The Daily Star

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

News of: Friday, 27th of June, 2008

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Another record-breaking year

The results of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations 2008 published yesterday broke all previous records with a 70.41 percent pass rate and 41,917 students achieving GPA-5.

Govt officials blamed for 84pc corruption

Government officials were responsible for 84.8 percent corruption in the country's water sector while powerful individuals including politicians and contractors were behind the rest, says the Global Corruption Report 2008 by Transparency International (TI).

Most AL leaders for joining race if emergency goes

Most Awami League (AL) decision-makers yesterday said the party should participate in the upcoming city corporation and municipality elections slated for August 4 only if the government lifts the state of emergency completely ahead of the polls.

Govt wants to take country back to pre-Jan 11 situation

Detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said the government wants to take the country back to the pre-January 11 situations by holding the local body elections before the parliamentary polls ignoring opinions of all political parties.

Biman seals deal with Boeing for 10 planes

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd Wednesday sealed the deal with US plane-maker Boeing to procure 10 new aircraft--four 777-300ERs (Extended Range), four 787-8 Dreamliners and two 737-800s--at a cost of Tk 17,250 crore ($2.5 billion).

Voters get chance to correct ID card errors

The Election Commission (EC) will launch a special programme in Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) areas on July 4 for correcting the errors in national identity (ID) cards.

Paddling against all odds

Sabir Hossain had to pull a rickshaw van to support his family whenever his father fell ill.

ACC unearths MPO scam

A special team of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has unearthed irregularities in inclusion of educational institutions in the Monthly Payment Order (MPO).

52,500 get GPA-5

The number of GPA-5 holders in the SSC examinations has risen sharply by 37.81 per cent compared to that of the previous year.

2,272 schools achieve 100pc pass rate

The number of schools, madrasas and technical educational institutions having 100 per cent pass rate in the SSC examinations has nearly tripled (293 per cent increase) this year.

Ideal, VN, Monipur top 3 schools

Ideal School and College, Viqarunnisa Noon (VN) School and Monipur High School in the capital secured the top three places in terms of their students getting GPA-5 in SSC examinations this year.

Chowdhury Alam gets 13yrs

A special court yesterday sentenced detained Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Councillor (formerly ward commissioner) Chowdhury Alam to 13 years' imprisonment for amassing wealth worth Tk 4.97 crore illegally and concealing wealth information to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Dhaka willing to resolve Rohingya, border issues

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has said Bangladesh is willing to resolve the issues of repatriation of the Rohingya refugees and maritime border demarcation with Myanmar through discussion.

India thrash Pakistan

Virendar Sehwag punished Pakistan's bowling with an aggressive hundred to lead India to a comfortable six-wicket win in the final Group B Asia Cup match here on Thursday.

Nasim applies for exemption from court appearance

Defence lawyer of detained former home minister Mohammad Nasim, now undergoing treatment at Labaid Specialised Hospital (LSH) in the city, appealed to a special court yesterday to exempt Nasim from appearing before the court during proceedings of a corruption case against him.

Govt to beef up market monitoring

The government would beef up market monitoring in order to know about market trends in advance, Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said.

25 trees felled to construct new building

Jagannath Hall authorities of Dhaka University (DU) have cut down 25 trees on the hall premises, and prepare to chop down 50 more soon to make room for a new building.

Hasina's right ear damaged

Former prime minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina's right ear is impaired but she can now hear fairly with her left ear after doctors adjusted the hearing device installed into her ears, according to ear specialist Dr Michael B Fosi.

82pc pass Dakhil examinations

The pass rate in this year's Dakhil examinations under the Madrasa Education Board has increased to 82.06 per cent from the previous year's 65.87 per cent.

Pintu, Hannan to be produced before court

A Dhaka court yesterday directed jail authorities to produce detained former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu, Harkatul Jihad (Huji) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan and 12 others before it on July 13.

Nepali PM quits making way for Maoist govt

Nepal's veteran prime minister announced his resignation yesterday in a move that paves the way for a new Maoist-led government following the abolition of the monarchy.

N Korea hands over nuclear dossier

North Korea handed over details of its nuclear programmes yesterday, clearing the way to be removed from the US terrorism blacklist amid years of efforts to persuade the North to abandon the atom bomb.

Twin bombings kill 38 in Iraqi cities

At least 38 people were killed in two massive bomb attacks in Iraq yesterday, 20 of them dying at the hands of a suicide bomber as they held an anti-Qaeda meet, officials said.


Subsidy riddled with corruption

It is amazing how a well-intentioned monetary relief programme for marginal farmers initiated with the good of the economy in mind has had a tailspin through the machinations of vested quarters. With insatiable hunger for money the opportunists scavenge on anything smelling of monetary gains.

Drug users falling prey to HIV/Aids

A survey has highlighted the dangers that are before us unless strong, purposeful measures are taken to handle HIV/Aids. It has been found in a particular area of the nation's capital that about 10.5 per cent of injectable drug users (IDU) have been afflicted with the HIV/Aids virus. With about 2,000 individuals in the area habitually taking drugs, that would mean about 200 of them now being exposed to the Aids danger. Of course, it might, at least for some, be easy to argue that the figures are from an area studied in isolation and may not reflect the countrywide situation.

Crimes and misdemeanours

EVER since it began, I have often wondered about the wisdom of the anti-corruption campaign as a means to an end. It seems to me pretty clear that the entire point of the anti-corruption drive was two-fold. The primary goal was to fix a broken system. It was to this end that the institutional reforms were undertaken, and institutions such as the ACC, PSC, and the Election Commission were cleaned up and given the manpower, resources, and direction to operate effectively beyond the reach of partisan political interests.

Boycotting local government election

THE June 23 editorial of the Daily Star says: "New controversies appear to be coming to the fore as the country prepares for the long awaited general elections by the end of the year. The major political parties have raised questions about the polls schedule for four city corporations and nine municipalities. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party has rejected the schedule while the Awami League has described the move by the Election Commission as conspiratorial and farcical." These objections are threatening to drag the country into the pyre of partisan flames.

China searches for a new Asean paradigm

SINCE 1995, they have worked in tandem on almost every issue, much to the chagrin, or perhaps wonder, of non-Asean members. Now, with new strategic environments emerging, both sides are groping for a new paradigm that they hope will sustain their relations and mutual interests. It is a tall order as they increasingly are realising that cooperation these days is becoming increasingly difficult.


Ash defends decision

The Ban-gladesh team, beaten handsomely by Sri Lanka on Wednesday in their last Pool A match, head off to Karachi today afternoon for the second phase of the Asia Cup.

Spain outclass Russia

Spain one of the pre-tournament title favourites ensured they made the Euro 2008 final with a 3-0 demolition of Russia here on Thursday.

Mendis mesmerises UAE

Unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis took a career-best 5-22 to help Sri Lanka overcome a fighting United Arab Emirates by 142 runs in the final Group A match of the Asia Cup at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Thursday.

Russia going crazy

Excitement mounted across Russia's 11 time zones on Thursday as supporters of Europe's rising football power readied for an unprecedented semifinal duel against Spain in the Euro 2008 championship.

Topsy-turvy Day Four

Golden girl Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick, the all-American poster boy of men's tennis, suffered their worst Wimbledon defeats on Thursday, the fourth day of the championships.

Solace for Abahani

Abahani ended their AFC President's Cup campaign with a consolation 1-0 win over Pakistan WAPDA in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Fed Cup starts on July 31

Exactly one year after conclusion of the inaugural B. League, domestic football returns to the ground with the Federation Cup on July 31.

Loew snubs luck factor

Germany coach Joachim Loew insisted on Thursday his team's experience and the German legacy of producing results when they matter put his side in Sunday's Euro 2008 final - not luck.

Turks are now Germans

Hope turned to sadness for Germany's huge Turkish minority on Wednesday as their team were denied a place in the finals of the Euro 2008 football championship by none other than their host country.

Terim to leave

Turkey coach Fatih Terim is set to coach a European club side next season as he revealed after his side had pushed three-time champions Germany to the limit in their Euro 2008 3-2 defeat in the semifinal on Wednesday.

Media hail their heroes

Turkish newspapers heaped praise Thursday on coach Fatih Terim and the national team for their stunning performance in Euro 2008 even though they bowed out of the championship after losing to Germany in a dramatic semifinal.

Italy sack Donadoni

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni has been told he will not have his contract renewed, the Italian Football Federation announced on Thursday.

Nihat facing surgery

Turkey striker Nihat Kahveci will have surgery on a ruptured tendon in his right thigh, the injury which ruled him out of Wednesday's Euro 2008 semifinal with Germany, his Spanish club Villarreal said.

Germany were poor

Well done for winning, but you played poorly, went the message from the German press to the nation's football team Thursday after their 3-2 victory over Turkey in a nail-biting Euro 2008 semifinal.

Real have a house ready for C'Ron

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, the subject of intense speculation about a move to Real Madrid, has a house ready for him in the Spanish capital, a Spanish sports newspaper said Thursday.

Storm causes TV blackout

The broadcast transmission of the first Euro 2008 semifinal between Germany and Turkey was cut three times Wednesday evening following a violent storm in Vienna.

'Ride the wave'

Australia captain Ricky Ponting wants his side to ride the wave of momentum from their victory in the opening match, and use it to win the second one-day international against West Indies on Friday at Queen's Park Stadium.

Collingwood banned

England will have to look for another captain for the remainder of their series against New Zealand after Paul Collingwood was banned for four ODIs. Collingwood was found guilty of Level 3 ICC Code of Conduct breach following his side's failure to bowl their overs in the required time during their dramatic one-wicket defeat against New Zealand at The Oval on Wednesday.

Local Snippets

Golam Mostafa Lane Kishore Sangha edged past Lalbagh Tarun Sangha by a lone goal in the day's Metropolis Pioneer Football League match at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Stadium at Kamalapur yesterday.

Gods correct the ending

The boos, whistles and catcalls from the crowd told the story, as did New Zealand's refusal to engage in the traditional handshakes that usually signal the end of a red-blooded contest.

Run-outs that were not on

New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott's controversial run-out in the fourth one-day international here at The Oval on Wednesday is not the first time that teams have found themselves involved in unforgettable collisions.

BFF-NSC to hold Gold Cup

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will organise the Gold Cup tournament in association with the National Sports Council.

Basketball league after five years

After more than five years' absence, the First Division Basketball League looks set to resume this year.


Shipbuilding feels pinch of high bank guarantee for raw material import

A high amount of bank guarantee requirement for the import of raw materials under bonded warehouse and the cost for obtaining such a guarantee make the country's booming shipbuilding industry less competitive, according to industry insiders.

Nat'l ID card allowed for BO account maintenance

From now on national identity (ID) card can be used as an alternative to the mandatory bank certificate for maintaining beneficiary owner's (BO) accounts.

India again top import destination for Bangladesh

Just after two years India is once again becoming Bangladesh's top importing source by beating China, the fastest growing economy in the world, official data for the first nine months in the current fiscal year revealed.

Oil price could hit $150-170

The president of Opec, Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, forecast on Thursday that oil prices could rise to 150-170 dollars a barrel during the northern hemisphere summer.

Changes in mutual fund rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday decided to make some changes in the mutual fund rules, barring new mutual funds from offering placement shares to existing mutual funds.

Strict monitoring of developers stressed

Speakers at an opinion-exchange meeting on the presentation of a draft of the real estate management ordinance of 2008 yesterday underscored the need for formulating guidelines immediately, to bring the private developers under strict monitoring and to reduce harassments of the buyers.

Raise capital from stock market

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday urged Bapex, the petroleum and oil exploration division of Petrobangla, to raise capital from the stock market through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and use the money raised for gas exploring activities.

Small car sales can rise with fuel price hike

Wei Lai, a 28-year old office worker, is planning a baby next year, but she was also planning to buy a hatchback or MPV to replace her current SUV Isuzu.

ITES: A time to recognise

Whenever we talk about Information Technology (IT) in Bangladesh and its prospects for employment creation and export, we often only refer to 'software'. However, that is just a fraction of the total dimensions of the possibilities of IT and what it has to offer to countries like Bangladesh.


In a clarification of a news item headlined 'Nat'l branding logo caught in red tape' printed on this page on June 25, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation Chairman Shafique Alam Mehdi yesterday said he did not say that bureaucratic tangle is delaying the process of making a national logo. "Unfortunately the news item, completely different and contrary to what I said in that press briefing, is likely to create some unwarranted confusion in different quarters," he said.

DSE indices gain slightly

Price indices on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) gained marginally yesterday.

Meghalaya opts for close trade ties with Bangladesh

Chief Minister of the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya Donkupar Roy said that stronger trade links with Bangladesh would benefit the northeastern region.

ROK firm to invest Tk315cr

A South Korean bag manufacturing company will invest Tk 315 crore to produce carrying cases, bags and packs.

French consumers gloomiest for 21 years

As France's summer sales kicked off and millions prepared for long holidays, official data showed Thurday that French consumers are the gloomiest about their living standards for 21 years.

Half of Chinese expect inflation to worsen

Half the people living in China's cities expect prices to continue to rise in coming months, state media reported Thursday, citing a central bank survey.

Sony pins hopes on fast-growing emerging markets

Japan's Sony Corp. said Thursday it aimed to double its sales in the fast-growing markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China over the next three years and ramp up investment to keep its recovery on track.

Maldives to lease 19 more islands for development

The Maldives, one of the world's most exotic holiday destinations, plans to lease 19 uninhabited coral islands to be developed as upmarket resorts, officials said Thursday.

Asean encourages collective farming

Asean nations want Laos to reintroduce collective farming, a system which was abolished in this country more than 20 years ago.

Asia Pacific consumer confidence falling

Consumer confidence in several Asia Pacific countries has sunk to levels similar to those seen during a regional financial crisis 10 years ago, a MasterCard survey said Thursday.

Siemens to cut 15,000 jobs

German industrial group Siemens is to cut up to 15,000 jobs worldwide as it restructures administrative services, according to a press report to be published on Thursday.

Kuwait sees record deficit, spending

The Kuwaiti parliament on Thursday passed the budget for the 2008/2009 fiscal year projecting record spending of 18.966 billion dinars (71.4 billion dollars) and a massive deficit.


Make UN stronger to prevent torture across globe

The United Nations has lost its credibility to prevent torture across the world, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.

Call for social movement to fight drug abuse, trafficking

Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin yesterday said drug abuse and its illicit trafficking is a major problem which cannot be resolved only by enforcing laws and issuing threat of punishment.

Galib, 5 others acquitted

Chief of Ahle Hadith Andolan (Ahab) Asadullah Al Galib and five other accused were acquitted yesterday in a case filed in connection with the explosions at a drama festival in Takier Bazar of Gaibandha on December 20, 2004.

'Ratify optional protocol to convention'

Different human rights organisations observed the 11th UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture yesterday.

Tk 622.7cr CCC budget announced

The Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) yesterday announced a Tk 622,06,76,000 budget for 2008-09 fiscal.

Hearing adjourned until July 3

The hearing on charge framing in the MiG-29 warplane purchase scam case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and six others will resume on July 3.

Give recognition to indigenous FFs

Freedom fighters from the indigenous community should have recognition from the state and enjoy equal facilities as the Bangalee freedom fighters, speakers at a book publication ceremony said yesterday.

Change in police act underway: IGP

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad yesterday said age-old police act prepared and enacted during the British regime did not mention anything about human rights and also about the marginal society, destitute and women.

38m children born globally at risk of brain damage every yr: Unicef

Unicef yesterday issued a major report on iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), the single greatest cause of preventable mental retardation, which looks at progress made in preventing the problem over the past two decades, lessons learned and guiding principles for future success, says a press release.

Iajuddin's condition improves

Health condition of President Iajuddin Ahmed, now undergoing treatment at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in the city, improved further yesterday, Bangabhaban officials said.

Trial of war criminals a must for establishing justice

Speakers at a discussion yesterday vowed to complete the unfinished task of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam who initiated the movement for the trial of war criminals of '71.

Road crashes kill five

Five people were killed and 25 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka and Natore yesterday.

4 women injured in Satkhira blast

Four housewives, including three of a family, were injured when a bomb went off at village Krishna Nagar under Tala upazila in Satkhira yesterday.

Mayor aspirants for SCC stand at 29

With nine more candidates collecting nomination papers yesterday, the total number stood at 29 for Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) election.

BSF kills 1

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

Mosud Mannan made envoy to Morocco

The government has appointed Mosud Mannan, currently serving as Director General (International Organisation) in Foreign Ministry, as the country's next Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco.

Journo Balu's 4th death anniversary today

Journalists will observe the fourth death anniversary of Dainik Janmabhumi editor Humayun Kabir Balu here today through various programmes.

Low over Bay

A low has developed over north-west Bay and adjoining area and it is likely to intensify.

Road show held in Tangail

A road show titled 'Eso Bangladesh Gori' was held in Tangail yesterday aiming at building a new Bangladesh.

3 arrested with phensidyl in Khulna

Police yesterday arrested three people from the Dumuria upazila bus stand here with phensidyl.

ULAB signs MoU with Brand Forum

University of Liberal Arts (ULAB) has signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) on the university campus in the city yesterday, says a press release.

97.27crore RU budget approved

The Rajshahi University (RU) syndicate has approved Tk 97.27 crore budget for 2008-09 fiscal.

Criminal killed in shoot-out with Rab in city

A criminal on the police list who had been a close associate of slain drug kingpin Abdul Hannan was killed in a shoot-out with Rab at Agargaon in the city early yesterday.

Passengers protest cancellation of Biman flight

Angry passengers, mostly migrant workers, staged a demonstration at Zia International Airport in the capital last night protesting the cancellation of a Malaysia-bound Biman flight.

Workers attack RMG factories, clash with police in Narayanganj

Unruly workers demanding wage hike caused extensive damage to Times Sweater and Pacific Sweater factories that led to clash with police, leaving at least 25 people injured at Fatullah yesterday.

Trader stabbed, robbed of Tk 15 lakh

A gang of muggers snatched Tk 15 lakh, including dollars worth Tk five lakh, from the owner of a money exchange after stabbing him in the city's Fakirer Pool area last night.

Janaza of UN peacekeeper Khurshed held

Namaz-e-janaza of UN peacekeeper sainik M Khurshed Alam of Bangladesh Army, who died of cerebral malaria in Ivory Coast, was held at Chopper's Den in Cantonment area yesterday.


Save environment

We do not think about the ill effects of detrimental toxic CO2 and CFC gas because we are not concerned about our environment. Actually, we are destroying our environment in many ways like producing CO2 and CFC gas from vehicles, air coolers, and not following the perfect waste management procedures. Apart from these, we are cutting down trees.

Road digging

To some readers the photo might have appeared to be that of an earthquake aftermath or devastation left by aerial bombing! However, the photo was showing the condition of the footpath adjacent to the Secretariat boundary wall across Topkhana Road. The photo was taken on June 18. If the condition of Secretariat's footpath is this, the condition of others could easily be guessed! Where will the pedestrians walk?

Keep it clean and green

The city is gradually becoming dirty, chaotic and unusable. Most of the roads are found littered with items of all sorts. Overflowing foul stinking garbage lie uncared for days together. The uncovered drains remain clogged with garbage thrown by the shopkeepers, much to the dismay of the pedestrians. Construction materials, push carts, open garage, food stalls, paper stands, shops of all items from ready-made garments to shoe and slippers and undergarments, the list is endless, all occupy the footpaths, thus putting more pressure on the city roads. Shopkeepers throw all their rubbish on the roads. Kitchen and garden wastes are thrown aimlessly on the roads far away from the dustbins. Old, worn out, tattered banners and festoons remain displayed unnecessarily for months. The city roads should be made free of hawkers and vendors as the first step to keeping the city clean. Footpaths should be repaired and made user friendly. Haphazard and mindless parking of vehicles should be severely penalized. In order to ensure cleanliness, penalties of various grades should be implemented regularly. Mobile courts should identify the defaulters on a regular basis and award penalties. The shops should be penalized BDT 200. Similarly, residents should be penalized BDT 500, and commercial and industrial establishments BDT 1000 if litters and wastes are found outside their premises. The Dhaka City Corporation should also monitor cleaning activities routinely through the ward commissioners.

Shrimp export and sea turtle conservation

I was attracted by the news item with the heading "Bangladeshi shrimp plants fully compliant" (Business Page; 19 April 2008). There is no doubt that the shrimp industry is the second largest foreign exchange earner of Bangladesh. This is one side of the story. This earning comes from what cost on the ecosystem and nature is another side of the story. I am going to highlight an issue related to the conservation of sea turtles and shrimp trade.

The new conversation

I congratulate Mr. Badrul Ahsan for focusing on the latest psyche of the corrupt politicians and their cronies ( The DS, May 30, 2008). In military terminologies there is a popular term called Psychological Warfare or in brief psy-warfare. The psy-warfare is played during war between two warring countries and its purpose is to create awareness through propaganda and other means among the people of the enemy country that whatever their government is doing is wrong and harmful for them and they should force the government to stop it - in other words submit to the dictates of the opposing party or surrender. History is replete with this and I need not elaborate further.

Non-invasive coronary treatment

A very informative and revealing article which is figuratively the "cape of good hope" for those who are suffering from coronary diseases and diabetes was published in local English daily on June17. Their numbers are increasing day by day in Bangladesh; possibly due to our more sedentary lifestyle, particularly in the cities of Bangladesh.

TIB reports

The recent report of the TIB, as planned and expected, has given rise to more political controversy than any solution to our century old graft culture. One major political party is demanding the resignation of the government due to increase in corruption, despite the ongoing drive to curb graft. The finance adviser is happy to note that there is no corruption now at the highest level or national level. The burden of corruption has been shifted to the poor in rural and semi-urban areas by the TIB. The corruption the TIB is talking about is century old and part of their livelihood.

Traffic rules

Frankly speaking, new kinds of motorized and wheel-based vehicles are imported, not made by us. Sometimes, these kinds of technologies are bought from developed countries to make motorized vehicles.

Diplomatic assignments

A few days back, services of some high-ranking army officers were placed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their appointment as ambassador in Bangladesh missions abroad. True, the government appoints officials outside the foreign-service cadre in public interest. I appreciate this but why not senior competent officials from other disciplines including varsity professors, are given diplomatic appointments ?

Duration of government

Can you presume how long this caretaker government will go on? I can! No specific duration of this government is mentioned in any law. Though the constitution has given the direction but this government does not care about any constitutional order or provisions. The tenure of this government may be found if we explore the laws which are still playing a pioneer role to secure this government from any sort of trouble in doing whatever they want to do, whether it is prohibited or not by the constitution.

Humanity vs. education

In our society, we find some opulent and educated people. Though they are educated, most of them are not truly educated.


I want to thank Mr. Shafi Ahmed, an Engineer from London, who wrote his opinion about Article 97 of our constitution on 18 June. I wanted to say in my letter that there is a provision “any other cause” in Article 97. Owing to the presence of such a provision in Pakistan's constitution, General Pervez Musharraf could remove the chief justice of the Supreme Court. A chaotic situation followed, which is yet to be resolved.

Points to ponder Close your eyes.

In your mind's eye relive the horror days leading up to 11/1/2006. Now, fast forward to 11/1/2009.

Vittachi's humour

I do hope you are being inundated with letters appreciating the wonderful humour in Nury Vittachi's articles. I usually keep it, as a treat, as the last thing in The Daily Star that I read but there are times when I cannot resist making it the first!

Medical treatment abroad

The present caretaker government (CTG) released the chairperson and the general secretary of the Awami League on parole to get medical care overseas. Recently ( The Daily Star, June 19, 2008), the BNP chairperson demanded that all political leaders who had received medical treatment earlier should be allowed to seek medical care abroad. While receiving appropriate medical care is a basic human right for all individuals, whether they are free or are in prison, bringing the perpetrators of crime and abuse of power to justice is also a matter of paramount interest. In our prison system, these financially well off political leaders receive much better care than the other inmates who are poor. In the past, they may have been abroad to seek medical care for ailment that could have been managed with the facilities we have at home.

Unruly law enforcers!

Prior to my leaving the country, I was stunned to read the news that a group of Ansars went berserk, took the law in their hands and attacked the patients and their relatives, who all were standing in a queue, anxiously waiting for their turns at the out patients department of the BSMMU, over a silly incident. But was this a new incident? No! not at all. The Ansars, an auxiliary police force but under independent command, have been let loose in the past by the administration on unarmed innocent public. There seems to be no authority on top of them.

Why this discrimination?

Teachers play an important role in building up the nation. And only the teachers of government institutions don't play this role . Teachers of non-government institutions also have their contribution to the process.

“Fatal” mistake

The term should not be "fatal bacteria" as reported by your Bogra Staff Correspondent (Ref: The Daily Star, June 21, 2008; page 2); it should be "fecal bacteria". The word 'fecal' is the US version of the English word 'faecal', which means 'from feces', i.e. from human or animal excreta. Hundreds of types of bacteria are normal residents in the intestines of man and other animals.


69 Tigers killed in two days of fighting

At least 69 Tiger rebels and two soldiers have been killed in heavy fighting in Sri Lanka's north where security forces wrested more territory from the guerrillas, the defence ministry said Thursday. Heavy fighting since Tuesday left 69 Tiger guerrillas and two soldiers killed in separate clashes across the districts of Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Jaffna, the ministry said.

N Korean nuke declaration underscores shift in Bush policy

North Korea's declaration of its nuclear program may be unprecedented but it stems from a shift in President George W. Bush's once tough stand on the hardline communist state.

US hopes India will complete internal processes

Ahead of his visit to New Delhi next week, senior US Congressman Gary Ackerman has said he looked forward to Indian government completing its "internal processes" on the historic nuclear deal so that the accord can be approved by the American Congress.

Rival groups clash during Pak by-elections

Rival groups clashed with guns and sticks during by-elections in Pakistan yesterday, a day after a court postponed voting in a constituency where ex-premier Nawaz Sharif hoped to stand.

Mugabe holds final rallies ahead of Zimbabwe vote

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe held final campaign rallies Thursday on the eve of a one-man election denounced as a sham by the West after the opposition leader pulled out of the contest.

Indian rebel leaders announce truce

Several commanders of a leading separatist group in India's restive northeast announced a cease-fire Wednesday and called for an end to their 30-year rebellion, separatist leaders and government officials said.

Scientists think big impact caused two-faced Mars

Why is Mars two-faced? Scientists say fresh evidence supports the theory that a monster impact punched the red planet, leaving behind perhaps the largest gash on any heavenly body in the solar system.

BJP announces first list of candidates for LS polls

BJP today announced its first list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, fielding its Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Arts & Entertainment

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy honours leading artistes

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) honoured seven renowned artistes -- Shah Abdul Karim, Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmin, Shahanaz Rahmatullah, Niaz Muhammad Chowdhury, Subal Dutta and Zeenat Barkatullah on June 25, in recognition of their contribution to music and dance.

Weeklong art exhibition in Mymensingh

A group of students of IFA (Institute of Fine Arts), Dhaka University have arranged a weeklong painting exhibition at Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala (Art gallery) in Mymensingh town.

Model-actor Nirob to make his film debut

Model turned TV actor Nirob, who is known for the Banglalink TV commercials, is set to make his big screen debut. Recently Nirob has signed a film to be directed by mainstream filmmaker duo Shahin-Sumon. The film will be called Mon Jekhaney Hridoy Shekhaney.

A new Shilpakala Academy in Khagrachhari opens

Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) Chairman Monindra Lal Tripura, at a recent discussion, said, "Peace can be ensured in the society by cultural exchange."

Three members of Miles on "Aainaghar" tonight

Members of the popular band Miles -- Shafin Ahmed, Hamin Ahmed and Manam Ahmed -- will appear on tonight's episode of Aainaghar. The show will be aired on Ekushey TV at 8:15 pm.

Experts debate lure of 'train-wreck' female celebs

Topics included "Britney's Tears: The Abject Female Celebrity in Postemotional Society" and "Hooker, Victim and/or Doormat: Lindsay Lohan and the Culture of Celebrity Notoriety."


Driving Bangladesh exports

IN 2004, many of our development partners, especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a few local economists predicted a bad future for Bangladesh exports after the phase-out of the Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA) or quota for readymade garments (RMG) export. The World Bank also doubted Bangladesh's competence in textiles exports.

Change priorities

EVERYONE in Bangladesh is aware of the increasing cost of food. Most people find it difficult to make both ends meet. This problem is not confined to Bangladesh only, but is also, perhaps, spread all over the third world. In Bangladesh, these problems are always associated with some local factors. Rogue traders always take full advantage of any crisis, and make life miserable for the common people.

Thailand teeters towards chaos

POLITICAL uncertainty continues to engulf Thailand, as the government faces an opposition censure motion in parliament and thousands of anti-government protestors vow to remain on the capital's streets until the government falls. There are also mounting fears of a new military coup amid the country's growing political and economic instability.

The Air Baby and other mysteries of dieting

NOW here's one of the great mysteries of modern life. All the westerners in my office keep in shape by cutting noodles and rice from their diets. All the Asians in my office keep in shape by doing exactly the opposite: eating nothing but noodles and rice. How come?


All about mobile lifestyle

Nokia, one of the biggest cell phone manufacturers and the world leader in mobility introduced two new email optimised sets -- Nokia E71 and Nokia E66 -- at Nokia Connection 2008 held in Singapore.

Workshop on empowering rural areas through CeC held

A two-day workshop on 'Empowering Rural Areas through Community e-Centre' was held on June 18 and 19 in the capital aiming at raising awareness among key stakeholders on the project.

HP joins hand with CSL Bangladesh

HP appointed Computer Source Limited (CSL), the largest technology distributor in Bangladesh, as its authorised distributor in the country for HP Server & Storage products. The announcement came at a press briefing on June 23.

HP technology leadership seminar held

An informative session on Hewlett-Packard (HP) technology update was held on June 25 at a city hotel. Invitees from more than 100 large and medium corporate customers participated at the event, says a press release.

Meet the new Eee PC

Amid overwhelming response to the previous model of the Eee PC, Asus is once again making waves with the announcement of the new generation of Eee PCs - the Eee PC 901series -- which will provide users with brand new user experiences, says a press release.

The Daily Star

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