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Saturday, May 26, 2018

News of: Friday, 9th of October, 2009

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Dhaka to seek UN tribunal

Bangladesh will go to the United Nations arbitration for a resolution of its long-standing dispute with India and Myanmar over maritime boundary.

Govt mobilises troops

Bangladesh has reinforced its troops along the border with Myanmar as tension went high following repeated provocative acts by the latter's military forces including violation of international border and illegal construction of barbed-wire fences along the frontier.

ACC probing 'graft' by 5 political bigwigs

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has initiated enquiries into the charges of misuse of power and amassing wealth by illegal means against five former and incumbent lawmakers of Awami League and BNP including Amir Hossain Amu and Khaleda Zia's younger brother Sayeed Eskander.

PM wants more help from UN

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought UN recognition and its support for the development of Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation and Training (BIPSOT) to enhance its capacity.

DMP lets 3,800 unfit vehicles off the hook

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has let off 3,800 of the 4,300 unfit vehicles, seized in a month-long drive before Eid-ul-Fitr, on condition that they would not be run on city roads.

Protect Turag, Buriganga

The High Court yesterday issued further directives upon the authorities concerned to protect the Turag and Buriganga rivers from grabbers as construction of illegal structures and earth-filling continue at some points despite several similar directives.

Shakib Test best of the year

Shakib Al Hasan did the nation proud when the young all-rounder won the Wisden Cricketer magazine's Test Player of the Year for 2009 award pushing a star cast behind in the race for the coveted laurel.

Ziaur Rahman involved in incidents of Aug 15

Bangabandhu murder convict Lt Col (retd) Mohiuddin Ahmed in his confessional statement said Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman was involved in the incidents of August 15, 1975 in which Bangabandhu and most of his family members were assassinated.

24 lakh more to slip into poverty

The World Bank has said around 24 lakh more people in Bangladesh would plunge into poverty in the current fiscal year (FY) due to the impact of global economic recession.

Grenades delivered from Pintu's house

Detained former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu admitted that the Arges grenades used in the August 21 blast were delivered from his Dhanmondi government residence.

Another BDR man dies

Another Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) member died yesterday on his way to Dhaka from his Comilla house.

BNP not against Bay exploration

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said his party is not against gas extraction but the people have to be informed about the deals with foreign companies.

Odhikar submits memos

Odhikar, a human rights watchdog, yesterday submitted separate memorandums to Patuakhali deputy commissioner (DC), superintendent of police (SP) and commanding officer of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) demandingimmediate action in the gang rape incident at Kalapara.

BTRC serves legal notice on Amar Desh

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on October 5 served a legal notice on Amar Desh Publication Ltd to apologise before the commission within seven days for publishing false, fabricated, baseless and politically ill-motivated news.

PM opens excavation of a canal

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the need for establishing and developing water bodies and canals to protect environment of the capital city.

Three killed in 'shootouts'

Three outlaws were killed and four policemen were hurt in "gunfights" between criminals and law enforcers in Kushtia, Khulna and Bagerhat early yesterday.

3 workers killed in Ctg mishap

Three workers were killed at a ship-breaking yard in South Sonaichhari of Sitakunda upazila yesterday morning.

House to discuss fate next week

The House is likely to hold a discussion next week on the graft charges against former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, his deputy Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain to decide the fate of the trio.

Ex-CID boss interrogated

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday interrogated former deputy inspector general (DIG) Farruk Ahmed Chowdhury of CID for four hours in connection with the sensational Chittagong arms haul case.

Lawmaker rallies behind 2 sons

Awami League lawmaker ABM Abul Kashem Master yesterday evening claimed that the allegation of land grabbing against his two sons is baseless and meant for tarnishing his political image and business reputation.

German author wins Nobel literature prize

German author Herta Mueller won the 2009 Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday for her work inspired by her life under Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship in Romania.

Car bomb strikes Indian embassy in Kabul: 17 die

A suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle outside the Indian Embassy in the busy centre of Afghanistan's capital yesterday, killing 17 people and wounding nearly 80 in the second major attack in the city in less than a month.


Stop Turag encroachers

THE grabbers have become desperate in their ravenous greed to take hold of as much of the land as possible from the different rivers surrounding the capital city. It has again become glaringly evident from the way they have given a damn about the High Court (HC) verdict of June 24 last as well as government warnings to that effect against encroachments on the rivers surrounding the capital city.

Commandeering land in Sitakunda

IT makes disconcerting reading because the incident militates against values and the social principles we have always held dear. News reports relating to what the son of a ruling party lawmaker has been doing in Sitakunda --- he and his associates have simply laid claim to land belonging to four ship-breaking yards along the coast --- are once more proof of the impunity with which the powerful disregard the law. As if recent reports of intimidation and grabbing of property in various parts of the country were not enough, this latest incident of a commandeering of land can only push us again into asking questions neither we nor anyone else can be comfortable with. Suffice it to say for now that what the lawmaker's child has done is a clear and unabashed violation of not only the law but of moral principles as well.

Whither security of the people?

THIS government seems to be more focused on providing security to the political elites who are otherwise fortunate and powerful enough in this country to take care of their security, both physical and financial. The common people, who are not so fortunate enough and who voted this government and all previous political governments into power, have been left totally uncared for.

Gypsy time is set to move

Time you old gypsy man will you not stay
Put up your caravan just for one day.


Shakib Al Hasan, the world-beater

Having been inexplicably ignored at the ICC Cricket Awards last week, the smile returned to Shakib al Hasan's lips yesterday as the Bangladesh all-rounder was named by respected cricket monthly The Wisden Cricketer - - as the best Test player of the year.

The truth will out

When Shakib al Hasan was announced as Wisden Cricket Magazine's Test player of the year, yours truly made a mental note not to label this a 'richly deserved honour'. However, without that phrase you would find yourself strangely speechless. Less than a week ago, an article in these pages discussed that it was a damned shame that Shakib was not awarded the international player of the year award along with the ODI player of the year accolade at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket awards 2009. Now however, we can celebrate possibly his greatest achievement yet. The truth of the matter is that the ICC is an organisation that may be the governing body of world cricket, yet the people who run it and those who select the awards all have their own agendas. People outside the confines of their Dubai offices have just as much talent, intellect and cricketing knowledge and as such their agendas are not entirely commercial. Thinking freely without the fear of Lalit Modi and the colonial cricket boards, the most reputed cricket magazine in the world proved to a global audience once again that the truth will out.

Amol, Ranjan to fight it out

Top seed Amol Roy and Ranjan Ram moved into the men's singles final of the Anlene National Tennis Competition beating their respective opponents in the semifinals at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.

Nat't cricketers win third T20 practice tie

Some disciplined bowling from the spinners guided the national cricket team to a 24-run win over Bangladesh Biman in the third Twenty20 practice match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

England U-19 cricketers arrive

The England under-19 cricket team arrived here yesterday on a month-long tour to gear up for the ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January next year.

Cricket goes to beach

The Grameenphone-WECCA Beach Cricket Tournament will be held today at the Seagull Point of Cox's Bazar, the world's largest sea beach, with 14 teams taking part in the daylong event.

Ganguly wants Sehwag as captain

Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian captain, has backed Virender Sehwag to lead India before he retires from international cricket.

CL kicks off with a question mark

I am genuinely excited about the Champions League (CL). No, really. I am Victorian and for too long Victorians have struggled to show their wares outside the odd game for Australia or England. Now they get a chance to play against the best other domestic teams of the world.

US on the brink

United States will try to secure a return to the World Cup finals with a victory Saturday at Honduras, where even political turmoil takes a back seat to the quest for a first World Cup trip since 1982.

Trap seething at seeding

Giovanni Trapattoni, the Republic of Ireland manager, has urged Fifa to reassess its ranking system or face the "death of football" while his goalkeeper Shay Given has expressed the dismay and frustration felt inside the Republic dressing room at the decision to seed the European World Cup play-off draw, labelling it "disgusting", "crazy" and "totally unfair on the smaller nations".

Carrick states his case

When it comes to putting his medals on the table, Michael Carrick can produce a haul that eclipses even the most illustrious members of England's midfield, yet the Manchester United star still remains his country's forgotten man.

Daniele pans presidents

AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi on Wednesday hit out at Italian football presidents for being impatient following the sacking of Roberto Donadoni on Tuesday.

Mutu may leave Viola

Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu could leave the Serie A club in January, according to the player's agent.

Nicola blasts young players

Italy centre-back Nicola Legrottaglie on Wednesday blasted the young players of today for their lack of respect, though without naming any names.

Nicola blasts young players

Italy centre-back Nicola Legrottaglie on Wednesday blasted the young players of today for their lack of respect, though without naming any names.

Jovetic ignores Utd talk

Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic, the conqueror of Liverpool in the Champions League, has dismissed reports linking him with a possible move to Manchester United.

Marseille fine Ben Arfa

Marseille winger Hatem Ben Arfa has reportedly been punished by his club after he missed training on Tuesday.

Serbia warned of docked points

Serbia, currently atop Group 7 of European qualifiers for next year's World Cup, could be docked points should there be incidents in its upcoming matches, the country's football federation warned.

Grafite says sorry

Wolfsburg's Brazilian striker Grafite has apologised for criticising his manager Armin Veh for substituting him during last weekend's 1-1 draw with Bochum.

New deal for Storari

AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Storari has signed a new two-year contract extension that will keep him at the San Siro until June 2012.

Nadal sails, Serena fails

Rafael Nadal fended off a tough challenge from James Blake to advance to the quarterfinals of the China Open on Thursday, as Serena Williams stumbled out of the WTA/ATP event in a third set tiebreak.

D/N Tests stand a greater possibility

The introduction of day-night Tests edged closer Wednesday when an International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting here called for further research on the subject.

KP back for England

Kevin Pietersen was Thursday included in England's one-day and Test squads for the tour of South Africa but warned he must prove his fitness before the one-day series starts on November 20.

SA top CT flops

If there is any team that has under-achieved the most in the Champions Trophy it is South Africa, who this time failed to make it to the semifinals despite enjoying the home advantage.

Returns home a confident Watson

Shane Watson is pleased to have arrived home in Sydney after five months on tour with far more certainty surrounding his future than when he flew out. Watson starred for Australia during their Champions Trophy triumph and is the incumbent Test opener having performed well during the Ashes and has quickly become a vital cog in Australia's team in all formats.

Captain, coach upset over fixing claims

The allegations of match-fixing by the head of Pakistan's national parliamentary committee on sports, Jamshed Khan Dasti, has prompted strong reactions from the team's captain Younus Khan and coach Intikhab Alam.

Santoro sent packing

Fabrice Santoro's first visit to Tokyo ended quickly in a three-set defeat to former world number one Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in the Japan Open on Thursday.


PSI firms may linger

The government may extend the service period of pre-shipment inspection (PSI) firms until June next year despite their poor performances and irregularities, hinted National Board of Revenue (NBR) officials.

Osram makes a comeback

German lighting products maker Osram will restore operations in Bangladesh, with plans to produce energy-saving lights locally.

GP IPO expects four times oversubscription

The five-day craze over Grameenphone's initial public offering (IPO) came to an end yesterday.

Local fashion designs win heart of the West

International buyers of apparel items now seek innovative designs from the local suppliers and manufacturers as the demand for the fashion design of Indian subcontinent is increasing in the West, industry insiders said.

Sugarcane now at Tk 80

The government has sealed sugarcane prices at Tk 80 a mound at mill gate in the areas the mills under Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation are located, and Tk 77 outside any mill gate in the 2010-11 crashing season, according to a press statement.

Call for corporate alliance on CSR

Development campaigners yesterday called for forming a corporate alliance on CSR activities for tackling huger and malnutrition in Bangladesh.

Stocks in gaining streak

Dhaka stocks were in a gaining streak yesterday following a plateau trading session Wednesday.

20 Danish companies look to partnership

A Danish delegation is expected to visit Bangladesh on November 8-13 to introduce them to relevant local industries to explore the possibilities of setting up long-term joint ventures.

NOVO hosts scientific seminar

NOVO Healthcare and Pharma Ltd organised a scientific seminar on "zinc in child health, current practice and future prospects" at United Hospital Ltd in Dhaka yesterday.

New prepaid meter on cards

The government has a plan to introduce pre-paid meter system with the connections of electricity to reduce system loss side by side with stopping pilferage in the power sector.

PepsiCo Q3 profit climbs

Soft drinks and snack maker PepsiCo says its fiscal third-quarter profit rose 9 percent, partly on cost-control efforts.

Indian firms' earnings seen weak

Indian firms are expected to report a fall in profits in the quarterly results season that kicks off Friday, but better times lie ahead as the country's economic recovery takes hold, analysts forecast.

Renault in quandary

When Renault bought a quarter of Avtovaz at the height of optimism over the Russian car industry it cand hardly have imagined having to shoulder responsibility for saving Russia's largest carmaker.

Australian jobless rate drops

Australia's jobless rate fell unexpectedly for the first time in five months in September, prompting the government to claim Thursday its economic stimulus measures were helping defy the global downturn.

Obama meets top Democrats for jobs summit

US President Barack Obama held talks Wednesday with top Democrats in Congress to underscore the urgency of job creation, a week after the unemployment rate hit a 26-year high of 9.8 percent.

Asian stocks continue rally

A strong start to the US corporate earnings season and a surprise fall in Australian unemployment boosted sentiment across the region Thursday, pushing stocks higher for a third straight day.

Oil rebounds

Oil prices rebounded on Thursday as stock markets rallied on economic recovery hopes, traders said.

S Korea aims for 10pc of global electric car market by 2015

President Lee Myung-Bak Thursday offered full government support to help South Korean firms secure about 10 percent of the global electric car market by 2015.

French economy, exports edge up in Q3

The French economy grew by 0.3 percent in the third quarter of 2009, the country's central bank said in an estimate published on Thursday, after the major EU economy emerged from recession.

Bank of England keeps interest rate at 0.5pc

The Bank of England is holding its key lending rate at a record low level of 0.5 percent and maintaining its credit-easing plans amid signs of improvement in recession-hit Britain, it said on Thursday.


Set up ombudsman to safeguard child rights

Even after 19 years of ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Bangladesh is yet to set up the Ombudsman for Children's Office (OCO) to safeguard the child rights, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

91pc schoolchildren receive corporal punishment

Around 91 percent children at schools while 74 percent at homes reportedly receive physical punishment as means of discipline, showing a widespread use of corporal punishment in Bangladesh, an opinion poll revealed yesterday.

3 children hurt as bomb goes off

Three students of a primary school were injured in a bomb explosion when they were unfastening a ball-like object at their school compound in the city's Mirpur yesterday.

5 killed in road crashes

Five people were killed and 53 others injured in separate road accidents in Habiganj, Gaibandha, Manikganj and Chittagong yesterday.

Schoolboy commits suicide in Ctg

A student of class nine committed suicide on Wednesday night by hanging himself from the ceiling fan at his residence in the city's Nandan Kanon area.

Man kills wife in N'ganj

A housewife was hacked to death allegedly by her husband centring a family feud in Ekrampur Ispahani area in the district's Bandar upazila early yesterday.

Hearing on remand for Aman Oct 12

A Dhaka court yesterday re-fixed October 12 as the date for hearing the remand and bail petitions of former BNP lawmaker Amanullah Aman in connection with an attempt-to-murder case.

Train derails in Jamalpur

Railway communications between Dhaka and Jamalpur disrupted for about five hours as a compartment of a Mymensingh-bound local train derailed at the outer signal of Nurundi Railway Station on Dhaka-Jamalpur route in Jamalpur yesterday.

Taylor wins Ahsanullah Gold Medal

Valerie Ann Taylor, founder of the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), has been selected for the prestigious Khan Bahadur Ahsanullah Gold Medal Award-2008 in recognition of her outstanding contribution and services to society as well as the distressed humanity, says a press release.

Umbrella body to be set up to monitor NGO activities

An umbrella body would be set up and new law would be enacted to regulate, monitor and supervise the activities of non-government organisations (NGOs) including their fund sources and utilisation, said Social Welfare Minister Enamul Haq Mostafa Shahid yesterday.

'Potential of autistic children remains unexplored'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said autistic children of the country always remain underdeveloped as well as underrated and they are not seen as a source of untapped potential and creativity.

Plan to distribute 2.8cr free energy saving bulbs

The government has planned to distribute 2.80 crore energy saving bulbs free of cost in the current financial year in a bid to save 862 megawatt power, State Minister for Power and Energy Enamul Haque told the House yesterday.

Medical college admission test today

The admission test for 17 public medical colleges will be held at 18 centres today.

Informational programme on DV-2011

The US embassy will host an informational programme on the US Diversity Visa (DV)-2011 at Biam Auditorium in the city at 3:00pm tomorrow, says an US embassy release.

Union Parishad Act not satisfactory

Justice Mohammad Ghulam Rabbani yesterday said the newly passed Union Parishad (local government) Act 2009 is not satisfactory, as it does not support the true definition of democracy.

UN to consider recruiting police commissioner from Bangladesh

Visiting Under-Secretary General for UN Peacekeeping Activities Alain Le Roy yesterday assured that the United Nations would consider recruiting a police commissioner from Bangladesh for its peacekeeping mission.

Many dailies yet to implement wage board award: Minister

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad told parliament yesterday that many newspapers in Dhaka still did not implement the latest wage board award.

HC grants bail to Mamun

The High Court yesterday in separate verdicts granted bail to controversial businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun in four extortion cases.

City ward BNP leader shot

Armed criminals shot a ward BNP leader, leaving him critically injured when he was closing his business centre at Bangshal in the city on Wednesday night.

DU Pol Science Alumni Assoc Reunion Oct 23

A reunion of Dhaka University Political Science Department Alumni Association (DUPDAA) will be held on October 23 at the TSC of the university.


Withdraw false cases, arrest attackers

Patuakhali journalists yesterday formed a human chain in front of the local press club demanding removal of the officer-in-charge of Galachipa Police Station, withdrawal of four 'false' cases filed against two journalists in Galachipa and arrest of the perpetrators of September 9 attack on journalists.

Embittered villagers' lesson for a thief

Hundreds of people of Dangarhat village in Dimla upazila on Wednesday attacked and demolished the house of a thief who had turned a nuisance to villagers through rampant stealing and hemp trade.

Notorious 'Blacker' Shamsu arrested

Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested a most notorious criminal of the south-western region from Kalibari Road in Khulna city Wednesday evening.

Two die of diarrhoea in Pabna

Two people died of diarrhoea on Tuesday and Wednesday while 70 more diarrhoea patients were admitted to Pabna General Hospital in 24 hours from Wednesday to Thursday afternoon as diarrhoea situation has further deteriorated in the district.

AL stops its activities in Galachipa

Patuakhali district unit AL has suspended all party activities in Galachipa for next one month to avoid a factional feud there.

Flood follows rain

At least 15 villages in the district and a few areas of the town were inundated due to two days of continuous rain. About 300 families were marooned in the flash flood. The most affected villages are Khalpara, Nayabosti, Collegepara, Fakdanpur, Mohammadpur, Hathadpara and Munshirhat under Sadar upazila, Shaguni under Pirganj upazila, Shindurna village under Ranishankoil upazila. Rivers Tangan, Kulik Dhepa and Shenua swelled and overflowed their banks affecting aman and vegetable fields on hundreds of acres.

Charge framing date

Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal Judge Md Mahbub-ul Islam on Wednesday set October 18 for charge framing in the case filed for bomb attack on veteran AL leader Suranjit Sengupta's public meeting. All the accused were produced before the tribunal. AL activist Abdul Wahid, 45, was killed and about 30 others sustained injuries when the bombs were hurled on dais just before the end of the meeting in Derai upazila headquarters in Sunamganj on June 21, 2004. Suranjit escaped unhurt as he along with other leaders got down from the dais moments before the attack. The CID on December 14, 2008 filed charge sheet against Mufti Abdul Hannan and 6 others of Huji for the attack. Later, the sensational case was transferred to the Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal.

Record rainfall

The season's highest rainfall here in the last 24 hours till yesterday morning caused sharp rise in the water levels in all the rivers in northern districts. The Teesta crossed its danger mark at Dalia point in Nilphamari. Water Development Board (WDB) recorded 234mm rainfall at Dalia in Nilphamari, 221mm at Kawnia in Rangpur, 106mm at Rangpur, 121mm at Kurigram, 192mm at Chilmari, 182mm at Panchagarh, 130mm at Gaibandha and 130.5mm at Dinajpur during the period till 6 am.

Statue recovered

A precious touchstone idol of Lord Krishna was recovered from Bonogram Rajbari area yesterday. Sources said a team of police chased two suspected smugglers in Bonogram Rajbari area. At one stage, they fled the scene leaving behind a 8.50 kg idol of Lord Krishna. The value of the idol was estimated at Tk 8 crore by the officials. The members of the law enforcing agency brought the idol to Bagerhat police station.

Woman strangled

A day labourer allegedly strangled his wife at Sonakandi village in Raipura in Narsingdi on Wednesday. Police said, the incident took place when victim Zohora Khatun, 30, locked in a quarrel with husband Mostafa who returned home late at night. Immediately after Mostafa strangled his wife, locals detained him and handed him over to police. Zohora's uncle Zonab Ali filed a murder case.

Fugitive convict arrested

A joint team of police and Rab early yesterday arrested in the capital Babul Bepari, 30, of Shibchar who was convicted in murder, robbery and arms cases and was on the run. Shibchar police station officer in-charge Abdul Jalil said, a team of police from Shibchar went to Dhaka and arrested Babul during a joint raid in Jatrabari Dayaganj area. Babul was brought to Shibchar police station for interrogation. He is a son of Hakim Bepari of Ram Rayerkandi village under Umedpur union.

Motor worker electrocuted

A motor worker was electrocuted on Wednesday near Thakurgaon bus stand while working at a garage. The victim was identified as Dhirendranath Barman, 42, son of Kotkotu Barman of Akcha village under Sadar upazila. Locals said, at about 9:00am when Dhirendranath was working at Prodip's garage, he came in contact of a live wire. His co-workers rescued him and rushed him to Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital where the on-duty doctor declared him death.

Threat to stop admission test

The students of folklore department of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday threatened to stop admission test of the department scheduled for October 14 as the department was not put under the Social Science Faculty. They boycotted their scheduled classes and examinations and locked their classrooms and staged a sit-in in front of the arts building to press their demand. They met RU Proctor Prof Chowdhury Zakaria and threatened to disrupt the admission test if their demand is not met before October 14.


Swine flu vaccine

American authorities are much concerned about the possible outbreak of Swine flu in the coming winter. The assuring news is that a vaccine for Swine flu is almost ready for inoculation. A number of pharmaceutical companies are working on swine flu vaccine. The US Food and Drug Administration has given Novaritis and Sanofi-Aventis the green signal to start producing their vaccine strains. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also prepared guidelines indicating five key populations that should be vaccinated against the Swine flu (H1N1) virus. But doubts have also been generated concerning the side effects of the swine flu vaccine. Some in-line experts have expressed fear that the vaccine might weaken the receiver's immune system and even cause brain damage. As medical case history reveals, in 1976, nearly 40 million people were inoculated with then produced swine flu vaccine but the side effects were of high magnitude which claimed a number of lives and caused huge damage to those who got inoculated. The US government had to pay millions of dollars in liability claims. True, the present vaccine has been said to be safe and with less side effects. Let's hope for the best result.

Daytime saving

In mid July, this year, our usual time was advanced by an hour on the plea of availing daylight to complete day's routine work in govt. offices and in various organisations. How funny is the suggestion for our country, where, even in winter days, we have plenty of daylight ! Electricity is not only consumed for light but there are fans, air conditioning and many other electrical gadgets! Electricity is consumed not only in offices and workplaces, but there are millions of private residential houses, and round the clock functioning industries !

Decentralise governance

It is easier to solve Dhaka's multifarious problems by switching the current political philosophy or approach to the mode of governance of overcrowded Bangladesh (density of population is one of the highest in the world: nearing 1,000 persons per sq km).

Low-grade teachers

It has been reported that a probe body headed by a former justice has been formed to look into the irregularities in the appointment of teachers and officials in the public universities during the period of previous BNP-Jamaat led government. The quality of university education in Bangladesh has gone down which has been revealed in a recent international survey on world university ranking. Bangladesh universities are far behind others. This is because of the appointment of low-grade teachers in public universities. Induction of substandard teachers started mainly in the 1980s and it gained momentum in the disguise of so called democratic governance after 1990. Both the BNP and the Awami League governments have tarnished the image of university by appointing a huge number of low-grade teachers. So only a probe into the BNP-Jamaat led government will not bring credit to the government. For the sake of quality education in public universities, all irregularities during both the regimes should be probed.

Load shedding and exams

Almost two months ago, I appeared in exams in a renowned public college of Chittagong under the National University. Just then, I faced a bizarre situation. First and foremost, the awful atmosphere of the exam hall. Though hundreds of candidates were taking the exams, there was no special arrangement for instant power supply. As a result, frequent power outages made the hall atmosphere intolerably hot. Furthermore, the exams were taken in a room without good natural light. Secondly, the invigilators did not seem to be dutiful. They did not appear to be helpful either.

Directive misunderstood!

Yesterday the PM asked the communications minister to ease the traffic jam in Dhaka city. The PM sent this instruction from the Dhanmondi AL office. This (5 Oct) morning I could not come to school on time due to a huge new traffic jam on Mirpur Road because traffic police blocked/fenced the road # 6 yesterday (as a result there was no movement of vehicles between West - East - West. I think without knowing the consequences, the traffic police took this action.

Gross error

I went through my grand daughter's textbook "Social Studies And Bangladesh." In page 6 of the above book, part-iii while defining the oceans it is stated that the Indian Ocean surrounds the North Pole and like the North Pole it is always frozen throughout the year. The book was first published in September, 2001 and the fourth reprint was in July 2006. If I assume it is a printing error, question arises why was it not corrected in subsequent reprints?

Action, not assurance

While addressing a gathering of expatriate Bangladeshis in New York recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assured the countrymen saying that her government would not do anything that harms the interest of the country. It is understood that a democratically elected government in all circumstances is oath bound to safeguard its country's interests.

PM's US trip

The year 1601 chronicles the birth of the lofty “Buland Darwaja” to commemorate the conquest of Gujarat by the great Akbar. No - it was no fun-filled trip flanked by a dear sister or spearheaded by an expatriate IT-expert son. Yes, he had his minions, but he knew their exact nature. The trip was incarnadine with real jostling and he really did own. Thus this majestic sandstone gate stands for something real.

Gandhi, Palestine and peace

While responding to Ashikur Rahman's letter on "Mahatma Gandhi" Mahmood Elahi from Ottawa writes in DS (5th Oct):

OGPC's objectives

Recently we see with sorrow that, the leftists of Bangladesh have shifted from their position to nationalism which indicates that they are also affected by the globalisation or they couldn't escape the effect of globalisation. They are now trying to protect the interest of the neighbouring countries behind the banner of the Oil, Gas Protection Committee subconsciously. Opposing the model PSC doesn't mean the cancellation of the PSC. The OGPC is presenting false information to the people about the 80% export option and trying to hide the impossibility of the export option. So far we know the govt., for the first time, brought the energy company under the tax net by imposing 40% corporate tax.

Undue pomp

Austerity is of prime importance for this country at the moment, and a little care would lead us to a stronger and better economy. Unfortunately, the intellectuals in the talk shows on television have never spoken about this (I am not sure as I might have missed some).

No more cash for Biman

Our corrupt national airline , Bangladesh Biman, is asking for guarantee from the government so that banks will start lending it money for buying new aircrafts (DS, October 4). What it all means is that Biman will not repay a single penny of the loans and in the end our poor people will have to foot the bill of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Dismal failure

I do not know how to define the apathy and attitude of the cabinet ministers with exception of only a few. The energy state minister has no clue or idea about the concept, merits and demerits of the DST. He has said that it is running well, why do we need to put back the clock? He seemed to be talking about the closing hours of shops and big business centre, which might have saved some energy. Surprisingly, nobody, nobody in the government has yet produced any concrete and scientific results of energy saving by the DST. Either they do not have any technical capacity to measure the same or they are happy with the earlier closer of the shops.

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24 Pak insurgents killed in military operations

The bullet-riddled bodies of 15 suspected Taliban were found yesterday in Pakistan's northwest Swat, officials said, while 24 insurgents were killed in military operations in the region.

US aid splits Pak army, govt

Pakistan's parliament will debate a massive US aid package again yesterday, after rifts opened up between the military and the civilian government over strings attached to the funding.

Food shortages loom over flood-hit south India

Millions of poor villagers across southern India are facing an imminent food shortage following months of intense drought and recent devastating floods, aid agencies warned yesterday.

Literary conscience of Ceausescu's Romania

Romanian-German writer Herta Mueller, Thursday's winner of the 2009 Nobel Literature Prize, has used her upbringing under Nicolae Ceausescu's oppressive regime as her main source of inspiration.

Advani may not lead BJP in 2014 election

Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president M Venkaiah Naidu said yesterday that, the party may not contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of LK Advani.

Nepal govt set to rock Maoist peace pact

Three years after they signed a peace pact with the Maoist guerrillas to end a decade-long insurgency, Nepal's major parties are now seeking a one-sided change in the deal in a move certain to widen the growing rift between the two sides.

Peep into plush lifestyle of Indian Maharajas

The splendour of India's Maharajas is to go on show in Britain from Saturday, with thrones, jewels, saris and even motor cars on display in London.

Vote Congress for development: Rahul Gandhi

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Thursday urged the people of Maharashtra to vote for his party in the Oct 13 assembly elections for better governance.

EU to help Minila tackle extra-judicial killings

The European Union said yesterday it would give 3.9 million euros (5.8 million dollars) to the Philippines to help the government stop extra-judicial killings and disappearances of activists.

Most alligators remain paired to their mates for life!

Almost 70 percent of female alligators chose to remain with their partner, often for many years, a new study has revealed.

Troops seize tonnes of opium, kill 17 Taliban

US and Afghan forces seized 50 tonnes of opium and killed 17 Taliban on Wednesday, the defence ministry said, as US President Barack Obama mulled his options for the increasingly war-torn country.

GM on track with restructuring, but risks remain

General Motors said Wednesday its restructuring plans were on track as it seeks to return to profitability following a government-backed bankruptcy, but warned that risks remain.

Arts & Entertainment

In sync with tune and tenor

Anisur Rahman Tanu is a renowned music director. He has done music direction for countless programmes aired on BTV. Mostly working behind the scene this veteran music director recently spoke to The Daily Star and shared his passion for the art, experiences in the music industry and more.

Theatre of the Oppressed

Vignettes of women impacted by violence from different parts of India were displayed in a photographic exhibition held recently in Delhi. The exhibition went alongside a seminar titled, “Women in Conflict Zones: Survivors and Peace Makers.” The meet was organised by Women's Feature Service (WFS) along with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Art competition on World Children’s Day

Some hundred children from various local schools participated in an art competition organised the by Khagrachhari Shishu Academy at its premises last Thursday. The function was observed as part of the World Children's Day and Child Rights Week 2009.

Sleepless in Toronto

For one sleepless night experience the city was transformed by close to 500 artists for Toronto's fourth annual sunset to sunrise celebration of contemporary art. The show was held on October 3. For viewers the event was a visual delight -- be it in art galleries, museums and varied unexpected places. From churches and grocery stores to chimneystacks and bus stations, 130 projects jazzed up all the locations. Most of the projects were aesthetically rich and technically phenomenal. Each zone featured a merge of exhibition and independent projects.


Building communities across faith boundaries

TONS of books have been printed; time, talent and trust have been invested on inter-faith dialogues and understanding during the last century in almost all parts of the world. Today, not a single day passes when there is no inter-faith dialogue held somewhere in the world. However, suspicion, misunderstanding and hatred continue among peoples of different religious persuasions. Religious intolerance, extremism and militancy have escalated in many parts of the world in recent years. Someone once said: "We have more religions to hate than to love."

How secular is the West?

NEARLY forty years ago, when I was already living in Spain, I had to undergo emergency surgery at a public (most private hospitals in Spain at that time used to be run by Catholic religious orders) hospital in Madrid. As I gradually regained consciousness after general anaesthesia in a room shared with two other patients, I heard faint voices talking about me. It was comforting to see my entire family around my bed anxiously waiting for me to wake up.

Climate talks sabotaged?

INDUSTRIALISED nations are trying to "sabotage" a treaty to combat global warming in advance of the December climate summit in Copenhagen, China's chief climate negotiator said Monday.


Step towards digital Bangladesh

It is a long tradition in Bangladesh that people, irrespective of caste and creed, celebrate religious and cultural programmes with much festivity and crowds no matter what religion or organisation it comes from. Social and political gatherings are quite a common scenario in every corner of this country. This one is different and exception as well in terms of enthusiasm of the people. The Gyan Utsob 2009: Bagerhat Hobe Digital (Knowledge Festival 2009: Bagerhat will turn digital) took place in Bagerhat on October 2-3. It apparently broke all past records of having people together from all walks of life such as lawmakers, government officials, local leaders, service holders and hard working people.

Microsoft unveils line of Windows phones

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer on Tuesday unveiled his company's line of Windows smartphones in an offensive against Apple's iPhone and Google's Android system.

E-reader sales soaring but Apple captures the buzz

Sales of electronic book readers are booming, companies are jostling for a share of the fledgling market and Amazon's going global with the Kindle.

Fulfilling the vision of Digital Bangladesh 2021

On the sidelines of Gyan Utsob 2009: Bagerhat Hobe Digital, its co-organiser Munir Hasan, who is also the general secretary of Bangladesh Open Source Network spoke to StarTech about the fair.

The Daily Star

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