The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, August 21, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 6th of February, 2008

Front Page

EC wants politics ban to go by March

The Election Commission (EC) has set end of March as the deadline for the caretaker government for lifting the restrictions on indoor politics countrywide so that political parties can resume their activities and get registered with the EC.

124 corrupt Titas staff return Tk 350cr wealth

One hundred and twenty-four staff of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd yesterday handed over their illegally amassed wealth worth about Tk 350 crore to the task force while 11 others also supposed to do so have gone into hiding, sources said.

Govt mulls slashing ADP by Tk 4,000cr

The government may slash the Annual Development Programme (ADP) by more than Tk 4,000 crore mainly due to poor implementation of the development projects and increased revenue expenditure.

Hasina counsel wants change of court

The counsel for Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina will move to have the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against her transferred to another court as they fear they might not get justice at the present one.

Muggers kill trader, snatch Tk 3 lakh

Muggers yesterday stabbed a trader to death, wounded his companion and reportedly snatched Tk 3 lakh from them at East Aganagar of South Keraniganj in Dhaka.

Govt moves to sign deal with 6 countries

The government is going to form a 'central authority', which will coordinate signing of the memorandum of understanding with six countries including Malaysia to recover siphoned off money.

Barapukuria coalmine gets into full swing

The troubled Barapukuria coalmine struck a record coal production in its history Sunday extracting 4,085 tonnes of coal in a single day, which is almost three times higher than it normally produced last year.

Draft PSC okayed for offshore exploration

The Council of Advisers yesterday approved the draft of production sharing contract (PSC) for offshore oil and gas exploration.

Dhaka seeks Vietnam's help to be a member

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday requested Vietnam to help Bangladesh get membership of the Ganges-Mekong Cooperation Initiative so, as a lower-riparian country, it can reap benefit out of the bloc.

5,932 more fowls culled in 2 dists

At least 5,932 bird flu infected fowls were culled in Jhenidah and Pabna on Monday and yesterday as more reports pour in of the spread of the infection.

Rejoinder, our reply

WorldTel Bangladesh Limited (WTBL) in a rejoinder to a news headlined "Moudud bent rules to get WorldTel's Nayeem loan" published in The Daily Star on January 17 disagreed with some parts of the story.

Govt to make fresh allotment of Uttara plots

The government will reallocate 300 out of 897 residential plots under Uttara project, cancelled last year, to those whose papers were found to be in order.

Delivery of judgment on trying it under EPR starts

A High Court (HC) bench yesterday started delivering its judgment that would decide whether the government's move to bring the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case filed against Sheikh Hasina under the Emergency Power Rules, 2007 (EPR) was legal.

Enam Chy now moves to unify BNP

A fresh initiative to unify BNP has been taken up by Enam Ahmed Chowdhury, an adviser to the chairperson of the party.

Judge says chaos reason for his leaving court

Judge Azizul Huq who is hearing the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against Sheikh Hasina yesterday told the defence and prosecution lawyers that "a chaotic situation" was the main reason for his walking out of the court on Monday.

US college to introduce Dr Yunus Scholarship

York College of the City University of New York is going to introduce "Dr Yunus Scholarship" programme on February 11, college sources said yesterday.

Artist Debdas Chakraborty passes away

Renowned artist Debdas Chakraborty passed away yesterday. He was 75.

EU delegation on climate change due today

A high-level European Parliament delegation on climate change arrives today to assess Bangladesh's readiness and requirements to adapt to global warming, with an eye on possible protection and adaptation funds in the future.

Polls roadmap, pledge to boost trade should be upheld

The government should adhere to the election roadmap to ensure elections by the end of the year and its continued commitment to the roadmap will boost investor confidence in Bangladesh, Geeta Pasi, the US chargé d'affaires in Dhaka, said yesterday.

Indian envoy meets Zillur, Delwar

Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty met with Awami League (AL) Acting President Zillur Rahman and Khaleda Zia backed BNP Secretary General Khandakar Delwar Hossain yesterday and held separate talks with them.

Dhaka in talks to demarcate line with Myanmar

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday received a report from the delegation that visited Myanmar recently and discussed with relevant authorities "to lay the foundation of technical negotiations on maritime boundary."

Voters flock to polls on 'Super Tuesday' in US

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton slugged out a neck-and-neck Democratic feud and John McCain sought a choke-hold on the Republican race on "Super Tuesday," a coast-to-coast White House nominating clash unique in US history.

4 killed as Indian cops open fire on protesters

Four people were killed when police in India opened fire yesterday on a rally protesting against high unemployment in poverty-hit West Bengal state, an official said.

Editorial

Creating an atmosphere for elections

Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda revealed yesterday that he has demanded of the government that emergency be either lifted or relaxed in all places where city corporation or municipal polls are to be held. He has also asked that indoor politics be permitted from March 20. The difficulties associated with the holding of polls to the four city corporations and nine municipalities, slated for April, as well as the projected general elections by the end of the year, thus become obvious. So far the political parties have remained in a straitjacket where preparing for the elections is concerned. In broad measure, it is the people of Bangladesh whose minds are now being greatly exercised over the prospects of early elections and a return to democratic government.

Bird Flu spreading

The high incidence of poultry deaths and the staggering figure of culled fowls are clearly indicative of the dreadful spread of bird flu in Bangladesh. Although it has not yet crossed the critical threshold of transmuting into humans, it may be pretty close to that danger point, if we are to lower the guard.

The mangled Bangla that we speak …

All these years after the Language Movement, it makes sense to ask what we have lately been doing with Bengali, or Bangla as many would like to call it. That sense of inquiry becomes rather important, indeed acquires urgency of a sort, considering that in a very large number of instances the Bengali language has been getting pretty mangled and, in the end, muddled altogether.

Politics of hope and change

The race for the Democratic nomination has come down to Senator Hillary Clinton (New York) and Senator Barack Obama (Illinois). If Obama wins the nomination, he will be acclaimed as a national figure of indubitable presidential stature. If Hilary Clinton wins -- the more likely outcome of the primaries -- she will have shed her unelectable image, but would she?

Elections: Paradoxes aplenty

Will elections be held on February 18? Some say they will be, while many doubt whether the PML (Q) and the establishment, sensing defeat, would let the elections go through on the day. But, considering some international pressure and the fact that postponing it will cause an immediate uproar and will not help the retired General Pervez Musharraf to go ahead with his plans, sticking to the date may become necessary. Few are sure either way.

Sports

Decisions to be made

The number of major issues will be discussed in the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) ad-hoc committee meeting today.

Injuries stall declaration

Injuries may hold back the announcement of the final squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa that will start from February 22 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Tarun clinch Day 3

The three-day players' transfers for the upcoming Premier and First Division Cricket Leagues closed yesterday with Surjo Tarun signing up two former national captains and Mohammad Rafique hinting of his impending retirement.

MSC owe fans one

Every team have the right to choose their opponents.

Mohammedan form probe committee

Mohammedan Sporting Club on Monday formed a three-member inquiry committee headed by Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed to investigate the incident during the first day of the three-day inter-club cricketers' transfer for the Premier and First Division leagues at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Sunday.

Two local boys in 2nd round

Two out of six Bangladeshi players moved to the second round of boys' singles while only four players survived a bad day for Indians in the Grameenphone International Junior (U-16) Tennis Champion-ships (Group-3) at the Zafar Imam Tennis Complex here yesterday.

Rain spoils Gambhir ton

The second match in the triangular one-day cricket series was abandoned here on Tuesday when heavy rain meant Sri Lanka were unable to take the field in pursuit of India's total of 267 for four.

England's flying start

England drew first blood in their cricket tour of New Zealand when they comfortably won the opening Twenty20 match by 32 runs.

Nasir wins, Rakib draws

Grand Master Abdullah Al Rakib secured 2.5 points after the third round matches of the International Chess Festival of Moscow Open held on Monday.

Sachin reaches 16k ODI runs

Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday became the first batsmen in the history of one-day cricket to cross the 16,000-run mark, a milestone which appears to be a distant dream for any other player in near future.

Malik denies marriage

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik on Tuesday denied that he had ever entered into a telephonic 'niqah' with any Indian girl and said he has been a victim of a fraud done by a family based in Hyderabad in India.

Cameroon clinch a thriller

Defending champions Egypt and Cameroon came through their respective quarterfinals on Monday to join holders Ghana and Ivory Coast as the last four teams standing at the African Nations Cup.

Capello era begins

As Euro 2008 hopefuls get down to the serious business of fine-tuning their squad permutations for the summer England must embark instead on the long road to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa under new Italian coach Fabio Capello.

Donadoni reassures omitted players

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni moved to reassure the players left out of his squad for Wednesday's friendly against Portugal in Zurich, that they can still force their way back in.

Americans book Russia date

Americans Lindsay Davenport and Ashley Harkleroad won their respective singles rubbers on Monday to give the US women a first-round Fed Cup victory over Germany and a semifinal date with Russia.

Sania snub shocks India

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza's decision not to play in home tournaments this year because of off-court rows has left fans and officials shell-shocked.

Gerrard will lead England

Steven Gerrard will captain England in Wednesday's friendly against Switzerland, the first match under new coach Fabio Capello.

Drogba's no show

Didier Drogba says the African Footballer of the Year award picked up by Frederic Kanoute was originally destined for him.

Injuries concern Bierhoff

The build-up to Euro 2008 must start now, Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said Monday, warning that injuries could undermine his team's chances of success in the June 7 to 29 tournament.

Italy lose Materazzi

Inter Milan defender Marco Materazzi has been ruled out of Italy's friendly with Portugal in Zurich on Wednesday because of a bad back, the Italian soccer federation said on its Web site (www.figc.it) said.

Becks respects decision

David Beckham's axing from the England team for Wednesday's friendly against Switzerland at Wembley has borne witness to manager Fabio Capello's rugged approach but the former England captain said he "totally" respected the decision.

Skipper pleased with vital victory

England skipper Paul Collingwood said his team's 32-run win over New Zealand in the first of two Twenty20 matches had been "massively important".

Cruising on a greasy road

Gautam Gambhir has been in and out of India's dressing room for some time now and should know what it takes to seal a permanent place. It hasn't always revealed itself -- he has not always made the most of his comeback opportunities -- but on Tuesday he set aside the disappointment of missing out on a place in the Test squad with his third one-day century, against Sri Lanka at the Gabba.

Nat'l badminton from today

The Islami Bank 28th National Badminton Championships, organised by Bangladesh Badminton Federation, begins today at the Woodenfloor Gymnasium.

Bidya Niketan clinch boys h'ball trophy

Banani Bidya Niketan lifted the Sunnydale 5th Boys Mini handball tournament beating Scholastica 7-4 in the final at the Handball Stadium yesterday.

T20 final maygo to Lord's

Lord's and The Oval have been nominated as two of the main venues to host next year's ICC World Twenty20, with the England and Wales Cricket Board also recommending Lord's to host the final.

Sangakkara rues 'good chase'

Rain stole a second game in Brisbane with the situation delicately poised and both India and Sri Lanka claimed the advantage after the match. Kumar Sangakkara felt a chase of 268 was achievable while Gautam Gambhir was convinced his team had scored enough to secure a much-needed victory.

ICL's British recruits out in the cold

Geoff Miller, England's newly-installed chief selector, has hinted that any England player who signs up for the rebel Indian Cricket League could go the same way as New Zealand's Shane Bond, who last month had his national contract terminated and now faces being cast into the international wilderness.

Lee could skip few matches

After Shaun Tait's sudden withdrawal from the game, Australian selectors have realised the need to "rest" their other speedster Brett Lee, who will be used sparingly during the ongoing tri-series.

Rohit fined for dissent

Rohit Sharma was fined 10 per cent of his match fee for dissent after being incorrectly judged caught behind for 0 off Muttiah Muralidaran at the Gabba. Sharma was the second India batsman to remain camped to the crease following his dismissal over the past six weeks, but his punishment was stronger than Yuvraj Singh's following an in-depth pre-series discussion on behaviour by Jeff Crowe, the match referee.

Business

Govt moves to train RMG managers to counter labour unrest

The government has set up special training sessions on workers rights for garment factory managers in an attempt to counter the labour unrest that has threatened the success of the country's main export earner.

US envoy sees labour rights protection 'a pre-condition'

US Chargé d'Affaires Geeta Pasi yesterday said the protection of labour rights is a pre-condition for receiving duty-free access to the US market for Bangladeshi garment and knitwear exports.

Radisson earns record profits in 2007 despite competition

Dhaka's Radisson Water Garden Hotel made an operating profit of more than US$6.721 million in 2007, a record for a hotel in Bangladesh, senior officials claimed yesterday.

Citycell makes loss in Q3

Citycell, Bangladesh's only CDMA standard mobile phone operator, continued to lose money in the three months to December 31, according to its largest shareholder Singapore Telecommunications.

Demand to lift duty on MS rod raw parts

Leaders of the trade bodies of rod and steel industries have demanded of the government to withdraw duty on the import of raw materials for producing mild steel (MS) rods.

US NRBs launch venture capital investment services company

A group of non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) investors from USA has taken an initiative to set up a specialised SME-focused venture capital investment services company in the private sector in Bangladesh.

US lawmakers set stage for trade sanctions on China

US lawmakers are setting the stage for legislation slapping China with punitive sanctions over currency and other trade issues after another year of record trade deficit with the Asian giant.

37 firms to bid for int'l gateway licences

Thirty-seven local companies out of 41 have been shortlisted by the telecom regulator to participate in the final bidding process for getting International Gateway (IGW) service licences.

DSE turnover hits new peak

Turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) hit another record of Tk 372 crore yesterday for a second consecutive day due mainly to hefty transaction of shares in Meghna Petroleum Company.

Barisal int'l trade fair begins Feb 20

The 6th Barisal International Trade Fair will begin at BIWTC Marine Workshop ground here on February 20.

Indian Laser brand shaving products hit market

India-based Malhotra Shaving Products Ltd has launched a wide range of its Laser brand shaving products in Bangladesh market.

Shares in Asia, Europe close mostly down

Asian shares closed mostly down Tuesday on continuing concerns about a US-led global economic slowdown and ahead of the long Lunar New Year holiday break, when many bourses will be shut.

Siemens to deliver another 55 light rail vehicles to Denver

The Mobility Division of Siemens' Industry Sector has strengthened its position in the US market as supplier of light rail vehicles (LRVs) by winning another big order.

Metropolitan

No more headway worries customers

Both the Brac Bank authorities and the customers whose gold ornaments were stolen from the bank lockers are still worried as the police failed to recover all the stolen items as of yesterday, a month into the heist.

Tight security on Feb 21

Seven thousand security personnel will be deployed in and around the Central Shaheed Minar in the city for smooth observance of Amar Ekushey on February 21 commemorate the martyrdom of the heroes of language movement in 1952.

Malnutrition claims 700 children a day

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government to impose more tax on tobacco to reduce its consumption.

Launch social movement to boycott corrupt people

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday called for a strong social movement to boycott corrupt people socially.

Govt creating level-playing field for election

The newly appointed High Commissioner of Swaziland to Bangladesh Mpumelelo Joshep Ndumiso Htophe presented his credential to President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.

CA approves proposal for Rangpur University

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has approved a proposal for setting up a separate full-fledged university in Rangpur to facilitate higher education in the far-flung area of the country.

Change attitude towards police

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad yesterday called on the law enforcers to direct all their activities towards serving the common people to ensure the welfare of the police.

Team to visit Saudi Arabia shortly

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said a high-level delegation from Bangladesh will visit Saudi Arabia shortly to examine reports that have appeared in a section of the media about the predicaments of some Bangladeshis there.

Irregularities, fraudulent practices hinder growth

Irregularities on the part of government officials and fraudulent practices by the recruiting agencies have hindered the growth of overseas employment sector, said a study.

Concern over Hasina's health condition

One hundred and eighty eight doctors in a statement yesterday expressed grave concern over the health condition of detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina and demanded the government ensures her proper treatment.

Annular solar eclipse tomorrow

An annular solar eclipse will take place tomorrow.

National Harijan conference in Kushtia tomorrow

A national conference on ensuring dignity and rights of the Harijan community in the country will be held at the Islamia College ground in Kushtia tomorrow.

PDB realises Tk 1.5cr arrear bill in January

Power Development Board (PDB), distribution (southern region), Chittagong, realised around Tk 1.5 crore as arrear electricity bills in January.

Ex-lawmaker’s son, 7 others held with 520 bottles of Phensidyl

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested eight people, including the son of a former lawmaker from Chuadanga, and seized 520 bottles of Phensidyl on Monday night.

Navy chief calls on president

Chief of Bangladesh Navy Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Effective cop-community relations a must to prevent crime

Agriculture and Water Resources Adviser Dr CS Karim emphasised on friendly community-police relations based on mutual understanding, trust and cooperation to prevent crime.

Killing of RMG worker condemned

Leaders of Sramik Nirapatta Forum (SNF), an alliance of labour rights organisations, yesterday said incidents of killing garment workers won't stop until the killers are handed exemplary punishment.

Final round held at Summer Fields School

The eight-day inter-class debate contest of Summer Fields School titled 'Star Campus-Drishty Debate Competition for Generation Next' ended on the school campus in the port city yesterday.

Shiplu on three-day remand

Mohammad Hossain Shiplu, a Bangladeshi associate of Indian national Jibon Singh, a prime suspect in stealing the Nobel Prize medal of poet Rabindranath Tagore, was taken on a three-day police remand yesterday.

DU students urge govt to withdraw all cases

A group of Dhaka University (DU) students who were recently released from jail yesterday urged the government to withdraw all the cases filed against teachers and students in connection with the campus violence in August.

Schoolgirl commits suicide

A schoolgirl allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the rooftop of a five-story building at Kafrul in the city last night.

DU Gha unit admission test on Feb 8

The written admission test of 'Gha' unit of Dhaka University for the academic session 2007-08 will be held on February 8.

RU registrar urged to withdraw case against two BCL men

Two Bangladesh Chhatra League men of Rajshahi University (RU) unit accused in the campus violence case yesterday called on the acting registrar of the university Prof Muhammad Shafi and urged him to withdraw the case immediately.

Tribute paid to Alam

Mohammad Alam would remain alive among the people through his works, speakers at a memorial meeting said yesterday.

Release of Khaleda, Hasina demanded

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), the student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), yesterday demanded immediate release of all detained political leaders, including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina.

RU students continue protest against BCS quota system

Hundreds of students of Rajshahi University led by Islamic Chhatra Shibir (ICS) activists yesterday formed a human chain in front of the central library on the campus demanding cancellation of the 55 per cent quota system in the BCS examinations.

Khandaker Abdur Razzak

Khandaker Abdur Razzak, former news editor of the daily New Nation, passed away at his residence at Badda in the city at the age of 70.

National

Eight dead sharks recovered from trawlers in Dublarchar

Coastguards and officials of East Wing of Sundarban Forest Division recovered eight dead sharks of rare species Monday evening from four mechanised trawlers at Dublarchar in the Sundarbans.

Sick KCC mayor produced before court in arms case

Detained Khulna City Corporation mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman was produced before the Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge (3rd court) Md Barekuzzaman yesterday in connection with an arms case.

Political leaders hail CG's decisions on northern dists

Political leaders and former student leaders of different parties in Rangpur yesterday hailed the Chief Advisor's declaration to set up a university in Rangpur.

'Withdraw cases against 2 RU students'

Bangladesh Chhatra League Rajshahi University (RU) unit yesterday demanded withdrawal of the case filed by RU authorities against BCL RU General Secretary Ayeen Uddin and activist Dipayan Sarker Dip for their alleged involvement in the campus violence on August 22 and 23.

Hundreds in Satkhira demand safe water

It was a different day for people of Khordo Sheikhpara, a remote village in Tala upazila where hundreds of people including children attended a workshop demanding access to safe drinking water.

Verdict in journo Balu murder case today

A Khulna Speedy Trial Tribunal will today deliver verdict in journalist Humayun Kabir Balu murder case.

8 bombs found in Khulna

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered eight live bombs from an orchard at Khan Mohammadpur village under Rupsha upazila of Khulna district on Monday evening.

NID card being given in Bandarban

Distribution of national identity (NID) card among voters in Bandarban district began yesterday.

Letters

Selim Al Deen

Bangladesh's greatest playwright Professor Selim Al Deen passed away on 14 December 2007 at only 58. He was the founder of the Dramatics Department at Jahangirnagar University. He was also the president of Gram Theatre Project under Dhaka Theatre.

Suggestions for EC

The forthcoming general election in Bangladesh is going to be a free and fair election mainly due to the use of a voter-list with photograph and photo ID for all voters. The Election Commission and the administration concerned with holding of the election have also significantly changed. However, I would like to draw the attention of the Election Commission to the election procedures, materials and tools.

Habit of drinking water

I migrated to the USA in December, 1994. I am originally from Bangladesh and was born at Narayangonj in 1968. There are lots of things I like and enjoy in the USA. However, one thing that has been shocking me since my arrival here is that in my observation here the people do not drink plain water frequently enough. Well, over time, even back in Bangladesh where I go back almost every year to spend my vacation time, these days many people are also getting clogged with busy schedules and I noticed that lots of people, especially who work long hours, tend to drink less water. Drinking less water is becoming a social concern around the world.

High prices of essentials

The prices of essential commodities, such as rice, dal, wheat, oil, vegetables, etc. have gone further up during the last few days in our country. It is called an agricultural country but nowadays, rice sells at Tk 30 or 35 per kg. It has already gone beyond the buying capacity of the common people. Fish which is now scarcely available in the market is selling very dear. Besides, the prices of vegetables have gone up very high. We the students of a university/university college cannot buy all the necessary things, because we are students and do not have enough money. The rising prices of foods and essential commodities are causing great hardship to the people of all classes.

Introduce 'Drug Test'

It can be observed with great concern that drug addiction is on the rise in our society and a large number of our youths are addicted to drugs. The government and some non government organisations are trying their best to minimize the problem. But we do not see any visible improvement. Here I present a scheme which could be very successful to keep our youths away from drugs.

Islami banks

I am a regular reader of DS and I thank you for providing quality news to thousands of readers living at home and abroad.

Terrorism and war

There have been numerous explanations and definitions of war through theories, such as: Historical, Psychological, Demographic, Marxist, Economic, and Rationalist, among others. In one word; war is any large scale violent act which many times resolves in the destruction of one's territory, nation, and lives. War is learned and has evolved through history, these days war is conducted through military campaigns, which includes: armed conflict, intelligence, troops movement, propaganda, aircraft, bombs and missiles.

Politicians

In our country, the education of a politician is not specified. For this reason , an uneducated man can be a politician or the head of a party.

War criminals

Have we forgotten the 'war criminal' issue? No one seems to like talking about it any more. All societies truly abhor crimes committed during wars. Horrific memories of '71 genocide have left our country embittered with pain and sorrow. This will only heal if we bring all those war criminals to justice.

Different stars!

After reading the cover article of The Star Weekend Magazine, on The Bangladesh Special Olympics Team, I was thoroughly moved. All that the team wants is to make their homeland proud. The disabled have just as much right and claim on Bangladesh as we have. They have done so much better than our other competing athletes. All they want is respect. And they have earned that right. Bravo !

Press freedom

Freedom of speech, freedom of press etc. are the pre-requisites of democracy. More or less our press is free. Even during the autocratic rule of Ershad, our press was enjoying freedom unlike many others in the present day world. We are quite happy about it and hope none will be able to snatch away this right from us in future.

Responsible and transparent

Two thousand and eight years After the Death of Christ, the political and economic programmes and processes would be worth mentioning in Bangladesh. Like a train, the caretaker government (CTG) headed by Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed is steaming ahead on a railway track with the reformed and reorganised Election Commission (EC), Public Service Commission (PSC) and the separation of the Judiciary from the Executive branch of the government.

Qatar and Bangladesh

Just came back from Doha, the capital of Qatar. Qatar is a flourishing country, trying to keep pace with the development of other Gulf nations, particularly the UAE.

Kissinger's comment

Moinul Chowdhury (Letter January 18) is the latest of many to misunderstand Henry Kissinger's awful comment about Bangladesh, which is a great deal worse than 'bottomless basket'. That conveys the notion of some nation or person having endless needs and, actually, if Kissinger had meant that, he would probably have used the more likely English expression 'a bucket with a hole in the bottom'. No, he said that Bangladesh was a 'basket-case' - and the real meaning of that is much more insulting.

International

Rebels in Chad accept ceasefire

Rebels in Chad announced Tuesday an immediate ceasefire as France -- emboldened by UN condemnation of the insurgents -- declared it was poised to intervene militarily.

Observers eye Obama, Hillary 'dream ticket'

As Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama chase the nomination to run for US president, observers have raised the prospect of a "dream ticket" uniting them in November's election.

PPP reveals will naming husband as successor

The party of slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto released her will to the public yesterday to prove that it names her husband as her political heir.

India struggles for strategy in war on Maoists

Combining violence with rhetoric that appeals to the hundreds of millions living in poverty, India's Maoist rebels have left the government looking for an effective counter-insurgency strategy.

Suicide bomber kills 8 anti-Qaeda members

A suicide bomber killed eight members of an anti-Qaeda front as he triggered his explosive vest at a checkpoint outside a Sunni tribal sheikh's house in central Iraq on Tuesday, police said.

Obama takes first blood as 'Super Tuesday' goes abroad

From the Indonesian city where Barack Obama spent part of his childhood to Hong Kong's bars and a Dublin pub, US Democrats abroad grabbed their first chance to vote in "Super Tuesday" primaries.

Roadside bombs kill 7 in Afghanistan

Two roadside bombs killed seven people in Afghanistan, five of them civilians from the same family, police said Tuesday, in new attacks linked to a bloody Taliban insurgency.

7 Lankan sailors missing after sea battle

Seven Sri Lankan sailors and their speedboat were missing yesterday following a sea battle with Tamil Tiger rebels near the maritime border with India, diplomats and officials said.

Kenya rivals discuss power-sharing

Kenya's feuding political factions yesterday started discussing power-sharing issues, a day after reaching a number of recommendations aimed at easing the security crisis.

Life threat on Advani, govt to review security

The government is planning to increase the security of senior BJP leader LK Advani in the wake of intelligence inputs suggesting threat to his life from terrorists.

I'll wear the pants, not Bill: Hillary

Democrat Hillary Clinton said Monday she would be wearing the pants in the White House and not her husband, former president Bill, if she is elected in November.

6 die as Israel strikes Gaza after suicide bombing

Six Hamas fighters were killed in an Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip yesterday, the day after the first suicide bombing in a year by Palestinian militants on Israeli soil.

Turkish parliament votes today to end ban on headscarf

Turkish lawmakers vote today on a constitutional reform to end a ban on Islamic headscarves in universities, an issue that has divided the Muslim country.

Afghanistan may turn to failed state as insurgency spreads

Afghanistan risks becoming a failed state if Nato troops do not defeat the Taliban, boosting Islamist extremism worldwide, a study said yesterday, also warning that the West lacked resources.

New study clears triple vaccine of any link to autism

A new study published yesterday dealt a fresh blow to accusations that a triple vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is linked to autism.

Sarkozy couple win lawsuit against Ryanair

President Nicolas Sarkozy and France's new first lady Carla Bruni yesterday won a lawsuit filed against budget airline Ryanair for featuring a photo of their couple in an ad campaign.

HK reporter freed from China jail

Veteran Hong Kong reporter Ching Cheong has been freed on parole after spending nearly three years in jail in China on spying charges, officials here said yesterday, sparking celebrations among his supporters.

Japan resumes whaling in Antarctic waters

Japan has confirmed resuming whaling in Antarctic waters after environmental protesters stopped obstructing Japanese whalers there, press reports said yesterday.

Kuwait plans $77b 'City of Silk'

The oil-rich Gulf state of Kuwait plans to build a major new city inspired by the Silk Road that it hopes will become a global trade and tourist attraction, an executive said yesterday.

China urges calm in Japan dumpling poisoning scare

China yesterday sought to play down a food poisoning case blamed on Chinese-made dumplings that may have sickened thousands in Japan, calling it an isolated incident that should not hurt trade.

Arts & Entertainment

Amar Ekushey Granthamela '08

As part of the daily discussion at the month-long Amar Ekushey Granthamela 2008, filmmaker Manzar-e Hasin Murad presented a paper titled Achievements in art and literature over three decades: Film (1972-2007) on February 4.

Voices of Adolescents

The three-day documentary screening, titled Voices of Adolescents, started at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library on February 4. A total of seven documentaries are being screened at the programme. Each film is 30-40 minutes in duration, and all of them are produced by the Audio Visual (AV) Centre of the NGO, Steps Towards Development. The programme also includes discussion on adolescence everyday prior to the documentary screening.

Aparajeo Sunderban

The unique splendour of the Sunderbans, the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world that is recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site, has been presented beautifully at the ongoing photo exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Not only the spectacular fauna and flora of the Sunderbans, but also its biodiversity and natural resources have been highlighted at the exhibition titled Aparajeo Sunderban by Khasru Chawdhury. Chowdhury has been travelling in the areas of Sunderbans for the last 34 years. One hundred and ten photographs taken in the last six years by the photo-artiste are on display.

Dinajpur pays tribute to Selim Al Deen

Cultural organisations, teachers, political and student groups of Dinajpur recently recalled the contribution of Salim Al Deen to our theatre.

OP-ED

Increasing remittance from Non-Resident Bangladeshis

Over the past few decades, remittances from non-residents (NR) have become an increasingly important source of external funding for many developing nations, including Bangladesh. While migrants have always been sending money home to their families, only recently has this remittance begun to play an important role in the economies of these countries, and scholars have begun to pay attention. Numerous issues relevant to NR remittance, such as the process of remittance, its influence and effects on national economy, skills-building institutions for increased remittance, etc. deserve close attention.

Genocide in Afghanistan?

Sloganeers, propagandists and politicians often use the word "genocide" in ways that the law does not permit. But rarely is the crime of genocide invoked when Western militaries murder Muslim groups. This essay argues that the internationally recognised crime of genocide applies to the intentional killings that Nato troops commit on a weekly basis in the poor villages and mute mountains of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban, a puritanical Islamic group.

Feasibility of metro rail for Dhaka

The platform should be set before starting a mega project like underground metro rail, that means a feasibility study should be carried out. What is the meaning of the term "feasibility," and when is this study undertaken?

Star City

Bird flu alert at Dhaka Zoo

Dhaka Zoo authorities have announced red alert inside the facility in an effort to control any possible bird flu infestation among its precious bird collection.

Helping forget trauma of stroke

Treatment of stroke patients is witnessing rapid improvement with the opening of a specialised therapy centre at Mirpur by the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), a non-profit organisation.

Unending wait for plots by Rupnagar allottees

Hundreds of plot-allottees at Rupnagar housing project in Pallabi are caught in the middle of a decade-old land dispute between two ministries.

Victims of petty crimes rarely turn up for police help

Although there is an apparent fall in crime incidents and newspapers have fewer such stories these days, tales of a large number of petty crimes are never reported to the law enforcers.

Star Chittagong

Tk 120cr project to assess marine resources

A project of Tk 120 crore has been taken to conduct a survey to assess the quantity of marine resources in 1.64 lakh square kilometre areas under water territory of the country.

Police hunt for clues in 10 murders

Police are hunting for clues in ten murders committed by a gang of muggers during the last two years in the port city as one of the ringleaders was arrested recently.


The Daily Star

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