The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Sunday, 14th of September, 2008

Front Page

Khaleda to lead BNP for life

In an unprecedented move, BNP yesterday decided that its Chairperson Khaleda Zia will lead the party for life.

Tailbacks stop Dhaka dead in its tracks

He could have gone to Comilla and even started back home by the time he reached his Karwan Bazar office from Uttara. She could have visited her ancestral home in Tangail instead of heading for the midtown office from Banani.

Jalil finally opts for 'political' rest

Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil has finally decided to stay away from politics for now following party President Sheikh Hasina's 'advice due to his ailments'.

Top suspects skipping corruption confession

None of the high-profile graft-suspects, especially politicians arrested, accused or jailed, has applied for voluntary disclosure before the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) as it would bar them from contesting polls for next five years.

Serial blasts in Delhi kill 20

At least 20 people were killed and 70 injured as a string of explosions in a space of 20 minutes ripped through crowded shopping areas in the Indian capital yesterday.

BNP top brass hails decision on Tarique

Most policymakers and senior leaders of BNP said Khaleda Zia's decision to keep away her son Tarique Rahman from party position and politics would revamp the party and remove the long-standing conflicts between the older and younger leaders.

Scheme to speed up projects lacks speed

A planning ministry project to speed up sluggish donor funded projects has itself gone into hibernation after failing to kick off.

Huji eyes JS polls, starts operating in new name

Banned Islamist militant outfit Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji), comprised of Afghan war veterans, has started activities across the country to take part in the next parliamentary polls under a new name.

Anti-graft drive loses moral ground with Tarique's release

The caretaker government not only failed to fulfil the promises it had made at the time of 1/11 changeover, but also suffered a moral defeat, said speakers at a dialogue yesterday.

No major repair in decade

The condition of the road stretching from Bijoynagar water tank to Arambagh has to be seen to be believed.

CA flies to China today

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed leaves for Beijing tonight on a four-day official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

JU teacher exonerated

The Jahangirnagar University (JU) teacher for whose dismissal students went on fast unto death programme last month was cleared of sexual harassment charges last night at a special syndicate meeting.

EC ready to hold upazila polls in phases

Election Commissioner Sohul Hossain yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) is ready to hold the upazila elections in phases and the national election in due course.

Edible oil, onion prices ease in Ctg

Prices of essential commodities came down significantly in both wholesale and retail markets in Chittagong in the past two weeks.

21 more fake students found at DU

The fact-finding committee on admission forgery at Dhaka University (DU) has identified 21 more fake students who got admitted to the university through fraudulent means.

Muggers shoot one to snatch his salary

Muggers shot an engineering workshop employee and snatched his salary at Tikatuli in the city yesterday afternoon.

JS sub-jails still guarded

Jail guards continue to be deployed at the two much-talked-about sub-jails on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises despite release of the two former prime ministers who were detained there.

Afghan governor killed in blast

An Afghan provincial governor and three others were killed yesterday in a bomb attack near Kabul claimed by Taliban rebels and condemned by President Hamid Karzai.

Pak opposition threatens an end to war on terror

The furore has intensified over Washington's decision to pursue Islamic militant targets inside Pakistan, with opposition lawmakers threatening the country could pull out of the war on terror if the US refuses to respect its borders.

LTTE warns of 'genocide'

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers yesterday accused the government of planning a genocidal campaign against Tamils as UN agencies began pulling out of the rebel-held Wanni regions in the island's north.

Editorial

Begum Zia's reform signals

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia's readiness to drop the bad elements from her party and go for a dialogue with Awami League president Sheikh Hasina are steps which we welcome. Such moves will help inaugurate a fresh new democratic spirit in the country, one that we as citizens have for years been advocating. In fact, it has always been the desire of the people of Bangladesh that a productive and genuine democratic order be set in motion as a precondition for the overall development of the country. Within such a programme of democratic reawakening must be included a democratisation of the inner party working process, the right of independent thinking within the parties, indeed the right of party leaders and workers to voice dissent over issues they cannot morally agree with. In other words, for democracy to work, it is for the parties to ensure that freedom of thought characterises their own functioning.

Student clashes

AT a time when the nation is looking forward to holding a peaceful election for transition of power to a political government, clashes between the activists of student wings of major political parties pose a threat to peace at educational institutions of the country. Violent clashes at Rajshahi Medical College between supporters of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) over a seat at the dormitory a couple of days back have left many students gravely injured. As a measure to avoid backlashes the authorities have had to close down the college until October 10. Then on Friday, activists of JCD assaulted some students of the department of mass communication and journalism of Dhaka University including journalists on the issue of filming a TV serial in front of Teacher Student Centre (TSC). A number of university correspondents of local newspapers had to be taken to hospitals with injuries.

Credit where credit is due

THE importance of financial intermediation in attacking rural poverty is recognised as well as being rigorously researched. Examples are in abundance that financial constraints -- rather than lack of skills, market opportunities, or supply bottlenecks -- are reported to prevent poor families from making a pie to escape poverty.

Managing the market

AT the height of popular discontent, when the French people were agitating for bread, Queen Marie Antionette of France had haughtily suggested that if the people could net get bread then they should eat cake. Such indifference, among other causes, led Marie Antionette, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Theresa of Austria, to the gallows.

A victory of sorts

IF one was not opposed to the nuclear device on the point of principle, as I am, one would applaud India for having forced its way through the 34-year-old nuclear isolation. From being a nuclear pariah, it has become a nuclear power, an official member of the exclusive club.

Sports

Abahani downed by Rahmatganj stunner

There was no respite for Abahani as Rahmatganj shocked them with a 2-1 victory in the opening match of the Citycell B. League to rub more salt into their wound at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Academy draw first game

The first four-day match between GP-BCB National Cricket Academy and Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI ended in a draw in Dambulla yesterday.

Babel blows MU away

Ryan Babel ended Liverpool's four-year wait for a league victory against Manchester United as Rafa Benitez's team fought back from a goal down to win 2-1 at Anfield on Saturday.

Relief for India

Andrew Symonds's absence from the Australia touring party leaves it shorn of a forceful cricketer and character. India has felt his power at the crease and will be relieved to be spared any repetition. Never mind that he was patently caught behind the wicket before he had taken command, still Symonds's innings in the ill-mannered Sydney Test match was one of coruscating power. Once he was underway, Anil Kumble and company might as well have been firing popguns at a tank. It was an exceptional assault.

Bhajji rates 'em lowly

Harbhajan Singh is confident that Australia's two new spinners will pose little threat to India's batsmen in the upcoming Test series. Australia picked the uncapped Bryce McGain and Jason Krejza as their frontline slow bowlers for the India tour and Harbhajan said while he knew little about them, the two men were clearly a step down from Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill.

Div II football

Little Friends and Uttar Baridhara earned identical 1-0 wins in the Second Division Football League at the Kamalapur Stadium yesterday.

Casillas exudes confidence

Real Madrid have enough players to compete well in all tournaments this year despite having signed few players over the summer, the reigning Spanish champion's goalkeeper Iker Casillas said Friday.

Warner slates Keane

The controversy between Sunderland manager Roy Keane and Jack Warner took a new twist on Friday with a letter from the FIFA vice-president hitting out at the former Manchester United star.

Paszek stuns Hantuchova

Austrian teenager Tamira Paszek shocked top seed Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to set up a Bali Open final against Switzerland's Patty Schnyder on Saturday.

Keegan holds shock talks

Former Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan held shock talks with the Premier League club's owner Mike Ashley on Friday.

City's C'Ron bid absurd

Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed the threat posed to Manchester United by newly-wealthy Manchester City and ridiculed their ambitions to sign Cristiano Ronaldo as "absurd."

Ince rules out Newcastle

Blackburn manager Paul Ince has pledged his future to the Premiership club to douse reports he might take over the vacant Newcastle post and team up with former England teammate Dennis Wise.

FIFA kicks out Ethiopia

Ethiopia were kicked out of the World Cup by FIFA on Friday after the long-running power struggle within the game in the African nation failed to be resolved.

Saturday Scores

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Pistorius wins 200m gold

Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius Saturday won his second gold of the Paralym pic Games as China stretched its lead at the top of the medals table.

Symonds back in nets

Andrew Symonds has joined his good friend Matthew Hayden for a net session in Queensland in what is believed to be his first hit-out since being banished from Australia's squad. Symonds took the opportunity for some practice on Friday, the same day he was left out of Australia's 15-man touring party to visit India.

McGain best: Warne

Shane Warne has backed Bryce McGain as the best spinner in Australia and Stuart MacGill says McGain should also have toured the West Indies this year. But the champion leg-spinners disagreed on whether Beau Casson should have joined him in the squad to visit India and Warne said a potential mauling by India's batsmen could have wrecked Casson's future prospects.

'BCCI's refusal reasonable'

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday said BCCI's objection to the October 2009 date of Champions Trophy was understandable as India will have to honour international commitments.

Spotakova sets WR in javelin

Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic set a new world javelin record with a throw of 72.28m here at the IAAF World Athletics Final on Saturday.

'Advantage with India'

With the Australian attack losing the venom of the recent past and two rookie spinners in the visiting squad, India has a bright chance to avenge their 2004 series loss in next month's Test series, feels former Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore.

PCB invites WI for two Tests

Pakistan have "formally invited" West Indies to play two Tests in November in another attempt to fill the gap created by the postponement of the Champions Trophy.

Hants defeat sorry Surrey

Hampshire went to the top of English county championship on Friday with an innings and 122 runs victory over Surrey which left The Oval giants looking doomed to relegation.

Hosts score 8 to reach final

Hattricks from Mahbub and Jahangir gave Manikganj a fantastic 8-2 win over Tangail as they reached the final of the Dhaka Range Police Football League at the local police line ground yesterday.

Business

Weak trade unions fail to tackle unrest

Dozens of trade unions in the readymade garment (RMG) sector are hardly in any position to resolve recurrent labour unrests, as they have no control over workers at factory level due to inactivity of most workers' unions, observed trade union leaders.

Aziz hesitant over fuel price cut

The finance adviser is still hesitant over making any clear commitment on local fuel price cuts against the international price-drop.

TeleTalk eyes Tk 32cr in net profit

State-run mobile operator TeleTalk has set a target to earn Tk 32 crore in net profit in the current fiscal year, adding 18 lakh new customers to its network.

Dialogue on public-private economic partnership today

A dialogue on public-private partnership for economic development will be held here today aiming at sustained economic growth and improvement of business climate.

Pricing formula on domestic petrol sale likely

The government is likely to introduce a permanent pricing formula on the sale of petroleum fuels on the domestic market through periodic adjustments-upward or downward.

Oil leads commodity prices lower

Crude oil futures slid to six-month lows below 100 dollars this week and many other commodities fell as the dollar rallied and surveys pointed to lower demand for raw materials amid an economic slowdown.

Nokia names 2nd round winners of ‘fly to Bangkok’ campaign

Mobile phone maker Nokia has recently announced the names of winners in the second round of a promotional campaign styled “Buy Nokia and fly to Bangkok” that began in June.

Citi Bangladesh named 'Best Internet Bank'

Citi Bangladesh has been named as the Best Internet Bank 2008 in the first round of awards by Global Finance, an international finance magazine, according to a statement released yesterday.

US trade deficit swells

The US trade deficit rose sharply to 62.2 billion dollars in July, the largest gap in more than a year, on record high oil prices and surging Chinese imports, government data showed Thursday.

Eid brings buying binge

As the Eid approaches, people ride on a buying and selling spree. It is very usual. So British supermarket trader late Jack Cohen's business motto -- pile it high, sell it cheap -- does not work much this season. Sellers pile it high indeed, but obviously do not need to sell it that cheap. And buyers also do not care to buy it high. Because it is the Eid time.

Managing change

The universe is in constant flux, thought a classical philosopher named Heraclitus, in the sixth century BCE. Two and a half millennia later we are still trying to grapple with change.

Advancers rule stocks

Dhaka stocks traded mostly higher for a third week with investors chasing market heavyweight Titas Gas.

Japan economy contracts

Japan's economy posted its sharpest contraction in nearly seven years last quarter, the government said Friday, raising calls for companies to hike workers' wages to help offset a looming recession.

Indian shares may slip further

Indian shares could slip further next week, weighed down by concerns of bad news from the US financial market and uncertainty over the future of Lehman Brothers, dealers said.

China's money supply up 16pc

China's broad measure of money supply rose 16 percent year-on-year at the end of August, level with the government's annual target, the central bank said Friday.

EU finance chiefs rule out stimulus plan to avert recession

Finance ministers from the 15 euro countries on Friday ruled out a sweeping European stimulus plan to ward off a recession but gave themselves some wiggle room on extra spending.

India industrial output growth picks up

India's industrial output growth hit a five-month high in July, according to data Friday that analysts said showed the economy was still resilient despite a slew of aggressive interest rate hikes.

Pakistan inflation hits 30-year high

Pakistan's inflation hit a 30-year high in June, official figures showed Friday, with experts forecasting it will take at least six months to be reined in.

Deutsche Bank seals latest major German banking deal

Deutsche Bank struck a deal Friday to buy a stake in Germany's largest retail bank Postbank for 2.79 billion euros (3.93 billion dollars) in the country's latest major banking deal.

Weekly Currency Roundup

September 7-September 11, 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

'Lift emergency for free, fair elections'

The state of emergency should be lifted to create an environment conducive to free, fair and credible elections and the media would have to play a responsible role to this end so that all political parties can participate in the polls, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.

Help ensure reproductive health rights

Speakers called on the media to play a vital role in ensuring sexual and reproductive health rights as it influences all sectors of the society starting from family life to the national life in the long run.

Hold talks to solve unrest in RMG sector

Labour leaders yesterday called on the government to take steps to resolve the unstable situation that emerged from the decision of garment owners' to close 810 factories on security grounds.

'Recover Khilgaon playground from Ansar VDP forces'

Residents of Khilgaon in the city yesterday demanded recovery of a playground from the grip of Ansar and VDP forces who took control of the land on January 31, 2007.

Teacher dies, 52 hurt in Sirajganj clash

A schoolteacher was killed and at least 52 people were injured in a fierce clash over appointment of a teacher at Agbair village in Sadar upazila last night.

Pay salary, bonus before Eid

Leaders of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Gonotantrik Bam Morcha (Democratic Left Alliance) yesterday demanded of the owners of garment and other factories to pay salaries and bonuses to their workers before the Eid-ul Fitr.

Punish killers of Momen

Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (JSD) yesterday demanded exemplary punishment to the killers of its leader Kamrul Islam Momen.

JNU vacation from Sept 20

Jagannath University (JNU) will remain closed for 21 days from September 20 on the occasions of the holy Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr and Durga Puja.

DU expels four JCD men

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday temporarily expelled four students who brutally assaulted three journalists and at least 10 students of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) department on Friday.

Protest against CA in front of UN headquarters on Sept 26

Tarique Mukti Andolon (TMA), a platform for the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's elder son Tarique Rahman, will stage demonstration against Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed in front of the UN Headquarters in New York on September 26.

Hold UZ polls before JS election

Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday demanded holding of upazila elections before Jatiya Sangsad polls.

Application forms available online from October 2

Application forms of the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery programme of the United States will be available on online from October 2 to December 1 as the US government yesterday announced the DV-2010 registration programme for Bangladesh.

Call for new int'l arms trade treaty

Speakers at a press conference yesterday urged the government to play an active role in securing an international arms trade treaty aiming to curb supply of weapons.

People to reply of sufferings under current regime through ballot: Nizami

Jamaat chief Matiur Rahman Nizami yesterday said people, who have been going through sufferings for last 18 months, would reply through balloting.

Medicine-laden covered van catches fire

A covered van of Aristo Pharma Ltd loaded with medicine caught fire at Purana Paltan last night.

Khaleda condoles death of Alauddin

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday condoled the death of Alauddin Ahmed, assistant general secretary of Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal, who succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

BFUJ biennial council Oct 31, polls Nov 23

The biennial council of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) will be held on October 31 and its Federal Executive Committee (FEC) polls will be held on November 23.

Iftekhar condoles death of Bangladeshis

Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday expressed deep shock at the death of four Bangladeshis in a road accident in Saudi Arabia.

Bangladesh-Thai jt art exhibition begins Sept 16

To celebrate the 36th anniversary of Bangladesh-Thailand diplomatic relations, Royal Thai Embassy in Dhaka organises a three-day workshop on water-colour painting, which illustrates Thailand as seen by the Bangladeshi young artists as well as Bangladesh as seen by a renowned Thai artist, says a press release.

Road crashes kill 2

Two people were killed and 30 others injured in separate road accidents in Benapole and Patuakhali yesterday.

Lighter vessel sinks

A lighter vessel containing around 500 metric tones of fertiliser sunk at outer anchorage of the Chittagong port early yesterday.

FBCCI hosts Iftar

A milad mahfil and Iftar of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) was held yesterday, says a press release.

Four trafficked boys rescued at Benapole

Police rescued four boys from traffickers and arrested a trafficker from Rail Station area at Benapole yesterday.

Appeal for help

Afia Islam Prapti, a six-year-old girl, has been suffering from blood cancer for three years, says a press release.

National

Bad omen over Mongla port again

The good working atmosphere at Mongla port created since abolition of Dock workers' Management Board (DWMB) on August 1 is being shadowed again due to friction between dock workers and stevedores over gang booking under the new system.

Aspirants in field for upazila polls in Kurigram

About one hundred aspirants belonging to different political parties as well as independent candidates are in the field for election in nine upazilas in Kurigram.

Diseases trail flood in Sirajganj

With recession of floodwater, diarrhoea and pneumonia have broken out in different areas including Jamuna shoals in Sirajganj district.

'Local uplift a must to attain MDG goals'

Speakers at a seminar here yesterday said local development is a must for attaining the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) by 2015.

Rock lifting stopped at Madhyapara for 5th day

Rock extraction by Madhyapara Granite Mining Company Ltd (MGMCL) remained suspended for the fifth consecutive day yesterday due to indefinite strike of Bangladeshi miners to press home their five-point demands.

'Punish Shamima's torturer'

Leaders of different organisations have demanded punishment of the persecutor of UN award winner Shamima Khatun, now fighting for life at Shyamnagar Upazila Health Complex.

Jamuna fertiliser workers stage sit-in

Workers of Jamuna Fertiliser Factory (JFF) at Tarakandi of Sarishabari upazila in Jamalpur district staged a sit-in demonstration yesterday demanding implementation of wage commission award.

Stolen govt rice, wheat recovered in Pautakhali

Police, in a drive conducted here yesterday, recovered 44 sacks of rice and 16 sacks of wheat stolen from Dasmina upazila godown.

2 fake Destiny agents sent to Rangpur jail

Police sent the two fake distributors of Destiny 2000 to Rangpur jail yesterday on expiry of their two-day remand.

Letters

Private cars in Dhaka

Let us return to the private car. Whatever convenience and comfort it provides comes at various costs. Cars are the main source of pollutants worldwide. There is no such thing as a clean car; cars just vary in the amount they pollute. Despite increasingly stringent emissions control standards over the decades in the US, cars pollute more than they used tobecause people are driving more.

Our priorities

What do we need now? What Bangladesh needs most now for its 140 million people and their future? A "BRIDE" we need now! It is a symbolic term here! The political parties , elections and the government are the ornaments of the BRIDE !! The bride is nothing but the "POLICY" of the country which is the most important thing for us now !! It is not important who wins the election and who sits on the opposition benches in parliament, what is important is the right "policy" which must be followed strictly in order to get the proper democratic system started in our country for the first time in history. A policy , which is 100% for the welfare of the general public, nothing else. A policy which will ensure the following most required three things -

Prices shooting up

We have a department, a ministry, an adviser and above all a powerful government. They have all along informed the people that such and such steps would be taken to control the rise of the prices of daily necessities during Ramadan. The result is opposite . The latest move by the FBCCI has failed, and they are planning to call for the support of the law enforcing agencies like RAB, BDR and police. The success of the new move is doubtful and might create a panic in the mind of the traders having the same result we saw in the early days of the CTG adopting the terrorising strategy. The efforts to neutralise the terror effect on the market and the traders are being continued by the CTG. The FBCCI has perhaps a major role in pursuing such a reconciliatory move by the CTG. Therefore, they should be well aware of the pros and cons of using the tactics of intimidation and force against the wholesale and retail traders as identified by them..

“Obama effect”

There is a growing concern that the “Obama effect” currently changing the face of “politics as usual” in the United States by propelling an increasingly large number of Americans, especially the forward looking, educated and young across the colour and racial divides, to cast their precious votes for their candidate of choice, who represents a quantum leap and paradigm shift towards a post-ethnic and post-modern national and international leadership, may turn out to be an euphoria and an “Audacity of Hope” that is intrinsically ephemeral. In retrospect, would this be construed simply as a “pleasure principle” that took the United States by the storm briefly, but was eventually caught up by the “reality principle” implicit in the “Bradley Effect,” also known as “Wilder effect” or “Dinkins Effect,” in which the margin of lead in the primary election enjoyed by yet another very promising African-American candidate was significantly wiped out in the final election because the White voters, who posed as independent and swing voters to conceal their racial affiliations during the primary reverted again to their true colours in the final election unabashedly? Could we bet on Obama's White half-ancestry to tip the balance in the final election to be able to declare that we had finally moved beyond the “phenotype” incontrovertibly entrenched in the US psyche for generations?

Price hike in Ramadan

The holy Ramadan is the month for self-correction and self-sacrifice. But what we are observing in this month --instead of going down, the prices are going up. This is too bad for us, especially for our poor and low-income people. This is a sad truth that when Ramadan comes traders and hoarders hike the prices of essential commodities. The people have nothing to do. They are bound to buy the essentials. The policy makers and the market controllers are blind to this situation.

School timing

The government's declaration that the schools will all have to start at 7:30am is good news to me. At least the government is trying to come out of its negligent attitude. Some schools (and their students know very well to whom I am referring to), keep their students locked up in long, unnecessary lessons. The government should also have mentioned a suitable time for schools to close for the day.

English spellings

Bangla has a great heritage and a rich history full of struggle. There is no other language as Bangla which has a similar history. We sacrificed some priceless lives on 21 February 1952 to establish the right of Bangla as a state language of the country. Now 21 February is the International Mother Language Day.

Parade of failure!

A very interesting and appropriate headline on the chronic failure of the Bangladesh cricket team. The blame is due for the entire system, the BCCB, selectors, team management including the coach and finally the captain. We only hope that cricket would be governed and run by the cricketers and be kept above the current trend of politics in sports and games.

Traffic chaos in Dhaka

There has been extensive coverage of the terrible traffic situation in Dhaka city. One can only sit and read these and feel like "strangling" someone at the total frustration and helplessness we commuters suffer from!

Stop student politics

My elder brother is a student of SUST. He has completed his honours course this year. But it has taken seven years to complete this four year course due to session jam. Student politics is responsible for such jams. In our country, it takes much longer than usual time to complete our academic life. So we can't apply for government jobs in time.

Day of national mourning

August 15 has been observed as a day of national mourning. On this day in 1975, the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujubur Rahman, President of Bangladesh, was brutally killed along with some other members of his family during a military coup. The coup leaders also killed four national leaders in jail on 04 Nov 1975. August 15 is definitely a black day in the history of Bangladesh.

Ill-fated mother?

I will try to say something about the ill fated mother whose letter was published on September 5, 2008. I was surprised after reading her letter "No way out". I couldn't understand how a mother calls herself ill fated when she has two golden super- talented children. Yes, it is painful that her daughter could not manage sponsorship. But why should we think that nothing more is left in life? And why should we think that the USA and the UK are the only places for a brilliant student?

ACC's job

While there is no question about the integrity and honesty of Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury, the way the ACC is working towards its stated goals of uprooting corruption from the country needs to be reviewed. Except the NAIKO and GATCO cases where procedural irregularities along with financial losses were taken into account, every case so far I know was filed for amassing illegal wealth or concealing information about the wealth when the ACC asked for it from an individual.

Trading everywhere!

I usually go out early in the morning for a walk, since I developed some symptoms of diabetes, and get a chance to look around, especially wall writings and posters. I have recently noticed there are some talented singers participating in competitions in the electronic media, although I must appreciate it but I feel bad when I see some posters on the wall with the participants asking people to vote for them by SMS. Those who are interested in watching these programmes may send SMS if they like their voice, but it is not clear whether the participants should uses posters for this purpose. Is it the proper way to be a popular singer?

Hope fading away

The people of Bangladesh never got so much hope before, except our great win in the liberation war. A real hope, a great dream & a bright future we could see in the horizon after this caretaker government took over. But unfortunately all our dreams are vanishing day by day. Thanks to Dr Mahboob Hossain for his letter “ Election & return of goons” and Mr. Rony Ahmed for “ The unfortunate nation”.

International

Russian troops pack up, leave western Georgia

Hundreds of Russian forces packed up and withdrew from positions Saturday in western Georgia, and a Georgian official said Russia met a deadline for a partial pullout a month after the war between the two former Soviet republics.

US lawmakers caution against rushing vote on Indian nuclear deal

Three lawmakers cautioned the US Congress on Friday against rushing through with a vote on a landmark nuclear pact with India that President George W Bush wants approved before he leaves office in January.

24 more militants killed in Pakistan's northwest

At least 24 Islamic militants were killed Saturday in fierce fighting with Pakistani government troops hunting Taliban fighters near the Afghan border, a security official said.

Devastating Ike roars ashore in Texas

Massive Hurricane Ike ravaged southeast Texas early Saturday, battering the coast with driving rain and ferocious wind gusts as residents who decided too late they should have heeded orders to evacuate made futile calls for rescue.

57,000 die a year for smoking, using tobacco products

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday said around 57,000 people die every year in the country due to smoking and use of tobacco products yesterday.

Head-on train collision kills 17 in Los Angeles

Emergency crews found more victims early yesterday, boosting the death toll to 17, as they delicately picked apart the mangled wreckage of a commuter train that collided head-on with a freight train on the same track.

Ex-UK ministers pile up pressure on Brown

Six ex-ministers on Saturday warned British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to sharpen up his act, piling on the pressure after a government member broke ranks and called for a leadership challenge.

Battle-ready BJP to kick off polls campaign with Advani's Yatra

A battle-ready BJP today announced the launch of its campaign for elections to five state Assemblies and Lok Sabha with a 14-rally 'Vijay Sankalp Yatra' by party's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani.

Diarrhoea spreads in Indian flood camps

Doctors have diagnosed more than 1,000 acute diarrhoea cases in relief camps in the flood-ravaged plains of northern India, and at least six more people have died of complications from the disease, a health official said Saturday.

Suu Kyi to appeal to Myanmar junta for her release: Lawyer

Detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will soon submit her first-ever personal appeal for release to Myanmar's ruling junta, her lawyer told AFP yesterday.

India tests air-to-air missile

India yesterday carried out a successful test of a homemade air-to-air missile designed for its air force, defence sources said.

Nepali Maoist PM visits palace

Nepal's Prime Minister Prachanda on Saturday visited the palace of the king his Maoist party battled to overthrow, which is being turned into a museum.

Iran calls US sanctions on shipping line illegal

Iran on Friday condemned US sanctions on the country's largest shipping line as "illegal and unjustifiable," insisting the company never engaged in any illicit activities such as the transfer of equipment for Tehran's missile and nuclear programmes.

Thai ruling party to name PM choice tomorrow

Top officials from Thailand's ruling party will meet Monday to pick a nominee to be the next prime minister after Samak Sundaravej's bid to return was snuffed out, a candidate told AFP Saturday.

42 killed in Iraqi bombings

Insurgents set off two bomb attacks in Iraq yesterday, killing 10 people, most of them members of security forces while 32 others were killed in suicide truck bombings on Friday, officials told AFP.

Hackers find black hole in atom smasher computers

Hackers claim they have broken into the computer system of the Large Hadron Collider, the mega-machine designed to expose secrets of the cosmos, British newspapers reported yesterday.

432 Chinese babies have kidney stones from tainted milk powder

China's health minister said 432 babies had kidney stones after drinking contaminated milk powder and vowed to punish those responsible as the country's latest product safety scandal escalated yesterday.

Dalai Lama cancels European tour on health grounds

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has cancelled his tour next month of Germany and Switzerland for health reasons, his office said yesterday.

Nepal PM's visit to India to build ties

Nepal's new prime minister Prachanda's first visit to India, due to start today, is aimed at "building a new and smooth relationship" between the neighbours, a minister said Saturday.

Arts & Entertainment

Zahir: A painter with panache

Md. Zahiruddin amazed his viewers with his splendid and inimitable paintings on the Sunderbans in the recent past at Chitrak. Jovial, never giving in to pretentiousness, he speaks softly and carefully on his paintings, sipping evening coffee at Dhanmandi. He quotes from songs, which he can sing adlib in his gentle, husky voice, elaborating on his inspirations for his paintings of numerous mediums. Modern artists have taken their inspiration from music, books, flora, fauna, and what have you, in their overwhelming metropolis existence. Zahir is no exception. With his quicksilver wit and repartee, he elaborates on his styles and themes.

Theatre Institute Chittagong pays tribute to Zia Hyder

Speakers expressed the view that playwright Zia Hyder worked towards the development of the society with his creative writings in different branches of literature like poetry and drama.

Songs of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra on “Close Up 1”

Patriotic and inspirational songs played on Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra during the Liberation War boosted the morale of the Freedom Fighters and a nation awaiting independence. The top 12 contestants of Close Up 1: Tomakei Khujchhey Bangladesh are vying for the audiences' attention and their votes with singing the timeless Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra classics.

Film goes back to the future with 3D

In the future, viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses may not just be the prerogative of the naive.

Sara Zaker directs “Eid Vacation”

Noted actor Sara Zaker has written and directed a single-episode play for the coming Eid. Produced under the banner of Ddhoni-Chitra Ltd, the play, Eid Vacation, follows holiday celebrations of a family involved in the media.

OP-ED

Creative capitalism and the working poor

NO less a person than Bill Gates has recently come up with the newly coined concept of "creative capitalism." The concept has attracted wide attention because it has been propounded by one of the most intelligent, most successful, and richest persons of the world.

Election Commission in dilemma

WITH hardly 110 days left of 2008 the EC is still deeply involved in dialogue (third round) with the political parties to ensure political reform, political party registration, upazila election, and credible national election by 2008.

Climate change challenges

THIS year has seen millions of people face drought in Ethiopia; 11 million people affected by flooding in India; and up to 128,000 people killed by the cyclone that struck Burma. Scientists predict that such weather events will only become more frequent and more extreme as a result of climate change.

A friend with a golden heart

ABU Mohammad Murtaish, more known as Kochi to his friends and close acquaintances, was an enlightened man with a golden heart, if not a persona extraordinaire. He always extended his helping hand to anyone in distress around him. And very often he extended it beyond his immediate capacity. A legal practitioner by profession, he was a cultural as well as a social activist. But was very short-lived. He passed away when only in his mid-forties, cutting short hopes and expectations of so many around him.

Timid Obama in serious trouble

IF things do not change drastically for the Democrats soon, American voters will engender the most colossal upset in the history of US presidential elections, by electing Republican John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama.

Star City

All about a broken promise

Once an idyllic residential area, Dhanmondi today is almost devoid of gardens, green lawns and big trees with the onslaught of reckless commercialisation and changes in land use pattern.

Emergency section that gives first aid only!

A small passage on the ground floor of Mitford Hospital is crammed with scores of people scrambling for going in and coming out. Some are carrying serious patients. This is the entry to the hospital's emergency section.

Loosening grip on senseless honking

It was 4:30pm on Wednesday. The intersection near the railway crossing at Mohakhali was a sea of vehicles. Hundreds of tattered city buses, private cars, covered lorries, three wheelers and taxis from three different directions were trying to inch towards Moghbazar.


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