The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 1, 2014


News of: Friday, 19th of August, 2011

Front Page

Abul cops JS flak

The Awami League-led ruling alliance lawmakers yesterday came down heavily on Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain for the crumbling roads and highways.

Priority on char

The cell for construction of a new international airport has prioritised Char Janajat in Shibchar upazila of Madaripur as a possible location for the proposed mega structure.

Education not must for drivers

A driver does not need to be educated to get a driving licence, said Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday while trying to clarify his position on recommending 24,000 people for driving licences without tests.

Good initiatives lost to bad instances

Bad instances have overshadowed the government's initiatives to ensure good governance and eradication of corruption, reveals a Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) research yesterday.

Under-fire RHD chief resigns

Chief Engineer of Roads and Highways Department Shahab Uddin yesterday went on voluntary retirement in the face of media criticism for his corruption and negligence of duty.

Faruk explains his theory, blames media

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday came up with an explanation of his recent “eat less” theory.

Govt has to arrest Amini

The High Court yesterday ordered the government to immediately take appropriate legal action against Islami Oikya Jote Chairman Fazlul Haque Amini under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for his remarks about the constitution.

7 cops suspended for extortion

An assistant commissioner (AC) was closed to the Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP) headquarters while seven other policemen were suspended early yesterday on charges of extorting Tk 1 lakh from a doctor the day before.

Acting Huji boss held

Banned militant outfit Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji) "acting chief" Hafez Moulana Yahiya, an accused in the August 21 grenade attack case, was arrested along with two accomplices in Kishoreganj yesterday.

Labaid gives Tk 50 lakh for family

Labaid Hospital yesterday provided Tk 50 lakh for the family of Mridul Kanti Chakrabarty, a Dhaka University professor who died at the hospital on August 15 allegedly due to negligence in his treatment.

Lawmakers blast power ministry

Several ruling party lawmakers in the House yesterday blasted the power ministry for outages in their constituencies causing sufferings to people.

Stalking victim now missing

Indu Banerjee, a stalking victim whose husband was killed allegedly by her stalkers in May, has been missing since Tuesday.

PM donates Tk 10 lakh for Mamun's treatment

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has donated Tk 10 lakh for better treatment of Dhali Al Mamun, a professor at the Institute of Fine Arts of Chittagong University.

Limon to get artificial leg Sunday

Doctors fitted college student Limon Hossain, the victim of Rab shooting, with an artificial leg yesterday but removed it soon after as it did not adjust properly.

No govt wanted free EC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said no government wanted an independent Election Commission and that is why the election commissioners have been selected according to the choice of the governments.

10 hurt in gas cylinder explosion

At least ten workers sustained severe burn injuries when a gas cylinder exploded in a warehouse at Sadar upazila in Narayanganj yesterday.

World powers ask Assad to step down

US President Barack Obama yesterday led a chorus of calls by world leaders for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, as the UN warned his regime could be guilty of crimes against humanity.

Sniffer dogs detect lung cancer

Sniffer dogs can be used to reliably detect lung cancer, according to researchers in Germany.

Ovarian cancer clue raises blood test hopes

A chemical in the blood could one day help doctors spot early signs of ovarian cancer, research suggests.

German sacked for marrying Chinese woman

An engineer in northern Germany who was sacked because he married a Chinese woman was unjustifiably dismissed, a court has ruled.

Van hits MP's car in Gazipur

An Awami League lawmaker's car was hit by a covered-van from opposite direction as it was about to cross a bridge in Pubail on the Dhaka-Sylhet bypass in the district around 8:45pm yesterday.

Editorial

Gas at Sundalpur

The news that the state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited, in short, Bapex, has struck a gas field at Sundalpur in Noakhali is indeed a breath of fresh air. It could not have come a day later when the country is facing a severe gas crisis of 500 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd).

HC move against two hospitals

The move by a High Court bench to seek explanations from two private hospitals on the deaths of some patients in recent days should be the beginning of a process to hold medical authorities to account. A few days ago, Dr. Mridul Kanti Chakrabarty, a senior teacher at Dhaka University's department of music and a reputed scholar, allegedly died of negligence at Labaid Hospital. Suffering from dehydration, he was, as reports would have it, made to wait a pretty long time for treatment. His death, it is fair to suppose, could certainly have been prevented had doctors at Labaid, one of the more expensive medical facilities in the country, taken quick action.

Sports

Chastened Tigers chase dignity

What should have been a routine series victory has turned into a debacle here in Zimbabwe. The Bangladesh cricket team today have their penultimate shot at regaining lost ground, particularly stemming the losing streak that is now nine matches long.

Kamal backs players

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president AHM Mustafa Kamal said that he is shocked but didn't want to squarely blame the players for the debacle in Zimbabwe.

Shakib admits lax mindset

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan owned up to his team's relaxed mindset against Zimbabwe. The demoralising defeats in the one-dayers and the Test match have moved the team into realisation of what could have been, though later than he would have liked.

'Hello & good morning'

The elderly journalist John Kelley tells a charming little tale about Dean du Plessis.

Blatter not coming

FIFA president Sepp Blatter thanked BFF president Kazi Salahuddin for the invitation to attend the Argentina-Nigeria friendly in Dhaka but politely declined due to prior commitments.

Rainy day at The Oval

England's hopes of completing a whitewash against India were hampered by the weather on Thursday, with rain preventing play after lunch on the first day of the fourth Test at The Oval.

Restore pride, cries India's Engineer

India great Farokh Engineer has said it's vital the tourists restore their own pride and that of the cricket-crazy nation when they try to avoid a Test whitewash against England at The Oval.

Donald eyes top spot

Allan Donald, South Africa's new bowling coach, is looking forward to the challenge of playing England in 2012 and thinks South Africa have a chance of knocking the new No. 1 Test side off their perch.

Top seeds cruise

World number one Novak Djokovic barely broke a sweat Wednesday as he routed American Ryan Harrison 6-2, 6-3 to breeze into the third round of the ATP and WTA hardcourt tournament.

Magical Messi

A Lionel Messi double inspired European and Spanish champions Barcelona to a 3-2 victory over bitter rivals Real Madrid in their Super Cup second leg clash here on Wednesday and a 5-4 aggregate win.

Outrage over brawl

Spain reacted with outrage Thursday after Barcelona's 3-2 Super Cup win over Real Madrid descended into violent scenes with defeated coach Jose Mourinho jabbing a rival in the eye.

Bayern take control

Bayern Munich took a confident step towards the Champions League group stage on Wednesday but 2006 semifinalists Villarreal's hopes are in the balance after a 1-0 loss at Odense.

Chelsea suffer Cech blow

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech faces up to a month on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury in training, Blues manager Andre Villas-Boas revealed Thursday.

Nat'l jr chess

Abdullah Al Saif is on the verge of retaining the title of the National Junior Chess Championship as the defending champion registered his eighth straight victory at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room yesterday.

U-19 booters in conditioning camp

A 30-member Bangladesh U-19 football team will have a conditioning camp at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan from today as a part of their preparation for the AFC U-19 Championship in late October.

French Olympian commits suicide

Former Olympic pole-vault champion Pierre Quinon has committed suicide at the age of 49, the French Athletics Federation announced on Thursday.

Dilshan made captain for one year

Tillakaratne Dilshan was confirmed on Thursday as Sri Lanka's captain in all forms of the game for the rest of the year, the cricket board said in a statement.

Kidnappers demand ransom

The kidnappers of John Obi Mikel's father have demanded a "sizeable" ransom for his release, the Chelsea midfielder's representatives confirmed in a statement on Thursday.

Business

BTRC's telecom audit move illegal: HC

The High Court Division yesterday declared illegal the appointment of firms by the telecom regulator to open audits into mobile phone operators.

SEC comes under fire over book building

Market stakeholders and analysts came down heavily on the Securities and Exchange Commission for keeping a clause on valuation in the final amendment to the book building method.

External balance slips into deficit

The external sector slipped into deficit last fiscal year for the first time in 10 years, due to an increased trade deficit and a fall in overseas aid and foreign direct investment.

Ukrainian minister visits Beximco plants

Mykola Prysyazhnyuk, minister for agrarian policy and food of Ukraine, visited the manufacturing facility of Beximco's two firms at Beximco Industrial Park at Kashimpur in Gazipur on Wednesday.

Muhith backs plan to revive Rajshahi Silk Factory

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday backed a plan to resume the operations of the now-defunct Rajshahi Silk Factory partially as there is an acute crisis of local silk yarn in the country.

Morgan Stanley warns of US, EU recession

Morgan Stanley said Thursday that the United States and Europe are dangerously close to recession, blaming in part policy errors by authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.

Stocks pass a day in the black

Stocks made a comeback and were in the black yesterday with low turnover as investors went for fresh buying of shares as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved some changes in the mutual fund rules to boost the continuously depressing investment sector on Tuesday.

Huawei launches 'business enterprise solutions'

Huawei Technologies has launched business solutions in Bangladesh aiming at further improvement in the information communication technology services of public and private organisations.

China Mobile first-half net profit up 6.3pc

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator by subscribers, said Thursday its net profit rose 6.3 percent in the first half of 2011 on sharp growth in its wireless data services business.

Holcim half year net profits down 4.2pc

Swiss cement giant Holcim said Thursday its 2011 first half net profit fell by 4.2 percent to 586 million francs (510 billion euros, $735.3 million), due to the franc's strength.

Coca-Cola to invest $4b in China

American soft drinks giant Coca-Cola said Thursday it will invest $4 billion in China over the next three years, as it deepens its expansion into the world's second largest economy.

Jute bag prospects in global arena

Global consumer demand for eco-friendly products has increased in both developed markets (such as Western Europe, the United States and Australasia) as well as new markets with emerging opportunities (such as the Middle East) mainly because of heightened awareness of the ill effects of environmental pollution and global warming.

Building booms in S Lanka president's home town

When the 2004 Asian tsunami hit Sri Lanka, the sleepy fishing region of Hambantota was flattened and 3,000 people perished. Now it is riding a massive wave of construction.

Asia commodities markets insulated from crisis

Asia's commodities business is still largely insulated from looming fears of yet another global financial crisis, although new projects might face difficulties in getting financing.

World economy needs US-China cooperation

US Vice President Joe Biden, starting a visit to China under a cloud of criticism over the US debt crisis, told his hosts Thursday that the two nations held the key to global economic stability.

'Watch out' Android phone makers: Nokia CEO

Phone makers depending on Google Inc's Android software should worry about the Web search lea-der's deal to buy Motorola Mobility, the head of rival Nokia said on Wednesday.

US officials investigating Standard & Poor's

The US Justice Department is investigating top ratings agency Standard & Poor's and its practices regarding mortgage securities in the run-up to the financial crisis, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Prices, investment products in focus at India gold meet

As gold rallies to consecutive record highs, price, imports and investment demand for bullion will top the agenda at a conference in India, the metal's biggest consumer, this week.

Asian markets down in jittery trade

Asian stock markets were down in jittery trade Thursday as global economic uncertainty shook confidence and Japan's strong yen continued to bite.

Hong Kong, Chinese bourses in tie-up talks

The Hong Kong stock exchange said Thursday it is in talks with bourses on mainland China to set up a joint venture in the city, in the latest step to boost economic integration.

Metropolitan

Bangladesh for sub-regional cooperation in hydro power

Bangladesh yesterday pitched for a sub-regional cooperation in hydro power sector involving India, Bhutan and Nepal, and equitable share of Teesta River water.

Moudud regrets to party men

Facing strong criticism within the party, BNP leader Moudud Ahmed yesterday backtracked on his remark about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and late president Ziaur Rahman.

Court to take into cognisance charges against Tarique, 29 others Aug 25

A Dhaka court will take into cognisance the charges against BNP Senior Vice-chairman Tarique Rahman and 29 others on August 25 in the murder case in the August 21 grenade attack.

Ailing boy dies as parents robbed

An ailing schoolboy died as a group of robbers attacked a microbus carrying him and his parents to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) early yesterday.

Good relations with India stressed

There is no alternative for Bangladesh to develop a good bilateral relationship with India to achieve the expected development in Bangladesh, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.

Consider costs for environment, land use, say analysts

Political and foreign policy analysts yesterday said the government should consider costs for the environment and land use while fixing the fees on transit to India.

Bangalees vow to fight extremism

Bangalee communities at a meeting have vowed to stay united and work collectively against all forms of extremism.

Khaleda leaves for S Arabia to perform Umrah

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia urged the countrymen to be united against the government as she thinks country's situation is not good at all.

Banker found dead

Police recovered the body of a bank official from his residence in the city's Mirpur 10 on Wednesday night.

Make JS effective to meet people's expectations

At the beginning of the tenth session amid boycott of the BNP-led opposition lawmakers, Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday urged all lawmakers to make the parliament effective to meet people's expectations.

Truck driver on 3-day remand

The driver of the truck, which killed 41 young people in Mirsarai on July 11, will be placed on a three-day remand tomorrow (Saturday).

One held with firearms

Police arrested a man with a pistol and bullets in Pahartali area in the port city yesterday.

Rickshaw-van puller dies in brick fall

A rickshaw-van puller was killed when a brick falling from the sixth floor of a nine-storey building hit him on the head at Baitul Aman Housing in the city's Adabar yesterday.

Hearing on Sayedee's charge framing deferred again

International Crimes Tribunal yesterday further deferred the hearing on charge framing against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee in connection with crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation.

Husband held for killing wife

Police yesterday arrested a man and his second wife on charge of killing his first wife on Wednesday.

6 IABC men detained

Six activists of Islami Ain Bastobayon Committee (IABC) were detained while staging a procession in front of the city's Baitul Mukarram National Mosque yesterday.

Short filmmaker Upal dies

Sajjad Hossain Upal, a young short filmmaker of Chittagong and the general secretary of Chittagong Film Centre, passed away at his residence in Dev Pahar area in the port city yesterday due to a cardiac arrest at the age of 36.

Hearing adjourned till Oct 17

The High Court yesterday adjourned till October 17 the hearing on a contempt of court rule against two politicians and a talk-show moderator of Ekushey Television.

5 food shops fined in city

Enforcement officials fined five food shops Tk 1.04 lakh in the city yesterday, as they were found without licence from Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI).

Deal to repair rail track

A 55-kilometre rail track between Laksham and Chandpur will be repaired at a cost of Tk 108 crore to ensure faster rail communication.

Housewife stabbed to death

Unknown miscreants stabbed a housewife to death at Sutrapur in the city yesterday.

Current nets worth Tk 57 lakh seized

Coast Guard seized current nets worth Tk 57 lakh from Kalatali area of Cox's Bazar on Wednesday.

Help save Kalam

Abul Kalam, 45, an employee of a garment factory, is suffering from kidney disease.

Death anniversary

Today is the 12th death anniversary of advocate Mosharraf Hossain MP, a language movement veteran, an organiser of the War of Liberation and former president of Faridpur district Awami League (AL).

Lutfar Rahman

Today is the fifth death anniversary of Lutfar Rahman, says a press release.

Salema Khatun

Today is the fourth death anniversary of Salema Khatun, mother of Mir Abdus Sabur Asud, adviser to the chairman of Jatiya Party, says a press release.

National

Terminal staff fleece truckers at Paturia

Truck drivers have to count Tk 400 or more in addition to the official fees to get ferry ticket for each truck at Paturia terminal due to alleged malpractice by a section of staff of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), traffic police and brokers.

Tortured, she cries for justice

Victim of brutal torture allegedly by dowry-hungry husband and in-laws, a woman at Bangalkandi village in Gafargaon upazila under Mymensingh district is crying for justice.

Open level crossings pose life risk to commuters

'Amtra rail crossing' in Akkelpur upazila of Joypurhat that saw 35 people killed and 33 others wounded in a bus-train collusion in July 2006 still keeps thousands of commuters vulnerable to accidents as no rail gate has been built there five years into the tragic accident.

235 families made homeless in 2 weeks in Narail

Erosion by the river Modhumati has taken a serious turn in Lohagara upazila, rendering around 235 families homeless in the last 15 days.

BAU celebrates golden jubilee

The golden jubilee of Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU) was celebrated with the theme 'Power of food, freedom through agriculture' on its campus in Mymensingh yesterday.

Workers announce 5-day agitation from Aug 23

Khulna Divisional Committee of Patkal Sangram Parishad (PSP) has announced a five-day agitation programme from August 23 to press home its 10-point demand.

Man held with pistol

Police arrested a man with pistol and three bullets at Super Market in the town yesterday.

Outlaw jailed

A tribunal here on Tuesday sentenced an underground operative to seven years imprisonment in an arms case.

Trader stabbed to death

A trader was stabbed to death by criminals in Swadeshi Bazar area here yesterday evening.

3 Bogra PPs removed

Three public prosecutors (PP) have been removed on charge of settling a murder case outside the court.

10 cocktails found

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered ten cocktails from a banana orchard at Poragaon-Laxminarayanpur village in Sadar upazila of Chapainawabganj yesterday morning.

Letters

The unbearable loss

It shook my heart when I came to learn the news of tragic death of Mishuk Munier, CEO of ATN News and Tareque Masud, a noted filmmaker in a gruesome road crash. I know Mishuk not only as a colleague for some time as a broadcast journalist, but as one of the talented sons of Shaheed Professor Munier Chowdhury- my dearest teacher of Dhaka University. When I started teaching electronic journalism as a part-time teacher at the Mass Communication and Journalism Department of Dhaka University, I found him as a colleague. Mishuk took the initiative to bring some essential tools, particularly one editing machine and a video camera. However, he left the university to join Ekushey TV, which truly was his field with all his dynamism and great diversity.

Drawing room coaching

Secondary schools teachers have spacious drawing rooms in their houses to accommodate a big number of students for private coaching. These drawing rooms are usually furnished with high and low benches, a chair and even with a blackboard hanging on the wall! A causal visitor will surely mistake such a drawing room for a classroom of a school! Coaching goes on batch by batch in the morning and after the school hours. The agile teacher cleverly prepares a list of probable questions of the subjects he teaches. He also prepares a list of probable questions of all other major subjects in a close exam-oriented collaboration with his colleagues who are also engaged in similar coaching business! They believe in the philosophy of honest reciprocity for the success of their business! The youngsters are asked only to memorize the answers and they are given cent percent assurance of a smooth class promotion in the most shortcut way! Thus, a solid foundation is being laid for our future rural citizenry!

Stop reckless driving

Undoubtedly, reckless driving is the main cause of road accidents in our country. Drivers of all types of transports compete for overtaking one another. The drivers enjoy this lethal racing game on city roads and also on highways. Very often we can see in the highways that during overtaking each other, no passage is left in the right side of the road for the vehicles coming from opposite direction. Many head-on collisions between two transports are happening for this reason. Interestingly, some passengers on board encourage the drivers to win the race instead of abstaining them from it.Only mindful and responsible driving can save many lives. If the drivers of all types of vehicles are considerate to their colleagues working in other vehicles, it really can reduce road accidents significantly.

Whose negligence is it?

Some losses can never be compensated. The loss of Abid, a promising singer of our country, is one. Every year accidents happen when tourists visit the Cox's Bazar sea beach. More than fifty people have died in the quicksand of the beach during the last fifteen years. Only 21 coast guards are there to provide security to the visitors. Is it enough to ensure proper safety when accidents are taking place quite frequently? Lack of awareness of the tourists is highly criticized after every accident takes place. But isn't it the duty of the authorities too to make tourists aware?

Hats off to Beximco Pharma!

Some days ago, a leading daily reported that one of our renowned pharmaceutical companies, Beximco pharma, has achieved the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certificate for maintaining proper quality of medicines and efficiency in dealing with medicine manufacturing. Undoubtedly, it is a great achievement. Such kind of accomplishment will revive the export condition of our drugs to the foreign countries. As drug industry is one of the top rated industries in our country, such accomplishment will speed up the spirit of other sectors to excel in their performance. Hats off to Beximco Pharma!

The Economist's "Embraceable You "

I have read with interest the recent article published by the Economist (July 30th August 5th) and find our Government's reaction somewhat exaggerated. The analysis had more to do with India's approach to fast tracking its good neighbourly relations than having a dig at Bangladesh's political situation. For those of us familiar with the Economist, the observations were routine and in line with previous write-ups. To the Government's credit it refrained from making the elementary mistake of deleting sections of the article or, unthinkably, banning the issue. For the depth of its analysis, fluidity of presentation and uncanny knack to predict the future the Economist has come to be a must read for so many government functionaries and policymakers. It spotted Obama way before he became a threat to Hilary and in recent times has heaped praise on the Arab Spring arguing that its inherent democratic strength far outweighs the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism. Following on from its Leader, it criticized India for its over-reliance on the Awami League and shunning meetings with the BNP. For its part the Awami League must therefore demonstrate its maturity in engaging in bi-partisan politics. The Awami League would do well to concentrate on core issues: improving the lot of the poor, drastic steps to improve infrastructure (some achievements like reduction in infant mortality rates and rise in agricultural output are praiseworthy but more needs to be done), seen to be tolerant and ensuring justice on a level playing field. It will then be a matter of time before the Economist says less about this “beggar infested city of Dhaka” and more about the Emerging Tiger of South Asia. Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful!

Be proactive please

No two people are similar. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni is right that the family of Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia are different in respect of education and lifestyle. The Economist's report did not point to this difference. The recent happenings across the country prove that people are reeling under government's misrule: Innocent students like Kader and Limon are subjected to barbarous treatment at the hands of police who are supposed to protect innocent people. Things have come to such a pass that Government's sweet will rather than the rule of law determines every affair of the state. At the face of such atrocities media from home and abroad are doing their commendable job of warning the government but the government seems to be incorrigible and unheeded to all those calls for justice and respectability. People do not bother whether the 2008 election was masterminded by India, what they want is respectable living in peace and security. People seem to be waiting patiently for the government to be proactive and return to sense.

Commerce minister's advice

Commerce Minister Faruq Khan, on August 4, asked people to eat less in order to avoid problems like adulteration and price hike of food items. It is so preposterous that we do not know whether to laugh or cry. It is the government's duty to rectify these problems. How could commerce minister tell people to cut down on their food intake?

ONLINE VOICES

Roads collapse, minister smiles
Transport boss high on mega projects, low on road repair
(August 16, 2011)

International

Militant attacks kill 25 in Afghanistan

Bomb attacks killed 25 people in Afghanistan yesterday, ripping through a minibus packed with civilians and targeting a US-run base in the east bordering Pakistan, officials said.

Anna Hazare accepts release offer

Detained Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has agreed to a police offer which will permit him to go on hunger strike in a park for 15 days, his aide says.

Case against Hazare

A case was filed in a Bihar court yesterday against social activists Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly insulting the national flag during a reality television show, officials said.

Indian spokesman points finger at US over protests

A spokesman for India's ruling party has suggested the United States might have a role in the wave of anti-corruption protests posing a growing challenge to the government.

Series of attacks kill 7 in Israel

Gunmen killed seven people in southern Israel yesterday in attacks along the Egyptian border and Israel responded with an air strike in the Gaza Strip that killed six Palestinians, including the leaders of a group it blamed for the violence.

Karachi violence claims 31 lives

At least 31 people have been killed in 24 hours of political violence in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi.

Biden bonds with China's vice president

US Vice President Joe Biden waxed glowingly about China's vice president yesterday at the start of a five-day visit that will give them some serious bonding time.

Nepal parties meet but fail to reach agreement

Leaders of Nepal's two largest parties met yesterday but failed to reach agreement on who should lead the next government, officials said.

New arrest in UK hacking scandal

British police made a new arrest yesterday in the country's tabloid phone hacking scandal, amid fresh scrutiny of Rupert Murdoch's media empire after newly disclosed documents appeared to contradict testimony his son and top aide gave to UK lawmakers.

Pakistan 'can bring Haqqani to peace talks'

Pakistan's military says it can bring the notorious Haqqani militant network, considered one of the most lethal threats against US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan, to the negotiation table.

Philippine leader to visit China amid row

Philippine President Benigno Aquino will visit China this month in an effort to deepen trade ties despite an increasingly bitter row over rival claims to the South China Sea, officials said yesterday.

Myanmar govt urges talks with rebels

Myanmar's new government yesterday called for peace talks with armed separatists along its borders with Thailand and China, the latest in a series of conciliatory gestures towards long-time opponents of the former military regime.

Russia loses contact with satellite after launch

Russia was attempting to locate its major new telecommunications satellite yesterday just hours after launch in what could be another serious mishap for its space industry.

Viral outbreak kills 81 children in Vietnam

Vietnam is battling to control an unusually severe outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease that has killed 81 children this year and infected tens of thousands more, health officials said yesterday.

Turkish planes attack Iraq's PKK bases

Turkish aircraft have attacked 60 sites in northern Iraq used as bases by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in a "successful" operation, military headquarters said in a statement.

UN urges end to crisis cycle

The United Nations food agency called yesterday for long-term aid for farmers in the Horn of Africa, saying constant crises in the region should shame the world.

HC judge impeached for the first time in India

India's upper house of parliament impeached a High Court justice on corruption charges yesterday, against a backdrop of mass anti-graft protests across the country.

Arts & Entertainment

“Kagojer Phool was to be the prequel to Matir Moina”

Actor-reciter Jayanta Chattopadhyay has known Tareque Masud closely, and worked with him, for nearly three decades. Starting with voice-over for “Adam Surat” (a documentary on artist SM Sultan -- one of Masud's earliest works), Chattopadhyay acted in “Matir Moina”, “Ontorjatra” and “Runway”. The actor was cast in “Kagojer Phool” which was to be Masud's next film. Chattopadhyay is clearly one of the few who can provide an in-depth insight into the recently deceased filmmaker's working method.

Memorial programmes for Tareque Masud, Mishuk Munier and Mridulkanti Chakrobarty

Cultural organisations in Dhaka are holding programmes to pay tribute to the recently deceased filmmaker Tareque Masud, cinematographer and CEO of ATN News Mishuk Munier and folk researcher Dr. Mridulkanti Chakrobarty.

National Mourning Day observed

Hossain Seraj, Magura

Baul Mon on Banglavision

Banglavision will telecast a folk music programme titled “Baul Mon” on the third day of Eid-ul-Fitr at 5:15pm. The show will be hosted by singer Biplob. Produced by Mamun Khan, the programme will feature musical performances by noted folk singers Chandana Majumdar, Kuddus Boyati, Pathik Nabi, Shanaz Beli and Moon.

Souls' digital album “Jam” launched

Pioneering band Souls, in association with Grameenphone Limited, launched its first digital album “Jam” on August 17 at Hotel Ruposhi Bangla in Dhaka. The album is available exclusively to subscribers of Grameenphone. The new album features lyrics written by and performance of the winners of a talent hunt, “Souls Featuring You”.

Bangladeshi art collectors participating in Venice exhibition

Samdani, a Bangladeshi art initiative by art collectors Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani, has been invited to take part in OPEN, the 14th edition of International Exhibition of Sculptures and Installations in Venice, Italy, says a press release. The exhibition is held under the patronage of the Italian cultural ministry, Italian ministry for foreign affairs, the Veneto region, the province of Venice and Venice City Council. This year, the exhibition will present the works of 30 internationally renowned artists from all over the world, including for the first time the participation of Bangladesh, curated by Ebadur Rahman (the artistic director of Samdani). Rahman is collaborating with Bangladeshi artist Ronni Ahmmed to stage an installation called “The Tomb of Qara kÖz”. As part of the Samdani team, Wahid Zaman (grand prize winner at the 14th Asian Biennial) will travel, as well, to Venice, to help mount the installation. The exhibition will be on from September 1 and continue will October 2.

“Himalayan Meltdown” screened at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka

Over 50,000 glaciers are rapidly defrosting in the Himalayan region, threatening billions of lives and livelihood throughout Asia, according to a documentary that was screened at the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, in Dhanmondi on August 17, says a press release. The 45-minute documentary, titled “Himalayan Meltdown”, has been co-produced by UNDP and Arrowhead Films.

OP-ED

The Law of Conservation of Tragedy

American politician Robert Kennedy had defined tragedy before he fell prey to one himself in a Los Angeles hotel where an assassin named Sirhan Sirhan shot him to death in 1968. He said tragedy was a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live. Little did he know that within three years after his death, a nation would be born to adopt his advice with a reverse twist. It would choose not to learn from its tragedies but to repeat them again and again.

Downgrading America? Not so fast…

It was 8am on Saturday, August 6, here in Singapore when news hit the wires that the credit ratings agency, Standard and Poor's, had downgraded the long-term rating of the United States government from AAA to AA+. The press release went on to say that the decision reflected that "the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges."

Shifting sands: Ears to the ground

Does it have the resonance of a Bengali proverb: When an elephant is stuck in a mud-pool, even a frog flicks a kick at it? Evo Molares, President of Bolivia, a socialist country, back from a recent trip to Beijing has said it, more perhaps in sarcasm than in jest: China would be so powerful economically that it could one day "colonise the USA." A hyperbole, yes; but it is perhaps already nearing that state of affairs, if we can use a figure of speech.

London's week of humiliation

Let's be absolutely clear from the outset, getting law and order back on the streets of London is the first priority. So getting 10,000 extra police appears to have done this immediately. And as post mortems begin on the possible reasons for eruption of lawlessness on this scale, there is not, and can never be, any justification for human beings threatening and ultimately destroying the lives of those who live beside them, particularly amongst London's varied communities.

Atapuerca's place in human evolution

Burgos is a medium-size historical town situated a little over two hundred kilometres north of Madrid, the capital of Spain. The gently rolling hills, known as the Sierra de Atapuerca (Unesco World Heritage Site), lie a few kilometres east of Burgos in the north-eastern corner of the Castilian plateau.

StarTech

Virtual wallet for all

Bangladesh's first complete mobile financial services provider, bKash Ltd, a BRAC Bank subsidiary, launched its operations on July 21. A tête-à-tête with Kamal Quadir, chief executive of bKash Ltd., gives a glimpse into his vision for mobile banking in Bangladesh.

Your smartphone: a new frontier for hackers

Hackers are out to stymie your smartphone.

HTC accuses Apple of patent infringement

Taiwan's HTC Corp. accused Apple of patent infringement on Tuesday in the latest salvo in an ongoing legal battle between the smartphone giants.

IBM pursues brain-like chips

Computers, like humans, can learn. But when Google tries to fill in your search box based only on a few keystrokes, or your iPhone predicts words as you type a text message, it's only a narrow mimicry of what the human brain is capable.



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