The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, April 21, 2014


News of: Monday, 1st of August, 2011

Front Page

Business behind police boxes

A group of advertising agencies in connivance with traffic sergeants and police officials has started building unauthorised police boxes on pavements and roadsides to rent out space on those in advertisement market.

It's amnesty time in KL

After years of sufferings due to their irregular status, thousands of undocumented Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia today join many other irregular foreign workers for biometric registration as a step to their regularisation.

21 of 38 parties oblige; BNP among defaulters

Ruling Awami League and 20 other registered political parties of the country submitted their annual audit report to the Election Commission yesterday, the day the deadline for the submission expires.

UN rejects govt's view

The general segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) session rejected the official position of Bangladesh government on the non-Bangalee people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), and adopted the report of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Power-cuts to greet Ramadan

As the power supply situation deteriorated in the recent days, the Power Division yesterday decided at power-cut during the Ramadan not more than half an hour in each spell in any area.

World sees population boom

World's population will hit 7 billion in 2011, which is double what it was in the 1960s, a study said.

Man dies as bamboo falls on his head

A rickshaw puller died on Sunday after a bamboo fell on his head from an under-construction high-rise in Bogra.

Special drives in Ramadan

Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) will conduct special drives across the country to prevent sale of adulterated food during Ramadan, Industries Minister Dilip Barua said yesterday.

Students go on holidays from Aug 4

Secondary schools, colleges and madrasas across the country will enjoy holidays during the Ramadan, announced the education ministry yesterday after a meeting at the Bangladesh Secretariat.

Their last trip together

Monika and Ripon were lucky to be employed in the same institution. Returning home together from work became the daily routine of the newly married couple.

At least 80 killed in Syrian army assault

Syrian tanks firing shells and machineguns stormed the city of Hama yesterday, killing at least 80 civilians in a move to crush demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, residents and activists said.

Tk 40 lakh snatched

Muggers snatched away Tk 40 lakh from a businessman after stabbing two of his associates at Bhulta Saotaghat auto-rickshaw stand in Rupganj upazila yesterday.

Saved by victim

An Iranian man convicted of throwing acid in the face of a female student who was to have been blinded himself yesterday in retribution was pardoned by his victim, the state-run television website said.

Hearing starts today

The Chittagong Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court will start the hearing of sensational 10-truck arms haul cases from today.

Mumbai blasts death toll rises to 26

The death toll from the triple bomb blasts in the Indian city of Mumbai earlier this month has risen to 26 after a man who was seriously burnt died in hospital, police said.

One dead as trains collide head-on in India

Two passenger trains collided head on in eastern India yesterday, killing at least one person and leaving many trapped in the wreckage, a local official said.

Editorial

BD-India Home Ministers' meet

THIS is the for the first time that the home ministers of the two countries have met since assumption of the office of the Alliance government in Bangladesh, and while one hopes that it might have come sooner we welcome the assurances made by India to address the outstanding border issues that have been lingering since the Mujib-India border agreement of 1974, in its entirety.

KL amnesty for migrant workers

THE Malaysian government's amnesty programme regarding foreign migrant workers gets underway today. In normal circumstances the news should have cheered Bangladeshis working in Malaysia since it holds out a fresh new opportunity for them to carry on earning a living in the country and helping their families back home. The realities, however, are rather different. Of the five lac Bangladeshi workers currently working in Malaysia, more than three lac happen to be undocumented. That is the critical issue. The Kuala Lumpur authorities will only go for registering those documented with them. What now happens to the undocumented Bangladeshi workers is a huge question.

Sports

Batting falters once again

The Bangladesh batsmen are running out of time to prepare themselves for the one-off Test from August 4.

Bell out, Bell in

Ian Bell's maiden Test hundred against India allied to a sporting reprieve saw England into a commanding lead on the third day of the second Test at Trent Bridge here on Sunday.

Zim's gateway to cricket

The venue for the practice match between Bangladesh and the Zimbabwe XI is the Interfin Bank High Performance Centre, more popularly known as the Academy.

Swapan wins squash title

Swapan Parvez of Basundhara Group became champion of the Digital Auto Care Open Squash-2011 beating Raju Ram of American Club by 11-3,11-4,11-6 points in an exciting final at the Dhaka Club Squash Court yesterday.

France, Spain in same group

World champions Spain will face former world champions France in their campaign to qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014 following Saturday's gala preliminary round draw.

Tough groups for Japan, Australia

Reigning Asian champions Japan were grouped with North Korea, while Australia and Saudi Arabia came out together in penultimate qualifying for the 2014 World Cup after this weekend's draw.

MSC sans national booters

While rivals Abahani, league champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, Muktijoddha Sangsad and Sheikh Russel KC have all but adorned their squads with national booters long before the transfer market opens, Mohammedan SC seemingly will have to bank on mediocre players once again following their late approach.

Eden break Viqarunnissa's dominance

Eden Women's College broke Viqarunnissa's dominance when they beat them in the final of the 14th Delta Life Women's College/ University Handball Competition by 11-2 goals at the Handball Stadium yesterday.

Dravid being humble

India's Rahul Dravid insisted he was "not in the same league" as compatriot Sunil Gavaskar after joining the former opener on 34 Test hundreds.

Is Hot Spot spot-on?

In a series where a half-baked Decision Review System (DRS) is being used after Hawk-Eye was made optional, England are unconvinced by the Hot Spot technology after they were sure VVS Laxman had edged a delivery but the third umpire couldn't overturn the decision.

Sun topples Hackett's 10-year-old record

Chinese teenager Sun Yang toppled swimming's oldest world record Sunday when he shattered Grant Hackett's 10-year mark in the men's 1500m, ensuring a rousing finish to the Shanghai World Championships.

Hungarian GP Button's

Jenson Button marked his 200th Grand Prix with a reminder of his class on Sunday when he drove his McLaren to a stirring victory in a chaotic and incident-filled Hungarian Grand Prix.

Shivalaya win DC Gold Cup

Shivalaya Upazila XI became champions in the Deputy Commissioner Gold Cup Football after beating Manikganj Municipality XI 3-0 in tiebreakers in the final at the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan stadium here on Sunday. The regulation time had ended goalless taking the game to tiebreakers where Shivalaya converted three of their chances while the losing side could not manage to net a single shot.

Serena-Bartoli final

Former world number one Serena Williams stormed into the final of the WTA hardcourt tournament, dominating Wimbledon semifinalist Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-2.

India hailed

India were praised by leading cricket officials for reprieving England century-maker Ian Bell during an extraordinary passage of play in the ongoing second Test at Trent Bridge.

Wrong choice Kun: Forlan

Diego Forlan has told his former Atletico Madrid team-mate Sergio Aguero that he should have joined Chelsea rather than Manchester City.

Giants fall at first hurdle

Bayer Leverkusen and six-times winners Werder Bremen were both eliminated from the German Cup at the first hurdle on Saturday, but Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund eased into round two.

Button story only a hoax

A story posted on Jenson Button's website claiming that he had been seriously injured in a car crash was a "distasteful hoax", his representatives have said.

Royal honour for Vettori

Daniel Vettori has been named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit during the Queen's Birthday Honours investiture ceremony in Auckland. The honour is awarded to outstanding people from various fields, which include philanthropy, music, local governance and community service among others. In his citation, Vettori was referred to as one of the world's top left-arm spinners.

Business

ADP spending improves a bit

The implementation of annual development programme (ADP) was better last fiscal year, rising by 27 percent compared to the previous year.

New pockets of poverty

Barguna and Satkhira districts are emerging as new pockets of poverty because of rising salinity and agro-ecological vulnerability in the southern coastal region, said Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud yesterday.

DSE opens corporate governance wing

The premier bourse yesterday launched a new department to help strengthen the practice of corporate governance among listed companies and make them more transparent and accountable.

NRBs to set up second power plant

Baraka Patenga Power Ltd will invest Tk 300 crore to produce 50 megawatt of electricity within next 15 months to help narrow the demand and supply gap, officials said.

Deal closes in on $3 trillion US debt

With two days to act, President Barack Obama and his top Republican foes were closing in on a nearly $3-trillion accord to avert a disastrous default while making deep spending cuts.

Pabna mill to market rice bran oil

Rashed Oil Mill has moved to market edible oil produced from rice bran in Pabna district, officials said yesterday.

Profit taking pulls down stocks

Dhaka stocks continued to go through price correction yesterday for the fifth consecutive day with almost 2 percent decline.

Mobile operators' token of love for quake-hit Japan

Mobile operators of Bangladesh yesterday donated more than Tk 1 crore to the earthquake-ravaged Japanese people.

BB caps interest rate on fertiliser import finance

Bangladesh Bank advised all commercial banks not to charge more than 14 percent interest on financing for fertiliser import.

Handicrafts policy in the making

The commerce ministry will form an inter-ministerial co-ordination committee in a couple of days to finalise the national handicrafts policy, said the commerce minister yesterday.

Honda to build new plant in Mexico

Japan's Honda Motor will build a new plant in Mexico to produce cars for the North American market to improve its profitability against a stronger yen and tariffs, a press report said Sunday.

HSBC plans to axe 10,000 jobs

Global banking giant HSBC will announce next week plans to axe between 10,000 and 15,000 jobs in the coming year as part of a drastic cost-cutting drive, a report said Saturday.

GSK moves to shore up foothold

Fifty countries are now listed as 'least developed'. All these LDCs may not remain on the list in future. With time, many will graduate to upper-income levels, broadening prospects in many areas, including healthcare.

Retailers adrift as Australians shop in cyberspace

She wouldn't call it an addiction, but Australian Emily Spencer has an online shopping habit and auction house eBay was her "gateway drug".

State drug-maker eyes expansion

Bangladesh is doing quite well in producing life saving drugs, meeting 97 percent of domestic demand. Even then, with 31.5 percent of its population living below the poverty line, there are many who are not getting medicine because of their low economic status. They have limited access to essential medicines. This is where the manufacture of drugs differ from other industrial or consumer goods; it is a matter of life and death for millions.

Made in Bangladesh: contraceptives

Essential Drugs Company Ltd (EDCL) has taken bold steps to produce contraceptives in Bangladesh, aiming to control the country's population and save money on import of the item.

Hopes emerge of deal to avoid US default

Hopes emerged that lawmakers were close to a last-minute deal on Sunday that could raise the debt ceiling by up to $2.8 trillion and assure financial markets that the United States will avoid default.

A new-found app-etite for the web

A funny thing happened on the way to the Apple Store …

Soaring demand spotlights secret NY gold hoard

If there's one place a James Bond villain -- or even some actual governments -- would love raiding today, it's the basement of a somber building in lower Manhattan: the world's biggest gold vault.

'World's best restaurant' elBulli to serve last supper

World-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria serves his last meal on Saturday at elBulli, the beachside restaurant repeatedly crowned the world's best which is closing to make way for a culinary research centre.

Ford wagers on Asia to drive global growth

Ford Motor Co was slow out of the starting gate in Asia but now the number two US automaker is betting big on the region to drive global growth, says its Asia-Pacific chief.

US stocks suffer worst week of year

US stocks had their worst week of 2011 amid fears that the debt-ceiling impasse in Washington would provoke a ruinous default or a downgrade of the United States' credit rating.

Metropolitan

Fearful locals barricade Dhaka-Ctg Highway

Around several thousand people barricaded Dhaka-Chittagong Highway near Bhatiari under Shitakunda Police Station in Chittagong yesterday morning in fear of land acquisition by the government for the expansion of Bangladesh Military Academy.

Commerce ministry blamed

'Insincerity' of the commerce ministry is responsible for the recent price hike of essentials, specially sugar and edible oil, a parliamentary committee said yesterday.

Dhaka keen on enhanced trade

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said relations between Bangladesh and Spain are steadily growing in depth and dimension with both sharing common views on many international issues through platforms like United Nations and World Trade Organization.

Punitive measures in offing for road crash

The government will beef up punitive measures against drivers responsible for road accidents and violating traffic rules while the vehicle owners will also be punished for road accident related crimes.

15 trapped in lift

Fifteen people were trapped for one hour in a lift of a multi-storied shopping mall in Agrabad area of the port city yesterday afternoon.

Stop commercialisation of higher education

Speakers at an even urged the government to stop those educational institutions, which are run without maintaining quality education for gaining commercial interest.

Safety measures: Rajuk fines 5 builders

After the High Court's intervention, a Rajuk mobile court yesterday penalised five real estate builders, including three renowned ones, for not taking safety precautions at their under-construction buildings along the Mirpur Road in the city's Dhanmondi.

Start food rationing

BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday urged the government to introduce food-rationing for low-income groups of people saying the government has failed to control price of essentials ahead of Ramadan.

Pro-AL panel sweeps CU teachers' body polls

Pro-Awami League yellow panel teachers won all the seats in the elections for syndicate, academic council and finance committees by defeating pro-BNP-Jamaat white panel teachers in Chittagong University (CU) yesterday.

4 more held from High Court

Four Rangpur men were arrested yesterday after they appeared before the High Court on summons for their involvement in torturing two women at a village arbitration.

2 classmates arrested

Police yesterday arrested two students of Rajshahi Education Board Model School and College in connection with the Saturday's "chemical" throwing on its female student.

23 scientists get gold medals

Bangladesh Academy of Science (BAS) yesterday recognised 23 scientists for their achievements in different fields of science contributing to sustainable development of the country.

Programmes to observe National Mourning Day

Ruling Awami League (AL) has chalked out a month-long programme marking the National Mourning Day on August 15, the day when father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members were brutally killed by a disgruntled group of army officers in 1975.

HC drops Moudud's petition from cause list

A High Court bench yesterday dropped from its cause list a petition filed by former law minister Moudud Ahmed for quashing the proceedings of a corruption case against him.

Sheershanews editor on remand

The editor of Sheershanews.com, an online newspaper, was placed on a two-day remand yesterday, hours after police arrested him on charges of demanding extortion money from a trader.

Prize bond draw held

The 64th draw of prize bond worth Tk 100 was held yesterday at the conference room of the Dhaka divisional commissioner under the usual single common draw system.

Student alleges sexual harassment by teacher in Ctg

A student of class ten in a written complaint to the UNO alleged that her school's acting headmaster has harassed her sexually in his house at Keonchia village in Satkania upazila of the district.

5 hurt in BCL factional clash at RU

Five Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men were injured in a factional clash over extortion at Rajshahi University (RU) on Saturday night.

Eskander gets bail in graft case

Major (Retd) Syeed Eskander, younger brother of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, was granted bail yesterday in a corruption case on his surrender to a Dhaka court.

Draft broadcasting policy submitted to JS body

The information ministry yesterday submitted the draft of the country's first National Broadcasting Policy to the parliamentary standing committee on the ministry.

Judicial Service Commission exam result published

The result of written examination of 5th Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission (BJSC) has been published on Saturday, says a press release.

Swami Amrittananda passes away

Swami Amrittananda, a leading spiritual personality and principal of Dinajpur Ramkrishna Mission, passed away at Dinajpur Diabetes Hospital on Saturday night due to liver cancer at the age of 79.

Presentation on Tungipara development plan

A power point presentation on short, mid and long term development plans of Tungipara and Kotalipara Upazila Complex was shown to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Prime Minister's Office yesterday.

President admitted to CMH

President Zillur Rahman has been admitted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in the capital after he felt “unwell”.

UK foreign secy greets Muslims

British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague has greeted the Muslim communities in Britain and across the world on the occasion of holy Ramadan.

2 dyeing factories fined for polluting Turag, wetlands

A Department of Environment team yesterday fined two textile dyeing factories in Ashulia on the city's outskirt more than Tk 71 lakh for polluting the river Turag and the surrounding wetlands.

One killed in road crash

A nosimon driver was killed on the spot and a passenger of the vehicle sustained injuries as a truck hit the nosimon, locally made human hauler, on the Jhenidah-Kushtia highway at Kulchara yesterday.

Obituary

Prof Dr Khandakhar Shahiduzzaman, former head of radiology department of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka Medical College and King Faisal Hospital in Saudi Arabia, passed away on Saturday at the age of 80, says a press release.

Abdul Khaleque

Dr Abdul Khaleque, freedom fighter and journalist, passed away at a clinic in Khulna on Saturday due to old age complications at the age of 72.

Death anniversary

Today is the 11th death anniversary of Md Lutfar Rahman, a senior tax lawyer of Chittagong, says a press release.

National

Punishment to Lama killers demanded

Indigenous leaders have warned of tough movement if the authorities fail to ensure punishment to the killers of three indigenous men at Rupashipara village in Lama upazila under Bandarban district on Saturday.

Flood engulfs fresh areas in Lalmonirhat

With inundation of fresh areas, flood situation in five upazilas of Lalmonirhat districts further worsened yesterday.

Contractors allege corruption by Rangamati LGED engineer

Contractors listed with Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) at a press conference yesterday brought allegations of bribery and serious corruption against the executive engineer of LGED in Rangamati office.

11 fake policemen arrested in Dinajpur

Police yesterday arrested 11 people in Birganj upazila of Dinajpur district as they went to a village in the guise of policemen allegedly to commit robbery, police said.

Lightning kills four

Three people were killed by lightning in Gaibandha and Jamalpur districts yesterday.

4 get life for killing housewife

A court here yesterday sentenced four people to life imprisonment for killing a housewife Boalmari upazila in 2007, court source said. The convicts are victim's husband Hossain Sheikh and his relatives Azim Uddin, Kashem Hawlader and Hafizul. The victim, Selina Hossain, was tortured to death by her husband and his three relatives at Dobra village in the upazila. Later, a case was lodged with Boalmari Police Station. After hearing, Additional District and Sessions Judge Zakia Parveen handed down the verdict.

Man arrested with fake notes

A man was arrested with fake currency notes from Gazipur Bazar under Faridganj upazila on Saturday night. Officer-in-Charge of Faridganj Police Station Subrata Banerjee said they arrested Delwar Hossain, 50, son of Abdul Gafur of Gazipur village, with two fake notes of Tk 1,000 during a drive at the bazar at around 8:00pm. Later, according to his confession, police searched his house and recovered fake notes amounting to Tk 70,000 from behind his leaving room.

Housewife commits 'suicide'

A housewife allegedly committed suicide at Burigoalini village in Shyamnagar upazila yesterday. Police quoted locals as saying that Shamsun Nahar, 45, wife of Nur Mohammad Dhali, committed suicide by hanging from a beam in a room of her house following a family feud at around 12:30 pm. Police recovered the body and sent it to Satkhira Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Tiger kills fisherman

A fisherman was killed by a tiger at Chatia Nangla in the Sundarbans under Dakop upazila on Saturday noon. Victim M Hasanul Gazi, 25, was son of Lutfor Gazi of Paikgachha upazila. Forest officials said the tiger attacked Hasanul when he was catching fish and then dragged him into deep forest. Later, forest officials and fellow fishermen recovered the body and handed it over to the family members.

Two children drown in pond

Two children drowned in a pond at Hatpukur village under Haripur upazila on Saturday afternoon. They are Arafat, 2, son of Md Khokan and Babita, 2, daughter of Islamuddin of the village. Police and locals said the two were playing near their houses at noon. All of a sudden, they fell into the pond beside their houses and drowned. Later, their bodies were found floating in the pond.

Tree plantation at RU

Rajshahi university (RU) authorities yesterday began a tree plantation programme on the campus. RU pro vice-chancellor inaugurated the programme by planting a banyan tree at the playground of Habibur Rahman Hall. Sources said around 2,000 fruit bearing trees will be planted on the campus.

Transport workers clash

Ten buses and 35 auto-rickshaws were damaged during a clash between two rival groups of transport workers in the bus stand area here yesterday morning. Police said Faruk Chowkidar group and Ali Madbor group locked in a clash following an altercation. Police dispersed the clashing groups and brought the situation under control. Road communications with Dhaka remained suspended for an hour.

Fugitive convict arrested

Luxmipur Sadar police arrested a fugitive convict from Uttara in Dhaka on Saturday morning. Police said the Arrestee, Abdur Rahman, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in absentia for killing co-villager Tajul Islam, son of Pana Mia, on April 30, 1998. Law enforcers from luxmipur Sadar police station with the help of Uttara police arrested Rahim.

Letters

Bangladesh-India relations

When I see AL government making friendship with Indian counterpart I see a game between a shrewd player and an inept child. We could force India responding to our longstanding demand of proper share of water and resolving boarder and land dispute with our leverage of being in the geo-strategic position. It is not that we are weak as a nation. Our success in garment sectors, peace keeping in the troubled regions of the world and in health, agriculture and microfinance is widely recognised. We have proved our worth in other sectors but unfortunately politicians are continuing to fail us and bungling all our plans to build a self-respecting strong Bangladesh. Who does not want good relation with its neighbours? Our prophet Muhammad (sm) sent letters to the neighbouring empires, with a view to make peace with them by spreading Islam, by not compromising the interest of Mulsim Ummah and Islam. Everybody welcomes relationship with India on the basis of justice and equal status and interest. We may be small in area but not in our mentality. This mentality now reverberates among the public. The sooner the government reads public sentiment, the better.

Punish the immoral teachers

It is very disgusting to read in the newspapers how some male teachers of a respected girls' school like Viqarunnisa in Dhaka are harassing female students, taking undue advantage of their position and authority. These teachers, alleged by the students, use abusive language in the class, make indecent gestures and even give corporal punishment to these girl students.

Norway massacre

The death of at least 85 people at the Utoeya camp and seven others in the government quarter in Norway is deeply regrettable. It is the deadliest attack in the country since the World War II. The suspect is also a Norwegian, a right-wing fundamentalist Christian. Norway is mostly known as a peaceful country all over the world and such kind of atrocity in a peace-loving country is unbelievable. The prime minister said that the murderer turned the country from heaven to hell. Stern action should be taken against the responsible person so that no such heinous incident occurs in any country of the world.

The holy month is here

It is really unfortunate that a section of traders/retailers unjustly raises price of essential commodities during the holy month of Ramadan. Every year authority takes special drives/campaign to keep price hiking under control so that Muslims can peacefully and comfortably observe fasting in the month of Ramadan.

Block Watch

Crimes are increasing day by day in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, little initiatives have been taken to combat crimes. To prevent crimes, there is an initiative we can take, that is Block Watch or Neighbourhood Watch. It is a concept widely used in the USA. It is a system to combat crimes in a particular area.

Hosni Mubarak refuses food!

I have learnt from media reports that 83 year old Egypt's ex-president Hosni Mubarak is refusing food in his hospital detention and has become extremely weak, though critics accuse him of pretence to avoid trial. Mubarak has been detained since April this year on charge of ordering the killing of anti-regime protesters and corruption. However many dictators in the history considered themselves as benevolent rulers. They could not even think that they could do anything wrong. Many of them led very simple life. They believed that they always thought of the wellbeing of their countrymen. They took credit for their capability of taking merciless action against the wrong-doers and showing limitless kindness to the benefactors.

Schools should complete syllabus

The minister for education has expressed his dissatisfaction in a discussion meeting recently about private coaching. My daughter is now studying in class IX in a prominent school of this locality. Last year when she was about to appear in her first ever introduced JSC exam, we noticed with utmost dismay that some of the chapters of her textbooks had not even been taught. Having apprehended her misery, I wrote a letter to the rector of the institution seeking her immediate and appropriate action. But all in vain, as she did little with regards to completion of the syllabus.

Diagnostic centres

These days numerous medical diagnostic centres have sprouted up in the larger cities of Bangladesh but it seems that these have no guardians to look after the interest of the naive patients who do not understand the technicalities of numerous tests and which are beyond the budget of the middle class families. Then there is the contradiction of wealthy patients going abroad for treatment.

Gamchha on parade!

A colourful photograph of 'Gamchhas' in an otherwise drab background of 'Punjabis'; published in the pages of the weekly Holiday on July 22nd was most welcome! It recognizes the arrival of the 'Gamchha' as a part of the dress and not just the local version of the towel!

Ban on female drivers

Banning women from driving is a cultural issue, and not a religious one. There is no evidence from the Qur'an and Sunnah which justifies this. Therefore, KSA must present a logical basis for this cultural practice. A few Islamic thinkers (one was interviewed by CNN) hold the opinion that we should not interfere in the affairs of other nations.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star report headlined “BSF told to hold fire”.

International

Blast at Afghan police HQ kills 13

Twelve policemen and a child were killed yesterday when a suicide car bomber struck outside police headquarters in the southern Afghan city of Lashkar Gah, officials said.

Clashes flare in rebel stronghold

Libyan rebels clashed in the early hours of yesterday with an armed gang they said was loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the latest sign of growing lawlessness in the rebel-held east.

Indians protest sexual violence with 'Slut Walk'

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of New Delhi for India's first "Slut Walk" yesterday, to protest at an alarming rise in sexual assault cases and the growing sense of insecurity among women.

Pakistan restricts US diplomats' travel

Pakistan has imposed new travel restrictions on US diplomats living in the country, a source told AFP yesterday, in the latest sign of ties worsening since the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Scandal-hit Karnataka CM resigns

The chief minister of a southern Indian state who is accused of being at the centre of a $3.6 billion mining fraud resigned yesterday.

Man's death sparks fresh tension

The death of a 28-year-old man in police custody in Indian Kashmir sparked fresh tensions yesterday even as the region's chief minister promised "swift and exemplary action".

Labour party challenges British PM to 'come clean'

Britain's opposition Labour party challenged Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday to "come clean" over his links with the Murdoch media empire, reviving pressure on the government over phone hacking.

Unrest in China leaves 15 dead

Weekend unrest in Kashgar, in China's western Xinjiang region, has left at least 15 people dead, state media said yesterday.

China to send flood aid to North Korea

China will send flood aid to North Korea after it was hit by rain-triggered floods and landslides that washed away homes, roads and farmland and caused casualties, the North's state media said yesterday.

World must not be 'indifferent' to famine

Pope Benedict XVI yesterday urged the world not to be "indifferent" to famine, as some 12 million people in the Horn of Africa face starvation amid the worst drought there in decades.

Muslim 'terrorists,' white 'lone wolves,' and the lessons of Oslo

Last week in Norway, comfortable illusions were shattered so suddenly that people around the world were left grasping for new ones. A nation known as a peaceful bastion of liberalism exploded in a convulsion of sheer hatred. And the reflexive media reaction that followed ricocheted between fear-mongering about Muslim violence to flaunting a uniquely American extremism.

Strong quake shakes Japan's Fukushima

A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck off northeast Japan's Fukushima region, home to a crippled nuclear power plant, early yesterday, but there was no risk of a tsunami, seismologists said.

Shell from Vietnam War era kills two

Two men died and a third was seriously injured in a blast as they attempted to cut open a Vietnam War-era artillery shell and extract its explosives, state media said yesterday.

African Union calls summit

The African Union announced yesterday it is to hold a summit meeting to pledge help for the victims of Somalia's drought.

Nigeria to open talks with Islamist sect

Nigeria's government will open talks with an Islamist sect blamed for scores of deadly bomb blasts and shootings in the northeast, a federal government statement said Saturday.

Toll from Philippines storm hits 54

The death toll from tropical storm Nock-ten rose to 52 in the Philippines as another approaching storm left two more people dead and caused a large ship to sink, the civil defence office said yesterday.

Eight dead, one missing in Moscow river boat accident

Eight people drowned and one was missing yesterday after a pleasure boat collided with a barge and sank in the Moscow river, the emergency ministry said.

Egypt activists suspend Tahrir sit-in for Ramadan

Egyptian protesters camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square said yesterday they will suspend their sit-in during Ramadan and will return to the square to press for reforms after the holy month is over.

Iran holds new hearing for US hikers

A new hearing opened yesterday in the trial of three American hikers who face espionage charges in Iran after straying into the country two years ago, the Arabic language Al-Alam television channel said.

Arts & Entertainment

Uttarayan's ode to monsoon

Marking the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore and the first anniversary of music school Uttarayan, a cultural programme featuring Tagore's monsoon- themed songs along with recitation was held at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on July 29.

Tasher Desh creates ripples

Theatre troupe Natukey and event management organisation Raktakarabi jointly arranged a staging of “Tasher Desh” ,one of Rabindranath Tagore's most entertaining dance-dramas, on July 29 and 30. However, unlike the run of the mill version of the dance drama, the actors depicted the scenes in a spectacular display of water ballet in the pool of National Swimming Complex, Mirpur, Dhaka. The play was performed in water for the first time in Bangladesh.

Music fest at Dhaka University

As part of its annual programme, Music Department of Dhaka University arranged a two-day Music Festival 2011 at the TSC auditorium. Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC) Professor AK Azad Chowdhury inaugurated the festival as the chief guest on July 29. Presided over by the chairman of the department Kuheli Islam, Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Harun Ar Rashid and treasurer Professor Mizanur Rahman of DU spoke as special guests.

The sound of music

Marking the 70th death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha (BRSSS) arranged a musical programme at Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of Central Public Library, Shahbagh recently. Apart from solo song performances by BRSSS artistes:Tapan Mahmud, Fahim Hossain Chowdhury, Sajid Akbar, Mohiuzzaman Chowdhury and others, the event also featured choral renditions by several music troupes -- Rabirag, Baitalik, Geetanjali and Bishwaveena.

OP-ED

Rise of ultra-nationalist militancy in the West

ON July 22, the world was shocked to witness another 9/11. The difference is, this time the stage of the carnage was at the headquarters of a peaceful European country. For Norway was never known for flexing its military muscles in the international arena, or having a colonial empire in the past that might make it a legitimate target of international terrorism or militancy.

Abu Taher and the Supreme Court of Bangladesh

WHAT actually happened during the so-called "revolt" of 1977 remains an open question more than thirty years later. It has been argued to me that there was never an actual revolt at all but a "bait and kill" intelligence operation meant to flush out Zia's enemies within the armed forces. The net in clumsy hands was cast widely. What is certain is that a great many men were executed in violation of all legal procedures that ought to have guaranteed them due process under the country's military code of justice.

This Day In History

1664
The Ottoman Empire is defeated in the Battle of Saint Gotthard by an Austrian army led by Raimondo Montecuccoli, resulting in the Peace of Vasvár.


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