The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, September 18, 2014


News of: Sunday, 30th of August, 2009

Front Page

Swine flu may break loose

Thirty-one new cases of swine flu were detected yesterday with experts warning Bangladesh's alert level may soon be upgraded to "level 3" as the virus is quickly spreading from small clusters to the wider community.

PM weighs in to check Chevron deal

As the prime minister sought explanation from Petrobangla chairman why he was so eager to award US company Chevron a $52.7 million contract to install a gas compressor station over the Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL) system by cancelling an open tender, the chairman gave a smoky response last week.

Ordeal at hospital outdoors

Due to lack of manpower, other facilities and increasing number of patients, doctors at the outdoor departments of important city hospitals can only see a patient for as little as less than two minutes.

UN staff asked to skip Biman

The United Nations has asked its staff not to fly Biman Bangladesh Airlines for lack of safety and security arrangements and flight delays, landing another blow to the reputation of the national flag carrier.

Strong support due for Dhaka

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought strong international support and high technological and financial assistance for implementing comprehensive programmes being undertaken for adaptation to climate change and mitigation of its severe adversities in Bangladesh.

Bus service for schools by Oct

The government is going to introduce exclusive bus services for school children by late October as part of its effort to ease terrible traffic jams that waste valuable time and energy of people living in Dhaka.

Mobs kill 6 robbers

Six alleged robbers were beaten to death by mobs and another was killed in a 'shootout' with cops in separate incidents yesterday.

WHO worried

Swine flu spreads four times faster than other viruses and 40 percent of the fatalities are young adults in good health, the world's top health official warned in an interview appearing yesterday.

Iranian mugged, assaulted

Thugs beat up an Iranian national and snatched her cash and jewelries on August 26 while she was traveling on a taxi.

Govt has no right to try war criminals

The present government has no authority to hold the trial of 1971 war criminals, BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury said yesterday.

TSP factory MD held over rape charge

Police arrested Managing Director of triple super phosphate (TSP) fertiliser factory Zahirul Haq from his residence in the city early yesterday on charge of raping a domestic help.

Doctor killed for dowry

A female physician was allegedly killed by her husband, also a doctor, for dowry at her Bibir Bagicha residence in the city's Uttar Jatrabari yesterday.

2 youths murdered

Criminals hacked two youths to death in Dakkhin Khan of the capital and Savar yesterday.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout'

An operative of outlawed Gono Bahini was killed in a 'shootout' with law enforcers in Bamongram in Sadar upazila early yesterday.

Grabbers feast on Kuakata beach

With land prices rocketing in Kuakata, a gang of land grabbers has embarked on grabbing the beach defying court orders.

Jubo League leader killed in Sirajganj

Criminals hacked a local Jubo League leader to death in Belkuchi upazila of Sirajganj yesterday.

Poor navigability turns Mawa route risky

The Mawa-Magurkhanda-Nauduba channel, an important river channel on Mawa-Kawrakandi route in the southwestern region, may close anytime as the waterway has lost its navigability due to continuous deposition of silt.

Yemeni army keeps pressure on Shia rebels

The Yemeni army said on Saturday it has inflicted heavy losses on Shia northern rebels as it continues a near three-week-long offensive on their strongholds in the region round Saada city.

Gunmen kidnap 2 UNAMID workers in Darfur

Two civilians working for UNAMID, the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission, were kidnapped at gunpoint in Darfur at dawn on Saturday in the first abduction targeting the force.

India faces 'severe' drought: PM

India faces a "severe" drought but the country's ample food grain stock will ensure no one goes hungry, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said yesterday.

Editorial

Swine flu preparedness needs updating

WITH a hundred and sixty-three reported cases of Swine flu in the country since the affliction in Mexico made international news almost over quarter of a year ago, the rate of incidence in Bangladesh may not have been scary. Yet, what needs to be noted is that in the recent days there has been a sharp increase in the number of identified cases. An added concern could be the possible number of unreported cases that has evaded screening. According to experts therefore, all this is a cause for worry for a country that is densely populated and having plenty of open crowded places where people mingle or come in close contact with each other making them vulnerable to contagion.

Merkel's call for freeze on Jewish settlements

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel's call for Israel to freeze its settlements in Palestinian territory is a powerful indication of the pressure which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under. It is just as well that Netanyahu be under such pressure because of the particular reason that he has so far given no indication of his willingness to go for accommodation with the Palestinians. And the pressure is not just Ms. Merkel's. The Obama administration too has been trying to convince Israel's leader that progress in the Middle East is eventually dependent on whether or not his government is ready and willing to put an end to its settlements in the region. Unfortunately, and in defiance of objective reality, Mr. Netanyahu has chosen to look away from the issue.

Poverty the yet untamed horse

POVERTY alleviation being an area of major policy thrust of the successive governments this year's Asian Development Bank (ADB) poverty figures for Bangladesh have come as a shocker. The figures show that more than 50 percent of the population are now living below the extreme poverty level. To measure extreme poverty, the amount of income of a person that the poverty researchers in the UN have agreed upon is equivalent to $1.25 per day. So, if one is to go by the ADB-supplied figures, then the progress the country has made so far is very poor given the amount of emphasis laid on the issue by the different governments and the concern expressed by the donor communities.

Miseries of price hikes

IN reply to my email inquiry about how price hikes are affecting his life and living, a reader of my column -- a former Vice-Chancellor and now a professor wrote:

Death at Harrods

CAN this possibly be true? On August 25, 1909, the New York Times reported: "As a result of the death of Miss Helenora Catherine Horn-Elphinstone-Darlrymple, sister of Sir Edward Graeme Elphinstone-Darlrymple, during a dry shampoo with carbon tetrachloride at Harrods Stores, charges of manslaughter were yesterday preferred at Westminster Police court against Mr. William H. Eardly, the manager of the department, and Miss Beatrice Clarke, one of the assistants. Miss Horn-Elphinstone-Darlrymple went to Harrods for a dry shampoo on July 12. She was warned she might feel faint…"

Sports

Parag wins 1st IM norm

FIDE Master Mehdi Hasan Parag earned his first IM norm when he beat Kazakhstan's GM Anuar Ismagambetov in the final round of the 9th United Insurance Grandmasters Chess tournament at the NSC Tower Auditorium Lounge yesterday.

Gazi eyes glory days

After a miserable performance in the last season, Arambagh Krira Sangha set their sights on the recuperation as they signed up 13 players yesterday to give a final shape to its squad.

Nannes living a dream

Australia's tour of England enters its closing stages with the first of two Twenty20 matches at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Shakib joining Abahani

Shakib Al Hasan all but confirmed his switch to defending champions Abahani from Bangladesh Biman.

BCB reveals Zim dates

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Saturday released the itinerary for the Zimbabwe's tour of Bangladesh.

Yelena leaps higher

Pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva banished her World Championships blues by setting a new world record of 5.06 metres on Friday while sprint king Usain Bolt overcame a "shaky" start to win the 100m.

Kiwis cornered

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath grabbed four wickets as Sri Lanka pushed New Zealand towards a massive defeat in the second and final Test here on Saturday.

Allegation against BCCI

Julian Hunte, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president, has said that the Indian cricket board shot down a proposal mooted by the ICC to organise Test cricket around the four-year Test Championship cycle.

IPL cheques could get lighter

Australian stars such as Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson have been warned that as and when they decide to join the Indian Premier League (IPL), they can expect far smaller wage packages than they would have received by joining for the inaugural tournament.

ICC assures Pakistan

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has assured Pakistan that international cricket would return to the troubled nation as soon as it is safe to for the foreign teams to return there.

Blues bash Burnley

Carlo Ancelotti's English honeymoon will stretch into September after Chelsea eased to a 3-0 win over Burnley on Saturday.

Jose gets death threats

Italian Politicians and Muslim leaders have sprung to the defence of Jose Mourinho after reported threats were made against the Inter Milan coach on extremist websites.

Messi steals the show

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi lit up the European Super Cup on Friday as Champions League winners Barcelona defeated UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 after extra-time to claim the trophy.

Real to table 60m euro Ribery bid

Real Madrid are preparing an audacious 60 million euro last minute bid to lure Franck Ribery away from Bayern Munich before the transfer window closes at midnight on Monday, Spanish sports daily Marca suggested here Saturday.

Golden Bolt in Zurich

Jamaican treble world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt looked in trouble before pegging back compatriot Asafa Powell to win the 100 metres at the Golden League meeting here on Friday.

Wenger furious at UEFA

Arsene Wenger has accused UEFA of launching a witch hunt against Eduardo after European football's governing body began disciplinary proceedings against the Arsenal forward following his Champions League dive against Celtic.

Benfica sign Menezes

Benfica have signed young Brazilian attacking midfielder Felipe Menezes, subject to the 21-year-old passing the traditional medical, the Lisbon side announced on Saturday.

Black Cats snap up Mensah

Premier League side Sunderland on Friday completed the signing of Ghana international defender John Mensah from former French champions Lyon, the English side announced on their official website.

Aussies crush Scots

David Hussey smashed his first one-day international century as Australia began life without the Ashes by cruising to a 189-run win against Scotland in a 50-over clash at Edinburgh on Friday.

Phillip seeks Sachin's aid

Dumped Australian opening batsman Phillip Hughes is seeking a meeting with Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar as he attempts to resurrect his stalled Test career, reports said on Saturday.

Business

Garment exports to Japan double

Japan proves to be a lucrative garment export destination for Bangladesh as RMG shipments to the Asian giant have more than doubled in fiscal 2008-09 from a year ago.

Rajshahi investors find new refuge in stocks

Share trading is gaining popularity in Rajshahi as more people are now investing in stocks.

Garment makers seek Tk 2,000cr to give salary, bonus

Garment manufacturers seek Tk 2,000 crore in a 'rescue fund' to meet urgent requirements ahead of Eid, as workers are mounting pressure on factory owners to pay two months' salaries and festival allowances.

Govt plans open-market sugar sales

The government plans to sell sugar in open market, aiming to lower the high prices of the sweetener, said the commerce minister yesterday

FBCCI sees ease in commodity prices

The prices of commodities except for sugar are showing a downward trend due to an abundant supply of the items, FBCCI said yesterday after a market watch.

Minister assures salinity-hit farmers of protecting their interests

The commerce minister yesterday said that the government will do everything to protect the interests of the people who have been facing harsh economical and social fallout from the increased salinity and diminished fertility of lands.

Marico holds IPO lottery

Marico Bangladesh Limited yesterday held a lottery for the allotment of shares in the initial public offering (IPO), the company said in a statement.

Japan's jobless rate hits record high

Japan announced Friday its jobless rate hit a record high last month, raising doubts about prospects for an economic recovery and dealing a blow to Prime Minister Taro Aso ahead of a weekend election.

People, planet, profit

It was the first time we attended an international workshop held at our Bogra Learning and Devel-opment Centre on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a phrase used interchangeably with Corporate Responsibility or Corporate Affairs. Until then, I viewed CSR as a do-good, generosity laden activity in support of hapless organisations struggling to make ends meet, as they provided wherewithal to the society's ignored and down-trodden.

Islamic bank assets up sharply despite turmoil

Assets held by the world's 100 biggest Islamic banks grew 66 percent in 2008 from the previous year despite the financial turmoil that clobbered mainstream lenders, a report said Friday.

Wall Street building confidence

With confidence rising of a recovery from recession, Wall Street faces historically its worst month of the year with memories still fresh from last September's financial market debacle.

Dollar recovers some gains

The dollar traded mainly higher Friday as currency traders turned more cautious in the face of a struggling stock market and mixed economic news.

Dhaka stocks end slack week as investors hold breath

Dhaka stocks finished down last week, as the market expected an inflow of new shares this week and in the coming weeks.

Wall Street building confidence

With confidence rising of a recovery from recession, Wall Street faces historically its worst month of the year with memories still fresh from last September's financial market debacle.

Toyota to end production at California plant

Toyota Motor said Friday it was abandoning a plant in California that it jointly owned with ailing US giant General Motors -- the first time the Japanese firm has ever pulled the plug on a factory.

Poland tops EU economy with Q2 growth

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk congratulated his country on Friday after the economy grew 0.5 percent in the second quarter, making it the only EU state to come through the crisis with flying colours.

Oil prices creep up

Oil prices edged higher Friday amid resurgent demand in Asia and positive economic data in the United States and Europe that supported hopes the global economy is pulling out of recession.

PetroChina first-half profits fall 7.2pc

PetroChina, the nation's largest oil producer, said Friday its net profit fell 7.2 percent year on year in the first half due to lower oil prices and weaker demand.

Germany backs calls to limit banker bonuses

Germany Friday threw its weight behind a scheme to limit bonuses for bankers as part of a drive towards greater financial market regulation to be debated at a key Group of 20 (G20) meeting next month.

Europe stocks rally as British recession eases

European equities rallied Friday, boosted by some better-than-expected company news and data showing that the British recession was not as deep as expected in the second quarter, analysts said.

Dollar recovers some gains amid renewed caution

The dollar traded mainly higher Friday as currency traders turned more cautious in the face of a struggling stock market and mixed economic news.

Citi senior official in town

Becky Lo, managing director and regional head of client delivery of Citi Group, arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a two-day official visit, the company said in a statement.

Workers strike at Benapole

A wildcat strike by Indian Petrapole land port workers suspended the export-import activities between Bangladesh and India through Benapole yesterday.

Dell net profit down 23pc

US personal computer giant Dell reported a 23-percent decline in quarterly net profit on Thursday but surpassed the expectations of Wall Street analysts, sending its shares sharply higher.

London investors await G20 meeting

Investors in the British stock market, which hit a 10-month high this week, will next week look forward to the Group of 20 finance ministers' meeting in London amid a dearth of company results.

Over 90,000 jobs at risk in German car industry

More than 90,000 jobs are in danger in Germany's automobile industry as the government's "cash-for-clunkers" scheme comes to an end, a report showed on Friday.

Japan's Hitachi, NEC, Casio in phone merger talks

Hitachi Ltd., NEC Corp and Casio Computer Co are in talks about a possible merger of their mobile phone businesses in a bid to improve profitability, reports said Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

August 23rd-August 27th, 2009
International Markets

Metropolitan

Unabated encroachment on Keraniganj canals

In Keraniganj near Dhaka, most of the canals which once had link with Buriganga and Dhaleshwari rivers were filled up either totally or partially due to continuous encroachment and dumping of solid wastes.

Slim govt, strong media key to good governance

Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) of Brac University in its annual research report 2008 recommended downsizing the government and building strong media and civil society to ensure good political governance in the country.

Death of baby sparks violent protests at Shishu Hospital

The death of a five-day-old baby due to alleged wrong treatment sparked violent protests at Dhaka Shishu Hospital in the early hours of yesterday.

Croplands in Sunamganj villages damaged

Hundreds of villagers in bordering villages in Sunamganj has been suffering a lot as landslides in Meghalaya, India, sending sand and rocks across the border into these villages, causing permanent damage to croplands.

RMG workers' programmes to realise demand

Leaders of Bangladesh Garments Workers Unity Council (BGWUC) yesterday announced a series of programmes to press home their five-point demand, including revision in their wage structures and payment of all arrears before Eid.

Three BDR hospitals to be set up

The Government has decided to set up three 50-bed hospitals for Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in Chuadanga, Thakurgaon and Khagrachhari to provide healthcare services for 45,000 people including BDR personnel and their family members.

1000 injections seized

Officials of the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) yesterday arrested three members of a family from a house at SK Das Road under Sutrapur Police Station and seized 1000 ampoules of injection from their possession.

Call to punish Rid Pharma officials

Nagorik Uddyog and Partnership of Women in Action yesterday demanded immediate arrest and exemplary punishment to the officials concerned of Rid Pharmaceuticals for producing toxic paracetamol syrup that killed 28 children, says a press release.

BNP to observe first anniversary of Khaleda's release

BNP will observe the first anniversary of release of the party chairperson Khaleda Zia and her eldest son Tarique Rahman from prison next month.

Ministry to send documents to ACC

Shipping ministry will send all documents of corruption and irregularities to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) within a day or two to take action against former shipping adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin.

Tribunal to be set up within a month

The government is going to set up a tribunal at Abdul Gani Road in the city within a month to hold the trial of war criminals, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.

Independence incomplete without Bangabandhu

Speakers at a roundtable here yesterday said Bangabandhu and independence of Bangladesh are inseparable and independence is incomplete without Bangabandhu.

British PM on surprise visit to Afghanistan

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a surprise visit to Afghanistan yesterday, where he pledged to speed up the training of Afghan security forces, the BBC and Sky News reported.

Fair price egg outlets in Khulna city

Khulna Poultry Fish Feed Owners' Association will open eight outlets in Sadar and Sonadanga Police Station areas in Khulna city today to sell eggs at fair price.

Concrete stones bury liberation war spirit

After decades of quiet but desperate searches, journalist Nadeem Qadir discovered the grave of his illustrious father, Lt Col Muhammad Abdul Qadir, the senior most Bangalee military officer to embrace martyrdom at the very onset of the liberation war in 1971.

Coastal people seek protection of livelihood and food, water security

Coastal people in the disaster-prone southern part of the country underscored the need for launching programmes immediately to protect their livelihood, food and water security from adverse impacts of climate change which hit the region frequently.

Help build drug-free society

Speakers at a discussion on Friday urged the youths to take vow for avoiding drugs for establishing a drugs-free society.

Start trial of war criminals without delay

Seventy-one organisations at a joint meeting yesterday called on the government to announce a road map to the trial of war criminals and start the activities of tribunal through forming investigation committee and appointing lawyers immediately.

Jubo League men stab transport leader

Transport workers barricaded roads at Gulistan and Sayedabad areas in the city for half an hour yesterday afternoon, protesting the attack on one of their leaders by local Jubo League men.

Partex Group men try to grab land in Gazipur: 20 injured

Over 100 hired goons and security guards of Partex Group allegedly tried to grab the land of a local union parishad member in Bangla Bazar area under Sadar upazila here on Friday.

PM hosts iftar party for politicians

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hosted iftar party for political leaders at Ganobhaban yesterday, but neither opposition leader Khaleda Zia nor any of her party representatives did turn up responding to the PM's invitation.

SR Osmani passes away

SR Osmani, former chairman of Petrobangla, passed away due to a massive heart attack on Friday night.

1,200 yaba tablets seized, DCC councillor held

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 1,200 pieces of yaba tablets and arrested three people, including a Dhaka City Corporation councillor, in this connection in the city yesterday evening.

National

Tired of waiting for fund, villagers go for self-help

A three-kilometre protection embankment along the Teesta River has been constructed in two days as people from six villages in Votmari union under Kaliganj upazila of Lalmonirhat rendered voluntary service for the task to save their life and property from river erosion.

7 joint conveners out of 9 demand Naser's removal

Seven of the nine joint conveners of Moulvibazar district BNP yesterday sent a resolution to party Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Secretary General Khandakar Delwar Hossain and Joint Secretary General Nazrul Islam Khan to remove M Naser Rahman from the post of Moulvibazar district BNP convener.

Angry locals set ablaze alleged killer's house

A college student was stabbed to death by a gang of criminals at Akua in the district town on Friday night.

JMB man held in Lalmonirhat

An 'Ehsar' member of the Islamic militant outfit, Jama'atul Mujahidin Bangladesh (JMB), was arrested at Bawra village of Patgram upazila on Friday night.

3 of a family electrocuted

Three of a family were electrocuted while another was critically injured around 11:00 am yesterday at village Char Chakdah in Sreepur upazila of the district.

Jubo League leader murdered

Criminals yesterday killed a local Jubo League leader in Belkuchi upazila.

Outlaw hurt in gunfight

An outlaw was bullet hit during a gunfight with police in Kotchandpur upazila on Friday night. Police arrested injured Ashman, 35, son of Mozibar Malita of Bherakhali village under Harinakundo upazila. Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Kotchandpur police station said, some outlaws were holding a secret meeting in a field of Kushna village on Friday night. When police cordoned the area, the outlaws opened fire prompting the law enforcers to retaliate. During the gunfight, Ashman was seriously injured while others fled away. Police recovered a shutter gun and two bullets.

Shibir threatens BCL man

A Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist of Rajshahi University unit, who was given death threat by Shibir cadres on Thursday night, received a fresh threat yesterday after he filed a general diary against five of them. BCL activist Golam Mostafa of Nawab Abdul Latif Hall told this correspondent that some unknown shibir cadres yesterday threatened him for filing the GD and asked him to leave the campus. Mostafa met the RU proctor and sought security of his life. He alleged that the university authorities and police are yet to take any step for arrest of the Shibir cadres.

Suspected outlaw arrested

Police arrested a suspected outlaw from the house of one Akbar Majhi in Comillatila area under Sadar upazila yesterday. Arrestee Rafiqul Islam Howladar, 25, is son of Hanif Howladar of Gasbari village under Sadar upazila in Madaripur district. A police team raided Akbar's house to nab listed criminal Mizanur Rahman yesterday noon. Sensing police presence Mizan ran away but police found Rafiq who was asleep there. He was arrested on suspicion of being an outlaw. Rafiq informed police that he had come to Khagrachhari a few days ago following a family feud.

BCL leader shot

A Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader was shot by criminals at Doharpara in the town on Friday night. Nayem Ahmed Russel, 23, son of Abdullah Sheikh is a student of Pabna Edward College and a leader of college BCL unit. Police and locals said the criminals opened fire on Russell at about 11 pm when he was returning home from mosque after prayers. Nayem was rushed to local hospital but the doctors shifted him to DMCH as his condition deteriorated.

Top outlaw arrested

A 'regional leader' of outlawed PBCP Red Flag faction was arrested on Friday night. Arrestee Rawshan alias Rwaz,45, is son of Samad Pramanik of village Baguan in Vangura upazila. Police said they arrested Rawshan from his residence Friday midnight. The arrestee is also one of the most wanted criminals in Pabna. He is accused in at least seven cases including murder and robbery, police said.

Letters

Reconstitution of BDR

The carnage and massacre committed in the BDR Headquarters in Pilkhana on the 26th February definitely called for an immediate investigation into the matter and suggestion for future course of action regarding its restructuring. The JS Panel constituted for the purpose has already submitted a list of suggestions for its remodelling and restructuring. I appreciate the panel for doing the hard work for preparing the suggestions. But I cannot agree with the suggestion of curtailing the BDR manpower by 30 percent. Decreasing the manpower by 30% will mean a reduction of more than 12,000 personnel. If this suggestion is implemented several problems might arise. Firstly, a huge number of able-bodied persons with modern military training will remain unemployed.

Trial of war criminals

We cannot take the words of the LGRD minister so lightly. He has explicitly expressed that the government is facing pressure both at home and abroad not to try the war criminals. He said this on 18 August while speaking at a function organized by Jongibad Birodhi Mancha (a platform against communalism and militancy).

Corruption

Bangladesh is a developing country, and by definition, poor. The state and society both have to cope with severe socio-economic and political pressures, such as a chronic scarcity of resources, unpredictable political changes and needs associated, frequently, with post-colonial upheavals, as well as the intervention of outside forces which bring with them alien ideas and often alter the dynamics of the country. These circumstances, accompanied by wide disparities in income distribution and the needs of vast numbers of people who survive under conditions of extreme poverty, add a new dimension to the prevalence of corruption.

Soul cleansing

The month of Ramadan is the month souls are purified. The social scientists studying ethics believe that acquiring ideal sublime and ethical conscience passes through three stages:

Communication problem

South Khararchar is a vegetable producing area of Dhamrai upazila under Dhaka district. This area is not far from Dhaka city, but there is no good road communication with the city.

Optimum world population

A UK news report ( 17 Aug) mentions that Sir David Attenborough has recently joined as patron the Optimum Population Trust (UK) , and along with many other environmentalists and scientists are calling for a campaign to limit the world's population. Prominent supporters of this call are Jonathan Porritt ( former UK government environmental adviser), long standing population control advocate Paul Ehrlich, and Professor Chris Rapley, a British scientist who has suggested that the world's population be cut by two thirds.

OSDs

The acronym OSD stands for Officer on Special Duty. It means the OSD officers are supposed to engage in a special kind of duty which ordinary officers cannot do. Special duty may be an assignment of project appraisal, or project preparation, giving special training to a group of officers, some kind of research work, pursuing higher degree abroad, etc. But the practical meaning of OSD in our government (excepting sending abroad) is to keep someone out of his job. In other words, it is a kind of silent punishment. The mechanism does not bring any good results, rather it creates acute frustration among the sufferers, sap their morale, humiliate them to the family and society as a whole. The money and the facilities spent for them is mere wastage.

Fake beggars

Some able-bodied people are found pretending to be lame, blind or dumb or some healthy beggars collect a false certificate or prescription and pretend to be patients. They beg in front of shopping malls, in universities and in vehicles. They emotionally blackmail the students and people for getting alms. Thousand of street children are also begging during daytime. Those children are sent to the streets by their parents after coaching to earn some extra pocket cash, though they are not actually poor.

Diplomats

I have just returned from a 10-day trip to Dhaka after four and a half years. There were many pleasant surprises in terms of positive developments; the energy I noticed in the streets and the infusion of a sense of purpose with which the 16 million city dwellers seemed to go about their day says volumes about the growing economy despite the political and administrative incompetence of the country's leaders and civil servants. The inside of Zia International Airport was most impressive. The $10bn remittance sent by expat workers is having an effect on the way of life in Bangladesh. The traffic alas is the bane of Dhaka!

Traffic congestion

I was moved very much with the volume of news reports and photographs published in different dailies and also with the emotional outburst of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shahidul Huq in a recent meeting(20-08-09) held under the chairmanship of Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain telecast on TV. The full video of Shahidul Huq's speech was though not telecast on TV but the thrust of his contention was clear enough to the audience.

JS panel & DU violence

The parliamentary standing committee on the education ministry rejected the judicial probe report on the campus violence that took place on Aug 20, 2007 on Dhaka University campus by terming the report "inadequate and irrelevant". I also believe the three-day violence was state sponsored . Well, ministries are accountable to PSCs, but may I ask how a judicial probe report is rejected by a PSC without reviewing it?

Some important projects

Time & tide wait for none. This proverb should be applicable for those who run the country. Seven months have already been blotted out but no sign of development in any sector is visible.

The holy month

The Arabic word Ramadan is derived from 'Ramad' which means - to burn or to destroy something by fire. The holy month of fasting is called Ramadan, as during this revered month the Muslims as a whole blaze all sorts of offensive acts including jealousy, evil propensity, bluffing, hostility and so on.

Adviser's comment

In New York on August 20, 2009 an adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said "The government has made no decision on the abolition of the caretaker government system."

Ground reality

With the changing face of economy and education, there is a growing need for stronger industry-academia interface. There is a perceivable difference between classroom teaching and industry requirements. In Bangladesh, industry requirements move at a fairly fast pace. However, the pace of change in academics is relatively slower. While the syllabi get updated over periods spanning over five to 10 years, the industry evolves in a matter of few months, so does its resource requirements. Hence, faculty development and teaching modernisation have to be accelerated so that a young population can make the most of the industry opportunities. Some of the areas in which the gap exists include lack of quality faculty, lack of high quality ICT and connectivity infrastructure. The curriculum needs to be overhauled. There is a need to introduce application-oriented learning with meaningful exercises so that academic learning becomes relevant when students join industry. The focus on research areas should be on a par or ahead of the global innovation pace. Moreover, higher education in Bangladesh does not focus on soft skills (verbal or written communication, working on interpersonal skills and team collaboration), which should be a priority. Higher education reform should be given utmost importance in terms of policy as well as implementation at the university level. Public-private partnerships in higher education can play the role of a catalyst. Specific opportunities abound in areas of faculty development, skill development and curriculum changes where industry partners can provide knowledge, expertise and support to address gaps.

Overbridge needed

Mohakhali is the largest inter-district bus terminal in Dhaka city. Thousands of people from various districts such as Tangail, Mymensingh, Sherpur, Jamalpur, Netrokona, Sirajganj, Bogra etc use this bus terminal to enter/leave Dhaka city.

International

Pakistan suicide bomber training camp destroyed

Helicopter gunships destroyed a training camp for suicide bombers in northern Pakistan's troubled Swat Valley overnight, killing 18 militants, the army said yesterday.

Ties with Pakistan not conducive for talks

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said yesterday that relations with Pakistan are currently not conducive for the two sides to have talks at any level.

India loses contact with first mooncraft

India has lost contact with its first mooncraft, an unmanned satellite launched amid much fanfare last October, the national space agency said yesterday.

No immediate change in BJP leadership

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) top brass met senior leader LK Advani at his residence late on Friday night for almost two hours.

Musharraf in no mood to return to Pakistan soon

Former Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf is in no mood to return to Pakistan soon.

Japan election set to break political mould

Japan's political leaders made their final pitches for votes today ahead of landmark polls that could end half a century of almost unbroken conservative rule and bring to power a centre-left party.

New Myanmar clashes leave 1 dead

Fresh fighting erupted early Saturday in northeastern Myanmar after days of clashes between government troops and ethnic rebels drove tens of thousands of people into China, and a bomb tossed across the border killed at least one and injured dozens.

UN official for probe into human rights 'abuse' by Nepal army

The Nepalese government should investigate the alleged human rights violations by its army during the decade-long Maoist insurgency in the country to make sure that the perpetrators are held accountable, a top UN official has said.

N Korean arms headed to Iran seized in UAE

The United Arab Emirates has seized a ship carrying North Korean weapons to Iran, marking the first time a nation has acted on UN sanctions to stop the communist state's proliferation, a diplomat said Friday.

Glowing tributes to Ted

President Barack Obama, three former presidents and a nation's elite gathered in the rain yesterday to attend a grand Catholic funeral for Edward Kennedy, America's legendary political patriarch.

Afghan vote fraud claims gather momentum

Allegations of vote-rigging in Afghanistan's elections gathered momentum yesterday as the main challenger said he would not accept a compromised outcome and Western powers called for transparency.

43 killed in south Sudan clashes

At least 43 people have been killed, including seven soldiers, and dozens wounded in clashes between troops and cattle rustlers in south Sudan, a military spokesman said yesterday.

US cops say 'sorry' for kidnap blunder

Police in the US have apologised for missing an opportunity in 2006 to find kidnap victim Jaycee Lee Dugard who was freed after 18 years in captivity.

Iran stonewalling IAEA on 'military dimensions' to its nuclear plan: UN

Iran is stonewalling the UN nuclear watchdog on "possible military dimensions" to its suspect nuclear programme, officials said Friday, urging the regime to clarify the mysterious role of a foreign explosives expert and shed light on other issues.

Indian PM denies 'fizzle' claim over 1998 nuclear tests

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday dismissed doubts raised recently about the success of the country's nuclear tests in 1998.

Discovery lifts off on the way to space station

The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from the Kennedy Space Centre on a 13-day mission to help equip the International Space Station.

Lethal cocktail of 6 drugs killed Jackson

Michael Jackson's death has been declared a homicide by Los Angeles coroners as they revealed the singer had a lethal cocktail of six different drugs in his body when he died.

Karzai widens lead in Afghan election race

Incumbent Hamid Karzai yesterday pulled further ahead of his main rival in the race for the Afghan presidency, based on the latest results unveiled by the country's election commission.

8 die as boat sinks in Indonesia

Eight people died and 18 are feared trapped inside a cargo vessel which sank on a river in Indonesia's Borneo island, an official said Saturday, though state media says the tolls could be much higher.

Iranian FM Mottaki in Baghdad

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in Baghdad on Saturday to offer his condolences on the death of Shia politician Abdel Aziz Al-Hakim and recent truck bomb attacks in the capital.

Arts & Entertainment

Bangladeshi filmmaker Anwar Chowdhury’s documentaries to be screened in India

Two Bangladeshi documentaries "Rudhho Koishor" (Barren Dreams) and "Joler Shilpomanjuri" (Waterworks) have been selected for the 4th International Film Festival on Water '09. Titled "Voices from the Water," the festival will be held in Bangalore, India from September 4 to 7.

Exhibition by the differently-abled: A cut above the rest

This was no run-of-the-mill art exhibition. What made the event stand apart was that the 19 artists who displayed their 51 artworks were disabled, largely with hearing and speech impairment. From paintings of Ganesh, the Hindu elephant God, to scenes from rural Bengal, to works capturing Buddha and the zodiac signs, the artist's paintings revealed that disability need not spell an end to life -- instead it can spawn imagination and creativity. The exhibition, aptly titled 'Beyond Limits,' was organised by the Delhi-based NGO Family Of Disabled (FOD). The aim was to provide a platform for the talented artists so that their work could catch public notice despite their disability.

Last episode of Nodi Bachao, Dhaka Bachao on Channel i tonight

The last episode of "Nodi Bachao, Dhaka Bachao, Pradhanmantri Shomipey" -- a five-episode talk show on recovering the rivers around the capital -- will be aired on Channel i tonight at 11:30 pm.

Nazrul Shena School pays tribute to the National Poet

On the 33rd death anniversary of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Nazrul Shena School, an institution run by Nazrul Shena central unit, arranged a daylong prgoramme at its auditorium in the district town on August 27.

Naksha on ATN Bangla

Written and directed by Mamunur Rashid, the 47th episode of drama serial "Naksha" will be aired on ATN Bangla tonight at 9:20pm.

Madonna booed in Bucharest for defending Gypsies

At first, fans politely applauded the Roma performers sharing a stage with Madonna. Then the pop star condemned widespread discrimination against Roma, or Gypsies -- and the cheers gave way to jeers.

OP-ED

Protecting our financial framework

THROUGH monetary policy the central bank of a country controls supply, availability and cost of money so as to achieve optimum growth and economic stability. Monetary policy is flexible i.e. immediate changes can be made in response to shocks, as opposed to fiscal policy, which takes longer to manage and implement.

Joining up

NOWADAYS, technology affects practically all activities in our life. Digital technology has covered the operation of all levels of education from kindergarten to doctoral studies. The new technology has even started challenging higher educational institutions worldwide to redefine their student constituencies and teaching practices. Bangladesh has just started a journey on a new vehicle equipped with digital technology and run by local national experts and technologists.

Leprosy education in MBBS curriculum

LEPROSY is not as big a problem in Bangladesh as many diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid, etc. are. But this disease is not merely a health hazard but also a social problem. Because of the stigma, which also causes self-stigma, the life of the affected person gets devastated. Nine NGOs have been working towards the eradication of this disease under the banner of National Leprosy Elimination Program under the Directorate General of Health Services.



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