The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, July 28, 2014


News of: Friday, 28th of September, 2007

Front Page

80 politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen on new list

A new list of 80 high-profile corruption suspects was published yesterday including names of BNP leader and Dhaka city Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, five former BNP ministers, Awami League (AL) leaders Tofail Ahmed and Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, former caretaker government adviser Justice Fazlul Haque, businessmen and bureaucrats.

Writs challenge cases against Khaleda, sons

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her sons Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko--all three in detention now--yesterday filed three separate writ petitions with the High Court (HC) challenging the legality of filing and continuing the cases against them.

No special steps to enroll VIPs

All very important persons (VIPs) will have to visit voter registration centres to register their names in the electoral roll with photographs as the Election Commission (EC) yesterday decided not to take any special measures this time for them.

Troops to return to barracks when govt wants

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the troops are working to help the government and will go back to their barracks the moment the government asks them to do so.

KL to take care of workers' problems

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Haji Ahmad Badawi has assured Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed of looking into the problems the Bangladeshi workers have been facing in Malaysia.

Govt mulls safe houses in ME

The government has decided in principle to set up safe houses in the Middle Eastern countries, making basic training mandatory for women aspiring to work in these countries as domestic aides.

ACC approves charge sheet against SQ Chy

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved submission of charge sheets of nine cases, including one against former lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, for accumulating wealth and properties illegally.

Ziaul Haq Zia's property to be attached

A Dhaka court yesterday ordered attachment of all property of former state minister for LGRD and cooperatives Ziaul Haq Zia and his wife Nasima Haq for concealment of wealth information and tax dodge.

Tk 1cr extortion charges pressed against Minu

Police yesterday pressed charges against four people including Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor and former BNP lawmaker Mizanur Rahman Minu in connection with extorting Tk 1 crore from businessman Nurunnabi.

Fair polls not possible with 2 leaders detained

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said free and fair election and establishment of democracy will not be possible keeping BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and other senior leaders behind bars.

Charges pressed against top Ctg Wasa engineers

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday submitted charge sheet against the three detained top Wasa engineers and two others in a graft case.

AL starts talks with 14-party components tomorrow

Awami League (AL) starts tomorrow its meetings with the components of the 14-party alliance and other like-minded parties to take a common stance at the Election Commission dialogue.

Back from KL, 11 workers partly get money back

The 11 cheated job seekers staying at Zia International Airport (ZIA) since their arrival from Malaysia on September 25 finally left for their homes yesterday upon receiving partial payments from their recruiting agency and the government assurance of payment of the balance money they had paid to the agency.

LDA urges govt to stop provocative activities

Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) yesterday urged the government to prevent provocative activities of the fundamentalist forces in the country.

One beaten to death in city by mob

An alleged burglar was beaten to death by a mob at Mohammadpur in the capital yesterday during an attempted burglary.

Ex-state minister Shahjahan Omar sued

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against former state minister Shahjahan Omar accusing him of amassing wealth through illegal means.

Dhaka calls for Israeli pullout from all occupied Arab land

Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has called for Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab lands as a pre-requisite to the solution of the Palestine issue.

9 dead in Myanmar as troops open fire

Security forces swept through Yangon's city centre yesterday, arresting hundreds of people and warning of "extreme" action in a crackdown on protesters who took to the streets in their thousands.

Musharraf files nomination for Oct 6 presidential polls

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf yesterday formally applied to run in the October 6 presidential polls, in a bid for five more years of power that could yet be derailed by the Supreme Court.

Editorial

Dhaka's improving corruption image

In the Berlin-based Transparency International's corruption perception index (CPI) Bangladesh has bettered its previous ranking of 3rd most corrupt country to the 7th position. She is clearly breaking out of the cycle of being perceived as the topper in the corruption perception index. This is an inspiring sign. The explicit reason for our corruption perception score remaining at 2 is that this year's index was heavily influenced by data for 2006. As Prof Muzaffer explains the score could have declined if the positive results achieved between January and July this year did not offset the worsening corruption data of 2006. In a way therefore, there has been a positive effect of the drive against corruption under the interim government.

Death of an NSU teacher

The death of a teacher of North South University at the hands of muggers in Dhaka the other day only re-emphasises the nature of criminality that has lately been at work in the streets of Dhaka. We have been hearing of elements working in an organised manner in order to trap people, rob them of their valuables and often maim or kill them in the process. What is commonly known in local parlance as 'molom parties' are actually sinister elements employing such bizarre tactics as rubbing green chili and various kinds of chemicals on victims' eyes before robbing them of cash and then leaving them helpless on a roadside.

Whose shame is more?

Two radical assumptions, one in which the banks charge unauthorised amounts to customer accounts, and another in which pickpockets clean unsuspecting passengers who are dozing off in a bus station. Now one radical conclusion: both are stealthy actions amounting to theft.

South Asian cricket triumph

South Asian cricket has reached its zenith. The two teams that played in the final in the first 20 over tournament in South Africa were South Asians. The nerve-wracking India-Pakistan encounter, which has been described by all as a quality match reflecting a high standard of cricket, has shown the excellence of the two South Asian sides in this variety of sports.

Fukuda's new cabinet reflects an old and familiar lineup

As had been predicted by the media for almost a whole week, Yasuo Fukuda, the veteran Japanese politician seen by many as the more sober and milder politician among the leadership of Japan's main ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP), won a majority vote at the lower house of the Japanese Diet last Tuesday to become country's 91st prime minister.

Sports

Nayeemuddin to call the shots

Bangladesh football coach Nayeemuddin has been assured that he will be given full autonomy when selecting the national team.

Yousuf's U-turn

Record-breaking Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf said Thursday he has ditched a contract with the breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL) and will play for his national side.

Ponting plots India fall

Australia captain Ricky Ponting warned Mahendra Singh Dhoni's celebrating Indians Thursday the tourists are determined to start the one-day series on a winning note on Saturday.

'Cricket before safety'

South African captain Graeme Smith Wednesday said his team would put security concerns aside to focus on playing good hard cricket on their tour of Pakistan.

Amla, Kallis hit form

Jacques Kallis left his ICC World Twenty20 Championship frustration behind him with a solid 73 while Hashim Amla notched a patient 87 as South Africa gained valuable batting practice in their opening tour game here on Thursday.

Myanmar FA assures BFF

Myanmar Football Association (MFA) has assured Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) to put Bangladesh's matches in the later stage of the fixture in the Grand Royal Challenge Cup to be held November 1-7 in Myanmar.

Rajib loses to Ni Hua

International Master Enamul Hossain Rajib lost to his Chinese opponent Grandmaster Ni Hua in a ninth round match of the sixth Asian Individual Chess Championship at Cebu City in Philippines yesterday.

BCB to revamp player contracts

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are set to review the payment structure to the national players, it was learned.

Local Snippets

Riding on five-goal hero Sabbir Rana, Rajshahi plundered Panchagarh 19-0 in the Araf Apparels 21st National Youth Hockey Championship at Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Sreesanth went blank

All of India's heartbeat may have stopped for a moment when Misbahul Haq's scoop was in the air in the ICC World Twenty20 Championship final, but if you believe Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who lapped the victory catch, he had gone blank.

Messi's dazzling display

Villarreal took the lead in La Liga after they won 2-0 at Racing Santander on Wednesday.

Milan stumble again

Defending champions Inter Milan moved level on points with Serie A leaders AS Roma after a 3-0 home win over Sampdoria on Wednesday.

Brazil thump USA

Brazil shocked the top-ranked United States 4-0 Thursday in a dazzling display that set up a World Cup final with defending champions Germany.

Chelsea sail, MU fail

Manchester United crashed out of the League Cup as Coventry's Maltese striker Michael Mifsud scored twice in his side's shock 2-0 victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Fergie fuming at exit

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he was 'flabbergasted' after two goals from Maltese striker Michael Mifsud sealed a stunning 2-0 League Cup victory for Championship outfit Coventry at Old Trafford.

Ramadan relief for Diarra

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster admitted on Wednesday that he was not pushing his Malian midfielder Mahamadou Diarra too hard in training during the month-long Muslim festival of Ramadan.

Ronaldinho set for Barca return

Barcelona's under-fire Brazilian star Ronaldinho will return to the pitch for Tuesday's Champions League match against Stuttgart, according to Spanish press reports on Thursday.

Beckham rushes to father's side

English football icon David Beckham rushed back from Los Angeles Thursday after his father suffered a serious heart attack in London, his spokesman said.

Chelsea after Hiddink?

Russia coach Guus Hiddink revealed on Thursday that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has asked him to take over as manager of the Premiership giants.

Ecuador midfielder banned

Ecuador midfielder Michael Arroyo has been banned for two years after tesing positive for marijuana, the national football federation (FEF) confirmed on Wednesday night.

Casillas insures his hands

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, the Spanish national team's number one man with the gloves, announced on Wednesday that he had insured his hands for 7.5 million euros.

PSV ejected from Dutch Cup

PSV Eindhoven have been kicked out of the Dutch Cup for lining out with a banned player during Wednesday's match against Jong Heerenveen, the ANP news agency reported.

Clarke warns players

New England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke has warned players may face suspensions if they fail to adhere to disciplinary rules.

Dav wants WI job

Two Australians, Dav Whatmore and John Dyson, are among the candidates to take over as head coach of the West Indies team, according to a report on caribbeancricket.com.

Klose fires hattrick

Miroslav Klose bagged a hat-trick to take his tally of Bundesliga goals to eight as Bayern Munich opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table with a 4-0 win over bottom-side Energie Cottbus on Wednesday.

Afridi pulls out of SA Tests

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi Thursday pulled out of the Test series against South Africa, saying he did not want to play while fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.

Indo-Aussie ODIs on Neo

Neo Sports will telecast live the India-Australia seven ODI series commencing from September 29.

Special Olympics team off to China

Bangladesh Special Olympics team left for China yesterday to take part in the Special Olympics Summer World Games (OSWG) to be held in Shanghai from October 2.

'Challenge can be fun'

England cricket coach Peter Moores said Thursday he hoped his team would rise to the challenge in a tough one-day series against World Cup finalists Sri Lanka.

Sree earns Ponting's praise

Speedster Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's on-field aggression has come in for praise from Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who said his team was looking to "impose" itself on India in the one-day series with a similar behaviour.

Business

High inflation blamed for declining growth

Former adviser to the caretaker government Akbar Ali Khan has expressed concern over the country's declining growth rate saying that it is a negative impact of high inflation.

Sound capital market can help realise Bangladesh's growth potential

“Bangladesh currently stands at the cusp of strong economic growth where a sound local capital market can be just the fuel that accelerates realisation of this potential,” said Mark Renton, head of Citi's Asia Pacific Investment Banking Division, in an exclusive interview with The Daily Star in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Cambodian garment exports jump

Cambodian garment exports rose 14.3 percent in the first half of 2007, compared to the same period last year, a senior commerce ministry official said Thursday.

Korean firm to set up textile plant in Dhaka EPZ

A Korean company will set up a composite textile industry in Dhaka Export Processing Zone (EPZ).

Square Pharma enters UK market

Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a leading drug manufacturing company, has started exporting medicines to United Kingdom, says a press release.

IMF to name new leader today

With a change in leadership set to be announced Friday, the International Monetary Fund looks to help restore credibility lost in recent years by the multilateral finance group.

Citi calls for nominations for awards

Official nominations for the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2007 are now being accepted, says a press release.

NZ orders Telecom split

The New Zealand government on Wednesday ordered the country's dominant phone company Telecom to split into three units in a bid to level the playing field in the telecommunications industry.

HSBC gets green light for China insurance joint venture

Global banking giant HSBC said Thursday a subsidiary has received the official go-ahead to set up an insurance joint venture in China.

Oil swirls higher

The price of New York crude oil bounced back above 81 dollars on Thursday as traders cast a wary eye on a tropical storm near the US Gulf of Mexico, where many American energy facilities are based.

Ad firm Paper Rhyme to get consultant

Amit Kumar Bose, a creative director and a copywriter with 25 years' experience in the field of advertising in India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Nepal, Egypt and Nigeria, is joining Paper Rhyme as a consultant, says a press release.

Indian tycoon buys 50pc stake in US plane maker Epic

Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya has acquired a 50 percent stake in US private jet maker Epic Aircraft for 120 million dollars in a move to exploit the fast-growing executive plane market.

Microsoft targets India's young guns

Microsoft Corp. flagged off Thursday customised domains for the huge market of young Indians in a bid to boost revenues from free e-mail services a decade after it acquired Hotmail.

Metropolitan

Free flow of information can curb corruption

Free flow of information can be a strong weapon in curbing corruption, Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury said yesterday and hoped that the government would take measures to establish the right to information.

Call to provide equal opportunities for girls

Speakers at a press conference yesterday stressed the need to provide equal opportunities for girl children in order to ensure their rights.

$271m Brac commitment to education

Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of Brac, yesterday announced $271 million for providing education to 7.5 million children and youth in Asia and Africa over the next five years, says a press release.

Strengthen UP for sustainable dev

Strengthen union parishad (UP) for sustainable development at grassroots level, said the speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday.

'Free flow of information key to establishing rule of law'

Free flow of information is the key to establishing rule of law, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

Take initiative to reduce trade gape

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday urged the Chinese government for taking initiatives to reduce the trade gap, heavily tilted in favour of China.

Applications to be accepted Oct 3-Dec 2

Applications for the 2009 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery will be accepted between noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4) (10:00pm Bangladesh Time) on October 3 and noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5) (11:00pm Bangladesh Time) on December 2, says a press release.

Hasina's 61st birthday today

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina steps into her 61st year today.

'Wari-Bateswar to be developed as tourist spot'

The government is to develop Wari-Bateswar, being considered as one of the earliest civilisations discovered in the country, as a tourist spot.

Committee to make suggestions to strengthen local govt bodies

The government has formed a seven-member committee to make realistic recommendations on strengthening the local government institutions and injecting dynamism into their activities, a government notification yesterday said.

Bangladesh has chance of setting new trend of enduring democracy

British High Commissioner in Dhaka Anwar Choudhury yesterday said Bangladesh has got a chance of setting a new trend of enduring democracy through a free and credible election.

Road accidents kill 2

At least two people were killed and 12 others injured in separate road accidents in Khulna and Brahmanbaria yesterday and on Wednesday.

2,200 litres of stolen furnace oil, diesel, petrol recovered

Joint forces and Rab-6 recovered 2,200 litres of furnace oil, diesel and petrol at Formaish Khana ghat under Digholia upazila in Khulna yesterday and arrested two people were arrested in this connection.

US BNP protests cases against Tarique, his wife, mother-in-law

BNP front organisations in the USA yesterday protested the cases Anti-Corruption Commission filed against detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, his wife Dr Zubaida Rahman and mother-in-law Iqbalmand Banu.

LDP, JSD discuss common stance

Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) yesterday had a meeting with Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD). The meeting was the first of a sequence of meetings with different political parties aiming to form a political convention ahead of the next general elections and to have a unified stance during dialogues with the Election Commission (EC).

2 prisoners die at DMCH

Two prisoners, including a woman, of the Central Jail died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday.

Two jailed for producing adulterated ghee

A mobile court yesterday sentenced two owners of a food products factory in the city to seven years' imprisonment for producing and selling adulterated ghee.

'Dhaka, Tokyo share excellent relations'

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has greeted Masahiko Komura for his appointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Bangladeshi cattle trader shot dead by BSF

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader on Goga border.

Pran launches 'Free Cooking Course School'

'Pran Powered Spice', a consumer brand of PRAN-RFL Group, launched a 'Free Cooking Course School' in the city yesterday on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr.

Five to die for killing woman

Rajshahi divisional speedy trial tribunal yesterday sentenced five people to death in Merina murder case.

Trader shot, robbed of Tk 1 lakh

A gang of armed muggers looted over Tk one lakh from a trader after shooting and injuring him in Choumohonee Bazar area in Baufal yesterday afternoon.

UP chairman held for irregularities in distribution of VGF rice

The joint forces arrested Tukuria Union Parishad chairman in Pirganj yesterday on charges of irregularities in distribution of rice under the VGF programme.

Letters

Twenty20 World Cup

The Twenty 20 World Cup cricket has opened a new avenue to popularise cricket with its excitement and approach. This Twenty20 cricket may draw the attention of Europe and North America, replacing baseball and other ancient outdoor games. Even five-day Test cricket might be threatened by this new addition to the game.

Don't punish them

I fully endorse the views expressed by Mr. Ahmed Ilias in his letter to the editor dated 19 Sept, suggesting equal rights to the non-Bengalis. On the other hand, the statement made by Mr. M. Emdad, Oxford, UK in his earlier letter is extremely biased & does not conform to the thinking of the modern day democratic & liberal people. At a time when everyone of us in our country is striving for a society free from communalism and racism, we should not be preoccupied with such a notion.

Ramna Park

The maintenance of the park is poor these days. The flowerbeds are not cleaned regularly. The shrubs and trees are also not pruned.

DU incident

We expressed our strong disapproval of the countrywide violence and vandalism on the pretext of an isolated incident on the DU campus.

Mourinho quits

Jose Mourinho's sudden exit is a serious setback for English Premier League superpower, Chelsea. The self-described "Chosen One", had certainly played a big role in transforming Chelsea into one of the major competitive teams of EPL. In fact, under his tenure, Chelsea has won two consecutive League titles after 50 years and after a long time, finally, Manchester United and Arsenal had to face a new rival, a major rival in the form of a new, star-studded Chelsea. Some might be of the opinion that Chelsea has managed to play so well in the recent past due to their star players but even Real Madrid had a dream squad consisting of players like Zidane, Ronaldo etc but the Spanish giants failed to shine despite having such great players. So, even if a club has star footballers, at the same time a club also needs an able coach, a coach who has the ability to organise the team properly, set appropriate formations and plant useful strategies. Mourinho had all these qualities. He had charisma in abundance and his pragmatic approaches helped Chelsea climb to the top.

Campus life

Getting admission in our public universities is almost like wining a lottery ticket. Quality education, low cost, prestige and so on are the factors behind this big race for admission. After getting admission comes the question of accommodation in residential halls. Campus accommodation is one of the biggest facilities one gets for studying in public universities. But there is a shortage of seats.

Leadership bankruptcy

I would like to thank Brig. Gen. Shahidul Alam Khan for his excellent contribution, Strategically Speaking, (DS 20th Sep) to the present scenario of the political leaderships prevailing in the country... In the political rally they were not used to passing on the baton to the next deserving runner but to keep it as a family souvenir as of right. Do they win the race?

Policy suggestion from IMF

According to the newspaper report, IMF has recommended a reduction of the interest rates on the government securities (bills and bonds) in Bangladesh. In the current financial environment of the country, such a reduction does not make any sense. This will be a suicidal step for the money market of Bangladesh which is only in its embryonic stage.

Two questions

You often use the term "High Court" (HC) and another word "Bengali".

Combating corruption

Would it be possible to develop one more vaccine-- the "Anti-corruption vaccine" for children?

Charges against Hasina

In his advice to the people who are demanding the release of Sheikh Hasina, Mr. Aziz Ahmed (DS letter, September 19) asked them to demand an open trial to clear her name of all the corruption allegations brought against her. In the process, he has cited the precedence set by a former PM of Canada, Brian Mulroney, to clear his name from an RCMP investigation. Although Brian Mulroney, undoubtedly the most despised PM in Canada's history, was not the best epitome of honesty and integrity while he was the PM, it would be worthwhile to cite about a case against Mr. Mulroney filed as recently as last July. An arms dealer sued Mr. Mulroney for taking $470,000 from him in 1993 for helping him to set up an arms factory in Quebec and a pasta factory in Ontario, the commitment allegedly Mr. Mulroney did not follow through. No, the RCMP did not send 1,000 men squads, some of them with bullet proof vests and dog squads at wee hours of night to arrest the former PM to frame charges against him. Neither Mr. Mulroney nor his lawyer attended the court for hearing on the scheduled date and a default judgment was handed down against him on July 24. Mulroney appealed to the superior court and the lower court verdict was set aside on August 3 by a superior court judge indicating that default judgment was egregious and wrong. It was a dispute between two individuals and the Crown (State) attorney was not involved in any way.

CFL and tube-lights

CFL for energy conservation - why not tube-lights as well, and why not their local production?

Campus police

Recently, a number of letters were published suggesting the use of campus police at DU and other public universities to stop campus violence. Some suggested the use of highly educated (master's degree holder) cops, since, according to them, it becomes an issue if a less educated cop takes actions against educated students! Wait a second, give me a break first of all, how could someone, in his right frame of mind, even think that a master's degree holder would pursue a career as a campus cop, and particularly in a place like DU, where, the so called (some, if not most) educated students have a history of beating up cops and vandalising public or private properties, whenever they feel their demands are not met. Don't you think it has become students' hobby to burn and destroy vehicles, buildings, or even beat up people (who don't agree with them)? I wonder how could some people think that an educated cop would be able to change this trend among the students. As a former student of DU, I saw many times how such fighting started on DU campus (some of which eventually led to death and destruction) and in most of those cases, things were always made worse by some 'so called' unruly people ( I was never sure if they were regular students), whose attitude could only be compared with creatures that you see either in the Discovery channel or in your city's zoo.

Stranded Pakistanis

I do not agree with Ashraf Parvez on the Stranded Pakistanis issue. These so called Pakistanis have been staying in Bangladesh since the independence of Bangladesh. If not all some of these people have now their second generations staying in Bangladesh. Those who belong to the second and even third generation are by birth Bangladeshis and speak and write Bangla very well. These Pakistanis may want to go back to Pakistan but not everyone wants to migrate. Some are doing very well in small businesses and others are earning well using various skills. Even the USA or Canada does recognise the birth right. Tagging everybody under the same label as traitor is not right. For instance, in the UK and USA some Muslims were involved in destructive activities, so does it mean the USA and UK will deport all their Muslim citizens? It does not make any sense. Bangladesh may be an over populated country, but granting Bangladeshi citizenship to these stranded Pakistanis will not bring any change to its population as these people are already in Bangladesh. Rather, Bangladesh should set an example for other countries granting them the citizenship. These people should be given a choice between Pakistan and Bangladesh and those who want to stay in Bangladesh should be given every right to stay in Bangladesh. These people have suffered enough.

International

11 Palestinians killed in Gaza fighting

Israeli forces killed two Gaza militants in a missile strike early Thursday, bringing the two-day death toll in Gaza fighting to 11, hospital officials said.

Pak court orders release of opposition detainees

Pakistan's top judge yesterday ordered the government to free at least 100 opposition workers who were arrested at the weekend to stop protests against President Pervez Musharraf, officials said.

US grapples for options as Musharraf fights for job

The United States appears caught in a bind as the fate of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, its pre-eminent ally in the "war on terror," hangs in the balance.

4 Red Cross staff kidnapped

Four Red Cross staff, two of them foreigners, were kidnapped near the Afghan capital while two Danish soldiers were killed in an attack by Taliban insurgents, officials said yesterday.

US Senate approves dividing Iraq on sectarian basis

The US Senate approved Wednesday a Bosnia-style plan to divide Iraq on ethnic and religious lines, touted by backers as the sole hope of forging a federal state out of sectarian strife.

Global outrage over Myanmar crackdown

World governments vowed Wednesday to hold Myanmar's military rulers to account for a bloody crackdown on mass street protests, as the UN Security Council expressed concern over the violence and backed the visit of a UN envoy to the country.

World powers launch Iran sanction talks

Major world powers launched a new round of talks on Wednesday to consider a third series of sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme although the United States expects negotiations to be tough.

'Russia, Pakistan most vulnerable to nuclear theft'

A new study said Russia and Pakistan were particularly vulnerable to nuclear theft and more could and should be done worldwide to prevent nuclear weapons and materials from falling into "terrorist" hands.

Deadly Lankan clashes spike ahead of rains

Sri Lankan troops claimed Thursday they have killed 45 Tamil rebels in the past week as they step up attacks ahead of monsoon rains that will make fighting harder.

No need for dissection

Japanese researchers have succeeded in producing see-through frogs, letting them observe organs, blood vessels and eggs under the skin without performing dissections.

11 new species found

Scientists have discovered 11 new species of plants and animals in Vietnam, including a snake, two butterflies and five orchid varieties, the World Wide Fund for Nature said Wednesday.

Arts & Entertainment

“I like to experiment”

Chanchal Chowdhury is one of the talented and busiest actors on small screen at present. His performance as Fiza Master in the mega serial Bhober Haat has cemented his popularity among a wide range of audience. Though this character has provided him with instant recognition, according to Chanchal, it was the Grameenphone TV commercial Ma, which launched his career.

"Ujan Pother Jatri" on Channel i

Actors representing two generations, Asaduzzaman Noor and Iresh Zaker come together in an Eid-special TV play Ujan Pother Jatri. The cast also includes Afroza Banu, Munmun, Tushti and Ankhi.

Buddhist devotees celebrate 'Modhu Purnima'

'Modhu Purnima', one of the most important Buddhist festivals, was celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour at the Rangamati Rajban Bihar, last Wednesday.

A book in the making

For more than thirty-five years until last year, Biren Shome was senior artist and then chief artist at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. His day job involved preparing illustrations for the Herbarium collection and botanical publications, but he nonetheless found time to indulge in his real passion, painting. Graduating with a Batchelor of Fine Arts from Charukala in 1968, Biren moved to Calcutta to join the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as a designer in 1971, “with offices in 8 Theatre Road”, he recalls fondly.

The new Bionic Woman: faster, stronger and a lot darker

The original Bionic Woman was blonde and perky. Reimagined for the 21st century, she's suspicious and even a little dysfunctional.

"Je Bhule Tomaye Bhuli" on Rtv

Written by Nazrul Islam and directed by Chayanika Chowdhury, the play Je Bhule Tomay Bhuli will be aired tomorrow on Rtv at 8pm.

Sally Field to play Mrs. Lincoln

Steven Spielberg has cast Sally Field as Mrs Abraham Lincoln in his long-awaited biopic of the assassinated US President. According to Hollywood Reporter, the part was previously believed to be a cinch for Marcia Gay Harden. Liam Neeson is playing the bearded president in Spielberg's film, which is expected to focus on the American Civil War.

Clint Eastwood to take on the Apartheid

Having single-handedly explained World War II in Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood is turning his attention to South Africa. The craggy filmmaker is eyeing up the director's chair for The Human Factor, a post-Apartheid drama starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela (big surprise, really!).

OP-ED

Let the people in

According to electronic and print media reports of September 23 and 24, the incumbent caretaker government is considering forming a Constitutional Commission headed by the chief justice to nominate "neutral and talented persons" to the nation's constitutional posts. These positions include judges of the appellate and high court divisions of the Supreme Court, chief election commissioner, and other commissioners of the Election Commission, comptroller and auditor general, chairman and members of the Public Service Commission and ombudsman.

HSC results and the spectre of English

Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) results have been published, with record-breaking GPA-5s and passes. There were more than 10,000 GPA-5s, and they are the real gems. Three cheers for them. I shall not, however, say anything about them except for wishing them continued success.

Remembering Dr. Anwar Hossain

I was sitting in my office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan thirty-seven years ago. I was exhausted trying to find a solution to the problem of simultaneous interpreters (in French and Arabic) required for the upcoming Second Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers being hosted in Karachi.

Environment

Global warming, Kyoto Protocol and developing countries

In the face of mounting debate on the disastrous effect of greenhouse gases, scientists agree on the other hand that as a natural process the effect makes life on earth possible. This is a process by which various gases act like the glass of a greenhouse, trapping heat near the earth's surface. The greenhouse gases are naturally occurring and include carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour and other trace chemicals. But it is now known that man-made chemicals have caused a massive build-up of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere. Precisely true, human activities are changing and enhancing the greenhouse effect. We are, so to say, thickening the walls of the greenhouse. And those activities that contribute to the build up of these gases include the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, certain agricultural activities and industrial practices. Scientists have warned time and again that this sort of profligacy with nature, this wanton destruction of forest wealth will only invite grim and disastrous consequences for us like the colossal deluge we have witnessed in 1988, 1998, 2004 and the most recent one.

Climate change and agriculture

The global climate change is one of the most significant environmental issues of the present world. The problem of this human-induced climate change first came to the attention of the global public and international policy makers when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its first assessment report in 1990 (Huq and et.al).

A global issue

Starting with the most recent natural disaster while over 100 fishing trawlers with some 1200 fishermen aboard went missing in the Bay of Bengal due to high waves triggered by a sudden storm on Thursday, September 20, 2007, Bangladesh frequently faces crucial natural behavior not only for its geographical position but also for the rapid changing of world climate which is largely caused by human activity.


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