The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, September 19, 2014


News of: Friday, 22nd of February, 2008

Front Page

Employment growth shrinks by half

Employment growth rate has shrunk by half while underemployment swelled by about 50 percent in three years since 2003, reveals the Labour Force Survey (LFS) Report 2005-06 of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) still in its draft form.

Zardari, Sharif agree to form coalition

The party of slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto will form a coalition government with ex-premier Nawaz Sharif after their crucial election victory, the parties announced last night.

Ekushey observed with reverence

The Central Shaheed Miner was flooded with flowers as thousands barefooted, wearing black ribbons and holding bouquets close to their bosoms thronged there to pay homage to the brave sons of the soil who laid down their lives in 1952 for mother tongue Bangla.

Eco damage feared from Chevron's seismic survey

US oil company Chevron Bangladesh starts a three-dimensional seismic survey on eco-sensitive Lawachhera Reserve Forest next month for better understanding the reserves of the nearby Moulvibazar gas field amid concerns expressed by environmentalists.

Hasina sent back to jail after medical check-up

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina, who has been suffering from several health related complications, was taken to a city hospital yesterday for medical check-up for the first time since her arrest.

14 killed as bus electrified on hitting pole

At least 14 people died and 20 others were injured when a bus carrying picnickers slammed into an electric pole and was electrified in Cox's Bazar yesterday morning.

Loan default shoots 13pc on economic torpor

Defaulted loans in the banking sector increased by 13 percent due to sluggish economy and loans disbursed on political consideration during the last government.

Bunker battles kill 95 in Sri Lanka

At least 92 Tamil Tiger rebels and three government soldiers died in intense battles for a bunker line in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Ethnic kids drop out of schools

Gaganath Tripura dropped out of school six months ago and has no intention to go back. The ten-year old kid speaks only indigenous language of Bandarban and failed to cope with the lectures and textbooks in Bangla.

Defence members to face punishment as well

The Election Commission (EC) is seeking legal provision for punishing members of the defence services along with polling officials and police personnel for any act calculated to influence parliamentary election results.

EC move to bar war criminals hailed

Many political leaders, freedom fighters and civil society members have hailed the Election Commission's (EC) initiative to bar the war criminals permanently from participating in parliamentary elections.

Talks go on to end Nepal blockade

Ethnic protesters blockading Nepal's capital said yesterday they were in talks with the government to try and end unrest that threatens to disrupt crucial polls and damage the country's shaky peace process.

Bangladesh, S Africa 1st Test from today

Bangladesh cricket team will bank on form batsmen and a sluggish wicket when they take on South Africa in the first Test match today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Chickens, eggs off hospital menu

Many private hospitals in the capital have stopped feeding their patients chicken and eggs amid growing fears over bird flu outbreak, although the health experts say there is no risk if these are cooked properly.

14,126 more fowls culled in five dists

A total of 14,126 fowls were culled and 35,061 eggs were destroyed in five districts in the last two days as avian influenza virus was detected there, reports from bird flu control room said.

Bangladeshi workers held in S Arabia

Saudi Arabian police yesterday arrested a group of Bangladeshi cleaners from Hali city as they were trying to sell a large quantity of scrap iron illegally.

Biographies may be included in textbooks

The demand for including biographies of language martyrs in national textbooks will be considered seriously and the government will take measures in this regard very soon.

Polling centre restructuring soon: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the Election Commission is going to restructure the polling centres across the country soon.

Shanties, fish market gutted in fire in city

A devastating fire gutted over 100 shanties of a slum, two wholesale fish and bamboo markets and 32 chambers of fish traders along with Tk 20 lakh in cash at Merul in the city's Badda area last night.

India to supply 20,000 MT more rice

India's state-owned trading firm STC plans to supply 20,000 tonnes of paraboiled rice worth Rs 30 crore to Bangladesh under its humanitarian assistance programme.

Editorial

There is but one 'brand' of democracy

The suggestion of the chief of army staff, of formulating a Bangladeshi brand of democracy for the country, in his book launching ceremony on Wednesday, has attracted our attention.

Castro walks into the twilight

Ideally, Fidel Castro would have done himself a whole lot of good had he decided to leave office years ago when he was in a much better state of health than he is at present. That way, Cuba by now might have been home to a strongly rooted political system without the kind of uncertainty which follows in the wake of the departure of a strongman. Additionally, it does not much help that it is his brother, the 76 year-old Raoul, who now governs the country. The question still remains: what happens when both Castros are gone?

Emergency power and irreparable harm

IN a landmark judgment on February 6, the High Court (HC) declared the government move in bringing the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against former premier Sheikh Hasina under Emergency Power Rules (EPR) illegal, and quashed it.

A pocketful of miracles

COLD weather and logistics problems, as well as apprehensions about possible terrorist attacks, caused a very low turnout during the morning of Election Day. With security forces concentrated around the more sensitive polling stations providing deterrence, and no major incidents throughout the country, voter turnout picked up around midday, building up substantially by mid-afternoon.

Misuse of a myth and the birth of a nation

A new nation has been born in Europe. After nearly nine years of tutelage under the United Nations, Kosovo has just declared its independence from Serbia. This is good news and is, indeed, cause for celebration.

Sports

Awaiting a revival

If it is a matter of confidence then there was no shortage of it for the home side prior to the start of the first Test against the formidable South Africa.

'Tigers tougher at home'

'The Mirpur pitch takes many forms' is the statement that came from none other than ace Bangladesh left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique.

Fifty for Mr. Fifty

It will be a moment of happiness tinged with nervousness for former Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar as he transcends un-charted territory for a Bangladesh international by playing in his 50th Test match today.

Bangla Games open today

The 2nd Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games will kick off today with the Bengali speaking neighbours of Bangladesh and India competing for glory in nine sport disciplines.

BCB positive about India tri-series

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is optimistic about holding the triangular series involving India in this year.

Lankans' fight to stay

Sri Lanka's match against Australia at the MCG on Friday is not technically a must-win game for the visitors but Mahela Jayawardene knows another defeat could be as good as fatal to their CB Series. Australia are all but into the deciders -- a victory on Friday will confirm it -- and they are taking the opportunity to again rest their spearhead Brett Lee.

Apartheid, not lost yet

It is not the author's intention to remind the visiting South Africans about a saga triggered by the D'Oliveira fiasco, featuring also the MCC, in the late 1960s. The 1968 tour by the Englishmen was called off after they were made unwelcome in the land of the proteas due to the inclusion of the so-called 'coloured' cricketer. Happily for the world and for cricket, the ugly face of racism is now not even offered a back seat.

SAOC meeting today in Dhaka

The fate of the 11th South Asian (SA) Games will be decided today at a meeting of the South Asian Olympic Council (SAOC) in Dhaka.

Stalemate at Emirates

An 87th minute equaliser from Carlos Tevez gave Man-chester United a 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyon while Barcelona beat Celtic 3-2 away in the Champions League last 16 first-leg matches on Wednesday.

Subs make the difference

More than a game of two halves, it proved a game of two benches in Lyon on Wednesday, with Manchester United's Alex Ferguson ringing the changes to conjure a vital draw which left the 1999 winners' Champions League dreams alive.

EPL is harder: Rafa

Rafael Benitez has admitted it is easier to find success as a manager with Liverpool in the Champions League than in the Premier League.

Toni's no to Milan

Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni insists he is happy at the German giants and has brushed off reports claiming AC Milan want him as a replacement for their Brazilian injury-victim Ronaldo.

Czechs rally behind Nedved

A top football weekly in the Czech Republic has called on Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved to come out of international retirement for the Euro 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland.

Gazza goes gaga

Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne is being held under the Mental Health Act, a police source said on Thursday.

Boult strikes 7 times

Trent Boult grabbed 7-20 as New Zealand crushed hosts Malaysia by eight wickets in two hours to advance to the quarterfinals of the under-19 World Cup on Thursday.

Ricky sad at price

Ricky Ponting says he is disappointed he did not sell for more at Wednesday's Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, where he was valued nearly 1 million dollars lower than Andrew Symonds. However, Ponting said there would be no friction in the Australian dressing room following the bidding war, during which he went to Kolkata for 400,000 dollars.

Mahela expects no break

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said Thursday he didn't think Australia would be affected by recent off-field distractions when the two sides meet in their tri-series match on Friday.

Youths take on England today

After two big wins against smaller cricketing nations, Bangladesh under-19 face their first stern test today when they take on formidable England in their last group match in the ICC Under-19 World Cup at the Royal Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur.

Nat'l Women's Chess from today

The Aromatic Gold 29th National Women's Chess Championship will get underway at the chess federation hall-room today.

Nasir beats Michel of Israel

Bangladeshi chess aces Abdullah Al Rakib and Enamul Hossain Rajib both lost their matches in the Aeroflot Open International Chess Festival in Moscow on Wednesday.

'Keep your feet on the ground'

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's parents have urged him to forget about the cash from his bumper Indian Premier League (IPL) contract and concentrate on cricket.

Pakistan invite India for ODI series

Pakistan may take on India for a three-match one-day series next month amid concerns that a tour by Australia might be postponed over security fears, an official said Thursday.

Shorter WC proposed

The ICC chief executives' committee has recommended that the 2011 cricket World Cup be cut from 16 to 14 teams and given a new format.

FTP safe from IPL

The BCCI has given an "unconditional commitment" to the International Cricket Council that the Indian Premier League matches would not interfere with the Future Tours Programme.

Wenger optimistic

Arsene Wenger admits AC Milan are favourites to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals at Arsenal's expense but he remains confident his side can defy the odds in the San Siro.

Dream over: Strachan

Gordon Strachan admitted Barcelona have one foot in the quarterfinals of the Champions League after their dramatic 3-2 win at Celtic Park on Wednesday.

MU await laser report

Manchester United are waiting on a UEFA match report to determine what action can be taken against Lyon after Cristiano Ronaldo was targeted with a laser pen during Wednesday's Champions League game.

Kaiser will tell it like it is

Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer says he will continue to criticise the club, if he sees fit, in his weekly column for German tabloid Bild, even when Jurgen Klinsmann takes over as coach.

Winning start for Powell

Jamaican world record holder Asafa Powell bounced back from a knee injury to cruise to victory in the 100 metres in 10.04 seconds at the Melbourne IAAF Track Classic here Thursday.

Cahill backs expansion

Australia midfielder Tim Cahill has backed the Premier League's plans to play a round of fixtures at cities across the world.

Aussies to play Mexico

Australia will play Mexico next month in their build-up to this year's Beijing Olympics, Football Federation Australia said Thursday.

Business

2 firms win licences to handle domestic, int'l phone calls

Two local companies have won licences to set up exchanges that allow legal connections between domestic and international telecom operators carrying voice calls.

Industry seeks zero tariff for raw materials for non-cotton fabrics

Zero tariff on importing raw materials for manufacturing non-cotton textile items, such as sweater and others, can help flourish the industry, which ultimately will meet the local demand, observed industry insiders.

Bamboo-made furniture gaining popularity

Bamboo-made furniture is now gaining popularity among city dwellers, turning down the notion that it is a high-end production, industry people said.

India announces new round of relief for exporters

India has announced yet another round of relief for exporters hit hard by appreciation of rupee against US dollar by exempting from tax three more services rendered by goods transport agencies, couriers and rail containers.

30pc Korean firms plan to withdraw from China

About 30 per cent of Korean companies operating in China have considered withdrawing from the country, while some say they are already preparing to do so, a survey released Wednesday reported.

Gate pass fees at Ctg port raised after 4 decades

Gate pass fees at Chittagong Port have been increased after four decades.

New Vietnam rice export regulations likely

The Vietnamese government should carefully regulate this year's rice exports as crops in the northern provinces were likely to suffer, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien.

Tata ties up with Briley

BJETS, Asia's leading private jet company providing innovative business aviation services to corporations and high net-worth individuals in Asia, has announced its plans to be Asia's largest business jet operator in the region with the Tata Group as a significant investor.

European steelmakers attack iron ore price rise

European steelmakers criticised on Thursday a recent 65-percent increase in iron ore prices, warning that market power of a handful of mining giants was driving prices higher.

Japan's Seven Bank sets IPO at $480m

The banking arm of the Seven-Eleven chain of Japanese convenience stores said Thursday it had put a 480-million-dollar value on its stock market flotation amid firm demand, despite choppy markets.

Canada pursues free trade with Jordan

Ottawa will begin a first round of free trade talks with Jordan in April, hoping to eventually sign Canada's first free trade pact with an Arab country, officials said Wedneday.

Oil prices hit new record of $101.32

World oil prices hit a new record of 101.32 dollars a barrel on renewed concerns over global crude supplies, dealers said Thursday.

Japan posts largest trade deficit in two years

Japan's trade deficit ballooned to the biggest in two years in January as US-bound exports shrank and oil import costs swelled, official figures showed Thursday.

Metropolitan

Dialogue without BNP won't be acceptable

Khaleda Zia- appointed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said any dialogue or election excluding the party cannot be acceptable to anyone.

'Dhaka to try for recognition of all mother languages at UNGA'

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said the foreign ministry would try to secure greater recognition of all mother languages, including Bangla, in the United Nations General Assembly.

Free healthcare service for farmers at city hospital

For the first time in the country, a four-bed special unit was opened at Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) in the city yesterday with a view to providing healthcare service to the poor and marginalised farmers at free of cost.

Homage paid to language movement martyrs

People from all walks of life paid homage to the martyrs of historic language movement of 1952 yesterday marking the Amar Ekushey.

Love for mother tongue brings them together

Unbounded love for the mother tongue -- Bangla -- brought them together. Breaking the barriers of geographical borders, thousands of Bangla-speaking Indians and Bangladeshis together sang "Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano Ekushe February, Ami ki bhulite Pari"

Road accidents kill 4

At least four people, including a university student, were killed and 39 others injured in separate road accidents in Tangail, Bandarban, Comilla and Manikganj yesterday and on Wednesday night.

3 indigenous alphabet books launched in Khagrachhari

The covers of three indigenous alphabet books were unveiled in Khagrachhari yesterday.

Outlaw held, arms recovered

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a top outlaw and recovered firearms in Pabna on Wednesday night.

One burnt alive, goods worth Tk 50 lakh gutted in Kushtia

Owner of a foam-warehouse was burnt alive and foam worth about Tk 50 lakh were gutted in a fire in Kushtia yesterday.

Antique idol seized

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized an antique idol made of black stone in Lalmonirhat on Wednesday night.

Release Day of Agartala case accused today

Today is the historic Release Day of 34 accused, including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in the Agartala case framed by the Pakistan government during the Ayub regime.

Army chief visits Ekushey Book Fair

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday visited the Ekushey Book Fair as his book 'Nirbachita Sankolon' formally went on sale on the occasion of the Language Martyrs Day.

BCL calls for full-fledged Shaheed Minar on Ruet campus

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) unit yesterday urged the authorities concerned to immediately construct a full-fledged Shaheed Minar on the premises of the administrative building to facilitate teachers, students and staffs for paying tributes to great sons of the soil.

Scout Day today

The Scout Day marking the birth anniversary of the founder of the Scouting Lord Baden Powell will be celebrated in the country today in a befitting manner.

Tk 4 lakh goods gutted at Ctg stadium

Goods worth around Tk 4 lakh were gutted in a fire at a gallery box at MA Aziz Stadium in the port city early yesterday.

Schoolgirl commits suicide

A schoolgirl allegedly committed suicide at her house at Mirpur in the city yesterday.

Drawing competition held at Kidzee

Kidzee Bangladesh, an international chain school, organised a drawing competition for children to mark International Mother Language Day at 13 Banani school premises in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Letters

Remembering the Martyrs

Every time I think of the martyrs of the Language Movement, my heart is filled up with gratitude and pride. The sons of the soil had sacrificed their lives for a cause which is unprecedented in history and it has not gone in vain. 21st February has been recognised as the International Mother Language Day and is being observed throughout the world.

Election and Emergency Rules

The nation is currently watching a debate and discussion on media on a vital issue, whether the election can be held with the EPR on, or it has to be lifted before the election. The opinions are mixed and divided, depending on who is taking which side. The argument for and against the issue is basically depended on individual choice for democratic order, irrespective of its universally recognised character.

Food shortage

Wheat supplies have reached an all-time low. Given this situation, as reported by the media, the meteorological forecast of a drought in Australia, an important wheat exporter, can trigger a minor tremor on the world's food market where prices are constantly hitting new all-time highs. Of course, the current uproar over rising food prices revolves around a lot more than consumers paying some extra money for rice, soybean oil and flour. The real issue is how we will be able to feed ourselves in the future, and at what price. How can agriculture feed a world that grows by 80 million people each year? How can agriculture feed a world that is increasingly exposed to climatic change?

Sheikh Hasina's stand

My compliments. You have headlined in The Daily Star that Sk. Hasina has refused treatment under physicians and facilities to be arranged by the authorities.

Corruption

It has been reported in the press that some officials of Titas Gas Company have agreed to return their stolen money, about Tk 400 crore to the public exchequer. About this company there is a saying among the Dhakaites that "even the walls and files in the Titas Gas offices take bribes". During the last days of the previous government, there was a hot news item in the press about a meter reader of this company. He was so much influential and powerful that he could change course of actions and decisions of the company. It was an interesting gossip at that time. None could imagine the scale of corruption in this office before revelation of such stories. However, the godfathers of these people never come to public glare.

Utilisation of $130 million

Kudos to the great benevolent! No doubt the $130 million donation by the anonymous philanthropist, mainly intended for rehabilitation and reconstruction of primary schools in the worst Sidr-affected areas, is great news for Bangladesh. But I'm sorry to say that I have doubts about proper utilisation of this big amount of money.

"Five-day working week - a luxury?"

To expound on a letter with the above heading appearing in your daily on the 15th of February 2008, the answer is yes, and no. It depends on where you live. In the west, 5 working days are more than good enough, because.....you work. That is why there exists what we call a "rush hour" that lasts an hour (or an hour and a half at the most, depending on how far you have to travel). The work force is bent on reaching their place of work on time, and do not leave a minute earlier. Lunch hour is fixed, and you cannot reach a soul during that period. On either side of the lunch hour, and as long they are at work, they put their hearts into it, and do their work intensively and extremely efficiently.

BCS exams

The top govt. officials in Bangladesh are appointed thorough the BCS exams. But it is sad that 55% of the posts are reserved, 30% of which is for the children of freedom fighters. But have we thought about the disadvantages of showing this sympathy for the quota holders? If we consider the few vital posts in the 28th BCS , there are 15 posts for foreign service, 200 for administration and 150 posts for ASP. And according to the quota system, 8.25 posts of foreign service, 110 posts of administration and 82.5 posts of ASP will be fulfilled from quota beneficiaries. So, if this huge number of vital posts is filled by appointing those not selected on merit, would not the country suffer in future? And would not the top students be discouraged to sit for the BCS exams?

Adieu, Gilly!

The record -breaking Australian wicketkeeper, famous also for his scintillating batting prowess, Adam Craig Gilchrist's decision to retire from Test and ODI cricket has surprised his fans.

Open sky policy?

There have been some suggestions by aviation experts and travel agents that the temporary open sky policy which the Civil Aviation Ministry has allowed be extended for a longer period. I would like to know what is an open sky policy? Does this mean that any airline can fly in and carry away passengers to destinations outside Bangladesh? As far as I know open sky policy is one that is agreed between two countries under a bilateral agreement. For example, the Singapore government has an open sky policy with the USA under which airlines of both the countries can operate as many flights per week they want between the two countries. India has a similar agreement with the US. The Bangladesh government has bilateral air agreements with many countries in the Middle East and Europe but it has remained under utilised by Biman due to its own mismanagement. On the contrary, airlines like the Emirates is taking maximum advantage of the bilateral agreement between Bangladesh and the UAE. So are the two airlines of India and GMG Airlines for flights between India and Bangladesh. Recently, an aviation expert on a TV talk show commented that India has an open sky policy. I cannot agree. Indian open sky policy is limited to scheduled airlines with which India has commercial agreements and it has allowed an increase in flights during the winter tourist season. This was to bring in over-booked tourists from the West, thus assuring a gain in foreign exchange earnings. In case of Bangladesh, it is just the opposite. Even if Bangladesh pursues an open sky policy it does not mean airlines from the Far East, the Middle East or Europe will rush in. In-coming passenger load to Bangladesh has always been low except during festival periods like Eid-ul-Fitr. Airlines have their own marketing strategies and they look at markets from both ends. The best policy which the Ministry of Civil Aviation can pursue is to allow private airlines of Bangladesh to operate on the under utilised international routes of Biman. This may ensure foreign exchange earnings for Bangladesh as well. Before succumbing to suggestions of our local aviation experts, the Ministry of Civil Aviation should make an in-depth study of aviation policies of neighbouring countries.

Corruption abroad

I wonder whether the Bangladesh government is taking steps to investigate the allegations of corruption by politically appointed people at Bangladesh missions abroad. To my knowledge, there are several claims filed against Bangladesh missions abroad which are not to be defended under Diplomatic Immunity Act.

Jagannath Temple in Pabna

Thank you very much for drawing public attention to the 600-year old gem of a temple - Jagannath Temple in Pabna. I am deeply disappointed that such a national treasure is being wasted away - even under the present government. It would be very helpful, if the government also focused on such archaeological treasures of Bangladesh. It did not happen earlier due to lack of consciousness on the part of the governments.

Bangla in general courses

It is sad that the University Grants Commission does not require Bangla as a required general education course for a 4-year college degree. It is essential that students achieve necessary competency in reading and writing Bangla to become a worthy citizen of Bangladesh. In the American system, all college students are required to take two courses in English (beyond 12th grade) to achieve general competency in the native language. There are lots of emotional talks around February 21, but not much is done to achieve those goals.

Taxing the horn

I have a proposal that I think would (1) put money in the exchequer and (2) reduce the tremendous amount of noise pollution in Bangladesh.

Hillary Clinton

This claim to US presidency by Hillary Clinton is obviously not well founded, because if she was not the previous First Lady, she could neither become a Senator nor a presidential hopeful. If she becomes US president she would do it not because she is a woman but only because of her husband's fame and prowess.

BCS quota

Recently two articles were published in The Daily Star on the above subject, one entitled “Let merit count in the Bangladesh Civil Service” by Ripon Kumar Biswas and another “Positive Discrimination” by Nazrul Islam. Both the articles are well written and deserve consideration by the authorities concerned.

Why cannot we fly higher?

Biman. The first thing that this word hits a Bangladeshi is that it is an ineffective and almost totally corrupt public airlines company. Why so? It is supposed to be a proud company which represents proud Bangladeshis all over the globe.

The lawyer from Canada

Payam Akhavan, a hired lawyer from Canada, questioned the neutrality of our judicial system. He had no business criticising our judiciary. Why did he make a political statement on our country ? Why did he advise us on determining our future leadership?

International

Independent judiciary will soon be restored

An independent judiciary will soon be restored in Pakistan, the country's deposed chief justice said Thursday, as thousands of lawyers and others denounced an embattled President Pervez Musharraf.

Govt pushes Swiss case to prosecute Zardari

The battle for power in Pakistan took a fresh twist Wednesday when the government reinvigorated a Swiss corruption case against the opposition leader Asif Zardari on the eve of post-election power sharing talks that threaten President Pervez Musharraf.

Polls boycott hits shaky Nepal peace process

Ethnic protesters blockading Nepal's capital stepped up their campaign for more political power yesterday saying they would boycott elections, dealing a fresh blow to the country's shaky peace process.

Ex-Pak minister foresees fresh polls in 3 months

Former federal minister and self-proclaimed Farzand-i-Pakistan Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who is considered to be close aide of President Pervez Musharraf, on Wednesday predicted fresh elections any time soon, claiming that the new parliament and president could not co-exist for long.

US hopes to keep working with Musharraf with new Pakistan govt

Washington is hoping to keep working with President Pervez Musharraf and whatever government emerges following Pakistan's election, US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said yesterday.

US shoots down defunct spy satellite

A US Naval vessel hit a rogue spy satellite with a lone missile strike into space that appeared to have succeeded in destroying its tank of highly toxic fuel, defence officials said Wednesday.

US senators ask India to act now on nuke deal

Time is running out for Indian leaders to finalize a landmark nuclear cooperation pact with the United States, three US senators said after meeting with India's prime minister.

Pak moderate urges foreign aid to keep Islamists on run

The leader of a Pakistani secular party hailed its election win over Muslim hardliners as a triumph for moderate forces, but called for international aid to stamp out militancy for good.

Sadr's truce in doubt

With deadly attacks against US targets increasing around Baghdad, anti-American Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr raised the possibility Wednesday that he may not renew a six-month cease-fire widely credited for helping slash violence.

Hillary faces daunting delegate deficit

Democratic Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton must win 57 percent of the remaining primary and caucus delegates to erase Barack Obama's lead, a daunting task requiring landslide-sized victories by a struggling presidential candidate.

Two Taliban commanders killed in Afghanistan

Afghan and Nato-led troops killed two regional Taliban commanders in southern Afghanistan, and an explosion in the same province claimed the life of a British soldier, officials said yesterday.

'China, India speed climate change'

The economic rise of China and India means climate change is occurring faster than previously thought, making efforts to fix the problem more urgent, an official Australian report found yesterday.

Democrats abroad give Obama 11th straight win

White House hopeful Barack Obama has won his party's primary for Democrats living outside the United States, the Democrats Abroad organisation said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Convictions and passions of a spirited author

WRITER Selina Hussain has seen many 'Ekushey Boi Mela'. The Daily Star recently spoke to her at her residence in Shyamoli. During the interview, the veteran litterateur touched several issues regarding the 'Boi Mela'.

In conversation with Jeong-OK Kim

Korean artistic director Jeong-OK Kim is in Dhaka to participate at the ITI theatre festival '08. This is his second visit to Dhaka. Earlier Kim came to Dhaka to participate at the ITI festival in December 2003. The Daily Star spoke to Jeong-OK Kim.

Two new albums by Khairul Anam Shakil and Kalpana Anam

Khairul Anam Shakil is renowned as a Nazrul singer. A teacher and general secretary of Chhayanat, Shakil is also a familiar name to admirers of harano diner gaan and adhunik gaan. His wife, Kalpana Anam is also an accomplished artiste.

Garo children in Madhupur deprived of education in mother tongue

The Garo children of two villages in Madhupur upazila, Tangail district are inching towards forgetting their mother tongue.

Worldwide Executive Council held

The 125th session of the ITI Worldwide Executive Council was held at the Bengal Gallery on February 19 and 20. Earlier the 123rd and 124th sessions of the council were held in 2003 and in 2006 in Dhaka.

Drupadi Barnamala Exhibition at Nitya Upahar

To mark the International Mother Language Day, Nitya Upahar at Aziz Cooperative Super Market is holding a month long exhibition at their gallery. Inaugurated on February 7 by the families of four Language Movement veterans, the clothes at the exhibition feature designs by artists Chandrashekhar Saha, Shobbosachi Hazra and Hashem Khan.

OP-ED

Rout of the religious right in Pakistan

THE anxious wait of western watchers over Pakistan's general elections is finally over, disproving the forecast of gloom and doom and mayhem by many. Barring reports of a few incidents of violence here and there, the elections have been smooth and orderly, credit for much of which must go the people.

Bird flu and mass hysteria

"I had a bird
His name was Enza
I opened my window
And in-flew-enza."

The withdrawal of the Agartala case

ON February 22, 1969 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, leader of the All-Pakistan Awami League, walked out of his prison cell in the Dhaka cantonment. He was escorted to his Dhanmondi residence for an emotional reunion with his family.

Seize the day

America's fears of an Islamist victory in Pakistan have turned out to be unfounded. Despite widespread concerns about compromised balloting, electoral violence and low voter turnout in Monday's elections, Pakistan is now enjoying a moment of democracy and optimism -- an exceedingly rare event in its troubled history.

Environment

Death of two tigers: Immature science in immature hands?

A leading daily newspaper published report about the death of two Bengal tigers (panthera tigris tigris) in Sundarban mangrove during research by anesthesia and radio-collaring (The Prothom Alo, January 31, 2008). According to the report the first tigress was captured around end April 2005 and died six months later having the collar on. The second tigress captured in March 2006 was second time tranquillized in December 2006 to remove the collar. The BBC film crew captured this second tranquillizing sequence of near dead tigress and added it to the film “Ganges” and are now showing worldwide the last scenes of that pathetic tigress. The tigress was assumed dead immediately afterwards.

Reducing the destructive force of cyclones

Cyclones are one of the major natural calamities in our country. These cyclones are caused by formation of low atmospheric pressure over warm waters of the southern parts of Bay of Bengal. After deriving power from high-speed wind and transforming heat and spinning motion from corioli, these cyclones take a northward direction following low-pressure areas into Bangladesh and India. A catastrophic super cyclone like that took place in 1970 can exceed wind speed of 240-kilometer per hour and can trigger tidal bore of 40 feet or more. The cyclone Sidr was 400-500 kilometer wide in size, larger than Bangladesh, and its unstable atmosphere reached the height of 35,000 feet. Its enormous force dislodged underwater debris from 35,000 feet deep ocean and dumped it on the shore. Such severe tropical cyclones can be very destructive to life and property. About 1.5 million people died in November 1970 cyclone, 11,069 in 1985, 1,50,000 in 1991 and 15,000 in 2007. It is estimated that the total damage from Sidr alone is about US$1.6 million. Although 31 years have elapsed since the tragic cyclone of 1970 but the loss of life and property which these cyclones still causes is staggering. One of the reasons is that we have not been able to establish the required defence. Our measures to reduce death and damage so far have been inadequate, piecemeal and halfhearted.



The Daily Star

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