The Daily Star

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Thursday, April 17, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 21st of January, 2009

Front Page

World craves for change as Obama sworn in

Stepping into history, Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in yesterday as America's first black president in a high-noon inauguration amid grave economic worries and high expectations.

President, PM greet Obama

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday congratulated Barack Hussein Obama on his assumption of office as president of the Untied States, and said the world sees in his leadership a 'new dawn of hope'.

Govt mulls MP power back in upazila

The newly elected Awami League (AL)-led alliance government is likely to modify the Local Government (Upazila Parishad) Ordinance to bestow some authority on lawmakers which the immediate-past caretaker government removed by promulgating the ordinance.

Campaign stops, stage set for polls

With everything set for upazila elections after around 19 long years, the time for formal electioneering ended midnight last night, 32 hours before voting begins tomorrow morning.

Tk 57cr loss over delay by Chinese company

The China Harbour and Engineering Company Ltd, which bribed Arafat Rahman Koko and other influential persons of the four-party alliance government to get the New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) Project, inflicted a loss of Tk 57 crore on the country by failing to complete the project in time.

No breakthrough in railway break-in

Before proper probes into the break-ins of Bangladesh Railway offices in Dhaka and Chittagong, the communication secretary yesterday said no important files and documents were stolen, adding confusion to the mysterious incident early Monday.

22 bodies found in Meghna

Twenty-two bodies among 25 missing day labourers were yesterday recovered from the earth-carrying trawler Sabbir-1 capsized in Meghna river in Doshani area under Matlab upazila early Monday.

Recovered illegal money to remain in state coffer

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday the government has no plan to return to the individuals the ill-gotten money recovered in the anti-corruption drive during the state of emergency.

Admission rules of 7 DU depts illegal

The High Court (HC) yesterday declared illegal the Dhaka University's (DU) new admission rules that disqualify madrasa students for admission to the university's seven departments.

CU BCL snaps phone lines of VC office

Bangladesh Chhatra League activists of Chittagong University (CU) unit snapped telephone lines to the vice-chancellors' office and drove the deputy registrar of the office out yesterday afternoon.

Hectic lobbying for university posts

Pro-Awami League (AL) teachers of different public universities are now lobbying hard with new government high-ups to get appointment as vice chancellor (VC), pro-vice chancellor (pro-VC) and other top vital posts after the political changeover.

UN chief visits war-torn Gaza

UN chief Ban Ki-moon paid a first visit to the war-battered Gaza Strip yesterday where Israeli troops remain deployed on the third day of a ceasefire.

GP loses legal battle over SIM cards

After a two-year legal battle, an arbitration tribunal recently ordered Grameenphone to pay more than Tk 24 crore to Communic Park Ltd, a local distributor of Grameenphone subscriber identification module (SIM) cards.

Internal clashes cease, tension persists

A tense situation still prevails in many educational institutions although post-polls clashes involving Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in several institutions have come to a halt, said BCL sources.

ADB pledges to help attain middle-income nation status by 2021

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help Bangladesh make progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and turn it into a middle-income country by 2021 as pledged by the government of Sheikh Hasina.

TCB to be revitalised

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the ministries concerned to take immediate measures to activate the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) and expand its activities to keep the market stable.

Mosharraf's stashed wealth vexes BNP

The BNP leadership is annoyed with party standing committee member also former minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, due to the recent media exposé of a huge amount of wealth allegedly stashed by him in the UK, suggesting his involvement in money laundering.

Chief whip, 6 whips appointed

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday appointed Abdus Shahid as chief whip of the Jatiya Sangsad.

Tough action if law enforcers fail to deliver

Directing law enforcement agencies to work without fear or favour in ensuring peace and law and order in the country, the home ministry yesterday warned them of punitive measurers if they are found to be negligent in their duties.

BTCL asked to report on Siemens deal

The telecommunication ministry yesterday asked Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Ltd (BTCL) to make a report for the ministry detailing Siemens' contract for the government mobile phone project (TeleTalk) so that it (govt) can go for legal action.

309 frozen accounts to be opened in phases

The government is going to take decisions on restoring 309 bank accounts frozen under the existing laws on a case by case basis.

Do-or-die for Tigers against Zimbabwe

Bangladesh are in a must-win situation against Zimbabwe in the second one-dayer of the three-match series at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur today.

UNHCR seeks access to 126 boat people held by Thais

The UN refugee agency yesterday said it was seeking access to 126 boat people from Myanmar who are being held in Thailand, following allegations that the Thai army had left many of them to die on the open seas.

One DAG quits, others yet to respond to AG's call

Only one deputy attorney general (DAG) resigned from the office yesterday though Attorney General (AG) Mahbubey Alam on Monday evening asked all attorneys recruited by the previous governments to submit their resignation letters to him by Tuesday.

Steps taken to enable voters in Tin-bigha

Steps have been taken to enable the voters of Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves to cast their votes in the upazila election tomorrow.

Editorial

Break-in at railway offices

THE daring break-in at railway headquarters in Dhaka as well as its offices in Chittagong is stunning in its scope and dimension. The very fact that 56 rooms at the headquarters in Dhaka were left ransacked, along with a theft of documents from the Chittagong office, gives every indication of its being an inside job carried out to near perfection by those involved. The question naturally arises, therefore, of what might have motivated the perpetrators of the act. And the answer, in all likelihood, is that the break-in was related to sweeping dirty linen under the rug. Important documents, are said to be missing from Dhaka and Chittagong offices. Those engaged in corruption over the years and now feeling the heat quite properly may have organised the raids as a way of removing evidence of their crime.

Lying one's way to impunity

AS has been revealed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), while the 270 graft suspects had admitted before the Truth and Accountability Commission (TAC) to having only TK 28 crore, the actual figure could be as high as Tk 400 crore. Such a glaring discrepancy has emerged between the findings of the ACC and the confessions made by clemency seekers.

Shoes in the mosque, villainy in the soul

THERE are places where you do not go for a demonstration of shoes, not even if it is an American president whose policies you are repelled by. And when it comes to mosques, or similar places of worship, it is your shoes that must stay in the right place. In cultures across the world, shoes are often an apt symbol of disrespect that you must not demonstrate beyond what is absolutely necessary. Certainly, you will not, you must not use it in mosques. You take them off, until such time when your interaction with the Lord of the Universe is over and you are ready to go back home, shoes back on your feet.

Crime and punishment

THE term “war criminal” is a generic term. It refers to a person who allegedly commits any of the three international crimes: (a) genocide, (b) crimes against humanity and (c) grave breaches of the 1949 Conventions, 1949, relating to war to protect civilian populations. The first two can be committed in war or in peacetime.

Reaching out

IT is heartening to know that both AL and BNP are planning changes in their leaderships by replacing many of the older leaders with young, honest and competent party loyalists in various echelons.

Sports

Tigers' acid test

The talk that resonated around the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium was of the pitch and how the Bangladesh batsmen would cope on it in the do-or-die second one-dayer against Zimbabwe. It was not only the headache of the players, coaches, journalists and the BCB officials but even for those who turned up to watch the practice.

Ashraful stays

Voices have been raised about Mohammad Ashraful's captaincy but Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided not to go with the popular sentiment.

MSC, Russel lose ground

Title contenders Mohammedan and Sheikh Russel shared a 1-1 draw in a highly-strung Citycell B. League match yesterday to give leaders Abahani the advantage in the title race.

Kaka chooses to stay

Brazilian superstar Kaka has revealed that he followed his heart in choosing to stay at AC Milan rather than take up an offer of a reported 15 million euros a season to join Manchester City.

Nadal destroys Rochus

World number one Rafael Nadal threw down the gauntlet with a devastating display of tennis at the Australian Open on Tuesday as he joined Andy Murray and the Williams sisters in the second round.

Pakistan crush SL

Opener Salman Butt hit a sparkling century and paceman Rao Iftikhar returned career-best bowling figures as Pakistan crushed Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the first day-night international here Tuesday.

Real to take case to CAS

Real Madrid will take their bid to have their new signings Lassana Diarra and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar eligible for Champions League action to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Spanish club's new president Vicente Boluda has said.

WNCL title Khulna's

Khulna clinched the Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) title when they handed a 31-run defeat to Dhaka in the last match at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

U-14 cricket

Arafat Sunny's brilliant all-round show propelled Dhaka South to the Young Tigers Under-14 divisional competition title after they beat Dhaka Metro Blue by 24 runs at the Rangpur Cricket Garden yesterday.

Cahill denies L'pool

Tim Cahill denied Liverpool top spot in the Premier League after the Everton player pounced four minutes from time as a thrilling Merseyside derby ended 1-1 at Anfield on Monday.

Veeru not half of Sachin

He once said in jest that the only difference between him and Sachin Tendulkar was in their bank balances, but Virender Sehwag, a trailblazer in his own way, said today that as a batsman he can never be 'half of what the batting maestro is'.

Calciopoli scandal adjourned

A hearing into the infamous Calciopoli match-rigging scandal in Italian football was adjourned on Tuesday until March 24 because many of the accused weren't notified about the need for their presence.

Irfan inspired by Zaheer, Ishant

Indian spearheads Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma have raised the bar of fast bowling in the country challenging others to lift their game to that level, left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan said today.

Robinho walks out

Manchester City's Brazilian dream was rapidly taking on a nightmarish tinge on Tuesday as the collapse of the club's bid to sign Kaka was followed by confirmation that Robinho had walked out of a club training camp.

WC dream for minnows

Afghanistan's cricketing rollercoaster ride stops off in Argentina this week with a place in the 2011 World Cup tantalisingly within reach.

Millions wait for KP

Andrew Strauss expects Kevin Pietersen, who he succeeded as the England captain, to bounce back on the tour of the West Indies after the batsman's resignation as the team's leader. Pietersen stood down on the same day the coach Peter Moores was sacked and Strauss is in the process of remoulding the squad ahead of their departure for the Caribbean on Wednesday.

Third win for Biman

Biman won their third consecutive match in the KDS Metropolis Senior Division Table Tennis League when they shrugged off Wari 3-0 at the Woodenfloor Gymnasium yesterday.

PCB decision holds Asif

Mohammad Asif, who opted out of the Indian Premier League at his own request, must still be cleared of doping charges if he wants to play for Pakistan again, an official said on Tuesday.

PCB unsure of neutral venues

Australia are unlikely to tour Pakistan for the scheduled one-day series in April and May, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has said.

Clarke in jeopardy

Giles Clarke, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), will face a challenge for his job in the aftermath of the controversy that led to Kevin Pietersen being ousted as captain, the ECB confirmed Tuesday.

Siam new sub-junior chess champ

Ikramul Haque Siam yesterday dethroned Abdullah Al Saif as the new sub-junior chess champion of the country.

Ibra best in Italy

Inter Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic gained some consolation for missing out on the World Player of the Year prize and Ballon D'Or by scooping the Italian Player of the Year award on Monday.

Kaka wants to play at Real: Becks

Brazilian midfielder Kaka, who rejected a record-breaking transfer from Manchester City, wants to play at Real Madrid next season, his AC Milan teammate David Beckham was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Business

Garment exports to new destinations on the rise

The volume of garment exports to new destinations is on the rise, as manufacturers go for market diversification to bypass the global financial recession, according to industry insiders.

Two more airlines home in on Dhaka skies

Two more foreign carriers are expected to appear across Dhaka skies in three months, intensifying competition on busy routes, industry insiders said yesterday.

Crisis haunts markets as Obama steps into history

With Barack Obama sworn into office as America's 44th chief executive, he inherits a country that has not been this badly off financially since the Great Depression.

Finance minister to visit SEC soon

As investors await a positive policy direction on the bearish capital market from the new government, Finance Minister AMA Muhit's forthcoming first-ever visit to the regulatory body has ushered a ray of hope.

Muhit seeks more support from ADB

Finance Minister AMA Muhit yesterday sought additional support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to implement the government's election pledges.

Manufacturers urge govt to protect local industry

Local manufacturers yesterday urged the government to help increase the number of industries and reduce the import of finished goods, which can ultimately safeguard the local industry.

Minister looks to IT for price control

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday sought cooperation of IT professionals in developing a "price portal" to control the market for basic commodities efficiently.

Asian markets tumble as fears grow over banking sector

Markets in Asia tumbled Tuesday as investors followed European stocks in a downward spiral on renewed fears for the banking sector, while Toyota announced its first sales fall in a decade.

Over 550,000 Chinese laid off by credit crisis

More than half a million Chinese people were thrown out of work in the last three months of 2008 as the impact of the global financial crisis deepened, the government said Tuesday.

NBR to focus on arrears

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will focus on arrears and quick disposal of pending cases to cover the shortfall in revenue collections amid worldwide economic meltdown.

Biz letters

What hospital managers do


Every once in a while, at some point-of-patient service in the hospital, someone asks me, “What do the mangers in a hospital do?”

US retailers overhaul business

For years, retailers could afford to be sloppy about running their businesses because customers kept buying.

Regulatory reforms: Korean experience

Republic of Korea, once known to be one of the world's poorest agro-based societies like us, has undertaken economic development in earnest since 1962.

Stocks return from losses

After a long bearish spell, Dhaka stocks returned from losses yesterday on expectations of a positive outcome from a meeting between the market regulators and merchant bankers.

Oil below $34

Oil prices fell below $34 a barrel Tuesday on the continued gloomy outlook for global energy demand and as traders sold the expiring benchmark contract due to a lack of space at a key U.S. storage facility.

Fiat, Cinquecento agree to tow Chrysler from abyss

The Italian Fiat auto group with its tiny Cinquecento back-street "people" car and flashy Ferrari brand agreed to tow mighty Chrysler out of a product-range abyss on Tuesday, swapping Italian technology for 35 percent of the US giant.

Japan says economy 'worsening rapidly'

Japan said Tuesday its economy was "worsening rapidly," downgrading its assessment for a fourth straight month as output, exports and consumer demand weaken amid the global downturn.

French carmakers to get six billion euros in rescue plan

Struggling French carmakers will get up to six billion euros (7.7 billion dollars) of state aid to help the key industry survive the financial crisis, the prime minister said on Tuesday.

EU finance ministers urge budget discipline

The European Union's most thrifty finance ministers sought on Tuesday to rally their EU counterparts behind the cause of budget discipline as government deficits blow out in the face of recession.

Metropolitan

Charges not framed against Mufti Hannan, 13 others

A Dhaka court could not frame charges against Harkatul Jihad (Huji) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan and 13 others in a murder case filed in connection with the Ramna Batamul blast, as one of the arrestees was not produced before it yesterday.

People's prosperity not possible without peace in S Asia

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said South Asia needs to be turned into a peaceful region as it is not possible to attain prosperity of the people without establishing peace.

55pc faces economic hardship while pursuing education

The government provides almost no support to the people with disability in education sector although it is bound to provide them with all sorts of educational facilities under its constitutional obligation and as a signatory of many national and international frameworks.

Two to die, one gets life, another 10 yrs

A Narayanganj court yesterday sentenced two persons to death, one person to life imprisonment and another to 10 years' imprisonment for killing three cargo trawler workers.

2 to die, one gets 5 yrs' RI

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced two people to death and another to five years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) for killing a doctor of Bangladesh Medical College Hospital in the city's Dhanmondi area in January last year.

Call to take stern action to save playgrounds, children's parks

Save the Environment Movement yesterday formed a human chain demanding stern action by the authorities to save playgrounds and children's parks for the recreation of both the children and elderly people.

Convert railway track to dual gauge

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the ministries concerned to examine the possibility of converting the broad gauge railway track from Kanchan in Dinajpur to Panchagarh into dual gauge.

9 killed in road accidents

At least nine people were killed and 41 others injured in separate road accidents in Faridpur, Sirajganj, Pabna, Rajshahi and Chuadanga yesterday and on Monday night.

People's unity a must to establish equal rights

Speakers at a book launching ceremony yesterday underscored the need for uniting the countrymen to establish equal rights in the society.

Take steps to provide Khas land for 9,500 families

Land Minister Rezaul Kabir Hira yesterday asked the officials to earmark Khas land in different districts in order to distribute 14,800 acres of Khas land among 9,500 landless families under the third phase of Char Development and Settlement Project (CDSP).

JU authorities take reconciliation move

Jahangirnagar University (JU) authorities yesterday took a reconciliation initiative to end the conflict between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on the campus.

Ctg JMB chief gets 10 yrs

The Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal, Chittagong yesterday sentenced Javed Iqbal alias Mohammad, divisional chief of the banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), to 10 years' imprisonment in August 17, 2005 serial blasts case.

BNP won't allow foreign troops to fight terrorism

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said his party would not allow foreign troops in the country in the name of South Asian Task Force, an election pledge of Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance government to combat terrorism.

Driver slaughtered, helper strangled

A gang of unidentified criminals slaughtered a truck driver and strangled his helper on Dhaka-Sylhet highway under Sadar upazila in Narsingdi on Monday.

Dhaka to send medicines for Palestinians

Bangladesh will soon send medicines as humanitarian aid for the war-wounded Palestinians in Gaza.

FFs' children demand reinstatement

Candidates, who were deprived of freedom fighters' children quota for the 3rd and 4th grade jobs in the Department of Fisheries (DoF), yesterday demanded their reinstatement.

Involve in mainstream politics

Workers' Party of Bangladesh President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday said more expatriates should be involved in the mainstream politics of the country where they are staying, rather than doing BNP and Awami League politics there.

Govt plans to reintroduce food rationing

The government is considering reintroducing food rationing system to help the poor people, Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzak said yesterday.

AL leaders demonstrate against Bogra police

Leaders of Awami League and its front organisations demonstrated against police on the Sonatola Police Station premises as they failed to snatch eight motorcycles without registration that the police seized.

Call to repeal edn institute management ordinance

Members of the managing committees of the city's schools and colleges yesterday called on the government to repeal the Non-government Educational Institutions Management Committee Ordinance 2009, terming it undemocratic and anti-people.

2 Khulna AL activists held

Police yesterday arrested two Awami League (AL) activists when they went to Phultala Upazila Nirbahi Officer Alamgir Hossain to realise toll.

AL MP Anwar sends legal notice to writer, publisher

Awami League lawmaker from Pirojpur-3 (Mathbaria) Dr Anwar Hossain has sent a legal notice to the writer and publisher of a book titled 'Gonohatya O Baddhyabhumi 71' for mentioning him as a war criminal.

BFUJ calls for full implementation of 7th wage board

Leaders of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) at a joint meeting yesterday called for full implementation of the seventh wage board award in the newspaper industry.

Janakantha Editor Masud released

Atiqullah Khan Masud, editor of the Janakantha, was released from the prison cell at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) yesterday evening.

Fresh probe in Nurul Islam's death demanded

Leaders of different political parties yesterday demanded reinvestigation into the death of Gonotantri Party president Nurul Islam who died in a fire accident.

30 hurt as students, locals clash in Sylhet

Around 30 people sustained injuries in a clash between the students of a private university and locals in the metropolitan city yesterday.

Five injured as 3-wheeler rams into procession

Five people sustained injuries when a three-wheeler rammed into an election procession at Domerhat on Gaibandha-Sundarganj Road on Monday night.

Shaheed Asad Day observed

Different political, student and cultural organisations observed the 39th death anniversary of Shaheed Asad Day with befitting manner yesterday.

Tk 60 lakh property gutted in city

Nine shops including two printing presses and an engineering workshop were gutted at Mohakhali in the city yesterday.

'Appoint dy speaker from opposition on 1st day'

Urging Awami League (AL) to give up 'narrow interest of the party', BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday demanded that the ruling party elect deputy speaker from the opposition on the first working day of the ninth parliament as per the existing provision of the constitution.

Customs man held for cheating passenger at ZIA

A member of customs intelligence was arrested while another managed to escape at Zia International Airport last night for taking bribe from a passenger in the airport.

NU masters exam on Feb 23

The masters final year examinations of the session 2006 under National University (NU) will be being on February 23, says a press release.

Saudi Arabia unit of Nirmul Committee formed

Saudi Arabia unit committee of Ekattorer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee was formed on January 19 with Dewan Abdul Baset as convenor and Saif Munna as member secretary.

Appeal for help

Mosharraf Hossain, 23, has been suffering from kidney disease for the last few months.

National

UZ poll may see more invalid ballots as symbols set in two columns

Candidates for tomorrow's upazila election as well as voters have expressed fear that a large number of votes might be cancelled due to 'different arrangement' of election symbols on ballot papers for three different posts.

UZ Polls Campaign In Barisal

Several candidates for upazila election have alleged violation of Election Code of Conduct by Barisal City Corporation (BCC) mayor and AL lawmakers in different areas of Barisal division.

10 indigenous persons in UZ vice chairman race in Rajshahi div

At least ten persons including two women from six indigenous communities are contesting for vice chairman posts in the upazila election in Rajshahi division.

1,114 polling centres 'risky' in Barisal div, Magura dist

About 1,114 polling centres have been marked risky in six districts of Barisal division and Magura district, official sources said.

27 UZ polls candidates face criminal charges in Satkhira

At least twenty-seven candidates including women who are facing criminal charges are contesting the upcoming upazila (UZ) polls for chairmanship and vice -chairmanship in the district.

Special

Australian Open
SECRETS

In a move that may startle some Melbourne motorists, tennis star Venus Williams has revealed she has taken to driving on what she regards as the wrong side of the road in Australia.

Letters

Mandate for change

The extraordinary support for the AL is definitely a mandate for fundamental change in the system of governance in the country.

Cultivation of tobacco

The general belief that tobacco is a profitable crop is the principal reason for farmers taking to it. Once they begin, the hardship still does not convince farmers to switch to other crops, due both to lack of awareness and knowledge of cultivating other crops and inability to have loans and other services, including assistance in selling the crop. Through the aggressive activities of the tobacco companies, a farmer is “coaxed” into tobacco farming simply by watching his neighbour “graduate out of poverty” after cultivating this crop. Such a demonstration effect could be achieved for other crops as well.

Israel's terrorism

In this ruthless world we repeatedly witness events which are too distressing to be described in words and clichés. Even in this enlightened era, sophisticated brutality frequently reigns over the trampled emblem of humanity as the civilized world turns deaf to the desperate calls of the oppressed. The harrowing pictures of the Gaza carnage everyday remind us of this unacceptable and yet inescapable axiom. It's easy for political analysts to put responsibilities on several factions while seating in luxury cabins. World leaders, who have been silent for long, are now engaged in formulating complicated reconciliation schemes, instead of taking immediate pragmatic initiatives. The international community is engrossed in its pursuit of the hard facts while concrete actions are needed to end the gloomy misery of a confined race dying hopelessly. I guess today only the innocuous Palestinians who are being brutalized mercilessly can sense the concrete 'hard facts'. The hard fact for them is that as the civilized world silently watches they have to count the bloodstained bodies of their infants and endure the merciless Zionist butchery.

BCL issue

I totally disagree with the editorial of January 19. The editorial calls for “applying brake on BCL excesses”. Why only apply brake? Why not get rid of them completely?

Public space

“Why should the non-car-owning majority allow the car-owning minority to store their private property, i.e. cars, on public property at no charge? Why should my every walk to the store be akin to a stroll through a parking lot? Why should that majority be subject to the many costs and risks to health and safety attendant on the private car?” --“The Ethicist”, a weekly column in the New York Times Magazine (July 27, 2003)

Misuse of mobile phone

Nowadays the mobile phone is inextricably linked to our daily life. However, because of some unscrupulous people it becomes a headache for our general people. They are creating unnecessary trouble for us (especially women) by making many unsolicited calls and sending obscene massages.

Mosque incidents

How could people be so uncouth as to defile the sanctity of a mosque? This is not a political set-up!

Plagiarism

I love The Daily Star very much and consider it part of my life. So far about twenty-five letters of mine have been published in The Daily Star. However, we all know, especially those who write, that plagiarism should be avoided under all circumstances.

Be decent to girls

Girls in our society are facing various kinds of harassments in different ways. 'Teasing' is one of them, which even results in ending a girl's life.

Talk show experts

After the change over of one-eleven there emerged many shushil shamaj members who were not much known to the public before. They suddenly surfaced and started imparting knowledge to the public including the members of caretaker government as invited participants of talk shows from all quarters like retired bureaucrats, army generals, lawyers, teachers, politicians and leaders of some business organisations, associations etc. We remember the suggestions of forming a national government, constitutional hazards created by taking over of power by the CTG and its legality and of course, their remedial suggestions.

Let's rectify our history

I am pleased to witness the landslide win by the Awami League over the shamelessly corrupt BNP and their allies. This victory of the masses is a huge defeat for the anti-liberation forces. After the win by Obama here in the US, this is the icing on the cake for me. I can feel the wind of change here in the US and in Bangladesh! For the moment I am elated even though it is a long road ahead!

Scarcity of water

We, the inhabitants of Chittagong city, are suffering due to acute shortage of pure drinking water.

Strategic resource war

Strategic resource war is an age-old affair that we often see between different nations, the last being the invasion of Iraq by the USA. History also reveals large scale European colonialism which was extended to all the continents and had its share through the East India Company in this subcontinent. This was nothing but plundering of the resources of other countries.

Expectaions from MPs

Again people have shown their maturity by electing members of parliament rightly in the context of Bangladesh politics. People have some realistic needs, which politicians are committed to fulfilling.

International

'Arabs unable to agree on Gaza statement'

Arab countries have been unable to agree on a unified statement about the Gaza Strip following Israel's devastating three-week offensive, Iraq's foreign minister said Tuesday at the end of an economic summit dominated by Gaza.

Pakistan warns Petraeus over missile strikes

Pakistan yesterday expressed concern to key ally the United States over missile attacks against Islamist militants on its soil, ahead of an anticipated surge of US troops into neighbouring Afghanistan.

No real winners in Gaza war

Israel dealt a heavy blow to Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, but now faces political uncertainty on the back of a Palestinian humanitarian disaster, analysts said on Monday.

Gazans see little hope for change under Obama

As they clean up the rubble of Israel's deadliest war on their coastal strip, Gazans hold out little hope that new US president Barack Obama can bring change to the cycle of violence.

Hundreds of millions needed for Gaza: UN

Hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid will be needed immediately to help Gaza's 1.4 million people and billions of dollars will be required to rebuild its shattered buildings and infrastructure, the UN humanitarian chief said Monday.

Obama plans ambitious first week

President-elect Barack Obama will convene a meeting of his top economic advisers on Wednesday, his first full day in office, as the incoming president immediately tries to put the financial crisis at the center of his agenda, senior aides said.

A mix of poetry and politics

Barack Obama will write instant history with his inaugural address on Tuesday, but like presidents before him, will use his moment to do more than reach for inspirational poetry.

Date with destiny

Barack Obama writes a new chapter into US history yesterday becoming the nation's first African-American president, capping a stunning rise, which in four short years has propelled him into the Oval Office.

World greets Obama era

The world greeted the Barack Obama era yesterday with excited hopes for the future and deep caution over the difficulties ahead that lay ahead for the first black American president.

Cabinet most diverse in history

As the first African-American president-to-be, Barack Obama has put together a historically diverse cabinet, with minorities taking up half the positions, but it is only a small improvement on past administrations.

Transition holds clues to how Obama will govern

On the day before moving into the nation's most storied house, Barack Obama visited a shelter for teenagers with no home. With sleeves rolled up, he spent a few minutes painting for the benefit of the cameras that trail him everywhere now.

Five cops, 22 militants killed in Afghanistan

Suspected insurgents killed five Afghan policemen, said officials on Tuesday, as the US-led coalition announced its forces had killed 22 militants in operations against extremist networks.

Kalyan Singh quits BJP

BJP Vice President and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh today quit the BJP, resigning from all party posts, saying he was feeling "neglected" in the party.

16 killed as troops, Tigers lock horns

Sri Lanka's navy yesterday destroyed four Tamil Tiger boats and killed 16 guerrillas trying to escape as government soldiers close in on the rebels' last base in the northeast, the military said.

Arts & Entertainment

Call to end the culture of blacklisting and political manipulation

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad met with the leading cultural personalities at the conference room, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) yesterday morning. The objective was to get introduced to artistes and cultural activists from all sections. Artistes, in turn, had an opportunity to place their demands and grievances for the minister's consideration.

From Oslo to Dhaka Tom Hatlestad’s Freedom Track

The dirt splattered Land Rover Defender slowly made its way through the gates of Drik Gallery, Dhaka amidst cheers. The 'Freedom Track' was coming to and end. Having started his journey in Oslo, Norway on November 24, 2008, photographer Tom Hatlestad drove for 55 days and crossed about 14,750 km for the project 'Freedom Track' (an inquiry on freedom) for 'Chobi Mela V' and had finally reached Dhaka.

Bhawaiya songs at Shilpakala

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy organised a solo musical soiree featuring Bhawaiya singer Shafiul Alam Raja. The programme was held at National Music and Dance Centre on January 19.

Pitha Utshab Delectable delights

A two-day long Pitha Utshab (cake festival) and cultural programme was held in Faridpur recently, despite the biting winter.

Who owns Edgar Allan Poe?

Throughout January, the world is Edgar Allan Poe's stage, 200 years after his birth on January 19, 1809, and more than a century and a half after his mysterious demise in a Baltimore gutter. He's credited as the founding father of detective fiction, a master of the macabre, the namesake inspiration for the mystery world's premier annual award, and perhaps the first proper full-time freelance writer. This second son of an acting couple might well feel a mix of puffed-up pride and mystification at the celebratory atmosphere if he were alive to witness it. He spent most of his life cobbling together a living out of the scraps of poetic and prose publication, sporadically climbing the mountain of literary acclaim (as with "The Raven" in 1845) only to plunge anew into penury, a state he remained in until his death.

Roud Brishtir Shohorey on ATN Bangla

The sixth episode of drama serial "Roud Brishtir Shohorey" will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 9:20pm. Written and directed by Sumon Anwar, the play's actors include Nadia, Farah Ruma, Rounak Hasan, Shuvo Shahriar and Joyonto Chattopadhyay.

Arku-Ananda Alo Shera Randhan Taroka ‘08 winner announced

"Arku-Ananda Alo Shera Randhan Taroka (best chef) '08" was announced at a grand award-giving ceremony. Marufa Hasan from Chittagong was named the winner of the competition that began six months back. Abhirup from Sylhet and Dilshad Begum from Chittagong won the second and third place respectively.

OP-ED

Obama, the Unifier

HERE'S news: this weekend I heard Rahm Emanuel, the new White House chief of staff, publicly -- even proudly -- call himself a "liberal." It was yet another indication that Barack Obama represents a tidal change in American politics.

A renaissance in the offing?

THIS is a different person altogether, it would seem! The daughter of Bangabandhu has finally come of age and has put her colleagues on notice. She has sent out clear signals: intolerance to corruption; an inclusive polity where the opposition will be allowed to play its role in Parliament; a bold, new cabinet filled with energy and enthusiasm, even if lacking in experience; a vision for the future commensurate with our democratic ambitions and economic goals.

Children in disaster risk reduction

WHEREAS children's participation in the development process is recognised, the recognition of their participation in disaster risk reduction is a rising concern. Although much attention is given to the needs of children in emergencies, it is mostly from the perspective of adults acting on behalf, and in the best interest, of children.

Reasons to be cheerful

OKAY, so you've lost your job, you're about to lose your home, your investments have vanished, your partner has left you, and the debt collectors have given you a week to live. Now, come on, gang, be honest: are these really reasons to be miserable?

Star City

Hawkers occupy sidewalks again

In the month of January last year, city pedestrians found a pleasant surprise waiting for them in the streets.

Digitised bus tickets make debut

The city's bus services are digitalising the ticketing system, which many believe is a step forward towards the much-talked-about term “Digital Bangladesh.”

Broccoli Becoming Popular

Highly nutritious European vegetable broccoli is becoming popular in Dhaka city. The deep green plant of the cabbage family, resembling common cauliflower, was once available only in posh superstores. However, it has slowly made its way to be sold by street vendors. Farmers are more and more opting for its cultivation as the profit is higher than cauliflower. A large quantity of broccoli is now supplied to city markets from Savar. Photo shows a vendor selling the bushy vegetable on a sidewalk in front of Science Laboratory.


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