The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, September 19, 2014


News of: Monday, 23rd of January, 2012

Front Page

Four to find right persons for EC

The government yesterday formed a four-member search committee to recommend names to the president for appointment as election commissioners.

Tax lawyer, son shot; mugged

A father and his son knew little of the danger or the horror awaiting them as they headed out from their home yesterday morning to deposit money at a bank.

Discipline, no anarchy

The main opposition BNP has asked the government to disclose all facts regarding the plot to topple it after conducting a fair probe into it.

Ijtema ends with call for peace

Lakhs of devotees from home and abroad raised their hands in prayers seeking purification of the soul and peace, prosperity and unity of the Muslim Ummah as the three-day second and last phase of the Biswa Ijtema ended yesterday through Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers).

The BNP statement

Dear journalist friends,
Assalamu Alaikum
A press briefing on Thursday spoke of a failed military coup. After knowing of the matter, like the people of the country the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is also deeply concerned. Through you we want to inform all about our concern and the party's reaction. First of all, we thank Almighty Allah. By his infinite grace no bloodshed and clash occurred. The civil administration and constitutional system have continued. Memories of bloody military coups and chaos in the past make us sad.

Hizb-ut shows its eerie presence

Fifteen months after it was banned, the Islamist outfit Hizb-ut-Tahrir is once again in the spotlight after the army pointed to its involvement in the recent foiled plot to topple the government.

Stop hill cutting for industry

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday directed the Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) authorities to stop cutting hills in its project areas under Anwara and Patia upazilas in Chittagong.

First class galore raises eyebrows

As many as 26 out of 52 students secured first class in the master's examinations of Dhaka University anthropology department, much to the surprise of the campus community.

Dhaka to push for safe system

Bangladesh is going to seek a fully secure visa process for its jobseekers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to check forgery.

Harassed for refusing pvt tuition offer

The High Court yesterday summoned a schoolteacher of Chittagong on charge of harassing a female student, when she refused his offer of private tuition.

Use foreign fund or lose local allocation

To ease pressure on the budget, the government asks the ministries to utilise foreign fund first, otherwise local allocation will be cut.

No link with 'plot in army'

Abdullahhil Aman Azmi, a former brigadier general in Bangladesh Army, also a son of former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam, yesterday claimed neither he nor any of his family members was involved in the recent "failed coup in the army".

China looks positive

China says Bangladesh's proposed deep seaport in Sonadia Island is of strategic importance to the country and is helpful to become the regional transportation and logistic centre.

Saarc secy general quits over controversy

Saarc Secretary General Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed has resigned from the post amid allegations from senior Maldivian officials of favouring anti-government forces in political issues of the country.

Khaleda, 3 others summoned

A Dhaka court yesterday summoned BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and three others to appear before it on February 14 in connection with the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.

Sri Lanka warns ex-Tamil rebels against revolting

Sri Lanka has warned former Tamil Tiger rebels not to engage with any group which may be attempting to overthrow the government.

India mulls bringing corporates under anti-graft law

In view of complaints of corruption in the private sector, the government is considering bringing corporates under a proposed anti-graft law.

Editorial

We are taken aback!

LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam's view that the government is not much worried about the recent degrading incident of torture of one of our citizens on the Bangladesh-India border is not only surprising but also embarrassing for the nation. That he could treat such incidents in a cavalier fashion leaves the government in a bad light. In much the same manner, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's remark that such issues should not be blown out of proportions makes us wonder about the insensitivity shown to the sensibilities of Bangladeshi citizens.

Hospitals' poor fire-fighting capacity

It is just as well that the High Court had directed the DG Health to conduct survey and report on the state of fire safety measures at the hospitals, clinics and health centers across the country. And the picture we get of the equipment and trained manpower is discouraging.

Sports

Lions trounce A team

Lacklustre batting cost Bangladesh A victory in the first Twenty20 game against England Lions by 32 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

MSC spending heavy

With three weeks still left to the resumption of the hockey inter-club players' transfers window, Mohammedan SC have already made a buzz by confirming three of the top national players. Rasel Mahmud Jimmy, Kamruzzaman Rana and Imran Hasan Pintu have reportedly signed fresh contracts with the club for a big amount of payment.

BPL won't change rule for Sylhet

Bangladesh Premier League's governing council are adamant to keep the icon players' magnitude intact after one franchise protested their latest ruling.

Up against whitewash

Struggling India are desperate to avoid the ignominy of another 4-0 series wipe-out in the fourth and final Test against Australia starting at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.

Faridpur, Army in final

Defending champions Faridpur and Bangladesh Army moved to the final of the Trust Bank-ViyellaTex 28th National Hockey Championship beating their respective rivals in the semifinals at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Clarke wants it 4-0

Australia captain Michael Clarke on Saturday stated that his team wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a 4-0 whitewash in the ongoing Test series against India.

Sri Lanka narrow gap

Sachitha Senanayake struck a six off the penultimate ball to give Sri Lanka a two-wicket triumph over South Africa Sunday in the final match of a five one-day international series won 3-2 by the hosts.

BFF rejects Russel, MSC appeals

The professional football league committee of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday rejected the appeals of a couple of the clubs to sign new foreign players ahead of the Bangladesh Premier League starting from February 1.

Sheltech, BJMC in title tie

Sheltech and Team BJMC qualified for the final of the Walton Women's Corporate League.

BKSP, Dhaka Metro win big

BKSP handed Dhaka North an innings and one-run defeat within two days of their National Under-18 Cricket competition at the Shamsul Huda Stadium in Jessore on Saturday.

Kim dashes Asia's hope

Down four match points and hobbling on her injured left ankle, defending champion Kim Clijsters somehow rallied for a dramatic 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 win over Li Na at the Australian Open on Sunday.

Lot of ifs & buts at top

With Pakistan shedding their notorious unpredictability and Australia coming to terms with a tricky transition, Test cricket hierarchy in the next couple of months might look more like a banana republic... ripe for a coup.

De Villiers, Smith lift SA

Captain AB de Villiers and predecessor Graeme Smith both scored 125 runs on Sunday as South Africa totalled 312-4 after being put in to bat by Sri Lanka in the fifth one-day international.

NSC tightens purse strings

Unlike before the 2010 South Asian Games at home, Bangladesh athletes will probably have to do without long-term training facilities ahead of the next SA Games to be held in India as the National Sports Council (NSC) expressed their inability to provide funds for adequate preparation for the next edition of the showpiece event.

Iskander passes away

Former cricketer and noted sports organiser Iskander Khan Majlish passed away on Sunday morning following a cardiac arrest. He was 65.

It's always Balotelli

Mario Balotelli settled an extraordinary Premier League battle when his 94th minute penalty earned leaders Manchester City a 3-2 victory over Tottenham here Sunday.

Cup starts with shocks

Lowly Equatorial Guinea stunned Libya and Zambia upset Senegal as the African Nations Cup began with surprises as well as tear gas outside the stadium in Bata on Saturday.

Schalke in dreamland

Schalke 04 joined Bayern Munich at the top of the table after easing past VfB Stuttgart 3-1 on Saturday to collect their fourth straight Bundesliga win.

Juve win as Totti breaks record

Second-half goals from Stephan Lichtsteiner and Emanuele Giaccherini sent Juventus four points clear in Serie A after they defeated Atalanta 2-0 in Bergamo on Saturday to finish the first half of the season unbeaten.

Plot in army condemned

Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal (ML) General Secretary Dilip Barua yesterday said the recent abortive bid to dislodge the democratic government was apparently designed to establish a communal and fundamentalist state by dividing the nation.

No one can capitalise

Chelsea were held and Newcastle United and Liverpool humbled on a day of surprises in the Premier League on Saturday when the lesser lights enjoyed some unexpected success against the more established teams.

Kagawa stays put

Japan winger Shinji Kagawa has said he sees his future being with German champions Borussia Dortmund and any reports of a move to European giants Manchester United or AC Milan are just speculation.

Falcao fires Atletico

A hattrick from 40 million-euro signing Radamel Falcao helped Atletico Madrid to their first away win of the La Liga season as they beat Real Sociedad 4-0 on Saturday.

Love will keep Ana going

Glamour girl Ana Ivanovic has an added incentive to make further progress at the Australian Open -- golf-star boyfriend Adam Scott will stick around for as long as she stays in the tournament. When asked if Scott, who plays on the US PGA Tour, would stay in Melbourne, the former world number one said: "Yeah, that's the deal. I really hope I can go far and spend another week here. That would be fun to compete next Saturday."

Business

BB tightens grip on consumer loans

Bangladesh Bank yesterday tightened loans to buy cars and homes in an effort to rein in credit to the unproductive sector.

Market cap-GDP ratio slips

The market capitalisation to GDP ratio on the Dhaka Stock Exchange fell by 17.44 percent last year due to a series of abnormal downswings.

Conditions for $1b credit must be met in time: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has imposed 16 conditions, including demutualisation of Dhaka and Chittagong bourses by December, for the possible $1 billion credit to Bangladesh.

Benapole stalls as Indian truckers protest 'car-pass'

Export and import activities through Benapole land port came to a halt yesterday as Indian truck drivers went on strike protesting the new “car-pass” system at the port.

Stocks suffer a big jolt

Stocks lost 4.78 percent yesterday -- the steepest downswing in January -- as investors went for panic sell-offs amid falling confidence.

Economy can do better: ICCB

Bangladesh has good prospects despite some disturbing signs in the economy, said the International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICCB), calling on the government to generate own resources to ensure sustainable growth.

Labour law to be amended: minister

Labour and Employment Minister Engineer Khandker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday said the government will bring 23 amendments to the labour law for making it more worker-friendly.

Banks provide $336m to BPC

Three state-run commercial banks opened letters of credit worth US$336 million for Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation for importing fuel oils as of January 22 this year, officials said yesterday.

Otobi launches new products

Otobi, a leading furniture maker, has revealed 110 new products at Dhaka International Trade Fair, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Govt to set up 92 cooperative markets

The government plans to set up 92 cooperative markets, one in each ward of the capital, to protect consumers' rights and keep away market syndicates.

Russia woos workers from Bangladesh

Russia can become a good market for Bangladesh's skilled workers in the construction sector. Zubko Alexander Ivanovich, honorary consul of Bangladesh in Vladivostok of Russia, shared this opinion at an interview with The Daily Star this week.

Buy or rent?

There is a saying in the transport business that if it flies or floats, you should rent it (there are also much ruder versions of this epigram). Nevertheless, airlines have traditionally bought their planes, even if many purchases were arranged as “finance leases”, with the instalments dressed up as rent payments so as to make them tax-deductible.

Davos elites to seek reforms of 'outdated' capitalism

Economic and political elites meeting this week at the Swiss resort of Davos will be asked to urgently find ways to reform a capitalist system that has been described as "outdated and crumbling."

Metropolitan

DU rolling back session jam

Session jams that ate away valuable years from the lives of the students of Dhaka University since the eighties, are now all set to become history as all of its departments and institutes have succeeded in drastically slashing the backlog.

BNP gives ultimatums with ill motive, says Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday came down heavily on the Leader of the Opposition for giving the government ultimatum one after another and said people observed her motive of such provocation few days ago.

One held, 28 rare snakes seized

Law enforcers arrested a man on suspicion of breaking wildlife laws after he was found carrying 28 rare snakes in a bus on the eastern side of Bangabandhu Bridge in Tangail yesterday.

Zero tolerance of terrorism

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the local administration to take the harshest steps against militancy and terrorism as the government would show zero tolerance towards the twin dangers.

Conduct research on mineral extraction: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the country's geologists and mineral scientists to conduct extensive research on extraction and optimum utilisation of the scarce natural resources in Bangladesh.

Sust body starts functioning

The seven-member committee, formed by the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) vice chancellor on January 18 to return normalcy on the campus, started holding talks with student and cultural organisations on Friday.

Contributions of ASK founders recalled

Paying homage to Barrister Salma Sobhan, Justice KM Sobhan and Advocate Aminul Haque, speakers yesterday at a memorial programme said that they had made great contributions to today's democracy.

Another JU student arrested

Police yesterday arrested another student of Jahangirnagar University (JU) for his alleged involvement in the Zubair murder case.

Govt asked to explain in four weeks

The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain in four weeks why construction of several makeshift roads in the name of embankments on the river Titas in Brahmanbaria should not be declared illegal.

HC summons DMCH director

The High Court yesterday summoned the director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for not taking any step for conducting post mortem of the body of Nusrat Jahan Meghna, a student of Uttara University, as per its directive.

Bangladesh military contingent awarded in South Sudan

Force Comd, UNMISS, Maj Gen Moses Obi awarded “Force Commander's Unit Citation” to Bangladesh Military Police (BANMP/6) as a recognition of its outstanding professional competence in South Sudan, an official release said yesterday.

Two more children die of Nipah

Two children suspected to have contracted Nipah virus died yesterday in Joypurhat in suspected infections of Nipah virus.

7 killed in road crashes

Seven people were killed and two others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Tangail, Natore and Rangpur early Saturday and yesterday.

Bangladeshi shot by Indian smugglers

A Bangladeshi man was shot allegedly by Indian smugglers near the Charghat border in Rajshahi Saturday evening.

Petitions rejected

The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday rejected the petitions filed by Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Delawar Hossain Sayedee and Abdul Quader Mollah seeking investigation reports on their alleged crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

Journalists decry plot in army

President of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury yesterday said democracy could not flourish without freedom of press.

10 former customs officials get bail

Ten former customs officials yesterday surrendered to a Dhaka court and obtained bail in a graft case filed against them 11 years back for allegedly evading more than Tk 15.42 crore in revenue.

Plot in army condemned

Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal (ML) General Secretary Dilip Barua yesterday said the recent abortive bid to dislodge the democratic government was apparently designed to establish a communal and fundamentalist state by dividing the nation.

Int'l confce on cultural diversity from May 9

An international conference on 'Cultural Diversity Ministerial Forum of the Asia-Pacific Region 2012' will be held in the city from May 9 to 11.

Missing statue recovered

A two-kg touchstone statue which went missing from the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) museum in Pilkhana during the carnage on February 25-26 in 2009 was recovered from a store in the city's Hatirpool on Saturday.

8th wage board in first week of Feb

The government is going to announce the formation of 8th wage board for journalists in the first week of February.

Hizb ut-Tahrir 'leader' held

Police yesterday arrested an alleged leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh and seized a huge number of books, posters and leaflets of the banned religious outfit from his residence in the city's Sabujbagh.

Bird interrupts Biman flight

A Cox's Bazar-bound flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines was cancelled yesterday after the aircraft's engine came in contact with a stray bird during take off.

Sylhet BNP demands withdrawal of 'false cases'

Sylhet district and city unit BNP yesterday staged a three-hour long token hunger strike and a rally to press for withdrawal of 'false cases' against their district president and other party men.

Shakil PM's special assistant

Mohammad Mahbubul Haque Shakil has been made special assistant (media) to prime minister with the status of joint secretary on contractual appointment, according to a PID handout.

Obituary

Major (Retd) Monirul Islam Chandan, son of late freedom fighter Dr Nazrul Islam of Shaheed Hasan Sarak inf Jamalpur, died of cardiac arrest on Friday at the age of 50.

Sunil Kanti Barua

Sunil Kanti Barua, a retired chief accountant of Pragati Industries Ltd and father of journalist Prabir Barua, passed away at his Mogoltuli Baruapara residence in the port city at around 8:45pm on Saturday due to cardiac arrest at the age of 78.

National

Medical service in railway west zone limping

Official medical service for the staff under Western Zone of Bangladesh Railway (BR) is limping due to shortage of doctors, employees, budget and other facilities.

Satkhira flood victims need assistance: WFP

A new assessment of food needs in flood-affected Satkhira district shows that more than 150,000 people will require food and other assistance over the next 12 months, says a press release issued by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday.

Human chain demands polls to 3 hill dist councils

Hundreds of people led by leaders of Jumma Representatives Council (JRC) yesterday formed a human chain in front of Khagrachhari Press Club demanding election to three hill district councils.

Mob beat robber dead in Barisal

A robber was beaten to death by a mob at Kuniakandi village under Gournadi upazila of the Barisal district early yesterday.

50 injured as cops, students clash in Gopalganj

At least 50 people were injured as police yesterday charged batons to disperse the angry students who barricaded Dhaka-Khulna highway in Gopalganj Sadar upazila protesting harassment of one of their fellows allegedly by transport workers.

Two poachers arrested with venison

Law enforcers arrested two poachers along with 30 kilograms of venison in Patharghata upazila of Barguna district on Saturday.

42 Jubo League, BCL men sued in 2 cases

Two separate cases have been filed with Ishwardi police station -- one for murder and the other for arson attack, following the murder of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist Mostafa Kamal Shanto and consequent setting fire to the houses of five Jubo League men.

NGO official abducted, 4 arrested

Police arrested four people from Ullahpara upazila early yesterday on charge of abducting an NGO official.

Jute godown gutted

A jute godown was gutted in a fire at Arenda Bazar in Lohagara upazila on Saturday night. On information, firefighters rushed to the spot and doused the blaze after an hour-long of frantic efforts. The affected godown owner Haji Nur Islam claimed that about 400 maunds of jute were gutted in the fire. He said the warehouse was set alight by someone as there was no eclectic wire here. The loss caused by the fire could go up to Tk three lakh, added Nur Islam.

Child found dead

An 11-month-old baby was found dead at a washroom of a house at Gava village in Sadar upazila yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Achinta Paul Monu, son of Gobinda Pal of the village. Victim's father Gobinda Pal said he along with his wife Kalyani and son Monu, was in sleep on the veranda of their house on Saturday night. When they woke up in the morning, they found that their baby was missing. After a hectic search, Gobinda found Monu's body at the washroom of Durga Pal, neighbour of Gobinda, in the morning. Being informed, police recovered the body from the spot and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy. Gobinda said criminals might have killed his son.

Another JU student held

Police yesterday arrested another student of Jahangirnagar University (JU) for his alleged involvement in the Zubair murder case.

3 drug peddlers jailed

A mobile court in Hatibandha upazila on Saturday jailed three drug peddlers for 18 months each for possessing hemp. The convicts are Abul Hossain, 62, Montu Miah, 35, and Kshem Ali, 33, of Amjhol, a frontier village in the upazila. Teesta Barrage Highway police said they arrested the trio along with half kilogram of hemp from a Rangpur-bound passenger bus beside Teesta Barrage on Saturday evening and produced them before the court led by Executive Magistrate Shakwat Hossain who penalised the men.

Man murdered

A man was killed allegedly by his elder brother in Companyganj upazila headquarters on Saturday noon. The victim was identified as Ismail Ali, 30, son of late Akram Ali of the upazila. Nandan Kanti Dhar, officer in-charge of Companyganj Police Station, said there was a longstanding dispute between Liakot Ali and his younger brother Ismail over family affairs. An altercation ensued between the two brothers at about 2:00pm over a trifling matter and at one stage Liakot with the help of his brother-in-law Hashim stabbed Ismail indiscriminately, leaving him critically injured at noon. Later, the victim succumbed to his injuries on way to Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital.

Woman's body exhumed

Body of a woman was exhumed from a graveyard at Nawdapara village in Lalpur upazila in presence of a magistrate yesterday noon and sent it to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital morgue for a fresh autopsy. Family sources alleged that in-laws of the deceased Hosneara Begum, 19, beat her dead at their Nawdapara village residence on September 18 last year for Tk 1.5 lakh in dowry.. The victim was buried on the same day without any autopsy. Hosneara's family then filed a murder case accusing six people, including her husband Nuruzzaman. Following a court order, the body was exhumed.

Port workers-traders clash

At least four people were injured in a clash between the workers of Barisal river port and local traders of the City Market here yesterday morning. The injured are Abdul Khalek, Mona Mia, Sumon Mia and Amir Hossain. Saiful Islam, president of City Market Businessmen Association, alleged that Abdul Khalek, a trader of the market, was beaten by the port workers while he protested against hitting him by a rickshaw-van loaded with goods at the steamer station in front of the market at about 11:00 am. As sequel to the incident, the port workers led by outsiders Gaja Halim, Kamaluddin and Cherag Ali attacked them and tried to loot cash from their shops. Later, the law enforcers rushed in and took the situation under control at about 11:50am.

Letters

Cross-border atrocities

Bangladesh achieved independence with the help and assistance of India in 1971. India sheltered and fed millions of our people during the nine months' War of Independence. The war began against the background of a massacre of the unarmed Bengali civilian population unheard of in history. Unfortunately, the victims of the carnage were but the citizens of a state (the then Pakistan) whose integrity the murderous army was supposed to protect.

Alarming road accidents

There is not a single day that we pass without reading the news of road accidents in the newspapers. Such news make us extremely sad and it is unbearable to read the description of the accidents. Almost all the accidents are caused due to reckless and unskilled driving, bending of traffic signals as well as negligence and impatience of the drivers.

Health care delivery in Bangladesh

That health care delivery in Bangladesh is in need of a major overhaul. The poor continue to die of preventable diseases, and infant and maternal mortality rates in Bangladesh are very high. A recent study by the donor agencies once again emphasises the fact that the funds and schemes meant for the poor in Bangladesh do not always reach them. Evidence shows that health services are primarily accessed by the better off people rather than the poor.

Need for a primary school

The government expressed its wish to establish primary schools in all the villages of Bangladesh. But there are many villages in the country which have no primary school. The Chondipur village of Shadullapur at Gaibandha is an example of such villages. Most of the people in this village are very poor and illiterate. They do not bother about their children's education. Only a few of them are interested in educating their children, but they do not have any scope to do that because they do not have a primary school in the village. So I urge the education ministry to establish a primary school in this village as soon as possible.

People of Bangladesh demand CTG

I regularly watch the talk show Grameen Phone Tritio Matra, as it is a very interesting and enlightening programme. On January 17, 2012 the participants were Z.A Khan and Kazi Feroze Rashid. At one stage, host Zillur Rahman asked Z.A Khan why they were so vocal about caretaker government and not so with other issues.

Roads should be widened

I was wondering who are to blame for the unusual rate of death on the roads. It is clear that most accidents occur due to bad road conditions, unfit vehicles and untrained driving. We think government has a great deal to do in these cases. We must immediately work out a long term plan to build a smooth and wide road network. To ease the burden on roads, we must develop the railway, waterway and airway sectors. A strong visionary leadership and accountability is needed for the smooth execution of that plan. I think money will not be a problem if we just have a good mindset. Everything is first created in the mind. So the government must now decide whether they will waste national wealth on unproductive and reactive pursuits or for the good of the general people. Time is running out very fast. People are angry enough to break the wall of fear and come onto the streets like uncontrolled deluge to wash away the stagnation.

The Daily Star's role appreciated

I would like to thank the authority of The Daily Star for expressing the 'Apology' with an extra importance by publishing it on the front page of January 18, 2012. I appreciate your courage to refuse the money for that advertisement on ethical ground. When I first saw your front page article on 'Doreen Tower' (Dec 10, 2011), I wanted to thank you for your fearless journalism. I wanted to take the opportunity to disclose to the people the fact that the owner of this Doreen Tower was the same person who has done the 'Landscaping with a colourful fountain' on the public road! (Letter, The Daily Star, Nov 18, 2011).

Donate the proceeds

This refers to your front page apology published on January 18th. In my opinion, you may prepare a list of blacklisted persons and organisations for prior verification before accepting advertisements from them.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Pranab, Ashraf play it down”

International

US 'pleased' with Myanmar reforms

A key US senator yesterday said the United States was "pleased with the progress" of Myanmar's reforms but urged the nominally-civilian regime to ensure upcoming by-elections are "free and fair".

Will Priyanka's charm work?

She's called a 'reluctant bride', a 'seasonal variation' and a 'media lovely'. For the swish set, Priyanka Gandhi is a fashion icon or a socialite. But when she goes to the rural hinterlands, she's appears wrapped casually in a cotton sari, reminding one of her grandmother. And now, she's campaigning in UP for her brother Rahul.

Romney to release tax returns

US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has said he will release recent tax returns today after his defeat to Gingrich in South Carolina primary.

Arabs to extend Syria mission

The Arab League was set to extend its mission in Syria for another month yesterday despite Saudi Arabia said Riyadh was pulling its observers from the widely criticised Arab League observer mission.

Maldives seeks UN help

The Maldives yesterday asked the UN and the Commonwealth to send a team of international legal experts to mediate in a judicial crisis that has sparked street demonstrations in recent days.

Disgusted by police plot

British author Salman Rushdie yesterday accused Indian police of making up an underworld plot to assassinate him that forced him to pull out of a literary festival this weekend.

Finally, Saleh leaves Yemen

President Ali Abdullah Saleh left Yemen yesterday for neighbouring Oman from where he will go to the United States for treatment, hours after making a farewell speech asking the people to forgive him.

Maoist camp destroyed in India

A Maoist camp was destroyed and several weapons and explosive devices were seized during a joint combing operation by security forces in a jungle in Odisha's Malkangiri district yesterday.

Pakistan nabs 31 Indian fishermen

Pakistani authorities have arrested 31 Indian fishermen and seized 14 boats for allegedly violating the country's maritime boundary, an official said.

Gingrich wins South Carolina primary

Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich walloped rival and longtime frontrunner Mitt Romney in South Carolina's primary, dramatically reshaping the topsy-turvy race.

Libya ruling council deputy quits

The deputy head of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) said yesterday he was resigning after a series of protests against the new government which the country's leader warned could drag Libya into a "bottomless pit."

NEOShield to assess Earth defence

NEOShield is a new international project that will assess the threat posed by Near Earth Objects (NEO) and look at the best possible solutions for dealing with a big asteroid or comet on a collision path with our planet.

Support democracies in Arab Spring countries: HRW

Human Rights Watch urged world powers to support the rights of Arab Spring protesters to build real democracies after they ousted long-time strongmen once backed by the West, in its annual report yesterday.

Death toll rises to 178

Gun and bomb attacks by Islamist insurgents in the northern Nigerian city of Kano last week killed at least 178 people, a hospital doctor said on Sunday, underscoring the daunting challenge President Goodluck Jonathan now faces to prevent his country sliding further into chaos.

Mubarak still president!

Hosni Mubarak is still president of Egypt as he never signed a resignation letter, his lawyer asserted in court yesterday as he began wrapping up the defence case in the trial of the ousted strongman.

Finland votes in presidential election

Polling stations opened across Finland in yesterday's presidential election, with pro-euro career politician Sauli Niinistoe leading the polls after a campaign centred on Finland's role in Europe.

26 babies die in India hospital

At least 26 infants have died in the past five days in a state-run hospital in India's West Bengal state, authorities said yesterday.

17 killed as Iran boat sinks

Seventeen people died when an Iranian passenger boat capsized in heavy winds after running out of fuel in the Strait of Hormuz, the official IRNA news agency reported yesterday.

Bird flu claims second victim in China

A man in southwest China who contracted the bird flu virus died yesterday, state media reported, the second human death in the Asian country from the virulent disease in just under a month.

Arts & Entertainment

"Children are an ideal audience for films"

The Fifth International Children's Film Festival is dedicated to young ones and so 12-year-old Anabil Madhurja had the honour to address the first few words at the inaugural ceremony, held on Saturday at the Central Public Library in Dhaka. The festival was then launched with the performance of the festival song, the hoisting of the National Flag and the release of doves, symbolising the hope for global peace.

An ace jatra costume maker

Ali Akbar Pathan, a pioneer in making jatra costumes in Mymensingh region is upbeat about the prospects for artistes involved in this profession.

Tagore classic

Padatik Natya Sangsad-Bangladesh premiered their 30th production “Shey”, an adaptation of a Tagore story into a play, at Mahakoron Binodon Sangstha Natya Utshab in Agartala, Tripura of India on December 9 last year.

Earthquake Awareness

A painting competition for children was held at Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala (art gallery) at Shaheeb Quarter Park area of the town on January 20.

Bollywood film The Dirty Picture strikes gold

Bollywood masala movie “The Dirty Picture”, starring Vidya Balan and Naseeruddin Shah, and Zoya Akhtar's “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” walked away most of the honours at the 18th Colors Screen Awards this year.

Singing legend Etta James dies at 73

US soul singer Etta James, best known for the tracks “At Last” and for “I'd Rather Go Blind”, has died aged 73.

OP-ED

Govt. should mind its citizens

The media footage on the excesses committed by members of the Indian BSF on a Bangladeshi national engaged in cross-border cattle trading on December 9 last year has outraged all its viewers. In fact, it was the Indian electronic media that got it first and let the whole world know about the uncivilised manner in which their border security personnel treated a human being.

American voters: still up for grabs

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Friday found that two-thirds of Americans would consider voting for a third-party presidential candidate, while 48 percent definitely wanted a third party in the race. Now what does that tell you? It tells you that with the campaign about to go into full swing, as the president delivers his State of the Union address next week, voters are still casting about for a leader with a winning message. I can save both parties a lot of money. I am one of those voters, and I can tell you exactly for whom I want to vote and I don't think I'm alone.

This Day In History

January 23

1571
The Royal Exchange opens in London.



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