The Daily Star

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Friday, August 29, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 27th of February, 2008

Front Page

Khaleda, 10 of her ministers sued for corruption

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 15 others including 10 former ministers from BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami for graft in awarding Barapukuria coal mine operation contract to a Chinese company.

SC stays Hasina verdict, case proceedings

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed the High Court (HC) verdict that declared inclusion of Emergency Power Rules (EPR) in the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case filed against Sheikh Hasina illegal and quashed it.

Jamaat fires broadside against EC for 'steps beyond jurisdiction'

At the second sitting for an electoral reform dialogue with the Election Commission (EC) yesterday, Jamaat-e-Islami embarked on a tirade against the commission accusing it of virtually stepping beyond its jurisdiction, which the EC rebutted categorically.

A mine of corruption

Barapukuria coal mine development project, implemented under a Chinese Supplier's Credit scheme, remains one of the significant cases of corruption by some policymakers, officials and a business house during the tenure of two governments headed by Khaleda Zia.

Babar blames Khaleda, Tarique for his downfall

"The all-powerful mother and son" are to be blamed for his present state and "inhuman life in prison", claimed Lutfozzaman Babar, detained former state minister for home affairs, during CID interrogation on Monday.

69,862 more fowls culled in 3 districts

Another 69,862 fowls were culled and 2,35,408 eggs destroyed in the last two days in districts of Mymensingh, Pabna and Chittagong due to infection of Avian influenza virus.

Gen Moeen meets Pranab, discusses ways to boost ties with India

Army chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed has met India's top political and military leaders to find specific ways to boost defence, transport and trade ties between the two neighbours.

Hasina's bail prayer rejected

A special court yesterday rejected the bail prayer of former premier and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina in the Tk 3 crore barge-mount power plant corruption case.

Rights bodies decry flaws in ordinance

Expressing concern over a number of provisions of the National Human Rights Commission Ordinance, 2007, human rights bodies yesterday said the ordinance would not ensure independence, transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the Human Rights Commission.

Ministry, EC to discuss candidates' eligibility

LGRD Adviser Anwarul Iqbal will sit with the Election Commission (EC) in a week to finalise the criteria of ineligibility of candidates for local government elections with the EC preparing to hold city corporation polls in April.

LGRD ministry returns Tk 430cr dev funds

The LGRD ministry has asked the finance ministry to take back Tk 430 crore allocated for some development projects of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) as it cannot implement those within this fiscal year.

British, EU MPs for lifting emergency

British and European parliamentarians have said Bangladesh caretaker government should live up to its political obligation by lifting emergency rule to allow political activities and political reforms.

EC starts talks with Canada on transparent ballot boxes

The Election Commission (EC) has opened talks with the Canadian government for procuring transparent ballot boxes from them free of cost for the next parliamentary elections.

Yunus trashes reports of crimes by Bangladeshis in Saudi Arabia

Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, now on a visit to Saudi Arabia, has brushed aside allegations in Saudi media that a large number of Bangladeshis are breaking the law in the kingdom.

Dr Kamal wants to sit with AL for 'nat'l unity'

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said he wants to sit with the Awami League (AL) in a bid to strengthen the "national unity" process initiated by him.

Court asks for probe report by Mar 30

A Dhaka court yesterday directed the investigation officer (IO) to submit probe report by March 30 on a case filed against Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and eight other people for mass-murdering 345 people during the liberation war.

Charge-framing hearing on Hasina's MiG-29 case today

Hearing on the charge framing against detained former premier Sheikh Hasina and six others in connection with the MiG-29 corruption case will be held today.

7th Wage Board for journalists formed

The government yesterday formed the Seventh Wage Board with retired Judge of the High Court Division Habibur Rahman Khan as its chairman to recommend increased wages for journalists, employees and press workers after reviewing the Sixth Wage Board Award.

US advises Sharif not to oppose Musharraf

Don't oppose President Musharraf, US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson has advised former Pak prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Suicide bomber kills 9 on Iraqi bus

A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a bus travelling from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to Syria on Tuesday, killing at least nine passengers, an Iraqi army officer told AFP.

Rejoinder, our reply

AH Mofazzal Karim, adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, sent a rejoinder yesterday to a report headlined "BNP unity: Hannan starts talks with pro-Saifur group" and published in The Daily Star on Tuesday.

Bazlur Rahman passes away

Bazlur Rahman, a legendary editor of the daily Sangbad and a freedom fighter, died last night from a massive heart attack.

Private level rice import possible, says Pak envoy

Pakistan High Commissioner to Dhaka Alamgir Babar yesterday said Bangladesh may import rice from his country at private level.

Editorial

Investigating corruption in the military

THE chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission has clearly expressed the readiness of the ACC to inquire into corruption in the military. The reiteration of such an intent by General Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury points to the purposefulness of the campaign against overall wrongdoing the ACC is engaged in. It is certainly a commendable move, one that citizens in general and the armed forces in particular should welcome in the larger national interest. One reason why such a step is to be appreciated is the fact that it promises to add substance to the on-going drive against corruption in government, indeed in all areas that relate to the public weal.

CEC's heartening assertion about elections

WE observe with a degree of dismay that despite the oft-repeated commitments by top functionaries of the government and chief of the Election Commission to holding national election by December this year, some political parties keep casting doubt in the EC's staging polls on schedule. This could give rise to a speculative atmosphere in which cynicism about timely election may grow among the people, something we surely can do without at this stage of electoral preparations.

The death of an actor . . . and more

NOT many among us may have been in touch with Manna. And there may not be very many people we know who have watched his movies. Those of us now in our early or mid fifties stopped going to movie houses a long time ago, perhaps way back in the early 1980s.

The Nepal conundrum

NEPAL is going through a rapid and unprecedented transformation of politics and social life. For the first time, the Himalayan nation may turn into a republic from a monarchy, which it has been since 1768.

This is Pakistan's war

IN one of his many speeches on the sources of Islamic terrorism, George W. Bush argued, "when a dictatorship controls the political life of a country, responsible opposition cannot develop and dissent is driven underground and toward the extreme."

Sports

Missing a 4th bowler

The inclusion of another specialist bowler in the team might not have made any difference in the ultimate outcome of the first Test against South Africa on Monday.

Lankans blown away

India claimed a spot in the tri-series finals with a crushing seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their one-day match here on Tuesday.

An over with Steyn

Look all you want but finding a more well-rounded, genial and laidback fast bowler than Dale Steyn will be a tough task. In an exclusive interview with The Daily Star Sport's Quazi Zulquarnain Islam and Mohammad Isam, the steely Steyn speaks of his philosophy on life, interest in photography, adulation for Shaun Pollock and Jose Mourinho's professionalism. Dale Steyn is truly the speedster for the next generation. Following is an excerpt from the lively encounter with the South African at the poolside of the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel:

Another storm brewing?

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday accused Australia's Andrew Symonds of provoking young paceman Ishant Sharma in their tri-series clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Crunch T20 ties today

Three Group B teams will fight for two semifinal spots when the Premier League Twenty20 competition continues after a six-day break today.

Premier league from March 1

Holders Abahani face a formidable Surjo Tarun side on the opening day of the Premier Cricket League that begins at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on March 1.

Nayeem ensure clean sweep

Nayeem Islam smacked 46 off 43 balls as Bangladesh Combined Divisions team made a clean sweep of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) side in the Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

2nd win for Brothers

Cricket's fallen giants Brothers Union chalked up a four-wicket victory over Young Pegasus B in the First Division Cricket League at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Manik hints at resignation

Coach Shafiqul Islam Manik hinted yesterday that he may part his relations with Mohammedan Sporting Club after the assignment of the century-old IFA Shield in Kolkata.

ICC ponders IPL window

International Cricket Council chief Malcolm Speed has suggested a "window" could be created in the game's crowded schedule for the Indian Premier League (IPL) by as early as next year, according to a report Tuesday.

Amateur Golf from today

The 23rd edition of the Bangladesh Amateur Golf Championship will tee-off at the Kurmitola Golf Club today.

Steyn and Shahadat move up

South African paceman Dale Steyn was fast closing in on number one Test bowler Muttiah Muralidaran after an impressive performance in the opening Test against Bangladesh here.

Hayden fans the flames

Matthew Hayden has stirred already troubled waters by calling Harbhajan Singh an "obnoxious weed", a comment that will only serve to further deepen the animosity between the two sides which has surfaced during India's current tour.

WI, Pakistan to play ODIs in Abu Dhabi

West Indies and Pakistan will play a three-match one-day series in November in Abu Dhabi, a local official said on Monday.

FIFA asked to settle flag row

South Korea will ask football's governing body FIFA to rule on a flag dispute with North Korea after the two sides failed Tuesday to settle the row, a report said.

Streak to play ICL

Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak has signed up to play in the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Lee bags Allan Border Medal

Brett Lee's rising status in world cricket was recognised when the paceman won his first Allan Border Medal here Tuesday.

Everton see off Man City

Everton piled the pressure on to Liverpool in the battle for next season's final Champions League spot with a convincing 2-0 win over Manchester City here on Monday.

Eduardo to make full recovery

Arsenal said on Monday they expect Eduardo da Silva to make a full recovery from his horrendous broken leg this year, as it was revealed the player who caused the injury has received death threats.

Barca aim to extend run

Barcelona attempt to stretch their unbeaten run in all competitions to 15 matches when they face Valencia in the first leg of the King's Cup semifinals on Wednesday.

Okocha wants Nigeria job

With Nigeria set to name a new manager this week, Jay-Jay Okocha has reiterated his willingness to help the rebuilding process after his country's disappointing display at the African Nations Cup.

Sharapova out of Dubai Open

Maria Sharapova, who won the Qatar Open only two days ago, has pulled out of the Dubai Open here with a virus.

Kaka hopes to face Gunners

AC Milan playmaker Kaka hopes to be fit to face Arsenal next week after the reoccurrence of a knee problem in Sunday's 2-1 win over Palermo.

Eduardo forgives Taylor

Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva has forgiven Birmingham City defender Martin Taylor for the tackle that left him with a fractured left fibula and dislocated ankle.

Iraq sack Olsen

The Iraqi Football Federation on Monday reinstated Adnan Hamad as national coach after sacking Norwegian Egil Olsen.

Becks will play in Hong Kong

David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy will play an exhibition match March 9 against Hong Kong Union at Hong Kong Stadium, the Major League Soccer club announced Monday.

Eng bowlers impress in tour game

England's bowlers struck an early psychological blow ahead of next month's series against New Zealand when they ripped through a near-test strength batting line-up in a practice match on Tuesday.

Business

Multinationals to be asked to list on stock markets

The government will ask all multinational companies in Bangladesh where it is a part owner to list on the country's stock exchanges in an effort to increase the number of quality shares available to local investors.

Energy drink’s fizz lifts beverage producers

Domestic beverage producers have joined the global rush to produce so called 'Energy' drinks with brands such as Royal Tiger, Speed and Big Boss capturing an increasing slice of the country's soft drink market.

Country to lose jute sacks export market to India, China

Bangladesh is going to lose export markets of jute-made sacks and bags to India and China, which are coming up faster to share Bangladesh's monopoly market, industry people said.

Govt considering inclusion of women on NCBs boards

Government is considering inclusion of women in the Board of Directors of nationalised commercial banks (NCBs) to ease the loan process for women entrepreneurs, Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam has said.

Foreign investment comes with a clear future

The improved performance of Chittagong port saved exports last year, but only a clear political future will encourage increased foreign investment, stresses Kihak Sung, one of the country's largest foreign investors.

Inflation, agrarian crisis key challenges

Politically correct may not always be economically correct. Indian Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram would seek a balance between political and economic correctness when he presents his annual budget on Friday, possibly the last before fresh parliamentary polls scheduled next year.

Private banks to submit proposal to cut spread March 3

Commercial banks would submit their proposal on reducing the spread between the deposit and lending rates to Bangladesh Bank on March 3, as they could not finalise it at yesterday's scheduled meeting.

NBR likely to suggest slashing tax rate

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is likely to suggest reduction in tax rate and income tax slab to raise government revenue.

Forex reserve close to $6b

Foreign exchange reserve is now close to US$6 billion-mark because of high remittance inflow and deposit of credit money by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, BB sources said yesterday.

DSE election soon

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday decided to hold its election as soon as possible.

Wall St shares surge as Visa unveils IPO bid

Wall Street shares surged Monday as Visa Inc., the world's largest electronic payment processor, said it was planning an initial public offering (IPO) aimed at raising a hefty 18.8 billion dollars.

Novartis’ new packaging with info in Braille format

Sandoz, a division of Novartis (Bangladesh) Limited, has introduced new packaging with information in Braille format for visually impaired people, says a press release.

BASF sales up 10pc

The sales of BASF, one of the world's leading chemical companies based in Germany, rose by more than 10 percent in 2007 compared to that of the previous year, says a press release.

AKTEL makes loss in 2007

AKTEL, one of the country's leading mobile operators, posted an after tax loss of Tk 73.7 crore in 2007, despite a 25 percent growth in customer numbers, according to the company's main owner Telekom Malaysia.

Grameenphone launches new handset campaign

Leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone (GP) Ltd has launched a new handset campaign for its fresh prepaid subscribers with effect from Monday, says a press release.

Food inflation hits Cambodia's poor, threatens hunger

On the long, gently sloping bank of Cambodia's Tonle river, Doem Lao chops half a dozen large fish heads in the early morning for the one meal that her family will eat that day.

RAK Airways orders four Boeing jets

RAK Airways, the carrier launched in November 2007 and owned by Ras al-Khaimah emirate, announced on Monday its first order of four new-generation Boeing 737-800s with an option to buy two more.

Indian Railways posts record $6.3b surplus

Giant state-run Indian Railways, once on track for bankruptcy, posted a record 6.3-billion-dollar surplus on Tuesday, announced new lines and cut fares in a populist budget with elections looming.

New subprime losses main risk to world growth: IMF

World economic growth could miss the International Monetary Fund's forecast of 4.1 percent this year if US and European banks disclose more major losses on the subprime market, the head of the IMF said Monday.

StanChart reports strong profits rise

Standard Chartered, the emerging markets bank, said on Tuesday that net profit rose by 25 percent to 2.81 billion dollars (1.90 billion euros) in 2007 and that it had largely escaped the US subprime mortgage crisis.

KSA cuts job quota for its nationals

Inability to find local workers has forced Saudi Arabia to reduce the job quota for its nationals in certain sectors.

Euro rises against dollar

The European single currency advanced against the dollar on Tuesday after a key survey showed a surprise jump in business confidence in Germany, the biggest economy in the eurozone.

Correction

In a photo caption with the news item headlined 'Finance adviser disagrees on rise in unemployment' published on this page yesterday, it was mistakenly mentioned that the seminar was organised to mark the release of the Labour Force Survey Report 2005-06 prepared by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. We regret mistake.

Metropolitan

Japan speaker lauds Dhaka's stance on nuclear issues

Speaker of Japanese parliament Diet Kono Yohei praised the foreign policy of Bangladesh, particularly its positive position on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) with regard to nuclear issues.

New rules for nominating examiners, questioners for civil service exams

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has adopted new guidelines and principles for nominating examiners, questioners and moderators to ensure neutrality and transparency in the civil service examinations.

Withdraw income tax on pvt varsities

The Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) has urged the caretaker government to withdraw income tax imposed on private universities for the greater interest of higher education in the country.

Try war criminals to establish justice

The trial of war criminals must be held in order to establish justice in society, said speakers at a book launching ceremony yesterday.

Announce specific date for elections

Leaders of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) and Workers' Party of Bangladesh yesterday urged the government to announce specific date for the general elections and start dialogue with the political parties immediately.

Illegal structures at Duaripara waqf estate demolished

National Housing Authority (NHA) demolished illegal structures on the land of a waqf estate at Duaripara in Mirpur yesterday, rendering over 15,000 families homeless.

Get rid of cyber crime, drug addiction to save youths

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said it is very urgent to get rid of the alarming situation as cyber crime, drug addiction, terrorism and other serious crimes cast negative impact on a large section of juvenile and youths and often ruin their life.

Govt urged not to allow open pit coal mining

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Electricity and Port yesterday called on the government not to allow open pit coal mining in Phulbari, saying that it would lead to environmental disasters in the area.

‘Promotion of HR, good governance a must for democracy’

Danish Ambassador in Dhaka Einar H Jensen yesterday said the promotion of human rights and good governance is essential for advancement of democracy.

Road crashes kill 3

At least three people were killed and two others injured in separate road accidents in Narayanganj, Satkhira and Jhenidah yesterday.

Major reshuffle in police admin

In a major reshuffle in the police administration, the caretaker government yesterday transferred 18 superintendents of police (SPs).

15-day ultimatum to RU authorities

Students of five female halls at Rajshahi University (RU) will attend the classes wearing black badges from today to press home their demand for security at their dormitories.

Call to cancel SQ method for 2010 SSC exam

A group of guardians yesterday called on the caretaker government to cancel the Structured Question (SQ) method for SSC examinations to be introduced in 2010, saying that most teachers and students are still in the dark about this new pattern of question.

Bangladesh will always stand by Japan

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said Bangladesh would always stand by Japan and offer every support and cooperation so that Japan can play its due role in the international arena.

HC verdict stayed

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court yesterday stayed a High Court judgment that declared illegal the appointment of Kazi Habibul Awal as acting law secretary.

Ctg court orders further probe

A court here ordered the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) authorities to conduct further investigation into the case filed in connection with attacking journalist Zahid Al Amin.

WTO LDC Trade Ministerial meet begins today

Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman left Dhaka for Lesotho on Monday night to attend the 5th WTO LDC Trade Ministerial meeting in Maseru beginning today.

Dhaka Bar Assoc receives no permission for election

The government did not give permission for Dhaka Bar Association to hold its election for 2008-09 scheduled for today and tomorrow.

1st Saarc poetry evening held in city

The first Saarc poetry evening was held at the National Museum auditorium in the city yesterday, says a press release.

20 hurt in Benapole clash

At least 20 people were injured in a clash between two groups of smugglers at bordering Putkhali village yesterday evening.

SM Alumni Assoc AGM March 1

Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Salimullah Muslim Hall Alumni Association will be held at the Biam auditorium in the city on March 1.

Amitav Ghosh made scholar-in-residence at IUB

Amitav Ghosh, the most widely known Indian novelist writing in English, has been made the first Scholar-in-Residence at IUB in recognition of his eminence in modern English Literature, particularly South Asian English Literature, says a press release.

Seven muggers held in city

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested seven muggers from Purana Paltan and Motijheel areas in the city on Monday night.

National

Court asks 8 AL leaders to appear on Mar 2

Judge Abdus Salam Shikder yesterday ordered eight local leaders of Awami League to appear before the Speedy Trial Tribunal in Khulna on March 2 as they have been named as witnesses of the plan for murder of AL leader advocate Manjurul Imam.

Factory pollutants keep croplands fallow in Mirzapur

Toxic factory wastes released by a cotton mill are polluting waters and the environment in and around Gorai industrial area in Mirzapur in the district, local people alleged.

ACC to sue two ex-MPs in Satkhira for hiding wealth information

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) is preparing to file two cases against former BNP lawmaker Habibul Islam Habib and Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker Gazi Nazrul Islam for hiding assets in their wealth statements.

Case filed for '71 killings

A murder case has been filed against 12 people for torture and killing several people during the Liberation War.

Tania murder verdict today

Verdict of Tahmina Sharmin Tania murder case will be delivered in the court of Patuakhali District and Sessions Judge today.

Deposition of 4 more PWs recorded

Four more prosecution witnesses in the August 17 series bomb blast cases in Satkhira yesterday submitted depositions before a court here in presence of 11 out of 19 charge-sheeted accused.

Two bombs recovered in Satkhira

Rapid Action battalion (Rab) recovered two bombs, two shutter guns from Dudhli village in Kaliganj upazila in the district yesterday. The bombs and the firearms were found in an abandoned condition, Rab said.

6 outlaws held in Jhenidah

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested six 'bomb throwers' of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML- Janajuddha) from the town and its outskirts on Monday night.

Letters

Language martyrs

21st February is a proud day for any Bangladeshi. It was on this day in 1952 that the valiant students defied the ban on processions to protest against the decision to make Urdu the state language. Bengalis were representing 56% of the population of Pakistan.

Ashraful enigma

I don't know exactly what happens with Ashraful (Senior) whenever he goes out to bat. Notwithstanding, having the calibre of a great batsman, he is yet failing to prove his class.

Duties of police

Thank you to Md Nurul Huda for his glowing commendation of the British 'Bobby', although I am not sure that all British people, especially those in the cities, would recognize in the British policeman of today some of the traits he commends. But I am from that British generation that still sees the policeman as a friend and protector so much so, that, when I see one, even today, my hand goes up in an automatic wave. I have had some startled looks from policemen here!

Future of Iraq

What is the future of Iraq? What is the future of the Iraqi young people who are growing up in an environment that offers only violence and bloodshed everywhere? Each and every single day witnesses violence more sinister and deadlier than the previous day. Iraq has become the killing field for those who want to vanquish their enemies.

Sheikh Hasina's treatment

As per reports in both print and electronic media, it is clear that the former prime minister Sheikh Hasina needs immediate medical treatment, particularly for her ear problem. But the government has reservations about sending her abroad for better treatment because of the absence of such a provision in our jail code.

Free market

I have just read the article 'Business people decry PLCs mandatory listing' on Feb 18 2008. http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=23863.

Enemies of peace

The recent irresponsible acts of a group of Danish journalists are highly unethical, to say the least. When the world community raises their voice against war and injustice and try hard to make peace and love, these people are trying to spread poison.

Power players

It is time that all the former power players of our country took stock of how much they have contributed to the well-being of the people of this country.

BTTB

The front page report (Feb: 16) in an English daily on the tariff competition being faced by BTTB states that their land line call charges are likely to be cut further! BTTB had the monopoly for long, with a carefree and complacent attitude. Now they are waking up to the reality of competitive and rapidly growing private mobile phone companies. Their age long passivity can no longer carry on. Possibly the fact of life has come alive for BTTB. Even their mobile venture, for lack of expansion and the red tape involved in getting it, has not helped them! Action and aggressive marketing cannot be the "cup of tea" for the static monopoly, that is BTTB. BTTB's well established multi-layered bureaucracy can not just be wished away overnight. They will overshadow and stall matters; meanwhile the private sector multidirectional competition is racing along, changing day by day as the market and situation demands. This may well usher in the downfall of landline telephony of BTTB; while their revenues from this sector will go on declining! The same situation may be faced by the postal wing of BTTB, as more and more courier services are proliferating .

Rab

Although many may argue about the necessity of torture in extreme situation when life of innocent victims are on the line (i.e. in case one needs to find out the location or plan of any imminent mass-destructive effort like bomb or terror plots), just being a suspect does not warrant wholesale torture. Only the criminal should fear Rab, others should see them as a resource, a symbol of benevolent power. Power calls for responsibility. I urge the government of Bangladesh to take two basic steps as a supplement to existing training programme for the Rab members, both for ranks and files. It's absolutely necessary that they go through a continuous briefing on ethics and compassion. Rab members should understand that they are not the power as individuals; rather, they are the medium through which power is projected.

Asian women leaders

Some Asian women leaders make themselves refreshingly different and attractive with their clothes, hair styles, shoes, ornaments and also manners. Their fashions not only work as a very powerful force in society but reflect change, development, prosperity and advancement of women. For example, Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was regarded as one of the fashion icons for her sartorial features-- black coat on shalwar-kamiz and black shoes. She gained huge popularity among young women in the subcontinent.

Bangla in bad shape!

Bravo! Mr. Badrul Ahsan for your well thought out editorial piece (6 Feb wed) on Bangla. It's about time somebody had a go at it. I totally concur with all your points. In fact you might also like to read my piece on the same subject in The Daily Star monthly Forum (June 2007). It's a national, cultural and intellectual disgrace that we are a nation quick to shed tears and blood, quick to lament on the language issue (like no other nation), and equally quick to forget all that and embrace some foreign colloquialisms, and quick to demolish what little Bangla there is. To watch some reporters (or indeed some high profile personalities) on TV wrestling with the pronunciation of some words, is to wonder why on earth did we have Ekushey at all.

Sweet drinks and gout

Sugary drinks have been blamed for a surge in cases of the painful joint disease gout. Men who consume two or more sugary soft drinks a day have an 85 per cent higher risk of gout compared with those who drink less than one a month, a study suggests. Cases in the U.S. have doubled in recent decades and it seems fructose, a type of sugar, is to blame, the British Medical Journal study reports. UK experts said those with gout would be advised to cut out sugary drinks. The symptoms of painful, swollen joints, mainly in the lower limbs, are caused when uric acid crystallises out of the blood into the joints.

Car parking

Sometimes I need to drop my daughter at Brac University at Mohakhali and every time I gain bitter experience while parking the vehicle, and at times parking has to be made far away from the university building. Not only this, my driver's experience is more shocking as he faces a terrible situation in the morning while several students of the university arrive at a given time. Moreover, fear of possible police harassment is also there for wrong parking. The front parking place always remains congested due to heavy traffic and pedestrian movement as well as haphazard parking on the other side of the road.

US presidential election

Of late The Daily Telegraph in Britain suggested not to count Al Gore completely out of the presidential picture of the United States. Obviously, more recently the momentum has shifted to Barack Obama after a string of primary and caucus victories. However, the Clinton camp purportedly believes that if Obama doesn't deliver a knock-out blow before the March 4 primaries in Texas and Ohio, Hillary could win those races and regain the momentum, with many super delegates uniting behind her to preserve party unity.

People in general

All these years after independence the people have been leading a life against their expectation of living in a country free from all sorts of corruption, where the rule of law is established, no one is deprived of fundamental rights and security of life is fully ensured.

International

Israeli PM doubts deal with Palestinians this year

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed yesterday he would push for a comprehensive peace settlement with the Palestinians but cast doubt on meeting a US-backed goal of sealing it this year.

Pakistan army occupies Swat Valley

Hardcore militants who seized Pakistan's most scenic valley are still holed up in its snowy heights, three months after President Pervez Musharraf sent in the army to show his resolve against spreading Islamic extremism.

Major powers want Iran sanctions vote soon

The United States Monday pressed for a prompt UN Security Council vote on a new set of sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, which Tehran warned would harm the credibility of the UN nuclear watchdog.

Iraqi govt demands Turkish withdrawal

The Iraqi government yesterday denounced a recent Turkish incursion and demanded an immediate withdrawal of the troops from northern Iraq.

Rice wins Chinese help on NKorea nukes

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won a verbal assurance Tuesday from China to use its influence to jump-start the stalled process of dismantling North Korea's nuclear programmes. Yet it was unclear when or how the Chinese would follow through. In broad discussions with Chinese officials, Rice also won an agreement from China to resume an on-again, off-again human rights dialogue with the United States and she pleased her Chinese hosts by restating firm US opposition to a Taiwanese referendum on United Nations entry that has infuriated Beijing.

US defence chief in India to push arms sales, military ties

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates plunged into one of the world's hottest arms market Tuesday, saying rapidly expanding US-Indian defence ties were in both countries' interests.

Obama photo in turban, robe causes stir

A photograph circulating on the Internet of Democratic Sen Barack Obama dressed in traditional local garments during a visit to Kenya in 2006 is causing a dustup in the presidential campaign over what constitutes a smear.

India test-fires sea-based nuclear-capable missile

India conducted its first test of a nuclear-capable missile from an undersea platform on Tuesday, completing its goal of having air, land and sea ballistic systems, the defence ministry said.

Philippine police uncover coup plot

Philippine police said yesterday they had uncovered a plot by junior officers to unseat the government of President Gloria Arroyo.

China to resume rights dialogue with US

China and the United States have agreed to resume a dialogue on human rights, the Chinese foreign ministry said yesterday, following talks here with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Arts & Entertainment

Sabina Yasmin receives lifetime achievement award

The 3rd Citycell-Channel i Music Awards was held at the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre on February 25. Renowned and upcoming artistes as well as other distinguished guests were presented at the programme to enjoy the most elaborate award giving ceremony in music.

An oasis under the Bahera tree

The Bangla Academy authority has officially recognised the 'Little Magazine Corner', popularly known as the 'Bahera Tola', at the 'Amar Ekushey Granthamela'. Any little magazine publisher with at least three publications can have a stall (if it would be called so) at this corner under the aged Bahera tree. With the sponsorship of BRAC Bank, Bangla Academy has also offered screen-printed banners to the stall owners.

Manjari holds sway with Sufi Kathak

“I dance in surrender to Him,
To His Glory, to His Love, to His World
With a lilting melody and a strong rhythm…
A dance of separation and union…of hope…
A pattern of light and shade…
The fire of the eternal dance of moths.”

Art competition at Liberation War Museum

With much gusto and anticipation, began the art competition on February 25 at the Liberation War Museum. The programme was organised by Sargam Lalitokala Academy.

Album of patriotic songs by Abdul Mannan Rana

As a tribute to the Language Movement of 1952, a music album of patriotic songs by popular artiste Abdul Mannan Rana was released on February 21. Titled Desher Jonnye, the album produced by Laser Vision includes 13 patriotic songs.

Discussion on Wahidul Haque

Marking the first death anniversary of noted Tagore exponent and cultural activist Wahidul Haque, a discussion was held at the Muslim Institute in Mymensingh recently. Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammilan Parishad's (JRSSP) local unit organised the daylong programme.

25th anniversary edition of “Thriller”

Michael Jackson appeared in a video to thank fans for the success of Thriller, the landmark record the reclusive singer is marking with a 25th anniversary edition.

"Taxi to the Dark Side"

Winner for outstanding documentary feature, Taxi to the Dark Side, a painfully clear-eyed look at the United States policy on torture in Afghanistan and Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, provided Oscar night's most overtly political commentary -- Jon Stewart's monologue notwithstanding.

OP-ED

Double standards

IT was in summer 2005 that I first flew Emirates. The airline had already been decorated a couple of times as the world's best. And it, indeed, provided great quality service. The wait at Dubai airport was pleasant and the flight to London was smooth, with an array of polite and helpful crew members.

Playing games with Kosovo

ALMOST nine years after Nato's bombing campaign ended the Serbian ethnic cleansing of Kosovo's Albanian majority, Kosovo has finally declared its independence. It was immediately recognised by the United States, Britain and a number of other countries. But Russia, following Serbia's lead, has ostentatiously advertised its anger at the move.

Mapping a new world

HOW inevitable is the ascendancy of Asia, and how should the West respond? That is the question that Kishore Mahbubani wrestles with in The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East. In the book, he makes an impassioned plea for big changes in what he sees as the West's arrogant and ignorant approach to Asia.

Nuclear stalemate?

THE negotiations on North Korea's nuclear programs are stuck in the familiar territory of a standoff between the United States and North Korea over the existence of a uranium-enrichment program. North Korea had promised to end all its nuclear activities in return for shipments of aid and diplomatic concessions. Though it has closed its reactor at Yongbyong, US officials say it has failed to comply with the second phase of the process -- providing a complete accounting of all of its nuclear programs by December 31, 2007.

Star City

Misshapen photos in ID cards disappoint voters

Inclusion of photo ID cards in the process of voter listing was one of the main reasons people were enthusiastic about the project but now many are not happy with their photographs taken for the ID cards.

IOs overburdened with cases as manpower remains same

Investigation of the cases filed with the 33 police stations under Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is being hampered due to lack of adequate manpower as the officers available now for the job are unable to accomplish the uphill task effectively.

HC asks govt to explain legality

A division bench of the High Court (HC) Monday asked the government to explain within ten days as to why construction of the Gulshan-Banani link bridge across the Gulshan Lake should not be declared illegal.


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