The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 30, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 1st of July, 2009

Front Page

Spillover effects

Call it a spillover effect, if you like.

Thousands lose jobs

Monday's arson attack on Ha-Meem Group complex in Ashulia will mean job loss for around half of 4,000 workers at its sweater factories.

Food, disaster get highest allocation

The Jatiya Sangsad yesterday passed the budget for the fiscal year 2009-10 in the absence of the main opposition BNP.

Petrobangla puts Chevron on GTCL's system

Petrobangla yesterday approved a move allowing US oil company Chevron install a gas compressor station at Muchai in the gas pipeline owned by the national Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL).

Bangladesh performs poorly in rule of law

The World Bank's (WB) Worldwide Governance Indicator (WGI) shows that Bangladesh performed poorly in the rule of law, government effectiveness, and regulatory quality but did well in control of corruption, political stability and accountability.

Aila-hit farmers set to miss Aman season

Cyclone Aila-hit farmers after suffering huge loss in Aus production may miss the Aman season because of saline waterlogging in large coastal areas as the damaged embankments are yet to be repaired.

She finally finds peace in death

Momtaj Begum is finally free of all the pain and suffering she has undergone at the hands of her husband of ten years-- and his family -- because she was too ill to work.

Parking on streets, not on multi-storey facility

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) assigned a firm to collect toll from parking vehicles in Motijheel and Dilkusha area despite an existing multi-storey parking facility at Sadharan Bima Corporation constructed in 2006 to ease traffic congestion.

Labour leaders blame owners, govt inaction

Owners' tendency to control workers using muscle power, especially engaging local politicians and jhoot (garment wastes) businessmen, and government's indifferent attitude to solving problems of workers have caused the recent unrest in garment sector, said labour leaders.

Sahara leaves for S'pore tonight for treatment

Home Minister Sahara Khatun will leave for Singapore tonight for treatment as she suffered waist injuries when she fell in the washroom of her official residence on Monday.

Navy reacts to press reports

Bangladesh Navy terms "undesirable" the news recently published in different national dailies on its problems and development plans and says the media didn't take the "views" of the Headquarters or ISPR.

BNP to join JS if 'proper environment' ensured

The BNP parliamentary party (BNPPP) yesterday alleged that the government did not allow opposition lawmakers to perform their role in parliament and again urged the speaker and ruling party to ensure 'appropriate atmosphere' for joining the House.

Chinese firms dominate bidding for Khulna plant

Only seven power companies have dropped their technical and financial bids in the tender for a dual fuel 150 megawatt (MW) power project in Khulna under the newly formed North-West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL).

UP chairman Monir held for firing on crowd

Detective Branch (DB) of police yesterday arrested Sultanganj Union Parisad Chairman Monir Hossain on charge of firing gunshots on a crowd in Keraniganj on June 9 that left a man dead and another wounded.

Shajahan Siraj surrenders, lands in jail

A Dhaka court yesterday sent former forest and environment minister Shajahan Siraj to jail in a tax evasion case in which he was earlier sentenced to eight years' imprisonment in absentia.

Verdict stayed in 3 cases against Manju

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed the trial courts' verdicts against Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) Chairman Anwar Hossain Manju in three cases in which he was convicted and sentenced to 27 years' imprisonment.

Man shot at, Tk 5.5 lakh mugged

Armed muggers snatched Tk 5.5 lakh from a staff of a cooperative house by firing gunshots in the city's Moghbazar area yesterday.

9 HC judges take oath

The newly appointed nine additional judges of the High Court (HC) took oath yesterday.

Preliminary test of 29th BCS exam on Aug 14

Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold the preliminary test of the 29th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations at 10:00am on August 14 in all centres of Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet simultaneously.

RTI Act comes into effect today

The government is set to form a three-member Information Commission today as the Right to Information (RTI) Act comes into force on the day.

'Certain quarter' behind RMG unrest: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday pointed finger to 'a certain quarter' that instigated the unrest in garment factories.

Child survives plane crash

A Yemeni Airbus A310 jet carrying 153 people crashed into rough seas as it came into land in the Comoros islands early yesterday but rescuers plucked a child survivor from the water, officials said.

China delays plan on 'Internet filter'

China has delayed a plan requiring that all new computers come with a Chinese-made Internet filtering software programme, state media reported yesterday, hours before it was to take effect.

Taliban scrap peace deal in tribal zone

Taliban militants in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan say they have pulled out of a peace deal with the government, raising the prospect of wider unrest as the Pakistani army extends its efforts to eliminate insurgents.

Israeli defense minister, US envoy meet in New York

US envoy George Mitchell held low-key talks here yesterday with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as Washington seeks to breathe new life into the ailing Middle East peace talks.

US court delays decision on death row inmate

The US Supreme Court has quietly put off deciding whether it will take up the case of black death row inmate Troy Davis who for 20 years has insisted he did not kill a white policeman, a source close to Davis said yesterday.

Qaeda warns France of revenge for burka stance

Al-Qaeda's North Africa wing threatened on Tuesday to take revenge on France for its opposition to the burka, calling on Muslims to retaliate against the country, the US monitoring service SITE Intelligence reported.

Scientists bid adieu to plucky solar probe

US and European scientists were yesterday bidding farewell to the tenacious solar probe Ulysses which has been recording data around the sun for more than 18 years, four times longer than planned.

Editorial

Continuing violence in Ashulia

WE had thought that after two days of mayhem and vandalism in Ashulia, matters would settle down and conditions would go back to being normal. But the outrage that was perpetrated on Monday through the destruction of six factories, two warehouses and some vehicles of Ha-Meem group has left us, indeed the rest of the country, in a state of profound shock. The vandalism that had been going on took an even more violent form on Monday, with workers participating in the destruction in a manner hardly imaginable. And it is not just Ha-Meem that has been the target of the attacks. Fifty other factories and more than twenty vehicles were also left damaged on the day.

DCC's lopsided priorities

THE Tk 1411.58 crore budget of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) for FY 2009-10 unveiled by its Mayor Sadeq Hossain Khoka evokes more criticism than praise because of its flawed allocation pattern. The sector-wise allocations made in it are by and large reflective of lopsided prioritisation.

The tribalism we have fallen into

WE are in real danger of mutating into a medieval society. That is the disturbing thought which comes our way from Debidwar in Comilla. A so-called fatwa has led to a woman and a man being humiliated through a crack of the whip no fewer than three hundred and three times. And those who perpetrated the deed, or the misdeed, have informed us that the two victims, Piara Begum and Mamun Mia, were whipped because they had indulged in anti-social activity. The nature of the activity has not been spelt out. But that does not really matter.

Doing away with campus violence

THERE are as many reasons why the academic environment in college and university campuses nationwide has been deteriorating as there are national political parties. Eruption of violence among student groups has resurfaced with monotonous regularity soon after Awami League's landslide election sweep. Although I had been thinking about this situation for some time now, two successive incidents in one week triggered this piece.

Sports

Freddie could be dropped

England captain Andrew Strauss said here on Tuesday that Andrew Flintoff was not immune from being dropped for disciplinary reasons after the all-rounder's latest indiscretion.

Venus in last four

Defending champion Venus Williams closed in on a sixth Wimbledon title on Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska whose quarterfinal challenge melted in the searing heat.

Vaughan says that's it

Former England captain Michael Vaughan announced his retirement from all professional cricket with immediate effect here at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

4-day Tests on cards?

David Morgan, the International Cricket Council (ICC) president, has hinted that Test cricket may be reduced to four days to protect and enrich the game's oldest format in the face of lucrative Twenty20 leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Sanath's eyes on WC

Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, who turned 40 on Tuesday, has said he wants to carry on until the 2011 World Cup. "I would love to. I am taking each series at a time. Hopefully I will get there. Age is not a problem, it is how you stay mentally and physically fit to remain on top of the game, to try out new variations in the bat and ball," Jayasuriya told AFP.

S Africa gets nod

South Africa's 2010 readiness got a thumbs up on Monday after a successful Confederations Cup, with organisers confident that hitches will be ironed out ahead of the continent's first World Cup.

Chelsea appeal bans

Chelsea announced on Monday they'd appealed against the bans handed out to striker Didier Drogba and defender Jose Bosingwa by European football's governing body UEFA earlier this month.

Grameen-Danone Nations' Cup

Chittagong, Narail, Khulna, Chapainawabganj, Lalmonir-hat and Narayanganj have emerged as zonal champions to reach the final round of the 2nd Grameen-Danone Nations Cup Football Tournament on the third and last day yesterday.

Four share lead

Four players are sharing the lead with two points each after two rounds of the 35th Mercantile Bank National Chess Championship at the conference-room of National Sports Council.

Van Gaal begins tenure

Dutch coach Louis van Gaal begins his tenure in charge of German giants Bayern Munich on Wednesday with demands for more silverware and Champions League glory never far from his ears.

KP lauds the timing

As Michael Vaughan, a major pillar of England's 2005 Ashes success, calls time on his career, the current group of players hoping to replicate his feat of four years ago have been quick to laud his contribution.

John and Andy meet

John Buchanan has arrived in England and held discussions with national coach Andy Flower as part of a week-long fact-finding mission he hopes will result in a broader role within the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Watto scares Australia

Australia's top six will have few fears entering Wednesday's tour game in Worcester after Shane Watson was limited to walking around the ground during Monday's session at New Road. The all-rounder Watson is the squad's spare batsman and is recovering from a minor thigh injury that ruled him out of the opening warm-up in Hove last week and will sideline him again for the final fixture before the Ashes.

Gloster's tips for India

John Gloster, the former India physio, has suggested that the Indian players skip the Indian Premier League (IPL) ahead of the major ICC tournaments and tours to avoid mental fatigue. Gloster said the players must be feeling the strain of playing away from home for lengthy periods, which puts additional pressure on their family life.

'Benzema can leave'

Lyon coach Claude Puel has admitted the club would let Karim Benzema join another club if the striker wished to do so.

Inter to keep Maicon

Inter Milan have not given in to defender Maicon's demands for a pay increase, claiming that they have not ''undervalued'' their star.

Bangladeshi athletes disqualified

Both Bangladeshi male and female athletes Mesbah Ahmed and Shirin Akhter were disqualified in the heats of their respective 100m sprint in the first Asian Youth Games in Singapore yesterday.

Coupet signs for PSG

Former France international goalkeeper Gregory Coupet signed for French giants Paris Saint Germain on a two year contract from Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

Eto'o demands transfer bonus

Samuel Eto'o is demanding a "transfer bonus" of 15 million euros from Barcelona to sign for Manchester City, which could scupper any deal for the Cameroon striker, Spanish media said on Monday.

Teletalk cricket

Chhoto Nala Adarsha Club posted a 10-run victory over Munigrame Ujjal Smrity Club in a rain-interrupted match of the first Teletalk cricket tournament at the Khagrachari Government High School ground yesterday.

Lanka name side for 1st Pak Test

Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene will miss the first Test against Pakistan in Galle on Saturday after fracturing his finger, skipper Kumar Sangakkara said Monday.

PCB dissolves both selection committees

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Tuesday it had disbanded its senior and junior selection committees, with an interim body headed by former captain Wasim Bari now overseeing selection for both teams.

Windies keep same squad

The West Indies selectors named an unchanged 13-man squad for the two final games of the four-match series against India, to be played at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia.

Business

Altered budget evokes mixed reactions

The 2009-10 budget proposals amended finally in the Finance Bill have drawn mixed reactions.

Luxury lovers in glum mood

The new duty structure for mobile sets and cars is set to make luxury-loving people a bit downhearted and those in low-income bracket relaxed to some extent.

DGEN reaches 1-yr high

Dhaka stocks witnessed a bullish session yesterday, a day after a bomb hoax rattled the market on Monday, with the key index, DGEN, reaching a one-year high at 3,010.26 points.

Boro output crosses target

The boro rice output has reached about 1.9 crore tonnes this year, driven by a rise in acreage, according to a preliminary estimate by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).

BB to give credit info in 5 workdays

Bangladesh Bank yesterday announced its Credit Information Bureau (CIB) is ready to give default loan information to banks and financial institutions in five workdays.

New holding tax evokes resentment in Barisal

The increased holding taxes have evoked resentment among house owners in Barisal City Corporation (BCC) areas.

Global ad spending to drop: Study

GroupM, a global media investment management operation, has forecasted that the international advertising spending in measured media is going to drop by 5.5 percent to $417 billion in 2009.

Easy loan proposed for self-financed renewable energy projects

Bangladesh Solar Energy Society placed yesterday a 14-point proposal including easy term loan for self-financed renewable energy projects before the government for the expansion of the sector amid increasing power crisis.

The disgraced Wall Street investor

Two weeks after Norma Hill and her husband invested their life savings with Bernard Madoff, she came to the then-trusted money manager with news her spouse suddenly died.

India's historic coffee houses in peril

At first glance, the Indian Coffee House in New Delhi looks more like a decrepit school cafeteria than a venerable gathering spot for the city's intelligentsia.

Asian stocks trade mixed

Asian markets were mixed Tuesday as some dealers remained on the sidelines ahead of key economic data out of Japan and the US, while others took a lead from a Wall Street rally.

Oil jumps above $72

Oil prices rose above 72 dollars on Tuesday after gaining in recent days from tensions in African crude producer Nigeria, analysts said.

Inflation in advanced economies drops to 0.1 pc: OECD

Inflation in advanced economies dropped to 0.1 percent in the 12 months to the end of May, but US and Japanese prices fell marking deflation and eurozone prices showed zero change, OECD data showed on Tuesday.

Irish economy shrinks 8.5pc in first quarter

Ireland's economy shrank 8.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, as the eurozone member was hammered by the financial crisis, official data showed Tuesday.

Kosovo joins IMF, World Bank

Kosovo joined the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on Monday, becoming the 186th member of the multilateral institutions a little more than a year after independence.

Protectionism on rise in China, says EU business group

Chinese protectionism is on the rise, the European Chamber of Commerce in China warned Tuesday, as Beijing moves to fend of criticism that it is favouring its own firms over foreigners.

Metropolitan

Consult political parties before adopting edn policy

The authorities should consult the political parties before adopting an education policy in order to avoid frequent changes in the policy every time a new government comes to power, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.

UN chief to visit Myanmar to break junta stand-off

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit Myanmar on July 3-4 at the invitation of the government to highlight key issues such as the need to release all political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Take steps for permanent solution to labour unrest

Different organisations yesterday urged the government to take proper measures to bring a peaceful and permanent solution to the labour unrest in the garment sector.

Ordeals of a mother

The mother, whose child was killed by unknown criminals on Monday afternoon, was compelled to sell her another child due to abject poverty around four years ago at Mirpur in the city.

Road crashes kill 3

Three people were killed and 45 others injured in separate road accidents in Gaibandha, Jessore and Khulna in last two days.

Rain paralyses life in Chittagong

Normal life and activities in Chittagong halted to a standstill while low-lying areas in the city became submerged due to yesterday's torrential rain.

No hike in student fees

Without any raise in student fees, a Tk 56.92 crore budget of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) for the fiscal 2009-10 was approved at a syndicate meeting yesterday.

Natural disasters hamper access to safe water

Increased frequency of natural disasters caused by global climate change is creating a whole new level of crisis and challenges in terms of providing safe water and sanitation facilities, speakers at a consultation meeting said yesterday.

Call to formulate farm labour law to ensure rights of farmers

The government should form a labour commission to formulate agricultural labour law to give proper recognition to and ensure welfare of the farmers, who account for 48 percent of the total labour force, speakers at a media briefing said yesterday.

Politicisation may hamper proper utilisation of budgetary allocation

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said it would be tough to implement the budget as the tendency of politicisation may hamper proper utilisation of the budgetary allocation.

Illegal rock, sand extraction poses threat to environment in Panchagarh

Illegal rock and sand extraction, which has been going on unabated in the bordering Shao river bed and khas land in and around Bhazanpur border area under Tentulia upazila, has become a cause of concern for ecological balance in the area.

Ratifying Section 138 of ILO convention a must

It is imperative to ratify the Section 138 of International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention to eliminate child labour from the country, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Training vital for UP chairmen, members to know roles, duties

To strengthen the local government, training is essential for union parishad (UP) chairmen and members, especially women, to know about their roles, duties and responsibilities as most of them are in dark about the duties and rights, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

'Review rules to reduce losses in carrying risky materials'

Experts at a seminar yesterday said existing rules and legislations should be reviewed and upgraded to reduce damage and ensure safety in transporting hazardous materials.

Talk show presenter receives death threat

Kazi Jesin, presenter and director of a television programme 'Point of Order', has received a death threat from Islamist militants.

RCC garbage disposal at nighttime from today

Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) started its waste disposal activities during nights from today with an aim to keep the city clean and improve its environment.

More BDR men deployed in Bandarban, Teknaf

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday strengthened its two battalions -- Naikhyangchhari in Bandarban and Teknaf in Cox's Bazar -- by adding one company of border guards to each battalion, says a press release.

Hearing on appeals, death reference adjourned

The High Court (HC) yesterday adjourned for two weeks the hearing on the appeals and death reference against the trial court verdict in the sensational Ahsanullah Master assassination case.

Rotary Int'l District 3280 to spend Tk 7cr for social dev

Rotary International District 3280, Bangladesh has undertaken a number of programmes for socio-economic development in the country.

DU Day today

Dhaka University Day will be celebrated on the campus today.

Agreement to replace Wasa old pipelines

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) yesterday signed an agreement with a Danish firm M/S Carlbro/Grontmij to prepare a design to replace the old pipelines of the Wasa or setting new pipelines for water supply.

Naser Chy made acting info secretary

In a brief reshuffle in the civil administration yesterday three additional secretaries were given the charge of secretaries of three ministries.

193 people killed in June

Some 193 people were killed, 16 of them in political violence, and 1602 others injured across the country in June, according to a BSEHR report.

National

Grabbing on as river 'missing' in land office documents

Old Jamuneswari River, flowing through Nilphamari town for hundreds of years, is non-existent in the land department's official maps and documents.

35 sued for '71 war crimes in Khulna, Bagerhat dists

Thirty-five collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces have been sued for killing, looting and arson in Khulna and Bagerhat districts in 1971.

Bomaru Mizan on remand

Banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) bomb expert Bomaru Mizan was yesterday placed on a seven-day remand in the case for Satkhira Stadium blast on September 28 in 2002.

Indefinite bus strike in five SW districts

Bus services on 28 routes in five southwestern districts came to a halt as owners and workers yesterday began an indefinite strike to press home their six-point demand.

Bangla Bhai's top aide held

Naogaon Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested Shariatullah Simar, one of the top associates of JMB's executed leader Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, from the district town yesterday.

Microbus driver killed, 2 held

Police yesterday arrested two persons in Kurigram Sadar upazila for killing a microbus driver the same day.

Touchstone statue recovered

Police recovered a touchstone statue of Hindu goddess 'Kali' worth Tk 2.5 crore in Srimongal upazila on Monday night. Acting on a tip-off, the law enforcers went to Shankarsena village and recovered the statue weighing 2.5 kilogram from the roof of the house of a former UP member. They took the statue to Srimongal Police Station.

11 hurt in Natore clash

At least 11 people were injured, six of them seriously, in a clash between the activists of Jubo League and Jubo Dal at Biprobelghoria village in Sadar upazila yesterday morning over establishing supremacy in the area. Police and locals said AL activists, led by Ramzan Ali and Shahidul Islam, attacked the house of Jubo Dal activist Bablu in the morning. As Bablu's followers counter attacked, there ensued a clash between the two rival groups. The seriously injured were admitted to Natore Sadar Hospital.

BCL activists block road

Transport came to a halt for about an hour on Rikabibazar-Lamabazar road causing untold sufferings to commuters as unruly activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) put up a barricade on the road on Monday night protesting arrest of some fellows on charge of extortion. The BCL men were caught by traders at Rathajatra fair at Rikabibazar in the city at about 9:00pm. Later, they were handed over to police. At this stage, a group of BCL activists swooped on police and snatched away their fellows, police and locals said.

Indian sarees seized

BDR personnel seized smuggled Indian sarees, three piece garments, pants and T-shirts worth 13 lakh taka in Phulbari upazila yesterday afternoon, BDR sources said. BDR recovered those while being transported to other parts of the country from Kawkhalimore in Phulbari Sadar upazila. Earlier, the clothes were imported from India illegally.

Letters

The passing of a pop icon

The king of pop Michael Jackson died after suffering a cardiac arrest on last Friday. With his demise, the world has lost a sensational pop star cum dancer who was famous for his exceptional on-stage live performances.

Taxi and the autowallas

The population of Dhaka city is over 1 crore. The taxis and autos plying on the roads of Dhaka have proper "meters". But none of these vehicles operate on "meters". People are compelled to pay the fare demanded by the drivers, which is exorbitant. You will not find such a situation in any country of the world. Our police administration has miserably failed to control these taxi and autowallas.

Rivers in peril

Bangladesh is blessed with valuable water resources- beautiful rivers and abundant rainfall. But unfortunately, our rivers are now under threat from pollution and grabbing.

Dhaka megacity

Over the decades, Dhaka, one of the megacities of the world, is getting populated by degrees. This is really an alarming news for the city dwellers as it creates manifold problems for them but everyone along with our government ignores the issue. The capital city has become the centre of all concerns officially, semi-officially or unofficially. Keeping this in mind, people from all walks of life rush towards Dhaka in search of better livelihood. Now, the population crosses over forty million and day by day it is increasing.

Budget implementation realities!

Your correspondent's front-page headline report on June 13th about the huge task of budget implementation is a natural forethought that many of us feel! One wonders if the programme is too much for our conservative bureaucratic work mode usually tied up with endless red-tape, which is our norm of work! Side by side, in the next column by Tushir; there is the talk of a "Supervisory Body" being set up. Will it add more red-tape, or curtail it? That is the fundamental issue. It all depends on the determination of our political government, whether they have the will to take pragmatic unpopular decisions when needed, and take it quickly; and hopefully not get mired down with too many "stay orders" and "injunctions" from the courts.

School education

In the smaller cities and rural areas, the government could approve prototype models for architectural and civil eng. designs, for quick construction of cheaper hostel accommodation for the school and college students; using local low-cost materials [patronising the SMEs).

TIN

Many seminars, discussions, meetings were held during the pre-budget period. Bright sons of the soil were sharing their views and practical thoughts about how to prepare the budget and how to implement it and if the country can run as per their prescriptions, Bangladesh will be “Sonar Bangla” immediately. All these were table talks and carried no value.

Ashraful's foolish words!

Mr Ashraful, just after our team's loss to Ireland you said that you needed to visit an eye-specialist. You did not accompany your team on returning home and stayed back. People say you thought it was a smart idea to cover your poor (silly) batting performance. They also say that it was nothing but a foolish, shameful excuse to avoid the media. Let's analyse a few of your statements you made after coming back from your mission T20 World Cup 2009:

Toxic effect of vitamin - A

The nationwide programme of administering vitamin A & deworming drug in children created huge controversy about the safety of drugs in children. In the national dailies many reports said that children felt sick after taking medicines during the programme and some children even died soon after. Meanwhile, a government committee investigated the incidence and claimed that no toxic effects were observed in children taking these medicines. This statement directly contradicts the reports published in the national dailies and broadcast by the electronic media. Despite the claim of the government committee, the fear of the local peoples has not vanished yet. If this is not clearly removed from people's mind, similar programmes will not succeed in future. But the success of these programmes is crucial for improving the health status of the children. So it's very important now to go through a more extensive and creditable investigation so that the truth can be found out clearly.

Drug addiction

Presently, drug addiction is not only a national but also a global problem. This addiction gives rise to social crimes. When the addicts cannot afford to buy drugs, they commit many kinds of social crimes.

Story of a new dawn

It is heartening to learn that Aktel-The Daily Star “ENGLISH IN SCHOOLS' programme has started its voyage towards ensuring a brighter future for the students across Bangladesh through correct English learning in their own school premises. This is indeed a pragmatic step towards preparing our future generation in a competitive world of limited resources and opportunities.

Daylight saving

It is good to see that like 70 countries of the world, Bangladesh has also decided to advance the clock by one hour to save the day light in an effort to minimize the prevailing power crisis. It is definitely a historic decision. The countries which have adopted the DST (daylight saving) system could manage to save on power consumption and we also believe that our country will do the same.

Big talks

The statement of State Minister for Science & Technology that the Rooppur nuclear power plant would hopefully start generating power in five years adding 1000 MW of electricity to the national grid is big news for the nation that is suffering from crippling power crisis. This would-be nuclear power plant was established about half a century ago on 260 acres of land at Rooppur in Pabna. Even today I cherish the fond memory of participating in precession demanding the construction of this nuclear power plant during my student life at BUET in late sixties. Responsible Ministers of this government are also telling that the first Padma Bridge at Mawa and the second one at Paturia will be completed within the next 3-5 years. The Prime Minister herself told that whatever it costs, the government would retrieve the country's complete river system.

International

Iran declares election fight over, vote valid

A body of 12 clerics declared Iran's disputed presidential vote valid and free of major fraud, paving the way for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be sworn in next month despite claims of vote manipulation that sparked weeks of massive protest.

US resumes secret drone surveillance to help Pak Army net Mehsud

With the Pakistan Army intensifying its offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan, the United States, with an aim to provide a wide array of videos and other information on the extremists' movements, has resumed secret drone surveillance over the lawless tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, US and Pakistan officials said.

Babri Mosque demolition probe ends after 17 yrs

Seventeen years after it was set up, the Liberhan Commission probing the 1992 demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya submitted its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday.

'US, Israel behind Iran's post-election fiasco'

The United States and Israel, the two main foes of Iran, were behind the post-election protests and violence in the Islamic country, a senior minister has alleged.

Iraqis take control as US troops quit cities

Iraqi security forces paraded in tanks and armoured vehicles across Baghdad yesterday as they took control of towns and cities nationwide from departing US troops six years after the invasion.

Pakistan can't and won't shift troops from India border

Pakistan on Monday has ruled out any possibility of shifting its troops from the eastern Indian border to the western border with Afghanistan.

Jacksons gain children, estate as fight begins

Michael Jackson's mother won temporary custody of the star's children and estate as the first legal shots were fired in the fight arising from the icon's death.

Myanmar should free all political prisoners: Ban

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday military-ruled Myanmar should release all political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's detained democracy leader.

HR Watch slams Israeli drone strikes on Gaza civilians

Israeli armed drones killed scores of Palestinian civilians during the Gaza war despite their cutting-edge targeting technology, the US-based Human Rights Watch said yesterday.

Airstrikes kill 12 Taliban

US-led coalition airstrikes in remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan killed more than a dozen Islamist militants in bunkers overnight, the US military said Tuesday.

Money for statues should have been used for the poor: Congress

The Congress party on Monday said the money used for installing statues of Dalit icons by Uttar Pradesh's Chief Minister Mayawati could have been used for upliftment of the poor and backwards in the state.

No anti-India insurgent in Bhutan: PM

Bhutanese Prime Minister Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley Monday categorically ruled out the existence of any anti-India insurgent group in his country ever since the Royal Bhutan Army conducted a successful operation in 2003 to flush out ultras from within its territory.

Fifteen dead as gas rail tankers derail in Italy

At least 15 people were killed and dozens more injured in northern Italy when two gas-filled rail tankers exploded after derailing, engulfing nearby homes in flames, firefighters said on Tuesday.

Now Musharraf's aides implicated in Rs 15b scam

The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, has been informed about the involvement of former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's coteries in a 15 billion rupee scam.

Bollywood icon Dilip Kumar in hospital with malaria

Legendary Indian actor Dilip Kumar -- known as Bollywood's "Tragedy King" -- is being treated for malaria in hospital, according to health officials.

Zelaya vows to return as Honduras unrest flares

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya vowed to return to Honduras as angry supporters clashed with riot police near the presidential palace here.

Yemenia suffers 1st disaster

Yemenia, whose airliner crashed into the Indian Ocean off the Comoros islands on Tuesday, is the national carrier of one of the world's poorest countries and until now had a relatively incident-free record.

US House Speaker hails Iraq pullout

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday hailed the withdrawal of US forces from Iraqi towns and cities as a major step towards a complete pullout and "the end of the war."

Arts & Entertainment

Sensibility Objectified

Sarbari Roy Choudhury is a leading figurative sculptor of India whose work immerses the viewers in the infinite varied human moods as well as relationships, personal styles, temperaments and idiosyncrasies. His works in bronze capture the emotion and vitality, sensuality and strength of the human form. Bronze sculptures are interesting because the appearance of the surface changes in terms of lighting. Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in collaboration with Akar Prakar, a Kolkata based gallery, has jointly organised a solo exhibition titled “Sensibility Objectified” featuring works of the sculptor at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in Dhanmondi.

Jackson’s unfinished songs could make millions

Dozens of previously unknown Michael Jackson songs, including a warning about climate change, which he was composing two days before he died, are expected to restore his children's fortunes in the months and years ahead.

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan: A sarod maestro departs

My uncle Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, the unparalleled sarod maestro, died recently. His father Ustad Alauddin Khan and my grandfather Ustad Ayet Ali Khan were brothers.

Epitomising the grace of Tagore songs

This correspondent caught up recently with Shama Rahman, an epitome of grace and beauty, at the India International Centre, a hub for the culture vultures in the capital. Clad in a grey sari with red orchids in her hair, around her neck and wrist, Shama was here to perform for the Delhi audience, comprising largely Bengalis.

Untold stories of the Liberation War

The publication ceremony of “Shishu Joddha Nuru” -- a book on the Liberation War -- was held at a city community centre last Monday.

Abu Sayeed’s next venture Apekkha to zoom in on terrorism

Every time director Abu Sayeed has undertaken a feature film project, the subject has been thought provoking. Be it "Nirontor," "Shankhonad," "Banshi" or "Rupantor."

Mango Fest at Jamuna Resort

A four-day Mango Festival at Jamuna Resort in Tangail ended yesterday.

OP-ED

Budget and the common folks

WHILE returning from the Aila affected areas, I watched part of the budget speech of the honourable finance minister in a rural tea stall surrounded by a group of villagers. They were surprised by my rapt attention to the speech and some wondered aloud: What's the use of watching the budget speech? If the wood apple ripens, how does it help the crow? Will we get any share of the crores of taka of the budget?

Revitalising Rajshahi University

IN the last US presidential election, Americans voted in favour of Barak Obama's call for change. Like the US election, the people of Bangladesh voted in favour of AL's call for change and promise to build a Digital Bangladesh. Thus, the people's expectations from this government are immense. This piece is an attempt to express my expectations from the RU authority.



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