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News of: Tuesday, 6th of November, 2012
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After four nationally televised debates, two political conventions, hundreds of speeches, one devastating hurricane, and the expenditure of an estimated $2 billion -- most of it on nasty, negative, and mendacious television ads -- the 2012 US presidential campaign finally comes to a close today.
Two pundits prepared to stick their neck out and predict results in the swing states both foresee a win for Barack Obama. Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, a website run by the University of Virginia's Centre for Politics, gives Obama 290 electoral college votes -- 20 more than the 270 required to win -- while Nate Silver at the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog envisages Obama taking 307 votes.
One of the world's largest electoral exercises in the world gets underway today when 169 million American voters go to the polls to choose a president, a new House of Representatives, 33 senators and thousands of local officials at a whopping cost of $6 billion.
Khaleda Zia as prime minister did not allow the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence chief to investigate the August 21 grenade assaults in 2004.
America's presidential election today promises to be unpredictable, despite the fact that Barack Obama is ever so slightly ahead. You can be sure that neither the incumbent nor the challenger, Mitt Romney, will be able to sleep before voting begins or until it ends. One of them will lose. Which one? You can never tell.
At least 260 people, 54 of them policemen, were injured as Jamaat-Shibir men fought pitched battles with law enforcers in Dhaka and 10 other districts in the country yesterday.
Facing grilling by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Gautam Kumar Mitra yesterday denied his involvement in the embezzlement of Tk 71 crore from the Agargaon branch of Sonali Bank.
Bangladesh has formally joined the 52-nation Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) devoted to building up cooperation between Asia and Europe on political, economic and social issues.
Lawmakers and experts yesterday called for the closing of the banking division of the finance ministry and justified giving full autonomy to the Bangladesh Bank to ensure good governance in the financial sector.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has sued ex-acting BTCL managing director Abu Sayed Khan and 13 others for misappropriating government revenue of Tk 204.91 crore.
Security personnel and customs officials at Shahjalal International Airport yesterday seized 73 turtles of rare species while being smuggled out through the airport.
The defence of war crimes accused Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee boycotted International Crimes Tribunal-1 as the prosecution began arguments in the case yesterday afternoon.
Law enforcers yesterday arrested a Jamaat-e-Islami leader from a Chittagong-bound bus in Ramu bypass in connection with the vandalism and arson of Buddhist temples in Ramu and Cox's Bazar on September 29.
The newly formed Rangpur City Corporation (RCC) will hold its polls on December 20, the Election Commission announced yesterday.
The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined four people Tk 27.5 lakh in the port city on charges of cutting hills.
A total of 25 students were expelled for adopting unfair means while some 46,340 candidates were absent on the second day of Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) examinations yesterday.
India's Border Security Force yesterday detained a Bangladeshi national while he was returning to Bangladesh.
Former president Iajuddin Ahmed has been on life support at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, said family sources.
Polls of all Israelis, not just immigrants from the US, have shown a majority in favour of ousting Obama and installing Romney in the White House.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's recent visit to Vietnam can be observed from a couple of significant perspectives. In the first place, the trip was for the people of Bangladesh and Vietnam a reminder of the historic struggle the two nations once waged against foreign aggression, eventually emerging triumphant and shaping a new order for themselves. In the second, the prime ministerial trip assumed importance owing to the wide range of issues covered in the discussions by the delegations from both Hanoi and Dhaka. The agreements reached on some of the issues clearly underscore the new dimension given to bilateral relations between the two countries.
Just over a month into Biman's schedule chaos, the finance minister's threatening to shut it down if things did not improve and our own editorial on the corruption and inefficiency that characterises the national carrier, still new facts have come to light. This time, the concern is not only about corruption in the administration, but the outright threat to the safety of passengers and aircrafts.
West Indian great Richie Richardson said that the Bangladesh tour will be an important one for the team to move up the Test rankings. The former West Indies captain who is currently the team's manager further stated that he expected the Bangladesh team to come ' hard' at them.
The preliminary squad for the first Test of the two-match series against the West Indies announced by the national selectors yesterday has seen an influx of new faces.
Khulna were the only team to win a match in the second round of the 14th National Cricket League (NCL) yesterday as they beat Sylhet by five wickets at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna.
The legal director of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) Ian Smith is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today to talk with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officials regarding the non-payment of salary of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) players.
Nepal is proving to be an insurmountable barrier for both the junior and national sides of Bangladesh. Following the national side's fruitless encounter in September, yesterday, the BFF Junior Eleven were eliminated from the Safal Pokhara Cup after suffering a 5-4 defeat in a penalty shootout against Yeti Himalayan Sherpa Club in the third quarterfinal at the Pokhara Stadium in Nepal yesterday.
Bangladesh will take part in the T20 World Cup for the blind to be held in Bangalore from December 1 to 13. Except for New Zealand, all the eight Test playing nations – India, England, South Africa, West Indies, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh plus Nepal will be taking part in the round-robin league tournament from where top four finishers will advance to the semifinals. The semifinals and the final are scheduled for December 13.
After a one-year gap, the Senior Division Football League(SDFL) begins today at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur. Seven teams will be fighting it out for the title in the double-league system meet.
Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh was on Monday selected for the first two Tests against England, capping a fairytale comeback from cancer at the start of the year.
Stuart Broad joined fast bowler Steven Finn on England's injured list ahead of the Test series in India as the three-day tour match against Mumbai A ended in a draw on Monday.
ITF Asian Junior Tennis tournament returns to Rajshahi after a two-year gap when the 21st edition will start on November 10. The seven day tournament will feature some 110 players of under-18 level from 22 countries. The tournament will be held in the Zafar Imam Tennis Complex in Rajshahi which is undergoing some renovation ahead of the tournament. Speakers at a press conference at the complex revealed these information yesterday.
Russia's Nadia Petrova routed top-seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-2, 6-1 to clinch the season-ending Tournament of Champions in emphatic style here on Sunday in one hour and 27 minutes of play.
The Czech Republic won a second straight Fed Cup here on Sunday after Lucie Safarova gave them an unbeatable 3-1 lead over Serbia by thrashing Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 6-1.
English champions Manchester City and Premier League rivals Arsenal will be looking to rebound in Tuesday's latest round of Champions League group matches following defeats last time out.
AS Roma substitute Mattia Destro scored a goal and was sent off in 60 eventful seconds on Sunday in his erratic team's 4-1 win over Palermo in Serie A.
Luis Suarez rescued a point for Liverpool with a sublime goal that owed nothing to his alleged penchant for diving in a 1-1 draw at home to 10-man Newcastle at Anfield on Sunday.
Centre back Gerard Pique has returned to the Barcelona squad after injury and is fit for Wednesday's trip to Celtic in Champions League Group G.
Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk will miss Tuesday's Champions League match at Anderlecht because of a thigh injury.
A resolute defensive display saw Levante hold out for a 0-0 draw away to Sevilla on Sunday which moves them up to fifth in La Liga as they battle for a European place.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was presented with a statue of the city's liver bird symbol to mark his 600th appearance for the club before their Premier League game against Newcastle United at Anfield on Sunday.
Inflation declined for the fourth consecutive month in October on the back of falling food prices.
A three-day global summit on social business begins in Vienna on Thursday to discuss the key social problems the world is facing now.
The Securities and Exchange Commission will sit with the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) tomorrow to discuss about the reform proposals the premier bourse recommended.
Tanners and finished leather exporters yesterday again opposed the government proposal for rawhide exports.
Toyota on Monday hiked its full-year profit forecast despite saying it expected to sell fewer cars due to weakness in Europe and slumping sales in China tied to a Sino-Japanese territorial row.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday reshuffled personnel in its top posts, officials said.
Bangladesh Bank has recently appointed Hassan Zaman as its chief economist, the central bank said in a statement yesterday.
Stocks declined for the fifth day as investors were reluctant to make fresh investment in the market yesterday.
A six-member Chinese delegation yesterday showed interest to invest in the renewable energy sector of Bangladesh.
The US housing market is on the mend, but the so-called "missing piston" of the world's biggest economy doesn't have enough power to get the broader recovery firing on all cylinders any time soon.
Vinod Aachi, global head for regional markets of Standard Chartered Bank, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka for a two-day official visit today.
BSRM Steel Ltd plans to invest Tk 100 crore in BSRM Group's billet manufacturing arm to be able to source raw materials locally and reduce dependency on imports.
HSBC has increased the amount set aside for fines linked to money-laundering in the United States to $1.5 billion, the British banking giant said Monday, adding it could face criminal charges over the matter.
European leaders said Monday they were finally getting a grip on the eurozone debt crisis and urged Asia to do more to boost global economic growth.
The ruling Congress party has rolled out its big guns to defend the move to let the likes of Walmart set up shop in India, but they are confronting an alliance stretching across the political spectrum.
Detective Branch (DB) of Police seized 10,000 bottles of Phensedyl hidden inside a covered-van and a microbus, falsely labelled to be of the Directorate General of Food, before the capital's Kakrail Mosque on Sunday.
The education ministry will ask educational institutions to warn students about the dangers of religious militancy.
A rights organisation yesterday filed a writ petition with the High Court, seeking its directives on the government to stop sand traders' businesses and evict them from separate areas of the rivers Turag and Shitalakkhya within three days to save those areas from encroachments.
Traffic movement in the capital's Badda and adjacent areas was halted for around six and a half hours yesterday after several hundred garment factory workers took to the streets demanding due wages.
The National Committee for Protection of Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports yesterday called an urgent discussion, reiterating its demand for fully implementing the Phulbari agreement and putting an immediate end to Sundarbans' destruction.
A four-day deputy director general-level conference between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) began in a hotel in Sylhet city yesterday.
BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday termed "rubbish" the recent remarks of Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan that senior BNP leader Rafiqul Islam Miah was a razakar.
Mariam Begum was chatting with a woman sitting next to her on a city bus. It was going to Nabinagar on the outskirts of Dhaka. In the bustling Savar Bazar, the bus started moving slowly. Suddenly Mariam cried out as she felt a sting in her right earlobe and found her ear bleeding and earring gone. Outside, she saw a boy leaving the place in a hurry.
The High Court yesterday directed the home secretary to form a high-profile committee led by a joint secretary to investigate the allegation of imposing a fatwa on a housewife in Mirsarai of Chittagong.
Satya Priyo Mahathero, president of Bangladesh Bhikkhu Mahashabha, was admitted to the capital's Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University yesterday with various complications, including hypertension and high blood pressure.
Bangladesh and Meghalaya will begin a 3-day meeting on land border survey along the Sylhet-Meghalaya frontier at Sylhet Circuit House today.
The body of Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu, Awami League presidium member and lawmaker from Chittagong-12, arrived in Dhaka at 5:40pm yesterday on a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines from Singapore.
Police yesterday recovered the bodies of a young woman and a young man who were allegedly killed by miscreants in separate incidents in sadar upazila of Gazipur on Sunday.
Muggers looted Tk 15 lakh from a businessman in Godabagh upazila road area of South Keraniganj in Dhaka yesterday.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will start for Ramu of Cox's Bazar on Friday to inspect the Buddhist temples and localities, which were ravaged by the September 29-30 communal attack.
China has expressed interest to strengthen cooperation with Bangladesh in prospective areas, particularly the energy sector.
A gang of unidentified miscreants shot dead a Bangladeshi businessman in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday.
Sammilita Samajik Andolon, a rights organisation, yesterday expressed deep concern over recent attacks by fundamentalists on a Baul music event in Shibnagar of Sylhet.
A total of 9,970 Yaba tablets worth around Tk 30 lakh were seized by Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel from a boat on the estuary of Naf River near Sabrang union in Cox's Bazar district yesterday.
A teenager died in her tin-shed residence in the capital's Puraton Kachukhet yesterday after a portion of a concrete wall from the top of an adjacent six-storey under-construction building fell on the tin roof, collapsing it on top of her.
Police recovered the body of a female domestic help from a residential building in the port city's Golpahar area on Sunday night.
A section of garment workers yesterday observed a hunger strike and held a solidarity rally demanding restart of all factories of Hall-Mark Group in Savar under control of the government.
A man was killed and two others were injured as a bus hit an oncoming CNG-run auto-rickshaw in Shantirhat of Patiya upazila in Chittagong.
Qulkhwani of Fawzia Karim, wife of former ambassador Saber Reza Karim, will be held in the capital today.
Today is the 20th death anniversary of Anwara Begum, an industrialist and former managing director of KDH Laboratories Ltd.
Guardians of SSC and Dakhil examinees from different schools and madrasas in five upazilas of the district are being forced to pay excessive fees for the examinations as the institution authorities ignore the instruction from the education board in this regard.
Surprisingly though, 34 level crossings out of a total 54 ones in the district Gaibandha district are without any gatemen or arrangement for stopping movement of vehicles and pedestrians during passage of trains.
Army men finally succeeded in lifting onto the road the tank-carrying lorry that had fallen into a roadside ditch at Jamurki in Mirzapur upazila of Tangail on Saturday.
The admission tests for first year honours courses under the academic session 2012-13 at Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur will begin today.
Fifteen Jubo Dal leaders and activists have been sued on charge of extortion in the district.
Coastguard members arrested a poacher along with seven kilograms of venison in Khasitana area of Koyra upazila early yesterday.
The law enforcers in separate drives arrested six drug peddlers from different parts of the district yesterday and the day before.
Detective Branch (DB) of police in separate drives arrested five people along with two 'stolen' motorbikes and a CNG-run three-wheeler in Pabna and Joypurhat districts on Sunday night. The arrestees are Md Harun-ur-Rashid, 27, Awal Mollah, 25, Forhad Sheikh, 26, Moyan Uddin, 52, and Belal Ahmed, 45. Md Mizanur Rahman, officer in-charge of DB, Bogra, said on secret information, they arrested Awal, Forhad and Harun along with the motorbikes from Tamil Nagour and Kodi Malonchi areas in Pabna. In another drive, the DB men arrested Moyan and Belal at Amutro village in Akkelpur upazila of Joypurhat, said the OC.
A child drowned in a pond at Anggarjur village in Gowainghat upazila on Sunday afternoon. The deceased was identified as Rumman Ahmed, 2, son of Israk Ali of Lamapara village. Family sources said Rumman recently visited the house of his maternal grandfather at the village. He was playing at the house yard along with other children and at one stage fell into a pond and drowned at about 4.00pm. Hearing the hue and cry, relatives rescued Rumman.
A mobile court sentenced a bridegroom, his father and the bride's father to 15 days' imprisonment for arranging marriage of an underage girl at Charruhita village in Sadar upazila on Sunday. Locals said Nurul Amin arranged wedding of his 10-year-old daughter Shahanaz Begum, a student of class five, with Sohel, 17, son of Amir Hossain of the upazila. On secret information, police went to the spot and arrested Sohel, Amir and Nurul in the afternoon. Later, the arrestees were produced before the court led by Executive Magistrate SM Nazrul Islam, which pronounced the verdict.
A teenage girl allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling of her house at Khitibdia village in Sadar upazila early yesterday. Locals said Shahanara Khatun, 17, daughter of Solaiman Gazi of the village, killed herself over a family feud at around 1:00am. On information, police recovered the body and sent it to Jessore Medical College and Hospital morgue for autopsy.
Police recovered the body of an unidentified man from Ferry ghat at Daulatdia in Goalanda upazila on Sunday morning. The deceased, aged around 35, wore full pant and shirt. Officer in-charge of Goalanda Police Station Abul Bashar said after getting down from a ferry in the Ghat area, the man suddenly began to run along a road and at one stage jumped into a nearby pond at about 7.00am. Locals then rescued him but he died after sometime.
Here are the positions of President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney on several key issues in the November 6 election:
There's always grousing about the many people who don't bother to vote. But look at it the other way: An estimated 133 million Americans will cast ballots today. Some will persevere despite long lines, pressing personal burdens or the devastation left by Superstorm Sandy. Why do they do it?
President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney make a frenetic dash to a series of crucial swing states on Monday, delivering their final arguments to voters on the last day of an extraordinarily close race for the White House.
A defeat for Barack Obama today would be no ordinary loss for Democrats.
Four years ago, Colleen Weston was one of the many young Americans enchanted by Barack Obama's message of hope and change.
A Swiss laboratory team yesterday made a brief visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah to prepare for the exhumation of the late president Yasser Arafat, Palestinian sources said.
Syrian rebels launched a devastating car bomb attack yesterday that killed 50 pro-regime fighters, a watchdog said, as air strikes pounded rebel positions and the opposition met for talks on an overhaul.
When Zac Vawter put his mind to climbing the 103 floors of Chicago's iconic Willis Tower, his legs did the rest.
Tens of thousands of people whose homes were destroyed or damaged by superstorm Sandy faced a new crisis in New York on Sunday as temperatures plunged, raising the specter of people freezing to death.
Just as the US east coast is limping back to recovery from the destruction caused by Sandy, another strong coastal storm threatens to hit the region this week and could result in high winds, flooding and power outages, further exacerbating the damage caused by the megastorm.
President Obama and Mitt Romney had both written op-eds for CNN, laying out their vision for the country at the close of the campaign.
GOP strategist Karl Rove, who called the race for Republican Mitt Romney a few days ago, now says Hurricane Sandy helped President Obama and caused the Romney campaign to "stutter" in its message on the economy.
Here in President Barack Obama's ancestral village in Kenya, witch doctor John Dimo tossed some shells, bones and other items to determine who will win Tuesday's election.
Where can a pop star score a hit by talking about the US Electoral College? In China, where Gao Xiaosong's straightforward explanation of the system drew more than 1 million hits in four days.
Pakistan's army chief warned against efforts to undermine the military in a rare public statement yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
Leading Bangla daily Prothom Alo arranged a celebration programme at the Rabindra Sarobar in Dhanmondi, Dhaka on November 4 to mark its 14th anniversary. Noted personalities from different fields and artistes gathered at the venue to join the celebration.
A new film about Erwin Rommel has been shown on German television, depicting the general as a weak man undone by his links to Adolf Hitler.
Ushering in Hemanta (late autumn), a Narayanganj-based classical music organisation Lakshyapar arranged a concert, titled “Shishir Shandhya”, at Narayanganj High School premises. In accordance with the spirit of the season, the opening of the programme began with Arif Bulbul's recitation of a Jibanananda Das poem depicting the beauty of late autumn set in the backdrop of idyllic Bangladesh.
Executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), Shahin Anam, said that the lifestyle and traditional culture of Jumma people in the hills must be protected in the interest of overall development of the community and its people.
Inspiring Kabi Gaan (light songs in the form of questions and answers between dueling bards) was held last Thursday (November 1) night at Botiakhali bazaar premises in Sreepur upazila of Magura district.
Under the titled “The Dormancy of the Seed”, a solo art show of Italian artist Sabrina Mezzaqui is now on at Bengal Art Lounge, Gulshan in Dhaka.
Halle Berry has said that she would never pile on extra pounds for a film role, as she fears it would put her health in jeopardy.
Popular model and actor Nirob is the featured celebrity of this month at DS Café. He will be on the hot seat and take your calls at The Daily Star Centre today (November 6), between 4 and 5pm. Readers, fire away all your questions at him! The best question will be highlighted in the transcription. Call 8126155, 01711623915 and 01711623917 to speak to Nirob.
The prime minister recently called upon Vietnamese entrepreneurs to invest in the country promising conducive facilities. We laud her for her efforts to woo much-needed foreign investment. Yes, Bangladesh has the potential to become the investors' choice destination. We have a number of things going for us at the moment. At the same time there are major bottlenecks that will have to be addressed so that Bangladesh can cash in on the increased interest Asian and European interests have been showing lately.
Rising inequality of virtually every sort -- in incomes, access to opportunity, gender-based, or in terms of quality of life -- appears to have made a brief appearance yet again as a topic of debate in the developed countries.
A month or so ago I had an opportunity to listen to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed at a closed-door meeting in Washington, DC. He spoke about his work at Brac and how his organisation sought to change the fate of the poor in Bangladesh. It is hard not to be touched by the gallant stories of grassroots resilience and entrepreneurship of the disenfranchised. No less, it is always inspiring to listen to a visionary.
Bonds issued by national governments in key foreign currencies are normally referred to as sovereign bonds, although the term sovereign bond may also refer to bonds issued in a country's own currency.
Zooming up the New York Times bestseller chart this week is a romantic novel called Charm by Kendall Hart. Nothing odd about that. Except for the fact that she doesn't exist. Kendall Hart is a made-up character from a TV show.
Mohandas Gandhi is arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.
Science & Life
At the end of the nineteenth century, scientists were convinced that we knew whatever there was to know about the mysteries of Nature. This conviction was based on our unflinching faith on Newton's laws of motion and his universal theory of gravitation. In the words of British poet Alexander Pope, “Nature and Nature's law lay hid in night; God said let Newton be! And all was light.” These laws together with Maxwell's theory of electro-magnetism, laws of thermodynamics, and kinetic theory of gases provided causal interpretations for the behavior of all objects in the Universe. They form the basis for what we call “classical physics.”
Physicists racing to detect the mysterious substance known as dark matter are thinking outside the box by looking inside the cell. A new proposal for tracking dark matter particles relies on strands of DNA.
When there is little water available for plants to grow, their roots form alliances with soil microbes that can promote plant growth even under water-limiting conditions, according to research published Oct. 31 by Daniele Daffonchio and colleagues from the University of Milan, Italy in the open access journal PLOS ONE.
In sheer power, Hurricane Sandy ranks second among modern hurricanes, beating even Hurricane Katrina, according to Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami.
Surprisingly, when a photon is observed, it behaves either as a particle or as a wave. But both aspects are never observed simultaneously. In fact, which behaviour it exhibits depends on the type of measurement it is presented with. These astonishing phenomena have been experimentally investigated in the last few years, using measurement devices that can be switched between wave-like and particle-like measurements.
Asteroid belts similar to the one between Mars and Jupiter appear to be rare beyond our solar system, implying that complex alien life may be rare as well, a new study reports.
Botulinum Toxin, is the most acutely toxic substance known. A mere 90-270 nanograms of botulinum toxin could be enough to kill an average 90 kg (200 lb) person.