The Daily Star

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Friday, October 24, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 15th of February, 2012

Front Page

No KL venture before WB deal dumped

The government is unlikely to sign any memorandum of understanding with Malaysia on February 21 for financing the Padma Bridge project due to several technical reasons, said well placed sources in the communications ministry and Economic Relations Division.

No rumours, please

Home Minister Shahara Khatun yesterday hinted at a positive result any moment in the investigation into the journalist couple murder and urged the media not to spread any rumours regarding the killing or suspects.

Deals signed to build 5 new bridges, 3 flyovers

The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) yesterday signed four deals with some local and foreign companies for construction of new bridges and flyovers, and renovation of old bridges in the country's eastern region.

Mercury may go up on March 12

Ruling Awami League is planning to launch counter political programmes in the capital on March 12 when the main opposition BNP is to hold a grand rally mobilising people from outside the city.

Santos strikes gas in Bay

The Australian energy firm Santos has struck commercially viable gas reserves in the Sangu-11 well under block 16 in the Bay of Bengal.

In death,they do not part

They had loved and cherished a dream. Their two young hearts dreamt of being together all their lives. But family stood in their way -- the girl was married off to another man.

Border killings irk PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has noted with regret that despite assurance from India's highest political level of putting an end to the killing at border, stray incidents of killing and torture of Bangladeshi nationals by the Indian BSF continued.

Summit manages 1 with local banks

Failing to secure international loan of about $800 million for three large projects, local power company Summit has turned to home banks to manage fund for one of them.

British School, Shaheed Smrity College students take challenge

Students of The British School and Shaheed Smrity College turned up for the Spelling Bee contest in the city yesterday.

Speaker bats for SQ Chowdhury

BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury remained absent from parliament proceedings for 143 consecutive sitting days as of yesterday without permission, according to sources in the Parliament Secretariat.

Mahmudul to become MP

The Supreme Court has paved the way for BNP leader Maj Gen (retd) Mahmudul Hasan to be a member of the ninth parliament.

Trial of Rid Pharma finally starts

Three years into the deaths of 28 children from consumption of Rid Pharma's paracetamol syrup, the trial of the high-profile case finally began in a Dhaka court yesterday.

Home minister denies 'forced disappearances'

There is nothing called forced disappearance in the law, Home Minister Shahara Khatun said in parliament yesterday.

China ready to help solve EU debt crisis

China's Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday his country is ready to increase its participation in efforts to resolve Europe's debt crisis, after holding talks with EU leaders in Beijing.

Hearing on Ghulam Azam case today

The International Crimes Tribunal is scheduled to hold a hearing today on charge framing against former Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Ghulam Azam in connection with crimes against humanity committed in 1971.

Arabic charms the Aga Khan

Ratan Lal Chakrabarty and Badruddin Umar have both done commendable work on researching the events and incidents leading to the Language Movement of 1952. Chakrabarty's Bhasha Andolaner Dolilpotro (Documents of the Language Movement) is a remarkable testament to a time which was to shape in such powerful manner the eventual struggle for a free Bangladesh.

Israel forces raze illegal settler outpost

Israeli forces razed three temporary structures comprising a wildcat settler outpost near the West Bank city of Ramallah early yesterday, an Israeli spokesman told AFP.

Quake hits eastern Japan: nuclear plant stable

A powerful earthquake rocked eastern Japan yesterday, but no tsunami warning was issued and no damage was reported at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Strong 6.5 earthquake hits Solomon Islands

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake shook the Solomon Islands yesterday but there was no threat of a widespread destructive tsunami and no reports of damage, US seismologists said.

Editorial

This is unacceptable

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan hogs headlines not for any development related news in his ministry but due to his startling, mind-boggling demands and comments. To begin with his latest antic, he has demanded before a parliamentary subcommittee that extortion be legalised in the transport sector. It is all too known how the rising fares have combined with stepped up extortionist activities to wreak havoc on the people.

Save rivers from dying

The deteriorating condition of our rivers has ceased to be news to us. In fact, we have grown accustomed to rivers either dying or narrowing down due to encroachment and illegal filling compounded by dumping of industrial and other types of waste. All these are manmade interferences in the form of gross violation of the environmental laws. More than one-third of the country's rivers is fast drying up, taking a heavy toll on our environment and river communication system.

Sports

Fawad blinder gives Rajshahi first win

Catches win matches and Pakistan player Fawad Alam took a stunning catch to propel Duronto Rajshahi to their first win by beating Sylhet Royals by 16 runs in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Gayle blitz in vain

Chris Gayle's second BPL T20 century could not avert Barisal's second defeat in two days as they went down to the Dhaka Gladiators by 21 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Only left-armers won't do: Murali

After seeing six left-arm spinners in action during Monday's Bangladesh Premier League matches, Muttiah Muralidaran was left wondering if there's more to come.

Bangladesh find easy group

Bangladesh have been drawn in a comparatively easier group in the inaugural AFC U-22 Asian Cup when the draw for the qualifying stage was held at the AFC Head Quarters in Malaysia yesterday.

Feni hold Sk Jamal

Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club suffered another jolt in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League when they were held to a 1-1 draw by visitors Feni Soccer Club at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

'My duty to stay till the end'

At the turn of the century, Michael Bevan was rated as the best one-day batsman, a man so cool under pressure that all of Australia breathed easy even in the most difficult of situations. Now in Dhaka as the batting coach of the Chittagong Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League, Daily Star Sport's Mohammad Isam caught up with the man who thrived when the chips were down.

SL, India can't be separated

India and Sri Lanka finished in a sensational tie in their tri-series one-day international at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.

Waugh doesn't like choosing Ponting

Steve Waugh, the former Australia captain and a member of the Argus review panel, has questioned the selection circumstances around Ricky Ponting's appointment as stand-in for Michael Clarke in Friday's triangular series ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Finn finishes Pakistan

Paceman Steven Finn took a career-best 4-34 and Alastair Cook hit his highest score to help England beat Pakistan in a 130-run win in the first day-night international here on Monday.

Zim end empty-handed

New Zealand secured a dramatic five-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the final Twenty20 international Tuesday to condemn the visitors to a winless tour.

Napoli end winless run

Napoli ended a winless run of five matches on Monday with a 2-0 win over Serie A rivals Chievo thanks to goals from Uruguayan duo Miguel Angel Britos and Edinson Cavani.

RU clinch inter-uni T20 tourney

Rajshahi University (RU) emerged champions of the Inter University T20 Cricket competition beating Islamic University (IU) by 54 runs in the final at the Rajshahi Central Stadium yesterday.

Younis asks mates not to panic

Experienced batsman Younis Khan hopes Pakistan do not panic and try their best to bounce back against a resurgent England in the second day-night international on Wednesday.

'I was treated like a dog'

Carlos Tevez headed back to England accusing Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini of treating him "like a dog" in the incident that led to his exile from the Premier League leaders.

Stars defend Robben

Former and current team-mates of Arjen Robben have come to the defence of the Bayern Munich winger after he was branded an "egoist" by German legend Franz Beckenbauer.

Henry's final match

Thierry Henry will be looking to give the club he loves a farewell gift as he makes his final appearance for Arsenal against AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Liverpool apologise

Liverpool denied Tuesday reports they'd apologised for Luis Suarez's conduct at Old Trafford as a result of pressure from shirt sponsors Standered Chartered bank.

UCL exit frustrates Fergie

Sir Alex Ferguson admits Manchester United's Champions League exit still leaves a bitter taste because he believes his side were good enough to have reached another final.

Cash bonus for ANC winners

The Zambian government has given $59,000 to each player in the national side which won the country's first Africa Cup of Nations title on Sunday, the sports minister said Tuesday.

Local Snippets

Armanitola Govt High School recorded a 4-0 win over Fatullah Pilot High School in the Super League match of the Shah Sports 2nd Dhaka Metropolis School Hockey Tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

A Special desire

Having opened up a 10-point lead over Barcelona, Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has begun organizing a victory parade through the Catalan capital to celebrate his club's first La Liga title since 2008. "Some people say, 'Jose, why not have parade in Madrid with Madrid fans?' And to that I say shut up," Mourinho told Spanish sports paper Marca. "We will have parade through Barcelona. I will take refreshing shower in Sergio Busquets' tears while laughing at UNICEF children. I can't wait." However, the planned parade will not go off until the end of the season in May.

Business

Tata Ace dominates mini-truck market

Mini-truck Tata Ace has triumphed in the small-pickup market in a short time, eating up the shares of its competing brands.

Westin owner gets IPO nod

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday approved the IPO prospectus of Unique Hotel and Resorts Ltd, the owner of The Westin Dhaka, to raise Tk 195 crore from public.

TV ad spending shoots up in 2011

Companies spent more funds on television advertisements in 2011 than a year ago to boost demand for their products and brands among customers, according to a report released yesterday.

Ten to contest for DSE directorship

Ten candidates will contest for four directors' posts of Dhaka Stock Exchange in this year's election of the premier bourse.

AmCham spots hurdles to US investment

The amount of US investment in Bangladesh is still poor due to four major impediments, although the country is a potential destination for the American entrepreneurs, said a major trade body chief yesterday.

High lending rates hurt entrepreneurs: Barua

High lending rates and collaterals are nipping many potential small and medium enterprises in the country in the bud, said Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday.

Meghna, Rahimafrooz sign clean energy deal

Two local conglomerates yesterday joined hands to sign a clean development mechanism (CDM) service agreement for developing carbon emission reduction projects in the country.

Construction firms call for price adjustment

The leaders of Bangladesh Association of Construction Industry (BACI) yesterday urged the government to include the "price adjustment clause" in public procurement rules.

Bangladesh to send more workers to Qatar

Bangladesh looks forward to providing more skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers and professionals for the socio-economic development of Qatar, especially for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, said Dipu Moni.

Plastic fair starts tomorrow

The seventh international plastic fair begins in Dhaka tomorrow to showcase plastic products.

CPD holds trustee meeting

The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) yesterday held the 37th meeting of the Board of Trustees to review its activities for the period from October to January this year, the think-tank said in a statement yesterday.

Innovations in marketing

Bangladeshi companies and their advertisers must be adventurous and innovative to cater to the changing tastes of the consumers, said a top executive of a global advertisement firm.

Megahurts

As scandals go, it is a corker. It involves secret recordings of lobbyists talking to tycoons about ministers, fraudulent documents, unrelated firms that share the same e-mail address, clueless foreigners piling into a vast market, bank drafts with dates that make no sense, PR flacks taped schmoozing hacks with honking traffic in the background, front companies named after Russian rivers, an apparently helpless prime minister, people under arrest and something between $8 billion and $20 billion pinched from the public purse.

Metropolitan

Bill placed to extend time for speedy trial act

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday placed a bill in parliament for extending the term of a controversial law by another two years.

Youths potential for Bangladesh: Blake

Young Bangladeshis possess enormous creative potentials to create a thriving future for this country, visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Robert O Blake said yesterday.

Connectivity raises Bangladesh's importance: Ashraf

The importance of Bangladesh's territorial waters is growing for connectivity to neighbouring countries like China, India, Myanmar, and other South Asian states through Chittagong port, LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said yesterday.

Valentine's Day adds colour to Boi Mela

Jamal Hossain, who works at a private organisation, took leave to spend Valentine's Day with his beloved and as part of the plan the couple visited the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela yesterday.

PM for close links with UN

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday underscored the need for close cooperation between Bangladesh and the United Nations towards effective national and global response to contain HIV/AIDS.

Minister for political consensus

State Minister for Land Mustafizur Rahman yesterday stressed consensus among all political parties of the country to design an action plan for sustainable land management.

Faridee laid to rest

Amid love and sorrow, hundreds of people from all walks of life yesterday bade a final goodbye to their much admired thespian Humayun Faridee.

Tk 1,561cr projects get Ecnec nod

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved 10 development projects with an outlay of Tk 1,561 crore, including one to increase quality seed supply in the country involving Tk 307 crore.

UK modifies student visa terms

The British government has announced changes to its student visas that will ensure that only the best and the brightest overseas students can stay and work in the UK following completion of their studies there.

Traffic sergeant hurt as car hits him

A traffic sergeant suffered injuries after being hit by a recklessly driven private car at Panthapath in the city yesterday.

11 die in road crashes

Eleven people, including a man and his son, were killed and 20 others injured in separate road accidents in Sylhet, Gazipur, Thakurgaon and Rangpur early Monday and yesterday.

55 houses gutted in Ctg

At least 55 slum houses were gutted in a fire in Rajakhali embankment area in the port city yesterday.

SCBA to provide legal supports

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Khandker Mahbub Hossain yesterday said his association will provide all kinds of legal assistance to move the case against the killers of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi.

Save journalist

Ali Akhter Golam Kibriya, a journalist in Lalmo-nirhat, has been suffering from serious backbone disorder for the last two years. An immediate operation could cure him, say doctors in India. But for the wretched journalist, the medical cost is too high to afford.

Decision on charge against Khaleda March 18

A Dhaka court will hand down its decision on March 18 whether it will take cognisance of the charges against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and three others in connection with Zia Charitable Trust graft case.

Bangladesh delegation in Juba

A seven-member delegation from Bangladesh led by Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Gwoher Rizvi reached Juba in South Sudan to hold talks with its government on strengthening bilateral relations with the new state.

Charge framing hearing against SQ Chy on March 7

A Chittagong court on Tuesday fixed March 7 for hearing on charge framing against BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury in a case filed against him in connection with vandalising vehicles in Sitakunda in Chittagong in November 2010.

Probe into police torture on Tajuddin's grandson starts

The two-member committee of police formed for probing an assault on Rakib Hossain, a grandchild of the country's first Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed, yesterday started investigation into it.

16 geekos smugglers jailed

A mobile court jailed 16 people on charges of smuggling geekos, a kind of rare reptile known as Tokkhok in Bangla, in the city yesterday.

Sahara lauds coast guard's role

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said the Coast Guard has been playing important roles to prevent smuggling through maritime areas and robbery in coastal zones apart from safeguarding the country's sea ports.

Japanese space industry team arrives today

A high-level Japanese mission on space industry will arrive here today on a three-day visit to expand co-operation between Japan and Bangladesh in the field of space technology and industry.

Teens commit suicide on Valentine’s Day

Two teenagers in love allegedly committed suicide on Valentine's Day by jumping off a mobile phone network tower in Kathi Bazar area under Sadar upazila of the district.

Ban on RU Shibir politics demanded

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Chittagong University (CU) unit, at a press conference at Chittagong Press Club, yesterday demanded ban on Islami Chhatra Shibir politics on the campus.

24 Shibir men held

Police arrested 24 activists of Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir in the port city early yesterday, for vandalising vehicles during a half-day hartal called by the student body on February 9.

RU agronomy students boycott classes

Students of Agronomy and Agricultural Extension Department of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday boycotted the classes and formed a human chain demanding cancellation of the teachers' appointment of Botany background candidates in the department.

Woman found dead in Savar

Police recovered the body of an unidentified young woman from Dogarmora Mohallah here yesterday morning.

Obituary

Md Moni-ruzzaman, a language movement hero, passed away at his residence in the town yesterday at the age of 82.

Hesamuddin Ahmed

Lieutenant Colonel (retd) He-samuddin Ahmed, a former secretary, died at his residence in the city's Baridhara yesterday. He was 77.

ATM Musa

Inspector General of Registration department ATM Musa died of cardiac arrest at Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday at the age of 57, says a press release.

Death anniversary

Today is the 43rd death anniversary of Shahid Sergeant Zahurul Haque.

National

3 areas of Sundarbans canals made dolphin sanctuaries

The government has declared three areas of the canals in the Sundarbans, covering 32 kilometres, as “dolphin sanctuaries”.

Nothing can shatter dreams of Dipak

When Dipak was born, many around him -- relatives, neighbours and even his parents -- felt sorry. The baby was born without hands.

Criminals ransack, loot courtrooms in Jamalpur

Criminals looted courtrooms in Jamalpur and office of a bus company in Jessore early yesterday.

3 drown in Sylhet boat capsize

Three people drowned as a boat capsized in Chengerkhal (canal) under Sylhet Sadar upazila on Monday night.

Diarrhoea claims 3 in Lalmonirhat

Diarrhoea took an alarming turn in five upazilas claiming lives of three children and affecting scores of others in the last three days.

27 cocktails seized in C'nawabganj

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered 27 live cocktails from a wheat field at Teroroshia village in Sadar upazila of the district on Monday.

7 get life for murder

Seven people were sentenced to life term imprisonment yesterday in a murder case in Biral upazila in 2,000.

Tomato brings them fortune

Farmers at Karnopur village under Mogholhat union in the Sadar upazila are happy as they are getting good profit from tomato farming this season. All the 35 growers in the village also got a better output than the last years.

10km river route may be dredged for coal import from India

Move is underway to dredge ten kilometres river route from Mongla Portto Koigardaskati for smooth transportation of coal to be imported from India to run 1320 megawatt power plant at Rampal in Bagerhat district.

20 passengers hurt as train derails

At least 20 passengers were injured as a commuter train derailed near Court Railway Station on Jamalpur-Dewanganj route in the town on Monday night.

Woman killed, 16 houses gutted

An octogenarian woman was killed and at least 16 houses were gutted in fire incidents in Sherpur and Thakurgaon districts yesterday and the day before.

Two killed in stampede

Two devotees were killed in a stampede at an annual Urs (religious congregation) of 'Bishwa Oli Khwaja Baba Faridpuri Darbar' at Atroshi in Sadarpur upazila yesterday. The victims are Sufia Begum, 55, of Bashulikandi village and Amena Khatun, 60, of Char Kasem Nagar village in Narsingdi district. The incident took place at around 2:00pm at the western side of the main gate in the three-day Urs, where thousands of devotees gathered to attend the Akheri Monajat (concluding prayers), said police. The stampede occurred when people were trying to come out from the gate at a time after offering the prayers.

Man jailed for stalking

A mobile court sentenced a man to twenty-eight day imprisonment for sexually harassing a female student in Nachole upazila town on Monday. The stalker is Monirul Islam, 40, son of Nazrul Islam of Kaloir village in Nachole upazila. Nachole police said, Monirul used to tease the girl on her way to coaching centre for long. On information, police arrested the stalker from Nachole Bazar in the evening and produced him before the court.

BSF returns boy

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) returned a boy yesterday, four hours after his capture following a flag meeting with Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at Shingnagar frontier in Shibganj upazila. The boy was identified as Mohammad Babu, 12, son of Abdur Rakib of Tarapur Morolpara village. Lt. Col Jahangir Hossain, commanding officer of 39 BGB Battalion, said Babu mistakenly entered Indian territory near main pillar no 168 at around 11:00am while cutting grass. BSF men then detained him.

One held with arms, ammo

Police arrested a suspected member of a criminal gang along with two US made pistols, eight bullets, a mobile phone and Tk 5000 from a house at Abadchandipur village in Shyamnagar upazila early yesterday. The arrestee is Md Jalal Gazi, 25, son of Arshad Ali Gazi of Pankhali village. Quoting villagers, Hashem Khan, officer in-charge of Shyamnagar police station, said Jalal along with his two cohorts, including the gang leader Abdul Majid, came to the residence of his father-in-law Liakat Mollah at the village. On suspicion, local people caught him from the spot while others managed to flee.

Hotel boy found dead

A hotel boy was found dead at his workplace at Chandnighat under South Surma of the city on Monday. The deceased was identified as Abdul Hamid, 30, son of late Abdur Rahman Master of Dohalia Ramnagar village in Doarabazar upazila of Sunamganj district. On information, police recovered the body from Al Taqdir Hotel at about 10:00pm. Police said Hamid used to stay at the residential hotel at night. He went to sleep on Sunday night as usual but did not wake up till Monday evening. Other hotel boys then went to his room at about 6:00pm only and found Hamid lying dead on his bed with bed cover wrapped around his neck. Later, they informed police.

Rickshaw-puller murdered

Police recovered the body of a rickshaw-puller from Hakimpur upazila Health Complex early yesterday. The victim was identified as Mizanur Rahman, 30, son of late Mojibur Rahman of Nayapara village in Nawabganj upazila. His left eye was found gouged out. Quoting a night guard of the health complex, Md Shiddique, sub-inspector of Hakimpur police station, said two unidentified men brought the victim to the health complex at about 4:00am and fled the scene when the guard went to inform police.

Letters

Mismanagement at Dhaka airport

I went to the airport to receive a guest arriving by Malaysian Airline flight no.196 at 8 pm on 21st January 2012. When I attempted to park my vehicle at the parking lot of gate no.01, I was informed by the security at the entrance that both the parking lots of gate no.01 and 02 were now earmarked for VIPs only, though those were found almost empty.

President Nasheed set a good example!

We have learnt from the media reports that Maldives' President Mohamed Nasheed stepped down after the police and army clashed in the streets amid protest over the arrest of a top judge. Mr. Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation with the area of 115 sq. miles and 0.40 million people including eighty thousand expatriate workers, had gone to military headquarters on his own initiative for advice before presenting his resignation in a nationally televised address wherein he said, “I don't want to hurt any Maldivians. I feel my staying in power will only increase the problems, and it will hurt our citizens.” He also added, “So the best option available to me is to step down.” This is a good example set by Mr. Nasheed.

Charles Dickens' 200th birthday

February 07 is the 200th birthday of famous English novelist Charles Dickens (full name: Charles John Huffam Dickens alias Boz). Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and died in 1870. He was an outstanding and popular writer. His works are highly praised and admired by people world over for realism and urge for social reforms. Still his novels "Great Expectations" or "Hard Times" are taught in English literature courses of colleges and universities.

Imran Khan's remark

“Pakistan has not learnt anything from the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971”Imran Khan, former Pakistani cricket captain-turned politician said this recently. In this regard, I would like to cite an incident. Probably in 1973 or 1974, the Pakistan cricket team came to Bangladesh for the first time after our independence, for participating in a friendly match.

Don't hold people hostage!

Whenever there is political unrest, it is the people who suffer. The day the politicians will finally realise this, will that be the day this nation will begin to move forward? When the ruling party creates problems, it is no better than the opposition. I still remember, in 1996 when BNP refused to step down and transfer power to a caretaker government, Awami League (the then opposition) called continuous hartals until the then ruling party stepped down. General people suffered extremely at that time, but as always, the politicians could not care any less. So why does the Awami League want to hold election without the caretaker system now? This unwise decision is creating unrest in the country and causing sufferings to the people.

Did I misunderstand?

LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam's comments about the government's lack of concern about the BSF firing in which Habibur Rahman, a Bangladeshi cattle smuggler, was reportedly beaten and humiliated by the BSF, as well as his remarks about the supposed sensationalisation of road accidents by the Bangladeshi media have highlighted our respected minister's views on those unfortunate events.

AL should change its mindset

As a concerned citizen, I think that only “tolerance and the attitude to accept and consider a different view” by the ruling party can be a possible solution. Against the backdrop of the recent incidents of opposition-led protests and the ruling party's impatience to deal with it, an immediate solution to the standoff has become an imperative.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Journalist couple killed”

International

China will not protect Syria

China will not protect the regime of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday, after Beijing drew international ire for vetoing a UN resolution on the country.

After Delhi, blasts rattle Bangkok

A string of blasts rattled the Thai capital Bangkok yesterday with Israel pointing the finger at arch-foe Iran, a day after bomb attacks targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia.

India launches hunt for culprits

India's Home Minister P Chidambaram yesterday said "a well-trained person" carried out Monday's attack that injured an Israeli diplomat in the capital, Delhi as fear in Israel grows over more attacks in the coming future.

Arabs decision fuels Syria Civil war fears

After a bruising meeting in a five-star Cairo hotel, Arab foreign ministers led by Gulf states hinted to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that unless he halts his violent crackdown, some Arab League members might arm his opponents.

Bangladeshi hackers shut down 20,000 Indian sites

In the first major hacking spree of the year, Black HAT Hackers, a Bangladesh based group hacked into nearly 20,000 Indian websites including that of Indian Border Security Force.

New Maldives president vows 'peace and order'

New Maldives president Mohamed Waheed pledged yesterday to restore "peace and order" as international pressure mounted on him to ease tensions in the island after his predecessor was ousted.

Top Nepal police officers convicted over UN graft

Nepal has convicted three former police chiefs and a British businessman over the purchase of faulty equipment for a UN peace mission, officials said yesterday.

India won't censor social media

India does not intend to censor online social networks such as Facebook, a minister said yesterday, but he demanded that they obey the same rules governing the press and other media.

Russia says West's decision on Iran soon

The head of Russia's army yesterday said he expected a "decision" on Iran to be taken by Western powers this summer in response to Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

Sudan breaks truce, air strikes S Sudan

Sudanese warplanes dropped several bombs wounding four soldiers in a contested area claimed by South Sudan, breaking a fresh non-aggression pact between the two sides, Juba's army spokesman said yesterday.

Pakistan allows Nato supplies by air

Islamabad publicly admitted yesterday that it had allowed Nato to use Pakistani airspace to fly supplies into Afghanistan, despite a more than two-month blockade on the border crossings.

Israeli court rejects Palestinian's appeal

An Israeli military court on Monday rejected an appeal by a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for more than eight weeks over his detention without charge, his lawyer Jawad Bulus said.

Gaza's only power station closes

The authorities in Gaza yesterday said the Palestinian territory's only power station has shut down because of a lack of fuel.

Pak cabinet backs indicted PM

The Pakistani cabinet yesterday expressed "full confidence" in Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as he prepares to go on trial for contempt of court, which could cost him his job.

China VP starts White House talks

China's likely next president Xi Jinping yesterday opened talks at the White House, where President Barack Obama plans to press him on key concerns yet also work for better future relations.

Santorum, Romney tie in polls

US Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a dead heat following the latter's sweep of three state nomination votes last week, according to two national polls.

Radical cleric Qatada released in UK

Islamist cleric Abu Qatada, once described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, was released from a British prison Monday on extremely tight bail conditions.

Arts & Entertainment

At The Ekushey Book Fair

Mahadev Saha, one of the leading romantic poets in contemporary Bengali literature, is also a poet of mystery. He has enriched our literature since the 1960s. He has added a new dimension to Bangla poetry. Saha is offering eight new publications at the ongoing Ekushey Boi Mela.

Fashioning the designs

“Reconstruction: Cultural Heritage and the Making of Contemporary Fashion” -- a two-week exhibition celebrating the work of seven leading UK fashion designers and three Bangladeshi designers -- was organised jointly by the British Council and the Bangladesh National Museum. The exhibition concluded on February 11.

Amar Ekushey book fair begins at RU

A nine-day Amar Ekushey book fair 2012 began at Rajshahi University (RU) on Monday.

Kashinath Salve's art exhibition opens at Gallery Cosmos

A two-week long art exhibition titled 'Through the artist's eye' by renowned visiting Indian artist Kashinath Salve was inaugurated at Gallery Cosmos at New DOHS, Mohakhali recently.

Colours of spring

Bidding goodbye to chilly winter and welcoming colourful spring, Dinajpur celebrated Bashanta Utshab on Monday afternoon.

‘Arena’ plays at Experimental Theatre Hall

For decades, plays have been staged in the proscenium form at the country's numerous auditoriums. After Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy opened up the Experimental Theatre Hall, new vistas appeared for theatre activists, especially directors.

Al Pacino accepts National Medal of Arts at White House

US actor Al Pacino has received the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony that saw 16 other individuals and organisations also honoured.

OP-ED

A.T.M. Shamsul Huda and his brave team

A.T.M. Sham-sul Huda will be remembered for the high standards he set at the nation's Election Commission in the five years he presided over it. When you reflect on the confidence with which he and his team went about setting the Commission back on track after all the disastrous experiments it had gone through before they took charge, you will be reminded of individuals like Justice Abdus Sattar and T.N. Seshan. Sattar remains the man who organised, with a degree of competence rarely matched, the first general elections in Pakistan in December 1970. It is another matter that those elections were eventually set aside by the very military junta which had come into office promising democracy for Pakistan. But there has never been any question of the integrity and efficiency that Justice Sattar brought into the office of chief election commissioner.

At the drop of a tear

Tears are a fragile weapon in public life. Their success rate is so low that it is rarely wise to display them. People check what kind of tears they are. Sentiment can be a powerful virtue in mass mobilisation, but sentimentality never works. Tears of helplessness or regret invite scorn: the first is evidence of impotence, the second is proof of uselessness.

'Rural trade and transport have increased tremendously'

Dr.Mahabub Hossain is an internationally renowned development economist. He had MA in Economics from Dhaka University in 1969 and PhD in economics from the University of Cambridge in 1977. Currently, he is Executive Director, BRAC. He was Director General of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Dhaka (1989-1992) and Head of the Social Sciences Division of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Philippines (1992-2007). He is the President-elect of the Asian Society of Agricultural Economists (2011-2013). Dr. Hossain is known for his contribution to knowledge on agriculture policy and rural development in South and Southeast Asia. Rifat Munim of The Daily Star talks with Dr. Hossain about the progress the rural economy of Bangladesh has made in the past 40 years and also about the challenges it faces.

Chinese PM's brief but significant visit to Nepal

Nepal and China enjoy very close and friendly relations on account of geographical proximity and close cultural and economic bonds. The establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and China in 1955 formalised the centuries old people-to-people contact and traditional friendship.

The rise of degree inequality

Charles M. Blow asked: "Is income inequality becoming the new global warming? " He answered: "It's beginning to seem so," in his column in the New York Times (December 16 2011). Income inequality has become the central theme in the current presidential race in America. The Occupy Wall Street movement has brought it to a head. Compared with this, political leaders in Bangladesh have been living in tranquility in this regard. But the appeal of We Are 99% has been so widespread that this warming is being felt everywhere. One of the collateral effects of this global warming through the growing income inequality is degree inequality.

This Day In History

February 15

590
Khosrau II is crowned king of Persia.



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