News of: Saturday, 4th of July, 2009
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Following a donor-driven policy, the government continues to slice different organs off the Power Development Board (PDB) to create new ones causing lack of coordination, imposing excessive management cost and pushing the sector into a deeper financial mess, officials say.
Karwan Bazar, the largest wholesale kitchen market in the capital, remains a safe haven for extortionists, who operate with impunity thanks to backing from a section of law enforcers.
Khulna City Corporation launched a drive yesterday to recover canals from encroachers and demolish illegal structures that are hampering storm-water drainage through the canals.
The government faces a mammoth task of completing issuing of birth certificates to 44.3 percent of the total population in less than a year. It took three years to register 55.7 percent citizens after the Birth and Death Registration Act was enforced in 2006.
Heavy downpour triggered flash flood in low-lying areas of several districts including Netrakona, Sunamganj, Sylhet and Feni yesterday leaving thousands of people marooned.
The government will ask Bangladesh missions abroad to send reports on 'godfathers' who control the recruitment process of workers in different countries, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said yesterday.
Aggrieved leaders and workers of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) yesterday continued to stage demonstrations demanding cancellation of the new central committee that includes several “non-students” and “a relative of a suspected militant”.
Bangladesh can become self-sufficient in urea fertiliser and reduce the production cost of rice drastically by using urea deep placement (UDP) technology, agriculturists said.
The proposed law on National Human Rights Commission is set to be passed in the ongoing parliament session with provisions for non-resident and resident Bangladeshis to seek justice, said Suranjit Sengupta, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on law and parliamentary affairs yesterday.
Law enforcers yesterday transferred three organisers of "Islam and Muslim", an offshoot of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), to Rajshahi from Dhaka and produced them before a court seeking a seven-day remand for each.
A case has been filed against Chittagong Customs Commissioner (export) Shahabuddin Nagri and six other officials for their alleged irregularities in auctioning off a vehicle.
Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina's Health and Family Welfare Adviser Prof Sayed Modasser Ali yesterday rendered credence to the allegation that attempts were made to slow poison Hasina through serving her poison-laced food during her detention in a sub-jail under the immediate past caretaker government.
Healthcare personnel at Mongla Port, and Benapole, Bhomra, and Darshana land ports of the south-western region have been put on high alert as a measure to prevent swine flu outbreak.
Two elderly people met tragic end of their lives as they were crushed under the wheels of two trains in Gazipur Thursday night and yesterday.
A powerful Iranian cleric said yesterday that some local British embassy staff will be put on trial for allegedly stoking post-election unrest, a move set to plunge already strained ties to a new low.
The Daily Star and AKTEL will jointly launch an English language programme for secondary school students in Barisal divisional headquarters today.
Bangladesh Rifles Director General Maj Gen Md Mainul Islam yesterday said BDR members would get back their arms very soon.
Four people of a family, including children, were burnt to death in a fierce fire in Telirchar village of Ramgati upazila Thursday midnight.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday that Myanmar's junta chief rejected his initial request to meet jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi but hoped to meet the 64-year-old Nobel Peace laureate before he leaves the country today.
US missiles yesterday slammed into the hideout of a Pakistani Taliban commander allied to warlord Baitullah Mehsud in the tribal belt, killing at least 17 people, intelligence officials said.
The Obama administration is planning to use the National Security Agency to screen Internet traffic between government agencies and the private sector, the Washington Post reported yesterday.
WE commend the government for finally forming the RTI Commission. However, we reserve our comments about the appropriateness of its composition. Out of the three members of the commission, two are former bureaucrats. Ironically, the perception of bureaucrats acting in favour of suppressing information and refusing to make them public still has deep root in people's minds. And there are reasons for that. For decades, government and semi-government sectors have been keeping valuable information tied with the infamous “red tape” in the name of maintaining official secrecy. The practice only resulted in breeding suspicion and contempt in public mind. With the Information Commission now set to start functioning, it would be a trial for the members how best they would perform in breaking the bureaucratic hold on information.
THE withdrawal of American troops from Iraqi towns and cities six years after the US-led invasion in 2003 is surely glad tidings for the people of Iraq. After all, it is Iraqis who have, in all these years since US and British troops invaded the country on the dubious question of the Saddam Hussein regime concealing weapons of mass destruction, paid a high price in terms of loss of lives and destruction of property. One of the more disturbing manifestations of the invasion of Iraq was the swift breakdown of law and order followed by the rise of extremist groups convinced that the foreigners had to be pushed out of the country. Tensions between the Shia and Sunni communities took an unprecedented shape and tens of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives in such diverse tragedies as suicide killings and assaults by western forces. Not even the Baghdad offices of the United Nations were spared. While Saddam Hussein and his associates met with a grisly end, Iraqis fell prey to chaos of a kind they had never before experienced in their lives. As many as 4,321 American soldiers have been killed in the country since April 2003.
GOOD governance has been recognised as the most important pre-condition in all our strategies pertaining to accelerated poverty reduction and subsequent economic development. It is generally agreed that developing capable and accountable institutions and implementing sound policies are pre-requisites for providing effective public services and combating corruption.
THE prime minister has impressed upon the very urgent necessity of reorganising and revamping the intelligence organisations that have come under sharp attack from different quarters for the alleged failures in properly forewarning about the potential and actual threats to national security. The accusing fingers point to the BDR carnage which, according to the critics, could have been averted if intelligence operations were on the right track.
Roger Federer reached a record 20th Grand Slam final and a seventh straight Wimbledon title match with a 7-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over German veteran Tommy Haas in the semifinals on Friday.
Venus and Serena Williams clash in a fourth all-sister Wimbledon final on Saturday determined to prove that their domination of the event is not a backward step for the sport's future welfare.
Muttiah Muralidaran was on Friday ruled out of the first Test against Pakistan with a knee injury, dealing a huge blow to Sri Lanka's bid to win the emotionally-charged series.
Young Indian cricketers should focus on representing their country instead of being lured by the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar has warned.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting heads into the upcoming Ashes series against England looking to erase the one blot on a CV filled with outstanding achievements.
The eight-team final round of the Grameen-Danone Nations Cup football competition kicks off at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.
The 5th South Asian Shooting Championship was inaugurated at the BKSP shooting range yesterday.
Family members of Birsreshtha Shaheed Ruhul Amin protested the renaming of the cricket stadium in the port city.
GM Ziaur Rahman won his fifth round board against Mohammad Hasan Emam to maintain the solo lead in the 35th Mercantile Bank National Chess Championship at the federation hall-room yesterday.
Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano has defended his side's spending spree on new players like Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo, saying the cash-rich club can afford it.
Four months into his remarkable return to soccer, Ronaldo is getting used to winning titles again.
Bayern Munich's star midfielder Franck Ribery admitted Friday he wants to leave the Bundesliga giants for Real Madrid while the Germans are insisting he will stay.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted that he feels "saddened" by the ongoing saga over future of striker Samuel Eto'o.
Premier League champions Manchester United are set to sign out-of-favour England striker Michael Owen on a surprise free transfer deal, according to reports in the British press here Friday.
German World Cup finalist Dietmar Hamann and former England internationals Darius Vassell and Danny Mills were among four players released by big spending Manchester City on Wednesday.
Real Madrid have asked sponsor adidas to double to 60 million euros the amount it pays the club annually, in view of their signing of a host of new stars, a Spanish newspaper said Friday.
New West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto di Matteo promised Baggies fans on Thursday he would stay true to the club's traditions of attacking football.
Australia quick Brett Lee made a statement of intent here Thursday by taking five wickets against the England Lions and followed up with an equally blunt message to the selectors.
A Pakistani former head of cricket's international governing body on Friday accused India of exploiting its financial clout by trying to form a cartel of top nations.
Mention the word 'Ashes' to any cricket fan and they know you are talking about a Test contest between England and Australia.
Beaten Wimbledon semifinalist Elena Dementieva on Thursday compared the brutal serving power of Serena Williams to facing Andy Roddick, the fastest server in the men's game.
Khabongpuriya Samobai Samity posted a five-wicket victory over Monpura Star Club when the Teletalk cricket tournament resumed yesterday, after three days break, due to heavy rain at the Khagrachhari Government High School ground.
The 11th Standard Chartered School Chess Tournament will start from July 14 at the NSC Tower auditorium lounge.
Imran Nazir has been pardoned by the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt after sending a written apology for showing dissent over an umpiring decision in a Twenty20 domestic game. Nazir will now be available for selection for the one-day and Twenty20 leg of the Sri Lanka tour.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has said that Jeetan Patel's injury is not serious and that he should be available for selection for next month's tour of Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh Post Office (BPO) is awaiting the government's nod to set up automated teller machines (ATM) at the post offices across the country.
Bicom Systems Limited, a London-based company providing best-fit telephony solutions, and Inspire Communications Limited, a Dhaka-based company providing call centre and telecom solutions, jointly launched call centre and telecom solution business in the country yesterday.
Four people were killed and 20 others injured in separate road accidents in Manikganj, Jhenidah and Gaibandha yesterday.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need to establish an expatriate welfare bank to help the Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) living and working abroad in sending remittance to the country through formal channels.
Benarasi saree weavers at Mirpur in the capital are passing a miserable life as the future of proposed Benarasi Estate at Bhashantek is hanging in balance even 25 years after the land allocation by the government.
Import of coal from India through four land stations in Sylhet division remained suspended since Thursday due to a government ban on import of coal containing over one percent sulphur.
Chittagong Port, the lifeline of the national economy, is going to introduce computerised Container Terminal Management System (CTMS) in a bid to streamline its operations.
Former lawmaker Nazim Kamran Choudhury, husband of former adviser to a caretaker government Geeteara Shafiya Choudhury, his brother and son-in-law were set free on bail yesterday 16 hours after their arrest on Thursday night.
A local Awami League leader was killed and five people were injured during a clash over control of a pond at Nanglu in Dhanut yesterday.
A young girl was killed and his younger brother injured as the roof of a shabby building collapsed on them at the Railway Colony in Narayanganj yesterday.
The Right to Information Forum, a network of more than 30 organisations and individuals, has hailed the formation of the Information Commission headed by former secretary M Azizur Rahman.
Railway communications between three northern districts remained suspended for the last 24 hours as a passenger train derailed at Harinarayanpur village in Thakurgaon on Thursday noon.
Regulatory Reforms Commission Chairman Dr Akbar Ali Khan yesterday warned that one-third land of the country would go under water if effective measures are not taken to tackle the climate change impacts.
Three construction workers were injured as the roof of an underconstruction building of Kalkini Health Complex collapsed on them yesterday.
A villager who went to the Sundarbans to collect firewood was killed in an attack by a tiger at Kolmaria in Bara Keyakhali canal area in Satkhira yesterday.
A case has been filed against 30 suspected Rajakars in Morelganj on charges of killing 11 freedom fighters and looting houses during the War of Liberation in 1971.
The Indian government has approved payment of 239.39 million US dollars for setting up the South Asian University.
A young man committed suicide being crushed under the wheels of a train yesterday after he had stabbed his father to death at Pirgachha upazila here on Thursday night.
Bangladesh is actively trying to eradicate hunger and poverty, end gender discrimination, increase endowment for primary education and support human development, Chief Whip M Abdus Shahid said at a seminar titled 'The role of national parliaments in achieving of Millennium Development Goals'.
The installation ceremony of the newly elected Executive Committee of Old Faujians' Association (OFA) Dhaka Chapter for the term 2009-2011 was held at OFA Secretariat at Mohakhali DOHS in the city yesterday.
Ruling Awami League (AL) may seek an extension of time from the Election Commission (EC) to hold its central council to ratify the provisional changes made to its constitutions for registration.
Muktijoddha Nou-Commando Bahumukhi Samobai Samity leaders yesterday condemned the mindless eviction of freedom fighters from their government-allotted land at Kafrul and demolition of the commando shed.
Speakers at a meeting yesterday urged the government to announce specific programmes for implementing the pledges made for youths in its election manifesto.
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) disconnected 159 electricity lines on the first day of its drive against illegal electricity connections, says a press release.
A journalist was beaten to death by some unidentified criminals at Uttara in the city yesterday.
Subimal Dewan, former adviser to late President Ziaur Rahman, passed away at his residence at College Gate in the town yesterday at the age of 93.
The Russian and US presidents plan next week to sign deals on replacing a Cold War-era missile treaty and the transit of US military supplies bound for Afghanistan, a Kremlin aide said yesterday.
US Marines are in a "hell of a fight" as they storm into Taliban strongholds in a major assault in Afghanistan, their commanding officer said yesterday.
Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud is buying children as young as seven years old to carry out suicide bombing, the Online news agency said citing reports on Thursday.
Despite promising to resettle 80 percent of Tamil refugees by the end of this year, the Sri Lankan Government has reportedly started building permanent camps for most of the 300,000 refugees, who are being held there since Tamil Tigers' defeat in May.
Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Assam have displaced an estimated 200,000 people in the past two days with the state government sounding an alert as more than 300 villages were inundated, officials said on Friday.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' security forces have significantly widened a crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank in the past month.
South Korea said yesterday it is closely monitoring North Korean military sites because the communist nation may fire more missiles, amid speculation that a long-range test launch aimed toward the US is possible in coming days.
EU nations sought ways Friday to pressure Iran to free British embassy staff held in Tehran and end post-election repression, without jeopardising attempts to curb its nuclear programme.
World Health Organisation head Margaret Chan has warned a forum in Mexico that the swine flu virus worldwide is now unstoppable.
The question of when and where a public memorial service will be held for Michael Jackson has finally been answered. But how city officials will handle the likelihood of a massive crowd remains to be settled.
Rights watchdog Amnesty yesterday urged Malaysia to abolish caning, saying that tens of thousands of migrants had received the "inhuman and degrading" punishment in recent years.
The King of Pop had a fan in the White House.
Punjab government on Friday filed a petition in Pakistan's Supreme Court challenging the release of outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, linked to the Mumbai terror attacks, from the house arrest.
A Japanese diplomat with a lengthy record of working on disarmament and non-proliferation issues will be the next chief of the United Nations nuclear watchdog after winning a secret ballot Thursday against two other candidates, according to a UN news received here yesterday.
Concluding marathon talks held late into the night, African leaders agreed yesterday to a Libyan-driven push to transform the African Union and in theory greatly extend its powers.
US Vice President Joe Biden flew in to Baghdad on Thursday on a surprise visit just two days after a long-planned pullback of American troops from conflict-hit Iraq's towns and cities.
In a rare case of a predator hunted by its prey, a toad has for the first time been captured on camera while eating a whole snake in just five minutes.
Arts & Entertainment
Jamil Akbar Shamim belongs to the group of painters who emerged in the Bangladeshi art scene in the '90s. The '90s was a time when artists in our country began exploring new grounds and focused on experimentation. During this period, promising painters also started retracing their teachers' footsteps.
At long last the district administration has taken steps to recover silver screen diva Suchitra Sen's ancestral residence in Pabna town. Cultural activists of the district are demanding a museum here. The citizen committee of Pabna organised a meeting at Pabna Chamber of Commerce auditorium last Thursday and made the demand to set up a museum at the historic site in honour of the legendary actress.
Monsoon is the time for tall tales, anecdotes and non-stop adda, as relentless downpour forces all to stay indoors. There is no dearth of stories -- tales heard from mother, aunts and grandmothers, or some random eerie experience and more.
ATN Bangla will air the 25th episode of drama serial "Eka" tonight at 8:40 pm. Written by litterateur Imdadul Haque Milon, the serial has been directed by actor Zahid Hasan.
Noted Bangladeshi film critic and activist Ahmed Muztaba Zamal attended the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2009, where he was jury member for FIPRESCI (The International Federation of Film Critics) Award. This was Zamal's third visit to Cannes.
THE problem of water shortage, compounded by pollution, is causing indisputable harm in most poor countries of Asia and Africa. The population in poor countries like Bangladesh is growing so fast that improvements on water supply have failed to keep pace. Worldwide, two billion people still have no access to clean water, and water contaminated by sewage is estimated to kill 3.4 million, including two million children, every year.
WHEN New Delhi and Islamabad haven't been able to agree upon the place of meeting for foreign secretaries, it doesn't augur well for the future. It's difficult to imagine anything tangible coming out of their talks. Both sides had to fall back on the venue of the non-aligned summit in Egypt and accept the dates of the meeting because that was the only recourse left.
The moment Hafizuddi crossed the entrance to the Babupura slum, Maola saw him. “Hey, Hafizuddi,where did you get that from, eh?” Maola shouted.
Of the three youths who at that time were the talk of the whole of Bengal, one was Subhas Chandra Bose, one was Nazrul Islam and the third was Dilipkumar Roy. Their names were on everybody's lips, uttered in every house…I had learnt a lot of songs from Dilip da - his own songs, Dwijendralal's songs, songs by Atulprasad, all their songs of course, but most of all Nazrul Islam's songs. Dilip da taught me many ways to control and modulate my voice. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes something in between…From this polished, educated, complete young man I not only learnt how to sing, but through contact with him I also learnt the meaning of the word 'culture'…
Over the steaming pilaf
Eyes like old raisins
He tells me
“I read palms”
One looks at his watch,
shifting uneasily in his seat;
one reads, one mops his brow
and curses the summer heat.
A migraine headache is a different form of headache usually throbbing or pulsating type and often associated with nausea; vomiting; sensitivity to light, sound, and smells; sleep disruption; and depression. Most of the episodes of headache occur in one side of head and attacks are often recurrent.
During summer, many seasonal fruits are available in our country. Mango is one of them which is liked by all including children. In fact, it is very delicious.
Two years old Mahir still does not talk. He says a few words, but in comparison to his peers, he is way behind. He cannot put whole sentences together unlike his friends of the same age. His parents hope that he will catch up and so postponed seeking professional advice. They think that some kids are early walkers and some are early talkers.
Having sex every day improves the quality of men's sperm and is recommended for couples trying to conceive, according to new research.
The term "cardiac asthma" refers to wheezing associated with heart failure. It is not true asthma. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, this wheezing can be a medical emergency. As a result of heart failure, fluid can build up in the lungs (pulmonary edema) and in your airways.
Dr Louis Philipson has already started fielding calls from worried diabetics after new studies of 300,000 patients released recently suggested the Sanofi-Aventis insulin drug Lantus might raise the risk of cancer.
THE Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Mr. Pinak Ranjan Chakravarti has taken the centre stage in our volatile politics, albeit for the wrong reasons. He has incurred the wrath of the BNP who has demanded his withdrawal immediately. According to media reports, the High Commissioner made disparaging remarks about the BNP without naming it for opposition to the proposed Tipaimukh dam at a seminar on regional connectivity sponsored by the India-Bangladesh Friendship Society. The Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni was present as the chief guest.
IRAN's image and role have been politically and diplomatically much weakened globally and in the region over the imbroglio of the result of the June 12 Presidential election. The regime's use of violence on the protesters as shown in TV footage across the world has further eroded the positive image of the government in the international community.
IRAQI forces prepared to take control of towns and cities nationwide on June 30 as American troops withdrew in a milestone for the country's recovery six years after the U.S.-led invasion.
Star Books Review
LEARNING from Southeast Asian countries would be difficult but Bangladesh has very little option.” This enigmatic sentence broadly sums up Mohammad Mohabbat Khan's approach to the problem of governance in Bangladesh in the book under review. From Government to Governance is a compilation of three articles written specifically for the volume, and twelve others that were published in various publications from as far back as in 1987 to as recent as in 2007 (although the author avers that they were written between 1991 and 2006). The twenty year span shows in the unevenness in quality of the articles. The author states at the outset his mission for cobbling together the anthology: “This book has primarily focuses (sic) on…extension of public administration and describes how certain other countries have changed the role of administration due to change in external environment…. Based on this light, this book has attempted to make a modest effort to highlight both the need for a better public service in Bangladesh and prescribed some measures to achieve it through learning from others.”
POLICING has regularly been a difficult proposition in South Asia. That the police are ruthless or inefficient or corrupt or all of these has never been in doubt. That governments in the region have traditionally sought to exercise partisan political control over policemen is another reality from which there is no escaping. You travel to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, your objective being an attempt at understanding the compulsions under which the police operate and the difficulties that the police often subject citizens to. And then, of course, there is that overriding wish in you to come by the measures that may have been taken by the governments of these countries to bring the police level with their counterparts around the world. Disappointment would be staring you in the face.
MARY Ann Shaffer's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society came to me like a wish granted. For the last few weeks, I had been longing to read a book written in letters. Not only is this book a delicious collection of epistles, it has elements not often found all together in one book: wit, pathos, romance, honest representations of true-to-life, yet individualistic characters, exciting events, lots of literary references and a unique, eye-catching title.
RETRACING the singularity of a race or a linguistic community poses to be one significant challenge of our time, the world of globalization. Though equally modern in terms of industrial development and living standards, tradition and cultural integrity finds an important place in the life of Japan. Viewed from this perspective, Probir Bikash Sarker's Japaner Nadi Nari Ful,, a book chiefly on Japan's traditional past, (River, Geisha, and Sakura ) appears to be a significant effort to make us familiar with this aspect.