• Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Freedom in the air

Backpage

Fake war heroes at ACC

Two directors of the Anti-Corruption Commission resorted to cheating to obtain freedom fighters' certificate to defer their retirement by a year. The anti-graft body found this while investigating its nine officials, including a director general, who has war hero's certificates. The probe was launched on November 2 in the wake of government and media reports that some top bureaucrats fraudulently secured freedom fighter's certificates. The ACC has completed investigating its Director Golam Yahiya while the probe into the eight others is on,...

Arson Attack in Rangamati

Victims wait for justice

A week has gone by and still no case have been filed and nobody got arrested in connection with the torching of 61 homes of the indigenous at Burigati union of Naniarchhar in Rangamati. The same goes for the destruction of thousands of pineapple plants and teak saplings of Bangalee settlers, which allegedly sparked the attack on indigenous homes. People of the area are blaming the police for inaction. They said they went to Naniarchhar Police Station to file cases after the...

Over 5,000 trees felled for repairing embankment

Over 5,000 trees felled for repairing embankment

More than 5,000 trees along the flood control embankment at Dafadar Bridge and Sekandarkhali village in Amtali upazila of Barguna have been chopped down in the name of repairing the embankment. Amtali forest office sources said about 10,000 trees had been planted under the “green belt” project on the 8 km flood control dam...

Robber killed in 'gunfight'

An alleged robber was killed in a “gunfight” with police in Magura Sadar upazila in the early hours of yesterday. Deceased Uzzal Hossain, 33, was son of Awal Biswas of the upazila's Chandpur village. According to police, Uzzal was the chief of an inter-district robber gang. He stood accused in four criminal cases, including robbery and snatching, with different police stations. A gang of robbers attempted to commit a robbery at Mandartala by blocking Magura-Narail road with logs around 3:00am, said Sudarshan...

Go tough on criminals

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the top officials of districts to go tough on criminals irrespective of their political affiliations. She gave the direction in a video conference with divisional commissioners of Rangpur and Barisal and deputy commissioners of Barguna and Lalmonirhat after a weekly cabinet meeting at the secretariat yesterday. "Country's law and order situation must improve at any cost. Stern actions have to be taken against those involved with militancy and drug smuggling as the Awami League government...

China probes senior party official for graft

A senior Chinese Communist Party official who was a close aide to former President Hu Jintao is being investigated for "suspected serious disciplinary violations" -- normally a euphemism for corruption -- state media said yesterday. The probe into Ling Jihua, who is also a national political adviser, was announced by the ruling party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Ling is vice chairman of the national committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a...

Robotic bug to explore alien planets

Robotic bug to explore alien planets

A robotic stick insect that can walk up stairs and negotiate stony ground has been created by scientists. Researchers at Bielefeld University, in Germany, built the robot after studying how the legs of stick insects move. To copy nature's design, the robotics experts gave their six robot legs a total of 18 joints that are...

Muslim party quits in major blow to Sri Lanka leader

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse suffered a setback to his re-election hopes yesterday when a key minister and his minority Muslim party quit the coalition government. Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said he was switching allegiance to Maithripala Sirisena, the main opposition candidate seeking to topple Rajapakse in a January 8 election. It is the latest in a series of blows for the 69-year-old president, who was seen as the favourite when he called snap polls last month but has...

First UAE nuclear plant to start in 2017

The first of four nuclear reactors being built by the United Arab Emirates will come on line in 2017 and the rest will be fully operational by 2020, an official said yesterday. "When they are fully operational in 2020, they will generate 25 percent of UAE power needs," the CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC), Mohammed al-Hammadi, told an energy conference in Abu Dhabi. Hammadi said that 61 percent of the first reactor has been completed and it is...

Uzbekistan poll 'lacked genuine competition'

Uzbekistan yesterday announced a near 90-percent turnout in its weekend parliamentary election, a poll Western observers said lacked genuine competition. All the parties in Sunday's polls support President Islam Karimov, who has ruled the central Asian republic since the collapse of communism. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the vote was "competently administered but lacked genuine electoral competition and debate." Speaking at a news conference yesterday, the head of the central election commission Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov said there was no...

Court opens case against Catalan leader for breakaway vote

Catalonia's president Artur Mas was placed under investigation yesterday for holding a banned vote on whether his region should be independent from Spain. The Catalonia High Court said that Mas was under judicial investigation for flouting a injunction against holding the symbolic vote on November 9. Prosecutors have accused him of civil disobedience, abuse of power and embezzlement of public funds for pressing ahead with the vote. If charges were brought against him, Mas could risk a jail sentence of several years...

Construction to begin on controversial Nicaragua canal

A Chinese company breaks ground yesterday on a $50 billion canal across Nicaragua, an ambitious rival to the Panama Canal that critics condemn as a pipe dream and protesters say will wreck the environment. President Daniel Ortega and the Chinese telecoms magnate behind the canal, Wang Jing, will inaugurate the project at an evening ceremony in the capital Managua. But the actual construction will begin some 130 kilometers (80 miles) away, with the first access roads at the mouth of the...

Russia's top allies build ties with Ukraine

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev followed his Belarussian counterpart to Ukraine yesterday as Moscow's old allies built bridges to Europe while Russia's financial crisis and diplomatic isolation grew. Both visits were ostensibly made to kickstart stalled peace negotiations between Kiev and the two Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine that rebelled against Kiev in April. Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko hosted such talks in September and is hoping to do so again in Minsk in the coming days. But Nazarbayev has no evident link to...

Thai maid sentenced to death for drugs in Malaysia

A Thai woman was sentenced to death yesterday after a Malaysian high court found her guilty of trafficking drugs, Bernama news agency reported. Duangchit Khonthokhonbari, 33, who had been working in Malaysia as a maid, was caught with 2.81 kilogrammes (6.2 pounds) of methamphetamine at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in March last year. Anyone with at least 50 grams of methamphetamine is considered a trafficker in Malaysia and subject to the death penalty. Defence lawyers could not be reached for immediate comment,...

Italy foils Neo fascist plot, arrests 14

Italian police arrested 14 neo-fascists and placed 44 others under investigation yesterday after uncovering a plot to assassinate politicians and attack police stations over the Christmas period. Police swooped after wiretaps revealed the gang, an offshoot of the banned far right organisation Ordine Nuovo, had begun stockpiling arms and planned to carry out attacks over the holiday period. Italy's Repubblica daily said the suspects had discussed killing politicians, "10, 11 at a time...", as well as blowing up the Equitalia tax...

eDaily Star