The Daily Star

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Monday, October 20, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 26th of December, 2012

Front Page

Traffic may go into tailspin

Raising fears of traffic chaos in the capital, opposition leaders and activists march on rally venues in Dhaka today as part of a mass contact programme to press their demands, including the restoration of the caretaker government system.

Another BCL man nabbed

Detectives nabbed yesterday another Bangladesh Chhatra League cadre, Emdadul Haque, identified as one of the killers of Bishwajit.

Test of brutes

A group of BCL activists from Jagannath University had launched a brutal attack on a defenceless Bishwajit during an opposition blockade to show off strength to their leaders, organisation insiders say.

Be responsible

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon the media to play a more responsible role in disseminating news and programmes, saying there should be more responsibility alongside freedom.

Bid documents snatched

The Rajuk authorities will decide today on whether to re-tender the Tk25-crore Uttara bridge project, as a gang of thugs snatched the bidding documents from one of the prospective bidders on Monday.

Law minister questions intention

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday questioned the intention of some Turkish politicians who recently visited Dhaka and the international crimes tribunal.

Loneliness equal to smoking?

Experts have equated the effect of loneliness on health to that of obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Cold could harm Boro seedlings

Crops, especially, Boro seedlings may suffer from cold injury in the chilling weather coupled with thick fog while potatoes from blight if farmers do not take extra caution, agronomists say.

Court alarmed at fake orders

Another forged High Court order has been brought to the notice of the court that immediately called for action against those involved upon an investigation.

Don't back war crimes suspects

Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu yesterday urged journalists not to disseminate news in favour of war crimes suspects.

Driver killed as cop pushes him off bus

While allegedly trying to extort a trucker, a highway police sergeant pushed him into the path of a bus which killed him at Fashitola of Bogra on Dhaka-Rangpur highway yesterday.

Bird flu in Gazipur

Authorities in Gazipur's Kaliakoir upazila started culling more than 1.5 lakh poultry and destroying 5 lakh eggs from Monday night after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed.

UN concerned about Myanmar Rohingyas

The UN General Assembly expressed serious concern on Monday over violence between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar and called upon its government to address reports of human rights abuses by some authorities.

Welcome to world of 'lifeloggers'

Some days in life will always be remembered, whether it's your wedding day, the birth of a child or a perfect holiday.

Newsweek unveils final print edition

The 80-year-old US current affairs magazine Newsweek on Monday revealed the image that will grace the cover of its last-ever print edition.

Top Philippine communist rebel arrested

A top Philippine communist rebel with a $128,000 bounty on his head was arrested yesteraday, the military said.

Prosecutor, 6 others killed in Guatemala

A Guatemalan federal prosecutor and six other people were killed in an attack near the Mexican border blamed on drug traffickers, officials said Monday.

1st West Bank Israeli University recognised

Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Monday confirmed a government decision to officially recognise the status of the first Israeli university established in the occupied West Bank.

Editorial

Opposition's roadside rallies

Today rallies are being held at six points of the congested city in a daylong mass contact programme as part of the opposition alliance's movement for restoration of caretaker government

Books to reach students on time

The education ministry plans to observe the Textbook Festival Day on January 1, 2013 through reaching textbooks to all the primary and secondary level students across the country.

Sports

Malik, Hafeez seal it for Pakistan

A 106-run fourth-wicket partnership between captain Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik helped Pakistan overcame a terrible start to pull off a thrilling last-over win the first Twenty20 International against India by five wickets at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore yesterday. It was a match of contrasting innings from Pakistan and India, as the hosts earlier frittered away an excellent start to be restricted to a sub-par total.

BCL a 'timely initiative'

Bangladesh vice-captain Mahmud-ullah Riyad has high hopes for the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL), the franchise-based four-day cricket league which will get underway at two different venues tomorrow.

Asif's first gold in 3 yrs

Asif Hossain Khan won his first gold in three years in national level competitions when the Commonwealth Games gold medalist beat holder Jessimuzzaman to win the 10m Air Rifles event in the IFIC 5th Air Gun Championships at the National Shooting Complex in Gulshan yesterday.

Sachin overwhelmed by fans' love and support

Overwhelmed by the tributes that have poured in ever since he announced his retirement from one-day cricket, senior Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday said the "love and support" brought tears to his eyes.

Archery with bamboo bow

Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) became champions in the Victory Day Open Archery Tournament after winning two gold and as many silver medals at the Paltan Maidan yesterday.

Div I cricket

Hossain Mona slammed a hundred as Tasin Hasin Cricket Academy handed a 100-run defeat to Azad Sporting Club in the First Division Cricket League at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Tariqul sets record in 1000m

Tariqul Islam of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) set a new national record in 1000 metre sprint on the second day of Dr Abdul Basit 36th National Cycling Championship at Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Dhaka in knock-outs

The Dhaka City team qualified for the 16-team knock-out phase of the World Cities Team Chess Championship after playing out a draw against Lund City of Sweden in the third round in United Arab Emirates on Monday.

Ter Stegen asks fans for help

Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen's dog Bali went missing the day before Christmas eve. He published a note and photo of the dog on his Facebook page, which has over 63,000 "likes," asking for help.

Yes-no over Clarke

Australia will wait until the very last minute to decide if Michael Clarke has recovered sufficiently from a hamstring injury to lead the side out for the second Test against Sri Lanka at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day.

Security at its peak

Police were out in full force in Bangalore on Tuesday as part of a massive security operation ahead of Pakistan's first cricket tour of India for five years.

Rafa not coming to Abu Dhabi

Former men's tennis world number one Rafael Nadal's long-awaited return after an agonising six-month knee injury battle has been put off because of a stomach infection he revealed on his Twitter and Facebook sites on Tuesday.The 26-year-old Spaniard - who hasn't played since his shock second round exit to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June - had been due to play in a six player exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi this week ahead of his return to the ATP circuit at Doha from December 31.

V-Day hockey

Bangladesh Air Force, Bangladesh Army and BHF Eleven won their respective matches in the Southeast Bank Victory Day Hockey Tournament at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Div I football

Dhaka Wanderers Club recorded an emphatic 4-0 win over Sun Rise Sporting Club in the Popular Life Insurance Senior Division Football League at the Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Ashley escapes action

Swansea defender Ashley Williams will not face a Football Association charge after Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson slammed the Wales star for kicking the ball into Robin van Persie's head.

Fergie hails Van Persie

Alex Ferguson has hailed Robin van Persie as the missing piece in Manchester United's title jigsaw as the Premier League leaders bid to extend their lead at the top against Newcastle on Wednesday.

Mourinho gone too far?

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez adjusted his glasses, as if he couldn't believe what he was reading on the lineup card: Beloved veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas would not be playing.

Jeunechamp to appeal ban

Montpellier defender Cyril Jeunechamp is to appeal his one year ban for striking a journalist at the end of a league match last month, his club announced on Monday.

Owen anxious to break duck

Michael Owen is desperate to break his scoring duck against former club Liverpool on Wednesday and end an eight-year wait.

Michu set for Spain debut

Swansea City's free-scoring striker Michu is set to make his Spain debut early next year following a sensational start to his career in the English Premier League.

Business

Political strife casts shadow on tourism outlook

The good times the local tour operators saw in 2012 are unlikely to roll into 2013 due to political turmoil, tour operators said yesterday.

Now foreign firms will audit mobile operators

The telecom regulator is due to appoint a foreign accountancy firm to audit the mobile operators' records by early next year, following disputes over its previous appointment of local firms.

Stock regulator hunts for unpaid fines

Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) will take action against 128 listed companies, who have failed to pay a total of Tk 530 crore fine slapped by the regulator on different occasions.

New menace: stock info on Facebook

Facebook has become a means of abuse as some people use the social networking site to spread price sensitive information and give advice on the stockmarket.

Muhith: 3G auction in February

The 3G licence auction will be held in early February, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.

BPC fixes fuel import contracts

Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has concluded first half 2013 term negotiations for refined oil products at mostly stronger premiums than current contracts, a senior BPC official said on Monday.

Japan's new China envoy urges stronger economic ties

Japan's new envoy to China urged stronger economic ties with Beijing in an interview broadcast Monday, after the incoming premier pledged to mend bilateral ties strained by a bitter territorial row.

Asia's long-stay schemes lure foreigners

Like many Japanese mothers, Ritsuko Kawasaki fretted over the health and safety risks of remaining in Japan after 2011's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters.

Gulf leaders call for unity, closer economy

The annual summit of Arab monarchs in the Gulf opened in Manama on Monday with a call for closer economic integration and unity in the face of the turmoil which has swept much of the Middle East.

Yen ticks up in Asia after easing-sparked tumble

The yen edged higher in Asian trade on Tuesday after tumbling on speculation that the Bank of Japan would launch more easing measures in the face of political demands for policy action.

King urges Spain to unite against crisis

King Juan Carlos called on Spaniards to unite against an economic crisis of previously unimagined intensity in a Christmas Eve message Monday that took clear aim at Catalonia's bid for nationhood.

Red racer Ferrari joins green revolution

Italy's red racing giant Ferrari wants to go green, cutting emissions without sacrificing horsepower and working on a new hybrid model set to thrill pro-environment speed junkies.

ICT fair abuzz with tech-savvy youth

Amid great youthful excitement, Bangladesh Computer Samity's computer fair kicked off yesterday at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.

Nepal's interest in social business deepens

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus urged the businesspeople of Nepal to consider investing in social business.

Russia unveils $25b oil link to Pacific

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday unveiled the final extension of a new $25 billion oil pipeline to the Pacific that underscores the energy power's gradual shift away from stagnant European markets.

Niche perfumers infuse Paris with new options

Deep in concentration, Tina Queralt sorts through a scatter of white paper strips sprayed with scent. She has whittled the choice down to a handful in her search for The One: the perfect perfume.

Metropolitan

BTV must compete with pvt channels

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the state-run Bangladesh Television (BTV) authorities to upgrade its standard to compete with the private television channels in the country.

Christmas celebrated

Members of the Christian community in Bangladesh celebrated Christmas yesterday with much enthusiasm, festivity and religious fervour.

JS caucus on child rights launched

A parliamentary caucus on child rights was launched yesterday at Hotel Ruposhi Bangla in the capital.

AL wants all parties to join next polls: Quader

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said ruling Awami League is not interested in participating alone in the next general elections.

RMG workers clash with cops in Savar

At least 20 workers of a sweater factory were injured as they clashed with law enforcers blocking Dhaka-Aricha highway in Savar on the outskirts of the capital demanding their arrears yesterday noon.

10 BCL men injured in factional clash

At least 10 people were injured in a clash between two factions of Awami League backed Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Zindabazar in Sylhet yesterday afternoon.

Nation united for war crimes trial except BNP-Jamaat

The whole nation, except the BNP-Jamaat people, is united for completion of the war crimes trial, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said yesterday.

15 hurt in 'boiler blast'

At least fifteen workers, including three females, were injured in a blast at a garment factory in Adamjee Export Processing Zone in Siddhirganj of Narayanganj town yesterday.

Mobile court seals off fairness cream manufacturing factory

A mobile court sealed off a cosmetics manufacturing factory, Lata Herbal, in Gazipur district town on Monday as its products contain hazardous chemicals, which damage skin.

Buriganga, Shitalakkhya waters untreatable

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said the water quality of the Buriganga and Shitalakkhya rivers has deteriorated to such a level that treatment plants are now unable to treat that.

Road crashes kill 6, injure 10

Six people were killed and 10 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Narsingdi, Brahmanbaria, Joypurhat and Jhenidah yesterday.

Alumni reunion held

The Dhaka University Political Science Department Alumni Association (DUPDAA) yesterday held its reunion and organised a reception for dignitaries and oath-taking of new members.

Musa injured in Fenchuganj

Musa Ibrahim, the first Bangladeshi to conquer Mount Everest, sustained a foot injury as he fell down from his bicycle in Fenchuganj in Sylhet yesterday.

Four arrested with heroin and phensedyl in Ctg

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-7) and police yesterday in separate drives arrested four people with contraband drugs in Chittagong city.

Free medical camp held in Satkhira

Two hundred and thirty-five people were provided treatment free of cost at a medical camp in Assasuni of Satkhira yesterday.

Shamim president, Quayyum general secretary of IEB

Shamim Z Bashunia and Miah Muhammad Quayyum were elected president and general secretary respectively of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) on Monday.

Obituary

Iftakher Uddin Farhad, president of Bangladesh Ceramic Ware Manufacturers Association, passed away from health complications at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Thailand yesterday morning. He was 58.

Kowser Ali

Kowser Ali, a teacher of Benapole High School, passed away yesterday due to old age complications at the age of 68.

National

Fertiliser kept under open sky in Gaibandha

Huge urea fertiliser allocated for the cultivation of rabi and boro crop in this current season is kept under the open sky due to space shortage in the buffer stock godown in Gaibandha district.

Mural of martyred teenage freedom fighter demanded

Local freedom fighters have demanded setting up a mural with the portrait of martyred freedom fighter Mizanur Rahman.

Locals fear house collapse as mindless sand lifting on

Local people of Khanshapara in Gobindagnaj upazila feared their houses might be collapsed into a large ditch at any time created due to mindless sand lifting.

Clash over bazar committee election leaves 10 injured

At least 10 people, including two policemen, sustained bullet injuries during a clash between two rival groups over election to Duttapara Bazar Committee in Sadar upazila on Monday night.

Abducted teacher murdered

Fulchhari police yesterday recovered the body of kidnapped schoolteacher Hafizur Rahman from remote Char Kauyabadha in Fazlupur union of Fuchhari upazila under the district, seven days after his abduction.

Double-murder in Naogaon: 2 suspects remanded

Two people, detained in connection with a double murder case, were placed on a two-day remand on Monday.

Rice trader mugged

Muggers looted Tk 7.45 lakh from a rice trader in Mirzapur Ambagan area of Sherpur upazila on Monday afternoon.

56 Jamaat-Shibir, BNP men held in 3 districts

Law enforcers arrested 56 activists of BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir in Naogaon, Noakhali and Lalmonirhat districts yesterday and the day before.

17 back home from Indian jail

After languishing in Indian jail for three years, 17 Bangladeshis returned home Monday evening through Burimari land port under Patgram upazila of the district.

One killed over land dispute

A woman was killed allegedly by her relative over a piece of disputed land at Sehala village in Daulatpur upazila yesterday.

Ex-army man held with arms

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a retired army man along with a light gun (LG) and two bullets from his residence on Mondir Road in Rajapur upazila on Saturday night. The arrestee is Tofazzel Hossen alias Bua Major, 48. Sub-inspector Amor Singh of Rjapur police station said on secret information, a team of Rab-8 raided the residence at around 10:00pm and arrested Tofazzel along with the arms and ammunition. A case was filed in this connection, said the SI.

Fog disrupts ferry service

Ferry services on Maowa-Kewrakandi river route remained suspended for about two hours early yesterday due to dense fog. Sirajul Haque, manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at Maowa ghat, said river communication on the route came to a halt from 1:30am to 3:30am. Four ferries with about 1,200 passengers on board have also been forced to anchor at the mid point of the Padma River, he said. The suspension of the ferry services caused huge traffic jam on both sides of the river ghat.

Fugitive accused arrested

Police arrested a young man, who was wanted in a robbery case, on local court premises in the town on Monday afternoon. The arrestee is Razzak Pradhania, 23, son of Husain Ahmed of Suhilpur village of Hajiganj upazila. Police said they raided the area and arrested Razzak. A robbery case was filed against him with Nangolcoat Police Station of Comilla district.

Man shot by muggers

A man sustained bullet injuries in an attack by muggers at Gatipara village in Sharsha upazila on Sunday. Police said two youths, Sabuj, 20, and Shahjamal, 18, of Ghiba village rented a motorbike of Rezaul at Navaron Old Bazar for going to Navaran north in the afternoon. As the motorbike reached Gatipara, the two youths tried to snatch the motorbike at gun point. As Rezaul made hue and cry, locals rushed in, chased the criminals and caught them. One Ishaq was injured as the criminals fired shots during the incident. The two muggers were handed over to police after a mob beating. Police later recovered a foreign made pistol from the spot. The injured was admitted to Navaron Buruganj Health Complex.

Letters

Joy of Christmas

What is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts for children under the tree, the lights on the tree or in the windows, the cards in the mail, grand dinners with family and friends, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of "Merry Christmas" to those who pass us on the streets? Is this really Christmas? For many people Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don't have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmas time when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons.

Reduce costs of applying for a job

A good job is rarer than a golden deer in our country. Many people of our country are unemployed. Nearly 1000 candidates apply against a single government post and bank job. So the probability of getting a good job is very little. A jobseeker has to drop a lot of applications for getting a job. Most of the jobseekers are from financially insolvent families, but they have to spend a big amount for each application (pay-order, etc.). It is a matter of great sorrow that many talented applicants can not apply for jobs due to poverty. On behalf of all jobseekers, I politely request the employers to reduce these fees.

US should control gun

I fully agree with American citizens that there should be a gun control law, especially for psychologically challenged people. As much as I have seen, the psychologically challenged people usually do such things. James Holmes, the 'Batman Shooter' was mentally ill, but had easy access to firearms which allowed him to go on a crazy massacre. In the Connecticut incident, Adam Lanza was also mentally ill. These acts were strictly condemned by the US government and the whole world. The USA really needs to control the spread of firearms. Also, a child took a gun with him to school to protect himself. And anti-Islam extremists fired at a Sikh temple thinking that they were Muslims. The USA now needs to ponder these tragedies and take due action. Perhaps each person who owns firearms should go through a mental test. Or perhaps firearms should be banned for civilians. We can only hope that they take a decision which would prevent this kind of tragedy.

Thai PM's visit to Bangladesh

Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra came to Bangladesh on a two-day official visit recently. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina received her and introduced her with the cabinet members.

PM's peace model: Let charity begin at home

We are very much encouraged by the news published in The Daily Star of December 19, 2012 that a peace model placed by our prime minister Sheikh Hasina has been approved by the UN General Assembly. We hope that her government itself would care to follow these proposals. Her peace model underlines the removal of injustices including repression; absence of rule of law; inequality and economic disparity; deprivation and poverty; lack of transparency and accountability in governance; denial of secularism and multi-ethnicity; negligence in equal rights for women and the marginalised, etc.

Bishwajit killing: Both AL and BNP must accept responsibility

The gruesome murder of the poor tailor Bishwajit during BNP-led 18 party alliances-enforced blockade on 9 December, 2012 was heartbreaking. Everyone watched on TV and read in newspapers how he was mercilessly beaten up and hacked to death by Chhatra League cadres. Why had the hardworking youth Bishwajit Das (24) to die? It is said the murderers mistook him for a Shibir cadre. But even if he was Shibir cadre, would such killing in broad daylight by some political cadres be justified? Who gave the so-called political party cadres have the right to take law into their hands and kill people? Bishwajit died even after he was taken to government hospital. Reports say he did not get proper treatment at the hospital. The death of innocent Bishwajit shocked us all. Both Awami League and BNP have to bear the responsibility of Bishwajit killing. It is high time we created congenial democratic culture among all the political parties by uprooting the politics of criminalisation.

Mark the edge of steps in buildings

As I face the prospect of Christmas in hospital with a knee in plaster, may I appeal to architects and builders - and to the managers of apartments and offices, clubs and schools - to pay attention to the hazard of unmarked steps? I have had sessions with the managers of hotels in various parts of Asia where I have gone on holiday and, like most people, they have all professed ignorance of this aspect of 'health and safety' which, in many such countries, is not much of a priority anyway…

Ludicrous instruction!

We have come to know that the information ministry issued an internal order and circulated it throughout the country, asking all ministries, departments, semi-government organizations, autonomous bodies and directorates to subscribe only five national dailies. These five selected newspapers are Janakantha, Sangbad, Ittefaq, The Daily Sun and The Independent. The officials entitled to newspapers at government expense must choose from the above five. Officials of these offices can buy other newspapers at their own expense.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Abuse of law”

International

Anger justified, but violence no solution

President Pranab Mukherjee expressed "deep distress" over the recent gang-rape of a girl in Delhi but cautioned that though anger over the "ghastly incident" was "justified", violence was "no solution".

Iran begins naval war games: Reports

Iran yesterday launched naval manoeuvres in the Gulf, and announced plans for another exercise in the strategic Strait of Hormuz later this week, media reports said.

Two killed, 11 hurt in Myanmar plane crash

A Myanmar passenger jet packed with foreign tourists crash-landed and burst into flames yesterday in a field in eastern Shan state, killing at least two people and injuring 11 others, officials said.

7 killed due to cold in Indian state

Seven persons died in the past 24 hours in different parts of Uttar Pradesh as cold wave conditions prevailed across the state.

Sunni leader targeted in Pakistan; 6 killed

Gunmen opened fire on a car carrying a senior figure from an extremist Muslim Sunni group in the Pakistani city of Karachi yesterday, killing four policemen and two other people, police said.

Six killed at Nigeria Xmas church service

Gunmen attacked a church in volatile northern Nigeria during a Christmas Eve service, killing six people including the pastor, before setting the building ablaze, residents and police said yesterday, as the pope deplored "savage acts of terrorism" against Christians in Africa's most populous nation.

Egypt awaits poll result

Egypt yesterday prepared to announce the result of a vote on a new constitution that Islamist President Mohamed Morsi hails as a step toward stability in a country beset by political and economic crisis.

Syria peace envoy meets opposition

Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi yesterday met with internal opposition groups as he pushed a new initiative to end Syria's conflict, while Gulf Arab states urged a rapid political transition in the country.

Do not lose hope of peace: Pope

Pope Benedict used his Christmas message to the world to say people should never lose hope for peace, even in conflict-riven Syria and in Nigeria where he spoke of "terrorism" against Christians.

Israel approves 1,200 more in Jerusalem

Israel's interior ministry has approved the building of 1,200 new homes in the east Jerusalem settlement neighbourhood of Gilo, the latest in a slew of such approvals, Israeli watchdog Peace Now said.

Two firefighters shot dead in NY

A convicted felon shot dead two firefighters and wounded two others Monday after luring them to a blaze that police said he had apparently set as a trap in a small town in New York state.

'Lost tribe' returns home

Fifty members of an Indian community believed to be descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel arrived on Monday in the Jewish state, completing their immigration.

US gun sales soar

US firearm sales have sky-rocketed since the Newtown school massacre, as debate over gun control rages and enthusiasts fear certain assault weapons and high-capacity magazines could be banned.

Cold snap kills 123 in Russia

A bitter cold spell in Russia has claimed 123 lives in the past 10 days, an official said yesterday, with the unseasonably early freeze testing authorities in a country used to notoriously tough winters.

Philippines fires kill 8

Eight people were killed and thousands left homeless as two fires struck the Philippine capital on Christmas Day, with one of the blazes sparking a riot in a slum, officials said.

Virbhadra named Himachal CM

An old war horse, who could not be put down by allegations of corruption or infighting in the Indian Congress, Virbhadra Singh steered the party back to power in Himachal Pradesh with a spirited campaign this time.

Sick Mandela in good spirits

Nelson Mandela, 94, is in good spirits and doctors are happy with his progress, President Jacob Zuma yesterday said after visiting the former leader in hospital.

Saudi writer jailed for Islam 'insults'

A Saudi Arabian liberal writer was arrested on Monday for making comments on his Twitter account that were allegedly insulting to Islam, family members said.

Philippines faces new storm

A tropical storm set to hit the Philippines on Christmas Day could spark floods and landslides, forecasters warned, even as the country struggles to recover from a typhoon that killed hundreds.

Arts & Entertainment

Chalachchitram Film Society celebrates 30th anniversary

Chalachchitram Film Society has arranged a six-day film show featuring classic Bangladeshi movies to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The event, titled “Shornojuger Chhobi”, is being held at the Music and Dance Centre Auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Birth anniversary of Zainul Abedin celebrated

Marking the 98th birth anniversary of maestro of modern Bangladeshi art, Zainul Abedin, a painting competition was held recently at the Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Art Gallery premises in Mymensingh, organised by the art gallery authorities.

Chandrabindoo rocks Port City

Hundreds of music fans of Chittagong city thronged Foy's Lake last Saturday evening; the occasion was a concert featuring popular Kolkata-based band Chandrabindoo.

Political awareness on canvas

Sanjoy Kumar Das' solo art exhibition of 65 paintings, mostly acrylic and oils, began on December 22 at Dhaka Art Centre in Dhanmondi. The exhibition is titled “Unveiling the Mysteries of Existence”.

Liberation War on the small screen

TV plays on the Liberation War have been a common feature on TV. Recent years however have seen the making of such plays being concentrated only in March and December -- on the occasions of Independence and Victory Day. Plays on this theme from the golden years of BTV were audience favorites. This article highlights some of these plays.

Architect Muzharul Islam remembered at Charukala

The Institute of Architects, Bangladesh (IAB), Muzharul Islam Foundation and Mongol Barer Shobha (a platform for young and professional architects) jointly organised a reminiscence and cultural programme at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University premises yesterday afternoon, on the occasion of the 89th birth anniversary of the pioneering architect Muzharul Islam.

Boishakhi turns eight

Today satellite TV channel Boishakhi turns eight. To mark the anniversary, the Boishakhi family along with invited guests cut an anniversary cake at midnight. Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu appeared as a guest on a live talk show titled "Hot Seat".

The Creators Behind the Scenes

Behind art, music, prose, poetry, cinema and all other forms of entertainment lies the miracle of creative minds. These great minds have the powers to turn your thoughts into a whirlwind that takes your imagination beyond the limits you ever knew. They can land you in a pensive mood that keeps you preoccupied about thousand life-stirring thoughts that never crossed your mind. The musician can create a merry tune that has the grumpiest soul tapping and dancing on the streets. And the read of a great novel can even change the course of your life! Fairy tales like “Snow White”, “Rapunzel”, or fantasies like “Superman” or “Spiderman” stir up the first ever imagination of children. To keep our civilisation growing stronger we can pray to the Creator to send us more great minds like Rabindranath Tagore, William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf or Vincent Van Gogh. If science and technology make life easier and safer, the creative minds feed our spiritual beings -- they keep us smiling and crying, keep our love and compassion alive.

OP-ED

A brief history of coups d'etat

There are certain classes of people who think that military rule or martial law is imposed in a country when politicians make a mess of things. That is simply not true. Those who put such arguments forward are pretty much at a distance from a study of history not just in Bangladesh but elsewhere around the world.

To save Syria, America needs Russia's help

On Thursday, Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, publicly distanced the Kremlin from Syria's president, Bashar Assad, announcing, "We are not concerned about the fate of Assad's regime." As Syria's rebels continue to gain ground and Russia loses faith in Assad, America has an opportunity to both end the carnage in Syria and improve its relations with Moscow.

First South Korean female president: Tough job for a tough woman!

South Koreans elected their first female President, Ms. Park Geun-hye, on December 19. She is the sixth president since the country adopted a democratic constitution in 1987. Park will assume office in February 2013. Under the constitution, the president serves for a single five-year term.

Navigating the alphabet soup of English medium education

Even people who work in the British education system can find it to be confusing; "O- levels," "A levels," GCSEs, IGCSEs, BTECs, HNDs, the CIE exam board v Edexcel -- not to mention the IB, and then of course there is the K12 system! Successfully navigating this alphabet soup can be quite a challenge for both students and parents in the process of selecting the most appropriate courses and the route to place at a good university.

Tribute to Muzharul Islam

Like most of us, Muzharul Islam had feet of clay, but unlike most of us, he lived a noble life straining to be the best he could be. He came into my life when I was most vulnerable to his unique brand of nobility and after decades of prolonged -- mostly furious -- debate about competing ideologies, he changed my life. Muz had that effect on others as well, but I felt it uniquely because he loved his countrymen more than any of the rest of us seemed to be capable of loving ours. He was a man of the people in every imaginable way, notably at times when such a posture didn't do him a lot of personal good.



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