The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, July 28, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 3rd of September, 2008

Front Page

Justice Fazlul Huq charged with graft

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former caretaker government adviser Justice Fazlul Huq for amassing illegal wealth worth Tk 89.81 lakh and concealing its information from the commission.

Defaulters may get chance to contest by rescheduling loans

The Election Commission (EC) might in the end allow loan defaulters to contest upazila and parliamentary polls by rescheduling their loans before filing nominations, said EC sources.

Tarique set to be freed today

Tarique Rahman, elder son of detained former premier Khaleda Zia, might walk to his freedom today nearly 18 months into his arrest on corruption and extortion charges, although there were widespread speculations that he would be freed yesterday.

Crisis of drinking water, food mounts

People marooned by the flood in the country are facing a serious crisis of drinking water, food, baby food and fodder for their livestock.

Mongla Port operations suspended

Activities at Mongla port came to a halt as water transport workers began an indefinite strike yesterday demanding increase in their wages.

Law enforcers asked to tackle RMG unrest with iron hand

The home ministry yesterday directed the law enforcement agencies to check any slide in law and order, and tackle unrest in readymade garment sector with an iron hand.

Jordanian cops club striking Bangladeshi workers

Police in Jordan yesterday charged baton on Bangladeshi workers out on strike from Sunday in protest at cutbacks in salaries and irregular payments by their garment-factory employer.

4-party rally on Sept 9 for Khaleda's release

BNP-led four-party alliance will hold rallies in the capital and elsewhere in the country on September 9 to press home its demands that include unconditional release of former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

Dhaka to seek compensation for innocent workers

Bangladesh will request Kuwait to consider compensating the Bangladeshi workers who were innocent but injured and deported following strikes in demand of pay hike and better working condition late July this year.

New bus routes show signs of easing traffic congestion

On the first day of Ramadan yesterday, other than the usual traffic congestion during morning and afternoon rush hours, commuters witnessed a comparatively sparse traffic on the streets of the capital throughout the rest of the day.

Uttara dogged by waterlogging

Slow progress in resurfacing streets after installation of underground water drainage pipes in Uttara Model Town spells suffering to the residents.

43 killed in fierce Lankan offensive

Government forces fought fierce battles with ethnic Tamil separatists along Sri Lanka's northern front lines in a wave of fighting that killed 43 rebels and four soldiers, the military said yesterday.

Lt Gen Masud made envoy to Australia

Lt Gen Masududdin Chowdhury, former coordinator of the caretaker government's anti-corruption drive, has been appointed high commissioner to Australia.

Explain local polls bar on teachers

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government and Election Commission (EC) to explain within two weeks why certain provisions of three ordinances concerning local government elections should not be declared illegal.

Biman flight denied landing at Heathrow

The authorities of Heathrow International Airport in London did not allow a Biman flight to land there on Sunday as it failed to reach in time.

Iftar item prices shoot up by 30pc

Fasting city residents enthusiastically snapped up traditional iftar items on the first day of Ramadan yesterday, undeterred by soaring food prices.

Dr Mosharraf's son held for govt fund embezzlement

The joint forces and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) arrested Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, son of detained former health minister Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, early yesterday in connection with a case filed for misappropriating Tk 48,51,080 from government fund, abusing power and fraud.

Graft cases against Sharif reopened

Piling up pressure on estranged ally Nawaz Sharif, the PPP government yesterday reopened corruption cases against him even as the PML-N chief intensified attacks against the ruling party, accusing it of "breaking promises and ignoring public issues".

Tac hears two engineers' plea for clemency

The Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) continued its hearings on the pleas of clemency seekers on the second day yesterday.

50 hurt as garment workers, police clash in Gazipur

Clashes between garment workers and police at Chowrasta in Gazipur left over 50 people wounded, 10 factories ransacked and Gazipur-Mymensingh and Gazipur-Tangail highways blocked for hours.

14 more parties apply for registration

Fourteen more political parties yesterday collected forms for registration with the Election Commission (EC), raising the number to 44 so far.

Tigers' 2nd ODI against Aussies today

Bangladesh cricket team will try to reduce the gulf of class between them and world champions Australia when the two sides play the second one-day international at the TOI Stadium in Darwin today.

Thai premier declares emergency in capital

Thailand's prime minister declared a state of emergency yesterday in Bangkok to restore order after overnight clashes between government opponents and supporters left one person dead and 43 injured.

Editorial

Bracing for floods

NOW that a large swathe of northern and central Bangladesh is inundated, it is time to engage vigorously in tackling the effects of flood that has affected a large number of people.

Rearranging city bus routes

WITH traffic jams in the capital increasingly taking nightmarish proportions, the move by the traffic authorities to rearrange a number of bus routes may well be considered a good one. However, the extent to which such actions will actually help citizens find a way out of the road gridlock remains a question. Clearly, a sense of professional commitment toward implementing such a decision must come from the traffic police authorities. People must be convinced that, with Ramadan already here, the move is not a seasonal one where a mere spurt of seriousness will be noticed. What is important is that a durable and sustainable traffic arrangement be put in place.

The big mistakes that men have always made

CHIEF Election Commissioner A.T.M. Shamsul Huda says he is sorry about the mess the Election Commission made by inviting the wrong faction of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to a dialogue. Apologies accepted. But what remains a question is why, despite all those reminders and entreaties about the need to do the right thing, the Election Commission (EC) ignored Khondokar Delwar Hossain and invited Major Hafiz to speak for the BNP.

Bangla-Thai bhai bhai

ON August 31, the Royal Thai Embassy observed the 36th year of Bangladesh-Thailand diplomatic relations. Thailand's Ambassador Mr. Chalermpol Thanchitt took the initiative, with the strong support of Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to organise the event.

Fukuda resigns amid declining support

JAPANESE Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda offered his resignation to pave the way for a stronger leadership before the start of the next session of the Diet. The next Diet session is considered important for the government as it is to take up number of crucial issues, the outcome of which might further weaken the ruling coalition before the next general election scheduled a year from now.

Sports

'It won't happen again'

The Bangladesh camp had remained quite since the batting debacle in the first ODI on Saturday. Getting bowled out for 74 has dented the image of the team and the players know that nothing short of a turnaround in the second match today would revive confidence.

Nadal battles through

World number one Rafael Nadal battled his way into the US Open quarterfinals Monday, outlasting 55th-ranked Sam Querrey 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 to match his best career showing at the Grand Slam event.

'Quitting will be a waste'

Shane Watson has no doubt Andrew Symonds will return to international cricket and believes it would be a massive waste of talent if he focuses solely on the Indian Premier League (IPL). Symonds is considering his future after being cut from the Australia squad in Darwin due to the team's concerns about his commitment.

Futsal ready to roll

Bangladesh enters futsal era today with a daylong tournament named after two great coaches of the yesteryear Gafoor Baloch and Abdur Rahim.

Akhtar eyes comeback

Fit-again Shoaib Akhtar vowed Tuesday to use a short stint with Surrey to mount a comeback at international level, saying he would do his best to help the English county side avoid relegation.

Ten ways to improve TV coverage

The high-voltage Citycell Federation Cup final between Abahani and Mohammedan on Monday made some viewers sit back and take notice but the viewing experience, on television, left a lot to be desired as usual. Playing standards notwithstanding, local football's presentation can take it a long way in bringing back the glory days.

Serena sets up sister clash

Serena Williams will face sister Venus at the US Open for the fourth time after bringing Severine Bremond's wild card run to a halt with a 6-2, 6-2 victory on Monday.

Lamps pleads with fans

Frank Lampard has pleaded with England's fans not to turn Barcelona's Olympic Stadium into a theatre of hate again when his side face Andorra on Saturday.

Dream move for Quaresma

Portugal winger Ricardo Quaresma has spoken out about his joy at joining Italian champions Inter Milan in a late transfer deadline deal.

Nishikori's dream run ends

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro ended the US Open dream run of Japan's Kei Nishikori with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 triumph Monday in a fourth-round matchup of teen stars seen as destined for greatness.

Tk 8 lakh tickets sold during Fed Cup

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) earned more than Tk eight lakh from ticket sales of the just concluded Citycell Federation Cup.

Easy win for T&T

Motijheel T&T Club blanked BG Press & RC 2-0 in the Second Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

City pull Robinho stunner

Manchester City flexed their new financial muscle by signing Robinho from Real Madrid less than an hour before the transfer window shut on Monday.

MU seal Berbatov deal

Manchester United beat the transfer deadline to complete a 30.75 million pounds (37.7 million euros) deal for Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov on Tuesday.

Keegan quits Magpies

Kevin Keegan has quit as manager of Premier League outfit Newcastle United after holding talks with club's board on Tuesday, Sky Sports News reported.

Krkic replaces Torres

Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic comes in for injured Liverpool striker Fernando Torres for Spain's World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia and Armenia, the Spanish Football Federation said Monday.

Ecuador demand FIFA probe

The Ecuadorian football federation (FEF) on Tuesday demanded that world football governing body FIFA open an enquiry into match-fixing claims surrounding their 2006 World Cup match against England.

Thousands back Casillas for Ballon d'Or

Over 10,000 people have, as of Monday signed a petition calling on the European Footballer of the Year award to be awarded to Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas.

Zaragoza offloads 3 players

Spanish side Zaragoza, which was relegated to the second division, agreed to sell three players on Monday, the last day of the football transfer period, the club said on its web site.

S Africa lose Kanu, Yobo

Nigeria skipper Nwankwo Kanu and Joseph Yobo have pulled out of this weekend's 2010 World Cup qualifier in South Africa due to injuries, officials have disclosed.

Ben Arfa pulls out

Marseille playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa on Monday withdrew from the France squad to play World Cup qualifiers against Austria on September 6 and Serbia on September 10, French team sources said.

Malik denies coup

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has dismissed reports about a move by some senior players to oust him from the skipper's job.

'KP confidence rubs off'

Andrew Flintoff claims captain Kevin Pietersen can take the credit for England's one-day resurgence after yet another victory over South Africa.

KGC given golf carts

Citycell has donated five state-of-the-art imported golf carts to Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC) on August 31.

Return of Watson

Injury-plagued Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is set to return in the second one-day clash against Bangladesh at the TIO Stadium on Wednesday.

Business

Price shock marks Ramadan

Basic commodities were selling at higher prices in the city markets yesterday, on the onset of the month of Ramadan, although businesspeople had committed earlier that they would keep the prices at tolerable level.

Gas cut puts Meghnaghat factories in tight spot

At least 30 factories in Meghnaghat area, mostly producing essential commodities, found themselves in a tight corner after a decision on gas rationing for the month of Ramadan threatened output.

Bangladesh eyes doubling rubber output by 2020

Bangladesh targets doubling its natural rubber production to 60,000 tonnes a year by 2020 to tap the growing potentials in its export market on meeting domestic demand, industry people said.

BTRC rolls out Wi-Fi guideline

The telecom regulator has decided to open up Wi-Fi, a wireless networking system, for both commercial and non-commercial use.

Govt approves petroleum import from Maldives

The cabinet committee on public purchase Tuesday approved import of 150,000 tonnes of petroleum fuels from a company of the Maldives at a cost of $183.44 million (Tk 1273.07 crore).

Iftekhar off to Kuwait today

Foreign Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury leaves for Kuwait today on a two-day visit to the Gulf state, where Bangladeshi workers recently got into problem.

Install water treatment plants at Rampura

People from 36 villages of eastern Dhaka yesterday demanded the government install water treatment plant at Rampura pump station to save them from water pollution.

The taming of the price-horse

Ramadan comes, prices of essentials soar. It is no exception this time also. With the advent of the holy month yesterday, the price-horse started running at a pace that consumers, irrespective of classes in the society, can hardly cope with.

Bearing the brunt of inflation

Any distant onlooker would have thought that she was garnishing her cooked meal. That was far from true. Nurjahan puts the last remaining amount of rice into the steaming pot of water, the only staple food available for her family of four.

European currencies slide in Asia

The euro and the pound fell against the dollar in Asia Tuesday on expectations of lower interest rates in Europe to stave off the threat of recession, dealers said.

Stocks end higher on Grameen debut

Dhaka stocks closed higher yesterday amid downturn in turnover with Scheme Two of Grameen One mutual fund leading gains on its debut.

Oil prices tumble below 105 dollars

Oil prices dived under 105 dollars on Tuesday, reaching 4-month lows, after Hurricane Gustav apparently spared key US energy facilities and Iran said Opec must tackle excess production by members.

Japanese political crisis clouds economic outlook

Asia's largest economy was left rudderless again Tuesday after Japan's prime minister quit suddenly, sparking concerns that free-market reforms will be put on a backburner as a recession looms.

Tk 352cr syndicated loan for Malek Spinning Mills

Eight leading financial institutions of the country have signed a Paripassu Security Agreement with Malek Spinning Mills Ltd for an amount of Tk 352 crore loan recently for business expansion, says a press release.

DSE online trading glitch causes loss to Barisal investors

Hundreds of investors of stock market in the

Nokia Siemens appoints new country director

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) Bangladesh appointed Khaled Shams as the country director, according to a press release.

New chairman for Federal Ins

Federal Insurance Company Ltd elected Nurul Alam as chairman and Jainal Abedin as the chairman of the executive committee of the board in a board meeting recently, says a press release.

DSE gets new chief operating officer

AFM Shariful Islam joined Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) Ltd as its chief operating officer (COO) yesterday, according to a statement.

India gets new central bank chief as inflation soars

India has appointed a new central bank chief to replace Yaga Venugopal Reddy, who retires later this week with Asia's third-largest economy battling high inflation.

Thailand moves to support baht

Thailand's central bank said Tuesday it had intervened in the foreign exchange market to support the baht after the government declared emergency rule in the capital.

Philippine corporate profits fall

Soaring inflation contributed to a 4.3-percent fall in profits at listed Philippine firms over the three months to March, a stock exchange study said Tuesday.

OECD ups US growth forecast; slashes for Japan, eurozone

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday increased its forecast for growth in the US economy this year but slashed its predictions for Japan and the eurozone.

Biz Letters

Emphasis on mobile banking
Thanks to Star Business and Mr. Sajjadur Rahman for a detailed report on mobile banking titled "Mobile banking rattles banks". Since this writer has been working on mobile banking and other related banking products to integrate Bangladesh market and monetary practices with the rest of the world, thought it to be imperative to put in humble explanations to the concerns raised by other banking service entities and colleagues. Concern against anything new being launched is a phenomenon that is quite natural as human beings. However, having the benefit of being able to refer to the rich history of economic development, we have learnt - `change is the only constant thing in this world'. We did try to obstruct nation's subscription to submarine cable network with the plea that it will cause a leakage of national secrecy and readers are possibly aware, how we had to repair the dent of being indifferent to accepting changes for better communication to get into the information super way. However, to the best of my knowledge most of the concerns mentioned in the article raised by some banks have already been addressed by the initial proposal submitted by the mobile operators.

Metropolitan

Int'l syndicate active to use Bangladesh as route

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad yesterday said international drug smuggling syndicate is active to use Bangladesh as a smuggling route.

Five killed in road accidents

Five people were killed and another was injured in separate road accidents in Moulvibazar, Kushtia and Chapainawabganj in the last two days.

Engage local govt bodies in solar power generation: USAID

The local government bodies in coastal areas can be encouraged to manage disasters during and after the extreme natural events and generate solar power, a top USAID official said yesterday.

Establish nat'l board on climate change

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called on the government to establish a 'National Board on Climate Change' to prepare climate-resilient development plans.

Eight iftar items for prisoners

The jail authorities are supplying eight iftar (fast-breaking) items to the prisoners of all 67 jails this year costing Tk 22.75 per head.

UK iterates support for free, fair polls

British High Commissioner Stephen Evans reiterated his support for government and Election Commission efforts to hold a free and fair general election in December.

RMCH docs spend much time at private chambers

Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) doctors have spent much time for patients at their private chambers than that at hospital, according to TIB.

Abul Mansur Ahmad's 110th anniversary of birth today

The 110th birth anniversary of Abul Mansur Ahmad, a renowned litterateur, journalist and statesman of the sub-continent, will be observed today, says a press release.

ACC files case against CCC CBA boss Jalal

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against CBA president of Chittagong City Corporation M Jalal Uddin for concealing information about his wealth worth about Tk 51.16 lakh.

'Reduce timeframe for pay commission report'

Leaders of the National Front of Teachers and Employees (NFTE) urged the government to reduce the stipulated time for submission of report of the newly formed pay commission as the present government will have no chance to implement it after December.

RMG workers demand Eid bonus, dues by Ramadan 25

Labour leaders yesterday demanded payment of Eid bonus and salaries and other dues by 25th of Ramadan and urged the garment owners to stop night shift duty of workers during this holy month.

Inter-school debate begins in Rajshahi

A 21-day Rajshahi City Inter-School Debate Competition began at the Rajshahi Public Library auditorium on Monday.

Followers of specific ideology main victims of extrajudicial killings: NGK

Neeti Gobeshona Kendra (NGK), a non-governmental research centre, yesterday expressed its satisfaction over the formation of a new human rights commission, says a press release.

Work towards socio-economic development

Ansar and Village Defense Party (VDP) Director General Maj Gen Abdul Hafiz urged the high officials of the body to work efficiently and tenaciously for the socio-economic development and to improve law and order situation across the country.

Acid attack on housewife

A divorced housewife received burn injuries as criminals led by her former husband threw acid on her at Machhkhola village in Sadar upazila Monday night.

Tac continues hearing of clemency seekers

The Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) continued its hearings on the pleas of clemency seekers as it held hearing on four more cases on the second day.

DAM to open rehabilitation centre today

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) is going to inaugurate its 3rd 40-bed Free Drug Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre at 32-34, Johnson Road of old Dhaka today with the financial and technical support of Family Health International, says a press release.

Documentary on Mansur Ali under making

A documentary on the life of national leader Shaheed M Mansur Ali is under making, says a press release.

CG hailed for setting up Nat'l HR Commission

Leaders of the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Samonnoy Parishad (BMSP) yesterday hailed the caretaker government for setting up the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), says a press release.

Varsity teachers express solidarity with JU students

A total of 50 university teachers and intellectuals expressed solidarity with the ongoing anti-repression movement by Jahangirnagar University (JU) students.

'Withdraw ban on truck, covered van movement in daytime'

Bangladesh Truck-Covered Van Malik Samity demanded withdrawal of restrictions on movement of trucks and covered vans in daytime in city roads.

CA takes iftar with orphans, Ulemas

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed took his iftar with Ulemas and orphans yesterday.

Brig Gen Habibur appointed BUP registrar

Brigadier General Habibur Rahman Kamal, PSC, of the Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), was appointed registrar of the Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP).

Draft of Labour Ordn on website

The draft of the Bangladesh Labour Ordinance 2008 has been published on the website of the labour and employment ministry, says a press release.

Sher-e-Bangla's contribution recalled

Speakers at a discussion yesterday recalled the courageous role of Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Haque in building a self-reliant nation free from poverty, hunger and repression.

National

Special drives start in 13 dists to nab extremists before polls

Police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) have launched special operations in 13 northern and southern districts as intelligence reports said outlaws and Islamist militants have become active again in 18 groups ahead of planned upazila and parliamentary elections.

Recovery starts, finally

At last, Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) yesterday started work for recovery of grabbed parts of Gaviar Khal (canal) to improve the city's drainage system.

PDP leader Santu lodges case challenging results

Sardar Sarfuddin Ahmed Santu, a Progressive Democratic Party (PDP)-backed candidate who lost the Barisal City Corporation (BCC) mayoral polls, yesterday lodged a case with the election tribunal challenging the polls results.

2 shot by BSF in Dinajpur

At least two Bangladeshi cattle traders were wounded as Indian Border Security Force (BSF) fired bullets at Bhaigarh border under Birampur upazila of Dinajpur yesterday morning, BDR sources said.

10 hurt as AL rivals clash in Pabna

At least 10 people including the president of Sujanagar upazila unit Chhatra League were injured when two rival groups of Awami League in Sujanagar upazila clashed at Dulai market in Sujanagar upazila on Monday evening.

Jubo Dal leader sent to jail

A Satkhira court yesterday sent a local leader of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal, an accused in several cases including the attack on the motorcade of Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina in Kalaroa in 2001, to jail when he appeared before the court with prayer for bail.

Sylhet BNP leader charge-sheeted for hoarding diesel

Hearing in the case for illegally stocking 40,000 litres of diesel by a local trader, also a BNP leader, will be held on September 11, court sources said.

Project for physically challenged in Khagrachhari

ALO, a local non-government organisation, has taken initiative to serve disabled men, women and children in Khagrachhari Sadar upazila.

'Fully ratify CEDAW'

Rupantar and Swift Network, two NGOs, yesterday demanded implementation of National Women's Development Policy (NWDP) and decisions of Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Tk 3.2cr heroin seized

Bangladeh Rifles (BDR) here seized heroin worth over Tk 3.2 crore at the border village of Dakshin Kodalkati in Sadar upazila yesterday.

Letters

Sustainable development

Bangladesh faces great challenges in coping with the infrastructure and service requirements of its growing population. Access to food, sanitation, pure drinking water, healthcare, education and social security are obviously inadequate in both urban and rural areas of our country. Poverty still remains a major environmental concern. Poverty means a lack of income, a permanent state of vulnerability and lack of access to resources. Over 40% of the population of our country live in abject poverty. Poverty, population growth and environment have strong linkages in our country. It is critical to check population growth to achieve sustainable development. Because the growing numbers of the poor are forced by the few powerful rich to over utilize the environmental resources and put strain on their carrying capacity while the environmental degradation further limits access to resources for the poor. Poverty has devastating effects on people's lives.

Poor cricket

Bangladesh got their last chance and utilised it nicely to get back some confidence ahead of the three-match one-day international series against Australia when they met Northern Territory Chief Minister's XI in a one-day match, which they won convincingly by a huge margin of 120 runs. Thanks to Mehrab Junior's unbeaten 132, Tamim's 52 and Ashraful's 80.

America's dwindling firepower

With the United States bogged down in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and facing terrorist threats around the world and a hostile Iran, it can no longer fight multiple wars. Despite its massive nuclear arsenals, the United States lacks manpower and political will to fight such many-sided wars. The Soviet Union was a formidable superpower with far larger number of nuclear warheads than the United States and yet it could not continue the war in Afghanistan and eventually collapsed when it could not sustain the burden of war.

Back to square one?

Our politics is suffering from a sort of Sidr effect, thanks to our past political culture, based on utter indiscipline, external and internal. Today the political leadership is without a sense of direction. The entrenched effect has to be erased. Inside the parties [especially the two major ones], there are chaos and disintegration and terrible splits. It is too late for the released top leaders to create seamless internal bonds. The effects of the fallouts would linger for a long time. The voters feel unsure of the near future, not to speak of the long-term view.

Set up more universities

This refers to Lutfor Rahman's letter under the above title on 27 August 2008. I would like to add some more points to the letter. I can hardly support the opinion that increasing the number of universities in the country's context is important. Undoubtedly, the number of certified students is increasing every year. It is also true that we have an acceptable number of government and private universities(govt. approved) in the country, though the number of high standard universities is very few. The undeniable fact is that we need some quality universities in our country. Every year these universities, especially private universities, are admitting a large number of students and producing some so called "graduates and undergraduates" , whatever their merit might be.

Obama won't win!

Hillary Clinton losing the Democratic Party nomination for President, it could inadvertently lead to the Democrats losing out on the presidency! Obama, despite getting a very experienced Senator as Vice President nominee, is not likely to win the presidential race.

Traffic jam and pollution

Life in Dhaka city is both interesting and miserable. The man who actually lives in the city of Dhaka can realise how miserable the life is when he wants to go to any place by bus or any other vehicle. And then this is the most polluted city of the world.

Akbar's article on Zakir Naik

Mr. M.J. Akbar is a renowned and prolific writer. I am too small to comment on his views. But sometimes great people also make mistakes as the saying goes, " To err is human". And in my humble opinion, M.J. Akbar is not above this since he made some objectionable observations in his article on the subject published in The Daily Star on August 4, 2008. While dealing with terrorism, he unnecessarily dragged in the name of Islamic thinker Dr. Zakir Naik, as if he is propagating terrorism. In his (Mr. M.J. Akbar's) word, " Zakir Naik, a television evangelist who has a devoted following among the terror groups, gratifies Osama as the Ultimate Islamic Hero".

Development of Khulna region

People of Khulna were very enthusiastically waiting to see the outcome of the adviser council meeting held in Khulna on 26 August, headed by the Honourable Chief Adviser.

Corroded railway bridges

Steel structures, bridges or buildings, need protection against corrosion. Rusting of steel is a natural phenomenon. Oxygen from the ambient air while in contact of the exposed steel surface forms ferrous oxide which is called rust or corrosion that eats upon the steel surface, ultimately leading to failure of the structure.

Education and vocational training

This is in response to the write up of Mr. Avik Dasgupta.

Save our cottage industries

We have a great opportunity to earn more foreign currency through promoting the cottage industry. By using a little amount of money and little portion of land, we can establish a cottage industry. In case of rural people, it may be an effective source of income, besides their main occupation.

Russia and USA today

To the great surprise and disappointment of the USA and European powers, the former USSR (now Russia) developed atom bomb in 1949 within four years of the USA dropping two atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing and maiming millions of Japanese.

International

EU freezes Moscow talks

The European Union on Monday froze talks with Moscow on closer ties until Russian troops withdraw from Georgia, as hundreds of thousands staged an anti-Russian rally in the Georgian capital.

Worst believed over for storm-hit New Orleans

New Orleans shrugged off a pounding blow by Hurricane Gustav, with relieved officials saying the city appeared to have avoided a repeat of the catastrophe of three years ago when Katrina struck with deadly effect.

Fears of disease haunt flood-hit India, Nepal

Hundreds of thousands of flood victims huddled into makeshift camps in India and Nepal face major disease outbreaks if help fails to reach them quickly, aid workers warned yesterday.

New PML-Q 'forward bloc'to back Zardari

A new group of dissident Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) legislators assured Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in a meeting on Monday of support for Pakistan People's Party presidential candidate Asif Ali Zardari.

Pak airstrike kills 10

Pakistani military jets pounded rebel hideouts in restive Swat valley in the northwest yesterday, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens, a security official said.

Manipur CM survives assassination attempt

Ethnic rebels fighting Indian rule in the remote north-east have attempted to kill the chief minister of Manipur state for the third time in four years, police said.

Volatile situation in riot-hit Orissa

The situation in Orissa's riot-hit Kandhamal district continues to be volatile on Tuesday with at least 80 houses being torched in fresh violence as the government accelerated relief and rehabilitation efforts for which Rs two crore has been sanctioned.

US monitors 2 new tropical storms

US officials were keeping a close eye Tuesday on two tropical storms already posing a potential threat after deadly Hurricane Gustav battered the US Gulf Coast.

Israel, Syria to resume indirect peace talks

Israel and Syria will soon resume indirect peace talks with Turkish mediation, Israeli public radio reported on Monday.

EU displays unity on Russia but not strength

EU leaders managed to overcome their differences over Russia at an emergency summit on Georgia but are still in a relatively weak position in handling Moscow, analysts said Tuesday.

Republicans rocked as Palin says teen daughter pregnant

Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin revealed Monday her unmarried teenaged daughter is pregnant, in the latest bombshell to rock the party's Hurricane Gustav-curtailed convention.

Iraq-US pact to go to parliament in 10 days

A draft security deal between Washington and Baghdad on the future of US forces in Iraq is to be submitted to parliament within 10 days, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was quoted as saying yesterday.

Aso eyes Japanese PM's job

Outspoken conservative Taro Aso signalled his desire yesterday to be Japan's next prime minister after the abrupt resignation of Yasuo Fukuda deepened political turmoil in the world's second economy.

UN aid plane crashes in Congo

The United Nations says a plane carrying 17 people on a humanitarian aid flight has crashed in Congo.

High-profile Indian found guilty

An Indian court Tuesday found a businessman guilty of killing six people by running them over in his car after a trial featuring prominent families, crooked lawyers and alleged witness intimidation.

Sri Lanka jails 305 military deserters

Sri Lanka's military yesterday ordered the jailing of 305 army deserters who failed to return to their units during an amnesty period, the defence ministry said.

Arts & Entertainment

Zia Hyder passes away

The year 2008 is perhaps unfortunate for theatre enthusiasts in Bangladesh. The latest shock is the demise of renowned poet-dramatist-director-teacher Professor Zia Hyder.

An art school run by a Freedom Fighter

Freedom Fighter Abdul Aziz is neither a reputed artist, nor an affluent man but has taken a commendable initiative. He along with seven of his colleagues has been voluntarily running at art school for rural children.

Nazrul's death anniversary observed in Rajshahi

"Mancho Kotha Theatre" observed National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam's 32nd death anniversary in Rajshahi recently.

Italians critical of Chinese art

A cultural exchange has turned into an awkward debate over aesthetics in Italy and China, the British newspaper The Guardian reported. In an attempt to promote trade relations, the city of Florence gave a bronze reproduction of Michelangelo's David to the city of Ningbo, China, two years ago. In return, Ningbo donated two huge stone sculptures last year. The reproduction was greeted warmly by the Chinese, but in Florence authorities are having difficulty finding a home for the two reproductions of Tang dynasty figures, one a smiling warrior and one a bureaucrat, because city residents do not find them aesthetically appealing.

Marilyn Monroe film footage found in Australia

An amateur film of Marilyn Monroe on the set of "Some Like It Hot" has surfaced in Australia almost 50 years after it was shot and is being put up for auction.

OP-ED

HC verdict: A citizen's views

THE verdict in the case of the gruesome killing of four national leaders -- Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, M. Mansur Ali and A.H.M. Qamruzzaman -- inside Dhaka Central Jail on the night of November 3, 1975 was delivered on August 28. Let me remind the nation in an effort to stress the importance of the case that while it was the responsibility of the state to protect their lives, it not only failed to do so, it also failed to punish their killers.

Are we serious about implementing CEDAW?

SEPTEMBER 3 is the 29th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (UNCEDAW). It is time to ask how effectively this Convention has been used to ensure substantive gender equality. In the case of Bangladesh, we took a forward step in 1984 by ratifying the Convention. A second step has been the government's promptness in submitting reports on its actions to implement CEDAW.

China's Olympic run

CHINA'S leaders are basking in the afterglow of a successful Beijing Olympics, hoping the Games will be remembered as the moment when the world recognised and celebrated China's emergence as a resurgent global superpower. The state-run media are flushed with self-congratulatory prose; individual bloggers and internet contributors are sharing dreams of glory.

Proof that chocolate fudge cake is good for you

CHOCOLATE fudge cake is actually a significant health food, readers tell me. Simply make it with dark chocolate and abandon all other treats on your diet.

Star City

Save ageing Pogose School

Pogose School, one of the oldest schools of Dhaka, has become a living relic due to lack of steps to conserve the building located near Shankharibazar.

Waste transfer stations to stop littering the streets

The city managers have embarked on an innovative plan to change the way of disposing of the thousands of tonnes of garbage the city generates every day.

Shops without trade licences on rise in residential areas

Ruining the residential character of Mohammadpur, most of the house owners of Tajmahal Road are setting up shops on the ground floors of their houses.


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