The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 3rd of February, 2012

Front Page

School-goers at grave risk

Pedestrians in the capital remain exposed to the constant danger of losing life or limbs as reckless driving continues with impunity.

Step taken 2 years after decisions

The Road Transport Advisory Council has finally moved to implement the decisions taken nearly two years back to remove unauthorised structures and human haulers from highways to check road accidents.

No graft in Padma Bridge project

The Anti-Corruption Commission has found no evidence of the World Bank's allegation of corruption in appointing the contractor of the proposed Padma Bridge project.

Overtaking bus kills 1

A passenger hanging on to the door of an overcrowded bus was smashed to death as another speeding bus trying to overtake from the wrong side hit him in the capital's Tejgaon industrial area yesterday.

Ashraf critical of media

LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam in parliament yesterday termed road crash fatalities “mere accidents” and criticised the media for describing those as “killings”.

Egypt mourns as 74 die in football clash

Egypt began three days of mourning on Thursday after 74 people were killed in an eruption of violence at a football match that sparked new anger against the military rulers for failing to ensure security.

Dhirendranath Dutta's demand for Bangla

Dhirendranath Dutta's place in history is assured. As the first Bengali lawmaker in the Pakistan constituent assembly to demand the use of Bangla in the proceedings of the House in February 1948, he made it clear to the powers that be that ignoring the language of the majority population of the country could only lead to a complex situation. Intriguingly, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, who owed his seat in the assembly to the quota for East Bengal, rejected Dutta's suggestion out of hand. Among those who sided with the prime minister was Khwaja Nazimuddin, the Urdu-speaking chief minister of East Bengal. Nazimuddin even went to the extent of informing the House, falsely as it were, that most people of East Bengal thought Urdu ought to be the state language of Pakistan.

President asks army to stay watchful

President Zillur Rahman yesterday asked the army to fully follow the 'command channel' and always remain alert and watchful against any heinous move.

Stop 'suicidal game'

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon opposition leader Khaleda Zia to stop playing a “suicidal game” centring on the army and the caretaker government system in the name of movement.

Another share investor takes his life

Troubled over heavy losses in the share market, a second stockmarket investor committed suicide in Chittagong yesterday.

Land graft under spotlight

Misdeeds of assistant commissioners (land) across the country have ruined the reputation of the department, commented Land Secretary Md Mokhlesur Rahman at a workshop on vested property in the capital yesterday.

500 structures along rail track demolished

The railway authorities knocked down around 500 illegal structures in an eviction drive along the two-kilometre rail track between Khilgaon and Malibagh in the city yesterday.

Free polls difficult, not impossible

Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said free and fair parliamentary polls under a partisan government were possible if electoral laws were amended and some ministries and divisions were controlled by the EC during the elections.

489 BNP-Jamaat men secure bail

The High Court yesterday granted anticipatory bail for a month to 489 BNP-Jamaat leaders and activists from different districts in nine separate cases filed on charges of vandalising public property and obstructing police from discharging duties.

Khaleda goes to court

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia appeared before a Dhaka court yesterday and received permanent bail in a case filed for abusing power in setting up Zia Charitable Trust.

Magistrate says firing not ordered

An executive magistrate on Wednesday denied the allegation made against him of ordering police to open fire on some protesters during Sunday's violence in the town that left two persons dead.

10 hurt in BCL infight over setting up book fair stall

At least 10 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League were injured in clashes between its two groups at the capital's Suhrawardi Udyan last night over setting up a stall at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair.

Blake due this month

Robert O Blake, the US assistant secretary of state for South and central Asian affairs, will arrive in Dhaka this month to hold meetings with government high-ups and opposition and civil society leaders.

Join Feb 7 human chain

Leaders of the 14-party alliance have urged all, irrespective of party affiliations, to join the February 7 human chain to foil conspiracies against the ongoing war crimes trial.

HC asks govt to find culprits

The High Court yesterday directed the government to find out people responsible for the publication of a school textbook with distorted history on the declaration of the country's independence and Liberation War in 1971.

Vote of trust for war trial

European Parliament Member Jean Lambert has welcomed Bangladesh's efforts to try war criminals and said he expected that the trial would conform to the highest standard possible.

3 witnesses go missing

The three prosecution witnesses who were supposed to testify against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee yesterday went missing.

Taliban ambush kills three police in Pakistan

Taliban militants armed with guns and grenades ambushed a police patrol in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing three officers and wounding another, police said.

Bird flu claims second victim in Vietnam

A woman in southern Vietnam has died after contracting the bird flu virus, health authorities said yesterday, in the country's second human death from the virulent disease in less than a month.

Editorial

Slowdown in the economy

The Finance Minister AMA Muhith has claimed that the crisis in the economy is not as bad as it was being portrayed by the media and civil society.

New rule for individual visa

A government order making attestation of all job documents pertaining to overseas employment by the Bangladeshi missions mandatory has taken effect from February 1. The decision has left us baffled as to how it will facilitate the process of sending job seekers overseas. It will instead put in place unnecessary bureaucratic complexities and may induce corruption in a vital sector. Remittance earning is the second biggest pillar of our economy.

Sports

Muktijoddha off to winning start

Two late strikes from Lima De Sauza and Zahid Hasan Emily helped title contenders Muktijoddha Sangsad post a labourious 2-0 win over Farashganj SC in their Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu Stadium yesterday.

Aamer freed from jail

Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Aamer was released Wednesday from a British jail after serving half of a six-month sentence for his part in a spot-fixing scam.

Club officials up in arms

The chaos that have gripped domestic cricket in the country continued unabated as ten of the 12 participating clubs threatened to boycott the suspended Premier Division Cricket League if the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) failed to resume the competition immediately.

Whitewash or not?

Stung by a prolonged losing streak in what has turned out to be a nightmarish tour, a hapless India will now look to avoid a Twenty20 whitewash when they lock horns with Australia in the second match on Friday.

'IPL no distraction'

England captain Andrew Strauss disagreed the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) was a distraction for his team which faces a 3-0 defeat against Pakistan in the third and final Test starting here from Friday.

Glitzy IPL auction Saturday

England spinner Graeme Swann and Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene head a star cast of cricketers who will be auctioned on Saturday to join the Indian Premier League (IPL).

3-0 will be big: Misbah

Captain Misbahul Haq believes routing world number one England 3-0 will be a big achievement but stressed his team will not take that extra pressure into the third and final Test starting here from Friday.

Premier Bank title sponsor of BCL

Premier Bank resumed its ties with football as the private bank became the title sponsor of the inaugural Bangladesh Championship League, a second-tier professional football league that begins from Monday.

Mashud sticks to basics

There are people who do not mix professional commitments with passion. But Khaled Mashud Pilot is not one of them. As coach he was supposed to be attending the concerts that Rajshahi Duronto, one of the six Bangladesh Premier League franchises, were embarking upon as part of their promotional trips to the northern parts of the country.

Mahmood in, MacGill out for Gladiators

Dhaka Gladiators' Australian recruit Stuart MacGill yesterday pulled out of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 due to personal reasons, and will be replaced by Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood for the inaugural edition of the BPL due to start from February 9.

Oezil happy at Real

Germany playmaker Mesut Oezil says he wants to see out his playing career with Real Madrid.

Local Snippets

The Cute First Division Women's Handball League will start Sunday at the Handball Stadium with Mohammedan Sporting Club Ltd returning to the league after eight years.

Samad's death anniversary observed

The 48th death anniversary of subcontinent football legend Syed Abdus Samad, was observed in Parbatipur, Dinajpur yesterday.

EFF dissolved, Al-Ahly coach returns home

Egypt's prime minister has dissolved the Egyptian Football Federation's board and referred its members for questioning by prosecutors after post-match clashes that left at least 74 people dead.

Soccer-cides

May 1964 - PERU -
In one of the worst ever soccer disasters, more than 300 fans died and 500 were injured in a riot during an Olympic qualifying match in Lima.

Milito 4 Palermo 4

AC Milan handed Juventus the advantage in the Serie A title race as they lost 2-0 at Lazio on Wednesday, with Inter Milan held to a draw in an eight-goal thriller against Palermo.

Arsenal struggle

Newcastle moved up into fifth place in the English Premier League with a 2-0 win away to strugglers Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday as Arsenal lost ground in their bid for a top four finish.

Valencia hold Barca

Lionel Messi had a penalty saved early in the second half as Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw at Valencia in a hard-fought King's Cup semifinal first leg on Wednesday.

Ghana, Mali in last 8

Ghana and Mali completed the quarterfinal cast list as the first round at the Africa Cup of Nations concluded in a tense climax on Wednesday.

Business

Garment leaders call for political calm

Garment and textile entrepreneurs yesterday urged political leaders to shun activities that may put the economy in trouble.

Remittance shines as taka slides

Remittance rose 6 percent to $1.21 billion in January, an all-time monthly high, compared to the previous month, Bangladesh Bank said in a statement yesterday.

Indian court scraps telecom licences

India's Supreme Court ordered telecoms licences issued under a scandal-tainted 2008 sale be revoked, striking a decisive blow against corruption that plagues the country and roiling the world's No.2 cellular market.

Bangladesh may receive $150m from IMF by June

The International Monetary Fund may extend about $150 million credit to Bangladesh by June to help the country ease pressures on the balance of payments.

Tax row stalls telecom investment, says minister

Telecom Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju yesterday said the delay in mobile licence renewal halted investment in the sector.

Stocks plunge for third day

Share prices declined for a third day with turnover at a three-year low on the Dhaka Stock Exchange, due to lack of investor confidence.

Trouble lingers in Ishwardi EPZ

Police yesterday barred the workers of Roshita Knitting Ltd and Megha Textile Ltd from the two factories in Ishwardi Export Processing Zone as the authorities filed a case against 150 workers over Monday's vandalism.

Fiscal discipline hinges on govt: Atiur

Central banks do not possess sufficient or effective instruments to impose fiscal revenue and expenditure discipline, which is the onus of governments, Bangladesh Bank

Global acclaim for Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk, a global leader in diabetes care, has recently been ranked 43rd in the list of "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2012.

WTO approves two-year trade waiver for Pakistan

The World Trade Organization approved a waiver on Wednesday allowing 75 Pakistani products duty free access to European markets for two years to help textile exports after devastating floods in 2010.

Textile machinery show starts Feb 9

The ninth Dhaka International Textile and Garment Machinery Exhibition (DTG 2012) will be held for four days from February 9, organisers said in a statement yesterday.

Metropolitan

Artefacts discovery sheds new light on past

Archaeologists have recently excavated different objects, including ornamental bricks, terracotta plaques, stone slabs, cells, terracotta balls, potshards, toy objects, brick tiles and iron artefacts, from Mahasthangarh in Bogra.

'Big' allocation to repair roads in next budget

The government will allocate a "very big" amount of money in the next budget for renovation of roads across the country rather than constructing new roads, bridges, and culverts, LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said in parliament yesterday.

Govt to add rights issues in textbooks

The government is working to incorporate the issues of reproductive health, HIV, gender, and human rights in the national textbook curriculum, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said yesterday.

Recent polls proved no vote rigging

Newly elected mayor of Comilla City Corporation Monirul Haque and 36 councillors were sworn in yesterday at a function at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in the capital.

Unfinished stalls mar Boi Mela's allure

The festivity and momentum of Amar Ekushey Boi Mela was marred yesterday, a day after its inauguration, as some stalls remained empty or incompletely decorated, leaving many of the booklovers flocking to the city's Bangla Academy irked.

Month-long Islami book fair begins

A month long 'Islami Book Fair' began on Wednesday at the premises of the national mosque Baitul Mukarram in the city aiming to develop Islamic book reading habits among the people.

Law to recognise farm workers on cards

The government will recognise farm workers by amending Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006 in the next parliamentary session, said Labour and Employment Minister Engineer Khandker Mosharraf Hossain at a rally yesterday.

Bangladesh flag at Antarctica

Environment and Forests Minister Hasan Mahmud hoisted the national flag of Bangladesh at Antarctica during his visit with former US Vice President Al Gore.

Make probe report public

Some agitating Jahangirnagar University teachers formed a human chain beside Dhaka-Aricha Highway yesterday demanding realisation of their seven-point demand, including making the probe report of Zubair murder public.

Stop border killings

The pro-BNP-Jamaat teachers of Dhaka University yesterday demanded a stop to the killing and torture of Bangladeshi citizens by Indian Border Security Force (BSF).

Finance minister should be removed

Independent lawmaker Fazlul Azim demanded in parliament yesterday that the government "remove" Finance Minister AMA Muhith from his post due to his failure to perform duties.

7,345 absent on second day

A total of 7,345 candidates were absent on the second day of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent examinations while 38 students and two teachers were expelled for adopting unfair means.

Formulate wetlands policy

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called for the formulation of wetlands conservation policy and guidelines for eco-tourism so that natural resources degradation and depletion could be halted urgently in the country.

'Raise caretaker issue in parliament '

Leaders of Gono Oikkya Committee, a left-leaning political party, yesterday urged the main opposition BNP to place their demand on caretaker government issue in the parliament.

ASK demands investigation

Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a rights body, yesterday expressed deep concern over recent incidents of death threats to journalists in the country.

Another 'politically motivated' case scrapped

The government has withdrawn a tax evasion case against Awami League lawmaker Habibur Rahman Mollah considering it ''politically motivated and meant for harassment''.

Elderly man slaughtered

An elderly man died after unknown persons slit his throat near his house in South Gohira of Raozan upazila early yesterday.

US urged to ensure tariff free access

International Business Forum President Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury urged US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena to take steps to ensure tariff-free access of Bangladeshi products in the US market.

SSC examinee commits suicide

Sharmin Akhter, an SSC examinee this year from Kalampur Balum Ataur Rahman Khan High School, committed suicide by taking pesticide at Kuchirchar village under Dhamrai upazila of the district.

Accused Ashik denied bail

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected a bail petition of Khandaker Ashikul Islam alias Ashik in a case filed against him for killing Zubair Ahmed, a fourth year English department student of Jahangirnagar University (JU).

Sust teachers submit memo to VC

Pro-BNP teachers under the banner “conscious teachers” submitted a memorandum to Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) vice chancellor yesterday over their five-point demand, including steps to bring back a congenial atmosphere on the campus.

Five Jamaat-Shibir men held

Five Jamaat-Shibir activists, including a leader, were arrested by police yesterday in connection with Monday's clashes between law enforcers and Jamaat-Shibir men in the city's Hatim Khan area which left one dead and 80 others injured.

1,120 litres of soybean oil seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday seized 1,120 litres of crude soybean oil from Laldiar Char under Patenga Police Station in the port city.

Ahmadiyya convention begins today

The 88th annual convention of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at, Bangladesh will begin at its headquarters in the city's Bakshibazar today.

Shamsul Haq's poetry recitation tomorrow

Chinno, little magazine of Rajshahi University (RU), will organise a recitation programme on poetries of eminent litterateur Syed Shamsul Haq tomorrow.

Anniversary of Bose Cabin Mar 10

Litterateurs, journalists and cultural personalities of Narayanganj will celebrate the 92nd anniversary of Bose Cabin, a traditional restaurant in the town, on March 10.

Chehlum

Chehlum of Abdul Malek Khan, former circle officer of revenue, will be held today in Hizla upazila of Barisal.

Obituary

Former lawmaker Prof Jannatul Ferdouse died of old age complications at her residence of Lahiripara in the town yesterday. He was 74.

Md Sayedul Haque

Md Sayedul Haque, eminent writer, Islamic scholar and editor and publisher of now defunct the Dainik Nabajat, passed away at his Shantinagar residence in the capital on January 31. He was 84.

Death anniversary

Today is the fourth death anniversary of Mollah Abdur Rashid, a former joint registrar of Co-operative Societies.

National

Now tree felling fest by UP member and co

A union parishad member and his men cut down at least 100 roadside trees in Baoisona union under Kalia upazila of the district in the last two weeks.

Tigers kill four in 3 days in Sundarbans

Tigers killed at least four people on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the Sundarbans in Khulna and Satkhira districts.

SSC exams and tale of two callous mistakes

A student in Dinajpur could not appear in the on-going Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations due to the 'negligence' of her teacher.

Rape of hill woman triggers protest

Leaders of Hill Women's Federation (HWF) yesterday demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the culprits who allegedly gang-raped a hill girl in Mogaichhari area under Lakkhichhari upazila on Wednesday.

PDB poles disturb road expansion work

Commuters in Panchagarh town part of Panchagarh-Banglabandha road are facing untold sufferings due to awfully slow pace in the ongoing work for expansion and repair of the road.

Man murdered by stepson, youth by elder brothers

A man shot dead his step father for siding with his rivals in Sadar upazila yesterday.

No classes, only playtime when teachers are absent

"We have no class today as Head Sir has gone to the upazila education office and another teacher has taken leave. And so, we are playing," said Munni Akhter, a class five student of Niyamatpur Government Primary School in Baliadangi upazila under the district.

AL leader killed in Lalmonirhat

Police recovered the body of a local Awami League (AL) leader from a canal in Dangarhat Border area of Patgram upazila yesterday noon.

Deed writers in Sylhet confine sub-registrar for demanding bribe

A few deed writers yesterday kept the sub-registrar of Sylhet Sadar confined to his office for two and a half hours as he allegedly demanded bribe from them.

Bid to set Pabna BNP leader's house on fire

Locals foiled an alleged attempt to set fire to the residence of Engineer Habibur Rahman Tota, general secretary of the newly formed Pabna district unit of BNP, at Shibrampur in the town on Wednesday night.

Rail barricade for express train

Locals put up barricades on rail tracks at Rohonpur Railway Station under Gomostapur upazila of Chapainawabganj district yesterday morning demanding 'Mohananda Express' train service from the station.

Students ransack polytech instt in Patuakhali

Students of Patuakhali Polytechnic Institute ransacked their academic building and residence of the principal on Thursday noon.

Letters

Govt living inside a cocoon!

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had addressed the nation on January 6, 2010 after completion of two years of her government. In her speech she pointed out the government's successes. She claimed that law and order was better after her government had taken a tough stance against crime and corruption. Her observation was so preposterous that we were taken aback at that time. Since then one year has passed. Meanwhile, criminal activities have gone up. The prime minister and the home minister do not even acknowledge that criminal incidents are happening. Home Minister Sahara Khatun has said that law and order is better than ever before. How could she say such a thing when every day numerous incidents of robbery, looting, mugging, killing, abduction, rape, and arson are taking place, which are being reported in the print and electronic media.

BSF's brutality and LGRD minister's indifference

The recent circulation of a video footage, which showed a Bangladeshi being stripped, kicked and beaten by the BSF of India, aired by Indian TV channels, has sparked criticism across the country and abroad. At the same time, we have felt embarrassed at the speech delivered by LGRD minister Syed Ashraful Islam who said that the government is not "much worried" about the recent incident of physical abuse on a Bangladeshi citizen by BSF. While National Human Rights Commission of India has served a notice to the country's home ministry seeking a report on the BSF jawans who were videotaped in the act of assaulting a Bangladeshi youth, such insensitive remark from our minister is totally unacceptable. Despite repeated assurances from Indian authorities that BSF has been instructed to maintain the highest restraint while dealing with smugglers active at the border, such barbaric incidents are continuing unabated. It has to be kept in mind that the government is the a guardian of a country. It cannot ignore what is happening at the border. According to the newspapers, a number of lawmakers of parliament on January 24 have criticised the foreign ministry over its failure to address the issues for the sake of maintaining peace at the border.

Age catching up with Tendulkar?

The quest for the elusive century of centuries in international cricket is being overshadowed by the closeness of the time for terminating his career! Seems like there is a race between these two deadlines! Like any long lasting talent, the end of the reign of Tendulkar, a superb batsman, is drawing near. The question provokes all cricket enthusiasts, and surely it is eating into the mind of Tedulkar too! Every sportsman reaches the end of his or her career, and Tendulkar is no exception to this final reality. Starting young, he has had a long and distinguished career in the international cricket arena, studded with high class performance, scoring many thousands of runs. Age is now naturally catching up with him, and the time is drawing near when he will take the final bow from international cricket! It will be the end of an epic chapter in the game. Tendulkar's name will go down in history with the immortals like Bradman, Hammond, Hutton, Pataudi and many others. He will be missed by the many cricket supporters across the world!

City's risky manholes

Manholes in Dhaka city are found to be made in such a careless manner that most of these are lying - no matter whether these are on the main roads or small lanes - haphazardly.

Respect your language

The way the radio jockeys (RJs) speak on radio is extremely disrespectful to our language. They neither speak English nor Bangla. Their language sounds dirty. I draw the attention of the ministry concerned to take immediate action to stop this nonsense. I must admire the ABC radio's exceptional role in this connection. I urge the managements of all FM radio stations, please show some respect to your language. We do not speak and so do not like to listen such a strange language (Banglish!) with an annoying accent.

The government's achievements

There is no doubt that Bangladesh has improved a lot compared to its past. 3000 megawatts of power have been added to our national grid. Thousands of schools and colleges have been established. Our poverty rate has decreased. Bangladesh has improved economically, according to the reports of World Bank and IMF. Bangladesh is now the second largest garment exporter country in the world. Its hosting of 2011 Cricket World Cup was another achievement for us. Bangladesh has also made its first laptop DOEL.

A recipe for violence

The government ministers were giving wrong information about BNP's rally in Dhaka on 29 January 2012. The government tried to brand the rally as a programme with 'evil intention'. The ruling party staged a counter demonstration in the city on the same day, which was nothing but a recipe for political clashes and violence.

AL's political blunder

Scrapping of the caretaker government (CTG) system from the constitution was the most unexpected and unwarranted political development during the last three years of Awami League (AL)-led alliance govt. This abrupt and unilateral step ignoring the opinions of all other political parties as well as the general sentiment of the people, is now widely believed to be AL's ill-motivated political manoeuvre to stay in power by hook or by crook.

Choosing the right friends

Friends play an important role in the life of every man. The young ones socialize with their peers and are greatly influenced by them. A good friend can be a source of inspiration and encouragement and a helping hand in the time of need. But very unfortunately, we have witnessed some tragic incidents in recent times where a person intentionally became the cause of harm for his friend. The greed for money and material possession ripped apart the ties of supposed friendship and prompted one to threaten, hurt or even murder the other. A true friend would never even think of such hideous acts.

Online Voices

4 killed as cops fire on BNP men

International

Pakistan SC to indict Gilani

Pakistan's top court yesterday summoned Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to appear February 13 to be indicted with contempt over his refusal to pursue corruption cases against the president.

Palestinians hurl shoes at UN chief

UN chief Ban Ki-moon faced angry protests as he visited Gaza yesterday, where he condemned rocket fire from the area and urged Israel to ease its blockade of the territory.

Pakistan vows peace in Afghanistan

Pakistan yesterday said it was willing to do whatever Afghans wanted to end 10 years of war with the Taliban, but insisted the process should not be led by the Americans or any other foreign power.

Romney makes gaffe on poor

Republican White House frontrunner Mitt Romney stumbled Wednesday after his big win in Florida, saying he was not concerned about "very poor" Americans -- a gaffe that earned sharp criticism.

Gingrich to get Trumps blessing

Donald Trump was to make a "major announcement" yesterday about the US presidential race, according to his aides, as media reports said he will endorse Newt Gingrich.

Hundreds rescued after ferry sinks in PNG

More than 200 people were plucked from waters off Papua New Guinea yesterday after a ferry sank but many others remained missing, with rescuers scouring the area for further survivors.

Cold snap kills 56 in Japan

Heavy snow that has blanketed northern Japan for weeks, triggering avalanches and disrupting transport networks, has left at least 56 people dead, officials said yesterday.

US to end combat role in 2013

The United States plans to end its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2013 and shift to a training role, one year before most US troops are due to withdraw, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.

Self-guiding bullet unveiled

A self-guiding bullet that can steer itself towards its target is being developed for use by the US military.

Egypt film star sentenced for defaming Islam

A Cairo court has sentenced Egyptian comedy giant Adel Imam to three months in jail for "defaming Islam" in several roles he played on stage and screen, the actor told AFP yesterday.

Sonia blows war trumpet in UP

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday kickstarted her election campaign for UP polls from Deoria, slamming successive non-Congress governments in the state over the last 22 years for failing the common man.

Beware of Cong's traps: Mayawati

Launching her campaign to retain the crown in UP, Dalit queen Mayawati cautioned large crowds at her two rallies in Sitapur and Barabanki against Congress's "divide and rule" policy.

Saudi beheads man of murder

Saudi Arabia yesterday beheaded a man convicted of murder in the kingdom's southwest, the interior ministry said.

The Times probed for hacking

The Times newspaper is being investigated by British police over claims of hacking emails, reports said yesterday.

Islamists favourites in Kuwait vote

Kuwaitis were casting ballots yesterday in a snap vote to elect the fourth parliament in less than six years, with pollsters predicting a solid victory for the Islamist-led opposition.

Bollywood to go on strike on Feb 23

In protest of the Central Government's proposal to levy service tax, which would increase costs, filmmakers have decided to go on strike.

Egypt film star sentenced for defaming Islam

A Cairo court has sentenced Egyptian comedy giant Adel Imam to three months in jail for "defaming Islam" in several roles he played on stage and screen, the actor told AFP yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

"Not everyone should publish"

Moinul Ahsan Saber is a seasoned author -- with 75 books to his name -- covering short stories, novel, literature for adolescents and translation. He has won the Philips Award, Humayun Kadir Award, Bangla Academy Award and received several other recognitions for his contributions.

Aranyak: Articulating 40-year journey of the troupe

All the lights inside the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy were switched off on February 1 evening. Entering the hall, the audience discovered around 80 members of Aranyak Natyadal, attired in black with lit candles in hand ready to welcome them. In the dim shadows cast by the candles, the members gave a performance that articulated the 40- year journey of the troupe.

National Poetry Festival 2012 concludes

With the theme “Kabita Shanitey, Shopner Dhonitey”, the two-day long 26th Jatiya Kabita Utshab (National Poetry Festival) 2012 concluded yesterday at the Dhaka University Library premises.

Ode to Bangla, Bangladesh and Bengali culture

To promote Bangla and Bengali culture, The Daily Star, together with 550 students from 14 Dhaka English medium schools, hosted a lively cultural programme at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy premises on February 1.

Siddiqua Kabir: Culinary queen

I have known Mrs. Kabir for a long time. She was a truly amazing person and had been extremely kind and considerate to me when I was starting out.

OP-ED

Another man's death doesn't diminish us

Police shot people like birds last week and five demonstrators died in two days. One small investor committed suicide by hanging himself. Many times more must have died naturally during that week. Others died in road accidents, domestic violence and neighborhood brawls. All deaths lead to extinction of life, but last week was something else. It was an alarming sign that another man's death doesn't diminish us anymore.

Correction: The next immigration challenge

The immigration crisis that has roiled American politics for decades has faded into history. Illegal immigration is shrinking to a trickle, if that, and will likely never return to the peak levels of 2000. Just as important, immigrants who arrived in the 1990s and settled here are assimilating in remarkable and unexpected ways.

A panegyric to non-violence

BBC Hardtalk on Wednesday featured Dr. Gene Sharp, a political theorist. He was introduced as "the man who has changed the world" or perhaps he can change the world. How? By authoring the Non-Violent Revolution Rulebook where he has summed up quite a few hundred non-violent methods of bringing a revolution. It seems unfinished Arab Spring revolutions motivated him to present his perspective.

'Institutional support essential for scientific innovation'

Professor Quamrul Haider, a Bangladesh-born nuclear physicist and chair of the Physics Department at Fordham University, New York has carved out his name in nuclear physics by opening up a new horizon in the field. He, along with Dr. Lon-chang Liu, had predicted the existence of a new form of nuclear matter known as "eta-mesic nucleus" long ago. Their prediction was confirmed in 2008 through a complex scientific experiment done in Germany. In a time when research and innovation in pure and applied sciences have come to a veritable halt in Bangladesh, Bangladeshi scientists living abroad are making their marks in various fields. Prof. Haider believes that Bangladeshi students, teachers and scientists are meritorious enough to compete with their counterparts in any other country in the world, but they lack proper government funding and institutional incentives. Rifat Munim of The Daily Star engaged Prof. Haider in talks about his scientific work and how to overcome the problems faced by Bangladeshi researchers. Excerpts:

This Day In History

February 3

1451
Sultan Mehmed II inherits the throne of the Ottoman Empire.

StarTech

Facebook IPO tests easy growth assumptions

As Facebook hurtles toward one of the largest initial public offerings in US history, its honeymoon with investors may already be over.

From dorm room to Nasdaq: Facebook's meteoric ascent

Facebook on Wednesday filed to raise $5 billion in an initial public offering. Here are a few highlights of its meteoric rise, several of which were chronicled in David Fincher's seminal Oscar-winning 2010 movie, "The Social Network":

IBM brings smarter computing for Bangladeshi companies

IBM has unveiled smarter computing solutions that help clients in Bangladesh transform, grow and become more competitive.

Angelic "Steve Jobs" loves Android in Taiwan TV ad

He may have derided Android devices in real life but in the afterlife Apple Inc founder Steve Jobs is glad he can use one -- or at least that's the story a Jobs look-alike tells in a recent TV commercial for a Taiwanese electronics company's new product.

'We care about every worker': Apple CEO

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has responded to media reports alleging harsh working conditions in China for manufacturing employees of the popular gadget-maker.



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