The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 23, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 30th of September, 2009

Front Page

Businessmen to grab sports

A limited company of powerful businessmen will soon take over Dhanmondi playground, earmarked in the city's master plan as a common field, to build there a mini stadium with exclusive sports facilities much to the chagrin of local residents.

Sugar prices soar on permit sale frenzy

Permits given to big dealers to buy sugar changed hands several times at higher rates during Ramadan, leading to the abnormal rise in the commodity's price at that time, traders and intelligence agency sources said.

11 doctors dismissed

Ten professors and an associate professor of different departments of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), the lone medical university in the country, were dismissed yesterday for their alleged political affiliation.

Aman lands in jail

The Detective Branch of police yesterday arrested former BNP state minister Amanullah Aman at Zia International Airport in an attempt-to-murder case filed by one of his party colleagues.

DCC hamstrung by lawsuits

Regular promotions and service confirmation of a number of engineers at Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) remain stalled due to lawsuits filed by themselves or department proceedings.

CEC bins Jalil's doubting polls

Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said Awami League lawmaker Abdul Jalil's recent remarks on the ninth parliamentary election are “nothing but outpouring of frustrations”.

10 BCL men rape girl

Ten activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) allegedly gang-raped a teenage girl Friday night and were later handed down mere punishment at village arbitration arranged to ensure their escape by local Awami League leaders.

AL came to power thru' vote rigging

Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia deplored that the present government is not paying attention to public welfare nor fulfilling its pre-election pledges, as Awami League "didn't come to power with people's vote but through rigging."

2 committees to probe scam

Two committees--one led by the FBCCI and the other by the commerce ministry--were formed yesterday to investigate the recent sugar scam that led to an abnormal rise in the commodity's price during Ramadan.

Hindu devotees clash

A Swechchhasebok League leader was killed and 10 others were injured in a clash between two groups of Hindu devotees at Shyambazar in Sutrapur area in the capital yesterday.

Tax return deadline stretched to Oct 31

The last date for submitting tax returns of individual taxpayers has been extended by a month to October 31.

Robbers reign supreme at night on Ashulia road

If you plan to take a trip through Ashulia road at night, think at least twice. Because you may be risking your life at the hands of robbers who waylay cars just as Nadim Uddin Nadim, a resident of Mohammadpur in the city, experienced on the Eid night. There are many more to tell similar stories.

6 motorbikers killed in crashes

Six motorbike riders were killed in two separate road accidents in Faridpur and Comilla districts yesterday, which suspended the traffic movement for a few hours in the areas.

Gangetic dolphins return

A school of gangetic dolphins have returned to the rivers Turag and Buriganga with the flow of fresh floodwater from the upstream.

Rajabazar roads not in kingly state

Uncovered manholes coupled with battered roads and poor drainage system in the capital's Rajabazar cause untold sufferings to hundreds of residents in the area.

Govt dispels fear about rice price

Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque has termed 'expected' the recent rise in rice price by Tk 1 or 2 a kg, and said the government is ready to launch various social safety net programmes to check further price hike.

PM receives eye, ear treatment

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received treatment for her ears and eyes at Baltimore's John Hopkins Hospital in Washington DC on Monday.

UN scrutinises Gaza 'war crimes'

The UN's main human rights watchdog has begun a debate on a damning report into Israel's military operation against Gaza eight months ago.

Ctg tea-stall owner beaten to death

A tea-stall owner was beaten to death by security guards and labourers of a shipping agency at Agrabad in the port city yesterday.

ACC opens port grab probe

A three-member team of the Anti-Corruption Commission started investigation yesterday into corruption charges against former adviser Maj Gen (rtd) MA Matin with questioning of five officials of Chittagong port at its office.

Dhaka, Delhi agree to erect 320 pillars

The parliamentary standing committee on defence ministry yesterday said Bangladesh and India had agreed to erect as many as 320 pillars on their border.

155 tourists stranded in St Martin's Island

At least 1,500 tourists returned to Teknaf from half way to St Martin's Island in Cox's Bazar yesterday due to the low over the Bay, while a total of 155 tourists remained stranded in the island.

30 Afghan civilians die as bus hits mine

A roadside bomb blast in southern Afghanistan has killed 30 civilians yesterday while 40 Talinan militants were killed in joint operation in west on Monday.

Troops kill 157 protesters in Guinea

At least 157 people were killed and 1,253 wounded when Guinea junta troops broke up a huge demonstration in Conakry on Monday, the Guinean Human Rights Organisation told AFP yesterday.

NYC terrorism suspect awaits arraignment

An Afghan immigrant accused of plotting to turn common chemicals into explosives that could have targeted New York City was due in federal court yesterday, a day after authorities confirmed that they know the identities of three believed to have been in on the scheme.

Nero's dining room unveiled in Rome

Archaeologists say they have unveiled what they believe to be remains of the "dining room" of the Roman emperor Nero, part of his palatial residence built in the first century.

'Working mothers' children unfit’

Children whose mothers work are less likely to lead healthy lives than those with "stay at home" mothers, a study says.

Polanski asks Swiss court to free him

Lawyers for Roman Polanski filed a motion in court yesterday asking that the Oscar-winning director be released from Swiss custody--the first step in his legal battle to avoid extradition to the United States for a 1977 statutory rape case.

Editorial

Dealing with extremist threats

NEWS of the discovery of secret JMB training camps deep in the hills as also elsewhere has the nation properly and justifiably concerned. It is one more powerful indication of the persisting menace that threatens to keep the country on tenterhooks as long as the outfit and others like it are not neutralised. The good bit here, however, is that the law enforcing and security forces, namely, the police and the Rapid Action Battalion, have remained busy identifying the camps and flushing out the elements busy trying to undermine the state. We appreciate the skill and confidence with which they have been going after these extremist elements and so persuading the nation that things are well in hand. There is, of course, yet a long road that must be travelled before such elements can fully be put out of existence. We cannot pretend that the menace is gone. It is yet there.

Fire at public buildings

THE explosion and blaze at the massive BCIC Sadan at Motijheel mostly housing commercial organisations is another eye-opener to how vulnerable public buildings have become to accidental, callous and, sometimes, suspiciously deliberate, fire incidents. But for the day being a holiday, the number of casualties, would have been much higher. Still, it is considerable: one killed and ten injured, eight of them critically. Some of the office space reportedly had chemicals or other inflammable material in it.

It was this way in the early 1970s

WE will not speak of conspiracy theories today. And we will not because of all the portents around us of conspiracy, in that collective and overall sense of the meaning, beginning to take form and substance. It was this way back in the early 1970s, when every stone and every mudball was brought together to undermine Bangabandhu's government. The Nixon-Kissinger team would not help us with food because we had the gall to try to do trade with Cuba. The Pakistanis and their 1971 Bengali collaborators were fanning out all over the Middle East telling kings and sheikhs and dictators there of the "anti-Islamic" nature of our secularism.

Dialogue with Iran

IRAN always wanted bilateral talks with the US but the Bush administration never agreed to it. At one stage Iran's President Ahmadinejad even wanted to hold a debate with former president Bush.

Building check post in the air

IF no news is good news, then this news is already bad. The police have identified 84 websites, which carry sexually explicit contents involving Bangladeshi citizens. Since the police are friends of the people, they didn't rest on their laurels. They took it up with the next level and requested the home ministry to block those sites. You must be thinking the police have done a commendable job. I am thinking something else. Don Quixote has found his windmill.

Sports

Rahmatganj shine on return

Thankfully the rain that loomed large stayed away and the Citycell Federation Cup resumed after a 14-day break under brilliant sunshine at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

'Dull' market opens

Defending champions Abahani and Bangladesh Biman completed their mere official formalities on the first day of the three-day inter-club players' transfers for the Premier Division Cricket League at Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) office at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

India walking tightrope

India go into their crucial Champions Trophy match against an under-strength West Indies today requiring little short of a miracle to avoid elimination.

Pakistan through after Indo-Aussie washout

Pakistan qualified for the Champions Trophy semifinals after the India-Australia match was abandoned due to rain on Monday.

India Pak supporter!

While relations between nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India are tense off pitch, some fans and cricket greats hope the Champions Trophy will bring the nations closer.

Eng bowled out for 146

New Zealand closed in on a Champions Trophy semifinals place by bowling England out for 146 in the final Group B match at the Wanderers Tuesday.

Real's Marseille test

Spanish league leaders Real Madrid welcome Marseille to the Bernabeu on Wednesday night for their first home Champions League game of the campaign, as their quest for a tenth European Cup continues.

Tevez inspires City

Carlos Tevez refused to celebrate as his double-strike inspired Manchester City's 3-1 win over his former club West Ham on Monday.

MU, Chelsea eye wins

Manchester United and Chelsea, who faced off in the 2008 Champions League final, can put a collective foot in the second phase of this season's edition on Wednesday if they add to opening day group wins.

Zeman blasts Mourinho

Former Lazio and AS Roma coach Zdenek Zeman on Monday fired a broadside at current Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho, claiming the Portuguese is a mediocre coach.

Rival angers PSG coach

Paris Saint-Germain coach Antoine Kombouare said that Christian Gourcuff "deserves a smack in the mouth", after the Lorient manager claimed PSG midfielder Claude Makelele was "past it".

Alonso to sign for Ferrari

Spain's two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will sign a five-year contract with Ferrari worth 25 million euros a season, Spanish radio said Tuesday.

Wenger defends Van Persie

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger on Monday defended Robin van Persie after the Dutch striker's controversial comments about exaggerating the impact of fouls.

PCB chief's wish irks BCB

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday reacted sharply to Pakistan cricket chief's desire to host the 2014 World Twenty20, the event that has already been awarded to Bangladesh by the game's governing body, the International Cricket Council.

BD A draw 3-dayer

Bangladesh A drew the three-day warm-up match with Maharashtra Cricket Association U-22 side at Nasik in Maharashtra yesterday.

B. League's name may change

The executive committee of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday brought a proposal to change the name of B. League, the professional football league, to Bangladesh League to avoid confusion abroad.

India bank on Bolt

India's bid to deliver a world-class Common wealth Games next year will rest not on swanky stadiums, but on persuading stars like Usain Bolt to compete in New Delhi.

SA search answers

South Africa's "deeply disappointing" first-round exit from the Champions Trophy has left its board chief executive Gerald Majola seeking answers from the team's captain and coach. Majola confirmed that neither Graeme Smith's nor Mickey Arthur's jobs were in danger but has called for a meeting to find out the reason for another woeful performance in a multi-team tournament.

Maria survives massacre

Russian big-hitter Maria Sharapova Tuesday overwhelmed Samantha Stosur of Australia in a swift 6-0, 6-1 victory as other top players suffered early exits at the Pan Pacific Open.

Duminy predicts Aus-Pak final

His team out of the tournament after a 22-run defeat against England, South African middle order batsman JP Duminy has predicted that Pakistan would win ICC the Champions Trophy.

Aamer eyes Ponting scalp

After picking up the prized wicket of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, Pakistan's teenage pacer Mohammad Aamer is living a dream but he is still looking to have more fun.

Maniche banned for 3 matches

Cologne's Portuguese international midfielder Maniche has been suspended for three matches after being sent off in his side's 1-0 Bundesliga defeat to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

French fan dies

A French football fan hurt in fighting with Serbian supporters in Belgrade on September has died, a Belgrade Medical Center spokesman said Tuesday.

Business

Shining gold saddens traders

Gold prices increased for the seventh time in September since January this year, sending a chill pang to local jewellers amid declining local demand in the past few years due mainly to its price spiral.

Shipbuilders flourish on small vessel orders

Local shipbuilders are banking on the ongoing recession to carve itself a position in the global market, as the demand for smaller vessels has increased, shipbuilders and analysts said yesterday.

Janata Bank, ICB raise authorised capital

State-owned Janata Bank and Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) have increased their authorised capital.

Slack sales for mobile operators in August

Mobile phone operators added a mere 0.94 million customers to their networks in August 2009, as customers were awaiting new offers by the operators in September.

Govt favours power tariff hike

Prime Minister's Adviser for Energy Towfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury has suggested that power tariff be hiked in order to ensure its efficient use.

Minister asserts adequate rice stock

Rice prices will not cross people's affordable levels, as the government has an adequate stock of the staple, Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque said yesterday following reports on price rises.

Asian stocks rise on bargain-buying

Asian markets gained on Tuesday as bargain-hunters moved in the day after a heavy sell-off, with sentiment boosted by a rally on Wall Street.

Asian infrastructure development stressed

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at an international conference sought regional cooperation, technical assistance and financial support for developing infrastructure facilities in Asian regions.

Tax defaulters hold back progress of Pabna Municipality

Pabna Municipality is suffering with Tk 59 lakh 98 thousand pending holding taxes in the current fiscal year. Of the total, the government and non-government institutions, the key tax defaulters, have Tk 40 lakh dues.

Merkel faces reform test

The new coalition of German Chancellor Angela Merkel will likely boost Europe's top economy but analysts questioned Monday how far she will pursue crucial but contentious reforms.

Green revolution in rural Nepal

Nepalese villager Khinu Darai used to have to walk about five kilometres (three miles) every day to collect firewood so she could cook meals for her family.

Stocks continue gaining

Increased trading activities pushed the Dhaka market up for the fourth day, with all the key indices finished positive.

Finnish recession to deepen to 7.2pc in 2009

Finland's economy will contract by 7.2 percent in 2009 and will experience zero growth in 2010, the central bank said in a forecast published on Tuesday.

Russia cuts key interest rate

Russia's central bank will cut its main refinancing rate by half a point to 10.0 percent, it said in a statement Tuesday, in its latest bid to stimulate the country's economy.

Oil dips

Oil prices fell slightly on Tuesday amid tensions between key crude exporter Iran and the West over the Islamic republic's atomic programme.

Britain on course to exit deep recession

The deep recession in Britain is easing, official data showed on Tuesday, boosting hopes that the nation will soon join other major economies in returning to growth before the end of 2009.

Strike forces Air India to suspend ticket sales

Air India said on Tuesday that about half of its international flights had been cancelled due to a strike by pilots and announced a suspension of new bookings.

Taiwan may ease controls on high-tech investment in China

Taiwan is close to easing curbs on local firms investing in high-tech companies in China, the island's economics minister said Tuesday, in a sign of improving ties despite recent spats with the mainland.

European economic confidence rises again: EU survey

European business and consumer confidence firmed in September for a sixth month running, an EU survey showed on Tuesday, building on recent encouraging news for Europe's struggling economies.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was actively trading today. There was ample liquidity in the market and the USD/BDT rate traded in similar range to the previous working day.

New MD for Green Delta Insurance

Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd has recently appointed Waqar A Choudhury as its managing director and chief executive officer, says a press release.

Metropolitan

Separate land commission if necessary: Minister

The government, if it deems necessary, will form a separate land commission to resolve the land-related problems of the indigenous people of plain lands, said Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira yesterday.

Cut carbon emissions

State Minister for Environment and Forests Hasan Mahmud called upon the developed countries to take all-out measures to cut carbon dioxide emission to stop global warming.

10 injured as villagers clash with cops in Ctg

A clash between police and villagers left eight villagers, including two bullet-hit, and two cops injured at Chandonaish upazila in the district in the early hours of yesterday.

Kapashgola Road widening work starts next month

The work on widening Kapashgola Road, the busiest road in the port city from Bohaddarhat crossing to Gani Bakery, will be started from October 15.

Right to walk on clean footpaths denied

Pedestrians are at great risk of accidents as they are forced to walk on the thoroughfares due to encroachment on footpaths in the city by hawkers, vendors, floating people and construction materials.

Form land commission for indigenous people

Speakers at a discussion yesterday demanded the government give constitutional recognition to the indigenous people as well as form a separate land commission for those of the plain lands.

Amend act to punish illegal tobacco traders

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government for keeping a provision of punishment in the draft for amending the Tobacco Control Act 2005 to combat illegal trade of tobacco in the country.

RDA to conserve 165 ponds, canals

The Rajshahi Development Authority (RDA) has included 165 ponds and canals in its conservation list aimed at protecting environmental balance in the city.

32,000 posts vacant in health sector

Some 32,000 posts at the different levels of the health sector in the country remained vacant, 6,500 of those for physicians, as healthcare services for the people proved shockingly inadequate.

Ensure right to use water in Barind area

A large number of farmers at a public hearing here yesterday unequivocally called for undertaking a need-oriented step to ensure right to use water for drinking and irrigation purposes in the vast tract of dried Barind area.

Britter Baire to go to Oscar from Bangladesh

Oscar Bangladesh Committee has selected the film titled 'Britter Baire' for 82nd Academy Awards (Oscar) Competition under the best foreign language film category.

President hosts reception for Hindus

President Zillur Rahman hosted a Bijoya reception for the Hindu community at Bangabhaban yesterday afternoon on the occasion of Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the people of the faith.

Ensure justice to litigants

Chief Justice MM Ruhul Amin has said judges and lawyers should work together to expedite trial process and disposal of pending cases.

UNHCR assures aid for infrastructure dev

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has assured Bangladesh of providing financial assistance for infrastructure development as the refugees have been using the country's limited resources.

Ctg road to be named after Mannan: Mayor

The city road stretching from Chawkbazar to Bahhaderhat to be named after former minister and city Awami League president late MA Mannan as a respect and recognition to the seasoned politician.

Low over west central Bay intensifies

The low over the west central Bay and adjoining northwest Bay intensifies into a well marked low over the same area yesterday.

UK defence studies team meets army chief

A 13-member team of UK Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) Overseas South Asia Tour Group yesterday called on Chief of Army Staff General Md Abdul Mubeen at Army Headquarters.

'Save Buriganga from pollution, encroachment'

Dhakabashi yesterday formed a human chain demanding the river Buriganga be saved from pollution and illegal encroachment.

5 killed in N'ganj road crashes

Five people, including a couple, were killed in separate road accidents in Narayanganj in last two days.

ACC presses charge sheet against Dulu

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed a charge sheet in a case filed against former deputy minister Asadul Habib Dulu for concealing information in his wealth statement submitted to the commission.

Reunion of Gregorian Assoc Oct 2

A grand gala Foundation Celebration and Eid Reunion of the Gregorian Association will be held on October 2 at Hotel Sheraton in the city, says a press release.

Banglalink observes Int'l Coastal Clean-up Day

Banglalink, a mobile phone operator in the country, celebrated the 'International Coastal Clean-up Day 2009' in Cox's Bazar sea beach on Saturday, says a press release.

'Bangla language to be enriched'

Any standard style of Bangla language is yet to be developed in the country, said a researcher at a lecture session in the city yesterday.

Singer finances level crossing guards

Singer Bangladesh Limited will bear financial responsibilities of three guards of Bahontoli level crossing under Mirzapur upazila in Tangail, says a press release.

Rab DG leaves for UK

Director General (DG) of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) Hasan Mahmud Khandaker left Dhaka last night to attend an international conference in the UK.

Buddhist Federation executives

Bishawpati Barua, former joint secretary of the government, and Ashok Barua, TV actor, were elected president and general secretary of Bangladesh Buddhist Federation, says a press release.

National

23 outlaws killed in 'shootouts', only 13 of 3,500 criminals held

Twenty-three outlaws have been killed in 'crossfire' in ten south-western districts during the month-long special combing operation that ends today.

Police raid on, bail prayers of 3 arrestees rejected

Police yesterday continued raiding video shops in Pirojpur, Bhandaria and other areas to seize CDs containing footage of rape of a schoolgirl by a local leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

Bodies of 2 Rohingya women of Myanmar recovered from Naf

Police yesterday recovered bodies of two Rohingya women from the Naf River near a sluice gate at Jhinapara under Sabrang union in Teknaf upazila.

4 commit 'suicide' in two districts

Four people allegedly committed suicide on Monday in Rangpur and Rangamati districts.

Mother, children electrocuted

A mother and her two children were electrocuted at their house at Tajhat.

3 JP men hurt in AL attack

Three local leaders of Jatiya Party (JP) were injured as Awami League men attacked them at Baliadangi Bazar in Baliadangi upazila of Thakurgaon district yesterday.

Housewife killed for dowry

A housewife was killed allegedly for dowry at Salpa-Maizhati village under Kendua upzaila in Netrakona district yesterday morning. Kendua police recovered the body of victim Fatema Begum,22, from her house. Police and family sources said, Fatema, daughter of Abdul Malek was married to Rubel Mia two years ago. Parents of Fatema gave Rubel Tk 50 thousand and other valuables as dowry. But he often pressed Fatema and her parents for more 50 thousand taka. Yesterday morning Rubel hit Fatema with a sharp weapon which resulted in her instant death. A case was filed with Kendua police station accusing five people including Rubel.

Boy drowns in river

A 9-year-old boy drowned on Monday while bathing in the Nabaganga River. Victim Mirza Arefin was son of Tosharraf Hossain Kochi of Chaklapara in the town. Sources said, Arefin went to take a dip in the river with his friends on the day of Bijoya Dashami but he did not return. The family members could not trace his whereabouts for several hours. At last they found his body floating in the river. Arefin was a student of class four of Chaklapara kindergarten of the town.

Letters

Our tourism potential

The World Tourism Day is observed on September 27 every year with a new theme. The theme last year was 'Tourism: Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change.' The theme for this year is 'Tourism -- Celebrating Diversity.' Ghana is the official host country of World Tourism Day 2009.

Education needs overhauling

Education in Bangladesh is greatly subsidized by the government, which operates numerous schools and colleges in the primary, secondary and higher secondary level as well as many public universities. The country is divided into seven education boards (Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Jessore, Barishal, Sylhet and Comilla) which oversee education from the primary to the higher secondary level. The government also provides a large portion of the salaries of the teachers in non-government schools.

Mahatma Gandhi

It is not only unfortunate that Gandhiji is not only a forgotten hero in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but his contribution towards attaining communal peace in Bangladesh (then East Bengal) fails to even echo from our political walls.

SMEs

Small & Medium Enterprise (SMEs) sector is the engine of any growing economy like Bangladesh. When the country is suffering from scarcity of investment, entrepreneurs of the SMEs are showing their full enthusiasm to invest more, though they are facing hurdles due to the fact that the commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) charge high interest rate on loans.

An SOS

Barely were the miseries of the residents surrounding the Gulshan-Banani redressed since my letter on 'Gulshan-Banani Bridge' got published in the Letters to the Editor column of The Daily Star sometime back. As the situation is seemingly turning worse, I am now forced to write on another menace that is currently compounding the miseries of the residents, living around the bridge.

Free access to cantonment

The front-page (why front page?) news report published in all the English dailies I came across on September 24 seemed pointless! After all restriction to access, particularly to political leaders is not wise for security. Earlier, the same leader of the "Boro Natokio Party" avoided going to the court of law, using the "Natokio" excuse of lack of security!

Helmet discrimination!

Driving vehicles has got certain norms: using helmet, fastening seat belt etc, to be maintained by the drivers and the person sitting right beside him/her, we all know. However, it is observed, very frequently indeed, that fastening seat belt and wearing helmets is a rare practice on our roads across the cities.

English writers

From the Star Magazine, I came to know that Shazia Omar's novel has been published in India. It is really good news and great inspiration for all English writers of this country.

Traffic jam persists

Dhaka city and traffic jam have become synonymous. Bored and exhausted commuters of Dhaka city want prompt initiatives from the govt to get rid of nagging traffic jam. The more we wait to adopt a plan, the worse the problem will become. In order to free Dhaka city from traffic disturbance, the government has to take some short and long term planning and the planning must be made after inviting suggestions from political parties and civil societies. We have seen that every political government took many initiatives regarding Dhaka city traffic gridlock and a huge amount of money was poured in, but no improvement has taken place. The caretaker govt also took some steps such as knocking down illegal structures besides the roads but these are again occupied by the encroachers. It is clear that every political govt took many steps which later proved ineffective.

Healthcare in the US

In his documentary, Sicko, Micheal Moore, shows us the shabby state of US healthcare. The documentary informs us that almost fifty million Americans are uninsured and those who are covered are often victims of insurance company fraud and red tape. It is indeed a very comprehensive documentary that reveals the machinations that the insurance companies resort to, to avoid meeting the cost of medically necessary treatments for policy holders, and thus increase company profitability. Moore goes a step further in showing how healthcare in some other countries, France, UK, Canada and even Cuba, is far better than US. He takes a group of people (who worked as volunteers for rescue work of the victims of 9/11) to Cuba to provide them healthcare as ironically and unfortunately they were denied government funds to meet their medical treatments.

Diplomats and traffic

Shabbir A Bashar, PhD has taken Mr Mahboob Elahi, of Ottawa, Canada and myself to task for criticizing him on his so-called “unwarranted” accusation that foreign diplomats and international NGOs stationed in Dhaka possess the majority of Gas Guzzling Monstrosities (GGMs), drive them at our expense and cause most of the gridlock on Dhaka's streets by flaunting our traffic laws.

Political sharks!

Beware of man-eaters in the Sundarbans. Also, beware of political sharks in the capital Dhaka.

Play it safe

No question of Muslim League, Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party, Jamaat-e-Islami or any other political party. No matter whether it is an elected govt. military govt. or caretaker government, there is no alternative to democracy.

Skidding cars

If you have planned to visit your friends or relations residing on Road # 28 (old) at Dhanmondi between 5:00 and 8:00pm, you are advised to reschedule it. This is the time when the children of the so-called affluent families (as often described by the media) come to this part of the city for skidding their cars. They skid their cars at least at two points of the 'S'-shaped road which ends up at the Dhanmondi lake near the Westerlies.

International

US to open dialogue with Myanmar junta

The United States said Monday it was exploring dialogue with Myanmar to try and open up the military-led nation, but insisted it would keep sanctions until the regime makes progress on democracy.

Iran defiant as it prepares for nuke talks

A defiant Iran starts potentially make-or-break nuclear talks tomorrow with six world powers after setting alarm bells ringing by admitting it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.

UN, EU voice alarm over ‘excessive use of force'

The United Nations, African Union and European Union yesterday expressed alarm over killings of 157 people in Guinea Monday.

Guinea troops gun down 157 protesters in stadium

At least 157 people were killed and 1,253 wounded when Guinea junta troops broke up a huge demonstration in Conakry on Monday, the Guinean Human Rights Organisation told AFP yesterday.

Nato chief endorses US commander's grim report

Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday he agreed with a grim assessment of the war in Afghanistan by the US commander there but stopped short of calling for more troops.

Honduras regime wavers amid international uproar

Honduran de facto leaders followed a clampdown on dissent Monday with a promise to reconsider curbs on rights and resume mediation efforts, as deposed President Manuel Zelaya called for help from the UN.

Court issues notice to Musharraf

A Pakistani court Monday issued notice to former president Pervez Musharraf and nine others after they failed to appear for a hearing in a case relating to the Dec 27, 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Nuclear future will combat climate change: Indian PM

India's prime minister vowed yesterday that a massive increase in nuclear power generation over the next four decades would allow the booming country to reduce its impact on global warming.

50 feared dead in Indian boat capsize

At least 50 people, many of them women and children, were feared to have drowned after an overloaded boat capsized in eastern India, officials said Tuesday.

Missile kills 5 in Pakistan

Missiles fired from a US drone aircraft Tuesday killed five suspected Taliban in a strike on a militant hideout in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt, local officials said.

Advani voices desire to retire from politics

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani Monday expressed his desire to retire from politics.

Manmohan may meet Gilani in Trinidad

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh could meet his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting scheduled to be held in November in Trinidad, sources said.

CPI-M urges war against 'state terror'

Calling arrested Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy a 'role model' for the youth, the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) Tuesday also urged people to unite against 'state terror'.

Philippine flood crisis deepens

Hundreds of thousands of exhausted Philippine flood survivors crammed into schools, gymnasiums, churches and other makeshift shelters yesterday as the death toll from the weekend disaster soared to 246.

Typhoon Ketsana kills 22 in Vietnam

Typhoon Ketsana slammed into Vietnam Tuesday, killing at least 22 people during floods and landslides that caused almost 170,000 people to flee their homes, officials said.

British PM seeks to rally beleaguered party

Embattled British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sought yesterday to rally his ruling Labour Party, in a keynote speech as he battles to avoid a wipe-out in elections next year.

US envoy meets Chinese officials with N Korea, Iran in focus

A top US envoy discussed the North Korean and Iranian nuclear issues with Chinese officials Tuesday amid heightened diplomatic activity on both fronts, but neither side provided specifics of the talks.

'Hitler' skull belonged to woman!

A skull fragment thought to come from Adolf Hitler is in fact that of an unidentified woman, according to a US study that has resurrected questions about the Nazi leader's death.

China makes 3D map of Moon

Chinese experts have announced that the country's space scientists had completed the world's highest-resolution three-dimensional map of the moon.

Arts & Entertainment

Colours of China

As part of the cultural exchange between Bangladesh and People's Republic of China, a troupe from China's autonomous Inner Mongolia region is in the city now. The 26-member troupe is performing at a three-day cultural programme at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). The programme began on September 28.

Yasmine Kabir wins top award at Film South Asia Festival ‘09

Two documentaries by Bangladeshi filmmakers Yasmine Kabir and Tanvir Mokammel have won top awards at the Film South Asia Festival 2009 held in Kathmandu, Nepal. The festival concluded on September 21.

Jaya Ahsan evaluates Eid-special programmes

Known to be one of the prettiest and most talented actresses of the small screen, Jaya Ahsan shared with The Daily Star how she celebrated Eid and the special TV shows on the occasion that caught her attention.

Jackson fans rush for tickets to This Is It

Michael Jackson fans scrambled to snap up tickets for the upcoming film about the entertainer's final concert rehearsals, studio chiefs said Monday, cranking up hype for the eagerly anticipated movie.

Puja in all its pomp and pageantry

Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bengali Hindu community, ended on September 28 through the immersion of the goddess. These photos, taken at different puja mandaps in Narayanganj city and adjacent areas, narrate the festivity and age-old traditions of the five-day long puja. Well-decorated entrance to the Amlapara mandap and colorful lights around the city were just some of the attractions. The annual festival is a celebration of the worship of 'Shakti' (divine force) embodied in the goddess Durga. It symbolises the eternal battle between good and evil where the dark forces eventually succumb to the divine.

OP-ED

Hunger and food waste

THERE are 6.6 billion people in the world, of which 4 billion live in poverty or on the borderline. Close to a billion people are starving today. But the amount of food we produce could feed 12 billion people. In a world of plenty, a huge number go hungry. One of the major causes of hunger is poverty itself, people cannot afford to buy food and hence go hungry.

Control the chaos and confusion

TIME is an important factor in life. Since I arrived in Dhaka I have been facing serious problems in travelling in the city because of the severe traffic jams. This was not the case in the recent past. I have been spending one to two hours, either in a car or a bus, before reaching the destination. These hours are wasted.



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