The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, December 22, 2014


News of: Sunday, 24th of January, 2010

Front Page

Duty-free cars for MPs again

Lawmakers are getting back the privilege of importing duty-free vehicles.

Biswa Ijtema ends today

Biswa Ijtema, the largest congregation of Muslims next to hajj, passed its second day yesterday with Islamic scholars from different countries delivering sermons on various aspects of Islam throughout the day.

Govt sitting on irrigation tech

Leaving a simple technology almost unused, the government has done little to increase irrigation efficiency, which could reduce 25 percent production cost and save underground water from depletion during boro season.

Bangladesh, India to form joint committee

Bangladesh and India will form a joint coordination committee, in light of the recently signed three security-related agreements, with representatives of their law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat international terrorism, organised crimes and cross-border drug trade.

Pressure holds back railway land recovery

Bangladesh Railway is facing difficulties recovering more than 2,000 acres of occupied land across the country largely due to pressure from political leaders, influential quarters and non-cooperation of government agencies.

Proper planning on traffic a must

Long-term plans and proper implementation are necessary to ease the nagging traffic congestion of the capital, said speakers at a roundtable organised by the Daily Prothom Alo yesterday.

Dhaka city at risk of massive destruction

Some 78,323 buildings will be destroyed completely if a 6-magnitude earthquake shakes Dhaka originating from its beneath, causing havoc throughout the densely populated capital city, says a government study.

Rapist spared, victim lashed

Eight months after being raped, a 16-year-old at Khargor of Kasba upazila in Brahmanbaria had to receive 101 lashes as "punishment".

Moeen says he did no wrong knowingly

Former army chief General (retd) Moeen U Ahmed claimed that he did no wrong knowingly during the immediate-past caretaker government.

JCD sues 35 BCL men

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal filed a case with Shahbagh Police Station accusing around 35 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League, five days after the violence on Dhaka University campus.

Proshika head office reopens after 11 days

An 11-day standoff ended yesterday at non-government organisation Proshika after employees joined office at Mirpur in a festive mood through embracing each other.

EU opposes death penalty in 'motivated' murder cases

The European Union has stood opposed to the death penalty in what they called politically motivated cases.

Second Test starts today

Hosts Bangladesh will be looking for a better all-round performance when they get to field for the second and final Test of the Idea Cup against India at the

Bangladesh to head UN disarmament conference

Bangladesh assumed the rotational presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on January 18 and will hold the presidency until February 12.

Hearing on charge-framing at Feni today

The hearing on framing charges against 62 suspected BDR mutineers of 19 Rifle Battalion here at Joylaskar of Dagonbhuiyan upazila will begin today at the Special Court-3 of Bangladesh Rifles.

One arrested over Pinky's suicide

Khulna police yesterday arrested the youth whose actions subsequently drove schoolgirl Nashfia Akand Pinky to commit suicide in Shyamoli Tuesday.

Near-extinct baby gharial dies at zoo

The baby gharial that was captured from Padma river in Rajshahi 46 days ago died yesterday at Rajshahi Central Zoo.

Manju, Sheikh Shahid retain leadership

Anwar Hossain Manju and Sheikh Shahidul Islam were re-elected president and secretary general of Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) yesterday.

UZ chairman held for smuggling

The Detective Branch of police has arrested the chairman of Kamalganj upazila under Moulvibazar district on charges of smuggling, gunrunning and money-laundering.

SC hearing on review pleas today

The Supreme Court today will hear review petitions filed by five death-row convicts in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman murder case.

4-nation meet starts in Delhi today

Environment ministers from four of the world's largest emerging economies meet in Delhi today ahead of the January 31 deadline to submit formal emission targets and climate change action plans.

Haiti govt calls off rescue operations

Haiti's government has declared the search and rescue phase for survivors of the country's devastating earthquake over, the United Nations said yesterday.

Editorial

List of land grabbers before JS

THE placing of a partial list of land grabbers by the minister of state for environment in the Jatiyo Sangsad last week brings to the fore once again an issue of intense public interest. In the past few years, much has been said and written about the predatory manner in which individuals and organisations have gone about commandeering public as well as privately-owned land across the country. To the shock of the nation, these land grabbers, instead of feeling ashamed, have been acting as if it is the usual thing to seize property from others. No one could have said it better than the minister of state for works who, at a meeting with REHAB representatives a couple of weeks ago, lambasted these land grabbers in public.

A positive story of specialised healthcare

IT is good see that a prominent Bangla daily has highlighted a change for the better that has come over the National Heart Institute and Hospital. When public hospitals, even specialised ones, have often hogged headlines for wrong reasons ranging from rusty costly equipment through perfunctory care to broker tyranny, the National Heart Institute is making positive vibes as a premier public healthcare institution. This deserves attention.

Old habits die hard

ONE of the most outstanding outcomes of the recently concluded India visit by our prime minister was the agreement with India to fight terrorism and organised crime. This has been long overdue, and we should be grateful to the prime minister that she had agreed with India on an array of agreement that includes extradition of criminals and elements charged with terrorism.

The fight against poverty

POVERTY is a major issue of concern among the development thinkers worldwide. The different forums of the UN, the World Bank/IMF and the international aid and development desks of the governments of the rich nations traditionally dedicate a certain percentage of their national budgets to mitigation of poverty, especially in the less and least developed countries.

Sports

Tigers target batting

The series between Bangladesh and India so far has generated a lot of heat both on and off the field. If India's stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag started it by terming the Tigers an 'ordinary side' before the first Test, then BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal fanned the flame by raising questions about the integrity of the Bangladeshi players.

Dhoni not like Sehwag

Mahendra Singh Dhoni returned to take the helm from Virender Sehwag to lead India against Bangladesh in the second and final Test and showed due respect to his opponents.

Best is just not good enough

The retort by the Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan at last Friday's bonus-giving ceremony is not becoming of a true sportsman. It lacked humility, one of the prime traits of any person engaged in sports. That is one of the important lessons of sports that people try to emulate in real life. If your president cannot rebuke you Shakib, who can, who will?

Federer marches on

World number one Roger Federer will face old adversary and former finalist Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth round after striking ominous form at the Australian Open on Saturday.

Khulna edge out Sylhet

Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak turned in an all-round performance to help Khulna to a 49-run win in a thrilling last-day finish in their national League encounter at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra yesterday. Razzak's 74 runs with and seven wickets in two innings got him the man-of-the-match award and gave his side their first win in two matches in the current National League while the losing side Sylhet are yet to get off the mark.

Free entry for school kids

School students will have free access to the second Test match between Bangladesh and India that starts today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, said a media release from Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday.

BOA get Tk 18 crore as donation

BOA got Tk 18 crore as donation from 26 institutions including Grameenphone and the representatives of the those organisations handed over the cheques to finance minister AMA Muhith, who is the chairman of the SA Games organising committee, at the newly-build Olympic Bhaban yesterday.

U-19s play HK in Plate quarters

Bangladesh Under-19 play their quarterfinal match of the plate championship in the ICC U-19 World Cup against Hong Kong at McLean park in Napier today.

Electronic board yet to be installed

The electronic scoreboard for athletics arrived over one-and-a-half months ago yet it remains uninstalled at the Bangabandhu National Stadium with only five days remaining to the start of the 11th South Asian Games on January 29.

AmEx Golf from tomorrow

American Express Bangladesh Open 2010 Professional Golf Championship starts at the Kurmitola Golf Club tomorrow. The four-day event will be participated by 120 professional golfers from home and abroad. Top 10 professional golfers from India will be participating in the event while Bangladesh will have at least 25 participants including Siddique who is the highest ranked Bangladeshi golfer.

Sisters keep on track

Serena and Venus kept on track for an all-Williams semifinal while a pair of in-form Eastern Europeans set up a fourth round showdown at the Australian Open Saturday.

Fergie targets 82 pts

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes that a points total as low as 82 could be enough to win the Premier League this season.

All set for electric tie

Hosts Angola and Ghana meet here on Sunday in what promises to be an electric Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal played out in front of the competition hosts' 50,000 fan base at the 11 November stadium.

Ciro dismisses Guus link

Defiant Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara on Friday blasted speculation linking Russia coach Guus Hiddink with his job ahead of Saturday's visit of AS Roma.

'Concentration the key'

AC Milan forward Ronaldinho said his team will need to concentrate for 90 minutes against Inter Milan on Sunday to avoid a repeat of the 4-0 thrashing they suffered earlier this season.

Spurs won't buy Ruud

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp on Friday all but ruled out a move to bring Ruud van Nistelrooy to White Hart Lane because of the level of the Real Madrid striker's wages.

Williams meets William

She may be the world's top tennis player and the winner of multiple Grand Slams but Serena Williams was left giggling like a schoolgirl when she talked about meeting Prince William,

Senderos to join Everton

Arsenal's Swiss defender Philippe Senderos is set to join Premiership rivals Everton on loan until the end of the season, according to the Goodison Park club.

Clarke the only concern

Australia over-ran Pakistan in the opening game thanks to Cameron White's first century at home and there is an opportunity to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match one-day international series when the sides meet in Sydney on Sunday.

PCB to change captain

Pakistan are to appoint a new captain after the tour of Australia next month, the country's cricket chief said Friday.

Pakistan knock India out

Pakistan knocked defending champions India out of the International Cricket Council Under 19 World Cup on Saturday in a tense rain-affected quarterfinal at Lincoln.

Fed could've become an Australian

Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer on Saturday revealed he came close to emigrating to Australia as a youngster.

T20 moving fast: Parore

Former New Zealand wicketkeeper Adam Parore has said that cricket as a game is changing fast, and Twenty20, the shortest version of the game has the longest advantage.

Tendulkar out for nought!

Arjun Tendulkar, son of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, played his first sub-junior national cricket tournament, representing the MIG Club in the Under-13 Cadence Trophy here on Friday.

ESDO Gold Cup Badminton

First ESDO Gold Cup Badminton was inaugurated on Friday at Gobindanagar village in Thakurgaon municipality.

Del Neri denies Cassano bust up

Sampdoria coach Luigi Del Neri denied on Friday that he has had a bust up with star striker Antonio Cassano.

Ghana journalist beaten up

A sports radio journalist from Ghana covering the Africa Cup of Nations was beaten up by Angolan security officers in what was described as a "brutal" attack here on Friday.

Business

Paint makers continue double-digit growth

Bangladesh's paint industry has been growing at a double-digit rate for the past several years riding on the increasing demand from the construction sector, market players said.

RMG trade shows in India in April

Bangladesh is going to hold single country trade fairs of readymade garment (RMG) and textile products for the first time in four Indian big cities in April, which businesspeople see as an icebreaking initiative to increase bilateral trade volume.

NBR plans e-pay for income tax

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is set to introduce an e-pay system for income tax payers in July to reduce government revenue losses and taxpayers' hassles.

Transcom Beverages wins PepsiCo award

Transcom Beverages Ltd (TBL), the franchisee of PepsiCo International, has won the “Bottler of the Year Award” for 2009 in PepsiCo International Annual Conference in recognition of its outstanding business results.

Bharti Airtel posts small profit rise

India's largest mobile phone operator Bharti Airtel recorded a small rise in quarterly revenue and profit as a fierce price war in the explosively growing cellular market cut into the company's revenues.

Garment workers demand minimum pay hike to Tk 5,000

Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council yesterday announced a 90-day programme to press a series of demands, including a raise in minimum wage to Tk 5,000 from the existing Tk 1,662.50 per month.

Global financial stability watchdog eyes Obama reform

The international Financial Stability Board said Saturday that it was considering banking reforms like those planned by the Obama administration to cut the risks posed by big bank failures.

Growth to sustain at 5.7pc

Bangladesh's growth in the current fiscal year will likely sustain at 5.7 percent, said Citigroup Global Markets.

Governor asks banks to invest more in disaster-prone areas

Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman has called upon banks to increase investment in the disaster-prone areas, saying that poverty is now shifting from the northern region of the country to the south.

Steps underway to revive jute sector

Jute and Textiles Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui said yesterday his ministry is taking steps to make the jute industry more profitable and heal the sector's wounds caused by faulty policies.

Minister urges businesspeople to restore lustre to the community

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday urged businesspeople to work together to restore glory and respect for their community.

Senior Citi official in town

Philip Brown, director (risk) for Citi Micro-finance, arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a four-day visit, says the bank in a statement.

Poor infrastructure main setback

It is high time for South Asia to go all out for removing infrastructure bottlenecks to capitalise on their growing partnership and connectivity, the Nepalese finance minister says.

Bernanke fate in doubt

President Barack Obama's administration is scrambling to save the nomination of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke as more opposition emerges from members of the president's own party.

MediaNews parent files for bankruptcy protection

The owner of The Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and 52 other daily newspapers filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, joining the procession of publishers choking on too much debt.

Asia markets tumble on US bank crackdown

US President Barack Obama's vow to crack down on Wall Street's "reckless" big banks sent shockwaves through Asian stock markets on Friday, with the region's financial centres suffering.

Oil falls

World oil prices fell Friday on worries about weak energy demand in the United States and over the strength of China's economy, traders said.

Indian carmaker Maruti quarterly profit triples

India's leading carmaker Maruti Suzuki reported Saturday its quarterly net profit more than tripled, fuelled by cheap loans and a reviving domestic economy.

Google co-founders to sell 5m shares each

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin each plan to sell five million shares in the Internet giant, a move that would reduce their joint holdings to below 50 percent, according to a filing Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Sony Ericsson loss shrinks

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday and said ongoing restructuring would only yield results in mid-2010 in the face of fierce competition for smartphones.

ECB president: Greece must put finances in order

Greece and other euro-zone countries with excessive budget deficits must do everything they can to put their finances in order, the president of the European Central Bank said in an interview published Saturday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Jan 17-Jan 21st, 2010
International Markets

The euro fell broadly this week. By the end of the week the euro had hits its weakest against the dollar in nearly six months on Thursday stung by concerns over Greece and other peripheral euro zone countries. Technical forces are also playing into the mix as recent breaches of key support levels have added to the selling momentum. Ongoing weakness in the single European currency prompted a broad rise in the dollar, which extended this week's winning streak and hit a 4-1/2-month high against a currency basket.

Metropolitan

'Bronchiolitis curable without antibiotics'

Though bronchiolitis is curable without antibiotics, most of the children suffering from the disease are provided with antibiotics that make the treatment costly and facilitate bacterial resistance to the children.

Adverse effect on drinking water feared

Excessive use of underground water during the boro season may have an adverse effect on the country's drinking water, warned International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) yesterday.

Bangladesh likely to face serious tobacco epidemic

The country is likely to face a serious tobacco epidemic, according to a recent survey that reveals 23 percent of the adults above 15 years of age smoke.

Distance, expenses main obstacles to achieving goal in rural areas

Services of Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA) during delivery of babies are more accessible in urban areas than rural areas in the country, revealed a survey report.

Make at least one quality film for children a year: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the filmmakers to make at least one quality film for children every year, and announced cash incentives for such innocuous films that will inculcate values and vision of life into the children's mind.

Call to set up land commission for indigenous people

The government should establish a separate land commission to ensure land rights and food security of the indigenous people, Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adibashi Forum, said yesterday.

Poverty eradication to dominate agenda

The second ministerial meeting of Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (Cirdap) starts on January 27 in the city to discuss the emerging issues relating to rural development and poverty alleviation in the region.

Govt wants to keep 90pc people out of politics

BNP lawmaker MK Anwar yesterday said the government wants to keep 90 percent people of the country away from politics through banning the religion-based political parties.

Reckless driving amid fog costs 18 lives in 3 days

Reckless driving by truck drivers amid late night's dense fog and absence of traffic police on roads cost the lives of around 18 people in and around the city over the last three days.

Family members meet 3 killers

Family members of three Bangabandhu murder convicts met the condemned men in the Dhaka Central Jail yesterday.

Four killed in road crashes

Four people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Bandarban and Netrakona yesterday.

Radio Today starts journey as 'Green Radio'

Radio Today, a FM band radio station, started its journey as a 'Green Radio' yesterday.

Radio Today starts journey as 'Green Radio'

Radio Today, a FM band radio station, started its journey as a 'Green Radio' yesterday.

Nahid warns of punitive actions for irregularities

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday warned that punitive actions would be taken against those involved in irregularities in textbook distribution.

'Give martyrs of 1969 mass upsurge due recognition'

Speakers at a programme yesterday called for giving the martyrs of the 1969 mass upsurge due recognition.

'Work to ensure women's right to habitation'

The government and non-government organisations (NGOs) should work together to ensure women's right to habitation, said speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Enlighten yourselves thru' reading books

Today's children are tomorrow's freedom fighters. They will have to enlighten themselves through reading books and fight for the emancipation of people.

Duta demands punishment to culprits

Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) leaders yesterday demanded punishment to the culprits involved in January 18 clashes on the Dhaka University (DU) campus.

BSMMU signs agreement with Indian medical instt

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSSMU) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) have signed an agreement to increase cooperation and exchange of knowledge and expertise.

Attack on rights activist condemned

Leaders of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) yesterday strongly condemned the attack on Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous People's Forum, said a press release.

Marie Curie School marks Foundation Day

Marie Curie School celebrated its 16th Foundation Day amid festivity on Thursday, says a press release.

Body to probe IER question paper leakage

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday formed a five-member committee to investigate the leakage of question papers for the first-year honours admission test of Institute of Education and Research (IER).

Journo Ashraf passes away

Ashraf Ali, news editor of The Bangladesh Observer, passed away at his residence yesterday at the age of 67, says a press release.

Death of Sayeed Ahmed condoled

Meghna Ameen, founder chairperson of Sarva Sree Foundation, yesterday expressed deep shock at the death of noted playwright and art scholar Sayeed Ahmed, says a press release.

National

Farmers to grow flood tolerant Swarna this year

Two thousand farmers will get seeds of Swarna, a flood tolerant variety of paddy, for cultivation on their land this year as the newly developed variety has seen successful experimental cultivation in Sadullapur upazila of Gaibandha district.

Road without repair, bridges without approach roads

Five bridges on five-kilometre Nalka-Shahebganj road have remained a nuisance for people of 11 villages in Raiganj upazila of Sirajganj as no approach roads have been constructed to make them usable.

Expatriate's house looted in N'ganj

Armed robbers looted cash and valuables worth about Tk four lakh from the house of an expatriate at Mijimiji Painadi under Siddhirganj of Narayanganj Sadar upazila yesterday.

BCL men in Natore beat up two hotel boys

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists ransacked a hotel and beat up two employees on Wednesday for being late in serving snacks.

Indigenous women in Rangamati to block roads today

Sazek Nari Samaj (SNS), a body of indigenous women in Sazek Union under Baghaichhari upazila of the district, will enforce road blockade on Dighinala-Sazek and Baghaichhari-Sazek roads today demanding return of their lands allegedly grabbed by the settlers.

Guards themselves kill birds in Hakaluki

Poaching of migratory birds continues unabated in Hakaluki Haor (water body) in Kulaura and Baralekha upazilas of Moulvibazar district.

Body of RU female student found in mass graveyard

Police yesterday recovered body of a female student of Rajshahi University (RU) from the university mass graveyard.

Job seekers in Gaibandha lay siege to CS office

Several hundred candidates, including the children of freedom fighters, yesterday laid siege to Gaibandha civil surgeon's office alleging irregularities in selecting candidates through written test for viva for 170 posts of health assistant.

Two shop staff killed in Jhenidah, Gaibandha

A shop employee was beaten to death in Jhenidah while another was burnt to death in Gaibandha on Friday.

Acid attack on innocent kid sparks protest

Different professional bodies, political and socio-cultural organisations yesterday formed a human chain on Abdul Hamid Road in the district town demanding immediate arrest of the culprits who threw acid on a two-and-a- half- year-old child in Pabna Sadar upazila on the night of January 19.

Wall collapse kills two

Two children of a family died and two more were wounded on Friday afternoon at Birganj upazila in a wall collapse. The dead were identified as Mozaffar Ali, 8, and Merina Begum, 9, son and daughter of Merazul Islam. Doctors at Birganj upazila health complex quoting family members said the children were playing near a dilapidated wall. As some of the children were trying to climb on the wall, it suddenly collapsed upon them.

Youth's body recovered

Body of an unidentified young man was recovered at Dhanarchar village in Palash upazila on Saturday noon. Locals saw the body of the 28-year-old youth inside a bamboo cluster at 12:00 noon and informed police. Later, police recovered the body and sent it to Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. Police said criminals might have stabbed the young man to death elsewhere and later dumped the body inside the bamboo cluster.

Boy electrocuted

An 8-year-old boy was electrocuted at Rahman Nagar in the district town on Friday afternoon. Police said Samiul, son of Fazlu Sikder of the area came in contact with a live electric wire while he along with his friends was playing on the premises of Mou Nursing Home at about 4:00pm. He died instantly. Later, police on information, sent the body to hospital morgue for autopsy. A UD case was filed.

New KUJ executives

Sheikh Abu Hasan, Khulna bureau chief of Dainik Prothom Alo and senior staff reporter of Dainik Purbanchal Md Mozammel Hossain were elected yesterday president and general secretary of the new executive committee of Khulna Union of Journalists (KUJ). Sheikh Hedayet Hossain Molla of Dainik Jugantor became the treasurer. Polling began at 9:00 am and continued till 1:00 pm without any break. Sixty five out of 68 voters cast their votes to elect the new seven-member executive committee. The election was conducted by a three-member committee headed by the additional deputy commissioner (revenue) as chairman.

Two held with VGF rice

Two Union Parishad members were held along with 240 kg VGF rice from Badhal Union Parishad office at Bilkul village in Kachua upazila on Thursday. The arrestees are Narayan Chandra Das, member of Ward No 2 and Abul Bashar Sheikh, member of Ward No 5 in Badhal union. Official sources said, the government recently took a decision to distribute 30 kg rice per head among 232 destitute people under Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme in the union. But the two UP members misappropriated 240 kg rice distributing less than the per head allotted quantity.

Drug peddler jailed

A court here on Wednesday sentenced a female drug peddler to life term imprisonment for possessing heroin. The court also fined her Tk 50,000, in default, to suffer four years more in jail. Convict Jotsna Begum, 40, is wife of robber Jamshed of Bhatpara in the city. Jamshed was recently killed in a gunfight with Rab. Her brother Anu was also an infamous robber while father Majid was jailed for robbery. According to the prosecution, a team of Rab-9 arrested Jotsna along with small packets of heroin from her house on January 11, 2007. A case was filed. After examining the records and witnesses, Additional District and Sessions Judge M Belayet Ullah handed down the verdict.

Letters

Haiti scene

Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince experienced a massive earthquake and its ghastly effect still pervades over there. People trapped under the debris and rubbles are yet to be rescued and the UN and other agencies are rushing to the place.

Sea level rise

Bangladesh is the country most vulnerable to sea-level rise due to the low elevation. Half the country lies at elevations of less than 5 meters. The seasonal sea level change in the Bay is remarkable and one of the highest in the world.

Migratory birds

“Migratory birds are sold regularly in the roads of the capital (Dhaka) itself. This only shows that the concern for guest birds is yet to be shared by the vast majority of the people totally insensitive to the issue.”

Western culture

Satellite channels are bringing about all sorts of alien cultures to our society. Western culture has started to influence the tastes of our young generation. Our young generation do not like to enjoy Tagore or Nazrul songs. They are fond of band, pop music, obscene films etc. People find less interest in their own culture and like to lead a life following western modes.

Ask for judicial conclusion

The party in power has already withdrawn many cases filed during the CTG administration against their leaders on various charges like tax evasion, extortion and misuse of power. The charges of those cases were findings of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Many of the accused were charge-sheeted while some were under process of trial. Latest news reports suggest that many more such cases are under process of withdrawal terming those cases as 'politically motivated' ones.

Tourism Master Plan

The BSS news report published in most dailies on January 11th is nothing but the annual litany of the minister for tourism and civil aviation; give or take a few words and phrases here and there. Like the annual winter cold wave, we hear about the "Tourism Master Plan" and "global standard tourism destinations" every winter, year in and year out!

Mid-term election

I read with astonishment in the DS that BNP Secretary General Khandakar Delwar Hossain has demanded a mid-term election to "test the popularity of BNP and its Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman". After what has been described as one of the fairest elections in Bangladesh history, Mr. Delwar Hossain is making a plea to have the results abrogated in order to test someone's popularity?

Airport's name

Concerning the renaming of Zia International Airport, there is one very important factor (for personal and business efficiency) that no one seems to be taking into consideration - namely, that however stupid, foreign or partially illiterate people are (or all three), they can spell it and pronounce it.

Illegal parking

This morning I was fined by a traffic sergeant, for just stopping my car and getting down at New Elephant Road. He stated I had caused obstruction to the free flowing of traffic, as ones behind had to bypass me by diverting their vehicles.

A dedicated man

We came to this transitory world for a specific period to perform various tasks. In the stream of life we follow some idealism. We have to work in the team. Team spirit is vital for the overall development. Now I should come to the point. A feature published in the Daily Prothom Alo regarding Bahazuddin, a school teacher of Tangail, strikes in my mind. I came to know that he is a person who did not enjoy a single leave in his thirty years' service life. It impressed me very much. It is his will power that has helped him to attain such credit. God has helped him in this regard.

Caretaker government

In recent days it has become a fashion to blame the past CTG for the 1/11 episode. It is the human nature to pass on one's blame to others to hide one's own failures. Some quarters are even asking for the 'trial' of the persons involved in the changeover. The hula, as can be seen, is masterminded by few controversial influential persons whose role during pre- CTG era came under drastic scrutiny. We all know why and how the then political circumstances and deteriorating law and order situation pushed the country towards the changeover. There was no other alternative whatsoever due to the intransigence of the power hungry groups. The fact, however, remains that the people of this country, except for the few disgruntled politicians, overwhelmingly supported the changeover. Even the international community seeing the internal huge public support came out publicly in support of the CTG. The role of the administration of the CTG in handling the total affairs of the country cannot be termed perfect. But there is no denying that the corruption which bore its firm roots from the pre-CTG era got a tremendous jerk with the changeover. Persons who once considered themselves too powerful and above any kind of law of the country were brought to face charges in the court. Henceforth, I am sure before embarking upon any large scale corruption a person will now think twice about his accountability to the nation, may be at a later date.

Toys down the drain!

As expected the DMP's expensive toys CCTV, Automatic Signals etc etc have failed to live up to their ambitious billing. The DS has repeatedly (including DS of 12/1/10) reported on the lax implementation, wholesale flaunting of traffic laws, and cosmetic fining of a few offenders unlucky enough to get caught to fulfil the traffic controllers' quotas.

The greatest man

Allah, the Merciful, created our dearest Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) without an iota of flaw. When the world people were mire in the darkness of ignorance, our beloved Rasul (Pbuh) came like the light to the path of the great truth that Allah is one and He is the Lord of the universe.

Bangladeshi politicians

We should all try to develop our country and the politicians should play the major role in this regard.

Second stimulus package

The Ministry of Finance through a press release on November 25 announced the 2nd Stimulus Package to save the industries suffering due to the world wide economic recession. The export oriented garment manufacturing industry, which was not considered for any stimulus in the 1st package, has been considered under this package for receiving the following benefits:

Our friend Jyoti Basu

The most outstanding Indian leader who believed and practised social democracy during his whole political career is dead. We thank Sheikh Hasina and also the BNP leaders for their appropriate gestures to attend his last journey Tuesday on behalf of the people of Bangladesh.

Strident student politics

The year 2009 was a bad year for student politics. The New Year also started the same way.

International

UK on 'severe' terror alert

Britain raised its terror threat alert to the second-highest level Friday, one of several recent moves the country has made to increase vigilance against international terrorists after a Christmas Day bombing attempt on a Europe-US flight.

15 Turks, Uighurs killed by Afghan drone attack

An attack by a Western drone aircraft in Afghanistan killed 15 militants of Turkish and Chinese Uighur origin, a Turkish militant website was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Aid finally brings relief in Haiti -- for some

Some left with a smile after queuing for hours for the first major hand-out of food and water in central Port-au-Prince since the massive earthquake 10 days ago. Others were not so lucky.

22 militants, 2 troops killed in Pakistan clashes

Militants ambushed Pakistani security forces at checkpoints near the Afghan border yesterday, sparking gunbattles that left 22 insurgents and two troops dead, officials said.

High alert as Indo-Pak border fence breached

Throwing security machinery into a tizzy, militants taking advantage of dense fog cut the barbed-wire fence along the Indo-Pak border for the first time in a bid to carry out infiltration.

Lankan opposition warns of vote-rigging and violence

Sri Lanka's opposition warned yesterday of possible vote-rigging and violence by the ruling party in next week's presidential election as both sides wound up campaigning.

Kashmir row no breeding ground for terrorism

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has rubbished Pakistan's long standing stance that the unresolved issues like the Kashmir dispute were breeding terrorism and providing food for thought for banned extremist organisations like al-Qaeda.

Haitians get privacy, finally, to rest and mourn

Finally, Suze will be able to rest, wash and stop living in proximity with the wounded, the looters and the rats. She has just entered one of the first big tents erected in the middle of Haiti's devastated capital. Suze breathed a sigh of relief -- finally, she will be able to mourn the death of her daughter, one of the more than 110,000 people killed in last week's massive earthquake.

US Marines end role in Iraq

The US Marine Corps wrapped nearly seven years in Iraq yesterday, handing over duties to the Army and signalling the beginning of an accelerated withdrawal of American troops as the US turns its focus away from the waning Iraqi war to a growing one in Afghanistan.

Dolphins 2nd smartest after humans

In a new research, scientists have found that dolphins might be the second-smartest animals after humans, as MRI scans show that their brains are four to five times larger for their body size when compared to another animal of similar size.

British woman plans to marry laptop!

A woman who plans to marry her laptop has become an internet sensation.

Four killed as Maoists trigger blast in Orissa

Maoists Saturday blew up a jeep carrying policemen and some civilians in Orissa's Koraput district, killing four people and injuring eight others, police said.

CIA likely to double drone strikes in Pakistan

The Pakistan Army's stance to not to open any new front against extremists in the coming months has apparently angered the Central Investigation Agency (CIA), as it may double the use of unmanned drones to strike the extremists' hot bed along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

7 killed in Iran train derailment

Seven people were killed and another 12 were injured on Saturday when a train travelling from Iran's second city of Mashhad in the northeast to Tehran derailed, an official told state-run television.

Former Malaysia king dies

The sultan of Malaysia's Johor state, Iskandar Ismail, who served as the nation's king for five years, has died aged 77, state media reported.

Top Kashmir rebel killed

Troops shot dead a top-ranking militant in restive Indian Kashmir and security forces battled Islamic rebels ahead of next week's Republic Day national holiday, police said Saturday.

Arts & Entertainment

Talent and glamour unified

The glitzy grand finale of 'Lux Channel i Superstar 2009' was held at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre on January 22. Jointly put together by Unilever Bangladesh's brand Lux and Channel i, the highlight of the event was the announcement of the 'Superstar' of 2009. The programme also featured performances by the finalists as well as popular singers and models.

“Doriya Parer Doulati”: Abdullah Al Mamun’s last film to hit the big screen

Late actor-director-scriptwriter and filmmaker Abdullah Al Mamun's last film "Doriya Parer Doulati" is all set for release. The premiere of the film will be held on January 24 at the Star Cineplex. The film will be released across the country on January 29.

AR Rahman stages another win

Internationally-acclaimed music composer AR Rahman is in line for an Oscar for the second year running.

Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief

Grim-faced celebrities and musicians with mournful tunes set the tone for the all-star, international "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" telethon, which featured two hours of desperate pleas for an even more-desperate nation. But it ended on a hopeful note, with a buoyant call for Haiti's revival by native son, Wyclef Jean.

Seasoned singer Syed Abdul Hadi on “Amar Ami”

He is considered one of the pioneers of Bangladeshi adhunik music. Starting from the 1960s his journey in Bangla music has been an illustrious one. Among his memorable songs are " Achhen Amar Moktar Achhen Amar Barrister", "Emon-o Tho Prem Hoy", "Janmo Thekey Jolchhi", "Ekbar Jodi Keu Bhalobashto" and more. Syed Abdul Hadi's popularity crosses generations and musical tastes.

Udichi holds cultural programme in Magura

Last Thursday (January 21) evening Udichi Shilpi Goshthi's Magura unit held a discussion and competitive cultural programme at the auditorium of Surjomukhi Kindergarten School in the town to mobilise support in favour of holding trials of war criminals.

Pabna Music College recalls its founder

Shahid Shadhan Music College, Pabna organised a discussion and public prayer at the college premises to mark the 8th death anniversary of Professor Mohammad Abdul Goni, founder principal of the college. The daylong programme was held last Thursday.

Saraswati Puja celebrated with traditional gaiety

Saraswati Puja was celebrated recently in Dinajpur with religious fervour across the districts.

Dancers of TV form ad hoc committee

Recently Television Dance Directors and Dance Artists Association (Telenriposhis) announced the names of Amanul Haq as convener and Hassan Imam as the member-secretary of its 11 member ad hoc committee, says a press release. Mohammad Golam Mustafa Khan, Shamim Ara Nipa, Shibli Mohammad, Tamanna Rahman, Munmun Ahmed, Anisul Islam Hiru, Sohel Rahman, Laila Haque and ASM Rafiqul Alam (Shafique) are the members of the committee.

OP-ED

From Port-au-Prince to Dhaka

ANY natural calamity is only a "natural calamity" in part. To a large extent, natural calamity, whether a tsunami or earthquake or cyclone, is mediated by existing socio-economic factors in which quality of governance plays an important role.

The historic blunder

WHY did Jyoti Basu describe the decision to deny him the prime minister's office in 1997 as Indian Marxism's "historic blunder"? He was not in love with status. He had more power in Bengal than most prime ministers have in India. He was content in Kolkata and capable of mounting an offensive from the Red Fortress that could shake the parameters of the Red Fort. V. P. Singh could never have become prime minister without his muscle. The decisive word in "historic blunder" is "historic," not "blunder." Basu realised that his party, CPI(M), had taken a wrong turn at a swivel moment in history.

Sweet as sugar

SUGARCANE is the primary source of sugar, gur and juice production in Bangladesh. Even though date palm and palmyra palm meet a little portion of our requirement of gur and syrup, sugarcane ranks first in satisfying our demand for sugar. Sugarcane is the only source of white sugar in Bangladesh.



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