The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, November 23, 2014


News of: Friday, 13th of June, 2008

Front Page

Govt reviews EPR to ease bail

The government has initiated a move to relax some major provisions of the emergency power rules (EPR), especially the ones concerning bail in corruption cases.

Hasina departs, urges party unity for polls

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed party men to remain united at any cost and strengthen the organisation for the upcoming parliamentary polls.

Khaleda wants her sons to be sent abroad

Reiterating her wish to stay in the country, detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday asked the government to send her two detained sons abroad for treatment without delay.

Nazmul Huda gets 12yrs

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced former communications minister barrister Nazmul Huda to 12 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) and acquitted his wife advocate Sigma Huda on all charges in an extortion case.

Govt to make quick decision on Khaleda, sons' release

Government advisers yesterday said they will not waste time while making decisions about the release of detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia and her two sons after taking the "crucial step forward" to release Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina.

8 bandits beaten to death in Natore

Villagers beat eight robbers to death while another was shot dead during a gun battle with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel at Bias Adimpur of Shingra upazila in Natore early yesterday.

Shortage of HC judges delays case disposal

The High Court (HC) has been experiencing a shortage of judges, as no new judge has been appointed to that division of the Supreme Court (SC) for about four years, while during the same period 11 judges either retired or were promoted to the Appellate Division.

EC Secretariat yet to get full autonomy

Secretariat of the Election Commission (EC) is yet to gain full financial and administrative autonomy as it is still being operated under the office of the chief adviser.

Anti-terrorism Ordinance '08 promulgated

The president has promulgated the Anti-Terrorism Ordinance 2008 providing death penalty for offences like terror financing and staging murder to create panic and jeopardise country's sovereignty.

4-party questions procedure of Hasina's release

The BNP-led four-party alliance yesterday criticised the government and the Awami League (AL) for cutting "backdoor deals" to release AL chief Sheikh Hasina.

Local govt system being freed from MP influence: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said people would no more have to depend on lawmakers for local development as upazila parishad system is being revitalised freeing it from lawmakers' influence.

Khoka denies link with 'reformists'

President of the dissolved Dhaka city BNP committee Sadeque Hossain Khoka yesterday denied his involvement with the party 'reformists'.

Ex-BRTC boss Taimur jailed for 14yrs

A special court yesterday sentenced detained former Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) chairman Taimur Alam Khondaker to 14 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in two separate bribery cases.

Resist 'managed' election

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday called for resisting any 'managed election' in the country.

1,591 more picked up

The joint forces held 1,591 more people, including 115 in the capital, in the last 24 hours until 8:00am yesterday in the ongoing special drives across the country.

Bangladesh bow out

Bangladesh ended their Kitply Cup campaign when they crashed to a massive seven-wicket defeat at the hands of India in the final group league match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur last night.

42 rescued while being trafficked to India

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) rescued a group of 42 people, including 24 children, as they were being trafficked into India through Char Majhardiar border point on the outskirts of Rajshahi city on Wednesday night.

Petition for resuming Tk 3cr extortion case against Hasina

The prosecution yesterday submitted a petition for fixing a date for hearing on the Tk 3 crore extortion case filed against former premier Sheikh Hasina, now on parole, her sister Sheikh Rehana and their cousin Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim.

New Delhi terms Hasina's release a positive step

India has termed the temporary release of Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina for medical treatment a 'positive step' and hoped the caretaker government and the political parties in Bangladesh would be able to get a 'constructive outcome' out of their ongoing dialogue.

120-strong police team leaves for Kosovo

A 120-member contingent of Bangladesh police left late Wednesday night for Kosovo by a UN charted flight to join the UN peacekeeping mission in the civil war-torn Balkan country.

Next hearing on depositions on June 18

A special court yesterday fixed June 18 for the next hearing of witness depositions in the Barge-mounted power plant graft case against former premier Sheikh Hasina and seven others.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi national on Gopalpur border under Moheshpur upazila of Jhenidah district early yesterday.

Nepali Maoists move to form post-royal govt

Nepal's Maoists moved yesterday to dissolve the country's interim authority and form a new government, the day after the Himalayan nation's ousted king quit his Kathmandu palace.

Taiwan, China agree to exchange offices

Taiwan and China agreed yesterday for the first time ever to set up permanent offices in each others' territories as the two sides met for their first formal talks in more than a decade, an official with one of the delegations said.

Editorial

Pilot project on primary schools

The government approved pilot project under which Brac is assigned to improve the functioning of primary schools in 20 upazilas is facing resistance from four primary school teachers' association.

Ensuring rights of indigenous communities

The demand for the formation of a national commission to ensure the rights of Bangladesh's indigenous people makes sense. And it does that because of the large scale deprivation they have been subjected to over the decades stretching back to British colonial times. The irony is that even in an independent Bangladesh, where attitudes ought to have changed positively regarding the rights citizens across the board are entitled to, discrimination toward the many ethnic minorities has persisted. It is a matter of deep embarrassment for us and will remain so until concrete steps are taken toward redressing their grievances. That is a strong message coming out of a workshop organised by the Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights in the city on Tuesday.

11 o'clock tick tock

It was almost a year ago that the current government faced its first existential crisis. Back in August 2007 it seemed as though the fate of the government might well end up hanging on an umbrella that was opened at an inopportune moment at a football game at Dhaka University. That incident led, eventually, to street riots that at one point looked like they might spiral out of control before the government was able to restore order and authority.

Will repair do more damage?

AMUSING as it is, the most colourful name of any war in history is that of the War of Jenkins's Ear. Under the Treaty of Seville, the British had agreed not to trade with the Spanish colonies, and the Spanish were permitted to board the British vessels in Spanish waters to verify the treaty.

Why did Nepalese people abolish monarchy?

THE unexpected massive election victory of Maoists on April 10 has changed Nepal. One of their demands has been the abolition of monarchy, establishing a secular Republic.

Sports

Tigers' timid act

The way Forhad Reza celebrated the dismissal of Yuvraj Singh it felt like a vital breakthrough for the Tigers to shake a confident India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Batters follow plan

If a plan works, you always praise the coach and when that plan goes askew, God save him.

Oh no, Asoka! Not again!

For the Bangladesh camp, getting Virender Sehwag early was imperative. And in the third over of the second innings, the Tigers though they had got the breakthrough.

Yusuf to go black & white

Bangladesh national football coach Abu Yusuf said he would shoulder the responsibility of the team's failure in the fifth SAFF Championship.

PCB blasts team

Pakistan on Thursday sacked a high-profile cricket official who said he had been accused of leaking a confidential email to the media which criticised the team.

Croatia upset Germany

Fearless Croatia pulled off a memorable 2-1 win over Group B favourites Germany on Thursday to move to the brink of a place in the Euro 2008 quarterfinals.

Big Phil talks up Germans

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari praised his side for reaching the Euro 2008 quarterfinals and promptly kicked off the mind-games by talking up potential semifinal opponents Germany.

Asif's fate Sunday?

The Dubai Attorney General is likely to take up the case of detained pacer Mohammad Asif on Sunday and may perhaps even deliver a verdict on the same day, according to the Pakistan embassy there.

Second gold for Sabrina

Ace shooter Sabrina Sultan won her second gold of the 22nd National Shooting Championships yesterday.

Turkish tears for Swiss

Arda Turan ended Switzerland's interest in Euro 2008 in heartbreaking fashion by capping a man-of-the-match display with the stoppage time strike that gave Turkey a 2-1 win here on Wednesday.

Czech's remain confident

Czech coach Karel Bruckner said his side still have everything to play for ahead of their do-or-die clash with Turkey on Sunday with a place in the Euro 2008 quarterfinals up for grabs.

Atypical Domenech

Raymond Domenech is a man for whom the expression 'likes to play his cards close to his chest' was made.

Azzurri look to history

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni is counting on history repeating itself as his embattled squad fight for Euro 2008 survival against Romania here on Friday.

Les Blues up against it

France need to wake up from a dismal start to avoid being overrun by a confident Dutch side in their second Euro 2008 game on Friday in Berne.

C'Ron aiming for glory

Portugual are daring to dream of Euro 2008 glory after their impressive 3-1 win over the Czech Republic, team hero Cristiano Ronaldo said.

Arrests after Swiss-Turkey match

Swiss police made around 80 arrests late Wednesday following violent incidents between supporters after the Switzerland v Turkey match at the European Championships.

I lead like Zidane: Ballack

German star Michael Ballack has compared his role with Die Mannschaft with that of former French maestro Zinedine Zidane, saying he sees himself as a leader on the field regardless of his official status as skipper.

Frei facing surgery

Switzerland captain Alexander Frei faces surgery for the knee ligament tear which prematurely ended his involvement in Euro 2008, team doctor Cuno Wetzel said Thursday.

Robben fit for today

Holland received a boost here Thursday when Arjen Robben received a clean bill of health ahead of Friday's Euro 2008 clash with France.

Stanford talks highly of T20

Billionaire businessman Allen Stanford said Twenty20 cricket could replace football as the world's leading team sport after announcing a series of 20-million-dollar matches between England and his Caribbean Super Stars side.

Chelsea appoint Scolari

Luiz Felipe Scolari's appointment as the new manager of Chelsea was given widespread support on Thursday, although the Brazilian World Cup winner has yet to fully satisfy some of his detractors.

Roddick gets lucky break

Andy Roddick got a lucky break in his bid for a record fifth Queen's title as Mardy Fish withdrew after just one set of their third round match on Thursday.

Ponting for good pitches

Ricky Ponting feels cricket authorities should focus their energies on improving the standard of pitches rather than tinkering with the format of Test cricket.

Pakistan vows full security

An International Cricket Council (ICC) official said Thursday that Pakistan's government had made stringent security arrangements for the upcoming biennial Champions Trophy.

BCB selects 25 for Academy

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has picked up 25 cricketers for the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy for the 2008-09 season.

Hockey team's departure delayed

Bangladesh national hockey team will fly to Singapore today to play the 3rd Men's AHF Cup Hockey after their Bangladesh Biman flight was delayed twice yesterday.

Mirza happy to be back

India's Sania Mirza, who has been sidelined for three months because of a wrist injury, insists she is just happy to be back on court despite losing the first match of her return.

Pioneer League

Pavel scored all three goals in Surjosena Sporting Club's 3-1 victory against Arambagh KS Juniors in a West Zone match of the Pioneer Football League at the Outer Stadium yesterday.

Business

Dearth of skilled workers to hit garment growth

The ready-made garment industry, the sector that accounts for 75 percent of the country's exports, is facing an acute shortage of skilled labour, with industry leaders warning the problem will seriously hamper future growth.

BB goes slow to raise paid-up capital of leasing firms

Bangladesh Bank (BB) is going slow with its move to raise the paid-up capital of leasing companies from Tk 25 crore to Tk 100 crore to avoid any unwanted capital market disturbances, sources said.

Jeddah summit to talk high oil prices amid global protests

A meeting due June 22 in Saudi Arabia for the world's biggest oil producers and consumers to discuss record-high crude prices will be at head-of-state level, Opec chief Abdullah al-Badri said Wednesday.

NBR tags new condition for legalising money

The people willing to legalise undisclosed money should give undertakings to the government that the money they want to whiten is legally earned, according to a draft circular prepared by National Board of Revenue (NBR).

DCCI, DSE seek tax exemption from industrial investment

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) have urged the government not to introduce any tax and penalty on undisclosed money in case it is invested in industrial sector.

Social stability to help China economy grow at over 8pc for long

China's economy can maintain a steady growth above 8 percent for a relatively long period because of a stable society, a vast market and ample capital, officials said.

Budget implementation hinges on political stability, says FBCCI

Terming the proposed budget for 2008-09 fiscal as populist, the country's apex trade body FBCCI yesterday said its successful implementation is highly dependent on peaceful political situation.

Leasing firms demand continuation of tax exemption on bonds

Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association (BLFCA) yesterday demanded continuation of the tax exemption on interest income earned on zero coupon bonds.

Dhaka to make new product list in a month

A high-powered meeting on WTO issues yesterday decided to prepare a product list of the country's interest within a month for duty-free and quota-free market access negotiations.

Waive int’l travel tax for travellers on local carriers

Local airlines yesterday demanded duty waiver on import of aircraft, spares and ancillary items, reduction of duty and VAT on jet fuel and withdrawal of international travel tax for travelers on local carriers to boost local airline.

Women display vegetable, rice seeds tomorrow at Bogra fair

In a move to tap the potential of the seed industry, some 400 women are set to display their produced vegetables and rice seeds at a two-day fair in Bogra tomorrow, according to a press briefing.

It's tiffin time

Minara Begum, a 37 year old widow starts her day in a tiny kitchen at 4 in the morning. She has to prepare lunch for 45 people, five days a week and has been working hard to manage everything including shopping and cooking all by herself.

Harvard confce on Bangladesh begins today

Harvard University conference on Bangladesh in the 21st Century begins today, says a press release.

Asian stocks fall

Asian stocks fell heavily on Thursday, following an overnight tumble on Wall Street driven by another spike in oil prices and new inflation worries.

35 win colour TV sets in Singer Plus Campaign

Singer Bangladesh Limited has announced winners' names in coupon draw of ongoing summer campaign titled 'Panchti TV Protidin, Sathe Gari Jite Nin', says a press release.

Emirates to launch first commercial A380 service to America

Air travellers will be able to experience Emirates Airline's A380 aircraft for the first time on 1st August, when the airline launches its first A380 commercial service from Dubai to New York JFK, says a press release.

Japan's Daiichi Sankyo to take control of India’s top drug firm

Japan's second largest branded drug manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo is set to snap up a controlling stake in India's largest pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy for 3.4 billion to 4.6 billion dollars.

High rates, global slowdown blamed as Australia sheds jobs

A sharp fall in employment in Australia showed that a series of interest rate rises and slower global growth were having an effect on the economy, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Thursday.

Arroyo says Philippines has enough rice, vows self-sufficiency

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo on Thursday assured the public the country had adequate rice supplies and vowed to achieve self-sufficiency in the staple food in the coming years.

Tokyo Asia's costliest city for expats

Tokyo has supplanted Seoul as Asia's most expensive city for expatriates as the stronger yen pushed up living costs in the world's second largest economy, a survey by ECA International said Thursday.

Pak deficit budget unveiled

Pakistan's government unveiled a deficit national budget on Wednesday, vowing to freeze defence expenditures, enhance agriculture and industrial output, and check poverty amid soaring food prices.

Metropolitan

Education, political commitment can help eliminate child labour

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said education and political commitment can help eliminate child labour in the country.

Release of Hasina a very positive step: Iranian envoy

Iran sees release of Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina as a very positive step taken by the government paving the way for participation of all political parties in ongoing dialogue to ensure a fruitful election and democracy in Bangladesh.

'One doc for every 2000 people'

The country has a staggering shortage of over 60,000 doctors, 2.80 lakh nurses and around 5 lakh health technologists, a study conducted by Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW) revealed yesterday.

ACC finds no corruption in 50 cases

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has found no evidence of corruption

Court exempts 13 journalists from personal appearance

The High Court yesterday exempted 13 journalists of the weekly Shirsho Kagoj from personal appearance in the court, who face contempt of court charges.

Non-govt teachers demand DA

Teachers of non-government high schools, colleges and madrasas at a press conference at its central office in the city yesterday announced agitation programmes demanding 50 percent dearness allowance.

Six killed in road accidents

Six people were killed and 30 others injured in separate road accidents across the country in the last two days.

Call to make probe report public

Leaders of Hill Women's Federation (HWF), loyal to Parbatya Chattagram Jano Sanghati Samity, yesterday formed a human chain demanding steps to make the probe report public on Kalpana Chakma's abduction, exemplary punishment to those involved in it and execution of the CHT Peace Treaty.

Yellow panel ultimatum to Cuta

Pro-Awami League 'Yellow' panel gave an ultimatum to Chittagong University Teachers' Association (Cuta) to hold its election by July 31.

JCD demands Khaleda's release, treatment of Koko, Tarique abroad

Leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, yesterday announced a course of action demanding unconditional release of the party Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Couple held for torturing domestic help

The police arrested a couple on charges of torturing their domestic help and rescued the victim with injury marks on various parts of her body, who was kept confined to a room in their house at Purana Paltan in the city early yesterday.

BNP Bogra unit leader arrested

Police yesterday arrested BNP Bogra unit Vice President Khaza Iftekher Ahmed from his house at Upashahar in the town.

Ensure voting rights of persons with disabilities: President

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday said the caretaker government is working relentlessly for holding a free, fair and neutral election ensuring participation of all.

CNG bus fare refixed

The government has refixed the fare of CNG-run passenger buses and minibuses at Tk 1.20 and Tk 1.10 per kilometre respectively for Dhaka and Chittagong cities.

NGOs asked to come up with projects

Shiree, a programme supported by DFID with a fund of $130 million, launched its website yesterday.

Ex-BNP lawmaker Salauddin sued

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday sued former BNP lawmaker Dewan Mohammad Salahuddin of Savar and his wife Sabina Siddique for concealing information in his wealth statement and amassing wealth beyond the unknown source of income.

Verdict in bomb blast case against Galib, 5 others on June 26

A Gaibandha court yesterday fixed June 26 as the date for pronouncing the verdict in Takier Bazaar bomb blast case against Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh (Ahab) chief Asadullah Al Galib and five others.

Letters

Food crisis

Food crisis all over the world has become one of the major problems. Every year 90 million people are being added to the global population, increasing the demand of food. Therefore, there is high demand of food. However, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned that the present stock of food all over the world would last only 57 days. This food crisis is happening because of overpopulation and natural disasters ruining crops and grains. Another problem is the cultivation of bio-fuels. Food grains have high demand for producing such fuel. African countries, too, are producing bio-fuels on 4 million hectares of land. The European Union and India are also planning to produce bio-fuels. The cultivation of bio-fuel has a global impact on food crisis. Another problem is global warming, which has reduced the cultivation of croups significantly. The vital information is that out of 50 least developed countries 41 are food-importing ones and Bangladesh is one of them. So, our agricultural production has to be boosted to face food shortage in the years ahead.

Responsible tourism

Discovering Bangladesh is surely enlightening. Henceforth, it should be challenging too. With tourism taking its toll on the flora, fauna and cultural identity of exotic Bangladesh, local populace across tourism pockets of the country should extend the onus of sustainability of the destinations on visiting tourists through responsible tourism.

Population explosion

Our country is a not bigger than Wisconsin , a small state of the USA and is home to nearly 150 million people, that is, half the total population of the USA. This country is already heavily overpopulated and we just cannot take any more new mouth to feed. Our family planning activities are very lax and it does not give us the impression that any family planning activity worth the name is going on in the country. We just cannot afford to allow our population to grow unchecked.. It is high time that we, like the Chinese, adopt the one-child policy. If we do not take drastic measures in this respect, then the country will ultimately sink under the weight of its own population. Poverty and malnutrition have direct relationship with the growth of population. While dealing with family planning we must also ensure that poverty is tackled at the same time.

Water logging

Who doesn't like when it rains in Dhaka? When the sky turns grey just before the rain, and the cool rain comes down, who doesn't like to see the world around transforming into a fresh one? But that is not the end of the story. Right after the rain, the city dwellers face the unending problem of water-logging. Commuters bear the brunt of it, and also the drivers.

Political scenario

Very recently, the head of the interim govt., Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed, addressed the nation on political developments i.e. election and other issues. In his speech he said the govt. would sit with the political parties soon to discuss various issues. He did not mention which issue would come up for discussion.

Free market environment

In less developed countries, it is difficult to introduce and maintain free market conditions, that is, supply (goods and services) should be more than the public demand.

Rickshaw menace

It is not only astounding but shocking also to learn how even 'highly educated' people can be so irrational in respect of viewing administrative, social and economic problems such as the rickshaw menace in Dhaka city. In the letters captioned 'Regulate Number of Rickshaws' by Nasreen Khondkar and 'Rickshaw-free Capital' by Mr. Sikandar Ahmed, both have lamented the possibility(!) of a rickshaw-free Dhaka city and advocated for the so-called convenient tricycle without least mentioning how untrained rickshawallahs, totally ignorant of the traffic rules, run amuck on the highways and main streets of the capital city wherever they are. Nasreen Khondkar has mentioned European cities and also Singapore where the number of motor cars has been controlled and bicycles are in abundant use. Mr Sikandar has cut a joke on Mr. Rahat's suggestions for introducing mass transport system (MTS). Both of them seem to be oblivious of Kolkata, the biggest city of our neighbouring country, where rickshaws have been removed from the main streets, not to speak of highways. Nasreen has wailed on how she could walk the distance from Neelkhet to Dhanmondi which is less than a mile or two. Does she know that people both male and female in our neighbouring country walk miles to go to their respective destinations? Mr. Sikandar has jeered at the introduction of MTS. Does he also feel shy to stand in a queue to collect a ticket and travel in a bus? We people in this capital city perhaps would feel better and more comfortable had there been bus-stops at every door-step. How callous and irrational! Isn't crowding the city with countless rickshaws telling on the law and order and other civic conditions? Moreover, they say more than 60% of our population has gone down below the poverty line. Now, does she, an economist, suggest those people also should come to the capital for rickshaw-pulling as there are no other alternatives for self-employment? Of course Nasreen Khondkar's suggestion to introduce bicycles and providing lanes for it is not very difficult to implement. It can be done simply by removing manually-driven and small motor vehicles from the highways and main streets and introducing wide-bodied, double-decker buses and sky-rails. But none is for that; instead they run after metro-rail. What a joke! They have even failed to implement DUTIP in the last 6/7 years! God knows when responsible people will come to their senses.

Political developments

The Gono Forum had their chance to unveil their political plan during dialogue - A National Unity Government. Of course currently they want that to happen after the general election. This has two major political implications. Number one : the ensuing election might be held without popular participation and therefore would not get legitimacy from within and outside. Then the option of a National Unity Government would be mooted out, and those who participated in such an election and won seats would be considered as the components of such a government. The number two: the election is deferred indefinitely and the present CTG would be replaced by political leaders of like minded parties to form a National Unity Government under the cover of the CTG to make an exit door for this CTG.

Whither legal education ?

We do talk of a effective legal system and judiciary in Bangladesh. The people deserve that.

Politics in doldrums

In the first place, I would like to clearly mention the fact that I've by no means any hope about our politics and the politicians. Still, being a conscientious citizen of the country I have the right to voice my thoughts pertaining to the welfare of the land I was born and brought up in, and am still living.

Encourage local ceramics

In recent years, a very small number of cottage ceramics industries have come up producing handcrafted, hand painted stoneware and porcelain decorative products. The range of products includes mugs, vases, showpieces tableware etc. with high quality, exclusive designs, both western and traditional. Eighty per cent of ceramic decorative products are imported from China, Thailand etc and the ones which are manufactured here are also sold as imported because of quality. The costumers should buy more local products which will encourage the local industry to develop and contribute to the economy. We urge the caretaker government to assist these SMEs to expand rapidly for employment generation.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the multitude of different living beings in a particular ecosystem or on the whole earth. Biodiversity can be seen and studied at different organisational levels: genetic and ecological. It touches upon both native environments on land and sea as well as agricultural and other man-made surroundings.

Barack Obama

After the longest and most expensive nomination race, Barack Obama made history by capturing the Democratic nomination as the first black candidate. On defeating Hillary Clinton, the 46 year-old Barack Obama will now face a five-month campaign against a 71 year-old Republican Senator John McCain, a Vietnam prisoner of war and staunch supporter of the US led war in Iraq. On the other hand, Barack Obama opposed the invasion of Iraq, called for an early troops withdrawal and is in favour of settling Iran issue only through diplomatic means.

Rude foreigners

On Friday(6/06/08) I went to a boutique shop at Banani. After picking my chosen Shalwar- Kamiz I put my things in the booth to pay the price for the things I intended to buy. I stood in a queue there where two English women were talking in between by putting their things in the counter. The cashier was having a slight problem with the computer, requested me and others to wait for a while. Meanwhile, I was talking to the manager about the beautiful set-up of the shop. Suddenly, one of those two women grumbled very rudely how long she would have to wait to pay a small thing. All of us became really surprised at their behaviour . Seeing their attitude the shopkeepers became embarrassed and I became apologetic on their behalf for their unintentional delay.

International

World donors offer billions in aid for Afghanistan

The United States put up 10 billion dollars to rebuild Afghanistan yesterday as world donors responded to a funding appeal from President Hamid Karzai but warned more must be done to fight corruption.

Lankan army poised to capture Prabhakaran

Sri Lanka's military is poised to capture the leader of the Tamil Tigers and is surging towards his jungle hideout, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Airstrike threatens to worsen US-Pak ties

The United States defended itself against charges its forces killed 11 Pakistani troops in an incident Wednesday that threatened to worsen already tense ties with its key war-on-terror ally.

Israel in new Egypt talks on Gaza truce

Israel joined a new round of Egyptian-brokered negotiations on a proposed truce in and around Gaza on Thursday after deciding to give the talks one last go while preparing for military action if they fail.

Poor suffer as Asia beset by petty corruption: UN

A few hundred baht here, a few thousand rupees there -- a major UN report released yesterday said "petty corruption" is a massive drain on Asian economic growth and hits the poor hardest.

US committed to Indo-US nuclear deal

Maintaining that it is committed to the Indo-US nuclear deal, the US on Thursday sought to push the ball into India's court saying it was for the country's leadership to decide on the pact.

Arts & Entertainment

A voice poised to captivate

As the sarod strums out its entrance and the artiste breathes life into Tagore's words Ohey shundor-o momo, you can immediately sense her conviction. The voice is certainly easy to the ear, or as renowned singer and Rabindra Sangeet exponent Kalim Sharafee would like to term it, "God gifted", but its more than that.

Pabna Drama Circle reaches 27-year-mark

Pabna Drama Circle, a leading cultural organisation in the district, celebrates its 27th anniversary today (June 13). To celebrate the occasion, the Circle has organised a three-day programme.

Rabindra and Nazrul Jayanti celebrations in Faridpur

Rabindra and Nazrul birth anniversaries were observed recently in Faridpur. Marking the occasion, a medley of programmes including discussion, renditions of Rabindra and Nazul Sangeet, dance, recitation, art competition and prize giving ceremony was held at the Kabi Nazrul Hall in the town.

Cultural programme highlighting the contributions of Tagore, Nazrul and Sukanto

The Satkhira District Sangskritik Parishad celebrated the birth anniversaries of Rabindranath, Nazrul and Sukanto with several programmes. The objective was to promote the ideologies of the three poets among the youngsters of the district.

Kathak performance by Abhimanyu in Chittagong

Dance lovers of the port city spent a memorable evening on June 10. At the centre of their attention was an amazing presentation of Kathak dance by Guru Abhimanyu Lal from Delhi.

Folk music programme at Shilpakala ends

A two-day long musical programme, featuring different genres of folk songs, ended yesterday at the National Music and Dance Centre auditorium, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). BSA arranged the programme titled “Hridoye Bangladesh” to promote folk songs among urbanites. The two-day programme featured Bhawaiyya, Gambhira and songs of Radha Raman and Hason Raja.

New branch of Alliance Française in Uttara inaugurated

The Alliance Française (AF) de Dacca, which is one of the links of a vast network of 1071 AFs across the world, opened a new branch in Uttara on June 11, according to a press release. The new branch will be the third of AF in Dhaka after the opening of the second branch at Baridhara in 2006.

New game show "Bhirer Chaap-e" on Banglavision

A new campus- based street show, Bhirer chaap-e, will start on Banglavision from today. Produced by Kaonain Saurav, the show will be hosted by Mostafizur Rahman Samin and Atoshi.

Load shedding addressed in "Sisimpur"

The 44th episode of Sisimpur will be aired on BTV at 9:05 am. Sisimpur is the Bangladeshi adaptation of children's television series Sesame Street. Today's episode will feature various happenings in the lives of the inhabitants of Sisimpur such as Ikri, Tuktuki, Elmo and Grover.

OP-ED

Agriculture in Budget 2008-09

THE annual Budget 2008-09 focuses on agriculture as a thrust area. Excessive price hikes of food grains and slow-down in food production, at both national and global levels, have made go back to agriculture again as the engine of growth. The World Bank's World Development Report 2008 emphasises that the GDP growth arising from agriculture is almost four times as effective in reducing poverty as GDP originating from outside the sector.

The vanishing

JUNE 12, 1996. I want my daughter back. This many years later, I still wonder why Kalpana's widowed mother opened the door. Guns and search-lights on the other side. How did she think this would end?

Defiling our cultural spaces

ANY city worth its name respects and reveres its cultural spaces. In so many ways, they define who we are. These cultural spaces may be in various forms, and evoke diverse emotions. They may be in different stages of development, but rarely are they engulfed with mindless commercial enterprises. I speak of the Police Plaza at Nandan Kanon Chittagong.

Airport officials recapture the red tape top spot

HERE at the records office of the Ministry of Unreasonable Officials we are happy to announce that employees in the airport sector have once again grabbed the coveted top spot.

StarTech

A ray of light for SMEs

The commercial and entertainment centre of India, Mumbai, became more vibrant as the 5th summit of SAP India kicked off on June 4. Headquartered in Germany, SAP (Systems Applications and Products) is one of the world's largest software providers for independent businesses.

City IT 2008 - a technological extravaganza

Any IT fair opens vast portals to new technologies and good business and City IT 2008 strived to achieve no less than that. It is a grand occasion to exhibit and sell computer accessories not just for the technology savvy.

IIUC IT fest starts

A ten-day IT festival began in the city on June 10 aiming at converting individual knowledge into a combined power by exchanging views and ideas to cope with the modern technology.

Meet the HP iPaq voice messenger

The HP iPaq 512 Voice Messenger was put into test by StarTech. It features advanced voice-command functions and the new Windows Mobile 6 operating system with enhanced e-mail functions and Office Mobile tools. The smart phone also has a compact design, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and VoIP capabilities.

The World

World donors offer billions in aid for Afghanistan

The United States put up 10 billion dollars to rebuild Afghanistan yesterday as world donors responded to a funding appeal from President Hamid Karzai but warned more must be done to fight corruption.

Lankan army poised to capture Prabhakaran

Sri Lanka's military is poised to capture the leader of the Tamil Tigers and is surging towards his jungle hideout, the defence ministry said yesterday.



The Daily Star

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