The Daily Star

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Sunday, December 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 8th of April, 2011

Front Page

Tk 20,000cr swindled

Retail investors lost at least Tk 20,000 crore to some dishonest traders, who were in a deep collusion with stockmarket regulators, a committee said in a probe report submitted to the finance minister yesterday.

Individuals' names to be deleted from report

Individuals' names, which have been mentioned in the probe report on the recent stockmarket debacle, will be deleted before making it public in 10 to 15 days, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.

Plot hatched in Hawa Bhaban meetings

Mufti Hannan in a confessional statement disclosed the involvement of Hawa Bhaban and some former BNP ministers and intelligence officials in the August 21, 2004, grenade attack on an Awami League rally.

Probe Rab firing

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) yesterday sent a letter to home ministry urging a high-powered committee to investigate the incident in which college student Limon became disabled in a Rab shootout.

Pay tax duly, take care of workers

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will soon fix the interest rate of bank loan for the sake of industrial growth.

Shipload of rice from Pakistan sinks in Bay

A North Korean ship transporting 13,492 tonnes of rice imported from Pakistan for Bangladesh is sinking in the Bay after it collided with a ship at the outer anchorage of Chittagong port late Wednesday night.

Power to get costlier in rural areas

The Rural Electrification Board (REB) has proposed an average 12.97 percent tariff increase at retail consumer level.

French forces hit Gbagbo troops

French forces hit military vehicles belonging to troops loyal to Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo during a helicopter-borne mission that rescued Japan's ambassador to the West African country yesterday.

Khaleda demands referendum

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday demanded a referendum before bringing any change to the constitution.

Expose culprits

Analysts yesterday agreed with the recommendation of the stockmarket probe committee for restructuring the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and said its findings regarding the recent manipulation and manipulators of the market should be made public.

Overhaul share regulator

The probe committee on stockmarket has recommended major overhaul of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) including removal of some of its top officials and demutualisation of the bourses to restore investor confidence.

Hashem family indicted for tax evasion

A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem and nine others including his wife and six sons in a tax evasion case.

Govt to create stand-by pool of teachers

The government has decided to create a pool of 20,000 primary school teachers to tackle teacher shortages at the primary schools in the country.

Publisher of a daily murdered

Police yesterday recovered the decomposed body of Hossain Altaf, publisher of now-defunct Dainik Bajrakontho, from inside the septic tank of his house in the capital's Uttara, nine days after he went missing.

Ex-IGP Nur made envoy to Morocco

The government has decided to appoint Nur Mohammad, former inspector general of police, as the next ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Morocco, said a foreign ministry press release.

Jamaat leaders granted bail

The High Court yesterday granted anticipatory bail to three Jamaat-e Islami leaders including its Dhaka City Unit Ameer Rafiqul Islam Khan in connection with the police assault case.

Libya rebels unlikely to oust Gaddafi: US general

A top US general said yesterday it was unlikely that Libya's rebel forces could launch an assault on Tripoli and oust the regime's leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Bangladeshis among the dead in boat capsize

A few Bangladeshi were among around 250 migrants who are feared drowned in a boat capsize in the Mediterranean Sea early Wednesday, said an official of International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Mexico rattled by 6.5 quake

A strong earthquake measuring 6.5 struck southern and central Mexico yesterday, but there were no initial reports of damage or casualties, Mexican and US officials said.

Editorial

Rivers unprotected as ever

To all appearances, the rivers and other water bodies surrounding the capital city see doomed, as the law prohibiting their illegal occupation has never been respected. Even a government agency like the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) itself has been found to violate court order by erecting business establishments in the filled parts of Buriganga river at Sadarghat in the city. It has even built a jetty by filling up Shitalakhya River at Kanchpur in violation of High Court Order of June 25, 2009 to demolish all such structures. Do these instances not open the door for the vested quarters to go ahead with illegal grabbing with impunity? And what worries us further is that even if in certain cases where the Wetland and Open Spaces Conservation Act, 2000, has been enforced to bring the violators to justice, they evaded punishment through legal loopholes. That leaves one wondering, if the violators of the river protection law are more powerful than the government and the court?

Destroying a teenager's future

What the Rapid Action Battalion has done to the young Limon Hossain of Jhalakati district is a clear outrage. The young man, aged sixteen, has had one of his legs amputated because some trigger-happy member of the force shot him at close range on the unsubstantiated charge that he is a member of a terrorist gang. The truth, as has since become known, is that the RAB personnel accosted Limon as he stepped out of his home to collect his family cattle, asked him about an individual they were looking for and then shot him the moment he answered in the negative. The young man, who was looking forward to taking part at the HSC examinations the next day, then bled for three hours before being taken all the way to Dhaka. By then, his leg had become useless.

Sports

Hastings hattrick guides Australia

Australia were served a perfectly enjoyable buffet in their only practice game at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday with paceman John Hastings grabbing a hattrick and four of their batsmen stroking half-centuries in their 90-run win over the BCB XI side.

Mashrafe yet to decide

The drama over Mashrafe Bin Mortaza playing the three-match one-day series against Australia still hangs in the balance with the first game at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur only 48 hours away.

Pace in poor health

Bangladesh's cricket setup is designed with spinners in mind but one cannot expect captains to pull out 50 overs of spin.

S Africa A 301-7

Justin Ontong hit 93 as South Africa A declared their first innings for 301-7 against Bangladesh A in the first day of the four-day match at the Senwes Park in Potchefstroom yesterday.

Independence Day Cup from April 10

The club representatives of the professional football league decided to take part in the Independence Day Cup as the Bangladesh Football Federation promised to give them monetary benefit along with their due payments by the middle of next month.

Politics a distraction for players: Bayliss

Sri Lanka's outgoing coach Trevor Bayliss on Thursday said the country needed a strong and stable cricket administration to allow players to focus only on the game and not be distracted by politics.

Samuels recalled for T20

West Indies have announced a new-look squad for their one-off Twenty20 international against Pakistan in St Lucia on April 21, featuring four new caps and recalls for Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels, who is once again eligible for selection after serving a two-year ban for his alleged involvement with illegal bookmakers.

Sadaf in for Aizaz

Pakistan's cricket selectors were on Thursday overruled by a medical panel that declared fast bowler Aizaz Cheema unfit after he was included in the squad for the upcoming West Indies tour.

Myanmar emerge champs

Myanmar emerged champions in the team event of the Runner Group Bangladesh Amateur Golf Championship at Kurmitola Golf Course in Cantonment yesterday.

Easy win for Wozniacki

World number one Caroline Wozniacki cruised into the third round of the Charleston WTA on Wednesday, as she fought to banish memories of last year's injury disappointment.

Rooney banishes Bridge hoodoo

Wayne Rooney scored the only goal as Manchester United put one foot in the semifinals of the Champions League here Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

Ancelotti slams ref

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti lashed out at Spanish referee Alberto Undiano after his side were denied a certain penalty against Manchester United here Wednesday.

Another Barca signature show

Barcelona took a major step towards the Champions League semifinals with a commanding 5-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk as clinical finishing proved the difference between the sides.

Rooney ban upheld

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney has been banned for two matches following his expletive-laden tirade at a television camera, the FA confirmed Thursday.

Messi opens Facebook

Following tens of millions of other social media fans worldwide, Barcelona midfield star Lionel Messi set up a Facebook page on Wednesday.

Business

Govt awards exporters

The government yesterday awarded export trophies to 39 businessmen in recognition of their extraordinary performances in exports in fiscal 2008-09.

Russia to ease entry of Bangladeshi goods

Russia will liberalise rules related to trade for allowing entry of more Bangladeshi items, particularly the pharmaceutical products, into its market.

Ministry to talk licence renewal with mobile operators next week

The telecom ministry will hold a crucial meeting Tuesday to discuss the mobile licence renewal issue with operators, ministry officials said.

Stocks shrug off probe jitters

Stocks returned to the black yesterday as investors were undeterred by the findings of a report submitted by a probe committee to the finance minister.

Minister urges Thailand to invest more

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday urged the Thai entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh as it has been promoting a liberal investment policy to attract foreign investors by offering huge incentive packages.

Govt raises furnace oil price again

The government has increased the furnace oil price by Tk 5 per litre at the end-users' level yesterday for an interim period, said a government statement.

Ctg gets bond commissionerate in June: NBR boss

The government will launch a full-fledged bond commissionerate in Chittagong by June to reduce the hassles of local businessmen and expedite the country's export and import related activities.

Airtel offers roaming solutions

Airtel Bangladesh has initiated innovative roaming services in a bid to offer more affordable services for the roamers, the company said in a statement.

ECB hikes interest rate despite Portuguese woes

The European Central Bank hiked interest rates Thursday for the first time in nearly three years to tame rising prices just as the eurozone debt crisis claimed Portugal as its latest victim.

IMF warns oil growing scarce, more costly

The International Monetary Fund warned Thursday that nations should brace for dwindling oil supplies that could drive prices skyward as demand increases, especially in emerging-market economies .

Britain says Portuguese crisis justifies austerity measures

British Finance Minister George Osborne argued Thursday that Portugal's worsening debt crisis justified his painful austerity measures, saying they had saved the country from going down the same route.

Out of court settlement for business disputes

The Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC) will start its journey in the country from Saturday in efforts to settle commercial disputes quickly, transparently and in a cost-effective way to give relief to businesspeople.

Ghost city symbolises cost of nuclear disaster

"Careful -- do not touch anything with your bare hands!" warned the guide as we entered the kindergarten and our Geiger counter hissed like an angry rattlesnake.

World food prices fall for first time in eight months

World food prices fell for the first time in eight months in March after hitting record highs at the start of the year, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday.

BoJ unveils loan scheme, warns on quake impact

The Bank of Japan on Thursday warned of the pressures facing a nation reeling from its biggest recorded earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear crisis, as it bolstered funding for quake-hit areas.

Europe hits point of no return with Portugal bailout

Portugal on Wednesday said it had finally decided to request financial assistance from the European Union, paving the way for a third bailout of a eurozone country after Ireland and Greece.

German economy powering ahead

Germany will steam ahead in 2011, leaving most of its rivals trailing in its wake, the country's leading economic institutes predicted Thursday, publishing bullish forecasts for Europe's top economy.

World trade growth to slow in 2011 after record 2010

Growth in global trade is expected to slow to 6.5 percent this year after a record-breaking expansion of 14.5 percent in 2010, the World Trade Organization said Thursday.

Asian shares mixed

Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday, as Tokyo edged higher thanks to the weakening yen, while currency dealers awaited a key interest rate decision by the European Central Bank.

Metropolitan

HIV awareness among RMG workers vital, says minister

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday said awareness on HIV/AIDS should be increased among transport and garment workers, as they live close together.

Subject on ICT at Class VI suggested

The sub-committees on modifying textbook curriculum of secondary-level education have suggested introducing a new subject on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at Class VI.

Verdict on govt petition May 11

The Supreme Court (SC) will deliver a verdict on May 11 on the government's petition to review its judgment on the Fifth Amendment to the constitution.

Concern over Rab's shooting incident

Human rights organisations yesterday expressed grave concern over Rab's shooting incident on March 23 which maimed college student Limon at Chhaturia village in Rajapur of Jhalakathi.

Saima for innovation to combat autism

Autism expert Saima Wazed Hossain has appealed for an intensified awareness campaign along with innovative and sustainable programmes based on local culture and available resources to combat the neurobiological disorder.

BFUJ demands 8th wage board, 100pc DA

Leaders of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) yesterday demanded of the government to form the Eighth Wage Board and announce 100 percent dearness allowance (DA) for the journalists and employees of newspapers and news agencies immediately.

Charge framing hearing deferred

A Dhaka court yesterday deferred till May 9 the hearing on charge framing against Arafat Rahman Koko, youngest son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in connection with a tax evasion case.

Antibiotics being used indiscriminately

Antibiotics have turned ineffective against various diseases, as the critical drugs are being prescribed and sold indiscriminately.

ACC to investigate BRTA corruption

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday formed a three-member committee to investigate corruption in Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).

UN to consider peacekeeping training school in Bangladesh

UN police chief Ann-Marie Orler yesterday said her organisation would consider a Bangladesh government's proposal for setting up a regional UN Peacekeeping Training School in the country.

Separate census demanded

National Alliance of Disabled People's Organisations (NADPO) yesterday demanded an independent national census of the physically challenged people in the country.

Antibiotic misuse raises risk

Antibiotic misuse reduces sensitivity of the drugs against various diseases leaving people more vulnerable, experts told a seminar yesterday.

Eight killed in road crashes

Eight people were killed and 21 others injured in separate road accidents in Jhenidah, Manikganj, Pabna, Chittagong and Narayanganj yesterday.

Saarc nations to form nat'l body

The South Asian nations, in the 4th Saarc sanitation conference that concluded in Colombo yesterday, have decided to establish a national body in each member country to tackle the sanitation challenge in the region.

Protect Kornapara Khal: HC

The High Court yesterday directed the government to stop construction of a culvert on Kornapara Khal (canal) at Savar and its steps for protecting the canal from pollution and damage.

62 expelled on 2nd day

Sixty-two examinees were expelled from different centres for adopting unfair means on the second day of Higher Secondary Certificate and its equivalent examinations while 7,035 candidates remained absent yesterday.

'Eliminate corruption'

Speakers at a discussion said to enhance the health, education and local government services corruption and irregularities should be removed immediately.

Commerce minister sued for defamation

A local journalist lodged a defamation case against Commerce Minister Faruk Khan with a Bogra court yesterday.

Indian Navy wants to assist in disaster management

Indian Navy wants to assist Bangladesh in the field of disaster management, said Indian Navy officials here yesterday.

M Costa new Bishop of Ctg

Mojes M Costa was selected as Chief Bishop of Christian community in Chittagong on Wednesday.

Rejoinder

Rahimafrooz Batteries Ltd (RBL) in a rejoinder to the report, headlined "Rahimafrooz fined Tk 6 lakh" and run in The Daily Star on April 6, said the report contains certain misinterpretation of facts.

Clarification

In response to the report headlined "Plan to restrict tobacco farming" and published in The Daily Star on March 31, Shawkat Momen Shahjahan, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Agriculture Ministry, sent a clarification.

National

Days in the life of a freedom fighter

Valiant freedom fighter Abdul Razzak, now 68, finds it hard to get both ends meet with his scanty income as a rickshaw-van puller.

100 maunds more jatka seized

Coastguard members yesterday seized 100 maunds more jatka (hilsa fry) from trawlers raising the total amount of seizure to at least 165 maunds in the last three days.

20 kids food poisoned

At least 20 students of Kuthipara Government Primary School in Godagari upazila of Rajshahi district fell sick after having tamarind pickles from a street vendor on the school premises yesterday morning.

RU collects all official files for investigation

Rajshahi University (RU) authorities yesterday collected all the official files of music and drama department to carry out an investigation.

Police arrest 11 for attack on temple, Hindu family

Police in a drive at Ukiara village on Wednesday night arrested 11 people in connection with the attack on journalists, damage of a temple and houses of a Hindu family there.

11 get life, another to suffer 17-year RI in Khulna

A court on Wednesday sentenced eleven people to life term imprisonment and another to 17 years rigorous imprisonment for killing a schoolboy.

8 stalkers punished in 5 districts

Eight stalkers have been punished for the offence in Kushtia, Jessore, Mymensingh, Nilphamari and Chandpur districts.

Abductors move freely, press family to withdraw case

HSC examinee Rupali Roy is yet to be recued a month into her abduction.

Divorced, attacked with acid

Victim of acid attack by fellow-wife and stepson, a housewife is groaning in pain at One-stop Crisis Centre at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH).

Abducted girl freed by villagers

An abducted girl was freed by villagers in Lalmonirhat while three others were rescued in Jessore while being trafficked to India yesterday.

Pirates abduct 2 fishermen

Two fishermen were abducted by pirates in Badhalata area in the Mathabhanga canal in the Sundarbans yesterday.

Teenage boy found dead

A teenage boy was found dead at the residence of president of the District Bar Association here on Wednesday.

Letters

Where has the blue sky gone?

Nowadays we do not see the blue colour of the sky, it has been replaced by an ash colour and the smog, created by emissions from vehicles, factories, generators and many other sources, has blanketed the city sky. We are unable to see the star studded night sky; the pollution filled atmosphere has taken it from us.

Sprawling urbanisation

The sprawling urbanisation in and around Dhaka city is moving at such a pace that very soon it is going to absorb the city's empty spaces as well as the greenbelts. It is also bereft of basic amenities such as playgrounds, parks, walkways. Gas, electricity and water crisis is also mounting. It is also alarming to read that the experts have predicted that around 70,000 buildings in Dhaka city alone are vulnerable to high velocity typhoon or cyclone, let alone an earthquake. They opined that most of the builders have filled the ditches, canals and low lying lands and started construction without conducting proper soil test which is an important criterion for construction of a building. It was also seen in the past that due to poor construction many buildings either collapsed or tilted. RAJUK must ensure that proper roads are being constructed in order to provide access to the rescue team in case a building caves in. It is also alleged that the builders get their plan passed in connivance with a section of corrupt RAJUK officials flouting the established building code. We strongly urge the concerned authorities to take stern measures against all these malpractices.

Bangladesh team's performance

Now that the World Cup Cricket - 2011 is over, it is time to analyse both our strengths and weaknesses and prepare to be a more competent for the upcoming cricket events. There are more things to be optimistic than to be frustrated about. The interesting thing is, Bangladesh do play really well sometimes. And at times their performance is very disappointing. But that's not the point. The point is that Bangladesh is an amazing "Game Changer". It has been proved in this world cup and no matter how some commentators of neighbouring countries want to portray, our victory against England was no "accident". It is not possible for every team to turn the game from a losing position, while Bangladesh pulled it off against England and proved that if we try we can also change the game. What we need is persistence, focus, determination, commitment and practice.

Need for a new terminal at HSI airport

There has been lots of hue and cry over the decision of the present government to set up a new airport away from Dhaka. As citizen of a least developed country I consider that the very thought of building a new airport and abandoning the present one is nothing but a unwise idea when the basic infrastructure of the country is yet to be fully developed.

WASA's aims and objectives!

If I am not mistaken, WASA was set up with the idea of providing potable water to urban areas of Dhaka, and making water easily available, and also to ensure clean and hygienic sanitation and sewage disposal. All these facilities were installed at huge cost to the taxpayers; but what is the result today? WASA's water supply could not meet the demand, and now it has become a water rationing authority; a function that it enjoys, exercising power and authority by throttling water supply! About sewerage, the less said the better! Today, WASA stands for: "Water Available? Sometimes Available!" That sometimes will soon dwindle down to two hours out of twenty four in a day!

A true friend of helpless people

It was nobody but Dr. Yunus who effectively came up with the idea of micro-credit, which indeed came to impoverished people as a blessing and a new hope. Most of the people in Bangladesh live below the poverty line. Dr Yunus' Grameen Bank has always been beside the poverty-stricken people especially in time of their crucial need. It not only enables poor people to manage their daily meals to survive, but also helps the incapable people get proper education. If I am not mistaken, there is not a single government bank that renders student loans to help poor students get education. Now BB is after the Nobel laureate for his constructive initiatives to eradicate poverty and hunger from this country!

Our political philosophies

It is high time to review our political approach and philosophy. The young generation looks to the future but dynasty rulers look into the past. There is huge communication gap between the rulers and the ruled. The politicians ignore the majority of the voters who live in the rural areas. Our farmers keep us alive in this fertile land but enjoy no social status.

Tax cuts

As many as 500,000 protesters marched in London on Saturday to protest Britain's deepest cuts in public spending since World War II. The protests came after U.K. officials estimated corporate taxes would be reduced even as it tackles a $235 billion deficit and plans to cut more than 300,000 public sector jobs. Meanwhile, in the United States protesters gathered in 40 cities on Saturday to oppose tax cuts for the wealthy amid budget cuts in public services.

Quota system

I am a freedom fighter's son. My father fought under sector 8. In Bangladesh all parties say that they are ready to serve the freedom fighters. The govt. reserved 30% job quota for their children and most recently even for their grandchildren. But practically, no govt. departments or private organisations maintain this quota system. On the other hand, general students claim that they cannot get jobs because of the quota system.

Sayedabad water treatment plant

More than ten million people depend on water supplied by Dhaka WASA. WASA's Sayedabad water treatment plant has been supplying contaminated water for long. We urge the ministry concerned to do something urgent in this regard.

Triclosan is harmful!

Triclosan is a chemical used in cosmetics and in many common household products including toothpastes, deodorants, etc. Because of its antibacterial properties triclosan is also used as an active ingredient in many anti-microbial creams and lotions. But it has been revealed through research that triclosan, a cholorophenol can combine with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform gas that can cause human cancer. The United States and the United Kingdom have classified triclosan as a probable human carcinogen. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has listed triclosan as a pesticide.

Online Voices

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Attention Readers

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International

Japan to widen nuke evacuation zone

Japan said yesterday it is considering expanding the area covered by a compulsory evacuation order, with no immediate end in sight to the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Strong quake rocks Japan again

A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit northeastern Japan late yesterday, seismologists said, prompting Japanese authorities to issue a localised tsunami alert.

Thousands flee key Libyan city in fear of regime assault

Libyan insurgents and civilians stampeded out of Ajdabiya yesterday on rumours that loyalist forces were at the gates of the eastern town, hours after an air strike tore into the rebels' defences.

Indian minister quits key anti-corruption post

The indefinite hunger strike launched by India's leading social activist Anna Hazare against corruption in high places claimed its first casualty on Wednesday night as Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar resigned from a committee set up to combat graft.

Nobel winners condemn 'religious' science prize

Nobel prize winners have criticised an eminent British scientist for accepting a US-funded $1.6 million prize for exploring life's spiritual dimension.

Israel pounds Gaza after attack on bus

Israeli tanks, helicopters and planes have struck Gaza after an anti-tank missile fired from the Palestinian territory hit a school bus in Israel.

Syria naturalises Kurds to ease protests

President Bashar al-Assad yesterday granted citizenship to Syria's Kurds, the majority in the northeast who have been denied nationality for nearly half a century, said SANA state news agency.

Turkey to disclose Libya 'roadmap'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were to disclose a Libyan "roadmap" yesterday at 1600 GMT, Turkish news channel NTV reported, without elaborating.

Kenyans Seek Justice Over British Mau Mau 'torture'

Four elderly Kenyans were to go before the High Court in London yesterday seeking justice over the brutality they claim they suffered at the hands of the British army during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising.

Obama threatens to veto Republican spending bill

US President Barack Obama threatened to veto a short-term spending bill put forward by Republicans to avoid a government shutdown on Friday over a row on setting a budget through October 1.

Arab leaders work on plan for Saleh's exit

A Gulf Arab plan for Yemen's president to step down will guarantee the veteran leader and his family immunity from prosecution, an opposition source said yesterday, and youth activists said that was enough to reject it.

Brazil rejects eco-destroyer dam halt plea

Brazil has said a request to halt work on its massive hydro-electric dam in the Amazon rainforest is unjustified despite environmental concerns.

Hopes fade for drowned 150 refugees

Hopes faded yesterday for some 150 African refugees fleeing Libya whose boat capsized in the middle of the Mediterranean in rough weather, a day after 53 survivors were plucked from the sea.

US expels Ecuador ambassador

The United States yesterday ordered the expulsion of Ecuador's ambassador to Washington in a tit-for-tat move after the US envoy to Quito was told to leave over a leaked diplomatic cable.

Kenyan leaders appear at Hague court over killings

Three Kenyans appeared at the International Criminal Court yesterday, denying they had any connection with unrest in which 1,200 people were killed after disputed elections in 2007.

Libya contact group to meet April 13 in Doha: France

The international contact group on Libya will meet on April 13 in the Qatari capital Doha, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Thursday.

Pakistan rejects critical US report on war against terrorism

Pakistan yesterday rejected a highly critical US report of its efforts to defeat Islamist militants, saying it would not be held accountable for US-led failures in Afghanistan.

China warns world not to interfere in internal matters

China yesterday warned the international community it had "no right to interfere" in the case of outspoken artist Ai Weiwei, who has been detained for investigation of unspecified economic crimes.

Japan quake moved sea bed 24 metres

The seabed near the epicentre of the massive earthquake that rocked Japan last month was shifted 24 metres by the tremor, the country's coastguard said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Padatik's Theatre Fest Begins

The weeklong theatre festival by Padatik Natya Sangsad (TSC) began at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on April 6. Titled 'Syed Badruddin Hossain Smriti Natyatshab O Smarok Shammanona 2011', the festival marks the 88th birth anniversary of the troupe's founding president, Syed Badruddin Hossain.

Window to the Soul

With the theme, 'Atmar Shondhaney Shahosro Duburi' (thousands of divers in search of the soul), a photo exhibition on meditation began last Monday at Arjuntala on Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) campus in Sylhet.

Call to Preserve the Ancestral Home of a Legend

Screen legend Suchitra Sen turned 80 on April 6. She was born at her maternal grandfather's residence at the Bhangabari village, in Pabna. Sen grew up at Gopalpur in Pabna town. Unfortunately the ancestral home of the legendary actress in Pabna town is still occupied by Imam Gazzali Institute, despite the popular resentment. People of the district want the historic site to be freed from unjustified occupation and restored.

Tarin to Release her First Music Album

Tarin's acting career, spanning 25 years, has made her a household name among TV viewers across the country. Her fans are in for a surprise this Pahela Boishakh: the accomplished actor is going to make her debut as a singer with her first solo album, “Akash Debo Kakey”.

Rhythm and Melody

A dance and song competition titled 'Dipshikha' was held on April 4 at Shilpakala Academy Auditorium in Panchagarh.

Creating Good Citizens

The three-day children's theatre festival, titled 'Barisal Bibhagio Shishu Natya Utshab 2011' (Barisal divisional children's theatre festival) ended at Barisal Aswani Kumar Hall last Wednesday evening with a call for ensuring wholesome entertainment to enable children to be good citizens.

A Festival for Children in Tetulia

A four-day Shishu Utshab (children's festival) and Mela (fair) kicked off last Tuesday afternoon at Tetulia Pilot School Ground in Panchagarh.

OP-ED

The politics of history

It came as no surprise when Home Minister Sahara Khatun said it last Friday. She said Ziaur Rahman never claimed that he had declared independence. If she has told the truth, she has only told half of it. The other half is that neither did Sheikh Mujibur Rahman make that claim. Not as we know it.

Treatment of land tenants

The tenancy market in rural Bangladesh is passing through an interesting phase. Not only have the arrangements of operation in the market undergone rapid changes -- say, from crop-sharing to fixed-rent system -- the amount of land transacted in this market has also picked up.

Living in an orphaned world

Look what is going around! Inside the country, some of which, of course, we are lamenting our hearts out on. But that can wait for the moment, because morally we have a higher call of duty to respond to. So, what's more to the point this instant is what is and is not happening in the wider world we are living in real time.

Japan's nuclear crisis: Genesis of a catastrophe

It is humanly difficult to accept. Yet the worst fears nuclear opponents have voiced for years are becoming true in the nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan. End March, we were almost three weeks into the catastrophe at Fukushima-Daiichi that began on the 11th. Within days it was apparent that the country was likely to face a massive problem of radiation, with the concomitant risks of increased cancer deaths for Japan's population.

8 dead people who aren't dead

A teenage friend looked up from her computer. "Jim Carrey's dead!" she gasped.

StarTech

Nokia to notch up growth

Although Nokia is the world's largest handset manufacturer by volume, it is facing challenges as they wish to remain the market leader and the handset vendor of choice. Neil Gordon, the company's vice president of sales in South East Asia Pacific, told The Daily Star in an interview during his visit to Bangladesh recently.

Samsung brings Galaxy Pop

Samsung Mobile has introduced Samsung Galaxy Pop in Bangladesh, says a press release.

Microsoft, Toyota team up on digital auto network

Microsoft Corp and Toyota Motor Corp unveiled a plan on Wednesday to work together on bringing Internet-connected services to Toyota's cars across the world.



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