The Daily Star

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Sunday, 24th of July, 2011

Front Page

Border haats trade hopes

Top-level officials of India and Bangladesh yesterday inaugurated the first-ever official border haat on the no-man's land here in efforts to bring economic benefits to the people of the area.

Cheers for partisan traders

The people of Baliamari village under Rajibpur Police Station have long been excited about the prospect of the border haat there. Thus far, many of their relatives have suffered, even got killed, injured or jailed trying to trade across the border. So the news of the haat thrilled them immensely.

Norway toll now 92

Norwegian police searched for more victims yesterday after a suspected right-wing zealot killed at least 92 people in a shooting spree and bomb attack that have traumatized a once-placid country.

The suspect

His Facebook profile says he is "conservative", "Christian", and "single", interested in hunting and video games like World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2.

Country now like a derailed train

Eminent citizens yesterday said the country is now like a derailed train, and there is a competition to eliminate good elements from the constitution.

Sonia Gandhi due tonight

Sonia Gandhi, president of India's ruling Congress party, arrives here tonight on a 24-hour visit to attend an autism conference and receive a posthumous award on behalf of former Indian premier Indira Gandhi.

Sugar disappears

An elderly woman reacted sharply after she was informed from the fourth successive grocer's that it had no sugar in its store.

Govt spurred to stop it

At least one person has been beaten to death by mobs in every two days in the first 21 days of this month taking the number of deaths to 11 in such incidents, says a report of Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights organisation.

Stop celebrating Aug 15 birthday

Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddiqui yesterday urged BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to refrain from observing her birthday on August 15 as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated on that day, though he believes it is her real birthday.

Mirror too into phone-hacking

Allegations of phone-hacking spread beyond the felled News of the World to other tabloids yesterday as media heir James Murdoch faced pressure over the extent of his knowledge of the scandal.

Law ministry approved it

State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam yesterday brushed aside Suranjit Sengupta's allegation that the home ministry did not take the law ministry's opinion on the presidential clemency to death-row convict AHM Biplob.

2 arrested

Police arrested two persons yesterday for their suspected link with the killing of six students in a mob attack on the city outskirt Aminbazar.

Seven killed, 30 hurt as bus plunges into ditch

At least seven people were killed and 30 others injured in a road accident at Talbaria of Kushtia yesterday.

2 boys found dead in pond

Police recovered bodies of two minor students from a pond yesterday from Madhumita area under Tongi of Gazipur after a day they went missing.

Govt to be compelled to reinstate caretaker

The main opposition BNP yesterday said a tougher movement would be launched to compel the government to reinstate the caretaker government system.

Amini says he did not mean it

Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) leader Fazlul Haque Amini yesterday said he had not meant to throw the whole constitution to the bin, rather it was the 15th amendment he was talking about.

Egypt's military ruler commits to democracy

Egypt's military ruler yesterday stressed the army's commitment to democracy, as protesters kept up pressure on the general over the slow pace of reforms since a revolt ousted Hosni Mubarak.

North, South Korean foreign ministers meet

The foreign ministers of North and South Korea held an unofficial meeting yesterday on the sidelines of a regional security dialogue in Indonesia, the South's Yonhap news agency reported.

Editorial

Deaths at construction sites

The frequency of deaths at construction sites in Dhaka should set many heads rolling. Either it is the worker falling from dangerous heights due to complete lack of precaution or it is the vulnerable pedestrian hit by a missile of a brick or lethal piece, the horrific incidence goes on.

The carnage in Norway

The carnage which has left as many as ninety one people dead in the Norwegian capital Oslo and on the nearby island of Utoya has sent shock waves around the world. The force of the blast in Oslo, which killed seven and injured scores, left buildings in ruins in an area housing the prime minister's office and other government establishments. But a far bigger tragedy occurred within two hours of the explosion in Oslo when a gunman, suspected to belong to the political far right, shot down eighty four people. The fear is that the casualty figures may rise. More to the point, there is the very natural suspicion that the gunman may not have been acting alone. An eyewitness to the tragedy on Utoya island, himself injured, has spoken of the gunman wearing a uniform that gave him a Nazi-like appearance.

Sports

Dravid lifts India

England remained in charge of their series opener with India despite Rahul Dravid finally achieving the coveted dream of a Test century at Lord's on Saturday -- 15 years after falling agonisingly short.

Booters go down 4-0

Bangladesh's dream of reaching the Asian group stage of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers was dealt a huge blow when they went down 4-0 against Lebanon in their round 2 pre-qualifying match at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut yesterday.

Tigers toil till the end

Tasamul Haque and Alauddin Babu nearly spoiled Tigers' preparation for the Zimbabwe tour but their untimely dismissals gave the national side a narrow escape in their last practice match against GP-BCB National Cricket Academy yesterday.

Baki edges Asif

Abdullahel Baki edged Commonwealth gold medallist Asif Hossain Khan for the gold in the men's 10m air rifle event as the 25th National Shooting Championship started at the Gulshan Shooting Complex yesterday.

Siddikur finishes 5th

Siddikur Rahman ended the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on a respectable joint fifth position while Finland's rookie Joonas Granberg grabbed the prestigious title in splendid style in Malaysia on Saturday.

Super Cup semis on July 31, Aug 1

The semifinals of Grameenphone Super Cup will be held on July 31 and August 1, it was decided in a tournament committee meeting of the Bangladesh Football Federation yesterday.

Chelsea snap up starlet

The new manager of English football club Chelsea on Saturday announced a deal with Barcelona to sign teenager Oriol Romeu, as the London team prepared for a game in Thailand on their Asia tour.

Hard work pays off for KP

Kevin Pietersen admitted that it had taken a lot of hard graft to reach his third Test double hundred and put England on top in the first Test against India.

Boycott blasts Rauf

England batsman Kevin Pietersen should have been back in the pavilion much before he struck his unbeaten double hundred but umpire Asad Rauf's lack of conviction saved him in the ongoing first Test against India, says Geoffrey Boycott.

Kumar living the dream

Seamer Praveen Kumar called his five-wicket haul at Lord's a dream and said he was ready to shoulder the Indian attack in the absence of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan in the first innings of the first cricket Test against England.

Bolts to victory

Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt raced to victory in the 100m at the Diamond League here on Friday with a season's best of 9.88 seconds, overcoming a slow first half to pip compatriot Nesta Carter.

Hughes ready to fill Katich boots

Australia's opening batsman Philip Hughes has said that he was shocked over Cricket Australia's decision to overlook Simon Katich for a central contract, but admitted that he wants to do the best he can to be the experienced batsman's replacement.

Cesc misses Germany trip

Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabre-gas has failed to recover from a muscular injury and will not travel to Germany for the Gunners' pre-season camp as uncertainty over the player's future at the club continues.

Jose tightens grip at Real

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho took a firm grip of the Spanish giants on Friday when he added the title of sporting director to his duties on the pitch, in succession to Jorge Valdano who was axed as director-general in May.

China poised for diving sweep

China moved to within just one victory of a historic diving clean sweep Saturday, as US great Michael Phelps said he was determined to go out with a bang in his final year of swimming.

Zvonareva in Baku final

Russian top seed Vera Zvonareva booked her place in the final of the 220,000-dollar WTA Baku tournament with a straight-set win over Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine here on Saturday.

A surprise finale

After two successive finals involving Brazil and Argentina, most South American football fans expected a battle of the giants in the final of the Copa America.

Martino aims for a win

Having reached their first Copa America final in 32 years, Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino wants his men to achieve another first at this year's trophy match against Uruguay on Sunday. A win.

Lugano backs leniency

Uruguay skipper Diego Lugano on Friday praised Copa America organisers for electing not to suspend players from final rivals Paraguay for their role in a post semifinal flare-up with Venezuela.

Webber takes pole

Mark Webber secured pole position for Sunday's German Grand Prix with a blistering performance in Saturday's tense and competitive qualifying session.

China smash lowly Laos

China smashed six second-half goals past Laos on Saturday to put one foot in the third round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Heinze joins Roma

Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze has become AS Roma's latest recruit, the Serie A team said on Saturday.

Batista faces the chop

Argentina coach Sergio Batista faces the chop after his side's Copa America flop after Argentine Football Association (AFA) sources indicated he was losing support, media reports indicated Friday.

Business

RMG contributions to national exports rise

The contribution of readymade garment products to national export increased by 1.02 percentage points in the immediate past fiscal year compared with the previous fiscal year, data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showed.

Rate hike upsets bank loan takers

Almost all private banks have increased interest rates for consumer loans -- both old and new -- to cope with a rise in their costs of funds.

Economists stress deeper regional links

Economists in a commemorative lecture on Swadesh Ranjan Bose yesterday stressed the need for increased regional connectivity to achieve expected economic growth.

ICCB chief spurs banks on Islamic finance

Bangladesh Bank should allow more commercial banks to open Islamic banking branches, considering the success of such banking, and to provide better services to customers, said the chief of an influential chamber.

More funds sought for disadvantaged children

The government should increase budgetary allocation for the child population, especially the disadvantaged segment, to make the country's future secure, speakers at a workshop said yesterday.

Stocks rise for fifth week as markets get boost

Stocks gained for a fifth week as Grameenphone's 140 percent cash dividend declaration and the government's decision to double capital requirement for non-bank financial institutions boosted the market last week.

Sonargaon hotel gets new sales director

MA Awal has recently been promoted to director for sales and marketing of Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka, the hotel

Express Scripts takes $14b bridge loan

Express Scripts is syndicating a $14 billion bridge loan that will help finance its $29.1 billion acquisition of rival Medco Health Solutions, banking sources said on Friday.

Africans pour anger, sadness onto Twitter over famine

Thousands of Africans are taking to Twitter to vent grief and anger over another famine in Somalia, raising money and comforting each other -- a stark illustration of a continent embracing a digital future but lamenting timeworn failings.

Fake Apple store cuts to core of China risk to brands

A fake Apple store in China, made famous by a blog that said even the staff working there didn't realise it was a bogus outlet, is probably the most audacious example to date of the risks Western companies face in the booming Chinese market.

Auto rentals accelerate into fast lane

Abdul Matin was unsure about his future after serving Bangladesh Army for years as a driver when he faced compulsory retirement following an accident in 2003.

Hertz shores up Bangladesh operations

When local car rental services are booming fast following a growth in the local telecom and corporate sectors in Bangladesh, international companies find the market potential for future.

Obama calls crisis debt talks as default looms

US President Barack Obama angrily summoned top lawmakers for crisis talks Saturday on averting a disastrous early August debt default that could send shockwaves through the fragile global economy.

Delhi's swanky airport 'city' hit by security row

A development of luxury hotels next to New Delhi's revamped $3 billion international airport has been hit by fears its close proximity to a runway makes it a security risk, highlighting teething problems in India's huge push to build infrastructure.

Aging PC giants see writing on the wall

Silicon Valley's old guard is waking up to the fact that the era of consumer PC may be in its twilight, accelerating the need to invest and adapt to rapidly changing tastes.

More IMF aid for Greece -- or not?

Europeans are convinced that the International Monetary Fund is going to lend more money to Greece. The banks that hold Greek debt say it must.

Vietnam sees inflation at 22pc in July

Vietnam's inflation rate, already one of the world's highest, accelerated for the 11th straight month in July, according to official estimates released Saturday.

Greek bailout deal boosts Asian stocks

Asian shares rose Friday, led by banks, after eurozone leaders finally struck a bailout deal for Greece that also puts in place steps to avoid contagion in other struggling economies.

India clears $7.2b BP-Reliance deal

India on Friday cleared a $7.2-billion deal for Reliance Industries Ltd to sell a major stake in two dozen of its oil and gas blocks to Britain's BP, Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy said.

Metropolitan

Cox's Bazar flooding improves as rain stops

The flooding situation in Cox's Bazar has improved slightly as it stopped raining Friday after four days of incessant downpour that began on Monday and inundated at least three upazilas, leaving "2000 families" homeless, say officials.

Arab uprising breaks barrier against autocrats

The uprising in the Arab world clearly indicates that a psychological and historical barrier has been broken against the autocratic and dictatorial regimes, many of whom used power through illegitimate means, said Ussama Makdisi, professor of history at Rice University, USA.

Two lakh saplings planted in one hr

Around 7000 families of the coastal areas from Teknaf to Mirsarai in Chittagong yesterday took part in a one-hour tree plantation programme and planted about two lakh saplings to save the embankment and coastal belt.

2 lakh saplings planted in one hour

Around seven thousand families of the coastal areas from Teknaf to Mirsarai of the greater Chittagong yesterday took part in one-hour long tree plantation programme and planted about two lakh saplings to save the embankment and coastal belt.

Emergency helpline saved 87 children

A round-the-clock emergency helpline for lost children launched in April has helped 87 children return their homes or find a childcare service.

Strict management can improve traffic situation 25pc

Planned management of the existing roads and its strict enforcement can resolve only one-fourth of the horrendous traffic problem in the city, said noted engineers and planners at a discussion yesterday.

Students demand fair investigation

Police entered Shamsunnahar Hall on July 23, 2002 at night, dragged the female students, called their names, and assaulted them

Prime Bank-NDDC debate contest ends

The Prime Bank-NDDC 23rd National Debate Competition 2011 ended amid festivities and cultural programmes yesterday.

No exact figure of autistic children in Bangladesh

The two-day international conference on "Autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities in Bangladesh and South Asia" begins in Dhaka tomorrow (Monday) to raise awareness on the neuro-development disease.

Road crashes kill 4, injure 13

Four people were killed and 13 others injured in separate road accidents in Moulvibazar, Satkhira, Gaibandha and Manikganj yesterday.

Call to execute HC order to ensure safe food

Different rights organisations at a human chain yesterday demanded the government strengthen market monitoring to save foods from adulteration and contain food price.

Ensure sale of safe iftar

Green activists demanded the government to take all necessary steps to ensure sale of safe iftar and other food items at reasonable prices during Ramadan.

Expand security talks to fight challenges

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday called for expanding security discourse to face the challenges of climate change and terrorism.

'Stalker' arrested in Dinajpur

Police arrested a youth from Dinajpur early yesterday on allegation of stalking the schoolgirl who committed suicide in the city on July 19.

12,400 litres of stolen soybean oil seized, four arrested

Detective Branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police recovered 12,400 litres of stolen soybean oil on Friday and arrested four people in this connection.

Bar council rejects plea for foreign lawyers

Bangladesh Bar Council yesterday rejected an application seeking permission for three foreign lawyers to defend the five Jamaat-e-Islami leaders detained in connection with crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.

'Indo-Bangla ties must for economic gains'

Journalist Shahriar Kabir and historian Prof Muntasir Mamun at a discussion here yesterday said Bangladesh-India relations are based on the same philosophies of secularism, socialism and democracy and must get friendlier for economic and commercial gains.

Protect rivers from land grabbers

A three-day long national river fair-2011 titled “Chhoto Nodi Chhoto Noy” began at Jahangirnagar University (JU) in Savar yesterday.

Future journos urged to be more attentive in studies

Department of Mass Communication and Journalism of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday began its 20th founding anniversary celebrations with tree plantation, photo and book exhibition and free blood donation programmes.

CU syndicate polls July 31

The elections to Chittagong University syndicate, academic council, and finance committee will be held on July 31.

Dr Kamal for national unity against graft, terrorism

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday called for national unity based on 1972 constitution against corruption, terrorism and sickening politics.

Prime minister condemns Oslo blast

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina condemned yesterday the twin attacks at Norwegian capital Oslo and in Utoeya island that left at least 92 people dead Friday.

Top security during Sonia's visit

Top security alert, code named Grade-1, has been issued in the capital to ensure foolproof security on the eve of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's visit to Bangladesh.

20 young painters awarded

Twenty Bangladeshi young painters received awards at the award giving ceremony on Friday for the "World Children's Art Exhibition in Kanagawa, Japan".

10 DU students get gold medal

Ten meritorious students of mathematics department of Dhaka University (DU) were given AF Mujibur Rahman Foundation Gold Medal for their outstanding academic performances.

Australian team meets VC

A five-member delegation of City Council of Australia called on Dhaka University (DU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique at his office yesterday.

Obituary

Dr AHM Mahmud Kabir, professor of Jahurul Islam Medical College and Hospital, passed away at his Tajmahal Road residence in the city on Thursday night at the age of 75, says a press release.

Death anniversary

Today is the fifth death anniversary of Jolly Kabir, an organising secretary of Bangladesh Mahila Awami League and wife of Advocate Mohammad Humayun Kabir, president of Bangladesh Railway Sramik League, says a press release.

National

Hilsa catches too frustrating for fishermen, traders

The ongoing hilsa season sees poor netting of the popular fish in the coastal waters, much to the frustration among fishermen and traders.

Erosion makes 300 families homeless in a week

Erosion by Teesta and Dharla rivers in Lalmonirhat and Brahmaputra in Kurigram has rendered around 300 families homeless in the last one week.

Erosion of Sirajganj dyke thwarted

Further erosion by the river Jamuna at Hard Point of Sirajganj town protection embankment has been thwarted by throwing huge number of concrete blocks and sand bags in the breached portion.

Headmistress beaten up for TR fund 'share'

Criminals yesterday beat up the headmaster of Udoypur Registered Primary School in Sujanagar upazila under the district for declining to give them 'share' of the Test Relief (TR) fund allocated for development of the school.

40 illegal structures demolished

At least 40 illegal structures were demolished around Hili land port in Hakimpur upazila on Friday to resolve water logging problem in the port area during the rainy season.

Two housewives murdered

Two housewives were murdered in Natore and Manikganj on Friday.

16 PSTU students expelled

Sixteen students of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) have been expelled and fined for setting a bus on fire on May 14 on Patuakhali-Baufal via Dumki road.

CCTVs in Panchagarh town to stop stalking

The district administration has set up CC TVs at three points in Panchagarh town to resist stalking and sexual harassment.

A bond of friendship between 2 cities

A bond of friendship has been established between Pabna municipality and Australian Parramatta City with naming of a road of the municipality after the Australian city.

Housewife electrocuted

A housewife was electrocuted and three linemen of Palli Bidyut Samity (PBS) were injured at Paschim Bahali Para village in Sadar upazila on Friday night.

Letters

Their last triumph

We all know about the Mirsarai tragedy where 43 students were killed due to reckless driving of a farmer. As a student I feel very sad over the fact but I feel much worse when I think that they were like me, and they were coming after wining a football match. All of them had smiles all over their faces. The glory of wining was shining in their eyes, but who knew that it would be their last triumph? Among those 43 boys 7 of them were only son of their parents, which also matches with me. Almighty Allah's thoughts are unpredictable! I think He warned us to be aware and take action against these stupid cruel people who only looks for their profit. The whole nation is mourning their death. Maybe someone from them would show us the right path. The culprit should be punished.Alas, it was their last football match, their last smiling, their last glory, their last triumph!

Zebra crossing!

Dhaka metropolitan traffic authority laid two zebra crossings close to one another on eastern side-road of the Ramna Park primarily to facilitate walkers to access the iconic park safely and without hazard.

Rail liner oi bostite…..

Children living near the railway tracks frequently get killed in train accidents. The government has taken no measure to prevent these accidents. These slum children need to be educated about the risks they are exposed to. The silent role played by the railway department in shifting the slums from near the railway tracks is a contributing factor to the tragic accidents.

Slaughter of the six

It was indeed very sad to know that six students have been killed brutally by the mob during the holy night of Shab-e-Barat. What really hurts me is the insane act of the people, who without thinking went for the killing. In Bangladesh it has become a common scenario…when we grab any criminal, without knowing whether they are guilty or not, we kill them by beating. Why are people so cruel these days? We tend to unleash all our anger and frustrations on those people. How those six lives were lost in front of police? Please hand the accused over to the law enforcers before you go for the killing game. Find the true culprits behind these murders and give them exemplary punishment which may discourage others to do these heinous acts in future.

Will US realise the fact?

After killing Osama Bin Laden and throwing his dead body into the Arabian Sea, the USA now wants to kill Zawhiri, the successor of late Osama Bin Laden. We are surprised why peace has not been established in Afghanistan and Pakistan after killing Osama Bin Laden. What do USA and NATO want now? To dominate the world like the former British empire? We feel there would be no stability and peace in the world until the US military stops invading other nations. Would the White House leaders realise the fact?

No offensive language, please

All Bangla adages are not applicable everywhere and in all situations. Especially "chorer ma'r boro gola"- this particular phrase is very rude and offensive. Hasina should remember that she is the premier of the country. She should restrain herself from talking such nuisance. This mud throwing culture has to stop.

Free country from violence!

The front page headline of July 13th of a local English daily, very rightly reflects the view of the majority of the people in the country; who desire that peace prevail all over Bangladesh.

Constitution controversy

Bangladesh constitution has been amended 15 times. On all previous 14 amendments no one cared to arrange any public debate not to speak of inviting opposition to discuss. 15th amendment is made perhaps with an unusual long discourse. Awami League led Grand Alliance government tried to elicit opinion of all concerned before placing the all important bill. The amendment passed duly. BNP led opposition boycotted all the processes including parliament sessions. Now they have taken the path of agitation and other destructive means to ventilate their opinions. The leader of the opposition even made audacious gesture like 'throwing away' the constitution. This attitude is not in conformity with the democratic norms. The same party is also agitating against charge sheets of sensational 21st August carnage and 10 truck arms haul case. We do not want to comment on under trial cases but these are all true cases. Let the truth be established in open trial. Government should be firm to establish rule of law. Opposition should stick to lawful process. The constitution of the country is sacred document. None will be allowed to throw it away.

Omnia Vincit Amor

A love letter written and posted by a Pittsburgh girl to her beau (Boyfriend/lover) in February 1958 finally reached California University of Pennsylvania on July 8, 2011. It took 53 years after Vonnie the Pittsburgh girl posted the letter to Clark C. Moore, her lover, enquiring why Moore hadn't called her before he went back to college. The two-page love letter was signed, “Love Forever, Vonnie”.

Reckless driving in Dhanmondi

I would like to draw the attention of the authorities about high speed driving in Dhanmondi residential area with an extremely rough noisy silencer by a group of youths. This has now become such a nuisance that we, the residents of this area, are fed up. Every day a couple of passers-by and rickshaws are also hit by them. I, therefore, would like to request the authorities concerned to find a solution to this menace and put up frequent speed breakers in this area.

Appointment of foreigners in multinational companies

There is a provision in the government rules for appointing foreign nationals which says if qualified and experienced personnel are not found in the host country only then a foreign national can be appointed.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Saturday's The Daily Star report headlined “Suranjit slates role of home ministry”

International

Dormant but not a spent force

The man arrested following the attacks in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, describes himself as a "nationalist", according to the police.

China bullet train crash kills 32

A Chinese high-speed train derailed yesterday when it was hit by another express, state media said, throwing two carriages off a viaduct and killing at least 32 people.

Europol plans task force for Norway

In the wake of Norway's terrorist attack, the European police agency is setting up a task force of more than 50 experts to help northern European countries investigate non-Islamic terror threats, its spokesman told The Associated Press yesterday.

Attacker turned paradise into hell

An assailant who shot dead at least 92 people at a youth camp of Norway's ruling party turned a "youth paradise into a hell," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday.

'I played dead to stay alive'

A witness to Friday's shooting spree at a Norwegian island youth camp, which claimed at least 85 lives, has said he played dead to try and escape the gunman as he carried out the massacre.

Libya wants more talks with rebels, US

Libya is ready to hold more talks with the United States and with rebels trying to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, but the Libyan leader will not bow to demands he quit, a government spokesman said.

Sri Lanka holds local elections

Voting closed in local elections in parts of Sri Lanka yesterday, including much of the previously war-affected north amid claims of irregularities.

2m Somalis out of aid groups' reach

Aid agencies are unable to reach more than two million Somalis facing starvation in the famine-struck Horn of Africa country where Islamist insurgents control much of the worst-hit areas, the UN's food agency said yesterday.

Nato hands control of key Afghan city

Nato troops yesterday handed control of Afghanistan's northern capital Mazar-i-Sharif to local forces amid rising security fears just days after it was hit by a deadly bombing.

Rebel leader killed in South Sudan

A south Sudanese rebel leader was killed yesterday, the southern army and a separate rebel group said as Africa's newest nation is trying to quell violence threatening stability.

Singer Amy Winehouse found dead

Troubled British singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her flat in north London, police said yesterday. She was 27 years old.

Nuclear scientist 'shot dead' in Iran

An Iranian nuclear scientist was shot dead by unknown assailants on a motor cycle yesterday in Tehran, Iranian media reported.

Strong 6.5 quake hits Japan

A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan yesterday, but there were no reports of damage and no danger of a major tsunami, geologists said.

Canada returns Chinese fugitive

Fugitive Chinese businessman Lai Changxing arrived in Beijing yesterday after being deported from Canada, ending a 12-year legal and diplomatic tug-of-war that tested the countries' relations.

Abbas rallies envoys on Palestinian statehood bid

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas gathered his top diplomats in Istanbul yesterday, rallying them on their quest for statehood as he accused Israel of forcing them to take the campaign to the UN.

Asylum seeker cuts throat in Australia protest

An asylum seeker cut his throat and dozens more were on hunger strike Saturday at an northern Australian detention centre, refugee activists said, taking immigration protests into their fourth day.

UN points to possible Syrian crimes against humanity

UN officials have said Syrian security forces may have committed crimes against humanity in their crackdown on protesters, as at least eight more civilians were killed in massive protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

Arts & Entertainment

Mystic River

A couple of months ago, a group of students from the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) travelled to one of Bangladesh's most exceptional and exciting places: the Halda river. The aim of the tour was to document and photograph the biodiversity of the river and lifestyle of the people who depend on it. Back in Dhaka, the students are showcasing their works at a group photography exhibition, titled “Halda: The River of Mystery”.

A master of his medium

I distinctly remember my introduction to the recently deceased painter Aminul Islam at his Gulbagh house in the city. The house was beautiful in its architectural patterns. His studio was spacious and people representing different sections of the society used to come over. Islam was soft-spoken, but bold and uncompromising in his stance.

Monsoon, according to the bards

As part of their homage to the two bards -- Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, musical school Sangeet Bhaban arranged a monsoon themed musical soiree, along with dance performances, at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on July 22. The event, titled “Borsha-e Rabindra Nazrul”, featured artistes of the school and several guest performers.

Solo performance by Khairul Anam Shakil at Indian Cultural Centre

Noted Nazrul Sangeet artiste Khairul Anam Shakil performed at Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC) in Gulshan, Dhaka on July 22. At the programme Shakil rendered ghazal, kabya-geeti, folk and raga-based Nazrul Sangeet.

DS Café

DS Cafe will buzz as TV show host and model Sharmin Lucky drops in to take your calls. Call 8126155 on Wednesday, July 27, between 3:30 and 4:30 pm to speak to Sharmin Lucky!!! The countdown has begun!!

OP-ED

Looking closely at North East India

Now that we have agreed in principle to allow a shorter road passage for Indians to reach North East India through Bangladesh, let us see how we are likely to also benefit.

A very British press scandal

It is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair, and the children have been sent out for a nice long walk. You put your feet up on the sofa, settle your spectacles on your nose, and open the News of the World. In these blissful circumstances, what is it that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder.

Those were the days, my friend!

Mala and I were relishing a leisurely latte at Starbucks and chatting about …whatever it is that friends who meet after a gap of six months talk about… "shoes and ships and ceiling wax and cabbages and kings?" Suddenly we were hit by a gust of nostalgia about the "good old days!"

Support efforts towards autism welfare

It is really encouraging that the International Autism Conference will be held on July 25-26 in Dhaka, which would come up with a "Dhaka Declaration" for helping the autistic children around the world. It is reported the organising institute is the Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) based on the support and initiative by Saima Wazed Putul daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She is the main organizer and a guest speaker.

Long term weather forecast neglected

Modern weather forecasting has improved a lot with the introduction of satellites and radar in addition to ground observations. But in Bangladesh, we don't seem to be utilising all these facilities. Heavy rainfall very often brings floods and landslides in Cox's Bazar and Chittagong areas, and it is noticeable that no adequate advanced warning is given about these events.

This Day In History

July24

1148
Louis VII of France lays siege to Damascus during the Second Crusade.

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