The Daily Star

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Friday, June 22, 2018

News of: Wednesday, 5th of November, 2008

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Front Page

High turnout in historic US polls

Democrat Barack Obama is joining the nation's earliest voters in filling in a ballot in his historic presidential contest with Republican John McCain.

BNP weighs gains from Jamaat

In a quite surprising move, BNP is now evaluating Jamaat's performance in the past three parliamentary elections and also its own gains from forming its electoral alliance with the religion based party, said BNP insiders.

BNP, Jamaat get EC certificate

Six more political parties yesterday received certificates of registration with the Election Commission (EC) as parliamentary party. They are BNP, Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad), Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Inu).

AL grassroots to send nominations by Nov 9

Awami League's (AL) parliamentary nominations will be largely based on the list prepared prior to the stalling of the January 22, 2007 election with minor changes in it.

Jamaat, IOJ for polls participation

Despite being in a quandary over polls participation, BNP is gearing up for the December 18 national election.

12 VIP prisoners faking sickness in hospital

The jail authorities have requested Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) to send back 12 high-profile prisoners for overstaying in its hospital with fake sickness.

Focus on campaign financing

The historic 2008 US presidential race has triggered widespread debate over poll expenditure of the contenders for White House, as the existing presidential public financing system for electoral campaign has apparently failed to arrest unbridled campaign spending.

Nizami told to go to trial court Nov 10

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer and former minister Motiur Rahman Nizami to appear before the trial court by November 10 to face proceedings in Barapukuria coalmine case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Troops to be pulled out from today

Troops will start returning to barracks from emergency duties across the country today as the home ministry yesterday wrote to the Armed Forces Division with the request.

Melamine-free brands still off shelves

Traders are now awaiting a decision from the High Court (HC) before restarting display and sales of five brands of powdered milk, which the government on Monday declared melamine-free after tests at home and abroad.

'Unwilling' Petrobangla signs 'lucrative' MoU

Petrobangla yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Korea Consortium led by obscure and inexperienced Korean company Luxon Global that wants to invest $ 7 billion in power and coal sectors in Bangladesh in the next few years.

Myanmar sends another warship

Bangladesh Navy last evening asked ships of Myanmar to stop oil and gas exploration inside Bangladesh maritime territory as Bangladesh's special envoy is to hold a dialogue with the Myanmar government today.

BSMMU VC, pro-VC removed, new ones appointed

In a drastic action yesterday, the government removed the vice chancellor, pro-vice chancellor and treasurer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) following various allegations of corruption, and particularly forgery concerning medical certificate for former BNP lawmaker Mosaddak Ali Falu.

Country saved from hell, not taken to heaven

Former caretaker government adviser ASM Shahjahan has said the 1/11 changeover immediately saved the country from hell but it could not take it to heaven as everyone dreamt.

Govt to arrange house, transport for UZ chairmen

The caretaker government is taking steps to arrange accommodation and transport facilities for the upazila chairmen going to be elected in the ensuing polls slated for December 28.

Sector commanders make public names of 50 war criminals

Sector Commanders Forum yesterday made public their preliminary list of 50 war criminals, which includes the names of Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Matiur Rahman Nizami and its Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid.

EC seeks bank records of 9,000

The Election Commission (EC) has sent a list of around 9,000 prospective candidates in the upcoming parliamentary election to the state-owned banks and utility service providers to identify defaulters among them.

Govt to make polls acceptable to all parties

Education and Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman said yesterday that the government is working to create an election-friendly environment in the country so as to hold an election contested by all political parties.

Decision on HC judges' appointment likely today

The Supreme Judicial Commission (SJC) is likely to make a final decision today regarding appointment of new judges to the High Court (HC) division of the Supreme Court (SC).

Prothom Alo celebrates 10th anniversary

The daily Prothom Alo yesterday celebrated its 10th founding anniversary with the pledge to bring about a change in the society.

Tigers launch SA campaign today

Bangladesh launch their South Africa campaign today with a Twenty20 international against the hosts at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

25 hurt as DU students clash

At least 25 students of Dhaka University (DU) were injured yesterday in fresh clashes between the students of two DU dormitories on the university campus.

Non-brand edible oil prices rise

Prices of non-brand edible oil increased by Tk 5-10 per litre in city markets in the last three days.

Mamun sent to jail for Tk 8cr swindling

Detained businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun was sent to jail yesterday by a Dhaka court on completion of a three-day police remand in connection with a case filed for swindling Tk 8.4 crore out of a businessman.

39 drown as ferry sinks in Philippines

Thirty-nine people were killed yesterday when a ferry capsized in a freak accident in the central Philippines, the local police chief said, the latest in a line of maritime disasters to hit the country.

14 killed in Baghdad attacks

Insurgents killed at least 14 people and wounded dozens more in the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, including seven who lost their lives in a bomb attack on a bus depot, security officials said.


Relaxation of emergency

The decision by the government, hot on the heels of the announcement of the election schedule, to go for a relaxation of the state of emergency is welcome. There can be no denying that the move eases further the situation vis-à-vis the holding of the general elections next month. The fetters that have been there since January last year now have been removed in order for politics to get back to normal. At the same time, by revoking certain clauses of the Emergency Powers Rules, the government has removed the hindrances that have so far stood in the way of the working of the media. There have already been notable developments among the political circles, with parties like the Awami League taking preparations for participation in the polls. It is expected that other parties will take the cue and go fully into election mode in the next few days.

Graft in land offices

We are seldom surprised by reports of bribe taking in public establishments. Nevertheless, as reported in this newspaper yesterday, the method employed by a land office in Chittagong, the wanton manner in which the staff had gone about taking bribe from the public who were seeking their service, has startled us.

The 1970 elections, glass houses and stones

THE knives are out again, in all their sinister gleam, to stab us in the back once more. This time it is the very ethos of the People's Republic of Bangladesh that has come under assault. Hannan Shah of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Ali Ahsan Mujahid of the Jamaat-e-Islami have given us to understand that the general elections of 1970 were organised by the regime of General Yahya Khan to favour a particular political party. And, of course, that party was the Awami League, though they shy away from saying it.

Gayoom goes gracefully

FORMER political prisoner Mohamed "Anni" Nasheed (41) routed Asia's longest serving leader, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (71), in the Maldives' first democratic presidential election. Gayoom has been defeated by a human rights campaigner who was thrown in jail by him. Nasheed was a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience.

On the brink of bankruptcy

PAKISTAN'S economy is failing and it has to seek IMF aid to avoid being declared insolvent. Pakistan cannot pay all its liabilities, which include those bonds that mature early next year as well as debts owed to western powers. Criticism of Pakistani policies is well deserved because, while it has continued to borrow and also undertake some development, it has never seriously tried to build the ability to repay all its debts as and when they fall due. Hence the crisis.


Mohammedan grow stronger

Mohammedan's striking pair was on target to help the title contenders topple a major hurdle in the Citycell B. League with a 2-1 victory against Sheikh Russel yesterday.

Euro breather for Gunners

Arsenal host Fenerbahce in the Champions League on Wednesday knowing a win is vital to boost team spirits, while north of the border Celtic will attempt to halt the Manchester United juggernaut.

Martins lifts Magpies

Obafemi Martins scored both goals as Newcastle United climbed off the bottom of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win against Aston Villa at St James' Park here Monday.

Tk 780cr undisclosed income legalised

Over 14 thousand people legalised over Tk 780 crore undisclosed income this year availing of the government's special privileges by paying over Tk 100 crore taxes as penalty.

Mission 20 Wickets

Australia captain Ricky Ponting goes into the crucial fourth and final Test against India here on Thursday praying his fast bowlers return to their wicket-taking ways.

Dhaka head for a win

Dhaka closed in on their second victory while the Sylhet-Rajshahi tie hangs in the balance at the end of the third day of the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 10th National Cricket League's fourth round yesterday.

'Fighters, but flawed'

Ricky Ponting has been likened to inheriting a family business on the slide as Australian cricket comes face-to-face with reality.

Latif in for Yousuf?

Pakistani selectors sought a replacement for Mohammad Yousuf Monday after the star batsman joined the Indian Cricket League hours after being named in a one-day series squad against the West Indies.

Diego joins exclusive club

When Diego Maradona was named Argentina coach last week he joined an exclusive club of legendary stars who have moved from playing for to managing their national teams.

Rajib draws in Bavarian chess

Enamul Hossain Rajib dropped points in the third round of the 12th Bavarian Open International Chess Championship when the Bangladesh Grandmaster drew with Bernhard Nagel of Germany at Bad Wiessee in Germany on Monday.

Police ride on Rana

Rana Das struck twice to give Police Athletics Club a 2-0 win over Barnak Samaj in the Green Delta First Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Nadal pulls out of Shanghai Masters

World number one Rafael Nadal of Spain said on Monday that he had pulled out of the season-ending Shanghai Masters due to fatigue after a long season and to focus on the Davis Cup in Argentina.

Salim new NCA coach

Former Pakistan captain Salim Malik said Tuesday he has accepted an offer to become national academy coach, a month after a court overturned his life ban on alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Team bridge from Nov 14

The Ispahani National Team Bridge Championship will begin in Dhaka on November 14.

Aguero not for sale

Atletico Madrid coach Javier Aguirre has warned Manchester City that all the money in the world will not buy them Sergio Aguero.

Barcelona admonish Messi

Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola on Monday reprimanded Argentine striker Lionel Messi, who appeared in television images to have spat at Portuguese midfielder Duda during his side's 4-1 win at Malaga over the weekend.

Ronaldinho left out

AC Milan's Ronaldinho was once again left out of the Brazil squad as coach Dunga on Monday named his 22-man squad for a friendly with Portugal on November 19.

Bologna appoint Mihajlovic

Serbian Sinisa Mihajlovic was on Monday named the new boss of Serie A strugglers Bologna after they fired Daniele Arrigoni.

Lehmann won't get friendly farewell

Former German international goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will not have his wish granted of making a nostalgic final appearance in the friendly with England here on November 19, German coach Joachim Low announced on Monday.


Price fall worries banks

A steep decline in commodity prices in international markets has made Bangladeshi banks conservative about financing commodity imports, although the price fall is expected to ease inflation, industry people said.

Tax policy weighs on light engineering

The country's promising light engineering sector has much developed from an informal cottage status, but with a lot of constraints, over the years.

'Repeat orders' for knitwear items slip

Repeat orders for fashionable knitwear items recorded a drop last month as the global economic meltdown hit retail sales in the US and Europe, said a representative of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) yesterday.

Merchant bank licence for some new firms soon

The stock market regulator will issue merchant banking licences to new firms, a move that will lessen the dominance of the existing merchant banks in the stock market.

Remittances reach $7.4b

Foreign Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said remittances received from workers abroad so far this year, amounting to US $7.4 billion, has already crossed last year's record figures.

Call for facilitating women entrepreneurship

Proper funding, market access and training are required to promote women entrepreneurship in the country, speakers observed at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

Enhanced trade ties with Sudan stressed

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday emphasised increasing trade relations between Bangladesh and Sudan as he offered Bangladesh's world-class products for the market of the African country.

Dhaka-bound containers pile up

Around 1,200 containers of imported goods bound for the Dhaka Inland Container Depot (ICD) have stockpiled in Chittagong port in the last couple of weeks due to the malfunctioning of handling equipment at ICD.

Etihad’s 5 years of flying today

Etihad Airways, national airlines of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), celebrates its fifth anniversary of operation today.

Broadband policy soon

The government will soon declare Broadband Policy-2008 (proposed) with a view to provide internet facilities quickly and cheaply to the people, as the country lags in the journey on the global information superhighway.

Sonali Bank launches online remittance in Bandarban

Sonali Bank has introduced online remittance system in the district for the first time to facilitate the expatriate Bangladeshis in sending their money to the country.

Iron ore price may decline

China expects international iron ore prices to plummet next year amid falling demand from its steelmakers stung by the global economic downturn, state media reported Tuesday.

Mobile gets smarter

The mobile phone, a statement of lifestyle, has completely taken over every sphere of daily life. Inforev Limited, a local value-added service provider, has developed software that will act like a guide, directing customers to the nearest customer care location, at times when the mobile set gives trouble.

Indian builders lure home buyers with gifts

Indian builders hit by slipping profits are offering free cars and gold to kickstart once-booming demand but experts warn the gimmicks may not keep the housing industry afloat.

Biz Letters

Diesel for Boro farmers

Oil price in the international market rose up to $147 dollars per barrel just a few months ago. Due to the global economic crisis, oil prices stumped below $60 per barrel. More than an 80 percent decline in oil prices has given farmers in our country a moral right to enjoy diesel, kerosene and other oil related lubricants at this present low international rate.

Stocks rise on SEC meeting

Dhaka stocks bounced back yesterday with a jump in prices on speculations about a positive outcome from a meeting among the regulator, merchant banks and authorities of the two bourses.

Oil price slumps under $59

The price of oil sank to a near 21-month low point under 59 dollars a barrel in London trade on Tuesday owing to weak energy demand worldwide, but later recovered on bargain-hunting, dealers said.

India's export growth at 18-month low

Weakening global economies have dampened India's export growth to its slowest rate since April 2007, clocking a growth of 10.4 per cent in September while imports continued to rise by a robust of over 43 per cent.

Malaysia cuts growth forecast, announces spending plan

Malaysia on Tuesday slashed its 2009 growth forecast and announced a two billion dollar spending programme in a bid to boost the economy.

Singapore Airlines to reduce fuel levy

Singapore Airlines (SIA) said Tuesday it will cut its fuel surcharge on air tickets, but only for passengers travelling in economy and business class.

Slammed by financial crisis, BMW drops full-year outlook

BMW, the German luxury carmaker, said on Tuesday that it could no longer give a forecast for 2008 and was downbeat for next year too after getting hit head-on by the international financial crisis.


Move to install genocide plaques at all killing fields of '71

War Crimes Facts Finding Committee (WCFFC) has taken an initiative to install genocide plaques at the killing fields of 1971 lying all over the country.

Political, student bodies condemn Myanmar

Different political and student bodies yesterday protested and condemned Myanmar's effort to explore gas in Bangladesh's territorial water.

Birth registration takes country one step forward

Speakers at a birth certificate distribution programme yesterday said the nation has been moving one step foreward towards the socio-economic development through initiating the programme that would increase accountability of the state.

$87m ADB loan to improve basic services in 35 towns

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government yesterday signed a loan agreement of 87 million US dollar to improve the basic services and infrastructure in municipal towns of Bangladesh.

Work neutrally for credible election

Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) President Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday said the administration will have to function neutrally during the next general election to make it free, fair and credible.

Mob set fire to bus for hitting pedestrian

Angry mob set fire to a city service bus in the port city yesterday after it hit a pedestrian.

EC slated for registering Jamaat

Ekatturer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee and South Asian People's Union against Fundamentalism and Communalism (SAPUFC), yesterday sternly criticised the Election Commission's (EC) decision to register Jamaat-e-Islami.

Concern over appointment at law ministry from admin cadre

Bangladesh Judicial Service Association yesterday expressed its deep concern over appointment of an additional secretary to the law ministry from the administrative cadre, says a press release.

'Incorporate sex workers' children into mainstream'

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the government to incorporate the children of the sex workers into the mainstream by ensuring their right to education.

CPB invites applications from members for party nominations

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) has asked its party members to submit applications for party nomination for the national polls and upazila election by November 10, says a press release.

Mothers of successful candidates' memo to CA

Mothers of the candidates, who came out successful in the 1st phase result the 27th BCS examinations, submitted a memorandum to the chief adviser yesterday demanding return of the jobs of their sons and daughters.

Iran welcomes emergency relaxation

Iranian Ambassador Hassan Farazandeh yesterday welcomed the relaxation of the state of emergency and said Tehran hoped that a good election would take place here in December.

Repair work of Meghna Bridge begins today

The month-long emergency repair work of Meghna Bridge on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway will begin today.

Maj Gen Sadiqur passes away

Former director general of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Maj Gen Sadiqur Rahman Chowdhury passed away at Combined Military Hospital on Monday night at the age of 67.

200 women fall victim to repression in October

A total of 200 women fell victim to repression last month, according to a survey report of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad.

ACC sues Prof Jahanara for hiding wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against former adviser and Secretary General of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Prof Jahanara Begum for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information of her assets in the statement submitted to the commission.

Aide of Subrata Bain killed in shootout

A terrorist was killed in a shootout between police and his accomplices at East Bonomala at Tongi in the city early yesterday.

Free healthcare programmes for farmers

Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital and Channel i will organise free healthcare programmes for the farmers in Kushtia and Bogra on November 6 and 7 respectively, says a press release. organises 'Forums Contest'

Social networking site is introducing a 'Forums Contest' in the month of November.

Scrap metal trader killed in city Wife arrested

Unidentified criminals slaughtered a scrap metal trader at his house at Arsin Gate in the city's Shyampur area in the early hours of yesterday.

Abducted Brac staffs return home

Two abducted Brac officials, who were released after nine days of captivity, returned home from the Afghan capital of Kabul last night by a flight of Emirates Airlines.

JP parliamentary board formed

Jatiya Party (JP) formed a seven-member parliamentary board yesterday according to its constitution, says a press release.


Satkhira AL demands party men in all four JS seats

Satkhira district Awami League (AL) at an extended meeting yesterday demanded nomination of party men from all four constituencies in the district in December 18 parliamentary election.

Officials take bribe from teachers, alleges NU VC

National University Vice Chancellor Prof M Mofakkharul Islam yesterday said harassment of teachers by governing body members continued even after political leaders were replaced by government officials.

Ershad declares AL man as JP candidate in Dinajpur

Jatiya Party chief Hossain Mohammad Earshad yesterday announced Awami League member Md. Delwar Hossain as his party's candidate from Dinajpur-6 constituency in December 18 parliamentary election. Delwar, a long time member of AL and chairman of Kushdaha Union Parishad for 36 years, expressed surprise at Ershad's announcement made at a way side meeting. Md. Delwar Hosain is a member of Nawabganj Upazla AL.

'Ensure political empowerment for women'

Participants at a workshop on 'Women's Political Empowerment' demanded equal rights in running political organisations and balanced sharing in nomination for national election according to the ratio of female voters in constituencies.

Tripura Kalyan Sangsad withdraws press statement for release

Bangladesh Tripura Kalyan Sangsad (BTKS) yesterday withdrew the press release that was given to local reporters demanding immediate release of Khagrachhari Hill District (KHDC) Chairman Monindra Lal Tripura.

Indians kill one

At least one Bangladesh man was killed by Indians just across the border in Borshshi village in Boda uapzila of Panchagarh in the early hours of Tuesday, according to BDR and family sources. Another man is missing.

2 to die, 19 get life for murder in Patuakhali

Two persons have been awarded death sentence and 19 others including a former UP chairman life term in the case for killing Jasim, a youth murder case in Patuakhali after 14 years of the incident.


A burning issue

Melamine is being detected in imported milk. The departments concerned, importers, traders and testing institutions are engaged in heated debate claiming their tests as true and correct. The government was rather hesitant at the beginning in dealing with the matter. Now the matter is in the court, awaiting test results from overseas.

Our unpredictable players

Bangladesh cricket team continues to play unpredictably. A few wins against Pakistan, Australia, India, New Zealand etc. worked as tonic and magic for the team and the whole country. It seems to have satisfied their appetite for the 'kill'. It bolstered the morale and confidence of the team for the time being. Then they became complacent and performed poorly. So, we are yet to get our money's worth in terms of expenditure, electric bill and time consumed for watching cricket.

Diego Maradona

Football legend, Diego Armando Maradona has been offered to take over as Argentina's coach. According to the reports, former Argentina coach of 1986 and 1990 World Cups, Carlos Bilardo, would be the General Director and Maradona would be the Head Coach. In addition to that, Sergio Batista (2008 Olympic Gold Medallist Coach), Hector Enrique, Jose Luis Brown (scored the first goal with a header off a Burruchaga cross against Germany in 1986 World Cup Final), Pedro Troglio, Maradona's team mates from 1986 and 1990 World Cup Team, would be playing some roles in this technical team.

AIDS spreading fast

The epidemics in many countries of South Asia are now entering a new phase. One of the first populations to be affected by HIV in South Asia were injecting drug users. In areas where drug injection has been long established, such as Manipur in north-eastern India, HIV prevalence rates of over 40 percent have been recorded for several years. Several hundred thousand people infected during the explosive start of epidemics are becoming ill and undergoing treatment. The treatment of infections becomes a great burden for the country concerned, because HIV/AIDS requires long-term and effective medical care, periodical hospital-based care and trained manpower to provide comprehensive healthcare services. For countries where resources are scarce, easy access to treatment and care remain very difficult and prohibitive for many PLWHAs. (People Living with HIV/AIDS)

Story of a freedom fighter

People who sacrificed a lot during our liberation war are the freedom fighters. Perhaps, we are going to forget them. Our upcoming generation may remain in the dark on this issue.

Will they play better?

Nowadays cricket is the most popular game in our country. Although cricket is an old game and our cricketers have been playing for a long time, still their performance is not good. As far as I know, there are all sorts of facilities available, then why do our cricketers perform so poorly in comparison to any other Test playing country? Our national cricketers never go through any financial crisis.


It has become a custom among people to give valuable gifts. There is no reason to worry about the rich, but the middle and low income people face a big trouble.

Traffic congestion

In Dhaka city traffic congestion is a common phenomenon. City dwellers are facing this problem on a regular basis.

Jamaat's activities

The Jamaat has a large number of clandestine activities that distinguish it from other political parties. The party has its own economy that consists of banks, shops, factories and even print and electronic media. It has infiltrated its cadres into various government organisations such as the civil service, the judiciary, and even educational institutions such as cadet colleges! I know of a case where a Jamaat member got a job in BUET but he was ordered by the party to join the BCS. No other political party resorts to such activities. The Jamaat economy can be termed as an economy within the economy of Bangladesh and its organisation a state within the state of Bangladesh. Their clandestine activities are a threat to democracy and human rights. Moreover, due to their clandestine activities and their wrong interpretation of Islam, they are portraying Islam in a negative manner. Also a political party should not monopolize Islam or any other religion. This is wrong and dangerous particularly in a country where there are a large number of uneducated poverty stricken people. It also places the regular political parties at a disadvantage.

Religion in US election campaign

It is surprising and contradicting how many of the media people and even general members of the public in the USA are trying to justify that Mr. Obama is not a Muslim and he never was and, on the other hand, how many are trying to establish that Mr. McCain's adopted daughter is not raised as a Muslim, even though both of them have Islamic backgrounds. These media outlets and citizens of a civilised nation are trying to confirm that they are not against Islam, rather against extremist Islam. At the same time, it seems from their propaganda that being a Muslim or even being in contact with Islam in any way is a crime!

Oil prices

For the first time in the history of Bangladesh, the price of something which went up has come down! It is a welcome development. Though the oil price has come down by 10 percent, I don't think it will have any positive impact on the national economy.

America's turn to vote

There is every indication that Democratic nominee Barack Obama will become the next US President. He is favoured over McCain, he has got all the qualities a president should have--a very impressive person indeed.

Mobile abuse

Nowadays people cannot think of life without mobile communication, even for a moment. Mobile companies (multinational) have a booming business in Bangladesh. Updated mobile technologies keep coming one after another. The mobile companies have adopted some business policies to attract youngsters. Mobile phone has brought a radical change to our information and communication systems in Bangladesh. A person can enjoy internet, audio, video, MP3 player, games, recording, video, picture and so many multipurpose systems in a mobile phone.

Assam bomb blasts

It is definitely horrifying and alarming news for us that Assam is now the new target of terrorists. It is hard to tell which group is responsible for this massacre but there is no doubt that they are now targeting the areas which were not their target before and the security systems appear to be a bit lax. So the Indian government should have a strong anti-terrorism system in place, so that this kind of crimes cannot be committed in future.

Airport duty

I am a Bangladeshi studying in Malaysia. I will be finishing my course soon, so I will be going back to Dhaka.

Melamine in milk

Melamine is a nitrogen rich white crystalline compound added to milk powder by dishonest producers to give fake appearance of higher level of protein. This compound in milk has adverse effect on renal system, particularly of children as reported in China and other parts of the world.

Brazen politics

The top leaders of the two big political parties are now demanding release of those convicted/charge-sheeted for various crimes/corruption, so as to facilitate their participation in the upcoming general election and getting elected anyhow. One leader of a big party said that they would send the one to the election battlefield who would 'win' -- obviously by hook or by crook (be he a diehard criminal or corrupt).

Regional university

A couple of good things were heard from the UCG. The number one is, rule of ethics to stop sexual harassment of girl students in our seats of higher learning. Secondly, they won't allow any more private university in Dhaka city. These are definitely good moves and should be followed in letter and spirit.

To Obama…

I live 12,000 miles away from you. I will be there in spirit and so will be tens of millions of Bangladeshis supporting you. We want a complete victory for your side. We want a balanced USA with a leader who does pay serious attention to dialogue and diplomacy. Someone who understands that the fate of the USA and the rest of the world depends on 'selling peace' and not military armaments.

Top two

There are no more obstacles in the way to participation in the elections by the two big leaders. It is a piece of news that brings great relief to us. Both the AL and the BNP, the two major parties, have vowed that without the participation of their leaders, their parties would not take part in any election.


Lankan army sees war nearly complete

Sri Lanka's decades-old war against Tamil Tiger rebels is close to being completed, the island's army chief was quoted as saying yesterday as the military reported further gains in the rebel-held north.

Turnout records fall even in GOP-friendly states

Even in reliably red states where Barack Obama has little chance of winning, unprecedented numbers of registrations and early votes have been tallied yesterday, and elections officials are predicting a record turnout in places where neither candidate even bothered to campaign.

Democrats are looking for bigger House majority

Democrats reached for a blowout at the polls Tuesday in heavy early congressional balloting that could add more than 20 seats to their House majority.

Democrats aim for powerful majority in Senate

Democrats have a chance of taking filibuster-proof control of the US Senate as Election Day dawns, late polls show.

US press hail historic presidential vote

After the longest and most expensive US presidential campaign ever, newspaper headlines on Tuesday reflected both the historic importance of the occasion and relief that the outcome will soon be known. Here are some sample headlines:

World hopes for a 'less arrogant America'

A world weary of eight years of George W. Bush was riveted Tuesday by the drama unfolding in the United States. Many were inspired by Barack Obama's focus on hope, or simply relieved that whoever wins the current administration is coming to an end.

New US president will enjoy broad powers

The 44th US president, who takes office January 20, 2009, will enjoy sweeping powers defined by the US constitution and shaped by his political tug-of-war with Congress and the courts.

US answer on Iraq pact soon: White House

The United States will give its formal answer to proposed Iraqi amendments to a controversial bilateral security accord in the coming days, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Monday.

Obama suffers election-eve heartache with grandma's death

US presidential front-runner Barack Obama suffered heartache Monday with the death of his grandmother, losing his last beloved link to the family who raised him, just hours from election day.

Iran parliament sacks interior minister over fake degree

Iran's parliament yesterday voted to sack Interior Minister Ali Kordan for lying about his credentials and presenting a fake degree from a prestigious British university.

Voters in 11 states electing governors

Along with electing a president, voters in 11 states are choosing their state's executives yesterday.

276,000 Afghan refugees returned this year: UN

More than 276,000 Afghan refugees have returned to their troubled homeland this year, most of them from Pakistan, under a voluntary repatriation programme, the UN refugee agency said Monday.

DR Congo PM heads to Goma under rebel threat

The prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo headed to Goma on Tuesday amid calls to beef up UN peacekeepers in the face of a rebel uprising.

Rockets explode at Pak airport runway

Rockets fired by suspected Taliban militants yesterday slightly damaged the runway of airport in northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, but caused no casualties, officials said.

Life sentence for bin Laden videomaker

A Guantanamo prisoner who made propaganda videos for Osama bin Laden and says he volunteered to be a Sept. 11 hijacker was convicted of terrorism charges and sentenced to life in prison Monday.

India's moon mission enters lunar space

India's first unmanned moon mission entered lunar space early yesterday as part of its final journey this week into the moon's orbit, a top space official said.

45 die as Indian bus plunges into gorge

A bus plunged into a gorge in northern India on Tuesday, killing 45 people and leaving five seriously injured, police said.

Laden's son seeks political asylum in Spain

One of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden's sons has asked for political asylum in Spain, an interior ministry spokesman said Tuesday, confirming a report in top-selling daily newspaper El Pais.

100 cholera cases in DR Congo

At least 100 cases of cholera have been reported in the Democratic republic of Congo's troubled eastern region, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF - Doctors Without Borders) said yesterday.

Marriott hotel bomb suspects remanded: Pak court

Four men accused of involvement in the deadly Islamabad Marriott hotel bombing were remanded yesterday in custody pending trial, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

A clarion call to preserve songs of Pagla Kanai

Mystic bard Pagla Kanai was born to Messer Ali and Momena Khatun in Labutala Madhabpur village under Jhenidah district on March 18, 1809. Kanai became renowned for his folk songs. He composed a good number of devotional songs but a large number of these have not been preserved. An auditorium and library named after him now stand near the 'mazaar' (shrine) of Pagla Kanai, but the area often becomes a grazing space for cattle.

Installation by Nupur addresses social disparity

Artist Yeasmin Jahan Nupur attained attention for her political satires on canvas. Nupur has switched to a different medium and new theme: installation featuring social discrimination. And for her first installation on the subject, Nupur has won an honourable mention at the ongoing Asian Art Biennale '08 organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Bannya enthrals Melbourne

Renowned Tagore artiste Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya, performed at a sold out concert at Melba Hall, Melbourne University on November 1. The programme was organised by the Melbourne-based cultural group 'Srotar Ashor.'

Aishwarya and Abhishek in their second Mani Ratnam film

For Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, celebrating 35th birthday was not an occasion to let her hairs down. Instead, accompanied by her husband Abhishek, she was busy shooting for Mani Ratnam's next film in the woods in Kerala on November 1.

Jane Fonda returns to Broadway after four decades

Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda will return to Broadway after a 46-year absence to perform in "33 Variations" in 2009.

New talk show “Business Blog” on Rtv

First episode of "Business Blog," a new talk show, will be aired tonight on Rtv at 11:30 pm. The show highlights latest business issues and methods implemented in various sectors. Produced jointly by Rtv and Sufi & Associates, the show is directed by Shabab Arzoo. Sufi Faruq Ibne Abu Bakar hosts the show conceptualised by Paula Aziz Faruq.

Painting competition for children in Rajshahi

Children took part in an art competition on the theme of Liberation War last Friday at Rajshahi District Council Auditorium premises.

TV show on Bangladesh vs South Africa series

The cricket series between the Bangladesh national team and South Africa starts today. ATN Bangla is airing a special programme on the series titled “Ashiyan City Top Spin.” The second episode of the show will be aired today at 11:15 pm.

Memorial for Zia Hyder in Pabna

A memorial meeting in honour of the prominent dramatist and educationist Professor Zia Hyder was held last Saturday in Pabna. The Ekushey Book Fair Celebration Committee, Pabna organised the programme at Pabna Press Club auditorium. Educationists, journalists, cultural activists and people from all walks of life attended the event.

Shadhona to stage “Hey Ananta Punya”

Shadhona, a centre for the advancement of South Asian Music and Dance, will stage "Hey Ananta Punya" on November 9 at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, says a press release.


'The government is on its knees'

A.S.M. Shahjahan was born in Noakhali in 1941. He obtained MCom degree in combined commerce from Dhaka University. He joined Pakistan police service in 1966. Shahjahan served as IGP from 1992-1996, and later as youth and sports secretary from 1996-1999. He served as education and youth and sports adviser to the caretaker government in 2001. He also served as vice-chancellor of Asia Pacific University from 2001-2003. Shahjahan is a member of Shushashoner Jonnoy Nagorik, a senior adviser of UNDP, and chairman of the advisory board of Coordinating Council for Human Rights. Shamim Ashraf took the interview.

What it means for us

THE US is going through what is arguably the most important election in its recent history. Barack Obama looks set to win, and most Bangladeshis I know will be delighted. But what would Obama's election, or McCain's, for that matter, actually mean for this country?

McCain's last stand

POLITICS is the game of creating a message where there is none. Striking a chord, more in perception than reality, of a monster in the darkness or a victimisation of a major voting block, and there you have it -- presto, a winning campaign.

What to watch for

6 PM EST (4 AM Bangladesh Standard Time). Polls close in portions of Indiana and Kentucky.
Traditionally, these are the first states to get called by the networks, spotting the Republicans a quick 19 points in the Electoral College. This year, however, is liable to be a little bit different. Indiana is far more competitive than usual, and is probably the state with the greatest disparity in ground games: the Obama campaign has 42 field offices open there, whereas McCain neglected the state entirely until recently.

Star City

Potteries on pavement

The street-side business of potteries and terracotta showpieces are flourishing in the city helping hundreds of potters revive the traditional craftsmanship.

Security search causes nuisance for busy commuters

The police check posts, set up to ensure safety of commuters and passer-by in city streets, have been a source of inconvenience for busy commuters.

Fresh earth filling in Gulshan Lake

The authorities have started fresh earth-filling in the Gulshan-Banani Lake for construction of a connecting road, in disregard to the environmental laws, a High Court directive and widespread public outcry against the move.

The Daily Star

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