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News of: Thursday, 29th of March, 2012

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Dhaka in disorder

City commuters suffered badly as traffic came to a standstill for hours yesterday owing to separate clashes between students, police and transport workers in Gulshan, Mirpur and Dhaka College areas.

Nobody can protect war criminals

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said those who want to protect the war criminals will have no place to stay in Bangladesh, and the opposition leader will not be able to protect them.

BNP reminds govt of its ultimatum

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday asked the government to fulfil the opposition's demand for the caretaker government system within the 90-day ultimatum given by the party chairperson.

Body found in tenant's room

Police yesterday found the body of an eight-year-old boy stuffed inside a bag, two days after he went missing.

A sad day for DU

A large section of graduates of Dhaka University yesterday set a disgraceful example by taking away convocation gift items in excess.

WB waits on graft probe report

The World Bank yesterday reiterated that it would wait for the investigation reports on corruption charges before making any decision on Padma bridge financing.

3 fraudsters indicted

A Dhaka court yesterday indicted three individual investors in a case filed against them for their alleged involvement in last year's share market scam that left thousands of small investors penniless.

Tremor jolts country

A mild tremor, measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale, jolted some parts of the country including the capital yesterday morning.

Accidental fire at city warehouse

A fire broke out at a warehouse of Rangs Group in the city's Tejgaon industrial area yesterday, damaging a huge quantity of spare parts of Mercedes Benz and Mitsubishi cars.

$14b aid left unused

The government and development partners will set up a joint team to assess progress in foreign-aided projects and find ways to spend $14 billion in unused donor funds.

Renewal with no amendment

Bangladesh and India yesterday agreed to renew the bilateral trade agreement, which expires on March 31 this year, for three years without any amendment, said sources.

Leopard beaten to death

Villagers beat a leopard to death at the border village of Daluapara under Boda upazila in Panchagarh yesterday.

Indian civil society groups oppose

The North East Dialogue Forum, a joint forum of more than 50 civil society groups, yesterday vowed to oppose the government's decision to build the Tipaimukh hydropower project in north eastern state of Manipur.

ICT order today on witnesses' statements

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 will deliver an order today on the prosecution's prayer to accept the statements of its witnesses as depositions against Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee.

Model kills himself

A male model allegedly committed suicide at his house in West Malibagh early yesterday.

BSF beats Bangladeshi to death

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) beat to death a Bangladeshi cattle trader along Putkhali frontier in Benapole early yesterday.

Thai trade show begins in city

The three-day Thailand Trade Show 2012 kicks off from today at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.

Energy-starved Pakistan turns to solar power

From mosques, to homes and streets, Pakistanis are increasingly seeing the light and realising that year-round sun may be a cheap if partial answer to an enormous energy crisis.

Japan to send poll observers to Myanmar

Japan yesterday said it would send three observers to monitor Myanmar's upcoming election, adding that it expected the vote to be free and fair.

Strauss-Kahn case returns to US court

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, mired in legal trouble in his native France, faces new courtroom worries across the Atlantic yesterday, with the first hearing in a US civil suit.

Arab ministers meet on Syria crisis

Arab foreign ministers were meeting in Baghdad yesterday ahead of a crucial summit to thrash out the Syrian crisis after Damascus reportedly accepted Kofi Annan's plan to end the year-long bloodshed.

Myanmar to float currency next month

Myanmar announced yesterday an overhaul of its antiquated currency system as part of burgeoning reforms to modernise an economy left in disarray by decades of military rule and isolation.


Stopping a book launch

We take serious note of the government's arbitrary stopping of a book launch ceremony at the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel scheduled for Tuesday. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia was to unveil the books.

Honouring our friends of freedom

The curtain has dropped on a heart-warming event dedicated to the foreign friends who contributed to our liberation war, a process that began last July with the presentation of the “Bangladesh Freedom Honour”, posthumously, to former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.


Abahani refuse to play

The ugly side of club cricket was revisited yesterday during the Premier Division Super League match between Abahani and Victoria Sporting Club at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

DOHS stay on top

Regardless of what transpired at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday, Old DOHS held their place at the top of the Premier Super League points table with a five-run win over Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium.

Faridpur ride on Talha

The 32nd Inter District Cricket Championship began yesterday at different venues over six districts around the country.

Mohammedan win volatile battle

A star-studded Mohammedan SC clinched the title of the Dhaka Bank Independence Cup Hockey Tournament with a 2-1 win over Usha Krira Chakra in the final at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Pakistanis banned from BPL?

In what could be termed an inevitable backlash, newspapers in Pakistan carried a report stating that Pakistani players will not be allowed to participate in the next edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 if Bangladesh do not send its cricket team to tour Pakistan as previously planned.

Heartbreak for Russel

Ten-man Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club came from behind twice to hand a 3-2 defeat to Sheik Russel KC in their Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Eng shaken in chase

England recovered from two crucial blows to stay afloat in their tough run chase to win the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Wednesday.

Aussies go up easily

Veterans Shane Watson and Michael Hussey eased Australia to victory in the first Twenty20 international with hosts West Indies here on Tuesday.

Rahul Dravid felicitated

It was an evening filled with emotion in Mumbai -- Rahul Dravid almost cried and VVS Laxman had moist eyes, while Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni sang praises of Dravid, one of the flagbearers of Indian cricket's golden generation.

Sharapova, Wozniacki meet early

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal stayed on pace for a possible final showdown while Maria Sharapova

Real break APOEL hearts

A Karim Benzema double helped nine-time winners Real Madrid to a 3-0 away win over Cypriot surprise package APOEL in their Champions League quarterfinal first-leg clash here on Tuesday.

Advantage Chelsea

Chelsea took a big step towards the last four of the Champions League here on Tuesday after scoring a 1-0 victory over Portuguese giants Benfica in their quarterfinal first-leg match.

Spurs, Everton in semis

This season's FA Cup will be won by a team from London or Liverpool after Tottenham and Everton triumphed on Tuesday to set up capital and Merseyside semifinal derbies at Wembley next month.

Moratti slams Gasperini

President Massimo Moratti blamed former coach Gian Piero Gasperini for Inter Milan's disastrous season after firing Claudio Ranieri and replacing him with the untried and unheralded Andrea Stramaccioni.

Goetze boosts Dortmund

Highly-rated Germany midfielder Mario Goetze gave a huge boost to Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday by signing a two-year extension to his present contract.

FA searches for technical director

England's Football Association are on the lookout for a new technical director -- 10 years after the only man to have held the job left the post.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Police and Shadhinata Krira Sangha played out a 1-1 draw in the Destiny Group Dhaka Metropolis Second Division Football League yesterday.

Stramaccioni's dream job

New Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni spoke of his joy at landing his dream job on Tuesday after being hired to replace the sacked Claudio Ranieri.


3G auction in Sept to offer five licences

Mobile operators will get technology neutral spectrum licences for high-speed internet operations through an auction in September this year.

Beximco to 'acquire' four sister concerns

Bangladesh Export Import Company, popularly known as Beximco, has received regulatory approval to acquire four non-listed subsidiaries of Beximco Group.

GMG pledges to refund tickets as it stops flying

GMG Airlines will refund money to ticketed passengers through the airline's sales offices and give compensation benefits to its employees as it grounds all flights indefinitely from tomorrow, the carrier said in a statement yesterday.

BB spurs firms to seek foreign loans

Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Atiur Rahman yesterday urged local firms to borrow from abroad saying that the authority gave a nod at the beginning of the fiscal year to local firms to borrow $598 million from foreign sources.

IFC awards Bepza for empowering women

The International Finance Corporation has recently recognised the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) as one of the top three winners of its annual CEO Gender Award for a project promoting the cause of nearly 200,000 women workers.

Myanmar to float currency next month

Myanmar announced Wednesday an overhaul of its antiquated currency system as part of burgeoning reforms to modernise an economy left in disarray by decades of military rule and isolation.

Biman shuffles flight schedule for Middle East

Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national flag carrier, changed its schedule for the Middle Eastern destinations, effective from March 25.

ICC regional meetings begin today in China

The fourth meeting of the ICC Regional Consultative Group (RCG) for Asia Pacific and Task Force Meetings and First Asia Pacific Chambers Congress will start in Kunshan, Jiangsu, China today.

Robi marks second anniversary

Robi stepped into its third year after its re-launch in March 2010 from Aktel, the mobile phone operator said in a statement yesterday.

HSBC launches awards to promote exporters

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Bangladesh yesterday launched its Export Excellence Awards for a third year to recognise five exporters for their outstanding performance in 2011.

Dhaka index soars above 5,000 points

The benchmark index of Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday broke through the psychological barrier of 5,000 points showing signs of stability in the market. The index rose for the fourth straight session.

Air operators may face safety audit

An international safety audit may decide within a couple of months whether Bangladesh will come out of the list of countries having unsafe civil aviation system.

Delay in project a tragedy: WB

The World Bank yesterday termed the delay in approving and implementing the donor-funded projects in Bangladesh a tragedy.

BTRC signs satellite deal with US firm today

The government will sign an agreement with a US firm, Space Partner International (SPI), today to launch the country's own satellite, Bangabandhu-1.


Equal rights of people of all faiths ensured

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government, through the fifteenth amendment to the constitution, ensured equal rights of people of all faiths as well as the right of performing respective religious rites freely.

12-day festival begins tomorrow

The grand inaugural ceremony of "Odommo Chattagram" festival, organised by The Daily Star, begins at MA Aziz Stadium in the port city at 4:00pm tomorrow (Friday).

SSKOP ultimatum to govt

Sangbadik-Sramik-Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SSKOP), a platform of journalists, press workers and general employees of the newspaper industries, yesterday demanded that the government announce the 8th Wage Board by April 2.

'No food, water' for accused in 6-hour proceedings

The proceedings of a court trying the accused of BDR carnage case were interrupted for some moments as the accused spoke out about their food problems yesterday.

‘Change assessment system at schools’

Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need for bringing about a change to the testing and assessment system of the schools as the current system encourages students to memorise more.

6600 Uttara flats construction begins

The government yesterday inaugurated the construction work of 6,600 apartments in the city's Uttara Sector-18 under Uttara Model Town (Third Phase) Project.

25 hurt in N'ganj clash

At least 25 people were injured in a clash between two rival groups in Baktabali Akbar Nagar area of Sadar upazila in the district yesterday.

19 Ctg Jubo League men injured in road crash

Twenty people, of whom 19 are activists of Bangladesh Awami Jubo League, were injured as a pick-up van overturned in the port city yesterday.

30 Ctg FFs honoured

On the occasion of the country's Independence Day, Chittagong Club honoured 30 freedom fighters at a function in the port city.

2 die in road crashes

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Thakurgaon and Natore on Tuesday night and yesterday.

AL, BNP urged to shun politics of confrontation

The unelected forces will again get an opportunity of interfering in the democratic system if two major political parties of the country do not shun politics of confrontation, said speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

Empower physically challenged people

Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi yesterday stressed the need for empowering physically challenged people in order to turn them into the country's asset.

Committee formed to check distortion

The government has formed a committee to find ways to stop the distortion of the Bangla language.

Recording deposition deferred till Apr 9

A Dhaka court yesterday deferred till April 9 recording deposition of witnesses in the August 21 grenade attack cases, even though a prosecution witness appeared before it to give his statement about the incident.

Schoolgirl commits suicide

A schoolgirl allegedly committed suicide in the city's Kafrul yesterday.

National body to celebrate maritime victory

A national committee has been formed for countrywide celebration of the Bangladesh's maritime victory and for rewarding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the achievement.

PM opens three power stations in Ctg

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday inaugurated the operation of three power stations, each of 100MW capacity, at Dohazari, Hathazari and Juldia (Patiya).

Continued agitation disrupts JU activities

Academic and administrative activities were partially held at Jahangirnagar University (JU) as the agitating teachers' all-out strike continued to the second day yesterday.

Prof Aziz Khan passes away

Prof MA Aziz Khan, former vice-chancellor (VC) of Chittagong University (CU), passed away at Birdem Hospital in the capital due to old-age complications yesterday morning, says a press release.

Rizia Begum

Rizia Begum, mother of Mohsin Hossain, staff reporter of online news portal, passed away due to prolonged asthma at her residence in Pirojpur yesterday at the age of 72, says a press release.

Prof Abdur Rahman Khan

Prof Abdur Rahman Khan of village Algirchar at Nabab-ganj upazila in Dhaka passed away at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on March 26 at the age of 86, says a press release.

Death anniversary

Today is the eighth death anniversary of Syed Ahmed, former cabinet secretary and alternative executive director of World Bank, says a press release.

Lt Col (Dr) NAM Jahangir

Tomorrow (Friday) is the 41st death anniversary of martyred Lt Col (Dr) NAM Jahangir, says a press release.

Rabiul Hossain Kochi

Today is the third death anniversary of Rabiul Hossain Kochi, former vice-chairman of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Kendriya Command Council, says a press release.


Today is the 12th death anniversary of Farah (Faria), only daughter of Engineer Mamun Rashid, says a press release.

Rakib Sarder nominated as Rotary dist secy

Rotarian past president M Rakib Sarder Phf has been nominated as the district secretary for the Rotary Year 2013-14, says a press release.


Hundreds of trees of afforestation project felled in two districts

A group of influential people have continued to fell trees of afforestation project, known as 'Sabuj Bestoni Prakalpa' of forest department in different areas of Patuakhali and Barguna districts.

Joyful interactions key to better learning

Students of Government Laboratory High School in Khulna city and Arani FN Girls High School in Bagha upazila of Rajshahi yesterday took part in the English language fairs held under English in Schools programme, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and mobile operator Robi.

Deer enter localities for food, water

Scarcity of sweet water and food often forces deer from different reserve forests in Bhola district to enter human habitations.

2 more youths held in Jewel killing case

Police arrested two more youths in connection with the abduction and killing and abduction of Panchagarh primary school student Jewel.

Sand lifting threatening bridge, dyke protested

People of Kholahati union in Sadar upazila formed a human chain yesterday protesting illegal sand lifting from Ghagot river.

Two Indians arrested

Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) arrested two Indian nationals at Bhadiali village in Kalaroa upazila yesterday and seized Tk 5000 from them. The arrestees are Isa Karim Uddin, 43, son of Idris Ali of village Tarali under Swarupnagar police station of North 24 Parganas district and Abu Bakar Siddique, 63, son of Mujibul Haque of Khidirpur under Iqbalpur PS of Kolkata. Subhas Biswas, officer in-charge of Kalaroa PS, said the BGB men arrested the duo at about 10:00am while they were crossing Sonai River.

Education officer held

Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested Dumuria upazila primary education officer from his office on Tuesday night in connection with a criminal case. Md Yasin Gazi, sub-inspector of Mirpur police station in Dhaka, arrested Sheikh Abdul Gani at around 6:30pm. Md Shah Jalal of Dumuria PS, said the arrestee was taken to Mirpur PS on the same night. On March 13, Mainul Islam, a businessman of Mirpur filed FIR against the education officer on charge of demanding Tlk 10 lakh as toll over his cell phone.

Sad death of BGB man

A member of Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) was killed as he pulled the trigger of his rifle accidentally on Tuesday afternoon. The victim, Tamij Uddin, of Ghatail upazila in Tangail district, is a Subedar of BGB Battalion-12. BGB sources said the rifle of the Tamij developed a glitch during a firing training of the battalion at Lalmai Hill. A bullet went out of it and hit Tamij in the head when he pressed the trigger unmindfully while fixing the glitch. He succumbed to his injuries at Comilla Combined Military Hospital.


Leaked letter reveals India's military weaknesses

The face-off between Indian Army Chief Gen V K Singh and the government worsened yesterday with the leak of his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh listing the shortcoming of the armed forces.

Fighting continues despite peace pledge

Syrian forces bombarded cities and towns in southern and northern Syria yesterday and stormed villages, forcing thousands to flee after President Bashar al-Assad accepted a peace plan calling for the army to withdraw to barracks.

Sudan, S Sudan vow no war after border battles

Sudan and South Sudan yesterday vowed to step back from the brink after three days of border conflict including airstrikes and tank battles prompted international concern of a wider conflict.

'I transmit to Vladimir'

Kremlin critics and Russian bloggers on Tuesday mercilessly mocked President Dmitry Medvedev after microphones picked up him promising to "transmit" a message from Barack Obama to Vladimir Putin.

Rising powers mull bank for developing nations

Developing nations again seem unlikely to propel one of their own citizens to the World Bank presidency. It may not matter. A group of rising powers is mulling its own alternative to Western-dominated lending institutions.

Pak-US army leaders meet to boost ties

Visiting US generals were to hold hold the first talks in months with Pakistan's army chief Wednesday in a further sign that the troubled alliance between the two countries is getting back on track.

Obama worries Pak nuke safety

US president Barack Obama on Tuesday voiced concern over safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, saying the world cannot allow nonstate actors and terrorists to get their hands on the nuclear weapons and end up destroying cities.

EU to give citizens the right to initiate laws

The European Union will launch a program next week allowing citizens to propose legislation as long as they can get a million signatures on a petition, a democratic drive that some opponents have labeled a "fig leaf".

Iran expects nuke talks on April 13

Long-stalled talks between Iran and world powers are to be revived on April 13 at a place yet to be agreed, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced yesterday.

Polls cannot dictate Afghan war plans

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday a poll showing a big drop in public support for the war in Afghanistan would not alter Washington's strategy, or efforts to battle al-Qaeda.

US suspends food aid to North Korea

The United States has suspended food aid to North Korea because Pyongyang has broken its promise to refrain from missile launches and cannot be trusted to deliver the aid to those who need it, a Pentagon official said yesterday.

Syria forces targeting children

Syrian authorities are systematically detaining and torturing children, the United Nations' human rights chief, Navi Pillay told the BBC yesterday.

News Corp accused of piracy plot

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp yesterday faced a fresh barrage of allegations over its conduct, with an Australian newspaper claiming it had a secret unit that promoted pirating of pay-TV rivals.

Afghan women jailed for 'moral crimes'

Hundreds of Afghan women are in jail for "moral crimes", including running away and extra-marital sex, a report of Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

US Senate approves Tibet bill

A US Senate committee on Tuesday approved a resolution on Tibet that deplore "the repressive policies targeting Tibetans" prompting a quick rebuke from China.

Afghanistan denies suicide plot

Afghan officials yesterday flatly denied reports carried by local and foreign media that a huge suicide attack had been foiled at Afghanistan's defence ministry.

Nuke talks with world powers on April 13 : Iran

Long-stalled talks between Iran and world powers are to be revived on April 13 at a place yet to be agreed, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced yesterday.

Tibetan who set self ablaze in Delhi dies

A Tibetan exile who set himself alight two days ago in New Delhi died yesterday and police detained at least 100 other activists protesting against Chinese President Hu Jintao's arrival in the city.

Saudi diplomat kidnapped in Yemen

Gunmen kidnapped Saudi Arabia's deputy consul from outside his residence in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden yesterday, a Yemeni security official said.

Arts & Entertainment

World Theatre Day observed

To celebrate World Theatre Day, International Theatre Institute (ITI) in association with Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF), Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) and Bangladesh Patho Natok Parishad arranged a programme on March 27. The programme included rally, award giving session, discussion, memorial lecture and live performances.

In conversation with Debu Chowdhury

Seasoned tabla artiste Debu Chowdhury (Debbrata Chowdhury) is a popular name in the traditional music scene. His deep interest in tabla was evident at an early age and his career as a musician spans almost three decades. Throughout his illustrious career, Chowdhury has worked with several renowned music directors and performed with legends including Hemanta Mukherjee, Manna Dey, Satinath Mukhopadhyay and many more. For a while, the artiste was abroad and continued performing in India, UAE, USA, Canada and some European countries.

Abar Joddha Hobo on ATN Bangla

Single episode TV play "Abar Joddha Hobo" will be aired on ATN Bangla at 11 pm on March 29. Noted actor and freedom fighter Sohel Rana who was the producer of the first Liberation War based film "Ora Egaro Jon" has donned the role of a freedom fighter in the play.

Child capers

A two-day long Sisimpur Fair' 2012 will be held on the grounds of Bangladesh Shishu Academy (Doel Chattar roundabout, Shahbagh) on March 30 and 31, from 10am till 7pm, says a press release.

Ceylon gold-Channel i Prokriti Mela ’12

To hark back to the colours of six seasons of Bangladesh and create awareness about the natural and environmental elements of Bangladesh, “Ceylongold-Channel i Prokriti Mela 2012” will be held on March 31, says a press release.

Sarod recital by Aashish Khan

Delvistaa Foundation organised a recital featuring noted Indian sarod player Aashish Khan on March 27 at Vistaara Architects [Pvt.] Ltd's office, Gulshan.


Shrinking political space for the opposition

It is not only shrinking, political space of the opposition is shrinking at a frighteningly increasing rate. And that is alarming for any country that claims to be democratic and civilised. To be civilised is the first essential criterion that makes for a democratic nation, and one that is not cannot claim to be fully democratic. Looking at the way the government has gone about curtailing the political freedom of the opposition by denying them the room to conduct legitimate and lawful political and civil activities, and which were neither potentially disruptive nor posed danger to public life and property or to national security, one wonders whether we can claim to be either democratic or civilised.

Transcending India-Bangladesh relations

Any celebration of Bangladesh struggle for independence invariably invokes memories of the liberation war, the role played by its masses, individuals from different countries who contributed to its independence and the role of India. It also reminds us that the people of India and Bangladesh share common values and principles that the liberation war embodied. India and Bangladesh have traversed a long road of cooperation and friendship with occasional hiccups that are natural in any bilateral ties. The two in the recent past have earnestly attempted to resolve some of the intractable problems and have succeeded, notwithstanding the failure to sign Teesta agreement which is under negotiation.

Making cities resilient: Preparing Bangladesh

In our journey towards an "urban world" sometime between 2008 and 2010, the globe crossed a momentous threshold: More than half of the world's population, over 3.5 billion people, are now living in urban areas, and more than a third of them are residents of urban slums. To place that figure in the appropriate context, consider that in 1800, only 3% of the world's population lived in cities.

Reducing risk of disasters

The 2011 Global Assessment Report of the UNISDR revealed that in terms of number of people exposed to flood, tsunami and cyclone, Bangladesh is ranked first out of 162, third out of 73, and sixth out of 89, respectively. This translates into 14% GDP exposed to disasters per year. Historically, in Bangladesh, deaths from single events, such as cyclones, reached into the hundreds of thousands. The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters estimates that, in Bangladesh, close to 75 million people have been directly affected by natural disasters between 2000 and 2011, with economic damage of $5.8 billion.

This Day In History

March 29

The United Kingdom annexes the Punjab.

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