The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 2, 2014


News of: Friday, 26th of October, 2007

Front Page

Huge Yaba haul in city

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) suspects Amin Huda, arrested early yesterday at his Gulshan office with 130,000 Yaba tablets, is one of the top barons of the drug business in Bangladesh.

ACC finds 'no merit' in Khaleda case

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has decided not to take into cognisance the allegations against former premier Khaleda Zia regarding the compensation for Magurchhara gas field blow-out and leasing out Phulbari coal zone to Asia Energy.

Talks with Yangon mulled to tackle Yaba menace

Government high-ups now mull initiating diplomatic moves to get help from countries concerned especially Myanmar to address the crisis arising out of use and trade in Yaba, a drug containing morphine and amphetamine.

Delwar makes his big show with ex-MPs

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday held a meeting with a number of party's former lawmakers, first such meeting since his appointment as secretary general on September 2.

Jamaat now denies its anti-liberation role in 1971

Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh yesterday said they did not work against the Liberation War in 1971 and claimed that there is no war criminal in the country.

Maya, family charged with hiding wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former state minister for shipping Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and his four family members in a case for concealing Tk 5.08 crore in the wealth statement submitted to the ACC.

5 firms offer to set up rental power plants

The Power Cell yesterday received 13 bids from five companies for installing rental power plants, totalling 250MW power generation capacity, at seven locations for three years, competent sources said.

Saarc home ministers vow to fight terror

Saarc home ministers yesterday decided to exchange information regularly to fight terrorism and work on establishing a convention for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

IMF sets 20 conditions for next PRGF loan

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has set 20 conditions under a package of reform to the government for the new Poverty Reduction Growth Facilities (PRGF) arrangement.

Task force starts monitoring Titas activities

The army-led Task Force against Serious Crimes and Corruption yesterday started monitoring the activities of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd amid allegations of corruption and irregularities in the organisation.

Voter list to be flawless

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said that the Election Commission (EC) would prepare a voter list free from flaws and acceptable to all.

Thai firms keen to assist in elevated expressway

Thailand is interested to cooperate with Bangladesh in constructing elevated expressway in the capital to ease traffic congestion.

Resentment in AL over large dialogue team

Some of the Awami League (AL) leaders, who were chosen for dialogue on electoral reforms with the Election Commission (EC), yesterday spoke against making the committee big and proposed to drop their names from it.

Sobhan asks BB not to allow anyone to operate co account

Absconding Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan has once again urged the central bank and commercial banks concerned not to allow operation of the accounts of East West Property Development Ltd as he has withdrawn their nominee.

Zillur demands reinvestigation into case against Rehana

Awami League (AL) Acting President Zillur Rahman yesterday termed the extortion case against Sheikh Rehana false, fabricated and mala fide and demanded reinvestigation into the case.

Border confce agrees on exchange of info on terrors

Bangladesh and India yesterday agreed to exchange information about terrors and reached a consensus on completing development works within 150 yards of the zero-line considering the interest of the local people across the common border.

Workers in Kuwait to be allowed to change their job

Some categories of Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait will soon be able to change their jobs under the same sponsor as the Kuwaiti government has decided to withdraw restrictions on transfer of residency.

Body formed to examine procedure of sending artefacts to France

The government has formed a special committee to evaluate the procedure of sending 187 artefacts to the Guimet Museum in Paris for an exhibition.

Dhaka slates attack on Turkish troops

Bangladesh strongly condemned the attacks on Turkish troops by terrorists belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

No-confidence petition against final report

The complainant of a case, filed against detained BNP bigwig Salauddin Quader Chowdhury in connection with assault and theft of livestock, submitted a Naraji (no confidence) petition before a Chittagong court yesterday.

Remains of war hero Hamidur to be brought in December

The government has decided to bring back the remains of Birsreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Hamidur Rahman in the first week of December from Indian State of Tripura, where he was buried.

30 killed in Pakistan military convoy blast

A blast tore through a truck carrying paramilitary soldiers in restive northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing 30 people and wounding at least a dozen more, a senior security official said.

Suu Kyi meets with junta official

Myanmar's detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi met for the first time yesterday with a senior junta official appointed to work with the country's main opposition party, state television reported.

Editorial

Judicial power debate

Government appears to be considering retention of some judicial powers in the hands of executive magistrates, albeit with the consultation of the Supreme Court. It could be ensured through an administrative decree for the time being or involve another amendment to the CrPC. To our mind, it is reopening of the issue that ought to have been settled with the amendment of the CrPC carried out earlier on. This should have delineated the powers and responsibilities between officers of executive cadre who acted as magistrates and the judicial magistrates. The amendment was thought to have cleared the course for the separation of the judiciary from the executive to commence on November 1.

Hazardous chemical in sugar

So-called "condensed sugar" with sodium cyclamate is being sold in the market, according to reports. Formerly known as D-sugar, it is selling under a brand name called "gold". The product is currently available at drug stores and grocery shops. The so-called sugar highly injurious to health is now being consumed among others by people suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure. Cyclamate being 50 percent sweeter than regular sugar, is used in a number of bakery products and ice creams.

Mutiny of the magistrates

Power, however it has evolved, whatever its origins, will not be given up without a struggle. -- Shulamith Firestone, Canadian-born feminist

Will the Israel-Palestine peace talks succeed?

President Bush, in the early years of his White House years, had abandoned direct engagement policy toward the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The president was known to have disapproved of the effort and time President Clinton spent in 2000 to resolve one of the most intractable conflicts.

Emphasis on informal economic sector for poverty alleviation

Persistence of poverty is a moral indictment of our times. Never have we seen so much wealth while so many continue to live in abject poverty. For individuals, poverty is a nightmare. It is a vicious cycle of poor health, reduced working capacity, low productivity and shortened life expectancy.

Sports

NCL sans stars

Dhaka will sorely miss their inspirational and inform captain Mohammad Ashraful when they take on Sylhet in the second round of the 9th National Cricket League at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium today.

No Miller for Tigers

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will have to make a fresh start in a bid appoint a new foreign coach for the national team after Colin Miller's exit from the scene.

Fourth SA-Pak ODI today

A pattern has begun to emerge in this engaging joust. Wickets look as if they'll leak runs except they don't. South Africa, setting or chasing targets, start well only to get bogged down in the face of Pakistan's twin spin stranglers and in that middle period, the game is effectively decided. Pakistan have reduced it to this simple equation and if it comes off tomorrow, then considerable hope will have been salvaged from a series, and era, that stuttered at the start.

Bangladesh safely in Dushanbe

Bangladesh national football team landed in Dushanbe last night after a strenuous journey through Central Asia to play their second leg match of the 2010 World Cup pre-qualifiers against hosts Tajikistan.

U-16 booters go down fighting

A heart winning performance by Bangladesh Under-16 footballers went in vain when they lost 3-2 to Uzbekistan in yesterday's AFC Youth Championship qualifiers in Abu Dhabi.

Pathologist sticks to poison theory

The pathologist who conducted the autopsy of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer on Thursday told the inquest into Woolmer's death that Woolmer died as the result of poisoning and strangulation.

ICL excites Lara

Brian Lara, the most successful Test batsman in history, said on Thursday that a controversial rebel series scheduled for later this year would open a new chapter in his career.

Abahani start training

B. League champions Abahani began their preparation yesterday for taking part in the Barduloi Trophy in Assam next month.

Pakistan to miss Inzy: Harbhajan

Pakistan will miss retired captain and free-scoring batsman Inzamamul Haq in upcoming clashes with India, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Thursday.

Tokai kabaddi final today

Tokai Stadium and Tokai Mirpur reached the final of the Orient Bread Tokai kabaddi tournament beating their respective opponents at the Outer Stadium kabaddi court yesterday.

Istanbul turns sour for Liverpool

Two former British European Cup winners Liverpool and Celtic suffered another blow to staying in the competition after both lost in the latest round of Champions League matches on Wednesday.

Party's on for Robinho

Real Madrid's Brazilian international Robinho completed his transition from villain to hero, and all in just seven days, in the eyes of the Spanish public and media on Thursday.

Testy times for Rafa

Rafael Benitez could be heading towards the first real crisis of his three-year reign at Liverpool after a 2-1 defeat by Besiktas left the Reds facing an early exit from the Champions League.

Milan ease woes

Doubles from Alberto Gilardino and Clarence Seedorf helped ease the sense of crisis enveloping AC Milan as the European titleholders beat Shakhtar Donetsk 4-1 in the Champions League here on Wednesday.

Blatter backs English bid

FIFA president Sepp Blatter seemingly encouraged England to bid for the World Cup in 2018 following a meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday.

Megson new Bolton manager

Struggling English Premiership club Bolton on Thursday named Gary Megson as their new manager.

Jibes don't bother Almunia

Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia insists he won't let Jens Lehmann's jibes ruin the best season of his life.

Ballack confident about return

German captain Michael Ballack insisted he will play again this year, despite reports in the press here the Chelsea midfielder will not make his comeback until 2008.

D'Alessandro shunted to reserves

Real Zaragoza confirmed on Wednesday that their Argentine international midfielder Andres D'Alessandro will train apart from the first team squad after falling out with coach Victor Fernandez.

Fernando fired up

Dilhara Fernando has promised that he and his fellow Sri Lankan pace bowlers will give the Australian batsmen "something special" in the two-Test series this November. The side's pace attack, traditionally a weakness, is at its strongest ever and Fernando believes Sri Lanka have their best chance yet to win a Test in Australia.

WI underachieved: Dyson

New West Indies coach John Dyson says the team have underachieved given the talent of their young players.

Atapattu's quick return

Marvan Atapattu is set to complete a remarkable return for Sri Lanka after an eight-month absence by playing against a Chairman's XI in Adelaide on Saturday. Atapattu initially ruled himself out of the Australia tour following selection disputes which have rumbled since the World Cup in March, but he was finally persuaded to join the party a week before the team flew out.

Dwyer keeps Pakistan fit

David Dwyer, a former Australian rugby coach, has brought about discernible improvement in the fitness of the Pakistan cricket team, a fact acknowledged by two key members of the side.

Inzamam to play in first ICL T20 Championship

Former Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq on Thursday said he would participate in Indian Cricket League's inaugural Twenty20 Championship, starting in Panchkula on November 30.

Indian camp at Eden

Indian team's two-day conditioning camp beginning November 2, ahead of the series against Pakistan was on Thursday shifted to the Eden Gardens with the Board of Control for Cricket in India agreeing to defer a Ranji Trophy match that was clashing with the camp.

Good start for Dhaka

The first-ever Women's Invi-tational Handball tournament began at the local Pilot High School ground yesterday.

ACC, Uttara & Badda win

ACC Green snuck home by two wickets in their Third Division Qualifying match against Dhanmondi Cricket Academy at the Uttara Friends Club ground yesterday.

Yousuf surprised with success

Prolific Pakistani batsman Mohammad Yousuf has expressed surprise at his recent run of impressive scores against South Africa as he had been away from cricket for a long time.

BCCI admits it

The Board of Control for Cricket in India Thursday admitted that excessive cricket was causing players' burn-out but said the BCCI was only following the International Cricket Council's calendar.

Chelsea see off Schalke

Chelsea's resurgence under Avram Grant gathered pace as they cruised to a 2-0 win over Schalke 04 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Bremen gain lifeline

Werder Bremen gave themselves a faint Champions League lifeline as they sealed an impressive 2-1 win at home to injury-hit Lazio on Tuesday night.

Giggs believes in squad depth

Ryan Giggs believes Manchester United's Champions League victory against Dynamo Kiev proves they can cope with the injury problems that threaten to derail their season.

Even win can't save Toerum

Knut Toerum, coach of Norwegian team Rosenborg, resigned on Thursday despite his side's 2-0 win over Valencia in the Champions League.

Business

Titas Gas to offload Tk215.30cr shares

State-run Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd has decided to offload its shares worth Tk 215.30 crore to the public through the stock exchanges.

BGMEA hopes to push garment export to $18b in next 3 yrs

Setting an export target of readymade garment (RMG) worth $15-18 billion dollars in next three years, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is going to hold its three-day apparel and textile exhibition here on November 15.

Post-flood agriculture: Some policy suggestions-II

Observations on post-flood agricultural activities and consultation with farmers in the flood-affected areas in the northwest districts (Tangail, Sirajganj, Dhunot (Bogra), Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat) during 4-6 October 2007 provided us insights on the nature and extent of damage by flood. We also had an assessment of farmers' coping and production strategy in the next season and constraints to realising their plans. Based on the observations and insights gathered from the field we would like to offer following suggestions on the post-flood agricultural rehabilitation programmes and policies.

NBR mulls time-extension for income tax return

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is contemplating to extend the deadline for submitting income tax return for fiscal 2006-07.

New chairman of IFIC Bank

Mohammad Lutfar Rahman has been unanimously elected new chairman of International Finance Investment and Commerce Bank Ltd (IFIC Bank).

New DMD of BRAC Bank

Kaiser Tamiz Amin has been appointed as a deputy managing director of BRAC Bank Ltd, says a press release.

Oil prices rise

Oil futures spiked Thursday, extending a price increase that began after figures exposed large and unexpected declines in U.S. crude and gasoline inventories last week.

Oil rich Black Sea nations discuss economic ties

Top officials from 12 countries of the oil-rich Black Sea region met here Thursday to discuss boosting trade and economic cooperation.

India's IT exports to reach $80b

India's exports from the information technology sector is expected to reach $80 billion by 2011 from the current level of $37 billion, said India's Telecom and IT minister, A Raja.

Chinese economy grows by 11.5pc

China's supercharged economy grew by a stunning 11.5 percent in the third quarter, slowing slightly but staying on track to overtake Germany as the world's third-largest within weeks, according to data reported Thursday.

Airbus A380 completes first commercial flight

The Airbus A380, the largest airliner ever built, successfully completed its maiden commercial flight Thursday, heralding a new era in aviation after months of delays and massive cost overruns.

Islami Bank holds lottery for repeat public offer

Lottery for Repeat Public Offer (RPO) of Mudaraba Perpetual Bond of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited was held yesterday in Dhaka yesterday, says a press release.

Metropolitan

'Border management important for bilateral relations'

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said border management is an important component of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India.

'Raise mass awareness to deal with leprosy'

Experts yesterday underscored the need of mass awareness about leprosy, a chronic infection disease caused by bacteria, as the disease is still surrounded by social stigma and false fear among the people.

President seeks Thai help in agro-based industry

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday sought technical cooperation from Thailand in the field of agro-based industries.

Students face problems in absence of DUCSU

Demands for the election of Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU) appears to be resurfacing again among ordinary students as the country's premier campus has not seen activities of the crucial student forum for over two decades.

RU halls reopen after 63 days

All the 15 residential halls of Rajshahi University (RU) reopened yesterday amid tight security after 63 days' unscheduled closure following August 22 campus unrest.

6 arrested, 5 clinics sealed off

A mobile court in a special drive against unauthorised clinics, pathologies and nursing homes in Rajshahi sentenced a clinic owner to one month's imprisonment and arrested five other people, including a professor of Rajshahi Medical College (RMC), in the last three days.

Parties' accountability must for fair polls: Rawshan

Self-proclaimed Jatiya Party (JP) acting president Rawshan Ershad yesterday said ensuring accountability, democratic practice and reforms in political parties is needed to eliminate the influence of black money and muscle power in general elections.

Court orders attachment of property of former engr, contractor

The Divisional Special Court, Chittagong, yesterday ordered attachment of property of Kazi Abu Taher, former engineer, and AN Faruq Ahmed, contractor of Chittagong Wasa, in an extortion case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Proceedings of extortion case against Alena Khan stayed

Vacation bench of the High Court yesterday stayed the proceedings of the extortion case against Alena Khan, a human rights activist.

Sher-e-Bangla's anniversary of birth today

Today is the 134th birth anniversary of Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq, a great leader of the sub-continent.

Govt urged to allocate more funds for farm production

The government should allocate more funds for agriculture sector to ensure more food production to cut rural poverty, speakers suggested at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

BTTB cuts call rates

Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) has further reduced charges on its different services, including NWD call, with effect from November 1.

Moeen meets chairman of AUW Support Foundation

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed on a visit to Boston met Jack R Meyer, chairman of the Board of the Asian University for Women Support Foundation and senior managing partner & CEO of the hedge fund Convexity Capital, at his office at the John Hancock Building on Tuesday, says a press release.

Schoolboy missing

Ahad Rahman Khandaker, a class six student of Banani Play Pen School, has been missing since Tuesday.

Alleged mugger succumbs to injuries in city

An alleged mugger succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday.

Bangladesh-US joint air exercise begins

A weeklong joint air exercise of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) and US Marine Force began at the BAF Base at Kurmitola in the city on Wednesday.

5 houses gutted in Ctg fire

Five houses were gutted in a fire in the port city's Bayezid area in the early hours of yesterday.

Rab nabs 7 'muggers'

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested seven alleged snatchers from three places in Mohammadpur in the city and recovered a revolver, a bullet and sharp weapons from their possession.

Medical admission test today

Medical admission test will be held today.

Man held for murder attempt on wife

Police arrested a man for alleged attempt to kill his wife at Hasli village in Manikganj Sadar upazila early yesterday.

Housewife commits suicide in city

A housewife allegedly committed suicide at Sutrapur area in the city on Wednesday night.

Mymensingh Cultural Forum anniversary programme tomorrow

The Greater Mymensingh Cultural Forum will celebrate its 15th founding anniversary tomorrow.

Correction

In a news item headlined 'Establish district government to strengthen local bodies' published in The Daily Star on Wednesday, Feroz A Hassan, chairman of Coalition for Good Governance, was mentioned as a leader of the LDP. In fact, Feroz resigned from LDP on June 25 and he is no longer associated with the political party. We regret the inadvertent mistake.

Letters

Two big festivals

This year Eid and Puja came along together creating a mood of festivity and joy among the people of Bangladesh. It was really beautiful to see the communal harmony between the Hindus and Muslims.

Separation of judiciary

Separation of the judiciary from the executive is a long-standing demand of the people of this country. It will definitely help in establishing the rule of law and containing corruption. Its implementation is already long over-due. British merchants mingled the judiciary with the administration with a view to exploiting people of this land and painfully the system is still on. So immediate separation of judiciary is a must for the greater interest of the nation.

US and democracy

When we look into the US State Department policy on Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Myanmar (Burma) we feel astonished, stultified, worried and shocked.

Appeal for help

Rafiqul Islam has been struggling to earn a livelihood with both of his legs injured in a road accident. Rafiqul studied up to class-nine at the Sara Marwari High School at Ishurdi, Pabna. But poverty forced him to drop out of school and come to Dhaka to work for a livelihood. At Dhaka, he started working as a helper of a truck. But cruel fate intervened, when in Comilla another truck collided head-on with Rafiqul's truck. In the accident both of his legs were crushed. To save his legs, he sold his arable lands to go to the Vellore Christian Medical College and Hospital, Madras, India, where he was treated by Dr Shyamal Chitta Ranjan and Dr Isaac Xavier. They operated five times on Rafiqul's legs.

“My country”

The other day a close friend of mine was lamenting on the state of the mind of our countrymen, and revealed to me some of his inner thoughts. I pass it along to the readers with the benevolent presumption that it might lead to a solo session on reflections--a dialogue with the self. This friend, whom I would call Kamal, has been working for many years overseas on contract, holding a high post in an international organisation. One day he announced that he would be returning to his motherland Bangladesh on the expiry of his contract sometime this year, and enjoy his double retirement. Almost all the Bengali residents in the city asked him the same question: why was he going back to his country, and why he would not try to get domiciled in that country and remain there. After some time, Kamal got bored with the question, and adopted a cryptic reply: "My country, good or bad". The second most popular query was that surely he was not going to lead a retired life; and they were curious to know what he wanted to do after retirement. "Nothing," Kamal snapped. "Do you know the art of doing nothing?" Some were shocked, some did not believe him, while some others did not give him the benefit of doubt. Kamal came to me for solace, and gave me a bit of his mind, because others would not and did not understand his philosophy. "What had happened to the nation?" He thundered in frustration. If well to do citizens cultivated this type of attitude, who would lead the society? He referred to the professionals holding posh jobs overseas, who were only concerned with their own lives. Enough is never enough. The curve in the graph must always be rising even with one foot in the grave. Even at the top, there is no such thing as a horizontal curve. Developing countries need rising curves; and it becomes a motto of private and personal life. Spiritually, avariciousness, and wants and desires have reached the dimensions of a bottomless basket (remember Kissinger?). Gratefulness to the Almighty is forgotten in the chase of Mammon. The tentacles of materialism have gripped a hundred million souls. There appeared to be no escape from the vicious circle. He quoted the great saint of Baghdad. Be satisfied with your present station, and seek not a change, because you do not know what is good for you. Be patient, and seek the blessings of the Lord; He is the most merciful and compassionate. Kamal moaned on the erosion and lack of faith in one's own self. He was very up-to-date with his reasoning. Look what happened to Eastern Europe suddenly and in a few months. Communism's godlessness could not hold for more than two generations. He stressed great spiritual significance to this historic change, and called for self analysis. I tried to bring him down to earth with the observation that the pattern of thinking in the developing countries is similar to the have-not mentality. The negative attitude towards life was due to frustration and lack of security. The sharpness of hunger blunts the conscience. Its effects are far reaching. The principles are eroded, the morality is compromised, moral courage disappears, and the willingness to suffer for principles evaporates. Temptation becomes irresistible. Therefore the have-nots cannot rule; because they are not accustomed to money and power. First self, then the party, then the country.

Private medical colleges

In the last few weeks, news was published in different newspapers accusing the private medical colleges of the country. This news created confusion, depression and frustration not only among the students, teachers and staff of the colleges but also among the guardians.

Road in bad shape

The largest portion of northern Dhaka is situated on the eastern side of Dhaka-North Bengal Road; the area is known as Uttar Khan & Dakkhin Khan (now declared as two separate thanas) covering an area of about 40/50 square kilometers. The road along which the people of this area mainly move is called Shah Kabir Mazar Road, in short Mazar Road. It starts from the Azampur Rail Gate of Uttara Model Town, Sector No. 4 and extends eastward about 10/12 km to the Balu River. The area has already turned into one of the biggest residential habitats of Dhaka city. On the other side of the river, Kaligonj and Rupgonj thanas are situated. Most of the people of these two thanas cross the river and come to the city along this road by rickshaw, bus, baby-taxi, tempo etc. and on foot.

Unnecessary expenditures

We are regularly paying a large amount of money to the government exchequer in the form of taxes and fees levied on our income, savings, investments and expenses. We do not want our contribution from the hard-earned money to be mis-spent by the government agencies, as before.

A good doctor

Prof. SH Advani, consultant oncologist, is a renowned cancer specialist not only of India, but of this sub-continent. Like many others he was known to me by his name. In last July, I went to Mumbai with a patient who was to meet Dr Advani for treatment.

Congratulations!

My heartiest congratulation goes to Bangladeshi Scientist Abul Hussam on his achievement of being recognised as a "hero" of the environment in the Oct-29 issue of TIME magazine. His SONO filter which costs $35, is said to remove 98 percent of arsenic content in water and hence it is a filter which is capable of saving the lives of 137 million people around the world who use arsenic-contaminated water.

Prime concern

What has been the most recent subject of concern that has finally compelled all the people in this world to think alike? What is that one problem that has given an opportunity to all the actors and key players to show their concern in real life? As you all must have guessed by now, it is the issue of global warming. But don't turn the page yet, because this is not one of those millions of essays on global warming. It is about how small countries like ours are making a significant contribution to the " Healing Process" without being aware of it. Well, it is neither the existence of an insignificant number of industries in our country that can emit harmful greenhouse gases in the environment, nor is it the fact that the majority of people cannot afford appliances like air conditioners and washing machines, it is the price hike of liquid fuel in the global market!

Tree plantation

Trees are our great friends and gifts of nature. They have much influence upon the climatic condition of a country. Our life cycle mainly depends on trees.

International

Main threat to Pak national security is internal: Musharraf

As troops fanned out in Pakistan's northwestern province to counter activities of a pro-Taliban cleric, President Pervez Musharraf said the main threat to the country's national security is "internal" with a handful of extremists out to disrupt law and order.

Tigers ruin Lankan military plans

Tamil Tiger rebels have dealt a serious blow to Sri Lanka's intelligence gathering capabilities with a devastating suicide attack that destroyed its entire fleet of spy planes, observers said yesterday.

US legislators warn Musharraf on Benazir's security

Three veteran US senators on Wednesday urged Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf to ensure the safety of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto after the deadly attack on her homecoming parade.

US deadline on N-deal is an insult: CPI-M

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Thursday said the reported deadline set by the US to make the India-US nuclear deal operational was an insult to Indian democracy.

UN Myanmar envoy upbeat after talks with China

The United Nations envoy on Myanmar gave an upbeat assessment here Thursday over his meetings with Chinese officials that are aimed at helping to resolve the unrest in the Southeast Asian nation.

10 Taliban killed in Afghan clash

US-led coalition and Afghan troops attacked a gathering of Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan, leaving 10 insurgents dead and 14 wounded, an Afghan official said yesterday.

15 get life for killings in Indian riots

A court on Wednesday sentenced fifteen people to life in prison for killing Muslims in riots that followed the demolition of a mosque by Hindu fanatics in northern India in 1992.

US slaps sanctions on Iran military, banks

The United States yesterday slapped tough sanctions on Iran's military and three state-owned banks, ratcheting up tensions over its nuclear drive and seeking to choke off funds to Tehran.

Turkish planes pound Iraqi Kurd rebel bases

Turkey is running out of patience and will not tolerate the use of Iraqi soil for the purpose of launching terrorist activities, the Turkish president said yesterday ahead of a visit from a high-level Iraqi delegation.

Lebanon troops fire on Israeli warplanes

Lebanese troops opened fire yesterday on Israeli warplanes flying low over southern Lebanon but no hits were reported, Lebanese officials said.

Olmert dampens expectations of Abbas meeting

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday played down expectations for an upcoming US-sponsored peace summit, saying the gathering would not produce a binding peace agreement with the Palestinians and might not even take place.

Over 755,000 on US terrorist watch list

The US terrorist watch list includes more than 755,000 names and continues to grow, the US Government Accountability Office said Wednesday.

Japan warns US over N Korea

A senior Japanese official has warned the United States that relations will suffer if Washington removes North Korea from a list of terrorist states, amid stepped up efforts to end Pyongyang's nuclear drive.

Global warming predictions 'as good as they get': Study

Global warming estimates are probably as good as they are going to get, according to a report out Thursday, which says that scientists have reached the limits of their climate models.

Easing winds help Californian firefighters

Easing winds offered Californian firefighters some respite on Thursday as they battled to contain blazes that have killed at least three and caused more than a billion dollars in property damage.

Delhi urges military to be open in defence deals

India on Wednesday urged its military chiefs to ensure transparency in a swathe of multi-billion dollar deals due to be signed in coming years as the armed forces modernise.

UN hosts conference on combating forced marriage

Britain kicked off a two-day European conference on Wednesday focused on sharing its experience in tackling the horrors of forced marriage.

India tests Agni-1 ballistic missile

India on Wednesday test fired its nuclear-capable Agni-1 ballistic missile for the second time in less than a month and said the latest experiment was a "major success."

Ex-Philippines leader Estrada wins full pardon

Former Philippine president Joseph Estrada was given a full pardon on Thursday just weeks after he was jailed for life on charges of stealing tens of millions of dollars from the nation's coffers.

US military may get control of contractors

Congress is moving to put all armed contractors operating in combat zones under military control, acting on a Pentagon recommendation that could run into resistance at the State Department.

Arts & Entertainment

A prolific character actor

Popular actor Tushar Khan has been working mostly in television at present. Four serials featuring the actor are on air now -- Dolls House, Amader Nurul Huda, Syed Barir Bou and Chor Kuthuri. Several others are set to air soon.

Nirjhor's “Aha!”: A breath of fresh air

My friend Enamul Karim Nirjhor has directed a film titled Aha!. I could not attend the premier show and therefore had to compensate by watching the movie from the front row of the houseful Cineplex at Bashundhara city. Nirjhor has not only directed the film, he also wrote the story, screenplay, dialogues and songs and in each field has left an impression of his talent.

Another feather in the hat for “Ironeaters”

Berlin-based Bangladeshi filmmaker Shaheen Dill-Riaz's feature-length documentary film Ironeaters (Lohakhor) -- a joint collaboration of Bangladeshi and German teams -- has received the best documentary film award at the FILM SOUTHASIA '07 festival held in Kathmandu, organised by the Himal Association, says a press release.

Prachyanat stages 50th show of “Koinna”

Theatre troupe Prachyanat celebrated the 50th show of its 9th production, Koinna with special arrangements at the Mahila Samity Auditorium on October 24.

Concert to commemorate Gandhi Jayanti

In a world torn hopelessly asunder by discord and disharmony, Mahatma Gandhi's message of peace and non-violence has an enduring appeal. In fact so relevant is the late leader's philosophy even today that the United Nations General Assembly declared his birth anniversary of October 2 as the International Day of Non-violence.

“The Namesake”: A contender at this year's Oscars

Acclaimed Indian American director Mira Nair's latest film The Namesake, which has earned a great commercial success and critical appreciation in India, the United States and several other countries, will be running for this year's Oscars.

“Shomoyer Kotha” on BTV tonight

BTV will air the discussion programme Shomoyer Kotha, tonight at 9:00pm.

“Amra Korbo Jai”: Children's programme on ATN Bangla

ATN Bangla will air children's programme Amra Korbo Jai this evening at 6:20 pm.

OP-ED

A matter of formality?

ON October 11, an ACC team interrogated Khaleda Zia to record her side of the story concerning the Global Agro Trade (Private) Company Ltd (Gatco) scam case. During the interrogation, Begum Zia denied all charges brought against herself and her son: "Neither me nor my son had any involvement in the deal." She also told the interrogating team that she was not influenced by anyone, nor did she exert any influence on the purchase committee to award the contract to Gatco.

Pros and cons of absentee voting

IT appears that the caretaker government has almost set its mind on granting voting rights to the overseas Bangladeshis. This decision may be both popular and constitutional. After all, in a democratic country every citizen is entitled to equal rights, so why deprive the overseas Bangladeshis of the right to vote?

Environment

Rainfall variability: Impact of climate change?

The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (henceforth, GBM) river system is the third largest freshwater outfall to the world's oceans. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra fall in a number of countries in the South Asian region, including China, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Of these China contributes solely to the flow of the Brahmaputra, and Nepal to the flow of the Ganges. These two rivers often overflow during the monsoon months, and the flow reduces dramatically in the dry season. The region therefore faces two major hazards: floods during the monsoon and scarcity of water during the dry season. These hazards become more pronounced in the downstream regions particularly in Bangladesh.

Carbon free Sri Lanka: Success of Davos conference

The 2nd International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, held in Davos from October 1 to 3, organised by UNWTO together with the United Nations Environment Program (Unep), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and supported by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Swiss government, has urged "action by the entire tourism sector to face climate change as one of the greatest challenges to sustainable development, and to the Millennium Development Goals in the 21st Century."

Global emissions and warnings

The Climate Change Conference on 3-14 December, under the auspices of United Nations and hosted by the Government of Indonesia to be held in Bali, brings together representatives of over 180 countries as well as observers from intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, and the media. Climate change has been in active news for quite some time now. The Arctic ice pack reached its lowest level since measurements have been taken. Glaciers are melting and the world's weather patterns are changing. Due to rise of sea level, many island and coastal countries have been under serious threat of extinction. The countries that contribute to the disastrous global warming affecting the entire humanity have taken notice of the warnings from the rising sea levels.



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