The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 22, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 6th of May, 2009

Front Page

Strip Sircar of MP status

A parliamentary sub-committee, probing alleged corruption of former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, yesterday recommended revocation of his membership in the parliament for 'massive financial graft involving moral turpitude'.

MRP job goes to armed forces

The government in a surprise move has given the armed forces the responsibility to introduce machine-readable passport (MRP) at a time when the country has less than a year to meet an international deadline for this.

Clock may go 1hr ahead June 16

The government may bring forward the Bangladesh Standard Time by one hour from June 16 if an inter-ministerial meeting decision to introduce daylight saving time (DST) is approved by the cabinet.

Miners run amok over arrears

Miners of Barapukuria Coalmine Company Ltd (BCMCL) demanding three month's arrear wages went on a rampage yesterday and suspended coal extraction at the mine for five hours.

Jubok housing chief held

Police early yesterday arrested chairman of Jubok Housing Society Mohammad Lokman Hossain at his Dhanmondi residence on charges of cheating and misappropriation of clients' deposit.

Rationing for RMG workers by May 15

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will start providing ration rice at Tk 16 a kg for garment workers in Dhaka and Chittagong by May 15.

Govt reaches out to China for second Padma bridge

The Bangladesh government is expecting 2 to 3 billion US dollars in Chinese government assistance in the coming months for implementing some of its priority projects including construction of a second Padma Bridge or a tunnel at Paturia-Doulatdia river crossing point, said officials.

War tribunals, probe teams by June

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government would complete formation of tribunals and appointment of investigators and prosecutors by the end of June for holding trial of 1971 war criminals maintaining international standards.

11 Hasina cases on course to be dropped

The metropolitan public prosecutor has recommended that 11 cases against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina be withdrawn, as they were filed to “tarnish the image of the Awami League chief and her previous government”.

Maximum 12pc interest rate fixed on bank loans

Bangladesh Bank yesterday fixed the highest rate of interest at 12 per cent on bank loans for importing a number of essential commodities, including edible oil, to keep the prices of these goods bearable.

BNP launches long protest against utility service crises

The main opposition BNP yesterday launched a month-long agitation programmes across the country protesting the ongoing power, water and gas crises and 'deteriorating law and order situation'.

UAE compensates Tk 10cr for camel jockeys

The children trafficked and used as camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are going to get over Tk 10 crore compensation in a month.

Govt to sign deals to bring smuggled money back

State Minister for Home Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj yesterday said the government would sign deals with the countries concerned, if necessary, to bring back the money smuggled out of the country.

Boy killed in Khulna gas explosion

A minor boy was killed and 16 other people were wounded in an explosion caused by fire in a gas and oil godown in Khalishpur area yesterday evening.

Sahab Uddin discloses more names

Former director (security) of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Mohammad Sahab Uddin disclosed names of high officials of NSI and other government agencies during interrogation in connection with the Chittagong arms haul case.

Convicted Babar gets interim bail in arms case

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted three months' ad interim bail to former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar in an arms case in which he was earlier sentenced to 17 years' rigorous imprisonment.

Yet another BDR man dies in city

One more jawan of Bangladesh Rifles died in the city last night.

Nepali parties agree to form 'national govt'

A group of Nepalese political parties has agreed to form a "national government" a day after Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned.

Swat peace deal nears collapse

A suicide bomber rammed a car into troops in northwest Pakistan killing five people as panicked residents fled a key town under gunfire yesterday, fearing that a peace deal would collapse.

LTTE chief trapped

Sri Lanka's Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is trapped in a small strip of coastline that has been surrounded by government soldiers, the prime minister said yesterday.

Congress reaches out to Left to form govt after polls

Rahul Gandhi, heir to India's powerful Congress dynasty, reached out to the communists yesterday to help form a new government if his party wins marathon general elections.

World warned of next wave of swine flu

Even as the swine flu's global progression slows, experts said yesterday the world must brace for a second wave of infection that, previous pandemics have shown, could be far more virulent.

UN criticises Israel for attacks on Gaza

A new United Nations report criticises Israel for attacking UN installations during the Gaza campaign, according to an Israeli description Tuesday of the still unreleased document, which it called "tendentious and entirely unbalanced."

Webbys Awards for NY Times, Boston Globe, Guardian, BBC

The New York Times, the endangered Boston Globe, Britain's Guardian and the BBC scooped up Webby Awards for online excellence yesterday.

Editorial

Pesticide poisoning proving lethal

Thanks to the investigation of a committee formed by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) under the health ministry, we come to know how the excessive use of pesticides has been taking a toll of human and animal lives in our villages. People are falling sick, thick and fast, without any clue as to why the indisposition! What is patently risky is the vulnerability of children whose immunity to disease remains undeveloped.

The gathering crisis in Nepal

The resignation of the Maoist prime minister of Nepal certainly does not bode well for the country's nascent democracy. And it does not because it has brought the head of government into direct conflict with the army on an issue of a sensitive nature. Clearly, Prachanda's move to have the chief of the army sacked has backfired, given that the president has refused to countenance it. Now, a fundamental issue arises here, which is that in principle the supremacy of civilian authority must prevail in a democratic society. To that extent, when a government decrees that the army chief must go, it is the duty of the latter to obey.

The diplomats we should be sending abroad

NO, we will not be speaking of foreign policy or the making of it today. We have done that before; and if circumstances necessitate such deliberations again in the coming days, we will do so. But today we mean to go into some serious talk on the class of diplomats we should be sending abroad, on the expectations we have of them. And, of course, there are all the grievances our career diplomats, at various levels of service, have not been able to voice for a long time.

Rivers belong to everyone

IN 1997, the UN General Assembly adopted, for the first time on a global scale, legal norms on cooperative use of waters of trans-boundary rivers, known as the Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. This is the global water law on international watercourses (trans-boundary rivers) for the use of non-navigational/consumptive uses.

Violence and response

THERE is no denying that Bangladesh in recent years has experienced the politics of violence, which in practical terms means resorting to physical violence to promote a political objective. At the same time, we have also seen violence of politics built into the institutional structure of politics despite the ideal that liberal democracy abjures violence of politics.

Sports

BFF after Fatullah

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin loves to wage battle after battle for 'lifting football' in the country. He has recently overlooked popular sentiment or ethos by signing a controversial yet lucrative long-term deal with Bashundhara Group chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan.

Smith smites Punjab

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith staged a boundary blitz as Rajasthan Royals cruised to a 78-run triumph over Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League Tuesday.

Dada edge a thriller

Local hero Tamim Iqbal came up with another aggressive batting display as Abahani posted a five-wicket victory over Top Sports Club of Noakhali in the day's first match of the Habib Group PCL Twenty20 cricket tournament at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.

Teams in IPL hangover

The Indian Premier League (IPL) threatens to play a major role in the Test campaign between England and the West Indies even before a ball is bowled in Wednesday's series opener here at Lord's.

The .6 Million Dollar Man

Many years ago there was an American TV series named The Six Million Dollar Man, after an accident with a crane, the character Steve Austin (not to be confused with the beer guzzling WWE wrestler) was rebuilt with bionic parts. The operation, which cost six million dollars, resulted in the creation of a superman. His life and adventures are fondly remembered by pop culture enthusiasts, but only recently have the similarities between Steve and our very own Mashrafe Bin Mortaza come to the publics imagination.

Strauss player of the year

England captain Andrew Strauss was named as the team's player of the year for 2008/09 by sponsors Vodafone here on Monday.

Gambhir guides Delhi

A half-century from stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir led Delhi Daredevils to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table with a nine-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday.

U-19s take series lead

A magnificent half-century from Saikat Ali gave Bangladesh Under-19s the lead in the five-match one-day series against their Sri Lankan counterparts as they won the third match by 30 runs at the Shamsul Huda Stadium in Jessore yesterday.

Mohammedan beat Abahani

Mohammedan defeated their archrivals Abahani by 21-run and Ansar and VDP outclassed BKSP by 108 runs on Tuesday to send them into the final clash of the Women's Club Cup tournament.

Old scores to settle

As if a place in the Champions League final isn't motivation enough for Chelsea and Barcelona to win their semifinal second leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, both sides will also be fuelled by the chance to settle a few old scores.

Villa secures Europe

John Carew's first-half goal gave Aston Villa a 1-0 win over relegation candidates Hull City here on Monday as the Midlands side assured themselves of European football next season.

MU in £62m Ribery bid

Manchester United have made an offer of about 70 million Euros (£62.5m) for the Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery as they close in on a deal that would shatter the world transfer record.

Stars buying vineyards

The late, great George Best was renowned for his love of fine wine and champagne, and footballers past and present have followed his lead by investing in their very own vineyards.

MCA team to arrive May 15

The Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) team will arrive in Dhaka on May 15 to play three T20 and as many one-day matches besides two four-dayers.

Injured Lee, Watson in

Speedster Brett Lee and resurgent all-rounder Shane Watson were Tuesday named in Australia's World Twenty20 championship squad despite injury clouds over both players.

Dirk disheartened

Dirk Nannes, the Victoria fast bowler, believes Australia's selectors have erred in overlooking him for the World Twenty20, and plans to show them what they're missing when he lines up for his adopted nation, the Netherlands.

'England under-prepared'

England's head coach, Andy Flower, believes that several key members of the squad to face West Indies in the first Test at Lord's on Wednesday are "under-prepared" having spent the early part of the season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in South Africa.

Andrew wants winning start

England captain Andrew Strauss is hoping the presence of a few new faces can end his side's four-year long failure to win the first Test of a series.

School football

Chapain Nawabganj High thrashed blanked Sirajganj Technical School and College 13-0 at the Natore Stadium in the knockout stage of the Citycell National School Football Championship yesterday.

NCC emerge Rangpur champs

National Cricket Club (NCC) of Nilphamari beat Oikka Sammiloni KS by 13 runs at the Rangpur Garden to become Rangpur zone champions in the National Club Cup Championship yesterday.

Rajib 16th

Grand Master Enamul Hossain Rajib finished 16th in the 11th Dubai Open Chess Championship in the UAE yesterday.

SL Dev team stand tall

Muthumudalige Pushpakumara led from the front with an unbeaten 152 as visiting Sri Lanka Development team recovered from a top order collapse to tighten their grip on the Bangladesh National Cricket Academy team on the second day of the four-day match at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

SL appoints general to protect team

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Monday appointed a retired army general to protect the national team during local and overseas tours.

Juve to fire Ranieri

Reports in Tuesday's Gazzetta dello Sport claim that Claudio Ranieri's tenure at Juventus is close to an end.

FA to examine crowd trouble

The Football Association (FA) are to examine incidents of crowd trouble during and after Saturday's Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Henry misses training

Barcelona striker Thierry Henry was forced to skip a Monday training session due to a knee injury but will face Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal, the club admitted on Monday.

Deschamps to take over at Marseille

France World Cup hero Didier Deschamps is to take over from Eric Gerets as manager of Marseille next season, the club announced on its website on Tuesday.

Le Guen will stand down

Paul Le Guen will stand down as coach of Paris St Germain when his contract expires at the end of this season, club sources told AFP on Tuesday.

Business

GP ranks among Telenor's best

Grameenphone (GP) comes out as a strong player in the performance of its majority stakeholder Norway's Telenor even in the global economic crisis, as the local mobile operator posted an 83 percent rise in operating profit in the first quarter of 2009 over the same period a year ago.

StanChart launches Islamic home finance

Standard Chartered Bank plans to launch a number of Shariah-based products to strengthen its Islamic banking services in Bangladesh, officials said yesterday.

BADC breeds hybrid rice seeds

The Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) has entered the production and distribution of hybrid rice seeds to provide them to farmers at reasonable prices, officials said yesterday.

Delta Spinners to raise Tk 45.28cr

Delta Spinners, a listed company, plans to raise Tk 45.28 crore in fresh capital for expansion through a repeat initial public offering (IPO) and rights shares.

Canada urges Bangladesh to boost trade volume

Canadian High Commissioner in Dhaka Robert McDougall urged yesterday the Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to expand the trade volume with the North American country by tapping the full potential of the local businesses.

Indian drugmaker tests anti-malaria remedy in Bangladesh

India's largest drugmaker by sales Ranbaxy Laboratories has announced that its new anti-malaria drug is currently under trial in Bangladesh, India and Thailand.

World Bank supports power plants

The World Bank (WB) supported Investment Promotion and Financing Facility (IPFF) project has completed financing four small power plants (SPPs), adding a total of 77 megawatts (MW) to the national grid, said a statement.

RMG to get stimulus in next budget, says minister

The LGRD minister said yesterday the government would extend a special package to garment manufacturers in the next national budget for fiscal 2009-10, to offset losses from the global recession.

The third way

While the world continues to suffer from the collapse of the financial systems and the effect this has had on businesses the world over, there is still a lack of clarity on how to solve the problems and more importantly, how to prevent them happening again. It is clear however, that neither regulation, nor legal and political frameworks will necessarily ensure that business leaders act in the public interest in the future.

Workers might not Twitter profits away

When Marty Kotis looked at his company's monthly wireless bill, he found a stunning charge -- for 2,500 text messages on a single staffer's phone.

Optimism drives Asian stocks

Asian share markets gained ground Tuesday on new hopes the downturn might be nearing an end, but profit-taking capped gains with many investors still jittery about the short-term situation.

Adidas net profit sinks 97pc in Q1

German sports equipment and clothing maker adidas posted a huge drop in first quarter profit on Tuesday while announcing a global reorganisation billed as a "game-changing structural refinement."

Euro dips against dollar

The euro slid against the dollar Tuesday as traders awaited this week's interest rate decision from the European Central Bank and crucial results of "stress tests" on the US banking sector.

Oil prices fall in Asian trade

Oil prices were lower in Asian trade Tuesday ahead of the release of the weekly energy inventory report in the United States, dealers said.

Alcatel-Lucent net loss widens in Q1

Alcatel-Lucent's net loss widened in the first quarter as sales of both wireless and wireline communications gear continued to fall in all major global markets amid the global economic downturn.

Blackberry Curve tops iPhone in first quarter: NPD

Research in Motion's Blackberry Curve moved past Apple's iPhone to become the top-selling smartphone in the United States in the first quarter of the year, research firm NPD Group reported Monday.

Indonesia cuts interest rate by 25 basis points

Indonesia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 7.25 percent Tuesday, to mitigate the impact of the global downturn on Southeast Asia's largest economy.

Top Swiss bank UBS issues corporate credit warning

Switzerland's biggest bank UBS warned Tuesday it could be hit by more non-performing corporate loans amid the slowing Swiss economy after reporting quarterly losses of more than a billion euros.

Metropolitan

Lives better off with awareness about rights

Shova Das is now a different woman than she used to be.

Formulate hazardous waste management policy

Experts at a workshop yesterday underscored the need to formulate an effective hazardous waste management policy to protect the environment and to improve standards of public health.

Extrajudicial killings can't be tolerated: Minister

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said extrajudicial killings can in no way be tolerated in a democratic society.

Govt firm to implement CHT peace deal fully

Apostolic Nuncio (Ambassador) of Vatican City in Dhaka Monsignor Joseph Marino called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office yesterday, when they discussed various matters related to national, regional and international peace.

Activists' detention threatens Zimbabwe unity deal

The latest detention of 18 activists threatens the "longevity and durability" of Zimbabwe's unity government, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party said yesterday.

Indian Ocean buoys help predict monsoon: Scientists

Scientists said Monday they had reached the halfway point in a project to set up buoys across the Indian Ocean, helping farmers predict the monsoon in some of the world's poorest areas.

Poll finds warming US attitudes to France, Cuba, Iran

American voters have warmed toward France, Cuba and even Iran, according to a poll made public Tuesday, suggesting the changing attitudes might be due to President Barack Obama's efforts to reengage the world.

Don't create obstacles to restoration of '72 constitution: CPB

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday urged the BNP secretary general and others concerned not to create any obstacles to the restoration of the constitution of 1972 by filing leave-to-appeal petition against the High Court (HC) judgement declaring the fifth amendment to the constitution illegal.

4 dev projects worth Tk 788cr approved

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved four development projects involving about Tk 788 crore, including Tk 425 crore project aid.

Draft report on Armed Forces' salary submitted to PM

A draft report on Armed Forces' salary and allowances was submitted to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday.

Healthcare service for urban street dwellers launched

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) has come up with a new one-year project in order to provide essential healthcare services for the urban street dwellers in the city.

AK Khandker elected SCF chairman

A new executive committee of Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF) has been formed through an election on Sunday in the city, says a press release.

'No case of swine flu reported in India'

No case of swine flu has been reported in India so far, a press release of the High Commission of India said yesterday.

8 killed in road accidents

At least eight people were killed and 12 others injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Bagerhat and Rajbari yesterday.

War hero Selina fought for repression-free society

Politician and social worker Selina Banu in her entire life had fought to establish a society free of repression and discrimination as well as to realise rights of the commoners, speakers at a book launching ceremony said yesterday.

PW demands exemplary punishment to culprits

A prosecution witness, who was injured in the Ramna Batamul blast, yesterday demanded exemplary punishment before a Dhaka court to the culprits responsible for committing such heinous offences.

Call to bring edn system out of colonial thoughts

The country's education system should be brought out of the cocoon of British colonial thoughts and unitrack education system be introduced at least at primary level, speakers said at the launching ceremony of an anthology on education policy yesterday.

Vitamin-A plus campaign on june 6

Aimed at protecting infants from blindness and death risks, the government will launch a vigorous campaign on June 6 when children across the country will be fed vitamin-A capsules and anti-worm tablets.

UK student visa process gets simpler

UK Border Agency (UKBA) has introduced a new system making student visa application process simpler and easier to understand, says a press release.

Japanese Language School gets membership

The Japanese Language School of JUAAB (Japanese Universities Alumni Association in Bangladesh) has obtained the prestigious membership of The JF Nihongo Network (also called Sakura Network), says a press release.

1597 more held

Police in separate raids arrested 1,597 people on various charges from different parts across the country in 24 hours as of 6:00am yesterday.

Indian national acquitted of charge

The High Court (HC) yesterday acquitted an Indian national, who was earlier sentenced to death in a child trafficking case by the trial court.

HC directs govt to allow Sigma Huda to go abroad for treatment

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to allow human rights activist Sigma Huda, also wife of former communications minister Nazmul Huda, to go abroad for treatment and then return back to the country.

Muggers target expats as victims

"Sohel Bhai, accept my salaam. Hope you are well. Have sent you a letter. Your passport and ticket are in my possession. Contact me if you need them... Didar Bhai," reads a letter sent by a gang of muggers to Sohel, who hails from Ujirpur in Barisal.

Bangladesh Betar wins ABU Special Jury Prize

Bangladesh Betar won the ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union) Special Jury Prize 2008 for the documentary headlined 'The Sandcastle: A Tale of A Hapless Damsel', says a press release.

Int'l eye bank team meets Dipu Moni

A delegation of International Federation of Eye and Tissue Banks met with Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at the foreign ministry yesterday.

Janakantha editor's wife, 2 sons get bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted bail to Janakantha Editor Md Atiqullah Khan Masud's wife Shamima A Khan and two sons Mishal Atiqullah and Zishal Atiqullah in two separate tax evasion cases filed by National Board of Revenue (NBR).

DU employee missing

Md Sohel, a cleaner at the Dhaka University transport office, has been missing since April 25, says a DU press release.

One pushed to death from rooftop

A man was killed at West Rampura in the city yesterday as a number of criminals threw him from the rooftop of a four-storey building.

4 DU halls get new provosts

Dhaka University (DU) authorities have appointed new provosts at four dormitories of the university.

Correction

"The amount of compensation resulting from workplace death should be over Tk 6 lakh instead of existing Tk 1 lakh" -- this was stated by Sekender Ali Mina, research officer of OSHE Foundation, not by Ataharul Islam, secretary to the labour and employment ministry, as mentioned inadvertently in a report headlined 'Death at Workplace: Strengthen inspection for due compensation' published on Page 3 of The Daily Star on May 4. We regret the error.

National

Smuggler turns top JMB leader

Alauddin alias Ala-huzur, involved in smuggling from 1990 to 1995 on Kushkhali border under Satkhira Sadar upazila, later became an organiser and planner of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in south-western region.

Kaptai power badly hit by drastic fall in water level

Power generation at Kaptai Hydroelectric Project (KHP) has come down to only 90-MW against its capacity of 230MW due to drastic fall of water level in the Kaptai Lake.

31 more sued for war crimes

Thirty-one alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces were yesterday sued for murder, rape, looting and arson in Magura, Khulna and Kishoreganj districts in 1971.

2 Bangladeshis beaten to death by BSF

Two Bangladeshi cattle traders were beaten to death by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) along Benapole and Satkhira borders on Monday night.

Rajshahi College reopens today

Rajshahi Government College reopens today amid tight security and restrictions imposed by the authorities on rallies, processions and activities of the student bodies. The decision to reopen Rajshahi College and seven other closed educational institutions was taken at a meeting on April 25. The college was closed sine die following clashes between the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) on the RU campus on March 13 which left one Shibir leader killed and 100 others injured.

Child trafficker jailed

A child trafficker was sentenced to life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) and fined Tk 10,000, in default to suffer six months more in jail. Convict Sadek Hossain, 26, son of Abul Hossain, hails from village Laxmidari in Sadar upazila. Court sources said, Sadek brought Abdullah Al-Baki, 14, and Akhtar Hossain, 15, of village Balabo in Narsingdi to the district for trafficking the two teens through Bhomra border. But he was caught red-handed by the BDR men. The incident took place on December 18, 2007.

Bomb attack on BNP man

Two bombs were hurled at a BNP leader when he was entering his house at village Bamundi under Gangni upazila. Police said, the attack on Gangni BNP Vice-President Mohibul Haq Polash took place at about 11 Monday night. Earlier, miscreants demanded a large amount of money as illegal toll several days ago from Polash who owns a brickfield and has transport business.

Assaulted journo's complaint

Kanak Rahman, senior staff reporter of Dainik Purbanchal and Khulna Bureau office of Dainik Samokal filed a complaint yesterday with the Khanjahan Ali Police Station alleging murder attempt by a group of students of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet). The complainant stated that he was confined in a room of Dr. M.A. Rashid Hall of the university for about half an hour and severely beaten up. Police rescue him from the spot. The incident occurred during a fierce clash on Monday on Kuet campus between students of civil engineering department and those of other departments.

UP chairman murdered

Criminals Monday night murdered a Union Parishad (UP) member at Machpara village in Pangsha upazila in Rajbari. Police yesterday recovered his dead body from a pond in the area. Abdus Sobhan, 48, member of Kalimahar UP, was picked by a gang from Haludbaria village in the upazila on Monday and later shot dead. Police said previous enmity might be the cause of the murder.

Arms, bombs recovered

Members of Rab-6 Monday night recovered arms, ammunitions, bombs and bomb making materials from a nursery at Hamidpur under Sadar upazila. Sources said, sensing presence of Rab, the miscreants fled away leaving three local made guns, ten bullets, one kilogram gunpowder, 500 gram explosives, bombs and a huge quantity of bomb making materials on the spot.

Letters

Pak-Afghan crisis

I was reading an article by Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury in a Dhaka daily (May 3, 2009). It was written about the importance of keeping Pakistan undivided and maintaining its existence and the negative consequences the countries in the sub-continent can face if Pakistan were to collapse. He very correctly pointed out the fact that the Taliban militants, who are now becoming increasingly dangerous for Pakistan, are basically the creation of the UK and the US (the US scheme to finance and train militants in Pakistan to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, during the 80s). Mr. Gaffar in his article refers to the recent statement of US Secretary of State-- Hillary Clinton-- where she herself has admitted, and rarely have we heard US high officials being so candid and truthful, that the US is to a very large extent responsible for the present sorry state of Pakistan.

Solar energy option

The reality is that at present there is acute scarcity of gas. On an average, around 500MW of power cannot be generated due to lack of supply of gas every day. Petro Bangla has requested BPDB not to construct any more gas based power plants. Before 2013 Petro Bangla cannot commit gas supply to any new power station. It may so happen that gas may not be available at all for power generation after 2015 as per newspaper reports.

Barack Obama's 100 days

The appraisal of the performance of the US President during his 'first 100 days' in office is another much-hyped gimmick of the American media, and gives little indication of what he might achieve by the time his tenure ends after four years.

Endangered species

Different species are disappearing from the surface of the earth at an alarming rate. Climate change, human encroachment, deforestation and habitat loss, poaching --all these contribute to the extinction of the animals and plants. For example, tropical forests are shrinking at a quick rate. It is estimated that from 1990 to 2005,the world lost 172 million acres of tropical forests.

Dictionary

We use dictionaries to check the correct spellings of the words. But do all dictionaries available in our markets contain correct spellings?

Optimum use of electricity

The government plan to clip spending (Daily Star, May 01) is very welcome indeed. If implemented, they should have far reaching effects on our nation's health. This, however, is going to take considerable time.

A tale of two armies

Turkey and Pakistan have got a few similarities and many dissimilarities. Both countries are Muslim majority and powerful armies play vital roles in national affairs. But similarities end here. Turkey with a perennial Kurd problem is heading toward a prosperous goal whereas Pakistan to an apparent peril. In diverse situations the army in both the countries played their role in curving out the destiny of the nations. The Turkish army, staunchly secular, many a time corrected the course of the statecraft. But in Pakistan every army interference brought misfortune to the state. Failed states not only endanger themselves but the international community as well. Somalia is a burning example.

Pay commission

The last caretaker government formed a pay commission. Recently, they submitted their report to the government.

Soul searching

Who am I talking to? Is it ears that are lost in thought with miserable possibilities? Or is it like the stone staring at me from the bottom of the tranquil pond? I sip my portion of chilled coke trying to swallow the dry toast-biscuits and wish for the latter. I am an optimist searching for a meaningful life at my early forties. For me the search came quite late as I passed by a long hazardous road that most of the people did not. I am identified with dogma, discrimination, suspicion and what not! This summer, the hot sun is stabbing my black skin; trying to make cracks on it; sorry sun 'blacks do not crack anymore'! I have been there, seen the miseries, often became miserable for you and myself too. Look at the other side of the coin, a growth of a sprout is emerging; stout and ordained. No raised eyebrows, no dirty talks and moves can hinder the growth.

Let there be light

Nowadays load shedding is almost a daily occurrence in cities and suburbs. There is hardly any area which is not affected by it. The industrial units are paralysed by load shedding. Production is hampered due to failure of electricity. In 2008 the average generation of electricity was around 3600-3700MW whereas the demand was around 5000MW. The whole country is bound to collapse if the present condition of load shedding doesn't improve. Mismanagement, some vested quarters and limited resources are also responsible for this. Our power sector is passing through a crunch time as the demand for electricity outstrips supply, making the problem multidimensional.

Water crisis

Acute water shortage, abominable water pollution, steady fall of ground water level and what not! All the rivers around the city, Buriganga, Shitalakhya and Turag, are dead. All these combined together is posing a threat to our very survival. So, let us work and find an alternate source of fresh water.

Another menace

A new virus which is the combination of viruses found in humans and swine have created havoc and panic around the world. Though the infection and death are comparatively low, the fear of an outbreak and lack of anti-virus drug is a matter of concern.

Mobilise public opinion

This is with reference to Editorial: "Growing Taliban threat to Pakistan," (May 2).

Closure of gas-run factories

Recent closure of two gas run urea fertilizer factories by the present government apparently for diverting the saved gas to feed gas based power generation plants in order to supplement power in the grid lines to make the city dwellers' life comfortable by prolonging supply of electricity and minimizing load shedding is a point to ponder. It reminds me of an old proverb-- 'Penny wise pound foolish'. The policy makers have proved themselves to be penny wise by mitigating sufferings caused by power cuts for the time being at the cost of urea production at two giant urea factories of the country. The policy makers proved themselves to be pound foolish by generating electricity with gas, suspending urea production without controlling or minimizing systems loss of electricity at PDB and other state run power generation and distribution companies.

Press and public interest

There has always been a furore that pressmen aren't free to work; that they face so many handicaps and threats. But what we observe is men in both print and electronic media have become conspicuously biased. The newspapers maintain a particular lobby, albeit they claim to voice public sentiments. Don't you think this hypocritical attitude can hardly win the appreciation of the common people? As for myself, I have sent many letters and articles to you for your kind perusal and giving it a space in your paper. Many of which written absolutely in public interest but with a sufferer's undertone were not published at all.

Our problems

Problems in Bangladesh are multiplying. This is because almost nothing has been done to solve these problems since the creation of Bangladesh.

Criminals at work

A few months ago, my uncle, after finishing his official work, was waiting for a bus in Dhanmondi at about 10:30pm with his official bag to reach his home at Savar.

International

Flu-hit Mexico awaits return to business as usual

Mexico eagerly awaited the resumption of normal business at the end of a five-day swine flu nationwide shutdown yesterday and launched an operation to airlift home nationals quarantined in China.

Nepal in turmoil as Maoists threaten street protests

Nepal's Maoists vowed yesterday to bring thousands of protesters onto the streets of the capital after a bitter stand-off with the army chief forced their leader to resign as prime minister.

UN asks Nepali parties to honour peace pacts

As the rift between Nepal's Maoists and the other political parties deepened following the resignation of Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked the parties to honour the peace pacts ahead of a UN Security Council meeting.

India urges Nepal to resolve crisis, ups border security

India on Monday tightened security along its border with Nepal and urged Kathmandu to resolve peacefully a political crisis which has sparked the resignation of its Maoist prime minister.

Pak nuclear security still cause for concern: US

The security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is still cause for concern in Washington despite reassurances that the weapons are out of reach of Taliban militants, the US national security adviser has said.

Troops cause heavy damage to Tigers

Sri Lankan soldiers broke through rebel defences and advanced further into the Tamil Tigers' last remaining territory, inflicting heavy damage on the beleaguered insurgents, the military said yesterday.

Top US senators unveil Pakistan aid overhaul

Two top US senators unveiled plans Monday to expand and overhaul civilian US aid to Pakistan, calling it an urgent step to help defeat Islamists who threaten the nuclear-armed ally's stability.

'Indian water terrorism' greater threat than Taliban: Pakistan

Taking the Kishanganga dam issue a step further, Pakistan has termed India's initiative to build a dam on the Indus River as "Indian water terrorism" and said the issue posed a bigger threat to country than the Taliban.

Muslims as unpredictable as other Indian voters

With each election, Muslims in India are getting as unpredictable as the others and vote depending on local conditions. And most of them prefer a secular party, a study shows.

US to press Pakistan on Taliban, N-security

President Barack Obama will press Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to continue a military drive against Taliban insurgents to prevent a situation that might threaten its stability and nuclear arsenal, US officials say.

'Dozens of Afghan civilians killed in US-led air raids'

Afghan officials alleged yesterday that dozens of civilians had died in bombing runs by US-led coalition aircraft during fighting in a Taliban-controlled region of western Afghanistan.

Georgia troops stage mutiny

Georgian troops on Tuesday staged a mutiny on the eve of Nato exercises in the ex-Soviet republic, which the government said it ended without violence but accused Russia of backing the rebels.

44 killed in attack in Turkey engagement ceremony

Turkish security forces yesterday detained eight gunmen suspected of fatally shooting 44 people, many of whom were praying, at an engagement ceremony in the rural southeast of the country.

Myanmar rejects Suu Kyi's detention appeal

Myanmar's military government has rejected an appeal by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi against her detention, a party spokesman said yesterday.

North Korea runs cyber warfare unit

North Korea runs a cyber warfare unit that tries to hack into US and South Korean military networks to gather confidential information and disrupt service, a news report said yesterday.

Pakistan court acquits two over 2002 attack on Frenchmen

A Pakistan court yesterday acquitted two men sentenced to death over a 2002 bombing that killed 11 French engineers, the highest number of Westerners to have died in a single attack in the country.

Karzai chooses warlord as running mate

President Hamid Karzai chose a powerful warlord accused of rights abuses as one of his vice presidential running mates on Monday, hours before leaving for meetings in Washington with President Barack Obama and Pakistan's president.

Arts & Entertainment

Exhibition of Bangladeshi painters in South Korea

The Bangladesh Embassy in South Korea and Korean Foundation are jointly organising an exhibition of eleven Bangladeshi painters at the Korea Foundation Cultural Centre. The exhibition will display around 100 paintings by eleven renowned Bangladeshi artists.

Trying to make sense out of nonsense

Opening the door to the gallery on the second floor of Drik (in Dhanmondi), a gargantuan human form -- made of 5,000 shoe soles -- stretched across the whole floor baffles and awes one. Big labels with words "abstraction," "power," "policy," "decency," "ethics" etc make one stop and contemplate. Initial impact is bold.

Raaga and Saaz in New York

It was a warm spring Saturday morning, on April 25, 2009, in New York. And the auditorium of Public School 69 in Jackson Heights was coming to life with the first notes of raaga Bilashkhani Todi. There was an air of anticipation, perhaps tinged with a certain amount of apprehension, among the audience.

Sharmila Tagore joins Cannes film festival jury

After Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Nandita Das, veteran screen diva Sharmila Tagore is set to become a member of the jury for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival to be held from May 13 to 24 this year.Tagore will be part of the nine-member jury to be headed by French actress Isabelle Huppert. The jury also includes author Hanif Kureshi, Italian actress Asia Argento, Turksih director Nuri-Bilge Ceylan, American director James Gray, Hollywood actress Robin Wright Penn and South Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-Dong.

Shadher Malati Genthechi

"Shadher Malati Genthechhi" -- Luva Nahid Choudhury's debut studio album -- is a musical offering featuring 12 songs of Dwijendralal Roy and Atul Prasad Sen rendered in the artiste's vivacious styling. Released some time ago, the formal launch of the album was held yesterday at the main auditorium of National Museum.

Talk show on public procurement on BTV

A talk show on the issues of public procurement will be aired on Bangladesh Television today at 10:55am.

Live concert in Dhaka

A concert featuring 'nagar baul' James; acclaimed Pakistani Sufi band Junoon and Indian artiste Kailash Kher will be held on May 7 at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre, says a press release.

Augusto Boal passes away

The celebrated Brazilian theatre director, dramatist, cultural and political activist, Augusto Boal died on May 2 in Rio de Janerio at the age of 78. Boal who had leukemia died of respiratory failure, says a press release.

OP-ED

Remove the middlemen

THE government has fixed the price of boro to be purchased by it this year. Effective from May, it will be Tk.14 per kg for paddy and Tk.22 per kg for rice. The procurement target has been set at 1.2 million tons in terms of rice.

Reforming BNP

A common trend has emerged between the American Republican party (GOP) and BNP in Bangladesh -- both are in disarray. The former is greatly weakened while the latter is nearly irrelevant as influential opposition voices in each country's policy shaping.

BJP succumbs to Moditva

HAS the Bharatiya Janata Party abandoned all pretence of playing by democratic rules and decided to stoop to the lowest level on the Gujarat carnage issue? Going by its reaction to the Supreme Court's order that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe Chief Minister Narendra Modi, his ministers and officials for abetting the communal violence of 2002, it seems so.

A dip into the postbag

IF you think about it, readers of any publication or website have more brains than the people who actually write it. That's because there are more of you than there are of us.



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