The Daily Star

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014


News of: Monday, 20th of June, 2011

Front Page

Acquitted in 14, 3 more to go

A Dhaka court yesterday acquitted former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad in a money laundering case filed during the tenure of the BNP government in 1995.

War tribunal to get more clout

A process is underway to bring a significant change to the country's constitution so the legality of trials of war crime suspects, who were not part of any armed force or auxiliary force in 1971, cannot be challenged in any court.

Trial starts next month with two

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) is finally going to start next month the trial of detained Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee and BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury who are facing charges of crimes against humanity, sources said.

Delhi to gift Dhaka two cannons

The Indian government is going to hand over to Bangladesh two cannons used by the "Mujib Battery" during the Liberation War as a gesture of goodwill.

Windies take Barath in

West Indies again overlooked Chris Gayle for selection, and his omission has overshadowed the build-up to the first Test against India, starting on Monday at Sabina Park here.

Turag freed of 2 grabbers

The Department of Environment (DoE) in a drive yesterday evicted two groups of land claimants for encroaching on the river Turag of Ashulia and fined one of the land claimants Tk 16.42 lakh.

Judgement on June 23

On June 23 a Dhaka court will deliver the verdict of a case filed against Koko in connection with siphoning off over Tk 20 crore bribe money to Singapore.

It's untrue, nonsense

The accusation of infidelity made by Rumana Manzur's husband is “nonsense,” and is an attempt to damage her reputation, her friends at her university in Canada and the Bangladeshi community there have said.

3 EU, German UK ministers due today

Three ministers from the European Union, the UK and Germany arrive in the capital today to hold talks with the government and the opposition on political, economic, development and climate issues.

Tk 1 lakh cr gobbled up

HIGHLIGHTS
* 3 companies blamed for looting Tk 1,600 crore
* Khaled's report mentioned only 10pc of graft
* Finance, commerce ministers, BB governor asked to quit
* Withdraw cases against investors, try real looters
* Politicisation of and graft in SEC must stop
* PMO, some ministers, PM's adviser, few JS body chairmen were beneficiary

3 more killed in UP polls violence

Three people were killed in violence centring the ongoing union parishad (UP) polls in Chandpur, Madaripur and Rajbari yesterday.

Pak troops kill 25 militants

Pakistani war planes pounded a militant stronghold in a tribal district on the Afghan border in an operation that left 25 insurgents dead, the military said yesterday.

More rice, urea import okayed

The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved the proposed import of 50,000 tonnes of rice and 2.15 lakh tonnes of urea to build up a secure stock in the next fiscal year.

BNP talks to foreign diplomats

The main opposition BNP in a meeting yesterday briefed foreign diplomats on the country's latest political situation, particularly BNP's stance on the non-party caretaker government system.

Houses looted in broad daylight

Armed robbers looted around 255 tolas of gold ornaments, a licensed loaded revolver, six rounds of bullet and Tk 5 lakh in broad daylight from a flat in the city's New Eskaton yesterday.

HC upholds dismissal of Brig Azmi

A High Court bench yesterday upheld a government decision to dismiss former Brig Gen Abdullahil Aman Azmi, son of former Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Ghulam Azam, from service.

Indian army chief VK Singh in city

Chief of Army Staff of India General V K Singh arrived here yesterday on a five-day visit.

Rajapaksa summoned by US court

Sri Lanka's justice ministry received a summons issued by a US federal court for President Mahinda Rajapaksa linking him with a extrajudicial murder case filed under the Hague convention by relatives of Tamil victims.

2 die while working in septic tank

Two construction workers died while working in a septic tank yesterday at Adarshapara under Mirpur upazila of Kushtia district.

Sufia Kamal's centenary of birth today

Today is the 100th birth anniversary of late Sufia Kamal, a renowned poet and a pioneer of women's rights movement in Bangladesh.

Weak al-Qaeda could split

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that al-Qaeda had been seriously degraded and could split into a set of regional terror groups now that Osama bin Laden was gone.

Mexican troops kill 11 gunmen in shootout

Eleven suspected crime syndicate gunmen were killed in a shootout with soldiers along a highway in eastern Mexico, a senior official said Saturday.

Editorial

Tidal sufferings

Although the heavy rain has tapered off, and the surge and the consequent tidal bore has receded, it has left in its wake severely damaged 50000 acres of cropland and fisheries and affected a large number of families in the coastal areas of the country. While a mix of climatic phenomena is the cause of the heavy downpour, the effect of the low pressure was exacerbated by the high tide that compounded the effect of the sea surge. Reportedly, as many as fifteen south and southeastern districts, were lashed by rains that lasted for almost three days with varying intensity.

Deepening uncertainty in ME

Forces loyal to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad have been shelling a small town near the border with Turkey, forcing its residents to flee to safety on the other side. The operation demonstrates, four months into the unrest in Syria, the brutality of the regime in trying to suppress the popular movement for political change. In Libya, despite all the NATO bombing to force Muammar Gaddafi from power, the regime, despite its weakened nature, remains in place. NATO bombing has just resulted in more civilians dying, which raises the critical question of whether all this international pressure on Gaddafi is yielding the results the West had earlier thought it would. Meanwhile, in Morocco, King Muhammad's offer of reforms has left no one impressed. His detractors' argument that earlier reforms in the country's 400-year history have been superficial cannot be dismissed out of hand. Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh has fled to Saudi Arabia.

Sports

Jovanovski not coming yet

Coach-elect Gjorgji Jovanovski of Macedonia has seemingly refused to take charge of the Bangladesh national football team before the FIFA World Cup pre-qualifiers against Pakistan in June and July on 'security grounds'.

Under-19 cricketers could tour Pakistan

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will be submitting an application to the government for a possible tour to Pakistan by the under-19 side next month.

Bell puts hosts on top

Ian Bell's second hundred in three matches guided England into a commanding position on the fourth day of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl here on Sunday.

Shakib's bat finally talks

Shakib Al Hasan cracked a half-century after nine innings yesterday.

Contingent to leave Tuesday

A 56-member Bangladesh contingent will leave here for Greece on Tuesday to take part in the Special Olympic Summer Games, beginning from Saturday next in Athens.

Siddikur ends on 16th

Bangladesh golfer Siddikur Rahman could not turn the tide in the fourth and final round of the Queen's Cup golf championship at the Santiburi Samui Country Club in Thailand yesterday, slipping two places to finish in joint 16th position. The country's ace golfer repeated his poor showing of the previous day to shoot a round of three-over-par 74 (71-par-course). His cumulative score over the four-day tournament was one-over-par 285.

It's Wimbledon time again

Roger Federer can picture himself lifting a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title, but can also sense the dangers posed by Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray when the tournament starts here on Monday.

Feni stay afloat

Feni Soccer Club recorded their third victory in the Grameenphone Bangladesh League with a single-goal win over relegated Chittagong Abahani at the Shaheed Salam Stadium in Feni yesterday.

BFF asks for SBNS, Fatullah

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will officially seek the allotment of Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium and Fatullah Stadium to arrange practice sessions for the Argentina and Nigeria football teams.

Mohammadpur crush DOHS

Mohammadpur Basketball Club crushed Old DOHS

Mr Cricket

If Sir Donald Bradman is the greatest batsman to have ever lived, then equally free from doubt is the fact that Sir Garfield Sobers is the greatest allrounder to have played the game.

Mexico, Honduras into semis

Second-half goals from Aldo De Nigris and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez lifted defending champions Mexico to a 2-1 victory over Guatemala and into the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday.

Australia, Korea edge towards Olympics

Asian heavyweights Australia and South Korea took big steps towards next year's London Olympics with emphatic qualifying wins on Sunday.

Tevez likely to stay at City

Carlos Tevez is likely to stay at Manchester City as he seeks to bring his family over from Argentina, according to his representative.

Spurs aim to match Modric's ambition

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says he feels the club have to show wantaway midfielder Luka Modric he can achieve his goals with the club as the Croatian ponders overtures from Chelsea after announcing he is ready to move on from White Hart Lane.

Lazovic stunned!

Russian football was hit by scandal Sunday after the country's defending champions Zenit Saint Petersburg accused a riot policeman of zapping their top striker with a stun gun during an away match.

Barcelona secure Sanchez deal

Barcelona could complete their negotiations with Udinese and sign Chile international Alexis Sanchez by Tuesday, according to a number of Spanish reports.

Kun to stay in Madrid: Maradona

Diego Maradona has disappointed Chelsea and Juventus by revealing that his son-in-law Sergio Aguero has no intention of leaving Madrid this summer.

Gayle will lose nothing: Akram

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has committed a blunder by not letting Chris Gayle play in the series against India as the explosive batsman stands to lose nothing from a move which will only weaken the host team, feels former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.

Business

NBR takes up massive facelift plan

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will be made more powerful and modern through amending a law, digitising its activities and reining in tax evasion.

ADB, IFC offer help for Dhaka bourse demutualisation

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) have agreed to give technical support to demutualisation of the Dhaka Stock Exchange.

Budget bypasses vision for Digital Bangladesh

The backbone of the government's 'digital Bangladesh' vision -- ICT sector -- has been neglected in the proposed budget, said the leaders of three associations in the sector at a joint press conference yesterday.

London expo to showcase Bangladeshi cuisine

Non-resident Bangladeshis living in the UK will for the first time organise a catering exposition in London in October to promote Bangladesh's traditional foodstuff.

Bank accounts for beneficiaries of social safety net

Bangladesh Bank has directed public banks to immediately open accounts for people enjoying benefits under social security programmes run by the social welfare directorate.

New top brass for ceramic manufacturers' assoc

Iftakher Uddin Farhad was elected president of Bangladesh Ceramic Wares Manufacturers' Association on Saturday.

China province keen to deepen ties with Bangladesh

China's Shaanxi province has expressed interests to boost interactions with Bangladesh for economic de-velopment and benefits of the people of two regions.

DCCI calls for hartal withdrawal

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) yesterday called upon the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports to withdraw its half-day hartal planned for July 3.

Who is the real currency manipulator?

In late 2008, when China started devaluing its currency, the US labeled China of using “Beggar thy neighbour policy” to boost its exports. Fast forward to June 9 this year, IMF's acting managing director John Lipsky said that China's currency remains undervalued although China set the yuan's rate at 6.49 to the dollar in April this year, the highest official level relative to the dollar since 1994. On the other hand, the greenback has been debased by 8 percent in the last six months and lost one-third of its value against major currencies in the last decade. The Fed's policy to pursue a zero interest rate policy has caused the dollar to reach its lowest levels in a decade and its reduced yield has dissuaded foreign investors from stacking up the greenback in favour of other currencies.

Tweet your way to a new career

Most older job hunters are comfortable with basic business technology -- computers, the Web, email and smart phones. But we still have some Luddites out there -- you know who you are -- trying to squeak by, hoping to finish their working years without getting fluent in technology.

The best HR practice: how to follow

Biplob Banerjee, an Indian consultant, boasts a career in various HR roles that gave him both national and international exposure. He worked for Pepsico, GE and Nokia Siemens Networks in areas of talent management, culture building, compensation and benefit, engagement and retention, and leadership development.A man with more than 18 years of experience in different fields, Banerjee also served Reuters as head of HR for Southeast Asia, Anandabazar Patrika Group as vice-president for HR and Dainik Bhaskar as chief human resources officer. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and specialised in human resources from XLRI, Jamshedpur in India. Currently, he is dealing with some Indian and multinational companies as a consultant. He is also associated with Indian Institute of Management. Banerjee is expected to take part in an international HR Summit in Dhaka as a keynote speaker next Saturday. He has recently shared his views with The Daily Star on the strategies of talent development, importance and challenges of best HR practice in media industry in an email interview.

Experts' guide for Bangladesh

Bangladesh Society for Human Resource Management is set to organise an international summit, C-suite HR Summit 2011,in collaboration with Bangladesh Brand Forum on June 25.The summit will spotlight the challenges for HR practices. Some international HR experts will share their views there. Three of them have spoken to Suman Saha of The Daily Star in online interviews.

Malaysia tells African leaders governance key to growth

Malaysian premier Najib Razak Sunday told a gathering of African leaders including Zimbabwe's controversial President Robert Mugabe that good governance was vital to economic growth.

Business rounds on Indian government over economy

Business leaders in India have rounded on the government, urging a halt to interest rate rises, amid fears that inflation and lack of institutional reform could hit investment and cut economic growth.

Merkel wants 'substantial' bank aid for Greek debt

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Saturday urged "substantial" aid from private creditors in resolving Greece's debt woes, as the Eurogroup warned the crisis could spread like a firestorm through other EU economies.

Sega says 1.3m users affected by cyber attack

Japanese video game developer Sega Corp said on Sunday that information belonging to 1.3 million customers has been stolen from its database, the latest in a rash of global cyber attacks against video game companies.

Boeing hits back at Airbus over A350 plan

Boeing dismissed a challenge by Airbus to its largest twinjet aircraft on Sunday after the European jetmaker delayed the launch of the A350-1000 to develop a bigger engine.

Line drawn in stocks' battle

The S&P 500's 200-day moving average is the line in the sand as the bulls and the bears fight over the U.S. stock market's direction. It will face one of its stiffest tests next week with Greece's debt crisis appearing to reach a climax.

Carrefour tips 35pc drop in half-year profit

Carrefour, the world's second-biggest retailer, said on Friday it expected a 35 percent drop in half-year operating profit for its French operations, but held to annual revenue and profit targets.

Metropolitan

Contract to hunt talents renewed

More talents working for disseminating the natural beauties and heritages of Bangladesh through photography, films and lyrics will get recognition under the "Celebrating Life," a national contest in the areas.

PM for all modern facilities in villages

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed all officials concerned to ensure best coordination in their works for maximising development of the country.

CID completes investigation: Officials

Criminal Investigation Department has completed its extended investigation into arms haul in 2004 when a10-truck loads of weapons reportedly destined to hideouts of India's separatist United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), officials said yesterday.

Today's hartal in Narayanganj called off

Jatri Odhikar Sangrakkhan Forum (forum to protect commuters' rights) last night withdrew its scheduled half-day hartal programme in Narayanganj today as bus owners fixed the Dhaka-Narayanganj route fare at Tk 27 from Tk 28.

Call to increase budgetary funds for local govts

A platform of 35 non-government organisations yesterday demanded increase in budgetary allocation for the local governments.

Barrister Asim barred from leaving country

Immigration personnel at Shahjalal International Airport yesterday barred Barrister Nasir Uddin Asim, human rights affairs secretary of BNP chairperson, from leaving the country for London.

HC rule on govt to explain

The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within four weeks why it should not be directed to compel the officials of different departments of upazila to act as per instructions of its chairman.

Reduce tobacco cultivation

Speakers at a workshop here yesterday called for combined efforts to reduce tobacco cultivation in Bangladesh.

Array of artifacts stressed

Artifacts in Bangladesh National Museum should be displayed in context to historical progress, not characters, said experts at a seminar yesterday.

Call to implement properly

Participants of a consultation meeting yesterday pointed out flaws and gave suggestions to improve rules on Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2010 for its proper implementation.

Hasan blasts protesters

State Minister for Forest and Environment Hasan Mahmud yesterday in parliament blasted National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports and its member secretary for protesting signing of a production sharing contract (PSC) with an American oil company.

Activities at land port to begin soon: Minister

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday said activities at Chilhati-Haldibari land port would start this month.

Midwifery training begins

The government, supported by United Nations Population Fund and World Health Organisation, initiated a midwifery education programme to produce competent midwives.

International Earth Day celebrated

Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica), Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and North South University (NSU) yesterday jointly celebrated the International Earth Day.

Present correct history before young generation: President

President Zillur Rahman has urged historians, freedom fighters, writers and civil society members to come forward with their responsibility to present the correct history of the nation before the young generation.

'Take integrated bid to save natural beauties'

Development plan has been taken to revitalise economic, social and cultural opportunities available in the Cox's Bazar region by conserving gifts of nature and environment for the inhabitants as well as the visitors

Road crashes kill 5

Five people were killed in separate road accidents in Gopalganj, Faridpur and Mymensingh yesterday.

Minister-cum teacher!

State Minister for Environment and Forest Dr Hasan Mahmud will take classes on environmental science every Monday evening at North South University, says a forest ministry press release.

Construction worker electrocuted

A construction worker was electrocuted at Ananda Plaza of Savar bus stand area yesterday.

UP polls: 26 jailed for seven days

Mobile court yesterday sentenced 26 people to prison for seven days for trying to influence voting in Bolipara union parishad scheduled for today.

National

Over 6,000 shrimp, other fish enclosures washed away

Over six thousand shrimp and sweet water fish enclosures in Bagerhat were washed away by tidal waves amid incessant rain in the last three days, reports our correspondent.

UP chairman-elect arrested, 6 fined for violating code

A newly elected union parishad chairman was arrested and six others were fined for violating election code of conduct in Faridpur and Gaibandha districts yesterday and the day before.

Erosion by Dharla renders 70 families homeless in 4 days

Erosion by river Dharla rendered at least 70 families in three villages under Mogholhat union of Sadar upazila homeless in last four days.

Bridge over Kulda River too risky for users

The bridge over Kudla River at Swarbanghuda village in Sharsha upazila Benapole border has turned awfully risky, much to the worry of thousands of people who use the bridge near Bangladesh-India border.

Police assault on bus driver triggers indefinite stirike

Transport workers yesterday began an indefinite bus strike on Thakurgaon-Ranishankoil, Thakurgaon-Baluiadangi and Thakurgaon-Ruhia roads protesting assault on a bus driver by police on Thakurgaon-Pirganj road earlier on the day.

Rajshahi Silk Factory to reopen this year

Rajshahi Silk Factory, which remained closed for about nine years, will reopen by this year.

Agitation by trainee nurses paralyses MNC activities

Trainee nurses at Mymensingh Nursing College (MNC) continued agitation including class boycott for five days yesterday protesting the attack on them by the fourth class employees of Mymensingh Medical College and Hospital on Monday last.

Severe storm lashes 3 Faridpur villages

A severe storm lashed two villages in Sadar and Nagarkanda upazilas early yesterday.

Date expired energy drinks seized

At least 3,666 bottles of date expired energy drink were seized in Joypurhat yesterday morning.

Old man hacked to death

Criminals hacked an old man to death at Natun Bazaar Dawlat Kha village in Kalkini upazila early yesterday.

Ferry service resumes

Ferry service on Mawa-Kawrakandi river route resumed yesterday 15 hours after remaining suspended due to inclement weather. Sirajul Haque, manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) at Mawa office said that traffic jam on both sides of the terminal has started clearing since 12:30pm though about 550 vehicles are still waiting to cross the river Padma. Earlier, ferry service on the route resumed at 8:00am on Saturday after remaining halted for about 48 hours. Thousands of vehicles got stranded on both sides of the terminals due to disruption of ferry services for the last four days.

5 hurt as BCL men clash

Five people, including a top leader of Pabna Government Shaheed Bulbul College unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), were injured in an intra-party clash yesterday. An altercation between BCL college unit president Shibly Sadik and some outsiders, who are also BCL activists, took place when the outsiders entered the campus. During the clash, outsiders led by Anik attacked the BCL activists including Shibly, 27, leaving five injured. Both groups used lethal weapons. The injured were admitted to Pabna Medical College and Hospital.

Man killed by cousin

A man was stabbed to death allegedly by his cousin following an altercation at Birikhai village in Jointapur upazila yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Hossain Ahmed, 25, son of Abdul Khaleq of the village. Family sources said Hossain's father Khaleq gave money to his brother Abdul Jalil as per his demand to send his son-in-law abroad long ago. Although Jalil assured them of arranging visa but he did not do so. Hossain and Jalil's son Bahar locked into an altercation over the issue at 6 am yesterday. At one stage, Bahar stabbed Hossain with a sharp weapon, leaving him dead on the spot. Bahar and his family members fled the area soon after the incident.

Criminal held with pistol

An alleged criminal was arrested along with a pistol from Bunopara area of the district town on Saturday. The arrestee was identified as Jasim, son of Abdul Aziz of the area. Police said Jasim along with his accomplices was engaged in committing robbery, snatching and other criminal activities in different areas of the town since long. Police said, acting on secret information, they raided the area at night and arrested him along with the home made pistol. Police said Jasim was wanted in a number of cases.

Letters

On 'Failure of teachers'

This is a reply to the letter published in your daily on 12th June, titled `Failure of Teachers" written by Tanha Kashfia Kate. Of course, “teachers all over the world have the same aim, to encourage their students to learn and to become independent adults".

Hackney carriage in Cox's Bazar

It is interesting to know that the DC, Cox's Bazar Md. Giasuddin Ahmed has taken an initiative to introduce hackney carriages (a vehicle with wheels drawn by one or more horses, also called cart) with a view to keep the sea beach clean and germ-free which is now polluted by horses feces owned by the horsemen who rent their horses to the tourists on the beach for riding. The Deputy Commissioner in the meantime organised a dialogue with the horses' owners and asked them to use their horses in pairs to pull the hackney carriages. Mr. Giasuddin has also requested some NGOs to help the horses' owners build hackney carriages. By now some three or four horse owners have already made their carts.

New blame game issue!

We have learnt from the reports referring to the top jurists of the country, published in The Daily Star of June 17, 2011 that the caretaker government system became illegal the day the Supreme Court declared the 13th amendment to the constitution “prospectively” void and unconstitutional.

Regarding Rajuk's Jhilmil project application

Recently Rajuk invited applications for its Jhilmil project. It is not clear if someone sends money by TT from a foreign country what document should be attached to the application. Secondly, how can I approach to a foreign lawyer/notary public if I don't have an English version of Holofnama?

The state of global disparities

I read with much interest the article titled "The state of global disparities" published in The Daily Star editorial page on June 16, 2011. The writer has very well explained the economic disparity that countries have in various dimensions. He did not discuss the diverse reasons which caused such disparities.

Settle matters in parliament

In a democratic country like Bangladesh it is permitted to have hartals. But that too, should be set on the foundation of some firm cause. Calling frequent hartals for political reasons which are entirely self-centered can never be accepted, especially when the opposition party has launched a 72 -hour hartal scheme.

Thank you, madam Khaleda Zia

Since December 1971, I never ventured outside the home late at night because of security concerns. 13th June 2011, was an exception, we were made to break the rules as the opposition BNP slapped a 36 hour non stop hartal beginning from the dawn of 12th June and ending on 13th June, 2011 in the evening.

Shood controversy

In the last few days two of the DS readers opined that shood (interest) in the banking system is not anti-Islamic. I would like to shed some lights on the issue. Let's first clear the definitions. While we can say that interest is technically a profit, for this example, we take them as 2 separate items: Interest as interest or riba' and profit as the gain from trading.

In praise of hartal

Hartal day creates a level playing field for everybody. The rich and the poor travel jostling with each other on the same kind of vehicle- rickshaws, Nasiman or Koriman.

Punish the forest plunderers

The ruling Awami League lawmaker from Bhola 4 (Charfashion) constituency should be handed exemplary punishment for flouting court orders and environmental laws by exercising his power and influence to construct a road in a most unauthorized manner.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star report headlined “No ray of light”

International

Nato air strike kills 9 civilians in Tripoli residential area

A Nato air strike on a residential district of Tripoli early yesterday killed nine people, five of them from the same family, and wounded 18, Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told AFP.

Syrian army cuts off supply line for refugees

The Syrian army has cut off a key border village supplying people fleeing to Turkey, closing its only bakery and burning surrounding forests, residents who managed to escape said yesterday.

Lankan president gets US summons

Sri Lanka's justice ministry received a summons issued by a US federal court for President Mahinda Rajapaksa linking him with a extrajudicial murder case filed under the Hague convention by the relatives of Tamil victim.

Marilyn Monroe's famous Seven Year Itch dress sells for $4.6m

The white dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch sold for $4.6m at an auction in Los Angeles yesterday.

Afforestation will hardly dent warming problem

Schemes to convert croplands or marginal lands to forests will make almost no inroads against global warming this century, a scientific study published yesterday said.

Most Japanese wish to scrap reactors

More than four out of five Japanese want to see Tokyo abandon nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima atomic crisis, a survey said yesterday.

Suu Kyi turns 66

Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her 66th birthday yesterday, her first as a free woman for almost a decade.

Indian foreign minister to visit Burma

India's foreign minister SM Krishna will start a two-day visit to Myanmar today to "take stock" of economic and strategic cooperation between the countries, a senior official said yesterday.

Fatah-Hamas talks on govt delayed

Talks between president Mahmud Abbas, who heads Fatah, and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal on a new Palestinian cabinet have been postponed, a Fatah official said yesterday.

Suu Kyi turns 66

Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her 66th birthday yesterday, her first as a free woman for almost a decade.

Clashes kill 12 al-Qaeda men in Yemen

Twelve suspected members of an al-Qaeda-linked group and two Yemeni soldiers were killed in clashes near the gunmen-held southern city Zinjibar, an army officer said yesterday.

Egypt PM hints at polls delay

Egypt's premier has said delaying a September parliamentary election would give parties more time to prepare, as the nation debates its political future with early polls seen likely to benefit Islamists.

Greek PM urges all party consensus

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou yesterday urged political parties to forge a "national accord" and back him in a confidence vote in order to overcome the economic crisis amid social unrest.

Indo-Pak nuke talks on Thursday

Despite the war of words between India and Pakistan over a sea vessel MV Suez, government sources said yesterday New Delhi is going into the Foreign Secretary-level talks in Islamabad on Thursday with an "open and constructive" mind.

Somali prime minister resigns

Somalia's prime minister said he resigned yesterday, following an agreement between the president and parliament to remove him from office.

Ousted Tunisian ruler slams 'victors' justice' trial

Ousted Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, whose trial in absentia begins today, has denied all charges against him and dismissed them as a "victors' justice", a source close to him told AFP.

Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner dies in US

Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov and tireless critic of Vladimir Putin, has died aged 88, friends and relatives said yesterday.

N Zealand university offers earthquake course

Canterbury University in the earthquake-stricken New Zealand city of Christchurch is turning the traumatic experience into a new course, The Press newspaper reported Saturday.

Israel okays expansion of 2,000 settler homes

Jerusalem's municipal council yesterday approved the expansion of 2,000 homes in the settlement district of Ramat Shlomo, allowing each home to add a room, the interior ministry said. "Jerusalem's planning and urbanisation committee on Sunday authorised the enlargement of 2,000 homes in the neighbourhood of Ramat Shlomo," it said in a statement.

Police, soldiers take over Rio slum

Hundreds of Brazilian police and soldiers backed by helicopters and armoured vehicles swept in yesterday to take over a crime-ridden Rio slum as part of a pacification plan ahead of the football World Cup in 2014.

Arts & Entertainment

Nazrul Melody in Focus

Marking the 112th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Bengal Foundation arranged a three-day commemorative event, titled 'Amar Akash Mayer Koley' at Bengal Shilpalaya in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

A thespian . . . at seventy

Fellow activists arranged a programme on June 18 as veteran theatre personality Ataur Rahman celebrated his 70th birthday. Cultural activists greeted Rahman with bouquets on the special occasion.

Ethnic attractions

A three day indigenous festival, concluded at Haluaghat on June 18. The festival, which included a fair, exhibition and flamboyant cultural performances, was held at Haluaghat Adharsha High School grounds.

Cause for Celebration

Sangshkritik Oikko Jote, Pabna organised a two-day festival to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore and the 112th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. The festive event held at Pabna Town Hall premises on Friday and Saturday featured radio and TV artistes as well as artistes from Shantiniketan.

OP-ED

Major parties must reach out to each other

To all appearances, the caretaker government issue is going to determine which way the country's next political storm might start to blow. The last that we know of on the issue is that both the ruling Awami League (AL) and the main opposition, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), have drawn their battle lines over the issue of caretaker government.

60 years and still counting

Commemorating World Refugee Day on June 20 is a good time to reflect upon the plight of refugees around the world. With a number of landmark anniversaries this year, 2011 also highlights just how the refugee experience has been intertwined with the history and humanitarian tradition of Bangladesh.



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