The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, August 31, 2014


News of: Monday, 8th of October, 2012

Front Page

Hall-Mark MD arrested after daylong drive

Tanvir Mahmud, managing director of Hall-Mark Group, and another top official of the controversial firm, were nabbed by the Rapid Action Battalion last night in the capital's Pallabi in connection with the Sonali Bank loan scam.

Glory for the West Indies

It was an historic day for West Indies cricket as the Caribbean side, thanks largely to an astonishing lone hand by Marlon Samuels, overcame the home team Sri Lanka by 36 runs to win the ICC World Twenty20 at the R Premadasa International Stadium in Colombo yesterday.

Graft stalls railway recruitment

Every attempt by the railway authorities over the last six years to hire people has been marred by legal knots over allegations of corruptions and irregularities in the recruitment process.

No festivity in Ramu this time

A visit by the head of government is usually something to be celebrated in Ramu of Cox's Bazar. The people there see their prime minister once in a decade or so. Sheikh Hasina visits the upazila today but there is no celebration this time around.

Azad to be tried in absentia

International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday decided to hold the trial of war crimes accused Abul Kalam Azad in absentia for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War.

Driver Azam's statement won't lead to ACC probe

The Anti-Corruption Commission will not take into account the statements of whistleblower driver Azam Khan regarding the April 9 cash haul in a recent TV interview, said ACC Chairman Ghulam Rahman yesterday.

Truck driver names five

An assistant to a trucker, arrested in connection with the Ramu violence, told a magistrate in Chittagong yesterday that five people had forced him to drive a mob to Ramu on September 29.

Defence trying to delay trial proceedings

International Crimes Tribunal-1 Chairman Justice Md Nizamul Huq in an order yesterday said the failure of war crimes accused Delawar Hossain Sayedee's defence to produce witnesses was hampering the trial.

Muhith to talk to WB experts team in Tokyo

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said he would join a meeting in Tokyo with a World Bank international panel of experts on the issue of WB funding for the Padma bridge project.

Govt denied permission to appeal

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court yesterday refused the government permission to appeal against the High Court verdict that said the Speaker's ruling on an HC judge had no legal effect.

HC clears way for Moudud's graft trial

The High Court yesterday cleared the way for continuing the proceedings of a corruption case against BNP leader Moudud Ahmed.

3 injured in BSF firing

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot and injured three Bangladeshi nationals near Chakpara border of Shibganj upazila in Chapainawabganj yesterday.

Stop polluting Dhaka rivers

The Inter-ministerial Task Force on rivers has served on the capital's house owners a two-month ultimatum to stop discharging excreta into the river and to make their own septic tanks.

58pc children still need basic services

Bangladesh made significant progress in promoting child rights during the last five years but around 58 percent children are still deprived of one of six basic services, says a government draft report.

Ex-MP Swapan injured in BCL attack

A group of Bangladesh Chhatra League activists yesterday attacked former BNP lawmaker Zahir Uddin Swapan in his own constituency, injuring him and seven others.

Classical music fest next month

Classical music experts from Kolkata are set to perform at a four-day music festival at the capital's Army Stadium next month.

AL rally in Ramu didn't incite attack

Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday said the protest rally brought out by AL men on the night of the Ramu violence did not encourage the attack on Buddhists.

Philippines govt, rebels agree on peace pact

The Philippine government and the country's biggest Muslim rebel group yesterday announced they had agreed a deal to end a decades-long separatist insurgency that has killed more than 150,000 people.

Thousands in anti-austerity Madrid march

Thousands joined a protest march in the Spanish capital yesterday against the conservative government's austerity policies amid growing uncertainty over whether the country will need a financial bailout.

Editorial

A good augury

We welcome the World Bank's constitution of a panel of international experts to assess transparency and credibility of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)'s investigation into alleged corruption in the Padma Bridge project. A little over a fortnight since the revival of its loan deal in September 20, the WB has taken this forward-looking step. The sense of urgency conveyed by this move to see the dream project materialise for Bangladesh finds a resonance with the people of Bangladesh.

Rundown city streets

The seriously aggravated condition of city streets is a source of immense suffering to city dwellers. It takes on a new severity during the rainy season when roads and streets are often waterlogged. It is in this season utility service providers dig up roads to install pipes of different sizes. All too predictably, those dug-up trenches are not filled up in time and so the dire straits the roads are being left in and circuitous traffic movement.

Sports

'It's Party Time'

The long wait was over for West Indies. They were once the mighty West Indies, proud owners and creators of a formidable legacy, but over the last decade and a half have been a shadow of their former selves. Since their second ODI World Cup triumph during the glory days in 1979, their only ICC multinational tournament silverware was the 2004 Champions Trophy in England. But as cricket lovers the world over would love to see more often, the joys of Caribbean cricket took centre stage in the cricket world yesterday when the West Indies beat Sri Lanka, the home team, by 36 runs to win the ICC World Twenty20 at the R Premadasa International Stadium in Colombo.

We gave our best: Hafeez

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez conceded that the team could not live up to the expectations of its fans at the World Twenty20 but insisted that the side gave its best before being ousted in the semifinals.

PM declares open Pioneer League

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday inaugurated the 21st edition of the Pioneer Football League during a festive afternoon at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Gentleman's agreement with Pybus

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday expressed their disappointment over Richard Pybus's failure to sign a deal with the board regarding his tenure as the head coach of the national team.

Academy delayed till March

The ongoing talent hunt programme to find recruits for the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) academy in Sylhet will be completed this month but the BFF will have to wait for another four months to make the academy functional, provided the project is approved by the ministry of finance.

Aussie women keep title

Australia successfully defended their women's World Twenty20 title following an exciting four-run win over arch-rivals England in the final on Sunday.

Galong in Dhaka

Henche Galong, an AFC Women's Competition official, is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow to inspect the venues as well as facilities as Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) expressed interest in hosting the AFC Women's qualifiers for the Asia Cup.

Mahela quits T20 captaincy

Mahela Jayawardene has resigned as Sri Lanka's Twenty20 captain, soon after his team lost the final of the World Twenty20 against West Indies in Colombo. He said he will remain captain of the ODI and Test teams until at least the end of Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in January, and remains available for Twenty20 selection.

Messi, Ronaldo trade blows in Clasico draw

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored twice as Barcelona and Real Madrid drew 2-2 in a politically-charged Clasico on Sunday which kept the Catalan giants eight points ahead of their bitter rivals.

United crush Newcastle

Manchester United surged into second place in the Premier League with a 3-0 demolition of Newcastle, while Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers suffered another Anfield nightmare as his struggling side were held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke on Sunday.

Novak's 3rd China Open

World number two Novak Djokovic overcame Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in straight sets on Sunday to win the China Open for a third time.

F1 sent wide open

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday and blew the Formula One championship wide open with five races remaining after Ferrari's Fernando Alonso spun out at the start.

Azarenka takes title

World number one Victoria Azarenka thrashed second seed Maria Sharapova of Russia in straight sets on Sunday to win the 4.8 million dollars China Open.

Proteas liable too: ECB

South Africa have been accused of provoking the text message scandal that led to England batsman Kevin Pietersen being sent into international exile.

Rajapakse okays new Pak tour?

The 2009 Lahore terror attack is yet to become even a distant memory but Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse has reportedly given his consent to the country's cricket team touring Pakistan again.

Walton buys Dhaka Div

Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited became the second company, after Prime Bank Foundation, to receive a franchisee license for the National Cricket League (NCL).

Wins for DYS, Shantinagar

Dhaka Young Star and Shantinagar SC won their respective matches in the Green Delta Second Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Nishikori rewrites history

Kei Nishikori made history by becoming the first Japanese to win the Japan Open tennis tournament Sunday when he defeated young Canadian star Milos Raonic in the final.

Walcott's timely reminder

Theo Walcott sent a message to Arsene Wenger as the Arsenal star came off the bench to inspire his side's 3-1 win at West Ham on Saturday.

Get tough Loew, says Hoeness

Germany coach Joachim Loew needs to get tough with his stars in the national squad, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has said ahead of the Germans World Cup qualifiers against Ireland and Sweden.

Bayern bounce back

Bayern Munich bounced back from their midweek Champions League defeat in Belarus as France star Franck Ribery scored both goals in their 2-0 win at home to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

PSG now Neymar's dream

Brazilian striker Neymar admitted Sunday that a move to French club Paris Saint Germain would be a dream come true for him.

Bradley brings Roma back

American midfielder Michael Bradley marked his recent return to action by scoring the second goal in Roma's 2-0 defeat of Atalanta at the Olympic stadium on Sunday.

Row in the past, say Bayern

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insisted Saturday the row between coach Jupp Heynckes and director of sport Matthias Sammer has been resolved amicably.

Fulham denied at the death

Defender Jose Fonte snatched a 90th-minute equaliser, his second goal of the game, to earn promoted Southampton a 2-2 home draw with Fulham that lifted his side out of the Premier League's bottom three on Sunday.

Downing lashes at Rodgers

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has risked his Anfield future after launching a scathing attack on Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

Cole told to quit Twitter

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has been advised to quit Twitter after derogatory comments he posted on the social network site risked putting his future with club and country on the line.

Tears of a clown

A day after the death of his step-father, and a day after it was revealed that Ronaldinho could be slapped with a 12-match ban for a brutal kick on Germio's Kleber, the bucked-tooth wonder shook off all his troubles with a sensational performance in the Brazilian top flight. Ronaldinho opened the scoring for Mineiro with a curling shot from outside the box and the player appeared moved after the goal. He celebrated by kneeling down and apparently prayed briefly, without holding back tears.

Business

Govt moves to remove export-import hassles

The government will form a trade facilitation council to ensure better services for the businesspeople in overseas trades, Commerce Minister GM Quader said yesterday.

Inflation drops on stable food prices

Inflation eased for the third month in September thanks to stable prices of food, but spiralling electricity prices, transport cost and house rents pushed up non-food inflation.

BB to tighten grip on banks to avert shocks

The central bank will introduce more regulations and strengthen supervision over banks in the coming months to avert any "systemic crisis" in the sector, the governor said yesterday.

DSE to probe Delta Spinners, United Airways

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) will investigate the recent trade patterns and financial statements of two listed companies whose share prices rose abnormally in the last couple of months.

UAE expatriates urge Bangladesh to combat passport, visa forgeries

The UAE-based Bangladesh Business Council (BBC) yesterday urged the government to fast resolve the issue of

Be energy-efficient: minister urges all

Local industrialists should introduce modern, green technologies in their factories as part of efforts to save energy, a minister said yesterday.

Profit-taking sends stocks slipping for third day

Stocks slid for the third day in a row as investors continued with their selling spree to pocket profits.

Mozena visits CEPZ, Ctg port

It is crucial for Bangladesh to enlarge Chittagong port and increase its capacity in the country's way to come up as the Asian Tiger, said US Ambassador Dan W Mozena yesterday.

Europe braces for return of Germany's Madame Non

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hardening her stance on additional help for struggling euro zone economies like Greece and Spain as pressure from parliamentary allies and a looming election campaign shrink her room for manoeuvre in Europe.

Single euro-zone budget gains momentum ahead of summit

Debate about the idea of creating a separate budget for euro zone countries is intensifying in the run up to an EU summit later this month, with less opposition to the proposal than many officials first expected, diplomats say.

Jamuna Future Park to open soon

Jamuna Future Park, one of the world's largest shopping mall, is going to open soon beside Baridhara Diplomatic Zone in the capital, according to a statement yesterday.

Economists want more clout for BB to govern state banks

The government should give greater authority to the central bank by disbanding the Bank and Financial Institutions Division of the finance ministry, economists said yesterday.

Unregistered SIMS banned from Friday

Mobile operators will not be able to sell pre-activated connections from Friday as the telecom regulator introduced a raft of measures to tighten the registration process to fight crimes committed using cellphones.

Metropolitan

Rimi takes oath as lawmaker

Ruling Awami League candidate Simeen Hussain Rimi, who won the Gazipur-4 (Kapasia) by-polls, took oath as a lawmaker yesterday.

BNP tries to pull JP as ally

The main opposition BNP has taken an initiative to improve relations with HM Ershad's Jatiya Party aiming to weaken the ruling Awami League-led grand alliance ahead of the next general election.

Find real culprits to avoid politicisation

The government must find the real culprits behind the September 30 attack on Buddhist populated areas in Cox's Bazar and Chittagong to discourage politicisation of the issue, said NHRC Chairman Mizanur Rahman yesterday.

Worker dies after falling from building

A construction worker died after he fell from the fourth floor of an under-construction building in Bahaddarhat area under Panchlaish Police Station in Chittagong city yesterday.

Pedestrian killed in construction wooden log fall

A female pedestrian was killed when a wooden log from a roadside under-construction building fell on her head in the capital's Shewrapara yesterday.

Hearing on writ adjourned

The High Court yesterday adjourned for two weeks the hearing on a writ petition that sought its directive on the government to recover Tk 3,547 crore loan taken by Hall-Mark Group and five other companies from Sonali Bank.

13 killed in road accidents

Thirteen people were killed and 31 others injured in road accidents in Munshiganj, Manikganj, Comilla, Chittagong, Naogaon and Rangpur on Saturday and yesterday.

Increase JS women's reserved seats

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad placed a 13-point recommendation, including raising the number of reserved seats for women in parliament to 100 and holding direct elections to those seats.

BSMMUTA poll suspended

Election to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Teachers' Association (BSMMUTA), scheduled for today after a 13-year gap, was suspended for an indefinite period after the Election Commission resigned en masses yesterday.

JS committee wants expenditure details

Members of the parliamentary standing committee on social welfare ministry yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over anomalies regarding the expenditure of around Tk 7 crore government funding for the rehabilitation of the capital's beggars.

Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Jamuna bridge

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman Anwar Hossain Monju yesterday said the Jamuna bridge was inaugurated in 1998 by the then prime minister Sheikh Hasina while he was in charge of the communications ministry.

200 shanties gutted in Sattola slum

At least 200 shanties of Sattola slum in the capital's Mohakhali were gutted in a fire last night, leaving 12 people, including two fire fighters, injured.

Qamrul's nephew burnt to death

A nephew of State Minister for Law Md Qamrul Islam was burnt to death at his West Kazipara residence in the capital yesterday morning.

Yaba tablets seized, 4 arrested

Detective Branch of police arrested four young drug traders with 7,000 pieces of Yaba tablets worth Tk 24.50 lakh from the capital's Khilgaon on Thursday.

HC to pass order on writ Thursday

The High Court yesterday fixed Thursday for passing order on a writ petition that challenged the legality of Suranjit Sengupta's appointment as a minister without portfolio.

DoE fines dyeing factory Tk 25.62 lakh

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a dyeing factory Tk 25.62 lakh for polluting Shitalakhya river in Gazipur.

JCD man shot in chest

Unidentified miscreants shot a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activist in the chest before Kalabagan Staff Quarters gate in the capital last night.

US envoy escapes unhurt in road crash

A CNG-run auto-rickshaw broke off the side mirror of a vehicle carrying US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan W Mozena at a turning in Chittagong city yesterday morning. The envoy escaped unhurt.

Govt to deploy Rab unit in Khagrachhari: Home minister

A unit of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) will be deployed in Khagrachhari district to stop criminal activities soon.

New DFID country chief arrives

Sarah Cooke arrived in Dhaka yesterday to take up her role as country representative of DFID, the UK government's aid programme in Bangladesh, says a British High Commission press release.

Two children drown in Ctg

Two children died after falling into a pond at Kala Miah Bazar area in Chittagong city yesterday.

Govt to develop 24,000 websites

The government has developed about 5,000 web portals for its administration to deliver online services, officials of Access to Information (A2I) Programme told the news agency.

35 get certificates on TV news presentation training

Participants of training course on "TV News Presentation" were awarded certificates at a function at Bangladesh Institute of Journalism and Electronic Media (BIJEM) in the capital on Saturday.

Obituary

Manjurul Haque Manju, former secretary of BNP Mymensingh (south) unit, died of cancer at a hospital in Dhaka yesterday. He was 58.

Death anniversary

Today is the fifth death anniversary of Begum Jahanara Ali, wife of late principal Askar Ali.

Obituary

Alhaj Amjad Ali, former director of Social Marketing Company, died of old age complications at a hospital in the capital on Friday. He was 85.

Shantunu Roy

Today is the 4th death anniversary of Shantunu Roy, a cricketer, and son of Prof Ajit Roy of Manikganj. He died in a road accident in 2008.

National

Mindless catching depletes small indigenous fishes

With water receding from flood plane and low lying areas, the end of the rainy season sees widespread catching of small indigenous fishes, including young ones, much to the harm of fish stock in different areas of the district.

Pabna Jubo League leader murdered

A local Jubo League leader was stabbed to death by criminals in the district town yesterday.

Dunga still going strong

Chachuri, Maijpara and Tularampur haats (markets in rural areas) in the district are again buzzing with activities as dunga, a small boat made of palm trees, is on good sale there following heavy downpour during the fag end of the rainy season.

Youth kidnaps, kills employer's kid

An eight-year-old schoolboy was murdered allegedly by a kidnapper in Kaliganj upazila town yesterday within an hour of the incident.

3 housewives murdered

Three housewives were killed allegedly by their in-laws in Rangpur, Kurigram and Khulna districts on Friday.

Bogra BNP announces eight-day agitation

Bogra district unit of BNP yesterday announced an eight-day agitation programme in the district from October 11 protesting filing of a 'false' case by Sonali Bank against party's senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman and his younger brother Arafat Rahman Koko.

3 farmers injured in BSF firing

Three Bangladeshi farmers were shot and injured allegedly by the members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) along Chakpara border in Shibganj upazila yesterday morning.

Youth killed by cousin

A youth was stabbed to death allegedly by his cousin over piece of disputed land at Charamgara village in Singair upazila on Saturday night.

Shibir man held with arms, ammo

Police arrested an activist of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) along with two pistols and eight bullets at Maachpara in Pangsha upazila of the district yesterday.

650 families rendered homeless in Kurigram, Lalmonirhat

Erosion by the river Dharla rendered at least 385 families at 32 villages under 10 unions in three upazilas homeless in the last couple of weeks.

Prime accused Jubo League leader Alamgir arrested

Md Alamgir Hossain, prime accused in the case for felling nearly 4,000 trees of Dharmajan forest under Biral upazila of the district, was arrested on Saturday.

11 arrested for vandalising rivals' houses

Eleven people were arrested early yesterday on charges of vandalising houses of their rivals at Ichhamoti village in Sirajganj Sadar Police on Saturday.

Man held with arms in Jessore

Police arrested an alleged criminal along with a shutter gun and one round of bullet at Molla Para in Jessore district town early Saturday.

A year is over, no charge sheet yet

Police are yet to submit charge sheet in the case filed for gruesome killing of Baraigram upazila chairman and local BNP leader Sanaullah Noor Babu a year ago.

Letters

Govt must control its armed student cadres

Thanks to adequate modern media presence at Rajshahi University campus that we could see the recent fighting between Shibir and BCL cadres so graphically. Almost all the newspapers featured the BCL cadres lunging forward with guns in hand shooting at the opposition Shibir cadres with police taking no action to stop the fighting. BCL leaders say that they with the help of general students resisted the onslaught of Shibir. The incident begs the questions as to what made Shibir so outrageous that necessitated the resistance, what led the students to use lethal weapons and most importantly what the authorities have already done to arrest the gun wielding students. We have the disconcerting report that the very gun-toting BCL leaders went to the Motihar police station to file cases against the Shibir cadres and went away without police arresting them obviously because they are the pro-government student cadres. This cannot be the norms of a democratic country. The long culture of ruling party autocracy and resultant injustice and oppression has been creating social maladies and unrest. The government can no longer evade responsibility for making the opposition scapegoat for all these serious social malaise.

We are confined in our little prisons!

Nowadays we can't find a single field! Children are deprived of playgrounds, which means no physical exercise. Many studies have revealed that students can become really good in studies if they have a balance of physical and mental exercise. But no, we are confined to our own homes. Now, in our free time what will we do? Playing games on electronic gadgets like Nintendo DS, PSP and watching TV, we become mentally exhausted. In the past there was no shortage of playgrounds. But now due to towers, skyscrapers (and all the other selfish reasons of petty people) there is not a single field left for us. When will a saviour come, hear our plea, and save us from our little prison called home?

Loss of a true friend

Ataus Samad, my beloved friend's death shocked me since he was my best friend since school days. Friends and political parties paid him rich tributes as he devoted his life to the profession of journalism.

Save the rivers Jhenai and Bairan from grabbers

Jhenai and Bairan are two small rivers originating from the Jamuna and have been flowing across Jamalpur and Tangail districts. Once these two rivers had heavy current and abundant water all the year round.

Street children need our help

Street children live neither with their parents nor in a home. They have either lost their parents or their parents have left them. They live on the streets and have to earn a living by begging or stealing. Street children can be found in almost all countries. Many of them take drugs to cope with their life. Due to the drugs and horrific living conditions they often get sick. Is it not our duty to extend our helping hands towards them so that they can live a healthy life?

Killing of Bangladeshis in the US

According to a news report published in the DS dated Sept 29, a 26-year-old Bangladeshi, Shafiqul Islam Sohel, was shot dead in a shop at Pine Bluff near Little Rock of Arkansas state on the night of Sept 25. The young man from Rangpur worked for Big Red Food Mart owned by a Bangladeshi there. It is also reported that he was the third Bangladeshi to be so killed there over the last one month. Earlier on Sept 21, Moin Hassan, a post graduate student died a day after he was shot inside a shop at Bridgeport city in Connecticut. Another victim Lutfor Rahman was shot dead at a Food Mart in Pine Bluff on Aug 25.

Land-grabbing was the motive?

There are no excuses and the home minister has to shoulder the whole responsibility as his men in uniform and all the intelligence wings in the country took no action during continued rampage for hours. This is an act of serious human rights violation. The state failed to protect a community which happens to be a minority and we all find that there is also an element of incitement in the sad incident There are also unconfirmed reports that the whole episode was carefully carried out as a land grabbing project by a few powerful people.

Hydropower for agriculture

I congratulate the government on all its efforts to fight power outages and alleviate poverty, and make the country self-reliant. I believe the government has tried its best and will continue to do so to take Bangladesh to greater heights and dignity. Though power generation is a top priority for the government, we know it is a daunting task to bring a perfect balance between demand and supply at this moment. During the IRRI cultivation season, the demand for electricity hits the peak, raising the frequency of load-shedding across the country and leading to enormous public sufferings.

Remove traffic jam

Traffic jam is one of the worst and disgusting problems in Dhaka city. Every day the city dwellers face this boring problem and feel exhausted. From morning till late night the roads are busy and overloaded with vehicles. Due to traffic jam people, especially the job holders are suffering unbearable pains. When they start the day they have to face the worst traffic and at the end of the day, they have to face the same nightmare.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Hall-Mark seeks fresh Sonali loan”

International

Imran claims success despite obstructions

Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan claimed victory yesterday at the end of his march against US drone strikes, despite failing to reach his intended destination in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Syrian shell strikes Turkey again

Syrian mortar fire again struck a Turkish border village yesterday, prompting artillery retaliation for the fourth day as fierce fighting rocked the key city of Aleppo and rebels lost ground in Damascus.

Venezuelans vote in key polls

Voters in Venezuela were going to the polls yesterday in what was predicted to be the country's most tightly contested presidential election in a decade.

A dangerous new world of drones

A decade ago, the United States had a virtual monopoly on drones.

Libya PM names new cabinet

Libya's Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur yesterday proposed to the General National Congress a "crisis government" of just 10 ministers, after the GNC rejected outright his first proposed line-up.

Sudan military plane crash kills 13

Thirteen Sudanese military personnel died and nine others were injured when their transport plane crashed west of Khartoum yesterday on its way to conflict-plagued Darfur, state media reported.

Allegations 'utterly false', 'defamatory': Vadra

Robert Vadra yesterday dismissed as “utterly false, entirely baseless and defamatory” allegations over his property dealings with DLF and said he was saddened by attempt of activists Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan to malign him and his family to “gain cheap publicity“.

Maldivian court orders arrest of Nasheed

A court in the Maldives yesterday ordered the arrest of the country's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed, who has challenged the legality of a criminal trial against him.

Cauvery river protests escalate in Karnataka

Intense protests over release of water to Tamil Nadu continued to sweep Cauvery river basin areas for the eighth day as Karnataka hoped for a “positive response” from the Supreme Court today on its plea for reconsideration of the September 28 order.

Mamata asks ministers to work during pujas too

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has asked her ministers not to leave their constituencies during the pujas and stay with the people to prepare for the panchayat elections focusing on 'the misdeeds' of the 34-year Left rule. Mamata wants the ministers to oversee development work in rural Bengal ahead of the polls.

Vladimir Putin turns 60

Russia's President Vladimir Putin turned 60 yesterday, the official retirement age in the country he has dominated for the past 12 years, as his supporters celebrated his leadership and machismo.

Kuwait dissolves parliament

Kuwait's ruler ordered the dissolution of parliament yesterday, a senior government minister said, opening the way to a parliamentary election in the major oil-producing Gulf Arab state after months of political deadlock.

Israel downs unmanned aircraft

The Israeli air force shot down a small unmanned aircraft after it entered the south of the country, the military said on Wednesday.

India test-fires supersonic missile

The Navy today successfully test-fired the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 300 kg, from a warship off the Goa coast.

Iraq executes 11 despite outcry

Iraqi authorities executed 11 more people yesterday-- 10 Iraqis and one Algerian -- despite widespread international calls for a moratorium on Baghdad's use of the death penalty.

Arts & Entertainment

Captivating minds with grace

Dancing is more than just a form of art. It is a form of expression and a way of life. Portraying that in the most elegant manner, Malabika Sen enthralled the audience at the Bangladesh National Museum, Dhaka on October 5, 2012. Sen had visited Bangladesh numerous times before and has always left an impact with her graceful gestures, feather-like footwork, smooth transitions from one movement to the other, and effective expressions.

Dhaka to witness the biggest names in Indian classical music

A four-day long grand classical music festival will be organised by Bengal Foundation and ITC-Sangeet Research Academy (SRA). The festival will kick off on November 29 at Army Stadium in the capital.

Kanthabithi stages “Shobdey Jago, Shobdey Jagao”

Kanthabithi, the lone organisation of elocutionists in Magura, staged its regular recitation programme with promising artistes. Titled “Shobdey Jago, Shobdey Jagao”, the programme was staged at the auditorium of Magura Shilpakala Academy on October 3.

Pabna cultural activists protest attack on Buddhist community

Cultural activists of the district staged a demonstration to protest the attack on Buddhists in Ramu. Cultural activists from different organisations formed a human chain in front of Pabna Press Club on Friday. A protest meeting was also organised by Pabna Drama Circle.

Nurturing future citizens

Marking the inaugural ceremony of World Child Day and Child Rights Week-2012, a cultural function and cultural competitions for children were held at Mymensingh Shishu Academy auditorium in the town on Friday. The cultural competitions included renditions of songs, dances, poetry recitation and painting.

Zahid Hasan celebrates his big day

One of the leading actors on television, Zahid Hasan, celebrated his birthday on October 4. He spent most of the day at his Dhanmondi residence, except for an interim at the shooting spot of “Toto Company” -- his ongoing directorial project, where his colleagues brought over a cake.

Desh Natok stages “Prakrito Purangana”

Desh Natok staged its 18th production “Prakrito Purangana” at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on October 5. Written by Khandakar Hafiz Redu, the play has been directed by Shamsul Alam Bakul.

Samdani Art Foundation holds open discussion

The 'documenta' is regarded as the most important exhibition of contemporary art, drawing attention from all over the world. It was initiated in 1955 by German architect, painter, designer and curator Arnold Bode, in Kassel, Germany. Every five years, a new director is chosen and the exhibition is reinvented, a concept which to date has been affirmed by the public's interest.

OP-ED

The stubborn 'railwaygate' scam

The railwaygate scandal seems to be too stubborn to get buried decently. The whistleblower, the driver who opened the can of worms at the Border Guards, Bangladesh (BGB) headquarters at Pilkhana, some six months ago and then vanished into thin air, has spoken from an undisclosed location to an electronic TV channel the other day. Though essentially he has only retold the old story, what is intriguing is how he could elude the grip of police assuming that the latter at all gave him a hot chase. His remaining in hiding for so long raises more questions than answers. Of course he felt threatened for life after having spilled the beans. Yet it begs questions as to the absence of any serious full-blown attempt at unearthing the scandal which should have included probing interrogation of the driver himself. The driver is the crucial witness in this case.

Politics of fantasy or fantastic politics?

Politics is about power. How to be in position of power is what drives politicians. Some politicians will follow the culturally acceptable rules to attain power, others will be innovative. They will try to twist some of the rules provided they can get away with it. That is real life politics in Bangladesh today.

This Day In History

October 8

1932
The Indian Air Force is established.


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