The Daily Star

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Monday, April 21, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 12th of October, 2011

Front Page

Captain clinches a cliffhanger

One can dream many things, no matter how big it is, but it's not always that the dream comes true in real life. But it happens sometimes when someone like Mushfiqur Rahim appears bigger than his stature. When the Bogra-lad hit a length ball over the deep mid-wicket boundary, a memorable chapter was in Bangladesh cricket history was written on the lush green carpet of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday night.

Biofuel fuels food price

A steep rise in biofuel production and a highly concentrated export market coupled with export restrictions have contributed to the rising food prices across the world, badly affecting countries like Bangladesh.

Next time, the young

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has said if her party wins the next general elections, the younger generation will take the helm of the country.

Regular transit after trial

The government will allow regular transit of Indian goods through Ashuganj river port following the ongoing trial run, but no specific timeframe has yet been set for regular use of the port by India.

A huge digital step forward

The first Bangladesh-assembled laptop “Doel” will take a week to hit the market though Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched its marketing yesterday.

Shamim, Ivy stay firm

Neither Shamim Osman nor Selina Hayat Ivy, the two mayoral hopefuls from the Awami League in the Narayanganj City Corporation election, showed any sign of quitting the race yesterday.

Said to be built, found to be not

In seven years, the authorities of Dhaka Infrastructure Development project constructed 10 Union Parishad complexes and announced the project complete leaving construction of the 11th complex less-than-half done.

Robots made to think

Robots that learn from experience and can solve novel problems -- just like humans -- sound like science fiction.

Gas hope crosses tender barrier

Five years after taking an initiative to set up gas compressors to improve country-wide gas supply flow, and the cancellation of two rounds of tenders and an odd resistance from Petrobangla, the government finally gave the job to Hyundai.

UN distressed by Saudi executions

The UN human rights office yesterday expressed distress at Saudi Arabia's execution of 10 men, including eight Bangladeshis, and urged the kingdom to place a moratorium on the death penalty.

More hurdles ahead if JS complex to be saved

The Metro Rail's proposed alternative route through Khamarbari, Farmgate will face a number of obstructions if the government intends to avoid encroaching upon the parliament premises.

19 policemen withdrawn from Ashulia

Nineteen policemen were withdrawn from Kabirpur outpost in Ashulia yesterday, a day after a schoolteacher died allegedly because of torture in their custody.

Furnace blast at re-rolling mill

At least 10 people including nine workers were injured in a furnace explosion at a steel re-rolling mill in Sitakunda upazila early yesterday.

Maldives takes security help

Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and China will provide physical, technical and financial support to the Maldives to ensure foolproof security during the 17th Saarc Summit to be held in Addu Atoll on November 10-11.

Wildlife bill to be reviewed

In the wake of widespread concern over the contents and implication of the proposed Wildlife (Conservation) Bill 2011, a parliamentary sub-committee yesterday decided to find out its loopholes discussing with experts.

Too much vitamins not good

When it comes to vitamins, it appears you could have too much of a good thing, say researchers who report a link between their use and higher death rates among older women.

Another held in Joypurhat

Police yesterday arrested an alleged member of illegal kidney trade syndicate in Kalai upazila of Joypurhat.

Nato oil tanker torched in SW Pakistan

Two people were killed when gunmen torched an oil tanker carrying fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan in the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan yesterday, officials said.

3 peacekeepers killed in Sudan's Darfur

Three international peacekeepers were killed and six wounded when their patrol came under attack in Sudan's troubled Darfur region, their force said yesterday.

Editorial

Political confrontation

While the rest of the world is bracing for the coming economic crisis, we are bleakly staring at the prospect of a severe political confrontation. Our political leaders are behaving as if we live in an isolated world not linked to a global market, as if global economic turmoil has no impact on us. Already rising oil price is straining our foreign exchange reserve and the protests in the Arab world have negatively impacted on our manpower export. Garment industry having done well is nervous about the impact of the financial crisis in the Eurozone.

Passing of a musical legend

Legendary Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh's sudden passing due to a brain hemorrhage on October 10, 2011 leaves millions of admirers around the world deeply saddened.

Sports

Mushfiq a captain's dream

Scarcely had the ball sailed over the thirty-yard circle did Mushfiqur Rahim let out a war cry signalling victory, that too in his first match as captain of the Tigers. It all seemed to be slipping away just as it had in that heartbreaking third ODI against Zimbabwe in Harare in mid-August, when Mushfiq had battled his way to a brilliant hundred, only to find himself on the losing side after bringing the team painfully close to victory in the last over of the chase.

Smartness in all facets

In the end, it was a matter of choice.

Youths love it

Bangladeshis love cricket, and going by the prevalent mood at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium during the lone T20 against the West Indies yesterday, it is the shortest form of the game that really does the trick for cricket lovers here.

Riyad to miss ODIs

The debut of Mahmudullah Riyad as vice-captain has been put on hold as he was kept out of the 15-menber squad for the three one-day international series against West Indies.

BCB, PCB to pick ICC VP

The International Cricket Council announced yesterday that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to submit their nomination for the ICC vice-presidency for the period between 2012 and 2014.

DRS mandatory no more

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday bowed to India's wishes and made the umpire Decision Review System (DRS) optional, four months after saying its use was compulsory.

'I give you 1m dollars'

A shadowy Indian contact offered the agent of several Pakistan cricketers 1 million dollars to ensure they threw a Test match against England, a London court heard Tuesday.

Women cricketers lose badly to SL

Bangladesh women's cricket team suffered an 82-run defeat against their Sri Lankan counterparts in the opening match of the three-match ODI series at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium yesterday.

Jamal storm into final

Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club stormed into the final of the Walton Women's Football League with a massive 16-0 win over Farashganj SC in the first semifinal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Japan steal the show

Japan trounced hapless Tajikistan 8-0 in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday as Asia's big guns fired and Iran launched a security crackdown before their clash with Bahrain.

Romario against WC law

FIFA must not be allowed to ride roughshod over Brazilian law when it stages the 2014 World Cup, former Brazil striker Romario, now a federal Congressman, said on Monday.

Anzhi aiming high

Anzhi Makhachkala joint coach Roberto Carlos told French television that the ambitious Russian club are considering moves for Neymar, Nicolas Anelka and Robin Van Persie.

New ball will fly faster

A new Adidas ball, to be used at the Euro 2012 finals, will fly faster than its predecessor and will be just as unpredictable for goalkeepers, the chief executive of the German sporting goods company said on Monday.

Olympic venue in limbo

The future of London's Olympic Stadium was plunged into uncertainty on Tuesday after the collapse of a deal which would have seen Premier League side West Ham move to the venue.

Mancini in hot water

A judge has requested a three year eight month jail term be imposed on Brazilian footballer Mancini for the alleged sexual assault of a young woman at a party organised by teammate Ronaldinho, the Italian press reported Tuesday.

Only silver in life-saving

Bangladesh won a silver medal in the 'life saving' event of the First South Asian Beach Games held at Hambantota in Sri Lanka yesterday.

Dhaka in Super League

Dhaka moved into the Super League stage of the Southeast Bank 22nd National Youth Hockey Championship thrashing Sherpur 11-0 in their group's second and final match at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Local girls start well

Bangladesh made a good start in the ATF 6th BKSP U-14 Series Tennis Tournament as five girls won their respective matches in the girl's singles at the BKSP Tennis ground yesterday.

ICC undecided on Test C'ship

The International Cricket Council's (ICC) plans to hold the inaugural World Test Championship in 2013 came unstuck on Tuesday over the commercial viability of the event.

Premier Div volleyball

Power Development Board (PDB) made a wining start in the National Bank Premier Division Volleyball League with a 3-1 win over Azad Sporting Club at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Business

PM unveils locally assembled laptop

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday unveiled a locally assembled low-cost laptop -- Doel -- in a major step towards spreading the uses of ICT across the country as part of her election promise to make the country a “Digital Bangladesh”.

Price fall triggers protest

Dhaka stocks fell sharply yesterday, triggering a street protest of a group of retail investors in front of the premier bourse that stopped vehicle movement for hours in the business hub.

Forex reserve claws back above $10b

Foreign exchange reserve again returned to the $10 billion mark yesterday, after a gap of more than two weeks, a senior central bank official said.

Women entrepreneurs push for hassle-free loans

Women entrepreneurs yesterday called for simplifying the loan processing system as the existing procedure discourages them from borrowing from banks.

Regulator: no scope for fresh non-life insurers

There is no space for new non-life (general) insurance companies in the country, said the chairman of Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) yesterday.

Bangladesh betters farm output after 1971: Study

Bangladesh fared better than Pakistan in accelerating agricultural growth rate after its liberation in 1971, said a study yesterday.

New CEO for Partex Star Group

Abdul Haque has re-cently been appointed chief executive officer for complex-2 of Partex Star Group, the organisation said in a statement yesterday.

GP support-staff, drivers want to be regularised

Hundreds of drivers and support-staff of Grameenphone yesterday demonstrated peacefully in front of the operator's head office to demand permanent employment contracts.

Investors keen on apparel sector

TWO major factors -- duty benefits and quick returns -- make Bangladesh a lucrative investment destination for both local and foreign investors in the apparel and services sector.

Poor infrastructure holds back FDI

THE government should improve the condition of infrastructures and the supply of energy and power to the industrial units to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) to generate employment, say economists and industry insiders.

Metropolitan

Happy on clean Ctg streets

Omar Faruk, an A-level student of Sunshine Grammar School and College, looked very pleased yesterday as he along with a hundred mates just finished a clean-up campaign on different streets that surround their school compound in the port city.

Tk 1,293cr projects get Ecnec nod

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) at a meeting yesterday approved eight development projects worth Tk 1,293 crore, including a Tk 500 crore project, aimed at boosting agricultural production.

Rights bodies challenge govt's role

A human rights organisation yesterday filed a writ petition with the High Court challenging the "inaction or failure" of the government officials concerned to save the lives of eight Bangladeshi nationals, beheaded in Saudi Arabia on October 8.

Three LeT, JMB men arrested

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Monday arrested an alleged Bangladeshi associate of Pakistan based militant outfit Laskar-e-Taiba (LeT) from the capital while two members of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Gazipur.

Maintain status quo

The High Court yesterday directed the government to maintain status quo for ten days on felling trees on both sides of the road from Jhanjail Bazar to Durgapur upazila in Netrakona.

Contempt of court rule against CEC

The High Court yesterday issued a contempt of court rule against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda and five others for declaring a mayoral candidate of Pirojpur municipal polls as elected uncontested ignoring its order.

UNO, cops among 30 hurt

At least 30 people, including local UNO and nine cops, were injured in a clash between police and power loom workers following protest over frequent load-shedding by the workers in Araihazar upazila on Monday night.

Maintain status quo

The High Court yesterday directed the government to maintain status quo for ten days on cutting trees at both sides of the road from Jhanjail Bazar to Durgapur upazila in Netrakona.

PM reiterates tax rebate on donations

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government would give tax rebate on the donations to be made to education and health sectors.

Provide facilities to children with disabilities

The government should provide required facilities to the children with disabilities to help flourish their physical and mental growth, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.

Death of domestic help sparks protest

More than 100 house helps who work in Japan Garden City at Mohammadpur in the city took to the street yesterday protesting the death of their fellow worker allegedly in the hands of her employer.

Home gets moving over detectives' arrest

The home ministry yesterday formed a three-member committee to investigate the incidents relating to the arrest of three Detective Branch (DB) inspectors by National Security Intelligence (NSI) men on charges of receiving bribe on October 6.

Work to build peaceful society

Terming peace a tool for strengthening democracy, speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the journalists to work more vigorously for building a peaceful society.

RU vet students continue class boycott

Students of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science department at Rajshahi University forwarded a memorandum to the university vice-chancellor yesterday, protesting the opening of Animal Husbandry Science department at Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU).

FM for pan-Asian crises fund

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has called for Asian states to jointly build a "Crises Management Fund" to battle against natural calamities and major economic downturns.

HC drops Khaleda's petition from hearing list

A High Court bench yesterday dropped from its hearing list a petition by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging proceedings against her in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.

'Elderly people golden citizens'

Social Welfare Minister M Enamul Haq Mostafa Shaheed yesterday said the government has undertaken a plan to declare the elderly people as 'golden citizens'.

Aarong fined

The Department of Environment (DoE) in an enforcement drive yesterday fined the authorities of Aarong Centre Tk 3 lakh for creating noise pollution in the capital's Uttara.

Pottery exhibition begins today

A pottery exhibition titled "Aesthetic Designed Earthenware" will be inaugurated in the Gallery Zoom and Courtyard at Alliance Française de Dhaka at 5:30pm today.

Worker stabbed to death

Unidentified criminals stabbed to death a shoe factory worker at East Rampura in the city yesterday.

Next polls under EC: Modasser

Prime Minister's Health and Social Welfare Adviser Dr Syed Modasser Ali yesterday said the next general election will be held under the Election Commission, not under any caretaker government.

Charge framing hearing deferred for 20th time

A Dhaka court yesterday deferred for the 20th times the hearing on charge framing against Arafat Rahman Koko, son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in a tax evasion case.

32 vie for one seat at CU

About 32 students will vie for a seat in the upcoming admission test of first year honours courses at Chittagong University (CU) under 2011-12 sessions.

Ayaj BMWDC new president

Ayaj Ahmed Siddique has been made president of Bangladesh Mohajir Welfare and Development Committee (BMWDC), says a press release.

Hasina for e-library at DU

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the education ministry to take immediate steps to set up an e-library at Dhaka University.

3 arrested with fake notes

Detective Branch of police seized fake note of Tk 2.53 lakh and arrested three alleged member of a fake currency-making gang from Azampur Bus Stand of the city's Uttara on Monday night.

Road crash kills 2

At least two people, including a bride, were killed and bridegroom, other members of a wedding party injured as a bus hit their auto-rickshaw on the Daulatdia-Khulna highway in Goalunda Feed Mill area of Goalunda upazila in Rajbari on Monday night.

Dr Alauddin admitted to hospital

Prof Dr Alauddin Ahmed, adviser to the prime minister (education, social development and political affairs) was admitted to Square Hospital in the city at 10:20pm on Monday after suffering a stroke.

HRPB London body formed

A 21-member committee of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) was formed in London on September 29 with Rahmat Ali as convener and Aminur Rahman and Shafiqul Huq joint conveners.

15 ex-BCL leaders leave for China

A delegation of 15 former leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaves for China today to attend an international seminar titled “Youth Members of Political Parties”.

Correction

In a report headlined "Galaxies to dissolve in 1,020 years" published in The Daily Star on Tuesday, it was inadvertently reported that renowned scientist Prof Dr Jamal Nazrul Islam had said, “In around 1,020 years, either most stars will evaporate or galaxies will collapse into a black hole or dissolve completely.” Actually the figure will be 1020 years (Ten to the power twenty) instead of 1,020 years in both the headline and the body of the report.

National

Fishermen besiege navy patrol team

A navy patrol team fired 10 blank shots yesterday noon as over 500 fishermen in 20 trawlers besieged their trawler on the Tentulia River.

Traffic gets longer as ferries can't take full load

Ro-Ro ferry Birshreshtha Hamidur Rahman that ran aground in Padma shoal with 10 vehicles on the Paturia-Daulatdia route yesterday was salvaged after eight hours.

Rly recovers land grabbed by bus owners' association

Railway department yesterday demolished illegal structures erected on its 13.8 kathas of land near Chapainawabganj Railway Station and recovered the land grabbed by the district bus owners association.

15 Khalishpur jute workers acquitted

Fifteen people sued by a jute mill on charge of vandalism in 2007 were acquitted on Monday.

Fish poisoned to death by criminals

Unknown criminals killed fish by pouring poison in a water body in Kishoreganj Sadar upazila on Sunday night.

Top Dinajpur criminal killed in clash with rivals

Waliur Rahman alias Alu, 42, a top terror of Dinajpur, was stabbed to death and his four close aides were wounded critically in a clash between two groups of criminals on Monday night.

Two children drown

Two children drowned in a pond at Gohailbari village of Chartarapur union in Pabna Sadar upazila on Monday evening. The victims were identified as Tuhin Sardar, 4, son of Moni Sardar and Pinkey, 5, daughter of Ashraf Mridha of the village. Family sources said the two were playing near a pond near their house in the afternoon. Family members and the locals started searching for them when they went 'missing' and found the bodies in the pond. Later, locals recovered the bodies at night and buried them.

Schoolgirl murdered

A teenage schoolgirl was murdered at Ghatail upazila yesterday. The victim was identified as Kanchan Akter, 16, a class X student of Bhaban Datta Gono Uchcha Bidyaloy and daughter of Year Ali of Shiber Para village in the upazila. Helalul Islam, officer in-charge of Ghatail police station, said body of the schoolgirl, strangled by criminals, was found at a bamboo cluster nearby the house in the morning. Being informed, police later recovered the body and sent it to Tangail General Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Youth jailed for stalking

A mobile court on Sunday jailed a youth in Akkelpur upazila for one year for stalking a college girl. Convict Zahurul Islam, 26, is son of Abdur Rahman of Matapur village. Family members and Akkelpur police said that the girl of the same upazila was a first year HSC student of Jamalganj Degree College. When the girl was returning home with her fellow students in the afternoon, Zahurul suddenly appeared in front of her and started to sexually harass her publicly. Hearing her screams, locals rescued her and caught the stalker.

1 killed in Narsingdi clash

A man was killed and two others of his family were injured in an attack by rivals at Haripur village at Raipura upazila yesterday noon. The deceased was identified as Tota Mia, 58, while the injured were Bashir Mia, 30, son of Tota Mia and Dhola Mia, 50, brother of Tota Mia. Locals said, Tota Mia had a long-running dispute with neighbour Shah Alam. Shah Alam and his allies allegedly attacked the house of Tota Mia at about 12:30pm. The attackers used local weapons. Tota Mia died on the spot when he was hit in his chest and stomach by 'Teta' spear. His bother and son were also injured in the attack.

Letters

Giving transit facility to India

Do Bangladesh and India believe and practice the 'give and take' policy on equitable basis? In the past, Dhaka and New Delhi signed several treaties and agreements on various issues. But in most of the cases, we saw that India took from us whatever she wanted and we got nothing in return. Share of Teesta water and transit are two separate issues. We are entitled to our due share of Teesta water under the international law.

NRB investors in capital market in the soup

NRB investors of IPOs are being short-changed at every step. If allotment is not made, they have to move heaven and earth to get refunds:

Schoolteacher's woes

It is well-known in our country that teaching (excluding teaching at universities) is the job of a jobless person. Most of the teachers are not well paid. With the little salary they get, they have to struggle to survive.

Young generation needs guidance

We, the young people, are said to be the 'future' of the country, but I wonder how we will guide our country when we lack proper guidance. The adults say that we are now very modern and that we all have a Facebook account, but my question is what is the need of a Facebook account when we don't know the basics of life? We, especially the urban children, do not know how to swim, how to climb a tree, and some of us even don't know how to fold a cloth! 'Our children are our future' - that's what most of the politicians say but what are they doing to enlighten us with knowledge? We don't have a ground to play or a useful TV channel to watch. Hence, we are forced to watch Hindi serials. And so, our talent as well as our interest to know is confined to the fast food shop and the internet. Only studying in schools cannot make us perfect human beings. The elders need to guide us properly, if they want us to guide the nation in the future. Otherwise, we will be nothing but a burden to the nation!

Leave the economy alone

The country's economists at a seminar organised by The Daily Star have made lengthy recommendations about Bangladesh economy but these are all subjective analyses from their 'ivory towers'. It is astonishing that they never cite the phenomenal example of China where economic liberalisation made them number 2 in the world. If Bangladesh follows their economic path, free all entry barriers to competition and liberalise trade, it could well become the number 2 economy in Asia.

Awami League's counter offensive

We are frustrated about the future of our country; we do not know what is going to happen in the political arena , which seems to be very volatile.

Calling hartals

I have read many letters in your columns about hartal. Everyone writes about the bad impacts of hartal and suggest that the BNP should refrain from calling hartals, as it has detrimental effects on our economy. Of course, I agree with all their arguments. But what surprises me is that nobody says a single word about the hartals which were called by the AL in the past. The AL called more hartals than the BNP did, although Sheikh Hasina declared that she would not call any hartal when her party would be in the Opposition. But soon after that she forgot what she had said and called hartals in a row, when she was the opposition leader. Did she think then that her party would never be in the opposition again? What was on her mind when she said that?

PSC's innovative approach to plug question leakage

We have carefully read the article by Syed Fattahul Alim published in the Daily Star in October 3, 2011. The article dealt with leakage of question papers in public examinations of Bangladesh. There is, however, some factual inadequacy in this write up. Bangladesh Public Service Commission has conducted more than 300 written examinations in last four years. No complaint was heard about leakage of questions in any of these examinations. Bangladesh Public Service Commission has come up with some innovative methods in order to guard the secrecy and integrity of question papers. The commission makes sets of question papers for a particular examination. The commission selects one set of question paper through lottery just 25 minutes before examination and informs hall authorities by using all modern means of communication. In this method there is no scope for leakage of questions. The commission has succeeded in effectively arresting the pernicious trend of leakage of question papers.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Executions Defended”

International

Abbas ready to start MidEast peace talks

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas yesterday said he was willing to restart peace negotiations with Israel "at any moment."

Israel to legalise disputed outposts

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu has capitulated to heavy pressure from the settler lobby to find ways of legalising settlement outposts built on private Palestinian land, Haaretz newspaper said yesterday.

Burma to free 6300 prisoners

Myanmar announced a mass prisoner amnesty yesterday, raising hope for the imminent release of hundreds of political detainees in what would be a major sign of change in the authoritarian state.

Advani launches anti-graft road trip

India's 84-year-old opposition leader LK Advani set off on a five-week road trip across the country on Tuesday in a protest he said would put pressure on the government to tackle corruption.

Ukraine ex-PM jailed for power abuse

A Ukrainian judge yesterday sentenced former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in jail for abusing her powers in a 2009 gas deal with Russia, a verdict that is set to harm ties with the European Union.

Syria must reform fast: China

China urged Syria yesterday to move faster to implement reforms, a week after Beijing infuriated the West by blocking a UN resolution against President Bashar al-Assad's deadly crackdown on protests.

Iranian actress awarded jail term, 90 lashes

Actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been sentenced to a year in jail and 90 lashes by an Iranian court for her role in an Australian film on the limits imposed on artists in the Islamic republic.

UN distressed by Saudi executions

The UN human rights office yesterday expressed distress at Saudi Arabia's execution of ten men, including eight Bangladeshis, and urged the kingdom to place a moratorium on the death penalty.

World's biggest virus found

A virus found in the sea off Chile is the biggest in the world, harbouring more than 1,000 genes, surprised scientists reported on Monday.

Afghan opium production sours

Opium production in Afghanistan rose by 61% this year compared with 2010, according to a UN report.

Egypt deputy PM resigns after clashes

Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi resigned yesterday following deadly clashes in the capital that left 25 people dead, the official MENA news agency reported.

Anti-Gaddafi fighters seize Sirte police HQ

Fighters from Libya's new regime seized the police headquarters in the centre of Muammar Gaddafi's hometown Sirte yesterday as they moved in for the kill against the strongman's remaining diehards.

2,466 died in west, central Africa

A cholera epidemic sweeping through west and Central Africa, one of the biggest in the vast region's history, has infected more than 85,000 people, killing at least 2,466 so far this year, United Nations aid agencies said yesterday.

Polls open in Liberia

Liberians began voting yesterday in the second election since the end of a 14-year civil war, which is being closely watched as a litmus test of the west African nation's fragile democracy.

Mladic hospitalised

Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic, detained by a UN court pending trial for genocide and war crimes, has been hospitalised with pneumonia, a lawyer said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Beauty in stark white

Akbar Ali's exhibit at Dhaka Art Centre, (October 11-14) was inaugurated by eminent artists Qayyum Chowdury, Hashem Khan and Rafiqun Nabi.

A storehouse of knowledge

The newly built Government Public Library was thrown open to the public when Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad inaugurated the library at Loshkarpur village in Pabna on Saturday afternoon.

Prangane Mor stages Shesher Kobita

Theatre troupe Prangane Mor staged its latest production-- an adaptation of the classic Tagore novel “Shesher Kobita”-- at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on October 10. The play has been dramatised by Ananta Heera and directed by Nuna Afroz. This is the fourth production based on Tagore's literary works in eight years by the troupe.

Syed Haq gets Mazharul Islam Poetry Award '11

Eminent poet Syed Shamsul Haq has been conferred with Mazharul Islam Poetry Award 2011. He has received the award for his outstanding contributions to Bengali poetry. The award, worth Tk one lakh, will be formally presented at a ceremony at Bangla Academy sometime this month.

Bobita to build hospital with DCII assistance

Goodwill Ambassador for Distressed Children and Infants International (DCII), noted actress Bobita, is now in New York. She is currently engaged in generating awareness for the welfare of underprivileged children. DCII, a non-profit organization, works to generate awareness among the member states of the United Nations and raises funds for underprivileged children. Bobita has extended her stay by 10 days to work on behalf of Washington, Philadelphia, Michigan and California wing of DCII, says a press release.

Happy Akhand's romance with music

Shortly after our War of Liberation in 1971, Azam Khan, soon to become a legend on the rock scene, along with Uchharon and the Akhand Brothers (Lucky and Happy) created a hype in the music industry with their straight-down-the-line magnetic songs. Happy Akhand's "Abar Elo Je Shondha" is a milestone and probably one of the most poignant songs ever produced. His premature death on December 28, 1987 was a big blow to all musicians who were influenced by Happy's passion for music and had now lost a pioneering figure in Bangla pop music.

An evening of autumnal enchantment in Faridpur

A season based cultural programme celebrating autumn was held at historic Ambika Maidan of Faridpur town on Saturday evening. Shilpakala Academy in Faridpur arranged the programme that evoked the beauty of autumn at its colourful best.

"My life is unworthy of biographical documentation" -- Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan, who turned 69 Tuesday (October 11) and is the busiest entertainer in India, says there are still many things that cross his mind which he feels he should be doing.

OP-ED

Metro rail and the public interest

The Bangladesh air force caused quite a bit of a stir a few days ago when it came forth with its views relating to the controversy over the planned metro rail network in the nation's capital. It sought to explain to the nation why it thought the network would benefit citizens if the route went by way of the khamarbari area. That was a fine expression of sentiment. But the surprise for us is in the fact that a defence force suddenly thought it wise to acquaint citizens with news of all the good that could accrue from a project undertaken in the public interest. Interestingly, the air force said not a word about the uproar caused by its reservations about the original plan of the metro's following a path around Bijoynagar. Air force flight operations, it was said at the time the reservations of the air force came to be known, would be at risk if the original metro plan was followed through.

Ten years in, Afghan myths live on

Ten years after invading Afghanistan, on Oct. 7, 2001, the obvious question is whether or not the United States has won the war. Osama bin Laden's death suggests the defeat of al-Qaeda. But even after the planned withdrawal of 30,000 American troops by late 2012, nearly 70,000 will remain on the ground.

Indo-Afghan strategic ties

In the backdrop of their suspicion of Pakistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai reached India on October 4th for a two-day visit. It was his second this year and came at a time when his government had been blaming Pakistan for sponsoring the Taliban attacks in Afghanistan.

Necessity for 'culture of disaster preparedness'

International Day for Disaster Reduction is being observed today with the slogan "Making Children and Young People Partners in Disaster Risk Reduction." The main motive is to involve the young generation in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) initiatives so that they can have a long-term effect. The Bangladesh government and NGOs have taken up programmes to raise awareness throughout the country.

Education first

Education is a precondition for economic and social development. We have professed the importance of minimum education for the masses but have done very little in translating those pronouncements into action. We want democracy to function in the country, but how can democracy work in a nation where a vast number of the people are illiterate? We also want to implement such vital national programmes as family planning, increased food production, improved health and sanitary conditions, etc. But can any of those make any headway unless the people are able and willing to participate? The answer is obvious.


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