The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, September 19, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 9th of September, 2009

Front Page

Bridge faulty or the river?

The Third Buriganga Bridge at Basila has been built at least two meters below its vertical clearance requirement, seriously undermining the river's navigability and flouting contractual prerequisite.

Infant dies of swine flu

A four-month-old baby girl died of swine flu outside the capital on Thursday, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed at a press briefing yesterday.

Graft court hiring called into question

Proper procedures were not followed in appointing judges and public prosecutors to the special courts set up by the last caretaker government to try major graft cases, a deputy law secretary has alleged.

PM okays Chevron gas compressor on GTCL system

The prime minister yesterday approved a Petrobangla proposal to award a $ 52.7 million contract to US company Chevron to install a gas compressor station to improve gas flow pressure in the Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL) system under a Production Sharing Contract (PSC).

Speaker rejects all 35 notices of opposition

Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday rejected all 35 notices from opposition lawmakers demanding discussions in parliament on various issues including the much-talked Tipaimukh dam, shortage of power and gas, law and order slide, extortion and tender manipulation.

Office, school hrs to change

The government and stakeholders in the private sector at a meeting yesterday agreed on a draft proposal for separate timing for offices and educational institutions to reduce traffic congestion in the capital.

Tupi rewrites their fate

Jahora Bewa, a widow of Ganga Narayan village, was in utter distress when her two sons left her. Finding no other way, she began begging from door to door. At one stage of seeking alms, she luckily got a work of knitting tupis (cap) under a female supervisor. Now she herself supervises such knitting work and earns about Tk 2,000 a month.

Promotion lulls admin

Monday's massive promotion of 494 civil servants has left Bangladesh Secretariat in sluggishness as officers promoted and attached to the establishment ministry as officers on special duty (OSD) hardly worked yesterday.

Fitra fixed at Tk 40

Fitra for Dhaka and its adjoining areas has been fixed at Tk 40 per head this year.

Power import, river dredging discussed

Import of power from India to Bangladesh, allowing greater access to goods from Bangladesh into Indian market and New Delhi's 'positive interest' in dredging ports and rivers in the country figured prominently as the two countries held wide-ranging talks here yesterday.

Law Commission turns fruitless 13

The Law Commission goes to complete 13 years today with its reconstituted body expecting to do something exceptional than its previous bodies, although it is facing some problems.

Cops in traders' guise man highway crimes

Several teams of Highway Police equipped with video cameras have started vigilance in guise of traders to curb highway crimes and spot the police personnel taking bribes from vehicles.

Moeen files petition for dismissal

Former army chief Moeen U Ahmed filed a petition with a Dhaka court yesterday asking for dismissal of the defamation case against him.

2 years on, Ctg realtor remains missing

The law enforcers have yet to trace Mozaffar Ahmed, a Chittagong businessman allegedly abducted two years back.

Govt set to appeal against acquittal

The government will file separate appeals within a day or two with the Supreme Court (SC) against the High Court (HC) verdict acquitting six former military men accused in the Jail Killing case.

BNP deplores PM's silence at Saifur's death

The BNP leaders yesterday said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina showed her 'narrow mindedness' by not conveying any condolence message on the death of country's longest-serving finance minister Saifur Rahman.

Load-shedding goes in a year

There will be no load-shedding in the country by the next year, State Minister for Power Mohammad Enamul Haque told parliament yesterday.

CHT land survey rules in 15 days

Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Land Commission will decide within next 15 days on the modalities for CHT land survey beginning from October 15, the commission chief said.

Bus passengers robbed on gunpoint

Armed robbers in broad daylight looted belongings from the passengers of a Chandpur-bound bus, on gunpoint at Jatrabari intersection in the capital yesterday.

Muggers stab businessmen, loot Tk 10 lakh

A gang of three muggers stabbed two businessmen at Gulistan in the city last night and took away Tk 10 lakh from them.

Russia denies carrying missiles to Iran

Russia yesterday strongly denied that a cargo ship whose supposed seizure by pirates sparked an international mystery was secretly carrying sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles bound for Iran.

Taliban kill 4 Pak schoolchildren

Taliban militants yesterday shot dead four schoolchildren and wounded six others in an apparent sectarian attack in a remote tribal town in northwest Pakistan, officials and residents said.

British airline bomb plot reveals links to Pakistan

A plot to blow up at least seven transatlantic aircraft using liquid bombs was masterminded from Pakistan, intelligence services said as more details emerged yesterday of the complex planned attacks.

4 US, 10 Afghan soldiers killed in fighting

Four American and 10 Afghan soldiers were killed yesterday in a clash in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, local authorities and the US military said.

SC may send opinion to president in two days

The Supreme Court may send within a day or two to the president its opinion on the reference on whether the offences committed during the BDR mutiny can be tried under the military law.

China coalmine blast kills 35, traps 44

An explosion at an illegal coalmine killed 35 miners in central China's Henan province yesterday and left another 44 men trapped, the government said.

Licence for more TV channels soon

The government would issue licences to a number of television channels "as early as possible", Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad said in the House yesterday. He, however, did not specify the number of new channels.

Swine flu to expose global health inequality: WHO

The global swine flu pandemic will expose the failure of the international community to invest in health protection in poor countries, the world's top health official warned here yesterday.

Editorial

JS in session again, without the opposition

THE Jatiyo Sangsad began its third session on Monday. To no one's surprise, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party kept up the boycott of proceedings it began months ago as a way of highlighting its grievances. Among those grievances are the grouse of the party's lawmakers about seating arrangements in the House and about the notice served on the leader of the opposition relating to vacating her cantonment residence. It is now quite clear that on a solution to these problems, one to the BNP's liking, hinges the question of its return to the House. For the nation as well as for those who voted the party's lawmakers into legislative office, it is a most unfortunate situation. For the nation, the boycott is increasingly looking like an attempt to make the JS an ineffectual and therefore an uninspiring body. And for its supporters, the BNP by not going to parliament is giving out the negative message that its politics has taken on a cavalier hue and that it pays little or no heed to their interests.

Spate of promotions

IN a sweeping move, the government has promoted as many as 494 officials to positions of additional secretary, joint secretary and deputy secretary, ostensibly for the purpose of injecting dynamism into the administration. But it could have contrary results and we share the concern of experts over the development.

The state in its fearsome symmetry

THE sight of Professor Anu Muhammad lying prostrate on the street, his young camp followers trying to protect him from the blows of policemen gone berserk, was something we had come across before. Remember the moment when a police officer, fury pushing his facial features into contortion, landed his fist in the face of an elderly photojournalist and sent the poor man tumbling? And do you recall how a whole phalanx of policemen swooped on Sohel Taj (and he was a lawmaker), back in the days when the country seethed in fury at the misrule of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-Jamaat government, and left him with a fractured arm?

Is Myanmar acquiring nuclear weapons?

THE foreign media is awash with news that Myanmar is building a secret nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction facilities with North Korean help, with the aim of acquiring its first nuclear bomb in five years, according to evidence from key defectors revealed in an exclusive Herald (Australia) report on August 1.

Exporting rice

MINISTER for food and disaster management, Dr. Abdur Razzaq, recently disclosed that the government was considering allowing export of rice, both aromatic and non-aromatic, and the final decision on the issue would be taken after observing whether any natural calamity affected aman production. The minister said that, at present, the private sector exports over 150,000 tonnes of rice.

Sports

Selectors to get extension

It is all but confirmed that the Rafiqul Alam-led national selection panel will get another term as the five-member evaluation committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has voted against any change.

Russians routed

Powerhouse teen phenomena Melanie Oudin and Caroline Wozniacki rallied Monday to complete an ouster of Russian stars from the US Open and advance to their first Grand Slam quarterfinals.

Argentina not worried

Having succumbed to only their second home defeat in World Cup qualifying history against Brazil on Saturday, Argentina face a make-or-break trip to Paraguay on Wednesday.

Academy in Sylhet

The government has finally responded to Bangladesh Football Federation's (BFF) appeal to allocate the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan of Sylhet for football, but wished to lease only a part of the sports institution.

Thilan lifts Lanka

Thilan Samaraweera hit a maiden century under pressure to help Sri Lanka post a competitive 216-7 against New Zealand in a tri-series match here on Tuesday.

Enke out for Germany

Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke is out of Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan with a mysterious virus while coach Joachim Loew looks set to continue his youthful experiment.

Black Monday for USA

It was a bleak day for US tennis on Monday as for the first time in the 41-year Open era no American made it into the quarterfinals of the men's singles.

Football fans face La Liga blackout

Football fans in Bangladesh will be left cursing their luck after popular satellite sports channel ESPN-STAR SPORTS (ESS) confirmed that they would not be broadcasting the Spanish Primera Liga in the sub-continent this season.

Rajib & Zia lose again

Grand Masters Enamul Hossain Rajib and Ziaur Rahman suffered their second successive defeats in the fourth Kolkata Open International Grandmasters Chess Tournament's seventh round held at Gorky Sadan in Kolkata on Sunday.

Shakib avoids surgery

Shakib Al Hasan will not need surgery at the moment to overcome his groin injury.

Quartet can book place

England, Serbia, Spain and Slovakia can all book their places at next summer's World Cup in South Africa when European qualifying continues on Wednesday.

Nations Cup postponed

The 2009 Danone Nations Cup has been postponed in the face of the outbreak of swine flu and the tenth edition has been shifted to next year.

Henry didn't slam coach

1998 World Cup winners France's increasingly fraught qualifying campaign for next year's finals deepened on Monday when captain Thierry Henry denied he had criticised coach Raymond Domenech in front of the rest of the squad.Squad-mate and fellow 2006 World Cup finalist Florent Malouda also revealed that he had only learnt he was not even among the substitutes for last Saturday's qualifier with Romania at the Stade de France when he entered the dressing room and he saw there was no shirt for him.

Ashes not the last thing

Paul Collingwood insisted England faced an uphill battle in convincing their supporters that one-day cricket was important following this season's Ashes success.

Fred going for rehab

Andrew Flintoff is to spend the next three months in Dubai to aid his recovery from the latest operation to his right knee and make a return to England's one-day team as their star all-rounder.

Entertainers they remain

Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe, bad boy clown princes from two different tennis eras, traded comic impressions of each other and even played a few points in an impromptu US Open moment Monday night.

Torres wants big guns in WC

The 2010 World Cup will suffer if Argentina, France and Portugal fail to qualify, Liverpool's Spanish international striker Fernando Torres said on Monday.

Sehwag doesn't want captaincy

Indian batsman Virender Sehwag has said he doesn't want to lead the team and suggested that a new face be given the vice-captain's responsibility, so that he can be groomed to take over the reins after captain MS Dhoni.

Beckham considers EPL return

David Beckham has revealed he is considering offers from four top Premier League clubs as he bids to keep his World Cup dream alive.

SAFF Congress brought ahead

The meeting of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) in Dhaka has been brought forward to the first week of October instead of third week because of non-availability of the SAFF president Ganesh Thapa, informed the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).

Cheats to be dealt with

Bangladesh Football Federation yesterday ruled that those footballers who took payment from other clubs before even signing for a particular club would be banned from the upcoming Federation Cup until they refund the money to the respective clubs.

Ad-hoc committee for chess

The National Sports Council (NSC) is going to dissolve the executive committee of the Bangladesh Chess Federation in a couple of days as the NSC has reportedly sent a proposal for 26-member ad-hoc committee to the sports ministry for the final approval.

Business

Infrastructure ranks among worst

Infrastructure in Bangladesh ranks among the worst in the world, securing only the 126th position in 133 nations, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2009-10 released yesterday.

Two new sectors to get cash incentives

Two new sectors and 15 commodities will enjoy 5 percent to 20 percent cash subsidy in the current fiscal year.

DSE won't allow private firms to list directly

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) will not allow any private company to join bourses under direct listing system.

Minister dismisses dual banking

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said commercial banks and insurance companies will not be allowed to do a dual banking and insuring business simultaneously on general and Islamic lines.

Barisal poultry farmers protest soaring costs of business

Spiralling prices of day-old chicks and poultry feeds have upset the poultry sector in Barisal.

Tough time ahead for budget carriers

Failed Slovakian low-cost carrier SkyEurope could be just the first casualty among the smaller airlines finding it difficult to survive one of the worst slumps on record, analysts said.

Marico listed with CSE

Marico, a leading Indian group in consumer products and services in the global beauty and wellness space, got listed with the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday, the company said in a statement.

China unveils jet at air show

China unveiled the design of what will be its largest home-produced commercial jet at a Hong Kong air show Tuesday, demonstrating the country's ambition to be a global aviation giant.

Stiglitz warns of double dip

US economist Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics, warned Monday that the global economy could suffer a double dip, a pronounced rebound giving way to another slide.

Current market rebound not a real recovery: UNCTAD

A UN think tank on trade warned Monday that the current financial market rebound is not a "real recovery" and that any world economic growth recorded in 2010 was unlikely to exceed 1.6 percent.

Asian stocks higher on optimism

Asian markets moved higher Tuesday on hopes for the global economy following a surge in business confidence in Australia and on upbeat forecasts in other parts of the region.

Oil rises in Asian trade

Oil extended its rise in Asian trade Tuesday, lifted in part by improved investor sentiment about the global economy's recovery prospects, analysts said.

Czech economy emerges from recession

The Czech economy has emerged from recession with a revised 0.1-percent uptick between the first and second quarters of the year, following a long streak of bleak data, official data showed Tuesday.

Traffic congestion in Britain plunges thanks to recession

Congestion in Britain has dropped by almost a third in the last two years as motorists struggle through the worst recession in decades, according to research released Monday.

WEF ranks US among most economically unstable nations

The United States fared badly in a new assessment of world economies, with the financial crisis accentuating its weakness as one of the most economically unstable nations, the World Economic Forum said Tuesday.

Barclays fined for transaction inaccuracies

Barclays bank has been fined 2.45 million pounds for "serious weaknesses" in systems and controls that led to inaccurate reporting of transactions, Britain's financial watchdog said on Tuesday.

Egypt threatens mobile phone operators on Ramadan specials

Egypt is threatening to punish mobile phone operators with a freeze on new customer lines if they keep prices lower after the holy month of Ramadan, newspapers reported on Tuesday.

Japan's current account surplus narrows in July

Japan's current account surplus shrank at a faster than expected pace in July, hit by weak exports and falling returns from overseas investments, official data showed Tuesday.

Finland sinks into eurozone's deepest recession in Q2

Finland has sunk into the deepest recession in the eurozone after official data published Tuesday showed that its economy shrank 9.4 percent on a 12-month basis in the second quarter of this year.

Metropolitan

Introduce vocational edn to ensure jobs for madrasa students: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has emphasised the need to provide general and vocational education for Madrasa students alongside religious education to ensure more employment opportunities for them.

Female edn gets priority in draft national policy

The draft National Education Policy 2009 underscored the importance of female education as it adopted several strategies to ensure women empowerment as well as their overall development.

4 hoodlums held from BSMMUH premises

The leader of a criminal gang and its three members were arrested from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital (BSMMUH) premises in the city yesterday.

Mawa ferry, launch service suspended

Movement of ferries, launches and speedboats on Mawa-Kawrakandi route in the river Padma has been suspended since 2:00pm yesterday because of rough weather, resulting from a low developed in the Bay of Bengal.

Monsoon low over north Bay

A monsoon low developed over the northwest Bay and the Bangladesh-West Bengal coast, is triggering squally wind.

17 ASPs promoted to addl SP

The government yesterday promoted 17 assistant superintendents of police (ASP) to the rank of additional superintendent of police.

US Dy Asstt Secy of State Owen due today

US Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Michael S Owen arrives today on a two-day visit to Bangladesh.

Cocaine worth Tk 2.5cr seized, five arrested

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-1) seized 2.5 pounds of cocaine worth around Tk 2.5 crore and arrested five people at Tongi in Gazipur yesterday.

Section 154 imposed to avert chaos

Gulshan police yesterday imposed section 154 of the penal code on a 'disputed building' at Banani as there had been a feud between the authorities of Banani Society and State Bank of India over setting up of a visa application centre.

Change education system to fight corruption

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said the structure of the existing education system should be changed to curb corruption through making people of the country literate.

Ensure safe environment for ship-breaking workers

Leaders of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) at a press conference in Chittagong yesterday demanded safe work environment for workers in the ship-breaking industries to avert injuries and tragic death.

Eminent citizens demand punishment

Eminent citizens yesterday strongly condemned 'police action' on Prof Anu Muhammad and other leaders and workers of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports and demanded punishment to those responsible for the incident.

'Rich nations should bear burden of climate change'

Scientists and researchers at a dialogue in Rajshahi on Monday categorically stated that the industrial and richer nations are responsible for the climate change and they should take effective decisions right now to face the adverse impact of climate change and other environmental degradations.

Hearing adjourned till Sept 29

A Dhaka court adjourned the hearing of the tax evasion case filed against businessman Giausuddin Al Mamun until September 29 as the jail authority did not produce him before the court on Monday.

260 sacks of Indian fertiliser seized

Police and Rab in a joint drive seized 260 sacks of sub-standard Indian fertiliser at Bijul in Birampur upazila early yesterday.

Raise migration issue at int'l conferences

Experts at a programme yesterday urged the government to start campaigning nationally as well as internationally to mobilise public opinion in favour of international migration and raise the issue during the Bangkok and Copenhagen conferences.

Four bodies recovered, many still missing

Four bodies were recovered from the River Buriganga so far after an engine boat capsized while going to Sadarghat from Pagla on Sunday.

Mojo Eid Chan Offer

Cola drink Mojo is giving away free bus tickets for Dhaka-Sylhet, Rangpur, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Jessore and Khulna routes under 'Free AC Bus Ticket Offer'.

Bonus for teachers, staff of non-govt institutions

The government yesterday handed over 24 cheques to different branches of Agrani Bank, Rupali Bank, Janata Bank and Sonali Bank to provide the teachers and employees of non-government schools, colleges and madrasas with bonus on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

President lauds PM's role

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called on President Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban and apprised him of the outcome of participation of Bangladesh delegation led by her in the just-concluded World Climate Conference-3 in Geneva.

BRTC special bus service from Sept 15

Special buses of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) will start plying to manager passenger rush ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr from September 15 on different routes, which will continue till three days after Eid.

BDR high-ups wear new uniforms

High officials of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday started wearing its new uniforms.

BRTC special bus service from Sept 15

Special buses of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) will start plying to manager passenger rush ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr from September 15 on different routes, which will continue till three days after Eid.

Wasa to buy 200 generators

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) will buy 200 electric generators with its own funds to keep smooth supply of water during the next dry season.

Appeal for help

Md Ashikur Rahman, 6, is suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia and undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital.

National

Satkhira town waterlogged

Over 25,000 people of Satkhira town have become marooned as ceaseless rain over the last couple of days inundated different areas of the town.

Making a fast buck on other people's money

A few officials in Janata Bank, Baghabari branch in Shahzadpur upazila of Sirajganj district have been involved in illegally lending bank money for short periods to a section of local influential businessmen for personal gain.

Deposition of PWs deferred to Oct 14

Deposition of prosecution witnesses (PW) in the case filed under Explosive Substances Act in connection with the grenade attack on the then British High Commissioner (HC) Anwar Chowdhury and others could not be held yesterday as police failed to produce most of the accused in court.

EC sues 52 upazila poll candidates in B'baria

Fifty-two candidates for the posts of upazila parishad chairman, vice-chairman and woman vice-chairman in seven upazilas of Brahmanbaria district have been sued for not submitting election expenditure reports to the returning officers concerned in time.

Rain paralyses life in Barisal division

Continuous downpour for the last couple of days has paralysed normal life in the districts of Barisal division.

Suspected militants remanded

Three youths arrested in Netrakona on Sunday for their alleged link with militant outfits were placed on five days police remand on Monday. Police produced the three before the court of Netrakona senior judicial magistrate in the evening seeking seven days remand and the court granted five days remand. Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Netrakona Sadar Police Station Abu Tahar Mia said they are yet to be certain about the militant outfit the arrestees belong to. But he said that there is no doubt that Omar Faruque, Sheik Parvez and Anik Ahmed are militants.

Fish farmer murdered

Criminals beat dead a fish farmer in broad day light at Laudia village under Sadar upazila on Monday. The victim is Shafikul Islam Tulu, 30, son of Akbar Hossain alias Patal Biswas. Police and family sources said, a gang of 15/20 chased Shafikul Islam Tulu and his brother Sarfuddin while they were going to their fish farm in Rana Dairy Farm compound. At one stage they caught Tulu and beat him up and bludgeoned him indiscriminately. He was rushed to Jhenidah Sadar Hospital and later shifted to Khulna 250-bed Hospital where he succumbed to injury at 3 am on Monday.

CU admission tests in Nov

Admission tests for first year honours courses for the 2009-2010 sessions will begin at Chittagong University (CU) from November 08. The decision was made at a meeting of the Admission Committee held with Vice Chancellor Prof Abu Yusuf in the chair at his office recently. Intended candidates will be able to collect the forms till October 15 and submit them on or before October 20. The forms will be available at CU, New Market, Sheikh Mujib Road and Kapasgola braches of Agrani Bank in the city and Jatiya Jadughar branch in the capital at a cost of Tk 300. Examination of the “GA” unit (Commerce faculty - commerce group) will be held at 10.30am on Nov 08, “KA” unit (Science faculty) at 10.30am and “CHA” unit (forestry) at 2.30pm on Nov 09, “JA” unit (biological science) at 10.30am and “CHHA” unit (Marine sciences) at 2.30pm on Nov 10, “GA” unit (Commerce Faculty - science and humanities groups) at 10.30am on Nov 11, “GHA” unit (Social Science) at 10.30am on Nov 12, “UMA” unit (Law) at 10.30am on Nov 14, “KHA” unit (Arts) at 10.30am on Nov 15, and “KHA” unit (Arts- Fine Arts, Arabic and Persian, Islamic Studies, Pali and Sangskrit) at 10.30am on Nov 16.

Letters

Footpaths

Thanks to The Daily Star for carrying the series "Whose footpath is it?" We certainly keep our eyes blindfolded to this issue, whether it's the City Corporation or the general public.

Dwindling forests

The accepted standard, according to the experts, is that a country must have at least 25 percent of its total land area covered with forests. According to the forestry related sources, a total of 7,69000 hectares or only 7.29 percent of Bangladesh's landmass have tree cover.

Organic farming

"While the farmer holds the title to the land, actually, it belongs to all the people because civilization itself rests upon the soil." --Thomas Jefferson.

Student politics

Bangladesh achieved its independence through a nine-month struggle in 1971. The students of Bangladesh made a huge contribution to the Liberation War of 1971.

Power generation and pollution

An unrealistic suggestion for power generation for Bangladesh was published in a local English daily on August 29,which was theoretically rational and possible elsewhere. However, given the reality of heavy rain and floods in Bangladesh, the idea is not feasible here. Investigations on computer modelling based on Bangladesh weather data, indicates that in Bangladesh we can harvest at most 25 percent of available annual sunlight for power generation!

Swine flu management

Swine Flu in our country is rapidly reaching the pandemic level. The question is, how much we are prepared, not theoretically but practically to counter the swine flu threat? In my view, the government should ensure the followings to face the swine flu pandemic:-

We mourn

We mourn the death of former finance minister M. Saifur Rahman. We pay our profound tributes to him.

Diplomats and traffic

It is not my habit to write blistering missives to editors. However, the appalling attack by Shabbir A. Bashar, (PhD, Vancouver, USA) on the community of diplomats in Dhaka is such that I feel compelled to reply, if only to prevent certain of his assertions from passing into local lore as fact.

Trial of war criminals

The Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister recently announced in unequivocal terms (The Daily Star, 28.08.09) that there was no foreign pressure in regard to the issue of the trial of war criminals, which directly contradicts the claim of the Local Govt. Minister who had said that there was pressure from abroad.

Government's plan

We have seen a report in the national dailies that the government will give jobs to about one lakh unemployed people under a national service, a special project. The government manifesto was that at least one unemployed man or woman from each family would get a job. We have heard that the name of the project reflects the overall plan.

Good work

I must congratulate bdjobs for introducing the best employer award in different categories. This will definitely encourage other organisations to improve the work environment.

Lamb and wolf story?

The tug of war between the Mayor of Rajshahi and The Chairman Education Board reminds me of a story the moral of which is “Rogues must have some plea.” The story runs like “A lamb was drinking water from a spring. Suddenly a wolf appeared overhead and barged in rudely at the lamb, “Why are you muddying my water ” “How it is possible sir, you are at the upstream and I am at the downstream !” The lamb bleated timidly. “Then you called me names,” the wolf nagged still forcefully. “How long ago sir?” “The lamb wondered miserably. “The wolf asserted,” “A year ago” “Sir I am only six months old. I was not born a year ago.” The lamb tried to correct the wolf. “ Then your father did so.” With this the wolf allowed no chance for any further defence from the lamb. He jumped on it and made a feast on it. The analogy may not be misplaced!

Brutal police action

We condemn the brutal police action on the people who were marching towards the Petrobangla office at Karwan Bazaar to protest the government's decision to award three offshore blocks to international oil companies. The members of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports were present at the protest rally. We learned that more than 50 people were injured by the police assault and both legs of Anu Muhammad, a Professor of Economics of Jahangirnagar University, were badly fractured.

Four-day workweek

“The Four-Day Workweek Is Winning Fans” by Bryan Walsh that appeared online (TIME Magazine) is really interesting to share. Bryan wrote: “In an era when most of us seem to be working more hours than ever provided we're still lucky enough to have jobs, 17,000 people in Utah have embarked on an unusual experiment. A year ago, the Beehive State became the first in the US to mandate a four-day workweek for most state employees, closing offices on Fridays in an effort to reduce energy costs. The move is different from a furlough in that salaries were not cut; nor was the total amount of time employees work. They pack in 40 hours by starting earlier and staying later four days a week. But on that fifth (glorious) day, they don't have to commute, and their offices don't need to be heated, cooled or lit. After 12 months, Utah's experiment has been deemed so successful that a new acronym could catch on: TGIT (thank God it's Thursday). The state found that its compressed workweek resulted in a 13% reduction in energy use and estimated that employees saved as much as $6 million in gasoline costs. Altogether, the initiative will cut the state's greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 12,000 metric tons a year. And perhaps not surprisingly, 82% of state workers say they want to keep the new schedule.”

Swine flu

Nowadays, swine flu has become a serious threat to the world as well as to our country. It can turn into an epidemic in no time. Still the people of our country seem to be indifferent to the harsh truth. Rather, our health minister asked us not to be worried about it as an adequate quantity of drugs has been stocked up.

International

Four US soldiers, 10 Iraqi cops killed in bombings

Ten Iraqi policemen and four American soldiers were killed in a spate of roadside bomb attacks across the country on Tuesday, in the bloodiest day for the US military in five months.

Khamenei asks Ahmadinejad to listen to criticism

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to listen to "benevolent criticism" as the hardliner began another term in office amid opposition claims his re-election was fraudulent.

Gaza offensive may cost Palestinians $4b: UN

The Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip in December and January caused four billion dollars of losses to the Palestinian economy, a UN think tank said yesterday.

Obama faces key test in health care speech to Congress

President Barack Obama, whose approval ratings have taken a hit, prepares to address Congress Wednesday in an attempt to regain control of health care reform, one of his top legislative priorities.

Gates urges Arabs to strengthen military ties with eye on Iran

Defence Secretary Robert Gates urged US allies in the Arab world to strengthen their military capabilities and defence cooperation with Washington as a means of pressuring Iran to back off its nuclear programme.

Russia denies Arctic Sea carried missiles to Iran

Russia yesterday vehemently denied that a cargo ship whose supposed seizure by pirates sparked an international mystery was carrying sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missiles bound for Iran.

Merkel defends Afghan mission after deadly airstrike

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday she deeply regrets any civilian deaths in an air strike in Afghanistan last week, as she defended the unpopular mission ahead of elections on September 27.

Karzai secures 54pc votes amid fraud claims

President Hamid Karzai surpassed for the first time the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a run-off in Afghanistan's presidential election, according to preliminary results released yesterday, but with fraud allegations rising, a UN-backed commission ordered a re-count of tainted ballots.

Pak PM seeks swift US funds for Taliban battle

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has urged the United States to speed up delivery of aid, saying the nation needed more aircraft, ammunition and funds to battle Taliban rebels.

US embassy expansion plans spur rumours, concern in Pakistan

America's plans for a major expansion of its diplomatic presence in Pakistan, including the possible takeover of a bombed luxury hotel near the Taliban heartland, have heightened tensions and bred rumours in a population rife with anti-US sentiment.

3 killed in suicide attack on Kabul airbase

A suicide bomber attacked a Nato convoy outside Kabul's military airport yesterday, killing three civilians while 12 Taliban militants were killed in fighting in nortern Afghanistan.

Pak nukes safe from terror attacks: US

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has expressed satisfaction over the security arrangements at Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

Petition filed in Pak SC against Musharraf, General Kayani

A petition has been filed in Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday against 481 persons including former president Pervez Musharraf and former premier Shaukat Aziz and Army Chief General Ashfaque Pervez Kayani.

Nephew of Ted Kennedy rules out Senate run

Joseph Kennedy, the nephew of the late Edward Kennedy, announced Monday he will not seek to fill his uncle's vacant Senate seat.

Chinese scientists claim to have filmed 'UFO for 40 minutes'

Chinese scientists claim that they filmed an unidentified flying object for about 40 minutes, during the solar eclipse on July 22.

4 Kuki militants killed in Manipur

Four militants of the Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) were killed in an encounter with security forces in Manipur''s interior Ukhrul district bordering Myanmar, official sources said today.

13 missing after helicopter crash

Thirteen people were missing Tuesday after a Kazakh border patrol helicopter crashed in a remote region in the south of the Central Asian state, the state security services said.

Gossiping is fundamental to being human!

Gossiping is fundamental to being human, and this is what separates us from animals, claims a social psychologist.

Bomb hoax causes panic in Delhi

There was panic in Delhi following anonymous call that bombs were placed at three important buildings-Vikas Minar, NDMC building and Safdarjang Hospital.

Video shows FARC hostages

Colombia's military has released videos of 10 soldiers and policemen held hostage in the jungle by leftist rebels for more than a decade.

Suu Kyi's party hopeful about her release

The party of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Tuesday it was hopeful that she would be unconditionally released after a court agreed to hear an appeal against her recent conviction. Lawyers for the Nobel laureate and the country's ruling junta are due to present legal arguments on September 18, after Suu Kyi challenged last month's guilty verdict for sheltering an American man who swam to her lakeside home.

Arts & Entertainment

Raghu Rai’s philosophy of photography

"They say a good photograph is worth a thousand words. But a thousand words can be a lot of noise. How about some silence -- a moment in space which is non-negotiable.”--Raghu Rai, Magnum Photos

Anil Kumar Saha: An accomplished classical vocalist and teacher

Anil Kumar Saha, a lecturer at Shanto-Mariam University, is a leading figure in the contemporary classical vocal music. Born in Sujanagar, Pabna, Saha was taught sargam by Mahbubur Rahman at Mukul Fauj Music School, Sirajganj (1978-80).

Amitabh Reza contemplating making a film

Though Amitabh Reza is one of the pioneers who changed the face of Bangladeshi TV commercials, he considers himself a "fiction (TV plays, films) director".

Adho Megh: Rajiv Rahman’s new album released

Rajiv Rahman aka "Double R" has released his exclusive mixed album “Adho Megh” on September 4. The album features 10 artistes -- Rupom, Jhumur, Oni, Nil Kontho, Sylvia, Skibkhan, Armen, Baawla, et al. Most of these artistes are involved with a lot of group and mixed album projects like "Maya," "Disciples," "Double R on the Beat," "Re/Evolution," "Impact" and "Deshi MC". Laser Vision distributes the album in Bangladesh.

Chavez walks Venice red carpet with Oliver Stone

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez received a movie star welcome Monday at the Venice Film Festival, where he walked the red carpet with director Oliver Stone for the premiere of the documentary "South of the Border."

Drama, rally, discussion in Magura marking Int’l Literacy Day

To mark the International Literacy Day, Magura district administration held a rally yesterday. The rally began from the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and ended at the Nomani Maidan in the town.

Surviving Bee Gees to reunite

The surviving members of the Bee Gees are to perform together again, six years on from the death of bandmate and brother Maurice Gibb.

OP-ED

Privilege and democratic accountability

ACCORDING to media reports, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (the Committee) has decided to call Mr. H.T. Imam, Adviser to the Honourable Prime Minister, as a witness in its investigation in the matter of forced retirement of two district judges, and their subsequent reinstatement. This obviously relates to the Parliament's long-standing right to hold the executive branch accountable by exercising its constitutionally mandated privilege to call witnesses and documents. It also raises a new issue of "executive privilege" -- the right of the head of government to receive candid opinion from advisers without fear of scrutiny of the Parliament.

Saffron brotherhood in disarray

THE saffron's road to the top was mapped mainly by those who believe in Hindu revivalism as they apprehended that Hinduism was endangered. This conclusion has been drawn basing on the perception that "the political assertiveness of minority groups like the Sikhs and Muslims, efforts to convert the Hindus to other faith, suspicion that the political authorities are 'pandering' to minority groups and the belief that foreign political and religious ideologies undermine Hindu community bonds."

Fake your life on Facebook

SHH! Don't tell his boss. Math teacher Johnnee Sum has two lives. He introduced me to both after inviting me to meet him at a café. I arrived to find a baggy-eyed man in his early 20s (or perhaps 50s) who made me promise to refer to him only by his pseudonym.



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