The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, September 3, 2014


News of: Friday, 6th of June, 2008

Front Page

Bank borrowing to go up by 83pc

The overall deficit in the next fiscal year's budget will cross Tk 30,000 crore mainly due to expenditures in subsidies, safety net programmes and wage increases of government employees, says the draft estimate of the FY08-09 budget.

AL plans for both polls, agitation

The Awami League (AL) is planning to make all-out preparations for participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections and launching a movement to press home its six-point demand including release of party chief Sheikh Hasina.

BNP seeks unity in party, among parties

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday called for united movement of all political parties to salvage the country from the 'current deep crises', two days after his Awami League counterpart ruled out such a notion.

Voter list likely to be ready in Sept

The new national voter list is likely to be ready in September, a month ahead of the schedule, as the printing process of the list has recently been expedited.

Forest gobbler Gani, Zabiullah jailed

A special court yesterday sentenced detained former chief conservator of forest (CCF) Osman Gani to 12 years' imprisonment for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement submitted to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Rice to get pricey in BDR shops as govt subsidy ends

BDR will sell coarse rice at an increased rate of Tk 30 per Kg at all its fair price outlets in the capital from next Tuesday after the government's safety net programmes ended yesterday.

Diabetes in children on the rise

Cases of diabetes in children are on the rise in the country and low birth weight and changing lifestyles may be a few of the contributing factors, said experts.

AL rejects BNP call for united movement

The Awami League (AL) last night categorically rejected BNP's call for a united movement to overcome the existing political crisis.

ACC okays charge sheets against Aminul, Faisal

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved the submission of two charge sheets against former post and telecommunications minister barrister Aminul Huq, Faisal Morshed Khan, son of former foreign minister M Morshed Khan, and Faisal's wife Shyama Sejan Khan for ill-gotten money.

Medical boards formed for Hasina, Koko

The government yesterday formed two separate five-member medical boards for detained former premier and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson's youngest son Arafat Rahman Koko.

Dhaka yet to reach global standard

Despite making significant efforts last year, the government has yet to fully comply with the minimum global standards of human-trafficking prevention, according to a latest US State Department report.

Mass transit in Dhaka mulled: CA

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the government is thinking about mass transit in the capital so that a large number of people can move at a time smoothly.

Hasina denied bail in Niko graft case

A special court yesterday rejected the bail prayer of former prime minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina in the Niko graft case.

IDB offers $1.5b loan a year to import oil

Bangladesh will have an access to Islamic Development Bank's fund for financing oil imports up to $ 1.5 billion annually, while the bank will examine loans at a lower rate only for the portion to be provided from its own resources.

ACC frees Sohel, Salman from graft charge

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday submitted a final report (FRT) clearing Beximco Holdings Ltd Chairman Sohel F Rahman, vice chairman Salman F Rahman, former Arab Bangladesh Bank Ltd managing director (MD) CM Koyes Sami and seven others of a case filed for misappropriating Tk 191.39 crore.

Denial of people's right to bail challenged in HC

A writ petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC), challenging the legality of some provisions of Emergency Powers Ordinance (EPO) 2007 and Emergency Power Rules (EPR) 2007 that deny people's right to bail in cases filed under these provisions and rules.

5 burned as CNG-run bus catches fire

A bus caught fire at Gulshan in the capital yesterday morning and left five people wounded.

1,679 more held in 24hrs

The joint forces arrested 1,679 people, including 183 in the capital, in the last 24 hours until 8:00am yesterday in the ongoing special anti-crime drives across the country.

Sigma Huda, Mir Helal granted ad interim bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted three months' ad interim bail to Sigma Huda, wife of detained former communications minister Nazmul Huda, and Mir Helaluddin, son of detained ex-state minister for civil aviation Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin, in two cases filed under the Emergency Power Rules.

ACC presses charges against ex-MP Shahidul

Charges have been pressed against former BNP lawmaker Shahidul Islam Master (Jhenidah-3 constituency) for misappropriating relief materials.

Menon warns about perils of constitutional review

Workers Party (WP) President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday warned about the dangers that would result if an unelected government does a review of the constitution.

Tangail journos demand jailer's removal

Journalists in Tangail have demanded immediate removal of district Jail Superintendent Sagir Miah.

Hearing on Hasina's plea for quashing trial starts

The High Court (HC) yesterday began the hearing of a petition filed by detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina for quashing the trial proceedings of the barge-mount power plant corruption case against her.

6 Bangladeshis acquitted of murder charge

Oman on Wednesday declared that its primary court had acquitted Mohammed Momin Miah and five other Bangladeshis held in that country on charges of murder.

45 killed in fresh Lankan fighting

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers said yesterday they had killed 10 soldiers while security forces said they killed 35 rebels during the latest heavy clashes across the island's north.

Hillary vows full-throated backing for Obama

Fallen White House contender Hillary Clinton yesterday promised to throw the full weight of her formidable support behind Democrat Barack Obama as she prepared formally to quit the race.

UN summit struggles to endorse food crisis plan

World leaders held last-ditch talks yesterday to agree an action plan to tackle the global food crisis, after three days of wrangling that has exposed strains over how to prevent hunger and poverty.

Iran, Turkey coordinate Iraq strikes

A Turkish TV station is quoting a senior military commander as saying that Turkey and Iran have carried out coordinated strikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

McCain alters Obama slogan to his own liking

The general election is now in full speed just check out the competing slogans.

Editorial

Mass arrests have created panicky situation

It is time to talk about mass arrests again, for the obvious reason that there is growing public disquiet about the whole sordid business. In the eight days since the government launched what was given out as a drive against known and listed criminals, as many as 12,000 people have been detained and carted off to prison. The sheer scale of the operation along with the ferocity of it has left an entire nation reeling. Most surprising is the fact that despite the government's stress on nabbing criminals there has been a wide-ranging operation against political workers throughout the country. In fact, more political individuals than lawbreakers have been taken into custody, which makes hollow the government's claim that the action is only aimed at people who have committed crimes and who have so long remained outside the bounds of the law.

Tackling global food crisis

The Rome summit on tackling the on-going worldwide food crisis is a sign of the desperation nations are faced with. It is especially the poorer nations that have been at the receiving end, with all the rises in food prices in the past several months. The extent to which food has now assumed the shape of a serious problem can be gauged from the doubling of prices in the last three years. Prices are at a 30-year high, a terrible reality that calls for concerted efforts to be expended in handling the situation. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's belief that global food production must register a huge rise in order to cope with demand is in effect a broad hint of the problem on the world's hands.

Back to the future

This week has been just like old times. It has been quite a sight to see. The ex-prime minister, resplendent in her trademark flowing chiffon, once again taking centre-stage to extol the virtues of her rule, defend the honour of her family, and dismiss as enemies of the state anyone who has the temerity to question her words.

The telecom principle of patriotism

Not to worry if you haven't heard this expression before. It hasn't appeared in any textbook. It hasn't been discussed in seminars and workshops or debated in classrooms. But the telecom principle of patriotism does exist. It simply means that the love of country is directly proportionate to prospective cash flow. You only need to watch television commercials if you are looking for proof.

A decimated dictator's unintended contribution

Observers of the political scene of Pakistan would agree that the powerful extra-constitutional quarter in that country is in the habit of throwing out the civilian government at regular intervals on one pretext or another. Such quarter thereafter rules for some time. Pakistanis have reconciled to that embarrassing reality.

Sports

Usha or Abahani?

Last year, Abahani threw away a five-point lead in the last two matches to share the Premier Hockey League title with Usha Krira Chakra.

Bangladesh's acid test

Bangladesh will have to do better than 'just making promises' to improve their game in a bid to avoid a premature exit from the fifth SAFF Football Championship.

Mirpur gets ready

While Mehrab Hossain batted fluently, the rest of the Bangladesh A batsmen floundered spectacularly in the second practice game between the national side and the second string at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Asif goes on record

Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif appeared before a Dubai prosecutor Thursday on charges of possessing an illegal substance and will remain in detention until at least Sunday, an official said.

Sonali end on a high

Mohammedan Sporting Club hung on to third place despite finishing their Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League campaign with a defeat to Sonali Bank yesterday.

Moeen greets GM Rajib

Chairman of the National Sports Council and Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed and the officers and staffs of NSC have congratulated chess talent Enamul Hossain Rajib for getting approval from World Chess Federation (FIDE) as a Grand Master.

Officials for Asia Cup named

The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday announced the names of umpire and referee to officiate in the Asia Cup from June 24 in Pakistan.

KP holds Eng together

Kevin Pietersen's unbeaten 71 rallied England after they collapsed on the first day of the third and final Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge here Thursday.

Pakistan want to leave Asif issue behind

Pakistan are hoping that the last-minute withdrawal of Mohammad Asif will not affect their team's title chances in a tri-nation tournament, starting in Dhaka on Sunday.

Safina reaches final

Russia's Dinara Safina moved one victory away from joining big brother Marat as a Grand Slam title winner when she reached the French Open final on Thursday.

Thaksin after Ronaldinho

Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra is determined to bring Barcelona star Ronaldinho to Eastlands.

Double boost for Swiss

Euro 2008 co-hosts Swit-zerland were handed a major boost on Wednesday when playmaker Tranquillo Barnetta and experienced defender Patrick Muller were declared fit for Saturday's tournament opener against the Czech Republic.

Leo tries to add levity

Poland's veteran Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker tried on Wed-nesday to add some much needed levity to the increasingly heated atmosphere surrounding their opening Euro 2008 clash with Germany this Sunday.

Argentina thump Mexico

Sven-Goran Eriksson would seem to have much work ahead of him as the new Mexico coach after viewing a lopsided loss to Argentina in the first game since he was hired.

Bilic confident of Euro glory

Croatia can win the Euro 2008 title claimed their highly-rated young coach Slaven Bilic on Wednesday.

Eto'o sorry for headbutting

Barcelona's Cameroonian international striker Samuel Eto'o has apologised for headbutting a journalist, it emerged here Thursday.

Ruud ready to make amends

Ruud van Nistelrooy wants to star at Euro 2008 so he can erase the painful memory of a World Cup flop he blames on Manchester United.

Polak warns goalkeepers

Czech Republic's long-shot expert Jan Polak said on Wednesday that the official Euro 2008 ball will be problematic for goalkeepers and favour players who strike from distance.

Sneijder limps out

Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder limped out of a behind closed doors training session on Thursday according to Dutch TV station NOS.

Guardiola inks Barca contract

Pep Guardiola on Thursday signed a two-year contract to coach Barcelona, the Spanish giants announced.

Federer finds top gear

Top seed Roger Federer powered into the French Open semifinals on Thursday, but he was given a scare early on by Chile's Fernando Gonzalez before winning through 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

Arrest worries Lawson

Pakistan cricket coach Geoff Lawson said Thursday that the detention of Mohammad Asif in Dubai for the alleged possession of an illegal substance would disrupt the paceman's progress.

Credit to extra practice

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has revealed that hour upon hour of extra practice have helped his capability to bat long periods in Test cricket.

Uthappa eyes permanent India slot

After floating in the top and middle orders for quite a while, Robin Uthappa is now desperate for a permanent slot in India's ODI line-up, which, he believes, would facilitate his Test inclusion as well.

Light trouble in Lanka

The fifth SAFF Football Championship co-host Sri Lanka faces a hard time answering the questions of how well they are prepared to host one of the biggest football events of the region, according to a Maldives website.

Dhaka Bank to sponsor hockey team

Dhaka Bank has come forward to sponsor the national hockey team for its Singapore tour to take part in the 3rd Men's AHF Cup Hockey Championship to be held from June 14.

Throwing it away

As quickly as Mohammad Asif has risen, so is he determined to fall. Eclipsing the bewilderment at this latest scrape, the frustration and disbelief, is the incredible sadness. Few matters in life are as deflating as the squandering, wilful or otherwise, of genuine talent.

Slow-going lands fine for WI

West Indies have been fined for slow over-rate for the second consecutive game after being penalised in the drawn second Test against Australia in Antigua, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Wednesday.

Local Snippets

Lalbagh Tarun Sangha beat Dhaka Mahanagar Jubo Kishore 2-1 in a West Zone match of the Dhaka City Corporation Pioneer Football League at the Outer Stadium ground yesterday.

Business

Two ATM service firms close to partnership deal

E-Cash, an automated teller machine (ATM) network company, has claimed it reached the final stage of its negotiations with Cash Link Bangladesh to build a partnership with the latter to help expand business.

Warid in talks with Huawei

Warid Telecom, the country's fourth largest mobile operator, is in talks with Chinese company Huawei to buy equipment for its network expansion, showing evidence that operators are looking for cheap solutions.

51.5pc rise in foreign firms' profit repatriation

Profit repatriation by foreign companies increased by 51.5 percent in 2007, reducing the net inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI), said the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

Private internet gateway service provider to start operation by month-end

Mango Teleservices Limited, the country's first international internet gateway (IIG) service provider, is to start its operations by the end of this month.

400 years of commercial Dhaka

Big coal engine wooden ships leaving the jetty on Buriganga, filled with famous fine Muslin cloths, jutes, blue and soaps to the way from Mediterranean Sea to Europe, Indian Sub-Continent to Jeddah and Basra in Middle East via Padma, Meghna river.

What goes up must come down

Just as the El Niño phenomenon is bandied about to explain away any weather disturbance, economic analysts these days impulsively attribute all major trends to the "Chindia" factor. However, the myth has again transcended the truth. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the discussion of oil.

SEC warns merchant banks of failure to cool down market

In the wake of bullish trend in stock market, the stock market regulator yesterday warned of actions including cancellation of licence of the merchant banks if they fail to bring in new issues to pull the overpriced stock market down.

Bscic project on women entrepreneurship remains suspended for four years

The country's one of the most successful projects that created thousands of women entrepreneurs across the country remained suspended for the last four years, as the government could not decide on how to continue financing it.

15-16pc subsidy in next budget: Aziz

The amount of subsidy in the upcoming budget will be 15-16 percent of the total budget of about Tk 99,500 crore, said Finance Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday.

Stocks show upward trend

Dhaka stocks ended the week yesterday showing upward trend with the price indices closing higher.

Dollar gains against euro

The dollar rose on Thursday against the euro and yen as dealers awaited an interest rate decision from the European Central Bank amid talk of a US rate hike later this year, dealers said.

Sri Lanka's bourse set to have first IPO in two years

The stock exchange in war-battered Sri Lanka is set to have its first public offering in two years, officials said on Thursday.

ISN declares 15pc stock dividend

Information Services Network Limited (ISN) declared 15 percent stock dividend on Monday, says press release.

Thailand mulls price supports for rice

With the threat of farmers' protests hanging over the embattled government's head, Thailand's premier has floated a scheme to buy local rice at inflated prices, the government said Thursday.

India seals investment pact with Myanmar

India's cabinet cleared on Thursday the signing of a decade-long investment pact with military-ruled Myanmar, part of efforts to woo its energy-rich neighbour.

United Airlines to slash fleet, jobs amid soaring fuel prices

United Airlines on Wednesday said it was cutting fleet and operations and eliminating up to 1,100 additional jobs to compete amid soaring fuel prices and a weakening US economy.

Sweden rejects France Telecom’s bid for TeliaSonera

Swedish Finance Minister Mats Odell said Tursday that the government believed a 33-billion-euro (51-billion-dollar) bid for Swedish-Finnish operator TeliaSonera by France Telecom was too low.

Citibank offers $10m credit facility to ASA

Citibank, NA Bangladesh and ASA yesterday signed a credit facility agreement for microfinance portfolio expansion in rural Bangladesh, says a press release.

HK suspends British poultry imports

Hong Kong said Thursday it was suspending all imports of poultry from Britain following a bird flu outbreak there.

GP's CellBazaar highlighted at GSMA global summit

Grameenphone's CellBazaar service was highlighted at the latest summit of GSMA, the global association for the mobile industry, for using technology to boost economic development.

Swedish firm to recruit Bangladeshi consultants

IFS, a Swedish global enterprise applications company, has announced that it will recruit consultants from Bangladesh's ICE Technologies and Services Ltd for its World Service Team (WST).

Metropolitan

Post-'71 instability still prevails

The state of instability which ensued in the aftermath of the Liberation War in 1971 is still prevailing in the country, Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman said at the publication ceremony of a book titled 'Tajuddin Ahmed: Birth of Bangladesh and Afterwards' yesterday.

DU student among 6 killed in road accidents

At least six people, including a Dhaka University student, were killed and eight others injured in separate road accidents in Faridpur, Magura and Narail yesterday and Wednesday night.

Lightning kills seven

At least seven people were killed and five others injured when lightning struck them in Sirajganj and Nilphamari yesterday and on Wednesday night.

Ex-addl police super sued for murder

Former additional police super of Khulna Mofazzel Hossain and nine others have been sued for murder.

Miscreants throw acid on 4 of a Satkhira family

Four members of a family including the housewife and two children suffered severe burn injuries when miscreants threw acid on them at a village in Sadar upazila last night.

Use human, water, land resources efficiently for sustainable dev

Eminent educationist Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday called for efficient use of human, water and land resources to achieve sustainable development.

AL for social movement to protect environment

Leaders of Awami League (AL) yesterday called for a social movement to create awareness among the people of all walks of life in an effort to resolve environmental problems the country is facing severely.

'Developed nations responsible for carbon emission'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said industrialist countries are mostly responsible for emitting carbon into the environment which is creating the world warmer.

Court orders attachment of property of ex-AL MP Ali Reza

A Jessore court ordered attachment of property of Jessore Awami League president and former lawmaker Ali Reza Raju on Wednesday in a corruption case.

38000 litres of diesel seized, 3 held

Dhanut upazila administration seized a huge quantity of diesel from Gossainbari Bazar for illegal selling on Wednesday.

Haj agencies warned against mismanagement

Law and Religious Affairs Adviser AF Hassan Ariff yesterday warned the haj agencies against mismanagement in handling the haj pilgrims this year.

5 more PWs give statements

Five more prosecution witnesses including the investigation officer (IO) of the case for possessing 44 Arges grenades by two Harkatul- Jihad-al-Islam (Huji) operatives gave statements before a court here yesterday amid tight security in and around the court premises.

Call to reduce dependence on carbon-based energy

Special Assistant to Chief Adviser on Environment and Forest Raja Debashish Roy called on all to make efforts to reduce dependence on carbon-based energy, saying that their economical use would largely help reducing level of carbon in the air, the main cause of greenhouse affect.

7-day photography exhibition begins at Drik Gallery

A seven-day photography exhibition on climate change began at the Drik Gallery in the city yesterday.

Multinational co executive seeks security of life

Itrat Husain, a resident of Gulshan area in the city, said he and his family members are passing days in fear due to frequent threats by the A&W Restaurant authorities, who have allegedly occupied his property.

'Allocate budget for implementation of women dev policy'

Leaders of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote at a roundtable yesterday called on the government to announce its stand on the National Women Development Policy and allocate adequate budget for its implementation.

Security guard murdered

A gang of unidentified miscreants stabbed a private security superviser to death at Shewrapara of Mirpur in the city early hours of yesterday night.

'Govt wants to hold blueprint elections'

Leaders of Ganotantrik Bam Morcha (GBM) yesterday said the government wants to hold a blueprint election aiming to form a rubber stamp parliament but the countrymen will not accept it.

DU expels 7 students

The Dhaka University (DU) authorities have expelled seven students for different tenures from their examinations for adopting unfair means in the exam halls.

Tk 1.55 lakh stolen from Sirajganj bank

A gang of burglars stole Tk 1.55 lakh from the strongroom of Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank at Saydabad Bazar in Sirajganj sometime on Wednesday night.

IOJ demands trial of war criminals

Chairman of a faction of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) Misbahur Rahman Chowdhury yesterday demanded trial of war criminals in a special tribunal.

Implementation of 7th wage board demanded

Sangbadik-Sramik-Karmochari Oikya Parishad (SSKOP), a united platform of journalists, workers and employees, yesterday hailed the government for announcing the seventh wage board and demanded its immediate implementation.

Appeal for help

A young boy, aged 10 years, is suffering from leukemia, a form of blood cancer, says a press release.

Hafez Chan Saudegar

A blind hafez (Quran memoriser) has appealed to well-to-do people of the society for financial assistance to purchase a brail machine to become self-reliant, says a press release.

Letters

Anti Corruption Commission

After reviewing the story of corruption in Bangladesh, I would recommend that three separate and independent Anti Corruption Commissions be formed namely:

Workers abroad

It is indeed quite unfortunate that one of our workers in Bahrain committed such a heinous crime as murdering his employer. And for him now around one-lakh Bangladeshi workers' fate is in jeopardy as Bahrain has decided not to renew their work permits. But the question is one should not judge an entire country through the misdeed of one person. There is also an element of discrimination here displayed by the Bahraini lawmakers. Had he been a worker from the USA or Europe they may have refrained from such stern actions. So, we hope that our diplomats will manage to handle the situation appropriately and soon come to a pragmatic solution. In addition, our workers are also the victims of shady manpower agencies. For example, 27 Bangladeshis had to return from Iraq. They were promised by the unscrupulous agents that they would be taken to Dubai but they ended up in Iraq! Thanks to IOM that they have helped to repatriate 118 of our workers from Solaimania. Then there is the case of 45 workers returning from Malaysia with fake passports as their original passports were confiscated by their employers besides being not paid their due wages. Similar is the plight of workers in Saudi Arabia.

Population boom

I refer to various letters on this topic. In particular the letters of May 26 and May 30 are most interesting in that these assert that "population problem is the root cause of all the problems of our country".

Foot-overbridge

There is a notice from Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in some important areas of the city telling us that we should use foot-overbridges, rather than crossing the road. No doubt, it is a good move.

National budget and the disabled

Salvation for the Deserving (SFD) requests to allocate 5 per cent of the national budget for the development of the disabled.

Lively cricket!

As Shoaib Akhter picked up the wicket of the ace (Indian) batsmen Virender Shehwag and Gautam Gambhir, the entire Eden-Garden crowd burst into a roar, vociferously cheering a distant glimpse of victory. Perhaps, for the first time in their lives the crazy cricket lovers of Calcutta applauded the triumphs of the nightmarish Pakistani fast bowler. Subsequently, megastar SRK was seen to be dancing to celebrate the crucial turn of the match. No, I'm not depicting a bizarre dream sequence. DLF IPL has successfully obliterated the fragile boundary that existed between the facts and fantasies of the cricketing world. In this groundbreaking competition we have witnessed the glorious return of legends like Shane Warne, Pollock, Glen McGrath, and Gilchrist, as if they have been reincarnated to represent this exciting version of cricket, we have also seen world-class cricketers of the same national squad aggressively battling against each other, and we have seen the gracious intermingling of cricket and the glamorous world of Bollywood. I think DLF IPL is a creative concept that's not only promoting the prospect of Twenty-Twenty cricket but it's also providing an opportunity to the international cricketers to get used to this relatively new format of the game. At the same time, the tournament is entertaining the cricket lovers around the world to a great extent.

FBCCI's demand

Recently, the FBCCI president requested the government to offer black money whitening facility for the last time. Interestingly, it is also the last year of the current non-political government.

Our football

The Bangladesh football team left Dhaka on May 27 to take part in the upcoming SAFF football championship. With the deterioration in world ranking every month, the tournament appears to be an acid test for our booters. Now, the team will play in a situation when the Football Federation has an organiser like Salahuddin as its leader. Besides, this time the booters seem to be more confident than before.

VIPs and roads

I had just got out of a screening of the film “Brick Lane” on May 13, when my cell rang. It was my sister. Without listening to her, I started telling her about the movie which I liked quite a bit. But, on the other end, she didn't seem to be listening and was rather quiet. I soon learnt that she was at the local clinic with her five-year old daughter who was being given saline. My heart jumped I remembered that, in the afternoon when I last saw them, she had vomited a few times and now the doctor is saying that she is dehydrated. I felt so bad for her - the poor little thing!

Female commuters' problem

The number of women coming to the job market is increasing. Their daily commuting often becomes a nightmare as most of them cannot get on a bus easily and they are often harassed by the men surrounding them. Several attempts had been made to introduce separate female bus service in the city but they failed for obvious commercial reasons.

Fraudulent 'tuition media'

Working as tutor is a vital source of income for many students. Students, who don't get notable financial support from their families, often depend on tutoring to get themselves through their student days. Some others, despite being well off, prefer it as a source of some extra income. In Dhaka and some other cities, many organisations are playing the role of mediators in providing such jobs to the people, largely students, who are interested in tuition. These organisations call themselves 'Tuition Media'. Nevertheless, how reliable are they?

City transport system

The CTG has taken a bold and practical decision to construct link roads between the old airport road and Agargaon, by using the marginal strip of the old airport at the city end.

Unfair

The CNG fares in Chittagong are being raised abnormally. It happens every day because the CNG-drivers are reluctant to take the meter-based fare. Consequently, the passengers have to pay excessively high fares.

Manpower export

The decision to cancel licences of 32 agencies for manpower export irregularities was made at a time when the issue has become cause for great concern.

International

Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control

A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November.

Nepali Maoists make offer to end deadlock

Nepal's Maoists said yesterday they were prepared to give up their claim to the first presidency of the newly republican country in order to resolve a post-monarchy political deadlock.

Illinois scandal threatens US presidential race

A day after Barack Obama sealed the Democratic nomination for president, a corruption scandal involving a fundraiser who once bankrolled his campaign resurfaced to slightly dampen the festivities.

US puts India, China on watch list over human trafficking

The United States has placed India and China on watch list for not doing enough to fight human trafficking and claimed that part of the enormous economic growth in the developing countries is being fuelled by bonded labour.

US backs talks with some Afghan rebels

The US ambassador in Kabul said yesterday that Washington backed the Afghan government's efforts to reconcile with Taliban and other rebels without power-sharing or ceding control of certain areas.

EU nations okay new rules on expelling illegal immigrants

European Union nations approved yesterday tough new rules on expelling visa-overstayers, which could see them banned for five years if they resist, the EU's Slovenian presidency announced.

Bandh cripples life in Left-ruled states

Normal life came to a grinding halt in Left-ruled West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura yesterday as the ruling fronts in these states enforced a dawn-to-dusk bandh in protest against the steep hike in petroleum products.

Myanmar exchanging food for labour Says Amnesty

Myanmar's military regime has forced cyclone survivors to do menial labor in exchange for food and stepped up a campaign to evict displaced citizens from aid shelters, an international human rights group said yesterday.

Palestinian factions eye deal after yr-long split

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas yesterday appeared headed toward reconciliation talks one year after the Islamists seized power in Gaza causing a political and territorial split.

Five 9/11 defendants appear at hearing

Five alleged co-conspirators in the September 11, 2001 attacks appeared before a US military tribunal here yesterday, some of them being seen publicly for the first time in years.

Arts & Entertainment

Diplomat and baul songs? Why not?

I came to know about the former British High Commissioner Mr. Anwar Chowdhury's penchant for baul songs from others at different times towards the end of his four-year tenure of office in Bangladesh. They said underneath that immaculate three-piece suit he wore and the suavity with which he addressed official business, Anwar Chowdhury had a Bengali heart. He was a diplomat on one side and on the other a lover of the songs of the bauls that paid reverence to the creator in their own gnostic way and talked about the special relationship man had with nature.

Remembering Shanti Sharma

Shanti Sharma, an accomplished classical singer, passed away recently at the age of 52. This was a great blow to me; an irreparable loss to Hindustani classical music and music aficionados of India, Bangladesh and all over the world.

Big screen stars lured by small screen

Bollywood's big stars are getting ready for a popularity contest on the small screen. Starting from June 6, two television channels will air separate game shows with two of Hindi cinema's top stars, Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan as anchors.

"Mashi-Pishi" on ATN Bangla tonight

ATN Bangla will air a single-episode play, Mashi-Pishi, tonight at 8:00 pm. The play is the adaptation of a short story by Manik Bandyopadhyay. Shimul Yusuff, Ishrat Nishat and Chandni play the major roles in the play.

"Surer Kathan" on Banglavision

Surer Kathan, a musical show presented by Bengal Foundation, is aired on Banglavision every Friday at 11:00 pm.

"Radhuni Bangladesh Night" on Channel- i

Channel-i will air "Radhuni Bangladesh Night" at 2:35pm today. The cultural programme, organised by Radhuni, a brand of Square Consumer Ltd., was held in Rome recently.

Fahmida, Bappa and Partho on tonight's "Aainaghar"

Popular singers Fahmida Nabi, Bappa Majumdar, and Partha Barua will appear on tonight's episode of Aainaghar. The show will be aired on Ekushey TV at 8:15 pm.

Children's Theatre Festival begins today

In terms of numbers of participating troupes, the biggest theatre festival will begin tomorrow at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library. People's Theatre Association (PTA) has organised a fortnightlong theatre festival in which 125 children's theatre troupes from different corners of the country as well as from India are participating.

Cultural programme by Nazrul Parshad

'Mymensingh Nazrul Parshad' celebrated Nazrul's 109th birth anniversary through a two-day programme at the Town Hall premises recently.

OP-ED

Effects of global warming

Global warming means increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere, oceans, and landmasses of the earth. The planet has warmed (and cooled) many times during the 4.65 billion years of its history. At present, earth appears to be facing a rapid warming, which most scientists believe results, at least in part, from human activities.

Asian states feel rice pinch

Asian countries have been struggling to cope as the cost of rice has reached record levels.

The Malaysian ant teaches us all how to go out with a bang

There are people who think the total destruction of human civilisation through global warming might actually be a bad thing.


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