The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 23, 2014


News of: Friday, 25th of May, 2012

Front Page

Ministry favours law-breaker

The environment ministry has mysteriously cut a Tk 40 lakh penalty down to Tk 4 lakh slapped against Hall-Mark Group for illegally setting up an industrial park at Savar on the outskirts of the capital.

All but 2 Destiny accounts frozen

The Bangladesh Bank yesterday froze the bank accounts of all the directors of Destiny Group and its associated organisations for one month.

Asif kept standing in court, again

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain and the presiding judge of a High Court bench yesterday locked in a heated debate for around an hour over a decision to keep Prof Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University standing in the courtroom in connection with a petition.

BSRM shocked

Bangladesh Steel Re-rolling Mills (BSRM) is seeking legal counsel to file a defamation suit against state-run Padma Oil Company Ltd, according to a statement sent to The Daily Star by BSRM yesterday.

US slates killings, torture by lawmen

The US government yesterday denounced the Bangladesh government over the latter's "most significant" human rights problems, including killing and torture by security forces and their abuses that are responsible for disappearances and custodial deaths.

Reckless driving kills two

Two more road accidents, two more lives lost. One sandwiched between two competing buses at Malibagh and the other crushed by a reckless truck near Cantonment Railway Station in the capital.

Sonali Bank to punish 3 officers

The Sonali Bank will relieve three of its senior officials of their duties for lending Tk 2,638 crore to a little-known group beyond their authority.

Minister, Baira at loggerheads

Expatriates' Welfare Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday turned down the private recruiting agencies' demand for allowing them to recruit workers for jobs in Malaysia.

Pro-BNP lawyers regret, get bail

The 22 pro-BNP lawyers who were accused in a case over Tuesday's chaos in the court premises have secured bail for 10 days from the High Court.

Free all leaders before budget session of JS

BNP lawmakers yesterday demanded release of the recently arrested opposition leaders, including five MPs, before the budget session begins in parliament.

Babar interfered in govt probe

A probe committee in its report could not name the NSI officials involved in unloading a huge cache of arms and explosives at the CUFL jetty in 2004 due to obstruction from ex-state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar.

Solar-powered plane starts first int'l flight

The Swiss sun-powered aircraft Solar Impulse yesterday took off for Morocco on its first intercontinental flight attempt without using a drop of fuel.

Nazrul's birth anniversary today

The 113th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam will be celebrated across the country today.

Gas prices to go up in July

Gas prices for public and private power stations, fertiliser companies, tea gardens, industries and CNG filling stations will go up in July, officials said yesterday.

Testimony of 3rd witness starts at ICT

The third prosecution witness against BNP lawmaker and war crimes accused Salauddin Quader Chowdhury began giving his testimony at the International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday by outlining some historic details that led to the Liberation War.

Wasfia close to Everest summit

Wasfia Nazreen, who was set to scale the Mount Everest today, has deferred her climb to the summit by a day due to inclement weather.

Reveal details of Sahara deal

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday asked the authorities to immediately publish details of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Wednesday between India's Sahara group and Rajuk for investment in low-cost township schemes in Bangladesh.

BSF kills 1 Bangladeshi

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot a Bangladeshi cattle trader dead at Phulbari border of Dinajpur early yesterday, said Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) sources.

US, Pak tensions rise over doctor conviction

Pakistan's problematic relationship with the United States sailed into fresh controversy yesterday as US lawmakers warned of aid cuts after the jailing of a surgeon who helped the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden.

Lanka sets up new courts to try war suspects

Sri Lanka is setting up new courts to accelerate cases against hundreds of Tamil rebel suspects three years after the end of the island's bloody ethnic war, a government spokesman yesterday said.

2 killed in Beirut shootout

Lebanese security forces stormed a building in Beirut early yesterday after a nighttime shootout with gunmen holed up inside a flat, in an incident, which left two dead and seven wounded, security sources said.

Iran navy saves US ship from pirates

Iran's navy yesterday said it saved an American-flagged cargo ship that was being attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Oman.

Editorial

Rejection of bail petitions

This is the second time in a row that the bail petitions for the 33 opposition leaders arrested under the Speedy Trial Act on the charge of torching a bus during the April 29 hartal have been rejected. With all due respect to the judiciary, we beg to differ on the grounds cited for denial of bail to the accused. According to senior and respected jurists acting on behalf of the defendants, a number of those implicated in case were not even present in the capital on the particular date in question.

Creativity and judiciary

The High Court on May15 expressed its hope that popular fiction writer Humayun Ahmed would delay the publication of his historical novel Deyal. After two chapters of the yet-to-be-published novel were carried in the literature page of the Bangla daily Prothom Alo in its May 11 issue, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam brought it to the notice of an HC bench that some information in the chapters contradicts the documents alluded to in the judgment of the Bangabandhu killing case. He specifically pointed to the characterisation of Khandker Moshtaque who has been presented in a rather innocuous light in the matter of Bangabandhu's assassination and the misrepresentation of the circumstances in which Sheikh Russell was killed.

Sports

Lima puts Muktis on top

A brilliant hat-trick from Brazilian midfielder Sauza Lima helped title contenders Muktijoddha Sangsad KS join leaders Abahani with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Arambagh KS in their Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

BCB wants only T20s

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has come up with new proposal for their Irish counterparts -- playing five T20 internationals instead of the earlier planned five ODIs, keeping in mind the Tigers' preparation for the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka in September.

Players pledge big

The players-backed panel led by GM Niaz Murshed yesterday revealed its manifesto of the upcoming polls of the Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) and officially introduced their candidates who will vie for various posts during the May 31 elections.

Big wins for Azad & Sk Jamal

Azad Sporting Club and Sheikh Jamal DC Club won their respective matches by massive margins against Rising Girls Cricket Academy and Dhaka Northern Women's Cricket Club in the 4th Women's Club Cricket League yesterday.

Marsh to sue SLC

Former national team coach Geoff Marsh is suing Sri Lanka Cricket over his dismissal five months ago.

Grasshoppers eye glory on dirt

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, two players better known for their hardcourt and grasscourt abilities, are the form players going into the climax of the claycourt season at the French Open.

Lanka split teams too

Sri Lanka on Thursday announced separate Twenty20 and one-day squads for the home series against Pakistan starting next month.

Hosts aim to extend lead

England will take an unbeatable lead in their three-match series against the West Indies if they win the second Test at Trent Bridge starting here on Friday.

Drogba mobbed on torch relay

Chelsea's Champions League hero Didier Drogba was given a rapturous welcome as he carried the Olympic flame on Wednesday, the day after announcing he was leaving the club.

Kenyan player implicated in fixing

A Kenyan player is under investigation for fixing two 2011 World Cup matches including Kenya's huge loss against Pakistan, the International Cricket Council and Kenyan officials said on Thursday.

Pomersbach in the clear

Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach is to be cleared of accusations that he molested a woman and beat up her fiance during the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament in India, his lawyer said on Thursday.

KP fined over Knight rant

Kevin Pietersen was fined an "undisclosed sum" by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday following a Twitter attack on former England batsman Nick Knight.

Gerrard not retiring

England midfielder Steven Gerrard on Thursday ruled out retiring from international football after Euro 2012.

History against Poland

When they take to home turf in Euro 2012 next month, Poland will be hoping their campaign won't turn sour like previous tournaments which dashed fans' dreams of a revival of a golden age.

Italy relying on super Mario

Mario Balotelli, the temperamental and mercurial Manchester City striker, will have an important role to play for Italy at this year's Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

Spain turn to Alba

The left-back position became a problem for Spain after their 2010 World Cup triumph, but Valencia's Jordi Alba has emerged as the leading candidate to start there for La Roja in Poland and Ukraine.

Joey punished severely

QPR's volatile captain Joey Barton received a 12 match ban from the Football Association on Wednesday after being found guilty by an Independent Commission of two counts of violent conduct.

Channel 9 to broadcast Euro 2012

Channel 9 has received the rights to show the live telecast of the Euro 2012 which starts from June 8. All 31 matches, including the semifinals and the final, showcasing the 16 participating teams will be broadcast by Channel 9, which will be a first in the private television channel history of Bangladesh.

UEFA may review rule

The Champions League rule which has denied Tottenham Hotspur a place in next season's competition because Chelsea won Saturday's final could be reviewed by UEFA's executive committee, president Michel Platini said on Wednesday.

Pizarro set for Bayern return

Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro, out of contract with Werder Bremen, is poised to sign a one year contract with former club Bayern Munich, it was reported on Thursday.

Business

EBL salutes Latifur Rahman

Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) organised a reception on Wednesday to felicitate Latifur Rahman, chairman and managing director of Transcom Group, for winning the prestigious 'Oslo Business for Peace Award' earlier this month.

IMF's reform recipe to impact new budget

IMF conditions will have a sizable impact on the budget for the next fiscal year, which economists say will boost economic reforms, but will require the government to take a few unpopular decisions just before the polls' year.

SEC awaits court details to take next move

The Securities and Exchange Commission will take the next course of action on minimum shareholding by directors of listed companies upon receipt of a certified document of the High Court verdict.

Muhith may set aside Tk 100cr for women entrepreneurs in budget

Finance Minister AMA Muhith may allocate a Tk 100 crore fund for the development of women entrepreneurs in the national budget for 2012-13.

Three-day Malaysian expo starts

A three-day exposition of Malaysian products and services began at Sonargaon Hotel in the city yesterday.

Summer heats up roadside business

It is a hot summer noon and Sheikh Kabir, a pineapple vendor at the Karwan Bazar intersection, is looking quite the pleased man. He is bound to, with his sales receipts rising manifold of late.

Roundtable on food security held

A roundtable took place in the factory of Golden Harvest Agro Industries in Gazipur on Tuesday under the USAID Feed the Future Initiative to develop food safety regulations and to monitor the food security programme.

Stocks fall as confidence erodes

Stocks declined and turnover hit a 50-day low yesterday, as investors lost confidence in the market amid uncertainty over a legal battle with sponsors and directors of listed firms.

Metropolitan

Stand by poor eye patients

Speakers at a sharing session yesterday urged the society's well-off section to extend help for the treatment of poor eye patients, as every year around 1.5 lakh people of the contract cataract, a major contributor to blindness.

Delay in implementation emboldens miscreants

Civil society and indigenous community leaders yesterday reiterated their demand for the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace accord as the delay is encouraging miscreants to oppress indigenous people.

PM encouraging 1/11 situation

Opposition BNP leaders at a rally yesterday said the prime minister herself was encouraging the build-up of a situation similar to that of the 1/11 by torturing and repressing the opposition.

Discharge plea for Mojaheed

At the International Crimes Tribunal-2, the defence for Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed yesterday sought his discharge from charges

Place alternative to CG system

Minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta yesterday urged the BNP and its alliance partners to propose an alternative model of caretaker government system in parliament.

Economy doing very well: Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated that the country's economy was doing very well despite the global economic meltdown.

Bangladesh, Belarus sign MoUs on agriculture, food

Dhaka and Minsk yesterday inked two deals, one on cooperation over agriculture and food and another on formation of a foreign ministry-level joint commission, to strengthen bilateral cooperation in education, culture, agriculture, investment and trade.

Verdict on 4 'fake' law instts starts

The High Court yesterday started delivering the verdict on a writ petition filed for taking appropriate action against the fake institutions which are giving law degree certificates to students without legal authority.

Political parties to decide poll nature

The country's political parties will decide the nature of administration under which the next general election will be held, said Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad yesterday.

Decentralise admins

Akbar Ali Khan, former adviser to a caretaker government, yesterday said that administrations must be decentralised for the betterment of the poor.

Call to use assessment tool 'Community Score Card'

Community Score Card (CSC), a tool that enables citizens to assess the quality of public services, can be an effective means to ensure people's participation in government activities and help establish good governance in the country, speakers said at a meeting yesterday.

2 RU ambulances, medical centre vandalised

Some 15 unidentified youths, allegedly students of Rajshahi University, vandalised two ambulances and valuables of the university medical centre yesterday on being denied an ambulance to bring a classmate from a hospital.

South Africa keen to invest more

South African entrepreneurs are ready to invest in agriculture and industrial sectors of Bangladesh considering the country's prevailing congenial investment climate.

Stolen cloth worth Tk 28 lakh recovered

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday recovered Tk 28 lakh worth of imported fabrics and threads, which were stolen on the same day, from Barrister College Road in the port city.

7 dredgers, vessel with sand seized

Bangladesh Coast Guard in a drive early yesterday seized seven dredgers and one sand carrying vessel from Bakalia Char in Karnaphuli river near Chittagong Port for extracting sands illegally.

Two workers electrocuted

A female worker of a plastic factory at Kamrangirchar and an electrician in Tejgaon were electrocuted in two separate incidents in the capital yesterday.

RU syndicate poll held

Prof Amzad Hossain, dean of Business Studies Faculty, was elected syndicate member from dean category from pro-BNP-Jamaat 'White' panel at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday.

Shafique for curbing cyber crimes

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday underscored preventive measures to thwart the increasing cyber crimes.

Rickshaw-puller murdered in capital

Some unknown criminals killed a rickshaw-puller in the capital's Pallabi yesterday.

Factory fined Tk 14 lakh for not setting up ETP

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a dyeing factory in Gazipur Tk 14 lakh for not setting up Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) even 21 months after the factory owner promised to set up the ETP.

Two siblings drown in Narayanganj

Two siblings drowned in a pond at Kadamtoli Nayapara in Sadar upazila yesterday afternoon.

Worker dies from iron fall

A worker died as a piece of iron fell on his head at Pran Agro Ltd company in Ekdala area under Sadar upazila yesterday morning.

Schoolboy dies in road crash

A schoolboy was killed as a truck crushed him at Terijpool in Subarnachar upazila yesterday morning.

Woman 'kills herself' in Ctg

A young woman allegedly committed suicide by taking poison at Satkania upazila in the district on Wednesday night.

Koica to train 5 Bangladeshi officials

Korea will impart training to senior level officials to support capacity building to provide new standardised performance based vocational training courses based on reformed National Technical and Vocational Qualification Framework.

Hemp seized in Ctg

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized eight kilograms of hemp worth around Tk 44,000 in the port city yesterday.

US embassy closed May 27

The American Embassy, including the Consular Section and the American Center with the Archer K Blood American Center Library and the Student Advising Center, will remain closed on Sunday (May 27) on the occasion of Memorial Day, an American national holiday.

Save Radi

A deadly disease has put the life of four-year-old Radi in a permanent distress. Once he gets cuts on his body, the blood does not stop streaming out.

Obituary

Rahima Asafzah, a noted social worker, passed away at Apollo Hospitals in the capital on May 22.

Sabera's chehlum

Chehlum of Sabera Mustafa, wife of veteran journalist and former ambassador, late KG Mustafa, will be held today.

National

Mysterious 'crack disease' affects mangoes in Dinajpur

Cracking of mangoes following appearance of black spots in different areas of the district seems to dash the hope of bumper production of the delicious summer fruit this season.

Three more Jessore schools join the fray

Students of three more schools in Jessore yesterday took part in the English language held under English in Schools programme, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and mobile operator Robi.

Polytech students go on rampage in dists

Students of polytechnic institutes blocked highways and went on the rampage in different districts across the country following a rumour that the government has taken a decision to downgrade the diploma engineers' status to class three officials from the existing class two category.

3 killed, 250 hurt as storm lashes several districts

Three people were killed and at least 250 others injured as storm lashed Netrakona, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat and Rangpur districts on Wednesday night.

Teesta erosion makes 70 families homeless

Erosion by the Teesta River has rendered around 70 families of three villages under Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila homeless in the last four days.

Kid's body recovered

Police recovered the body of a baby girl from a pond at Vombagh village in Kalia upazila early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Mithila Farzana Hridita, 6, daughter of Hemayet Hossain of the village. Being informed by locals, police recovered Mithila's body adjoining their house and sent it to Narail Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. Motiar Rahman, officer in-charge of Kalia Police Station, said criminals might have killed the child and dumped the body into the pond.

Schoolteacher electrocuted

A schoolteacher was electrocuted at Harati village in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila early Wednesday. The dead, Shamsul Haque, 48, of the village, is a senior assistant teacher of Saptibari High School in Aditmari upazila. Jamir Uddin, officer in-charge of Lalmonirhat Sadar Police Station, said Shamsul came in contact with a live wire while he was repairing an electric cable at his house.

Indian Medicines seized

Police seized Indian medicines worth Tk 3 lakh from a house at Kholadanga Christianpara in Sadar upazila of Jessore district on Wednesday night. Abdul Jalil, officer in-charge of Kotwali Police Station, said acting on a tip-off, they raided the house of one Ruhul Amin at around 11:30pm and seized the medicines. However, Ruhul fled the scene, sensing the presence of the law enforcers, the OC added.

Housewife commits 'suicide'

A housewife allegedly committed suicide at her house at HMM Road in Jessore town on Wednesday night. The deceased is Sonia Khatun, 22, wife of Mohammad Hira of the town. Family sources said Sonia hanged herself from the ceiling fan of her room following a family feud. She was taken to Jessore Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition where doctors declared her dead.

Youth jailed for stalking

A mobile court sentenced a young man to one month imprisonment for stalking a schoolgirl in Chhatak upazila of Sunamganj on Tuesday night. The convict, Liton Mia, 26, is a son of Ershad Ali of Raisantoshpur village of the upazila. Locals said Liton used to tease the girl on her way to school for long. On information, police arrested the stalker from the spot and produced him before the court led by UNO Sujit Kumar Roy who handed down the punishment.

Man dies from snakebite

A man was killed by snakebite at Hakoba village in Monirampur upazila yesterday morning. The victim, Nawab Ali Gazi, 46, of the village, is a snake charmer. Local people said Gazi was bitten by a poisonous snake while he was catching a snake from a deep well of one Tarak Kundu's house of the village. Later, he died on way to the hospital.

Letters

Hats off to Nishat Majumder

Hats off to Nishat Majumder for becoming the first Bangladeshi woman to scale the Mount Everest, the highest peak of the world. Nishat, you have proved that a woman can do everything that a man can do. You have become a part of history. We are very proud of you. And we praise your parents who allowed you to fulfil your dream. We also appreciate the good initiative taken by the mountaineering club. Again, congratulations!

"Goom" (forced disappearance) syndrome!

Mysterious disappearances have now gripped the country. Every day people are disappearing and in most of the cases they do not reappear. This sort of disappearance cannot take place in a civilised country. So I believe we are still uncivilised. All of a sudden anybody can lose his/her near and dear ones. If such disappearances continue, then the whole nation will live in constant fear and become mentally ill. Enmity may be the main reason behind disappearance. Enmity may exist among friends, neighbours, colleagues at work and among members of the ruling parties or opposition.

Ensure a better life for toiling masses

We have passed more than four decades as an independent nation but still we could not build a strong infrastructure because of political instability, corruption, nepotism, and lack of political and administrative goodwill. Most of the people of our country still live under the poverty line. Three sections of our people are contributing greatly to our economic development but are neglected by the government. Firstly, our farmers have been working hard to meet the food demand of the country. Secondly, the migrant workers are sending their hard-earned money to the country which is the biggest source of our country's foreign currency reserve. Thirdly, our garment workers are doing an outstanding job and contributing a lot to our economic development. But it is a matter of sorrow that our farmers and garment workers are struggling most to make both ends meet. And our migrant workers are passing a troubled life abroad. If the government can not provide them support to live a healthy life, we as a nation can never prosper.

Mass hysteria and public awareness

Very often we read in the newspapers that many people especially women and children in different areas of the country fall sick at a time. The patients fall down suddenly and become unconscious with convulsion. Of late, it happened in Matiranga upazila of Khagrachhari. According to a newspaper report, at least 32 people fell sick there in a couple of days. Most of the affected people are teenaged boys and girls. It has been learnt that after regaining consciousness, the patients become weak and feel pain in the body. The also behave in a strange manner.

Risks of Azithromycin

A news item published in The Daily Star on the 18th of May was very interesting and needs consideration. The study report says that Azithromycin is a bad drug that increases death risk. There are similar drugs that are safe for heart. It is time the health ministry did something about this medicine as this antibiotic is readily available in the market.

Our millionaires, are you listening?

The article by Professor Rashiduddin Ahmad (May 18th) made delightful reading with its account of numerous worthy people who laid aside privilege and personal profit in order to perform acts of public service in the only way they thought proper. The article was inspired by the example of Sohel Taj, wishing to retire from politics and reject the income he was being paid, which, the writer said, was an attitude surely inspired by his father, Tajuddin, first prime minister in exile, who set an example of personal austerity and honesty.

Water shortage at Dhanmondi

We, at Road 9A of Dhanmondi, Dhaka, have been without any water supply for the last two weeks. We have to buy our water every day. Efforts to solve this problem have gone nowhere so far. We have borne the calamity with stoic patience, but we are at the end of the tether. I earnestly request Dhaka WASA to restore our water supply as soon as possible. Democracy without electricity is bad enough; without water, it is simply unendurable.

What actually happened that night?

A report published in a daily says that four BGB officers on May 9, 2012 gave written statements to the probe body and were all quizzed. They came up with identical descriptions about the cash haul in the night of April 9 from the microbus of former railway minister's assistant personal secretary.

Nationalise non-govt. primary schools

The government promised that all the non-government primary schools would be nationalised. But the government has not taken any action yet to keep its promise. What is the reason behind this attitude? The primary schoolteachers who had protested for their rights were beaten seriously by the police on 15th May 2012. A teacher also died because of the brutal attack. We condemn the government for taking such a tough stance against the primary schoolteachers. We should realise that the primary school teachers are the builders of the nation. In other countries everybody respects the primary teachers and they get a good salary for a decent living. The government should take steps to nationalise the non-govt. primary schools.

Online Voices

No bail, again

International

Uncertainty grips Nepal

Nepal's efforts to write a new constitution and avoid a fresh political crisis were in disarray yesterday after the deputy premier announced his resignation amid deep divisions in government.

UN blames Syria army for most abuses

A UN panel yesterday said that government forces are to blame for most rights abuses in the latest unrest sweeping Syria as a watchdog reported an 11th straight day of shelling of a rebel bastion.

EU summit ends in stalemate

Eurozone tensions rose again yesterday with grim signals from business, and a flight of capital into Germany after an EU summit disagreed on solutions to the crisis.

Suu Kyi to step outside Myanmar after 24 yrs

Nobel laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will travel outside Myanmar for the first time in 24 years next week to deliver a speech at an international forum in Thailand, her party said yesterday.

Cops accused of beating Myanmar protesters

Police in Myanmar were accused of beating and detaining protesters yesterday as they broke up the country's first major demonstrations in years.

Pak speaker decides to spare Gilani

National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza decided against forwarding a disqualification reference against Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Gilani to the Election Commission of Pakistan after his conviction by the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case.

US bin Laden raid 'unlawful': Amnesty

Amnesty International criticised the United States on Wednesday for its use of lethal force, particularly for the "unlawful" killing of Osama bin Laden in a clandestine US commando raid in Pakistan last May.

Last-ditch salvage effort at tough Iran talks

Iran and six world powers yesterday sought desperately to salvage something tangible from two days of talks that have revealed huge differences over how to resolve the crisis over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Taiwan to allow public to join judges' bench

Taiwan's cabinet yesterday passed a bill to let members of the public join trial judges on the bench as the island seeks to reform its judicial system following a string of disputed rulings.

India tests surface-to-air missile

Boosting its air defence shield and re-validating operational efficacy, India yesterday successfully test fired its indigenously-developed surface-to- air 'Akash' missile from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, about 15 km from here.

Egypt polls enters final day

Egyptians swarmed polling stations on the second day Thursday of a gripping presidential election in which candidates are pitting stability against the ideals of the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's rule.

US drone kills 8 in Pakistan

A US drone strike yesterday killed eight militants in a Taliban stronghold of Pakistan's tribal belt, bringing the death toll from such strikes to 12 in two days, Pakistani officials said.

Army kills 35 Qaeda men in Yemen

Yemeni troops killed 35 al-Qaeda militants in overnight battles in the restive southern Abyan province, a military official said yesterday as the army pressed ahead with a 13-day offensive to retake extremist strongholds.

Death penalty sought for Ben Ali

A Tunisian military prosecutor demanded the death penalty Wednesday for ex-president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who is being tried in absentia over killings during last year's popular uprising.

700 students held in Canada

Canada police arrested some 700 people in Montreal early yesterday after demonstrators threw rocks at officers in the latest student protest to shake the city, a police spokesman said.

Rabid bats kill 7 children in Peru

Seven children have died from rabies in Peru over the past two months after being bitten by bats, an official said Wednesday.

Arts & Entertainment

Nazrul's tryst with Bengali theatre

Draped in his favourite 'gerua' khaddar panjabi, a bright yellow silk turban wrapped around his head and a row of beads around his neck, Nazrul was often seen frequenting the theatre where he was constantly sought-after by the directors. Apart from writing and composing songs for theatre he took deep interest in acting as well. As chief trainer of The Gramophone Company of India, Kazi Nazrul Islam occupied a very important place in the music arena as leading artistes trained under him. This was in the year 1932 and he was hardly 33.

Nazrul on the global stage

Kazi Nazrul Islam's poetry inculcates the triumph of humanity, while his music soothes the senses with its embrace of eternal love. Eminent Nazrul exponent, researcher and chairman of the Nazrul Institute Trustee Board, Professor Rafiqul Islam, talks about Nazrul on the international level, and the relevance of his literature in the 21st century:

Vignettes of brilliance

Late 1960s. On Kazi Narul Islam's birthday, at his Kolkata residence, the poet's family, friends and well-wishers had gathered for an informal celebration. A lei-laden poet is at the centre of the soiree. One after another, artistes are paying homage to the 'Rebel Poet' who had by then turned silent. Manabendra Mukhopadhyay started singing “Bagicha-e Bulbuli Tui”. A big smile brightened up the visibly excited Nazrul's face. To the surprise of hundreds of artistes and journalists, the poet took off a garland and put it on Manabendra's harmonium. Almost moved to tears by this gesture, the singer said, “I have just received the greatest honour.”

OP-ED

Adverse visit reaction

Harm-ful and unintended reactions to medicines can occur at doses normally used for treatment, and that explains the escalation of political confrontation we have been watching in this country for last three weeks. Ever since US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indian Finance-Minister-cum-presidential-hopeful Pranab Mukherjee visited Bangladesh in the first week of this month, political tension has heated up instead of cooling down. Like adverse drug reaction, it must be adverse visit reaction that their call for dialogue has backfired only to further deepen our political deadlock.

Pass the books. Hold the oil

Every so often someone asks me: "What's your favorite country, other than your own?" I've always had the same answer: Taiwan. "Taiwan? Why Taiwan?" people ask.

Peace is in PM's hand

Famous American baseball player Yogi Berra proves to be a crystal ball gazer for Bangladesh. Between his two sayings -- "It ain't over till it's over" and "Future ain't what it used to be" -- he sums up the current political outlook of Bangladesh.

Dialogue and the road to democracy

After a bloody struggle that lasted for nine months Bangladesh became free in December, 1971. The language movement of 1952 and the mass upsurge in 1969 are important historical events that preceded the independence of the country. In the years immediately after independence there was instability, misrule and widespread corruption that retarded economic development. Democracy suffered a series of setbacks. Highly respected national leaders like Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and President Ziaur Rahman were assassinated, and military interventions brought disaster to Bangladesh. Military rule (direct and indirect) came to an end with the popular civil uprising towards the end of 1990. A government of professionals and technocrats ushered in a new era of democracy with the election of1991.

Decentralisation: How far?

The United Nation Population Division shows that by 2015, Dhaka will be the fifth largest city of the world with 19.5 million people. There are several examples around the world where countries, especially with transition economies, have gone through a significant decentralisation in governance and economic activities.

StarTech

3-day service fair for Dell users

World renowned brand Dell along with its partner in Bangladesh, Computer Source Limited (CSL) have arranged a three-day service fair 'Dell PC Clinic' for Dell notebooks and PCs at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the capital from May 24-26.

Microsoft sees 'rebirth' with new Windows 8 system

Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 series -- featuring an upgraded cloud computing service -- marks a "rebirth" of its operating systems, chief executive Steve Ballmer said Tuesday.

Google completes takeover of Motorola Mobility

Google Tuesday finalized its $12.5 billion deal for Motorola Mobility, a key manufacturer of smartphones and other devices which puts the Internet giant in head-to-head competition with Apple.

Yahoo! moves to reclaim internet search crown

Yahoo! on Wednesday set out to reclaim the internet search crown from Google with the release of software that transforms the way users explore the Web using Apple's coveted gadgets.

Transcend's South Asia boss in Dhaka

Gordon Wu, South Asia region head of Transcend, a leading manufacturer of storage and multimedia products, recently came to Dhaka to see Transcend's market condition here.



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