The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, July 29, 2014


News of: Saturday, 14th of February, 2009

Front Page

42pc SSC-level students drop out this year

Over 42 percent registered candidates for SSC and equivalent certificates dropped out this year even before the examinations begin tomorrow, due to a plethora of social and financial obstacles.

Controversial 'Banani BNP Palli' yet to be scrapped

The ongoing construction at the "Banani BNP Palli" stands as a glaring example of nepotism during the four-party rule, as the then government allotted the Rajuk plots to party men, businesspersons and intellectuals loyal to it.

Fresh DMP drive as top terrors slip out

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) launches another five-day drive in the capital early today apparently to make up for the poor showing in its previous crackdown.

Fertigation to cut water, fertiliser cost by half

Irrigation water and fertiliser cost of farmers can be halved using their combined application known as fertigation, its successful trial on tomato and aubergine cultivation in the country shows.

Zillur pays homage to '71 martyrs

President Zillur Rahman placed wreaths yesterday morning at the National Mausoleum in Savar, paying rich tributes to the martyrs of the country's War of Liberation in 1971.

Probe graft under all govts since '71: Anwar

BNP Vice Chairman MK Anwar yesterday demanded a high-powered commission to probe corruption during the tenure of all governments since independence.

Criminals kill ntv man, take away bike

Criminals shot dead Atiqul Islam Atiq, a video editor of private television channel ntv, and snatched his motorbike from the city's Moghbazar area last night.

Over 57,000 textbooks seized: 1 held

The taskforce on textbook seized over 57,000 secondary school textbooks from two publishing houses at Bangla Bazar on Thursday night and detained one of the owners.

CCTV cameras, traffic display boards by June

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) will set up 155 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras by next June at 59 points including all entry and exit ways of the city to check crimes.

BCL leader harasses DU teacher

A leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) harassed a teacher on the Dhaka University campus yesterday.

India, US tighten screw on Pakistan over Mumbai

India and the United States urged Pakistan yesterday to dismantle radical Islamist groups and punish plotters of the Mumbai attacks after Islamabad admitted the assault was planned partly on its soil.

Condition of Gaziul better

The condition of ailing language veteran Gaziul Haque improved significantly on his 82nd birthday yesterday, according to his family members.

Festive mood, huge sale at book fair

Hundreds of people of all ages gathered at the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela on Bangla Academy premises in a festive mood yesterday, as it was Pahela Falgun, the first day of spring.

Rohingya migrants set adrift in sea

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has admitted that the kingdom's authorities towed boat people from Myanmar out to sea, following weeks of allegations of cruelty against the migrants.

Yunus for more stress on IT for prosperity

Noble laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus yesterday said Bangladesh needs more motivation in information technology for achieving swift prosperity.

2 held for '71 killing in Rajshahi

Mohanpur Police yesterday arrested two people in a case filed in connection with killing 15 people during the Liberation War in 1971.

One student still missing

One student remains missing in Thursday's bus crash at Kasaipara in Bandarban that left several students of Chittagong Government College dead.

Three books on Bangabandhu reintroduced

The Islamic Foundation has reintroduced three books on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

50 killed in US plane crash

A commuter plane crashed into a house in New York state unleashing a fireball and killing all 49 passengers and crew and one person on the ground, officials said yesterday.

Woman bomber kills 32 Shia pilgrims in Iraq

A woman suicide bomber dressed in a black abaya blew herself up in a crowd of Shia pilgrims south of the Iraqi capital yesterday, killing 32 worshippers, mostly women and children, officials said.

Air France cuts job amid loss

Europe's biggest airline, Air France-KLM, said yesterday it had plunged into loss and would have to cut jobs and spending while waiting for clearer economic skies ahead.

Taiwanese reluctant to marry amid slowdown

An overwhelming 82 percent of Taiwanese people who are in relationships do not plan to get married this year, mainly because of lack of money and the economic downturn, a poll showed yesterday.

Editorial

Guidebook scandal

NO one has the right to make vulnerable the smooth functioning of secondary education system in the country by creating artificial crisis of textbooks. But, regrettable as it is, we have been witnessing the same crime being perpetrated quite blatantly in this country for a long time now. It is an open secret that textbook crisis at the very outset of the academic sessions is created by a section of corrupt publishers in cahoots with some dishonest government officials only to force students to buy so-called guidebooks, publication of which is prohibited under the existing law. Through this evil practice, the publisher-official nexus earns windfall profit right before the eyes of the administration. What is most disconcerting is that despite all indications of the nexus in action, the 'hostage situation' has also been created this year compelling students to go to school without books. The failure on the part of the administration to frustrate the practice has given rise to many pertinent questions in the minds of the citizens. We think it is time the administration came up with satisfactory answers.

Hands off the migratory birds

IT hurt many readers of our newspaper on Thursday to see the frontpage photospread of two dead Pochards, rare migratory bird species, on a boat, having been reportedly recovered(!) from Hakaluki Haor in Moulvibazar. They were supposed to have been trapped or drugged to death, or both.

In democracy we must find positives

THE last few weeks have been eventful. The holding of the parliamentary election in the last week of December 2008 was the first step in the transition of power. After that came the courageous formation of a cabinet with its interesting blend of experience and freshness. It raised eyebrows but almost everyone agreed that it symbolized change that had been the buzz word in the Awami League election manifesto.

Some beginning, at last

SUPPOSE 10 Indian Hindus had taken a boat from Mumbai and attacked Karachi, killing some 180 people, including 81 foreigners, what would have been the reaction of Pakistan? Again, how angry and broken the Pakistanis would have been if New Delhi had not even identified the perpetrators, much less brought them to justice? Would the government at Islamabad have waited patiently for almost three months after the carnage to get a reply and that too mostly through non-official channels? These are precisely the questions raised in India as its exasperation increases day by day.

Sports

Russel stay in hunt

Alfaz Ahmed missed a penalty but scored from the other to keep Sheikh Russel's slim hopes alive to finish runners-up in the Citycell B. League with a 1-0 win over Rahmatganj yesterday in the last match of the penultimate round.

Bangladesh's maiden win

Bangladesh handed Sri Lanka a stunning six-wicket defeat in the GrameenPhone Tri-Nation Women's Cricket Tournament yesterday at the Shaheed Flight Lieutenant Motiur Rahman Stadium in Khulna.

Sand blow on Day One

An unsuitable outfield forced the abandonment of play on the opening day of the second Test between West Indies England after 45 minutes yesterday at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

India recall Balaji

India's cricket selectors on Friday picked Lakshmipathy Balaji for the New Zealand tour, after a four-year Test absence for the fit-again seamer.

Local Snippets

The Grameenphone Bhatiary Golf Cup teed-off yesterday at the Bhatiary Golf and Country Club (BGCC) in Chittagong.

Vettori 'happy'

Daniel Vettori had no complaints over New Zealand's near miss for a first one-day series win in Australia, but he was disappointed the rain did not stay away for a couple more overs. Martin Guptill's breath-taking 64, which came from only 34 balls, pushed the tourists to 33 short of their target of 156 with six overs remaining when the weather closed in again.

Dubai tri-series cancelled

Pakistan cricket received a further blow Friday with the cancellation of a tri-series in Dubai scheduled for late March due to the unavailability of the Sri Lankan team, a top official said.

Shirin, Masuda share lead

Sharmin Sulatana Shirin joined Masuda Begum on top of the 30th National Women's Chess Championship qualifying table after six rounds yesterday.

Buchanan not interested

Highly successful former Australia coach John Buchanan said Friday he was "extremely unlikely" to take on the vacant England job ahead of this year's Ashes series.

Nadal survives a scare

Rafael Nadal defeated world number 490 Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 on Thursday to reach the Rotterdam Open quarterfinals, but the Bulgarian teenager demonstrated his exciting potential as a future star.

Bhajji calls for ODI referrals

Harbhajan Singh, the Indian offspinner, has backed the ICC's umpire referral system and wants it to be implemented in one-dayers also to avoid dubious umpiring decisions.

Parash in semis

Defending five-time champion Ahsan Habib Parash stormed into the men's singles semifinals of the Amicus 29th National Badminton Championships when he came from a set down to beat Saifuddin 17-21, 21-12 and 21-12 in Bogra yesterday.

Tongi blank Jirabo

Johnny and Sohel Rana scored in the second half to give Tongi KC a 2-0 win against Jirabo SC in yesterday's Citycell 3rd Division Football league at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.

Guus meets his stars

New Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink met his players for the first time on Thursday at the club's Cobham training headquarters.

Betis eye Barca scalp

Barcelona's 'bestia negra' or bogey opponent, Real Betis, aim to end the 21-game unbeaten league run of the league leaders on Saturday with Pep Guardiola's side preparing for a testing trip to Seville.

Klinsi targets leaders

Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann insists his side will give Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim no peace until they are back at the top of the table - starting this weekend.

Kaka may play derby

AC Milan are hoping that Brazil star Kaka makes a miracle recovery in time to play in Sunday's derby against Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Scolari lifts the lid

Sacked Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted that he had no relationship with his players away from training and matches, before he was sensationally axed by Roman Abramovich on Monday.

France to bid for Euro 2016

The French Football Federation (FFF) on Friday officially announced its intention to bid for the organisation of Euro 2016.

Spanish lesson worthwhile

Fabio Capello insists England's chastening 2-0 defeat to Spain will play an important part in the development of his team.

Bent hints at Spurs exit

England forward Darren Bent is ready to quit Tottenham if he doesn't get more first-team opportunities before the end of the season.

Kinnear needs triple heart bypass op

Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear will undergo a triple heart bypass operation on Friday, the Premier League club confirmed on Thursday.

Bulgarelli dies after long illness

Former Italy international midfielder Giacomo Bulgarelli has died at the age of 68 following a long illness, his former club Bologna announced on Friday.

Marseille duo in focus

Striker Sylvain Wiltord's rebirth and Steve Mandanda's midweek disappointment for France may be on coach Eric Gerets' mind as Marseille focus on Sunday's south coast derby at Monaco.

Dean Ashton undergoes ankle surgery

West Ham's injury-hit striker Dean Ashton has had another operation on his ankle, the Premier League club confirmed on Thursday.

Metropolitan

Help children explore their potentials

Speakers at a programme yesterday said as the children of today would lead the country to its ultimate success, they should be nourished to be the perfect leaders in near future.

Death of parents leaves Dipa shell-shocked

Struck dumb with shock and trauma, Dipa stares with a vacant look as relatives thronged her Sholokbahar residence in the port city yesterday morning to offer their deepest sympathies.

'Initiate trial of war criminals in special tribunal'

Leaders of Citizens' Commission on Trial of War Criminals yesterday called for initiating the trial by forming a special tribunal as per International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.

'Formulate policy for urban points'

Environmentalists and urban planners yesterday called for formulating a comprehensive policy for the urban points across the country, as more and more people are likely to move toward townships in the future as a result of climate change.

Six killed in road accidents

Six people, including the Officer-in-Charge of Fulbaria police station in Mymensingh district and a mother and her son, were killed in separate road accidents in Narayanganj and Gopalganj yesterday.

Call to ensure proper dignity of Bangla language

Language Movement veteran Abdul Matin was accorded a mass reception at a programme in the city yesterday on the occasion of his 84th birth anniversary.

Govt to ensure congenial atmosphere in edn instts

Industries Minister Dilip Barua in the port city yesterday said the government is committed to ensuring congenial atmosphere in the educational institutions.

Massive plan taken for faster dev of country: Matia

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday said the government has taken up a massive plan for faster development of the country.

One killed as villagers clash over fishing

One person was killed and 50 others were injured in a clash between two groups of people over a water body at Diashi village in Madan upazila yesterday morning.

Pahela Falgun celebrated

Pahela Falgun, heralding the arrival of spring, the king of all seasons, was welcomed by the city dwellers with flowers, poems, songs and dances yesterday.

'Use IT to enhance math skills'

The two-day National Mathematics Festival and 7th Bangladesh Math Olympiad began in the city yesterday.

Fire at godown, gas pipeline catches fire

A fire broke out in the godown of a plastic garment accessories factory in the city's Tejgaon industrial area and a gas pipeline caught fire on the ground floor of a 10-storey building at Dhanmondi yesterday.

10 idols damaged

A group of miscreants destroyed 10 idols at four temples at Shibchar upazila in Madaripur early yesterday.

Restrictions on vehicles on DU campus

Vehicles without the sticker of Dhaka University would not be allowed to enter the university campus from 9:00am to 9:00pm today on the occasion of Valentine's Day.

Dinajpur farmers block road for water

Thousands of farmers yesterday blocked Dinajpur-Rangpur highway for three hours demanding water for irrigation at Bekipur at Chirirbandar in the district.

WaterAid UK chair and CEO arrive today

Chairman of WaterAid UK Jeremy Pelczer and its CEO Barbara Frost will arrive in Dhaka today on a five-day visit to see the WaterAid's programme in the country, says a press release.

Ex-UP member killed over land dispute

A former Union Parishad (UP) member was killed and three others were injured in an attack by their rivals over a land dispute at Jamalpur village in Sadar upazila yesterday.

3 held with 800 Yaba tablets

Members of the Narcotics Control Department (NCD) arrested three persons including a woman along with 800 pieces of contraband Yaba tablets from separate places in the city during last 24-hours ending at 4.00pm yesterday.

Two beheaded bodies found

The police recovered two beheaded bodies beside Dhaka-Aricha highway at Savar yesterday.

Death anniversary

Today is the 25th death anniversary of Md Asaf-ud-Dowla Reza, a renowned journalist, says a press release.

National

Irrigation problem hits Boro farming in Panchagarh

Prospect of Irri-Boro cultivation in Boda and Debiganj upazilas in Panchagarh district has become bleak as large areas of land cannot be irrigated due to shortage of electricity supply.

'Save biodiversity of world's largest mangrove forest'

The 8th Sundarbans Day will be observed in Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Barguna and Narail districts today through observance of different programmes.

Supply gas to Khulna from Shahabazar in Bhola

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday underscored the need for installation of 150 kilometre long pipelines from Shahabazar in Bhola district for gas supply to Khulna.

Outlaw shot dead in Kushtia

A regional leader of outlawed New Biplobi Communist Party (NBCP) was shot dead by unidentified assailants at Charbiharia village under Khoksa upazila of the district on Thursday night.

50 hurt as bus falls into ditch in Cox's Bazar

At least 50 college students including two teachers were wounded as a picnic bus of Cox's Bazar Government College fell into a 10 feet ditch beside Cox's-Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive Road yesterday.

Trader abducted in Khulna

Unidentified criminals kidnapped a trader from South Central Road in the city on Thursday morning and then demanded Tk 20 lakh as ransom for his release.

Film show to raise fund for sick RU student

A two-day film show began at Momtaj Uddin Arts building on Rajshahi University (RU) campus yesterday to raise fund for treatment of Atul Chandra, a third year student of History Department who has been suffering from spinal diseases.

Charges pressed against 16 in Satkhira

Charges have been pressed against 16 people for killing a woman at Taluigachha village in Sadar upazila of the district last year.

BDR, BSF decide to resolve issues peacefully

A sector commander level coordination meeting between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) was held in Ramgarh municipality under the same upazila on Thursday.

Release of UPDF leader demanded

United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), an anti-peace treaty organisation, yesterday demanded immediate release of its central committee member Sachib Chakma who was arrested by army from Bagachhara in Rangamati district on charge of killing and abduction on February 06.

International

Civilians flee war zone as Lanka snubs Britain

Thousands more civilians fled Sri Lanka's war zone, the defence ministry said yesterday, as Colombo angrily rejected Britain's appointment of a special envoy to address the island's humanitarian crisis.

Hamas strikes accord on long-term truce

The deputy leader of Hamas said Thursday night that the Islamic militant group agreed to an 18-month truce with Israel for the Gaza Strip, the official Egyptian news agency reported.

EU enters recession, US readies stimulus vote

The European Union officially plunged into recession on Friday as the US Congress prepared to vote on a massive spending and tax cuts package aimed at reviving the US economy -- the world's largest.

N Korea assembling long-range missile

North Korea appears to be assembling its most advanced long-range missile and could conduct a test launch this month, a newspaper reported Friday, amid US and South Korean warnings against disturbing regional stability.

Iran nuclear arms bid unclear: US intel chief

US intelligence does not know whether Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons, but at a minimum Tehran is keeping that option open, the new US intelligence director said Thursday.

Suspect charged in Australian fire

Authorities charged a man yesterday with lighting one of the wildfires that killed a total of more than 180 people in Australia, and whisked him into protective custody to guard him from public fury.

Republican Gregg quits as US commerce secy nominee

Saying "I made a mistake," Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew as commerce secretary nominee on Thursday and left the fledgling White House suddenly coping with Barack Obama's third Cabinet withdrawal. Gregg cited "irresolvable conflicts" with Obama's policies, specifically mentioning the $790 billion economic stimulus bill and 2010 census in a statement released without warning by his Senate office.

US envoy launches key Afghan talks

US envoy Richard Holbrooke started talks in Afghanistan on Friday aimed at stepping up the fight against a Taliban-led insurgency that the top US intelligence chief warned was escalating.

Seven killed in Algeria bomb attacks

Two bomb blasts in eastern Algeria killed seven people in the hours after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced he will run for a new term, APS news agency quoted security sources as saying yesterday.

Five Afghan children, coalition soldier killed

Five Afghan children were killed in a firefight involving Australian troops, while a US-led coalition soldier died in Afghanistan, officials said, as the new US envoy held talks in Kabul yesterday.

Shortest man

Wearing a sparkly white suit and sporting a tuft of dyed, slicked-back hair, the world's shortest man said Friday there was every reason to think big about being tiny.

Long fingernails lost in car crash

A Utah woman listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for her long fingernails has lost them in a car crash. Lee Redmond of Salt Lake City sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries in the accident Tuesday.

Pakistan must allay India fears: US intel chief

Pakistan holds the key to defusing tensions with nuclear rival India by executing a serious clampdown on Islamic militants, US Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said Thursday.

Indian press euphoric as Pakistan 'blinks'

Indian newspapers revelled Friday in what they saw as an unprecedented U-turn after Islamabad admitted that last year's Mumbai attacks were partly planned on Pakistani soil.

Pakistan nets 5 suicide bombers

Pakistani authorities raided a house and arrested five would-be suicide bombers in the restive southwestern province of Baluchistan on Friday, a local official said.

Arts & Entertainment

Spring in the air

Women, teenagers and little girls wearing red, yellow, orange or saffron sari, and men in panjabi started arriving at the Bakultala, Charukala (Faculty of Fine Arts) premises early morning yesterday. Though the city has not witnessed much crimson Shimul or Palash yet, marigold and roses were there to compensate. Here and there, students of FFA were painting bright designs on cheeks of children and eager revellers. On the stage under the 'Bakul' tree, flutist Gazi Abdul Hakim was playing a classical tune. Ebadul Haque Saikat was accompanying him on the sitar. As the crowd grew larger, the mood turned merrier. Some expats were seen enjoying the festivities as well.

Heart to Heart: Arun & Chayanika Chowdhury

They are a multi-talented couple! They have written scripts, directed and masterminded innumerable TV serials and soaps. He is a major figure in the Bangladeshi entertainment industry, along with being an author and journalist. She began her career as a child artiste and is now an accomplished Tagore singer, and an actress.

Musings on Valentine’s Day

Baby Nazneen
The popular pop and playback singer, Baby Nazneen whose musical spell leaves the audience high on their seats, says, “Valentine's day is a day that revolves around love.” She further believes that the theme of the day is truly beautiful and is not focused on romantic love alone but is utilised to show one's family, friends and society as a whole what they mean and how important they are.

Anti-Valentine Playlist ‘09

Apparently my ‘Anti-Valentine’ playlist published (on Valentine’s Day) last year generated interested among some singles. If you’re an SOVD (single on Valentine’s Day) this year, indulge yourself and mope around all day (ladies suggest generous helpings of chocolate, not sure why. Personally, I like a good ol’ fashioned slasher/horror flick fest with other single friends). The ditties from this year’s playlist address (almost) all cases imaginable related to being single -- dejected, jilted, obsessively persuading, peacefully ruminating, acerbic ranting and celebrating solitude. These songs might not necessarily uplift your mood but they’re helluva great songs. Without further ado, let’s get down to business. But first, a disclaimer: This is not a battle cry, nor a call to initiate a singles’ movement.

OP-ED

The withdrawal-revival syndrome

The Daily Star in a report on February 10 informs us on the authority of the Home Minister that around 6000 cases were withdrawn during the tenure of the immediate past BNP-Jammat led government. It was also reported that a five-member committee headed by the law Minister would review these cases. Such criminal cases were reportedly withdrawn on the directives of Home Ministry and names of more than 3000 accused persons were withdrawn from 945 other cases.

Grim battle for a decent life

Life for women in the country seems to be really tough. Overworked and under-appreciated, most of them fight an uphill battle to survive. Those who work outside their homes get little sympathy from the boss and virtually no help from their husbands.

Is a mighty crash near?

Some simple souls and some with not so simple souls have begun wailing that the hard won and fragile democracy in Pakistan is in trouble. It may collapse as a result of the President declaring an Emergency or the Army imposing another Martial Law. Why?

Literature

Birds

Koshkin called me on the morning of 3 December. Koshkin, that is Andrei Pavlovich Koshkin, is a young diplomat at Dhaka's Russian Embassy. I had met him in Moscow where I once lived as a university student. I have returned home some five years now. These past years I have had no contact with him, until last year when we unexpectedly met at an international conference in Dhaka. I learned that he had been reassigned here from New Delhi only the previous month. We soon renewed our old friendship and spiced it up with vodka. These days we see each other once in a while, and speak quite often over the phone. Each time he goes home, he returns with a bottle of vodka for me. There are days when we also eat out at restaurants.

Three Boi Mela Books

Dohon O Droher Golpo, edited by Jahanarah Nuri, is a collection of thirteen short stories brought out by publishers Utsha Prokashon, Dhaka. The stories center around the theme of women's oppression, domestic violence and women's rights, a condition that Ms Nuri says in her introduction has been further inflamed by the pressures generated by the difficult transition from a rural culture and village societal values to an urban culture and city-based way of life. The stories in this compilation, chosen from the works of such well-known authors such as Hasan Azizul Haq, Syed Shamsul Haq, Zakir Talukdar and Rizia Rahman as well as younger authors such as Papri Rahman and Shaheen Akhtar, however, to a large extent escape the didacticism (almost as oppressive as the brutalities committed on women) associated with such literary enterprises. Ms Nuri is aware of such dangers, as when she writes that the short story form at first glance seems an easy enough form, but that its difficulties are familiar to writers, and that she has made sincere efforts to put literary merit at the top of her criterion for choosing them. Her sensitivity and care has been vindicated in this fine and balanced volume of stories.

Better Late Than Never: Kashinath Roy's Jibanananda Dekhoon

Kashinath Roy began writing poetry in his teens, and in the sixties published regularly in periodicals like Kanthaswar (edited by Abdullah Abu Sayeed). After that he published little, though he kept on writing -- poems, short stories, at least one novella. Some of these appeared in the irregular little magazine Nirantar (edited by Naim Hasan), and more recently, Ekobingsha (edited by K. Ashraf Hossain). He was sixty when he published his first book, a verse play he had written in his teens. Now, at sixty-one, he has published a substantial collection of recent poems, Jibanananda Dekhoon (“Take a Look, Jibanananda”). It is available from Bhashachitra, and I hope the Boi Mela crowds will notice it. The poems are forthright, often bitterly satirical, eminently readable, and a most pertinent commentary on the state of our nation. The following is my rather hastily done translation of the second poem in the book, 'Hazrat Nuh-er Nauka'.


Noah's Ark

My nightmare
squatting on the breast of sleep –
in the small hours
of last night

February Friday

the faithful hurry
for prayers
to a sky vacant
except for a jet
creasing the clouds

Arrested

Lost the password through my own sheer absent-mindedness
The cat gives me a huge Cheshire grin
A hard rain outside…more desirable than sex

Star Health

Lifestyle and home remedies from claudication

It strikes when you walk — a distinct pain or cramping in your calf. You stop for a few minutes, and the pain goes away. You continue on, and the pain comes back.

Tobacco and cancer situation in Bangladesh

Cancer is a generic term for a group of more than 100 diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells which grow beyond their usual boundaries and which can invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs, a process referred to as metastasis. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer.

Red meat: How bad it is!

Although, red meat is an important support of our diet, people have suspected for some time that high levels of red and processed meat increase the risk of lot of complicated diseases. But how far it is true? Are all types of red meats bad? Is there any open secret?

Severe pre-pregnancy stress tied to preterm birth

Women who suffer the stress of a death or serious illness of a loved one shortly before becoming pregnant may have an increased risk of premature delivery, a large study suggests.

Skip the serving bowls

Discourage overeating by placing the appropriate servings of food on dinner plates, rather than plunking serving bowls on the table. For a festive presentation, garnish the plates with a lemon wedge, chopped fresh herbs or an ingredient that is in the dish.

Lack of joy in life ups early death risk

People who don't think life is worth living are more likely to die within the next few years, research from Japan shows.

Strategic Issues

Lets consider micro-actors in anti-terrorism exercise

IN the recently held 9th Parliamentary Election Bangladeshi voters completely rejected negativity and cynicism in political campaign in which some parties repeatedly invoked Islam, and they voted decisively against such political use of Islam. The overall result demonstrates the peoples' ultimate verdict against all forms of religious militancy. Bangladesh's 153 million people showed very little appetite for political Islam. Thus the new government is in the heart of the people, hoping to save the country from the rise of Islamist extremism. Obviously it is not the time to debate whether to give combating terrorism the top priority for the new regime, rather it needs to be put on the 'emergency' list for inclusive development. No doubt terrorism has been a worrying factor for Bangladesh - a lethal offshoot of political use of religion, defective education system and the socio-economic backwardness of the country. It generates national security threats, creating tailback for inclusive development of the country.

Transit or no transit?

AS this article goes to press, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Indian External Affairs Minister, would have gone back home after his 2-day whirlwind tour. The signing of various treaties had raised, as usual, accusations from the opposition that the government was 'selling-off' the country and compromising the national sovereignty by signing unequal treaties with India. The Government, after opening the Pandora's Box, seemed to have quickly gone on the back-foot. The Commerce Minister, who had been an outspoken champion of transit, changed his own position somewhat and said that there will be no transit or transhipment treaty, only a renewal of the existing Indo-Bangladesh Trade Agreement.

Silence of the Arab World on Israeli carnage shocking

For the last eighteen days, the Israeli military attacks on the Palestinians on the Gaza strip can be described as a modern day savagery. It has shocked the conscience of all human beings who witnessed the killing of innocent children, women and men in Gaza on the pretext that Hamas is a terrorist organization which fire rockets into Israeli lands.

Star Books Review

Maladies and weaknesses in the bureaucracy

Interests and dilations about civil service have seen something of an upsurge in the recent years. Although the debate on the role and performance of civil service continues unabated, both its admirers and critics agree on the crucial significance of the civil service as a key institutional determinant of the success or failure of fledging democratic states especially in the developing world. Notwithstanding this broad consensus on its significance, however, the mammoth contextual complexities, structural heterogeneity, and functional diversity render the modern civil services no easy subject of research and academic exploration. Dr. Rashid, a senior civil servant himself, has ventured to explore, usually with verve and insight, a number of major challenges and issues surrounding the operation of civil service in Bangladesh with a special focus on such crucial aspects as recruitment, training, performance and prospects.

A matter of human rights . . .

The year 2008 began with uncertainty and restlessness amongst everyone. The state of emergency had already entered its second year and there seemed to be no progress in the political landscape of the country to restore democracy. The end of the year was a climax of sorts as the national elections, which was termed as the most 'free and fair' election in Bangladesh to date took place with the highest number of voter turnout ever seen. What happened in between the months of January and December in terms of human rights violations is what is reported in 'Human Rights in Bangladesh in 2008', brought out by human rights watchdog organisation Ain o Salish Kendro (ASK).

A tale that twists and turns

With a runny nose so grossly large and marred by birthmarks that people remember him years after having last met him, Saleem Sinai is the not-so-handsome hero of Midnight's Children, a story of epic proportion told by Rushdie, a teller of exaggerated tales. On opening the book, you'll end up sitting in front of Saleem writing about his fantastic past and reading the first-drafts of his memoir to a fussy woman named Padma who despite being illiterate criticizes Saleem's authorship from all angles.

Imagination and crude reality

Nurunnabi Chowdhury presents forty-six poems in his anthology, Torhitahata Juboker Mrittu.


The Daily Star

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