The Daily Star

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

News of: Friday, 11th of January, 2008

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Advisers agree to talk with political parties

The council of advisers at a special meeting yesterday agreed to open dialogues with the political parties to discuss the overall situation to ensure holding of a free and fair election.

3 special assistants to CA appointed

Three special assistants to the chief adviser were appointed yesterday with the rank and status of state minister, aimed at expanding the cabinet of the caretaker government.

AI chief terms HR record poor

Amnesty International (AI) Secretary General Irene Khan yesterday termed the present human rights situation in the country 'unsatisfactory' saying that the government has committed rights abuses that have added new patterns to those done by the previous regimes.

Inflation, low agriculture production, investment sloth main challenges

High inflation rate, low agricultural production, slow growth of investment and sluggish export trends are the major challenges confronting the caretaker government, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) yesterday said.

AL, BNP, JP want early date for talks

Awami League (AL), BNP and Jatiya Party (JP) yesterday welcomed the government move for holding dialogue with the political parties and urged the government to fix dates as early as possible to find a solution to the current crisis through discussion.

ACC presses graft charges against Hasina

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former premiere and Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina and seven others in connection with Tk 3 crore graft case during the setting up of 100MW barge-mount power plant in Khulna.

Robbers kill man to loot Uttara house

Robbers strangled an elderly man to death and looted jewelleries and cash worth over Tk 8 lakh raiding the Uttara house of film actress Shabnam Parveen in the capital early yesterday.

191 tolas of gold, diamonds recovered, 4 held

Detectives in separate drives in the city and Munshiganj yesterday arrested four members of the gang that looted Dhanmondi branch of Brac Bank and seized 191 tolas of gold ornaments, diamonds and other valuables from them.

BB projects 6.2pc growth this year

Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday said GDP growth in the current fiscal year would range between 6 and 6.2 percent.

1 killed as CNG cylinder explodes in vehicle

The owner of a covered van was killed yesterday as the gas cylinder of the vehicle exploded during refuelling at a CNG filling station in the capital's Badda area.

President, CA's messages on CG's 1st year completion

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday gave separate messages marking the completion of one year of the present caretaker government.

Cop says nothing against teachers, students

A policeman giving statement to a Dhaka court yesterday did not say anything against the Dhaka University (DU) teachers and students accused in the case for breaching Emergency Power Rules (EPR) in August last year.

Ex-state minister Salahuddin jailed for 7 years

A special court yesterday sentenced former state minister for communications Salahuddin Ahmed to seven years' imprisonment for taking Tk 1 crore in bribe from a contractor.

Gen Moeen asks traders to shun unfair means for stable rice price

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday urged the business community not to adopt unfair means and to keep price of rice stable.

Ex-president of Dhaka Club arrested

Members of the task forces arrested former Dhaka Club president Selim Bhuiyan at his Gulshan office yesterday afternoon.

26 killed in suicide attack on Pak cops

At least 22 police and four civilians were killed in a suicide bomb attack yesterday outside the high court in the commercial heart of Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city.

Protest for release of teachers, students at DU, RU

Students of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday formed a human chain on the campus demanding immediate release of the detained university teachers and a student.

AL again demands early polls

Awami League (AL) yesterday reiterated its demand for general elections by the middle of this year and handover of power to an elected government to resolve the persisting crises in the country.

ACC gets SC nod to appeal against HC order

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday granted the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) permission to appeal and extended the stay order on the High Court (HC) judgment that had declared illegal the ACC notice served on detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina asking her to submit wealth statement.

AKTEL to raise cash in IPO, blames VoIP scandal for subscriber loss

AKTEL the country's second largest mobile operator, will use its listing on the stockmarket later this year to raise fresh cash, and blamed it's recent fall in subscribers on the turmoil that engulfed the company following the VoIP scandal last year.

Geeta Pasi sees right direction for polls

US Charge d' Affaires Geeta Pasi yesterday said things are moving in right direction towards holding general elections in Bangladesh before the end of this year.

Koko tells ACC about his Tk 6cr wealth

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko yesterday submitted his wealth statement worth about Tk 6 crore to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Rab man injured in gunfight with drug dealers

A member of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and a drug peddler were injured during a gunfight between the law enforcers and a gang of drug dealers in the city's Badda area last night.

7 RHD engineers held while 'sharing' bribes

The task forces held seven engineers of the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) and an official of a construction firm from a coffee shop in the city on Tuesday night while the engineers were allegedly distributing bribes among themselves.

NY confce on investment opportunities in Bangladesh

A major conference on investment opportunities in Bangladesh, organised by the Asia Society and sponsored by the financial services group JPMorgan, will be held in New York later this month with the country being described as “one of the world's most exciting investment opportunities.”

Editor, publisher of Prothom Alo discharged from Pintu's case

A Dhaka court yesterday discharged the editor and the publisher of the daily Prothom Alo from a defamation case filed by detained former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu in June 2006.

Tamil Tigers want truce, Norwegian peace role

Tamil Tiger rebels said yesterday they were ready to revive a dying ceasefire abandoned by Sri Lanka's government and urged Norway to maintain its role as peace broker as fighting claimed 29 insurgents and a soldier in the north.


Government's scorecard a mixed bag

At the end of the incumbent government's first year, we would like to evaluate its performance under four specific heads: holding a free, fair and credible election, institution building, political reforms and managing the economy.

CA's call to the law enforcers

The call by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed to the police to discharge their duties in the best interests of society is certainly of the kind that needs to be sounded insistently because of what our police force have been unable to do so far for citizens.

Looking back, looking forward

So here we are, January 11, 2008. Exactly one year since the military-backed caretaker government took over, and a good time to take stock of the last twelve months and to look ahead to the coming twelve.

Anniversary at crossroads

Today, right on the dot is the first anniversary of 1/11. The first thing that comes to mind isn't where we have finished but where we had started. One year ago, around this time, we had come dangerously close to what I would call the Rumpeltstiltskin moment. Rumpeltstiltskin is a dwarf character from a fairy tale. In a flight of rage, he tore himself into two with his own hand.

The caretaker government, a year on

The arrival of a new government, at least in our part of the world, is generally a dramatic affair. When you add to that the little sub-plots, all of which keep coming in at fairly regular intervals, you have the very spice of excitement coming into life.


No compromise: Jamali

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Major General Sina Ibn Jamali yesterday said he was hopeful about the start of the Premier Cricket League soon despite facing legal battle.

Pollock, Smith put SA atop

Shaun Pollock made a successful return to Test cricket and captain Graeme Smith smashed a century as South Africa dominated the first day of the series-deciding third Test against the West Indies at Kingsmead Thursday.

MSC receive green signal

Mohammedan SC, the organisers of Victory Day Club Cup Football, received green signal from National Sports Council (NSC) to hold the tournament from January 26 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS).

Captains call for calm

The Australian and Indian cricket captains sought to ease the racism and sportsmanship rows overshadowing their series, as India returned to action on Thursday after fears they would abandon the tour.

A test of spirit

The silverware in the trophy cabinet bears testimony to the results of Australia's win-at-all-costs approach to playing cricket.

Under-19s return home today

Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team returns home from South Africa on Friday at 7:45am after taking part in a triangular one-day series and a three-day match against South Africa under-19 side.

Wanderers make flying start

Dhaka Wanderers made a good start in the EXIM Bank Women's Kabaddi League defeating Victoria SC 54-48 with three creditable 'lonas' in the opening match at the Outer Stadium Kabaddi Court yesterday.

Lawson hopes on Aussie tour

Pakistan cricket coach Geoff Lawson Thursday said security assessments after next month's elections will determine whether Australia will go ahead with their planned tour here.

Barca hold Sevilla

Thierry Henry's first-half strike gave Barcelona a valuable away goal and earned his side a 1-1 draw with holders Sevilla in their King's Cup last-16, first leg on Wednesday.

Wenger concerned

Arsene Wenger is facing an injury crisis that threatens to derail Arsenal's Premier League title challenge.

Magpies part with Big Sam

Newcastle United have parted company with manager Sam Allardyce with immediate effect and by mutual agreement, the English Premier League side announced here Wednesday.

Walcott saves Gunners

Theo Walcott came to Arsenal's rescue as his late goal frustrated Tottenham and earned a 1-1 draw in the League Cup semifinal first leg here on Wednesday.

Berbatov best in Bulgaria

Tottenham striker and Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov has been named footballer of the year for the fourth time, the Bulgarian football union announced Thursday.

Robben injured again

Real Madrid said Arjen Robben will be unavailable for Thursday's Spanish Cup match against Mallorca due to a muscle strain, the latest injury to the club's costliest pre-season signing.

Schuster feels for Ronaldinho

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster has hit out at the fans of bitter rivals Barcelona for what he feels is their unfair treatment of Brazilian star Ronaldinho.

Tevez can face Brazil

Argentina striker Carlos Tevez can play against Brazil in June's World Cup qualifier after his international ban was cut from two matches to one.

Guus plays down Bayern link

Experienced Dutch coach Guus Hiddink has played down the importance of rumours linking him to the Bayern Munich job.

Ponting wants 'love'

Ricky Ponting still believes his team does not need to alter its behaviour, but has admitted he would do some things "a little differently" if he could return to the Test in Sydney. Ponting's parents received abusive phone calls in the fallout from the match and his wife Rhianna was concerned about her husband's job after a newspaper column demanded his sacking.

Pink ball a success

Queensland women who made history by using one in an exhibition Twenty20 match against Western Australia on Thursday evening at the Gabba have rated the first trial of a pink ball favourably. Both Jude Coleman and Jodie Purves said the ball held together well, and it was even better than the white one used in limited-overs cricket as, unlike the white ball, it kept its colour throughout and was harder, too.

Sonali Bank meet Army in final

Sonali Bank won their fifth match in a row to set a final clash against Bangladesh Army in the Dhaka Bank Victory Day hockey tournament.

Under-16 chess

Nineteen players share the lead in the 28th National Sub-Junior (under-16) boys' and girls' chess championship securing two points each after the second round matches at the Chess Federation hall-room yesterday.

Metro chess from Jan 19

Metropolis selection chess tournament will begin at the Chess Federation hall-room on January 19.

India take to the field

Opener Virender Sehwag and the struggling Yuvraj Singh both fell cheaply on Thursday as India returned to action after fears they would quit their crisis-hit tour of Australia.

Yuvraj lacks fight

Most of India's cricketers took just a few days to get over their jet lag. Not Yuvraj Singh who, by the looks of it, has sleepwalked through the first half of the Test series. India began the tour trying to accommodate Yuvraj in the middle order. Five innings on and they've seen the move blow up in their faces.

Hayden named despite injury

Australia have named an unchanged squad for the third Test against India despite doubts over Matthew Hayden because of a hamstring injury.

Ballack shows his worth

Back in the build-up to the last World Cup, Germany had waited with bated breath to find out whether a bio-resonance therapist named Kurt Schweinberger, armed with a liberal sprinkling of Wunderwasser, could cure a national icon. The worry was that Michael Ballack, his calf inflamed, might have to miss the tournament. The prospect of the side being robbed of their leader was utterly unthinkable. Now, for the first time, Chelsea supporters may share the vision of Ballack as integral.

Henin sets up 1 v 2 final

World number one Justine Henin stretched her winning streak to 27 matches as she beat fourth-ranked Ana Ivanovic to set up a one-versus-two final with Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Sydney International on Thursday.

Savage expects relegation

Robbie Savage said he expected to be playing in English football's second tier next season after signing for Premier League basement side Derby County on Wednesday.

Lehmann going nowhere

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger denied Wednesday newspaper reports in Germany that goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was on the brink of joining Borussia Dortmund.

Ruud extends with Real

Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy signed a new deal with Real Madrid on Wednesday which extends his contract with the Spanish champions until 2010, the club said on its website.

MU to tour S Africa

Manchester United will tour South Africa in the close season this summer, the club announced on Thursday.


AKTEL to raise cash in IPO, blames VoIP scandal for subscriber loss

AKTEL, the country's second largest mobile phone operator, will use its listing on the stock market later this year to raise fresh cash, and blamed its recent fall in subscribers on the turmoil that engulfed the company following the VoIP scandal last year.

Thin interest in Jamuna Oil in 2nd day's trade

Only 7,600 shares in Jamuna Oil Company were sold on the stock exchanges yesterday, as Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), which owns the state-run company, was reluctant to sell shares at a lower price than the previous day.

NY conference to brand Bangladesh 'exciting investment' destination

A major conference on investment opportunities in Bangladesh, organised by the Asia Society and sponsored by the financial services group JPMorgan, will be held in New York later this month with the country being described as “one of the world's most exciting investment opportunities.”

Citi awards to be announced January 19

The names of the winners of Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) 2007 in four categories will be announced on January 19, says a press release.

British Air to launch 'open skies' airline

British Airways on Wednesday unveiled plans for a new airline with daily flights from New York to Europe, taking advantage of last year's EU-US "open skies" deal to free up the key transatlantic market.

Tata unveils world's cheapest car

India's Tata Group unveiled Thursday the world's cheapest car costing 2,500 dollars amid predictions the no-frills vehicle could revolutionise how millions in India and elsewhere travel.

DHL launches Airport to Door Express service in Bangladesh

DHL, one of the world's leading express and logistics companies, has recently launched 'Airport to Door Express' service for its customers in Bangladesh, says a press release.

World economic forum voices fear of recession in US in '08

The World Economic Forum Wednesday voiced fears of a recession in the United States over the next 12 months and expressed doubts that consumption-led growth in Asia could take over as driver of the global economy.

Sonargaon hotel launches seafood promotion

Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka yesterday launched a weeklong seafood promotion, says a press release.

New chairman of Bangladesh Commerce Bank

AQ Siddiqui has taken over as chairman of Bangladesh Commerce Bank Ltd with effect from December 27, 2007.

MD of EAC Bangladesh

Azmal Hossain has joined EAC Industrial Ingredients (Bangladesh) Ltd as its managing director, says a press release.


Dhaka has already become unlivable city

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) yesterday honoured 10 individuals and organisations with Dhaka Nagar Padak 2005 and 2006 in recognition of their contribution to the development of the metropolis.

Behave in a friendly, humane manner with public

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday underscored the need for an efficient and patriotic police force for serving the country and the people.

Continue present trend of dev

Speakers at a meeting here yesterday called for continuing the present trend of development that was initiated after January 11 of 2007.

Road crashes kill 3

At least three people were people were killed in separate road accidents in Dinajpur and Faridpur yesterday and on Wednesday.

‘Non-democratic rule turns country into fragile state’

Prolonged rule by non-democratic regime and absence of democratic culture turns a country into a fragile state, said researchers and educationists at an international seminar yesterday.

TIB invites reports

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has invited reports for giving awards in investigative journalism on corruption in newspaper and TV channel, says a press release.

Photojournalist Mohammad Alam passes away

Noted photojournalist Mohammad Alam passed away due to a cardiac arrest at his residence in the city last night at the age of 61.

Touchstone statue worth Tk 1cr seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members seized a touchstone statue of Vishnu worth about Tk 1 crore from Sombhag area under Dhamrai Police Station in Dhaka yesterday and arrested three people in this connection.

BCS viva voce now on Feb 3

The viva voce of 150 candidates in the 27th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations, which was scheduled for January 20, will now be held on February 3, said an official handout.

Another confesses involvement

One more arrestee yesterday confessed to a magistrate his involvement in the artefacts theft incident that took place in December last year.

SC rejects ACC plea for stay on HC bail to Babul

The Supreme Court yesterday turned down the Anti-Corruption Commission plea for stay on the High Court's bail awarded to detained businessman Nurul Islam Babul.

Appeal for help

A father has appealed to all for financial assistance for the treatment of his son Abu Naser, a student of class three, who has been suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a condition which affects the nervous system and paralyses sufferers.

Free treatment at Hamdard stall

National Professor Nurul Islam will provide free treatment to patients at the stall of Hamdard at Dhaka International Trade Fair on Saturday from 10:00am to 12:00 noon, says a press release.

Justice Murshed’s anniversary of birth of today

Today is the 97th anniversary of birth of former chief justice Syed Mahbub Murshed, says a press release.


Initiate a political dialogue

It is becoming a fashion to blame the politicians for any failure in the affairs of governance, although the country is under the rule of the military-backed caretaker government for the last one year, and not any political party. The politicians and the political parties are showing full respect to the state of emergency rules and obeying the order of the government. The most powerful political spokesperson of the government, the law and information adviser, and the so called popular talk show hosts of TV channels very often express their opinion that there is no change in " mon- manoshikota" of the politicians which is the biggest hurdle for positive thinking in granting political freedom to the politicians and the people as well. I was so amazed to hear a TV talk show host asking a question to a politician guest: “You talk about every problem of the country, why didn't you protest the government decision to send the artefacts to a French exhibition?” The inherent message is: if you had protested, this could have prevented the situation that has arisen, as if the politicians are responsible for what happened to the stolen artefacts. The ball shall always be in the court of the politicians, and the government is not accountable and will not take any responsibility. This was well demonstrated by the statement issued by an Adviser to the press that the government had nothing to do with regard to rising prices of rice, and the people will have to accept this.

Bangladesh 2008

Last year was a surprise year for Bangladesh. Many impossible things became possible in the year 2007. It will be a memorable year in our history. As a nation we have many historical events that we can be proud of. We have 1952, we have 1971 and both of them have their permanent places in history.


Inflation in any country has some characteristics of a market economy, is quite normal. But when prices of essentials like rice and edible oil soar three or four times in a couple of days and the people's income remains the same as that of five years ago, e have reason to doubt how efficiently our administrators are running the country. An adviser could not make things better by uttering that the government had nothing to do to reduce the prices of rice. People are quite disappointed; a government that can easily incarcerate corrupt politicians with or without substantial evidence is periodically failing to keep prices of essentials from soaring out of people's affordability. It doesn't seem that the market is always plagued by a lack of supply; some unscrupulous traders are pointed as the main culprits every time and the task of bringing them to justice and restoring normalcy in market prices seems to be a daunting one, at least for this government.

Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

Political assassination is a professional hazard for politicians. It has happened from time immemorial in history of all civilisations and many notable and apparently insuperable leaders have suffered this fate. Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi, Liaqat Ali Khan, John F Kennedy, all these come to mind.

What's going on in Lebanon?

The presidential election in Lebanon has been postponed again. 'Again' would be an understatement as it is now the 11th postponement of the election.

Thrust sector, but…

Our government has declared ICT as a thrust sector. But the irony is that the whooping tariff on Internet bandwidth contradicts the government's position. Just as the central bank devaluates our currency periodically to discourage import, so has BTTB set such a high tariff line giving the impression that it also discourages Internet usage. BTTB's current capacity is 24 Gbps but utilization is merely about 20%. Undoubtedly, it is the high tariff rate that is holding back the entrepreneurs in the software industries from leasing bandwidth from BTTB resulting in such a poor utilisation. It is to be noted that foreign investors will not invest in ICT sector if they find cost of supporting infrastructure more than those in the neighbouring countries. We have a talented pool of ICT graduates with about 4,000 fresh students joining it every year. The ICT sector is different from any other typical service sectors. As the industry matures with time, the revenues increase manifold with its maturity as evident from the recent experiences in India, China & Singapore. The sector does not require intense mobilisation of resources, nor does it put heavy pressure on national energy reserves. It requires a steady supply of skilled human resources, which we already have, and uninterrupted Internet connection, which can be considered as the backbone of the total system. Joining submarine cable and then keeping it idle serves the purpose of none. BTTB should take lessons from the recent revolution taking place in cellular companies in Bangladesh. Revenues can be earned from scanty users and a high service charge or from a huge user base and an affordable service charge. Since BTTB is the lone player in this service sector, we hope it will choose the latter voluntarily, unlike in the cellular sector which needed a host of competitors to make that happen.

Dhaka metro subway

I have read with interest the proposed Dhaka Metro Subway route plan. The plan confirms that the dead ends in the northern part of the metropolis are the places that need further attention. A 7th subway route connecting Gabtoli, Pallabi and Airport would cover the metro more effectively, providing faster services and allowing leverage for potential rail-traffic congestion in near future. This new route can again be part of one or more northern loops.


NRBs were telling us: “Shun path of the West, be proud Bangladeshis.” It is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! Who are you to say this? For God's sake, look at yourselves, probably a lot of you were born and initially educated here, and many of you went to a public university- at our expense. Off you go to some other country and serve that society for years and then come back here, hold a high profile conference and tell us to be Bangladeshis! If you really want to do something, come back and show us that you really care, otherwise go back to your adopted countries and stay there and don't bother us with your advice!

Voter list

I have become a new voter for the first time in my life. After 36 years of our liberation war, I have registered my name in the voter list . Now I shall exercise my franchise as I wish. In 1978, I became eligible to cast my vote, but no government gave me a chance to be a voter. No enumerator came to enrol me as a voter.

Banking service

On 27 December 2007 I went to Pubali Bank , Shewrapara branch, Mirpur, Dhaka to pay my telephone bill at about 12:10pm, but the guard on the door alerted me saying that no bill would be accepted after 12 noon. While I wanted to confirm this from an officer of the bank he also replied in the same fashion.

What crime did she commit?

I am working as Second Officer of Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Biswamborpur Branch, Sunamgonj. My eldest daughter Ferdousi Rumman Rimu was a student of B.Com (Hons) Third year in the Accounting Department of Modanmohon College, Sylhet. On December 05, 2007 she left the house for college at about 10.00am. Till then she was missing. Later we were informed over mobile by Mr. Abdul Hye, Officer-in-Charge, Bishwanath Thana, Sylhet about a dead body of a girl (by retrieving mobile number from a SIM found from her purse). They also informed us that the dead body was already handed over to Anjuman Mofidul Islam, Sylhet. In the mean time, Anjuman Mofidul Islam had buried the dead body in their graveyard. I am that ill-fated father who couldn't see the face of my beloved daughter.

Hasina and Khaleda

As an expatriate Bangladeshi I am concerned about the future of the present anti-graft drive of the interim government. I doubt the honesty of its purpose and sincerity in its execution.


Bush voices confidence about Palestinian state

US President George W Bush said yesterday he believed a Middle East peace treaty would be signed by the time he leaves office in a year, despite scepticism among Israelis and Palestinians.

Ramallah demo brands Bush 'war criminal'

Angry demonstrators in the West Bank town of Ramallah branded US President George W Bush a "war criminal" yesterday as locals said he would do nothing for the plight of the Palestinians.

US nuke deals with North Korea, India in limbo

US deals to end North Korea's nuclear weapons drive and to bring India into the loop of global atomic commerce are in a limbo amid doubts they can be wrapped up before President George W. Bush leaves office in a year.

120 deaths per day in 1st three years of Iraq occupation: WHO

An average of 120 Iraqi adults died a violent death every day in the three years following the US-led invasion of March 2003, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Wednesday.

US Senator 'reassured' on Pakistan nukes

A US senator who met President Pervez Musharraf Wednesday said he felt reassured about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, and called for upcoming elections to be "fair and credible."

US to send 3,000 Marines to Afghanistan

The Pentagon is preparing to send at least 3,000 Marines to Afghanistan in April to bolster efforts to hold off another expected Taliban offensive in the spring, military officials said Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton, Obama dig in for long fight

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama dug in Wednesday for a campaign unlike any other, a woman and a black man drawing record voter turnout in an unpredictable race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Manila works to create Muslim region

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will ask Congress to amend the Constitution to allow the creation of a Muslim federal region in the south - a key step aimed at breaking an impasse in talks with an Islamic rebel group, presidential adviser Jesus Dureza told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.

Two more Maoists in expanded Nepal cabinet

Nepal's former rebel Maoists won two more posts in an expanded cabinet announced Thursday, which followed an agreement to end a months-long political crisis in the Himalayan nation.

Arts & Entertainment

Growing popularity beyond the border

Being our closest neighbour, Indian TV channels are quite popular in our country. Occasional visit of leading Indian celebrities are usually greeted with much fanfare. But when compared, it's not easy for Bangladeshi artistes to attain the recognition in India, mainly because our TV channels have no access there. Seasoned Bangladeshi dancer Shibli Mohammed, with his appearance as a regular judge in a celebrity dance competition on a well-known Indian channel, has managed to go beyond that uneven cultural relationship. After his return from India, the kathak exponent shared his experience with the The Daily Star.

1st International Children's Film Festival to begin on January 28

The 1st International Children's Film Festival in Dhaka will be held from January 28 to February 3, festival director Morshedul Islam said at a press conference at the Conference Lounge of National Press Club on January 9. With the slogan “Future in Frames” the festival will be organised by Children's Film Society Bangladesh.

“Pragoitihashik” staged in Kolkata

Recently, a 35-member Nagorik Natyangan troupe, lead by Dr. Enamul Haque, staged two shows of Pragoitihashik at the Ganga-Jamuna Theatre Festival in Kolkata. The troupe staged the first show at the Academy of Fine Arts Stage on December 30 and the second show at Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam Stage on December 31, 2007.

“Doriya Parer Doulati”: Abdullah Al Mamun's upcoming feature film

After nearly eight years, veteran actor-director-scriptwriter and filmmaker Abdullah Al Mamun is all set to release his new feature film. The film, Doriya Parer Doulati, is likely to be released either on February 21 or March 26 this year.

Classical dance at Chhayanat

A classical dance programme, in aid of Sidr victims, was arranged by cultural personalities Aly Zaker and Sara Zaker at Chhayanat Shangskriti Bhaban recently, says a press release. Expatriate artiste Priya Karim Chisti performed Bharat Natyam at the programme.

Daylong Poush Mela at Ramna Botomul today

Poush Mela Udjapon Parishad is organising the Poush Mela (Winter Fair) at Ramna Botomul in Dhaka today. Starting at 7:00am the mela will continue till 8pm.

“Negative Positive” on Channel- i

Channel- i will telecast a single-episode TV play Negative Positive today at 2:30 pm.


The glass is half-empty

Success and failure are two sides of the same coin. Consistent with this philosophy, the past year will be remembered for all the complex series of initiatives aimed at creating a more transparent, participatory and accountable governance. It will also be recalled for many developments that have recently made this administration controversial -- steep rise in prices of essential commodities and a sense of uncertainty with regard to application of emergency provisions.

Village diary

As the present caretaker government completes its first anniversary on January the 11th, it seems that a huge gap has been created between the government and the rural masses. I was convinced about the distance after visiting my village over the weekend.

Remembering Justice Syed Mahbub Murshed

Rabindranath had said that it was possible to find a person worthy of seeing, but it was not easy to find a worthy place to see him. I realised the truth of it at a wedding in 1938. I was then a student of class ten. I saw the groom, turbaned and donned in a light cream sherwani under a 'choga' embroidered with real silver work. Tall and erect, bright eyes and slightly tanned complexion, that was the first sight I had of Barrister Syed Mahbub Murshed. I had then such an age when in the rich juvenile imagination, and I was trying to figure out whom he resembled. I first thought it was Indranath of Srikanta, but Indranath had a few marks on his face, but Murshed had a perfect unblemished face. I got it -- it was Shibnath of "Shesh Prasna." Yes, Shibnath has donned the groom's dress Or may be, it was, Othello -- tall, dark and handsome --- but his eyes lacked the hardness of a soldier. Murshed's eyes were electrifying.


Climate change: A threat for Bangladesh

Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today. Human induced changes in the global climate and associated sea level rise are widely accepted with policy makers and scientists. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate”. Rising global temperatures due to climate change will bring changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Climate change poses significant risks for Bangladesh. The exact magnitude of the changes in the global climate is still uncertain and subject of worldwide scientific studies. It is broadly recognised that Bangladesh is very vulnerable to these changes. Indeed, it has internationally been argued that Bangladesh, as a country, may suffer the most severe impacts from climate change. A new report called Climate of Disaster, published this month in Bali by Tearfund shows that, based on past experience, Bangladesh is going to continue to be one of the worst-hit places on the planet.

Bangladesh drowning: A reality or a myth?

Once again Bangladesh has been made the worst example, this time of the impacts of global warming. It is being said, one-third of Bangladesh will go under seawater in next 50 years due to the sea level rise being caused by the climate change. Drowning of Bangladesh is now a hot topic in the international arena.

Tropical timber harvesting, biodiversity loss and environmental change

This paper examines the possible biodiversity loss and environmental changes following tropical forest harvesting and looks at practical approaches to address them.

The Daily Star

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