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Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Sunday, 4th of December, 2011

Front Page

Stop war crimes trial

The main opposition BNP yesterday demanded that the government immediately stop the proceedings of the war crimes tribunal.

Try anti-trial elements

The people who are talking about pulling the plug on the war crimes trial should themselves be tried, said Ferdousi Priyabhashini, a victim and survivor of the 1971 war crimes.

Accused getting more rights

The International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh has been according more privileges to the country's war crimes accused than what tribunals in other countries have been giving to their accused in similar cases, National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman said yesterday.

2 workers killed in stampede, 65 hurt

Two female garment workers were trampled to death yesterday by their fellow workers while rushing down the pitch-black and narrow staircase of a garment factory in the city's Chankharpool area fearing a fire.

Economy not in grim state

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday refuted the claim of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia that the country's economy is in a grim situation.

ADP faces 12pc cut

The government may reduce the fund for annual development programmes by 12 percent or Tk 5,400 crore due to pressure of subsidy on the budget and its failure to implement projects under ADP.

Regulator should not be too rough

Telecom Secretary Sunil Kanti Bose yesterday urged the industry regulator to not be 'heavy-handed' in dealing with stakeholders so that they do not face any problems.

WB funding Tipai project

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday asked all ministries concerned to actively pursue the funding of Tipaimukh hydroelectric project.

Tipai will rather be good for us

Gowher Rizvi, foreign affairs adviser to the prime minister, yesterday said the Tipaimukh dam in India would have no adverse environmental impact on Bangladesh, reported a private television channel.

No logic in the demand

Dr Anisuzzaman, Professor Emeritus at Dhaka University, in his reaction noted that the BNP had never taken any initiative to try the war criminals when it was in power.

It's blatant disrespect

The demand is a blatant demonstration of disrespect to the sovereignty of the country and its judicial system, said Shahriar Kabir, Executive President of Ekattorer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee.

Resist BNP demands

War Crimes Facts Finding Committee (WCFFC) Convener Dr MA Hasan has dubbed the BNP's latest demand as another of its efforts to protect the war criminals.

BNP could've given advice

Instead of demanding an abolition of the ICT, the BNP could have come up with constructive recommendations regarding a fair trial of the war criminals, said Advocate Sultana Kamal, former advisor to the caretaker government.

It's nothing new for BNP

Sector Commanders Forum General Secretary Harun-Ar-Rashid said the war crimes trial was closed down in December 31, 1975 through a repeal of the Collaborators Act 1972.

BNP stance unfortunate

The eminent jurist and human rights activist Dr Shahdeen Malik has said that in terms of law and procedure, the war crimes trial does not suffer from any illegality.

It's worthless

Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee President Justice Mohammad Gholam Rabbani has described the BNP as “worthless” because of its demand for a cancellation of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT).

They never wanted trial

Shyamoli Nasrin Chowdhury, widow of Shaheed Dr Alim Chowdhury, has said the BNP's demands are unsurprising as it was the same party that had partnered with the war criminals and put them in power.

Protesters denied entry to talks

Riot police yesterday blocked hundreds of protesters, mostly women farmers, from entering the UN climate talks in Durban, according to a photographer on the scene.

Two Qubee staff drown in Sylhet quicksand

Bodies of two employees of Qubee, an internet service provider company, were recovered yesterday, a day after they went missing into a quicksand of a river in Jaintapur, Sylhet while on a tour.

Hit by train, woman dies in city

A woman was hit and killed by a train as she was crossing the railway track in the capital's Mohakhali yesterday.

UN slams Syria rights violations

Eleven civilians were among 23 people killed in Syria yesterday, a day after the UN Human Rights Council urged tougher action against Damascus and condemned its "gross violations" of human rights.

Bangladesh pushes for green fund

Bangladesh has demanded that the proposed Green Climate Fund, the formation of which is still uncertain, should have half of its amount for adaptation.

BNP demands referendum on DCC split

BNP enforces a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the capital today in protest at the splitting of Dhaka City Corporation into two.

Clarification

The Bangladesh chapter of Transparency International in a clarification said that its Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman was partially misquoted in a news report headlined “TI's Graft Index: Bangladesh betters a bit” carried in this paper's Friday issue.

Editorial

Khaleda Zia's concerns are welcome

It is rather good to hear Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia call the government to account over what she believes are its inefficiency, corruption and mismanagement, all of which have now contributed to the making of an economic crisis for the country. That not everything is right with the country, that indeed our politicians both in government and in opposition have a grave responsibility to turn things around has never been in doubt. We at this newspaper have consistently reiterated our view that a smooth, transparent and therefore accountable practice of democracy in Bangladesh is a sine qua non for progress. That indeed has also been the great desire of the people of the country.

Community health in jeopardy

A leading Bangla daily has found an appalling set of anomalies in state-funded community clinics all over the country. While some clinics are open only from two to three days a week, others don't open at all and have been left derelict. In many cases doctors are not available and health workers do not turn up for work on a regular basis.

Sports

Nasir brings light to gloom

If nothing else, Nasir Hossain can bring the smile back to the Bangladesh dressing-room from yesterday evening.

Pakistan take winning lead

Nasir Hossain slammed his maiden international hundred but Pakistan still confirmed the series with a comfortable 76-run victory in the second one-day international to lead the three-match series 2-0 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Intriguing indeed!

Thousands of fans dressed in Bangladesh garb with headbands reading "Shabash Bangladesh" and faces painted in red and green is quite a usual sight at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, rain or shine and regardless of the result.

Booters' Nepal test today

Bangladesh will be looking to lift their game in a bid to advance to the semifinals of the SAFF Championship when they take on resurgent Nepal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium today.

India held, SL win

Hosts and defending champions India were held to a 1-1 draw by Afghanistan in their Group A match of the SAFF Championship at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday.

Ilievski tinkering too much?

Bangladesh came to the SAFF Championship as one of the favourites, but the booters are already seemingly suffering from lack of confidence and motivation which was reflected on their performance against Pakistan in the first match.

Done in by offies

The Bangladesh batsmen's struggle against off-spin during this series has been staggering. Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and Shoaib Malik have dominated proceedings like three gung-ho fast bowlers have often done over the last two decades.

Aussies call the shots

Michael Clarke hit a charmed century while Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin eased the pressure on their Test careers with half-centuries as Australia took charge of the first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba on Saturday.

Rampaul a batsman!

Virat Kohli smashed a robust 117 to power India to a five-wicket win over the West Indies in the second one-day international on Friday despite Ravi Rampaul's record tail-end knock.

Local snippets

Satkhira breeze into final

Clinical Chelsea

Chelsea eased the pressure on beleaguered boss Andre Villas-Boas as the Blues gave a clinical display of finishing to beat Newcastle 3-0 at St James' Park on Saturday.

Blanc's work cut out

France coach Laurent Blanc has branded England the favourites to qualify from Euro 2012 Group D, but admitted that Friday's draw in Kiev could have been much worse for his side.

Socrates in ICU

Former Brazilian soccer star Socrates was in "critical condition" in an intensive care unit early Saturday after suffering intestinal infection, his doctors said.

Milan go top

AC Milan went top of Serie A for the first time this season after a 2-0 victory against 10-man Genoa on Friday in a match which was suspended in the first half after tear gas clogged the ground.

Del Bosque wants repeat final

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque wants his team to face Germany in the final of Euro 2012 after Friday's draw left open the possibility of a repeat of the teams' meeting in Vienna in 2008.

Black Cats appoint O'Neil

Sunderland confirmed the appointment of Martin O'Neill as manager of the struggling Premier League club on a three-year contract on Saturday.

Rivaldo exits Sao Paulo

Former Brazilian international Rivaldo, a World Cup winner in 2002, left Sao Paulo on Friday, but the 39-year-old vowed to keep playing.

Jose rockstar of the year

Who is more of a rockstar than an actual rockstar? Well, Jose Mourinho of course. Spain's Rolling Stone Magazine named Mourinho its Rockstar of the Year for 2011, citing his "controversial message, his brazen intelligence, and above all, the provocative attitude." Also because winning anything but the Copa del Rey is apparently for nerds.

Business

Local freelancers long for PayPal

Local freelance software developers, who work for foreign companies online and earn foreign currency, yesterday urged the government to take steps to introduce a convenient online money transfer service, such as PayPal, for smooth transfer of their payment.

3 firms to trade with unchanged face value

Trading of three listed firms, which failed to change the face value of their shares, starts today along with 135 other listed companies.

ILO opens Kyoto meeting today on economic stress

Ministers, representatives of workers' and employers' organisations and academics from more than 46 countries gather in the Japanese city of Kyoto today to discuss how employment, economic and social progress can be safeguarded in the face of the uncertain global economic outlook.

City Bank joins MRDI to lift women out of poverty

City Bank Ltd and Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) have joined hands to train more than 200 vulnerable women of a remote village in Jessore to help them get rid of hardcore poverty.

BRAC opens green retail outlet

BRAC Kanon, an outlet of BRAC Social Enterprises, started operation in the capital yesterday with an aim to encourage city-dwellers to save energy, money and trees.

Draft ship-breaking rules to be finalised today

Stakeholders of the ship-breaking and ship recycling sector along with the industries ministry will hold a discussion today to finalise draft of 'Ship Breaking and Ship Recycling Rules-2011'.

First Bangladeshi workers' union in UK

The Bangladeshi community in East London made history this week, with the formation of the first ever workers' union catering to the rights of Bangladeshi workers in the UK.

LankaBangla Finance gets new MD

Mohammed Nasir Uddin Chowdhury has recently been appo-inted managing director of LankaBangla Finance Ltd, the company said in a statement yesterday.

SME outsourcing comes under focus

Bangladeshi companies looking for a slice of the global IT outsourcing market should put more emphasis on winning the trust and confidence of foreign firms that source IT services from offshore, IT analysts said yesterday.

Facebook to hire 'thousands' over next year

Facebook said Friday that it plans to hire thousands of employees over the next year and add an engineering team to its office in New York.

An exposition of IT strengths

Asia's mega technology event, eAsia 2011, ended yesterday amid huge enthusiasm among visitors. Companies showcased how information and communications technologies (ICT) helped people get better services with ease at the event held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

Metropolitan

Riding the Critical Mass

This sleepy Friday morning's calm is broken by an energetic crowd gathered in front of Parliament. Many wear helmets and all have bicycles. They are here for a Critical Mass bicycle ride.

Law on cards to ensure rights: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government would enact a law for ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities and giving them the opportunity to contribute to country's development.

Best efforts to be made to find out truth

Amid strong demand of some civil society members and politicians, Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said she would try her best to find out the truth behind the death of former Ganotantri Party president Nurul Islam and his son.

BU admission test on December 8

The admission test for the first batch of Barisal University (BU), the only public university in the division, will be held on December 8.

'Form court like war crimes tribunal'

Speakers at a discussion in New York have demanded that the government should form a tribunal like the war crimes tribunal to try those who were the masterminds behind the jail killing in 1975.

Heavy load kills worker

Carrying a heavy load on his head proved to be tragic for a tannery worker yesterday.

Woman crushed under train

An unidentified woman was crushed under the wheels of a train on Boral Bridge line of Vangura upazila in the district on Friday night.

India's attitude of 'no harm done' doubted

Speakers at a seminar yesterday doubted India's attitude of "no harm to Bangladesh by proposed Tipaimukh dam" and sharing of Teesta water, saying that India has historically dodged Bangladesh on water sharing issue several times.

Call to make ACC independent

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Golam Rahman yesterday stressed the need for framing a law to make the commission independent for combating corruption.

Fire breaks out at Bata showroom

A fire broke out inside a three-storey Bata showroom at the city's Bangabandhu Avenue in the wee hours yesterday.

Preparatory jamaat begins

A five-day preparatory congregation began on Friday on the east bank of the river Turag to hold a three-day Bishwa Ijtema from January 13.

DU to appeal HC order

The Dhaka University authorities last night decided to appeal against the High Court order that directed the university authorities to immediately re-evaluate the answer sheets of this year's 'Ga' unit admission tests and publish fresh results.

Dr Jalal Alamgir drowns in sea in Thailand

Dr Jalal Alamgir, an associate professor of Boston University in the US and son of Awami League lawmaker Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, drowned as he was taking a bath along with his wife in the sea in Thailand yesterday.

Cop mugged

Muggers snatched valuables from a policeman and a motorbike from a youth in two separate incidents at Malibagh and Kakrail in the city yesterday.

Documentary on Aparajeyo Bangla

A documentary titled 'Aparajeyo Bangla', commemorating the 40th anniversary of Bangladesh's independence, is to be premiered in New York and Dhaka during this month of victory.

Ctg Bijoy Mela to start on Dec 10

Muktijuddher Bijoy Mela, the port city's popular victory fair, will begin from December 10.

Resist those who disrespect constitution: Shafique

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed yesterday called upon the people to resist those who comment disrespectfully about the country's constitution.

Boycott city polls

Comilla district BNP leaders yesterday urged the party men and Comilla people as well to shun the upcoming city corporation election.

Restaurant worker killed in Ctg

A restaurant worker was murdered by two of his colleagues following an altercation in the port city yesterday, police said.

Two killed in road crashes

Two people, including a teenage boy, were killed in separate road accidents in Dinajpur and Satkhira on Friday night and yesterday.

Adequate facilities at RU demanded

The Rajshahi University (RU) students demanded yesterday adequate facilities for the students with disabilities of the university to pave the way for their higher education.

BAU admission tests held

Admission tests for the honours courses of level-1 and semester-1 under 2011-12 academic session of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) was held yesterday.

Firearms, bullets seized in Ctg

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-7) seized two firearms and six bullets from the city's Patenga area during a drive yesterday.

RU deptt celebration ends

The two-day celebration marking the 12th anniversary of Department of Anthropology of Rajshahi University (RU) came to an end amid much fanfare and enthusiasm on the campus yesterday.

Exhibition on birds begins today

A two-day photo and poster exhibition on birds will begin on the Rajshahi University (RU) campus today.

Death anniversary

Today is the 20th death anniversary of Advocate Md Azizur Rahman, one of the organisers of the War of Liberation.

National

Low quality seeds flood Gaibandha markets

Low quality seeds packaged under the label of well-known brands of high yielding and hybrid varieties have flooded local markets, while dealers and vendors are charging high prices in absence of proper monitoring of markets, especially in remote areas of the district.

12 murdered in Tangail district in a month

Twelve people including three women were murdered in different upazilas of Tangail district in November.

Tortured wife faces death threat, seeks security

A housewife, also mother of two children, has alleged death threat by husband and in-laws after she filed a case against them on charge of cheating and torture for dowry.

3 'commit' suicide in Satkhira

Three people, including an Indian national, allegedly committed suicide here yesterday.

Ulema League leader murdered

A ulema League leader was murdered in Gouripur upazila of Mymensingh district yesterday morning.

Allegation against Tariqul unfounded, says Khulna BNP

Leaders of BNP Khulna district and city units have demanded withdrawal of ex-minister Tariqul Islam's name from the Judicial probe commission report in which he and 24 other ministers and lawmakers of the four-party alliance government were named involved in post-polls persecution in 2001.

Warm clothes sale on sharp rise as chill grips N dists

Warm clothes sellers are doing brisk business in Lalmonirhat town and other areas of the district as cold weather has been prevailing in the region for the last few days.

Dowry-greedy husband kills wife in Jessore

A housewife was killed allegedly by her husband for dowry in Khorki area of Jessore town yesterday morning.

Phulbari town was freed on this day in '71

On this day in 1971, the valiant freedom fighters freed Phulbari upazila town by defeating the occupation forces of Pakistan.

Fake Rab man held

Police arrested a fake Rab member from Janata Bank intersection of the district town yesterday afternoon. The arrestee is Reazul Islam Rajon, 28, son of Nurul Islam of Kasaripara village in Sirajganj district. He used to collect toll from people in the name of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab). Md Nure Alam, sub-inspector of Pabna Police Station, said they arrested Rajon at about 3:00pm.

Seven shops gutted

At least seven shops were gutted in a fire at Ghagra Bazar in Kaukhali upazila early yesterday. Local people said the fire broke out at about 1:00am at a shop of the bazar and soon engulfed six other adjacent shops. On information, fire fighters from Sadar headquarters rushed to the spot and doused the blaze after two hours of frantic efforts. The affected shop owners claimed that the extent of loss from the fire could go up to Tk 50 lakh.

Tourist motel in Srimangal

Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) is set to construct a luxurious motel in Srimangal upazila of Moulvibazar district involving Tk 7 crore with a view to attracting the tourists. The motel will be built on 3.23 acres of land in Kalighat area of the upazila headquarters. BPC Chairman Hamayetuddin Talukder and Deputy Commissioner M Mostafizur Rahman visited the project area on Thursday. Sources said two motels will be constructed-one in Jaflong of Sylhet and another in Srimangal. The motel will have all modern facilities including 16 air conditioned rooms, a restaurant and a conference room with 300 seats.

Mason murdered

A man was killed allegedly over a trivial matter at Kayemkhola Bazar in Jhikorgacha upazila of Jessore district on Friday evening. The deceased, Abdur Rahim Mondol, 32, son of Atiar Rahman of Daharmagura village, was a mason. Enamul Haque, officer in-charge of Jhikorgacha Police Station, said an altercation ensued between the victim and one Raza Mastan in the evening after Mondol riding a bicycle hit Raza on way to home. Following the incident, Raza and his cohorts beat Mondol mercilessly, leaving him dead on the spot. A case was filed in this connection.

PUST admission test Dec 10

The admission test for first year honours courses for academic year 2011-12 at Pabna University of Science and Technology (PUST) will be held on December 10, says a press release. The admission test of 'A' unit at 9:30am, 'C' unit at 11:30am and 'B' unit at 3:15pm will be held at Pabna Edward College. Candidates have been asked to collect admit cards within December 6. The details about admission are also available at PUST website: www.pust-info.com.

Sand trader shot dead

Unknown criminals shot dead a sand trader in Balurchar Ghatilapur area on the outskirts of the district town on Thursday morning. Golam Mostafa, assistant sub-inspector of Sadar Police Station, said a gang of 5/6 fired gunshots at Mohammad Ali, 45, leaving him injured seriously. Later, Ali succumbed to his injuries at Shaheed Zia Medical College and Hospital at about 10:30am. Locals- Ripon, Sapu and Saheen-might have been involved in the killing, the OC added.

Sugarcane crushing begins

Sugarcane crushing at Thakurgaon and Panchagarh Sugar Mills began on Friday afternoon. Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen inaugurated the crushing of sugarcane at the mills. Managing Director (MD) of Thakurgoan Sugar Mills Sibendranath Sarkar said the production target was fixed at 6,300 tonnes of sugar by crushing 90 thousand MT sugarcanes this fiscal (2011-12) while the recovery rate from the canes is seven percent. In Panchagarh Sugar Mills, the production target was fixed at 5,250 MT of sugar by crushing 70,000 MT sugarcanes while the recovery rate from the canes is 7:50 percent.

Abducted child rescued

Police rescued a kidnapped child from Pankhali village under Dakope upazila on Friday morning and arrested two suspected abductors. Five-year-old Shuvo, son of Pravati Das of Kalikapur village under Dumuria upazila, was abducted for Tk one lakh ransom on Thursday night. On secret information, a team of police rescued the boy from a house at Pankhali and arrested Taposh, 28, and Tushar, 30 at around 11:30am.

Spurious liquor kills 2

Two goldsmiths died while three fell sick after drinking spurious liquor in Bagerhat Sadar upazila on Friday. The deceased were identified as Ananda, 42, and Giash Sheikh, 45. Three others- Kader, Kalu, and Babul, are now undergoing treatment at Bagerhat Sadar Hospital. Police said the five fell sick after drinking rectified sprit on Wednesday night. Later, they were admitted to the hospital in a critical condition where the duo died.

BNP activist arrested

Police arrested an activist of BNP district unit from a procession in the district town yesterday noon. The arrestee is Anwar Hossain, 25. The main opposition brought out the procession protesting the judicial probe that found former home minister Altaf Hoaasin Chowdhury's involvement in 2001 post-polls persecution.

International

Islamists sweep early results

Early results from Egypt's first post-revolution election showed Islamist parties sweeping to victory, including hardline Salafists, with secular parties trounced in many areas.

'Get to the damn table'

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta yesterday urged Israel to "mend fences" with Turkey, Egypt and others in the Middle East to reduce its growing isolation.

Russia braces for tense polls

Russians prepared yesterday for parliamentary elections amid dwindling support for the ruling United Russia party and unprecedented pressure on election observers.

Five killed in restive Yemen city

Five Yemenis were killed yesterday in shelling by government forces targeting the country's second city of Taez and in shootings, as clashes threatened to derail a fragile power-transfer deal.

Euro was flawed from beginning

One of the main architects of the single European currency, Jacques Delors, has said the eurozone was flawed from the beginning.

What food value they have?

What would a diet of spiders and flies, mouse tails and camel toes do to the body? Is there enough nutritional value in these icky somethings to sustain human life?

India pushes to save Kyoto protocol

There has been no progress on the future of Kyoto Protocol in Durban, India's chief negotiator J M Mauskar said yesterdayat the UN climate talks.

Rival militias wage turf war near Tripoli

One local official was killed and a militia base reduced to ruins in a clash between rival armed groups near the Libyan capital, the latest flare-up of tension between militias that is destabilising the new Libya.

Record change in warming Arctic: Report

An international team of 121 scientists has found "record-setting" change in the Arctic linked to global warming, including melting ice, warming waters and changing wind patterns.

Mladic's charges cut to speed up trial

The war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is reducing the number of charges against the former commander of Bosnian Serb forces, Gen Ratko Mladic, because of fears about his health.

Myanmar passes law allowing protests

Myanmar's President Thein Sein has signed a law allowing peaceful demonstrations for the first time, state media report.

Pakistan adjusts rules of engagement after attck

Pakistan's commanders in the wild Afghan border region can return fire if under attack without waiting for permission, the army chief said on Friday, a policy change that could stoke tensions after Saturday's Nato strike killed 24 Pakistani troops.

India 'suspends' retail reform

India's government has "suspended" plans to open the nation's huge retail sector to global competition that have paralysed parliament, a key ally of the ruling coalition said yesterday.

Pakistan won't take part in US-led probe

Islamabad has so far refused to take part in a US inquiry into air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, exacerbating fears yesterday of a prolonged US-Pakistani crisis as a result of the attack.

Pawar escapes again, unhurt

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar yesterday escaped unhurt here after the ceiling fan on the dais from where he was addressing a seminar, fell, police said.

No plan for Naga state: Manmohan

Prime Minister Manmohon Singh yesterday said that there was no plan for a 'supra state' for Nagas in the North-east and appealed to militants to ensure peace in Manipur for speeding up development work.

Blast kills 3 Nato troops in Afghanistan

Three troops from the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) were killed by a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, officials said.

Zambia won't arrest Bush

Zambia will not arrest former US president George W Bush during his African tour for violating international torture laws, the foreign minister said yesterday.

Aussie ruling Party backs gay ties

Australia's ruling Labor Party yesterday agreed to support gay marriage, but consented to lawmakers voting with their conscience on the issue should a same-sex marriage bill come to parliament.

UN joins Libya rogue weapon hunt

The UN Security Council on Friday added the hunt for rogue surface-to-air missiles and other weapons in Libya to the duties of the UN mission in the country.

Cuba urged to free US contractor

The United States on Friday renewed its calls for the immediate release of US contractor Alan Gross, as he prepared to mark two years behind bars in Cuba on state security charges.

Arts & Entertainment

Travels through Liberty

The first TV office here was set up (in 1964) in a small room in my apartment. From the very onset our aim was to project and uphold Bengali culture, as opposed to Urdu programmes. However, occasionally English films were to be shown. Therefore, from the very beginning the central government was suspicious about all our moves. I guess we were the first state-run organisation at the time, to start conducting our work in Bangla -- from official correspondence down to writing cheques.

Fierce nationalists remembered

Udichi Shilpi Goshthi, Rangpur celebrated the 100th birth anniversary of nationalist Pritilata Waddedar and eminent litterateur and a founder of Udichi Shilpi Goshti Ranesh Dasgupta at Rangpur Public library.

Awards for altruism

To search for and honour altruistic personalities who work for the welfare of people across the country by taking up challenges, Singer-Channel i instituted the Kingbodonti Shahoshikota Puroshkar (Legendary Bravery Award) in June this year.

Nazrul Sammelon at National Museum

A two-day long Nazrul Sammelon opened at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum. Bangladesh Nazrul Sangeet Sangstha (BNSS) arranged the programme. Eminent Nazrul exponent and singer Sudhin Das delivered the welcome speech while Nazrul expert and researcher Professor Rafiqul Islam delivered the keynote speech on the life and works of our National Poet on the opening day (December 1) of the convention.

Berger Young Painters' art competition held

The award ceremony of 16th Berger Young Painters' Art Competition was held on December 1 at Winter Garden, Hotel Ruposhi Bangla. Rupali Chowdhury, managing director of Berger Paints Ltd inaugurated the event. In her speech, she said, “Berger Young Painters' Art Competition is one of the significant events which is recognised to bring out the hidden talents in young painters. We hope this will inspire young talents to work harder and bring pride and glory for the nation.”

Animesh Aich debuts on the silver screen

Noted TV director Animesh Aich will make his debut on the silver screen with “Na Manush”. The casting and rehearsals are already over, with full fledged shooting scheduled to begin from the first week of January.

Homecoming of a talent

Bangladeshi-born Norwegian artiste Kohinoor will perform in a series of concerts in and outside Dhaka during the month of December. The first show of the series will be held today at 5:30pm at AIUB campus in Banani, according to a press release. The artiste, who was born in Bangladesh and was adopted by a Norwegian family after the Liberation War, has arrived in Bangladesh after 40 years.

OP-ED

Changes in Myanmar: A flicker or a flame?

Our prime minister will be travelling to Myanmar tomorrow. Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was there. She went to assess whether it is in the throes of fundamental change after 49 years of harsh military rule. Our prime minister, however, will be there primarily to deepen bilateral relations between the two neighbours.

The real lesson of Iraq

Parallels between Iraq's former nuclear weapons programme and the Iranian nuclear programme have shaped policy debates for nearly a decade. We are still paying the costs of failing in Iraq. Israel now seems determined to make similar mistakes in Iran.

A better world starts in the workplace

These are unsettling times all across Asia and the Pacific. The economic malaise and debt crisis plaguing Europe and the high levels of unemployment and weak consumer confidence in the United States -- our region's two main export markets -- threaten Asia's economic security.

Peace in CHT: A perspective on the military role

It has been more than a decade that the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) peace accord was signed. And it appears from the media and a few other groups that peace by and large seems to be far despite the sincere efforts of the government. The government's efforts in terms of handing over of the remaining subjects to the Hill District Councils, forming various committees to expedite the peace process, bringing normalcy in the daily life of the people living in CHT, undertaking development activities, and, above all, the shift in the working procedures, indicate that peace is near rather than far.

And, live happily ever after?

Is happiness for real or is it a state of the mind? Thomas Hardy described happiness as an “occasional episode in a general drama of pain.” Hardy has been criticised for “being overly pessimistic about humanity's place in the scheme of things.” We may or may not agree with Hardy, but both optimists and pessimists are still struggling with the concept of happiness and the factors that contribute toward making human beings happy. Of course, the core question is: what is this illusive emotion, termed happiness? Different individuals may have different views, but a generic definition of happiness is: “A mental state of well-being characterised by positive emotions” or, in layman's terms, happiness is the sense of satisfaction we have in life.

This Day In History

December 4

1110
First Crusade: The Crusaders sack Sidon.


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