The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 1, 2014


News of: Friday, 8th of May, 2009

Front Page

Pollution industry-made

Industries got a whacking yesterday as experts and environmentalists maintained that rivers around Dhaka are getting polluted wholesale by industrial waste. Even industries with effluent treatment plants do not run those facilities.

ADB pledges $200m

Bangladesh is going to get $200 million as budget support by December this year from the newly formed recession fund of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to tackle the fallout of global meltdown.

Cabinet to expand soon

Some senior and mid-level leaders of Awami League (AL) and the components of its grand alliance are busy with hectic lobbying to become cabinet members, as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is planning to expand the cabinet soon.

55,000 Bangladeshis to get job gradually

Malaysia will gradually recruit the 55,000 Bangladeshi workers it sent back, said Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday.

Talks on change in constitution start

A parliamentary committee yesterday began deliberations on a private member's bill seeking to repeal the constitutional provision that allows the president to assume the role of chief adviser to caretaker government.

Slack swine flu screening at ZIA

Shahabul, a migrant worker returning from Malaysia, was coughing yesterday as his relatives helped him away from Zia International Airport (ZIA) after his arrival.

Bismillah to remain in constitution

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim would remain in the constitution as it was even if the fifth amendment to the constitution was annulled in line with the High Court (HC) verdict.

Fresh notice to Khaleda to vacate house

Directorate of Military Lands and Cantonments yesterday served a fresh notice upon BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia asking her to show cause as to why she should not be asked to return the estate, including the house, within the next 15 days.

Pakistan pounds Taliban hideouts

Pakistani attack helicopters and warplanes pounded suspected Taliban hideouts Thursday, as thousands of people fled the deadliest fighting to erupt in the northwest district of Swat in months.

Madhav may lead Nepal coalition

The CPN (UML) is all set to choose Madhav Kumar Nepal as the leader of the next coalition that will form the government.

Akhter Hamid's detention illegal: HC

The High Court (HC) yesterday declared illegal the detention of former deputy speaker and BNP leader Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui.

Tk135cr given for land acquisition

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday handed over a cheque of around Tk 135 crore required for land acquisition in Madaripur district for the construction of Padma Multipurpose Bridge.

China pledges all possible cooperation

China assured all possible cooperation in economic, infrastructure and social development of Bangladesh and to help implement the new government's vision to improve the socioeconomic lifestyle of the people.

4 killed in Indian polls violence

At least four people were killed--three in West Bengal and one in Rajasthan--as stray violence, police firing and booth-capturing attempts marred the fourth phase of polls to Lok Sabha.

Tagore's birth anniversary today

The 148th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore will be celebrated across the country today.

A wake up call to industrialists

Dilip Barua
Minister of Industries

Industries minister Dilip Barua said, industries are one of the main contributors to river pollution. "We have been destroying the natural environment in the name of development," the minister for industries said.

Editorial

Operational guideline for upazila parishad

WITH the Upazila Parishad Act giving the local MPs supervisory authority over elected chairmen a portent for conflict between two sets of elected public representatives has been built into the system. Local self-government experts and civil society leaders have already voiced their concern over the resulting weakening of the elected upazila parishad originally envisaged to be a vitally important tier of local self-government system.

Taliban spectre in Swat

CONDITIONS in Pakistan's Swat valley continue to be volatile, with residents fleeing their homes as the country's army battles the Taliban. Despite all the efforts the military has been making to contain the situation, it appears that full control of the area is still some way off .

Madrasas, militancy, and education reform

IN recent months, there has been a spate of headlines about activities of Islamist militants all over the country. A veritable redoubt has been discovered in the south of the country, complete with training facilities, explosives, arms and ammunition, and even a moat to make it impregnable. Militant women have been found with jihadi literature in their possession. There have been reports of renewed activities by militant groups that had been driven underground by police action.

Tortured over torture

EVER since President Barrack Obama ordered the release of the Bush torture memos, the Americans are torturing themselves over torture. They are torturing themselves with the rights and wrongs of their government's use of inhuman techniques to inflict pain on terrorism suspects. Somebody needs to tell them that torture isn't a moral dilemma. It's a moral delusion.

Sports

Dhaka Sports in semis

A clinical Dhaka Sports Club raced to the semifinal of the Habib Group PCL Twenty20 tournament beating Ispahani Sports Club by seven runs at the MA Aziz Stadium here yesterday.

Derby Abahani's

Abahani came out on top in the local derby, beating Mohammedan Sporting Club by 21 runs in the second match of the Habib Group PCL Twenty20 tournament at the MA Aziz Stadium here yesterday.

Iniesta makes Blues bleed

Andres Iniesta scored one of the most dramatic goals in Champions League history to sink Chelsea and send ten-man Barcelona into a Champions League final showdown with Manchester United.

Trio in MSC row

Chittagong Mohammedan's Guinean star Camara Saifullah along with two of his teammates are embroiled in a dispute over payment issues with their club, which has prevented them from returning home even a month after the Super Cup.

Onions inspires Eng

Fast bowler Graham Onions took five wickets, including three in an over, on his Test debut to leave the West Indies contemplating the prospect of defeat inside three days at Lord's on Thursday.

Clubs demand BNS matches in WC 2011

A section of Dhaka Metropolis' clubs have demanded that the Bangabandhu National Stadium must host matches of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Local Snippets

Sonali Recreation Club crushed Jagroto Krira and Sangskriti Sangsad 80-17 in the only match of the Second Division Kabaddi League at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.

Gul sinks Australia

Paceman Umar Gul recorded the second best figures in international Twenty20 cricket to help fire Pakistan to a seven-wicket win over Australia in the one-off match at Dubai Stadium here on Thursday.

Rajasthan romp to top

Rajasthan Royals moved to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table with a convincing seven-wicket win over Bangalore Royal Challengers, who looked out of depth as they were bowled out for 105 -- the tournament's second lowest total -- and conceded the win inside 15 overs at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday. Naman Ojha scored his second consecutive half-century in the brief chase but the win was set up by Amit Singh and Ravindra Jadeja, who took seven Bangalore wickets to ensure a low target for their side.

Chennai win Kings battle

Kings XI Punjab made Chennai Super Kings really sweat in a spirited chase towards a Duckworth-Lewis revised target of 187, but when it mattered most tactical nuance won it for Chennai. Simon Katich had set the tone for Punjab's bravado and Yuvraj Singh and Mahela Jayawardene batted superbly in the face of adversity, adding 90 in just 8.5 overs under lights. Then, with 30 left to defend off 12 balls, MS Dhoni took pace off the ball by calling on Suresh Raina's part-time off-spin, and that six-run over provide definitive.

Drogba in trouble

Chelsea captain John Terry and manager Guus Hiddink have rallied behind Didier Drogba as the Ivory Coast striker faces potentially severe punishment by UEFA over his furious confrontation with the referee after the club's Champions League exit.

Hiddink slams ref

Guus Hiddink admitted he could understand why his players had cried 'conspiracy' after a string of controversial refereeing decisions denied Chelsea a place in the Champions League final.

Pep relishing MU clash

Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola is anticipating a classic Champions League final when his side take on Manchester United in Rome later this month.

FIFA vice-president calls Hammam very sick

FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-Joon launched an extraordinary attack on AFC chief Mohamed bin Hammam Thursday, saying he had mental problems and needed hospital treatment.

Ref smuggled out of Britain

Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo was Thursday smuggled out of Britain by police who feared for his safety because of his role in Chelsea's exit from the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona.

Bayern won't sell Ribery

Bayern Munich team manager Uli Hoeness insisted Thursday the defending Bundesliga champions will not sell midfielder Franck Ribery to Manchester United for 70 million euros (96.8 million US dollars).

Press reflect heartbreak

British newspapers reflected the heartbreak of Chelsea fans on Thursday, after the hosts went out of the Champions League with a 1-1 semifinal draw against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.

Diego signs for Juve?

Brazil playmaker Diego has signed for Juventus from Werder Bremen, according to a report by Italian news agency Ansa on Thursday.

'Don't blame Baz'

Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchanan has come to the defence of Brendon McCullum, saying the captain should not be blamed for the team's terrible run in the Indian Premier League (IPL). McCullum has struggled with the bat, scoring just 65 runs at 10.62, and in the role of leader and has said he would quit if Kolkata did not make the semifinals.

Bopara thanks IPL

Ravi Bopara said the Indian Premier League (IPL) had helped him hone his game after he made his second successive Test hundred against the West Indies here on Wednesday.

'Symonds his own man'

James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, will not guarantee Andrew Symonds a spot in Australia's plans for the next year after the all-rounder's slip from the Test team. The squad's national contracts are due to be named in the next fortnight and Symonds's ranking fell during his troubled 2008-09 season.

Hasan seals series win

Lower-order bats Abul Hasan and Shaker Ahmed kept their cool to take Bangladesh Under-19s home by two wickets against Sri Lanka Under-19s in the fourth one-dayer at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. The victory meant that the home side have won the series 3-1 with a game in hand.

School football

Azimuddin High School and Netrokona Dutta High School reached the zonal finals of the Citycell National School Football Championship eliminating their respective rivals in the semifinals at the Kishoreganj Stadium yesterday.

Drogba says sorry

Didier Drogba on Thursday apologised for his furious confrontation with referee Tom Henning Ovrebo in the wake of Chelsea's stormy Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Barcelona.

Business

Green shoots sprout in seed business

Seed business is thriving in the country backed by a number of corporate biggies who came up to grab a slice of around Tk 1,000 crore market for hybrid and high-yield seeds.

Crisis to fuel fiscal vulnerability

The global financial crisis will increase the fiscal vulnerability of lower income countries (LICs) like Bangladesh, said a UK economist yesterday.

Ananda to export its eighth ship

Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd, one of the leading local shipbuilders, is going to sell its eighth ship to a Danish buyer at $7.5 million, marking an important milestone in the country's emerging shipbuilding industry, said a senior official of the company yesterday.

Telecom market shrinking

Grameenphone (GP) has blamed high taxation for the recent stagnant growth of the telecom industry saying customer acquisition by six mobile operators marked 76 percent less in the first three months of the current year than the period a year ago.

3G licence for mobile operators soon

The much-awaited 3G licence is likely to be awarded to the mobile phone operators some time after the launch of WiMax in between June and July, said the telecom minister yesterday.

Steps taken to ensure availability of fertiliser next season: Minister

The government has taken initiative to ensure adequate supply of fertilisers to farmers in the next cultivation season, Industries Minister Dilip Barua said yesterday.

Nigerian power investment urged

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry yesterday invited Nigeria to invest in various fields, especially in power sector, as the apex business body presented before a delegation from the African country the huge investment opportunities here.

ACI eyes bigger share in electronics market

ACI Limited eyes 12 percent volume share in Bangladesh electronics market in next one year on the company's embark on such business with marketing of Panasonic branded audio-visual products here.

Malaysian condos go bust

Prices of luxury condos that have mushroomed around the Malaysian capital's iconic Petronas Twin Towers in recent years are crashing as the global financial crisis hits.

Turnaround magician marches into Chrysler

Sergio Marchionne, the magician behind Fiat's spectacular recovery, becomes the head of bankrupt Chrysler with Canadian credentials, a name as a hard driver, and an eye for overlooked talent.

Asian markets continue advance

Asia's stocks rallied again Thursday, with Japan leading the charge, as dealers were confident the "stress tests" of US banks would show just a few are in need of new capital to survive.

Oil above $58

Oil prices soared close to six-month highs above 58 dollars a barrel on Thursday, extending sharp gains won a day earlier on hopes of a pick-up in energy demand amid fresh signs of economic recovery.

DCCI talks joint ventures with Pak team

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) yesterday urged a visiting trade delegation from Pakistan to jointly set up industries in Bangladesh.

Emirates hikes free baggage allowance

Emirates has recently announced an increase in its free baggage allowances for passengers.

Beximco Pharma’s new MD

Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd yesterday appointed Nazmul Hassan as its managing director, according to a press release.

New MD for Bank Asia

Bank Asia has recently appointed Erfanuddin Ahmed as the bank's president and managing director for three years, says a press release.

Tata to offer low-cost flats

Weeks after coming out with the world's cheapest car Nano, the Tata Group has announced it would offer houses at affordable prices ranging from Rs 3.9 lakh to Rs 6.7 lakh at a place 100 kilometres from India's financial capital Mumbai.

EU approves 10b euros in state aid for Commerzbank

The European Commission approved on Thursday German plans to pump a fresh 10 billion euros (13.3 billion dollars) into Commerzbank after the group promised to sell some assets and restrict its business operations.

GM reports $6b loss in first quarter

Troubled US auto giant General Motors on Thursday reported a net earnings loss of six billion dollars in the first quarter, as it faced the prospect of bankruptcy saddled with mounting debt.

Shanghai's bid to buy stalled luxury hotels fails

The Shanghai government's talks to buy a stalled luxury hotel project in the city centre from an overseas developer have collapsed, Chinese media reported Thursday.

Metropolitan

Thailand to use internal security law at Asean summit

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday he would invoke the country's internal security act to place the army in charge of guarding a regional summit rescheduled for next month.

Wazed's condition slightly improves

Physical condition of the ailing eminent nuclear scientist and husband of Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina, Dr MA Wazed Miah, has slightly improved said PM's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad quoting the attending physicians.

Ministry asked to submit report on power projects during BNP govt

A parliamentary committee at a meeting yesterday asked the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources and the departments concerned to prepare detailed reports on the initiatives taken by the previous BNP-led four-party alliance government and the caretaker government in the power sector and the expenditure on power projects.

Changes in BDR law likely

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan yesterday said changes will be brought not only to the uniform, logo and name of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) but also to the existing act regarding BDR.

'Appeal withdrawal a political jealousy'

BNP leader Nazmul Huda yesterday termed as political jealousy the decision of the Awami League (AL) government to withdraw the appeal against the High Court (HC) verdict which declared the 5th amendment of the Constitution illegal.

Govt-opposition partnership a must in parliament

European envoys yesterday expressed cautious optimism in appraising the performance of the new government, stressing the need for government-opposition partnership in parliament to deal with important issues like impacts of the global recession, climate change and counterterrorism.

HC warns Judge Bashirullah

The High Court (HC) yesterday warned Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge ANM Bashirullah for his 'derogatory' remarks about the HC regarding dispensation of justice and also directed him (Bashir) to become cautious in passing any comment about the order of any superior court in future.

Woman found dead

Police yesterday recovered the decomposed body of a woman who was killed allegedly by her husband at Ashulia in the outskirts of the city.

Chhana made regular judge of HC

Md Bazlur Rahman Chhana, a former additional judge of the High Court (HC), whose job was not confirmed by the previous BNP-Jamaat-led four-party alliance government, was appointed a regular judge of the HC yesterday.

US-Iran engagement must seek nuclear curbs

US engagement with Iran must convince Tehran to halt progress in its ability to build a nuclear bomb and accept tough international controls, according to a US Senate report out yesterday.

JS body to raise age limit, allowance, number of judges

A parliamentary body yesterday formed a sub-committee to make recommendations on the increase of age limit, allowance and number of judges both in the Supreme Court and the lower judiciary in a bid to overcome the present disarray.

Ex-NSI director Sahab Uddin on fresh remand

A Chittagong court yesterday placed former director of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Mohammad Sahab Uddin on a fresh six-day remand for further interrogation in connection with the sensational arms haul case yesterday.

Constructive student politics can meet their expectations

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said a constructive student politics could help meet the expectations of the young generation.

Investigative journalism centre launched

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday called on investigative journalists to provide information about BDR mutiny, if they can find any, to help investigation committees establish the motive behind such incident.

'Culinary Artist Siddika Kabir' launched

Noted culinary artist and cookbook writer Siddika Kabir turned 78 yesterday.

Firearms, bullets seized in city

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab)-3 in separate drives in the city's Shahbagh and Malibagh areas early yesterday seized three pistols, one revolver and four bullets and arrested two people in this connection.

School debate on safe water

Brac will organise a countrywide school debate competition as part of its awareness campaign on safe water, sanitation coverage and hygiene practices among the underprivileged population, says a press release.

RMG workers observe work stoppage in N'ganj

The workers of Hamid Fashion Limited at Fatullah in Narayanganj yesterday observed work stoppage demanding wage hike and stoppage of torture by the owners.

Minister warns LGED officials against graft

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday warned the officials of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) against corruption and urged all to discharge their duties with high level of efficiency, honesty and credibility.

1462 more held, arms seized

Some 1462 suspected criminals were arrested, two illegal firearms recovered and 15 motorbikes seized in a special police drive across the country during the 24 hours ending yesterday evening.

Clinker-laden vessel capsizes at Ctg Port

A lighter vessel carrying 800 tons of cement clinker capsized at the outer anchorage of Chittagong Port yesterday morning.

Four sued in C'nawabganj

Four alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces were sued in Chapainawabganj yesterday for death threat, torture, looting and extortion during the Liberation War in 1971.

Ugandan vice president arrives

Ugandan Vice President Prof Gilbert Bukenya arrived in a six-day visit in the city yesterday to see different programmes of Brac, says a press release.

30 houses burnt in arson attack in Chandpur

About 30 houses of landless people were burnt in an arson attack carried out by mercenaries of land owners (jotdars) at New Char under Haimchar upazila in Chandpur yesterday, which also left at least 20 people injured, including women and children.

Four killed in road accidents

Four people were killed in separate road accidents in the city and Jhalakati yesterday.

World Red Crescent Day today

The World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day will be observed today with a call to bring about positive changes in life and promote respect for human values.

Shamim Osman gets bail

Former Awami League lawmaker AKM Shamim Osman was granted bail yesterday in a case filed on charges of attacking and ransacking the house of Capt (retd) Kismat Hashem, an acquitted accused in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Murder Case.

Migratory bird fair begins at DU today

With a view to highlighting the interdependence of the migratory birds, a two-day migratory bird fair will begin on Dhaka University (DU) campus today.

JP enforces hartal in Bhandaria for Manju's release

Jatiya Party (Manju) enforced a daylong hartal in Bhandaria upazila town in Pirojpur yesterday demanding immediate release of party chief Anwar Hossain Manju.

Garment workers block road for payment of arrear wages

Agitating garment workers from two garment factories blocked Panthapath Link Road in front of BGMEA office demanding payment of their arrear wages.

Two-day programme begins today

A two-day programme begins at Shilaidah Kuthibari at Kumarkhali in the district today to mark the 148th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Photo exhibition, concert in Bogra May 20

A weeklong photo exhibition, concert and film screening will begin in Bogra on May 20 as part of the programme 'Jibonar Joygan 2009'.

Militant threat to women lawyers protested

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) in a statement strongly protested the incident of threatening the women lawyers for leaving their profession, says a press release.

Seminar on Bangladesh in USA on May 16

A seminar and a rally will be held in front of the UN Headquarters in New York and Bangabandhu auditorium in Washington, USA this month to make international communities vocal to save Bangladesh from the effects of climate change.

Letters

Plight of rice growers

The harvest of Boro paddy is under way in the country with expectations of bumper production of about 2 crore tons. In estimations by different agencies, it has been shown that the cost of production of per kg rice would be Tk 12-13 . But the price of rice in the local market is about Tk 400 per 40 kg. So, the govt. has fixed the price at Tk 14 per kg of un-husked rice and Tk 22 per kg of husked rice to give the farmers a better price. The govt. has also set the target to buy 12 lakh tons of rice from the local market during this season. Now the question is what impact it will have, while the farmers will have to sell a major portion of rice in the market.

Swine flu

The health ministry has made a timely move to prevent the deadly swine flu now sweeping across the US and Mexico from entering Bangladesh. Similar measures were taken earlier too when epidemic such as bird flu was threatening this part of the world. However, that threat passed over with no cases reported in Bangladesh.

Politics and public interest

I would like to draw the attention of the government and the media to two very urgent and important issues of public interest. One is related to primary farmers and the second one to swine flu. During the last two days we watched some disturbing protests of the farmers, though non violent but very far reaching impact bearing. Farmers were seen with placards for full price of procurement of rice and paddy and asking for farm gate procurement from the growers, eliminating the middlemen. They also protested against the import policy of the government on powder milk, which has eventually affected the prices of home grown milk by the processing companies.

Population boom

In our country, about 1,100 people live in each square kilometre. The population is at present more than one hundred and fifty million. It is growing rapidly. This alarming growth of population is leading Bangladesh to endless miseries and sufferings. To face this dreadful situation, different measures have already been adopted. But practically no tangible result has been achieved. In order to get rid of this situation:

English medium schools

On May 1 BBC aired a programme focusing on the English medium schools. The programme shows that there is no particular curriculum for the existing English medium schools in our country. The principal in every school is all in all. The principal selects the syllabus for the students of his /her school. So, the students in different schools learn different things. There is another concern that in some schools the authorities teach Geography of Europe, instead of Bangladesh.

Tagore's birth anniversary

Rabindranath Tagore's 148th birth anniversary is being celebrated with full fervour in Bangladesh, West Bengal and other places abroad where the Bengali Diaspora now extends. There will be a lot of justifiable encomia and tributes for this great poet and personage of Bengal. I would like to say a few words about why I think that after Gitajanli and the Nobel Prize (1913), by the 1920s there was a distinct cooling off regarding Tagore in English literary circles.

Commonwealth

Once the sun did not set in the vast British Empire. Not only our sub-continent, the present superpower mighty America was also under British rule. They directly conquered many countries, they would enter in the guise of traders or preachers but at last they became the emperors of those countries. But as nobody can hold power forever, the British lost their supreme power and thus many independent countries were born .

Traffic jams

Nowadays, there is nobody in Dhaka city who isn't a victim of traffic jam. We, the common people of Dhaka, are frustrated with this evil thing. It is difficult to avoid traffic jams. But we don't know why the law enforcers cannot enforce the traffic rules in the street. As a resident of Dhanmondi area, we are unfortunately familiar with illegal parking beside the roads & footpaths. Though Dhanmondi has wide lanes, parked cars make the lanes narrow. Even we don't have any space in the footpaths as these are used as the parking space. Continuous blaring of automobile horns is putting pressure on our nerves.

Fire fighters' safety

I watched with horror as I saw fire fighters fighting to douse the fire at Mohakhali petrol pump on May 04. I was equally shocked a few days ago to see the fire fighters fighting to put off the blazes at Bashundhara Shopping Mall.

Real victims

Although the blazing sun and the scorching heat are the recent hot topic as they have broken the records of 14 years. Simultaneously, the lack of adequate water and the frequent power supply cuts have aggravated the whole situation, bringing more turmoil to the life of people. But still we forget about the real victims, rickshaw-pullers as they suffer in every season. Many have no house and so live on footpaths and a large number of people are found in the slums. Not only in the hot season, they are affected in rainy season also as they bathe in rainwater and the wind of winter freezes them, as they have no warm clothes to face the situation. Still they fight many storms and other natural disasters and the very next day they get to work as they live hand to mouth. They rickshaw-pullers lead a simple life. Of course festivals like Eid, Pahela Baishakh etc are nothing special for them as they have to ferry people to different amusement parks and other places.

Test of strength?

Some Bengali newspapers have carried out a news item under the headline "Aaj Awami League O BNP er Shakti Parikkha", meaning "Today there will a test of strength between the Awami League and the BNP".

A suggestion

Hundred days of honeymoon is over. The government of Sheikh Hasina has passed the acid test of BDR carnage. Due to better management and worldwide price fall essentials have become cheaper, a bumper Boro production will ease the situation even more. Load management of power proved beneficial to irrigation. With welcome rain life has also returned to some normalcy. These are all good signs of better governance. But there are definitely some sore points which need to be addressed in no time. Law and order is one such sector where the police and other law enforcing agencies seem to be moving without a sense of direction. The administration is infested with the past government's people who are out to foil the good endeavours of the government. Political, youth and student activists of the ruling party are in total disarray, searching for proper direction.

Govt and power generation

To express his keenness on his schemes for electrification, Lenin, the Russian leader used to say that “electricity plus soviets equal socialism” and to materialize his thinking, he soon started a huge scheme for electrification of the rural areas, and works for setting up mighty electric plants were initiated soon after his taking over the authority of his country. Coming back to our own country, it was only because of the promise made by the Awami League to make revolutionary programmes for electrification of the country that the younger generation went en-masse to vote for them. Unfortunately, the Awami League has not yet been able to show that its promises will be translated into reality. The leaders of the Awami League should not forget the fact that the younger generation of this country have no sentimental attachment for the Awami League and their voting for the party is nothing but the manifestation of their frustration with the BNP.

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International

US troops in Afghanistan won't be sent to Pakistan

There are no plans to deploy US ground troops to Pakistan, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday, despite concerns over increasing violence between Pakistani troops and Taliban militants.

Pak humanitarian crisis intensifying: ICRC

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned Thursday that a humanitarian crisis was intensifying in northwest Pakistan, where thousands have fled fighting between militants and troops.

Rahul stands tall as India's election gets into final lap

As millions voted Thursday in the fourth round of the Lok Sabha election, one person who has captured the imagination of the nation is Rahul Gandhi, the 38-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family who the Congress has projected as a future prime minister of India.

Obama applauds Pak-Afghan cooperation to fight terror

President Barack Obama is applauding Pakistan and Afghanistan for their commitment to helping the US fight terrorists holed up in their territory, but he also is cautioning that the path to success is slow and unsure.

Nepal deploys more troops to quell Maoist protests

Riot police beat back hundreds of women from Nepal's communist party who protested Thursday in front of the president's house in the capital to demand that he fire the country's army chief.

LTTE using suicide bombers to hold back govt forces

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers are using suicide bombers to hold back government forces who are close to overrunning the last patch of rebel-held territory, the military said yesterday.

Tamils pray for peace, change

Bare-chested Tamil men push a chariot bearing a statue of Lord Vishnu through Sri Lanka's tightly guarded capital, an annual religious event marked this year by an upsurge in the island's ethnic war.

Palestinian president to form new government

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask his prime minister within the coming week to form a new government without the Gaza Strip's Islamic Hamas rulers, a senior aide said yesterday.

South African lawmakers elect Zuma as president

South Africa's parliament elected Jacob Zuma as president Wednesday, celebrating the astonishing rise of a self-educated teenage goatherd who transformed himself into the charismatic leader of Africa's economic powerhouse.

US national swims across lake to see Suu Kyi

Myanmar authorities have arrested a US national after he swam across a lake to meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the off-limits compound where she is under house arrest, officials said Thursday.

US security firm Blackwater ends Iraq operation

A key contract for US security firm Blackwater ended in Iraq on Thursday, a US embassy official said, closing a controversial era for the company whose guards shot dead 17 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

Suicide bomber kills 12 in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed 12 civilians in southern Afghanistan, as police fired Thursday on a crowd of rock-throwing protesters in the west who were angry about civilian deaths they blame on American bombing runs.

Flu-hit Mexico gets life back

As if marshalling for war, Mexico's government mobilised thousands of education officials and parents across the country to swiftly disinfect schools and monitor millions of returning students for signs of swine flu.

Newspapers, cable TV services shut down in Swat

The prevailing precarious security conditions in the Swat Valley have forced media houses to suspend publication and distribution of news papers in the valley.

CEC struggles to find his name in voters' list

As Delhi and the NCR voted on Thursday, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Navin Chawla's name was initially missing from the voters' list. It was later found that his name had appeared on another list as he had shifted home after his promotion as CEC.

Tensions spike as Nato starts Georgia war games

Nato kicked off controversial military exercises in ex-Soviet Georgia on Wednesday as tensions spiked in relations with neighbouring Russia over Moscow's expulsion of two alliance diplomats.

Arts & Entertainment

Poetry in the pain of ecstasy

Rabindranath Tagore is at the core of your being. The Bengali in him approximates the Bengali in you. As you recite his poetry or sing his songs, you remain aware of certain inalienable truths. And they are pretty simple ones as well. The bard speaks to you through the turnings in the seasons. In your turn, you speak to him, absorb his sentiments as it were. The result is a harmonious whole.

Rabindranath: Timeless echoes

Standing at the foot of the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas, Rabi felt an overpowering sense of freedom. This was the first time in his young life that he had ventured outside the protected confines of his princely home and was amidst the natural surrounding he loved. He was only 11 then. Strangely enough, this would also be one of those treasured periods of time he would get to spend with his father Maharshi Devendranath. Rabi, in his later life, would call his childhood a period of 'servocracy' since he had grown up more under the tutelage of family servants than his parents. This trip to Shantiniketan and the Himalayas with his father was, therefore, all the more special to him.

More adaptations of Tagore's works needed

For over a century, to Bengalis everywhere, Rabindranath Tagore has remained a source of inspiration, as bright as the North Star, touching all sections of literature and experimenting with almost every art form. Each era has its own way of explaining the works of Tagore. His plays are still staged regularly by theatre troupes in our country. Both plays written by Tagore and adaptations of his works, along with several hugely popular dance dramas, serve as elemental theatrical resources. Talented theatre personality Khaled Khan recently spoke to The Daily Star on how he views Tagore's work and its significance in the contemporary theatrical context.

Special TV shows on Tagore Birth Anniversary

"Chitrangada" On ATN Bangla
Tagore's popular dance-drama "Chitrangada" will be aired today at 5:10pm. Jointly directed by Nahid Rahman and Khaleda Ahmed, this adaptation of "Chitrangada" features danseuse-actress Chandni in the titular role.

OP-ED

A summit for concord

SIX months ago our nation witnessed a rare spectacle that generated some hope that politics of concord and cohesion will probably replace politics of confrontation and conceit. Yes, I am referring to the brief exchange of pleasantries between Begum Zia and Sheikh Hasina at a function in Dhaka Cantonment to celebrate the Armed Forces Day on November 22, 2008. One thought it was a thaw in the cold and estranged relationship between the two top leaders that kept them incommunicado to each other for 17 years.

Is Nepal going back to instability?

THE developments in Nepal stemming from the resignation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal have not come as a surprise, even though the sequence of events may appear to be somewhat dramatic. A simmering tension was brewing between the coalition government of the Maoist prime minister, who goes by the nom-de-guerre "Prachanda," and the powerful army on a variety of issues, including the absorption of former Maoist guerrillas into the army, ever since the Maoists emerged as a force to reckon with in running the government.

What are the government's priorities?

IT must be said that the government is to yet embark on any of the critical issues of public interest facing the nation with any degree of seriousness or urgency. So far the ruling party has been busy in petty squabbles and infighting. Besides it is also busy in further "consolidating" its power base. God alone knows why? Is there any real need for it?

StarTech

Setting new dimension to outsourcing

For a country to move forward in this fast changing world there should be a proper balance between its imports and exports. While essential products like crude oil and fruits have to be imported at a high price, this also means that export oriented businesses like the garments sector and the shrimp and tea industry have to earn the foreign currency to compensate that.

World gets to put Windows 7 to the test

A nearly-final version of Windows 7 made its world debut on Tuesday, giving people a chance to tell Microsoft what they love or hate about the new-generation operating system.

A-Data portable hard disk

Looking for the ultimate storage device that matches your trendy notebook or PC? Look no further!

Laptop festival held at Ctg

The port city of Chittagong recently enjoyed a cool breeze of digital wave in this hot summer as a laptop fair recently concluded in the metropolis.



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