The Daily Star

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


News of: Friday, 28th of December, 2012

Front Page

Monipur High School, Rajuk Model College beat others

Monipur High School and Rajuk Uttara Model College in Dhaka retained their position as best schools in this year's primary terminal and Junior School Certificate (JSC) exams for the second time in a row.

Primary Terminal

The pass rates in this year's Primary Terminal and Junior Certificate Examinations marked rise. Free and on-time textbook distribution, creative question, teachers' training, special care in English and mathematics, stipends, school monitoring, awareness of students and parents made it possible.

Junior Certificate

The pass rates in this year's Primary Terminal and Junior Certificate Examinations marked rise. Free and on-time textbook distribution, creative question, teachers' training, special care in English and mathematics, stipends, school monitoring, awareness of students and parents made it possible.

BB opens gateway to e-commerce

The central bank yesterday launched National Payment Switch, a common platform for the country's commercial banks for electronic payments, which is going to revolutionise e-commerce in Bangladesh.

ACC to sue Sonali officials, 5 firms

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday approved filing of 26 cases against several top officials of Sonali Bank and five business entities for misappropriating more than Tk 345 crore of depositors' money.

Nothing can stop war crimes trial

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated that war criminals would get due punishment no matter what conspiracies BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami hatch to protect them.

Tension with Turkey

Diplomatic tension has been created between Dhaka and Ankara over Turkish President Abdullah Gul's letter to President Zillur Rahman calling for "clemency" to the accused under trial in the International Crimes Tribunal for the "sake of peace in the society".

Hall-Mark's illegal buildings demolished

Eight illegal structures, including a four-storey building were demolished yesterday in Savar on the outskirts of the capital in a drive to recover 10 acres of government land grabbed by Hall-Mark Group.

Sohrab Hossain passes away

Pioneer Nazrul Sangeet singer Sohrab Hossain passed away yesterday morning. He was 91.

Mosharraf, Ferdous remanded

Ex-secretary of Bridges Division Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Superintendent Engineer of Bangladesh Bridge Authority Kazi Mohammad Ferdous were placed on seven days' remand yesterday in connection with the Padma bridge corruption case.

Plea for death penalty

The prosecution yesterday sought capital punishment for Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah while completing its closing arguments in the crimes against humanity case at the International Crimes Tribunal-2.

War tribunal's organogram finalised

About three years after the formation of the International Crimes Tribunal, the government has finally approved an 81-post organogram for it, including the post of a senior law research officer.

Power tariff hike proposal opposed

Rights activists, industrialists and politicians yesterday vehemently opposed proposals to increase retail power tariff that rose six times since 2010.

Cold spell to continue

The cold spell in the north and north-western regions of the country is likely to continue for the next couple of days and the temperature might dip further in some parts, said Dhaka Met office.

Sir Abed honoured

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of Brac, has been awarded the Central European University Open Society Prize 2013 for his outstanding contributions to the principles of open society, and leadership and unwavering commitment to humanitarian aid and development.

Madrasa students see higher pass rate

This year's Ebtedai Certificate and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) Examinations saw an increase in both the pass rates and highest grade points achievers over the previous years.

46 held en route to KL

A team of Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard detained 46 people at Saint Martin's island in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday night for attempting to go to Malaysia illegally.

Upazila polls in August

The Election Commission is considering holding upazila parishad elections in August next year before the parliamentary polls.

Bad news for latecomers

The Mamata Banerjee government has decided to introduce hidden cameras to record the ins and outs of employees in government offices to ensure they reach by 10.30am.

Ecuador bus accident kills 13

Thirteen people were killed and 37 others injured when a bus plunged into a ravine in a mountainous area of central Ecuador on Wednesday, officials said.

Storm kills 6 in Philippines

Tropical Storm Wukong left six people dead and two missing as it cut through the central Philippines, following devastating Typhoon Bopha that killed hundreds earlier this month, officials said yesterday.

Editorial

Opposition leader's Wednesday speeches

At the outset, it is necessary to express a sense of relief at the passage of the elaborate programme of wayside rallies. That the massive mass contact did not cause any major traffic dislocation or an untoward incident means that it was on the whole well-managed. Kudos to the organizers. Even though it created inconvenience, even hardship to people, the programme, not being a hartal, went down well with the people. It has proved to be a good alternative to hartal and should be used as such.

Morsi after referendum

Despite calls by President Morsi to “begin building our country's rebirth with free will…men, women, Muslims and Christians”, Egypt's populace has never been so divided on the issue of freedom from authoritarian rule the fundamental pillar of the Egyptian spring that toppled the Mubarak regime. The referendum that was won by the Muslim brotherhood brought to light some interesting facts. According to the Egyptian election commission, while 60 percent of the people who voted backed the constitution. Of that figure, 36 percent of the total votes cast were against the new constitution. But the turnout was 30 percent.

Sports

BCL starts with a Zia bang

Ziaur Rahman's near record-equalling effort got the newly-designed Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) off to an explosive start yesterday as the hard-hitting Prime Bank South Zone batsman hogged the spotlight by smashing a furious, unbeaten hundred at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

'I'm a hitter by nature'

Ziaur Rahman was not disappointed at having missed the world record of 16 sixes in a first-class innings, but was instead happy that he could make his first hundred courtesy of valuable support from two tailenders.

Sheikh Russel take lead

A stoppage-time strike from Haitian Sony Norde helped title contenders Sheikh Russel KC come from one goal down to beat Brothers Union 2-1 in

Win and be the leaders

Taking solo lead in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League will be on Mohammedan and Abahani's minds when the traditional foes clash in a crucial encounter of the competition at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Wait till Sunday, says Papon

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon appeared before the media two days after returning from London, but the BCB boss still kept everything close to his chest.

India must win today

India will have to quickly plug their batting shortcomings and pick the right team composition when they go into the second and last Twenty20 International against archrivals Pakistan on Friday, hoping to level the two match series 1-1.

BFF renews coaches' contracts

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday renewed contracts of 15 coaches and offered two new contracts under the development programme financed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which allocates 6,000 dollars for coaches each year.

Rooney out for several weeks

Wayne Rooney faces two or three weeks on the sidelines after the Manchester United striker injured his knee in training ahead of Wednesday's Premier League clash with Newcastle United.

Clarke's Aussie record

Captain Michael Clarke trumped Ricky Ponting as Australia's highest run-scorer in a calendar year with another century as his team clamped an iron grip on the second Test against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Rajshahi dominate

Rajshahi District Sports Association dominated the second day of the Trust Bank 12th National Senior & Junior Taekwondo Championship at the National Sports Council Gymnasium yesterday.

T&T win 3-2

T&T Club of Motijheel recorded a 3-2 win over Youngmen Club Fakirerpool in the Popular Life Insurance Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.

Ishant, Akmal fined for spat

India pacer bowler Ishant Sharma and Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal have been fined for their on-field behaviour during the first Twenty20 international on Tuesday.

Stoke stun Liverpool

Jonathan Walters scored twice as Stoke beat Liverpool 3-1 in an entertaining affair under the lights at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday.

Bale fires treble

Man of the match Gareth Bale claimed his first Premier League hattrick as Tottenham Hotspur won 4-0 at Aston Villa on Wednesday to climb to fourth place in the Premier League.

Berg lasts just 57 days

Blackburn Rovers sacked Henning Berg on Thursday after only 57 days and 10 games in charge, becoming the second manager to depart a foreign-owned English Championship (second division) club in the space of a few hours.

Napoli reject Cavani bid

Napoli have turned down a 55 million-euro offer for striker Edison Cavani with club owner Aurelio De Laurentiis indicating that the Uruguayan's "warrior" spirit will be key to a Serie A title push.

Jol blasts Berbatov

Fulham manager Martin Jol described striker Dimitar Berbatov as "stupid" after the Bulgarian was booked for a bizarre T-shirt gesture after scoring in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Business

BB's growth forecast falls below govt target

The economy is likely to grow at a similar pace as experienced over the last ten years -- of around 6.2 percent -- in fiscal 2012-13, despite the continued global economic slowdown, Bangladesh Bank said yesterday.

Sonali Bank gets new chairman

AHM Habibur Rahman, the newly appointed chairman of scam-ridden Sonali Bank, has inherited a lot of challenges from his predecessor in bringing back the bank's lost image.

PSI firms to remain for six more months

The government will extend the tenure of the pre-shipment inspection (PSI) companies by another six months to June though it had a plan to get rid of the firms by this December.

Book your hotel online

International credit cardholders planning foreign trips can now make hotel reservations online from Bangladesh.

Govt working to ensure uniformity of data: Muhith

The government is working to ensure that data from different sources remain consistent and unvarying, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.

Stockmarket regulator moves to attract more foreign investment

Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) yesterday formed a panel, which will suggest ways to increase foreign investment in the stockmarket.

Bangladesh keeps up growth momentum: Citi

Bangladesh has maintained its growth momentum averaging over 6 percent GDP growth since fiscal year 2009, in spite of the persisting global economic slowdown, Citibank NA said in its Annual Market Update for 2012. Following is the first part of the report.

Move fast on digital Bangladesh vision: PM's adviser

The government should fast track its work now to implement the "Digital Bangladesh" vision, said HT Imam, an adviser to the Prime Minister.

CPD holds meeting of trustees

Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue, will be invited to become a member of its trustee board, the leading think-tank said in a statement yesterday.

Rangpur chamber's AGM held

The annual general meeting for 2012 of Rangpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) took place at its auditorium in Rangpur on Wednesday.

Stocks look up ahead of New Year

Stocks ended the last week of the year with the key market-tracking index remaining in the black for a second day. There is only one trading day left in 2012.

Metropolitan

Girls lead in GPA-5 but fall behind in pass rate

Although a higher number of girls under Chittagong Education Board secured Grade Point Average (GPA)-5 than boys, their pass rate decreased in this year's Junior School Certificate examination.

Road accidents kill 14, injure 17

Fourteen people were killed and 17 others injured in separate road accidents in Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Chittagong, Bogra, Laxmipur, Sirajganj and Chuadanga on Wednesday and yesterday.

BNP closed many rail routes on WB prescription: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday alleged that the previous BNP government had shut down many important railway routes as prescribed by the World Bank.

Locals set fire on bus as it hurts three in capital

Agitating locals set a bus ablaze and blockaded the road for half an hour after the bus rammed a rickshaw leaving its three people injured in the capital's Dhanmondi area yesterday.

Two killed as trains hit them in capital

Two persons were killed as trains hit them in Gopibagh and Uttara areas of the capital yesterday.

Bijoy Mela visitors in Ctg beat winter chill

The month long Muktijuddher Bijoy Mela swarms with visitors every day though low winter temperature is forcing many to stay put in their houses.

Country's sole railway museum in a shambles

Bangladesh Railway (BR) Museum, the country's sole railway museum located in Pahartali of Chittagong city, has become dilapidated due to a lack of proper maintenance since its inception in 2003.

Four judges get death threat

Four judges of the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate's Court yesterday received death threats through anonymous letters for making public a previous threat, which was issued for “not granting bail to leaders and activists of Islam.”

Migration rate higher this year: Report

Bangladeshi workers' migration rate has increased 5.65 percentage points this year, says a RMMRU report.

Suicide victim passes JSC exam

Pinky, a 15-year-old girl who appeared in this years' JSC examinations, could not know her results as she was pushed into committing suicide following her abduction by her classmate, Rony, and later on threats from his sisters to withdraw a case.

Formulate coordinated policy for safe roads

Journalist Nikhil Bhadra, who lost his right leg in a road accident last year, yesterday urged the government to enact a coordinated communications policy to ensure a safe road network.

BNP to chalk out fresh agitation programmes tomorrow

BNP policymaking body, National Standing Committee, will sit in BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office tomorrow to discuss the latest political situation and chalk out fresh agitation programmes.

Saudi Shura Council Speaker to arrive Jan 6

Speaker of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia also known as Shura Council Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh will arrive in Bangladesh on January 6 on a three-day visit.

Family planning cuts maternal, child mortality rates

Maternal and child mortality rates can be reduced by one-fourth through the use of family planning measures, said Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque at a press briefing yesterday.

Nazrul Geeti exponent Sohrab's death condoled

Different organisations and persons expressed their deep condolence at the death of renowned Nazrul Geeti exponent Sohrab Hossain.

Two arrestees on three-day fresh remand

A Dhaka court yesterday granted a three-day fresh remand for two arrestees in connection with a case filed for the murder of Bishwajit Das during the opposition's December 9 blockade.

Cuet to house country's first software incubator park

The government is going to build the country's first full software technology incubator park at the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet), said Information and Communication Technology Secretary Md Nazrul Islam Khan.

Juta election tomorrow

Election to the executive committee of Jahangirnagar University Teachers' Association (Juta) will be held tomorrow for 2013.

7 illegal passport brokers jailed

A mobile court jailed seven people for illegally brokering passports in the office of deputy director of passport and immigration in Sylhet yesterday.

Dhaka Ahsania Mission gets ISESCO literacy prize

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid handed over the ISESCO Prize for Literacy-2012 to Dhaka Ahsania Mission on Wednesday for its outstanding contribution in the field of literacy.

Anwarul chairman, Joynal Abedin GS of Bikrompur Foundation

Renowned astrologer Anwarul Rahman, also former professor at Dhaka University, and Md Joynal Abedin, a freedom fighter, have been made the chairman and general secretary respectively of Bikrompur Foundation's Board of Governance for the period 2013-14, said a press release.

Obituary

Engr Manzoor Hossain Khan, son of late Sakhawat Hossain Khan and Roushan Ara Khanam, passed away early yesterday. He was 83.

National

Short supply of textbooks worries Gaibandha schools

With only five days left for the start of distribution, the authorities of different high schools and madrasas in seven upazilas are yet to get new textbooks of the academic year 2013 as per their requirement.

UGC forms body to probe alleged irregularities by VC

The University Grants Commission (UGC) yesterday formed a probe committee to investigate the alleged irregularities regarding appointment of a large number of staff at Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) during the tenure of immediate past vice chancellor Prof Dr Syed Shakhawat Hossain.

Bring killers of little Russel to book, demand protesters

Local people formed a human chain in Singair upazila town yesterday, demanding punishment of the killers of eight-year-old Russel Ahmed.

New IU VC appointed

Professor Abdul Hakim Sarkar of Dhaka University was yesterday appointed as new vice-chancellor of Islamic University.

2 killed as villagers clash in B'baria

Fierce fighting between two rival groups at Chitri village under Nabinagar upazila on Wednesday evening left two people dead and 10 others injured.

Jamat-Shibir men attack policemen, injure 10

At least 10 policemen were injured in an attack by the activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir at Dhobra village in Shibganj upazila on Wednesday night.

Three school students go 'missing'

Three school students of Sadar upazila went 'missing' on Wednesday morning.

BSF picks up youth

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) picked up a Bangladeshi cattle trader from Putkhali Beel (water-body) area of Medenipur border point in Jibannagar upazila of Chuadanga early yesterday.

Khulna docs start work abstention

Doctors of Khulna division went on an indefinite work abstention yesterday, demanding arrest of the culprits who assaulted a physician at Chuadanga General Hospital on Monday.

College girl rescued from traffickers

Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) rescued a female college student from Putkhali border point of the district on Tuesday night while she was being trafficked to India.

Fire kills minor girl

A nine-year-old girl was burnt alive as a house was gutted in a fire at Chokkhanpur village in Sherpur upazila on Tuesday night. The deceased was identified as Hamida, 9, daughter of Hamidul Islam of the village. Hamida's mother Shirin Akhtar, 32, and her sister Asma, 5, also sustained burn injuries in the incident. The incident took place at around 8:00pm when the victims were asleep, said inspector Mizanur Rahman of Sherpur police station.

New VC appointed

Patuakhali Science and Technology University got its new vice chancellor (VC) yesterday. The VC, Prof Shamsuddin, was earlier at Bangladesh Krishi University in Mymensingh. He replaced Prof Syed Sashakhawat Hussain whose term ended recently, said university sources.

Malaysian citizen dies

A Malaysian national, who had come to the district town to join Tablig Jamaat, died from cold related diseases on Wednesday morning. The deceased was identified as Samsuddin Bin Ismail, 38. Police and the Tablig Jamaat sources said, Ismail, who was suffering from cold, went to bed in Kofiluddinpara mosque in the town after Fajr prayers. Later, his associates found him dead at about 9:00am.

KU admission tests

The admission tests for first year honours courses under the academic session 2012-13 at Khulna University (KU) will begin today. The tests will continue till December 30, said university sources. At least 27,403 applicants will sit for the admission tests against 975 seats under five schools and one institute. Besides the campus, the admission tests will be held at two other educational institutions in the city, said public relation officer (PRO) Atiar Rahman. Further details regarding the tests will be available on the university website (prp.khulnauniversity@gmail.com), he added. Vice Chancellor Md Fayequzzaman said all preparations have been completed to hold the admission tests.

Letters

Fire drill for garment workers

It seems that whenever a fire breaks out at any garment factory, workers are injured due to stampede and disorganized evacuation. A fire drill system must be set up which must be practiced regularly so that in case of fire, all workers can be evacuated from the building quickly in a safe and organised manner. Most garment factories are poorly equipped with just a few "Hand-Held" fire extinguishers which are okay for small fires but barely sufficient if a major fire breaks out in the building. Another safety feature is an "Automatic Sprinkler System" which sprays hundreds of gallons of water in each floor of the building automatically if fire breaks out. It is mandatory in the USA and must be made mandatory here in Bangladesh.

Cloning a lost child

It is said that cloning a human being effectively means making an identical twin, and doctors would therefore simply be copying what nature has already produced. So any attempt to clone a human would raise a host of complex ethical issues. The biologists claimed people would soon overcome their concerns if the technique became medically useful. It may be mentioned that after the birth of Louise Brown, the first test tube baby, in-vitro fertilisation became widely accepted. But before was first developed, this type of fertilisation was regarded with extreme suspicion. We have learnt from a recent report of this daily that Sir John Gurdon, whose work -- cloning frogs in the 1950s and 60s led to the later creation of Dolly, the sheep by Edinburgh scientists in 1996, regularly asks his audience during his public lecture if they would be in favour of allowing parents, who are no longer fertile, to create another copy of their deceased child using the mother's eggs and skin cells from the first child, assuming the technique was safe and effective. The average vote on that is 60 percent in favour. The reasons for “no” are usually that the new child would feel they are some sort of a replacement for something and not valid in their own right.

Sachin Tendulkar the great

Sachin Tendulker, the world's greatest cricketer, has retired from one-day cricket. He is the most successful batsman in the history of one-day cricket as he has 49 centuries, 18,426 runs and 463 matches to his name with all the three being world records.

News men and Bishwajit's killing

I agree with the writer about the letter titled "Why didn't shot-taking reporters save Bishwajit?" Really, where were the shot-taking reporters and bystanders when Bishwajit was hacked to death? The reporters could at least take Bishwajit to the hospital, if they could not stop the attackers. Where were they when a rickshaw puller took him to the hospital? And why didn't the bystanders save him as the photographers were so busy taking photographs? Why were they so scared to save an innocent life? The police also didn't react. Why? Our country will have a bad reputation if this type of incident keeps taking place in Bangladesh.

Will our cops ever learn to respect people?

It was very shocking indeed to witness the spot interview of a cop on duty during the recently enforced hartal by the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) backed by the regime in power in support of banning religion-based politics in Bangladesh. The manner in which the cop responded to the question of a journalist is highly disappointing, by which he simply portrayed himself as an arrogant person.

What is there to celebrate?

I got an invitation from Bangladesh Embassy to celebrate the Victory Day on December 16 at the Bangladesh Embassy to Sweden. In 1971, I was about 16. I clearly remember my active and energetic days, starting after hearing the historic speech of Bangabandhu over radio on March 7, 1971….

Love brings wealth and success

I wonder why the rich always look down upon the poor. It is the negligence of the owners of the garment factories that has caused so many fire incidences in the garment industries resulting in deaths and the consequent sufferings of the bereaved families. We must decide to be honest. Money will come automatically if we gather wisdom and take care of the working hands. Love brings both wealth and success. So love everybody, both rich and poor, and save our country from the impending danger.

Rapists must get capital punishment

The recent gang rape of a 23-year-old female student on a running vehicle in New Delhi, India raised triggered widespread protests across the country. The rapists didn't just rape the girl viciously, they also attempted to murder her as they had beaten her up brutally and eventually dumped her on the road from the moving bus. We are traumatised by such ruthless behaviour of the rapists. The rapists, whoever they are, should get harsh punishment.

What a misuse of power!

A recent report of The Daily Star clearly says that the information ministry has instructed all government, semi-government offices and autonomous bodies to subscribe to only five national dailies, leaving out the top circulated newspapers. The dailies are Janakantha, Sangbad, Ittefaq, The Daily Sun and The Independent. These dailies are supposed to be in favour of the present government. The report also says that officials of these offices can buy other newspapers at their own expense. This is a clear sign of tyranny or we can call it misuse of power. We have not expected such ill-motivated move from our information ministry. I hope the government would change its decision immediately.

Online Voices

Readers' instant comments on The Daily Star online reports. Log on to thedailystar.net to leave your comments.
Top Terror Bikash Freed
A 50cr taka question?
(December 23, 2012)

International

Gun database release sparks outrage in US

A New York newspaper has sparked outrage by publishing a detailed map with thousands of names and addresses of gun permit holders in the wake of the Newtown school shooting.

Peace envoy urges 'real' change

International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi yesterday called for "real change" and a transitional government in Syria but the armed opposition swiftly retorted that that could not include President Bashar al-Assad or his top lieutenants.

Bhutto heir launches political career

The son of Pakistan's slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto launched his political career yesterday on the anniversary of his mother's death, vowing to continue her fight for democracy.

Pak Taliban outlines ceasefire conditions

The Pakistani Taliban have outlined conditions for a ceasefire, including the adoption of Islamic law and a break with the United States, a spokesman said yesterday, an offer a senior government official described as "preposterous".

Tea workers burn boss alive in India

Tea plantation workers torched the home of their boss, killing both him and his wife, following a labour dispute in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, officials said yesterday.

Victim flown to Singapore

Doctors in Singapore yesterday battled to save the life of an Indian student who sustained horrific injuries in a gang-rape, after she was dramatically airlifted from a hospital in New Delhi.

Pranab's son sorry

President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee has tendered unconditional apology for his 'dented and painted' remarks on the Delhi anti-rape protesters, admitting his statement was 'outrageous'.

Japan to review zero-nuke policy

Japan's new leaders yesterday was set to work on dismantling plans to rid the country of nuclear power by 2040, pledging to review a post-Fukushima policy.

Cold snap toll hits 30 in UP

The cold wave sweeping through Uttar Pradesh in India has claimed more than 30 lives in a 24-hour span, officials here said yesterday.

HW Bush in intensive care unit

Former US president George HW Bush has been admitted to a hospital's intensive care unit "following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever", but he is alert and talking to medical staff, his spokesman said.

Mandela discharged from hospital

Nelson Mandela has been discharged after 19 days in hospital during which he was treated for a lung infection and gallstones, the South African government said on Wednesday.

Chavez cedes some powers

Ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is still in Cuba recovering from his latest cancer surgery, has delegated several economic duties to his vice president Nicolas Maduro.

US winter storms toll hit 7

A massive Christmas storm that whipped up tornadoes, ice and snow from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes has killed at least seven people and grounded more than 2,000 US flights.

Arts & Entertainment

Sohrab Hossain

Calling Sohrab Hossain one of the pioneering Nazrul Sangeet singers of our country would not be an overstatement. After the Partition (1947), except for Abbasuddin, Feroza Begum, Laila Arjumand Banu, Bedaruddin Ahmed and Sohrab Hossain, there were hardly any accomplished Nazrul Sangeet artistes here. Hossain had been an integral part of the revival of popularity of Nazrul's songs and maintaining the correct notations of the songs after they went through major distortion during the 1940s and '50s. A generation of talented Nazrul Sangeet artistes that include Shaheen Samad, Dalia Nausheen, Sadya Afreen Mallick, Sabiha Mahbub and Kamol Rodrigues trained under him.

Reactions…

MA Mannan
One thing that separated Sohrab Bhai from other artistes was his gayakee, his style of presentation. He always used to give us tips on singing styles of Nazrul Sangeet. I wish I had given more importance to his suggestions, and it's a mistake that I cannot rectify now.

Skyfall keeps movie-lovers on the edge of their seats

More than three weeks after the launch of a film at Star Cineplex in Bashundhara City Mall, Dhaka, one should not be too worried about availability of tickets for a Sunday 1:35 pm show. But it seems that Dhaka cannot get enough of 007.

Did You Know?

-Apart from his poet-author identity, Syed Shamsul Haq is also a prominent playwright of the country.

Syed Shamsul Haq turns 78

Syed Shamsul Haq is considered one of the greatest Bangladeshi poets to have emerged in the 1950s. He has written poems, novels, short stories, essays, plays, travelogue and more. His relevant subjects and unique approach have fetched him admiration for six decades. His immense contribution to Bangladeshi poetry over the years has earned him international acclaim as well.

Tempest on Cox's Bazar beach, Dhaboman in Ramu

Dhaka Theatre will stage its adaptation of Shakespeare's “The Tempest” at Cox's Bazar, on the beach, this afternoon. The troupe will stage the Selim Al Deen play “Dhaboman” in Ramu on December 29. Moreover, Dhaka Theatre will stage the monodrama “Binodini” at the Cox's Bazar District Auditorium on December 30 as part of a month-long programme by Shammilita Sangskritik Jote.

Biren Shome's solo exhibition at Bengal Gallery

After a hiatus, veteran artist Biren Shome is holding a solo painting exhibition. The exhibition, titled “Life in Abstraction, Abstraction in Life”, will open at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in Dhanmondi, Dhaka on January 1, and will continue till January 12. His last solo art show was held at Shilpangan Contemporary Art Gallery in January of 2010.

OP-ED

Is India cheating in love?

Eighty-nine year old nuclear physicist Freeman Dyson once said that it was better to be wrong than to be vague. Acting Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh has followed that dictum and called a spade a spade. He proclaimed on behalf of himself, his president and prime minister that India would never support the anti-liberation forces in Bangladesh. Forty-two years later a friend in need once again proved to be a friend indeed! Good to know that hasn't changed.

Ancient Buddhas, modern peril

When the Taliban blasted the famous Bamiyan Buddhas with artillery and dynamite in March 2001, leaders of many faiths and countries denounced the destruction as an act of cultural terrorism. But today, with the encouragement of the US government, Chinese engineers are preparing a similar act of desecration in Afghanistan: the demolition of a vast complex of richly decorated ancient Buddhist monasteries.

White as lily, who?

Like tsunami, rushing floodwater and fire take their own levels -- unstoppably -- so does money find its expression in one form or the other. Illegal money cannot be simply hidden, it's bound to surface today or tomorrow. Only that there is no omnipotent watchdog save the eyes from the heavens to see the unseeable.

AL Council, RPO and citizen's expectations

Bangladesh Awami League (AL) will hold its 19th National Council (NC) on December 29. The last NC was held on July 24, 2009. Since the birth of AL on June 23, 1949, the party had regular councils till 1974. There were two gaps -- one was a 6-year gap between the NCs of 1957 and 1964 and again a 4-year gap between 1974 and 1978. Sheikh Hasina was made the party president in her absence in the 1981 NC. During 1981-2009, AL had eight NCs with 5-7 years gap between each NC, except in 2002. In 2002, AL had two councils -- one was a special council and one was a regular one.

Conflict transformation and peace building for emerging South Asian leaders

It was a great pleasure to participate in the programme titled "CONTACT South Asia Training and Peacebuilding Education for Saarc Emerging Leaders - 2012," arranged by School of International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute of the United States of America. The programme was held at Budhanilkantha in Nepal from December 5 to 16, 2012.

This Day In History

December 28
1885

Indian National Congress a political party of India is founded in Bombay, British India.

StarTech

12 gadgets for 2013

Between the iPhone 5, Windows 8 and the legal drama between Apple and Samsung, the tech world has been heating up quite a bit in 2012. The coming year hopefully will be just the same, if not better. And with the likes of Xbox 720 and Amazon Phone being released, it looks pretty exciting.

Dell launches magazine

Dell has launched Dell She Power.

Samsung seeks US sales ban on some Ericsson products

Samsung Electronics said on Wednesday it had filed a complaint against Ericsson with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), requesting a U.S. import ban and sales ban on some of the Swedish telecoms equipment maker's products.

Intel 4th gen processor next year

2012 was an exciting year for Intel in the Asia Pacific region.


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