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First News, the first and only weekly newsmagazine in Bangladesh, has entered the sixth year of publication on July 11, 2015. We thank our readers, contributors, patrons and well- wishers for their valuable support in the last years and the years to come
SPOKEN AT HOME

Khaleda and Tarique Involved in Grenade Attack

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Prime minister Sheikh Hasina said there is no doubt that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Zia had a hand in the grenade attack of August 21, 2004. She made her remarks after paying tributes to those who died in that attack at Bangabandhu Avenue. Hasina added that Begum Zia and her son were involved in the incident of August 21 like Zia was involved in the incident of August 15. She also said that Mufti Hannan, the head of the organization that had carried out the grenade attack, has given confessional statement that the attack was planned in Tarique’s office at Hawa Bhaban.

Khaleda Zia’s Semicompliance

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Public administration minister Syed Ashraful Islam scathingly criticized the birthday cake cutting by BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on the night of August 15 and said that she had semicomplied to his request. Islam said that he had asked Zia to cut the cake or dance if she liked on August 16 to show deference to the father of the nation but she only heeded half of what he said by cutting the cake not in the morning but at night. The minister quipped that he thought it showed some improvement and hoped that in future she would listen to him fully and refrain from cake cutting on August 15 altogether.

Khaleda Beyond the Threshold of Democracy

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Information minister Hasanul Haque Inu said that it is not democracy but the terrorists who are under siege and Khaleda Zia has gone beyond the threshold of democracy without having a return ticket with her. Inu was speaking at the conference room of the Information Directorate at the Secretariat and responding to the recent appeal of Khaleda Zia to open the shut doors of democracy. Inu said that Khaleda’s words are proof that democracy has been prevailing in the country and people are enjoying complete freedom to express their opinions. He also took a dig at Zia saying that the doors of democracy have always been open but Khaleda Zia herself went beyond the threshold of democracy by ordering the fire-terrorists to throw petrol bombs and grenades through the open doors of democracy.

Khaleda is Not a Leader

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Prime minister’s son and her ICT adviser Sajib Wazed Joy has said that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia is not a leader but a terrorist. He wrote in his facebook status with regards to the 11th anniversary of the grenade attack on August 21, 2004, “August is a dark month for us, especially for my family. On this day in 2004, my mother was almost killed in a grenade attack. Twenty-three members of our party including Ivy Rahman, the wife of late president Zillur Rahman, were killed and more than 400 were injured.” With reference to BNP vicechairman’s hand in the attack, Joy wrote, “The head of the organization which had carried out that attack, Mufti Hannan has said in his confessional statement that the meeting for planning the attack was held at Hawa Bhaban which was the office of Begum Zia’s son Tarique Rahman.”

No Opposition Party in the Country

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Jatiya Party chairman Hussein Muhammad Ershad does not think that the country has a political party which can be called an opposition party, which is why there is nobody to ask for a midterm election. Ershad said that nobody but Allah could tell when the election will be held. He also said that it looked like the incumbent government would go for the election only after completing its five years. Ershad made his comments while talking to reporters in Rangpur.

Open the Shut Doors of Democracy

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BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has asked the government to fling open the shut doors of democracy. Zia made this appeal in a statement sent to the media. She said that corruption, fascism and undemocratic activities of the government has reached such a level that people are on the verge of suffocation. She said repression and fascist practices have failed to perpetuate the rule of any government in the world. She also complained that the government is hatching a despicable plot to make BNP devoid of leadership by arresting its leaders and workers and putting them in jail. Zia also mentioned that she never practiced the politics of terror and never even gave indulgence to it, but the government agents had wreaked havocs during the political movement and mischievously tried to put the blame on her party.

Two Flowers on One Stem

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BNP spokesperson Dr. Asaduzzaman Ripon has compared Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia with two flowers on one stem and said that they must be united for the sake of democracy. He was speaking at press briefing at the central party office in Naya Paltan when he also said that May 30 is a painful day for BNP as August 15 and 21 are for Awami League. Dr. Ripon added that mutual accusations over these incidents cannot be a solution for either party but it will only create conflict and division amongst the top leaders of the two parties.

A New Ground for Leadership

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Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Kader has called billboards a new menace for Bangladesh because everybody is shown as leaders and nobody as workers. He said Bangladesh is a new ground for producing leaders and everybody now starts with the billboards because leaflets are no longer in use. The minister was speaking at a national mourning day function organized by Chhatra League chapter of Begum Badrunessa Government Girls’ College. Kader also said, “Billboards are only an excuse, because everyone uses them for self publicity. They use the pictures of Bangabandhu and prime minister in small sizes while using their own pictures in large sizes. I have even seen 43 pictures in a single billboard.”

KM Shafiullah is an Idiot

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KM Shafiullah, a member of Awami League’s Advisory Council, has been called an idiot and an impudent person by the party’s presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim. Selim was speaking at a National Mourning Day function at Dhanmondi House No 32 when he said, “Bangabandhu was killed within a couple hours after Moni bhai was killed. And that idiot Shafiullah, who is telling lies was the army chief. Bangabandhu had called everyone and colonel Shafayet had rushed to the scene but that Shafiullah was sucking his thumb.” He further said that Shafiullah was so insolent that he even asked Bangabandhu if he could get out of the house. Selim said that Bangabandhu did not flee in fear of Pakistan army and he was expected to flee in the fear of the army of his own creation! He asked why Shafiullah could not come forward to help. He also wanted to know that if Shafayet Jamil could proceed towards Bangabandhu’s residence with five to ten truckloads, why was Shafiuallh silent.

Prime Minister is the Only ‘Man’ in Bangladesh

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Science and technology minister Yafesh Osman said that there is only one man in Bangladesh and that ‘man’ is prime minister Sheikh Hasina. He said that he realize it when he sits in the cabinet meeting every week. Osman further said that he gets the feeling that others are something else when he goes to the cabinet meeting. The minister was speaking at the 40th death anniversary of the father of the nation at IDB Bhaban in Karail when he mentioned that it was fortunate of us that Sheikh Hasina has been finishing the unfinished tasks of her father and implemented the land border agreement with India that was started by Bangabandhu.

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EDITORIAL

A t Yahweh's command Moses held his staff out over the water and throughout the night a strong east wind divided the Red Sea so that the Israelites could flee from the pursuing Egyptians. Something like that also happened in Bangladesh’s capital city in 2011when a strong political wind swept over this country and parted its capital into two separate municipalities. Many of us had expected at that time that two different city corporations were eventually going to create two different cities, because partition is an idea that goes to its logical conclusion. It starts with having separate cooking arrangements in the same kitchen, and then gradually ends up splitting a family. ...

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COVER STORY
THIS WEEK
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The Schizophrenic City

T he much-awaited city corporation elections of Dhaka North and South were held this year with the city dwellers voting two aspirant candidates to their questionable victories with high hopes of bringing an end to their woes. To be held every 5 years, the city corporation elections were long overdue this time ...

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IDLE MIND
by SYED BADRUL AHSAN
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The Idea of Good Governance

I n the interest of good, meaningful governance, there are certain things which need to be done in this country. It will not do for anyone, especially in the corridors of power, to pretend that God is in His heaven and all’s well with the world. The first reality the government, or for that matter any government, must ensure is rule of law. It is one significant aspect of life, indeed of the societal ...

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SPORT
The Monsoon Cricket

Bangladesh has seen both ends of the spectrum after completing their first mid-season at home playing international matches. They have won ODI series and drawn all three Tests against India and South Africa ...

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LEISURE
Big B Says Kader Khan is Making A Comeback

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan on August 9 announced the return of veteran actor Kader Khan to showbiz after a long break but he kept the suspense going by not revealing the name ...

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NATION IN THE NEWS

Up for Grab?

Bangladesh Hindu Buddha Christian Oikkya Parishad (BHBCOP), a body of religious minorities, at a press conference has accused ruling party lawmakers of grabbing minority property ...

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BUSINESS & FINANCE

Million Dollar Mark

Study shows that rich are getting richer as number of millionaires keeps rising in the continent while poverty and inequality continue to deepen. ...

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AROUND THE WORLD

The Hunt for Dawood Ibrahim

An Indian daily’s expose of phone bills and travel records proved Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in Pakistan and an Indian news channel claims to have established contact over phone with his wife

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MORE THAN WORDS
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"Keeping in mind the spirit of the Simla Agreement, do not make Hurriyat a third party to the talks, and keeping the spirit of Ufa, do not expand the subject of talks beyond terrorism." Indian foreign minster Sushama Swaraj said that "there will be no talks," when asked what would happen if Pakistan did not accept the position outlined by her on separatists and Kashmir

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"We have not formally canceled the talks. We will see what comes out of the situation. We are still ready to hold the talks. But without any preconditions." Pakistan prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs and national security, Sartaj Aziz, said he was still willing to travel to New Delhi without preconditions to hold the Indo- Pak security adviser level talks

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"There is no value to the results that came out of the parliamentary investigation committee." Iraq's former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki denounced as worthless a parliamentary report which blamed him and others for the fall of Mosul to Islamic State last year

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"This long overdue move is welcome but it is only a tiny fraction of what needs to be addressed over gender inequality in Saudi Arabia." Amnesty International UK's Karen Middleton commented as women are registering to vote in national elections for the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia

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“Our country is still a powder keg. There are lots of weapons. The armed groups are still there …” Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, the president of Central African Republic’s Islamic Council, said in Geneva after being awarded the Sergio Vieira de Mello prize

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LIVING
Recruitment and Radicalization

The United Nations has assessed that more than half the countries in the world have currently turned into the breeding grounds for Islamist extremist fighters for groups such as al-Qaida and Islamic State ...

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LIVING ETCETERA
Sex with Robots Will be the Norm in 50 Years!

Humans could soon be having sexual relationships with robots, a top academic has claimed. Dr Helen Driscoll said advances in technology mean the way in which humans interact with robots ...

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FUN FACTS
The Happy Buddha

According to Buddhist tradition, Maitreya is a bodhisattva who will appear on Earth in the future, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. This Buddha specifically depicts Buddha Maitreya, who is worshipped both as a Buddha and a Bodhisattva. That is perhaps why this Buddha looks as happy as depicted by the sculpture dating from the Northern Wei Dynasty. The sculpture is among the largest early gilt bronze statues known from China, remains one of the best examples of the use ...

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LEISURE
Charles and Diana Wedding Photographs Put Up for Auction

A private collection of behind-the-scenes photographs from the royal wedding of Charles and Diana is due to go on sale at auction, 34 years after the images were captured. The 12 candid photos are from the wedding reception, held at Buckingham Palace on 29 July 1981, following the ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral. The photographs – seven black and white, five in color – originate from the collection of an assistant to the English photographer Patrick Lichfield, later Lord Lichfield, according to auctioneers. Six of the larger photos ...

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ENTERTAINMENT

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