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Frontpage

Avijit Murder

Clueless still about killers

Clueless still about killers

The barbaric murder of Avijit Roy on Thursday has brought to the fore a group called Ansar Bangla 7, which claimed responsibility for it on its Twitter page shortly after the attack. Questions remain as to whether the group is a new one or an incarnation of the extremist Islamist outfit called Ansarullah Bangla...

UN, US shocked

The United Nations and the USA have strongly condemned the killing of blogger Avijit Roy and expressed the hope that the perpetrators will be quickly brought to justice through a transparent process of law. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has also condemned the killing saying the 'attack on Roy' is part of a deadly cycle of violence as a culture of impunity following such incidents prevails in Bangladesh. The US was ready to assist the investigation into the brutal killing,...

OMG!

OMG!

  “Two parties [AL and BNP] have gone blind for power.”   Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad at a meeting in Chittagong

Backpage

2 more arson victims die

2 more arson victims die

Two victims of petrol bomb attacks died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday, raising the death toll in the violence that began since January 6 to 80. On the 54th day of the nationwide blockade, several vehicles were set ablaze, bombs went off and there were arrests of Jamaat and Shibir activists and recovery...

Violence architects must face trial

An EU delegation in a statement yesterday said victims of violence in Bangladesh deserved proper justice and the perpetrators, whoever they were, must be identified, brought to justice, and should receive "a fair trial". "There was a fruitful discussion on the importance of upholding the rule of law and respecting human rights as fundamental instruments for de-escalating political tensions," read the statement issued by the delegation at the end of its sub-groups meetings with the government. Three sub-groups meetings were held...

Top Putin critic shot dead

President Vladimir Putin yesterday vowed to bring the "vile" killers of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov to justice as Western leaders and Russia's opposition roundly condemned the drive-by shooting near the Kremlin walls. Putin, who earlier blamed the assassination on foes trying to discredit the Kremlin, said in a message to Nemtsov's mother: "Everything will be done so that the organisers and perpetrators of a vile and cynical murder get the punishment they deserve," The 55-year-old former deputy premier who was a...

Sorry, folks, gig's up – it's a blue and black dress

Sorry, folks, gig's up – it's a blue and black dress

It is the question that has divided the internet: is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? The two-toned frock has sparked a fierce online debate, with users taking to social media to argue over what colours they see. The picture of the dress was first posted on Tumblr by Caitlin McNeill, a...

Kiwis edge out Aussies, India toy with UAE

Kiwis edge out Aussies, India toy with UAE

New Zealand reached the World Cup quarterfinals with a nail-biting one-wicket win over Australia in Auckland on Saturday while 5,500 kilometres away in Perth, India destroyed the amateurs of the UAE by nine wickets. New Zealand carved out a fourth win in four games in Pool A but, in pursuit of just 152 and...

Into a nightmare marriage

She dreamt of starting a new life when her family married her off. But for the 20-year-old girl, the marriage soon turned into a nightmare. Only around four months into the marriage, Ishat Jahan Popy is left maimed allegedly by her husband and in-laws. She lost her eyesight and the ability to speak as her husband Shahidul Islam, a seasonal construction worker, and in-laws tortured her for dowry, alleged her father Waliullah, a labour supervisor at Mominpur village in Patuakhali. Shahidul, son...

Training of Syrian rebels in Turkey in 4-6 weeks: US

The US military said Friday the training of moderate Syrian rebels will likely begin within four to six weeks in Turkey after the two NATO allies clinched an agreement last week. Potential recruits still needed to be vetted for the training sessions, which will take place in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as Turkey, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told a news conference. About 1,500 Syrian rebels had been identified to take part and of those 100 had been...

US 'unwavering' in protecting gay rights: Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday the United States was "unwavering" in its commitment to protecting homosexuals worldwide, as he introduced Washington's first envoy for gay rights. Randy Berry, who was named Monday, is tasked with helping countries coordinate US strategy on rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as to highlight such issues around the world. "The United States of America remains unwavering in our commitment to advance the human rights of all human beings, and...

UN envoy in Syria to seek Aleppo truce

A UN envoy arrived in the Syrian capital yesterday for talks with the regime to try to finalise a deal to freeze fighting in the war-ravaged second city of Aleppo. Staffan de Mistura visited Damascus as the army and pro-regime fighters regained territory in southern Syria from forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. De Mistura "hopes to set in motion as soon as possible his project" to halt fighting in Aleppo for six weeks, said a member of his delegation who...

Greek PM vows no retreat in 'battle' with creditors

Greece's prime minister yesterday vowed not to back down in his "battle" with the country's creditors, in line with his election promise to abandon austerity and avoid a third bailout. "The battle will continue," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told the central committee of his hard-left Syriza party. "Anybody thinking that we are going to go away will be disappointed." Tsipras said that in the talks that landed Greece a four-month extension to its 240-billion-euro ($270-billion) bailout Tuesday, the pressure from other...

Mexico's 'I'm tired now' attorney general steps down

Mexico's much-maligned attorney general, who has faced public anger over the investigation into the presumed slaughter of 43 students, will step down Friday to take up another cabinet post. Jesus Murillo Karam will be sworn in as the new minister of rural, territorial and urban development at a ceremony presided by President Enrique Pena Nieto, the government said. Murillo Karam's exit was widely expected under a reform that will turn the federal prosecutor's office into an autonomous department. But he was also...

Business

Dairy farmers hit by turmoil

It was simply out of hobby that Abdul Gafur, from Jhikargacha upazila of Jessore, started rearing cows in 1991. But soon, his herd of four started expanding, which is when he decided to take up farming seriously. Today, his herd size is 46 -- and 22 of them are milking cows that produce more than 100 litres of milk a day. Instead of feeling grateful for such volumes of milk production, he is now losing sleep over it. Due to shutdowns and...

Businesses to go to court today over losses for unrest

The beleaguered business community is set to go to court today to seek a solution to the ongoing political violence that has been causing them damages to the tunes of hundreds of crores of taka. The lawyers will submit a writ petition to the High Court seeking a legal framework through which the businesses can seek compensation for the financial losses suffered as a result of the political parties' demonstration programmes. “We are not going to court to stop political parties...

BASIC Bank fails to meet vital performance targets

BASIC Bank has failed to implement seven of the ten conditions imposed by the central bank for performance improvement. But a high official of the state-run bank said it has improved significantly in areas in which it has control after the new management and board took over in July last year. However, the targets of lowering default loans, meeting capital deficit and recovery cannot be achieved overnight, he added. BASIC Bank's loan growth in 2014 stood at 9.39 percent as per Bangladesh...

Rich-poor gap narrows: Muhith

Inequality between the rich and the poor has been falling in Bangladesh since 2010, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday. One of the reasons behind the fall in the rich-poor gap is that resources were delivered properly to the poor under social safety net schemes, the minister said. "All the developing countries have made strides in reducing poverty in the last one and a half decades. But, except for one country, inequality continues to rise. That country is Bangladesh. It is...

HR managers should adapt to changing environment: analysts

Human resource managers will have to cope with changing scenarios to attract talented people, groom them and meet the company's expectations to drive growth, analysts said yesterday. Several changes are taking place in the workplace around the world, said Peter Wilson, secretary general of the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA), a US-based global network of professionals in people management. “More and more women are joining the workforce. So, a male dominant workforce will have to make way for them....

Coca-Cola bottler in Mexico eyes oil business

Mexico's FEMSA, the biggest Coca-Cola bottler in the world, wants to seize on the country's opening of the energy sector by purchasing fuel service station franchises. The soft drink firm announced Thursday that it plans to buy 227 franchises from state energy giant Pemex, which is losing its decades-old monopoly under an oil reform allowing private and foreign investment. FEMSA has been present at those stations through its Oxxo convenience stores, but it was not allowed to sell fuel until the...

No big bang, but Indian budget goes for growth, investment

No big bang, but Indian budget goes for growth, investment

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday unveiled a budget that aims to ramp up growth, aided by a slowed pace of fiscal deficit cuts and a raft of tax measures to put private domestic and foreign capital to work. In his first full-year budget since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide election victory last May,...

Phone firms look beyond the handset at top mobile fair

Phone firms look beyond the handset at top mobile fair

Phone makers will seek to seduce new buyers with even smarter Internet-connected watches and other wireless gadgets as they wrestle for dominance at the world's biggest mobile fair starting Monday. Along with the launches of numerous new smartphones -- dominated by South Korean giant Samsung -- tech firms are trying to conquer users' bodies...

NY regulator puts 3 European banks in FX probe

The New York state financial regulator has subpoenaed three major European banks and a US peer in a probe of foreign-exchange rigging, sources close to the situation told the news agency on Friday. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, had sought information about currency practices from French banks BNP Paribas and Societe Generale. One of the sources said Credit Suisse and Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs were also targeted. The subpoenas, served in December...

Hong Kong's ageing master tailors need a stitch in time

Hong Kong's ageing master tailors need a stitch in time

Bill Clinton did it. So did Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. For many tourists, even if they are not former US presidents, a trip to Hong Kong isn't over till they pick up a made-to-measure outfit from one of its family-run tailor shops. As consumers worldwide seek out custom-made clothing to set them...

Airbus profits take off in 2014

Airbus Group said Friday its net profit soared 59 percent in 2014 thanks to record deliveries of passenger jets and that it expects revenue and operating profits to climb further this year. The company, best known for its passenger jets, chalked up a net profit of 2.34 billion euros ($2.6 billion), which would have been even better had it not been for a provision of 551 million euros for delays to its A400M military transport plane. That writedown was mostly compensated...

Under Russia, isolated Crimea is twilight zone for business

Under Russia, isolated Crimea is twilight zone for business

Circling her thumb and index finger to make a zero, Tatyana Chernetskaya sums up how many clients her Crimean firm has one year after Russia took over the peninsula: "None." While many supporters of annexation of the Black Sea province from Ukraine expected to be better off under Moscow's rule, business in Crimea is...

Sri Lanka inflation hits 11-year low

Sri Lanka's inflation hit an 11-year low in February on the back of drastic price reductions ordered by the new government, official figures showed Friday. The Colombo Consumer Price Index, the main measure of inflation in the island, increased by 0.6 percent in February, down from 3.2 percent in January and 4.2 percent a year ago. The previous low of 0.5 percent was recorded in January 2004. The new government of President Maithripala Sirisena, who came to power in January, reduced prices...

Ericsson sues Apple over patent violations

Swedish telecoms group Ericsson announced Friday a lawsuit against Apple claiming that the US tech giant continued to use its technology in iPhones and other wireless devices after refusing to renew a licencing agreement. "Apple currently uses our technology without a license and therefore we are seeking help from the court and the ITC (International Trade Commission)," Ericsson's head of intellectual property, Kasim Alfalahi, said in a statement. "Features that consumers now take for granted -- like being able to livestream...

New top brass for Dhaka Taxes Bar Association

New top brass for Dhaka Taxes Bar Association

Md Mazam Ali Khan has recently been elected as president of the Dhaka Taxes Bar Association for 2015-16 term, the association said in a statement. The association also elected Md Jafar Ullah as its general secretary, according to the statement.

Sports

Tigers reach Nelson

For the first time in the tour the Tigers have ventured outside Australia as Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and co reached Nelson in New Zealand yesterday morning. They will be facing Scotland at the Saxton Oval here this Thursday. An extremely small venue compared to the grounds that the Tigers played in Australia; the Oval has a capacity of around 5000. Two matches have been played here during the World Cup and both of them have witnessed high-scoring games. Ireland chased down...

Third Eye

Slobberknocker at Eden Park

The atmosphere at Auckland's Eden Park as Australia and New Zealand prepared to face off for their group match was very much like a prize fight, and legitimately so. Here were the two co-hosts, the two pre-tournament favourites, each led by two of the most aggressive leaders in world cricket (Michael Clarke taking the Australian reins after an injury-forced absence). The match started like a boxing bout too; there was desperation to deliver the knockout blow early in the...

Clash of the heavyweights

Clash of the heavyweights

The first big clash of the football season takes place today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium as defending champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club square off against Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra in the first semifinal of the Federation Cup. Two of the new leviathans of Bangladesh football were both considered contenders for the title, but...

'Horrendous batting'

'Horrendous batting'

Michael Clarke on Saturday night savaged his team's batting as "horrendous" but hailed the performance of Mitchell Starc as genius after the left-arm quick almost pulled off an extraordinary comeback win against New Zealand. What a game! For most of the afternoon in Auckland, Australia seemed headed for a heavy defeat, their batsmen having...

Last Kiwis standing

Last Kiwis standing

New Zealand's last pair of Kane Williamson and Trent Boult said their edge-of-the-seat one-wicket World Cup triumph over Australia on Saturday will live in the memory for a long time. Chasing a modest 152-run target, New Zealand were facing an improbable defeat at 146-9 with number 11 batsman Boult walking in to face the last two deliveries from a rampaging Mitchell Starc who had nearly turned the tables with a career best 6-28. But Boult survived both balls leaving it to Williamson to hit Pat Cummins for a straight six to bring up the win as a packed 40,000 Eden Park crowd gave them a standing ovation. The win ensured New Zealand's...

Men Of Steel

Men Of Steel

Kane Williamson   His 45 off 42 has been described as an ice-cool innings. But in all likelihood, Kane Williamson was probably sweating bullets as he watched his colleagues depart one after the other and there was barely any time to recover from that shock. As a result, Williamson decided to finish the game Miandad-style, smashing one with all his might over mid-on with a wicket to go. It was all or nothing at that moment and he took the risk at the appropriate time. With Pat Cummins bowling, Williamson knew that he had to finish the game in that over. Letting the dangerous Mitchell Starc have a go in...

England V Sri Lanka

Not many options

Not many options

England are determined to restore their World Cup credibility in a crunch Pool A match Sunday against an improving Sri Lanka. Eoin Morgan's men return to Wellington's Westpac stadium for the fixture, scene of a humiliating eight-wicket loss to New Zealand on February 20. That defeat, a day-nighter in which England folded so quickly that...

Pakistan V Zimbabwe

Make or break for Pakistan

Make or break for Pakistan

Pakistan's calamity-hit World Cup campaign stops off at Brisbane on Sunday where they will look to get their first points on the board and so keep their quarterfinal hopes alive against a bruised and battered Zimbabwe. On the field, 1992 champions Pakistan have been mauled by 76 runs by bitter rivals India and suffered...

World Cup Cocktail

World Cup Cocktail

M.S. Dhoni can crack a joke with a straight face even before one realises it, as one photo journalist learnt on Friday. A senior photographer said, “Mahi, you are not the same person you used to be in 2004-05. You used to give poses for such amazing compositions.” Dhoni said, “Ahh, don't lie. You didn't know me in 2004.” The photographer jogged his memory and said, “I was there in Bangladesh during your debut series.” Dhoni, however, confused him saying: “Who told you that I made my debut against Bangladesh? “You don't even know,” said Dhoni with a wry smile (he made his debut against Bangladesh in December 2004). “Then was it in...

Mr. Efficient

Mr. Efficient

So here's how the day panned out for several viewers around the world yesterday. After watching New Zealand cruise to 78 for 1 in seven overs, the ordinary viewer, switched off the TV and decided to get involved in the daily duties of life, which at that moment, seemed a lot more interesting. The shock that jolted many an hour later, when the scores popped up on the laptops and mobile phones however, compelled them to run-back to their sofas, switch the TV back on and sit at the edge of their seats. Such was the effect that Mitchell Starc's bowling had all over the world. His toe-crunchers and nasty...

Quick win gives time for a beer

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum hailed the perfect finish to his side's thrilling one-wicket World Cup win over Australia in Auckland on Saturday, saying the game had finished so early a capacity crowd would have plenty of time for a drink. "It was one hell of a game," said McCullum after his side's fourth win. “It didn't go the distance but I'm sure everyone will go home happy. It's good to see both teams getting 300-plus but sometimes 150 games can...

Charles in for Bravo

West Indies have been allowed to call-up Johnson Charles to replace batsman Darren Bravo who was ruled out of the World Cup with a hamstring injury. Charles, a 26-year-old top order batsman, has played 30 ODIs in which he has scored 869 runs with two centuries and as many half-centuries. His last ODI was against New Zealand in Hamilton in January 2014. Bravo suffered a left hamstring injury in the 150-run win over Pakistan in Christchurch last weekend and missed Friday's 257-run...

Minnows dealt an MS blow

Minnows dealt an MS blow

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni dealt a huge blow to cricket's non-Test nations Saturday when he warned that his world champions have no plans to play regular fixtures against them. With controversy over the make-up of the 2019 World Cup -- where the number of teams is set to be slashed from 14 to...

Bowlers impress Dhoni more

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted Saturday that his bowling attack, so often over-shadowed by the team's legion of batting superstars, will be key if they are to successfully defend their World Cup title. India hardly broke sweat at Perth's WACA ground as they cruised past the part-timers of the United Arab Emirates by nine wickets, easily reaching the 103-run winning target they had been set. But unlike their two opening wins at the tournament which yielded totals of 300 and...

Cricket camp for physically challenged

A camp will be organised from March 2 to March 4 at the BKSP, inviting physically challenged athletes to display their cricketing skills. The camp's aim is to create the best possible national cricket team. It will be organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross, in cooperation with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan and the National Sports Council. State Minister of Youth and Sports Shri Biren Sikder will be...

Parma players refuse to play

Players at Parma are refusing to play Sunday's scheduled Serie A match at Genoa ahead of a league meeting which will decide whether the cash-strapped club can finish the season. Serie A bosses are due to decide Parma's fate on March 6 and the players do not want to play until that meeting has taken place. "We are not going to Genoa, we have asked for the match to be postponed and if that request is not granted we are prepared...

Barclays Premier League

'Man City have advantage'

Manuel Pellegrini believes Liverpool's exertions in Europe will provide Manchester City with an advantage when the teams meet at Anfield in a crucial Premier League clash on Sunday. Liverpool only returned to Merseyside at 0420 GMT on Friday after being knocked out of the Europa League by Turkish club Besiktas, so Brendan Rodgers' side have little time to recover before they return to action in Sunday's early game. Second placed City would dearly love a win to close the gap on...

Barclays English Premier League

Rooney lifts Man Utd

Rooney lifts Man Utd

A case of mistaken identity helped Wayne Rooney return Manchester United to winning ways in the Premier League with a brace in a 2-0 victory over Sunderland on Saturday. Beaten 2-1 at Swansea City last weekend, Louis van Gaal's United were frustrated by Sunderland until the 64th minute at Old Trafford, when John O'Shea...

Bundes Liga

Bayern's birthday win

Bayern Munich celebrated their 115th birthday Friday with a 4-1 win over Cologne to go 11 points clear in the Bundesliga as top-scorer Arjen Robben added to his tally. The fleet-footed Dutchman netted his 17th goal in 19 league matches this season with a crisp header with 20 minutes left to remain the league's top scorer. Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger gave hosts Bayern an early lead at Munich's Allianz Arena before Franck Ribery added a second inside 10 minutes. Cologne fought back when...

L'pool escape fair-play fine

Liverpool have satisfied UEFA's new financial fair-play regulations but European football's governing body fined four other clubs including Hull City on Friday. While Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Greek giants Panathinaikos of Greece, Hull and Ruch Chorzow of Poland were all fined 200,000 euros (223,000 dollars, 145,000 pounds) for breaching rules layed down by UEFA, Sparta Prague and Liverpool were both cleared.

'NO 20-GOAL STRIKERS'

'NO 20-GOAL STRIKERS'

Despite having Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao at his disposal, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has claimed there are no 20-goal strikers in his squad. United have been far from prolific this season and their average return of 1.69 goals per game pales by comparison with Premier League pace-setters...

Info Zone

Info Zone

 

FanZone

FanZone

     

LFP

Barca close gap to Real

Barcelona moved to within a point of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were on target in a 3-1 win at Granada on Saturday. Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring for the visitors as he profited from a mishit Suarez shot before half-time and Suarez himself then prodded in the second just after the break. Fran Rico's penalty briefly gave Granada hope, but Suarez teed up Messi to make the points safe 20 minutes...

Editorial

Editorial

Hardening political impasse

With the AL and BNP replying to UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon's  letter urging them to sit for dialogue ,all we  find is an emphatic reiteration of the hard positions of the respective political parties .  The BNP's 'readiness' to sit for talks will lack conviction   so long  it continues with its  mindless   oborodh and hartals . And, the government's 'repression'and its refusal 'to sit with terrorists'   add to the hiatus . Thus, there   appears to be a deficit...

Editorial

Submission of probe committee reports

After every major disaster in the country, probe committees are formed to assuage the public that a fair investigation would be conducted and perpetrators identified and brought to justice in a timely manner. It is unfortunate, however, that most of these probe committee findings do not reach public ears; in an overwhelming number of cases, the investigation, if completed at all, is conducted in a lackluster, insincere manner, with many reports outlining vague findings where the real culprits remain...

Op-ed

Editorial

Hardening political impasse

With the AL and BNP replying to UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon's  letter urging them to sit for dialogue ,all we  find is an emphatic reiteration of the hard positions of the respective political parties .  The BNP's 'readiness' to sit for talks will lack conviction   so long  it continues with its  mindless   oborodh and hartals . And, the government's 'repression'and its refusal 'to sit with terrorists'   add to the hiatus . Thus, there   appears to be a deficit...

Editorial

Submission of probe committee reports

After every major disaster in the country, probe committees are formed to assuage the public that a fair investigation would be conducted and perpetrators identified and brought to justice in a timely manner. It is unfortunate, however, that most of these probe committee findings do not reach public ears; in an overwhelming number of cases, the investigation, if completed at all, is conducted in a lackluster, insincere manner, with many reports outlining vague findings where the real culprits remain...

No one killed Avijit Roy

No one killed Avijit Roy

Freedom of expression, the most inalienable right of the citizens, has been under attack in many ways in this country for a long time. Denying this fact will not change the truth. The killing of blogger Avijit Roy on February 26 by unknown assailants is nothing but an outcome of what this country...

Politics Of Climate Change

Financing climate change activities in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has been a pioneer in financing climate change by setting up two separate climate change funds over the last decade. One, called the Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF), was funded entirely from government of Bangladesh funds allocated in the budget by the finance minister each year, and has over $500 million allocated over the years. This fund has been governed by an inter-ministerial committee and each year they allocated two-thirds of the amount towards projects submitted by different...

Freedom In The Offing

Bangabandhu's interview by David Frost

Bangabandhu's interview by David Frost

Frost : …On the night that you were arrested, on the night when in fact West Pakistan was about to invade where they'd been talking with you for sometime disguising their intentions and then they invaded, now at 8 O'clock you were at home on the night you were arrested and you got...

Interview With Avijit Roy

Alo Hate Choliyachhe Adharer Yatree

Ahmede Hussain (AH): How has Mukto-Mona evolved? Can you please explain the idea behind Mukto-Mona for our readers? Avijit Roy (AR): Mukto-Mona came into being in the year 2000, with the intention of debating and promoting critical issues that are of the utmost importance in building a progressive, rational and secular society, but usually are ignored in the mainstream Bangladeshi and South Asian media. On May 26, 2001, I created a Yahoo group under the name Mukto-Mona. A year later,...

Letters To The Editor

Political impasse taking its toll

The ongoing political impasse has hit every aspect of people's lives very hard. Businesses have come to a near-halt, education is in tatters, people are getting killed by arson attacks everyday. Holding innocent people hostages and wreaking havoc mindlessly throughout the country cannot be an acceptable means of demonstration. Political leaders must act sensibly with a view to keeping the country's economy unharmed and ensuring the security of public life. It is high time for our political leaders to...

Letters To The Editor

Stop burning us

I'm a Bangladeshi girl and being dejected vent my feelings as I have lost my father and mother. They were burn victims of some senseless criminals. This is not supposed to be my childhood. I had lots of hope, but all are shattered, and all for our greedy politicians. Do they ever see that children are being used to participate in political unrest? Can they visualise the scene of their parents, friends, relatives or children being burnt and their skins...

Comments

“Rab hands over Manna to DB” (February 26, 2015) Binodbangali Relieved to hear that at least he still exists! Now we want to know who picked him up and why such weird and flimsy narratives are being spread by law enforcers. At the same time, Manna should explain more about his tele-talks. “Bullets, not mob beating” (February 24, 2015) Deep Purple Blue Nobody believes the shootout story anymore as everybody knows these are extrajudicial killings by the law enforcers. Aasfisarwar There is no shred of doubt...

Entertainment

Hailing the season of flower and love

Hailing the season of flower and love

Artistes of Chhayanaut ushered in Spring, the king of all seasons, with song  renditions and dance recitals at its main auditorium on the evening of February 27. Spring was hailed with a solo drut khayal performance set on Raga “Basant” by Chhayanaut Guru Asit Dey. Dey diffused the colours of spring through his rendition. Several...

Rosy Siddiqui: 'I am hopeful of doing more movies with Goutam Ghose'

Rosy Siddiqui: 'I am hopeful of doing more movies with Goutam Ghose'

Versatile actress Rosy Siddiqui has not only proven herself on the silver screen but also has two-and-a-half decades in theatre behind her. The highly talented artiste recently had a chat with The Daily Star, about her professional and personal life. Any new movies for you on the horizon? Rosy: Twenty two years after doing “Padma...

Bapparaj's directorial debut 'Kartuz' hits theatres on March 6

Bapparaj's directorial debut 'Kartuz' hits theatres on March 6

Popular film actor Bapparaj makes his debut as director with "Kartuz". The film will release in over 60 theatres across the country on March 6. “Kartuz” also features late director Chashi Nazrul Islam in the cast. Bapparaj said, “The film is far from the stereotypical Bangla film that audiences are tired of. I would...

TV Watch

Meghborno Holdey Golpo on ntv

Meghborno Holdey Golpo on ntv

Single episode TV play “Meghborno Holdey Golpo” will air on ntv at 9pm tonight. Written  by Shetu Arif and directed by Sajjad Sonny, the play depicts a triangular love story of Nishad, Lota and Anita. “Meghborno Holdey Golpo” casts Motushi Biswas, Jisan Zaman Niloy, Shehrin Anjum Sajnia and Intekhab Dinar among others.

“I'm in no rush”

“I'm in no rush”

Actor Lisa Ray may have had a successful acting career with critically-acclaimed films including “Water” (2005) and international TV shows such as “Blood Ties” to her credit, but the 42-year-old says that she has matured as a performer only after she battled cancer six years back. Ray underwent treatment for Multiple Myloma in 2009. The actor says that she's a calmer person now and not in a rush to prove herself.  “To a certain extent, I believe that ever since my treatment got over, I have opened up more, creatively. I am more self-conscious now. I am not in any kind of a rush anymore and I am much more...

Imran Khan hails Kangana Ranaut

Imran Khan hails Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood star Imran Khan is having a “positive experience” filming “Katti Batti“, thanks to his “wonderful co-star” Kangana Ranaut.  “I am having so much fun on this film because I am working with Kangana for the first time and she is just so wonderful to work with,” Imran said at Filmfare Glamour & Style...

News Bytes

New Fantastic Four images emerge

New Fantastic Four images emerge

Four new Fantastic Four images have landed online, giving fans a more detailed look at the team's rather practical costumes. The stills feature Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Michael B Jordan as Johnny Storm, and Jamie Bell - un-costumed - as Ben Grimm. Last year, Jordan told IGN that Josh...

It's True!

It's True!

At the age of 11 Jessica Alba won an acting competition in Beverly Hills, one whose grand prize was free acting classes. She won and soon was taking the first acting classes of her life. Jessica's acting career took off at the early age of 13, when she was cast in “Camp Nowhere” and in “The Secret World of Alex Mack”. When her career started to take off, Alba studied hard and managed to graduate from Claremont High School at age 16. She was actually kidnapped after having received telephone threats during the production of “Flipper”. She was found unharmed in the trunk of a car. Jessica is an...

City

Impunity breeding such savagery

Impunity breeding such savagery

A host of socio-cultural and political organisations yesterday strongly denounced the murder of secular writer Avijit Roy at the hands of alleged religious fanatics and blamed "impunity" to the previous attackers for the repeat of such savagery. They also announced several protests in the next few days, to press for immediate arrest of the...

BNP calls for fair probe into Avijit's killing

The BNP yesterday strongly condemned the killing of secular writer Avijit Roy and demanded prosecution of the murderers through a fair investigation. “The killing of Avijit Roy, despite foolproof security measures by police in Bangla Academy and TSC areas, proved that the government has failed to give security to people's lives and properties,” BNP Joint Secretary General Salahuddin Ahmed said in a press statement. Alleged religious fanatics hacked Avijit to death and severely wounded his wife near TSC at Dhaka University...

Karnaphuli river trans-boundary

Though the Karnaphuli River, the lifeline of Chittagong, is not enlisted as a trans-boundary river, a new research publication identifies it as a cross-border river and claims that there a few more common rivers which are thought to have been originated in one country. "Rivers beyond Borders: India-Bangladesh Trans-boundary River Atlas", the publication, was unwrapped at Drik Gallery in the capital  yesterday. It states that another river, the Nayagang, coming from India into Netrokona, was not enlisted as the trans-boundary river...

Family visits war crimes convict Kamaruzzaman in jail

Condemned war criminal Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, senior assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami, is mentally and physically well, one of his counsels said yesterday, after the convict's family visited him in Dhaka Central Jail. Kamarazzaman's wife Nurunnahar and seven other members including his daughter, daughter-in-law, three nieces, a nephew, and a brother-in-law spent about 40 minutes with him, starting from 10:40am, the lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir told The Daily Star. They discussed family matters, he said. The International Crimes Tribunal-2, which sentenced Kamaruzzaman to...

Amar Ekushey Granthamela-2015

Book fair ends undaunted

Book fair ends undaunted

The month-long book fair that was an oasis amid political chaos in the country came to an end yesterday night. Continuous blockades and hartals, political violence on the streets, and not even the shutdown of a stall in the face of protest by religious extremists could mar the spirit of the Amar Ekushey Granthamela-2015. In...

Empowerment of women decelerates

Although Bangladesh has made an enviable progress in women's health and nutrition, and reduced maternal mortality in last two decades, their empowerment has been limited, women's rights activists said yesterday. Women rarely get to make decisions in their homes and workplaces, they said at a roundtable on gender equality and women's empowerment organised by Prothom Alo and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at the daily's office in the capital. Women are in the top leadership of the country but it...

Disabled People's Rights, Protection Act

Orientation for judges recommended

Judges should be given an orientation about Disabled People's Rights and Protection Act, 2013 in their basic training, speakers at a national conference yesterday recommended. The court buildings as well as police stations should be designed to be accessible for the people with disabilities, they added. The conference on “Access to Justice for People with Disabilities in Bangladesh” was organised by Handicap International (HI), and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) in the capital's Six Seasons Hotel, said a press...

Man dies from electrocution

A person died after being electrocuted at his house at Nagarchor of Rajfulbaria in Savar, outside Dhaka yesterday. The deceased Shantosh Ray, 30, hailed from Nilphamari, was a RMG worker. Locals said Shantosh came in contact with a leaked electric wire while he was crossing the boundary wall of his house as the main gate was closed in the early morning when he came from work.

Four get Kazi Mahbubullah Award

Four get Kazi Mahbubullah Award

Four noted personalities yesterday received the “Kazi Mahbubullah Award” of Begum Zebunnessa and Kazi Mahbubullah Janakalyan Trust for their contribution in different fields in the service of the country. Poet Asad Chowdhury was given the award for poetry, Associate Editor of The Daily Observer Syed Badrul Ahsan for his contribution to journalism and noted...

Ensuring Migrant Female Domestic Workers' Rights

Provide cellphones, call them regularly

The government should provide SIM cards and cellphones to female Bangladeshis to be employed in Saudi Arabia's homes and have a female inquiry officer regularly check up on them, a practice which will prevent violation of their rights, said discussants dealing with migration yesterday. Details of the February 2 agreement with Riyadh over the recruitment of 10,000 maids from Bangladesh, including the job description and additional facilities to ensure their rights, should be made public, added one discusser, WARBE Development...

Int'l Confce on Bangladesh Genocide

Simla pact discussed on second day

The second day of the International Conference on Bangladesh Genocide and Justice was marked by discussions on trials of 195 Pakistani war criminals, who were released under the Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan in 1972. Replying to a question from the audience in the second session on “Memory, Justice and Media : Role of International Community in Promoting Justice”, panellists, including scholars and parliamentary members from Europe and South America, said Bangladesh has to create pressure on the international...

Fire in capital kills man

A man died from smoke inhalation as a fire broke out on the fourth floor of a 16-storey building in the capital's Paltan early yesterday. Anwar Hossain, 40, a staff of a software company housed at the multi-storey Swadesh Tower, was sleeping on its seventh floor. The fire might have originated from an electric short circuit, said Rafiqul Islam, assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence. The blaze had lasted for around 90 minutes before the fire fighters doused it, said...

RU BCL men 'beat staff, threaten provost'

Two Rajshahi University staff were beaten up and a provost was threatened allegedly by two Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders in separate incidents on Friday night. Organising Secretary Abu Salim Tushar and Deputy Office Secretary Abdullah Al Mamun Shimul deny the allegations. Fariduzzaman, in-charge of Motihar Hall's indoor games equipment, said he was slapped and hit on the head with a brick after he “requested” Tushar, a resident of Shah Mukhdum Hall, to let the hall's resident students have a go at...

Obituary

Md Israfil, a freedom fighter, died of old-age complications at a hospital in Chapainawabganj town on Friday afternoon. He was 75. He left behind his wife, three sons and seven daughters to mourn his death. He was buried at Islampur Government Graveyard in Nachole upazila yesterday with state honour.

Death anniversary

Death anniversary

Today is the third death anniversary of Khalilur Rahman; a university teacher, founding registrar of Chittagong University and founding secretary general of IUB, says a press release. On this occasion a discussion and a doa mehfil will be held at Sombhuganj Orphanage after Asr prayers.

Country

Arrest, bring to justice killers of blogger Avijit

Arrest, bring to justice killers of blogger Avijit

Cross section of people in different areas of the country joined human chains, processions, and rallies yesterday demanding arrest and punishment of the criminals who killed progressive writer-blogger Avijit Roy and badly injured his wife Rafida Ahmed Banna, also a writer, on Thursday night. Students, teachers, political and cultural activists and people from all...

Case for Torching Vehicles

80 sued in Chirirbandar for attacking cops, snatching accused

Eighty-people have been sued for attacking police and snatching a criminal from them (police) in Chirirbandar upazila of Dinajpur on Friday afternoon.  Sub-Inspector Md Atowar Hossain filed the case with Chirirbandar Police Station, the same day.  Officer-in-Charge (OC) Anisur Rahman of the police station declined to disclose the names of the accused. He, however, said law enforcers arrested two of the accused yesterday. Around 10 cops raided Tuslshipur village in the upazila at around 4:30pm and arrested local BNP leader Hobibur Rahman,...

Abducted schoolgirl rescued in Joypurhat, three arrested

A schoolgirl, abducted from Manikganj on February 21, was rescued in Khetlal upazila of Joypurhat on Friday. Meanwhile, the body of an abducted teenage boy was found murdered in Rajnagar upazila of Moulvibazar district the same day. In Manikganj, a schoolgirl, who was picked up by a gang of criminals from Daulatpur upazila, was rescued by police from Natuabari village in Khetlal upazila of Joypurhat on Friday, six days into her abduction, reports UNB. Nazmul Nishat, officer in-charge of Daulatpur Police Station,...

Clash over cricket match, 5 hurt

Five people were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers over playing a cricket match at Pateldanghi village in Khoksa upazila yesterday. Police said supporters of local ward commissioner Amanur Rahman and Fazlur Rahman of the area locked in an altercation over playing a cricket match on Friday afternoon. At one stage, chase and counter chase took place that left one Amanur's supporter hurt. As a sequel to the incident, Amanur's supporters attacked the houses of their rivals prompting them...

Girl gang-raped in Bagerhat, one held

A 17-year-old girl was raped by four youths at Gourambha village in Rampal upazila on Friday. Police arrested one Selim Mollah, 24, son of Amanat Mollah of the village, for his alleged involvement in the incident. Police said one Nayan of the village developed a relationship with the girl of Batiaghata upazila in Khulna district over mobile phone. At the invitation of Nayan, the girl came to Bhandercourt area in Rampal on Friday afternoon. When the girl along with Nayan and his friend...

Missing factory worker found murdered

A 'missing' factory worker was found murdered in Crown Cement Factory area at Charmuktarpur in Sadar upazila on Friday. The deceased was identified as Mizanur Rahman Taher, 20, son of Abul Bashar of the area and supervisor of transport section of Premier Cement Factory at Charmuktarpur in the upazila. Taher went missing on February 24, said Mosharraf Hosssain, sub-inspector of Muktarpur Police Outpost Locals found his body in the area at night and informed the police. The law enforcers then reached the spot,...

Four drug peddlers arrested

Detectives in separate drives arrested four alleged drug peddlers in three upazilas of the district early yesterday. The arrestees are Abdus Sattar Litu, 45, of Moslemabad village in Madarganj upazila, Md Minhaj Uddin, 29, of Bhabki Fakirpara village in Melandah upazila, Samidul Islam, 35, and Rafikul Islam, 24, of Rashidpur village in Sadar upazila. On secret information, a team led by Shuvra Shaha, assistant sub-inspector of Jamalpur DB police, raided nurses' quarters of Madarganj Upazila Health Complex at around 2:30am and...

World

India raises defence budget modestly

India raises defence budget modestly

India yesterday announced a modest 7.9 percent increase in defence spending for the fiscal year starting 01 April, suggesting that it will move only gradually with the military's long wish list for fighter jets, ships and artillery. After years of neglect, India is trying to narrow the military gap with China, which has been...

Iran Nuke Deal

US sets 'bottom lines'

US sets 'bottom lines'

The United States on Friday set out what it called its "bottom lines" to reach a deal with Iran to rein in its nuclear program, ahead of new talks next week. Washington had stuck to its guns that it wanted a "good deal" and had agreed to several extensions of the negotiations "because we have held firm to certain bottom lines," a senior US administration official said. US Secretary of State John Kerry will leave at the weekend for Switzerland, where he will meet once again with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. The pace and intensity of the talks have sped up as global powers gathered under the P5+1 group have...

Afghanistan's first female taxi driver braves all odds

Afghanistan's first female taxi driver braves all odds

At first glance, the Toyota Corolla looked like any other taxi bumping along the craggy street. In the back seat, three women wore blue burkas that covered their faces and bodies. In the front passenger seat, a bearded man sat stone-faced. The radio piped out a soulful Afghan song. But the person behind the...

Isolated clashes hamper shaky Ukraine truce

Ukraine yesterday said that isolated clashes were punctuating a shaky truce with pro-Russian rebels after international monitors warned that the conflict in the country stands at a "crossroads". Kiev military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that fighting had halted along most of the frontline but rebels were attacking government positions around Donetsk airport, one of the most fiercely contested locations in the conflict. No soldiers were reported killed over the past 24 hours, after Kiev said Friday that three servicmen had died...

Egypt court lists Hamas as 'terrorist' group

An Egyptian court yesterday branded the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas a "terrorist" organisation, a judicial source said, after it was alleged to have links with jihadists behind deadly Sinai attacks. From Gaza City, Hamas reacted by condemning what it called "a great disgrace which soils the reputation of Egypt". Since Egypt's military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the authorities have accused Hamas of aiding jihadists who have waged a string of deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai...

US Congress averts security shutdown

US Congress averts security shutdown

Feuding US lawmakers narrowly avoided a Department of Homeland Security shutdown Friday at the 11th hour, but funded the agency only until March 6, forcing Congress to revisit the issue next week. House and Senate members scrambled to prevent the premier agency securing the United States against terror threats from running out of money...

Islamist Radicalization Threat

In Algeria, women 'imams' battle evil

In Algeria, women 'imams' battle evil

Hundreds of female religious guides have been at the forefront of Algeria's battle against Islamic radicalisation since the civil war that devastated the North African country in the 1990s. Their aim is to steer women away from false preachers promoting radical forms of Islam. The surge of the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq,...

'Prepare for war'

'Prepare for war'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has urged his army to prepare for war with the United States and its allies, state media said yesterday, as Pyongyang ramps up the rhetoric ahead of US-South Korea military drills. Kim's comments came after South Korea and the United States Friday conducted a joint naval drill involving 10...

Mugabe turns 91 with million-dollar birthday bash

Mugabe turns 91 with million-dollar birthday bash

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe yesterday celebrated his 91st birthday with a lavish bash attended by thousands of ruling party faithful. Crowds of supporters clad in ZANU-PF party regalia emblazoned with the president's image sang and danced as he arrived for the party being held at a luxury hotel in the famed Victoria Falls resort. Assisted...

When Conan Doyle became Sherlock Holmes

When Conan Doyle became Sherlock Holmes

A never-seen-before archive of evidence compiled by Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when he turned sleuth to solve a real-life mystery has emerged for sale for £40,000. Conan Doyle followed in the footsteps of his most famous creation Dr Holmes when in 1906 he began investigating the peculiar case of George Edalji. Edalji,...

US may reopen embassy in Cuba soon

The United States and Cuba said they made progress Friday in talks on restoring diplomatic ties and Washington could reopen its Havana embassy before a key April summit if differences are overcome. After a second round of historic meetings, negotiators from both countries appeared optimistic about the road ahead, but cautioned there were still outstanding issues to resolve in order to restore diplomatic ties frozen for half a century. Friday's talks were only the second between the Cold War foes since...

Top China diplomat backs Putin

China has voiced its support for Russia's handling of the Ukraine crisis, with prominent diplomat Qu Xing calling on the West to "abandon its zero-sum mentality". According to state news agency Xinhua, the Chinese ambassador to Belgium said the West should take "the real security concerns of Russia into consideration". Qu said the "nature and root cause" of the crisis was the "game" between Russia and western powers the United States and EU, and that a change of approach is required...

Syria War

Dozens killed as Qaeda takes rebel base

Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate yesterday drove US-backed rebels out of a strategic northern military base in fierce fighting that left dozens dead, a monitor said. At least 29 fighters from the Western-armed Hazm movement were killed along with six Al-Nusra Front jihadists, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It said fierce fighting had broken out on Friday night for Base 46, west of the city of Aleppo. "Al-Nusra captured Base 46," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Observatory. Base 46...

Missing Persons

Hearing starts in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka yesterday began a three-day hearing on missing persons cases amid protests by Tamil groups who are demanding a credible investigation into such issues. The presidential commission investigating cases of missing persons has started its hearing in the country's eastern Trincomalee province. "The relatives of those who have forcibly disappeared are tired of going before various mechanisms set up by the government of Sri Lanka from time to time," Tamil Civil Society Forum said in a letter to the commission. The...

News in Brief

Nepal cops fire teargas at charter protesters Afp, Kathmandu Nepalese police yesterday fired teargas and water cannon at thousands of opposition supporters who converged on the capital to protest controversial plans to vote on a disputed new national constitution. As anger mounts over the planned vote, protesters threw bricks and stones in brief clashes with security forces who responded with about 20 rounds of teargas, police and an AFP reporter on the scene said. US boy, 3, shoots himself dead Afp, Washington A three-year-old...

Health

WHO calls for worldwide use of smart syringe

WHO calls for worldwide use of smart syringe

Use of the same syringe or needle to give injections to more than one person is driving the spread of a number of deadly infectious diseases worldwide. Millions of people could be protected from infections acquired through unsafe injections if all healthcare programmes switched to syringes that cannot be used more than once....

Nutritional care for Breast cancer patient

Breast cancer is sometimes called the rich woman's disease, because only women who can afford to eat a diet high in red meat and dairy usually get breast cancer. Researchers have discovered a link between the disease and eating too much fat. They estimate that we may be able to prevent as many as 9% cases by changing our diet. Smart nutrition and a diet that keeps you at a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of breast cancer....

Have A Nice Day

Mother of all milks

Milk, the most ideal food — was the mantra — we have been hearing since our childhood. But does the great popularity of cow's milk signify that it is really the best? Well, before that we must admit that all humans have been created to be sustained entirely upon mothers' milk for at least the first six months of life. There is no other food in the world better than mothers' milk. However, we need to remember that all other milk...

Health Bulletin

Cut music to 'an hour a day'

Cut music to 'an hour a day'

People should listen to music for no more than one hour a day to protect their hearing, the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests. It says 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of permanently damaging their hearing by listening to "too much, too loudly".

Health Bulletin

Risk factors for heartburn: excess weight, smoking

Excess pounds and smoking might each raise the likelihood of frequent heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to a large study from Norway published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Other factors linked to higher odds of new GERD symptoms included getting older, being a woman, having less education, and even quitting smoking – if it led to weight gain.

Letters

Letters To The Editor

Political impasse taking its toll

The ongoing political impasse has hit every aspect of people's lives very hard. Businesses have come to a near-halt, education is in tatters, people are getting killed by arson attacks everyday. Holding innocent people hostages and wreaking havoc mindlessly throughout the country cannot be an acceptable means of demonstration. Political leaders must act sensibly with a view to keeping the country's economy unharmed and ensuring the security of public life. It is high time for our political leaders to...

Letters To The Editor

Stop burning us

I'm a Bangladeshi girl and being dejected vent my feelings as I have lost my father and mother. They were burn victims of some senseless criminals. This is not supposed to be my childhood. I had lots of hope, but all are shattered, and all for our greedy politicians. Do they ever see that children are being used to participate in political unrest? Can they visualise the scene of their parents, friends, relatives or children being burnt and their skins...