The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, August 21, 2014


News of: Sunday, 13th of July, 2008

Front Page

Nomination discords still trouble AL, BNP

Internal tussles over nomination for mayoral candidates in city corporation polls still trouble the Awami League (AL) and BNP although the deadline to withdraw nominations ends today.

Launch strike ends on pay hike assurance

After around 38 hours, passenger vessels resumed services yesterday as water transport workers partially called off their countrywide strike demanding higher wages.

Waiting through the rain for succour

It was raining for two days. The weather was not so bearable for fifty-seven-year old Lalmeher Begum of Southkhali who is an asthmatic patient. On the first day, all stuffs she had in her torn tent got soaked. The next day the floor submerged.

Jamaat activists' attack on freedom fighter sparks protest

An assault on a freedom fighter by some operatives of Jamaat-e-Isalmi and its students' wing Shibir on Friday in the capital sparked widespread condemnations and protests across the country yesterday.

Quality science education a must for prosperity

The country has no alternative to using science education as a tool for improving the living standards of the people and for dealing with the economic and environmental challenges it faces, experts said.

Govt okays purchase of wheat, fertiliser

The government yesterday approved three proposals for purchasing wheat and fertiliser at a cost of Tk 956 crore.

No agreement against national interest

Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday made an unequivocal and firm resolve regarding the question of transit to India, saying the foreign ministry will never agree to any arrangement which is contrary to Bangladesh's sovereign national interest.

Make women ineligible to become head of govt, state

Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan (BKA) yesterday called upon the interim government to make women ineligible for becoming head of the government or the state.

Anti-crime drive before polls not needed: Matin

Home Affairs Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin yesterday said the law and order situation is now under control, though it had deteriorated a little bit.

Vested interests using liberation war banner to create trouble

Vested interests using the banner of the liberation war are plotting to create a civil war-like situation at a time when people are waiting for transition to democracy through a general election, Awami League leader Amir Hossain Amu yesterday said.

Release Khaleda to create talks atmosphere

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday reiterated the demand for immediate release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia to make way for joining the dialogue with the government and the general election.

2 killed in 'shootouts'

A drug and arms peddler and a robber were killed in “shootouts” with the law enforcers in Jhenidah and Comilla districts Friday night and early yesterday.

Spices get dearer

Prices of spices increased throughout the week in the capital after the government had raised fuel prices while various edible oils were still selling at higher prices despite a lower rate fixed by the government three days earlier.

Robber beaten to death after UP member killed by gang

Villagers caught nine robbers and beat one of them dead after the gang killed a union parishad (UP) member at Burungchhara in Anwara upazila of the district early yesterday.

Export, import thru' Bhomra land port stalled

Export and import through Bhomra land port in Satkhira remained suspended yesterday as Indian truck drivers went on strike for indefinite period protesting attacks on transport workers.

Bus runs over police SI

A sub inspector (SI) of Kafrul Police Station was crushed under the wheels of a speeding bus near the Institution of Engineers in the city last night.

People to resist move to foil local polls

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said his party will contest the local body elections and people will resist any move to foil the polls.

Schoolboy killed in dispute over Tk 5,000

A schoolboy was killed and five of his cousins were injured when their neighbours attacked them at Dasherkandi on the outskirts of the capital yesterday.

17 Tamil Tigers killed in fresh fighting

Sri Lanka yesterday tightened mobile phone regulations and forced service providers to maintain full details of phone users as part of anti-terrorism moves.

Israeli jets using Iraqi airspace to practise Iran strike

An Iraqi website has claimed that Israeli warplanes have been using Iraqi airspace to practise for possible bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities.

Iraqi tribal chief wants more aid from Baghdad

In the rural outskirts of Baghdad, where the war seems distant in Iraq's new period of relative calm, a prominent Sunni tribal chief makes no bones about what is lacking in the drive to turn security improvements into lasting economic and political reform.

US judge blocks gas drilling in forest

A federal judge has overturned a decision by the US Forest Service to allow oil and gas drilling near a forest and a river in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula.

Editorial

Decline in number of police cases

POLICE stations in the nation's capital have drastically cut down the number of cases pending investigation to one-ninth of what they used to be. In the year and a half gone by, cases have declined from a staggering 35,000 to a mere 4,164. Now that surely looks like progress, brought about of course not through a disposal of cases but by a reduction in the workload relating to investigations. And if indeed the number of cases pending investigation have come down to that level in accordance with standard procedure, the police department deserves to be congratulated. We expect that this kind of performance, based on a proper screening of cases in future, will eventually turn out to be a permanent feature of police administration.

Population growth projection scary

AS far as population growth is concerned, Bangladesh is not on the right track. The country with a land area of only about 55 thousand square miles is home to nearly 15 crore people. And to refresh our memory, Bangladesh's population was 7.5 crore in 1971. According to standards set by the developed countries, especially those in the west, we are one of the most populous countries in the world. If we take into account the availability of agriculture land, sweet water sources, cattle-head, forests and other natural resources, it will be extremely difficult to accommodate and feed the population if it continues to grow at such a pace, that is doubling in 30 plus years.

Why invest in energy? The missing milepost

ENERGY is an integral input to modern life. The lack of it could also thwart thumping victories with equal force. The energy crisis all over the world has already demonstrated it. In fact, per capita consumption of energy level would go to explain the level of development of a country.

Hostage to history

THE recent events in South Asia are disturbing. At a time when the Saarc nations are preparing to hold their next summit shortly and the environment ministers of the Saarc member nations just had their meeting at Dhaka in which critical issues of adverse effects of climate change and the need for ensuring food security were discussed, the terrorist attack on the Indian embassy at Kabul followed by Afghan official accusation that Pakistan intelligence agency ISI was involved in the carnage that took the lives of some Indian diplomats and injured many Afghans waiting at the embassy for visa to visit India does not augur well for cementing the bonds of cooperation in the regional organisation.

Congress tricks Left parties

THERE were no heated arguments, no throwing up of papers, no walk-out. The Congress tricked the Left parties and held no final meeting of the co-ordination committee. It was here that the ruling Congress was to inform the Left whether it was going ahead with the nuclear deal with the US or not. They were also to be shown the safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Sports

Lack of infrastructure & facilities to blame

Bangladesh cricket coach Jamie Siddons said that it's not the players but the lack of infrastructure and facilities should be blamed for Tigers' poor showing in the international level.

Prince stops the slide

Ashwell Prince marked his first Test innings against England with a fifty as the Proteas staunched the flow of wickets at Lord's here on Saturday.

Isinbayeva hits new high

Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva set a new women's pole vault world record of 5.03m at the Golden League meeting here on Friday but former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell suffered an injury scare.

Young Imaan wins hearts

Swapan Parvez became the new Premier champion of the Delta Life Open Squash tournament but it was Imaan Azimur Rahman who won everyone's hearts at the Dhaka Club court yesterday.

Dhiman, Zunaed shine for A team

Dhiman Ghosh and skipper Zunaed Siddiqui scored half-centuries against Warwickshire on the second day of their three-day match at Edgbaston in Birmingham yesterday.

Fed Cup now on July 26

The start of the Federation Cup qualifiers has been deferred by a day as it's now on July 26.

Bangladesh face Oman today

Bangladesh Under-21 hockey team play their second match against Oman today in the 6th Men's Junior Asia Cup Hockey in Hyderabad.

Pistorius dream fading fast

South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius saw his hopes of taking part in the Beijing Olympics suffer another setback on Friday when he finished a long way outside the qualifying time.

Federer, Nadal chase more than gold

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be chasing more than gold at the Beijing Olympics with the coveted world number one place suddenly at stake following the Spaniard's stunning Wimbledon triumph.

Ronnie going to Milan

AC Milan are on the brink of completing their purchase of Barcelona's Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho, the Italian press reported on Saturday.

Totti open to recall

Roma captain Francesco Totti has hinted that he may be open to a national team recall following the return of World Cup wining coach Marcello Lippi.

Portugal appoint Queiroz

Carlos Queiroz has given up his job as Sir Alex Ferguson's righthand man at Manchester United to take charge of the Portuguese national team.

Cannavaro to carry on

Italy's World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro has declared his intention to still be available to Italy when they make the defence of their world crown in South Africa in 2010.

Butragueno picks Casillas for Ballon d'Or

Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas, who played a key role in Spain's Euro 2008 victory, should win the Ballon d'Or award as the world footballer of the year, Spanish legend Emilio Butragueno said Friday.

Adebayor too expensive

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Arsenal's asking price for striker Emmanuel Adebayor remains too expensive to consider an approach.

Spanish public TV, Mediapro win UCL rights

Spanish public television, a network of local television channels and the media group Mediapro have won the rights to broadcast the European Champions League from 2009 to 2012, UEFA announced on Friday.

Juve after Poulsen

Seville's midfielder Christian Poulsen is expected to become Juventus' latest summer signing according to a report in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Vaart rules out Real move

Hamburg SV playmaker Rafael van der Vaart dismissed reports he would move to Real Madrid in a 20 million euro ($31.54 million) deal and expects to spend the season in the Bundesliga.

Porto sign Guarin

FC Porto have signed Colombia's Fredy Guarin on a four-year deal from French first division side Saint-Etienne, the selling club's website said Friday, without giving further details.

Ganguly not quitting

Sourav Ganguly has brushed off suggestions of his retirement after being left out of India's preliminary squad of 30 for the Champions Trophy in Pakistan in September.

England in T20 dilemma

English cricket's senior administrator has poured cold water on plans to create a new money-spinning Twenty20 county tournament.

Arthur not downbeat

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur didn't pull his punches after seeing England pile up 593 for eight declared on the second day of the first Test at Lord's here Friday.

Anil warned

Anil Kumble, India's Test captain, has been cautioned by the BCCI for divulging details of the Sri Lanka tour selection meeting to a newspaper.

SL yet to resolve Eng tour crisis

Sri Lankan cricket's governing body has yet to resolve the crisis over next year's England tour that clashes with a more financially lucrative tournament in India, officials said Saturday.

Kenya host Zimbabwe in October

Kenya on Friday confirmed they will host Zimbabwe in four one-day internationals in Nairobi in October despite political turmoil raging in the southern African nation.

Racist fan's ban pleases Simmo

Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has hailed National Rugby League's decision to ban a fan, who hurled racist abuse against Penrinth's captain Petero Civoniceva, saying it was satisfying to see someone being penalised for wrongdoing.

Two Nepali booters for Ctg Abahani

Chittagong Abahani Krira Chakra signed up two Nepalese footballers to play for them in the second B. League.

Giants off to good starts

Josephites Club crushed Gregs Club 63-29 in the Federation Cup basketball tournament at the Dhanmondi Gymnasium on Friday.

School Chess

Rezaul Islam and Abhropratim Manna share the lead in the 10th Standard Chartered School Chess tournament yesterday.

Div II Cricket

Anwar Smriti Sangsad snuck past Club Infinity by three runs in the second division cricket league at the local stadium.

Business

GMG in trouble to operate int'l flights

The country's oldest private carrier GMG Airlines, which earlier this year eyed an ambitious Tk 1350 crore turnover, is in deep trouble to operate international operations as it has already suspended flights to four out of six destinations due mainly to plane shortage.

BB's housing scheme now getting responses

Finally, the Bangladesh Bank's housing loan refinance programme has started getting responses after the central bank softened some conditions of the scheme in May this year.

Private operators of govt jute mills make profit pledge

Private operators of government jute mills yesterday said they will make the lose-making ventures into profitable factories with quality goods.

Water transport workers' strike costs importers Tk 5.50cr

Importers had to bear around Tk 5.50 crore demurrage in the last two days in Chittagong following a strike enforced by the workers of lighter vessels since Thursday night demanding their pay hike, the importers claimed.

US Senate passes mammoth housing rescue bill

The US Senate on Friday passed a mammoth housing rescue bill aimed at helping thousands of Americans to keep their homes, amid a deepening mortgage foreclosure crisis.

Smooth water supply to ensure food security

Food security cannot be achieved until smooth supply of water is ensured, said the speakers at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

Govt to award ConocoPhillips eight offshore gas blocks

The Bangladesh government is expected to award US company ConocoPhillips eight offshore blocks to explore for oil and gas in the hydrocarbon rich Bay of Bengal, an official said Saturday.

Cambodia’s hotel industry going for a greener image

As climate change guilt among tourists grows, many hotels and resorts in emerging hotspots like Cambodia are touting their environmental credentials in an effort to cash in on the "eco" tag.

Locking horns

Of the numerous innuendos hurled at us, and thanks to TIB, we are labeled as one of the most corrupt on this earth. So how do you brave this affront and say that you want to do business in an ethical way in Bangladesh? The good news is that we have our own resilient businessmen who have made the impossible, possible. Locking horns against the wind to ensure an ethical business, we have one such stellar, one thousand crore taka performing group, Rahimafrooz.

Bearish trend continues

Bearish trend continued on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) last week, despite the total turnover rose by 18.43 percent over the previous week.

Nokia Siemens Networks wins deal with China Mobile

The Finnish telecom group Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) said on Friday it had won a network expansion deal for 550 million euros (867 million dollars) with China Mobile.

Canada sheds 5,000 jobs, unemployment rises to 6.2pc

Canada's unemployment rate edged up to 6.2 percent in June as the slowing economy shed 5,000 jobs, Statistics Canada said Friday.

Crisis in French oyster industry

France's shellfish industry is facing its worst crisis in 40 years after stocks of young oysters have been decimated by a mystery ailment.

GE's profits down$5.1b amid economic headwinds

General Electric reported Friday a drop in its second-quarter profit of six percent to 5.1 billion dollars as the massive US conglomerate largely weathered an economic storm.

Wall Street hit by renewed bank, mortgage jitters

Wall Street sustained a fresh bruising in the past week as renewed concerns over the financial health of major banks and two large mortgage-financing firms shook investor confidence.

Iran confirms Total's withdrawal from gas project

Iran's oil minister confirmed on Saturday that the French energy giant Total was out of a multi-billion dollar gas investment in the Islamic republic, the state broadcaster reported.

Green Delta chairman reelected

Kabir H Choudhury has been reelected chairman of Green Delta Insurance Company.

Russian oil sector at 'critical juncture': Putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday expressed concern over the country's declining oil production and said the sector was at a "critical juncture."

US trade gap dips to $59.8 billion

The US trade deficit declined in May to 59.8 billion as exports rose to a new record, the Commerce Department reported Friday in a modest piece of positive news for an ailing economy.

Nissan, Dongfeng to build engine plant in China

Japan's Nissan Motor Co. and its Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor Corp. plan to build a new engine factory in central China, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

India's industrial production slows sharply in May

India's industrial production slowed sharply in May to its slowest pace in six years, hit by rising inflation, high input costs and monetary tightening, official figures showed Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

July 6 – July 10, 2008
Local FX Market
This week, there was ample liquidity in the local market, and US dollar remained mostly steady against the Bangladesh Taka.

Metropolitan

Resolve CHT issues thru' political means

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) issues should be resolved through political means, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

DU increases dependence on rented buses

Dhaka University (DU) spends over Tk 1 crore annually for renting buses to provide transportation service to non-resident students.

Call to hold election to stop misappropriation of fund

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called for holding an election of the Jatiya Andha Sangstha (national association for the blind) to save the organisation and stop misappropriation of its huge fund.

'Improper management of solid waste pollutes environment'

Speakers at a book launching ceremony yesterday said improper management of solid waste of the municipalities pollute the environment and make public health vulnerable to various diseases.

Four killed in road accidents

At least four people were killed and two others injured in separate road accidents in Habiganj and Dinajpur yesterday and on Friday night.

Allow Khaleda, her sons to go abroad for treatment

Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Dr Ferdous Ahmed Qureshi yesterday urged the government to allow detained former premiere Khaleda Zia and her ailing two sons to go abroad for better medical treatment.

Protest against manhandling of guardian at city school

Guardians yesterday demonstrated at a city school to protest alleged attacks on a guardian of a student who passed the SSC examination from there this year.

Robbers injure 10 in Savar

After failing to plunder goods of a house, robbers in an attack injured 10 people, including eight inmates, at Dhamrai on late Friday night.

Call to implement 7th Wage Board Award, reinstate journos

Leaders of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) yesterday called for implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award in newspaper offices and news agencies.

Reception to children at Shishu Academy

A freshers' reception ceremony was held at Bangladesh Shishu Academy auditorium in the city on Friday, says a press release.

Pakistan Rangers (Punjab)DG arrives today

Director General of Pakistani Border Security Force, Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Major General Mohammad Harun Aslam will arrive here today on a weeklong official tour.

Huge aluminium seized in Keraniganj

Police arrested four people along with 6 kgs of aluminium wire and 11,025 kgs of aluminium from a factory at Kalmarchar early yesterday.

Prisoner dies in Dinajpur

A prisoner of Dinajpur jail died at Dinajpur Medical College Hospital (DMCH) after falling sick on Friday midnight, hospital and Dinajpur jail authority sources said.

Population Day observed

The department of Population Sciences at Dhaka University (DU) yesterday observed the World Population Day amid daylong programmes on the campus.

Lightning kills 2 in Jamalpur

Two people were killed in lightning at Sarderpara village in Dewanganj upazila yesterday.

Malaysia immigration graft a 'national security problem'

Malaysia's anti-graft watchdog yesterday said rampant corruption at the immigration department was a national security problem following the arrest of seven people.

National

Enayet says party did a mistake by nominating Khaleque

Two prominent leaders of Khulna Awami League are firm on running in the mayoral race in Khulna City Corporation (KCC) election, widening the rift in Kkulna AL, already dogged by internal feud.

Pabna FFs condemn Muktijoddha Parishad

Pabna district unit command of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad at a protest meeting yesterday demanded punishment of 'Muktijoddha Parishad' leaders for their derogatory comments about the principals of Liberation War.

Hope for 3 paddy crops a year in N dists

Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS), an NGO, has evolved a new technology to cultivate paddy thrice a year in northern districts.

Set up special economic zone in Sylhet

Setting up of the much awaited special economic zone in Sylhet is the need of hour to woo Bangladeshis living abroad to contribute to the national economy, speakers at a seminar in Sylhet said yesterday.

45 rice mills in Khulna lose licence

Khulna district controller of food has cancelled licences of 45 rice mills for not supplying rice at the rate fixed by the government.

Cargo handling at Mongla port resumes

Cargo handling works at Mongla Port, which remained suspended since Friday afternoon, resumed yesterday morning following a negotiation between of river transport owners and workers.

Birshrestha Capt Mohiuddin's mother dies

Birshrestha Captain Mohiuddin Jahanjir's mother Safia Khatun, died at Barisal She-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital Friday night. She was 81.

'Vote for Sundarbans, Cox's Bazar'

A campaign began here yesterday to select the Sundarbans and Cox's Bazar sea beach among seven natural wonders of the world.

Token hunger strike for Nasim's release

Sirajganj District Awami League (AL) observed a token hunger strike at its office here yesterday demanding unconditional release and better treatment of party central leader and former home minister Mohammad Nasim.

One held with 2 bombs in C'nawabganj

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a man with two bombs from Kornokhali village in Shibganj upazila in the district early yesterday.

Lightning hurts 14 orphans in Thakurgaon

Fourteen orphan boys living at a madrasa boarding house at Thakurgaon were injured as a lightening struck when they gathered at a mosque for evening prayer on Friday.

Outlaw held with arms in Jhenidah

Jhenidah police arrested an outlaw cadre on Friday night . According to his confessional statement they recovered a shutter gun, two bullets and a fresh bomb from his house at Bazar Gopalpur village in Jhenidah Sadar.

Letters

One child policy

Before our Liberation War in 1971, the population of Bangladesh was 60 million as opposed to the present figure of 150 million. It is pathetic and frustrating to discover that within less than 40 years we managed to increase our population by 150 percent, while retaining the position as one of the least developed countries with a poor literacy rate. Did we, as citizens, think about the consequences of this population boom? The present scarcity of food, road space, educational and medical resources and the rising unemployment leading to degradation of law and order situation is caused by the population boom.

Tribute to Manekshaw

With a heavy heart, I would like to pay the highest tribute to the top commander of the joint Bangladesh and Indian forces of 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, Field Marshal (then General and Indian army chief) Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw (1914 - 2008) and all his brave 'boys' (and also the Bangladesh and Indian Navy and Air personnel of '71) for swiftly defeating the organised evil of the Pakistan army in Bangladesh. They acted under the wise leadership of premiers Indira Gandhi (India) and Tajuddin Ahmed (Bangladesh) in a hostile international situation. Shrewd war planning and its execution by Manekshaw's team saved millions of innocent lives from the hands of the Pakistani troops.

Water logging

Water logging is a common sight in Dhaka city in the rainy season. And no effective and sustainable measures are ever adopted to prevent it. The situation has become critical. Dhaka is surrounded by various rivers but there is no way to discharge water through the drainage system into the rivers.

Fare hike

With a deep sense of helplessness and regret, we observe and undergo, on a regular basis, the perils of commuting. Take the bus fare and the new system introduced for the commuters' convenience, for example, in Chittagong. There are as many as four to five bus routes here, but the number of buses operating appears to be extremely inadequate. As a result, along with the new arrangement for buying tickets, passengers have to undergo some unprecedented trouble: a passenger on the route 10, for example, has two or three different bus services available.

Non-utilisation of ADP

I would like our govt. to carefully understand the following problems they are shortly going to face:

“Derailed train”

“The train has derailed and we have to just place it on the right track.”

Indigenous knowledge

A letter from a very distinguished professor in your daily's letter page suggesting use of indigenous knowledge to resolve local problems has drawn my attention and encouraged me to write this letter. I appreciate his suggestions and would like to add my suggestions to be evaluated by the authorities for implementation to resolve the problem of water logging and water shortage in Dhaka city.

Drug abuse

My twin sister and me were going home after attending one of the monotonous classes. Waving goodbye to my classmates, I started my journey home with my dear sister when suddenly something unusual caught my attention. A well-dressed boy was sitting all alone in the footpath holding a packet of white powder. I did not pay much heed to it first, but then the boy took some in his hand, smelled it and then gulped a whole mouthful of it. That's pretty weird because I had never seen such food before, neither did I saw any advertisement of such peculiar food. Out of curiosity, I walked a few steps towards him. GOD BLESS MY SOUL! I MUST BE DREAMING. THAT IS DRUG. He was having it in broad daylight in a public place not bothering to maintain privacy. I was stunned. People walked past him, acting as if he did not exist. I was helpless too. Taking ALLAH'S name I started walking. In the course of my journey, I cursed myself for believing that my country was one of the least developing countries. I was under a deep illusion. Being a spectator of this incident I can surely say without any hesitation that my country BANGLADESH is not only developed but well ahead of others….

Billboard issue

This is a reply to Mr. Aminul Hoque's letter --"Where are those billboards?" (in response to Mr. Zakaria's letter). I am a Muslim and I have always made sure that people from other religions never feel uncomfortable in anyway because of the way I talk about myself. In fact if I am not mistaken that is one of the virtues of Islam - giving everyone their democratic right and space.

“Road show”

“Road shows” may bring better opportunities for some of our policymakers and administrators for showing their success in the last 19 months. And it may raise the awareness of the people against corruption.

Price hike

Price hike is a common word these days. It is not a problem for the people in the top echelon of society. But it is putting the people of low and limited income groups in distress. I am a student and I know how difficult it is to survive.

Use waterways

We are quite aware about the chaotic situation in our inter-district communications system. Every year a lot of money is being expended from our national budget for road construction and maintenance. But have we seen any remarkable initiative to ease or lessen traffic congestion ? To mitigate the problem we should use alternate waterways, as we have a very good waterways system throughout the country.

Neglected Khilgaon

I have been living in Khilgaon for over 25 years. Unfortunately, I have never seen any development in this area. All sorts of works were done without any long-term thinking.

Humour at its worst !

During the rule of Shaesta Khan, Subedar of Bengal (1664-1688), one could purchase 8 maunds (about 300 kilos) of rice at a cost of Tk 1 only, I repeat Tk 1 one only. While commenting on the present market price of rice and other essential commodities which have gone all time high and far beyond the buying capacity of common people, our finance adviser Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam has reminded us that this is not the age of Khans. You better not ask for a better price than what you are enjoying (?) now, Tk 40 a kilo to be specific!

Poor road management

Every year in the rainy season the roads become death traps. Not even a single road is good for transportation. It is really sad to learn that these roads were made of poor bricks and other substandard construction materials. That's why the streets are easily damaged by rain. We know that every year the government spends a lot of money for road repairing and construction but it is an irony that we don't see any improvement.

Unified English texts needed

Often my students and others ask me which book or manuals should be used for improving English language proficiency.

SAU

This university is continuously demanding that its VC be appointed from within itself, although this is a relatively new university. I don't find any rationale behind such a demand.

Law and order

Now, the government seems to be slightly reluctant about improving the law and order situation. We general people are experiencing incidents like hijacking in the busy roads of the city. The so-called “Molom party” and “Ogyan party” are coming into the scene again. The marked criminals are just waiting for the favourable time to start their activities. We don't know why our news media is silent on the incidents happening in the city every day.

Train service

We all know that the train is a cheap and safe mode of transport, or mode of mass communication. But today we can call it cheap, but cannot say that it's safe. A few months ago, I travelled on Intercity Ekota Express and Nil Sagor Express to Dinajpur and Syedpur respectively. But these days I fear to travel on train because of frequent accidents.

Re: stray dog

The letter published on July 6 entitled "stray dog" has caught my attention. I would like to convey my thanks to Mr. Hasib for his effort towards saving a stray dog which is generally an unwanted object!

Jamaat swindlers

Your frontpage exposure (July:7) of Jamaat's murky deeds is an eye opener; something beyond belief! They steal from the poor, not taking bribes from the rich as the politicos from the AL and the BNP do. It is beyond imagination that they could cheat over five lakh poor farmers over a number of years! This is a new format of micro-stealing patented by the leadership of Jamaat!

International

Iran to target '32 US bases' if attacked

Iran will target "32 US bases and the heart of Israel" if it is attacked, the Fars news agency quoted an aide to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying yesterday.

Lebanese political crisis not over with new cabinet

While the formation of a national unity government is an important step towards stability in Lebanon, the country's political crisis is far from resolved, analysts cautioned on Saturday.

CPI-M dares Cong to face elections on nuclear deal

The CPI-M has dared the Congress to face elections on the nuclear deal plank, saying they were confident that people would reject the latter's stand as the Government was "isolated" on the issue.

Pakistan will not be staging ground for terror attack: FM

Pakistan will not allow itself to be staging ground for any terrorist attacks, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Friday amid reports foreign fighters were heading to the country to join al-Qaeda militants.

Prachanda rejects NC, CPN-UML's claim on president post

Maoist chief Prachanda has rejected the claim of Nepali Congress and CPN-UML on the post of the republic's first President saying it should go to someone from the civil society, further deepening the deadlock over formation of a new government.

Obama will not change nuke deal with India

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he would not seek changes in a controversial nuclear deal with India and hoped it would be finalised by year-end, a magazine reported yesterday.

'Serious dialogue a must to resolve Kashmir row'

Seeking an "out of the box" settlement to the Kashmir issue with India, Pakistan has said the two countries need to go beyond the confidence-building measures and engage in serious dialogue to address the "real issues."

Indian army accuses Pakistan of helping Kashmiri insurgents

The Indian army on Friday lodged a protest with Pakistani forces, accusing them of providing cover for Islamic militants trying to sneak into India's portion of Kashmir.

Indian Speaker likely to quit next week

The Left seems to be divided on the question of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and also on whether it should be seen as the one responsible for bring down the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.

Russia, China veto UN sanctions on Zimbabwe

China and Russia on Friday vetoed targeted UN sanctions on Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe over his disputed re-election, prompting an angry reaction from the United States, which cast doubt on Moscow's reliability as a G8 partner.

al-Qaeda tape warns of Afghan attacks

An Internet audiotape purported to be from an al-Qaeda commander who escaped from a US-run prison in Afghanistan warns of increased attacks against international forces in the violence-plagued nation.

US lawmakers slam crackdown on China's minority Muslims

US lawmakers on Friday "strongly condemned" what they called Beijing's harsh pre-Olympic crackdown in China's Muslim-populated far northwest Xinjiang region.

Taiwanese get Vietnam death sentence for drugs

A Vietnamese court has sentenced to death two Taiwanese men for trafficking more than 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of heroin, a court clerk in the southern Mekong delta said Friday.

CBI working under political pressure, says Mayawati

Two days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an affidavit against her in a disproportionate assets case, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Saturday came down heavily on the Congress and arch rival Samajwadi Party and alleged they were influencing the working of the premier investigating agency.

Bomber kills 3 in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body near an Afghan military convoy in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing two soldiers and a child, police said.

New charges filed against Thaksin

Thai prosecutors filed new corruption charges against ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday for alleged abuse of authority to benefit his family business.

Mubarak, Sarkozy prepare Mediterranean summit

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday to prepare the founding summit of the Union for the Mediterranean, a new forum to bolster regional cooperation.

Arsenic risk high in Sumatra, Myanmar, Cambodia: study

Eastern Sumatra, the Irrawaddy delta in Myanmar and Cambodia's Tonle Sap lake are among areas in Southeast Asia facing a high risk of arsenic contamination in the water, according to a study published on Friday.

7 Pak troops killed in ambush

Suspected Taliban militants ambushed a Pakistani paramilitary convoy yesterday in a restive northwestern town, killing at least seven soldiers and wounding dozens more, officials said.

NKorea agrees to disable nuclear facilities by October

North Korea agreed yesterday to completely disable its main nuclear facilities by the end of October and to allow thorough site inspections to verify that all necessary steps had been taken.

NKorea seeks diplomatic ties with Bolivia

A North Korean delegation has met with Bolivian President Evo Morales to discuss the possible establishment of diplomatic ties between their nations, Bolivia's official news agency said yesterday.

Iraq PM to visit invasion-critic Germany

Iraq announced that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will soon visit Berlin as German Economy Minister Michael Glos made an unannounced visit to Baghdad yesterday.

Brazil, Indonesia pledge biofuel cooperation

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his Indonesian counterpart pledged cooperation on biofuels during talks here yesterday in a bid to take advantage of surging oil prices.

US govt delays regulation of greenhouse gases

The US environmental protection agency (EPA) postponed on Friday any decision on regulating greenhouse gas emissions, citing "the complexity and magnitude" of the issue.

7 die in Afghan violence

Seven people including a six-year-old boy were killed in Taliban-style bombings in Afghanistan yesterday, including a suicide attack in the insurgency-hit south, officials said.

Torrential rain in China leaves five dead

Flooding and mudslides caused by two days of torrential rain have left at least five dead in a mountainous region of southwest China's Sichuan province, state media reported yesterday.

Iran hangs four murderers in public

Iran hanged four murderers in public in the southern city of Dashtestan, the latest in a growing number of executions in the Islamic republic, a press report said yesterday.

Two Germans kidnapped in Nigeria oil hub

Kidnappers on Friday seized two Germans working in Nigeria's restive Niger Delta oil region, their employer said.

Arts & Entertainment

Citibank honours Sohrab Hossain

Sohrab Hossain would always be remembered as one of the artistes who upheld and popularised Nazrul Sangeet in the post-Partition East Bengal. Credited for supreme renditions of Nazrul's creations, the singer-exponent also trained a generation of talented artistes. Citibank NA Bangladesh honoured this octogenarian artiste as part of their annual "Gunijon Sangbardhana" programme on July 11 at the Radisson Water Garden Hotel.

Black, white and elegant gray

With rich content and context, day six of Aromatic Gold Dhaka Fashion Week 2008 drew its curtain with high extolment from the audience. Tootli Rahman's ensembles displayed thematic segments of saris with models clad in softer shades of lilac, lime green, black and white. The queue created a spellbinding effect with muslin, tissue, silk and satin saris bordered with silver shimmers and glittery sparkles, matched with fashionable stilettos.

Safiuddin Ahmed: A bridge between the old and new

At a discussion on the life and works of Safiuddin Ahmed, held at Bengal Gallery on July 11, Rafiqun Nabi said that Safiuddin is the most senior artist in Bangladesh and that he has had tremendous influence on the artists who came after him. "He has had more time to study life around him than any other artist of our time. He not only drew and painted but also looked deep into his surroundings, beginning from the British period, to the days of Pakistani rule up till now. He not only touched on romanticism but the reality that was a part of his surrounding -- he touched political and social realities after '71, as much as anything else," he said.

"Khandani Kissa": A satire on aristocracy

There are many so-called "elites" in the society who forget their ordinary roots, when climbing the social ladder. This tendency has been criticised in Shubachan Natya Sangsad's musical comedy titled Khandani Kissa.

Seminar at Goethe Institut

Commemorating Tagore's introduction to the European literary scene in the early twentieth century as a major poet of the then British India, Tagore Society, Bangladesh for the second time organised the International Tagore Poetry Recitation Day at the Goethe Institut's Dhanmondi auditorium recently. This year's programme was organised in collaboration with Meghdut, Goethe Institut, Bangladesh and Bangladesh Cultural Forum, according to a press release.

Still magic: Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" voted Best of Bookers

Salman Rushdie's epoch-making novel Midnight's Children is the best-ever winner of the Man Booker prize, according to a public vote. Rushdie ran away with the award, created to celebrate the prize's 40th birthday, with 36 percent of readers, out of nearly 8,000, selecting Midnight's Children from a shortlist of six. The work -- the fantastical tale of Saleem Sinai, born at the stroke of midnight precisely at the moment India gained independence -- won the Booker in 1981. It also won the "Booker of Bookers" in 1993 -- another special award commemorating the 25th anniversary of the creation of the prize.

OP-ED

Demystifying the TIB report

RECENTLY, Transparency International Bangladesh released its National Household Survey 2007 on Corruption in Bangladesh (henceforth referred to as the TIB report). As always, the report has been widely publicised and taken very seriously by different quarters, including the government.

Brazen example of society's cruelty

KAZI Abul Hashem had embraced a natural death but in an unnatural manner. He died without getting any medical care at a hospital, which is one of the premier and largest public hospitals in Bangladesh. Every human being is mortal but everybody wants to see that he or she gets proper medical care and treatment before his departure from this world.

Indian investors enter the Caribbean

AS an emerging economic power, India finds that its companies expand into remote territories well in advance of its diplomats or other government agencies. Distant places like the Caribbean are fast becoming a major destination for business and major investments from India, and the competition that pits India against its giant northern neighbour China, too, has spread to the islands. Despite China's growing diplomatic clout, the private nature of India's business expansion may give it an edge.

Star City

Buses becoming slower

Due to traffic congestions and mismanagement buses are getting slower in most of the busy city streets, causing loss of time, energy and money of the passengers.

How about escalators at footbridges?

Failing to encourage pedestrians to use footbridges, the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) is now thinking about alternatives for crossing the streets at busy traffic points.

ZIA to revamp transportation system

Zia International Airport (ZIA) authorities are finally going to reorganise its premium transportation service for airport passengers.


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