The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, July 26, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 16th of October, 2012

Front Page

PM flays TIB

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday castigated the Transparency International Bangladesh for publishing a survey report on lawmakers, terming it "ill-motivated".

An eye-opener

So it is now clear. Clear as to who are responsible for the damage done to the image of the current parliament. It was none but MPs who did the job by indulging in various criminal and unethical activities, as revealed in a TIB survey.

Japanese cos keen, wary of uncertainty

Many Japanese companies are very serious about investing in Bangladesh, but they are scared of business impediments, including political uncertainty, Japanese Ambassador Shiro Sadoshima said yesterday.

Country halves hunger status

Bangladesh has halved the prevalence of hunger over the last two decades but because of a large population, the number of people living in hunger still remains high as the country joins other nations celebrating the World Food Day today.

Not all media allowed to cover Hasina's fixtures

In a sudden move, the majority of private media was yesterday restricted from covering a programme of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the grounds that a section of the media does not broadcast and publish her news with due importance.

PM pledges rehabilitation

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the rehabilitation of the Buddhist people, whose homes and pagodas were attacked in Ramu recently, would be done in the shortest possible time.

Titas reserves revised thru' seismic survey

The state-run Petrobangla yesterday revised the gas reserves at Titas gas field up by 800 billion cubic feet to 8.051 trillion cubic feet after analysing a three-dimensional seismic survey result.

Sonali DGM remanded for 24 days

A day after his arrest, the suspended manager of Sonali Bank's Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch was placed on a 24-day remand yesterday in three separate cases filed over the Hall-Mark loan scam.

No passport from today

No machine-readable passport (MRP) will be issued from today as the Malaysian company assigned to do the job withdrew its entire staff yesterday.

Delhi trying to ensure zero border killing

In response to Dhaka's concern about the killing of innocent Bangladeshis at the border, New Delhi yesterday reiterated that it has been trying its best to bring down the deaths to zero.

WB team seeks some documents

The World Bank's external panel yesterday wrapped up its introductory talks with the Anti-Corruption Commission about the investigation into alleged corruption in the Padma bridge project.

Arrest real killers of Sagar, Runi

Journalist leaders yesterday set a fresh deadline till November 24 for arresting the "real killers" of journalist couple Sagar Sarwar and Mehrun Runi.

Malala flown to UK

The Pakistani schoolgirl shot by Taliban gunmen for advocating education for girls has been sent to the United Kingdom for medical treatment, a military spokesman said yesterday.

US duo wins Nobel in economics

US scholars Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley won the Nobel Economics Prize yesterday for work on how to best match supply and demand, with applications in the fields of organ donation, education and the Internet.

Italy begins black box hearings into cruise disaster

Italy began a series of pre-trial hearings yesterday to work out the details of the tragic night of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster, with captain Francesco Schettino in attendance.

Editorial

Money forging gangs cash in on Eid

The Detective Branch of police recently arrested two forger gangs and seized over 3.5 crore taka and 1.76 lakh Indian rupees in fake currency, along with forged note-making equipment near Dhaka. According to the self-confessed forgers themselves, 'Eid is the best season' for their business and the plan was to spread Tk. 100 crore in fake notes at different markets ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha. The spread of counterfeit currency across the country, especially preceding Eid, has become a major problem, with unscrupulous dealers profiting in the thousands for every lakh taka of forged notes they can sell.

UN warning of food crisis

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned of acute food crisis the world over what with a drop in harvests in traditional food-exporting countries. Poor harvests have been triggered mainly by adverse weather, especially heat waves and droughts. Food consumption has exceeded food production, taking reserves to the lowest level this year since 1974.

Sports

Sk Russel, MSC eye semifinals

Sheikh Russel KC are looking forward to ensuring their second semifinal berth in successive seasons when they take on the 2009 semifinalist Feni Soccer Club in the first quarterfinal of the Grameenphone Federation Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Kamal requests NSC to appoint successor

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president AHM Mustafa Kamal, who has recently been nominated as the International Cricket Council (ICC) vice-president, gave a letter to the chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC) requesting the appointment of a new president so that he can hand over his responsibilities.

Teams complete transfer dealings

Brothers Union, Team BJMC and Arambagh KS completed their players' registration formalities of the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League in the last day of the two-month long players' window at the Bangladesh Football Federation yesterday.

Soma's double

It was double delight for Soma when she clinched the women' singles title in the Baizid Steel Federation Cup Open Table Tennis Tournament with a 4-1 win over Rumi in the final at the Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Indoor Stadium yesterday.

Felix alights from the heavens

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner celebrated his unprecedented feat Monday after becoming the first man to break the sound barrier in a record-shattering, death-defying freefall jump from the edge of space.

Won't say no, says McInnes

Richard McInnes, the head coach of the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) Cricket Academy stated that he 'wouldn't say no to a national job' if he is given the opportunity to become the head coach of the Bangladesh cricket team. The Academy coach's statement has come at a time when the BCB is trying to negotiate terms and conditions with Richard Pybus, the current national coach, who is reportedly 'on leave'.

BCB forms committee to probe umps

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has formed a three-member committee to formally investigate the allegations of corrupt conduct by umpires under its jurisdiction, who were recently named in a sting operation conducted by India TV, a private Indian television channel.

Azhar destroys KKR

A high impact all-round performance from Azhar Mahmood, his second of this Champions League Twenty20, gave qualifiers Auckland Aces their third comprehensive victory in South Africa, and severely damaged Kolkata Knight Riders' prospects of progress in the tournament.

2nd boy is a tea boy!

Poverty cannot be a barrier for Mohammad Sagor. With steely willpower aided by talent Sagor, a tea boy precisely, has risen to being the runner-up in the just-concluded 33rd National Junior Chess Championship (NJCC).

Gayle not taking Tigers lightly

West Indies opener Chris Gayle has said that he wouldn't take anything for granted in his team's upcoming tour of Bangladesh. Even though West Indies have lost only an ODI and a Twenty20 each in Bangladesh, he described the hosts as "dangerous at home".

Clarke eyes top spot

Captain Michael Clarke expressed his confidence Monday that Australia can reclaim cricket's world number one ranking in a gruelling schedule of 20 Tests in the year ahead.

Five-year ban likely for Cox City

The Professional Football League Committee of the Bangladesh Football Federation yesterday recommended a five-year ban for Cox City Football Club. Cox City had pulled out of the ongoing Grameenphone Federation Cup and the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League citing that most of their players had been directly affected in the recent attacks on the Buddhist community in Ramu, Cox's Bazar.

Crowe has lymphoma

Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe had been diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer. The diagnosis, New Zealand newspapers reported on Monday, was "very new" and Crowe's family was still coming to terms with it. No details have as yet been released of how serious or at what stage the cancer is.

Khulna gets Test nod

The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium (SANS) in Khulna is going to host their first Test match, in November, as they received a positive signal from the International Cricket Council (ICC). "We got the approval on a conditional basis yesterday. We have been asked to accommodate both the teams in one hotel, "said Shafiqur Rahman Munna, Chairman of the Bangladesh Cricket Board's Grounds and Facilities Committee.

Local Snippets

Holders Narinda Progati Boys Club registered a 42-13 win over Dhaka Mariner Youngs Club in the Cute Premier Division Handball League at the Shaheed (captain) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium yesterday.

End of road for Haddin?

Cricket Australia selectors are expected to informally agree to persist with Matthew Wade as the wicketkeeper for next month's first Test against South Africa at the Gabba, bringing an end to Brad Haddin's Test career.

Germany more unified: Lahm

Ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Sweden, Germany captain Philipp Lahm has admitted the atmosphere in the national squad is better than during their failed Euro 2012 campaign.

Spain-France tops bill

After assembling handsome victories in Friday's matches, Europe's leading nations are likely to have their work cut out when the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign continues on Tuesday.

Uruguay's La Paz test

After consecutive comprehensive defeats on their travels, Uruguay will try to conquer their away struggles in the high altitude of La Paz when they take on Bolivia on Tuesday as the South American 2014 World Cup qualifying competition enters its second half.

Ronaldo set for 100 caps

When Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo picks up his 100th cap against Northern Ireland on Tuesday, he will reflect on a career which started in central defence and was marked by early shyness before an explosion of attacking flair made him one of soccer's greatest players.

Marcelo out for 3 months

Brazil and Real Madrid full back Marcelo has fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot while on international duty, his club said in a statement on Sunday.

Khedira doubtful

Germany holding midfielder Sami Khedira is doubtful for their 2014 World Cup qualifier at home to Sweden on Tuesday after picking up a muscle injury, coach Joachim Loew said.

Bertrand deletes Twitter account

Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand deleted his Twitter account on Sunday following his angry reaction to claims he had withdrawn from the England squad with a sore throat.

Business

Govt now will rewrite companies act to appoint administrator for Destiny

The commerce ministry will now move to amend the Bangladesh Companies Act 1994 to pave the way for appointing an administrator for the controversial Destiny Group, said a senior official of the ministry yesterday.

Govt again asks Google to remove anti-Islamic clip from YouTube

The government has once again requested Google Inc. to remove the controversial anti-Islamic clip from YouTube so that the video sharing site can be unblocked in the country, said Telecommunications Secretary Sunil Kanti Bose.

Arrest of Hall-Mark MD not enough

The government can retrieve, if it wants to, the full sum swindled out of Sonali Bank by the Hall-Mark Group, said AK Azad, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), yesterday.

Stock stimulus package hits snag

The implementation of a stimulus package for stock investors, who lost money in last year's stockmarket crash, is in limbo, as stockbrokers and merchant banks did not deduct half of the interests on share credit in due time.

BB asks banks to accept valid IBPs

The central bank yesterday asked all commercial banks -- including the scam-ridden Sonali Bank -- to give acceptance to genuine inland bill purchases (IBPs) for the sake of the country's exports.

Hall-Mark closes factories as workers rally for wages

Hall-Mark Group yesterday closed all its factories for the next three days, as its workers demonstrated demanding wages, said Mohammad Moniruzzaman, a deputy director of Industrial Police at Savar.

Stocks break losing streak

Stocks returned to the black yesterday, breaking a three days' losing streak,

Germany raises power price to finance renewables

Germany's electrical grid operators said they were raising by nearly half the charge to consumers used to finance subsidies for renewable energy as the country phases out nuclear power.

Floods affect cotton production in Jamalpur, Sherpur

The cotton farmers in Jamalpur and Sherpur districts may fail to reach their production target this year due to the recent floods in Mymensingh region.

India to allow sugar exports for 2012-13

India, which is likely to produce a sugar surplus for its third year in a row, has decided to allow exports for another year, Food Minster KV Thomas said, reflecting confidence about domestic supplies in the world's top consumer of the sweetener.

Yellow arranges fashion show

Yellow, a fashion house of the Beximco Group, showcased its products by arranging a fashion show at the BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) in the city recently.

Jute mills' leaseholder seeks amicable exit from deal

Saad Musa Group, the lessee company of Karnaphuli Jute Mills and Forat Karnaphuli Carpet Mills, yesterday urged the government to form a committee for an amicable and respectable exit from the lease agreement with Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation.

Reliance Industries Q2 profit down

Reliance Industries posted its fourth consecutive drop in quarterly profit but met street estimates as refining margins rebounded and treasury gains from its huge cash pile bolstered profits.

All Nippon Airways restarts Myanmar flights

Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) on Monday restarted direct flights to Myanmar's commercial capital Yangon after a 12-year hiatus, underscoring renewed interest in the fast-reforming nation.

Find your sacrificial animals online

A local e-portal company has introduced an online marketplace for sacrificial animals for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, with the aim to cater to the busy city dwellers and non-resident Bangladeshis.

Handicrafts show creates hopes for Mymensingh women

Fairs create opportunities and hope for them, women entrepreneurs said at a 15-day handicrafts' show on the Town Hall premises in Mymensingh.

Japan's Softbank head says $20b Sprint deal a risk

The head of Japan's Softbank admitted the firm was taking a risk after it confirmed Monday it would pay $20 billion to take over US-based Sprint Nextel in Japan Inc's biggest overseas acquisition.

India wins over markets, but now comes the hard part

Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram exudes the self-confidence of a man who, in the eyes of India's cheerleading financial markets, can do little wrong.

Metropolitan

Lack of coordination barrier to poverty reduction

A lack of coordination of government's different social safety net programmes and wealth's unequal distribution among underprivileged people create barriers in ensuring food security for all, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.

AL trashes BNP probe report

The ruling Awami League yesterday outright rejected BNP's investigation on the attacks on Buddhists in Cox's Bazar and Chittagong, saying the opposition had presented its conspiratorial and puzzling statement before the nation.

Ghulam Hussain new NBR chairman

Commerce Secretary Ghulam Hussain was appointed chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR) after the government transferred five secretaries yesterday.

Rab arrests doc for defaming Shaon

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a doctor from the capital's Ramna on Sunday night for posting defamatory comments about actress Meher Afroz Shaon, widow of litterateur Humayun Ahmed, and her family members on Facebook.

Empowerment of women in decision making sought

Good household income, good health, food security and nutrition can be better ensured if women are empowered to have more say on the decisions that affect them, said speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Jawans met Sheikh Selim 12 days before mutiny

Twelve days before the two-day 2009 Pilkhana mutiny, some BDR jawans went to Awami League Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim's Banani residence in the capital to press home their demands.

Govt harassing chief defence counsel

Some senior pro-BNP lawyers yesterday strongly condemned and protested "harassment" by law enforcers of Abdur Razzaq, the chief of defence counsels of Jamaat leaders being tried for war crimes.

IO Monowara quizzed in case against Mollah

The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday recorded cross-examination of Monowara Begum, one of the two investigation officers in the case against Jamaat-e-Islami Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Mollah.

Recognise contribution of female farmers: NGOs

Speakers at a conference yesterday demanded social and state recognition of the contribution of females in all stages of food cultivation.

Role of law enforcers, admin criticised

Speakers at a discussion yesterday strongly criticised law enforcement agencies and administration for, what they said, playing a silent role and even instigating the September 29 attack on the Buddhist community in Cox's Bazar's Ramu.

Hindu community worried about celebrating puja

Leaders of the country's Hindu community yesterday expressed anxiety about celebrating Durga Puja following the recent communal attack in Ramu, Ukhia, Teknaf and Patia.

Cabinet okays changes to bar council act

The cabinet yesterday approved the draft of Legal Practitioners and Bar Council (Amendment) Act, 2012, which strips Bangladesh Bar Council of its power to enroll law practitioners.

Agri co-ops, organic farming demanded

Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the government to form agricultural cooperatives and implement organic farming to ensure risk and adulteration free food supply.

Everest conqueror Musa seeks ban on book

Musa Ibrahim, the first Bangladeshi to conquer Mount Everest, yesterday filed a case seeking a ban on a book, “Shokal Belar Pakhi”, which claims MA Muhit to be the first Bangladeshi to achieve the feat.

4 women held for luring patients away from DMCH

Dhaka Medical College Hospital authorities yesterday caught four women from the hospital's emergency gate while they were allegedly luring away patients from there to private clinics.

HC asks for Harun's health report

The High Court yesterday asked for a report on the health condition of Destiny Group President and former army chief Lt Gen (retd) M Harun-Ar-Rashid.

Mohammed Farooq new CIC

Former ambassador Mohammed Farooq yesterday joined the Information Commission as the new chief information commissioner (CIC).

DoE fines 52 businesses in September

The Department of Environment (DoE) penalised 52 industries and commercial set-ups across the country for polluting the environment and realised Tk 4 crore in fines, said a DoE press release.

Jagannath Hall tragedy remembered

Students, teachers, and staff of Dhaka University yesterday commemorated those who were killed in a tragic building collapse on October 15, 1985 at the university's Jagannath Hall.

2 killed, 12 hurt in road crashes

Two people were killed and twelve others injured in separate road accidents in Tangail and Jessore on Sunday and yesterday.

Motive still unknown

Neither police nor the victim couple, who were shot by unidentified criminals in the capital's Badda area on Sunday night, had any clue about the motive of the attack till yesterday evening.

4 new HC judges sworn in

Four High Court judges, whose appointments were regularised on October 13, were sworn in yesterday morning.

Justice Bijan Kumar Das critically ill

Bangladesh Press Council Chairman and a former justice of the Supreme Court Bijan Kumar Das is critically ill.

Construction worker dies from electrocution in Ctg

A construction worker died in Chittagong after he was electrocuted while working on a roof of a tin-shed factory yesterday afternoon.

Fisherman shot dead in Bay

Robbers yesterday attacked a fishing boat in the Bay of Bengal near Chittagong Port, killing a fisherman.

Newspaper hawker 'commits suicide' in capital

A 13-year-old newspaper hawker allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his house at Nabinagar Housing in Mohammadpur in the capital yesterday.

Death anniversary

Today is the 5th death anniversary of Prof Dr MA Hadi, former vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and president of Bangladesh Medical Association.

Alhaj Engr Fakhrul Islam

Today is the 27th death anniversary of Alhaj Engr Fakhrul Islam.

National

Erosion threatens to stop Mawa ferry services

Ferry services on Mawa-Kawrakandi route is facing the threat of a grinding halt as erosion by river Padma devoured terminal No. 1 on Sunday night while cracks developed in No. 4 ferry terminal.

Human chain protesting social discrimination in Joypurhat

People from all walks of life joined a human chain in Joypurhat town yesterday, demanding end to social discrimination, especially against the ethnic minority people.

Tiger kills crab catcher

A crab catcher was killed and another injured in separate incidents of tiger attack in Sundarbans west range yesterday.

21 BNP men among 46 sued in Ruhea union

Twenty-one BNP activists including Ruhea union unit BNP President Md Reazuddin and 25 other unnamed people have been sued on charge of Friday's attack on Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen's village home and assault of Ruhea union Awami League (AL) President Ashraful Islam.

It all for the lone computer!

At least 12 teachers of a madrasa were injured as a group of students attacked them in Naogaon district town yesterday morning.

4 return home after serving jail in India

Four Bangladeshis, who served three years in Jail in India's Assam state, returned home yesterday.

'Stalker' headmaster suspended

The headmaster of Habra Girls' High School in Parbatipur upazila of Dinajpur has been suspended on charge of stalking a student of the school.

Oil tanker train derails

An Iswardi bound oil tanker train derailed near Chuadanga Railway Station yesterday morning, disrupting railway communications between Khulna-Dhaka-Rajshahi-Syedpur for four hours.

Two to die for murder

Two members of a family were sentenced to death here yesterday for killing a man in 2010.

Rakhaine people protest attack

About 50 members of local Rakhaine community in Kuakata formed a human chain yesterday, protesting attack by a criminal gang on Sunday. They also demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the culprits. Monju Mon, a Rakhaine youth told this correspondent that on Sunday noon, Anchang, 22, another youth of the community was returning home from the town. A gang of ruling party men, waylaid him and beat him up. Monju said he tried to resist the gang to save Anchang but the gang also assaulted him. Luma Rakhaine, mother of Anchang, filed a complaint with Kuakata PS in this regard but police are yet to take any action against the culprits.

BCL, Shibir clash in Bogra

Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir clashed at Bogra Govt Azizul Haq College on Sunday, leaving three Shibir men injured. Police and locals said the trouble broke out when 10-12 BCL boys beat up 5-6 Shibir activists at about 9pm. Later, the BCL men drove out the Shibir men from the college compound after a chase and counter-chase. The injured -- Jahangir Alam, 20, Abu Sufian, 21, and Mahfuz Alam, 20 -- were taken to different private clinics in the town.

Tk 2.14 cr Yaba tablets seized

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) seized 67,135 pieces of Yaba tablets from Sabrang union in Teknaf upazila early yesterday. Lt. Col. Zahid Hasan, commander of BGB-17, said acting on a secret information, a patrol team of BGB raided the area and seized the tablets worth Tk 2.14 crore at about 5.00 am. None was arrested in this connection as the smugglers fled the scene, sensing the presence of the border guards. A case was filed with Teknaf PS.

Houses of Hindus attacked

Criminals ransacked and set fire to two houses of Hindus in Kaharol upazila yesterday afternoon, leaving four people injured. The injured were identified as Ratan Kumar Roy, 30, and Laxmi Kanti Roy, 28, sons of Atul Chandra Roy and their wives Bharoti Rani Roy, 28, and Parul Rani Roy, 25, of village Mutunihat under the upazila. According to the locals, there was a longstanding land dispute between Atul Chandra Roy, a retired village police and Abdul Wahab and Abdul Latif. At about 2.00pm yesterday, around 20 to 25 people, equipped with wooden sticks and sharp weapons, arrived on a three-wheeler and started ransacking Atul's houses. The gang also looted goods around Tk 50,000 and beat up two sons of Atul and two daughters-in-law. Later they set two houses and a shop belonging to Atul on fire and left the area. Sukumar Mohanta, officer in-charge of Kaharol PS visited the spot.

International

Philippines, Muslim rebels sign historic peace pact

Muslim rebels waging a four-decade insurgency in the Philippines signed a historic pact with the government yesterday to end the conflict, but both sides warned the road to peace had only just begun.

Syria-Turkey tensions soar with flight bans

Turkey has banned Syrian flights from its airspace in a tit-for-tat move, while Iran handed a "detailed proposal" to UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi aimed at ending the conflict between the Syria's army and rebels.

India SC refuses to stay retail FDI policy

The Supreme Court yesterday refused to stay the Centre's decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail sector.

Kejriwal suspends Delhi protest

In a surprise move, India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal announced yesterday afternoon temporary suspension of his agitation in Delhi against Union law minister Salman Khurshid and said that he will now take the protest to the minister's constituency Farrukhabad.

India seeks Aussie's uranium

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard arrived in New Delhi yesterday for a state visit that will include talks about selling uranium to energy-hungry India.

Myanmar bars OIC office opening

Myanmar's president blocked a world Islamic body from opening an office in the country, an official yesterday said, bowing to rallies against its efforts to help Muslims in unrest-hit Rakhine state.

Three Afghan children killed in Nato attack

A Nato air strike killed three children while it was targeting Taliban insurgents planting mines on a road in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials yesterday said.

Egypt struggles to deliver new constitution

Bogged down by disagreements between Islamists and secularists, the committee tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution, supposed to reflect the values of the 2011 uprising, is struggling to deliver.

In second debate, can Obama bounce back?

Time and again, when seeming distracted and stumbling, President Barack Obama has pulled himself out of the political mire. His supporters now wonder whether he has it in him again.

EU states agree new Iran sanctions

European Union foreign ministers yesterday adopted tough new financial and trade sanctions against Iran aimed at forcing a breakthrough in stalled talks on Tehran's contested nuclear programme.

Cameron, Salmond strike referendum deal

Scotland yesterday set up a historic independence referendum after its leader signed an agreement with Britain's prime minister finalising arrangements for a vote, which could lead to the demise of its three-centuries-old union with England.

Obama, Romney race remains nearly tied

Three weeks before election day, the White House race between US president Barack Obama and his Republican foe Mitt Romney remains statistically tied, with Obama maintaining just a slight advantage, a new opinion poll found yesterday.

Mastermind of 9/11 back in US court

Hearings for the self-proclaimed September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-defendants got under way yesterday at the special tribunal known as military commissions at Guantanamo Bay ahead of their trial.

UK Gen resigns over lobbying row

The president of the Royal British Legion, Lt Gen Sir John Kiszely, has resigned yesterday over claims he was involved in defence contract lobbying.

Libya elects new PM

Libya's General National Congress (GNC) elected Ali Zeidan, a long-time opponent of deposed dictator Mummer Gaddafi, as prime minister on Sunday, the assembly's chief said.

Indian Navy chopper crash kills 3

A Chetak helicopter of the Indian Navy crashed near the naval airfield at Dabolim yesterday. According to reports three people have been killed in the crash, which took place during a routine sortie.

Militant attack kills 6 Pak cops

Militants armed with guns and rockets attacked a Pakistani police check post overnight, sparking gun battles that left six police officers dead, officials said yesterday.

Cambodia's ex-king dies

Cambodia's revered ex-king Norodom Sihanouk, whose life mirrored his country's turbulent past, died in China yesterday, sparking nationwide mourning that will see his body lie in state for three months.

Lithuania voters dump govt

Lithuania's left-wing and populist opposition parties opened talks on forming a new government yesterday as austerity-weary voters evicted the Baltic state's Conservative-led coalition in a general election.

Arts & Entertainment

122nd death anniversary of Lalon

A five-day programme has been chalked out on the occasion of the 122nd death anniversary of mystic bard Lalon at the Chheuria Lalon Akhra in Kushtia. The programme begins today.

Recreating scenes of genocide

Director Tanvir Mokammel has begun shooting his upcoming feature film “Jibondhuli” (The Drummer), a story about the plight of a 'dhaki' against the backdrop of Bangladesh's Liberation War, near Savar, on the bank of Bangshi river.

Traffic congestion as seen through art

Institute of Art and Culture (IAC) in Gulshan, Dhaka has organised a group art exhibition, titled “The Stilled Journey of Life”. The exhibition opened on October 12.

In a realm of music and poetry

Cultural organisation Amra Surjamukhi organised a programme, titled “Gaan Kobitar Chhayatoley” -- featuring a discussion and rendition, recitation of Tagore's songs and poems -- at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum in Dhaka on October 13. The featured artistes at the event were Dr. Chanchal Khan and Dalia Ahmed.

Chobir Haat: A haven for artists

Noted artists including Shishir Bhattacharya, GC Trivedi Gupu, Tarun Ghosh, Wakilur Rahman, Saleh Mahmud, Rabi Khan, Masudur Rahman, Kamruzzaman Shadhin and Israt Jahan Kakon are busy on their artworks at 'Chobir Haat', an art market just opposite Charukala (Faculty of Fine Arts) on Dhaka University campus.

Boat race on Kirtonkhola river

A colourful boat race, popularly known as 'Nouka Baich', was held recently on Kirtonkhola River.

Korean films at National Museum

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Dhaka is holding a festival featuring Korean films at the Main Auditorium, National Museum in Dhaka. The festival began on October 14 with an aim to promote Korean culture and language in Bangladesh.

James Bond soars in early “Skyfall” reviews

James Bond is back and better than ever, according to early reviews on Friday, as the latest movie featuring Britain's smooth-talking, martini-drinking super-spy soared with critics and audiences after an advance screening in London.

Sound of Music

On his recent visit to Bangladesh, Professor John Howard (director of London College of Music Examinations, University of West London) spoke to Fawzia Chowdhury (principal, Sound of Music School, Dhaka) on a variety of subjects. Excerpts from the interview:

OP-ED

Mega-buying based on modest planning

There exists a gap between government procurement of medical equipment and planning based on needs assessment. From what has been published in Prothom Alo on October 13, certain aspects of this disarray between planning and procurement come to light. Besides a failure to assuage demand of what equipment is required by which health facility nationwide, little thought is given to whether trained technicians are available to operate the machinery being bought.

One passenger's airline

In the beginning, says the Bible, was the word. If you need evidence that we are now far closer to Judgement Day, with much of humanity destined alas for a spell in hell, note the manner in which we have corrupted the word in the service of subterfuge. It would be wrong to condemn a whole industry for the sins of its pirates, but the public relations crowd has much to answer for in the continuing degradation of language. Their purpose is no longer to convey a fact or an opinion, but to mislead.

Patriarchal risk among extreme poor women

According to a 2011 global Lancet study, female body mass index was lowest in Bangladesh, but not male. This suggests that the under-nutrition problem is related to a distribution of power at the household level.

Salute to rural women

The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on October 15, 2008. This day recognises the role of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty. The idea of honouring rural women with a special day was put forward at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. It was suggested that October 15 be celebrated as World Rural Women's Day, which is the eve of World Food Day (October 16), to highlight rural women's role in food production and food security. World Rural Women's Day was previously celebrated across the world for more than a decade before it was officially a United Nations observance.

Women and men speak different languages

Women in asia have smaller vocabularies than men but talk more, scientists have discovered. Yet females have a much larger choice of words in certain areas, such as in the description of colours, boffins say.

This Day In History

October 16

1905
The Partition of Bengal in India takes place.

Science & Life

Einstein's math allows faster-than-light travel?

Although Einstein's theories suggest nothing can move faster than the speed of light, two scientists have extended his equations to show what would happen if faster-than-light travel were possible.

Meeting economic, environmental challenges

An International Workshop on nanotechnology “Nanotechnology and its prospects in Bangladesh” was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 21-23 September 2012. The Workshop was jointly organized by the University of Dhaka and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Workshop on 21 September at Hotel Sonargaon. All the scientific sessions were held at the Conference room of the Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka. She emphasized the importance of nanotechnology and declared the opening of a nanotech Centre on public-private partnership.

Planet of diamond

Move over, Hope Diamond. The most famous gems on Earth have new competition in the form of a planet made largely of diamond, astronomers say.

Fresh Martian meteorite

Ameteorite that streaked to Earth in a blazing fireball over the Moroccan desert is one of the freshest samples of the Red Planet's surface and atmosphere that scientists have ever seen.

Cold Chemistry

At very low temperatures, close to absolute zero, chemical reactions may proceed at a much higher rate than classical chemistry says they should -- because in this extreme chill, quantum effects enter the picture. A Weizmann Institute of Science team has now confirmed this experimentally; their results will not only provide insight into processes in the intriguing quantum world in which particles act as waves, but they might explain how chemical reactions occur in the vast frigid regions of interstellar space.

Thyroid in a dish

Cells following this thyroid development program form hollow, hormone-producing spheres like those found in a normal thyroid gland.

What is epigraphy?

Epigraphy, literally "on-writing", "inscription") is the study of inscriptions or epigraphs as writing; it is the science of identifying graphemes (the smallest unit that has meaning in a writing system), clarifying their meanings, classifying their uses according to dates and cultural contexts, and drawing conclusions about the writing and the writers. Specifically excluded from epigraphy are the historical significance of an epigraph as a document and the artistic value of a literary composition.


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