The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, July 29, 2014


News of: Sunday, 7th of September, 2008

Front Page

EC to seek easing of emergency further

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday said it will ask the caretaker government to relax the state of emergency allowing political parties to hold national councils for amending their constitutions ahead of the parliamentary poll.

Tk 396cr gobbled up thru' gas connections

Officials and contractors of the Bakhrabad Gas Systems Limited (BGSL) pocketed about Tk 396 crore in bribe for providing gas connections since its start in 1980 till December 2007, a Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) report yesterday said.

Bail in last 2 cases to see Khaleda free

Detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will file two petitions with the High Court (HC) today for bail in Gatco and Niko graft cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Flood feared to worsen in country's central part

Flood situation in the country's central part is likely to deteriorate further while thousands of marooned people in the flood-affected areas are suffering from a shortage of food and drinking water.

Zardari sweeps to presidency

Asif Ali Zardari secured a large win in Pakistan's presidential elections yesterday, capping a remarkable rise from jail, exile and his wife Benazir Bhutto's assassination just nine months ago.

Going, Going, Going, Gone ….

These are some of the rarest animals and birds in Bangladesh -- slow loris, jungle cats, leopard cats, civets, badgers, hornbills and green pigeons. Once they were found frequently, if not in abundance, in the wild. But with systematic destruction of forests, they have now been pushed to the verge of extinction. These animals were captured from different parts of Sri Mongol and Sylhet as they foraged into locality.

Telenor warns Yunus over shareholder deal

Telenor, the Norwegian majority shareholder of Bangladeshi telecom giant Grameenphone (GP), has denied ever reaching an agreement with Grameen Telecom chair Prof Muhammad Yunus to sell its stakes to Bangladeshi management.

BNP may skip talks with EC today

BNP last night decided it would not join the Election Commission's (EC) dialogue today on registration of the political parties, said party leaders.

Dhaka should ask for compensation, not aid

Bangladesh should not ask for charity or aid from industrially developed countries to combat climate change but demand compensation from them, speakers at a dialogue in the city said yesterday.

Journos barred from covering talks at EC

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday did not allow journalists to cover dialogue with political parties on their registration.

Tarique to apply for German, UK visas today

The condition of BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, released from detention recently, is improving, his doctor and lawyer said yesterday.

Top AL leaders face iftar wrath

Senior Awami League leaders came under fire from party leaders yesterday for attending an iftar party with Jamaat leaders at the residence of Saudi ambassador in Dhaka Friday evening.

Change in presidency planned by Benazir

After becoming Prime Minister of Pakistan late Benazir Bhutto had decided that she would immediately try to remove Pervez Musharraf. Her 18-year-old daughter Bakhtawar claimed that change in the presidency was actually planned by her mother and Musharraf was removed exactly according to the plan.

'JMB threat' to bomb Rab offices

A fax to Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) headquarters purportedly sent by Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) threatened to bomb the headquarters and offices of all the 12 Rab battalions within this month.

Lidless manhole claims life

A lidless manhole cost a young man his life at Motijheel in the capital yesterday.

Flood factor imperils food output target

The government has fixed an ambitious target of food grain production for the current fiscal year 2008-09 with a 24 percent rise in total output although the target may be missed if the current flood situation deteriorates.

Only political refugees need registration

Detained former premier Khaleda Zia's parliamentary adviser and BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury yesterday demanded recasting the Election Commission (EC) for a 'free, fair and credible general election.'

Govt blamed for not bringing Sundarbans, Cox's Bazar back to race

Bangladesh government has not taken any initiative yet to get the names of Sundarbans and Cox's Bazar beach back in the new 7 wonders of the world competition after the country's two natural sites were dropped by the organisers on charges of 'vote rigging and manipulation.'

25 agree to return Tk 10cr for clemency

Some 25 corrupt individuals have so far agreed to deposit more than Tk 10 crore to the national exchequer in return for clemency by the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac).

Tigers shot down 3-0

Bangladesh's batsmen again failed as they fell to another demoralising defeat in their one-day series against Australia at the TIO Stadium here on Saturday.

Man beaten to death in city

A mob beat up a trader to death in front of his residence at Badda in the capital in the early hours yesterday.

Rab website partially restored

The website of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), hacked on Thursday by an unknown person, was partially restored yesterday.

24 Tamil Tigers killed in fighting

Sri Lankan soldiers captured three Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers and killed 24 guerrillas in fighting across the island's restive north, the military said yesterday.

Nuke suppliers clear landmark Indo-US deal

The United States, following weeks of tough negotiations, finally secured the approval of nuclear supplier nations yesterday for proposals to lift a 34-year-old embargo on nuclear trade with India.

Editorial

Price monitoring by FBCCI

THE president and other office bearers of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) have in the last few days been touring city markets and monitoring prices of essential goods. And what they have to report certainly does not make anyone happy. They have informed us that they have noticed significant differences in the prices of the same goods in retail shops at different city markets. As an instance, prices in Shyambazar vary widely from those in Karwan Bazar. The FBCCI leaders, who had earlier taken it upon themselves to help keep prices under control, are now clearly exasperated at the unbridled way in which retailers have been selling goods to already suffering consumers. They have noted that they have no network wide enough to keep markets countrywide under surveillance and therefore little influence over retailers.

A big threat to public health

DESPICABLE is the word that can partially define the practice of catching poisonous fish from waste treatment plant lagoons and selling them in the markets for human consumption. And we are appalled to learn that this heinous practice has been going on for years together in the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) lagoons in and around Pagla, Narayanganj, though officially there is a 10-year old ban on fishing in lagoon waters. According to experts, poisonous components in lagoon fish can stay in human body for 8 to10 years, causing kidney and lever diseases including cancer. Therefore, authorities should have been doubly concerned at the health risks of the citizens. A back-page news item in this daily on Saturday spoke alleged involvement of a section of employees of WASA, local fishermen and on-duty ansars in the scam defying office orders.

Mobility of the masses

AN interesting aspect of rural livelihood system is mobility. We can take up the issue of mobility of rural households -- along occupation or land ownership scale -- to understand the dynamics that rural households are face with in response to the change of three I's: Infrastructure, Incentives, and Institutions.

Islam from a Western perspective

IN a televised debate, the moderator asked Barack Obama for his reaction to the Internet rumours that he was a Muslim. The tone of the question, if not inquisitorial, was clearly accusatory -- as though Obama had done something heinous. Obama kept cool and simply replied that he was a Christian. Had he replied that he was a Muslim, his chances of ever becoming the president of the United States would have vanished completely.

Student politics and beyond

THE demand of major political parties to hold elections to the parliament, before holding them at the upazilla level, which the caretaker interim government and the Election Commission proposed to do, has brought about an element of uncertainty in the political atmosphere of the country.

Sports

'Ashraful close to axe'

Jamie Siddons has warned Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful that he could soon face the axe unless he quickly turns around his dismal batting form. In the third ODI in Darwin on Saturday, Ashraful drove in the air to point for 3 when his team needed a platform and he also fell for single figures playing bad strokes in the first two games.

Who is to blame?

Shocker, inexplicable were the cries from millions of betrayed hearts moments after Bangladesh captain Mr. Ashraful played that expansive drive straight to his Australian counterpart Michael Clarke at point in the third and final one-day international at Darwin yesterday.

Aussies 'spot on'

Defending 198 in a one-day international is rarely a comfortable position these days but Michael Clarke, Australia's stand-in captain, insists he was never scared that Bangladesh would cause a mammoth upset and dent his leadership credentials. He could have been forgiven for a few nerves when Tamim Iqbal made the slow pitch look a batting paradise as Bangladesh reached 3 for 82.

Serena sets up Jelena date

Her place in the final se-cure, Serena Williams briskly walked off center court and headed toward the locker room. In a hallway, she was intercepted by three of her fans who wanted a picture.

BCB confirms Ad Touch as sponsor

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed Ad Touch as title sponsor of the upcoming New Zealand tour of Bangladesh.

MSC walk out of tourney

Mohammedan Sporting Club walked off after two Brothers Union officials allegedly jostled with goalkeeper Nehal yesterday.

Bolt closes out in style

Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt won the 100m at the Golden League meet here on Friday, beating compatriot Asafa Powell in a time of 9.77sec to bring the curtain down on his record-shattering season.

Sachin to play Irani Trophy

Sachin Tendulkar has declared himself fit for the coming season and will play the Irani Trophy match between Ranji Trophy champions Delhi and Rest of India starting on September 24 in Baroda.

Bryan brothers win doubles title

American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan won their seventh Grand Slam men's doubles crown Friday, defeating India's Leander Paes and Czech Lukas Dlouhy 7-6, 7-6 to take the US Open title.

Div II football

Matuail Udayan Sangsad and Uro Famous Club earned identical 3-0 wins in the Second Division Football League at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamlapur yesterday.

Libya upset Ghana

Algeria, Libya and Malawi triumphed this weekend to keep alive hopes of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Keegan to make U-turn?

Two days on from Kevin Keegan's resignation as Newcastle United manager local media intimated Saturday the former England boss might return - if owner Mike Ashley sells.

Capello wants respect

England manager Fabio Capello has called on club managers around the country to show him respect by not launching public criticism at the national team.

Real still pine for C'Ron

Real Madrid still have their heart set on Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, Spanish media insisted Saturday amid fresh reports of the Portuguese star's "dream" of starring at the Bernabeu.

Hamilton takes pole

World championship leader Lewis Hamilton oozed confidence after he secured pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix with a dazzling lap in Saturday's qualifying session.

Real after Podolski

Spanish giants Real Madrid want to sign Bayern Munich's disgruntled Germany striker Lukas Podolski during January's transfer window, according to German sports agency SID.

Man City tried to sign Gomez

Premier League side Manchester City made an eleventh-hour bid to sign Germany striker Mario Gomez from Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart last Sunday, the forward revealed on Saturday.

Sneijder makes rapid recovery

Key Real Madrid midfielder Wesley Sneijder could return to action for the reigning Spanish champions far quicker than expected, according to reports Saturday.

Rajkovic banned for spitting

Serbian defender Slobodan Rajkovic was on Friday banned for 12 months for spitting at the referee following his side's 2-0 defeat by Argentina in a group match at the Beijing Olympics, FIFA announced.

So close, yet so far

The first man to take a one-day international hattrick for Bangladesh almost repeated the feat this week. Shahadat Hossain rates his three from three balls against Zimbabwe in 2006 as the highlight of his career. It would have been overtaken quicker than a broken-down Kombi van had he reproduced the deed against Australia.

Warne helps out Clarke

Michael Clarke has enlisted the help of Shane Warne as he aims to take on some bowling responsibilities on the upcoming Test tour of India. Clarke's left-arm spin has always been useful and he picked up 6 for 9 in Mumbai on his first Test tour to India in 2004-05 as well as winning January's Sydney Test against India with three late wickets.

Hinds & Strauss sign new deals

England batsman Andrew Strauss and South African Tyron Henderson have signed new contracts with Middlesex.

KP's perfect for England

Two islands, separated by oceans, continents and attitudes produced correct cricketing decisions. It shows that if you have the intent, the right path isn't always very difficult to find. Intent though, can be an elusive trait, often hard to find and once found, hard to adhere to.

Business

Grameen Telecom won't pay for Telenor wrongs

Grameen Telecom, the local shareholder of the country's largest mobile phone operator Grameenphone, said yesterday it was not ready to pay any fine for 'illegal' activities committed by Norwegian firm Telenor, its majority stakeholder.

Garment owners threaten shutdown

Garment owners yesterday threatened to close their factories in the trouble-torn Gazipur district for an indefinite period if the government fails to provide security for the industry by September 25.

Biman's Dhaka-New York direct flight hangs in balance

The planned restoration of Biman's Dhaka-New York direct flight in October now faces uncertainty, as the regulatory authority for commercial aviation is yet to comply with the minimum international safety standards even 11 years into a complaint placed by an international body, according to sources in the aviation sector.

RMG's duty-free access to US faces setback

Bangladeshi readymade garments (RMG) may face a setback in its effort to win duty- and quota-free access to the American market as US authorities have responded positively to the appeal of few African countries to exclude the country's RMG from New Partnership Act (NPDA) 2007.

South Asia economies grow despite lack of good governance

South Asia's economies are growing despite obstacles like poor infrastructure, inadequate foreign investment and lack of good governance, noted economist Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud has said, adding that many people consider this growth as a miracle.

Best Air plans Dubai flight for Sept 8

Best Air, the country's third private airliner, is likely to start operating flights on its Dhaka-Dubai-Dhaka route on September 8, spreading its wings on international routes.

4000 tonnes Dutch potato seed import by November

Private entrepreneurs will import around 4,000 tonnes of high yielding variety potato seeds from the Netherlands in November for cultivating those during the next Rabi season.

Libyan magic transforms banks of the Nile

With its panoramic views of the Nile but also of mud homes sinking into flooded swampland, Sudan's flashest hotel brings the flair of Moamer Kadhafi and Italian luxury to a capital struggling to keep up.

Freedom must be tempered with wisdom

Those of you who read this column will recall that I have a ten month old son, Yazdaan. I do get odd looks when I go around with him. People wonder and find it difficult to comprehend that it is quite okay to have a child at my age, even though our eldest is a lanky 22 year old.

Stocks move past bullish second week

Dhaka stocks continued to gain with minor price corrections last week, led by market heavyweight Titas Gas, in a bullish second week after a long slump.

Aktel offers 25pc bonus on talk time for prepaid users

Mobile phone operator Aktel announced Thursday a promotional offer of 'bonus on talk time', said a statement.

Bush pushes lawmakers on oil, trade

US President George W. Bush on Saturday urged the US Congress held by his Democratic foes to back free trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia and clear the way for more oil drilling.

Wall Street bounces back from dismal jobs report

Wall Street shares recovered from steep early losses and ended mainly higher Friday after a jump in US unemployment prompted renewed talk of recession in the world's biggest economy.

US govt to take over mortgage giants

The US government is planning to put under strict federal control troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, fire their top executives and use federal funds to bail them out, US media reported on their websites late Friday.

Philippine inflation hits 17-year high

Inflation in the Philippines surged to 12.5 percent in August, a 17-year high, the government said Friday, warning that the rise could impact economic growth targets for this year.

Nokia shares plunge after market share forecast cut

Nokia, the world's leading mobile phone maker, on Friday cut its third quarter market share guidance, sending its share price tumbling.

India's new central bank governor pledges to battle inflation

India's new head of the Reserve Bank of India took office on Friday, pledging to wrestle down inflation riding at 13-year highs.

Weekly Currency Roundup

August 31 September 4, 2008
Local FX Market
This week, there was ample liquidity in the local market, and US Dollar was stable against the Bangladesh Taka. The demand for dollar was steady.

Metropolitan

London meet to underscore need for global emission cut

Chief Adviser's Special Assistant Raja Devashish Roy left the city for London yesterday to carry out the preparatory activities ahead of a high-profile UK-Bangladesh climate change conference is scheduled to be held in London on September 10.

'Introduce permit card to collect raw materials from Sundarbans'

Representatives from wood collectors (bawali), golpata harvesters, honey and beeswax collectors (moual) and fishermen communities in the Sundarbans, country's only mangrove forest, have demanded immediate reintroduction of 'permit card' to them for collecting raw materials from the forest.

Repeal RPO Ordinance 2008

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called upon the government to repeal the Representation of People's Order (RPO) Ordinance 2008 immediately saying that the ordinance is unconstitutional, undemocratic and unrealistic and it would push the nation into a new crisis.

Media can help achieve MDG-4

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said media as a platform can play a big role to save the lives of children by providing proper healthcare services information for the common people.

Hold referendum in Oct

Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday demanded that a referendum be held in October to seek opinion of the people on maintaining a balance between the powers of the president and the prime minister.

Establish physiotherapy college

Bangladesh Physiotherapy Students Union (BPSU) and Bangladesh Physiotherapy Society (BPS) yesterday demanded of the government to establish immediately a college of physiotherapy in the country.

Cyber centre inaugurated at DU library

A cyber centre was inaugurated in Dhaka University library yesterday for its teachers, researchers, students, officials and employees.

Acute water crisis in Rajshahi city

Water crisis is turning acute in many areas of Rajshahi city despite the assurance of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) to maintain smooth supply during the month of Ramadan.

Release Hasina permanently

Awami League joint general secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday called on the caretaker government to take immediate steps to release the party president, Sheikh Hasina, permanently.

'Withdraw cases against students'

Students of physiotherapy department of the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthepaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) yesterday staged a demonstration on the Dhaka University (DU) campus demanding immediate withdrawal of cases filed against the students of the institute.

Abul Hossain hospitalised

Language movement veteran, freedom fighter and leader of National Awami Party (NAP) Abul Hossain has been suffering from a massive heart attack and brain stroke simultaneously.

Doctor held with phensidyl in Comilla

Police yesterday arrested a physician and his car driver from outskirts of Champaknagar for possessing contraband phensidyl syrup.

Community pry teachers demand pay hike before Eid

Bangladesh Community Primary Teachers' Association yesterday urged the chief adviser to take necessary measures to increase the salary of the teachers in consultation with them before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Four top bureaucrats transferred

The government has moved four bureaucrats to new posts in the latest shuffle in the administration, an official statement yesterday.

Six killed in Rangpur road crashes

Six people were killed and 25 others injured in separate road accidents at Sadar and Mithapukur upazilas in Rangpur on Friday night.

'Extend town-based treatment facilities to village level'

Special Assistant to Chief Adviser Brigadier General (Retd) MA Malek called for extending the town-based medical facilities to village level for reaching it to the doorstep of farmers.

Medicines worth Tk 1.20cr seized at ZIA

Customs officials at Zia International Airport (ZIA) seized medicines worth Tk 1.20 crore in the early hours of yesterday.

Muslim unrest in Philippines may spread to neighbours

With peace talks between the Philippine government and Muslim rebels in tatters, analysts are warning violence will escalate and could spill over into neighbouring countries.

National

Satkhira AL enthused, intra-party rift widens

The planned upazila election has enthused Awami League aspirants and grassroots leaders and activists in all seven upazilas in Satkhira. But this has widened the rift in the party, already dogged by internal feud and grouping.

SQ Chowdhury's release widens Ctg BNP rift

Following release of BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, internal feud in the city and Chittagong (North) district units of BNP now seem to intensify.

300 quit Workers Party in Rajshahi

Some 300 leaders and activists of Workers Party and its front organisations Jubo Maitree and Chhatra Moitree in a press conference in Rajshahi city yesterday announced dissociation from the organisations due to 'arbitrariness' of senior leaders.

Villagers repair Kobadak embankment

Setting a laudable example, villagers repaired the breached embankment at Khalshibunia point in Gabura union under Shyamnagar upazila on the River Kabodak through voluntary service after the Water Development Board failed to do the task.

Fake fertiliser factory detected in Kurigram

A fake fertiliser factory has been detected at Rajarhat upazila.

No confidence against Faridpur poura mayor

Faridpur Pourasabha mayor Md Abul Hossain has been facing no confidence from the commissioners of the municipality.

30 injured in Pabna clash

At least 30 people were injured, 10 of them critically, as two groups of people locked in clash at Chak Gurguria village in Ishwardi upazila yesterday, police and locals said.

Letters

Barack Obama

America has made history by giving a major political party nomination to an African-American, with eighty thousand people attending the ceremony. Barack Obama, the Senator from Illinois, accepted it with gratitude and humility.

Price hike during Ramadan

One can easily assume that prices of the essentials will soar further during the month of Ramadan it is already evident in the market.

Why this miserable performance?

Cricket is known to many as an unpredictable game and it is so. But one has to differentiate between unpredictability and inconsistency. The miserable performance of Bangladesh team playing against the Australian 'B' team has made it clear that this team has no potential at all.

American psyche

Americans are not yet ready to choose a woman to be their top boss. Yes, they are fond of brother and not sister. Failure of Mrs. Hilary Clinton to get the nomination from the Democratic Party indicates that the people of the USA do not want a woman to be their next president. On the other hand, it is not wrong to say that American women are not competent enough to occupy the top position. Though the USA is advocating all over the world women's development, human rights, gender equality, their own women are not given due respect and recognition.

Life in Bangladesh

On 22nd August an article entitled “ Innocent citizens are hostages in the hands of a few organised criminals” was published in The Daily Star. Since I am known to the writer for over fifty years, he telephoned me with a request to go through the news item. I requested him to re-direct his original write up to my departmental email address. He immediately agreed to comply with my request. I got a print out of the item and went through it. To mention it frankly, the news item did not enthuse me at all. The question arises, why?

CTG and trial of corrupt people

The idea of making/keeping our judiciary non-political is turning into a bit of a joke. The adviser concerned seems to know exactly what the court's decision is going to be regarding various bail appeals before the court declares its decisions.

Election and return of goons

The government has been compelled to free the criminals because they are politicians. Most of the intellectuals, politicians and others asked for a free and fair election with participation of all the parties, they even demanded release of all criminals (innocent in their view). It is an irony that those criminals are being freed. If the participation of criminals in the general election is essential for democracy-- we simply do not need that democracy and election. The BGMA remained silent when the businessman was killed by the goons (or so called "chhatra"). We will soon see lots of new sycophants of Tarique for nomination in the coming general election. Again they will claim they are people's representatives and hence they are the best. We must not allow general election as a process for empowering the politicians to engage in corruption.

If Pakistanis were like them…

'The settlement was a "complete and moral acknowledgement of the damage inflicted on Libya by Italy during the colonial era", the Italian prime minister said. "In this historic document, Italy apologises for its killing, destruction and repression against Libyans during the colonial rule," Col Gaddafi said. This is part of the news posted by BBC. Can the Pakistanis read? If they can they would have understood what it means to be civilised. The news goes on--"It is my duty, as a head of the government, to express to you in the name of the Italian people our regret and apologies for the deep wounds that we have caused to you," said Berlusconi" If Pakistani leaders were enlightened like Italian PM Berlusconi, then they would have, too, acknowledged morally and physically, the atrocities meted out on us-Bengalees-- in 1971.Some of their intellectuals have stood in front of their press club with a 'We are sorry' banner. Is that enough to heal the wounds and scars ? I lost my elder brother in 1971.Each and every member of my family went through a painful psychological trauma from that death. Is that banner good enough for me and others like me? I will always curse Pakistanis from the depth of my heart. Pakistanis still have to learn what is meant by 'dignity, humanity and respect' .

Minus two or managed two?

This is the latest topic making the rounds of drawing room gossip! The caretaker government, once so determined on the minus two formula, has now belatedly discovered the "managed two" formula, we are now awaiting the experimental proof of this new formula; the earlier experiment having failed! Now that the government has realised the meaning of the popular saying that "It takes two to Tango", we can hopefully see the drama (called election or selection ("As you like it"), on the centre stage!

Deploying police abroad

We came to know that police officers would be appointed in Bangladesh embassies in foreign countries to protect Bangladeshi workers from so called middlemen. Instantly, it seems to be a good idea, but in the long run, it will not bring any glory for the country. The reasons are given below:

Jail killing

Killings of the founding father, founding (acting) president, founding prime minister and key members of the first cabinet are the greatest tragedy and shame for any nation.

Population boom

The population of the major cities and towns of Bangladesh is increasing at an alarming rate. It has been estimated that if the present pace continues, then 80% of the total population will live in the urban areas by 2025.

The unfortunate nation

It looks like Bangladesh politics is now going back to square one. The commendable steps that were taken by the CTG are being retracted and negotiated with the criminal politicians who have robbed the country of its potential and development from the very beginning.

Decentralisation

When centralisation limits are crossed, the next option is decentralisation. For the benefit of the 150 million people of Bangladesh, decentralisation has become essential.

Train on the right track?

I tend to agree with the analysis of the current political situation made by Mr. Husain Imam (DS August 28, 2008). He has correctly catalogued the successes and failures of the present caretaker government (CTG) of Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed. Mr. Imam is very right when he says, “The bandits, we say godfathers, who were put in jail (more appropriately in quarantine camp) or kept on the run on charges of wanton corruption, violence, loot, extortion and abuse of state power, now seem to be flexing their muscles to stage a comeback with garlands around their necks and making V-sign with their fingers, thanks to the handling, or should we say mishandling, of the cases.”

International

17 killed in Pak suicide bomb attack

At least 17 people were killed and around 80 injured Saturday when a suicide attacker rammed his bomb-laden vehicle into a security checkpost in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

'Mr Ten Percent' is new Pak president

Pakistan's new president Asif Ali Zardari was once so tainted by corruption allegations that he acquired the nickname "Mr Ten percent" among his countrymen and beyond.

Water starts receding in Indian flood zone

Some villagers began trying to return to their flooded homes in eastern India yesterday as waters slowly receded, but officials warned the move was risky with a month of heavy rains still expected.

Troops, protesters clash in Kashmir: 1 killed

Thousands of angry people took to the streets in Indian Kashmir to denounce the killing Saturday of a protester by government troops who fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells at Muslim demonstrators chanting anti-India slogans, an official said.

India hails end to nuke pariah status

India's government hailed as "historic" a decision yesterday by nuclear supplier nations to end the country's nuclear pariah status and adopt a US initiative to allow atomic trade with New Delhi.

Indian military warns PM over poor wages

The Indian military on Friday took its long-running battle for higher wages to the prime minister, warning poor perks were hurting morale in one of the world's biggest armies.

20 people killed in Cairo rockslide

At least 20 people were killed and 23 injured yesterday when dozens of homes in a northern Cairo shantytown were crushed by a massive rockslide, Egyptian officials said.

Suicide bomb, attacks kill 20 in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber killed a state prosecutor and five other people in Afghanistan yesterday, and nearly a dozen people died in other insurgency-linked violence, authorities said.

US rearming Georgia under guise of aid

The United States is rearming Georgia under the guise of humanitarian assistance, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev charged on Saturday, following the arrival in Georgia of US warships laden with aid.

Thai PM holes up at home as emergency rule is flouted

Thailand's embattled Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej holed up at his heavily-guarded home on Saturday as protesters vowed to continue defying emergency rule and hold marches demanding he step down.

'Obama, McCain want bigger role for Europe'

Both US presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, want the European Union to play a bigger role in world crises, the French presidency of the bloc said on Friday.

Modest US force cuts proposed for Iraq

Top US defence officials have recommended US President George W. Bush order only a modest US troop withdrawal from Iraq next year, with some of the forces shifted to Afghanistan, officials told AFP Friday.

Afghans fed up with government, US

The bearded, turbaned men gather beneath a large, leafy tree in rural eastern Nangarhar province. When Malik Mohammed speaks on their behalf, his voice is soft but his words are harsh. Mohammed makes it clear that the tribal chiefs have lost all faith in both their own government and the foreign soldiers in their country.

Blair return would boost Britain's Labour Party: Poll

Tony Blair is the only senior figure from Britain's governing Labour Party who could revive its fortunes, according to a poll released yesterday.

Pakistan restores 3 more judges ousted by Musharraf

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday reinstated three judges ousted by Pervez Musharraf, cementing political divisions in the country a day before it elects a new president.

Malaysia's Anwar says on track to unseat govt

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday he is on track to meet a mid-September deadline to recruit enough members of parliament to topple the government.

9 killed in Iraq violence

At least nine people were killed in three attacks in Iraq on Saturday, including a car bomb in a northern Iraq market that claimed six lives and wounded 50, police and security said.

Benazir's memory looms over Pak polls

For one day, Benazir Bhutto lived again - at least in the hearts of her fervent supporters.

13 missing in Philippines landslide

Six people were killed and at least seven others were missing after a landslide triggered by heavy rains buried houses in the southern Philippines, officials said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

In a candid conversation with Aupi Karim

THE charming girl- next- door. The amicable host formerly on popular talk show Amar Ami and presently on Ainaghar. This brilliant actress has awed the audience with her suave style of acting. Her perfectly measured dimpled smile and simple looks have won the heart of thousands, and entitled her to the position of one of the most-liked actresses of the small screen. Aupi Karim is a dedicated artiste on TV, on stage and also a passionate dancer. In her recent interview with The Daily Star, she shared her experience working with different co-actors, and her fascination towards dance.

Rich tributes to Professor Zia Hyder at Shilpakala

TO pay homage to poet and pioneering theatre activist Professor Zia Hyder, Shammilito Shanskritik Jote, Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation and Nagorik Natyasampradaya in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy organised a commemoration programme at the Experimental Theatre Stage on September 5.

Kalpona talks on her new album “Khodar Premey”

KHODAR Premey, an album of Islami songs of Kazi Nazrul Islam by artiste Kalpona Anam was released recently. The artiste talked with The Daily Star about her new album.

Poetry evening at Mymensingh book launch

THE launching ceremony of a book and two literary papers was held at the auditorium of Mukul Niketon High School recently. Jati Swattar Kabi by poet Gausur Rahman and two literary papers- Swatantra : Buddhadev Basu Issue and Dhitiya Chinta, edited by poet Farid Ahmed Dulal and Iffat Ara respectively were launched at the programme.

Promoth Chowdhury's increasingly blurred legacy

PROMOTH Chowdhury, a noted Bengali litterateur, was the pride of Pabna. His ancestral residence is in village Haripur, in Chatmohar upazila under the district. Sadly, though, his rich literary heritage is in danger of being lost.

Shykh Seraj turns 55 today

Eminent media personality and agricultural development activist and Ashoka Fellow, Shykh Seraj turns 55 today. He is famous for his pioneering TV programme on agriculture called "Mati O Manush" for which he has received many awards like "Ekushey Padak", "Ashoka Fellow" etc. Wishing him many happy returns of the day.

Michael Moore to release new film online for free

INSPIRED by Neil Young and Radiohead, Michael Moore will release his new film online and for free.

OP-ED

Political reforms: Players and prospects

It will be a gross mistake if the parties think they can go back to their old-style politics that led to the break down of the rule of law and made all public institutions non-functional. The parties need to commit themselves to reforms and draw lessons from the mistakes of the post-1/11 government as to the "dos" and "donts" of how to promote reforms.
THE prospects of political reforms, which appeared to be quite bright soon after the change of government on January 11, 2007, now appear to be rather dim. Despite repeated calls for a qualitative change in politics by the military-backed government of Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, the results of the city corporation elections held on August 4 this year demonstrated that old-style politics and politicians are alive and well.

Golden opportunity

It is well known that corruption is endemic in BJMC mills, particularly in jute purchasing. Many BJMC mill managers receive kickbacks from jute suppliers in exchange for accepting low-grade jute at a high price.

The shame of August 15, 1975: A personal account

My moral stand is clear: if killing a human being is unacceptable, then killing someone who sacrificed so much for his people is an abominable crime. What ethical position can condone, let alone justify, such heinous acts of killing a nationalist father figure, innocent women and children, and close relatives and associates?

The Zionist stratagem

The Zionists proposed to liberate Jews from European persecution by arranging for their exodus from Europe. This had always been the dream of European anti-Semites: to cleanse their landscape of Jewish presence.

Leaders of the future

Community service is the practical aspect of BYLC's third and final goal, through which they hope to encourage BYLC students to utilise all they have learnt, bringing it forth within themselves into a real life situations, aimed at improving social conditions in Bangladesh.

Star City

Polybags bounce back

Production and use of hazardous polythene bags have increased alarmingly in the city due to lax government monitoring and absence of mobile court operation.

Birdem's free one-stop service

Aklima Khatun, an elderly woman from Narinda was waiting in a long queue outside the doctor's chamber at the Birdem Hospital. She has been suffering from kidney ailments due to uncontrolled diabetes.

Drive needed to drive out fake driving licences

A few months ago Radya Yousuf was in desperate need of a driving licence. She did not know driving well. However, she soon found the 'easiest solution' to get the licence.


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