The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 11th of May, 2012

Front Page

President, watch who you pardon

A recent High Court judgment in a case involving presidential clemency to a fugitive convict has paved the way for formulating guidelines on how the president should exercise his constitutional power to pardon a convict.

Fakhrul among 45 charged

Detectives yesterday pressed charges against 45 leaders and activists of BNP-led 18-party alliance, including BNP acting secretary general, for torching a vehicle near Prime Minister's Office (PMO) during April 29 shutdown.

Ashraf snipes at Yunus

Awami League General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday raised questions about the justification of Grameen Bank founder Prof Muhammad Yunus getting the Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaker crossed his jurisdiction

Speaker Abdul Hamid has overstepped his jurisdiction by declining to "accept" the resignation of Awami League lawmaker Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj from the Jatiya Sangsad.

Ilias' mobile switched on for a while

A Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader in Sylhet yesterday claimed to have found the mobile phone of BNP Organising Secretary M Ilias Ali switched on for a while in the afternoon.

Raise voice against conflicts, intolerance

Citizens must speak out strongly against "political confrontation" in the country and press the two major political parties to foster the culture of tolerance, said discussants at a roundtable yesterday.

Over Tk 100cr tax anomalies found

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has detected anomalies of over Tk 100 crore in tax and VAT dodging by two concerns of the Destiny Group, officials said.

Opposition may join JS budget session

The BNP-led opposition may join the budget session beginning from May 27 after boycotting it for the last three years.

Teesta deal not now

New Delhi will sign the much-awaited Teesta water share teary not so soon.

HC for keeping Wonderland as open space

The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain in two weeks why it should not be directed to preserve the land of Wonderland amusement park as an open public space.

It's hard to accept WB proof

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said there are problems in the World Bank's proof of corruption in the Padma bridge project due to its complicated investigation procedure.

HC summons judge, 4 others

The High Court yesterday summoned a district court judge and four others to appear before it on May 17 over an allegation of occupying “a former Hindu zamindar's palace” at Nawabganj in Dhaka.

Members at odds with Lotus Kamal

Members of the parliamentary standing committee on finance ministry yesterday accused AHM Mostafa Kamal, chief of the body, of talking about irrelevant issues while briefing journalists on its meetings.

Heat wave to continue

The severe heat wave coupled with regular power outages and polluted water supply has left residents of the capital in total suffering this week.

Man killed over land dispute

A tiles supplier of the capital was chopped to death in Chandpur last night by local goons following a land dispute.

NBC footage doctored, says defence

During cross-examination of a witness, the defence of Sayedee said footage presented as evidence had no relevance to the case against the Jamaat nayeb-e-ameer and that it was submitted only to stir emotions.

Switzerland lifts Myanmar sanctions

Switzerland on Wednesday became the latest country to ease sanctions against Myanmar in a show of support for sweeping reforms since the end of direct army rule last year.

Zulfiqar to be quizzed in prison

A Chittagong court yesterday rejected a seven-day remand prayer for Lt Col (sacked) Zulfiqar Ali Majumder, former commanding officer of Rab-7, in a case over his alleged link in robbing Tk 2.07 crore from a Chittagong shrine.

Taliban attacks kill five Afghan cops

Six Taliban suicide bombers died in an attempt to storm a government building in an eastern Afghan town yesterday that killed at least one policeman, police said.

Bachmann becomes Swiss

Fond of saying she's proud to be American, former presidential contender Michele Bachmann also frequently has spoken of her family's Norwegian ancestry.

Four killed in Afghan suicide attack

Four people were killed and five wounded yesterday when a group of six suicide bombers wearing police uniforms attempted to storm a government building in southeastern Afghanistan, police said.

Obama, Nato chief agree Afghan focus for summit

US President Barack Obama met with Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday ahead of the upcoming Nato summit to agree to focus on the Afghan conflict at the meeting, the White House said.

Editorial

WB report on Padma Bridge corruption

We are not quite certain what the Ministry of Finance would have us believe about the World Bank (WB) report on the Padma Bridge Project, which has brought allegations of corruption against the communications ministry in the selection of consulting firm. Reportedly, the WB is all but ready to cancel its funding of the Project as no palpable action has been initiated by the government as yet on its reports, the second of which has been handed over to the government in April. And it is only recently that we have come to know about the second report but wonder why the substance has been kept out of public knowledge so far. And yet the government continues to stick to its guns.

Expatriate workers' plights in Maldives

Our migrant workers face numerous ordeals having landed in the destination countries, especially those in the Middle Eastern region, due to illegal manpower agencies. One would naturally have expected a better situation for them in the South Asian region what with strong diplomatic ties between the SAARC countries. But contrary to our expectation, an uncertain fate awaits them even in a country such as the Maldives. A news item carried in a leading Bangla daily tells us nearly 50 thousand Bangladeshi workers are staying miserably as illegal immigrants in the Maldives as a result of collusive practices between unauthorized manpower agencies of the two countries.

Sports

Siddikur blazes to title

It was Siddikur all the way. The 27-year almost effortlessly took the bti International Golf Championship title as he amassed an aggregate of 13-under-par 275 while his nearest competitors (three of them tied for second place), finished with a 2-under-par 286.

Farashganj stun Muktijoddha

The second leg of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League got off to a stunning start as relegation-threatened Farashganj SC beat title-contenders Muktijoddha Sangsad 1-0, thanks to an 83rd minute strike from their new Nigerian recruit Henry Chindo.

Pybus arrives for interview

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has narrowed down the national team head coach's shortlist to three candidates, and is likely to make their choice very shortly as one of the front-runners arrived here last night. Richard Pybus, the English coach who is based in South Africa, is in the capital for an interview with the BCB directors over the weekend.

U-15 squad named for 3-dayer

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 14-member Under-15 team for the first three-day match against the visiting Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Under-15 side.

GYC tennis underway

The GYC Northern Hatcheries Premier Tennis tournament got underway yesterday at the Gulhsan Youth Club.

Rafa falls at 1st hurdle

Rafael Nadal went down in frustration as the second seed lost his first match of the season on clay, with Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco triumphing 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 on Thursday in the third round of the Madrid Masters.

Nat'l v'ball

Titas Club, Bangladesh Police and Satkhira won their respective men's matches in the Walton National Volleyball Championship at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Nasir going to Canada finally

Nasir Hossain was finally able to fly last night for Canada to play a T20 exhibition match between Asia XI and Rest of the World XI to be held in Toronto on May 12.

Rooney's horse finishes last

Wayne Rooney's successes on the soccer field have yet to transfer to the race course.

Federer's tough win

Roger Federer sweated out a tough win in his first match on Madrid's blue clay on Wednesday, holding off Canada's Milos Raonic 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) to survive into the third round of the Madrid Masters.

SLPL over Aug 10-31

Sri Lanka will host a Twenty20 tournament in August in an attempt to emulate the success of the highly popular Indian Premier League (IPL), the island's cricket authorities announced on Thursday.

Law change looms for switch hits

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to review the playing condition regarding lbw decisions in international cricket in response to the emergence of the switch hit.

Aussie pace duo returns

Former Test paceman Mitchell Johnson and young quick Pat Cummins were named Thursday in an Australian one-day squad for a tour of England and Ireland in June and July.

Richardson to be new ICC CEO

Former Test wicketkeeper David Richardson is set to succeed fellow South African Haroon Lorgat as the new chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the global governing body announced Thursday.

Warner whacks Deccan

David Warner blasted his way to an unbeaten 54-ball 109 as he steered Delhi Daredevils to a crushing nine-wicket win over laggards Deccan Chargers in a one-sided Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.

CSK stay alive

Chennai Super Kings kept alive their chances of qualifying for the play-offs by eking out a four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in a crucial Indian Premier League match here Thursday.

Sammy rested for Lions tie

West Indies captain Darren Sammy was surprisingly left out of the side for Thursday's match against the England Lions, the tourists' final match before next week's first Test at Lord's.

Falcao powers Atletico

A double by Colombian striker Radamel Falcao inspired Atletico Madrid to a 3-0 win over fellow Spaniards Athletic Bilbao here on Wednesday and their second Europa League trophy in three seasons.

Hafeez Pak T20 captain

Pakistan on Thursday dropped captain Misbahul Haq from the Twenty20 squad and made all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez the new skipper after the series defeat to England.

Brazil bows to FIFA

Brazil's senate on Wednesday approved the sale of beer during the 2014 World Cup matches, as demanded by football world governing body FIFA, despite warnings from some opposition members.

Games torch kindled

The countdown to the London Olympics began with the kindling of the Games torch by the sun's rays in ancient Olympia on Thursday, sparking a relay that will culminate with the lighting of the Olympic stadium's cauldron at the opening ceremony on July 27.

Hernandez pulls out of Olympics

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez will not play for Mexico at this summer's London Olympics, his club announced on Thursday.

Nesta quits AC Milan

AC Milan's World Cup-winning defender Alessandro Nesta confirmed Thursday he will quit the Serie A side after ten years with speculation rife that he intends to join MLS side New York Red Bulls.

Business

Bangladesh set for slower growth

Bangladesh faces a year of slowing growth, partly caused by contraction in exports due to the eurozone crisis, an annual United Nations report warned yesterday.

Samsung reports 10pc growth in handset sales

Sales of handsets by South Korean electronics giant Samsung rose 10 percent to 1.2 lakh in Bangladesh in the first quarter, compared to the previous three months.

Analysts find flaws in plan of installing rooftop solar panels

The government's plan to reduce electricity consumption by forcing building owners to install rooftop solar panels might not yield desired results as the initiative involves a number of flaws, an analyst warned yesterday.

Ctg investors take to the streets

Small investors staged demonstrations in Chittagong yesterday, demanding enforcement of a mandatory shareholding rule for directors.

High Court now stays purchase review panel's decision on BTCL bidding

A bench of the High Court division yesterday issued a rule in favour of state-run Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Lt (BTCL), staying a decision of a purchase review panel for three months.

Fiat targets 20 showrooms in India by end-2012

Fiat SpA plans to open 20 exclusive dealerships in India by the end of 2012, a spokesman for its India unit said, as the carmaker starts to rebuild its network after ending a distribution agreement with Tata Motors.

It's time for regional power grid: analysts

Saarc countries should establish a regional grid for power as a number of nations are now actively engaged in electricity trade, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Stocks rise as director pulls out of court battle

The Dhaka Stock Exchange indicator took a U-turn yesterday and gained 3.57 percent yesterday after a sharp fall the previous day because a director withdrew his writ petition in the interest of the market.

New DMD for Dhaka Bank

Emranul Huq has recently been promoted as the deputy managing director of Dhaka Bank, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

US envoy stresses friendly environment for shrimp growers

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena called upon Bangladeshi shrimp exporters to work with labour as a partner rather than as an adversary.

Metropolitan

People's involvement can make community clinics effective

Community clinics would function effectively when community people involve themselves in the process, said Health and Family Planning Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque yesterday.

Land grabbers untouchable for govt links, says Bapa leaders

Leaders of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday said the government is reluctant to take steps against land grabbers as many of them have connections with the government.

250 AL men sued

Father of Selim Ahmed, one of the three victims killed in Bishwanath during an opposition-called hartal over Ilias Ali's missing, filed a case yesterday accusing 250 activists of the ruling Awami League.

Charge sheet motivated

Terming the charge sheet against senior party leaders in arson and blasts cases "false and politically motivated", BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday said the government would not be able to suppress the ongoing agitation.

No reality yet to be found

Police are yet to find any reality behind the "abduction" of Dhaka University teacher Dr Nuruddin Alo, who reappeared on his own at Khagrachhari Police Station on Wednesday after 42 hours of his alleged abduction.

Police suffer from image crisis, says DMP boss

The police department has been suffering from image crisis for decades because of the country's "ill political culture" and the age-old Police Act 1861, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Benazir Ahmed said yesterday.

Roadmap sought

Parbattya Chattyagram Janasanghati Samity (PCJSS) on Wednesday demanded that the UN and international community encourage Bangladesh to declare a roadmap immediately to implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts Agreement.

Wonderland demolition resumes

Rajuk continued demolition drive at Wonderland park in the capital yesterday after a two-day recess and pulled down more structures.

'Formulate rules'

Leaders of eight human rights and civic organisations on Wednesday demanded the government to immediately formulate the rules of the Vested Properties Return (Amended) Act 2011.

Cop harassment alleged

Leaders of four local organisations of Kapashgola area in Chittagong city yesterday alleged that police arrested a local to harass him in a case over the murder of a youth in a mob beating on March 29.

No more Monga

World Vision Bangladesh celebrates its 40th founding anniversary

Implement National Education Policy

Leaders of Bangladesh Teacher-Employee Unity Council, Chittagong yesterday urged the prime minister to immediately implement the National Education Policy 2010 and increase the age limit of teachers to 65 years.

A$100.5m Australian aid for development

Australia will provide A$100.5 million dollars, equivalent to Tk 8.3 billion, as official development assistance to Bangladesh for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Fake MP, his APS held

Police arrested two persons from the residence of District Commissioner (DC) in the port city early yesterday on charge of giving false identity to the DC.

TCB dealer robbed of Tk 3 lakh

A gang of muggers, known as "ogyan party", which makes victims unconscious by drugging, robbed a TCB dealer of Tk 3 lakh on a bus from Narsingdi to Dhaka yesterday.

Special budgetary allocation for Dalits demanded

The Dalit community yesterday demanded the government put aside special allocation for the downtrodden section of the population in this year's budget.

Saudi envoy expresses frustration

Saudi Ambassador Dr Abdullah Bin Naser Al Busaire yesterday voiced 'deep frustration' over the investigation into the killing of a Saudi embassy official in Dhaka.

Third bench to hear opposition leaders' bail petitions

Chief Justice Md Mozammel Hossain yesterday sent the bail petitions of the BNP-led opposition leaders, who were accused of hartal violence, to a single-member third bench of the High Court for their disposal.

Beverage distribution centre looted

A group of muggers injured two staff and looted Tk 4 lakh from a beverage distribution centre in the capital's Khilgaon yesterday.

Bike rider dies in collision with truck

A man riding a motorcycle died while his friend sitting behind was critically injured after colliding head-on with a truck in Malanchi area on Benapole-Jessore road of Jessore district last night.

3 held for selling fake books

Police yesterday arrested three members of a syndicate who print fake textbooks secretly and sell those for a long time from Bangla Bazar area in the capital.

Three Jamaat leaders held

Three Jamaat-e-Islami leaders were arrested yesterday in connection with a case filed for killing a driver by torching a bus on April 21, the day before the BNP's hartal, in the capital's Khilgaon.

Fire breaks out at Ctg jute mill

A devastating fire gutted a huge quantity of jute at the warehouse of Kashem Jute Mills Ltd at Keshobpur in Sitakunda upazila of Chittagong yesterday.

Student crushed under train's wheels

A youth was crushed to death under the wheels of a train near Titipara rail crossing at Kamlapur in the capital yesterday.

Implement loan agreement

Some 100 Rajshahi University officials yesterday formed a human chain and staged a sit-in on the campus demanding Agrani Bank Limited to implement the loan agreement signed with the university on May 2 last year.

Three Ctg eateries fined Tk 60,000

A mobile court yesterday fined three eateries in Chittagong city Tk 60,000 for preparing and serving food in dirty and unhygienic environment.

Mercantile award for Prof Mannan

Former Chittagong University vice chancellor Prof Abdul Mannan will be conferred with the “Mercantile Bank Foundation Honour-2012” on June 2.

Students block Dhaka-Ctg highway

Students of International Islamic University Chittagong (IIUC) blockaded Dhaka-Chittagong highway for about an hour last evening after they had a small clash with villagers in Sonaichhari area under Sitakunda upazila.

Four held with 19 tolas stolen gold

Detective Branch of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) arrested four people with Tk 40,000 and 19 tolas of gold which was allegedly stolen from a house last year.

Prisoner dies in hospital

A prisoner of Chittagong Central Jail died in Chittagong Medical College Hospital yesterday afternoon, presumably due to complications he had developed for excessive alcohol consumption.

Bakhtiar new Eastern varsity chair

Renowned Industrialist SM Bakhtiar Alam was elected chairman of the board of trustees of Eastern University, says a press release.

Obituary

Engineer M Mujibur Rahman, former chief engineer of Steel & Engineering Corporation, passed away in a Dhaka hospital on May 6 at the age of 85, says a press release.

Qulkhwani

Qulkhwani of Nurunnessa Begum, wife of late Qazi Mahtabuddin Ahmed, will be held today, says a press release.

National

Adverse weather affects litchi yield in Dinajpur

The luscious litchi of Dinajpur and its adjacent districts is likely to be dear this season as inclement weather has already affected the production.

Kids from 3 more schools learn amid fun and games

Students of three schools in Sapahar upazila of Naogaon district took part in an English language fair held under English in Schools programme, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and mobile operator Robi, yesterday.

Rape, murder of indigenous girl sparks protest

Longudu police yesterday arrested the alleged rapist and killer of indigenous girl Sujata Chakma from his house at Uttar Yarengchhari in Atharakchhara union under Longudu upazila of the district.

One killed, over 100 injured

Clashes over capture of khas and disputed lands left one person dead and over 100 others injured in Satkhira and Sunamganj districts yesterday.

Arrest warrants against 3 Rab men for skipping court as witnesses

Arrest warrants have been issued against three Rab men for skipping a court as witnesses of a case filed by the elite force against two members of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Man gets life for murder

A court here on Wednesday sentenced a man to life imprisonment in a murder case.

Non-govt teachers hold rally to press for 17-pt demand

Teachers and employees of non-government high schools and colleges of the district yesterday brought out a procession and held a rally in the town to press home their 17-point demand including nationalisation of the education system.

Abducted man rescued in Manikganj

Police rescued an abducted man in an unconscious state from the bank of the Padma near Paturia truck terminal under Shibalaya upazila early yesterday.

Rice mill gutted

A huge quantity of rice and machinery were gutted in a fire at Garkanda in Nalitabari upazila early yesterday.

Seven drug peddlers held in 3 dists

Law enforcers in separate drives arrested seven people in Narsingdi, Magura and Bogra districts on Wednesday and Tuesday.

SI stabbed

A gang of criminals stabbed a sub-inspector of Detective Branch (DB) of police on Dhaka-Barisal highway at Bajitpur in Rajoir upazila on Wednesday midnight. Victim Anwar Hossain yesterday said the gang in a microbus intercepted his motorbike at around 11:00am while he was returning to Madaripur Sadar from Gopalganj after giving deposition in a case filed under the Women and Children Repression Act. They introduced themselves as Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members and asked him to get into the vehicle. As he refused, the gang stabbed him indiscriminately, leaving him injured seriously. On information, police sent him to Madaripur Sadar Hospital, said Anwar.

Teacher commits 'suicide'

A college teacher allegedly committed suicide at his residence in Keshabpur upazila early yesterday. Victim Abdul Alim, 40, son of late Abdul Hakim Sarder of Chaluahati in Manirampur upazila, is a lecturer of Mohakhali Gas and Ceramic College in Dhaka. Keshabpur police said Alim killed himself by taking poison at his bed room following a family feud. On information, the law enforcers recovered the body and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy.

Youth electrocuted

A young man was electrocuted at village Shalley in Sadar upazila yesterday. The deceased is Abu Taher, 24, son of Abdul Majid of the village. Taher came in contact with a live wire while he was switching off his motor in their court yard and died on the spot at about 2:00pm, said Aslam Khan, officer in- charge of Sadar Police Station.

Grenade, rifle found

Police recovered a grenade and a rifle in an abandoned condition at Goalpara in Syedpur Pourashava on Wednesday morning. Police said some sweepers found the grenade and the arms while they were cleaning a drain in the area. Being informed, police rushed in and seized the grenade and the firearm.

Letters

Use pollution-free cruise boats at Kaptai Lake

Congratulations to the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) for making six crore taka profit from its commercial ventures during the last nine months. It is a rare achievement for a semi-government organisation in Bangladesh. I would like to take this opportunity to make a request to BPC. A good number of domestic and foreign tourists go to Rangamati for boating in the picturesque Kaptai Lake. The cruise boats in the lake, including the one belonging to BPC, use shallow tube well engine to run. This engine makes deafening noise and emits black smoke continuously, from burning diesel, and thus turns the boat ride in the lake into a nightmare. The noise and the smoke of the boat pollute the environment of the lake as well.

When business loses its purpose…

Business today as it appears is not business with conscience. It is devoid of any social responsibility. As a result, people's sufferings know no bounds. The price of essential commodities is skyrocketing. Are all the businessmen aware of the cut-throat profit many of their fellow businessmen make at the cost of the suffering millions? Business syndicate dictating price was not heard in the old days. There existed a healthy competition among businessmen to get hold of the customers as much as possible. We know that in undivided Bengal businessmen coming from different parts of India did their business with honesty earning the hearts of the clients. Those businessmen were satisfied with their minimum profit and so were the customers, getting products at a fair price. Both the parties -- the sellers and the buyers -- remained satisfied and happy. The present-day Bangladesh is a far cry from those olden days.

Improving cricket infrastructure

Bangladesh is passing through a purple patch in cricket at the moment, as they went so close to winning the Asia Cup. However, it is unfortunate to note that Bangladesh has got no international cricket until September when they will participate in the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. The Pakistan tour has been postponed due to security reasons, South African players are not willing to play and Ireland tour is also uncertain. The BCB should realise that there is no alternative to playing more international matches. When the Premier League ends, there is no domestic cricket too. But if Bangladesh does not play well in T20, everyone will blame the players, not the BCB.

Import cattle from India

Bangladesh is surrounded by the seven sister states of India except in the South. The country needs a large number of cattle but do not import it from India. It is true that thousands of cattle are smuggled from India into Bangladesh regularly. Border Security Force (BSF) of India kills cattle traders on a regular fashion, which is not acceptable. Bangladesh and India are neighbours and friendly countries. Bangladesh import many things from India. If Bangladesh imports cattle from the seven sister states of India, cattle smuggling would stop. Indian cattle growers in the seven sister states will get good price and Bangladesh will be able to meet its local demand. Border killings would also stop and this will strengthen the relation between the two neighbours. In this circumstance, I would like to urge the governments of Bangladesh and India to sign a deal for importing cattle from India to Bangladesh as soon as possible.

Patriotism in short supply

I have a feeling that we Bangladeshis miserably lack the qualities of patriotism and fellow feeling on which hinges the well-being of a person, society and the nation. It is now about three months I have been working as a Cashier-cum-Clerk in a convenience store Cullen Blvd, about 25 miles from our residence in Houston.

Cowardly attack on Prof. Ali Akand

I am a Master's student of International Relations at Jahangirnagar University (JU). I have spent four years in this campus but never witnessed an incident like this before. On 25th April some seven teachers brutally attacked Professor Ali Akand, chairman of Botany department. I have witnessed this kind of incident among students but not among teachers.

DBBL scholarships a good gesture

Dutch Bangla Bank Limited has shown a benevolent gesture by awarding scholarships to about 857 poor but meritorious students studying in bachelor's programmes in different institutions.

A genius we are proud of!

Eleven-year-old Fahim Alam has made us all proud with his talents, as published in an English daily on May 5th. It was lovely to see his smiling photograph holding his 'Chess' trophy.

Online Voices

Major parties at odds

International

Deadly blasts hit Syria capital

Suicide attackers detonated massive bombs in Damascus during the morning rush hour yesterday, killing at least 55 people and wounding nearly 400 in the deadliest bombings of Syria's 14-month uprising.

Israel seeks deal with Palestinians

Israel's prison service has offered to ease restrictions on Palestinian prisoners in a bid to end a mass hunger strike that has left several detainees close to death, sources told AFP yesterday.

UN cannot impose upon Sudan

Neither the United Nations nor the African Union can impose its will on Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir said yesterday, after fresh fighting along the border with South Sudan.

Global panel formed to set development targets

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will lead a global panel to set international targets on sustainable development, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

Pakistan, US operating on a trust deficit: Gilani

With his fate at home hanging in the balance, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani repudiated US claims that Pakistan was falling short on fighting the war on terrorism and said instead that his nation was operating on a trust deficit with Washington.

Obama takes gamble on gay marriage

US President Barack Obama took a calculated gamble and stepped into the political unknown Wednesday with his firm public backing for gay marriage, after a long period of personal soul searching.

All 46 aboard killed

All of the dozens aboard a Russian Sukhoi passenger jet flying on a sales promotion trip in Indonesia were killed when the plane slammed into a mountain, officials said yesterday.

China suicide blast kills two in protest

A woman blew herself up yesterday to protest the demolition of her house in southwest China, killing two people and injuring 14, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Algeria votes for new parliament

Voting began across Algeria yesterday in the country's first polls since the Arab Spring swept the region, with the ruling party, its Islamist allies and a boycott movement all hoping for victory.

US panel cuts $800m in Pak aid

A House of Representatives panel moved on Wednesday to cut the foreign aid budget by some 9 percent, targeting economic aid and contributions to the United Nations and the World Bank.

US drone kill 8 Qaeda men in Yemen

US drone strikes killed eight al-Qaeda militants at a gathering of the jihadists in southern Yemen, tribal sources said yesterday, just days after an air raid killed the group's long-sought leader Fahd al-Quso.

Putin to skip US G8 summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin will miss the upcoming G8 summit in the United States as he is busy forming a government after just starting his third term as head of state, the Kremlin said yesterday.

French govt resigns before handover

Outgoing French leader Nicolas Sarkozy's government officially resigned on Thursday ahead of president-elect Francois Hollande's inauguration next week, the presidency said.

Pakistan tests nuke-capable missile

Pakistan carried out a successful test firing of a short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile yesterday, the military said.

Arts & Entertainment

Seeking solitude in nature

Dhaka Cantonment Public Art Gallery has organised a solo painting exhibition featuring the works of promising artist Rezowan Pilow. The exhibition opened on May 5. Brigadier General Imamul Huda psc (Commander of Signal Brigade) inaugurated the exhibition as chief guest. Lt. Colonel Imrul Kais, principal of Dhaka Cantonment Girls Public School and College, was present as special guest.

Making it big

It was back in 1996 when Golam Farida Chhonda saw a theatre school's advertisement in a newspaper, calling for aspiring actors. Although she had no interest in joining, it was her brother who pushed her into taking the acting course. Thus Chhonda's journey in acting began.

Prangane Mor to stage Shesher Kobita in Mumbai

Theatre troupe Prangane Mor will stage its latest production -- an adaptation of the classic Tagore novel “Shesher Kobita” -- at Rabindra Mandir in Mumbai, India on May 19. The show will be part of a festival arranged by local theatre troupe Sharthak Rupayan, according to Prangane Mor sources.

Runway screened in Moulvibazar and Habiganj

“Runway”, the last film by Tareque Masud, was screened in Moulvibazar and Habiganj district towns recently.

Aung San Suu Kyi inspires classical music piece

Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi is to be celebrated in a newly commissioned piece of classical music, BBC Radio 3 has announced.

United Red Army

“United Red Army”, Naeem Mohaiemen's documentary about the September 28, 1977 hijacking of Japan Airlines Flight 472 will see its Dhaka premiere tomorrow (May 11) at 7pm at the ULAB auditorium in Dhanmondi.

Depp, Burton bring light comedy to Dark Shadows

Working with director Tim Burton, Johnny Depp has played many eccentric characters in the movies, from lonely monster Edward Scissorhands to eccentric filmmaker Ed Wood and the Mad Hatter of "Alice in Wonderland."

OP-ED

A corollary to Hillary visit

If we were to assess Hillary Rodham Clinton's overnight visit to Bangladesh last week, the best part of it was that she took the words right out of our mouth. She said that the political parties should sit together. She talked about good governance and the importance of an engaging parliament. She was supportive of the caretaker concept, and the performance of plurality to strengthen democracy. The world's number one diplomat spoke of nothing that we didn't think already.

How India became America

Another brick has come down in the great wall separating India from the rest of the world. Recently, both Starbucks and Amazon announced that they would be entering the Indian market. Amazon has already started a comparison shopping site; Starbucks plans to open its first outlet this summer.

A government under mounting pressure

The AL government never had it so bad. Perhaps it has embraced the British-born Oscar winning actor Sir Michael Caine's words in the reverse. He said: "When just about everything is going your way, you're obviously in the wrong lane." Apparently, Sheikh Hasina has everything going the bad way, so she must be on the right road.

Corporal punishment: evil cruelty beyond human belief

If evidence were needed to stop the abomination of madness, cruelty and evil that still persists in Bangladeshi schools, one needs look no further than May 1 when insanity rained down upon 14 innocent Allah-fearing, Allah-loving 8-12-year-olds at a madrassa in Dhaka.

Culture for sustainability

Cultural diversity is a reality of this globalised world. We need now better policies to make the most of it.

This Day In History

May 11

330
Byzantium is renamed Nova Roma during a dedication ceremony, but it is more popularly referred to as Constantinople.

StarTech

Canon plans for aggressive marketing to boost sales

Canon has planned to go for aggressive marketing strategy in Bangladesh to boost its market share. The company will also set up exclusive brand shops here as part of its new strategy. Initially the brand shops will be set up in Dhaka and gradually in other cities across the country.

Team Engine to represent Bangladesh in Sydney

Team Engine from BUET, AIUB and NSU with their project Annapurna won the Microsoft Bangladesh Imagine Cup 2012 champion's award and became eligible to represent Bangladesh in the global contest.

Samsung buys streaming music-movie services

Samsung Electronics on Wednesday announced it is buying mSpot to take advantage of the Silicon Valley company's prowess at streaming music and films to smartphones or tablet computers.

Facebook to sell apps through new online hub

Facebook Inc unveiled a new hub for consumers to find games and other apps on the social network, including its first storefront for selling paid apps, in the company's latest effort to expand the ways it makes money from its massive audience.

Microsoft vows to go carbon neutral

Microsoft on Tuesday vowed it would be carbon neutral in the fiscal year starting July.

Ctg Edition

Ctg public library in bad shape

The divisional public library in Chittagong city has turned risky for its users and employees due to its dilapidated condition.



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