The Daily Star

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 18th of December, 2012

Front Page

Abul spared, for now

After a year-long inquiry into the allegation over Padma bridge project, the Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday sued seven people for conspiring to commit bribery.

Fingers crossed

December is the cruellest month for many a parent. It takes away their peace and serenity, as they shuttle between schools to get their children admitted.

Pakistan may split again

Pakistan is at present in a worse situation than it was in 1971, and it would begin to disintegrate again if the current social problems are not solved, Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Quadeer Khan said.

Smile, wryly

Former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain, who claims himself as a clean person, has been the centre focus of the World Bank's graft allegation in the Padma bridge project.

Tazreen fire an act of sabotage

The Tazreen Fashions fire was an act of sabotage, a government probe has found.

Jamaat leader Tasneem held

Law enforcers detained Tasneem Alam, central publicity secretary of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, at his Uttara residence in the capital yesterday for possession of anti-government leaflets and booklets.

Remittance inflow to reach new high

The remittance inflow into the country is likely to reach a record $14 billion this year despite the Middle East crisis, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said yesterday.

ACC facing pressure from foreign agency

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said a foreign agency was exerting pressure on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Six admit their role

Six students of Jagannath University (JnU) had admitted to their involvement in the killing of Bishwajit Das, said investigators yesterday.

Moody's upbeat on Bangladesh

Global rating agency Moody's found a number of positive aspects of Bangladesh's economic condition -- steady growth trends, a positive external sector, stable exchange and interest rates, and the momentum in reforms.

AL leader shot dead in Bogra

Masked gunmen shot dead Swechchhasebak League leader Khairul Anam Rekkat in his shop in Rahman Nagar here yesterday.

Hatirjheel opens for public Jan 2

With the long-awaited Hatirjheel-Begunbari development project nearing completion, the roads are set to be opened to the public on January 2.

Fuel price hike not now

Some of the council of ministers yesterday rejected for now a government proposal for increasing fuel price by Tk 10 per litre in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Identify Skype hackers

The government should take steps to trace the hackers of Justice Md Nizamul Huq's email and Skype accounts, observed the International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday.

Prosecution starts placing arguments

The prosecution yesterday started placing arguments in the war crimes case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah at the International Crimes Tribunal-2.

On-arrival visa deal with India soon

Bangladesh and India are on a discussion about introducing on-arrival visa for their citizens from April next year.

Virus builds heart's own pacemaker

A new pacemaker has been built inside a heart by converting beating muscle into cells which can organise the organ's rhythm, US researchers report.

Philippines passes divisive contraceptives law

Philippine legislators passed a landmark law yesterday to provide government funding for contraceptives and sex education in schools despite strong opposition from the Catholic church and its followers, some who threatened to ask the Supreme Court to block the legislation.

Mandela remains in hospital

Former South African president Nelson Mandela remained in hospital for a tenth straight day Monday after receiving treatment for a lung infection and gallstone surgery, the president's office said.

Italy's political scene in flux

With just two months to go before the likely date of Italy's general election, no-one knows whether technocrat Mario Monti will put his name forward, when the elections will be or even if plutocrat Silvio Berlusconi is really in the running.

Editorial

RMG sector and our future

The readymade garments sector has been a boon for Bangladesh. It is the mainstay behind our sustained 6 percent plus GDP growth over the years. It has provided millions of jobs both within the industry and those connected with backward linkage. However, the industry's success has come at a cost, which we as a nation and the world as a whole are no longer willing to pay. The cost has been in working conditions and pay. Here also much progress has been made but certainly not enough as was most tragically demonstrated in the death of 111 workers at the Tazreen Fashion factory.

Shocking US school massacre

Twenty children, all aged between six and seven, and six women, died in the assault on Sandy Hook school by a young man who then killed himself. Among those was his mother too. We join all in expressing our sorrow to the grieving community in Newtown Connecticut, USA and in sharing their grief.

Sports

Zahid makes the difference

Winger Zahid Hossain came back from a three-match suspension and struck the all-important goal against Muktijoddha Sangsad at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday, as Sheikh Russel returned to winning ways in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League.

BCB to inform PCB by Dec 20

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will inform their Pakistan counterparts about their position regarding the proposed Bangladesh tour to the country by December 20.

England end 28-yr Indian drought

England completed their first series victory in India for 28 years as Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell both hit centuries on the final day in Nagpur.

Tamim flies to NZ today

Dashing left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal will leave for New Zealand at 10 pm today to participate in a domestic T20 league where he'll play for the Wellington Firebirds. The deal was confirmed in mid-October this year after Tamim received a no-objection certificate from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

4-day franchises allocated

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed the buyers of the respective franchises for its inaugural edition of the franchisee-based four-day tournament, a four-team competition representing the different zones of cricket in Bangladesh, at the BCB headquarters in Mirpur yesterday.

Dhoni blames batting failure

Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted that India were outplayed in most departments as they slumped to a 2-1 series defeat against England, their first series loss on home soil since 2004.

Prime Bank in for district football

The Prime Bank Ltd came forward to boost the Bangladesh Football Federation's (BFF) 'Vision 2022' through sponsoring all leagues at district level as well as the national football league by signing a Tk 3 crore deal with the game's governing body yesterday.

Australia sniff victory

Australia were eight wickets and Sri Lanka a more improbable 328 runs away from victory in the first Hobart Test after a see-sawing fourth day on Monday.

Balotelli to appeal fine

Manchester City's Italian striker Mario Balotelli is to appeal this week to the English Premier League against a club fine imposed for on-field ill discipline, according to reports on Monday.

Dhaka Int'l Run deferred

The Big Bangla Run, an organisation of Bangladeshi expatriates in United Kingdom will be collaborated by the Bangladesh Athletics Federation (BAF) during the Dhaka International 10km Run which has been deferred by one and half months. The run which was initially slated to be held on January 18, will now be held on March 1.

BKSP youth hockey champs

Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) dethroned joint champions Rajshahi, beating them 4-0 in the final of the Agrani Bank 23rd National Youth Hockey Championship at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday. This was BKSP's 11th title overall and ninth in the last ten editions.

Women's h'ball team in IHF final

Bangladesh women's handball team reached the final of the IHF Trophy Tournament beatings hosts Nepal by 40-13 goals in the semifinal in Kathmandu yesterday.

Six golds for Lochte

Ryan Lochte won his fifth and sixth golds at the 2012 world short course championships on Sunday, taking his toll to eight in all for the week and 30 in his career.

Local Snippets

The Runner Victory-Day Open Tennis Tournament gets underway today at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna with some 231 players from 23 clubs and organisations taking part.

Juve rout Atalanta

Juventus extended their lead over title challengers Inter Milan to seven points thanks to a 3-0 rout of Atalanta on Sunday as AC Milan continued their Serie A resurgence with a 4-1 defeat of Pescara.

Vertonghen fires Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur rekindled their push for Champions League qualification by overcoming Swansea City 1-0 on Sunday to return to the Premier League's top four.

Unstoppable Barca

Barcelona's relentless pace at the top of La Liga, fired by the insatiable Lionel Messi, has left their closest rivals Atletico and Real Madrid all but throwing in the towel before the midway point of the season.

PSG edge Lyon to take top spot

A first half injury-time goal from Blaise Matuidi gave Paris Saint-Germain a 1-0 victory in their top-of-the-table clash with Lyon at the Parc des Princes on Sunday as the capital club moved top on goal difference.

Jose gives up title race

With Real Madrid trailing La Liga leaders Barcelona by 13 points, Jose Mourinho admits that the title race is virtually over, even in December.

SA launches fixing probe

The South African Football Association (SAFA) Monday launched a probe into match fixing of friendlies before the 2010 World Cup and asked its president to step down for an undetermined period.

Arfa facing long layoff

Newcastle's French international midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa is in danger of missing the Christmas programme after aggravating a hamstring injury.

Business

Reforms shore up Bangladesh's credit stability: Moody's

Bangladesh's credit stability has been shored up by the momentum in reforms agenda, global rating agency Moody's said.

Port-Evo signs deal with Rupayan to operate container terminal

The UK-based Port Evaluation Management (Port-Evo) will invest $25 million in the next one year to develop and operate the under-construction river-based Rupayan Container Terminal in Bangladesh.

Bond market goes online

The central bank yesterday launched an online trading platform for government treasury bonds and bills for the development of the country's secondary market.

SEC sets up software to spot frauds in trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will now be able to identify the market manipulators thanks to surveillance software, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.

Spot orders fall at apparel show

Garment makers at the just concluded apparel and textile exposition -- Batexpo 2012 -- received spot orders worth $61.67 million, which is 7 percent lower than that a year ago, organisers said yesterday.

Banking division sends director nominees' list to BB

The Banking Division yesterday sent the names of 29 persons to the central bank who were primarily selected for appointment as directors of state-owned commercial banks (SOCBs) to check whether any of them was loan defaulter.

Banks lead recovery in stock prices

Stocks gained 2.17 percent yesterday -- the highest in three weeks -- thanks to a buying spree in anticipation of a good run.

India cuts growth rate forecast to 5.7-5.9pc

India on Monday cut its growth forecast for the current fiscal year to just below six percent, putting Asia's third-largest economy on track for its worst annual performance in a decade.

Private banks roll out more farm loans to avoid penalty

Private and foreign banks increased their farm loan disbursement in the first five months of fiscal 2012-13 to avoid the central bank's punitive measures.

A cheap T-shirt or a human life?

A factory fire last month in which 112 Bangladeshi garment workers died raised questions not only about how a manufacturer with a poor safety record was allowed to continue its dangerous ways, but also about the responsibility of American companies to the workers they rely on around the globe.

Bangladesh, the new kid in the world of outsourcing

I have just come back from "Digital World2012" and a conference on business process outsourcing (BPO) in Bangladesh. This was the first time that I had visited Bangladesh and it was their second annual ICT-BPO conference. The call centre and outsourcing sector only started in 2008 and is still in it infancy and over 35,000 people visited the events and exhibition.

Myanmar courts wary investors on port project

Myanmar sought Monday to drum up investment in a stalled multi-billion-dollar sea port project at the heart of the former junta-ruled country's efforts to revive its impoverished economy.

Metropolitan

ADB, Bangladesh sign $160 million deal

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday signed an agreement with Bangladesh to provide a loan of US$160 million to help the country develop sustainable urban public transport systems in greater Dhaka.

Two cops confess stealing ammo

Two policemen yesterday confessed before a magistrate of their involvement in stealing ammunition from Rajarbagh Police Lines armoury and supplying those to robbers based in Nijhum Dwip of Noakhali district.

Road crashes kill 3, injure 22

Three people were killed and 22 others injured in separate road accidents in Netrakona and Pabna yesterday.

Left parties call upon people to observe hartal today

Leaders of left-leaning political parties have called upon the people from all walks of life to observe today's countrywide dawn to dusk hartal.

3-nation cadet corps team meets PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday underlined the importance of strengthening people to people contact for mutual benefit of the region's people.

Koica to give $6.53m to build school IT labs, cop probe centre

Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) will provide US $ 3.53 million to Bangladesh for establishing information technology (IT) labs in 100 secondary government schools of Dhaka to improve computer literacy and ICT knowledge of students.

Prosecution appeals for capital punishment

The prosecutor of the Saudi embassy official Khalaf Al Ali murder case yesterday concluded their arguments and appealed to the court for giving capital punishment to the five accused of the killing.

Lottery begins at two schools in capital

Lottery for admission to class-I began yesterday at two schools in the capital in the presence of anxious guardians trying their children's luck for a seat.

Cop dies of burns

The brother of a Narayanganj policeman, who succumbed to his burn injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday, is accusing an officer-in-charge (OC) of murder while the accused is terming the burn incident an accident.

Khaleda's mass contact in capital Dec 26 for CG

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will conduct a mass contact campaign in the capital on December 26 for the reinstatement of the caretaker government system before the next parliamentary elections.

Two hit with bullets as police come under fire

Two people sustained bullet injuries when criminals shot at law enforcers in the capital's Sabujbagh yesterday afternoon.

2 JnU students held for exam fraud

Jagannath University (JnU) authorities yesterday handed over two students to police for taking semester final examinations of another student and forging an admit card.

Plots on against AL govt: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday alleged that various quarters are putting pressure on and designing strategies to malign the Awami League-led government before the people by labelling it as corrupt to save the war criminals.

Prothoma publishes BBC Janala's book II

With the assistance of the BBC Media Action and the daily Prothom Alo, Prothoma Publication has published the second part of "BBC Janala Engreji Shekhar Boi".

Bijoy Parbone ends

The three-day long "Bijoy Parbone" festival held at Dhaka University Gymnasium playground ended yesterday with the commitment to unite Bangalees regardless of the differences of creed and religious beliefs.

Water transport workers demand pay hike, threaten strike

Leaders of the Bangladesh Noujan Sramik Federation, a platform of water transport workers, yesterday threatened that they would stop working for an indefinite period if their 16-point demand was not met by December 25.

Japan concerned over hartal violence in Bangladesh

Japanese embassy in Bangladesh yesterday expressed deep concern over the frequent hartals and violence, and urged all parties concerned to refrain from activities that tarnish the country's image.

Amar Desh acting editor, publisher summoned to court

A Dhaka court yesterday summoned Amar Desh acting editor, its publisher and district correspondent to appear before it on March 3, next year, in connection with a defamation case.

Man, daughter die as train runs them over

A father with hearing impediment and his two- year-old-daughter died when a train ran them over in Kumarkhali upazila of Kushtia district yesterday.

Obituary

Taposh Das, a television, radio and stage drama actor died of an incurable disease in a hospital of the capital on Sunday. He was 50.

Kanok Provha Ghosh

Kanok Provha Ghosh, mother of Prof Santi Narayan Ghosh, chairman of Bangladesh Development Bank Ltd (BDBL), died of old-age complications on Saturday. She was 95.

Death anniversary

Today is the 5th death anniversary of valiant freedom fighter Md Tofazzal Hossain.

National

Rangpur city to see hard contest among 3 mayoral candidates

Hard contest is expected among three of the 12 mayoral candidates in the first-ever Rangpur City Corporation (RCC) polls slated for December 20.

Pabna was freed 2 days after nation's final victory

The people of Pabna got the taste of freedom on December 18 in 1971, two days after the nation's final victory against the Pakistani occupation forces.

Passengers' woes mount as launch strike continues

Passengers' sufferings mounted as staff and owners of double-decker launches on Dhaka-Patuakhali route continued their strike for the fifth day yesterday.

Woman hurt in robbers' bomb attack dies

A housewife was killed as robbers hurled bombs at her in Daulatpur upazila early yesterday.

Wife set on fire by husband for dowry

A mother of a five-year-old boy sustained severe burn injuries as she was set on fire allegedly by her husband for dowry at Tentulia village in Mithapukur upazila on Friday night.

Six more UZs in Dinajpur to have fire stations

Six more upazilas of Dinajpur will have fire stations of Bangladesh Fire Brigade and Civil Defence Department.

Attack on BNP office, 10 injured

At least 10 people were injured during an attack on BNP office allegedly by the ruling party activists at Kakchira Bazar in Patharghata upazila on Sunday evening.

Five shops gutted

At least five shops were gutted in a fire at Phulhar village in Khansama upazila on Sunday midnight. Locals said the fire originated from an electric short circuit at Babul Rahman Market in the area at around 1:30am and soon engulfed the shops. On information, firefighters rushed to the spot and doused the flame with the help of local people. The shop owners claimed that the loss caused by the fire could go up to Tk 10 lakh.

Agriculture fair begins

A seven-day-long Amol Sen Agriculture Mela (fair) began on Auria Government Primary School premises in Sadar upazila. Bimol Biswas, polit bureau member of Bangladesh Workers' Party, inaugurated the fair as chief guest. Among others, Sidique Ahmed, vice president of district AL, and Tobibur Rahman, were present. Over 50 stalls have been set up at the fair.

Jewellery shop looted

Robbers looted gold, silver ornaments and cash worth Tk 5 lakh from a jewellery shop at a market in Tilagarh area of the city yesterday. Sources said the robbery was committed at 'Barna Swarna Shilpaloy' on the ground floor at Mannan View Market in the area. Shaymol Paul, owner of the shop, said the gang entered the shop after breaking open the lock of the shutter in the wee hours of the morning. They took away Tk 80,000, five tolas of gold ornaments and 300 tolas of silver ornaments, claimed Shaymol.

Truck strike called off

Truck Workers' Union of Sylhet called off their indefinite strike on Sunday night following a 'conclusive' meeting with all stakeholders. The strike was enforced on Sylhet-Companyganj road on Saturday morning in protest against extortion in the name of Truck Owners' Association. District Truck Workers' Union president Abu Sarker said they withdrew the strike following an assurance from the meeting that no toll would be realised from trucks. Companyganj thana AL general secretary Aftab Ali alias Kala Mia, stone crusher mill owners' samity president Dr Abdun Nur, Salutikar Stone Traders' Association president Iqbal Ahmed were ,among others, present at the meeting.

International

Pakistan misled India

Pakistan had never detained or arrested the 2611 mastermind and Laskar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed in the Mumbai attack case as repeatedly claimed by the country at every bilateral forum. Saeed was, in fact, detained in connection with some old cases in which he was subsequently given clean chit by Pakistan's courts.

Land mine kills 10 Afghan girls

A Taliban car bomb targeted a US company in Kabul yesterday, killing one person and wounding at least 15 shortly after a landmine killed 10 young girls in eastern Afghanistan, officials said.

Bomb kills 17 at Pak market

A car bomb killed 17 people including women and children and wounded dozens more when it exploded near a bus queue at a market in northwest Pakistan yesterday, officials said.

These tragedies must end

President Barack Obama vowed Sunday to battle gun violence, casting the fight as a nation's duty to protect its young, as a Connecticut town prepared to bury the first two victims of last week's rampage at an elementary school.

Gun control debate begins to simmer

Democrats say meaningful action in the wake of last week's elementary school shooting must include a ban on military-style assault weapons and a look at how the nation deals with individuals suffering from serious mental illness.

Ban alarmed by violence

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm on Sunday at the worsening violence in Syria, including the reported mass killing of Alawites and alleged firing of long-range missiles on Syrian territory, Ban's spokesman said, reports Reuters.

Family attends in India

Family and friends of the nurse who was found hanged after taking a hoax call to the hospital treating Prince William's wife gathered for her funeral yesterday in a small town in southwest India.

Abe sees difficult road ahead

Japan's premier-in-waiting Shinzo Abe came out fighting yesterday after his sweeping election victory, saying there can be no compromise on the sovereignty of islands at the centre of a dispute with China.

Dispute triggers protest call

Egypt's opposition is calling for mass protests on Tuesday after Islamists backing President Mohamed Morsi claimed victory in the first round of a referendum it alleges was riddled with polling violations.

World powers must end nuke stalemate: Iran

Iran's foreign minister yesterday said a way must be found to end the protracted deadlock between Iran and six world powers over Tehran's nuclear program.

Delhi outcry over bus 'gang rape’

A 23-year-old Indian student has been allegedly gang-raped inside a private bus in the capital, Delhi, police say.

China moves UN for claim

The Diaoyu islands dispute with Japan took another turn with China moving the United Nations to press its claim on a wider area in East China Sea.

Iraq attacks kill 25

A series of attacks targeting both Iraqi security forces and civilians killed 25 people yesterday, in a second day of deadly violence ahead of the first anniversary of the withdrawal of US forces.

People flee as Cyclone batters Fiji

Thousands of people fled to evacuation centres in Fiji yesterday as a powerful cyclone lashed the Pacific nation, causing power outages and flash flooding, officials said.

Man in Romney mask robbed bank

An armed man in a Mitt Romney mask has robbed a Wells Fargo bank in Virginia, USA, according to a report.

Chavez's party dominates state polls

President Hugo Chavez, despite an intensifying battle with cancer, has tightened his grip on Venezuela with his party crushing the opposition and winning most governorships in state races Sunday.

Arts & Entertainment

Nasir Ali Mamun's art collection on display at Bengal Gallery

Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts has organised an eight-day long group drawing exhibition titled “His Light, His Shadow”, featuring the works of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hassan, SM Sultan, Mohammad Kibria, Paritosh Sen, Shamsur Rahman, Humayun Ahmed, Mrinal Sen, Jogen Chowdhury, Ganesh Pyne and many other renowned Bangladeshi artists, poets and writers.

Chhayanaut Celebrates Victory Day

Chhayanaut, the reputed school of music and fine arts celebrated Victory Day through a cultural evening titled “Bangali'r Mukti-Shangram”. The presentation was a beautifully balanced combination of solo and choral renditions of powerful “gono-sangeet” numbers and other inspirational songs from the pre-liberation and liberation-war era, and poetic narrations in between, taking the audience through from the country's language movement that originated in 1948, to the uprising of '69 and the liberation war to victory, and ending in hopes of overcoming all obstacles to build a happy and prosperous country.

The Ray-Ravi Shankar connection

Remember the music in shots from maestro Satyajit Ray's “Pather Panchali” in which Durga and Apu run through 'the filled with kaash' flowers towards a speeding train? Or when mother Sarbojaya breaks down after Durga's death? Or Durga and Apu run after the village sweet vendor?

Gazi Abdul Hakim's flute recital at IGCC

Indira Gandhi Culture Centre, High Commission of India, Dhaka in association with the State Bank of India in Bangladesh and Channel i as Media Partner, recently organised a flute recital by Gazi Abdul Hakim at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre.

National flags and festoons sell well in Rangpur

Makeshift shops and flag sellers were busy selling national flags and festoons to rake in returns at the Victory Day celebrations in Rangpur.

Poetry book on Liberation War published

The publication ceremony of a poetry book- 'Muktijudhhay-Priotama Aamar', authored by poet Mashuk Chowdhury and published by Shahos Publications, Dhaka was held at the National Press Club auditorium in Dhaka on December 16, says a press release.

Court Marshal staged in Patuakhali

“Court Marshal”, the much-acclaimed drama, was staged at Shilpakala Academy auditorium in Patuakhali last Saturday. It was staged at the week-long drama festival that begun on Thursday. The event has been arranged by Shahoshika, a local cultural organisation.

Bangladeshi documentary awarded in Kolkata

Mustaque Ahmed's documentary “Die Million '71” recently received the International Bangla Film Critic Award 2012. The award giving ceremony was held at Science City, Kolkata. The documentary was first screened at Dhaka Art Centre in Dhanmondi in 2011. Ahmed is also the founder trustee of the Dhaka art Centre.

An artist's journey of life

Speaking to Ali Akbar (from the US) who is currently having his solo exhibition at Dhaka Art Centre in Dhanmondi, I learnt of the painter's latest feats. Filmmaker and activist Manzare Haseen Murad was also present at the exhibition.

Liberation War in images

On the occasion of Victory Day, a two-day photography exhibition began at TSC on the Dhaka University campus on December 15. Dhaka University Photographic Society organised the exhibition, titled “Muktijoddhar Camera-i Muktijuddho 1971”. A total of 45 photographs snapped during the war by journalist Harun Habib were on display at the exhibition. Dhaka University Vice-chancellor Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique inaugurated the show as chief guest.

Theatre festival begins in Patuakhali

A seven-day theatre festival began in Patuakhali on Thursday at Patuakhali district Shilpakala Academy. The festival was arranged by Sahoshika, a local cultural organisation. The festival was formally inaugurated by Advocate Shahjahan Mia, State Minister for Religious affairs as the chief guest while Khan Mosharraf Hossain, administrator of Patuakhali district council; Shah Alom Sarder, acting DC of Patuakhali were special guests at the function. Renowned dramatist Nirmol Kumar Das Gupta opened the programme by lighting candles.

Inaugural ceremony of Uttaran held

A captivating cultural programme was recently held at the premises of Mohammadpur upazila parishad to mark the inaugural ceremony of Uttaran, a socio-cultural organisation in Magura.

OP-ED

Fallout from an attack on Iran

There are those in Congress and beyond who advocate for a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. The arguments put forward are nothing new. A nuclear-armed Shiite-led Iran that is committed to the destruction of Israel is an unthinkable scenario for western powers. Despite what the hardliners will have us believe, merely attacking the Iranian nuclear infrastructure will not put an end to the programme. Unlike Iraq's now defunct nuclear facility that was taken out by an Israeli air strike in '81, Iran's facilities are widely dispersed. An attack will at best set back the Iranians a few years.

US, N. Korea should stop raising tension

After a failed attempt in April, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced the successful launch of its Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite on December 12, which was widely believed to mark the first anniversary of Kim Jong-un's administration since Kim Jong-il died on December 17 last year. However, the launch invited strong reactions from the international community, especially Western countries. Some countries have even accused the DPRK of using its right to launch satellites to cover its missile development programme.

Emigration fraud and justice for migrant workers

Safe migration of Bangladeshi workers to foreign countries has become synonymous with the prosperity of their families and the growth of the national economy. In October 2012 alone, for example, remittance from migrants reached $1,453 million. Ironically, however, Bangladeshi migrants' rights continue to be violated. Over the past few years, some have even become victims of trafficking.

Expatriate Bangladeshis: A neglected source of funds

£1.1m record-breaking success for the East London Mosque!" We should feel proud of this news headline as almost all the money was donated by expatriate Bangladeshis in the UK. On one night in Ramadan thousands of people helped break the fundraising record for the third year in a row. The generosity and enthusiasm of donors helped us reach a total of £1,125,725 on the night! Now the question is how much money are our government and non-government organisations (NGO) collecting as donation for disaster preparedness fund from expatriate Bangladeshis? The answer is, very little!

Human rights, business and the Dhaka principles

On this International Migrants Day, we are reminded of the plight of migrant workers around the globe, whether they are working in cities in their home countries or overseas. Only recently, Bangladesh witnessed the tragic blaze at the Tazreen Fashion factory in Ashulia where rural migrants were among those who died. Migrant workers from Bangladesh in construction sites across the Middle East suffer because of appalling work and living conditions. Bonded labour is commonplace, and protection for these vulnerable workers is almost non-existent. The same is true of migrant workers across much of South and Southeast Asia.

This Day In History

December 18

1271
Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan” (Œ³ yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.

Science & Life

Will Earth become a dead ball of rock?

Out of the four terrestrial planets in the solar system, three are “dead balls of rock.” Earth is the only dynamic planet with an atmosphere of nitrogen and oxygen, has liquid water and a temperature range conducive to life. But seldom do we pause to ponder that our planet, filled with exquisite beauty, a cornucopia of boisterous wildlife slithering, scampering, soaring, and swimming, could one day become a barren wasteland unable to support life in any form whatsoever. Unfortunately, with the current state of human activities, this nightmarish vision may not be too far off in the future, but instead a grim reality that is knocking on our front door. The cause of this calamity will be the greenhouse effect, a natural process that is critical to the existence of life on Earth. It traps infrared radiation by slowing its return to space and keeps Earth as a temperate and a habitable planet, as opposed to unforgiving tundra.

Thinking droplets created

University of Colorado Boulder Assistant Professor Nikolaus Correll likes to think in multiples. If one robot can accomplish a singular task, think how much more could be accomplished if you had hundreds of them.

Predicting mass murder?

A"Minority Report" technology to predict murder remains wishful science fiction thinking. But a mass shooting that killed at least 20 children and 8 adults at a school in Newton, Conn. once again raises the question of what technological tools, if any, can help predict or prevent such tragedies by identifying troubled individuals.

Tricky trails of prilgrims

Famous line drawings etched into Peru's Nazca desert plateau around 1,500 years ago are enduring puzzles. At least one of them is also a labyrinth, researchers say.

New primate species found

A venomous primate with two tongues would seem safe from the pet trade, but the big-eyed, teddy-bear face of the slow loris(Nycticebus sp.) has made them a target for illegal pet poachers throughout the animal's range in southeastern Asia and nearby islands. A University of Missouri doctoral student and her colleagues recently identified three new species of slow loris. The primates had originally been grouped with another species. Dividing the species into four distinct classes means the risk of extinction is greater than previously believed for the animals but could help efforts to protect the unusual primate

No Mayan Apocalypse

Coronal mass ejections are eruptions of solar winds and magnetic fields from the sun into space; they happen every few days to a couple times a day, depending on how active the sun is. Interactions of these "CMEs" with Earth's atmosphere can cause extra-strong auroras, or northern (and southern) lights.

Who first recorded human voice?

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, a French printer and bookseller who lived in Paris, invented the earliest known sound recording device, the phonautograph. It was patented in France on 25 March 1857.



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