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Saturday, May 26, 2018

News of: Saturday, 17th of January, 2009

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Unfair practices, neglect cost TeleTalk Tk 200cr

A task force probe found that Bangladesh Telephone and Telegraph Board's (BTTB's) mobile phone project TeleTalk incurred losses of over Tk 200 crore due to implementation delay, and blamed it on unfair practices and negligence of the then telecom minister and eight high officials of the BTTB.

AL looks for fresh blood in quest of change

Both Awami League (AL) and BNP, the two major political parties in the country, are planning radical changes in their leaderships. While AL's move is sparked by its desire to maintain the momentum it achieved through its recent landslide electoral victory and its professed commitment to the 'charter for change', BNP's springs from its frantic search for remedy following its recent election debacle.

BNP likely to lean on the young for comeback

Both Awami League (AL) and BNP, the two major political parties in the country, are planning radical changes in their leaderships. While AL's move is sparked by its desire to maintain the momentum it achieved through its recent landslide electoral victory and its professed commitment to the 'charter for change', BNP's springs from its frantic search for remedy following its recent election debacle.

Japan offers $440m for power, bridge

Japan has offered a package credit of $440 million (40 billion yen) for the development of power plants, power distribution project and bridge improvement in Bangladesh.

So close, yet so far

Bangladesh went ever so close but fell just short of making history as Muttiah Muralidaran's whirlwind with the bat shattered the Tigers dream at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Votes cast exceed total voters at a Natore-6 centre

BNP yesterday came up with fresh 'evidence of vote rigging and irregularities' in the recently held parliamentary election, and said these were the main reasons behind the party's polls debacle.

AL to warn Quddus, plans orientation for lawmakers

The Awami League (AL) high command will issue a warning notice to its lawmaker Prof Abdul Quddus for receiving 80 gold replicas of boat, the party's electoral symbol, last Wednesday.

Miracle save for 155 as plane dives into river

A US Airways plane carrying 155 people crashed Thursday into New York's Hudson River, but all aboard made a miraculous escape as the freezing waters rose around them, US officials said.

BCL rivals clash at JU over control of halls

At least 20 students were injured as two groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League of Jahangirnagar University (JU) clashed over establishing their dominance on campus yesterday.

Israel hammers Gaza as truce efforts build up

Israel again pounded Gaza yesterday, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Hamas to bow to truce efforts gathering pace in Egypt to end the deadliest assault the Jewish state has ever launched on the enclave.

Criminal killed in gunfight with Rab

A notorious criminal was killed and four of his family members and an officer of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) were injured in a gun battle in South Keraniganj on the outskirts of the capital early yesterday.

Fresh clashes in, around National Mosque

The Baitul Mukarram National Mosque plunged into chaos again yesterday as newly appointed Khatib Principal Mohammad Salauddin conducted his first juma prayers.

Plan to find root causes of rural crime

The home ministry is mulling over a plan to dig deeper into the root causes of criminal acts at village level in a bid to improve the law and order situation across the country.

Panic grips villagers in subsided areas

Residents of five villages near Barapukuria Coalmine Company Ltd (BCMCL) have been living in panic under the open sky since Wednesday night when their houses developed cracks and 300 acres of land subsided two to three feet.

Protect rights of Dalit, end discrimination

Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) at a conference yesterday demanded of ensuring the rights of Dalit and excluded community, including habitation, health and education to end the discrimination they have been experiencing for years.

Citigroup splits amid $8b loss

Citigroup said yesterday it is splitting up into two businesses as it reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $8.29 billion - its fifth straight quarterly loss.

Extortionists active again in Khulna

Extremists and extortionists have started returning to Khulna city in last couple of weeks and been collecting tolls from different markets and shop owners.

Indian govt asked to make nat'l ID register

The Supreme Court of India asked the Indian government on Thursday to prepare a National Identity of Register to check infiltration of Bangladeshis.

Rare black vulture finally flies away

The large black vulture that was under the care of Madhupur Forest Department in Tangail recovered strength and flew away yesterday.

Biswa Ijtema starts Jan 30

The preparation for the 45th Biswa Ijtema, the second largest Muslim congregation after hajj, scheduled to start on January 30 has almost been completed.

BNP demands withdrawal of cases against 300 party men

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday urged the government to immediately withdraw all the “false cases” filed against its 300 leaders and activists, including party's former lawmaker Elias Ali.

BMDA secy suspended for leaking out questions

Secretary Azizur Rahman of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) was suspended yesterday after being caught red handed on Thursday night trying to leak out a question paper for a written test for employment in the organisation.

Bank of America gets $138b new govt lifeline

Bank of America, the largest US bank by assets, got a new government lifeline yesterday worth 138 billion dollars to help it absorb broker Merrill Lynch in another sign of the depths of the US banking crisis.

Thai troops hold more migrants amid row

The Thai military yesterday took into custody another group of asylum-seekers from Burma's Rohingya minority.


Welcome pledge by BNP

IN a welcome show of leadership BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, now opposition leader in parliament, has said that her party will attend parliament on the very first day and also play a constructive role onwards for the progress of the country. We believe by saying so she has struck the right chord with the public who expect to see an end to politics of confrontation and the beginning of a parliament turning into a centre of national affairs and activities. Interestingly, both the two major political parties have included some common but major problems on their election manifestos that were not solved by either of the parties when they were in power alternatively since 1991. We hope this time around, they will assist one another in removing those impediments to development. On their part, opposition lawmakers laid emphasis on discharging their duties diligently having full faith in and allegiance to Bangladesh. It is refreshing to learn that they have also pledged not to allow personal interests to affect their duties.

Accelerating ADP implementation

PLANNING Minister Air Vice-Marshall (Retd) AK Khandaker gave an impression after Tuesday's ECNEC meeting that Annual Development Programme (ADP), 2008-09 adopted by former caretaker government in July last year would not be revised by the new government. Most of the projects envisaged in it will continue, with minor modifications, to ensure quality of implementation. In other words, the basic developmental rationale and prioritisation pattern of the ADP have met with an approval from the new government, somewhat a break with the tradition of trivialising, if you like, any work of a previous government. This is not surprising though, inasmuch as it was the product of a technocratic, rather than a political, government.

Gross national happiness

OPTIMISTS hold the view that gross national happiness has to be accorded priority, now that an overwhelming people's mandate has been achieved. For happiness of the countless multitudes that enthusiastically exercised their choice at the hustings, the time has come to ask ourselves if we had too much government and too little administration; indeed too many public servants and too little public service and too many laws and too little justice?

Changes within the European Union

IT is generally agreed that the French have had a good European Union Presidency (till the end of 2008). Despite the conflict in Georgia and the continuing economic catastrophe on both sides of the Atlantic and other regions of the world, French President Sarkozy was able to handle emerging problems with a degree of maturity that had not been anticipated. In a manner of speaking it signalled not only his political renaissance but also underlined the need for the EU to have a strong political leadership. It is true that some of France's decisions were seen as unilateral and might have led to some coolness between the German and French governments but that should not be over-dramatised.

The weave of India

IT'S time we look at ourselves. India is entering the 60th year of its becoming a sovereign republic. All citizens were promised justice, liberty and fraternity. It is a long story of failure in many ways.


Graceful in defeat

"People only remember the wins, not the close matches," Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful heaved a sigh in disappointment after their heartbreaking two-wicket defeat at the hands of Sri Lankan in the tri-nation final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Hard lessons for all

The Sri Lankan cricket team will leave for home with more questions than answers after the poor show by the much-vaunted top-order batting despite winning the Test series against Bangladesh and a tri-nation one-day tournament.

We have to believe

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. -- MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

No place for a chicken

Cricket, as in any other game, and that too in a tournament final, has no place for the cowardly. In a situation yesterday (Friday) from where Bangladesh would have recorded a sort of 'first' by winning a competition of big boys featuring the much-respected Sri Lankan Lions, the Tigers skipper Mohammad Ashraful opted to hand over the ball to series debutant Rubel Hossain in the penultimate over, while the poor pacer was still reeling from (surprise, surprise) batsman Muttiah Muralidaran's battering in the rookie's immediate previous over when the bowler went for twenty. How wise was that for a captain who basks in the reputation of scoring a fifty every twenty innings, and a hundred every forty? Or, am I being too generous?

Ctg Abahani take revenge

A first-half strike by Ismail Zahed gave Chittagong Abahani a 1-0 away win over Rahmatganj in the Citycell B. League yesterday.

Niaz wins again

Bangladesh Grandmaster Niaz Murshed defeated Sahoo Utkal Ranjan of India to stretch his tally to five points in the 7th Parsvnath International Open Chess Tournament in Delhi, India yesterday.

Ctg, Khulna win

Suborna Islam bagged four wickets for ten to help Khulna beat Rajshahi by 65 runs in the Women's National Cricket League yesterday.

Morkel destroys Aussies

JP Duminy and Neil McKenzie set up South Africa's sixth win from six ODIs against Australia at the MCG before Albie Morkel finished the job with a magnificent unbeaten 40 from 18 balls. The loss of McKenzie and Duminy left South Africa in big trouble, as they needed 50 from six overs with three wickets in hand, but Morkel and Johan Botha used the batting PowerPlay to perfection to get them home with three balls to spare.

Sehwag, Steyn awarded

Virender Sehwag's match-winning 201 not out against Sri Lanka, and Dale Steyn's 5 for 67 at the MCG, which helped South Africa win a series in Australia for the first time, have been voted the best Test performances of 2008 by the Cricinfo jury. Sehwag's double-hundred won the prize for the Test Batting Performance of the year by a whisker from Graeme Smith's series-winning 154 not out against England at Edgbaston.

Critics slam itinerary

India's schedule for next month's New Zealand series, announced Thursday, has raised questions over the lack of any practice match through the 48-day tour. An extra Test was included in the revised schedule -- comprising three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 matches -- in place of the practice game that was originally scheduled, leaving no opportunity for India to acclimatise to unfamiliar conditions.

Mumbai claim Ranji crown

Sachin Tendulkar-inspired Mumbai won India's premier first-class tournament for the Ranji Trophy on Friday, thrashing Uttar Pradesh by 243 runs in the five-day final here.

Saif, Siam lead jointly

Holder Abdullah Al Saif shared the lead with Ikramul Haque Siam in the 29th National Sub-Junior Chess Championships table with five points after yesterday's fifth round at the BCF hall-room.

'ICC has no regard for greats'

Appalled at the International Cricket Council's all-time greats' list, the legendary Kapil Dev Friday said the ratings made a mockery of players like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar who "served the game with unmatched devotion".

Lord's spaceship designer dies

Jan Kaplický, the Czech architect who designed the futuristic media centre at Lord's, has died aged 71.

City increase Kaka bid

AC Milan's Brazilian star Kaka will Monday examine the megadeal which Premiership big-spenders Manchester City are dangling in front of him before deciding if he wants to make the most expensive move in footballing history, The Times reported on Friday.

City increase Kaka bid

AC Milan's Brazilian star Kaka will Monday examine the megadeal which Premiership big-spenders Manchester City are dangling in front of him before deciding if he wants to make the most expensive move in footballing history, The Times reported on Friday.

Injury trouble for MU

Just as it seemed things could not be going better for Manchester United, a sudden flurry of injuries threatens to derail the champions' drive for a third straight Premier League title.

Becks set for home debut

David Beckham may revel in the limelight and he enjoyed plenty of it ahead of his AC Milan debut last weekend but he has had to take a backseat behind teammate Kaka ahead of this weekend's visit of Fiorentina.

Eto'o warns Barca

Star striker Samuel Eto'o has warned Barcelona cannot afford to get caught out by complacency as they attempt to push their Spanish title surge into overdrive.

Calderon steps down

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon stepped down on Friday following allegations that he rigged voting at the club's last annual general assembly, which approved its financial accounts, Spanish media reported.

Elena takes Sydney title

Elena Dementieva will head into next week's Australian Open riding on a wave of 10 straight wins this year after downing Dinara Safina in an all-Russian final at the Sydney WTA International Friday.

Why Kaka Might Move...

(1) Kaka and fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho, signed last summer from Barcelona, have not gelled as twin three-quarter players behind the striker in coach Carlo Ancelotti's favoured 4-3-2-1 formation;

Kaka Worth Four F16s

Manchester City's 197-million-dollar offer for Brazilian superstar Kaka would be a world record transfer if the deal was to go through.

Rafa rejects new deal

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has rejected the terms of a new contract offer with the English Premiership leaders, the Liverpool Echo reported on Friday.

Kaka bid bemuses Fergie

Sir Alex Ferguson admits he is struggling to make sense of the scale of Manchester City's bid for AC Milan midfielder Kaka.

Palacios going to Spurs

Wigan manager Steve Bruce on Friday confirmed there is virtual agreement with Tottenham for the Latics' Honduran midfield star Wilson Palacios in a deal worth around 14 million pounds (18 million dollars).

Manucho joins Hull

Hull on Friday agreed to take Manchester United's Angolan striker Manucho on loan until the end of the season.


'Include autistic children in mainstream society'

Provide necessary supports to autistic children for their empowerment as full-fledged member of the society, said Social Welfare Minister Enamul Hag Mustafa Shaheed yesterday.

Only two out of 10 power units functional in Ctg region

Only two, out of 10 units under three power plants, in Chittagong region are now generating power, forcing the Power Development Board (PDB) to depend on the supply from the national grid.

CPA mulls doubling penal rent to ease car-crowd

Normal operation of the Chittagong Port, the gateway to country's economy, is being hampered to a large extent due to non-clearance of imported cars from the port sheds, according to port officials.

Modern industrial policy underway

Industry Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said the present government is going to adopt a modern and permanent industrial policy for the overall growth of the country.

Concerted efforts a must for congenial atmosphere

Newly appointed Vice Chancellor (VC) of Dhaka University Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique yesterday said he would work together to ensure a congenial atmosphere on the campus through a concerted effort.

Reluctance of law enforcers leads to increase in crimes

Criminals have become active in the country again by taking the advantage of reluctance shown by the law enforcement agencies.

More Biharis want to enrol as voters

While a group of Biharis, also known as stranded Pakistanis, feel proud that they could exercise their voting rights for the first time, another group regrets that they could not register as voters due to various obstacles.

Call to improve relations between workers, owners

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) organised a labour fair and cultural programme for the garment workers at Chittagong MA Aziz Stadium yesterday with a call to improve relations between factory owners and workers.

'Women entrepreneurs to get all help'

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan on Thursday assured the women entrepreneurs that the government would provide them with all necessary supports to expand their businesses.

Candidates demand immediate appointment

The candidates who came out successful in the first phase result of the 27th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations but was later dropped as per the second phase result yesterday formed a human chain demanding their appointment and removal of PSC Chairman Dr Saadat Hossain.

Matia hopeful of high returns from fertiliser price cut

Expecting high returns from the biggest-ever allocation for agriculture sector, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday brushed aside the notion that providing Tk 2,700 crore in fresh subsidy for fertiliser would pose a problem for the new government.

Swechchhasebak League activist stabbed to death

A Swechchhasebak League activist was stabbed to death by unknown criminals at South Keraniganj on the outskirts of the capital yesterday evening.

Security guard robs old man of Tk 1,000

Local people caught a security guard of a market after he stabbed a tea stall owner and snatched Tk 1,000 from him in the city's Dhamondi area early yesterday.

UZ chairman candidate attacked in Bogra

Traffic movement on Bogra-Naogaon route remained suspended for about three hours yesterday as the supporters of Kahalu upazila chairman candidate Abu Zafar Mohammad Khalil put up blockade at Dargahat area to protest his assault by the goons of his rival candidate on Thursday night.

'Lasik surgery can cure 30pc people with eye problems'

Eye specialists at a programme yesterday said around 30 percent low-vision people, who use high-powered spectacles, will be cured completely by dint of 'Lasik' (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) eye surgery.

175 sacks of wheat seized

Police seized a truckload of wheat and arrested two alleged smugglers from Daratana toll plaza on Bagerhat-Pirojpur road early yesterday.

Two killed in road accidents

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Gopalganj and Narail in last two days.

Action to be taken to check irregularities at land port

Shipping Secretary Sheikh Motahar Hossain yesterday held a meeting with the leaders of different business organisations to discuss ways to address the major problems of the Benapole port with a view to turning it into a modern port.

Birth anniversary of Vivekananda today

The 147th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda will be celebrated today, says a press release.

50 packets of heroin seized

Police seized 50 small packets of heroin and arrested a drug peddler along with an accomplice at Golapganj on Thursday.

Akhtaruzzaman leaves for Nepal

Awami League (AL) Organising Secretary Akhtaruzzaman left Dhaka for Nepal last night to attend a three-day national convention of Madheshee People's Rights Forum, Nepal, to represent AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Ctg Muslim High School to mark 100th anniversary Dec 25-26

Chittagong Government Muslim High School will celebrate its 100th anniversary on December 25 and 26.

Argument hearing in graft case against Saifur's son Jan 21

A Dhaka court on Thursday fixed January 21 as the date for hearing arguments in a graft case against Shafiur Rahman Babu, younger son of former finance minister M Saifur Rahman.


Little impact in north dists as most dealers not selling at new rates

The government's decision to sell non-urea fertiliser at subsidised rates is yet to leave any noticeable impact on the Boro farmers in the northern region as they failed to procure chemical fertiliser during the last couple of days due to dealers' unwillingness to sell stocked fertilizer at reduced prices.

They eye changing lot with plum cultivation

Three once unemployed youths at Arappur village on the outskirts of Jhenidah town are now eyeing change of their lot through plum cultivation.

Probe finds them true as 10 of 12 councillors file 'no confidence'

Most of the allegations made by 10 of the 12 councillors of Khagrachhari Municipality against Mayor Mohammad Joynal Abedin have been found true.

2 BNP leaders among 11 charge-sheeted in Satkhira

Eleven people including two BNP leaders have been charge-sheeted in the sensational Dhandia Union Parishad (UP) chairman Arifuzzaman Chanchal murder case.

Opponents hurt upazila chairman candidate

A chairman candidate of Dighinala upazila was hospitalised after being beaten by his opponents at Merung Bazar, 45 kilometre off the district town, Thursday night, police said.

'Punish attackers on RU newsmen'

Rajshahi University (RU) journalists have demanded an exemplary punishment to the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) cadres who severely beat up two journalists on the campus on Thursday.

Constable hurt in clash with gamblers:15 held

A constable received head injury in a gambler-police clash at a remote shoal village of Darigaon in Nilokkha union under Raipura upazila Thursday night.

JP leader ex-MP Shahadat Hossain expelled from party

Jatiya Party (Ershad) vice-president and former lawmaker Shahadat Hossain was expelled from the party for breaking discipline of the political organisation.


Pakistan committed to fighting militants

Pakistan's leaders yesterday assured visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband of their commitment to tackle militant groups blamed by India for the Mumbai attacks, officials said.

Survivors describe miracle of Hudson crash

This was an airplane passenger queue unlike any other -- a line across a sinking wing to escape death.

Bush says he kept nation safe in farewell speech

As Americans get ready to turn the page on George W Bush, the president offered his own first draft of history.

Obama hitting the road to sell his economic plan

Seeking an early victory on a top priority, President-elect Barack Obama is pitching workers in the ailing Midwest on his plan for some $825 billion in new spending and tax cuts to spur the troubled economy.

Mumbai suspects will be tried under Pak anti-terror law: Malik

Any Pakistani national found to be involved in the Mumbai terrorist attacks will be dealt "with an iron hand" and tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act in the country's special anti-terror courts, interior ministry chief Rehman Malik has said.

Thousands of civilians flee Lankan rebel area

Thousands of civilians have fled Sri Lanka's northern war zone in recent days, crossing the front lines amid fierce fighting as the army closed in on the rebels' last stronghold, the military said yesterday.

UN chief urges unilateral Israeli ceasefire

The UN chief urged Israel Friday to declare a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, but Israel rebuffed the idea as its diplomats headed for Egypt and the United States in what appeared to be a final push toward a truce.

Palestinian voices start to criticise Hamas

After nearly two weeks of showing a united front in the face of Israel's war in Gaza, some Palestinians are starting to slam Hamas for dragging its feet on a truce as the death toll mounts.

Israel's attack on UN compound could be war crime: Amnesty

Amnesty International joined calls Thursday for an immediate and independent investigation into Israel's attack on a United Nations compound in Gaza and warned it could be seen as a war crime.

Russia urges Iran, Syria to pressure Hamas

Russia has called on Iran and Syria to persuade Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to accept a plan pushed by Egypt to end the fighting in Gaza, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

SLC announces India schedule

India will arrive in Sri Lanka on January 26 to play a hastily-arranged series of five one-day matches and a Twenty20 international, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said on Friday.

Divisions complicate truce efforts

Sealing a lasting peace between Israel and Hamas over Gaza will mean overcoming a dizzying array of splits the Palestinians are deeply divided politically, Arab countries are feuding and Iran is firing off heated rhetoric at Israel.

Arab League admits 'chaos' in its ranks over Gaza carnage

Arab League chief Amr Mussa acknowledged "chaos" in Arab ranks over the Gaza crisis yesterday as foreign ministers gathered in Kuwait for a meeting overshadowed by an unofficial summit in Qatar.

Rice raises 'difficulties' with Israelis over UN HQ shelling

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday she spoke to the Israeli leadership about the "difficulties" caused by the shelling of the main UN compound in the Gaza Strip.

Arts & Entertainment

In quest of cultural roots

As part of the five-day programme observing the first death anniversary of theatre icon Selim Al Deeen, a daylong seminar was held yesterday at the conference hall of National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Professor Anu Muhammad was the main speaker at the seminar and presented the Selim Al Deen memorial speech titled "Sanskritir Shekor, Sanskritir Sangram."

Bangladesh Loko Sangeet Parishad celebrates 11th anniversary

Bangladesh Loko Sangeet Parishad celebrated its 11th anniversary on January 15 at the Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium, Central Public Library. The event included a colourful rally, discussion and a musical programme. An announcement to collect and publish thousands of folk songs was also made at the event. The organisation has so far published many folk songs by rural bards and lyricists -- a move which has been hailed by the cultural enthusiasts in the country.

Grand finale of Lux-Channel i Super Star tonight

The grand finale of beauty pageant/talent hunt "Lux-Channel i Super Star", will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Convention Centre today. This is the fourth instalment of the show. The first "Lux-Channel i Super Star" was held in 2005. Since then the contest has been held every year. Launched in August 2008, this instalment of the show saw a huge response as thousands registered from all over the country, chasing the dream of becoming a star. Only ten have made it to the finals. This year's winner will be awarded major roles in a TV serial and a film. Here's a quick look at the ten contestants who have made it to the top.

Poet Bande Ali’s birth anniversary today

Today is the 104th birth anniversary of Bande Ali Miah, one of foremost poets in Bangla literature. Bande Ali's forte was his unpretentious depiction of life in rural Bengal. The poet also demonstrated his skills in painting and scriptwriting.

Appreciating classical music

The second “Shuddho Sangeet Festival” began at the auditorium of Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban, Dhanmondi on January 15. The three-day festival is being organised by Chhayanat, and sponsored by Brac Bank Ltd.

Six secrets of “Slumdog” success

“Slumdog Millionaire" is not the average Oscar contender. It's not about WWII survivors or tragically flawed geniuses. It doesn't star Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, or Meryl Streep. Instead, "Slumdog" has no big-name Hollywood actors, a miniscule budget, and a good chunk of the flick was shot in Hindi. Racking up four awards at the recent Golden Globes, plus taking home five trophies at the Critics' Choice Awards, "Slumdog Millionaire" has become an unlikely front-runner for Oscar gold. So why has this movie, which as late as last spring looked like it might be released straight to DVD, become such a huge hit with both critics and audiences in the West? Here are a few reasons:


Street violence stages a comeback

THE photograph of a woman in tears, watching helplessly as her car was being vandalised, was very moving. A report published on Jan. 11 last indicated that the students of Titumir college vandalised about 150 vehicles in an area spreading over 2 km. The people are certainly shocked at the way the students and some outsiders unleashed their rage at the unconfirmed news of death of a female student.

Integrated rural development

IN his recent article, Mr. Muhammad Zamir suggested to use ICT for addressing the root causes of poverty (The Daily Star 20 December 2008). Indeed, over the last several decades, poverty alleviation has continued to remain the main policy agenda, and therefore the main recipient of the annual budget as well as the main destination of international support, in almost all countries of Asia-Pacific region. In spite of the sizable budget allocations, from governments as well as donors, no significant achievement has appeared in reducing poverty, or enhancing self-reliant capacity of the countries to reduce poverty on their own.

How much more should Gaza bleed?

SABRE-rattling by nuclear power Israel against impoverished Palestinians in Gaza strip with the aim of containing growing influence of Hamas is her latest bloody incursion. This barbaric act of aggression by Israel has evoked protests by Palestinians and Arabs around the world, while world community is regrettably witnessing indiscriminate bombardment by Israel against innocent people, including women and children. No concrete action by UN Security Council has yet been taken to stop bloodshed in Gaza because of Bush administration which has adopted dilly-dally tactics to allow Israel continue the incursion to destroy base of Hamas in Gaza strip. The same tactics was adopted by Bush administration when Israel invaded Lebanon to punish the Hezbullah in 2006.

New lifeline for marginalised students

THE millennium development goal (MDG) calls for universalisation of primary education by 2015. The effort towards universalisation of elementary education in Bangladesh is really making impressive progress. But we are still facing severe deficiencies in the quality of primary education. This is because of gradual marginalisation of the government primary schools.


Sustainable uses of waste ground

WASTE disposal methods have rapidly been changed since last decade in many developing countries, and our country is also following the same way of controlled disposal of waste. Increasing amount of different forms of waste is coming out from different urban areas of Bangladesh; especially solid waste generation is mounting proportionately with the growth of urban population. Most of the wastes go to the specific places called Dumping Ground or Waste Ground, which are also scientifically known as Landfill Sites.

Rethinking social safety-net

PRESENT Social Safety Net Programmes (SSNPs) protect vulnerable people against economic shocks and have a bias for the economic approach towards livelihood, more preciously in the form of grants in kind or cash or some work provisions for food or cash. It has been conceptualized keeping in mind the economic issue like income generation, overshadowing other equally important aspects of life like water, sanitation, nutrition, education and health (psychosocial care) that are frequently affected by climate change. The solution is to redesign safety nets in Bangladesh in ways that would increase their benefit for poor and vulnerable households coping with disasters and climate change. Addressing new vulnerabilities from climate change requires diversification of safety nets in order to reduce risk and increase resilience of people across the country.

Protecting our forest resources

IN Bangladesh forest lands account for only 17 percent of total land area that includes classified and unclassified state lands and homestead forests and tea/rubber gardens. In case of private forests, the data represent the tree-covered areas. Of the 2.52 million hectare forest land, Forest Department manages 1.52 million hectare which includes Reserved, Protected and Acquired forest and Mangrove forest on the newly accreted land in estuaries of major rivers. The remaining 0.73 million hectare of land designated as Unclassed State Forest (USF) is under the control of Ministry of Land. Village forests (homestead land) form the most productive tree resource base in the country and accounts for 0.27 million hectare.


Keys to the Past

Tareq looked out of the window. The air was humid and the sky somewhat overcast, but he decided against taking an umbrella. As he picked up his keys his wife Latifa called out: “Buy some ghee and sugar on your way home…I want to make some shuji for our guests this evening.”

Poet of Modernity

In Henry Louis Vivien Derozio (1809-31) we have one of the originary figures of modern India, a legend since his precocious boyhood. In his five years (1826-31) as a teacher at the Hindu College he left his stamp on a band of young radicals who transmitted his influence to many more. Forced to resign by the College authorities, under pressure from irate parents, he launched a newspaper that spoke up for a beleaguered Eurasian community, but within months was snuffed out by cholera. It is as a poet, though -- the first published Indian poet in English -- that Derozio should be chiefly considered, especially now that there is a revival of interest in the earlier Indian English poets, signaled by the appearance over the past decade or so of a number of critical studies and anthologies.

Two Poems

(Translated by Farhad Ahmed)

Star Health

Bangladesh introduces Hib vaccine

Bangladesh has recently introduced a new combination vaccine that will protect its children against five killer diseases in one injection, including, for the first time, the deadly bacterium Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) that causes some severe forms of pneumonia and meningitis.

Facts on Hib pentavalent conjugate vaccine

What is Hib?
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) is a bacterium that causes serious disease in young children throughout the world.

Hib vaccine: A critical ally in Asia's effort to reduce child deaths

A new study from Bangladesh published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal shows that routinely vaccinating infants against H. influenzae type b (Hib), a bacterium that causes deadly Hib pneumonia and meningitis, could save hundreds of thousands of children in Asia.

New hope for Bangladesh

Dr. Rana Hajjeh, Director of the Hib Initiative at Johns Hopkins University shared her views with Star Health in a telephone interview.

One step forward to achieve MDG 4

Dr. Samir Saha, Head of the Department of Microbiology at Dhaka Shishu Hospital and Executive Director of Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh commented, “With the introduction of Hib vaccine, we are now one step forward meeting the MDG-4.”

Strategic Issues

Medieval carnage in modern times

Bangladesh's Permanent Representative in Geneva described the recent and continuing Israeli military operations in Gaza “medieval carnage in modern times” in a special session of the UN Human Rights Council called to discuss the continued massacre of Gazans, including women and children, by the Israeli armed forces. Voices of condemnation of Israel's actions have resonated round the world but to no avail as Israel seems hell bent to annihilate Hamas' ability in future to launch rocket strikes inside Israeli territory no matter what it takes.

Under the disguise of diplomacy

On December 29, 2008 Israel started a large-scale aerial bombardment on Gaza strip to push back Hamas and halt its rocket attacks into Southern Israel. This unilateral Israeli step has initiated another war in the Middle East causing severe humanitarian crisis in the already war-torn and tainted region. For one more time, Palestine is flooded with bloodshed, atrocity and genocide by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Simultaneously, we have seen a more silent Arab World this time along with an all-time silenced United Nations and world community (despite their so-called diplomatic efforts). We are also the spectator of the US's blind endorsement to the Zionist government one more time.

Gaza crisis: A narrative

The current crisis in Gaza began with Israel breaking the ceasefire with Hamas on November 4, 2008. The five-month ceasefire was unsustainable for two reasons.

Star Books Review

The life and death of an ambitious politician

WHEN he lived, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a complex figure for those who observed his rise and fall. Thirty years after his execution by a military regime, he remains that way. There are his fans, largely within Pakistan, who have consistently believed that he is a shaheed, a martyr, in the defence of democracy. And then there are those who remain convinced that having ridden to power on the slogan of democracy, he did everything he could to bury it under his civilian dictatorship.

The horror of it all

IT takes a bold writer to tackle a hackneyed theme and repackage it in fresh wrappings so that the most jaded reader finds the story imaginative. For the most part, Kira Salak is that writer, giving us a contemporary version of Joseph Conrad's classic Heart of Darkness (1903); engaging readers a hundred years after Conrad provoked his readers. Ironically, if Conrad's late Victorian readers didn't understand the attack on their own racist views, Salak's shouldn't miss the rebuke on their own narrow-minded ethnocentrism, assuming they read The White Mary to its bitter end.

The Daily Star

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