The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, May 6, 2018

News of: Wednesday, 30th of January, 2008

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Chief justice's panel to appoint SC judges

The government yesterday approved creation of the Supreme Judicial Commission to ensure neutral and credible appointment of Supreme Court judges. It also approved a proposal of Election Commission (EC) Secretariat to free it from the control of Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

NCC's anti-graft drive running out of gas

The unprecedented anti-graft crackdown by military-led taskforces under the National Coordination Committee (NCC) to Combat Corruption and Serious Crimes is gradually losing impetus due to numerous complexities and difficulties including frequent shift in priorities.

BDR-BSF gunfight on Dinajpur border

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Border Security Force (BSF) of India yesterday had a over four hours long gun battle near Haripara of Birampur upazila in Dinajpur which left at least three Bangladeshis, including a BDR man, injured.

Troubled coalmine shows hope for power plant

The troubled Barapukuria coalmine that had been failing to produce enough coal to run the two-unit 250 megawatt (MW) coal fired power plant at its site may be able to ensure enough coal production throughout the current year, a top official of the mine said.

ADP implementation in 6 months dismal

The government has implemented only 21 percent of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) in the first half of the current fiscal year and power division, a top priority in the development budget, spent only 18 percent of its allocation.

JS, upazila polls might be held on same day

The long due polls to the upazila parishads will be held either simultaneously with the ninth parliamentary elections or before it, the election commissioners said yesterday.

Ex-BNP MP Millat jailed for 8 yrs

A special court yesterday sentenced former BNP lawmaker M Rashiduzzaman Millat to eight years' imprisonment on charges of amassing illegal wealth beyond known sources of his income and giving false wealth statement.

BNP rebels talk unification today

The pro-Saifur faction of BNP will hold a meeting today to discuss party affairs and unification process while the pro-Khaleda faction decided to strengthen the party in the capital by dissolving the Dhaka city unit committee led by Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.

Canadian lawyer smells political motive

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina's Canadian counsel Prof Payam Akhavan yesterday said the charges brought against her are 'politically motivated' and intended to throw her out of politics and the next parliamentary election.

Hasina's trial resumes today

Trial of the extortion case against former premier and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina resumes today as the Supreme Court (SC) on January 24 cleared obstacles to holding the trial under the Emergency Powers Rules by vacating a stay the High Court (HC) had earlier imposed on the case proceedings.

Tarique to be sent to BSMMU prison cell soon

The detained senior joint secretary general of the BNP, Tarique Rahman, will be transferred to prison cell at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in a day or two following doctors' recommendation, a prison official yesterday said.

Nuclear proliferationcannot be controlled now

A former American CIA agent and nuclear expert David Dastych has claimed that main nuclear arsenals of Pakistan, India, Britain, France, the USA, Russia and China are safe but nuclear proliferation could not be controlled now because it has completely slipped out of control.

Bush seeks to reassure US on Iraq, economy

President George W Bush on Monday warned against pulling the plug on his Iraq strategy and assured the US public -- now more worried about the US economy than the war -- that help was on the way.

Political talks should end by March

The Awami League's (AL) acting President Zillur Rahman yesterday said the proposed dialogue between the government and the political parties should end by March so that the country could head towards a free and fair election.

Shop-owners asked to close shutters by 8pm

Shop owners at all shopping malls and markets located in the metropolitan cities and district and upazila towns have been asked to close their business by 8:00pm every day with immediate effect to limit peak-hour power consumption.

Judge feels 'embarrassed' to hold trial of ex-MP Shahidul

A judge of the Special Court at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar MP Hostel yesterday felt ''embarrassed'' to hold the trial against detained former Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) lawmaker Mufti Shahidul Islam and four others in a case filed for selling a tax-free car obtained under special privileges.

Home adviser warns against custodial death

Home Adviser Maj General (retd) MA Matin yesterday cautioned the high-ups of the law enforcement agencies against custodial death in dealing with offenders.

Anonymous philanthropist to donate $130m for Sidr victims

A philanthropist will donate $130 million for rebuilding the battered life of Sidr victims in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.

Vodafone keen to invest in telecom sector in Bangladesh

Vodafone Group Plc, the world's leading mobile telecom company, has expressed keen interest to invest in the mobile phone sector in Bangladesh and has sent a delegation to the country to investigate possibilities.

Stranded at Ctg airport for 24hrs for Biman's fault

Around 250 Abu Dhabi-bound passengers were stranded for nearly 24 hours at Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport since Monday evening.

5-yr-old boy accused of issuing death threats

A five-year-old boy has been accused of issuing death threats and destroying properties in the charge sheet of a general diary (GD) filed with the Naikkhangchhari Police Station in Bandarban.

Civil surgeons asked to ensure isolated units

Apprehending that bird flu might transmit into human beings also, the government yesterday directed civil surgeons of all the districts to create isolated units for treating any such patient urgently.

12 killed as missile destroys Pak militant hideout

A missile destroyed a suspected militant hideout in volatile northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing 12 people, officials said.

69 killed in Lankan fighting

Sri Lanka's government said yesterday its soldiers had advanced into territory held by the Tamil Tigers in the north of the island, with the death toll from two days of fighting at 69.


Ill-gotten wealth of Titas employees and officers

On the face of it, the news that 126 employees and officers of Titas Gas have promised to return their ill-gotten wealth, amounting to nearly Tk. 400 crore, to the state exchequer, should cheer everyone. The task force has done a good job there. Now that these Titas Gas people, of whom a staggering 118 are meter readers turned property owners in bizarre fairy tale fashion, are prepared to give back all that wealth to the state, we can only reflect on all the rags to riches stories that we have seen take shape in recent times.

Environment merits priority attention

It can hardly be overstated that but for the hue and cry raised by civil society leaders and Paribesh An-dolon activists over encroachment on our rivers, lakes and parks we would hardly have been aware of the environmental hazards involved. The expropriation of public lands including forest resources by professional land grabbers and poachers managing impunity to legal action during successive governments left the nation poorer on many counts. Huge acreage of land went into wrongful possession diminishing space for development projects as tree cover dwindled and the natural drainage channels got clogged.

Suharto, September 1965 and East Timor

MAHATHIR Mohamad's assessment of the recently deceased Suharto does not hold up to scrutiny. The former Malaysian prime minister, while paying tribute to the late Indonesian dictator, has informed us all that reports of General Suharto having had any prior knowledge of the 1965 coup in Indonesia are nonsense.

Bangladesh & UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

THE United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982 is a document, which has taken almost a decade for its completion. Unlike the past four UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, this Convention is much broader in scope and governs use of the world's oceans, especially establishing ground rules for everything from navigation to deep-sea mining.

Obama plays offense

As Barack Obama rolled across rural South Carolina last week on his campaign bus, he spoke with Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter about the new rougher tone of the campaign, his prospects in a general election and getting things done in the presidency.


BCB wants adjustments in Nimbus deal

After burning the proverbial midnight candle for the last three working days a core negotiation team of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) put forward some 'adjustment' proposals to the Nimbus delegation yesterday before finalising a long-term TV deal.

Abahani meet Badda

While their footballers were having the final preparations at the tiny ground inside the club premises, Mohammedan Sporting Club officials were proudly giving finishing touch to their efforts to hold the season's first football tournament.

Bangla Games logo unveiled

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) acting secretary general Kutubuddin Ahmed yesterday unveiled the logo of the 2nd Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games with the slogan 'Sports for Friendship'.

Prime Bank to sponsor 2nd B. League

Although the inaugural professional football league -- the B. League -- was held last year without any sponsors, the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) confirmed getting financial support for the second edition even before the transfer dates have been announced.

BCB accepts Axiom's offer

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has accepted Axiom Technologies' offer as title sponsor for Bangladesh's home series against South Africa in February-March although the firm's bid was far below the board's target.

Anil hails decision

India's Test captain Anil Kumble on Tuesday welcomed the decision to drop the racial-abuse charges against Harbhajan Singh and said it was important for the game of cricket that "we move on".

Harbhajan off the hook

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was cleared Tuesday of racially abusing Australia's Andrew Symonds, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said.

Tired Tait leaves

Shaun Tait has walked away from cricket indefinitely, citing physical and emotional exhaustion. Cricket Australia announced that Tait will be rested from all levels while he undergoes a programme to help him recuperate, and the length of it will be dependent on his progress.

Three chess stars off to Moscow

Grand Master Abdullah Al Rakib, International Master Enamul Hossain Rajib and FIDE Master Nasir Ahmed left here Tuesday to take part in the Moscow Open chess tournament that will be held from February 2.

Ghana KO Morocco

Premiership duo Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari helped an impressive Ghana qualify for the African Nations Cup quarterfinals, but while the hosts march on it's the end of the road for Morocco.

Scholes set for return

Sir Alex Ferguson believes experienced midfielder Paul Scholes could play an important part in Manchester United's bid this season to match their treble achievement of 1999.

Teammates back Gilardino

AC Milan players have rallied behind teammate Alberto Gilardino ahead of Wednesday's trip to lowly Reggina.

Maradona visits Chelsea

Diego Maradona has fired up Chelsea going into Wednesday's clash with Reading at Stamford Bridge -- the Hand of God intervening to make the visitors' trip even more daunting.

Gyan's home under watch

Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan's family home in Accra is under police surveillance following death threats made by fans after the Udinese star's below par performance against Namibia.

Wenger slates Saudi trip

Arsene Wenger has resumed hostilities with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson by warning Manchester United that they could pay a high price for last week's money-spinning trip to Saudi Arabia.

Juve complete Sissoko signing

Juventus have signed Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko for 11 million euros ($16.26 million), the Serie A club said on Tuesday.

Rijkaard not giving up yet

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard said Monday he has no intention of conceding the Spanish title to Real Madrid, even though his team are nine points adrift of the leaders.

NZC slated over Bond

Heath Mills, the executive manager of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA), has expressed disappointment at New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) decision to terminate Shane Bond's contract and called on the authorities to address the situation to avoid international cricket being devalued. He has also accused NZC of acting to appease the Indian board.

Lee the unsung hero

Brett Lee was the difference in a hard-fought series. While India's pace attack nursed injuries, Lee steamed in with long spells of skill and unfailing pace, bursts that camouflaged the thinness of the rest of the attack.

Sree stands out among Indians

Indian cricketers, by and large, have behaved well on the field of play in the last two calendar years and Harbhajan Singh's offence committed in the January 2-6 Sydney Test against Australia is only the sixth instance of a player from the country being booked under the ICC's Code of Conduct in 20 months.

BCB hands over some grants

Bangladesh Cricket Board handed over grants to the participating clubs of the Dhaka Metropolis Premier Division and First Division Leagues at a simple ceremony at its management office in Gulshan yesterday.

WI under-19s arrive today

The West Indies under-19 cricket team have landed in Dhaka yesterday to play four one-day matches against their Bangladesh counterparts as part of their preparations for the ICC under-19 World Cup to be held in Malaysia next month.

First win for Purbachal

Purbachal Parisad recorded their first win in the Senior Division Football League when they beat bottom-table City Club 1-0 in yesterday's match at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium Kamalapur.

Two more rookies to get game

Pakistan will rest Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt and Yasir Arafat for the fourth one-day international against Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall sports

Marzan Binte Azad, a student of Peace and Conflict Studies department, was crowned champion while Social Welfare student Selina Begum became runner-up yesterday in the annual sports competition of Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib hall of Dhaka University.

Dhaka clinch DC Gold Cup

Mamun and Domeni scored one each as Dhaka won 2-0 against Rajbari to clinch the DC Gold Cup football competition at the Shaheed Miraj-Tapan Stadium here yesterday.


BRAC Bank to raise Tk130cr from capital market

BRAC Bank said yesterday it will raise over Tk 130 crore from the stock market through a rights share issue in order to strengthen its capital base to meet regulator requirements and to fund further growth.

Vodafone keen to invest in telecom sector

Vodafone Group Plc, the world's leading telecom company, has expressed its keen interest to invest in the mobile phone sector in Bangladesh and has sent a delegation to the country to investigate possibilities.

Price war landing on local air market

A price war is expected to break out on Bangladesh's two major domestic air routes with the newly started Aviana Airways undercutting its rivals when it starts operations tomorrow.

British envoy attaches three issues to drawing foreign investment

Smooth function of business institutions, continued stability in investment environment, and democracy are the three prerequisites for attracting foreign investment, British High Commissioner in Bangladesh Anwar Choudhury observed yesterday.

DITF now to end Feb 7

The government decided to extend the 13 th Dhaka International Trade Fair until February 7 on requests from visitors and top business organisations.

Malaysian trade fair from Mar 20

A three-day Malaysian trade fair will begin in Dhaka from March 20, says a press release.

Krishi Bank gets new chairman, MD

Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, a former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, joined Bangladesh Krishi Bank as its chairman on Monday, says a press release.

Global stocks rebound on US rate cut hopes

World stock markets cranked back into gear on Tuesday, recovering some of their recent heavy losses as investors pinned their hopes on another US interest rate cut, dealers said.

Bush lobbies for more FTAs

US President George W. Bush on Monday urged a conclusion to long-running talks on a Doha global trade deal and appealed for new free trade agreements to ensure America can compete in the world economy.

Sales convention of Nestle Bangladesh held

Nestle Bangladesh Ltd, a leading packaged food and beverage company, organised its 'Sales Convention-2008' in Dhaka on Saturday, says a press release.


CG makes all-out efforts to stamp out corruption

The caretaker government has made all-out efforts to free the country from the clutches of corruption, leader of the Bangladesh delegation said at the UN Anti-Corruption Conference here yesterday.

World Bank to come up with bigger package

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday hoped that the World Bank would come up with bigger package for long-term infrastructure development in Bangladesh, including rebuilding the cyclone-hit areas.

Vow to free society from hunger, discrimination

The Global Economic Justice Forum 2008 began at Rabindra Sarobar in the city yesterday with a vow to free society from hunger, illiteracy, unemployment and discrimination.

Dhaka must take proactive strategy in changing global scenario

Bangladesh must take a proactive strategy to fit itself and exploit the opportunities in the changing global scenario with the rise of new power-centric states like India and China.

Use organic manure to cut dependency on chemical fertilisers

Agriculture Adviser Dr CS Karim yesterday advised the farmers to use highly-subsidised chemical fertilisers carefully and reduce dependency on them by increasing the use of organic manures.

Only 39pc people enjoy good sanitation

Only 39 percent people across the country are provided with good sanitation facilities although sanitation for all is supposed to be achieved by 2020, speakers at a workshop said yesterday.

Reduce quotas in BCS exams

Hundreds of Dhaka University students yesterday demanded reducing the 55 percent quota in the Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations.

Russian-made SMG recovered in Chittagong

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday recovered a Russian-made 9mm sub-machine gun (SMG), a magazine and 16 bullets from a remote place at Dohazari in Chandanaish upazila of the district.

RU students attend classes wearing black badges

General students of Rajshahi University (RU) attended their classes wearing black badges yesterday demanding withdrawal of all cases filed by the government against some students for their alleged involvement in the campus violence on August 22.

Road accidents kill 4, injure 35

Four people were killed and 35 others, including a senior photojournalist, injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Dinajpur and Khulna yesterday.

Car importer, two others arrested in Ctg

A car importer and two employees of a clearing and forwarding (C&F) firm were arrested yesterday on charges of taking delivery of 48 imported vehicles from Chittagong port submitting forged Bills of Landing (B/L) of Tk 3.11 crore.

CPD Board of Trustees' meeting held

The 29th meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) was held at its office in the city yesterday.

One held with 200 Yaba tablets

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a drug dealer with 200 Yaba tablets from a house at Basabo in the city on Monday evening.

Controversial RU staffs demand regularisation of jobs

The fourth class employees of Rajshahi University (RU), whose appointment earlier created controversy, in a letter recently urged the chief adviser to regularise their jobs.

Muggers kill one in Ctg

Muggers stabbed an unidentified rickshaw passenger to death at Khulshi area in the port city yesterday.

Citibank funds liberation war documentary

Citibank NA Bangladesh has provided recently the partial funding for making of a non-commercial research-based documentary on liberation war of Bangladesh, says a press release.

SSC Exams 2010 Guardians for withdrawal of SQ method

A number of guardians in the city yesterday demanded the government cancels the Structured Question (SQ) method, new type of question pattern for SSC examination to be introduced from 2010, since most of the teachers and students are still in dark about the new system.

Criminal shot in gunfight with Rab in city

An alleged criminal was wounded in a gunfight between Rab and his gang in the city's Mohammadpur area early yesterday.


Ex-BNP MP in Satkhira charge-sheeted for party leader murder

Former BNP lawmaker Habibul Islam Habib and nine others were charge-sheeted yesterday in party leader A B M Altaf Hossain murder case.

Process on to modernise BDR, raise its strength

Director General of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed yesterday said initiatives are underway to modernise the paramilitary force and increase its strength within a short time.

Civil society members talk CHT issues with local leaders, officials

Civil society leaders from Dhaka left for Rangaamti after a two-day visit to Khagrachhari during which they talked to leaders of indigenous and Bangalee communities and high officials on different issues in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Norwegian envoy opens water treatment plants for Sidr victims

Ambassador of Norway in Bangladesh Storing Ingorj yesterday inaugurated two water treatment plants at Sidr-hit Sharankhola and Morrelganj upazilas in Bagerhat district.

PSTU students boycott class

Eighty-four students of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) are on class boycott for an indefinite period since Monday.

Hearing not held as PWs did not turn up

Deposition in the sensational case for grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Chowdhury could not be recorded as none of the prosecution witnesses appeared before the court yesterday.

Suggestions to face climate change in coasts

A meeting was held here to find out ways for protection of environment in a bid to combat the ongoing process of climate change.

UK expats give relief to Sidr victims

The Bangladesh Support Foundation UK, an organisation of Bangladeshis in the UK distributed relief among Sidr victims in Dumki upazila in Patuakhali district recently, said a press release here yesterday.


Future of Pakistan

I write with reference to the letter from Mr. Mahmood Elahi titled "Future of Pakistan." While it is true that extremism and sectarianism pose a serious challenge to Pakistan, I disagree with the author's assertion that "Al-Qaeda / Taliban enjoy considerable support amongst the masses" of Pakistan, a deduction reached by the author by pointing to Bin Laden's supposed "popularity" in Pakistan. I believe the results of opinion polls suggesting "support" for Bin Laden need to be investigated thoroughly before reaching any firm conclusion as to their findings.

An icon of chess

Robert James Bobby Fischer, former world chess champion from the USA, died of kidney failure in Iceland at the age of 64. He was born in 1943, the son of two physicists (divorced when he was two).

Unsavoury souvenirs

The government needs to make fresh guidelines to create awareness among tourists, both local and foreign, against purchasing and exchanging wildlife souvenirs made from the endangered species.

Inspection & QC culture

The ruling regimes since 1972 failed to introduce discipline and transparency in our inspectors and inspection networks. It means R&D and QC (research and development; and quality control) were wasteful expenditures; especially for goods and services not exported (like RMG and manpower exports). The local consumers have been suffering, being offered shoddy goods and services. This type of systems losses are huge over the decades, tarnishing the image of Bangladeshi products and services.

School calendar

The recent hurricane-strength Sidr has made obvious the need for a flexible school calendar in disaster-prone areas; but it is as well necessary in many other regions across the country. Though all our education commissions have recommended decentralization of the education system, the right for scheduling one's own school calendar has been overlooked all along. It is however known that the District Primary Education Officers had certain number of holidays in their hands to give to local schools until it was revoked, maybe, towards the end of the 1980s. Again, on 22 April 1998 in a meeting at then Primary and Mass Education Division (PMED) a decision was taken for some flexibility in local school calendar with due permission from the Division.

Cancel quota system

The caretaker govt has taken myriad steps for reforming and reconstituting various govt organisations including the Public Service Commission (PSC) as the organisations have plunged into corruption and irregularity. The govt successfully reconstituted the PSC, which is the highest recruiting body of govt officials and the steps taken were lauded by all. The caretaker govt has also taken the initiative to bring about changes in the PSC recruitment process, so that the meritorious candidates could get chance. The measures would deter mischievous and fraudulent candidates who enter govt service using loopholes in the recruitment process. Recently, while reading DS, I came to know that the committee, formed to bring changes in the process, is indifferent towards taking any initiative regarding the quota system.

A timely warning!

This is perhaps for the first time that the Finance Adviser warned scheduled banks not to harass their clients. In fact , we expected such a dictum from the Bangladesh Bank. As the central bank, BB's role, we expect, should be much greater. We observe that banks are earning a lot of money. We request all banks to provide on-line banking services and take care of clients' account accurately, send their balance regularly, include adequate precautions about the safety vault and lockers and honour every customer as a valued one.

Climate change

It has been said in the UN report that the world's climate is undergoing significant changes. If the world's temperature changes drastically many living beings may face extinction! The sea level is rising day by day. Bangladesh is located at a very dangerous point. We should make all-out efforts to keep the situation under control.

Wasa clearance certificate

Through your daily we would like to draw the kind attention of the authorities concerned that many consumers/customers have not received the yearly clearance certificate of payment of their monthly Desa and Wasa bills for the last two years, as yet.

Introducing essential rules

To develop our overall standard in different sectors of the state, we need some rules-regulations and their appropriate execution. But unfortunately the political governments didn't perform those tasks effectively, though they were vocal always in favour of those rules. For example, “Separation of the Judiciary” has been a long standing demand. But in 36 years they have done nothing meaningful. They have deferred it by showing lame excuses like red-tapism, bureaucratic complexity etc. But now we are encouraged. This government has initiated a lot of good things. They have made the EC, ACC, PSC, UGC, HRC and other organisations effective. But the challenge is to make these corrections institutionalised. Otherwise, future political governments will attempt to make the ventures futile.

Surma-Kushiyara Project

I felt very sad after reading the report about the above-mentioned project which was published in your paper on 30 December 2007. The information that the project is not being implemented properly due to the apathy of the officials concerned is very unfortunate. The frequent downward revision of the budget is proof that it has not been formulated properly. Most of the croplands of the projects area are haors (flat low land) suitable for growing only one crop in winter (mostly boro rice) but rice crop is damaged by floods, partly or wholly, almost every year. This has been happening from the time immemorial.


Brown presses Musharraf on 'credible polls'

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Monday that next month's elections had to be credible, insisting the country's stability was vital for South Asia.

Killing of Kenyan MP sparks new chaos

Kenyan military helicopters opened fire Tuesday above feuding gangs in a western town, and 13 died in fresh clashes elsewhere as the murder of an opposition lawmaker sparked new chaos.

US will 'confront' Iran if necessary: Bush

US President George W Bush warned Iran Monday that the United States will "confront those who threaten our troops" and defend its allies and interests in the Gulf.

Pakistanis involved with Taliban: Karzai

After evading a question from former UN official from India Shashi Tharoor at Davos, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told an American newsmagazine that there is Pakistani "complicity" with resurgent rebels in his embattled country.

Kashmir rebels not to use guns to force election boycott

Indian Kashmir militants announced yesterday that they would not use guns to force voters to boycott state elections due later this year, a report said.

Key Republican primary opens in Florida

Florida voted in its key Republican presidential nominating contest yesterday, with top contenders John McCain and Mitt Romney tightly matched and ex-New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani's campaign hanging in the balance.

EU calls for release of Suu Kyi

The EU's special envoy for Myanmar on Tuesday urged the country's military regime to free democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as he kicked off an Asian tour aimed at pressuring the junta for reform.

Suicide bomber kills 4 in Algeria

A suicide bomber drove into a hail of bullets to set off a bomb outside a police station in eastern Algeria that security services said killed four people and injured 20.

Ex-CIA chief admits US used waterboarding in past

Former US spy chief John Negroponte admitted that the United States has used a controversial interrogation technique known as waterboarding but does not anymore, according to a published interview Monday.

Put UN Convention against Corruption into action

A senior UN official has urged the countries to put the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) into action and take measures to enforce it strictly.

3 dead as Pak forces clash with militants

Pakistani security forces exchanged gunfire with Islamic militants holed up in a house in the southern city of Karachi yesterday, with at least two policemen and one militant dead, police said.

Arts & Entertainment

First Int'l Children's Film Festival begins

THE First International Children's Film Festival Bangladesh was inaugurated on January 28 at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library. Young film enthusiasts are in for a treat, as the festival includes over 100 films, including feature, short, animation and documentary from 35 countries, as well as a selection of Bangladeshi children's films. The event is being organised by the Children's Film Society Bangladesh.

Mime maestro Partha Partim Majumder in town

World-renowned Paris-based Bangladeshi mime artiste, Partha Pratim Majumder, is in town. During his stay in Dhaka, Partha will conduct several workshops on mime.

Theatre festival featuring plays by Ashish Khondoker

Ram Nandai-er Ankh, Kala pani and Black Out -- three original plays by Ashish Khondoker will be staged at a five-day theatre festival at Alliance Francaise Dhaka, starting from today, says a press release.

Drama serial “Jege Theko” on ATN Bangla tonight

Written and directed by Mohon Khan, drama serial Jege Theko will be aired tonight at 8:00 pm. Shahriar Nazim Joy, Litu Anam, Mir Sabbir, Hillol, Srabosti Dutta Tinni, Sumaiya Shimu and Tanima Hamid play the central roles in the serial. Reshad was declared lost but no one could find his body. Everyone thinks that he is dead but his mother has faith that her son will be back. Eventually she starts making up stories about her son, to the point that she can see him.

Bangladesh Loko Sangeet Parishad celebrates 10th anniversary

To observe their 10th anniversary, cultural organisation Bangladesh Loko Sangeet Parishad (BLSP) arranged a programme at the Seminar Hall, Central Public Library, Shahbagh, recently.


Private policing

A distinguished American political scientist, Harold Laski once said that the study of politics was about who gets what, when and how. Similarly, we observe that the study of private policing is about who, how, to whom, and when in absence of any check on their performance by the relevant authorities.

Instrument of injustice

IN recent years the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has become synonymous with three issues -- the war in Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq and the nuclear program of Iran. Although I am sure UNSC undertakes a lot of other very important tasks, it seems on the surface to be driven by a specific group of nations united by a common agenda.

Transport system for Dhaka city

I was very excited when I heard about a Metro network in Dhaka. However, my enthusiasm has been somewhat dampened since reading the article on the front page of the Daily Star of January 8. Although a total cost of Tk 6200 crore was mentioned, and an outline plan of the metro network was published, I could not find any other relevant information about the project. I could not be sure whether a detailed feasibility study was carried out prior to making an estimation of the total cost. A feasibility study must include initial land and traffic survey, survey of the traveling public and major business locations, soil test, and also a list of existing public and private transport routes.

Bird flu control strategy

ACCORDING to the latest news reports, avian influenza (commonly referred to as bird flu) has spread to at least 20 districts in Bangladesh. This should be a wake-up call that tells us that the H5N1 bird flu virus is now so widespread that different strategies are needed to deal with it.

Star City

Books to be costlier at Ekushey fair

Books are likely to be costlier in the Ekushey Book Fair this year as soaring paper prices are increasing the production cost posing a serious threat to the publishing industry.

Rajuk tactfully overlooks DU defiance of building rules

The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) seems lenient with the Dhaka University authorities in enforcing building rules as no action has been taken against unauthorised construction on the campus.

No entry fee needed for book fair

Bangla Academy finally backed out of its decision to introduce ticket system at the month-long Ekushey Book Fair beginning Friday.

Cheating in name of sitting service

Sayedabad-bound Delwar Hossain was clinging to the doorpost of the bus. He barely managed to keep his balance and his legs were about to be cramped from standing on toes in the narrow aisle inside the bus.

Star Chittagong

CCC waste management in shambles

Garbage piling up at roadside is now commonplace, as the authorities fail to dispose of all 700 tons of garbage produced in the city everyday due to lack of adequate number of dump trucks.

CCC-run primary health centres stumble

The poor and the low-income people have been deprived of proper healthcare services due to lack of sufficient medicines, human resources and infrastructures at most of the urban primary health centres in the port city.

The Daily Star

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