The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, November 1, 2014


News of: Friday, 1st of May, 2009

Front Page

Khaleda, sons apply for case withdrawal

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her family members yesterday appealed to the government for withdrawal of 20 cases filed against them during the last caretaker government rule.

Govt plans to clip spending

The government is planning to outsource class IV employees under revenue budget in posts that fall vacant because of retirement or other reasons.

Govt opens maiden power plant bids

Eight power companies yesterday submitted their financial and technical bids to install a 300 megawatt power plant in Siddhirganj under the World Bank financing, the first power bid opened under the new Awami League government.

BNP reports in detail at last

BNP, Jatiya Party and some other parties submitted their election expenditure reports to the Election Commission (EC) on the last day yesterday bringing to an end mandatory submission of those by all the 38 parties which contested the December 29 parliamentary polls last year.

Ghulam Rahman new ACC chief

The government appointed Ghulam Rahman, chairman of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chief yesterday, twenty-eight days after Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury stepped down from the post.

10pc cut in revised ADP

The National Economic Council (NEC) has approved the revised annual development programme (ADP) of Tk 23,000 crore for this fiscal year, chopping 10 percent off the actual ADP.

25,000 primary teachers to be appointed soon

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said around 25,000 primary school teachers would be appointed soon to improve the quality of primary education.

Padma Bridge by 2013

The government has decided to complete the construction of 5.8 kilometre-long Padma Bridge by December 2013, two years ahead of the projected time.

May Day today

The International Labour Day, known as May Day, will be observed today in the country as elsewhere in the world with a vow to institutionalise the socio-economic rights of the workers.

Millions cast votes in India's 3rd round polling

An estimated half of the 14.4 crore electorate yesterday exercised their franchise in the third phase of India's parliamentary elections.

Hunt on for 25 directly involved BDR men

The investigators are yet to track down 25 directly involved BDR mutineers out of at least 45, said a senior law enforcer assigned for investigation into the Pilkhana carnage.

Sircar to be charged with contempt of parliament

A parliamentary sub-committee has decided to charge former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar with 'contempt of parliament' for not cooperating with it since he did not submit his passport despite being asked to do so, head of the body said yesterday.

AL workers' rally today, BNP ready for tomorrow

Political archrivals Awami League (AL) and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are now set to show off their political strength on the occasion of International May Day.

Dhaka to sign MoU with Moscow in mid-May

A Russian minister is expected to visit Dhaka in the middle of May to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding peaceful use of nuclear energy and development of related infrastructure, officials said.

Govt to appeal against HC acquittal

The government will file an appeal with the Supreme Court (SC) against the High Court (HC) judgement acquitting six former military personnel in the jail killing case.

Welcome rain in the capital

The capital experienced a brief but heavy shower late last night, much to the relief of city dwellers who had been suffering a heat wave for the last few days.

Mexico urges people to stay home

Mexico is urging citizens to stay home for five days and shutting down nonessential government services in hopes of containing the swine flu outbreak, which the World Health Organisation warns is on the brink of becoming a global epidemic.

Bangladeshi national among dead

Mexico's National Epidemiological Center said on Wednesday that the only foreign national among the dead was a Bangladeshi man who had been in the country just six months working as a street vendor.

Two hacked to death at Aminbazar

Two alleged drug peddlers were hacked to death by rivals over internal feud at Aminbazar on the outskirts of the capital yesterday.

Proshika staff continue demo for its chief's removal

Officials and employees of Proshika yesterday staged demonstrations across the country demanding removal of its chief Qazi Faruque and some of his 'corrupt' associates for indulging in corruption in the organisation.

Rejoinder, our reply

Good's Hill (Chittagong) authorities in a rejoinder said the information given in the caption of The Daily Star picture of trapped squirrels (published on April 29) is wrong. They said these squirrels were caught to prevent damage of coconut and fruit trees and one enthusiastic employee of Good's Hill residence informed photojournalists to take snap of the squirrels. The Squirrels were handed over to Chittagong Zoo authority.

US has 'huge interests' in Pakistan

President Barack Obama voiced worries Wednesday about the weakness of Pakistan's government and did not rule out US intervention if the Islamic power's nuclear weapons fell into extremist hands.

Taliban hold Buner town people hostage

The Pakistan army says the Taliban are holding the population of one town near the capital hostage.

Editorial

What's an ADP worth?

PLANNING minister AK Khandaker has hinted that the size of annual development programme (ADP) for FY 2009-10 could be around Tk 29,000-30,000 crore. He prefers the programme size to be big so that money can reach the poor, employment is generated and poverty declines. Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), however, recommends that the ADP should be kept within Tk 26,000 crore mark in view of the low implementation trend in recent years.

Observing May Day

THE observance of May Day is essentially a remembrance of the working men who sacrificed their lives in defence of their rights in Chicago's Hay Market long ago. In broad measure, though, it is a reassertion of the thought that equality matters in every aspect of human life, that men and women who toil day and night in search of a livelihood and decent living must be privy to all the good things that come with life. It is a fundamental truth we have known all these years. It is especially in Bangladesh that May Day takes on a huge degree of significance considering the long and insistent struggles our workers have regularly put up over the years in their enlightened interest.

We're in this together

IF there is one person whose insights and ideas we in Bangladesh could benefit from learning about, it is those of Van Jones, activist, author of The Green Collar Economy, and now a special advisor to the Obama administration for green jobs.

Taming the Taliban

IN his book Taliban, Ahmed Rashid, a renowned Pakistani journalist, writes about his conversation with Mullah Wakil, an aide to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in 1996 in Kandahar. Wakil gave an insight into the Taliban movement, explaining that one of its objectives was to "live a life like the Prophet lived 1400 years ago." The Taliban wanted to recreate the time of the Prophet in order to relive that way of life, he claimed.

Durban anti-racism conference outcome

THE UN anti-racism conference was held in Geneva this week and the world did not stop turning, as the conference's detractors wanted us to believe. In fact, the world might be a better place now that the conference approved by consensus a document that builds on the commitments made in Durban eight years ago to combat racial discrimination and intolerance all over the world.

Sports

Zahid brace sinks Macau

Bangladesh produced the kind of performance one would expect from a set of professionals against the amateurs of Macau in their final AFC Challenge Cup Group-A qualifying match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Myanmar finish in style

Myanmar finished as champions of Group-A by winning their third and final match against Cambodia (1-0) in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers Group-A at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Entering new avenues

Chittagong Mohammedan and Top Sports Club of Noakhali will be part of country's cricket history tomorrow when they play the opening match of the much-anticipated Port City Cricket League Twenty20 tournament at the MA Aziz Stadium.

Local Snippets

Young Cricketers beat Rayer Bazar by one wicket in a last-over thriller in the Super League stage of Second Division Cricket at the Jagannath Hall ground yesterday.

Deccan's first loss

Deccan Chargers surrendered the last perfect Indian Premier League record this season after a six-wicket loss to Delhi Daredevils Thursday.

Confidence unlimited

Kumar Sangakkara, the acting Kings XI Punjab captain, was confused about whom to throw the ball to for the 19th over. Nineteen runs were required with JP Duminy shepherding a thrilling chase alongside the dangerous Harbhajan Singh. It was then that Piyush Chawla walked up to Sangakkara and asked for the ball.

MU gain slim advantage

Manchester United will take a 1-0 lead into the second leg of their Champions League semifinal with Arsenal after the holders failed to fully capitalise on their domination here on Wednesday.

Chennai ride on Raina

A confused Suresh Raina's near-century paved the way for the Chennai Super Kings' second victory of the Indian Premier League over the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday.

PCB to deal one by one

Pakistan will consider selecting players who break away from the ICL on a case-by-case basis, following the decision by the BCCI to grant an "amnesty" to ICL players who cut ties with the league by May-end. Though the BCCI has put in place a 'cooling off' period of a year - whereby an ex-ICL player will only be eligible to represent India after a year away from the ICL - the PCB has left the door open for players to return sooner.

Intikhab's appeal

Pakistan can beat Australia Friday to keep alive their hopes of winning the current one-day series, coach Intikhab Alam said Thursday.

ICL stays optimistic

The ICL appears to be facing an exodus of players who are eager to cash in on the BCCI's new amnesty offer but the unofficial league is confident of surviving the latest crisis. It's learnt that that the ICL management discussed the BCCI's offer on Wednesday and reiterated its decision to go ahead with plans for the next season in October.

Bolt-ed in car crash

The triple Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt has been involved in a car accident in Jamaica but walked away with only scratches. Bolt, along with his brother and a female passenger, was taken to a hospital in Spanish Town, near Kingston, where the Jamaican sprinter was treated before being sent home.

Tourists' batters make merry

The batsmen of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Development Team warmed up well on the first day of the only two-day practice match against the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy side at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Taylor fit, off to England

West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor, who passed a fitness test before flying out to join his teammates in England earlier this week, has said he is looking forward to another hard-fought Test series.

ECB endorse P20

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed here on Wednesday their plans to stage a two-division Twenty20 competition next year, an event they hope will rival the Indian Premier League.

Tie not over: Fergie

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his Manchester United side that they still have it all to do in their Champions League semifinal second leg against Arsenal next week.

Gerrard set to play

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is set to play against Newcastle United on Sunday, Reds boss Rafael Benitez told the club's official website here on Wednesday.

Almunia confident

Manuel Almunia has admitted Arsenal got off lightly in their 1-0 defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Gourcuff fires Bordeaux

Bordeaux recovered from conceding a goal inside 20 seconds and having a man sent off to sustain their French title aspirations with a stunning 3-2 victory at French Cup finalists Rennes on Wednesday.

Carlo's future unclear

AC Milan president and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi admitted on Wednesday that coach Carlo Ancelotti's future would be decided at the end of the season.

Lippi rules out Juve return

Italy coach Marcello Lippi on Thursday dismissed speculation he would return to Juventus after next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Guti to miss El Clasico

Real Madrid announced Wednesday that midfielder Guti would miss Saturday's 'El Clasico' gainst arch-rivals Barcelona due to injury.

MU sweat on Rio

Rio Ferdinand could miss the finale to Manchester United's season after suffering a suspected rib fracture in the 1-0 Champions League semifinal first leg win over Arsenal here on Wednesday.

Doni out for 3 months

AS Roma's challenge for a top four Serie A finish and Champions League football has been hit after goalkeeper Doni was ruled out for three months with a knee injury.

Doni out for 3 months

AS Roma's challenge for a top four Serie A finish and Champions League football has been hit after goalkeeper Doni was ruled out for three months with a knee injury.

Ribery threatens to quit Bayern

Franck Ribery on Thursday threatened to quit German giants Bayern Munich unless they qualify for the Champions League next season as the defending Bundesliga champions struggle to defend their title.

Romania appoint Lucescu

Razvan Lucescu was on Wednesday named as the new coach of Romania, replacing Victor Piturca who was sacked at the start of the month.

Business

Soft drinks sales boom as summer heats up

Summertime brightens the outlook for beverage business.

Capital machinery imports fall

Opening of letter of credit (L/C) for importing capital machinery during the July-March period of the current fiscal year (FY) declined by as much as 31.53 percent from the same period last year, the central bank data show.

Rupayan launches satellite town

Rupayan Housing Estate Ltd, one of the leading realtors in the country, has completed its satellite town project in Dhaka's suburb to offer 784 ready flats mainly targeting the middle-income group.

Muhith pledges financial support to RMG exporters

FinanceMinister AMA Muhith yesterday assured RMG exporters of financial assistance in the next budget to enable the largest export-earning sector to tackle fallout from the global economic crisis.

Hasina asks knit makers to scope out new markets

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked business leaders to explore new markets for Bangladesh knitwear goods in Middle Eastern and African countries besides Western nations.

HSBC gives young entrepreneur awards

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Ltd in Bangladesh organised yesterday a prize distribution ceremony for the winners of the 'Young Entrepreneurs Award (YEA) 2008-09'.

Terry towel makers demand 15pc cash incentive

Terry towel makers yesterday demanded the government raise cash incentive to 15 percent from the existing five percent to offset losses from global recession.

Ericsson profits slide 30pc

Ericsson, the world's leading telecommunications equipment maker, reported a 30-percent drop in profit Thursday, weighed down by its mobile phone unit, but said the impact of the global economic downturn was "limited."

Govt may go harsh on tax rebate

The government is likely to be harsh on the tax rebate facilities in the budget for next fiscal year.

Japan's factory output up for first time in six months

Japan reported Thursday its first increase in factory output in six months, fuelling hopes that the worst recession since World War II may be easing as exports bottom out.

Tk 1,000 AKTEL bonus talk-time on reactivation

AKTEL, one of the leading mobile operators in the country, announced yesterday that its prepaid customers will get Tk1,000 bonus talk-time on reactivation of an unused connection.

Recession boosts German jobless figures

German unemployment rose a seasonally adjusted 58,000 in April from March, the government said on Thursday, as the recession put more and more people out of work in Europe's biggest economy.

New hope for end of recession

The US economy suffered another horrific quarter with a massive 6.1 percent output decline, but some analysts said the data offered hope that the worst is over for the economy.

Not all blue for business as China greys

Cell phones with huge number pads, Internet sites with big characters: Chinese businesses are tailoring their products for a huge and largely unexplored niche market -- the elderly.

Asian markets rocket

Asian markets staged a surprise rally on Thursday as investors ignored the latest bad news and instead cheered signs the economic crisis may have touched bottom.

Dollar rises against yen

The dollar rose against the yen in Asia on Thursday, buoyed by recovery hopes after the Federal Reserve said the downturn in the US economy appeared to be slowing.

Southeast Bank's new chairman, vice chairman

Alamgir Kabir and Ragib Ali have taken over as chairman and vice chairman of Southeast Bank Ltd recently, says a press release.

Japan's recession deeper than thought: Central bank

Japan's recession will be deeper than first thought but its export slump should soon start to ease, putting the economy on course for positive growth next year, the central bank said Thursday.

Thai economy to contract by 5pc: PM

Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva said Thursday that the economy was expected to shrink by more than five percent in the first quarter due to lower tourism revenue following political chaos.

All Nippon Airways posts first loss in six years

All Nippon Airways, Japan's second-largest carrier, announced Thursday its first annual loss in six years, hit by severe turbulence in the aviation industry due to the global economic downturn.

German budget deficit set to explode

Germany's efforts to beat its worst recession since World War II will result in an explosion in the country's budget deficit to more than twice the previous record, a source told AFP on Thursday.

Metropolitan

2180 hectares of land, 6km roads may face river erosion this yr

At least 2180 hectares of land and 6 kilometers of roads may face river erosion along the Jamuna, the Ganga and the Padma rivers during the monsoon this year, Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) said yesterday.

2,200kg gunpowder recovered: One held

Police recovered 2,200kg of "gunpowder" and arrested a man in this connection early yesterday at Jatrabari in the capital.

Call to stop building Tipaimukh dam

Politicians and environmentalists yesterday protested the Indian government's move to build a dam at Tipaimukh on the river Borak, saying that it would seriously harm the environment in Bangladesh.

Acquire science & IT skills to face globalisation challenges

President Zillur Rahman yesterday said a meritorious generation enriched with the knowledge of information technology (IT) and modern science need to be created to face the challenges and competitions of the globalisation.

Call for consensus to resolve trans-boundary water crisis

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said the country's water security should be ensured and trans-boundary water problems be resolved in cooperation with the neighbouring countries.

Set up more labour courts to ensure workers' rights: Experts

Law Commission Chairman Justice M Abdur Rashid yesterday said the application of the existing laws is most important to ensure justice in the society.

Dhaka Wasa to purchase lands to set up water pumps

To ease water crisis in the capital, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has decided to purchase lands to set up water pumps.

Govt ready to face any legal challenge

The government is ready to face any legal challenge from BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia over the government notice asking her to leave her Cantonment house, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said yesterday.

Proper planning, awareness a must to reduce disaster risks: Razzaque

Food and Disaster Manage-ment Minister Abdur Razzaque in the port city on Wednesday stressed the need for proper planning and its implementation, skilled manpower and awareness among common people to fight disasters and reduce risks.

Temperature continues to fall

Smarting under almost two weeks of severe hot spell, the city dwellers started to have some relief from the sweltering heat as the temperature continued to fall for the last two days.

JS body hits out at BTV

A parliamentary standing committee at a meeting yesterday criticised the state-run Bangladesh Television for not changing its typical sycophantic character.

Most violence against women take place at households

The majority of violence against women take place at their own residences, but in most of the cases these incidents go unreported and women suffer silently while the abusers escape unpunished, speakers at a workshop said yesterday.

6 microbus lifters held

A special team of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) arrested all the six members of a gang of microbus lifters from Comilla on Wednesday and recovered two microbuses lifted within a span of eight days from the port city.

Satkhira road crash kills schoolteacher

A schoolteacher was killed and another injured seriously in a road accident on Satkhira- Kaliganj road in Bakal area under Sadar upazila yesterday.

3 die in Savar incidents

Three men were killed in separate incidents at Begunbari and on Nabinagar-Kaliakair road here on Wednesday night.

Judge Bashir makes apology to High Court

Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge ANM Bashirullah yesterday made an unconditional apology to the High Court (HC) for his 'derogatory' remarks about the HC regarding dispensation of justice.

Former minister Tarikul, wife sued

Lawmaker of Jessore constituency-3 Khaledur Rahman Tito filed a defamation case against former minister Tarikul Islam, also the publisher of the daily Loksamaj, his wife Nargis Begum, editor, and Anwarul Kabir Nantu, acting editor of the daily, yesterday.

DCC councillor Alam gets bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail for four months to Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Ward Councillor Chowdhury Alam in an extortion case.

Swiss assistance sought to fight climate change

Swiss State Minister for Development Cooperation Martin Dahinden met State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hasan Mahmud at state guesthouse Padma in the city yesterday.

ICDDR,B sets up temporary diarrhoea treatment centre

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) has set up a temporary diarrhoea treatment centre at Mirpur yesterday as most of the patients seeking treatment at the ICDDR, B are residents of Mirpur.

SCBA appeals for withdrawal of sedition cases against noted lawyers

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) yesterday submitted applications urging the government to withdraw two sedition cases against some lawyers, including Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister M Amir-Ul Islam and Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud.

SDC DG meets UCEP students at Rajshahi

Martin W Dahinden, director general (DG) of SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), Swiss Ambassador Dr Dora Rapold and SDC Programme Manager Jaquilline Schimid visited UCEP-Rajshahi Technical School on April 27, says a press release.

Removal of Proshika chief demanded

Employees of Proshika formed a human chain on the Press Club premises in Manikganj yesterday demanding removal of its Chairperson Qazi Faruque Ahmed.

Contribution of CRP to society lauded

Marking the 30th founding anniversary of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), a special get-together was held for the government high officials at its head office in Savar yesterday, says a press release.

Circulation Managers' Assoc executives

Wahid Murad of Dainik Jugantor and Md Billal Hossain Mantu of Dianik Sangbadpatra were elected president and general secretary of Bangladesh Newspaper Circulation Managers' Association yesterday for 2009-2010, says a press release.

Power generation at 2nd unit remains suspended

Power generation at the second unit of 250MW Barapukuria coal-fired power plant has become uncertain as it was shut down on April 22 following detection of a major technical glitch.

Nazmunnessa Lions 2nd vice district governor

Nazmunnessa Ali, an eminent eye specialist and wife of Dr Syed Modasser Ali, adviser to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has been elected second vice district governor of Lion District 315 A-2 for 2009-2010, says a press release.

Dohar Press Club executives

Amitabh Paul Apu, Dhaka district correspondent of RTV and local correspondent of the Bhorer Kagoj, and Md Kamrul Hasan, correspondent of the Naya Diganta, have been elected president and general secretary of Dohar Press Club at an election on April 23, says a press release.

Letters

February 25

It is a matter of great regret and shame that on February 25, 2009 some ill motivated BDR personnel brutally killed a number of military officers. The nation was deeply shocked and paid homage to the valiant sons of the soil.

Empowerment of women

Empowerment of women is a process through which women in general and poor women in particular get the opportunity to join the workforce, contribute to family income, and have a place in family as well as social affairs. In the past women were segregated from out-of-home productive work. They were kept within the four walls. The hearth became the place for them. So cooking, cleaning, washing, giving birth and rearing children became their jobs. Men became the wage earners and all other activities became their responsibilities.

Follow shipping rules

The ship accident in Chittagong port channel put the vital life line in jeopardy. Though Bangladesh boasts of two seaports, practically Chittagong carries the maximum load. Lighterage ships are essential part of our transportation system as bulk of our imports are unloaded in this process. But unsafe lighter ships often create serious hazards.

Communicative English

Communicative English is a form of language which is used as the colloquial medium of communication.

Opinion poll

I have gone through the opinion poll report published on 16.04.09 with interest and would like to put forward some of my observations on the report.

Long term plans

The present government's long-term plan is to celebrate the country's golden jubilee in the year 2021 as a middle-income country. Also, with the use of high technology, it wants to see Bangladesh as a digital nation. All these plans and programmes seem attractive and people are enthusiastic about their success. To attain success on these plans, the present government must identify the priorities and pre-requisites first. This time, the people are hopeful and ready to have patience, which means people want to give time to the government. But definitely they will watch the track of the line of actions that this government is taking.

Role of media

In our media, especially TV channels, journalists fail to bring national issues of real significance, and are not giving a true picture of our socio-economic problems, with very few exceptions. One of the main reason is that they fail to delve deep into a problem. I believe there is lack of 'cross examination' in journalism. The government is not clamping any censorship on media, still people depend on rumours and foreign media outlets like BBC for knowing the truth.

Australian H.C. clarifies

Thank you for publishing my response to the article by Syed Ashfaqul Haque, "Students Down Under Look Down the Barrel" in The Daily Star of 27 April 2009. I just wanted to take this opportunity to more fully outline Australia's policy on international students.

Lively discussion

Thanks to Mr. M.R. Choudhury for presenting a very lively discussion on the current political events in Bangladesh. The most interesting aspect was a two-line Urdu poem recited by the respected guest. He has succeeded to narrate the current state of affairs of governance by his two-line Urdu poem. We remember that during British rule Urdu culture was part of the aristocracy. Of course, currently English has taken over the place of Urdu in the upper and upper middle class families in Bangladesh. The culture of language has a definite bearing on the social status of a family. I do not know where we are heading, to our desired destination of cultural change or creating a class to dominate the affairs of the state. Nevertheless, thanks to Mr. Choudhury and his respected guest for presenting a befitting Urdu poem having high relevance to our present status of governance and people's sufferings. We expect more to come from Mr. Choudhury's show which might include our lost heritage and pride of the upper class.

Prime minister's trip

Why is it that our leaders feel that once they are elected to office, they are free to use the taxpayers' money for their own, private expenses? In my opinion, it is entirely unacceptable for the prime minister to go and perform Umrah at a time when the country is suffering through a severe energy crisis. Not only is she ignoring the plight of the citizens, she is wasting the taxpayers' money by going to perform Umrah for, perhaps, the billionth time and that, too, not only with her own family but that of others' as well.

Poor waste management

Chittagong is one of the busiest places in Bangladesh, but the waste management system of Chittagong is really baffling. Dustbins are not enough for the waste materials in its streets. And we have become accustomed to hurling trash here and there and making our streets dirty. While crossing the dustbins, people are often seen trying to hold their breath due to the unpleasant odor produced from the dustbins. But it is a matter of great regret that the authorities concerned are not performing their tasks properly and common people are not aware of their duties. It is not only the duty of the authorities but also the duty of every single citizen to show concern for our environment.

Newspaper Employees Act

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad, while addressing the AGM of the DUJ as the chief guest, disclosed that the government was contemplating revival of “The Newspaper Employees' Services, Conditions Act-1974” in the greater interest of the newspaper industry.

Plots for expatriates

I am an expatriate Bangladeshi professional working in the UK. In response to the advertisement of Rajuk, I have applied for a plot. I came to know from a recent newspaper news that only 10% of the plots would be allocated to expatriates which is far less than the previous quota.

MPs' funds

It was reported in your newspaper that “Members of Parliament (MPs) have been spending from their annual discretionary funds totaling around Tk 3 crore each fiscal year since 1992, while guidelines for the spending are yet to be formulated”.

Swine Flu

It is now cause for huge concern worldwide. The unusual strain of swine flu virus found in Mexico contains genetic material from pigs, birds and human and the death toll has already gone above 80 and is rising. The resulting hybrid virus can spread quickly because we don't have any natural immunity against it. Already spreading across the USA, this recent outbreak has spurred concern of a global flu, and Bangladesh is also exposed to this havoc which have the potential to kill millions in a few days. We don't know what measures have been taken by our government so far to face such an outrageous thing. There should be immediate awareness campaign for healthcare professionals without creating any panic. We need to understand that there is no vaccine developed yet to protect against this swine flu. Forming committees with people who don't understand the issues well will produce no outcome. In case of a global pandemic we need to have an urgent rescue plan beforehand, and should have stockpile the antiviral drug Oseltamivir which is the only drug found effective against this flu besides zaminivir. The WHO guidelines for a country stockpiling this drug are also available online. Some of our local manufacturers have the capability to produce this drug and they should make immediate plan sitting with WHO, virologists, scientists and healthcare experts.

Volleying back....

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International

Lanka president, rebels vow to fight on

Sri Lanka's president rejected international appeals for ceasefire in his nation's bloody civil war Thursday, as the Tamil Tiger rebels vowed never to surrender to the advancing government forces.

World warned of grim swine flu battle ahead

Governments braced their populations on Thursday for a grim battle with swine flu after the World Health Organisation stepped up its global alert and said that a pandemic is imminent.

Bollywood stars vote in Indian elections

Bollywood stars yesterday turned out in force to vote in India's general election, urging people to exercise their democratic right and make their voices heard.

Pakistan appeals for unity in fight against Taliban

Pakistan's leader has called on the nation to unite behind the armed forces as they pressed a new offensive against Taliban militants yesterday north of the capital Islamabad.

Lanka, LTTE could face war crimes charges

Sri Lanka's government and the Tamil Tigers could face prosecution for committing war crimes in their long-running war that appears to be ending, the New York Times said Thursday.

US sees spike in Afghanistan, Pakistan attacks

Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan have risen sharply as extremists have consolidated and expanded operations, according to the government and independent analysts.

Nato expels 2 Russians in Estonia spy row

Nato has expelled two diplomats from Russia's Nato mission in retaliation for a spy scandal in which an ex-Estonian official passed secrets to Moscow, diplomats in the alliance said Thursday.

Kashmir voters stay home

A separatist boycott stifled voter turnout yesterday in Kashmir as India's multi-stage general election moved into districts known for their staunch opposition to New Delhi's rule.

Toy chopper sparks security scare in Indian parliament

A Chinese-made toy helicopter landed in India's heavily-fortified national parliament Wednesday, sparking a scare and a high security alert, police said.

Taiwan to have observer status in UN health body

Taiwan said it had persuaded China to allow it to participate in a key UN body, offering a victory for President Ma Ying-jeou's campaign to win greater international recognition for the democratic island.

Rare Roman glass dish goes on display

An extremely rare Roman dish made of translucent blue glass pieces was put on display Wednesday at the Museum of London in Docklands.

Arts & Entertainment

Going beyond hedonism

Curtains came down on the 4th National Dance Festival on April 29 -- marking the International Dance Day -- at National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Chief guest at the programme -- organised by Bangladesh Nritya Shilpi Sangstha (BNSS) -- was Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid.

Nrityanchal celebrates International Dance Day

Dance organisation Nrityanchal Performing Arts Academy celebrated the International Dance Day with a colourful programme. The programme, which featured over hundred students of the institution, was held at the auditorium of Shishu Academy on April 29.

Rokeya Prachi turns director

Talented actor Rokeya Prachi recently made her debut as a director. Her maiden directorial venture was a TV play that was aired on Rtv as an Independence Day special. The play was challenging for Prachi, as the central character was a 'razakar' (Pakistani collaborator during the Liberation War).

Special programme on Labour Day

"May Dibosh," a special programme on the occasion of Labour day, will be aired on Banglavision at 6:20 pm this evening.

OP-ED

May Day: Spirit and reality

THE spirit of May Day lies in the establishment of the basic rights of the working class. After about 140 years of awakening of the working class to their basic rights, it is time to assess the extent of progress in this regard. If we objectively analyse the world labour market, correlating the overall socio-economic and cultural advancement of the world, then the outcome will not definitely be an optimistic one. For instance, the ILO defined eight-hour working day has not yet been truly enforced in many sectors of employment worldwide. In fact, the elongated working hour -- stretching up to twelve hours or even longer -- is still followed in many of the formal sectors, especially in developing countries.

Obama's 100 days and 3 Cs of change

THE first 100 days of a presidency can't be used as a comprehensive yardstick for evaluation of a 4-year term. This 100 days evaluation started from the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. It has a symbolic, rather than functional, value as it can show how much the president "means business" and "means what he says."

Eminent domain: The other side of the story

MY good friend Prof. Abdullah A. Dewan, in his article "Khaleda's house and eminent domain" (The Daily Star, April 28), asked: "How can a political party survive when its leaders are organising a month long countrywide political agitation against a house eviction notice, when there are so many issues -- dire water shortage, power shortage, and price spirals of many daily essentials -- crying out for attention?"

24 signs you are a post-modern Asian

MY friend Andy told me he goes to the Starbucks coffee shop every day. I told him he was a coffee addict. He shook his head. "Actually, I can't stand the stuff," he whispered. "I order tea."

StarTech

The web company

Passion and hard-work are the core elements that have established eBizzSol as a prosperous outsourcing web design and development company of Bangladesh in today's competitive world.

It's email on the go with E75

First, there was mobile phone sets with basic programmes only for making calls and sending messeges, then came handsets with cameras and after that the internet. Although it felt great to surf on the tiny screen but emails were never that good.

Laptop fair in Chittagong kicks off in May

Following the success of the first one, the second Laptop Fair is scheduled to kick off in the port city in the last week of May.

Belden in Bangladesh

With the slogan 'sending all the right signal', Belden, a US based signal transmission and data networking product manufacturer, officially launched their products in Bangladesh on April 23 at a city hotel.



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