The Daily Star

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

News of: Wednesday, 4th of July, 2012

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Front Page

Minister biggest reason

The prime minister's reluctance to remove the minister in charge is the biggest reason for the government's failure in solving the Padma bridge project loan crisis with the World Bank.

Public interest sacrificed to protect one man

After sifting through the government's letters to the World Bank (WB) concerning the Padma Bridge, made public the other day, we cannot but conclude that it was all done to save one man. The correspondence shows that all these negotiations, trips by our officials to the WB headquarters in Washington DC and meetings in Dhaka had helped us to cross all hurdles, but ultimately the deal fell through because the government would not agree to let one minister go “on leave”.

Padma loan cancellation appropriate

New World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has said the global lender's decision to cancel the Padma bridge loan was appropriate.

Dhaka proposes new concept of transhipment

Bangladesh has proposed providing transhipment facilities to India through the Chittagong and Mongla seaports by floating a new idea called coastal shipping.

Look for alternative sources

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed top government officials to immediately find alternative sources of funding to begin construction of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.

'Dakat' Shahid killed in gunfight with Rab

Top listed criminal "Dakat" Shahid and one of his accomplices were killed in a gunfight with Rapid Action Battalion at Laxmibazar in Old Dhaka last night, Rab officials said.

Babar asked cops to drop NSI issue

Former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar had ordered the CID to submit the charge sheets in the 10-truck arms haul cases without implicating NSI officials, ex-DIG of CID Farrukh Ahmad told a Chittagong court yesterday.

Major parties not sincere in fighting graft

The two main political parties in the country are "not sincere" in fulfilling their electoral pledges to tackle corruption, Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Ghulam Rahman has said.

Fire kills 5 Bangladeshis in Malaysia

Five Bangladeshi workers, including two brothers, were killed in a fire in Taman Puchong Perdana area of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia early yesterday.

Drive to free footpaths proves futile

The 24-hour ultimatum for removal of all roadside illegal structures went in vain as most of the footpaths in the capital were seen occupied yesterday.

Mollah-backed Razakars killed 57 at Keraniganj

A prosecution witness yesterday told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 that Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah led a team of Razakars that killed at least 57 people at Ghatarchar in Keraniganj area on November 25, 1971.

Prof Muntassir cross-examined for 2nd day

Eminent historian Prof Muntassir Mamoon was cross-examined for the second day yesterday.

Floodwater receding

An outbreak of diarrhoea is likely to affect the marooned people in the country's flood-affected north and north-eastern regions as flood water has started to recede in most of the areas that remained inundated during the last few days.

Rehabilitate people living on hill slopes

Speakers here at a roundtable yesterday stressed coordinated initiatives of government and non-government organisations and law enforcement agencies to rehabilitate the people living on risky hillsides in Chittagong and to discourage habitation there.

Student killed in Pabna clash

A BCL activist was killed while another injured as students of two government colleges in Pabna clashed over a trivial matter on Monday afternoon.

30 Rohingyas sent back

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and police detained 30 more Rohingya people yesterday in Teknaf upazila for trespassing on Bangladesh territory and sent them back to Myanmar later in the afternoon.

Beware of mobile hackers

Mobile phones, especially of the smart kind, could be hacked into just like a computer and a user could lose personal data from the device.

Locals looting antique boat

A group of local people are looting precious brass sheets from joints of the ancient boat that has recently surfaced from beneath the sandy beach of Kuakata.

Cylinder blast kills 2 in N'ganj

Two workers were killed and two others injured in an oxygen cylinder explosion at a steel mill in Kanchpur of Narayanganj early yesterday.

Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan

An Australian special forces soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, Defence Force chief David Hurley said yesterday, bringing to 33 the number of Australians lost in the conflict.


When public property becomes political

The wholesale grabbing of government-owned land and turning those into so-called political establishments and business ventures is in full swing throughout the capital city. According to reports published in a national daily, the extent of land grabbing extends from one end of the city to the other. The erection of illegal structures on land adjacent to as many as 25 government institutions by some ruling-party affiliated wings gives some idea of the current trend.

Profit mongering

The commerce minister deserves our thanks. At least he had the moral courage to admit that the prices of essential have spiraled up ahead of the forthcoming month of Ramadan, unlike his predecessor who was all the time convinced that the price was always under control. And there is no doubt, as the minister says, the rise is totally unjustified. Well there is the excuse of flood that will come in handy for those dealers who are constantly on the lookout for natural calamities or religious festivals to exploit the public and make a windfall out of those.


Title Abahani's with thrilling draw

The famous Sky Blues of Abahani regained the coveted professional league title for the fourth time in five years after playing out an enthralling 2-2 tie against Muktijoddha Sangsad in their high-voltage, title-deciding Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League clash at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Of joy and sorrow

No less than a thousand fans from the Western Gallery stormed onto the pitch as the referee blew the final whistle on what had been an intriguing and entertaining end to a Premier League campaign. The supporters, some of them carrying the Sky Blue flag of Abahani Limited embraced their heroes who wrestled back the league, which has been one of theirs, to the Dhanmondi Club.

'Dev body flawed'

Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir, the Bangladesh Cricket Board director, said yesterday that the board should take immediate action to boost the game development committee to make the talent pipeline run smoothly.

Williams blows champion away

Serena Williams was at her brilliant and brutal best on Wimbledon's Centre Court yesterday as she sent defending champion Petra Kvitova home at the quarterfinal stage.

Medals locked up in Tower of London

The medals for the 2012 Olympic Games were locked up on Monday in a vault at the Tower of London, where Britain's Crown Jewels are kept under armed guard.

Murray moves on

Andy Murray on Tuesday reached a fifth successive Wimbledon quarterfinal where he will meet Spanish bulldozer David Ferrer who has made the last eight for the first time at the 10th attempt.

Dilshan, S'kara hit tons

Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara smashed successive centuries against Pakistan to light up the rain-hit second Test in Colombo on Tuesday.

PCB receives CL invite

Pakistan's cricket board has received an invitation from India for October's Twenty20 Champions League, in a step towards reviving cricket ties between the arch-rivals which have been suspended since 2008.

Giggs in Britain's Olympic team

British Olympic football coach Stuart Pearce said no manager "picks on sentiment" as he explained why David Beckham had been left out of his squad for the London 2012 Games.

No sleeping pills

Australia's Olympic athletes will be banned from using sleeping pills, officials said Tuesday, after ex-swimming star Grant Hackett admitted to a heavy use of the sedatives while he was still competing.

Spurs appoint Villas-Boas

Andre Villas-Boas has been named manager of Tottenham Hotspur, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

Usha notch big win

Usha KC recorded their third win in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League with a massive 8-1 win over Azad SC at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Women's camp from tomorrow

Thirty-two cricketers have been called up to the women's national cricket team which begins on July 5 at the National Cricket Academy ground in Mirpur.

Fahad 15th, Saif 7th

Fahad Ahmed's dream of becoming champion in U-10 group remained only a dream as the country's sub-junior champion finished 15th out of 28 players in the Asian Youth Chess Championship concluded on Sunday in Sri Lanka.

Afridi takes on militants

Dashing cricketer Shahid Afridi is to front efforts to eradicate polio from Pakistan, going head-to-head with militants who have banned vaccinations in an Al-Qaeda-linked stronghold on the Afghan border.

Middletons get royal box treat

Michael and Carole Middleton, the parents of Prince William's wife Catherine, were treated to seats in the Royal Box on Centre Court at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Fiesta in Spain

Spain's triumphant Euro 2012 heroes parted a red-and-yellow sea of fans in central Madrid on Monday in a giant, deafening national fiesta that swept aside all thoughts of economic crisis.

Quartet faces probe

Bonuses owed to the France team for having made the quarterfinals of the recently-concluded European Championships have been frozen, the French football federation announced on Tuesday.

Italy return home

Italy's footballers were welcomed back by a small group of just a few dozen fans on Monday after defeat by Spain in the Euro 2012 final but said they were already looking forward to the World Cup in 2014.

Spain select Euro 2012 trio

Euro 2012 winners Juan Mata, Jordi Alba and Javi Martinez were included in Spain's soccer squad on Tuesday for the London Olympics later this month.

Lazio sign Ederson

Italian Serie A side Lazio on Monday announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Ederson from Lyon on a five-year deal.

PSG snap up Lavezzi

Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi has joined Paris St Germain from Napoli on a four-year deal, the Ligue 1 club said on Monday.


Next economic driver: manufacturing

The government must design a comprehensive trade policy to make the local industries competitive both in the domestic and international markets by enhancing their productivity and ensuring efficiency, according to a study.

SME products can offset export slowdown

Bangladesh can offset falling RMG exports, the country's main shipment, by adding SME products to the export basket, experts said yesterday.

Full-year remittance grows 10.26pc

Inward remittances grew 10.26 percent to $12.85 billion in the year to June 30 from a year ago, according to data from the central bank.

Comprehensive trade policy by year-end

The government will finalise a comprehensive trade policy by the year-end, the chairman of the committee of the trade policy said yesterday.

FBCCI for export ban on six items during Ramadan

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) yesterday urged the government to slap a ban on export of six commodities to curb the spiral in their prices during Ramadan.

More time for small investors' IPO quota

Small investors who lost money to stockmarket downswings last year will now get IPO quota until June 2014.

New VAT law on course

The cabinet yesterday approved the final draft of Value Added Tax Act 2012 designed to expand tax collections. The new law will be more transparent and taxpayer-friendly.

Textile, garment fairs begin in Dhaka

Three international exhibitions on textile and garments began at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital yesterday.

IMF cuts US growth forecast, warns against 'fiscal cliff'

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday pared its growth forecast for the US economy and warned that the Obama administration could be slicing the deficit too fast for the weak economy.

Stocks fall for second day

Stocks continued to decline for the second day as investors offloaded shares expecting tight monetary policy in the fist half of this fiscal year.

Greece facing deeper-than-forecast recession: minister

Greece is facing a worse-than-expected recession, the new deputy finance minister warned on Tuesday as the debt-hit country prepared to bargain for easier terms on its EU-IMF loan bailout.

UN report spurs plastic industry in Bangladesh

Bangladesh can become a global player in plastic industry by raising its turnover to $2 billion by 2015 and $4 billion by 2020, said a UN report.

British bank Barclays reels as CEO quits over rate rigging

Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond resigned on Tuesday, the second head to roll in two days in a dramatic twist to a deepening scandal over the rigging of a key global interest rate.

Deteriorating asset quality strains Indian banks

As India's growth rate fades, its banking system is developing bad habits. Debt restructurings are on the rise. And Indian banks have the lowest bad debt reserves in the Asia-Pacific region. Without an improvement, the pressure to fudge the numbers will only increase.

Libor, Euribor: the tick-tock of global finance

The Euribor and Libor rates at the centre of the price rigging scandal hitting Barclays bank are interbank rates at the heart of short-term financing on a world scale.

Banking titan felled by scandal

Bob Diamond has long faced criticism for his high pay, being described as "the unacceptable face of banking" -- but he has been brought down by a politically toxic rate-fixing scandal.


HR situation improved

The human rights situation of the country has improved significantly though it is yet to reach a satisfactory level, said Mizanur Rahman, chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Bangladesh.

Padma bridge corruption will be tried: Fakhrul

BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said Padma bridge must be constructed with the fund of World Bank (WB) by ensuring punishment of corrupt persons.

10 more govt bodies to come under council

The authority of around ten more government offices and departments in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) under different ministries will be handed over to each of the Regional Councils of the CHT as per the 1997peace accord.

Bill placed in JS for making law

A bill was placed in parliament yesterday seeking to enact a law on Hindu marriage registration, first of its kind for the Hindu community in Bangladesh, for, what it said, providing both males and females of the community with legal protection.

ACC quizzes officials, college teachers

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday interrogated seven teachers of Chittagong College and 13 Bangladesh Railway (BR) East Zone officials for their alleged involvement in doctoring the tabulation sheet of the BR's recruitment examinations.

12 killed, 16 hurt in road accidents

Twelve people were killed and 16 others injured in separate road accidents in Narayanganj, Narsingdi and Pabna yesterday.

He was not aptly recognised

After the country's independence, some disagreements brewed between Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Tajuddin Ahmad; and the anti-liberation forces took the opportunity to create a distance between them.

CPB, BSD form new alliance

The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) yesterday formed a new platform to strengthen democracy and ensure rights of people in the country.

SBMC still tense

Situation at Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) remained tense yesterday following an attack on some students allegedly by ruling Awami League backed Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists.

Bill seeks change of procedure

A private member's bill was submitted to the parliament secretariat yesterday proposing for enactment of law for specifying qualifications and disqualifications for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court (SC) to do away with the politicization of the appointment process.

Felling of trees on JU campus protested

Teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) under the banner of “Poribesh Rokkha Sangathan” yesterday formed a human chain protesting random felling of trees on the university campus.

Domestic help found dead

A woman's body, hanging from a balcony railing by a scarf tied to the neck, was recovered by police from a house in Abedin Colony area of Chittagong city yesterday.

Migration of indigenous people on rise

Speakers yesterday expressed concern over the rise in the exodus of indigenous people from Bangladesh, especially the northern part of the country.

Charge framing deferred

A Dhaka court yesterday for the second time deferred till July 24 the hearing on charge framing against 46 opposition leaders, including BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, in an arson case.

2 abducted girls rescued, 4 held

Police arrested four people from Mistripara area in Chittagong city in connection with compelling girls into prostitution by force on Monday night.

Govt to change act on birth registration

The government is going to amend the birth and death registration act keeping provision of taking permission from district magistrates if anyone wants registration after five years of someone's birth or death.

AL to bring forward new leadership Says Syed Ashraful

Ruling Awami League (AL) General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said they are trying to infuse new leadership into the party.

Worker shot in capital

A construction worker sustained bullet injuries as unidentified miscreants opened fire on him demanding money from the developer for which the victim worked in the capital's Pallabi area yesterday.

Indian ex-president due today

Former president of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam will arrive here today on a two-day visit to attend the celebration of 33rd foundation day of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (Cirdap).


Baizid Steel Industries Limited protested a report, published on Monday in The Daily Star, headlined "Steel mill in Ctg fined".

Rab destroys narcotics

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-7) destroyed different kinds of drugs worth about Tk 73.20 lakh at its headquarters in Patenga of Chittagong city yesterday.

Rangpur court summons ATN Bangla chief

Rangpur Chief Judicial Magistrate Court Monday after noon summoned Dr Mahfuzur Rahman, chairman of ATN Bangla and ATN News, to appear before it on October 2 in a case filed against him for making derogatory remark about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Three held with liquor

Police arrested three people for allegedly selling liquor illegally and seized 90 litres of locally made liquor worth about Tk 13,500 from their possession in Chittagong city on Monday.

DU help sought for CRP occupational therapy course

A delegation of Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Bangladesh called on Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique at his office yesterday.

Road transport, traffic law in the offing

The government has taken an initiative to enact a road transport and traffic law to rein in the chaotic traffic across the country.

RU staff crushed under train

An assistant registrar of Rajshahi University's central library was crushed under the wheels of a train at Dimtala in the city yesterday morning.

15 govt officials selected for Japanese scholarship

Fifteen young Bangladeshi government officials were selected for "The Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS)" this year.

Trader stabbed to death

A trader was stabbed to death at Chalkbazar in the old part of the capital yesterday.


Rowshan Ara Begum, wife of former chief accountant of Chittagong Steel Mills Late Golam Kader, died of cardiac arrest at Chittagong Medical College Hospital on Sunday at the age of 76.

Death anniversary

Today is the 25th death anniversary of Abdul Hakim Bikrampuri, former member of the undivided Bengal Legislative Assembly and Pakistan Provincial and National Assembly, says a press release.


Bridge over Teesta likely to open this month

The road bridge over the Teesta River in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila is likely to be opened for public by the end of this month, much to the happiness of the people of Lalmonirhat and Kurigram districts.

Young learners from 6 schools join the fray

English language fairs held under English in Schools (EIS) programme, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and mobile operator Robi, saw lively participation of young learners from six schools in Thakurgaon, Dinajpur and Shariatpur districts yesterday.

College boy brutally murdered

A college student was brutally murdered in Pirgachha upazila on Monday night.

Bangladeshi boy killed allegedly by BSF

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) killed a teenage Bangladeshi boy along Tentulia border in Panchagarh early Monday.

5 children drown in Habiganj, Jamalpur

Five children met a tragic end when they tried to take a dip in ponds in Habiganj and Jamalpur yesterday.

PCP enforces roadblock today in Khagrachhari

Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) will enforce a half-day roadblock programme in three upazilas of the district today.

Petrol pumps in 15 dists on indefinite half-day strike

Petrol pump and tank-lorry owners yesterday went on a half-day strike everyday for an indefinite period in 15 districts to press home their three-point demand.

Bus strike in Comilla

Bus owners and workers in Comilla went on an indefinite strike yesterday. The strike began in all 20 routes of the district to realise their five-point demand. Comilla Bus-Minibus Malik Sramik Oikya Parishad jointly called the strike. The demands include repairing of central bus terminal at Jangalia, ensuring electricity and water supply, drainage system and security at the terminal, and arranging adequate sitting rooms for the passengers. Another report says, road communications of Pirojpur with the capital and the rest of the country remained suspended from yesterday morning as the bus owners enforced an indefinite strike. The bus owners called the strike demanding an end to plying of shallow engine-run human-haulers like “Nasimon”, “Karimon” and “Bhotvoti" on 20 routes of the district.

Stalker gets 7-yr jail

A mobile court sentenced a youth to seven years' rigorous imprisonment for harassing a female schoolteacher in Sadar upazila on Monday. Sources said, Habil, 19, son of Fazlul Hoque of Surjanagar village of the upazila harassed the teacher of Ramdanpur Government Primary School on her way back home from the school on Monday afternoon. Police arrested Habil at night after the teacher lodged a complaint in this regard. Later, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Fatema Jahan set up a mobile court and punished the youth.

BCL leader sued

A businessman filed a case against Chhatra League Jessore unit president Ariful Islam Riad with Jessore Kotwali model PS in connection with a stolen truck on Monday. Plaintiff Mithu, owner of Mithu Iron Store, said that a month ago he bought an old truck from Ariful for Tk 1 lakh 97 thousand. Later, Jessore Kotwali police seized the truck from his store and arrested three employees as it was a stolen vehicle. Mithu said he contacted Riad several times but he avoided him and threatened him of dire consequences. The BCL leader was not available for his comment.


Protect the hills

Recently over 100 people were killed and numerous others were injured in massive landslides in Bandarban due to heavy rainfall. The climatic condition is changing rapidly and this is the outcome of that change. Landslide during rainy season is now a regular incident in south-eastern part of Bangladesh. Around a hundred people die in landslides every year.

Opting for organic agriculture

A few days ago I saw a programme on Star Plus TV channel of India, hosted by popular actor Aamir Khan. Khan was urging Indian farmers to grow more organic agriculture products avoiding the use of harmful chemical pesticides or fertilizer. Farmers on the show ardently said that by using organic fertilizer and pesticides their farming output was not reduced; rather they are getting higher price for their agriculture products. In the show they mentioned that the highest yield of potato and special variety of rice in the world was made in Bihar from organic farming. India is also the highest producer of organic cotton. If these statistics is correct then arguments of using chemical fertilizer and pesticides for more production do not hold. Our agricultural scientists should encourage organic farming to create mass awareness among the farmers. Our economists should tell us how much we can save in terms of health care expenses as many health hazards are caused by chemical fertilizer or pesticides. By that means, the bad practice of using chemical fertilizer and pesticides will be automatically eliminated. May be the organic agriculture products will be a little bit expensive but we will be able to keep ourselves healthy and build a healthy nation in the days ahead.

Save grass and grasslands

The other day I used the above noted phrase in one place of my article which commonly means “Human life is transitory”. “All flesh is grass” is one of the much quoted phrases used in Holy Scripture and in English poetry.

Will govt fulfil the dream?

I was imagining this scenario: My sons and daughters have stopped going to their private tutors and started to rise early in the morning to say their prayers peacefully without the thought of the tutors chasing them at that pristine time. After the prayer they are reading religious books to recharge themselves morally. Then they are reading that day's daily newspaper to keep themselves informed of the happenings from home and abroad. Before going to school, they are reading textbooks so that they can properly understand the topics to be taught by the teachers. In the afternoon, they would play with their friends. No more huffing and puffing because they need not go to the private tutors'. Besides that, parents would be spared the tension and expenses that private tuition entails.

Being sparing in the use of wood

The quality of wood in this dear country is amazing. I stand open-mouthed outside peoples' hardwood front doors, admiring a standard rarely seen in my 'rich' country because of their price there!

Metro rail for whose benefit?

From the June 25 and 26 issues of the Prothom Alo, we learnt of two very disturbing pieces of news. The first one was about DAP (Detailed Area Plan) of Dhaka. My letter was published on July 5, 2010 thanking the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for backing the recovery of grabbed rivers and lands. At a meeting on June 21, 2010, she assigned seven ministers to implement the plan. But in the two years nothing has been done and the plan is going to be changed for the benefit of the land grabbers.

Clean the mess

On June 28, I read the article titled “A bullet-proof arms trade treaty” with lots of interest, in your editorial page. All kind of arms & ammunitions are entering through our neighbouring countries without any control whatsoever. This is the most worrying part.

Govt. should accept fact

It is not understandable why the government is picking up a quarrel with World Bank. We are a sovereign state. May be, we are a developing country but we are blessed with a Nobel Laureate, and highly intellectual people who are as brilliant as the Westerners are. The Finance Minister had the experience of working with the international agencies when he was posted in Washington DC for several years. He should understand what is right, and what is wrong instead of giving opinions and counter opinions. He is the most senior member in the cabinet, and I am sure his words would certainly be accepted by our Prime Minister. So, instead of giving opinion and counter opinion on Padma Bridge; let us for once call a spade a spade and stand on the correct footing. No matter if it belittles our head for the wrongdoings of others, but let us not jeopardize our potential as an intellectually fertile nation.

Save the Rohingyas

Rohingya Muslims are perhaps the most neglected, persecuted and friendless human community in the present day world. This poor and forlorn ethnic community has long been groaning under abject poverty, gross injustice and inhuman persecution by the majority Budhists and armed forces of their own country.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star news analysis headlined “What price do we pay?”


Iran, US flex muscles in gulf

Iran and the United States yesterday underlined their military readiness for conflict should faltering diplomacy over Tehran's atomic activities fail, as tensions rose over tougher Western sanctions.

Mideast peace process a 'trick': Richard Falk

The UN pointman for Palestinian human rights launched a blistering attack on the international community yesterday, accusing it of conspiring in Israeli settlement policies and branding the peace process a "trick".

Suu Kyi defiant in 'Burma' row

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday brushed off orders from Myanmar's government to stop calling the country "Burma", a name widely used by democracy campaigners to defy the former junta.

Pranab's nomination accepted

The attempt to scuttle Pranab Mukherjee's presidential bid failed yesterday with the returning officer rejecting the objection of his opponent PA Sangma who had raked up the issue of office of profit.

Blast at market kills 44 in Iraq

A bomb in a small truck exploded in a market in the Iraqi city of Diwaniya yesterday, killing 40 people, and a bomb blast killed four more near the city of Kerbala, police and officials said - the latest in a series of sectarian attacks.

Dispute hits UN arms treaty talks

Talks on the $70 billion a year global arms trade talks hit deadlock before starting Monday amid a diplomatic battle over Palestinian representation.

Pakistan re-opening Nato supply routes

Pakistan is re-opening vital Nato supply routes into Afghanistan closed since a deadly November attack, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday, adding the US was sorry for the loss of life.

Syria troops pound Homs, 48 killed

Syrian troops pounded several rebel-held districts in the central city of Homs yesterday, as the death toll mounted across the country, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Calls for EU exit get louder in UK

Senior British lawmakers warned on Monday that Britain must consider a future outside the European Union as the 17 members of Europe's currency union, which the UK has stayed out of, develop closer fiscal and political ties.

Arts & Entertainment

National Theatre Fest on Liberation War begins

The walls of the Shilpakala Academy have been decorated with collage of paper cuttings, posters and photographs. The National Theatre Hall has been decorated with lights and festoons. Red carpet was there to welcome the dignitaries and audience. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the biggest theatre festival in recent times, “National Theatre Festival on the Liberation War”, on July 2 afternoon at the National Theatre Hall. The festival features over 100 plays on the theme of the Liberation War.

Afzal-Suborna pair up after a decade

The once popular TV actor duo -- Afzal Hossain and Suborna Mustafa -- are to pair up in a tele-film, titled “Prem Bachitey Janey”. Twelve years back, the actors appeared together in a single-episode TV play called “Shudhu Tomar Jonno”.

A dream come true

Dreams can become reality, but some things are more than one can ever dream of. This was the case with one young Bangladeshi singer when she not only met with one of her favourite international bands, but also performed with them on stage.

Poush Fagun-er Pala turns 200

The 200th episode of mega serial “Poush Fagun-er Pala”, jointly directed by Afsana Mimi and Rakesh Basu, was aired yesterday at 9:20 pm on ATN Bangla. The series will be aired tonight, at the same time, as well.


A reason to remember Tajuddin

Poverty is always debilitating. And when you add corruption to it, you have the makings of a disaster. And disaster takes an extreme form when foreign governments and donor agencies step in to humiliate you publicly, for reasons that may or may not have to do with you. Tajuddin Ahmed was one of the very few men in Bangladesh's political domain who understood the need for even the poverty-stricken to have a right to self-esteem. The World Bank, he reasoned in early 1972, did not need to be here in Bangladesh. Having fought a war for freedom against overwhelming odds on their own, Bangladesh's people were eminently qualified to take the country towards a socialist transformation. In Delhi, even as Robert McNamara looked for a chance of a conversation with him, Tajuddin kept the World Bank president (and architect of the Vietnam War) at arm's length.

The dilemma of departure

What is happening to Pranab Mukherjee is cruel but not unusual. It happens to Popes, editors and chief executives as much as to former finance ministers. The Vatican does not advertise the dilemma of past pontiffs, since the institution is sacred, and sometimes it takes few centuries before we get to know which Borgia had how many children, but the news is bad for editors and others who are less divine. As long as you occupy the chair you get the perquisites of God. The moment you are yanked off, the bile of frustration, revenge and ambition begins to flow through your reputation. There is nothing called an empty chair in real life. And no man is a hero to either his valet or his successor.

Nepal's political scene

Nepal has gone through a rapid and unprecedented transformation in its political history. For the first time, the Himalayan nation has turned into a secular democratic Republic.

Our politics: Enigma or trauma?

Gradually, the quality of politics in Bangladesh is again plummeting to its nadir despite our politicians' horrendous experience of the State of Emergency imposed on January 11, 2007 because of deteriorating political situation that plunged the country into a state of anarchy. It is enigmatic that neither the politician nor the nation has learnt any lesson from what had transpired after imposition of state of emergency.

Too much talk, too little thought

It is interesting that the cancellation of the credit was termed by some as a bolt from the blue, but the evidence does not confirm this. The cloud was visible about nine months back, in the meantime it thickened and the gathering storm that was visibly coming has taken its toll.

This Day In History

July 4

The Crusades: Battle of Hattin Saladin defeats Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.

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