The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, September 18, 2014


News of: Monday, 23rd of February, 2009

Front Page

BNP returns to JS soon

The main opposition BNP may return to parliament today ending an absence of 17 consecutive workdays.

Govt plans major defence spending

The government yesterday unveiled in parliament plans to strengthen the country's defence system by procuring new military hardware including anti-tank and air-defence missiles, aircraft for maritime patrol, frigates, tanks, and choppers.

Fund crunch hits GTCL gas compressor project

As deteriorating gas pressure and supply crisis continues to cause huge power generation shortfall, the Gas Transmission Company Ltd's (GTCL) latest bid to install three gas compressor stations to improve gas supply has been halted due to severe fund crunch.

Some expats in ME fund JMB greatly

A large chunk of the funding for Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) come from like-minded Bangladeshi expatriates, mostly living in the Middle East countries, who also provide the JMB operatives with shelters in the country.

Illegal industries pressurise govt

The state minister for forest yesterday told the House that he was under pressure from some industrialists who set up factories and industries illegally on forest and khas land in Gazipur area as they were now asking for environment clearance.

Thank you readers, patrons, advertisers

Starting today, our three-part, 200-page 18th Anniversary supplement will be distributed over the next two days along with your daily copy, FREE of any extra charge. The theme for this year is "Time to Turn a Corner" which has been presented in three parts: a) Expectations from the new government; b) Revisiting the caretaker government; and c) Global trends: Adversity or opportunity.

Hasina urges BNP to return to Sangsad

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon the people to remain alert, so none may harm the country's democracy, 'coming through the backdoor'.

Hazari back after 8yrs

Former Awami League (AL) lawmaker Joynal Abedin Hazari who went into hiding since parliamentary poll in 2001 yesterday came out in public for the first time and appeared before the High Court (HC) for bails in the cases filed against him.

Death toll now 41 as 10 more bodies found

Ten more bodies of the dead from Thursday's launch tragedy were recovered yesterday raising the death toll to 41. At least 10 people are still missing.

BTCL gets new MD as incumbent on leave

In a surprise move yesterday, the government appointed an official, who was forced to retire in 2002, as the managing director (MD) of Bangladesh Telephone Company Ltd (BTCL) when the incumbent MD is on leave.

Social safety net programmes to be expanded

The government yesterday decided to revitalise the social safety net programmes by expanding the test relief (TR) and food for work programmes in the rural areas and keeping open market sale (OMS) of rice only for the target groups to ensure food security of the people.

Education to suffer as ordinance axed

The government decision not to ratify the Private University Ordinance 2008 promulgated by the immediate past caretaker government will allow continuation of imparting substandard education and sales of certificates by a section of private universities, experts believe.

Ministry to get back power to control Upazila Parishad

Strengthening of the upazila parishad system is set to face a setback as the new elected government decided to reincarnate the Upazila Parishad Act 1998, instead of ratifying the Upazila Parishad Ordinance 2008.

Class IV student exhausts prize money to get Shaheed Minar

Paramita Prantice, a student of class four, has built a Shaheed Minar at her own school in Moulvibazar town with the prize money she won at a national recitation competition.

No more bills to be placed in JS to ratify ordinances

No more bills for making the ordinances promulgated by the last caretaker government into laws might be sent to respective parliamentary bodies for scrutiny.

7 JMB men remanded Probe report on Gazipur in 3 days

A Gazipur court yesterday placed four JMB operatives detained early Saturday in Gazipur on a 10-day remand each while a Jamalpur court placed three others on a seven-day remand each.

Seismic survey had no impact on wildlife

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) conducted a survey at the country's sensitive Lawachhara Reserve Forest and found no significant impact on the wildlife by the seismic survey.

Information secy sued for defaming Bangabandhu

An Awami League leader yesterday filed a defamation case against incumbent information secretary on charges of writing a verse criticising Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members.

Popular writers' works dominate sale lists

The majority of visitors at the Ekushey Boi Mela flock to specific stalls that sell books by the most popular writers of the country.

More changes in admin

The government yesterday brought more changes in the civil administration by transferring two secretaries and three officers with the rank of additional secretary.

DU denies allegation on Khaleda protocol

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday denied the allegation of their being partisan and not giving due protocol to Khaleda Zia during the wreath-placing ceremony in the early hours of 21st February at the Central Shaheed Minar.

Complaint filed for '71 murder

Another complaint was lodged against seven people with the Second Court of Judicial Magistrate in Rajshahi yesterday for killing a man during the Liberation War of 1971.

Lankan forces kill 65 Tigers in fighting

Sri Lankan security forces killed at least 65 Tamil Tigers in a week of intense fighting that further reduced the territory under rebel control, the military said yesterday.

Japan to provide $439m for power, infrastructure

The government yesterday signed an Exchange of Notes with Japan for a soft loan assistance worth Tk 2,981 crore (US$ 439m) for three power and infrastructure projects.

74 miners killed in China mine blast

A gas explosion ripped through a coal mine in northern China yesterday, killing at least 74 miners and trapping dozens in the still-burning shaft, state media said.

Editorial

Nearing a shipbuilding boom!

IT is indeed encouraging to note that shipbuilding to cater to overseas buyers is becoming a fast growing sector for Bangladesh. Already we have exported a number of ocean going cargo vessels and orders for more are in the pipeline. To be precise, Bangladesh has $500 million worth of export orders in hand to deliver ships by 2010. It augurs well that contribution by the sector would comprise 3 to 4 percent of GDP by 2015, and that export earning can go up to $2 billion in near future. It will be no mean feat considering the tough competition coming from major shipbuilders of Europe and Asia. Right now, the continued faith of foreign buyers in our ability to deliver only reinforces our confidence that we no more lag behind in heavy industrial production and that our quality matches that of any reputable international manufacturer. Therefore, to stay in the market as an important player, we shall have to modernise and innovate constantly.

This dangerous living must stop

THE report appearing in this newspaper that people are continuing to occupy AGB colony buildings despite the fact that these had been declared dangerous and unfit for living more than five years ago is very disconcerting indeed. In effect more than 100 families are putting their lives at risk every minute of the day in these quarters. Although the authorities have managed to shift the occupants of the other hazardous buildings in the complex, as far as the eight in question, the authorities have done nothing beyond warning the occupants from time to time.

The morning after

IT'S like the morning after! It's when the crowds have gone home, the buntings have come down, the litter has been carted away and a political government with heavy mandate is firmly in place. It's a new beginning, new challenge and new hopes -- all rolled into one.

Young minds, old hatreds

IT was a fitting occasion for a farewell speech. The setting was a 122-year-old college for boys, established in Lahore at a time when the British intended to rule forever and to use the princes of the Punjab to perpetuate that rule. The speaker was the Indian High Commissioner, making his last formal speech in Pakistan before relinquishing charge. The parallel that came to mind was of an Indian Socrates bidding farewell to the youth of Pakistan.

Transit through Bangladesh: The health factor

FOR the umpteenth time, allowing transit to neighbouring India has become the hottest topic of all political discussions. It continues to evoke strong opinionated responses, both for and against, from people of all sects and classes -- politicians, intellectuals, businessmen, teachers, students, artists, and concerned citizens.

Sports

Big guns all win

World's number one ODI all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan shone with the ball in a batsman's day as Biman took the solo lead in the Premier Division Cricket League with a four-wicket victory over Old DOHS at BKSP yesterday.

World record beckons Rani

Rani Hamid eyes her name in the Guiness Book of World Record as the veteran IWM chases her 18th national women's chess title.

Records roll in Karachi

Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera smashed double hundreds during a world record stand of 437 as Sri Lanka left Pakistan with a mountain to climb in the opening Test here on Sunday.

India Buchanan's bet

John Buchanan, the former Australia coach, believes India are favourites to beat New Zealand in the upcoming series. Buchanan, in Christchurch with the England Lions for their contest with New Zealand A, felt the home side were inexperienced and in a transitional stage.

B. League players can't transfer for Super Cup

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) ruled out any chance of a mini transfer window before next month's Super Cup.

Lalmatia have the last laugh

Lalmatia Club rode on Prangon Ghosh's 77 and Shaikot's 3-40 to beat Brothers Union by 23 runs at the Dhaka University Ground in the Dhaka First Division Cricket League yesterday.

U-13 football festival from today

The Under-13 Development Football Festival begins today at eight venues across the country.

Pakistan can win the WC, says Akram

Former captain Wasim Akram has pitched his support to retain Younis Khan as Pakistan skipper till the 2011 World Cup, saying that under him the country can win cricket's most coveted trophy.

NZC's India windfall

India's tour will deliver New Zealand Cricket (NZC) the biggest payday in its history -- probably in excess of 25 million dollars -- thanks to a multimillion-dollar deal for television rights. The board will pocket a staggering 1 million dollars for each of the 22 days that India will be in action, making the deal the biggest one-off broadcasting windfall in New Zealand sport.

Local Snippets

Nabajatak Majlish earned a 3-1 victory over Jubo Sangha (23-15, 25-18, 25-19, 25-19 points) in the National Bank Metropolis 2nd Division Volleyball League at the Dhaka Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Ponting, Katich dominate

Simon Katich and skipper Ricky Ponting flayed the South African Board President's XI bowling attack as the touring Australians flourished in the second day of a three-day match at Senwes Park Saturday.

Kottan now Pakistan coach

Austrian coach George Kottan, who guided Bangladesh to win the 2003 SAFF Championship in Dhaka, has been named as the new head coach of Pakistan national team on Saturday.

Bolt betters 400m mark

Olympic sprint sensation Usain Bolt continued his early season preparation with another comfortable 400m victory at Jamaica's National Stadium on Saturday.

Trust me on MU, says Jose

Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho believes his personal record against Manchester United should give Inter Milan confidence that they can knock the holders out of the Champions League.

Real go goal crazy

Real Madrid sent an emphatic warning to Champions League opponents Liverpool on Saturday when they thrashed Real Betis 6-1 to move seven points behind leaders Barcelona, who suffered a shock 2-1 derby defeat against Espanyol.

Inter consolidate

Inter Milan maintained their nine-point lead at the top of Serie A after a battling 2-1 victory at lowly Bologna while Juventus won 2-0 at Palermo on Saturday.

Feisty Rovers fall short

Manchester United let in their first goal in the Premier League in three months, but still stretched their lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 win on Saturday against an unlucky Blackburn at Old Trafford.

Alarm bells at Bayern

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Michael Rensing insisted his side owe their fans an apology after they slumped to their third loss in four league games on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat by Cologne.

Isinbayava misses out on WR

Russia's Olympic polevault champion Yelena Isinbayeva missed out on a 27th world record at the Birmingham indoor meeting on Saturday.

Abidal out for eight weeks

Barcelona have lost French international defender Eric Abidal for around eight weeks due to a leg injury, the club said on Saturday.

FA, fans reject extended halftime

The English Football Association says it plans to oppose forecast plans to extend the half-time interval from 15 to 20 minutes, a proposal that has been slammed by fans.

'I will stay if we are fourth'

England midfielder Gareth Barry has told Aston Villa he is willing to stay at the Premier League club if they qualify for next season's Champions League.

Business

Akij Group quickens CSR efforts

Akij Group has sped up its corporate philanthropic efforts by expanding Ad-din Hospital to provide "low-cost, yet standard" health services to the growing urban population.

Sales go brisk at street shops

Consumers' leaning towards low-cost items is now a boon for street shops in Dhaka's busy commercial hubs. The city dwellers prefer these shops, scattered hither and thither, to so-called posh ones, as they consider the daily necessities available with street vendors as more affordable.

Asian ministers agree to boost emergency fund

Asian finance ministers meeting here agreed to boost by 50 percent a multi-billion dollar emergency fund to fight off the global downturn, officials said Sunday.

Bangladesh's software industry turns suitable harbour for outsourcing

Global market recession makes Bangladesh's software industry a very suitable harbour for outsourcing as many western and European companies shifted their focus on the country for low-cost IT services, sector insiders said yesterday.

Rice at low cost for RMG workers soon

Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzak yesterday said the government has no immediate plan to reintroduce OMS (open market sell), but it has a plan to bring garment and tea garden workers under food security net.

E-purchase to check rigged bids

It has become almost customary that politically-backed groups muscle in on the scene, when the government invites bids for development projects.

Battling financial meltdown

Barely eight months ago, Asian governments were too preoccupied with curbing double-digit inflation as oil and commodity prices surged to unprecedented levels never seen in decades.

Dhaka stocks finish up

Dhaka stocks started the week marginally up yesterday with turnover swinging back to a two-month high.

Asian currencies fall against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week down against the dollar, with the yen sinking sharply amid fears for the world's second-biggest economy following a slew of bad data.

India's gold rush with a difference

India's imports of gold have collapsed as people rush to sell their jewellery and coins to take advantage of soaring world prices for the precious metal.

Training on public procurement begins

The sixth three-week training course on public procurement of goods, works and services, organised by the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU), IMED of the Ministry of Planning, began at the Engineering Staff College Bangladesh (ESCB) at Bausia in Munshiganj district yesterday, according to a press release.

SKorea to swing back to surplus

South Korea expects the trade balance to swing back to a surplus of about 2.5 billion dollars this month thanks to brisk exports and more work days, the government said.

Banks must be servants of economies: Brown

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said banks must be reformed so that they are the servants of economies and societies, not the masters in an article published Sunday.

Spain's Galician shipyards buck the global crisis

Shipyards in Spain's Galicia region are defying the global financial crisis, creating hundreds of new jobs as order books fill up, largely by switching to the production of specialised high-technology vessels.

Europe seeks harmony on financial crisis

The heads of Europe's main economies gathered Sunday to try to find a common approach to the deepening global financial crisis amid behind-the-scenes disagreements over the way forward.

Journal Register files for bankruptcy protection

The Journal Register Co, publisher of the New Haven (Conn.) Register and other newspapers, filed for Chapter 11 protection Saturday, joining at least two other publishers that turned to bankruptcy court in recent months amid slumping advertising revenue and circulation.

Metropolitan

Demilitarisation of CHT admin a must

Speakers at a briefing yesterday said activating land commission, pursuing voluntary relocation of settlers and demilitarisation of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) administration within a declared time frame must be considered on priority basis to ensure full implementation of the CHT peace accord.

Dhaka, Delhi can work together to strengthen democracy

President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised the importance of regular contacts and exchange of visits by parliamentarians of Bangladesh and India to further bolster bilateral ties between the two countries.

'Bangla still not practised in govt, private instts properly'

A debate session titled 'The spirit of the language movement did not go in vain' was organised in the city yesterday to observe Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day.

Project true history of language movement

Speakers at a programme yesterday underscored the need to project accurate history of the language movement to the young generation as the country's history and independence are going through a controversial stage.

Govt to establish accountability in public, pvt sectors

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will establish accountability in public and private sectors in order to curb corruption.

Social business key to making a better world

Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus yesterday underscored the need for doing social business to change the world for a better living place.

Govt firm to achieve 100pc literacy by 2014

State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Motahar Hossain at a workshop yesterday said the government is determined to achieve 100 percent literacy in the country by 2014.

WB launches competitive programme

The World Bank launched its competitive Development Marketplace (DM) programme in Dhaka yesterday to encourage different organisations to work towards improving the nutritional status of the people.

Call for trial of war criminals

The people of the country want to see the trial of war criminals and a ban on religion-based politics as soon as possible, members of Bangladesh Internet Bloggers' Community said at a press conference yesterday.

BTTB Ordn (Amend) 2008 challenged

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain why its actions turning Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) into Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) and transferring the services of BTTB officials under BTCL should not be declared illegal and without lawful authority.

BNP lawmaker Harun gets bail

After a two-day confinement in jail custody, BNP lawmaker Harunur Rashid from Chandpur-4 constituency yesterday obtained bail in a forgery case filed by a BNP leader.

Army chief calls on president

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed called on President Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban in the city yesterday.

Govt mulls new pay scale for primary teachers

The government is planning to introduce a new pay scale for all primary school teachers in a bid to end wage discrimination in the government, registered and community schools which will be implemented from the next fiscal year.

Work to remove illiteracy

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said all the education systems in the country should be brought under a single syllabus to remove discrimination in education systems.

150 houses gutted in Faridpur fire

At least 150 houses burned down in a devastating fire at Yousufdia village in Saltha upazila here yesterday afternoon.

Landless families protest grabbing of 'khas' lands

People, including women and children, of 50 landless families of Bahirgola area staged a demonstration in Sirajganj town yesterday protesting illegal occupation of 'khas' land by an influential quarter.

6 killed in road accidents

Six people were killed and 57 others injured in separate road accidents in Madaripur, Gaibandha and Dhaka yesterday.

MoU with Indian instt signed

With a view to extending cooperation between different medical institutions on palliative care services, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the 'Palliative Care Service' of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and the 'Institute of Palliative Medicine' (IPM) at Calicut in India recently.

Robbers loot gold ornaments from bridal party

A gang of robbers looted gold ornaments and money from a bridal party on Gazipur-Kaliganj road in Cherag Ali Market area of Kapasia upazila on Saturday evening.

Mob sets fire to house of Jamaat leader

Mob set afire the house of a local Jamaat leader, Sher Ali Par, of village Joynagar in Shyamnagar upazila yesterday for allegedly killing his younger brother shrimp cultivator Abdul Mazed Par.

Drug peddler killed in B'baria

Unidentified criminals slaughtered a suspected drug peddler at Chorchartala village in Ashuganj upazila yesterday morning.

Schoolgirl commits suicide

A schoolgirl allegedly committed suicide by jumping under the wheels of a speeding train at Dighalkandi in Dewanganj upazila on Saturday.

Executive Club Ltd launched

The Executive Club Ltd, an organisation of business executives working in different national and multinational organisations, was launched at Banani in the city on Saturday.

Drawing contest for children on gender equality

The European Commission (EC) has launched a drawing competition for children from across the world on the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8.

Science fair begins in Ctg

No surface drain is needed at all in the port city to wash out rain water to the river Karnaphuli. An underground drainage system could be implemented to carry the water and throw out to the river through three points.

Birth anniversary of Ramakrishna on Feb 27

A five-day celebrations marking the 174th birth anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna will begin on the Ramakrishna Mission premises in Dhaka today, says a press release.

Australian edn exhibition begins Feb 25

A two-day Australian Education Exhibition will begin at Hotel Sonargaon in the city on February 25.

National

Poppy field destroyed near Jhenidah border

Members of the law enforcing agencies yesterday destroyed a poppy field at Nepa village under Moheshpur upazila in the district.

Severe power crisis grips 16 dists

Sixteen districts under West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCL) have again been in grip of severe power crisis, hampering cultivation of paddy, production in mills and factories, works in export-oriented fish processing factories and other trade activities.

Resolve VC issue or face agitation

The teachers association and different students organisations yesterday asked the Islamic University (IU) authorities to resolve the month-long stalemate over appointment of a vice-chancellor (VC) by today or face tougher agitation.

Cheating in novel way

'Bad luck' befell two senior students hired by a madrasa superintendent to appear in the ongoing Dakhil (equivalent to SSC) examinations as Jaldhaka upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) detained them from Chhit Mirganj Dakhil Madrasa examination centre yesterday.

Oath of UZ chairmen of 3 dist Feb 26

The newly elected upazila chairmen and vice-chairmen of Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira districts will take oath on February 26.

Case against Biswas:8 witnesses examined

Eight witnesses of a sensational case lodged against Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas and others gave their statements before Judicial Magistrate Court here in three phases on February 16, 19 and 22.

Letters

Bangla pronunciation

The article by former UN economist Mr. Mahfuzur Rahman (18 Feb), “In Defence of Standard Bangla Pronunciation” is a timely reminder that the Bengali language binds us in a Nation, and that its standardization in written and spoken form is a must to preserve this unity. This goal has already been diluted by inadvertent slide and confusion between 'Bangla Bhasha' and 'Matri Bhasha'. There is a clear distinction between a 'language or Bhasha' and a tongue or 'Buli'. Bangla Bhasha has a history of at least a thousand years of development behind it. It has an evolved alphabet, grammar, lexicon and literary richness which most mother tongues in the land do not have. But above all it has the singular advantage of being readily understood in any part of our country provided an existing standard, whether written or spoken, is followed.

Stop human trafficking

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, harbouring, or receipt of people for the purposes of slavery, forced labour (including bonded labour or debt bondage), and servitude. The total annual revenue for trafficking in people is estimated to be between $5 billion to $9 billion. The Council of Europe states that people trafficking has reached epidemic proportions over the past decade, with a global annual market of about $42.5 billion. Trafficking victims typically are recruited using coercion, deception, fraud, abuse of power, or outright abduction. Threats, violence, and economic leverage such as debt bondage can often make victim consent to exploitation.

Education

Education in the public universities in Bangladesh is turning into a failure: in the world of speed, technology and creativity, students in the universities are stuck with session jams, horrendous politics and worm-eaten notebooks. Politics in the universities should voice the demands of the students; I never heard anybody talking about the filthy toilets of Dhaka University, poor management of the libraries, age-old system of question formation, just to name a few problems. Nobody says 'sorry' for all the 'unavoidable circumstances' to avoid schedule classes. There is never any research to work out how students can get 'in campus jobs' so that they do not have to live a humiliating life.

Genetic science

Genetic science has a great potential for either serving or degrading humanity. Its proper use requires moral reflection and the establishment of moral limits. Human welfare does not demand that scientists pursue every avenue available.

Deeds speak louder

Obviously, a huge number of television channels are playing a significant role to convey us the up-to-date information regularly. Their duty is to collect news. To get, find out or even create news they will trail the potential sources, it is usual. But our key chair holders forget that they hold very important posts. They have to take many confidential decisions which will affect the nation. Astonishingly, we notice, after concluding or even before ending the meeting, a member comes out, stands in front of the microphone and spontaneously speak about what had been discussed or decided. You are doing your job. You are not a newsmaker. So, please control yourselves.

Are they students?

We, the students of Jahangir-nagar University, are greatly shocked at the incident that happened on Monday, 16 February. As an eyewitness to the incident, I still could not believe how a student could beat his student brother in such a merciless way. It is unbelievable that university students could do such a heinous thing.

Immediate past president

We know that the immediate past President Prof. Iajuddin Ahmed has pro-BNP leanings. So, during the BNP rule and initial period of the caretaker government he reportedly acted as per the directions of the BNP.

Currency issue

What is a paper currency? It is a mode of exchange, it is a piece of paper with no value of its own. There are many instances of economies of countries collapsing just due to exchange rates of their currencies.

Road accidents

All the TV channels now telecast several programmes to raise awareness regarding AIDS. It is really a positive scheme. A huge number of people of India, our closest neighbour, are badly affected by this disease. In this situation, our TV channels are playing a vital role and deserve thanks from the citizens of the country. It must also be noted that the hazards of AIDS is comparatively less in our country compared to India.

Negative politics

All actions and all steps taken by opponents are not anti-state or anti-people.

Where will they go?

I hardly can remember the exact number of students who, nowadays, get GPA 5 in the SSC or even the HSC since the number is too high to remember!

Price of lentil?

Your front page report on February 10 from your correspondent at Pabna is terrible. It brings back to me, its similarity to John Galsworthy's play titled "The Price of Coal" which I read way back in 1948. The play depicted the tragic death of miners in underground mine accidents. The incident in Pabna, although no accident, is the loss of five lives and injury to twenty persons over quarrel for crop cutting of lentils! That too from a land that is not owned by any of the two groups in the quarrel, as reported.

Worsening crime situation

The grand alliance government led by the Awami League has many priorities. But improving law and order must not be ignored. Heinous crimes are on the rise. Hijacking, mugging even killing are going unabated when so called block raids and special drives are on. Both the ministers appear to be too shy to talk about it. This is a very ominous sign for a government, so enthusiastically voted to power.

Wildlife conservation

With the country needing to find food, water, shelter, energy, timber and medicine for a new mouth every alternate second, our forests and wild landscapes face fresh and bigger threats.

Statistical error

I was reading one article from your February 13, 2009 edition. In the sports section, there was an article entitled "Messi steals the show" about the France vs Argentina friendly football game. I have noticed statistical errors in it.

Scientific education

While the slogan “Science for all” has been appreciated and accepted by most people, and scientific development is going on with the speed of light almost everywhere, the area of scientific ignorance among people of Bangladesh is widening. The situation is worse than even before because the politicians were almost silent as if it is not an important issue. They were more interested in importing science than local creation or innovation. The politicians should not be blamed fully because they became silent observing the previous activities of the responsible scientists in different sectors. It is pertinent to raise an important point here that all sciences are not science and all scientists are not real scientists. The main thing is to give the right person the right responsibilities. Otherwise, he will just pass time and destroy the whole system.

International

Pak militants consider permanent ceasefire

Pakistani pro-Taliban militants yesterday said they would decide within days whether to call a permanent ceasefire in a wild region near the Afghan border after the government agreed to allow Islamic Sharia law.

14 militants killed in S Afghanistan

A battle just outside southern Afghanistan's largest city has killed at least six Taliban fighters, while an airstrike against militants elsewhere in the south killed eight, officials said yesterday.

Pakistan awaits India's response to its 30 questions

Pakistan will proceed with its probe into the Mumbai attacks after getting India's response to a set of 30 questions seeking more information on the terror strikes, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said.

'India, Pakistan were close to Kashmir accord'

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf were close to signing an accord to end the decades-old conflict over Kashmir after three years of secret talks but failed to achieve the vital breakthrough, media reports here said.

Mystery about origins of life solved!

Canadian scientists claim to have solved a major mystery about the origins of life on earth.

Naidu rules out support for BJP before or after polls

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, a key ally of the previous Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, today said his Telugu Desam Party will never help L K Advani become Prime Minister nor support any BJP government at the Centre.

Iraq invites France back to build nuclear plant

Electricity Minister Karim Wahid yesterday invited France to help Iraq build a nuclear power plant, three decades after Paris constructed a reactor near Baghdad that was bombed by Israeli warplanes.

Hillary uses celebrity diplomacy for US

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has used her maiden overseas mission to launch a celebrity-style campaign to harness new political and popular forces in a bid to restore America's world standing.

Obama draws fire for 'terror' detainee moves

Despite President Barack Obama's moves to ban torture and close Guantanamo Bay, human rights advocates are angry some policies toward "terror" detainees do not depart enough from those of the previous administration.

MP accused in Iraqi parliament bombing

A Sunni Muslim MP in Iraq was accused yesterday of involvement in an April 2007 suicide bombing in the parliament canteen that killed eight people including a lawmaker.

Scientists close in on 'universal' Flu vaccine

Scientists on Sunday unveiled lab-made human antibodies that can disable several types of influenza, including highly-lethal H5N1 bird flu and the "Spanish Flu" strain that killed tens of millions in 1918.

Sharif accuses Zardari of trying to get him barred from polls

Setting the stage for a possible showdown with his former ally, Pakistan's opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has accused President Asif Ali Zardari of trying to get him disqualified from contesting polls through cases in the Supreme Court.

Abu Ghraib reopens with new name

A gym, barber shop and planters of plastic flowers: Welcome to the gentler face of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison.

Pak FM to visit US for 'war on terror' review

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will visit Washington this week for talks with US and Afghan officials on how to combat extremism and militancy in the region, officials said Sunday.

Arts & Entertainment

BSA observes Ekushey

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy held a discussion and cultural programme to observe the International Mother Language Day at the National Theatre Stage. Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam, director general of BSA, presided over the event. Dr. Syed Anwar Hossain, Professor, History Department, Dhaka University was the featured discussant.

Photo exhibition on Ekushey in Nilphamari

On the occasion of ‘Ekushey’ (February 21), the International Mother Language Day, a photo exhibition was held at the local Public Library premises.

Poet Dilwar honoured in Sylhet

Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) organised a public reception in honour of Ekushey award recipient (last year) poet Dilwar at the Sylhet central Shaheed Minar last Thursday afternoon. The 72-year-old poet now lives at his ancestral home at the Bharthokhola area in Sylhet city.

Books of poems launched in Pabna

The unveiling of a book of poems, titled “Shamudra,” by Shohani Hossain was held at Pabna Bandhan Community Centre on February 20. Speakers at the programme stressed on encouraging emerging writers and poets.

Boimela update

Every year ‘Ekushey Boimela’ (book fair) at Dhaka University campus brings about a festive mood. The ‘mela’ is considered a major event in the urban scene, especially to those who like to read. Poets, writers, novelists and researchers eagerly wait for this fair to offer the readers their latest creative endeavors.

Oscars set to shake up their act

After three months of movie critics awards, audience awards and industry awards, Hollywood finally gets down to business today (local time...) of giving out its Academy Awards, the world's top film honours.

New drama serial Shada Kalo Mon on ATN Bangla

“Shada Kalo Mon,” a 52-episode drama serial begins tonight on ATN Bangla. Written and directed by Ali Imran, the serial will be aired every Monday at 8pm.

Film screening to raise funds

To raise funds for the treatment of a Rajshahi University (RU) student afflicted by a spinal disease, a two-day film screening began here last Friday at the Momtajuddin Arts building on RU campus. A total of five Bangladeshi and foreign films were screened, said the organisers.

OP-ED

What do Bangladeshis watch on TV?

IF, in 2007, you had asked television station owners in Singapore, Taiwan and India, they would talk about IPTV, Mobile TV, their increasing potential and how they were making traditional media rates cheaper. Bangladesh is still not mature enough to start talking about those. We are still trying to bring cable television to the homes of 150 million people.

The political economy of privatisation

PRIVATISATION of state-owned enterprises is an important item on the policy agenda of many countries. This is because of an ideological shift in perception of the role of the state vis-à-vis the role of the private sector in economic management as well as appreciation of the economic logic buttressed by inefficiency of SOEs.

Darwin and his awards

MY adult friends can basically be divided into two lots. Those who have children and those who have decided not to. The second category is growing fast.



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