decision to offload shares of state enterprises was not a timely step and some sections tried to cash in on it by reducing stock prices.

SEC approves Tk 500cr special purpose fund

The stockmarket regulator yesterday approved a trust deed and registration of a Tk 500 crore special purpose fund.

FBCCI proposes special Japanese EPZ

Bangladesh's business leaders have proposed that Japanese put all efforts to have a separate export processing zone of their own here, which could help raise bilateral trade.

Ctg SME fair kicks off today

The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Financing Fair-2011 begins today at the Engineers' Institute, Chittagong.

NRBs dream own business at home

A majority of the expatriate Bangladeshis living in the Gulf countries such as United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain want to start their own business upon returning home, a study revealed.

New MD for BDBL

Md Zillur Rahman joined Bangladesh Development Bank Ltd (BDBL) as managing director on Sunday, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

Green Delta signs 'indemnity' insurance policy with Bank of Ceylon

Green Delta Insurance Company Limited has recently signed a bankers' indemnity insurance policy with Commercial Bank of Ceylon in Dhaka, the insurer said in a statement.

Supply chain redefined

The corporate sector in Bangladesh should focus on implementing the supply chain concept as it helps the firms gain competitive advantages and customer retention by creating a positive image, said an international supply chain expert.

Asian exchanges could miss M&A wave

Asia runs the risk of being left behind in the sudden wave of transatlantic stock exchange consolidation, given the tough regulatory regimes, cumbersome ownership structures and protectionist-minded governments.

Romance warms up urban business

Love is in the air, and not only because of Valentine's Day. The Bangla calendar gives its own reasons to rejoice love and festivities. Spring began on Sunday and the season is meant to spread love and colour, in shades of red and yellow, for the next two months.

Romance in symbols

Why February 14?
It was Pope Gelasius who declared February 14 to be Saint Valentine's feast day around 498 A.D. It could be because that's when Valentine was martyred a couple of hundred years earlier.

China overtakes Japan as No. 2 economy

Japan lost its 42-year ranking as the world's second-biggest economy to China in 2010, with data on Monday showing a contraction in the last quarter due to weak consumer spending and a strong yen.

Forty years on, birth of a new Boeing jumbo

Boeing Co rolled out a new jumbo jet on Sunday, hoping to relive the glamor of the birth of the 747 over 40 years ago and use it to boost slow sales.

India's inflation eases in January

India's inflation eased less than expected in January to 8.23 percent, holding well above the Reserve Bank's comfort zone and reinforcing expectations it will raise interest rates at its March policy review.

Credit Suisse secures $6b from Qatar, Saudi

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said Monday that it was raising $6.0 billion by issuing bonds to Qatar Holding and Saudi Arabia's Olayan Group to help it meet tough new capital adequacy rules.

Tata in joint venture with US company

Indian conglomerate Tata group said on Monday it had entered a joint venture with US defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp to make aircraft components for the C-130 transport planes.

Malaysia's Petronas finds new offshore oilfields

Malaysia's state-owned energy giant Petronas Monday said it has discovered new offshore oil and gas reserves in eastern Sarawak state.

Abramovich slips down Russia's rich list

Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich is no longer one of Russia's three richest men after being outranked by oligarchs who benefited from recovering oil and commodity prices, a report said Monday.

Asian markets rise

Asian stock markets rose on Monday thanks partly to the easing of Egypt's political crisis, although there was caution about upcoming Chinese inflation data while oil prices remained high.

Metropolitan

HC declares Gour Gopal's post illegal

The High Court yesterday declared illegal Justice Gour Gopal Saha's holding the post of Administrative Appellate Tribunal chairman.

Mahasthangarh artifacts stolen to destroy heritage

Speakers at a human chain alleged that some culprits stole artifacts from Mahasthangarh to destroy the culture and heritage of Bangladesh.

Knowledge Corner

Children's literature:
Around the world
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island”- Walt Disney
From fairy tales to science fiction, adventure stories to fantasy, the world of children's literature has a lot to offer. Throughout the ages authors from all over the world in their respective languages have enriched it and made it vibrant.

Bangladesh ranks higher on press freedom scale

A latest report of the US-based media watch group Freedom House ranked Bangladesh higher on a global scale of press freedom.

Stalkers ruined her life finally

Shahida Akhter dreamt of a happy life with her husband but two stalkers, whose proposal for marriage was turned down by her parents ruined her dream.

Govt planning to tap diverse fuel sources

State Minister for Power Brig Gen (retd) Enamul Haque yesterday said the government is planning to go for fuel diversification in the power sector to meet the growing demand of electricity in the country.

Increase scientific researches: Nahid

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid urged scientists and students to increase scientific researches and studies to improve qualitative standard of education.

Final metro rail route likely today

The government may finalise the route of proposed Uttara-Sayedabad metro rail today after bringing changes in it to avoid any overlapping with under-construction “Mayor Hanif elevated expressway” and other structures.

Seven bordering civil surgeons alerted

Civil surgeons of seven bordering districts have been directed to strengthen surveillance in the borders, as a polio patient was found at Haora in West Bengal Saturday.

BGB to raise 19 new battalions

The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will shortly raise 19 new battalions to strengthen the force and restore people's confidence in it.

'Provide common toilets at offices'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday emphasised on the need for providing 'common toilets' instead of 'individual toilets' at offices.

Three killed in road crashes

Three people were killed in road accidents in Jhenaidah and Khagrachhari districts yesterday.

Ihsanul made BSS MD, Chief Editor

The government yesterday appointed Ihsanul Karim as the chief editor and managing director of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) on a two-year contract.

7 DV lottery frauds held in city

Detective Branch (DB) of Police on Sunday night arrested seven members of a gang from the city's Malibagh on charge of fraudulence with students regarding US Diversity Visa (DV) lottery.

Prof Nitai first VC of textile university

Prof Dr Nitai Chandra Sutradhar has been appointed the first-ever vice chancellor (VC) of Bangladesh Textile University for the next four years, says a press release.

Free surgery for cleft lip babies

A 22-member US team has set to operate, free of cost, on the cleft lip of 120 patients at Dhaka Shishu Hospital in the city, says a press release.

Housemaid 'kills' herself

A teenaged female domestic help allegedly committed suicide by hanging at Motijheel in city yesterday noon.

HC summons three Comilla policemen

The High Court yesterday summoned three officers of Comilla Sadar Police Station to appear before it on February 22 to explain their conducts about recording a case against the death of a teenage school student who was allegedly raped and set afire.

Call to set up hygienic public toilets

Speakers yesterday called upon authorities concerned to set up hygienic and decent public toilets to prevent negative impacts on the environment and public health.

Festive look at DU

Dhaka University campus wore a festive look as young lovers in colorful dresses celebrated the Valentine's Day yesterday.

SAHR hails decision on Indo-Pak talks

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a network of human rights defenders in South Asia, has welcomed the decision taken by India and Pakistan to resume peace talks that were broken off after the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Practise responsible journalism: Azad

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday said mass media should practice responsible journalism keeping people's welfare in mind as media are liable to the masses.

Tk 6 lakh snatched

Muggers yesterday took away Tk 6 lakh from a businessman who had just withdrawn the amount from a bank at the city's Dhanmondi.

Wage movement like Egyptians: Khaleda

BNP Chairperson and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia last night urged the people to forge a movement against the misdeeds of thepresent government like the Egyptians did to protect their country.

Boy sets himself on fire in city

An 18-year old boy, being refused by his 'beloved', set himself on fire before her yesterday in front of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

'Use poems as tool for positive change'

Speakers at a function urged the poets to present poems as a tool for bringing positive changes in the society.

National

Dyke burst adds to their miseries

Five hours into the completion, Patakhali embankment in Koira upazila of Khulna district collapsed under the pressure of strong current of Shibsha River on Sunday afternoon.

Prime accused in Sylhet hotelier killing case held

The prime accused in the case for killing Atiqur Rahman Atique, managing director of Hotel Anurag of Sylhet city, was arrested in the capital yesterday.

Dazzling days of Language Movement in Nilphamari

The then East Pakistan sub divisional town Nilphamari joined the Language Movement of 1952 on 4 February.

4 JMB men get life in Chandpur

Four militants of banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were sentenced to life term rigorous imprisonment in separate cases in the district yesterday.

70 fall sick due to food poisoning in Dinajpur

At least 70 people fell sick after having meal at a marriage ceremony at Husnapara village in Dinajpur Sadar upazila on Sunday night.

BGB returns body of BSF man

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) handed over the body of a member of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) to the BSF authority through a flag meeting on Baghbhander border in Bhurungumari upazila of Kurigram district yesterday noon.

Mother, 2 daughters murdered in Mymensingh

Unknown assailants killed a woman and her two daughters at Bhatta village in Phulpur upazila of Mymensingh yesterday, police said.

Five pirates jailed in Bagerhat

A court here yesterday convicted five pirates and awarded them 17 years' imprisonment each. The convicts are Ishaq Uddin, 50, Monir Hossain Sarder, 30, Akram Gazi, Monir Hawlader, 22, of Bagerhat district and Shaheed Khandaker,35, of Barguna district. According to prosecution, forest guards arrested the five pirates from a trawler in Chandershar area in Sharankhola upazila on August 22,2007 when they were taking preparation for committing piracy. They also recovered two firearms, nine rounds of bullet and arms making materials from the trawler.

Night guard beaten to death

A night guard was beaten to death by unidentified criminals in Barpur area in the district town early Sunday. The deceased was identified as Shahadat Ali, 65, son of Mozibor Rahman in the area. Police said Ali resisted the criminals as they tried to take away goods from a welding workshop. At one stage, they picked up altercation with the guard and beat him mercilessly, leaving him critically injured. Locals rescued him and took him to Bogra Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital where the doctors declared him dead.

Three held with arms

Three alleged muggers were arrested along with arms and bullets at South Chalna village in Sadar upazila Sunday evening. The arrestees were identified as Harun-ur-Rashid alias Thandu, 35, of Bhaowal Mirzapur village, Abul Hossain, 27, and Badol, 27 of Kathora village in Sadar upazila. Acting on a tip-off, police conducted a drive in the area and arrested the three when they were taking preparation for mugging in the evening. Later, a foreign made pistol and four bullets were recovered from their procession.

UP chairman arrested

Police arrested Paharpur Union Parishad chairman at Aowlia Bazar in Bijoynagar upazila on Sunday night. The arrestee was identified as Mahbubur Rahman alias Mia Bali. Police said they arrested Mahbubur as a warrant of arrest was issued against him in the morning following a case filed by Anti Corruption Commission for misappropriation of rice of Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) and Vulnerable Group Development (VGD).

International

Thousands continue protest on fourth day

Thousands of students and lawyers demanding Yemen's president step down clashed yesterday with baton-wielding riot police and security forces who threw up razor wire to force them out of the centre of the capital Sanaa.

Protests switch to demands on pay

Fresh protests and strikes have flared in Egypt as demonstrators demand better pay and conditions from the country's new military rulers.

Obama budget attacks deficit, sets up fight

The White House assumes the US economy will fully recoup losses incurred in the latest recession by 2017, putting it at odds with many private economists who believe the downturn left permanent scars.

Cambodia to ask UN help secure ceasefire

Cambodia said it would ask the UN Security Council to help secure a "permanent ceasefire" with Thailand as both countries prepared to brief the world body yesterday about a deadly border dispute.

Tehran protests hit by tear gas

Iranian police have fired tear gas at opposition demonstrators gathering in central Tehran in support of the protests in Egypt.

Palestinian govt resigns ahead of polls

Palestinian premier Salam Fayyad yesterday resigned and dissolved his cabinet in a major political shake-up ahead of Palestinian elections to be held by September.

Arab summit in Baghdad on March 29

Arab leaders will hold their annual summit in Baghdad on March 29, officials said yesterday, in defiance of threats by Islamist insurgents waging a campaign against countries planning to take part.

Berlusconi refuses to resign, dismisses protest

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said yesterday he had no intention of stepping down and dismissed a weekend demonstration by thousands of women across Italy over his involvement in a sex scandal.

Prince William choses Harry as his best man: palace

Prince William has asked his brother Prince Harry to be his best man when he marries Kate Middleton on April 29, and she has asked her sister Philippa to be maid of honour, the palace said yesterday.

Policeman charged with Pak politician's assassination

A Pakistani court yesterday charged a police commando with terrorism and the murder of leading liberal politician Salman Taseer, whose assassination divided the country.

India's foreign minister criticised for UN speech gaffe

India's main opposition party has criticised Foreign Minister SM Krishna for reading the speech of the Portuguese foreign minister at the UN.

Tunisian refugees flood Italian island

Thousands of people escaping upheaval in Tunisia have landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa, sparking a humanitarian crisis.

Officials seize Afghan vote data

Government prosecutors and police stormed into election commission offices in Kabul yesterday to seize control of vote data, accusing the body of not cooperating with a probe into fraud, officials said.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan detained after cash haul

India has detained a prominent Pakistani singer and his two managers after they attempted to board a plane to Dubai with more than $100,000 in cash hidden in their bags, officials said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Chinese Acrobats Stun Dhaka Audience

Hundreds of keen audiences -- Bangladeshi and Chinese -- were awed by the spectacular performances of Zhejiang Acrobatic Art Troupe and Chinese Students Art Performing Group from University of International Business and Economics. The acrobatic show, titled 'Happy Chinese Spring Festival 2011', showcasing extraordinary feats of balance, agility and endurance was held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy premises in Dhaka on February 12 and 13.

SPBA-Citycell Rajshahi Art Camp 2011

Society for Promotion of Bangladesh Art (SPBA) and Charukala Institute (of Rajshahi University), with the support of Citycell, organised a three-day (February 11-13) art camp at Charukala Chattar, Rajshahi University campus. Professor M. Abdus Sobhan, Vice Chancellor of Rajshahi University (RU), inaugurated the art camp. Zahiruddin Mohammad Nadib, national sales manager, Citycell; Professor Muhammad Nurullah, Assistant Vice Chancellor of RU and Elthem B. Kabir, chairman of SPBA, were the special guests at the inaugural programme. Professor Bilkis Begum, Chairman of Charukala Institute presided over the programme.

Old and New Stars Come Together at Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards on Sunday was a night to honour mentors, as everyone from teen idol Justin Bieber to rock icon Mick Jagger paid tribute to artistes who helped mould their careers.

Colours of Spring

Shahid Rafiq Smriti Pathagar, a library named after the first martyr of the Language Movement Rafiquddin Ahmed, celebrated Bashonto Utshab (Spring Festival) with a colourful rally, cultural function and discussion on Sunday.

Literature Festival in Netrakona

Bashontokalin Shahitya Utshab (Spring Literature Festival) was celebrated at the Mukterpara area of the district town last Sunday, on the occasion of Pahela Phalgun, the first day of spring. Netrakona Shahitya Shomaj organised the event.

This Day In History

1898
The USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba. The United States declares war on Spain.

OP-ED

Lift the Cup, Tigers!

It's a great feeling. The day after tomorrow is the curtain raiser for the ICC World Cup 2011 to be held in Dhaka -- a feeling that truly cannot be articulated in words. Once again, we have come to believe that we are a part of world cricket; we are a part of an international competition, not only as a participating team, but also as co-hosts of the popular event. Bangladesh cricket has matured ever since its graduation to ICC ranks.

Empowering parliamentary committees

The Daily Star (DS) of February 9 carried a report which said that the law, justice and parliamentary affairs ministry had drafted a law to enhance the powers of the parliamentary committees and the heads of these committees are likely to sit together on February 15 to discuss the draft proposals and make necessary changes to strengthen the committee system.

Egypt strives for democracy

The fall of Hosni Mubarak was inevitable, although even hours before his departure, Mubarak declared that he was going to remain in power till the presidential election of September 2011. His vice-president asked the people to go home and to work. The people did not leave Tahrir Square. They were adamant to get rid of the autocrat who ruled the country for 30 years.

Why I support Mohammed Yunus

A year ago, I along with other social enterprise leaders from around the world visited Nobel laureate Professor Yunus at his Grameen headquarters in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I'm lucky that through my work I get to meet some interesting people in life, but I have met few people who can match the Yunus magic -- his charisma and vision has transformed the lives of some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people.

A new form of therapy

At a lunch with friends, a psychiatrist stood up and said she had to leave early to see a patient. Her husband said: "Why don't you stay and I'll do your patient?" We all laughed. He's a businessman! He might be able to fix up companies but would be a mega-disaster trying to fix up someone's life. Or would he? As she left, I couldn't help daydreaming about what would happen if one day the "corporate doctor" did end up seeing a patient at his wife's office.

Science & Life

New view of human evolution!

A fossilized foot bone recovered from Hadar, Ethiopia, shows that by 3.2 million years ago human ancestors walked bipedally with a modern human-like foot, a report that appears Feb. 11 in the journal Science, concludes. The fossil, a fourth metatarsal, or midfoot bone, indicates that a permanently arched foot was present in the species Australopithecus afarensis, according to the report authors, Carol Ward of the University of Missouri, together with William Kimbel and Donald Johanson, of Arizona State University's Institute of Human Origins.

Habitable exoplanets

Nasa's Kepler Spacecraft Telescope (KST) which was launched on 06 March 2009 with the objective of discovering Earth-like planets orbiting other suns in the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra. And on 02 February 2011, scientists from NASA announced that they have discovered with the aid of KST 54 new exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) where conditions are hospitable to extra-terrestrial life-forms! That means those 54 exoplanets are in the Goldilocks Zone, the region in a planetary system where the distance from a star and its orbiting planet is just right to maintain liquid water on its surface.

Atomtronics or electronics?

Forget about wires, silicon and electricity. Physicists have developed a new type of circuit that is little more than a puff of gas dancing in laser beams. By choreographing the atoms of this ultracold gas to flow as a current that can be controlled and switched on and off, the scientists have taken a step toward building the world's first “atomtronic” device.

Chemical that drives squid mad

A newfound chemical drives male squid berserk, and the molecule appears similar to ones seen in humans, scientists now say.

Electricity's sister!

A team of physicists in England has created magnetic charges isolated north and south magnetic poles and induced them to flow in crystals no bigger than a centimeter across. These moving magnetic charges, which behave almost exactly like electrical charges flowing through batteries and biological systems, could one day be useful in developing “magnetronic” devices though what such devices would do is anybody's guess.

Making of a dictator

Famously sadistic dictators like Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin share a personality profile marked by narcissism and paranoia, political psychologists say. But what of authoritarian-style dictators like Hosni Mubarak? Could an ordinary, well-meaning person turn into a repressive despot?

How can we foretell earthquake?

China has suffered some terrible earthquakes, and it isn't surprising that China's scientists want to find ways of forecasting them. In 1975, they were successful. They cleared the city of Haicheng two hours before a devastating quake and saved the city's population. Earthquake forecasting is, however, still inexact; the Chinese have failed to predict several earthquakes since 1975, but they have advanced the science of earthquake prediction.



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