The Daily Star

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News of: Saturday, 26th of July, 2008

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Front Page

Sardined into prisons

More than 87,000 prisoners, with the exception of a few dozens high profile inmates, are passing hellish days as the country's jails are equipped to accommodate only 27,451.

Hasina’s talks with JP may spur 14-party discord

Discord within the Awami League (AL)-led 14-party combine seems to have taken a turn for the worse following the reported meetings between AL President Sheikh Hasina and HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party leaders in London.

Proceedings stayed against 50, bigwigs granted bail

The High Court (HC) in recent weeks has stayed graft proceedings against more than 50 high profile corruption suspects including former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina.

Experts put proposed Gulf, Saudi steps under microscope

Labour migration experts and recruiting agencies in Bangladesh laud Gulf countries' move to scrap sponsorship system but have reservations about Saudi Arabia's move to form companies to hire, supply and manage foreign workers, saying this will create another tier in the existing system to intensify labour exploitation.

Prices of Ramadan items rising

With Ramadan still five weeks away, prices of food items like puffed rice, chickpea, pulses, onion, bashon (powdered pulses) and spices that see a sharp rise in demand during this month have already increased in kitchen markets in the capital over the last four days.

More low-lying areas flooded as Padma keeps on rising

The low-lying areas of Munshiganj, Manikganj, Dohar and Nawabganj of Dhaka district were further inundated with floodwater yesterday as the water level of the Padma kept on rising.

Two muggers beaten to death in city

Two muggers were beaten to death and two others injured by a mob in the city's Shyampur area early yesterday.

Train collision at Laksham kills 2, injures 20

Two people were killed and 20 others were injured in a collision between two trains at Laksham junction Friday afternoon.

Ershad says JP to remain a partner of AL-led alliance

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said his party will continue to play its role in national politics as a partner of the Awami League-led grand electoral alliance.

145 heritage sites out of 158 unprotected

At least 145 of the 158 protected archaeological sites in Rajshahi division are virtually unprotected in the absence of any security guards.

Pichchi Hannan aide killed in ‘shootout’

Another aide of slain top criminal Pichchi Hannan was killed yesterday in a shootout between his cohorts and Rab-2 in the capital's Tejgaon industrial area.

Power ministry's version

The Pashchimanchal Gas Company Ltd (PGCL) would take necessary actions, including suspension of gas supply, against rental power plant GBB Power Ltd if it fails to pay arrears in ten days after issuance of notice to that end, the power ministry said.

Hasina returns to Washington for treatment

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina returned to Washington from London yesterday morning for the treatment of her eyes.

Saarc summit to focus on 4 core issues

The forthcoming Saarc summit in Colombo will focus on four core issues of the present times such as food and energy security, climate change, and trade.

Internal feuds dog AL, BNP candidates

Mayor candidates from the BNP and the Awami League in the Sylhet City Corporation election are being dogged by internal feuds.

Wife of witness to Aug 17 blasts in Satkhira found dead

The wife of lone witness to August 17, 2005 serial bomb blasts here was found dead at Bakal checkpost under Sadar upazila on Thursday night.

50 including UNO hurt in Begumganj

At least 50 people, including upazila nirbahi officer (UNO), policemen and teachers, were injured in a clash between police and students of Begumganj Agriculture Training Institute (BATI) over a rumour of death of a student of the institute on Thursday night.

Malaysia returnee beaten up by manpower agent

A worker recently returned from Malaysia was seriously injured after being beaten allegedly by a manpower agent and his sons at Gopalpur upazila in Tangail yesterday.

Pipeguns, bombs seized in Khulna

Detectives recovered four pipeguns and 11 bombs from the house of a union parishad (UP) chairman under Dakop upazila of the district on Thursday night.

Serial bomb blasts rock Indian IT hub: 2 dead

India's high-technology capital Bangalore was rocked by a string of seven bomb blasts yesterday with at least two people killed and a dozen more wounded, police said.

Breakthrough brings hope of WTO deal

Despair turned to hope at WTO talks on yesterday as an apparent breakthough in deadlocked negotiations raised the possibility of a new global free-trade pact being agreed after seven years of stalemate.

Moscow keen to expand ties with Dhaka

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who had a meeting with Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury Thursday evening in Singapore, said Russia views Bangladesh as a close friend and is keen to expand cooperation with Dhaka.

Brown suffers another by-polls blow

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suffered another serious blow to his leadership Friday after his governing Labour Party lost one of its safest seats in a by-election in his native Scotland.

Obama urges world to tear down walls of division and hate

Barack Obama headed for Paris yesterday on a European tour that saw 200,000 cheering fans turn out in Berlin to hear the US presidential hopeful call for the world to tear down walls of division and hate.

Drug cocktail boosts HIV survival by 13 years

Anti-HIV drugs have slashed death rates among people with the AIDS virus by nearly 40 percent since combination therapy was introduced in 1996, boosting their life expectancy by some 13 years, a study says.


Dhaka-Chittagong highway

The cancellation of a project related to an upgrading of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway into a four-lane road for the second time in fifteen months is proof of how bureaucracy often stymies development. The Ministry of Communications and the Roads and Highways Department, unable to see eye to eye on the matter, have now together created a situation where the issue of a tender has effectively put a stop to the upgradation plan, at least for now. That is indeed most sordid business. And it becomes pathetic when a whole plan falters around the question of a so-called performance guarantee being shortened from 28 days to seven days. At this point, there is a clear picture of how officials are blaming one another over the issue, with the ministry claiming that the time slash was a gross violation of the Public Procurement Regulation (PPR) 2008.

Felling trees yet once more

Trees certainly do not figure prominently in the Dhaka City Corporation's scheme of a healthy urban setting. A large number of trees were cut down for no good reason in the past and the latest plan of eliminating 52 old trees from the city's Gulshan area is a shocking reminder of the city fathers' insensitivity to the need for retaining the trees and all green patches in the metropolis. Of course, the DCC has by now stepped back from its plan in the face of a vigorous protest from environmental groups. But the question remains: why must it bring itself to a pass where public resistance compels it to abandon a project that everyone knows is a bad one in the first place?

Anxiety about the economy

It is quite normal to see reports and analytical assessments about our national economic performance during June and July of every year. It coincides with our financial year that begins in July and ends in June. This year has been no exception. Most analysts, as expected, have given their overview and been moderate in their criticism. Some others however, probably more than usual, have referred to emerging negative trends and been harsh.

Democracy knows no morals

Whether politics is guided by morals or not is a moot point. But India has proved that democracy knows no morals. We have fiercely flaunted before the world, particularly our neighbours, oscillating between dictatorship and democracy of sorts, that we have the democratic system in position. But when the time came to prove it, we were found wanting. It is not only the Congress and the BJP which fell from the minimum standards of integrity. All political parties, including the Left, played an opportunistic game.

Elections: Why and why not

Election fever, if I am allowed to say so, is gradually gaining momentum. Quite contrary to the usual practice the process of the general election follows the one for the local government elections across the country. At the first instance, we have by now election schedule declared for a number of municipal and city corporations. Submission of nomination papers, their scrutiny, acceptance and rejection have already been completed. Though yet to take off formally and on a mass scale individual aspirants and their supporters are about to mobilize their respective numerical strength to fall back upon. All their enthusiasm would obviously depend much on their respective party support.


Qualifiers from today

The domestic football season kicks off today with the Citycell Federation Cup qualifying rounds after a long one-year absence of top-flight football in the country.

Murali sinks India

Muttiah Muralidaran triggered India's collapse with four quick wickets to boost Sri Lanka's hopes of enforcing a follow-on in the third Test here on Friday.

China unveil huge squad

China unveiled its largest team of 639 athletes Friday for the Beijing Olympics, a squad many expect will dislodge the United States from the top of the gold-medal table.

The other side of athletes

Al Oerter was an abstract artist, who also happened to be pretty good at the discus. So good, in fact, that he won gold medals in four straight Olympics to become one of track and field's biggest stars in the 1950s and 1960s.

Players press for pullout

The ICC's decision to go ahead with the Champions Trophy in Pakistan has drawn sharp criticism from players' associations in non-Asian countries, with South African cricketers leading the criticism of a decision backed by their own board. The reactions have mirrored concerns voiced at the meeting, with reports from Australia and New Zealand suggesting that their top players might not attend the tournament. The ICC, on its part, has waived penalties for player pullouts.

Proteas ride on Duminy

JP Duminy led South Africa's leather hunt with a hundred against Bangladesh A on the first day of their three day match at New Road in Worcester yesterday.

Handball pioneer MA Hamid passes away

The country lost an eminent sports personality in Lt Col (retd) MA Hamid, also the pioneer organiser in history of handball in Bangladesh, who died yesterday afternoon at the CMH after suffering from liver cirrhosis. He was 76.

Village all set for opening

Although the Olympics are two weeks away, athletes are already arriving in Beijing.

Women's kabaddi

The semifinals lineup was completed in the Dhaka Zone Spectra Group National Women's Kabaddi Championship yesterday at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex gymnasium.

All-Stars beat Hammers

David Beckham was a winner in his first Major League Soccer All-Star Game here Thursday, the English midfielder helping the MLS All-Stars defeating England's West Ham United 3-2.

Adriano happy to be back

Brazil forward Adriano said he was delighted to pull on the Inter Milan shirt again after a year in which alcoholism and depression threatened to derail his career.

'I'm not Jose Mourinho'

New Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari hit back at comparisons with his flamboyant predecessor Jose Mourinho and also resisted pressure for more attacking play.

Jo promises goals

Brazilian striker Jo has vowed to repay Mark Hughes' faith and score a hatful of goals for his new club Manchester City next season.

Lehmann not retiring

Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has left his future involvement with the Mannschaft open and says he has no plans to retire just yet from international football.

United may play in India

Manchester United are considering offers to play a friendly game in India, with the English Premier League and European champions keen to tap into the growing demand for football on the sub-continent.

Barca stand firm on Messi

Barcelona reaffirmed Thursday that it is not obligated to release Lionel Messi so that the Argentine striker can represent his national team at the Olympics next month as demanded by world football governing body FIFA.

Cannavaro keen on Real

Real Madrid's Italian international defender Fabio Cannavaro said Friday he was keen to extend his contract with the Spanish champions beyond its 2009 deadline.

Mexes survives robbery ordeal

AS Roma's French defender Philippe Mexes suffered a terrifying attack by armed robbers late on Thursday night before seeing the bandits drive off in his car with his two-year-old daughter still inside.

Hamburg reject VDV offer

Bundesliga side Hamburg have rejected Real Madrid's seven million euros (11 million dollars) offer for their Dutch captain Rafael van der Vaart, the German club announced on Friday.

Deco ready to learn

New Chelsea playmaker Deco brushed off Alex Ferguson's jibes about the team's age as he insisted he still had room to develop at the age of 30.

Muntari close to Inter move

Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari is close to joining Inter Milan after admitting he couldn't turn down the Italian champions.

Bruckner new Austria coach

Former Czech Republic boss Karel Bruckner is to take over as coach of Austria, the APA news agency reported on Friday.

Nadal, Djokovic move on

Number two Rafael Nadal and third-ranked Novak Djokovic were smelling blood Thursday, less than 24 hours after Roger Federer's untimely second-round ouster at the ATP Toronto Masters Series event.

Tough choices ahead

England's selectors face some difficult choices ahead of their announcement Saturday of the squad for the third Test against South Africa at Edgbaston.

Asif trying to hire medicine expert

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif is trying to hire the services of Dr Graham Durgan, a sports medicine expert from England, to plead his case against the dope charges after he tested positive for a banned substance during the Indian Premier League.

The new apartheid

While India play Sri Lanka and the rain in Colombo, on what seems like another batsman obsessed pitch, the juniors are out in Australia putting in some impressive performances against their peers. Cricket never stops, does it? It only moves elsewhere!

Champions League postponed

Cricket's multi-million dollar Twenty20 Champions League has been postponed, an Indian official said on Friday, amid reports of wrangling over terms and conditions.

Steyn out of third Test

Dale Steyn has fractured his left thumb, but the injury is unlikely to keep him out of South Africa's bowling line-up for the third Test, at Edgbaston, starting on July 30.

'Dhoni proposal was on time'

The Cricket Board today dismissed reports that it delayed in recommending Mahendra Singh Dhoni for country's highest sports award and said the application was sent well before the deadline.

'Too many cooks in little kitchen'

Allen Stanford, the Antigua-based billionaire who is bankrolling the Stanford 20/20 for 20, has said that the structure of West Indies cricket administration needs to be "streamlined" and that there were "too many players handling too few dollars" at present.

Office handball

Bangladesh Rifles registered their second successive win in the Design Zone 2nd Office Handball League when they beat Cute 42-27 at the outer stadium handball ground yesterday.

English winners to play Stanford

English cricket's Twenty20 Cup winners will be invited to play in the latest creation of American billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier said Friday.

Pakistan thankful

Pakistan's relieved cricket authorities said Friday that they were more focused than ever on staging a safe Champions Trophy following a decision to keep the prestigious event in their country.


Sylhet mayoral hopefuls vow to work for city's development

Ten mayoral candidates for the Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) elections have vowed to take up massive programmes for the development and beautification of the city.

Hold referendum on upazila, nat'l polls: BDB

Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday urged the government to hold referendum to decide whether upazila or parliamentary election should be held earlier.

Trial of war criminals, ban on Jamaat-Shibir demanded

Central leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student front of Awami League (AL), at a reception yesterday demanded immediate trial of the war criminals in a special tribunal.

Seven killed in road crashes

Seven people were killed and 28 others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Comilla and Bandarban in the last two days.

Rural roads to make 11,640 women self-reliant in 2 yrs

Maintenance of earthen roads in many parts of the country is expected to make 11,640 rural women self-reliant in next two years, hopes the local government ministry, after initiating a pilot project for empowering poor women in six districts.

Comprehensive nat'l plan needed to ensure safe water for all

Speakers at a discussion have called for a comprehensive national plan on water utilisation to ensure pure drinking water for all and for irrigation facilities.

Saarc ministers welcome WTO initiatives

Saarc trade ministers have said the two least developed countries (LDCs) of the region, Bangladesh and Nepal, would be disproportionately affected if products of their export interest were not provided with duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) market access.

Encroachers filling Rampura canal

Encroachers have been dumping earth on the Rampura canal, the only channel for carrying rain waters and industrial wastes out of the city's mid-eastern part, at night.

Anti-corruption debate contest begins

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday inaugurated Inter-YES-Anti-Corruption Debate Competition at Proshika Human Resource Centre at Koitta under Saturia upazila in Manikganj.

One TB patient can infect 10 if not diagnosed in right time

National Anti-Tuberculosis Association of Bangladesh (Natab) yesterday said that if not diagnosed in right time a person suffering from tuberculosis can easily infect at least ten people.

Local govt polls will make a difference

Most of the voters believe that their votes in the upcoming local government polls will make a difference in comparison to previous elections, says a survey report.

BBC election dialogue tomorrow

The BBC-initiated electoral dialogue will be held in Khulna tomorrow instead of today following the tragic death of a BBC employee Saiful Islam Russel in a road accident on Thursday night.

'Formulate health policy'

Speakers at a roundtable have stressed the need for formulating a health policy to bring the people under a coordinated health service.

Indian clothes worth Tk 80 lakh seized in Comilla

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized a huge quantity of Indian sarees and other garments worth over Tk 80 lakh in bordering Chowara area of Sadar South upazila early yesterday.

2 minor girls drown in Chandpur

Two minor girls drowned in a canal falling from a bamboo-made bridge over the canal at Char Bhanga village under Haimchar upazila in Chandpur on Thursday.

BSF pushes in 25 Indian citizens to Bangladesh

Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) pushed in 25 Bangla-speaking Indian citizens including women and children to Bangladesh territory yesterday.

Cancer camp today

Mosabbir Cancer Care Centre and Urban Primary Health Care Project will jointly organise a cancer camp at City Maternity Centre at Hazaribag in the city today.

New campus project of EWU inaugurated

The East West University (EWU) inaugurated a new campus construction project at Aftab Nagar in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Campus career festival begins

The first phase of ' Campus Career Festival 2008' began on the North South University (NSU) campus yesterday, says a press release.

51st founding anniversary of NAP tomorrow

The 51st founding anniversary of National Awami Party (NAP) led by Prof Mozaffar Ahmed will be observed tomorrow, says a press release.


Religious leaders vow to work for combating Aids/HIV

It was a unique occasion as religious leaders especially imams of mosques and priests of shrines and temples at a workshop in at Satkhira town yesterday vowed to play 'appropriate roles' to combat Aids/HIV.

Ex BNP minister Pintu, relatives among others lose allotment as 18 plots given illegally

The Ministry of Housing and Public Works has decided to cancel allocations of 18 plots of Tangail Housing Estate, as those were allocated to influential persons through violating the rules.

421 sacks of fertiliser seized in 3 dists

Police recovered 421 sacks of fertiliser in separate raids conducted in Rangpur, Jhenidah and Khulna yesterday and Thursday, police said.

Indigenous students demand higher quota in institutions

Adibasi Students' Association in Rajshahi University, an organisation for indigenous students, at a freshers' reception held at the university central cafeteria on Thursday urged the caretaker government for increasing quota of indigenous students at all educational institutions including the university.

Manhunt for 10 women outlaws

Security forces have started manhunt for at least ten women 'linked' with outlaws as part of steps to dismantle underground organisations after Dada Tapan, founder of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist party (PBCP-Janajuddho), was killed along with a woman cohort in June.

BCC to exempt freedom fighters from taxes

Barisal City Corporation (BCC) authorities have decided to exempt freedom fighters from paying holding and water supply taxes.

Outlaws demand toll from banks in Swarupkathi

Tolls have been demanded in the names of ultra left parties from four branch mangers of four public and schedule banks of Swarupkathi upazila town under Pirojpur district.

Husband, 2 in-laws sent to jail

A court on Thursday sent three persons of family including a woman to jail for torturing a housewife for dowry.

500 bottles of phensidyl recovered

Police recovered 500 bottles of phensidyl and seized a private car in Ghoraghat upazila yesterday, police said.

Nabinagar OC closed to Rajshahi Police Lines

Nabinagar Police Station officer in-charge (OC) Md Abdus Salam was closed to Rajshahi Range Police Lines following various allegations from people, police said.


Pakistan should do more to end violence: Rice

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Pakistan needs to do more to prevent Taliban militants from launching attacks into Afghanistan from its territory.

BJP MPs file formal complaint

Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh's name figures in a formal complaint filed on Friday by the three BJP MPs who had alleged on the floor of Lok Sabha that they were offered Rs 3 crore each for abstaining in Tuesday's trust vote.

Gilani seeks Manmohan's help in combating terror

Pakistan attaches immense importance to its relations with India and the two countries should jointly work toward combating terrorism, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh during a telephone conversation.

59 Tiger rebels die in Lanka fighting

Heavy ground battles across Sri Lanka's north claimed the lives of 59 Tamil Tiger rebels and two soldiers, the defence ministry said Friday.

PPP leaders confront Zardari on judges

Differences have emerged within the ruling Pakistan People's Party over reinstating the judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf, with some sections confronting party chief Asif Ali Zardari for not acting speedily on the issue.PPP's ally Nawaz Sharif's PML(N) had quit the cabinet in May over the government's failure to restore the judges deposed by Musharraf during emergency last year and has now set August 15 deadline, failing which it will withdraw support to the ruling coalition.

US to help upgrade ageing Pk F-16s

The US State Department said on Thursday that the administration had decided to shift $230 million from counter-terrorism funds to allow Pakistan to upgrade F-16 fighter jets in a move aimed at helping “a strong ally” faced with a difficult financial situation.

Taliban free 8 officials in Pakistan

Pakistani Taliban militants have released eight of around two dozen government officials kidnapped more than two weeks ago in a restive northwestern region, a tribal elder said yesterday.

Bush, Manmohan agree to forge ahead on nuclear pact

US President George W Bush telephoned Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday to discuss joint efforts to forge ahead on their countries' controversial nuclear deal, the White House said.

Qantas jumbo lands with 'gaping hole' in fuselage

A Qantas flight en route to Australia from London made an emergency stop in Manila on Friday after a loud bang punched a hole in the Boeing 747-400's fuselage, officials and passengers said.

Iran to increase coop with IAEA

A senior envoy said yesterday that Iran wants to expand its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, but said the IAEA should not be cast as a "UN watchdog" looking for signs of secret nuclear weapons programmes.

UN aid chief warns still much to be done in Myanmar

Survivors of Myanmar's devastating cyclone will be dependent on aid for at least another six months, the United Nations humanitarian chief has warned.

Still time for ME peace deal under Bush: Rice

There is still time for Israel and the Palestinians to reach a peace agreement before US President George W. Bush leaves office, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday.

47 dead, 100 missing in Congo boat accident

At least 47 people died when a motorized boat sank on a river in Congo, and more than 100 people are missing, a district official said yesterday.

Scientists expose mystery behind northern lights

Scientists have exposed some of the mystery behind the northern lights. On Thursday, Nasa released findings that indicate magnetic explosions about one-third of the way to the moon cause the northern lights, or aurora borealis, to burst in spectacular shapes and colours, and dance across the sky.

8 killed in Greek shipyard blast

An explosion and ensuing fire on a ship undergoing repairs at a dockyard near Athens has killed eight people and injured four more, Greek authorities said Friday.

UN food agency calls for research on tropical root crop

The UN food agency yesterday called for more research into the tropical root crop cassava as a way of helping poor countries threatened by soaring food and oil prices.

Nepali Maoists offer compromise

Nepal's Maoists yesterday offered to reverse a decision to boycott forming a government in a compromise that could steer the newly republican country out of a new political crisis.

Nato airstrike kills 40 Taliban militants

Forty Taliban were killed in airstrikes to take back a district of Afghanistan captured by Islamist rebels while a British soldier was killed in a separate clash, officials said yesterday.

US expands sanctions against Zimbabwe

The United States yesterday expanded sanctions against the "illegitimate" government of Zimbabwe due to ongoing political violence, President George W. Bush said in a statement.

Arts & Entertainment

Transferring knowledge through images

Maruf Hasan Abhi, who recently had his photographic exhibition at the Zoom gallery of Alliance Francaise, says that the changes of environment, such as erosion of river banks, migration to the city and air pollution fascinate him. A student of medicine, he feels that photography is a great means of transferring knowledge to the people. Maruf says that urbanisation, in the name of civilization, is fast changing the atmosphere around us. The exhibition is a record of socio-economic transformation of cities and their surroundings.

Bengali movies in peril

Not only in Bangladesh, the Bengali movie is also in a state of peril in India, which frustrates the directors, actors and even the audience. Coming to the on going Nakshi Kantha Film Festival, organised by Kolkata based Eisenstein Cine Club and Bengali Film Lovers Society in association with Bangla Telefilm Club, in which Impress Telefilm Limited produced seven Bangladeshi films are screened, seasoned Indian film directors and actors expressed their regret for the stagnant Bengali movie industries of India and Bangladesh.

Tony Dias making his big screen debut

A familiar face on small screen, Tony Dias, is set to make his big screen debut. Tony will be seen in Nargis Akhter's soon-to-be released feature film Megher Koley Roud. The actor informed that the film is set to be released on August 1 in five theatres in Dhaka including Star Cineplex, Balaka and Madhumita.

Mulder, Scully believe in "X-Files" audience

Some Mulder and Scully fans were doubtful when the title for the new movie based on their favourite TV show was announced: "The X-Files: I Want to Believe."

Debate workshop and festival held in Faridpur

A two-day debate workshop and six day debate festival were recently held in Faridpur.

Second round of “Magic Tin Chakar Taroka” begins

Second round of the talent hunt for Rikshaw-wallahs and CNG drivers “Magic Tin Chakar Taroka” was held yesterday at the Rangs Panorama Complex of Dhanmondi. Hundred and seven contestants, who are selected through four instalments of preliminary round, competed to get a position in best 50s. The organiser informed that another selection round would be held at the same venue on August 1. In the upcoming round, 30 contestants will be selected among the 50 for the next round.

TV reporter Munni Saha on Radio Foorti's “Hot Seat”

Munni Saha is a recognized name in Television journalism in Bangladesh. Her reputation for fearless journalism has set an example especially for the women reporters of the country. Presently she is working for a satellite channel. On July 26, from 7 to 10pm, Radio Foorti's audience will get her as radio jockey for the popular programme Hot Seat (season two).

Impressions of Thailand

The diplomatic relationship between Bangladesh and Thailand will reach 36 years on October 5, 2008. To celebrate this special occasion, the Royal Thai Embassy will organise a "Painting and Photo Article Contest", according to a press release. Individuals (25-years old or younger) who are currently enrolled in a university or school in Bangladesh, are eligible to participate in the competition.


Elitism and irreverence

The Daily Star has once again editorially commented on the issue of deaths in the so-called 'crossfire' in which the elite law enforcement outfit of RAB has been involved. One was under the impression that the largely untenable deaths in the 'crossfire' have come to an end. However, some more deaths in recent times in conditions that cannot be satisfactorily explained stand out as a sad reminder of the follies and failings of our politico-administrative institutions.

Domestic violence: Society must protect the victims

The gruesome killing of Fahmida Akhtar Nazma , a young housewife by her husband Dr. Tozammel Hossain, a physician of the orthopedic hospital in the city, at their Mirpur residence on July 6 last has stunned the whole nation once again. Dr Tozammel, it was learnt from newspaper reports as revealed by police investigations, had extra-marital relations with his elder brother's wife living close to his house. It was also revealed through an FIR lodged by Nazma while she was alive that her husband drank regularly and was abusive and that she had found more than one woman as his paramour. Sadly true, Nazma was done to death in the most barbaric manner as she protested against her husband's extra- marital affairs.

Geographic information -- a development imperative

Geographic Information System (GIS) is a particular form of information system which uses information referred by geographical co-ordinates. As GIS technology possesses increased processing power, it is being increasingly used across the world. Since the beginning of 1970s, the developed world has successfully used GIS for natural, physical and human resources development and management programmes (Rashid and Ali, 1997).


Back to the basics

Common sense, general knowledge, sound organisation, system compatibility, meaningful savings, effective strategies… such attributes are essential, useful and true for any complex undertaking; urban transportation is no different. But who cares or who listens?

Town and transportation planning

The purpose of urban planning is to secure that the places where people live, work and play shall be arranged so as to promote the most pleasant and efficient balance between people and their environment. Firstly, the welfare of the people who live in any town is the primary consideration, their health, their convenience and the amenity or pleasantness of their surrounding. Secondly, the towns ought to be functional; they are built to serve specific economic, social or political purposes. They are planned to be functionally prosperous and efficient.


One Day in April*

It was April. Bhushan, having just stepped out of his hut, was surveying the sky. It was hot; the tall trees on the west side of the shallow canal had not yet cast its shadows on the water.

Purbo-Paschim: Mojar Golpo

A Bengali cultural cyclone tore through the epicenter of the financial district of downtown Toronto in the first weekend of July. It was the 28th North American Bengali Conference in which Bengalis from North America as well as Kolkata and Bangladesh converged in a cultural rhapsody. Torontonians looked on as ladies strolled by in crisp cotton sarees, while the men rivaled them in colorful kurtas and the occasional dhoti.

Yaba Sundori: real life clobbers fiction

One hot release at this year's Boi Mela was the novel Yaba Sundori.

On the Banks of the Buriganga

Descending slowly from the sky
Clouds white and dark
Slowly moving
To our villages,
To our mango trees
Breeze blowing north
Flag fluttering over a temple
Birds flying here and nowhere
A strong wave surges
On the banks of the Buriganga

Star Health

When a relative doesn't eat enough

Good nutrition is critical to senior health, but many older adults do not eat right. Older people are more likely to have inadequate nutrition than younger adults are — and are more susceptible to numerous health problems related to an inadequate diet. Many older adults in long term care facilities have poor nutrition. While seniors cared for at home or living independently generally fare better, patterns leading to inadequate nutrition — also called malnutrition — often begin at home. Knowing the causes and danger signs of nutrition problems, as well as taking steps to ensure a diet rich in protein and other necessary nutrients, is critical in maintaining senior health and strength.

Partnering palm and soybean oils

Nature has been generous in endowing palm oil with a composition that is uniquely balanced between the saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Even when programming this higher level of saturates in the oil, nature’s consideration for optimisation was already apparent – the biology of the oil palm dictates that this saturate be in the form of palmitic acid (C16:0), the same saturated fatty acid that is most abundant in our body and throughout most of nature’s creations.

Insomnia prolongs depression in the elderly

Persistent insomnia may perpetuate depression in elderly patients receiving standard care by primary care providers, according to study findings reported in the journal Sleep.

Palpitations –A cause for concern?

Most of us at some time have experienced feeling of heart palpitations. This is an unusual and unpleasant awareness of the heartbeat. Most people who complain of palpitations describe them as a pause, often followed by a particularly strong beat or as periods of rapid and irregular heartbeats. Sometimes a short burst of palpitations can be a completely normal reaction to fear, demanding exercise or excitement.

Risky HPV detected in human breast milk

Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16), which has been linked to cervical cancer, can be detected in human breast milk collected during the early period after a woman delivers her baby, doctors from Finland report.

Workshop on joint replacement surgery held

A scientific workshop on “Joint Replacement Surgery” was held in the United Hospital Limited recently to discuss about possibilities and ways to overcome problems of joint replacement in the country. Renowned orthopaedic surgeon Professor N S Laud, consultant of Shusrusha Citizen's Co-operative Hospital, Dadar and also Breach Candy Hospital & Research Center and Laud Clinic, Mumbai, India and Professor Harish Bhende, Course Director of National Arthoplasty Course, India spoke on various aspects of joint replacement. Renowned orthopaedic surgeons and other doctors congregated in the workshop to exchange their views.

Seminar on heart diseases

With a view to increase the awareness and enrich level of knowledge, Grameenphone Ltd. and Bangladesh liaison office of Parkway Health, Singapore which own and operates Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital and East Shore Hospital in Singapore have jointly organised a seminar on “Prevention and Management of Heart diseases” today at a local hotel in the city, says a press release.

Strategic Issues

Religious terrorism and Bangladesh

A Bangladeshi journalist working for a foreign radio station warned me recently against being complacent about Islamic fundamentalists in Bangladesh. I argued that despite its overwhelming Muslim population, Bangladesh has historically rejected political parties that have used Islam in elections. Jamaat-e-Islami, the best known among such parties, has never won even a handful of seats in elections, achieving the best of 14 seats in the 2001 elections as a result of its alliance with the BNP. I also argued that despite being predominantly Muslim, Bangladesh is the most liberal South Asian country where Islam has been influenced by Sufism with the least incidence of communal violence that are so endemic in other parts of this sub-continent.

Russia-EU new strategic partnership

Russia and EU held a summit on 26th and 27th June. President of Russia Medvedev opened the summit.

Why US needs India

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has doubled in the last few years. The country is rich in natural resources and therefore, it has an enormous potential to grow.

Star Books Review

Love and the impediments it runs into

The first reaction reading through the pages of The Crooked Neem Tree is one of unhappiness at not reading it twenty years back. The appeal would have been tenfold. Nevertheless I felt twenty years younger and wanted to guzzle the entire book in one day.

Words that do not end in hope

A thoroughly researched book of about 13 hundred pages, with 200 pages of bibliography included at the end, is a challenge in itself. Besides, the author is not presenting any pulp fiction here; he is chronicling the last 30 years' warfare in Middle-Eastern countries. So why would you be interested in the incessant reportage of killing, massacre and tragedy? I think the name 'Robert Fisk' should be reason enough. Through the publication of translated Fisk articles in Prothom Alo, I would imagine that the Bangladeshi audience is familiar with the most astounding journalist of our time. In fact, the book cover includes a great two-liner about him from The Financial Times: 'One of the outstanding reporters of this generation. As a war correspondent he is unrivalled.' Indeed, he is. Fisk has lived in the Middle East for almost three decades as a reporter of The Times and The Independent and won numerous prestigious journalism awards. He is superbly committed to telling the truth which has cost him a lot throughout his career.

Words from the nation's conscience keeper

‘Caretaker government' is a term that is inextricably linked to the political sphere of Bangladesh. And today, so many years into several periods of democratic governments, it still holds true, an unavoidable situation through which the country can go from one government to another without messy political confrontations and of course dirty manipulation of the elections.

A roof over the head

To have sound knowledge of an ethnic group's culture, customs and manners one needs to know about the region the group inhabits, indeed the state of its housing and habitation. How a community lives, what its their economic conditions and psychological state are can well be comprehended through studies of its housing technology and beautification. Traditional Housing Technology of the Barind Tract is a research work by Syed Arman Hossain which made its appearance at this year's Ekushey Book Fair.

The Daily Star

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