News of: Saturday, 6th of June, 2009
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday made a strong pledge to evict those who have encroached upon rivers irrespective of their identity and strength.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) yesterday, the third day of the on-going eviction drive, dismantled parts of two major and at least 30 makeshift sturctures erected on the river Turag.
A suicide bomber killed 38 people attending Juma (Friday) prayers at a mosque, while a roadside bomb left four soldiers dead in Pakistan's tribal belt the latest violence to rock the country's northwest as the army says it is beating back the Taliban in the Swat Valley.
Nasaka, the border security force of Myanmar, opened fire on a group of Bangladeshi fishermen in Batirdia sea channel under Teknaf upazila near Saint Martin's Island, Thursday morning, leaving 11 fishermen wounded, according to a delayed report.
The Daily Star has received the National Environment Award 2009 in environment education and campaign category, for promotion of environmental awareness.
The law commission, formed to help modernise the country's law and judicial system, is yet to be fully functional due to shortage of manpower and logistic supports although its chairman and two members have been appointed.
Three schoolboys were arrested Thursday night on charge of killing a classmate in a quarrel over a digital music player near Beribadh under Pahartali Police Station in the port city.
World Food Programme (WFP) has claimed the high-energy biscuits that caused toxicity havoc after consumption by the school students in Khagrachhari district recently, were completely safe.
Prodding the international community, President Barack Obama called yesterday "for all of us to redouble our efforts" toward separate Israeli and Palestinian states. "The moment is now for us to act," he declared.
Phensidyl smuggling has shot up since the February 25 carnage at Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters, as lax border control, because of a shortage of BDR guards, allowed smugglers to step up operations across the Indo-Bangladesh border.
Octogenarian Md Gaher Ali Tikadar of Naogaon has set up an extraordinary example of planting trees on his own initiative along the Naogaon-Rajshahi road during the last 60 years.
Police believe at least 20 women are working in the country to expand the network of international mafia godfather Daud Ibrahim.
With a hope to make a Super Eights berth, Bangladesh will kick-off their campaign in the ICC World Twenty20 Cup by taking on defending champions India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham today.
Rooppur nuclear power plant would hopefully start generating power in five years adding one thousand megawatt of power to the national grid, said State Minster for Science and Technology Yafes Osman yesterday morning.
Two people, including a workshop employee, were killed by criminals in separate incidents in the city's Mohammadpur and Lalbagh yesterday.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was yesterday fighting for his job as two more cabinet ministers quit in quick succession, another heavy blow as his party braced for big local and European poll losses.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani urged the United States Friday to write off its debt to help his cash-strapped nation grapple with insurgency, humanitarian crisis and global recession
WITH high hopes and expectancy filling the air, partly spurred on by the White House, but in a large part building up since his assumption of office on a campaign mantra for change, US President Barack Obama delivered a major policy speech from the Cairo University podium calling for 'a new beginning' between the United States and the Muslim world.
THERE is an apparent contradiction in the type of international business environment the garments manufacturers and exporters are having to face. It is a strange mix of the negative and the positive. Set against the backdrop of a change in the demand pattern brought on by the global financial meltdown and a high cost of doing business, the garments sector is on the one hand confronted with a buyer pressure to reduce prices and on the other blessed by a set of new buyers' leaning towards Bangladeshi RMG products.
DEATHS in the so-called crossfire have, unfortunately, become news once again. The Daily Star editorial of May 31, has been quite critical of the foreign minister's comment that the culture of crossfire killing cannot come to an end overnight. While concerned citizens and rights bodies may take serious exception to the minister's observation, particularly in view of her recent assurances about putting an effective stop to custodial killing at international forum, the reality on ground lends credence to the minister's premonition, howsoever retrograde that may sound.
PAKISTAN'S campaign to rid the scenic Swat valley, Buner and the surrounding areas of Islamist fighters has added another chapter to the continuing saga of their commitment to tackle the crisis of fundamentalism. Now the engagement has been more intense, and has achieved a bit of success. The brutal insurgency aimed at imposing Shariah law and expanding militant control appears to have lost some steam but doesn't appear to have lost its momentum.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons is expecting the Tigers to arrive at the party from the very first match of the ICC World T20 against India at Trent Bridge today.
Roger Federer moved to within one match of finally winning the French Open when he came from behind to defeat giant Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro in Friday's semifinal.
Netherlands shocked hosts England in the inaugural match of the ICC World Twenty20 Cup at Lord's in London yesterday beating the giants by four wickets in the last ball of the match.
Australia will be forced into a late change of plan when they begin their quest for the ICC World Twenty20 title against the West Indies at the Oval on Saturday now that Andrew Symonds has been sent home.
New Zealand's World Twenty20 opener against Scotland at the Oval on Saturday promises to be a low key affair - and that is, you suspect, just the way the Black Caps want it.
Media and fans on Friday called for the end of troubled allrounder Andrew Symonds' international cricket career after his latest disgrace in being ordered home from Australia's tour to England on disciplinary grounds.
In a bizarre turn of events, the entire Indian team turned up at the pre-match press conference at Trent Bridge on Friday in a "show of unity" following media reports of a rift between senior players.
Enamul Haque and Sohrawordi Shuvo spun Bangladesh A to a first innings lead against the visiting Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) on the third day of the four-day match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Big-hitting middle order batsman Cameron White was on Thursday called up by Australia to replace the disgraced Andrew Symonds for the World Twenty20 which gets underway on Friday.
Belgium's Dick Norman belied his 38 years on Thursday as he and South Africa's Wesley Moodie saved three match points to reach the French Open men's doubles final with a thrilling victory over America's Bryan twins, Mike and Bob.
Svetlana Kuznetsova set-up an all-Russian French Open final against top seed Dinara Safina when she defeated battling Australian Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 in Thursday's semi-finals.
Ricky Ponting said Andrew Symonds had "let himself down, let all his team-mates down and Cricket Australia down" after he was sent home from Australia's squad at the World Twenty20 in England.
Pakistan's two morale-sapping losses in practice matches will count for little once the action starts in the World Twenty20, coach Intikhab Alam said on Friday.
Golden Boys and Ekota Sporting Club have advanced to the finals of the Igloo Summer Twenty20 Cricket Challenge.
Defending champion Rafael Nadal has been forced to withdraw from next week's Wimbledon warm-up tournament at Queen's after being told by doctors he needs to rest his knees.
England can all but book their World Cup finals tickets on Saturday if they can take full points at Kazakhstan in Almaty.
It's getting close to crunch time for Argentina approaching the final straight of Latin America's long slog of 2010 World Cup qualifying.
France coach Raymond Domenech on Thursday said the jeering of his players during their 1-0 friendly defeat to Nigeria on Tuesday was "a form of racism".
Liverpool fans were warned Friday that they should be "very worried" after auditors warned that the club's parent company is in danger of being forced out of business by unsustainable debt.
Dutchman Frank Rijkaard was on Friday named as new coach of Turkish first division club Galatasaray.
Franck Ribery could pose more a problem than a solution for his club Bayern Munich with his want-away attitude, according to former team-mate Oliver Kahn.
Bayern Munich are set to snap up Croatian international midfielder Danijel Pranjic from Dutch side SC Heerenveen, the German club said Thursday.
The New Zealand national football team, the Oceania champions, arrived Thursday in South Africa for the Confederations Cup tournament which kicks-off next week.
New Zealand v Scotland
Venue: The Oval
Speakers at a discussion yesterday said living in safe environment should be ensured as a fundamental right of people enshrined in the constitution.
Different government and non-government organisations yesterday observed the World Environment Day through different programmes.
With the slogan 'We want a pollution-free Dhaka, a happy and beautiful Bangladesh' the daylong council of Dhaka city unit of Khelaghar, an organisation that works for children, was held in the capital yesterday.
Speakers at a roundtable on Thursday said no government should impose surveillance and censorship on internet and block any websites considering people's right to know and free flow of information.
BARCIK, a non-governmental organisation, organised a dialogue titled 'Climate change: The security of agriculture and farmers' at the National Press Club in the city on Thursday, says a press release.
Eminent citizens, celebrities and people from all walks of life yesterday pledged to change themselves to bring about a positive change in the society for building a democratic, progressive and secular country.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the Vitamin A plus Campaign, June '2009 at her official residence Jamuna yesterday.
AKM Mozammel Haque, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on Ministry of Land, yesterday said a bill to amend some provisions of the 'Vested Property Return Act-2001' might be placed before the current budget session of parliament.
Three people were killed and six others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur and Gaibandha yesterday.
The district health department authorities issued show cause notices on 19 physicians of Satkhira Sadar Hospital as per the directive of the health minister who found them absent during his visit to the hospital on Thursday.
Speakers at a seminar on Thursday said crime against humanity will continue unless war criminals are brought to justice.
Leaders of primary school teachers yesterday demanded separate primary education cadre service to appoint competent teachers.
Green Voice, an organisation working for environment, demanded steps to free the rivers, including Buriganga, Turag, Shitalakkhya and Balu, from encroachers and making them pollution-free.
Mohammad Tofazzal Hossain and Dr Mohammad Nurul Amin have been elected president and general secretary of Basabo Unmukta Sharir-charcha Kendra at Basabo in the city at an election on May 29 at Basabo Community Centre, says a press release.
Ruling Awami League (AL) will sit today to finalise its tasks to boost up party activities across the country.
Three towns in Pakistan's restive northwest have been cleared of the Taliban, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said yesterday as the military operations against the militants entered their 42nd day.
India yesterday ruled out resumption of talks with Pakistan until it took tangible measures to prevent terrorism directed against this country.
Amnesty International on Friday urged the UN Security Council to probe war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka, ahead of a briefing to the world body by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that extremism cannot pose a threat to the sovereignty of the country, and claimed that the Swat offensive is fully backed by Pakistan's political fraternity.
Admiring Arabs cheered President Barack Obama's speech in Cairo, lapping up his quotations from the Quran and his greetings expressed in Arabic.
The United States will impose its own financial sanctions on North Korea apart from punishments that the UN has been considering for Pyongyang's latest nuclear test, a news report said yesterday.
British ministers conceded early yesterday that the government had suffered a hammering at the polls after early council election returns suggested Labour's vote was sliding.
State media say an estimated 59 people have been buried by a landslide in an iron mining region of southwestern China.
Iraq and Afghanistan are planning to resume diplomatic relations "very soon", 12 years after they were severed during the days of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, a senior Afghan diplomat said.
Authorities in Guinea-Bissau said yesterday they foiled an attempted coup, and security forces killed two people allegedly involved, including a candidate in the West African nation's upcoming presidential ballot.
Three Afghan children were killed yesterday by a mortar left over from a battle between police and Taliban, as bomb attacks and clashes left 31 more people dead, most of them insurgents, officials said.
Lawyers acting for Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in court yesterday to challenge a ruling over the witnesses who can testify on her behalf, her spokesman said.
Describing the Mumbai attacks as an "invasion of India" launched from Pakistan, Leader of Opposition LK Advani today demanded setting up of an inquiry commission at central level to determine what went wrong and suggest steps to prevent recurrence of such terror strikes.
A sniper assassinated Friday the interior minister of Russia's turbulent Dagestan region as he left a wedding party, a doctor and reports said.
In a landmark discovery, scientists at the University of California, Davis, have found that a hormone called auxin is responsible for egg production in plants.
US lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation to help reunite families split apart for years by the creaky immigration system -- including, controversially, same-sex partners.
Even short-term use of popular acid-reducing heartburn drugs could increase the risk of hip fractures, a new study has found.
Arts & Entertainment
To commemorate the approaching birth anniversary of the Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara (on June 14), Bangla Theatre has organised the five-day "Che'r Cycle Theatre Festival." The festival kicked off on June 4 at the Studio Theatre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Written by Mamunur Rashid and directed by Faiz Zahir, the play "Che'r Cycle" will be staged everyday at the festival along with brief recitation and musical programmes.
Kill Bill and Kung Fu star David Carradine was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room last Thursday.
During the nine-month long Liberation War, thousands of people -- both civilians and the freedom fighters -- wrote letters to their near and dear ones. These letters depict and document turmoil and life during the war. Recently Prothoma Publication, in association with the Bangla daily Prothom Alo and Grameenphone, published a collection of letters written by freedom fighters. The publication, titled "Ekatturer Chithi," has been considered an authentic account of the war.
With a vision to project the opulence of Bangladeshi culture, Bengal Foundation -- a private trust -- began its journey in the late '80s. After over 20 years on the trail, Bengal Foundation's endeavours now encompass almost all forms of visual and performing arts. Music and painting, however, remain its central concern. The Foundation has recently partnered with impressario India (a cultural organisation with an 18-year track record of highlighting aspects of Bengali culture for a global audience), and is arranging a series of concerts featuring prominent Bangladeshi singers in Delhi, India, starting from today, says a press release.
BANGLADESH, during the last few decades, has been identified as a disaster prone area. It has been barely 16 months since the killer Sidr struck the coastline of Bangladesh and took a toll of 3,500 lives, according to official count, with huge loss of property and livestock.
HUNDI is the diversion and selling of the foreign currency earned by expatriates, and is thought to be a major vehicle for financing of terrorism. In Bangladesh, hundi is practiced not for profits or for servicing terrorism, but because of the absence of a workable system for managing remittance.
WHEN the Lahore High Court asked Pakistan's attorney general why the UN resolution on the detention of Hafiz Sayeed, a terrorist involved in the Mumbai attack, should be honoured when New Delhi had not implemented the UN resolutions on Kashmir, it was apparent how the mind of the judges was ticking. I do not know what the attorney general's reply was. But I think the comparison by the court was not in order. One related to an international issue and the other to an individual who was running away from justice.
Kamala Das, aka Madhavikutty, aka Kamala Suraiya, b. 31 March 1934, d. 31 May 2009. Multiple names; two faiths; two mediums of creative expression - painting and writing, the latter in two languages and several genres; many interests; many controversies. Her name will long resonate in our consciousness, thanks to her bold assertiveness, whether in confessional verse or self-revelatory prose.
It was built up as an afternoon of literary Davids from Pakistan, writers who had emerged relatively new on the horizon of South Asian English fiction and were fast beginning to catch up with the entrenched Goliaths of India. Pakistan appears often in the global media for issues ranging from its institutionalised support of violence to its undisputed talent in terms of both cricket and corruption, and yet, here they were veiling the violence with an artistic cover. So, what were the new Pakistani literati really like, I thought, as I navigated the swell of the great unwashed over the Bank Holiday at Regent's Street.
On 30th May Dhaka Club played grand host to a book launch in its Hamidur Rahman Sinha Lounge. The book was the second installment of Hasnat Abdul Hye's autobiography All Those Yesterdays 1954-1964: Youth in Pakistan, America and Europe (Dhaka: Adorn Publication).
Often, from behind the house and from the dirty seashore, the smell of rotting fish would enter our back verandah, from which I watched a municipal school's children parade in the morning, singing a patriotic song and the huts of the bootleggers who buried their wares in tins at night and slept on charpoys in the day, while the sun climbing over them, burnt their skin black. The bootleggers were full of distrust for strangers and once or twice when I went strolling past their colony, they turned their hostile eyes towards me.
I don't know politics but I know the names of those
in power and can repeat them like days of week or
names of months, beginning with Nehru. I am Indian,
brown, born in Malabar. I speak three languages, write
in two, dream in one. Don't write in English, they cried, English
is not your mother tongue. Why not leave me alone, critics,
friends, visiting cousins, everyone of you? Let me speak
in any language I like. The language I speak becomes
mine, its distortions, its queernesses all mine, mine alone.
It is half English, half Indian, funny perhaps but it's
honest, it is human as I am human, you know…
It voices my longings, my hopes and is useful to me
as cawing is to crows or roaring to the lions,
it is human speech, the speech of the mind that is here, not
a mind that sees and hears and is aware. Not the deaf
blind speech of trees in storm or of monsoon clouds or of rain
or the incoherent mutterings of the blazing
funeral pyre. I was child and later they said, I grew,
for, I became tall, my limbs swelled and one or two places
sprouted hair. When I asked for love, not knowing what else
to ask for, he drew a youth of sixteen into his
bedroom and shut the door. He did not beat me but my sad
woman-body felt so beaten. The weight of my breasts and
womb crushed me. I shrank pitifully. Then I wore a shirt
and a black sarong, cut my hair short and ignored all of
this womanliness. Dress in sarees, be girl or wife,
they cried. Be embroiderer, a cook or a quarreler
with servants. Fit in, belong, said the categorizers.
Be Amy or be Kamala. Or, better still, be just
Madhavikutty. It is time to choose a name, a role.
Don't play pretending games. Don't play at schizophrenia
or be a nympho. Don't cry embarrassingly loud when
jilted in love…Later, I met a man. Loved him. Call him
not by any name, he is every man who wants his
woman, just as I am every woman who seeks love.
In him the hungry haste of rivers, in me the ocean's
tireless waiting. Who are you, I ask each and all. The answer
- is, it's I.
Anywhere and everywhere I see him who calls himself
I. In this world he is tightly packed like the sword in its sheath.
It is I who drink a lonely drink near midnight at hotels
of strange towns, it is I who make love and then feel shame,
it is I who lie dying with a rattle in my throat,
I am the sinner, I am the saint. I am both the lover
and the beloved. I have no joys which are not yours
no aches which are not yours
we share the same name, the same fate, the same crumpled
Children are exposed to serious health risks from environmental hazards. Over 40 percent of the global burden of disease attributed to environmental factors falls on children below five years of age, who account for only about 10 percent of the world's population.
We all have heard that drinking more water is better for our health, but the plastic bottles we drink from may contain dangerous toxins! Some scientific research showed that plastics can emit toxin chemicals that are hazardous to the body.
Implementing measures to improve nutrition, indoor air pollution, immunisation coverage and the management of pneumonia cases could be cost-effective and significantly reduce child mortality from pneumonia, according to a study led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
NORTH Korea demonstrated its anger towards the US and neighbouring countries by conducting a nuclear test on 25th May for the second time. On 29th May 2009, North Korea fired a ground to air missile which has an estimated range of 260 kilometres.
AN air of despondency is prevailing among our professional diplomats because of the way this Government is appointing ambassadors and high commissioners. All these appointments have not yet been announced because the respective governments have not yet given the agreements. But then secrecy has never been a strong point in our governance and hence most of these appointments have found their way to the press. In fact, a member of the parliament, who is also a former career diplomat, has responded to these appointments in the media as if they have been announced already.
US President Barack Obama has offered the beginning of a new engagement to the US' traditional enemies, exemplified by its seriousness towards Iran. Even though Obama has declared his opposition to the Iranian nuclear programme, like the Bush administration, he has also indicated a more pliable approach to it. Obama has appealed to the leaders of Iran and expressed his administration's commitment "to pursue constructive ties between the US, Iran and the international community."
Star Books Review
AS travelogues go, Kuala Lumpurer Pathe Pathe is rather humdrum. As a book that highlights the importance of archives to a nation or country, however, Sharif uddin Ahmed's work carries some weight, an aspect that should have a far greater impact on the people and government of Bangladesh than its contents in one hundred pages and small change. According to The New American Desk Encyclopedia, archives, which are documents of a public body preserved in an organized manner, began in 1789 with the French Archives Nationales as the systematic collection and supervision by a central government agency. Quoting the director general of the Malaysian National Archives, Ahmed brings out the significance of archives to a society: “Archives are not only important for heritage preservation but also as means of transparency in a government…. They can be the reference to our past strengths and weaknesses, and guide us to move forward….” However, the author laments, there is little public awareness in Bangladesh about the important role that archives can play in a country's development.
It's a beautiful book--- in shape and size with a cover picture of the Pukhtun Badshah Ghaffar Khan, a map of 17 agencies--- Chitral, Dir, Kohistan, Swat, Manshere, Abbotabad, Mohmand, Malakand, Mardan, Peshawar, Khyber, Khurram, Kohat, North Wazirstan, South Wazirstan, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan and states or agencies of the North West Frontier.
Archaeology is related to the renovation, resurrection and reconstruction of non-documented and extinct history of ancient men through the analysis of their material remains conveying their cultural tradition, often hidden within ancient mounds.
A Child Widow's Story is a biography of Sister Subbalakshmi, a very admirable Indian social reformer who brought about an unimaginable transformation in the lives of South Indian child widows.