The Daily Star

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


News of: Thursday, 16th of August, 2007

Front Page

Edible oil prices shoot through roof

In a bizarre phenomenon yesterday, prices of edible oils shot up by Tk 10 a litre within hours in the capital due to an acute shortage of the essential commodity on wholesale markets, which is likely to have an immediate effect on the rest of the country.

Nation pays homage to Bangabandhu

The nation yesterday paid effusive tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation, to mark the 32nd anniversary of his bloody assassination.

Khaleda's role in Niko, Asia Energy deals under probe

Intelligence agencies are investigating into allegations that former prime minister Khaleda Zia played dubious roles in realising compensation for the Magurchhara blowout, awarding gas fields to Niko Resources and leasing out Phulbari coal zone to Asia Energy.

Wife of Shajahan Siraj's son jailed for 6 years

A special court for dealing graft cases yesterday sentenced Farzana Khan, daughter-in-law of former BNP minister Shajahan Siraj, to six years' imprisonment for committing two offences including evasion of taxes.

Flood death toll nears 500

At least 38 people died due to flood-related causes in 24 hours till 1:00pm yesterday, raising the death toll to 481.

Workers vandalise Ctg RMG factory for arrears

Workers of a garment and textile factory in the city's Nasirabad industrial area vandalised the unit yesterday allegedly demanding one month's arrear salary.

President, CA pay glowing tributes

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday paid glowing tributes to father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as they placed wreaths at the grave of the great leader and signed the condolence book kept there.

EC invites tenders again for equipment

The Election Commission (EC) invited tenders once again for supplying equipment to it, as earlier bids for most of the items for preparing the voter list with photographs had been disqualified, putting the commission in a predicament regarding completing the procurement on time.

Businesses for effective steps to keep food prices stable

Immediate and effective actions are required to keep prices of basic food grains at an affordable level to help the flood-hit poor to survive and restart their livelihood activities, top business leaders observed yesterday.

1,000 stranded as Biman flights go haywire

Awaiting flight schedules, 1,000 more passengers of Biman Bangladesh Airlines suffered at Zia International Airport (ZIA) yesterday as at least nine more Biman flights were delayed due to technical glitches and aircraft shortage.

Hasina spends day fasting

For the first time the two surviving daughters of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman--Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana--yesterday could not pay tribute to their father, mother, brothers and relatives who were brutally killed by a group of army personnel on August 15, 1975.

Minu ran business in other's name

Rajshahi Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu invested Tk 1.80 crore in cold storage and seed storage business in the name of another businessman to cover his illegal income, said arrested former president of Rajshahi Chamber and Commerce and Industries (RCCI) Lutfar Rahman in a judicial confession.

Hiked interest rate on farm loan suspended

In line with the government's post-flood rehabilitation programme, Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) has suspended its increased interest rate on agriculture loans considering the financial situation of small and marginal farmers.

OMS to start to keep prices tolerable

The government is going to launch Open Market Sale (OMS) on September 9 for one month to keep prices of essentials at a tolerable level during Ramadan.

BNP's party fund unused in flood relief

Two groups of the BNP are conducting countrywide flood relief activities without using the party's relief fund.

Mahmudur Rahman, wife barred from going abroad

Former energy adviser Mahmudur Rahman and his wife were barred from boarding a flight to Singapore on Monday night.

Crowley for more US aid to flood-hit Bangladesh

US Congressman Joseph Crowley has urged the US government to aid Bangladesh in its flood recovery and to be a leader in encouraging other nations to donate generously to Bangladesh.

4 suicide bombings kill 200 in Iraq

Four suicide bombers struck nearly simultaneously at communities of a small Kurdish sect in northwestern Iraq late Tuesday, killing more than 200 people and wounding 375 more, Iraqi military and local officials said.

Tarique Rahman not owner of daily Dinkal

Contradicting media reports, the lawyer for detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman yesterday claimed that his client is not the owner of Daily Dinkal, but the printer and publisher.

Govt files leave to appeal against HC orders

The government, in compliance with the Supreme Court Appellate Division's instructions, yesterday filed regular leave to appeal petitions to overturn High Court orders on former prime minister Sheikh Hasina's cases.

Trial of Hannan Shah, son stayed for 3 months

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for three months the trial proceedings of two extortion cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Adviser Brig Gen (retd) ASM Hannan Shah and his son.

Khaleda slates govt for not permitting her

Former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday criticised the government action barring her from visiting the flood affected people.

4 of a family killed in Ctg road crash

Five persons, including four of a family, were killed when a speeding truck ploughed into an autorickshaw near City Gate area of Pahartali in the city yesterday.

US to scrap nuke deal if India tests weapons

The United States will scrap a landmark deal to export civilian nuclear fuel and technology to India if New Delhi conducts an atomic weapons test, the State Department said Tuesday.

Laid-off jute mill workers stage sit-in for arrears

Employees of the closed People's Jute Mills started a sit-in programme from 7:00am yesterday demanding their arrears of last eight months.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi national at Jadavpur frontier in Moheshpur upazila of the district early yesterday.

Editorial

Sixty years of partition

The partition of the subcontinent into two independent states-- India and Pakistan-- in August 1947 was undoubtedly the most momentous event in the political history of the region as a whole.

Interest cut on loan for import

The central bank's circular to commercial banks directing them to reduce interest rates to 12 percent from 14-16 percent on loans for import of 10 essential commodities apparently comes as a move to catch the bull of soaring market prices by the horn. This is an attempted price stabilisation measure prompted by a collapse of the productive sector brought on by devastating floods, unabated increase in international commodity prices and the need for ensuring steady supply of essentials during the month of Ramadan.

1970 elections and Sheikh Mujib's six points

On the sad occasion of the death anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, we tend to go back in time and contemplate the unique circumstances that led to the inevitable birth of Bangladesh. Among the unique circumstances worth mentionable are the Language Movement of 1952, student-people protests throughout the sixties against West Pakistan's economic exploitation, violent anti-Ayub movement of 1968-69, and movement in support of Awami League's Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Six Points for greater autonomy of East Pakistan.

Secularism has a long way to go

It is a straight question, which should have been addressed long ago. If the accused in the Mumbai blasts could be tried and punished even after 15 years, why not those who rioted and killed hundreds in Mumbai in the wake of the Babri masjid demolition in December 1992? The rioting, as the Justice B.N. Sri Krishna Inquiry Commission put it, was a “cause and effect” happening.

The real rulers of Pakistan

Sixty years into our independence, the canard is that military rule alone destroyed democracy, no one speaks about the bureaucracy's role in initially bringing democracy to its knees, and then benefiting hugely by the facade of successive military rule.

Sports

Boot camp boosts Tigers

It has been told time and again that the Tigers are not mentally tough enough to cope with the pressure of international cricket but captain Mohammad Ashraful believes that their ongoing commando training would make a positive impact in this area.

Booters leave today for Nehru Cup

Syed Nayeemuddin returns to his homeland with a completely different role he had played in the past.

Rajib draws 3rd round tie

International Master Enamul Hossain Rajib drew his third round game against Armenian Grand Master Anastasian Ashot in the Master tournament of the 17th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

India United

The most delightful sight moments after India pulled off the historic draw at The Oval on Monday was the one of Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar locked in ecstatic embrace. On a patch of turf where India had pulled off their maiden Test victory in England, the trio, a holy trinity in India's batting echelons, were toasting a glorious series win, one built on the bedrock of team unity, partnerships and swing-bowling combinations. No one team member could lay claim to this series being theirs, it belonged to everyone.

Syria bring young squad

Bangladesh take on Syria in their lung-opener on the second day of the ONGC Nehru Cup international football tournament beginning at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Friday.

Scots' date with India today

Scotland take on India on Thursday in a one-day international in Glasgow. For India it is one of two warm-ups before the one-day series against England.

Chappell slams 'keeping policy

Ian Chappell, the former Australian captain, has delivered a withering verdict on the standard of English wicketkeeping, and believes that England will never regain the Ashes so long as men of the standard of Matt Prior and Geraint Jones are selected in the Test side.

Tottenham slump to second defeat

Everton beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 at White Hart Lane on Tuesday as the hosts slumped to their second straight defeat of the English Premier League season.

Cech doesn't fear Reading

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech does not fear returning on Wednesday to Reading's Madejski Stadium for the first time since suffering a horrific head injury there, said Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

Torres not set goal target

Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez tried to dampen down the expectation-surrounding striker Fernando Torres on Tuesday by refusing to set his 26-million-pound Spanish international a goal target. Speaking ahead of Liverpool's Champions League third qualifying round first leg clash at Toulouse, Benitez praised his star buy but also tried to ease the pressure on the former Atletico Madrid man.

Keane slams WAGs culture

Sunderland manager Roy Keane has blasted "weak" Premier League players who are allowing their wives and girlfriends (WAGs) to dictate their careers.

Brazil to play US friendly

Brazil's top-ranked football squad will play the United States here on September 9 in a clash of champions from North and South America after a US squad friendly at Mexico the same day was scrubbed.

Gerrard trusts Rafa tactics

Steven Gerrard said on Tuesday he trusts Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez to make the right decisions about whereabouts in midfield he tells the Reds captain to play.

Cassano joins Sampdoria

Real Madrid's troubled Italian international striker Antonio Cassano was sent on loan to Serie A outfit Sampdoria on Tuesday.

Chelsea deny Alves deal

Chelsea have denied reports that they have reached an agreement with Sevilla of Spain for the transfer of Brazilian defender Daniel Alves.

Cocu's Arab adventure

Former Dutch international midfielder Phillip Cocu has signed a one-year deal with United Arab Emirates club Al-Jazeera.

Carragher won't change mind

England boss Steve McClaren confirmed Wednesday that he has failed to convince Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher to return to international football.

Roddick rolls, Murray falls

Defending champion Andy Roddick advanced without difficulty Tuesday while Britain's Andy Murray was drummed out with ease at the 2.2 million-dollar ATP Cincinnati Masters.

Remembering Palmer

A renowned sportsman of our country, Francis Donald Alfred Palmer passed away on June 8, 2007 in Oxnard, Ventura County, California. He was 70. He is survived by his wife Janet Palmer, son and two daughters, seven grand children.

Younis's no to ICL

Younis Khan has rejected a lucrative offer from the Indian Cricket League (ICL) and has expressed his preference of playing for Pakistan.

Prior feels the heat

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior faces an examination of both his nerve and skill after a rollercoaster first season in Test cricket.

Road to redemption

Defeated but not disgraced was Michael Vaughan's verdict, as England's proud six-year home record was finally brought to an end. England were, by their captain's admission, the lesser side over the space of the three Tests. Their failure to convert their Lord's opportunity into a win was mitigated by two consecutive matches in which they were most definitely second-best. Had Rahul Dravid needed to gamble at The Oval with the series tied at 1-1, he would surely have done so, and most likely would have succeeded.

BSWA awards

Bangladesh Sports Writers Association (BSWA) yesterday announced its sports awards for the years 2005 and 2006.

CSA hopeful on Kallis

Cricket South Africa selection convenor Joubert Strydom says all-rounder Jacques Kallis remains "a cornerstone of the Test and one-day side".

Meril Media Cup final today

The curtain drops on the popular Meril Media Cup football tournament today with Bengali daily Ajker Kagoj facing private TV channel Bangla Vision in the final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Services kabaddi from today

The Services Kabaddi League will begin at the Mirpur Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium today.

Business

Govt may finalise licensing for freight forwarders today

The government is likely to finalise a licensing system for freight forwarding agencies today in order to bring discipline to the export-import trade and improve its ability to collect tariffs from the sector.

WTO forecasts slower economic, trade growth in 2007

Global economic and trade growth may slow down this year due to market risks and large trade imbalances, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in its 2007 annual report Tuesday.

BB dy governor to be recruited on competitive basis

For the first time the government will recruit a deputy governor on competitive basis aiming to infuse dynamism into the selection process.

Vietnam intensifies investment in footwear

Vietnam is estimated to pour 9,153 billion Vietnamese dong (VND) (572.1 million US dollars) into developing its footwear industry in the 2006-2010 period, in a move to reap footwear export revenues of 6.2 billion dollars in 2010.

Global shares sell-off continues apace

Stock markets tumbled again in Asia and Europe on Wednesday after heavy overnight losses in the United States, as traders remained on red alert for fallout from US housing market woes, analysts said.

Gold demand hits record heights on Asian purchases

Global demand for gold surged to record highs in the second quarter of 2007, driven by increased jewellery purchases in China and India, a leading industry body said on Wednesday.

REHAB housing fair in Rome in Sept

A three-day housing fair of Bangladeshi developers will begin in Rome, Italy on September 1 targeting expatriate Bangladeshis.

Bharti to launch cell phone service in Lanka

Leading Indian telecom firm Bharti Airtel said Wednesday it will launch mobile phone services in Sri Lanka where it sees the number of cell phone users growing by millions annually.

Vietnam mulls more rice exports

The Vietnamese government is considering allowing additional rice export contracts to be signed next month due to the surging commodity prices in the world, local media reported yesterday.

Busy Beijing airport cuts back on flights

The number of daily flights at Beijing airport will be cut by nearly 400 in an effort to deal with the long delays and other problems at the increasingly crowded hub, aviation authorities said Wednesday.

Latest recalls prompt calls for tighter control on Chinese goods

The uproar over defective Chinese toys -- on the heels of scares about unsafe tires, tainted pet food and other flawed goods -- has sullied the "Made in China" label for many consumers and led to calls for greater regulation.

Proton awaits deal with Volkswagen

Malaysia's troubled state-run car manufacturer Proton on Wednesday unveiled its new sedan and projected robust sales to include exports in the region and Europe.

New chief of int'l federation of company secretaries

Mohammad Sanaullah has recently been elected president of the governing body of International Federation of Company Secretaries (IFCS), says a press release.

Nepal relaxes provisions for int'l airlines

In anticipation of greater tourist arrivals during the autumn season, the government has formulated flexible provisions for the international airlines flying to Nepal, The Himalayan Times reported yesterday.

Metropolitan

Expat killed by muggers

An expatriate Bangladeshi was allegedly murdered by muggers in the port city on Tuesday night.

'Seized materials from courier service not military weapons’

After initial examination of the seized materials from a courier service office in the city on August 8, a team of military explosive experts have said those are neither military weapons nor part of military weaponry.

'Bangabandhu is a shining star in the sky of nation'

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed in separate messages on Tuesday paid deep respects to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of his 32nd death anniversary.

Photo exhibition offers a glimpse into the life of Bangabandhu

The auditorium is very still as the visitors are overwhelmed by the rare photographs and the history behind them.

Coordinated steps needed to fight air pollution in S Asia

Adviser for Agriculture, Environment and Forest Dr CS Karim yesterday urged the South Asian countries to take coordinated steps for combating air pollution.

‘Remarkable success in foreign relations’

Bangladesh made remarkable progress in its relations with members of international community since the caretaker government (CG) took office in January.

Relief distribution continues

More organisations yesterday donated to government's relief fund and distributed relief materials to flood-hit people across the country.

Road accidents kill 7

At least seven people were killed and 30 others injured in separate road accidents in Brahmanbaria and Narayanganj yesterday.

China assures Dhaka of all cooperation

China yesterday assured Dhaka of all cooperation in relief and post-flood reconstruction in Bangladesh.

Recording of deposition of PWs will now begin Aug 26

Recording of the deposition of prosecution witnesses in the case related to the grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury in Sylhet could not begin yesterday due to the absence of the prime accused from the court.

Salauddin’s bldg demolished

Roads and Highways Department (RHD) yesterday demolished a part of the building that houses Sahmed Foundation, owned by former BNP lawmaker Salahuddin Ahmed.

UNFPA to ensure healthcare for 60,000 flood-hit expectant mothers

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is taking initiatives to ensure the healthcare for 60,000 flood-affected expectant mothers across the country for their safe childbirth.

4 new UGC members take over

Newly appointed four members of the University Grants Commission (UGC) took over yesterday.

Army mobile hospitals for flood victims

Bangladesh Army set up two mobile hospitals in the worst flood-affected Sirajganj and Faridpur districts for treatment of diarrohea and other patients in the aftermath of severe floods.

BDR, pirates trade fire

Fire was traded between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and sea pirates at Atharodeki area in the Sundarbans yesterday.

Quake shakes city

A minor earthquake shook the capital city yesterday afternoon, meteorological department sources said.

NBR chairman, 2 others sued for imposing VAT on Feni lawyers

A case was filed against the National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman and two others with a court here for imposing Value Added Tax (VAT) on lawyers.

SC Bar team visits ailing Dr Wazed

A Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) delegation visited Dr Wazed Mia, the ailing husband of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina at Square Hospital in the city yesterday.

RU student files case against Shibir cadres

A general student of Mother Box hall of Rajshahi University filed a general dairy (GD) against Islamic Chhatra Shibir (ICS) cadres of the hall with Motiher Police Station yesterday.

Tk 36cr Japanese grant for portable steel bridges

Under an agreement signed in Dhaka yesterday, Japan will provide Bangladesh with a grant aid worth 611 million yen (approximately Tk 36 crore) for portable steel bridges in rural areas, says a press release.

Cocaine worth Tk 50 lakh seized in Joypurhat

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized 500 grams of cocaine worth Tk 50 lakh during a raid on a local train at Panchbibi Station in Joypurhat yesterday morning.

Aug 15 victim Rintu’s death aniversary observed

The 32nd death anniversary of Abdur Nayeem Khan Rintu, a victim of the carnage of August 15, 1975, was observed yesterday with due solemnity.

Youth killed in city

An unidentified youth was killed by criminals in the city yesterday.

Father, daughter drown in boat capsize

A father and his daughter drowned when a boat capsized in a water body in Dhaljora area in Kaliakoir yesterday morning.

$25,000 Lankan aid for flood victims

Sri Lanka yesterday donated US$ 25,000 to the Chief Adviser's Relief Fund for the flood-affected people.

National

Farmers in hills gain at cost of environment

Farmers in Khagrachhari are making hefty gains by cultivating vegetables on slopes of hill, but at the cost of environment.

5 child marriages stopped in a week in Jhenidah

Kaliganj upazila administration stopped five child marriages in a week.

SCC removes 10 'illegal' structures

Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) has started demolishing 'unapproved' structures on parking places of shopping malls and multi storied markets in the city.

'En masse resignation won't be accepted'

Project Director Monowar Hossain of state owned Alim Jute Mill in Khulna yesterday said that he would not accept applications of workers and staff who offered to resign en masse to take advantage of Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).

Arrest warrant against SBMCH forensic expert

An arrest warrant has been issued against the forensic expert of Sher-e-Bangla Medical College and Hospital (SBMCH) here for his failure to appear before a court in connection with murder case of 5-year-old child named Ira.

RU student held for wearing black badge

Motiher Police yesterday arrested a Rajshahi University (RU) unit activist of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on charge of wearing black badge to observe the 32nd death anniversary of Bangaban-dhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, campus sources said.

13 held on Dinajpur border

Bangladesh Rifled yesterday took into custody 13 people including nine women and children when they were entering Bangladesh illegally through the Chowtha border in Birampur upazila in the district.

Nagarbari-Aricha ferry service suspended

Nagarbari-Aricha ferry service remained suspended for the last two weeks following damage to Nagarbari ghat by floodwaters.

BAU founding anniversary begins tomorrow

Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) in Mymensingh has chalked out a two-day programme beginning tomorrow to celebrate its 47th founding anniversary.

Pabna anti-graft body formed

A 57-member anti corruption committee has been formed here with Captain (retd) Dr Sarwar Jahan Faize and freedom fighter Md Ismat as its president and secretary.

3 get 10 yrs RI for extortion

Three persons including a union parishad (UP) chairman were sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment for extortion in Satkhira yesterday.

Letters

Flood donation: A suggestion

I received a forwarded email from the Los Angeles BD Consulate asking to send donation directly to CA's account in Bangladesh. Why the Bangladesh Consulate in Los Angeles does not accept flood donation?

Potter puzzle!

It is really amazing to notice and wonder as to how a person/writer can reach a height that J. K. Rowling has done through her titanic series Harry Potter! The youths, along with the adults, have been relishing it in a mind-blowing manner. The recent incident on the launching of the last book of the series that saw millions of enthusiasts wait till midnight in countdown and finally to celebrate the occasion in yet another mind-blowing affair the sellers including the online book seller Amazon.com were in a jaw-dropping situation as they witnessed, much to their amazement, how the books were sold out instant; and how the further orders for copies were pouring forth on their business platters! It is indeed a phenomenal event !

Fare increase

I have found that haggling over fare in local buses is common all the time. Whenever there's a price hike of fuel, there's an increase in travel cost. Sometimes this is done legally through agreement between transportation committee members and the government. But sometimes transportation owners increase the fares by themselves. So people get confused whether the travel costs are increased legally or illegally.

Rangs Bhaban

There has been lot of discussion both in the media and amongst the general people regarding the fate of the Rangs Bhaban ever since Rajuk declared it illegal several months ago. Unlike other illegal structures and slums that Rajuk bulldozed the Rangs people tried to take the cover of the court but at last the verdict went against them and the tenants were asked to vacate overnight. One of the tenants was Grameen Phone whose network management department occupied a floor for their 'switch' to transfer calls. As a user it comes to me as a big surprise that the Grameen folks got caught literally on Thursday evening when the court verdict was declared against Rangs and floors above the sixth were ordered to be demolished. Grameenphone, supposed to be employing some of the brightest minds in the country paying grandiose salaries, should have known better and moved their equipment out of the place as soon as the controversy arose regarding the legality of the building. As a service provider Grameenphone cannot afford to make such mistakes.

A memorable day

I have some memorable days in my life, one of them is the day when my first letter was published in DS. Four years back, I wrote my first letter tentatively and sent it to the DS office. I religiously looked at the "letters to the editor" for some days, but in van.

Khaleda Zia's plan

I am amused by the news item published in a daily on August 10, which stated that 'BNP activists will be shocked if Khaleda Zia is not allowed to engage in relief activities'.

US structural designs

The recent collapse of a river bridge in Minnesota State in USA, and an earlier (a few years back) similar collapse of a bridge in California and a few lesser known similar failures; points to the fact that something is seriously wrong in the design or construction standards in the US! The situation is quite worrisome for the millions of automobile drivers crossing such bridges every day in the US.

Present Bangladesh

Approximately 19 million people are homeless (CBC, Canada), people died from bridge collapse in Tangail; they are without food and medicine all around the flooded areas. In the mean time, the government has started demolishing Rangs Bhaban without giving them the minimum time to take their goods to a safe place. The people are crying for food; but prices are consistently going up.

Patriotism

I would like to remind the people of our country that we can't afford our rosy possibilities to nip in the bud owing to some corrupt demons. About 3 million valiant sons laid down their lives for the independence of our beloved country. During this crucial period only one tonic can protect us from all evil deeds -- "Love your country". In the words of Edwin Arnold, "I love my life, true, but not more than I love my motherland". Let us unite and honestly work for the peace, progress as well as prosperity of the nation.

Golden opportunity

The government should be given more time for reforming the political parties as well as the whole political structure in our country. One party goes, another party enters and misuse power, this has become a trend in Bangladeshi politics. Some people are still restlessly screaming for immediate election. We don't want to see our country like before, we hope a new day has come.

Unscrupulous businessmen

The price hike of the oral saline during floods only reveal the greediness of the dishonest businessmen. They exploit the helpless people to make profit. It's a shame! Where's the government? Why shouldn't they take action against the culprits? Why shouldn't they supply enough medicines to the flood affected people? It's a big failure of the present government.

International

US presses Pakistan on militant threat

A senior US diplomat held talks Wednesday with Pakistani officials on the growing influence of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and US threats to use force against militants on Pakistani territory.

India wants better ties with its neighbours

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said New Delhi wanted “best of relations” with its immediate neighbours whose prosperity is linked to India's security.

Abbas’ decree excludes Hamas from election

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas yesterday issued a decree that effectively excludes the rival Hamas movement ruling the Gaza Strip from future elections.

Picture on Indo-US N-deal becoming clear: Japan

With India and the US finalising the civil nuclear deal, Japan has said the "picture" is becoming "clear" to it but it preferred a wait-and-watch approach till New Delhi negotiates the safeguards agreement with IAEA.

S Korea hostage talks to resume

The Taliban militia and South Korean negotiators will resume direct talks on Thursday for the release of 19 South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, the Taliban said yesterday.

Riot police called in to halt Nepali student violence

Riot police deployed to university campuses in the Nepali capital yesterday after Maoist students clashed with rivals leading to dozens of arrests, officials said.

Australia to sell uranium to India

Australia has agreed to sell uranium to India for use in nuclear power plants even though New Delhi has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty on atomic weapons, local media reported yesterday.

5,700 'disappeared' in Lanka: Amnesty

Hundreds of people disappeared in Sri Lanka in the past year and more than 5,700 such cases from the past three decades were under UN review, rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday.

Strike, celebrations mark India's Independence Day in Kashmir

A separatist-led strike yesterday paralysed life in revolt-hit Kashmir on India's Independence Day, police said, as troops deployed against rebel attacks.

US to slap terror tag on Iran's revolutionary guard

The Bush administration has decided to give a "terrorist" designation to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, which would allow the US government to target the group's business and financial operations, the Washington Post reported yesterday.

Taliban bomb kills 3 Germans in Kabul

A bomb blast in the Afghan capital killed two German police officers and a foreign ministry staffer yesterday, officials in Kabul and Berlin said.

6 Italian 'mafia' men killed in Germany

Six Italian men with alleged mafia links were shot dead in an execution-style killing near a train station in the western German city of Duisburg, police said yesterday.

Netanyahu wins Likud race, eyes top job

Benjamin Netanyahu, fresh off a commanding election win as leader of Israel's hardline Likud Party, vowed yesterday to shift his efforts toward reclaiming his old job as prime minister.

Pak tribal chiefs threatened over Kabul talks

Pakistani tribal elders have been threatened with reprisals for attending last week's talks in Kabul aimed at ending support for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, officials said yesterday.

Flash flood in India

Flash floods killed six people and left as many as 54 missing after triggering landslides and flattening houses in a remote village in northern India, police said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

The ins and outs of playback singing

It happened in 1982. Leading film actor Razzaque went to attend a cultural programme in Rajshahi. He was taken aback by a young a girl, singing at the event. He offered the girl an opportunity to do playback for his next movie, Talaaq. Overwhelmed, the girl agreed. And thus a successful career in playback was initiated and popular singer Rizia Parveen got her first break. So far the artiste has recorded over 800 songs, in films and music albums. Around 104 music albums featuring Parveen's songs are available in the market. The Daily Star recently talked to the artiste. Excerpts from the interview:

“Dolls House”: Daily soap for women on ATN Bangla

Though daily soap operas aired on different satellite TV channels are very popular amongst the women viewers of the country, so far no daily soap has been aired in Bangladeshi TV channels targeting the women viewers. Dolls House, a daily soap jointly directed by Afsana Mimi and Badrul Anam Soud, is the first TV serial of its kind that will be

Rodgers and Hammerstein: The sound of music

The legacy of the talented musical duo of Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) lives on. The Daily Star was recently transported to that immortal era when one had the fortune to see Carmen Jones, an operatic masterpiece for which Hammerstein took the entrancing score and story from George Bizet's Carmen. The work is a part of the opening season of the refurbished Royal Festival Hall in London.

A commemorative book on Husna Banu Khanam launched

A commemorative book titled Pathikrit Sangskritik Bektitya Husna Banu Khanam was launched on August 14, at Senate Hall of Dhaka University. Nurjahan Begum, editor of the weekly magazine Begum, launched the book. Noted cultural personalities discussed life and work of Husna Banu Khanam, a pioneering cultural activist of our country.

"Sangsharer Tuki Taki" on Ekushey TV

Directed by Nima Rahman and hosted by Farhana Mithu, lifestyle show Sangsharer Tukitaki will be aired tonight at 8:00 pm on Ekushey TV.

OP-ED

Does he possess the moral ground to lecture the nation?

As a decorated war hero, one of America's greatest presidents articulated in his inaugural speech on January 20, 1961: "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country."

The increasing relevance of expatriate lobbying

The right to petition your own government is a fundamental principle in a democratic society. Recently, however, there have been a number of high profile cases of expatriate Bangladeshis petitioning foreign governments to influence government policy within Bangladesh.

A critical review of the coal policy

The Department of Energy and Mineral Resources under the Ministry of Electricity, Energy, and Mineral Resources has made the latest version of the proposed coal policy (June 2007) available for review on their website. They also invited opinions and suggestions on the same. This approach, of transparency and accountability, by a government office is laudable.


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