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News of: Saturday, 15th of December, 2012

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Front Page

HSBC-Star honour climate heroes

A government department and four private organisations yesterday received the country's top environment awards for their eco-friendly efforts and mitigation of climate change impacts through sustainable business activities, community-based programmes and awareness campaigns.

Dhaka to seek access to MCA

Apart from improving its record on corruption, Bangladesh has to resolve the Grameen Bank issue in an acceptable manner and ensure that no new law hampers operation of NGOs in the country to qualify for US funds to fight poverty.

No conspiracy can stop war crimes trial

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated that the war crimes trial would surely be held on the country's soil although many conspiracies were going on to foil it.

BCL embarrasses AL, its associates

Top leaders of ruling Awami League and its associated bodies feel embarrassed at Bangladesh Chhatra League's criminal activities, including the Bishwajit murder.

2 more held

Detectives yesterday arrested two more people in connection with the gruesome murder of Bishwajit Das.

Nation to honour 65 more foreign friends

Bangladesh will present awards to 65 more foreign friends this morning for their outstanding contributions to the country's Liberation War 41 years ago.

Rapid changes in China

In 1988, Beijing -- the capital of China which was witnessing its first wave of reforms -- had only two private cars with the second one just brought in by a Chinese scholar from the USA. The world's most populated city was swarmed with millions of bicycle riding commuters.

27 killed in US school shooting

At least 27 people, 18 of whom are children, were killed in a shooting yesterday at a Connecticut elementary school, reported US media citing law enforcement officials.

BNP, Jamaat leading nation to civil war

LGRD and Cooperatives Minster Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday alleged that the BNP-Jamaat alliance was trying to push the country towards a civil war in a bid to save war criminals.

Top criminal Bikash freed on bail

Top terror Bikash Kumar Biswas was secretly released from Kashimpur jail-2 yesterday upon a bail order.

5 killed in Sirajganj bus crash

Five passengers were killed and 27 others injured when a bus turned turtle on the western approach road of the Bangabandhu Bridge in Sirajganj yesterday evening.

Govt yet to reply to HC ruling

Four months have elapsed and the government is yet to respond to the High Court's rule over legitimising the controversial criminal hunt called Operation Clean Heart.

Cargo vessel catches fire at Ctg port

A cargo vessel of Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) anchored at jetty No 3 of Chittagong Port caught fire yesterday evening when an economizer of its engine room became overheated.

Gas explosion kills man

A man died while his wife and son, and five guests sustained burn injuries in a gas explosion at their kitchen in the capital's Jatrabari area yesterday morning.

Islamist parties threaten to call hartal for Dec 20

Twelve like-minded Islamist parties yesterday threatened to enforce a hartal on Thursday if the left-leaning political parties do not withdraw their Tuesday's hartal.

Jamaat acting secy general remanded

A Dhaka court yesterday placed Jamaat-e-Islami acting secretary general Shafiqur Rahman on a four-day remand in a case filed under anti-terrorism act.

Teletalk DGM on 16-day ACC remand

A Dhaka court yesterday granted a 16-day remand for deputy general manger of Teletalk AKM Asaduzzaman in two cases over misappropriating public money.

Clashes in Egypt on eve of referendum

Stone-throwing clashes broke out in the Egyptian city of Alexandria between Islamists and opposition protesters yesterday, on the eve of a highly charged referendum on a new constitution, witnesses and state media said.

Big-eyed slow loris in danger

A new species of primate, a "big-eyed" and venomous slow loris, has been identified in Borneo by researchers.

Disclose assets

About 65 Chinese academics, lawyers and human rights activists have signed an open letter demanding that top members of the ruling Communist Party reveal their financial assets, saying it is the most fundamental way to solve corruption.

Cambodia snubs critical UN rights envoy

The UN human rights envoy to Cambodia voiced regret yesterday at an apparent snub by government officials adding he was also "surprised" by criticism he has received for highlighting rights abuses.

Obama, Boehner meet in fiscal cliff talks

President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner held surprise talks Thursday, as time ran short for hopes of a pre-Christmas deal to solve a fiscal crisis that could cause a recession.


Media gag will serve no purpose

We are somewhat taken aback at the International Crimes Tribunal's decision to direct Bangladeshi media, both print and electronic to refrain from covering the controversy of the “Skype” conversation between a judge and a lawyer. The feeble excuse that accompanies the directive that it will adversely affect justice is amusing, especially in light of the fact that the piece of news was published in full on the internet over a week ago and which has been distributed over innumerable websites and blogs online, cannot be contained through the gag order.

Turmoil in Egypt

Trouble has been brewing for President Morsi for some time now. Ever since he declared his intention to call for a referendum on a new constitution due to be held on December 15, the country has been divided down the middle with Islamists on one side and everyone else on the other. With street battles raging in the country bringing back memories of the anti-Mubarak movement, the army has been called in to protect key government installations including the presidential palace. It is interesting to note that the army chief has called for talks on national unity, especially in the backdrop of an announcement by the International Monetary Fund to delay a crucial loan to the embattled Egyptian economy.


Action after goalless draw

The insecurity of footballers and football officials was once again nakedly exposed as rowdy fans injured a coach and two Bangladesh Football Federation officials at the Bangabandhu National Stadium last evening. The incident took place after the end of the Grameenphone Premier League encounter between defending champions Abahani and contenders Sheikh Jamal which ended in a goalless draw. As the Sheikh Jamal coach Joseph Afusi was making his way to the press conference room, he was struck by a piece of brick on his head. Minutes later BFF's media manager Ashikur Rahman Habibe Rabbi and BFF executive Mohibul Islam were physically assaulted inside the field by some Abahani supporters who had entered through the fences from the VIP galleries. Police finally stepped in to rescue the BFF officials.

BPL auction on Dec 20

The second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), which is scheduled to begin on January 17 and hold the players' auction on December 20, will go ahead despite the fact of non-payment to players in the league's first edition.

BDDSOC protests NSC amendment

The Bangladesh District and Divisional Sports Organisers' Council (BDDSOC) condemned and protested the amended constitution of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) ahead of the country's most affluent sports body's election.

India in tatters

James Anderson took three wickets to put England in control after Day Two of the final Test against India in Nagpur yesterday.

New planning for Pak tour

Bangladesh is in its second phase of planning for its tour to Pakistan, informed Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan Papon during a press conference at BCB headquarters.

Siddikur still on

Siddikur Rahman was close to surviving another cut as he made some ground on the second day of the Iskandar Johor Open on Friday. The 28-year old golfer, who was able to play only three holes on Thursday due to thunderstorm, finished the first round on par and then was on one-under-par in the thirteen holes of the second round.

Aussies on front foot

Australia took the upper hand against Sri Lanka following half-centuries by Phil Hughes, David Warner and Michael Clarke on the opening day of first Hobart Test on Friday.

Kompany against stadium netting

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany does not believe netting should be used at stadiums to protect players, the defender saying fans should not be treated like animals.

Hughes paying back

Phil Hughes unfurled a couple of new shots in his comeback Test knock of 86 against Sri Lanka in Friday's Hobart series opener in his efforts towards remaining in the Australian team.

Faf to captain SA T20 side

The South African cricket selectors kept faith with their Test team but made major changes to their Twenty20 squad ahead of a forthcoming home series against New Zealand.

Le Clos 1st, Lochte 3rd

South Africa's Olympic 100m butterfly champion Chad Le Clos added the world short course crown to his collection on Thursday with a commanding victory in the final.

Bangladesh in badminton Grand Prix

Bangladesh will take part in the Garg-Syed Modi International India Badminton Grand Prix which will be held at Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow, India from December 18 to 23.

IHF handball

Bangladesh men's handball team lost their second match in a row in the IHF Trophy Handball Tournament in Kathmandu, Nepal yesterday. Bangladesh lost against Yemen by 23-18 points, after trailing the first half by 14-8 points. Meanwhile, Bangladesh women's team won their match against Pakistan by 35-15 points. Bangladesg led th first half by 14-9 points. Shirin Akter, who scored 10 goals in the match, was adjudged man of the match.

Victory Day basketball

A three-on-three basketball tournament will be held at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium on December 16 and 17 on the occasion of Victory Day, said a press release from Bangladesh Basketball Federation yesterday. 16 teams in the men's group and four teams in women's group will participate in the tournament.

Div I football

Youngmen's Club of Fakirerpul defeated Sunrise Sporting Club 1–0 in the Popular Life Insurance Senior Division Football League at the Birshrestha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday. Mohammad Shamim scored the only goal of the match in the 44th minute. Badda Jagoroni Sangsad take on Jatrabari Krira Chakra in today's fixture at the same venue.

India thrash Pakistan for World Cup

A defiant India beat Pakistan by 30 runs in a thrilling final of the T20 World Cup for the sightless at the Central College ground here Thursday.

BKSP set up Rajshahi final

BKSP set up a final clash of the Agrani Bank 23rd National Youth Hockey Championship against Rajshahi when they handed a 4-0 defeat to Dhaka in the semifinal at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Bolt named the best

French sports daily L'Equipe announced their annual awards for the 2012 year in sport this week with Olympic gold medalists Usain Bolt and Teddy Riner leading the list.

Top-of-the-table clash

With Real Madrid trailing by 11 points, Barcelona's closest threat is from Atletico Madrid who they face on Sunday and midfielder Xavi Hernandez feels it is an opportunity to dent their title aspirations.

Goal-line tech a 'no-brainer'

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, whose "goal" against Germany at the 2010 World Cup was missed by officials, believes the introduction of goal-line technology into football is a "no-brainer".

Giggs warns rivals

Manhester United star Ryan Giggs has warned Manchester City that his side's derby triumph will provide the perfect springboard to wrestle the title away from Eastlands.

FIFA can't verify it

World football's governing body on Friday said that they were unable to check whether claims that an African footballer and not Argentina star Lionel Messi was the record holder for the most goals scored in a calendar year.

Marquez quits Red Bulls

Rafa Marquez, a 33-year-old defender who was Mexico's captain at the 2010 World Cup, was released by Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls on Thursday and signed with Leon of Mexico.

Bastia's home ground shut

Bastia had their home ground shut down on Thursday by French football chiefs who believe that regular outbreaks of violence are putting fans and players in danger.

Barry given 1-game ban

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry was given a one-match ban on Thursday after a foul-mouthed rant at an official following last weekend's explosive Manchester derby.



After making a long trip to my favourite library the other day, I discovered that I had forgotten my reading glasses. I struggled to read for a few minutes before giving up in frustration.

Nation vows to resist plot against war crimes trial

With a vow to resisting any “conspiracy” against the ongoing war crimes trial, the nation yesterday observed Martyred Intellectuals Day commemorating its bright sons, who were assassinated at the fag end of the 1971 Liberation War.

Man shot, two cops injured in clash

A man received bullet wounds and two policemen were injured in a clash between police and residents of Khirshintikor in the city yesterday over a land dispute.

PM, home minister must take responsibility

Accusing the government of being involved in the killing of Bishwajit Das, BNP Standing Committee Member MK Anwar yesterday said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir must take responsibility for the killing.

Anti-communal confce now on December 23

An anti-communal national conference, which was scheduled to be held on Thursday, will be held now on December 23 at Mahanagar Natyamancha in Gulistan of the capital.

Yunus for mobile phone use to detect cancer

Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus yesterday said initiatives should be taken to use new technologies like mobile phone to detect diseases like cancer.

Road crashes kill 6

Six people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Bogra and Kishoreganj yesterday.

NSU conference on Shakespeare starts

A two-day long conference on contributions of Shakespeare to the world literature began at North South University (NSU) in the capital yesterday.

Victory Day tomorrow

The nation will celebrate the 41st anniversary of victory over the Pakistani occupation forces tomorrow with a call for hastening the war crimes trial and upholding the spirit of independence.

Ctg physics Olympiad held

The Chittagong divisional physics Olympiad took place yesterday in the port city.

Meter readers demand permanent job

Contractual meter readers and messengers of Palli Bidyut Samity (rural electrification association) yesterday sought the prime minister's intervention to make their job permanent within this year.

India starts enclave talks with parties

India's new External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid started discussions with different political parties and concerned states over the endorsement of the Dhaka-Delhi enclave exchange accord in their parliament, reports BBC Bangla on Thursday.

Dr Fazle Rabbee's 41st anniversary of death today

Today is the 41st death anniversary of Shaheed Dr Fazle Rabbee, says a press release.


Mohammad Abu Siddique, president of Dhaka Sangbadpatra Hawkers' Bohumukhi Samabaya Samity Ltd, died of cancer at a hospital in the capital early yesterday. He was 82, said a press release.

Death anniversary

Today is the second death anniversary of Ambia Khatun Mojumder, mother of Abdullah Al-Mahmud (Mahin), chairman of Crystal Insurance Company Ltd, says a press release.



Russia's Syria stance won't change

Russia yesterday said that it had not changed and would not change its controversial stance on Syria, after a top Russian diplomat said the defeat of the Syrian regime was possible.

Susan Rice ends bid to succeed Hillary

Susan Rice, the embattled US ambassador to the United Nations, withdrew herself from consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in the face of sustained Republican attacks over her handling of the Benghazi consulate attack.

No credible evidence to arrest Saeed: Malik

Notwithstanding pressure from India, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik yesterday gave no indication of action being taken against 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, saying there was no credible evidence to arrest him.

N Korea marks rocket success with rally

Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans rallied yesterday in the freezing cold to revel in the country's rocket launch as South Korea voiced concern that its rival could follow up with a third nuclear test.

IAEA hopes nuke deal with Iran soon

The chief UN nuclear inspector yesterday said after "good" talks in Tehran that he expects to reach a deal with Iran in January on outstanding issues over its controversial atomic programme.

Fake prophet arrested

A man who allegedly claimed to be an Islamic prophet and tricked his male followers into allowing him to have sex with their wives and daughters has been arrested, Indonesian police said Friday.

Pak asks Interpol for Musharraf's arrest

Pakistan has sent a second letter to Interpol asking it to arrest former President Pervez Musharraf, who had been declared a fugitive by an anti- terrorism court for failing to cooperate with investigators probing the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Modi misleading in name of development

Breaking into Gujarati to ask people to vote for her party, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said yesterday that the Narendra Modi led government was misleading people in the name of development and making false promises.

Arts & Entertainment

Ranjit Das looks back at the Liberation War

Ranjit Das is considered to be one of the most influential contemporary painters. As an artist he is easily recognised and can interpret diverse dimensions with his outstanding style and techniques. The artist shared his experience, dreams and views on the Liberation War.

12th Int'l Short and Independent Film Festival begins

With screening of three films, the 12th International Short and Independent Film Festival began at the Central Public Library in Shahbagh, Dhaka on December 13. Featuring over 200 films from around 30 countries, the weeklong festival will be a platform for young filmmakers who want to see themselves in global film competitions and want to take cinema ahead.

Anurup Aich Successful songwriter

Anurup Aich made his breakthrough in songwriting with the success of songs -- “Dil” and “Dost Dushmon” -- recorded by Ayub Bachchu and James respectively. He cemented his position as a lyricist by penning songs for several other popular singers, including Momtaz and Hasan.

Bijoy-e Parbon-e

Marking 41st Victory Day, a three daylong festival will kick off today (December 15) at Dhaka University Central Playground. Utshe, Bangladesh, a newly formed organisation, has arranged the innovative festival titled, "Bijoy-e Parbon-e".

Memories of their martyred father

Rabindra Sangeet singer Sadi Mohammad and dancer Shibli Mohammad are familiar names in our cultural arena. In 1971, collaborators of the Pakistan army killed their father brutally. The siblings shared their thoughts on the Liberation War, memories of their father and a host of other issues.


Brutalisation of politics

We are witnessing difficult and sad times. Manifest dehumanisation of politics does not cause concern. Gory murder in broad public view does not move many. Guardians of public order come up with stock replies that only fuels cynicism in a precariously polarised society. All in all there are reasons to feel worried as living in a democracy is becoming hazardous.

Enter, the foreign middleman

Kapil Sibal plays many roles, some of them quite well. But he is inimitable when he turns caustic. Sarcasm descended from his heavy eyebrows with the full force of a waterfall when he taunted the Indian middleman during his advocacy for foreign retailers in the Lok Sabha debate on FDI. Shakespeare was never so bitter about Shylock as Sibal was about the "bichauli."

Loss and damage negotiation at COP 18: Key issues are lost

Negotiations at COP 18 to agree on a mechanism to address loss and damage caused by the impacts of climate change drew immense attention of the country Parties, CSOs and policy think tanks. The continued lack of mitigation ambition and inadequate resources to implement adaptation actions are increasingly causing suffering and significant loss and damage of assets and properties all over the world, especially in the poor and vulnerable countries.

Ensuring safety during construction: An imperative

Accidents during construction due to failure of the under-construction structure are a rarity in most countries. The reason is that safety is considered as the number one priority in every construction work all over the world, be it a bridge, flyover, building or any other structure. There is no doubt that in other parts of the world it is not always that the most experienced contractor or the contractor with the most reputed track record is awarded the project, but the authority ensures that the contractor who is awarded the project has some experience in constructing the structure. This is done because a contractor who may not have prior experience in doing such type of project may not be aware of the proper techniques, which may lead to breach of the safety of the general public. This is why authorities in other parts of the world strictly ensure that no one plays with the safety of the public or tries to tamper with it because they highly value the lives of the general public.

A violent society?

Is Bangladesh a blatantly violent society; is it violence or the transparency of violence featured on live television for everyone to watch that causes a sense of disgust? In my opinion, it is not either, it is both.

This Day In History

December 15

King Mahendra of Nepal suspends the country's constitution, dissolves parliament, dismisses the cabinet, and imposes direct rule.


Readings in December

I was never particularly fascinated by historical novels or “period fictions” as they are popularly known as in the USA, But I have been read a few of late. I just recently started “Bring Up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel, a tale of Henry VIII, King of England, Anne Boleyn, his queen, and Thomas Cromwell, his deputy. More on the book and my struggles as I plod through it later, but let me confide to my readers that I will need a few more weeks, if not months, to finish this complicated history of 16th century England and Europe! That's partly because my knowledge of the British emperors until now has been very limited, and acquired mostly from watching movies based on Shakespeare's plays or hearsay.

Eugene O'Neill and American drama

November 27 marked the 59th death anniversary of America's pre-eminent playwright Eugene O'Neill. O'Neill has long been a fixture of the modern American dramatic literature curriculum in colleges and universities worldwide. His plays are considered exceptional not only in plumbing the depths of human emotion, but also in presenting a disconcerting image of American cultural life. O'Neill wrote fifty one plays. He was awarded four Pulitzers and a Nobel Prize in literature in 1936the only playwright who has achieved such a feat so far in America. As a dramatist he was highly experimental in technique, and his themes generally involved lust for power, body, land and oil; reinventing pagan depths in American complexities, racial and class problems; and his family.

The pilgrimage

Hajj is
A realization
That I have to go
Soon, maybe later
Towards the approaching
Day of Judgment
That while I live
I expect, I hope
For the certainty
Amidst uncertainty.

Star Health

Treatment brings smile back in life

No one is happy in all occasion, but some people feel as if they can never be contented. They lead awful life with a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite and poor concentration. These people suffers from depression that significantly destroys their quality of life — the ability to work, maintaining relationships and at worst, can lead to suicide.

Winter wellness: Myth and truth

There are many myths persist about what problems can arise to our health during winter season. But most of them are not true scientifically. It is important to distinguish truth from myth, in order to reduce your winter risk by understanding some common myths — and the actual truth behind them.

An innovation for treating prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men. Nowadays, men harbouring prostate cancer are usually well and without any symptoms. They often have the disease detected early, when it can be cured.

Iron may prevent behavioural issues in small babies

Iron supplements may help boost brain development and ward off behavioural problems in babies who are born a bit on the small size, a new study from Sweden reported in journal Paediatrics suggests.

Mothers' pre-pregnancy weight tied to kids' IQ

Children whose mothers went into pregnancy overweight may have slightly lower scores on certain tests of verbal and numbers skills, according to a new study says reported in the journal Paediatrics.

Strategic Issues

The Israeli periphery

The state of Israel has a basic, inescapable geopolitical dilemma: Its national security requirements outstrip its military capabilities, making it dependent on an outside power. Not only must that power have significant military capabilities but it also must have enough common ground with Israel to align its foreign policy toward the Arab world with that of Israel's. These are rather heavy requirements for such a small nation.

2012: The Year of Elections

March 04, 2012
Putin returns to the presidency

Vladimir Putin runs for a third term as president against a backdrop of mounting public opposition. Putin, who served as president for two terms before assuming the position of prime minister for four years, claims victory on March 4 with 64 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, opposition groups reiterate allegations of voting fraud and turn out en masse to demonstrate during Putin's May inauguration.

Star Books Review

When your history goes missing

The end of the year is a pretty good time to reflect on the books that have been read in the preceding months or those that are being read or those that will be read in the days and weeks to be. Close to a fortnight ago, Nazrul's Bandhonhara was launched in its English translation in Dhaka, to much acclaim. It surely goes to the credit of The Reading Circle that it undertook this rather gigantic task of going for the translation. Something, as they say, is always lost in translation. But then there are translations that hold your attention, that are indeed riveting. This translation of Bandhonhara promises to be one work that could make a difference. I am yet to read it and when I do, I know that old bug, the urge to review, will take hold of my imagination and I could actually end up doing a critique of the work.

A commendable approach to Elias' short stories

When I first came across the book Akhtaruzzaman Elias er Chhotogolpo, I was indeed taken by surprise. It is a well written and well referenced book but more importantly, it is an attempt at a comprehensive critical approach to Elias's short stories. One would still wonder why a critical approach should surprise one in this way. That Elias's stories call for extensive critical attention from a variety of angles is an agreed-upon truth. The same can be said about a good many of his contemporaries from Hasan Azizul Haque to Mahmudul Haque. Evidently, the reason behind giving this critical attempt a special place lies elsewhere.

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