The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, December 23, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 18th of April, 2012

Front Page

Suranjit is back

In a dramatic move, the government yesterday made Suranjit Sengupta a minister without portfolio, just a day after he stepped down as railway minister amid the railwaygate scandal.

Destiny plea against BB report rejected

The High Court yesterday rejected a writ petition filed by Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd challenging the Bangladesh Bank report that raised allegations against the company of illegal banking.

It's none but Kamal decides

The intention of AHM Mustafa Kamal, the Bangladesh Cricket Board president, has been to singularly direct the Bangladesh cricket team to Pakistan later this month, and by all accounts it will remain a solo mission after a group of BCB directors said it would be unwise to send the team.

No attention to resignation

Former state minister for home Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj, who tendered his resignation in June 2009, has demanded that the government take back around Tk 40 lakh deposited in his account in remuneration and allowances for the post.

Amini's revelation

He did not say whether the revelation came to him in his dream.

Driver kills housewife

A driver allegedly stabbed his employer's wife dead, injured the domestic help and fled with cash and gold ornaments from their flat in the capital's Gulshan yesterday.

HC summons 2 DB officials

The High Court yesterday summoned two officials of the Detective Branch of Police to appear before it by 10:30am today to inform the latest position of the case on the killing of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi.

Buet students bear the brunt

Academic activities at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) are being badly hampered by the ongoing conflict between the teachers' association and the administration over a number of burning issues including appointments of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and the registrar.

Latifur wins Business for Peace Award

Leading businessman Latifur Rahman has won the prestigious 2012 Oslo Business for Peace Award for maintaining commitment to social responsibility and ethical values.

Alert over 'healthy' soft drinks

People underestimate the amount of sugar in drinks, which are perceived to be "healthy", research suggests.

4-party set to expand

After about 13 years into the four-party alliance formation, the BNP-led grouping has set to expand, aiming to strengthen the movement to realise the demand for restoration of the caretaker government system.

Last witness produces TV reports

On the sixth day of his giving deposition, the last prosecution witness against Delawar Hossain Sayedee provided the International Crimes Tribunal-1 with several documentaries and TV reports on the Liberation War.

Cargo vessel involved in Meghna launch tragedy seized

After 34 days of the tragic launch capsize in Meghna river, coast guard personnel yesterday seized the cargo vessel 'MV City-1' responsible for the accident that claimed at least 147 lives.

US drone kills 5 Qaeda in Yemen

A suspected US drone strike in Yemen's southeastern Shabwa province has killed five al-Qaeda-affiliated militants, a local government official said yesterday.

2 Indians held with smuggled tortoises

Two Indians were arrested with 300 Indian star tortoises and 115 different species of turtles at Shahjalal International Airport in the capital yesterday.

7.0 quake hits off Papua New Guinea

A 7.0-magnitude quake struck off the northeast of Papua New Guinea yesterday, the US Geological Survey said, but there was no tsunami warning issued.

Correction

In our yesterday's report headlined “None resigned voluntarily”, we had included former industries minister Zahiruddin Khan's name among those who were asked to resign. But following further checking facts we have come to know that he resigned on his own shouldering the responsibility of fertiliser crisis. We stand corrected.

Editorial

Staying of DCC polls

We are sad to note that the election to the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has been stayed for three moths following a High Court order. This is to enable delimitation of constituencies of the bifurcated DCC and update the voters' list.

Confusion over Padma bridge financing

Amid much hype, much of it without taking into account the steep terms and conditions that would inevitably come with private venture funding should Bangladesh opt for a Malaysian solution, the question of who will ultimately fund the biggest infrastructure project of the present government remains elusive as ever. Indeed the matter loomed large in a recent cabinet meeting where the bulk of policymakers, it seems, were hooting for financing from Malaysia. Dissenting voices, albeit few in number included the finance minister who has come out in favour of working out differences with the World Bank (WB).

Sports

'No reason to be afraid'

After attending the much-talked about International Cricket Council (ICC) executive committee meeting, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president AHM Mustafa Kamal returned home yesterday -- a return much awaited as there were questions to be answered.

Zim tour delayed

The Bangladesh cricket team will have to be content with playing minnows in the next few months after their August tour to Zimbabwe has been delayed to next year.

A strange invitation

The Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) on Tuesday sent a press release to the different electronics and print media requesting members of the press to attend a 'reception' for the shooting team that will be leaving on Thursday morning for London for a training camp ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

Is Pakistan safe?

With Bangladesh's tour of Pakistan all but confirmed, the reality of an international cricket team touring the militancy-torn nation has elicited strong opinions in both countries. The website of the popular Pakistani daily Dawn ran a blog post by Hassan Cheema on Monday that queried if Pakistan was ready to host an international cricket series, and seemed to come to a conclusion that the risks outweighed the rewards.

Bangladesh off to a good start

Bangladesh began their AHF (Asian Hockey Federation) Cup campaign in the right note as they defeated Chinese Taipei 4-2 in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday.

Law given CA role

Cricket Australia (CA) announced Tuesday it had appointed former Bangladesh coach Stuart Law to a high-performance role at Australian cricket's Centre of Excellence.

Dinajpur make fine start

Dinajpur beat Mymensingh by six wickets in the second round of the 32nd inter-district cricket championship at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday.

Hodge hits Chargers

T20 specialist Brad Hodge played an excellent cameo to guide Rajasthan Royals to their fourth victory in the Indian Premier League, pipping Deccan Chargers by five wickets in a thrilling finish, here on Tuesday.

RCB win last ball thriller

AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary didn't let Chris Gayle's outstanding contribution go in vain as they displayed fantastic show in the final over to help Royal Challenger Bangalore chase down 183-run target and beat Pune Warriors by six wickets at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.

Last-gasp effort lifts Russel

A late goal from Faisal Mahmud guided Sheikh Russel KC to their fourth victory in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League as the visitors inflicted a lone-goal defeat on hosts Team BJMC at the Tangail Stadium yesterday.

WI fighting the odds

West Indies made a resolute attempt to recover from the damages suffered late on the second day, losing only one wicket on the third morning to reach 132 for four at lunch on the third day of the second Test against Australia in Trinidad yesterday.

Champs Trophy to go

The 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, to be held in England, will be the last time the tournament is played as the ICC moves towards having one championship for each of the game's three formats from 2015. The tournament is part of the Future Tours Programme in 2013 but does not appear after that, with the play-offs for the World Test Championship scheduled for June 2017.

Shahadat to be sent to Pakistan

As part of a development programme between the Bangladesh Cricket Board and Pakistan Cricket Board, a cricketer will be sent from here to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore for training later this year.

Prompt Pak preps

Work is being sped up to get Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium ready for the visit of Bangladesh later this month, cricket officials say -- Pakistan's first home international in three years.

Nadal feels nervous

Clay king Rafael Nadal has admitted that he is nervous about his Wednesday start at the Monte Carlo Masters, a fortnight after quitting with knee pain prior to his last match.

Isinbayeva eyes gold in London

Russian pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva has said that she will retire in two years but in the meantime is eyeing a third consecutive Olympics gold medal at the London Games.

Wigan stun Arsenal

Wigan Athletic added to last week's surprise victory over Premier League leaders Manchester United by beating third-place Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night.

Marauding Murray

Andy Murray sprang to life on Tuesday as the Scot began his clay-court season with a 6-0, 6-3 hammering of Serb Viktor Troicki to reach the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Chelsea's toughest test

Chelsea believe they can stymie the jaw-dropping goalscoring exploits of Lionel Messi and pull off an unlikely upset against Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals here Wednesday.

Alves taunts Chelsea

Barcelona defender Dani Alves has lit the touch paper for Wednesday's Champions League semifinal with Chelsea by suggesting fear cost the Premier League side victory in the 2009 semifinals.

Jose backs technology

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has backed the growing calls for the introduction of goal-line technology after a key mistake in Tottenham Hotspur's FA Cup semifinal thrashing by Chelsea.

Postponed games rescheduled

Last weekend's postponed Italian Serie A programme will now be played on April 24 and 25, the Italian Football League confirmed on Monday.

Van Persie heads PFA shortlist

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie headed the list of nominees for the 2011-12 Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Players' Player of the Year award announced on Monday.

Local Snippets

Wari Club completed their campaign of the second tier professional football league on a winning note when they handed a 1-0 defeat to Uttar Baridhra Club in the Premier Bank Bangladesh Championship League at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday. Sujan struck the all-important goal in the 19th minute.

Wilshere's Euro heartbreak

England and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will miss this year's European Championship due to a persistent ankle injury, his Premier League club manager Arsene Wenger said on Monday.

Business

An icon in ethical business

Corporate leaders yesterday praised Transcom Group Chairman Latifur Rahman as the pride of the business community as he won the prestigious Business for Peace Award 2012.

Panel lists stock investors for compensation

A panel will submit the final list of small investors, who lost money to stockmarket downswings last year, to the Securities and Exchange Commission this month.

HC asks five garment units not to dump waste in farmlands

The High Court yesterday directed the managements of five readymade garment factories at Ashulia in Savar not to dump any waste on agricultural lands and water bodies.

Businessmen call for simpler US visa

Bangladeshi businessmen yesterday called for speedy, smooth and hassle-free visa processing at the US embassy in Dhaka to facilitate economic activities and travel between the two countries.

Bangladesh's exports to EU reach record high: envoy

Bangladesh's exports to the EU rose to a record high in 2011, with earnings of 8.5 billion euros or about $11 billion, said EU Ambassador William Hanna on Monday.

Pubali goes big in online banking

Pubali Bank has brought its 310 branches under online network and plans to bring the remaining 100 branches under the network in phases, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

Put urban issues in formal statistics

Urban issues need to be included in formal statistics to identify the present economic and social status of the country and to pay attention to the required areas accordingly, said a former adviser to the caretaker government yesterday.

SEC fines directors of seven companies

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday fined all directors of seven companies Tk 1 lakh each for failing to submit yearly audited financial reports to the regulator.

Land port workers strike for wage

Workers of Benapole land port in Jessore and Sonamasjid land port in Chapainawabganj went on strike yesterday, demanding enforcement of the wage structure fixed by the government last September.

Farmers lose appetite for wheat

Wheat acreage as well as production has come down to almost half over the past decade as farmers shifted to other winter crops for higher profits.

RMG exporters fear slowdown

Apparel exports may slow in the coming days as a sluggish world economy has depressed demand in major markets, garment makers said yesterday. They urged the government not to impose any new tax on them.

India cuts interest rates for the first time in 3 years

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) yesterday drastically cut interest rates for the first time in three years by 50 basis points to boost the flagging economic growth but warned that there is limited scope for further rate cuts.

Asian economies to weather global storms: IMF

The International Monetary Fund yesterday raised its global growth forecast, with the US boosting the outlook but Asian emerging economies facing slower economic expansion.

Metropolitan

Nationwide campaign launched

Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), its 113 partner organisations, and the women and children affairs ministry jointly launched a three-year campaign yesterday, aiming to establish recognition of women's contributions for enhancing their status and dignity at familial, societal and national level.

Call to form South Asian platform

South Asian nations should converge on stronger climate change negotiations in the global levels to protect hundreds of millions of people being affected in this region, suggested experts.

Suranjit's statments in question

Suranjit Sengupta's changing statements with the unfolding of the drama over the April 9 railwaygate scandal has raised questions about the credibility of the veteran politician.

Three-year campaign for women launched in Ctg

With a pledge to establish dignity of women, half of the country's population, a three-year campaign was launched in the port city yesterday.

Under-5 child mortality rate has dropped

The under-5 child mortality rate in the country has dropped to 53 per 1,000 in 2011 from 65 in 2007, says the preliminary report of Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2011 released yesterday.

4th IO tells court that he could not arrest anyone in Batamul blast case

Another prosecution witness (PW) gave his deposition before a Dhaka court yesterday in the murder case over the 2001 Pahela Baishakh blasts at Ramna Batamul.

'Managing committee at every ferry ghat to stop extortion from May'

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday said his ministry will form 'managing committee' at every ferry ghat to stop extortion and maintain discipline there from May onwards.

ICT-1 decision on Ghulam Azam’s indictment May 2

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday deferred to decide until May 2 whether to indict former Jamaat ameer Ghulam Azam for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.

Huge contraband items seized at Ctg port

Customs officials here yesterday seized two containers full of contraband liquor, cigarette and electronic goods at Chittagong port on charge of importing illegal items under false declaration.

Foetus in twin’s belly!

Doctors in Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) yesterday operated on a 10-month-old baby girl to bring out her 'dead' twin sister from her belly.

Two girls commit suicide in capital

Two teenage girls allegedly committed suicide at the capital's Mirpur and Rampura on Monday night and yesterday.

Engage Bangladeshi expatriates

A parliamentary panel yesterday asked Bapex to engage renowned Bangladeshi expatriates, working in foreign oil and gas exploration companies, in its operations in order to make the state-owned company self-reliant.

Suranjit made scapegoat: BNP

BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said the government would not be able to survive by making Suranjit Sengupta scapegoat as, from the top to the bottom of the government, all are corrupt.

UK help sought for climate fund

British Secretary of State William Hague expressed his government's satisfaction at the existing bilateral relations and the level of engagement between Bangladesh and UK when Foreign Minister Dipu Moni met him in London on Monday.

200 take part in Ctg history contest

Around 200 students of Bay View School in the port city took part in a two-part competition on the history, culture, tradition and heritage of Chittagong yesterday.

Strike at Sust postponed

The Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) called off their indefinite strike at Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (Sust) after a meeting with the university authorities on Monday.

Stolen motorbike recovered: 3 held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested three members of a car stealing gang in Rajshahi city and recovered a stolen motorbike, two bicycles and a mobile phone set from their possessions.

Road crashes kill 2

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in the sadar upazila of the district yesterday.

3 policemen suspended

Three police constables were suspended yesterday on charge of their involvement in assaulting two reporters on Dhaka University (DU) campus on Saturday.

Flag hoisting day at Kolkata mission today

Today is the flag hoisting day of independent Bangladesh at the Kolkata mission.

Man dies as train hits him in capital

A man was crushed under the wheels of a train yesterday afternoon at the capital's Malibagh level crossing while using cell phone.

Probe labour leader's death

US Ambassador Dan W Mozena has requested the government to investigate the death of Aminul Islam, a labour leader, and to hold the perpetrators accountable, says a press release.

Dipu Moni for upholding CMAG mandate

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni underscored the need for upholding the positive spirit of the new mandate of the Common-wealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) when discussing the modalities for implementation of the report on strengthening the role of CMAG.

Nadeem Qadir honoured

Journalist Nadeem Qadir was honoured in Rajshahi for his role in revealing an unknown part of the country's Liberation War history involving his martyred father Lt Col Abdul Qadir.

'Help govt complete war crimes trial'

Leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at a rally on the campus yesterday urged all to help the government complete the trial of the war criminals who committed crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation in 1971.

Warehouse gutted in Ctg

Plum and tamarind worth Tk 2 lakh were gutted in a fire at a warehouse at Asadganj in the port city early hours of yesterday.

Mentally challenged girl violated

Police yesterday arrested one person on charge of violating a mentally challenged girl at Abdul Latif Hat under CMP area in the port city.

Body recovered from Bhawal park

Police recovered the body of a man from Bhawal National Park on Monday evening.

Two stolen laptops recovered: 4 held

Police recovered two stolen laptops and Tk 3.42 lakh and arrested four alleged burglars in these connections early Monday and yesterday.

5 BCL men injured in attack

Five activists of one faction of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Chittagong Polytechnic Institute unit were injured in an attack by another faction at a tea stall adjacent to the institute yesterday.

Buet Officers' Assoc executives

Kamal Ahammad was elected the president and KM Ashrafuzzaman was elected the general secretary of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) Officers' Association, said a press release yesterday.

Repression on women protested

Speakers at a rally yesterday urged all to come forward and stand united against oppression of women in the country.

National

Mosque of 'brotherhood' near Indo-Bangla border

A mosque near the zero line at Srikrishnapur village under Hili police station of Dakkhin Dinajpur in Indian state of Paschimbanga is regularly thronged with people from both sides of Bangladesh-India border as Muslims of the neighbouring villages offer daily prayers there.

7 injured as BNP factions clash in Lalmonirhat

At least seven people were injured as two factions of BNP clashed at Shialkhowa Bazar in Kaliganj upazila of Lalmonirhat district on Monday night.

No convocation held at RU in the last 14 years

Rajshahi University (RU) has not seen any convocation in the last fourteen years.

'Use of crop residues, stubble helps retain land fertility'

Farmers can greatly benefit through restoration and retention of land fertility if crop residues and stubble are used in the field, said scientists at a workshop organised by International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) at Dinajpur yesterday.

Brothers of Mizan taking away all donation

Razia Sultana, wife of slain Natore college teacher Mizanur Rashid, yesterday alleged that her brothers-in-law took away the money given as donation by different organisations after his death.

Precious statue seized

Police recovered a 'gold-made' ancient statue of a Hindu god at Uttarpara of Bhaturia in Sadar upazila yesterday.

Mob beat 'robber' dead

An alleged robber was killed in mob beating at Itakhola village in Daudkandi upazila yesterday.

Most mass graves in C'nawabganj now 'a matter of indifference'

Most of the mass graves of Liberation War martyrs in different upazilas lie uncared for while a few face obliteration largely due to indifference of the authorities.

University student abducted

Criminals abducted a university student from Biharipara in Kaliganj upazila town on Monday night.

Outlaw held with arms

Police arrested an alleged extremist along with a firearm and drugs at Kazipur village in Gangni upazila early yesterday.

Transport union leader stabbed

Criminals stubbed a local transport workers' union leader, leaving him seriously injured at Hajranatore in the town on Monday night. Victim Selim Mandal, 35, is publicity secretary of Natore Zila Paribahan Sramik Union and also a local Sramik League leader. Police and locals said, a gang equipped with sharp weapons, hacked Selim indiscriminately at night. Locals rescued him and rushed him to Natore Sadar Hospital which referred him to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital following deterioration of his condition.

Agitation for power supply

Residents of Tajhat area in the outskirts of the town yesterday blocked the main road of the town demanding uninterrupted power supply. Over a thousand people agitated and put up the barricade from 9am to 10am by setting fire on the road. Scores of buses and trucks got stranded on the road, causing much sufferings to the people. "We are not getting electricity for the last three days. Several time we brought it to the notice of the PDB office. But they did nothing to solve the problem", said a resident. They threatened to besiege the PDB office if the officials did not solve the problem very soon.

Murder over land dispute

A man was stabbed to death allegedly over a disputed land at Titporol village in Shariakandi upazila on Monday night. Md Faizul Islam, officer in-charge (OC) of Shariakandi police station, said Shadul Islam Katu, 40, was killed in a jute field in the village. Locals said Katu came to a local market on Monday evening to buy goods. Farmers found his body in the morning in the field and informed police. The OC quoting relatives said, Shadul might have been killed over land dispute as he was at loggerheads with many landowners in the area. At least ten cases have been filed against him over land dispute, he added.

Convict dies in hospital

An octogenerian prisoner of Rangpur Central Jail died at Rangpur Medical College Hospital on Monday night. According to Jailer Mizanur Rahman and SI Moslem Uddin of Rangpur Kotwali police station, the jail authorities sent the life term convict in a murder case to the hospital on 9 April when he fell ill. The deceased was identified as Omez Uddin, son of late Goyesh Uddin of Chandathana Bander village in Kishoreganj upazila under Nilphmari district. Hospital sources said, Omez died of old age complications.

Letters

Railwaygate scandal

That day at a seminar speech Qader Siddiqi said that Hasina's days are not going well and nowadays she contacts him often. Although he did not clarify why Sheikh Hasina, the most powerful person of Bangladesh, contacts Qader Siddiqi, but it is not very difficult to understand the reasons considering the present political situation in the country. No doubt the turbulence created by this railwaygate scam will add a new dimension to her worry.

Rehabilitate evicted slum people

The recent eviction of slum dwellers from Karail slum without thinking where all these poor people would go and its effect on city dwellers put a big question mark.

Rid administration of corruption

The recent scandal involving seventy lakh being carried purportedly to the railway minister's house is an issue that should be seriously addressed. Are there any government jobs available without paying bribes to the relevant authorities? Here in Bogra, over the years and under successive administrations, I tried to help people obtain government jobs for peons, hospital workers, sweepers and so on. My success rate has been zero. In every case, the candidates came back to me to say that a large amount of money has to be paid before their application could be accepted. I approached higher authorities, but their response was: "Signed approval must be brought from higher authorities," preferably ministerial approval. How does one approach a cabinet minister to endorse an application for a peon or sweeper?

Easing traffic jam at Science Lab intersection

Commuters have to endure continuous traffic congestion at Science Lab intersection of Dhaka. Shahbagh bound vehicles coming from Jhigatola have to take a u-turn in front of City College since there is no straight road. This is the major reason of traffic congestion here. Passenger busses need more space to make a u-turn. So for providing the free space Mirpur bound vehicles are barred from accessing the left lane in front of City College. Again Shahbagh bound vehicles coming from Mirpur have to wait a long time in the signal. Thus severe traffic jam arises there.

Land phone users' woes

For long two and half months, my T&T phone (number 9669967) has been out of order. I lodged complaint to the T&T authorities several times. But they did not take any effective measures to restore the connection. I am paying the monthly bills regularly. Whenever I lodge any complaint, they do not want to hear anything, rather they behave very roughly. It is very unfortunate that in Bangladesh we are paying bills but do not get expected service. Rampant misuse of power has made the T&T officials inefficient.

It takes humility…

Please, will all (and not just some) of those who read the news in English on the Bengali media practice doing so beforehand, preferably with a tutor?

Bridge or mirage?

An opinion on the matter of Padma Bridge project, published in the pages of a local English daily on 10th. April, was intriguing, to say the least! In my view, the saga of the 'Bridge' is more a mirage than substance. It is being planted in the public mind; more as a prop for re-election if anything else! That is possibly the main 'thrust', the rest 'bakhwas' or high decibel election chatter!

Respect rights of women

Men in our society still believe that they have the right to be 'angry' as they work harder and play the key role in maintaining a family. A study has revealed that violence against women has a lot to do with uncontrollable fits of temper that their male counterparts experience from time to time.

"Russian professors for nuclear 101?"

The above mentioned article by Dr. Abdul Matin in DS (02-04-2012) is, to say the least, very unfortunate. As a matter of fact Dr. Matin has been consistently writing on the subject with pragmatic ideas. If anybody or for that matter any authority with a serious mind to implement the project under reference, has gone through those articles they must have thought those as very relevant and that down to earth points have been raised in these articles.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Suranjit shown the door”

International

UN toughens N Korea sanctions

The UN Security Council has ordered tightened sanctions on North Korea over its failed rocket launch and warned of new action if the isolated state stages a nuclear test.

Nuke talks don't exempt Iran from attack: Israel

Israel's defense minister yesterday said that Israeli military action against Iran remains an option even while nuclear negotiations are under way, and voiced strong doubts whether the talks would succeed.

UN observers see tough job ahead

UN military observers acknowledged that they face a "difficult" job firming up a shaky ceasefire in Syria as five civilians were killed in fresh violence as it entered its sixth day.

AFP, Huffington Post, Politico win Pulitzers

Agence France-Presse and the news websites Huffington Post and Politico each won their first Pulitzer Prizes Monday as the prestigious journalism awards highlighted global issues and online reporting.

US to press Pakistan over Haqqani network

The United States has said that it will continue to press Islamabad to "squeeze" the al-Qaida linked Haqqani network, as Afghanistan blamed the Pakistan-based group for the latest brazen attacks in Kabul.

Breivik boasts of Norway massacre

The man who killed 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in Norway last July yesterday boasted of his actions in a statement at his trial in Oslo.

Australia mulls early Afghan exit

Australia said yesterday it would bring its troops home from Afghanistan a year earlier than planned with most soldiers withdrawn in 2013 after significant security gains over the past 18 months.

Gaddafi son may be tried in Libya

The International Criminal Court could soon drop its demand that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi be transferred to the Hague for trial, officials told the BBC yesterday.

Jolie made UN special envoy

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie will step up her work for the world's refugees following her promotion to United Nations special envoy, the UN refugee agency said yesterday.

Laden family set to leave Pakistan

Osama bin Laden's family is expected to be deported from Pakistan early today, their lawyer and an intelligence official said, 11 months after the US raid that killed the al-Qaeda kingpin.

Ruak elected E Timor president

Former guerrilla Taur Matan Ruak has won East Timor's presidential run-off by a wide margin, preliminary results showed yesterday, in a pivotal year for the nation almost a decade after independence.

Arts & Entertainment

Unity in diversity

At the inaugural function of the three-day 11th Chittagong Hill Tracts Indigenous Cultural Festival, chief guest Chakma Raja Devasish Roy said that the 11 ethnic communities living in the hill tracts have distinct cultures and languages. The opulent traditions of the indigenous people have enriched the national culture. So, they must be conserved and the government should take initiatives on this front, he added further.

Pallavi Dance Centre impresses Delhi audience with Shapmochon

In Tagore's dance-drama “Shapmochon”, Komolika's unconditional love frees Aruneshwar from a heavenly curse. The depiction of their love story in a production by Pallavi Dance Centre, on April 5, at the prestigious Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi won the hearts of the Delhi audience.

A Sultan's dilemma

Theatre troupe Shomoy staged its latest production “Shesh Shanglap” at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on April 16.

Spelling Bee on Channel i tonight

Featuring selected contestants from previously held seven segments, the first TV reality show on English spelling in the country, “The Daily Star Spelling Bee Powered by Horlicks”, is now being aired on Channel i. The latest episode will be aired tonight 7:50pm. Another episode will air on Thursday at the same time.

Poetry recitation and Baul songs on Pahela Baishakh

Udichi Shilpi Goshthi and Alokmoy Naha Sangeet Bidyayatan jointly organised an event of poetry recitation, Baul songs and a discussion at its office in the town welcoming Pahela Baishakh on April 14.

Norwegian band celebrates Bangla New Year

Commemorating 40 years of friendship between Norway and Bangladesh, OK World, a popular Norwegian jazz band played at two musical events on Chaitra Shangkranti and Pahela Baishakh in association with Bangla folk-fusion band Chirkut. The result was some brilliant fusion of jazz and Bangla folk. The concerts were held at the Russian Cultural Centre and the Saffron restaurant in Dhaka.

Chaitra Shangkranti Utshab 1418 held

“Chaitra Shangkranti Utshab 1418” was held at Kalabagan Krira Chakra Ground in Dhaka on April 13. Songkranti Alliance organised the programme, says a press release.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announce engagement

Hollywood A-listers Angelina Jolie, 36, and Brad Pitt, 48, are engaged to be married, a spokeswoman has confirmed.

OP-ED

'London 2012 Olympics: 100 Days to Go'

In just 100 days time, the 2012 Olympics will open in London -- a spectacular start to the greatest show on earth. We want to share these fantastic Olympic and Paralympic Games with the people of Bangladesh and that's why my message to you today is this: "Welcome."

Of men, politics and public memory . . .

Moudud Ahmed is not satisfied with Suranjit Sengupta's resignation from the government. If he had his way, he would have the entire government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leave office for reasons of corruption and bad administration. Now that is an interesting point Moudud Ahmed raises. And it becomes all the more interesting because it is Moudud Ahmed who makes it. He began his career as part of the defence team for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the Agartala Case in the late 1960s. Then came the great falling-out after the liberation of Bangladesh between the government and Moudud Ahmed.

Zardari's symbolic step

On April 8, President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari travelled to India. This was the first visit by a Pakistani head of state in seven years, and given the prickly bilateral relations the visit assumed a high profile. Ordinarily, in Europe a visit by a head of state/government to a neighbouring country is a routine matter but not so in South Asia.

Insulting our intelligence

A number of leaders in the two main political parties -- Awami League (AL) and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) -- have taken us for granted. What else would explain their arrogance and complete disregard for the democratic values and wishes of the people.

Budget 2012-2013: Relevant issues

The budget for the next financial year will be placed in the Parliament, as a matter of regular practice, on the 2nd Thursday of June (June 14) and will have to be passed by the 30th. Generally Parliament sessions are not held on Fridays and Saturdays. If this practice is followed this year the Parliament will be left with ten working days only. Ten days for budget discussion in the Parliament, as well as consideration of comments from experts, professionals and stakeholders outside of Parliament, before finalising the proposals for both revenue and expenditure, will be too short a timeframe for such a nationally important and vital matter affecting each and everybody of the country.

This Day In History

April 18

1946
The International Court of Justice holds its inaugural meeting in The Hague, Netherlands.

Ctg Edition

Fund allocated, not released

Twenty seven months have passed, but only about three percent work of a highway widening project in Chittagong have been done due to fund constraint, as the government so far has released only about two percent of the total allocation for the project.

Suspension of recruitment protested

Around one hundred people who have got appointment letters for trade apprentice posts in Railway's east zone yesterday protested the suspension of recruitment process.

Ex-NSI director testifies before Ctg court

Former Director of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Brig Gen (Retd) Enamur Rahman as a prosecution witness in the 10-truck arms haul cases submitted his deposition before a Chittagong court yesterday.



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