The Daily Star

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News of: Monday, 27th of February, 2012

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Front Page

Raise voice against move to protect war criminals

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF) to mobilise public opinion against the “opposition's move” to protect the war criminals.

Transit to spin $44m a year

Bangladesh could earn about $44 million a year by providing transit to India and its neighbours over the first five years while developing infrastructure for the facility, a transport expert said yesterday.


I am delighted to announce that with today's issue, you will receive the first segment of our three-part 21st Anniversary supplement on the YOUNG ACHIEVERS OF BANGLADESH. Part 2 and 3 will be delivered to you on the 28th and 29th respectively.

President pardons a criminal twice

The president has granted mercy to convicted killer AHM Biplob for the second time in seven months. This time, Biplob's life sentence in each of two murder cases has been reduced to a 10-year imprisonment.

20,000 websites for people by 2015

The government will launch 20,000 websites by 2015 to take e-service to the masses in efforts to materialise its vision of Digital Bangladesh.

Dhaka keen on hydro plant

Bangladesh is expected to propose setting up of a joint-venture hydropower plant in north-eastern region of India in a Joint Steering Committee (JSC) meeting on power sector cooperation in New Delhi tomorrow.

Shahara happy with Indian pledges

The director generals of India's Border Security Force and Border Guard Bangladesh will meet in New Delhi on March 11-15 for talks to end the BSF firing on and killing of Bangladeshis at the border.

Cops finally 'sure about' motive

Fifteen days after the murder of journalist couple Meherun Runi and Sagar Sarowar, police yesterday claimed that they had ascertained the motive behind the murders.

An insult the boy couldn't accept

A 14-year-old boy, apparently unable to bear the disgrace of being picked up by police in connection with theft, yesterday took his own life.

Case against Haji Selim dropped

The government yesterday withdrew a police assault case filed against former Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim and 20 others considering it ''politically motivated” and “intended to cause harassment''.

Tribunal asks media to be careful

The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday suggested that the media be more careful about reporting on its proceedings.

Criticise, but don't hurt opponents

Upset by the recurrent use of offensive words in parliament, Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday urged the lawmakers to adhere to the code of conduct while addressing the opponents.

Student's eye hurt

A class VI student suffered severe injury in one of her eyes as her class teacher beat her up with a cane at Keraniganj on the outskirts of the capital on February 19.

4 schools in divisional round

“Finally, the divisional round," exclaimed an excited Shadman, a tenth grader of Scholastica school who earned himself a place among the three winners after spelling “condescend” right at The Daily Star Spelling Bee contest yesterday.

Owner of unfit bus in custody

A bus owner, who appeared before a High Court bench yesterday following its summons, was handed over to police by the court as one of his 'unfit' buses crushed a schoolgirl to death in the capital early this month.

Hili tense over building house near border

Tension prevails between members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Security Force (BSF) of India along Hili border under Hakimpur upazila in Dinajpur over building a concrete house in violation of international border laws.

City road crashes claim 2 more lives

Two people including a college student were killed in separate road accidents in the capital's Farmgate and Dayaganj yesterday evening.

Shortest man on Earth from Nepal

A 72-year-old man from a remote valley in southwestern Nepal yesterday was declared the shortest man ever documented after being measured by Guinness World Records officials.

Obama hails 'new beginning' for Yemen

US President Barack Obama said the swearing in of a new president in Yemen Saturday marked "a new beginning" for the nation but stressed there was much work to do, including holding new elections by 2014.

22 Indian fishermen held by Lankan Navy

Twenty two Tamil fishermen and their five boats were taken into custody by Sri Lankan naval personnel when they were fishing near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off Arichalmunai in this island yesterday.

Blast at Antarctic base kills 2

An explosion destroyed a Brazilian research base in Antarctica Saturday, killing two navy personnel and injuring a third, authorities said.

Realtor fined for cutting hills in Sylhet

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined the managing director of a housing company Tk 22 lakh for cutting hills to develop housing projects in Sylhet.

Indian experts start Farakka water probe

A team of Indian government experts yesterday visited the Farakka Barrage to take stock of its two broken sluice gates.


Transit and connectivity

Now someone in the government is talking sense about transit. One could not agree more with the finance minister that with the present condition of our infrastructure Bangladesh is not yet in a position to allow transit of goods overland.

Slashed ADP

One ought to be surprised. And yet the news that only a third of the Annual Development Plan has been utilized in the last seven months does not quite surprise us. And that is for the simple reason that over these past few years fund utilization has generally been low. That is in itself a telling comment on the efficiency with which the government or, more precisely, its various ministries and departments perform. As a result of the low utilization of funds this year, the ADP will likely be slashed by as much as Tk. 5,500 crore. In other words, in the seven months we speak of, of the total allotment for this fiscal year, 34 per cent or Tk. 15, 784 crore has been spent altogether.


Rajshahi in last four

Duronto Rajshahi confirmed their semifinal spot in the BPL T20 after an easy eight-wicket win over Khulna Royal Bengals yesterday.

Hodge takes Barisal thru'

Barisal Burners became the second team to go through to the semifinals of BPL T20 yesterday when they crushed Chittagong Kings by five wickets in their last round robin game at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

India suffer big defeat

India face a major task to reach the tri series one-day finals after an 87-run loss to Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Mohan, Beauty best again

Old faces ruled the track on the concluding day of the Walton 37th National Athletics Championships as Mohan Khan and Nazmunnahar Beauty retained the title of fastest man and woman at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Asia Cup now from March 11

The Asia Cup has been brought forward by a day, beginning on March 11 instead of the originally scheduled March 12.

Abahani play catch-up

The much-awaited inter-club hockey players' transfers started yesterday after a nearly two-and-a-half year gap with joint champions Abahani all but completing their registration formalities on the opening day at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium.

Bedi lambastes Dhoni

Blaming Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the apparent 'rift' in the Indian cricket team in Australia, former captain Bishen Singh Bedi on Sunday said that time has now come for the side to have a new Test skipper.

Dubai Open Agnieszka's

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska signalled herself as a growing threat on Saturday when she clinched her eighth career title courtesy of a 7-5, 6-4 win over Germany's Julia Goerges in the final of the Dubai Open.

SCG honour for Sachin

In a fitting tribute to modern-day cricket's greatest batsman, Cricket Australia, The Government of New South Wales and the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust honoured Sachin Tendulkar with an honorary life membership of SCG on Sunday.

England draw level

Jonny Bairstow hit a maiden half-century and paceman Steven Finn took three wickets to guide England to a comfortable 38-run win in the second Twenty20 international against Pakistan on Saturday.

Raonic, Melzer to fight it out

Red-hot Milos Raonic booked a finals showdown with Austrian Jurgen Melzer on Saturday at the 1.37-million-dollar ATP and WTA Memphis Open.

Flower full of T20 hope

Coach Andy Flower says England's youthful side have gained vital experience against Pakistan which will help them in their bid to defend their World Twenty20 title later this year.

All square in game of 'goals'

A late goal by substitute Alessandro Matri earned Juventus a 1-1 draw at Serie A leaders AC Milan on Saturday in a match overshadowed by goalline controversy and which ended with players squaring up to each other.

Bender stakes claim

Midfielder Lars Bender staked his claim to start in Germany's friendly against France on Wednesday with two goals as Bayer Leverkusen moved up to fifth in the German league with a 2-0 win at Cologne on Saturday.

City go five clear

Manchester City opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League with victory over Blackburn on Saturday as Chelsea beat Bolton to ease the pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Platini backs Germans

UEFA president Michel Platini has said Germany are the best team in Europe at the moment and one of the favourites to win this summer's Euro 2012, ahead of their friendly with France on Wednesday.

Van Persie talks on hold

Arsenal captain Robin van Persie says contract talks with the Gunners are on hold until the end of the season.

The goal that never was

This season's Serie A title race could ultimately be decided by the goal that never was during Saturday's top-of-the-table clash between AC Milan and Juventus.

Relationship with AVB not ideal: Lampard

Frank Lampard said his relationship with Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has "not been ideal" during the young Portuguese coach's first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Giggs salvages United win

Ryan Giggs enjoyed a dream 900th appearance by scoring a late winner in Manchester United's 2-1 win at Norwich City while Arsenal came from behind to thump Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 in the Premier League on Sunday.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh finished runners-up in the FIBA Asian U-18 Basketball Championship Qualifying (Central Asia Zone) which finished in the Indian capital of New Delhi yesterday, said a press release from the Bangladesh Basketball Federation.

Warne taken into Hall of Fame

Test great Shane Warne will be inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame this week, Cricket Australia said on Sunday.


SEC makes progress in stock revamp package

The Securities and Exchange Commission has almost completed its tasks on a mid-term stockmarket stabilisation package.

Govt to import 25,000 tonnes of sugar for Ramadan

A cabinet panel yesterday approved the imports of 25,000 tonnes of sugar to meet demand during the month of Ramadan.

BB to launch 3 new notes on historic March 7

Bangladesh Bank (BB) will introduce new bank notes of Tk 10, Tk 20 and Tk 50 denominations bearing the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on historic March 7.

CAAB sues private airline for landing without permission

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh filed a case against the owner of a private airline on Saturday for landing an aircraft at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong without getting clearance of CAAB.

Stocks end higher on optimism

Stocks rose 4 percent, the highest in the last two weeks, as investors bought more shares yesterday after the finance minister announced a plan to compensate small investors.

India lifts ban on export of non-basmati rice, wheat

India lifted a ban on non-basmati rice and wheat through land custom stations to Bangladesh that was imposed around four years back.

Kingfisher's nosedive poses dilemma for Indian govt

As Kingfisher Airlines careens toward collapse, the Indian government finds itself between a rock and a hard place.

Forex reserve may cross $10b this week: BB

The foreign exchange reserve is rising with falling import costs and a better remittance inflow, according to the Bangladesh Bank (BB).

Lost oil billions leave Sudan's economy reeling

Sudan has lost billions of dollars in oil receipts since the south gained independence last year, and is plagued by soaring prices and a weakening currency, with no economic solution in sight for the bankrupt nation, analysts say.

Indonesia Freeport mine suspends production

US mining giant Freeport McMoRan's Indonesian subsidiary has suspended its operations due to fighting among workers, its spokesman said Sunday, in the latest problem to hit the troubled mine.

Citi appoints two Bangladeshis in global positions

Citi Bank NA has recently appointed Parvez Murshed as its regional head of implementation for treasury and trade solutions (TTS) for Asia Pacific, and Mir Hafiz as head of trade services operations at Center of Excellence at Dalian in China.

Citi appoints two Bangladeshis in global positions

Citi Bank NA has recently appointed Parvez Murshed as its regional head of implementation for treasury and trade solutions (TTS) for Asia Pacific, and Mir Hafiz as head of trade services operations at Center of Excellence at Dalian in China.

Women chamber chief wins IDB award

Selima Ahmad, founder and president of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), won the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Prize for women's contribution to development 2012.

Robots for everyday life

People with infants often feel the need for monitoring their children during sleep hours. Children may wake up and start crying and the parents may not be nearby to soothe the babies.

Fashion hotels show jet-setters luxury Italian style

From Dubai to Jamaica, Australia to Brazil, high-end fashion hotels are mushrooming as growing numbers of luxury travellers seek a taste of the glamour and indulgence that only stardom used to bring.

Dreams of e-services at flagship IT fair

Hundreds of IT fans thronged the exposition for software and IT-enabled services in Dhaka yesterday as the five-day event came to an end.


All except BNP, Jamaat extended support: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday alleged that all but BNP and Jamaat had lent their support to efficiently tackle the BDR mutiny.

Boi Mela only for original publishers from next year

To conduct the month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela in a more organised way, the Bangla Academy authorities have decided to allocate bookstalls only to original publishers and to limit the fair to the academy premises from next year.

Clean roads, footpaths in 48 hrs, HC asks govt

The High Court yesterday directed the government to free roads and footpaths from Zero Point to Sadarghat in the city in 48 hours to facilitate easy movement of people and vehicles.

Continued cooperation stressed

Speakers at a dialogue yesterday stressed the need for continued cooperation between Bangladesh and India for the early implementation of agreements and understanding reached between the two countries in the past three years.

Work together to enrich Bangla language

President Zillur Rahman yesterday called upon the Bangla speaking people in Bangladesh and Paschimbanga to work together to cherish and enrich Bangla language, culture and traditions, as there are many similarities among them in various aspects.

Produce Hathazari violence perpetrators: HC

Based on a newspaper article, the High Court yesterday directed police to produce the perpetrators involved in demolishing Hindu temples in Hathazari of Chittagong before it on March 6.

TB claims 64,000 a year

Around 64,000 people die due to tuberculosis while 3.3 lakh get infected afresh every year in Bangladesh, said a report of the National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP).

Border killings 'sad, tragic': Mozena

Terming the killings on the border between Bangladesh and India “very sad and tragic”, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena yesterday expressed the hope that India would be expeditious in holding the responsible people accountable.

Some border incidents 'distorted’ in media

A former Indian envoy to Bangladesh yesterday said some reports in the media on incidents on the border between Bangladesh and India were “distorted”.

Journos' 1-hr strike today

Journalists in all newspapers, news agencies, television and online media will observe a one-hour work abstention from 12:00noon to 1:00pm today to press for the arrest of the murderers of the journalist couple Sagar-Runi.

Deposition deferred for 5th time, new date March 15

A Chittagong court yesterday deferred for the fifth time the recording of witnesses' deposition in connection with an arson attack in Banshkhali on November 18, 2003 that left 11 members of a minority family dead.

HC asks EC to allow Mohitul to contest by-election

The High Court yesterday directed the Election Commission to allow TIM Mohitul Gani, an independent candidate, to contest the by-elections to Shariatpur-3 constituency scheduled for March 15.

Ensure justice for acid victims

Speakers at a conference yesterday urged the government, non-government organisations and lawyers to ensure jobs and justice for victims of acid violence in order to rehabilitate them and end their economic and social deprivation.

2 abducted girls rescued, 5 held

Two abducted teenage girls were rescued and five people, including three women, were arrested in this connection by Detective Branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) in Chittagong city on Saturday night.

Verdict in Apu murder case March 13

Judgment in the sensational Ashikur Rahman Khan Apu murder case filed against seven accused, including a cousin of home minister, will be delivered on March 13.

Bid to abduct DU student by ex-husband

A female student of Dhaka University was abducted from the university campus by her former husband yesterday.

Ducsu polls demanded

Students of Dhaka University yesterday urged the authorities to take necessary steps to hold the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) election to restore a democratic atmosphere in student politics.

Khaleda in Bogra, to leave for Lalmonirhat today

BNP Chairperson and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia reached Bogra at 8:45pm yesterday on her way to Lalmonirhat.

Ilyas Ali, two others get bail

A court here yesterday granted bail to Sylhet district BNP President M Ilyas Ali and two others in five cases on charge of vandalising vehicles and murder.

4 die in road crash

Four people, including two of a family, were killed in a road accident in Hathazari upazila of the district on Saturday night.

Former cop jailed for taking bribe

A Chittagong court yesterday sentenced a former police officer of Bayezid Police Station in the port city to two years' rigorous imprisonment for taking bribe.

Sandhani executives

Prof Dr Ali Asgar Moral and Prof Dr Mohammad Habib Millat Munna have been elected president and general secretary of Sandhani National Eye Donation Society for 2012-14, says a press release.

Cop killed in road crash

A police sub-inspector, who was seriously injured when he was hit by a bus on Friday morning, succumbed to his injuries at a city hospital yesterday.

11 houses gutted in Kamrangirchar

More than 100 rooms of 11 houses built of tin and wood gutted in a fire in Kamrangirchar on the outskirts of the city yesterday.

Indefinite bus strike in Rajshahi

Bus owners in Rajshahi yesterday evening enforced an indefinite strike to press home their three-point demand including ensuring safety of their vehicles.

Police pick-up van catches fire

A district police pick-up van caught fire in Garibullah Shah Mazar area of the port city yesterday.

Rajshahi interns call off strike

Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital (RMCH) interns joined duties yesterday, around 26 hours into their indefinite strike.

210 litres liquor seized, two held

Police arrested two alleged drug peddlers with 210 litres of locally made liquor in their possessions in the port city yesterday.

760 Yaba tablets recovered

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel nabbed two persons and seized 760 pieces of yaba tablets from their possession in front of GM Guest House area in Cox's Bazar town on Saturday.

Fire arms seized, two on remand

Officials of Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested two youths with two foreign fire arms and ammunitions in their possessions from the city's Naya Paltan early yesterday.

Locals beat up 3 RU students

Three Rajshahi University (RU) students were admitted to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital after some local youths beat them up on the campus on Saturday night over an altercation.


Bazlul Karim Chowdhury, freedom fighter and also a veteran politician, passed away at a private clinic in the port city yesterday at the age of 76.

Soleman Raja

Soleman Raja Chowdhury, a veteran lawyer, died of old age complications at a private hospital in Sylhet city yesterday at the age of 83.

Anower Hossain

Anower Hossain, former president of Shaghata Upazila Press Club and correspondent of the Daily Diner Sheshey, passed away due to severe cardiac arrest yesterday noon at the age of 50.

Death anniversary

The 8th death anniversary of Marium Shamim, former country manager of Bangladesh Biman (Nepal branch), will be observed today.

Rokeya Hossain

The second death anniversary of Rokeya Hossain, wife of late AKM Nurul Hossain will be observed today.


Bogra road project itself loses way

The project for construction of the road connecting Mohammed Ali Hospital to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital (SZMCH) in Bogra has remained suspended for an indefinite period, much to the worry of people concerned.

Jute workers of 7 state-owned mills to go on 48-hr strike tomorrow

Workers of seven state-owned jute mills in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt will go on a 48-hour strike from tomorrow to press home their demand for implementation of the recommendations of National Wages and Productivity Commission with effect from July 1, 2009 instead of July 1, 2010.

Schoolteacher Arifa's killer still at large

Police could not arrest the killer of schoolteacher Arifa Khatun one year into the incident.

Housewife murdered for dowry, another fighting for life

A housewife succumbed to burn injuries in Naogaon on Friday while another burnt severely in Khagrachhari on Saturday is fighting for life at hospital.

'Punish killers of Saad'

Chapainawabganj Contractor's Association yesterday formed a human chain, held a rally in the town and submitted a memorandum to home minister through the deputy commissioner, demanding exemplary punishment of the killers of a college student.

Over 100 houses, 14 shops gutted

At least 110 houses and 14 shops were gutted in fire incidents in Panchagarh, Munshiganj, Sunamganj, Jamalpur and Laxmipur districts on Saturday.

UP chairman sells roadside trees illegally

A union parishad chairman in Gobindaganj upazila has allegedly sold 872 roadside trees to a timber trader without permission from the authorities concerned.


Speak proper Bangla

Come each month of February and suddenly there is a lot of talks going around about the decline in Bangla language, affected accents and upward trend of so-called Banglish and how far all that can be accepted in our culture etc. I would like to point out a few facts here.

Cultivate large size garlic

Bangladesh has been importing sizeable amounts of garlic from abroad to meet the local demand for the last couple of decades. The size of local variety of garlic is very small, about 10 to 20 grams each. The size of imported garlic is 150 to 250 grams each, that is, ten times heavier than the local variety.

Govt's confrontational stance

Although I am not a staunch supporter of either Awami League or BNP, we (me and my family) voted for AL in the last election with a lot of expectations that there may be some qualitative change as promised by the prime minister. But right from the beginning, we have seen a total U turn from all her promises. The very attitude of the prime minister to the opposition party is very negative which is quite contrary to the democratic norms. As they are now in power it is their responsibility to reach some kind of understanding and give them some respite so that the opposition feels some moral responsibility to help the government in its smooth functioning. Instead, we are observing that the present government is bringing up things one after another which were never in their election mandate. Forget about cheap and irresponsible election slogans like "ten taka rice per seer" or "job for every house" etc, we are observing that they are bringing up controversial issues one after another like elections under government in power, dividing Dhaka city in two parts and so on with an evil design to stick to the power and creating an environment of instability, chaos and confusion. When BNP has reverted back from negative programmes like hartals, it is the government party who is resorting to undemocratic practices like giving a counter programme on 12th March endangering the peace in the country.

Media dishonouring women

Our media (both print and electronic) is very much vocal on upholding the right and honour of women, but it is dishonouring women at the same time through airing/printing different commercial advertisements of fairness cream, beauty soap, detergent powder, washing powder, spices, and what not. It seems women's sole objective of life is to make themselves white (forsha), wash clothes, cook, etc. Is it not contradictory?

BSF's superiority complex

India is nearly 22 times larger than Bangladesh. India's population is also about 8 times greater than ours. Both economically and militarily, India is far stronger than Bangladesh. If India is a Brobdingnag, then Bangladesh is a Lilliputian!

Remembering late Faizullah

With much grief and pain, I would like to say a few words in memory of the ex-secretary Mohammad Faizullah, who died on Monday, the 20th February 2012.

Communal view of Morning News in 1952

The above headlined column of Syed Badrul Ahsan, published in this daily recently, enriched my knowledge about the attempt of the Morning News for colouring the killing incidents on February 21, 1952 with communal impulse. The column says that the Morning News had been trying to spread the falsehood of the Language Movement being the doing of Indians and communists. It even reported falsely that a large number of dhotis, the attire worn by Hindus, had been found in the city.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Infrastructure not ready for taking load”


Afghan ministry employee suspected in UN killing

Afghanistan's interior ministry said yesterday one of its employees is suspected of shooting dead two US officers inside its headquarters a day earlier, an attack that prompted Nato to recall all its staff from ministries.

N Korea leader vows retaliation over US-South Korea drill

North Korea's new leader has ordered "a powerful retaliatory strike" by the army unit that shelled a southern island in 2010 if US-South Korean drills violate Pyongyang's territory, state media said yesterday.

Thousands protest Malaysia rare earths plant

Thousands rallied yesterday in Malaysia against an Australian miner's rare earths plant in the biggest protest yet over fears it will produce radioactive waste harmful to them and the environment.

Syria puts new constitution on vote

Syrians were called to the polls on Sunday to vote on a new constitution in the face of opposition calls for a boycott and deadly violence that Washington said made the exercise "laughable."

Egypt begins trial of foreign activists

Egypt yesterday started the trial of dozens of democracy activists including Americans on charges of receiving illegal foreign funding, despite Washington's insistence that the charges be dropped.

Iran warns 'attack will lead to Israel's collapse'

Iran on late Saturday warned Israel against mounting an attack on its nuclear facilities amid rising international tension over its uranium enrichment programme.

Romney, Santorum battle for support in tight Michigan

White House hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum battled over who was the most conservative Republican on Saturday and knocked President Barack Obama over soaring gasoline prices as the high-octane race in Michigan moved toward a still-uncertain finish.

Murdoch's new tabloid hits stands with ethics pledge

Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Sunday tabloid hit news stands yesterday, replacing the defunct News of the World with a pledge to meet high ethical standards after a "challenging" chapter in its history.

Britain leads dash to explore for oil in war-torn Somalia

Britain is involved in a secret high-stakes dash for oil in Somalia, with the government offering humanitarian aid and security assistance in the hope of a stake in the beleaguered country's future energy industry.

Senegal votes in contentious election

Senegal went to the polls Sunday in a contentious election in which President Abdoulaye Wade is seeking a third term, testing its credentials as one of Africa's most stable countries.

Qatar named world's richest country

Qatar has been ranked as the world's wealthiest country in a new list compiled by the prestigious US magazine Forbes.

Gillard set to win today's vote

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was poised to win a leadership vote against rival Kevin Rudd today despite polls showing a government under her leadership would be decimated at the next elections due by late 2013.

Suicide attack targets Nigeria church, Kills 3

A suicide bomber smashed his explosives-laden car through the gates of a packed church during Sunday service in Jos, central Nigeria, killing three people and injuring dozens, church leaders said.

China bus plunge kills 15 tourists

Fifteen tourists were killed and another 19 injured when their bus plunged into a ravine, Chinese authorities said -- the latest deadly accident on the nation's dangerous roads.

Marie Colvin to be buried in Syria

The body of Marie Colvin, a veteran correspondent for The Sunday Times of London who was killed in a shelling attack in the Syrian city of Homs, will likely be buried inside Syria, her mother said Saturday.

Mandela fine after routine check

Nelson Mandela is fine after a minor diagnostic procedure to probe persistent abdominal pain, South Africa's defence minister said yesterday as the country anxiously awaited his release from hospital.

Powerful quake rocks Taiwan

A shallow 5.9-magnitude earthquake sent people fleeing onto the streets in Taiwan's second-largest city Kaohsiung yesterday and rail services were temporarily suspended, but no casualties were reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Brilliance of a master painter on display

To mark the 90th birth anniversary of Potua Quamrul Hassan, Quamrul Udjapan Parishad has organised a ten-day art exhibition, titled “Shatabdir Quamrul” at Nalini Kanta Bhattasali Gallery, National Museum in Dhaka.

Chittagong Arts Festival pulls in major turnout

Audiences on Saturday evening enjoyed the second and final day's presentation at the Chittagong Arts Festival. The festival was held at the open stage on DC Hill.

Writing for children

Faridur Reza Sagar received the Bangla Academy Award in 2005 for his contribution to children's literature. He is also the recipient of Agrani Bank Shishu Shahitya Award, Chander Haat Shishu Shahitya Award, Euro Shishu Shahitya Award, Bachsas Award, Cultural Reporters Award and a National Film Award.

International Mother Language Day observed in Sweden

Poets separated by borders and languages celebrated International Mother Language Day on February 21 with a literary event -- Six Seasons International Poetry Festival at Theatre Blanca in Uppsala, Sweden.

And the Oscar winner is ... white (mostly)

Black actresses Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are Oscar frontrunners today, but the reality is that non-whites remain hugely under-represented at the Academy Awards, a new study says.

Folk Music Festival 2012 ends at Shilpakala Academy

A three-day long Folk Music Festival 2012 ended at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) premises on February 25, says a press release. Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui inaugurated the festival as chief guest on February 23. Suraiya Begum, NDC, Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs was a special guest at the inaugural session.

Classical Music Fest by BAFA ends

Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA) arranged a two day (February 24-25) Classical Music Festival at the institution's premises in Waizghat, Dhaka. Several Bangladeshi artistes performed both vocal and instrumental music on the opening day.


We want to hear bolder voice from civil society

If a govern-ment is voted to power through a free and fair election, is there a guarantee that the outcome would be a democratic government? There is no such guarantee if you are talking about Bangladesh.

End the India-EU free trade talks

Rolls Royce, Mercedes-Benz and BMW cars to get cheaper for Indian millionaires? Premium Scotch whisky brands set to become more "affordable," with import duty reduction from 150% to just 60%? More European cheese to enter India as tariffs are lowered while huge subsidies continue at home? Higher profits for European pharmaceuticals manufacturers at India's expense?

It's not only the economy, Sir

During Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992, his strategic slogan was "It's the economy, stupid." President Bush looked unbeatable because of foreign policy gains in the Cold War and Persian Gulf War. The phrase meant that Clinton was a better choice because Bush did not address the economy wisely. During 1991Iraq invasion, 90% Americans supported Bush. Next year, 64% disliked his governance style.

In Syria, we need to bargain with the devil

Almost one year after anti-government protests began in Syria, a disaster of enormous moral and strategic proportions is fast approaching. Full-scale civil war is now likely. And a multifront, conventional and possibly unconventional war ignited by events in the Levant is also increasingly plausible.

The legend of the iPod

Happy Birthday little box. The iPod has just celebrated its 10th anniversary.

This Day In History

February 27

The University of Constantinople is founded by Emperor Theodosius II at the urging of his wife Aelia Eudocia.

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