The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Friday, 7th of September, 2007

Front Page

EC faces BNP test

The Election Commission (EC) appears to be faced with a testing time as it braces itself for making a decision as to which of the BNP factions should be invited to the talks on electoral reforms.

Koko sent to jail before remand ends

Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia, was sent to jail yesterday before completion of his seven-day remand in a graft case.

RU suspends its 6 detained teachers

The six Rajshahi University (RU) teachers, now detained in the case for violation of Emergency Power Rules following their alleged involvement with late August campus violence, were suspended from their job yesterday.

Gas continues to burn at Titas field

Gas emission through all five tube-wells and hundreds of holes at the villages of Shyampur and Anandapur and Loiska Beel near Titas Gas Field Location-3 of Brahmanbaria is yet to be stopped.

HC rejects appeal to quash MiG case

The High Court (HC) yesterday rejected detained Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina's petition for quashing a graft case against her regarding purchase of MiG-29 fighter aircraft during her tenure as the prime minister.

Murder charges framed against ex-Jamaat MP Shahjahan, 41 others

A Chittagong court yesterday issued warrant of arrest against former Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker Shahjahan Chowdhury after framing charges against him and 41 others in connection with a murder case.

Flawed voter list was prepared to rig polls

Voter rolls in the past were deliberately prepared with flaws so that those could be used in rigging elections, Election Commissioner Sohul Hossain said yesterday.

BB sticks to its guns amid IMF insistence

International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday reiterated its earlier stand of contractionary monetary policy for Bangladesh to rein in inflation but the central bank opposed the idea.

CSB News silenced

The telecom regularity body of the government yesterday pulled the plugs on the transmission of CSB News, a satellite TV channel of Focus Multimedia Company, for 'forgery'.

Few more rebel leaders await Bhuiyan fate

BNP leaders loyal to detained Chairperson Khaleda Zia are planning under the leadership of the newly appointed secretary general to expel a few more leaders close to expelled secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan for their alleged involvement in anti-party activities.

Govt plans to set up 2 new urea factories

The government has decided to set up two new urea fertiliser factories in the country in the wake of growing demand in the agricultural sector.

Bangladesh faces tsunami threat

More than 1 million people in South Asia's Bay of Bengal could be swept to their deaths by a tsunami if a giant earthquake were to hit off the coast of Myanmar, according to a study published Thursday.

Production resumes after toxic gas glitch

Production at Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd (BCMCL) of Dinajpur resumed Wednesday night. Production was halted Tuesday afternoon when carbon monoxide (CO) gas was found emitting from phase-1110 of the coalmine.

Probe body chief visits incident spots

The one-member judicial commission, formed to probe the recent violence on the Dhaka University campus, visited yesterday different parts of the city to determine whether simultaneous incidents there had any connection with the campus outrages.

Govt to bring amendments to Emergency Power Rules

Law and Information Adviser Barrister Mainul Hosein yesterday said the government would soon bring some amendments to the Emergency Power Rules, 2007.

Zillur for lifting emergency, politics ban

The Awami League's (AL) acting president, Zillur Rahman, yesterday called for lifting of the state of emergency and ban on indoor politics, saying there is no such situation in the country now which may justify the provision.

ACC sees no relation with Gen Moeen's statement

Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday said the ACC has no relation with the list of corruption suspects as mentioned by the army chief at a meeting with the business community on Wednesday.

Reforms talks possible despite ban on politics

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said the political parties can sit with the Election Commission (EC) for discussion on reforms despite ban on indoor politics.

ACC allowed to quiz Falu at jail gate

A Dhaka court yesterday permitted the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to interrogate detained former BNP lawmaker Mosaddak Ali Falu at the Dhaka Central Jail gate in connection with a graft case.

Universities, colleges start reopening from tomorrow

Academic activities in all public universities and colleges across the country will gradually resume from tomorrow.

Wadud Bhuiyan's close aide held

Police yesterday arrested Khagrachhari District Jubo Dal President Abdus Salam from a house in Tabalchhari under Rangamati.

Verdict in gold smuggling case deferred for seventh time

The verdict of a gold smuggling case, filed 16 years back against former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad was adjourned for the seventh time yesterday.

Asteroid breakup wiped out dinosaurs!

The extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago can be traced to a collision between two monster rocks in the asteroid belt nearly 100 million years earlier, scientists report on Wednesday.

US strikes in Baghdad kill 14 sleeping civilians

US combat helicopters and tanks bombarded a Baghdad neighbourhood in pre-dawn strikes yesterday, killing 14 sleeping civilians and destroying houses, angry residents and Iraqi officials said.

Presidential term ends on Nov 15

Pakistan military ruler Pervez Musharraf's term as president will end on November 15, his lawyers said yesterday, after a court ordered him to clear up uncertainty over his plans for re-election.

Hunt on for 10 terror suspects in Germany

German authorities were searching yesterday for about 10 suspected supporters of an Islamic group linked to al-Qaeda believed to have assisted three militants arrested for plotting imminent attacks against Americans in Germany, an official said.

Editorial

Welcome confidence-building proposals for business

We welcome the move made at the highest level of the caretaker government and its backers to jointly address the issue of dwindling confidence in the business community stemming from certain steps taken by the government. It is for the first time that Chief Adviser of the caretaker government and the Army Chief exchanged views with leaders of industry, trade and business in an interactive session designed to allay their misgivings about some of the impact of anti-corruption drive.

Eviction of slum dwellers

In the last eight months, as many as 60,000 people have been evicted from the slums they used to inhabit. Even as they remain largely un-rehabilitated, comes news that the authorities plan to go for more such action against other slums as a measure toward reclaiming illegally occupied land. A pertinent question arises here: why must eviction without the necessary follow up rehabilitation take place?

About dictators

Gabriel Garcia Marquez studied the lives of Latin American dictators when he was writing his book The Autumn of the Patriarch. What he found was common knowledge. All dictators met one of the three fates. They either died in their beds at a very old age, or they were killed, or they fled.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (full name: Barack Hussein Obama), the United States senator from Illinois and a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, has got the rare virtue of coming across as an extraordinarily level-headed person in these increasingly polarised and polarising times when consensus building is usually frowned upon. As a result, he feels like a breath of fresh air to us who live in Europe.

Shishir brings the charm of his cartoons to Japan

Shishir Bhattacharjee has by now become a well-known personality in Bangladesh, as readers of country's largest circulated daily have been accustomed to seeing his witty drawings of known figures from the world of local and global politics in the front pages of the newspaper almost on a regular basis. They also adore those drawings, which provide a welcome relief from the harsh reality of the otherwise gloomy atmosphere of the political arena that we are used to seeing.

Sports

The 'singing' Robin

India won the sixth one-day international, one of the most scintillating ever seen in this country, by two wickets with two deliveries to spare at the last joyful gasp.

Dravid awaits a cracker

India captain Rahul Dravid is targeting a series victory after his side levelled the seven-match NatWest series 3-3 at The Oval on Wednesday.

South Korea drub Bangladesh 8-0

South Korea entered the semifinal of the 7th Asia Cup hockey tournament from Pool B with a 8-0 thrashing of Bangladesh in Chennai yesterday but mighty Pakistan were eliminated after Japan finished second in Pool B.

Aussies under pressure

Australian paceman Brett Lee, who missed the one-day World Cup with an ankle injury, is ready to make up for lost time at the World Twenty20 championship in South Africa.

The journey begins

"Everyone thought it was a Mickey Mouse game, just a bit of fun really."

Tendulkar denies reports

Sachin Tendulkar has dismissed speculation about his retirement from one-day cricket, saying he was "batting brilliantly" at the moment and the thought of quitting had not even crossed his mind.

Tigers land in Johannesburg

The Bangladesh cricket team arrived in Johannesburg yesterday to take part in the Twenty20 World Championships, which begins on September 12.

Shakib in shortlist

Injured all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was shortlisted along with four others for the Emerging Players prize for the ICC Cricket Awards.

Federer too good for Roddick

Andy Roddick has tested Roger Federer, even forced the world number one to make some astonishing shots. But for the 14th time in 15 matches, the top US player could not beat the Swiss tennis magician.

Key role for Schweini

As the most experienced German midfielder on Cardiff's Millennium Stadium pitch this Saturday, baby-faced Bastian Schweinsteiger will lead Germany's attack in their Euro 2008 qualifier against Wales.

Sheva also confused

Andriy Shevchenko has added to the intrigue surrounding his non-appearance for Chelsea this season by admitting he does not know why he has not played. The manager, Jose Mourinho, has insisted that Shevchenko has not been match fit following a niggling back injury. But Shevchenko, who played for 55 minutes in Ukraine's 2-1 friendly win over Uzbekistan on August 22, appears to disagree.

Wenger agrees new deal

Arsene Wenger has agreed a new contract with Arsenal that will keep him in charge of the English club until 2011, British media reported on Thursday.

Lehmann loses cool

German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann lost his cool on Thursday during a press conference for the Germany team when he was persistently asked about his future at English giants Arsenal.

Davydenko aims for perfection

Nikolay Davydenko says that only perfection will do if he is to advance to the next level at the US Open and reach the final of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

WC 2010 enters operational phase

Preparation for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa has entered its "operational phase", the chief executive officer of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Dany Jordaan, said on Thursday.

'Barca before Cameroon'

Spanish league giants Barcelona are trying to stop star striker Samuel Eto'o, currently out injured, playing for Cameroon in the African Nations Cup finals at the end of January 2008 in Ghana.

Sosa out for six weeks

Bayern Munich's summer signing Jose Ernesto Sosa will be out for the next six weeks after having an ankle operation earlier this week, the German giants revealed on Thursday.

Bosman calls coach 'liar'

The opening batsman, Loots Bosman, has become the second South African cricketer in the space of a month to be called before a CSA disciplinary hearing, following his controversial criticism of the national coach, Mickey Arthur, in the Afrikaans newspaper, Beeld.

Dimitri in with chance

Dimitri Mascarenhas hopes hitting five sixes in an over in the sixth one-day international against India will secure him a place in England's squad for the Twenty20 World Championship.

Akhtar slates ODI changes

Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar has criticised cricket's administrators for favouring batsmen over fast bowlers.

Local Snippets

The residential camp of eight disciplines for the coming 2nd Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games will begin on September 10.

NCA meet NT Strike today

Fresh from a 132-run victory against Tasmania in a three-dayer, Bangladesh Cricket Board National Cricket Academy will get involved in a limited-overs match when the visitors take on Northern Territory Strike today.

Umpires backed over run-out decision

The International Cricket Council has backed umpire Peter Hartley following a controversial run-out decision during England's game with India at The Oval.

Venus saves family honour

Wimbledon champion Venus Williams outlasted Serbian third seed Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) Wednesday to reach the US Open semifinals, where she will defend family honour against Justine Henin.

Ballack not for sale

Chelsea have dismissed claims that they are planning to off-load Michael Ballack in the January transfer window after leaving him out of their squad for the group stage of the Champions League.

Richards is a Viera fan

Micah Richards will take a leaf out of his idol Patrick Vieira's book and get physical as he tries to consolidate his place in the England team.

Hargreaves believes in England

Owen Hargreaves believes England will be able to take advantage of Israel's lack of big-match experience in their vital Euro 2008 qualifier on Saturday.

Baros to miss qualifier

Czech striker Milan Baros will be out of the Euro 2008 Champion-ship qualifier against San Marino on Saturday because of a back injury, the team doctor announced on Thursday.

Business

More public involvement needed in policymaking to boost economy

Country's prominent researchers yesterday suggested that the government should ensure more public involvement in any policymaking process rather than external pressure.

Donors urged to provide assistance for tourism infrastructure

A three-day travel and tourism fair began in Dhaka yesterday with a call to promote the industry as the most potential employment generation sector.

Indian automobile to get priority at WTO talks

The Indian automobile industry is in an infant stage and needs protection for which top priority would be given to its interests at the WTO talks for free and regional trade agreements, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath has said.

Shamunnay releases book on budget

Shamunnay, a research organisation, yesterday released a book titled 'Budget Sahaj Path' (Easy Learning of Budget 2007-08).

Perfetti Van Melle chewing gum launched

Perfetti Van Melle Bangladesh Private Ltd yesterday launched its globally popular chewing gum 'Center Fresh' in Bangladesh.

KFC Gulshan celebrates 1st anniversary

Celebrating the first anniversary of its operation, international fast food chain KFC's Gulshan outlet in Dhaka yesterday announced its commitment to serving customers with sumptuous chicken dishes.

Final push needed on trade talks: WTO chief

Differences in efforts to spur global trade talks are narrowing but political will is needed to push them to a conclusion, World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy said Thursday.

Nokia opens Wi-Fi zones in Dhaka

Nokia has launched four Wi-Fi zones at select cafes in Dhaka city, says a press release.

Beximco okays 15pc stock dividend

Bangladesh Export Import Company (Beximco) Ltd has declared a 15 percent stock dividend for its shareholders for the year 2006.

China not seeking large trade surplus: President

Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed more action to boost imports Thursday, telling a business audience in Sydney that Beijing did not want to run a large trade surplus.

Siemens wins Tk 57.6 cr power project in Khulna

Siemens Consortium Gallamari Project (SCGP), a joint venture between Siemens AG, Germany, and Siemens Bangladesh Ltd, recently own a government order for Tk 57.6 crore substation project in Khulna.

Metropolitan

HIV spreads in concentrated epidemic form among IDUs

Though HIV prevalence is less than one percent in the country, it has already spread as a concentrated epidemic form among the injection drug users (IDUs), said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

Govt turns down plea to cut taxes on oil import

The government yesterday turned down a plea for further cuts in taxes on import of edible oil due to complexities in legal procedure and lack of commitment from the importers to reducing the price at consumer level.

Need for taking pragmatic steps underscored

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called for taking pragmatic steps to save Dhaka from recurring floods and environmental pollution by removing their root causes.

National power grid trips

The national power grid partially failed yesterday evening, plunging the entire northeastern region into darkness.

Most rural adolescent girls fall victim

About 1.5 crore adolescent girls are deprived of the development programme of the country while majority of the rural adolescent girls become victims of child marriage, polygamy, divorce and social oppression, said speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Dhaka proposes Ctg-St Petersburg twining

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, during a meeting with First Vice-Governor Victor N Lobko of St. Petersburg City government, proposed the twining of Chittagong and St. Petersburg cities.

UK reiterates support to caretaker govt

British Minister for Asia, Africa and the UN Marc Malloch-Brown reiterated the British support for the caretaker government's plans and programmes during a meeting with Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury in London yesterday.

Arrest of DU, RU teachers condemned

Freedom fighters in Rajshahi in a statement on Wednesday expressed grave concern over the arrest of the five teachers of Dhaka and Rajshahi universities and demanded their immediate release.

'Raise awareness to end discrimination against Dalit'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called on the government, NGOs and civil society members to raise awareness in order to eliminate discrimination against Dalit people from society.

Bangladeshis among 53 illegal immigrants held in Greece

Greek border guards on Wednesday arrested 53 illegal immigrants along the Turkish border as well as their alleged Pakistani smuggler, a police source said.

Take steps to reduce health hazards

Cleaners of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) at a workshop yesterday urged the government to take steps to reduce health hazards facing the workers involved in the waste management.

City hawkers to get ID cards

Identity cards will be given to all hawkers in the city.

Tornado lashes four villages in Chandpur

A tornado lashed four villages under Kochua upazila of the district in the early morning of yesterday.

Appeal for help

Iftekhar Mahmud, a student of class ten of Natore Sugar Mills High School, is suffering from blood cancer, says a press release.

More donations to CA's Relief Fund

Twenty-eight organisations yesterday donated Tk 1,84,95,357 plus 15,000 US dollars to the Chief Adviser's Relief and Welfare Fund for the succour and rehabilitation of flood victims.

Tk 236.18cr BCC budget announced

The annual budget of Barisal City Corporation (BCC) amounting to over Tk 236.18 crore for the current fiscal was announced yesterday.

Drugged cop dies on way to DMCH

A police constable died yesterday afternoon on his way to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) a day after he fell victim to a gang of 'aggyan party' at Brahmanbaria.

HC declares detention of Patal illegal

The High Court (HC) yesterday declared illegal the detention of former state minister for Youth and Sports Fazlur Rahman Patal.

One gets death for killing uncle

A Chittagong court yesterday sentenced a person to death for killing his uncle in the city's Aturer Depot area in 1997.

7 killed, 43 injured in road crashes

Seven people were killed and 43 others injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday in the last two days.

Deposition continues

Deposition of the prosecution witnesses in one of the two cases filed in connection with the grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury continued for the 4th day yesterday.

3 arrested with bomb-making materials

Rab arrested three criminals on police list with bomb-making materials at Benapole's Bhaberber village early yesterday.

Cambridge int'l edn conference tomorrow

University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) in association with the British Council will host a daylong international education conference titled 'Global Best Practice' for principals and head teachers at Radisson Water Garden Hotel in the city tomorrow, says a press release.

Grameenphone supports drug rehabilitation centre

Grameenphone has embarked on a partnership with Ashokti Punorbashon Nibash (Apon), a drug rehabilitation centre, to contribute to the rehabilitation process of drug addicts.

6 more give depositions

Six more people gave depositions before the probe committee formed to investigate into the August 22 incident on Chittagong University (CU) campus on the third day of giving deposition yesterday.

Letters

Fighting corruption

Corruption is an age-old phenomenon which needs to be addressed in a practical way. During the Caliphate of Hazrat Umar (R) one tax collector brought two bags and placed them in front of him saying one is for the Baitul Mal (govt. treasury) and the other for him. When asked how he obtained the bags for himself, the tax collector replied that the people donated the money willingly. The Caliph dismissed the man and asked him to go to the people now for donation (after losing the job) and deposited both the bags to the treasury. So corruption was there in every age in different forms and shape but it is the duty of the head of the govt. to see that his administration remains free of corrupt people.

Attention: Top Two

I would be appreciated if Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina could announce their retirement from politics.

Mannan Bhuiyan's expulsion

What a pity! Begum Khaleda Zia defended her son Tarique as an innocent man-- Zia's son who cannot be corrupt. To her, it was all conspiracy (a common complaint she always had against her opposition).

Only a bluff?

It quite interesting, if not amazing, to note that the US and Iran engage themselves in a fierce verbal warfare nowadays. Iran has declared having achieved what it wanted in the nuclear field and the US can do nothing about that now.

Separation of judiciary

The separation of the judiciary is taking more than 12 years! The water level in the judicial dam is dropping precipitously.

Transparent governance

The chief adviser has finally disclosed the stance of his office regarding its commitment to holding the upcoming general election in the year 2008. But the burning question is how many and what are the options left to the nation to elect a good, corruption-free government which can shape the country's socio-economic structure well and gear up necessary activities to fulfill the long cherished dream of us to build a united, peaceful, hunger-free and pollution free Bangladesh. The striking scenario, and a bitter truth as well, is that time and again the common people of our country had to pay for keeping their faith on the political parties.

DU incident

Forty eminent citizens on Sunday issued a statement regarding the recent incident at Dhaka University. Below is a direct quote, as published in a Dhaka daily, from the statement:

Students of DU

They look in retrospect to the tumultuous past of the country and say with pride that the students of DU led from the front in all the movements. The other day one prominent professor of Dhaka University told a television journalist that the DU does not teach students to become cowards. I get confused as to what for students go to DU, to pursue higher studies or to wield sticks? Are they taught how to set vehicles on fire, vandalise shops and destroy public property? Even if the whole issue is taken in right perspective, what do we find is a very minor violation, a moment of slackness on the part of a soldier and his superior. The superior should have better advised him not to transgress.

Impression of our country!

I am writing this in response to the letter (A foreigner's experience) that was published in your daily on 22/08/2007.

Political dialogue

Most of the non-resident Bangladeshis remain very much concerned about the rapidly shifting twists and turns in the political arena of the country. However, there is a consensus that the advisers in the current caretaker government and the team in the reconstituted Election Commission are quite well-meaning personalities, who have the background, commitment and foresight to steer the country out of the crisis.

Government's job

The following should be the government's priorities at the moment.

Follow the rules

I do not know why the Dhaka University students were targeted. The students were caught and mercilessly beaten. This happened in Aziz Super Market, Shahbag, Shaheed Minar and in different stations and places. I am scared about everything. If anyone is found guilty he should face the due legal process.

ICL versus BCCI

The word of war between Indian Cricket League(ICL) and the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) is getting intense. The recent interim order passed by the Delhi High Court on the suit filed by ICL boosted the latter's morale. The court has ordered both the Federal Government and BCCI to come up with their replies against the suit. BCCI has warned its players that any player found aligned with ICL will be barred from playing cricket for India. No doubt, this is a harsh order issued by BCCI to its players. The Delhi High Court, on the other hand, has delivered its observation that the BCCI has no right to issue such statement that a player may lose his job if he is found to be aligned with ICL. Meanwhile, BCCI has sacked Kapil Dev, the legendary Indian cricketer, from the honourary post of chairman of the National Cricket Academy because of his joining ICL. Madan Lal, another veteran of Indian cricket, who is now holding the post of cricket coach of ICL termed the ruling as relief for ICL.

Electricity from municipal wastes

Electric power generation from solid urban municipal wastes is a proven technology, already such power plants are operating in EU. This available and easily exploitable fuel source is sufficiently present in our cities of Dhaka and Chittagong. The quantity of such waste is adequate in these two cities for utilisation as fuel for power generation. Some times back in '05 or '06, a private sector waste collecting and composting company gave a proposal to this effect to the Dhaka City Corporation, where the proposal possibly died its natural death, maybe for lack of sufficient incentive to the right place!

Stitch in time

Professor Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate, reveals through his research work that the famines of 1943 and 1974 that struck the Bengal and Bangladesh respectively was due to the breakdown of the human efforts for supply of essentials and inaccessibility of the consumers to the products and services. Thanks to the late president General Ziaur Rahman and former president General Hussain Muhammad Ershad, that altogether 18 cantonments each with a helipad and extensive capacity for carrying out huge relief activities were commissioned.

International

US-led forces kill 40 Afghan insurgents

Afghan and US-led coalition troops killed more than 40 suspected Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan, the latest in a wave of strikes that have claimed the lives of hundreds of insurgents, the coalition said yesterday.

Pak lawyers boycott courts to pressure Musharraf to quit

Hundreds of lawyers rallied and boycotted courts across Pakistan yesterday in a renewed campaign to force President Gen Pervez Musharraf to step down as supporters of former premier Nawaz Sharif prepared for his promised return from exile.

King's name removed from new Nepali coin

The name of Nepal's embattled king has been removed from the two-rupee coin, the state bank said yesterday, in the latest move ahead of polls this year that could see the country become a republic.

Myanmar monks free all hostages

Hundreds of Buddhist monks in Myanmar held a group of local and security officials hostage for several hours yesterday, after troops violently broke up an anti-junta protest, residents said.

43 aid workers killed in Lanka: HR group

At least 43 aid workers have been killed in Sri Lanka since early last year amid an escalation of fighting between troops and Tamil separatists, the Asian Human Rights Commission said yesterday.

Sharif wonders which flight to take for return to Pakistan

Faced with stiff opposition from the government in Pakistan to his return from exile, the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is making a calculated decision on the choice of the airline so as to reach Islamabad at the right time, "neither too early in the morning nor too late in the night".

Negroponte to visit Afghanistan, Pakistan

Deputy US Secretary of State John Negroponte is to make a week's visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan from September 10 as part of consultations with the key partners in the "war on terror," the State Department said Wednesday.

Nepal prince suffers massive heart attack

Nepal's heir to the embattled throne, Crown Prince Paras, suffered a serious heart attack on Thursday but was out of danger, doctors said.

Russia to deploy Iskander missiles in three years: official

Russia will be ready to deploy new Iskander intercontinental missiles within three years as a response to a planned US missile defence system, a top Russian general said yesterday.

Israel orders army to draw plan to counter Gaza rockets

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered the army on Wednesday to draw up plans to curb rocket fire from Gaza, but held back from endorsing water and power cuts on its beleaguered population.

Apec nations wrestle with climate change

Pacific Rim nations agreed yesterday that climate change was of "vital interest," but officials squabbled over whether their leaders should include energy efficiency targets in a statement at their annual summit.

Syria fires on Israeli jets for violating airspace

Syria said it opened fire on Israeli warplanes, which had violated Syrian airspace at dawn yesterday, heightening tensions between the two foes.

Sort out future or see US leaving Iraq

US Senator Joseph Biden told a gathering of Iraqi tribal leaders and officials on Thursday to reconcile their differences and sort out their future as US troops would not stick around forever to shed their blood in war-ravaged Iraq.

Opera great Pavarotti dead

Operatic legend Luciano Pavarotti, whose glorious tenor voice, showmanship and crossover celebrity turned him into a global superstar, died yesterday at his home in northern Italy at the age of 71.

‘US more eager than Europe for military strikes on Iran’

Far more Americans than Europeans believe that military force could prove necessary against Iran if diplomacy fails to halt the Islamic state's nuclear drive, a major opinion poll said Thursday.

Asia Pacific intelligence chiefs talk terror, piracy in Malaysia

Top military intelligence chiefs from 19 nations gathered here Wednesday for the first time to discuss terrorism, maritime security and disaster relief.

Kashmir rebel alliance open to truce offer

A Pakistan-based rebel alliance yesterday said it would consider a ceasefire in Kashmir if a "sincere and serious" offer came from "some respectable quarter."

172 Chinese miners dead in mining disaster

The 172 miners trapped in a flooded mine in eastern China nearly three weeks ago were pronounced dead yesterday as officials cited bad management as a main cause of the tragedy, state press said.

Most Lebanese killed by Israeli attacks

Indiscriminate Israeli attacks caused the vast majority of deaths among Lebanese civilians in last summer's war with the Shia Hezbollah, the US-based Human Right Watch said in a report yesterday.

Greens protest Indian Ocean wargames

Environment groups in this Indian Ocean archipelago yesterday strongly condemned massive wargames in the region, saying the exercise would shatter its fragile ecology.

Pak helicopter attack kills two

A Pakistan army helicopter gunship yesterday opened fire on a vehicle in a troubled tribal region bordering Afghanistan, killing at least two Islamic militants, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Bangladesh Now

With temporary euphoria like a Nobel Peace Prize or seeming end to a political farce, the reality of "now" has most often been grim for Bangladeshis. Flood devouring everything, never ending violence, rights denied, bird flue, buried alive in mudslide, thousands losing their means of livelihood as bulldozers crush small stores, dirt poor rendered homeless again as slums are demolished …the list goes on.

Digital Film: New technologies, new talents

A discussion on “Digital Film: New Technologies, New Talents” was held at Goethe Institut Bangladesh on September 6. Filmmakers Tareque Masud, Nurul Alam Atique, Mostafa Sarwar Farooqi, Wahed Tarek and Animesh Aich were the key discussants at the programme. Dhaka University Film Society and Goethe Institut Bangladesh jointly arranged the programme.

Abdul Kuddus Bayati on his recent US tour

Abdul Kuddus Bayati, who has popularised the indigenous performing art form pala to the urban audience in Bangladesh, is back after performing at concerts in the US. At the concerts, the artiste demonstrated the styles of traditional pala to the Bangladeshi community and Americans as well. Moreover, during his trip he made two music videos in Hollywood.

Abul Kalam Azad: A success story

In 2006 Banglalink launched three television commercials (TVC) featuring three characters and their struggle to change their lives as well as making impacts on their surroundings. The TVCs were hugely popular.

Soumitra Chatterji on Banglavision today

Today's episode of Banglavision Café will feature noted Indian actor Soumitra Chatterjee. The acclaimed actor, considered as a pioneering figure of the Kolkata movie industry, has acted in many films representing the golden era of Bangla cinema.

OP-ED

The bank, fund and the Bangladesh business community

There has been much criticism about the role of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in that their so-called "prescription" for economic management is harmful for Bangladesh. Some quarters even go to the extent of saying that these institutions are there to preserve the interest of the United States.

Health care financing in Bangladesh perspective

Global spending on health totalled about $2.3 trillion in 1994, or about 9 percent of total global income. High-income countries, those with per capita income above $8,500 in 1994 spent just over $2 trillion, amounting to 89 per cent of total health expenditure, while their populations accounted for 16 per cent of the global population. In USA, for every $7 spent, $1 goes for financing the health sector. Developing countries, with 84 per cent o the world's population, accounted for only 11 per cent of all health spending (Health affair, 1999).

Environment

Minimising flood risk and damage

Like on many occasions in the past, Bangladesh suffered colossal loss and damages, particularly in terms of assets, due to flood this year too. Unless some specific and effective measures are adopted the situation is likely to continue posing a permanent threat to our economy. Bangladesh, the largest deltaic region in the world, is located at the downstream end of two of the world's largest rivers, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra (Jamuna), both originating in the great mountain range of the Himalayas. The origin of the third longest river of the country, the Meghna, is also outside Bangladesh. About 93 percent of the catchment area of these rivers lies outside of the country's boundary, mainly in India. During the rainy season waters from a zone with an area equivalent to eleven times of the total area of Bangladesh flows into the Bay of Bengal through our territories making the country permanently prone to floods.

Why must the poor suffer for the fault of the rich?

Global warming refers to a rise in the average land temperature around the earth. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes, "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic green house gas concentration" which leads to warming of the surface and lower atmosphere by increasing the green house effect. IPCC predicts that global temperatures are likely to increase by 1.1 to 6.4ºC (2.0 to 11.5ºF) between 1990-2100.

War over water!

The next world war, so goes the saying, will be fought over waters. Imagine the huge glaciers in the Himalayan mountains melting under the impact of global warming, leading to fall in water levels of the mighty Ganges, Brahmaputra and other rivers, drought and severe water scarcity for millions in India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Concern over aircrafts' carbon footprint

Recently, the tourism industry has drawn the attention of world environment leaders regarding tourism and climate change. This has been echoed in aviation, a part of the tourism industry. Aviation experts around the world believe there is just one way to reduce aircraft's carbon footprint: stop flying. It has been logical that, people cannot live without luxurious aviation and at the same time the industry is booming, swelling greenhouse gases just as the climate-change urgency starts to crunch. Time is due, it has to be balanced right back.


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