The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, September 3, 2014


News of: Friday, 5th of June, 2009

Front Page

Sincerity the answer

Commitment of the government, tough enforcement of environmental laws and formation of an effective river authority are the key to save the rivers physically and biologically.

HC hears hurdles

Government drives against encroachment largely fail because encroachers often obtain stay orders and injunctions from the court against eviction drives, high officials of BIWTA, Environment Directorate, and Land Survey Directorate told a High Court bench yesterday.

MPs asked not to influence transfer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed her party lawmakers not to stick their noses in transfers and postings of government officials at any level.

Budget session gets underway

The second session of the ninth parliament, which will pass the budget for the next fiscal year, began yesterday, but the BNP-led opposition leaders boycotted it over disagreement about seating arrangement in the House.

Obama reaches out to Muslims

Quoting from the Quran for emphasis, President Barack Obama called for a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims" yesterday and said together, they could confront violent extremism across the globe and advance the timeless search for peace in the Middle East.

More encroachments on Turag removed

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) yesterday, the second day of the three-day eviction drive, knocked down five concrete structures, scores of tin sheds and walls built illegally on the river Turag in Tongi.

Lt Gen Mubin new army chief

Principal Staff Officer (PSO) of the Armed Forces Division Lt Gen Abdul Mubin has been appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, sources in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

Aila-hit embankments getting quick repair

Repair works of small breaches in the dams in Satkhira are almost complete while repair of the large ones will begin today under supervision of the army, said Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque yesterday.

Tarique's firm got dubious waiver of Tk 12cr interest

Dandy Dyeing Ltd owned by ex-premier Khaleda Zia's elder son Tarique Rahman got a waiver of interest worth Tk 12 crore on bank loans within a week after the BNP-Jamaat coalition assumed power in 2001.

Grassroots leaders seek more time

BNP's plan to reorganise the party in the district level in two months is likely to prove futile, as grassroots level leaders think such a massive task cannot be done within this short time.

Rally for rivers

One does not have to be an expert to identify river encroachments. It's just too obvious. But it's all the more difficult to prove as all the river-gobblers have ownership papers, thanks to our corrupt land administration and lax monitoring by river regulatory body. Powerful, rich and ruthless, these river-gobblers find no difficulty in maneuvering legal system and managing law enforcement. They have become seemingly invincible.

PM directs Met officials to be more alert to cyclones

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the weathermen to remain more alert in forecasting cyclones and tidal surges in future.

Sohel Taj joins office

Making a U-turn from his bid to step down, State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj resumed office yesterday after a four-day "leave on account of sickness".

Taliban men blow up girls' school

Taliban militants yesterday freed all remaining Pakistani staff and students from an army-run boarding school who were snatched three days ago, drawing a line under the brazen mass abduction.

Editorial

Diplomats' worry over crime

It is surely a matter of shame when even foreigners based in Dhaka on diplomatic assignment begin to feel themselves under threat from criminal elements. Indeed, as the dean of the diplomatic corps has already pointed out in a letter to the Foreign Office, there have been specific incidents where foreigners were mugged and threatened with physical injury if they refused to hand over their belongings to gangs of youths accosting them on the road. And these incidents have been taking place in supposedly the most secure of urban areas such as Gulshan and Baridhara. Where earlier the probability of diplomats coming under assault from criminal elements in Bangladesh was unthinkable, it is now clear that the overall slide in law and order we notice in the capital has simply spilled over into its diplomatic enclave.

Perks and facilities to MPs

Marking a healthy departure from the much abused practice of providing duty-free luxurious cars to MPs, many of them finding their way to the open market, henceforth the lawmakers will have vehicles from a pool created for them. This is a move in the right direction, although all concerned must still be conscious of the fact that purchase of new vehicles even slightly lower down the luxury scale for large numbers of MPs and upazila chairmen would be a financially strenuous undertaking, especially in these hard times.

An open letter to President Obama

Let me start by congratulating you on your historic address to the Muslim world at Cairo University yesterday. You promised us that it would be something special, and we were not disappointed.

Nothing is settled until settled right

If the South hadn't finally accepted the outcome of the Civil War as being on the whole just, Gilbert Keith Chesterton observed, Abraham Lincoln would have been wrong in trying to preserve the American Union. In politics at least, right and wrong are matters of consensus. Lincoln summarised it in his own homely words. Nothing is ever really settled, he said, until it's settled right. What he didn't mention is that the settling must happen in people's minds.

Women in politics and governance

A century and a half ago, John Stuart Mill asserted that the participation of both the majority and the minority must be ensured for a government to be competent and efficient. He included women in his definition of the enormously disfranchised "minority" of that time. Politicians across national boundaries were slow to heed to this basic tenet of governance of state affairs -- Bangladesh is no exception. However, Bangladesh is catching up faster than most developing countries governed by democratically elected governments.

Sports

All roads lead to Lord's

Twenty20, once the cheeky, brash upstart of world cricket, firmly joins the establishment from Friday when Lord's stages the opening match of the 2009 world championship.

Safina blasts into final

Top seed Dinara Safina blasted her way into the French Open final for the second year in a row on Thursday by outgunning Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3.

Dutch-English opener

Hosts England open the ICC World Twenty20 against outsiders the Netherlands at Lord's on Friday in a match they dare not lose and the Dutch hope they might win.

Symonds sent home

Troubled Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds's international career appeared over after Cricket Australia said Thursday it had sent him home from the World Twenty20 tournament in England for breaking team rules.

India whack Pakistan

Brilliant batting from Rohit Sharma saw defending champions India to a crushing nine-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at The Oval here on Tuesday.

ICL duo seeks BCB amnesty

Banned Indian Cricket League (ICL) duo Mosharraf Hossain and Monjurul Islam have submitted proof of their terminated contracts to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) acting CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury yesterday for availing the amnesty offered by the board.

Row over qualifiers

Eight teams have qualified for the final round of the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup football tournament while the fate of four clubs' advancement remained under cloud.

Al-Fahad to bowl at Trent Bridge

Abdullah-Al-Fahad, a young student from Mohammadpur Central College, will make a little piece of history on 8th June, when he bowls to Indian legend Dilip Vengsarkar in front of millions of viewers around the globe.

Costa Rica rip USA

Alvario Saborio and Selso Borges scored early goals to give Costa Rica a 3-1 victory over the United States here on Wednesday, putting the Ticos atop North America's World Cup 2010 qualifying.

Socceroos, Japan on the verge

Australia and Japan are poised to be among the first teams to qualify for the World Cup finals on Saturday, and they are determined to grab the opportunity.

'Kaka still Milanese'

Brazilian playmaker Kaka remains an AC Milan player, despite reports from Spain he is heading for Real Madrid in a 65-million-euro deal, Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday.

Black Cats hire Bruce

Steve Bruce believes he can transform Sunderland into a club more familiar with the top half of the Premier League than regular relegation dogfights.

Barca ready to let Eto'o go

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has left the door open for the departure of Samuel Eto'o, saying Wednesday that the future of the Cameroon striker at the Spanish champions would depend on the transfer market.

Sahagir ton lifts BD A

Middle-order batsman Sahagir Hossain hit a brilliant unbeaten century to guide Bangladesh A to a comfortable position against visiting Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) on the second day of their second four-day match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Hosts thrash Windies

England looked to have found the solution to their opening problems at the ICC World Twenty20 as Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara led them to a nine-wicket warm-up thrashing of the West Indies here at Lord's.

Endless possibilities

Lord's will shed history tonight when the hallowed turf will go under lights for the opening ICC Twenty20 World Championship opening match between England and the Netherlands.

2007 WC flashback

If the drama of the first ICC Twenty20 World Championship is anything to go by, this year's

Team profiles

PAKISTAN
If Pakistan are to better last edition's performance, they would build on the experience and versatility of their senior players. The likes of Shahid Afridi, Misbahul Haq and Shoaib Malik would be influential under captain Younus Khan, who would lead a predominantly young side. Their only weakness would be the lack of Twenty20 matches under their belt.

T20 or Test makes a cricketer

Things look more complicated for up-and-coming cricket nations like Bangladesh with the advent of the game's shortest version, Twenty20, on the horizon.

About ICC World Twenty20 Cup

The ICC World Twenty20 Cup 2009 will be the second time a world event for Twenty20 cricket is being held.

Next hosts

The International Cricket Council's executive committee voted for the hosts of the tournament after examining the bids which was made by the nations keen to hold a Twenty20 World Championship. After South Africa, England is hosting in 2009 followed by West Indies in 2010, Sri Lanka in 2012 and Bangladesh in 2014. The ICC decided that South Africa and England should host the first two tournaments because they were the earliest adopters of the format.

Squads

PAKISTAN
Younis Khan (capt), Salman Butt, Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Fawad Alam, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamer, Yasir Arafat, Saeed Ajmal, Shahzaib Hasan, Rao Iftikhar Anjum.

World T20 starts today

Traditionalists and liberalists collide today at Lord's as the home of cricket will play host to the second edition of the World T20 when England take on the Netherlands under the floodlights.

Business

Poll pledges to make budget tough: ADB

The upcoming budget is poised to face challenges to set directives and create opportunities in line with the government's big election pledges amid impacts of global recession and slower revenue collections, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said yesterday.

Exports swing down in crisis

Export earnings declined by 2.30 percent in April of the current fiscal year against the same month a year ago, what sector people say is the impact of global recession on export.

Govt promises to fix housing crunch

The government plans to build four satellite townships around Dhaka to ease acute housing problems, the state minister for housing and public works said yesterday.

DSE hits record turnover

Dhaka stocks continued to rise yesterday with the single-day turnover touching the highest-ever level of Tk 672.76 crore.

GP moves to cut carbon footprint

At a time when carbon emissions by mobile operators become crucial globally, Grameenphone, the top mobile operator, moved to reduce its carbon footprint through innovative approaches.

Remittance strikes record high

Remittance inflow in May was the highest in fiscal 2008-09, bringing relief form a continuous downward trend in the last few months.

Wall Street struggles amid mixed economic signals

US stocks struggled to hold early gains Thursday as the market digested news of a third straight drop in new unemployment claims and a mixed set of sales reports from retailers.

Qatar urged to recruit more workers

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday urged Qatar to recruit more workers and import pharmaceutical, leather and jute goods from Bangladesh.

Nokia N97 scopes out Bangladesh market

Nokia, one of the leading mobile devices manufacturers in the world, has recently launched a "pre-order campaign" for its latest arrivals 'Nokia N97' and 'Nokia N86' in Bangladesh.

New Indian govt promises to focus on growth, poor

India's new government promised measures to spur growth and help the country's vast poor population, and announced economic reforms as it spelled out Thursday its priorities for the next five years.

Unemployment touches 8.7pc in France

France's unemployment rate shot up to 8.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009, fresh data from the national statistics agency INSEE showed on Thursday.

Austrian central bank slashes growth forecasts

The Austrian economy will contract by as much as 4.2 percent this year and remain in recession next year when it will decline by a further 0.4 percent, Austrian central bank OeNB predicted Thursday.

ADB lends Indonesia $1b

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Thursday it has lent Indonesia one billion dollars to help maintain spending on social services in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Rising rates threaten recovery

As the US Treasury continues to churn out hundreds of billions of dollars of fresh debt, officials are confronting one of the thorniest problems since the financial crisis began.

L'Oreal hits 100 as world leader

In 1909 French chemist Eugene Schueller concocted a safe dye for hair, calling it l'Aureale after a popular hair style of the moment in a city which was already a byword for style and fashion.

European stocks rebound

Europe's leading stock markets rebounded slightly in morning trade on Thursday amid positive continent-wide economic data and ahead of a key ECB monetary policy announcement.

Dollar firms against yen

The dollar gained against the yen in Asia Thursday as speculative trade eased following fresh economic data in the United States and Europe that sapped hopes of an early global recovery.

Japan Inc shrinks at record pace, says govt

Japan's corporate sales, recurring profits and capital spending all plunged at record rates in the first quarter due to the global downturn, a government survey said Thursday.

ECB rates to stay on hold, analysts eye bond purchases

The European Central Bank is tipped to keep its key interest rate at an all-time low of 1.0 percent on Thursday and to release details of bond purchases aimed at freeing up clogged credit markets.

IATA chief says outlook bleak for airline industry

Airline industry association IATA said Thursday the outlook for the ailing aviation industry remains bleak and warned airlines that a recovery will take more than three years.

Malaysia's exports plunge 26.3pc in April

Malaysia's April exports dropped 26.3 percent year on year, according to official data released Thursday.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active on Thursday. The market was liquid and USD/BDT rate was similar the previous working day.

Pre-budget Quips

Why is the developers' association (REHAB) in favour of whitening black money?

Metropolitan

College student murdered

Unknown miscreants stabbed a student of Notre Dame College to death in the city's Motijheel area yesterday noon.

Call for global fight against climate change factors

The World Environment Day 2009 will be observed in the country today as elsewhere around the world with massive campaigns for raising awareness of critical environmental issues, particularly climate change due to global warming.

8 convicts get bail

A High Court (HC) bench yesterday granted bails to eight convicts including three Awami League (AL) leaders, two BNP leaders in separate corruption cases.

Arrest warrant against Westmont chairman Tajul Islam

A Dhaka court yesterday issued a warrant for arrest of Tajul Islam Farook, chairman of Westmont Power Company, who had earlier filed a Tk 3-crore extortion case against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in connection with a cheating case.

Service of air chief extended

The service of Air Chief Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman has been extended by one year for public interest with effect from June 13, said a highly placed government source yesterday.

Nat'l Vitamin A Plus campaign tomorrow

With the theme 'Eat Vitamin A, Reduce Risk of Child Mortality' the National Vitamin A Plus campaign will be held across the country tomorrow.

GP, TeleTalk to relay early disaster message

The users of Grameenphone (GP) and state-owned TeleTalk in Cox's Bazar and Sirajganj will receive from now on early warning message about impending natural disasters in a bid to reduce damages to life and property.

Money changer shot dead by muggers in city

A money changer who was shot on Wednesday night at Gulshan succumbed to his injuries at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in the city yesterday.

Call for gender equity in political parties

Speakers at a lecture series yesterday said gender equity inside political parties is a must to create a level-playing field for women leaders in the country.

No project harmful to environment

Planning Minister AK Khandaker has said his ministry would not approve any project that will harm the environment.

Over 100 children fall sick after taking deworming tablets

Over one hundred children fell sick after taking government-supplied deworming tablets and vitamin A capsules at Char Shalipur and Char Hazarbigha villages in Char Bhadrashan upazila.

Parents of missing Buet student demand justice

Parents of a student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), who have been missing for about 11 months, at a press conference yesterday alleged that police did not arrest the accused in a case filed in connection with their missing son.

Tk 13.65 lakh Thai donation for Aila victims

Thailand will donate Tk 13.65 lakh to the Prime Minister's Relief and Welfare Fund for the victims of cyclone Aila that recently hit the southern coastal districts.

PM unveils cover of 'Sonamonider Pora'

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the cover of the second part of a book titled “Sonamonider Pora” written by eminent author Begum Momtaz Hussain at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) yesterday.

National

Madhupur forests disappearing fast

The Madhupur forests have almost disappeared, thanks to encroachment, neglect in preservation, corruption by forest officials, nepotism in leasing forestland and discriminatory attitudes towards indigenous people for decades.

15 more sued for war crimes in two districts

Fifteen more alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation army have been sued for war crimes in 1971 in Sunamganj and Natore districts.

3 outlaws held, arms, bombs recovered

Rab personnel arrested three underground operatives in Jhenidah Sadar upazila on Wednesday night and recovered firearms and bombs from their possession.

Retired teacher murdered

A retired schoolteacher was murdered in Banshkhali upazila yesterday. Makhan Lal Bhattacharya, 65, retired from Banshakhali Adarsha High School around a year ago. Sources said, at least seven people attacked him when he was going to his home at Keyang Mohajanpara of Uttar Jaladi from the municipal area Wednesday night. The gang beat up and stabbed him. He was rushed to nearby health complex but succumbed to injury while being shifted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital yesterday. Later, police arrested six people in connection with the murder.

Sunamganj AL men clash

Twenty people were injured in a clash Wednesday night in Biswambharpur upazila of Sunamganj district between the rival factions of Awami League during a procession arranged in favour of the grand alliance candidate for Sunamganj-4 by-election. The by-election is schedueld for June 15. The seat went vacant after the death of Jatiya Party's Begum Momtaj Iqbal on April 17. Police and locals said, the clash ensued after AL's Biswambharpur upazila publicity secretary Abdur Rafique and upazila AL vice-president Ahmed Ali locked in an altercation over leading a procession at Chinakandi Bazar.

Clash at Khulna Polytech

Students of Khulna Polytechnic Institute vacated their hostels yesterday as the principal issued the order following Wednesday's fierce clash on the campus between two rival groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League. Saiful Islam, a second year student belonging to Sumon group was severely injured in the clash. He is now being treated at Khulna Medical College Hospital with fractures in hands and head injury. During the four-hour clash both the groups used hockey sticks, iron rods and brickbats.

Wife beaten to death

A woman was beaten to death allegedly by her husband at village Shibram of Barobari union in Lalmonirhat Sadar Wednesday night. Police recovered the body of Ayesha Begum,23, yesterday and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy. A case was lodged with Lalmonirhat Sadar police against Akbar Ali. Police and family sources said, Akbar Ali stole money for gambling and went out of home on Wednesday. When he returned, Ayesha rebuked him and protested gambling. At this, Akbar beat her mercilessly injuring critically. Ayesha died on way to hospital.

7 hurt in Natore clash

Seven people were injured, three of them by bullets in a clash yesterday between the supporters of two brothers over a disputed land at Chanchkoir bazar under Gurudaspur upazila. Police arrested municipality mayor Mashiur Rahman alias Bablu and seized his revolver after the incident. Police and locals said, Bablu, also a local BNP leader, had a long-standing feud with his cousin Azad Shah over the land. Yesterday, Bablu and his men attacked the house of Azad and at one stage of clash opened fire, leaving seven injured. Police later arrested Bablu and seized his revolver.

Letters

Tipaimukh dam

Recently there have been protests from different forums and groups about the dangers and consequences that the Tipaimukh dam will cause to Bangladesh. The prime minister of India laid the foundation stone of this dam on 24 November, 2004 and the Indian government is already going ahead with the controversial Tipaimukh dam project with a target to complete it by 2012. The dam will be over the cross-boundary river Borak, 100km upstream of eastern border of Sylhet district. It will be 1500 feet long and 500 feet high and will cost around Indian Rupees 9,000 crore. Once constructed, this dam would spell an ecological disaster for Bangladesh through desertification and flooding in our eastern region.

Water for cyclone victims

Water in the cyclone affected areas has been contaminated by saline sea water. There is hardly any source of drinking water. This problem can be solved if barges are converted into floating water storage tanks in the affected areas and water is transported to these water storage tanks by using the fresh water supply barges/vessels belonging to Chittagong and Mongla ports that supply fresh water to the ships calling at the ports. Small tankers preferably those that have coated (painted ) tanks could be thoroughly cleaned and be used to transport fresh water to these areas. Water carried by the tankers should not be used for drinking but could be used for all other purposes. If these measures are taken on an emergency basis by the disaster management ministry it will be of immense benefit to the cyclone affected people.

Muslims in the region

In the recent Indian election, Indian Muslims voted massively for the ruling Congress Party despite their reservations about the Congress. This was mainly because they were stunned by Taliban slaughtering fellow Muslims in neighbouring Pakistan and they wanted a strong government to face such extremism spilling over to India. Slaughter of fellow Muslims by the Taliban must have made them apprehensive that Islamic extremists may also make India their target with disastrous consequences as happening in Pakistan.

Rivers gobbled up

The Daily Star published a series of reports on grabbing of rivers. The grabbers occupy these rivers which are essential for maintaining natural balance. Furthermore, we see that along with illegal trespassers the govt. officials play a role here. This is a punishable offence!

SSC results

According to the results published on Tuesday (26 May), in the Secondary School Certificate exams of 2009, a total of 45,934 examinees achieved GPA-5, while it was 41,917 in 2008. But the overall success rate has declined a little compared to that of the previous year. The percentage of passes in eight general education boards is 67.41 this year, while the rate was 70.81 in 2008 under seven education boards. Explaining the reason for the decline in the success rate, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said, “The pass rate has declined slightly as the examinees could not adopt unfair means this year.”

'No' to hartal

It's not far away when the streets are going to be chaotic again to the utter disgust of the city-dwellers. Political weather forecast signals so.

We demand…

We strongly endorse the views of our Foreign Minister Dipu Moni demanding Pakistan's apology for its troops' genocide during our 1971 War of Liberation.

Drivers asking for too much

It has been observed that the Dhaka city taxis and auto-rickshaws do not take any passenger on "meter". They will demand a fancy and unreasonable amount from the passengers. You have to meet their demand to hire these transports. For a short distance the autowalas' demand is at least Tk 50/-. They will not take anything less. The taxis demand Tk. 100/- for a short distance. For any long distance they demand whatever they feel like. Now the passengers are in distress and have no alternative but to accept their unreasonable demands.

Why a luxury car?

The approval for purchase of 440 Pajero Jeep for the upazila chairmen is a glaring example of misuse of public funds. Still a pauper country, Bangladesh can ill afford to expend such huge amounts of hard earned foreign currency for the symbol or spectre of power the chairmen hold. As if when they will come to Dhaka this will be proper to show off their status, as also to the village folks who elected them for their development, not to get amazed! Their seat of work is in the upazilas, the headquarters of the rural unions/areas where there are hardly roads for easy and safe ride, and obviously this will cause unabated drainage of money for the upkeep of this inordinately pricey vehicle. This is a sheer unproductive outlay.

BDR tragedy report

Thanks to the government committee on BDR tragedy for making the salient features public, a rare case in Bangladesh. We hope the government would continue the investigation to unveil the real cause of the BDR mutiny because the national security and political stability of the country are directly linked with the incident.

ICB dividends

Payment of dividends against ICB Mutual Fund has been kept suspended for almost a year because SEC filed a petition to the court on some issue. As such the small investors, like retired officials, are suffering. The ICB is earning interest at the cost of the investors. As nobody is pursuing the matter, only God knows when the investors would get dividends.

To the finance minister…

As you are going to substantially increase the salaries of the public servants with the taxpayers' money, please ask them to change their anti-people attitude and to be pro-people and friendly not like masters that they think they are. Please brief them on how to behave with their real bosses -- the common people of Bangladesh -- and ask them not to take bribe for the public services they provide to their real bosses.

The flip side

In some Bangla newspapers of 27 May '09 there was a headline “Speaker entertained President with tea costing 90 thousand taka.” This news item is reported to have been provided by the parliamentary sub-committee which is investigating irregularities committed by the ex-speaker of parliament. Ever since the committees have started their fact-finding missions, news reports of their daily findings are being leaked to the press. People are reading those reports with interest, the press is getting good sale and the investigators are feeling great.

How could this happen?

We are outraged learning that to unveil the plaque containing the pictures of the players of Swadhin Bangla football team, our national flag has been used as a stage curtain. By this action total disrespect has been shown to the flag and we are appalled by it.

Government's tasks

Since this present Awami League government took over power after the December 2008 election, the government has faced too many tough challenges. There were insurmountable problems already which this government had promised to solve if they came to power. Added to these "Already Established Miseries", more miseries followed. The BDR massacre is one of those added miseries which the government had to handle. Whether they handled the situation well enough is not the question but such an incident surely upset everything.

Minister's observation

One third of the total examinees could not pass the SSC exams. The overall results of the SSC this year are not satisfactory, because the percentage of pass in the eight general education boards is 67.41 this year, while the rate was 70.81 last year under seven education boards.

Attention: mobile operators

Different mobile operators are advertising call blocking option of their service. The technology is good, but I object to the idea of advertising it. The advertisements are presented in a way as if disturbing calls are a matter of fun. Such calls are a social crime and civic nuisance. Perhaps all mobile phones are now registered and it is possible to find out the caller. So there should be this warning message to disturbing callers. Sometimes disturbing callers do it in groups (!). How many callers' connection one can block or how effective the option is?

Volleying back....

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International

Two states 'only resolution' to ME conflict: Obama

President Barack Obama reiterated yesterday US support for a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel, calling on Palestinians to renounce violence and on Israel to put an end to settlements.

UN warns against disease outbreak in Pak camps

UN officials warned yesterday against potential disease outbreaks among two million Pakistanis displaced by an army offensive against the Taliban, reiterating that aid money was running out.

Obama can heal West-Islam rift

Barack Obama can end "years of tension and confrontation" between the West and Islam, the Arab League chief said Thursday as the US president sought to mend ties with the Muslim world in Egypt.

US offers Pak refugees aid, not security

A top US envoy visited Pakistani refugees who have fled fighting between their country's military and Taliban guerrillas and told them yesterday that the United States can't offer them security, but it can offer them aid.

N Korean patrol boat intrudes into South, fuelling tensions

A North Korean navy patrol boat yesterday crossed into South Korean waters and stayed almost one hour before retreating, further fuelling military tensions after Pyongyang's nuclear test last week.

Obama offers hope for ME peace

President Barack Obama offered the world the audacity to hope for peace in the Middle East and a better understanding between the United States and Muslims. Still, a president known for his soaring oratory admitted his words alone would not change a thing.

OAS ends Cuba suspension after 47 years

The Organisation of American States cleared the way for Cuba's possible return to the group by lifting a 47-year ban on the communist-run country, a move backed by Washington despite initial objections.

Reshaping of ties depends on Pakistan's sincerity: Patil

President Pratibha Patil Thursday said the reshaping of relations with Pakistan would depend on its 'sincerity' in preventing terrorist groups from launching attacks against India.

TI brands Indian political parties and civil servants as most corrupt

Politicians and civil servants are rated to be the most corrupt persons according to the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) released by Transparency International, (TI) the global body monitoring corruption in governance.

Four killed in Palestinian gunbattle

Three Hamas members and a Palestinian policeman were killed on Thursday in a gunbattle in the northern West Bank in the second such incident in less than a week, an official said.

US-Russia nuclear disarmament talks 'productive': US

Russia and the United States have had "productive" talks on cutting their nuclear arsenals, the senior US negotiator said in Geneva yesterday.

2 US journalists go on trial in North Korea

Two American journalists faced trial yesterday in North Korea on accusations of illegal entry and "hostile acts" in a case that could send them to a labour camp for 10 years. Back home, their families pleaded for leniency.

Myanmar detains women, children over rare protest

Myanmar's military regime detained two women and four children yesterday after they held a rare protest asking the US embassy to help obtain the release of a prisoner, an official said.

3 US soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Three US soldiers deployed to fight extremists in Afghanistan were killed Thursday when their convoy was ambushed with a bomb attack and gunfire, the US military said.

Lanka seizes aid ship

Sri Lanka's navy on Thursday seized a foreign-owned ship loaded with supplies for war-affected civilians, saying it had entered its territorial waters illegally.

Arts & Entertainment

Of dreams, past and future

While many strive to get that one necessary break to make it in the domain of entertainment, most celebrities claim that a career in the media was never their first choice. “I never thought I'd be this popular,” is often the common response and one wonders how luck favours those who allegedly "do not ask for it."

Fleeting moments...

As part of its regular activities, BUET Photographic Society (BUET-PS) arranged the three-day '7th Annual Photography Exhibition' at Del Café, BUET campus. The exhibition titled "29 Seconds...in 50 Frames" was inaugurated on May 31 by the Vice Chancellor of BUET Dr. A.M.M. Safiullah.

Tangail Ananda Natyadal stages Kolir Sandhya

Celebrating its 11th anniversary, Ananda Natyadal, a local theatre group, staged its production "Kolir Sandhya" last Wednesday at the Tangail Shaheed Minar premises.

Preliminary selection round of “Channel i Shera Kantho” tonight

Preliminary round of the musical talent hunt "Channel i Shera Kantho '09" will be aired tonight at 7:50 pm. Tonight's episode will feature the Barisal zone selection round.

Guillermo Del Toro talks vampires and virus

Vampires these days are sort of lovelorn and wimpy. Not Guillermo del Toro's. His will suck you dry with a stinger-tipped tentacle. It's not really the kind of stuff teen girls want to read. But del Toro, director of the Oscar-winning “Pan's Labyrinth” -- as well as “The Devil's Backbone”, “Blade II” and the “Hellboy” series -- is not trying to appeal to the Stephenie Meyer set with his new novel. The first in a trilogy (co-written with author Chuck Hogan), “The Strain” opens with a plane that lands in New York City, lights off, windows drawn, everyone seemingly dead. Naturally, it gets worse from there. The director, currently in New Zealand, where he is working on the film version of J.R.R Tolkien's “The Hobbit”, talked about bloodsuckers, swine flu and more.

OP-ED

A new beginning

I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning, and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I am grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. I am also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum.

Environment

Polluted rivers, risky water

The water of Buriganga, Balu, Sitalakhya and Turag are severely polluted. No biological survival can occur there as oxygen is depleted and might have reached nearly O level! Oxygen level in fresh river water is 9mg/l at 20ºc and 7.6mg/l at 30ºc (Summer).

A plea to combating climate change and water scarcity

To everything there is a season; but water is eternal. However, despite the looming crisis of water, the scenario is getting worse day by day because of nature's unpredictability along with industrialisation, illegal encroachment, negligence and ignorance of the authorities, which are turning our once pristine fresh water resources and riverine waterways into sewers. Thus water is becoming increasingly scarce in consequence.

The action beyond a day

Only one day is not sufficient to unite people to combat climate change but it should be sufficient to give a message -- "Your planet needs you: Unite to combat climate change." Bearing this theme, the whole world is celebrating today the World Environment Day (WED) 2009 with a view to raising worldwide awareness of the environment as well as enhancing political attention and action. The world observes WED, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972, on June 5 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.


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