The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, December 21, 2014


News of: Monday, 25th of August, 2008

Front Page

Pak ruling coalition on verge of collapse

Pakistan's ruling coalition teetered on the brink of collapse as the two main partners squabbled over a successor to ousted president Pervez Musharraf.

BGFCL wants its gas sales tariff doubled

The country's biggest natural gas provider Bangladesh Gas Field Company Ltd (BGFCL) is asking the government to increase its gas sales tariff to Tk 14 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) from the miserly rate of Tk 7 for the last 17 years.

Curtain falls on Beijing 2008

The Beijing Olympics, played out against a background of political intrigue and featuring 16 days of compelling and controversial action, drew to a spectacular close yesterday.

EC scrambles to resolve its re-demarcation issue

The Election Commission (EC) is urgently trying to get out of the tight spot it finds itself in after a High Court (HC) ruling stayed for three months the effectiveness of a gazette notification on the recent redemarcation of constituencies.

25 spots get waterlogged after shower in city

It takes a long time for rainwater to drain out in around 25 places in Dhaka mainly due to lack of proper drainage system and filling up of canals.

BSF for resolving issues, says sorry for BDR deaths

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Border Security Forces (BSF) of India agreed to resolve all "outstanding development issues" related to border security within the next month except for issues that concern Bangladesh-India Joint River Commission.

Most hospitals, clinics in city skip waste management

Most of the hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and dental clinics in the capital slip through the medical waste management net, posing a serious health hazard to residents, hospital staff and scavengers.

Hundreds of thousands get half the promised wages

Hundreds of thousands of foreign guest workers including 2.40 lakh Bangladeshis in Kuwait are forced to continue jobs for half the wages their contracts pledge, says a US-based worker rights watchdog report.

DU syndicate urges govt to withdraw case

Dhaka University (DU) syndicate has requested the government to consider with utmost sympathy the demand for withdrawal of the case against seven DU students in connection with torching an army vehicle.

Khaleda's release stuck in govt conditions

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the process of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's release remains stuck, as the interim government has set some conditions including "endorsement of all its illegal deeds" for her release.

AL man killed in clash with BNP activists

An Awami League (AL) activist was killed and ten people were injured yesterday in a clash between activists of AL and BNP over a ha-du-du match at Jaduria village in Jhenidah.

Wage war against corruption

Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday urged youngsters to make the war against corruption in the country a success and work towards establishing the rule of law.

Zillur demands neutral probe

Acting Awami League President Zillur Rahman yesterday demanded trial of those who were behind the killing of his wife Ivy Rahman, slain chief of Mohila Awami League, and others in the August 21 grenade attack four years ago.

Workers block highway to protest outage in Narsingdi

Traffic movement on Dhaka-Sylhet highway was disrupted for about two and half hours as jute and textile mill workers put up blockade on the highway yesterday morning protesting frequent power cut in factories.

Tongi 80MW power plant shut down

The 80-MW Tongi peaking power plant was shut down yesterday due to a leakage in its cooling system.

Pirates abduct 49 fishermen, loot 50 trawlers

Pirates abducted 49 fishermen and looted 50 fishing trawlers in coastal areas in Bagerhat on Saturday night.

Janmashtami celebrated

The Hindus yesterday celebrated Janmashtami, a religious festival marking the birth of Lord Krishna, across the country amid festivity and religious fervour.

BSF kills two Bangladeshis

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) last night gunned down two Bangladeshi cattle traders at a bordering village in 24 Parganas district of West Bengal in India.

Kyrgyzstan plane crash kills 71

A passenger plane crashed shortly after take-off from the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek yesterday, claiming the lives of 71 people onboard, the health ministry said.

Taliban militants offer truce in Pak tribal area

Taliban militants in a troubled Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border yesterday offered a unilateral ceasefire as a two-week-old military operation left some 500 people dead, a spokesman said.

Obama seeks to inspire, reassure Americans

Barack Obama will seek to bond with Americans still wary of his exotic life story and crusade for change, as he makes history by becoming the first black presidential nominee this week.

Editorial

Moribund jute sector

At a time when the demand for jute and jute products worldwide is on the rise, the public sector jute mills in Bangladesh are facing the grim prospect of shutting down altogether. The matter takes even greater poignancy jute industry in Bangladesh is at the point of severe regression, if not extinction, when the UN has declared 2009 as the International Year of Fibre.

Fixing capital's drainage system should a be top priority

The monsoon season is upon us once again, bringing with it greater pressure on the city's drainage system that is already operating under severe strain and limitation. Every monsoon season, localities within the city find themselves water-logged due to the city's drainage system being unable to cope with the enormity of the problem.

Nato's dilemma over the Georgian crisis

Created in 1949 to protect Western Europe from a likely onslaught of Soviet forces, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) is a classic case of institutional survival in the face of changing politico-strategic realities.

A soiled past

Reputation is a comparative virtue. The most fortunate phase of a president or prime minister's tenure is the start, not because he begins with fresh energy, but because he is lucky enough to be compared to his predecessor. The past is always soiled goods.

Hopes and fears in Pakistan

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf resigned on August 18 instead of facing the threatened impeachment. Had he been impeached, he would have been the first president of the country to meet such a fate. His resignation marks the end of an era when the army's role was critical.

Sports

Beijing above & beyond

China came into the Beijing Olympics with a steely determination to be crowned the world's most dominant sporting nation, and it achieved what it planned with ease.

Dreams, made in China

As I watched in fascination the Chinese follow the Olympic Games with unbridled pride and sense of accomplishment these past weeks, I realized I may have witnessed something way more important than a sporting gala here. What I have witnessed is a proud people, ignited by a hunger to succeed, savouring the fruits of their confidence - a bold declaration of a collective can-do that comes only to those who dare to dream and believe in it.

Goodbye Beijing

Beijing said farewell to the Olympic Games with all the theatricality with which they welcomed them here at the Bird's Nest.

Party like it's 2012

Around 40,000 people including record-breaking swimmer Michael Phelps gathered Sunday to celebrate 2012 host London taking over from Beijing as the Olympic city.

A Wanjiru surprise

Samuel Wanjiru made it a full house of Olympic titles in middle distance and long distance races for Kenya's men here on Sunday as he ended their title drought in the event and broke the long-standing Olympic record as well.

BKSP, Russel in last 8

BKSP broke the monopoly of the B. League teams to enter the knockout stage of the Citycell Federation Cup while defending champions Brothers Union crashed out of the competition on a tense final day of the group stage yesterday.

Champions Trophy postponed

The ICC has postponed the Champions Trophy, which was due to begin in Pakistan in 19 days' time, to October 2009, after five of the eight participating nations confirmed during a teleconference on Sunday that they would not send their teams for the event due to security concerns.

Liverpool atop

Steven Gerrard capped a sensational fightback by Liverpool as the England midfielder's stoppage time strike snatched a 2-1 win against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Clarke plans attack

Michael Clarke will use the lessons learned from his previous captains when he leads Australia against Bangladesh in his first full series in the top job. Clarke's major duties start in Darwin on Saturday, when he steps in for the injured Ricky Ponting, and while he has thought of his predecessors, he also intends to follow his own instincts in the three matches.

Russia rule rhythmic

Russia wrapped up their third straight Olympic rhythmic gymnastics group all-around title Sunday, with China finishing second for their first medal ever in the crowd-pleasing discipline.

Tigers play 4th warm-up today

With an attempt to salvage pride Bangladesh take on Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) in the fourth practice match at the Garden's Oval in Darwin today.

Sahagir salvages Academy pride

Sahagir Hossain slammed 94 as GP-BCB National Cricket Academy finished the tour with an exciting two-wicket victory against their South African counterparts in the third and final one-day match at Lenasia in Johannesburg yesterday.

Premier handball

Old Ideals Club beat Dhaka Mariner Youngs Club 32-25 in the 14th Cute Premier Division Handball League at the Outer Stadium handball ground yesterday.

Div II kicks off today

The Metropolis Second Division Football League kicks off today with Dhanmondi Club taking on Friends Social Welfare Organisation in the opening match at the Birshreshtha Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.

National kabaddi from today

The 28th National Kabaddi Championship begins today at the Comilla Stadium.

A memorable spectacle indeed!

As deafening fireworks marked the end of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, it also brought to a close a fortnight of sporting excellence that showcased the might of modern day China.

Day-by-Day

DAY -1
August 9 (Saturday)

* Czech Republic shooter Katerina Emmons wins the first gold medal on offer - - the 10-metre air rifle.

India take 2-1 lead

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina made half centuries as India beat Sri Lanka by 33 runs in Colombo to take a 2-1 lead in their one-day series.

Business

Multimillion dollar FDI plans on hold

Six large-scale foreign direct investment proposals have been on hold for the past several years because of government dithering, absence of a coal policy and shortage of gas -- the common setbacks which had earlier prompted Tata Group to pull investment out of Bangladesh.

BB to decide on cell phone banking tomorrow

The central bank will hold a crucial meeting tomorrow to decide on a draft policy allowing mobile phone banking for the first time in Bangladesh, sources said.

Rahimafrooz plans 20 new Agora outlets

Rahimafrooz Superstores, one of the leading retailers of food products in the country, wants to set up 20 new outlets in three years to expand its business with an eye for more revenue.

Youngone's factory in KEPZ misses deadline for takeoff

South Korean company Youngone Corporation has missed its schedule to put its shoe-making plant into operation because of uncertainty over gas connections to the Korean Export Processing Zone, near the southeastern port city of Chittagong.

Berger to use fast-track business software

Berger Paints Bangladesh is installing comprehensive business management software to fast-track its operations, a company official said.

Commerce adviser stresses boosting Dhaka-Ankara trade

Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman urged Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Zafer Caglayan to ease the banking system in that country for swift transaction of currencies for boosting the trade between Bangladesh and Turkey.

Bangladesh tourists to Singapore grow 32pc in six months

First half of 2008 witnessed over 32 percent increase in the number of Bangladeshi tourists to Singapore, said a top official of Singapore Tourism Board (STB) yesterday.

Aziz calls for more fish production

Finance Adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam Sunday stressed the need for involving people from all sections to raise the fish production.

Milk campaign churns out profit

Forty-year-old Zulekha Begum has now mastered the art of whipping up a well-balanced feed. She uses various items such as husks of wheat and pulses, oil cakes, dark molasses, and salt to prepare the feed for cattle to increase milk yield.

'Made in China' brand reaps Olympic dividend

The Olympics had a negligible direct impact on China's economy, but analysts say the near flawless organisation of the Games was a priceless 17-day advertisement for the "Made in China" brand.

Oil, metals rescue investors as commodity prices rally

Oil and most metals prices rebounded last week as investors sought a safe haven owing to a weaker dollar, struggling stock markets and global supply tensions.

Siege protest at Indian Nano car plant

About 40,000 protesters on Sunday surrounded the Indian factory slated to produce the world's cheapest car, alleging land for the site was forcibly taken from local farmers, police said.

Asian currencies up against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week mainly up against the dollar, on stronger oil prices and renewed fears about the health of the US economy.

Kuwait launches IPO for third mobile company

Kuwait on Sunday launched an initial public offering (IPO) for the emirate's third mobile phone company which is expected to start operating later this year, officials said.

Bimstec Delhi meet Friday

Foreign ministers from seven countries in south and southeast Asia will meet in New Delhi this week to forge stronger ties and map out transportation and trade links, the Thai foreign ministry said.

BHP Billiton chief says investors 'on the sideline' over Rio bid

Investors were sitting on the sidelines as they waited for the world's largest mining company BHP Billiton to overcome regulatory hurdles in its hostile takeover of rival Rio Tinto, BHP said Sunday.

Kuwait's NBK opens first branch in Dubai

The National Bank of Kuwait, the Gulf emirate's largest bank, announced on Sunday the opening of its first branch in the booming emirate of Dubai.

China, South Korea agree to expand economic ties

South Korea and China on Sunday agreed to further expand cooperation to better tackle global economic challenges on the eve of their leaders' summit here, officials said.

Metropolitan

Shun vindictive politics for democracy

Democracy is not possible without democratic culture, and political parties are mainly responsible for practising this culture, said the speakers at a seminar yesterday.

'Put Sundarbans, Cox's Bazar on top of list'

Tourism sector will flourish if Sundarbans and Cox's Bazar are included in the list of New 7 Wonders of Nature, said Mahbub Jamil, chief adviser's special assistant for civil aviation and tourism ministry, yesterday.

Focus on building skills of overseas jobseekers

Terming foreign remittance sent by the expatriate Bangladeshis crucial for the country's economy, economists and civil society members yesterday said the government should give the highest priority on skill building of overseas jobseekers and protect their rights abroad.

Pro-AL teachers question neutrality of current DU admin

Pro-Awami League 'Blue Panel' teachers of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday expressed their apprehension that elections to different vital bodies at DU cannot be held neutrally under the existing administration.

Cancel undemocratic, anti-people RPO

Left Democratic Alliance yesterday demanded immediate cancellation of the Representation of the People's (Amendment) Ordinance (RPO) 2008.

8 medical students hurt in clash with locals

At least eight students of Sher-e-Bangla Medical College were injured in a clash between students and local people yesterday following death of an outsider after indiscriminate beating by students on the campus.

Only 17pc dentists, clinics sterilise equipment

Speakers at a roundtable in the port city yesterday expressed grave concern over the 'vulnerable' state of oral and dental healthcare services in the country saying that only 17 percent of dental clinics or dentists sterilise their equipment regularly adhering to the international standard.

9 killed, 38 injured in road accidents

Nine people were killed and 38 others injured in separate road accidents across the country in the last two days.

Ex-Keraniganj OC sued for exempting Aman from murder case

Keraniganj Model Police Station under orders from the court yesterday accepted a case against the former officer-in-charge (OC) for exempting former BNP lawmaker Amanullah Aman and his close associate from a murder case in early 2006.

DU teacher on forced leave

Dhaka University (DU) authorities gave one-year 'forced leave' to a teacher of the Department of Psychology as the probe committee found his involvement with sexual harassment to a female student of the department.

5 hurt as Ansars clash with locals in city

At least five people were injured in a clash between members of Ansar and local people at Shyampur in the city over fishing in a lagoon of Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) in the area last night.

Tributes paid to Ivy Rahman

Different socio-cultural and political organisations yesterday paid rich tributes to Ivy Rahman who was critically wounded by the August 21 grenade attack on an AL rally and died at the Combined Military Hospital on August 24 after a three-day struggle with life.

RMG factory closed fearing attacks

The authorities of a garment factory at Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) yesterday closed it apprehending possible attacks by the workers.

Three shot in city

Armed extortionists shot two construction workers at Ibrahimpur in the city yesterday.

4-party to stage demonstration in London for Khaleda's release

The BNP-led four-party alliance United Kingdom unit will stage a demonstration in front of the Bangladesh High Commission in London on Thursday demanding the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman, says a report of American News Agency (ANA) from London.

Farmer assaults agri official in Bogra

Failing to get adequate fertiliser, a farmer of Gabtali upazila in Bogra assaulted upazila deputy assistant agriculture officer yesterday.

'Reduce prices of essentials before Ramadan'

Jatiya Samajtantrik Sramik Jote demanded the government to reduce the price of essentials before Ramadan.

12 Bangladeshi delegates to attend US Democrats' conference

A total of 12 Bangladeshi delegates will participate in the upcoming four-day national conference of the Democratic Party of the United States (US) at Denver, says New York-based American News Agency (ANA).

Seminar on CSR held at IST

A seminar on corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Bangladesh was held at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) auditorium in the city on Saturday, says a press release.

Chumki FPAB president

Former lawmaker Meher Afroz Chumki was elected president of the Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB) at its annual general meeting at Shaheed Moyejuddin auditorium at Naya Paltan in the city on Saturday.

Australian edn fair begins tomorrow

A two-day Australian education exhibition begins at a city hotel tomorrow.

Nat'l workshop of Bangladesh Scouts ends

The three-day 11th national multipurpose workshop of Bangladesh Scouts concluded at Mouchak in Gazipur yesterday, says a press release.

National

Upazila polls may trigger intra-party feud in AL, BNP

Leaders of Awami league and BNP in Rajshahi are worried that they may face a 'risk of impending intra-party rift' by approving candidature of party men in the planned upazila election.

Sylhet criminals to be brought back from abroad

As part of initiative to bring back people with serious criminals records from abroad, Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) has sent to the police headquarters a preliminary list of 20 such people staying in the UK and USA.

New cargo handling system at Mongla turning ineffective

The new system for gang booking at Mongla port directly by stevedores, introduced on August 1 to improve cargo handling, is turning ineffective, inviting problem for Mongla Port Authority (MPA).

Cheating in name of education

A group of people are conducting academic activities in the name Satkhira campus of Atish Dipankar University at Palashpole in the town, although they have not taken any permission from the University Grants Commission for the purpose.

RU reopens soon

Acting Vice Chancellor of Rajshahi University (RU) Prof Mamnunul Keramat yesterday said the university authorities took necessary steps to reopen the university soon.

281 fertiliser bags seized in 2 dists Two arrested

Security forces recovered 281 sacks of fertiliser from the districts of Satkhira and Pabna yesterday and Saturday.

Widow demands arrest of brother-in-law

A widow at a press conference at Mymensingh Press Club yesterday demanded arrest of her brother-in-law, saying he is threatening her and her sons with death.

'Construct Puja Mandir on RU campus'

Teachers, students and employees of Hindu community at Rajshahi University yesterday urged the university authorities to construct a full-fledged Puja Mandir on the premises of Motiher Hall to facilitate them offer religious rites.

Letters

Dowry deaths

Women die after being tortured by their husbands, this is common news in our daily newspapers. A lot of programmes have been arranged including processions to remove dowry from society. Some of those who lead these processions themselves claim money from the bride's family when it comes to their son's marriage.

Exit of a General

He was certainly the most powerful man in South East Asia. With blessings from the West and the armed forces of Pakistan, he held his post quite strongly. Yes, I am talking about General Pervez Musharraf. The general, who survived many attacks on him over the past couple of years, could not survive this attack on his position by 'democracy'. Perhaps, Billawal Bhutto's strong words "Democracy is the best revenge” carried the essence of a 'to-be' politician. General Musharraf is said to be the most popular man in Washington and New Delhi. However, he was the most hated and unpopular President of Pakistan. He had friends all over the world and foes all across Pakistan. He was the most trusted partner of President Bush's war on terror but again he was the least trusted man in Pakistan's Presidential office. He tried too many things to grasp power but he failed to do anything to have some love from the people of Pakistan.

Childhood experience

Childhood experience plays a major role in shaping a person's character. It has its imprints on the whole life. I have read an article in which it has been disclosed that from womb to five years of age is very important.

Russia-Georgia conflict

Although Russia signed the ceasefire agreement with Georgia to stop hostilities in the Caucasus, but peace seems to be an elusive proposition in the region. Russia's aggression continues, despite the West's call,

Global warming

Global warming is one of the most talked about topics in the world today. The activities that are responsible for global warming include burning of fossil fuel which contains different gases that are acting in Greenhouse effects, demolition of forest areas that have an active role in the regulation of global temperature. It will be very dangerous for all living beings.

Mayor's accountability

I have watched the recently held city corporation elections in four cities with great enthusiasm. I noticed what each and every candidate said about their objectives. BBC and BTV also organised a live debate show allowing all the candidates to mingle with the audience of every profession to answer their questions.

New seven wonders

We have two places of our country in the list of new seven wonders. Unfortunately, "The Sundarbans" has not been officially supported, which may result in its elimination from the preliminary round.

Cox's Bazar

Once again, I visited Cox's Bazar accompanied by a few friends. I explore a lot of things during my every new journey to Cox's Bazar. It gives me a lot of pleasure and amusement.

Musharraf's resignation

Pakistanis have got such a short memory! They have forgotten all the past records of Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. It took Mahatir Muhammad over 23 years to set Malaysia straight. And he did that despite being highly unpopular. We must understand that we as a nation are too naive to understand the complexities of the affairs of the state.

DU students' woes

I would like to request you to report on the sanitation problem of the halls of Dhaka University. The bathrooms are very small in size. Used water can't pass through the narrow outlets. Another problem of Dhaka University is communication. Only a few buses transport the students from different places. The number of students is increasing day by day but the number of buses is decreasing. The university authorities do not buy any new bus though they earn a lot of money every year from the students as transportation fee. I don't understand what is the use of the money which they receive from the newly admitted students as transportation fee. They can buy at least two or three buses every year to lessen the sufferings of the students. But the authorities don't pay any attention to the matter. The buses which are running at the moment are not in good condition. So the students have to suffer.

Clean and competent candidates

Thanks to Mr. Nurul Haque for his post editorial article on the above subject. In this connection I have a question, and I am also curious to know how one would ensure that a candidate meets those two basic criteria. Are the existing laws not sufficient to leave the dishonest (difficult to measure) candidates out before putting their names on the ballot? Without raising further issues on this, I would urge the informed readers to kindly suggest the names of ten most honest and competent persons who are qualified to contest the election. I wish, I am wrong, but I can assure you that the listed persons would not get pass marks, fix a pass mark, if properly screened out without fear or favour by the media with full transparency. Let us try this exercise and then see what is the result.

Road accidents

We cannot accept premature deaths caused by accidents. Road crashes are a regular phenomena in the highways and cities. Every year accidents take hundreds of lives and leave thousand of others deformed or disabled. The indirect effect of the invisible monster is the downfall and untold sufferings of hundreds of thousands of other people who are family members of those victims. But why this unintended holocaust?

National Mourning Day

Khandaker Delwar Hossain, BNP(Khaleda) Secretary General, while talking to newsmen on the eve of observing National Mourning Day demanded that Ziaur Rahman's death anniversary be also declared what he called "national mourning day". This meant that the BNP supporters want to weigh Ziaur Rahman on the same scale with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation. The amount of individual contribution to the war of liberation varies from person to person. Our liberation war did not start on a single day all of a sudden on 26 March 1971.

Athletics in Bangladesh

So it is another summer Olympics capturing the dreams of the world, and we watched China and the USA fighting for supremacy. Korea, Japan and other countries also had medal hauls, so what about us? It is taken for granted that we will never get a medal in the Olympics, and for good reason at that. The Olympic disciplines are mostly ignored in our country. I study in a school famous for its soccer, and it's soccer only. Even though I am not bad in that sport, I would have really liked to train in sports like swimming, gymnastics or pole-vaulting, but that will never be possible!

Foreign currency exchange rates

I was wondering why there is so much difference between selling and buying foreign currencies in banks in Bangladesh.

Political intelligence office

Thanks to the DS for the editorial today on the above subject. The politicians have already expressed their apprehension about this new undemocratic step. Those who would support the move, at least, do not believe in political freedom and are opposed to democratic values. These are some of the examples by which the government is determined to achieve their original idea of guided politicisation of the country. One would not be surprised to see how a group of civil society members and some known political faces are defending the step. Just add one more news item with it. The EC has asked the intelligence agency and the NBR to check the fact sheets of the elected candidates of the last 13 local council elections. This is another example of deliberate mismanagement of the election procedures, and puts the burden on the shoulder of the judiciary to give the final verdict. One organisation, a NGO or civil society cadre, I do not know, had been campaigning to initiate such action by the EC. The question is, why these groups and the EC did not complete this clean up process before putting their names on the ballot?

Workers' interests

The Daily Star published in the last page on August 19, "Bangladeshi workers protest again in Kuwait". After reading the report I found out how the BANGLADESHI workers are deprived. We should support them and give positive vibes so that the world can know we are Protesting for our Rights, not for FUN.

Western media and South Ossetia

On August 8 we saw Georgia's pro-west President Saakashvili's misadventure in South Ossetia. But western media like CNN, BBC, AFP, AP etc. had launched a vigorous media propaganda from which one can conclude that it was Russia who first attacked Georgia. And they also portrayed Saakashvili as a hero who immediately wanted a ceasefire (only after his US trained army got a heavy beating by Russian's military). Among the number of conflicting interests, one is that Russia won't allow a NATO member at its doorstep and western powers need Georgia to extract energy from that region through the Black Sea. Through western media bias we the general readers, listeners or viewers get confused and fail to learn what actually happened.

Publishers

I refer to the Op-Ed article (18 Aug) and agree with the writer entirely. I myself am a writer (In English) of many original scientific and other books (including poetry). As it was not possible to find a reputable publisher in UK (You need literary agent here to accept and then push your books for publication), I fell into the clutches of 'vanity publishers' about 25 years ago who published one of my books here. The vanity publishers are so called because the whole cost of printing, publishing and distribution etc is borne by the author and the publishers have nothing to lose whether any book is sold or not. As a matter of fact their main income consists of selling the book back to the author at a discounted price! These publishers are also well known to the critics and no book published by them are reviewed in any literary journal. So I gathered much painful experience and then set up my own publishing firm and website(www.oaktownpublicayions.com) to publish my own rather esoteric books( known as self publishing as opposed to vanity publishing), which are not in great public demand anyway.

International

Russia faces pressure for full Georgia pullout

A fuel train hit a mine and exploded near the stricken Georgian city of Gori yesterday as Russia faced renewed European Union pressure to make a complete withdrawal from Georgia.

Hillary backers split over Biden as VP choice

Hillary Rodham Clinton's supporters had mixed reactions Saturday to the selection of Joe Biden as the Democrats' vice presidential candidate.

Accords not holy Quran or Hadith, says Zardari

Agreements with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) "are not holy like the holy Quran and the Hadith" and can be modified if circumstances change, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said in an interview with BBC Urdu on Saturday.

Lanka braces for bloody battle to capture LTTE capital

Strife-torn Sri Lanka is bracing for intense and bloody battles as security forces close in on the political capital of the Tamil Tiger rebels, according to military analysts.

PPP-led coalition govt 'most incompetent' in Pak history: Imran

Terming the PPP-led coalition government as "most incompetent" in Pakistan's history, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has said the country's situation will deteriorate further if Asif Ali Zardari becomes its President.

Uprooted civilians beg Pak govt, militants to talk

Some of the women were eating lunch, while others were busy making bread.

Pakistani troops kill seven militants

Pakistani troops killed seven militants in clashes near the Afghan border while Taliban rebels slaughtered an alleged spy, officials said yesterday.

UN envoy's Myanmar visit was a 'waste of time', says NLD

Myanmar's opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday labelled a recent visit by a UN envoy "a waste of time" as the ruling junta continued to trumpet its own vision of democracy.

Global warming time bomb trapped in Arctic soil

Climate change could release unexpectedly huge stores of carbon dioxide from Arctic soils, which would in turn fuel a vicious circle of global warming, a new study warned yesterday.

10 Taliban fighters killed in Afghan clashes

US-led coalition troops clashed with a group of Taliban fighters in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing six militants, while four militants were killed in a battle in the south, officials said.

Kashmir on brink as India scrambles for solution

A lack of political leadership threatens to allow seething Hindu-Muslim tensions and separatist anger in revolt-hit Indian Kashmir to spiral out of control, analysts say.

90 civilians killed in US airstrikes

An official investigation has found that more than 90 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in coalition air strikes this week, the Afghan religious affairs minister said yesterday.

Israeli forces raid offices of Hamas

Security forces raided the offices of the Islamic Movement in the northern Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm early on Sunday and accused it of aiding the Palestinian Hamas movement, police said.

Naxals attack Orissa ashram: 5 VHP leaders killed

In a Naxal attack in the communally sensitive Kandhamal district in Orissa, 30 armed Naxals ambushed the Ban Basi Kalyan ashram for girls when Janmashtami celebrations were taking place on Saturday evening killing six people.

Pakistan rejects truce offer by Taliban militants in tribal area

Pakistan yesterday rejected a ceasefire offered by Taliban militants in a troubled tribal region near the Afghan border as troops killed seven rebel fighters, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Indigenous culture needs a shot in the arm

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is home to 11 ethnic communities, each with a varied and amazing culture. Here one comes across the Chakma, Marma, Tangchangya, Pankhua, Tripura, Lusai, Bom, Mro, Khumi, Khiyang and Chak.

Mobilising public opinion for war criminals' trial

“In our country all criminals are brought to trial, but what about the heinous war criminals?” questions Chitra Roy, one of the performers of a team of Gono Natya Dal, a street theatre organisation. "We are staging performances to strengthen the popular demand for such trials of war criminals," she adds.

“Khudey Gaanraj 2008” to be aired on Channel i

With Channel i Shera Kontho 2008 nearing its end (the gala round on August 30), Channel i announced the airing of its latest musical talent hunt for child singers, Meridian Channel i Khudey Gaanraj 2008. Faridur Reza Sagor, Managing Director of Channel i and Impress Telefilm Ltd, made the announcement at a press conference held at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel yesterday. S. M. Kamal Pasha, Managing Director, Meridian Foods Ltd, also the sponsor of the show, was present at the event.

Anniversary episode of “ntv Shamayaki”

The anniversary episode of ntv Shamayaki, a weekly 'electronic magazine' based on arts, literature and politics will be aired on August 26 at 9:00 pm on ntv. Claiming to be the first of its kind, the programme was first aired on August 28, 2007.

Bollywood's first family hits UK

Bollywood comes to Britain this weekend as some of the biggest stars of Indian cinema perform at London's O2 arena.

OP-ED

Is the train on the right track?

THE time is probably ripe to assess whether the caretaker government of Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed has been, as promised, able to lift the derailed political train of Bangladesh from the abyss and put it on the right track. If you ask me, the answer is yes, the answer is no.

Indo-Bangla relations: A new perspective

THE assumption of power by the present caretaker government ushered in a fresh dimension in the foreign policy of the country. One of the main features of the policy priorities was improving relationships with neighbouring countries, particularly India.

So what if he were Muslim?

ONCE Barack Obama emerged as the Democratic candidate, it was clear the presidential contest would become a referendum on race. It was not, however, supposed to be a journey into the terrain of religious fears and prejudice.

North Korean sports cheat set to lose more than reputation

A sportsman called Kim Jong Su was caught using drugs at the Beijing Olympics. That's bad enough -- but the really scary news is that he was a North Korean. Can you imagine what they'll do to him?



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