The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, December 20, 2014


News of: Thursday, 31st of March, 2011

Front Page

President may lose power

The parliamentary special committee on constitutional amendment has agreed in principle to limit the president's power to declare a state of emergency and promulgate ordinances under caretaker governments.

It's India vs SL in the final

An atypical Sachin Tendulkar, a menacing Munaf Patel and a wily spell of spin bowling from Harbhajan Singh propelled India into the final of the 2011 World Cup, with a hard fought 29-run win over arch-rivals Pakistan at Mohali yesterday.

Get job done by May 15

Extending the time for submitting the probe report on the sensational 10-truck arms haul case, a Chittagong court yesterday warned the investigation officer against time waste.

Malls must shut by 8pm from April 1

The authorities will strictly enforce the closure of shopping centres by 8:00pm from April 1 to maintain power load management in the capital and elsewhere in the country.

Govt's review body submits report Apr 10

A committee reviewing the activities of Grameen Bank has almost completed its work and it expects to submit its report to the government by April 10, the body's head Prof AK Monowar Uddin Ahmed said.

Removal stops for World Cup

Although the 23-kilometre overhead data cables between Uttara and Shahbagh had been shifted to underground, steps to clean more parts of Dhaka city are yet to see any progress.

Monga initiatives insufficient

The government interventions to fight hunger and poverty in the Monga-prone areas have been of small-scale, thus insufficient to the actual needs, a study shows.

Japan to discard quake-hit reactors

Japan is to decommission four stricken reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant, the operator says.

Mirza acting, debate spreading within BNP

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia “assigning” Senior Joint Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to do the job of secretary general of the party created controversy and debate within the party.

Gaddafi forces push rebels back in East

Rebels in Libya are struggling to hold their front line after Gaddafi's forces recaptured several towns in the east of the country yesterday.

Dolphins stranded

One of a small pod of Ganges River dolphins that was stranded in the Arial Khan river allegedly died of starvation although the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and locals took initiative to save them.

9 injured in BCL attack on JCD rally

Nine students of Rajshahi University were injured yesterday in an attack by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists on a procession of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD).

RMG workers clash with cops, 15 hurt

At least 15 garment workers were injured in a clash between police and workers of two RMG units of Micro Fiber Group at Katherpool under Sadar upazila of the district yesterday.

Recognise hill people thru' constitution

Land disputes and other problems involving indigenous communities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts cannot be resolved unless those people are given constitutional recognition, Rashed Khan Menon, chairman of the parliamentary caucus on indigenous affairs, said yesterday.

Egypt to elect new president by November

Egypt is to elect a new president by November to replace veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak who was ousted last month after 18 days of mass protests, the transitional military government said yesterday.

Indian journalist takes AFP prize for Kashmir work

Dilnaz Boga, an Indian reporter and photographer, received the Kate Webb Prize from Agence France-Presse yesterday for her courageous investigative work in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Police, protesters clash over China dam

At least 2,000 villagers protesting the building of a hydroelectric dam on the upper Yangtze river have clashed with police in southwest China, the government and a rights group said yesterday.

Bahrain Shia opposition urges Iran not to 'meddle'

Bahrain's Shia opposition leader yesterday urged Shiite Iran to keep out of the Arab country's internal affairs, after government charges that Tehran had orchestrated month-long protests.

69 more Bangladeshis flee Libya

Sixty-nine more Bangladeshis have crossed over the Libyan borders to Tunisia and Egypt following crackdown and bombing in Sirte and the western city of Sabah in Libya.

40yrs of independence, 20yrs of independent journalism

"Energy, Infrastructure and Environment" is the subject of the 6th instalment of our 500-page 20th Anniversary special supplement. In this issue we take an in-depth look at issues that lie at the heart of economic growth.

Editorial

UP polls conducted well

Even though the Union Parishad (UP) elections have been held after two years' delay, the Election Commission (EC) deserves thanks for its success in conducting those more or less peacefully. The local administration, too, have a share in the credit for ensuring successful conduct of this first phase of the six days long polls for the UPs.

Doctors' truancy

Prime Minister's warnings to the doctors who are negligent of their duties in rural areas have been well taken by all. This is not, however, the first time that she spoke her mind on the issue.

Sports

Sachin eyes glory in Mumbai

India's Sachin Tendulkar led a charmed life to hit a crucial 85 in Wednesday's semifinal win against Pakistan before targetting his first World Cup title in front of his home fans in Mumbai.

Clarke named captain

The divisive Michael Clarke began his reign as Australia's new Test and one-day captain on Wednesday by denying that former skipper Ricky Ponting's presence in the side will cause problems.

United for cricket

Tens of thousands of Indians and a handful of Pakistanis packed the stadium for their cricket World Cup clash on Wednesday in a friendly atmosphere that belied diplomatic tensions between the countries.

Rain ruins practice match

Rain ruined the practice match between Bangladesh national cricket team and Bangladesh A team yesterday, raising fears that Bangladesh's three-match ODI series against Australia may face similar disruptions in the month of April.

Emotional night for Sri Lanka

The last time the media in Sri Lanka met a player in this World Cup, thankfully, was a happy occasion. Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara was almost late by half an hour but that didn't dampen the spirit. It was also touching how gracious the skipper was in his praise to the retiring legend, the country, the team and the opposition.

Media laud Kiwi effort

New Zealand media bemoaned the Black Caps' World Cup 'jinx' Tuesday after yet another semifinal exit, but praised the unheralded team for exceeding expectations in reaching the final four.

SL savours final entry

Sri Lanka's national press showed rare unity Wednesday in hailing the national team's qualification for the World Cup final after beating New Zealand in a tense last-four encounter.

'Breakthrough came too late'

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori felt that the Tilakaratne Dilshan-Kumar Sangakkara partnership went too far out of hand for his side in their 5-wicket defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the first semifinal of the World Cup at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday.

Cricket diplomacy working fine

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday to watch the cricket World Cup semifinal between their rival countries.

Breaking the Aussie mould

Michael Clarke is not your archetypal Australian cricket captain: he's fresh-faced, tattooed, and loves Twitter and the high life, traits which have not endeared him to a distrusting public.

Mohali Masala

BARE ALL FOR INDIA
Women in India are encouraged to dress modestly at all times, but a brasher side to modern life has been exposed after a popular model vowed to strip naked if the nation wins the cricket World Cup.

Man cleared of WC terror plot

A Maldivian man arrested with the help of Interpol and initially linked to an alleged terror plot against the ongoing cricket World Cup has been cleared, an official said Wednesday.

Pakistanis gather around screens

Millions of Pakistanis gathered on Wednesday around giant screens set up on streets and in playgrounds across the country to witness the World Cup semifinal thriller with rival India.

Dutch win a thriller

Defending champions Spain beat Lithuania 3-1 on Tuesday to remain unbeaten in their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, while the Netherlands edged Hungary in an eight-goal thriller in Amsterdam.

Rajshahi made to follow-on

Dhaka dominated with the ball against Rajshahi in the third day of the National League yesterday.

Socceroos stun Germany

Australia took revenge for last year's heavy World Cup defeat with a shock 2-1 win over hosts Germany on Tuesday night in a friendly -- their maiden victory over the Germans.

Carroll stakes his claim

Andy Carroll staked his claim for a regular place in the England team as the Liverpool striker scored his first international goal in a 1-1 friendly draw with Ghana at Wembley on Tuesday.

Jens makes comeback

Veteran German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann played his first game for Arsenal in nearly three years on Tuesday when he turned out for the club's reserves in a 2-1 defeat at Wigan Athletic.

Bangladesh up against Pakistan

Bangladesh will take on Pakistan in the first round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup after the draw was held at the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday.

Messi misses friendly tie

Barcelona's Argentine star Lionel Messi missed his country's friendly against Costa Rica due to a leg injury that could also keep him out of this weekend's league match against Villareal, the club said Wednesday.

Qatar hold Russia

Russia were held to a 1-1 draw by Qatar on Tuesday in a game dubbed 'The World Cup Celebration Match' between the countries chosen to host the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 respectively.

Poland tackles hooliganism

Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland have a "huge image problem" over hooliganism but are taking appropriate action to tackle the issue, a senior UEFA official said Wednesday.

Shakira confirms Pique romance

Colombian pop star Shakira on Tuesday confirmed her romantic relationship with Spanish footballer Gerard Pique through a message on her Twitter account.

Business

Dividend controversy hits Padma Oil, trade on hold

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday suspended the trading of Padma Oil Company Ltd on charges of illegally revising dividends earlier declared by the state-owned fuel company.

Taxpayers evaded Tk 21,000cr

Taxpayers evaded paying Tk 21,000 crore in taxes last fiscal year, and tax evasion is one of the major challenges the National Board of Revenue (NBR) faces in enhancing revenue collection, said a study published by Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB).

Western Marine to deliver two more ships to German buyer

Western Marine Shipyard will deliver two more large vessels to a German owner today, four months after it handed two same-size ships to the same company.

Ashuganj Fertiliser suspends production

Urea production at Ashuganj Fertiliser Chemical Company in Brahmanbaria has been suspended due to a technical glitch in the plant since Tuesday night.

Agriculture experts demand commodities exchange

Agriculture experts believe a commodities exchange and derivatives market can fix the dysfunctional pricing system in the rural market.

Stocks clock up marginal gains

Stocks gained marginally, hit by topsy-turvy trading, after the state-run Investment Corporation of Bangladesh submitted the Bangladesh fund to the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval.

Twitter co-founder wants more mainstream website

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who returned this week to the company after a two-year absence, wants to make the microblogging site more approachable to the masses, he said on Tuesday.

Barclays may move headquarters to New York

Barclays Plc is considering moving its global headquarters from London to New York due to the threat of higher capital requirements in the UK, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Deepak Fertilisers to invest $350m in Australia

Pune-based chemicals maker Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corp said on Wednesday it would invest about $350 million to set up a technical ammonium nitrate (TAN) manufacturing unit in Australia, pushing its shares up more than 4 percent.

Gap opens online store on Taobao Mall

US apparel brand Gap Inc opened an online store on China's biggest e-commerce platform Taobao on Wednesday, in an effort to lure savvy Chinese shoppers outside wealthy cities.

Dollar crisis and impacts

The other day an esteemed client and a leading businessman asked me -- how far will the dollar go against the taka? For him, the import cost is going up. Added to this is dollar liquidity shortfall in the market, thereby impacting timely settlement of import liabilities.

Mexico: another BRIC in the wall?

Though it exports more than Brazil and India and enjoys the kind of population growth Russia can only dream about, Mexico has long been in the shadow of its more dynamic emerging market cousins.

From salesgirl to employer

Salena Hossain started out as a salesgirl at Mini Mart in Dhanmondi, the country's first chain shop operated by women entrepreneurs. Fast forward a couple of years and she is now herself a successful entrepreneur.

Women entrepreneurs set success in motion

In a mere decade and a half, the story of the strained women entrepreneur, crafting household and boutique items from the corner of her home, has morphed into a success in Bangladesh.

Japan quake stirs unease about global supply chain

A shortage of auto parts and other components after Japan's earthquake has stirred unease about two pillars of manufacturing: the country's role as a crucial link in the global supply chain and "just in time" production.

India's 'digital divide' worst among BRICs

Most Indians are missing out on the "digital revolution" due to poor Internet access for the nation's poor, despite the economy boasting one of the world's strongest growth rates, a study found.

Greece says new S&P downgrade is 'unbalanced' and 'unjust'

Greece on Tuesday said a two-notch cut on its credit ratings by Standard & Poor's was unbalanced and unjust as it failed to take key European support decisions into account. "This seems to be an unbalanced and unjust assessment for a number of reasons," the Greek finance ministry said in a statement.

Nokia sues Apple again over patents

Nokia is suing Apple in the United States for allegedly infringing patents in its mobile phones, portable music players, tablets and computers, the Finnish company said Tuesday.

Spain to combat black economy

Spain's government is to approve a plan to combat the country's black economy, which represents almost one quarter of its economic output, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Wednesday.

Asian shares rise

Asian stocks rose Wednesday after a strong performance on Wall Street while Tokyo surged thanks to a weaker yen, but traders remained cautious due to ongoing fears over Japan's atomic crisis.

Correction

In a graph published yesterday with the report "Govt targets 28pc higher revenue receipts", it was mistakenly shown that the target of revenue collection by NBR is Tk 92,000 crore in fiscal 2011, while the amount is an estimated Tk 1,63,000 crore for fiscal 2012. Actually, the figures should be Tk 72,590 crore for 2011 and Tk 92,000 crore for 2012. We regret the mistakes.

Metropolitan

TCB to supply essentials at fair price during Ramadan

Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will supply daily essentials including oil, lentil and sugar at a fair price across the country during Ramadan, said officials of the commerce ministry.

Seminar on HS Codes, Incoterms in Ctg

Knowing about the internationally recognised terms of contact (Incoterms) and commodity codes is vital for the exporters and other export related persons in the country.

8 die in road crashes

Eight people were killed and 14 injured in separate road crashes in Gazipur, Bagherhat, Faridpur and Lalmonirhat yesterday and on Tuesday.

Escape, at last

Returning to Bangladesh was not an option for him as he had repaid only half the loan he took from relatives and neighbours before leaving for Libya one and half years back.

Bangladesh follows 'zero tolerance'

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday said Bangladesh exercises "zero tolerance" in penal and legal policy towards human traffickers and migrant people smugglers.

No move yet to implement CHT deal

No government order has been passed in 13 years to realise many terms of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Agreement signed in 1997, a discussion was told yesterday.

Alternatives devised by two amici curiae

Eminent jurists Barrister Rafique-ul Huq and Dr M Zahir yesterday placed separate theories of alternative to the caretaker government system before the Supreme Court for holding parliamentary elections in a free and fair manner.

Plan to restrict tobacco farming

The government will impose restriction on tobacco cultivation to minimise its negative impact on the environment and public health, said a ruling party lawmaker yesterday.

Khaleda to perform Umrah today

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who is now in Saudi Arabia, will perform holy Umrah early today.

Support bill against torture

The Bangladesh government should offer its full and public support to a bill before parliament that would criminalise torture, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

17,000 edn institutions to get book on war documents today

The government provides today a 15-volume book on the liberation war documents to about 17,000 schools and colleges each at no cost to help students learn true history of the war.

Expert body within 7-day

The government on Tuesday decided to form an expert committee within seven days to make recommendations on the best use of soil to be lifted from river beds while dredging the rivers.

'Connect Shyampur sewerage lines with Wasa treatment plant'

Coalition of Local NGOs Bangladesh (CLNB) on Tuesday urged the government to connect the sewerage lines of Shyampur in the capital with the lone waste treatment plant of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) at Pagla of Narayanganj.

SCBA polls begin

The two-day annual election to Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) began yesterday with 882 lawyers casting their votes on the opening day.

Charge framing against police adjourned

A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned till April 24 the charge framing against four police officers, including the then Ramna police chief, in a case filed for falsely implicating and torturing a Dhaka University student in connection with the attempt to kill Prof Humayun Azad.

16 defence witnesses give depositions

Neither the father nor the daughter could shallow tears while a special court, trying 667 suspected mutineers of 24 Rifle Battalion, was recording depositions of the girl as a defence witness yesterday.

One crushed under CU train's wheel

A man was crushed under the wheels of a Chittagong University (CU) shuttle train at Sholoshahar Railway Station under Panchlaish Police Station in the port city yesterday.

'Protect rights of housemaids'

Speakers at a programme yesterday demanded a policy for protection of young housemaids and a code of conduct for their employers.

Partex Group chairman gets bail in tax evasion case

A Dhaka court yesterday extended the bail term till April 7 to Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem and nine others including his wife and sons in a tax evasion case.

Beheaded body found

The beheaded body of a youth was found on the bank of Dhaleshwari river near Sonakanda village in Keraniganj yesterday.

'Keep up-to-date with current affairs'

Speakers yesterday said students should be acquainted with current affairs of home and abroad alongside academic studies to hold the helm of the country.

Invest more in Bangladesh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought more Italian investment in Bangladesh in infrastructure, energy and power, port expansion, telecommunications, civil engineering and construction projects.

40 get Indian scholarship in Barisal

Indian High Commission in Bangladesh has distributed scholarships to forty students in Barisal division, who are direct descendents of the freedom fighters of the 1971 war.

Bangladesh's UN mission observes Independence Day

Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr Momen, hosted a reception Tuesday evening at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh marking the 41st Independence and National Day of the country, says a press release.

Moriarty's remark untrue: Sahara

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday brushed aside US Ambassador James F Moriarty's remark that Bangladesh is under threat of militants.

Draft health policy awaits approval

Draft document of the health policy is waiting to be placed under the National Committee, said Health Minister Prof AFM Ruhal Haque yesterday at a view exchange meeting with the press.

National

People of 4 unions suffer as work on bridge stalled

The construction work of a bridge on the Boral River at Gunaigachha village in Faridpur upazila under the district has remained suspended for over two years, much to the sufferings of over two lakh people of four unions in the surrounding areas.

36 hurt in post-poll clashes

At least 36 people were injured in sporadic incidents of post-post violence, following Tuesday's union parishad (UP) polls in several coastal districts.

44 mutineers jailed in Moulvibazar

Forty-four jawans of 14 battalion of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were yesterday sentenced to jail terms ranging from four months to seven years for their involvement in mutiny at the battalion in Sreemongal of Moulvibazar district on February 26, 2009.

Six Shibir men arrested in Lalmonirhat

Six local leaders and workers of Islami Chhatra Shibir, arrested at Shoalmari village under Patgram upazila of the district on Tuesday, were sent to jail yesterday.

Pro-AL men bag most chairman seats

First day's results of the ongoing union parishad polls held in coastal regions of the country showed a clear sweep by pro-Awami League candidates.

Fire kills 3 of a family

Three members of a family were burnt alive as a fire broke out at a house at Kafila village in Kachua upazila early Tuesday.

Two killed in mudslide

Two workers were killed in mudslide while digging a hole at Telihati in Sripur upazila on Tuesday. The deceased were identified as Abul Mansur, 28, of Khilgaon village in Gafargaon of Mymensingh and Taher Ali, 50, son of Gafur of Tepirbari village in Sripur upazila of Gazipur. Locals said, the owner of Sufia Poultry Farm hired some workers to make a new hole beside an old hole of the poultry farm. As the workers were digging earth, the back-up wall of the old hole along with litter fell on the workers, leaving two workers dead on the spot at about 11:00am. Locals recovered the body of Mansur, but could not recover the body of Taher till filing of this report at 5:00pm on Tuesday. A drive was going on to rescue the body.

Bombs recovered

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in separate drives recovered three bombs and 185 bottles of phensidyl in Sadar and Jibonnagar upazilas on Monday and Tuesday. Acting on a tip-off, a Rab team conducted a drive at Doulotdiar village in Sadar upazila and recovered three bombs from a garden beside the house of one Ghamu Mondol at around 9:30 am.The bombs were wrapped with a black colour scotch tape, Rab said. Earlier, the same team launched a drive at Harihornagar village in Jibonnagar upazila and arrested drug peddler Motiar Rahman along with 65 bottles of phensidyl in the morning. Meanwhile, BGB members of Chuadanga-Darshana special camp recovered 120 bottles of phensidyl from a goods-laden wagon at Darshana rail station on Monday evening.

Storm kills one

A man was killed, over100 houses were damaged and several hundred trees uprooted when a severe hailstorm lashed different areas in Shyamnagar upazila on March 28 evening. The deceased was identified as Sunil Kumar Mistri, 55, son of Banku Mistri of Chingrikhali village in Shyamnagar upazila. The affected villages are Chingrikhali, Harinagar, Mathurapur and adjoining areas. Shyamnagar police station officer-in-charge (OC) Subhas chandra Majhhi said, over 100 kutcha houses were extensively damaged. The victim while returning home, died on the spot as a corrugated iron sheet from a damaged house hit him near his house at Chingrikhali village, he said quoting locals. Soon after the incident Jatiya Party (Ershad) lawmaker HM Golam Reja visited the spot and assured the victims of possible government help.

Girl commits suicide

A 13-year-old girl committed suicide by taking poison at Paikara village in Kaliganj upazila on March 27. The victim, Sharifa Khatun, 13, was daughter of Abdul Aziz of Paikara village. Quoting locals police said, Sharifa took poison following a family trouble. She died on way to Kaliganj upazila health complex. After taking permission from the district magistrate, the victim's parents buried her without performing post mortem.

Shops gutted

At least six shops were gutted in a fire that broke out in Zirani Tenguri area of Ashulia early yesterday. Fire service and local sources said, the fire originated from an electric short circuit at a shop at about 2:30am. Soon the fire engulfed five other adjacent shops. On information, fire service personnel from DEPZ rushed to the spot and doused the flame with the help of locals after two hours of frantic efforts. Affected shop owners claimed that the extent of loss might go up to Tk 50 lakh.

Lightning kills one

A fisherman was killed and another one was injured by lightning in Karimganj upazila yesterday. The deceased, Abdus Salam, 55, was son of late Abdul Mazid of Sutarpara village in Karimganj. The injured was identified as Abdul Qadir, 50, of the same area. He was rushed to Karimganj health complex for treatment. Police and locals said, they were struck by lightning while they went to fishing on the Dhanu River.

Jubo League man killed

A Jubo League activist was stabbed to death by criminals at Char Kakra village under Companiganj upazila early yesterday. The deceased, Saifuddin Khaled Rubel,27, was son of Joynal Abedin. Quoting victim's family sub-inspector Abu Taher of Companiganj police station said, a gang of criminals numbering 7/8 entered the house of Rubel by breaking open the door around 3:30am and started stabbing him. Hearing scream of Rubel, his father came out of another house. By the time, the criminals fled the scene leaving Rubel dead on the spot. Being informed, police rushed to the spot around 10:00am yesterday and recovered the body. The body was sent to Noakhali General Hospital for post-mortem. Previous enmity might be the cause of the incident, police said.

Youth found dead

Body of a missing youth was recovered from a river at Dabarhat village under Debiganj upazila in Panchagarh district on Sunday. The youth named Majindra remained missing since Saturday night, Debiganj police station officer-in-charge Mominul Islam said. Locals found the body floating in the river on Sunday morning. On information, police went to the spot, recovered the body and sent it to Panchagarh Sadar Hospital for autopsy. The deceased's wife, Chirata Rani filed a murder case with Debiganj police station accusing her father-in-law and her step mother-in-law. In her complaint, she said that the two killed her husband due to enmity over family property. Police detained Majindra's father Sunil Chandra and his step mother Debi Rani in the afternoon for interrogation.

International

Allies disagree over arming Libyan rebels

Disagreement over arming the rebels battling Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi emerged yesterday with at least three of the countries enforcing the no-fly zone over the country opposing the idea.

Yemen's Saleh makes new offer to protesters

Yemen's president has made a new offer to protesters demanding he steps down, proposing he stays in his post until elections are held but transferring his powers to a caretaker government, an opposition source said yesterday.

Indian state bans Gandhi book over racist claims

An Indian state yesterday banned a new biography of Mahatma Gandhi which allegedly describes the Indian independence leader as a racist bisexual.

Japan urges calm over food export fears

Japan called on the world not to impose "unjustifiable" import curbs on its goods as French President Nicolas Sarkozy was due to arrive on Thursday, the first leader to visit since an earthquake and tsunami damaged a nuclear plant, sparking the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

Pro-Ouattara army seizes Ivory Coast capital

Forces backing Ivory Coast's internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara yesterday took control of the political capital Yamoussoukro, residents said.

Japan orders to check all nuclear reactors

Japan yesterday ordered a check of all nuclear reactors to ensure there will be no repeat of the crisis currently unfolding at the Fukushima plant in the wake of the devastating March 11 quake.

Israel to build 'port, airport off Gaza'

Israel is considering building an artificial island with sea and air ports off blockaded Gaza, as a long-term solution to shipping goods into the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, the transport minister said.

Iraqi PM vows to punish Tikrit attackers

Iraq's prime minister vowed yesterday to punish those behind an attack on a provincial council headquarters in which 58 people were killed after gunmen stormed in and took hostages.

Burma transfer of power complete

Myanmar's junta was officially disbanded yesterday after handing over power to a new so-called civilian government, the latest phase of a transition to democracy that has been widely criticized as a sham.

Britain expels five Libyan diplomats

Britain is expelling the Libyan military attache and four other diplomats for intimidating opposition groups in London, Foreign Secretary William Hague said yesterday.

Flooding in Thailand kills 21, strands thousands

Severe flooding and mudslides in southern Thailand have killed 21 people, stranded thousands of tourists and threatened to delay shipments of rubber in the world's largest rubber-producing country, authorities said yesterday.

Nicaraguan to represent Libya at UN

The regime of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi has named former Nicaraguan foreign minister Miguel D'Escoto as its representative to the United Nations, a presidential spokesman said in Managua on Tuesday.

Berlusconi visits migrant island of Lampedusa

Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has arrived on the island of Lampedusa as ships move thousands of migrants who have recently arrived there.

Khmer Rouge jailer Duch seeks acquittal and forgiveness

Ex-Khmer Rouge cadre Duch asked for forgiveness for running a feared jail where thousands died but maintained he was only following orders as he took the stand for a final time yesterday.

Syria's President Assad vows to defeat 'plot'

President Bashar al-Assad yesterday blamed conspirators for unrest sweeping Syria but failed to lift emergency rule or offer other concessions in his first speech since pro-reform protests erupted two weeks ago.

IAEA to hold nuclear safety summit end of June

UN atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano said yesterday that a ministerial-level summit would be held from June 20-24 to try to examine the lessons learned from the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan.

China 'to overtake US on science' in two years

China has shot to second place in the number of articles published in international science magazines and in a few years will take the top spot from the United States, according to a new report.

Suicide blast kills 10 in North-West Pakistan

A suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up near a police checkpoint in Pakistan yesterday, killing ten people and wounding more than 20, police and hospital officials said.

UN chief urges end to peace talks deadlock

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for intensified efforts to break the impasse in Israel-Palestinian peace talks, saying resolution of the conflict is "long overdue."

Terrorism acquired new dimensions

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said the threat of terrorism has acquired new dimensions as the new generation of terrorists possesses far greater capability to create networks for sharing knowledge, skills and resources.

'Bali blast' suspect captured

One of Indonesia's top terror suspects, wanted in connection with the 2002 Bali bombing, has been captured in Pakistan, reports say.

Arts & Entertainment

Climate Change In Focus

At an event marking the 'Climate Week', youngsters had an opportunity to discuss with some renowned climate experts of the world at the British Council Auditorium, on Fuller Road, Dhaka. Ian Burton, Emeritus Professor at the University of Toronto and Pablo Suarez, Associate Director of Programmes at the Red Crescent Climate Centre were among the climate scientists who addressed the packed auditorium on March 28.

Story of a Teenage Freedom Fighter

Morshedul Islam's latest film on the Liberation War, “Amar Bondhu Rashed”, will be released tomorrow. Initially the film will be released in Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi and Dinajpur. Based on a novel for adolescents by Dr. Mohammad Zafar Iqbal, the film narrates the courage and patriotism of a teenager in 1971.

Honouring a Rare Sacrifice

A bust of Shaheed (martyr) Habibur Rahman and a monument in his honour, installed at the entrance of Shaheed Habibur Rahman Hall of Rajshahi University, was inaugurated on March 26 to commemorate his martyrdom in 1971.

Bhalobashi Mago Tokey

On the occasion of the Independence Day, Rumana Islam released her latest album "Bhalobashi Mago Tokey", under the banner of Laser Vision. Among the ten songs featured in the album are -- "Haire Amaar Mon Matano Desh", "Bhalobashi Mago Tokey", "Bot-er Chhaya Re", "Jodi Aar Dekha Nai Hoye" and "Amar Shahitto Amar Shongskriti". Khan Ataur Rahman, Munshi Wadud, Sadat Khaiyam, Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul and Alauddin Ali are credited with the lyrics.

Silent Spaces

Queens Museum of Art in New York, USA has organised a solo painting exhibition featuring works of Bangladeshi expatriate painter Md. Tokon. The painter has been in New York since 2001. The exhibition opened on March 19 and will run till April 10. The museum also held a reception in honour of the artist on March 27.

Banglavision Turns Five

TV channel Banglavision turns five today. To mark the anniversary, a grand cultural programme will be held this evening (starting from 7pm) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

Grooming Fresh Talent

A 15-day training programme in classical music, acting, dance and tabla began at the auditorium of Mymensingh district Shilpakala Academy on March 28. Organised by the local Shilpakala Academy, the programme will conclude on April 11.

Disadvantaged Children

It was a fun filled day for disadvantaged children, complete with dancing and singing. The occasion: BRAC's Education Department had organised 'Dip Shikha' -- dance and song competitions for their students at Captain Abdul Halim Chowdhury auditorium in Manikganj on March 27.

Prince of Persia Takes Over Star Cineplex

Hollywood blockbuster “Prince of Persia” will have its Star Cineplex premiere today at 6:45pm at Level 8, Bashundhara City Shopping Mall in Dhaka, according to a press release. The 2010 mega-hit, directed by Mike Newell tells the story of a young fugitive prince and princess on the run who must stop a villain who unknowingly threatens to destroy the world with a special dagger that enables the magic sand inside to reverse time. The cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina.

OP-ED

Taher verdict: Many unanswered questions

The High Court has given its verdict in the case of Taher's trial saying that his trial by the military tribunal in 1976, and his sentence of death, was illegal. It has also ordered that Taher and the co-accused be treated as patriots, not traitors, to consider providing compensation to victims, and to prosecute military tribunal judge Abdul Ali for Taher's execution. It has also asked for probe into Zia's "involvement" in killing Bangabandhu, freedom fighters

Huntington was wrong

By now almost everybody knows who Mohamed Bouazizi (Tarek) was. He was the 26 year old fruit vendor from an impoverished town called Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia, a predominantly Muslim country, who on December 17, 2010 set himself on fire in front of the local governor's office as a sign of protest against police harassment, corruption and systematic assault on human dignity. By the time he died on January 4, he had become a martyred hero.

Money from migrant workers

Over last 35 years or so, Bangladesh economy has been increasingly integrating with global economy. The external sector, including export of human resources, has played an important role towards the improvement of its macroeconomic performance. In 1981, the external sector accounted for 13.5% of gross domestic product(GDP), which more than tripled to 40.2% by 2010.

Role of media in Japan crisis

Since the disaster at Fukushima nuclear power plant, the media in many countries have been painting a doomsday scenario for Japan, as if taking it for granted that the devil unleashed by the tsunami was swallowing everything in its way and making Japan a very dangerous place to live in. Many saw in the perceived danger a similarity with Chernobyl and predicted a serious outcome for those who were still in that "all of a sudden turned into a land of sorrow." This ignited panic and started the exodus of expatriates from Japan.

Radiation is good for you

Let's stop panicking about radiation. This message is aimed at my friend Ah-Fat who told me to shut the windows despite the warmth of the morning.

Correction

In the interview of Raja Debashish Roy published in the March 29, 2011 issue of the Daily Star, a part of the reply to a question was inadvertently left out.



The Daily Star

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