The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, June 15, 2018

News of: Saturday, 2nd of February, 2008

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Front Page

Right to information act at final stage: CA

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said his government, considering the importance of books in national life, is keen to formulate a new book policy to give a boost to the publication of books and their local and international marketing.

Saudi road crash kills 11 Bangladeshi workers

At least 11 Bangladeshi workers and three Pakistanis were killed and 16 others injured in a road accident at Aqaik near the Saudi Arabian city of Dammam around 6:00pm Saudi time on Thursday.

Govt looks for strategy if HC agrees with amici

The caretaker government is preparing for an all out legal battle to win a crucial case against detained former premier Sheikh Hasina, on which now hinges the legality of trying under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR), offences committed before the promulgation of Emergency Powers Ordinance (EPO).

Saifur, Rizvi hold talks as Khaleda backs Delwar

M Saifur Rahman, acting chairperson appointed by the BNP standing committee, yesterday met pro-Khaleda leader Rizvi Ahmed in efforts to work out ways to reunite the party.

Killing of RMG worker sparks protest: 10 hurt

A few hundred garment workers of Vertex Fashion Ltd yesterday staged demonstrations and clashed with law enforcers at Mirpur in the city protesting the killing of one of their fellow workers and demanding punishment of those responsible for the death.

Grinding misery of middle class

The lower middle class and the middle class people of the country are suffering the most due to the staggering price hike of essentials.

Charges against Hasina have no merit, should be thrown out: Akhavan

Payam Akhavan, the Canadian counsel for Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina, yesterday urged the government to release Hasina immediately to "allow justice to prevail over political expedience".

26 quarantined in West Bengal

India put 26 people in isolation after they fell sick while culling poultry in a state affected by bird flu, while medical staff were monitoring hundreds of others, officials said yesterday.

Thousands more fowls culled in 3 districts

Livestock officials culled about 31,100 poultry and domestic fowls and destroyed over 60,000 eggs at poultry farms in Dinajpur, Sylhet and Manikganj since Thursday night as the farms were detected with avian influenza virus infection.

3 DU teachers to challenge conviction on Wednesday

Three Dhaka University (DU) teachers, convicted and sentenced by a Dhaka court recently but released on presidential clemency the same day, have decided to challenge their conviction in a higher court.

Dialogues should be aimed at holding polls immediately: AL

Awami League (AL) yesterday said the main topic of the proposed dialogues between political parties and the caretaker government should be holding of the stalled 9th parliamentary election in line with the announced electoral roadmap or even earlier.

Advisory council to meet in Rangpur today

Cabinet Secretary Ali Imam Majumder said the major issues including agriculture and 'monga crisis' in the country's northern region would be discussed at today's meeting of the advisory council in Rangpur.

4 workers of embroidery factory held with arms

Police yesterday arrested four youths and recovered two firearms, nine bullets and a taxicab from their possession in the city's Pallabi area.

Muggers stab Grameenphone official to death in Mirpur

An official of Grameenphone was stabbed to death allegedly by muggers early yesterday at Kalyanpur in Mirpur area of the capital.

No law to force, punish poultry farm owners

At a time when the country's bio-security is at stake due to the outbreak of bird flu, officials concerned cannot take any action against the callous poultry farm owners as there is no policy or law in this regard.

Temple awaits repair for 400 years

The over 600-year-old Jagannath Temple at Chatmohor upazila in Pabna is about to fall into ruin as it has not been repaired in 400 years.

Concern at killings, persecution of anti-corruption advocates

The Coalition of Civil Society Friends of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) yesterday expressed grave concern over the growing number of killings, imprisonment, harassment, intimidation and persecution of anti-corruption advocates.

Top outlaw killed in 'shootout'

One of the founders of outlawed New Biplobi Communist Party (NBCP) was killed yesterday in a shootout between police and his cohorts at Dakshin Mulgram village in Kushtia.

Cold spell to continue for 2 more days

The mild cold wave sweeping across the northern part of the country will continue to trouble the region for two more days.

Gas supply to remain disrupted for 2 days in some city areas

Gas and power supply in different areas of the capital and its outskirts will remain disrupted for two days from tomorrow since Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) will shift Bakhrabad-Demra gas line from this midnight.

HSC exams now from May 29

The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) Examination-2008 under seven education boards has been pushed back a month considering the situation in the Sidr-affected areas of the country and now it will begin on May 29.

BSF returns bodies of 3 Bangladeshis

Bodies of three Bangladeshi cattle traders, gunned down by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Ratnai border in Baliadangi upazila early Thursday, were returned yesterday.

Musharraf rejects nuke concerns

President Pervez Musharraf accused Pakistan's enemies on Friday of spreading fears about the country's atomic weapons, as the military test-fired a nuclear-capable missile, the army said.

Blasts kill 64 in bustling Baghdad markets

Powerful blasts, one triggered by a female suicide bomber, killed more than 60 people as they ripped through two Baghdad pet markets yesterday, leaving trails of bloodied body parts, officials and witnesses said.

Climate change could devastate Asian, African crops: Study

Climate change will cause severe crop losses in Africa and Asia within the next 20 years unless farming practices are changed, a study released Thursday has found.


Jail reform imperative

The news that there are only 16 doctors, against the post of 77, to look after the health condition of as many as 86,000 jailed prisoners beats all sense of propriety. It paints a sordid picture of the state of the prison houses of the country. The Dhaka Central Jail has only three doctors to take care of about 9,500 (actual capacity 2,682) prisoners. And 13 other doctors are posted in various other prisons across the country.

Petty extortionists creeping

With top criminals holed up in their hideouts, some believed to have fled to neghbouring India, petty criminal elements in certain localities are busying themselves with extortionist forays. They take the names of known criminals like Subrata Bain, Khandaker Tanveer Islam Joy and Shahadat Hossain who are absconding and throw their weight around. Over phone, they do such things, demanding money from businessmen, landlords and house owners threatening dire consequences if they failed to pay. Some unsuspected people have already fallen prey to their machinations. In some extortionist forays the thugs even shot persons who refused to pay leaving them injured, or even dead.

Strengthening local government improves governance

The Constitution gives special emphasis on local government and the need to entrust its bodies with necessary support so that they can perform efficiently in their expected functions. Article 59 in particular highlights the role of such bodies in the preparation and implementation of plans relating to public services and economic development. Article 60 also stresses on the need for local government bodies to have the power to impose taxes for local purposes, to prepare their budgets and to maintain funds.

A lot at stake for Musharraf

Democracy is the same all over the world. What it means is that people rule through their representatives whom they elect freely and periodically. Pakistan is no different. Abraham Lincoln has defined democracy as a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The words "of the people" are the most important because they indicate that power resides with the people. They are sovereign and everything flows from them. When President Pervez Musharraf tells Europe that their kind of democracy is different and far advanced than that in Pakistan, he talks about the system where the military enjoys a pre-eminent position. It is not that the Pakistanis are lesser people. It is that they have been denied the right to rule themselves. Europe has a long history of democracy except the countries which were satellites of the Soviet Union during the cold war. The successive army chiefs in Pakistan nipped democracy in the bud. Why should Mushrraf say that Pakistan was not yet ready for a full-fledged democracy when he himself came through an army coup? The system was never allowed to operate in Pakistan.

Create a separate wildlife department

In view of the timely statement by Prof Kazi Zaker Hussain -- one of the veteran most zoologists and wildlife biologists of the country -- and Prof. Mohammad Anwarul Islam on the afforestation policy of the Bangladesh Forest Department I emphasize that government should immediately create a separate Wildlife Department/Authority/Bureau with the same status of the existing Environment and Forest departments of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF).


Squad depth too thin

There is apparently no great talent outside the national team for one to consider a change.

Mohammedan cruise

Mohammedan Sporting Club did not falter like their fellow title contenders when the event hosts cruised to a 2-0 win over Youngmen's Club Fakirerpool in yesterday's Protiti Pharma Victory Day Club Cup football tournament.

Clarke leads a rout

Australia crushed a lamentable Twenty20 world champions India by nine wickets in front of a huge crowd in the Twenty20 international here on Friday.

Malik storms out

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik abruptly left a press conference after being bombarded with questions about fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's sudden appearance in the national team's practice session at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore yesterday ahead of today's fifth and final one-day match against Zimbabwe.

CCDM advocates for pool players

The three-day players' transfer for Premier Division Cricket League will start tomorrow but it is not still sure whether all the national pool players would get clubs before the bourse.

BFF names squad for Bangla Games

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday named a 20-member squad for the Bangladesh team which will play West Bengal in next months' 2nd Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games in Dhaka.

WI post 263-9

Some lusty late-order hitting by Jerome Taylor propelled West Indies to a formidable 263-9 in 50 overs in the fourth one-day international at Kingsmead in Durban last night.

Barca thru' to semis

Barcelona reached the semifinals of the King's Cup on Thursday after a Thierry Henry header earned them a 1-0 aggregate victory over 10-man Villarreal at the Nou Camp.

No place for Beckham

David Beckham was left out of Fabio Capello's first England squad on Thursday but reassured that he could still win the 100th cap he craves.

Koeman hopes for revival

Ronald Koeman and Frank Rijkaard were both hugely successful players with the Netherlands and Barcelona but the Dutch coaching duo are experiencing difficult times as they struggle to match the high expectations at Valencia and Barcelona respectively.

C'Ron primed to fire

With Cristiano Ronaldo in rampant mood, Manchester United's drive to retain the Premier League title is beginning to look as unstoppable as their Portuguese winger.

Duo fights over UCL spot

European champions AC Milan will tackle Fiorentina on Sunday in a match which could have major ramifications in the race for a Champions league place.

Drogba wants Real move

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba would still like to leave the English Premiership side to join Spanish giants Real Madrid next season, sports daily Marca reported Friday.

Mascherano still not Red's

Liverpool insisted Thursday they had yet to clinch a permanent deal for Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano.

Ballack ready for duet

Michael Ballack has denied claims he cannot play in the same Chelsea team as Frank Lampard as the England midfielder readies his comeback for the weekend trip to Portsmouth.

Hertha get Gilberto replacement

After the U-turn departure on Thursday of Brazilian defender Gilberto, Hertha Berlin have swooped for Czech Republic international Rudolf Skacel in a loan deal until the end of the season.

Krkic named in Spain squad

Coach Luis Aragones named a 22-man squad on Friday for Spain's friendly against World Cup finalists France next week.

South Africa, Senegal sent home

The 2004 champions Tunisia and Angola sealed the last two quarterfinal places at the African Nations Cup on Thursday.

Under-18 tennis starts tomorrow

The eight-day Grameenphone International Junior (under-18) tennis tournament starts at Rajshahi Zafar Imam Tennis Complex on Sunday.

No money in SLC

Sri Lanka's new cricket chief and former captain Arjuna Ranatunga has revealed his board has no money left and is banking on financial support from India to stay afloat.

Clash moves to ODIs

Australia and India will continue their recent bitter rivalry when the one-day triangular cricket series also involving Sri Lanka begins at the Gabba here Sunday.

Captaincy beckons Bell

Ian Bell has emerged as a candidate to captain England during the one-dayers against New Zealand if Paul Collingwood suffers any injury problems. It had been expected that Kevin Pietersen would take up the job if Collingwood misses any matches but Peter Moores, England's coach, has been talking up the potential of Bell.

Captaincy beckons Bell

Ian Bell has emerged as a candidate to captain England during the one-dayers against New Zealand if Paul Collingwood suffers any injury problems. It had been expected that Kevin Pietersen would take up the job if Collingwood misses any matches but Peter Moores, England's coach, has been talking up the potential of Bell.

Wake up India

In a north London pub on a warm summer's afternoon three years ago, I had an absorbing conversation with an English novelist friend of mine. We were talking about the cultural and political resonances swear words have in different countries.

Wake up India

In a north London pub on a warm summer's afternoon three years ago, I had an absorbing conversation with an English novelist friend of mine. We were talking about the cultural and political resonances swear words have in different countries.

Eng 'keepers do battle

England coach Peter Moores says the wicketkeeping spot for the Test series in New Zealand is still up for grabs.

No goals in Senior Div

Both the Senior Division Football League matches ended in goalless draws at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Dhoni fumes, Pup basks in glory

On a day of contrasting fortunes, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni rued a spineless batting display by his team describing it "irresponsible" while his opposite number Michael Clarke revelled in the glory of leading Australia to their maiden Twenty20 win over India.

Vengsarkar points at Procter

Chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar yesterday wanted Mike Procter to be hauled up by the ICC for bungling the incident involving India's Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds during last month's Sydney Test.

Rikki restores family name

Yu Lun Lin of China spoiled an all-McLachlan final by beating Rikki McLachlan 6-3, 7-6 in the semifinal of Amicus 6th BKSP International Junior tennis championship in Savar yesterday.

Badminton kicks off

This winter's badminton tournament kicked off with the district tournament at the local gymnasium on Thursday.

Rameez hints at division

Former captain Rameez Raja fears that Pakistan Cricket Board's new central contracts might sow seeds of dissent among players in the national team.

Noffke signs for Surrey

Middlesex have signed Australian pace bowler Ashley Noffke for a two-month spell at the start of the season.


Unfair Indian competition plagues local sugar industry

Bangladesh's sugar refiners are facing financial disaster after losing around Tk200 crore last year due to the alleged dumping of Indian sugar in the local market.

Automation can improve service quality of state-owned banks

Mamun Rashid is the managing director and country officer of Citibank NA, Bangladesh. With a banking career spanning over 20 years he has served many senior positions in treasury, institutional banking, debt restructuring & recoveries and corporate banking in three leading multinational banks at home and abroad. Mamun is also the chairman of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) standing committee on Banking Techniques and Practice for Bangladesh.

Integration of bourses sought to boost growth in South Asia

A strong integration of capital markets in South Asia can spearhead the economic growth in the region, stock market operators said yesterday as a two-day conference of regional bourses ended in Dhaka.

RMG sector's role in empowering women needs recognition

The contribution of the garment sector to women empowerment and social stability in Bangladesh should be acknowledged by international community, Bangladesh Ambassador to the US Humayun Kabir has said.

Opec freezes oil output, says supplies sufficient

Opec left its oil production ceiling unchanged on Friday, snubbing US demands for an increase as the cartel focused on supporting prices which have fallen 10 percent since the start of the year.

India excited over 9.6pc GDP growth

Buoyed by the 9.6 per cent economic growth clocked during the financial year 2006-07, the highest in 18 years, Union finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday exuded confidence of close to nine per cent growth this year but held out the promise that the government would make rapid adjustments depending upon global situation.

Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo

Microsoft said Friday it had offered to buy struggling Internet firm Yahoo for 44.6 billion dollars (30.0 billion euros) in cash and stock.

EU says 'enormous' progress made in trade talks with S Korea

The European Union made "enormous progress" in its latest round of free trade talks with South Korea but some sticky issues are still unresolved, the chief EU negotiator said Friday.

City Bank's new vice chairman

Hossain Mehmood has been elected vice chairman of The City Bank Ltd, says a press release.

New AMD of Prime Bank

Nasiruddin Ahmed has been promoted to the post of additional managing director of Prime Bank Ltd with effect from February 1, 2008, says a press release.

Singapore Airlines net profit flattens

Singapore Airlines (SIA) said Friday net profit for its financial third quarter was little changed from the previous year, and warned prospects were uncertain because of a possible US recession.

Weekly Currency Roundup

January 27 - January 31, 2008
Local FX Market
The US dollar/BDT market was a tight this week, fuelled by ample demand for customer payments. The USD/BDT rate however was range bound.


Lack of political will blamed for failure to recover stolen assets

Requesting countries' lack of efforts and political will has been largely blamed for failures in tracing and recovering stolen assets from developed nations, speakers at an international workshop here said on Thursday.

ADB, other aid agencies to provide $190m

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other aid agencies will give Bangladesh US $190 million in loans and grants to assist in recovery from a devastating cyclone last year, the Manila-based bank said yesterday.

Proper utilisation of wetlands can bring socioeconomic dev

Speakers at a seminar in the city yesterday said socioeconomic development of the people in South Asia is possible by utilising the wetlands and natural resources.

Steps underway for more manpower export to Korea, Europe, America

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday directed the authorities concerned to introduce English and Korean language courses in all technical training centres (TTCs) of the country to help send more manpower abroad.

'Passive smoking big threat to child health'

A painting competition for children and juveniles was held in the city yesterday to raise awareness among parents about the impact of passive smoking on child health.

Amar Ekushey Book Fair begins amid festivity

Country's historic and largest book festival Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2008 began on the Bangla Academy premises yesterday amid festivity and enthusiasm.

'Integrate climate issues into activities of all ministries'

Dr Atiq A Rahman, a noted environmentalist and the recipient of UNEP Champion of the Earth 2008 award, yesterday urged the government to integrate climate change issues into activities of all ministries, rather than leaving the task to a single ministry or department.

Five killed in road accidents

Five people were killed and nine others injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.

Odhikar demands lifting of emergency to ensure freedom

Odhikar, a human rights organisation, yesterday demanded immediate lifting of the state of emergency ensuring freedom of the media and stopping extra-judicial killing and torture.

Human chain for punishment to rapists

Two women's organisations yesterday formed a human chain in the city demanding arrest and exemplary punishment to the rapists of a schoolgirl.

Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury

The second death anniversary of Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury, a veteran parliamentarian and organiser of the liberation war, will be observed today.

Worker dies in Ctg port area

A worker died after falling on the cargo hole of a container carrier vessel in Chittagong Port area.

Jamalpur Bar Assoc executives

Adv Muhammad Baqi Billah and Adv Md Shafiqul Islam were elected president and general secretary of Jamalpur District Bar Association on Thursday.

Declare poultry industry as emergency sector

The poultry industry needs to be declared as an emergency sector immediately to protect the large number of poultry farmers from an impending disaster, experts said yesterday.

10 get life for violating teenage girl

A tribunal sentenced 10 people to life imprisonment on Thursday for violating a teenage girl.

B'baria BCL president held

The joint forces arrested Brahmanbaria district BCL President Mahmudul Huq Bhuiyan from his Kazipara house in the town on Thursday night.

Death anniversary of Justice Debesh today

Today is the fourth death anniversary of Justice Debesh Bhattacharya, an eminent jurist and champion of human rights, says a press release.

Sidr-affected students get school kits

The Society for People's Actions In Change and Equity (SPACE), a non-government organisation, yesterday distributed 400 school kits among the Sidr-affected students and 400 pieces of winter clothing among the elderly poor people at Moraleganj in Bagerhat.

Two killed in Magura clashes

Two people were killed and 25 others injured in fierce clashes at Chougachhi and Moheshpur villages in Sreepur upazila on Thursday.

Seven bombs recovered

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered seven bombs and 16 bottles of foreign liquor from Shibganj upazila of the district in the early hours of yesterday.

Two powerful bombs seized, one held

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered two powerful bombs at Muslimpara in the town last night.

Pitha festival held in Chittagong

A daylong pitha (traditional homemade cake) festival was held in the port city yesterday.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The 23rd edition of the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will take place at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city today.


EC plan warms up AL, BNP as new faces line up

With the Election Commission's target to hold city corporation elections by April this year, the political circle in the city is getting warmer, but in a different atmosphere this time.

Tension mounts as layoff extended

Tension mounted in Atra Industrial Area here yesterday following extension of layoff period of Alim Jute Mill for more 15 days for the sixth time with effect from today.

Tk 6.35cr project to save Boro in Sunamganj

The government has taken 68 schemes under a Tk 6.35 crore embankment project to save Boro crops in Sunamganj district and the contractors concerned have been asked to complete their work by April 30.

Divisional FFs meet in Barisal today

Barisal divisional convention of freedom fighters to press the demand for trial of war criminals will be held at Barisal Auditorium today.

IDB team visits Sidr-hit Sharankhola

A four-member highlevel team of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) yesterday visited the Sidr-hit Sharankhola upazila.

Voters decline in Satkhira

The number of voters declined by six percent in the fresh list prepared here under supervision of joint forces.

Prof Taher's 2nd death anniversary observed

Teachers and students of Geology and Mining Department of RU yesterday observed 'mourning day' on the second death anniversary of Prof S Taher Ahmed, the founder of Geology and Mining Department in Rajshahi University.

2 Danida officials charge-sheeted for 'bribery'

Police submitted charge sheet against two Danida officials with the Judicial Magistrate's Court here on Monday in a bribery case filed with the first class magistrate's court on June 5 last year.

Satkhira AL leader held

Joint Forces arrested an Awami League (AL) leader from his village home at Chapra in Assassuni upazila Thursday night, police and joint forces said.

B'baria ward commissioner held for graft

The court sent Kasba Pourasabha ward commissioner Nazim Uddin Sarkar following his arrest by Brahmanbaria Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday.

15-day Zainul fair begins in Mymensingh

A 15-day Fine Arts and Handicrafts Fair began at Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrashala (art gallery) at Shaheb Quarter Park area in the district town yesterday afternoon.


Lanka troops, Tigers lock in gunfight: 28 killed

Security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels have traded heavy artillery fire in northern Sri Lanka, killing 28 rebels, officials said yesterday, a day after Japan warned it may stop aid unless fighting subsided.

Don't show Iran US is 'paper tiger': Bush

US President George W Bush on Thursday warned that a hasty pull-out from Iraq would ruin fragile progress there and convince extremists and Iran that the United States is a "paper tiger."

Millions still stranded in China

Millions of travellers were stranded at transport hubs around China Friday, unable to return home for annual holidays because of the worst snow storms in 50 years.

Freed Pak lawyer urges Musharraf to quit

A firebrand Pakistani lawyer called yesterday for President Pervez Musharraf to step down, a day after authorities freed him from nearly three months of detention.

Indian PM reaffirms hold over territory claimed by China

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has unveiled a 1.75 billion dollar development package for the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, a sensitive area claimed by China, reports said yesterday.

Death of al-Qaeda leader in missile strike victory for US

A US missile strike that killed a top al-Qaeda commander in Pakistan marked a significant victory for the US in its battle against the terror network after a series of pessimistic assessments of the American-led campaign against the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Left Front suffers setback ahead of Tripura polls

The ruling Left Front in Tripura on Friday suffered a major setback ahead of the February 23 assembly elections with the Forward Bloc (FB) announcing the names of 15 candidates to contest against its dominant partner, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

UN chief calls on Kenya rivals to stop violence

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called here yesterday for Kenya's feuding political leaders to stop weeks of deadly violence sparked by disputed presidential polls, and to resolve the crisis through peaceful dialogue.

Hillary, Obama spar on health care, war

Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton sparred, for the most part cordially, over immigration, health care and the war in Iraq in their first one-on-one debate on Thursday as they faced high-stakes Super Tuesday contests that could go a long way toward determining the party's presidential nominee.

Gunmen attack Israeli embassy in Mauritania

Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the Israeli embassy in Mauritania yesterday, causing several injuries, witnesses said, in an attack condemned by Israel as an "act of terrorism".

Gaza blockade amounts to collective punishment

Israel's blockade of Gaza denies 1.4 million Palestinians the food, fuel and medicine they need to survive, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday, calling it collective punishment and a violation of international law.

Warmer seas boosted hurricane frequency by 40 pc: study

Warmer seas accounted for 40 percent of a dramatic surge in hurricanes from the mid-1990s, according to a study released on Thursday by the British journal Nature.

Scientists create ‘tear-free' onion

Scientists in New Zealand and Japan have created a "tear-free" onion using biotechnology to switch off the gene behind the enzyme that makes us cry, one of the leading researchers said yesterday.

Suicide blast kills 3 troops in Pakistan tribal area

A suicide car bomber killed three troops and wounded five Friday in Pakistan's troubled tribal belt, near where a top al-Qaeda militant was believed killed earlier this week, the army said.

Arts & Entertainment

Words of optimism

On the first day of February, the month that marks our Language Movement, National Poetry Council celebrated the 22nd National Poetry Festival. With the slogan “Kobitar Montro Joi Gonotontro” (Triumph of democracy is the message of poetry), the two-day festival was inaugurated yesterday by eminent poet Syed Shamsul Haq at the Dhaka University Library premises. Hundreds of prominent and promising poets and poetry enthusiasts from all over the country attended the festival.

Living Theatre: An Elegy to Sidr

Ashish Khondoker's troupe is staging three short plays at a five-day theatre festival titled Living Theatre: An Elegy to Sidr, at the Alliance Francaise Auditorium. The short plays -- Ram Nondai-er Aankh, Kala Pani and Blackout -- highlight incidents related to the devastating Cyclone Sidr.

Documentary on Alamgir Kabir

DVD of Protikuler Jatri (Counter Image), a documentary on the life of illustrious filmmaker Alamgir Kabir (1938- 1989), was launched on January 30 at the Alamgir Kabir Film Centre. Directed by Kawsar Choudhury, Laser Vision released the DVD.

Citibank supports documentary on Liberation War

Citibank, N.A. Bangladesh, banking arm of the leading global financial services company Citigroup, has recently provided the partial funding for making of a non-commercial research-based documentary on the Liberation War of Bangladesh, says a press release.

George Clooney becomes UN Peace Envoy

Oscar-winning actor George Clooney turned the normally staid United Nations upside down last Thursday when he visited the headquarters to become a U.N. Messenger of Peace. The American celebrity is well-known for his work as a human rights activist on Darfur.


Price monitoring: Possible way to combat price hike

Recently, the price of rice and edible oil spiraled out of affordability of the low-income people of Bangladesh and forced them to retrench their consumption bundle significantly. This price hike has drawn the attention of the government, economists and think tanks of the country to reach to the consensus about the causes working behind and to shield the protection of vulnerable consumer rights situation in the country.

Preventing petty corruption imperative for development

Corruption takes place when someone abuses public power for pecuniary gains and advantages causing harm to the nation and public in general. Corruption involves the dishonest or preferential use of power or position, which is the result of one person or organisation being advantaged over another.

Procurement factor crucial for agro-industries

There are five characteristics of an effective agro-industrial procurement system. They are quantity, quality, time, cost and organisation. A project's procurement activities start with examination of quantitative adequacy of raw material supply. Processing plants operating at less than planned capacity are all too common and costly in most developing countries. This is mainly due to inadequate analysis of raw material available to the processing plant. The quality of the raw material must satisfy standards of acceptability in the consumer market. Main factors considered affecting the quality of raw material are inputs, handling and transport, and storage. If the input affects product characteristics the quality will not be up to the standard. Handling and transport of the product can also affect its quality significantly. Poor storage facilities can be responsible for a sizeable portion of losses.

Bird flu: Role of public administration

Avian influenza or the bird flu was first suspected among poultry birds in Biman Bangladesh's poultry farm at Savar . Poultry farms in 29 districts are affected by avian flu in the country. In 93 farms 3,26,844 poultry birds were culled so far as they were identified as infected by avian flu virus as of Jan 28, 2008.


Stepping into grey area

Whether spirits or ghosts exist or not has engaged the attention of scientists and researchers for many years now. Attempt to verify their existence have yielded a lot of interesting information. Instrumental transcommunication is the name given to the activity of receiving electronic voices and images of spirits (spirit photography), obtained with electronic equipment.

Cable break causes wide internet outage

At least for a while, the World Wide Web wasn't so worldwide. Two cables that carry internet traffic deep under the Mediterranean Sea snapped, disrupting service Thursday across a swath of Asia and the Middle East.

Canon rolls out digital cameras in Bangladesh

Canon Singapore Pte Ltd in association with JAN Associates Limited, official distributor for Canon Camera products in Bangladesh, introduced an array of high-end digital cameras for the local market at a gala event on January 29 at a local hotel in Dhaka.

BIJF's roundtable on e-governance

To look back at our E-governance projects, Bangladesh ICT Journalist Forum (BIJF) organised a roundtable discussion on 'Review of E-governance and Some Recommendations' at the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) conference room on January 28.


Seven for a Secret

One for sorrow, two for joy…

Glimpses of 'An Anthology of Selected Writings on East Bengal' from the 'India Collection' at the India International Centre Library, Delhi

The 'India Collection' at the India International Centre Library in New Delhi earlier constituted the 'Collection of British Books on India' of the British Council, New Delhi. Numbering over 3000 rare and old books, documents, personal accounts, prints, memoirs, maps and manuscripts; the 'India Collection' consist largely the works of British authors on India, particularly covering the British period. The Collection spans the period from the 17th century (the earliest title is dated 1672) to 1947.

The Colours of Fall

The weather is cold but the colours are warm all around me.
Oh, the falling leaves: painted yellow, orange and red!
These leaves of maple trees, as if dying in a blissful glee--
Never have I seen such fiesta for the ending: just to be drying and dead?


1. The translation of the short story '9:50' in the January 19, 2008 issue of The Daily Star literature page was wrongly attributed to Sabreena Ahmed. The actual translator was Supreeta Singh of Drik Gallery, Kolkata.

Strategic Issues

The India-Sri Lanka strategic relations: Part-II

In keeping with the developments mentioned in the first part India's strategic interest in Sri Lanka has been enlarged to protect and project India's strategic and economic interests by building strong bonds with Sri Lanka. India has developed strong trading links with Sri Lanka. It is poised to become $5 billion by the year 2010 as the FTA between the two countries is being given more form and content. As a result in both the countries there is greater appreciation of each other's perceptions and actions at all levels.

Pakistan on knife-edge

Bhutto's assassination on December 27, 2008, an act of cowardice perpetrated by Jihadists in the name of Islam, has again catapulted into focus the disfigurement of Islam and the misinterpretation of Jihad.

Why do Naxals hate NGOs? A case study of Bihar

Naxalism is a grave problem in Bihar. According to a March 2007 document of the Bihar Police, 30 of its 38 districts have been affected by Maoist activities. Maoist violence is endemic across the state's territory.

NATO commander optimistic on Afghan-Pakistan cooperation

Kabul The commander of the NATO force in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Gen. Dan McNeill, said at the weekend he was optimistic about stronger cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad in the fight against extremism.

U.S. delivers on F-16s as Pakistan teeters

Taipei The timing could not have been worse for U.S. supporters of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. On Dec. 31, Pentagon officials announced that Lockheed Martin was being awarded a Foreign Military Sales contract modification for $498.2 million for 18 F-16C/D Block 52 fighter jets just days after the Dec. 27 assassination of presidential candidate Benazir Bhutto and just two weeks before scheduled general elections.

Star Books Review

The song a young Santal woman sings

Sanjeeb Drong writes with quiet passion and with a lot of nostalgia. The loss of heritage, the disappearance of land that was home is a theme that recurs in this work of intense devotion. But, then, Drong is not alone in the way he feels. Anyone who has watched the gradual assaults that have been made on the way, or ways, of life that Bangladesh's indigenous people or adivasis have suffered through since the British colonial period will empathise with him. His is not a partisan view of conditions. That he belongs to one of the tribes which have found Bangladesh to be home for long generations is a truth that does not mar the quality of the essays he presents in this work. There is, of course, anger in him as he narrates the tale of the tribal girl from the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a young woman forced by poverty to take the road to the city. It is in the putatively secure confines of domestic employment in that urban centre that her virginity is taken from her.

The infinity of what life is

A mother's love can move mountains. The wonderful tales in Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul hold this truth for every reader. They are all about how a mother's love can create miracles. The tales are life experiences told with wit and compassion that touch the soul. The stories have the power to bring tears and smiles to readers. The characters are so vivid that they seem to live and breathe with the reader long after a story is read. The writers with their skills make us feel distinct yearnings for the characters. The stories offer the readers a rare combination of intimacy and transcendence. The book holds 101 stories, each a treasure mountain, waiting to be read and discovered. The stories open with beautiful sayings that throw light on their themes. They open the hearts and rekindle the spirit in mothers.

Cushioning the blow, in soft phrases

It is these days quite fashionable to consider oneself politically correct. Look around you. You don't have Red Indians any more, only Native Americans. Though you might consider Barack Obama as a black candidate for the American presidency, you must be extra careful in avoiding using the old, denigrating 'Negro' while describing him or any of his kind. It is African-Americans that you have today. On a lighter level, do you realise that there are no housewives any more today? There are only homemakers, whatever that means. It tends to remind you of a rather pernicious term, home-wreckers, one that you associate with men and women who have nothing better to do than making a mess of other people's lives by falling in love, or lust, with other people's spouses. And then there is the way you describe a child whose intelligence is obviously of a poor quality. But, no, you cannot suggest by any means that he is unintelligent. He is merely one who has an attention deficit disorder.

Lament of a lonely soul

Love is a symbol of truth and beauty and gives us insights into divine and spiritual life. Without love and affection, it is rather difficult to think about the existence of the soul in the body. Loving humankind and feeling empathy, delight and liberty are the four aspects of true love. Love is tranquil, quiet, honest, virtuous and based on conviction, esteem, confidence, support and truth. It does not have any room for jealousy, distrust, conceit, snobbery and unfairness. Love excuses all. Love happens when a wish is developed from an attraction, which leads to submission and then urges one to take the path to commitment. A deep attachment is felt for the person we love; we feel sensitive and are mesmerised by our love and thus seek devotion and regard. Love brings people together, as opposed to hate which separates people from one another. Love is refined and if allowed to flow naturally will smoothen the trail chosen after birth. Love makes life healthier and fuller. These constitute the essence of Mahadev Saha's poetry. Mahadev Saha is one of the leading romantic poets in our Bengali literary world. He is a poet of silence and mystery. Since the inception of his poetry, he has carefully kept himself removed from any disquiet and unsteadiness.

At a glance

The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi
Katherine Frank
A book that created quite a few waves when it first appeared, it remains a reader's delight. Frank brings new insights to bear on her telling of the tale of a woman who continues to exercise political imaginations not only in India but elsewhere in the world. It has been dogged by controversy, which makes its appeal that much better.

The Daily Star

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