The Daily Star

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Thursday, August 28, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 11th of July, 2012

Front Page

Time for diplomacy

Dhaka plans to launch diplomatic efforts with the US, the UK and India and talks with key development partners before proposing that the World Bank reconsider the Padma bridge financing.

PM outlines jobs to do

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the deputy commissioners and divisional commissioners to make a master plan for formulating a land policy that would increase arable land and discourage people from heading for big cities.

Haunted villages

A year into the Mirsarai tragedy in Chittagong, relatives and fellow villagers of the 45 victims, 44 of them schoolchildren, are still haunted by the painful memory.

DCs complain against cops

The non-cooperation of the police with the local administration has been hampering efforts to maintain law and order, a number of deputy commissioners complained to the prime minister yesterday.

WB named PM, Muhith, Abul in graft report

BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday claimed that the World Bank had specifically accused three persons, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, of being involved in the Padma bridge corruption.

WB might have been misled

Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Ghulam Rahman has said some companies might have misguided the World Bank which led to cancellation of its loan for the Padma bridge project.

China shows the way

Bangladesh can learn a lot from China about tackling corruption and the role a clean government can play in executing a billion dollar-plus project like the Padma bridge.

State cheating

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman has demanded the withdrawal of all the cases against college student Limon Hossain, who was shot and maimed by Rab last year.

Truckers' 48-hr strike from today

Truck and covered-van owners will observe a 48-hour token strike from this morning to press home their 14-point demand that include an end to extortion and police harassment on highways.

Pak MPs pass bill to exempt govt high-ups

Pakistani lawmakers have passed a bill that would exempt the country's president, prime minister and ministers from contempt of court proceedings, a move seen as a bid to save the new prime minister from disqualification.

Buet closed on protest threat

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) authorities yesterday announced a 44-day closure of the institution from today.

'Profiteers' slammed

Bangladesh Tariff Commission Chairman M Mozibur Rahman yesterday took a swipe at the business community for hiking the prices of essential commodities ahead of Ramadan.

3 Bangladeshis killed in NY car crash

Three Bangladeshi youths died in a road accident in New York early on Monday (local time).

Mozena mirrors buyers' concern

Many US companies have expressed concern over buying ready-made garment products from Bangladesh after the killing of a garment workers' union leader, said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena yesterday.

Court overturns president's decree

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court froze a presidential decree yesterday reinstating the Islamist-led parliament, hours after the lower house convened in defiance of the judiciary and military.

Poet, family not spared

A witness yesterday told International Crimes Tribunal-2 that Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah and his accomplices had killed pro-liberation poet Meherun Nesa, her mother, and two brothers at their Mirpur home in Dhaka during the Liberation War.

BRTA means corruption

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said the BRTA has become synonymous with corruption, reports private television channel ATN Bangla.

Witness 'missing'

The prosecution failed to produce a vital witness before a Chittagong court yesterday for cross examination in the sensational 10-truck arms haul cases.

AL prepares for councils

Ahead of the long-due councils of the Jubo League and the Swechhasebak League, two associated bodies of the ruling Awami League, their leaders are lobbying the AL high-ups hard to get top positions in the organisations.

Indian govt's failure irks North-east

India's failure to reciprocate Bangladesh's “peace gestures” is frustrating the chief ministers of the north-eastern states, Mumbai-based Daily News and Analysis (DNA) reported yesterday.

Asean demand for UN law to settle dispute

Southeast Asian states want a UN maritime convention to be the basis for settling competing claims in the South China Sea, a draft document showed yesterday.

Chavez says he is cancer-free

Firebrand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez insisted Monday that he is "totally" cancer-free and ready to take on what promises to be a tough re-election battle without "physical restrictions."

Eleven killed in Mexico gun battle

Seven police officers and four gunmen were killed Monday in a shootout in Mexico's northwestern state of Sinaloa, a stronghold of one of the country's ruthless drug gangs, officials said.

Hollande in Britain for tricky talks

French President Francois Hollande yesterday began his first official visit to Britain, where he will hold talks with Prime Minister David Cameron aimed at smoothing over recent differences.

LeT now more dangerous than al-Qaeda: US expert

With al-Qaeda on the ropes, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), with the help of its Pakistani backers, is now probably the most dangerous terror group in the world, according to a former CIA analyst.

Witness Nirmal cross-examined

During cross-examination yesterday, prosecution witness Nirmal Chandra Sharma told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that he had to flee his home fearing for his life in 1971 and could not even attend to his wounded father.

Editorial

Japan's help welcome

We are heartened by Japan's positive response on the issue of taking up the stalled Padma Bridge funding with the Asian Development Bank and other development partners. There has been talk of putting in place a revised proposal that could potentially help get the funding back on track. Japan has been a tested friend of Bangladesh throughout the decades. Any help in renegotiating a new loan project with development partners will certainly be welcome.

Limon harassment sees no end

As if not to let Limon off the lawmen's hook, charge has been framed under juvenile crime prevention act against him in an old case lodged more than a year before.

Sports

'Some spots still open'

The Tigers leave for their Europe tour today. It has somehow emerged as a challenging tour for the Bangladesh team, as it will not be an easy task for them to beat Ireland. So, Mushfiqur Rahim's men will have to make sure that their team spirit will not be dented in this challenging tour ahead of their ICC World Twenty20 mission in Sri Lanka in September this year.

Boucher retired hurt 999

South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has retired from international cricket after suffering a severe eye injury during his country's tour match against Somerset, team captain Graeme Smith revealed on Tuesday.

Rakib, Rajib in for Olympiad

Grandmasters Abdullah Al Rakib and Enamul Hossain Rajib are set to return to the chess board after two and a half year's of sabbatical as they will be part of a strong Bangladesh contingent in the upcoming Chess Olympiad to be held in Istanbul, Turkey from August 28.

Rokibul slaughters seniors

The Tigers completed their preparation for the coming Europe tour with a heavy eight-wicket defeat to the Bangladesh A team in the last T20 practice match at the BCB National Cricket Academy ground yesterday.

Eleven star Khagrachari

Khagrachari started the KFC Women's Super League with a massive 11-0 win over Laxmipur on the opening day of Kharachari zone at the Khagrachari Stadium yesterday.

Div-I h'ball

Arambagh KS earned their second consecutive victory in the Orient Bread First Division Men's Handball League crushing Satirtha Club by 49-2 goals at the Shaheed Monsur Ali National Handball Stadium yesterday.

6-month ban on Babu

Farashganj SC coach Kamal Ahmed Babu has been served six month's suspension from all footballing activities by Bangladesh Football federation for breaching discipline during the club's match against Mohammedan SC in the Bangladesh Premier League on June 30. Babu protested a decision by the referee and when he was expelled from the technical zone, he disobeyed the order. The decision to ban the coach for six months (effective from July 10) came at a meeting of the Disciplinary Committee at the BFF House yesterday. The club has also been fined 25,000 taka for breach of discipline at different times during the league. It may be mentioned that Farashganj are one of the two clubs that have been relegated to Championship League this season.

Mohammedan, Abahani win

Title contenders Mohammedan SC took solo lead in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League with a convincing 7-1 win over Ajax Sporting Club at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Pious Taibu quits cricket

Former Zimbabwe national cricket captain Tatenda Taibu has decided to retire from the sport to devote his life to the church, Zimbabwe Cricket announced Monday.

Perera puts SL on top

Young all-rounder Thisara Perera followed his four wickets with 75 off 86 balls as Sri Lanka seized control of the final Test against Pakistan in Pallekele on Tuesday.

Flying Man coming back

Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang endured injury agony at the Beijing Olympics and bitter injustice at last year's World Championships, but now he looks on the verge of redemption in London.

LOCOG takes hold of the All England Club

Even before Andy Murray's Centre Court tears have dried, the All England Club is being transformed from its traditional Wimbledon Championships guise into a London 2012 Olympics venue.

Brathwaite to lead WI in U-19 WC

Kraigg Brathwaite, the Test opener, has been named captain of the 15-man West Indies squad for the Under-19 World Cup in Australia in August. John Campbell, the left-hand top-order batsman, will be vice-captain. Former West Indies captain and fast bowler Courtney Walsh has been named manager of the squad

Maria is the flag-bearer

Former tennis world number one Maria Sharapova will be Russia's first female Olympic flag-bearer at the London Games later this month, the national Olympic committee confirmed on Tuesday.

Spain eye gold

In an ominous sign for their rivals for an Olympic soccer medal, Spain's coach Luis Milla says his team at the London Games will be a richly talented and well-drilled outfit with the same roots and playing style as the nation's all-conquering senior side.The Spanish have swept to back-to-back European titles with a first World Cup triumph in between by honing the style of fast-flowing, possession-based football known as "tiki-taka" to something close to perfection.

Deschamps signs two year deal

France's new coach Didier Deschamps on Monday signed a two year contract with Les Bleus, with an additional two years should he succeed in qualifying the side for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

No room for Carroll

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits he will consider sending Andy Carroll out on loan next season if he doesn't feel the England striker can fit into his Anfield revolution.

New deal for Mancini

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has agreed a new five-year contract with the Premier League champions, the club announced on Monday.

Kagawa heads to Man Utd

Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa on Tuesday left his home country for Britain to join Manchester United, vowing to secure a starting slot when the Premier League season kicks off in August.

Elia joins Bremen

Dutch international midfielder Eljero Elia has signed a four-year deal with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, his current team Juventus confirmed on Tuesday.

Terry won't be branded racist

Former England football captain John Terry said he suffered continual abuse during football matches but was not prepared to put up with being branded a racist, his trial heard Tuesday.

UEFA warns Wilshere

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been reprimanded by UEFA after the England star made comments on Twitter that suggested he had bet on a team-mate to score during a Champions League tie.

Business

Top VAT payers get awards

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday awarded a total of 134 top VAT paying firms to encourage industrialists and businesses to deposit more value-added tax to the state coffers.

Stocks fall below 4,000 points as gloom thickens

Investors' mood does not look to pick up anytime soon as stocks yesterday slid past the 4,000 point-mark for the second time this year.

Exports take a blow

Exports fell about 3 percent to $2.31 billion in June, compared to the same month a year earlier, hit by Europe's financial crisis.

Downtrend delays IPO subscription of Summit Purbanchol

A lacklustre performance of the primary market has forced Summit Purbanchol Power Company Ltd to postpone its IPO subscription.

Proposed financial reporting act sparks debate

The enactment of the Financial Reporting Act and the setting up of the Financial Reporting Council will be irrational now, said Md Syful Islam, president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).

412MW power project in Haripur on course: JICA

The project to set up a 412-megawatt gas-based power plant in Narayanganj by August 2013 is well on schedule, officials said yesterday.

Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur FTA on cards

Bangladesh and Malaysia are expected to begin negotiations for a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) in near future, said Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia AKM Atiqur Rahman on Monday.

Google Play contents for Banglalink users

Banglalink users will get the chance to find, try and buy Google Play contents with their mobiles soon, as VimpelCom, the maximum shareholder of Orascom and parent entity of Banglalink, announced the signing of a deal with Google recently.

VAT Day observed in Ctg

The Chittagong Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate arranged a rally and meeting to mark the Value Added Tax (VAT) Day and Week in the port city yesterday.

Metropolitan

Stop graft in teachers' recruitment

Alleging teachers' recruitment process at non-government educational institutions in the country of "corruption and irregularities", deputy commissioners (DCs) yesterday called for a stop to this practice to ensure recruitment of competent teachers.

4 govt agencies succeed in e-procurement

Four key government agencies have successfully completed piloting of electronic government procurement (e-GP) at identified procuring entities, said a World Bank release yesterday.

13 killed, 41 hurt in road accidents

Thirteen people were killed and forty-one others injured in road accidents in Dhaka, Barguna, Comilla, Rajbari, Sirajganj, Chapainawabganj, Dinajpur, Kurigram and Madaripur yesterday.

Yunus has no link

US Ambassador to Dhaka Dan Mozena yesterday ruled out any link of Prof Muhammad Yunus with the scrapping of the Padma bridge loan agreement by the World Bank.

Students go berserk over fellow's death

Protesting the death of a fellow college mate, students of Cambrian School and College yesterday took to the streets near Basundhara Residential Area in the capital, vandalising around 10 vehicles and injuring at least three persons.

Updated copyright law soon

The government is set to formulate an updated copyright law amending the existing laws in the country, said Manzurur Rahman, registrar at Copyright Office, yesterday.

Archaeologists to examine 'antique' boat in Kuakata

A three-member team from the Department of Archaeology of Khulna Division yesterday set off for Kuakata where an ancient wooden boat recently surfaced from beneath the sandy beach.

End of passengers' harassment urged

Speakers at a rally yesterday demanded CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers to stop harassing passengers and that footpaths be clear of illegal establishments.

HC directs govt to produce boy

The High Court (HC) has directed the government to produce an around 10-year-old boy, who has been reportedly kept detained in a safe home in Gazipur in connection with a rape case, before it on July 18 to examine the legality of his detention.

Large amount of dried turtles seized

Police yesterday recovered about 100kg of dried turtle and arrested one in this connection from a border village under Dinajpur.

Outsourcing company offices vandalised

Defrauded clients of an online outsourcing company yesterday vandalised its two office buildings in the capital's Dhanmondi protesting officials' "sudden disappearance."

Probe report submitted

The probe committee formed on Bahadderhat flyover girder collapse submitted its report yesterday to Chittagong Development Authority (CDA).

Roadside structures demolished

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) yesterday demolished around 250 illegal structures constructed on footpaths and roads at Mirpur section 13 and 15.

Huge amount of Yaba seized

Law enforcers recovered 23,841 pieces of Yaba tablets and arrested two people in this connection in Cox's Bazar and Moulvibazar on Monday.

Housewife killed in capital

A housewife was killed allegedly by her husband for dowry in the capital's Darussalam area on Monday night.

Batamul blast case hearing deferred

A Dhaka court yesterday deferred till July 19 the hearing of the cases in connection with the 2001 Pahela Baishakh blasts at Ramna Batamul.

Woman's body recovered in capital

Police recovered decomposed body of a woman from Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard area in the capital early yesterday.

SCC announces new budget

Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) yesterday announced its budget of Tk 354.23 crore for 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Dr Shahidullah's role recalled

Speakers at a programme yesterday said noted linguist and researcher Dr Muhammad Shahidullah contributed a lot to mother language throughout his life.

BGMEA remark on maternity leave condemned

Several human rights bodies have condemned Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association's (BGMEA) remark that if the duration of maternity leave is extended, it will result in higher birth rate.

Probe body formed over MC College violence

Sylhet district administration yesterday formed a five-member committee to probe into the Sunday night's incident in Government MC College of Sylhet that left many rooms of the college hostel burnt.

EU, UNDP to help strengthen local governance

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday signed a contract to jointly launch a programme for strengthening local governance.

College student dies after falling from SBMCH's balcony

A college student died after falling from a balcony of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) yesterday.

Obituary

Golam Rasul, former land officer at Lalpur upazila land office, passed away due to old age complications at Rahshahi Medical College Hospital Monday night. He was 77.

Abu Bakker Siddique

Abu Bakker Siddique, chairman of Ramjiban union parishad and former secretary of Sunderganj upazila BNP, died of cardiac arrest at Rangpur Medical College Hospital yesterday. He was 60.

National

'Easy bikes' make others feel uneasy on streets

Battery-run three-wheelers, locally called easy bikes, often ply the district town and nearby highways without any headlight during night, making them vulnerable to serious accidents.

Lively participation by kids from nine more schools

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 nine more high schools of Moulvibazar, Kurigram and Kushtia districts yesterday.

Police, mine official sue 900 villagers

Around 900 unidentified people were sued in two separate cases filed in connection with Monday's clash between policemen and land subsidence victims of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd (BCMCL).

Masked gang kills man, injures 3 of his family

Masked criminals stormed into a house, killed the owner and injured three of his family at Kalikapur village in Bancharampur upazila early yesterday.

Party men declare Dulu 'unwanted'

Jatiyatabadi Swechchasebok Dal Rangpur unit and a few leaders and activists of district BNP and Jubo Dal yesterday refused to accept Asadul Habib Dulu as party's organising secretary for Rangpur division.

Two jailed, one for killing wife, other for seeking dowry

Two people were jailed yesterday and on Sunday, one for killing wife in Sirajganj and another for demanding dowry in Jessore.

3 housewives murdered

Three housewives were murdered in Meherpur, Pabna and Sylhet on Monday and two previous days.

Pabna traders block road protesting attack

Several hundred traders of Kashinathpur Bazar yesterday blocked Dhaka-Pabna highway in Santhia upazila, demanding the arrest of the criminals who attacked their fellows.

Abducted siblings rescued

Detective Branch (DB) of police on Monday rescued two abducted siblings from Maijdee area of the district town and arrested three people in this connection. The arrestees are Saiful Islam, Sajjadur Rahman Rubel and Saifuzzaman Sohag. DB officer in-charge Bellal Hossain said housewife Rokeya Begum along with her brother Mohsin on Sunday came to the town from Mandari of Laxmipur for shopping ahead of her daughter's marriage. As the duo reached Dalia market in Choumohoni, a gang picked them up at gunpoint and took them to a building in the residential area of the town. The kidnappers took away a gold chain and three mobile sets from them and demanded Tk 20 lakh ransom from their family members. On information, two DB officials in the guise of the victims' family members contacted the gang and finalised the amount at Tk 10 lakh. The DB men went to the spot in the morning and arrested the trio while a member of the gang managed to flee the scene.

7 hurt in AL infighting

At least seven people were injured in a clash between two rival groups of Awami League over the election of a school managing committee at Selonia Bazar in Senbag upazila yesterday. Of the injured, activists Faruk, Farhad and Jimu were admitted to the upazila health complex in critical condition. Locals said the election of Selonia school managing committee was held on Monday and Abdur Razzak, a local AL leader, became a member of the committee. Following the election result, a group of opponent AL activists allegedly led by Kabir Ahmed attacked Razzak and his men in the area. The incident occurred when the victims were taking tea at the bazar.

Letters

Modernising agriculture

Kshirode C. Roy's article entitled “High tech agriculture in Bangladesh” published recently in the Science & Life page of this daily is an informative article indeed. However, food crisis is a matter of concern in our country, where there is 1.36 percent population growth and one percent reduction in cultivable land every year. But efforts are being made for overcoming the food crisis.

Let beggar rehabilitation project work

In the proposed budget of FY 2012-13, the finance minister proposed to allocate Tk 10 crore to rehabilitate beggars with a view to making Dhaka city free from beggars. Finance minister said that they would take steps to rehabilitate 2000 beggars in Dhaka, Barisal, Jamalpur and Mymensingh area.

Enact effective rent control law

The fixed income city dwellers comprising both middle and lower middle class households are in real trouble to tackle the rising house rent in the country. Landlords, in the recent years, have increased their rentals on the plea of increase in prices of the essential commodities, construction materials, holding tax and cost of the utility services.

Make private coaching policy practicable

The government has recently issued a policy to curb the widespread coaching business by preventing teachers from offering coaching to the students of their own institutions. According to the policy, teachers are allowed to provide private tuition to a maximum of 10 students of 'other' institutions. This provision will create problem for the students especially in the rural areas.

WB loan needs reconsidering

The World Bank has cancelled the much awaited 1.2 billion loan for the construction of Padma Bridge on the charge of corruption. The new World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim also supported the decision on the ground that WB does not tolerate corruption. I am surprised to know that Bangladesh government did not help the investigation team properly, which means that some government high officials are also involved in the corruption. Anyway, this bridge will play an important role in developing communication between the coastal districts of Bangladesh and Dhaka. It will contribute positively towards bolstering our economy as well. However, it is really shameful for the government.

Tax non-motorised vehicles

At present, there are too many non-motorised vehicles that ply the streets of Dhaka. They are usually driven by people who have neither license nor knowledge or consideration for traffic rules and regulations. I believe they should be forced to pay road taxes. Just imagine, if these rules were enforced upon them, how many of them would really ply our roads? Everybody keeps blaming the motorised vehicles for causing traffic jams and congestions, but in the end it is really these vehicles that are the major source of revenue collection by BRTC, and with this money roads are built and repaired. Since the non-motorised vehicles are also enjoying road facilities, I think they should also pay their fair share of taxes and other fees. I also feel these vehicles must go for fitness inspections and must be insured.

Broiler chicken: Is it safe to eat?

Is broiler chicken safe to eat? We all know about bird flu, but now the new concern is the “antibiotic medicines” that are essential to keep the chickens in the poultry farms alive. We have come to know that every poultry farm nowadays is using many kinds of antibiotics including Renamicin, Ciprofloxacin, Eritromicin, Colistin, CTT, etc. Poultry farm owners say that it is not possible to keep the broiler chickens alive without vaccination. When antibiotic is given to a chicken, eating of that chicken remains prohibited for three to seven days. Because antibiotic remains active in the chicken's body for some days. Its impact does not go even if we cook it in 100 degree centigrade. If we eat this recently vaccinated chicken, antibiotic enters our body and bone-marrow and weaken our tissue cells and immune system. As a result, when we will grow older we will become weaker and many disorders will start to develop in our body. But the chicken sellers are still selling the recently injected broiler chickens.

Spray-on electrical battery

This fascinating AFP news, tucked on top of the back page in the June 30th issue of a local English daily, can well be the future alternative source of electricity, like solar panels. Unfortunately, I did not find this interesting news in any other English daily!

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Japan hopeful of new framework”

International

Annan seeks Iran, Iraq help to end Syria crisis

Kofi Annan yesterday warned that Syria's deadly conflict could spread across the region as he held talks in Iran and Iraq aimed at shoring up support for his tattered peace plan.

Assad doesn't fear Mubarak, Gaddafi's fate

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he does not fear that he might share the fate of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, killed after capture, or Hosni Mubarak, the toppled Egyptian president sentenced to life imprisonment.

West is on the decline

President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the West's influence was waning as its economy declines but warned Russian diplomats to be on their guard against a backlash from Moscow's former Cold War enemies.

Congo warlord jailed for 14 yrs

Delivering its first sentence, the International Criminal Court jailed Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for 14 years yesterday for recruiting child soldiers.

UK coalition faces crucial vote

The British government braced yesterday for a rebellion by its own lawmakers that could scupper its plans to reform the upper House of Lords and put severe strain on the ruling coalition.

Myanmar picks new VP

A retired Myanmar general, seen as a hardliner for close ties to the former junta and its deadly crackdown on 2007 monk-led rallies, has been nominated to be vice president, a military official said yesterday.

Ex-interior minister quits Pak Senate

Pakistan's de facto interior minister Rehman Malik, a close aide to President Asif Ali Zardari, resigned from parliament yesterday amid a controversy about his dual nationality.

Ex-Israeli PM convicted by court

An Israeli court yesterday found former prime minister Ehud Olmert guilty on one charge in a closely watched corruption case, but cleared him on two other charges, in a verdict he hailed as just.

Castro to meet Putin in Moscow

Cuban leader Raul Castro will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow today to discuss trade ties that have stalled since Soviet times, the Kremlin said.

Romanian president quits

Romanian President Traian Basescu handed over power yesterday to a political rival in the latest twist in a crisis that has stoked fears about the state of democracy in the EU state.

Top aide to Zardari quits Senate

Pakistan's de facto interior minister Rehman Malik, a close aide to President Asif Ali Zardari, resigned from parliament yesterday amid a controversy about his dual nationality.

Sr US diplomat begins ME tour

US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will travel to Israel and the West Bank this week as part of a Middle East tour that also included stops in Egypt and Yemen, a US official said Monday.

Arts & Entertainment

Court Martial by Nandikar, Chittagong

Nandikar Chittagong staged “Court Martial” at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on July 9. An adaptation of an Indian play, “Court Martial” has been directed by Alok Ghosh. Dhaka based troupe Theatre Art Unit stages this play too, and Nandikar's production follows the same format as Theatre Art Unit. The set design was more or less the same but the costumes were different.

Mehdi Hassan knew no borders

Mehdi Hassan, one of the finest ghazal singers that South Asia has produced, passed away in Karachi, Pakistan on June 13 at the age of 84. It has been reported that he suffered a stroke over a decade ago and had been struggling with his health ever since, dealing with a number of related problems and trying to pay for his medical bills.

Lakshyapar celebrates monsoon with classical music

Narayanganj based classical music organisation Lakshyapar celebrated monsoon with a classical musical soiree, titled “Malhar Shondhya”, at Narayanganj High School and College auditorium on July 6.

Second group exhibition by Institute of Art and Culture

The second group art exhibition at the Institute of Art and Culture (IAC) in Gulshan, Dhaka, titled “The Voice of Time-2”, was inaugurated on July 7. The exhibition featuring 102 artworks by 69 artists, aims to showcase contemporary trends in Bangladeshi art.

Farooki receives Asian Cinema Fund for Post-production 2012

Mostafa Sarwar Farooki joins legendary Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf and young Japanese filmmaker Atsushi Funahashi in receiving the 'Asian Cinema Fund for Post-production 2012' for their respective upcoming projects. Farooki received the grant for his film “Television”, while Makhmalbaf -- widely acclaimed for his works such as “The Day I Became a Woman”, “Kandahar” and “Blackboards” -- received the grant for his upcoming venture “The Gardener”.

Exciting fare

A bullfight was held at Baroharishpur village near Natore town on Monday afternoon, creating edge of the seat excitement for a huge audience. Doyel Sporting Club of Baroharishpur union organised the programme.

Children recite works of greatest poets

Proma, an organisation of elocutionists in the port city, held a programme, titled “Shopne Harai Ochinpur” at the district Shilpakala Academy, Chittagong on Monday.

OP-ED

The tears of the children

The tears of the lonely keep falling all the time. That is what you hear in an old song and that is what you sing all your life, if you have the willingness to understand the blighted nature of our universe. On Monday, though, when Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana broke down in remembrance of the tragedy which struck their family in August 1975, it was time once again for us to recall the loneliness which often descends on our lives through the depredations of evil men. The daughters of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wept. And we wept with them. Our tears, you might want to remember, ought to have coursed down our cheeks on the dark dawn when the Father of the Nation and his family were mown down by the soldiers. On that morning of stunning, unmitigated disaster, we did not weep, we could not weep. Nearly four decades on, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana have made us weep again, copiously. A certain purgation of emotions has seemed to come into our sensibilities.

Bedtime story for a political fantasist

This story is true, for I do not possess the fabulous imagination necessary to make it up. Nor, I think, do the editors of the British paper the Sunday Times, where I read it.

Nawab Bahadur Abdul Latif

As a part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), The Daily Star and Robi jointly initiated "English in Schools" programme 2 years ago and it is still running successfully among 1,000 listed schools. To cope up with the rapid pace of modernity and face the challenges of 21st century, the sole purpose of this initiative is to increase the number of English speaking people in Bangladesh. The joint scheme has already proved to be very effective medium and The Daily Star hopes to introduce some new and fresh ideas to increase the effectiveness of this project in the coming days, which will surely open a new horizon and boost the English language scope of the students. This initiative deserves encomiums as it is regrettable that after 1971 the importance of English in schools was completely diminished.

Islamic principles work with democracy

Muslim nations are warming up to an era of religious tolerance and good governance. From Tunisia to Pakistan, the Muslim world is in turmoil, as each country struggles to find its own path to an Arab Spring.

The unfinished agenda

Today is World Population Day; a day the international community commemorates to seek worldwide attention to the issues and challenges related to population growth and distribution. It's a special day for Bangladesh, giving the size of its population (150 million people), the ongoing growth of its population (2 million people are added every year) and having the world's highest population density (about 1,000 people per sq. km). But before we delve on these figure and it implications, let me start with a story; the true story of Rokeya.

This Day In History

July 11

1789
Jacques Necker is dismissed as France's Finance Minister sparking the Storming of the Bastille.


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