The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 30th of December, 2009

Front Page

Major grabbing began in 1983

The Narayanganj district administration in its survey report on the four major rivers has revealed how industrialists, influential individuals and government organisations have grabbed the Buriganga, Shitalakkhya, Balu and Dhaleswari since 1983.

PM pledges easy communications

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reaffirmed her government's pledge to upgrade Dhaka to a modern, beautiful and hassle-free city ensuring smooth communications both on roads and waterways in and around the capital.

Myanmar to take back 9,000 Rohingyas soon

Myanmar yesterday said it will soon take back 9,000 registered Rohingya refugees out of 28,000 now staying in two camps in Cox's Bazar for nearly two decades.

Ecnec okays hike in project cost

Ecnec yesterday okayed increasing the expenses for Dhaka-Chittagong highway project to Tk 2,382 crore while the cabinet purchase committee has already approved awarding three companies the contract to build the four-lane highway for Tk 1,655 crore.

Poverty paper eyes 5 goals

With a target of spending Tk 3457 billion the National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday approved the revised second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for three fiscal years (FY2009-11).

Separate zone for ship-breaking

The government would set up separate zone for ship-breaking yards at Sitakunda and formulate a regulation for the industry to protect environment.

JS seating no more an issue

Speaker Abdul Hamid will take a fresh initiative to bring the opposition BNP back to parliament that goes into its first session next year on January 4.

Save rivers

The rivers Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu have to be saved to protect historic Dhaka city, said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a ceremony at Institution of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh yesterday.

No nat'l river protection commission as yet

The government may face a contempt of court charge for not constituting "National River Protection Commission" according to the High Court directives.

15 killed in road crash

At least 15 people were killed and 30 injured in a tragic road accident as a speeding bus plunged into a roadside ditch on Dhaka-Tarail highway at Shimulhati in Tarail upazila yesterday evening.

Leopard beaten to death

Villagers beat a leopard to death after it attacked eight people in Nilphamari's Kishoreganj upazila on Monday.

60 killed in 'crossfire'

Rapid Action Battalion yesterday said this year 60 people have been killed in 57 incidents in which Rab used firearms but the use was not proved unlawful in the investigation.

Tremor jolts country

A moderate tremor measuring 5.7 on the Richter Scale was felt in Dhaka, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Feni and Khagrachhari districts yesterday.

Anti-graft boss seeks fast legal proceedings

Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Ghulam Rahman requested Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday to constitute a separate High Court bench for quick disposal of graft cases.

Wild elephants kill 1 in Lama

One person was trampled to death and two others were injured by a wild elephant at Lama upazila of Bandarban district on Monday.

Karachi reels from Ashura carnage

Pakistan's financial capital Karachi shut down yesterday to mourn its worst attack in two years and count the cost of rioting after a suicide bomber killed 43 people at a Shia Muslim procession.

Train rams truck

Two persons -- including a schoolteacher -- were killed and four others were injured when a train rammed into a truck and another ran over the teacher yesterday.

Strong security to watch revelers

Law enforcement agencies are to heighten security measures over New Year's Eve to ensure that celebrations throughout the country pass without incident.

Duta polls today

The election of the executive council of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) for the term 2010 will be held today.

Partial Moon Eclipse tomorrow

A partial eclipse of the moon will occur tomorrow and it will be visible in Bangladesh if the sky remains clear.

Editorial

Home Minister's explanation of 'crossfire' killings untenable

We are indeed shocked by Home Minister Sahara Khatun's assertion that there have been no 'crossfire' killings under the present government. The shock takes an even more acute form when she describes all the killings that have gone on as acts of self-defence on the part of the security forces. We would like to point out here, in the clearest and most unambiguous manner, that in the past many years these deaths from so-called crossfires have given the country a bad name. What now makes these deaths extremely regrettable is the fact that the Awami League, before it rode to power at the general elections a year ago, had strongly made clear its opposition to 'crossfire' deaths and had indeed pledged to put an end to them.

Acid violence more rampant than reported

A national dialogue focused on open market acid sell in Bangladesh organised by ActionAid on Sunday ended up being a fairly comprehensive discourse on acid violence. It has not only been a revealing statistical update but also a fairly diagnostic analysis suggesting some antidotes worth applying against the social malady. The statistics are simply hair-raising: we have it on the authority of the executive director of Acid Survivors' Foundation that 3,000 cases of acid-related violence were reported during last 10 years in the country. This works out to an average of almost one victim per day. But these are reported incidents, and with the unreported ones added, the magnitude is simply appalling! Yet the more horrific reality is that only 10 percent of perpetrators ever get punished.

The politics of unending surprises

There is no end to the surprises that our politicians keep piling on our doorsteps. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which has never seen any reason to say sorry for its bad governance between 2001 and 2006, now has happily made it known to the country that henceforth Begum Khaleda Zia will be its chairperson without anyone being able to challenge her on the leadership question. The amended party constitution makes this much obvious.

One year of AL-led government

One year's performance is not enough to evaluate the achievement of a regime that is to continue for 5 years. Furthermore, the present elected government assumed power from a government without accountability. It appears to be proper to consider the following points before analysing the present activities in the light of its election commitments.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's political woes

The election on September 27 in Germany gave Chancellor Angela Merkel a resounding victory for her dream Centre-Right coalition. She first became the chancellor in 2005.

Sports

Axe falls on Zunaed

The axe fell on opener Zunaed Siddiqui for poor form when Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) shortened the squad to 18-members yesterday for the upcoming tri-nation tournament also involving India and Sri Lanka.

BCB tough on boycott threat

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has called an emergency board meeting tomorrow to discuss over the crisis of the upcoming National Cricket League, which is scheduled to start from January 1 next year.

Football draw held

Hosts Bangladesh have been drawn in Group A along with two-time champions Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan in the football event of the 11th South Asian Games to be held in Bangladesh from January 29-February 9 next year.

'Disability is a diversity, not a deficiency'

Include persons with disabilities in sports and entertainment was the call of the day as the Dhaka Divisional Sports Competition was held at the Physical Education College premises on Shat Masjid Road at Mohammadpur in the city yesterday.

Abahani's six in a row

Sheriff Din Mohammedan converted a penalty corner to give Dhaka Abahani a 1-0 win over Chittagong Abahani in the Bangladesh League match at MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.

Pakistan not giving in

Pakistan stubbornly refused to concede the first Test in the face of a would-be world record run chase, but a steady trickle of wickets ensured the Australians maintained the upper hand entering the final day at the MCG.

Take notice of Aamer

Mohammad Aamer doesn't seem to lack much, not smarts, not pace and certainly not confidence. He fairly bounced into the press box after the fourth day's play, his first five-wicket haul in the kitty, and immediately engaged in some lively, witty banter with journalists. And why not?

Cash reward for natants

General Secretary of Bangla-desh Swimming Federation Mahbubur Rahman Shaheen has promised monetary rewards for local swimmers who would grab any medal in the swimming events of the upcoming SA Games. The gold medal winners would get Tk 50,000 each, silver medal winners would get Tk 10,000each while Bronze medal winners would get Tk 5,000 each, said a press release from Bangladesh Swimming Federation yesterday. It may be mentioned that Shaheen gave away Tk 1,00,000 in reward to Shahjahan Ali Rony, the lone gold-medal winner in the 2006 SA Games.

Chelsea back on track

Chelsea won for only the second time in eight matches to extend their Premier League lead to five points after coming from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 in a dramatic west London derby on Monday.

Wenger optimistic

Arsene Wenger has long insisted his Arsenal team are good enough to win the English Premier League title.

Berbatov eyeing glory

Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov believes his side will retain their Premier League crown this season ahead of Wednesday's encounter with Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford.

Mourinho promises return

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho has warned that he wanted a return at some stage to the English Premier League.

Botswana in WC fever

Playing on a dusty ground with no sign of grass under Botswana's scorching desert sun, with shoes that have seen better days, young footballers dream of their heroes arriving in Africa for the World Cup.

Kaka declares himself fit

Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Kaka has declared himself recovered from a hernia injury that has kept him sidelined since early this month.

City owner not interested in Real

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan has not made inquiries about trying to buy Real Madrid, according to a source close to the Emirati minister of presidential affairs.

Sporting land Sinama-Pongolle

Sporting Lisbon said Monday they have agreed a 6.5-million-euro deal with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of French international Florent Sinama-Pongolle in a deal running to June 2013.

Toni close to Roma move

Bayern Munich's out-of-favour Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni revealed Monday he is close to a move to Serie A club AS Roma.

England gain upper hand

Off-spinner Graeme Swann struck two early blows for England as South Africa set out in their quest to avoid defeat on the fourth day of the second Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Tuesday.

Watson thanks Rauf

Shane Watson is lucky Pakistan are one of the worst fielding teams in world cricket as his first Test century was in the hands of Abdur Rauf, but only briefly. On 99, Watson cut hard to point where Rauf misjudged the easy chance and spilled the ball, one of five catches put down by Pakistan during the match, allowing Watson a single to achieve his milestone.

Bangladesh finish sixth

Bangladesh's men's and women's team both finished sixth in the Asian Team Chess Championship that ended on Monday in Kolkata. The men' team earned eight points from seven rounds, winning four matches and losing the other three. In the last round, they beat Singapore by 3.5-0.5 points while in the previous round, they had beaten Nepal by 3-1 points. India A became unbeaten champions in the men's section with 14 match points. Vietnam became runners-up and Iran became third with 11 points each. Bangladesh women's also finished sixth with six match points. They won 3 matches, drew one, got a bye and lost the other three. In the last round, Bangladesh women's team beat Sri Lanka by 3-1 points. Vietnam became unbeaten champions in the women's section with 13 points while India A became runners-up with ten.

Div-I cricket

A six-wicket haul from Nasir Hossain gave Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club an 8-wicket victory over Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in their First Division clash at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday. Prime Doleswar had an easy chase of 64 runs losing only two wickets after getting rid of the Dhanmondi club for 63, courtesy of Nasir's 6 for 19. Another six-wicket haul from Ashraful Khan helped Agrani Bank to post a 31-run win over Orient Sporting Club at BKSP. Batting first, Agrani Bank scored 275 for seven in 48 overs. Orient got bowled out for 244 in 46.3 overs despite a 97-run innings from Iftekhar rahi. In the other matches of the day, Rupali bank Krira Parishad won against Ekaton Sabuj Sangha by 71 runs while Uttara Sporting Club beat City Club by 98 runs.

Women's nat'l cricket

Farhana Haque smashed 73 runs to help her side Rajshahi win against Dhaka by 100 runs in the Women's national Cricket league yesterday. Depending on Farhana's knock, Rajshahi scored 174 runs in 49.1 overs. In reply, Dhaka got bowled out cheaply for 74 runs in 37.5 overs. In the other match of the day, Khulna chased down a 55 run-target without losing a wicket to hand Chittagong a 10-wicket defeat. Shuktara and Salma took three wickets each for Khulna, and later Shuktara remained unbeaten on 26 to guide her side to this easy win.

Pakistan call Younus out?

Pakistan's failings with the bat in Melbourne have prompted the team management to send out an SOS for Younus Khan. The former captain, who has kept a low profile since he abruptly relinquished the leadership in November, is believed to be keen to respond and may even arrive in time for the second Test in Sydney, due to begin on January 3.

Business

Hope for rice self-sufficiency

It was the homegrown rice that Bangladeshis mostly relied on in 2009. And the country imported less than before.

Bharti Airtel, Warid move closer to deal

Bharti Airtel's bid to buy a 70 percent stake in Warid is taking shape as the high officials of Abu Dhabi Group, the owning company of the local mobile operator, and the Indian telecom giant are in Dhaka to brainstorm a consensus.

Call centres on the rebound

Call centres have emerged as a new foreign currency earning sector, generating more than 30,000 jobs since its boom in mid-2009.

FDI goes down

Net foreign direct investment (FDI) decreased by 48 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year, largely due to a sluggish trend in investment worldwide.

A stable year for currency

The taka has shown commendable strength in 2009 contrary to the other Asian currencies mainly because of slower demand for import payments due to falling commodity prices, Citi NA Bangladesh said in its annual market update for 2009.

Country does not need food import this year

Bangladesh will not have to import food this year as the country's farmers produced enough, in contrast to production shortfalls in the outer world, said Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman.

World economy still scarred by crisis

The global economy that was headed for an abyss at the start of 2009 now appears to be in recovery, but remains fragile and scarred by the worst crisis in decades.

Uncertain future for Malaysia's Carcosa

The future is uncertain for Malaysia's Carcosa Seri Negara, the 111-year old grande dame of colonial Malaya. Once home to the country's former British rulers and now an exclusive hotel, it is up for redevelopment.

E-governance project starts next month

The government has taken a three-year plan to bring all departments, agencies and associated organizations run by the ministries under e-governance, a state-of-the-art service delivery system.

Govt to build permanent trade fair centre

All is set to construct a permanent complex to hold international trade and other fairs in Dhaka as an agreement has been signed with China to build infrastructure at a cost of Tk 265 crore.

DSE upbeat on 2010

Dhaka Stock Exchange, already encouraged by this year's performances, sees a more stronger and stable capital market in the coming year.

HK economy may take a double dip

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Donald Tsang on Tuesday sounded a pessimistic note on the city's economic recovery, warning it may experience a "double dip in the middle of next year."

Dollar slips against euro

The dollar dipped against the euro on Tuesday in subdued trade, with many players away for year-end holidays and before publication of fresh US economic data, dealers said.

Corporate Briefs

NBL
The bank says the board of directors has taken the following decisions: 1. Formation of a fully owned subsidiary company to conduct the activities as 'stock broker' and 'stock dealer' against the membership licences of Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges. 2. Construction of a 20-storey building with three basements measuring a total space of 2.36 lakh square feet at a cost of Tk 5,000 per square feet at the bank's own land in Kawranbazar, Dhaka.

Oil above $78

Oil held above 78 dollars in Asian trade Tuesday, with investors expecting that continued cold weather in the United States, the world's biggest energy consumer, will boost demand.

New chair of SANEI steering committee

Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud of Dhaka University has been elected the chair of the steering committee of the South Asia Network of Economic Research Institutes (SANEI).

China says billions missing from public funds

Over 34.4 billion dollars went missing from public funds in China in the first 11 months of 2009, state media said Tuesday, with national auditors highlighting embezzlement, waste and fraud.

India's 3G auction set for further delay

India's long-awaited auction for third generation (3G) mobile telecom services has been delayed again and will miss a January 14 deadline, officials said Tuesday.

ICAB gets new chief

Jamaluddin Ahmed was elected the president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) for the year 2010 yesterday, it said in a statement.

Metropolitan

PM assures Basila-Waspur boatmen of rehabilitation

Some 200 boatmen of the age-old Basila-Waspur ghat, who lost their livelihood due to construction of Shaheed Buddhijibi Bridge, burst into applause yesterday after the prime minister announced that those effected boatmen would be rehabilitated.

Dishonest traders out to increase rice prices

Food Minister Abdur Razzaque yesterday said some unscrupulous traders are trying to jack up rice prices on the domestic market by spreading a false alarm about bad harvest in India.

Call to engage young talents in dev

Speakers at the inaugural ceremony of the First Young Scientists Congress in the city yesterday called for engaging young talents in taking the lead in development process.

Case against 7 DU students to be withdrawn

The government yesterday decided to withdraw the last case filed against seven students of Dhaka University (DU) in connection with the three-day (August 20-23) campus unrest in 2007.

Punishment to culprits demanded

Save the Environment Movement (SEM) formed a human chain at Muktangan in the city yesterday demanding punishment to the culprits who are involved in felling of thousands of trees in Sitakunda and killing birds in different haors of the country.

'NRBs to be voters before next JS polls'

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) would be made voters before the next Jatiya Sangsad polls.

Illegal structures in St Martin's to be demolished

The government will demolish all the illegal structures in the Saint Martin's island to preserve its natural beauty, State Minister for Forests and Environment Hasan Mahmud said yesterday.

Policy for pre-primary education soon

The government would formulate a policy for pre-primary education soon, said State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury yesterday.

'Budget under consideration'

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said the government would consider allocating a budget for expenditure on community policing, which local community policing committees concerned now maintain.

National Imam conference today

The national conference of the trained imams will be held at the city's Osmani Memorial Auditorium today.

Zainul Festival begins at DU

A two-day Zainul Festival and Fair began on the Fine Arts Faculty premises at Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.

Distribution of free textbooks starts today

The distribution of free textbooks for the next academic session starts today.

Maj Ghazali, Maj Noor buried with state honour

Maj Abu Syed Ghazali Dastgir, Armoured and Maj Mohammad Tanvir Haider Noor, Artillery, who were killed during the BDR mutiny at its headquarters in Pilkhana, were buried with full state honour at Military Graveyard at Banani in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Appellate Divn upholds HC order

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that directed the government not to disturb the Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman and two others till January 3 in a defamation case against them.

Mukul, Sumon DSEC president, general secy

Mukul Talukder of shirshonews.com and Sumon Islam of the daily Amar Desh were elected president and general secretary of the executive committee of Dhaka Sub-Editors Council (DSEC).

City College principal Hafiz no more

Mohammad Hafiz Uddin, principal of Dhaka City College, passed away last night at the city's Square Hospital at the age of 65.

6 more give depositions

Six more witnesses to the mutiny led by 12 Rifle Battalion of Rajanagar in Longudu upazila, Rangamati, gave their depositions yesterday to the BDR special court-4, which is holding trial of alleged nine mutineers of the battalion.

Security issues discussed

A preparatory meeting for Biswa Ijtema and its security aspects was held at the conference room of Gazipur deputy commissioner yesterday.

ALCWC emergency meeting Jan 4

An emergency meeting of the Awami League Central Working Committee (ALCWC) will be held at the prime minister's official residence Jamuna at 7:00pm on January 4.

Bibha Chowdhury

Bibha Chowdhury, wife of Binod Bihari Chowdhury, an anti-British movement veteran, died of old-age complications here yesterday at the age of 88.

Sultana Rahman

Sultana Rahman, former associate professor of Eden University College and wife of Engineer Shamsur Rahman, passed away in New York, USA on Saturday, says a press release.

Zahirul, Imran DCAB president, general secy

Zahirul Alam of NTV and Imran Alam of the daily Naya Diganta have been elected president and general secretary of Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB).

National

Crackdown on notebooks

Law enforcers seized huge notebooks and guidebooks worth Tk 1.20 crore from two book markets in Chittagong city and a printing press and two bookshops in Jessore town yesterday and on Monday night.

Implement irrigation project, save Barind

People from all walks of life formed a human chain and held a rally at Nachole on Monday demanding implementation of proposed Northern Rajshahi Irrigation Project to save Barind region from adverse effect of climate change.

Big nursing college lies idle for lack of teachers

Two years after completion of infrastructure, Bogra Nursing College is yet to start admission of students into Bachelor in Nursing Science and Bachelor in Public Health courses due to lack of teachers and other staff.

Girl raped, one held with video footage

Police on Monday arrested an official of a pharmaceutical company on charge of recording rape of a college girl and trying to blackmail her by threatening to spread the video footage on the Internet and local market.

Trader, engr freed in Bandarban on payment of Tk 6 lakh ransom

Prominent businessman Azizul Haque and deputy assistant engineer Jibon Barua who were abducted from Roangchhari upazila Sunday morning were released at night.

PCJSS activist murdered

An activist of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) was murderd at Boradom village under Dighinala upazila of Khagrachhari district early yesterday.

Secret Shibir 'den' at RU dormitory unearthed

Authorities of Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall at Rajshahi University (RU) on Monday found a 'den' of Shibir men allegedly used secretly by them for various purposes.

Hartal for declaring Bajitpur a district

People of Bajitpur yesterday observed a half-day hartal to press their demand for upgrading the upazila to a district.

Dredge dying Betna, free it from encroachers

Speakers at a seminar here yesterday called for dredging of the silted up Betna River and necessary steps to protect it from pollution and encroachment.

North experiences a week of shivering cold

Shivering cold coupled with dense fog for the last one week has disrupted normal life in the northern districts causing immense sufferings to poor people.

Nine sued on charge of killing Jubo League man

Family members of a Jubo League leader Monday night filed a murder case against nine people including the victim's business associates.

Letters

Primary results

This is for the first time the country has witnessed the public examination of primary school students of class five drawing appreciation and little criticism for the authorities concerned, 88.84 percent students passed in the examination. It is encouraging to see that the number of first division holders outnumbers the second and third division holders.

Climate and science

In an article, the world famous McGill University's School of Environment make the case for abandoning emission reduction targets in favour of a technology-led climate policy. Let the global technology race begin, setting out an alternative route to emission reductions, one that, unlike the emission-reduction target approach, really has the capability of eventually stabilizing climate. The fixation on near-term targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the climate meeting in Copenhagen has resulted in insufficient attention towards the technological means of achieving them.

Migratory birds

Bird migration is the usual cyclic flight undertaken by numerous species of birds. Bird movements take in those made in response to changes in food availability, habitation or climate. Migration is marked by its annual seasonality. On the contrary, birds that are non-migratory are assumed to be sedentary or resident.

National agricultural policy

Quite a number of my friends and colleagues have been asking me about the progress in the formulation of the National Agricultural Policy. Well, by now the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has made good progress by floating the draft policy prepared by the Technical Working Group (TWG) in the national newspapers and on the Internet.

Liberation war and related issues

I read with deep interest Syed Badrul Ahsan's article 'Wars, duplicity and worlds destroyed' published today in DS (23rd Dec) in which Mr. Ahsan writes:

DST

The present government is doing a number of good work but one fails to understand why they are exposing themselves to criticism through making mistakes which could have been avoided. Day Saving Time has become a sore point for everybody, particularly the young mothers and children. One wonders whether it has been imposed on us by a third country. Otherwise, why the govt should be so stubborn despite the fact that majority of the people are against it. We are now one and a half hour ahead of India which means our international business closes 90 minutes early if the office time is up to 5:00pm in India. This provides more business opportunities for our competitors in the neighbouring countries. This is also funny to note that a cabinet meeting is needed to say 'no' or 'yes' to such a small issue.

A ridiculous comment

It was a ridiculous remark that the former prime minister of Britain, Tony Blair, made a few days back to the world media. He supported the attack on Iraq!!

Nursing

Nursing is a noble profession. The service of a nurse is very important and essential for society. When a sick or wounded person comes to a hospital, nurses look after him carefully. In wartime their services are more important and essential. Once the job of nursing was looked upon with disdain. But with the advancement of modern science and technology, the narrow outlook has undergone a radical change. Now nobody neglects this profession. However, if anybody wants to be a nurse he or she will have to complete a training course. After completing the course successfully nurses are employed in hospitals and clinics. Besides professional training, a good nurse must possess some good qualities, such as patience, devotion, attention and dedication.

Gulshan in bad shape

When will the authorities open their eyes and look around at the pathetic condition of the city, Gulshan in particular? The roads are full of potholes and the Gulshan/ Banani lake is smelling to high heaven. All kinds of waste and debris are found floating on the lake.

Open and distance learning

Recently, I saw some articles published on Open and Distance Education in different dailies. Many of the articles were in favour of Distance Education and few were against it.

FM radio

Nowadays FM radio, one of the greatest sources of entertainment, has become an integral part in our everyday life as mobile phone. FM radio has earned so much popularity that it is now more advanced than any other media. We can be updated hearing the FM radio. If we tune to the FM we can easily get the news update, traffic update, sports update, weather update, even flight update etc.

Ground reality!

Your story which highlighted the reckless driving of General Ershad's son (24 December) saddened me greatly. It summed up our country's problems in a nutshell.

Women and poverty

The government must address growing gender pay inequity and ensure that superannuation is equitably split in situations of divorce.

DMP's new toys and eyewash

We have read about the DMP's old toys, the CCTV cameras etc (Tk 61 crores) and now their latest, the multi crore “automatic traffic control lights” on road intersections together with “lanes” demarcated on the VIP roads for slow and fast motorized vehicles. All very progressive indeed!!!. My experience last Sunday to receive my son-in-law from the 11:am Emirates flight was a nightmare, however.

Justice for the poor

The new Chief Justice of Bangladesh, Md. Tafazzul Islam in his recent oath taking ceremony vowed to ensure justice for all, especially for the poor. Congratulations, Honourable Chief Justice, for your vision which the nation badly needs.

Arresting tobacco use

Your staff correspondent's report on 23 December on the global increase in tobacco consumption presents a gloomy international outlook.

Lessons of Karbala

The day of 'Shahadat-e-Karbala' on the 10th of Muharram is the great ''Martyrdom Day'' of the Muslims.

International

Obama vows to hunt down extremists

President Barack Obama has vowed to hunt down extremists wherever they plot attacks against the United States, as al-Qaeda said it hatched the attempt to blow up a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

Thai troops deport 4,000 Hmong to Laos

Thai troops packed more than 4,000 ethnic Hmong into military trucks for a one-way journey to Laos, all but ending the Hmong's three-decade search for asylum following their alliance with the US during the Vietnam War.

Iraqi security adviser warns of al-Qaeda threat ahead of polls

al-Qaeda in Iraq is a far smaller force than at its peak three years ago but still poses a threat in the run-up to March elections, national security adviser Safa Hussein told AFP in an interview.

China executes British national despite pleas

A British man with reported mental health problems was executed in China on Tuesday for drug smuggling despite last-minute pleas for clemency, the British government announced.

Israel building 700 new housing in Jerusalem

Israel announced Monday it is building nearly 700 new apartments for Jews in east Jerusalem, where Palestinians hope to set up the capital of a future state. The US, Palestinians and the European Union condemned the plan, a fresh setback to American efforts to restart Mideast peace talks.

Iran steps up crackdown on opposition after protests

Iran's conservative parliament called for maximum punishment of opposition demonstrators yesterday as the regime stepped up its crackdown on dissent arresting the sister of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi.

Afghan civilian casualties up 10 percent: UN

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan rose more than 10 percent in the first 10 months of 2009, UN figures showed yesterday, amid anger over the alleged killing of children in a Western military operation.

Tweeting minister upsets boss

India's Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has upset his senior SM Krishna by questioning tightening of Indian visa norms by tweeting on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

Cong govt capable of fighting terror: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday said the Congress government had the capacity to fight the challenges India is facing from terrorism, Maoist insurgency, communalism and regionalism.

India, Japan launch new security talks

India and Japan yesterday launched an action plan to take their security dialogue, including counter-terrorism, to the 'next stage' and gave a push to a key economic pact. But a breakthrough in the critical civil nuclear area eluded them.

Party under a blue moon this New Year eve!

Take out some time from New Year eve revelry Thursday and look at the sky to catch a glimpse of a rare celestial phenomenon - a blue moon.

Zardari threatens to 'gouge out evil eyes' of anti-democratic forces

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has issued a brutal threat to anti-democratic forces of the country, saying that any "evil eye on democracy" will be "gouged out."

Somali pirates hijack 3 vessels

Somali pirates captured a freighter, a bulk carrier and a chemical tanker in a few days, defying foreign warships in the Gulf of Aden and ending the year with a flurry after collecting millions in ransom.

Three dead in Nepal blast

Three people were killed and two others injured on Monday when a bomb suspected by police to be a left-over from Nepal's civil war went off in the southwest of the country, officials said.

Thai health minister quits

Thailand's public health minister quit on Tuesday after he was accused of negligence linked to dubious plans for a ministry budget worth more than two billion dollars.

Consumer groups try to block Google purchase of AdMob

Two consumer groups urged the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday to block Internet search and advertising giant Google's proposed purchase of mobile advertising company AdMob.

Rothschild scion to invest in Rusal

A scion of the Rothschild banking family plans to invest in the Hong Kong initial public offering of the world's largest aluminium producer UC Rusal, reports said Tuesday.

Arts & Entertainment

Precision and refinement personified

Sangeetacharya Pandit Amiya Ranjan Bandyopadhyay performed at a musical soiree, titled "Dhrupodi Gaan-er Aashor" at Bengal Gallery on December 27.

Voice of the generation

On December 25, Somnur Monir Konal became the winner of the 2009 "Channel i Shera Kontho". For Konal, a fourth semester student of United International University, the recognition is a giant leap forward.

The bounty of winter

A month-long 'Poush Mela' (winter fair) was inaugurated on December 24 at Balabhir Goalpara village in Panchagarh.

Nostalgia and melody at a school reunion

The five and a half hour cultural evening at Rajshahi Bholanath Bisheswar Hindu Academy was abuzz with nearly 2,000 of former and present students of the 111-year old school and almost all were immersed in nostalgia.

Christmas celebrations in Dinajpur

Fun and frolic marked Christmas celebrations in the district. Christmas trees and balloons were in evidence at churches and homes in the district town and all 13 upazila headquarters. Candles and Christmas carols added to the spirit of the Yuletide. Churches were beautifully decorated and people began making a beeline for them from Christmas Eve.

Two day fair for children in Chapainawabganj

A two-day long 'Shishu Mela ended at the bungalow of Rohonpur municipality area under Gomostapur upazila in Chapainawabganj last Saturday.

Two young artists venture in a new medium

Two young artists, Israt Sawda and Jannati Hossain, jointly held a glass painting and photography exhibition at Baridhara recently. Both artists are just under 18 and the mix of emotions, views and imagination is revealed through their works.

OP-ED

Imperative of coexistence: Public and private universities

Comparisons, as the saying goes, are odious. In many cases, they are, but in others they could be helpful in determining yardsticks or in establishing comparative perspectives.

Women and economic war

As we all know, cyclone Sidr, which swept over Southern Bangladesh in 2007, caused colossal loss to people and properties. The price of any climatic change or other natural hazards generally falls heavily on the poor, and this was also the case with Sidr. The livelihoods of the poor were shattered, with razed houses, uprooted trees, damage to standing crops, and loss of livestock.

Is it a new chapter?

This was like searching for a needle in the haystack. I was looking for a word of remorse or regret in the reams of statements by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on the Liberhan Commission's Report on demolition of the Babri Masjid and on the stepping down of L.K.Advani from the office of opposition leader in the Lok Sabha. But I was disappointed. Not that I was expecting a change of heart in the party. Yet I imagined that some leaders, at least from among the young who are supposed to have taken over the reins of the party, would feel sorry for the masjid's destruction and the killing of hundreds in the wake. It would have sent a message that the BJP was trying to shake off its past and paving a new path of conciliation and consensus.



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