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News of: Friday, 12th of October, 2007

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Khaleda denies Gatco graft allegation

Detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday denied charges against her of corruption in awarding container handling contracts to local company Gatco and said she gave the nod only after the cabinet purchase committee had approved the deal.

AL, BNP trash idea of consensus govt

The proposition for an agreement to form a national consensus government after election has failed to gather support as the two major political parties--Awami League (AL) and BNP--turned down the idea.

ACC receives 60,000 graft complaints

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) decided to forward "trivial" allegations brought against officials and employees of different ministries to the ministries concerned for dealing the matter as around 60,000 corruption allegations have so far been submitted to the commission.

CPD, Brac for OMS of fertiliser

CPD and Brac recommended open market sale of fertiliser, replacing the existing card system to tackle the post flood situation with increased production of rice.

Eid tomorrow if Shawal moon sighted today

Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of the Muslims, will be celebrated across the country tomorrow if the moon heralding the month of Shawal is sighted anywhere in Bangladesh today.

No reason for adverse impact on market

The government yesterday said there is no reason for adverse effect on the market if India stops rice export, as there is comfortable stock as well as imports in the pipeline.

Banglalink fined Tk 125cr for illegal VoIP business

The country's telecom watchdog has fined Banglalink Tk125 crore for its involvement in illegal VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or call termination business.

8 jute mills to be leased out

The advisory committee on economic affairs yesterday approved leasing out of eight state-run jute mills, four of them already closed, to the private entrepreneurs for avoiding loss.

All set for sending 187 artefacts to Paris exhibition

The government is all ready to send 187 archaeological masterpieces to a Paris museum for exhibition, but a group of archaeological experts yesterday filed a fresh case against sending the artefacts.

High-level meet discusses Better Business Forum

A high-level meeting yesterday discussed the modus operandi of Bangladesh Better Business Forum being formed to strengthen public-private business entrepreneurship.

ADB pledges $150m for post-flood rehabilitation

Visiting Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Liqun Jin yesterday pledged $150 million in credit for post-flood rehabilitation programme in Bangladesh.

AL demands release of Hasina, Jalil

Awami League (AL) yesterday demanded release of its detained chief Sheikh Hasina, General Secretary Abdul Jalil, and other leaders who are behind bars without any specific charges.

ACC allowed to quiz Jalil

A Dhaka court yesterday gave permission to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) to interrogate detained Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil at the Dhaka Central Jail gate in connection with allegations of corruption.

Wages, Eid bonus paid to almost all workers of garment factories

The bulk of the garment factories paid salaries and bonuses to their employees yesterday in line with a government directive to that end, industry insiders said.

Last-minute shopping gets momentum

A panjabi is Tk 150, a pair of shoes Tk 300 and a shirt Tk 120 -- the prices are pretty cheap compared to many other malls. But Jasim, who works at a city restaurant, was still roaming around on Bangabandhu Avenue to strike a better deal.

British writer Doris Lessing wins Nobel Literature Prize

British writer Doris Lessing yesterday won the Nobel Literature Prize for five decades of epic novels that have covered feminism, politics as well her youth in Africa.

3 killed in bomb attack at Ajmer

The death toll from a blast at one of India's most revered Muslim shrines in the northern state of Rajasthan rose to three yesterday as a worshipper succumbed to his injuries, police said.

Bhutto rejects Musharraf request to delay return

Former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto will return from exile next week to campaign for January elections, despite a call by President Pervez Musharraf to delay her homecoming, her party said yesterday.


Happy Eid-ul-Fitr

At the end of a month of fasting, Muslims all over the world observe Eid-ul-Fitr. This observance comes after days spent in recalling the spirit of the Islamic faith and practising it in daily life. Indeed, the month of Ramadan is a constant reminder that religion, and with that a deep sense of religiosity, is what underlines the pursuit of life. Faith is that fundamental guiding principle which lifts individuals from the banalities of the temporal world to one that is spiritual in nature. For what is religion after all if it does not act as a spur to a strengthening of one's moral base? The prayers and the fasting that Muslims have observed in Bangladesh and across the world are simply a reassertion of that moral base. It is with such an awareness of what we as mortal beings must do to uphold faith now proceed to a celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Reward for schools and teachers

This is a least trodden area in our scheme of things: rewarding good work in any tangible form rather than confining ourselves to at best wordy compliments. We would run down schools and teachers, sometimes in a sweeping manner, losing sight of some of their performances despite all the constraints they are having to work under.

We can handle it

It was reminiscent of the climactic scene from the movie "A Few Good Men." No sooner had the interim government floated the idea of setting up a truth commission, then there rose a chorus of disapproval: "You want the truth?" roared the chattering and political classes, doing their best Jack Nicholson impersonation. "You can't handle the truth!"

Closing of the Red sea

Those who have seen the movie Ten Command-ments will remember that breathtaking scene when Charlton Heston playing Moses parted the waves and led the Israelites across the Red sea. The entire sequence consisted of three major events. First the sea parted, and then the God's people journeyed through the parted sea followed by the enemy army. Finally, the sea closed over the pursuing enemy and drowned them.

Liberals at war in India

The political scene in India is heating up. The general election is still one and a half years away. Yet every party, small or big, is preparing itself for the eventuality because the Manmohan Singh government is tottering in the crossfire between the Congress and the Left.


Johnson crushes India

Mitchell Johnson destroyed India with a maiden five-wicket haul as Australia raced to a nine-wicket win in the fifth one-day international here on Thursday.

Pakistan fight for safety

Pakistan put up a spirited display as they fought to save the second Test against South Africa on the fourth day Thursday.

13-match ban on Akhtar

Pakistan banned paceman Shoaib Akhtar on Thursday for 13 international matches and fined him 3.4 million rupees (56,000 dollars) for hitting a teammate with a bat and other offences.

Gen Moeen for tough action

Chief of Army Staff and chairman of National Sports Council (NSC) General Moeen U Ahmed has directed the NSC to take the strictest measures against responsible persons and organisations for the press box roof collapse.

'Nothing right for India'

Despite the Indian batting crumbling like a house of cards against Australia in the fifth one-dayer, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday not only refused to blame the batsmen for the defeat but also described them as the best line-up at his disposal.

Tamim called up for U-19s

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal was named in the under-19 side that will visit Pakistan on a 20-day tour next month.

Rezaul cleared, six others illegal

The bowlers' review committee of Bangladesh Cricket Academy (BCB) have cleared one bowler but deemed the action of six others as illegal.

U-16s eye two wins

The national under-16 team are looking forward to win at least two matches in this month's AFC Youth (Under-16) Football Championship qualifiers.

Salman fined for slating umpires

Pakistan vice-captain Salman Butt was Thursday fined 50 percent of his match fee for criticising umpiring during the ongoing second Test against South Africa, the ICC said.

Cronje movie underway

Aussie spin king Shane Warne is smashed for six by South Africa cricket captain Hansie Cronje as the crowd roars its approval at a rising star who would later shame the nation and the game.

Peaking at right time

The Mitchell Johnson ball that dismissed Mahendra Singh Dhoni was an ideal delivery to a left-hander -- it pitched on an awkward length, moved away off the seam and drew the batsman into a stroke. Unfortunately Dhoni is a right-hander. It didn't matter; Dhoni tried to fend the ball to the leg side and feathered it to Adam Gilchrist. Johnson's third wicket had come with one of his least dangerous balls of the innings. Sometimes it's just your day.

BCB praises cricket team

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) congratulated the Bangladesh Special Olympics cricket team for winning the gold medal at the 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai, China.

Asif in doubt for SA ODIs

Pakistan bowler Mohammad Asif is a doubt for next week's one-day matches against South Africa, an official said Thursday.

Rooney ready to deliver

Wayne Rooney knows he owes England a match-winning performance and the striker is determined to finally deliver against Estonia on Saturday.

Lampard for sale?

Chelsea's England star Frank Lampard is up for sale, a Spanish newspaper said Thursday, quoting sources in the London club and close to the midfielder.

England clinch series

Alastair Cook hit a masterly 80 as England thrashed Sri Lanka by five wickets in the fourth one-day international here Wednesday to clinch their first series win in the subcontinent for 20 years.

Ten Cate Blues' in 24 hrs

Former Ajax coach Henk ten Cate will be named to Chelsea's coaching staff in the next 24 hours, the Premiership club's website said on Wednesday.

Adebayor, Kanoute to face off

Crack strikers Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo and Frederic Kanoute of Mali come face to face Friday in the battle for a 2008 African Nations Cup place.

Frings to captain Germany

Werder Bremen midfielder Torsten Frings will captain Germany against Ireland on Saturday as his team look to guarantee their place in next summer's Euro 2008 tournament.

Kahn hits back at Lehmann

Bayern Munich captain and former German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn hit back on Thursday at criticism by Germany's current shot-stopper Jens Lehmann.

'Scotland, Italy will stumble'

France defender William Gallas thinks Scotland and Italy will stumble on their way through the remaining Euro 2008 qualifying matches.

Terry to have knee scan

England could lose influential captain John Terry for next week's crucial Euro 2008 qualifier in Russia after the Chelsea defender was sent for a scan on a sore knee.

Richards pledges City stay

Manchester City fans were given fresh cause for celebration on Wednesday when the club's brightest young star, Micah Richards, revealed that he was on the verge of signing a new contract.

Match-fixers sent to jail

A Czech court handed out stiffer penalties on Thursday to three football club officials and seven referees found guilty of involvement in a major corruption scandal by imposing conditional jail sentences of from three to 10 months on them.

Like father like son

Japanese driver Kazuki Naka-jima says he is raring to go all out in his first Formula One race in Brazil this month and join the elite club of fathers and sons in the world's premier motor racing.

Scots count on confidence

Scotland's national team can surf a wave of confidence generated by club success in Europe all the way to the finals of Euro 2008, assistant coach Roy Aitken believes.

Venus off to a flier

Reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams shrugged off a rain delay to advance to the second round of the Bangkok Open on Thursday with an easy 6-2, 6-2 win over Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki.

Maria crashes out early

Russia's Maria Sharapova, second seed in the 2.34-million-dollar joint ATP and WTA Moscow event, crashed out of the tournament after her first match at the hands of Belarus teenager Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday.

Nadal set for return

Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will compete in next week's Madrid Masters Series tournament, but says that it will be tough for him to be at his best.


Govt getting ready to reply to USTR queries

Government is now preparing to fill in a questionnaire on Bangladesh workers' rights situation as desired by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) with a view to clearing a misconception arisen after a number of complaints lodged by a US rights group.

Local furniture makers receive Rs 2cr orders from India

It is not merely hilsa fish or jamdanee saree or jute Bangladesh is exporting to India. The country's export basket may now include designer furniture.

Call money rate steady despite Eid on excess liquidity

Although commercial banks witnessed large volumes of transaction yesterday, the last working day before the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration, inter bank call money rate remained steady due to excess liquidity in the banking system.

Support to Bangladesh to continue, says ADB

Lauding development activities in the past few years in Bangladesh, visiting ADB (Asian Development Bank) Vice President Liqun Jin yesterday said the bank's support to the country will continue in the coming days.

India to join 4-nation gaspipeline project next month

India will formally join the US-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (and India) gas pipeline project next month for importing natural gas from the Central Asian nation.

2 BB deputy governors' job placed under contract

The government has appointed Bangladesh Bank (BB) Deputy Governor Ziaul Hassan Siddiqui for four years to the same position on contract basis subject to his resignation from the post.

Southeast Bank MD reappointed

Neaz Ahmed has been reappointed managing director of Southeast Bank Ltd for another three years, says a press release.

Eid offer at Westin Dhaka

The Westin Dhaka has extended its Eid celebration offer for Bangladeshis and residents of Bangladesh only at $99+ from October 11 to October 19, says a press release.

Oil prices gain in Asian trade

World oil prices rose in Asian trade Thursday in an edgy market that dealers say remains well supported by concerns over tight supplies.

Globalisation must be 'inclusive' to help fight poverty: WB chief

World Bank president Robert Zoellick said Wednesday that globalisation must be "inclusive and sustainable" if it is to help combat crushing poverty around the world.

EU importers cautiously welcome textile deal with China

European importers Wednesday expressed cautious welcome to the new textile agreement between the European Union (EU) and China, which replaces import quotas with joint monitoring of trade flow in 2008.

Euro climbs back above 1.42 dollars

The euro breached 1.42 dollars again Thursday, close to its all-time high, after the European Central Bank said it would keep an eye on inflation across the 13-nation eurozone, dealers said.

Bank holiday

Bangladesh Bank and all schedule banks will remain closed on October 12 on the occasion of holy Jumatul Wida and on October 13, 14 and 15 on account of Eid-ul-Fitr, said a BB release.

China has 106 billionaires compared with 15 last year

China now has 106 billionaires, seven times as many as last year, according to a list published Wednesday that underlined the rapidly growing economic muscle of the Asian giant.

Weekly Currency Roundup

October 7-October 11, 2007
Local FX Market

The US dollar/BDT market was active. USD remained weak against the BDT throughout the week. Demand for dollar was stable in the local market and USD showed downward movement.


Happy moments of an acid burnt mother

This year's Eid-ul-Fitr is very special for Asma Akter as her four-month-old first baby will also celebrate Eid with her.

Dhaka for duty-free, quota-free market access for LDC products

Bangladesh called upon the international community to provide duty-free and quota free market access for all products from all Least Developed Countries (LDCs) without nay restriction.

India plans jt action plan with Bangladesh, Nepal

India is formulating a joint action plan with Bangladesh and Nepal for quick and safe repatriation of cross-border victims of human trafficking, which has emerged as a major challenge for South Asia.

Deals with private sponsors for 10 small power plants signed

The government yesterday signed deals with private sponsors to set up 10 small power plants across the country, having total capacity of about 200MW.

Mutual cooperation with Bangladesh to expand

New Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura has hoped that mutual cooperation between Bangladesh and Japan will be expanding in both bilateral issues and international arena.

ACC asks President's Office to take action

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has requested the President's Office to take necessary action regarding the allegations of financial and organisational irregularities against Chief National Commissioner of Bangladesh Scouts Mohammad Fazlur Rahman and others.

Edinburgh book festival inspires writers

The main feature of Edinburgh International Book Festival is that it inspires writers, observed litterateur Selina Hossain yesterday while sharing her experiences of this year's festival.

Road crashes kill 6

At least six people were killed and 41 others injured in separate road accidents in Chandpur, Brahmanbaria, Sirajganj and Satkhira yesterday.

'Those having no public support want nat'l govt'

BNP chairperson's Adviser Brig Gen (Retd) ASM Hannan Shah yesterday said those having no public support want a national government.

Varsity student slaughtered in city

A university student was slaughtered by unknown assailants at the rooftop of his Adabar residence in the city in the early hours of yesterday.

British foreign secy greets Muslims on Eid

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has greeted Muslims on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

‘Free detained varsity teachers before Eid’

Different organisations have demanded immediate release of the teachers and students who have been detained on charge of campus violence in Dhaka and Rajshahi Universities in August last.

Army chief calls on president

Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban.

Navy chief leaves for US Sunday

Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam will leave Dhaka on Sunday at the invitation of United States Navy (USN) to attend the 18th International Sea Power Symposium to be held from October 16 to 19 in the USA, says an ISPR press release.

Maldives regrets recent incidents

Maldives Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon expressed sincere regret about the recent “undesirable” incidents involving workers from Bangladesh.

'Efforts on to secure release of abducted Bangladeshi'

Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said his ministry continues its efforts to secure the release of a Brac official abducted recently in Afghanistan.

Rotary Greater Dhaka stands by slum children

Rotary Club of Greater Dhaka distributed new clothes, books and Iftar to 100 slum children on Wednesday.

Jute mills workers vandalise factory demanding Eid bonus

Workers of New Dhaka Jute Mills vandalised the factory and its sister concern Bextex Mills yesterday demanding payment of Eid bonus.

Ex-BNP lawmaker Shafi Chowdhury acquitted

Former BNP lawmaker Shafi Ahmed Chowdhury has been acquitted of the charges of misappropriation of relief goods including CI sheets and other things.

Delwar to visit Zia's mazar on Eid Day

BNP Secretary General Khondkar Delwar Hossain would visit the mazar of late president Ziaur Rahman on Eid Day at 10:30am, says a press release.

One gets death for killing wife in Satkhira

A Satkhira court yesterday sentenced a person to death for killing his wife over dowry.

Liberation War Museum closed Oct 12-15

The Liberation War Museum would remain closed from today to October 15 on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr, says a press release.

Dr Azam hospitalised

Eminent dermatologist Dr Shamsul Azam is seriously ill and now undergoing treatment at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, says a press release.


Myanmar situation

No matter what the people of Myanmar, UN, neighbours or other countries say, the abject situation of the country cannot be changed without active involvement in this direction by the closest superpower, China.

The greatest revolutionary!

This month marks the 40th death anniversary of probably one of the greatest revolutionaries, anti-imperialist-- none other than Ernesto Che Guevara. October 9th, 1967, was the day when this great man was killed by the CIA-backed Bolivian government.

Rahul Gandhi

Recently, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, son of the former Indian prime minister Rajib Gandhi, had a conversation with the former British PM Tony Blair, foreign secretary David Milliband on the issue of more investment in India. But Joy, son of the former Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina, has called upon all Bangladeshis overseas not to send remittances to BD after his mother was arrested. The fact is that Joy just loves his mother….

Voter list

We all welcome the news that the general election might be held by October 2008. The CEC in a press conference has narrated the steps being taken for preparation of the voter list with photo, possible timing of the city corporation elections, etc. He has also mentioned his satisfaction regarding the work already done for the preparation of the voter list with photo in some selected areas, and also expressed his satisfaction with the progress of work in other places at hand now.


It is common knowledge that countries across the world use sport events to advance their so-called national interests. Excellence in sports gives a special status and esteem to the country having the best kind of sport arsenal to its credit. But what generally happens is that sport events and skills are exploited for the nation's other purposes and used as bargain chips to advance the economic, nuclear, military hardware or other special interests . The sport mafias operating in these fields broker the deals between the countries, or even the countries directly clinch the deals themselves. Thus a winning team or an individual loses to another as per the "instructions' obtained from "above". As a result, sports become highly volatile and totally "unpredictable.

English language skills

I would actually like to portray the alarming state of English language in Bangladesh. Most of the people do find the English language pretty difficult to handle, despite having advanced educational degrees. The performance of those people in all aspects of the language ( i.e. listening, reading, writing, and speaking) is depressing. The inability to learn and use the English language has greatly affected us and we are left behind!

DSE General Index

The Dhaka Stock Exchange General Index on Tuesday reached 2802.61 marks for the first time in the 51-year history of DSE, which was 2762.37 points on Monday. Yesterday was the closing day of DSE as trading at DSE will start on October 16 next. Many market analysts and capital market experts say that DSE general index is showing upward trend due to onrush of people in the secondary market. Fine it is if the onrush can be continued through increasing the supply of quality shares in the market. While inaugurating the DSE training academy and 2-day training programme for the members of the Economic Reporters' Forum recently, the Finance Adviser expressed the intention of the government to off-load shares of some state-owned companies including BTTB, Jamuna Bridge, Padma and Jamuna Oil Company and portion of shares of DESCO. Yes, if the government does so then it will surely help the country gain more, as a strong and vibrant capital market is the barometer of the economy. But, above all, one thing should be kept in mind that without judging the fundamentals of the company investors should not invest.

Realisation of CTG

The failure of the Caretaker Government (CTG) of President Iajuddin Ahmed to create a level playing field for conducting a free and fair general election made a change necessary to save the country from political confrontation and economic devastation. In that crucial situation the military-backed second CTG came to power promulgating Emergency in the country. The primary aim of the second caretaker government was to hold a free and fair election. To this end, its prime responsibility was to put the country on the right track establishing good governance in every sector. Immediately, it carried out necessary changes in the administration to clean it from politicisation and then brought reforms in public institutions like the Election Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, etc. It also expedited the process of making magistracy independent from the executive body. Necessary changes in the procedures of appointment to the constitutional posts are being made to protect them from political influence. No doubt, all these steps are pre-requisite for good governance and holding a free and fair election.

Khaleda Zia and the ACC

Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia resisted the formation of the Anti- Corruption Commission as long as she could. Bangladesh already inherited an Act entitled “Prevention of Corruption Act 1947”. A department of the government called the Bureau of Anti-Corruption was entrusted with the responsibility for fighting corruption.

National government

The proposal of forming a National Government for 10 years sounds like a new realisation of a few leaders. Obviously, the country cannot continue with the existing multi-party system headed by a few professionals doing politics.

Mass transport options

Various types of city mass transport systems for Dhaka was described by the staff correspondent (Oct. 8) of a local English daily. These types are by any means a high-tech system. Maybe, it could be so for a technically undeveloped country like Bangladesh. Such modes of transport had been running in many countries for around half a century if not more! Naturally, it is being modified and upgraded periodically; which is done to all plants and equipment in any technically developed country.

Creators of marvels!

Most people, living in Dhaka, have seen the statues of heron standing in front of the Biman office in Motijeel. Many people making bus journeys have also witnessed the 'sea-shell shower' beside the VIP Road and the 'car of chain and steel' in front of Southern CNG refueling station beside Tejgaon Industrial Road.

Power-sharing deal in Pakistan

President General Pervez Musharraf has cleared a key hurdle to his smooth re-election after agreeing to a deal with former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto that paves the way for power-sharing. The draft of the National Reconciliation Ordinance(NRO) as part of a power-sharing deal has been finalised between the two.

The gunners

The departure of Thierry Henry was a huge setback for the gunners. Everyone thought Arsenal is finished. But the more enthusiastic players like Fabregas and Theo Walcott have proved it wrong.


Peace talks after Pak tribal belt bloodshed

Pakistani tribal elders tried to broker a formal ceasefire between militants and the army yesterday following some of the bloodiest clashes along the Afghan border for six years.

Turkish govt to seek parliament approval for Iraq incursion

The Turkish government is likely to submit a motion to parliament yesterday seeking approval for an incursion into northern Iraq to pursue Kurdish rebels, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as deadly violence continued to plague the mainly Kurdish southeast.

Nepali Maoists protest amid deadlocked peace process

Around 5,000 flag-waving Maoist supporters marched and chanted anti-monarchy slogans near parliament Thursday as Nepal's main parties and the rebels tried to revive a deadlocked peace process.

HR Watch slams arms sales to Myanmar

Nations such as China, Russia and India are helping prop up Myanmar's military junta by supplying them with weapons, Human Rights Watch said Thursday as it appealed for an arms embargo.

Palestinians open to possible land swap

The Palestinians are ready to yield parts of the West Bank to Israel if compensated with an equal amount of Israeli territory, the lead Palestinian negotiator told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday.

'N Korea tests new solid-fuel missile'

North Korea has successfully tested a highly mobile short-range missile, which could hit targets inside South Korea with chemical or explosive warheads, a lawmaker said yesterday.

'Suu Kyi ally dies in Myanmar after torture'

A member of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party has died after torture and interrogation, a rights group said Wednesday, as possible talks between her and the junta failed to develop.

Attack on US base in Baghdad kills 2

An attack on a sprawling US base near Baghdad airport killed two coalition personnel and wounded 38, the American military said yesterday.

Musharraf support hits all-time low

Public support for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is at an all-time low amid ongoing political chaos and Islamist violence, according to a poll released Thursday.

Iraq, Afghanistan on menu in US-UK talks

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in London Thursday for talks expected to include Britain's latest plans to pull troops out of Iraq and calls to beef up forces in Afghanistan.

Police grill Israel PM again

Fraud squad officers were grilling Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday for a second time over his alleged abuse of influence in the privatisation of one of the country's leading banks.

US lawmakers back Armenian 'genocide' bill

US officials voiced concern over possible damage to ties with ally Turkey after lawmakers voted to label the Ottoman Empire's World War I massacre of Armenians as "genocide."

7 killed in Kashmir fighting

Two Indian soldiers and five Islamic militants were killed Thursday in fresh fighting ahead of Eid-al Fitr, the biggest Muslim festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, police said.

Arts & Entertainment

Eid-specials rundown

Dance programme Ananda Hillol
Dance programme Ananda Hillol will be aired at 11:05am on Eid day. Nahid Rahman and Khaleda Ahmed have jointly directed the show. Shot at several locations in Dhaka, the programme features performances by Likhon, Nadia, Ivan Shahriar Shohag, Mishti and her group, Anik, Babu, Munni and her group.

Eid-specials rundown

Feature film Aha!
Enamul Karim Nirjhar's debut film Aha! will have its TV premiere on Eid day at 2:30 pm. Enamul Karim Nirjhar has also scripted the story, screenplay and lyrics. The film highlights the psyche, relationships and generation gap among some denizens of Dhaka -- a city that has developed lopsidedly. Tariq Anam Khan, Humayun Faridee, Shahidul Alam Sachchu, Khaled Khan, Fazlur Rahman Babu and Pragna Laboni star in the film produced by Impress Telefilm Ltd.

Eid-specials rundown

James in a special musical programme Golden Moments
This special musical show will be aired everyday at 11:30 pm throughout the five-day-long Eid special programme. Produced by Alamgir Hossain, the programme will present five singers rendering their popular songs. On the second day of Eid, James will perform his songs. Other featured singers are Subir Nandi, Kumar Biswajit, Hyder Husyn and Samina Chowdhury.

Eid-specials rundown

Humayun Ahmed's play Bank Draft
Humayun Ahmed's play Bank Draft will be aired at 8:20 pm on Eid day. Bank Draft features the story of a renowned writer. A desperate father comes to the writer in the hope of aid for his cancer patient daughter. The writer sends him to another person, Mizan. Mizan agrees to foot the expenses for the young girl's treatment. Unfortunately they are unable to save the young girl. The writer cannot erase the memory, as he feels that the effort for saving her life was not enough. The cast includes Asaduzzaman Noor, Pijush Bandyopadhyay, Tania Ahmed and others.

Eid-specials rundown

Tele-film Chand Phool Jyotsna
Channel 1will air the tele-film Chand Phool Joyotsna on the second day of Eid at 11:15pm. The plot revolves around Kajol, who on his return from overseas after several years, desperately looks for Sheba, his friend's sister. He tries all possible means to track her. Sheba in turn tries to comprehend Kajol's total change in attitude. The tele-film is directed by Ferdous Hassan. The cast includes Mahfuz Ahmed, Bijori Barkatullah, Apurbo and others.

Eid-specials rundown

TV play Dengue-r Dingulitey Prem
On the fourth day of Eid, Banglavision will air the single episode TV play Dengue-r Dingulite Prem at 8:15pm. The play revolves around a couple who part ways due to force of circumstance. However, a sudden outbreak of dengue fever brings the couple together. The play is written by Shumon Rahman and directed by Matia Banu Shuku. Tinni, Hillol, Jayanto Chatyopadhyay and Swadhin Khasru have played the central roles.Anurager Chhowa
Anurager Chhowa, a single episode TV play will be aired at 8:15pm on the fifth day of Eid. Anurager Chhowa is written by Morshed Chowdhury and directed by Komol Chakma. Aupi Karim, Tony Dais, Abul Hayat and Dilara Zaman play the central roles.

Eid-specials rundown

TV play Ebong Gladiolus
Written and directed by Shamima Shammi, special TV play Ebong Gladiolus will be aired at 11:30 am on the day of Eid. The story revolves around a mother and daughter duo. Abanti, the daughter is brought up according to the dictates of her mother. However, the fiercely independent Abanti and her mother are separated by generation gap. Tisha, Shahed, Anisur Rahman Milon and Lina Ahmed take on the leading roles in the play.



Eid-ul-Fitr is a comparatively new festival, and not as old as Eid-ul-Azha. Whereas Eid-ul-Azha, commemorating the glorious sacrifices of the Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail (peace be upon them), goes back to the days of yore in the eighteenth century before Christ. Eid-ul-Fitr originated in the 7th century A.D. In fact, Eid-ul-Fitr is the newest major festival amongst the celestial religions.

Rumi and the path

Hazrat Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi (b 1207), hailed as "the greatest mystic poet of the world" by the German poet philosopher Wolfgang Von Goethe for his Mathnawi and Divan-e-Kabir, was surprisingly depreciative of writing poetry. He made a remark in his Discourses (Fihi-Mafihi) that he spouts verses for entertaining his friends, "as if someone was to put his hand into tripe to wash it because his guests want to eat tripe. Hence it has become necessary for me to recite poems since others have wished for this."

Sharing of one's income: A Quranic perspective

Since the earliest days of civilisation, the rich and the powerful have exploited the poor and assumed absolute ownership of their wealth. In all the major civilisations, a minority rich governed the economy while the masses toiled in poverty and deprivation. The slaves and the freeborn poor tilled the land, herded the cattle, rowed the boats that carried goodies for the rich and built the mansions and monuments that gave eternity to those in power.


Let's learn a lesson or two

One the evening the Phoenix factory building fell in a heap at its Tejgaon premises, it was 25th February 2006, a private television channel hastily scooped me to the place of occurrence for an on-site comment. While rescuers searched frantically for survivors and demolishing equipment brought down what remained of the buckled building behind me, standing on a pile of rubble I looked at the flickering red light of the video camera and remarked (a) that there could possibly be several more such buildings awaiting a similar fate in that very vicinity and beyond, (b) that all building owners factory, office, school, hospital, residence, hostel, entertainment should immediately inspect their respective buildings to determine any possible risk due to ageing, structural indiscipline, misuse and lack of maintenance, (c) that efforts should be undertaken to rectify any error that could be hazardous to life and property. Amidst the eerie din I remember having to shout no one heard my voice.

Savar Spectrum sweater factory failure

(Part I appeared last Friday, 5 October 2007)

Building collapse rescue

(Part I appeared last Friday, 5 October 2007)
(7) Great care must be taken when a person is located, either dead or alive, to ensure that additional collapse doesn't occur in the area of their entrapment. Rescuers should use their hands and small tools to remove the remaining debris surrounding a person. The victim's condition may dictate the speed with which rescue efforts progress. Consideration should be given to early application of Military Anti-Shock Trousers for viable persons that have "crushing" injuries. Preparation and the beginning of application of them should take place as soon as the entrapment permits. Several instances of complete hemodynamic (blood related) collapse and death have been noted upon release from confinement. Intravenous solutions can also be administered by qualified EMS (emergency medical service) personnel as extrication continues. Caution should be urged in the use of morphine or other painkillers.

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