The Daily Star

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Friday, July 25, 2014


News of: Friday, 26th of June, 2009

Front Page

HC outlines river steps

The High Court yesterday issued a set of directives for the government to save the rivers around the capital from encroachment and pollution.

Aug 21 probe still in question

The government wants further investigation into the August 21 grenade attacks on an Awami League rally as it believes even the probe by the last caretaker government, which corrected the farcical investigation of the BNP-Jamaat alliance's rule, is not a complete one.

Scope breach of UN convention: WB

The World Bank (WB) said yesterday the provision of whitening money in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year (FY) is in conflict with the UN Convention against Corruption Bangladesh signed, and anti-graft laws of the country.

HC directives ignored

Repeated notices of the Department of Environment (DoE), protests from environmentalists, warnings from environment experts, and the High Court's directives for the government to stop pollution of rivers -- nothing could refrain industrialists from their vile practice of dumping effluents in the rivers in and around the capital.

Mainul's graft charges under JS scanner

The parliamentary standing committee on housing and public works ministry yesterday formed a five-member sub-committee to investigate the allegations of corruption against Mainul Hosein, law and housing adviser to the last caretaker government.

One more swine flu case found

Swine flu cases in the country rose to eight as one more person was found infected with the H1N1 virus yesterday.

Install speed limit device by Jun next

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to take measures to install “speed limiter” in all vehicles by June 30, 2010 to reduce road accidents.

Jalil deems it unconstitutional

Ruling Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday in parliament termed the presence of advisers to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the cabinet meetings unconstitutional.

BNP grassroots miss time frame

Almost half of the newly formed district convening committees of BNP have failed to submit full-fledged committees to the central committee for approval within the stipulated time frame that expired yesterday.

Eviction halts

Narayanganj district administration suddenly stopped the eviction drive against the encroachers of Shitalakhya river on the 12th day yesterday although Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) was all set for the day's drive.

HC rallies for rivers

* Demarcate Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu rivers by November 30

Fight poverty, terrorism thru' jt move

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina sought combined effort by the South Asian nations to eradicate poverty and combat terrorism in the region.

Preserve all historic sites relating to Liberation War

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within July 6 this year why it should not be directed to protect and maintain the important historic places relating to the Liberation War of the republic.

RMG workers block road as factory closed

Workers of a garment factory staged demonstration and blocked road in the city's Sutrapur yesterday morning in protest against sudden closure of the factory without paying their dues.

Jubak chief held for cheating

Executive Director of Jubo Karmasangsthan Society (Jubak) Masud Al Hossain was arrested from the city yesterday on charge of misappropriation of crores of taka from hundreds of people across the country.

Brig Gen Azmi dismissed

Brigadier General Abdullahil Aman Azmi was dismissed from the service Tuesday, highly-placed sources of the government said yesterday.

Moriarty for Indo-Bangla talks on Tipai

US Ambassador to Bangladesh James F Moriarty yesterday said Bangladesh should hold talks with India to settle the ongoing dispute over the construction of Tipaimukh dam.

Padma bridge proposed to be over 6km

The length of the Padma Bridge would be 6.15km instead of 5.58 km as the consulting firm in its design has proposed to extend it by 570 metres.

Swat freed of Taliban, declares Pakistan

The Pakistan government Wednesday claimed that the entire Malakand division, including Swat, in the country's restive northwest had been cleared of the Taliban, but this seemed to be at variance with the military that indicated that its operations against the militants were far from over.

N Korea vows to enlarge its atomic arsenal

North Korea vowed yesterday to enlarge its atomic arsenal and warned of a "fire shower of nuclear retaliation" in the event of a US attack, as the regime marked the 1950 outbreak of the Korean War.

Bombs hurled at garment factory: 2 hurt

Unidentified criminals launched a bomb attack on a garment factory in the city's Shewrapara area last night, leaving two people injured.

JS body for terrestrial facility for other channels

A parliamentary standing committee yesterday said they are in favour of providing terrestrial facility to other television channels although the cabinet decided to preserve the facility only for Bangladesh Television (BTV).

Editorial

Awami League at sixty

The Awami League observed the 60th anniversary of its founding on June 23 with enthusiasm as people's expectations of its maturity and experience to deliver grow. It has traversed a tortuous path through the decades and played a significant role in shaping the destiny of the country. Indeed, the Awami League, as a truly mass-based political organization, can legitimately lay claim to glory, given that it has itself been instrumental in the making of history.

Swine flu is here

Among about a hundred countries which have been afflicted by Swine flu, we are the last-named one. But the worrying thing is, it's spreading like wildfire as was apprehended by the WHO. We can not pass off with any lower risk rating for, the truth is, since the detection of the first flu case at the Dhaka airport on June 18 the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research has confirmed seven more cases in a matter of week. And those who came in contact with such affected in-bound passengers from the US, numbering around 30, have been placed under surveillance as part of the 'contact case tracing' initiative which is the right way to go about it. But we are on the world affliction chart.

Until people have raised their voice

TWO of our politicians have committed the same mischief in two different ways. Both concealed information about their academic backgrounds when they filed nomination papers to contest in the last parliamentary election. One of them wrote he had no education despite being a university graduate. Another shifted like a moving target, revealing varying academic level for each election contested. They must have thought it like many others do in this country. How a practicing Brahmin likes to wear his circle of twine is nobody's business.

Life is precious

THOUGH I had driving experience in several countries, it took five attempts to get my driving license in New York City. In my second attempt, I failed because of a pedestrian. He was attempting to cross the road on a red signal. Seeing the green light, I moved slightly forward. The examiner pressed the safety brake and returned my learner permit card along with the result slip, with the remark: "Always life first, always pedestrian first."

Sports

Tigers finish camp

The Bangladesh national team finished their 12-day long training camp yesterday before their tour of the West Indies next month.

Venus on a roll

Five-time champion Venus Williams and French Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova eased into the Wimbledon last 32 Thursday, just hours after tour boss Larry Scott had praised the depth of the women's game.

India seek redemption

India start their campaign on Friday to put the bad memory of their failure in the ICC World Twenty20 behind them, when they face West Indies in the first One-day International of the four match series.

USA pull Spain shocker

The United States shocked Spain 2-0 on Wednesday to book a place in the Confederations Cup final and end the European champions record-breaking win streak.

Danone Nations Cup from June 28

The 2nd Grameen Danone Nations Cup (Under-10-12) Football Competition will commence on June 28 at seven zonal venues across the country.

Sir John Wilson champs

Sir John Wilson School clinched the title of the Citycell Dhaka Metropolis Women's School Football championship beating Viqarunnissa Noon Girls' School & College by a solitary goal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

No time to enjoy win: Afridi

The short gap between the recently concluded ICC World Twenty20 and the next edition in the West Indies in April 2010 has robbed Pakistan of the chance to fully savour the triumph, the all-rounder Shahid Afridi has said.

Practice match ends in draw

The two-day match between Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Green and BCB Red ended in a draw at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

U-19 team to tour England

The Bangladesh Under-19 team will depart for England on June 30 for a month long tour. The team will play two four-day matches, two twenty20's and 5 one dayers against England Under-19. The last two one dayers will be telecasted live by Sky Sports

Fairytale continues

Brilliant tactics helped the United States pull off a stunning 2-0 win over Spain and reach the Confederations Cup final, something coach Bob Bradley described as huge.

Bosque pays tribute

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque paid tribute to his team Thursday after their phenomenal unbeaten run was ended by the United States, vowing they would bounce straight back.

We are hurting: Xavi

Barcelona midfielder Xavi says Spain are hurting after failing to make the final of the Confederations Cup.

Real land Albiol

Lyon insist Karim Benzema is staying at the club after Real Madrid enquired about the striker.

Win sparks WC fever in US

The United States' shock Confederations Cup semi-final win over Spain has sparked enormous interest from Americans in next year's World Cup, FIFA revealed on Thursday.

Spain lose their style

Spain's shock Confederations Cup loss to the United States constitutes a humbling lesson for the European champions, who played with little or no style, Spanish media agreed on Thursday.

Iran denies punishing players

The head of Iran's football federation has denied punishing players for wearing green wristbands in a show of support of the opposition during a World Cup qualifier, local media reported on Thursday.

S Korea to get WC rewards

Members of South Korea's football squad will receive up to 80 million won (62,000 dollars) each as a reward for getting the country to its seventh consecutive World Cup finals, officials said Thursday.

Cesc fed up with trophyless run

Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas is fed up with the club's trophyless run stretching back four seasons and is angry at the glaring contrast with Manchester United, The Sun reported the star Thursday as saying.

'Swing may help England'

Former Australia fast bowler Jeff Thomson believes swing bowling could help England in their quest to regain the Ashes.

Sania hoping for take-off

Sania Mirza hopes that within a few years she won't be the only Indian tennis star battling at the highest level.

BKSP school cricket champs

BKSP crushed Viquarunnesa Girls School by a massive 163 runs to win the Girls School Cricket Tournament at the Women's Complex Ground yesterday.

O'Brien out for 6 weeks

Niall O'Brien, the Ireland wicketkeeper, has been ruled out for upto six weeks after aggravating an ankle injury he picked up during the World Twenty20 earlier this month. O'Brien, who missed a Twenty20 game for Northamptonshire on Tuesday, had a second MRI scan which revealed a grade 2 ligament tear in his right ankle.

Pepsi First Baller Captain bowls to Clive Lloyd

Abdullah-Al-Fahad being the "Pepsi First Baller Captain" bowled to the Living Legend Clive Lloyd, as the ceremonial first ball before the start of the semifinal match of ICC World Twenty20 between Pakistan and South Africa on June 18.

Business

Cement makers fortify Indian foothold

Bangladesh's cement exports to seven north-eastern states of India, also known as 'seven sisters,' have marked a rise in recent months, which is, manufacturers think, because of the reputation the local quality cement brands have earned in the neighbouring country.

Renata to export drugs to 15 more states

Renata Ltd, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies and a market leader of animal health products in Bangladesh, plans to export its medicines to 15 more countries in bid to strengthen its presence in global market.

SingTel pulls back from bid to use Bangladesh bandwidth

Singapore-based telecom giant SingTel has pulled back from its bid to use 2.5Gb bandwidth from Bangladesh because of a lengthy procurement process, a persistent obstacle to lending excess bandwidth to international operators.

Ericsson names new CEO as Svanberg goes to BP

Swedish wireless equipment company LM Ericsson on Thursday said its financial chief Hans Vestberg will become the new chief executive when Carl-Henric Svanberg moves to head the board of BP Group PLC.

LDCs hurt deeply by crisis

The vast majority of the world's poor in the LDCs have "extremely limited" financial capacity and institutional arrangement to cope with the global economic crisis, said Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday.

Paper bags win back lustre

A ban on the use of polythene bags has come as a blessing for paper bag and packet makers, as they witnessed an increase in demand for their products.

Investors getting back confidence: BB chief

Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman said yesterday investors are regaining confidence with the removal of fear factors that emerged out of the global recession.

Muhith spells out way to develop haor areas

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday that formation of a parliamentary caucus with representatives from haor (water body) areas would help bring about development of the haor vicinities in the northeastern region of the country.

Downturn dashes retirees' dreams

Sunlight was the main reason Gill Burden left Britain to retire in Spain.

Philippine free port reinvents itself

May de los Santos used to make laptops and mobile phones at a high-tech Taiwanese electronics factory in Subic Bay free port, near Manila.

Samsung opens brand office in Dhaka

South Korean-based leading electronics maker Samsung Electronics Ltd opened its own brand office in Bangladesh on Wednesday, aiming to boost business by 30 percent in 2009.

RMG workers protest factory shutdown

About 1,000 garment workers, angered by salaries in arrear from May, blocked a busy road in the Sutrapur area of Dhaka yesterday to demonstrate against the shutdown of a factory and its owner.

BTCL call rates slashed

The state-owned Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) in its latest bid to compete with the private telecom players on the market knocked down call charges at uniform rates for all parts of the country.

No financial problem in power, energy works

The government sees no financial obstacles to power and energy development works, as it will focus on public-private partnership programmes to finance the projects, energy adviser to the prime minister said yesterday.

Asian stocks rise on Fed

Asian markets rose for a second successive day Thursday with investors boosted by the US Federal Reserve's confirmation it will keep interest rates at near zero as well as upbeat economic data.

Energy saving systems in rural areas stressed

A GTZ senior energy adviser has suggested the government take necessary measures to create awareness among rural people to use energy saving systems such as solar, biomass, biogas, wind and hydropower.

Dollar mixed

The dollar fell against the euro and rose versus the yen on Thursday after the Federal Reserve maintained its stimulative monetary policy aimed at lifting the US economy out of recession.

Britain's StanChart reports record profits, income

Standard Chartered, a British bank focused on emerging markets, said Thursday that it enjoyed record revenues and profits during the first five months of 2009.

Airlines struggle as swine flu adds to woes: IATA

Airlines need to tackle a "dramatic" plunge in revenues in the industry's "worst" crisis ever, IATA said Thursday as international air travel continued to drop in May partly due to swine flu.

Number of millionaires shrank in 2008

The world's population of millionaires shrank dramatically last year, as the global economic crisis took its toll on the wealthy, according to a report by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and consulting firm Capgemini.

Hong Kong exports down 14.5pc

Hong Kong exports plunged 14.5 percent year-on-year in May, but the rate of decline eased from April, showing some signs of recovery, government figures showed 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.

Metropolitan

'Budgetary funds for persons with disability insignificant'

There is a government school for visually impaired children at Muradpur in Chittagong.

Develop more technologies to promote food security

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday urged the agricultural scientists to develop more technologies to promote food security.

Drug abuse must be controlled by law

Speakers at a discussion yesterday stressed the need for creating public awareness of drug abuse and its smuggling must be controlled by the existing law in the country.

Shikkha Bhaban a cesspit of irregularities

The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), popularly known as 'Shikkha Bhaban' has turned into a centre of sufferings for the teachers and no role of DSHE in improving education is found, said a parliamentary subcommittee.

Fatwa incidents on the rise

Maya Noor, a mother of three children, has been on the run for over two weeks after some village leaders issued fatwa (religious edict) against her, labelling her a fallen woman.

Plant trees to protect environment

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the countrymen to come forward spontaneously to plant trees across the country with a view to protecting the environment from growing hazards, especially the adverse impacts of global climate change.

Call for more resources for prevention, treatment

Amid an increasingly brutal struggle for a bigger slice of $50 billion global cocaine market between Central American drug cartels, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has warned that legalising narcotics would be an “historic mistake.”

Rights bodies for arrest of culprits

Rights organisations have put forward a seven-point demand calling for immediate arrest and trial of all involved in the attack on and eviction of indigenous communities from Porsha in Naogaon on June 12.

PM for massive afforestation drive for ecological balance

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday emphasised conducting massive afforestation drive across the country to maintain ecological balance to save the country from disastrous impacts of the global climate change.

Jahanara Imam's 15th anniversary of death today

Today is the 15th death anniversary of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam, who initiated the movement for trial of the war criminals.

JCD, BCL clash at Tongi

At least 20 people were injured and five vehicles damaged during the clashes between the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) at Tongi Government College yesterday.

Pintu's lawyers file criminal appeal

Lawyers of detained former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu yesterday filed a criminal appeal with a Sessions Judge's Court seeking bail in connection with the Pilkhana carnage case.

Hena gets bail

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to former BNP lawmaker Mohammad Abu Hena on his surrender in connection with a Tk 10 lakh extortion case.

Ways to address climate change challenges discussed

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud, who is now attending a UN conference in Geneva, Wednesday met with former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos Horta and discussed possible ways to address the climate change challenges.

Tk 61cr Japanese food aid for ultra poor

Japan has contributed Tk 61 crore of food assistance to United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Bangladesh.

Remove principal, declare college as DU institute

Home Economics College students yesterday placed a seven-point demand, including removal of their principal and the college to be declared as an institute of Dhaka University (DU).

Law Commission suggests changes in Int'l Crimes Act

The Law Commission has recommended bringing amendments to the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 for holding the trial of war criminals who committed crimes against the humanity during the liberation war in 1971.

Body to review 11 bomb attack cases

The home minister yesterday sought explanations from the police department about submission of final reports in 11 bomb attack cases and gave an order to review the cases.

Primary teachers' memo to PM for 100pc salary

Bangladesh Non-Government Primary Teachers' Association yesterday placed an 11-point demand, including implementation of 100 percent of salary scale before nationalisation of their jobs.

SC asks lawyers to move prayer before chamber judge's court

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday asked the lawyers concerned to move a prayer before its chamber judge's court to fix a date for the hearing of a provisional leave-to-appeal petition against the High Court (HC) verdict that declared Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the proclaimer of independence.

Six killed in road accidents

Six people were killed in separate road accidents in Barisal, Mymensingh, Chittagong and Satkhira in last two days.

Tk 6 cr narcotics destroyed

The 33 Battalion of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) on Wednesday destroyed a huge quantity of various drugs and narcotics worth about Tk six crore seized in the last four months.

Global meltdown threat to gains in AIDS response

The global economic crisis that has forced cutbacks in the government spending also threatens efforts to mount an effective response to HIV and AIDS, according to the head of the United Nations agency coordinating fight against the epidemic.

Ban urges G8 to combat climate change

Climate change and development top the list of challenges requiring action that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has laid out in a letter to leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations ahead of their upcoming summit.

Grameen Veolia launches water treatment plant at Goalmari

Grameen Veolia Water Ltd. launched its first water treatment plant at Goalmari village in Daudkandi, Comilla, on Wednesday.

Muggers take away Tk 1.21 lakh from salesman

Muggers snatched Tk 1.21 lakh form a sales representative of a cellphone company at Kadomtali in the city yesterday.

DU Day on July 1

Dhaka University (DU) will celebrate the 'DU Day' on July 1 amid a series of colourful programmes with the slogan 'Higher Education for Democratisation', said a press release yesterday.

2 snatchers injured in shootout with Rab

Two snatchers were injured in a shootout between members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-10) and their accomplices in the city's Sayedabad area last night.

National

First meet foiled amid brawl

A faction of Barisal city BNP yesterday foiled the first meeting of the newly formed convening committee of the city unit and assaulted their party rivals.

Only one out of 125 accused held in Khulna

Only one out of 125 accused was arrested in connection with 13 cases recorded in the last 75 days with four police stations of Khulna district for killing freedom fighters and looting their houses during Liberation War in 1971.

Ansar member files counter case

An Ansar member has filed a counter case against eight and many other unnamed people of Puratan Satkhira in the town accusing them of beating up Ansar members and creating obstacles to discharging their duties.

One beaten to death

One person was beaten to death on Wednesday in Pir Pukur village of Saidpur upazila. Sources said Shafiar Rahman of Nitai Dangapara village of Kishoreganj upazila, came to visit Raihan Mia of Pirpukur as his guest. At dead of night some locals detained Raihan on suspicion of being a cattle lifter. They tied him with a tree on the compound of a nearby primary school and beat up mercilessly. In the morning, members of the village police informed the matter to Saidpur police. Police rushed to the spot and rescued him in a critical condition. Later Raihan was shifted to Saidpur hospital where the attending physicians declared him dead. A case was registered and one villager was arrested.

Rival transport workers clash

Two rival groups of transport workers yesterday evening clashed for control of a bus terminal leaving three persons including general secretary of Lalmonirhat District Truck Tank Lorry Sramik Union Abul Kalam injured. Earlier, a chase and counter-case between the factions-one led by Kalam- Quader and the other by Rana-Mithun took place over opening of a new office at the bus terminal. The supporters of Kalam-Quader group blocked Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway and obstructed the journalists from performing their duties. They also damaged the motorcycle of Daily Star correspondent as he took photograph of clash. Later, a general dairy was filed with the Sadar police in this regard. Journalists in Lalmonirhat demanded punishment to the culprits.

Two get life term for murder

Feni Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court in a murder case on Wednesday sentenced two persons to life term imprisonment and fined each Tk 5,000, in default, to suffer more six months' rigorous imprisonment (RI). Court sources said Shahidullah Majumder, son of Feroz Ahmed Majumder of Chitolia village under Parshuram upazila was strangled on January 8, 1996. His body was later recovered from a water body. The victim's father filed a murder case and CID submitted charge sheet against Abdus Salam's sons Alam and Shah Alam.

Workshop at Sirajganj

Speakers at a workshop yesterday said disaster management and development activities should be done in a coordinated way. Failure to conduct proper development activities and provide people with necessary services leads to disaster that has increased in absence of good governance during the last few years, they said at the workshop. Bangladesh Disaster Prepared Center (BDPC) organised the workshop titled The Role of Mass Media and Civil Society to Reduce Disaster Risk Through Establishing Good Governance on the premises of Public Library in Sirajganj town. Emphasising the role of mass media in enhancing development activities and ensuring the rights of people, speakers said establishing good governance is essential for implementation of development works.

RU hall raided for outsider Shibir cadres

Law enforcers raided Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Hall of Rajshahi University (RU) on Wednesday night to arrest outsider Shibir cadres who equipped with firearms took shelter in the hall.

Bail prayers of 34 BDR men rejected

District and Sessions Judge's Court of Kurigram on Wednesday rejected the bail prayers of 34 arrested rebel BDR men of 27 Rifles Battalion.

Torture victim sues 38 JMB operatives

Amir Ali, a JMB torture victim last week lodged a case against 38 JMB militants in Rajshahi.

One killed, 50 hurt in clash

One person was killed and at least 50 people were injured in a clash yesterday between two rival groups at Shimrail village under Mahari union of Kasba upazila.

Letters

Cricket --- and no shame!!

The beauty about the Bangladesh cricketers is that they are never ashamed of their acts. I am sorry to say that none of the BD players have minimum intelligence to play the game and their minimum level of IQs needs to be examined. During the bygone days, almost all the cricketers were university students. I think the authorities should go for a minimum education level of the players before they are allowed to play for the national team. It is a game of intelligence in addition to skills and they are lacking it seriously.

Climate change and Bangladesh

Bangladesh is likely to be among the countries that will be the worst affected by climate change. Climate change refers to the changes in climatic elements' behaviour due to natural variability and human activity. In the last few decades, extensive floods, cyclones, tidal surges, tsunamis, drought, riverbank erosion, etc., have attacked our country increasingly frequently. The UNDP has identified Bangladesh to be the most vulnerable country in the world to natural disasters. On average, 80 tropical cyclones are formed every year all over the globe. Bangladesh is a part of humid tropics, with the Himalayas in the north and the funnel shaped coast touching the Bay of Bengal in the south. This peculiar geography of Bangladesh causes not only the life giving monsoons but also catastrophic ravages of cyclones, nor'westers, tornadoes and floods. In the 1991 cyclone, deaths amounted to a figure of 1,40,000. On the other hand, in the 2007 Sidr, the total number of deaths was only 3500. But the intensity of the cyclone Sidr was more than in the 1991 cyclone. In Aila ( on May 25 this year) the total death was 179. This was because of intensive disaster management programme. However, Bangladesh is a deltaic country located in the lower part of the basins of the three greatest rivers in the worldthe Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna. The floodplain of these rivers and their numerous tributaries and distributaries cover about 80 percent of the country. As a result of the flat topography of the floodplain, every year one third of the country is annually flooded which causes a lot of losses. Also, the NW region of Bangladesh is more prone to drought than others. During the last 50 years, Bangladesh suffered about 20 times from drought conditions.

Establishment of agricultural university

Khulna, being one of the oldest divisional cities, is deprived of an agricultural university, though Jessore is one of the prime districts which has been producing various types of crops and vegetables abundantly.

Confessional statements

During the tenure of the caretaker government many bigwigs were arrested on corruption charges. Many of them gave confessional statements before the magistrates under Section 164. Most of them are now out and withdrawing the confessional statements given earlier. They have blamed the investigation authorities for extracting statements from them through torture and intimidation. In the current most sensational 10-truck arms haul case investigation, the involved bosses of DFI, NSI have reportedly given confessional statements before the magistrate. One such confessional statement is reported to be the longest and important in the history of "confessional statements" in the country, one which has revealed the names of some godfathers.

Online polls

Please allow me to congratulate you for introducing the online poll that is conducted in the internet edition of The Daily Star. It is an innovative effort, and deserves praise. The issues and topics on which the polls are conducted are also very relevant, and of great public interest. I find myself looking forward to the opportunity to voice my opinion through the online polls and also observe the results.

Our unique country

Has anyone ever wondered at the uniqueness of our country? It is the only country in the world where:

Why this controversy?

The moment Army Chief Lt. General Moeen U Ahmed handed over charge to his successor, we have seen some protests and rallies against this ex army chief under the banner of some student organizations. On the same day, we have also seen some accusations being raised by BNP's lawmaker Moudud Ahmed and Awami League lawmaker Suranjit Sengupta against general Moeen. It is pathetic that the person who is considered as the architect of the 1\11 changeover and the driving force behind the last caretaker government is now in hot water. I won't say that whatever actions the past caretaker government, Anti Corruption Commission took were justified, but I must say that they tried their level best to brought discipline and accountability in every sector which was missing during the regime of our previous governments. Holding a free and fair national election was the prime task of the last caretaker government and they were able to do it without any controversy. So now the unnecessary questions and controversy which some vested quarters are trying to create against the actions of the army backed past caretaker government are, I think, ill motivated, ill conceived and will further create more problems than solutions. If we do not give validity to the actions of the past government than the election under its regime will also come under question. This government has many more tasks in hand like solving the nagging power crises, improving the law and order situation, trial of the war criminals etc and therefore it will be wrong from it's part to dwell on the past caretaker government's actions because it will only create more controversy and might even create anarchy in the country as well. Can we afford it now? It is the time to move on in order to build the most cherished dream of digital Bangladesh and hence I think the government should not allow any quarter to create controversy on this sensitive issue.

New Supreme Court judges

The Daily Star report that the government is planning to appoint 13 Supreme Court judges is encouraging (13 June). It is both an honour and credit for any government to be able to do so; we emphasize however that the would-be judges are vetted thoroughly, particularly those to sit on the Appellate Division. A certificate from one of the Inns of Court, or required years in court premises, are rather obsolete criteria and therefore shouldn't qualify them automatically. Surely we are not looking for legal luminaries like A. K. Brohi or M.C. Chagla, but we definitely expect these judges to be experienced, fair, hardworking, have common sense and courage. Importantly as well, they are of some repute.

In defence of Nosimon

This is a response to Ali Kabir's letter on "Nosimon" published in your page on June 15th. Instead of criticising the innovators of this wonderful dual use, very useful irrigation cum transport facility, that has considerably helped our neglected farmers a lot in the villages; we should rather appreciate their creativity. The beauty of this Transport cum Irrigation (dual purpose) mechanical marvel is that it can quickly and easily become an irrigation pump for the farmer; irrigating his farm and also transporting his products!

Volleying back....

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International

Pakistan voices alarm over US drone sorties in South Waziristan

With the Pakistan Army announcing an all out war against the Tehrik-e-Taliban chief, Baitullah Mehsud, in the South Waziristan region, US drones are also conducting regular sorties of the region primarily to keep a track of the terrorist' activities, something that has left Pakistan fuming.

Zardari, Sharif and Pak Army coming together to fight terrorism

The three most powerful elements of Pakistani politics, President Asif Ali Zardari, opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and the Army are "coming together" to fight the "common enemy" of terrorism, the top US envoy to the Pak-Afghan region has said.

Ahmadinejad asks Obama to stop meddling

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told US President Barack Obama yesterday to stop meddling in Iran's affairs and blasted Britain and some other European nations, saying they were run by "politically retarded people," the Fars news agency reported.

US Senate okays sweeping Pakistan aid package

The US Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to triple civilian US aid to Pakistan, a bid to cement a long-term partnership and defeat Islamist fighters threatening the nuclear-armed ally's stability.

Spate of kidnappings shocks Nepal

The discovery this week of the decapitated body of a 17-year-old girl abducted in Kathmandu has sent shockwaves through Nepal, where police say kidnapping for ransom is becoming a "cottage industry".

No extradition request from India, says Pakistan

Pakistan has not received a formal request from India to hand over a group of suspects in last year's deadly Mumbai terrorist attacks and probably would not do so if it did, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

Nepali govt gives UNMIN 6-month extension

The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to extend the tenure of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) by six months after its current mandate expires on July 23.

Separatists' strike call paralyses life in Assam

A dawn-to-dusk general strike enforced by two separatist groups yesterday paralysed normal life in India's northeastern state of Assam.

British troops 'clear Taliban stronghold'

Troops conducting one of the British military's largest operations in Afghanistan have cleared a Taliban stronghold in the south and are encouraging villagers to return, an officer said yesterday.

US to ship military cargo via Kyrgyzstan: US

A new agreement that allows the United States to retain a key military base in Kyrgyzstan will allow it to ship military cargo as it did before, a senior US official told AFP yesterday.

Israel rejects talks with Syria

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday insisted Israel wants unconditional and direct talks with Syria, effectively rejecting calls for a relaunch of indirect negotiations.

Chavez sees CIA hand in Iran unrest

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused the CIA of being behind anti-government protests rocking Iran, and repeated his support for Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Pigeons have eye for paintings

Pigeons may sometimes appear to randomly target city sculptures with their droppings, but according to a new Japanese study they also have the potential to become discerning art critics.

Arts & Entertainment

Hanif Sanket: A vision for progress

Hanif Sanket, the witty, multi-talented columnist-artiste-actor-TV host is well-known both at home and abroad. His clever satires hit hard social flaws and unfair practices that have often gone unnoticed. The variety show "Ittyadi" hosted by Sanket has been a huge hit with the TV audience for over two decades. Starting from June 5, ATN Bangla has started airing plays by Sanket (as part of a drama festival) every Friday at 8pm. The programme has generated much interest among Sanket's fans. The Daily Star recently caught up with the TV personality:

The art of portraiture

Portrait photography has been around since the invention of the camera, in that sense it is as old as the medium itself. It is cheaper and often more accessible than portrait painting, which has been used by nobility and royalty before the popularity of the camera.

Udichi celebrates Rabindra-Nazrul-Sukanta birth anniversary

To celebrate the birth anniversaries of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore (May 7), National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (May 25) and poet Sukanta Bhattacharya (August 15), the Dhaka City Committee of Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Gosthi arranged a cultural programme at the TSC Auditorium of Dhaka University on June 24. Staging of a short play by child actors, as well as rendition of songs and recitation of poetries by the trio were the highlights of the programme.

OP-ED

Knowledge society

TODAY the world is moving towards a knowledge society. Most countries are taking measures to re-shape their societies into knowledge societies. The term "knowledge society" was coined in 1969 by management guru Ferdinand Drucker, and came in vogue when Daniel Bell published his justly famous book, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, in 1973.

Civil war in Pakistan?

PAKISTAN is in the midst of a civil war. Taliban, al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups like LET, Jaish Mohammad, et al claim that they are fighting for Islam and they aim at establishing an Islamic Caliphate. Those in power are now jubilant. They have the Taliban on the run; the Pakistan army has scored victories in Swat and Malakand Divisions. So far so good.

Mukul Bhai and those Charampatra days

M.R. Akhtar Mukul's place in Bangladesh's history was assured in the course of our twilight struggle against the state of Pakistan in 1971. And, of course, those times were also our annus mirabilis. They were because of the epic battle Bengalis of all classes and all professions and all religious persuasions waged against the Pakistan occupation army. Armed with the spirit and courage drilled into us by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and inspired by the fierce resistance put up by the Mujibnagar provisional government to Pakistan's predatory acts, all of us, beyond the country and inside it, went to war to reclaim history and culture.

StarTech

How much speed is enough?

Since the inception of the first Personal Computer (PC), scientists and researchers have always strived towards making faster, cheaper and more efficient processors. Of these factors, speed of the CPU (Central Processing Unit) or the clock-rate of the processors was always the key concern of the computer architects.

Microsoft Day @ Dhaka

In a bid to enhance the level of skill of the people working in IT and development sectors, Microsoft community (Bangladesh) recently held its first ever developer/IT professional event at the IDB building of the city.

New game portal launched

bdplay, a new game portal, has recently been launched in Bangladesh. Gamers will find a huge collection of all kinds of flash games in this portal, says a press release.

Jobs appears closer to returning to work at Apple

Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs appears to be a step closer to returning to work, as a doctor gave him an "excellent prognosis" after receiving a liver transplant at a Tennessee hospital.


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