The Daily Star

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

News of: Saturday, 9th of August, 2008

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Front Page

Greatest show on Earth opens

The Olympic Games, costing an estimated 40 billion dollars and battered by political and environmental concerns, was declared open yesterday as China displayed its credentials as a modern, confident nation.

$10m equipment retrieved from sealed mine site in Barapukuria

With help from Chinese experts, Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) has recovered mining equipment worth $ 10 million from an underground site that was sealed off in October 2005 following emission of deadly gas there.

Grassroots of major parties prepare for upazila polls

The grassroots of major political parties including Awami League and Jatiya Party have started gearing up to run in the upazila elections in October while their organisations are still opposed to any polls before the national election.

Govt, parties must reach understanding

With major political parties uniting against holding the overdue ninth parliamentary poll under the state of emergency, and the military backed caretaker government making clear its intention of having the election under the emergency, a face off seems a strong possibility.

Musharraf mulls options for a fightback

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will defend himself against impeachment by the ruling coalition, aides and allies said yesterday, as the US-backed leader mulled his options for a fightback.

Shibir men assault RU VC, teachers

Shibir cadres assaulted acting Vice Chancellor Prof Mamnunul Keramat and other teachers of Rajshahi University yesterday as they tried to talk them into lifting roadblocks they put up on Dhaka-Rajshahi Highway across from the campus.

Roads along banks of Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal may open by July

The long-awaited roads along the banks of Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal are likely to be open to the public by July next year.

Chittagong customs house automated

The Chittagong Customs House was automated yesterday in order to increase revenue and check irregularities through enhancement of its efficiency.

Coarse rice prices falling

Retail prices of coarse rice have started coming down in the city markets as the wholesale prices have been sliding for the last five days.

Furore rising against Delwar in BNP

BNP politicians across the country are finding themselves confused about their political role under the current electoral climate, as the party's Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain has been busy manoeuvring to ensure his 'absolute control' over the organisation, leaving the rank and file directionless, alleged party insiders.

Making of a non-functional president?

Ruling Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League (N) leaders are going to make a new history.

Frequent power outage makes life miserable

The city dwellers have been suffering badly as load shedding increased over the last 10 days with power supply falling sharply.

Poor people forced to drop main protein source from menu

Lentils, the main source of protein for most poor people in the country, have become too costly for the poor and the country faces a yearly shortage of around 4.5 lakh tonnes of lentils.

‘Ensure indigenous people’s land rights, protect culture’

Indigenous people across the country will observe the International Day of the World's Indigenous People today reiterating the demands for ensuring their land rights and protecting their culture.

CHT commission concludes tour of hill district

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs Commission during its two-day visit to Khagrachhari and Baghaichhari heard allegations and counter allegations from indigenous people and settlers.

Bodies of mother, two children recovered from pond in Kushtia

Locals yesterday recovered the bodies of a woman and her two children at a pond in Kandabari of Kumarkhali upazila in Kushtia 14 hours after they went missing.

Somnath won’t rejoin party, plans to lead retired life

In the eye of storm over his refusal to quit, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee yesterday said he will retire at the end of his term and was not keen on rejoining CPI-M, which expelled him recently.

Garment worker murdered

Police yesterday recovered the body of a garment worker from inside a factory at Ashulia.

Vessel carrying fertiliser sinks

A lighter vessel, carrying 595 tonnes of fertiliser, capsized in Hatiya channel near Laxmipur early yesterday.

Iraq resumes oil exploration after 20-year break

Iraq said on Friday it was resuming exploration of its immense oil reserves after a break of nearly 20 years due to crippling UN sanctions, saying it hopes to double its proven deposits of crude.

US military trial jails Laden driver for only 5 & half yr

A US military jury gave Osama bin Laden's driver a surprisingly light sentence on Thursday, making him eligible for release in just five months despite the prosecutors' request for at least a 30-year sentence to deter would-be terrorists.

Delhi to further open up trade with Dhaka

India yesterday announced that it would further open up trade with least developed countries (LDCs), including Bangladesh, in South Asia under Safta by reducing to 480 the sensitive items list that will remain outside the concessional trade in the region.


Spectacular beginning for Olympics

After seven years of meticulous preparation, undaunted by occasional pointers to Beijing's overcast environment, the likely fallout of the Tibet-related human rights issue, peripherally reflected on the otherwise undeterred journey of the Olympic Torch, and the doping concerns, China holds the 29th Olympics under gaze of four billion world citizens.

Family planning in trouble

Either we are resigned to the declining trend of success in the family planning drive or are unable to turn the ebb around. According to the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2007, the gap between demand and availability of family planning methods is yawning. While in 2004 it was 11 percent, in 2007 it worsened to 18 percent. People's eagerness to adopt contraceptive methods far outstrips the availability of contraceptives. At the current rate, the unmet demand is likely to rise to 40 percent in the next 15 years, jeopardising the fulfilment of MDGs in terms of not merely containment of population but also halving the incidence of poverty by 2015.

Please stick to your mandate

The August 4 elections to city corporations and municipalities have been held in a reasonably peaceful atmosphere but without great enthusiasm (probably due to existing emergency provisions). The first step in the revival of the electoral process has been taken. Its importance will be remembered for the use of the new voters list. For this, the Election Commission and those associated in preparing the voters roll deserve special recognition. It also demonstrated the people's overwhelming support for Awami League supported candidates both in the four Mayoral races (four out of four, with one being elected for the second time from internment) and in the nine Pourashava polls (eight out of nine).

A storm that blew over

A Pakistani has said in a letter to a leading English daily at Karachi to recall the “10 million Muslim refugees who made immense sacrifices to make the country a reality, besides nearly one million who got massacred” at the time of the partition. He has taken exception to the words that Tahira Mazar Ali Khan, a well-respected left activist used in a letter to the same paper: “I now realize with ample pain that our land was butchered and aimlessly cut into pieces. We cannot reach out to those we love in times of stress and grief.” One of her old friends had died in Mumbai and Tahira had found herself helpless in contacting her friend’s relations.

Have faith in the people

The much talked about local government election to nine pourashavas and four city corporations finally took place on Monday, August 4, 2008. The election has been, according to election observers, reasonably fair, transparent and peaceful. It has been free to the extent that the voters could go to the polling centers freely and cast their votes according to their choice.


China turns on the style

Resurgent China opened the Olympics on Friday with a burst of fireworks at a spectacular ceremony that wove ancient Chinese history with modern wizardry and aimed to draw a line under months of political controversy.

Start brings tears of joy

"I'm definitely going to cry," said Liang Yanfang, her voice choking with emotion. "We've waited so long for this -- a hundred years."

Fireworks are a big hit

If it explodes, it is likely it was made in China.

Muktis settle for a draw

Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra came from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw against Dhaka Wanderers Club in the Citycell Federation Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Mendis puts Lanka on top

Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis and debutant Dammika Prasad restricted India to a modest first innings score of 249 in the third and final Test here on Friday despite a defiant last-wicket stand.

Marshall back with a fifty

Marshall Ayub marked his comeback after a long injury layoff with a fine half-century in GP-BCB Academy's first four-day game against their South African counterparts at Tukkies in Pretoria yesterday.

Fergie savours victory

Sir Alex Ferguson claims that Manchester United have delivered a crushing blow to Real Madrid by winning the tug-of-war over Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi overjoyed

Lionel Messi was on Friday tipped to be the driving force behind Argentina's bid for back-to-back Olympic gold after the superstar striker shrugged off a damaging club-or-country controversy.

City eye Milan win

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes will be looking to put speculation about the club's future behind him with a confidence-boosting friendly victory over AC Milan this weekend.

Rafa paying the price

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez believes he is paying the price for the team's Champions League triumph in 2005.

Ferguson doesn't fear Scolari

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists he has no reason to fear the challenge from new Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Villa sticking with Valencia

Spanish international striker David Villa is sticking with Valencia despite interest from other clubs, his agent Jose Luis Tamargo told the Spanish press on Friday.

Klinsi bemoans injury woes

Jurgen Klinsmann on Thursday said that Bayern Munich could be without as many as eight top players for their first competitive match this weekend.

Duscher moves to Sevilla

Racing Santander's Argentine international midfielder Aldo Duscher has completed a three-year move to Spanish Primera Liga rivals Sevilla, his new club confirmed on Friday.

Duscher moves to Sevilla

Racing Santander's Argentine international midfielder Aldo Duscher has completed a three-year move to Spanish Primera Liga rivals Sevilla, his new club confirmed on Friday.

Chelsea make Robinho bid

Top English Premiership club Chelsea confirmed on Thursday night they had made a bid for Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Robinho.

Reyes joins Benfica

Spain international Jose Antonio Reyes will play for top Portuguese club Benfica next season after being loaned out by Atletico Madrid, the Lisbon club said on Thursday night.

Shorey signs for Villa

Nicky Shorey has moved to Aston Villa from Reading on a three-year contract to become Villa's fourth summer signing.

Kanoute out for 2 weeks

Sevilla's Mali international Frederic Kanoute will be out of action for about two weeks with an injured right ankle, the Spanish first division club said on Thursday.

Pietersen leads in style

Kevin Pietersen cracked his 14th Test century and first as England captain to heave his side into a good position on the second day against South Africa. England lost Ian Bell and Alastair Cook early on, but thereafter the day was dominated by their newly appointed leader and Paul Collingwood. However, the pride of reaching the landmark got to him and two balls later he fell to Makhaya Ntini for 100, with England leading by a slender 38.

ICC rethinks T20 stance

The ICC has set up a committee to look at increasing its relevance in the proliferation of Twenty20 leagues and its role in managing such tournaments, Haroon Lorgat, its chief executive, told Cricinfo. It may even change existing rules to prevent its marginalisation, as national boards plan their own tournaments and collaborative ventures.

Harmison finds his line

Steve Harmison bounded back into Test cricket with a performance that, by his own admission, was his best for more than a year, as England belatedly demonstrated the full range of their firepower on the first day of the fourth Test at The Oval. By the close they had bowled South Africa out for 194 and responded with a scoreline of 49 for 1, an effort that enabled Kevin Pietersen to ease himself into his new role as England captain.

Amal clinches singles title

Amal Roy won the men's singles title of the Dhaka Open Tennis tournament at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.

KP stands out

The sense of destiny that Kevin Pietersen somehow brings to his batting translated seamlessly into his first day as England captain, as he enjoyed the most blissful coronation that any new leader could hope for. With the glaring exception of Graeme Smith's first-ball reprieve at gully, everything that could go right for his side did go right, as South Africa contributed to their own downfall on a day that revealed just how fine the line is between success and failure in this most fickle of sports.

Rampura into 3rd Division

Rampura Krira Chakra qualified for next season's Third Division Football League after their 1-0 win in the Pioneer League semifinal over Swadhinata Krira Sangha at the Bir Shrestha Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Stadium yesterday.

BCCI announce Australia dates

The Indian cricket board on Friday changed the itinerary of the four-Test Australian series later this year owing to a clash of dates with a key festival.

Lehmann quits int'l football

Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has decided to call time on his international career, the German football federation announced in a statement on Friday.

Dundee land O'Donovan

Scottish Premier League club Dundee United signed Sunderland striker Roy O'Donovan on a season-long loan on Friday.

Fernando back for one-dayers

Dilhara Fernando, the Sri Lankan fast bowler who has just recovered from a leg injury, has been retained in the one-day squad for the five-match series against India and the Champions Trophy in Pakistan. Medium-pacer Farveez Maharoof returns for the Champions Trophy while Lasith Malinga remains on the sidelines.


'Biotechnology can play significant role in alleviating poverty'

Speakers at the 15th International Congress on Biotechnology in Animal Reproduction said that biotechnology can play a significant role in alleviating poverty and building a society free from hunger in developing countries like Bangladesh.

Protect indigenous people to save forests

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called for protecting indigenous people to save forests of the country.

Youth relieved of rape charge after serving four months in jail

Languishing in jail for more than four months, an innocent youth was finally relieved of charges brought against him in a rape case that also led to the death of his brother and mother.

Call to combat climate change

Bangladeshi expatriates in Australia and the Australian government have expressed their commitment to combat multiple effects of climate change in Bangladesh.

4 killed in road accidents

Four people were killed and nine others injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.

953 killed in work-related accidents in 6 months: OSHE survey

Some 953 workers were killed and 1,637 others injured in work-related accidents across the country in the last six months, according to a survey report.

Govt urged to realise dues from Chevron, Niko

The National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas-Mineral Resources and Power-Port has again urged the government to take steps to realise outstanding dues from the US company Chevron and Canadian company Niko.

Two books on power politics, security launched

The publication ceremony of two books titled 'Power Politics in the Asia-Pacific: The Case of Chinese Modernisation' and 'Selected Papers on Security and Leadership' by Lt Gen M Aminul Karim was held in the city yesterday.

DU signs MoU with Japanese varsity

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Dhaka University and Rikkyo University of Japan on Thursday, aiming to establish and promote academic exchange and research programmes between the two institutions.

'Include articles on tobacco in nat'l curriculum'

Speakers at an awareness campaign have underscored the need for inclusion of tobacco-related articles in the national curriculum to provide information to the students about the dangers of tobacco use.

Children take interview of 55 war heroes

Some young boys and girls of Central Kochi Kachar Mela has done a remarkable job by interviewing 55 valiant freedom fighters of 'Crack Platoon 71', a guerrilla team during the Liberation War.

Bangladesh Tea Assoc executives

The election of the executive committee of the Bangladesh Tea Association (BTA) for the term 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 was held at its Chittagong office recently, says a press release.

Navy team wins Qirat and Azan competition

Bangladesh Navy team became the champion of Inter-services Qirat and Azan Competition that ended at Sailor's Colony Mosque in Mirpur yesterday.

Farida Hasan laid to rest

Begum Farida Hasan, former BNP lawmaker, was laid to rest at Korotia in Tangail yesterday.

11-year-old girl raped in city

An 11-year-old girl was raped by a youth at Sutrapur in the city yesterday.

Train derails in Thakurgaon

Train movement on Thakurgaon-Dinajpur-Panchagarh route remained suspended after an inter-city train derailed in Bochaganj upazila yesterday afternoon.

Kazal, Tapas president, secy of Mohanagar Puja Committee

Kazal Devnath and Advocate Tapas Kumar Pal have been made the president and secretary general of the executive committee of Mohanagar Sarbojaneen Puja Committee (MSPC) respectively at its biannual congress at Dhakeshwari Mandir in the city recently, says a press release.

Robbers kill poultry trader

Robbers killed a poultry trader and injured four others at Sonakar under Sreepur upazila early yesterday.

Dhaka elected to two int'l postal bodies

Bangladesh has been elected to two top international postal bodies recently, says a press release.


Gas rationing frustrates investors in N dists

Frustration grips the industrial entrepreneurs in northern region due to limiting of gas supply under Pashchimanchal Gas Company Ltd (PGCL).

Khulna BNP accuses Jamaat of double standard

Victory of Talukder Abdul Khaleque in the mayoral race of Khulna City Corporation has infused a new life into Khulna Awami League.

Mayor-elect Liton draws flak from party men

Rajshahi mayor-elect AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, an Awami League leader, drew flak from his party men at a reception in the city yesterday evening as he said he was mayor of all and wanted to serve all citizens irrespective of political ideologies.

25 street boys start a new life

Twenty-five street children, working for the police as bearers, are now getting the opportunity to gain literacy as well as skills for self-reliance, thanks to the initiative of Khagrachhari Superintendent of Police (SP) Mohammad Qaiumuzzaman Khan.

ACC sues Narail mayor, 26 others

Jessore Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Thursday night filed several cases against Narail Pourasabha mayor Advocate Sohrab Hossain Biswas and 26 others including public representatives, officials and contractors of the municipality on charge of misappropriating Tk. 32 lakh 87 thousand 122 and other corruptions.

12 'corrupt' KCC staff asked to show cause

Acting Mayor Moniruzzaman Moni on Thursday issued notices upon 12 suspended officials and employees of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) to show cause within seven days why they should not be dismissed from their services.

80 Milk Vita staff sacked

Authorities of the Milk Vita Company on Thursday sacked 80 of its employees on charge of corruption, mismanagement and irregularities.

Accused snatched from Rab in Patuakhali

An accused was snatched away from the custody of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) by about 10 women at Kalapara on Thursday, Rab and police sources said.


Russian troops enter South Ossetia after Georgian attack

A Russian army convoy entered South Ossetia yesterday and Russian planes attacked a Georgian military base, reports said, after Georgian forces pounded the capital of the breakaway province and warned of "war" if Russia intervened.

37 killed in Pakistani tribal area fighting

At least seven Pakistani troops and 30 militants have been killed in two days of clashes in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, the army said yesterday.

Deal close on plan for US troops to leave

Iraq and the US are near an agreement on all American combat troops leaving Iraq by October 2010, with the last soldiers out three years after that, two Iraqi officials told The Associated Press on Thursday. US officials, however, insisted no dates had been agreed.

New fighting kills 21 combatants in Lanka

Fresh fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger separatists across Sri Lanka's embattled north killed 17 rebels and four soldiers, the military said yesterday.

US official urges nuclear suppliers to back US-India pact

A senior US official on Friday urged nuclear supplier states, including Japan, to support the nuclear deal between India and the United States.

Musharraf impeachment unlikely to dampen US 'war on terror'

Any impeachment of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is unlikely to hamper US "war on terror" efforts, experts say, as Washington quietly hopes the military will remain on the fringes amid political tensions in Islamabad.

UNSC renews mandate of UN mission in Iraq

The UN Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to renew for one year the mandate of the UN mission for Iraq.

Impeachment could be messy

The ruling coalition won't be able to easily impeach Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, opposition leaders warned yesterday, while some papers suggested the former army strongman resign to spare the country another messy political fight.

US weighs military forays into Pakistan

Top Bush administration officials are urging the president to direct US troops in Afghanistan to be more aggressive in pursuing militants into Pakistan on foot as part of a proposed radical shift in its regional counterterrorism strategy, The Associated Press has learned.

Musharraf impeachment bid an 'internal' matter: US

The United States said Thursday that a move by Pakistan's ruling coalition to impeach President Pervez Musharraf, a close US ally, was an "internal" matter for the Pakistanis to decide.

Nepali parties in hectic talks to form govt

Nepal's Maoists were in hectic talks with other political parties yesterday in a bid to form a government ahead of a deadline set by the country's president, officials said.

Kashmiri separatist leaders detained

Three top separatist leaders in Indian Kashmir were placed under house arrest Friday to prevent them from leading a march to protest alleged assaults on Muslims, police said.

Suu Kyi's party hails 1988 uprising as 'turning point'

Aung San Suu Kyi's party yesterday hailed a 1988 pro-democracy uprising as a "turning point" in Myanmar's history, as activists silently mourned the movement that was violently crushed by the military.

Tibetan monks attempt to storm Chinese embassy in India

Tibetan Buddhist monks Friday tried to storm the heavily guarded Chinese embassy complex in New Delhi as the Olympic Games opening ceremony got underway in Beijing, police said.

Coalition troops kill 4 women, child in Afghanistan

US-led coalition troops "inadvertently" killed four women and a child in a gun battle in Afghanistan, while an international soldier died separately in a new bomb attack, the force said yesterday.

Police question Israeli PM again in graft probe

Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday for the second time since he announced he would resign after his centrist Kadima party chooses a new leader in September.

US-bred Bengal tigers given to Baghdad zoo

Two rare Bengal tigers were presented to Baghdad's Al-Zawraa zoo yesterday by a private US conservation group, in a move deeply symbolic of American efforts to help restore the animal park.

Scientists create stem cells for 10 disorders

Harvard scientists say they have created stems cells for 10 genetic disorders, which will allow researchers to watch the diseases develop in a lab dish.

Warmer weather produces more intense rainfall: study

US and British researchers have confirmed the link between warmer climate and an increase in powerful rainstorms, according to a study released on Thursday that underscores one of the challenges of global warming.

EU toughens sanctions against Iran

European Union nations have introduced fresh sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, including restrictions on public loans and tougher cargo inspections, the EU presidency announced yesterday.

Bhopal victims end protest after Indian govt pledge

Victims of India's 1984 Bhopal gas leak, which killed thousands of people ended months of sit-in protests yesterday after the government promised new assistance.

Global warming threatens indigenous peoples: FAO

Global warming and limited access to land and other resources threaten many indigenous peoples, the UN food agency warned yesterday.

Taiwan state-run petrol firm cuts fuel prices

Taiwan's state-run CPC Corp said yesterday it had decided to cut fuel prices by 5.32-6.57 percent to reflect recent falls in crude oil prices.

Online social networking sites are hackers' playgrounds

Computer security researchers on Thursday warned that online social networking websites are playgrounds for hackers who can easily take advantage of people's trust.

Asean, India to sign free trade pact in Dec: official

Southeast Asian nations expect trade with India will soar once the regional bloc Asean signs a just-concluded deal with New Delhi at a regional summit in December, officials said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Courtship in the backdrop of film societies

"Morshed and I met at a film appreciation course conducted by Chalochitram Film Society. I was a participant and he was a coordinator. We came across each other many times after that when we went to watch films screened by that society at various cultural centres. My brother Kaiser was involved in film societies too and it was through him that I first heard about him. We both grew to like each other tremendously though it was Morshed who first expressed his amorous feelings," says Munira Morshed, one of the leading female photographers of Bangladesh, who now teaches photography. Morshed is a filmmaker who has many awarded films to his credit. The couple, in their courtship days, also met at the Public Library steps, University Campus and a snack bar "Mowly", at Shahbagh.

Call to declare 3rd August as ‘National Motion Picture Day’

Mukh o Mukhosh, the first feature film in the history of Bangladeshi cinema, was released on August 3, 1956. Celebrating the historical occasion, weekly magazine Mukhomukhi organised a weeklong film festival titled 1st Bangla Chalachchitra Dibosh Utsab at different venues in the city. With a discussion and cultural programme, the event ended on August 7 at the Jatiyo Mahila Sangstha Auditorium.

Convention of the clinically insane

A two-day long "Pagal Sammelan" (convention of the clinically insane) ended here in Kumarkhali, Kushtia last Thursday.

“Palace Museum in Bogra”: Bridging history with curious young minds

Well-decorated terracotta, old books, coins, antique guns along with other rare collections including paper made eye-catching statues at the “Palace Museum” in Bogra, tries to create a bridge between history and curious young visitors. Thousands visit the museum to learn more about the history of the Bogra Nawab family and their renowned scions, in particular the late Mohammed Ali who had been the Prime Minister (PM) of undivided Pakistan in the '60s.

Musical talent hunt in Khagrachhari begins

"Sangeet Maitreer Bandhan, Sangeet Bhalobasha," with this theme Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) has started a musical talent hunt programme from yesterday at the Upazila Complex under Ramghor upazila, in the hill district Khagrachhari.

Swapnodal observes Hiroshima Day

Hiroshima Day is observed around the world, recalling the United States' dropping of the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The day is marked with special vigils and peace marches.

Federal investigators drop Ledger drug inquiry

Federal prosecutors have decided not to pursue a criminal case into how Heath Ledger obtained the powerful painkillers that contributed to his overdose death this year, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.

Johansson embarrassed by Obama e-mail drama

Scarlett Johansson can laugh about it now, but the actress says she was embarrassed by the media coverage of her so-called "e-mail relationship" with Barack Obama.


Baneful delay in adopting new Police Act

Responsible quarters have expressed premonitions that the long awaited new Police Act may not see the light of the day during the incumbency of the present caretaker government. There is no denying that the Bangladesh Police, as an organisation, can perform well if it is founded on valid organisational principles. The unpleasant truth is that with regard to our police, these principles were ruthlessly violated over the years, resulting in corrupt, inefficient and highly politicized police forces. Consequently, the police largely turned into agents of the political executive rather than as instruments of a democratic state.

Saarc food bank imperative for the region

The South Asian heads of state -- in the 15th Saarc summit that ended on August 3 with the adoption of a 41-point Colombo declaration -- have agreed to start the operation of the Saarc food bank. The soaring prices of food grains across the world have emerged as a serious concern for most developing countries, prompting Saarc leaders to act decisively.

Remodeling education system

A few days ago, a letter writer termed the Bangladesh education system as "poor," and it is a fact that science education is not up to par. There's a strong opposing view against the diversified primary education system, but the government drive to implement a unified education system in the secondary stage has failed. There are many more such problems, which make a national drive imperative. In this age of globalisation, we can see what others are doing. Several years ago, I reviewed the systems in Asian countries, and recently I have done that for twenty European countries. They are Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, the UK and Ukraine.

Tokyo's Afghan mission destined to remain elusive

It was Japan's prime minister of the time, Junichiro Koizumi, who in 2004 took a bold but much criticised initiative of sending Japanese troops to a mission that had not been authorised by the United Nations. Japan's Iraq mission, though symbolic in nature as the troops had to be provided protection by peacekeepers from other nations stationed in Iraq, helped tone down the criticism that the United States had been waging since the first Gulf war, which Tokyo did not take part in. Japan had to compensate for that failure, and a $13 billion check was the price the country had to pay. But the hefty compensation did not make Japan immune to criticism, and since then Tokyo has been reminded periodically about her reluctance to be an active player in global politics.


Developing nations struggle to stay alive

A three-day SAARC conference on climate change was held in Dhaka from 1 to 3 July, where the ministers and experts of South Asian countries resonated the judicious demands of developing nations to adapt vis-a-vis the impacts of the climate change. In the context of global warming, faster sea level rise, frequent devastating cyclones, floods and droughts, the SAARC countries have designed an action plan to combat the environmental challenges.

Delimitation of maritime boundary brooks no delay

A report under the headline “Seismic survey appears crucial to retain maritime boundary” published by some newspapers on July 22, 2008 said that the seismic survey of Bangladesh's territorial sea line appeared crucial as a UN set deadline for lodging maritime claims will expire in next three years exposing the country to the risk of losing a vast territory in the Bay of Bengal.

Population growth: Environmental perspective

Environment refers to our surroundings that include all things living and non-living. According to this definition, our environment consists of living plants, animals and microorganisms and non-living elements such as air, water and soil. The environmental scientists all over the world frequently blame the huge human population and its growing nature for degradation of environment. We will here have a closer look of the population problem and environmental degradation under the same magnifying glass and examine their relationships.


The Time Train

For some days now, Parvez has been aware of a powerful, invisible presence around him. It seemed to come with the sole purpose of keeping an eye on him. It kept to a strict schedule; arrived and left bang on time.

The Bangla Novel lives on

An old man walks along a winding brick road seeking the bewildering odor of dust. This smell of dust has pervaded the nostrils of his forefathers, from the reign of the Mughals, the heyday of the people traversing the pages of Boyon -- weavers. The odor of dust harbingers death for Sobed Ali. He smelled dust before the deaths of his father and daughter. But dust also denotes the dry season -- when the busy hands of the jolas are stilled, for the dry air is detrimental to the fineness of the fabric that they weave.

Listening to our ancestors

Since its first publication in 2004, Wolf Totem -- Yiang Rong's semi-autobiographical and highly personal account of the Cultural Revolution -- has attracted relentless attention. It has already sold over four million copies in China alone and has recently won the first ever Man Asian literary prize, a fact that is guaranteed to send sales (and publishers' pulses) even further through the roof.

The 'Asian Booker' Longlist 2008

The Man Asian Literary Prize (nicknamed the 'Asian Booker') will be awarded in November 2008. The first Prize was awarded to the Chinese writer Jiang Rong for his novel Wolf Totem last year (see accompanying review). The Prize is open for unpublished works in English, as well as for translations. It is jointly administered by representatives of the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and is sponsored by Man Group plc, a leading global financial services firm based in London.

Notice : Eid Special Issue

The Daily Star invites submissions to its forthcoming Eid special issue of both fiction and nonfiction pieces. High-grade translations in both categories will also be considered. Translations should be accompanied by the original Bengali copy. The submissions ideally should not exceed 3500 words. The last date for submission is September 10. The date will not be extended.

Star Health

Health scheme for street children

Kalam does not know his identity. He cannot remember his parents, not even have any near and dear ones. He was born and grown up on a road at Hazaribag in the city. The 10 years old boy feels his mother most whenever he becomes sick. During his sickness in last month, he was crying by the name of mother on the roadside. He could not go to a hospital with his very little money or could not buy his own food or any medicine. Nobody paid attention to him.

What 30 minutes a day can do?

Investing 30 minutes a day in aerobic exercise — such as walking, bicycling or swimming — can help you live longer and healthier. In fact, aerobic exercise may be the magic bullet you have been looking for.

Diabetes triples women's risk for birth defects

Women who have diabetes before becoming pregnant are about three times as likely as other women to have a baby with at least one birth defect, U.S. researchers said.

Call for improved understanding of optimal treatment strategies and greater involvement

Speakers at the XVII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2008) underscored the importance of simultaneously scaling up AIDS programmes and strengthening health systems in poor countries, emphasising that the two goals should be viewed as allies, not adversaries — says a press release by the International AIDS Society (IAS).

10 best healthy foods we should not ignore (1)

The healthy foods do have the power to heal, but unfortunately inadequate and imprecise information are the basic reasons behind our poor eating habits and illnesses.

Apollo Hospitals Dhaka organises healthcare awareness programme

With a view to increase awareness and enrich level of knowledge regarding stroke and balanced diet, Apollo Hospitals Dhaka recently organised “Healthcare awareness programme” for the management staffs of Nestle Bangladesh Ltd., says a press release.

Homeopathic clinic opens in the city

The first homeopathic clinic of the country has started treatment of different diseases in the city, says a press release.

World Congress on Clinical, Preventive and Geriatric Cardiology

Health of millions is at stake – Time to fight against rising menace of premature heart attack in our country is now, before it becomes too late. With this view in mind, the World Congress on Clinical, Preventive and Geriatric Cardiology (WCCPGC 2008) will bring together experts from the field of cardiology across the globe for a comprehensive overview of this rapidly increasing heart problem — says a press release.

Strategic Issues

Another global arms race?

The end of the World War II saw the world divided between two power blocks the West led by the US and its NATO allies representing elected democracies, and the East led by the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries representing Marxist-Socialist states. Although the Soviet Union and the West fought together against the Axis powers, they fell apart soon after the War on ideological issues that translated into a global struggle for power and influence. The so-called “Cold War” started; its beginning marked somewhat by Winston Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech on 5 March 1946 in a small college in Fulton, Missouri, USA, where he said, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent."

Third World diplomacy

The name “Third World” was coined during the Cold War to refer to nations that did not belong to the First and Second Worlds - First World being the Western countries, while the Second World was the Soviet Union and its allies.

Star Books Review

Tagore and the Japanese experience

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), one of the most widely travelled persons of his age, visited Japan three times: in 1916, in 1924 and in 1929. It is worth mentioning here that Rabindranath's visits may be counted as five since on his away back in 1916 and 1929 he landed in Japan. Before him, we had some more people from the Bangla-language zone visiting Japan and writing on different aspects of the country, but Rabindranath's visit became a milestone in the timeline of Japan-Bengal, i.e., Japan-India relations. During his five tours the myriad-minded author met a huge number of people, from the prime Mmnister of Japan to lesser mortals, among whom were writers, artists, musicians, educationists, politicians, and journalists He delivered a good number of lectures and befriended a number of Japanese. All his lectures, explanations, references and related information have been bound in two covers by Supriya Roy, a dedicated worker of the Rabindra-Bhabana, the Tagore Memorial Museum and Archive and Research Centre of Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, India.

Those ailing public universities

The book under review is a pioneering work in the area of corruption in public universities in Bangladesh, although corruption and public universities are both old institutions in Bangladesh. This work basically originated as a research report on corruption in the public universities sponsored by Transparency International Bangladesh and conducted by Muhammad Yeahia Akhter. The author himself is a professor at a premier public university in the country and has been working in the area of corruption studies in Bangladesh. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) also is a very familiar and prominent organization working in the area of corruption. TIB has been working very sincerely in this field in the form of conducting research on corruption at the macro and micro levels in the country. It has focused on many nationally important institutions and organizations, such as the Chittagong Port, government ministries, departments, etc., and on preparing reports, publishing them and disseminating systematically gathered information to the public. Muhammad Yeahia Akhter also has done other work on corruption in Bangladesh and has published books on diverse issues in this area of national importance. The present work therefore is the result of a laborious effort on the part of both TIB and the author.

Celebration, laughter and trail of butterflies

One Hundred Years of Solitude is 'perhaps the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since the Don Quixote of Cervantes' --- Pablo Neruda…

Memories of an erudite man

A fortunate concatenation of circumstances has enabled this reviewer to know about and meet some of the most famous literary and intellectual personalities of Bangladesh and West Bengal since the 1950s. Among them is Syed Mujtaba Ali. And because of this chain of circumstances and blessed by good fortune, I was able to attend the wedding ceremony, in 1951, of Syed Mujtaba Ali with Rabiah Aly, who was my mother's friend and classmate. And then, only last week, quite by happenstance, I came across Golam Mostaquim, who presented me with his book on Syed Mujtaba Ali (first published in 1995). This memoir of Syed Mujtaba Ali by a 'civil savant' is an unlikely delight. Mostaquim is now a senior officer in the Bangladesh administration, but I have known him for long, as he hails from my ancestral home, the sub-divisional town of Manikganj, now a district headquarters.

The Daily Star

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