The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 22, 2014


News of: Sunday, 20th of December, 2009

Front Page

US-led accord accepted

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday praised the deal at the Copenhagen climate summit as an "essential beginning" but admitted it did not achieve all that was hoped.

Bank charges hit deposits

Amounts deposited with private commercial banks shrink by 5-8.5 percent within a year, even after interest on the deposit is added, as banks deduct different charges from the amounts, a recent study of Bangladesh Bank reveals.

Jamaat yet to disclose its 5 war heroes

Jamaat-e-Islami is yet to disclose the names of five “brave freedom fighters” whom it was supposed to honour for their important roles in the Liberation War in line with its announcement on December 6.

AL critical of its poor show on a few fronts

Two high-profile Awami League ministers yesterday criticised party activists for their behaviour which, they said, has made people restive.

Time for new border

Outgoing Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty has emphasised redrawing of Indo-Bangladesh border to comprehensively address all the old issues on land boundary and enclaves to remove sufferings of people of the two countries.

Minister, MP differ on forest gobbling

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday blasted plunderers of forest on Sitakunda coast for setting up ship-breaking yards and warned of stern action, whereas lawmaker ABM Abul Kashem Master termed it "media propaganda".

Dhaka pushes job renewal of 6,000

Bangladesh will request Mauritius to renew job contracts of around 6000 Bangladeshis in the African country.

Judiciary upset by 'crossfire'

Extra-judicial killings and the process of police remand are disturbing for the judiciary and suicidal for the nation, a Supreme Court (SC) judge said yesterday.

Carbon cut pledge, legal string missing

The Copenhagen Accord has been noted by the UNFCCC as without any major pledges about carbon emission reduction by the developed and top polluter countries, apparently suggesting not much action in near future to reduce global warming.

Rejection of Graft Amnesty

President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday chaired a crisis talks with Pakistan's ruling party on how to prevent his government unravelling after a court scrapped an amnesty on corruption charges.

Hasina remains upbeat

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is still hopeful about concluding soon a reasonable agreement on funding climate-change adaptation and carbon-emission cuts to protect the endangered planet.

BNP takes Babar back

BNP has withdrawn the expulsion order against former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, now detained in an August 21 grenade attack case.

Dhaka hopes for Teesta progress

Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes yesterday said Bangladesh expects progress in the long running issue of sharing waters of the Teesta River during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi next month.

No convicts in Indian jail

India has confirmed that there is no convicted killer of Bangabandhu in custody or in Indian jail.

Third BDR trial today

The third trial in connection with the BDR mutiny on February 25-26 will begin in Feni today.

BNP warns govt again against ZIA renaming

Main opposition BNP yesterday threatened to launch a movement if the government does not refrain from deleting the name of late president Ziaur Rahman from different establishments and maligning the image of Tarique Rahman.

Nitin BJP president

In the second and final phase of generational change of the top brass of India's main opposition BJP, Nitin Gadkari was yesterday appointed the party's president. He would be the youngest person to head the outfit.

Trader shot dead in capital

A gang of three armed criminals gunned down a readymade garment shop owner at his South Dania residence in the capital's Kadamtali area yesterday.

Editorial

Climate talks collapse in Copenhagen

Tempers have flared. The mood has got darker. The future looks set, so to say, to be more like the past or even the present after everything that has not happened in Copenhagen. Much as he would like to call the deal the United States has reached with China, India, Brazil and South Africa on coping with climate change a breakthrough, President Obama knows that the long-drawn negotiations in the Danish capital have clearly failed to satisfy the world's more disadvantaged nations. Of course, the developed world has promised to make available nearly $30 billion dollars to poor countries over the next ten years to help them handle the crisis on an immediate basis. Of course, there is the promise of $100 billion more coming after that. And, of course, there is the target of not letting world temperatures rise above 2 degrees Celsius in order to stabilise the planet.

Inflation rate on the rise

The latest figures of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) show that the rate of inflation for both food and nonfood items has registered a marked rise, although it is still safely below double digit. What is important to bear in mind is that inflation which had fallen to 2.25 percent in June has been slowly but steadily increasing since July. And in October it stood at 6.71 percent on point-to-point basis, principally because of the rising food price.

UN Climate Summit yields precious little

WHAT is the fallout of the two weeks long UN Climate Talks held in the Danish capital of Copenhagen? What has been achieved so far is far short of a perfect deal as envisaged in the beginning.

Need for a clearer post-Copenhagen roadmap

AFTER several rounds of discussion, filled with brinksmanship and 11th-hour negotiations on the concluding evening of the Copenhagen Summit conference (between the USA, the EU, China, India and Brazil), President Obama has claimed that there had been "an unprecedented breakthrough," and that a climate deal had been forged. The accord is significant in that it codifies the commitments of individual nations to act on their own to tackle global warming. Some members of the G-20 have also stressed that the accord has provided a system (a compromise on an issue over which China bargained hard) for monitoring and reporting progress toward national pollution-reduction goals. It has also set a goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050, implying cuts in climate-altering emissions over the next four decades. Attention has also been drawn to the fact that rich countries will provide $30 billion of climate aid over the next three years and $100 billion a year from 2020 to developing countries. The US has announced by far the lowest pledge. It will contribute $3.6 billion between 2010 and 2012, while Japan will give $11 billion and the European Union $10.6 billion.

Sports

Enamul keeps Abahani going

A first-half strike from Enamul Haque helped Abahani maintain their hundred percent success in the Bangladesh League as the defending champions handed a lone-goal defeat to Muktijoddha Sangsad at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Sabuj soaring high

Long-jumper Sajib Hossain and sprinter Shamsun Nahar Chumki sent a strong message that they were hungry for success in the coming South Asian (SA) Games to be held in Bangladesh from January 29 to February 9.

Torun avoid relegation

Surjo Torun avoided complete embarrassment as the last year's runners-up made sure their place in the Premier Division Cricket League would stay by winning a do-or-die relegation battle against Khelaghar SKS by 64 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

2-match ban on Dhoni

MS Dhoni, India's captain, has been banned for two ODIs because India maintained slow over-rate during the second match against Sri Lanka in Nagpur. The penalty is more severe than the usual monetary fines because India were found to be three overs short, which comes under the "serious over-rate offence" category. The ban is effective immediately, which means Dhoni will be unavailable for the games in Cuttack and Kolkata, returning only for the final ODI in Delhi. Virender Sehwag will captain the side in his absence.

Abahani-MSC tickets on sale

The Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) has fixed the rate for Monday's title deciding Premier League match between Mohammedan and Abahani at Tk 200 for the VIP section of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Sheikh Russel down Ctg Abahani

Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra defeated Chittagong Abahani 2-0 in their Citycell Bangladesh League clash at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.

Lanka equalise

Tillakaratne Dilshan hammered a second successive century to power Sri Lanka to a thrilling three-wicket victory over India in the second one-day international here on Friday.

Victory Day hockey

Bangladesh Police stunned Bangladesh Army 2-1 in the Victory Day Hockey tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Aussies a wicket away

West Indies had Australia shuddering for half the day but by stumps on the fourth day it was the hosts who were one wicket from cracking in a courageous chase in the series-deciding Perth Test on Saturday. Australia grabbed four breakthroughs in the last hour to be on the verge of a 2-0 series win, with Kemar Roach and Gavin Tonge needing another 51 to reach their unlikely victory target of 359.

Schalke at the summit

A first-half goal from Peruvian star Jefferson Farfan lifted Schalke two points clear of previous Bundesliga table-toppers Leverkusen on Friday in cementing a 1-0 win over Mainz.

No hate from Lampard

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard won't take any pleasure from plunging West Ham deeper into relegation trouble even though the former Hammers star faces another hostile reception at Upton Park on Sunday.

Evra eyes Becks battle

Patrice Evra is looking forward to playing against former Old Trafford hero David Beckham after Manchester United were drawn against AC Milan in the Champions League.

Leonardo can't wait

AC Milan coach Leonardo admitted he was excited to be facing Manchester United in the Champions League second round following Friday's draw but insisted his team must first finish 2009 with a win.

Reds hit new low

Javier Mascherano was sent off for the second time this season as Liverpool suffered another setback with a wretched 2-0 loss away to Premier League basement club Portsmouth on Saturday.

Party-pooper Redknapp

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is set to punish players involved in a Christmas party organised behind his back last week and Robbie Keane's role as skipper could be under scrutiny.

Tevez backs Hughes

Manchester City's Argentine striker Carlos Tevez has backed coach Mark Hughes as the man for the job amid reports the club are interested in former Chelsea interim coach Guus Hiddink.

Benitez's praise for Carragher

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez praised Jamie Carragher's "passion" and "character" as the defender prepared to make his 600th appearance for his hometown club.

'Lehmann is unsettling squad'

Defender Ludovic Magnin claims eccentric goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has become an unsettling influence in the Stuttgart dressing room in recent weeks.

Amla boosts Proteas

Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers shared a century partnership and regained the initiative for South Africa on the fourth day of the first Test against England at SuperSport Park on Saturday.

Biman win Div I chess

Bangladesh Biman became champions of the Dutch-Bangla Bank 1st Division Chess League-2009. With this success, Biman have won it 14 times, fdethroning last year's champions Destiny Limited. Titas Club became runners up. Biman and Titas both earned 18 points from their ten games and a play-off took place to break the tie. Biman beat Titas by 6-2 points in that match. I2 Soft Solution Limited became third with 16 match points. Basir Memorial Chess Club became fourth with 14 match points. In the last round games: Biman beat I2 Soft by 3.5-0.5 points. Titas beat Farashgonj by 2.5-1.5 points. In other matches: Basir Memorial beat Faith Chess by 3.5-0.5, Pradip Sangah beat Sonali Bank by 2.5-1.5 points and Metropolitan Chess drew with Jobs Vander by 2-2 points. Six players got board prizes. They are: Ziaur Rahman, Niaz Murshed, Saptarshi Roy, Shafiq Ahmed, Jamal Uddin and Masuda Begum. Eleven teams participated in the round-robin league.

Business

Move on mutual fund loans draws mixed reactions

The new criteria fixed by the stock market regulator for margin loans for mutual funds have drawn mixed reactions from fund managers, investors and an academic.

Spices lose export edge

Spice exporters are losing out to Indian and Pakistani competitors because of rising costs of basic raw materials procurement.

Banks' excess liquidity ebbs

Banks' excess liquidity came down by nearly Tk 800 crore in the July-September period, showing a slight improvement in sluggish investment.

Seven more banks shut down in US

US regulators have shut down two big California banks, as well as banks in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Illinois, bringing to 140 the number of US banks brought down this year by the weak economy and mounting loan defaults.

GM sets end of road for Swedish brand Saab

General Motors said Friday it would shut down its Swedish auto brand Saab after talks failed to produce a buyer for the money-losing unit.

BB clarifies farm loan rescheduling

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has clarified the criteria for rescheduling short-term farm loans to remove confusion among bankers and farmers.

Get to be the best

Quite surprisingly, I could make it to Dhaka Sheraton Hotel on time, wading through the capital's mind-numbing traffic, to attend Bangladesh Brand Forum's annual awards ceremony. Waliur Bhai, CEO of Bangladesh Oxygen, had come just then, and quipped -- Dhaka traffic is like your wife's mood, quite unpredictable. Lots of familiar faces jostled around and eventually we were ushered in a grand celebration of Bangladesh's top brands.

Google fined in France over books

A Paris court ruled Friday that Google Inc's expansion into digital books breaks France's copyright laws, and a judge slapped the internet search leader with a 10,000 euros-a-day fine until it stops showing literary snippets.

Pabna Sugar Mill back in production

Pabna Sugar Mill resumed production on Friday and set a target for crushing 65,000 tonnes of sugarcane.

Pulse farming goes big in the north

Pulse farming is in full swing in northwestern districts, raising hopes for expected yields.

Ctg port tightens container security

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday emphasised expansion of railway and development of river communication to accelerate container transportation across the country from Chittagong Port.

Asian stocks lower

Asian markets were broadly lower in thin trade Friday, tracking overnight weakness on Wall Street as resources stocks lost out on lower metals prices, dealers said.

Wall Street hesitates in face of new economic realities

Amid signs of a strengthening economy, stock investors have become more cautious in the face of a new landscape in which cheap credit may not be as abundant.

China trade pact to boost Taiwan film industry

A planned trade pact with China could not only boost Taiwan's economy but also help its film industry, a report said Saturday, citing a parliamentary study.

Toyota showroom opens in Ctg

Navana Ltd, the sole distributor of Toyota vehicles in Bangladesh, launched a Toyota showroom in Chittagong yesterday.

Banglalion gets new brand officer

Banglalion Communi-cations Ltd, a WiMAX internet service provider, has appointed Aftab Mahmud Khurshid as its chief brand officer, said a press release.

Nokia 'Avijan' in Khulna

Mobile handset giant Nokia organised an advocacy meeting in Khulna city yesterday as part of its countrywide campaign -- 'Avijan'.

Dollar beats euro

The dollar rose sharply on Friday against a steadily weakening euro as persistent concerns over Greek creditworthiness weighed on the single currency, dealers said.

Oil above $74

Oil prices jumped above 74 dollars on Friday, accelerating earlier gains after a report that Iranian forces had taken control of a disputed oil well with Iraq, traders said.

Etihad sets new timings for winter

Etihad Airways has rescheduled its Dhaka flights for the winter due to heavy fog at Zia International Airport, said a statement.

British borrowing rockets to record high

Overspending in recession-hit Britain soared to a record in November, official data showed on Friday, highlighting the country's debt as alarm over public finances in Greece rippled across Europe.

Honda to build fifth plant in China

Japan's Honda Motor plans to build its fifth car plant in China to cope with mounting competition in the fast-growing auto market, according to a press report Saturday.

World air travel falls record 3.1pc in 2009

World airline passenger traffic fell 3.1 percent in 2009, the biggest drop in aviation industry history, fuelled by the global financial downturn, the International Civil Aviation Organisation said Friday.

Greek PM attacks credit ratings agencies

Greece's prime minister expressed his anger at credit ratings agencies on Friday, the Ana news agency reported, after the country suffered a new financial blow.

Weekly Currency Roundup

December 13-17, 2009
International Markets
This week the dollar regained a lot of ground against the other currencies. The dollar surged to a three-month high against a currency basket on Thursday, buoyed by an upbeat tone from the Federal Reserve, while the euro tumbled on fresh concerns about Greece's waning fiscal health.

Metropolitan

Police high-ups concerned over activities of land grabbers

Police high-ups have expressed their concern to the home minister about the activities of two land developers' companies and also criticised the moves of some government bodies regarding the police department.

99pc of child labour hazardous

Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need for a coordinated effort to eliminate child labour from the country.

Job fair for visually impaired people

Shefali Rani Pal of Sirajganj lost her vision due to complications that developed after giving birth to a child. Later, her husband also deserted her, but she did not lose heart. To earn a living, she started to make and sell clay pots.

Bomb attack on Amar Desh journo

A journalist of the daily Amar Desh came under cocktail and brick-bat attacks near the Banani Staff Road and Kakoli traffic signal while going to office by his car yesterday afternoon.

Celebrating victory through volunteerism

Some 42 organisations, corporations, educational institutions, hospitals and other institutions celebrated the Victory Day at home and abroad on December 16 with the slogan 'Celebrating victory through volunteerism'.

3 more held

Police arrested three more persons from Panbari Crossing in Jessore around 2:30am yesterday in connection with ransacking government offices in Rajshahi, Natore and Bogra in between December 11 and 14.

Chemistry Olympiad final round held

The final round of Bangladesh Chemistry Olympiad 2009 held at Mukarram Hossain Khundkar Science Building at Dhaka University on Friday, says a press release.

AL's return to power depends on performance

Planning Minister AK Khandaker at a discussion yesterday said the government should perform well, otherwise the ruling Awami League will not be able to return to power.

Political schism obstacle to dev

The two main political parties are tarnishing the country's image abroad and the political schism has been creating an obstacle to the country's economic development.

Concern over low allocation

An inter-governmental body yesterday expressed concern over the increasing population pressure on the developing countries, but lowering of budgetary allocation for reproductive health, especially in family planning.

120 bullets recovered in Gazipur

Police recovered 120 rounds of bullet in an abandoned condition at Sohagpur village under Kapashia upazila in Gazipur yesterday.

Road crashes kill 2

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Gazipur yesterday.

Aziz Gulshan Club president

Rubel Aziz has been elected president of Gulshan Club Limited for the year 2009-10, says a press release.

Duta polls on Dec 30

Election to the executive committee of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) will be held on December 30.

Stop unnecessary medical tests

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged physicians, including surgeons in lifesaving emergency service, to stop their consultation practice for unnecessary medical investigations for the patients and also asked for keeping medical-test fees at affordable levels.

Feasibility study on dredging of Padma

Works of feasibility study to initiate dredging in the river Padma has been launched to bring back navigability in the river.

Ex-BCL leaders demand trial of Tarique

Former leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) demanded that BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman be brought back to the country to stand trial for his 'illegal' activities.

5th National Debate Festival in January

The two-day 5th NDF-BD National Debate Festival-2010 will begin in the city on January 30, says a press release.

Primary terminal exam result on Dec 22

The results of primary education terminal examinations of Class V schedule for today will now be published on December 22.

JU student falls victim to snatching

Muggers took away belongings of a girl from Santinagar intersection in the city yesterday.

'Master plan needed to ensure facilities of Dhaka as mega city'

A master plan should be adopted and implemented to ensure the facilities of Dhaka as a mega city and at the same time, the navigability of the rivers surrounding the city be increased.

Acid thrown on woman

Criminals threw acid on a woman at Sheikhdi under Jatrabari in the city last night.

National

Unending war of an FF

Freedom fighter Aku Mia, who risked his life for freedom of the country in 1971, is now fighting to survive with his gangrene-affected back.

A health complex needs care

Dakope Upazila Health Complex has become repulsive to treatment seekers as the 50-bed hospital is beset with manifold problems including serious manpower crisis and shortage of medicines.

Shibir dishonours national flag, makes offensive remarks on V-day

Rajshahi Medical College (RMC) unit leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) have said Islami Chhatra Shibir dishonoured the national flag on the campus on the Victory Day.

One of four alleged extortionists held

Police on Friday night arrested Taposh from Sukh-Santi area of the town on charge of attacking a local contractor for non-payment of illegal toll.

Natore agitates for gas link

People from all walks of life in Natore have started agitation as work for installing pipelines to supply natural gas to Rajshahi bypassing Natore is going on.

RU students demand certificates under engineering faculty

Several hundred students of five departments under science faculty of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday demanded certificates under newly formed engineering faculty.

Where people have to travel 10 km for treatment

Around 5,000 people of Char Goberdhan island in Lalmonirhat are not getting proper healthcare facilities since collapse of the lone community clinic in the locality over two years ago due to erosion by the Teesta River.

Top outlaw killed in Chuadanga

Body of a top outlaw was found on a railway track in Alamganga upazila of Chuadanga district Friday afternoon.

Doc's family blamed for death of young man

An honours final year English department student of Patuakhali Government College died at hospital on Friday night as he was allegedly made to swallow poison a few hours earlier.

Jubo League men 'loot shop' for refusing to pay toll

Ferdousi Begum, wife of a shop owner at Charpara Bazar in Iswarganj upazila, at a press conference here yesterday alleged that a group of Jubo League men looted goods and cash worth Tk 10 lakh from her husband's grocery shop on the night of December 17.

30 shops gutted

Thirty shops were gutted at Mirerhat Bazar in Rajapur upazila Friday afternoon.

Fratricide in Meherpur

A man killed his elder brother during a dispute over their ancestral property at Ruerkandi village in Gangni upazila in Meherpur yesterday. The dead was identified as Mannaf Ali, 40, son of Mahtab Ali. Family sources said, Mannaf had a dispute with his younger brother Salam over a piece of ancestral land. According to police, the two brothers locked in a quarrel when Mannaf went to discuss the issue with Salam at about 9:30 am. At one stage of heated argument, Salam hit Mannaf with a sharp weapon killing him on the spot. A police team from Gangni police station rushed to spot, recovered body and sent to Meherpur General Hospital. A case was filed but police could not nab Salam as he went into hiding.

Four extortionists held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Friday night arrested four people from village Shreekol under Ataikula police station for allegedly demanding toll from a contractor. The arrestees are Sahidur Rahman Sahid,41, Md Rubel Mollah,23, Md Shukur Ali,28, and Md Akter Pramanik,25. They hailed from Shreekol Modhhopara under Ataikula police station in the district. Rab said that the arrestees demanded toll from a contractor. On information, the team raided Shreekol village on Friday night. Sensing Rab presence, the extortionists tried to flee the scene but they were caught after a brief chase. The four extortionists were realising illegal toll from the people in the area for long, Rab said.

Arms peddler arrested

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested an alleged arms peddler and recovered a pistol and five bullets from him on Friday night. Sources said, on information, Rab-12 team raided Barakpara area in Daulatpur upazila in the district at about 7:00 pm and arrested Al-Mamun alias Jhantu, 30. Hailing from the same area, Jhantu was also involved in arms smuggling, Rab suspects. Rab later handed over the arrestee to Daulatpur police station.

Businessmen robbed

A gang of robbers looted cash and valuables worth over Tk 1 lakh from 10-12 businessmen putting barricade on a road in Khajanchi area of Biswanath upazila early Friday. Police quoting witnesses said, the gang barricaded the road late at night to intercept the businessmen while they were returning home from the upazila headquarters by two CNG-run auto-rickshaws. Later, the robbers looted valuables worth Tk 1 lakh including Tk 45,000 in cash from them. As driver Ashak Ali, 40, and passenger Fakhrul, 35, tried to resist the gang, the two were beaten up indiscriminately. Ashak Ali was rushed to Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition.

Father, son commit suicide

A man and his son allegedly committed suicide at Rangpur village in Dumuria upazila on Friday night. The deceased were identified as Jagadish Bala, 54, and his son Sridham Bala, 15, a student of Class X of the village. Police said, Sridham committed suicide first by hanging from the ceiling of his house at about 07:40pm following a family feud. Later, Jagadish also committed suicide at around 8:00pm by hanging, failing to bear the grief. Police quoting neighbours said, Jagadish often could not earn enough to maintain his family triggering frequent family feud. On the fateful day and the day before the family went without food, police said. On information, police recovered the bodies and sent those to hospital morgue for autopsy.

Freedom fighters honoured

At least a hundred freedom fighters (FFs) were honoured by Polashpur 29 BDR under Matiranga upazila in Khagrachhari district on Friday. The FFs were given a reception along with financial assistance at the week-long programme to mark the victory month of December. Earlier, a discussion was held where 29 BDR Battalion commanding officer Lt Colonel Mohammad Shamsur Rahman alias Shams, Matiranga upazila chairman Mohammad Shamsul Hoque and district Muktijoddha unit commander Mohammad Rais Uddin spoke on the liberation war and role of the freedom fighters.

Letters

Save Madhupur forests

Pursuance of wrong policies by successive governments coupled with corruption at different levels including the forest department contributed to the gradual disappearance of the legendary Madhupur jungle in Bangladesh. The present size of the forest is almost one sixth of the original jungle; less than 8,000 acres as against 45,000 acres a few decades ago. A large variety of wildlife, including tigers, black bears and pea fowls, has already disappeared from the jungle because of human encroachments. The traditional sal and medicinal plant forest has vanished. Thousands of acres of the government protected (!) Madhupur National Park are now at the mercy of timber thieves who pay forest officials to fell trees. The forest is fading away very fast and what stands there now is a mere shadow of the original.

Extra judicial killing

In the last 11 months a total of 141 people were killed by law enforcing agencies in the country. The news was published in your first page on 11 December.

Climate change

Bangladesh is tapped between the Himalayas in the north & the encroaching Bay of Bengal to the south. Bangladesh is most vulnerable to natural disaster due to the frequent extreme climate events & its high population density. In Bangladesh, climate change will affect many sectors, including water resources, agriculture & food security, ecosystem & biodiversity. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) Bangladesh country representative Dr Ainun Nishat told that a three to four degrees Celsius rise in temperature will cut rice production by at least 30 percent. If there is an increase in temperature of 6 Celsius the greater flow of water through Bangladesh's three great rivers will lead to between 20& 40% more flooding. In my view, the government should take following steps to face the impact of climate change.

Clogged drains in Banani

I don't know whether my mail will cause any sort of difference or not, but I think I should be writing this. I am a resident of Banani living here for the past 10 years. I have always been in love with Banani as I feel it is one of the best places to live in the whole of Dhaka city. But for the past few years, me including my family members have been facing the problem of new high-rise homes in the area, thus leading to a distressful state of sewerage lines. For the past one year or so, the drain of Road # 7, Block # F has been clogged up and water has been stagnant. It is very difficult for the people surrounding this area to move. Pungent smells are always there.

Politicians and bank management

An article on the matter was published in a local daily on 9 December, giving the pragmatic opinions of the Hon. Finance Minister as well as an Adviser of the last caretaker government. The opinion expressed by them against introducing politicians in bank management was very appropriate and realistic. They rightly pointed out that with politicians in the bank's board of directors; financial discipline and prudence will be sacrificed for expediency.

Collapse of civilization

The civilization of cities is rootless. The people there have no tradition, because it is a mass of people from different sections and groups without any unifying culture or ideas. Money is the God of the modern people.

Scientific 'fatwa'

As reported in your daily, my attention caught glued to the news item that the Minister for Agriculture was asking the agricultural scientists not to adhere to conservative school of thought but to have some imaginative ideas of feeding three million people, the number being added annually to the total populace of our country, while she was attending ceremonies to observe Saarc Charter Day at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC).

Population growth

I am happy to know that the draft population policy advocates introducing "single-child families" at national level by 2015 to avoid a serious socio-economic debacle due to the country's ever-increasing population.

Was it necessary?

The successful holding of BNP's fifth council after a long gap of 16 years is an indication that the second largest political party of Bangladesh has been able to stand straight after its crushing defeat in the last general election. There was some doubt about a trouble free council as the party was almost divided during the rule of the last caretaker government centring the minus two formula and the much talked about call of reforms by the Fakhruddin government. But the happy and successful ending of the council will work as a big relief for BNP workers, supporters as well as for overall political climate of the country.

Increasing population

As it is the capital of Bangladesh, population has been increasing very rapidly in this city and they are polluting its environment. Air pollution in Dhaka has gone higher than Mexico City and traffic jam is crossing the levels of tolerance. Between 1980 and 2009, the population of Dhaka has swelled from 3 million to more than 10 million. Moreover, the urban population has been growing very rapidly since liberation in 1971 and continues to do so at over 3.5 percent annually. The country will have an urban population approaching 50 million by 2015.This rapid growth has been due primarily to migration by the rural poor, particularly to large metropolitan areas. Dhaka is now bursting with people of all categories looking for jobs.

Copenhagen Summit

Heads of administration from more than 70 countries, together with all the key stakeholders, have now signalled that they'll make the Copenhagen conference the foremost “Real Summit” on global warming where countries are projected to make promises, commitments and good signs to action. This is an incredibly optimistic measure as facing this challenge will need the focus of the major decision-makers in each nation, and their continued support for more than 40 years.

Launch disasters

On almost every Eid horrible launch accidents bring about untold devastation to the people going home to meet their kith and kin. In fact deaths in launch mishaps have been on the rise. To get rid of these accidents strict rules and regulations should be enforced by the government. Launches failing to go by the rules and regulations should not be allowed to operate. Last, but not the least, passengers should be aware of the dangers and take precautionary steps.

ZIA

I have just learnt today (15 December) that the government is going change the name of Zia International Airport. It is very shocking news for me. I am a staunch supporter of the Awami League.

Nation lagging behind

The other day I happened to watch the talk show on Baishakhi Television. Colonel (retd) Oli Ahmed and Bangabeer Kader Siddiky participated in the talk show.

Our airports

At present our country has three international airports. International airports must be up to the standard of international level, but I am ashamed to say that our airports do not have that standard. The major and the biggest airport is Zia International Airport and it is in so bad shape that some airlines have warned to stop flights from that airport. Our other two airports in Chittagong and Sylhet are also in poor condition.

Criticism and reality

Every year a large number of students are entering into several private varsities. Nowadays it is seen that not only less meritorious and sons and daughters of rich families are studying in private verities, but also students from middle class and even lower middle class background are studying here.

Fly more!

Since Bangladesh airspace does not have many airplanes flying, this is one mode of transportation that still does not face traffic jams. Building new airports in other cities in Bangladesh will encourage commuters to use air transport instead of road transport thus reducing traffic. Opening new airports will create new jobs, city development, decentralization and improve communication between the cities in Bangladesh. Therefore, when factories and industries are set up in these cities, it will also be easier for executives to commute to these cities in order to visit and manage their industries.

International

Gilani stands behind Zardari

Expressing solidarity with under fire President Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has made it clear that the Supreme Court's judgement declaring the amnesty law (NRO) as 'unconstitutional' would not have any effect on the Presidency.

Full Text of the Copenhagen Accord

The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen,

Karzai presents new Afghan Cabinet list

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government yesterday presented to parliament a list of nominees for a new Cabinet that keeps US favourites in several posts critical to the war and reconstruction.

Iran ready to examine nuke fuel swap offers: FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said yesterday Tehran was ready to examine the West's proposals for a nuclear fuel swap, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Fury erupts at climate talks

Fury erupted at the Copenhagen climate talks Saturday over a draft accord agreed by a select group of leaders, with some delegates comparing it the Nazi Holocaust and Biblical betrayal.

Campaigners denounce 'abject failure'

Environmental campaigners yesterday branded the Copenhagen climate summit an abject failure, saying it made progress on financing the battle against climate change but little else.

Main points in draft deal

Following are the main points in the draft deal agreed among leaders of more than two dozen countries at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

Moment of truth for healthcare in Senate

Senate Democrats appear within reach of the 60 votes necessary to pass President Barack Obama's healthcare legislation after a long year of struggle and a final burst of deadline bargaining with holdout Sen Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

Iran admits taking over Iraqi oil well

Iran on Saturday acknowledged its takeover of an oil well on the Iraqi border but insisted the well lies on its land, playing down the fallout from the first such incident since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Nasa jumbo jet plans to unlock origins of the universe

A Nasa jumbo jet that will help scientists unlock the origins of the universe with infrared observations reached a milestone on December 18 when doors covering the plane's telescope were fully opened in flight.

Media disappointed too

The world's media yesterday highlighted the bitter taste left by the provisional climate change deal struck by the major powers at the UN summit in Copenhagen.

Arts & Entertainment

Liberation War in art

On the occasion of Martyred Intellectuals' Day and Victory Day, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organised a group art exhibition. The exhibition features works -- in different mediums -- of 26 painters. On display are works of senior and prominent painters like Mohammad Kibria, Syed Jahangir, Syed Enayet Hossain, Nitun Kundu, Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, Nurul Islam, Hamiduzzaman Khan, Abdus Sattar, Nisar Hossain, Debasish Pal and others. The exhibition is now on at National Art Gallery of BSA.

A feat on feet

He calls himself an 'Earth Pilgrim' because his long journey, with deep spiritual dimensions, has taught him to cultivate a reverence for the earth or 'Gaia'. And even as world leaders descend on Copenhagen to discuss ambitious targets for damage control of climate change and the world grapples with huge environmental problems, he believes there is hope yet if we live in harmony and renew our connection with nature.

Premiere of “Jaago” held

The premiere of Interspeed's latest endeavour 'Jaago', claimed to be the first Bangladeshi film based entirely on football, was held at the Madhumita Cinema Hall recently, says a press release.

Uttara Cultural Society: Celebrating national events in the suburb

Uttara Cultural Society which was established earlier this year, organised a daylong programme at Rabindra Sarani, Sector-7, on the occasion of Victory Day. This was the first daylong observance of an event of national significance -- by the society.

Photography exhibition in Chapainawabganj

A six day photography exhibition was inaugurated at the Town Club in Chapainawabganj on December 17. The aim was to inspire rural adolescents to express their views through photographs.

Solo concert featuring traditional Bangla songs in Khagrachhari

Ratan Debnath, a well known singer in the hill district, demonstrated his musical skills during a two and half hour long programme, held recently at the Zilla Shilpa-kala Academy in Khagra-chhari district.

Dance fest at Puri Bridge held

Shamim Ara Nipa and Shibli Mohammad with their group of 25 members performed recently at the renowned Puri Bridge Festival in India.

Rock Hall of Fame inductees announced

Pop supergroup ABBA will join icons of the '60s and '70s -- Genesis, Jimmy Cliff, the Hollies and the Stooges -- as they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, the Hall announced Tuesday.

Sound Touch celebrates 12 years

Sound Touch, a popular cultural group of Rangpur has been holding shows every three months for the last twelve years. The cultural show is called 'Otoeb'.

Cultural programme in Magura on Victory Day

To celebrate Victory Day, on December 16 evening, the Magura district administration held a cultural programme at the Asaduzzaman Auditorium in Magura town.

OP-ED

India has no intention of diverting water

The outgoing Indian High Commissioner, Mr. Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, was interviewed by Syed Fahim Munaim and Rezaul Karim of The Daily Star.

A matter of national sovereignty

ARTICLE 2(4) of the UN Charter promulgates: "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."



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