• Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Protesters back to Shahbagh

Protesters back to Shahbagh

As the Gonojagoron Mancha activists returned to Shahbagh intersection after months, four of them were injured in police action using water cannons and teargas yesterday. Two factions of the platform had taken their position opposite the National Museum demanding death sentence to Delwar Hossain Sayedee around 8:00am, witnesses said. After the Supreme Court sentenced Sayedee...

UN General Assembly

178-member team to go with PM

178-member team to go with PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves for the US on Sunday to lead Bangladesh to the 69th UN General Assembly (UNGA) with a 178-member delegation, the biggest entourage since her taking office in 2009. Last year, she led a 134-member delegation to the 68th UNGA. “The number of entourage members may rise further as the authorities have issued a government order [GO] later and others are possibly awaiting visa because their applications were submitted a few days ago,” said a highly placed government source. Besides, an advance team of Special Security Force (SSF) and civil officials had already been to New York, added the source. During her weeklong visit, Hasina is scheduled to take...

Another haul of arms, explosives in Satchhari

Another haul of arms, explosives in Satchhari

For the fourth time in three months, Rapid Action Battalion members recovered a cache of firearms and explosives at the Satchhari National Park in Habiganj's Chunarughat upazila early yesterday. There were 14 sacks of explosives, 112 rocket launchers and 48 chargers of rocket launchers among the weapons, said Mufti Mahmud Khan, director of legal...

AK Khandker quits as SCF chairman

Air Vice-Marshal (retd) AK Khandker yesterday resigned as chairman of the Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF) yesterday, citing his old age as the contributing factor. "I have got his [Khandker's] resignation letter around 8:00pm today (yesterday)," Haroon Habib, acting secretary general of the SCF, told The Daily Star last night. In the letter, he stated that due to his old age, he was incapable of performing his responsibilities as the chairman of the SCF, Haroon said. Khandaker, who was the deputy chief of...

Qaeda's S Asia wing claims major attack

Al-Qaeda's South Asia wing has claimed responsibility for hijacking a Pakistani naval ship and trying to use it to fire rockets at US vessels in the Arabian Sea, in the first major assault by the newly created group. The SITE monitoring service quoted its spokesman, Usama Mahmoud, as saying a group of militants had succeeded in seizing control of the Pakistani frigate PNS Zulfiqar and tried to use it to attack nearby US vessels. "These mujahideen had taken control of the...

Antarctic sea ice set for record high

Antarctic sea ice set for record high

The extent of sea ice in Antarctica is set to reach a record high, scientists said, as they announced that Arctic sea ice appeared to have shrunk to its sixth lowest level ever. The NSIDC said that satellite data was expected to shortly confirm whether the maximum extent of sea ice at the opposite...

Final push for Scottish referendum

On the eve of Scotland's historic referendum, polls showed support for staying in the United Kingdom just ahead of backing for independence but tens of thousands of citizens were still agonising over which way to vote today. Three surveys showed support for independence at 48 percent compared with 52 percent backing for the union. They found 8 to 14 percent of Scotland's 4.3 million voters were still undecided before polls open at 0500 London time. Leaders and supporters of both sides...

Invest in Bangladesh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the investors to take advantage of the country's open and favourable regulatory regime, skilled workforce, and strategic location in Asia to expand their businesses. "The government of Bangladesh is committed to stay on its upward course to attract FDI and maintain investment-friendly environment for our economic development … Select Bangladesh for making investment," she said while inaugurating the day-long International Investors' Forum, 2014 at Sonargaon Hotel in the capital. Chaired by BoI executive chairman Syed...

Gaza mortar fire on Israel for first time since truce

Palestinians fired a mortar round into southern Israel Tuesday in the first attack since an August 26 ceasefire, without causing any casualties, the Israeli army said. "For the first time since operation Protective Edge, a mortar shell fired from Gaza hit southern Israel," Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said on Twitter, referring to the military offensive in Gaza. "No damage or injuries reported," he added. In Gaza, a spokesman for Hamas, the strip's de facto rulers, told AFP the militant Islamic group and...

King of Sweden escapes unhurt in car accident

King Carl Gustav XVI of Sweden escaped unhurt from a car accident in Stockholm yesterday, according to the Swedish Royal Court. "The car that the King was travelling in had a minor collision at Nockeby bridge just outside the Drottningholm Palace," the court said in a statement, adding that the monarch was unhurt and continued on a journey to the north of Sweden after the accident. Sweden is one of world's safest countries to drive in -- according to traffic accident...

Far more displaced by disasters than conflict

Disasters last year displaced three times more people than violent conflicts, showing the urgent need to improve resilience for vulnerable people when fighting climate change, according to a study issued yesterday. The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent group that focuses on emergency aid, released the findings ahead of a United Nations summit on Tuesday aimed at building momentum for a global agreement on climate change. The report said that 22 million people were displaced in 2013 due to disasters brought on...

Israel warns EU against 'bad deal' on Iran

Israel's Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz yesterday urged the European Union not to make a "bad deal" with Iran over its nuclear programme, ahead of crucial talks. Steinitz suggested outgoing EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton may be in a rush to conclude a deal before she steps down at the end of this year. He also said the fight against Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria should not harm efforts to stop Tehran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. Iran and world powers...

Bangladesh envoy to Greece called back

The government has finally called home Bangladesh Ambassador to Greece Golam Mohammad as he has been found guilty of sexually harassing a female official of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) recently. According to a highly placed source, the foreign ministry yesterday asked him to return to Dhaka and report to the ministry by next one month. Following an investigation into the incident in Athens, a three-member inquiry team, headed by Maritime Affairs Unit Secretary Khurshid Alam, recommended taking punitive action...

Allow UN to play a greater role

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the world leaders to take more effective steps for stopping wars and conflicts in different parts of the world and allow the UN to play a greater role in establishing global peace. She came up with the call while addressing a commemorative event marking the 40th anniversary of Bangladesh's historic admission to the United Nations held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital yesterday. Hasina also stated that Bangladesh is "in the frontline of...