The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, August 2, 2014


News of: Friday, 26th of September, 2008

Front Page

No campaign allowed before November 27

The new code of conduct for parliamentary polls will not allow any electioneering until three weeks before the start of polling.

Hasina, Khaleda possess no ill-gotten wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is unlikely to file any case against former premiers Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia regarding their wealth since enquiry has not found any ill-gotten wealth accumulated by them.

No doubt about JS polls in Dec

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed on Wednesday dispelled any confusion over holding the general election in the country on December 18 as already announced.

New turn in leaders' talk initiative

The much-anticipated talks between Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia have taken a new turn following comments coming from the government, political parties and the mediator.

US Congress for hefty economic support after credible polls

The US Congress on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution urging US President George W Bush to consider extending generous economic support to Bangladesh on completion of an internationally accepted free and fair election before the end of December 2008.

ACC okays charges against Khaleda, 10 ex-ministers

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved the charge sheet against former premier Khaleda Zia and 15 others, including 10 former ministers, in a case filed in connection with illegally awarding Barapukuria coalmine operation contract to a Chinese company.

Polls schedule in first week of November

Schedules for the upazila and parliamentary elections will be announced simultaneously in the first week of November.

ACC gears up legal battle after Eid

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has asked its counsels to take vigorous preparations to fight legal battle against graft-suspects at the High Court (HC) after the Eid and Durga Puja vacation.

Khaleda's wealth

In her wealth statement the BNP chairperson showed properties accumulated through seven sources of income with all the taxes on her money and properties paid.

Hasina's wealth

Hasina in her wealth statement said she does not own any house or land and that most of her properties, which are not in Dhaka or abroad, are inherited.

BSTI starts testing milk powder

The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) yesterday started testing for presence of melamine in powdered milk collected from different city markets.

AL, BNP to carry on reform, shun violence

Acting British High Commissioner Duncan Norman yesterday said the Awami League (AL) and BNP have committed to refrain from violence, establish sustainable democracy and carry on reforms activities. He said the two parties should take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

31 more apply to ACC for Tac clemency

Another 31 graft accused including a police official have applied to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) for making voluntary disclosure of information about their ill-gotten wealth before the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac).

Pakistan military fires at Nato choppers

Pakistani troops fired at Nato-led helicopters operating in eastern Afghanistan, the international force said, adding that there was no damage or casualties.

Reformist Hafiz meets Khaleda

BNP Vice-President Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed, who was made the party acting secretary general at a controversial meeting of BNP standing committee, yesterday expressed allegiance with party chief Khaleda Zia.

Kazi Zafarullah charged with amassing wealth illegally

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former Awami League (AL) lawmaker Kazi Zafarullah in connection with cases filed for amassing wealth worth Tk 15.23 crore illegally and concealing information of wealth Tk 7 crore.

3 criminals killed in 'shootouts'

Three criminals were killed yesterday in shootouts between their cohorts and law enforcers in Faridpur and Magura.

BDR shuts its fair price outlets

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) officially announced yesterday the wrapping up of its 'Operation Dal Bhat' programme after running it for over one and a half year though the sale will continue across the country till September 28.

RHD's former chief engineer sued for graft

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against former chief engineer of Roads and Highways Department Fazlul Haque in connection with amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information to the commission.

World leaders, NGOs join hands to battle global poverty

World leaders join hands with top officials from the private sector, foundations and civil society yesterday to breathe new life into the flagging battle against global poverty.

Jumatul Wida today

Jumatul Wida, the last Juma in the month of Ramadan, will be observed across the country today.

Indo-Pak leaders agree to start peace talks

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari agreed here Wednesday to kickstart an embattled peace dialogue between the two nuclear-armed rivals, with new talks to be scheduled by year's end.

US economy in danger: Bush

Warning "our entire economy is in danger," US President George W Bush has called for unprecedented crisis talks with White House rivals John McCain and Barack Obama and congressional leaders.

Editorial

Truth and Accountability Commission

THE Truth and Accountability Commission is now considering extending the deadline, for the second time, for individuals to voluntarily declare their ill-gotten wealth. If that says anything about the results obtained so far in its operations by the Tac, there is the more intriguing tale of how high officials, politicians and businessmen suspected of corruption have shrewdly stayed away from the body. What has happened, in the words of none other than the chairman of the commission, is that only lower ranking employees have been trekking to the commission and coming up with confessions. Obviously, that is not quite the kind of results the government had anticipated when the Tac was set up.

More than half the council of advisers overseas!

WE don't want to make too much about it but it has drawn our attention. At this point in time, as many as six advisers holding charge of 12 important ministries, are away on official tours abroad. We wish the simultaneous absence of so many advisers from the capital city could be explained away as some awkward coincidence. The very fact that such a big number of government functionaries thought alike to be in a jet-set mode leaving their desks for varying time spans at the fag end of their tenure may be construed as cavalier attitude. They may have had some compelling calls of duty to respond to, but in public perception, when half of the cabinet chooses to be on an odyssey, attention to governance and policy issues under their watch is likely to be affected.

Toe to toe

WE are entering the final stretch of the US presidential election, to be held on November 4. At the time of writing it wasn't clear whether the first debate that is scheduled for Friday night would be held as scheduled or not due to the suggestion of the McCain camp to postpone it (as well as all electioneering) due to the economic crisis that the US is currently facing.

Uniting a divided nation

THE stick in the mud that he was, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has changed his mind. Last week he agreed to share power with Morgan Tsvangirai. South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, who brokered this power sharing deal, resigned under pressure from his party.

Big government to the rescue

IT seemed as if the global economy were headed for the kind of crash we haven't seen since 1929. All the elements for a great financial meltdown and economic depression were in place last week -- choked-off credit lines, massively leveraged firms, assets gone bad, sinking mortgages, panicked consumers and paralysed companies. "What is different," says Harvard economic historian Niall Ferguson, "is that then the federal government and the Federal Reserve did all the wrong things. Now they're mostly doing the right things."

Sports

Brothers on top

Michael Oniya's first-half strike put Brothers Union on top of the Citycell B. League table with a solitary goal win over Chittagong Abahani at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Nayeem wins it for Academy

Captain Nayeem Islam struck an unbeaten half-century as the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy beat SLC Development XI by three wickets to clinch the three-match one-day series 2-1 at the NCC ground in Colombo yesterday.

Real decimate Gijon

Rafael van der Vaart endeared himself to the Real Madrid fans with a hattrick as the champions crushed Sporting Gijon 7-1 on Wednesday to go second in the table.

Too kind to Aussies!

India's cricket chiefs are not pleased the touring Australians are being provided top-grade private training facilities at the start of their Test tour, a report said on Thursday.

Ghana booter Chalecho dies in Dhaka

A Ghana footballer who was staying at a residential hotel in the city's Fakirerpool died yesterday.

Booters' camp from today

The national football team's preparation for next month's Merdeka Cup begins today at BKSP under new coach Shafiqul Islam Manik.

Bengal Tigers' awards today

Bangladesh cricket team's fan club 'Bengal Tigers' will distribute the 'Aramex Bengal Tigers Cricketer of the Year' award for seasons 2006-07 and 2007-08 at a function at a local hotel today.

Kapil in the army now

Kapil Dev, who scripted history by leading India to its only World Cup victory in 1983, began a new innings of a different kind on Wednesday night when he was commissioned in the country's Territorial Army as an honorary lieutenant colonel.

Same horse, same tricks

Jose Mourinho has created a storm in the Italian media after failing to turn up for his post match press interviews following Inter Milan's 1-0 home win over Lecce.

'We are on right path'

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti claimed his side were on track to getting back to form despite a hugely unconvincing 2-1 victory at Reggina.

Smile back on Ribery's face

Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery admitted Thursday he was a happy man after making his return for the German giants three months after tearing ankle ligaments.

Croatia suffer FIFA wrath

World football's ruling body FIFA on Thursday fined the Croatian Football Federation 30,000 Swiss francs after Croat fans racially abused England striker Emile Heskey during a World Cup qualifier.

'Money does'nt buy success'

Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson has fired a word of warning at rivals Manchester City that it will take more than pots of money to buy them success.

Boothroyd charged for language

Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd has been charged by the Football Association with using abusive language towards referee Stuart Attwell, the official who awarded a phantom goal during a Championship match against Reading.

Atalanta fans banned

Atalanta fans have been banned from attending their team's trip to AS Roma on Sunday, the Rome prefect Carlo Mosca said on Thursday.

Atletico not letting Aguero go

Atletico Madrid coach Javier Aguirre has insisted Sergio Aguero will be staying at the club despite rumours linking the star striker with Manchester City. Aguirre said that the Argentinian is happy at Atletico and will honour his long-term contract.

Juninho suffers groin injury

Lyon captain Juninho will miss Saturday's French league match against Nancy with a groin injury, the French club said.

Pattinson carries Notts

Darren Pattinson, the Australia-raised quick who received a shock call-up to the England Test side in July, starred for Nottinghamshire as the leaders closed in on the County Championship title.

Vettori looks to Ryder

New Zealand's captain Daniel Vettori hopes Jesse Ryder can stamp himself as an international player on the upcoming tour of Bangladesh and put his off-field woes behind him once and for all. The squad departs next Tuesday for two Tests and three ODIs and Ryder is in the frame for all the matches.

Watson eyes big role

Fit-again Australian Shane Watson said Thursday he was determined to play a key role with both bat and ball in the upcoming Test series in India.

Champs League final in Mumbai

India's three leading cricket centres, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, will host the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League in December, organisers said on Thursday.

Rivaldo scores again

Chilean striker Jose Luis Villanueva struck a hattrick as Kuruvchi (Bunyodkor) demolished Iran's Saipa 5-1 at MHSK Stadium in Tashkent on Wednesday to secure an AFC Champions League semifinal berth.

Local Snippets

Table-toppers Uttar Baridhara played out a 1-1 goal draw with Friends Social Welfare Organization in the day's only match of the Second Division Football League at the Kamalapur Stadium on Thursday.

Southee hoping for Test recall

New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee is aiming to regain his Test position during the upcoming tour of Bangladesh after being overtaken by Iain O'Brien in England this year. Southee made a splash when he debuted against England in Napier in March, when he claimed five wickets and made 77 from 40 balls.

Pakistan to win big in DSC deal

Pakistan will play cricket in the Gulf as part of a nine-million-dollar deal, officials said Thursday, providing foreign experience to a side struggling to find teams willing to come to their country.

McGain skips net session

Australia's likely preferred spinner for the opening Test, Bryce McGain, failed to bowl at the squad's first net session in India on Wednesday. McGain strained his right shoulder earlier this month while on tour with Australia A and while he was confident he would be back bowling several days ago, the team was taking no risks upon arriving in Jaipur.

Zaheer begins India's charge

Indian seamer Zaheer Khan fired the first salvo ahead of the Test series against Australia, saying on Thursday that rival captain Ricky Ponting was rattled by the task ahead.

'Chappell no issue'

Former India coach Greg Chappell's new role as assistant coach of the Australian cricket team is causing quite a stir ahead of the four-Test series but the BCCI says it has no issues with the former Aussie captain.

ICC to meet ICL officials

David Morgan, the ICC president, has said that he has received a request from Subhash Chandra of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited to meet with him regarding the Indian Cricket League.

Business

Duty-free RMG exports to India hit snags

Bangladesh may miss out on the duty-free quota of exporting eight million pieces of garment to India by December 31 mainly because of lukewarm response from local exporters, businesspeople said.

Polar ice cream to bring back chill next summer

Dhaka Ice Cream Industries, manufacturer of Polar brand ice cream, is set to resume its suspended production next summer as a new management stepped into the company this year.

Investor fined Tk1cr for insider trading

The capital market regulator has fined Arif Ahmed, an investor and a relative of some sponsor directors of Popular Life Insurance, to the tune of Tk 1 crore for his alleged involvement in stock market manipulation and insider trading.

Efforts on to make business easier: CA

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed said Wednesday that his government took measures to make business and investment procedures in the country simpler and easier.

DSE to act tough on rogue firms

The Dhaka Stock Exchange management will serve legal notices on 11 listed companies to realise Tk 33.92 lakh in outstanding listing fees and surcharges.

BB invites applications from credit rating agencies

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has sought applications from national and international agencies to conduct credit ratings on financial institutions -- both banks and non-banks.

AML launches ‘premium quality’ ice cream

Abdul Monem Ltd (AML), manufacturer of the leading ice cream brand Igloo, yesterday launched a new premium quality ice cream, targeting customers in the upper and middle-income segments of urban areas.

Best Air flies to KL, Singapore from next month

Best Air, a local private airline, will fly to Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Singapore from early next month, officials of the carrier announced at a function in Dhaka yesterday.

Tata vows to meet Nano deadline

India's Tata Motors insisted Thursday it would stick to its planned schedule for the high-profile rollout of the world's cheapest car as it shifted equipment from the plant due to make it.

Asian stocks mostly down

Asian stocks closed mainly down Thursday on traders' concerns about a US bailout for the finance sector, after President George W. Bush gave a dire warning for the US economy if the plan is not agreed.

Japan logs trade deficit as US-bound exports tumble

Japan reported its first August trade deficit in 26 years Thursday as exports to the United States plunged, dousing hopes of a quick recovery in Asia's largest economy.

Tax return receiving centre opens in Uttara

National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday opened an income tax return receiving centre in the city's Uttara area to provide better service to the taxpayers.

JICA, JBIC join hands to continue support

Labour and Employment Adviser Anwarul Iqbal said Wednesday that he hoped Bangladesh would further benefit from Japanese assistance in the future in sectors such as power and telecommunication.

Red tape takes ease off business

Bangladesh is a country tainted by political instability and rivalry, natural calamities, poor infrastructure, energy hunger, bureaucratic tangles and many more such things that can easily make business hard. But an inefficient bureaucracy tops the list.

Banks rev up for parties despite crisis

In a world far removed from the crisis on Wall Street, top global banks plan to pamper their wealthiest clients with exclusive parties at the inaugural Singapore Formula One this weekend.

Eid in mind, stocks spike

Dhaka stocks continued to gain yesterday, the last trading day before a nine-day Eid vacation, riding on the shares of banking and non-banking financial institutions.

Dollar loses ground against euro, yen

The dollar fell against major currencies on Thursday as investors tracked the progress of a huge US financial-sector rescue plan in Washington.

Indian airline sector hit by 'perfect storm'

India's airline sector has moved into negative growth and urgent reforms are needed if it wants to survive a "perfect storm" hitting the industry, an association said Wednesday.

Thai budget airline cuts 200 staff over oil prices

Thai budget carrier Nok Air has cut 200 staff to cope with heavy losses due to high global oil prices and political turmoil in the kingdom, an official from the airline said Thursday.

Oracle, HP unveil computer to cope with digital explosion

Longtime business software giant Oracle has announced it is diving headlong into the computer hardware business with a brainier, brawnier machine crafted to manage the explosion of digital data.

Washington offers sputtering automakers $25b in loans

Sputtering US automakers were offered a 25-billion-dollar shot in the arm by Washington Wednesday when legislators agreed to cover the cost of insuring a massive loan from the Energy Department.

New DMD of Dhaka Bank

Kaiser Tamiz Amin has recently joined Dhaka Bank Ltd as its deputy managing director (DMD), said a statement.

Metropolitan

Man-made threats main reasons for resource depletion in Sundarbans

Speakers at a workshop in Khulna city yesterday said man-made threats are the main reasons which are contributing to the depletion of resources from the Sundarbans.

Face threat of climate change in comprehensive manner

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury urged the international community to face the threat of climate change in a comprehensive manner.

People's right to know vital to establish rule of law

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said economic development, establishment of rule of law and sustainable democracy cannot be achieved unless free flow of information is ensured.

5 killed in road accidents

Five people were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.

Six get life in Comilla

Six people were sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court here yesterday for

Close loopholes in RTI ordn

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called on all to extend cooperation in implementing the Right to Information (RTI) Ordinance 2008 for the greater benefit of the countrymen.

Misappropriation of VGF rice, dates

Misappropriation of rice and dates by UP members and chairmen was alleged in 12 unions of Keraniganj upazila including Aganagar, Kalindi and Shuvadda unions.

Application for DV lottery 2010 begins Oct 2

Application for Diversity Visa (DV) 2010 starts on October 2 and ends on December 1 for permanent residency in the United States with 50,000 chances on stake.

Little scope for Mannan, Ashraf to return to BNP

Former finance minister and BNP standing committee member M Saifur Rahman yesterday said there is little scope for two expelled BNP leaders to come back to the party.

Tahsildar caught red-handed while taking bribe

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday caught an assistant land official (Tahsildar) of Dinajpur Land Commission red-handed while taking bribe.

Barisal Jubo Dal factions clash

Five Jubo Dal activists were injured following a clash between two groups at district BNP office yesterday.

Toll-free phone numbers soon

Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) yesterday decided to introduce 'toll-free' phone numbers for which the callers would not require to pay bill.

SMC introduces SMC Zinc to treat diarrhoea

Social Marketing Company (SMC) has launched SMC Zinc 20mg dispersible tablets as an adjunct therapy to oral saline to prevent and treat diarrhoea among under-five children, says a press release.

People start leaving city today

Today, a nine-day-long Eid vacation starts for office-goers who were able to take leave on next Monday.

Police foil Ctg Mahila AL programme

Police yesterday foiled a human chain formed by Mahila League Chittagong City unit demanding release of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury.

Form info commission

Right to Information Forum has congratulated the government for approving the Right to Information (RTI) Ordinance 2008.

'Release Hasina by withdrawing 'false cases' against her'

Leaders of Peshajibi Samunnay Parishad have demanded permanent release of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina by withdrawing all the 'false cases' against her.

Kamruzzaman passes away

Awami League advisory council member M Kamruzzaman passed away at Central Hospital in the city yesterday at the age of 80.

Death anniversary of Moyezuddin tomorrow

Tomorrow is the 24th death anniversary of Moyezuddin, a close associate of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and an organiser of the Liberation War.

'Include 105 pvt TTCs under MPO'

Teachers of private teachers' training colleges (TTCs) yesterday urged the caretaker government to include their 105 institutions under monthly pay order (MPO).

One shot, robbed of Tk 10,000

Muggers shot an employee of a Grameenphone distributor before snatching Tk 10,000 from him at Maghbazar in the city yesterday.

Bar Council polls Nov 20

The election of Bangladesh Bar Council will be held on November 20.

US embassy closed on Sunday

The American Embassy offices, including the Public Affairs Section, the Archer K Blood American Centre Library and the Student Advising Centre will remain closed on Sunday on the occasion of the holy Shab-e-Qadr, a Bangladeshi national holiday, says a press release.

Minor boy killed in train accident in Rajshahi

A minor boy was killed in a train accident at Nutun Butpara in Rajshahi city yesterday.

Pay arrears, bonus before Eid

Leaders and workers of RMG sector in the city yesterday demanded payment of salary arrears and Eid bonus before Eid, says a press release.

Woman found murdered in city

Police yesterday recovered the body of a young woman from Uttara in the city.

Two city roads named after martyred freedom fighters

Two major city roads were named after martyred freedom fighters Faruk Iqbal and Taslim and Bir Uttam Shaheed Khaza Nizam Uddin Bhuiyan, says a press release.

Hasina needs 3 more weeks to complete her treatment

It will take two or three more weeks to complete the treatment of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina in the USA, her personal physician Prof Syed Modasser Ali said at a press briefing in the city yesterday.

Plastic trader shot by extortionists

A plastic trader was shot by the extortionists in the city's Kotwali area last night while another gang of criminals exploded several homemade bombs in front of three bus counters demanding extortions at Jatrabari.

'Pay salary, bonus before Eid'

Leaders of Jute-Cotton and Garments Mills Sramik Karmachari Sangram Parishad at a meeting yesterday demanded payment of salary arrears and bonus before Eid, says press release.

Appeal for help

Sabina Yeasmin


Sabina Yeasmin, a 28-year-old housewife, has been suffering from heart disease since 1995, says a press release.

Letters

Neglected RMG workers

The RMG workers are the worst sufferers, most neglected and deprived of their basic rights. Like many who both regard and treat them as sub-humans, the government without protecting them from maltreatment, oppression and discrimination, takes and also asks the owners of the garments to take tough action against those who raise their voices against the gross injustice and persecution that the workers face on a regular basis.

Why blame rickshaws only?

Being a disabled person I am seriously inconvenienced by the ban on rickshaws on important roads. I am a mid-level employee so cannot afford CNGs , even if I can find one. Taxis and private cars are unthinkable. For this reason I am very pleased to see that your fearless newspaper has highlighted the acute problems caused by traffic jams on a daily basis. However, the police authorities are relentless in blaming rickshaws for the jams and even force me to walk (I use a crutch) in the heat and in the rain.

Federer comes back!

Roger Federer, now world no. two tennis player, won the US open 2008 recently in a flamboyant style. He just outplayed the surprise challenger Murray of England. When Murray beat present world no one Rafael Nadal in the semis, people started to smell something very interesting to take place in the final. But Federer, coming out of the ashes of his tennis reflex crisis, made Murray run around the court---back and forth with his magic backhand forehand shots! It was indeed nice to see him making a unique game plan.

ICL and our cricket

Your reporter termed the 10 year ban on our players as "inevitable" and I agree, although I might add the word "regrettable". As you said in your editorial, the ICL is a reality that we cannot overlook. Rather than the predictable and petty reaction from the BCB to ban the players and do no more, a more considered reaction was desired.

Crazy traffic

I know lots of letters and articles were printed in your newspaper regarding the topic but every day it seems that the Dhaka traffic situation is going from bad to worse. The DMP has failed to keep the traffic under control, especially during the month of Ramadan. The outcome was Saturday's (13.09.08) gridlock all over the city resulting in a baby's birth inside a vehicle.

Good coverage of traffic issue

This could well be an exercise in futility, but I could not resist the temptation to resume my crusade for the solution of our Traffic Jams, that have now brought the city to a halt. The wide and commendable coverage that DS has been giving in recent weeks, both in writing and through stark pictures of gridlock and tailback have encouraged me to send you this, my 24th letter since last Ramadan on the subject. Your Tailback Tale No 1 is heartily welcomed.

Alarming news!

I read a very alarming news article relating to contaminated baby formula in China which has already caused the death of two babies. Milk powder tainted with Melamine in infant formula has sickened more than 1,200 infants so far across several provinces in China in a scandal that erupted last week but had originally focused solely on a particular brand. The initial scare had prompted a nationwide probe and the additional tainted brands appeared to have been detected through testing linked to that investigation. The Chinese government has said milk collectors deliberately contaminated the milk with melamine, possibly to boost its protein content. The government has ordered a halt to the sale of the 69 milk powder brands adulterated with the chemical melamine, adding the products were made by 22 different companies spread across China.

Strident campus politics

I am referring to the disturbances created by the activists of the JCD, student wing of the BNP, which paralysed life on Dhaka University campus a few days back. They resorted to burning private cars, taxis, and buses, just because of rumours that Tarique Rahman had slipped in the hospital bathroom injuring himself.

Will the two leaders meet?

Over the past few years, it has oft been suggested that most of our national problems would be solved only if the two leaders would meet one another and talk. This topic has gained importance recently, particularly when it came out from one of the advisers of the present government. The adviser had to reassert that he never said the government would apply pressure to get the leaders meet. Though many observers are sceptical about the meeting, the nation as a whole is looking forward with both curiosity and hope to this occasion.

Wasa generator

In front of my residence, there is a Wasa pump site within the boundary of the government officers' quarters at Sobhanbag. Wasa has recently installed a generator which works when electricity is not available. As these days electricity goes off frequently, the generator has to be operated very often. But the inhabitants of the surrounding areas cannot live in peace due to its unbearable dreadful sound. The children cannot concentrate on their lessons. The house owners apprehend that their tenants may leave the place.

Oils prices go down, but…

The fuel price was around $146 plus per barrel a few weeks back. But at present it is going down significantly. It has come down even below $90 per barrel. When the price of oil was spiralling up, suddenly bus and other transport owners increased the fares. When the reason behind setting higher fuel prices no longer exists, the prices should be lowered by the authorities concerned and this should lead to reduced transport fares.

Street children

Dhaka is now consuming the silent tears of poor children who are forced to undertake various gruelling tasks at their very early age, just to ensure the next meal for them and their family. Children are now being engaged in different risky jobs which often jeopardize their lives. It's a common scene in the streets that children are working as helpers in tempos and buses, and peddlers of flowers and water. They are found working in garages and chemical shops and also as domestic aid. Too often they face accidents as these are the tasks for which they are just not fit , both physically and mentally. These children lose all of their spirit and enthusiasm in their childhood and due to their grumpy fate they are prone to be at a very high risk in terms of health and security. The most shocking thing is that the rate of child labour is increasing day by day and by the time those children will be adult, they cannot contribute to themselves and the family just because they will have already lost their future in their childhood.

Unfit vehicles

Road traffic accident (RTA) is one of the most important causes of death and disabilities. And one of the important causes of RTA is unfit vehicles. They also cause air pollution. Dhaka is the most polluted city in the world. Air pollution also causes many diseases including cancer. Again it causes death and disabilities of our population.

Thai visa

Today (17-09-2008) I went to the office of VFS in Gulshan-1 with my application for tourist visa to visit Thailand but came to know that all visa seekers would have to make appointments over telephone in advance to apply for visa to visit Thailand which was not the norm two days before. I have tried for more than two hours during office hours to contact the office of IVLAC/VFS over phone numbers 8850636 and 8811071 to get an appointment but could not make it as both the phones displayed either busy or no connection symbol every time. So may be I will not get my appointment on time.

International

US Congress weighs Indian nuke deal

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is visiting Washington to rally support in Congress for a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement reached long ago with the Bush administration.

New efforts to free 150 Afghan hostages

The Afghan government called local powerbrokers Thursday to intervene in the hostage-taking of 150 labourers by suspected Taliban, an official said.

Lankan troops on outskirts of LTTE HQs

Sri Lankan government forces have advanced to the outskirts of the northern Tamil Tiger rebel capital of Kilinochchi, the island's army chief announced yesterday.

Pak citizens must support terror war, says Zardari

Pakistan's new president said he was trying to convince his country to support the war against Islamic extremists, after a group that claimed responsibility for the Marriott Hotel bombing threatened more attacks.

'Godhra train burning was preplanned, not accident'

The burning of a coach of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station in February 2002, which claimed 59 lives and triggered Gujarat-wide communal violence, was preplanned, the Nanavati inquiry panel has found.

35 killed in iraq ambush

Iraqi forces launched a major hunt for al-Qaeda gunmen in the restive province of Diyala yesterday after 35 people were killed in an ambush of a police convoy.

EU ministers endorse immigration pact

EU interior ministers endorsed Thursday sweeping new guidelines for managing immigration, but struggled to agree on a Blue Card scheme aimed at attracting highly skilled workers to Europe.

West turns up heat on Iran over alleged nuclear arms work

Western countries hit out at Iran here on Wednesday over its refusal to disprove allegations of past nuclear weapons work and for pursuing uranium enrichment in defiance of UN demands.

ME Quartet losing grip on peace process, warn aid agencies

The Middle East Quartet is "losing its grip" on the peace process and must radically revise its approach, a group of prominent aid agencies said Thursday ahead of a meeting of the four powers.

China launches riskiest space mission yet

China yesterday launched its riskiest space flight yet, sending three men into orbit on a mission that will include the nation's first ever space walk, state media said.

Lanka not signing defence pact with Pakistan

Denying that Sri Lanka is on the verge of signing a defence pact with Pakistan, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said his government was friendly with all nations.

Arts & Entertainment

Taking on multiple roles

Veteran television personality Abul Hayat needs no introduction. As a playwright, director and actor, his talents are acclaimed by both the audience and critics. Though he never wanted to confine himself to any particular kind of roles, the audience's acceptance of him as a father figure seems to consume his urge for diversity. Yet Abul Hayat sustains his versatility through his multidimensional involvement in the media. For a brief period, the audience missed him as an actor as he was busy with directing and writing plays. But the seasoned actor could not distance himself from acting for long and has again concentrated on acting. The Daily Star recently talked to the actor-director about his thoughts on the media and more.

“Sattyer Gahiney” participating at Brazilian film festival

Ahmed Muztaba Zamal's documentary Sattyer Gahiney (Truth and Beyond) is participating at the 'Religions and Movies Festival' in Sao Paulo Brazil, which will run from September 23 to 28. Based on Zamal's concept, Saymon Zakaria did the research and script of the documentary.

‘Karam Puja’ celebrated in Thakurgaon

The two- daylong Karam Puja, a key festival of indigenous people of northern districts, was celebrated in Thakurgaon with songs and dances and the offering of food and songs to their deity.

Disruption in theatre space addressed with improvisation

Members of theatre troupe Prachyanat during an improvised performance at the Coffee House premises of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on September 24. The performance was a part of an initiative to address the inconsistencies and disruption that have become prevalent adjoining the area of theatre performances at the BSA over the years.

Actor Alec Baldwin promotes memoir

Alec Baldwin, at a bookstore event he says he didn't want to attend, gave a fired up talk Tuesday night about a book he says he didn't want to write.

“Hello, Hridita Achhey?” on ATN Bangla

Eid-special TV play Hello, Hridita Achhey? will be aired on the day before the Eid on ATN Bangla at 11:30 pm. Written by Sumonto Aslam, the play is directed by Taher Shipon.

OP-ED

US financial market meltdown

SAY good-bye to Wall Street as we knew it, said The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in an editorial. In a flash, five giant investment banks have "ceased to exist," -- transforming themselves into, or being absorbed by, conventional big banks.

Sadqa-e-Fitr

THE Most Gracious and the Most Merciful Allah has, in His infinite Mercy, fixed a Sadqa (sacrifice) over His bondsmen. After the expiry of Ramadhan and on the rejoicing of breaking the fast (or returning to normalcy), it should be paid as a mark of gratitude. Fitr stands for "return to normalcy," and the Sadqa so paid is called Sadqa-e-Fitr. The Eid that comes after the month of Ramadan is known as Eid-ul-Fitr, or the "Joy of returning normalcy."

Turning a deaf ear

ELECTRICITY and telephone services comprise two basic and necessary services for the citizenry. Historically, they have been associated with rampant corruption, mismanagement, and unreliable service provision in Bangladesh.

Why most office workers would be better off in prison

Iused to live near a prison. There was a guy on the top floor who used to wave his hand at me through the bars. Actually, it wasn't just his hand.

StarTech

Wired to web portals

The internet has come a long way from static web pages which only provided the information with no chance for the user to interact. Today web portals have changed the ever-curious user's experience.

Improving like never before...

Today, it will be hard to find anyone whom you can convince that in 1965 all the world's airlines voted to outlaw movies on airplanes as an unnecessary and costly frill! Presently, an economy passenger on Singapore Airlines' new Airbus A380 has access to 100 movies, 180 television shows, and 700 audio CDs. With Boeing and Airbus backlogged with orders for more than 7000 new airplanes, more and more passengers will have an opportunity to be wowed by an in-flight entertainment system soon.

Google phone unveiled

Internet search leader Google took a giant leap into the mobile phone market on Tuesday, unveiling a handset developed with telecom carrier T-Mobile to compete with Apple's hot-selling iPhone.


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