The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 10th of February, 2012

Front Page

Traffic jam polluting air

Traffic congestion in the capital and smoke from brick kilns are the main reasons for air pollution in Dhaka city, according to the World Bank and the Bangladesh government.

Anti-graft body left unfettered

In the wake of widespread criticism, the government has backtracked from its position of making it binding on the Anti-Corruption Commission to take permission before filing graft cases against public officials.

Steel mill fined for pollution

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined an illegal steel re-rolling mill Tk 15 lakh for polluting air with toxic smoke at Rupganj in Narayanganj.

Ceat coming to Bangladesh

India's leading tyre maker Ceat announced yesterday that it plans to set up a tyre manufacturing plant in Bangladesh.

Work will win hearts

New Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad yesterday said members of the new Election Commission will win the hearts of the people by holding free, fair and credible elections.

New EC to be govt's puppet

Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia yesterday alleged the government is going to form a "subservient" Election Commission, saying her party will continue their movement against it.

EC formed on consensus: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the Election Commission has been reconstituted by taking opinions from all the political parties for the first time in the country's history.

Army asked to stay alert

A parliamentary body has suggested the army take preventive measures to avert any conspiracy against the country's democratic order, and remain more alert about people with “extreme views” within it.

BSF keeps on firing at border

Two Bangladeshi cattle traders were injured when Indian Border Security Force (BSF) members opened fire on them at Keragachhi frontier in Kalaroa upazila of Satkhira district early yesterday.

Killing by BSF unacceptable

Killing and torture of Bangladesh nationals by India's Border Security Force (BSF) is not acceptable, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said yesterday.

Students clash with bus staff

At least 10 people were injured and 15 vehicles vandalised in a clash between some students of Jagannath University (JnU) and transport workers of Fulbaria Bus Terminal in the city's Gulistan area yesterday.

No language Islamic

The Basic Principles Committee report led to a series of fast moving events in East Bengal. While the political classes, those in the progressive mould, vociferously argued that a negation of Bangla could only lead to dire consequences for Pakistan, it was the students of Dhaka University who seemed to be putting up spirited resistance to the report.

Pankaj Saran next Indian envoy

Pankaj Saran is set to become the next Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh as Dhaka endorsed the appointment yesterday, a foreign ministry press release said.

Shibir men vandalise vehicles

Islami Chhatra Shibir activists vandalised at least 10 vehicles during its half-day hartal in Chittagong yesterday.

HC summons DCC boss, magistrate

The High Court yesterday summoned the Dhaka City Corporation (South) administrator and a magistrate for demolishing a building near the city's Jatrabari kitchen market ignoring its order.

Amasia, the next supercontinent

America and Eurasia will crash into each other over the North Pole in 50-200 million years time, according to scientists at Yale University.

Politics banned at IU

The authorities of Islamic University (IU) have banned all kinds of political activities on the campus for an indefinite period to avoid unwarranted situation.

Turkish clashes with PKK militants kill 14

Turkish security forces killed 13 Kurdish militants in fighting in southeast Turkey overnight, security sources said, marking an escalation in violence at a time when cold winter weather normally limits clashes.

Hamas MPs call for scrapping of Fatah deal

Lawmakers of the Hamas majority in the Palestinian parliament called yesterday for the scrapping of a reconciliation accord with Fatah on constitutional grounds.

Israel hit by nationwide strike

Israel's main trade union federation yesterday launched a national strike intended to shut down government offices, banks, airports, ports and rail services.

Editorial

New election commission felicitated

We congratulate Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad on his appointment as the chief election commissioner (CEC). On top of being a freedom fighter, his record as a bureaucrat is impeccable and he is a man of good repute and probity. We also felicitate the newly appointed election commissioners (EC) Mohammad Abu Hafiz, Mohammad Abdul Mobarrak, Brig Gen (retd) Mohammad Zabed Ali and Mohammad Shahnewaz.

Deadly violence at CU

We are deeply saddened by the death of two Chittagong University (CU) students on its campus on Wednesday during a clash between two groups of students.

Sports

Hot & cold opening

The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) got underway in rather lukewarm fashion with a more than three-hour opening ceremony that had its share of organisational issues at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

BPL in a spot of bother

The money-spinning Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 is set to kick off today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, but it was the spot-fixing allegation that hogged all the spotlight yesterday, even dwarfing the much hyped opening ceremony.

The low-down

The much talked-about Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 will roll into action today. Hopefully all the negative talk surrounding the BCB's new venture will be swept under the carpet, at least for a while, as the action begins in earnest with the match between Barisal Burners and Sylhet Royals which starts from 2pm at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Chittagong Kings take on Duronto Rajshahi at 6.30pm at the same venue in the other match of the opening day. As a cricket-crazy public looks forward to nineteen days of high-octane cricket, the buzz among the cricket fans will revolve around the strengths and weaknesses of the six franchises. Here is our take:

BU survive, Biman sink

Biman Bangladesh were demoted to the first division league when they suffered a 26-run defeat to Brothers Union in the relegation play-off match of the Premier Division Cricket League at BKSP yesterday.

Faizur, Mahade star on Day 2

Faizur Rahman and Mahade Hasan equally shared eight wickets as Dhaka Division tightened their grip on Barisal Division on the second day of the Young Tigers U18 National Cricket Competition at the Shamsul Huda Stadium in Jessore yesterday.

Russel trip up again

Sheikh Russel KC again stumbled in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Rahmatganj MFS in their second match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Zim whitewashed too

New Zealand crushed Zimbabwe by 202 runs in the final one-day international in Napier on Thursday to complete a 3-0 series whitewash over the out-classed tourists.

Sunny in ICC Hall of Fame

Former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar was formally inducted into the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame, the ICC said Thursday.

Poor start by Sohel, Siddikur

Bangladesh's two golfers Siddikur Rahman and Shakhawat Hossain Sohel got off to poor starts in the 300,000-dollar ICTSI Philippine Open, with both playing two-over-par in Manila yesterday.

Juve dent Milan

Juventus have one foot in the Italian Cup final after Martin Caceres scored a brace to hand them a 2-1 win over AC Milan in the semifinal, first leg at the San Siro on Wednesday.

Capello's reign over

Fabio Capello resigned as manager of England on Wednesday following the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy, the FA confirmed.

Gervinho sinks Mali

A contender for the goal of the competition from Arsenal striker Gervinho against Mali here Wednesday put Ivory Coast into the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Cesc inspires Barca

A superb performance from Cesc Fabregas guided Barcelona to a 2-0 win over Valencia here on Wednesday in their Spanish Cup second leg clash and a place in the final as they won 3-1 on aggregate.

Redknapp tight-lipped

Harry Redknapp remained tight-lipped about becoming the next England manager Thursday despite being installed as the overwhelming favourite to succeed Fabio Capello following the Italian's shock resignation.

Bastian out for weeks

Bayern Munich's Germany international Bastian Schweinsteiger's season took another bad turn with news he will likely be out for several weeks with right ankle ligament damage.

Bayern seal Shaqiri deal

FC Basel's Swiss international midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has signed a four-year deal for Bayern Munich from next July, the Bundesliga club announced on Monday.

Local Snippets

Holders Armanitola School blanked Police Line School 8-0 in the Shah Sports Dhaka Metropolis School Hockey Tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Rooney gutted as Capello quits

Wayne Rooney admitted he was devastated to see Fabio Capello quit as England manager as the Italian's shock departure triggered an outpouring of disbelief from English football stars on Wednesday.

Business

BB slams foreign banks for higher spread

The central bank yesterday came down heavily on foreign banks having operations in Bangladesh for a high interest rate spread, which is depriving both depositors and borrowers.

HC verdict on GP writ Monday

The High Court will on Monday deliver its verdict on a Grameenphone writ petition challenging the telecom regulator's notice that demanded additional money for the radio frequency it sold four years ago.

Challenges to achieve desired growth strain economy: Wahiduddin

Bangladesh's economy is under strains not because of the crisis now sweeping through many countries but due to challenges in achieving higher economic growth, said a noted economist yesterday.

Muhith stresses workers' interest

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday urged textile and garment factory owners to properly facilitate the workers as they are the main drivers of production.

Vitamin A fortified cooking oil soon

Consumers are likely to get Vitamin A fortified cooking oil soon as three companies have started adding the nutrient in edible oil to support a government initiative of reducing Vitamin A deficiency in the country.

Japanese company wants to set up automobile plant in Ctg

Kantoku Corporation of Japan wants to set up an automobile assembling plant in Chittagong for manufacturing trucks and lorry, said officials yesterday.

Stocks bounce back on a buying spree

Stocks gained 5.27 percent yesterday as investors rushed to purchase shares and mutual fund units to take advantage of low prices.

Citi launches awards for microentrepreneurs

The Citi Foundation yesterday launched the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards programme in Bangladesh to recognise leadership, entrepreneurial skills and best practices of individual microentrepreneurs.

BB signs deal for national payment switch

A contract to create a common platform for the country's commercial banks for electronic payments was signed at the premises of Bangladesh Bank recently.

New DMDs for City Bank

City Bank has recently appointed Badrudduza Choudhury and Sheikh Mohammad Maroof as its deputy managing directors, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

Syngenta's move for farmers

Grameen Krishi Foundation on Tuesday signed a deal with Syngenta Bangladesh under which the latter will provide agronomic knowledge and inputs for cultivation of mungbean to farmers under Grameen's social business initiative.

Correction

A report under the headline “Local officials of StanChart, HSBC unaware of takeover bid” published yesterday mistakenly mentioned Bitopi Das Chowdhury as the corporate communications manager of Standard Chartered Bangladesh. Actually she is head of corporate affairs. We regret the mistake.

Metropolitan

Ekushey Boi Mela delight overwhelms first-timers

Towfiqur Rahman, a student of Hamdard Public College, had never visited the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela before. In his first-ever visit yesterday, he could hardly hold back his excitement.

'Govt to review mistake, if any'

The government will re-evaluate if any officers are left out in the Wednesday's promotion despite having genuine ground, the public administration secretary said yesterday.

Ferry introduced to save Meghna bridge

After over 20 years the government reintroduced ferry service on the Meghna River yesterday to carry overloaded vehicles and stop those from using the Meghna Bridge, the condition of which was termed risky.

PM for intensive agri research

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday laid emphasis on more intensive research in the field of agriculture and other related areas to make the country self-reliant in food production to cope with the climate change.

Kabir Chy spurned Pak govt statement in 1971

National Professor Kabir Chowdhury had refused to sign a statement prepared by the then Pakistan government of 1971 stating that reports of mass killing and genocide in the country were "untrue", knowing that his life could be endangered by such refusal.

Legal action to be taken for false info

Legal action will be taken against those persons who had received plots in the capital's Banani by giving false affidavits during the BNP-led four-party government's tenure.

Promotion in admin given for dynamism

Prime Minister's Public Administration Affairs Advisor HT Imam said promotion in the civil service is an ongoing process and the government has given promotions in three tiers of the administration to make it efficient and dynamic.

Musa set to conquer world's second highest peak

The power of will was behind all his successes and anybody can succeed in life if he or she is strongly determined, Everest hero Musa Ibrahim said as he launched his first-ever book "Mission Bangaposhagor O Kilimanjaro" at the city's Liberation War Museum yesterday.

Dhaka's vulnerability to climate change made known

While taking part in a recent climate change expedition to Antarctica, Bangladesh's representative, Environment and Forests Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, pointed out Bangladesh's vulnerability to climate change.

Boat capsizes in Surma

An engine-run boat carrying around 15 passengers capsized in the river Surma in Jamalganj yesterday morning after being hit by a strong current.

Five killed, 13 injured in road crashes

Five people were killed and at least 13 others inured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Brahmanbaria, Rajbari and Kishoreganj early Wednesday and yesterday.

Hearing on charge framing against Porimol March 7

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed March 7 for the hearing on charge framing against three people sued over violation of a student of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College last year.

Ex-DMCH director Bazle Qader gets bail

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to former director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital Brig Gen (Retd) Bazle Qader in 10 graft cases filed against him for misappropriating over Tk 6.68 crore through drug purchase.

Brac to open branches in Filipino provinces

Already operating in nine countries, Brac, a leading development organisation of Bangladesh, will open branches in the Muslim dominated provinces of the Philippines this year.

Bangladesh ready to be an Asian tiger: Mozena

The major challenges to establish a golden Bangladesh include corruption, difficult investment climate, poor communication system, and political instability, US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena said yesterday.

Zillur for expanding relations with Cuba

President Zillur Rahman put emphasis on expansion of bilateral relations with Cuba, particularly in trade and commercial arenas, when newly appointed Cuban Ambassador to Bangladesh Abelardo Cueto Sosa presented his credentials at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Khaleda demands wage board for journalists

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday asked the government to declare a new wage board for journalists without further delay considering the price hike of daily essentials.

Healthcare fair for farmers on Feb 18

Farmers will get opportunity of healthcare free of cost at a healthcare fair at Hatkhola of Daudkandi in Comilla on February 18.

Saarc experts discuss anti-terror mechanism

A two-day meeting of the experts from Saarc countries began here yesterday to discuss ways of strengthening the anti-terror mechanism.

BNP programmes on Ekushey

BNP has chalked out a two-day programme to observe International Mother Language Day.

ASK concerned over deaths at CU

Ain O Salish Kendra yesterday expressed grave concern over the death of two Chittagong University students and injuring of 40 others in Wednesday's clash between Bangladesh Chhatra League and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists.

Fertilisers, biogas from JU garbage

Grameen Shakti, in collaboration with Japan International Cooperative Agency (Jica), will produce fertilisers and biogas with the garbage collected from Jahangirnagar University (JU) area.

BCL men confine JU provost

A hall provost of Jahangirnagar University (JU) was confined for hours on Wednesday night by Chhatra League activists when he ordered two students to leave Maulana Bhashani Hall.

Edible oil with vitamin A for 10cr people

Around 10 crore children, adolescents and pregnant women will be brought under the programme of fortified edible oil with vitamin A to reduce blindness and sicknesses caused by a lack of the vitamin, says a press release.

Sust reunion begins

The three-day long reunion of the former students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust), Sylhet began on the campus yesterday.

Minor boy murdered in city

A two and a half years old boy was allegedly killed by his stepfather in the city's Demra yesterday.

Prof Omar made VC of IUB

The Chancellor of the university President Zillur Rahman has appointed Prof M Omar Ejaz Rahman vice chancellor (VC) to Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), effective from January 26.

202 get Indian scholarship

The Indian government awarded student scholarships to 202 descendants of freedom fighters of Chittagong division yesterday at undergraduate (honours) and higher secondary level.

Assault on RU teacher protested

Over 200 students of pharmacy department at Rajshahi University (RU) boycotted classes and exams yesterday protesting the alleged physical assault on the department chairman by a colleague on Wednesday.

Fake Zarda factory unearthed

Personnel of Detective Branch (DB) of Police unearthed a factory of fake Hakimpuri Zorda at Meer Hajirbagh in the city's Jatrabari on February 1 and seized 52,000 containers with fake labels of Hakimpuri Zorda and six machines for processing the item.

'BNP rejects EC to create chaos'

The main opposition BNP rejected the new Election Commission to create a volatile situation in the country's political arena, said Environment and Forests Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday.

Nine Shibir men held

Police arrested nine activists of Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir from Sylhet and Habiganj yesterday.

Death anniversary

Today is the 6th death anniversary of Shafiqul Aziz Mukul, former executive editor of the now defunct Banglar Bani and a freedom fighter, says a press release.

Badiul Alam

Today is the 9th death anniversary of freedom fighter, politician and lawyer Badiul Alam.

Khaleda Akhter Banu

Today is the fourth death anniversary of Prof Khaleda Akhter Banu, a Liberation War organiser and ex-chairperson of Bangla Department of Abujar Gifari University College.

National

Tk 336cr jute goods of 8 state-owned mills lie unsold

Eight state-owned Jute Mills in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt face financial crisis due to drastic fall in sale of jute products in the last six months.

10 Indian fishermen returned, 5 Bangladeshis not sent back

Local administrations yesterday handed over the 10 Indian fishermen, rescued from the clutches of robbers in the Sundarbans on February 3, to Indian High Commission officials.

Huge quantity of jatka seized from 4 launches

Coastguards seized around 160 maunds of jatka (hilsa fry) from four launches in Dhaleshwari River in Sadar upazila of Munshiganj yesterday morning.

All because of bringing corruption charge

A female teacher of Dighinala Model Government Primary School in Dighinala upazila of the district was hospitalised as she became senseless following alleged verbal assault by headmaster of the school on Tuesday.

Mysterious death

Mystery shrouded the death of SSC student Mizanur Rahman, son of Idris Pada of Sabujbagh area in the district town.

Man murdered in Chuadanga

Police recovered the body of a young man from a crop field at Peyaratala village in Jibannagar upazila yesterday morning.

Kuet expels 20 students, fines 22 for violence

Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet) authorities on Wednesday expelled 20 students on different terms for their involvement in violent clashes on the campus last month.

Dinajpur townspeople place 5-point demand

Dinajpur townspeople yesterday formed a human chain in front of the municipality office to press home their five-point demand including a ban on movement of buses, trucks and nasimons (shallow engine-run three wheelers) in the town from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Acid attack for dowry

Acid-burnt allegedly by husband for dowry at Library Bazar in the Sadar upazila, a woman is groaning in pain at Pabna Medical College and Hospital.

North Bengal Sugar Mill meets the same fate

North Bengal Sugar Mill under Lalpur upazila in the district suspended its operation on Tuesday night for want of sugarcane.

ASI closed

An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) was closed to the district police lines on Wednesday for selling 100 bottles of phensidyl. Assistant Police Superintendent Anisur Rahman said action was taken against ASI Sajjad of Kotwali Police Station after the departmental probe found him guilty. The ASP said Sajjad arrested a drug peddler along with 100 bottles of phensidyl from a bus on February 7. Later, he sold the phensidyle to other people and produced the drug peddler in a court under Section 34.

Nipah virus kills 1

Nipah virus claimed the life of an SSC examinee at Patuakhali General Hospital yesterday. The victim, Nargis Akhter, 16, daughter of Hasan Sikder of Gabua village under Patuakhali Sadar upazila, was appearing in the ongoing SSC examinee from Gabua Janata High School. Family and hospital sources said Nargis fell sick after having date juice at around 8:00am. She was taken to the hospital where she died at around 1:30pm.

Banglalink staff abducted

Zahid Hasan Rashid, an employee of Banglalink customer care centre at Belkuchi in the district, was kidnapped on Wednesday night. Police said Zahid, son of Mainul Islam of Masimpur in Sirajganj town, was picked up by an unidentified gang while he was returning home in the town in an auto-rickshaw in the evening. Later, a man phoned his family members, demanding a ransom Tk 35 lakh. A general diary (GD) was recorded with Belkuchi Police Station. Police said they have launched a drive in different areas to rescue Zahid and arrest the culprits.

Salesman mugged

Muggers took away Tk one lakh from a sales representative of a company at Kanaitala near the district town on Wednesday night Feroz Ahmad, sales representative of EON Agro Industries Ltd, said a gang of muggers swooped on him while he was returning to Jessore town from Monirampur upazila riding a motorcycle at around 10:00pm. The gang shot at Feroz, leaving him seriously injured and looted the money and his motorbike. Hearing screams, locals rushed to the spot and sent him to Sadar Hospital.

Six shops gutted

Six shops were gutted in a fire at Chowdhury Bazar in Thakurgaon municipality early yesterday. Fire fighters and locals said the fire originated from an electric short circuit at a shop at the bazar at around 4:00am and soon engulfed the adjacent shops. Being informed, fire fighters rushed to the spot and brought the blaze under control after one and a half hours frantic efforts.

Two 'carjackers' held

Police arrested two alleged carjackers from Chawrampur village in the district early yesterday. They also seized a private car from the possession of the duo. The arrestees are Shohel Rana, son of late Abul Hossain and Md Saiful Islam, son of Nurul Islam, of Kaliakoir upazila in Gazipur. Ibrahim Patwari, sub-inspector of Dinajpur police station, said the gang attacked the driver of the car at Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital Wednesday and took away the vehicle. The driver then informed police who later arrested the two along with the vehicle at the village near Dinajpur-Dhaka highway. Masud Khan, a resident of Ashulia, is the owner of the car, the SI added.

TR wheat seized

Police seized 12 tonnes of wheat meant for a Test Relief (TR) project from a truck on Patuakhali-Barisal road in Lebukhali ferry ghat area on Wednesday night. They also arrested two people on charge of selling the wheat in black market. The arrestees are trucker Siddiqur Rahman, 42, of Bakerganj and his helper Russel, 27, of Bhataerkhal in Barisal. SM Shahnewaz, officer in-charge of Dumki police station, said on secret information, they raided the Patuakhali-bound truck from Kalkini upazila in Madaripur district and seized the wheat.

Erratum

The photograph of a person printed on this page yesterday was not of Narsingdi BNP leader Nurul Islam. We regret the inadvertant mistake.

Letters

Reduce ticket price

Bangladesh Premier League brings great news for Bangladesh cricket, as a big number of overseas players are going to take part in this mega event. This foreign players' list also includes some retired legends like Muttiah Muralidharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Hershell Gibbs and so on. Therefore, it is a great opportunity for the Bangladeshi cricket fans to witness this veterans performing live.

Using alternative fuels for power plants

Without uninterrupted supply of electricity, we cannot even think of running our modern life and continue the overall economic development activities of the country smoothly. Earth's fossil fuels used in electricity generation are getting rapidly exhausted. Advanced countries of the world are doing extensive research to evolve alternatives to fossil fuel (coal, fuel oil, natural gas, etc,) for generating electricity and running vehicles, aeroplanes, etc. Fossil fuels have other disadvantages because burning of these hydrocarbons produces huge amount of Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that allows radiative forcing and contributes to global warming.

Ekushey Boi Mela

With a view to developing the habit of reading, Ekushey Boi Mela, 2012 kicked off on 1st February, with the title "60 years of Language Movement," on the Bangla Academy premises.

New EC's limitations

I firmly believe that election will not be fair under political government no matter how much power is given to the Election Commission. I am certain that the government will reduce the power of the election commissioners few days before the election. I respect former Chief Election Commissioner Mr. Huda very much but I must say that on his last day at office he said something unrealistic.

We need patriotic leaders

The people of this land once fought for protecting the dignity of their mother tongue. Millions of people sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the country. Every year various natural calamities hit the country, but Bangladesh moves ahead overcoming these disasters. It is true that we have many problems but all the problems can be solved if we do our duties sincerely.

Caretaker government a must

A government's duty is to look after the welfare of the country and its people. But our government not only failed in this respect, but also created new problems. Realising that people are not happy with its performance, the ruling party has become desperate and are doing things which are more harmful for them and the people.

Govt's lack of will to perform

It is very easy to point fingers and start blaming the present government for their failures. But it is still very clear in my memory how the previous government failed and were voted out of power by the people.

Online Voices

Rakib made CEC

International

Syria's Homs under new deadly blitz

Regime forces launched a new blitz on the Syrian city of Homs yesterday, killing more than 50 people, activists said, as the UN weighed a joint mission with the Arab League to end the violence.

Toxic liquor kills 30 in India

At least 30 people died after consuming toxic home-made liquor in eastern India, officials said yesterday, warning that the toll could rise with more victims in hospitals.

Court adjourns Gilani's appeal

Pakistan's top court yesterday adjourned an appeal from the prime minister for a day against a summons for indictment for contempt, dragging out a saga that could force his government into early polls.

Maldives' ex-president awaits arrest

The ousted former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, who claims he was forced from office in a coup, said he expected to be arrested yesterday as protests and violence escalated in the holiday paradise.

Greeks agree on austerity, unions call general strike

Greek leaders did a last minute deal on austerity cuts yesterday, clearing the way for the eurozone to decide on a bailout package, but unions called a new strike against the terms.

Argentina to seek UN help

Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner yesterday slammed Britain for its "militarisation" of their conflict over the Falklands, saying she would lodge a formal complaint with the United Nations.

US drone kills top Pak militant

The second US drone attack in two days in Pakistan's North Waziristan region killed five people yesterday, including a senior militant commander with links to al Qaeda, Pakistani intelligence and Taliban sources said.

Egypt PM dismisses US aid threat

Egypt has said it will not be persuaded by the potential loss of US aid to end an ongoing investigation into foreign-funded non-governmental organisations.

Car blast kills 15 in Somalia

At least 15 people were killed by a suicide bomber from the al-Qaeda linked Shebab, officials said yesterday, as details emerged of the heavy blast in Somalia's war-torn capital Mogadishu.

Prince Harry set for Afghan duty

Britain's Prince Harry could return to Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday, after he qualified as an Apache attack helicopter pilot with a special award for his gunnery skills.

$3.3m aid for threatened species

Gorillas, cockatoos and frogs are among a list of threatened species to benefit from a $3.3 million aid award, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Still Going Strong

Humayun Ahmed occupies a prominent place in Bangladeshi literature, garnering admiration from countless readers during a career that has spanned nearly 40 years. Although the author is now undergoing medical treatment in the USA, several of his books are available at the ongoing Ekushey book fair.

Gandharva Loka Orchestra: Songs of the soul

It was a cosy evening in New York, back in 2009, when renowned Bangladeshi artiste Rezwana Chowdhury Bonna met an orchestra performing at the same concert as she. Their performance was soulful. Renata Dessallien, the then UNDP Resident Representative to Bangladesh and an ardent follower of the troupe, was also at that show. She wanted the troupe to perform in Bangladesh.

Kanak Chanpa studies the Mru community

Kanak Chanpa Chakma is an artist who blazed a trail in the '80s. The artist is originally from the Chittagong Hill Tracts and her paintings are known for featuring life in the hills. Through her work, she closely observes the region -- lifestyle, environment, culture, and other aspects of the indigenous communities.

Muktijuddher Itihash launched

The book, “Muktijuddher Itihash”, was launched on February 8 at ATN Bangla Studio in Dhaka. Authored by Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman, chairman of ATN Bangla, the book narrates the history of Liberation War and independence of the country.

Berlin Festival opens with Marie Antoinette drama

The annual Berlin film festival is opening with a costume drama set at the beginning of the French revolution -- the first of 18 movies competing at the event.

Keu Kotha Rakheni on ATN Bangla

An adaptation of Sunil Gangopadhyay's popular poem “Keu Kotha Rakheni”, with the eponymous title, will be telecast on ATN Bangla at 8pm tonight.

OP-ED

Love's paradigm shift

Once a lover's heart worked like a varifocal lens. It blurred the background and focused on the object. Devdas had focused on Parvati, Romeo on Juliet, Farhad on Shireen, Majnun on Layla, and Ranjha on Heer. In their days when lovers loved, they couldn't care for the rest of the world. They died for love; they also killed for it.

There is more to Iran than meets the eye

The Arab League has withdrawn its observer mission from Syria because the violence in the country has not subsided. The West puts the blame squarely on the Bashar al-Assad government.

The roulette of double standards

We are living in an Orwellian world where nothing means anything anymore at all" -- to borrow words from Anne Applebaum's article titled The Games Authoritarians Play. Making an incisive analysis on Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's recent mission to Syria, the writer admits to being in two minds. Interpretatively but not literally, if you know what I mean: Read "we support Syrian democracy" as "we support Syrian dictatorship."

BRAC: Embodying the spirit of Liberation War

Bangladesh and Brac are just about the same age. The Liberation War in Bangladesh was fought in 1971 to free Bangladesh from discrimination, deprivation and disparity. Brac, imbued with the ideals and spirit of Independence, pursued its efforts to rehabilitate returnee refugees and the households that were affected during the war. And, in the course of its subsequent dramatic evolution, the organisation established itself as a pioneer in identifying and addressing the multidimensional realities of poverty. Brac's initiatives in alleviating poverty and empowering the poor have scaled unforeseen heights in the recent history of global development.

Maldives: Unexpected change of government

In a dramatic move, Nasheed, the first democratically elected President of Maldives resigned on the February 7 after weeks of political turmoil that began from December 23, 2011. The controversy surrounding Saarc monuments being idolatrous, direct flights from Israel and selling of alcohol in inhabited islands began the short saga that led to Nasheed's fall. Religion was a political card to topple the president before the 2013 election.

This Day In History

February 10

1258
Baghdad falls to the Mongols, and the Abbasid Caliphate is destroyed.

StarTech

Bangla in everyday computing

Our thoughts and feelings are best expressed through native language, in our case Bangla, and to do that what other media could be better than blogs and social media. With the massive explosion of the online social space the urge for using Bangla as the preferred communication language among Bangladeshis has also grown.

Hacker releases Symantec source code

A hacker released the source code for antivirus firm Symantec's pcAnywhere utility on Tuesday, raising fears that others could find security holes in the product and attempt takeovers of customer computers.

Apple's iPhone hot but Android handsets on fire

An outbreak of iPhone fever made Apple the hottest smartphone maker worldwide at the end of 2011 but handsets powered by Google's Android software were shaping up as true winners in the market.

Cisco beats estimates with 2Q earnings, sales

Cisco, the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment, on Wednesday said that its net income jumped 44 percent in the latest quarter as it continues to put last year's slump behind it.

Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs in struggle to win smartphone market

World-leading mobile phone maker Nokia will cut 4,000 jobs at its smartphone manufacturing facilities in Finland, Hungary and Mexico by the end of 2012, it said on Wednesday.



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