The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, December 18, 2014


News of: Monday, 9th of January, 2012

Front Page

BNP takes road march to Ctg

The main opposition BNP's road march, aimed at drumming up support for its demand to get the caretaker government system restored, reached Chittagong last night with the participation of thousands of activists and supporters.

Traffic chaos on highway to Ctg

Thousands of passengers had to endure immense suffering as traffic slowed to a crawl on Dhaka-Chittagong highway yesterday for BNP's road march towards the port city.

Home ministry moves to help service seekers

The home ministry is going high-tech to rid itself of the bureaucratic tangle that often bogs it down and to let people know about the status of their files or services they sought from the ministry.

Journo killed as bus hits his bike

A journalist was killed as a bus hit his motorcycle from behind and then ran him over at the capital's Kakrail yesterday.

Ex-president's son held, 'freed'

Imtiaz Ahmed, son of former president Iajuddin Ahmed, and two top officials of Atish Dipankar University were "released" hours after they were detained from the university's Banani campus on charges of assaulting its registrar.

Probe body holds school responsible

Monipur High School and College violated the right to information act by obstructing a journalist from carrying out her professional duties in a January 3 incident on the institution premises, says a probe committee report.

PM visits Tripura on Jan 11

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will fly to Agartala on January 11 to receive an honorary Doctorate of Literature degree from Tripura University.

JMB chief's son arrested

Rab personnel yesterday arrested a son of detained Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Maulana Saidur Rahman and one of his accomplices from a village in Rajshahi.

Mother's friend confesses killing

Little Ishrat Jahan Riya died so her mother could enter into a second marriage. Rozina Akhter, Riya's mother, allegedly plotted Riya's murder with her fiancé Sultan Mahmud Sabbir.

Biman officials apologise for misbehaving with HC judge

The High Court yesterday exonerated four Biman officials of the contempt of court charge as they unconditionally apologised to the court for misbehaving with one of its judges at Shahjalal International Airport in the capital on October 28 last year.

BTRC tangles with JS body

The telecom regulator yesterday differed with a parliamentary body on the formation of a committee that will evaluate applications for international gateway licences.

Robber killed in 'gunfight' with Rab

A robber was killed in a 'gunfight' with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members in Moheshkhali upazila of Cox's Bazar yesterday morning.

BCB wants Tigers to play in Pakistan

Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday asked the government to provide a security team which would assess security measures taken in Pakistan for Bangladesh cricket team's proposed tour in April.

Wiser politics, free press to spur youths

It is crucial to ensure that young people think independently in a spirit of curiosity and self-questioning, while a free press and wiser politics can act as catalysts to help them realise their potential.

'Land grabbing' by Bashundhara under JS scan

A parliamentary body will investigate allegations of land grabbing against the Bashundhara Group.

Sayedee ordered torching a house

A prosecution witness told the International Crimes Tribunal yesterday that Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee ordered a group of collaborators to torch the house of a businessman in Parerhaat of Pirojpur during the Liberation War.

JU teacher to face sedition charge

The High Court yesterday directed the inspector general of police (IGP) to file a sedition case immediately against a Jahangirnagar University lecturer for making a "derogatory comment" about the prime minister on social networking website Facebook.

Two more parties for search body

Zaker Party and Tarikat Federation Bangladesh yesterday suggested forming a search committee to appoint new chief election commissioner and election commissioners.

Complainant skips Rid Pharma trial

Despite fixing dates five times for the trial against the managing director and four other officials of Rid Pharma Ltd to commence, a Dhaka court could not hold the trial as the complainant did not appear before it.

Minister's APS surrenders

Masudur Rahman Murad, an accused in Narsingdi municipal mayor Lokman Hossain murder case and an assistant personal secretary (APS) of the telecommunications minister, surrendered before a Narsingdi court yesterday morning.

Libya to review all overseas investments: NTC

Libya will review all its investments abroad, with some overseas projects expected to be stopped, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the ruling National Transitional Council, said on Saturday.

Mexican golie in kidnap plot

Former Mexican international footballer Omar "El Gato" Ortiz has been arrested for allegedly participating in a kidnapping ring, police announced yesterday.

Chinese held for attacking Japan embassy

South Korean police yesterday detained a Chinese man accused of throwing petrol bombs at the Japanese embassy in Seoul after reportedly claiming his grandmother was forced into wartime sex slavery.

Editorial

Invest in youths

Perhaps there could not be many better things for the government and the society to invest in than the development of its youths. And that was the main thrust of the call of the President while inaugurating the two-day convention titled, “Lead 2012: Youth in Rising South Asia: Promises and Dreams.”

Deteriorating state of law and order

Rights group Odhikar in its annual report brings to light certain disturbing facts that are reflective of the overall human rights condition in the country. It lays bare the alarmingly rising trend of enforced disappearances allegedly by the law enforcing agencies, not to mention custodial torture often leading to death. The report says last year 30 persons fell victim to enforced disappearances and 17 to custodial deaths.

Sports

Abahani through

Defending champions Abahani became the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Grammenphone Federation Cup when they fashioned a 2-1 victory over Arambagh KS in their Group B encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Al-Amin destroys Lions

An excellent opening spell by Al-Amin Hossain and Imrul Kayes's steady half-century guided Bangladesh A to a resounding six-wicket win over England Lions in the first one-dayer in Chittagong yesterday.

Duo's hearing 'inhuman'

Cricketers' Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) have slated the Bangladesh Cricket Board's decision yesterday to summon two cricketers for not turning up in the practice game against England Lions.

Shooters go to Doha today

With the hope of securing quota places for the 2012 London Olympics, national shooters leave here for Qatar today to take part in the Asian Shooting Championship scheduled for January 11 to 22 in Doha.

Grades for BPL

Four national cricketers were singled out as Grade A players for the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) players' auction. The list of the local cricketers for auction, to be finalised on Monday, will feature 80 players divided into four grades: A, B, C and D. The four players selected for Grade A are: Mahmudullah Riyad, Abdur Razzak, Nasir Hossain and Mashrafe Bin Mortoza.

Khelaghar, Baridhara power on

Khelaghar defeated Azad Sporting Club by 78 runs in their Super League match of the Dhaka First Division Cricket League at the BKSP-3 ground yesterday.

Walkover in hockey

The Trust Bank-Viyellatex 28th National Hockey Championship produced a walk-over on Sunday as Gaibandha did not appear against Chittagong Division at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Abahani take on Torun on Jan 11

Defending champions Abahani take on winless Surjo Torun in the fourth round of the Premier Cricket League at the BKSP-2 on Wednesday.

Qatar Open Tsonga's

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who reached the Australian Open final four years ago, gave himself a great build-up to this year's opening Grand Slam by capturing the eighth title of his career at the Qatar Open on Saturday.

'India missing Bhajji'

Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram feels that the absence of experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is costing India dearly on the bouncy Australian pitches as Ravichandran Ashwin is only good enough for sub-continental wickets.

Only Cook hits form

Opener Alastair Cook was the only batsman to get some good practice as England's batting crumbled against some spirited ICC Combined XI bowling in their three-day tour opener here on Sunday.

Pattinson eyes tri-series return

Despite being ruled out of the last two Tests against India due to a foot injury, Australia's new pace sensation James Pattinson is hoping to return to the team for the triangular one-day series also involving Sri Lanka.

Morkel gets surprise recall

All-rounder Albie Morkel received a surprise call-up to the South African one-day international squad on Sunday when Dean Elgar, the only uncapped player in the original squad to play against Sri Lanka, was ruled out by a knee injury.

Murray takes Brisbane title

A ruthless Andy Murray powered his way to a 6-1, 6-3 win over injury-hampered Alexandr Dolgopolov to win the Brisbane International and take a timely shot of confidence ahead of the Australian Open.

Rafa philosophical about Aussie Open

Spain's former tennis world number one Rafael Nadal, who has struggled with a sore left shoulder since the end of last season, said on Sunday he is not sure he will be playing at his peak at the Australian Open later this month.

Asif appeals with CAS

Jailed Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against his seven-year ban for spot-fixing, the 29-year-old's lawyers confirmed on Saturday.

United win thriller of Manchester

Manchester United withstood a furious fightback by 10-man Manchester City to beat their local rivals 3-2 in a dramatic FA Cup third-round match at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Inter, Siena herald a goal rush

Inter Milan crushed Parma 5-0 at the San Siro on Saturday to keep their slim Serie A title hopes alive while Lazio's championship challenge took a hit when they crashed 4-0 to a vibrant and adenturous Siena.

Henry to play today

Arsene Wenger has confirmed Thierry Henry will make his second 'debut' for Arsenal during the FA Cup third-round clash against Leeds, more than 12 years since he made his first appearance for the club.

Messi can be the best in history

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says his teammate Lionel Messi deserves to win the Ballon d'Or, saying the Argentine forward has helped turn the Spanish club into "one of the best in history".

Much flak for sulky Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo was the target of some unusually harsh criticism from the pro-Real Madrid sports media on Sunday after he reacted to whistling and grumbling from a section of the home fans at the Bernabeu by refusing to celebrate his goal.

Madrid rout Granada

Real Madrid extended their lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga to six points on Saturday with a 5-1 rout of Granada in the minnows' first trip to the Santiago Bernabeu in 36 years.

Dramatic return for Scholes

Paul Scholes, who retired last season, is making a dramatic return to help Manchester United cope with injuries for the rest of the season.

Vargas will need time

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri will give new Chile forward Eduardo Vargas time to bed down.

Contador awarded his weight in honey

Champion cyclist Alberto Contador has been awarded the peculiar honour of receiving his weight in honey, a delicacy of the Spanish town of Penalver.

Business

Create scope for women to flourish in business: analysts

Women entrepreneurs in South Asia are failing to flourish due to shortage of funds, difficulty in marketing, social constraints and non-participation in decision-making, analysts said yesterday amid calls for governments and private sectors to change the scenario.

Economy: it's rough weather out there

The economy may enter a danger zone due to double-digit inflation, the government's excessive borrowing from banks and a dwindling foreign exchange reserve, a leading chamber warned yesterday.

Exports rise as orders shift from China

Exports grew 29.76 percent to $2.06 billion in December, compared with the previous month, as apparel orders shifted from China to Bangladesh.

Change mobile operator with your number unchanged

Within the next six months, mobile phone users in Bangladesh will be able to switch from one operator to another, without changing their numbers.

Falling taka worries steel makers

Steel makers at a meeting with Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday voiced grave concerns over the continuous depreciation of the local currency against the dollar.

ADB to brief govt next month on demutualisation

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will put forward a set of recommendations on the demutualisation of the stock exchanges to the government by next month to help the government and the bourses take decision on the demutua-lisation process.

Stocks finish down

Stocks declined for two consecutive days as investors went for selling shares to bag profits yesterday.

Pipe deal with Indian company today

The government will sign a deal today with an Indian company for supplying pipes worth Tk 600 crore for the Bibiyana-Dhanua gas pipeline project, officials said yesterday.

IMF doubts Greece's ability to fix economy

The International Monetary Fund has growing doubts about Greece's long-term ability to reduce its debts, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

India stocks reform only a partial boost: experts

The Indian government's decision to allow foreign nationals to invest directly in stock markets is an attempt to revive its reform agenda but any benefits will only be seen long-term, analysts say.

Slick design conceals shared car bodies at US show

The slick design of cars and trucks on display at the Detroit auto show this week camouflages some remarkable similarities under the hoods and seats of vehicles.

Merkel, Sarkozy kick off year of eurozone wrangling

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts French President Nicolas Sarkozy Monday, kicking off a week of high-level talks to lay the groundwork for a crunch EU summit on taming the eurozone crisis.

ECB to ring in New Year with rates on hold

The European Central Bank, after cutting interest rates for the past two months, is unlikely to do so again this month, analysts say, but additional cuts could still be on the cards later this year.

Put SMEs at the centre of attention

Banks and the government should do more for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), an economic lifeline for the country, a top banker said.

WTO's services waiver for LDCs: between hope and doubt

During the eighth WTO Ministerial Conference held in Geneva in December 2011, WTO members adopted a waiver allowing developing and developed member states to provide preferential treatment to services and service suppliers of least developed country (LDC) members.

Metropolitan

'It's murder, not accident'

Different professional, social and cultural organisations took to the city streets yesterday protesting the death of Dinesh Das, a senior reporter of the Bangla daily Amader Shomoy, in a road accident.

Minister finds BRTA office in disarray

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, in a surprise visit yesterday, detected various anomalies in issuance of driving license, fitness certificate and tax token in the Mirpur office of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) in the city.

Fire scare at DMCH burn unit

A fire scare led to the evacuation of over 200 patients of burn unit of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) yesterday evening.

Teacher's rejoining protested

A section of guardians of Basundhara branch of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College yesterday formed a human chain on the campus protesting the rejoining of a teacher who had been suspended on July last year.

'Flaws in law obstacle to enforcement'

Implementation of the tobacco control act could not be ensured effectively due to some loopholes in the law, observes a panel study of a committee of the Bangladesh Bar Council.

1,836 women died in 2011 violence

A total of 1,836 women died last year as a result of violence and various forms of repression, according to a report of Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers' Association (BNWLA).

19 docs punished for skipping duty

State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Capt (retd) Mujibur Rahman Fakir asked the authorities concerned to take punitive steps against 19 doctors on charges of being absent in unauthorised manner at different rural hospitals in Mymensingh.

AL won't place concrete proposal

Ruling Awami League (AL) high command last night decided that it would place no concrete proposal to President Zillur Rahman on the formation of the Election Commission (EC) at the party's scheduled dialogue with him on January 12.

One person to die for killing wife

A court here yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing his wife in 2004.

Bus crash kills 3

Local people set a bus ablaze in Borobari area of Sadar upazila after it killed three garment workers yesterday on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway.

New CU rules to recruit teachers

The syndicate of Chittagong University (CU) yesterday approved new rules in its teachers' recruitment criteria.

Cop beaten up by motorcyclists in Rajshahi

Three motorcyclists beat up a police sergeant at the city's Bornali crossing yesterday.

Upholding of 1971 history stressed

Some cultural and media personalities stressed the need for dissemination of real history of the War of Liberation among the younger generation to encourage them to work for a prosperous Bangladesh.

HC stays admission of Barisal girls school

The High Court yesterday stayed the process for admission test in class three of Barisal Government Girls School till January 23.

Road crashes kill 6

Six people, including a schoolboy, were killed and four others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Satkhira, Pabna and Noakhali in last two days.

Dohazari-Cox's Bazar rail route demanded

Speakers at a human chain yesterday urged Railways Minister Suranjit Sengupta to establish a rail connection from Dohazari to Cox's Bazar.

Son sued for beating mother

A Chittagong court issued arrest of warrant against a young man on charge of beating his mother in the port city yesterday.

Kurigram DC, three others apologise over tree felling

Kurigram Deputy Commissioner (DC) and three others unconditionally apologised to the High Court yesterday for not taking action against those responsible for cutting trees on Char Bhurungamari High School premises.

Fake APS to president arrested

A man introducing himself as an assistant private secretary (APS) to President Zillur Rahman was arrested at Uttara in the city last night.

CU teacher sacked

Chittagong University authority yesterday sacked a teacher of applied physics, electronics and communication engineering department for remaining absent without permission since June 2006.

Participants of CAPSTONE course visit defence ministry

Participants of CAPSTONE Course-2012 of National Defence College (NDC) visited defence ministry at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city yesterday.

Dr Alamgir made Prof Emeritus of CU

UGC Professor Dr Alamgir Mohammad Sirajuddin was made Professor Emeritus of Chittagong University (CU) yesterday.

Fill quota of DU admission within Jan 14

The candidates who failed to fill up the quota option for the first year honours and BBA courses admission at the Dhaka University have been requested to apply to the vice-chancellor for filling up their quota option through online within January 14, says a press release.

Bus fare hike in Ctg from tomorrow

District Public Transport Owners Group of the district unit will increase bus fare on 40 routes of the district from tomorrow.

Woman's head found

Police recovered the head of a woman from under the Alipur Bridge in Keraniganj on the outskirts of the capital last evening.

JOCV to assist in maternity health

Two members of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers arrived in Bangladesh yesterday to assist in health and sports under Japan International Cooperation Agency's technical cooperation programme.

Fair of Indian books begins

A seven-day-long book fair featuring rare and old books and journals of Indian publishers began at Theatre Institute, Chittagong in Chittagong city yesterday.

Santosh Gupta's 87th birth anniversary today

Today is the 87th birth anniversary of the late Santosh Gupta, former senior assistant editor of the Daily Sangbad, says a press release.

Obituary

Jebunnesa Begum, mother of Mohamamd Jamal Uddin, a senior reporter of the daily Jugantor, passed away at her son's house at Mohammadpur in the city on Saturday night at the age of 102, says a press release.

Death anniversary

Today is the first death anniversary of Rashed Moudud Khan, former chairman of Bengal Fine Ceramics and former president of Bangladesh Ceramics Industries Association.

National

Floating vegetable farming boon for marginal farmers

Vegetable cultivation on floating gardens prepared in abandoned water bodies brings good prospect for marginal farmers at villages in Teesta River basin areas of Aditmari upazila under Lalmonirhat district.

33 fishermen abducted from Sundarbans in two days

Seven of the 33 fishermen, abducted from the Sundarbans on Friday and Saturday, were rescued after a gunfight between law enforcers and robbers yesterday.

Rivals set 7 houses afire in Natore

Criminals set fire to seven houses on a disputed land at Palohara village in Lalpur upazila under Natore on Saturday night.

Robbers kill ex-PTI superintendent

Robbers strangled former superintendent of Thakurgoan Primary Training Institute (PTI) while committing robbery at her Asrampara house in the district town yesterday, police said.

Jamaat-Shibir men clash with JCD activists in Feni

Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) clashed with Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) over taking room at a rally of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at Feni Government Pilot High School ground yesterday.

Human chain demanding ban on coaching business

Students of different educational institutions, their guardians, social and cultural activists and members of various professional groups yesterday formed a human chain in the district town demanding ban on coaching business.

Boy drowns in pond

A seven-year-old boy drowned in a pond at Uttar Gobdha village in Aditmari upazila yesterday.

Two more PWs give deposition in court

The Speedy Trial Tribunal, Rajshahi, yesterday recorded statements of two more prosecution witnesses (PWs) in Natore college teacher Mizanur Rashid murder case.

3 commit suicide in 2 districts

Three people, including a teenage boy, allegedly committed suicide in Dinajpur and Lalmonirhat yesterday and the day before.

Easy bike driver murdered

Police recovered the body of an easy bike driver from a roadside ditch beside Jessore-Narail highway yesterday, two days after he went missing. Kidnappers might have strangled Sumon Karmakar, 16, son of Sonaton Karmakar of Mohiskhola village in Narail municipality area, as his hands and legs were tied, said police. Family members said Sumon came out with the easy bike on Friday and did not return home. Locals found the body floating on the ditch at about 4:00pm and informed the police. Later, the law enforcers recovered the body and sent it to Narail Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. Ataur Rahman, sub-inspector of Narail Sadar Police Station, suspected that the gang killed the victim to take away his vehicle.

3 Jatra artistes jailed

A mobile court sentenced three female Jatra artistes to three months' imprisonment for performing obscene dance at a fair at Ranihati in Shibganj upazila early Saturday. The convicts are Miniara, 23, Ruma, 20, and Mukta, 21, of Jatra group, Challenger. On secret information, the court led by Executive Magistrate Subrata Paul raided the fair at about 12:10am, arrested the trio while performing obscene dance in the name of Jatra (open air drama) and penalised them.

Convicted prisoner dies

A convicted prisoner of the district jail died of cardiac arrest at Khulna Medical College Hospital yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Abdul Aziz, 55, son of late Azhar Howlader of Bharaiya in Rajapur upazila of Jhalakati district, says a press release signed by the jail authority. Aziz was admitted to the hospital on Saturday evening after he complained of chest pain. He was awarded life imprisonment in a murder case on August 29, 1996. Aziz was shifted to the district jail from Barisal Central Jail in 2009. The body was handed over to his family members after autopsy.

Woman found dead

Police recovered the body of a woman, Momena, 55, from her house at Falia Dighar village in Saghata upazila yesterday morning. District Police Superintendent Basu Deb Banik said victim's grand-daughter saw her body at the house and called neighbours. Later, local people informed the police. The law enforcers recovered the body and sent it to Gaibandha Adhunik Hospital morgue for autopsy. Police said that criminals might have stabbed her dead following a previous enmity.

Man held with fake notes

Police arrested a man along with some fake Bangladeshi and Indian currency notes from Kathaldangi Bazar in Horipur upazila early yesterday. The arrestee is Dobir Uddin, 52, son of Abdul Gafur of Kathaldangi village. Abdus Salam Mia, officer in-charge of Horipur Police Station, said Dobir after purchasing some goods from a grocery shop gave a note of Tk 1,000 to the shop owner. Finding the note fake the shop owner informed the police who rushed to the spot and arrested Dobir. After searching his body, the law enforcers recovered 12 Indian fake notes and 16 Bangladeshi notes of Tk 1000.

Drug peddler jailed

A mobile court here yesterday sentenced a drug peddler to one month imprisonment for possessing a huge quantity of hemps. The convict is Md Shariful Hasan, 25, son of Azgar Ali of Ghasipara in Dinajpur municipality area. Police said the court led by Executive Magistrate Md Abdur Rahman raided the area, arrested Shariful along with the hemp and handed down the verdict. Meanwhile, members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two people along with 98 pieces of Yaba tablets from a residential hotel in Hilly port area under Hakimpur upazila of the district yesterday. The arrestees are Atwar Hossain and Ahad Ali of Sadar upazila. Police said acting on a tip-off, a team of Rab-5 in Rangpur raided the hotel and arrested the duo along with the tablets.

17 injured in clash

At least 17 people were injured in a clash between two rival groups at Dhopadanga village in Sunderganj upazila yesterday. Of the injured, Joshna Begum, Morsheda Begum, Shahida Begum, Fazlur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Chabizol, Mozaffer, and Amena Begum, were admitted to Sunderganj Health Complex in a critical condition while the rest were given first aid. Locals said there had been a longstanding dispute between two families of one Abdul Hye and Fazlur Rahman of the village over the ownership of a land. Supporters of Hye and Fazlur equipped with lethal weapons attacked each other, leaving at least 17 from both sides injured yesterday morning.

Letters

Bus fares in Dhaka and Kolkata

Dhaka and Kolkata are two megacities that stand in close proximity. In Kolkata, intercity non-AC bus fares are for 0-4 km: Rs. 4.00; 4-9 km: Rs. 5.00; and 9-12 km: Rs. 5.50. In that city, the prices of petrol and diesel are Rs. 70.02/liter and Rs. 43.74/liter respectively.

Labelling local teas

Ironically, one has to go out of Bangladesh to enjoy a cup of high grade tea.

Heavy silting of rivers

Bangladesh is a land of rivers. Poor river management, silting, and absence of dredging have reduced the country's riverbed from 5000 kms to 3600 kms. According to a recent report of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), all the rivers of our country have lost the free flows they had in the past due to heavy silt deposition.

Bangladesh a land of hospitality

Bangladesh is known abroad as a country of floods, cyclones and other natural calamities. But if you meet any foreign tourist, who has been in Bangladesh for some time, you will certainly be amazed to hear about the positive sides of the country. To the Europeans, Bangladeshi people are most hospitable in the world. Even today Bangladeshi people cry at the departure of their guests. If Malaysia represents Truly Asia, Bangladesh represents Truly Asian Hospitality. Just by visiting the country, the foreign tourists feel the difference. Besides, Bangladesh is rich in tourism resources which include world heritage sites, archaeological sites, historical mosques and monuments, resorts, long beaches, largest mangrove forest in the world, tribal life, wildlife, rich cultural diversities, etc.

Tamim's temper tantrums!

Quality cricket and temper tantrums do not go together. Tamim Iqbal has to discard one or the other. In the greater interest of cricket and to set an example, Tamim's official cricket career needs to be terminated. He can not go on playing cricket -- a gentleman's game! Such behaviour cannot be tolerated. He should leave cricket if he cannot mend his behaviour.

Homage to Samson H Chowdhury

It is very shocking that Samson H Chowdhury, a great personality and renowned businessman in the subcontinent, has passed away. This great man had tremendous contribution to the welfare of the mankind. He achieved his goals through honesty, sincerity and hard work.

The joy of learning

Thanks to our education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, the students got their textbooks in the early days of 2012 as gifts of the New Year. The pictures in the newspapers quite surprised me, as most of the students of primary level were jumping and laughing with joy after getting their books. They loved the smell of the new books; the colour, the pages, everything encouraged them to study. Their smiles covered the front page of every single newspaper!

Red beef cuts cholesterol!

According to a recent research finding published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, red beef in 'lean' form can lower bad cholesterol. A serving qualifies as "lean," if it has less than 10g total fat, 4.5g or less saturated fat and less than 95mg cholesterol per 3.5 oz. serving. If the research findings can be generalized, it will become a part of DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) like diets containing fruits and vegetables, fine grains, etc.

Torture on domestic helps

I have learnt from a news, published in The Daily Star recently that an organisation conducted a study on the incidents of torture on domestic helps based on the news published in different national dailies. The study says that at least 81 domestic helps were victims of torture while 46 of them died in different incidents in 2011. It also revealed the types of tortures and deaths of the domestic helps.

So many days to celebrate

We have been observing over the last few decades that almost every single day is being designated as a special day and being observed all over the world, such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and so on. The organisers celebrate such days to gain economic benefits. They market their products and earn huge amounts of money.

Resolve Monipur School issue urgently

It is very unfortunate and regrettable that Monipur High School, one of the top ranking schools in Bangladesh, is charging extra 20,000 taka as donation along with the tuition fee of Tk. 5000/-, in the name of development of the school. As the school has a good reputation, the authorities should come forward to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Friday's The Daily Star news report headlined “AL's votes static, BNP's jump.”

International

Arabs meet on Syria to review peace mission

Arab ministers gathered yesterday to review the record of a widely criticised observer mission to Syria, amid growing calls for the bloc to cede to the United Nations the lead role in trying to end nearly 10 months of bloodshed.

Hawking's turns 70 defying the odds of medicine

Defying the odds of medicine, Stephen Hawking, widely regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists, celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday.

Romney stays front-runner

Republican US presidential candidate Mitt Romney weathered sharp attacks from his rivals in a Saturday night debate and pushed full speed ahead towards New Hampshire's bellwether primary.

Iran to launch nuclear work in bunker soon

Iran will in the "near future" start enriching uranium deep inside a mountain, a senior official said, a move likely to further antagonise Western powers which suspect Tehran is seeking nuclear weapons capability.

Congress reaches out to Mamata

A day after Pachimbanga Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's attack, Congress yesterday reached out to its ally saying there was need for “better communication” with Trinamool Congress and the two could re-build trust by ironing out “disagreements” within closed doors.

'Proposed Lokpal Bill unGandhian'

Famous Indian writer Arundhati Roy Saturday said the Jan Lokpal Bill, which she said nobody had read, was totally an unGandhian piece of legislation. She alleged that it would concentrate power in the hands of a few.

BJP runs 'most corrupt' govts in states: Rahul

Attacking BJP, Rahul Gandhi yesterday said the opposition party is taking corrupt ministers thrown out by others and was running the “most corrupt” governments in states ruled by it.

Hazare won't campaign against Congress

Amid talks of the Jan Lokpal movement being directionless, anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare yesterday stated that he will not be undertaking the tour to campaign against the Congress in the five poll bound states because of his weak health.

Nobody sought my resignation: Zardari

Amidst continuing tensions between Pakistan's government and the powerful army over the memo scandal, President Asif Ali Zardari has said that no one had sought his resignation to defuse the political crisis, making light of suggestions that the military had offered him an “escape” route.

Ten years on, Guantanamo still casts long shadow

Ten years ago the world was shocked by images of terror suspects locked in cages on a remote US base in Cuba. Today 171 men are still there, despite vows to close the notorious Guantanamo prison.

'No evidence' of mass killings in S Sudan

The UN's top official in South Sudan on Saturday said "no evidence" had been found of reported mass killings, but warned that 60,000 people were in urgent need of aid.

Nigeria in last bid to prevent strike

President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday defended his policy of scrapping fuel subsidies in an 11th hour attempt to prevent a national strike that threatens to shut down Africa's leading oil producer.

10 killed, 5 decapitated in Mexico

Five people were decapitated and five others were killed in a spate of violent incidents in the Mexican city of Torrean, a justice official announced Saturday.

Libya to review all overseas investments: NTC

Libya will review all its investments abroad, with some overseas projects expected to be stopped, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the ruling National Transitional Council, said on Saturday.

Unusual counter-rally hits Moscow

Russians frustrated with both Vladimir Putin and the nascent opposition movement's inability to institute change staged a small protest in Moscow on yesterday under the slogan of "we have had enough".

Pakistan frees 179 Indian fishermen

Pakistan freed 179 Indian fishermen on Saturday who were imprisoned for violating territorial waters, the prisons chief said.

Arts & Entertainment

Fascinated with time and history

Bangladeshi expatriate painter Md Tokon is deeply into abstract expressionism. Before leaving for New York, the artist spent most of his time in Jhenidah and Dhaka. Urban life and its socio-economic aspects, as well as the surrounding atmosphere have made a great impact on his work. He has gradually transformed himself into an abstract expressionist painter.

Centenary of Geetanjali

Both accomplished and promising artistes of Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha (BRSSS) rendered songs from “Geetanjali” (Tagore's Nobel Prize winning literary work) at a musical soiree held on January 7, at Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium, Central Public Library, Shahbagh in Dhaka. BRSSS organised the event marking the Bard's 150th birth anniversary and 100 years of the launch of Geetanjali's English translation.

Suchitra Sen Film Festival in Pabna

The 3rd Suchitra Sen Film Festival will kick off in Pabna on January 10. Suchitra Sen Smriti Shangrakkhan Parishad, Pabna is organising the weeklong film festival in the screen legend's hometown. The organisation also demands that Sen's ancestral home in Pabna be freed from unjustified occupation, and the legendary screen goddess's memories be preserved.

Beyoncé becomes a mother

Baby-oncé finally has a name -- Ivy Blue Carter.

Three-day cultural fest by Sandipon

A three-day cultural festival held at Town Hall premises here concluded on January 7.

World Poetry Festival in Kolkata begins

The International Bangla Poetry Festival Committee and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) have jointly organised a three-day poetry festival at Shishir Moncho, Kolkata, India.

Salman and Shah Rukh -- the most bankable stars of Bollywood

Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan have been named the most bankable stars of Bollywood by ETC Bollywood Business Awards.

OP-ED

Break political stalemate

When Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was giving her government's account of successes in the last three years, the people of Comilla city were thinking otherwise. The Awami League (AL)-backed mayoral candidate for Comilla City Corporation Afzal Khan lost to his opponent by a huge margin. If election is any yardstick to measure a government's popularity, then the mayoral polls for Comilla city are definitely the ones to gauge people's perception of the incumbent government's performance.

Anna, BJP stoop to new lows

The fiasco over India's Lokpal Bill showed the ruling United Progressive Alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party in poor light, and exposed the hypocrisy of and falling public support for Anna Hazare and India Against Corruption (IAC).

This Day In History

January 9
1960
President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser opens construction on the Aswan Dam by detonating ten tons of dynamite to demolish twenty tons of granite on the east bank of the Nile.



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