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Saturday, August 30, 2014


News of: Friday, 25th of March, 2011

Front Page

Pak army launched genocide

Dr Kamal Hossain spent the whole of March 25, 1971 waiting for the call which General Peerzada had promised he would make. He as well as the other leading figures of the Awami League knew that time was running out, that unless a proclamation came from President Yahya Khan chaos would descend on East Bengal and indeed on Pakistan as a whole. Of course, the junta thought otherwise. Throughout the day, senior military commanders helicoptered throughout the province to make sure the plans for a military strike against the democratic movement were in place.

PM wants end to state power grab

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in parliament yesterday said the constitution will be amended in such a way that none can grab power again through extra-constitutional ways.

Flights inadequate

Repatriation of stranded Bangladeshis in Choucha camp is set to suffer further upsets unless the government arranges more flights, aid workers said yesterday.

Champs gone

Yuvraj Singh smashed an unbeaten half-century under pressure as India dispatched defending champions Australia from the World Cup with a five-wicket win at Ahmedabad yesterday. Their victory set up a dream semifinal against archrivals Pakistan at Mohali on March 30.

Haunted forever

It was unlike any other evening of March in 1971. An eerie calm hung on the air of March 25 at the Dhaka University. The campus was always abuzz with some form of jingoistic activities-- be it rally, procession or strategy-planning -- throughout the month.

Tribunal for protecting witnesses, victims

The International Crimes Tribunal will amend its rules of procedure to ensure fair trial of the crimes against humanity committed in 1971, tribunal Registrar Md Shahinur Islam has said.

Woman killed in daylight robbery

Criminals hacked and strangulated a housewife to death and looted cash and gold ornaments in the city's Demra while police recovered body of a construction worker from a semi-constructed building at Tejturibazar yesterday.

Talks on for honourable solution

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday talks are on to reach a compromise on the issue of Grameen Bank founder Prof Muhammad Yunus.

West strikes deep inside Libya

Western warplanes hit military targets deep inside Libya yesterday but failed to prevent tanks re-entering the western town of Misrata and besieging its main hospital.

BSF killed 136 Bangladeshis since 2009

As many as 136 Bangladeshi citizens were killed and 170 others injured by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) since January 2009, Home Minister Sahara Khatun told parliament yesterday.

Robert Blake's comments 'unwanted'

Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee yesterday condemned Robert O Blake, the US assistant state secretary for south and central Asian affairs, for his remark on the removal of Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus from the Grameen Bank.

BNP protests bid to 'tarnish Zia's image'

Opposition BNP leaders at a protest rally in the capital yesterday said they will give a fitting reply to the people who are out to tarnish the image of party founder late president Ziaur Rahman.

408 more Bangladeshis flee Libya

Influx of Bangladeshi workers into Tunisia and Egypt has increased further on Wednesday as some 408 more left Libya.

Thousands in austerity protest outside EU summit

Thousands of marchers converged yesterday on the venue for a summit of European Union leaders, protesting against austerity measures being introduced throughout the bloc.

Editorial

That dark night in 1971

Forty years ago tonight, seventy five million Bengalis were witness to an orgy of killing and pillage and rape by the Pakistan army equalled by few in modern history. At a time when the people of the then East Pakistan as well as West Pakistan looked forward to an honourable, democ-ratic solution to the political crisis caused by the machi-nations of a class of West Pakistani politicians and the military junta led by General Yahya Khan, the regime went for the dishonourable act of subverting the people's aspirations through a resort to force. Under what was eu-phemistically given out as Operation Searchlight, the state of Pakistan launched a genocide that would leave millions dead and the lives of those who survived changed forever.

No election to Zilla Parishad

The Zilla Parishads are now set to have government-appointed chairmen. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, while informing the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) of the govern-ment's decision, has, however, assured the nation that the objective of this arrangement is to strengthen the lo-cal government system.

Sports

Smith wants a good game

Bangladesh's participation in the World Cup as a team ended last Saturday, but tomorrow the World Cup will leave Bangladesh for good in this 2011 edition following the third quarterfinal between favourites South Africa and dark-horses New Zealand at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Vettori confident of an upset

It has only been five months since Daniel Vettori last spoke at a press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Yesterday, speaking to the media ahead of today's quarterfinal against South Africa, he may have allowed himself a quiet chuckle at how things can change in so short a time.

Kiwis' Test tour to BD not in 2011

New Zealand have, in consultation with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, postponed their two-Test tour of Bangladesh scheduled for May-June this year to 2012, citing extremely hot and humid weather.

Can Murali do it again?

Sri Lanka hope a fully-fit Muttiah Muralidaran can spark another match-winning performance against England in Saturday's World Cup quarterfinals.

Bopara says no worries

Ravi Bopara played down all-rounder Michael Yardy's shock withdrawal from England's World Cup squad, insisting it won't impact Saturday's quarterfinal against Sri Lanka.

A bowlers' World Cup

A World Cup in the sub-continent was largely expected to serve up run feasts but bowlers have spoiled the party, much to the delight of the traditional sufferers of the 50-over game.

Yardy deserts England

England all-rounder Michael Yardy has quit the World Cup suffering from depression just days before the quarterfinal against co-hosts Sri Lanka.

Senior Gayle hits back at coach

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has apologised for the team's limp World Cup exit on Wednesday, but said it is "easy" to blame the senior players. West Indies coach Ottis Gibson used a news conference after the 10-wicket thrashing by Pakistan to criticize senior players including Gayle for failing to perform.

Rashid in for Yardy

England called up Adil Rashid into their World Cup squad ahead of their quarterfinal against Sri Lanka after left-arm spinner Michael Yardy withdrew with depression on Thursday.

Kirsten is fantastic,says MS

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has praised coach Gary Kirsten for a "fantastic job" ahead of what could be the South African's final game in charge of the national side.

Beware of the Kiwi Donald

South Africa must beware one of their own when Graeme Smith's power-packed team clash with New Zealand in the World Cup quarterfinal on Friday.

AD factor does not worry SA

South Africa are not losing sleep over the presence of their former fast bowler Allan Donald in New Zealand's camp, skipper Graeme Smith said Thursday.

Slowers pay dividends to Zaheer

India's bowling spearhead Zaheer Khan on Thursday said the slower ball was doing the trick for him after picking two wickets in the World Cup quarterfinal against Australia.

Keep your feet on the ground, warns Imran

Pakistan must guard against complacency if they want to win the World Cup, former captain Imran Khan said on Thursday as the nation celebrated a thumping win over the West Indies.

Dhaka, Rajshahi dominate

Rajshahi and Dhaka recorded convincing victories over Khulna and Chittagong while Sylhet forced Barisal to a draw on the final day of the third round of the National Cricket League yesterday.

Touch & go for Bangladesh

After a much-needed victory over hosts Myanmar, Bangladesh will be looking to secure a place in the final round of the AFC Challenge Cup when they take on Philippines in their last qualifying round match at the Aung Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar today.

Giants on course

With Europe's heavyweight nations all on course for Euro 2012, build-up to this weekend's round of qualifiers has been dominated by talk of off-pitch personality clashes and player indiscipline.

Fireworks at end of QF encounter

At the end of the third quarterfinal match of the ICC Cricket World Cup between South Africa and New Zealand, a fireworks display will take place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Six Spanish clubs reject strike

Six Spanish first division clubs have taken legal action to prevent a strike by the country's professional football league (LFP) next month.

Stars take to pitch

Some of the world's best tennis players, including world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic, traded in their racquets for football boots on Wednesday on behalf of Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims.

Sonali helps out in shooting

Sonali Bank will sponsor the Inter-Club Shooting Championship for the next three years as the state-owned bank signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Shooting Federation yesterday.

Rafa dreams of Anfield return

Rafael Benitez has admitted he dreams of one day returning to Liverpool as manager following his departure last year.

Business

Dhaka bourse rejects listing proposals of MJL, MI Cement

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday turned down the listing proposals of MJL Bangladesh Ltd and MI Cement Factory Ltd.

WB opposes draft telecom rules

The World Bank (WB) has opposed the draft guideline for licence renewal of telecom operators, saying the move will impede growth of the booming sector and cast a negative impact on the government's revenue and stockmarket.

Court rules on BGMEA polls

The High Court yesterday asked the election board of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association to explain why the latest polls should not be declared unlawful.

Construction sector must be compliant: minister

The construction industry must be compliant with the guidelines set by the government and ensure environment friendly installations while developing building and roads, said the commerce minister yesterday.

Elite Paint launches automatic tinting system

Elite Paint & Chemical Industries Ltd yesterday introduced automatic tinting system in Bangladesh, which will help the paint manufacturer offer a wider range of colour shades.

Robi to celebrate one year of re-branding

The country's third largest mobile operator Robi yesterday announced a plan to mark the first anniversary of its rebranding. The company, earlier known as AKTEL, will arrange cultural programmes countrywide on March 28.

BB chief stresses shift in growth strategy

Bangladesh needs to pursue a balanced development strategy to become a middle-income country by focusing on domestic demand creation and export augmentation, said the central bank chief yesterday.

Falling demand for jute goods hurts makers

Small and medium manufacturers of diversified jute goods feel the pinch of dampening demands in the wake of rising production costs.

Aarong: Crafting hope, weaving dreams

Shondhya Rani Sarkar's eyes light up when she speaks of how well her son is doing in school. When Shondhya first came to the Aarong Production Centre in Manikganj, he was a year old. The self-assured Shondhya of today was then a desperate young widow with no means to feed her baby.

Clay shakes and colon flushes at Thai detox resort

A Thailand trip normally means cold cocktails on the beach and spicy pad thai noodles, but for growing numbers of "detox" tourists, the menu calls for clay shakes and shots of wheatgrass.

Global food scare widens from Japan nuclear plant

Russia, Australia, Canada and Singapore joined a list of countries shunning Japanese food imports Thursday as radioactive steam wafted anew from a disaster-struck nuclear plant, straining nerves in Tokyo.

Portugal tip of iceberg as Euro leaders tackle debt woes

With crisis-hit Portugal on the brink of a government collapse, European leaders faced an uphill task Wednesday going into a summit meant to seal defences against a year-long debt crisis.

Philippine hikes rates

The Philippines on Thursday raised interest rates for the first time in almost two years, joining its Asian neighbours in a battle to keep inflation in check, while analysts warned of more hikes to come.

Prius factory to restart, Honda extends shutdown

Toyota Motor Corp. said it will soon resume production of the Prius and two other hybrid models while rival Honda Motor Co. has extended its Japan auto shutdown until early April in the aftermath of the massive quake and tsunami.

Moody's downgrades 30 Spanish banks

Moody's downgraded the credit ratings of 30 Spanish banks Thursday, warning that Spain's government may not be ready to write a blank cheque for every troubled bank.

Japan exports up in February

In a snapshot of Japan's economy before the devastation brought by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, data Thursday showed its exports rose for the 15th straight month in February.

Asian shares rise

Asian shares mostly gained Thursday on bargain hunting but Tokyo slipped amid uncertainty over contaminated food and water and the ongoing struggle to avoid a meltdown at a stricken nuclear plant.

Metropolitan

Banned Hizb ut-Tahrir's procession in city

Operatives of Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh, a banned militant outfit, yesterday brought out a procession in the city's Bijoynagar Water Tank area protesting ongoing air strike by coalition forces in Libya.

Bhutanese king arrives

King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck yesterday expressed firm conviction that the current engagements between Bhutan and Bangladesh would bring benefits to the peoples of the two friendly countries.

HC bench delivers dissenting opinions

A High Court bench yesterday delivered dissenting opinions on a petition filed by three detained Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leaders seeking bail in Rajshashi University student Faruk Hossain murder case.

Fuel crisis deepens in northern dists

From last three days, 16 northern districts in the country face crisis of fuel oil, especially diesel, due to shortage in supply from Baghabari Oil Depot.

Hearing on BNP ex-MP's arrest permission Mar 27

The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday fixed March 27 for hearing two petitions seeking its permission to arrest former BNP lawmaker Abdul Alim and for interrogating detained Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami in connection with crimes against humanity in 1971.

'Produce 26 BGB men before court Mar 28'

A Dhaka court yesterday asked the jail authorities to produce 26 members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) included in the supplementary charge sheets, before it on March 28 in Pilkhana carnage case.

'Begin war crimes trial before Independence Day'

Amra Muktijoddhar Shantan, an organisation comprising children of freedom fighters, yesterday demanded to begin trial of war criminals before March 26, the Independence Day.

Four killed, 76 hurt in road crashes

Four people were killed and 76 others injured in raod accidents in Gaibandha, Go-palganj, and Natore yesterday.

JS body for MP's code of conduct bill

A parliamentary body yesterday recommended that the House pass a bill on code of conduct for lawmakers.

PM for economic emancipation

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the people to work together to reach the fruits of the nation's independence to every citizen through attaining economic emancipation.

Dissenting opinions on Jamaat top brass bail passed

A High Court bench yesterday delivered dissenting opinions on a petition filed by three detained Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leaders seeking bail in Rajshashi University student Faruk Hossain murder case.

Events on 'black night' sketched

Different organisations have outlined elaborate programmes to observe the historic March 25 tonight, the moment when Pakistani forces launched a wild crackdown on unarmed Bangalees in 1971.

Anti-graft debate camp ends

A three-day debate camp on anti-corruption ended yesterday at Koitta of Manikganj with the vow to prevent corruption in the country.

Muggers foil man to see his dead son

SA Bari, an employee of a private firm, was returning home late Wednesday night after he learned that his six-year-old boy died about half an hour ago.

Bashundhara chairman gets bail

The High Court yesterday granted bail to detained Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam in two separate cases in which he was earlier sentenced to a total of 10 years in jail.

Youth killed in 'shootout'

An alleged criminal was killed in a 'shootout' between his accomplices and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in the city's Shyampur area under Kadamtali Police Station early yesterday.

Limit scope of parliament boycott

Ruling Awami League (AL) lawmaker Suranjit Sengupta yesterday proposed to reduce the scope for lawmakers to remain absent from parliament proceedings to end the parliament boycott culture.

West favours Yunus for their interests: Hanif

Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahabubul Alam Hanif yesterday overtly criticised the foreign friends of Grameen Bank founder Dr Muhammad Yunus.

Youth held with Tk 8 lakh

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered Tk 8 lakh from a youth in Mirpur of the city yesterday.

40 jailed for drug link

A mobile court aided by Rab on Tuesday sentenced 40 people in the city to six-month imprisonment each for selling and purchasing illegal drugs. A huge quantity of yaba tablets and cannabis were also seized.

Respiratory infections in children on the rise

Children are increasingly getting acute respiratory inflection (ARI), the preliminary stage of bronchitis, in the port city in recent weeks due to dust and changes in weather.

RU staffs on work abstention

Rajshahi University (RU) employees yesterday went on work abstention demanding their promotions in due time.

Independence festival begins

A three-day long “Independence Festival and Book Fair” kicked-off at DC Hill premises in Chittagong yesterday, inaugurated by eminent artist and writer Qayyum Chowdhury.

'Chief Justice Box' in JS Bhaban

Jatiya Sangsad has introduced "Chief Justice Box" beside the "President Box" in the parliament house to show respect to the chief justice (CJ) and the judiciary.

Complex for challenged people soon

The government will construct a complex for the rehabilitation and welfare of people with disabilities in the city's Mirpur area, said a government official yesterday.

Int'l poultry show begins today

A three-day long 'International Poultry Show and Seminar, 2011', begins in Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city today.

European Standard School joins PASCH

European Standard School (ESS) has become the fifth Bangladeshi school to join the German Language Partner School Programme (PASCH).

National

10 AL men hurt in Hatiya pre-election violence

At least 10 Awami League activists were injured, 8 motorbikes burnt and five shops vandalised as supporters of rival UP chairman candidates clashed at a market in Char Eshwar Union under Hatiya upazila yesterday.

89 mutineers jailed in 2 Khagrachhari cases

The special court-15 yesterday sentenced 89 mutineers, 60 from 30 Battalion under BGB Khagrachhari sector and 29 from the sector headquarters, to different jail terms ranging from four months to seven years.

Boro farmers agitate demanding uninterrupted power supply

Hundreds of farmers in Rajshahi, Madaripur and Nilphamari districts demonstrated yesterday and the day before demanding uninterrupted power supply for irrigation of boro fields.

Accused at large, complainant on the run

About two months into the killing of Abdul Khaleque, a farmer of Mozaffarpur village under Kendua upazila of Netrakona district, the accused in the murder case have remained at large.

16 back home after ending jail terms in India

At least 16 Bangladeshi nationals returned home on Wednesday after ending their jail terms in various jails in West Bengal of India.

Hill water from across border floods Sunamganj boro fields

Standing boro crops on over 10,000 acres of land in Derai, Tahirpur and Dharmapasha upazilas of Sunamganj district submerged due to onrush of water from the bordering Meghalayan hills during last three days.

Letters

Morally deviated diplomacy

Anti-government protests in the Middle East and North African countries storm the world media at present. The political critics have got enough food for thought. We have learnt through media that the tyrants who have been ruling their countries for decades were patronised by the US or by the West. Now we see that the mighty countries are supporting the protesters. That means they are going to stand by the future government formed after the revolution.We will watch another somersault of the mighty countries soon. I think millions of people of the poor countries will fall victims to morally deviated diplomacy of the West.

Open dustbins!

Nowadays huge lumps of garbage can be seen under open sky at different places in the metropolitan city. As a consequence, the pedestrians passing by the dustbins are seriously affected by the obnoxious smell coming out of these open dustbins. Sometimes the odour becomes so acute that the passers-by have to cover their nostrils to escape from the menace.

Women oppression!

In Bangladesh, oppression on women has become a common scenario. Everyday we are find news in the electronic and print media about violence against women which is increasing at an alarming rate. Sexual harassment, eve-teasing, rape, fatwa based killings have become a daily routine while law enforcers including our Home Minister are claiming that law and order situation is under control. Adopting many strategies and policies, the govt. has to play pivotal role to ensure a congenial environment especially for women living in the rural areas of the country. Implementation of a new women policy and CEDAW law could change the condition of women. Materialising such a job is not an easy task for the govt. while most of the religious parties are against it. It is the core duty of the present govt. to establish a gender discrimination free society.

Extra taxes for the government

It is proposed that various taxes including Property Tax be imposed by the government to increase the revenue as well as reducing the gap between the poor and the rich. The best method is an inheritance tax above a certain threshold which is followed by all western countries and which has narrowed the gap between the poor and the rich. Such tax has siphoned off the power of elites and aristocratic dynasties and the landed gentry from the western world and has encouraged philanthropic tax-free donation habit. I implore the government to introduce such a tax as well.

Vive la France!

France has responded by pounding Gaddafi's forces. The US and Britain have also joined. The Libyan people will be grateful to France for showing the way. With the U.S. and European joint operations, Gaddafi's African mercenaries will be defeated within a short time. By letting France to strike first, President Barack Obama has closed all doors to the accusation that America wants to control Libya's oil. However, Gaddafi should be given an option. If he agrees to leave without further bloodshed, he may be allowed to live out his life in exile in the same way another African dictator, Idi Amin. If he refuses to do so, he must face the consequences.

Response to article titled 'Libya Crisis'

I refer to the article titled "Libya Crisis" published on 18 March issue of The Daily Star. The writer claimed in the article that “In 1995 there was a student uprising in Libya. It was mercilessly silenced by Gaddafi's forces. About 1500 students lost their lives in the rebellion." I had been the Ambassador to Libya from 1995 to 2000 and nothing of the sort had happened in 1995 or thereafter. However, following an incident 8 students were reportedly hanged in the campus in presence of their family members in late seventy's or early eighty's. Secondly, universities were small and at no time there were more than 1500 students in any university in Libya fifteen years ago. This kind of free-wheeling dissemination of information without any expertise on a foreign country is no help to the readers or to the Paper. Moreover, quite a number of lines and paras in the latter part of the article were "body lifted" from my article on sanctions on Libya published in the DS of 13 March without quotation or acknowledgment. Though not an admirer of Col. Gaddafi I mention the above to put the record straight.

So-called leaders of the Middle East

Recent developments in some countries of the Middle East and North Africa have made me ponder one thing - Who is the ruler representing? People do not want to be ruled by these so called leaders. By killing their own countrymen they have exposed their intention to remain in power and plunder the wealth of their country. The lust for power has made them so blind that they have forgotten that people will never forget and forgive them for their crimes. Their names will be written as repressors and killers instead of leaders in history.

Why so poor cricket?

True, cricket is often driven by luck. Win or defeat is not the matter. But why the average run rate of Bangladesh cricket team varies so much between matches needs proper investigation.

Government should keep its promises

The people of Bangladesh are stunned by the government's decision of removing Dr. Yunus from Grameen Bank. “We will provide 1one job for every household”, “we will make Bangladesh a digital Bangladesh”, “we will provide one kilo of rice at Tk.15,” etc were the pledges that our Prime Minister made before she came to power. Has the government succeeded in keeping the promises it made? People in Scandinavia and Europe have high regards for Dr. Yunus. Removing such an intellectual person from Grameen Bank is indeed a highly unacceptable act. The government should be more concerned about the pledges it made to the people.

We'll be affected

In Arab countries democracy is fully absent. Most of the countries like Bahrain, Libya, Saudi Arabia, etc are selling their oil to the West and purchasing arms from them. Latest SIPRI report has showed that military expenditure is increasing in this gulf region. This upsurge and unrest in the gulf countries will adversely affect our economy. The price of oil in international market is still rising. If this oil price hits US $120-125 per barrel within a short time, this will surely affect our economy. On the other hand, this unrest will affect our remittance flow.

To the Prime Minister

The students of greater Rangpur region are facing problemd in getting admission into a good college. Rangpur Govt. College and Cantonment Public School and College have limited seats. Students have to go to Dinajpur, Bogra and other districts to study. So, we need more educational institutions in this region. And I request the govt. to resume HSC education in Carmichael College and also open some B.Sc Hons courses for the welfare of the students. The govt. should establish Rangpur Science and Technology University, Begum Rokeya Medical College and Begum Rokeya Cadet College as early as possible.

It's no time for interim election!

Begum Khaleda Zia, the leader of the opposition, has reportedly called for holding an interim election. But none of the conditions prevailing in the country justify such demand at the moment.

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International

Japan nuclear crisis drags on but experts hopeful

Workers battled to staunch radiation leaks at a Japanese nuclear plant yesterday, almost two weeks after it was disabled by an earthquake and tsunami, but some experts saw signs of the crisis being brought under control.

dead, missing toll tops 27,000

The number of people confirmed dead or listed as missing in Japan rose above 27,000 yesterday, nearly two weeks after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the country's northeast coast.

Nato strives to end split over command

Nato strived again yesterday to resolve a squabble over transferring command to the alliance of military operations in Libya from a US-led coalition pounding Gaddafi's regime.

Israel presses Russia to reduce Mideast aid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday sought to persuade Russia to scale down cooperation with Israel's arch foes Iran and Syria as he met Russian leaders one day after a deadly bus bombing.

Two dead as strong quake hits Myanmar

A strong earthquake struck Myanmar near the Thai border yesterday, killing at least two people, including a child, officials from both countries said, with shaking felt across southeast Asia.

Israel vows to respond as Gaza rockets rain down

Defence Minister Ehud Barak yesterday warned that the Jewish state had no choice but to respond a day after a bombing in Jerusalem and as Gaza militants rained rockets down on southern Israel.

Portugal PM quits escalating uncertainty

Portugal plummeted into fresh crisis yesterday after the prime minister quit following a showdown with parliament over his new austerity plan, increasing the likelihood Lisbon will seek a financial bailout.

UNRC votes for investigator on Iran

The UN human rights council yesterday voted to appoint an investigator to monitor Iran amid a crackdown on dissent and surge in executions in the country.

Gates, Buffett coax India for charity

Two of the world's richest men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, took their charity roadshow to New Delhi yesterday where they hope to coax their Indian peers to part with some of their wealth.

China extends reach in S Asia with Nepal aid deal

China's army chief wrapped up a high level visit to Nepal yesterday, signing a new aid deal with Kathmandu's military that further cements ties between the two neighbours.

Yemen forces clash before Friday protest

Presidential guards loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with army units backing opposition groups demanding the Yemeni president's ouster yesterday, highlighting growing tensions in the Arabian Peninsula state.

Syria willing to meet people's wishes

Syria will make "important decisions" to meet the wishes of the population, Buthaina Shaaban, media advisor to President Bashar al-Assad, announced yesterday.

Russia went against own interests

Russia betrayed its interests by refusing to veto the UN resolution on Libya and siding with the West, Moscow's ex-envoy in Tripoli said yesterday after the Libya conflict exposed tensions in the country's ruling duo.

Mubarak loyalists, opponents clash in Cairo

Loyalists of Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak clashed with opponents in Cairo yesterday as they sought to have his name removed from public institutions, a security official said.

Magnitude-7.0 quake hits Myanmar

A magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck eastern Myanmar yesterday, the US Geological Survey reported.

UN rights council seeks access for aid agencies to N Korea

The UN Human Rights Council yesterday urged North Korea to allow relief agencies to have unimpeded access, as it voiced alarm at the "precarious humanitarian situation" in the Stalinist state.

Two missiles hit Israel

At least two Grad rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza yesterday slammed into the port city of Ashdod and just north of it, police and the Israeli army said.

W African leaders want tougher mandate for UN mission in I Coast

West African leaders yesterday called on the UN to strengthen the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast and to impose tough sanctions against Laurent Gbagbo and his associates.

Mubarak loyalists, opponents clash in Cairo

Loyalists of Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak clashed with opponents in Cairo yesterday as they sought to have his name removed from public institutions, a security official said.

Arts & Entertainment

Colours from Balgo Hills

The Australian High Commission in Dhaka and Gallery Cosmos have arranged a feast for the art lovers of the city. An exhibition featuring 26 pieces of brilliant artwork by 18 Australian aboriginal artists have finally found their way to Dhaka after travelling around Asia -- from Mumbai to Colombo to Kathmandu. The exhibition -- to be held at Gallery Cosmos in Malibagh, Dhaka -- starts on April 1 and will continue till April 13.

Pijush Bandyopadhaya @DS Café

Pijush Bandyopadhaya has treaded into all media, including theatre, television, films and radio and has seized success at every step. An acclaimed cultural activist, Pijush is one of the founder members of Dhaka Theatre. The actor also proved his valour by actively participating in the Liberation War.

Elizabeth Taylor The Biggest Star Ever?

It could be said of the death of Elizabeth Taylor: Now she belongs to the ages. But the truth is, Taylor has always belonged to the ages -- it's why her absence is so significant to millions. How can it be that Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor won't be around to admire and gawk over, ever again?

Port City Celebrates Life with The Daily Star

Eminent personalities, socio-cultural activists and leaders of various communities and professions of the port city were in for a musical treat on March 23 with some outstanding classical music renditions, dance performances and a variety of patriotic Bangla songs.

Sarika Makes it Big

Last year marked a high point for model-actress Sarika who successfully established a niche for herself in the media. She chalked up the highest number of TV Commercials (TVC) which won viewers' hearts. She also won accolades with her performance in TV plays like Chayanika Chowdhury's “Tomar Kachhe Phera”, Animesh Aich's “Commissioner”, Akram Khan's “Odrishsho Romoni” and Himel Ashraf's “Premer Naam Bedona”.

OP-ED

The chainsmoker's dilemma of history

Lawrence Lifschultz is a veteran American journalist, who came to Dhaka to depose before the High Court. He came at our invitation, albeit at his own expense. He was no less eager to tell than we were ready to listen. Lifschultz had covered the military trial of Colonel Taher in 1976. Shortly afterwards he was expelled from the country.

BNP's return to Parliament

After boycotting 74 consecutive sittings, the opposition BNP lawmakers led by the party chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia returned to the House on March 15. Earlier, in a meeting on March 14, the BNP Parliamentary Party decided to join the Parliament. Lawmakers of Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Jatiya Party, which are partners in the BNP-led alliance, also returned to the House.

World headed for order or disorder?

The joint air command of the US, UK and France enforcing UN authorised "no-fly-zone" over Libya is content with having achieved complete impunity over the country's air space. Just five days into operation, Gaddafi's ground installations are laid open to attack, whatever little left of them, that is.

Discernible growth going unaccounted for

I do not travel a lot inside the country in my present position. It was after a long time that I traveled to the northern region via Gazipur and Tangail. Dhaka city limit ends at Tongi, and I thought that traffic jam would be over once we crossed Uttara or at best Tongi.

Does anyone have an answer?

I have served in the United Nations for over three decades. In the course of my various assignments and travels in many nations, I have found that Bangladesh is synonymous with Grameen Bank, Prof. Yunus and Sir Fazle Abed. The awarding of the Nobel Peace prize only served to catapult the position of Bangladesh even higher in development circles. Bangladesh has much to celebrate in the role that non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society and the micro-finance sector have played in poverty alleviation and the empowerment of women.

This Day In History

March 25
1807
The Slave Trade Act becomes law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire.

StarTech

Spectrum fees need a rethink: GSMA

Bangladesh's telecom regulator should rethink its expectations of revenue generation otherwise the proposed licence and spectrum fees and sector and non-sector taxes could drive mobile operators out of the market, said London-based GSM Association.

PlayBook ready to contest crowded tablet market

It's official: with the launch of Research In Motion's PlayBook tablet now just a month away, the BlackBerry maker's battle against Apple and Google is at the cusp of a fierce new phase.

Google fined over Street View privacy breach

Google received its first ever fine for improperly gathering and storing data for its Street View application on Monday when it was penalized by France's privacy watchdog.

Defying Apple, Amazon launches AppStore for Android

Amazon.com has introduced its store for Google Android smartphone applications, ratcheting up its fight with Apple Inc.


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