The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, December 19, 2014


News of: Saturday, 22nd of September, 2007

Front Page

Load shedding drops to 200MW from 1200MW

The Power Development Board (PDB) has made a significant improvement in power supply in the last two months mainly by improving day-to-day management where officials and technical experts are encouraged to take independent decisions, sources said.

AL for common stance with 14-party allies

Awami League (AL) yesterday decided to take a stance common to the other components of the 14-party coalition on the Election Commission's (EC) dialogue and the issues to be discussed there.

Both BNP groups stake claim for EC's letter

Both the BNP factions are out to get invitation from the Election Commission (EC) for the ongoing dialogue on proposed electoral reforms.

Tasty semis today

After eleven days of absorbing cricket, India and Pakistan face the strong Oceanic contingent of Australia and New Zealand in two semifinals of the ICC Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa today.

Dhaka to push for proportional allocation of aid

Bangladesh will push for proportional allocation of global aid to finance climate change adaptation strategies, as part of broader efforts to reduce global warming, when Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed attends a high-level UN panel on climate change in New York Monday.

'Save bio-diversity of St Martin's Island'

Expressing deep concern over gradual destruction of the bio-diversity of Saint Martin's Island, environmentalists yesterday demanded that the government take effective steps to make it a 'marine protected area' based on scientific researches and stop its use for commercial tourism.

Police disperse protest march towards Prothom Alo

Police yesterday dispersed a march towards the office of the daily Prothom Alo in the capital, which was protesting the publication of a cartoon strip in the newspaper's weekly satirical magazine Aalpin.

Helping fight deluge, diseases on chars

Yunus Ali, who moved to Shidhar char in the Jamuna from flood-affected Kachir char just a month ago, now spends his days in safety listening to the radio seated at the shop of Motiur Rahman.

Rab to crack down on extortionists on the highways

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) will crack down on illegal toll collectors on the highways during Ramadan and upcoming Eid.

CA leaves for NY today

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed leaves for New York today to attend the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

100 trawlers with 1200 'missing' in Bay

Over 100 fishing trawlers with some 12,00 fishermen aboard went missing in the Bay as high waves, triggered a by sudden storm, hit the trawlers on Thursday night.

Retrenched jute mills workers get arrear wages

Retrenched workers of seven jute mills of Khulna-Jessore industrial belt started receiving partial arrear wages and gratuities yesterday.

'Unrest after apology is politically motivated'

Different secular political organisations yesterday expressed their concerns at the 'conspiracy' being hatched to destabilise the country following the publication of a cartoon strip in the weekly satirical magazine Aalpin of the daily Prothom Alo.

Eid issue of 'Saptahik 2000' confiscated

The government has confiscated the Eid issue (September 21, 2007) of 'Saptahik 2000'.

2 PCJSS men abducted

Two leaders of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) were abducted allegedly by the armed cadres of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) from remote Chhoto Pilak village under Guimara Police Station of the district on Thursday night.

8 die after eating puffer fish

Eight people, including a couple, died and 20 others became sick after eating large sea puffer fish (patka fish) in Araihazar upazila of the district.

Police hunt on to capture the culprits

Police are conducting drives at Bakukura village and in the forests of Jhenaigati, a frontier upazila of Sherpur district, in a bid to capture the people involved with the stockpiling of huge amount of ammunition that Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) recovered over the past few days.

4 JMB men arrested

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) arrested four suspected members of banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) at Balarhat of Phulbari upazila in Kurigram yesterday as they were trying to cross the border into India.

Depression over Bay

The well marked low over west central Bay and adjoining northwest Bay intensified into a depression.

Arms, bombs seized in Rangpur

Detective branch of police seized a pistol, three cocktails, some bomb-making materials and 11 bottles of phensidyl from Chatra Bazar under Pirganj upazila on Thursday night.

Opposition calls for Musharraf's downfall, protests polls plan

Hundreds of opposition supporters called yesterday for the downfall of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in a turbulent start to the countdown to presidential elections set for next month.

Heavy fighting, bomb blasts kill 82 in Afghanistan

A bomb attack yesterday against a convoy of French troops killed one soldier and injured many Afghans near the blast, while heavy fighting in southern Afghanistan killed about 75 Taliban fighters and six civilians, officials said.

Bush, Sarkozy demand fresh Iran sanctions

The French and US presidents stepped up demands for tough action over the Iran nuclear standoff ahead of a meeting of the major powers in Washington yesterday to discuss the dispute.

Violence 'escalating' in southern Nepal

Communal unrest in southern Nepal is worsening and authorities need to act quickly to prevent all-out violence, police and rights activists said yesterday.

Lanka jets bomb Tiger territory

Sri Lankan war planes bombed a Tamil Tiger ammunition store in the north of the island yesterday, causing heavy damage, the defence ministry said, while claiming killing five rebels elsewhere. The ammunition cache was used by Imran-Pandiyan, an elite regiment of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the military said.

Editorial

International Day of Peace

Bangladesh with the rest of the world community observed 'International Day of Peace' on September 21, expressing solidarity with the call to 'make peace not just a priority, but a passion.' We believe these words have given the present global peace efforts the much-needed thrust to drive home the urgency it entails. Truly, establishing peace has to be more than part of national or international politics of the mundane kind.

A highway stretch in bad shape

The dismal state of a thirty-four kilometer highway section between Bogra and Sherpur in northern Bangladesh has been depicted in a front-page report in our paper on Tuesday last. This road is regarded as an arterial one which has assumed vital importance following the construction of the Jamuna Bridge that has reduced by a half the travel time from Dhaka to the northern region. This was one of the best highway when constructed in 1978 but now it has as many as 13 thousand potholes along a 13 kilometers stretch, it is learnt. Another measure of how bad the road has become can be gauged from the long queues of vehicles stranded and one and a half hours time being taken to cover the short distance. Bumpy craters are a hazard to movement and on Sunday alone, several lorries were found with broken wheel and axles.

Inter-cultural dialogue and South Asia

In the post 9/11 era, 'Inter-Cultural Dialogue (ICD)' has slowly assumed a functional status. It has gradually become a symbol of the fight against terrorism and radicalisation. It is also now seen by some as an attempt to establish a positive relationship with disparate groups through mutual exchange of views on different issues marked by an inclination to listen.

Government and leftists reach a 'compromise'!

The raging debate stemming from the differences between the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and its supporter leftists on the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal seems to have abated to some extent for the time being as both sides probably are not much willing to keep the pot boiling for a variety of reasons.

Whither permanent flood control measures?

This year flood has re-occurred within a short span of time causing havoc to people's life in the affected areas. Flood does not occur due to one or two days of heavy downpour rather it's an accumulation of water over a certain period which together with heavy rainfall and other factors causes floods in adjacent, specially lower riparian areas. Essentially it is a problem of drainage congestion.

Sports

Afridi, Vettori hold key

This is a clash of Pakistan flair verses Kiwi functionality. Although New Zealand have again more than held their own, they owe their passage to the semi-finals on India, after their 37-run win against South Africa dumped the home side out on net run-rate and allowed Daniel Vettori's side to sneak in.

Big guns ready

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and key batsman Yuvraj Singh will play in Saturday's Twenty20 semifinal against Australia after recovering from injuries.

Ashraful admits mistakes

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said careless mistakes have dashed his side's hopes of playing in the semifinals of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa.

They remain chokers

One word -- guaranteed not to have been uttered by anyone in the South Africa team -- haunted their entire innings. No prize for guessing that word was "choke". Going in to this match today, South Africa were the only unbeaten team in the tournament, and it counted for nothing. It almost seemed make the result all the more inevitable.

SA Games budget a concern

The authority seemed to be a bit worried about the huge budget of hosting the 11th South Asian Games in Dhaka next year.

Community rues Jose exit

Big-spending Chelsea could face a player backlash following the shock departure of controversial but popular coach Jose Mourinho.

Local Snippets

Enamul Hossain Rajib won his second match in the VI Asian Individual Chess Championships in Cebu City, Philippines.

Australia ponder Watson sub

Australia are considering calling up a replacement to their World Twenty20 squad after Shane Watson was ruled out of the rest of the tournament.

Eyes on the prize

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said his team were looking beyond Saturday's semifinals after they laboured to a four-wicket win over Bangladesh in their final World Twenty20 Super Eights match at Newlands Thursday.

Schaaf worried sleepless

Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf admits the insomnia suffered by high-profile new signing Carlos Alberto is giving him a few sleepless nights as his side struggle in the Bundesliga.

GP bids farewell to Bangladesh team

Youth and Sports Adviser Tapan Chowdhury hoped that Team Bangladesh will shine in the 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai, China this year.

Twenty20 more demanding

Twenty20 might be the shortest version of cricket but it is more demanding than Tests and one-dayers, says Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who feels the slam-bang version was taking a "toll" on the players' bodies.

Ryoto breaks Indian monopoly

Japanese player Ryoto put an end to India's domination in the Asian Under-14 tennis when he lifted the boys' singles title in the second leg of the series.

Mourinho shadow hangs heavy

Jose Mourinho is likely to be far from Old Trafford on Sunday but the former Chelsea manager will still cast a long shadow over his former club's showdown with Manchester United.

Give me a job: Jose

Jose Mourinho yesterday agreed a 12 million pound payoff as compensation for his dramatic departure from Chelsea, but he is already planning his return to football. Mourinho told The Times he is waiting by the phone and hopes to get back to work as soon as possible.

Juve come to Rome

Leaders Roma host Juventus in a top-of-the-table clash this weekend between two clubs who could easily go on to claim this season's 2007/08 Serie A title.

Real, Barca on a high

Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona head into their weekend La Liga matches buoyed by wins at home earlier this week in the Champions League.

Lyon aim to retake top spot

French champions Lyon will be aiming to erase their midweek trouncing by Barcelona in the Champions League and retake the top of the league with a win over Lille on Sunday.

Bayern start with a win

Overwhelming favourites Bayern Munich began their assault on the 2007/08 UEFA Cup title on Thursday with a 1-0 victory over Portu-guese club Belenenses while English clubs had a mixed night.

Players defend Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho's teammates at Barcelona have rushed to defend the Brazilian striker after he was jeered by fans earlier this week and accused once again by the Spanish press of being under form.

World Cup wide open

Brazilian coach Jorge Barcellos believes the World Cup is wide open with no favourites and any of the eight teams remaining capable of winning the title.

C. Ron faces police probe

Cristiano Ronaldo is facing a police probe after claims that the Manchester United star stamped on an Everton supporter during his side's win at Goodison Park.

Kahn's final fling at Karlsruhe

Bayern Munich captain Oliver Kahn is looking forward to returning to his old Karlsruhe stomping ground on Sunday for his last Bundesliga match there before retirement.

Business

Revenue clocks 14pc growth in two months

Boosted by a 52 percent growth in income tax collection, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has achieved a 14 percent revenue growth in the first two months of 2007-08 fiscal year.

Oil prices pause after record run above $84

World oil prices eased Friday after New York crude hit a record 84.10 dollars per barrel Thursday on fears a storm could threaten energy facilities in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Women under-represented on global corporate boards

A leading group of international businesswomen on Friday called on the world's 200 biggest male-dominated companies to step up efforts to give women more leadership roles in large corporations.

Strauss-Kahn hopes to restore IMF's relevance, legitimacy

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the front-runner EU candidate to head the International Monetary Fund, pledged Thursday to work to restore "both the relevance and the legitimacy" of the global organization.

US farm subsidy concession revives mood in WTO talks

Hopes of an agreement in six-year-old WTO talks on reducing global trade barriers appeared to have been revived on Thursday after the US accepted to negotiate more stringent limits on subsidies to its farmers.

More than $1b needed to earn place on Forbes list

A billion dollars just doesn't go as far as it used to. For the first time, it takes more than $1 billion to earn a spot on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 richest Americans. The minimum net worth for inclusion in this year's rankings released Thursday was $1.3 billion, up $300 million from last year.

Euro roars to record high 1.412 dollars

The euro raced to an all-time high of 1.4120 dollars on Friday as the US currency came under heavy selling pressure on expectations of further interest rate cuts in the United States, dealers said.

Central banks have responded well to financial crisis

Central banks have done what they had to do by injecting liquidity into financial markets and an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank could be an appropriate move, OECD head Angel Gurria said on Thursday.

FedEx Corp Q1 profit rises 4pc

FedEx Corp's earnings rose 4 percent in the first quarter of its 2008 fiscal year, beating Wall Street's expectations on strong international growth. However, the company lowered its outlook for the full year, blaming economic uncertainty from the downturn in the housing market.

Vodafone brand makes India debut

Leading global mobile provider Vodafone began using its own name across India on Friday following its purchase of an Indian cellular firm, rolling out what the British company said was one of the world's biggest rebranding campaigns.

Soochishoily Eid fair begins

'Soochishoily', a fashion house, has organised an Eid fair at Sobhanbagh community centre in Dhaka, says a press release.

China cuts soybean import duty to stabilise prices

China said Friday it will reduce its import duty on soybeans to one percent from three percent currently, effective October 1, in a temporary three-month move to stabilise food prices.

Summit Power appoints Prime Finance as its issue manager for rights issue

Summit Power Ltd has appointed Prime Finance & Investment Ltd as the manager to the issue for its forthcoming rights issue to its existing shareholders, says a press release.

India inflation falls to near five-year low

India's annual inflation rate has fallen to a near five-year low, official data on Friday showed, but soaring global crude prices threaten to push the cost-of-living higher, economists said.

20 S'pore firms make it to Forbes' list of top 200 in Asia

Singapore has improved its already strong standing in a list compiled by Forbes magazine of the top 200 Asian firms with an annual turnover of below US$1 billion.

Default rate on housing loans rising in China

Default rates are getting higher on personal housing mortgage loans in China, according to a report released by the China Construction Bank (CCB), although it stressed the country now does not have a typical subprime loan market.

Goldman Sachs benefits in 3Q

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Thursday reported third-quarter results well ahead of Wall Street projections, as the world's largest investment bank took full advantage of its diversity to overcome a debt crisis. Rival Bear Stearns Cos. wasn't as lucky.

Otobi offers 15pc discount in Ramadan

Furniture maker Otobi Ltd has launched 'Otobi Eid campaign' to sell its products at 15 percent discount during the month of Ramadan across the country.

Weekly Currency Roundup

September 16-September 20
Local FX Market
The US dollar/BDT market was tight and USD remained strong against the BDT in the week. Demand for dollar was high in the local market and USD showed upward movement.

Metropolitan

Prices to come down to reasonable level by Dec

Director General of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed on Thursday said that prices of essentials have now become stable and would come down to a reasonable level by December or January.

Provide easy loan to washing plants

Adviser for LGRD, Labour and Employment Anwarul Iqbal yesterday called upon the financial institutions to provide easy term loan to the backward linkage industrial units particularly the washing plants in the garment sector for their development.

Call to promote tolerance for sustainable peace

Speakers at a symposium yesterday said future wars or clashes among the people or the nations will take place over water and energy as lifestyle of people and development of the nation will depend on these two natural resources.

4 killed in Jessore road crash

Four people were killed and six others injured in a collision between an auto-tempo and a bus at Begaritola on Jessore-Satkhira road on Thursday night.

2 schoolboys drown

Two schoolboys drowned while they were taking bath in a pond near Nayapara Government Primary School in Narayanganj town yesterday.

'Provide maternity allowance to poor mothers’

Speakers at a workshop have called for providing maternity allowance to poor mothers across the country under the micro-credit scheme.

4 held, factory sealed off

Four people were arrested on charges of producing adulterated medicines and cosmetics at Choto Kushierbagh in the early hours of yesterday.

2 youths found dead

Police recovered the bodies of two youths from Hazaribagh and Keraniganj in Dhaka yesterday.

Creative writing workshop at British Council

British Council (BC) is going to organise a creative writing workshop for young writers under its Central and South Asia Regional Project, New Silk Route.

Qirat & Azan contest prize distribution ceremony held

The prize distribution ceremony of Inter-Area Qirat and Azan Competition-2007 of Bangladesh Army was held at the Army Central Mosque at Dhaka Cantonment yesterday, says an ISPR release.

Bangladeshi girl wins 3rd prize

Lamia Sayara Mela, a class five student of Bangladesh International School, has won the third prize in the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest 2006 held in Japan recently, says a press release.

IBA Executive MBA Admission Test Sept 28

The IBA Executive MBA Admission Test (Fall 2007), which was postponed earlier, will now be held at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka at 10:00am on September 28, says a press release.

Appeal for help

A newborn baby is suffering from congenital heart disease.

2 children drown in Chandpur

Two children drowned in a pond at Montola village at Faridganj in the district yesterday.

CARE relief distribution programme

Olivier Brouant, rapid response coordinator of ECHO's Regional Support Office, South Asia, inaugurated the relief distribution programme of CARE Bangladesh in Tangail and Jamalpur districts on Wednesday.

4 muggers held in city

Police arrested four muggers in the city on Thursday night.

Liberation War Museum programmes

Liberation War Museum organises a programme at Slaughters' Den at Mirpur in the city today where Afsaruddin Mollah, eldest son of martyred freedom fighter Barkat Ali Mollah, and Shariful Islam Bablu, who narrowly escaped death during the liberation war, will recount the days of 1971 before the students of Mirpur Ananda Shishu Shikkhalaya, says a press release.

Driver shot, car hijacked in city

A gang of criminals hijacked a private car after shooting its driver at Uttara in the city yesterday morning.

Two die of diarrhoea in Bandarban

Diarrhoea spread sharply in the municipality area and elsewhere in Bandarban district in the last week.

World Car Free Day today

Today is World Car Free Day.

Accomplice of Pichchi Hannan arrested

Police arrested a close associate of top terrorist 'Pichchi' Hannan, who was killed in the capital in 2005, from a shop at Char Dukhia union in Faridganj upazila yesterday.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The ninth edition of BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city at 1:45pm today.

National

Handloom industry incurs Tk 200cr loss due to flood in Sirajganj

Flood has caused an extensive damage to handloom industry in the district.

Acting headmasters run 29 govt high schools in 8 N dists

Twenty-nine out of 38 government high schools are being run by acting headmasters in eight northern districts, official sources said.

Timber smuggling rampant in Netrakona

Unabated smuggling of timber is going on along Durgapur border here.

Medical students demand restoration of old exam system

Students of six medical colleges yesterday demanded restoration of the previous examination system that gave several chances to sit in the supplementary examination in case of a student's failing in any subject.

1 killed, 20 hurt in Pabna clash

One person was killed and 20 others were injured in a clash between two rival groups at Satiakola village in Santhia upazila of the district on Thursday afternoon.

BNP leader sued for extortion

An extortion case was filed with Rajshahi First Class Magistrate's Court against Nawhata municipality Chairman Mokbul Hossain, commissioner of ward no-1 Wasef and six others on Thursday.

Lawyers demand withdrawal of judge

The Lawyers' Association of Nilphamari, at an emergency meeting here, demanded withdrawal of the special judge of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Special Court here within a month.

Union livestock service centre opens in Noakhali today

The launching ceremony of “FoSHoL Union Livestock Service Centre” will be inaugurated at Awasbalia Union Parishad Bhaban in Noakhali Sadar at 12 noon today.

Growers' market set up in Rajshahi

Joint forces, in a bid to control price hike of essentials, have set up a growers' market at Bhuban Mohon Park in Shaheb Bazar here

International

Donors hit out at Maoists for storming out of govt

Nepal's key international donors have hit out at the country's former Maoist rebels for jeopardising a 10-month-old peace process by storming out of government and launching a strike campaign.

Iran not an 'immediate threat', says IAEA chief

UN atomic chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Thursday that Iran does not currently pose an immediate threat as international tension over Tehran's nuclear programme continued to rise.

North Korea, Syria hold talks amid suspicion

North Korea and Syria held high-level talks Friday in Pyongyang, the North's state media reported, amid suspicions that the two countries might be cooperating on a nuclear weapons programme.

US backs 'smooth' return to democracy in ally Pakistan

The United States wants to see a smooth transition to democracy in Pakistan for the country's long-term stability and to aid the fight against terror, a top State Department official said Thursday.

Israel imposes West Bank lockdown

Israel imposed a lockdown on the occupied West Bank overnight as part of security measures brought in for Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement and the holiest in the Hebrew calendar, the army said.

N Korea nuke talks to resume next week

The much-anticipated next round of six-party talks on disarming North Korea's nuclear programmes will be held next week in Beijing, China's foreign ministry announced yesterday.

Pakistan dismisses al-Qaeda threat

Pakistan on Friday dismissed Osama bin Laden as a terrorist whose "ridiculous" call for holy war against its US-allied leader will find little echo, despite growing concern that al-Qaeda is regrouping near the Afghan border.

27 Pakistanis die after consuming poisonous alcohol

At least 27 people have died after consuming poisonous alcohol in southern Pakistan, police said yesterday.

‘Number of Iraqi displaced nears 2m’

The number of Iraqis displaced in their own country because of rampant insecurity has reached almost two million following a sudden jump in August, Iraq's Red Crescent reported on Friday.

Thousands protest racial injustice in US South

In a scene reminiscent of the US civil rights movement of the 1950s, thousands marched through this small Louisiana town Thursday protesting what they say is widespread inequality and racism in the US criminal justice system.

Thousands march in Yangon as pressure mounts on Myanmar

At least 3,000 people led by Buddhist monks marched Friday through the flooded streets of Yangon, in the biggest protest since anti-government rallies broke out across Myanmar one month ago.

Weather forecasting needs huge boost to tackle climate change

The UN's meteorological agency yesterday called for a multibillion dollar boost for weather forecasting, warning that about 30 percent of economic wealth was directly exposed to the impact of global warming.

Drought puts Australia's food bowl at risk: PM

Australia's once-in-a-century drought has tightened its grip on the country's major food growing zone and could kill off the region's orchards and vineyards, Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday.

Millennium Goal set to be badly missed, says study

The world will fall badly short of meeting the UN Millennium Development Goal on child mortality, according to a study of trends published by The Lancet.

Women 'unaware of age-cancer link’

Most British women are unaware that breast cancer risk increases with age, a poll suggests.

France mulling freeze on GM crops

France is reportedly planning a freeze on commercial genetically modified crops, which cover less than one percent of farmland in Europe's top agricultural producer.

'Jurassic Park' dino had feathers: study

The velociraptor, the fierce scaly-skinned dinosaur made popular by the film "Jurassic Park," actually had feathers, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

Cellular response to cutting calories enhances longevity

Scientists have known for decades that drastically reducing calories -- but not nutrients -- can prolong the lives of everything from yeast to mice and monkeys, but they didn't know why, until now.

Scientists identify genetics of disfiguring human parasite

Scientists have identified the genetic blueprint of a parasite that causes disfigurement and debilitating diseases, an advance which could lead to new treatments, research released Thursday said.

Neptune has a 'warm' south pole, astronomers find

An international team of astronomers say that Neptune, long dismissed as a cobalt-blue gas giant cloaked in deathly cold, has a relatively warm south pole.

Arts & Entertainment

Rafiqun Nabi: In search of truth and beauty

Rafiqun Nabi, the internationally acclaimed master artist, sitting at the Bengal Gallery, asked to dwell on Athens, where he had his overseas education in his youth, said, that ancient Greece, once the hub of world culture, is still breathtaking and inspiring.

A journalist turned actor-singer

He is a journalist by profession, but after the film Bachelor (2004), he became an overnight celebrity. If Mostafa Sarwar Farooqi's Bachelor has set a new trend in visual media, Hasan Masood is obviously the one to stir the audience with that trend. The movie also features his performance as a singer. This multi-faceted talent recently talked to The Daily Star (TDS). Excerpts from the conversation:

Kanthasheelan's recitation programme at the Public Library

Recital organisation Kanthasheelan arranged a programme titled Biponyo Manusher Pashey Darai last evening at the Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium, Public Library. The programme was organised in aid of the flood victims. Recital artistes Meer Barkat, Golam Sarwar, Mohammed Nasiruddin, Zahirul Haque Khan, Azharul Haque Azad, Rais-ul-Islam, Naila Tarannum Chowdhury, Jharna Sarker, Azhar-un-Nabi Rana and Murtoza Sharif Pulak rendered performances in the event. The money earned through the programme will be given to the flood victims.

Eid-special publication for children

Publication house Oitijhya's Eid-special treat for children, Rangeen Phul, was launched at Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium, National Museum recently, says a press release.

“Muktijuddho Protidin”: Daily show on Liberation War

The daily programme Muktijuddho Protidin, aired on Channel-i, reached its 180th episode recently. The programme, highlighting the Liberation War, began on March 7 this year and is expected to run up to December 16. Day to day events and major combats during the war are brought into light in the programme.

OP-ED

'Private policing' and all that

Policing, both as activity and service is understood to be in the domain of public sector. There are many, particularly in the developing world, who very strongly feel that a strictly regulatory subject like security cannot be arrogated to private sector without disastrous consequences. Such thinking, however, does not appear to be in tune with the ground reality where significant socio-economic changes have taken place that demand serious thoughts and actions for widening the existing private sector involvement in security services or what some commentators would prefer to call "private policing."

We need to curb inflation

Inflation in Bangladesh has signalled a long stay. Despite sincere steps from the government, it shows no signs of abating. And that makes the government concerned since inflation erodes all other macro achievements, which it has earned so far. The timing of floods and the holy Ramadan has, no doubt, aggravated the price-hike already in motion. We have to accept this strange confluence of circumstances, and adopt an integrated approach to curbing inflation.

Nutrient-enriched organic farming practice

Climate change adaptation measures are gaining momentum globally. Poor farmers, women and children are most vulnerable as they depend on the climate-sensitive natural resources like agricultural produce for their livelihood. Therefore, it is essential that a community-based approach is initiated to increase the resilience of climate change vulnerable people. Fertilizer industries can play an important role in developing products that support the environment and improve livelihood of millions of farmers across Asia. Based on the experience of implementing Nutrient Enriched Organic Farming Practice at Tangail district, that would reduce emission of greenhouse gases and improve soil fertility, this write-up by M Omar Faruq and Dr. Md. Muslem Uddin Miah is aimed at to work as a model to fight climate change variability and climate-related hazards in agriculture.

StarTech

ICT for disabled

The information or knowledge-based society is no longer a matter of the future, rather a very contemporary urge of the time. In almost all aspects of our life, we need information and knowledge to get our basic needs met, make decision, move around, participate in social, economic and cultural activities.

A good option for unemployed

The internet has opened new doors of opportunities and web content writing is one of them. The question is what content writing means. Well, any writing based on a specific subject is content writing. And when it is web-based it is called web content writing.

Scientists aim to barcode world's species

A group of Canadian scientists is working on an ambitious project to create a global database of up to half a million of the world's species using DNA barcoding technology.

Literature

An Aladdin Tale

The yells were issuing out in unbroken waves. As were the screams. And, then, they subsided, almost simultaneously. And we looked at each other. The terrified yells had emanated from me; the high-pitched screams from the woman I was married to at that time. The year was 1977, and we had been united in wedlock for a couple of months or so. That the “united” unraveled into disintegration a few years later is another story, and will not be related here. But, then, life was a kaleidoscope of colours, everything was right with the world, and, what, we worry? Certainly there was no call for a simultaneous cacophony of yelling and screaming. But we did, and, thereby hangs this tale.

Making Miracles

“Everything is connected and has a purpose, there are no accidents” (p. 322).

Going Places

The airport is looking strange at 5:00 in the morning. The guards at the gate have not bothered to check the ticket, the salesperson at the Port lounge did not seem to be in his usual hurry to spill coffee on my shalwar kameez, the women in the rest room look rested and resigned to being there at that hour. A whiff of Channel's 'Chance' takes me by surprise and I look around to trace its source. A young woman in her early 20's from Jet Airways is changing into her uniform . I have had the opportunity of being served by her in a couple of domestic flights and she's one of the most jazzy stewardesses I have seen in my life. At 5:00 she is as plain as I am, with the plainest expression on her face, no different than mine. I quickly conclude that it must be the hour that de-beautifies people and that perhaps, early mornings and airports do have flexible faces and passions.

How To Tell A Story

They don't know how to tell a story
They don't chew betel-nut, paan-leaves
Or sit on a mat
made from finely sliced long bamboo
While telling a story

Three-wheeled Life

I won't go to the school sir I feel ashamed to go there
This is all I have now -- friends this year I did sit for
the secondary school exam, but my father's liver burst --
the morning's sun has circled to noontime fire

Strategic Issues

Bush: Facing failure in Iraq

What does Bush, the sole superpower's boss, do when failure in Iraq stares him starkly in the face?

Environmental insecurity

Bangladesh has an approximate population of 3 million in a landmass extending over 150,000 square kilometer and is probably the most populous country in the world. Our economy is on down hill slide and poverty is on upswing as growth rate of GDP is lower than the actual growth rate of population resulting in a low level equilibrium trap. The resource we have is not only inadequate but also fast depleting. A greater percentage of our people live off the land and thus cause degradation of land, fresh water and marine resources. To top it all, our strides for development have paradoxically affected environments because of extensive use of fertilizers, undisrupted exploitation of nature and production of biogas. The cumulative impact of human activities of the nature mentioned above has caused among others: deforestation, topsoil erosion, acidification, depletion of ozone layer and loss of biological diversity. One apprehends that the “situation has become more pronounced with the onset of global climate change and environmentally induced conflicts are likely to intensify". Environmental degradation of such magnitude threatens human sustainability. The plants regenerative capacity is increasingly being taxed to limits. Deforestation, soil erosion, desertification, over exploitation and pollution of water resources undermine a few essential factors of human sustainability which are: the natural support system, reduced natural capacity of water and increase in the competition for normally renewable yet scarce resources. In Bangladesh, expanding human population is outstripping the carrying capacity of the local resource base. “Environmental degradation and resource depletion are triggering internal conflict and is likely to assume an ugly face as climate change is likely to exacerbate the situation”. Therefore, the “task of strengthening the social, economic and environmental security of our people is as challenging as it is imperative.” New security assumptions will be necessary to combat this appalling situation. To guard against breakdown of stability and distortion of social fabric, a new policy-“one focused on human security must take into account a complex web of social, economic and environmental factors”.

US led joint naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal: A gunboat diplomacy

We can recall our history when U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet came to the Bay of Bengal in 1971 to defeat the Liberation War of Bangladesh. It was the time when this fleet tried to intimidate India as it fought Pakistan along with Bangladeshi freedom fighter in a war that led to Bangladesh's birth. It was the period when Indian foreign policy upheld the principles of Non Align Movement and followed the path towards self-reliance. But now, the scenario has been changed.

China and the Indo-US Nuclear Deal

After over two years of intense negotiations, the civilian nuclear agreement between India and the US stands today, on the cusp of full operationalization. No matter the current domestic turmoil over the deal in India, the Chinese are clearly aware that more than a contribution of about five per cent to India's overall energy requirements that nuclear energy will provide in the next two decades, it is the larger political, economic and strategic implications of the deal that they will need to take into account. The Malabar naval exercises that New Delhi has gone ahead with despite the ongoing political uncertainty are a case in point. The Chinese realize that whether or not the Indo-US nuclear agreement goes through, India has served notice that it is becoming increasingly cognizant of and capable of leveraging its strengths to achieve its interests. Just as important, India has in the process displayed acumen for bare-knuckled negotiations and a skilful use of domestic policy levers in the US. A People's Daily (14 August 2007) commentary, concluded that "the US has made big concessions and met almost all Indian requests" and that "a substantial change has taken place in the nature of Indian-US relations despite possible turns and twists in future." It did not hesitate to accuse the US of "double standards" and agreed with the Indian Left parties saying that it was the American intention to draw "India in as a tool" for achieving its global strategic aims. The article finally referred to India's "practical political considerations" and rested its hopes on "India's DNA" that would not allow it to play second fiddle to the US.And if the deal does somehow get through India's political maelstrom, then the onus shifts to the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) where it needs to be seen how China will react. Off-hand, the impression is that the Chinese are not happy about the deal, as indeed they well might not be, but to take the argument one step further and to say that they are implacably opposed to it, is a bit presumptuous. The People's Daily (30 August 2007) editorial titled "Nuclear agreement and big power's dream" has been variously interpreted by the Indian media but its main thrust is simple enough. The piece has noted that India was "extremely short of energy" and that civilian nuclear power development would help India to deal with its power shortages and allow for steady economic development. Meanwhile a majority of Indians appeared to support the deal and stood behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who "did not compromise" despite the Left threat of withdrawal of support to the government. By pointing out India's desire to be "a powerful nation" and the "strong symbolic significance" of the nuclear deal, the article has also acknowledged India's legitimate aspirations. However, there are also notes of worry in the Chinese commentary. Given India's desire "to become a big power," the US wish to incorporate India in its attempt to "balance the forces of Asia," is something, the editorial says, "fits in exactly with India's wishes." This last section has been interpreted to indicate Chinese opposition to the deal. Nevertheless, the manner in which recent Chinese comments have been phrased, whether in the media or in Foreign Ministry statements, remind the observer of China's own rationale behind developing its nuclear program and probably give an idea of how it will proceed in its reactions to the Indo-US deal. First, it is suggested - perhaps to domestic hardliners - that with needs that are similar to China's, India cannot be faulted when it adopts methods similar to what China has adopted. India is doing what it thinks is best in its national interests and this is something that the Chinese understand. Second, the Chinese seem to realize that they have nothing to gain from opposing the deal at the NSG but everything to gain in goodwill and perhaps economic bounty in the form of expanding their own civilian nuclear cooperation with other countries not least with India and the US. China has for some two years now been offering to cooperate in the civilian nuclear energy sector with India; Hu Jintao repeated the offer during his visit in November 2006. China already has ties with the US in this sector - in July this year, it signed a multi-billion dollar contract with Westinghouse for building four third-generation nuclear reactors - but seeks further relaxation of American restrictions on high-technology transfers. Were China to cooperate at the NSG, it could result in what it is fond of calling 'win-win,' all around. Third, a positive response to the deal also allows China an increased range of responses vis-a-vis the US on North Korea, Iran and Pakistan. Thus, plans for increased Chinese nuclear cooperation with Pakistan cannot necessarily draw the condemnation of either New Delhi or Washington unless they appear to be explicitly vitiating the peace. However, the Chinese are perhaps not unaware that while they might continue supporting Pakistan's nuclear program, it is just as likely that India could also soon be closely engaged in nuclear cooperation with Japan. The question therefore is, if China and India will simply let things take their 'natural' course or take the bold steps necessary to ensure that the balance of forces in Asia changes to mutual advantage.

Star Books Review

Tales shaped through stirring times

Mohammad Anisur Rahman's memoirs, for these two volumes are what they essentially are, need to be read for the sheer spontaneity they come wrapped in. The economist, who has been part of the political history of Bangladesh, especially in its early, formative phases, has consistently aroused curiosity about the role he has played in the shaping of his career as also the forging of new economic policies for a country born of war. He might have been expected to come forth, all these years after he helped shape events, with a tome laden with the kind of didacticism, even sermonising, that important men generally are tempted into producing. That Rahman has stayed away from succumbing to conventional temptation is encouraging. His uninhibited narration of the events that went into the making of his life and career is therefore the instrument which makes these volumes rather gripping.

A protest or a sense of humour?

Radha Will Not Cook Today is the English translation of Arandhan. Reading the short story, with lyrical intermissions, was beautiful indeed. However, the perception of the reader takes a restless turn in search of the connection between the title of the story and the narration that follows.

What tourism does for a community

Tourism has always seemed to be a blessing to the community since prehistoric times when primitive man started to move away from his usual habitat, often to great distances, in search of necessities such as food, shelter and clothing. In a word, tourism has stood beside the poor community. With the passage of years, tourism has won over the world and the world in turn has won over tourism. Present-day tourism is very theoretical. These days it is a subject of research and higher studies. Nothing is left out of the close grip of tourism.

Poems in delighted eyes

I had read a few columns and a couple of poems by Arunabh Sarkar before I came across this slim volume of poems a few weeks back. Arunabh was working at The Independent when I started writing for that newspaper, but I never met him at that time. It was only in March 2006 when I joined The News Today that I met Arunabh as my colleague for the first time. And it was the poet himself who presented me with a copy of Narira Fere Naa which is his third volume of poetry. He has published only nine books in the past thirty years, with three volumes of poetry, one on journalism and five books for children. He has, however, written many works of fiction and poems, essays and columns since his days of youth in daily newspapers and periodicals.

At a glance

Jean Jacques
The Early Life and Work of Jean Jacques Rousseau 1712-1754
Maurice Cranston
Penguin Books



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