The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, December 20, 2014


News of: Friday, 31st of October, 2008

Front Page

EC withholds poll fixture plan over writ tangle

The Election Commission (EC) will not announce the detailed schedule for the December 18 parliamentary polls on Sunday as declared earlier but said emphatically that the delay would not affect holding of the election on schedule.

61 killed as 12 blasts tear through Assam

At least 61 people were killed and more than 300 injured yesterday in a dozen blasts that ripped through towns and markets in the insurgency-hit northeastern Indian state of Assam.

Hasina's bail plea turned down by SC

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday denied bail to Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina in an extortion case filed by businessman Noor Ali.

BNP assessing equation in redrawn constituencies

BNP is assessing whether it will be affected or not due to the re-demarcation of parliamentary constituencies, and collecting reports on organisational activities across the country.

Devouring Jamuna a threat to bridge?

The mighty Jamuna appears to be a serious threat to the Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge and many other establishments in five districts as the river is changing its course eroding the western bank in the last few years.

Pricey non-food items push inflation up

Continued price rise of non-food items contributed to the increase of overall inflation rate by 0.08 percentage point in September to reach 10.19 percent on a point-to-point basis.

Onus of democracy on Khaleda, Hasina

Political scientist Dr Emajuddin Ahamed has said political parties must be organised democratically if they want to have a democratic system in the country.

HC blames EC for killing time

The High Court (HC) yesterday blamed the Election Commission (EC) for getting in the way of completing the hearings of 12 writ petitions which challenge the commission's delimitation of parliamentary constituencies.

AL sees fresh uncertainty over polls

The Election Commission's decision of not announcing the national polls schedule on November 2 as planned earlier has created fresh uncertainty over holding the parliamentary elections on December 18, said Awami League (AL) acting president Zillur Rahman yesterday.

Ban Ki-moon arrives tomorrow

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to arrive tomorrow evening on a two-day official visit to the country.

No test from abroad yet

A government taskforce during a meeting yesterday criticised the Institute of Public Health and Nutrition (IPHN) of the health ministry for not filing cases against the importers and traders of adulterated and unregistered powdered milk brands.

Hasina to meet Boucher before heading home

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina may hold meetings with important US officials including Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher before heading to Dhaka.

Abbas not freed as detention extended

The government yesterday issued a one-month detention order against detained former public works minister Mirza Abbas just before his release from jail on bail.

No more doubt over polls

Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman said doubts about the election have already been removed and the government's current responsibility is to hold the polls as per the declared timeframe.

HC hearing begins on 2 petitions

The High Court (HC) yesterday started hearing on the petitions filed by former BNP minister M Saifur Rahman and Jamaat minister Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid for quashing proceedings against them in the Barapukuria coalmine corruption case.

Hannan Shah asks CEC to resign for 'favouring AL’

BNP chairperson's Adviser Brig Gen (retd) ASM Hannan Shah yesterday demanded resignation of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda for comparing the upcoming election with that of 1970 and "favouring" the Awami League.

10 new HC judges to be appointed

The Supreme Judicial Commission yesterday decided to appoint 10 new judges to the High Court (HC) division of the Supreme Court (SC) to fill the vacant posts.

WB okays $130m to tackle food crisis

The World Bank (WB) will provide $130 million in credit to help Bangladesh respond to food crisis and support the poor families affected by high prices of food and other essential commodities.

Cops foil march against removal of sculptures

Police yesterday intercepted a procession of teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) and cultural activists near Shahbagh while it was marching towards Zia International Airport demanding erection of a statue of Lalon at the airport roundabout from where five Baul sculptures were removed.

Graft charges against Saifur's son, Nadim Mostafa okayed

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has approved submission of four charge sheets against four people including former finance minister M Saifur Rahman's younger son Shafiur Rahman Babu and ex-BNP lawmaker advocate Nadim Mostafa on separate corruption charges.

Hospitals asked to cut 'short' long stays of VIP prisoners

Jail authorities have requested the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM) authorities to send back high profile prisoners to jail immediately.

Dhaka to vie for UNSC membership

Bangladesh will vie for UN Security Council non-permanent membership in 2015 for which Dhaka moves in advance to garner support, Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said yesterday.

Angry protests after death of RMG worker

Students of Agricultural Training Institute damaged at least 12 vehicles and barricaded Mirpur Road for over an hour last night, protesting at the death of a female garment worker in a road accident.

Hajj flights start today

The first hajj flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the first batch of this year's Bangladesh pilgrims, will leave Dhaka for Saudi Arabia today.

Mamun remanded in Tk 8.4 crore swindling case

A Dhaka court yesterday placed detained businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun on a three-day remand in a case filed for swindling Tk 8.4 crore out of a businessman.

Obama holds or widens lead in key states

New polls out yesterday show Democrat Barack Obama holding or increasing his lead over Republican John McCain in key battleground states as undecided voters make up their minds just days before the presidential election.The CNN-Time magazine poll of states both candidates see as must-wins showed Obama expanding his lead among likely voters in Pennsylvania to 12 percent (55-43 percent) from nine percent in mid-September, and holding his four-point lead in Ohio (51-47 percent), where McCain will campaign Thursday.

Poor nations most vulnerable from financial crisis

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday that poor nations could be hurt most by the global financial crisis and called for swift action to tackle the roots of the turmoil.

2 JMB men jailed for life

A Barisal court yesterday sentenced four activists of the banned Islamist militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to life imprisonment in a case filed in connection with the August 17, 2005 series bomb blast in front of Barisal Government BM College.

Toll may cross 300, victims wait for aid

The death toll from a powerful earthquake in southwest Pakistan could climb above 300, officials said Thursday, as rescuers struggled to deliver aid to desperate survivors.

2.4kg heroin found in spice packs

A team of the Department of Narcotics Control recovered 2.4 kg of heroin, packed in packets of powdered spices, at Uttara Monday night. They also arrested one person in this connection.

Editorial

Those convicted taking part in election!

We are flabbergasted at the airing of a demand by BNP joint-secretary general Nazrul Islam Khan to the effect that those convicted by lower and special courts be allowed to participate in the polls pending appeal to the higher court. Something on similar lines has also been advanced by AL acting president Zillur Rahman.

Changing of the guard in Male

History has clearly been made in the Maldives. Three decades after he rose to power in the island nation, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has conceded defeat to a young politician who has just beaten him at the country's first openly contested presidential election. Mohammad Nasheed, the 41 year-old former dissident who has just defeated Gayoom, has promised that there will be no witch hunt once he forms his government in Male. That is certainly most commendable. And equally commendable is the grace with which the fallen Gayoom has accepted the verdict of the electorate following the second round of the voting. These are big things to note and absorb from a small country that has set an example in political and electoral probity.

Here comes the sun

STICK a fork in John McCain. He's done. He has been out-campaigned, out-thought, and out-classed by a better candidate. This has always been Barack Obama's best weapon -- not his soaring oratory or his ability to tap into the mood of the electorate or his unerring knack for being in the right place at the right time, on the right side of history.

The shortcut is cutting us short

NESTLÉ and GlaxoSmith- Kline have been accused of lying about their products. Horlicks doesn't make children "taller, stronger and sharper," and Maggi Noodles doesn't strengthen bones and muscles in them either. Yet, such lies were packaged in the commercials of two of the world's food and pharmaceuticals giants, targeting their consumers in Bangladesh. Count your blessings everyday! Advertising Standards Authority of UK banned those commercials before they arrived.

Friends in need

IT reflected all the forlorn hope of a tail-ender, a twelfth man, the last of a dozen protocols signed between the Pakistan and China at Beijing on October 15. The final document was a Memorandum of Understanding between China's Cricket Association and the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Sports

Razzak reported again

Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak once again found himself in controversy after umpires Asoka de Silva and Daryl Harper reported his bowling action.

Giants struggle in draw

Brothers Union and Mohammedan spent hard times on their return to the Citycell B. League after three weeks as the title contenders shared a 1-1 draw at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Not a serial offender

Just a day after he helped rescue the Tigers to save a Test match against New Zealand, Abdur Razzak must have thought of spending a few days at home in Bagerhat before embarking on another arduous tour. But that was not to be.

Gambhir 206, Laxman 200no

Gautam Gambhir and Venkatsai Laxman hammered double-centuries to put India in complete control on the second day of the third Test against Australia here on Thursday.

Sylhet pays hefty fine

Sylhet paid a heavy price for their ignorance of the game's rules after Bangladesh Cricket Board penalised them yesterday for breaching the Code of Conduct in the third round match of the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 10th National Cricket League on Wednesday.

Sourav's decision surprised Sachin

Sachin Tendulkar has said the senior players in the Indian team must be respected for the "major contributions" they have made over the years. Tendulkar, who recently became the leading Test run-scorer, said on Wednesday the decision on retiring from international cricket should be made by the players, whom he felt will know when the time is right.

Gautam, Shane to face ICC hearing

India's Gautam Gambhir and Australia's Shane Watson were on Thursday charged with breaching the game's international code of conduct after an on-field exchange during the third Test.

Inter draw again

Fiorentina and Inter Milan played out a 0-0 stalemate in the big top-of-the-table clash in Italy's Serie A on Wednesday as Udinese and Napoli pulled clear at the head of the standings.

King he remains

India's Viswanathan Anand successfully defended his world chess champion title Wednesday against Russia's Vladimir Kramnik in Bonn, Germany.

Spurs' stunning revival

Harry Redknapp might as well be Harry Potter as far as Totten- ham Hotspur fans are concerned after his new side achieved the near-magical feat of securing a 4-4 draw away to Arsenal in the north London derby despite being two goals behind with a minute left of normal time.

Ribery leads fightback

French star Franck Ribery led Bayern Munich's fightback as both goalscorer and provider in the 2-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday to put the defending Bundesliga champions fourth.

Pele wishes Maradona well

Pele has wished Diego Maradona well in his new job as Argentina coach but the Brazil legend warned that great footballers rarely become great managers.

Redknapp hails spirit

Harry Redknapp feels belief has flooded back into Tottenham Hotspur after his new charges earned an unlikely point in a thrilling 4-4 north London derby draw away to Arsenal.

C'Ron, Casillas head FIFA list

Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres head a 23-strong list of candidates for the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year title, the sport's world governing body said on Wednesday.

AFC adopts 3+1 rule in C League

Next season's revamped and lucrative AFC Champions League will introduce a 3+1 rule for foreign players, it was announced Thursday, while the final will be played in Japan.

Ballack set to give up armband

Chelsea star Michael Ballack is set to stand down as Germany captain to be replaced as skipper by Philipp Lahm, according to Munich newspaper Abendzeitung here on Thursday.

Greek footballer commits suicide

A Greek footballer committed suicide by jumping off a cliff after being left out of the team for a cup match on Wednesday, the Athens News Agency (ANA) reported.

Stanford T20s under cloud

The England and Wales cricket Board (ECB) is under increasing fire as its five-year deal with Allen Stanford comes under the media spotlight amid calls for the contract to be reviewed and reports that the England players are rapidly going off the whole scheme.

Lawson sorry to leave

Geoff Lawson, who was sacked as the Pakistan coach last week, has said he was better off than other officials working with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) since he was paid out and got a decent exit.

Shahryar warns ICC

Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan has cautioned the International Cricket Council (ICC) against changing the official result of the controversial England-Pakistan Test at The Oval in 2006.

Murray in last 16

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal, the man he usurped as world number one, Roger Federer, and pretender Andy Murray all marched into the last 16 at the Paris Masters on Wednesday with straight sets wins.

Sarwar not going to SA

Sarwar Imran will not be travelling with the Tigers in the upcoming tour to South Africa this month.

Manikganj defeat Jamalpur

Manikganj defeated Jamalpur by four wickets in the under-14 national cricket competition at the Shahid Miraz-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj on Thursday.

BIT, Scholastica in semifinals

BIT and Scholastica stormed into the semifinals of the Dhaka metropolitan Women's School football tournament with big wins yesterday.

JMB too strong for MBUST

The booters of Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge (JMB) blanked Maulana Bhasani University of Science and Technology (MBUST) 3-0 in the fourth match of the Shouhardo Cup football tournament here at the Tangail Stadium on yesterday.

Marvellous Mithapukur

Mithapukur won the Inter-upazila football title with a 4-0 thrashing of Pirgachha in the final at the Rangpur Zila School ground yesterday.

Northern win title

Northern University came through the backdoor to lift the Mentors' Inter-private University football title when they defeated IUBAT in the tiebreakers in yesterday's final.

Business

Scrap compulsory reinsurance

The insurance industry has demanded that the government annul the compulsory cession of reinsurance business to the lone state-run general insurer, Sadharan Bima Corporation.

Two firms join direct listing

ACI Formulations and Shinepukur Ceramics, two private sector companies, yesterday got go-ahead to be listed directly on the stock exchanges, showing a new gateway for profitable companies to offload shares with optimum prices.

US economy shrinks, worst yet to come

The US economy contracted at a 0.3 percent pace in the third quarter as a global credit crunch prompted consumers and businesses to retrench, government data showed Thursday.

Middle East may halt recruitment

Middle Eastern countries may stop hiring new workers for the time being due to a probable slowdown in construction in the wake of the global economic meltdown and a slump in oil prices, said a media person from the Middle East yesterday.

DCCI rings in 50th year

The gala event to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) kicks off in the capital from today.

Shift from West to East

Our industry is going through a crisis the like of which none of us has experienced before. Many people are asking if this is the worst financial crisis since 1929. It probably is. Is it the most complex financial crisis the world has seen? Certainly, it is. Will it usher in a recession? I'm afraid this seems inevitable. Indeed, although the economic data lags the facts on the ground, it seems likely that the UK and a number of other economies are already contracting. These risks are creating a further phase in which conventional credit impairments rise as a result of recession.

Luxury market takes hit from credit crunch

Even the wealthiest consumers are cutting spending in the face of the global economic turmoil, which will likely push the worldwide luxury retail market into recession in 2009, a survey showed Wednesday.

Stocks down for second day

Share prices dropped on the country's two bourses yesterday for the second day.

Bangladesh, Libya to sign manpower export deal

Bangladesh and Libya will sign a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on manpower export tosay, the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment announced it yesterday.

Computer fair kicks off

With a view to using computer as a tool for culturing merit and knowledge, a nine-day computer fair began in Dhaka yesterday.

First German trade show November 6

The first-ever German Trade Show will begin here at the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre on November 6.

Ericsson teams up with Buet

LM Ericsson Bangladesh Limited (EBL) has signed an agreement with Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), under which it will provide telecommunication technology related training to the under graduate students of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of the Buet, says a press release.

New director of int'l apparel fed

Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) President Fazlul Hoque has been elected a director of International Apparel Federation (IAF).

Nobel laureate says worst of economic crisis is over

Nobel economics laureate Robert Mundell said Thursday the worst of the world economic crisis is over and the US economy is in the recovery phase.

Japan unveils stimulus package, stocks soar after US rate cut

Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso on Thursday unveiled a 277 billion dollar package to stimulate the world's second largest economy as stock markets soared off the back of an interest rate cut in the US.

IMF to put five-point financial reform plan to G20

The head of the International Monetary Fund said Thursday he would propose five avenues to reform the global financial system, with the fund reasserting a regulating role, when G20 countries meet in two weeks' time.

Forbes rich list: Financial turmoil hits China's super-wealthy

The credit crunch and financial crisis have more than halved the combined wealth of China's richest people, Forbes magazine said Thursday as it released its annual Chinese billionaires list.

Markets jump as investors cheer interest rate cuts

World stock markets raced upwards on Thursday, with Asian indices soaring by about 10 percent, as interest rate cuts sparked bargain hunting after months of misery over the global financial crisis.

Metropolitan

Breastfeeding can cut infant mortality by one-third

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said it is the right time for promoting breastfeeding as the toxicity of artificial infant formulas has been proved in laboratory tests.

Three shot, robbed of Tk 5.5 lakh

Miscreants shot three people, including two staff of Grameenphone, and snatched away Tk 5.5 lakh in three separate incidents in the city yesterday.

Investigation into 2nd-phase results demanded

Former president of Dhaka University Teachers' Association Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique yesterday said proper investigation should be conducted into the allegations raised regarding the publication of second-phase result of the 27th BCS examination.

National Day for Youth tomorrow

The National Day for Youth 2008 will be observed on November 1 with the theme 'Timely training for resolving unemployment of youth'.

'Practise non-violence policy of Gandhi to restore democracy'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday underscored the need for practising non-violence policy of Mahatma Gandhi to restore democracy in the country.

'US does not want derailment of electoral roadmap'

The United States does not want that the electoral roadmap of Bangladesh is derailed in any way, said US State Department's Bangladesh Desk Officer Partha Majumdar yesterday.

Housewife strangled for dowry

A housewife was strangled for dowry in the district on Wednesday night.

EC's role not neutral

Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojahid yesterday alleged that the Election Commission (EC) and the Chief Election Commissioner are not acting in a neutral manner.

Barisal mayor seeks help in fighting drug menace

Barisal City Corporation Mayor Shawkat Hossain Hiron yesterday said merely the initiatives of the mayor and councillors will not be able to beat the menace of illegal drugs from the southern city which has become a cesspit of narcotics.

Six killed in road accidents

Six people were killed and nine others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Netrakona, Thakurgaon and Dinajpur in the last two days.

Moeen seeks Korean help in developing defence capability

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday met Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Korean Armed Forces General Kim Tae-Young and sought Korean government's cooperation in developing Bangladesh's defence capability.

15 bombs seized at Satkhira

Police seized 15 bombs, two firearms and three cartridges and arrested a man in separate drives at two villages under Kaliganj upazila in the district last night.

Advocate Abed Raja joins BNP

Eminent lawyer and former student leader Advocate Abed Raja joined Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Wednesday by presenting former premier and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia with a bouquet at her Gulshan office in the city.

Nat'l Debate Festival begins tomorrow

The 4th National Debate Festival will begin in the city tomorrow.

250 cops to join peacekeeping in Ivory Coast

Some 250 police personnel will join the UN peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast, replacing two contingents that had gone there earlier.

Khaleda visits ailing Delwar

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia visited ailing Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain at his Nam flat in the city yesterday.

IBA graduation ceremony

Graduation ceremony of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Dhaka University for the 12th BBA and 40th MBA batches will be held on November 28 at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre.

BSF shoots dead Bangladeshi cattle trader

Members of Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader at Sreenathpur frontier of Maheshpur in the district early yesterday.

Deposition in graft case against Ctg mayor begins

Deposition of a corruption case against Chittagong City Corporation Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury began at Divisional Special Judge's court yesterday.

RU female students confine manager to hall canteen

Female students of Rahmatunnesa Hall of Rajshahi University on Wednesday night confined the manager to the hall canteen for two hours and ransacked furniture for providing low quality food.

5 motor vehicles recovered, 5 held

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered five motor vehicles, including trucks, microbus and private car and arrested five people from different parts of the country yesterday.

Release of Hasina demanded

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) staged a demonstration on the Dhaka University campus yesterday protesting the rejection of the bail prayer of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina by the Supreme Court.

Appeal for help

Zoarder Adnan Samdani, a seven-year-old boy, has been suffering from blood cancer, says a press release.

36th anniversary of JSD today

Today is the 36th founding anniversary of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD).

One killed over land dispute in Netrakona

One person was killed and 25 others injured in a village clash over a land dispute at Kalapara village under Atpara upazila in the district yesterday morning.

SC again asks govt to provide magistrates with all facilities

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday again directed the government to provide judicial magistrates with all necessary support staff, vehicles and other requirements.

Iftekharuzzaman elected TI board member

Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Dr Iftekharuzzaman has been elected a member of the International Board of the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI), says a press release.

Death anniversary

The first death anniversary of poet and actor Gazi Sadeq, former managing director of Sonargaon Pan Pacific Hotel and general manager of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, will be observed today, says a press release.

Letters

Melamine in milk

Mothers are passing their days amid great worry thinking about their babies' food because hardly any brand milk is available without melamine, which is responsible for various diseases like kidney failure. In a recent analysis by the chemistry department of Dhaka University, they found toxic melamine in many popular brands of milk. It would be tough for mothers to change their babies' food habits, as the babies have become used to powdered milk.

Counter them vigorously

We are astonished by the caretaker government's bowing down to the demand of religious extremist groups and removing the baul sculptures from the airport road roundabout.

Use foot overbridges

In Dhaka city, there many foot overbridges and underpasses for the passers-by to easily cross busy roads. But few people use these foot overbridges and underpasses.

US presidential election

I am writing from Boston, Massachusetts. There are six days left before the presidential election. All polls show Senator Barack Obama leading against Senator John McCain. Mr. Obama has a comfortable lead in Electoral Votes that determine the winner. Winning 270 Electoral Votes is enough, as there are a total of 538 Electoral Votes. If Senator Obama and McCain win in all the states that were won by Senator Kerry and President Bush respectively in 2004 presidential election, Senator Obama will win 252 Electoral Votes and Senator McCain will win 286 Electoral Votes. In that scenario, Senator McCain will win. But this time, Senator Obama is running very strong in some states that were won by President Bush 4 years ago. For example, considering a very conservative estimate, Senator Obama is leading by a comfortable margin over Senator McCain in Iowa (7 Electoral Votes), New Mexico (5 Electoral Votes), Colorado (9 electoral Votes), Virginia (13 Electoral Votes) and if Obama wins in these 4 states, he will have 286 Electoral Votes compared with John McCain's 252 Electoral Votes.

Do they know?

Last week, we saw two unusual things, which are rather very disappointing. First, the pulling down of the sculptures of Bauls and the other is the cutting down of trees on Rokeya Sarani. These two incidents are interlinked with one another. The parties that protested the removal of the sculptures seems to have a very rigid understanding of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

Baul statues

It is truly vexing to know that there were so many negative reactions to the protests of the mullahs regarding the Baul statues. Not many days ago, the action of the mullahs sparked protests led by the country's luminaries and literary figures.

"Survival of the fittest"

"Survival of the fittest" is the order of the day.

Present and future leaders

Bangladesh is a country with immense promise for corruption, and prejudice for patricians.

Ershad factor

General (Retd) H.M. Ershad was a dictator, no doubt. His nine-year autocratic rule and corrupt politics are still in the memories of people. But the reality is he is now a factor in Bangladesh politics. His is the third force after the two major parties and the polarization of politics in Bangladesh increases his demand particularly to the two major parties. And I think the Awami League is doing the right thing to accommodate General Ershad into their alliance.

BRAC's reply

We would like to appreciate the concern expressed by you regarding making all out efforts for the immediate release of two abducted BRAC officials in Afghanistan through your editorial entitled, “Kidnapped BRAC staff in Afghanistan: Make all out efforts for their immediate release.” which was published on October 28.

Political scenario

The derailed train is back on "Election Moha Sarak"-Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman. What wonderful optimism despite no agreement on two most contentious issues such as a. the state of emergency and b. the timing of the upazila election.

Tobacco

Tobacco smoking is a proven cause of cancer and 80 percent of the lung cancer patients are found to be smokers. Even who do not smoke suffer from cancer caused by passive smoking. Now imagine how deadly tobacco is!

Aid for agriculture

Hon. US Ambassador and US Aid officials have raised serious issues about mismanagement in our agriculture ministry, as reported in a local English daily on October 23rd. The matter needs to be clarified by the government, and the public needs to be informed on these serious issue.

Corruption in BTTB

Refer to the DS editorial on institutional corruption in BTTB. You have expressed surprise on the scale of corruption in public offices and cited example of using 122 labourers to fix a toilet pan and lack of accountability. This is not the only one of such amazing examples. All public utility departments like gas, water, electricity, municipality etc. are dens of open-air corruption and there is no accountability anywhere in those offices. There is a saying that the table, chairs and files of Titas Gas office take bribes. Nothing comes out without greasing of the hands of officials of those offices.

Poor decision

I think Bangladesh Bank's recent move to circulate the Tk 1,000 note is not a good decision. How many people will be benefited from this decision is a matter of doubt. Only a few people, I guess.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Many doctors fail to detect the initial stage of GBS (Guillain-Barre Syndrome) that effects an estimated one of 3 in every 100,000 persons annually in the USA. It can strike any race, any age, but its incidence rate increases with age. GBS may occur within days or weeks after a viral infection such as influenza (flu) diarrhoea. It may be triggered by pregnancy or a medical procedure, such as a vaccination or minor surgery. Since the cause of GBS is unknown, there's no way to prevent the disease from coming in its most severe form. GBS is a medical emergency and may require hospitalisation. Severe GBS may result in total paralysis - potentially dangerous fluctuation in heart rates and blood pressure and inability to breathe with respiratory assistances.

International

Pakistan quake children start to sicken

Veiled mothers huddled with feverish babies in ruined Pakistani villages yesterday as sickness started to bite among earthquake survivors who spent a freezing night beneath open skies.

Taliban suicide attack inside ministry kills 5

A Taliban suicide attacker blew himself up inside the information and culture ministry building in the Afghan capital Thursday, killing at least five people and wounding several more, police said.

Divisive forces are out to break India

In the backdrop of violence against north Indians in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today warned that "divisive forces" were out to break the country and halt its progress.

New Maldives' ruler vows smooth democratic transition

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom promised Wednesday to ensure a smooth transition from his three decade rule after a bitter political rival vanquished him in the Maldives' first democratic election.

'Dirty tricks' escalate as US election nears

In the final days of the US presidential election, campaign yard signs are being defaced, fliers advise Democrats to vote a day late, DVDs warning of Islam's clash with the West flood mailboxes, and allegations of fraud are flying.

Iraq opposes any clause letting US stay after 2011

Baghdad wants to delete any reference in a security pact with Washington to the possibility of US troops staying in Iraq after 2011, an MP close to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said yesterday.

US vows no let-up in anti-terror efforts

The United States said Wednesday it was ready to discuss Pakistan's "very serious problem" with extremism anytime authorities there wish to, but vowed no let-up in counter-terrorism efforts.

Racism will barely affect US election: McCain

Republican presidential candidate John McCain says racism will play virtually no role when voters head to the polls next Tuesday because it will be trumped by the nation's economic problems.

Congolese rebels threaten to open fire on UN force

The leader of Congolese rebels warned UN forces blocking their way to the refugee-swollen city of Goma on Thursday that they would open fire if the UN tried to prevent their takeover of the city.Around 800 peacekeepers from the UN's MONUC force are the only obstacle to a complete rebel takeover of the strategic eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city after government forces fled the rebel advance on Wednesday.

Indian astrologers predict sweeping Obama win

Indian astrologers are predicting Barack Obama will win the US presidential election by a comfortable margin, but one warned of potentially life-threatening times ahead for the Democratic candidate.

Arts & Entertainment

Nationwide celebration of Udichi’s 40th anniversary

Udichi Shilpi Goshthi, an organisation that considers cultural revolution to be the decisive factor in social change, celebrated its 40th anniversary on October 29 at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Founded by writer-journalist and political activist Satyen Sen, Udichi formally started its journey in 1968. The root of the organisation traces back to the mass upsurge against an autocracy. Throughout the decades, Udichi always has been a part of the major political and cultural movements.

Artist Tarun Ghosh goes solo, finally

Who would believe that a national award-winning artist like Tarun Ghosh has never had a solo exhibition in his career spanning 35 years? And it probably would not have happened, if the modest Tarun's artist friends Goutam Chakraborty and Kazi Rakib had not pushed him to shed off his reluctance.

Altaf Mahmud remembered

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) arranged a discussion and cultural programme at its Music and Dance Centre on October 29 in memory of the martyred music composer Altaf Mahmud. Renowned singer Syed Abdul Hadi and noted theatre personality Nasiruddin Yousuff -- both of whom worked with Altaf Mahmud -- reminisced on his life and works at the programme.

OP-ED

'Democratic politics is a respectable avenue for serving people in the best way'

Presently vice-chancellor of University of Development Alternative (UODA), Dhaka, Prof. Emajuddin Ahamed was born in Malda district in 1932. He obtained BA in 1952 and MA in Political Science in 1954 from Dhaka University. In 1961, he received MA degree in English from the same university and obtained PhD from Queen's University, Canada in 1977. He joined Dhaka University as a senior lecturer in 1970, and rose to the position of vice-chancellor of DU in 1992. He was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1992, Michael Madhusudan Gold Medal in 1992 and Bhasha Padak in 1998. He has written 38 books. Shamim Ashraf took the interview.

What should Obama do about Iran?

WITH a week left until the American election, and all indications pointing to Obama becoming the next president of the United States, it is time to start giving him advice about what to do with his presidency. I am concerned largely with a program for Iran, since this represents a terrific opportunity to bring greater peace to the world and also a chance to put a different approach to foreign policy to work.

The sculpture row

DESPITE repeated assurance from the CTG, neither the political parties nor the common people are certain about parliamentary election being held on due date. However, the CTG, EC and political parties are preoccupied with various works related to election. In such a situation, a small group of Islamic militants is trying to be prominent through some provocative actions.

Where the Asian space race is really headed

WHY did India's first space rocket recently blast off with no people on board? It was just a test run. The country's next space flight WILL carry human beings, although it may not be a smooth ride. I can reveal full details in this exclusive report from the future:



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