The Daily Star

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

News of: Sunday, 17th of July, 2011

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Population 14.23cr

The country's population now stands at 14.23 crore, which is 1.8 crore more than a decade ago.

Confusion over census outcome

The preliminary results of the latest census, which puts the country's population at 14.23 crore, do not tally with the figures projected last year by different United Nations bodies and government high-ups.

Male, female ratio close

The country has 100.3 males against 100 females, though over 119 males live in the capital at present against 100 females.

Rumana won't see, ever

Rumana Manzur is never going to see again.

Student dies as brick falls from highrise

A student was killed yesterday as a brick fell on his head from an under-construction multi-storey building on Panthapath in the capital.

Essentials' price racing up

Consumers feel the pinch of soaring prices of essentials and vegetables nearly two weeks ahead of the Ramadan.

Shab-e-Barat tonight

Holy Shab-e-Barat, the night of fortune, will be observed across the country tonight with Muslim devotees seeking blessings of Almighty Allah for the wellbeing of mankind.

22 drivers fined

A mobile court yesterday fined 22 drivers a total of Tk 5,500 on different charges including careless driving and talking over the mobile phone while driving on the approach road to Bangabandhu Bridge in Tangail.

Nepal first to use Ctg port

In a major step towards regional connectivity, Bangladesh allowed transit of goods to Nepal from yesterday.

Two killed in road crash

A journalist was killed while four others, including the journalist's two-year-old daughter, were injured when a bus smacked their rickshaw from behind in the capital's Agargaon yesterday.

BNP, allies to stage demo Jul 23

The BNP-led four-party alliance last night decided to stage demonstrations and bring out processions simultaneously on July 23 to realise their demands including restoration of the caretaker government system in the constitution.

30 lakh cases stay piled up

The courts of Bangladesh have a backlog of around 30 lakh cases, causing a lot of sufferings to litigants, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.

Low earners smoke more

Although use of tobacco is widespread in Bangladesh, it is higher among the lower socio-economic groups in both rural and urban areas, says a recent study.

Tarique's trial not acceptable

BNP yesterday alleged the government is hatching a conspiracy to get Tarique Rahman convicted and keep him away from the next general election.

Suranjit slates Khaleda

Awami League Advisory Council Member Suranjit Sengupta yesterday said charges can be brought against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for her remark on the country's charter.

Syrian opposition calls for civil disobedience

Syrians should wage a campaign of civil disobedience to try to force President Bashar al-Assad from power, an exiled dissident said yesterday at a meeting in Turkey aimed at forging a united opposition.

Pakistan president heads for Iran talks

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was due in Tehran yesterday for talks with officials expected to include his Iranian counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

Chile miners sue government for negligence

Some 31 miners who endured 69 days trapped underground when a northern Chile mine collapsed are suing the government for negligence saying there was lack of security, one of them said Friday.

Philippine colonel calls for president's ouster

A colonel in the Philippine navy has been stripped of his post and put under investigation over a video in which he called for President Benigno Aquino's overthrow, the military said yesterday.

Japan to shut down nuclear reactor

Japan's Ohi nuclear power station is being shut down, after a technical fault, reports said yesterday.

Deadly horse virus spreads in Australia

A small farm near horse racing facilities in Australia's third largest city was placed under lockdown yesterday following two fresh outbreaks of the Hendra virus that can be fatal if contracted by humans.

Strong quake rocks Chilean coast

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the Chilean coast Friday, about 88 kilometres south-southwest of the port city of Valparaiso, US seismologists said.


The offices of The Daily Star will remain closed today on the occasion of Shab-e-Barat. Therefore, there will be no issue of the newspaper tomorrow.


Resolve on Lailatul Barat

The auspicious night of Lailatul Barat, known as Shab-e-Barat in the sub-continent, comes back again with its endless bounty. The night is called the' night of freedom' because the Almighty opens the gate to His munificence and forgiveness. The Holy Quran has called it a blessed night. The night becomes all the more significant as the Almighty's attention descends upon the humanity and proclaims His forgiveness, sustenance and assistance to any one who seeks His blessings.

Journalists under threat

We note with concern reported incidents of harassment and intimidation of journalists from vested quarters for reporting on their wrongdoings and transgressions. Two recent incidents profoundly illustrate how increasingly difficult it is getting for journalists, both print and electronic media, to perform their professional duties, particularly outside the Capital.


Shuvogata's dilemma

Conjecture has enough legs for a belief to travel a long-winded trail in Bangladesh cricket. It can lift an element within the circle to its highest peak and equally, it can dump him to the point where it remains an afterthought, reduced to a footnote.

L'pool triumph in a sea of red

Liverpool's preparations for the up-coming English Premier League continued as they recorded an in-the-end comfortable 6-3 victory over a Malaysia XI in a friendly match in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Few outcomes in marathon meeting

A number of issues were discussed in the marathon directors' meeting of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) which was held in Sylhet; the city which will now become the newest international venue in the country.

Sanctions approved

The executive committee of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday approved the Bangladesh League probe committee's recommendations of fines and suspensions for Sheikh Jamal and Rahmatganj, the two clubs alleged to be involved in match-fixing during their Bangladesh League fixture on June 11.

Strauss back on track

England Test captain Andrew Strauss warmed up for next week's first Test against India by scoring a quick-fire 78 as Somerset reached 329-2 against the tourists at Taunton on Friday.

Warne predicts 1-0 for England

Australian spin legend Shane Warne foresees England beating India 1-0 in the upcoming four-Test series as he feels Andrew Strauss' men will manage to do just enough to upstage their world number one rivals.

Sehwag to miss first two Tests

Influential opener Virender Sehwag is set to miss the opening two Tests against England, but India remain hopeful that he will be fit for the final two games.

Defying dominance

The enduring appeal of Test cricket is that it allows space for some memorable rivalries to take hold and build over the years. Over the last twenty years, cricket's power base has shifted first from the West Indies to Australia, and now from Australia to India's financial, and more recently, cricketing strength. Both these shifts have been marked by some very memorable series.

Josephites take U-21 basketball crown

In a keenly-contested finale last night, defending champion Josephites had beaten Vertical Horizon 63-53 at the Dhanmandi Basketball Gymnasium to take home the 2nd VH Under-21 Basketball Championship trophy.

The story of 0 and 55

Tamim Iqbal's actual score during the Nottinghamshire-Worcestershire game remained a mystery after it was reported differently in various news agencies and websites.

Japan 2-0 up against Argentina

Up-and-coming Misaki Doi gave Japan a perfect start as they led 2-0 against Argentina on the first day of the Fed Cup World Group II play-off on Saturday.

KP the X-factor

Former England captain Michael Vaughan and Australian spin legend Shane Warne feel that maverick all-rounder Kevin Pietersen will be England's x-factor in the forthcoming Test series against India.

Second chance for Brazil

Brazil were a minute away from losing their Copa America group stage meeting with Paraguay before managing a draw to settle early nerves.

Chile chase maiden crown

Chile are straining every sinew to land a first Copa America crown after the frustration of four losing finals - while Sunday rivals Venezuela are happy to have emerged from group play.

Japan aim to end in style

Japan take on the USA in the women's World Cup final on Sunday bidding to finish the fairytale by lifting the trophy just four months after the earthquake which devastated their country.

L'pool seal D's deal

England winger Stewart Downing completed his £20 million ($32 million) transfer from Aston Villa to Liverpool on Friday after passing a medical, the Anfield giants announced.

N Korea quintet test positive

Football's governing body FIFA revealed on Saturday that a total of five members of the North Korea team tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid at the women's World Cup.

Arsenal eye Campbell

Premier League giants Arsenal are keen on signing promising 19-year-old Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell, local media reported on Friday.

Mancini after Aguero

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed his interest in Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero and also hopes to sign Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri by the end of July.


Competition law to see light by year-end

The government will put in place a competition law by the year-end to ensure a healthy contest in business practices by breaking cartels and syndicates that often manipulate markets, said a government official yesterday.

Rural internet far off: study

The rural people of Bangladesh would not get ubiquitous access to the internet in the next few years due to a lack of government stimulus in the telecom sector, according to a research jointly conducted by Alcatel-Lucent and World Economic Forum.

Market PE erodes on correction

The market PE (price-earnings) ratio has come down by more than 31 percent in the first half this year compared to the same period last year.

India to lift ban on wheat exports

The Indian government has decided to lift a long-running ban on wheat exports. India had banned wheat exports since early 2007 to boost domestic supply and contain inflation.

SAFE takes steps to develop stockmarkets

South Asia Federation of Exchange (SAFE) has decided to provide consultancy services to the countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) to help develop respective stockmarkets.

Al-Arafah donates solar panels in Habiganj

Al-Arafah Islami Bank yesterday distributed 25 solar panels for free among some poor families at Madhabpur in Habiganj in a bid to boost the rural economy through empowering the poor.

Shoe company to employ 800 climate refugees

A leading shoe company will provide jobs to 800 hardcore poor people who became refugees due to floods and river erosion in the north.

India hikes export price of onion

India on Friday increased the export price of onion by $30 to $230 a tonne to discourage shipments of the kitchen staple out of the country.

Senior StanChart official due in town

Kevin Bailey, head of audit for North East Asia and South Asia of Standard Chartered Bank, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today for an official visit.

Stocks pass four bullish weeks

Stocks gained for a fourth week with high turnover due to active participation of small and institutional investors and the possibility of an increased inflow of money into the market.

Australia economy strong despite jitters: treasurer

Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan insisted the country's economy was strong Saturday following a slump in consumer confidence and retail spending which left some analysts predicting an interest rate cut.

Barriers to growth

Regulatory and bureaucratic bottlenecks still choke Bangladesh. Insecurities with energy and politics act as additional preventing factors for foreigners to come in.

Will the virus claim Rupert Murdoch himself?

The News Corp hacking virus is proving both virulent and highly contagious. Rupert Murdoch tried to treat it with amputation, by closing down the News of the World, but the surgery came too late, and he couldn't prevent the virus from spreading to the Sun and the Sunday Times. At that point, the virus was unstoppable: its next victim was Murdoch's $12 billion bid to take control of BSkyB. Now, with the UK police investigation barely having started, the virus has managed to jump over the Atlantic: the FBI is getting involved, looking into allegations that Murdoch's papers tried to hack the phones of 9/11 victims.

Garment orders may slow down

Garment makers see a slowdown in orders from international buyers who have now taken a wait-and-see stance as the prices of raw materials are on the slide worldwide pushing the outsourcing agents to rethink about the prices they would offer.

Garment makers open liaison offices in HK

Many Bangladeshi garment entrepreneurs are opening their liaison offices in Hong Kong to ensure easy and quick services in businesses, said the industry insiders.

Tip for the Murdochs: don't be yourselves

Don't be yourselves. That's probably the best tip for Rupert and James Murdoch as they prepare to face UK lawmakers over the phone hacking scandal engulfing the UK newspaper arm of News Corporation.

Crunch European bank tests fail to quell doubts

Eight European banks have failed a test of their ability to withstand a long recession and will have to raise just 2.5 billion euros ($3.5 billion) of capital, significantly less than expected.

Oracle targets Larry Page in Google patent lawsuit

Oracle is asking a US judge to order Google co-founder Larry Page to undergo questioning in a patent suit pitting the business software titan against the Internet giant.

World's biggest diamond hub suffers hit in Mumbai blasts

One of this week's deadly Mumbai blasts scattered diamonds, possibly worth millions of dollars, onto the street but has not convinced traders to abandon their hub in the heart of the city for a purpose-built diamond bourse in the suburbs.

Murdoch lieutenant quits Dow Jones

Les Hinton, the top executive of Rupert Murdoch's Dow Jones & Co, resigned on Friday after becoming a target of criticism for the phone-hacking scandal that occurred when he oversaw News Corp's British newspapers.

Iran and China ink agreements totalling $4b

Iran and China on Saturday signed a series of agreements worth $4 billion (2.8 billion euros) for infrastructure projects as part of a broader bid to boost trade volume between the two nations, Iranian state media reported.

Asian shares mixed after week of selling

Asian markets were mixed on Friday as dealers bought back cheap stocks after a week of heavy selling, although trading remained cautious amid fears of a debt default by the United States.

SE Asia more wary of QE3 than US debt default

The prospect of a US ratings downgrade due to a debt default could see extra funds flow to Southeast Asia for a short time, but the bigger risk is that a new round of quantitative easing would trigger sizeable inflows that unsettle economies.


Binod Bihari calls for building Sonar Bangla

Binod Bihari Chowdhury, the iconic revolutionary figure of the subcontinent, yesterday called upon the youths to build a prosperous Sonar Bangla, brushing aside fears and negating dishonesty and injustice.

Bangladesh can follow US model

Anwar Zahid, the Bangladeshi who works as principal engineer for ARCADIS-US, thinks many of the hydraulic and flood protection systems that he has been working on can be replicated to combat natural disasters in Bangladesh.

Govt embarks on health insurance

The government in a pioneering move has set to introduce health insurance programme as an alternative healthcare financing for the country's 5 crore poor people from early next year.

'Vandal'appointed IO

Different journalists' organisations in Rajshahi yesterday held protest programmes demanding punishment of the responsible police officials for assaulting journalist Imran Hossain and ransacking his house.

Nirupama Rao named India's envoy to US

Days before India and the US hold their second strategic dialogue, the government yesterday formally announced the appointment of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao as its next ambassador to the United States.

When glory was only 300 metres away

Wasfia Nazreen, the first Bangladeshi attempting to climb the seven highest mountains of the world's seven continents, returned home yesterday after attempting to climb Mount Elbrus situated on the borders of South West Russia and Georgia.

Work without fear: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the government officials yesterday to perform duties without fear of any political manipulation and mishandling.

Govt ready to award environment critics

The government would award people who constructively criticise its roles related to environment and wildlife preservation, State Minister for Environment and Forest Dr Hasan Mahmud said here yesterday.

Fire victim dies

Giash Uddin Kha, senior staffer of an electronics shop, succumbed to his burns at Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday.

Demolish BGMEA bldg

The government must immediately demolish the much talked-about BGMEA building that the High Court has declared illegal, said environment and development organisations at a demonstration yesterday.

47 shops gutted in city

A fire gutted 47 book and crockery shops at Bangla Bazar in the city yesterday.

Punish Porimol, remove Husne Ara

Different rights groups yesterday demanded exemplary punishment to sacked schoolteacher Porimol Joydhor who is accused of sexually assaulting a female student.

Housewife commits 'suicide'

A newly married housewife allegedly committed suicide over family feud at Madhubagh in the city yesterday.

College student killed

A college student was hacked to death at Siddhirganj of Sadar upazila yesterday.

Bijoy Das passes away

Veteran journalist and writer Sudhindra Bijoy Das, father of special affairs editor of Biswadip Das alias Pappu, passed away at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital around 11:30am yesterday. He was 79.

Govt plans forensic labs in districts

Home Minister Sahara Khatun here yesterday said forensic lab would be established in all districts of the country as part of the government's ongoing effort to reduce crimes.

Viqarunnisa college classes resume today

Classes for college students at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College in the city will be held today as per schedule, says a press release.

Injured Mirsarai boys return home

Eleven school boys who survived the Mirsarai tragedy returned home after they were released from the hospital yesterday.

Road accidents kill two

Two people, including an eight-year-old girl, were killed in separate road accidents in Chittagong and Satkhira yesterday.

CU celebrates Tagore's birthday

The authorities of Chittagong University (CU) celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Poet Rabindranath Tagore with much festivity yesterday.

Five BCL men hurt in CU clash

Five activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Chittagong University (CU) unit were injured in separate factional clashes yesterday.

Sonia Gandhi to receive Indira's award here on July 25

Indian Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi will receive the Foreign Friends Award by the government on behalf of her mother-in-law former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi posthumously at a simple ceremony at Bangabhaban on July 25.

UP polls were fair: EWG report

Apart from some scattered violence, the union parishad elections were held in free and fair manner, says a study of Election Working Group (EWG), an alliance of 31 organisations, yesterday.

Two women with 4,500 Yaba held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested two sisters and seized some 4,500 Yaba tablets from their possession in the city's Banasree.

16cr tree plantation campaign starts tomorrow

The inaugural ceremony of the campaign of planting 16 crore trees in each year throughout the country will be kicked off tomorrow.

School debate contest ends

The final round of inter-school debate competition for non-government secondary schools' teachers and students under Brac Education Programme was held in NAEM auditorium in the city yesterday.


Commuters suffer for months in Patuakhali, Barisal

Commuters of Patuakhali and Barisal districts are suffering much as direct bus services have remained suspended for about three months due to dispute between bus owners associations of the two districts.

Jt census in enclaves ends today

People living in the enclaves in Panchagarh expressed the hope that they would enjoy all citizen's facilities like other Bangladeshis after handing over the enclaves by India.

Four baby girls, boy drown in 3 districts

Four baby girls, aged between three and five years, drowned in Chandpur and Sirajganj districts yesterday.

Reopen Mohimaganj purchase centre to ensure fair jute price

Jute growers of Saghata and Gobindaganj upazilas are not getting fair price of raw jute as the only purchasing centre of BJMC (Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation) at Mohimaganj is yet to be opened this year.

Erosion devours homesteads, croplands

The river Brahmaputra has devoured more than 40 homesteads in the last one month along Dewanpara Naobhangarchar of Jamalpur municipal area.

Man killed in clash over disputed land

A man was killed and his two brothers were injured yesterday when two groups of locals, divided into Awami League (AL) and BNP folds, locked in a fierce clash over a piece of disputed land.

Road link snaps as bridge collapses

Road communication between northern Bauffal upazila and Baufal and Patuakhali towns came to a halt as the lone bridge on Patuakhali-Nurainpur collapsed about a week ago.

Top outlaw held in Sirajganj

Police in Tarash arrested a 'regional commander' of outlawed Purba Banglar Sarbahara Party yesterday.

Mother, son electrocuted

A mother and her son were electrocuted in Noakhali Sadar upazila Saturday morning. The deceased are Jahanara Begum, 45, and her nine-year-old son Redwan Ahmed. Locals said Jahanara came in contact with a snapped electric wire, which had fallen in water, at about 9:30am when she went to a paddy field to bring back her ducklings. Jahanara's son Redwan, a student of class III of a local school, was also electrocuted as he tried to save his mother.

Jubo Dal man shot dead

A union Jubo Dal leader was shot dead and two others were injured by bullet in internal rivalry at Alaiyapur in Begumganj upazila yesterday. Mohammad Sumon, 28, joint secretary of Alaiyapur union Jubo Dal, died on the spot while his associates Mota Nasir and Masud were wounded. Witnesses said the three union Jubo Dal leaders were waylaid by party rivals led by Abul Bashar, also UP member. Bashar fired two bullets on the neck and chest of Sumon killing him on the spot. Bashar and his associates 'Pichhi' Sumon, Sohag, Farooq, Swapan, Bahar and Haroon who came in two auto-rickshaws ran away after the firing. Locals said the killing was a sequel to long rivalry between two groups of Jubo Dal for establishing supremacy in the area.

Gold looted from jewellery shop

Gold ornaments were looted from a jewellery shop in the district town on Friday night. Nipu Chandra Roy, owner of the Nipu Jewellery at Central Road of the town said he had closed his shop on Friday night keeping about 300 tolas of gold ornaments in the locker. The next morning when he opened the shop he found 18 locks broken and the locker empty, he said.

Three-wheeler falls into river

Five people including the driver of a three-wheeler were seriously injured when the vehicle fell into the Dhaleshwari River after breaking the railing of Muktarpur Bridge on Dhaka-Munshiganj road yesterday. The injured have been admitted to Munshiganj General Hospital. Muktarpur police the accident occurred when the Leguna was going to Narayanganj from Munshiganj to take CNG gas at around 8:30 am.


Men should change attitude

We often hear of housewives being tortured or killed by their husbands. Mostly, these happen for dowry or for objecting husbands' extramarital affairs. Wives are murdered by strangulation or with sharp weapons and sometimes they are doused with kerosene or petrol and set on fire. Recently Rumana Manzur, an assistant professor of Dhaka University, became the victim of her husband's jealousy and her eyes were seriously injured. We pray that she may regain her eyesight.

Rude rickshaw pullers!

Our most deprived rickshaw pullers all of a sudden have become most apathetic human beings, showing no willingness to help, especially the female passengers, when they literally beg them to take them to their desired destinations, finding no other means to reach their places. These rickshaw pullers willfully sit idly on their rickshaws and pay no attention to the passengers' repeated requests.

Do we need an agro policy?

Nearly six years back the Ministry of Agriculture had formed a technical working group comprising experts under the convenorship of the then Additional Secretary (PPC) Dr. Syed Naquib Muslim to formulate a draft National Agriculture Policy by updating and improving the previous one of 90s. Accordingly the group worked hard to prepare a pragmatic agriculture policy by incorporating all the segments relating to agricultural activities and development.

Selfish political activities

On 10-11 July, the twelve Islamic parties of Bangladesh called for 30-hour long hartal across the country demanding for reinstituting one of the four fundamental state policies (“Absolute trust and faith in the almighty Allah”), instead of secularism, recently included in the constitution through 15th amendment.

Exploring mineral sands

A report on the matter was published on 12th. July in the pages of a local English daily; the writer cited "adverse impact in environment" as the reason for not allowing mineral sand exploration, anywhere in Bangladesh. If we are serious about "protecting the environment, as well as our precious health", then smoking should have been abandoned much earlier!

SSB looks hyper active!

The Superior Selection Board (SSB) looks very serious to take action against officials who went to now-defunct Truth and Accountability Commission (TAC) to seek clemency for their misdeeds. These officials, who earned money unethically, sought amnesty on their own accord in response to a call of the then army backed caretaker government. It may be mentioned that the SSB or any other departments did not identify their misdeeds.

Political consensus

Current political condition of our country has made me worried. Relentless political violence is creating enormous problems in our life. Currently scrapping of CTG is a burning issue in our political arena. The opposition party is undertaking different activities like processions, symposium, hartal, etc.

Police excesses on opposition

In reading the news reports regarding the attack on the Opposition Chief Whip, and your editorial on the subject, I was reminded of the incidents that took place during the BNP government's tenure from the outset.

Whither quality education?

Due to lack of infrastructure, educational aid, logistic supports, and sufficient allocation in the education sector students do not get quality education in Bangladesh. However, the present govt. took a pragmatic step to introduce a new education policy for ensuring quality education. In fact, coordinated and combined efforts are needed for implementing such step.

Protect Sirajgan from river erosion

Sirajganj always gets affected by river erosion. Whenever the water of Jamuna rises, villages of Kazipur, Belkuchi and Shahjadpur are flooded. This year half a kilometre of Maizbari and Dhekuria under Kazipur upazila was badly eroded because of strong current of the river.

World Population Day

11th July was World Population Day. This year's theme was: "Seven billion people counting each other". World Population Day aims to increase people's awareness on various population related issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty reduction, maternal health and human rights.

Adieu Harry Potter!

Finally the time has come to say goodbye to our most beloved franchise, Harry Potter. No more movies to hang on to, let alone books. Surely 15th July was a bittersweet and very emotional time for the potter fans that grew up alongside this franchise.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Saturday's The Daily Star report headlined “BNP on mission caretaker govt”


Murdoch says 'sorry' in UK newspapers

Rupert Murdoch published apologies in British newspapers yesterday for the phone hacking scandal as the British government played down new revelations about its ties to his embattled empire.

End of a dynasty

The funeral of the last heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Otto von Habsburg, is set to take place in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Indian police have 'good leads'

Indian detectives "have good leads" on the three blasts which rocked the country's financial hub Mumbai, a top official said yesterday, as the death toll from the coordinated explosions rose to 19.

Heavy clashes erupt in Western Mountains

Heavy clashes between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi broke out yesterday in Libya's Western Mountains as insurgents sought to push towards Tripoli.

UN removes 14 Taliban from sanctions list

The UN Security Council committee overseeing sanctions on Friday removed 14 Taliban leaders from an international blacklist in order to encourage peaceful reconciliation in war-torn Afghanistan.

Gender imbalance in Rural India worsens

Rural India has experienced a sharp fall in the ratio of female to male children, new census data shows, indicating sex-selection technology has reached even the country's remotest areas.

Strong quake rocks Chili

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the Chilean coast Friday, about 88 kilometres south-southwest of the port city of Valparaiso, US seismologists said.

Obama to meet Dalai Lama

US President Barack Obama was to welcome the Dalai Lama and pledge support for human rights in Tibet yesterday, officials said, angering China after appeals mounted at home for a meeting.

Drought to worsen in Horn of Africa

The plight of millions of people left hungry by a harsh drought across the Horn of Africa is set to worsen, with the next rains expected in October and harvests months away, a top UN official warned yesterday.

Actor Jude Law sues The Sun

British actor Jude Law is suing The Sun for allegedly hacking his phone, both sides revealed Friday, in what is thought to be the first such legal action against Rupert Murdoch's best-selling daily tabloid.

Israel raid Gaza for 4th day in row

Israeli aircraft struck Gaza overnight for the fourth time in as many days, wounding a militant who was about to fire a rocket, Palestinian security sources said yesterday.

Landslides kill 13 in China

Landslides triggered by torrential rain across China left 13 people dead and hundreds trapped in their cars, state media said yesterday.

US lawmaker urge probe

US lawmakers and rights advocates on Friday stepped up calls for an international probe into Sri Lanka's civil war as they screened a British documentary that purports to show war crimes.

UN court to rule on Thai troop withdrawal

The UN's highest court is to rule Monday on a request by Cambodia for an immediate Thai troop withdrawal from a disputed border area around an ancient temple, where clashes have taken place.

Chavez to visit Cuba for more cancer treatment

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday formally asked the National Assembly for permission to travel to Cuba for more cancer treatment, including chemotherapy sessions.

7 killed, 59 escaped Mexico prison after riot

At least seven prisoners were killed and 59 others escaped after guards lost control of a prison in the town of Nuevo Laredo, on the border with the United States, state officials said.

German group withdraws Putin 'role model' prize

The organisers of a prominent German political prize reversed a decision yesterday to bestow the annual role model award on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, due to a public outcry.

Arts & Entertainment

Convergence of Tune and Rhythm

Dhaka International Music Conference featuring classical music (both vocal and instrumental) performances by four Indian artistes -- Sandip Chatterjee (santoor), Manali Bose (vocal), Amzad Hossain (sitar) and Sandip Bhattacharya (vocal) was held at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on July 15.

Discussion on the lives and works of Mohammad Kibria and Aminul Islam

Bangladesh Shilapakala Academy (BSA) organised a discussion on July 14, in remembrance of two of our greatest painters Mohammad Kibria and Aminul Islam, both of whom passed away recently--within a short span of time. The discussants of the programme held at the seminar room of National Theatre, BSA included artist Biren Shom, Veteran artist Hashem Khan, veteran painter-printmaker Rafiqun Nabi, Artist Monirul Islam, art critic Syed Manzoorul Islam, Nafis Ahmed Nadvi, and Dean of FFA, Professor EHM Matlub Ali, managing director of Gallery Chitrak Moniruzzaman, and other painters who are also former students of Mohammad Kibria and Aminul Islam. Liaquat Ali Lucky, director general of BSA, presided over the programme.

Nashid Kamal’s latest offering of Nazrul songs

Laser Vision Ltd recently launched Dr. Nashid Kamal's CD, “Jao tumi phire”. The CD, has 12 Nazrul songs: six popular and six rare numbers.

Prachyanat School celebrates a decade

Prachyanat School of Acting and Design, the academic wing of the popular theatre troupe, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. To observe the occasion as well as to award certificates to the latest batch of students, the school arranged a programme at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on July15. The highlight of the programme was the staging of the William Shakespeare play “The Tempest”.

Tribute to Mohammad Kibria

To pay homage to the great artist Mohammad Kibria, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts is to organise a 10- day special exhibition titled “Tribute to Mohammad Kibria” starting from July 22. The exhibition will comprise artworks from the collections of Matiur Rahman, editor of the Prothom Alo and Abul Khair Litu, chairman of the Bengal Foundation.

Tagore's “Shasti” staged

“Shasti”, a play based on a short story by Rabindranath Tagore, was staged at Shilpakala Academy auditorium on Friday evening. Udichi Shilpi Goshthi, Mymensingh unit staged the drama. With “Shasti”, it was the 935th staging of this cultural group.

Martin Scorsese’s tribute to George Harrison ahead of film release

Martin Scorsese has lauded the "unforgettable songs" of the former Beatle ahead of the release of “George Harrison: Living in the Material World”.

Aamir Khan cashes in

After lending his face to promote a number of social causes, it was time for superstar Aamir Khan to do the same with cash. And he did it in his own inimitable style.


The big, fat American debt

In June this year, the total public debt of US stood at $14.46 trillion. This was more than 98% of its 2010 annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The US debt increases by $3.86 billion per day and almost $75 million by the hour.

Between a yawn and a yelp

It's becoming a habit. Whenever Congress gets a headache it orders a foot massage. Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi recognised the size of their problem, which is why they met four times, one-to-one, in their attempt to stabilise a government that had lost shape and begun to wobble. They did not need to save the government, since they have not lost it, yet. UPA 2 can splutter along on the usual paradox: the bigger the crisis, the closer partners cling together, since elections can only bring bad news.

15th Amendment: Trust-building needed

On June 30, the Bangladesh Constitution underwent the 15th Amendment. The 15th Amendment Bill-2011 was passed with a huge margin of 291 to 1 votes. With the passage of this bill the caretaker government (CTG) system was banned and the provision of general election under political government was reintroduced.

Republicans Vs. World

After Barack Obama announced new troop withdrawals from Afghanistan last week, it was no surprise to hear rebukes from the mushrooming field of Republican presidential candidates. The surprise came in what they said: Although some predictably implied that he was looking to cut and run, several others declared the move too little, too late.

Licence to live again?

Imagine Sherlock Holmes or James Bond strolling down the streets of Manhattan, ordering a burger at a twenty first century fast food joint. The very thought is bizarre! However, the "bizarre" may not be far from reality. Some literary estates who own copyrights for popular literary characters are commissioning new authors to write "second generation" novels, centered on famous characters from the past. While maintaining the original flavour of the classics, these novels re-invent the principal characters to suit the tastes and preferences of modern readers.

The Daily Star

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