The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, September 20, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 30th of May, 2012

Front Page

Marketers of greed reign supreme

Shady multilevel marketing (MLM) companies are cheating people across the country by offering them double return on deposits in less than a year, high monthly returns and huge profits from product sales.

Rail link with Ctg snapped for 17 hrs

Rail communication between Chittagong and other parts of the country resumed yesterday evening after about a 17-hour-long disruption caused by derailment of four bogies of a container train.

Rab too going at snail's pace

The viscera report of slain journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi was prepared at least 10 days ago, but the Rapid Action Battalion collected it only yesterday.

HC orders probe, summons 3 cops

The High Court yesterday ordered a judicial probe into the police attack on Prothom Alo photojournalists and also summoned three policemen to appear before it on June 5 in this connection.

Stay clear of cops while on duty

State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku yesterday advised journalists to keep a "safe distance" from police while collecting news.

5 robbers killed in mob beating

Agitated fishermen beat dead five robbers and injured two more members of a gang setting up hideouts on the remote Bhasan Char (island) yesterday for looting their hilsha catch.

Girl abused in police club

Two sub-inspectors assaulted and harassed a teenaged girl, her father and mother on the very premises of Dhaka magistrate court yesterday.

Jamaat calls hartal in Ctg for today

Jamaat-e-Islami is to enforce a six-hour hartal in the port city today protesting sending of a party lawmaker to jail in an arson case.

PM for fighting poverty jointly

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for joint efforts of all states to face the twin challenges of poverty and terrorism to secure global peace and harmony for future generations.

Bid to save sister costs him his life

A family feud led to the murder of a man by his brother-in-law in the city's Shahjahanpur area yesterday.

PM, ministers under tax net

Jatiya Sangsad yesterday passed two bills repealing provisions that exempted the prime minister, ministers, state ministers, and deputy ministers from paying taxes on their salaries for over three decades.

4 Destiny top shots quizzed

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday quizzed four top officials of Destiny Group, including its chairman Rafiqul Amin, over various irregularities in the multilevel company.

Spelling Bee semifinal starts today

The semi-finals round of The Daily Star Spelling Bee contest begins today as 24 of the country's top spellers will fight it out to be the best.

Show humility in authority

Speaker Abdul Hamid said in parliament yesterday that the mindset of those in government and in the legislature and judiciary needed to improve and none should claim supremacy over others.

Wasfia reaches Namche Bazar

Bangladeshi adventurer Wasfia Nazreen reached Namche Bazar safely yesterday while Nishat Majumder and MA Mohit remained stranded in Lukla for the second day yesterday due to bad weather.

Zia's death anniversary today

Today is the 31st death anniversary of late president Ziaur Rahman, the founder of BNP.

Facebook phone in progress

Mark Zuckerberg is working on putting a Facebook phone into the hands of the 350 million users who access the social network via their mobiles each month.

KL team visits Padma bridge site

A15-member expert team of Malaysian delegation visited the Padma Multi-purpose Bridge Project site at Mawa in Munshiganj and Jajira upazila in Shariatpur district yesterday.

Japan, China to start direct currency trading

Japan and China yesterday said will start direct currency trading this week, marking the first time Beijing has let a major unit other than the dollar swap with the yuan.

India, Pakistan kick off oil talks

India and Pakistan yesterday opened talks on Islamabad importing oil from its eastern neighbour in a bid to ease a crippling energy crisis, an official said.

Putin heads to Belarus, EU

President Vladimir Putin this week travels to Russia's main EU partners Germany and France as well as isolated Belarus for his first trip abroad since returning to the Kremlin for a historic third term.

Editorial

Ending violence in CHT

The series of violent incidents that took place this month alone in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is a disturbing pointer to a brewing storm in the region.

Deteriorating law and order situation

On any given day, headlines in newspapers and electronic media carry news items on attack by miscreants on individuals and establishments alike. The response by law enforcers follow the set pattern of informing the wider general public that measures are being taken and the matters are being treated with utmost attention. At the end of the day, to the great distress of not only those directly affected by attacks but the populace at large is that in most cases, those responsible are seldom caught.

Sports

Muktis held by MSC

A spirited Mohammedan twice equalised to hold title-contenders Muktijoddha Sangsad to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining affair of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Nadal flies into Rd 2

Rafael Nadal, bidding for a record seventh men's crown, and Maria Sharapova, seeking the only Grand Slam she has never won, both raced into the second round of the French Open on Tuesday with emphatic wins.

Shuktara fires MSC to title

A brilliant all-round performance from Shuktara Rahman propelled Mohammedan Sporting Club to clinch the 4th Women's Club Cricket League title yesterday at the BKSP in Savar.

Shakib in the form of his life

At the moment, it seems as though nothing can stop Shakib Al Hasan. With two 'man-of-the-tournament' awards in the Bangladesh Premier League and the Asia Cup, a vital contribution in the Indian Premier League and a possible signing with former English county champions Essex, Shakib, unlike the Magura Express, is on a roll this year.

Siddikur misses out

Siddikur Rahman missed out on the US Open qualification after he finished joint 34th in the qualifier at the Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England yesterday. The 27-year olf golfer posted a one-over-par on the second and final day of the qualification for an aggregate of one-under-par 143 which saw him trail the last qualifier by 5 strokes.

Tie-breaker to get the champion

Defending champion Viswanathan Anand will have to fight it out in rapid chess tiebreaker against challenger Boris Gelfand after a tied 6-6 result in the World Chess Championship match on Wednesday.

Fed craves Olympic gold

Roger Federer is desperate to add Olympic gold to his 16 Grand Slam singles titles in London this summer to fill the one gaping hole in his career achievements.

Gregarious beat Flame Boys

The Gregarious outplayed Flame Boys by 110-54 points in their Citycell Premier Division Basketball League match at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday. The Gregarians led the first half by 49-24 points and kept the same tempo in the second half over the newly promoted side. Mithun and Shoeb caged 34 and 29 points respectively for the winners while Sakib scored 25 points for the losing side.

Setu Sangha Div-II h'ball champions

Old Bandura Nabin Setu Sangha emerged champions in the Igloo Metropolis 2nd Division Men's Handball League beating Flame Boys Club by 45-43 goals in the last league match at the Shaheed (Capt) M Mansoor Ali National Handball Stadium yesterday.

Notice served on chess voters' list

A Dhaka court yesterday served a show-cause notice to the National Sports Council, asking the sports regulatory body why the existing voters list for the upcoming polls of Bangladesh Chess Federation should not be declared illegal.

'Pakistan here to win'

Pakistan are hoping to build on their impressive record over the past year when they take the field during the full tour of Sri Lanka starting later this week.

Eng to rest key bowlers

England are considering ignoring the old adage of 'never change a winning side' in a bid to ensure their leading bowlers remain fit for a packed programme of international cricket.

Indo-Pak warmth buoys Akram up

Famed paceman Wasim Akram was upbeat Tuesday about growing signs that India and Pakistan are to resume cricketing ties, nearly four years after they were suspended following the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai.

'See you in Rome'

The real Usain Bolt will make a return appearance at Rome's Diamond League meeting on Thursday, according to the Jamaican sprinter who got tongues wagging last week when he failed to break 10 seconds over 100 metres in Ostrava.

Kolkata celebrates

Police used bamboo sticks to beat back huge crowds thronging the streets of Kolkata on Tuesday as the city's victorious Indian Premier League (IPL) team received a raucous welcome home.

Strauss-Cook company in 5,000 club

England captain Andrew Strauss and his opening partner Alastair Cook became only the fifth partnership in Test history to have put on more than 5,000 runs together here on Monday.

Ribery ready to fire

Midfielder Franck Ribery said Monday he felt like a man liberated after scoring his first international goal in three years in France's 3-2 friendly win against Iceland here.

Hazard opts for Chelsea

Lille's Belgian international playmaker Eden Hazard announced on Monday he had signed for Champions League winners Chelsea in preference to Premier League champions Manchester City and runners-up Manchester United.

Prandelli not convinced

Italy have twice before won the World Cup following a match-fixing scandal but coach Cesare Prandelli says he does not read too much into that statistic.

Burden of expectation

World football's perennial bridesmaids, the Netherlands, will be hoping that Euro 2012 is the tournament at which they end their 24-year wait for a major title.

Injured duo passed fit

Injured doubts Danny Welbeck and Glen Johnson were both passed fit to play at Euro 2012 after being included in England's final 23-man squad for the tournament on Tuesday.

Quake disrupts friendly

A friendly football match between Italy and Luxembourg scheduled to take place in Parma on Tuesday was called off after a strong earthquake hit the region, killing at least 12 people.

Blanc drops Gourcuff

France coach Laurent Blanc named his final 23-man squad for Euro 2012 on Tuesday, with Lyon's Yoann Gourcuff and Montpellier's Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa the two men axed from the provisional list.

Kagawa set to join MU

German football magazine Kicker reported Tuesday that Japan star Shinji Kagawa is set to join English giants Manchester United for 15 million euros ($18.8 million) with the deal almost complete.

No room for Cacau

Coach Joachim Loew on Monday unveiled his final 23-man squad for next month's European Championships, cutting four players from his initial pre-list.

Denmark lose Sorensen

Denmark goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen will miss Euro 2012 because of a back injury sustained in a friendly against Brazil on Saturday, the Danish FA said in a statement on Tuesday.

Business

NBR earnings soar

Earnings by the tax administrator grew by 19.24 percent in the first 10 months of current fiscal year compared to the same period last year, thanks to a strong drive for tax mobilisation from domestic sources.

Five NBFIs race against time to raise capital

Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday refused to extend the deadline for non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) to raise their capital base to a minimum of Tk 100 crore.

Regulator okays IPO prospectus of Argon Denims

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday approved initial public offering (IPO) prospectus of Argon Denims Ltd, which will raise Tk 132 crore from public.

India seeks to prop up rupee by boosting capital inflows

India on Tuesday said it was relaxing foreign investment rules in a move to bring in more capital to support the battered rupee.

Falling streak continues in stocks

Like last few days, stocks fell and protestors took to the streets yesterday also, as uncertainty over writ petitions on minimum shareholding and credit crisis eroded investors confidence.

Poultry price shoots up in Ctg

The price of chicken has been rising in the kitchen markets in Chittagong since last week of April due to demand-supply imbalance.

Japan and China to start direct currency trading

Japan and China said Tuesday they will start direct currency trading this week, marking the first time Beijing has let a major unit other than the dollar swap with the yuan.

Muhith promises to help agro-business

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the government would take adequate measures to support the agriculture-based industry in the upcoming budget.

Tata Motors reports double Q4 profit

India's top vehicle maker Tata Motors reported Tuesday a doubling in quarterly profit from a year ago, boosted by strong demand for British brands Jaguar and Land Rover which offset weak domestic sales.

India works for mutual benefits, says its high commissioner

India is doing everything po-ssible for the mutual benefits of both the neighbouring countries and building a prosperous Bangladesh, said Indian High Commissioner Pankaj Saran.

Metropolitan

'Punish attackers'

Journalists in the port city yesterday demanded immediate arrest of and punishment to the miscreants who attacked journalists and staff at the office of bdnews24.com in the capital on Monday night.

6-day ultimatum given to arrest attackers

Journalists of different media houses yesterday issued a six-day ultimatum to the government for arresting the miscreants and policemen involved in the attacks on journalists of online news portal bdnews24.com and daily Prothom Alo this week.

Make best use of climate funds

Visiting British Foreign Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt yesterday urged Bangladesh to make the best use of available funds to fight climate change.

No traditional brick kiln after September

No traditional brick kiln will be allowed to operate after September this year as they cause a huge environment pollution by emitting carbon, Environment and Forests Minister Hasan Mahmud told parliament yesterday.

UK wants genuine visitors, students

UK Foreign Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt yesterday said migration is an important part of the bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and the UK.

UN Peacekeepers Day observed

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe yesterday to honour the 120,000 peacekeepers, including 10,293 Bangladeshis, the highest number among the blue helmets.

SC stays Mahmudul's oath taking as MP

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed the administration of oath to Major General (retd) Mahmudul Hasan as lawmaker for Tangail-5 constituency till tomorrow.

Allocation for Harijans, Dalits urged

The Dalit and Harijan communities yesterday demanded budgetary allocations in different sectors to be set aside in this year's budget for the downtrodden communities.

Non-party govt must for polls

BNP leaders yesterday said the government is now trying for an interim administration under the incumbent government for holding the next general election, but it will not be acceptable to the opposition and people.

RTI act still unknown to many: Experts

Three years into the enactment of Right to Information (RTI) Act in the country and yet information seekers and officials concerned hesitate to ask for and give information as many of them lack proper knowledge of the act, said speakers at a seminar yesterday.

200 air-conditioned rail coaches soon

The government will buy 200 air-conditioned railway coaches from Malaysia within a year to enhance the country's rail service capacity, Communications Minister Obadiul Quader said yesterday.

Defence arguments continue

The defence counsels yesterday continued their arguments for the petition that seek discharge of Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed from the charges of crimes against humanity at International Crimes Tribunal-2.

Sayedee's plea to cross-examine 3 PWs again

The defence of war crimes accused Delawar Hossain Sayedee yesterday appealed to the International Crimes Tribunal-1 to cross-examine once again three of the 28 prosecution witnesses who had testified against the Jamaat nayeb-e-ameer.

BNP procession foil

Police yesterday foiled a mourning procession of main opposition BNP in front of its Chittagong city unit office at Nasiman Bhaban near Kazir Dewry intersection.

Arrested two youths on 4-day remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed two more youths on a four-day remand for their alleged involvement in the killing of six students by a mob in Aminbazar on the outskirt of the capital in July last year.

State must ensure rights of the challenged

Chief Justice (CJ) Md Muzammel Hossain said yesterday the state must ensure the rights of people with disabilities, as the constitution had given equal rights to all citizens.

Taiwanese factory fined Tk 39 lakh

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a Taiwanese-owned dyeing factory Tk 39 lakh in Bhaluka of Mymensingh on the charge of polluting the river Khiro.

HC halts DU pond filling for 6 months

The High Court (HC), on Monday, imposed an injunction for six months on the filling up of a century-old pond at Shivbari Staff Quarter on the Dhaka University campus in the capital.

Sajeda acting AL chief

Awami League (AL) Presidium Member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury will act as the president of the ruling party following the departure of the party President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for Qatar on a two-day official visit.

Polytechnic teachers call off work abstention

Teachers of polytechnic institute have withdrawn their pre-announced work abstention programmes following a meeting with the government.

An apology to lawmaker Reza Ali

Yesterday we published a report headlined “Appointment in Nazrul University: Job aspirant blames lawmaker for taking bribe” on page-5 which was totally based on an allegation raised by a job seeker. All the parties involved have denied the allegation. The Daily Star did not independently verify the allegation, which is a deviation from our policy of ethical and fair journalism. We apologise to lawmaker Reza Ali for this gross error and the damage that it may have caused to his reputation.

Fake doctor fined in Ctg

A mobile court fined a fake doctor Tk 1 lakh for treating people without having certificate from Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC) in the port city yesterday.

Three killed in road crashes

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Tangail and Brahmanbaria on Monday and yesterday.

Fraudulence convict held in Ctg

Police arrested a fugitive man convicted of fraudulence in CDA Avenue area of the port city's Agrabad early yesterday.

Death anniversary

Today is the fifth death anniversary of Prof Abdul Momen, head of History Department of Thakurgaon Government College and a cultural personality.

Obituary

Nurunnahar Begum, mother of Mafruha Sultana, additional director general of the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, died of old age complications at Samarita Hospital in the capital yesterday morning. She was 93.

Rafiqul Islam Golap

Rafiqul Islam Golap, a freedom fighter, died at Dhaka Metropolitan Hospital yesterday at the age of 65.

Death anniversary

Today is the second death anniversary of Shamsun Nahar, mother of Abu Kaosar, special correspondent of the daily Samakal.

National

Mangoes may be dearer because of poor yield

Tasty varieties of mango could become dearer this season as Chapainawabganj, the country's highest mango producing district, is likely to see 40 percent less yield than the target due to adverse weather, said growers and traders.

Paddy harvest faces problem for want of labourers

The farmers of eight districts under Rangpur division got bumper yield of IRRI-Boro paddy in the current season, but they are facing problem to harvest the crop due to shortage of agriculture labourers.

Police beat up under trial prisoner in court area

Law enforcers beat up an under trial prisoner on court premises here yesterday. The prisoner was taken to the court custody as he had a date to appear before the court.

Sramik League leaders fell roadside trees

Seven roadside mahogany trees were felled allegedly by Sramik League men at Durakuti village in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila in the last two days.

72 teachers, students of Kurigram college food-poisoned

At least 72 people, including teachers and students of a college, fell sick after taking stale food brought from a hotel in Nageswari upazila on Sunday.

Woman killed, 35 hurt in clashes over lands

A woman was killed and 35 people were injured in the incidents of clashes over control of disputed land in Rangpur, Kishoreganj and Satkhira districts on Monday and Saturday.

Cop closed on charge of rape attempt

An assistant sub-inspector of special branch of police was suspended and closed to the police lines for his alleged bid to rape a woman in Hizla upazila town yesterday.

Transport strike in Rangpur from June 5

Rangpur divisional unit of Transport Workers Federation has called for a 72-hour transport strike in eight districts of the division from June 5.

Prisoner commits 'suicide'

An under trial female accused at Mymensingh Central Jail allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself at her cell's toilet yesterday noon. The woman was identified as Salema Khatun, 35, wife of Abdul Barek of village Daribree in Iswarganj upazila of the district. Salema hanged herself from the ceiling of her cell's toilet using her scarf at around 12:50 pm, said Shafiqul Islam Khan, superintendent of Mymensingh Central Jail. Contacted, Iswarganj police said Salema, a mother of three children, got married with Abdul Barek, a small farmer of village Daribree several years ago. Salema allegedly eloped with a youth on May 8 this year. When Barek lodged a complaint with Iswarganj police station, police arrested Salema and her lover Azizul Haque from Tarakanda in Phulpur upazila on May 27. Later a court sent them to jail.

No activities at Benapole

Export through Benapole land port remained suspended following assault on a Bangladeshi truck driver by C&F agent employees at the port yesterday morning. Imtiaz Ahmed, revenue officer at Benapole customs cargo office said, hundreds of trucks loaded with hilsha fish and other items got stranded on both sides of the border after the incident. Md Shaheen Hossain, secretary of truck drivers union said C&F men beat up the truck driver after one bag jute yearn from the Bangladeshi export truck went missing. Abul Kalam Azad, director of Benapole port, however, said import and other activities including loading and unloading of goods were going on as usual at the port.

Lightning kills two

Lightning killed two people in the district on Sunday afternoon. The deceased were identified as Pocha Mian, 25, and his aunt Rahima Begum, 60, of Mocholmary Gachhuyapara village of Lohanypara union in Badarganj upazila. Prittish Kumar Sarkar, officer in-charge of Baderganj police station said Pocha Mian and Rahima Begum were struck by lightning while they were gossiping at the veranda of the house of Rahima. Both of them died on the spot, the OC added.

BCL factions clash

Three students were injured in BCL infighting in front of Gulshan Centre at Taltala in the city on Monday afternoon. Witnesses said two rival groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), led by Nasir and Babul, engaged in an altercation over parking their cars in front of Gulshan Centre. At one stage they attacked each other with sticks and sharp weapons, leaving Jewel Ahmed, 28, Akmal Hossain, 30, and Selim Ahmed, 25, all students of local college, injured.

Drug peddlers jailed

A mobile court here on Monday sentenced two drug peddlers to one year's imprisonment each. The convicts are Hanif Hawlader, 21, son of M Delwar Hawlader of Dogri village of Naria upazila in the district, and Al Amin Bepari, 22, son of M Razzak Bepari of Khoyajpur village in Madaripur district. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-8) raided Angaria Bailey Bridge area in the morning and arrested the two drugs peddlers along with 109 yaba tablets. Later, a mobile court, led by executive magistrate ANM Badludduza, sentenced both of them to jail.

Eight held on border

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) arrested eight people, including women and children, from Putkhali border while they were illegally entering Bangladesh territory from India yesterday afternoon. Sources at Putkhali camp said, acting on a secret information, a team conducted a drive in Balur Math border area and arrested two children, three women and three men. The arrestees hailed from Barisal district. Later, they were handed over to Benapole port police.

Letters

Lost in the gutter

Every morning while going to school I see children of my age collecting garbage from the big garbage cans. While my morning starts with a healthy breakfast, their morning starts with collecting garbage. This crude reality makes me very sad when I imagine their lives in poverty. People are totally indifferent to child labour although the government has enacted certain laws regarding child labour. I also found out that the child labours are paid a meagre amount of money for their work only because they are children! What are the authorities doing? In The Daily Star and many other dailies I read how the DoE fines factories for pollution and grabbing and how BSTI penalizes eateries for unhygienic food etc but I have never heard or read that any balloon factory or brick factory has been penalized for letting children work there.

Tribute to a war hero

I went to Dowarabazar upazila of Sunamganj for doing a field work from ICDDR,B in January 2012. Laxmipur is one of the remotest unions where we went to collect data on water and sanitation. I was searching for houses where there were children under five years for a short interview with the mother of the children.

Secret of Nishat and Wasfia's success

Nishat Majumder and Wasfia Nazreen have proved that in spite of living in an oppressive society like Bangladesh, they have the courage and potential to fulfil their dreams. Indeed, they have set a great example for all the women of Bangladesh. I appreciate their parents for being open-minded and supportive of them throughout their journey. It is disappointing but true that in most of the families girls are taught to be coy and demure and to keep their eyes down. But now we have two women whose eyes were at the highest point of the world and eventually they succeeded in reaching there.

Electricity for free!

Electricity for free! How does it sound? Of course weird, but that's how it is. Here in Houston, Texas, Txu Energy is offering free electricity to the consumers all night long in a bid to win more customers. Well, everything is a matter of supply and demand. Texas is perhaps producing more electricity than its requirement; as a result it is offering free electricity to the customers at night.

'A few foolish(!) men'

My sincere thanks to the DS for doing the follow up story titled “A sacrifice and a family in trouble.” Hazrat Ali could do what we normal people don't do. He did not look the other way when armed goons tried to mug three elderly women . Instead, he decided to intervene and sacrificed his life.

Reducing frequency of accidents

Every day numerous road accidents are taking place in our country in which a great number of people are being killed and maimed. The fate of an affected family changes forever after the accident occurs.

We are on the same side

The recent criticism by the government high ups against Prof. Yunus's Nobel achievement reminds me of the Hindi serials. The stories are mainly based on quarrel among family members. Actually, this is the true reflection of our people's mentality. If we look back to our history, we will see that the people always created obstacle in the way of our great achievements. The British knew it very well that if they could break our unity, they could easily establish their rule in this subcontinent. Creating dispute centring personal interests was a technique of the British to divide our nation. The British left our country many years ago. But still we can not come out of this mentality. There are some achievements that the country will remember forever. Prof. Yunus' winning the Nobel peace prize is one of those. We the Bangladeshis should not say anything against him because we are on the same side. We should remember that one can not hide obe's failures by criticising others.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Nizami, Mollah indicted”

International

Manmohan meets Suu Kyi

In the highest-level contact between India and Aung San Suu Kyi, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday held talks with Myanmar's democracy icon in Yangon, just hours before she left for Thailand in her first foreign visit in 24 years.

Annan warns Syria of grave concern

Peace envoy Kofi Annan expressed "grave concern" to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad yesterday and Western nations threw out its envoys to protest against a massacre of 108 civilians, many of them children, in the town of Houla.

Egypt election turns violent

Egypt's cabinet was scheduled to meet yesterday after a presidential election turned violent when protesters torched the offices of a runoff candidate from the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Kaspersky uncovers cyber 'superweapon'

A Russian computer firm has discovered a new computer virus with unprecedented destructive potential which could be used as a "cyberweapon" by the West and Israel against foes such as Iran.

Obama oversees Qaeda 'kill list' himself: Report

US President Barack Obama has personally overseen a top-secret process for determining which al-Qaeda suspects should be placed on a "kill list," the New York Times reported yesterday.

Sudan withdraw troops from Abyei

Sudanese troops withdrew from the contested region of Abyei on the border with South Sudan yesterday, as demanded by the United Nations, state-linked media reported.

UN chief fears Nepal's stability

UN leader Ban Ki-moon raised fears about Nepal's stability after the country's divided parties failed to meet a Sunday deadline to write a new constitution.

Nato kills al-Qaeda no 2 in Afghanistan

Nato yesterday said that al-Qaeda's second in command in Afghanistan had been killed in an air strike near the Pakistani border.

Occupy movement called in India

We have read about the 'Occupy protests' taking place across the world. Now several cities in India, including Hyderabad, are likely to witness Occupy protests, albeit on a smaller scale, on June 9 where protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks will assemble at a place. They will register their opposition to the moves of the Centre to curtail Internet freedom and oppose blocking of websites or social media accounts. The protests are called by Anonymous, a group of 'hacktivists'.

Quake kills 12 in Italy

A strong earthquake rocked northeastern Italy yesterday, killing at least 12 people, just days after another quake in the same region wrought death and destruction.

Pakistan tests nuke-capable missile

Pakistan yesterday said it had successfully test fired a short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

Iranian VP visits Cuba

Iranian Vice President Ali Saeedlu began an official visit to Cuba Monday, following up on a trip to the communist-ruled island earlier this year by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mine clashes kill 2 in Peru

At least two people were killed in Peru when police used tear gas to put down a violent demonstration against Swiss-owned Xstrata staged by striking miners and townspeople, officials said.

6 generals remanded in Turkey

A Turkish court yesterday ordered the detention of six former generals accused of involvement in a military coup in 1997, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Cops arrest 84 at Canada protest

Talks between students and the Quebec government aimed at ending more than three months of protests over tuition fee hikes were set to resume yesterday after the arrest of 84 protesters.

Arts & Entertainment

Traditional art forms take centre stage

Traditional performing arts were in the spotlight as two plays based on Rabindranath Tagore's literary works were the highlight of the second day (May 28) of the ongoing “International Theatre Festival, Seminar and Workshop” at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The Bangladesh Centre of International Theatre Institute (ITI) in association with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has arranged the fest.

United Red Army: 1977 Forever

September 28, 1977. An eight year old is eagerly waiting for his favourite TV show -- “The Zoo Gang” [a British spy show] -- to begin. To his dismay, a drama of a different kind unfolded on TV.

Lipi’s “Bizarre and Beautiful II” to be auctioned at Christie's in London

After the boom in the South Asian art market over the last decade, many of us have dreamt that the breeze will flow in Bangladesh as well. Many Bangladeshi organisations, galleries are trying to promote Bangladeshi art internationally.

Pioneer of modern art

Marking the 36th death anniversary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, the pioneer of modern art, a discussion was held at the premises of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala (art gallery) at Shaheeb Quarter Park area of the town this afternoon.

A courtesan Redeemed

Shadhona premieres its new dance-drama “Mawmo Manoshoshathi”, based on Tagore’s immortal poem “Obhishar” on May 31 at the Chhayanaut Auditorium in Dhaka. The poem is based on a Buddhist narrative highlighting compassion and love for humanity. The dance director of the play is Rajdeep Banerjee, while Ranu Bhattacharyya plays the role of courtesan Bashabdutta, says a press release.

Elaborate programmes on Nazrul birth anniversary

The three-day celebrations organised by Jatiyo Kobi Kazi Nazrul Islam University (JKKNIU) in Trishal marking the birth anniversary of poet Nazrul concluded May 27. The venue was Gahi Sammyer Gaan Moncha of the university.

OP-ED

Of books, courts and the state

The High Court has stepped into the matter of Humayun Ahmed's new work of fiction. It has suggested that the writer take steps to correct some of the information that appears in Deyal. You can, therefore, be reasonably sure that until the judiciary sees its directives taken into cognisance by the writer, Deyal will remain out of the hands of readers, for quite a while.

Toxic politics and detoxification

Before the December 2008 election that brought Sheikh Hasina to power with an overwhelming parliamentary majority, The Economist's report ("The Nice Side of Democracy," November 6, 2008) had said: "What Bangladeshis still do not know is whether the army's intervention has shocked the country's squabbling, petty politicians into a new approach. The world's seventh-most populous country needs a government devoted not to a perennial political vendetta, but to tackling poverty, climate change and terrorism."

An unsung hero

There have been many drivers of change in the remarkable transformation of Bangladesh from a famine-stricken country always on the edge to a country now aspiring to become a middle income country. We, however, have not been so kind in celebrating all of our drivers of change. The contribution of Quamrul Islam Siddique, the visionary founder of LGED, in ushering in the first connectivity revolution via all-weather rural roads is one of the lesser-told stories of Bangladesh's transformation.

Trojan horse on Greek shores

Greece had been living beyond its means, by borrowing, even before it joined the Eurozone in 2002. It gave fake statistics to the European Union about its economy, hiding the huge loans it had taken. By 2009, it was revealed that Greece was about to default on repaying its debtors. The debt has bloated and now stands at €355 billion, which is 165% of its GDP (2011).

Our political circus

Since 1991, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party have been coming to power alternately. Just before the 1991 elections, Sheikh Hasina predicted that the BNP would get only 10 seats, but she herself experienced a humiliating defeat with only a little more than half the seats her rival achieved. The failure of the BNP brought the AL to power in 1996. Still people's perception about the two political parties did not swing too far during those elections, and so the gap in the number of parliamentary seats the two main parties got was not so big. But after having twice seen the two major parties alternately, people began to become more and more disappointed and the signs of this were reflected in election results. The national parliamentary election results in 2001 and 2008 gave landslide victory once to the BNP and then to the Awami League.

This Day In History

May 30
1431
Hundred Years' War: in Rouen, France, 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal.



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