The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 14th of September, 2011

Front Page

Moeen blames caretaker govt

Former army chief Moeen U Ahmed yesterday blamed field-level officials of the army, DGFI and caretaker administration for the atrocities on Dhaka University teachers and students in August 2007.

He was critical of 'delayed actions'

The then army chief Moeen U Ahmed was critical of the military-backed caretaker regime's taking time in imposing a curfew and closing down public universities to contain flaring up of August 2007 campus violence, according to a recently leaked US embassy cable .

Now Louis Kahn's JS masterpiece at stake

In the face of pressure from Bangladesh Air Force, the government has decided to change the course of the much-talked-about metro rail, and take it through the parliament complex.

No revenge

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had binned a proposal for prosecuting former army chief Moeen U Ahmed and members of the army-backed caretaker regime of 2007-2008, according to a leaked cable of the US embassy in Dhaka.

Amin told ban imminent

Just a month before the campus violence in August 2007, the then caretaker government was planning to impose a ban on student politics, according to a leaked US embassy cable.

Abul invites TIB to evaluate his ministry's activities

The communications minister yesterday invited the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) to look into any irregularities in the activities of his ministry.

Musa on top of Kilimanjaro

Musa Ibrahim, the first Bangladeshi to conquer Mount Everest, put another feather in his cap by scaling Kibo, the highest summit of Kilimanjaro Mountain in Tanzania, on Monday at 10:48am along with co-mountaineer Niaz Morshed Patwari.

Recruitment of cops stuck in red tape

Red tape has held back the recruitment of over 15,000 policemen for two years.

Self-confessed corrupt officers finally face action

The communications ministry, which was showing reluctance to punish self-confessed corrupt officials of the Roads and Highways Department, is finally going to proceed with departmental actions against them.

Taliban attack US embassy in Kabul, 6 killed

Taliban gunmen armed with suicide bombs and heavy weaponry yesterday launched coordinated attacks in Kabul, targeting Nato's headquarters, the US embassy killing six, which was coincided with a video release by al-Qaeda marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Huda calls Bangabandhu father of the nation

BNP leader Nazmul Huda yesterday said he has no hesitation to call Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the father of the nation as his historical March 7 speech inspired the nation for achieving country's independence.

Khaleda to unveil anti-govt agitation at Sept 27 rally

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will announce anti-government agitation programmes from a rally in the capital on September 27.

Tribunal asks for video clippings on Sayedee

The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday asked the prosecution to supply the copies of video clippings on crimes allegedly committed by Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee during the Liberation War to his counsels by tomorrow.

Govt to issue 6 ITC licences this month

The government will issue six licences for setting up international terrestrial cables (ITC) connecting the country with the world via India.

BIWTC faces loss in ferry operations

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation is incurring a loss of about Tk 16 lakh a day for the last one week due to the disruption of ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia route in the Padma for poor navigability, BIWTC officials said.

Papua New Guinea jolted by 6.2 quake

The Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea was jolted by a 6.2-magnitude earthquake yesterday, but no tsunami warning was issued.

Editorial

Severe ferry dislocation

The choked ferry services along the Paturia-Daulatdia route on the Padma River have been exacting a heavy price. This cross-river ferry providing a link between the capital city and the southwestern districts carries a large number of passengers as well as goods.

Media in vulnerable state

Only yesterday we commented in these columns on the draft broadcasting policy formulated by the government, arguing that such a policy would be retrogressive and counter-productive. We feel that pressure of various sorts being put on the media is a reflection of abrasive behaviour on the part of the powers that be as well as their supporters.

Sports

Stunning Novak keeps rolling

Novak Djokovic was on the wrong side of the court, and the celebration, a year ago after the last ball was struck in the U.S. Open final.

King of 2011

Novak Djokovic capped one of tennis's greatest seasons with a awe-inspiring US Open triumph on Monday that could just signal an end to the sport's obsession with "Rafa v Roger" finals.

Emily, Mithun banned, fined

National striking duo Zahid Hasan Emily and Mithun Chowdhury and winger Zahid Hossain have been suspended from domestic circuit for different terms and also handed monetary punishments for their breach of discipline before and during the FIFA World Cup Pre-Qualifiers against Lebanon in July.

Cubs suffer 2nd loss

Mahmudullah Riyad and Elias Sunny gave strong all-round performances in Bangladesh A's 56-run win over the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy in the BCB Cup yesterday.

ODI at Ctg also D/N affair

All three one-day internationals between Bangladesh and West Indies will be held under floodlights.

Mission Djokovic for Nadal

Rafael Nadal was sent reeling to another bruising defeat by Novak Djokovic on Monday, but insisted his US Open disappointment had only strengthened his resolve to reassert himself against the Serb.

Cook, Trott pick top awards

England batsmen Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott were named respectively Test player of the year and player of the year at a ceremony hosted by the sport's governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday.

ICC okays new qualifying system for World Cup

Cricket's governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC) approved a new system of qualifying for the 2015 World Cup here on Monday.

Roxy, eight young booters summoned

Coach Mahbub Hossain Roxy and eight U-19 footballers were verbally warned by the National Team Management Committee at the BFF House yesterday.

Turner points at the gap

It was always going to be an uphill task for the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy side during the BCB Cup and head coach Ross Turner believes that there is a marked difference between his youngsters and the rest.

Serena escapes with fine

Serena Williams on Monday escaped with a fine of just $2,000 for her US Open final rant, when she launched an angry tirade against the chair umpire in Sunday's title match.

First Division cricket from October 23

The First Division Cricket League will start from October 23, and the inter-club player's transfer for the league will be held on September 28 and September 29.

The M factor

Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Munich. The "M" factor has been a feature of the recent history of Europe's premier club competition - but there is a new kid on the block this season with the arrival on the Champions League stage of big-spenders Manchester City.

No spark from QPR

Colourful midfielder Joey Barton was handed the captain's armband by QPR manager Neil Warnock on his debut against his former club Newcastle United here on Monday but was unable to deliver them victory in a 0-0 draw.

Wenger fears financial elites

Arsene Wenger has spoken of his fear that Arsenal are being left behind by a financially elite cartel led by Barcelona and Real Madrid. Arsenal's manager also name-checked Chelsea and Manchester City as part of a group of clubs whose spending power has separated them from the rest of Europe's sides.

Malaga hits back with win

Bigspending Malaga rebounded from an opening defeat to hand newboys Granada a resounding 4-0 defeat on Monday in the Spanish championship.

Ferdinand out of Man Utd opener

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand will miss the Premier League champions' opening Champions League Group C match against Benfica in Lisbon on Wednesday, the club said on Tuesday.

British comedian swims Thames

British comedian David Walliams completed a 140-mile (225-kilometre) swim down the River Thames on Monday, having fought off "Thames tummy" to reach the Houses of Parliament.

Business

SEC assures investors of steps to raise credit

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has assured the stockmarket investors that the central bank will increase the adjustment period of single-party exposure limit from December 31 in a bid to enhance credit flow in the market.

Fuel prices to rise: Muhith

The government plans to increase fuel prices this fiscal year to cut the pressure of subsidy on the national budget, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday. But he did not mention when it will take place.

Oxfam study questions food sufficiency estimates

An Oxfam supported alliance of 200 NGOs yesterday questioned the validity of government's estimates, saying Bangladesh should have achieved food sufficiency since 2005-06 if the official data on population, consumption and production had been correct.

Stocks return from deep loss

Stocks returned to the black yesterday after four days of a losing streak as the regulator moved to increase the liquidity flow to the bruised stockmarket and rebuild investor confidence.

IMF suggests quick fix to infrastructure to attract FDI

Better infrastructure and business environment can help attract more foreign investment to Bangladesh, a senior official of the International Monetary Fund said yesterday.

Telcos urge regulator to alter licence guideline

Four mobile phone operators urged the telecom regulator yesterday to reconsider the VAT, employment and loan regulations of the final 2G licence renewal guideline.

Faruk seeks Japan's support for trade fair in Tokyo

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan arrived in Tokyo on Monday on an official visit at the invitation of the government of Japan, the embassy of Bangladesh said in a statement.

Regent Airways adds Sylhet to its route

Regent Airways has connected Sylhet to its domestic route as its fourth destination from Dhaka, the private airliner said in a statement yesterday.

Captain's World now in Dhanmondi

Captain's World, a sister concern of Canteen Stores Department (CSD) owned by Bangladesh Armed Forces, opened its third outlet in Dhanmondi in Dhaka yesterday.

Emerging nations to discuss aid to Europe

Emerging economies which make up the BRICS group will discuss possible aid to the European Union to help it confront its debt crisis, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Tuesday.

BB sets lending rate for solar home systems

Microfinance institutions and banks will not be able to charge more than 12 percent interest on loans for installation of solar home systems in off-grid areas.

Old ghost haunts stocks

The blazing sun on a Tuesday morning turned the capital city hot, but failed to deter investors from taking to the streets. Paying no attention to the scorching heat, some 200 investors took their places in front of the premier bourse half an hour before the start of regular share trade.

Metropolitan

Call to remove currupt ministers

Civil society leaders and road safety activists yesterday demanded resignation of all corrupt ministers and investigation into the irregularities in different government offices.

Stipend for degree-level girls gets Ecnec nod

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved a Tk 343-crore stipend project for degree-level female students.

Bangladesh ends first round of arguments in int'l court

Bangladesh has concluded the first round of its arguments on its claim in the maritime boundary dispute with Myanmar at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany.

Dipu Moni terms Indian PM's visit big success

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has hit back at the opposition for their wholesale criticism of the outcome of the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Dhaka.

ACC starts action against 448 self-confessed corrupt people

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has launched action against all the 448 people who were exempted by now defunct Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) for confessing their involvement in corruption and surrendering the ill-gotten wealth.

Road crashes kill 4, injure 3

Four people, including one octogenarian and two teenage boys, were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents in Bogra, Sirajganj and Gazipur yesterday.

Demolition of illegal structures continues

A joint team of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) and Dhaka district administration continued demolishing illegal structures on Kalyanpur Gha Khal (canal) for the second day yesterday.

$3.69m deal with FAO signed

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations will give Bangladesh $3.69 million technical assistance to build up capacity for investment in agricultural development.

SC judge feels embarrassed

A Supreme Court judge yesterday felt embarrassed to hear a petition for staying a High Court verdict that declared the appointment of 807 National University staff illegal.

'Remove chemical depots from Old Dhaka'

Some environmentalists yesterday reiterated their demand that chemical factories and warehouses be removed from the residential areas in Old Dhaka.

BNP submits audit report

The main opposition BNP and Workers Party submitted their annual audit report to the Election Commission yesterday, two days before the deadline for the submission expires.

No legal bar to continue trial of Pintu

There is no legal bar to continue trial of former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and other accused in the Pilkhana carnage case as a High Court bench rejected his petition yesterday.

Shipping minister sues Jugantor editor

A Dhaka court yesterday summoned the editor, executive editor and a reporter of the Daily Jugantor asking them to appear before the court on October 18, hours after a defamation case was filed against them by the shipping minister.

BCL factions clash at JU

A factional clash of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) unit of Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday left two activists injured and a campus hall vandalised.

Half-digitalised JU admission process adds to students' woes

Admission seekers at Jahangirnagar University (JU) are suffering due to its complicated procedure to collect and submit application forms for admission while the process is made easier at other universities like Dhaka University and Shahjalal University of Science & Technology.

Pro-BNP lawyers scuffle at doa mahfil

Two factions of pro-BNP lawyers yesterday scuffled at a doa and milad mahfil in memory of advocate MU Ahmed in the auditorium of Dhaka Bar Association in the old part of the city.

Pran staff found dead

A private company employee was found dead on rail track in the city's Banani on Monday evening after three days into his missing.

One killed in Cox's Bazar gunfight

At least one was killed and five others injured in a 'gunfight' between a gang of illegal loggers and forest guards in Tulabagan on Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Road yesterday morning.

'Remove Abul'

Activists and leaders of different socio-political and cultural organisations yesterday demanded resignation of Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain.

2 cops closed for creating public nuisance

Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP) authority last night closed a male and a female police officer to the police lines and launched probe into allegations against them that they created public nuisance at Puthia upazila remaining absent in duty in the city.

SC stays HC order till October 16

The Supreme Court yesterday stayed a High Court order till October 16 which earlier directed police to arrest the officials, doctors and nurses allegedly responsible for the death of a newborn at Ibn Sina Hospital.

35 Jamaat men on remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed 35 activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on a four-day remand in two cases filed for assaulting police and an attempt to kidnap one of them.

Indian minister due tomorrow

Cooperation between India and Bangladesh in power sector is expected to come up for discussion when Indian Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde visits Dhaka on September 15.

Woman succumbs to burn injuries

A housewife succumbed to her burn injuries yesterday morning after fighting for life for 12 days in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

Danish businessman in city

Dr Haldor Topsøe, chairman and founder of the Topsøe Company in Denmark, came on a five-day official visit to Bangladesh on September 11, says a press release.

British national confesses crime

The British national, who was arrested in Sylhet city for allegedly abusing a Bangladeshi boy, gave a confessional statement yesterday before the court in the presence of Senior Judicial Magistrate Shamsuddin Masum.

Nine car lifters held

A team of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) with the help of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested nine car lifters from different areas in Chittagong and Dhaka and recovered one stolen sedan car.

10,000 Yaba tablets seized

A team of Coast Guard arrested three drug peddlers and recovered 10,000 pieces of Yaba tablets from an engine-run trawler near St Martin's Island in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

One stabbed to death in Ctg

Police recovered the stabbing body of a young man under the bridge of Batajuri Taktar Pool at Barama Canal under Chandanaish Police Station in the port city yesterday.

Ctg CBA election tomorrow

The election of Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) will be held tomorrow.

National

Worrying bomb blasts in Meherpur

Frequent bomb blasts in Meherpur district by criminals including extortionists and outlaws have become a cause of concern for the people.

Rival BNP men in Barisal lock in fierce clash

At least eight people were injured and six vehicles damaged during a fierce clash between two rival groups of BNP in Barisal city yesterday.

Girl killed in fire, couple held for 'bid' to kill girl

A 9-year-old girl was killed in fire on Sunday night while a couple was held on Monday for alleged bid to kill a young girl by setting her on fire.

AL men block highway demanding release of leader held for 'looting'

Leaders and activists of Ramgarh upazila Awami League yesterday blocked Khagrachhari-Feni road in Ramgarh Bazar area for seven hours from 6:00am demanding release of one of their leaders arrested on Monday night.

Rampant poaching threatens deer population

Deer population in the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest, is seriously threatened owing to the animal's rampant and indiscriminate poaching in the last few years.

Culvert collapses only nine months into construction

A culvert on Galachipa launch terminal approach road collapsed nine months into its construction, causing immense trouble to the passengers.

Geologist Nadim of Bangladesh dies

Hurricane victim Bangladeshi geologist Nadimuzzaman Khan, working at American oil and gas exploration company Geokinetics, died at a hospital in Mexico on Monday.

250 more bullets seized in Jhenaigati

Around 250 rifle bullets were recovered from a village close to the border in Jhenaigati upazila of Sherpur yesterday morning.

College student murdered

Criminals hacked a college student to death in broad daylight in front of his college in Sadar upazila yesterday.

Deed writers go on strike in B'baria

Sub-registrar and employees of land registry office in Banchharampur upazila went on strike for indefinite period yesterday protesting attack on them by local Jubo League activists.

Five Jamaat men held in Pabna

Police arrested five Jamaat men from Santhia poura market area yesterday evening as the party men held anti government procession in Santhia municipality market area defying restriction. Earlier, police foiled the jamaat men's procession.

Abducted schoolgirl rescued

Police rescued a schoolgirl from Dhaka Bus Stand area in the town yesterday.

Outlaw hacked to death

An operative of Janajudhha faction of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) was hacked to death early yesterday at a remote village in Pabna. Police recovered the body of Abu Hanif, 35, of Santhia upazila, at about 9:00am from Goyalgram village in Faridpur upazila. Md Abdul Hamid, officer in-charge of Faridpur police station, said the body was left on the spot after the criminals hacked Hanif to death. His body bore marks of many injuries, he said adding the body was sent to Pabna Medical College and Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Man killed in Fatikchhari

Criminals shot dead a young man in Sarkari Daba area under Fatikchhari upazila of Chittagong yesterday. The victim was identified as Nirmal Chakma, 30, son of Pulindra Chakma of Dudduri villige under Lakshmichhari upazila of Khagrachhari district. Police said, a group of criminals numbering 8-10 opened fire on Nirmal at Sarkari Daba area after he went to the nearest Somurhat bazar in the morning. The criminals also chopped Nirmal with sharp weapons and fled the scene leaving the body, said officer in-charge of Fatikchhari police station Liakat Ali. Meanwhile, Lakshmichhari upazila coordinator of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) Sulka Chakma condemned the incident. He blamed their rival Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) for the incident and demanded immediate arrest of the criminals.

Youth jailed for stalking

A mobile court yesterday convicted a youth for sexually harassing a schoolgirl and sentenced him to six months' imprisonment in Bakshiganj upazila. The convict was identified as Rashed,25, son of late Abu Zafar of Nilokkhia village under Bakshiganj upazila of the district. According to police, Rashed used to tease the girl on her way to and from school. Being informed, police arrested him while teasing the girl on Monday afternoon.

Wheat meant for VGD seized

Bahubal police in Habiganj yesterday seized 250 sacks of wheat allotted for VGD programme while those were being taken for selling on black market. The truck used for the purpose was also seized and seven people were arrested. They are Hashem Mia, Shahrukh Miah, Rama Sattan and Kajol Miah, all aged below 30. Officer in-charge of Bahubal police station Inspector Syeduzzaman told this correspondent that acting on a tip-off the lawmen raided Shahin Traders at Bahubal Bhitor Bazaar and seized the said wheat.

Two electrocuted in N'ganj

Two people were electrocuted in separate incidents in Araihazar and Bandor upazilas of the district on Monday night and yesterday. Office in-charge of Araihazar police station Syed Nazrul Islam said yesterday morning that Tanvir, 7, son of Abdul Aziz received severe shock at his residence at Panchbaria village while repairing an electric switch. He later died at Araihazar upazila health complex. Harun-or-Rashid, officer in-charge of Bandor police station said Palash, 25, son of Tamiz Uddin was electrocuted at a dockyard in Sonakanda area while he was giving an illegal electric connection from a power poll.

Three pirates arrested

Police arrested three notorious pirates early Sunday from Bakultala village under Mongla upazila of Bagerhat district. The arrestees were identified as Bacchu,36, son of Jalil Khan, Baki,34, and Khalil,30, sons of Kuddus Khan of the same upazila. All of them belonged to notorious Raju Bahini of the Sundarbans and so long wanted in several criminal cases for extortion and kidnapping of fishermen for ransom, police said. They are being interrogated at Mongla PS in connection with some recent incidents of piracy, police said.

Letters

Woes of the capital city

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is in a very deplorable state. Of course the number of apartments, shopping malls, posh cars and expensive hospitals built in the city, does not go with my statement. But in reality, the citizens are in problem as there is inadequate supply of electricity, gas and water. In many places the water supply is unhygienic and contains pathogens. The basic needs of the people are not being fulfilled. The problem is worsening with every passing day. The roads are jam- packed with vehicles and even most of the footpaths are occupied by hawkers and the pedestrians are forced to walk on the road. The roads are occupied by parked vehicles and in many places more than half of the road is occupied .Unfortunately, the sight is common in most parts of the capital, especially near the malls, hospitals, etc. The public are in a desperate situation. Needless to mention the condition of the roads. The potholes on the roads have already caused many accidents, while many are taking place every day. These are like death traps for the bike riders and they also slow down the traffic movement. Unfortunately, the government hospitals are also in a poor condition and they need good governance and good maintenance. We all know these problems but we don't try to find a solution. I expect all the readers of this letter will try to do whatever they can to solve the problems. If we can correct ourselves, then no doubt we can address the issue and do at least something for the country.

Eat fresh and help the planet

It has become almost a Herculean task for people to find good foods as fruits, fishes and vegetables available in the market are mixed with formalin and other hazardous preservatives. Eating out is not safe at all as those snacks that are served are fried in stale oil. Even eating dates in Ramadan is not safe nowadays as those are preserved with formalin and medicine.

A farce, indeed!

The picture shown above is a bird's eye view. Here we can see that the India's portion of Teesta is full of water, but Bangladesh's portion is not. What is the worth of this treaty? It seems there is not an iota of patriotism here. There is no accountability of our leaders. They are just fulfilling their own ambition. Indian politicians are working in their country's interest.

Road or death trap?

After the deaths of former finance minister Saifur Rahman, athlete Alam Mahbub, cricketer Rana, Shetu, filmmaker Tareque Masud, media personality Mishuk Munier, how many more such names are required to draw the attention of the authorities concerned? The highways across the country have, so to say, turned into a death trap claiming lives of many talented and eminent personalities. The tragic deaths of acclaimed filmmaker Tareque Masud and CEO of ATN News Mishuk Munier on Dhaka-Aricha highway made the list of high-profile deaths in road accident longer. This is not a sheer accident, but virtually a murder for which the government is responsible. Every year over 3,000 passengers die in road accidents, shows official statistics, while NGOs say it is no less than 12,000. No doubt that this rate is the highest in the world. Lack of trained drivers, rash driving and lack of punishment are mainly considered as the causes of accidents. But I strongly believe that absence of dividers on the highways is basically at the root of accidents as almost all the cases vehicles collide head-on with another. The realistic solution is to make all our national highways double-lane with dividers all along.

India must implement water sharing agreement

The people of Bangladesh became disappointed after learning that the much anticipated agreement on sharing Teesta and Feni waters was not going to be signed.

Teesta water and a few questions

It looks like Mamata, the chief minister of Paschimbanga, has become a villain for India/Bangladesh treaty with her U turn on the water sharing issue. It is difficult for us to understand what may have changed her mind at the 11th hour. If we go slightly in to details and look around the Indian states surrounding Bangladesh, the question of solving the Mamata puzzle becomes clear and scary at the same time.

The constitution is not a scripture

The constitution of Bangladesh is now suddenly elevated to the status of a sacred religious scripture. The media seems to portray it as sacred and sacrosanct. Why so, may I humbly ask? This document is supposed to reflect the hopes and aspirations of our people as well as the values and principles that they cherish and uphold. It is not a divine and infallible edict and criticizing it should not mean that we have to question that person's loyalty, allegiance or patriotism. The constitution itself guarantees the right to free speech. The irony is that the constitution also guarantees certain fundamental human rights and expressly prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Yet on a daily basis, in the name of remand, citizens routinely face police brutality in the form of threats, intimidation and torture. How do we allow law enforcers to violate and trample a fundamental right and yet want to hold those people accountable who dare to exercise their constitutional right of free speech?

Wrong translation

The Daily Star on 27th August 2011 published a report on 'Shab-e-Qadr'. The report in the last page mentioned “According to the Holy Qur'an, the night is better than 1000 nights...” It was a wrong translation of the Quranic verse.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star report headlined “Metro rail stops at air force red signal”

International

Pakistan flood situation worsens, 270 killed

Pakistan called on the world yesterday to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country.

Pak school bus attack kills four children

Pakistan's Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on a school bus yesterday which killed five people, saying the children on the bus were from a pro-government tribe.

Libya leaders commit to 'moderate' Islamic rule

Libya's new leaders pledged "moderate" Islamic rule and affirmed their commitment to human rights yesterday, even as their fighters were accused of committing possible war crimes.

Ties sour between Congress and Trinomul

Rough edges have developed in relations between India's ruling Congress party and its senior coalition partner in Pachimbanga Trinamool Congress, just over three months after the two parties fought together to end 34 years of Left Front rule in state assembly elections.

Israel's blockade of Gaza illegal: UN experts

Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip violates international law, a panel of human rights experts reporting to a UN body said yesterday, disputing a conclusion reached by a separate UN probe into Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

Iran to pardon US 'spy' hikers

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said in interviews yesterday that Iran would release two US hikers jailed for spying in a couple of days on bail which their lawyer said had been set at $500,000 each.

Angolan beauty wins

Angola's Leila Lopes has become the new Miss Universe, edging out beauties from Ukraine, Brazil, the Philippines and China as the pageant marked its 60th anniversary.

MPs recall James Murdoch

James Murdoch is to face more questions from MPs investigating the News of the World (NoW) phone-hacking scandal.

Australia too launches media probe

Australia yesterday said it would hold a media inquiry following the British hacking scandal which sank Rupert Murdoch's best-selling tabloid News of the World.

Carbon tax bill presented at Aussi parliament

Cheers and howls erupted in Australia's Parliament House on Tuesday after Prime Minister Julia Gillard presented a bill for a contentious new pollution tax to combat climate change.

Arabs pledge support

Arab foreign ministers agreed in a meeting attended by Palestinian chief Mahmud Abbas on Monday to marshal support for a Palestinian bid for UN membership this month despite Israeli and US opposition.

Train collision in Chennai, 15 killed

At least 15 people were believed to be killed and up to 80 injured when two passenger trains collided in southern India yesterday, local police said.

Laughter is the best medicine

A rattling good laugh with friends will help you deal with pain thanks to opiate-like chemicals that flood the brain, according to a British study released today.

US poverty rate hits record high

The US poverty rate rose in 2010 to 15.1 percent, the highest rate since 1993, the Census Bureau reported yesterday in another sign of a sputtering economy following a deep recession.

UN Sri Lanka report sent to UNHRC

UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Monday sent a report accusing Sri Lankan troops of killing tens of thousands of civilians to the UN Human Rights Council, bringing a potential international inquiry one step closer.

Top militant killed in Kashmir

A top commander of a powerful Pakistan-based militant group was shot dead yesterday by Indian troops during a gunbattle in a sensitive township in Indian Kashmir, police said.

Kashmir bus plunge kills 16 in India

At least 16 people were killed and 23 others injured yesterday when a passenger bus plunged into a deep gorge in Indian-administered Kashmir, police said.

US will not be cowed by Kabul attacks

Americans will not be cowed and will continue to work in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday after Taliban gunmen attacked the US embassy in Kabul.

3 soldiers killed in Yemen

Suspected al-Qaeda militants killed three Yemeni soldiers and wounded five yesterday in new fighting for the southern city of Zinjibar, medical and military officials said.

Child abuse victims sue pope for crimes against humanity

An international group for victims of sexual abuse by priests said today they were suing Pope Benedict XVI through the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Egypt military to widen state of emergency

One of Egypt's ruling generals said Monday the military will expand a state of emergency because of a "breach in public security" after protesters stormed Israel's embassy and clashed with police, state news agency MENA reported.

Myanmar says 20,000 prisoners released

Myanmar has released about 20,000 prisoners this year under an amnesty programme, the country's foreign minister said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

A bonding of heritage and nature

Dhaka music connoisseurs were seen eagerly waiting at the entrance of Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on September 12. Though it was the award giving ceremony of 'Celebrating Life', the main attraction was a live performance by Indian classical vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan. 'Celebrating Life' is an annual talent hunt recognising emerging photographers, filmmakers and lyricists, organised by The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh.

OP-ED

Diplomacy is not about closing doors

People are still talking about the Manmohan Singh visit to Bangladesh. A good number of them are taking it out on Mamata Banerjee and of course for the right reasons. Again, there are those who have been doing their best to pin the blame on prime ministerial advisors Gowher Rizvi and Mashiur Rahman for the "fiasco." They did not do a good job, so the argument goes. Well, yes and no. There are always the diverse analyses of summits between heads of governments, about their ramifications.

Enforcing imperial legacy

Not many will shed tears if Col. Muammar el-Gaddafi is captured by Western-backed rebel forces, which are closing in on him. Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years, tyrannising its people and using its oil wealth to finance various misadventures, including a terrorist attack on an airliner, and attempts to acquire mass-destruction weapons.

Four phases of Gaddafi's rule

On September 1, Muammar Gaddafi would have been a ruler for exactly 42 years, making him the longest ruler of a country.

Last train from WTC

The train pulled into my stop, the World Trade Center. I stepped out and was fumbling in my purse for my Lehman Brothers ID when I heard the blast and then a crashing sound. The world shook for a moment. Then there was a cacophony of screams from outside. Inside the station, pandemonium erupted.

Veto a state, lose an ally

The United States must support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations this month or risk losing the little credibility it has in the Arab world. If it does not, American influence will decline further, Israeli security will be undermined and Iran will be empowered, increasing the chances of another war in the region.

This Day In History

September 14

1829
The Ottoman Empire signs the Treaty of Adrianople with Russia, thus ending the Russo-Turkish War.


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